Win Goodies at the Online Gluten-Free Expo Tomorrow!

If you haven’t already, register for the Free Gluten-Free Expo. The expo is this weekend! I can’t wait! I look forward to their expos every year.

Join the expo and you’ll have an opportunity to win prizes, interact with exhibitors, and attend classes.

Their events are lots of fun and is an awesome opportunity to learn the latest in gluten-free news and health tips.

See you online!

Shaline

#glutenfree #nourishedfestival #blogger

Nutrition 101: A Guide to Good Nutrition 

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Whether you are at your ideal weight or striving to reach your weight goal is it simply a matter of burning more calories than you take in? The answer is no! Overall body health improvement as well as weight gain or loss must be factored into the equation or you could be heading for problems.

Correct nutrition can help to reduce the risk of a myriad of health-related problems, the most frightening of which are surely chronic diseases like heart disease and cancer. Proper nutrition, however, entails eating a variety of foods, monitoring your consumption of some food like processed foods and beverage items that contain lots of sugar or sugar additives, and counting calories or watching portion size. Good diets offer balanced nutrition that reduces cholesterol, blood pressure, and helps with weight control. 

To function properly, your body must have the correct combination of nutrients. Below is a general overview of nutrients.

Carbohydrates. They are the primary source of ammunition in your diet. The body uses carbohydrates to build glucose which can be used immediately or stored in your body for later. Too much glucose, however, is stored as fat. There are two types of carbohydrates – simple and complex. Sugars are simple carbohydrates. Starches and fibers are complex carbohydrates. 

Proteins. Proteins help your body build and maintain muscles and other tissues. They also function in the creation of hormones. Like carbohydrates, excess protein is stored as fat.  

Animal and vegetable are the two major types of proteins. Too much animal protein can cause high cholesterol, as it is high in saturated fat. 

Fat. Strange as it may seem; fat is another nutrient your body requires. It comes in both saturated and unsaturated forms. Saturated fat puts you at risk of health problems. Unsaturated fat is healthy, but if it goes through any type of refinement process, it can become saturated fat. 

Vitamins. These are also required nutrients. Different vitamins perform different tasks within the body. They can work with the metabolism to help with energy levels for any task you can think of that you need your body to perform. It has also been noted that certain vitamins can prevent disease.  

For example, vitamins A, C, and E, also called antioxidants, can assist with the prevention of coronary artery disease by keeping build up from occurring on artery walls. Vitamin B-1 is needed for digestion and proper nervous system function. Vitamin B-2 is needed for normal cell growth. Vitamin B-3 helps to detoxify your body. Folic acid assists with production of red blood cells. Vitamin D assists with the absorption of calcium. Vitamin K helps your blood clot.  Note: Vitamins A, D, E, and K are fat soluble vitamins.

Minerals and trace elements. These are another nutrient your body requires. Both are used in many different body processes. Minerals like chlorine help make your digestive juices. Phosphorus helps build strong bones. Both can be found in the foods we consume, but with a trace element, your body just needs a tiny amount. Salt is one final nutrient your body requires. You should not consume more than 2400 milligrams per day, though, as it might raise your blood pressure.  

You should follow several guidelines to create a well balanced, nutritional diet. First, try to consume two and one half cups of vegetables and two cups of fruit each day. When making your selections for each day, be sure to choose a good variety. A good rough guide is to eat as many different colors as possible, this will help you to select from all five vegetable subgroups at least four times per week. 

Fiber-rich fruits, vegetables and whole grains should be a regular part of your diet as should potassium rich foods. Alcoholic beverages should only be consumed in moderation. 

You should eat at least three ounces of whole grain products each day. At least half of your grain intake should be whole grain based. Nut milk is a healthy option for a healthy diet. Your total fat intake should only be between ten and thirty percent of your calories. Most of the fats you consume should be in the form of unsaturated fats, as saturated fats can do much to damage your health. Meat, poultry, dry beans, and milk or milk products should all be lean, low-fat, or fat-free. Less than ten percent of your calories should come from saturated fats, and you should always try to avoid trans-fatty acid. 

Excellent nutrition is the basis of a healthy diet/lifestyle.

Namaste,

Shaline

5 Popular Essential Oils and Their Uses

Essential oils have been used for many years, both for emotional and physical health. You can use essential oils aromatically, topically and some people add essential oils to food and drinks.

There are many types of oils to use as a carrier oil such as olive oil, coconut oil, sunflower oil, almond oil, avocado oil, or sesame oil. People use essential oils due to its inhibitor, antimicrobial and medicated properties. Its use is spreading day by day as it has no side effects and can be considered as a natural solution for physical issues.

There are two ways to use essential oils: diffuse the oil and apply the oil to your skin. Some ingest essential oils in veggie capsules; however, it isn’t recommended unless indicated by the manufacturer. You can put a few drops on your feet or shake a few drops on the carpet to make your room smell great.

Before using any oil make sure it is diluted with water as all oils are concentrated, you cannot apply directly to your body.

Here are 5 popular essential oils and their uses is mentioned below:

1. Lavender:

Lavender has soothing and relaxing features. It is mostly used essential oil by people and is easily available anywhere in the market. It can be used as a scent to refresh the mind, to relieve stress and tension. By adding 2-3 drops on an insect bite as Lavender helps skin issues. Add 2-3 drops of essential oil to your hands, rub it in your palms and inhale deeply. Drop a few drops on your bed pillows before going to sleep which tends you to sleep faster and live in peace.

2. Lemon:

Lemon oil added in water can be used as a substitute for fresh lime. You can spray it in the room to keep your mind, mood cheerful and fresh. It also plays a vital role in cleaning household things. It removes the smell from dirty clothes while washing. Its odor prevents bad smell in toilets, dustbins, trash cans so can be termed as a good air freshener.

3. Peppermint:

It is the most flexible oil used all over the world. It is a food energizer; you can use it in tea, or a smoothie. It also supports the body, and many use it when they feel tired. You will feel happy when you breathe in its bottle.

4. Sandalwood:

It is one of the expensive oils, but its use is worth it. It possesses long lasting property. It cools down your mind after inhaling it or applying it on your neck. It also strengthens your body, keeps yourself active and increases your willpower. Taking a bath with essential oils has emotional and physical benefits. Massage oil throughout your body either at home or salon to be relaxed and relieve yourself from stress and tension. It also increases your microcirculation. You can use it as a home-based conditioner.

5. Tea Tree:

Tea Tree has a nice fragrance which provides cleaning solutions in the home. It cleans our home appliances. Tea Tree Oil has been known to help skin conditions. It kills harmful bacteria. It is also used to reduce body odor.

For more information on these oils, contact me at shalinehealthcoach@gmail.com, so I can send you samples.

Namaste,

Shaline

#essentialoils

Part 2 of John Robbins’ Interview with Dr. William Li

The Food Revolution Summit is an annual online event hosted by the father and son team, John and Ocean Robbins. The eight day summit consists of three interviews each day with renowned physicians and experts in the health, wellness, and sustainability space.

Dr. William Li is a renowned doctor, scientist, and angiogenesis expert, and
the New York Times best-selling author of Eat to Beat Disease: The New Science of How Your Body Can Heal Itself. His groundbreaking work has impacted more than 70 diseases including cancer, diabetes, blindness, heart disease, and obesity. Dr. Li’s wildly popular TED Talk “Can we eat to starve cancer?” has been seen by more than 11 million people. He founded the “Eat to Beat” initiative, which is a community of 50,000 people passionate about using diet to fight cancer, improve immunity, and prevent chronic diseases.

This is an excerpt of John Robbins’ interview with Dr. Li.

How Specific Foods May Be Protective Against C^VID


John Robbins: Well, I would never want to imply that eating a specific food or drink or taking a particular supplement can in and of itself cure or prevent C^VID. But it seems that you and your colleagues have been able to identify particular foods that have properties that do improve immune and vascular health, and that can actually help to intercept the c^ronavirus binding to human cells, is that accurate, Will?


Dr. William Li: Well, I’ll share some data with you from research that was done. You know, everybody’s been focused on the progress with vaccines and monoclonal antibodies and the usual pharmaceutical newspaper headline makers out there. But I will tell you what I’ve been doing. I’ve been keeping an
eye on those very same things, I’ve also been keeping an eye out on food and what we’re learning from that.


So let me tell you about a study that was published in July in the pre-print form. 900 people studied in China who were healthy in the spring of 2020, and they were followed forward into the pandemic times as the pandemic got worse. And, they studied to see who was gonna, of these 900 people who was going to develop C^VID and who was not going to develop C^VID.


And they looked at not only the people and their clinical outcomes, but they also looked at their blood, they looked at their stool, they looked at their poop and looked at the microbiome, and then they also did a food frequency questionnaire. So to me, it was an ingeniously designed study at a time when everyone seems so uncertain and panicked. Somebody had a clear head to design this study, and here’s what they found. They found that of those 900 healthy people, the people who wound up developing C^VID had lower levels of a natural immune virus fighter called interferon gamma. It’s one
of our body’s cytokines, a healthy cytokine. And they were short, they were down. And the people who wound up not developing C^VID had elevated levels of this interferon gamma, natural immune fibrous fighter.


Then they actually went and looked in the poop, you know, the stool for the microbiome. And they found that people who wound up having more of this interferon gamma also had more, two bacteria that were elevated. One was Lactobacillus. And the other one in the stool microbiome was a bacteria
called Ruminococcus. So Lactobacillus, Rumenacaucus, those people in those who had that in their microbiome, and they’re still also had more interferon gamma also didn’t develop C^VID as often, right?


So now we’re starting to draw points and align. C^VID, no C^VID, interfering gamma, no interfering gamma, Lactobacillus or Ruminococcus or no Lactobacillus, Ruminococcus. Now you put the connector to the food, and it turns out the people who had the good bacteria and the natural virus
killer, and didn’t wind up getting C^VID, were drinking more tea, either green or black. So that was sort of a one interesting dietary study that came out during the pandemic that really started to connect some lines in terms of a boost in your body’s own defenses.


Later, at Rensselaer Polytechnic, there was a study that came out where they were actually looking at the binding site on the human cells where the coronavirus actually sticks its spike protein down. So this coronavirus is, it’s like a warrior, basically it invades our body. And then it throws a javelin, it’s a
spike protein right down into our human cells through this thing called the ACE receptor. So that’s the bullseye that this coronavirus uses. And they found that there are drugs and steroids that interfere with binding of the spike protein of the virus, from the virus to human cells.


But guess what they found from food that could also block that site from the spike protein? So it kind of looks like it blocks a javelin, like Captain America shield, turns out that there’s a polysaccharide found in kelp, kombu. This is found in a Japanese cuisine. It’s seaweed. If you ever had a bowl of miso soup in
a Japanese restaurant, it’s got that square of dark seaweed in it, that is the kombu. So there’s actually something in that kombu that prevents the coronavirus from sticking to human cells.


So again, you can’t get away from studying the impact of food and health, even in a pandemic. And I think that there are some really compelling research directions to go forward in.

Mushrooms and C^VID

Mushrooms were mentioned in Part 1. Here’s a review.


John Robbins: You mentioned the people in China who seem to be less likely to get C^VID were people who, it turned out, were drinking more tea, green or black. You have included green tea in a list that you wrote titled, 10 Things to Eat Right Now to Fight Back Against C^VID. I’d like to talk to you about that list. First on the list is mushrooms. Well, what is it about mushrooms that make them helpful in the fight against C^VID?


Dr. William Li: So, first of all, mushrooms are one of my personal favorite foods. I love them. I call them treasures from the forest. I love all kinds of mushrooms, white button mushrooms, chanterelles, porcinis, shiitake, enoki. I mean, you name it. There isn’t a mushroom that I’ve met that I haven’t loved.


Easy to cook, delicious. They are packed with other good sources of fiber. The soluble fiber is called beta-D-glucan, and it feeds our microbiome, activates our immune system, and mushrooms contain another thing that activates our immune system, which is vitamin D.


All the good stuff in the mushroom is found not only in the cap, which is what we all eat, but also in the stem. And so this is one ingredient that I wanted everybody to know about, fresher, dried, lowly, white button mushroom, or fancy mushroom, it doesn’t really matter.


John Robbins: You mentioned the stem. I remember in an earlier conversation that you and I had. I remember you saying that the stem actually has more of some of the beneficial compounds than the cap, and yet the stems are of course fibrous and not as palatable. What we do with the stems is we boil them and make stock out of them. Is it, do you see that being a reasonable approach, Will?


Dr. William Li: Absolutely brilliant way of actually using the stems. I mean, many cultures and many recipes will call for mushrooms and you just cut up the stems and throw them in and saute them or whatever you’re going to do with them. Making stock is a brilliant way of actually using mushroom stems. And you can also put the stems into a blender and make a mushroom soup out of it as well. So if you want to consume a stock or actually a mushroom soup and there’s so many ways to actually use mushroom stems, I highly encourage it.


One of the things that we can do for our planet by the way is not to waste food. And this example of we’re giving about mushrooms and stems is that is just another example where when mother nature gifts us with a food, like a mushroom that is beneficial to our health, usually it’s not just one part that’s good for us, usually there’s multiple parts, and we’re finding this with broccoli florets, the tree tops, and the stems, the stems also are rich with good stuff, carrots, the taproot, the orange part is really great for us, but the greens, for carrots are also packed with vascular health promoting materials as well.


I think that there’s also an opportunity for us, not only to save ourselves, but to save our planet, do something good for yourself and do something good for the earth as well.

Pomegranate, Your Gut, and C^VID


John Robbins: Indeed, indeed. You know, I remember when you wrote the article 10 Things to Eat Right Now to Fight Back Against C^VID. You also included in your list pomegranate juice, and blueberries, and blackberries. Can you tell us why?


Dr. William Li: Yeah, for different reasons. Well first of all, pomegranate is one of my favorite fruits because of the juice, which is a pretty potent juice, and it contains anthocyanins. It’s actually a natural dye which gives pomegranate juice its deep ruby-like color. And, when you drink pomegranate juice,
it does something really interesting. It’s got a lot of polyphenols, which is good for antioxidants and all those general benefits for us. But, actually, it’s been shown that the polyphenols, the anthocyanins dye, natural dye in pomegranate juice causes our guts, our colon, to secrete healthy mucus.


Now, most people may not know this, but our gut, the lower part of our gut, has a lot of mucus secreted inside it that helps the stool that is made and stored down there slide around. But, inside that mucus layer, healthy gut bacteria, love to live in that mucus, and one particular bacteria is called akkermansia,
muciniphila is its last name. So, akkermansia is its first name, muciniphila its last name genus and species. And genus and species. And so basically, you wind up growing a lot of akkermansia. So, what akkermansia does is it is one of those gut bacteria that bolsters immune response. It’s kind of an immune century of sorts, this gut bacteria helps us protect our body better.


So, I wanted people to know about that. Now, berries, blueberries and blackberries, for similar reasons have a natural dye, ellagitannins, and also anthocyanins, give it its beautiful dark blue purplish color. And, those, also, do similar things. But in a different way. They actually elevate our bodies’ natural killer cells and our T cells. So, you know, I wanted people to understand with, you know, that simple foods can have powerful effects on our immune system.


So, pomegranate juice causes our immune systems to be better because of gut bacteria. And blueberries and blackberries can activate our natural killer cells and our T cells. These are other members of the super soldiers that form our immune system, and the more super soldiers we have, the better our body fortress is protected.


Black Raspberries and C^VID


John Robbins: A food that has greatly impressed me, um, is somewhat similar to the ones you’ve been talking about, and that’s the black raspberry. These are now blackberries, though they are back, they are raspberries that are black in color. And, they’re extremely high in some extraordinarily beneficial compounds. Now, they’re sometimes hard to find fresh, or even frozen, I get a black raspberry powder that I mix into smoothies, and I love the flavor, and I love the fragrance too, by the way, it’s really special. Will, can you tell us about the health benefits of black raspberries?


Dr. William Li: Yeah. I actually started to study black raspberries many years ago, more than 10 years ago, because the anthocyanins in black raspberries actually have been found to be very potent for preventing blood vessels from growing to feed cancers. There’s been clinical trials done in humans looking at prostate cancer, for example, where you actually see people who eat black raspberries actually have their PSA, which is a marker for prostate cancer, going down.15

And this is not a replacement for treatment, but it just shows you how powerful cutting off the blood supply to cancer cells to control them can be. Another human study, and I tend, John, to focus the work that I talk about publicly on human studies because that’s the proof in the pudding, you know? A lot of people talk about, you know, food research done in a lab, and that’s interesting to me, but the things I get super excited about that I think are more ready for prime time than stuff in the lab are human studies, and black raspberries have also been studied in people with really super inflamed esophagus.


So, there is a condition called Barrett’s esophagus common in people who actually have bad reflux, people who drink a lot of alcohol, and they wind up actually sometimes throwing up a lot. Stomach acid is really hard on your esophagus. So, it’s your mouth, esophagus, stomach, and when there’s a lot
of acid splashing back on the esophagus, it can get worn down, raw, inflamed, and that’s a set up for esophageal or even stomach cancer, which, these are lethal cancers.


Black raspberry powder as a slurry has been studied, and by the way, I share your enthusiasm for the black raspberry powder. When I take a spoonful of that out to put into my shake, I mean, it’s like, it’s got this, the aroma is so delightful to me. It’s almost like an aromatherapy, (laughs), of sorts. And so, I really love it. So, I order a bag of powder online.


John Robbins: Well, that’s what I do too. I actually found that there’s research. Dr. Michael Gregor has done this on the various black raspberry powders that are available online, and he found that some of them aren’t what we would want them to be, aren’t what they say they are. And, I followed up on that, and I found out a way that a person in their kitchen can tell what’s real and what isn’t, and that is the fragrance. The fragrance of the real stuff is gorgeous, it’s just overwhelmingly beautiful, and the products that aren’t what they say they are have a very mild fragrance, if any. And, I think that’s useful to people to know so they don’t get cheated basically, or scammed.


I always prefer fresh fruits and vegetables when I can get them, but with black raspberries, as we’re talking about, I use the powdered form, and with many other berries, I very often use frozen ones. Now, Will, the studies I’ve seen indicate that frozen varieties can be just as nutritious as their fresh counterparts, and in some cases even, frozen berries are actually slightly higher in nutrients than thefresh versions because they’re picked fully ripe and frozen immediately. Of course, I always make sure that there’s no sugar or other ingredient added that I don’t want to consume.

I hope you found this information helpful.

Namaste,

Shaline

Sources:

Li, W. Eat To Beat Disease. New York, NY: Hachette Book Group, Inc., 2019

Li, W. Feb 2010. Can We Eat to Starve Cancer? [Video]. TED Conferences. Available from: https://
www.ted.com/talks/william_li_can_we_eat_to_starve_cancer

Li, W. “10 Things to Eat Right Now to Fight Back Against COVID-19.” Drwilliamli.com. Available
from: https://drwilliamli.com/10-things-to-eat-right-now-to-fight-back-against-covid-19/

9 Reasons to Eat Fermented Foods

Hi! Happy September! This month I’d like to focus on gut health! You may have heard that all disease begins in the gut. And it’s really important to take care of your microbiome. After all, your gut is your second brain!

So, let’s talk fermented foods. What are fermented foods? 
 
You have probably heard of sauerkraut and kimchee. These are examples of fermented foods, but beware if you are buying these straight from the shelf at the supermarket. Store bought fermented foods often contain high amounts of salt. They also tend to be completely over processed and are also usually pasteurized, which means they have been prepared at high temperatures that kill all the goodness that properly fermented foods provide.

What you want to look for is raw fermented foods. An example of raw fermented foods is cultured vegetables that are left in airtight jars at room temperature for several days. Commonly, the vegetable used for this is cabbage, but you might also find it mixed with carrots or beets or radishes and other vegetables which can be used as ferments too. One of my favorites is red cabbage with beets!
 
Examples of traditionally fermented foods that naturally contain probiotics include: 


• Fermented drinks: Kefir, Kombucha
• Fermented vegetables: Sauerkraut, kimchee, and cucumbers. 
• Fermented soy: Miso, tempeh, and natto. 


Why eat fermented foods? 
 
When vegetables have been fermented, they become even more nutritious. The healthy enzymes which are present in the vegetables flourish when fermented, and create an environment that is full of probiotics, enzymes and minerals which are important for a healthy body. The probiotic good bacteria and enzymes in fermented foods help to populate our gut and intestines with lactobacilli which are really important for healthy digestion. 
 
They also help to eliminate toxins from our body, so eating them will allow your intestines to detox which is a really good thing! Raw, cultured vegetables are really potent in terms of helping your body to operate efficiently. When your body is working the way it should, then you will not only feel great, but you will look beautiful too. Eating fermented vegetables will also help with weight loss and lead to more energy, as well as balance out the pH levels of your body. 
 
When everything is working as it should, you will find your immunity is boosted from having a healthy gut and you will start to really feel cleaner. It is important to eat fermented foods regularly to really experience all the amazing health benefits that were mentioned above. 
 
The great thing is that they are easy to eat with just about anything. It is recommended to get into the habit of adding them to your salads or even just having them as a side to other dishes you eat. They are particularly good to eat paired with starches and proteins, as it will help you to digest these foods better. 


 
Nine reasons to eat fermented foods 
 
1. Fermented foods improve digestion. 
 
2. Fermented foods restore the proper balance of bacteria in the gut. These health ailments (lactose intolerance, gluten intolerance, constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, yeast infections, allergies, and asthma) have been linked to a lack of good bacteria in the gut. 
 
3. Raw, fermented foods are rich in enzymes. Your body needs enzymes to properly digest, absorb, and make full use of your food. As you age, your body’s supply of enzymes decreases. 
 
4. Fermenting food actually increases the vitamin content. 
 
5. Eating fermented food helps us to absorb the nutrients we’re consuming. You can ingest huge amounts of nutrients, but unless you actually absorb them, they’re useless to you. When you improve digestion, you improve absorption. 
 
6. Fermenting food helps to preserve it for longer periods of time. These fermented foods ie sauerkraut, pickles and salsa will keep for months. A suggestion: if you have a huge batch of produce in your garden that you don’t want to go to waste or know how to use up, ferment it! 
 
7. Fermenting food is inexpensive. There’s nothing fancy required for this hobby. And many of the foods required to make these recipes are very cheap. You can use inexpensive cabbage to make sauerkraut, or get yourself a kombucha scoby and with a little water, sweetener and tea, you have a health elixir. 
 
8. Fermenting food increases the flavor. 

9. Fermented foods help build immunity.
 
How to Incorporate More Fermented Foods Into Your Diet 
 
Drink fermented beverages. Kefir and kombucha are available at many health food stores. They’re also very easy to make at home. Serve food with pickles, sauerkraut, salsa, ketchup, kim chi, and other naturally fermented condiments. You can buy naturally fermented condiments at health food stores or make your own. Get creative and experiment! Try making your own kombucha, kefir ice cream, sourdough bread, and fermented coconut milk, Eat some Japanese natto with rice. 


How to Ferment Your Own Foods 
 
It’s easy to get started with fermentation. You just need some starter cultures and some mason jars. First, wash your hands with soap and water.
 
1. Start with a cabbage or cucumber. Discard outer wilted leaves. Shred the cabbage in the food processor or slice it into quarters then cut into thin ribbons. Add this mixture to a bowl and add kosher salt or pink sea salt. Start to massage the cabbage and salt with your hands. It’s good if there is some liquid that appears. You want the cabbage to become limp and watery.
 
2. Pack the mixture into a sterilized (dishwasher cleaned) jar, and press it down so that the cabbage is tightly packed and under the liquid. Leave some space at the top of the jar, as the cabbage mixture will expand. Cover the jar with a cloth and use a rubber band to keep the cloth down. Leave at room temperature for 3 to 10 days away from sunlight.
 
3. Check the cabbage everyday. Press down any cabbage that floats above the liquid. After 3 days, try cabbage. It is tastes okay then put the jar into the fridge. Or you can let it ferment a lot longer, one more week. You can start eating some of the fermented cabbage once you put the jar into the refrigerator and enjoy! 

Namaste,

Shaline
 
 

August Food Focus: Water


I hope you’re having a great month. I like to start my monthly food focus post with an inspirational quote.

Guard well your spare moments. They are like uncut diamonds. Discard them and their value will never
be known. Improve them and they will become the brightest gems in a useful life.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson


Relaxation and Exercise

Summer is often a time for serious play, time off and deep relaxation. Many of us use the summertime to rebuild
our reserves for the rest of the busy year. In our work-crazed society we can lose sight of the benefits of slowing
down and taking time to rest. Now that summer is in full swing, it’s time to enjoy the restorative powers of
reconnecting to your body through movement and relaxation. The body loves to move. Even though our body is healthiest when it is getting appropriate physical activity, we often feel dread and boredom when we hear the word “exercise”. Think for a moment of what type of movement you would consider fun as opposed to torturous. Perhaps you loathe the idea of a gym, but miss taking dance classes. Maybe you secretly want to try
yoga or rollerblading. You could play touch football with your kids, walk with a neighbor in the mornings or go for a swim. The summer offers so many choices – it’s simply up to you to choose which style of movement excites you. Your heart will thank you, your soul will be gratified, your limbs will be more fluid and you’ll sleep better at night.


Summer is a unique time of year when we can do both our relaxation and our movement out in nature. Take a
nap in a hammock and enjoy the smell of freshly cut grass. Go to the park and meditate or read under a favorite
tree. One of the greatest places to rest in the summertime is by the water. There is something magical and
restorative in water, and we naturally crave to be near it, by it or in it. Heading to the water, whether it is the
beach, a lake or a kiddy pool, can be relaxing and rejuvenating.


Whether you are relaxing, exercising or both, notice that being outside in nature has a profound way of quieting
the mind and reconnecting us to ourselves. Often this relaxation and peace of mind are what our bodies crave
the most. So while summer is with us, strap on your sandals and enjoy the rich elements of sun, wind and water
and the nourishment that they bring.


Food Focus: Water


Most of us are aware of the importance of drinking enough water. Getting our daily dose of water helps our organs perform their functions, keeps our skin clear and hydrated, and allows physical action in our bodies to flow smoothly. Even with this knowledge, it can still be challenging to drink all the water our bodies deserve daily. In the summer, when we tend to play hard, sweat and spend prolonged time in the sun, drinking plenty
of water is critical. Those who are not drinking enough may experience poor digestion, sluggish thinking, skin breakouts, headaches, bad breath and general fatigue.

To start your day right, set a large glass of water by your bed each night and drink it when you wake up. Drinking water first thing in the morning pulls out toxins from the previous day and freshens your system for the day ahead. Keep a bottle of water accessible throughout the day, whether you are on the go or at a desk. Having a bottle of water close by will remind you to take a sip when thirsty. The first sip will usually let you know how much more water you need. A sip or two may be enough, or you may need a big glass. If you drink most of your daily water before early evening, you most likely will not be thirsty before bed. This is good, because drinking before bed and then waking to use the bathroom disturbs your peaceful night’s sleep.


What about quality? Some people like bottled water, while others prefer filtered water. The key is to like the
taste of the water you are drinking, and the water should agree with your body. If the taste of plain water is
unappealing, experiment to see how you can make it tasty and drinkable. Try adding a few mint leaves, a wedge
of lemon, a sprig of parsley, slices of cucumber, a twist of lime or a squeeze of orange to make water more
tempting, or to jazz up your routine. Also, drinking tea or juice and eating raw fruits and vegetables contribute to
the hydration process. So, splash in the waves, swim in the sun, drink plenty of water and enjoy the summer
fun!


Recipes of the Month:


Summer Tea
Prep time: 2 minutes
Cook time: 24 hours
Yield: 2 liters

Ingredients:
3-4 tea bags of your choice
water


Directions:

  • Fill an extra-large mason jar with water, add 3 or 4 of your favorite tea bags and cover with lid.
  • Place in sun for one full day and let the shining rays pour in heat and energy, bringing out the wonderful tea
    flavors.
  • Sweeten if so desired with natural sweetener and serve at room temperature or cold over ice.
    Note: Garnish with mint leaves or lemon wedge.

Ginger Tea

Prep Time: 7 minutes
Cook Time: 24 hours
Yield: 6-8 servings

Ingredients:
1 pound fresh ginger root
2 quarts water
juice of 2 limes
maple syrup to taste

Directions:

  • Thinly peel the fresh ginger, grate and mix with water in a large saucepan.
  • Bring to a boil and simmer for 4 minutes. Cover the pan and turn off the heat; leave
    for 24 hours.
  • Strain the liquid through a fine mesh sieve.
  • Add the lime juice and maple syrup or agave. Stir until dissolved. Serve chilled.

Another great summer drink is fruit-infused water. Use filtered water and add in slices of your favorite fruit. This makes a yummy Summer drink! And it’s healthier than the store brands.

Please forward this blog post to your friends, family members or colleagues who might be interested and/or inspired by it

Top 9 Benefits of Quercetin

Quercetin is a type of antioxidant found in plant foods such as leafy greens, berries, and broccoli. Research shows that quercetin can help manage numerous health problems ranging from heart disease and blood vessel problems to allergies and fatigue.


Have you ever wondered what makes a “Superfood” a super food? Have you wondered what the top superfoods like red wine, green tea, kale, and blueberries all have in common? The answer is quercetin, a natural compound tied to longevity, heart health, endurance, immunity, and more.

According to many studies. quercetin plays an important role in fighting free radical damage, the effects of aging, and inflammation. It s ione of the most abundant flavonoid antioxidants in the diet. In fact, quercetin is considered to be the most widely distributed and extensively studied flavonoid, according to a review published by the NIH in 2018.

Here are the top 9 Benefits of Quercetin and why to add quercetin-rich foods into your diet.

1. Lowers Inflammation

Flavonoids (aka bioflavonoids) including quercetin, are key anti-inflammatories that act as antioxidants, which means they fight the natural process of oxidation that takes place over time as we age. Quercetin can help stop damaging particles in the body known as free radicals, which negatively impact how cells work.

Research now shows that inflammation is the root of most diseases, including heart disease, cancer, cognitive decline, some mental disorders, and autoimmune disorders. At this time, practitioners and patients report using quercetin to effectively fight a variety of conditions related to inflammation, including:

  • “Hardening” of the arteries (know as atherosclerosis)
  • High cholesterol
  • Heart disease and circulation problems
  • Insulin resistance and diabetes
  • Eye-related disorders, including cataracts
  • Allergies, asthma, and hay fever
  • Stomach ulcers
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Gout
  • Cancer
  • Viral infections
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Inflammation of the prostate, bladder, and ovaries
  • Chronic infections of the prostate
  • Skin disorders, including dermatitis and hives

2. Fights Allergies

Some consider quercetin to be a natural antihistamine and an anti-inflammatory, possibly making it effective for lowering the effects of seasonal and food allergies, plus asthma and skin reactions. However, most research to date has been conducted on animals and not humans.

Histamines are chemicals that are released when the immune system detects an allergy or sensitivity. Quercetin can help stabilize their release from certain immune cells, which results in decreased symptoms such as coughs, watery eyes, runny noses, hives, swollen lips or tongue, and indigestion.

Quercetin has long been used in ancient Chinese herbal formulas to block allergies to certain foods (such as peanuts). 

3. Supports Heart Health

Because of its ability to lower inflammation and oxidative stress, quercetin seems to be beneficial for people with heart- and blood vessel-related disorders, according to a number of studies.

For example, a study shows that eating lots of deeply colored fruits and veggies that contain flavonoids is linked to a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, and even death, in older adults. Another study shows that Quercetin has also been connected to reduced risk for type 2 diabetes and obesity, which have many of the same risk factors as heart disease.

Studies done on animals and some human populations show that various types of flavonoids (quercetin, resveratrol, and catechins, for example) can help reduce the risk of atherosclerosis, a buildup of plaque within the arteries that can reduce blood flow, one of the primary risk factors for heart attack and stroke. Some studies have also shown that people who eat the most flavonoid-rich foods typically have healthier and lower cholesterol levels, plus fewer incidences of hypertension and high blood pressure.

In fact, if you’ve ever heard that red wine is good for your heart, that’s because it’s a natural source of quercetin. It’s one of the main active ingredients in red wine extract, which is associated with healthier heart function.

4. Helps Fight Pain

Taking quercetin supplements may help lower pain associated with arthritis, as well as infections, including those of the prostate and respiratory tract. This study suggests quercetin reduces inflammatory pain. For example, there’s some evidence from several small studies that people experiencing bladder pains from infections (causing an urgent need to urinate, swelling, and burning) have fewer symptoms when taking quercetin supplements.

Flavonoids are also linked to reduced symptoms of prostatitis (inflammation of the prostate) and rheumatoid arthritis. There’s evidence that when patients with rheumatoid arthritis switch from eating a “typical Western diet” to one higher in antioxidant-rich foods (like uncooked berries, fruits, vegetables, nuts, roots, seeds, and sprouts), they experience less pain and fewer recurring symptoms.

5. May Improve Energy and Endurance

Quercetin is added to some athletic supplements because it’s believed to help increase athletic performance and endurance, likely because of its positive effects on blood flow. Researchers from the School of Applied Physiology at the Georgia Institute of Technology found that, on average, “quercetin provides a statistically significant benefit in human endurance exercise capacity (VO2 max) and endurance exercise performance.”

Other studies show that quercetin helps increase immune function and prevents susceptibility to illnesses that can occur when someone trains intensely and experiences exhaustion. One study found evidence that taking a dosage of 500 mg of quercetin twice daily helped protect cyclers from exercise-induced respiratory infections.

Because it can boost energy, quercetin could affect sleep patterns. One study found that it may alter the sleep-wake cycle partly through activation of GABA receptors. However, insomnia is generally not believed to be a common side effect of taking quercetin.

6. Might Help Fight Cancer

A Boston University School of Medicine study published in the Journal of Biological Regulators and Homeostatic Agents shows a link between a nutrient-dense diet rich in quercetin and a lowered risk of cancer. Quercetin seems to have potential chemo-preventive activity and might have a unique antiproliferative effect on cancer cells, making it an effective addition to any natural treatment approach. Research shows that this may result from the modulation of either EGFR or estrogen-receptor pathways. Studies have also found that quercetin can help stop the processes involved in cell proliferation and mutation, the growth of tumors, and symptoms related to typical cancer treatments, such as radiation or chemotherapy.

At this time, the majority of studies done on quercetin’s effects on cellular functioning have involved animals, so more research is needed to reveal specific effects on human cancer cells.

7. Helps Protect Skin Health

Quercetin is capable of blocking “mast cells,” which are immune cells critical in triggering allergic reactions, inflammatory disease, and autoimmune disease, quercetin may help protect skin from the effects of disorders like dermatitis and photosensitivity. Flavonoids like quercetin block the release of many proinflammatory cytokines, which helps stop symptoms related to skin inflammation, even in people who don’t find relief from other conventional treatments or prescriptions.

Studies have found that quercetin has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects that help fight allergic and inflammatory diseases as well as some prescriptions when taken in oral supplement form. For example, some people take quercetin for eczema since it can inhibit the secretion of histamine and pro-inflammatory markers.

8. Protects Liver Health

Research shows that quercetin has protective effects when administered to rats with ethanol-induced acute liver injury. Researchers concluded that “quercetin, by multiple mechanisms interplay, demonstrates hepatoprotective effect on liver-injury induced by alcohol by increasing ethanol metabolizing enzyme activities, increasing antioxidant system activities against oxidative stress, and lowering the expressions of proinflammatory cytokines.”

A 2018 study found evidence indicating that quercetin attenuates liver inflammation and fibrosis in mice through inhibiting macrophages infiltration. Researchers believe it “holds promise as a potential therapeutic agent for human fibrotic liver disease,” a condition triggered by liver injury and inflammation.

9. Protects the Brain

There is mounting evidence that quercetin offers neuro-protective benefits due to its ability to defend the brain against oxidation and inflammation, leading to potentially less risk for cognitive conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

study from 2018 concluded that “findings suggest a possible new protective role for dietary flavonoids on Alzheimer’s disease (AD).” The study found that quercetin helps ameliorate cognitive dysfunction and may help reduce destruction of neurons.

Supplements

For dosage amounts for quercetin supplement, consult your physician, naturopath, or functional medicine practitioner.

Sources

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6141818/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20943792/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21625024/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3775217/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5149671/

#quercetin #superfoods #plantbasedfoods

July Food Focus: Raw and Cooling Salads

Why is it that in the summer we naturally crave more fresh and raw foods? These foods have a cooling effect on the body. The lightness and high water, fiber and vitamin content work together to act as our internal air conditioning during these warm months. At this time of year we also need less dense, high-energy food because we get so much energy from being outside in the fresh air and sunshine. There is no better season than summer to have fun creating your own fresh, tasty, creative salad combinations. By simply tossing together several of your favorite raw veggies, naked or with a light dressing, you have a perfect meal for a hot summer’s day.  

  • Try your favorite leafy lettuce with various sliced, diced or grated veggies. The possible combinations are endless.
  • Fresh herbs are a wonderful option to mix in, as they are packed full of flavor.
  • Experiment with adding diverse forms of protein to your salads, such as nuts, seeds, beans, tofu, fish or poultry.
  • Pick up a light and healthy dressing at your local health food store, or mix up something easy, like lemon juice, black pepper and olive oil.

This is a great opportunity to try a new vegetable from your market. What are some creative flavors you’ve never tried before? Fennel and mint? Daikon radish and arugula? Summer squash with watercress? Whatever you choose, have fun with your food and stay cool. Happy summer!

Recipes of the Month:

Spinach Apple Slaw

Prep time: 7 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients:

1 batch or container Spinach or mixed greens

1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced

1 granny smith apple, sliced

1/2 cup toasted sunflower seeds or walnuts

Dressing:

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon dijon mustard

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar (or lemon juice)

1/4 cup olive oil

2 teaspoons honey

salt and black pepper to taste

Or already made balsamic vinaigrette dressing as an option

Directions:

1.   First make the dressing by combining all the ingredients and whisking well.

2.   Chop all the salad ingredients, leaving the apples until last. Mix in a salad bowl. 

3.   Toss salad with half the dressing. Add additional dressing if desired.

4.   Eat immediately, or chill for up to one hour and then add the apples just before eating.

Asian Chicken Salad

Prep time: 7 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients:

1 bunch organic romaine lettuce

1/4 organic red cabbage

1 cup grated carrots

1 orange

1 stalk green onion, diced

1 cup shredded cooked organic chicken

1-1/2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil

2/3 tablespoons plum vinegar

Directions:

1.   Tear lettuce into desirable size pieces.

2. Cut cabbage in strips.

3.   Mix with lettuce, cabbage, and carrots with chicken in a salad bowl.

4.   Drizzle sesame oil and vinegar over salad and toss. Optional: Use sesame oil and soy sauce.

5.   Serve in individual salad bowls, top with orange slices and green onions in each bowl and serve.

Note: Add a healthy replacement for fried won ton strips of your choosing.

Enjoy!

June Food Focus: Fruit

Happy June! Summer is here and so is the wide assortment of yummy fruit!!

Healthy Snacking

There’s no denying that everyone, at one time or another, has had a snack attack. Views on snacking differ. Some feel that snacking is bad and that eating between meals leads to weight gain. Others believe that eating many small meals and snacks throughout the day is healthy for maintaining energy levels and optimal weight. If there were one way of snacking that was right for everyone, we would all be doing it!  

To alleviate snack attack guilt, try to understand why you are snacking and what snacks work best for your body. Perhaps you snack because your daily diet is missing nutrition, or because you are eating too little at meals. You might be snacking to soothe jangled nerves when you are emotional, or to entertain yourself when you are bored. Whatever your reason, acknowledge it and start thinking about how to create a life that is nourishing and truly satisfying.

Although snacks are no substitute for loving your life, they can be great energy boosters. Many convenient snack foods are highly processed and full of chemicals, additives, damaging fats and refined sugars. When a snack attack hits you, try foods that are filling and satisfying, but also nutritious. Here are some tips:

  • Snack on things that don’t come in a plastic wrapper or a box, like fresh fruit, leftover vegetables or rice cakes with almond butter and fruit spread.
  • Make your own signature trail mix, organic hot chocolate made with almond milk sweetened with agave nectar, or blue corn chips with hummus.

You can also try “upgrading”:

  • If you are craving something crunchy, upgrade from potato chips to raw carrots, apples or whole grain crackers.
  • If you are craving a candy bar, upgrade to a handful of nuts and dried fruit.
  • Instead of a cup of coffee, upgrade to green tea.

Instead of ice cream, upgrade to applesauce with cinnamon.

Upgraded snacks are high in nutrition and give you a greater sense of satiety and satisfaction; you won’t feel physically or psychologically deprived, and you’ll have plenty of energy to sustain your activities for hours.

Snacking is enjoyable and there is a wide variety of healthful goodies for whatever you’re craving, be it sweet, crunchy, salty, creamy or spicy. Dive in, be creative and enjoy your snack attack.

Food Focus: Fruit                                                                                                 

A healthy lifestyle is the key to longevity, optimum weight, abundant energy and balance. By using fruit to satisfy our taste for sweetness, we can leave behind the use of chemical, processed and refined sweeteners. Fruits are easy to digest, are cleansing and cooling and are great for those who are overstressed and overheated from excessive mental strain or hot climates. Fruits are filled with fiber and liver stimulants, which act as natural, gentle laxatives. Whenever possible, buy fresh, locally grown fruit as opposed to imported fruits shipped from far-off places. This keeps you eating in season, and more in harmony with your environment and climate.

Eating raw fruit in summer months is highly cooling, while baking it in the winter months neutralizes the cooling effect. Fruit in the form of juice is a great choice for cleansing the body, but be aware that juice rapidly raises blood sugar levels, leading to an energy crash soon after. Frozen, whole, puréed or juiced fruit can make great summertime cool-down treats. Try frozen grapes, banana-coconut smoothie popsicles or lime juice ice-cubes in iced tea!

Whether you are having fresh fruit for a light early morning breakfast, a midday snack or evening treat, enjoy nature’s sweetness and whenever possible buy organic. Here are a few summer fruits and their health benefits:

Apricots: Apricots are a good source of soluble fiber, which feeds healthy gut bacteria and boost gut health. Strengthen bones. Improve heart health. Boosts metabolism. Has anti-inflammatory properties. May boost skin health. Dried apricot may help people with low iron levels.

Bananas: Bananas are fairly rich in fiber and resistant starch, which may feed your friendly gut bacteria. Are rich in potassium (which may help fight against hypertension).

Cherries: Cherries are a great source of  antioxidants and anti-inflammatory. These cellular body guards slow down aging and may ward off chronic diseases. Cherries are especially high in polyphenols, a large group of plant chemicals that help fight cellular damage, reduce inflammation, and promote overall health. Slightly warming in nature.

Grapefruits: Treat poor digestion, increase appetite during pregnancy, alleviate intestinal gas and reduce mucus conditions of the lungs.

Papayas: Are loaded with nutrients. Papayas have high antioxidant effects, contain carotenoids and contains a digestive enzyme called papain, which can break down the tough protein chains found in muscle meat. Papayas can help tone the stomach, act as digestive aid, moisten the lungs and alleviate coughing; contain carpaine, an anti-tumor compound.

Raspberries: Benefit the liver and kidneys, cleanse blood of toxins, regulate menstrual cycles, treat anemia and can promote labor at childbirth.

Plums and prunes: Are rich in nutrients. They contain over 15 different vitamins and minerals, in addition to fiber and antioxidants. Prunes and prune juice are well known for their ability to relieve constipation. Prunes may be beneficial for improving bone health. Plums and prunes are anti-inflammatory. Plums and prunes contain anthocyanins, a specific type of polyphenol, appear to be the most active antioxidants found in plums and prunes. They may have powerful health effects, including reducing the risk of heart disease and cancer.

Recipe of the Month: Fruit Nut Smoothie

Prep time: 5 minutes

Yield: 2 servings

Ingredients:

1 cup coconut milk

1 banana

1 cup berries

1 cup kale or spinach

1/2 cup almonds or cashews

2-4 ice cubes

Directions:

1.   Mix in blender for 1-2 minutes and serve.

Note: You can add other ingredients for added nutrition such as a spoonful of bee pollen, coconut oil, flax seed oil, spirulina powder or a scoop of protein powder.

Forward to your friends, family or to anyone who may benefit from this post.

Sources:

Effect of dietary fiber on constipation: A meta analysis (nih.gov)

Free Radicals, Antioxidants in Disease and Health (nih.gov)

Plums, dried (prunes), uncooked Nutrition Facts & Calories (self.com)

Health benefits of dietary fiber – PubMed (nih.gov)

Diets for Constipation (nih.gov)

A Systematic Review on the Health Effects of Plums (Prunus domestica and Prunus salicina) – PubMed (nih.gov)

Antioxidant capacities, phenolic compounds, carotenoids, and vitamin C contents of nectarine, peach, and plum cultivars from California – PubMed (nih.gov)

Evidence for anti-inflammatory and antioxidative properties of dried plum polyphenols in macrophage RAW 264.7 cells – PubMed (nih.gov)

Flavonoid Intake and Bone Health (nih.gov)

Contribution of individual polyphenolics to total antioxidant capacity of plums – PubMed (nih.gov)

Carotenoids are more bioavailable from papaya than from tomato and carrot in humans: a randomised cross-over study – PubMed (nih.gov)

Relationship between aging and susceptibility of erythrocytes to oxidative damage: in view of nutraceutical interventions – PubMed (nih.gov)

Anti-Inflammatory and Skin Barrier Repair Effects of Topical Application of Some Plant Oils (nih.gov)

Bitter apricot essential oil induces apoptosis of human HaCaT keratinocytes – PubMed (nih.gov)

The health benefits of dietary fiber: beyond the usual suspects of type 2 diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular disease and colon cancer – PubMed (nih.gov)

A Review of the Health Benefits of Cherries (nih.gov)

Part 1 of John Robbins’ Interview with Dr. William Li

The Food Revolution Summit is an annual online event hosted by the father and son team, John and Ocean Robbins. The eight day summit consists of three interviews each day with renowned physicians and experts in the health, wellness, and sustainability space.

Dr. William Li is a renowned doctor, scientist, and angiogenesis expert, and the New York Times best-selling author of Eat to Beat Disease: The New Science of How Your Body Can Heal Itself. His groundbreaking work has impacted more than 70 diseases including cancer, diabetes, blindness, heart disease, and obesity. Dr. Li’s wildly popular TED Talk “Can we eat to starve cancer?” has been seen by more than 11 million people. He founded the “Eat to Beat” initiative, which is a community of 50,000 people passionate about using diet to fight cancer, improve immunity, and prevent chronic diseases.

Here’s part of John’s interview with Dr. Li.

COVID-19: Not Just a Respiratory Disease


John Robbins: You’ve been very involved in the last year in COVID-19 research. So, it was soon after the WHO declared the pandemic, which was in March 2020, that we began to see a highly unusual pattern of disease. COVID-19 patients had problems, not only in their lungs, which was what we would have expected for a respiratory virus, which was what we then assumed this novel coronavirus to be, patients were also having serious problems in their brains, their hearts, their livers, their kidneys, even their toes. They were losing their sense of taste and smell. They had issues with blood clots.


Will, was this one of the first clues that suggested to you that COVID-19 is not just a respiratory disease, but is also a disease that damages our blood vessels, and that in fact, many of the serious health problems caused by COVID-19 are due to the damage it causes to our circulatory system?


Doctor William Li: Yeah. Just like everyone else on this planet, I had assumed that it would be a respiratory infection. So that was my assumption going into this. And so when I locked down along with everyone else I started to observe the same patterns that you just described, that this respiratory infection was causing things that you don’t see normally in a simple respiratory virus, but in following the brain, the heart, the lungs, I mean, lots of different organs. And because my work at the Angiogenesis Foundation has always been about looking at common denominators of disease. And blood vessels being one of them, I began to speculate that maybe blood vessels were involved because that was the thing that linked the brain, the heart, the toes, the kidneys, all the things that we began seeing.


I realized as a medical scientist that the only way we could actually get on top of this pandemic is for us to really understand it. And the reason that frontline workers were struggling so hard was that there was almost no knowledge back in the spring of 2020, about how this disease works. So I jumped in. I was able to, as a researcher, get autopsy tissue of people who died of COVID-19 and helped to organize a group in Belgium, Switzerland, Germany, and the United States. And we literally dove into the tissue to understand what was going on.


And we started with the lungs and we did see a lung infection. But the thing that was astounding to me was we saw for the very first time, the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus that causes COVID-19 invading and infecting blood vessels. And that confirmed my suspicion that COVID-19 is a vascular disease.


And suddenly the things that we didn’t understand, the blood clots, the strokes, the COVID toe, the kidney damage, all of a sudden started to make some sense. And it was the first layers of the onion being peeled back. And so we published this as a lead article in the New England Journal of Medicine in May. And that opened the gateways to beginning to walk down the path to understanding what this disease was all about.


John Robbins: Well, you mentioned it being a vascular disease. We each have in our bodies a 60,000 mile network of blood vessels that brings oxygen and nutrients to feed every cell and every organ in our body. And we each have endothelial cells that coat the inside wall of every artery and every vein
and every capillary in the human body. Will, if the novel coronavirus is wrecking a special kind of havoc on the endothelial cells, does this help explain why COVID complications can appear anywhere in the body?


Doctor William Li: Absolutely. And, in fact, after we started looking in the lungs and found vascular damage in the lungs, which is the first place after you inhale the coronavirus, the damage is going to take place. What we did is we went to the brain, the heart, the lymph nodes, the kidney, liver, and even testicles, and we found organ to organ, the same type of vascular damage.

And that’s what we saw happening after COVID infection in the brain and the heart and the lungs, everywhere we looked. And we’re seeing this vascular damage is not just in acute COVID, we’ve also now confirmed that this is also happening in people who have recovered from their disease. So
they’re COVID survivors. But, some of these people wind up having some significant long-term effects of COVID symptoms that we’re now beginning to explain by having this persistent damage at the circulation level, what I call the long tail of COVID.


John Robbins: When you mention the long tail of COVID I’m thinking about how very early in the pandemic, when we were first encountering a virus that no human body had ever experienced before, and we knew almost nothing about it, you were one of the people, one of the few scientists then who were raising questions about what happens to people after the virus is cleared, or almost totally cleared from their body, after they have apparently recovered. And you said something then that I find today to be remarkably prescient, you said, and this is a quote, “We don’t know yet what the long-term damages that may occur and may persist in the vascular endothelium. If it turns out that there was
widespread systemic damage to endothelial cells, then that could persist much longer than the actual infectious component of the virus.”


Will, now a year later, facilities are opening all over the country to care for the growing number of Americans who suffer from COVID-19 symptoms many months after their diagnosis. And for the people whose COVID-19 symptoms linger for months, the effects can be devastating. In some cases, there is
a relentless, self amplifying cycle of inflammation throughout the entire body. This is obviously a very serious problem. But I just want to say that what you said more than a year ago now seems remarkably prophetic. And what I want to ask you is, is there anything we can do to protect and to repair our
vascular systems? I mean, are there ways we could use food, for example, to help protect endothelial cells, to prevent blood vessels from breaking down in the first place?

How to Use Food to Protect Your Blood Vessels


Doctor William Li: Such a great question. And, you know, what I would tell you as a vascular biologist, so my area of research specialty focus is on blood vessels, but I’m also an internal medicine doctor, and I’m trained to look at young and old men and women healthy and sick. And I’ve always been
focusing on how to make sure we maintain vascular health.


Before we talk about COVID and long-term COVID, let’s talk a little bit about heart health, right?


Because essentially, the number one killer around the world is cardiovascular disease. And what happens there is you have the damage to the endothelium that doesn’t occur in short order, like with COVID, but occurs over many years. And we’ve always thought about it as cholesterol buildup, but what’s really happening, John, is that the lining, the endothelial lining has been compromised. And so blood doesn’t quite flow quite so easily. And you get blood clots.


And whether you’re talking about a heart attack or stroke, or some of the other organ complications we’re seeing in COVID, this idea of vascular protection has been paramount long before this pandemic took place. So what are some of the things that we can do not just to lower cholesterol like that is a worthy goal, lowering your lipids. I mean, so many people take statins, but, you know, I think there’s a dietary approach to lowering cholesterol. But what we’re really trying to do is not just lower the bad guys who want to protect the good guys and get those into fuel yourselves, a lining to be healthy.


So here’s what we can do with food. And this is really remarkable. Plant-based diets comprised of fruits and vegetables, but especially vegetables of various sorts that contain fiber, contain phytonutrients are well-known to protect the vascular endothelium. And so when you talk about sulforaphane being found
in broccoli or in kale, those sulforaphanes actually help to boost the activity, boost the strength of the blood vessels and protect those blood vessels and make your cells healthier.


When you’re talking about fruits like apples, which contain quercetin, but not just the flesh of the apple, but the peel of the apple as well, which contains another bioactive, natural chemical called ursolic acid. These are mother nature’s kind of farmacy with an F that actually helps to keep our vascular
endothelial cells healthy.


Another one that does this, by the way, is a substance called hydroxytyrosol.8 Hydroxytyrosol is actually found in the flesh of the olive. And although olive oil is indeed a healthier oil than many other choices, it turns out that the hydroxytyrosol is soluble in water, not oil. So it’s mostly found in the fruit of the olive and when you press olive oil, most of the hydroxytyrosol is thrown away in the flesh of the olive.


So all these things kind of converge into thinking about plant-based foods, Mediterranean cuisine comes to mind as a vascular healthy cuisine, but also Asian diets. It’s really about the patterns of eating that would actually help protect our blood vessels.


John Robbins: You know, when you mentioned broccoli sprouts and sulforaphane, we grow broccoli sprouts in our kitchen and we eat them everyday, primarily because of their stunningly high levels of
sulforaphane.

Will, is there research now showing that eating broccoli sprouts strengthens the immune system’s ability to fight viruses, including COVID-19?

Broccoli Sprouts and COVID-19


Doctor William Li: So what’s amazing is the work that’s been done specifically with broccoli and broccoli sprouts, there was a study out of the University of Florida, in Gainesville, where they were looking at young people during flu season.9 So this is before the pandemic and they wanted to ask, whether or not food could enhance the body’s natural response, immune system’s natural response to a vaccine, right?


So one of the things that we do know is that vaccines don’t work evenly in every single person.

Some people respond really well. Some people don’t respond so well. So this research study I was mentioning, took young and healthy people and gave everybody a flu vaccine, but they gave half of people a flu vaccine plus a shake made with broccoli sprouts. How many, how much broccoli sprouts?
About two handfuls worth. A couple of cups of broccoli sprouts, you put it into a blender, it turns into a smoothie, not very easy to drink. The other side, they give a placebo, so no broccoli sprouts at all.


And what they found later, and they gave everybody the flu vaccine, what they found later is that the young people who received the vaccine plus broccoli sprouts had a 22-fold amplification of their immune system’s response to the vaccine, 22 times, and with natural killer cells, other immune cells, which is really remarkable to me, as sort of being able to raise your shields in an absolutely stunning way.


And when they actually looked for the virus in the patients themselves, they swabbed their nose. They found zero, no evidence of virus in the people who drank broccoli sprouts and had a shake. And they found some virus still present in the nose of people who got the vaccine, but no broccoli sprouts.


So this just goes to show that foods can actually combine well with medicines. And it’s really clear to me that food has a real potential. And sulforaphane is found in broccoli and broccoli sprouts of which the sprouts have 100 times more than the grown-up adult broccoli, are one of these areas that almost certainly are going to help.

Mushrooms and COVID-19


John Robbins: You mentioned the people in China who seem to be less likely to get COVID-19 were people who, it turned out, were drinking more tea, green or black. You have included green tea in a list that you wrote titled, 10 Things to Eat Right Now to Fight Back Against COVID-19. I’d like to talk to you about that list. First on the list is mushrooms. Well, what is it about mushrooms that make them helpful in the fight against COVID-19?


Doctor William Li: So, first of all, mushrooms are one of my personal favorite foods. I love them. I call them treasures from the forest. I love all kinds of mushrooms, white button mushrooms, chanterelles, porcinis, shiitake, enoki. I mean, you name it. There isn’t a mushroom that I’ve met that I haven’t loved.
Easy to cook, delicious. They are packed with other good sources of fiber. The soluble fiber is called beta-D-glucan, and it feeds our microbiome, activates our immune system, and mushrooms contain another thing that activates our immune system, which is vitamin D.


All the good stuff in the mushroom is found not only in the cap, which is what we all eat, but also in the stem. And so this is one ingredient that I wanted everybody to know about, fresher, dried, lowly, white button mushroom, or fancy mushroom, it doesn’t really matter.


John Robbins: You mentioned the stem. I remember in an earlier conversation that you and I had. I remember you saying that the stem actually has more of some of the beneficial compounds than the cap, and yet the stems are of course fibrous and not as palatable. What we do with the stems is we boil
them and make stock out of them. Is it, do you see that being a reasonable approach, Will?


Doctor William Li: Absolutely brilliant way of actually using the stems. I mean, many cultures and many recipes will call for mushrooms and you just cut up the stems and throw them in and saute them or whatever you’re going to do with them. Making stock is a brilliant way of actually using mushroom stems. And you can also put the stems into a blender and make a mushroom soup out of it as well. So if you want to consume a stock or actually a mushroom soup and there’s so many ways to actually use mushroom stems, I highly encourage it.


One of the things that we can do for our planet by the way is not to waste food. And this example of we’re giving about mushrooms and stems is that is just another example where when mother nature gifts us with a food, like a mushroom that is beneficial to our health, usually it’s not just one part that’s
good for us, usually there’s multiple parts, and we’re finding this with broccoli florets, the tree tops, and the stems, the stems also are rich with good stuff, carrots, the taproot, the orange part is really great for us, but the greens, for carrots are also packed with vascular health promoting materials as well.
I think that there’s also an opportunity for us, not only to save ourselves, but to save our planet, do something good for yourself and do something good for the earth as well.

This is part of an excerpt of an interview John had with Dr. Li.

Please share with family and friends who may benefit from this info.

Namaste,

Shaline

Sources

10 Things to Eat Right Now to Fight Back Against COVID-19 – Dr William Li

Sulforaphane reduces advanced glycation end products (AGEs)-induced inflammation in endothelial cells and rat aorta – PubMed (nih.gov)

Sulforaphane protected the injury of human vascular endothelial cell induced by LPC through up-regulating endogenous antioxidants and phase II enzymes – PubMed (nih.gov)

Quercetin attenuates vascular calcification by inhibiting oxidative stress and mitochondrial fission – PubMed (nih.gov)

Quercetin reduces blood pressure in hypertensive subjects – PubMed (nih.gov)

Ursolic acid in health and disease – PubMed (nih.gov)


Effects of mushroom-derived beta-glucan-rich polysaccharide extracts on nitric oxide production by bone marrow-derived macrophages and nuclear factor-kappaB transactivation in Caco-2 reporter cells: can effects be explained by structure? – PubMed (nih.gov)


A Review of Mushrooms as a Potential Source of Dietary Vitamin D – PubMed (nih.gov)