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Next week is the official beginning to spring, and although it's definitely spring-like here in the Northwest, it looks like the Northeast is in for one last blast of winter. The daffodils and hyacinths are ruling here now, along with the plum tree blooms. The tulip and the iris stalks are growing fast, the roses are waking up, and the fragrance in the air is changing from mud to flowers.
We helped the process along this past week by purchasing and transplanting about a dozen daffodils in a blank area of the front beds, and as everything comes up, it's easy to see where we left off last year. Nature has her way of guiding one to bring out her beauty.
On the inside of the house, it has felt good to open the windows wide (even if it is a little chilly), smudge the winter-neglected areas, and do some strategic house plant placing. A new found orchid source has supplied the interiors with an array of that delicate flower, and it really feels like a new energy is flowing.
In the kitchen, we continue to be impressed with our use of raw coconut oil. There are so many great things about it, and it's not all just nutrition. It smells so sweet and nice, tastes great all by itself, melts fast, and adds such a subtle lushness to foods cooked in it.
Then, of course, there are the benefits: coconut oil is 90% saturated fat (each human cell membrane consists of 49% saturated fats); this type of saturated fat is heat tolerant, whereas saturated animal fats turn toxic; there are no transfats, of course, and has coconut oil has no cholesterol. And, don't forget...it's great on the skin!
Raw foodist, David Wolfe, reports, "The cholesterol-lowering properties of coconut oil are a direct result of its ability to stimulate thyroid function. In the presence of adequate thyroid hormone, cholesterol (specifically LDL-cholesterol) is converted by enzymatic process to the vitally necessary anti-aging hormones, pregnenolone, progesterone and DHEA. Coconut oil/butter also contains up to 50% medium-chain saturated fatty acids, which have powerful anti-microbial and anti-fungal properties." So, there you go. This stuff is just great.
We're planning to go with a new weekly format for this newsletter, so stay tuned for that. We're very excited about it!
In vibrant health,
Pure Energy Rx
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Complaining vs. Appreciation...
Across the spectrum from complaining to appreciating, there is a lot of grey area. When does complaining become negative? Is there such a thing as constructive complaining? Is appreciation even possible if we are denying and suppressing our legitimate concerns? Life Coach and Synergy Specialist, Charly Emery, breaks it down for us, and distinguishes between complaining for its own sake and venting. Venting with the correct intention can lead to appreciation, which leads to a more peaceful and abundant life... >>>> MORE
F.Y.I. - Interesting Health News Tidbits
OK with K...
Researchers at the University of Maastricht in The Netherlands, have concluded that Vitamin K acts as a manager in the synthesis of proteins that regulate bone metabolism. Last month, the Maastricht team published the results of a new vitamin K study in the journal Osteoporosis International. Their study was designed to determine how bone mineral content might be affected by high intake of vitamin K.
Vitamin K derived directly from food is known as K1, which the body converts to K2 in the small intestines. Researchers recruited 325 postmenopausal women, without osteoporosis, who were divided into two groups--one group received 45 mg per day of vitamin K2, while the other group received a placebo. The study lasted three years. The results showed that BMC increased in the K2 group, but not in the placebo group. Bending strength, compression strength, and impact strength all improved in the K2 group, but not in the placebo group. Strength of hip bones didn't change in the K2 group, but decreased significantly in the placebo group.
Researchers noted that the supplement dosage used in the study is quite a bit higher than the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of 90 mcg for women and 120 mcg for men. But they also noted that vitamin K levels are quickly depleted, even when three 15 mg doses are taken over the course of a day.
The synthetic form (K3, or menadione) has caused some liver toxicity and, rarely, a form of anemia when taken in high doses.
Vitamin supplementation is the most practical way to go with Vitamin K if you are going for the 45 mg/day level of the study. But most nutritionists recommend between 5-15 mg a day should make a difference. If you're not into buying caps and tabs, here are the equivalents of the vegetables highest in Vitamin K1 (in milligrams): Raw Kale, 1 lb. = 8 mg; Spinach, 1 lb. = 7 mg; Beet greens, 1 lb. = 5 mg; Brussels sprouts, 1 lb. = 2 mg; Broccoli, 1 lb. = 1.6 mg. Rev up that juicer!
The eyes have it... Zinc, that is...
Zinc is one of the key nutrients needed for DNA reproduction and repair. Other health benefits linked to zinc intake include immune system enhancement, assistance in the repair of damaged tissues, and inhibition of abnormal blood clotting. Plus, a daily zinc intake of 80 mg has been shown to help improve vision, while also reducing the risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
The well known Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS), sponsored by the National Eye Institute, spent more than eight years, tracking nearly 3,600 participants between the ages of 55 and 80 to examine the effects that antioxidant supplements have on AMD. The results: High levels of zinc and antioxidants significantly reduced the risk of AMD. When the same supplements are administered in the early stages of AMD, vision loss that would normally be caused by advanced AMD may be inhibited.
The AREDS team recommended that anyone at high risk of developing AMD should consider taking daily supplements in the amounts used in the study: Zinc (as zinc oxide) - 80 mg; Vitamin C - 500 mg; Vitamin E - 400 IU; Beta-carotene - 15 mg.
Vegetable sources of zinc include legumes (particularly limas, pintos, soybeans, and peanuts), tofu (particularly miso), string beans, leafy greens, and pumpkin seeds. Zinc is found in the highest concentration in Oysters. It is also found in relatively high concentrations in other shellfish, fish, and red meat. However, it is very susceptible to destruction during cooking. Nuts like pecans, Brazil nuts, almonds, walnuts, and hazelnuts have 1.6 milligrams of zinc per 3.5 oz serving. So, think zinc!
The bottled water project...
Since 1993, the Environmental Working Group has been championing causes for public health and the environment. Their latest project is to find out, through public input, what exactly is in the bottled water we've been drinking. This new study is about bottled water--where it comes from, how it's "purified," and if it's even worth the expense.
Says the EWG on their website, "A big part of this project is just compiling the data, so we need your help to gather information from the labels of whatever bottled water you have at hand."
The info they need is the brand of water, the store where you got it, what it cost, and the type of container. There are a few other short questions in the online survey. The survey is in "wizard" format, and starts out with entering in the bar code from the bottle, so have your bottle handy when you do the two-step survey. They've even included illustrations to help you find the information they need.
Here's the LINK: www.ewg.org/issues/bottledwater/
The EWG has campaigned for better legislation to improve the quality of tap water, and has been an advocate against the fluoridation of public water supplies. With drinking water pollution issues firmly in the public mind, EWG's concern is now moving to bottled water, and the possible issues with that.
Most water aficionados promote drinking water out of glass containers to avoid plastic leaching, and a good reverse osmosis, carbon water filter for the home.
Solving one problem, creating many more...
Triclosan, widely used as an antibacterial ingredient in household hand sterilization products, breaks down rapidly when exposed to chlorinated water and produces toxic chemicals including chloroform, according to a study published on the Environmental Science & Technology research website, suggesting that many antibacterial products may not only be ineffective, but harmful.
A previous study demonstrated that pure triclosan reacts with free chlorine to produce chloroform, a toxic chemical and probable carcinogen. This 2005 study led to the removal of all triclosan-containing products from the British chain Marks & Spencer, as well as all triclosan-containing toothpaste from stores in China.
In the new study, the same researchers from the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University tested 16 household products, including lotions, soaps and body washes. All the products containing triclosan produced either chloroform or other chlorine byproducts when exposed to tap water. The researchers found that people using these products would be exposed to chloroform levels 40 percent higher than that found in tap water.
Triclosan decomposes into chlorine byproducts in as little as one minute when exposed to chlorinated water at 100 degrees Fahrenheit, a temperature commonly reached in household use and used in hand washing. This led the researchers to question whether triclosan-containing soaps even provide the purported anti-bacterial benefit. "At fairly low levels of chlorine, the triclosan degrades rapidly [into chlorine byproducts]," said researcher, Peter Vikesland.
Even more evils of aspartame...
The Cancer Research Center of the European Foundation of Oncology and Environmental Sciences in Bologna, Italy reported this week that a long-term study to evaluate the potential carcinogenic effects of aspartame demonstrates the chemical sweetener "induces an increase in lymphomas and leukemia in female rats." The research will be presented at a September international scientific conference, "Framing the Future in the Light of the Past: Living in a Chemical World."
Neurosurgeon Russell Blaylock M.D. commented: "The new study released in the European Journal of oncology by Morando Soffritti and co-workers should terrify mothers and all those consuming aspartame sweetened products. This was a carefully done study which clearly demonstrated a statistically significant increase in several types of lymphomas and leukemia in rats. Both of these malignancies have increased significantly in this country since the widespread use of aspartame.
"This study confirmed the previous study by Dr. Trocho and co-workers, which also found the formaldehyde breakdown product of aspartame to be damaging to cellular DNA and that this damage was accumulative. The type of damage was a duplicate of that associated with cancers. Along with this most recent study, this means that drinking a single diet cola sweetened with aspartame every day could increase one's risk of developing a lymphoma or leukemia.
"They also found an increased incidence of malignant brain tumors, even though it was not statistically significant. This does not mean there is no association to brain tumors, since only the animals exposed to aspartame developed the tumors. With children and pregnant women drinking the largest amount of diet colas, this puts their children at the greatest risk of developing one of these horrible diseases. Their study found that even low doses of aspartame could cause these malignancies; yet, the higher the dose, the more cancers that were seen.
Vitamin C super source...
The Amla berry (Emblica officinalis, AKA Indian Gooseberry) is a traditional food and medicine that inspires awe in the mind of the serious herbalist due to its many known nutritional and medicinal benefits and uses. Amla berries are wild-crafted and gathered in the foot hills of the Himalayan regions of Asia and they are also often cultivated in groves in many regions of India.
Amla berries have the highest amount of naturally occurring vitamin C of any ripe fruit in the world used as a traditional food. Numerous studies conducted on Amla fruit suggest that it has anti-viral properties and also functions as an anti-bacterial and anti-fungal agent.
A clinical study on patients with pulmonary tuberculosis showed that the vitamin C contained in Amla berries was better assimilated than synthetic vitamin C. Further research of contemporary and traditional medical literature indicates that Amla either in combination with other herbs or alone has been useful in the amelioration of colds, warts, skin afflictions, influenza, anemia, diabetes, lung conditions, elevated cholesterol and as an immune restorative in cancer conditions.
Experiments conducted at the Niwa Institute of Immunology in Japan have shown Amla to be a potent scavenger of free radicals, the stress-related reactive oxygen-based ions which clutter up an unhealthy body.
Amla is also used traditionally in cosmetics such as shampoos and hair conditioners. Amla forms the base for the most popular ancient herbal restorative formula in the world, known as Chyawanprash. It is an herbal gel or paste that contains mainly Amla berries with other herbal ingredients and is used daily by hundreds of millions of Asians as a general panacea tonic for the entire family. Sometimes the Amla berries are concentrated into a full-spectrum extract with a high amount of naturally occurring vitamin C and associated vitamin C factors and bioflavonoids such as ellagic acid, rutin, hesperidin, and quercitin.
This is your brain on Omega 3...
Omega-3 fatty acids, found in fatty fish like salmon, are associated with increased grey matter volume in areas of the brain commonly linked to mood and behavior according to a new University of Pittsburgh study released this week.
Animal research has shown that raising omega-3 intake leads to structural brain changes. In a separate study presented by Dr. Conklin at the society's meeting last year, Pitt researchers reported that people who had lower blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids were more likely to have a negative outlook and be more impulsive. Conversely, those with higher blood levels of omega-3s were found to be more agreeable and less likely to report mild or moderate symptoms of depression.
In the new study, researchers sought to investigate if grey matter volume was proportionally related to long-chain omega-3 intake in humans, especially in areas of the brain related to mood, helping them attempt to explain the mechanisms behind the improvement in mood often associated with long-chain omega-3 intake.
Researchers interviewed 55 healthy adult participants to determine their average intake of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids. Grey matter volume was evaluated using high-resolution structural MRI. The researchers discovered that participants who had high levels of long-chain omega-3 fatty acid intake had higher volumes of grey matter in areas of the brain associated with emotional arousal and regulation.
While this finding suggests that omega-3s may promote structural improvement in areas of the brain related to mood and emotion regulation, the same areas where grey matter is reduced in people who have mood disorders such as major depressive disorder.
National Geographic News reported this week that an Australian company is providing some comic relief, selling carbon credits for flatulent pets, and, well... People...
So-called carbon emissions, such as carbon dioxide and methane, are greenhouse gases that are thought to be key factors in climate change. These emissions can be offset by purchasing carbon credits, which may be used to fund environmental programs. For 35 Australian dollars (about 27 U.S. dollars), customers of Sydney-based Easy Being Green can offset a year's worth of carbon emissions linked to their dogs, from trips to the vet to, yes, breaking wind.
Making your cat carbon neutral for a year costs U.S.$6, while U.S.$16 offsets two years of flatulence from that special someone. The company says it offsets the climate-warming effects of emissions from cars, planes, humans, and pets by installing energy-saving fluorescent light bulbs and water-saving shower heads in houses in New South Wales, Australia.
The energy savings reduce the need for electricity, which in Australia is largely generated by carbon-emitting, coal-fired power plants, the company says. Last year the three-year-old company sold or gave away three million compact fluorescent light bulbs, making it the largest importer of such bulbs in Australia. In exchange, customers signed over the projected carbon savings to Easy Being Green, which then sold them as carbon emission rights on the New South Wales carbon-trading market.
Company spokesperson Murray Hogarth concedes that the "flatulence cards" fall on the "gimmicky" side of the company's Otherwise serious product line, which is designed to help consumers and small businesses address greenhouse gas emissions. But consumers can also offset the carbon emissions of their cars (estimated at 8.3 tons each per year, cost: U.S. $118), airline flights (1.7 tons for a three- to five-hour flight, cost: $24), or home energy use and trash (about 12 tons a year, cost: $170).
"We are absolute believers in market solutions" to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, Hogarth said.
Superfood of the month: Nature's First Food...
Since its introduction several years ago, Nature's First Food has become one of the most well-respected and best-selling superfood products in the world.
Nature's First Food boasts an incredible array nutrient-dense, mineral-rich superfoods including powdered vegetables, algae and aquatic vegetables, as well as a highly-advanced probiotic (friendly bacteria) formula. This product was developed exclusively for Nature's First Law by one of the world's leading superfood authorities, Dr. Jameth Sheridan (N.D.). Nature's First Food has been formulated with a unique understanding of lifeforce energy, enzymes, raw foods, Mother Nature and true science, with a reverence for all life.
Nature's First Food is designed to be taken on a daily basis and especially during cleansing. Contains 100% raw, organic and/or wildcrafted superfoods, the best probiotic formulation ever put into a superfood formula (designed to implant good bacteria in the intestines) and a full digestive enzyme complex. Nature's First Food comes to you as a neutral-tasting, whole-food, green powder. It can be added to smoothies and juices. This product contains no fillers. It is available in an amber glass bottle with a metal lid and oxygen absorber for optimum nutrient preservation. >>> ORDER
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