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The 8 Most Nutrient-Dense Foods on Earth

The 8 Most Nutrient-Dense Foods on Earth

We  all know  which foods to avoid (right?). Despite the alluring  appeal of Oreos, Mountain  Dew or McAnything, processed foods provide  little nutrition and a whole lot of  risks. But when it comes to the good  stuff — what are the best foods to put  into our bodies? While experts all  agree we need a variety of foods for a  healthy diet, do you know which  are the healthiest of the bunch? The answers  may surprise and delight  you.

1. Spirulina: While the thought of eating lake algae  might  gross you out, spirulina is actually pretty tasty, especially  blended into a  smoothie or hidden in a chocolate bar. It has more  antioxidants than any other  food on earth and is loaded with protein and  minerals, making it the most  nutrient dense food.

2. Kale: According to Dr. Joel Fuhrman, kale is the  most  nutritious food, loaded with minerals, vitamins, fiber and amino  acids, as well  as important antioxidants that reduce inflammation and  can prevent cancer. It’s  also delicious and an easy  to prepare,  versatile food.

3. Hemp Seeds: What do you get when you combine  protein,  fiber, essential fatty acids, antioxidants, amino acids,  vitamins and minerals?  Hemp, of course. This easily digestible seed is  versatile, easy to use and  extremely tasty, too.

4. Chocolate: Yes, you read right. Cacao beans are so nutrient-dense that scientists haven’t even begun to identify all the  benefits  in the little bean yet. Don’t grab a Snickers though—the good  stuff is found  only in raw cacao beans or nibs (or really, really dark  chocolate). Minerals,  vitamins and tons of antioxidants are great for  your heart, skin, and release  chemicals in the brain that make you feel  like you’re in love. (Leesa recommends Vivani 85% organic dark chocolate!

5. Broccoli: Mom was right, you should eat your  broccoli if  you want a healthy digestive system and to decrease your  risk of cancer.  Broccoli has a wide range of yumminess too, from soups  and stews to stir  fry.

6. Spinach: Popeye was onto something with that spinach   fixation. But skip the canned stuff and stick with fresh or frozen for  an  antioxidant, protein and fiber-rich burst of healthy goodness. Fresh  or cooked,  spinach’s sweet and hardy flavor brightens any meal.

7. Chia: The Aztec warriors may have died out, but  their  legacy is alive and strong in the chia  seed. This yummy,  unassuming ancient favorite is loaded with omega fats,  protein and  fiber. Dr. Weil says it’s a better choice than flax because “chia  is so  rich in antioxidants that the seeds don’t deteriorate and can be stored   for long periods without becoming rancid.”

8. Berries: Unlike other fruit, berries tend to be less  sugary and full of vital vitamins, minerals and those free-radical  avenging  antioxidants. Wild berries are always a great choice,  especially black  raspberries.

(Leesa recommends Chews-4-Health™!  Chews-4-Health™ Chewable Dietary Supplement is a delicious tasting, doctor formulated, natural chewable dietary supplement derived from the most nutrient-rich sources from around the world!  (Goji, Noni, Acai, Mangosteen, B12, Resveratrol, Folic Acid, Alpha Lipoic Acid, Dulse, Kelp, Bladderwrack, Nori, Raspberry, Blueberry, Cranberry, Pomegranate.)  Chews-4-Health™ brings together 16 ingredients from land and sea, uniting the antioxidant powers of exotic, life-enhancing super fruits with mineral-rich sea vegetables.  Fruits and berries offer tremendous health enhancing qualities and contain hundreds of naturally occurring vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, amino acids, enzymes, essential fatty acids, fiber phytonutrients. The 4 “Super Fruits” contained in Chews-4-Health™ are considered by many experts to be the most nutrient rich fruits the world has to offer. Our carefully selected super-fruit complex gives you the power of all 4 in one supplement.*

Antioxidants work by neutralizing the damaging effects of free radicals, rendering them harmless to your body. This helps protect your skin and body from the ravaging effects of premature aging*.  Chews-4-Health™ can be taken by the entire family, including children and pregnant women.  Chews-4-Health™ helps fill that empty nutritional void for those that don’t eat the recommended 4-9 servings of fruit/vegetables per day.   *These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. )

Written by Jill  Ettinger, Contributor to Holistic  Nutrition on AllThingsHealing.com

All Things Healing (allthingshealing.com) is an online  portal and community dedicated to informing and educating people across the  globe about alternative healing of mind, body, spirit and the planet at large.  We are committed to bringing together a worldwide community of individuals and  organizations who are working to heal themselves, each other, and the world. We  offer 39 healing categories, 80 plus editors who are experts in their fields, a  forum for each category, and an extensive “Find Practitioners” listing. Our  Costa Rica Learning Center and Spiritual Retreat is coming soon. Join  us!

Top 12 Detox Superfoods

Top 12 Detox Superfoods

 

Even if you don’t plan on doing a detox program, your health will benefit from adding more  detox superfoods to your daily diet. There are many great superfoods with  detoxifying properties, but here are my top 12 picks.  And, they’re  delicious too.

Almonds—are high in fiber, calcium, magnesium, and useable protein that helps stabilize blood sugar and remove  impurities from the bowels.

Avocados—lower cholesterol and dilate blood vessels while  blocking artery-destroying toxicity. Avocados contain a nutrient called  glutathione, which blocks at least 30 different carcinogens while helping the  liver detoxify synthetic chemicals. Researchers at the University of Michigan  found that elderly people who had high levels of glutathione were healthier and  less likely to suffer from arthritis.

Beets—contain a unique mixture of natural plant chemicals  (phytochemicals) and minerals that make them superb fighters of infection, blood  purifiers, and liver cleansers. They also help boost the body’s cellular intake  of oxygen, making beets excellent overall body cleansers. Aphrodite, according  to legend, ate beets to retain her beauty. She was definitely on to a good thing  since beets, in addition to all the benefits listed above, also help stabilize  the blood’s acid-alkaline balance (pH), which in turn supports healthy  detoxification.

Blueberries—contain natural aspirin that helps lessen the  tissue-damaging effects of chronic inflammation, while lessening pain. Blueberries also act as antibiotics by blocking bacteria in  the urinary tract, thereby helping to prevent infections. They have antiviral  properties and are loaded with super-detoxifying phytonutrients called  proanthocyanidins.

Cabbage—contains numerous anti-cancer and antioxidant  compounds and helps the liver break down excess hormones. Cabbage also cleanses  the digestive tract and soothes the stomach, which could in part be due to its  antibacterial and antiviral properties. Cruciferous vegetables like cabbage  (kale is another excellent choice—see below) demonstrate powerful detoxification  activity, including neutralizing some of the damaging compounds found in  cigarette smoke (and second-hand smoke). They also contain a compound that helps  the liver produce adequate amounts of enzymes for detoxification.

Cranberries—have powerful antibiotic and antiviral  substances to help the body cleanse harmful bacteria and viruses from the  urinary tract.

Flaxseeds and Flaxseed Oil— are loaded with essential fatty  acids, particularly the omega-3s. They are essential for many cleansing functions  and maintaining a healthy immune system. They are also critical to maintaining a  healthy brain. The health of every cell in your body is dependent on getting  adequate amounts of essential fatty acids.

Garlic—helps cleanse harmful bacteria, intestinal parasites,  and viruses from the body, especially from the blood and intestines. It also  helps cleanse buildup from the arteries and lowers blood pressure. Garlic has  anti-cancer and antioxidant properties that help detoxify the body of harmful  substances. It also helps cleanse the respiratory tract by expelling mucous  buildup in the lungs and sinuses. I am referring to fresh garlic, not garlic  powder, which has virtually none of the above properties.

Kale—contains  powerful anti-cancer and antioxidant compounds that help cleanse the body of  harmful substances. It is also high in fiber, which helps cleanse the intestinal  tract. Like cabbage, kale helps neutralize compounds found in cigarette smoke  and contains a substance that jump-starts the liver’s production of cleansing  enzymes.

Legumes—are loaded with fiber that helps lower cholesterol,  cleanse the intestines, and regulate blood sugar levels. Legumes also help  protect the body against cancer.

Lemons— are superb liver detoxifiers. In addition, they contain high amounts of  vitamin C, a vitamin needed by the body to make a substance called glutathione.  Glutathione helps ensure that phase 2 liver detoxification keeps pace with phase  1, thereby reducing the likelihood of negative effects from environmental  chemicals. Vitamin C and other antioxidants found in lemons are integral to ward  off cancer, fight the effects of pollution and cell damage. Fresh lemon juice  contains more than 20 anti-cancer compounds and helps balance the body’s pH  levels.

Seaweed—could be the most underrated vegetable in the  Western world. Studies at McGill University in Montreal showed that seaweeds  bind to radioactive waste in the body so it can be removed. Radioactive waste  can find its way into the body through some medical tests or through food that  has been grown where water or soil is contaminated. Seaweed also binds to heavy metals to help eliminate them  from the body. In addition, it is a powerhouse of minerals and trace  minerals.

Adapted with permission from The 4-Week Ultimate Body  Detox Plan by Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD

Michelle Schoffro Cook

Michelle Schoffro Cook, MSc, RNCP, ROHP, DNM, PhD is an international  best-selling and 12-time book author and doctor of traditional natural medicine,  whose works include: Healing  Recipes, The Vitality Diet, Allergy-Proof, Arthritis-Proof, Total Body  Detox, The Life Force Diet, The  Ultimate pH Solution, The 4-Week Ultimate Body Detox Plan, and The Phytozyme  Cure.  Check out her natural health resources and subscribe to her free  e-newsletter World’s Healthiest News at WorldsHealthiestDiet.com  to receive monthly health news, tips, recipes and more. Follow her on Twitter @mschoffrocook  and Facebook.

 

12 Ways to Supercharge Your Digestion

12 Ways to Supercharge Your Digestion

You are what you eat, according to the adage, but I say you are what you eat,  digest, absorb, and assimilate. The building blocks of every cell, tissue,  gland, hormone, organ, organ system are found in foods. If foods are not  adequately broken down into their components like essential fatty acids (from  fats), amino acids (from protein), sugars (from starchy foods), vitamins,  minerals, enzymes (specialized proteins), and phytonutrients, then systems in  the body begin to break down. If you are suffering from almost any health  problem chances are good that your digestion is involved. The flip side is that  if you improve your digestion your health will typically follow. Here are 10  ways to improve your digestion.

1.  Increase the amount of raw foods in your diet. It  may seem counterintuitive but if you chew them well enough, raw fruit,  vegetables, sprouts, and herbs contain the enzymes needed to digest them,  thereby freeing up your body’s energy and improving digestion.

2.  Simplify your meals. Complex meals involving  starches (potatoes, rice, or pasta) and concentrated proteins (meat, poultry, or  fish), topped off with a sweet dessert are a recipe for disaster. Try waiting  for a couple of hours to have dessert and keep the meal focused on either starch  or concentrated proteins along with lots of vegetables.

3.  Using a hot water bottle on your abdomen for about  one hour after eating has been shown to increase hydrochloric acid production.  It’s not difficult to do if you’re sitting down to watch TV anyway.

4.  Ensure you’re getting enough of the nutrients needed by the  body to manufacture hydrochloric acid. That includes several B-complex  vitamins. Research shows that when brewer’s yeast was added to the diet of  animals deficient in the nutrients, stomach acid normalized.

5.  Avoid drinking with meals or drink only enough to  take medications or supplements. Water prematurely increases the pH of the  stomach which neutralizes stomach acid and signals the body to move the food  into the intestines—even if it is insufficiently digested.

6.  Supplement with betaine hydrochloride. Avoid using  this supplement if you are prone to ulcers. Many enzyme supplements also contain  this ingredient.

7.  Take a full-spectrum digestive enzyme to help digest  food. Ideally it should include: lipase (for fats), proteases (for  proteins), lactase (for milk sugar), amylase (for starches), invertase (for  sugars), and cellulase and/or hemicellulase (for fiber).

8.  Avoid eating when you’re feeling severely stressed  or overly emotional as stress hormones can interfere with adequate  digestion.

9.  Taking herbal bitters like common or red centaury  (Centaurium minus or erythraea) or gentian (Gentiana lutea) have traditionally  helped increase stomach acid and improve digestion. They are normally found in  health food stores in liquid form and are taken with meals according to package  directions.

10.  Spices like ginger (Zingiber officinale), black  pepper (Piper nigrum), and cayenne pepper (Capsicum annum) can be added to meals  to aid digestion.

11.  Take a full-spectrum probiotic supplement on an empty  stomach. I usually find first thing in the morning or in the evening  before bed is best. Beneficial bacteria are needed in the intestines to  manufacture essential nutrients like vitamin B12, to keep harmful bacterial and  yeast infections under control, and to ensure proper absorption of nutrients in  your food.  Ideally, look for one that contains a variety of Lactobacilli  (L.) and Bifidobacteria (B.), including:  L. rhamnosus, L. plantarum,  L. acidophilus, L. paracasei, L. salivarius, B. animalis lactis, B. bifidum, B.  breve, B. infantis, and B. longum.

12.  Chew your food well. The stomach can’t do the job  of the teeth so it’s important that food is well chewed by the time it gets to  the stomach.

By Michelle Schoffro Cook

Michelle Schoffro Cook, MSc, RNCP, ROHP, DNM, PhD is an international  best-selling and 12-time book author and doctor of traditional natural medicine,  whose works include: Healing  Recipes, The Vitality Diet, Allergy-Proof, Arthritis-Proof, Total Body  Detox, The Life Force Diet, The  Ultimate pH Solution, The 4-Week Ultimate Body Detox Plan, and The Phytozyme  Cure.  Check out her natural health resources and subscribe to her free  e-newsletter World’s Healthiest News at WorldsHealthiestDiet.com  to receive monthly health news, tips, recipes and more. Follow her on Twitter @mschoffrocook  and Facebook.

 

14 Foods that Fight Inflammation and Pain

14 Foods that Fight Inflammation and Pain

Some of the best healing remedies to overcome inflammation also taste  fabulous (I can’t say that about any prescription medications). Plus, foods  won’t cause the nasty side effects common to most pain medications.

1. Blueberries: Blueberries are also excellent  anti-inflammatory foods. They increase the amounts of compounds called  heat-shock proteins that decrease as people age.  When heat-shock proteins  are in short supply inflammation, pain and tissue damage is the result.

2. Cayenne Pepper: Ironically, cayenne pepper turns DOWN the  heat on inflammation due to its powerful anti-inflammatory compound  capsaicin.

3. Celery and 4. Celery Seeds: James Duke, Ph.D., author of The Green Pharmacy, found more than 20 anti-inflammatory compounds in  celery and celery seeds in his research, including a substance called apigenin,  which is powerful in its anti-inflammatory action.  Add celery seeds to  soups, stews or as a salt substitute in many recipes.

5. Cherries: While many people opt for aspirin as their  first course of action when they feel pain, Muraleedharan Nair, PhD, professor  of natural products and chemistry at Michigan State University, found that tart  cherry extract is ten times more effective than aspirin at relieving  inflammation.

6. Dark Green Veggies: Veggies like kale and spinach contain  high amounts of alkaline minerals like calcium and magnesium.  Both  minerals help balance body chemistry to alleviate inflammation.

7. Fish: According to Dr. Alfred D. Steinberg, an arthritis  expert at the National Institute of Health, fish oil acts directly on the immune  system by suppressing 40 to 55 percent of the release of cytokines – compounds  known to destroy joints and cause inflammation.

8. Flax seeds and Flax Oil: Flax seeds are high in natural  oils that convert into hormone-like substances in the body to reduce  inflammatory substances. Add ground flax seeds to smoothies, atop pancakes or  French toast, and many other foods.  Do not heat.

9. Ginger: Dr. Krishna C. Srivastava at Odense University in  Denmark found that ginger was superior to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs  (NSAIDs) like Tylenol or Advil at alleviating inflammation.

10. Raspberries, 11. Blackberries, and 12. Strawberries: In  Dr. Muraleedharan Nair’s later research she discovered that these berries have  similar anti-inflammatory effects as cherries.

13. Turmeric: Research shows that the Indian spice  frequently used in curries suppresses pain and inflammation through a similar  mechanism as drugs like COX-1 and COX-2 inhibitors (without the harmful side  effects).

14. Walnuts: Like flax seeds, raw, unsalted walnuts contain  plentiful amounts of Omega 3 fatty acids that decrease pain and  inflammation.

Adapted from Arthritis-Proof:  The  Drug-Free Way to Beat Pain and Inflammation by Michelle  Schoffro Cook, PhD.

By  Michelle Schoffro Cook

Michelle Schoffro Cook

Michelle Schoffro Cook, MSc, RNCP, ROHP, DNM, PhD is an international  best-selling and 12-time book author and doctor of traditional natural medicine,  whose works include: Healing  Recipes, The Vitality Diet, Allergy-Proof, Arthritis-Proof, Total Body  Detox, The Life Force Diet, The  Ultimate pH Solution, The 4-Week Ultimate Body Detox Plan, and The Phytozyme  Cure.  Check out her natural health resources and subscribe to her free  e-newsletter World’s Healthiest News at WorldsHealthiestDiet.com  to receive monthly health news, tips, recipes and more. Follow her on Twitter @mschoffrocook  and Facebook.

Wonder Nut: Walnut

Wonder Nut: Walnut

Do you love walnuts? Do you constantly look for ways to include them in your  daily diet? If yes, congratulations—you’re getting more potassium, magnesium,  calcium, and Vitamin E. What’s more, you’re getting much less sodium than those  who prefer salted peanuts. You’re boosting your memory and brain power, and… oh,  the benefits of walnuts are simply too many to count!

Walnuts are a wonder nut indeed. Just seven of them a day can keep you free  of many health problems. Here’s a brief list of their amazing benefits:

1. Whole, unskinned walnuts are rich in phenol, whose  antioxidant properties are known to boost immunity and delay aging. 2. In fact, walnuts contain almost twice as many antioxidant  polyphenols as Brazil nuts, almonds, peanuts, pistachios, macadamias, hazelnuts,  cashews and pecans. 3. The omega-3 essential fatty acids in  walnuts improve your blood lipid profile, protecting you from strokes and  coronary disease. 4. Walnuts have a special kind of Vitamin  E, which further protects the heart. 5. The high-quality  protein in walnuts can substitute for meat. 6. The nutrients  in walnuts have been found to be effective against certain cancers, especially  prostate and breast cancer. 7. Ayurvedic healers recommend  giving one walnut a day to growing children, because the nut is known to nourish  the brain. Modern research has corroborated this, thousands of years after  vaidyas first recommended walnuts as a brain-sharpening nut! 8. Eaten in moderation—7 walnuts a day—they calm the Kapha dosha, which  means you have more energy and fewer colds, among other things. 9. Studies have shown that walnuts are beneficial for those with Type 2  diabetes. 10. Another research study indicates that walnuts  contain melatonin, an antioxidant that regulates sleep.

Walnuts are wonderfully versatile, too. You could munch them raw, which is my  favorite way of enjoying them, or you could sneak them into your cereal and  salads. Do share your tips and ideas for enjoying this lovely butterfly-shaped  nut. I will soon share mine, too.

And now, off I go to get my daily quota of 7 crunchy walnuts! (Why only 7,  you ask? That’s because 7 walnuts make 1 ounce, and that ounce of protection is  all you need to keep the doctor away!)

By Shubhra Krishan

Shubhra Krishan

Writer, editor and journalist Shubhra Krishan is the author of Essential  Ayurveda: What it is and what it can do for you (New World Library, 2003),  Radiant Body, Restful Mind: A Woman’s book of comfort (New World Library, 2004),  and The 9 to 5 Yogi: How to feel like a sage while working like a dog (Hay House  India, 2011).

10 Ways to Alkalize Your Body Today

10 Ways to Alkalize Your Body Today

 

Acidity has been linked to pain, excess weight and many other health issues. Fortunately, making your body more alkaline (the opposite of acidic) is easy.  Here are 10 ways to alkalize your body for more energy and vitality:

1. Start your day with a large glass of water with the juice of a whole, freshly-squeezed lemon. While lemons may seem acidic, they have the opposite effect on your body as it metabolizes them.

2. Eat a large green salad tossed in lemon juice and olive oil. Greens are among the best sources of alkaline minerals, like calcium.

3. Snack on raw, unsalted almonds. Almonds are packed with natural alkaline minerals like calcium and magnesium, which help to balance out acidity while balancing blood sugar.

4. Drink an almond milk and berry smoothie with added green powder like spirulina, chlorella, or other greens. Choose almond milk over cow’s milk, since the latter is acid-forming.

5. Go for a brisk walk or some other exercise. Exercise helps move acidic waste products so your body can better eliminate them.

6. Breathe deeply. Ideally, choose a spot that has fresh, oxygen-rich air. And, sorry Febreze, Glade, and all the other so-called “air fresheners”: air filled with these scents is not what I’m talking about here.

7. Go meat-free for a day… or longer if you like. During the metabolism of meat, there is an acid residue left behind.

8. Skip the sugar-laden dessert or soda.  Sugar is one of the mosyogt acidic foods we consume. You need over 30 glasses of neutral water just to neutralize the acidity of ONE can of soda.

9. Add more veggies to your diet. No, potatoes don’t count. But sweet potatoes are a good choice (provided you’re not slathering them in sweeteners or butter).  Asparagus, squash, peppers, and other vegetables are also excellent choices.

10. Sprout it out. Add more sprouts to your daily diet. They are extremely alkalizing and supercharged with nutrients and energy-boosting enzymes.

Michelle Schoffro Cook

Michelle Schoffro Cook, MSc, RNCP, ROHP, DNM, PhD is an international best-selling and 12-time book author and doctor of traditional natural medicine, whose works include: Healing Recipes, The Vitality Diet, Allergy-Proof, Arthritis-Proof, Total Body Detox, The Life Force Diet, The Ultimate pH Solution, The 4-Week Ultimate Body Detox Plan, and The Phytozyme Cure. Check out her natural health resources and subscribe to her free e-newsletter World’s Healthiest News at WorldsHealthiestDiet.com to receive monthly health news, tips, recipes and more. Follow her on Twitter @mschoffrocook and Facebook.

3 Super-Healing Summer Melons

3 Super-Healing Summer Melons

 

Cantaloupe for Healthy Eyes

The orange color gives away some of this fruit’s healing ability. One cup of  cantaloupe contains enough beta-carotene to provide your full daily intake of  vitamin A. Beta-carotene converts into vitamin A which is proven to reduce the  risk of cataracts by 50 percent.  Cantaloupe also contains enough  antioxidants to reduce the risk of macular degeneration.

Honeydew for a Dewy Complexion

Honeydew melon (the green-fleshed one) is a natural source of the mineral  copper, which assists in skin repair and skin cell regeneration. Additionally,  this melon is rich in vitamin C which helps boost collagen levels. Collagen  tends to become depleted as we age, causing wrinkling. Eating more honeydew  melon may help prevent small lines and wrinkles.

Watermelon for a Healthy Prostate and Liver

Tomatoes aren’t the only food that contains high amounts of the phytonutrient  lycopene. So does watermelon. Lycopene is known for its prostate protecting,  anti-aging, and disease-thwarting powers.  Watermelon contains the  important nutrient glutathione that helps to detoxify the liver. Water is also  showing promise as an alternative to Viagra for erectile dysfunction. Keep an  eye out for my upcoming article “The Fruit that Works like Viagra” for more  information.

By Michelle Schoffro Cook

Michelle Schoffro Cook, MSc, RNCP, ROHP, DNM, PhD is an international  best-selling and 12-time book author and doctor of traditional natural medicine,  whose works include: Healing  Recipes, The Vitality Diet, Allergy-Proof, Arthritis-Proof, Total Body  Detox, The Life Force Diet, The  Ultimate pH Solution, The 4-Week Ultimate Body Detox Plan, and The Phytozyme  Cure.  Check out her natural health resources and subscribe to her free  e-newsletter World’s Healthiest News at WorldsHealthiestDiet.com  to receive monthly health news, tips, recipes and more. Follow her on Twitter @mschoffrocook  and Facebook.

 

7 Super-Healing Summer Berries

7 Super-Healing Summer Berries

 

Berries are a delicious addition to any diet.  But,  taste is not the only reason to love them.  Here’s why you should add these  seven super-healing summer berries to your diet:

Blackberries

Loaded with vitamin C, blackberries also contain ellagic acid—an important  phytonutrient that protects skin cells from damaging UV rays. Ellagic acid also  prevents the breakdown of collagen in the skin that occurs as we age and is  linked to wrinkling.

Blueberries

Blueberries are phytonutrient powerhouses.  They  contain: anthocyanins, ellagic acid, quercetin, catechins, and salicylic acid.  If the latter sounds familiar, you may recognize it as the drug we’ve come to  know as Aspirin. That’s right—blueberries contain natural aspirin, but in this  beautiful and delicious packaging offered by Mother Nature, there’s no worry  about harmful side effects. What’s more, blueberries are proven to reduce heat  shock proteins that are linked with some forms of brain disease, making these  little marvels potent weapons in the prevention of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s  disease as well as other neurological disorders.

 

Loganberries

A cross between blackberries and raspberries, these berries  strengthen blood  vessels, making them an excellent addition to help  fight heart disease or  varicose veins. They contain rutin, which  research shows strengthens  capillaries and improves circulation. They  look like long raspberries.

Currants

Currants contain gamma-linolenic acid that inhibit the body’s histamine—the  allergic response in reaction to pollens. That makes them great to help you  avoid or eliminate sinus congestion and itchy eyes linked to seasonal allergies.  Since they are tart, you might enjoy them best mixed with other berries.

Raspberries

Raspberries are still my favorite fruit. Raspberries, like other  berries,  contain an important compound that is 10 times more effective  at alleviating  inflammation than aspirin. Containing the phytonutrient  ellagic acid,  raspberries can help protect against pollutants found in  cigarette smoke,  processed foods, and may neutralize some cancer-causing  substances before they  can damage healthy cells. They’re delicious on  their own, in a fruit salad, in  a smoothie, or on top of a green salad.

 

Gooseberries

Gooseberries—the berries that resemble green grapes—help you to feel  happier.  In recent research in the journal Experimental  Neurobiology,   scientists found that gooseberries contain a flavonoid  called   kaempferol that prevents the breakdown of brain hormones serotonin and   dopamine. These brain chemicals naturally help us fight stress and keep   our  spirits up.

Strawberries

More than delicious, when it comes to disease prevention, these babies pack a  serious punch. Not only do eight strawberries contain more vitamin C than an  orange, they are antioxidant powerhouses. Whether you want to evade heart  disease, arthritis, memory loss, wrinkling, or cancer, these berries have proven  their ability to help. Plus, they’re just so easy to get into your diet on a  regular basis.

By Michelle Schoffro Cook

Michelle Schoffro Cook, MSc, RNCP, ROHP, DNM, PhD is an international  best-selling and twelve-time book author and doctor of traditional natural  medicine, whose works include: Healing Recipes, The Vitality Diet,  Allergy-Proof, Arthritis-Proof, Total Body Detox, The  Life Force Diet, The Ultimate pH Solution, The 4-Week Ultimate Body Detox Plan,  and The Phytozyme Cure.  Check out her natural health resources and  subscribe to her free e-newsletter World’s Healthiest News at WorldsHealthiestDiet.com.

Image credit (loganberry): ndrwfgg / Flickr

Foods that Boost Serotonin

Foods that Boost Serotonin

Serotonin plays an important role in regulating happiness, problem-solving and  concentration. When the level of serotonin fluctuates, it can directly change an  individual’s mood, sleep  patterns, appetite, memory, ability to learn and comprehend, body  temperature, heart performance and muscular functioning. A deficiency in  serotonin is sometimes regulated with medication but consuming specific food  items can boost the level of this chemical in the brain.

Fruits that Increase Serotonin

Various fruits boost serotonin and other mood-improving chemicals in the  brain. Plums, pineapple, bananas and sour cherries can directly influence  serotonin production. Bananas contain high levels of a chemical called  tryptophan. This chemical is converted to serotonin in the brain. Melatonin, a  chemical known for improving sleep, is found in sour cherries.

Serotonin Boost from Protein Sources

Turkey is another food known to contain high levels of tryptophan. Many  people report feeling drowsy after eating turkey. The sleepiness following a  large meal with turkey, such as the traditional Thanksgiving dinner, is somewhat  due to tryptophan and serotonin but it is also due to eating a larger quantity  of food. Other foods that can boost serotonin in the protein family include  eggs, beef, wild fish and most animals that are free of growth-promoting  hormones.

Carbohydrate-based Foods that Increase Serotonin

Carbohydrates can make a person feel full. Any grain or sugar-containing item  is usually considered to be a carbohydrate source. When an individual feels the  full sensation in the stomach, it can be rewarding in different ways. The person  may feel satisfied because basic nourishment has been fulfilled, but the brain  may also produce more serotonin as a result of the sugar and make up of the  carbohydrate-based food. Examples of carbohydrate foods include pasta, bread and  white potatoes. Dairy products consist of sugars that boost serotonin  production. Examples include milk, Swiss cheese and cheddar cheese. The cheeses  can increase other mood-boosting chemicals in the body having the same effect as  an increase in serotonin.

Sweet Treats Boost Mood

Eating a favored sweet treat, like dark chocolate, can increase mood not just  because it is so well-liked but also because it increases serotonin levels in  the brain. Some sugary snacks can lead to a dip in energy, causing the  individual to feel sleepy instead of energized or happier. For the purpose of  increasing serotonin, foods lower in sugar will have a more lasting effect.

Things to Consider

Every individual will respond differently to various foods. The exact  quantity of each food needed in order to increase serotonin has yet to be  determined. Eating foods known to boost serotonin is not a recommended method of  treatment for depression or other mood disorders associated with serotonin  deficiencies. Instead, mood-boosting foods can be eaten during illness or other  short-term events that cause a negative mood, fatigue, trouble concentrating and  sleep problems.

by Sarah  Harding, Contributor to Holistic  Nutrition on Allthingshealing.com

All Things Healing (allthingshealing.com) is an online  portal and community dedicated to informing and educating people across the  globe about alternative healing of mind, body, spirit and the planet at large.  We are committed to bringing together a worldwide community of individuals and  organizations who are working to heal themselves, each other, and the world. We  offer 39 healing categories, 80 plus editors who are experts in their fields, a  forum for each category, and an extensive “Find Practitioners” listing. Our  Costa Rica Learning Center and Spiritual Retreat is coming soon. Join  us!

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