Search This Blog

21 May 2008

Recipe: Quick and Easy Sauerkraut

Cultured vegetables are made by shredding cabbage or a combination of cabbage and other vegetables and then packing them tightly into n airtight container. They are left to ferment at room temperature for several days or longer. Friendly bacteria naturally present in the vegetables quickly lower the pH, making a more acidic environment so the bacteria can reproduce. The vegetables become soft, delicious, and somewhat “pickled”.

The airtight container can be glass or stainless steel. Use a 1 to 1½ quart container that seals with a rubber or plastic ring and a clamp down lid. Room temperature means 70 degrees Fahrenheit, for at least 3 days. We prefer to let ours sit for at least six or seven days, and have even left them culturing for weeks. You can taste them at different stages and decide for yourself.

During this fermentation period, the friendly bacteria are having a heyday, reproducing and converting sugars and starches to lactic acid. Once the initial process is over, it is time to slow down the bacterial activity by putting the cultured veggies in the refrigerator. The cold greatly slows the fermentation, but does not stop it completely. Even if the veggies sit in your refrigerator for months, they will not spoil; instead they become more like fine wine, more delicious with time. Properly made, cultured vegetables have at least an eight-month shelf life.


One important secret to making really delicious yet medicinal cultured veggies is to use freshly harvested, organic, well-cleaned vegetables. After washing the veggies, spin them dry (Salad Spinner). Clean equipment is essential. Scald everything you use in very hot water.

Version 1

3 heads green cabbage, shredded in a food processor or chopped finely with knife.

6 carrots

Version 2

3 heads green cabbage, shredded in a food processor

6 carrots, large, shredded in a food processor

3 inch piece ginger, peeled and chopped

To Make Cultured Vegetables

1.Combined all ingredients in a large bowl.
2.Remove several cups of this mixture and put into blender.
3.Add enough filtered water to make a “brine” the consistency of a thick juice. Blend well and then add brine back into first mixture. Stir well. (If using starter culture, see below)
4.Pack mixture down into a 1½ quart glass or stainless steel container. Use your fist, a wooden dowel, or a potato masher to pack veggies tightly.
5.Fill container almost full, but leave about 2 inches of room at the top for veggies to expand.
6.Roll up several cabbage leaves into a tight “log” and place them on top to fill the remaining 2 –inch space. Clamp jar closed.
7.Let veggies sit at about a 70-degree room temperature for at least three days. A week is even better. Refrigerate to slow down fermentation. Enjoy!

Eating Foods Rich in Antioxidants May Reduce the Risk of Dietary Diseases

Through scientific research it has been discovered that antioxidants may help prevent dietary diseases such as Diabetes, Coronary Heart Disease, Stroke, Depression, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's disease, Macular degeneration and may also delay aging. Antioxidants are molecules that are capable of retarding oxidation of other molecules which in turn leads to inflammation. Inflammation has been shown to be present in persons with the above diseases.

The Failure of Vytorin

A recent major scientific study showed that lowering cholesterol using Vytorin had no measured effect on the risk of heart disease. Doctors were shocked on March 30, 2008 when those results were released. They now believe that Statins should be the drugs of choice. Unfortunately, Statins have side effects that are unacceptable such as extreme muscle pain and muscle disease (statin induced myopathy). Controlling inflammation through what we eat is far preferable.


Common antioxidants are Vitamins C & E. Studies related to the benefits of Vitamin E have not been conclusive ( Vitamin E is a collection of 8 molecules including alpha-Tocopherol and gamma-Tocopherol. It appears that the inconclusive studies involved only the alpha-tocopherol variety. Recently, researchers have shown that gamma-Tocopherol would be more likely to show positive results with respect to reducing the risk of heart disease ( .

Anti-aging and antioxidants

"According to the Free Radical theory of aging, aging occurs in a cell when mitochondria begin to die out because of free radical damage. The focus of the project is to neutralize the effect of these free radicals with antioxidants. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals by donating one of their own electrons, ending the ionic reaction. The antioxidant nutrients themselves don't become free radicals by donating an electron because they are stable in either form" ((

Type 2 Diabetes and antioxidants

The following abstract of a clinical trial concludes that dietary intake of antioxidants may reduce the risk of Type 2 Diabetes, see (( for the full report.

"RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS - A cohort of 2,285 men and 2,019 women 40–69 years of age and free of diabetes at baseline (1967–1972) was studied. Food consumption during the previous year was estimated using a dietary history interview. The intake of vitamin C, four tocopherols, four tocotrienols, and six carotenoids was calculated. During a 23-year follow-up, a total of 164 male and 219 female incident cases occurred."

"RESULTS - Vitamin E intake was significantly associated with a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes. The relative risk (RR) of type 2 diabetes between the extreme quartiles of the intake was 0.69 (95% CI 0.51–0.94, P for trend = 0.003). Intakes of -tocopherol, -tocopherol, -tocopherol, and ß-tocotrienol were inversely related to a risk of type 2 diabetes. Among single carotenoids, ß-cryptoxanthin intake was significantly associated with a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes (RR 0.58, 95% CI 0.44–0.78, P < 0.001). No association was evident between intake of vitamin C and type 2 diabetes risk."

"CONCLUSIONS - This study supports the hypothesis that development of type 2 diabetes may be reduced by the intake of antioxidants in the diet. "

Antioxidant Sources

Many foods such as vegetable oils are rich in Vitamin E with gamma-Tocopherol but also have a high ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids that can add to inflammation ( . Here is a list of foods rich in gamma-Tocopherol that have their n-6:n-3 ratio of 10:1 or less: English Walnuts, Flaxseeds, Butter blend margarine with soy oil, green peas, green and red sweet peppers, mashed potatoes with milk and margarine, sautéed yellow onions, yellow mustard, blackberries, raspberries, cinnamon, yellow mustard seed, black pepper, ginger, and paprika.

There are Vitamin E supplements on the market that contain gamma-Tocopherol. One in particular has 300 mg of gamma-Tocopherol per capsule and the manufacturers recommended serving size is 2 capsules per day. A person would not be able to eat enough food to have 600 mg per day of this antioxidant. However the recommended minimum daily amount of Vitamin E is only about 15 mg which could be achieved with 2.6 ounces of English walnuts or flaxseeds or 3.5 ounces each of sautéed yellow onions and red or green sweet peppers.

Vitamin C is abundant in many foods. The minimum daily requirement for Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is 75 mg for women and 90 mg for men. People who smoke need an additional 35 mg. Foods highest in vitamin C with their n-6:n-3 ratio below 10:1 are: Acerola (West Indian Cherry), Guavas, Litchis dried, European black currants, Green and red sweet peppers, Thyme, Orange juice, Mustard spinach, Kale, Grapefruit juice, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and Cabbage. For a more complete antioxidant list please visit ((

About the author
John Yarlott developed his writing skills during his career as a Mechanical Engineer with Pratt & Whitney Aircraft. His work included testing jet engines and writing the test reports for use by the design and management groups. He later worked at IBM as writer of guides for computer design. He ran technical symposiums and published the hundreds of technical reports on computer packaging. John was also a store systems engineer in IBM marketing where he wrote computer programs for customers that generated reports based on transaction data in the checkout terminals. John's last assignment before retiring was as a technical support engineer for IBM's database software. During retirement he wrote training manuals for Microsoft Office Products at Hill & Knowlton, a division of WPP. He wrote web based data acquisition programs that captured human resources data in a MS Access database. The firm had offices in 52 countries therefore using the Internet to communicate with the database in New York was a time saving solution. Now retired for the second time, John has turned his attention to web publishing about matters of his own interest including health, nutrition, food economics, and global energy on his personal website: .


Health Benefits of Guacamole and the Science of Salsa

Whether you are seeking treatment, prevention or just flavor, look no further than raw salsa and homemade guacamole. Teeming with enzymes and highly alkalizing, the ingredients in these dishes contain over 120 known health benefits and most can be grown in a home garden. In this article, we will first review the benefits of each component and then provide two simple recipes.

Tomato - Solanum Lycopersicum (Solanaceae)
Tomato contains the antioxidant Lycophene, a phytonutrient along with vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, Calcium and Niacin. Tomato works to purify the blood and improves skin clarity while reducing cholesterol, gallstones, hemorrhages and liver congestion. Tomato offers unique benefits in raw, cooked or canned form. Tomato has antiseptic properties and helps fight cancer of the prostate and colon.

Pepper - Capsicum spp. (Solanaceae)
Pepper contains the antioxidant Capsaicin, a crystalline alkaloid that relieves allergies, pain, ulcers, colitis, headaches and congestion. Eating peppers reduces cholesterol, blood clotting and the rate of stroke while increasing metabolism. Peppers have antibacterial properties and help fight cancer of the thyroid, stomach, intestine and prostate.

Onion - Allium Cepa (Liliaceae)
Onion contains antioxidant Quercetin, a flavenoid along with vitamin C, vitamin E, Potassium, Fiber and Folic Acid. Onion relieves congestion and allergy symptoms along with reducing cholesterol, cataracts, atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease. Consuming onion helps remove heavy metals from the body. Onion has antimicrobial properties and helps fight cancer of the ovaries, breast, lung and bladder.

Garlic - Allium Sativum (Liliaceae)
Garlic contains the antioxidant Allicin (a compound formed from alliin and allinase when the cloves are is crushed or bruised). Consuming garlic lowers blood pressure and cholesterol while cleansing the liver. Garlic offers unique benefits when consumed in raw, cooked or aged form. Garlic has antiviral, antibacterial, antimicrobial, antifungal and anti-parasitic properties and helps fight stomach cancer.

Cilantro - Coriandrum Sativum (Umbelliferae)
Cilantro contains several antioxidants including borneo, camphor, carvone, elemol, geraniol, limonene, and linalool. Cilantro is a natural internal and external deodorizer. Cilantro (whose seeds are called Coriander) relieves nausea, indigestion and bloating along with urinary tract infections. Consuming cilantro helps reduce cholesterol and blood sugar while removing heavy metal levels including mercury. Cilantro has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties (killing salmonella).

Cumin - Cuminum (Apiaceae)
Cumin comes in seed and powder form and contains Iron. Consuming cumin helps improve digestion and strengthens the immune system. Cumin is an antioxidant and helps fight cancer of the liver.

Lemon Juice - Citrus Limon (Rutaceae)
Lemon juice contains vitamin C and (when fresh) has an alkalizing effect on the system. Lemon relieves stomach discomfort and removes gallstones (when mixed with olive oil). Consuming lemon helps prevent osteoarthritis, diabetes, atherosclerosis and kidney stones. Lemon has antibacterial, antimicrobial and antiseptic properties and is a great natural cleaning agent.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil - Olea Europaea (Oleaceae)
Olive Oil (from the first cold pressing) contains Oleic acid, a healthy (monounsaturated omega-0) fatty acid. Olive oil, found in the Mediterranean diet, helps reduce blood pressure, asthma and arthritis inflammation. Consuming olive oil helps prevent and treat diabetis while increasing metabolism. Olive oil helps fight cancer of the breast and ovaries.

Apple Cider Vinegar - Malus Domestica (Rosaceae)
Raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar contains the Mother, an enzyme chain long regarded as a cure-all and taken by Hippocrates himself. Apple cider vinegar helps relieve gout, acid reflux and arthritis symptoms. Consuming apple cider vinegar helps reduce cholesterol, calcium deposits, acne, allergies, and blood sugar while reducing allergies, food poisoning and muscle fatigue. Cider vinegar soothes a sore throat, strengthens the immune system and improves stamina and metabolism.

Avocado - Persea Americana (Lauraceae)
Avocado contains Lutein, a carotenoid along with vitamin E, monounsaturated (healthy) fat and Magnesium. Consuming avocado helps improve the absorption of the nutrients in other foods. Avocado improves skin clarity and tone. Avocado helps fight cancer of the mouth, breast and prostate.

Lime Juice - Citrus Aurantifolia (Rutaceae)
Lime juice contains Potassium and helps cleanse the blood and liver. Lime juice has antibacterial, antimicrobial and antiseptic properties and strengthens the immune system.

Gray Sea Salt - Sodium Chloride
Gray sea salt contains many trace minerals. Sea salt stabilizes the heartbeat and blood sugar level. Sea salt helps generate hydroelectric energy, improves absorption and nerve cell communication. Sea salt relieves the lungs and sinuses.



Now that you know how powerful these foods are you can imagine how many synergistic benefits there may be. The following recipes use each ingredient discussed. Recent studies have underscored the benefits of combining many different antioxidants into one synergistic blend.

Recipe for Salsa Fresca

*4 tomatoes (choose two varieties).
*1 onion (your choice of color).
*2 peppers (your choice of type and temperature).
*2 cloves garlic.
*½ cup cilantro (leaves and stems).
*1 Tbsp lemon juice.
*1 Tbsp olive oil.
*1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar.
*1 tsp cumin.
*1 tsp coriander.

*Mince garlic, cilantro, cumin and coriander.
*Add lemon, oil and vinegar to spice blend.
*Dice tomato, onion, garlic and add to spice blend.
*Blend ingredients together with potato masher.
*Cover 10 minutes and serve at room temperature.

Recipe for Guacamole

*4 ripe (Hass) avocados.
*¼ cup salsa fresca (see above).
*1 Tbsp lime juice.
*½ tsp Sea salt.

*Briefly stir together avocado and salsa.
*Top with lime juice and salt.
*Cover 30 minutes and serve chilled.

DISCLAIMER: The information in this article has not been evaluated by the FDA (or guacamole might be outlawed).

About the author
Neil McLaughlin is a Computer Scientist and Inventor specializing in 3D Graphics and Simulation.

Eating Too Much Fat Disrupts Body's Internal Clock, Disrupts Appetite Control

A high-fat diet quickly causes changes to the body's internal clock, which can throw off appetite regulation, according to a new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern University and Evanston Northwestern Healthcare in Illinois. Published in the journal Cell Metabolism, the study was funded by the National Institutes of Health and by grants from Amylin Pharmaceuticals and Eli Lilly and Co.

"The effect can be seen quite rapidly - within a matter of days," lead researcher Joe Bass said.

Researchers conducted the study on two separate groups of mice that were kept in total darkness. Both groups were fed a normal diet for two weeks. Then one group continued with the normal diet, while the other mice were placed on a high-fat diet in which 45 percent of their calories came from fat.

The mice were kept in darkness to prevent light levels and other external cues from being able to act as regulators on their internal clocks.

Known as a circadian clock, the body's internal time regulator is responsible for sending out time-related signals such as hunger, sleepiness and wakefulness. Prior studies have indicated that a poorly regulated circadian clock is associated with an increased risk of obesity and diabetes.

The researchers found that mice on the high-fat diet began to eat and rest at inappropriate times relative to the mice in the control group. These changes took place after only two weeks. These changes appeared to be related to modifications in the expression of the genes that regulate the circadian clock.

"What we found was the expression of the genes that encode the clock is altered under high-fat diets," Bass said. "It is as if the diet erodes away the clock or causes it to rust. It erodes the abundance of the proteins in the cells."

"If you give a mouse a high-fat diet, they will eat excessive amounts," he said. "It is the same thing as human eating at McDonald's or eating too much at a Thanksgiving dinner."


20 May 2008

Excessive Belly Fat Makes You More Hungry

Scientists from the Lawson Health Research Institute (part of the University of Western Ontario) believe that they have found the reason that people with extra belly fat are hungrier than others. According to their study published in the Journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB), fat cells around the abdomen produce an appetite-inducing hormone known as Neuropeptide Y (NPY).

Researchers have always believed that only the brain produces the hormone NPY. But leading study author Dr. Kaiping Yang, found that the abdominal fat in obese rats also produced the hormone. If Neuropeptide from belly fat makes it into the blood stream and to the brain, it could explain why some people just get fatter and fatter. NPY causes fatter people to eat in excess in response of the released hormone because it is the most potent appetite-stimulating hormone known. It sends signals to the individual that they are constantly hungry. The appetite hormone also induces fat cell production by stimulating the replication of fat cell precursor cells. The precursor cells then change into fat cells around the belly thus causing a vicious cycle of overeating, getting fatter and then getting hungrier which in turn causes overeating.

Experts have already announced that if they can understand how this appetite inducing hormone works, it might lead to drugs that can stop its effects by blocking neuropeptide production in fat cells. "If you can detect NPY early and identify those at risk for abdominal obesity, we can then target therapy to turn off NPY," Yang said. "It would be much easier to use drugs to prevent obesity than to treat the diseases caused by obesity."

Excessive belly fat carries other health risks because it accumulates around the internal organs. It has also been linked to diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease, gallbladder disease, sleep apnea and numerous cancers.

An interesting point to ponder:

There are varying factors (physical and psychological) that affect every individual's battle of the bulge but should the responsibility of eating a healthy diet and doing some form of exercise be magically replaced with a hormone altering wonder drug? Abdominal fat seems to have an amplifying effect on weight gain. So logically, people that are more likely to put on abdominal weight should be more careful in their eating habits. You may be unfortunate enough to have a slow metabolism and overactive secretion of NPY, but weight doesn't accumulate magically. The building block is food and it's ultimately your choice to eat.

About the author
Katherine Oosthuis manages and writes for a health and nutrition website Detox For Life . Her passion is to make research available to those who are looking to improve their well-being and revolutionise their health through better nutrition and alternative medicines.


Happiness Is a Vital Key to Optimum Health

Research has proven that unhappiness has a negative impact on health. One recent health study found that stress has a delayed impact on cardiovascular health, while another found a link between depression and the formation of atherosclerosis. Statistics show that the incidence of cardiovascular disease increased by 53% following 9/11.

More than ever, science is recognizing that happiness and peace are keys to optimum health.

So it is not hard to believe that with so much suboptimal health in the world, there is also far too little true happiness. Researchers have well documented the fact that the happiness of Americans along with most Europeans has been steadily on the decline, despite an increase in overall material wealth.
Everyday we learn about ways we can be healthier through diet, super foods, and exercise. Yet without authentic happiness, we remain at greater risk for developing illness and disease.

The Science of Happiness

Are you aware that there is actually a science of happiness? We can look inside of ourselves and discover the changes that can bring us further down the road to true, authentic happiness.

Here are some happiness facts, according to scientists:

* Women are generally less satisfied with life until they reach age 50. After age 50, men catch up.

* Dissatisfaction leads to unhappiness.

* Happiness can be measured in the brain.

* No one thing makes us ultimately happy.

* Strong social relationships create better wellbeing and happiness.

* Excessive consumerism, and wanting contributes to unhappiness.

* Happiness is a magical feeling.

* Wealth doesn't give us true happiness because there is always someone richer to compare
with. “Buying” into advertising induces unhappiness by demanding that we “measure up”.

* Long commuter journeys to and from work cut us off from happy social connections and cause stress and anxiety.

* Happily married couples are healthier. A Study reports that happily married couples experience lower blood pressure.

* Yoga and meditation can help to quiet the mind and promote happiness.

* Deep friendships and trust in others seem to have a positive effect on health and overall wellbeing.

* Those who have a sense of spirituality, whether through religion, philosophical beliefs, or faith are happier.

* And, as the Dalai Lama says, "compassion and kindness lead to true happiness".

The bottom line is that happiness helps us experience less stress and better health and longevity. We all need to think about what can make us truly fulfilled, peaceful, and ultimately happy.

About the author
Sheryl is a kinesiologist, nutritionist and holistic practitioner.
Her website provides the latest research on preventing disease, looking naturally gorgeous, and feeling emotionally and physically fabulous.