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6 Reasons Why a Multivitamin May Not Be Enough

September 20, 2012 by in Supplements with No Comments

There’s lot of controversy as to whether you need to supplement or not. The conventional wisdom says that if you eat a balance diet, you should receive all the vitamins you need … and if it makes you feel better, you can add a multivitamin for added insurance.

But is it really that simple? Will the multivitamin have all you need?

1. Do you live in a perfect world where you grow your food and your own meat, or can you shop from the farmer’s market?

If you’re buying produce from stores, you don’t know how long it’s taken to get there, or what the’ve sprayed on the fruit and vegetables to preserve them. What you think is fresh might be 2 – 3 months old, meaning that vitamin levels have depleted.

2. Do you get out in the sun often enough? In the last few years, we’ve had a fear of the sun. Vitamin D comes and animal foods. In the US, there’s almost a Vitamin D shortage epidemic.

Simply eating a good diet isn’t enough. One doctor I know thought she definitely had enough Vitamin D because she eats so healthy – but she had herself tested and her Vitamin D levels were really low. Read More »

The Health Benefits of Catus Juice: It May Help Fight Cancer

September 10, 2012 by in Uncategorized with 1 Comment

Catcus juice, also called prickly pear cactus juice, is thought to help reduce the risk of cancer – although it is still early days for the research into this.

A study published in Nutritional Journal by Da-ming Zou showed that cactus juice may be a good alternative to chemotherapy, when treating cancer. Catcus juice has also ben shown to inhibit cancer cell growth and slow tumor growth.

However, you should certainly not replace chemotherapy or other cancer treatments with cactus juice at this stage though; more rersearch is still needed.

Other Benefits of Cactus Juice

Anti-oxidant: Luna Tesoriere is the leading author in a study for the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition on cactus juice.  She says that cactus juice provides many anti-oxidant benefits, and that it works as wellas Vitamin C supplementation in enhancing overall anti-oxidant effects in the body.

Cactus juice outpaces Vitamin C in reducing oxidation of fats (which can contribute to atherosclerosis).

Read More »

Iron Sources for Vegetarians and Vegans

August 6, 2012 by in Nutrition with No Comments

Iron is an important trace mineral needed for healthy red blood cells. Many people think that your only iron source is meat, but this isn’t the case.                                                                                                                                                        

If you’re vegetarian or vegan, getting adequate iron in your diet may appear to be a challenge – but it does not have to be with a bit of planning.

Ways to Increase Iron Absorption

Make sure you have foods high in vitamin C, like fruit – not because they’re particularly high in iron, but because they help the body to absorb iron better.

Avoid drinking tea or coffee with your meals; these contain compounds called polyphenols. These bind with iron, making it harfer for your body to absorb it.

Good Sources of Iron

Vegetarian/Vegan foods that are a good source of iron include:

  • Artichokes
  • Spinach and swiss chard – and other dark leafy green vegetables
  • Dried fruits – but remember that these tend to be high in sugar too, so don’t overdo it
  • Beans are one of your best sources of iron (and protein and fiber too)

Read More »

Picante Broccoli Chicken Salad

“Picante Broccoli Chicken Salad” is the perfect dish for hot summer days. It is quick, easy and can be prepared a day ahead. 

The original recipe called for ½ cup mayonnaise; I combined ¼ cup Greek yogurt and ¼ cup mayonnaise. If you are vegetarian, you can use 2 cups of your favorite beans to replace the chicken.

 Picante Broccoli Chicken Salad

                                        (Original recipe from “Taste of Home”)

  • ·        ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • ·        ¼ cup Greek yogurt
  • ·        ¼ cup picante sauce
  • ·        1 garlic clove, minced
  • ·        ½ to 1 tsp. chili powder
  • ·        2 cups cubed cooked chicken
  • ·        2 cups broccoli florets
  • ·        1 cup diced tomato
  • ·        ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • ·        ½ cup chopped onion
  • ·        ¼ cup julienned green and red pepper
  • ·        tortillas, warmed


In a large bowl, combine the mayonnaise, yogurt, picante sauce, garlic and chili powder. Set aside. 

Combine chicken, broccoli, tomato, cheese, onion and peppers; pour dressing over salad and toss to coat well. Place in refrigerator at least 30 minutes before serving.


Nutritional Value 


Broccoli contains the phytonutrient – glycoraphonin; once in your body it is converted into sulforaphine. Sulforaphine boosts your liver’s detoxification enzymes which help to clear potentially carcinogenic substances. 

Broccoli is high in fiber, Vitamins A, K, C, iron, calcium, folic acid and protein; just a few of the valuable nutrients you will find. Eating broccoli improves your immune system, helps prevent heart disease, reduce cholesterol, good for your bones and helps control your blood sugar.


High in protein and the B vitamins.     





Mediterranean Salsa

From McCormick’s Cooking With Flavor

Not only is this salsa great for your immune system – it helps to keep your blood sugar under control.

  • 1 cup finely chopped plum tomatoes
  • 2 Tblsps. olive oil
  • 1 Tblsp. cider vinegar
  • 2 tsps. basil
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. onion powder

Mix tomatoes, oil, vinegar, basil, oregano, and onion powder. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes to blend flavors. Serve with pita chips.

Read More »

Great Foods That Help with Arthritis

July 13, 2012 by in Nutrition with No Comments

Food can’t cure arthritis – but it can make it less painful. As Leslie Bonci (RD) said “Food isn’t a panacea – but some foods can make your joints healthier.”

These foods will help:

Foods Containing Omega 3

Foods with Omega 3 fatty acids decrease the production of chemicals that spread inflammation – plus they inhibit the enzymes that trigger it. (They’re also good for many health problems.) Sources include:

  • Fatty fish – salmon, heron, sardines
  • Nuts – walnuts, flaxseed, pumpkin seed

I’m not a fish-eater, so nuts are one of my favorite sources of Omega 3.

These foods also contains Vitamin D, which helps prevent swelling and soreness.

Foods Containing Vitamin C

Foods high in Vitamin C, like fruit, protect the collagen – a major component of cartilage.

Your goal is to eat foods that are high in Vitamin C, and supplement if necessary. Don’t take more than 1500 milligrams of Vitamin C a day – eating too much can be as bad as not eating enough.

Foods Containing Oleocanthal

Extra virgin olive oil contains oleocanthal, which blocks the enzymes that create inflammation.

Foods Containing Quercetin

Onions contain quercetin – this is an anti-oxident that many inhibit inflammatory chemicals.

Other foods that are also high in this are kale, cherry, tomatoes and apples – you need about half a cup a day total, about 4 oz.

Foods Containing Bromaline

Pineapple contains bromaline, which is high in Vitamin C – but which also helps digest the protein that may be in your body. High levels of protein, particularly the proteins in meat, can increase uric acid, which is what causes gout (the most severe form of arthritis you can get).

To help reduce symptoms of gout, you can also:

Cut Down on High Fructose Corn Syrup

Limit foods that contain high fructose corn syrup – the only carbohydrate that is known to increase uric acid.

Eat Low-Fat Dairy Products

Low-fat dairy products reduce the risk of gout and help prevent pain. The reason for this may be because these are low in purines, but high in protein – some experts believe that it is the high purine levels in protein-rich foods that cause an increase in uric acid.


A diet that is anti-inflammatory is what really helps prevent painful joints and arthritis. Also, every extra pound you weigh puts 10lbs of pressure on your joints – so if you’re significantly over-weight, you may want to make changes to your diet in order to lose some weight.

Information from Mayo Clinic, Web MD, and

Can Bananas Cause Weight Gain? 10 Truths You Need to Know

June 15, 2012 by in Nutrition with 9 Comments

Fruit can be a problem for the few of us who are sugar sensitive, but for most healthy people, bananas and other fruits are power-packed sources of nutrition, and they won’t cause weight gain.

The American Heart Association suggests that bananas are part of a healthy diet, because:

1. They contain no fat, sodium or cholesterol.

2. They are high in potassium and B6, so eating a banana a day can reduce your risk of high blood-pressure and stroke.

3. They are a good source of Vitamin C, magnesium, and fiber.

4. They are also a great source of iron and can stimulate production of hemoglobin in the blood.

5. They can help replace electrolytes lost due to diarrhea (and they’re good if you ‘re constipated, too).

Read More »

Bone Healthy Green Beans and Tomatoes

McCormick’s Cooking With Flavor

There is the misconception that to build strong bones you have to drink milk. This dish is a good source of the bone building vitamin K and calcium.

Three-Seed Green Beans and Tomatoes

  • 1 bag (12ozs.) trimmed green beans
  • or wax beans (or a combination)
  • 1 Tblsp. olive oil
  • 2 large cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin seed
  • 1/2 tsp. mustard seed
  • 1/4 fennel seed
  • 1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
  • a pinch of salt

Bring 1/2 inch water to boil in a large skillet on high heat. Add beans; cover and cook 7 to 9 minutes or until tender-crisp, stirring occasionally. Drain well. Set aside.

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The Dangers of a Raw Food Diet

May 27, 2012 by in Nutrition with 2 Comments

Raw food diets are currently very popular – but they can also be damaging to your health. A raw food diet suppresses your thyroid hormone production, which can create fatigue, and slow your metabolism down.

Foods to Avoid Eating Raw

Some foods can be dangerous if eaten raw. You definitely need to cook cruciferous, such as:

  • broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • cabbage
  • cauliflower
  • other dark green vegetables

(It’s okay to eat these raw occasionally, but not on a daily basis).

Read More »

The Dangers of Iron Supplements

May 16, 2012 by in Supplements with No Comments

If you’re feeling tired, or if you know you don’t get much iron in your diet, you might think that it’s a good idea to take a supplement.

Supplements are usually considered good for you … but you do need to be educated about what you’re buying because you can take too much of a good thing. More is not necessarily better!

If you take more than 45 milligrams of iron per day for a long period of time, it can lead to iron toxicity and trigger hemochromatosis. This causes an excess of iron to be stored in multiple organ systems in your body. You may not be aware that there’s any problem until you start experiencing symptoms. This can lead to heart and liver failure, as well as severe pancreatic damage.

Side effects from too much iron include vomiting, diarrhea, intestinal damage and discomfort, indigesting and constipation. Rare cases can require hospitalization and may even lead to death.

Read More »

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