Tuesday, March 3, 2015

To Salt or not to Salt?

Is this really a question? I love salt, always have and always will. My mother in law would faint at that statement (in fact she almost does every time I add salt to my food) and she is not the only one. Too much dietary sodium can lead to high blood pressure and sodium reduction is a top dietary public health priority. So why do I still use salt so unsparingly?


Well for one, I don't eat a lot of processed foods which is where a bulk of Americans sodium intake comes from. For two, it makes food taste good, and to me, that is high on the priority list. I just got back from Iceland and learned that it is known for having stellar sea salt. Most of the Icelandic salt comes from the Westfjords of Iceland using a centuries old method using geothermal energy and it's a 100 percent sustainable. Iceland sells a variety of salts; plain sea salt, licorice salt, birch smoked salt, berry salt, mixed herb salt, seaweed salt, rhubarb salt and lava salt colored with activated charcoal (shout out to Bubba).



Well after a week of eating fresh bread served with Icelandic salt sprinkled on Icelandic butter (don't even get me started on how good that stuff is! On a mission to find it now) I began thinking, what is good salt? Should I just stick to my course Kosher salt or is sea salt really that much healthier?

In regards to sodium, sea salt and table salt have roughly the same amount. Even so, the large sea salt crystals and unique flavors may result in your using less salt overall.  Sea salt advocates also boast about the additional minerals found in sea salt, such as magnesium, calcium, potassium, iron, zinc and iodide. Whether the mineral content of sea salt contributes to overall mineral content of the diet is uncertain. Some warn against sea salt saying that certain sea salts could also have traces of mercury and arsenic.  Bottom line, research where your sea salt comes from, choose one from a sustainable source and don't exceed more than one half a teaspoon (roughly 1200 mg sodium) of added salt a day (this is about 10 pinches of salt, which is more than enough). Happy salting!

These are my favorites~



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Jasmin Ilkay, MBA, MPH, RD, is a registered dietitian, consultant, university professor, author and sought-after speaker who specializes in weight management, eating disorders and healthy food marketing. Her goal is to empower families to live healthier lifestyles. Ms.Ilkay is a major proponent and advocate of public health, health awareness and education; she is continuously engaged in meaningful dialogues with food companies about issues regarding healthier ingredients and more effective education-oriented marketing to consumers. Ms. Ilkay is also a champion and activist in the fight against the obesity epidemic. She currently lives in New York City with her husband and two children.

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Friday, February 13, 2015

Wanta Matcha?

Green tea has long been recognized as having powerful antioxidant properties. There is strong evidence demonstrating green tea's ability to fight and prevent cancer, lower cholesterol, and release dopamine, the feel-good hormone (Bowden, 2007). There is even some limited evidence suggesting that green tea  stimulates metabolism, lowers blood sugar and may help people lose weight. A potentially healthier alternative to loose leaf green tea is matcha.


Matcha is making headlines this year as a trendy beverage. It is like a powdered version of green tea. It tastes similar to green tea and enhanced with a slight buttery and grassy flavor. Tea leaves used to make matcha are never heated and kept under the shade to preserve it's high nutrient density. It is then pulverized into a powder and whisked into warmed water (not boiling). The traditional preparation methods of making matcha includes chanoyu, the Japanese tea ceremony. The ceremony has deep rooted spiritual and historical significance. Read more here and watch  this video clip on how to traditionally prepare matcha tea.


It is possible that matcha has a higher nutrient and antioxidant density than regular green tea, but I could not find any any data verifying this (if you find information please share!). You will get the most health benefits from higher quality brands (the brighter the color the more antioxidants). Kathy from HealthyHappyLife.com wrote a great review on choosing and using matcha.



Top Alternative Health Blogs 



  1. Top 100 Natural Health Blogs - Psychology Of Eating

    psychologyofeating.com › Guest Blog

    The list below for 2012 Top 100 Natural Health Blogs is in no particular order. They're .... It includes everything from diet and self-diagnosis to alternative cancer  ...
  2. Top 10 Alternative Medicine Bloggers on Twitter | Cision

    www.cision.com/.../top-10-alternative-medicine-bloggers-on-twitte...

    Cision
    Jun 20, 2013 - Cision ranks the top 10 alternative medicine bloggers on Twitter. ... Health Blog - 33. Tags: blogsHealth & Medicine, Twitter · Cision Staff ...
  3. Underground Health - Health News, Holistic Healing ...

    www.undergroundhealth.com/

    Underground Health Exclusives ... By Dana Suggs – Mom of 3 Darlings Blog I feel I must put a warning at the beginning of this post. This post will [...] 2 days ago ...
  4. Alternative Medicine - Well Blog - NYTimes.com

    well.blogs.nytimes.com/category/body/alternative-medicine/

    Health supplements on display at Walgreens in Times Square in Manhattan. Credit Yana .... Where's the best place to stand when you're talking to a sick person?
  5. Modern Alternative Health

    www.modernalternativehealth.com/

    Health Benefits of Colder Weather · Blog ... Despite our best efforts of eating right, rest and immune defense we still can get sick. Thankfully delicious fall drinks ...
  6. 100 Best Blogs for Exploring Alternative Medicine | Nursing ...

    www.nursingschools.net/blog/.../100-best-blogs-for-exploring-alternativ...

    Jun 9, 2010 - See how nutrition plays a part in alternative medicine with these blogs. Roots & Seeds: Read about health and nutrition on Roots & Seeds.
  7. Health | Alternative Medicine | Fox News

    www.foxnews.com/.../health/alternative-medicine

    Fox News Channel
    Alternative medicine, organic options, and other ways to stay healthy that are doctor ... >The United States' top doctor said that medical marijuana can help some ...
  8. Alternative Healthy Living - Reddit

    www.reddit.com/r/AlternativeHealth/

    reddit
    If you want to learn about alternative medicine, how alternative treatments can ... Feel free to ask any question or to share your experience with alternative medicine. Blogs ... Dr. Aviva's Top 7 Steps for Treating Children's Constipation Naturally ...
  9. Top 50 Alternative Medicine Blogs | Medicareer

    phlebotomytechnicianprograms.org/.../top-50-alternative-medicine-blogs...

    Nov 17, 2009 - Do you believe that traditional Western medicine is the best route to take for ... Alternative Health Blog: This blog covers topics such as herbal ...
  10. Natural Holistic Health Blog

    www.natural-holistic-health.com/

    Learn to keep your family healthy safely and naturally using healing methods such as herbs, ... Alternative Answers for Urinary Tract Infections (UTI). By Andrew ...



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Tags, Keywords, Labels And Search Terms: health, longevity, nutrition, fitness, supplements, diets, natural health, weight loss, eating disorders, health education, cognitive enhancement, BMI, metabolism, anti-aging, Links4LifeAlerts Blog, Life Extension And Enhancement Blog, Top 10 Best Nutrition Blogs, Douglas E. Castle, Global Edge Capital Partners, http://GlobalEdgeCapitalPartners.com


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Thursday, February 5, 2015

Turmeric

Turmeric is typically thought of as a spice in curries that exudes a rich golden color. Turmeric is widely known for it's anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. It has been used medicinally for over 4000 years in India. In Ayurvedic and traditional Chinese medicine, turmeric is a well-documented treatment for various conditions. Read more details from the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) here.


.

Shape Magazine ranked turmeric as one of the top nine biggest nutrition trends of 2015. According to NCBI, the activities of turmeric include antibacterial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, antitumor, antioxidant, antiseptic, cardioprotective, hepatoprotective, nephroprotective, radioprotective, and digestive activities (NCBI, 2011). Much of these activities still require further confirmation in larger clinical trials.  



Given the long history of use in Aryuvedic and traditional Chinese medicines coupled with the recent surge in use and research in westernized medical practices, turmeric is definitely something to add to your routine spice regimen. I have dried organic turmeric root from Amazon and pulverize it into a powder as needed (my Vitamix was perfect for this). I am also looking forward to purchasing raw turmericroot soon (check out my culinary blog for more details).


Besides curry based recipes and soups, you can add it to omelets, frittatas (why notta?), roasted vegetables, meat, fish, juice, smoothies, tea, milk and more. Just make sure to wear and apron and have some bleach on hand if you have a white sink, it's beautiful golden color shines through in more than just food.


Check out the links below for more information about it's health benefits and recipe ideas!


Health Links

Recipe Inspiration 
   Pinterest
   Eating Well



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Tags, Keywords, Labels And Search Terms: health, longevity, nutrition, fitness, supplements, diets, natural health, weight loss, eating disorders, health education, cognitive enhancement, BMI, metabolism, anti-aging, Links4LifeAlerts Blog, Life Extension And Enhancement Blog, Top 10 Best Nutrition Blogs, Douglas E. Castle, Global Edge Capital Partners, http://GlobalEdgeCapitalPartners.com


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Monday, November 24, 2014

Promising Pomegranite

Every year at Thanksgiving, I try variations of staple dishes. This year I decided to incorporate some southern flair to my table in NYC. One of the recipes I found incorporates pomegranates and pomegranate juice to cranberry sauce (see recipe below). I chose this recipe because it sounded good and looked relatively easy to make. However, pomegranates offer more than a twist to traditional canned cranberry relish. This antioxidant rich super food has been reported to improve signs of heart disease, manage arthritis, prevent cancer, control dental plaque and ward off infections.


This month, the National Center for Complimentary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) published a fact sheet on pomegranates (get the full article hereBased on NCCAM's fact sheet, here is what is established regarding pomegranate's health properties:
  • A 2012 clinical trial of about 100 dialysis patients suggested that pomegranate juice may help ward off infections. In the study, the patients who were given pomegranate juice three times a week for a year had fewer hospitalizations for infections and fewer signs of inflammation, compared with patients who got the placebo.
  • Pomegranate extract in mouthwash may help control dental plaque, a small 2011 clinical trial suggested.
  • Pomegranate juice may help improve some signs of heart disease but the research is not definitive.
  • Compared with a placebo, pomegranate juice did not improve symptoms of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, a small, 2006 clinical trial showed.
  • NCCAM-funded studies are investigating how pomegranate extracts may affect arthritis.
Pomegranates are generally recognized as safe. There are some people who may be allergic. Also, there is a potential that supplemental forms of pomegranate could interfere with blood thinning medications. 

At this time, none of the alleged properties of pomegranates have been scientifically proven in large clinical trials. There is some evidence confirming it's role in fighting infections, controlling dental plaque and improving some signs of heart disease. Adding pomegranates to your diet could not only add flair to your meal but also might provide some additional health benefits. Start this Thursday with this recipe from the NY Times Well Blog. The original recipe is from "The Southern Vegetarian Cookbook: 100 Down-Home Recipes for the Modern Table" (to be published in May). I will be adding this cookbook to my collection next Spring.

“The Southern Vegetarian Cookbook”
Cranberry-Pomegranate Sauce
Pomegranates are a special way to boost the flavor of a traditional Thanksgiving dish.
1 12-ounce bag fresh cranberries (organic ones taste sweeter)
1/2 cup pomegranate juice
1 whole pomegranate
3/4 cup vegan cane sugar
1 tablespoon local honey
Zest of 1 Meyer lemon
Pinch of sea salt
Pinch of clove powder
1. Rinse cranberries and pour them into a tall saucepan. Pour in pomegranate juice. Turn heat on medium-low. 
2. Cut the whole pomegranate and remove all the seeds; run them through a food processor and then a sieve or a food mill in order to strain out the seeds. Pour into the pan along with the sugar, honey, lemon zest, salt and clove. Cook for about 30 to 40 minutes until the cranberries pop and the sauce thickens.
Yield: 6 servings


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Jasmin Ilkay, MBA, MPH, RD, is a registered dietitian, consultant, university professor, author and sought-after speaker who specializes in weight management, eating disorders and healthy food marketing. Her goal is to empower families to live healthier lifestyles. Ms.Ilkay is a major proponent and advocate of public health, health awareness and education; she is continuously engaged in meaningful dialogues with food companies about issues regarding healthier ingredients and more effective education-oriented marketing to consumers. Ms. Ilkay is also a champion and activist in the fight against the obesity epidemic. She currently lives in New York City with her husband and two children.

Tags, Keywords, Labels And Search Terms: health, longevity, nutrition, fitness, supplements, diets, natural health, weight loss, eating disorders, health education, cognitive enhancement, BMI, metabolism, anti-aging, Links4LifeAlerts Blog, Life Extension And Enhancement Blog, Top 10 Best Nutrition Blogs, Douglas E. Castle, Global Edge Capital Partners, http://GlobalEdgeCapitalPartners.com


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