Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Compare Foods to BoKU Super Protein with 26 Grams per Serving!

One Scoop of Boku Super Protein = 4 eggs!

Beef
• Hamburger patty, 4 oz – 28 grams protein
• Filet Steak (100g or 3.5 oz) – 30 grams
• Most cuts of beef – 7 grams of protein per ounce

Chicken
• Chicken breast, 3.5 oz - 30 grams protein
• Chicken thigh – 10 grams (for average size)
• Drumstick – 11 grams
• Wing – 6 grams
• Chicken meat, cooked, 4 oz – 35 grams

FishShallow_Skinned_Tilapia_Fish_Fillet
• Most fish fillets or steaks are about 22 grams of protein for 3 ½ oz (100 grams) of cooked fish, or 6 grams per ounce
• Tuna, 6 oz can - 40 grams of protein

Pork
• Pork chop, average - 22 grams protein
• Pork loin or tenderloin, 4 oz – 29 grams
• Ham, 3 oz serving – 19 grams
• Ground pork, 1 oz raw – 5 grams; 3 oz cooked – 22 grams
• Bacon, 1 slice – 3 grams
• Canadian-style bacon (back bacon), slice – 5 – 6 grams

Eggs and Dairy
• Egg, large - 6 grams proteineggs and cheese
• Milk, 1 cup - 8 grams
• Cottage cheese, ½ cup - 15 grams
• Yogurt, 1 cup – usually 8-12 grams, check label
• Soft cheeses (Mozzarella, Brie, Camembert) – 6 grams per oz
• Medium cheeses (Cheddar, Swiss) – 7 or 8 grams per oz
• Hard cheeses (Parmesan) – 10 grams per oz

Beans (including soy)
• Tofu, ½ cup 20 grams protein
• Tofu, 1 oz, 2.3 grams
• Soy milk, 1 cup - 6 -10 grams
• Most beans (black, pinto, lentils, etc) about 7-10 grams protein per half cup of cooked beans
• Soy beans, ½ cup cooked – 14 grams protein
• Split peas, ½ cup cooked – 8 grams

Nuts and Seeds
• Peanut butter, 2 Tablespoons - 8 grams proteinnuts&seeds1
• Almonds, ¼ cup – 8 grams
• Peanuts, ¼ cup – 9 grams
• Cashews, ¼ cup – 5 grams
• Pecans, ¼ cup – 2.5 grams
• Sunflower seeds, ¼ cup – 6 grams
• Pumpkin seeds, ¼ cup – 8 grams
• Flax seeds – ¼ cup – 8 grams

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Father’s Day Men’s Health Feature

For dad at his special time of the year, along with the tie or card give him something truly valuable—your love and some good advice that’ll help keep him around as long as possible.

While these tips are good for anyone to follow, they are the key to keeping dad at the peak of health well into his later years:
  • Eat a healthy diet low in fat and at least five fruits and vegetables a day to lower the risk of heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes and osteoporosis, all common in older men.
  • Get at least 30 minutes of physical activity at least 3 days a week. Moderate physical activity reduces the risk of heart disease, colon cancer, diabetes and high blood pressure. It can also help dads maintain a healthy body weight, joint strength and mobility. Even brisk walking does the trick!
  • Some studies have also shown that healthy men, and those who have already suffered a heart attack, can reduce cardiovascular risk by eating nuts regularly. Almonds anyone?
  • Prevent disability from arthritis. Weight control and injury prevention (especially sports-related injuries) can lower dads' risk for developing one of the most common types of arthritis: osteoarthritis.
  • Get regular physical exams and important health screenings. Dads age 50 and older should be screened for colorectal cancer, the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the country. Regular colorectal cancer screening at age 50 and after can find and remove polyps before they ever become cancerous, or enable early treatment, when it can be most effective. Although effective measures to prevent prostate cancer have not yet been identified, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all men talk to their doctors about the risks and benefits of screening so that they can make informed decisions about whether screening is right for them.
happy-fathers-day-clipart
So even if you have to push him to keep him healthy it’ll be worth it for both of you.
Happy Father’s Day!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Healthy Recipes - Natural Shampoo

There are plenty of good reasons to make your own shampoo that will benefit you and the environment. On the personal side, the chemicals in most manufactured shampoos can irritate and dry out your hair and scalp, or it can cause an overproduction of oil to compensate for the dryness which leads to greasy looking hair.  Also, shampoo is expensive and making it yourself will save you money.

On the environmental side, making your own shampoo will help eliminate all of the unnecessary packaging filling the landfills, it will save massive amounts of energy in the manufacturing and shipping processes, and it will reduce the amount of chemicals and toxins in the environment.
If you would like to make your own shampoo here are several different recipes to choose from:

Just Baking Soda and Water
  • 1 tablespoon of baking soda mixed well with one cup of warm water
Pour over roots of hair, work through and rinse

Follow with
  • 1 oz of lemon juice OR
  • apple cider vinegar diluted in about 16 oz warm water
Pour onto hair especially ends, let sit for a minute and rinse.

Basic Shampoo For normal hair - use alone or as a base to add your own scents
  • 1/4 cup distilled water
  • 1/4 cup liquid Castile Soap
  • 1/2 teaspoon jojoba, grapeseed, lavender or other light vegetable oil
Mix together all the ingredients. Store in a bottle. Shake before use, it will be thinner than commercial shampoos.

Chamomile Shampoo
  • 4 bags of Chamomile tea
  • 4 tablespoons pure soap flakes
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons glycerine
Let the tea bags steep in 1 1/2 cups of boiled water for 10 minutes. Remove the tea bags and add the soap flakes to the remaining liquid . Let stand until the soap softens. Stir in glycerin until mixture is well blended. Pour into a bottle. Keep in a dark, cool place.

Scalp Stimulating
  • 1/4 cup distilled water
  • 1/4 cup liquid Castile Soap
  • 2 tsp jojoba oil
  • 1/8 tsp peppermint essential oil
  • 1/8 tsp tea tree essential oil
Mix all ingredients, then add 1/4 cup distilled water
Store in a bottle. Apply to hair, work through, rinse well.

Shiny Hair
  • 1/4 cup distilled water
  • 1/4 cup liquid Castile Soap
  • 2 Tbsp dried rosemary
  • 2 Tbps sweet almond oil
  • 1/4 t lemon essential oil
Boil distilled water, add rosemary and steep until fragrant.
Strain leaves and let cool. Mix all ingredients and add to water and stir well.
Store in a bottle. Apply to hair, work through, rinse well.

Softest hair
  • Avocado
  • Baking soda
Mash them together with a little bit of water to make a paste. Rinse your hair with warm water first, then apply the paste and rinse it out with cold water.

Hair Too Dry?
  • 1/4 cup distilled water
  • 1/4 cup liquid Castile Soap
  • 1/4 cup aloe vera gel
  • 1 teaspoon glycerin
  • 1/4 teaspoon avocado oil or jojoba oil
Mix together all the ingredients. Store in a bottle and always shake well before using.
Apply to hair and allow to sit for a few mintues. Rinse well with cool water.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Organic agriculture prohibits pesticides linked to risk of ADHD

Following closely on the heels of the President’s Cancer Panel Report exhorting consumers to choose food grown without pesticides or chemical fertilizers , antibiotics, and growth hormones to help decrease their exposure to environmental chemicals that can increase their risk of contracting cancer, a study published in today’s issue of the journal Pediatrics concludes that exposure to organophosphate pesticides at levels common among U.S. children may contribute to the prevalence of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in these children.

“Studies have increasingly shown the importance of minimizing young children’s exposure to even low levels of chemical pesticides. This study adds to that wealth of knowledge and arms parents with information that helps them reduce their children’s pesticide intake,” said Christine Bushway, OTA’s Executive Director, pointing out that the use of organophosphates is prohibited in organic production.

The article reported findings from a study examining the association between urinary concentrations of metabolites of organophosphates and ADHD in children ages 8 to 15. Using data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, researchers led by Maryse Bouchard, a researcher in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health at the University of Montreal, analyzed the levels of pesticide metabolites in the urine of 1,139 children and found children with above-average levels had roughly twice the odds of being diagnosed with ADHD.

As the largest study of this kind so far, it reminds consumers that organophosphates were originally developed for use in chemical warfare because they are known to be toxic to the nervous system. Organophosphate compounds are used in agriculture to kill pests.

“Organic food production and processing is the only system that uses certification and inspection to verify that these chemicals are not used,” Bushway added. “Those seeking to minimize their exposure to these chemicals can look for the USDA Organic label wherever they shop.”

The abstract of the paper published in the journal Pediatrics is accessible online.

For more information on organic, go to OTA’s consumer web site, www.organicitsworthit.org.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Treatment Tuesday - Astigmatism

Do you not see as well as you used to? One reason may be astigmatism, here is some information that can help you understand and manage astigmatism.

Astigmatism is a common condition causing poor vision, and is a distortion of the cornea that leaves the eye oval or football­shaped, rather than round. Round eyes are normal and are important for good eyesight. In cases of astigmatism, the eye focuses on two points instead of one; this happens because rays of light do not form a single point of focus as they enter the eye. The word astigmatism is derived from the Greek alpha, meaning ‘without’ and stigma meaning ‘point.’

The most common symptoms of astigmatism are:
  • Blurred vision
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Eye pain
Straight lines may seem crooked and even distorted. People with astigmatism may complain about blurry or fuzzy lines, and develop severely distorted depth perception over time.

What Causes Astigmatism?
 
Since astigmatism is a distortion of the cornea, it is difficult to pinpoint its exact cause. Over time, the cornea of the eye can lose its natural roundness. In addition, poor posture, and frequent tilting of the head can lead to astigmatism and problems with perception.
Treatments for Astigmatism
Many treatment options for astigmatism are available, but some have higher risks than others. Surgical procedures developed in recent years include Lasik surgery and photo reactive keratomy (PRK). Both of these are invasive procedures that carry a risk of damage. Side effects may include:
  • Feelings of ‘halos’ around lights
  • Tears in the retina, and damage to the optic nerve
  • Chronic dry eye, and a diminished capacity to produce tears
  • Free radical damage
  • Impaired visual acuity
There are natural remedies and cures available as an alternative to surgery. Ayurvedic theory indicates that vision problems are related to digestive imbalances. As a result, some options include regular eye exercises, consumption of Ayurvedic herbs such as amla, triphala, and licorice, and a diet rich in carrots, spinach, and antioxidant vegetables.

The Bates Method involves re­educating the eye to improve healthy eyesight. This works by taking frequent breaks where the mind and body are in a relaxed state. This can involve a peaceful walk or meditation, closing the eyes but improving receptive awareness, and focusing on detailed but pleasant scenery. Over a period of time, this can help train the eyes, mind, and body to work in harmony.
Eating a balanced and healthy diet also can significantly improve eye health. Diets that are good at reducing eye degeneration include food such as:
  • Those high in antioxidants, such as Acai berries, Goji berries, red grapes, cherries, mangos, and citrus fruits. Unsweetened cocoa is also an excellent choice that is rich in antioxidants and natural flavonoids.
  • Organic egg yolks for the high carotenoid content
  • Green leafy vegetables, including leaf lettuce, chard, kale, collard greens, spinach, and parsley
  • Those low in unhealthy hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils. This includes avoiding processed and fried foods, refined sugars, alcohol, and simple carbohydrates.
Other Considerations

Eye exercises throughout the day can significantly improve your eye health. Resting your eyes for five minutes every 30 minutes can help relax your gaze and improve your overall energy.
Other exercises to try include:
  • Blinking your eyes regularly to reduce eyestrain
  • Taking regular breathing breaks and meditative rest periods
  • Rapidly switching focus from near to far for 20 to 30 minutes
  • Rolling eyes up and down in a full circular motion for five minutes, five times a day

Friday, May 14, 2010

Weight Loss vs. Weight Control – Know the Difference?

Maintaining a healthy weight is a two-part process: weight loss and weight control. It’s the latter we struggle with more than the former. If someone offered you a smart, sensible guide to eating, exercising, and understanding how the body works; one that would keep you at a healthy weight that you could follow for life, would you take it? Of course you would. So remember that healthy weight loss begins with understanding the intricacies of the human  body…understanding how and why we get fat. Most diet plans focus on their isolated, pet issues, whether it’s a low-carb diet, buying an all-in-one piece of workout equipment, or filling up on liquids. But none of these address the core underlying issues. They rarely educate the consumer or speak to all the possible factors that play a role in weight loss. No two people are the same and therefore, weight loss cannot be addressed as a one-size-fits-all remedy. Identifying the culprits that cause excess weight and choosing the right approach for your body type and lifestyle can make allthe difference.


Bikini season is almost here so many of you out there may be looking to lose a few pound to look your best in that new swimsuit. To help, this post begins a series dedicated to healthy, long term weight loss. Enjoy and leave your thought is the comments.

Weight Loss vs. Weight Control

First, let’s address weight loss. You’ve heard it before—eat those fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Though practically a dietary cliché, it’s still golden rule number one in maintaining a healthy diet, which will lead to weight loss. What to minimize in your diet? High fat foods, processed foods, trans fats, and sugar. While these guidelines are staples for a healthy food plan, they’re still only part of the picture.

Once you’ve developed a habit of swapping Twinkies for almonds, and you notice weight loss, your next step is to maintain that desired weight. This requires lifestyle changes. But it’s not as drastic as you may think. Often, it’s what you’re NOT eating that’s making you fat and unhealthy. Rather than focus on dieting, starvation and all the things you need to STOP doing…try the simple approach of ADDING a few basic practices. The first, last and best secret to help control your weight is to add more healthy nutrition to your diet. Even if you don’t stop all the bad eating habits right away, just adding super nutrition from nutrient-dense foods, you’ll be well on your way to a healthier, slimmer you. One of the easiest and most reliable ways to add high levels of nutrition to your diet is to take a green superfood drink once or twice per day. Boku Super Food is the one we’ve created from what we believe is the best formulation on the market.

Sometimes it’s necessary to reverse some of your long-held beliefs about health. For example, many people feel that they get enough nutrition from their food and shouldn’t need any other supplements. Others believe that their vitamins are taking care of their supplemental needs. These are both beliefs that stem from lack of information. Our  foods today largely come from industrial farms that load the soil with chemical fertilizers and pesticides that end up in your food and your body. Many vitamins and supplement products are chemically produced in laboratories and are often derived from questionable sources. Studies have shown that many vitamin products pass through the body  irtually unchanged and unabsorbed by the body. In other words, the body recognizes these products as waste matter!

After nutrition, the next big part of weight control is committing to a regular exercise program. Thirty minutes a day or more is ideal but don’t avoid exercise if you can’t stick to that schedule. The person who has only 15 minutes a day to exercise will have gotten his blood pumping for 105 minutes a week, which would make a marked difference in weight compared to the person who didn’t exercise at all. The same principal applies to physical health as it does to financial health: A little bit done over a long time has the ability to create compounded interest and big returns! That’s why we recommend taking a little Boku Super Food and getting a few minutes of exercise every day over many years.
Finally, you may want to become more of a label watcher at the supermarket. The information in later sections will make you a savvy consumer but the key is to be diligent and watchful because it’s easy to misread labels. For example, a common mistake is looking at how many calories are in a serving but then neglecting to notice that the manufacturer defines a serving as one cookie, not three. Observing ingredients such as fats, carbs, protein, and calories must become second nature in the fight against flab. The secrets of healthy weight loss are about knowledge, understanding the  various weight loss options and making sensible decisions.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Treatment Tuesday - Varicose Veins


As the weather continues to get warmer and the clothing gets smaller, there things other than extra pounds that one may want to hide. Don't let those varicose veins get int the way of sporting shorts or the new bathing suit by using these natural treatments!

Varicose veins are much more common in women, leading some experts to believe that the disorder may be related to hormones. The culprit may also be wearing high heel shoes, which cause the blood to pool in the calves. Men aren’t immune to varicose veins, however. They’re much more noticeable on women, since women tend to shave their legs, yet varicose veins can cause painful throbbing and cramps in both genders.

Causes

Besides the possibilities mentioned above, varicose veins are thought to be caused by standing, sitting, or lying down for long periods of time—in other words, lack of movement. Sitting or lying down for long periods of time causes the blood to pool toward the feet. Ultimately, as a result of this pooling, the heavy, swollen veins protrude, forming varicose veins. There may also be some connection with the health of your blood vessels and arteries and capillaries.

Preventing Varicose Veins:

Here are a few ways to help prevent varicose veins:
  • Though varicose veins are a common hallmark of aging, crossing the 50 ­year ­old threshold doesn’t mean you have to develop them. Keep your blood flowing and your cardiovascular system as a whole healthy by staying active
  • Along with staying active, maintaining an ideal body weight is essential to varicose vein prevention. Don’t put extra physical stress on the veins in your legs and feet by weighing them down
  • Take enzymes, including bromelain (like in BoKU Super enzyme blend)
  • If your liver is congested, your whole circulatory system suffers. Maintain good liver health by not drinking too much alcohol and by ingesting foods and herbs that sustain the liver. These include red grapes, blueberries, cherries, beets, artichokes, dandelion, milk thistle and blackberries.
  • Keep your circulation flowing by eating hot, spicy foods, particularly hot peppers, onions, and garlic. Also Una de Gato (Cat’s Claw) is good for circulation.
  • Massaging the legs is helpful if you don’t already have varicose veins in the area of the massage.
Getting Rid of Varicose Veins:
  • Varicose veins are much more difficult to treat than prevent, but if you do develop varicose veins, all is not lost. The bioflavonoid rutin (found in citrus fruits,  berries, buckwheat, mulberry) strengthens capillaries, and there is some evidence that it can help reduce the severity of varicose veins.
  • Horse chestnut herb is useful for varicose vein therapy.
  • Eat lots of fruits with Vitamin C and bioflavonoids.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Healthy Recipes - Cinnamon Swirl Smoothie

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

How to Give Mom a Healthy Mother’s Day

Start by fixing mom a healthy brunch like a fresh, organic salad of dark leafy greens, nuts and berries with our own BōKU® balsamic vinaigrette dressing.

Encourage mom to get some exercise by taking her on a hike outdoors, go for a walk, jog or bike ride together. You can even challenge mom to a game of tennis or swimming race. Not only will you be spending quality time together, but all of the movement will get your heart pumping and make you and mom feel fantastic!

Give mom a sustainable, eco-friendly gift. Organic flowers are a nice choice, all natural candles, soaps or skin care products are good as well – mariessoap.com has a great selection. Or you could go the homemade route and bake mom a batch of gluten free sugar cookies you can find recipes at: http://bit.ly/bmunKr. Or get creative with a recycled paper card, perfect for kids.

Or you can give mom something to help her be more eco-friendly again and again for free! For every new order using the discount code MOM2010 we will send you a free reusable BōKU® Chico sling! For auto-ship orders, just send an email to customerservice@bokusuperfood.com with the coupon code and we will add the free bag to your next shipment! Moms can get this for themselves too!


Top off a lovely Mother’s Day with a fabulous healthy dinner! Try a nice vegetarian spinach lasagna or mushroom stroganoff, you can find plenty of recipes at chooseveg.com/vegan-dinner-recipes.asp

Happy Mother’s Day to each and all!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Healthy Recipes - Kevin's BoKU Shake



Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Another Reason Brown Rice Protein is Good for You

Fat free protein, aiding in weight loss, fiber now cardiovascular protection. According to new research:

Brown rice might have an advantage over white rice by offering protection from high blood pressure and atherosclerosis ("hardening of the arteries"), say researchers at the Cardiovascular Research Center and Department of Physiology at Temple University School of Medicine in Philadelphia.

New research by Satoru Eguchi, Associate Professor of Physiology, suggests that a component in a layer of tissue surrounding grains of brown rice may work against angiotensin II. Angiotensin II is an endocrine protein and a known culprit in the development of high blood pressure and atherosclerosis.

Read the entire articel here: http://bit.ly/aNQo1c

Thursday, April 22, 2010

New BoKU Boot Camp


Any BōKU® fans or fitness enthusiasts in the Ojai, CA area are welcome to come to our own Boot Camp to work out with us!  
        
Our fitness Boot Camp takes place at Soule Park from 8-9am Monday through Friday. Be prepared to work and sweat while gaining strength and endurance and having a great time!
 

Mike Adams was a guest of BōKU® Boot Camp during his recent California visit and called it:
“An amazingly fun way to get some good exercise as you start your day.”
 

Juliana Sproles BōKU® Boot Camp Instructor


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Best Natural Sunscreens

Summer will soon be upon us, the weather is warming and it’s time to show some skin. Most people understand that they must use caution when exposing their skin to the sun, while also getting enough unhindered UVB exposure for vitamin D production. However, there has been a lot of debate over the safety of common sunscreen lotions, and with good reason. Most sunscreens that you will find in stores contain ingredients like parabens, oxybenzone, octinoxate, cinnamates, and homosalate and other chemicals that can have ill effects on health such as actually promoting cancer!

Even some of the more “natural” sunscreens natural UV blockers that are micronized or nano-sized to make them more transparent on your skin. The trouble is that these are non-reactive while on the surface of the skin, but the tiny nano-particles may enter the skin, the effects of which are still unknown. This article details a study that found that nano particles of zinc oxide are twice as toxic to colon cells as larger particles if accidentally eaten: http://www.physorg.com/news189862905.html. Does that sound like something you would want on your skin?

Fortunately, there are safer manufactured sunscreens. Both Badger Sunscreen SPF 30 Face Stick and Loving Naturals Sunscreen, SPF 30+ contain Non-nano zinc oxide and have earned scores of 0 on the Environmental Working Group’s Safest Sunscreens List. You can see the entire list here: http://www.ewg.org/cosmetics/report/sunscreen09/Beach-Sunscreens

If you want complete control over what goes into your sunscreen to make sure it is truly all natural you can always make your own at home! Just purchase zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide in cream or powder form. Make sure it’s not nano or micronized, and DO NOT inhale the powder, it’s best to use a mask and gloves while handling them. Add a tablespoon of one or each to about 8 oz of olive, sunflower, jojoba, eucalyptus or other oil, feel free to mix them and add any essential oils you wish and add 1 oz of emulsifying wax. All of these ingredients are available online from cosmetics or soaping suppliers like this one: http://www.camdengrey.com/

Of course nutrition plays a large role in sun protection as well. Eat foods with plenty of antioxidants like fruits and berries; foods rich in carotenoids like tomatoes and red bell peppers and watermelon; and drink plenty of tea especially green tea for natural internal sun protection.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Healthy Recipes - Honey Bee Smoothie

This smoothie satisfies your hunger and gives you energy throughout your day.

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup raw milk (or organic orange juice)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 Tablespoon organic coconut oil
  • 2 fresh bananas
  • 1 cup frozen strawberries
  • 2 Tablespoons raw honey
  • 1 Tablespoon Bee Pollen
  • 1 big scoop BõKU Super Food
  • 1 scoop or so  BõKU Super Protein
Blend all until smooth – 1 – 2 minutes.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Treatment Tuesday - Corns/Calluses

Spring is here, the weather is nice now it's time to put on your strappy sandals or comfy flip-flops right? Well for those who have painful and unsightly corns of calluses on their feet might not be so eager to show them off. Here's some info to help you understand how corns and calluses come about and how to make them go away.

Corns are painful growths on the outside of the foot. They look like wart­-like bumps or hard fleshy knots on and around the toes. Corns can resemble infected calluses and warts and can become painful when pressure is applied to them. They also can swell up and become irritated. The usual treatment is to cut them away with a sharp instrument.

What Causes Corns?

Corns can result from poorly fitting shoes or infected calluses or warts. Soft corns often occur between the toes, while harder corns are usually found on the tops of the toes. Corns can also be the result of poor walking or gait problems.

Treatments for Corns

Aromatherapy treatments include rubbing lemon or verucas essential oil on the infected area to help relieve pain. Apply flower essences topically, including Rescue Remedy Cream, arnica, and herbs such as calendula petals. These can be applied two to three times a day. These treatments help soften the tissue and act as anti­-inflammatory agents.

You can also try hydrotherapy with an application of hot and cold temperatures (hot water and ice).

Consult your podiatrist, osteopath, or chiropractor, who can evaluate your natural gait to determine if you are walking in an irregular manner, thus causing the rubbing and irritation that results in corns.

Other Considerations

Nutritional supplementation includes vitamin A and vitamin E; both can be found in foods like eggs, spinich and kale or applied topically. Well­fitting shoes and clean socks are also recommended.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Nutrition by Natalie - The Truth About Coconut

Our favorite health food vlogger Natalie talks about what makes coconut a super food:

Friday, April 2, 2010

Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution – Rave!

Jamie Oliver, world renown chef who has written many food-based books http://bit.ly/aSZqO0 and hosted several cooking shows has now taken America by storm with his new television show “Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution.”

He wants to challenge most Americans’ perception of food, and demonstrate how eating real food can diminish our country’s problems of obesity, heart disease and diabetes. He believes that this is especially true for children, so their lives are not shortened by the bad habits of their families, schools and society.

In the six-part series, Jamie heads to Huntington, West Virginia because it has been called the unhealthiest city in America. Jamie wants to do something about that. The 3 main challenges that Jaime wants to take on in Huntington in hopes of inspiring the rest of the nation are:

School Meals: To replace the processed school food with meals that were cooked from fresh ingredients, met the nutrition standards, and appealed to the kids. The school meals I trialled are now being rolled out to the rest of the school district.

Home: To show families that cooking at home from scratch is better for them, not to mention cheaper. We set up a community kitchen in Huntington that holds two cooking classes a day for local families. It is now being run by a local healthcare charity.

Main Street: To get the whole town cooking again and show people that they do have an alternative to the processed and fast food that’s invaded the American main street. We went into churches, colleges, workplaces, the local fire station, and as many places as we could think of, to teach as many people as possible a few quick and simple meals. That has changed people’s lives.

Kudos to Jamie Oliver for taking such an interest in teaching children about nutrition, food and cooking so that they will be able to reverse the foods trends taking over the country and the world. Through this television show he is opening people’s eyes to the dangers of unhealthy eating and the nutritional superiority of real food.

To learn more about Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution visit:
http://www.jamieoliver.com/campaigns/jamies-food-revolution

And don’t forget to watch the show on Fridays at 9:00 PM on ABC!

You can get a glimpse of it here:

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Treatment Tuesday - Asthma

More young people under the age of 17 suffer from asthma than from any other medical condition. In adults, asthma is in the top ten leading causes of disease and hospitalization. Each year more than 5,000 Americans die from asthma related suffocation. Symptoms include difficulty breathing, feelings of suffocation, tightness in the chest, wheezing, and increased mucus in the lungs. Asthma attacks may also cause heart palpitations. Asthma may be either chronic or acute. Acute asthma causes severely restricted breathing and can appear suddenly, with little or no warning. These acute attacks often last only a few hours. Chronic asthma is often less severe than acute asthma, but it has constant symptoms.

What Causes Asthma?
There are two main reasons why the the bronchial passages may spasm and seize up. First, airborne allergens may enter the lungs (generally through the mouth, not the nose), and cause a systematic reaction. In concert with this, a poor immune system or hypersensitivity to certain allergens increases the chances that these allergens will affect the lungs. The specific causes listed below are all variations of these two ideas:
  • Exertion: Heavy breathing through the mouth due to exertion can trigger the allergic reactions the cause asthma.
  • Poor Nutrition: Without proper nutrition, the immune system cannot defend the body from allergens and other antigens that enter the body—especially through the mouth.
  • Cold Air: Especially when inhaled through the mouth, cold air can cause constriction of the bronchial passageways.
  • Stress: Another enemy of immune system, stress causes hormone imbalances that make us more susceptible to allergens and antigens that enter our bodies.
  • Food Allergies: Specific foods can trigger allergic reactions, especially in the mucus membranes of the body.
Treatments

Asthma treatments take many forms, but they all tend to work in these basic areas:
  • Strengthen the immune system: Since asthma is a type of allergy, a healthy immune system helps minimize its hold on the body. Try olive leaf extract (which can be found in Boku Immune Tonic), Spirulina (one of the primary ingredients in Boku Super Food), and other nutrient­ rich foods.
  • Support the adrenal glands: Depleted adrenal glands throw the entire system out of balance—from hormone imbalances to general immune system functions. Supporting the adrenals is a key step in restoring health. Add 150 mg of adrenal tissue with pantothenic acid twice daily.
Take oxygenating supplements: Herbs that stimulate the amount of oxygen in the bloodstream help minimize asthma symptoms. Aloe vera gel (non-­rind variety) is a great drink, as it contains more oxygen than any other plant. Whole foods with lots of vitamin A/beta carotene (carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin) and B vitamins (beans, bananas chili peppers) all help with circulation and opening tiny blood vessels, allowing oxygen to be carried to all parts of the body. Many have gotten relief by drinking carbon activated water (CAW).
  • Avoid irritating foods: Dairy and wheat products are two common food groups that exacerbate allergies, including asthma. The long­standing mainstream medical belief is that dairy products such as cow’s milk worsen asthma by increasing the body’s production of mucus, which then congests the nasal passages.
  • Get relief with natural bronchodilators: Herbs, essential oils, and other substances can be used to open up the bronchial passageways, providing relief from asthma symptoms. Herbal teas containing theophylline­-like compounds are potent bronchodilators. Other natural bronchodilators include peppermint, spearmint, and pine essential oils. Chamomile essential oil may also help to relax bronchial spasms.
Other Considerations

Many people have gotten positive results from a white powder from Africa called yamoa, which is taken in honey or in capsule form. It takes about ten days of use to take effect and thousands of sufferers have reported remarkable results with improved breathing and diminished symptoms. It is also beneficial for bronchitis and hay fever.

Other remedies can be added to a regimen already set by your doctor. The combination of foods containing vitamin C (fruits) and B15 (legumes, rice bran) is purported to increase oxygen in the bloodstream.


Many people report that concentrated breathing techniques can help with asthma. These techniques focus on deep, relaxed breaths and an increased awareness of your breathing. In other words, pay attention to your breathing and use the power of the mind to help relax and breathe easier.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Healthy Recipes - Raw Oatmeal in a Drink

This recipe gives you the nutrition and fiber of oatmeal in a tasty, raw smoothie!

Ingredients:

1 c. oat groats – soaked overnight in water
1/4 c. almond butter
1-2 Tbsp. agave nectar
1/4c. regular unflavored almond milk (use as much as you want to get consistency you like)
1/4 raisins or any fresh or frozen fruit (fresh tastes better) such as blueberries, raspberries, peaches, melon
1/2 banana
2-3 scoops BoKU Super Food

Directions:

Blend to desired consistency in food processor and enjoy!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Treatment Tuesday - Diabetes

Diabetes is all too common in the United States. The American diet is high in sugars, carbohydrates, and fats that cause or contribute to high blood sugar. Excess caffeine can, indirectly by way of the thyroid, contribute to hormonal imbalances that cause diabetes. Some of the symptoms include:
  • Frequent urination
  • Thirst
  • Blurred vision
  • Weight loss accompanied by increased appetite
  • Fatigue
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Headaches
What Causes Diabetes?

Simply put, diabetes is caused by high blood sugar, or “too much glucose in the blood.” This is a problem with insulin, whose job is to carry blood sugar into the cells of the body. A lack of insulin or faulty insulin response by the cells results in too much glucose in the blood. Another cause of diabetes is simply too much sugar intake— especially fructose. Here is a summary of the causes of diabetes:
  • Diet: Too much sugar. Too much fat. Too much caffeine.
  •  Obesity: Often resulting from dietary problems, obesity can cause a loop of insulin and hormonal problems that can cause or worsen diabetes.
  • Thyroid imbalance: Hormonal imbalances from thyroid and adrenal problems can affect insulin response and cause or contribute to diabetes.
  •  Poor liver health: If the liver cannot cleanse the blood and process excess blood sugar, the result is diabetes.
  •  Chronic use of steroids: These drugs can change your body chemistry and cause or worsen diabetes.
Treatments

A new set of dietary habits is the first line of defense against diabetes. Here is a summary of these dietary strategies, along with some other natural treatments:
  • Avoid sugars: Sugars come in the form of sucrose (cane sugar), lactose (dairy products), fructose (fruit and corn syrup), corn starch, dextrose, glucose (usually glucose is converted by the body from other sugars), sorbitol, and malt.
  • Reduce carbohydrates and starches: The body converts starches from carbohydrates into glucose. Avoid simple carbs, which include fruit, fruit juice, dairy products, honey, and sugars. Also avoid peanut butter, soybean oil, cheese, and processed meat. Keep complex carbohydrate consumption under control, including breads, pasta, beans, grains and fibrous vegetables (squash and eggplant, for example). Remember that whole wheat products are better than refined products. Better yet, replace wheat with other grains, such as oats, bran, rye, and barley.
  • Eat more low-glycemic food: Healthy foods for maintaining good blood sugar levels include green leafy vegetables, potatoes, yams, whole grain breads, nuts, legumes, chicken, and fish. Raw foods have a lower glycemic level than cooked foods.
  • Take herbs to help control blood sugar: Herbs that help include fenugreek, garlic, bilberry, ginseng, and olive leaves (or extract). Other helpful supplements for diabetes include chromium, vanadium, cinnamon, and bitter melon.
  • Strengthen your immune system: Concentrate especially on getting enough antioxidants, as they help prevent free radical damage that causes many common diabetes complications (blindness and the necessity of limb amputation). Spirulina provides vitamins and minerals, while helping to balance blood sugar.
  • Cleanse: If you crave sweets, you may be suffering from a lack of protein or you might have parasites in your system. Cleansing your liver and colon cannot only help with these cravings, but can help reduce your blood sugar levels by providing better nutrient absorption.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Need to Add a Little Something to Your Love Life?

I found a great website selling products for couples who want to “spice up” things in their bedroom!  They make really high quality products at some of the best prices and have really fun packages for a great weekend!  Go to www.innervibe.com and check it out!  Rumor has it that they are giving away lots of free samples so write them and ask for it!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Healthy Recipes - Samana Smoothie

Note: Samana is a Sanskrit name for one of the five main pranas (life forces) which are responsible for bringing nourishment and balance to all parts of the body.

Yield: 2 large smoothies
  • 1/2 ripe banana
  • 1/4 ripe avocado
  • 1/2 cup frozen mixed organic berries
  • 1 scoop Boku Super Protein powder
  • 1 heaping tsp. maca powder
  • 1 tbs. msm powder
  • 1/8 tsp. Aloe Vera 100 drink mix
  • 1 scoop Boku Super Food
  • 1 scoop Anti-oxidant Defense System Purple
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • 1 dose of liquid Bone Support
  • 2 cups or more cold filtered water

Combine all ingredients in a Vita-Mix or blender container. Sip slowly.

By Heidi Robb
www.heidirobb.com

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Treatment Tuesday - Headaches

Probably the most common medical complaint in the Western world, just about everyone suffers from headaches at some point in their lives. Most believe their choices for curing themselves of this painful malady are limited to aspirin and non-aspirin pain relievers. But you have many alternatives in treating and preventing headaches that do not require traditional medicine.

Migraine headaches are particularly disruptive. They are characterized by a slow-growing throb in the head that often produces nausea and localized vision loss. Often the nausea and vision loss appear before the headache actually become acute. They can last for days.

What Causes Headaches?

Headaches have a variety of causes, including food allergies, environmental toxins, stress, eye strain, and sinus congestion. Premenstrual headaches are often related to hormonal imbalances.

Headache Treatments

Keep in mind that most non-aspirin pain relievers are immunosuppressant. That is, they weaken the immune system. Taking them once in a while may be okay, but prolonged and repeated use is definitely costly to your health. For a natural alternative, try white willow bark extract, the plant from which aspirin was originally discovered and made.

Allergy expert Dr. James Braly believes that 90% of all migraines are caused by either food allergies or allergic reactions to food additives. But it’s possible that any headache can be traced back to a food or substance allergy. Allergenic substances include food preservatives and colorings, caffeine, and chocolate. Try removing foods and drinks containing these products from your diet, one by one, for three to four weeks at a time, and notice if your migraine attacks lessen or disappear completely during that time. This process can take time, but is likely to produce results. Start with the typical offenders:
  • Coffee, soda and caffeinated beverages
  • Wine, beer, and alcohol products
  • Cheese and dairy products
  • Wheat and refined wheat products with gluten
  • Other fermented products, including vinegar and any pickled products
  • Sugar and high fructose corn syrup
  • Food additives, dyes, and preservatives (particularly those in processed and dried meat), MSG, and sulfites
  • Peanut butter and peanuts
  • Soy products
  • Shell fish

The other 10% of headaches are probably caused by a variety of things, but you can bet that environmental toxins are among the most likely culprit. Check your home and work environment for chemical out-gassing from carpets and wall coverings. Consider sleeping with a device that oxygenates the air in your room.

If you suffer from migraine headaches, products containing the artificial sweetener aspartame may be to blame. Aspartame triggers migraines in many sufferers.

Many headaches are caused by dehydration, and dehydration is as prevalent in winter as in summer. Drinking two large glasses of pure water will relieve the pain of these headaches almost immediately, without the unpleasant side effects caused by traditional pain relievers.

Other Considerations

Massage under the two ridges on either side of the back of the skull until you can feel the contracted muscles relax. The two nerves there can be pressured by tight muscles in the region, causing headaches, including migraines. Once the headache subsides with this therapy, use your thumbs to stroke gently in opposite directions across the brow with lavender essential oil. This will put you or the person you’re massaging in a relaxed state.

Lavender has been used since the time of Cleopatra for stress reduction, headache relief, lessening of scars, and faster healing of burns. Some herbalists believe that quinine bark, feverfew, butterbur and magnesium are also an effective headache remedies. Other natural herbs that help control blood pressure and relax the vascular system include pure cocoa, olive leaf extract, mint extract, chamomile, passion fruit extract, bay leaves, chamomile, coriander, skullcap, turmeric, valerian root, and wild yam.

Finally, acupuncture and different forms of bodywork can be effective cures for headaches. Acupuncture may be able to move or change the energies in the body that are accumulating to cause headaches, and bodywork such as massage may be able to release the stress that causes some headaches.

Friday, March 12, 2010

BoKU Smart Car Poll! What's your Opinion?


Thursday, March 11, 2010

Healthy Recipes - Boku Avocado-Lime Dip

A healthy green appetizer for St. Patricks Day!

Yield: approximately 1 cup

Ingredients
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 plump scallion rough-cut
  • ½ serrano or jalapeno chile, seeded if desired
  • Zest of lime
  • Juice of ½ lime
  • 1/4 cup prepared green salsa
  • 2 scoops Boku
  • Sea salt to taste
Directions

Place the cilantro, scallion and chile in a bowl of food processor fitted with metal blade and mince. Add the avocado and pulse to break up. Add the lime zest, juice, green salsa and Boku and process until a smooth consistency. Add sea salt to taste.

Recipe & photo by Heidi Robb

Thursday, March 4, 2010

New Boku Super Protein Can Keep the Body Young

Current research demonstrates that as we age we tend to lose muscle mass, and the best way to avoid muscle loss is to increase our protein intake. Yet as people get older they often have trouble digesting high protein foods and supplements, this is mainly due to the high levels of saturated fat contained in the most common animal based protein sources.  So we at BōKU® formulated one of the most hypo-allergenic and easily digestible protein powders on the market.

Most protein supplements are marketed toward bodybuilders and athletes as the only ones who specifically want to build muscle.  In reality, adequate protein intake is vital for everyone and plays a critical role in anti-aging, muscle mass retention, weight control, and even boosting our immune systems.

Loss of skeletal muscle begins between the ages of 30 and 40 in most people even those with good nutritional habits. In a 2008 study that focused on the optimal amount of protein intake in the elderly, R. Wolfe, et al. discovered that as one aged the recommended daily allowance of 0.36 grams of protein/lb of body weight (weighing 150 lbs. would require one to consume at least 54g or 2oz of pure protein) for adults became inadequate. The researchers found that “protein intake greater than the RDA can improve muscle mass, strength and function in the elderly. In addition, other factors, including immune status, wound healing, blood pressure and bone health may be improved by increasing protein intake above the RDA.”

The only difficulty noted is that as people age they may have a reduced appetite or trouble digesting foods with high protein content. This often leads them to “consume less than the protein RDA, likely resulting in an accelerated rate of sarcopenia.”

Digestion troubles, as well as allergies, bad taste and the protein needs of vegans and vegetarians are what prompted Rollé to develop the new BōKU® Super Protein powder. BōKU’s Master Formulator, Dr. BJ Adrezin, come up with a protein formula that could be used by the greatest number of people possible. He formulated an organic, vegan, kosher, protein powder that is completely free of dairy, soy, wheat and gluten and yet contains 26 grams of pure vegetable protein in every 30 gram serving.  The high protein content comes from raw, organic sprouted brown rice, and it contains an enzyme blend so it actually improves digestion.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Boku Super Protein Launch!

Boku International is very proud to announce that the new BoKU Super Protein is now available for purchase.

Our new protein powder has 26 grams of protein in every 30 gram serving! The protein density comes from organic, raw, sprouted brown rice. It also contains coconut, vanilla bean and low-glycemic Vermont maple syrup to give it a mild flavor without added sugar. The taste is really very neutral so it takes on the flavor whatever beverage you put it in.


It is vegan, organic, kosher and completely dairy, gluten, wheat and soy free!

Our protein mixes great with our Boku Super Food for a nutrient rich meal replacement!

Boku Super Protein is available in 30oz eco-friendly pouches for $39.95 ($34.95 on auto-ship!) at:

http://shop.bokusuperfood.com/detail_PR30__23.html

You can also check out www.bokusuperprotein.com for recipies and more info!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Quantity More Important than Quality for Adult Sleep

For years, it has been thought that senior citizens don't require as much sleep as younger adults. However, a study at the University of California San Diego is turning that assumption on its head. For older folks, it appears that the amount of sleep they get is quite important when it comes to memory and other cognitive processing activities. What's not as important as we age is the quality of sleep we get.


Indeed, reports ScienceNews.org,  sleep quality doesn't have much effect on seniors -- but it does matter to younger adults:

Sleep quality seemed to have no effect on performance, Drummond said. “For older adults, the absolute minutes of sleep they got last night has a significant influence on performance today,” he said.

On the other hand, in younger folks, the quality of sleep, and not the total amount, affected memory the next day, Drummond found. Young adults who slept in consolidated chunks performed better and had higher brain activity in certain regions than those who woke up frequently during the night, regardless of total minutes slept.

Apparently, as we age, we still need the same amount of sleep. Just because older sleepers tend to toss and turn more, doesn't mean they don't need as much sleep. In fact, if they don't get the same amount of sleep as they did when they were younger, they are more prone to memory problems . As a result, the study lead, Sean Drummond, points out that it is vital for seniors to concentrate on quantity of sleep. ScienceNews.org reports on his findings:

“Sleep last night does impact performance and brain function today, and it does so differently depending on whether you’re in your mid-20s versus your mid-60s,” he said. “Older adults need to get a certain amount of sleep. Young adults need to get that sleep in a consolidated chunk.”

This is yet another example of the awareness we need as we age. Understanding our body's evolving needs as we age can help us live longer -- and with a better quality of life.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Avoiding The Aisles At The Grocery Store Can Help Keep Off Unwanted Pounds

Shopping the perimeter of your local grocery store and avoiding the aisles will give you a head start on fighting the battle of the bulge.
"In most grocery stores, the aisles are filled with canned goods, frozen and boxed dinners that are loaded with fat and extra unnecessary calories," said Gaye Lynn Hicks, RD, LD, with The Methodist Weight Management Center in Houston. "The perimeter features fruits, vegetables, lean meats and other healthy fair."

If you simply cannot avoid going down the aisles, it's important to be aware of food labels and find foods with the fewest amount of ingredients -- three to four instead of 6 to 8.

"The top 5 ingredients listed make up the food, the rest are preservatives and additives to give it flavor. Many times this leads to additional fat and calories," Hicks said. "It should be a red flag if you see they are adding a large amount of sugars and fats. Women only need 200 calories of added sugar per day and men 300 calories."

Your body gets all the nutrients, sugars and fats it needs from the daily requirements of fruits and vegetables, lean meats, dairy and whole grains. All of these items are located around the perimeter of most grocery stores.

"If 90 percent of what is in your shopping cart is from around the perimeter of the store, you are eating a clean, healthy diet," Hicks said.

For instance, she said, low-fat milk offers the same proteins and calcium as whole milk, but you are cutting out all the extra saturated fat. Lean chicken, without the skin, will give you the protein you need without the fat. Five to 10 servings a day of fruits and vegetables will also help you keep off unwanted pounds. Some healthy items will be found down the aisles such as brown rice, whole wheat bread, and some spices. In fact, when it comes to spices and seasonings, do it yourself. This way you have more control over what is being put into your food.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Treatment Tuesday - Dandruff

Dandruff is not life threatening or even a serious health concern, but it can cause damage to your self-esteem. Skin cells on the scalp generally die and fall off every month or so, which rejuvenates the scalp. But in cases of dandruff, the skin cells turn-over at an accelerated rate, resulting in the unsightly white flakes in your hair and on your shoulders. Certain types of dandruff itch and the scalp can be irritated.

What Causes Dandruff?

Dandruff is usually caused by a fungus or bacteria. But different types of dandruff have different causes:
  • Fungus: The fungus known as Pityrosporum ovale is the principal cause of most cases of dandruff. This fungus is present in most people, and can grow out of control, causing dandruff. If you have dandruff but your scalp does not itch, it is most likely caused by this fungus.
  • Seborrheic dermatitis: When your scalp is itchy, red, flaky, or when you have rashes or redness around your nose and eyebrows, you may have seborrheic dermatitis. This condition can be aggravated by cold air and stress.
  • Dry scalp: Contrary to popular belief, dry scalp is not the cause of dandruff. In fact, most dandruff sufferers have oily scalps, along with topical fungal infections. Drying out the scalp can actually help reduce dandruff flakes by helping to kill the fungus, which thrives on moist environments.
  • Psoriasis: Most likely a mild type of autoimmune disorder, psoriasis is difficult to diagnose and more difficult to cure, and it can be the cause of dandruff and other skin problems. See Autoimmune Disorders for more information.
  • Anxiety: Stress and emotional anxiety have been linked to skin and scalp problems, and are known to make dandruff worse.
Treatments for Dandruff

A great herbal cure for dandruff: Mix equal amounts of the dried herbs, dandelion root, chamomile, burdock root, horsetail, chaparral, rosemary, coltsfoot, and lavender, and two parts nettle. Boil sufficient water for a hair rinse in a saucepan, then remove the pan from the heat. Sprinkle the mixture of herbs over the top and let cool. (Do not add the herbs while the water is boiling.) Strain the herbs and pour the decoction over your hair after shampooing. Many people don’t wash their hair with shampoo at all (it causes dryness) and exclusively use the hair tea daily. Bye, bye dandruff!

Here are some other things you can try:
  • Nutrients: Zinc has been found to reduce dandruff in some people, bran, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds are good sources. Vitamin A and all of the B vitamins are also effective against dermatitis.  Dark green leafy vegetables, squash and sweet potatoes are good sources of vitamin A; beans, lentile, chilis, and yeasts are full of B vitamins.  Also, get enough selenium and vitamin E for better overall skin health. Whole grains  and nuts and seeds are rich in both. 
  • Herbs: You can combat fungal and bacterial infections that cause dermatitis and yeast infections with apple cider vinegar, oregano oil, and tea tree oil (all topical). St. Johns wort is also an antifungal and antibacterial. Some people claim to have cured their dandruff and dermatitis using apple cider vinegar baths and rinses.
  • Reduce antihistamines: Antihistamines can exacerbate dandruff problems, especially in cases of seborrheic dermatitis.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Do TV Ads Affect Children's Diets or Cause Obesity?

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago Institute for Health Research and Policy have received a $2.2 million federal grant to determine whether or not TV food advertising affects children's diet, physical activity and weight.

The four-year project, funded by the National Cancer Institute, is unique because it will separate out the effect of food advertising from the amount of time that children watch TV.

"A number of studies have shown that increased TV watching is associated with higher weight outcomes among kids, but they haven't been able to determine whether or not this is directly due to the type of ads children see," said Lisa Powell, research professor of economics at UIC and lead scientist on the study.

Watching television may also contribute to obesity because children are sedentary and likely to snack while they watch TV.

The research, Powell said, can provide important information for policymakers and public health advocates about the potential effectiveness of regulating television food advertising to children and using TV media campaigns as policy tools for improving these health outcomes.
Previous research conducted by Powell and her colleagues showed that 98 percent of food-product ads viewed by children ages 2 to 11, and 89 percent of those viewed by adolescents ages 12 to 17, were for foods high in fat, sugar or sodium.

The current study is the first to combine food, beverage and restaurant ad ratings and nutritional data with individual data on obesity to analyze the relationship between product exposure, nutritional content of ad exposure, and food consumption, diet quality and obesity, according to the researchers.
The study will also examine the relationship between exposure to health promotion ads -- those that encourage eating fruits and vegetables or getting regular physical activity -- and individual behaviors related to diet, activity and weight outcomes.

By measuring the types of ads that children of different ages and races are exposed to, the researchers hope to be able to determine if advertising practices and television viewing patterns contribute to differences in diet and obesity among white and black children.

This work builds on previous studies Powell and her colleagues have conducted examining the effects of environmental factors on children's obesity.

Powell hopes this study will play a crucial role in determining whether or not stronger regulation may be needed for food advertising on children's programming.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Don't worry, be happy! Positive emotions protect against heart disease

People who are usually happy, enthusiastic and content are less likely to develop heart disease than those who tend not to be happy, according to a major new study

The authors believe that the study, published in the Europe's leading cardiology journal, the European Heart Journal, is the first to show such an independent relationship between positive emotions and coronary heart disease.

Dr Karina Davidson, who led the research, said that although this was an observational study, her study did suggest that it might be possible to help prevent heart disease by enhancing people's positive emotions. However, she cautioned that it would be premature to make clinical recommendations without clinical trials to investigate the findings further.

"We desperately need rigorous clinical trials in this area. If the trials support our findings, then these results will be incredibly important in describing specifically what clinicians and/or patients could do to improve health," said Dr Davidson, who is the Herbert Irving Associate Professor of Medicine & Psychiatry and Director of the Center for Behavioral Cardiovascular Health at Columbia University Medical Center (New York, USA).

Over a period of ten years, Dr Davidson and her colleagues followed 1,739 healthy adults (862 men and 877 women) who were participating in the 1995 Nova Scotia Health Survey. At the start of the study, trained nurses assessed the participants' risk of heart disease and, with both self-reporting and clinical assessment, they measured symptoms of depression, hostility, anxiety and the degree of expression of positive emotions, which is known as "positive affect".

Positive affect is defined as the experience of pleasurable emotions such as joy, happiness, excitement, enthusiasm and contentment. These feelings can be transient, but they are usually stable and trait-like, particularly in adulthood. Positive affect is largely independent of negative affect, so that someone who is generally a happy, contented person can also be occasionally anxious, angry or depressed.

After taking account of age, sex, cardiovascular risk factors and negative emotions, the researchers found that, over the ten-year period, increased positive affect predicted less risk of heart disease by 22% per point on a five-point scale measuring levels of positive affect expression (ranging from "none" to "extreme").

Dr Davidson said: "Participants with no positive affect were at a 22% higher risk of ischaemic heart disease (heart attack or angina) than those with a little positive affect, who were themselves at 22% higher risk than those with moderate positive affect.

"We also found that if someone, who was usually positive, had some depressive symptoms at the time of the survey, this did not affect their overall lower risk of heart disease.

"As far as we know, this is the first prospective study to examine the relationship between clinically-assessed positive affect and heart disease."

The researchers speculate about what could be the possible mechanisms by which positive emotions might be responsible for conferring long-term protection from heart disease. These include influence on heart rates, sleeping patterns and smoking cessation.

"We have several possible explanations," said Dr Davidson. "First, those with positive affect may have longer periods of rest or relaxation physiologically. Baroreflex and parasympathetic regulation may, therefore, by superior in these persons, compared to those with little positive affect. Second, those with positive affect may recover more quickly from stressors, and may not spend as much time 're-living' them, which in turn seems to cause physiological damage. This is speculative, as we are just beginning to explore why positive emotions and happiness have positive health benefits."

She said that most successful interventions for depression include increasing positive affect as well as decreasing negative affect. If clinical trials supported the findings of this study, then it would be relatively easy to assess positive affect in patients and suggest interventions to improve it to help prevent heart disease. In the meantime, people reading about this research could take some simple steps to increase their positive affect.

"Like the observational finding that moderate wine consumption is healthy (and enjoyable), at this point ordinary people can ensure they have some pleasurable activities in their daily lives," she said. "Some people wait for their two weeks of vacation to have fun, and that would be analogous to binge drinking (moderation and consistency, not deprivation and binging, is what is needed). If you enjoy reading novels, but never get around to it, commit to getting 15 minutes or so of reading in. If walking or listening to music improves your mood, get those activities in your schedule. Essentially, spending some few minutes each day truly relaxed and enjoying yourself is certainly good for your mental health, and may improve your physical health as well (although this is, as yet, not confirmed)."

In an accompanying editorial by Bertram Pitt, Professor of Internal Medicine, and Patricia Deldin, Associate Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry, both at the University of Michigan School of Medicine (Michigan, USA), the authors pointed out that, currently, no-one knew whether positive affect had a direct or indirect causal role in heart disease, or whether there was a third, underlying factor at work, common to both conditions. Nor was it known for certain whether it was possible to modify and improve positive affect, and to what extent.

"Randomised controlled trials of interventions to increase positive affect in patients with cardiovascular disease are now underway and will help determine the effectiveness of increasing positive affect on cardiovascular outcome and will provide insight into the nature of the relationship between positive affect and cardiovascular disease," they wrote.

"The 'vicious cycle' linking cardiovascular disease to major depression and depression to cardiovascular disease deserves greater attention from both the cardiovascular and psychiatric investigators. These new treatments [to increase positive affect] could open an exciting potential new approach for treating patients with known cardiovascular disease who develop depression. If Davidson et al.'s observations and hypotheses stimulate further investigation regarding the effect of increased positive affect on physiological abnormalities associated with cardiovascular risk, perhaps it will be time for all of us to smile."

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Try Cutting Sodium From Your Diet

Most experts recommend 2000 mg of sodium a day - with new research this has become even lower - down to a rounded teaspoon. Keep in mind thatsalt is not only what comes out of the shaker, but rather what goes into the food during processing and manufacture. For instance, although you may not add salt to canned or ready-made soup, usually one serving has enough salt for the entire day in just one small bowl.

"Salt is everywhere - be smart and on the lookout! Lower salt intake might reduce the incidence of high blood pressure, stroke, or even heart attack.," said National Jewish Health Cardiologist Dr. Andrew Freeman. Dr. Freeman offers the following tips.

Vary your flavoring. Use spices without salt. Use garlic, pepper or spice preparations like Mrs. Dash. If you must use salt, consider using sea salt which is low in sodium or potassium chloride which has no sodium.

Avoid lunch meats. Almost any preserved or processed meat such as salami, bologna, ham, sausage and hot dogs are loaded with enough salt - sometimes as much as 2-3 days worth in one sitting.

Beware of cheese. Cheese and cheese spreads
are often loaded with salt to make them taste good, but look carefully at the amount of sodium in your favorite cheeses.

Stay away from prepackaged meats. Prepackaged uncooked meats and chicken breasts often are "brined" in a sodium bath to help improve the flavor.

Bouillon cubes. Many people think making soup from scratch with bouillon cubes is low in sodium, but check again. Most brands cubes are loaded in salt!

Check the label. Look for sodium on the label. Sometimes it will say "low salt" on the package, but always check the sodium on the label. Also check the serving size. Manufactures are clever and may make it seem like the product has low sodium - for a very small serving size.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Treatment Tuesdays - Prostate Health

The size of a mere walnut, the prostate gland is small but critically important to men’s health. It produces semen, the fluid that carries sperm from the testicles, and it regulates the flow of urine from the urinary tract, or urethra. It also comes into contact with the rectal cavity and the bladder.
According to Dr. Earl Mindell, almost every man experiences prostate trouble at least once in his life. In fact, a studies show that 1 out of 6 males will develop prostate cancer. That will result in almost 170,000 prostate removals and nearly 31,000 deaths from prostate cancer.

Fortunately, you can, for the most part, prevent prostate disorders if you start a program of good nutrition early. Prostate disorders range from prostate infection to enlargement to prostate cancer.

Principal symptoms of prostate disorder include:
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Dribbling and urgency to urinate
  • Increased nighttime urination
  • Dramatic reduction of ejaculate
  • Weak ejaculation
  • Lack of sexual desire
  • Difficulty achieving full erection
  • Terminal blood in urine
What Causes Prostate Disorders?

The most benign prostate disorder is infection. The prostate can become infected by viruses and bacteria from the rectal cavity (constipation and poor colon health may be a factor), or the urethra (sexually transmitted). Infection could result in painful urination or difficulty urinating (swelling of the prostate). This can be treated with a prostate cleanse and anti-inflammatory herbs.

It’s important to note that oral sex exposes the prostate to more bacteria than vaginal or even anal sex. Also, environmental toxins have been observed in patients with prostate cancer.

The most common prostate disorder is prostate enlargement, known as prostatitis. When the prostate swells, it blocks the flow of urine, making it difficult or even impossible to urinate. This normally is treated with antibiotics or surgery, but natural cures include the use of anti-inflammatories, prostate massage, and dietary changes.

Finally, there is prostate cancer, the most severe of the prostate conditions. Incidence of prostate cancer in America is on a sharp rise. Experts are still unsure as to the exact cause of prostate cancer, but suspect that genetics, nutrition, hormones, and environmental toxins all play a role. Studies suggest that diets high in saturated fat and sodium nitrate increase risk for prostate cancer, as does a sedentary lifestyle. No wonder prostate cancer is so common in the United States!

Treatments for Prostate Health

The best treatments for prostate health are preventative ones. Concerning the prostate, it’s much better to eliminate the risk of disease than to treat it after the fact. Here are some key points:
  • Eliminate saturated fats and excess sugars and starches from your diet. Reduce the amount of meats and processed foods you eat—especially partially hydrogenated oils. Increase your consumption of fruits and vegetables (lightly cooked or even raw)
  • Drink green tea at least once a day. Better yet, trade coffee for green tea
  • Make sure to get an adequate amount of Vitamins B, C, and E and omega fatty acids in your diet. Flax and hemp seeds and oils are good sources of fatty acids, nuts and lentils are good for vitamin E, and many different fruits contain vitamin C
  • Exercise frequently and engage in sexual activity (including masturbation) regularly
  • Get plenty of movement. A sedentary lifestyle is the enemy of the prostate
  • If your diet has been poor for a long time, consider a colon cleansing
  • Combinations of phyto- (plant-based) estrogens are useful in treating prostate disorders.  
  • If you suffer from prostate infection or enlargement, then in addition to the practices listed here, take saw palmetto along with anti-inflammatory and circulation-stimulating herbs (lemongrass, cumin, tumeric, mistletoe extract, sage, pygeum, pumpkin seed extract and sterolins) also get plenty of zinc in your diet - beans, nuts, almonds, whole grains, pumpkin and sunflower seeds are good sources
Other Considerations

Excess alcohol and caffeine play havoc on the prostate, as do coagulated dairy products (hard cheeses, for example). Excess meat consumption is also a prostate irritation, as meat generally is not completely eliminated and remains in the bowels, infecting the prostate. For this reason, it’s a good idea to include plenty of dietary fiber from raw fruits and vegetables, salads, and nuts. Soy products are also helpful.

Avoid excess alcohol and cigarette smoke, including secondhand smoke. Avoid excess caffeine and stress, as they promote hormone imbalances that can affect the prostate.