As I walk in the door my nose is swept away and begins to follow the path. The aroma is pleasing yet in a strange way powerful! I know what this aroma is and I know what ever the dish is, it will be delicious and packed with an array of health benefits! I smile, close my eyes and continue my path towards the kitchen just knowing what awaits.
This phrase has been repeated so many times as I walk in the door to a dish my wife may be preparing. The aroma and flavors may blind us to its healing power but my body is grateful for its consumption.
Garlic has a long history of use for healing and medicinal purposes dating back thousands of years. It posses many powerful health benefits. Most of these health benefits come from its unique family of antioxidants in garlic called allicin and alliin. Allicin and its family of compounds are formed once the cell wall structure of the garlic bulb is crushed or chopped. The enzyme alliinase is released and in 10 to 15 minutes the many amazing healing compounds are produced through the enzymatic action. So, crush or chop it and let it sit before cooking. However, raw garlic will always yield higher protective potential. Raw garlic is hot and can cause irritation to the digestive system if it isn’t mixed with other foods. If you eat a lot it can also create strong body odor and breath!!
Garlic (Allium sativum) is a species in the onion genus, Allium. Its cousins include the onion, shallot, leek, chive, and Chinese onion. It is native to Central Asia and northeastern Iran, and has long been a common seasoning worldwide.
Ok, I know it smells great and taste great. What can it do for me?
It helps prevent and can even reverse some types of DNA damage. (This is a powerful benefit)
Garlic can help reduce LDL cholesterol.
It is a blood thinner. (talk with your doctor before consuming a lot of garlic)
It helps release nitric oxide which may help lower blood pressure and keep blood vessels flexible.
It increases cellular glutathione levels. Glutathione is the master antioxidant in our cells. Glutathione protects our cells from toxic agents, both chemical and biological.
It increases Nrf-2 signaling pathways. (Nrf-2 helps slowdown and prevent cell damage from free radicals that causes disease and accelerated aging)
It can turn off the signaling process that cancerous tumors use to build a blood vessel highway that will keep them growing. (this is called anti-angiogenisis)
It is anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal.
It has powerful anti-inflammatory effects that may protect the heart and cardiovascular system
It may help prevent certain cancers by suppressing certain cancer causing genes and by turning back on apoptosis. Apoptosis is a natural programed cell death when cells become sick. Cancer cells turn this off.
It helps remove toxins from the liver and may help reverse fatty liver disease and non-alcoholic liver disease.
Garlic also has Vitamin’s C, B1, B2, B6 and the minerals Calcium, Copper, Iron, Manganese and Selenium.
Enjoy your garlic and try using it in a variety of ways. It doesn’t take much to add a flavorful yes healthy impact. You may want to give this garlic mushroom recipe a go. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cvaibAcAFvE
How much is too much garlic? Really, has anyone every asked?
The contents of this blog are not and should not be considered medical advice. This blog is for informational purposes only. Always consult with your doctor before making any dietary or lifestyle changes. Never quit taking prescription medications unless advised to do so by your doctor.
I still smell the pumpkin pie and turkey! I love this time of year. It rings of comforting nostalgia, the crisp air, Pumpkin pie, apple cider and cinnamon, can you smell it? I can close my eyes and think back to being 8 years old in moms kitchen and the aroma of pumpkin pie and sweet potato souffle make me smile, it just makes me feel good regardless what kind of life I am having. I also think the act of kindness and charity at this time of year seems to give a greater meaning to life. It’s not all about me, it’s about us. There is much to be grateful for.
Some people don’t over do it and find way to have a healthier Thanksgiving Day meal. This is just one day or at most one weekend of a change to your normal healthy (hope you are eating healthy) dietary routine. Don’t get all worried about it. Enjoy it, try not to over do too much and get back to normal as soon as you are able.
However, if you feel like your body is sluggish and you over did the food this is a great way to get your body back to form and feeling better.
For many of us, the Thanksgiving week-end is a detour to our bodies normally dietary intake. We end up eating a lot of foods that pollute our bodies. Regardless how hard you try you must give in a little to those sumptuous tasting yet not very healthy foods, it’s Thanksgiving after all. After three or four days of eating a few of the normally avoided foods my body is rebelling and I feel bloated and heavy and I can’t wait to get back to a clean body. Frankly, by the time Sunday arrives I have had enough and my body is in shock from all the calories, simple carbohydrates and excessive protein. For those of you that eat fairly healthy and would like to get your body back to normal as quick as possible try this short and simple approach. If you don’t eat healthy this would be a good way to start.
This is not intended to be a total body cleanse. If you have been eating a poor diet for a long time you will need to do a different and more intense cleanse, however that type of cleanse should only be done under the supervision of a qualified health professional.
The question is, how do we get our bodies back to normal as quick as possible after the holiday? It’s fairly simple. We need to aid our body in cleansing out the junk through a light diet and exercise. The diet will help in the cleanse and exercise will get our lymphatic system moving the junk out. The lymphatic system is part of our cellular waste and toxic material removal system. It relies totally of the movement of our muscles to pump our lymphatic fluid throughout our body. Unlike our circulatory system that depends on our heart, our skeletal muscles do the job for the lymphatic system. For example; when your arms and leg muscles contract, they squeeze the lymphatic fluid through the lymphatic system. The body is so amazing.
An infrared sauna can also help remove toxins through your sweat.
Suggested Dietary Changes for 3 days
Day 1 Healthy Liquids Only (Vive!™ ,cleansing lemonade, warm green tea)
Day 2 Healthy Liquids and select vegetables and fruits only
Day 3 Healthy Liquids, select vegetables, fruits and a few cooked vegetables.
Day 4 Slowly add other healthy whole grains, beans and nuts and seeds back to your diet.
Recipe; Cleaning Lemonade ( taste very good, you can drink this everyday if you wanted to)
110 ounces of purified water or spring water
1 to 1.5 cups fresh squeezed lemon juice ( I use the juice and pulp from 7 lemons )
6 ounces of Bragg’s apple cider vinegar
1 cup raw honey
optional- 4 ounces of blackstrap molasses (this is optional) add to mix if exercising or sweating from working out or exercising
Stevia and/or xylitol as sweetener, sweeten to your taste preference
Warm Green Tea (if you can get Matcha tea it is even better!)
My Cleansing Routine
On Monday I will start a liquid only diet for 24 hours. The contents for my day are; Vive!™ , the cleansing lemonade and warm green tea. My diet will consist of 2 scoops of my Vive!™ with 12 ounces of water 3 times that day, 40 ounces of cleansing lemonade, consumed throughout the day and 24 ounces of warm green tea. It does not matter when you drink the lemonade or green tea. The Vive!™ is taken at breakfast, lunch, late afternoon and early evening, no later than 7:00PM.
Exercise for 45 minutes to 1 hour, work up a good sweat. If you can only walk for 5 minutes, walk for five minutes 2 or 3 times every day and slowly build up your time till you can walk comfortably for 30 minutes at a time. Only exercise if you have your doctors OK.
On Tuesday I will cut the Vive!™ intake to 2 times that day, will continue the cleansing lemonade and will add raw vegetables and fruit to my diet. Continue to exercise and sweat. If you have a NutriBullet put it to use making smoothies with veggies and low sugar fruits.
Breakfast is 1 Vive!™ shake
Mid morning snack will be a small to medium apple with almond butter.
Lunch, I will have a salad with spinach, romaine lettuce, orange bell pepper, carrots, zucchini squash, onion, radishes, broccoli, cauliflower, cherry tomatoes, and portabello or crimini mushrooms. Dressing will be balsamic vinegar and olive oil. You can add spices of your choice. If you prefer put it in the NutriBullet for a smoothie!
I eat a salad at least 5 days per week and some days I will have one at lunch and dinner! A salad is hard to beat for building health as long as you do not use unhealthy dressings. A dressing high in sugar content or those that contain high fructose corn syrup can neutralize some of the health benefits that a salad provides. Using too much salad dressing, even a healthy one can sabotage the benefits from lower calories a salad naturally offers. Also look for salad dressings using olive oil in place of soy or other vegetable oils. They are healthier.
Mid afternoon I will have another Vive!™ drink.
Dinner, I will have another salad.
Mid eveningsnack; a smoothie with 1/2 cup frozen strawberries, 1/2 cup frozen blueberries with 1 to 2 cups cup almond milk and stevia for extra sweetness. Blend and enjoy
Vive!™ is consumed twice per day on going. I will continue drinking the cleansing lemonade ongoing, I like it.
I will add back a little cooked food to my diet. Cooked food is optional. There are many days I do not eat any cooked food. The schedule is the same as day 2 except for dinner. You can switch lunch and dinner at any time. Many people say it is best to eat your heaviest meals at mid day. I grew up eating my largest meal at dinner and most of the time I have continued that tradition. It is best not to eat at least 2 hours before bed time.
Dinner; steam 1 large head of broccoli, 1 cup asparagus spears, then saute in olive oil 3/4 cup onions, 3 cloves of garlic, 1 cup of diced mushrooms, 1 whole red yellow pepper, 1 whole tomato (optional) and 2 cups diced purple cabbage.
Evening snack; mixed fruit
Slowly add your normal foods back to your diet, hopefully healthy foods! Continue to drink at least 1/2 of your body weight in ounces of water per day. Be sure to include beans, whole grains, nuts and seeds with your daily dietary routine, they provide great health benefits. Exercise must be a regular part of your daily routine.
This is a great time to keep the healthy eating going. variety is the key to being happy when eating very healthy. Use a variety of Beans, lentils, nuts and seeds and a few whole grains along with your vegetables to keep meals interesting. If eating meats keep them free range and organic lean cuts. Fish should always be wild caught and eggs should be free range organic eggs.
The contents of this blog is not and should not be considered medical advice. This blog is for informational purposes only. Always consult with your doctor before making any dietary or lifestyle changes. Never quit taking prescription medications unless advised to do so by your doctor.
There are many nutrients most Americans are deficient in. Studies show that the standard American diet is deficient in at least 9 essential nutrients; Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin D, Fiber, Calcium (debatable), Magnesium, Potassium and Omega 3 Fatty Acids. Of these do you know which ones you need every day or maybe a better question is which ones could cause you health problems the quickest if you do not get them daily?
Our body needs literally thousand of nutrients to promote vibrant health, however other than water, certain minerals are needed every day, particularly if you are very active. Trace minerals are just as essential as major minerals; they are just required in smaller quantities. Without minerals, vitamins are useless in the body. Vitamins need enzymes for many of their functions. Enzymes require minerals to do their work, in this sense they are co-factors. Enzymes cannot work without minerals (co-factors), and each enzyme is designed to work with a particular co-factor. If the particular co-factor is not present the enzyme will simply sit around watching You Tube, sorry, my weak attempt at humor. OK, how about the enzyme can do nothing, it is useless.
Of the minerals, it is my opinion that for Americans, magnesium seems to be one of the most important because it is required in so many body functions. A large percentage of Americans are lacking adequate magnesium. You can go several days or even weeks before needing certain vitamins, however you must have some intake of most minerals at least every couple of days. If you are really active, ill or sweating a lot you will need them everyday. Minerals are used by the body and excreted easily. If you are using diuretics , exercising intensely or sweating profusely, a diet deficient in the electrolytes, potassium, sodium and chloride can cause severe health problems requiring a sudden need for emergency medical treatment.
Caution: Do not drink extremely large quantities of water in a short period of time without replacing your electrolytes. A radio station sponsored a water drinking contest a few years ago. One participant drank almost 2 gallons of water over a period of approximately an hour and a half, she died from an extreme loss of electrolytes. Get those minerals every day.
How Does a Magnesium Deficiency Effect the Body?
Do you get adequate magnesium in your diet? Almost two thirds of Americans are deficient in magnesium, a nutrient that is essential to more than 300 activities in our bodies. Magnesium provides your muscles the ability to relax, it moves calcium out of your blood and into bones, it is required to keep blood circulating and the heart beating and it is essential to keep your nervous system and brain healthy.
If you have muscle cramps, particularly at night, the odds are great that you may be lacking magnesium; if you have trouble sleeping you may be low in magnesium, if you are fatigued it could be a lack of magnesium. If you have high blood pressure it may be due to insufficient magnesium, if you are diabetic, low levels of magnesium may be involved, magnesium is critical for carbohydrate metabolism. Magnesium helps keep the heart in a healthy rhythm, is necessary for protein synthesis and cellular reproduction.
Magnesium is required for good bone health. Magnesium moves calcium out of the blood and towards bone. In fact a large percentage of the magnesium in your body is in your bones. Magnesium is critical for heart health. It helps blood vessels relax reducing blood pressure and it helps lower triglyceride levels in your blood. Magnesium is also required to make certain detoxing compounds and for a strong immune system.
What Affects Magnesium Absorption?
Magnesium absorption is affected by many factors. Cooking by submersion in water will leach magnesium and other minerals from the food source. Eating a combination of cooked and raw vegetables will maximize your magnesium intake. Steaming or raw is better (legumes must be cooked). Excessive calcium and zinc intake can cause a magnesium deficiency. Magnesium absorption may be reduced by gastrointestinal disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome, the use of laxatives, chronic diarrhea, oral contraceptives, high caffeine intake, over exercising, diabetes, advanced age and alcoholism.”
In addition, taking certain diuretics specifically Lasix, Bumex, Edecrin, and hydrochlorothiazide, certain cancer medications like Cisplatin and certain antibiotics such as Gentamicin, and Amphotericin also interferes with magnesium absorption.
Magnesium may play a role in the prevention and/or treatment of the following health conditions and symptoms:
Congenital heart disease
Congestive heart failure
Coronary artery disease
Hypertriglyceridemia (high triglyceride levels)
Inflammatory bowel disease
Systemic lupus erythematosus
Sensitiveness to noise
Cramps in the toes, feet, legs or fingers
How Much You Should be Getting Daily:
If you get too much the body will excrete it through your waste. This is why magnesium is used as a very safe laxative such as milk of magnesia. The Recommended Dietary Allowances for magnesium, set in 1997 by the Institute of Medicine at the National Academy of Sciences, are as follows:
males and females, 1-3 years: 80 milligrams
males and females, 4-8 years: 130 milligrams
males and females, 9-13 years: 240 milligrams
males, 14-18 years: 410 milligrams
males, 19-30 years: 400 milligrams
males, 31 years and older: 420 milligrams
females, 14-18 years: 360 milligrams
females, 19-30 years: 310 milligrams
females, 31 years and older: 320 milligrams
pregnant women, 18 years or younger: 400 milligrams
pregnant women, 19-30 years: 350 milligrams
pregnant women, 31-50 years: 360 milligrams
Excellent Food Sources include:
Swiss chard, kelp, millet, salmon, halibut, rice bran, oat bran, buckwheat, bulghur wheat, quinoa, brown rice, spinach, squash, soybeans, turnip greens, green peas, pumpkin seeds, cucumbers, sunflower seeds, cashews, dark chocolate, almonds, black beans, pinto beans and navy beans. For more foods and their magnesium content check out this USDA list.
Make sure get your daily magnesium, you might be amazed at the health benefits it will provide for you.
This contents of this blog is not and should not be considered as medical advise. Always consult with your doctor before making any dietary or lifestyle changes. Never quit taking prescription medications unless advised to do so by your doctor.