Sulforaphane – The Next Big Health Discovery in Anti-aging and Anti-cancer

 

sulforaphane

The science:

Early studies have shown that it has a major effect on brain aging (did you know that at 20 years old our brains start to show signs of cognitive decline!!) The same study showed that sulforaphane can active a group of genes called Nrf2, these genes are thought to be essential to anti-aging and it’s believed they were once activated in all humans through stress responses like harvesting the land and having to protect oneself from wild animals. Nowadays we don’t really do these things anymore and therefore these potent free radical scavenging and detoxifying enzymes lay dormant. Sulforaphane can activate these genes supplying an abundance of anti-aging.

The benefits of this compound are endless, it’s also been shown to have a very profound effect on cancer prevention, not only prevention but in one study actually decreased prostate cancer cells from doubling (which they’re well known to do) by 86%!

It has been found to be a very promising chemopreventive agent against not only a variety of cancers such as breast, prostate, colon, skin, lung, stomach, and bladder but also against cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases and diabetes.

So what is it?

Sulforaphane is a compound found in cruciferous vegetables such a broccoli, Brussels sprouts and cabbages. There have been studies done on the extremely high amounts found in broccoli sprouts, I’m talking 100X the sulforaphane in broccoli sprouts as opposed to just broccoli.

 

Whats the best source for me to start adding sulforaphane to my diet?

sproutignjar

Well, I’ve started growing my own sprouts in mason jars or you can buy sprout kits at your local health food store. Sprouting is very simple and very cost effective. You can buy them already sprouted but will be paying a way higher price and the longer the sprouts sit on the shelf, the higher risk of contamination they have.

greensmoothie

I grow about 4-5 jars at a time and freeze the sprouts. They are great in smoothies or on salads.

 

 

 

Warning:

There are several supplements claiming to have sulforaphane but in order for it to be produced there must be presence of the pre cursor glucoraphanin and the enzyme myrosinase. Sulforaphane is only released when these two compounds mix and when the plant is damaged. (Aka chewing). Most of the supplements contain only one of the two necessary compounds and are generally very expensive so in my opinion it’s a better option to grow sprouts.

This amazing, health pioneering compound is only starting to pique the interest of the health and science world but I guarantee we will start to hear more and more about it.

For more information on Sulforaphane check out Dr. Rhonda Patricks Blog. She is one of the leading scientists in this domain and is one of my personal role models and has been a major inspiration to my life.

Live longer, healthier and happier

 

Can vinegar really clean as well as the products we buy at the store?

white vinegar

The answer of course is yes, not only does it clean just as well and maybe even better in some cases but Acetic acid (a.k.a. white vinegar) is one of the best disinfectants. Plain white vinegar can even tackle salmonella, E. coli and other bacteria that can cause pneumonia, meningitis, wounds or surgical site infections.

How does it work?

The acid in vinegar crosses the bacteria’s cell membrane, prompting a release of protons, which causes the cell to die.

What about the smell? 

Sometimes the smell of vinegar can be strong while you are using the cleaning product however it’s not harmful like inhaling some other store bought chemical cleaners and the smell will evaporate within a few minutes.

How do I make a cleaner using vinegar? 

Add 1 part vinegar and 4 parts water to a spray bottle, add a few drops of any essential oils and you’ve made an all in one cleaner.

all natural cleaner

What can I clean with using vinegar?

 

Here are just a couple ways:

  1. Clean your bathtub
  2. Clean your floors and counter tops
  3. Fill your dishwasher rinse agent dispenser with white vinegar.
  4. Soak sweat-stained white clothing in about 1/4 cup of white vinegar and enough water to cover the stain. Leave overnight. Wash with eco-friendly laundry soap.
  5. Soak rusty tools in a pail of white vinegar and brush to clean.

Click here for a great article on 95 ways you never thought to use vinegar.

 

Live longer, healthier and happier

Alicia

Top 3 Easy Goals to Set for 2018 (or start right now!)

goals

If it’s a New Year’s resolution or just want to start making better healthy choices for your body and brain, setting goals can be the difference between success or not. One thing to remember is that no matter how many times you don’t meet your goal, there is a lesson in each of these times and DON’T STOP TRYING. YOU WILL GET THERE!!

Here are a couple goals to set for yourself and your family for 2018 (or now!!)

organic.jpg

  1. Get on the organic train

The top complaint I hear is how expensive it is and although some items may be a tiny more pricey, you cannot put a price tag on your health.

Organic is not what it used to be and sometimes you may even see the organic choices being sold at a lower price. Check out organic bananas next time you’re in the store.

Even if the price tag is a bit higher, the quality of food and the health benefits  dramatically outweigh the extra cents here and there.

Keep in mind, every time you purchase organic foods, you are casting your vote and the more people who choose these foods, the variety will start to go up and the prices will start to go down.

I’m not only talking about food though, I’m talking about the products we use and allow our families to use. If you read the ingredients in most of the bathroom products we use every day, it may be shocking. Remember that skin is our largest organ and absorbs around 60% of everything we put on it. One of the worst chemicals that is added in many of our cosmetics and body products would be: Parabens

organ body

What are Parabens- these are used as a preservative in many cosmetics, soaps, shampoos, body washes and even added to things we ingest. You might be shocked that you could potentially eat these cancer causing chemicals but it’s actually more harmful for the parabens to be absorbed through your skin. This allows the chemical to bypass the metabolic process and enter the blood stream and body organs intact. Methylparaben, butylparaben, and propylparaben are some of the most common parabens but there are many more but they all generally contain the name paraben. AVOID THESE PRODUCTS!!

Some companies recommend: Dr. Bronner’s, Alba, Green Beaver, Educated Beards, The Best Deodorant in the World.. just to name a few.

educated beards logobestdeodorantgreenbeaver

  1. Recognize the value of exercising

    This is not only for shedding pounds but is also super important in keeping our bodies moving and living a long full life. Exercising allows our bodies to eliminate the toxic build up from our everyday lives and will allow your body to keep moving as you start to age. I’m talking how long you will be able to walk upright without use of a cane or walker. (Trust me future you will thank you). This does not have to be a vigorous 20K run or doing crossfit 8 times a week. Look at what works for you, always keeping injuries and time a big part of your consideration when trying to find activities that work for you.

    yoga2

    Try Yoga, Swimming and Walking. Yoga has so many health benefits for you physically and mentally, swimming can be done by almost anyone regardless of current physical endurance and walking is amazing!! These exercises benefit your heart and work both the upper and lower body but are very gently on your joints. There are no excuses. I promise you, you will never regret adding exercise to your life, even if it’s just adding a couple yoga classes a week or a few 20 min walks.

  2. Make quality time a priority

We all live these lives of constant stress (even if we don’t know it). We are glued to our phones and have become majorly addicted to the endorphin release that happens when we see that someone liked our post, or started following us on Instagram. There is an epidemic happening and of course we can’t completely ignore technology, we have to recognize that it has its place but at home during dinner with our families is not where it belongs.

phone down

Start by setting BOUNDARIES- No phone or electronics at the table, turn the tv off and connect with your family or even yourself. Try to be in the moment. Using mindfulness techniques can really help you fully be in the moment. Limit your TV exposure, instead play a board game or go for a walk. Remember playing eye spy with your parents? I do!! And I loved those things! I still cherish those moments with my mom and so will your children.

famiily time

Time goes fast and I’ve never heard anyone say they wish they hadn’t spent so much time with their family and children but almost everyone says “Life is short”, “It goes so fast”. So take the time while you have it. You’ll never live this day again in your life.

 

 

Live longer, healthier and happier

Alicia

Top 3 Foods to give up NOW to live longer, healthier and happier.

health

We all want to be healthy and live as long as possible but sometimes (most times) it can be very confusing to know what is actually healthy, one day it’s good for you and the next day it’s bad. One nutritionist says “do this” while another one says “never do that”. Part of the reason why is because research is ever evolving and because we are all so genetically unique.  What works fantastic for one person, may have the complete opposite effect on another.  My challenge for you is to give up one (or all) of the following items, even if you set a goal to do it just for a month.

In my opinion by avoiding the following three foods it could help you live longer, healthier and happier. I’ll include a few tips and tricks along the way.

Tip #1: Avoid Trendy fad diets, even if they work it’s will only be temporary and most are not set up to be done for a long period of time.

  1. Number one food to avoid is: Margarine

x margarine

First of all yuck! I’m conflicted on the title of this blog because items like Margarine are not even food, however they are being consumed in enormous amounts all over the world.

I’ve already written an article on how bad margarine is for you, but i’ll list a few of the highlights or click here to read the whole article.

There is nothing natural about it, It is loaded with artificial ingredients, and is usually made with industrial vegetable oils that have been hydrogenated to make them more solid. This increases their trans fat content significantly. Keep in mind that manufacturers are permitted to label their products with “no trans fat” as long as it contains less than 0.5 grams per serving, which is still a significant amount.

Soo….. eat butter instead. Butter contains many beneficial nutrients that actually protect us from heart disease. It contains Vitamin A, lecithin, it has a number of antioxidants, it’s rich in selenium. The saturated fats in butter have anti-cancer and anti-tumor properties. Butter also contains conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) which provides excellent protection against cancer. Bottom line, butter is natural, wholesome and one of the healthiest fats in the world.

Tip # 2: Drink plenty of water daily

water

2. Up next to avoid: Sugary Drinks

It is possible that Pop aka soft drinks might stimulate the appetite for other sweet, high-carbohydrate foods especially if you are choosing the diet options. Doesn’t make sense does it!!! Studies have shown that aspartame has been linked to increased appetite and weight gain. In fact, a study from 2015 demonstrated that animals exposed to aspartame during the prenatal period presented a higher consumption of sweet foods during adulthood and a greater susceptibility to alterations in metabolic parameters.  Sugar or sugar free-  these sweet treats should be avoided and are a major contributor to the obesity epidemic (1).

Tip #3- Take time to just be. Meditate or do yoga. Even just sit for 5 minutes with no distractions (phone, tv, music) and breathe.

3. Last but not least- Fried Foods

fried food

Many cancer causing ingredients can be found in foods that are highly processed and heated with extremely high temperatures AKA deep fried foods.

One of those toxins is called acrylamide. Some of the leading international agencies that study toxins have named acrylamide a carcinogen. Cigarettes would be a widely known carcinogen just for reference.

Not only do deep fried foods fill your body with toxins, wasted calories and bad fats but they also displace the good fats that our bodies require called EFA’s (essential fatty acids). EFA’s are responsible for many, many important functions in your body and mind but i’ll list a few:

  • Formation of healthy cell membranes
  • Proper development and functioning of the brain and nervous system
  • Proper thyroid and adrenal activity
  • Hormone production
  • Regulation of blood pressure, liver function, immune and inflammatory responses
  • Regulation of blood clotting: Omega-6 FAs encourage blood clot formation, whereas Omega-3 oil reduces clotting. The ideal is to achieve a balance between omega-6 and omega-3 FAs
  • Crucial for the transport and breakdown of cholesterol
  • Support healthy skin and hair
  • Weight loss

efas

So at the same time as you are filling up on garbage, your are also stripping your body of important nutrients that are clearly necessary to you health.

I could list and go into huge details about the many names of toxic ingredients found in deep fried food, we all know they aren’t good for us but none of them will mean anything until you hear those terrifying words come out of your doctors mouth “You have cancer”.
My goal is to help you avoid hearing this or at least reduce your chances of this happening. This is why I write these blogs, this is why I decided to go to school for nutrition. I’ve lost my father, cousin who was like a sister and most recently a very good friend of mine to cancer and although I know I can’t save everyone, even if my information helps one person, well I’m ok with that.
Have a happy and healthy day!
Xoxo
Alicia

 

 

 

Avoid these 10 Foods that are Guaranteed to Make you Fat!!

Medical Staff Tending a Patient ca. 1980s-1990s

We can’t afford to be overweight and obese. Let’s learn how to do something about this now! Start with learning which foods make us fat. Many of these you will already know about as it is common sense.

1. Artificial Sweeteners:

Diet soda does have less calories and less sugar than regular soda. This doesn’t mean it’s healthy. A study found that people who drank two or more diet sodas a day had six times the waistline compared to those who skip the diet cola.

Research has also shown that NutraSweet, one of the most popular artificial sweeteners, leads to the same surge of insulin as white carbs (see No 7 food below) –- because of sweetness detectors in the small intestine.

2. White sugar is full of calories that sabotage healthy eating and prime your palate to crave sweets.

The world is filled with sugar addicts. When our blood sugars are high we are high. When our blood sugar is low, we feel totally run down and exhausted and want more sugar. Sugar has no vitamins or minerals, just lots of fat-building calories. Watch out for hidden sugars!

3. Cheese can be a fattening food.

It contains a large amount of fat and is hard to digest. (a deadly combination)

Poor digestion causes weight gain! Fat has nine calories per gram, protein and carbohydrates have only four.

The most fattening food in the world is considered to be cheese fries.

4. Gluten rich foods are fattening but so are most common gluten free packaged products.

Read the labels; they are full of starch and sugar. A study discovered that it was easy to eat too many slices of bread in one sitting.

5. Potatoes were found to be the top food making us fat. This surprised me!But the study found potatoes to be top of the list. Who would have guessed.

fries<

The study found all forms to be fattening. Every serving of fries eaten in a day was linked to weight gain of more than three pounds, while eating an extra serving of potato chips led to a gain of 1.69 pounds.

6. Alcohol blocks the body from burning fat.

Alcohol increases the release of the hormone cortisol that breaks down muscle and retains fat. The loss of muscle can slowdown metabolism making it easier to gain weight. Also, alcohol causes a drop in testosterone in men, a hormone which helps burn fat.

Fat metabolism can be reduced by as much as 73 percent after only two drinks of vodka and lemonade in a one hour time period. (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition). Alcohol dehydrates the body which needs to be hydrated to build muscle and burn fat. (Had no idea that alcohol would be fattening on its own)

7. White Carbs (white rice, pasta, white bread, and starches) are fattening because they are high glycemic index foods. This we all know.

A study suggests that such carbs are a problem for people wanting to lose body fat. Findings show that consumption of the wrong carbs creates body fat. Ludwig and his colleagues at Children’s Hospital Boston

fat people

8. Bad Fats and Oils are fattening especially when they come as deep fried foods and baked goods.

Fats and oils also contain 120 calories per tablespoon. Even olive oil has lots of calories even though it has significant health benefits. Things like Avocado’s which are very high in fat are ok because there is a huge difference between good fats and bad.

9. Processed Foods are loaded with calories and almost no nutrients!

Diet microwave meals and frozen meals are high in sodium and calorie-rich fat to preserve flavor. Eating them causes you to retain water in your arms and legs, leaving you puffy.

Research by the London University College team, suggests that a diet high in processed food increases the risk of depression.

10. Processed meats (lunch meats, bacon, sausage, hot dogs) are high in calories, fat and sodium.

Sixty eight percent of bacon’s calories come from fat, almost half is saturated fat and each ounce has 30 milligrams of cholesterol.

Too much salt in your body leads to water retention and bloating. NO amount of processed meat is considered safe to eat, according to the American Institute for Cancer Research.

This is not speaking of meat in general….just processed meat.

We are the result of what we eat.

we are what we eat

Let’s not short change our body with foods high in fat, sugar, and chemicals. If you are still eating many of the foods listed above, simply start decreasing the quantity until you are in control. (Every bit helps!)

How do you decrease the “bad” foods. It’s simple. Increase the GOOD ones!

Everyone already know the good foods: fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and quality proteins. If you needed to choose the best food group, it would be vegetables.

Home Made Mouth Wash without all the harsh chemicals

Here is a simple and easy way to make home made mouth wash that leaves your mouth feeling clean and fresh for hours:

mouthwash2

Chai Mouthwash

2 drops clove oil
2 drops cinnamon oil
2 tablespoons good-quality vodka
1 1/2 cups distilled water
1/2 cup brewed Chai tea

In a glass jar with a tight fitting lid, combine the clove and cinnamon oils with the vodka. Add the water and tea and shake well. Keep refrigerated. Use as a mouthwash 1 tablespoon at a time.

Enjoy!!

Feeling sluggish, have insomnia and fatigue, gaining weight or finding yourself being a little moody from time to time? Maybe it’s time to look at your Thyroid Gland.

Thyroid gland
The thyroid gland controls how quickly the body uses energy, makes proteins, and controls how sensitive the body is to other hormones. It participates in these processes by producing thyroid hormones that regulate the growth and rate of function of many other systems in the body. T3 (triiodothyronine) and T4 (and thyroxine; sometimes referred to as tetraiodothyronin) are synthesized from iodine and tyrosine. The thyroid also produces calcitonin, which plays a role in calcium homeostasis.

What can I do if I think I may have an “out of whack” Thyroid?

There are a few different ways to test to see if your thyroid may be under or over active. In my opinion the best way is using a process called the Basal Temperature test.

Because the thyroid gland reflects the body’s metabolic rate and heat is generated during metabolism, assessing body temperature can give clues regarding the function of the thyroid gland.

1. Shake down a thermometer until the mercury falls below 95 degrees Fahrenheit if using an older thermometer. Place it by your bed at night when you retire.
2. Upon waking, before getting up (yes, even to use the bathroom) place the thermometer under your armpit for 10 minutes. Digital thermometers may automatically stop before that. That’s fine. Try to lay in bed as still as possible during this time. Rest and close your eyes. Don’t get up until after the 10 minutes have passed or until a digital thermometer has registered your temperature.
3. Record the temperature, time, and date.
4. Conduct the same test for at least three mornings at the same time each day.

Assessing Your Basal Temperature Test

A healthy resting temperature ranges between 97.8 to 98.2 degrees Fahrenheit or 36.6 to 36.8 degrees Celsius. Natural fluctuations can occur during menstrual cycles. If you are still menstruating, perform the test on the second, third, and fourth days of the menstrual cycle.
Post-menopausal women or men can conduct the tests any days of the month.

If your temperature is consistently lower than the range indicated above for at least three days, this may be an indication of hypothyroidism. Conversely, temperatures consistently higher than this may indicate hyperthyroidism but can also suggest a possible infection. If so, you should see a homeopathic doctor.

What else can I do?

You can also check your neck: An enlarged Thyroid gland can signal that your body is producing too much or too little thyroid hormone.

• Hold a mirror so you can see the front of your neck
• Take a sip of water and hold it in your mouth
• Still looking at the thyroid area
• Tip your head back and swallow

If you notice any bulges check with your homeopathic doctor.

Lastly, your medical physician can do a blood test. Ask him or her to test for thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), free T3, free T4, and thyroid antibodies. All four tests give a more accurate picture of the health of your thyroid gland than testing solely for TSH like many doctors do.

What do I do if something is not functioning properly?

1. Get more iodine in your body: a deficiency in this mineral is one of the leading causes of thyroid disease. It is essential to the production of thyroid hormones. Ever notice that your generic table salt is iodized sodium chloride? In many countries, iodine deficiency is a major public health problem that was cheaply addressed by purposely adding small amounts of iodine to the sodium chloride (salt). With everyone on a health kick and trying to reduce sodium, although that is a great idea, if salt was our main source of iodine we say an increase in thyroid related diseases.

Iodine

Foods high in Iodine: Salmon, Halibut, Eggs, Baked Potatoes, Milk (although I don’t generally support consumption of cow’s milk), Dried Seaweed, some Himalayan Salts, Turkey, Prunes, Navy Beans, Bananas and Strawberries to name a few.

2. Increase your Zinc: Zinc is another mineral extremely important to the production of thyroid hormones so increasing your consumption may be critical. Zinc can quickly become depleted from surgeries or injuries, taking birth control pills, reduced consumption or reduced absorption.

zinc

Foods high in Zinc: Oysters, Salmon, Pumpkin Seeds, Dark Chocolate, Garlic, Sesame Seeds, Wheat Germ, Chick peas, Shrimp, Mushrooms, Peanuts, Spinach, Kidney Beans, Flax Seeds and Turkey to name a few.

3. Boost your selenium: Not only is selenium a necessary mineral to the proper functioning of your thyroid but it’s also one of the most important minerals in fighting off cancer. A lot of soil around the world has become depleted of selenium providing foods (even organically grown) to be deficient of this power mineral. One-Two Brazil nuts a day is all your need as it houses enough selenium for your daily intake.

brazil-nuts

Other foods high in selenium are: Fish, Turkey, Chicken, Mushrooms, Barley, Sunflower Seeds, and Whole Grains.

I hope this article helps and as always feel free to email me if you have any further questions.
Have a wonderful day and may you live longer, healthier and happier.