Sunday, December 28, 2014

Instant Coffee still has Health Benefits

I still remember several years ago when there was this big "health benefits of coffee" craze going around. While it is true, back then they were mainly promoting some effect it has on the liver and how it can help prevent alcoholic cirrhosis. Coffee also has cognitive benefits within reason and its antioxidant properties are generally what it is mostly touted for, nowadays. Speaking of that, a fairly recent study (maybe 3 or 4 years ago) found that this beloved beverage contains a compound with anti-cancer properties, called methylpyridinium. Yeah, don't you just love all of those cool names that are hard to spell? Anyway, it isn't found in any other food or drink and it isn't even found in raw coffee beans. Methylpyridinium is formed from trigonelline - during the roasting process. That particular study was from the Medical University of Vienna albeit I don't know what year it was exactly.

Anyway, with that being said, I've always wondered if Instant Coffee has the same benefits. Over the last couple of years I have searched for some studies that says otherwise, but time after time, it really seems that coffee is still, uh, coffee. I mean, instant or perked from fresh coffee beans, they all seem to have health benefits; cheers!

Side Note: It was funny a few years ago, when I seen some college kid in a Supermarket while I was out shopping late at night. He was trying to find something to keep him awake. He said, "dang, nobody sells coffee around here this time of night." I told him, "hey, just buy some instant coffee; it is basically the same thing." The guy said, "instant coffee? What? I have never heard of instant coffee before. Show me where I can find some." I couldn't believe that he never heard of it, but he was serious nonetheless... LOL!

--->'Click Here' to find some Instant Coffee Online<---

---End of Post "Instant Coffee still has Health Benefits"

Pesticides in Coffee and Tea

This really sucks, but it was brought to my attention yesterday about the growing concern for pesticides in our tea products. I really like tea, and I definitely prefer it over coffee. However, it seems that certain brands of tea have just got out of hand. What makes this suck even more, is that some of the most popular brands are the worst, such as Lipton and Celestial Seasonings. Now, of course we live in a world full of poisons, chemicals and food additives, and a lot of our produce (fruits & vegetables) are already loaded, but we can at least wash some of it off. I can't really wash my tea leaves off before brewing them nor am I going to even try.

Instead of me giving out facts and figures, if you are interested, check out the following link:
www.riseearth.com/2013/08/do-you-know-whats-really-in-your-tea.html

After reading all of that crap, I quickly got online and ordered me some Organic Green Tea from Legends of China (or whatever it was called) and Organic Chamomile Tea and, while I was at it, even though I normally would buy this as non-organic, I even ordered organic honey. Ha-ha! A little pesticides here and there, I can live with. But they acted like certain brands of tea have far exceeded the limit that the FDA allows. Yikes!

As for the coffee, it appears to be much safer even though it also has pesticides. A quote from Coffee Review states: "The flesh of this fruit is discarded. Along the way the seed is soaked, fermented, and subject to a thorough drying process. Later it is roasted at temperatures exceeding 400°F, and finally broken apart and soaked in near boiling water. Given this history of relentless attrition, it hardly seems possible that much if any of the small amounts of pesticide/fungicide residue permitted by law in green coffee ever make it into the cup." If you are a big coffee fanatic, feel free to read more about that, here: www.coffeereview.com/reference.cfm?ID=121 [link is no longer active]

Anyway, I just thought I'd bring that to the surface, in case anybody isn't aware of this. Thank God there isn't pesticide in my beer yet!

--->'Click Here to Shop for Organic Green Tea<---

---End of Post "Pesticides in Coffee and Tea"


P.S. - I realize that this post was mainly about the poisons and/or pesticides found within various types of common brand-name tea, but coffee was still included in the title albeit there really isn't much concern for that type of brew when it comes to those pesky pesticides.  However, to make 'coffee' more relevant to the title, I will link to a post that I recently written on another blog: "Random Tidbits about Coffee"

Iodine vs. Bromine, Chlorine, and Fluoride

Some of you may be aware of the growing iodine deficiency that is starting to unknowingly plague many people, once again. Iodine plays a major role in the human body, especially the thyroid gland. In fact, many studies now link an iodine deficiency to breast and thyroid cancer (including other types) along with other disruptions in the body, since iodine acts as an adaptogen, which basically means it helps regulate and normalize various functions throughout the body. Iodine also has a nutritional relationship with selenium. Its importance to the thyroid gland was one of the major reasons why iodine was being added to certain foods and to some of our salt supply, many years ago. However, going by what I've read, the food industry decided to remove iodine from baked goods and replaced it with bromine, over 4 decades ago!

The problem with this, is that not only does bromine replace the much-needed iodine in certain foods, it also blocks and/or makes it even more difficult for the body to absorb iodine. For example, bromine binds to the thyroid gland's receptors for iodine, which hinders the activity of iodine in the thyroid gland itself - and it does this quite effectively, to say the least.

Bromine is not the only enemy for iodine, either, as chlorine and fluoride also have negative effects when concerning this valuable nutrient we call iodine. Some may say that it's an ongoing conspiracy to damage the health of the people at large, but let's not get into that crazy stuff right now. I'm simply posting about iodine because many folks are not aware how, for one, they may not be getting enough and, two, how bromine, chlorine and fluoride blocks and/or affects how your body uses iodine. With that being said, one can actually consume what would normally be enough iodine, but if you eat a lot of baked goods with bromine, for example, or ingest too much fluorine and chlorine, you may actually still be deficient - depending on the degree of these other outside factors.

Instead of me preaching about the health-related factoids at hand, and how or why this may have a big impact on overall health, I'll just provide a few resource links below. What I will do, though, is list a few natural sources of iodine, in case you are trying to avoid taking supplements. Seafood is an excellent source, by the way, but not everybody likes seafood for some reason. When listing plant sources that spawn from the ground, it is a bit harder to accurately determine the iodine content because it really depends on the quality of the soils being used to grow such things.

At any rate, the most common (natural) sources of iodine come from seafood of all types - especially cold-water fish like Cod/Pollock/Tuna and shrimp, etc. Seaweed is an excellent source of iodine, too. Depending on the animal feed, iodine can often be found at respectable amounts in milk and other dairy products like cheese. Chicken eggs can also contain a decent amount of iodine. Potatoes (skin included) are also a good source and even corn has a fair amount. Many of the green leafy vegetables and various types of fruit can all have trace amounts, but there again, we get back into the "how much bromine, chlorine and fluoride do you ingest?" type of query if you are only getting small amounts of iodine.

To further your reading:
* beforeitsnews.com/health/2011/12/iodine-vs-bromine-what-they-are-not-telling-you-1467639.html
* www.rumormillnews.com/cgi-bin/archive.cgi?noframes%3Aread=146203 [link is no longer active]

--->'Click Here' to Search for Iodine Supplements Online<---

---End of Post "Iodine vs. Bromine, Chlorine, and Fluoride"

Table Sugar vs. High Fructose Corn Syrup

I was just reading an elaborate page about some ongoing legal battle that involves the basic sugar (stuff like cane sugar, beet sugar, etc.) companies taking on what they calling "false claims" by the corn syrup companies. I usually just call the basic white stuff "table sugar," so that is what I mean when referring to such. I don't know much about high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) other than it has a bad reputation and that it is altered by man and it's nowhere near as "natural" as they claim it is. If you'd rather read about this long drawn-out legal battle, go here: investigations.nbcnews.com/_news/2014/01/23/22406018-sugar-vs-corn-syrup-legal-battle-aims-to-establish-the-sweet-truth

On this post, I provided a chart that shows the decline of table sugar and the rise in high fructose corn syrup, over the last several years. The most healthy sweetener (in my opinion) is honey, and it has basically remained the same down through the years, going by the data in the chart. I'm assuming the main reason for the corn syrup additives, is to cut the cost. Whether it has more negative health effects than common table sugar, is something I wouldn't argue about, but I'm pretty sure it isn't any better!

I have heard of some companies illegally using corn syrup in certain types of honey products so they could make more profit. However, if you have ever had real honey, it should be easy to distinguish between the real and the tainted. But the bottom line, to me, is that the more uproar and court battles they go through, the elevated public awareness should help decide who the real winner is in the long run. With more manufacturing companies replacing high fructose corn syrup with natural sugars, and more people avoiding products with corn syrup in it, table sugar may ultimately come back out on top.

I think the matter is relatively simple, though, since a diet high in simple sugars is generally not a good idea. The best sugars to consume are from fruits, honey, and the small amounts in most vegetables. Cakes, pies and twinkies do not grow from the ground, regardless of who wins the Sugar vs. Corn Syrup battle.
In a thumbnail:  Use some common sense, people!

---End of Post "Table Sugar vs. High Fructose Corn Syrup"

What is up with the Probiotic Craze?

Evidently, this is one of the biggest health kicks since fish oil became so popular. Probiotics have slowly been gaining steam, but the last couple of years it has hit the market running - and fast! There is literally a probiotic craze going on right now, and I'm confused at why there is suddenly a high demand for such things. If you are not aware, probiotic supplements suppose to increase the healthy, "friendly" bacteria in your gut for better digestion, intestinal health, disease prevention, etc. They even claim that it helps fight off the common cold, flu, reduce cholesterol, aid in weigh loss, you name it!

First of all, the human body suppose to already have billions of these organisms in the intestines/gut. A lot of folks don't realize this, but even if a person has some long bout of flaming diarrhea and intestinal stress that flushes away or kills a lot of your healthy bacteria, your appendix (if you still have one) acts as a "good bacteria warehouse" and replaces what you lose, to help keep a balance. If you are one of those people that still think the appendix has no purpose, go here: www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071008102334.htm

Anyway, eating a healthy diet alone, helps keep a balance of this much-needed intestinal bacteria. Fruits and vegetables are great for this, and especially raw vegetables. Hell, even certain types of teas and pickles are a form of probiotics, even though you don't hear about those very often. Yogurt has long been known to have probiotic power, but not everybody sits around and eats yogurt all day. Oh, one of the worst things for healthy gut bacteria is to take antibiotics for long periods of time. You are destroying both the good and bad bacteria when you do this, so think about it. I doubt if eating junk food and fast-food most of the time is good for your levels of friendly bacteria, either.

To make matters worse, it has been found that many of these probiotic supplements are not living up to their name and you are not getting anywhere near what you are paying for. If you'd like to read more about how the consumers are getting lied to and totally ripped off, go here: healthyliving.msn.com/nutrition/are-your-probiotics-a-sham [link is no longer active]

What will the next health craze be? Drinking toilet water for boosted immunity? LOL!

--->'Click Here' to Search for Probiotics Online<---

---End of Post "What is up with the Probiotic Craze?"

Grapefruit is not good for Detox or certain Medications

First of all, I'm about as omnivorous as they come, and I can seemingly eat and enjoy almost any food, drink, etc. I've never been a picky eater and I'm lucky that I wasn't born with the fat gene or whatever they call it now. Anyway, I hate grapefruit. I can't stand the stuff. If I'm asked about what types of food I like to eat, I normally tell them that they are better off asking me about what kind of foods I don't like, as the list will be much shorter. Yeah, grapefruit and perhaps a couple more things out of everything I've tried so far! So, the point is, I have a chance to insult grapefruit and I'm going to take it; ha-ha!

Grapefruit, unlike some people may claim, is terrible for a detox and is not even recommended at all, if you take certain types of medication. In fact, I've heard of people dying from such things, only to find out later (not the ones that died, of course) that it was the grapefruit's fault. There are many resources for this, so I don't really even know where to start.

Don't get me wrong, grapefruit is normally considered to be a healthy fruit, but not for certain circumstances and/or individuals. Personally, I'm glad that I hate the stuff because I enjoy my beers too much and we all know how alcohol can keep a liver busy. Anyway, according to Ann Louise Gittleman in "The Fast Track Detox Diet," grapefruit actually interferes with liver detoxification (both phase I and phase II). This freaky fruit inhibits the function of one of the liver's most important enzymes, which is CYP3A4. A quote from a health website states: "Grapefruit juice decreases the metabolism of many drugs, allowing more of the drug to be absorbed. Therefore, substantially higher levels of pharmaceutical drugs may show up in the bloodstream than if grapefruit had not been consumed. This also puts increased strain on the liver during a detox, as grapefruit can enable toxins to be more readily metabolized, similar to drugs." You can read more about that, here: www.livestrong.com/article/336266-liver-detox-grapefruit/

At any citrus rate, I feel better now that I have insulted this fruit that I absolutely detest; LOL!

---End of Post "Grapefruit is not good for Detox or certain Medications"

Hot or Warm Korean/Panax Ginseng vs. Cold or Cooler American Ginseng

This post will briefly compare the two main varieties of ginseng, the Korean Ginseng (Panax Ginseng) to American Ginseng. I will also mention a few other potential benefits this herb has, outside of the most commonly touted benefit, which is boosted energy. I will bring up which is hot and which is not; ha! Okay, okay... I mean which type is Yin and which type is considered Yang.

While not for everyone, depending on your current medical conditions, ginseng is generally accepted as a wonderful herbal remedy that promotes balance in the body as well as increased energy, sexual performance, stamina levels, and increased cognitive function. Many people use it to combat stress, as well. Since ginseng acts as an adaptogen, it does tend to have a stabilizing effect on various functions within the body and reduces the effects of stress. By definition, adaptogens increase the ability of an organism to adapt to environmental factors. Ginseng even helps some people who suffer from alcohol withdrawal, for example. Ginseng helps the liver and the body remove alcohol from the body in a quicker fashion and this effect has been tested and proven many times over. Since it also acts as an antioxidant and is loaded with ginsenosides, it can help prevent free radical damage from toxins along with possessing some anti-cancer properties, etc.

When a fairly healthy individual takes this, ginseng tends to help balance your blood sugar and level out your blood pressure when consuming this herb in moderate amounts. Although, if you abuse ginseng for a long period of time, it may actually elevate your blood pressure. So, like most things, use in moderation. I know that the Panax/Korean Ginseng is often recommended to be used for several weeks, followed with a break of at least a couple of weeks before starting the regimen again, in case it builds up in your system, etc. I'm still unsure if this is necessary or not. However, I have heard that the American (Panax quinquefolius) ginseng can be taken consistently in a daily fashion. Personally, I've taken them both for long periods of time before without any ill effects, but if in doubt, ask your doctor, as they say.

Another warning that comes with ginseng, is if you suffer from bouts of low (hypoglycemia) or fluctuating blood sugar, as ginseng may cause it to drop to unsafe levels in people with those types of problems. If you are on blood-thinning medication, it also wise to check with your doctor before taking this particular supplement.

Chinese herbal medicine often involves the yin/yang philosophy in their practice. Yin as in cold or cooler, and yang as in hot or warm. When it comes to promoting the yin energy, American ginseng is the one. It has a cooler, calming effect when compared to Korean ginseng. American ginseng is often used during the summer months or when a person has a fever, since it suppose to help cool the body. Korean ginseng promotes yang energy, since it is considered hot and/or warm. It is often used to enhance blood circulation and during the colder months, since it supposedly helps warm the body. To me, they both are great herbs and each have similar health benefits. The main difference without all the cold/hot Chinese chatter, is that Korean/Panax ginseng is more potent and is used more as a stimulant. However, American ginseng gets more credit for improving your immune system and for enhanced cognitive function. Some people claim that American ginseng even helps people that suffer from ADD, etc.

Well, I was going to get more into the Chinese Yin & Yang stuff, but I see that this post is already getting rather long. At any rate, ginseng is one of my favorite herbal supplements, as you can probably tell by reading this; ha!

--->'Click Here' to Shop for American Ginseng Online<---

---End of Post "Hot or Warm Korean/Panax Ginseng vs. Cold or Cooler American Ginseng "