Looking for an alternative to soda? Are you learning about its negative health benefits ? Here is a healthy alternative and is becoming a new health craze. Kombucha. It is a fermented tea drink that has been around for centuries and is gaining traction because of the health benefits that it has to offer. Kombucha is an “ancient fermented tea beverage” also called the “Immortal Health Elixir" by the ancient Chinese that has a natural effervescence (carbonation-like) and loaded with probiotics, antioxidants, B vitamins. I have to say that I'm hooked on it. After drinking water for most of the day, it's nice to switch over to something with a little flavor! My favorite is the Synergy Organic & Raw Raspberry Chia. It contains 150 calories per 16 fl. oz and 8g of fiber! The back of the label claims that it is "Often called 'runner's food', chia is a nutrient-rich superfood that provides sustained energy for your body. Packed with more than 8 times the omega-3s found in salmon, this small seed has big nutritional value. With more antioxidants than blueberries and more fiber than oatmeal, see for yourself how chia brings new life to our GT's Kombucha." This flavor offers the chia seeds floating in the Kombucha and gives it an interesting texture, but claims to have very high nutritional value.
According to www.foodrenegade.com, "In the first half of the 20th century, extensive scientific research was done on Kombucha’s health benefits in Russia and Germany, mostly because of a push to find a cure for rising cancer rates. Russian scientists discovered that entire regions of their vast country were seemingly immune to cancer and hypothesized that the kombucha, called “tea kvass” there, was the cause. So, they began a series of experiments which not only verified the hypothesis, but began to pinpoint exactly what it is within kombucha which was so beneficial."
There is limited research on Kombucha, but you can't argue with foodrenegade.com's statement that "Regardless of the “lack” of scientific evidence, the fact remains that this beverage has 2,000 plus years of tradition behind it and an ardent and addicted following." Also, "As is typically the case in the U.S., no major medical studies are being done on Kombucha because no one in the drug industry stands to profit from researching a beverage that the average consumer can make for as little as 50 cents a gallon."
So, there ya go! It's popping up on shelves in most grocery stores. It's a little pricey at $3.69/bottle.
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Impressive Presentation About Our Country And The Direction We Are Taking Regarding Food And Our Health.
Cauliflower Crust Pizza (Gluten & Dairy Free
Pizza has been one of the things I have been craving since becoming gluten & dairy free. Funny thing is, I never really ate it before but being told I can’t have it made me want it. So I went ahead and tried this new Cauliflower crust craze that everyone has been talking about. It was AWESOME and satisfied my pizza craving without all the carbs, gluten or dairy. I highly recommend trying this recipe out if you are trying to eat healthy but still have those pizza cravings from time to time.
1 Head of cauliflower
2 tbs chopped basil (or more if you are like me and love basil)
2 tbs chopped garlic
2 cups Daiya dairy free shredded mozerella shreds ( or regular mozzarella if you are not doing dairy free)
2 vine ripe tomatoes
1 tbs EVOO
Whatever toppings you please! I used red onion, spinach, turkey bacon bits, and organic uncured salami.
To start, preheat your oven to 375 degrees F and oil pizza pan really well or use parchment paper. Wash and dry cauliflower then put in food processor or blender and pulse till a fine, rice like texture. After pulsing cauliflower microwave in a bowl for approximately 5-7 mins or until soft. Use paper towels or cheese cloth to press or strain excess water from cooked cauliflower. Then add your egg, 1 tbs basil and 1/2 cup Daiya cheese to your cauliflower in a large mixing bowl (salt and pepper to taste). Mix this well then press into pizza pain at your desired thickness. Bake your crust for approximately 20-30 mins or until lightly brown around the edges and firm to the touch. While crust is baking, blend your tomatoes, garlic, EVOO and left over basil in your blender. When crust is finish use your tomato sauce, left over cheese and desired toppings to make your pizza. Bake for an additional 15 mins. Let cool slightly then enjoy!
About the Author
Cylie Hightower is a physical therapy assistant (PTA) and is passionate about cooking and staying healthy! Please visit her blog For The Health of Food to learn other great recipes!
This plant has received a lot of attention lately after the CDC recently announced that it is the most nutrient dense food on the planet.
"Researchers at William Paterson University in New Jersey have done all of us a big favor by producing a list of 41 “powerhouse fruits and vegetables” ranked by the amounts of 17 critical nutrients they contain. In a study published Thursday in the CDC journal “Preventing Chronic Disease,” the foods are scored by their content of fiber, potassium, protein, calcium, folate, vitamin B12, vitamin A, vitamin D and other nutrients, all considered important to public health." (Washington Post) Guess what topped the list? Watercress! Have you ever heard of it? I'm on a green smoothie kick now and have been experimenting with different recipes and vegetables. If you know of any good ones, please share! Anyways, watercress is sold at Publix for $2.99/bag. If you would like to find out how different vegetables and fruits ranked click here.
The benefits of watercress are pretty remarkable. For instance, watercress is strong at cancer prevention and may counteract certain processes by which cancers proliferate and spread. It may help regulate thyroid hormones, regulate the gallbladder, help with hair and skin health among many other benefits. Give it a Google and you will find a plethora of other benefits!
Check this article out:
Eat your way to a facelift: Watercress is the latest wonder food in battle against ageing
"Given this wealth of health benefits, it is not surprising that Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, built his first hospital in close proximity to a stream where watercress grew so that his patients would have ready access to this life-sustaining green." (www.lef.org)
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Not familiar with turmeric root? It is one of the most researched foods known to man and has been around for centuries because of its healing properties and health benefits. Its medicinal properties have been involved in over 5600 research studies and has comparable properties to several big name prescription drugs. Turmeric root has been used for thousands of years in India. According to AuthorityNutrition.com, turmeric root is a natural anti-inflammatory, dramatically Increases the antioxidant capacity of the body, boosts brain-derived neurotrophic factor, linked to improved brain function and a lower risk of brain diseases, lowers risk of heart disease, helps to prevent and treat cancer, fights arthritis and depression while fighting age related illnesses. Curcumin is the main active ingredient in turmeric and is found in low doses in the root, but can be supplemented. Please follow this link to find out how it compares to common pharmaceuticals. You may be surprised!
What if I told you there was a plant that you could add to your diet that turns grey hair to its natural color, reduces inflammation, stimulates the thyroid gland, assists in correcting obesity, reduces indigestion, relieves many internal pains, and has been used successfully to treat peptic ulcers, ulcerative colitis, constipation, diarrhea, and other complaints of the gastrointestinal tract. It is a powerful detoxifier, a liver and blood protector, can protect us from carcinogens like no other food or medicine. It strengthens our cells, detoxifies the liver and bloodstream, chemically neutralizes environmental pollutants, has a powerful ability to fight tumors without the usual toxicity of drugs that also inhibit cell-destroying agents. It soothes sunburned skin and acts as a disinfectant. Rubbed into the scalp before a shampoo, it will help mend damaged hair and alleviate itchy, scaly, scalp conditions. It slows down the aging process, tightens loose skin and acts as a sleeping aide!!! Are you excited yet?! This plant really exists!! The answer is wheatgrass!! The Hippocrates Health Institute has been studying its benefits and is located in West Palm Beach, FL! Hippocrates once said "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” If you believe this (or don't believe this!), you need to check it out here.
For a full list of the benefits of wheatgrass click here.
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New research was presented yesterday about the role of phosphates and how they contribute to heart disease and hypertension. News Medical states "Over 500 million people around the world suffer from chronic kidney disease. Clinical studies have shown that these patients often develop cardiovascular diseases such as high blood pressure and vascular calcification. Until now, the connection between renal disease, the accumulation of the hormone FGF23 which is produced in the bones, and cardiovascular disease was unclear." We now know that high consumption of phosphates in your diet contribute to increased production of FGF23 which controls the reabsorption of filtered sodium in the kidneys, so too much equals increased blood pressure. "FGF23 also controls calcium levels. As with sodium, the calcium is filtered in the kidneys and reabsorbed back into the body. If this reabsorption does not take place, the body loses calcium. Too much FGF23 leads to increased take up of calcium by the kidneys, and results in vascular calcification." (News Medical)
This is big news. So you ask, what do we eat that contains high phosphate levels?
Processed cheese, Parmesan, cola, baking powder and most processed foods. For a list, click here.
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I've been hearing more and more about this NuVal Nutritional Scoring System, so I had to learn a little about it. If you haven't heard, NuVal is a nutritional rating score given to food in the grocery store that allows you to make better choices when you go grocery shopping. It was developed by nutrition and medical experts that are independent from the food industry. I think this is amazing and will help consumers make better choices and hopefully create competition within the food industry. Foods are rated on a scale of 1-100 with 100 being the most valuable to your health. Not many grocery stores have this system in place, but I did see Tops Friendly Markets on the list (grew up shopping there) and this list should grow with time. To find out which grocery stores have NuVal, click here. To see a sample of the scoring, click here. You may be surprised by some of the foods you are buying now!
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Dr. Mark Giovanini
Scott Rusin is the Director of Physical Therapy at the Sandestin Executive Health & Wellness Center in Sandestin Resort, Miramar Beach, FL. He has a degree in Physical Therapy, is a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and Nike Golf NG360 Performance Specialist Powered by the Gray Institute.