Cancer Prevention

Angiogenesis Inhibitors – Cancer Prevention

Everyone knows someone who has had cancer or lost someone with cancer.  We know some of the causes of cancer like smoking, poor diet, chemical exposure etc. but do we really know what happens to the body when we get cancer?   Know this….cancer cannot survive and grow without blood vessels!

In 1961 Dr. Folkman saw something while doing some medical research that gave him a hunch.  “What if cancerous tumors, in order to expand, needed to trigger the growth of new blood vessels to feed themselves? And if that was true, what if a way could be found, to stop that growth? Could cancers be starved to death? Dr. Folkman had ample reason to be self-confident — second in his class at Harvard Medical School, he was already considered one of the most promising doctors of his generation. But even he never guessed that his idea would eventually grow into a multibillion-dollar industry that is now racing through human trials with drugs that show unparalleled promise of being able to control cancer, as well as other deadly diseases.” – Dr Folkman.  His book is called Dr. Folkman’s War and it is fascinating information.

‘Angio’-means blood vessel and ‘Genesis’- means growth:  Blood Vessel Growth.  If we cut ourselves our body sends out signals to create blood vessels to heal the wound which is a good thing but what happens if these signals do not shut off?  That’s cancer.   Anti-angiogenesis are things that inhibit the blood vessel growth.  Foods that are natural angiogenesis inhibitors that you want to include in your daily diet (which will strengthen your immune system and should be organic) would include mushrooms such as shiitaki, reishi and maitake mushrooms, berries, citrus fruits, red grapes, red wine (yay!), artichokes, turmeric, kale, garlic, tomatoes, olive oil and dark chocolate (yay again!).

I personally take Host Defense Turkey Tail mushrooms every day as they have proven to be natural angio-genesis inhibitors.  I also take Host Defense “My Community” which is a blend of 17 different mushrooms.

I strongly recommend watching this video by Dr Li.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OjkzfeJz66o  It is from Ted Talks and is called “Can we eat to starve cancer”?  It is fascinating and you will want to share it with your friends.  Know that mushrooms such as Turkey Tail, Maitake, Shiitake and Reishi are natural angiogenesis inhibitors but the film lists many foods good for anti-cancer.  It’s a must see and once you watch it you will want to share it with your friends.  I hope so anyway!

Remedies for Blood Sugar Issues

Top Remedies for Blood Sugar Issues

Do you have blood sugar issues?  Hypoglycemia, Pre-diabetes or diabetes?  As you know by now I am a big advocate of the low carb lifestyle.  Why?  If we eat too much sugar or high-glycemic carbohydrates (white rice, cakes, crackers, bread, potatoes and cookies), we experience a rapid influx of blood sugar. Our body must rush in to compensate with a spike of insulin to take care of the sudden overabundance of glucose, leaving us tired and irritable from the yo-yo effect.   Keeping your blood sugars balanced is one of the most important steps you can take for overall health and vitality as well as weight control. Besides eating a wholesome diet rich in low-glycemic whole fruits, vegetables, protein, and complex carbohydrates, you can optimize your blood sugar levels by including supplements that promote glucose balance.

Check out the top remedies to help you control your blood sugar levels.

  1. Chromium: The best form of this trace mineral is chromium picolinate. Chromium can normalize blood sugar levels, improve blood sugar utilization and decrease insulin requirements in people with glucose intolerance and insulin resistance.
  2. Alpha-Lipoic Acid (ALA): Not only is ALA a very potent anti-oxidant, it enhances insulin sensitivity
  3. Banaba Leaf Extract: Banaba leaf contains corosolic acid that helps transport glucose from the blood into cells for use as energy
  4. Cinnamon: Cinnamon is a powerful antioxidant and works to improve blood glucose by slowing stomach emptying after meals and enhancing insulin sensitivity
  5. Fenugreek: Fenugreek supports balanced blood sugar levels by slowing digestion and carbohydrate absorption. Fenugreek may also stimulate insulin production due to an abundance of amino acids
  6. Gymnema Sylvestre: Gymnema Sylvestre normalizes blood sugar by increasing insulin levels, reducing glucose absorption, and improving sugar uptake
  7. Magnesium: Magnesium increases insulin sensitivity and supports healthy glucose levels

Low carb, low carb, low carb.  Sugar is clearly the culprit to blood sugar issues.  By following a low carb diet you will not have the blood sugar spikes that carbohydrates cause.  It’s really not hard.  It’s simply a matter of being a little creative with your diet and opting not to eat potatoes, pasta, rice and bread.  These are the biggest culprits to name a few.  As much as fruit is healthy for you, it is not good for blood sugars to limit fruit to no more than 1-2 per day and stick with the low glycemic choices like berries.

What to look for in a weight loss supplement

In order to lose weight, there are a few factors to consider that a good weight loss supplement will address:

  1. Stress: You need to address stress. When you are stressed (mentally or physically) your body goes into the ‘fight or flight’ response.  When this happens your body immediately stores fat.  It is our coping mechanism.  Your body doesn’t know how long you’re going to fight or run so it needs to store energy for the long term.
  2. Appetite Control: Many of us ‘live to eat’ when we should ‘eat to live’.  We are addicted to food and are surrounded with fast food and junk food.  We need to get our appetites under control.
  3. Blood Sugar: It is imperative to keep our blood sugars balanced. When our blood sugar is out of whack and insulin levels are high, your body compensates by storing fat.
  4. Boost Metabolism: You will lose more weight and much faster if you increase your metabolism.  Putting more wood on your fire will help you burn more fat, even at rest.
  5. Maintain or Gain Muscle: Muscle is metabolically active so the more muscle you have, the more calories you burn at rest.  Many low calorie diets do not allow you to eat enough protein which causes muscle loss.  Try having a protein shake in the morning or as a mid afternoon snack.

When looking for a weight loss supplement, if you can get something that has all of these factors in it…go for it!  Let me know if you need some help!

Is Coconut Oil Good For Me? It’s a Saturated Fat!

Coconut oil is a saturated fat so isn’t that bad for me?  What fats are good for me?

“I am so confused about what fats are good and what fats are bad for me.  My best friend is a huge fan of coconut oil and is trying to get me to use it.  She is taking it mostly for weight loss however also uses it instead of any other fat in her diet because she says it’s really healthy for you.  How can fats make you lose weight and do you think coconut oil is the best for this?”

Not all fat is created equal!!!  Coconut is actually a saturated fat which we have been told to stay clear of, however this saturated fat behaves so differently in the body than all other saturated fats.

Coconut oil is about 85% – 90% saturated fat which is why it is solid at room temperature and has a long shelf life as well it is extremely stable under high heat.  Butter is about 60% – 65% and beef fat and lard is about 40% saturated fat.  Olive oil is only 15% saturated.  So how is it possible that this fat is actually good for us?   It’s because of the MCT or MCFA oil it contains.  MCFA stands for medium chain fatty acids.  Unlike LCFA’s (long chain fatty acids) that you get from liquid oils, dairy and fatty meats, MCT’s are metabolized differently in the body.  The statement from health officials that ALL saturated fats are bad for you and can cause heart disease is outdated.  Newest studies show that this information is seriously flawed.

  • MCFA’s differ from LCFA’s because they are smaller and easily digested putting less strain on your digestive system. LCFA’s require special enzymes in order for the body to utilize them
  • MCFA’s are sent directly to your liver where they are immediately converted into energy rather than being stored as fat. LCFA’s are stored in your body as fat and can be deposited in your arteries in the form of cholesterol
  • MCFA’s help to stimulate your metabolism leading to weight loss

Also, don’t confuse man-made saturated fats with natural saturated fats.  Man-made saturated fats are healthy fats that have been manipulated through a process called hydrogenation.  You will see hydrogenated fats or partially hydrogenated fats in the ingredients list of many, many foods.  Hydrogenation means that they can take a good healthy fat, add hydrogen atoms to it while heating the oil, producing rancid, thickened oil (thus solid at room temperature).   I call it plastic fat.  This extends the products shelf life.  The medical and scientific communities are now agreeing that hydrogenated (plastic) oils should be avoided.  These are also called trans fats and everyone has heard of these.  Some cities and states have now banned their use.  These are the same fats that we have always known to be healthy and heart friendly for over 60 years until they manipulate them.  Trans fats are the true enemy!

What foods contain trans fats?

  • Deep fried foods
  • Margarine
  • Cookies, cakes & pies
  • Crackers
  • Microwave popcorn
  • Donuts
  • Biscuits
  • Breakfast sandwiches
  • Frozen pizza

You can get a full list of foods that contain trans fats everywhere on the internet

Cooking with Fats:

In my kitchen, I only use 3 fats.  1. Coconut oil 2. MCT Oil   3. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

I use MCT oil and/or Olive oil with balsamic vinegar for my salad dressings.  Never heat the olive oil or MCT oil.  They are not stable under heat and will cause oxidative damage.  Also, most vegetable oils are GMO.  This would include about 90% of the soy, corn and canola oils.  Vegetable oils are also very high in omega 6 which creates an imbalance in the ratio of omega 6 to omega 3 fats.  Excess omega 6 cause a plethora of health issues.  The only fat that is stable under heat is coconut oil so don’t use any other fats to cook with.

More Benefits of Adding Coconut Oil to Your Diet:

  • Coconut oil stimulates metabolism and burns fat
  • Coconut oil is actually amazing at raising the good HDL cholesterol
  • Alzheimer’s disease protection
  • Provides energy
  • Heart healthy
  • Brain health
  • Skin health
  • Immune system support
  • Thyroid support
  • Anti-viral
  • Anti-bacterial
  • Anti-protozoal
  • Anti-microbial

What is Free Radical Damage and Anti-Oxidants?

What is Free Radical Damage and Anti-Oxidants?

If I took an apple and cut it in half and left it out…what happens to it?  It turns brown right?  That’s basically free radical damage…rusting of the cells.  Once oxygen hits the apple it starts to go through oxidative damage.  Now, if I cut it in half and immediately coated the exposed areas with lemon, it won’t turn brown.  I learned this when I was a teenager working in catering.  We made the fruit salad then poured lemon juice to cover it.  I didn’t understand then what I know now.  Basically the anti-oxidants from the lemon (vitamin C etc.) protected the apple from free radical damage.

What is Your Immune System?

Immunology, the study of the immune system, is a complex subject which encompasses all of the cells, chemicals and organs that defend the body against disease: from cold and flu to allergies, from bone marrow to lymph nodes, and from leukemia to AIDS.

Did you know – Your immune system routinely kills cancers?  Your immune system is your body’s defence department. It is able to identify and destroy foreign invaders (bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites) before they cause harm to the body. Once detected, they are tagged for termination and eliminated by immune cells. The immune system battles cancer cells as well. When working optimally, the immune system can identify and eradicate abnormal cells – especially those made abnormal by a virus or carcinogen, before they become problematic.

What Is the ORAC Value in Food?

ORAC stands for oxygen radical absorbance capacity, or basically how many free radical scavengers are in a food.  The higher level of ORAC the higher anti-oxidant capacity.   It is essential to protect your body all year long through optimal immunity – not just during the traditional cold and flu season. Where to start? Begin with daily preventative measures by increasing foods high in ORAC and anti-oxidants.

What Foods and Supplements are Best to Supply High Anti-Oxidants and ORAC Value?

There are so many things that help keep the immune system strong and fight free radical damage.  Below is a list of foods high in ORAC and anti-oxidants:

Herbs have huge ORAC value and are much higher in the ORAC list than any foods.  Some of the highest would include: cloves, cinnamon, oregano,  garlic, cayenne pepper, turmeric, cocoa, cumin, parsley (dried), basil, ginger, sage and thyme to name a few

Additionally

  • Berries are the highest on the ORAC list for fruit but most fruits are high in ORAC
  • Dark chocolate (yippee!)
  • Red wine (another yippee!)
  • Artichoke
  • Nuts
  • Beans
  • Most vegetables

There are simply too many foods to list.  For a full list of ORAC value in foods, click this link:  http://www.phytochemicals.info/list-orac-values.php

Vitamins and Supplements

There are many, many, many supplements available now that offer great anti-oxidant protection.  I make a protein shake every morning and add a powdered greens, powdered berries, fish oil and probiotics.  I couldn’t eat all day long and get the amount of nutrients that I get in my shake.  So, if you want to increase your anti-oxidants and protect your body against free-radical damage which causes major diseases including cancer, add the foods mentioned above and consider adding some of these supplements:

  • Superoxide dismutase (SOD)
  • Glutathione
  • Vitamin A, C, E, Selenium (ACES)
  • Alpha-Lipoic Acid (ALA)
  • CoQ10 (Ubiquinone)
  • Resveratrol (Red wine extract)
  • Carotenoids (Beta carotene for example)
  • Astaxanthin
  • Green Tea

APPLE CIDER VINEGAR…WHY USE IT?

“I’ve heard so much about apple cider vinegar in the last few weeks from a lot of my friends and now it is everywhere on line and in stores.  I heard it’s good for weight loss.  Can you tell me what the hype is with it and will it help me with weight loss?”

What is Apple Cider Vinegar?

Vinegar is made in a two-step process.  The first step exposed crushed apples (apple cider) to yeast which ferments the sugars and turns them into alcohol.  The second step requires adding bacteria to the alcohol solution which further ferments the alcohol and turns it into acetic acid.  This is the main ingredient in vinegar.  The French word “vinegar” actually means “sour wine”.

Organic, unfiltered apple cider vinegar like Bragg’s shown above contains the “mother” which are really just strands of proteins, enzymes and friendly bacteria that make the vinegar look murky.  You want the “mother” in your vinegar product as it is very good for you.  Some people believe that the “mother” is responsible for most of the health benefits.  There is only 1-2 calories. zero fat and  less than one gram of carbs per tablespoon depending on the brand.

What are the Benefits of Taking Apple Cider Vinegar?

Below is a list of all of the different things that people claim and studies show:

  • Weight Loss: Studies suggest that apple cider vinegar can increase feelings of fullness and help people eat fewer calories, which can lead to weight loss.  Recent research also shows that vinegar may turn on certain genes involved in breaking down fats and increases metabolism.  It also reduces water retention
  • Blood Sugar Balance: Apple cider vinegar has shown great promise in improving insulin sensitivity and helping to lower blood sugar responses after meals.
  • Anti-bacterial: The main substance in vinegar, acetic acid, can kill bacteria and/or prevent them from multiplying and reaching harmful levels. It has a history of use as a disinfectant and natural preservative.
  • Heart Healthy: Several studies have shown that vinegar can reduce blood triglycerides, cholesterol and blood pressure.
  • Aids in Digestion: A simple combination of one teaspoon of honey, one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar and a glass of warm water can help you avoid indigestion, no matter what kind of food you’re eating. By sipping this solution before you eat, you can help your food be digested properly and avoid acid reflux.
  • Soothes Sore Throat due to anti-bacterial properties.
  • Rids Dandruff: The acidity of apple cider vinegar actively works with your scalp, changing the pH and making it more difficult for the yeast that causes dandruff to grow.
  • Cures Hiccups: The strong and sour taste focuses your system on dealing with what you just consumed, stopping hiccups from happening.  There are actually lollipops available with the apple cider vinegar in them for people who have recurring hiccups.
  • Stops Congestion: One teaspoon of vinegar in water will help to relieve congestion to help open up your sinuses.

There is so many more things that people claim apple cider vinegar has helped them but I don’t have the time or room to name them all.  Bottom line…it can’t hurt to take it!

How Do I Take It?

This is the easy part.  Simply add 1-3 teaspoons in a glass of water and drink it.  You can do this in the morning and again at night.  Does anyone use apple cider vinegar right now?  If so why do you use it?  I literally just started using it this week for weight loss.  Will keep you posted on my results.

Garcenia Cambogia for Weight Loss?

What Is Garcenia Cambogia and How Will It Help Me Lose Weight?

Garcenia Cambogia is a tropical fruit also known as Malabar Tamarind.  It has been a popular weight loss supplement and for good reason…it works for a lot of people!  I have had so many people come into our stores raving about this supplement and saying that they are losing weight.  I’ve also read some reviews on line that show it doesn’t help but isn’t this the case with everything?  I’ve read negative reviews on pretty much everything that comes in a supplement.  Not everything works for everybody.  You just have to try it and see how it works for you.

But how does it work?

The active ingredient in Garcenia is Hydroxycitric Acid (HCA), which is in a lot of weight loss supplements listed under HCA. An extract from the fruit rind is where they get the HCA from.  Garcenia blocks the body’s ability to make fat and helps to boost fat-burning.  Garcenia appears to block an enzyme called Citrate Lyase which your body uses to make fat.  It also raises levels of the brain chemical serotonin which may make you less hungry and helps to reduce appetite.  It has also been shown to reduce stress levels (cortisol) which is very important for weight loss because if you’re stressed you store fat, you don’t burn it.

Other Health Benefits

Some studies show that Garcenia controls blood sugar by making it easier for your body to use glucose so it is recommended for people with insulin resistance, hypoglycemia or diabetes.   Some research also shows that Garcenia can improve cholesterol levels, lower triglycerides and LDL and raise HDL levels.

Garcenia also helps to improve exercise performance, helps with joint pain,  helps to empty the bowels and parasite cleansing.

What Do I Look For When Buying Garcenia Cambogia

  • Look for one that it 100% pure
  • It must show % of HCA on the label. The higher the HCA the better.  You should look for one that is 80% – 95% HCA
  • It should be 1,500 mg
  • It should not contain any artificial ingredients (fillers, binders, colors etc)

Can I Use The Fruit in Recipes?

The Garcenia fruit looks a little like a baby pumpkin and is between a yellow and green color.  The flavor of the fruit is slightly sweet and slightly sour.  It tastes like a cross between an orange and a pumpkin.  The fruit is native to Southeast Asia, India, Indonesia and regions of Central and Western Africa.  It is actually used in a lot of dishes in these countries, such as chutneys and sauces.  It is also used in stews an soups as it helps to thicken the broth.  Garcenia is very rich in fiber so using it for cooking helps to enhance the consistency of food as well as the flavor.  Indians use the rind of the fruit as a flavoring in curry.  It adds a little sour flavor which they believe may help to activate your body’s digestion.

If you want to add Garcenia to your daily regime for weight loss, you will have to take it in supplement form as the HCA from the rind is concentrated and high dose and you could not eat enough fruit to get the amount in supplements.  However you can certainly add this fruit/rind in some recipes for additional help in weight loss.  The problem is finding this fruit in the grocery stores.  Perhaps some Asian or Indian food stores carry it but you would have to call them ahead of time so you are not traveling around the city.  If anyone can find it, please let me know and I will share with everyone!