Honey; More Than Just A Kitchen Staple

Everyone knows honey taste delicious on a hot biscuit or adds a touch of sweetness to hot tea, but this natural jewel has scads of usefulness.  Ancient Egyptians first discovered the wonderful uses of honey. In tombs found by archeologists; jars of crystallized honey were found for the buried to use in the afterlife. The manufacturing of honey by bees is what makes it special. During the process bees regurgitate nectar it into the honeycomb and air dry it with their wings.  The saliva changes the sucrose in the nectar into fructose and glucose. This combines with the remaining water creating a mixture of hydrogen peroxide that has been made from enzyme glucose oxidase; a mixture in which bacteria cannot survive. This mixture can kill bacteria such as E. coli, h-pylori, and staph; a claim that manufactured antiseptics can’t make.

honey

Improve Your Skin with Honey

People suffering from dry skin can create their own honey based lotion that is all natural and safe for even for sensitive skin. Everything you need is probably in your kitchen; flour, eggs whites, and honey. Use four tablespoons of honey, combined with two eggs whites, the amount of flour will depend on the desired consistency. Mix and use on dry hands, dry patches on the arm or leg area, or use it as a facial mask. The miracle of honey can also help the fight against acne.  The fluids created by the bee will help to speed the process of getting rid of pimples. This is so simple and inexpensive dermatologists keep it a secret; just apply to pimple area and cover with a small band-aid.

Health Benefits of Honey

Honey has an amazing ability to help with the prevention and cure of a number of health issues. Persons suffering from insomnia find that mixing honey with a beverage before bed can attribute to a good night’s rest because; honey calms nervousness and anxiety.  Honey also helps in the prevention of colitis by improving the colon’s resistance. Those suffering from diabetic ulcers find that most curing needs to be done through modern techniques but, adding honey to the process can shorten healing time. Antioxidants found in honey help in the prevention of heart disease and cancer by preventing the growth of cells and keeping the quality of blood produced healthier.  If an energy boost is needed; mix water with honey and consume. Glucose in the honey will give a boost and you can relieve fatigue at the same time.

Keep Honey in the First Aid Kit and Medicine Cabinet

Nursing a sore throat can be a bad situation and sometimes you don’t feel well enough to go to the store for lozenges. Take the juice from a lemon, mix with honey and drink the solution; in a matter of moments the pain will subside.  Should the pain return you can take the solution again without waiting; like with over the counter medicines.  We all know the pain that comes from a burn and the length of time it takes to heal; honey can help with that too. Should you burn your leg simply apply honey to the burn. The hydrogen peroxide releases from the honey to cleanse the wound and bring down the inflammation thus lessening the pain. Honey can be rubbed onto scratches, abrasions, or cuts in combination with an antiseptic to prevent bacteria and infection.  The honey traps bacteria in its stickiness and kills them. These methods have been around for thousands of years and are still in use by millions that want to keep things natural.

Donna Jane works in health and wellbeing industry caring for the aged and disabled. She has spent a number of years working at nursing homes before founding DearJane.

5 Great Snacks You Can Eat At Your Desk Without Putting On Weight

hard sitting at a computer

It’s hard sitting at a computer all day because it’s easy to snack on the wrong types of food. If you snack too often you can end up putting on a lot of weight. You won’t have to worry about snacking any longer because there are a number of great ways you can eat at your desk without it affecting you in a negative way. Here are a few examples you can test out the next time you’re back in work.

A box of crunchy vegetables

vegetables

You don’t need to listen to me talk about how great vegetables are for the next 5 minutes. I’m sure you know they are essential if you want to stay healthy, but they also happen to be very low in calories which means you can eat lots of them without putting on weight. Once they’re sitting inside your stomach they will also stop you from getting hungry. If you cut some up before you go to bed at night you can put them in a box and snack on them while you’re sitting at your desk the following day.

A small handful of nuts

nuts

Nuts are another food group you should include in your diet, but most people don’t appreciate how good they actually are. You do have to be careful when snacking on nuts because they are calorie dense. They are full of good fats you need in your diet, but eat too much of them and you will have to run for hours to burn them off. Luckily they do help to scare hunger pangs away, but just take a small handful of them each day so you don’t over-indulge by accident.

A few pieces of fruit

fruit

Don’t be scared of fruit even though it contains a lot of sugar. Fruit will only make you fat if you eat far too much of it, but if you eat a few pieces every day you have nothing to worry about. It happens to contain many wonderful vitamins and minerals too. Try to stay away from liquid fruit because you will end up taking in far too many calories. That means you should stay away from smoothies and fruit juice. If you stick to whole fruit you have a tasty snack that is good for you.

A flask of vegetable soup

vegetable soup

Someone who works outside might decide to take a flask of coffee with them to work because it will keep them warm. You could easily take a flask and fill it with vegetable soup. Just make sure you put the soup through the blender because you don’t want lots of vegetables getting stuck inside your flask when it’s time to snack. Vegetable soup won’t contain many calories and you’ll never feel hungry because your stomach will be full of warm liquid.

A meat or tuna salad box

salad box

Salad probably contains less calories than everything else on the list and if you take a box of it into work you can snack on it when you’re hungry. If you want to make it a little tastier you can add some lean meat or tuna to it. Don’t go crazy with different sauces because they will send your calorie intake through the roof. If you get creative there are literally thousands of different salad box combinations you can come up with and each one will taste great.

Taste is overrated

Nobody is trying to say these snacks will taste better than a chocolate bar or a slice of pizza, but at the end of the day they don’t have to taste great. You only snack because your stomach is empty and you’re bored, so start eating the foods we talked about and you will finally get your weight under control.

This article is authored by Peter King. He practices at Laser Medical Centre, leading skin rejuvenation specialists in Toronto. Peter is a huge MMA fan and hits the local dojo on weekends.

Fad Diets: Are They Worth The Hype?

Fad diets exert an inexplicable appeal to women. We’re repulsed yet fascinated by the idea of losing a few pounds fast. In fact, the faster the pounds are shed, the happier we (think) will be.fad-dietFrom time to time, a new fad diet emerges, claiming to be the last one you’ll ever need to try. Not thinking how every single other diet failed you miserably, you think, Why not?

As people become more desperate to achieve their weight loss goals, the more absurd their tools become. The latest fad diet to add to an already longwinded list is the Cotton Ball diet. Obviously, some people are willing to try anything as long as it will help them achieve their goals — even if they will have to eat material we use to make T-shirts with.

The Cotton Ball Diet

This trending diet is a dangerous one. Believed to have originated in the modeling industry, this trend is emulated by teenage girls who afraid of gaining weight, dip cotton balls in orange juice or other drinks to make themselves full on what’s practically zero calories.

Experts warn people against this increasingly popular trend, appearing in social media, Youtube and of course in the news. These cotton balls can actually get sucked into a person’s intestines, making their passing hard and even requiring surgical removal to provide relief.

This trend is popular with teenage girls and young women who seek to achieve the body image ideals championed by supermodels and magazines. Nutrient depletion and other serious medical problems such as digestive tract obstruction, are some of the possible risks of this diet.

Let’s just hope, teens and for that matter, everyone realize the absurdity and hazardousness of this faddy diet and choose more health-focused eating habits.

The Corset Diet

A diet as appalling and dangerous as the Cotton Ball diet, the Corset Diet has been making the rounds on the web with women discussing its magnificent results; it’s being suggested that with the Corset Diet you can lose up to 6 pounds in just 7 days.

What the corset diet rests upon is that by wearing this restrictive garment around your waist, you’re achieving a similar effect to having a gastric bypass sleeve. The special corset is worn for a few hours each day and gradually you increase the amount of time you wear it to ensure you practically cannot eat much food. Not too shabby right?

Doctors warn against this new fad diet as it can alter one’s body shape substantially. People who wear these corsets for up to 10 hours a day are more likely to get a slimmer waist, as their ribcage pushes inwards. Apart from a deformed waist shape, the Corset diet doesn’t allow proper breathing and adequate organ oxygenation which can cause skin and organ bruising and even more serious medical issues.

Unsustainable and dangerous, it’s a wonder that this diet has enthusiastic fans who cannot see its damaging, borderline absurd effects.

5:2 Intermittent Fasting

The 5:2 diet or Fasting Diet is a dieting pattern which expects you to eat as usual for five days and then for two days constrict your food intake to about 1/4 of what you normally eat. Apart from weight loss — people lose about 1 pound/week— this has many other health benefits, from improving cholesterol levels and blood pressure to achieving better insulin sensitivity.

This fasting diet, hasn’t receive as much negative criticism as other fad diets. In fact, many don’t consider it a fad diet at all, since the weight loss achieved is not as dramatic and sudden as with other diets.

However, its long-term effects, and sustainability haven’t been tested thoroughly, so there’s no way of knowing if the fasting diet is the ultimate weight loss solution.

Five-bite diet

This is a fad diet, championed by Dr. Alwin C. Lewis. It supports that weight loss is a matter of drastic calorie intake reduction. The diet you skip breakfast altogether — which goes against a heavy body of literature glorifying the importance of breakfast for weight management. Then, for lunch and dinner you’re only allowed only five bites of food.

This is another calorie-restricted diet which achieves weight loss by forcing your body to make do with a drastically reduced calorie intake. Although the diet recommends taking vitamins, protein and other nutrients in the form of supplements, it’s still a nutrient-depleting diet which cannot possibly by sustained for long periods of time. Another sad truth about this diet is that once you resume back to your human-appropriate eating portions, the sudden weight loss is more likely to return.

Monomeals

This is another crash diet that’s gaining popularity. People proudly show off their monomeals on Instagram and Facebook, in the majority being fruit-based.

A monomeal is nothing but a meal consisting of a single food — more likely fruit or vegetable. The idea behind this diet is that by choosing a single food, you provide alleviation to the overly burdened digestive system which has to break down complex meals and numerous artificial ingredients.

It’s asserted that a mono diet enhances the eating experience since by eating just one food, all its flavors are brought out. In addition, many claim that the mono diet offers a satisfying experience that promotes satiety and helps you lose weight at the same time.

This is sadly yet another dieting fad that depletes your body from necessary nutrients which can have a series of implications for your health. Ultimately, no diet no matter how promising or hotly endorsed might be can compete with a lifestyle change that champions exercise and healthy eating habits.

Stanley Burnett is a nutrition expert from the United Kingdom who cares about the ways people lose weight and gives unbiased reviews of popular slimming tablets and diet programs on his slimmingpillsinfo.co.uk website.

Foods To Prevent A Cold

onion-bulbIf you are starting to feel the symptoms of a cold or flu coming on; there are some great at home methods of combating it with every day foods.  We all know the hype about oranges and the amount of vitamin C that they pack, but it does not contain the highest amount available in foods. Keep in mind that the intake of vitamin C will not cure the cold or flu, but can shorten the length of time and the severity of the cold or flu.

In the search for vitamin C rich foods it is surprising to find that not only is vitamin C found in fresh fruits but, many fresh vegetables are high in the nutrient as well. This much needed nutrient is not only good for helping with the common cold and flu; it also boosts the immune system to help us stay health year around.

Let’s begin by taking a more in-depth look at some of the super fruits that can help with the symptoms of a cold or flu and the other great affects that they have. The papaya is a one of the tasty treats on the list that not only taste wonderful; it has the ability to help clear the sinuses. Just one cup of the tasty fruit offers 88.3 mg of vitamin C. Other significant affects of this tropical fruit is that it can brighten the skin and give strength to the bone. One can enjoy this healthy fruit by combining it with some other great fruits and yogurt to make a tropical parfait.

Pineapples are a great source of vitamin C and also contain the enzyme bromelain which acts to break down food and aids in reduced bloating. Bromelain works as a natural anti-inflammatory which could be handy for those that enjoy rigorous workouts and are looking for a quicker recovery time. Pineapple is very versatile in the aspect of cooking which makes it a great choice on the list of super fruits.

Kiwi is another unexpected treasure in the search for vitamin C having 137.2 mg in just two fruits; that is 50% more than that found in a medium sized orange.  This little fuzzy fruit is also very rich in potassium; another nutrient that is much needed in the human body. Combine these with shrimp, cilantro, and a few other ingredients to enjoy an awesome kiwi, shrimp salad while nursing the symptoms of a cold.

For those that like to spice things up; adding a half cup of chili peppers to their meal can give them 107.8 mg of vitamin C to help with the symptoms. The chili pepper is more than just an added spice; it contains capsaicin; the compound that makes it hot and can help with the relief of knee joint pain or muscle pain.   Many people are counting calories on a daily basis so; they will be thrilled to know that they can get a solid amount of vitamin C from a serving of broccoli at only 30 calories.  Additionally, persons needing more fiber will benefit from the wealth of it provided in broccoli. Research has shown that broccoli may also provide cancer prevention properties.

These super foods are not a guarantee for what ails you, but they have the capabilities of helping and easing the process. This is just a snippet of the great foods that are readily available to work as home remedies in nursing colds, relaxing a painful leg muscle, and giving support to the immune system.  Remember that eating, being, and living healthy isn’t just for those on a diet.

Donna has been a nurse in the aged care place for the past 16 years and three of these with DearJane were she creates much needed support and comfort products herself for this market.

Garlic Benefits

Allium sativum, camphor of the poor, clove garlic, nectar of the gods, poor man’s treacle, rustic treacle, stinking rose

Garlic was valued as an exchange medium in ancient Egypt and its virtues were described in inscriptions on pyramids. The folk uses of garlic have ranged from the treatment of leprosy in humans to managing clotting disorders in horses.

Healers prescribed the herb during the Middle Ages to cure deafness, and the Native Americans used garlic as a remedy for earaches, flatulence, and scurvy.

Medicinal ingredients of garlic are obtained from the bulb of the A. sativum plant. The aroma, flavor, and medicinal properties of garlic are primarily the result of sulfur compounds including alli-in, ajoen, and allicin. Also found in garlic are vitamins, minerals, and the trace elements germanium and selenium.

Garlic may act as an HMG-reductase inhibitor, thus moderately decreasing cholesterol and triglyceride levels. It can increase fibrinolytic activity and inhibit platelet aggregation, which is probably the work of allicin and ajoene. (Garlic oil used alone does not have this effect.) Garlic lowers blood pressure and may lower blood glucose level by increasing the body’s circulating insulin and by increasing glycogen storage in the liver. It works as an antibacterial against both gram-positive and gram-negative organisms, including Helicobacter pylori (the causative organism in many peptic ulcers and in certain gastric cancers). It may also have antifungal, antiviral, and antitumorigenic effects. Garlic prevents endothelial cell depletion of glutathione, which is thought to be responsible for its antioxidant effects.

Garlic is available as aqueous extract (1:1), capsules, fresh cloves, garlic oil, powdered cloves, softgel capsules, solid garlic extract, tablets, cream (ajoene 0.4%), and gel (ajoene 0.6%). Common trade names include Garlicin, Garlic Powermax, Garlinase 4,000, GarliPure, Garlique, Garlitrin 4,000, Kwai, Kyolic Liquid, and Wellness Garlicell.

Reported uses

Garlic is used most commonly to decrease total cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and to increase HDL cholesterol level. It’s also used to help prevent atherosclerosis because of its effect on blood pressure and platelet aggregation. Garlic is used to decrease the risk of cancer, especially cancer of the GI tract. In traditional medicine it’s used to treat cough, colds, fevers, and sore throats. Garlic is also used orally and topically to fight infection through its antibacterial and antifungal effects.

Administration

Garlic is taken as 900 mg of dried powder, 2 to 5 mg of allicin, or 2 to 5 g of fresh clove. The average dose is 4 g of fresh garlic or 8 mg of garlic oil every day.

Hazards

Adverse reactions associated with garlic include headache, insomnia, fatigue, vertigo, tachycardia, orthostasis, halitosis, heartburn, flatulence, GI distress, nausea, vomiting, bloating, diarrhea, asthma, shortness of breath, contact dermatitis, burns, facial flushing, and body odor.

When taken with anticoagulants, NSAIDs, antiplatelet agents, or other herbs that exert anticoagulation effects such as feverfew and ginkgo, garlic may increase bleeding time, PT, and INR. Blood glucose level may be decreased with hypoglycemics and herbs that exert hypoglycemic effects, like glucomannan. Acetaminophen and other drugs metabolized by the cytochrome P450 enzymes 2E1, 2B1, and 2D6 may be altered by garlic. Garlic can lower serum cholesterol concentrations and test results.

Patients allergic to garlic should avoid use. Pregnant and breast-feeding patients should avoid use if consuming it in amounts greater than used in cooking. Should be used with caution in young children and in those with severe hepatic or renal disease.

Safety Risk Garlic has been associated with hypersensitivity reactiOns. Clinical considerations

  • Therapeutic doses of garlic aren’t recommended for patients with diabetes, insomnia, pemphigus, organ transplants, or rheumatoid arthritis, or for post-surgical patients.
  • Monitor patient for signs and symptoms of bleeding.
  • Garlic may lower blood glucose level. If patient is taking an antihyperglycemic, watch for signs and symptoms of hypoglycemia and monitor his serum glucose level.
  • Advise patient not to delay seeking appropriate medical evaluation because doing so may delay diagnosis of a potentially serious medical condition.
  • Advise patient to consume garlic in moderation, to minimize the risk of adverse reactions.
  • Discourage heavy use of garlic before surgery.
  • Advise patient that using garlic with anticoagulants or antiplatelet agents like NSAIDs may increase the risk of bleeding.
  • Caution patient using garlic as a topical antiseptic to avoid prolonged exposure to the skin because burns can occur.
  • Tell patient to remind pharmacist of any herbal or dietary supplement that he’s taking when obtaining a new prescription.
  • Advise patient to consult his health care provider before using an herbal preparation because a treatment with proven efficacy may be available.

Safety Risk Garlic oil shouldn’t be used to treat inner ear infections in children.

Research summary

Garlic and its extracts have a long history of folk use and recent research has indicated that the herb has significant pharmacologic activity when administered even in small doses. These include effects on blood sugar, cholesterol and lipid levels, and a distinct antithrombotic effect.

Research In one study, 432 individuals who had suffered a heart. attack were given either garlic oil extract or no treatment over a period of 3 years. (Bordia, 1989) The results showed a significant reduction of second heart attacks and about a 50% reduction in death rate among those taking garlic.

You Must Try Easy Cooking Recipes at Your Home

Many people are fond of cooking but the main aspect of good cooking is to prepare healthy food. Healthy food is beneficial in providing health benefits, so one should try to make some healthy yet delicious food for children and adults. Many easy cooking recipes can be found, which can be prepared in less time and also are healthy and nutritious.

In this fast moving era, many of us are busy in our professional life, and do not have that much time to cook food freely in kitchen. Many people even prefer going to restaurants and fast food centers for lunch and dinner. However, it costs more than expected as with the moving time the prices of both food and fuel are rising unexpectedly. Cooking is not that tough and with easy cooking recipes, you can definitely make some healthy and delicious food for your family. Moreover, you would not have to spend a lot of time on cooking as such recipes are very simple and can be prepared easily.

If you are not a cook and do not have much knowledge about cooking then you can buy some cookery books or can try watching cookery shows on television. Both will provide you with appropriate knowledge about cooking and some simple and easy cooking recipes. Many cooking magazines have variety of easy cooking recipes, which are not much complicated to try at home. You can also find many recipes on Internet, as many of websites publish cooking recipes to help those people, who are learning how to cook.

Thus, you must try some easy cooking recipes at your home for serving home cooked dishes to your family. Your children and family members will surely love to have home cooked meals especially made by you.

Canadian Pharmacy – A Major Help to U.S. Citizens

Canadian pharmacies are one of the safe and low cost prescription drugs which are supplied safely. At a survey it was found that about 50 million people in U.S. are not covered by sufficient medicines. If we compare the expenses done on prescription medication between U.S. and other countries, U.S. is much ahead in terms of expenses and also it could be unaffordable instead of medical coverage. Currently, almost everybody in U.S. is purchasing prescription drugs online from pharmacists who are based in Canada, especially the old people.

The cost of drugs in U.S. can be reduced by importing low cost medicines or directly from manufacturer. Pharmacy companies need to maximize the profit to provide sufficient funds for the research and development. It will lead to a heavy loss in monetary part somewhere in billions or trillions of dollars to pharmaceutical industry and thus retrain the capability of companies to spend money in pharmaceutical research, only if imports are allowed.

The comparison of the price between cities and border area is too high. Prices of medicines in border area are too low compared to main U.S. and it shows that the Canadian pharmacy is getting popular day by day. However Canadian pharmacy is yet not approved by FDA, but it has the same standards which are made by FDA.

Although Canadian pharmacy drugs are low in cost, but then also it is advisable to do some research before going ahead and buying any of the pharmacy online. Things such as the cost of the pharmacy, delivery charges and the quality of the drugs need to be checked before placing an order.

Supreme can Figure Out all your Problems

You would have heard about the magic of Acai berries if you are a diet conscious human being. There are number of programs which are telecast on television by number of famous personalities. The Acai berries are presently advertized as the best food around the world.

As the Acai berry has become so famous in the market and is liked by everyone so number of manufacturers have started adding Acai berries in their products. One of the best products with Acai berry is supreme. This is everyone’s favorite nowadays.

The ingredients of the Supreme an Acai berry product

Basically the effectiveness of any supplement is determined by the ingredients only. The supplements which attribute only Acai berries are the best as said by the researchers and the doctors. Those manufacturers who mix the other ingredients with the Acai berries usually end up with less effective food supplement which is disliked by everyone. Fortunately, supreme has Acai berry only as chief ingredient. This is the very best advantage of supreme that it offers all the advantages of the Acai berries.

The benefits of the supreme or Acai berry supreme

As the pills of supreme contains only Acai berry, one get the equal benefits of Acai berry as consumed raw. This means your desire for food is covered up, this also means your immune system is perfect, your circulation is also working perfectly, and you look good and also feel healthier. The Acai berry is considered to be world’s wonder food, and if you consume them regularly the result you get is unbelievable or limitless. One would feel and look good or even much enthusiastic.

How does supreme an Acai berry product works?

As we all know that Acai berry is an excellent product but the problem lies in the customer service of the product. Basically all the companies offer free sample for the trail purpose but these are the tactics of the sales personals but in reality they are trying to pull you in the lifetime membership. There are number of people who have filed complaints to dissolve their membership but got nothing. Number of customers try the customer help line number but get no answer they only get to hear the voice of operator only.

In the market nowadays the Acai berries have become the most wanted diet pills and every week millions of diet pills get sold. They have become so popular just because they have been advertised everywhere on talk shows, news papers and in magazines also.

Sorry to say, number of people thinks that the sales man of these pills will rob their money off and so they won’t get the benefit which they can get. And if someone is smart enough then there is no need of getting worried. One should read all the details, terms and conditions before giving any amount of money. One has to remain aware in order to save him or herself from getting robbed.

Vegetarianism

Meat is expensive at the supermarket or butcher shop. But when experts anallyze what the meat-centered American diet costs the nation’s health-care system, the price goes sky-high: $29 billion to $61 billion a year. These figures come from a report issued by Neal D. Barnard, M.D., and other members of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, a Washington, D.C.-based organization that promotes health through nutrition.

As mind-boggling as these figures are, Dr. Barnard insists that they are conservative, because his team limited its findings to diseases for which the data are strongest. “Undoubtedly,” he says, “meat costs the health-care system even more.”

“If you look carefully at the data, the optimum amount of meat you should eat is zero,” concurs Walter Willett, M.D., Dr.P.H., chairperson of the department of nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston.

Research has linked meat consumption to colon, lung, prostate, and ovarian cancers
as well as to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a type of lymph cancer. In fact, when researchers in New Zealand compared the health of 5,015 meat eaters and 6,115 vegetarians, they found that the vegetarians were 39 percent less likely to experience any form of cancer.

The same study showed that the vegetarians were 28 percent less likely to develop heart disease, the number one cause of death in the United States. That’s no coincidence. Meat is a major source of dietary fat. Fat consumption is strongly associated with obesity, diabetes, and elevated cholesterol and blood pressure-all risk factors for heart disease.

In a landmark study comparing 25,000 Seventh-Day Adventists (whose religion espouses vegetarianism) to typical meat-eating Americans, researchers at Lorna Linda University in California discovered that the Adventists had 40 percent fewer heart attacks. What’s more, their heart attacks occurred an average of 10 years later in life.

When people have a meatless or almost­meatless diet, they also seem to have a lower risk of stroke, which is the number three cause of death in the United States. When John Lynch, M.D., a neurology fellow at Yale University School of Medicine in New Haven, Connecticut, tracked the health of 6,500 stroke-free men over 10 years, he found that 12 percent of those who ate meat daily ended up having strokes. By comparison, just 5.4 percent of those who ate meat one to three times a month had strokes.

Meat delivers a double whammy to your health. It not only can be high in fat-especially saturated fat, the kind with strong ties to heart disease and cancer-it also tends to displace fruits and vegetables in the diet. That’s not good. Fruits and vegetables are rich in fiber and nutrients that help prevent America’s top three killers: heart disease, cancer, and stroke.

The Myths of Going Meatless

Clearly, building your diet around fruits, vegetables, and other plant-derived foods has a lot to offer, health-wise. Yet as recently as the mid-1970s, most nutritionists called vegetarianism a one-way ticket to malnutrition.

How things have changed. Today we know that eating healthfully is easier as a vegetarian than as a meat eater, largely because most vegetarians consume less fat than the typical omnivore. Even the American Dietetic Association now endorses vegetarianism as nutritionally sound. Nonetheless, the old arguments still crop up. Here’s what those arguments sound like-and the reasons why they don’t hold water.

Vegetarians can’t get enough protein. For years, protein was the star nutrient in the American diet, and meat was its primary source. So experts assumed, quite logically, that vegetarians would develop protein deficiencies.

That thinking has shifted, for two reasons. First, nutritionists now realize that Americans eat way more protein than they actually need. Second, the kind of protein that comes from meat is accompanied by an unhealthy amount of fat.

The Daily Value for protein is 50 grams. You can easily meet this requirement by consuming plant-derived foods. A cup of lentils contains 15 grams of protein; 4 ounces of tofu, 9 grams; 2 tablespoons of peanut butter, 8 grams; a cup of cooked oat bran, 7 grams; a cup of pasta, 7 grams; and 1/2 cup of millet, 4 grams.

“Protein has become a nonissue,” says Suzanne Havala, R.D., a registered dietitian in Charlotte, North Carolina. “If you eat a reasonable variety of foods, you won’t have a problem getting enough protein. In fact, as long as you consume enough calories to meet your energy needs, you’d have to work hard to devise a protein-deficient diet.”

Vegetarians can’t get enough iron. Yes, you can-as long as you’re also getting
enough vitamin C. Plant-derived foods provide plenty of iron. The catch: It’s non­heme iron, which isn’t as well-absorbed as heme iron, the kind found in meat. You can easily improve the absorption rate by pairing a nonheme iron source with a vitamin C source. At breakfast, for example, have a glass of orange juice (which is rich in vitamin C) with a bowl of hot wheat cereal (which supplies 9 milligrams of non­heme iron, or 50 percent of the Daily Value).

Vegetarians can’t get enough calcium. Dietitians recommend that Americans consume 1,200 to 1,500 milligrams of calcium a day. You can get all the calcium you need from low-fat or nonfat milk, cheese, yogurt, and other dairy products that are rich in the mineral. But what if you eliminate dairy products, as some vegetarians do? In that case, many fruits and vegetables can make a contribution to your calcium intake. Among those highest in calcium are collard greens (290 milligrams per cup, cooked), bok choy (250 milligrams per cup, cooked), tofu (244 milligrams per cup), dried figs
(161 milligrams in six figs), and kale (148 milligrams per cup, cooked).

Vegetarians risk neurological damage from vitamin B12 deficiency. Because vitamin B12 is found primarily in meats and other animal-derived foods, vegetarians often have low levels of the nutrient. The risk of not getting enough B12 is of particular concern to the strictest vegetarians, called vegans (pronounced “VEE-guns”). These people forgo all animal products, including dairy foods like milk and cheese.

But even vegans can get as much vitamin B12 as they need through supplementation. In fact, some nutritionists recommend that all vegetarians take a daily B12 supplement, just to be on the safe side. You need just 6 micrograms (that’s six-millionths of a gram) to match the Daily Value. And you can probably get by with even less for a few months, since your body stores up to a 2-year supply.

Vegetarianism stunts children’s growth. Several studies have shown that this simply isn’t true. In one study, Kay L. Stanek, R.D., Ph.D., associate professor of nutritional sciences at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln, compared the body measurements and nutrient intakes of omnivorous children ages 10 to 12 with children of the same age who had been ovo-lactovegetarians from birth.

(Ovo-lactovegetarians eat eggs and dairy products but no meat.) Neither group showed any nutritional deficiencies, and both had similar height ranges.

Naturopathy

Mainstream medicine has its drugs and surgery; Chinese medicine, its herbs and acupuncture; Ayurveda, its nutrition and meditation. Each of these healing systems is a collection of individual therapies united by a well-defined philosophy of healing.

But naturopathy is different. “It’s more than just a healing system,” explains Joseph Pizzorno Jr., N.D., one of America’s preeminent naturopaths. “It’s a way of life.”

Naturopathy espouses a wide-ranging combination of nutrition and supplementation, exercise, stress management, herbal medicine, acupuncture, homeopathy, manipulative therapies, and hot and cold baths. Since so many nondrug therapies fit under the naturopathy umbrella, you’re getting a good taste of blended medicine when you visit a naturopath and follow his advice. But the naturopathic approach to healing is so broad and all-encompassing that some critics consider it an alternative smorgasbord with no individual identity.

In fact, naturopathy has a very distinct identity. Its use of multiple alternative therapies serves a single noble goal: to stimulate what the Greek physician Hippocrates, the father of medicine, called Vis Medicatrix Naturae-the healing power of nature.

Uncommon Therapies, One Common Goal

The term naturopathy was first coined by John Scheel, a New York City physician, in 1895. He later sold the term to Benedict Lust, who applied it to his own unique blend of nondrug therapies. Lust would go on to become the seminal figure in naturopathy.

Around 1895, Lust opened the Health Food Store in New York City, where he sold vegetables, herbs, and homeopathic medicines. (The store’s name is the first documented use of the phrase “health food.”) The following year, he enrolled in New York’s Universal Osteopathic Medical College, and in 1898, he became a licensed osteopath. Lust went on to earn degrees in chiropractic and homeopathy as well as in a discipline then known as eclectic medicine (which was essentially a form of scientifically applied herbalism). In 1919, he founded the American Naturopathic Association to promote his vision of a unified, drug-free approach to healing. Naturopathy espoused the following principles.

  • Nature is the one and only true healing force. It endows the human body with an inherent restorative power to self­heal.
  • The physician’s job is to teach people that they are their own best healers and to prescribe therapies that strengthen their self-healing powers.
  • The physician should support people in the elimination of bad habits such as overeating; drinking alcohol, coffee, and tea; staying up late; and “sexual excesses.”
  • The physician should help people develop good habits, which Lust defined as a whole-foods vegetarian diet, regular exercise, adequate rest, a positive mental attitude, and moderation in pursuit of health and wealth.
  • The physician should encourage his patients to use natural therapies-herbal medicine, homeopathy, osteopathy, chiropractic, massage, and hydrotherapy­to treat and cure illness.

Hydrotherapy: Support for the Water Cure

Many of the alternative disciplines that make up naturopathy have been discussed in previous chapters. While drawing on all of these therapies for healing, a naturopathic doctor may recommend one other as well: hydrotherapy, the water cure advocated a century ago by Benedict Lust.

Anyone who has ever enjoyed an extended soak in the tub knows that a hot bath can be quite relaxing. In fact, hot baths-as well as alternating hot and cold baths-are therapeutic fixtures at hundreds of health spas, where people have retreated for centuries to “take the waters.” But hydrotherapy can do more than help you relax.

For centuries, Finnish physicians have prescribed saunas to treat infectious diseases. Native Americans used sweat lodges for the same purpose. And as research shows, such a practice makes sense. Raising the body’s temperature in a hot bath or sauna stimulates the immune system and helps discourage disease-causing microorganisms from reproducing. Naturopaths often prescribe hot baths to treat certain types of infections.

In addition, several studies have shown that sweating increases the secretion of certain addictive drugs as well as some toxic metals and chemicals.