According to The World's Healthiest Foods
, there are a surprising number of nutrient categories responsible for the health benefits of this underappreciated tuber. Among these categories are antioxidants, anti-inflammatory nutrients, and blood sugar-regulating nutrients. Each category brings with it valuable health benefits.
Sweet potatoes may be one of the very best sources of beta-carotene. Several recent studies have shown sweet potatoes significantly raise our blood levels of vitamin A. This benefit may be particularly true for children. Beta-carotene is especially important as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, and is key in fighting cancer and the effects of aging. Be sure to order a box this week for your supply of this important veggie!
From Real Food Forage
r..... "Experience has shown that the juice of specific fruits and vegetables can help improve body functions and cleanse the body of toxins. When you squeeze out the juice of vegetables, you receive a concentration of vitamins, minerals, and enzymes. Juicing is an important part of the GAPS protocol and it goes well with the later Intro stages." Here are her top 3 reasons to juice and the ones that I think are most important (there are actually 5 in her article)...
- Juicing allows your digestive system to rest, so that energy may go into elimination, recovery and healing, instead of digestion. During this time, cells can repair themselves and detoxify. Freshly pressed juices provide enzymes as well as vitamins and minerals that are easily assimilated.
- Juicing will help to break down the vegetables, making it easier to assimilate, so you will receive most of the nutrition.
- Juicing allows you to consume more vegetables than you normally would. Some people may find eating vegetables difficult, but it can be easily accomplished with a quick glass of vegetable juice.
Be sure to check out Gaia's new Juicing Boxes and step up your nutrition a bit!See the full article here.
Good nutrition is important for our whole body, and the liver is one of the most important organs in our body. We put it to the task with almost everything that we put into our mouths, and we need to make sure it's working optimally to keep us going strong. Check out this article from Food Matters
that teaches us what to eat to make sure our liver is ready to take on the challenges we throw its way."Our livers work extremely hard everyday to protect us from adverse affects from toxins and often it is easy for our livers to become overworked compromising our health significantly. Here are 7 common foods you can include daily to help cleanse your liver naturally."
Jonathan Benson, NaturalNews.com
I just got this newsletter from Food Matters in my inbox and thought I'd share this great article with you. BTW, if you haven't seen the movie Food Matters, be sure to check it out on Netflix. Eating well really does matter!!When you’re home, you are master of your domain. You control what comes into the kitchen and what lands on your children’s plates. But what happens when you’re not at home - when you’re traveling, fighting traffic, waiting at the airport, running late or stuck at the mall and your child is starving?
The fear of drive through and fast food restaurants has been drilled into most of us, but sometimes there’s no avoiding a meal out at a less than healthy establishment. So here are some tips and guidelines for smart ordering and healthy practices when eating out.
Read the rest of the article......
According to a recent article in the New York Times, "researchers are finding indications that obesity, diabetes and mental illness among adults are all related in part to what happened in the womb decades earlier. "
One part of the article I found particularly interesting is the study that showed that when rats were fed junk food while pregnant their offspring were more likely to choose junk food once born. Of course this leads to obesity issues, which we see increasing in humans at an alarm rate in this country. More than 60% of all children are considered obese!! And the studies that show the effects of chemicals, including pesticides, that mothers are exposed to while pregnant are particularly alarming.
These studies really help support the movement towards eating more healthy organic foods especially when pregnant and for infants and children. If you are pregnant, know someone who's pregnant or are thinking about having children, please share this important information. You can read the entire article at http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/03/opinion/03kristof.html?_r=1
I'd love to hear your feedback!
Many of you know that in addition to having the greatest business ever, Gaia's Greens, that I am also a Yoga teacher. I've started teaching at a new studio in Newnan/Sharpsburg, Ga. and we are having our Grand Opening Celebration this weekend - Saturday, August 28. We are offering FREE yoga, meditation and Tai Chi classes all day long! There will be great giveaways, music and more.... Be sure to check the website for class times and more details at www.ancientofdayscenter.com
Doesn't it make you crazy with all of the different claims made on foods at the grocery store?! "Natural", "Made with Organic Ingredients", 100% Certified Organic"... what do they all mean? Here is the labeling lingo and what it means:
USDA Organic - If a food bears a USDA Organic label, it means it's produced and processed according to the USDA standards and that at least 95 percent of the food's ingredients are organically produced. Products that are completely organic — such as fruits, vegetables, eggs or other single-ingredient foods — are labeled 100 percent organic and can carry this seal. Growers and handlers of organic produce are certified and tested on a regular basis to ensure they follow these strict standards.
Made with organic ingredients. These are products that contain at least 70 percent organic ingredients. The organic seal can't be used on these packages. Foods containing less than 70 percent organic ingredients can't use the organic seal or the word "organic" on their product label. They can include the organic items in their ingredient list, however.
All-Natural - This is the most meaningless and confusing label of them all. There are no regulations regarding foods labeled as "all-natural" except for meat and poultry, so basically a company can put that on most anything. Though you would think that something labeled "all-natural" would indeed contain ingredients that are in fact natural, many contain processed and chemically created ingredients. For example, I found High Fructose Corn Syrup which is derived chemically from corn starch in some "All-Natural" products, and HFCS is definitely something to avoid. Even "all-natural" meats and poultry can contain hormones and antibiotics!! The USDA requires "natural" meat and poultry to be free of artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners, preservatives and ingredients, but it does not regulate how the sources of those foods were raised.
Unless you see the USDA label, your best bet is to read the entire package and ingredient list to see what is in it!
Gaia's Greens fruits and vegetables are 100% Organic and do carry the USDA Organic label. Almost all of our add-on products carry the USDA Organic certification as well.
Check out this article from Jamie Kelley of The Organic Center:
New research shows that certain pesticide residues commonly found in conventional fruits and vegetables can disrupt developmental processes, increasing the odds that a person will struggle with weight gain, obesity and diabetes. One of every three U.S. children is overweight. If current obesity trends continue, by the year 2030, more than 85% of adults will be overweight!
It turns out that a pregnant woman’s dietary exposure to pesticides can alter her infant’s development. One study found that pre-natal exposure to a fungicide increased the risk of the child becoming overweight by age six, compared to children who had not been exposed to the chemical.
See the full article here: http://theorganiccenter.wordpress.com/
This from the Organic Trade Association:
Organic is the most heavily regulated and closely monitored production system in the U.S., enabling you to choose organic products with confidence! It takes a lot for a product to become certified organic. It has to be grown and processed without the use of toxic and synthetic pesticides and fertilizers, antibiotics, synthetic growth hormones, sewage sludge, and artificial colors and flavors. And the product can’t just claim to made without these substances; it has to prove it.
To claim organic certification, growers and handlers must follow a rigorous set of federal production and processing standards. I invite you to visit the Organic Trade Association's website at http://www.organicitsworthit.org/learn/us-organic-standards
to learn more about the standards and what you can expect when you see the Organic Certification label.
All of our produce is 100% certified organic and most of our add on products are as well.
I am often asked if "organic" produce is better than "local" produce or vice versa. The answer is sometimes yes and sometimes no - it depends. As a nutrition consultant, I've done a fair bit of research on this topic. Based on my research, here is my order of preference:
1) Certified Organic Local
2) Certified Organic
3) Local - if I can talk with the farmer about growing conditions.
I always choose organics first regardless of where they come from because I can get a great variety of produce all year round and I'm sure there are no chemicals used on my food because of the Organic Certification. Local organic produce is great when it's in season and in fact I grow as much of my own produce as possible. However, there are just some things that I love that won't grow around here like avocados, mangos and pineapples. And the truth is that opting for local only many times doesn't meet our nutritional needs or offer the variety we should be getting in our diets, especially during the winter months when there is very little grown locally. And, it goes without saying (but I'll say it anyway) if the local produce in question is grown with chemical fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides, then organic is definitely better! When I'm buying local I always try to talk with the farmer about his/her growing methods so I know what's in the food.
"What about the transportation impact on the environment for those products that come from far away?" you might ask. Of course I also care about our environment, but the facts are that most of the impact of getting food from seed to your table comes from the fuel used during the farming process, not during transportation to market. There's no doubt that organic produce from Mexico is more expensive to transport than organic produce from my home state, but when it comes to a choice between pesticide covered produce from Georgia versus organic from Mexico - I'm choosing organic every time!!