By Natural Advocate | June 30, 2012 - 6:55 am - Posted in Foods

There may be yet another reason to start or keep on eating that apple a day. You’ve undoubtedly heard talk about how wonderful apples are with their high fiber content and low calorie count. They are the ideal snack that goes with lunch or works on its own as a filling mid day snack too.

Apples contain tons of a fiber called pectin which helps to keep you regular. It is also incredibly filling for a food that has such a small calorie count, clocking in around 60-80 calories depending on the size of the apple.

New evidence suggests that there is another potentially huge health benefits in apples that you may want to exploit in order to keep your waistline trim and slim. There is a compound in the peel of the apple called ursolic acid (I’ve never heard of this acid before – not to be confused with uric acid).

Urolic acid was testes in groups of mice. The mice in the study were all fed high fat diets for several weeks. The grouup of mice that was given this urolic acid as well as the high fat diet showed a couple of interesting things worth noting.

First, the mice that had the acid added to their diet tended to show more muscle development than their non-urolic acid counterparts. Muscle is important in burning fat, and lots of muscle also helps us look much slimmer and trimmer.

Not only did this group of mice demonstrate higher amounts of muscle mass, they also displayed higher amounts of brown fat. Brown fat is the type that actually helps burn calories faster and metabolizes the “bad fat” more efficiently.

The school of thought on brown versus white fat is that those with higher amounts of brown fat are traditionally thinner people than those without as much of this type of “good fat” on their body.

That’s not even where the good news ends about this ursolic acid compound. The mice that were fed this compound over the weeks of the study also exhibited less likelihood to gain weight. They therefore also exhibited a lower incidence of diabetes, high blood pressure and other health woes typically associated with excessive weight mass.

I looked this urolic acid up to see if ACV, or Apple Cider Vinegar, contained the acid and indeed it does. This means that taking your daily dose of ACV may indeed help you with your health and weight maintenance goals. More to come on this as more is discovered.

By Natural Advocate | June 29, 2012 - 1:57 pm - Posted in Detoxify, Foods

I subscribe to, and believe it is very valuable for consumers like you and me who are concerned about the foods we eat, the products we put on our bodies, and our environment, the EWG newsletter. EWG stands for Environmental Working Group. They are a nonprofit organization that lobbies for people like us who want to know the truth about toxins such as pesticides, preservatives, cleaners and other potential hazards in this unfortunately toxic world we inhabit today.

We are absolutely inundated with these chemicals every day, and the worst part is, companies try to hide that these chemicals have side effects and build up to toxic levels in the body over time.  The FDA can be of very little help because first off, they are already overwhelmed and overworked trying to police everything else, and the mentality on things like pesticides is that it helps us produce more food in this society.

The EWG is trying to put out a small book for consumers about pesticides and the truth about what types of foods harbor the most pesticides and what they can potentially do to the human body.

The pesticide industry has fired back threatening them saying they are promoting misinformation and trying even to put out their own “educational” booklet on pesticides and why they are safe and ultimately a good thing for food.  You know what they say about threats? Usually they happen because a big industry with very deep pockets and a lot to lose if consumers are told the truth is feeling threatened.

While we here at HerbalNewsMagazine feel it is only right for both sides to be heard on any story, we feel strongly that the EWG’s 2012 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Product is a very valuable resource that should not be overlooked and taken seriously.

The organization needs donations by midnight tonight in order to keep this offering out there and to keep threats from Big Agriculture at bay in order to just be able to function and provide this great free information to consumers that want to remain informed about food safety for their families.

Here’s where you can go to donate :

https://donate.ewg.org/t/11891/p/d/environmental_working_group/ewgcontrib/public/index.sjs?donate_page_KEY=7212&track=2012FN2NGAskB&utm_source=2012fn2ngaskb&utm_medium=email&utm_content=image&utm_campaign=fund

 

By Natural Advocate | June 27, 2012 - 8:39 am - Posted in Environment

In a story that has been sounding alarm bells allover the news, 15 cows have died on a ranch in Austin Texas after grazing on the grass in the field as they usually do.  Apparently the cattle were dead within hours of grazing in the area they were in on the ranch, and only 3 of the small herd grazing in the area actually survived the unfortunate incident.

Investigators are looking at the possiblity that the drought conditions may have propelled some sort of chemical reaction in the hybridized Bermuda grass named Tifton 85, that has been used in pastures now for several years without incident.   I know, I didn’t like the idea that cattle I’m probably eating beef from or drinking milk from are grazing on GMO’d grass, but that’s for another topic.

Right now researchers are thinking the problem is a rare combination of circumstances in this area of pasture that caused the deaths, which were determined to be caused by a cyanide type of poisoning which stems from consumption of a toxic acid called prussic acid.

The set of circumstances thus far that have been determined have been the combination of a drought in the area and the fact that the grass appears to have been fertilized with nitrogen only and not other necessary compounds, culminating in a toxic cocktail of chemicals releasing this prussic acid which then poisoned the cows.

Even more alarming is that this hybridized grass if planted in hundreds if not thousands of acres of pasture in Texas, which is a big cattle farming state as you may already know.  There is now a mad dash to resolve or at least figure out this issue to prevent more cattle deaths and also to prevent toxic cattle beef and dairy from being released to the public.

More to come on this very alarming story.  Do you think that the fact the grass is genetically modified has anything to do with this unfortunate set of circumstances, or that this would have occurred with natural grasses that hadn’t been tampered with genetically?  I’m very much on the fence about that myself.

 

By Natural Advocate | June 24, 2012 - 2:06 pm - Posted in Alternative Therapies

I read the most interesting piece yesterday about how researchers are thinking that a mother’s breast milk may actually contain a piece of the puzzle when it comes to finding out how to successfully kill or halt the virus that causes AIDS, HIV, to stop spreading.

While it is known that there are cases where HIV is spread to an infant from their mother, there are a lot of times when an infant does not get the virus when it’s been fed the breast milk repeatedly. I don’t know how they know that and I certainly would hope that a mother who knowingly has HIV wouldn’t be feeding her child her breast milk.

The point here is that researchers never thought much of it until they started digging and found that the key may be in the breast milk itself and its chemical makeup. They are hopeful that there is some sort of special compound of antibody in a mother’s breast milk that might fend off the dangerous virus.

This is obviously exciting because we could take something that occurs in nature and possibly isolate it into a medication for those that suffer from HIV. If scientists could find out the reasons why the breast milk seems to have protective powers against this insidious virus, they could really come up with a unique treatment or even vaccination that doesn’t have side effects possibly (as long as they don’t use those dangerous preservatives in them!)

By Natural Advocate | June 21, 2012 - 4:25 pm - Posted in Vitamins & Minerals

Vitamins are a vital source of strength and vitality (as well as disease prevention) for our bodies, and a crucial part of any diet. While it’s widely accepted that we should eat plenty of fruits and vegetables to maintain healthy intakes, there’s a growing demand for supplements to boost the vitamin consumption.

If you’ve had your ears turned towards the dieting industry, you’ll have heard recent discussion over the effectiveness of vitamin pills. The aim of most pills is to provide nutrients to the system and compensate for deficiencies, but this has been questioned with several experts casting doubt on the positive results.

Of course, the best way to get those vital vitamins is to make a lifestyle change and eat more greens. This shows you a multivitamin and super greens for optimum health: But just how important are natural vitamins?

Much of our growth and development is directly related to vitamins and minerals. It’s no myth that children and teenagers need healthy nutrients to build up a defence against diseases and deficiency related illness. There are several artificial means of boosting vitamin levels, but the downside to this is that not every method has been scientifically proven.

More and more people have been opting for special natural Vitamin D supplements. These have been advertised in a way that suggests they’re capable of cutting back on the risk of heart disease and diabetes. The scientific opinion is divided, but if you balance the supplements with a Vitamin D aided diet, the advantages are obvious.

Healthy intakes of Vitamin D are vital for the maintenance of our core skeleton, and the vitamin is directly related to the calcium levels in our bodies. A deficiency can lead to harmful conditions such as Osteoporosis, and several other bone related diseases.

Another important nutrient stems from Vitamin E. This vitamin is vital for fighting several forms of cancer, along with cardiovascular related disease. A healthy level will boost the potency of antioxidant and work to protect key cell membranes. You can reel off a list of many, many debilitating conditions which Vitamin E works to fight against.

Once again, you’ll find that there are a surprising number of supplements on the market. For Vitamin E, in particular, herbal products offering precise formulations swamp the industry and it can be a little tricky to choose between them. Do your research before you splash out on any natural dietary supplement. Check the ingredients and work out just how potent the product is going to be.

Many herbal products are so weak that they provide as little as 10%-15% of the nutrients required.

Most importantly, though, you should be aware that the best sources of vitamins come from a healthy diet. It can be easy to neglect healthy eating and rely on alternative means if you’re stuck in a habit, but real effort will bring real results.

Vitamins A, B, C, D and E should all be taken seriously when considering your diet. Together they combine to provide the body the strength it needs – not only to combat disease, but to produce physical results that will affect our every day lives. From the strength of the bones, to the protection of key organs, and even to fighting cancer – there can be no underestimating the benefits of natural vitamins.

 


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