Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Natural Remedy For Sore Throat

Posted: 26 Feb 2014 02:13 PM PST

Having a sore throat? Try this effective homemade remedy for sore throat instead of taking antibiotics and pills.

  • lemons
  • 1-inch piece of fresh ginger
  • honey

Cut up a couple of lemons and put them into the jar. Fill half of the jar. Then grate the ginger into the jar, and over this mixture slowly pour the honey to settle between all the lemon pieces. Keep the jar in the fridge and wait until the mixture turns into jelly.


Take a spoonful of the jelly and add it in hot water. You can drink this tea whenever you have a sore throat.

This homemade remedy is good for 3 months and it is recommended for all ages.

Gluten Intolerant? You May Just Be Intolerant of Monsanto Weed Killer

Posted: 26 Feb 2014 07:56 AM PST

Scientists suggest that Monsanto's Roundup herbicide is what's making people have such a nasty reaction to gluten

Gluten has been a major news item for the last few years—not just for sufferers of acute gluten intolerance and celiac disease, but for increasing numbers of people who are seeking to eliminate gluten from their diet for general health issues, weight control, skin health and even mood. As cholesterol and the carbs once were, gluten is the new enemy, to the point that some have claimed it's a substance that the body isn't equipped to handle.

I've even heard people blame gluten for all of the ails of modern civilization: After all, the cultivation of wheat, some say, is the birth of agriculture, and the ownership of crops goes hand in hand with the ownership of people that characterizes patriarchal, hierarchical civilization. Bread and beer, both products of wheat, people like Terence McKenna have suggested, are responsible for our generally degenerate state.

But all over-the-top speculation aside, a new scientific review has suggested a far more specific problem with gluten: And it has nothing to do with wheat itself.

Rather, the peer-reviewed article "Glyphosate, pathways to modern diseases Celiac sprue and gluten intolerance" suggests that the real criminal isn't gluten but, rather, Glyphosate, AKA Roundup, the Monsanto-manufactured weedkiller used around the world. Glyphosate is sprayed on crops genetically engineered to be "Roundup Ready," meaning that the crops resist the poison, while any nearby weeds are immediately killed. But that potentially leaves the end-product consumer with two toxic vectors to deal with: not only the Roundup that was sprayed on the crops, but, in some cases, the prior genetic engineering done to the crops themselves.

The review abstract lists the following allegations:

• 5% of the population in North America and Europe suffer from celiac disease and gluten intolerance, leading to nausea, diarrhea, rashes, macrocytic anemia (swollen red blood cells combined with lack of red blood cells overall) and depression. It can also lead to increased risk for thyroid disease, kidney failure, cancer, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, infertility, birth defects and miscarriages.

• Glyphosate is the key culprit for all of this.

• Fish exposed to glyphosate get symptoms similar to celiac disease.

• Glyphosate impairs the enzymes that detox environmental toxins, chelates key minerals (meaning you don't absorb them), depletes key amino acids

• Glyphosate is often used to artificially "ripen" crops, which the study blames for kidney failures in Central American sugar cane workers.

Bad news for Monsanto, especially after the recent kerfluffle over the prior, extremely controversial Seralini study on glyphosate. Because very little negative research has been done into Glyphosate (because, as activists allege, Monsanto funds nearly all the studies into Glyphosate), it's been slow going in building a case against Roundup. But this information—which looks much more sound than the Seralini study—may prove yet another arrow in Monsanto's side.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Becoming a Vegetarian: 7 Foods Your Body Needs If You Stop Eating Meat

Posted: 24 Feb 2014 03:02 PM PST

By now, we all know that eating rib eye and pork chops isn't good for our bodies or the environment. It's an individual choice to go completely vegetarian, but many Americans are cutting back: From 2007 to 2012, American meat consumption plummeted by 12 percent. It's recommended that protein make up 10 to 35 percent of our daily caloric intake. Essential amino acids, commonly consumed through meat and eggs, are necessary for digestion, growth, and body tissue repair. Having enough vitamin B12 proves even more difficult for herbivores: Important for energy conversion, the vitamin is mainly found in red meat and fish.

So how do we satisfy these nutritional needs without eating meat?


Packed with flavor, this Middle Eastern dip kicks plain old chickpeas up a notch. Not only is it a low-cholesterol protein source; hummus has tons of fiber too. Most grocery stores carry a few ready-made varieties, but with some basic ingredients—tahini, olive oil, lemon, and garlic—it's also easy to whip up in the kitchen.


Think of it as fermented, healthier tofu. Although tempeh is not as popular as its soy-based protein sister, in Indonesia it dates back to the 19th century. Having three times the amount of protein of tofu, it also contains vitamin B12, an essential nutrient for metabolism usually found in animal products.

Greek Yogurt

Thanks to the recent craze, Greek yogurt no longer carries the sad "food diet" rep. (Really, how healthy can all that added sugar be?) It has a creamier consistency, twice the protein, and half the carbs of regular yogurt. Opt for the plain type, of course, and add your favorite fruits for a tasty snack.


Served as an appetizer in Japanese restaurants, edamame are a great source of protein. Don't let the unfamiliar name fool you: Edamame are basically soybeans harvested just before ripening. They're cheap, are easy to prepare (boil in water, and add a sprinkle of salt), and can be found in most freezer aisles. Feeling adventurous? Mix these baby soybeans in a stir-fry or a bowl of udon. 

Hemp Seeds

Chewy and nutty, hemp seeds are a perfect addition to yogurt and oatmeal. Unlike flaxseeds and chia seeds, they contain all of the essential amino acids—ideal for vegetarians and vegans.


Omega-3 fatty acids have many benefits, such as lowering risk for heart disease and cancer, and most people get their fix mainly through fish. But how do fish have so much of the good stuff, anyway? By eating seaweed. Many coastal communities have long relied on and consume it on a regular basis. And with seaweed's growing popularity in the United States, many supermarkets already stock their aisles with the nutritious vegetable.


Sure, we're all a little tired of hearing about the magical seed that is quinoa. That doesn't make it any less wonderful. Cooked right, quinoa makes a great, fluffy substitute for carby grains like rice and oats. It's packed with manganese, zinc, and iron, minerals more commonly consumed through shellfish. Also, it's fun to say: kee-no-wah.
[via takepart]

Yes. I eat this.

Today, I discuss eating one of the most villainized foods of recent times.

Everyone is on the bandwagon to eliminate it from their diet, but I don't think you have to if you buy or make the right kind.

There's definitely a way to eat it and a way NOT to eat it, I discuss it all right here

Hope you enjoy this latest investigation

I can give up all the crazy added chemicals in food - but not this.





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Friday, February 21, 2014

Orange – Star among the Healing Fruits

Posted: 21 Feb 2014 12:37 PM PST

Botanically, orange is a citrus fruit that belongs to the family Rutaceae of the genus citrus (which includes: pomelo, mandarin orange and grapefruit). The scientific name of the orange is Citrus sinensis.

Oranges are originated from Asia, from where they are widespread over the world.

Orange is a tropical to subtropical green tree growing in height from 5 to 8 meters. It gives fruits that have diameter of approximately 8 inches and weighing 100 to 150 grams every year. Oranges are classified into two categories: sweet and bitter.

Once oranges were very expensive and people have consumed them just for the Christmas dinner. Today, fortunately, oranges are widespread. Orange is known as curative fruit from the old days, and in Ancient Greece was called the God of fruits.

More than a hundred varieties of orange are used in the world. U.S. is the biggest producer of oranges in the world.

Orange is considered as one of the most healing fruits in the world and the most popular type of oranges are the red and the orange. The healing properties of the orange are so broad that voluminous book can be written. It is created for the winter, because they have power to perform detoxification of the body from toxins and to protect against colds.

Nutritional value and medical application

  • Orange as well as other citrus fruits, is an excellent source of vitamin C (providing about 60 percent of the recommended daily dose). Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant. Consuming foods rich in vitamin C helps the body to develop resistance to infectious agents, and also collects the harmful, inflammatory free radicals from the blood.
  • Oranges are rich in various nutrients. It is low calorie fruit, does not contain saturated fats or cholesterol, but it is rich with fiber and pectin, which are extremely useful for people with obesity. Pectin serves as a natural laxative and thus helps in the prevention of the lining of the colon by reducing the time of exposure to toxic substances, as well as bonding with carcinogenic substances in the colon. Pectin also lowers the level of cholesterol in the blood by reducing the reabsorption of bile acids in the colon.
  • Oranges are a good source of vitamin B group, such as thiamine, pyridoxine and folate. These vitamins are essential in the sense that the body must get them from external sources to supplement the supplies.Orange Fruit
  • Oranges contain several types of phytochemicals. Hesperetin and naringenin are flavonoids that are found in citrus fruits. Naringenin has bioactive effects on human health as antioxidant. It is convener of free radicals, has anti-inflammatory properties and serves as a modulator of the systemic immune system. In numerous studies was shown that this substance reduces the injuries incurred as a result of oxidation of DNA in cells.
  • Orange peel serves as a stimulant to the nervous system, as an asset for stimulating intestinal cleaning, reducing temperature and against intestinal parasites.
  • Oranges also contain a small amount of vitamin A, and other flavonoid antioxidants, such as beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin, zeaxanthin and lutein. It appears that all these compounds have antioxidant properties. Vitamin A is also required to maintain the health of skin and mucous membrane and is crucial for good vision. Consuming the fruit naturally rich with flavonoids helps the body to protect from lung cancer and cancer of the oral cavity.
  • Oranges contain healthy amounts of minerals, such as potassium and calcium. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids and helps in the regulation of the blood and the heart function.
Citrus fruits, as such, has long been considered extremely valuable because of their expressed nutritious and antioxidant properties. It is scientifically proven that citrus fruit, especially oranges, because of the abundance of vitamins and minerals, have a positive impact on your health.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Detergent-Free All Purpose Surface Cleaner, DIY Style

Posted: 19 Feb 2014 11:56 AM PST

This all purpose surface cleaner recipe solves a few problems. First and foremost, it gets things clean and kills germs. But even more appealing, is that it's free from the harsh chemicals found in all those commercial cleaning products.

It would be great if some scientists could study whether or not fragrances and detergents are addictive. Particularly those found in household cleaning products. Up until the last century, a clean home smelled like vinegar. Lemons. Herbs and oils. But now, it's that lingering detergent scent and the artificial fragrances that so many people feel are essential to making sure our homes are safe and clean. But nothing could be further from the truth. 

Detergents and artificial fragrances pose serious health risks to your family and the environment. They're more expensive than they need to be (or should be). And, they're totally unnecessary.

While it may take some time to break yourself from the expectation of a clean home smelling like bleach or Comet, be assured that the transformation is a liberating one.

Take back your home, and make it clean with this simple recipe for an all-purpose surface cleaner, DIY and au natural style. This recipe is excellent for kitchen counters, sinks, tubs, toilets, faucets and even walls. It's not ideal for wood floors or furniture, as the alcohol can be drying out and pull off any finish.

What you need
  • 2 cups warm water
  • ¼ cup white vinegar (or a citrus vinegar)
  • 3 tablespoons rubbing alcohol or vodka
  • 2 teaspoons liquid castile soap (like Dr. Bronner's)
  • 10-15 drops of your favorite essential oil. Recommendations include lemon, lemongrass, sweet orange, grapefruit, lavender, basil and tea tree oil. Mix as you like or stick with one scent.

Mix all ingredients into a large spray bottle and shake well. Spray onto surfaces and clean with a soft rag or towel. No need to rinse the mixture off with water.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

8 Most Common Food Allergies and the Foods to Avoid

Posted: 18 Feb 2014 12:43 PM PST

Food allergies are common, especially among children, and they range in severity. So if something feels off, it may be more than a mood swing. Perhaps what you are eating is contributing to your low energy levels, persistent stomach pain or a recurring rash. Here are 8 foods to avoid if you think you may have a food allergy.

Any food can be allergenic, depending on the individual. If your body develops antibodies that cannot process certain elements, usually a type of protein of a certain food, then your immune system will react, causing all sorts of uncomfortable symptoms. Even something as harmless as a piece of fruit could be allergenic.

The US Food and Drug Administration lists these 8 ingredients that contribute to some 90 percent of all food allergies. Try eliminating the following top-8 allergenic foods, one at a time, to weed out the culprit. They are foods to avoid if you feel like something you are eating may be causing your body to adversely react. Minimize or avoid the guilty suspect once you uncover it.

1. Milk

The most common among children and infants, milk allergy, is an immune reaction to the milk protein casein. This is different than lactose intolerance, which is when the inability to digest lactose, which is found in milk. Many people have a milk allergy and don't even realize it, because milk is such a mainstay in most people's diets and we are often conditioned to look at it as a health food.

2. Eggs

Also a very common ailment, egg allergies are more common children. However, it can continue into adulthood. Those with an egg allergy have antibodies that react to one of the four hen egg proteins inherent in the egg white: ovomucoid, ovalbumin, ovotransferrin and lysozyme. Egg yolk allergies are more common among adults. Children often grow out of their allergy. If only allergic to the egg white or egg yolk exclusively, you may be able to opt for the other. Some people are sensitive to egg in all its forms – raw, easy, or over-easy – while others only exhibit an allergic reaction when an egg is in its raw state.

3. Peanuts

Recently, experimental therapy has allowed children with peanut allergies to eat nuts. This highly-controlled study fed children small amounts of peanut flour to the point that they were able to eat a handful of nuts without trouble. While the results are promising, please don't try this at home! Peanut allergies affect 1/50 children around the world, mostly in high-income countries. It is the most common cause of fatality due to an allergic reaction. The exact cause of a peanut allergy is unknown and may be connected to prenatal diet.

4. Tree Nuts

Like peanuts, which is a legume, tree nuts too can also incite allergic reactions. Approximately 9 percent of children with a tree nut allergy will grow out of it. Tree nuts include walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, cashews, pistachios, chestnuts, macadamia nuts and Brazil nuts.

5. Fish

The most common finned fish allergies are salmon, tuna and halibut. The majority of those who are allergic to one kind of fish are often allergic to another one. Some unexpected sources of fish include Caesar salad and dressing, Worcestershire sauce, bouillabaisse, imitation or artificial fish, meatloaf, barbecue sauce, and caponata. More common than a fish allergy, however, is an adverse reaction to fish consumption due to toxins and parasites.

6. Shellfish

Shellfish are often thrown under the "fish" category, but are actually in a realm of their own. The main shellfish allergen is tropomyosin. Ingredients added during processing can also cause adverse reactions. A shellfish allergy can be fatal, so tread carefully.

7. Soy

Soy allergy tends to happen in early childhood. Fifty percent of the time, though, children will outgrow it by age 7. While soy is often painted as a healthy vegan protein, soybeans can be toxic and are heavily processed. They also can cause allergic reactions, especially among children. Sources of soy include edamame, miso, natto, shoyu, soy-based products (yogurt, mock meat, ice cream, milk, sprouts, cheese, and grits), soya, soybean curd, soybean granules, soy sauce, tamari, tempeh, and tofu.

8. Wheat

Also most prevalent among children, wheat allergy often persists into adolescence. Wheat allergy occurs in those who have developed a specific antibody to one or more proteins in wheat, which include albumin, globulin, gliadin, and gluten.

The Truth About Soy and Tofu

Posted: 18 Feb 2014 12:43 PM PST

I cook for a mostly dairy-free family, and when I browse for recipes for creamy dishes without the dairy, I often come across some that rely on soy-based foods such as tofu. They sound tempting, but despite the convenience, I rarely eat unfermented soy.

For the uninitiated, soy falls into two broad categories, fermented and unfermented. Unfermented soy includes soy milk, soy nuts, tofu and soy infant formula; fermented soy includes tamari, miso, natto, tempeh, pickled tofu and various fermented pastes used in a variety of Asian cooking techniques. Knowing the difference will help you navigate recipes — and understand why I avoid the unfermented kind. Here's my rationale:

1. Soy is generally genetically modified.
There are a lot of good reasons to avoid genetically modified foods, and soy is one of the most common crops to be genetically modified. Somewhere upwards of 90 percent of the soybean crop is genetically modified. If you want to avoid GMOs, than you will need to avoid most soy products. (I buy organic soy sauce/tamari and natto, for this reason).

2. Unfermented soy contains high amounts of anti-nutrients
Unfermented soy includes anti-nutrients, such as phytate, which can literally block your body from absorbing nutrients. While soy milk may be high in calcium, the anti-nutrients in it can mean that you don't get the benefits. You can read some of the research I did on the subject of the anti-nutrient, phytic acid.

3. A diet heavy in soy could lead to hormonal imbalances (which could lead to hormonal-driven cancers)

When I first started researching anti-cancer diets years ago, I read a book by a doctor who researched and conducted trials in prevention of breast cancer. One of the chapters in his book presented the sometimes confusing and conflicting research on soy and breast cancer. According to him, too much soy seems to increase your chances of getting breast cancer, and just a little soy in your diet increases it as well. According to him, you had to get the perfect medium in the middle for anti-cancer effects. Good luck on that.

Since then, other research has continued to feed concern regarding soy and cancer. Just one example out of many is a study that showed that women who start to eat soy as adults may derail their cancer treatment. Soy contains isoflavones that mimic estrogen, which some research says is helpful in preventing hormone-driven cancers, while other research shows it can increase your chances of getting cancer. Using soy to prevent cancer is a gamble since there are so many conflicting conclusions from studies.

So what to eat?
I personally follow the Weston A Price Foundation's guidelines for eating soy. I only eat organic soy (to avoid pesticides and GMOs) and fermented soy (to reduce anti-nutrients) in small amounts. I enjoy tamari (gluten-free soy sauce), miso, natto, and every once in awhile, tempeh.

If you're interested in reading more about these topics, check out these resources, which I found helpful:

Farmacology: What Business Can Learn From Sustainable Farming

Posted: 18 Feb 2014 12:42 PM PST

Medical and business communities can take surprising lessons from farming and improve employee well-being and productivity.

Frustrated that conventional medicine had little to offer many of her patients, Daphne Miller, a practicing physician and professor of family medicine at the University of California at San Francisco, decided to take a look at how human health is affected by other natural systems. This led her on a journey of family farms, where she wandered through henhouses, carted produce, and dug in the dirt.

Miller's findings, gathered in her book, transformed her thinking about stress, resilience to disease, and how a systems thinking approach in the medical community could save money and enhance people's health. The lessons she found hold insights for the health of business too. Can companies use the vital signs of farms to measure their own well-being? And how do externalities help drive greater sustainability?

Why should a doctor think like a farmer?

Agriculture has everything to do with medicine. In fact, I've come to see the divisions between the two disciplines as mostly artificial and arbitrary, and am now convinced that a farm internship should be a required part of medical training, and vice versa.

First, there's the direct connection between the farms where our food is grown and our bodies. Many of us are familiar with the headline-catching links between industrial farming and our physical health: superbugs spawned on large-scale dairies and cattle operations that threaten to infect us, or the chemical runoff that contaminates our drinking water. But beyond these issues, we pay little attention to how decisions made on a farm, [for instance] the choice of seed [or] soil management, positively or negatively affect our bodies.

My time spent learning from farmers and researchers has made me think beyond food as medicine to farm as medicine. I've learned how healthy soil can produce a healthy immune system, how microbes on the farm can communicate with our resident microbes – our microbiome – how certain grazing practices can produce food that stress-proofs our nervous system, how the terroir in which an herb is grown can influence its medicinal value, or how inner-city farming delivers unexpected health benefits to the surrounding community.

I also discovered that farming at its best offers a radically new way to think about health and healing. For example, the integrated pest management approach used by a winery in Sonoma gave a group of oncology researchers a more ecological way to understand and treat cancer.

Of two organic egg farms, you say that the one with higher production is the less sustainable. What does this tell us about hidden costs?

The farms taught me how we value short-term productivity at the expense of overall health. The conventional egg farm has higher laying rates and the hens produce larger eggs than the neighboring pasture-based egg farm. But when you take a whole host of factors into account, such as egg taste and quality, market price, fossil fuel inputs, worker health, hen health and environmental health, you realize that pasture-raised is the healthier, more sustainable option.

I often see this thinking applied to human productivity. Many of my patients work for companies where the work ethic is one of intense competition, with 60-80-hour work weeks, all in the name of greater annual profits. They tell me they rarely take vacations and wouldn't dream of exercising during their lunch break, as that would be interpreted as a lack of dedication to their job.

These patients mortgage their health in order to maximize their work performance and their revenue; they pull all-nighters, skip meals, eat food that offers fuel but few nutrients, use caffeine to stay awake and then alcohol to go to sleep, and rarely move their bodies except to hop on a plane or walk from desk to car. This approach is not sustainable and eventually leads to chronic health problems, including high blood pressure and blood sugar, weight gain, depression, anxiety and sleep apnea.

Not surprisingly, newer research is showing that this is as unhealthy for businesses as it is for individuals. Maximally taxing employees translates into lower work performance and, in the long term, less financial success.

You make an analogy between factory farming and factory medicine. What are the implications for managing healthcare costs?

Eighty percent of health expenditures in the US are spent within the four walls of a medical institution, and they are spent treating disease. This is consistent with the factory model: consolidate and streamline your efforts for maximal impact. But farm health and human health are not just a matter or treating disease, just as business health is not just a matter of tackling problems. I would argue that in all these sectors our money is much better spent on nurturing our environment – our air, our soil, our social institutions, our educational resources – than on fixing end-stage problems.

You say your farm odyssey gave you a new understanding of "vital signs". Can you explain?

I was fascinated to learn what farmers consider the "vital signs" of a healthy farm ecology: diversity, synergy, and redundancy.

Diversity means not just variability in crops, but also in the populations of microbes and other life forms on the land. Synergy – the whole being greater than the sum of the parts – is why a given farm's success cannot be predicted simply by looking at its discrete components. Redundancy, or self-sameness, describes the emergence of specific designs within each organism and throughout an entire ecosystem. Recurring patterns are a sign of a system's resilience: in the event of a failure, one part can provide backup.

These vital signs – diversity, synergy, and redundancy – are rarely discussed within medicine, but I now see them as helpful ways to describe a healthy human. My friends in business who've read Farmacology tell me that these same vital signs have given them a useful way to assess the health of their company.

Judith D Schwartz is the author of Cows Save the Planet and Other Improbable Ways of Restoring Soil to Heal the Earth. More information on Daphne Miller's book, Farmacology: What Innovative Family Farming Can Teach Us about Health & Healing, can be found here.

Kale, That Special Someone

Posted: 18 Feb 2014 09:04 AM PST


Finding that special someone is not an easy task. You may try out all different types before you settle on one, if you settle at all! This Valentine's Day treat yourself (and possibly a romantic partner) to your favorite type of kale. There's more than one you ask? Yes, yes my friends, there is more than one type of kale. Each type is exactly how we like 'em – rich, health conscious, and the talk of the town.

Curly Kale: At the top of the popularity chain, it's known for its distinct qualities. A little ruffled around the edges, but easy to chop when fresh. Some like 'em younger, and we can't blame them! The older they get the more bitter to the taste. Yeah, you can say that again.

Lacinato Kale (aka Dinosaur Kale): Don't be turned off by the slightly wrinkly and firm touch. It is sweeter and more delicate than the curly kind, and holds its texture even after a match with the frying pan! These dark blue-green leaves may be the match for you.

Red Russian Kale: It's always blushing, but can you blame it? Its red and purple leaves are often described as sweet, yet mild, with a bit of peppery-ness. Be sure to avoid its stem though. Unless you're looking for a stomach ache – it's hard to swallow!

Redbor Kale: Last but not least, is the most colorful of the bunch. Known for its looks, the deep red and purple leaves make for a great trophy plant! Yes it is edible, but it doesn't hurt to sit and stare at each other before bringing out the cutting board.

Be sure to test out each type before making any hasty decisions. You'll never know what you're missing out on, unless you step out of your comfort zone! KALE UP!
[via WPRawl]

What is Azodicarbonamide? 9 Exposing Facts

What is Azodicarbonamide? 9 Exposing Facts

Link to Natural Health & Organic Living Blog

What is Azodicarbonamide? 9 Exposing Facts

Posted: 17 Feb 2014 03:05 PM PST


The recent revelation that Subway bread contains azodicarbonamide has gotten a lot of attention.  And it should, azodicarbonamide is an industrial chemical used to make yoga mats, shoe rubber, and synthetic leather. Although there’s no reason for it to be in bread, it has, in fact, been used for decades as a dough conditioner.  However, the public backlash was so great that Subway has stated it will cease to use azodicarbonamide… although they stopped short of providing concrete deadlines as to when, so be aware.

But still, what is azodicarbonamide?  And what are the health risks associated with exposure and consumption? Because it’s used to make foamy yoga mats, rest assured it isn’t safe to consume, and the next 9 facts will explain why.

1. Azodicarbonamide is an Industrial Chemical

The primary function of azodicarbonamide is centered on the way it breaks down during processing — it creates tiny bubbles that make things “foamy.” Somewhere in the testing procedures, scientists discovered it whitened flour and acted as an oxidizing agent. Bakers, or rather “food scientists” soon concluded that it should be a standard inclusion in bread.

2. Azodicarbonamide Increases Gluten Content in Bread

Oxidizing agents like azodicarbonamide are used to increase gluten content. This is “desirable” because higher levels of gluten create stronger, more durable dough. The added convenience to processing isn’t without other risks though. Gluten has been linked to a host of gastro-intestinal, immunologic and neurologic diseases. [1] [2]

3. Azodicarbonamide Can Cause Respiratory Problems

Research has established a direct link between exposure to azodicarbonamide and the onset of asthma. [3] According to a World Health Organization (WHO) follow-up report, regular occupational exposure to azodicarbonamide can lead to asthma and allergies.  The WHO report notes many of those who developed asthma and other respiratory complications experienced symptoms within just three months of exposure. [4]

4. Azodicarbonamide is a Skin Irritant

The WHO report also noted physical exposure to azodicarbonamide caused recurring dermatitis. [4] Fortunately for those suffering, eliminating exposure caused the indications of the dermatitis to go away.  While this is good news, these results show how quickly industrial chemicals can initiate an autoimmune response.  Unfortunately, skin irritation seems to be the least of concerns…

5. Azodicarbonamide Disrupts the Immune System

In 2001, lab tests found that direct exposure to azodicarbonamide inhibited human immune cell formation and function. [5] Although “direct exposure” may be less of a common problem, the bigger problem happens when azodicarbonamide is heated up, as when it’s a bread ingredient…

6. Azodicarbonamide Creates Toxic By-Products When Heated

While azodicarbonamide is used to condition bread dough, when it’s baked, the heat causes it to break down. Two by-products can result: semicarbazide and ethyl carbamate.  Semicarbazide belongs to a family of chemicals known as hydrazines that are especially carcinogenic.  A 2003 study using animal models found that it caused free radical damage to DNA. [6] Other studies have found that semicarbazide damages human immune cells and the DNA of animals. [7]

The other half of the gruesome twosome is no better. The National Institute of Health's Hazardous Substances Data Bank states that ethyl carbamate is a carcinogen to animals; in fact this is backed by over 200 studies. [8] [11] Research from 17 years ago confirmed that adding azodicarbonamide to bread increased ethyl carbamate levels. [12] The awful truth is that industry has known for nearly two decades that this is toxic trash and fed it to us anyway.

7. Harmful to Hormone Function

Exposure to semicarbazide can present another health risk. Animal studies have found it has a toxic impact on hormone function and the hormone-regulating organs, including the thyroid, thymus, spleen, testes, ovaries, and uterus. [9] [10] As is the case with all endocrine disrupting compounds, this stuff is poison!

8. Europe and Australia Have Banned It

While US Officials continue to claim the amount of azodicarbonamide found in most baked products poses no serious health threat, European and Australian officials have banned its use in bread.  Baby food jars were another source of exposure and officials were left without answers concerning the “safe levels” for infants. [13] Consequently, European officials disallowed its use in sealing glass jars.

9. Subway is Not the Only Violator

An NBC news piece released shortly after Subway's bread revelation identified several other restaurants whose food contained azodicarbonamide.  These include McDonald's, Burger King, Wendy's, Arby's, Jack in the Box, and Chick-fil-A. [14]  Although not all bread from these restaurants may contain azodicarbonamide, is it worth the risk? Bottom line — if you want to avoid it, get in contact with the corporate big wigs who control restaurants from afar and verify they’ve made a pledge not to use any azodicarbonamide.

A Final Thought…

“Health officials” may claim this trash is safe in low doses, but who's monitoring exposure?  And let's face, at any level a toxin is a toxin.  If it doesn't contribute to health, it's taking away from it.  As I've said for years, disease happens when toxic buildup in the body becomes too great. The best approach for encouraging good health continues to be eating a diet of natural, organic foods from trusted sources and regularly detoxifying your body.

-Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, ND, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM


  1. Pietzak M. Celiac disease, wheat allergy, and gluten sensitivity: when gluten free is not a fad. JPEN J Parenter Enteral Nutr. 2012 Jan;36(1 Suppl):68S-75S. doi: 10.1177/0148607111426276.
  2. Hernandez-Lahoz C, Mauri-Capdevila G, Vega-Villar J, Rodrigo L. [Neurological disorders associated with gluten sensitivity]. [Article in Spanish] Rev Neurol. 2011 Sep 1;53(5):287-300.
  3. Kim CW, Cho JH, Leem JH, Ryu JS, Lee HL, Hong YC. Occupational asthma due to azodicarbonamide. Yonsei Med J. 2004 Apr 30;45(2):325-9.
  4. Mr R. Cary, Dr S. Dobson, Mrs E. Ball. Azodicarbonamide. Concise International Chemical Assessment Document 16.  World Health Organization, 1999. (last accessed 2014-02-17)
  5. Tassignon J, Vandevelde M, Goldman M. Azodicarbonamide as a new T cell immunosuppressant: synergy with cyclosporin A. Clin Immunol. 2001 Jul;100(1):24-30.
  6. Hirakawa K, Midorikawa K, Oikawa S, Kawanishi S. Carcinogenic semicarbazide induces sequence-specific DNA damage through the generation of reactive oxygen species and the derived organic radicals. Mutat Res. 2003 Apr 20;536(1-2):91-101.
  7. Vlastos D, Moshou H, Epeoglou K. Evaluation of genotoxic effects of semicarbazide on cultured human lymphocytes and rat bone marrow. Food Chem Toxicol. 2010 Jan;48(1):209-14. doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2009.10.002. Epub 2009 Oct 9.
  8. NLM. METHYL CARBAMATE. (last accessed 2014-02-17)
  9. Maranghi F, Tassinari R, Lagatta V, Moracci G, Macrì C, Eusepi A, Di Virgilio A, Scattoni ML, Calamandrei G. Effects of the food contaminant semicarbazide following oral administration in juvenile Sprague-Dawley rats. Food Chem Toxicol. 2009 Feb;47(2):472-9. doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2008.12.003. Epub 2008 Dec 10.
  10. Maranghi F, Tassinari R, Marcoccia D, Altieri I, Catone T, De Angelis G, Testai E, Mastrangelo S, Evandri MG, Bolle P, Lorenzetti S. The food contaminant semicarbazide acts as an endocrine disrupter: Evidence from an integrated in vivo/in vitro approach. Chem Biol Interact. 2010 Jan 5;183(1):40-8. doi: 10.1016/j.cbi.2009.09.016.
  11. EPA. Ethyl Carbamate (Urethane). Hazard Summary-Created in April 1992; Revised in January 2000. (last accessed 2014-02-17)
  12. Dennis MJ, Massey RC, Ginn R, Parker I, Crews C, Zimmerli B, Zoller O, Rhyn P, Osborne B. The effect of azodicarbonamide concentrations on ethyl carbamate concentrations in bread and toast. Food Addit Contam. 1997 Jan;14(1):95-100.
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The post What is Azodicarbonamide? 9 Exposing Facts appeared first on Natural Health & Organic Living Blog.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Good Stuff

Happy Monday!

I've got a lot of good stuff for you today.

First, a deliciously healthy recipe that can be made ahead of time and perfect for lunch at the office or on the go. There's no need to buy that $5 foot long anymore!

Get the recipe here.

Also here are a few national media video clips from last week featuring the work of the Food Babe Army:



P.S. You are so awesome!



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Saturday, February 15, 2014

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8 Must-Know Facts About Fukushima Radiation

8 Must-Know Facts About Fukushima Radiation

Link to Natural Health & Organic Living Blog

8 Must-Know Facts About Fukushima Radiation

Posted: 14 Feb 2014 08:54 AM PST

Fukushima Disaster in Japan

It's been nearly three years since the Great East Japan Earthquake of March 11, 2011 but the after-effects continue. The earthquake and subsequent tsunami killed more than 20,000 men, women and children, devastated areas of northeast Japan, and brought untold horror and misery to many survivors. The core meltdown and release of radioactive material at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant exacerbated the already apocalyptic situation to a major Level 7 Nuclear disaster which even led Japan's Prime Minister to fear for the existence of Japan! [1] The entire time, authorities have downplayed the impact the radiation had on the environmental despite indications that we’re experiencing a catastrophic event of epic proportions. The events at Fukushima will affect every single one of us and the next 8 facts will provide you with the information necessary to understand and protect yourself.

1. The Nightmare is Going Strong

The radioactive nightmare at Fukushima isn’t over, it’s still going. The initial release of radioactive material went strong for nearly two weeks and radioactive isotopes of iodine, cesium, xenon, krypton, and tellurium spread throughout the atmosphere, soil, and water. [2] TEPCO, the Japanese power company responsible for the Fukushima reactor, finally acknowledged in July 2013 that 300 tons of contaminated water had leaked into the ocean. As recently as December 2013, radioactive material was still leaking from Fukushima! Japanese news outlets indicate radioactive cesium has even been detected in deep groundwater near a reactor. [3] Unfortunately, much of the problem has been inflated because of foolishness. Japan’s Asahi news outlet reported that TEPCO cut costs and used nets made of duct-tape and wire to seal containers containing radioactive water. [4] With such incompetency, it’s certain that the continued release of radioactive material — and higher levels of environmental radiation — will be the new normal.

2. Radiation Has Spread Across the Globe

This year, 2014, a radioactive plume is expected to reach the Pacific coast of the United States. The World Health Organization claims that the radioactive material is too diluted to be dangerous despite the fact that radioactive material will flow for years to come; peaking in 2016. [5] Hey, great, the US Pacific coast will bath in radioactive material for the next 3+ years! This isn’t the only area affected. During the meltdown, radiation was launched into the atmosphere and settled as far away as Slovenia, France, the Canary Islands, and even in the Arctic. [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11]

3. Radiation Has Contaminated US Food Supplies

Air, water and milk samples collected across the United States after the Fukushima disaster all showed high levels of radioactive iodine, cesium, and tellurium. [12] Folks, when this stuff hits the globe it spreads like glitter thrown into a fan. There is no safe haven!

4. Water is Affected and Boiling Doesn’t Help

It was once thought that boiling was an effective means for reducing radiation levels in water; this has been found to be false. Tap water with high concentrations of Iodine-131 was found in areas surrounding the Fukushima Power Plant and boiling it did not remove radioactive iodine. In fact, boiling the water resulted in a concentration of the radioactivity due to some of the water boiling off. [13]

5. Apocalypse Survival Tip: Boiling Vegetables Might Reduce Radioactive Contamination

Soil contamination remains a problem in Japan due to the “sprinkling” of radioactive fallout. [14] Recognizing the harm this could cause for food supplies, produce especially, Japanese researchers analyzed and discovered that radioactive material sticks easily to the exterior of vegetables. Leafy vegetables do provide “some” level of relief though as most radioactive material is limited to exterior leaves. Removing them and boiling the inner leaves for 20 minutes has been found to reduce contamination up to 70%. [15] Something to remember when the zombies hit.

6. Pacific Marine Life is Severely Affected

Quickly following the disaster, radioactive isotopes were discovered in marine life including migratory species such as Pacific bluefin tuna. [16] [17] In January 2014, it was reported that fishermen had caught fish that had radiation levels 124 times established standards. [18] Even worse, the ongoing release of contaminated water from the Fukushima Power Plant has caused authorities to warn that fish within 100 miles of the coast likely contain elevated levels of radioactive material.

7. Algae Might Help Solve the Problem

Perhaps the most difficult component to a nuclear event is cleaning up the mess. Now, a newly discovered strain of algae may help decontamination efforts. Parachlorella binos (also known as “Binos”) has demonstrated much potential as a means to neutralize radioactive nucleotides. [19] Compared to other methods of “clean up” which involve chemicals that are almost as hazardous as the radioactive material itself, using algae is a natural strategy for environmental cleanup.

8. Radioactive Iodine Presents the Worst Risk

Immediately following the disaster, Japanese authorities evacuated the area within a 12 mile radius of the power plant due to the outpouring of radioactive material. [20] While a toxic cornucopia of compounds were released, the majority of the concern revolved around exposure to iodine-131 which can cause severe skin damage, thyroid damage, cancer and death. [21] The demand for protective iodine supplements has skyrocketed as a result.

Protect Yourself

When the thyroid is loaded with beneficial iodine, it is less apt to absorb harmful, radioactive iodine-131. In my opinion, every home should have a supply of supplemental iodine and a healthy diet of foods that contain iodine. And, although radioactive material has been found all over the globe, some areas are worse than others. Be mindful of where you’re traveling (or living) and most importantly, be mindful of where your food comes from!

What measures have you taken? Please leave a comment below and share your tips with us!

-Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, ND, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM


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  10. Paatero J, Vira J, Siitari-Kauppi M, Hatakka J, Holmén K, Viisanen Y. Airborne fission products in the High Arctic after the Fukushima nuclear accident. J Environ Radioact. 2012 Dec;114:41-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jenvrad.2011.12.027. Epub 2012 Feb 1.
  11. Povinec PP, Sýkora I, Holý K, Gera M, Kováik A, Brest’áková L. Aerosol radioactivity record in Bratislava/Slovakia following the Fukushima accident–a comparison with global fallout and the Chernobyl accident. J Environ Radioact. 2012 Dec;114:81-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jenvrad.2012.05.008. Epub 2012 Jun 7.
  12. Thakur P, Ballard S, Nelson R. Radioactive fallout in the United States due to the Fukushima nuclear plant accident. J Environ Monit. 2012 May;14(5):1317-24. doi: 10.1039/c2em11011c. Epub 2012 Mar 29.
  13. Tagami K, Uchida S. Can we remove iodine-131 from tap water in Japan by boiling? – Experimental testing in response to the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident. Chemosphere. 2011 Aug;84(9):1282-4. doi: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2011.05.050. Epub 2011 Jun 22.
  14. Hashimoto S, Ugawa S, Nanko K, Shichi K. The total amounts of radioactively contaminated materials in forests in Fukushima, Japan. Sci Rep. 2012;2:416. doi: 10.1038/srep00416. Epub 2012 May 25.
  15. Isobe T, Mori Y, Takada K, Sato E, Takahashi H, Sekiguchi T, Yoshimura Y, Sakurai H, Sakae T. Evaluation of vegetables in Tsukuba for contamination with radioactive materials from the accident at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. Health Phys. 2013 Oct;105(4):311-7. doi: 10.1097/HP.0b013e3182895759.
  16. Wada T, Nemoto Y, Shimamura S, Fujita T, Mizuno T, Sohtome T, Kamiyama K, Morita T, Igarashi S. Effects of the nuclear disaster on marine products in Fukushima. J Environ Radioact. 2013 Oct;124:246-54. doi: 10.1016/j.jenvrad.2013.05.008. Epub 2013 Jul 3.
  17. Fisher NS, Beaugelin-Seiller K, Hinton TG, Baumann Z, Madigan DJ, Garnier-Laplace J. Evaluation of radiation doses and associated risk from the Fukushima nuclear accident to marine biota and human consumers of seafood. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013 Jun 25;110(26):10670-5. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1221834110. Epub 2013 Jun 3.
  18. The Asahi Shimbun. Fish with very high levels of cesium found near Fukushima. (last accessed 2014-02-13)
  19. Shimura H, Itoh K, Sugiyama A, Ichijo S, Ichijo M, Furuya F, Nakamura Y, Kitahara K, Kobayashi K, Yukawa Y, Kobayashi T. Absorption of radionuclides from the Fukushima nuclear accident by a novel algal strain. PLoS One. 2012;7(9):e44200. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0044200. Epub 2012 Sep 12.
  20. Monzen S, Hosoda M, Tokonami S, Osanai M, Yoshino H, Hosokawa Y, Yoshida MA, Yamada M, Asari Y, Satoh K, Kashiwakura I. Individual radiation exposure dose due to support activities at safe shelters in Fukushima Prefecture. PLoS One. 2011;6(11):e27761. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0027761. Epub 2011 Nov 16.
  21. Akashi M, Tominaga T, Takabatake T, Michikawa Y, Hachiya M. [Radiation emergency medical preparedness in Japan--lessons learned from the Fukushima accident]. Nihon Rinsho. 2012 Mar;70(3):469-74.

The post 8 Must-Know Facts About Fukushima Radiation appeared first on Natural Health & Organic Living Blog.