If you read the papers or watch the news, there is a good chance that you’ve seen the latest nutrition report from the World Health Organization. The story has been reported worldwide by virtually every major news organization.
In case you’re not aware, the report, produced by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, implicates processed meat and red meat in colon cancer.
Here’s the gist of the press release from the IARC:
“Processed meat was classified as carcinogenic to humans … The consumption of red meat [is] probably carcinogenic to humans …”
But don’t banish your juicy Filet Mignon just yet! The real truth of the matter is actually contained within the full report, published in The Lancet.
“Chance, bias, and confounding could not be ruled out with the same degree of confidence for the data on red meat consumption, since no clear association was seen in several of the high quality studies and residual confounding from other diet and lifestyle risk is difficult to exclude. The Working Group concluded that there is limited evidence in human beings for the carcinogenicity of the consumption of red meat”.
In case you missed that …
There was no clear association regarding red meat consumption and cancer risk.
So, what are the real facts? Can you still enjoy your favorite Paleo meals without increasing your risk of cancer?
The Link between Eating Ice Cream… and Drowning
Did you know that decades of statistics prove that as ice cream consumption increases, so do deaths from drowning?
It’s true. There is a very clear correlation between these two statistics… but it goes without saying that ice cream does not cause people to drown.
The numbers of people eating ice cream go up sharply during the summer. As you can imagine, so too do the number of swimmers. It’s clear that correlation does not equal causation. Always keep this in mind when it comes to “scientific” reports.
In this case, the IARC considered data from over 800 different studies on cancer in humans as it relates to red and/or processed meat. Sadly, however, all of these studies were epidemiological.
These are not controlled clinical studies designed to prove causation. They are population studies, often based on questionnaires. While some population studies can provide useful information, most are unreliable.
Did You Have Fries With That?
Can you remember what you ate last Saturday? How about last year?
One reason why food questionnaires are unreliable is because they ask for historical food recall. This paves the way for poor memory and a misrepresentation of facts. There is a large difference between someone recalling that they ate a steak, when the truth was that it was a steak and fries…
… Washed down with a beer or soft drink
… Followed by a cigarette.
Another reason why these studies are unreliable is that they don’t distinguish between variables such as the source of the red meat or the preparation method. They also don't consider general diet, level of fitness (or fatness) or other carcinogens to which the subjects may be exposed.
The IARC does acknowledge this in their full report. It would be nice if the world’s media had done the same.
So now, let’s take a look at what you really need to know about red meat and cancer risk.
The 5 Unhealthy Ways to Consume Red Meat
Heterocyclic aromatic amines (HCAs) are formed when muscle meats; beef, pork, poultry and fish, are exposed to high temperatures such as grilling. Acrylamide is formed when plant foods rich in carbohydrates (like sugary marinades or the French fries that commonly accompany beef) are cooked at high temperatures. Research demonstrates that both of these compounds are known carcinogens.
What Goes Into the Animal, Goes Into You
Epidemiological studies make no distinction between pasture-raised and conventionally-raised meats; main factors being their feed and the administration of hormones and antibiotics. The beef from corn-fed cows can have as much 50 times more omega-6 fatty acids than that from grass-fed cows. Too much omega-6 has been conclusively proven to promote inflammation and oxidation – two key factors that can promote cancer. What’s more, antibiotic residues from conventional meats wreak havoc on the microbiome – altering the delicate balance of microbes, including those that produce butyrate – a powerful cancer-fighting agent.
Pots, pans, storage containers and wraps can leach harmful substances into our foods. Non-stick pans are just one of these offenders which leach toxic substances like trifluoroacetate (TFA) and perfluorooctanic acid (PFOA) into the food you eat, as well as into the air around you. These chemicals, collectively called perflourinated compounds, are xenoestrogens (estrogen mimics) and have been linked with cancer, endocrine issues, “polymer fume fever” and other health problems in humans.
Chewing the Wrong Fats
Lipid oxidation products (LOPs) are created by the degradation of oils. This happens through heat, aging and chemicals (like hydrogenation). As these oils break down, they generate free radicals that damage DNA and have been found to increase the risk of cancer. When we heat unstable oils (like the polyunsaturated fatty acid omega-6 oils) we produce these dangerous LOP's. This could make the fat you are using to cook with carcinogenic, without regard to the meat itself.
Dietary & Lifestyle Factors
We all know that smoking is a Category 1A Carcinogen. But do you know that some contraceptives are too? Acetaldehyde, (the by-product of alcohol metabolism) and inactivity are two more key factors that increase cancer risk. And how about being overweight or obese? According to the National Cancer Institute, obesity is overtaking tobacco as the leading preventable cause of cancer. It goes without saying that these kind of variables cannot be ruled out as potential causes of cancer in “population” studies.
Cancer Prevention through Ancestral Wisdom
- Choose Healthy Sources: When choosing meats, choose grass-fed and pasture-raised to achieve a healthy fat balance and avoid exposure to antibiotic residues, pesticides and hormones that can encourage cancer.
- Nourishing Preparation: If you're going to cook at higher temperatures, be sure to choose stable fats like tallow, lard, coconut oil or grass fed butter. Better still, focus your cooking around stewing, boiling, poaching and slow cooking when it comes to meats. Cook with non-toxic cookware like ceramic, enamel or cast iron to reduce toxic chemicals leaching into your food. And use natural herbs and spices to bring out the flavor and nutritional value of the meal.
- Don’t Forget Your Veggies: Enjoy a colorful, varied diet with lots of fresh organic produce (free from hormone-mimicking pesticides). Also be sure to include microbe-loving lacto-fermented vegetables such as like sauerkraut or kimchi.
- Live a Balanced Lifestyle: Maintain a smoke free, active lifestyle and a healthy weight. If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation and opt for organic red wine which is high in antioxidants, including the powerful cancer-fighter resveratrol.
- Reduce Toxins: Take into consideration all of the “inputs” that make their way into your body via your stomach, lungs and skin. Breathe fresh air, consider an indoor HEPA filter to reduce your exposure to indoor pollution, and choose household and personal care products made without harmful ingredients.
- Get Sunshine: Vitamin D is one of the most powerful cancer-fighting nutrients known. In fact, a study presented at the 53rd Annual Meeting of the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) found that 75% of cancer patients had low vitamin D levels , and those with the lowest vitamin D levels were associated with more advanced cancers.
Prevent (and fight) cancer with a healthy, active lifestyle and the diet that models our ancestors including an abundance of organic veggies and low-glycemic fruits, lacto-fermented foods, stable, traditional fats and meats from animals raised on pasture that are prepared safely. In addition, don’t smoke, achieve (or maintain) a healthy weight, optimize your vitamin D levels and avoid chemicals in household and personal care products to reduce your risk of cancer.
Love bread, but not the blood-sugar spiking carbs and grains? Check out Kelley’s newest book, Better Breads, including more than two dozen low-carb, grain-free, prebiotic-rich Paleo breads, biscuits, pancakes, muffins and more! Click here to learn more about Better Breads…
(1) International Agency for Research on Cancer. Media Press Release #240.
(2) Bouvard, V. Loomis, D. Guyton, K. et al. Carcinogenicity of consumption of red and processed meat. The Lancet Oncology. Published online Oct 26, 2015. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1470-2045(15)00444-1
(3) Muscat JE, Wynder EL. The consumption of well-done meat and the risk of colorectal cancer. American Journal of Public Health 1994; 84(5):856-858.
(4) Friedman M, Levin CE.Review of methods for the reduction of dietary content and toxicity of acrylamide.J Agric Food Chem. 2008 Aug 13;56(15):6113-40. Epub 2008 Jul
(5) Wikipedia. List of IARC Group 1 carcinogens
(6) Cancer Research UK. Physical Activity Facts And Evidence.
(7) National Cancer Institute. Obesity and Cancer Risk.
(8) Vitamin D deficiency common in cancer patients. American Society for Radiation Oncology. Oct. 3 2011
Bonefeld-Jorgensen, Manhai Long, E. Bossi, R. et al. Perfluorinated compounds are related to breast cancer risk in greenlandic inuit: A case control study. Environmental Health 2011, 10:88. doi:10.1186/1476-069X-10-88.
Zoe Harcombe. Diet, obesity, nutrition and big business: So much, so wrong. World Health Organisation, meat & cancer.
Blouin JM1, Penot G, Collinet M, Nacfer M, Forest C, Laurent-Puig P, Coumoul X, Barouki R, Benelli C, Bortoli S.Butyrate elicits a metabolic switch in human colon cancer cells by targeting the pyruvate dehydrogenase complex.Int J Cancer. 2011 Jun 1;128(11):2591-601. doi: 10.1002/ijc.25599. Epub 2010 Oct 8.
Gonçalves P1, Araújo JR, Pinho MJ, Martel F.In vitro studies on the inhibition of colon cancer by butyrate and polyphenolic compounds. Nutr Cancer. 2011;63(2):282-94. doi: 10.1080/01635581.2011.523166.
The Natural Diabetes Treatment Masquerading as a Common Everyday Spice
Within your kitchen you have access to a common spice powerful enough to prevent diabetes. In fact, a recent study showed this same spice can be up to 100,000 times more potent than metformin, the leading treatment.
If you don’t happen to have this common spice in your house, it's easy to find. And if you don’t know how to use it, you’ll want to keep reading for some tasty, yet simple ideas…
This super-spice has been called the “King of Spices.” It has appeared in over 5,600 peer-reviewed studies. A quick public search on the National Library of Medicine database shows it has over 600 health benefits
It may sound unbelievable that one spice has such medicinal power, but it shouldn’t come as a surprise. I’m talking about that golden beauty – turmeric!
Also known as Indian saffron due to its vibrant color, turmeric is quickly becoming known as a natural way to prevent and treat diabetes.
A 2014 study conducted at The Center for Cancer Prevention Research at Rutgers confirms the strong influence of turmeric on cardiovascular complications in the diabetic population.
“A 6-month curcumin intervention in type-2 diabetic population lowered the atherogenic risks. In addition, the extract helped to improve relevant metabolic profiles in this high-risk population.”
But it’s not just those who already have diabetes who benefit from using turmeric. It’s for anyone concerned about blood sugar - including the 40 percent of Americans with pre-diabetes. In fact, early research is showing that turmeric can help prevent the disease… with an astounding 100% success rate.
This is tasty news for those searching for a natural diabetes treatment.Turmeric: The Golden Healer
It is the polyphenol compound known as curcumin that gives turmeric its mighty power, not to mention its exquisite color. Within the rhizomes of the turmeric (Curcuma longa) plant is where we find the magic.
It’s well known that turmeric is a natural anti-inflammatory. But the benefits go much deeper than that. Curcumin influences more than 150 biological pathways within the body, and it does this in many different ways.
A recent review in Current Pharmacology Reports highlights its power:
“[Curcumin] is a well-known anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidative, and anti-lipidemic agent and has recently been shown to modulate several diseases via epigenetic regulation. Many recent studies have demonstrated the role of epigenetic inactivation of pivotal genes that regulate human pathologies, such as neurocognitive disorders, inflammation, obesity, and cancers.” Turmeric: Natural Diabetes Prevention… and Treatment
If you have Type-2 diabetes then you are likely aware that it is the health complications that kill. These include heart and liver disease. The latest curcumin research offers exciting hope for these complications.
Cutting-edge research performed at the Srinakharinwirot University in Bangkok found that curcumin has the capacity to repair and regenerate damaged liver tissue in diabetic rats. The liver tissues appeared to display both normal and healthy characteristics.
Numerous studies have been done on curcumin’s efficacy in liver function and this groundbreaking research promises great hope for those with diabetes-related liver disease.
There’s also great news for diabetics with heart disease.
The authors of a study published in a leading pharmacology journal, measured the effectiveness of curcumin on six heart-disease parameters:
• Arterial stiffness
• Markers of inflammation (increased adiponectin or decreased leptin)
• Insulin resistance
• Triglyceride levels
• Uric acid levels
• Abdominal obesity
Curcumin improved every single one of these measures.Turmeric really does deserve the title, “The King of Spices.”Pre-diabetic? The Answer is in Your Spice Rack!
Pre-diabetes often comes with no warning signs.
But the daily addition of turmeric may go a long way to preventing Type-2 Diabetes, regardless if you are pre-diabetic or not.
A study conducted by the American Diabetes Association tested turmeric on subjects with pre-diabetes. What they found during the nine-month research was remarkable. Turmeric had a 100% success rate in preventing type-2 diabetes, compared to a control group who received a placebo.
That’s just one more compelling reason to include turmeric as part of your daily diet.Turmeric: Fighting Hundreds of Diseases in Hundreds of Culinary Ways!
Most of us love a good curry, but you don’t need to be a master chef to use turmeric. It is incredibly versatile and you can simply add it to most foods, just as you would salt and pepper!
Many people also enjoy raw turmeric root daily, juiced or blended. Start slowly with a one-inch piece and adjust to suit your taste.Five Delicious Ways to Include Turmeric in Your Diet
1. Enjoy a pastured organic chicken
curry with fresh organic vegetables. Better still, if you have a mortar and pestle, you can make your own signature curry paste with a liberal helping of fresh or dried turmeric.
2. Try a twist on a Turkish classic by creating a turmeric Tahini to serve with Grass-Fed Lamb Shish Kebabs
3. For a beautiful golden centerpiece to meals have a go at dressing a whole cauliflower with coconut oil, turmeric, salt and pepper and then roasting slowly in the oven.
4. Add a teaspoon of turmeric to your morning scramble of farm-fresh eggs.
5. Make a simple and delicious turmeric-infused sauce using Paleo mayonnaise, turmeric, fresh pressed garlic, sea salt, and smoked paprika. Serve alongside your favorite grass-fed beef
dishes– from a rare teres major
… to a slow cooked chuck roast
Combine your daily dose of turmeric with a healthy balanced ancestral diet and regular exercise for an easy and tasty way to prevent and treat diabetes… naturally.ED NOTE
Love bread, but not the blood-sugar spiking carbs and grains? Check out Kelley’s newest book, Better Breads
, including more than two dozen low-carb, grain-free, prebiotic-rich Paleo breads, biscuits, pancakes, muffins and more! Click here to learn more about Better Breads
Kim T, Davis J, Zhang AJ, He X, Mathews ST. Curcumin activates AMPK and suppresses gluconeogenic gene expression in hepatoma cells. Biochemistry and Biophysical Research Community. 2009 Oct 16;388(2):377-82. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2009.08.018. Epub 2009 Aug 8.
Boyanapalli SS, Tony Kong AN. "Curcumin, the King of Spices": Epigenetic Regulatory Mechanisms in the Prevention of Cancer, Neurological, and Inflammatory Diseases. Current Pharmacology Reports. 2015 Apr;1(2):129-139. Epub 2015 Jan 30.
Chuengsamarn S, Rattanamongkolgul S, Phonrat B, Tungtrongchitr R, Jirawatnotai S. Reduction of atherogenic risk in patients with type 2 diabetes by curcuminoid extract: a randomized controlled trial. The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry. 2014 Feb;25(2):144-50. doi: 10.1016/j.jnutbio.2013.09.013. Epub 2013 Nov 6.
Khimmaktong W, Petpiboolthai H, Panyarachun B, Anupunpisit V. Study of curcumin on microvasculature characteristic in diabetic rat's liver as revealed by vascular corrosion cast/scanning electron microscope (SEM) technique. Journal of the Medical Association of Thailand. 2012 May ;95 Suppl 5:S133-41. PMID: 22934459
Chuengsamarn S, Rattanamongkolgul S, Luechapudiporn R, Phisalaphong C, Jirawatnotai S. Curcumin extract for prevention of type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Care. 2012 Nov ;35(11):2121-7. Epub 2012 Jul 6. PMID: 22773702
Cruickshank K, Riste L, Anderson SG, Wright JS, Dunn G, Gosling RG. Aortic pulse-wave velocity and its relationship to mortality in diabetes and glucose intolerance: an integrated index of vascular function? Circulation 106 (16): 2085–90. doi:10.1161/01.CIR.0000033824.02722.F7. PMID 12379578.
There is a deadly disease that affects 70 million Americans today – or one out of every three adults. That means there is a good chance that you, your spouse, and your loved ones could have this disease – and you might not even know it.
It’s called the “silent killer” because often there are no symptoms or warning signs, but the effects are deadly.
In fact, this disease is a pre-cursor to the top five causes of death in America. Eighty percent of first-time stroke patients have it, as do 70 percent of those who experience their first heart attack.
Most who are diagnosed with this disease take medication. In fact, the drugs for this condition are among the most popular in America (alongside sleeping pills and painkillers). But the side effects can be debilitating. And of course, like all drugs, they do not treat the underlying condition.
If you haven’t already guessed, I’m talking about hypertension or high blood pressure.
But there is good news…
Did you know there are many foods that have been proven to lower your blood pressure? These foods can work just as effectively as drugs – in some cases, even better. And they come with zero side effects.
Let’s take a look at four everyday foods that help to lower your blood pressure… plus some delicious ways to include them in your diet.
Eat "Alligator Pears" To Boost Potassium
The mineral, potassium, is essential for healthy blood pressure. Potassium works side-by-side with sodium to maintain an electrical gradient. The correct ratio of these nutrients exerts a strong influence on healthy blood pressure. Unfortunately, our modern processed diets have reversed this healthy ratio.
According to the authors of a 2005 paper, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition:
“The addition of manufactured salt to the food supply and the displacement of traditional potassium-rich foods by foods introduced during the Neolithic and Industrial periods caused a 400% decline in the potassium intake while simultaneously initiating a 400% increase in sodium ingestion”
Unfortunately, most of us simply don’t get enough potassium. At the same time, we consume way too much sodium.
We tend to think of bananas when it comes to potassium, but did you know that avocados actually contain more of this critical mineral?
One cup of avocado provides over 700 mg of potassium, compared to just over 450 mg in the same amount of banana. And of course, there is almost no sugar in an avocado, making this a much wiser choice.
Here are three simple ways to enjoy your hypertension-lowering avocado:
- Try a simple guacamole served with grass-fed ground beef and organic salsa for a tasty Mexican meal
- Blend half an avocado into a whey-protein smoothie for a creamy texture
- Use as a spread on your favorite grain-free Paleo bread
Balance Blood Pressure… with Beets!
It has long been known that foods rich in nitrates have a blood-pressure-lowering effect. This is due to the ability of these foods to improve vasodilation in the blood vessels.
And research tells us that beets are one of the most preferred sources!
Researchers at Newcastle University in the UK conducted a systematic review of 16 clinical trials between 2006 and 2012. What they found were significant reductions in systolic blood pressure from inorganic nitrate and beetroot juice supplementation.
Have you tried fresh-juiced beets?
If you have a juicer, have a go at juicing beets to drink regularly. If you're a regular juicer, try adding beets to your existing blend. And if you want to go ‘next level’, try Beet Kvass, which provides probiotics as well as hypertension-fighting nitrates.
Halt Hypertension with the “Stinking Rose”
Garlic, known as the “stinking rose”, has been used in culinary and medicinal applications for thousands of years. It contains numerous health-promoting compounds. One of the most active is a phytochemical called allicin.
Not only does it add a punch of flavor to meals, studies also show that it has a positive effect on your blood pressure.
Researchers from King Khalid University found significant decreases in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure when using garlic supplementation compared to placebo.
A 2015 meta-analysis, published in the Journal of Clinical Hypertension also suggests that garlic outperforms placebos, after examining randomized controlled trials over a 67-year period.
Because allicin is destroyed by heat, the greatest health and blood pressure benefits of garlic come from eating it fresh and uncooked. It is best to crush or press the cloves, then allow the garlic to stand for 5 to 10 minutes to allow the bioactive compounds form. Then stir into homemade salad dressings or herb-based sauces like chermoula, pesto and chimichurri and serve with your favorite roasted chicken, beef and fish dishes.
Black Tea: Sip Your Way to Better Cardiovascular Health
The next time you put your feet up, you may want to consider doing it with a cup of blood-pressure lowering black tea.
Black tea is high in flavonoids, which are well documented as one of the greatest health-giving phytonutrient groups on the planet.
Researchers from Australia and The Netherlands looked at the effects of black tea on blood pressure. During the six month study participants followed a low flavonoid diet, while consuming three cups per day of black tea. They found that “black tea consumption resulted in significantly lower systolic BP (SBP) and diastolic BP (DBP).”
For the best effects on your health, make sure you have your black tea “au natural”, or with a few drops of stevia.
It’s All About Lifestyle … And Saving Your Life.
I’m sure you realize that you can’t just add these foods to an unhealthy lifestyle and expect incredible results. To get the most out of these four blood pressure lowering foods, ensure you’re also doing the following:
Maintain a good ancestral diet full of fresh vegetables, grass-fed meats and lacto-fermented foods.
Include 30-40 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity three to four times a week.
Cut down on high risk behaviors such as smoking, processed foods and heavy alcohol consumption.
Choose mineral-rich sea salt instead of “table salt” which has had the valuable minerals removed.
Love bread, but not the health-harming carbs and grains? Check out Kelley’s newest book, Better Breads, including more than two dozen low-carb, grain-free, prebiotic-rich Paleo breads, biscuits, pancakes, muffins and more! Click here to learn more about Better Breads…
1. Aburto NJ, Hanson S, Gutierrez H, Hooper L, Elliott P, Cappuccio FP. Effect of increased potassium intake on cardiovascular risk factors and disease: systematic review and meta-analyses. British Medical Journal. 2013 Apr 3;346:f1378. doi: 10.1136/bmj.f1378.
2. Cordain L, et al. Origins and evolution of the Western diet: health implications for the 21st century. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2005 Feb;81(2):341-54.
3. Hord N, Tang Y, Bryan N. Food sources of nitrates and nitrites: the physiologic context for potential health benefits. American Society for Nutrition. July 2009 vol. 90 no. 1 1-10
4. Siervo M, Lara J, Ogbonmwan I, Mathers JC. Inorganic nitrate and beetroot juice supplementation reduces blood pressure in adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis.The Journal of Nutrition. 2013 Jun;143(6):818-26. doi: 10.3945/jn.112.170233. Epub 2013 Apr 17.
5. Coles L, Clifton P. Effect of beetroot juice on lowering blood pressure in free-living, disease-free adults: a randomized, placebo-controlled trial. Nutrition Journal. 2012 Dec 11;11:106. doi: 10.1186/1475-2891-11-106.
6. Ashraf R, Khan RA, Ashraf I, Qureshi AA. Effects of Allium sativum (garlic) on systolic and diastolic blood pressure in patients with essential hypertension.Pakistan Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences. 2013 Sep;26(5):859-63.
7. Hodgson JM, et al. Black tea lowers the rate of blood pressure variation: a randomized controlled trial. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2013 May;97(5):943-50. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.112.051375. Epub 2013 Apr 3.
8. Hodgson JM, Puddey IB, Woodman RJ, et al. Effects of black tea on blood pressure: A randomized controlled trial.
9. Centers For Disease Control And Prevention. High Blood Pressure Facts (last reviewed 2015). http://www.cdc.gov/bloodpressure/facts.htm Accessed October 21, 2015.
10. Hai-Peng W, Jing Y, Li-Qiang Q, Xiang-Jun Y. Effect of Garlic on Blood Pressure: A Meta-Analysis. The Journal of Clinical Hypertension. 2015 March; 17(3): 223-231.
Have you ever felt strong emotional cravings for certain foods? And have you ever experienced these cravings… even when you knew that your body had enough to eat.
It’s well known that emotions and stress can play a role in food cravings. And of course, your hormones also send signals to your brain that boost hunger and cravings.
But what if there was something else that could cause these feelings? In fact, what if some of the cravings you experience did not even originate in your own brain… but instead, you were acting on impulses from another entity?
This might sound like the beginning of a science fiction story. In this case, however, the truth might be stranger than fiction.
You’ve probably heard the word, microbiome. This is the ecosystem of microbes that reside primarily in your gut. We already know that this swirling mass of bacteria play a role in your immune system. They help digest your food and even provide vitamins and nutrients your body needs.
But this is not merely a passive population of hitchhikers, happy to eat whatever you decide to feed them. In fact, a growing number of researchers believe that the bacteria in your gut can promote feelings of hunger. What’s more, they can actually influence your dietary choices so that you favor the foods THEY thrive on (or those that suppress their competitors).
And that’s not necessarily a good thing…
“Bacteria within the gut are manipulative,” says Dr. Carlo Maley, one of the authors of a study published in the journal BioEssays. “There is a diversity of interests represented in the microbiome. Some are aligned with our own dietary goals. Others are not.”
What Does Your Bacteria Want From You?
Estimates are that the average person has between 15,000 and 30,000 different species of bacteria, fungi and other microbes in their gut. Each of these species has a preference for specific food sources that allow them to feed and reproduce.
Some species of gut bacteria thrive on the fiber found in vegetables. Some are specialists that digest and prefer seaweed (these have been isolated from humans in Japan). Others thrive on cellulose (these have been found in African children raised on sorghum).
Researchers have even identified certain populations of bacteria that are common to those who have a “strong desire” for chocolate... while those who are indifferent to chocolate have a very different bacterial mix.
And then there are those species that thrive on sugar, grains and the basic ingredients of the standard processed diet…
According to author and genetic epidemiology professor, Tim Spector, the microbes living inside you, “have their own evolutionary drive to maintain their ecological niche. They will do anything to ensure their survival. This includes sending signals to the host human that they want more of the same junk food that they thrive on.”
Yes, it’s true…
To ensure their own dominance and survival the bugs in your gut will insist that you consume whatever they say, even when it’s not in the best interests of your health.
And scientists are just beginning to understand how this works…
Willpower Is No Match For Bio-Power
It’s proven that the brain can use signaling molecules to influence gut bacteria. But the lines of communication go both ways.
Not only do these bacteria recognize the hormones and neurotransmitters your body uses. They can even synthesize these chemical signals to control your behavior!
A recent study, published in the journal BioEssays highlights the ways these “alien” hitchhikers can potentially control your brain.
The authors believe your gut bacteria may be able to change the expression of your taste receptors, making certain foods taste better.
They can release hunger-inducing hormones and peptides.
They are able to stimulate the vagus nerve directly (this is the connection between 100 million nerve cells in the digestive tract and the base of the brain).
They can even manipulate your feelings by producing compounds that are converted into dopamine and serotonin – thus taking control of your body’s basic “feel good” reward system!
These “aliens” want you to feed them and they will stop at nothing until you do.
But you CAN outsmart them and get the control back.
You are not powerless when it comes to creating a good relationship with the “aliens” that reside in your gut. The key is to do things that cause the thousands of species of good bugs to proliferate, so that they can “outcompete” and overcome the species of bad bugs.
The good news is that researchers have measured positive changes in the microbiome within just 24 hours of positive dietary changes. These are simple changes that you can make outside the lab.
Again, from the study in BioEssays:
“Because microbiota are easily manipulatable by prebiotics, probiotics, antibiotics, fecal transplants, and dietary changes, altering our microbiota offers a tractable approach to otherwise intractable problems of obesity and unhealthy eating.”
How Can You Cultivate a Healthy Inner Ecosystem?
As I’ve noted in previous essays, here are the six easy steps to a balanced microbiome and a better relationship with food:
1. Re-populate the good bacteria: Populate your healthy gut bacteria with good probiotic food sources including lacto-fermented vegetables (like sauerkraut and kimchi), kefir, kombucha and other foods preserved using traditional methods. Probiotic supplements are also useful in changing gut populations.
2. Maintain daily with natural probiotic foods: Our ancestors obtained a lot of their probiotic bacteria from the soil. These bacteria, called soil based organisms (SBOs), support digestive balance. Consume fresh, organic veggies raised in healthy soil, and don’t wash them too ‘clean’.
3. Feed the good bacteria and starve the bad: Many vegetables contain powerful prebiotic fiber that feeds our good bacteria. Onions, jicama, garlic and leeks are great choices. Reduce and eliminate sugar along with processed grains. These feed the growth of hostile microorganisms.
4. Don’t kill them with pesticides and antibiotics: Choose organic, pesticide-free foods to avoid destroying the good bacteria you are working so hard to nourish. Source grass-fed meats, organic pastured poultry, organ meats and wild caught fish, which are free of antibiotics. Avoid antibiotics and use only when necessary.
5. Minimize modern products: To maintain the integrity of the gut, minimize or eliminate the use of antibacterial products. Consume only filtered or spring water, which doesn’t contain chlorine, perchlorate and fluoride. And remove gut-damaging processed foods such as those containing aspartame, sucralose and preservatives. These have been shown to destroy gut bacteria.
6. Stress Less: Our ancestors experienced periods of stress followed by periods of rest. By adopting a similar lifestyle we can influence our microbiota in positive ways. In the words of the popular book “don’t sweat the small stuff”.
Are You Growing Sugar-Craving or Vegetable-Loving Bugs?
Our microbiome starts growing the day we are born; the type of birth we had and the health of our mother begins the process. Our environment influences these bugs as we journey through life. Modern processed diets and toxic lifestyles influence the growth of the bad bugs, while ancestral diets support the good guys.
It's like a garden; plant it well, remove the weeds and don’t kill the flowers. Your current food preferences provide feedback about what type of garden was planted and how it was maintained.
By choosing to eat and live the way our ancestors did, we can improve the balance of our microbiome and our relationship with food.
Love bread, but not the gut-harming carbs and grains? Check out Kelley’s newest book, Better Breads, including more than two dozen low-carb, grain-free, prebiotic-rich Paleo breads, biscuits, pancakes, muffins and more! Click here to learn more about Better Breads…
1. Alcock, J. Maley, C., Aktipis, A. Is eating behavior manipulated by the gastrointestinal microbiota? Evolutionary pressures and potential mechanisms. BioEssays, August, 2014. DOI: 10.1002/bies.201400071
2. Norris, V, Molina, F, Gewirtz, AT. Hypothesis: Bacteria Control Host Appetites. J Bacteriol. 2013 Feb; 195(3): 411–416.
3. Wallis, C. “How Gut Bacteria Help Make Us Fat and Thin.” Scientific American. June 1, 2014.
4. Beck, J. “Your Gut Bacteria Want You to Eat a Cupcake.” The Atlantic. August 9, 2014.
Migas refers to pieces of beef seasoned with paprika and garlic, and quickly cooked in hot fat. This is a traditional Spanish treat, which has been enjoyed for a very long time. U.S. Wellness Meats flat iron steak is perfect for this dish.
The flat iron is a tender cut of meat near the chuck area. It usually comes with a thick wad of sinew right in the middle, but U.S. Wellness Meats trims out this wad of sinew from their flat iron steaks, which come ready to cook.
This dish is delicious and easy. It is best to marinate the meat overnight, so the rich flavors will permeate the meat.
1 package U.S. Wellness Meats beef flat iron steak
FOR THE MARINADE
4 tablespoons unfiltered organic extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons white wine, preferably sherry
2 teaspoons smoked Spanish paprika
2 teaspoons organic granulated garlic powder
1 teaspoon organic oregano, crumbled between your fingers
1 teaspoon freshly ground organic black pepper
FOR THE COOKING
1 teaspoon coarse unrefined sea salt, crushed
2 tablespoons Kerrygold unsalted butter
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, preferably Spanish
- The day before you plan to make the steaks, prepare the marinade by combining all ingredients, and mixing them well. Place the meat in a glass bowl, and cover all surfaces with the marinade. Cover the bowl, and let rest at room temperature for 1 hour, then refrigerate overnight.
- Remove the meat from the refrigerator at least 1 hour before you plan to cook it, so it can come to cool room temperature.
- Remove the meat from the marinade and place on a plate. Sprinkle both sides of the steaks with the salt.
- Place the butter and olive oil in a heavy-bottomed frying pan that is large enough to hold the steaks. Heat the pan at medium heat until the butter is melted and the fat is hot and bubbly.
- Carefully add the steaks to the hot fat. Cook for 4 minutes on each side for rare; or 5 minutes on each side for medium rare. Serve and enjoy the rich, traditional flavors.
Stanley Fishman is a cookbook author and blogger who is an expert on cooking grassfed meat. Stanley uses traditional flavor combinations and cooking methods to make the cooking of grassfed meat easy, delicious, and tender. Stanley has written two cookbooks that make it easy to cook grassfed meat —Tender Grassfed Meat: Traditional Ways to Cook Healthy Meat and Tender Grassfed Barbecue: Traditional, Primal and Paleo. Stanley blogs about real food and the cooking of grassfed meat at his blog Tendergrassfedmeat.com.
The World Health Organization predicts that diabetes will be among the top 10 causes of death globally by 2030. What’s more, according to the CDC, if this trend continues, one in three Americans will have diabetes by 2050.
And while blood sugar imbalances due to a high-sugar diet are certainly to blame, research now shows a deeper cause in this epidemic – one that goes far beyond blood sugar…
The Delicate Balance of Our Inner Ecosystem
It was Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine, who told us over 2000 years ago that “All disease begins in the gut”.
Today it has been proven that the health of our gut has a big impact on our overall health – from immunity to brain function. And the health of our gut largely depends on the balance of the trillions of microbes within us (and on our bodies).
“For a long time, scientists assumed that these bacteria, despite their numbers, neither did us much harm nor much good. But in the past decade or so, researchers have changed their tune.” – Scientific American
Your gut alone contains three pounds of bacteria that carry out a number of vital processes. They produce nutrients like vitamin B12 and vitamin K. They assist in the digestion of food and elimination of waste. And they help to regulate hormones and aid in detoxification – to name just a few.
But not all gut bugs are good bugs.
As we shift the pH inside our digestive system with processed foods, chemicals, drugs and alcohol (to name a few), we can tip the balance in favor of the “bad guys. This imbalance is called dysbiosis and it is a key factor in promoting chronic inflammation, autoimmune disorders, food allergies, nutritional deficiencies, mood disorders, certain forms of cancer… and even diabetes.
The Bacterial Link to Diabetes
In fact, a recent study published in the journal Nature, discovered that those with Type 2 diabetes had high levels of hostile bacteria.
Similarly, children with Type 1 diabetes were found to have noticeable differences in bacterial levels compared with healthy children.
Specifically, the researchers found imbalances in optimal levels of butyrate-producing bacteria - the same bacteria connected with a reduced risk of colorectal cancer.
Dr. Jun Wang, PhD, a biology professor at the University of Copenhagen says:
“Butyrate-producing bacteria seem to have a protective role against several types of diseases, including diabetes.”
Butyrates are short-chain fatty acids. They are produced by gut microbes when we consume fiber-rich foods. These compounds can exert a powerful anti-inflammatory effect both inside and outside of the intestine and are well documented for their beneficial effects on insulin resistance.
Creating Optimal Balance in Our Microbiome
Unfortunately, modern diets high in sugar, refined grains, additives and preservatives, along with chlorinated water, pesticides and antibiotics support the growth of hostile bacteria… while decreasing the numbers of our healthy butyrate-producing flora.
Along with consuming the foods that promote an overgrowth of unhealthy strains, we also don’t consume enough of the right foods to populate the gut with beneficial bacterial strains.
When it comes to the microbes in your gut, balance is the key. So how can we optimally balance our microbiome to lower our risk of diabetes and other preventable disease?
The same way our ancestors did…
Bringing Back the Balance with Ancestral Diets
Here are six simple steps to a health gut and balanced microbiome:
1. Be a Dirt Lover: Our ancestors obtained a lot of their probiotic bacteria from the soil. These bacteria, called soil based organisms (SBOs), have a profound beneficial effect on digestive balance. Consume fresh, organic veggies raised in healthy soil and don’t make them “squeaky clean” before consuming. You can also purchase supplements containing soil based organisms.
2. Get Your Prebiotics: Many vegetables – especially onions, jicama, garlic and leeks - contain powerful prebiotic fiber that provides important nourishment for those butyrate-producing gut bacteria.
3. Pass on the Pesticides and Antibiotics: Choose organic, pesticide-free foods to prevent wiping out the good bacteria you are working so hard to nourish. Similarly, grass-fed meats, organic pastured poultry, organ meats and wild caught fish are free of antibiotics, which allow good bacteria to remain intact. Avoid antibiotic, unless absolutely necessary.
4. Focus on “Reflorestation”: Feed your healthy gut bacteria with good probiotic food sources including lacto-fermented vegetables (like sauerkraut and kimchi), kefir, kombucha and other foods preserved using traditional methods.
5. Beware of Modern Products: To maintain the integrity of the gut, minimize or eliminate the use of antibacterial products. Consume only filtered or spring water which doesn’t contain chlorine, perchlorate and fluoride. And remove gut-damaging processed foods such as those containing aspartame, sucralose and preservatives, which have been shown to destroy gut bacteria.
6. Avoid Sugar and Refined Carbohydrates: Reduce and eliminate sugar along with processed grains. These foods and ingredients can actually feed the growth of hostile microorganisms.
By choosing to eat the way our ancestors did, we can improve the balance of our microbiome, improve our health and reduce the risk of chronic diseases, including diabetes.
Love bread, but not the gut-harming carbs and grains? Check out Kelley’s newest book, Better Breads, including more than two dozen low-carb, grain-free, prebiotic-rich Paleo breads, biscuits, pancakes, muffins and more! Click here to learn more about Better Breads…
1. Junjie Qin,Yingrui Li, Zhiming Cai. A metagenome-wide association study of gut microbiota in type 2 diabetes. Nature 490, 55–60 (04 October 2012) doi:10.1038/nature11450
2. Gut bacteria could cause diabetes. University of Copenhagen. September 26 2012.
3. Roberto Berni Canani, Margherita Di Costanzo, Ludovica Leone, et al.Potential beneficial effects of butyrate in intestinal and extraintestinal diseases. World J Gastroenterol. 2011 Mar 28; 17(12): 1519–1528.
4. Rob Knight. How our microbes make us who we are . Posted Feb 2015. TED Talks.
5. Number of Americans with Diabetes Projected to Double or Triple by 2050. Centers for Disease Control. October 22, 2010
We're celebrating our 15-year anniversary this month!
We wouldn't be where we are today without each and every one of you. We appreciate your continued support and patronage. We look forward to many more years of doing what's good for our animals, good for our planet and good for you.
What better way to kick off the anniversary festivities than with a giveaway? So here are the details...
In case you missed it, our new and improved website has the option to leave product reviews. Just click the product(s) you wish to review and select 'add your review' and you're done. Easy peasy, right?
Submit a review of any of our online selections between Thursday, September 17 - Tuesday, September 22 to be entered to win a $100 gift certificate!
Upon leaving a review you will automatically be entered into our drawing. Only one entry per person, but you're welcome to leave multiple reviews. The winner will be randomly selected and announced on Friday, September 25.
Good luck & happy reviewing!
More than 29 million Americans are currently diagnosed with diabetes, with an additional eight million un-diagnosed. To make matters worse, it’s estimated that 86 million Americans have the symptoms of “pre-diabetes” and that close to half (40%) of the American population will develop diabetes during their lifetime!
But it’s not just people with diabetes or pre-diabetes who should be concerned about blood sugar. Keeping your blood sugar within a healthy range is one of the most important things you can do to prevent heart disease, Alzheimer’s, macular degeneration, weight gain, hormonal issues, certain cancers and more.
As you can imagine, the diabetes industry is a big business. It is estimated that over $176 billion is spent each year on diabetes medications and care alone. Billions more are spent on medical devices and so-called “diabetic-safe” industrial foods, many of which actually promote or worsen blood sugar control due to their high levels of sugar, artificial sweeteners (like sucralose and aspartame) and harmful fats (including trans fats and processed seed oils).
With all of these harmful drugs, fake pharma-foods, expensive gadgets (and the mass media and marketing surrounding them), many people with blood sugar issues feel pressure from their physicians, family and friends to “get with the program”. Unfortunately, this typically means taking a prescription medication (or three).
But recent research shows that a simple, healthy, drinkable addition to your meals may not only stabilize blood sugar enough to prevent post-meal blood sugar surges… this tasty treat may even be powerful enough to reduce the need for diabetes medications altogether.
So, what is this tasty treat?
The Blood-Sugar Balancing Shake
Well, not just any shake – a shake made with whey protein.
Researchers at Wolfson Medical Center of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem evaluated 15 diabetic patients with type 2 diabetes. The participants were divided into two groups. The first group received 50 grams of whey protein in 250 ml of water and a high-glycemic breakfast (three slices of white bread with sugar jelly). The second only ate the blood-sugar spiking white bread stack with jelly.
Blood samples were taken before the meal, when the whey protein was taken, and at specific intervals after the meal. The researchers found that blood sugar levels were reduced after the meal by an impressive 28 percent in the participants who consumed the whey shake. What’s more, the whey shake group also enjoyed a 105 percent increase in insulin release and 141 percent higher levels of glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) – a gut hormone that stimulates insulin secretion. All in all, the whey shake group enjoyed a 96 percent improvement in early insulin response compared to the control group.
The lead researcher on the study, Prof. Daniela Jakubowicz, said:
“What’s remarkable is that consuming whey protein before meals reduces the blood sugar spikes seen after meals. It also improves the body’s insulin response, putting it in the same range or even higher than that produced by novel anti-diabetic drugs.”
Eat Wisely, Move Often, Add Whey Protein
When it comes to controlling your blood sugar - or even reversing diabetes - focus on lifestyle and diet first.
Move your body. Get plenty of fresh air and sunshine. And base your meals around the low-carb, grain-free, healthy-fat foods that are known to naturally regulate blood sugar and metabolism, including grass-fed beef, bison and lamb, pastured poultry and wild fish, with as many of the above-ground veggies you can eat.
And for even more blood-sugar balancing power and nutrition, add a delicious shake made with non-denatured, grass-fed whey protein before a meal.
We would like to hear from you. Have you overcome a blood sugar challenge or a diagnosis of diabetes? If so, how did you do it?
Love bread, but not the blood-sugar spiking carbs and grains? Check out Kelley’s newest book, Better Breads, including more than two dozen low-carb, grain-free and Paleo breads, biscuits, pancakes, muffins and more! Click here to learn more about Better Breads…
1. American Diabetes Association. Statistics About Diabetes. Taken from National Diabetes Statistics Report, 2014 http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/statistics/
2. Gregg, E., Zhuo, X., Cheng, Y. Trends in lifetime risk and years of life lost due to diabetes in the USA, 1985–2011: a modelling study. The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, 2014
3. Wild, S. Roglic, G., Green, A, et al. Global Prevalence of Diabetes. Estimates for the year 2000 and projections for 2030. Diabetes Care, Volume 7, No. 5, May 2004.
4. USA Today. Diabetes care costs nation $245 billion annually. http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/03/06/diabetes-care-cost/1965185/
5. Daniela Jakubowicz, Oren Froy, Bo Ahrén, Mona Boaz, Zohar Landau, Yosefa Bar-Dayan, Tali Ganz, Maayan Barnea, Julio Wainstein. Incretin, insulinotropic and glucose-lowering effects of whey protein pre-load in type 2 diabetes: a randomised clinical trial. Diabetologia, 2014; 57 (9)
6. Pepino MY, Tiemann CD, Patterson BW, Wice BM, Klein S. Sucralose affects glycemic and hormonal responses to an oral glucose load. Diabetes Care. 2013 Sep;36(9):2530-5.
7. Suez J, Korem T, Zeevi D, Zilberman-Schapira, G. Artificial sweeteners induce glucose intolerance by altering the gut microbiota. Nature. 2014 Oct 9;514(7521):181-6.
This Discovery Can Add Flavor & Health Benefits To Your Food
Many of the world’s greatest culinary discoveries were made serendipitously. But very few were as impactful as the discovery of using spices to flavor and preserve food.
Anthropologists have shown that thousands of years ago, our hunter-gatherer ancestors would often wrap their kill in leaves and bark to preserve and transport the contents inside. Only later did they discover that this method of preservation could also improve the taste of their food.
And so the worlds’ love affair with spices began…
SPICES & HERBS: THE CULINARY CURATIVES
As civilization advanced, the use of spices became ubiquitous in culinary tradition. But it wasn’t just for their flavor-enhancing abilities. It was also for the health-promoting properties they possessed:
Texts from Ancient Egypt (1555 BC) deemed coriander, fennel, juniper, cumin, garlic and thyme as powerful medicine. It is also known that laborers who constructed the Great Pyramid of Cheops consumed onion and garlic as a means to promote health.
• Black pepper, cinnamon, turmeric, cardamom have been used by Indians for thousands of years for both culinary and health purposes.
• Hippocrates wrote extensively about spices and herbs, including saffron, cinnamon, thyme, coriander, mint, and marjoram. Of the 400 herbal remedies he created, at least half are still used today.
• Theophrastus, the "Father of Botany”, authored two books summarizing the knowledge of over 600 spices and herbs.
• Dioscorides, a Greek Physician of the 1st century, authored De Materia Medica – an extensive medical and botanical guide that was used for over 1,500 years.
• In the Middle Ages (600-1200 AD), European apothecaries used herbs and Asian spices including ginger, pepper, nutmeg, cinnamon, saffron and cardamom in their remedies.
• Plants were used as the primary source of medicine in the United States from the time of the Mayflower (1620) until after World War I (1930).
Science now proves that the instincts and knowledge of our ancestors were correct: Spices and herbs can be powerful medicine. In fact, countless studies show that herbs and spices possess a wide range of beneficial phytonutrients that can kill bacteria, viruses and parasites. They also act as powerful antioxidants and can promote cellular health, reduce inflammation, and more.
And one of the most convenient ways to harness the health-and-flavor enhancing power of herbs and spices is a homemade dry rub.
4 CHEF-INSPIRED DRY RUBS: POTENT FLAVOR – WITH BENEFITS
Complimenting just about every kind of food – from meat, chicken, fish and vegetables – a dry rub is a combination of herbs, salt and spices that is applied before grilling, broiling, baking or roasting.
As you know, there are many commercial seasoning blends available. However, these often contain chemical preservatives, MSG, anti-caking agents and other unsavory additives. By creating your own custom combinations at home, you can ensure a higher quality, additive-free product that is personalized to your tastes.
Using just one or two spices and herbs can produce delicious results. But if you really want to elevate your food to new heights, don’t be afraid to experiment with new ingredients and unique combinations. You can make a dry rub from nearly any combination of herbs, spices and salt. Here are four chef-tested dry rubs to try in your cooking:
Use On: This exceptionally versatile Middle Eastern spice mix can be used on every kind of meat, fish or vegetable.
The Blend: ¼ cup sumac, 2 Tbsp. dried thyme, 1 Tbsp. roasted sesame seeds, 2 Tbsp. dried marjoram, 2 Tbsp. dried oregano, 1 tsp. sea salt
Yield: ~2 Tbsp.
Ras El Hanout
Use On: The name of this Moroccan spice mix translates to "head of the shop" – as it often includes the best spices the purveyor has to offer. Try on grass-fed steaks, wild-caught salmon and chicken.
The Blend: 2 tsp. ground ginger, 2 tsp. ground coriander, 1 ½ tsp. ground cinnamon, 1 ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper, 1 ½ tsp. ground turmeric, 1 tsp. ground nutmeg, 1 tsp. ground allspice, 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
Yield: ~ ¼ cup
Mediterranean Dry Rub
Use On: This classic blend goes with just about anything – from pastured pork, lamb and chicken to wild seafood.
The Blend: ¾ cup dried basil , ¼ cup dried thyme , 2 Tbsp. dried sage, 2 Tbsp. fennel seeds, 1 Tbsp. sea salt, 1 Tbsp. black peppercorns
Yield: ~1¼ cups
BBQ Dry Rub
Use On: A classic BBQ favorite that complements pastured chicken, ribs, and brisket
The Blend: ¼ cup paprika, 2 Tbsp. granulated garlic, 2 Tbsp. granulated onion, 2 tsp. black peppercorns, 1 tsp. dry mustard, 1 tsp. chili powder, 1 Tbsp. cumin seed (toasted), 3 Tbsp. coriander seed (toasted), 1/4 cup sea salt, 2 Tbsp. coconut sugar
Yield: ~1 ¼ cups
TIPS FOR USING DRY RUBS
Now that you have a few flavor combinations to start with, I’d like to share how you can maximize the seasoning power and life span of your dry rubs:
Toast to Get the Most: Many spices – especially cinnamon, cloves, allspice, coriander and cumin – benefit from a little heat. A brief toast in a dry skillet will coax more flavor out of these in particular.
Grind Fine: Finely milling your spice and herb blends allows more surface area to come into contact with your food, producing deeper flavor. Use a spice mill or coffee grinder to powder your dry rub to a uniform consistency.
Prepare The Canvas: For each pound of meat, poultry, or seafood coat entire surface with 2 to 3 teaspoons melted lard, tallow, duck fat or coconut oil. Then apply one to two tablespoons of dry rub.
Coat Well: When using dry rubs, coat the entire surface of the food, ensuring it sticks. Not only will this ensure you get the full flavor effect, but it will also produce a beautiful crust. To produce a stronger flavor, cover pre-rubbed meats or chicken and refrigerate to allow the flavors to penetrate for up to 24 hours. Then cook as desired.
Store Properly: Spices and herbs lose potency, and light, heat and oxygen speed this loss. Store in a cool, dry place in an airtight container for up to 6 months.
Adding dry rubs to your cooking repertoire won’t just add more flavor to your food, but also more health-promoting nutrients. So season often and liberally with these flavor-packed dry rubs, and change up the spices and herbs you use to get the full-spectrum of their healing powers.
We would love to hear from you. Do you use dry rubs in your cooking? If so, do you have a favorite combination?
Kelley Herring is the author of the new book Better Breads – which includes more information you need to know about why it is so important to avoid wheat and grains in your diet, plus how to use healthy replacements for these foods to create all the breads you love… without the gluten, carbs and health-harming effects. Click here to learn more about Better Breads…
1. Rosengarten Jr, Frederic. "The Book of spices." The Book of Spices. (1969).
2. Tapsell LC, Hemphill I, Cobiac L, Patch CS, Sullivan DR, Fenech M, Roodenrys S, Keogh JB, Clifton PM, Williams PG, Fazio VA, Inge KE. Health benefits of herbs and spices: the past, the present, the future. Med J Aust. 2006 Aug 21;185(4 Suppl):S4-24. 4. History Online. Medicinal Uses of Herbs and Spices.
3. Bellamy D, Pfister A. World medicine: plants, patients and people. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers, 1992.
4. Block E. Antithrombotic agent of garlic: a lesson from 5000 years of folk medicine. In: Steiner RP, editor. Folk medicine, the art and the science. Washington DC: American Chemical Society, 1986:125-137.
5. Chevallier A. The encyclopedia of medicinal plants. London: Dorling Kindersley, 1996.
Ruby-red tomatoes… crisp bell peppers… spicy-hot cayenne pepper…
For most people, these are garden-fresh ingredients for a healthy diet, rich in a variety of health-promoting nutrients like vitamin C and lycopene. But for others, these seemingly healthy foods can be the cause of pain, migraines, stiffness and systemic inflammation.
Arthritis & The Nightshade Family
As members of the nightshade (or Solanaceae) family of vegetables, tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, peppers and other common foods contain a number of potentially problematic compounds, including glycoalkaloids and steroid alkaloids.
These compounds can inhibit acetylcholinesterase, an enzyme responsible for flexibility of muscle movement. And for some people, consuming these foods can cause stiffness and joint pain related to arthritis.
Dr. Norman F. Childers, PhD, founder of the Arthritis Nightshades Research Foundation states:
"Diet appears to be a factor in the etiology of arthritis based on surveys of over 1,400 volunteers during a 20-year period. Plants in the drug family, Solanaceae (nightshades) are an important causative factor in arthritis in sensitive people."
In fact, a growing number of doctors and health experts believe that the symptoms of arthritis are often a misdiagnosed reaction to consuming nightshades. What’s more, many people who suffer from other inflammation-related illnesses – such as lupus, rheumatism, fibromyalgia, and musculoskeletal pain disorders – often find relief with a nightshade-free diet.
Take the Nightshade-Free Challenge
It’s important to note that not all people are sensitive to nightshades to the same degree. However, when an inflammatory condition exists, eating nightshades can compound the problem.
If you want to determine if nightshades could be a cause of pain, stiffness or chronic inflammation, you should consider taking a nightshade-free challenge. For three weeks, avoid all nightshade family foods including:
• Potatoes, all varieties (NOTE: sweet potatoes and yams are not nightshades.)
• Peppers, all varieties (red, green, yellow, orange, jalapeno, chili, cayenne, pimento.)
• Tomatoes, all varieties (including Tomatillos)
• Pepino melon
• Goji berries
• Cape gooseberries
• Ground cherries
• Garden huckleberries
It’s also important to avoid foods that contain solanine (one of the steroid alkaloids). These include:
Some prescription and over-the-counter drugs, homeopathics and other consumables also contain nightshades or solanine. Be sure to read labels and watch for:
• Belladonna (the deadly nightshade often found in homeopathics)
• Potato starch in medications and many packaged products
• Edible flowers including petunia, chalice vine, day jasmine, angel and devil’s trumpets
• Atropine and Scopolamine (compounds used in sleep aids)
• Topical capsaicin creams (derived from cayenne)
• Potato-based vodka
After three weeks, begin to reintroduce nightshades to your diet, one at a time. As you reintroduce these foods, be sure to keep a journal with notes about your symptoms and their severity, including energy levels, pain and stiffness, headaches, etc. Obviously, if you notice an increase in symptoms or severity upon reintroduction of these foods, it is likely that you are sensitive to nightshades and these foods should be avoided.
As the adage goes: "One man's meat is another man's poison." If you are suffering from a pain-related illness, consider a nightshade-free challenge diet. Like many others, you may find a big improvement in your quality of life and a decrease in pain.
Do you have issues with nightshades? If so, what experiences have you had? What benefits have you noticed by eliminating / reducing these foods in your diet?
Kelley Herring is the author of the book Better Breads – which includes more information you need to know about why it is so important to avoid wheat and grains in your diet, plus how to use healthy replacements for these foods to create all the breads you love… without the gluten, carbs and health-harming effects. Learn more about Better Breads…
1. Smith, Garrett, ND. Nightshades. Problems from these Popular Foods Exposed to the Light of Day. Weston A. Price Foundation. March 30, 2010
2. N.F. Childers, Ph.D., M.S. Margoles, M.D. An Apparent Relation of Nightshades (Solanaceae) to Arthritis. Journal of Neurological and Orthopedic Medical Surgery (1993) 12:227-231
3. Childers NF. Arthritis-Childer’s Diet to Stop It. Nightshades, Aging, and Ill Health, 4th ed. Florida: Horticultural Publications, 1993; 19-21.
4. Patel B, et al. Potato glycoalkaloids adversely affect intestinal permeability and aggravate inflammatory bowel disease. Inflamm Bowel Dis. 2002 Sep;8(5):340-6. PubMed ID: 124796498.
5. Childers N.F., Russo G.M. The nightshades and health (extensive literature). New Jersey (Somerville) and Florida (3906 NW 31 Pl., Gainesville 32606): Hortic Pub, 1977
6. D’Arcy WG. Solanaceae: biology and systemics. New York: Columbia University Press, 1985
7. Heiser CB Jr. The fascinating world of the nightshades, 2nd ed. New York: Dover Publ, 1987