When US Wellness Meats was founded back in 2000, we were raising and selling our grass-fed beef products only. After a few short years in business we realized we needed to widen our horizons as there are so many other great products we could be offering! So we started to branch out into grass-fed dairy and lamb products, and things continued to grow from there. We would not be the company we are today without the other amazing farmers and producers who contribute to our business.
We get a lot of customer questions about the different sources of our products and where they are raised, so we decided an in-depth blog post would be a great way to address all of these questions at once.
We have many US Wellness farmers and producers all throughout the United States, as shown below:
Beef: Our founding farms are located in the heart of the Midwest. Most of our current production comes from three of the founding members of the company located in Northeast Missouri and West Central Illinois. We enjoy long summers with abundant rainfall to keep our pastures green most of the year. We bale plenty of those warm weather grasses in the summer so the cattle enjoy those same grasses when snow is on the ground.
We also source from a farm run by personal friends of ours in picturesque Tasmania. This island is the ideal place for grazing animals as they have a temperate climate that allows for grazing year round, and no hormones or GMOs are even allowed on the island. Both our Midwest and Tasmania cattle are 100% grass-fed and grass-finished.
Bison: Our bison are roaming around the open pastures of the Dakotas and Northern Plains and our farmers there are dedicated to improving the native grasses of the area, and ensuring the natural way of life bison have been accustomed to for decades. Our Wisconsin and South Dakota bison products are 100% grass-fed and grass-finished.
Pork: All of our pork products are GAP-certified, meaning they are raised in the best conditions possible. Our pork comes from Heritage Acres which is a group of small, local Missouri and Kansas farmers providing the finest quality, antibiotic-free pork. For more information about our pork products, please visit our pork blog.
Poultry: We have a few different poultry farms raising animals for US Wellness Meats. Oaklyn Plantation in Darlington, South Carolina raises all of our free range 20-lb chicken bundles and ships those direct from the farm. Due to growing interest and frequent customer requests, Oakland Plantation also started raising soy-free chickens in the summer of 2011.
Our additional producers are in Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Florida. They raise free range birds for our smaller chicken packages. All of their birds are raised under sunny skies on a non-GMO feed ration, in addition to the grass, sticks and bugs they enjoy on a daily basis.
Duck: All our Peking Ducks are raised with passion and care on a farm in upstate New York. They are free range and enjoy a non-gmo diet free of growth hormones and antibiotics.
Rabbit: Gourmet rabbit is one of the best kept secrets here at US Wellness Meats. Our rabbit comes from Briarwood Valley Farm in Ohio. Rabbits are fed pellets containing alfalfa, soybean hull and a mixture of various grains and minerals. They are not given growth hormones or antibiotics.
Dairy: We are very lucky to be able to source grass-fed dairy products, without any added growth hormones. We have two different Amish dairies- one in Indiana, the other in Pennsylvania, who supply us with raw, grass-fed cheese.
Lamb: Our lamb comes from Missouri and Oregon. Raised just south of US Wellness headquarters near Perry, MO our Missouri lambs are 100% grass-fed and grass-finished. They enjoy lush Missouri pastures and plenty of rainfall.
Seafood: Our seafood products come from Vital Choice located in the state of Washington, one of the premier wild-caught seafood providers in the country. Their products are certified sustainable, and most products are caught off the west coast and surrounding waters. The only exception is our wild-caught raw shrimp which are harvested in the Pacific Ocean and processed in the United States. They are wild-caught and chemical free.
We have carefully collaborated with like-minded farmers and individuals that hold their products to the same standards we believe in for our company. Long story short, we have built our business over the many years while respecting our animals and our environment. We enjoy the products, just like our customers, so it remains our goal to offer the best selection possible.
For years, I’ve recommended that my patients take a special family of super-nutrients with the power to boost their health and save their lives in at least a half a dozen ways.
I’m talking about tocotrienols, an especially potent form of vitamin E.
Tocotrienols, which comprise four out of the eight types of vitamin E, are powerful antioxidants that until recently were ignored by mainstream medicine.
But the patients at my wellness clinic and regular readers of my newsletter will know that I’ve recommended them as a critical nutrient for years.
And I do it because almost daily I observe the effects of their extraordinary healing properties on those who take them.
I began prescribing tocotrienols years ago to patients with high blood pressure, heart trouble and circulatory problems – and they all showed remarkable improvements. Numerous scientific studies back up the observations from my wellness clinic.1,2,3,4,5
But I also observed that tocotrienols helped patients with a wide variety of other ailments.
An explosion of new research has now confirmed this vitamin E extract is the most versatile of all antioxidants and that it’s vital for overall health.
Unlike most doctors, I focus on what makes people healthy and what protects them from disease.
Western medicine has come to see people’s ailments as little boxes of symptoms that need to be either drugged or removed. It has lost sight of the whole person and what they need to remain healthy.
This is why I recommend tocotrienols to all my patients.
And those who followed my recommendation all reported feeling less pain, as well as having more strength and energy.
Scientists didn’t discover tocotrienols until 1965. But research conducted within the last five years has proved their real power. Clinical studies show they can:
- Wipe out bacteria and reduce inflammation;6,7,8
- Prevent and repair brain or nerve damage;9,10,11
- Stave off coronary disease and dementia;12
- Elevate your HDL, aka the “good cholesterol”;13
- Boost bone strength and heal gastric ulcers;14,15
- Help reverse obesity and metabolic syndrome;16
- Help your skin stay smooth and youthful.17
These powerful antioxidants also mop up free radicals – biochemical molecules which are linked to cancer and aging. They also lengthen telomeres, the caps at the ends of chromosomes that determine each cell’s biological age.
They can even cross the protective blood-brain barrier to do their jobs.
But nothing demonstrates the power of tocotrienols like how they wage war on malignant tumors and their powerful ability to shrink them.18,19,20,21,22
Simultaneously, this vitamin E family works to suppress the growth of cancer cells by:
- Reducing or cutting off blood flow to tumors;
- Hampering a tumor’s ability to grow new blood vessels;
- Destroying nutrients that feed the malignant masses;
- Setting off chemical signals that trick tumor cells into self-destructing.
Yet our Western diet is woefully deficient in foods that contain tocotrienols.
While tocotrienols can be absorbed into the body by consuming select foods – like palm oil, wheat germ, barley, annatto oil, as well as peas, carrots, cauliflower, and broccoli – they occur in very low levels naturally.
Tocotrienols also occur in grapes, apricots, blueberries, and black currents, cashews, almonds, pistachios, macadamia nuts, poultry and eggs.
But Big Agra also destroys much of these vitamins with the processes it uses to make high-profit, low-cost and low-nutrient products.
I recommend an intake of 19 mg. to 43 mg. a day to my patients, but the average American – many of whom have fallen into the fast-food trap – only get about 2 mg. or 3 mg. a day.
That’s why I always recommend boosting your tocotrienols intake with supplements.
The great thing about tocotrienols is that they’re all-natural. There aren’t any synthetic versions of these types of vitamin E – so you don’t have to worry about avoiding them.
And like all fat-soluble vitamins, it’s best to take them with a meal.
To Your Good Health,
Al Sears, MD, CNS
1. Kooyenga, D.K., et al.”Palm oil antioxidants: Effects on patients with hyperlipidaemia and carotid stenosis– two-year experience.” Asia Pacific J.Clin. Nutr., 1997; 6 (1), 72-75.
2. Mahadevappa, V.B., et al. “Effects of tocotrienol derivatives on collagen and ADP-induced human platelet aggregation.” 1991; In Proc. 1989 Int. Palm Oil Conference — Nutrition and Health Aspect of Palm Oil, PORIM, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, P 36-38.
3. Rasool, A.H., et al. “Arterial compliance and vitamin E blood levels with a self-emulsifying prepartion of tocotrienal-rich vitamin E.” Arch. Pharm. Res. 2008; 31 (9); 1212-1217.
4. Rasool, A.H, et al. “Dose dependent elevation of plasma tocotrienol levels and its effect on arterial compliance, plasmat total antioxidant status, and lipid profile in healthy humans supplemented with tocotrienol-rich vitamin E.” Nutr. Sci.Vitaminol. 2006; 52 (6): 473-478.
5. Laurent S., et al. “Aortic stiffness is an independent predictor of all-cause and cardio-vascular mortality in hypertensive patients.” Hypertension. 2001; 37: 1236-1241.
6. Mueller, A.M., et al. “Tocotrienol in the potential treatment of infectious disease.”
In Tocotrienol: Vitamin E Beyond Tocopherol, R. Watson and V. Preedy, Editors,
2008, CRC Press. P 343-359.
7. Kaileh, M., and Sen, R. “Role of NF-KappaB in the anti-inflammatory effects of tocotrienols.” J. Am. Coll. Nutr. 2010. 29 (3 Suppl): P. 334S-339S.
8. Kaileh, M., and Sen, R. “Role of NF-KappaB in the anti-inflammatory effects of tocotrienols.” J. Am. Coll. Nutr. 2010. 29 (3 Suppl): P. 334S-339S.
9. Khanna, S. et al. “Neuroprotective properties of the natural vitamin E a-tocotrienol.” Stroke. 2005; 36, e144-e152.
10. Rink, C., et al. “Tocotrienol vitamin E protects against preclinical caninie ischemic stroke by inducing ateriogenesis.” J. Cereb. Blood Flow Metab. 2011. 31 (11): P. 2218-30.
11. Kuhad, A., and Chopra, K. “Attenuation of diabetic nephropathy by tocotrienol involvement of NFkB signaling pathway.” Life Sci. 2009. 84 (9-10); P 296-301.
12. Mangialasche, F., et al. “Tocopherols and tocotrienols plasma levels are associated with cognitive impairment.” Neurobiol. Aging. 2011.
13. Hunninghake, et al. “Incorporation of lean red meat into a National Cholesterol
Education Program Step I Diet.” Journal of the American College of Nutrition. 2000; 19 (3): 351-360.
14. Mehat, M.Z., et al. “Beneficial effects of vitamin E isomer supplementation on static and bone histomorphometry parameters in normal male rats.” J. Bone Miner. Metab. 2010. 28 (5): P. 688-92.
15. Azlina, M.F., et al. “A comparison between tocopherol and tocotrienol effects on gastric parameters in rats exposed to stress.” Asia Pac. J. Clin. Nutr. 2005. 14 (4): P. 358-65.
16. Brown, L. “Gamma-tocotrienol from annatto oil ameliorates metabolic syndrome developed
in high-carbohydrate, high-fat diet fed rats.” In 2nd International Tocotrienol Symposium, 2012: Long Beach, Calif.
17. Dr. Nicholas V. Perricone. Method and compositions for topical application to the skin
for prevention and-or treatment of radiation-induced skin damage. U.S. Patent No:5376361 (1994).
18. Guthrie, N., et al. “Inhibition of proliferation of estrogen-receptor-negative MDA-MB-435 and positive MCF-7 human breast cancer cells by palm tocotrienols Tamoxifen, alone and in combination.” Journal of Nutrition. 1997; 127: 544S-548S.
19. Wada, S., et al. “Tumor-suppressive effects of tocotrienols in vivo and in vitro.” Cancer Lett. 2005. 229 (2): P 181-191.
20. Therault, A., et al. “Tocotrienal: A review of its therapeutic potential.” Clin. Biochem. 1999. 32 (5); P. 309-19.
21. Elson, C.E. “Suppression of mevalonate pathway activities by dietary isoprenoids: Protective roles in cancer and cardiovascular disease.” Nutr. 1995. 125 (6 Suppl.) P. 1666S-1672S.
22. Miyazawa, T., et al. “Anti-angiogenic function of tocotrienol. Asia Pac. J. Clin. Nutr. 2008. 17 Suppl. 1: P 253-6.
Big Brother has finally come around to what I’ve been telling my patients for almost 30 years – stop worrying about cholesterol in your diet!
The influential Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, the nation’s top nutrition panel, has now admitted they were WRONG about cholesterol. And they have now proclaimed this former dietary evil as no longer a “nutrient of concern.”1
They were slow – and, of course, wrong for decades – but at least they got there in the end.
That means eggs are back on the menu for millions of Americans – yolk and all – although my patients have been enjoying their eggs fried, poached, scrambled, deviled and made into omelets, flans and quiches for years, without the slightest negative impact on their health.
Big Brother has also deemed other “high-cholesterol” foods, like duck, goose, liver, lobster and shrimp, to be no longer a public health issue – not that they ever really were, except in the bureaucrats’ junk science-fueled imaginations.
On one hand, it feels good to have the federal government’s highest panel of diet experts on my side for once. After nearly four decades, they’ve actually come out and said it … there’s no evidence that consuming cholesterol causes heart attacks.
But, on the other hand, I’m still frustrated at how much these nutrition gurus continue to get wrong.
And, in spite of the fact that they no longer claim dietary cholesterol causes heart attacks, the medical establishment is still on a pointless campaign to lower our cholesterol levels. They say it’s necessary because you only get about 20 percent of our cholesterol from food while the rest comes from your genetic makeup.2
At the same time, the nutrition panel still won’t call off its crusade against red meat and other sources of saturated fats. So it still wants you to give up butter, cream, whole milk, real cheese and ice cream.
Yet researchers have debunked many previous studies that linked those foods to coronary disease.
Four decades of Big Brother’s advice has been based on bad science.3,4,5,6,7
But they still don’t get it. They’re messing with nature. We descended from hunter-gatherers, whose bodies evolved to eat large helpings of meat and fat. Societies may have changed, but our bodies and dietary needs have not.
Modern life has fueled epidemics of obesity, diabetes and heart disease. But as I’ve said for years, the culprit hasn’t been cholesterol. The real villains are sugar syrups, chemical additives, and grains.
In the late ’50s, Big Pharma and Big Agra each launched their own propaganda machines to blame cholesterol for heart attacks.
Big Pharma wanted to sell cholesterol-lowering drugs, while Big Agra wanted to sell cheap, high-profit Frankenfoods, especially grains and soybeans. Both industries continue to make billions of dollars off unnecessary human health misery.
In 1961, the American Heart Association relied on flawed studies – I call it junk science – when it advised people to consume less than 300 milligrams of cholesterol a day. A whole egg has about 190 milligrams of cholesterol.
In the late ’70s, the federal government also relied on flawed studies when it went on the warpath against cholesterol. It told Americans to give up eggs, butter, cheese, and whole milk. And the same studies led the feds to warn Americans away from saturated fats, like those found in red meat.
Since I began practicing medicine nearly 30 years ago, I’ve made it my mission to expose medical myths like these.
My first piece of advice to patients who come to me with heart disease is always the same.
I tell them: “Your condition can be reversed. But, first, quit taking these cholesterol-lowering drugs. Throw them in the trash!“
In my book The Ageless Heart: Advanced Strategies to Reverse Heart Disease and Restore Your Heart Pumping Power, I explain that your body actually needs cholesterol to perform many vital biochemical functions.
Thanks to the propaganda machine, almost everyone on the planet has heard how cholesterol patches the damaged walls of blood vessels. And they’ve heard how patches turn into plaque, growing thicker and thicker… until, the blockage causes a stroke or heart attack.
And most people have heard that they have two types of cholesterol, one called low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and the other is called high-density lipoprotein (HDL). According to the conventional wisdom, LDL is the “bad cholesterol,” because it causes plaque. And the HDL is the “good cholesterol,” because it helps clean away LDL.
That’s not the whole story. Despite what most doctors will tell you, cholesterol doesn’t cause heart attacks. Those LDL deposits are a symptom of coronary disease, not the cause.
Inflammation is the real villain. It’s what damages the blood-vessel walls in the first place. So when LDL patches the wall, it’s just doing its job. And the patch should only exist long enough for the inflammation to pass and for the wall to heal.
Then, HDL is supposed to come along and clear it away. But the system breaks down when there’s too much inflammation and not enough HDL to keep up with the cleanup. The best way to treat this is to reduce inflammation and boost your HDL levels.
But Big Pharma focuses on drugs to lower your LDL, because no one’s been able to come up with a patentable way to increase HDL. But at my South Florida wellness clinic, I concentrate on teaching my patients natural ways to increase their HDL, through diet, exercise and supplements.
I believe one of the best strategies for raising HDL is simply to lose weight or practice a regular exercise regimen, like my
Otherwise, try some of these no stress, no strain alternatives…
A daily snack of olives can boost your HDL. And add them to cold dishes for extra flavor. And eat salads dressed with olive oil. It’s best to eat olives and olive oil uncooked, because heat saps some of their antioxidant powers.
Daily doses of vitamin C, and niacin can also increase your HDL production. Vitamin C is vital for cholesterol metabolism. Both vitamins are necessary so the body can excrete excess cholesterol. I recommend taking 1,500 milligrams of vitamin C twice a day and 50 milligrams of niacin once a day.
Finally, take carnitine supplements. You usually get carnitine from red meat, but not enough to significantly enhance your HDL. Make sure you get supplements labeled L-carnitine, which is the natural form. You don’t want the synthetic D,L-carnitine, which will be no help at all. Take 500 milligrams a day.
To Your Good Health,
Al Sears, MD
P.S. By the way, if you’re confused by all changing dietary “advice” and half-truths about cholesterol and heart disease you hear in the media, you’re not alone. That’s one of the reasons I wrote my new book, The Ageless Heart: Advanced Strategies to Reverse Heart Disease and Restore Your Pumping Power, which is pretty much guaranteed to clear up any questions you have. It will also show you that in a very short period – by following advice directly opposite to standard recommendation – you can obtain real heart health. If you don’t have a copy yet, please click here .
1. Whoriskey, P. “The U.S. government is poised to withdraw longstanding warnings about cholesterol.” The Washington Post. February 10, 2015. washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2015/02/10/feds-poised-to-withdraw-longstanding-warnings-about-dietary-cholesterol. Retrieved February 13, 2015.
2.Szabo, L. “Panel could scrap advice on dietary cholesterol.” USA Today. February 12, 2013.
usatoday.com/story/news/2015/02/10/new-dietary-cholesterol-advice/23174871. Retrieved February 13, 2015.
3. C.E. Ramsden, et al. “Use of dietary lineolic acid for secondary prevention of coronary heart disease and death: Evaluation of recovered data from the Sydney Diet Heart Study and updated meta-analysis.” BMJ, 2013; 346 (Feb 04 3).
4. Calder, P.C. “Old study sheds new light on the fatty acids and cardiovascular health debate.” BMJ, 2013; 346 (Feb 04 3).
5. DiNicolosanto, J.J. The cardiometabolic consequences of replacing saturated fats with carbohydrates or -6 polyunsaturated fats: Do the dietary guidelines have it wrong?” Open Heart, 2014; 1 (1): e000032 DOI: 10.1136/openhrt-2013-000032.
6. Hope, J. “Butter isn’t bad for you after all: Major study says the advice on dairy fats was flawed.” The London Daily Mail.
February 9th, 2015.
7. Cohen, P. “Butter, red meat not so bad for you after all.” cbsnews.com/news/butter-red-meat-not-so-bad-for-you-after-all. February 10, 2015. Retreived February 13, 2015.
By: Kelley Herring, Healing Gourmet
It has people lining up in New York City’s Brodo to buy a steamy $9 cup… it is being called “the natural alternative to Botox”… and it is allegedly Gwyneth Paltrow’s “new obsession.”
You might assume that this wrinkle-fighting, age-defying food is a new discovery from the Amazon rainforest or a remote peak high in the Himalayas. Not true. In fact, there is a good chance that your great grandmother made this timeless superfood in a stockpot with little more than what most people consider “scraps.”
If you haven’t already guessed, I’m talking about bone broth…
What Is Gelatin – And How Does It Fight Wrinkles?
In my last article on the US Wellness Meats blog, I shared the many ways that consuming gelatin-rich bone broth can defy aging and promote healing. It can stimulate a variety of biochemical activities that can reduce inflammation, boost detoxification and keep us feeling young.
And while we all want to feel young, there’s no doubt we want to look young too.
It’s not breaking news that the beauty industry is big business. In fact, Botox alone – the muscle-paralyzing injection made from botulism toxin – grosses nearly $2 billion a year. The industry as whole – including creams, potions, serums and other forms of cosmetic surgery – is estimated at nearly $60 billion annually.
But the beauty and youthfulness of your skin is much less dependent on what you put on the outside. Far more important is what you’re doing to nourish the inside.
Of course, proper hydration is vital. It is also important to get sufficient high-quality protein and healthy fats. But when it comes to wrinkles, the story goes a bit deeper...
Your skin has a unique matrix structure that gives it elasticity and tone in our youth. In this network are numerous players, including three which play starring roles:
1. Collagen: Known as the “beauty protein”, collagen is the main structural protein of connective tissue. The amino acids glycine and proline are its principal components.
2. Elastin: As the name suggests, it provides skin with its elasticity, allowing it to snap back when pinched or pulled. Elastin has the ability to sustain "mechanical resilience" - meaning that it can extend and recoil billions of times. Researchers believe that it is the unique cross-linking of glycine, proline, leucine and valine, that give elastin this property.
3. Proteoglycans: These compounds are made of proteins and sugars. They are designed to attract and retain water. Proteoglycans weave around the collagen network, giving it tensile structure.
A strong network that’s well-hydrated and elastic results in a “plump” fresh-looking complexion.
And here’s where gelatin comes in…
Glycine & Proline – The Common Dominators For a Beautiful Complexion
As you just read, producing and preserving our collagen and elastin are essential for a strongmatrix that gives skin a smooth and youthful appearance. And the two key amino acids for building and maintaining collagen and elastin are: glycine and proline.
And can you guess the food richest in glycine and proline? That’s right. Gelatin.
It’s no wonder that anti-aging specialists are recommending gelatin to their patients and clients. It works.
Julia March, a bone broth advocate and well-known therapist to Hollywood celebrities says:
"My clients see less inflammation, more glow and more toned skin when they drink it. It repairs, strengthens, rejuvenates and heals.”
Making Wrinkle-Fighting Gelatan Recipes
Drinking bone broth daily – made from grass-fed, pastured soup bones, feet and backs – is the best way to get more healing gelatin in your diet. Slow-cooking or pressure cooking meat on the bone and enjoying the broth that accompanies the dish is another great way to sneak more of those wrinkle-fighting amino acids into your diet.
A great way to have this healing tonic on hand is to make a big batch and freeze it individual portions. The pressure cooker will help extract more gelatin from bones and connective tissues, making your money go a bit farther.
Even when you buy the highest quality ingredients to make bone broth, you’re still looking at cents per serving for Mother Nature’s original youth serum.
Are you drinking bone broth? We want to hear the many creative ways you’re incorporating this ancestral food into your modern healing diet.
ED NOTE – Kelley Herring is the author of the brand new book Better Breads – which includes 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. Danile, Kaayla. Why Broth is Beautiful: Essential Roles for Proline, Glycine and Gelatin. Weston A. Price Foundation.
2. François-Xavier Maquart, Stéphane Brézillon, Yanusz Wegrowski. Proteoglycans in Skin Aging. Textbook of Aging Skin 2010, pp 109-120
3. Fred W Keeley, Catherine M Bellingham, and Kimberley A Woodhouse Elastin as a self-organizing biomaterial: use of recombinantly expressed human elastin polypeptides as a model for investigations of structure and self-assembly of elastin. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2002 Feb 28; 357(1418): 185–189.
4. Kielty CM, Sherratt MJ, Shuttleworth CA (July 2002). "Elastic fibres". J. Cell. Sci. 115 (Pt 14): 2817–28. PMID 12082143.
5. Carrino DA1, Onnerfjord P, Sandy JD, Cs-Szabo G, Scott PG, Sorrell JM, Heinegård D, Caplan AI. Age-related changes in the proteoglycans of human skin. Specific cleavage of decorin to yield a major catabolic fragment in adult skin. J Biol Chem. 2003 May 9;278(19):17566-72. Epub 2003 Mar 5.
6. Tzaphlidou M1. The role of collagen and elastin in aged skin: an image processing approach. Micron. 2004;35(3):173-7.
By: Kelley Herring, Healing Gourmet
When you think of the health benefits of zinc, you probably think of immune health first. Zinc supplements are the first thing many of us turn to when we feel a cold or flu coming on. And for good reason, because zinc is essential for a well-functioning immune system. But the benefits of this vital mineral go far beyond helping to ward off the common cold.
In fact, zinc is vital to your brain – for learning and consolidating memories and helping to regulate your mood. It has also been found to boost heart health, reduce the risk of diabetes and cancer, support the gastrointestinal system and reduce leaky gut, enhance athletic performance and even support hormonal health and fertility.
Unfortunately, most people don’t get enough of this crucial nutrient. According to the World Health Organization one-third of the world’s population – over 2 billion people – are deficient in zinc.
And while it is estimated that only 1 in 10 Americans are technically considered “zinc deficient,” a much higher percentage are still grossly insufficient.
And one of the primary causes is a grain-rich diet.
Zinc Binders in Grains Promote Deficiency
Despite scientific evidence to the contrary, the USDA still recommends grain-based foods as the foundation of a healthy diet. Unfortunately, as it relates to zinc, a grain-based diet is rich in copper, lignans and phytates – three compounds that can dramatically reduce the bioavailability and absorption of zinc.
And while many grain-based foods are fortified with zinc to improve their nutritional profile (on paper), research shows that zinc-fortified foods do not necessarily increase serum concentrations of zinc in the body.
What’s more, the forms of zinc that are most often used for fortification – including zinc oxide and zinc sulfate – are inorganic forms of the mineral, which are poorly absorbed.
But that’s not all… lifestyle factors and your own health status can also play a role in the levels of zinc in your body.
Are You Living a Zinc Deficient Lifestyle?
Excess consumption of sugar, alcohol, caffeine, and other competing minerals (including calcium, iron and copper) can all reduce zinc levels or increase your body’s requirement of it. Stress, infections, low stomach acid and certain medications can do the same thing.
Pregnant and nursing mothers should also be especially vigilant about zinc levels, as deficiencies are commonly associated with the bodily changes that come with pregnancy. And this is critical, because zinc deficiencies during pregnancy and lactation have been linked to miscarriage, low birth weight, and developmental problems in children.
And if you are vegetarian (or worse, vegan), your risk of a zinc deficiency is increased dramatically. That’s because about 44% of the zinc in the American diet comes from meat, fish and poultry. Even well-planned vegetarian diets fall short on zinc, according to research performed at the Agricultural Research Service (ARS). The ARS study also showed that 21 percent less zinc was absorbed from a vegetarian diet compared to an omnivorous one.
Add this decreased absorption to the lower zinc content of a vegetarian diet and you have a prescription for deficiency.
So How Much Zinc is Enough?
The recommended daily allowance (RDA) for zinc is currently 8-11 mg. However, like most RDA values, nutritional experts believe this is only a minimum acceptable level, at best.
In fact, studies show that our Paleolithic ancestors consumed an average of 43 mg of zinc per day from grain-free, legume-free, whole-food sources – the most bioavailable forms.
Today, modern Americans consume roughly 10 mg daily. But remember – it’s what you absorb that matters. If only 15 to 35 percent of the zinc you consume is absorbed (which is common) then you are likely deficient.
With all of the factors that influence zinc metabolism, and the highly processed diets that most people consume, it’s easy to see how a deficiency in this critical nutrient has become epidemic.
And though it doesn’t get the press it deserves, you can be sure that this has negatively impacted the health and quality of life of millions. The authors of a review on zinc and human health, published in the Archives of Toxicology state:
“Zinc is an essential element whose significance to health is increasingly appreciated and whose deficiency may play an important role in the appearance of diseases.”
Symptoms of Zinc Deficiency
One reason why this epidemic goes unnoticed is because the symptoms of zinc deficiency are diverse and can be attributed to numerous other factors. These symptoms can include:
• Behavior Changes
• Chronic Diarrhea
• Delayed Wound Healing
• Frequent Infection
• Hair Loss
• Impaired Memory
• Joint Pain
• Learning Disabilities
• Loss Of Appetite And Taste Perception
• Sensitive Skin
• Severe PMS
• Skin And Respiratory Allergy
• Slowed Sexual Maturation
• Unhealthy Weight Loss Caused By Loss Of Appetite
• Vision Problems
• White Spots In The Fingernails
The Most Absorbable Food Sources of Zinc
The best sources of zinc are the same foods our ancestors enjoyed including, grass-fed meats, wild seafood, and pastured poultry.
In addition to these foods being high in zinc (and devoid of zinc-binding substances that reduce its absorption), they are also rich in a compound known to boost zinc absorption: Protein!
Another effective way to increase zinc absorption? Add a grass-fed whey protein shake to your meals. Whey protein is rich in cysteine and methionine – two amino acids that enhance zinc absorption.
You can also include zinc-rich nuts and seeds including pumpkin seeds (1 oz, 3 mg), cashews (1 oz, 1.6 mg), and almonds (1 oz, 0.9 mg) to boost your intake. But be sure to soak them to reduce the phytates that make zinc inaccessible to the body. (Better Than Roasted does the work for you… and they taste great!)
Because zinc supplementation can interfere with other important nutrients in the body, and most zinc supplements are poorly absorbed, it’s best to rely on getting this important nutrient from the whole food sources listed above.
And if you think you may have a zinc deficiency, simple and inexpensive tests are widely available. Often correcting low stomach acid with betaine HCL can dramatically increase the absorption of zinc and other nutrients you get from your food – no synthetic supplements required. As always, talk with your doctor.
ED NOTE: Kelley Herring is author of more than a dozen books on nutrition and natural healing. She is also the co-founder of Wellness Bakeries, which has just released their newest product – Better Bread – a 100% Paleo bread mix you can whip up in 5 minutes flat.
1. Michael Hambidge. Human Zinc Deficiency J. Nutr. May 1, 2000 vol. 130 no. 5 1344S-1349S
2. Sturniolo GC1, Di Leo V, Ferronato A, D'Odorico A, D'Incà R. Zinc supplementation tightens "leaky gut" in Crohn's disease. Inflamm Bowel Dis. 2001 May;7(2):94-8.
3. Zinc: Dietary Supplement Facts by CDC
4. Chasapis CT, Loutsidou AC, Spiliopoulou CA, Stefanidou ME. Zinc and human health: an update. Arch Toxicol. 2012 Apr;86(4):521-34. doi: 10.1007/s00204-011-0775-1. Epub 2011 Nov 10.
5. Prasad AS. Discovery of human zinc deficiency: 50 years later. J Trace Elem Med Biol. 2012 Jun;26(2-3):66-9.
6. Hess SY1, Brown KH. Impact of zinc fortification on zinc nutrition. Food Nutr Bull. 2009 Mar;30(1 Suppl):S79-107.
7. Brown KH1, Wessells KR, Hess SY. Zinc bioavailability from zinc-fortified foods. Int J Vitam Nutr Res. 2007 May;77(3):174-81.
8. "Vegetarians, Watch Your Zinc!”. March 1998 , Agricultural Research magazine.
9. Eaton SB, Eaton SB 3rd. Paleolithic vs. modern diets—selected pathophysiological implications. Eur J Nutr. 2000 Apr;39(2):67-70.
10. Cordain L. The Nutritional Characteristics of a Contemporary Diet Based Upon Paleolithic Food Groups. JANA. 2002;5(3):15-24.
11. Cordain L, Brand Miller J, Eaton SB, Mann N, Holt SHA, Speth JD. Plant to animal subsistence ratios and macronutrient energy estimations in worldwide hunter-gatherer diets. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2000, 71:682-92.
12. King JC. Does zinc absorption reflect zinc status? Int J Vitam Nutr Res. 2010 Oct;80(4-5):300-6.
13. Food and Nutrition Board, Institute of Medicine. Zinc. Dietary reference intakes for vitamin A, vitamin K, arsenic, boron, chromium, copper, iodine, iron, manganese, molybdenum, nickel, silicon, vanadium, and zinc. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press; 2001:442-501.
14. Prasad AS. Zinc deficiency in humans: a neglected problem. J Am Coll Nutr. 1998;17(6):542-543.
15. Wapnir RA, Stiel L. Zinc intestinal absorption in rats: specificity of amino acids as ligands. The Journal of Nutrition [1986, 116(11):2171-2179]
16. Kassarjian, Z., Russell, R. Hypochlorhydria: A Factor in Nutrition. Annual Reviews of Nutrition. 1989. 9, 271-285.
17. Nutrient data for this listing was provided by USDA SR-21
When people hear the words "Duck Soup," they often think of a movie made by the Marx brothers.
But duck soup actually has an important role in the cooking traditions of many countries. Duck is quite beefy in flavor, and makes a very robust and refreshing broth. Several cultures traditionally used duck soup to treat lung problems, and to help an invalid recover their strength.
In Chinese medicine, duck meat and duck soup are often used to treat asthma, coughs, lung problems, and other illnesses. And a properly made duck broth is so tasty and renewing. I find it energizing.
The best parts of the duck for making soup are the wings and gizzards, as they create a very gelatinous broth, which sooths the stomach. U.S. Wellness Meats now sells high quality natural duck wings and duck gizzards, which are perfect for making duck broth.
This soup uses a traditional Chinese flavor combination to flavor the broth. The use of unrefined sea salt adds nourishing minerals to the broth. It is delicious as well as nourishing.
Makes approximately 8 quarts.
2 packages U.S. Wellness Meats duck wings
1 package U.S. Wellness Meats duck gizzards
3 organic green onions, cut into two-inch pieces
3 organic garlic cloves, halved
3 slices organic fresh ginger, each slice being about the size of a quarter (25-cent coin)
2 tablespoons coarse unrefined sea salt
Plenty of filtered water
- Place all ingredients in a large stainless steel stockpot. Add enough filtered water to cover the duck pieces by about four inches. Heat the pot over high heat until the broth reaches a boil, then reduce the heat so the broth simmers slowly rather than boils. This may take awhile, due to the large volume of ingredients and liquid.
- When the water is close to boiling, remove the scum that rises to the top with a slotted spoon. This can also take awhile, but is necessary.
- Once the broth has reached a simmer, cover and simmer gently for 12 hours or longer. It will be ready after 12 hours.
- Using a ladle, strain into jars, and cover. When the bottles have cooled down, refrigerate. The fat will rise to the top and will solidify in the refrigerator. This fat cap will help preserve the broth. The fat should be removed before serving, and can be used for many cooking purposes. The broth should be brought to a quick boil when reheated, then allowed to cool to the desired degree of hotness.
By: Kelley Herring, Healing Gourmet
It’s the time of year for merriment. And for most people, holiday indulgences can leave you feeling sluggish and dull as you ring in the New Year.
But it’s not just holiday overindulgences that tax our liver and leave us feeling low. Every day we’re exposed to a barrage of assaults from the air we breathe, the water we drink and the chemicals we come into contact with.
Our modern world a toxic soup and we can’t help but bathe in it.
And while many people choose to more “drastic” measures (like a multi-day juice fast) to help counteract the damage, there’s a more practical way to lighten your liver’s burden and cleanse away occasional culinary sins and environmental toxins…
Drink bone broth!
The Non-Essential Nutrient That’s Essential for Detoxifying
Bone broth is rich in a wide variety of nutrients, including the amino acid glycine. Glycine is the simplest of all amino acids and is considered “non-essential.” That means that it can be produced by the body.
But when it comes to detoxification, glycine is absolutely essential. In fact, without enough glycine, your liver’s ability to do its job comes to a slow grind.
You see, glycine is one of several starting compounds needed to make the body’s most powerful antioxidant and detoxifying agent: glutathione.
The Most Miraculous Anti-Aging Substance (Your Doctor Hasn’t Heard Of)
Glutathione is made up of just three amino acids bonded together – glycine, cysteine and glutamic acid. And while glutathione is a very small and simple molecule, its function in the body is extremely diverse… and unquestionably vital.
It’s so important that more than 89,000 medical articles have been written about it!
The first way that glutathione works its healing magic is by recharging the other antioxidants in your body. These include vitamin C, vitamin E and lipoic acid. Without glutathione, free radicals would overwhelm your antioxidant defenses and cause rapid physical deterioration.
But this amazing substance is also an essential part of your liver’s ability to detoxify the blood.
Here’s how it happens…
Glutathione: Your Body’s Crucial Cleanser
First, the blood is filtered by the liver. Think of this as the deep cleaning phase. Toxins and other unwanted chemical junk are removed from the blood and converted into water-soluble chemicals (called conjugates). These conjugates are then reduced to smaller fragments, which can then be more easily neutralized and excreted.
The next step is called phase II detoxification. This is where enzymes and antioxidants – including glutathione – step in to neutralize the metabolic debris and free radicals that were gathered or generated in the first phase.
Day in and day out, your body performs these complex housekeeping tasks. But this internal “maid service” does not come without a cost – each and every time the body cleanses compounds from the blood, glutathione and other vital nutrients are depleted.
And the more toxins you are exposed to, or the longer the exposure, the more costly this “housekeeping” becomes from a nutritional standpoint.
This is exactly why you need to…
Detox Weekly… Not Yearly
Humans are in contact with more toxins today than ever before in history. From radiation to the tens of thousands of chemicals we’re exposed to in our food, water and air – your health depends on being able to continuously and efficiently detoxify.
The best way to achieve this is to provide your body with a constant supply of the nutrients that facilitate internal cleansing – including glycine.
And making bone broth is the best and easiest way to incorporate the glutathione-boosting benefits of glycine into your diet.
Here are some quick tips to get the most:
Cook Slow & Low: Longer cooking times at lower temperatures help to ensure maximum extraction of glycine and other important nutrients in bones. To make bone broth simply add 4-5 large bones to a slow cooker and fill three-quarters full with water (you can add salt, seasonings, onions and vegetables, if you wish). Make sure you have enough water in the pot and cook for 24 hours on low to create a nutrient-dense broth.
Add Parts: Marrow bones are the standard for making bone broth, but you can get more glycine if you add parts like chicken feet.
Consider the Fat: If you make a bone broth predominantly from beef bones, the fat will be saturated. However chicken parts will produce more omega-6 fats. For this reason, you should consider scraping (if it’s cold) or ladling the fat from top of bone broth made from chicken.
Make Gelatin Cubes: If you won’t be using or consuming all of your nutrient-rich bone broth within four to seven days, simply spoon or pour the amount you want to store into ice cube trays and freeze. Then pop out the cubes and store them in a zip-top bag for quick individual use. They can be added to soups, stews and sauces or just gently heated for a soothing, cleansing drink.
To lighten your liver’s load, you should also avoid processed foods and chemicals, limit your alcohol consumption and engage in regular exercise. But for the toxins that inevitably make their way into your body, boosting glutathione and other key nutrients goes a long way to protecting your health. And consuming glycine-rich bone broth is one of the best ways to do that.
Ed Note: Do you want to learn more about boosting your body’s master antioxidant and detoxifier? Check out Kelley’s comprehensive series The Food Cure where you’ll learn the 4 supplements and 13 foods you should be eating every day to maximize your body’s production of this miracle substance!
1. N.R. Gotthoffer. Gelatin in Nutrition and Medicine.
2. De Rosa SC, Zaretsky MD, Dubs JG, Roederer M, Anderson M, Green A, Mitra D, Watanabe N, Nakamura H, Tjioe I, Deresinski SC, Moore WA, Ela SW, Parks D, Herzenberg LA, Herzenberg LA. N-acetylcysteine replenishes glutathione in HIV infection. Eur J Clin Invest. 2000 Oct;30(10):915-29
3. Nuttall S, Martin U, Sinclair A, Kendall M. 1998. Glutathione: in sickness and in health. The Lancet 351(9103):645-646
4. Fidelus R.K., Tsan M.F. Glutathione and lymphocyte activation: a function of aging and auto-immune disease. Immunology. 1987 61:503-508.
5. Wellner V.P., Anderson M.E., Puri R.N., Jensen G.L., Meister A. (1982) Radioprotection by glutathione ester: transport of glutathione ester in human lymphoid cells and fibroblasts. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 81, 4732
The question has arisen recently on various blogs about whether the teachings of Dr. Weston A. Price are compatible with the Paleo and Primal movements. A similar question has been raised as to whether the Weston A. Price Foundation and its members are hostile to the Paleo and Primal movements.
1 TBSP coconut oil
3 boneless, skinless organic chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
Juice of 1 organic lime
2 TBSP coconut aminos
1 TBSP olive oil
1 tsp freshly grated ginger
1 garlic clove, minced
1 TBSP raw, organic honey
1 tsp granulated onion
Chopped green onions
- Mix sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken. Cook chicken, stirring occasionally, until browned and almost done. About 5 minutes.
- Add sauce to skillet, turn heat to low and simmer, uncovered for another 5 minutes, or until chicken pieces are cooked through.
- Top chicken bites with chopped green onions and sesame seeds. Enjoy!
This recipe and photo were featured in Paleo Magazine and taken from the newly released cookbook, The Healthy Gluten-Free Life.
Super Bowl Sunday is here again! What are some of your best Super Bowl treats and eats? We have compiled a few simple and tasty recipes for you to enjoy compliments of a few of our Paleo-friendly featured chefs. Want more mouth-watering recipes from your Paleo favorites? We have recipes from much more including Balanced Bites, The Clothes Make the Girl, Paleo Comfort Foods, Jen's Gone Paleo and Everyday Paleo...to name a few. For more recipes visit our featured chef page.
- 2 tart apples, peeled and cut into 3/4 inch cubes
- 1 lb pork tenderloin, cut into 3/4 inch cubes
- 2 tbsp traditionally fermented wheat free tamari or Coconut Aminos
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 2 tbsp olive oil
Combine tamari, olive oil, half the maple syrup, and pork in large bowl and marinate for one hour or overnight. Soak wooden skewers for 30 minutes. Alternate the pork and apples on about five or six skewers. Grill or broil in the oven 15 minutes or until brown. Turn and brush with extra marinade halfway through. Drizzle with remaining maple syrup and serve. Recipe compliments of Peggy Emch of The Primal Parent.
Herbed Chicken Skewers
- 5 pounds of chicken tenders
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- The zest of one lemon
- 1/4 cup herbs de provence
- Salt and black pepper to taste
Rinse chicken tenders under cold water and pat dry with a paper towel. Carefully remove the tendon with a knife. Cut tenders into large chunks. In a large mixing bowl, combine chicken, olive oil, herbs de provance, lemon zest, salt, and pepper. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let marinate for 2-4 hours. Preheat grill to medium high heat. Skewer chicken, and grill 12-15 minutes, turning every 3-4 minutes until meat is no longer pink. Recipe compliments of Hayley Mason and Bill Staley of The Food Lovers Primal Palate.
More of our Super Bowl Favorites:
Crispy Spiced Chicken Livers
Lamb Meatballs with Cucumber Coconut Raita
Sliders with Roasted Garlic Ciliantro Chimichurri
Sausage Stuffed Dates
For more mouth-watering recipes visit our monthly chef page.