The Wellness Blog

The Benefits of Eating Organ Meats and How to Eat Them (PaleoHacks)

Posted by US Wellness Meats on Tue, Dec 13, 2016 @ 06:20 PM

This post was written by Jessie Dax-Setkus of PaleoHacks.  PaleoHacks is a top source for amazing Paleo recipes, fitness tips, and wellness advice to help you live life to the fullest.

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It seems like the culinary world is finally embracing what we’ve known all along: offal, or organ meats,  offer a whole new range of delicious tastes and textures. And when you indulge in grass-fed beef tongue, heart, liver, brain, kidneys, sweetbreads, and tripe you open yourself up to powerful health benefits. For instance, there are 20 grams of protein, 4.1 grams of  calcium, 4.4 grams of iron, and 14.3 grams of magnesium in just one serving of beef liver!

Many of organ meats offer a leaner choice and denser source of nutrition that the outer meat. While, there are a ton of vital benefits gained with this diverse array of meat, it can be difficult knowing where to start.

Luckily, we’ve put together a quick guide to help you reap the benefits of organ meats!

1. Tongue

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Photo to the left courtesy of The Domestic Man

Beef tongue is not only flavorful and really shines in soups, but it packs high levels of iron, zinc, potassium, choline, and vitamin B-12. (2)  Beef tongue is also one of the most versatile meats -- It can be grilled, used as taco meat, layered in a sandwich, or mixed into soups.

Big Benefits:

  • High in iron, zinc, potassium, choline, vitamin B-12
  • Complete protein
  • Boosts immune system

Recipe Idea: Pickled Beef Tongue | The Healthy Foodie

2. Heart

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Beef heart has the equivalent amount of protein and calories to white-meat chicken—which is roughly 95 calories and 15 grams of protein and boasts a high amount of vitamin B-12 and iron (3).  Beef heart is also cost-efficient too as its ticket price is half the cost of beef chuck roast.

You can prepare beef heart similarly to a steak, add it to stew, make it into a burger, or even grill it up as a shish kabob.

Big Benefits:

  • Low in calories
  • High in protein, vitamin B-12, and iron
  • Very cost-efficient

Recipe Idea: Heart Roast | The Paleo Mom

3. Liver

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Photo courtesy of The Domestic Man


As the most consumed organ meat in the U.S., liver proves to be one of the most concentrated, natural sources of vitamin A. (5Beef liver is additionally a great source in iron, copper, folic acid, cholesterol, and offers an “anti-fatigue” element when consumed as well—making it a favorite meal among athletes. (6)  However, as the filter organ of the animal, it’s important to make sure your beef liver is clean.

You can create a beef liver pate, turn it into meatballs, or stick with the traditional liver and onions!

Big Benefits:

  • Very high in vitamin A (retinol)
  • Keeps you alert

Recipe Idea: Beef Liver with Fig Bacon and Caramelized Onion Compote | The Healthy Foodie

4. Brain

Beef brain is brain food for lack of better words! It comes with a punch of protein and healthy fat (Omega-3 fatty acids to be exact), which keeps you fuller longer, meaning less time fixating on food and more on your tasks at hand. Not to mention that this protein also helps to maintain healthy muscles and a properly functioning immune system (7).  It is also rich in copper and selenium; this means more energy and more help for your immune system. (8)

Beef brain can easily be fried, used in curry dishes, with scrambled eggs, or made in a traditional Persian dish called Maghz that includes beef brain, cider vinegar, oil, chili pepper, turmeric, and lime!

Big Benefits:

  • Loaded with protein and Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Keeps you full
  • Maintains healthy muscles and immune system

Recipe Idea: Mozgy | Almost Bananas

5. Kidneys

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Kidneys have a great offering of foliate iron, zinc, copper, and selenium (9).  Kidneys are also a great source of protein -- perfect for a post-workout meal. (10)  Note, like beef liver, make sure to check that your buying your meat from a safe, trusted source.

Beef kidneys are tasty when sautéed, simmered in a hearty stew, or baked in kidney pot pies.

Big Benefits:

  • Rich in folate, zinc, copper, and selenium
  • Amazing source of protein

Recipe Idea: Beef Kidney in Red Wine Sauce | Jenni Gabriela

6. Sweetbreads

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Photo courtesy of The Domestic Man


Sweetbreads are harvested from cows and consist of both the pancreas and gullet of the animal.  Sweetbread provides all the amino acids you need to repair your body tissues, and it boasts a large 25 grams of protein per four ounces. (12)

Grill these delicious morsels on skewers, fry them up Southern style, or pair them with bacon.

Big Benefits:

  • packed with amino acids and protein
  • Repairs body tissues

Recipe Ideas:

7. Tripe

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Photo courtesy of The Domestic Man


Although tripe requires at least 12 hours of slow cooking time for most dishes, it’s low in calories (about 80 calories per serving), high in protein, and low in fat. Mineral-wise it offers rich amounts of selenium, B-12, and zinc. (13)

Tripe adds an amazing texture to stews and soups, easily soaking up the flavors of the broth it’s cooked it.

Big Benefits:

  • Low in calories
  • High in protein
  • Minimal amounts of fat
  • Rich in selenium, B-12, and zinc

Recipe Ideas:

If you loved this article, you might also enjoy PaleoHacks' Four Amazing Ways to Season Steak guest post.

For more delicious organ meat recipe ideas, visit US Wellness Meats' Offal That’s Not Awful Pinterest board.

Topics: Grass-fed Beef, Recipes, Paleo, Product Information, US Wellness Meats

Dr. Kellyann + US Wellness Meats Giveaway!

Posted by US Wellness Meats on Fri, Nov 18, 2016 @ 04:51 PM

 

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We were lucky enough to meet Dr. Kellyann Petrucci at Paleo f(x) this summer and immediately knew we found a kindred spirit.  Not only does she share our passion for health and wellness, but she also is a board-certified naturopathic physician, certified nutrition consultant, and author of the New York Times bestseller, Dr. Kellyann's Bone Broth Diet.  When we heard Dr. Kellyann was working on a new book of recipes that showcased the benefits of bone broth and a nutrient-dense traditional diet, we couldn't wait to get our hands on a copy.  Imagine our excitement when Dr. Kellyann's Bone Broth Cookbook: 125 Recipes to Lose the Weight and Your Wrinkles arrived this week!  And now is your chance to win a copy before its official release on December 6th. 

Before we get to the giveaway, Dr. Kellyann has generously shared this NEW recipe that can only be found in Dr. Kellyann's Bone Broth Cookbook: 125 Recipes to Lose the Weight and Your Wrinkles.  Enjoy!

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Turkey Bacon Chowder

TURKEY BACON CHOWDER Soups Hearty. Warming. Smoky. Satisfying. Need I say more? This soup will be on your favorites list as soon as you try it!

TURKEY BACON CHOWDER
Prep time: 20 mins • Cook time: 30 mins • Yield: 4 servings

4 ounces bacon, nitrate-, sugar-, and dextrose-free (about 6 slices), chopped into 1-inch pieces
½ cup onion (1 small), diced ½ cup celery (1 to 2 ribs), diced
½ cup carrots (1 to 2), sliced into rounds
6 cups turkey or chicken bone broth or Chicken SLIM Collagen Broth™
1 cup full-fat coconut milk
1 medium sweet potato (about ½ pound or ⅔ cup), peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes
2 cups cooked turkey (about 12 ounces or ¾ pound), shredded or chopped
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves ¼ to ½ teaspoon Celtic or pink Himalayan salt (depending on the saltiness of the bacon)
¼ to ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper or white pepper
1 teaspoon xanthan gum (optional)

Directions:
Over medium-high heat, brown the bacon in a stock pot until slightly crisp. Remove about 2 tablespoons bacon and set aside for garnish. Remove excess fat leaving about 1 tablespoon in the stock pot. Add the onions, celery, and carrots and cook for about 5 minutes until vegetables are soft. Add the turkey or chicken bone broth or Chicken SLIM Collagen Broth™ and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat. Add coconut milk and stir to blend. Add sweet potato, turkey, parsley, thyme, salt and pepper and simmer about 20 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. If you like the broth slightly thickened, put 1 cup of the soup in a cup or small bowl and whisk in the xanthan gum. Add to stock pot, stir and let simmer about for 5 minutes or until slightly thickened. Garnish with reserved bacon.

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HERE'S YOUR CHANCE TO WIN!

We've partnered with Dr. Kellyann to offer one lucky winner her brand new Dr. Kellyann's Bone Broth Cookbook: 125 Recipes to Lose the Weight and Your Wrinkles and a $100 US Wellness Meats gift certificate.  Good luck!

Enter via the widget below: 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Thanks for participating!

Topics: Paleo, Misc Info, Contests

Four Amazing Ways to Season Steak

Posted by US Wellness Meats on Tue, Nov 15, 2016 @ 09:04 PM

This post was written by Jennafer Ashley of PaleoHacks.  PaleoHacks is a top source for amazing Paleo recipes, fitness tips, and wellness advice to help you live life to the fullest.

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When it comes to cooking steak, the options are endless. There are so many different cuts of steak and seasoning can get even trickier. We have narrowed it down to four different cuts of steak, seasoned in four different ways to suit various cuisines. Best of all, these recipes are simple and easy, even for the newbie cook. Remember when following these recipes that cuts of meat can vary greatly in size, so be sure to check your meat as it’s cooking and adjust according to your preferences. We took four different cuts of grass-fed steaks, (London Broil, Sirloin, Hanger, and Skirt) seasoned with exotic spices and marinades for a trip around the globe in your own kitchen.

Italian-Style London Broil

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This is usually referred to as a method of cooking rather than an actual cut. However, many butchers use the term to describe a large lean cut of beef. London Broil is lean and needs to be either marinated before cooking or cooked for many hours in a slow cooker to achieve fall-apart tenderness. We will be going with the latter. Slow simmered cuts of beef are a mainstay in authentic Italian cooking and you will often see large platters of shredded chunks of beef in tomato sauce served alongside Italian entrees like pasta. The flavor is very rustic and makes the whole house smell like you’ve spent the day cooking. Dish up this recipe over zucchini noodles for a complete meal.

Prep time-  15 minutes
Cook time- 6 hours
Yield- 6 servings

Ingredients
2-3 lb London broil
2 T olive oil
1 t dried oregano
1 t dried basil
1 tbsp garlic minced
1 t sea salt
1/4 t black pepper
1 cup tomato sauce
1/3 cup red wine

How to Make It
1. Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium/high heat until olive oil is shimmering. Rub steak with oregano, basil, sea salt and pepper on both sides.

2. Place steak on pan and brown each side 3-4 minutes.

3. Place steak with drippings in slow cooker. Add garlic, tomato sauce and red wine. Cook on medium heat 4-6 hours, until fork tender.

4. Shred beef and serve over spaghetti squash or zucchini noodles for a Paleo pasta dish.

Asian-Style Sirloin

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Sirloin is terrific for cutting into chunks and marinating, which is exactly what this Asian-style recipe includes. Sesame oil and pineapple juice come together with coconut aminos, garlic, and cilantro to tenderize the steak and seal in the flavor of the marinade. Once marinated, the cubes of steak get tossed in a hot pan until lightly charred all around. This recipe is perfect served over cauliflower rice with fresh vegetables for a Paleo dinner.

Prep time- 10 minutes + 2 hours to marinate
Cook time-  10 minutes
Yield- 2 servings

Ingredients
1 lb. sirloin steak
2 T coconut aminos
1 T sesame oil
1/3 cup pineapple juice
1 tbsp cilantro, minced
1 t garlic, minced
1/2 t onion powder
1/4 t black pepper
1 T olive oil (for cooking)

How to Make It
1. Cut steak into 1-2 inch cubes. In a small bowl combine ingredients for marinade. Add steak to marinade and refrigerate at least 2 hours.

2. In a large pan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add pieces of steak and cook 10 minutes stirring occasionally. Serve with vegetables over cauliflower rice.

Blackened Brazilian Hanger Steak 

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The chimichurri hanger steak gives a nod to Brazilian steakhouses, cooked over high heat for a rich blackened flavor. After resting, the hanger steak is sliced into thin strips and served with a cilantro-lime based chimichurri sauce to add some herbal zing. Serve this with cauliflower tabouli and you have an exotic feast.

Prep time- 15 minutes
Cook time-  15 minutes
Yield- 2-4 servings

Ingredients
For Steak:
1-2 lb hanger steak
1 T cumin
1 t oregano
1/2 t garlic powder
1/2 t sea salt
1/4 t black pepper
1 T olive oil, for cooking

For Chimichurri Sauce:
3 T olive oil
2 T lime juice
2 T cilantro, minced
1 t garlic, minced
1/2 t dried oregano
1/2 t sea salt

How to Make It
1. Combine seasonings for steak in a small bowl. Rub seasonings onto all sides of the steak. Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium heat until oil is shimmering.

2. Add steak and cook for 6-7 minutes. Less time is required for thinner cuts of steak. Flip and cook an additional 6-7 minutes.

3. While steak cooks, combine ingredients for chimichurri sauce. Set aside.

4. Allow steak to rest 5 minutes before slicing. Slice steak thinly against the grain. Serve with chimichurri sauce.

Oven-Barbecued Skirt Steak

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The final steak recipe takes us to the good ole’ barbecue flavors of the south. Instead of grilling or smoking this cut, the skirt steak is rubbed with a generous amount of coconut sugar, cumin, smoked paprika and other seasonings, then tightly wrapped in aluminum foil and baked in the oven to tenderize the meat as it steams in its own juices. When the meat is just about finished, it is basted in barbecue sauce and popped under the broiler to create a sweet crisp layer on top of the steak. This recipe is delicious chopped and served on a Portobello mushroom.

Prep time- 10 minutes
Cook time- 40 minutes
Yield- 2 servings

Ingredients
8 oz skirt steak
2 T coconut sugar
1 T ground cumin
1 t smoked paprika
1/2 t garlic powder
1/2 t onion powder
1/2 t sea salt
1/4 t cayenne pepper
1/4 t black pepper
4 T Paleo barbecue sauce for basting

How to Make It
1. Preheat oven to 400F. Combine dry seasonings in a bowl and whisk to combine.  Sprinkle seasoning mixture over skirt steak and rub to coat.

2. Wrap steak in aluminum foil and place on a baking sheet in oven on center rack for 30 minutes. Carefully open aluminum foil and baste steak with barbecue sauce. Turn oven to broil on high. Return steak to oven for 7-10 minutes. Allow steak to rest 5 minutes.

3. Slice steak against the grain and serve with barbecue sauce.

Topics: Grass-fed Beef, Recipes, Paleo, Product Information, US Wellness Meats

The “Sports Supplement” that Can Make You Smarter

Posted by US Wellness Meats on Thu, Feb 25, 2016 @ 10:26 PM

Bodybuilders move over… neuroscience is taking a hit of your creatine!

If you’ve heard of creatine, you probably know it as a sports supplement. Creatine is a naturally occurring amino acid. It helps the body produce energy. And it’s used to promote muscle growth, increase strength, and boost athletic performance.

More than 500 studies show that creatine can help maintain muscular fitness. It is especially useful in times where you need explosive power. That’s why it is one of the most popular nutritional supplements used by professional athletes and those who just like pumping iron.

But this safe and effective nutrient is not just for athletes…

Creatine also benefits aging men and women by helping to prevent the age-related loss of muscle and strength. This condition is known as sarcopenia. It affects our balance, gait and ability to perform routine daily tasks. Sarcopenia is one of the primary factors leading to the institutionalization of the elderly.

If you want to preserve your independence as you grow older, maintaining muscle mass is critical. And one of the best ways is to consume enough creatine.

But it is not just physical brawn that creatine benefits…

It also supports that heavyweight thinker – your brain.

So let’s take a look at how creatine works in the body and how it is flexing some major muscle in the world of neuroscience…

Your Brain (and Body) on Creatine

The source of energy inside each cell is a molecule called Adenosine Triphosphate or ATP. Every second your body produces millions of units of this “energy molecule” from three different fuel stores in the body:

  • Aerobic (from oxygen/fats)
  • Anaerobic glycolytic (from glucose)
  • ATP-PC (from creatine phosphate)

If one of these sources is absent, the others fill the gaps. The intensity of your activity is how your body works out which source to use.

And this brings us to how the brain uses energy…

Your brain makes up only two percent of your body weight. Yet, it consumes a whopping 20 percent of your daily energy expenditure. Your brain is constantly using energy to think, solve problems, retain information and send electrical impulses to your muscles and organs.

In terms of energy consumption, it is not much different from lifting weights in short bursts all day long. Your brain derives energy from all three fuel stores in the body. And just like your muscles, it is especially sensitive to the instant spurts of energy you get from the ATP-CP pathway.

When creatine levels are high, there is more phosphate in the cell to produce ATP. This directly translates to greater muscular energy… and more energy for memory and thinking.1

In other words…

When Creatine Levels are Optimized, So is Your Brain

One double-blind and placebo-controlled study, published in Neuroscience Research, examined the use of creatine in two dozen men and women. The subjects who took eight grams of creatine daily for five days showed significantly less mental fatigue while performing mathematical calculations.

Another study, using magnetic resonance technology, showed that children with the highest brain levels of creatine also had the most acute working memory. It’s even been shown that creatine supplementation is capable of increasing IQ, attention span and other measures of mental performance. 2,3

Considering these brain-boosting benefits, it’s no surprise that this essential nutrient also shows promise in the prevention and treatment of degenerative brain diseases.

Bringing Energy Back to a Damaged Brain

Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s are very different neurological conditions. But these illnesses do have two things in common:

  • Impairment of ATP energy metabolism
  • Oxidative damage to neurons

We have already discussed how creatine directly enhances the production of ATP, thus boosting your brain’s ability to produce energy for thought, memory and problem solving.

But creatine also acts as a potent antioxidant in the brain.4

In other words, this beneficial amino acid has a direct positive impact on two of the primary factors contributing to degenerative brain disease. So, it comes as no surprise that both animal and human studies demonstrate that creatine can improve the symptoms of neurological illness.

A 2003 study examined the effects of 10 grams a day of creatine on patients with Huntington’s disease. After one year, the patients who took creatine daily showed no changes in their mental performance.5  This indicates that creatine was able to stop the neurological degeneration.

Doing the Heavy Lifting for Mental Health

These impressive creatine benefits also expand into the area of mental health and may offer relief to those with depression, schizophrenia and PTSD.

In 2012 a review of studies spanning 30 years was published in Neuroscience and Biobehavioural Reviews. The authors addressed the role of creatine in mood disorders and neurotransmitter function, stating:

“These data hint at the fact that functional neurotransmission depends on intracellular energy metabolism, supported by the creatine-phosphocreatine system.” 6

In other words, the proper functions of the chemical pathways in your brain depend largely on creatine.

And while more trials are needed, there are already promising results, demonstrated by an animal study which found that creatine supplementation improved depression-like behavior.7

Do Creatine Benefits Also Make Us Brainy?

On average, creatine levels are lower in vegetarians because it is a nutrient found primarily in meat. In fact, vegans and vegetarians are highly likely to be deficient in this critical brain-boosting compound.

Research clearly shows that supplementation significantly boosts brain performance in these people, especially in tasks that require processing speed and memory.8  Measures of intelligence also improved in vegetarian subjects who supplemented with creatine, compared to those who consumed a placebo. 9,10

It’s interesting that healthy meat eaters did not experience the same cognitive enhancements as the vegetarians. However, this does not indicate that creatine did not benefit meat eaters. Instead, it suggests that these people already had sufficient levels… and that creatine supplementation is especially important under compromised
conditions, such as deficiency or stress.

The latter was demonstrated in a study regarding sleep stress, published in the journal Psychopharmacology. The researchers concluded:

“Following 24-h sleep deprivation, creatine supplementation had a positive effect on mood state and tasks that place a heavy stress on the prefrontal cortex.”

How to Power Up Your Brain with Creatine

Creatine is provided by the diet in its natural state, but it is also produced in the body from the amino acids glycine, arginine and methionine. An ancestral diet high in animal protein is the best source of these amino acids along with other essential nutrients the body uses to make this ‘brain food.’

Hands down, the richest dietary sources of creatine are wild game and grass-fed meats. In fact, just two 3.5oz servings of grass-fed beef or bison will give you 1g of creatine, which is plenty to keep your daily supply topped off. Pastured poultry, pork, lamb and wild caught fish (particularly herring, salmon and tuna) are also great daily sources.

To boost creatine levels for performance or therapeutic clinical treatment, supplementation is often recommended. But for most of us, the benefits of this powerful brain-and-muscle boosting nutrient can be obtained simply by enjoying a delicious ancestral diet!

 

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

 

REFERENCES

1. Watanabe A, Kato N, Kato T. Effects of creatine on mental fatigue and cerebral hemoglobin oxygenation. Neuroscience Research. 2002 Apr;42(4):279-85.

2. Ling J, Kritikos M, Tiplady B. Cognitive effects of creatine ethyl ester supplementation. Behavioral Pharmacology. 2009 Dec;20(8):673-9.

3. Dechent, P., Pouwels, P. J., Wilken, B., Hanefeld, F., & Frahm, J. Increase of total creatine in human brain after oral supplementation of creatine-monohydrate. American Journal of Physiology-Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology. 277(3), R698-R704

4. Lawler JM, Barnes WS, Wu G, Song W, Demaree S. Direct antioxidant properties of creatine. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2002 Jan;290(1):47-52.

5. Tabrizi SJ, Blamire AM, Manners DN, et al. Creatine therapy for Huntington’s disease: Clinical and MRS findings in a 1-year pilot study. Neurology. 2003 Jul 8;61(1):141-2.

6.  Allen, P.J. Creatine Metabolism and psychiatric disorders: Does creatine supplementation have therapeutic value. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews. 2012; 36(5):1442-1462.

7.  Allen, P.J, D’Anci, K.E, Kanarek, R.B, Renshaw, P.F. Chronic creatine supplementation alters depression-like behavior in rodents in a sex-dependent manner. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2010;35(2):534-546

8. Benton D, Donohoe R., The influence of creatine supplementation on the cognitive functioning of vegetarians and omnivores. British Journal of Nutrition, 2011 Apr;105(7):1100-5.

9. Oral creatine monohydrate supplementation improves brain performance: a double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over trial. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14561278

10.  Rae C, Digney AL, McEwan SR, Bates TC. Oral creatine monohydrate supplementation improves brain performance: a double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over trial. Proceedings, Biological Sciences. 2003 Oct 22;270(1529):2147-50

Topics: Grass-fed Beef, Paleo, US Wellness Meats

Is This Deficiency Giving You The Blues?

Posted by US Wellness Meats on Fri, Feb 12, 2016 @ 07:09 AM

Why can’t you just be happy?

Stop dwelling on things and get on with life. Be grateful for what you have. Exercise more. Watch some comedy.

All of these might be great ideas for beating the blues. But for some of us, it’s not that simple.

Imagine for a moment that your body wasn’t making enough red blood cells. Would you try to meditate those cells into existence? Probably not. It would be more practical (and effective) to include more iron in your diet to make those cells.

And the same is true for the neurochemicals in your brain that help lift your mood.

Research shows that up to a third of patients do not respond to antidepressants.1  Studies also prove that in most cases, these drugs work only as effectively as a placebo. And this says nothing of the horrendous side effects and withdrawal symptoms that many patients experience.

But there is good news for those who suffer serious depression. Researchers have demonstrated that many patients improve just by adding certain brain-boosting nutrients through diet and supplementation.

It is quite possible that for some people, depression is caused by critical nutrient deficiencies. We don’t often think of the chemicals and neurotransmitters in our brain in terms of nutrient deficiencies. But the truth is that these critical messenger molecules are  just like everything else in our body – they’re made from the building blocks in your food.

And to make the ‘happy chemicals’ in your brain, you need a “building block” that many people are deficient in…

Vitamin B12 Benefits Your Brain

Low mood and lingering depression are well-documented clinical signs of a vitamin B12 deficiency. This is also a nutrient that shows up frequently in mental health research.

A 2005 review of studies, published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, states:

“Both low folate [B9] and low vitamin B12 status have been found in studies of depressive patients. An association between depression and low levels of these two vitamins is also found in studies of the general population.” 3

Mental health studies of subjects who follow a vegetarian diet also show a correlation for depression. These diets are typically low in vitamin B12.

In 2012 a group of researchers in Germany looked at the association between vegetarian diets and mental health issues. The research, published in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Activity, found those on vegetarian diets had a higher prevalence of mental health issues, including depressive disorders.4

Another study conducted in Austria and published 2014 by the Public Library of Science found a similar correlation between low-meat diets and depression.5

But vegetarians are certainly not the only group at risk. Today we’re going to talk about how vitamin B12 benefits mental health and how to ensure you’re getting enough.

The Anti-Depressant Myth

Many people believe that anti-depressant medications help to increase (or make) serotonin. This is not true.

The class of medications known as Selective Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) take the serotonin you already have and ‘hold it’ in the space between neurons. But we still need to produce serotonin so the SSRI has something to ‘hold.’

Like all neurotransmitters, serotonin is a type of protein molecule made from the protein that you eat. These proteins go through a critical process called methylation.

Life (And Happy Chemicals) Can’t Exist Without Methylation

Methylation is a biochemical process that happens inside every cell in your body. It occurs billions of times per second, and contributes to a wide range of functions including:

  • Mood
  • Detoxification
  • Energy production
  • Maintaining DNA
  • Immunity
  • Inflammation

For methylation to occur efficiently and successfully, we need enough vitamin B12 and B9. The absence of these vitamins can become the rate-limiting factor in producing neurotransmitters.

A 2008 review published in Alternative Medical Review explains:

“Without the participation of 5-MTHF [from methylation pathway] in this process, SAMe and neurotransmitter levels decrease in the cerebrospinal fluid, contributing to the disease process of depression.” 2

Homocysteine is also part of the methylation cycle and high levels are associated with suppressive effects on “happy” neurotransmitters. Therefore it is hypothesized that high homocysteine levels cause a depression in mood. Folate (B9) and vitamin B12 benefit patients by lowering these homocysteine levels.6

While this hypothesis still requires clinical trials, it does support what we already know: vitamins B12 and B9 are critically important to mental health.

Do You Have A Vitamin B12 Deficiency?

As we’ve discussed, one of the symptoms of a B12 deficiency is low mood or depression. Other symptoms include:

  • Constant tiredness or fatigue
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Muscle aches and weakness
  • Poor memory
  • Constipation, diarrhea or loss of appetite
  • Nerve problems such as numbness or tingling

There is a simple blood test which can diagnose a deficiency. Surprisingly, however, 50 percent of symptomatic patients show normal B12 levels.7  For this reason, elevated homocysteine levels are a more accurate measuring stick. If homocysteine is elevated, it’s likely that you are deficient in folate (B9) and vitamin B12.

Deficiency can occur simply by not including enough vitamin B12 in the diet, as in the case of vegetarians. But we can also become deficient due to poor digestive health and a limited ability to absorb nutrients. In these cases, healing the gut, adding enzymes and betaine HCL can help.

Some rare cases of B12 deficiency require medical supplementation. But it is within our diets that we find nature’s best source of vitamin B12.

Eat Yourself Happy!

Vitamin B12 is primarily found in pastured red meat such as beef, bison, lamb and wild game. The best sources of vitamin B9 (folate) are found in above ground vegetables, such as spinach, kale, asparagus, broccoli and avocado (technically a fruit).

If this sounds a lot like the “Paleo” or ancestral diet, you are correct.

Instead of trying to force happiness into existence, we should begin with the healthy diet and nutritional starting materials your brain needs to make those “happy chemicals” on a daily basis.

By providing your body with the vital starting materials it needs to make your own “happy chemicals”, you can set yourself up for a sunny disposition that truly comes from within.

 

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

 

REFERENCES

1. Webmd. Depression Health Center. Treatment resistant depression.http://www.webmd.com/depression/guide/treatment-resistant-depression-what-is-treatment-resistant-depression  

2. Miller, AL. The methylation, neurotransmitter, and antioxidant connections between folate and depression. Alternative medicine review. 2008;13(3):216-226.

3. Coppen, A. Bolander-Gouaille C. Treatment of depression: time to consider folic acid and vitamin B12. Journal of Psychopharmacology. 2005;19(1):59-65.

4. Michalak, J. Zhang, X.C. Jacobi, F. Vegetarian diet and mental disorders: results from a representative community survey. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity. 2012;9:67

5. Burkert, N.T. Muckenhuber, J. Großschädl, F. Rásky, E. Freidl, W. Nutrition and Health – The Association between Eating Behavior and Various Health Parameters: A Matched Sample Study. PLoS One. 2014;9(2)

6. Folstein, M. Liu, T. Peter, I. et al. The homocysteine hypothesis of depression. The American Journal of Psychiatry. 2007;164(6):861-867.

7. R, Oh. Brown, D.L. Vitamin B12 deficiency. American Family Physician. 2003;67(5):979-986.

 

Topics: Grass-fed Beef, Paleo, Grass-fed Lamb, US Wellness Meats

Does Red Meat Cause Cancer ?

Posted by Brian Schoemehl on Sat, Nov 21, 2015 @ 04:24 PM

If you read the papers or watch the news, there is a good chance that you’ve seen tdescribe the imagehe 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

Chargrilled Toxins
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.

Pan-Fried Chemicals
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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.

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

REFERENCES
(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 
15.

(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.

Topics: Grass-fed Beef, Paleo, Heart Health, Good Fats, Weight Loss, US Wellness Meats

Diabetes Super Treatment Hiding in Plain Sight

Posted by Brian Schoemehl on Fri, Nov 06, 2015 @ 05:09 PM
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



REFERENCES
  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.

Topics: Grass-fed Beef, Paleo, Product Information, Heart Health, Grass-fed Lamb, Free-Range Poultry

Four Everyday Foods Stimey "Silent Killer"

Posted by US Wellness Meats on Sat, Oct 24, 2015 @ 08:13 PM

 

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:

  1. Try a simple guacamole served with grass-fed ground beef and organic salsa for a tasty Mexican meal
  2. Blend half an avocado into a whey-protein smoothie for a creamy texture
  3. 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.


Ed Note:
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


References
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.

Topics: Grass-fed Beef, Paleo, Heart Health

How An Unhealthy Microbiome (Gut) Promotes Diabetes

Posted by US Wellness Meats on Fri, Sep 25, 2015 @ 01:39 PM
microbiome

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…

Our microbiome.

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.

ED NOTE:
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…

REFERENCES
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




Topics: Grass-fed Beef, Paleo, Heart Health, Free-Range Poultry

TREAT CONTROLS BLOOD SUGAR BETTER THAN DIABETES DRUGS

Posted by US Wellness Meats on Thu, Sep 10, 2015 @ 12:21 PM

More than 29 million Americans are currently diagnosed with Diabetes Definitiondiabetes, 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?

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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 and Paleo breads, biscuits, pancakes, muffins and more! Click here to learn more about Better Breads…

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REFERENCES
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.

Topics: Grass-fed Beef, Paleo, Product Information, Grass-fed Lamb, Seafood, Free-Range Poultry