Soy is higher in phytoestrogens than many other food sources. Phytoestrogens are plant-based estrogens known to mimic estrogen in our bodies. In recent time, studies have indicated that phytoestrogens are good for you. But it was determined that these studies , were funded by the soy industry. Independent research has clearly shown that consuming phytoestrogens is downright dangerous for the human body.
No one argues, for example, that a leading cause of breast cancer, endometriosis, uterine fibroids, infertility, and low libido is unopposed estrogen, or estrogen dominance. Why, then, would anyone argue that we should consume more of a food high in estrogen?
An infant taking the recommended amount of soy formula is consuming a hormone load equivalent of 4 birth control pills a day! Is it any wonder we’ve seen such a dramatic rise in precocious puberty with young girls starting their periods at 6 and 7?
Soy will destroy your thyroid. Many foods are goitrogenic (thyroid suppressing), but soy is king of them all. Goitrogens work by preventing your thyroid from getting the necessary amount of iodine. Friends, I believe this is what happened to Oprah’s thyroid. She pushed soy for years, featured it in everyone one of her “healthy” diets, and it destroyed her thyroid. If your thyroid fails, what happens? You gain weight. You have a harder time regulating your moods. You get colder more easily. You’re more easily fatigued. You demonstrate an inability to concentrate and remember details. The list goes on. You simply don’t want to mess with your thyroid.
Phytates are enzyme-inhibitors that block mineral absorption in human digestive tract. They are naturally present in all grains, seeds, nuts, and legumes (which is why everyone should read this primer on how to eat grains, if you eat them at all.) But soy is so high in phytates that it’s almost impossible to get rid of them. Simply soaking soy overnight in an acidic medium won’t do the trick. Soy must be fermented in order to be digestible to humans. That means that if you eat soy at all, you should stick to fermented soy products like miso, tempeh, natto, or a naturally fermented soy sauce (tamari).
Finally soy is rich in trypsin inhibitors. Trypsin is a digestive enzyme we need to properly digest protein. Without enough trypsin, you’ll experience many digestive problems including stomach cramps, diarrhea, and bleeding. You’ll also be leaving yourself open to future problems with your pancreas.
Breathing is the core element of how the body functions. However, most people don’t think of it that way because it’s just an automatic thing that happens. Just because people don’t think about breathing doesn’t mean they are doing it right. There are many people who have a habit of bad breathing. These bad habits can of course play a major role on how your health is affected.
Change your habits breathing
Changing your breathing habits can take some effort. However, it’s well worth it because if you breathe better, you will be able to have more energy and think more clearly. If you ever find that you are out of energy or are in a down mood for more than a day or two, you might want to consider changing your breathing habits. This may not be the cause in some circumstances but it’s certainly not going to hurt you. It’s worth the try to see if it helps.
Poor breathing habits
There are a variety of reasons why some people have bad breathing habits. To name some of the causes, they are:
Allergies – allergies are not within our control. However, it’s important for you to understand that allergies, and even when they are minor can lead to breathing issues.
Anxiety – when you are anxious, your breathing actually speeds up and becomes much more shallow. People that deal with stress every day due to their job or home life may have chronic breathing issues.
Overweight – When a person it causes them to breathe more difficultly. So, you become used to this way of breathing and it causes stress on the body.
Environment Issues– them via make you have a huge impact on your breathing. This is because of the pollution and the altitude. This can lead to poor breathing habits.
Unhealthy Heart – if your circulatory system is not in the best shape, it can make you feel shortness of breath.
Improve your breathing
There are many different causes of breathing and no matter what yours is, if you put forth some effort to overcome your breathing issues, you can start to have a healthier habit of breathing. There are some common ways that you can add to your every day routine. They are the following:
Yoga – with yoga, you can make a significant improvement in your breathing after only 2 to 3 weeks. You got also improves your overall health and well-being
Meditation – there is a variety of meditation exercises. However, the simplest one that is very common will involve you to sit in a quiet place so you can clear your thoughts. This will help you so you can focus on your breathing
Retrain yourself – this technique is used so you can actually retrain yourself by focusing on your breathing and making sure you do it correctly
Cardiovascular exercises – if you add a few minutes every day to your exercise routine including cardiovascular exercises, this will be able to open up your lung capacity. It is very important that you breathe deeply and will be able to do this for the remainder of the day
Compliments of Kshamica Nimalasuriya MD, MPH Preventive Medicine & Public Health
As you get older your brain is not as functional as it once was. Many people can even experience the lack of their brain function as early as the age of thirty. You will first notice forgetting many simple things such as forgetting why you went to a certain location or even forgetting people’s names. Some people find it funny at first but when it keeps continuing, it’s actually quite disturbing.There are some habits that you can include in your lifestyle that can improve your overall mental ability. They are the following:
Exercising your brain – Of course, the most important thing is to slow down the memory loss. You should always try to challenge your brain. If you don’t do anything during the day that does this, you will typically lose your memory faster than those who do challenge their brain. You can do this in a variety of ways. Such as doing different things, playing strategy games, etc.
Exercising your body – Exercise is more than just losing weight. It’s actually essential when trying to improve the circulation to the brain. It’s good to improve circulation to the brain because when this happens, the brain will of course get more oxygen and necessary nutrients. So, this means that the cells will be able to stay much longer.
Expand your learning – Aside from doing exercises for your brain, you should try to learn new things. It’s a good idea to try to even pick up a new language to learn. Musical instruments are also good. Even some strategy games challenge your brain.
Natural foods; Eat Clean – The diet that most people apply to their lifestyle does not provide nutrients for your brain. If you want to boost your brain, you need to focus on eating clean. You should also consider eating the right daily portions.
Getting plenty of sleep makes a huge impact when it comes to your brain. Your brain actually grows and self-heals while you are sleeping. Younger people qualify for the need of more sleep than older people. Sleeping is an essential part of your brain functioning so make sure you get plenty.
Compliments of Kshamica Nimalasuriya MD, MPH Preventive Medicine & Public Health
Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is the sodium salt of the common amino acid glutamic acid. Glutamic acid is naturally present in our bodies, and in many foods and food additives.
How is it made?
MSG occurs naturally in many foods, such as tomatoes and cheeses. People around the world have eaten glutamate-rich foods throughout history. For example, a historical dish in the Asian community is a glutamate-rich seaweed broth. In 1908, a Japanese professor named Kikunae Ikeda was able to extract glutamate from this broth and determined that glutamate provided the savory taste to the soup. Professor Ikeda then filed a patent to produce MSG and commercial production started the following year.
Today, instead of extracting and crystallizing MSG from seaweed broth, MSG is produced by the fermentation of starch, sugar beets, sugar cane or molasses. This fermentation process is similar to that used to make yogurt, vinegar and wine.
Is MSG safe to eat?
FDA considers the addition of MSG to foods to be “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS). Although many people identify themselves as sensitive to MSG, in studies with such individuals given MSG or a placebo, scientists have not been able to consistently trigger reactions.
Does “glutamate” in a product mean it contains gluten?
No—glutamate or glutamic acid have nothing to do with gluten. A person with Celiac disease may react to the wheat that may be present in soy sauce, but not to the MSG in the product.
What’s the difference between MSG and glutamate in food?
The glutamate in MSG is chemically indistinguishable from glutamate present in food proteins. Our bodies ultimately metabolize both sources of glutamate in the same way. An average adult consumes approximately 13 grams of glutamate each day from the protein in food, while intake of added MSG is estimates at around 0.55 grams per day.
How can I know if there is MSG in my food?
FDA requires that foods containing added MSG list it in the ingredient panel on the packaging as monosodium glutamate. However, MSG occurs naturally in ingredients such as hydrolyzed vegetable protein, autolyzed yeast, hydrolyzed yeast, yeast extract, soy extracts, and protein isolate, as well as in tomatoes and cheeses. While FDA requires that these products be listed on the ingredient panel, the agency does not require the label to also specify that they naturally contain MSG. However, foods with any ingredient that naturally contains MSG cannot claim “No MSG” or “No added MSG” on their packaging. MSG also cannot be listed as “spices and flavoring.”
Has FDA received any adverse event reports associated with MSG?
Over the years, FDA has received reports of symptoms such as headache and nausea after eating foods containing MSG. However, we were never able to confirm that the MSG caused the reported effects.
These adverse event reports helped trigger FDA to ask the independent scientific group Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) to examine the safety of MSG in the 1990s. FASEB’s report concluded that MSG is safe. The FASEB report identified some short-term, transient, and generally mild symptoms, such as headache, numbness, flushing, tingling, palpitations, and drowsiness that may occur in some sensitive individuals who consume 3 grams or more of MSG without food. However, a typical serving of a food with added MSG contains less than 0.5 grams of MSG. Consuming more than 3 grams of MSG without food at one time is unlikely.
Agave nectar (also called agave syrup) is a sweetener commercially produced in Mexico from several species of agave, including the Blue Agave (Agave tequilana), Salmiana Agave (Agave salmiana), Green Agave, Grey Agave, Thorny Agave, and Rainbow Agave.
Agave nectar is sweeter than honey, though less viscous. Agave nectar is produced in the Mexican States of Jalisco, Michoacan, Guanajuato and Tamaulipas, according to Mexican laws pertaining to certificate of origin; most is produced in Jalisco.
The name ‘agave’ derives from a Greek word meaning “noble.” Agave and Tequila (alcoholic beverage) are both made from the sap from hearts (pinas) of the plant. Agave is actually related to the lily and amaryllis (which has its own genus, agave) and is a succulent though it shares a common habitat with many cacti. There are over 160 variations or species of agave.
Contrary to popular opinion amongst health food enthusiasts, agave is not a cacti and has an altogether different life cycle.
A mature agave plant has leaves 5-8 feet tall and is 7-12 feet in diameter and has a lifespan of 7-15 years depending on the species, climate, and growing conditions.
Agave nectar as a commercially produced sweetener hit the shelves of health food stores beginning in the early 1990s and quickly become a highly touted alternative to other sugars and sweeteners such sugar and honey.
Agave Nectar (technically not a nectar but a syrup, and thus technically “Agave Syrup”) has come under attack lately from various individuals, including members of the Weston A.
Price Foundation and other health food advocates and even some raw foodists.
Well, anytime there’s a controversy about something pertaining to health, diet, food, or herbs, Dherbs.com is sure to be hit with a barrage of inquiries through its “Ask the Herbalist” and in which it most definitely has been hit with a barrage of inquiries pertaining to Agave nectar and the controversy surrounding it which gives rise to this particular article.
First, it is our contention that certain brands of Agave Nectar (syrup) is a great and healthy alternative to sugar (white table sugar) and honey. Now, the key word above is “certain”, because all brands of Agave Nectar are not the same and independent research will prove this. It is unfair to paint all Agave Nectar with one big brush.
Agave Nectar brands can and will differ predicated upon the following: (1) geography or soil the plant comes from, (2) the variation of the plant the Agave Nectar comes from, and (3) how it is commercially processed. Always keep this in mind pertaining to the Agave Nectar controversy.
All Agave Nectar is not the same and the people condemning this product are generalizing all brands of Agave Nectar which is unfair because every brand of Agave Nectar on the market does not contain substance from the same plant, does not come from the same location or soil, and are not commercially processed the same.
My defense of Agave Nectar is only in regards to organic raw Agave Nectar because most commercial brands of Agave Nectar on the market are in fact suspect (mislabeled).
Agave Nectar sweetens with about 25% fewer calories and is low on the Glycemic Index which is much better for diabetics and people who desire longer-lasting energy instead of the infamous post sugar blues.
Agave nectars such as Volcanic Nectars Blue Agave Nectar are produced below 118 F, contain no artificial fillers, do not contain large amounts of fructose (as most brands do, ranging between 55-97% in fructose), and have a low Glycemic Index of 27.
In fact, Volcanic Nectars brand of Agave Nectar contains less than 50% fructose (47.6%), much lower than high fructose corn syrup (HFCS).
The reason why some people are saying agave nectar is worse than high fructose corn syrup is because high fructose corn syrup contains 55% fructose and many brands of agave nectar contain fructose levels ranging from 70-97%. Of course this is the result of processing (over boiling) as Agave Nectar is processed just like maple syrup, the sap from the plant being boiled which is how it becomes very sweet. The same exact thing happens with Grade A maple syrup which is not very sweet before processing.
Nearly all Agave Nectar comes from Mexico. There are numerous kinds of agave throughout the country of Mexico.
Also, the soil from which an agave comes from is important. An agave from volcanic soil is going to cause an Agave Nectar to have a distinct taste and color as well as nutritional composition.
How Agave Nectar is processed has a direct affect on its taste, color, and nutritional value. This is why agave nectar should be processed under 118 F which allows it to be considered a raw food because it still has nutritional value (mineral content) and enzymes it.
There are only a few brands of Agave Nectar that I can actually promote and recommend and Volcanic Nectar is one such brand.
Volcanic Nectars’s brand of Agave Nectar contains healthy bacteria in the form of Inulins, which are naturally occurring oligosaccharides that are healthy for your digestive system as they promote beneficial flora.
Inulins are a group of naturally occurring oligosaccharides produced by many types of plants. Oligosaccharides are several simple sugars linked together that belong to a class of carbohydrates known as fructans.
Inulin is used by some plants as a means to store energy and typically found in roots or rhizomes. Most plants which synthesize and store inulin do not store other materials such as starch. Remember this when certain people claim that agave contains starch.
Inulin is used increasingly in foods, because it has excellent nutritional and functional characteristics. This is particularly advantageous because inulin contains one-third to one-fourth the food energy of sugar or other carbohydrates and one-sixth to one-ninth the food energy of fat. Inulin also increases calcium absorption and possibly magnesium absorption, while promoting probiotic bacteria.
Nutritionally, inulin is considered a form of soluble fiber. Inulin has a minimal impact on blood sugar, making it generally considered suitable for diabetics and potentially helpful in managing blood sugar-related illnesses.
The Volcanic Nectar band of agave (Blue Nectar) is organic, raw (processed under 118 F), and has a fructose level of 47.6%). Dherbs.com endorses this specific brand of Agave Nectar.
Now, even though Agave Nectar generally contains close to the same amount of calories per tablespoon as sugar (c. 45), because it is sweeter than sugar and honey (in taste), you don’t have to use a lot of it. You can use less and still achieve your objective of sweetness. Agave Nectar is a great sweetener for cooking purposes, especially desserts.
With certain brands of Agave Nectar (like Volcanic Nectar), you can use 1/3 cup of it compared to 1 cup of sugar, thus greatly reducing your caloric intake.
Lastly, to go a little bit more into the Agave Nectar-High Fructose Corn Syrup controversy, one needs to look for more similarities between the two substances if one in fact wants to say or claim Agave Nectar and High Fructose Corn Syrup [HFCS] are basically the same (which they are not).
High Fructose Corn Syrup is made from starch, so yes, High Fructose Corn Syrup will contain starch in it. Agave Nectar does not contain starch and if any brand of Agave Nectar does, chances are it is not Agave Nectar, or, it contains High Fructose Corn Syrup in it (which cuts production costs).
High Fructose Corn Syrup does not have any health benefits. None! High Fructose Corn Syrup does not have a Low Glycemic rating which makes it a serious threat to so-called diabetics.
High Fructose Corn Syrup will greatly throw off one’s blood sugar levels which will throw the body out of whack, impairing homeostasis.
To really get the 411 on High Fructose Corn Syrup [HFCS], I highly recommend you watch the DVD “King Corn” and then you’ll see for yourself how greatly processed HFCS really is and how one would fare better using Agave Nectar over HFCS, one of the most used commercial sweeteners today because it is so readily available (being a byproduct of the corn industry).
And not to mention, High Fructose Corn Syrup comes from genetically engineered corn whereas no Agave Nectar is derived from genetically engineered agave. This is something to think about!
Now, just because a brand of Agave Nectar may have a 56-97% fructose content level does not mean that High Fructose Corn Syrup is better for you than Agave Nectar. Remember, even if a brand of Agave Nectar is high in fructose, you’re actually using less of it than compared to sugar. Now this is not to justify consuming brands of Agave Nectar with high fructose levels. No, I’m not saying this at all. I’m just helping folks to make comparisons between the two substances.
It is very true that many brands of Agave Nectar have added sugars in them, including HFCS (which will adversely affect your blood sugar). So all Agave Nectar is NOT the same! You have to do your research.
Perhaps the best kind of Agave Nectar on the market is the Blue Agave Nectar, also known as Blue Agave.
Blue Agave is actually a desert succulent, not a cactus as some believe or have been led to believe. Blue Agave is a species native to Mexico. While there are many kinds of agave throughout Mexico, the Blue Agave variety flourishes in volcanic soil in Guadalajara, Mexico.
Although the alcoholic beverages Tequila and Mezcal are produced all over Mexico and throughout the world, the mountainous state of Jalisco, Mexico is its birthplace. The primary reason for this is that soil in that region comes from the old volcanoes that make up the mountain range. The soil here shimmers like glitter from all of the nutrients. The Blue Agaves are more hearty and plentiful in Jalisco than anywhere else in the world. Incidentally there’s a town in Jalisco near the city of Guadalajara called Tequila.
An interesting fact is: if agave ferments, it becomes an alcoholic beverage or spirit: TEQUILA!
So, when it comes to Agave Nectar and certain people painting all Agave Nectar with one big brush claiming all Agave Nectar is unhealthy and worse than High Fructose Corn Syrup, in the words of Public Enemy and Flava Flav: DON’T BELIEVE THE HYPE!
Compliments of Kshamica Nimalasuriya MD, MPH
Preventive Medicine & Public Health
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