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Thursday, 7 January 2016

Cholesterol Is Finally Officially Removed From 'Naughty' List

Cholesterol has been on the "naughty" list of nutrients for nearly 40 years, with health officials warning us to stay away from high-cholesterol foods since the 1970s to avoid heart disease and clogged arteries.

Full-fat dairy products and advocados are high in good fats. Copyright [Rex]
But US officials have finally given the green light for a U-turn on previous warnings, which means eggs, butter, full-fat dairy products, nuts, coconut oil and meat have now been classified as "safe" and have been officially removed from the "nutrients of concern" list.

The US Department of Agriculture, which is responsible for updating the guidelines every five years, stated in its findings for 2015: "Previously, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommended that cholesterol intake be limited to no more than 300 mg/day.
"The 2015 DGAC will not bring forward this recommendation because available evidence shows no appreciable relationship between consumption of dietary cholesterol and serum (blood) cholesterol, consistent with the AHA/ACC (American Heart Association / American College of Cardiology) report.
"Cholesterol is not a nutrient of concern for overconsumption."
The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee will, in response, no longer warn people against eating high-cholesterol foods and will instead focus on sugar as the main substance of dietary concern.

The 70s, 80s and 90s were the 'non fat' years, with the government warning people to limit the amount of high-cholersterol foods in their diets to avoid heart disease and strokes.US cardiologist Dr Steven Nissen said: "It's the right decision. We got the dietary guidelines wrong. They've been wrong for decades."

He esitmated that about 20 per cent of cholesterol levels in your blood come from your diet, which means the rest is produced by your liver and is actually needed by the body.

Dr Chris Masterjohn added:Since we cannot possibly eat enough cholesterol to use for our bodies’ daily functions, our bodies make their own.
"When we eat more foods rich in this compound, our bodies make less. If we deprive ourselves of foods high in cholesterol - such as eggs, butter, and liver - our body revs up its cholesterol synthesis."
Sugar has now been identified as the "worst" food culprit for health problems, with GPs now focusing on weaning patients off the sweet stuff.
Cardiologist Dr Aseem Malhotra, who works with group Action On Sugar, says a clamp-down on the food industry is next.
He said: "It's very clear that added sugar has absolutely no nutritional value whatsoever and, contrary to what the food industry want you to believe, the body doesn't require any carbohydrate for energy from added sugar.
"And we know the food industry have been spiking our food with added sugars. We also know that carbohydrates and particularly refined carbohydrates - so carbohydrates that lack fibre, sugar being one of them - have the biggest impact on insulin in terms of surges of insulin in our body. And insulin is a fat storing hormone."

But nutritionists and scientists have long been campaigning for the U-turn, which started with introducing "good cholesterols" back into the 'safe zone'.

Study finds acupuncture effective treatment for chronic pain in children

t is upsetting to see anyone in pain, but it's especially heartbreaking to watch a child endure chronic pain.
In addition to the suffering itself, chronic pain can cause traumatic effects on a child's quality of life, and it can have significant physical, psychological and social consequences. Making matters worse, chronic pain greatly can affect the child's parents or caregivers by causing feelings of helplessness and inadequacy.
Treating children with chronic pain can be complex, due to kids' vulnerability while they're growing and fear of causing long-term effects. Data about the safety and efficacy of therapeutic options for children is limited.
"Effective treatment of pain can be particularly difficult because it's subjective; but with children, it is increasingly difficult because a child may not be able to communicate effectively depending on the age and accurate recognition of pain," says Angela Johnson, MSTOM, MPH, practitioner of Chinese medicine of Rush's Cancer Integrative Medicine Program.
Johnson led a recent study at Rush that found that acupuncture may be a safe and effective adjunctive integrative medicine treatment for chronic pain in pediatric patients. Results of the study were published in the December 2015 issue of Alternative and Complementary Therapies.
"While acupuncture has been shown to reduce pain in adults, there is very little data on whether it's effective in children." Johnson says. "This study looked at the effect of acupuncture in children directly, rather than examining data collected from adults. This focus is especially important, since children experience pain in different ways than adults."
Not stuck with pain
Chronic pain is pain that lasts weeks, months, or even years, and is estimated to affect 20 to 35 percent of children under age 18 worldwide. Conditions that can cause chronic pain in children include headaches, abdominal pain, back pain, musculoskeletal pain, scoliosis, leukemia, sports injuries and Crohn's disease.
The Rush study included 55 children and adolescents between age 7 and 20 who experienced chronic pain conditions. Each patient received up to eight individually tailored acupuncture treatments at Rush lasting 30 minutes.
All patients reported significant and progressive declines across all levels of pain throughout the eight-session treatment, with stronger pain reductions during early treatment. Participants also reported substantial pain reductions from the start to the end of each session. Additionally, patients reported significant reductions in health, emotional, social, and educational problems. These findings were corroborated by similar reductions in parent-reported observations of the same issues.
"Acupuncture provides an amazing alternative to chronic pain medication. This is especially true for patients who may have to cope with pain for most of their life, including those who have sickle cell anemia and aftereffects of cancer. In addition it helps with anxiety and depression," says Paul Kent, MD, co-principal investigator of the study and pediatric oncologist at Rush.
I've had patients completely weaned off all their pain medications when receiving acupuncture therapy. It is also benefited patients who struggle with chronic nausea."
To measure self-reported intensity, location and quality of pain, the study used the Adolescent Pediatric Pain Tool, which assesses pain using the following criteria:
  • A body outline diagram to identify pain areas.
  • A pain-intensity score measured on a 10-centimeter line anchored by the words "no pain," "little," "medium," "large" and "worst possible pain."
  • A number of pain-quality descriptors, yielding both a tallied score indicating number of words circled (circle scores), and tallied scores for sensory, affective, temporal and evaluative pain quality subscales. Higher circle scores indicate a greater subjective experience of pain, higher measurement scores indicate higher levels of pain intensity, and pain-quality descriptors (sensory, affective, temporal and evaluative) help describe the pain experience.
This study contributes to the sparse literature on the use of acupuncture in a pediatric population, and supports acupuncture's feasibility as an effective strategy for managing chronic pain.
"The results of this study suggest that acupuncture can have a profound positive impact on the health and well-being of children who experience the disabling effects of chronic pain," Johnson says. She hopes to expand her research to larger groups of children in order to understand more about how acupuncture can help relieve their chronic pain.

"Like any good doctors, we want to reduce children's suffering," she says, "and we hope that this study will be a first step in our being able to do more for these kids."

Girl With Epilepsy Inspires People to Support Legalization of Medical Marijuana in Mexico

A Mexico girl suffering with epileptic seizures since childhood has shown remarkable improvement after using medicinal cannabis or marijuana for a month.
Girl With Epilepsy Inspires People to Support Legalization of Medical Marijuana in Mexico

Grace can finally sleep through the night without being awakened by one of her epileptic crises since the eight-year-old Mexican girl started taking cannabis-based medicine a month ago.

Her parents have seen a marked improvement in their daughter's conditions since she became the first person authorized to take medicinal marijuana in October.

"Her reaction has been very good. Since she took the medicine, we noticed that she could sleep all night," her father, Raul Elizalde, said from the family's home in an upper-class neighborhood of the northern industrial hub of Monterrey.

"Her nocturnal epileptic crises have practically disappeared and she's sleeping very well. This was the main change that we saw," he said, as his wife fed Grace, who sat in a baby high chair, and her younger sister, Valentina in their living room.

Grace has become a symbol for those battling to break Mexico's prohibitionist laws against marijuana in a country that has endured a decade of drug cartel violence.

The girl's parents secured an exception to Mexico's laws after they won a court battle in August, forcing health authorities to grant them the right to obtain cannabidiol (CBD), a therapeutic oil. It was a first victory for those advocating for legalization.

The Supreme Court issued a historic ruling on November 4 that opened the door to the legalization of marijuana by authorizing four people to grow and consume cannabis for their personal, recreational use.

Days later, Senator Cristina Diaz, a member of the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), introduced a measure that would allow imports and consumption of medical marijuana, saying it would benefit 5,000 Mexicans.

While President Enrique Pena Nieto has reiterated his opposition to legalization, he suggested that his government could change its mind depending on the outcome of a debate of experts in the coming months.

Other countries in the region are moving faster. More than 20 US states authorize medical marijuana while Colombia said last week that it would do the same. Chile's Congress is debating whether to legalize the drug while Uruguay has done so already.

Opinion polls show that a majority of Mexicans oppose legalization, though a survey by El Universal newspaper this month showed that 79 percent back the drug's use for medicinal purposes.

The national discussion has raised hopes among people like Grace's parents, who believe that medical marijuana can improve the quality of life of patients after other traditional medicine has failed.

Tastes like chocolate
Grace has Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, which caused her to have as many as 400 epileptic fits per day. She moves in a wheelchair and her parents feed her.

On a recent day, her mother, Mayela Benavides, squeezed the chocolate and mint flavored oil into Grace's mouth as her daughter sat in her baby chair.

"We tried other medicine which tasted terrible. The good thing about CBD is that it tastes good," said Benavides, an engineer.

The medicine is not a cure, but the goal is to reduce the number and intensity of seizures that Grace endures. The drug costs $250 for 100 milliliters, a small fortune for Mexico but which her parents can afford. 

She still experiences seizures. As she sat in her high chair, Grace suddenly started shaking, closed her big brown eyes and tightly squeezed her mother's hand for a couple of minutes. Her body finally relaxed and Mayela wiped her mouth.

"She just had one of her crises. But the crises that she's had in the mornings all her life are changing. They're less intense and less frequent. We're on the right path," Mayela said, writing the hour and duration of the latest seizure.

Vote this year?
Doctors told the parents that it would take two months for changes to be really noticeable and that her dose could be increased.

Senator Diaz, who is also from Monterrey, said she hoped that her bill will be approved before the end of the year. Colleagues from other parties are backing it, she said.

"We are only talking about imports of medicine, not eliminating the ban on making them in the national territory. But it's a first step. For children like Grace and many other people, improving their quality of life is urgent" said Diaz. 

Source: AFP


Antioxidant-Rich Black Raspberries Lauded as the New Superfood

People are starting to eat healthy by incorporating lots of veggies and fruits in their diet. Superfoods such as kale, broccoli, salmon and blueberries are gaining popularity among health-conscious people.
Antioxidant-Rich Black Raspberries Lauded as the New Superfood
A recent study has revealed that black raspberries may turn out to be the new superfood. Researchers from the University of Agriculture in Krakow, Poland suggested that black raspberries grown in Central Europe show greater health benefits than its counterparts, raspberries or blackberries.

"Berries contain potent antioxidants, which decrease or reverse the effects of free radicals — natural byproducts of energy production that can play havoc on the body and that are closely linked with heart disease, cancer, arthritis, stroke or respiratory diseases," said researchers.

They also said that the amount of antioxidants in black raspberries were three times higher than the other fruits. Also, anthocyanins in black raspberries are greater than other berries


Regular Practice of Ejaculation May Reduce Risk of Prostate Cancer

Men can reduce the risk of developing prostate cancer by daily ejaculation, revealed a new study.

Experts at the Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women Hospital have conducted a study on male participants who were observed for several years. They found that if a man ejaculates at least once a day, the chances of exposure to prostate cancer are very low.

The study showed that men who ejaculated more than 21 times a month had a 22 percent lower risk of getting the disease.

Jennifer Rider of Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital, said, "While these data are the most compelling to date on the potential benefit of ejaculation on prostate cancer development, they are observational data and should be interpreted somewhat cautiously. At the same time, given the lack of modifiable risk factors for prostate cancer, the results of this study are particularly encouraging." 

Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital,

Can Individuals With Prostate Cancer Benefit from Following an Exercise Regimen?

Exercise could be soon prescribed as a potential treatment for people with prostate cancer if the current experimental study backed by Cancer Research UK works.
Can Individuals With Prostate Cancer Benefit from Following an Exercise Regimen?The trial conducted by Sheffield Hallam University will analyze whether regular exercise can be prescribed as a substitute for conventional treatment if the disease is caught early enough.

Researchers will divide 50 men with prostate cancer into two groups, where the 25 men in the first group will be prescribed rigorous weekly exercise training while the other 25 will only be given information about the benefits of exercise for cancer patients.

They will monitor high levels of PSA, a protein produced by prostate cells, in the bloodstream that can be a sign of cancer.

Dr Liam Bourk, lead researcher, said, "Evidence suggests that men who are physically active after a prostate cancer diagnosis have better cancer survival than men who aren't active. It's not clear yet how this works, but it might be that exercise affects the way some genes regulate cancer cell growth and DNA repair. If we show it works and is feasible, it could be a real leap forward for cancer patients."

Monday, 4 January 2016

Traditional Chinese Medicine Improves Quality of Life for Cancer Patients

Traditional chinese medicine has evolved over thousands of years. A meta-analysis of dozens of studies of traditional Chinese medicine such as acupuncture and therapeutic massage, were observed to reduce gastrointestinal disruptions after surgery, and acupuncture was also found to lessen fatigue in cancer patients. The study was reported in Oncotarget.
 Traditional Chinese Medicine Improves Quality of Life for Cancer Patients
Dr. Qiang (Quentin) Liu said, "We think this is the most comprehensive study of traditional Chinese medicine psycho-behavioral interventions and the quality of life of cancer patients published to date. Our findings will promote more investigations into how the body and mind are connected during disease development, and will facilitate better cancer treatments." 

Other interventions not associated with traditional Chinese medicine, including stress management, cognitive behavioral therapy and physical training, also were found to improve quality of life in Chinese cancer patients, the researchers report. 

The team started with 6,500 studies published in journals in China and 23,000 studies from Western journals. All of the research focused on nonpharmacological interventions involving adult Chinese cancer patients in China. After eliminating duplicate studies, those with nonstandard measures and those that failed to include control subjects or large enough sample sizes, the team ended up with a total of 67 studies, with 16 of them focused on traditional Chinese medicine. 

Keith Kelly said, "The latter 16 studies did not include enough studies of tai chi and qigong to allow the researchers to come to meaningful conclusions about the specific effects of those interventions. The total number of cancer patients included in the analysis was 6,806." 

The researchers said, "We were surprised by the limited number of papers on the use of traditional Chinese medicine psycho-behavioral interventions for Chinese cancer patients that qualified for entry into this meta-analysis, particularly since the TCMs originated and are mostly practiced in China." 

Kelly said, "Traditional Chinese medicine has been practiced for 2,500 years in China. But what is the scientific evidence that it improves quality of life in cancer patients? This paper establishes that it does. Unfortunately, we were not able to determine what specific components of traditional Chinese medicine are the most effective. I hope the evidence that traditional Chinese medicine and other nonpharmacological interventions benefit cancer patients will prompt new interest in research aimed at understanding the physiological mechanisms at play." 

Source: Eurekalert


Type 2 Diabetes Risk Tied to Excessive Consumption of Potatoes

Consuming potatoes may increase the risk of type 2 diabetes and replacing them with whole grains may reduce this risk, says a new study published in Diabetes Care.The study shows that when potatoes are served hot, their starch becomes more easily digestible and increases blood glucose levels more quickly. 

 According to the latest statistics available from the World Health Organization (WHO), about 9% of adults had diabetes in 2014. Diabetes was the primary cause of 1.5 million deaths in 2012. More than 80% of diabetes deaths take place in developing countries. 

Type 2 diabetes comprises 90% of individuals with diabetes around the world. Obesity and physical inactivity are linked to risk factors for type 2 diabetes. The body's ineffective use of insulin results in type 2 diabetes. 

"Potato food consumption should be reduced for people with elevated risk of developing diabetes or insulin resistance. Healthy foods such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and nuts, rather than potatoes, should be encouraged for the prevention of type 2 diabetes," said first author Isao Muraki, MD, PhD, of the Osaka Center for Cancer and Cardiovascular Disease Prevention, Japan, and Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts. 

The study analyzed data from three US studies on 70,773 women from the Nurses' Health Study conducted between 1984 and 2010, a total of 87,739 women from the Nurses' Health Study II (1991-2011), and as many as 40,669 men from the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study (1986-2010). 

Participants did not have cancer, cardiovascular disease, or diabetes at the beginning of the study. Researchers examined potato consumption using validated food frequency questionnaires. They also observed the 4-year change in potato consumption. They spotted type 2 diabetes using self-report and confirmed it with a questionnaire. 

The study results showed that individuals with a higher consumption of potatoes - baked, boiled, mashed, or french fried - had a greater risk of type 2 diabetes. 

Persons who had less than two to four servings of potatoes per week had a 7% increased risk of type 2 diabetes. Also, participants who ate seven or more servings per week had 33% increased risk compared to those who consume less than one serving per week. 

People who consumed french fries had a higher risk of type 2 diabetes than those who had mashed, baked or boiled potatoes. 

Participants who improved their potato consumption over time - particularly french fries - had an increased risk of diabetes. For every three portions per week increase, they had a 4% increased risk of diabetes compared with those who ate the same amounts of potatoes over time. 

Estimations showed that replacing three servings per week of potatoes - regardless of type - with whole grains would decrease the risk of type 2 diabetes by 12%. 

Whether to hold potatoes as a vegetable in dietary recommendations has recently been a point of contention in the United States and the United Kingdom, with the two countries coming to contradictory conclusions. 

MyPlate, the current nutrition guide issued by the United States Department of Agriculture, recognize potatoes to be a "healthful vegetable." 

In contrast, the UK national food guide, the Eatwell plate, lists potatoes as a cereal, according to background information in the article. 

"Although potatoes are considered a vegetable in the US Guideline of Healthy Eating, potatoes should not be regarded as an essential component of a healthful diet. These data support the notion that potatoes should be considered a source of carbohydrates like grains, especially refined grains, rather than vegetables," said Muraki. 

"Potatoes contain a large amount of starch and a relatively small amount of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and polyphenols. Lower quality and quantity of carbohydrate is associated with a higher risk of type 2 diabetes," he added. 

Researchers acknowledge that these results may not extend to other ethnic and demographic groups because study participants were healthcare professionals of European ancestry.


1. Isao Muraki, Eric B. Rimm, Walter C. Willett, JoAnn E. Manson, Frank B. Hu and Qi Sun 
Published online before print December 17, 2015, doi: 10.2337/dc15-0547 



Transcendental Meditation and lifestyle modification increase telomerase, new study finds

Increased telomerase associated with decreased hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and cellular aging

A new study published in PLOS ONE found that the Transcendental Meditation technique and lifestyle changes both appear to stimulate genes that produce telomerase, an enzyme that's associated with reduced blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, and mortality.
Specifically, these approaches were found to activate two genes that code for telomerase, which adds molecules to the ends of chromosomes, or telomeres, protecting them from deteriorating.
May explain mechanism for known health benefits
"The finding that telomerase gene expression is increased, and that this is associated with a reduction in blood pressure in a high-risk population, suggests that this may be a mechanism by which stress reduction improves cardiovascular health," said Robert Schneider, MD, FACC, coauthor of the study.
Earlier research on the Transcendental Meditation technique found lower rates of high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, and death, as well as slowing of biological aging. The new study examined what was happening at the level of DNA, showing that the Transcendental Meditation technique increases telomerase gene expression and suggesting that this may contribute to the cardiovascular and aging benefits.
Both groups show improvement after 16 weeks
For this pilot trial, the subjects included 48 men and women with high blood pressure who were recruited and studied at Howard University Medical Center. Half were assigned to a group that learned the Transcendental Meditation technique and received a basic health education course. The other half were assigned to a group that focused on achieving significant lifestyle modifications such as weight reduction, reducing salt intake, engaging in regular physical activity, and moderating alcohol. They also participated in support groups and group exercises.
After 16 weeks, both groups showed significant increases in telomerase gene expression and reductions in blood pressure. There was no significant difference between the changes in the two groups. The results also showed that the lifestyle modification group made a larger number of changes in their lifestyle behaviors.
"These findings are very encouraging for prevention," said Dr. Schneider, director of the Institute for Natural Medicine and Prevention at MUM. "They show that both the Transcendental Meditation technique and active lifestyle modification can contribute to heart health."
Coauthor Otelio Randall, MD at Howard University College of Medicine concluded, "This pilot study in African Americans suggests stress reduction and lifestyle modifications may reduce blood pressure with an increase in telomerase."
Encouraging findings for heart health

"The result is valuable new information, relevant both to cardiovascular disease and to the molecular mechanisms involved in Transcendental Meditation," said John Fagan, professor of molecular biology at Maharishi University of Management and senior author on the study.

Want To Lose Weight? Why Eating Spinach Could Help You Out

SpinachSpinach helped Popeye become strong, but did you know it can help you lose weight? When we consider which foods to incorporate into our diets to lose weight faster, we somehow often overlook spinach, but according to some researchers, spinach has great potential for aiding in healthy weight loss. This article will discuss the role of spinach for weight loss.

Spinach & Weight Loss – Scientific Approach

The effect of spinach on weight loss was recently the subject of a study conducted at Lund University in Sweden. The author of the study was Charlotte Erlanson-Albertsson, professor of Medicine and Psychology Chemistry.
The study included 38 overweight women and it lasted for 3 months. Every morning before their breakfast, participants had to take a green drink. One group received the drink that contained 5 grams of thylakoids(green leaf membranes found in spinach) and the second group of participants received a placebo. Participants didn’t know which group they belonged to, and the only instructions they received were to eat a healthy and balanced diet comprised of three meals a day. They were strictly advised not to go on any other diet.
Findings of the study were published on Lund University’s official website and in the journal Appetite.Results showed that the group who drank the placebo lost on average about 3.5 kg, while the group that received thylakoids lost 5kg on average. Furthermore, participants from the thylakoid group reported that they found it easier to stick to the three meals a day plan without experiencing any cravings.

How Can Spinach Help Us Lose Weight?

First, we have to take a look back to the most common cause of excess weight and obesity – cravings. Most people experience hedonic hunger, which is another term for cravings. They usually crave unhealthy foods such as fast foods, sweets, etc. Most people are unable to resist the temptation which leads to unhealthy eating habits and obesity.
The key is the feeling of suppression and satiety of cravings of hedonic hunger versus homeostatic hungerwhich is, actually, a true hunger that deals with the basic energy needs of every person. Fast foods, sweets, and other processed foods are broken down quickly, and the hormones that transmit satiety signals to our brain and suppress cravings aren’t able to keep up with these foods. However, according to professor Erlanson-Albertsson and the team of scientists who worked on the study mentioned above, the extract from spinach slows down the digestion process, which gives instestinal hormones enough time to be released and signal to the brain that we are full. Thylakoids extend digestion, produce feeling of satiety, and prevent cravings. They act as appetite suppressors. This means that we are able to follow our diet without experiencing cravings for snacks and other unnecessary and unhealthy foods. Scientists from Lund University also revealed that thylakoids reduce hedonic hunger by 95% and increase weight loss by 43%.

Various Ways To Use Spinach For Weight Loss

Since the beneficial effect of spinach in reducing body weight is scientifically proven, and spinach boasts a broad range of nutritional benefits to boot, you should definitely include it into your weight loss plan. Below you can find a few tips and tricks for different ways to incorporate spinach into your diet:
  • Smoothie – make a smoothie with spinach to get all the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients it contains early in the morning. Many people aren’t thrilled about the idea of a spinach smoothie or weight loss shakes, but once you blend it in with other ingredients you won’t even notice it. You can also add some berries into the mix as well.
  • Spinach frittata – you can prepare this meal on Sunday to eat it on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday for lunch. Famous TV personality Jamie Oliver recommends making frittata with spinach, feta cheese, and red onion, but of course there are innumerable variations on this easy and nourishing dish.
  • Instead of a sandwich, opt for a spinach-based salad for lunch.
  • Have a side of spinach with dinner; you can sauté it with pine nuts or garlic or even make a spinach curry.
  • Make a spinach dip with low-fat cream cheese, a pinch of salt, and artichokes, and eat it with celery or carrot sticks.

Spinach Fun Facts

  • Just half a cup of raw spinach counts as 1 of the 5 servings of fruits and vegetables you should eat throughout the day.
  • The word spinach is derived from the Persian word ispanai, which means green hand. In Latin, it became spanachia which, eventually, evolved into the word we use today.
  • Spinach is associated with Popeye and the popularity of the beloved cartoon character increased domestic spinach consumption by 33%. The spinach-growing city Crystal City, Texas, even erected a statue of Popeye in 1937.
  • During the Medieval period, artists extracted green pigment from spinach to use it as paint for their art work.
  • Spinach is also known as the first superfood.
Spinach belongs to the superfood group and has numerous health benefits in addition to being able to help you lose weight. Include spinach into your diet to curb your appetite and supply your body with the components it needs for optimal health.

Got Hemp Milk? The Benefits Of Hemp Milk

hemp_milkOne thing has become very clear over the past couple of years regarding the value of cow’s milk, particularly pasteurized, in our diets. And unfortunately, it’s not good news. A very seizable study came out late last year in the British Medical Journal which revealed a truth many of us had been speculating about (and perhaps fearing) for decades: Milk does not do a body good, and in fact contributes to a greater risk of mortality in men and women as well as bone fracture in women.
The search for palatable and sustainable alternatives to milk has been going on for years now, with more people becoming conscious of how their food is produced and what effect it has on their bodies. As we learn more about the practices involved in the unnatural mass production of milk, the choice to step away from purchasing cow’s milk is increasingly becoming an ethical one. The market shows this sentiment as well, as almond milk sales have soared to $700 million in 2015, up 40% over 2014.  
Hemp milk is another incredibly nutritious and tasty alternative to cow’s milk which supplies the body with essential nutrients without causing harm to the body like dairy milk does. Whatever the reason you are considering abstaining from from cow’s milk, hemp milk is one option you should consider. Here’s why.

What Is It Made of?

Hemp milk is a vegan product made of a blend of hemp seeds and water. The mixture provides a creamy texture with a delicious, nutty taste. And unlike cow’s milk, hemp milk is easy for the body to digest.
Question number one for some of us might be: is hemp milk made from marijuana? The answer is, no. Hemp milk is made from the seeds of the hemp plant, which is legal to grow in various countries around the world. In fact, the United States is one of the only countries where you are not allowed to grow hemp. Possible concern some may have about hemp milk surrounds its levels of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). Fortunately for those looking to drink this milk alternative, the hemp plant does not contain enough THCto have psychoactive affects. Further, the hemp plant has many incredible uses that can apply to various areas of our society. This is why there is such a great deal of controversy around the reasons behind hemp farming’s illegality in the USA.


The hemp plant, including its seeds, offers a powerful punch when it comes to nutrition. In a single 8-ounce glass of hemp milk you can find the following nutrients:
  • 900mg Omega-3 Fatty Acid
  • 2800mg Omega-6 Fatty Acid
  • All 10 Essential Amino Acids
  • 4 grams of Digestible Protein
  • 46% of RDA of Calcium
  • 0% Cholesterol
  • Potassium
  • Phosphorous
  • Riboflavin
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin B12
  • Folic Acid
  • Vitamin D
  • Magnesium
  • Iron
  • Zinc
  • And more…
From that stacked list we can see that hemp milk is a great source of nutritious protein and is capable of delivering the tough-to-find amino acid GLA. Hemp milk is rich in protein and contains omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, folic acid, and vitamins A, E, and B-12. It is also rich in magnesium, potassium, iron, and magnesium — all essential nutrients for a healthy diet and immune system.

Notable Benefits

  • Strengthened Immune System
  • Clear, Healthy Skin, Hair and Nails
  • Strong, Healthy Heart
  • Increased Mental Capacity
  • Hemp has anti-inflammatory agents and improves circulation.

Try Making Your Own

While hemp milk can be found in stores, mainly health food stores, if you are feeling adventurous, you can try making your own hemp milk. This will also allow you to try out the milk in small quantities if you are not sure if you will like it. To make the hemp milk you will need  1/2 cup of raw, organic, shelled hemp seeds and 2 cups of purified water. To finish you will need a piece of cheesecloth or a nut-milk bag.Blend the water and hemp seeds in a blender for about 3 minutes or until they are well blended. Once you are done blending, strain the milk through the cheesecloth and enjoy. Of course, it always tastes better cold so you might want to chill it first. This mixture should store in the fridge for about 3 days.

Final thoughts

If you are looking for a milk alternative and are tired of rice, almond, oat, or coconut milk, try giving hemp milk a shot. It is packed with nutrients and tastes great (at least in my opinion). Also, don’t forget that even if the milk does not fit your palate, the seeds are worth a try as well. They are a super food that you should definitely consider including in your diet whether you are vegan/vegetarian or not.

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