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Diet, Health, Fitness, Lifestyle & Wellness

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7 Ways To Prevent and Even Reverse Heart Disease With Nutrition

By: Sayer Ji      Monday, April 22nd 2013

Considering that heart disease is the #1 cause of death in the developed world, anything that can prevent cardiac mortality, or slow or even reverse the cardiovascular disease process, should be of great interest to the general public.
Sadly, millions of folks are unaware of the extensive body of biomedical literature that exists supporting the use of natural compounds for preventing and even reversing heart disease.
Instead, they spend billions buying highly toxic cholesterol-lowering pharmaceuticals with known cardiotoxicity, among 300 other proven side effects, simply because their doctor told them to do so.
So, with this in mind, let’s look at the biomedical literature itself.

Three Natural Substances that Reduce the Risk of Heart-Related Death

Omega-3 Fatty Acids: There is a robust body of research indicating that the risk of sudden cardiac death is reduced when consuming higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids. Going all the way back to 2002, the New England Journal of Medicine published a study titled,  “Blood levels of long-chain n-3 fatty acids and the risk of sudden death,” which found  “The n-3 fatty acids found in fish are strongly associated with a reduced risk of sudden death among men without evidence of prior cardiovascular disease.” Another 2002 study, published in the journal Circulation, found that Omega-3 fatty acid supplementation reduces total mortality and sudden death in patients who have already had a heart attack.[i] For additional research, view our dataset on the topic of Omega-3 fatty acids and the reduction of cardiac mortality.
It should be noted that the best-selling cholesterol drug class known as statins may actually reduce the effectiveness of omega-3 fats at protecting the heart. This has been offered as an explanation as to why newer research seems to show that consuming omega-3 fats does not lower the risk of cardiac mortality.
Vitamin D: Levels of this essential compound have been found to be directly associated with the risk of dying from all causes. Being in the lowest 25% percent of vitamin D levels is associated with a 26% increased rate of all-cause mortality.[ii]  It has been proposed that doubling global vitamin D levels could significantly reduce mortality.[iii] Research published in the journal Clinical Endocrinology in 2009 confirmed that lower vitamin D levels are associated with increased all-cause mortality but also that the effect is even more pronounced with cardiovascular mortality.[iv] This finding was confirmed the same year in the Journal of the American Geriatric Society, [v] and again in 2010 in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.[vi]
Magnesium: In a world gone mad over taking inorganic calcium supplementation for invented diseases such as T-score defined “osteopenia” or “osteoporosis,” despite their well-known association with increased risk of cardiac mortality, magnesium’s role in protecting against heart disease cannot be overstressed. It is well-known that even the accelerated aging of the heart muscle experienced by those in long space flight is due to magnesium deficiency. In 2010, the Journal of Biomedical Sciences reported that cardiovascular risks are significantly lower in individuals who excrete higher levels of magneiusm, indicating its protective role.[vii]  Another study published in the journalAtherosclerosis in 2011 found that low serum magnesium concentrations predict cardiovascular and all-cause mortality.[viii] Remember that when you are looking to ‘supplement’ your diet with magnesium go green. Chlorophyll is green because it has a magnesium atom at its center. Kale, for example, is far better a source of complex nutrition than magnesium supplements. But, failing the culinary approach, magnesium supplements can be highly effective at attaining a therapeutic and/or cardioprotective dose.
For an additional list of compounds that may reduce cardiac mortality, including cocoa, tea, wine and yes, even cholesterol itself, view our Reduce Cardiac Mortality page.

Four Natural Compounds Which May Unclog the Arteries

Pomegranate: this remarkable fruit has been found in a human clinical study to reverse the carotid artery thickness (i.e. blockage) by up to 29% within 1 year. [ix] There are a broad range of mechanisms that have been identified which may be responsible for this effect, including: 1) lowering blood pressure 2) fighting infection (plaque in arteries often contains bacteria and viruses) 3) preventing cholesterol oxidation 4) reducing inflammation.[x]
Arginine: Preclinical and clinical research indicates that this amino acid not only prevents the progression of atherosclerosis but also reverses pathologies associated with the process. (see also:Clogged Arteries and Arginine). One of the mechanisms in which it accomplishes this feat is by increasing the production of nitric oxide which is normally depressed in blood vessels where the inner lining has been damaged (endothelium) resulting in dysfunction.  
Garlic: Not only has garlic been found to reduce a multitude of risk factors associated with arteriosclerosis, the thickening and hardening of the arteries, but it also significantly reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke.[xi]  In vitro research has confirmed that garlic inhibits arteriosclerotic plaque formation.[xii]  Aged garlic extract has also been studied to inhibit the progression of coronary artery calcification in patients receiving statin therapy.[xiii]
And let us not forget, garlic’s benefits are extremely broad. We have identified over 150 diseases that this remarkable culinary and medicinal herb has been confirmed to be of potential value in treating and preventing and which can be viewed here: Garlic Health Benefits.
B-Complex: One of the few vitamin categories that has been confirmed in human studies to not only reduce the progression of plaque buildup in the arteries but actually reverse it is B-complex. A 2009 study published in the journal Stroke found that high dose B-complex vitamin supplementation significantly reduces the progression of early-stage subclinical atherosclerosis in healthy individuals.[xiv] More remarkably, a 2005 study published in the journal Atherosclerosis found a B-vitamin formula decreased the carotid artery thickness in patients at risk for cerebral ischemia.[xv]Another possible explanation for these positive effects is the role B-vitamins have in reducing the production of homocysteine, an artery and otherwise blood vessel scarring amino acid.[xvi]

Additional Heart Unfriendly Things To Avoid

No discussion of preventing cardiac mortality would be complete without discussing things that need to be removed in order to reduce risk, such as:
NSAIDs: Drugs like aspirin, ibuprofen, and Tylenol, have well-known association with increased cardiac mortality. Review six studies on the topic here: NSAID Cardiotoxicity.

Statin Drugs: It is the height of irony that the very category of drugs promoted to millions globally as the standard of care for primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease and cardiac mortality are actually cardiotoxic agents, linked to no less than 300 adverse health effects. Statin drugs have devastating health effects. Explore the research here: Statin Drug Health Effects.
Wheat: while this connection is rarely discussed, even by those who promote grain-free and wheat free diets, wheat has profound cardiotoxic potential, along with over 200 documented adverse health effects: Wheat Toxicity. And why wouldn’t it, when the very countries that eat the most of it have the highest rate of cardiovascular disease and heart-related deaths? For an in-depth explanation read our article: Wheat’s Cardiotoxicity: As Serious As A Heart Attack.
Finally, for additional research on the topic of heart health promoting strategies visit our Health Guide:Heart Health.


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What is gluten?

A health expert gives us the low-down on gluten, gluten-free diets and celiac disease.

By Judd Handler Tue, Oct 12 2010 

By now, you’ve probably come across at least one product in a supermarket labeled “gluten-free.”

These products have become more prevalent in recent years but you still may not know what “gluten-free” means. In fact, you’re probably not sure what gluten is.

The prefix of the term “gluten” gives away its definition. Think of gluten as a glue-like substance that gives wheat and other products their chewy structure.

Although the science is much more complex than the definition, gluten can be defined, in lay terms, as the sticky protein substance in wheat.

Gluten is found in dozens of wheat-based products. It’s also prevalent in rye as well as oats and barley (bad news for beer drinkers).

The chewy structure that is gluten might be pleasing to our palette, but it is detrimental to the one in 200 people who are estimated to have celiac disease, which according to the Center for Celiac Disease Research at the University of Maryland, is one of the most common life-long disorders in western countries.

People with celiac disease suffer from a laundry list of symptoms, including diarrhea, abdominal pain and bloating and other symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), which is now being recognized by some researchers as being caused by celiac disease.

In people with celiac disease, gliadin, a glycoprotein found in gluten, attacks the small intestine lining and causes damage to the tiny villi, which absorb nutrients. As a result of the body’s inability to take in enough vitamins and minerals, autoimmune disorders can arise.

If you suffer frequently from headaches or migraines, or get sick a lot, or get skin rashes, you may have celiac disease or some other form of intolerance to gluten.

What’s wrong with gluten?
Scientists say that for millennia humans subsisted on a diet consisting of nothing but wild game and meat as well as fruits and vegetables and nuts and seeds. It’s only been since the Neolithic period (about 9500 BCE) that humans began cultivating wheat.

In evolutionary terms, that’s the equivalent of a blink of an eye for when wheat was introduced into the modern diet.

To carry the metaphor further, it’s been a fraction of a fraction of a blink of an eye that our food sources have been pumped with lots of wheat products and byproducts, all of which contain gluten.

Our guts are simply not adapted to digest gluten and break it down into individual amino acids.

About one in seven people have gluten sensitivity — that’s 30 to 40 percent of the U.S. population. People with gluten intolerance are scientifically known as Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitive (NCGS).

Dr. Vikki Petersen, author of a new book, “The Gluten Effect,” says that one of her missions is to dispel the myth that if you don’t have celiac disease, you have nothing to worry about.

Don’t reach for the Wheat Thins just yet, she cautions.

“Just because you don’t have villous atrophy in the small intestine doesn’t mean gluten isn’t causing deleterious effect on your health,” says Petersen, a chiropractor and clinical nutritionist.

With the increasing prevalence of gluten in our diets, Petersen says that there is now an increased risk of our genetics “flipping on” an anti-gliadin response.

This, predicts Petersen, will likely lead to more cases of celiac disease and autoimmune disorders caused by gluten intolerance.

“When you lump them together, autoimmune disorders are the third leading cause of death in the U.S.,” says Petersen, “and gluten is a major culprit.”

Petersen says that in the past, it was thought that you either have a genetic predisposition to gluten intolerance and celiac disease or you won’t ever develop it. Research from just last year, she says, reveals this may not be the case.

She notes that since the 1970s, celiac disease has increased four fold and the disease was rare as recently as the 1950s.

Petersen says that due to the increased preponderance of toxins in our environment and food chain, gluten-free diets won’t be considered merely a health fad.

“More and more people will suffer from the ill-effects of gluten-containing diets and will have to consume a 100 percent gluten-free food program,” she says.

Is gluten-free enough?
“We should strive to eat as much organic and natural foods as we can to ensure proper health,” Petersen says. “This includes increasing the amount of vegetables and gluten-free complex carbohydrates like quinoa, millet and brown rice.”

Adopting a gluten-free diet, however, doesn’t necessarily mean that those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivities will improve their health.

“One out of every three celiac disease sufferers fails to heal,” says Petersen.

The culprit? Healing the gut takes more than switching from regular chocolate chip to gluten-free chocolate-chip cookies.

“There are secondary effects of gluten to consider, such as other food sensitivities, like dairy,” says Petersen, who recommends those with celiac disease or NCGS get tested for secondary infections such as parasites, yeast overgrowth, amoebas and other nasty microscopic digestive invaders.

She also recommends taking a daily probiotic (human strain) with a micro-organism count of at least 20 billion — more if you have an infection.

Don’t feast on gluten-free snacks. Instead, treat them as you would any other guilty-pleasure: a once-in-a-while treat. If you suffer from low energy and a myriad of health problems and tend to eat a lot of wheat and baked goods, consider going on a gluten-free diet.

It may be just what the doctor ordered.

Judd Handler is a graduate of the Functional Diagnostic Nutrition program, a curriculum that includes testing for mucosal barrier integrity of the small intestine. His website is WellnessGuru4u.com

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Extra fiber tied to lower risk of stroke

By Kathryn Doyle   NEW YORK   Fri Apr 19, 2013

(Reuters Health) – People who get more fiber in their diet are less likely to have a stroke than those who skimp on the nutrient, according to a new review of existing research.

“A few people in the past have looked at the relationship between fiber and cardiovascular disease, which includes coronary heart disease and stroke,” senior author Victoria Burley told Reuters Health.

But this is the first time all the available results from long-term studies have been pulled together into one analysis, said Burley, a senior lecturer in nutritional epidemiology at the University of Leeds in the UK.

Burley and her coauthors pooled the results of eight studies conducted since 1990 that included close to 500,000 participants. Those people reported on their dietary fiber consumption and were followed for anywhere from eight to 19 years.

The researchers found the risk of suffering a first stroke fell by 7 percent for every 7-gram increase in dietary fiber people reported each day – so that those who ate the most fiber had the lowest chance of stroke, according to findings published in the journal Stroke.

The average U.S. woman gets 13 grams of fiber per day, and the average man gets 17 grams – well below the Institute of Medicine recommendation of 24 and 35 grams, respectively.

An extra 7 grams could come from two slices of whole wheat bread and a serving of fruit, for example, Burley said. But even less than that – just 2 or 3 extra grams per day – might affect stroke risk.


Americans suffer almost 800,000 strokes annually, and strokes cause one out of every 18 U.S. deaths, or 130,000 per year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Most happen when a clot blocks blood flow in a brain vessel.

“Stroke is a very common and chronic disease in our society because the risk factors are growing,” Dr. Dean Sherzai, a neurologist at Loma Linda University in California, told Reuters Health.

The new results are important because at the moment there are limited treatments and preventive measures available for stroke, but diet changes such as adding more fiber are relatively easy, said Sherzai, who was not involved in the study.

The report didn’t look at the effects of different types of fiber on people of specific ages – so it’s possible some may glean more benefit from eating extra fiber than others, he added.

The findings don’t prove fiber directly prevents strokes. Researchers also don’t know why fiber would be linked to a lower risk, although they have some ideas.

“There could be all sorts of things going on,” Burley said.

Foods high in fiber tend to be low-calorie and help people maintain a healthy weight, which reduces stroke risk, she said. Fibrous foods also have vitamins, minerals and antioxidants including polyphenols and flavonoids, which make blood vessels more elastic.

The findings should serve as more encouragement for people to get their daily recommended fiber, Burley said. She’d like to see fiber back on the agenda – since it sometimes falls to the wayside in low-carbohydrate or gluten-free diets.

“Sometimes things like this just aren’t deemed sexy enough,” Sherzai said. 

SOURCE: bit.ly/10Rbepb Stroke, online March 28, 2013.

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Gluten: What You Don’t Know Might Kill You

Something you’re eating may be killing you, and you probably don’t even know it!

If you eat cheeseburgers or French fries all the time or drink six sodas a day, you likely know you are shortening your life. But eating a nice dark, crunchy slice of whole wheat bread-how could that be bad for you?

Well, bread contains gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, rye, spelt, kamut, and oats. It is hidden in pizza, pasta, bread, wraps, rolls, and most processed foods. Clearly, gluten is a staple of the American diet.

What most people don’t know is that gluten can cause serious health complications for many. You may be at risk even if you don’t have full blown celiac disease.

In today’s blog I want to reveal the truth about gluten, explain the dangers, and provide you with a simple system that will help you determine whether or not gluten is a problem for you.

The Dangers of Gluten

A recent large study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that people with diagnosed, undiagnosed, and “latent” celiac disease or gluten sensitivity had a higher risk of death, mostly from heart disease and cancer. (i)

This study looked at almost 30,00 patients from 1969 to 2008 and examined deaths in three groups: Those with full-blown celiac disease, those with inflammation of their intestine but not full-blown celiac disease, and those with latent celiac disease or gluten sensitivity (elevated gluten antibodies but negative intestinal biopsy).

The findings were dramatic. There was a 39 percent increased risk of death in those with celiac disease, 72 percent increased risk in those with gut inflammation related to gluten, and 35 percent increased risk in those with gluten sensitivity but no celiac disease.

This is ground-breaking research that proves you don’t have to have full-blown celiac disease with a positive intestinal biopsy (which is what conventional thinking tells us) to have serious health problems and complications–even death–from eating gluten.

Yet an estimated 99 percent of people who have a problem with eating gluten don’t even know it. They ascribe their ill health or symptoms to something else–not gluten sensitivity, which is 100 percent curable.

And here’s some more shocking news …

Another study comparing the blood of 10,000 people from 50 years ago to 10,000 people today found that the incidences of full-blown celiac disease increased by 400 percent (elevated TTG antibodies) during that time period. (ii) If we saw a 400 percent increase in heart disease or cancer, this would be headline news. But we hear almost nothing about this. I will explain why I think that increase has occurred in a moment. First, let’s explore the economic cost of this hidden epidemic.

Undiagnosed gluten problems cost the American healthcare system oodles of money. Dr. Peter Green, Professor of Clinical Medicine for the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University studied all 10 million subscribers to CIGNA and found those who were correctly diagnosed with celiac disease used fewer medical services and reduced their healthcare costs by more than 30 perecnt. (iii) The problem is that only one percent of those with the problem were actually diagnosed. That means 99 percent are walking around suffering without knowing it, costing the healthcare system millions of dollars.

And it’s not just a few who suffer, but millions. Far more people have gluten sensitivity than you think–especially those who are chronically ill. The most serious form of allergy to gluten, celiac disease, affects one in 100 people, or three million Americans, most of who don’t know they have it. But milder forms of gluten sensitivity are even more common and may affect up to one-third of the American population.

Why haven’t you heard much about this?

Well, actually you have, but you just don’t realize it. Celiac disease and gluten sensitivity masquerade as dozens and dozens of other diseases with different names.

Gluten Sensitivity: One Cause, Many Diseases

A review paper in The New England Journal of Medicine listed 55 “diseases” that can be caused by eating gluten. (iv) These include osteoporosis, irritable bowel disease, inflammatory bowel disease, anemia, cancer, fatigue, canker sores, (v) and rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, multiple sclerosis, and almost all other autoimmune diseases. Gluten is also linked to many psychiatric (vi) and neurological diseases, including anxiety, depression, (vii) schizophrenia, (viii) dementia, (ix) migraines, epilepsy, and neuropathy (nerve damage). (x) It has also been linked to autism.(ix)

We used to think that gluten problems or celiac disease were confined to children who had diarrhea, weight loss, and failure to thrive. Now we know you can be old, fat, and constipated and still have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity.

Gluten sensitivity is actually an autoimmune disease that creates inflammation throughout the body, with wide-ranging effects across all organ systems including your brain, heart, joints, digestive tract, and more. It can be the single cause behind many different “diseases.” To correct these diseases, you need to treat the cause–which is often gluten sensitivity-not just the symptoms.

Of course, that doesn’t mean that ALL cases of depression or autoimmune disease or any of these other problems are caused by gluten in everyone-but it is important to look for it if you have any chronic illness.

By failing to identify gluten sensitivity and celiac disease, we create needless suffering and death for millions of Americans. Health problems caused by gluten sensitivity cannot be treated with better medication. They can only be resolved by eliminating 100 percent of the gluten from your diet.

The question that remains is: Why are we so sensitive to this “staff of life,” the staple of our diet?

There are many reasons …

They include our lack of genetic adaptation to grasses, and particularly gluten, in our diet. Wheat was introduced into Europe during the Middle Ages, and 30 percent of people of European descent carry the gene for celiac disease (HLA DQ2 or HLA DQ8), (xii) which increases susceptibility to health problems from eating gluten.

American strains of wheat have a much higher gluten content (which is needed to make light, fluffy Wonder Bread and giant bagels) than those traditionally found in Europe. This super-gluten was recently introduced into our agricultural food supply and now has “infected” nearly all wheat strains in America.

To find out if you are one of the millions of people suffering from an unidentified gluten sensitivity, just follow this simple procedure.

The Elimination/Reintegration Diet

While testing can help identify gluten sensivity, the only way you will know if this is really a problem for you is to eliminate all gluten for a short period of time (2 to 4 weeks) and see how you feel. Get rid of the following foods:

• Gluten (barley, rye, oats, spelt, kamut, wheat, triticale–see http://www.celiac.com for a complete list of foods that contain gluten, as well as often surprising and hidden sources of gluten.)

• Hidden sources (soup mixes, salad dressings, sauces, as well as lipstick, certain vitamins, medications, stamps and envelopes you have to lick, and even Play-Doh.)

For this test to work you MUST eliminate 100 percent of the gluten from your diet–no exceptions, no hidden gluten, and not a single crumb of bread.

Then eat it again and see what happens. If you feel bad at all, you need to stay off gluten permanently. This will teach you better than any test about the impact gluten has on your body.

But if you are still interested in testing, here are some things to keep in mind.

Testing for Gluten Sensitivity or Celiac Disease

There are gluten allergy/celiac disease tests that are available through Labcorp or Quest Diagnostics. All these tests help identify various forms of allergy or sensitivity to gluten or wheat. They will look for:
• IgA anti-gliadin antibodies
• IgG anti-gliadin antibodies
• IgA anti-endomysial antibodies
• Tissue transglutaminase antibody (IgA and IgG in questionable cases)
• Total IgA antibodies
• HLA DQ2 and DQ8 genotyping for celiac disease (used occasionally to detect genetic suspectibility).
• Intestinal biopsy (rarely needed if gluten antibodies are positive–based on my interpretation of the recent study)

When you get these tests, there are a few things to keep in mind.

In light of the new research on the dangers of gluten sensitivity without full blown celiac disease, I consider any elevation of antibodies significant and worthy of a trial of gluten elimination. Many doctors consider elevated anti-gliadin antibodies in the absence of a positive intestinal biopsy showing damage to be “false positives.” That means the test looks positive but really isn’t significant.

We can no longer say that. Positive is positive and, as with all illness, there is a continuum of disease, from mild gluten sensitivity to full-blown celiac disease. If your antibodies are elevated, you should go off gluten and test to see if it is leading to your health problems.

So now you see-that piece of bread may not be so wholesome after all! Follow the advice I’ve shared with you today to find out if gluten may be the hidden cause of your health problems. Simply eliminating this insidious substnace from your diet, may help you achieve lifelong vibrant health.

Are you one of the millions that have been lead to believe gluten is perfectly safe to eat?
To your good health,
Mark Hyman, MD

(i) Ludvigsson JF, Montgomery SM, Ekbom A, Brandt L, Granath F. Small-intestinal histopathology and mortality risk in celiac disease. JAMA. 2009 Sep 16;302(11):1171-8.
(ii) Rubio-Tapia A, Kyle RA, Kaplan EL, Johnson DR, Page W, Erdtmann F, Brantner TL, Kim WR, Phelps TK, Lahr BD, Zinsmeister AR, Melton LJ 3rd, Murray JA. Increased prevalence and mortality in undiagnosed celiac disease. Gastroenterology. 2009 Jul;137(1):88-93
(iii) Green PH, Neugut AI, Naiyer AJ, Edwards ZC, Gabinelle S, Chinburapa V. Economic benefits of increased diagnosis of celiac disease in a national managed care population in the United States. J Insur Med. 2008;40(3-4):218-28.
(iv) Farrell RJ, Kelly CP. Celiac sprue. N Engl J Med. 2002 Jan 17;346(3):180-8. Review.
(v) Sedghizadeh PP, Shuler CF, Allen CM, Beck FM, Kalmar JR. Celiac disease and recurrent aphthous stomatitis: a report and review of the literature. Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol Oral Radiol Endod. 2002;94(4):474-478.
(vi) Margutti P, Delunardo F, Ortona E. Autoantibodies associated with psychiatric disorders. Curr Neurovasc Res. 2006 May;3(2):149-57. Review.
(vii) Ludvigsson JF, Reutfors J, Osby U, Ekbom A, Montgomery SM. Coeliac disease and risk of mood disorders–a general population-based cohort study. J Affect Disord. 2007 Apr;99(1-3):117-26. Epub 2006 Oct 6.
(viii) Ludvigsson JF, Osby U, Ekbom A, Montgomery SM. Coeliac disease and risk of schizophrenia and other psychosis: a general population cohort study. Scand J Gastroenterol. 2007 Feb;42(2):179-85.
(ix) Hu WT, Murray JA, Greenaway MC, Parisi JE, Josephs KA. Cognitive impairment and celiac disease. Arch Neurol. 2006 Oct;63(10):1440-6.
(x) Bushara KO. Neurologic presentation of celiac disease. Gastroenterology. 2005 Apr;128(4 Suppl 1):S92-7. Review.
(xi) Millward C, Ferriter M, Calver S, Connell-Jones G. Gluten- and casein-free diets for autistic spectrum disorder. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2004;(2):CD003498. Review.
(xii) Green PH, Jabri B. Coeliac disease. Lancet. 2003 Aug 2;362(9381):383-91. Review.
Mark Hyman, M.D. practicing physician and founder of The UltraWellness Center is a pioneer in functional medicine. 

 Posted: 01/02/10         source: Huffingtonpost.com 

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5 Foods to Eat When You’re Feeling Tired

Shubhra Krishan   November 23, 2012

A bowl of oats: The high dietary fiber content in oats helps you feel full longer, preventing overeating throughout the day, which can lead to weight gain, sluggishness, and fatigue.There’s more: oatmeal contains B1, the vitamin that is known to fight fatigue.
A handful of walnuts: if you’re feeling blue, munching on walnuts can boost your spirits. This wonder nut contains omega-3 fatty acids, which are known to fight symptoms of depression.
Whole wheat toast: the complex carbs in it give you the energy boost you need, without disturbing blood sugar levels.

Oranges or bell peppers: the Vitaminc C family can instantly inject freshness into your body and mind. That’s because this wonderful vitamin helps reduce cortisol—the hormone responsible for stress and energy slumps. Just one cup of sliced red bell pepper meets twice your daily required quota of Vitamin C!
A cup of creamy Greek yogurt: it’s simple. If your digestive system is out of gear, you’re going to feel whacked. That’s where yogurt comes in. The friendly bacteria in it do a fabulous job of regulating your digestion. The result: you have more energy, which lasts longer because yogurt has more protein than carbs. Try to get about 8 ounces of yogurt daily. You will feel relief from chronic fatigue within a week or so.
source: care2.com

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What is the Difference Between Whole Grain and Whole Wheat?

Whole Wheat vs Whole Grain

People are often confused when they talk about whole wheat and whole grain. It may be difficult to distinguish between whole grain and whole wheat, because they look very similar. Though one can come across many similarities between whole grain and whole wheat, one can also find many differences between the two.

Whole grain contains the entire grain kernel, which includes the bran, endosperm and germ. However, whole wheat is a refined grain that has lost the bran and germ, and only contains the endosperm.

Whole wheat is obtained by a refining process, where some of the nutrients are lost. On the other hand, whole grain does not go through the refining process, which means that the nutrients are intact.

One of the main differences, is that whole grain has a richer flavor than whole wheat. Another difference that can be seen, is that whole wheat is lighter in texture, and whole grain is denser in texture. Well, whole grain has more nutrients, minerals and fibers than whole wheat.

Both whole grain and whole wheat have many health benefits. Whole grain is considered to be good for diabetic persons as the grain is a good source of carbohydrates. Unlike whole wheat, whole grain is absorbed more easily by the body’s system.

Well, another difference that can be seen, is that whole wheat has a longer shelf life than whole grain.

When comparing the fat content in whole grain to that in whole wheat, the former has a lower fat content. When considering their price, whole grains are slightly higher priced than whole wheat. Moreover, whole grains contain more oil than whole wheat.


1. Whole grain is not refined, whereas whole wheat is refined grain.

2. Whole grain contains the entire grain kernel, which includes the bran, endosperm and the germ. On the other hand, whole wheat contains only the endosperm.

3. Whole grain has more nutrients, minerals and fiber than whole wheat.

4. Whole grain has a richer flavor than whole wheat.

5. Whole wheat is lighter in texture, while whole grain is denser in texture.

6. Unlike whole wheat, whole grain is absorbed more easily by the body’s system.

7. Whole grains contain more oil than whole wheat.

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Janice’s Wheat Free Pizza Crust

1 pkg fast acting dry yeast
1 Cup warm water
2 cups spelt flour
2 TBSPs olive oil
1 Tsp salt
2 Tsp white sugar

Mix warm water & dry yeast in bowl, set aside 10 minutes.
In separate bowl mix, flour, salt, sugar, oil and stir in yeast mixture when ready.

Beat until dough is stiff, set aside to rise for 30 minutes.
Turn dough onto floured surface and roll out to fit greased pizza pan.

Partially bake for 10 minutes at 350 degree’s and freeze.  The pizza will complete cooking once toppings are added later. 

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A couple of weeks ago, I was tested for allergies. Other than a mild reaction to wheat, I was not allergic to anything else. The allergist told me that my slight wheat allergy was really nothing to worry about and that I could continue eating anything and everything.

OK … but, this started me thinking … “What is in my diet that has wheat?”

It turns out – quite a bit. From the cereal at breakfast, to the sandwich at lunch, to the pasta at dinner time, to my favourite healthy muffins … wheat is pretty much all over the place

For a long time now, I had tried to ensure I stick to whole grains and whole wheat products (bread, crackers, pasta) as much as possible instead of regular white bread or regular pasta. However, after this visit to the doctor’s, I became a little more aware of wheat in my diet.

Then I came across this article, that spoke of how, over the years, even the seeds used in the production of our wheat had been genetically modified. The article also spoke about how today’s wheat products will often make us fatter.

ACK! While I heard of genetically modified foods becoming more of a problem in our diets recently, this article really struck a chord with me. When I look at all the foods in our diets that contain wheat … well, it is everywhere.

Then I asked myself … “Would it be possible to live without wheat?”

The answer is of course yes … if I really had to. Currently, wheat is a major source of calories in my life, but over time, I certainly could shift towards a wheat – free diet.

In the short term, I hope to MINIMIZE my consumption of wheat products. I will gradually replace foods, one by one, with what I hope to be healthy substitutes. I know there will be times (especially in the first while) where I will likely compromise … but in the bigger picture, I hope to reduce my overall wheat consumption substantially.

This recent goal has also pushed me to examine how balanced my meals are. Am I eating enough protein with most meals? Are there too many carbohydrates in my diet? Am I getting my share of fruits and vegetables? I hope to research this soon, and share what I learn with you.

My journey toward a healthier lifestyle continues …
thanks for coming along for the ride!
: )

Pete Szekely