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Diet, Health, Fitness, Lifestyle & Wellness


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White Rice Pales in Comparison to These Antioxidant-Rich Grains

Why does switching from white rice to brown rice enable overweight individuals to significantly reduce their weight, their waist size, their blood pressure, and the level of inflammation within their bodies?

We think it might be the fiber. Brown rice has four times as much dietary fiber as white rice, including prebiotic types of fiber that foster the growth of our good bacteria, which may help account for the anti-obesity effects of brown rice.

Besides the prebiotic fiber, when brown rice is milled into white, there are all sorts of vitamins and minerals that also are lost, as well as phytonutrients such as gamma oryzanol, which may help shift one’s preferences to healthier foods. Petri dish studies suggest gamma oryzanol may help lower cholesterol. And, along with other compounds found in the rice bran, which is what makes brown rice brown, gamma oryzanol may inhibit human cancer cell growth through antioxidant means, anti‑proliferative and pro-cancer cell suicide mechanisms, immune system modulation, and increasing barrier protection. However, this was all seen in test tubes, not people.

There are two human studies, though. The Adventist Health Study found that brown rice was one of four foods associated with significantly decreased risk of colorectal polyps, which can turn into colorectal cancer. Eating cooked green vegetables every day was associated with 24 percent lower risk, which was as much as eating dried fruit just three times a week. Eating beans, chickpeas, split peas, or lentils at least three times a week was associated with 33 percent lower risk, but brown rice seemed to garner 40 percent lower risk, and that was just a single serving or more a week.

The other human study reported increased muscle strength after supplementation with a brown rice compound in hopes that it could provide a side effect-free alternative to anabolic steroids. The dose the researchers were giving, however, is equivalent to approximately 17 cups of brown rice a day, so it’s not clear if it works at practical doses.

Naturally pigmented rice, such as black rice and red rice, may be even more nutritious than brown rice. During the last decade, research has shown that these natural anthocyanin plant pigments may have a variety of beneficial effects. Anthocyanins are what make blueberries blue and red cabbage red. “Recent recognition of the fact that taking diet rich in plant foods lowers the risks of cancer promotes the enthusiasms in isolating…[these components as] pharmaceutical agents”—but why not just eat the blueberries or add some red cabbage to your stir fry atop some colorful rice?

Black, purple, and red rice—and their pigment compounds—have been found to be involved in a variety of antioxidant, anti-cancer, anti-heart disease, anti-diabetes, and anti-allergy activities, but these were all studies done in a lab. We don’t yet have clinical studies, but these pigmented rice varieties have everything that brown rice has, plus five times more antioxidants and a variety of extra benefits. That’s why I, or rather my rice cooker, has always cooked red, black, or purple rice with a handful of lentils or split peas thrown in for good measure, since they cook in the same time frame.

But why don’t most people even choose brown over white? Well, brown rice does not last as long on the shelves, so it can actually be more expensive even though it’s less processed. White rice, on the other hand, is like food for the apocalypse, even putting Twinkies to shame. White rice was still edible after 30 years—though, by then, it may have a “slight playdough” odor.

In health,

Michael Greger, M.D.

By: Dr. Michael Greger   December 1, 2017
About Michael      Follow Michael at @nutrition_facts
source: www.care2.com
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Yes, There Is Arsenic In Your Rice. Here’s What You Need To Know

Yes, there is arsenic in your rice. 

Yes, arsenic is toxic. And it has been associated with lung, skin and bladder cancer, among other health concerns.

And yes, even though it contains arsenic, you can still eat rice.

But before you freak out about what this means, you need to know what arsenic is.

Arsenic is an element in the earth’s crust that’s naturally found in the air, water and soil, so the fact that it is in rice isn’t entirely alarming. Arsenic can however also be a result of human activity, such as mining or the use of certain pesticides.

There are two types of arsenic: organic (in the biological sense) and inorganic. Inorganic arsenic is the kind that’s dangerous and is associated with adverse health effects ― and it’s the kind that’s present in rice, which is why you might want to moderate your rice intake.

Arsenic finds its way into food because it’s absorbed by the plant as it grows. Some plants absorb more than others, and rice seems to absorb the most among commonly eaten foods. The FDA has even set a limit on the amount of inorganic arsenic allowed in infant rice cereal. But the FDA has not set a limit on the amount of plain rice adults should eat. Instead, they recommend adults “eat a well-balanced diet for good nutrition and to minimize potential adverse consequences from consuming an excess of any one food.”

 So how do you continue eating rice in good conscience? Educate yourself.

Consumer Reports suggests mixing up your grain consumption with other grains that are naturally lower in arsenic. Amaranth, buckwheat, millet and polenta have almost no levels of arsenic. Bulgur, barley, and farro have very low levels. And quinoa has less than rice.

According to the study on arsenic in rice by Consumer Reports, brown rice has higher levels of arsenic than white because the highest levels of the arsenic are found in the husk. The husk is removed to make white rice, so if you eat a lot of brown rice you might want to switch it up with white (despite the fact that brown rice is typically thought to be the better choice, nutritionally).

You can also cook rice in a way that will remove some of the arsenic. While the modern technique of cooking rice in a limited amount water helps retain the most nutrition from the grain, it also retains the arsenic. Boiling the rice in a 6:1 water-to-rice ratio (sort of how you’d cook pasta), draining the excess water once cooked, has been shown to remove up to 60 percent of arsenic levels in rice. Rinsing before you cook can also reduce arsenic levels. In other words, flush the rice with lots of water.

Feel free to still enjoy your lunch rice bowl or get down with fried rice. Just make sure you eat rice in moderation, and/or cook it with lots of water, and your arsenic intake should be in check. But when it comes to infants, regulate their consumption. Because remember, their body weight versus intake is very different than it is for an adult.

14/02/2017      Julie R. Thomson Senior Editor, Taste, HuffPost


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5 Ways to Boost Your Energy with Food

By: Michelle Schoffro Cook    April 1, 2016     Follow Michelle at @mschoffrocook

The most common complaint I hear from people is that they are exhausted or have low energy. Fortunately, there are some simple ways you can give your energy a significant boost. Here are some of my favorites:

Give Your Mitochondria a Boost: Coenzyme Q10 is a naturally-occurring substance in our bodies and in some foods that is necessary to provide energy to our cells. Inside our cells there is a micro-sized energy manufacturing facility known as the mitochondria. Mitochondria depend on CoQ10, as it is also called, to boost energy for every cellular function, including brain functions. Unfortunately, this nutrient can become depleted as we age or experience health issues. Coenzyme Q10 is primarily found in legumes, nuts, fish and poultry.

Eat Every 2 to 3 Hours: When we’re busy, rushed or on-the-go, it’s easy to skip meals or go long periods of time between meals—the worst thing you can do for your energy levels. To keep energy high you need to prevent blood sugar spikes and drops since the resulting cascade of hormones causes an energy roller coaster ride. You may feel fine one minute and then exhausted the next. The best and easiest way to maintain balanced blood sugar levels is to eat every two or three hours. It doesn’t need to be a lot of food; just a snack will do. But, you must be consistent.

Eat zinc-rich foods: The mineral zinc is involved in dozens of chemical reactions linked to energy creation in the body, so ensuring your diet has enough zinc is critical to experience an energy boost. Zinc is also necessary for healthy blood, bones, brain, heart, liver and muscles, so if you’re lacking this vital nutrient, you can experience a wide range of deficiency symptoms. Some signs of a zinc deficiency include: acne, brittle nails, infertility, frequent colds or flu, low sperm count or slow hair or nail growth. Zinc is also essential to prostate health. For more information check out my blog “9 Simple Ways to Drastically Reduce Your Prostate Cancer Risk.” Eat zinc-rich foods like sprouts, pumpkin seeds, onions, sunflower seeds, nuts, leafy greens, beets, carrots or peas frequently throughout the day.

pumpkin seeds

To B or Not to B: There are many vitamins found within the B-Complex, including B1, B2, niacin, pantothenic acid, B6, folic acid, B12, B13, B15, B17, choline, inositol, biotin and PABA. It’s not necessary to remember all of their names, but it is important to ensure adequate B vitamin intake to experience more energy. B vitamins are essential for energy production. And, the more stressful your life is, the more your body depletes these vital nutrients. Additionally, if you suffer from seasonal allergies, that’s an additional stressor to your body. Because B vitamins are not manufactured or stored by the body, it’s imperative to get B vitamin-rich foods every day. Some of the best food sources of these nutrients include: brown rice, root vegetables, pumpkin seeds, citrus fruits, strawberries, cantaloupe, kale, green vegetables and legumes. For an added boost, take a B complex supplement (50 or 100 mg) once or twice a day.  Keeping your gut healthy is also essential to proper nutrient absorption. To learn more about keeping your gut healthy, check out my blog “5 Reasons Why Your Gut is the Key to Great Health.”

Ensure that every meal or snack has some protein in it: While many diet programs would have you believe that protein equals meat, the reality is that meat takes a lot of energy to digest and tends to sit in the digestive tract for many hours. There are many other excellent sources of protein, including: pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, legumes like chickpeas or lentils, avocado, nuts like raw walnuts or almonds and coconut milk. The protein causes a consistent release of energy over time and helps to avoid the blood sugar energy crashes most people experience. Did you notice that pumpkin seeds and legumes keep showing up in the foods that help boost energy? When you need a quick energy boost, these foods will help supply numerous vital nutrients.  Check out “Top Vegan Sources of Protein” for more information.

Dr. Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD, DNM is a registered nutritionist and international best-selling and 19-time published book author whose works include: 60 Seconds to Slim: Balance Your Body Chemistry to Burn Fat Fast!


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Could Too Many Refined Carbs Make You Depressed?

Study found postmenopausal women who ate more processed foods faced higher risk of mood disorder

WebMD News from HealthDay     By Alan Mozes     HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, Aug. 7, 2015 (HealthDay News) – Refined carbohydrates – such as those found in white bread, white rice and sodas – may harm more than the waistlines of older women. New research shows that eating too much of these highly processed foods might also raise their risk of depression.

Luckily, the opposite also appears to be true: The analysis also found that those who ate lots of whole grains, vegetables, fruits and dietary fiber appeared to see their risk for depression drop.

The study involved more than 70,000 women aged 50 to 79. The findings, the investigators said, only show an association between “refined” carbs and elevated depression risk, rather than a direct cause-and-effect relationship.

“[But] it is already well known that people who suffer from depression tend to crave carbohydrates,” said study author James Gangwisch, an assistant professor in the department of psychiatry with the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University in New York City.

So the researchers set out to look at the dynamic in reverse. The goal: to see whether consuming refined carbs – a known driver of high blood sugar levels – actually raises depression risk among women with no recent history of mental illness.

The apparent answer: Yes.

Gangwisch and his colleagues reported their findings Aug. 5 in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

The investigators reviewed nutrition and mental health records collected at 40 clinical centers across 24 states and the District of Columbia during the well-known Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) study.

None of the women had any history of substance abuse, depression or any other form of mental illness in the three years leading up to their enrollment in the study.

doughnuts

The result at the end of the study: The more refined sugars a woman ate, the higher her blood sugar levels and the greater her risk for a bout of depression.

As to why, Gangwisch said that “one likely explanation is spikes and troughs in blood sugar [levels] that result from the consumption of these foods. Blood sugar that is too high induces an elevated insulin [hormonal] response that can lower blood sugar to levels that induce a hormonal counter-regulatory response.”

The result can be a rise in anxiety, irritability and hunger. Similarly, plunging blood sugar levels often translate into fatigue, he said.

Asked whether refined carbs might drive depression risk among other groups of people, Gangwisch said that he “would presume that our results could also apply to men, although I cannot say definitively.”

But Connie Diekman, director of university nutrition at Washington University in St. Louis, cautioned that the dynamic could shift, depending on age and gender.

“The outcomes could be very different in younger women due to hormones, and of course in men,” she said. But “the important outcome to me, as a registered dietitian, is that the women who consumed diets higher in vegetables, fruits and whole grains had a lower incidence of depression. So, the question is not: do the [highly refined] foods contribute to depression? It is: do women at risk for depression simply choose these foods?”

That point was seconded by Lona Sandon, a registered dietician and assistant professor of clinical nutrition with the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas.

“When you feed your body and brain healthy, whole, nutrient-rich foods, you feel better,” she said. “You may feel better and have a better mood, simply because you know you are doing something good for your body,” Sandon suggested.

“What is not clear from the report is whether or not the depression or consumption of refined carbohydrates came first,” she added. “Many people make poor food choices when they are depressed or even stressed, and may reach for refined carbohydrates – like chocolate – in an attempt to improve their mood.”

Regardless, registered dietitian Penny Kris-Etherton, a professor of nutrition at Penn State University in University Park, Pa., said the current study is “part of an important piece of emerging literature.”

“People are just starting to explore the connection between nutrition and mental health,” she said. “And I think this work will add fuel to a fascinating area of study, which is certainly worthy of more investigation.”

SOURCES: James E. Gangwisch, Ph.D., assistant professor, department of psychiatry, division of experimental therapeutics, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New York City; Connie Diekman, M.Ed., R.D., director, university nutrition, Washington University, St. Louis; Penny Kris-Etherton, Ph.D., R.D., registered dietitian and professor, nutrition, Penn State University, University Park, Penn.; Lona Sandon, R.D., assistant professor, clinical nutrition, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas; Aug. 5, 2015, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
 
source: HealthDay


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9 Seeds You Should Be Eating

Chia Seeds

Chia has come a long way since it first sprouted out of funny pottery in TV commercials. Today, these seeds are best known as a super food, and with good reason. Just 1 ounce (that’s 2 tablespoons) has nearly 10 grams of fiber. Ground in a blender, chia seeds make the perfect crunchy topping for yogurt or vegetables. When you soak them in a liquid, such as juice or almond milk, they get soft and spoonable: a smart swap for pudding.

Wild Rice

Surprise! Wild rice isn’t rice at all — it’s actually a grass seed. It’s higher in protein than other whole grains and has 30 times more antioxidants than white rice. It also provides folate, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, vitamin B6, and niacin. It cooks up tender and fluffy in a rice pilaf, and the warm grains are a hearty addition to green salads.

Pumpkin Seeds

If you’ve ever roasted a batch of these after carving your annual jack-o’-lantern, you know they make a great snack. And a healthy one, too. Pumpkin seeds are rich in magnesium, an important mineral that boosts your heart health, helps your body make energy, and powers your muscles. Eat them year-round as a soup or salad topper, with cereal, or in homemade trail mix.

Pomegranate Seeds

Also called arils, these are the sweet, jewel-like beads you strip from the inside of the fruit. They’re high in vitamin C and antioxidants. A full cup of pomegranate seeds has fewer than 150 calories, making it good for a light snack. Tossed in a salad or whole-grain dish, they add a juicy pop of flavor and color to your dinner plate.

Quinoa

If you’re looking for healthy sources of protein, quinoa has you covered. The grain-like seed packs 8 grams per cup. It cooks up like rice and can fill in for pasta and other grains in many of your favorite dishes. You can also use it as a gluten-free breading for dishes like chicken fingers. Make a batch instead of oatmeal for a breakfast porridge that will start your day with more protein, fiber, and iron.

Flax Seeds

Humans have been eating these for good health as far back as 9,000 B.C. If you don’t eat enough fish, adding flax to your diet can help you get omega-3 fatty acids, the healthy fats that are good for your heart. It’s the best plant source of this important nutrient, and it gives you a good dose of fiber, too. When the seeds are ground into flax meal, they may help lower blood pressure. Flax has a nice, nutty flavor. Add a scoop to oatmeal, your pancake batter, or salads.

Hemp Seeds

Their mild, nutty flavor pairs well with savory dishes. They also have plenty of protein: 2 tablespoons has 10 grams, even more than flax or chia seeds. Hemp is also a good source of omega-3 fatty acids. You can use the seeds whole, sprinkled on salads or whole-grain dishes, or look for hemp milk to replace your usual dairy.

Sunflower Seeds

These tender kernels are every bit as good for you as they are tasty. A 1-ounce serving has about half your daily vitamin E. They’re also high in healthy fats. Add them to your next batch of veggie burgers for extra flavor and nutrition. Sunflower seeds also make a great addition to your morning smoothie. And, of course, you can just keep snacking on them right out of the bag.

Sesame Seeds

Those little white dots on your hamburger bun aren’t just there for decoration. The sesame seed is one of the most versatile ingredients out there. Sesame oil, a smart pick for salad dressing, is high in a kind of fatty acid that may lower the bad type of cholesterol. Ground to a paste, they turn into tahini, a peanut butter sub for those with nut allergies. (It’s also a main ingredient in hummus.) The whole seeds are rich in fiber and protein. They add crunch and flavor to vegetable stir fries.

source: www.webmd.com


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The 11 healthiest foods in the world

Grown without chemicals and loaded with nutrition, these 11 foods will keep you (and the planet) healthy for life.

By Rodale News Thu, Mar 08 2012

WHOLE FOODS: Full of nutrition and easy on the planet. 

J.I. Rodale, the man who founded Rodale Publishing, launched the organic farming movement in America. A strong believer in the power of food to heal, he knew long before organic went mainstream that producing the healthiest food meant growing it in the healthiest soil — soil enriched naturally with organic matter, not synthetic, petroleum-based fertilizers that can rob it of vital nutrients and minerals. In a 1947 issue of Rodale’s first magazine, Organic Gardening, J.I. Rodale outlined “The Rodale Diet,” a simple recommendation of easily accessible healthy foods, grown without the use of toxic chemicals that, if followed 20 to 30 percent of the time would “give disease a smart punch in the solar plexus.” And 65 years of nutrition science have proved him right. All of the foods he recommended back in the ’40s, studies are finding, contain the highest amounts of disease-fighting antioxidants, essential fatty acids, and other vital nutrients that are deficient in the modern American diet. If you want to follow “The Rodale Diet,” here’s what you need to get started.

Fish

J.I.’s take: “Here is an animal that, unlike cattle, does not eat food raised with chemical fertilizers. It feeds in waters rich with minerals, prominent among which is the most valuable element, iodine.”

Why it’s healthy: Saltwater fish, to which Rodale was referring, are the most commonly consumed, and one of the healthiest, sources of protein consumed worldwide. Even today, saltwater fish still don’t eat food raised with chemical fertilizers, but the problem is, they’re becoming harder and harder to find. Overfishing has ballooned since J.I. Rodale’s day, and the list of saltwater fish that have managed to continue to exist in healthy amounts is getting shorter by the day.

How to get it: Go with the safest fish to eat, namely wild fish living in sustainably managed fisheries, such as wild Alaskan salmon and wild-caught Pacific sardines. There are a number of farmed fish that are raised without damage to their surrounding environment, but some, such as farmed tilapia and catfish, are fed corn that may be have been genetically modified and grown with pesticides.

Kelp

J.I.’s take: “Kelp is rich in potassium. It is believed that the reason there is a complete absence of hay-fever cases in the Orient is the fact that the Japanese and Chinese eat liberally of this product.”

Why it’s healthy: An edible form of brown algae, kelp contains more than just potassium. It’s rich in iodine, protein, magnesium, and other minerals at levels higher than most land vegetables. It’s also rich in the omega-3 fatty acid EPA.

How to get it: “Overall, kelp harvesting is a sustainable practice that can have low impact on the marine environment if done right,” says Matthew Huelsenbeck, marine scientist with the conservation organization Oceana. However, he adds, some kelp farmers have started introducing genetically modified varieties, which can escape and contaminate the surrounding environment, and kelp grown in waters near polluting industries could be contaminated with heavy metals. “About 80 to 90 percent of kelp on the market comes from China — a species called Japanese kelp,” he adds. Because the name is confusing, it can be hard to know where your kelp is coming from. So stick with domestically raised kelp: Maine Coast Sea Vegetables sells kelp raised in the Gulf of Maine.

Mushrooms

J.I.’s take: Grown in beds of rich organic matter, mushrooms were grown without the use of any pesticides, he said, “because it would kill out the very spores which are needed to develop into mushrooms.” Not only that, but they’re rich in iron and protein.

Why they’re healthy: Mushrooms are not just healthy, they’re vital in boosting your immune system and preventing infections, and they’re becoming increasingly valuable tools in medicine, where research is finding that mushroom compounds can fight diseases such as breast cancer. But nowadays, commercial mushroom producers do use heavy amounts of insecticides, says Thomas Wiandt, an organic mushroom farmer in Ohio and owner of Killbuck Valley Mushrooms. “Common practice is to grow them in caves, or cavelike structures,” he says. Those areas provide optimal breeding grounds for insects, so the crops are often misted with insecticides (which are different types of pesticides than fungicides, which aren’t used because they would kill of the spores mushroom need to grow). U.S. Department of Agriculture tests have detected 14 insecticide residues on mushroom crops. “Not only that, a mushroom has a highly absorbent surface,” Wiandt says.

How to get them: Get the health benefits without the toxic chemicals — go organic.

Coconut

J.I.’s take: “A good source of fats and carbohydrates,” coconuts also “provide excellent exercise for the teeth.” Coconut palms also didn’t require heavy doses of synthetic, petroleum-based fertilizers.

Why it’s healthy: Though high in saturated fat, coconut products, particularly coconut oil, are proving to be exceptionally healthy. Studies on populations that consume high quantities of coconut oil have found lower rates of heart disease, and coconut oil is one of very few sources of lauric acid, which helps your immune system fight bacterial and viral infections.

How to get it: Every part of the coconut is valuable — even the shells are being used as water filters in some areas. In J.I. Rodale’s day, coconuts were probably harvested wild, but now, coconut palm plantations have taken over Southeast Asia, where most of the world’s coconuts are grown. Plantations deplete the soil of nutrients and increase pest problems — increasing the need for synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. But it might be hard to find certified-organic whole coconuts, so opt instead for organic coconut products, such as Dr. Bronner’s certified-organic and Fair Trade coconut oil or Body Ecology organic Coconut Water.

coconut

Watercress

J.I.’s take: “Watercress is never grown with chemical fertilizers. It grows along brooks and other running waters and … it contains more iron than spinach.”

Why it’s healthy: It’s not just an iron powerhouse. Scientists have also found that the antioxidants in watercress can battle breast and lung cancers, and a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that eating just three ounces a day boosts your levels of certain antioxidants by 100 percent.

How to get it: You probably won’t find much wild watercress in grocery stores, but hydroponic watercress (grown directly in water) is the most commonly available type. The benefit: Few pesticides are needed in hydroponic operations, and the plants are still grown without synthetic fertilizers.

Wild berries

J.I.’s take: Wild fruit trees grow without chemical help, and even cultivated cranberries and other berries, in Rodale’s day, were rarely treated with pesticides.

Why they’re healthy: Wild berries, wild blueberries in particular, have higher levels of antioxidants than their cultivated counterparts. One Canadian study found that wild blueberries can counteract inflammation and insulin sensitivity, two factors that, when abnormal, can contribute to arthritis and diabetes. Rodale was particularly fond of mulberries, huckleberries and blackberries, all of which have a higher antioxidant content than cultivated berries.

How to get them: Wild blueberries can be found in the freezer section of your grocery store (the season for fresh wild blueberries is very short), but for other wild berries, you’ll have to go out foraging during spring and summer.

Wild rice

J.I.’s take: Rodale seemed fascinated by this wild grass that grew in swamps and wanted his readers to send in more information about its cultural significance.

Why it’s healthy: Native to the Great Lakes regions of Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota and parts of Canada, wild rice has been hand-harvested in canoes by Native American tribes that live in those areas for over a thousand years. Not technically a grain but a grass, wild rice is rich in protein, fiber and B vitamins. Since it grows wild, there is no need for toxic pesticides or water-polluting fertilizers, and it’s harvested in the least environmentally damaging way possible.

How to get it: Most “wild rice” on store shelves isn’t wild at all but a hybrid product cultivated in paddies. Keep an eye out for wild rice that’s actually wild, sold by companies like Eden Foods and Native Harvest.

Wild game

J.I.’s take: Rodale liked wild game because it was “free of the taint of chemical fertilizers” since the animals forage for food in the wild. But he was first turned on to it as a healthy superfood by a physician who was prescribing diets of wild game to patients with high blood pressure.

Why it’s healthy: Wild animals aren’t just free of the taint of chemical fertilizers; they’re also free of hormones, antibiotics and even the antibiotic-resistant bacteria so common in factory-farmed animals, according to a study published last year in the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology. Meat from deer, elk, wild boar and other feral creatures also has fewer calories, less saturated and total fat, and even lower levels of cholesterol. The primary concern with wild game is lead contamination; hunters use leaded bullets, fragments of which can get introduced into the meat.

How to get it: J.I.’s advice? “Go to the hunting regions during the proper season. Many of the resorts serve venison and other game meats.” But you don’t really have to travel that far in this day and age. A number of online retailers sell wild game meats. Just be sure to ask about whether the retailer tests for lead.

Maple syrup

J.I.’s take: “I strongly recommend that white sugar be dispensed with entirely and that maple syrup be substituted,” Rodale wrote.

Why it’s healthy: Overrefined and nutritionally void, white sugar comes from chemically intensive sugar cane and sugar beets — Rodale’s reasoning for eliminating it from his diet. Now, sugar beets aren’t just pesticide-heavy, they’re also being genetically modified to grow faster so Americans can have access to more cheap sugar we don’t need. You need just a small amount of maple syrup to sweeten your coffee, baked goods, or oatmeal, and it’s actually good for you. Scientists recently discovered more than 50 compounds in maple syrup known to battle cancer and heart disease.

How to get it: Find organic maple syrup at any grocery store or visit your farmers market to get the good local stuff. Don’t fall for “pancake syrup” that’s mostly high-fructose corn syrup dyed brown with “maple flavoring” added.

Honey

J.I.’s take: “Natural honey is full of living hormone-like qualities, which makes it a valuable adjunct to the diet.”

Why it’s healthy: Honey is rich in antioxidants and is often used as an antiseptic treatment on wounds. As Rodale said, it also contains phytoestrogens, and studies on Greek honey have found that those phytoestrogens can blunt the growth of breast, prostate and endometrial cancers. Honey also has a low glycemic index, so using it to sweeten tea or coffee won’t lead to energy-busting blood sugar drops later in the day.

How to get it: The best honey is raw, local honey from a nearby farmer. A recent test by Food Safety News revealed that more than 75 percent of the honey sold in the U.S. is so heavily processed and filtered, a process that removes all of the pollen in honey, that it would flunk quality standards set by most of the world’s food agencies, including the Food and Drug Administration.

Nuts

J.I.’s take: J.I. valued nuts — particularly walnuts, pecans, filberts and pine nuts — because the trees on which they grew lived in soils rich in organic matter that had built up for centuries. That soil enriched nuts with minerals and protein.

Why they’re healthy: Today, nuts are grown on trees raised in plantations that, unless certified organic, have resorted to heavy doses of chemical fertilizers. But find a certified-organic nut supplier, and you’ll get all the protein and minerals that J.I. valued without the extra dose of pesticides. In addition, walnuts and pine nuts are good sources for essential fatty acids that protect your brain, heart and bones.

How to get them: If you’re having a hard time finding organic nuts at the store, take a walk. Though pecan and pinyon (pine nut) trees grow wild only in certain areas, walnut trees exist pretty much everywhere. Just keep an eye out for trees bearing large green shells that resemble green apples. Crack one open and the nut is resting inside a soft casing that will dye your hands brown.

source: Rodale.com   www.rodalenews.com