March 4, 2017

South American Super Berry- Maqui

Wild Maqui Berry: A Superfood with Proven Health Benefits

Both fresh whole maqui berries and maqui powder made by grinding dried fruits of the South American Aristotelia chilensis plant frequently pop up on 'superfood' and 'superberry' lists. But do the health claims made about the maqui berry, also known as the Chilean wineberry, stand up to closer scrutiny? Let's take a look at some of the most interesting science-supported health benefits of the maqui berry.

Lab Studies Rank the Maqui Berry as a Top Source of Antioxidants

Many common wild berries that grow in the northern hemisphere, such as the black elderberry or the wild blueberry (bilberry), are famous in the US and UK for their exceptionally strong antioxidant properties. But it's not only the forests in North America and Europe that produce antioxidant-rich superfoods – in fact, in recent years researchers have discovered that South American forests are teeming with a host of superberries that have even more antioxidant power than the wild berries that grow in the US and UK.
One such antioxidant gem is the maqui berry which grows wild in the rainforests in Chile and Argentina (other South American superberries include the acai berry and certain wild blueberry cultivars native to Latin America). In 2006, Chilean scientists published a compelling study in the Latin American Archives of Nutrition comparing the antioxidant power of fruits and vegetables grown in Chile. Using the FRAP (ferric reducing activity power) method, the scientists discovered that no other food in this study had as much in vitro antioxidant power. Here's an overview of the antioxidant power of some of the tested fruits and berries (expressed in mmoles Fe/100g):
  • Maqui berry (Aristotelia chilensis): 12.3
  • Blackberry (Rubus fruticosus): 3.5
  • Strawberry (Fragaria ananassa): 3.1
  • White mulberry(Morus alba): 1.7
  • European Raspberry (Rubus idaeus): 1.6
  • Black grape (Vitis vinifera): 1.3
  • Kiwi fruit (Actinidia Chinensis: 0.5
  • Lemon (Citrus limon: 0.3
  • White grape (Vitis vinifera): 0.2
Furthermore, a study published in the March 2008 issue of the journal Food Chemistry found that maqui extract also has antioxidant properties in vivo.
Research shows that anthocyanins are the dominating antioxidant compounds, both in whole maqui berries and maqui juice. According to a study published in the journal Phytochemical Analysis, fresh maqui berries contain on average 138 milligrams of anthocyanins per 100 grams, and dried maqui berries contain even more: a whopping 212 milligrams per 100 grams.
Antioxidant compounds, such as the anthocyanins found in fresh maqui berries and maqui powder made from the dried berries, help protect your body from the toxic effects of free radicals, unstable atoms that are generated by things like cigarette smoke and pollution. Free radicals can cause DNA damage that can lead to age-related diseases and health problems.

Eating Maqui Berries (or Drinking Maqui Juice) May Promote Cardiovascular Health

Numerous animal and human studies have demonstrated that antioxidants have beneficial effects on cardiovascular health (this is also why the best cardioprotective foods are usually high in antioxidants). A study published in the March 2008 issue of the journal Food Chemistry specifically investigated the cardioprotective effects of maqui in rats and found that maqui extract protected the test animals from heart damage.

Could Maqui Berries Offer Benefits for Diabetics?

Maqui berries have also been shown to exert anti-diabetic effects. Scientists from Rutgers University and North Carolina State University discovered that a standardized anthocyanin-rich formulation made from maqui berry improved fasting blood glucose levels and glucose tolerance in hyperglycemic, obese mice that were fed a high fat diet. A treatment with maqui anthocyanins was also found to increase both insulin mediated and non-insulin mediated glucose uptake in insulin-sensitive muscle cells.

Anti-Viral Effects

A study published in the November/December 1993 edition of the journal Phytotherapy Research found that maqui extract had significant in vitro activity against HSV-2, the herpes simplex virus type 2 (but not against HSV-1 which causes cold sores). HSV-2 infection, also known as genital herpes, is a common STD that affects an estimated 16% of Americans aged 14 to 49 years. However, at this point it is not known whether maqui berries have anti-viral effects against in HSV-2 in humans.

Where to Get Maqui Berries

If you live in the US or UK, you will likely have trouble finding fresh and frozen wild maqui berries in the stores. But don't worry, an increasing number of health food stores and online shops now carry maqui juice, dried whole maqui berries, and even maqui powder (a tiny spoonful of this highly concentrated powder can give your favorite smoothie a serious antioxidant kick). You can find a whole range of maqui products on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk.
1. Hector Araya L., Carolina Clavijo R. and Claudia Herrera (2006). Capacidad antioxidante de frutas y verduras cultivados en Chile. Archivos Latinoamericanos de Nutricion (Latin American Archives of Nutrition), 56(4), 361-365.
2. Carlos L. Cespedes, Mohammed El-Hafidi, Natalia Pavon, and Julio Alarcon (2008). Antioxidant and cardioprotective activities of phenolic extracts from fruits of Chilean blackberry Aristotelia chilensis (Elaeocarpaceae), Maqui. Food Chemistry, 107(2), 820-829.
2. Soledad Miranda-Rottmann et al (2002). Juice and Phenolic Fractions of the Berry Aristotelia chilensis Inhibit LDL Oxidation in Vitro and Protect Human Endothelial Cells against Oxidative Stress. J. Agric. Food Chem., 50(26), 7542-7547.
3. Maria Teresa Escribano-Bailon et al (2006). Anthocyanins in berries of Maqui [Aristotelia chilensis (Mol.) Stuntz]. Phytochemical Analysis, 17(1), 8-14.
4. Leonel E. Rojo et al (2012). In vitro and in vivo anti-diabetic effects of anthocyanins from Maqui Berry (Aristotelia chilensis). Food Chemistry, 131(2), 387-396.
5. P. Pacheco et al (1993). Antiviral activity of chilean medicinal plant extracts. Phytotherapy Research, 7(6), 415-418
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March 3, 2017

Maya Angelou- Phenomenal Woman

Phenomenal Woman - Poem by Maya Angelou

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I'm not cute or built to suit a fashion model's size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I'm telling lies.
I say,
It's in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It's the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can't touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them
They say they still can't see.
I say,
It's in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I'm a woman

Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

Now you understand
Just why my head's not bowed.
I don't shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It's in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need of my care,
'Cause I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me. 

February 23, 2017

Three natural ways to get rid of houseflies

If annoying houseflies are ruining your fun and you do not want to use toxic sprays around your home, here are some all-natural ideas for getting rid of them.
1. Apple cider vinegar

There are so many reasons to keep a bottle of apple cider vinegar handy in your home. Here is one more. Flies are attracted to the smell of apple cider vinegar. Therefore, you can create an easy and efficient flytrap with apple cider vinegar and a few drops of dish soap.
Place one-fourth cup of apple cider vinegar in a cup or jar. Add a few drops of liquid dish soap. Next, partially block the entrance to the cup with a piece of plastic wrap poked with several small holes.
Place the cup in an area you have a fly problem and leave it there for at least 24 hours. Create and place as many traps as needed.
Flies will be attracted to the smell of vinegar and enter the cup through the holes in the wrap. However, they will not be able to figure out a way to escape. The dish soap causes the surface tension to break, causing the flies to sink into the liquid and drown.
2. Cloves

Here is a mess-free remedy that can help throughout your home. Flies dislike the smell of cloves. To keep flies away, place small bowls of dried cloves in rooms throughout your home. Another option is to stick cloves into an apple as as a natural fly repellent.
Replenish the cloves when the scent fades.
3. Basil
Flies dislike the smell of basil and avoid areas where basil is present. Try placing some basil plants in sunny windowsills in your home. Place plants also near doorways and eating areas of your home.
To keep the scent of your plant strong, be sure to water it at its roots, and not on its leaves.

February 20, 2017

A phone call can help your heart

"I got this fascinating email from Dr. Gundry
An article on Dr. Gundry

"Pick up the phone and call a good friend or loved one. You choose who it is. But you’re not off the hook until someone picks up!

(And don’t worry, I’ll explain why you’re doing this in a moment.)

Now, when one of your friends picks up, say these words:

“Hi, I was thinking about you…”


“What are you doing right now?”


“You wanna grab some coffee?”

The point is… connect with them and start a real conversation. Why?

Because simply speaking with people you care about has a tremendous healing effect on your heart.

And I don’t just mean “heart” as in your feelings — though I mean that, too...

I mean “heart” as in the actual organ that pumps blood throughout your body and keeps you alive! You see...
A major study published in the Journal of Hypertension revealed something profound: Interacting often with your friends lowers your blood pressure!1
In this study, scientists took 224 female volunteers and examined the frequency of their social interactions alongside their blood pressure readings.

And the women who interacted more with their loved ones had consistently lower blood pressure. 2

Now, I suppose it comes as no surprise that staying connected with your loved ones is good for you...

But, in today’s hectic world, it’s easy to lose track of this. And studies like the one I just mentioned serve as important reminders. (I know they have for me!)

So, pick up that phone now, call someone you care about, reconnect, and give a much-needed boost to both of your hearts!

Looking out for you,

Steven Gundry, MD

P.S. You don’t have to tell me whom you called and what you talked about of course... but did it feel good to reconnect? Reply to this email and let me know.

P.P.S. Why are you still here? Call your friend or loved one before it gets dark out! ;)
1. Troxel WM, Buysse DJ, Hall M, et. al. Social integration, social contacts, and blood pressure dipping in African-Americans and whites. J Hypertens. February 2010; 28 (2): 265-71. DOI: 10.1097/HJH.0b013e328333ab01.
2. Id. at 265-71."

Video of Dr. Gundry on Weight Loss

February 17, 2017

Substituting oats for flour in baking

Oatmeal cookies are arguably one of the most favored flavors of cookies for both kids and adults. However, oats' contribution to baking does not stop at cookies. Oats add fiber, texture and a mild nutty flavor to baked goods.

Oats are low in fat, and are sodium free, cholesterol free and preservative free. When baking, you may substitute oats for up to one-third the amount of flour called for in the recipe using either Quick or Old Fashioned Oats.
Instant Oatmeal is cut too fine, and is not recommended for baking.

Making Oat Flour
Substitute oat flour, made from quick or rolled oats, in equal measure for whole wheat flour. Oats are a naturally gluten-free grain, but be aware that most oat crops are cross-contaminated and contain enough gluten to affect those with sensitive allergies. It is possible to purchase gluten-free oats – check the label to be sure.

To make your own oat flour, process rolled oats in a coffee grinder, food processor or food mill. Pulse until you have a grain-flecked powder. Whole-grain flours such as oat flour stay fresh longest when refrigerated.

Peanut Butter 
It is possible to make a peanut butter cookie without any flour at all by substituting rolled oats, because the peanut butter serves as a natural binding agent.

Gluten-free, no-flour peanut butter cookie recipes do not include flour or additional leavening, even though more than 1 cup of oats are used.

Blend rolled oats with eggs, peanut butter, sugar and baking soda to make a flourless baked cookie. Non-bake cookies can also be made with peanut butter and rolled oats, using no flour.

When making recipes that require baking powder, add 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder per cup of oat flour. If you are using buttermilk in your recipe, replace the buttermilk with 1/2 teaspoon baking soda for each cup of milk.

Other uses
Rolled oats can also be used in burgers and meatloaf much like soft breadcrumbs. They can provide a crispy coating for chicken and be served as a savory side dish.
Wiki How on making and using oats flour

Innovative uses of Castile Soap.

Centuries ago in the Castile region of Spain an all-vegetable-based soap was made. Plentiful, local olive-oil inspired the recipe and set it apart as a soap not made from animal-fat (tallow). With great versatility and natural cleaning power, this tried-and-true formula has become commonly known as Castile Soap.

J.R. Watkins Castile Liquid and Bar Soaps
There are a variety of ways to use castile soap. Here are seven:

1. Cleaning solution

By adding ¼ cup of castile soap to a quart of warm water, you can create your very own all-purpose cleaning solution. Make sure you mix it well. 
You also can add essential oils, like lemon or lavender, for specific cleaning purposes. Put this solution into a spray bottle for easy use.

2. Shampoo

You can use castile soap to make your own coconut milk shampoo. Mix 1/3 cup of castile soap with ¼ cup of coconut milk, a teaspoon of vitamin E and anywhere from 10 to 20 drops of your favorite essential oils for scent. This shampoo can be kept in the shower for up to a month, so don’t make large batches of it unless you are going to use it soon, as it won’t last long.

3. Fruit and vegetable wash

You can use castile soap to create a wash for the fruits and vegetables you Add ¼ teaspoon of castile soap to a large bowl of water, wash your produce by swishing it around in the solution for a couple minutes, and then rinse it very well under cold water.

4. Moisturizing hand wash
Castile soap is also a great ingredient to add to your homemade chemical-free hand wash. To make this, mix 2 tablespoons of castile soap, 1 teaspoon of fractionated coconut oil and 10 drops of your essential oil of choice.
5. Plant spray

Insects or fungus can be a nightmare for anyone who gardens and takes pride in their plants. Castile soap can be used to make an all-natural plant spray that doesn’t contain any chemicals or pesticides.

This spray is really easy to make, and is only made up of 2 teaspoons of neem oil, 1 teaspoon of castile soap and a bit of water. Put it in a spray bottle and you are ready to keep insects out of your plants and ensure your garden blooms beautifully.

6. Body wash

Castile soap mixed with a bit of coconut milk and vitamin E oil makes a fantastic and nourishing body wash that is safe for the entire family. To make this, mix ½ a cup of canned coconut milk, 2/3 cup of castile soap, 3 teaspoons of vitamin E oil, 5 drops of lavender essential oil and, optionally, 2 teaspoons of vegetable glycerin. It’s important to know that this mixture does not have a long shelf life. Since it’s made using canned coconut milk and it doesn’t have any preservatives in it, it is advised to keep it in the fridge and use it within a week of making it.

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