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“Everyone Knows Someone Who Needs This Information!” (TM)

Moving along as the year accelerates; Halloween blends into Diwali, Thanksgiving and all the end of the year holidays – Hannukah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, New Year’s.  This is when people are often ready to try new foods and recipes and want to look and feel their best. So, it’s a good impetus for change. Use it!

Last time, I shared the “Dirtiest Foods” according to Environmental Working Group, a famous ecology watch-dog. This week, I want to share the Best, Cleanest Foods for Americans. The EWG has that list ready, too. Obviously, it’s best to save your food dollars to buy Organic to avoid the dirty foods, and in many cases, it’s relatively “safe” to eat conventionally-grown foods in this cleanest group, as factory agriculture doesn’t use pesticides on these plants as much, or in some cases, even at all.

Just remember:  “S/He who takes medicine and neglects diet wastes the skill of his doctors.” (Chinese Proverb)

And, while we’re at it, I want to tell you about another important watch-dog group which I hope you will support: the Cornucopia Institute.

Here’s the Cornucopia Institute’s chart showing which formerly “truly organic” brands have been acquired by Big Business – many times totally compromising the organics of the product. http://www.cornucopia.org/wp-content/themes/Cornucopia/downloads/OrganicT30J09.pdf

More links to help you make knowledgeable food choices and purchases at: http://www.cornucopia.org/who-owns-organic/

This is important, especially if you have already been buying organic brands for a long time. These business acquisitions are not mainstream knowledge, and, for example, when Kellogg’s bought Kashi, few of realized that Kellogg’s started using 100% GMO (genetically-modified organisms) in the grains used in Kashi! That’s NOT what I was buying Kashi for!  Cornucopia Institute alerted me to that.

The EWG also publishes a list of the 15 fruits and vegetables that are fine to eat when conventionally-grown. This is because the edible portions are protected by sturdy husks, hulls, and rind. These are generally not grown with systemic pesticides (as strawberries are). Here are their current picks…

Here’s the EWG “The Clean 15” List, with my comments:

1. Onions – this vegetable family, which also includes leeks, spring onions (scallions), shallots, ramps and garlic are all very healthy, mostly due to their sulfur component. Sulfur is a vital mineral and is deeply involved in your biochemistry. These compounds are best found in fresh onions and fresh garlic, so try to keep some of your allium-family veggies in raw state in pickles, sandwiches, burgers, salsas, spreads, hummus, cold soups (like gazpacho) etc., Let fresh garlic cloves get minced and then sit for 5 minutes in the air to “activate” the important heart-healthy and anti-biotic components before combining it with other foods.

2. Corn – GMO corn is rampant in our society. This Genetically-Modified corn is to be avoided, period, regardless of how it was grown. As far as “regular” corn, it is still a poor food. It is also a very high-carb food, which is largely best avoided.

3. Pineapple – this fruit is rich in Bromelain, a compound which helps digestion and also helps with pain and inflammation issues. Fresh pineapple is completely different from canned. Please do not use cooked fruits! Not only is the goodness compromised in the cooking, but even alkaline fruits become acid pH when cooked. Health depends on alkalinity, so keep your fruits fresh.

4. Avocado – the heavy skin on avocado protects it from the usual environmental toxins, so buying “regular” ones is OK if that helps your budget. Be sure to include avocados as they have some of the healthiest fats on the planet. If you have a latex allergy, consult with your allergist as to whether avocados and bananas are appropriate as they contain a natural latex.

5. Asparagus – this veggie is a wonderful, natural diuretic, and is a very pH alkaline food. With its short growing season, most of us will be eating frozen asparagus (not canned — which has barely any food value and the can linings of all canned food are suspected as most are BPA). For fresh asparagus, just lightly-steam it or use in stir-fry. Include it as a side or make into a warm or cold salad combined, or not, with other veggies. It combines well with lemon. Do not be surprised if you void more in the bathroom and that you smell asparagus as you do.  This is also a good fiber source.

6. Sweet peas – this is a dense carbohydrate food, so it must be used in moderation. As peas have fiber, you can deduct those carbs from the total carb count. Peas can be eaten raw or steamed and are great in legume salads to provide color and a touch of natural sweetness. They go well with cheese in salads. If you are using the pea pod, then buy organic peas. Peas in their pod make could “dippers” and scoops for healthy bean, cheese or egg spreads. Pea shoots are another option and as with all sprouts, they are endlessly useful, especially in salads and sandwiches. Find the pea sprouts in good health stores or good Asian markets.

7. Mangoes – this is a fabulous fruit, with good fiber profile which helps to deduct from its total carb load. It is very sweet, naturally, so can be used in small amounts to substitute for less healthy sweetners in recipes. It has excellent enzymes, Vitamin A and if used in small amounts, then enjoy!

8. Eggplant – this is a very alkaline vegetable and is evidently less in need of pesticides in facory agriculture. I do not follow the usual instructions to “salt” eggplant to get the bitterness out. These slightly bitter compounds help to keep it alkaline pH. They do not taste bad! If you have rheumatoid arthritis, you probably should avoid all nightshade vegetables, at least for a while. Eggplant, tomatoes, chilis, bell peppers, potatoes (white, red, yellow)  and tomatillos are all nightshades. Eggplantis usually cooked, but it does not have to be fatty like most recipes tell you to do byfrying it. Try it as a dip like Baba Ghanouj, instead.

9. Cantaloupe – I don’t recommend cantaloupe at all. It’s skin is a mold source, even if microscopic. It is impossible to get off all the mold spores in that web of wrinkled skin! You cut the melon and bring the mold to the pieces you eat. Only eat smooth skinned melons. Wash them well, then skin them and eat ALONE with no other kinds of foods (even other fruits) for 20 minutes. They are SO alkaline that nothing else can be digested properly if eaten with them.

10. Kiwi – this little gem is an Omega-3 essential fatty acid source. It originally grows in the coldest part of China and it’s natural anti-freeze provides us Omega-3s, those wonderful sources of heart health also found in the fish from frigid waters, like salmon, cod, herring and more. It’s also a good Vitamin C source. Apart from tasting great, these always look pretty on a plate and are good for young children to eat, too.

11. Cabbage – cabbage is nutritious, but it is problematic if you have thyroid issues. Discuss this with your physician. For others, cabbage and its cousins have less interference because commercial growers cut-off so many of the most nutritious outer leaves. So, yes, commercial cabbage is relatively safe to eat, but I still buy organic cabbage, especially Savoy, to get those precious outer leaves. Even better: grow your own!

12. Watermelon – of all the melons, this is the most healing. It’s bright red color is indicative of even more nutrition than the deep yellows of other melons and even the seeds are nutritious (if broken free of their coat). Just make sure that the skins are washed well before you cut open the melon.But, I still buy organic watermelon (and you must if you are going to process the rind into pickles).

13. Sweet potatoes – these nutritional powerhouses are not potatoes, botanically. They are from a different family, so people with rheumatoid arthritis, who need to avoid the Nightshade vegetable family (includes regular potatoes), should be able to tolerate sweet potatoes. The key for diabetics to use sweet potatoes is to make sure that they are the sweetest thing in  the meal, without adding any extra sweetner. It’s just not needed. And, sweet potatoes can help other things taste sweet, along with stevia, as a safer way to add sweetness, rather than depending on dates, applesauce and other ploys. Stevia and tiny amounts of real, organic maple syrup are the best sweetners for diabetics. Agave, corn syrup, rice syrup, artificial sweetners and honey are not. Organic molasses is possible, in tiny amounts, but I find its flavor is not compatible with much. Yes, I used to recommend agave, but now I know better.

14. Grapefruit – this is one of my favorite fruits, especially Ruby Reds, but many people should not be eating grapefruit because of the medications they take. Confirm if this is an issue for you; ask your pharmacist. Grapefruit is a wonderful alkaline pH fruit, with plenty of Vitamin C and plant anti-osidants. Just remember, people with diabetes should NOT be using fruit juices. Use the whole fruit and be sure to get some of the surrounding white membrane, as that is where other nutrients, like rutin (which helps vascular system) are found. The same membrane qualities are found in other citrus.

15. Mushrooms – this is a problematic food for me as Dr. Robert O. Young, PhD – microbiologist whose pH view of disease and health is valid, I believe, says to avoid fungus. Asians, especially, have many healing mushrooms, so those are the ones I limit myself to. These include: shitake, maitake, reishi and others that a naturopathic or Traditional Chinese Medicine physician will recommend.

I sincerely hope that this list has been helpful. I truly hope that you will support the Cornucopia Institute with its important work. They are presently fighting on behalf of all of us to insure that Big Agribusiness does not water-down the meaning and processes behind the term “organic”. They represented all of us at the USDA National Organics Standards Board meetings recently. Hopefully they were able to prevail.

Please make Organics an integral part of your Health. You can’t spend your money more wisely. Target the foods that need that protection the most, and help your children avoid the chemically-laden food list at all costs. Also, eat in season. This not only helps you spend your food dollar wisely, but helps your body get the foods it expects, instinctively, and that it needs.

Best to all — Em

Please also read the 4 years of still current articles in my archive. See the tab on the upper navigation bar. The extra page links are at the bottom of the first page.

You can also sign-up for email alerts for when I post to this blog. I try for once a week. The form is on the upper right of the side-bar. Thanks.

(c)2011 Em at https://diabetesdietdialogue.wordpress.com

Please do not use my articles on junk blogs. I will prosecute you. The only use of my copyrighted article is 2 small paragraphs (with my website shown) without further permission, from me, in writing. Contact me at the About Me page on the upper navigation bar if you want to share more than 2 paragraphs. Thanks.

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“Everyone Knows Someone Who Needs This Information!” (TM)

Many people will expect this series to be about normal, prescription diabetes medications, but these do not treat the root causes. So, instead, the natural foods and herbs which send accurate messages of support and positive-change are preferable for diabetics to use, along with regular meds (if you and your doctor think this is best). I have always used the natural medicines at hand: food in good ratios and choices, movement, clean air, pure water and sunlight, alieviating stress by viewing Nature and other natural methods; all these are the tools of real Health.

I have been introducing you to 10 importqant herbs which can positively impact healing your diabetes: turmeric, garlic, peppermint, parsley, rosemary, chili pepper, cinnamon, ginger, basil and lavender. Turmeric is a member of the same botanical family as ginger is. Both are ant-inflammatories, and diabetes has an inflammatory component.

Dr, Mercola lauds turmeric and it is well-respected in the ancient health system of India, Ayurveda, humanity’s first formal system of medicine. You can buy turmeric on its own, but most of you will have had it when you use curry powder; it colors it naturally, and although it does not have the wonderful flavor of ginger, it’s neutral and is really a powerful food ally and healer.

In a recent email, Dr. Mercola said:

‘What makes turmeric so sought after and even revered by those who use it? Well, not only is turmeric a popular spice, but it has also become one of the most thoroughly studied nutrients for Health. Turmeric and its active compound curcumin affect more than 700 genes and 100 different pathways inside each of your cells. (Em: this is a potent example of epigenetics at work.)

What that means for you is this  is turmeric supports a normal immune response, healthy joints and bones, optimal digestion, blood and liver functions, and so much more. Liver health is critical for diabetics, as it is in the liver that the opposing hormone, which counters insulin excess, glycogen, is made and stored.

The turmeric rhizome also acts as an adaptogen – which is a substance which modifies your stress response – bringing it “down” if you are too anxious, and raising your response if you are lethargic or out-of-energy.

Turmeric is also a phenomenal antioxidant which helps your body defend against free radicals, providing support for your eyes, skin, and and all your cells. ‘

So, start investigating ways to add either curry powder or just turmeric to your recipes. Alone, turmeric doesn’t have a hot, spicy flavor (it can be bitter if using too much)(I’d say no more than 1 Tablespoon for a large soup-pot of food, at least until you know your tolerance for its flavor).  Also know that its rich color does stain! Curry powders do come in mild to hot. You can even start to make your own mix, as most Indian home-cooks do. It’s not hard!

If you suffer from GERD (Gastric Esophogeal Reflux Disease) or if you take Warfarin or Coumadin, ask your doctor about guidelines for amounts to use. If you are on anti-depressants, realize that turmeric does affect neuro-transmitters like serotonin and noradrenalin in positive ways, so you may not need as much medication with regular turmeric use; discuss this with your physician.

If you are just using normal food amounts, rather than curcumin supplements, the spice should be safe during pregnancy and probably is fine for the conditions just mentioned, too.

Just make sure that you start incorporating this wonderful food into your life.

Best to all — Em

REFERENCE:

For some healthy recipe ideas, see these at Eating Well.

Please also read the 4 years of still current articles in my archive. See the tab on the upper navigation bar.

You can also sign-up for email alerts for when I post to this blog. I try for once a week. The form is on the upper right of the side-bar. Thanks.

(c)2011 Em at https://diabetesdietdialogue.wordpress.com

Please do not use my articles on junk blogs. I will prosecute you. The only use of my copyrighted article is 2 small paragraphs (with my website shown) without further permission, from me, in writing. Contact me at the About Me page on the upper navigation bar if you want to share more than 2 paragraphs. Thanks.

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“Everyone Knows Someone Who Needs This Information!” (TM)

Continuing with the Culinary Herbs Useful to Diabetics series, here are some more recipes! Food IS Medicine, just as Hippocrates, the father of western medicine said. Indian Ayurveda – humanity’s oldest medical system, which birthed all the rest – uses food as medicine, too. Join a long lineage of healing with foods for diabetic treatment.

Here are 3 sweet potato recipes today. This food is a nutritional powerhouse and can fulfill important fiber requirements, as well as boosting Vitamin A nourishment critical for diabetes — by helping to support your eyes’ and skin’s Health with the vitamin’s building block: beta-carotene.

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MASHED SWEET POTATOES WITH LAVENDER AND LIME
from the Lavender Cookbook by Sharon Shipley

2 lbs organic sweet potatoes
1 stick organic, unsalted butter, melted (or equivalent of organic coconut oil)
1/4 C fresh lime juice
1/2 t crushed Certified Organic Jardin du Soleil Culinary Lavender*
Celtic or other sea salt and freshly ground pepper
minced fresh cilantro leaves (do not cut ahead of time)
grated zest of one lime
cayenne pepper, to taste — start with 1/8t and work upwards

This food may be made up to 2 days ahead and refrigerated. Then, rewarm it to serve. Sweet potatoes are an excellent alkaline pH food!

___   Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
___   Prick the sweet potatoes several times with a fork, and then place on a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake for 1 hour, or until very soft. Set them aside until cool enough to handle. Be careful, as they retain their heat.
___   Scoop the flesh right up to the skin’s border. Discard the skins.
___   Using a blender or food processor, pulse until a smooth mixture forms.
___   Stir in the butter, lime juice and lavender.
___   Next, season with salt, fresh pepper and cayenne pepper to taste.
___   Just at serving time, top with cilantro and lime zest, and serve. Do not cut the cilantro ahead of time, as it can impair the flavor.

*Lavender can be finely ground in a spice grinder, a mortar and pestle or in a thoroughly-cleaned coffee grinder (least recommended).

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EM’S SWEET POTATO HUMMUS SPREAD

Because sweet potatoes and coconut are excellent pH alkaline foods, I added, the following to offset the acidic pH of the beans:

___   steamed sweet potatoes (about 2 cups, cubed small) to 1 tub of Trader Joe’s Roasted Red Pepper Hummus (10 oz. size)

___    add a dash of Coconut Secret’s Coconut Aminos (from Whole Foods or coconutsecret.com)

___   Spread it on NO Thiamin Mononitrate crackers or breads! Check the labels, as this synthetic B vitamin flour additive is harmful. Natural, whole-grain breads from health stores are less likely to have it at all.

For those who do not have a Trader Joe’s nearby, the ingredients listed are: 

___   ground chickpeas (you can use healthier cooked black-eye peas or dal)

___   tahini (sesame seed paste) – from health stores or Mid-East markets

___   fresh puree of organic red bell pepper or bottled pimento

___   (canola) oil – use extra-virgin olive oil instead

___   sea salt, lemon juice, garlic powder

If you make this at home, using a standard recipe like the one below, then you will not have the stabilizers in commercial hummus, either (which I did not show here), and you will be making a better pH alkaline food.

This would be great in children’s school lunches! And, it’s a perfect after school snack, too, as well as hors d’ouvre.

Home-made can always be healthier with the right recipe. Next time, I’ll make mine, but in a pinch, combining better ingredients into the Trader Joe’s product made it healthier.

Original recipe

SWEET POTATO HUMMUS
From Jaclyn Enchin ~ http://www.sketch-freeveganeating.blogspot.com

Makes 6 servings

1 medium sweet potato, cooked
1 C  cooked chickpeas
2 T tahini (unsweetened sesame seed paste)
1 T  olive oil
1 T   lemon juice
2-3 t  coconut aminos (a protein source, salty-perky taste)
1 sm  garlic clove, fresh
1 t   cumin
1/2 t  cinnamon
1 t  coriander, fresh
Pinch of sea salt
black pepper, to taste
diced or sliced organic almonds, for topping

Combine all above ingredients into a food processor and blend until smooth.

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MAKING THE PERFECT OMELET

Eggs are nutritious for diabetics, but there are some guidelines to have them be the healthiest.

Firstly, they should be organic, vegetarian fed, free-range animals producing the eggs. Next, the eggs should never be whisked together as breaking the yolks exposes them to oxygen which is when the oxidized yolks become unhealthy, engendering heart disease.

Unbroken yolks have natural balancers (lecithin +) and are heart-healthy.

So, only cook intact eggs – either boiling, coddling, poaching (my favorite) or making the unique omelet technique I explain below but separating the eggs first.

In my method, the egg whites are beaten as directed. The unbroken egg yolks are added later as filling. Add the diabetic herbs at the same time as the yolks — desired savory combinations of turmeric (which will help color the eggs to the usual more yellow look; garlic, fresh onion (minced small), rosemary (ground fine),  cayenne pepper, fresh basil, parsley, ginger. For a sweet-oriented omelet, use diabetic-friendly lavender (grind finely), ginger or cinnamon. Disperse the herbs well over the entire surface.

America’s Test Kitchen explains why this recipe works:

“In contrast to half-moon diner-style omelets, the French omelet is a pristine rolled affair.”  Critically, the temperature of the pan must be just right, the eggs beaten just so (NO, as explained above — I adapt this part!), and hand movements must be swift. This usually intimidates home cooks, but it need not.

In their experiments, America’s Test Kitchen (ATK) (a PBS TV show) ditched the stuffy attitude and came up with a foolproof method for making the ideal French omelet — unblemished outer surface with an ultra-creamy texture, rolled around minimal filling (the diabetic herbs are perfect, along with some cheese, or not).

The classic French method requires a black carbon steel omelet pan and a fork. A nonstick skillet worked fine here (but I am NOT a fan of these pans which always must be used a medium or lower heat ranges).

Instead of a fork, which will scrape nonstick pans (also hazardous to ingest the coating), ATK used bamboo skewers and wooden chopsticks which made small curds with a silky texture. They tested various pans and the Kitchenaaid non-stick at about $20 was fine, if pre-warmed as directed. The Julia Child and Calaphon pans were expensive and excellent.

Adding a little oil, and then preheating the pan for 10 minutes over low heat eliminated any hot spots. For creaminess, very cold butter was added just after the egg (whites) were in the pan. The cold butter dispersed evenly and fused with the eggs for a moist, rich omelet.

To keep the omelet light, ATK found the perfect number of strokes — and, as it’s the egg whites which hold the “loftiness”, my changes should not affect this much, if at all. They used precisely 80 strokes with a classic metal hand-whisk, not one stroke less or more. Be exact here! Copper bowls also help to add lightness to egg whites, so I suggest a copper bowl for my version technique, if you have one. Make sure to keep a copper utensil well-cleaned, as the copper-oxide coating is not healthy.

Excessive beating physically unravels egg proteins, leading to denseness!

For cooking temperature, they tried different heat levels, but even at medium heat, the omelet cooked so quickly it was hard to judge when it was done.  Therefore, turn off the heat when it is still runny (add the egg yolks and herbs) and cover it to finish cooking!

Finally, for an easy rolling method, which mirrors a classic French presentation, slide the newly-cooked omelet onto paper towel. Then, use the towel to start to roll the omelet into the sought-after cigar-shape cylinder.

Because making omelets is such a quick process, make sure to have all your ingredients and equipment at the ready — this is called “mise en place”.

If you don’t have skewers or chopsticks to stir the egg whites, then use the handle of a wooden spoon.

Warm the plates in a 200-degree oven. Serve on the warmed plates.

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Best to all — Em

REFERENCE:
Diabetes Recipes – Lavender
Diabetes – Herbs that Help — Lavender
Diabetes Recipes – Herb List
Diabetes Medicine Alert
Diabetic Concerns – marjoram and nutmeg
Diabetes – Low Thyroid Connection
Thyroid Connections to Diabetes
Herbal Help Diabetic GI Problems

Diabetics and Essential Fatty Acid Omega-3

Please also read the 4 years of still current articles in my archive. See the tab on the upper navigation bar. The extra page links are at the bottom of the first page.

You can also sign-up for email alerts for when I post to this blog. I try for once a week. The form is on the upper right of the side-bar. Thanks.

(c)2011 Em at https://diabetesdietdialogue.wordpress.com

Please do not use my articles on junk blogs. I will prosecute you. The only use of my copyrighted article is 2 small paragraphs (with my website address shown) without further permission, from me, in writing. Contact me at the About Me page on the upper navigation bar if you want to share more than 2 paragraphs. Thanks.

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“Everyone Knows Someone Who Needs This Information!” (TM)

Here’s some of the advice that Hippocrates would give for at least a partial prescription for treating diabetes, as he always said “Let food be thy Medicine!”, and these foods are particularly useful for diabetics.

Lavender helps alleviate stress for diabetics.   Lavender

 

 

 

Registered dieticians Patricia Partain, RD and Jamie McDermott, RD list 10 herbs and spices below as some of the healthiest to incorporate into your diet, and many of these are especially helpful for diabetics.

Turmeric

Health benefits: The active ingredient is curcumin. It’s found in most curry mixes (it’s what makes them look so yellow). Turmeric is a calming spice and aids digestion. A 2006 study at Johns Hopkins University suggested that curcumin may also be helpful in reducing colon cancer.

How to use it: Add to curry mixes when making your own, otherwise, use a pre-made mix (check it’s in there on the label). You can also buy it as a single spice (when it is not a hot spice).

Mix it into any curry recipe, soup, or use with scrambled tofu or eggs.  You can also stir it into the water being used for quinoa, rice or couscous – and it will color them yellow as well as be more healthy.

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Garlic

Many people have learned about the amazing “stinking rose’s” health benefits: possibly lowering blood sugar and cholesterol, being a natural anti-viral and more. Holistic physicians use it to prevent onset of heart disease.

How to use it: It is most beneficial when it is raw. You must use it immediately after chopping or mashing withing 10 minutes or coat it in olive oil to give yourself a bit more time. Use in savory smoothies, dips, salad dressings, compound butters and spreads.

People suggest cooking it, but that does compromise it.

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Peppermint

Many diabetics have digestive issues as your overworked pancreas may not be supplying enough alkaline buffers needed for complete digestion.

Mint’s health benefits include:  relieving indigestion and nausea, as well as symptoms from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).  But Partain and McDermott say peppermint is not recomm-ended for people with acid-reflux disease.

Peppermint also has some energy stimulation components.

How to use it:  Most people use Peppermint as herbal tea by steeping it in hot water for a few minutes.

For a summer drink: crush the mint along with some lemon juice as a base for lemonade. Then to sweeten, add diabetic-friendly Truvia or other stevia powder to taste. If you crush or shave the ice, it becomes a cooling granita.

Mint can be used as an edible garnish, mixed in with lamb, added to feta cheese, salt and pepper to use as a dip or spread and more!

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Parsley

This herb is a cleanser. It helps to clean the GI tract and thereby “sweeten” breath. But, it is much more!

Health benefits: Parsley is high in potassium – a critical mineral which can help control high blood pressure and fluid retention. It is also high in vitamins K, C and A (which helps to keep skin healthy — which is also vital for diabetics).

How to use it: Add to basil pesto or tabouli.  You can even make a completely parsley pesto! Sprinkle it over potatoes, quinoa or brown rice. Add to fresh tomato sauces and finely chop into dressings. Use in savory smoothies. Juice it! Make a Mediterranean-style salad with lemon juice, tomatoes, chopped fresh onions and feta cheese. Add it to soup just as you take it off the burner, as long as it is minced (be sure to use the stems, too). Mix into meatloaf or hamburgers (this is a good place to use finely-minced stems as these dishes cook longer).

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Rosemary

This is an herb used in classic European cuisines, as the Simon & Garfunkle song implies “Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme”.

Health benefits:  rosemary may reduce potentially carcinogenic HCA levels when mixed with meat before cooking — HCAs are produced during barbequing, especially.

This herb has also been used to cure indigestion.

But, be aware that it can act as a natural diuretic (as can lemons), so keep your fluid levels up by drinking at least 64 ozs. of pure water a day (unless you have kidney disease — in which case, follow your urologist’s recommendation). If you are taking diuretics, you need to make sure that all your liquid intake is water. Other “liquids” will dehydrate you, in varying amounts..

How to use it:  rub rosemary extract or ground rosemary over meat before grilling (it goes particularly well with lamb). Sprinkle this herb over potatoes before roasting. Add it the water when poaching salmon. Bake it into breads (along with some garlic and black, Greek olives). Add rosemary to tomato sauce as you heat it, but be sure you have ground the leaves in a mortar and pestle, as the leaves don’t soften in cooking, easily, whether fresh or dried versions.

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Chili Pepper

Chilis, especially the smallest Asian ones, along with jalapenos, are very good sources of anti-oxidants, and are  nerve pain relievers (usually as a pharmaceutical cream — not as food).

Health benefits:  the component called capsaicin is an anti-inflammatory. This can also temporarily increase heat production in the body, so it helps cool you in hot weather and helps burn more calories for revved-up metabolism and weight-loss. Capsaicin has also been used to help with circulatory problems, which is an issue that many sedentary diabetics have.

However, if you have a sensitive stomach and colon already, use this with great care. Maybe start with small amounts of dried chili powder or a Japanese 7-spice powder, instead of any of the hot, fresh chili peppers.

I would not give this to most children. For diabetic kids, use alternatives.

How to use it: Mix tiny amounts of chilis into mashed potatoes or eggs. Stir it into softened butter, along with a tiny bit of lime, then spread on corn on the cob. Stir a tiny bit in to make Mexican hot chocolate.

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Cinnamon

The word has been out for quite a while about cinnamon’s ability to help diabetics, but actually quite a bit is needed, more than people think. Plus, some things labeled as “cinnamon” are actually “cassia” which is not helpful for this purpose.

Health benefits: real cinnamon has an anti-inflammatory effect and it can lower blood sugar. Cinnamon can also have an anti-cancer effect.

There has been some indication that cinnamon can increase metabolism, but exercise and diet are what’s really needed to make the difference.

How to use it: as a sweeter spice, people are more willing to use it. So, sprinkle cinnamon on oatmeal, sweet potatoes and into applesauce. Even though you can, I don’t recommend eating cookies and pies, but if you do, then be sure to add cinnamon!. Use it to spice meatballs and in drinks when they will be well-mixed.

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Ginger

Ginger is in the same botanical family as Turmeric, so it has many of the same properties. The main one, apart from fabulous flavor (fresh or dried) is that it is a well regarded anti-inflammatory, so it helps to lessen pain, especially for those with osetoarthritis.

Health benefits: Ginger helps to alleviate nausea and vomiting, and is very useful for children on car trips or for sea-sickness!

It also helps nausea when related to pregnancy.

For the rest of us, ginger is good for digestion.

How to use it: Grate it and add to broths or to stir-fry dishes. If you steep ginger in hot water and add lemon and honey this will make a soothing digestive tea. Bake gingersnaps or gingerbread as a way for diabetic kids to enjoy this spice as long as you use a diabetic-friendly natural sweetener like a tiny bit of organic maple syrup or stevia. Personally, I like undyed sushi ginger to chop-up into dressings, smoothies, popsicles and more.

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Basil

Basil is a cousin of mint. Most people only think of it in terms of pesto — an Italian sauce for pasta, but Basil is quite versatile. Thai food uses it to good advantage and the Holy Basil of India is used in Tulsi — an important herbal tea.

Health benefits: Like mint, basil also freshens breath. It is also an anti-inflammatory, and it has an alkaline pH. Basil is a  good source of magnesium and vitamin A — both of which are needed in potent doses for diabetics.

How to use it: of course, we’ll mention pesto sauce, and you can pair fresh leaves with tomatoes and mozzarella in a Caprese salad (which I personally find hard-to-eat and suggest you dice everything up and eat it on a plate instead of how it’s usually presented). Finely mince and immediately sprinkle over fish just after cooking. Add it to lemonade. Make holy basil into Tulsi tea or buy the tea directly (at Whole Foods).

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Lavender

Ah, this is another French secret! They will have the best lavender recipes, and lavender honey is incredible (use just tiny amounts, but you don’t need much as it has wonderful flavor!).

Diabetes is very stressful on your body and psyche, so lavender can be very beneficial to help bring calmness, allowing your body to rest and also have a better chance to rejuvenate.

Health benefits: Lavender is very calming and can aid with sleep.

How to use it: The flowers can be used in a tea (for sleeping, add a few lavender buds into chamomille tea — unless you are sensitive to daisies or other aster flowers. Otherwise, just brew a purely lavender tea.).  Lavender can be baked into cookies – with stevia as sweetener.

In the famed herb mix, Herbes de Provence, is a mix of fennel, basil, thyme and lavender which is used with meat, fish, quinoa or brown rice.

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Fresh herbs may seem expensive, but they are not when you think of the benefits they bring — and with less liklihood of side-effects. They are also easy to grown in your garden, or on a patio or balcony or on a windowsill in winter. You can always benefit from many of these listed above, all year, for reasonable cost. See the Titles Archive tab above for my excellent posts on container and indoor gardening!

Enjoy these useful herbs and see if your Health also improves as you incorporate them daily.

Best to all — Em

REFERENCE:

Sources: Patricia Partain, RD; Jamie McDermott, RD; University of Maryland Medical Center; American Cancer Society; whfoods.com; Prevention Magazine; Memorial Sloan Kettering; Food Network.
(c)2011 Chatanooga Times http://www.timesfreepress.com

Please also read the 4 years of still current articles in my archive. See the tab on the upper navigation bar. The extra page links are at the bottom of the first page.

You can also sign-up for email alerts for when I post to this blog. I try for once a week. The form is on the upper right of the side-bar. Thanks.

(c)2011 Em at https://diabetesdietdialogue.wordpress.com

Please do not use my articles on junk blogs. I will prosecute you. The only use of my copyrighted article is 2 small paragraphs (with my website shown) without further permission, from me, in writing. Contact me at the About Me page on the upper navigation bar if you want to share more than 2 paragraphs. Thanks.

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“Everyone Knows Someone Who Needs This Information!” (TM)

I want to revisit low thyroid, as it is a possible source of an incomplete or inaccurate diagnosis for diabetes! Yes, you read that right. Let’s learn more from Dr. Robert Rowen, MD and from Dr. David Brownstein, MD. The first article is here: Diabetes and Thyroid Connection

Dr. Rowen asks in a recent email:

Is your diabetes really hypothyroidism?

If you have hard-to-treat Type 2 diabetes, your problem might not be insulin and your pancreas, but rather, it could be your thyroid!

Research scientists know that both humans and animals exposed to cold temperatures get high blood pressure. Next, they wondered if diabetic mice exposed to cold would get the problem even faster than normal mice.

They placed diabetic and control mice in a constant 41 degrees F environment. The normal mice survived, while the diabetic mice died (in just two hours)!

The team surmised that the diabetic animals died because they couldn’t maintain their body heat — which is regulated by their thyroid gland.

In good scientific fashion, the researchers decided to take it to the next step. They wondered if giving the diabetic animals thyroid hormone might help them withstand the cold.

So, they administered thyroid hormone to the diabetic mice. Those mice increased their body temperature AND even more interestingly, they also had a significant drop in their blood sugar within two hours (and a 50% blood-sugar decrease within four hours)!

The researchers then looked at blood sugar levels at the start of the study, and in the diabetic animals, they found the level had been five times normal! They found that the thyroid levels in these animals were also low.

Diabetes affects at least 150 million people worldwide, and that’s an understatement, as many people do NOT know they are diabetic.

In Oklahoma, where this research was conducted, there are over 268,500 cases of human diabetes. Most of these people, at any age, are obese or overweight;  most can cure it with a proper diet and moderate exercise, alone.

However, Dr. Rowen says that in his practice, he has  seen a number of people resistant to a simple dietary fix. And, there is also a group of adult diabetics who are thin. Yes, you can be thin and be hypothyroid (low thyroid). You can also be heavy, with low thyroid as a contributing factor to that overweight condition — often ascribed to your “diabetes”.

If you have Type 2 diabetes, at any age, then get your doctor to check your thyroid level by blood tests, to include a “free T3, free T4 and TSH” (and Dr. Brownstein insists on these and a few more lab tests: reverse T3, antithyroglobulin and antimicrosomal antibodies … and I think and knowing your Iodine level would be useful). Do not allow your doctor to just order a TSH test (it’s notoriously inaccurate).

However, Dr. Rowen uses the tests and learns a lot because he also compares the results to his patient’s basal body temperature. What’s that?

It’s the important lab test you take yourself as Dr. Broda Barnes, MD, famous endocrinologist in the early 20th century, described.

Dr. Rowen and Dr. Brownstein both ask you to check your “under the tongue” temperature the moment you open your eyes in the morning, three days in a row (several days away from your menstrual period, for women).

You have to have a Basal Thermometer (a special one from the pharmacy — with a numbering scale that let’s you see the tiniest changes in the temperature range that you need to understand).

Shake the mercury down the night before. Have a clock where you register the time. Open your eyes and reach for the thermometer and look at the clock. Do not move, except to breathe, until the 2 or 3 minutes are up.

Your morning, without movement, “basal temperature” should be at least 97.8F. If it’s not, see your integrative physician immediately!

What’s likely needed then? A prescription for T3 (as used in this study) might help your low thyroid and diabetes all in one go. Do NOT let any physician put you on synthetic thyroid preparations! Read more on that next time.

Meanwhile, Dr. Brownstein, MD alerts us to the facts that:
“Your body is composed of 70-80% water, and your brain is closer to 85% water!”

And, thyroid problems, like all illnesses, cannot be solved without getting sufficient water in your diet.

So, here’s how to know if you’re drinking enough water:

Do you have any of these signs of dehydration?

Fatigue
Dry tongue
Coated tongue
Vertical ridges on your nails
Dry skin
Poor skin elasticity

Even if you don’t notice any of these signs, Dr. Brownstein says you could still be water-deficient. It’s extremely common, especially in those with thyroid issues, and maybe that helps to account for that famous “diabetic” thirst!

Here’s an important formula for your recommended water intake:

Take your weight (in pounds) and divide in half.
That amount (in fluid ounces) is your recommended water intake.
That number divided by 8 equals the number of 8 ounce-sized glasses of water you should drink per day.

This process probably works for metric, too, but confirm this with your physician.

I recommend getting a big water bottle and loading it up in the morning. Then, carry it with you, while sipping on it through the day. That’s what I do.

Also, Dr. Brownstein addresses tips to prevent water loss that could lead to dehydration. All liquids are not equal. Only water counts to hydrate you, the rest dehydraye your tissues, in varying degrees. He says:

___   “Don’t overload on caffeine”  . . . (I say, try not to use caffeine, except for 2 cups of green tea a day)
___   “Don’t drink a lot of soda”  . . . (I say, don’t drink any! It’s VERY pH acidic.)
___   “Take it easy on the alcoholic beverages”  . . . ( I say “Why use them?” They are Carbs and do affect your blood-sugar levels, rob you of minerals and vitamins and stress your liver.) Get the “goodness” of wine by eating red organic grapes, instead!

Dr. Brownstein and I recommend that you use a water filter that removes fluoride and chlorine as well as bacteria and parasites. Tap water and bottled water (in plastic bottles) contain chemicals potentially harmful to your thyroid.

Now, I have yet to find a water filter which states that it removes fluoride! So, as my city stupidly voted to fluoridate the water, before I arrived, I go to markets in nearby suburbs which do NOT fluoridate their water and get state-of-the-art commercially-filtered water OR I buy spring water — and decant it into a porcelain crock, immediately.

You need to do all these steps to get baseline information on your health AND to stop the slide on a slippery-slope from these various beverages. More next week.

Best to all — Em

Please also read the 4 years of still current articles in my archive. See the tab on the upper navigation bar. The extra page links are at the bottom of the first page.

You can also sign-up for email alerts for when I post to this blog. I try for once a week. The form is on the upper right of the side-bar. Thanks.

(c)2011 Em at https://diabetesdietdialogue.wordpress.com

Please do not use my articles on junk blogs. I will prosecute you. The only use of my copyrighted article is 2 small paragraphs (with my website shown) without further permission, from me, in writing. Contact me at the About Me page on the upper navigation bar if you want to share more than 2 paragraphs. Thanks.

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“Everyone Knows Someone Who Needs This Information!” (TM)

Still trying to catch-up after my California trip! Dr. David Brownstein, MD – a long-time holistic physician from Michigan –  sounds the alarm bell and we all need to listen! It’s about how your thyroid’s health is connected to diabetic health, heart health, brain health and more!

First thing — watch Dr. Brownstein’s video at: Dr. Brownstein Explains Low Thyroid and there’s an important FREE OFFER, too. You only pay only $5.95 for shipping and get a DVD and 2 books and 2 editions of his newsletter (I think)! Great help for a fabulous price.

And then read another 2 of his newsletters at the following links!
Diabetics and Low Thyroid – 59 Diseases  — and many of these diseases are: 1) life-threatening and 2) avoidable when you know how.

I’ve discussed the importance of the 2 forms of the mineral Iodine many times — now, Dr. Brownstein connects all the dots and shows you what happens when you are malnourished by lack of Iodine, as most people are in the world, now — either due to poor soils, poor food access or poor food choices. Read  Diabetics and Iodine – A Critical Nutrient.

I found all this information very clear and have taken the free offer myself. I try to keep up with thyroid issues as I think it is a multi-generational problem in part of my family. Even I learned new things from Dr. Brownstein and I expect the 2 books will be worthwhile, too.

Do make sure that you learn all you can about hypothyroidism as low thyroid can be causing or contributing to your diabetes!

While you are waiting for more of his information:

___    start eating sea vegetables and edible seaweeds – they are Nature’s blood-thinners and are a great alkaline source of unpolluted Iodine. (If you are on blood-thinners, consult your physician. You can still eat these, but the dose of meds may need to be adjusted.).

___   You can make sure that you erase man-made foods with nitrates, as nitrates wreck our thyroid!

For example – breads are “fortified” with the synthetic B vitamin Thiamine Mononitrate (make sure your flours, pastas, dry cereals and doughs [and vitamin pills] do not have it! Use natural whole grains, instead.)  Do not use processed meats, sausages, bacon which have nitrates added. Check labels on other processed foods.

___   Iodized salt is NOT a good Iodine source! (Dr. Brownstein explains why it is not). Instead, use a complete, whole sea-salt like Celtic Salt from Brittany, France  OR Eden-brand Sea Salt.

___   Avoid most baked goods, dry cereals, pasta and pizza doughs which are literally killing you, for a second reason. Because of a changed-process in industrial baking made in the 1970s, Bromine was added instead of the long-used Iodine.  Business hasn’t changed even though the problems with Bromine came to light a long time ago.  Sodas also contain a form of this killer, Bromine.

More when I can!

Best to all – Em

Please also read the 4 years of still current articles in my archive. See the tab on the upper navigation bar. The extra page links are at the bottom of the first page.

You can also sign-up for email alerts for when I post to this blog. I try for once a week. The form is on the upper right of the side-bar. Thanks.

(c)2011 Em at https://diabetesdietdialogue.wordpress.com

Please do not use my articles on junk blogs. I will prosecute you. The only use of my copyrighted article is 2 small paragraphs (with my website shown) without further permission, from me, in writing. Contact me at the About Me page on the upper navigation bar if you want to share more than 2 paragraphs. Thanks.

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“Everyone Knows Someone Who Needs This Information!” (TM)

No matter what people think, there’s not been enough medical testing of drugs that enter into the marketplace, especially recently, and much of the testing has been either paid for or conducted by the drug companies themselves. Then, it’s been “rubber-stamped” by the FDA (Federal Drug Administration – America’s federal governmental  ‘health watch-dog’ agency). That’s why there has been an increasing number of reported problems with various drugs, for various conditions, from various companies. Universities and other government agencies and even health workers are now investigating and revealing more problems.

Health reporter, Alice Wessendorf, mentions the following alert:

You may “… be the victim of a commonly prescribed drug combination that’s now been found to cause blood-sugar spikes. And getting in this drug-side-effect crossfire is not as unlikely as you may think, since experts estimate that anywhere between 500,000 and 1 million people in the United States alone are on the two-drug combo.

It was Stanford University researchers who accidentally made the shocking discovery when they were poring over the data from the FDA’s adverse-event-reporting database (AERS). And they were concurrently combining that data-search with the electronic medical records from 3 medical institutions.

Unexpectedly, the Stanford group found  a significant number of patients who were on the common antidepressant Paxil along with the common cholesterol-lowering drug Pravachol had unexpected, unexplained spikes in their blood-glucose levels.

And the really frightening part is that patients very well may not have even known it because there was not a single report of the unusual levels was found in the AERS database!

It wasn’t until the researchers bumped the AERS data up against the electronic medical records that the relationship reared its ugly head, and it highlights the problem that this information, as it comes in, needs to be investigated, not just “archived”.

The archived data showed that 135 nondiabetic patients on the dangerous drug combo had an average increase in their blood-glucose levels of 19 mg/dl. Disturbingly, that’s more than enough of a jump to push a nondiabetic person right on over into the diabetes zone.  So, arguably, there are people “diagnosed” as diabetic, who aren’t really; they’re sympromatic because of this medicine combination.

And now, what about the real diabetics, already-diagnosed-ahead-of-combo use? What about anyone for whom maintaining blood-sugar control is critical? The Stanford researchers were able to identify 104 of them, too, on the two drugs who had on average a shocking spike of 48 mg/dl!

Just to be sure of the ‘drug connection to blood sugar spikes’,  they tested the drugs individually and then in combination on prediabetic lab mice. The Stanford group saw a dramatic spike in the sugar levels of the mice that were given both Paxil and Pravachol together—from around 128 mg/dl to a staggering 193 mg/dl.

If you happen to be on these two drugs —  especially if you’re diabetic, then run —don’t walk — to your doctor’s office and ask him about getting off them ASAP (now)!

You know I always favor the most natural approach (as does Alice) and she suggests your physician consider  alternatives like vitamin D, fish oil and exercise to ameliorate these conditions instead of the aforementioned drugs or to lessen the dose needed of the drugs.

It’s not as if these drugs have been shown to be all that helpful any way.  One of the drugs has already been revealed to likely be no better than a sugar pill and to possibly cause thickening of the arteries and the other one to most likely be unnecessary.  Your goal should be to get off them regardless of their effects on your blood-sugar level. Discuss how with your physician.

Lots of Food for Thought here. Make sure you act if you are taking this drug combo. You may even find out you’re not diabetic after all.

Best to all — Em

Please also read the 4 years of still current articles in my archive. See the tab on the upper navigation bar. The extra page links are at the bottom of the first page.

You can also sign-up for email alerts for when I post to this blog. I try for once a week. The form is on the upper right of the side-bar. Thanks.

(c)2011 Em at https://diabetesdietdialogue.wordpress.com

Please do not use my articles on junk blogs. I will prosecute you. The only use of my copyrighted article is 2 small paragraphs (with my website shown) without further permission, from me, in writing. Contact me at the About Me page on the upper navigation bar if you want to share more than 2 paragraphs. Thanks.

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