5 Best Immune Boosters for Kids

Boost their immune system and avoid the back to school bugs.

I can’t believe the Summer is almost gone! We had a blast visiting Hershey Park in PA and Scarborough Beach here in RI. The time flew by and now the kids are back to school. And all I can think about is how much the schools are a breeding ground for colds and other sicknesses. Time to start boosting their immune systems before they bring that crap home!

Best Immune Boosters for Kids

Wanna prevent or lessen the duration of sicknesses? Then check out this list of my favorite immune boosters for people of all ages.

Vitamin C from Real Food

Picture of Catie's Vitamin C Plus and Pure Radiance C supplements on a background of fresh berries.Vitamin C has been touted as a great immune booster and antioxidant for decades. But, not all vitamin C is created equal. Created is the key word there because lab synthesized vitamin C lacks the cofactors that help our bodies absorb and use it. Much of it just goes right through us without being absorbed. Yes, it is cheaper, but you literally might as well throw your money right into the toilet. You might ask “What about  Emergen C? That is supposed to be like a billion mg per serving. Won’t that help?” It has to have so much because so much just goes right through you. Yes, it does help some people, but it may also be doing harm. A friend of mine ended up with kidney stones because her body was taxed with flushing all the excess synthetic C from her system. Her very young children had colds and she was trying to be proactive and started taking 5000mg of synthetic vitamin C daily (Emergen-C) to stave it off. After a couple weeks of this, she was in terrible pain from trying to pass the stones. Her PCP said it was from her body eliminating all the unabsorbed synthetic C. The cold would have been preferable!

So, here at Nourishing World, we sell only vitamin C supplements from whole food and real food sources – the kind your body can absorb properly and effectively. My personal favorite is the Catie’s Vitamin C Plus. This is a powdered supplement that can be added to drinks or smoothies, yogurt, apple sauce or any super moist food. It cannot be cooked, so don’t add it to hot foods or drinks. It tastes like fruit punch, so you can mix it into your kids water bottles for school to keep their immunity high all day. If they don’t like the taste of this one, my next favorite is Pure Synergy Vitamin C. This is a super concentrated real food vitamin C supplement. The serving size is just 1/4 tsp or one capsule. Again the powder can be added to many foods. I take vitamin C every day not just for it’s immune boosting effects, but also because it is vital to helping our body absorb proteins. And, our bodies cannot produce vitamin C, no matter what we eat. We have to get it from outside sources, so if you don’t think you eat much vitamin C in a day, then a high quality vitamin C supplement is very important for you.

Medicinal Grade Manuka Honey

A picture of 100% Raw Wedderspoon Manuka Honey on a background of bees in honeycomb.While regular honey has some immune boosting properties, medicinal grade Manuka honey kicks it up a few notches. This is super easy to get children to take because it is sweet and tasty. It can be mixed into warm liquids (under 96° F), spread on crackers or bread, or mixed with your favorite nut butter. Again, avoid mixing it with hot foods or drinks. It is a fantastic supplement to have on hand for immune boosting and so much more. It is also great for the digestive tract and is a fantastic natural anti-inflammatory. And, Manuka honey is antibacterial and antimicrobial, so it is great to use on wounds and burns. I used a combination of this and emu oil on my stitches and resulting wounds after my ACL/MCL knee surgery. Both my doctor and physical therapist were amazed at how well I healed. And two years later I have only very faint scars.

Our favorite brand is Wedderspoon Manuka Honey because it is raw. Therefore it contains all the beneficial enzymes that many other brands cook out. You can read more about this fantastic supplement here. When my daughter has a mild cold, I send her to school with a couple of the Honey On The Go packets to take while at school to help keep her body fighting that cold all day

Superfood Antioxidant Acai

A picture of Perfect Acai powder on a background of acai berries in baskets.Size doesn’t always matter. Acai berries, while small, are the world’s most concentrated antioxidant source! And our favorite brand, Perfect Acai has an astounding ORAC value of 50,000 per 100 g – on average 50 higher than the competition. This is because Perfect Acai is organic and super pure with no fillers of flow agents. Aside from being a great immune booster, acai also has anti-inflammatory properties and has been shown to help regulate cholesterol levels and reverse free radical damage.

Perfect Acai comes in capsule or powder form. The capsules are great for older kids and busy adults who want to get their antioxidants quickly. The powder is perfect for adding to food and smoothies for young children or quick easy breakfasts. I put this in my morning smoothie to keep my immunity up all year round.

Improve Gut Health with Probiotics

Eat Dirt? Absolutely.Did you know that your gut houses 70% of the cells that make up our immune system? That’s right, so a healthy gut is crucial to a healthy immune system. One of the best and easiest things everyone can do for their guts is to take a really good probiotic. Probiotics can help our bodies maintain a good ratio of bacteria in our entire digestive system. All sorts of problems can occur when the ratio gets out of whack. I really can’t go into all the benefits of adding probiotics to your regimen, so to learn more about the benefits of probiotics, check out this article.

My all time favorite probiotic is Prescript Assist. This is a soil-based probiotic that is safe for people of all ages. If children cannot swallow the capsules, then they can be opened and poured into food or thick drinks. The powder won’t dissolve, so if you pour it into water or juice, it will float on top and stick to the sides of the glass. This is the probiotic I have been taking for years.

Boost Brain Power & Immunity with Coconut Oil

Picture of Perfect Coconut Oil on a background of coconuts.Coconut oil is a fantastic immune booster because of all the unique medium chain fatty acids in it, lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid. During digestion, these are broken down into monoglycerides and free fatty acids. The monoglycerides deter microbes from attacking our immune system. Monolaurin, from lauric acid, is believed to have the best antiviral, anti-fungal and antibacterial effect. Good coconut oil contains more naturally occurring  lauric acid than any other food besides breast milk. And it is great for brain power at school and work.

But, not all coconut oils are as good. Make sure you get a high quality, unrefined coconut oil if you want to get all the immune and brain boosting goodness from it. We sell two excellent quality coconut oils, Perfect Coconut Oil and Blue Breeze Coconut Oil from Green Pastures. Both are organic and cold pressed. Perfect Coconut Oil comes in capsules, too for those who like the ease of swallowing capsules.

Coconut oil can be added to oatmeal or any hot cereal, smoothies, or you can even make salad dressing out of it. You can stir-fry veggies with it or use it in baking. Adding one or two tablespoons a day to your children’s diet can help boost their immune system and their brain power.

Final Thoughts on Immune Boosting for Kids

This is a list of real food supplements that can be taken daily to help boost and keep our immune systems healthy. I know from experience that taking Perfect Acai and Vitamin C daily has helped me go from getting six or more colds a year to once or fewer. I also take more if I feel a tiny bit under the weather to help stave off colds before they take root. We have other great immune boosters, like cod liver oil, but that is much harder to get kids to take. The immune boosters on this list can be taken daily by people of all ages. So, what are you waiting for? Grab some and get it in yourself and your kids before they bring home something besides their latest art project.

 

Try Our Low Carb Grain-Free Keto Pizza

Keto_pizza_recipe

So, yesterday, my husband came home with all the stuff to make pizza at home for dinner. He had the already-made individual pizza crusts, sauce and all the fixings (I was a little appalled that he bought all the pre-made stuff, but that’s a whole other story). As I’m on a very low carb diet, I was a little jealous that I wouldn’t be partaking of the family pizza party. Then, I got to thinking about what I could put pizza fixings on that would be low carb and simulate a pizza crust. I had a jicama in the veggie drawer and decided to give it a try. Much to my delight, this low carb Keto pizza was totally yummy and worked great!

Jicama goes by many names, Mexican potato or Mexican turnip to name just a few. It is a root vegetable that is pretty low carb. A one cup serving of raw jicama has about 6 net grams of carbs. And, I don’t think I used a full cup of the vegetable for my recipe. I also made my own low carb Keto pizza sauce because the store bought one had sugar in it (what? why?) and soybean oil. Also, I like to add Perfect Hydrolyzed Collagen to the sauce to bump up the protein in my pizza. Here are my recipes for low carb Keto Pizza and Keto/Paleo Pizza sauce.

Jicama frying before being made into grain-free Keto Pizza.Paleo/Keto Pizza Sauce

Ingredients:

1 6 oz can organic tomato paste
3/4 cup organic tomato sauce
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp each oregano, basil, onion powder and garlic powder
3 scoops Perfect Hydrolyzed Collagen

Keto-friendly, grain-free jicama pizza ready for the oven.Directions:

Combine first three ingredients and the spices in a small sauce pan. Simmer for 20 minutes so flavors get released and mix well. Remove from heat and add Perfect Hydrolyzed Collagen. Stir well until completely dissolved. Refrigerate any leftovers.

Keto Jicama Pizza

The two slices of pizza, without anything besides cheese and my Paleo Pizza Sauce, have  about 9 net carbs, 17 g of protein, and 8 g of fat, depending on the brands used. Nine slices of uncured pepperoni adds 1 g of carbohydrates, 6 g of protein Yummy low carb Keto pizza on the plate, ready to eat.and 10 g of fat. Eight large olives, sliced, adds 0 carbs and protein, but 3 g fat.

Ingredients:

2 slices of jicama, about 1/4 inch thick (I cut mine from the middle so they’d be bigger)
1 Tbs grass-fed butter
2-3 tablespoons Paleo Pizza Sauce
Mozzarella cheese
Pizza toppings of your choice

I tried the low carb Keto Pizza and really enjoyed it.Directions:
1. Melt butter on medium heat in a frying pan.
2. Add the slices of jimaca. Cook on medium heat for five minutes on each side.
3. Preheat oven to 400°.
4. Place jicama crusts on cookie sheet and add sauce, cheese and toppings.
5. Cook for 10 minutes or until cheese is melted to desired doneness.
6. Enjoy!

 

Which Superfoods Will Protect My Eyesight?

superfoods_for_eye_health

Our eyes are under a lot of strain and sadly, for some of us, this will lead to serious damage and even blindness later in life. The culprit? Blue light emitted from our personal digital devices, computers and lighting. Over time, these harmful rays can cause degeneration of our retinas and lead to sight loss.

But it’s not all doom and gloom. Scientists at Harvard University have shown that certain superfoods actually protect against the damaging effects of blue light and can protect our eyesight in the future.  

What’s the science?

The reason blue light is so dangerous is that is has a much higher frequency than other visible light. This means the light rays vibrate more violently as they enter your eye, causing damage to your retina. Specifically, they damage your macula – a highly-pigmented area at the back of the retina.

The macula acts as a filter to blue light. It’s packed with yellow pigment, which fends of those harmful rays. Repeatedly having to do this takes its toll however, leading to what is called advanced macular degeneration. This condition is the leading cause of blindness in the West, affecting a staggering 30% of people over the age of 75. And we can only assume that, in the age of the ever-present smartphone, this figure looks set to rise.

How can superfoods help?

The Harvard study found that the nutrients in certain superfoods have a significant benefit to the health of our eyes. It followed the visual health of over 100,000 participants over the course of 20 years to conclude that two nutrients are vital in protecting against macular degeneration: lutein and zeaxanthin.

Researchers showed that people eating a diet rich in lutein and zeaxanthin are 40% less likely to suffer from advanced age-related macular degeneration. The reason? These two little carotenoids contain the yellow pigment the macula needs to be able to filter out blue light. Pretty clever huh?

Which superfoods should I be eating?

Fermented_Kale_supplementTop of the list is superfood favorite, kale. We always knew we loved these nutrient-dense greens and it can feature in a wide range of dishes from stir-fry to smoothies. If you’re not keen on its earthy taste don’t worry, there are also clever products and supplements that make eating your greens so much easier. Try Perfect Fermented Kale supplement to quickly and easily get concentrated kale into your diet.

Other foods high in lutein and zeaxanthin include raw cress, raw spinach, cooked spinach and green peas. And in a slightly disappointing myth-buster, carrots were found to have relatively low levels of eyesight-protecting nutrients.

So, it looks like eating your greens is a must when it comes to protecting your eyesight. But exactly how many greens do you need to eat?

How much lutein and zeaxanthin do I need?

At this point in time, there is no established Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for either lutein or zeaxanthin. However, in another study into visual health – the Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS2) –  just 10mg of lutein and 2mg of zeaxanthin per day were found to have significant benefits to macular health.

In the study, this was provided in the form of a supplement but just one cup (or 100g) of cooked kale is thought to contain around 20mg of lutein and zeaxanthin. Five portions a day of other green vegetables, such as spinach, broccoli and peas, would also provide you with sufficient levels of these very special carotenoids. That’s a pretty delicious way to protect your eyesight!  

AMD and superfoods

Image Credit: Focus Clinics

Beyond Bulletproof: This coffee or tea is a low carb, filling snack or meal.

Beyond_bulletproof_coffee

By now, we’ve all heard about bulletproof coffee. It is also know as fat coffee, rocket fuel or buttered coffee, or even yak tea. Essentially, you add a couple tablespoons of good, cultured grass-fed butter (or other high quality oil or fat) to pump up your morning cup o’ joe. Adding processed sugar or pasteurized cream is frowned upon. People who have tried buttered coffee swear it tastes good, and gives them more energy and a better ability to focus. Dr. Oz even recommended buttered coffee for improved energy and to fight burnout. For a basic recipe click here.

Lately, I’ve been trying to drastically cut carbs, and have started drinking a few different varieties of fat coffee or yak tea in lieu of lunch. I find it really works to stave off hunger and keeps me energized for the rest of my work day. I add a scoop of Perfect Hydrolyzed Collagen for protein, and a couple different kinds of healthy fat plus a good fiber source to keep me full. Adding ground chia seeds adds great fiber. Cacao powder and turmeric add nice flavors and tons of healthy antioxidants and other health benefits. Below are my favorite beyond bulletproof recipes. The basic recipe is coffee or tea, protein powder, a fiber source, and two servings of healthy fats.

Chocolate Sunbutter Fat CoffeePeanut_butter_coffee_recipe

This recipe uses collagen for the protein and sunflower seed butter, coconut milk cream, and coconut oil for the healthy fats. I really like adding unrefined, organic, Perfect coconut oil because it’s loaded with medium chain triglycerides. MCT’s are used as energy rather than getting stored as fat and are important for brain health.

Ingredients
8 – 12 oz organic fair trade coffee or tea
2 Tbs unsweetened coconut milk or unpasteurized heavy cream
1 scoop Perfect Hydrolyzed Collagen
2 Tbs unsweetened cacao powder
2 Tbs unsweetened sunflower butter (or nut butter of your choice)
1 Tbs organic ground chia seeds
10 drops stevia (or non-sugar sweetener of your choice)
5 ice cubes (optional for anyone who likes frozen coffee drinks)

Directions
Place coffee in a blender, then add coconut milk and nut butter. Blend on high a few seconds until well mixed. Add all other ingredients and blend on high until well mixed. Pour into a mug or glass and enjoy.

Mint Chocolate Mocha Mealmint_chocolate_butered_coffee_recipe

This recipe has a refreshing minty lift for those days you are dragging. Always add coconut milk or other cool ingredients to coffee first to cool it down a smidge before adding other ingredients. Some supplements lose nutritional benefits if heated too much.

Ingredients
8 – 12 oz organic fair trade coffee or tea
2 Tbs organic coconut milk or unpasteurized heavy cream
1 scoop Perfect Hydrolyzed Collagen
2 Tbs organic fair trade cacao powder
1 Tbs Perfect Coconut Oil
1 Tbs organic ground chia seeds
10 drops stevia or unprocessed sweetener of your choice
2 – 4 drops peppermint essential oil
5 ice cubes (optional if you like frozen coffee drinks)

Directions
Add coffee and coconut milk to a blender. Combine a couple seconds. Add all other ingredients and blend on high until well combined. Pour and enjoy!

Turmeric Fat Yak Teabutter_tea_recipe

This recipe adds flavorful turmeric for a fantastic nutritional boost to your buttered beverage.

Ingredients
8 – 12 oz green tea or organic fair trade coffee
1 Tbs grass fed butter
1 Tbs Perfect Coconut Oil
1 scoop Perfect Hydrolyzed Collagen
1 tsp Gaia Turmeric Boost
1 Tbs organic ground chia seeds
10 drops stevia or non-sugar sweetener of your choice

Directions
Blend green tea, butter and coconut oil for a few seconds. Add the remaining ingredients and blend until well combined. The butter in this will make it nice and frothy. Enjoy!

Beyond Bulletproof: Easy Coffee & Tea Meals or Snacks

So, to recap, to turn your buttered coffee or tea into a meal, you need to add a few ingredients to your brew.

  1. A good source of protein which helps power you through the next bunch of hours. I like Perfect Hydrolyzed Collagen best because it is virtually flavorless and adds 10 grams of protein in every 11 gram scoop.
  2. Add two servings of healthy fat. My favorites are 1 Tbs Perfect Coconut Oil, 1 Tbs grass-fed butter, 2 Tbs nut or sunflower butter and 1/4 cup coconut milk or unpasteurized heavy cream.
  3. Adding a good source of whole food, fiber – not grains – helps us feel full longer and is beneficial for digestion, the heart, balancing blood sugar levels and more.

Don’t have a blender handy? Shake it up instead.

You can make many beyond bulletproof coffee recipes in a shaker, leave out nut butters, and melt the oils in your hot beverage, then shake up all the ingredients. Perfect Hydrolyzed Collagen comes in handy single serve packets for easy travel to work or anywhere. Or, you can combine all but the coffee in your shaker before you go to work. Add the hot beverage and enjoy!

Do you have any great beyond bulletproof Coffee suggestions? Let us know your favorites!

 

Which Superfoods Are Missing From Most People’s Diet?

purple_superfoods_acai

Purple Superfoods and You

For many of us, the science of nutrition can be a scary beast.  There‘s a great deal of information out there, and with so many sources of information, some of it is outright confusing or contradictory.  Trying to digest this information and come to an informed opinion can then be tricky, as even simple questions have multiple answers. In this respect, most of us know the basics: fruit and vegetables are healthy. But beyond that things are less clear as to what is the very best of these foods available.  Here’s a handy introduction to the ‘purple superfoods’, one of nature’s very best foods for your body.

What are purple foods and why should I care?

It is no coincidence that the healthiest fruits and vegetables tend to be of a darker hue. The dark coloring and unusual shape of a beetroot or aubergines (eggplant) may deter some people, but this distinctive appearance is nonetheless synonymous with a plant rich in nutrients. Many berries also fit in the purple superfood category, like blueberries and acai berry. Purple superfoods come in a variety of shapes, sizes and forms, from large picked veggies, to powders, specifically designed to be consumed as a supplement.

There are reliable guides as to what constitutes a purple (and other colored) superfood. Portions of such foods should be included in the diets of absolutely everyone, whether you’re a fitness freak or not. Most of these foods are familiar and are easily picked up in markets for use in standard recipes – red onions and blueberries, for instance. Others, like aubergines and beetroot, may require a little more culinary imagination.

The question must therefore be asked: what makes purple foods so great? To answer this is hardly a secret, they are rich in antioxidants, a substance which carries many health benefits. Thanks to the presence of these, purple superfoods help prevent cellular damage, and have been proven to be highly effective at combating ‘free radicals’, unstable molecules known to cause so-called ‘oxidative stress’.  This stress can cause, or exacerbate, a variety of conditions such as diabetes, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.  It therefore pays to understand (and eat!) purple foods.

Less is sometimes more.

If you cannot stand fruit and vegetables in large doses, just a small quantity of the stuff can still improve your health. For example, a cup of blueberries a week can enhance grey brain matter, thereby improving memory retention and general cognitive functions. Meanwhile, a diet rich in purple superfoods can mitigate the effects of aging, especially the appearance of wrinkles as those malicious elements that degrade your skin over time won’t find it so easy with such a strong defense in place. Just ensure that any purple foods you do buy to add to your diet appear on your plate – around 45% of all fruit and vegetables purchased end up in the trash.  As our food options increase so does the likelihood that some of that food ends up as waste. Being smart about food means not just knowing the health benefits but also understanding food economy and how your wallet can benefit as well as your health.

However, purple superfoods are unlikely to end up as waste if you are smart about what role they serve in your diet.  For instance, they are a useful source of vital nutrients for those with allergies or particular dietary requirements.  Vegetarians can eat beetroot if they want a viable alternative source of protein. Acai berry is most often found as a supplement and can easily be taken in capsule form without worrying about how to prepare it. We like Perfect Acai best because it is organically grown, sustainably harvested and fairly-traded.

The golden (or purple) rule.

As with most things in life, moderation is key. Purple foods will improve your health as part of a balanced lifestyle, but they are not miraculous – if your diet or lifestyle is poor then the effect of these foods will be negligible.  But if wisely incorporated, either as a side dish or within recipes, they boast some impressive health benefits, especially as part of a weight loss program.  Furthermore, because they are less popular than their more famous fellow fruits and veggies, they tend to be inexpensive and easy to find. The issue for many consumers is that they seem to occupy a tricky niche as regards recipes- many of us wouldn’t be too sure what goes best with beetroot or red cabbage.  Fortunately, however, there are a whole host of recipes for purple foods just waiting to be discovered by an intrepid chef.

If you are looking to make a healthy addition to your meals or are simply looking to diversify your diet, purple superfoods are an excellent option – endlessly flexible and enormously beneficial. What’s not to like?

The Coconut Oil Connection: Can Coconut Oil Help Loved Ones with Alzheimer’s & Dementia?

coconut_oil_for_alzheimers

By now we’ve all heard of the benefits of coconut oil as observed by others. Many of you have even tried it – to improve skin or as a healthy fat substitute in baked goods. Could this delicious-tasting, healthy oil do much more than originally thought?

The Common Benefits of Coconut Oil

First, let’s look at some of the top reasons many people use a high quality coconut oil.

Some include:

  • Improve skin – hair, cuticles, body, lips, as shaving cream or massage oil
  • Enhance Hair – defrizzer, hair mask and even for the treatment of head lice
  • Brush teeth and improve oral care – as a toothpaste, mouthwash or for oil pulling
  • Cleaning – natural household uses include cleaning and conditioning wooden furniture, soften and moisturize leather, season cast iron pans and pots, and helps remove chewing gum from virtually anything.
  • Healing wounds and infections through its anti-fungal and antibacterial properties
  • Control glucose levels
  • Aiding weight loss
  • As a healthy fat in baking & cooking

Recently, study results have linked coconut oil to something much more important than originally thought. Something with the potential to be life changing for so many…

Can Coconut Oil Prevent and Treat Dementia?

While the uses mentioned above are ways people have observed coconut oil improving their lives, a recent University of Oxford study uncovered that coconut oil might help improve symptoms in people suffering from forms of dementia, like Alzheimer’s disease.

Alzheimers.net recently shared the following on their site about the study:

“…although the effects of coconut oil may be temporary, Alzheimer’s and dementia patients have indeed seen short-term benefits resulting from its use.”

Florida neonatologist Dr. Mary T. Newport explains in this Tedx Talk how this potential miracle oil helped her husband regain many functions after being stricken with early-onset Alzheimer’s. In her book, Alzheimer’s Disease: What If There Was A Cure?, she shares her family’s story and her theory, “…that ketones, which are byproducts of the breakdown of fats in the body, play an important role in brain health. The idea is that by boosting ketones, found in coconut oil, we can improve cognitive function.”

Dr. Newport’s second book published in 2013, The Coconut Oil and Low-Carbohydrate Solution for Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Other Diseases, offersa practical guide to using coconut oil and MCT oil and a sensible approach to lowering carbs in the diet to increase ketones, which provide alternative fuel for the brain.”

Studies are underway to look at the affects of coconut oil and a high ketone diet to improve or even stop the symptoms of dementias like Alzheimer’s. Many families desperate for help when nothing seems to be helping slow the disease in their loved one, have turned to coconut oil. You can read their testimonials all over the web.

The Science Behind Coconut Oil For Brain Function

In someone who has Alzheimer’s, some areas of the brain stop processing glucose – a primary source of energy. Question is, what if that gap could be plugged up to prevent this energy loss to keep brain cells alive?

Some have called dementia “diabetes of the brain.” Cells don’t function properly without insulin. As an alternative, the brain can use ketones as another fuel for the brain. Therefore, a ketogenic diet could be very beneficial. What exactly is a ketogenic diet, you ask? A ketogenic diet is one that is high in fat, low in carbs and rich in MCT (medium chain triglycerides) – found in and extracted from coconut oil. Some people with dementia symptoms experienced improvement after just one dose.

Dr. Newport shared a link on her Facebook page, to a recent study by The Nisshin Oillio Company, the largest edible oil company in Japan. The company studied MCT oil for the past 20+ years. The study shows how lauric acid, the only other source of which is found in mother’s breast milk, directly and potently “activates production of ketones in astrocytes which are brain cells that control energy metabolism in the brain and nourish neurons.”

This early evidence certainly is eye opening and encouraging.

Quality – What to Look For in a Coconut Oil

organic_virgin_cold-pressed_coconut_oilIt’s important to consider quality when deciding which oil to choose and how to use it. You’ll find a variety on the market but all are not alike.

Wendy Bazilian, R.D., author of The SuperFoodsRx Diet, shares the differences between various types of coconut oils in a SHAPE Magazine article titled “Everything You Need to Know About Coconut Oil”:

“Coconut oil that is labeled “virgin” or “extra virgin” is extracted from coconut meat {called Copra} using delicate methods such as cold-pressing. This type of oil will have more antioxidants as well as a stronger coconut flavor and aroma,” Bazilian says.

Good news is cold-pressed as well as expeller-pressed versions have a long shelf life. They keep for 2 years without needing refrigeration – longer than other types of oils.

Choosing an organic unrefined coconut oil (likely to contain no trans fats) that has not been hydrogenated, is the healthiest choice. Bazilian recommends researching brands online to find ones that avoid using harsh chemicals to refine their coconut oil. The fewer chemicals used in treating the oil means the fewer chemicals in the oil itself. Organic, unrefined coconut oil, such as Green Pasture Blue Breeze Organic Virgin Coconut Oil or Perfect Coconut Oil (organic, cold-pressed & extra virgin) is never processed with chemicals.

For those who aren’t yet into the coconut flavor, coconut oil capsule supplements like Perfect Coconut Oil Softgels will do the trick. These supplements travel well, too.

In a Coco-Nut Shell

While there is still a lot of research to be done on the benefits of coconut oil to treat dementia, there is a lot to be hopeful for, too. As with any natural remedy, it’s always best to check with your doctor before beginning any regimen.

 

Resources:

  1. Can Coconut Oil Prevent Alzheimer’s?: http://www.alzheimers.net/2013-05-29/coconut-oil-for-alzheimers/
  2. Health.com– Beauty Benefits of Coconut Oil
  3. Amazing Beauty Tricks With Coconut Oil: http://www.prevention.com/beauty/coconut-oil-cures-for-your-skin-and-hair
  4. Countless Uses for Coconut Oil – The Simple, the Strange, and the Downright Odd: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/11/18/coconut-oil-uses.aspx
  5. 10 things we didn’t know about coconut oil: Separating myths from miracles: http://www.today.com/food/10-ways-use-coconut-oil-separating-myths-miracles-t9451
  6. Alzheimer’s Disease: What If There Was A Cure?: http://coconutketones.com/

 

 

Improve Your Energy in One Protein- Packed Bite!

raw_proetin_energy_balls_recipe

by Kerrie Bross

So the kids are back in school now and probably feeling a little run down. Boost their energy with snacks that are high in protein and loaded with antioxidants to support the immune system during stressful times, like back-to-school.

Why are these such great snacks?

Aside from being tasty balls of goodness, they are loaded with raw, dried fruits to give an energy  boost. Dates are easily digested, so the energy comes quickly, and they are loaded with gut healthy fiber. They also contain vitamins A and K, as well as B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid) and B6 (pyridoxine). Dates are good sources of some important minerals and trace minerals – potassium, iron, copper, magnesium and manganese. Oh, and lets not forget there are also antioxidants in dates.

Cranberries have long been known for their wealth of antioxidants. But, did you know they are also an excellent source of vitamins B5, C, E and K? And they have manganese and copper. Fiber and anthocyanins are other notable nutrients in cranberries.

Whenever you want an antioxidant boost, turn to Perfect Acai. These berries have the highest ORAC value (measure for antioxidant power) of all fruits and vegetables! But, that’s not all, they are also good sources of vitamin A, fiber, monounsaturated fats, iron, calcium, and anthocyanins.

Make high protein raw snacksNuts, seeds and collagen give these Protein Energy Balls the protein to keep you going for the long haul, along with many other benefits. Chia seeds contain essential fatty acids and vitamins A, B1 (thiamine), B3, E & D. They are an excellent source of calcium, and contain other minerals and trace minerals such as phosphorus, iron, magnesium, manganese, copper, zinc and potassium. And protein.

With over 82% of the RDA in a 1/4 cup serving, sunflower seeds are a powerhouse of vitamin E! They are also great sources of vitamins B1, B3, B6 and B9 (folate). There are plenty of minerals in these babies as well. You’ll find copper, selenium, magnesium, manganese and phosphorous. And more protein.

Almonds are no slouch in the health department. They are loaded with heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, the same kind found in olive oil. They are also excellent sources of  vitamins E, B2, and B7 (biotin). The minerals present are manganese, copper, magnesium, phosphorous and molybdenum, an essential trace mineral cofactor that helps the metabolism of carbohydrates and fats. And lets not forget protein.

Pumpkin seeds also pack a powerful health punch. They are a good source of vitamin E and an excellent source of zinc, and other minerals like magnesium, manganese, phosphorous, copper and iron. They are a great source of antioxidants as well. And even more protein.

The mega protein boost in these protein balls comes from the addition of Perfect Hydrolyzed Collagen. Each scoop contains 10g of protein from pasture-raised, grass-fed cattle. Super healthy! Collagen is the most abundant protein found in the human body and is great for bones, joints, digestion, and many other things.

With 4 – 5g of protein in each ball and natural sugars, they are the perfect snack for after lunch when the day starts to drag and your energy starts to lag. I’ve been eating a couple for a quick and easy breakfast!

Fruit & Nut Protein Ballspaleo_protein_energy_balls_recipe

Ingredients
1 C organic pitted dates
6 Tbs organic almond butter
3 11g scoops Perfect Hydrolyzed Collagen
5 3g scoops Perfect Acai Powder
1/2 C raw organic pumpkin seeds
1/4 C juice sweetened organic cranberries
1/4 C raw organic sunflower seeds
1 Tbs chia seeds

Directions
1.Combine the dates, almond butter, Perfect Hydrolyzed Collagen and Perfect Acai Powder in a food processor on high until well mixed. The consistency should be a bit moist so it will form good balls that stick together. If it is dry, add more almond butter until desired consistency.
2. Add the pumpkin seeds, cranberries, sunflower seeds and chia seeds. Mix on low just long enough to combine without completely obliterating the nuts and fruit.
3. Form into balls and enjoy!

Makes about 20 depending on how you roll them. I think 2 is a good serving size. Nutritional breakdown for each ball – protein over 4g, fat about 5g, total carbohydrates about 9g with roughly 6g natural sugars and about 2g fiber.

Double Chocolate Protein Balls

Ingredients
1 C organic pitted dates
6 Tbs organic almond butter
3 11g scoops Perfect Hydrolyzed Collagen
5 3g scoops Perfect Acai Powder
1/2 C unsweetened cocoa powder
2 Tsp real vanilla extract
2 Tbs honey
1 C raw organic slivered almonds
1/2 cup Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips

Directions
1. Combine the dates, almond butter, Perfect Hydrolyzed Collagen, Perfect Acai Powder, cocoa powder, vanilla extract and honey in a food processor on high until well mixed. The consistency should be a bit moist so it will form good balls that stick together. If it is dry, add more almond butter until desired consistency.
2. Add the almonds and chocolate chips. Mix on low just long enough to combine without completely obliterating the nuts and fruit.
3. Form into balls and enjoy!

Makes about 20 depending on how you roll them. I think 2 is a good serving size. Nutritional breakdown for each ball – total protein about 5g, fat about 7g, total carbohydrates about 13g with roughly 9g natural sugars and about 3g fiber.