Tuesday 31 July 2018

The Beauty and Wellness Benefits of Mushrooms!


Wellness in today’s busy world is all about finding new superfoods with incredible health benefits that pack a nutritional punch as efficiently as possible. Everyone from A-list celebs to holistic health enthusiasts are increasingly turning to the plant world to find natural ways to upgrade their wellbeing from the inside out. We can look to plants to de-stress, detoxify, give us a glowing complexion, strengthen our nails and hair and more. And whether you’re all read up on your latest wellness trends or new to the holistic health world, functional mushrooms should definitely be at the top of your list.

The Benefits

Featuring hundreds of different species, the fungal family is its own genre of superfood. In addition to delivering a variety of essential nutrients, mushrooms offer a host of healing properties, and you can target which types you incorporate into your daily life based on your body and mind’s needs. Culinary mushrooms should be incorporated into a healthy diet, but to tap all the benefits fungi have to offer, look too to adaptogenic (non-toxic) varieties, which have tons of antioxidants and can help restore balance to the body.
According to a clinical nutritionist and renowned doctor of natural medicine Josh Axe, the beneficial compounds in adaptogenic mushrooms are great for our overall health, both mentally and physically. They can also support our body as it fights inflammation (injury or infection), as well as oxidative stress, which is an imbalance between the free radicals that damage the body and the antioxidants that repair it.

The Types

If you’ve seen adaptogenic (or functional) mushroom products on the shelves of your local health food store or read some current wellness buzz, you may recognize the names Cordyceps, Reishi, Chaga and Lion’s Mane, four of the most prevalent and accessible superfood mushrooms out there. With one serving, each of these mushrooms can boost your daily nutrient intake in a big way.
Chinese herbalists have used Cordyceps for thousands of years to fight signs of aging and boost energy. It’s thought to increase mental, physical and sexual performance, as well as support the immune system, balance hormones and combat weakness and fatigue. When you need a pick-me-up to help focus on a big presentation at work, get through a rigorous gym workout or to simply start your day with a sustainable level of energy, Cordyceps is your best bet. When mixed in with coffee (in powder form), it tastes smooth and savory.
When you want to chill out, Reishi is the mushroom to turn to, as it helps the body de-stress and can help normalize sleep cycles. It’s been used in traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years and is a rare woody fungi originating from Asia. Known as the “King of Herbs,” Reishi is thought to support the immune system and fight viral and bacterial illnesses, thanks to its beta-glucans (immune system-boosting sugars). Studies even indicate that its compounds may help slow the spreading of cancer cells, although more human testing needs to be done to confirm its effectiveness.
According to holistic nutritionist Natasha Upensky, Reishi also helps to balance blood sugar, making it good for diabetic conditions and weight loss. However, since it has a strong, bitter taste, mushroom expert and Four Sigmatic founder Tero Isokauppila recommends mixing it in powder form with a with cacao or coconut drink to improve the taste. Adding Reishi to your bedtime routine can also have a nice relaxing effect.
Chaga mushrooms grow on birch trees in freezing climates like Russia, Siberia, and Northern areas of North America. Indigenous people in these areas have used them in traditional practices for hundreds of years—in fact, Dr. Axe notes that the name “chaga” is Russian for mushroom. With a super high antioxidant count, Chaga is immune-boosting, cancer-fighting, anti-inflammatory, stress-reducing, and can aid in digestion, he says. It has an earthy and smooth taste similar to coffee, which makes it a nice alternative to your normal cup of joe if you’re looking for a break from the caffeine with an all-around health-boosting elixir.
Lion’s Mane
Lion’s Mane, used in Japanese and traditional Chinese medicine for centuries, is all about mental clarity. It’s known to boost cognitive function, and can, therefore, help combat anxiety, improve concentration, and support healthy energy levels and mood. While Lion’s Mane is also a culinary mushroom, even in its powdered drink form, it still tastes sweet and savory, almost like mushroom soup.

How to Use

All four of the above mushroom types have a huge range of physical, emotional, and mental benefits—but don’t pick just any type. “Quality is key,” nutritionist Natasha Upensky warns. “It’s important to find a reputable company (such as Four Sigmatic) that sources wild-harvested or organic mushrooms.” Traditionally, she explains, most mushrooms were boiled into tea or soup to preserve as many of their nutrients as possible.
However, in 2018, high-quality dried mushrooms are not so easy to find and not so pleasant to taste. Not to worry, though. Natasha says, “For more exotic medicinal mushrooms, liquid extractions or dried preparations (made using a hot water dual extraction method) in powder or capsule form are more convenient and can be as effective.” Dr. Axe also recommends capsules made of dried, organic, fermented mushrooms (the fermentation process helps break down the components of the mushrooms to improve absorption into the body) or mushroom coffee.
For daily coffee drinkers, mushroom coffee is a good gateway to mushroom supplementation and to reducing your caffeine intake. Mushroom coffee is easier to digest than regular coffee, according to Dr. Axe, as it has a lower level of acidity. Due to the reduced amount of caffeine, it can eradicate some of the negative effects of regular coffee intake, like anxiety and insomnia.
Mushrooms are also a secret weapon in the beauty world. Your overall health directly affects the quality of your skin, so supplementing in mushrooms to reduce stress, improve gut health, and balance hormones (three of the biggest culprits of breakouts and skin irritation) will ultimately support healthy, clear skin. “The same characteristics (antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial) that make mushrooms so potent as a food or supplement extend to their use in skincare,” says Natasha Upensky. “Different mushrooms have different skincare benefits: chaga is brightening and anti-inflammatory; Reishi is anti-microbial and anti-aging; Cordyceps is great for hydration and dermatitis.”

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Bitter ginger can help prevent brain damage caused by alcohol!

It’s a fact that too much alcohol is dangerous to a person’s health – it’s even linked to brain damage. That said, researchers from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia have found that bitter ginger (Zingiber zerumbet) could be used to prevent the brain-damaging effects of alcohol consumption. In the study, published in BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, researchers investigated the protective effects ethyl-acetate extract of bitter ginger against brain damage caused by alcohol in mice.
To test their theory, they randomly assigned mice into four groups: a control group; a group given with 1.8 grams per kilogram (g/kg) of alcohol; a group treated with 0.2 g/kg dose of bitter ginger extract and alcohol; and a group treated with 0.4 g/kg dose of bitter ginger extract and alcohol. The treatments were given orally once a day for 14 days, 30 minutes before alcohol exposure. After that, they performed biochemical tests to assess blood and brain homogenate and collected brain tissue samples for histological investigation.
Based on the results, even though both doses of the bitter ginger extract significantly reduced the levels of malondialdehyde (MDA) and protein carbonyl in the brain homogenate, the 0.4 g/kg dose was more effective in preventing ethanol-induced brain damage than the 0.2 g/kg dose. The reductions in the levels of MDA and protein carbonyl may be attributed to the high level of zerumbone present in the bitter ginger extract. MDA is a biomarker of oxidative stress, while protein carbonyl is an indicator of protein damage after alcohol consumption.
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In addition, both doses of extracts reduced oxidative stress by increasing serum levels of superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), and glutathione peroxidase (GPx) activities and glutathione (GSH) level.
Furthermore, histological analysis revealed that the extract of bitter ginger suppressed the loss of the nerve cells in the cerebellum cortex called Purkinje cells and retained the amount and shape of the cells.
In conclusion, the findings of the study suggested that the extract of bitter ginger can protect the brain from damages caused by alcohol.

Reversing the damaging side effects of alcohol consumption

Another body organ that is often negatively affected by alcohol consumption is the liver. The good thing is that the damage can still be reversed with diet, as long as it has not progressed too far. You can reverse the detrimental effects of alcohol by following this diet:
  • Avoid fatty foods – Your diet should not include fatty foods, such as butter, cheese, cream, margarine, and meat.
  • Eat fruits and vegetables of every colour – Watermelon and papaya are especially helpful.
  • Garlic and onion – The superfoods garlic and onion are most effective when you let allicin to be produced before eating or cooking them. This can be done by leaving them for 10 minutes after chopping.
  • Herbal teas – You can also drink four cups of herbal teas, such as anise, chamomile, fennel, ginger, ginseng, reishi mushroom, and seaweed, each day. If you are not a tea drinker, you can drink water infused with fig leaves instead.
  • Tomatoes – Tomatoes must be lightly cooked and must be eaten with a tiny drop of cold pressed oil or fish. Tomatoes and avocado is a good combination for an anti-alcohol diet. This is because avocado contains natural plant oils that help absorb lycopene in tomatoes.
  • Plenty of water – Drinking a lot of water can help eliminate toxins out of the body.
  • Take nutritional supplements – You can also take nutritional supplements to minimize the unwanted side effects of alcohol. These include B-vitamins, barley grass extracts, benfotiamine, chlorophyllin, grape seed extracts, methionine, n-acetylcysteine, resveratrol, selenium, silymarin, and vitamin C.
Read more news stories and studies on protecting the brain by going to Brain.news.
Sources include:

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Monday 30 July 2018

URGENT RECALL - Tropicana fruit juice!


Morrisons, Sainsbury’s and Tesco recalls bottles of Tropicana fruit juice because it is going off early

Litre bottles of Trop50 Multivitamins orange juice have been pulled from shelves after a batch was found to be "fermenting naturally"
BOTTLES of Tropicana have been pulled from shelves because they could be going off earlier than the use by date.
A batch of litre bottles of Trop50 Multivitamins was found to be naturally fermenting leaving the product to "spoil".
 Bottles of the drink are being recalled because they are going off early
Bottles of the drink are being recalled because they are going off early
The drink is a "healthier" spin-off of the popular Florida orange juice and contains 50 per cent less sugar.
Fermentation is a natural process that converts sugar into acids, gasses or alcohols, used to make beer, apple cider and ginger ale.
Tests by the firm found that there are no food safety issues as a result of the fermentation so it shouldn't cause any health problems.
But it will make the juice taste sour and fizzy.

What batches have been affected?

THE brand behind Tropicana, PepsiCo, has warned that affected bottles have a best before the date of October 14 2018.
But you can also tell if your drink is fermenting naturally because the bottle will look bloated and swollen.
The juice will taste sour and fizzy and there may be a layer of sediment in the juice.
Customers who have bought a bottle are being advised not to drink it.
Instead, they should return it to where they bought it from in exchange for a full refund.
Bottles that have naturally fermented early will appear bloated and it may contain a layer of sediment in the liquid.
Affected batches have a best before the date of October 14 2018.
The drink is sold in Sainsbury's, Asda, Morrisons, Tesco, Amazon Fresh and Ocado and costs between £1.50 and £2.50.
Customers who have bought the juice are being advised not to drink it and instead return it to the store from where you bought it in exchange for a full refund.
The company behind Tropicana, PepsiCo - who also own brands like Pepsi, Walkers and Copella - wrote in a recall notice: "We are aware that one batch of Tropicana Trop50 Multivitamins 1ltr bottles may be naturally fermenting, which could cause the product to spoil.
"As this batch does not meet the high standards of quality and taste we expect from Tropicana products we are taking the precautionary measure of recalling the product."

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Friday 27 July 2018

In shops now or delivered to your home from only £3.50 an issue! Subscribe! August 2018 (Vol. 3 Issue 6) Facebook Twitter MAGAZINE NEWS FEATURES LIFESTYLE COMMUNITY SHOP PRACTITIONERS Processed meats could trigger mania and hyperactivity!

Processed meats could trigger mania and hyperactivity image
The nitrates in processed meats could trigger bouts of mania and hyperactivity in healthy people—and those with a history of psychiatric problems are three times more likely to regularly eat the meats, such as ham, salami, sausages and bacon.
The nitrates could be altering the gut bacteria that, in turn, influence bipolar symptoms such as mood swings and mania, say researchers from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
The theory is supported by the discovery that bipolar sufferers are less likely to need hospital care if they take probiotics, which help re-establish the 'good' bacteria in the gut.
Researchers say that processed or cured meats were the one food type that kept cropping up when they analysed the diets of bipolar patients. They reckoned that the bipolar sufferer is three times more likely to regularly eat processed meats than is a non-sufferer.
Main researcher Robert Yolken says that the discovery could open up a new door of treatment that focuses on diet and the gut.
Yolken and his team have been working on the theory for several years after first discovering that the behaviour of rats became more manic within just a couple of weeks of being fed processed meat.
For their latest study, the researchers analysed the diets and behaviour of more than a thousand people, some of whom had psychiatric problems. Yolken began to suspect nitrates as they had previously been linked to neurodegenerative diseases, and no evidence had been found to support the then prevailing theory that bipolar disease was a genetic problem.
He doubts that occasionally eating processed meats will spark a manic episode on its own, but he suspects that regularly eating the meats could have a cumulative effect, and especially when it starts to alter the gut bacteria.

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Monday 23 July 2018

Lyme disease ticks attracted to people with Type A blood!

Lyme disease ticks attracted to people with Type A blood image
If you're going out for a woodland walk and your blood group happens to be Type A, then cover up—you're much more likely to be bitten by a tick that can spread Lyme disease.
The ticks are attracted to Type A blood group people, while the Type B folk seem to have an in-built defence mechanism that repels them.
In a laboratory test, the ticks—known as 'sheep ticks' or Ixodes Ricinus—were naturally drawn to the Type A samples around 36 per cent of the time, and to the Type B samples just 15 per cent of the time. Every blood group was included in the test, which involved a Petri dish and ticks that were placed in the dish for two minutes.
"The blood group might be one of the factors determining the feeding preferences of the ticks," said lead researcher Alena Zakiovska from Massaryk University in the Czech Republic.
It's reckoned that around 17 per cent of ticks are infected with the Borrelia bacteria that can cause Lyme disease, which is still being under-reported and under-diagnosed by medicine. Typical symptoms include fever, headache, fatigue and weakness. An early tell-tale sign you've been bitten is a ring-shaped rash that looks a little like a bull's eye.
Other diseases a tick bite can spread include ehrlichiosis, a flu-like condition, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, which can be fatal if not treated quickly with antibiotics, and tularemia, which can cause fever and ulcers.

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Saturday 21 July 2018

Late-night snacking could lead to breast or prostate cancer!

Late-night snacking could lead to breast or prostate cancer image
Eating your last meal of the day earlier—and at least before 9pm—helps lower your risk of breast and prostate cancer. And if you do snack later than that, you'll get a similar protective effect if you wait two hours after eating before going to bed.
When you eat is just as important as what you eat and can have just as big an impact on your health, say researchers from the Barcelona Institute for Global Health.
It's all to do with the way our body metabolizes food, and it seems to need enough time while we're up and around to do this efficiently. People who eat their last meal before 9pm are, on average, 20 per cent less likely to develop breast or prostate cancer than people who eat after 10pm.
But however late you eat, waiting two hours to fully digest the food before going to bed seems to have a similar protective effect compared to someone who goes to bed immediately after eating a late meal.
The researchers compared the lifestyles and eating habits of 621 people suffering from prostate cancer and 1,205 breast cancer patients and compared them to 872 male and 1,321 female healthy controls.
Mealtime habits should be factored into advice on cancer prevention, the researchers say. "The impact could be especially important in cultures such as those of southern Europe where people have supper late," said lead researcher Manolis Kogevinas.
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Tuesday 17 July 2018

Do fatty foods cause heart problems?

Do fatty foods cause heart problems? image
It's like it never happened. Despite the billions spent on low-fat foods and drinks and cholesterol-lowering statin drugs, researchers have confirmed that full-fat milk, yoghurt, cheese and butter won't do you any harm. In fact, the foods can help protect against a stroke.
The latest research conclusively establishes that dairy fat doesn't increase the risk of heart disease—and certainly doesn't clog up our arteries. Despite the growing evidence, the latest dietary guidelines for Americans still recommends eating fat-free or low-fat foods.
But the advice isn't just unscientific, it's also dangerous, say the researchers from the University of Texas Science Center. Low-fat foods and drinks often contain added sugars that actually are harmful, and paradoxically can cause poor heart health.
The researchers monitored the level of fatty acids in a group of around 3,000 volunteers aged 65 years and over for 22 years. They discovered that high levels of 'bad' fatty acids—such as LDL cholesterol, which has been blamed as a cause of heart disease—didn't affect health or increase the rate of heart disease. In fact, the people with high levels of 'bad' fatty acids were 42 per cent less likely to die from stroke, suggesting that a fatty diet is protective.
Whole-fat dairy foods are "rich sources of nutrients such as calcium and potassium, and these are essential for health, not only during childhood but throughout life," said Marcia Otto, one of the researchers.
She said the research was "robust" and it "significantly strengthens the growing body of evidence which suggests that dairy fat, contrary to popular belief, does not increase the risk of heart disease or overall mortality in older adults."

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Thursday 12 July 2018

200,000 Americans die each year from medical errors!

200,000 Americans die each year from medical errors image
Around 200,000 Americans die each year because of some mistake a medic makes—and those errors are most likely to happen when the doctor is suffering from burnout, a new study has discovered.
It's a failing of the entire medical system that is putting the lives of patients at risk, say researchers from the Stanford School of Medicine.
Doctors who are exhausted or suffering from burnout are twice as likely to make a mistake that could endanger the life of the patient. In a survey of 6,695 doctors, 55 per cent said they had recently suffered symptoms of exhaustion and burnout, and 10 per cent admitted they had made at least one major medical error in the previous three months.
A serious error was also four times more likely in clinics and medical units that had low safety grades, as ranked by the doctors. But other studies have found that the rate of errors triple in well-run and safe units if the doctor is exhausted, the researchers say, which suggests that burnout is the single biggest factor in patient safety.
Physician burnout has become a "national epidemic", the researchers say, that affects half of all doctors. It's characterised by symptoms of exhaustion and feelings of reduced effectiveness.
Doctors who experience burnout are also twice as likely to think about committing suicide.

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Listeria outbreak forces Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Aldi to recall more than 50 frozen food products!

The recalled products come after the watchdog named 43 frozen sweetcorn products last week

MORE than 50 frozen food products have been recalled from supermarkets over deadly listeria fears.
Stores including Tesco, Sainsbury's, Waitrose and Aldi have all issued the recall after the food contamination alert, as we reported on Friday.
 Lidl has added bags of Green Grocer's carrots to the list of products being recalled
Lidl has added bags of Green Grocer's carrots to the list of products being recalled
Now we reveal the full list of items which have been pulled from shelves due to the deadly bacteria outbreak.
The Food Standards Agency named products including Tesco's Frozen Mixed Vegetables and Peppers, Lidl's Green Grocer’s Carrots, Broccoli & Sweetcorn, and Sainsbury’s Mixed Vegetables.
Lidl had already issued a recall for Green Grocer Supersweet Corn and Frozen Freshona Vegetable Mix, but now it has added bags of Green Grocer's Carrots, Broccoli and Sweetcorn too.
The bags weigh 640g and the warning extends to all bags of the product regardless of the batch codes and best before dates.

What items have been recalled?

SUPERMARKETS are recalling all batches of the following products.
If you have any of them, do not eat them. Instead, you should return them to the store in exchange for a full refund.
  • Pinguin Frozen Sweetcorn
  • Pinguin Supersweet Sweetcorn
  • Tesco Frozen Broccoli, Carrot and Sweetcorn Steamer
  • Tesco Frozen Every Day Value Sweetcorn
  • Ross Mixed Vegetables
  • One Stop Frozen Sweetcorn
  • Aldi Four Seasons Frozen Vegetable Steamers
  • Aldi Frozen Four Seasons Mixed Vegetables
  • Pinguin Sweetcorn
  • Aldi Four Seasons Supersweet Sweetcorn
  • Waitrose Essential Supersweet Sweetcorn
  • Waitrose Essential Mixed Vegetable
  • Tesco Frozen Mixed Vegetables
  • Waitrose Fine Cut Vegetable Steamer
  • Waitrose Love Life Vegetable Medley Steamers
  • Sainsbury Frozen Special Mixed Vegetables
  • Growers Pride Mixed Vegetables
  • Sainsbury Frozen Basic Mixed Vegetables
  • Sainsbury Frozen Rice Broccoli and Sweetcorn
  • Sainsbury Frozen Mixed Vegetables
  • Sainsbury Frozen Carrot Broccoli and Sweetcorn
  • Pinguin Supersweet Corn
  • Lidl Frozen Green Grocer Supersweet Corn
  • Tesco Growers Harvest Frozen Mixed Vegetables
  • Lidl Frozen Freshona Vegetable Mix
  • Iceland Frozen Mixed Vegetables
  • Pinguin Frozen Mixed Vegetables
  • Independent Mix Vegetables
  • Ross Mixed Vegetables
  • Pinguin Mixed Vegetable
  • Pinguin Frozen Cut Beans
  • Growers Pride Mixed Vegetables
  • Ross Mixed Country Vegetables
  • Growers Pride Supersweet Sweetcorn
  • Pinguin frozen Golden Rice and Vegetables
  • Growers Pride Supersweet Sweetcorn
  • Ross Sweetcorn - 450g
  • Ross Sweetcorn - 1kg
  • Tesco Frozen Sweetcorn
  • Tesco frozen Mixed Vegetables and Peppers
  • Tesco Broccoli Frozen Sweetcorn Peas and Spinach Steamer
  • Tesco Frozen Growers Harvest Carrot Peas and Sweetcorn Steamer
  • Tesco Frozen Growers Harvest Mixed Vegetables
  • Lidl Green Grocer’s Carrots, Broccoli & Sweetcorn
The deadly disease is a particular threat to the elderly, pregnant women and babies, and has already been linked to at least two deaths in the UK.
The bacteria can cause a life-threatening infection, where symptoms can appear similar to the flu, including a high temperature, muscle ache or pain, chills, feeling or being sick and diarrhoea.
All of the supermarket products have been made by Greenyard Frozen UK even though many of them are sold as supermarket own brand products.
The notice on the Food Standards Agency states that the bacteria can be killed through cooking, but sweetcorn can be eaten raw and could be a potential threat.
Tens of thousands of products have been pulled and customers are being advised not to eat them, and instead return them to the store in exchange for a refund.
The foods have been recalled "as a precautionary step" but so far 11 people in the UK have been affected by listeriosis dating back to 2015, with dozens more in four other countries across Europe.
 Iceland's mixed vegetables have been pulled from shelves too
Iceland's mixed vegetables have been pulled from shelves too
 Sainsbury's own brand mixed vegetables have also been recalled as a precaution
Sainsbury's own brand mixed vegetables have also been recalled as a precaution
The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), which also warned about eating uncooked frozen products including spinach and green beans, said nine of those 47 cases resulted in death, two of them were in the UK last year.
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