Food and Drink

Prescription 2014: Lowering HbA1C Naturally

April 1, 2014 Written by JP

Recently, I saw an advertisement in the Los Angeles Times for a popular medication used to lower hemoglobin A1C, a long-term measure of blood sugar. The ad reads, “If you have type 2 diabetes, your A1C number may be going in the wrong direction. To help change it, ask your doctor if adding Tradjenta may be right for you”. Of course, if you read on you’ll also notice warnings about possible side effects, including cough, diarrhea, potentially life threatening inflammation of the pancreas, runny nose and sore throat. Still, lowering high blood sugar is a valuable endeavor for diabetics and pre-diabetics alike. So, what to do? To answer that question, here are a few suggestions by Dr. Richard Bernstein, a pioneering maverick in the field of integrative-diabetes care, and current studies from the medical literature.

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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Diabetes, Food and Drink | 2 Comments

Natural Products Expo West 2014 Part Three

March 25, 2014 Written by JP

My third and final installment of news from the Natural Products Expo West focuses on a category of products known as “functional foods”. Basically, these are beverages, ingredients or packaged foods that are fortified with nutrients, phytochemicals and pre- or probiotics. In essence, they’re a hybrid of dietary supplements and healthy foods. The idea is to take an already wholesome food and increase its therapeutic potential by adding ingredients that aren’t normally present.

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Posted in Food and Drink, Memory, Nutritional Supplements | No Comments;

Natural Products Expo West 2014 Part One

March 14, 2014 Written by JP

What does it feel like to be surrounded by 67,000 members of the natural health community? On most days, I couldn’t possibly tell you. But, a little over a week ago, that’s exactly where I found myself – at the Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim, California. It’s quite an experience! There were over 2,600 exhibitors and dozens of educational presentations. Thankfully, I brought along my most comfortable walking shoes (Sanuks), a big appetite for all of the sampling and, most importantly, Team Healthy Fellow!

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Posted in Diabetes, Food and Drink, Nutrition | 8 Comments

Medicinal Seasonings

February 21, 2014 Written by JP

Certain herbs and spices are widely acknowledged as possessing medicinal properties. Common examples include cinnamon extracts, echinacea tea and turmeric formulas standardized for curcuminoids. Others such as basil, coriander, dill, ginger and rosemary are primarily thought of as means of adding complexity to international recipes. And, while that is undeniably the case, it is not a complete representation of their potential.

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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Food and Drink, Mental Health | No Comments;

Super Salad Smoothie Recipe

February 10, 2014 Written by JP

During my recent health crisis, I began looking into new ways of getting more fresh fruits and vegetables into my daily diet. One option that immediately came to mind was eating salad. This isn’t my favorite way of enjoying vegetables, but, admittedly, it is a healthy and practical way to eat more of them. After a few days of having salad after salad, I began to wonder: Could I get more nutrition from similar ingredients if I blended them up? A crazy idea, I know. However, in theory, the end result could be something like a combination of a salad and soup. In practice, it became known as my “Super Salad Smoothie”.

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Posted in Food and Drink, Nutrition, Recipes | 5 Comments

Is Black Rice Healthier?

February 3, 2014 Written by JP

Most of us are familiar with brown, white and “wild” rice. But, how about black-purple rice? Have you tried it yet? Are you interested in it because of the positive media coverage from the likes of Dr. Oz? By the end of today’s column, you’ll likely know more about it and you can decide for yourself if it’s something you ought to add to your diet.

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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Food and Drink, Nutrition | 2 Comments

Prescription 2014: Strawberries

January 14, 2014 Written by JP

The word ‘prescription’ has become synonymous with medications that can only be prescribed by a licensed physician. In 2014, I’m going to do my part to reinvent the use of this word. Beginning today and continuing onward for each month of 2014, I’m going to prescribe a natural practice that may very well transform your current state of health for the better. The more “prescriptions” you adopt, the more your wellness is likely to improve.

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Posted in Food and Drink, Heart Health, Nutrition | 4 Comments

Triglyceride Heart Risk

November 25, 2013 Written by JP

For years, I’ve been telling my clients and physician friends that the current obsession with cholesterol levels is way out of focus. In my opinion, high LDL (aka “bad”) cholesterol is more likely than not a very small contributor to the current epidemic of cardiovascular disease. On the other hand, elevated triglycerides appear to be a far better marker for lifestyle choices which probably affect heart disease and stroke risk. Fortunately, a few, simple dietary changes can lower high triglycerides and significantly improve cardiovascular wellness. Best of all, lowering hypertriglyceridemia often doesn’t require any medications or supplements.

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Posted in Food and Drink, Heart Health, Nutrition | 4 Comments

Better Broccoli

November 18, 2013 Written by JP

Eating healthfully requires more than just consuming fresh, whole foods. The manner by which you combine foods and how you prepare them also plays an important role. A case in point was presented at this year’s meeting of the American Institute for Cancer Research in Bethesda, Maryland.

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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Food and Drink, Nutrition | 8 Comments

Meat Substitutes

October 22, 2013 Written by JP

Recently, a reader asked for my opinion about so-called meat substitutes. Since the topic of vegetarian alternatives to meat is rather complex and nuanced, I’ve decided to write about my answer on this site. But, before I offer my perspective, I want to make it clear that I’m exclusively focusing on the nutritional aspects of the issue. I’ll leave the ecological and philosophical arguments for other commentators and forums.

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Posted in Diet and Weight Loss, Food and Drink, Nutrition | No Comments;

Green Tea News 2013

October 14, 2013 Written by JP

There are very few trends you can count on in the field of modern medicine and nutrition. The “stock” of virtually every food and/or supplement tends to go up and down more erratically than the Dow Jones or Nasdaq. One day coffee is bad for you, the next it’s being touted as a preventative for Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes and liver cancer. For years, doctors have been recommending supplemental calcium for just about everyone. Now, there’s a grand debate about potential cardiovascular side effects involving this essential mineral. And, the examples go on and on. However, if there is such a thing as a bankable food/supplement which has sustained its sterling reputation over the years, it is most certainly green tea.

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Posted in Food and Drink, Heart Health, Women's Health | 2 Comments

New Food Rules

September 24, 2013 Written by JP

Many of us have a basic idea about prudent dietary choices and the health effects they typically produce. For example, if you eat large quantities of low-glycemic fruits and non-starchy vegetables, it’s unlikely that you’ll develop constipation, diabetes and obesity. Conversely, if your diet is loaded with processed foods, your cardiovascular, digestive system and waist line will almost certainly suffer the consequences. But, what you may not know is that there are a few recently discovered, practical ways of applying these old nutritional adages to their greatest advantage.

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H. Pylori Integrative Care

September 11, 2013 Written by JP

If you walk into your doctor’s office with symptoms including abdominal pain, bloating, frequent burping and heartburn you will likely be evaluated for a potential H. pylori infection. This common bacterium can, but does not always, cause unpleasant symptoms. However, if symptoms do arise, it’s important to address the infection in order to protect against chronic stomach inflammation, ulcers , increased risk of stomach cancer and beyond. The most common treatment for Helicobacter pylori is a combination of three medications – two antibiotics and an acid suppressing drug.

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Blood Red Oranges

August 22, 2013 Written by JP

Lately, I’ve received a few questions asking about the differences between conventional oranges and blood or red oranges. One of the inquiries came on the heels a recent news items proclaiming that orange juice is even worse than soda, in terms of promoting weight gain, on a calorie for calorie basis. Could it be that red orange juice is a better option? Another reader was curious after noticing a red orange extract in a product intended to protect against sun related skin damage. And, as it turns out, there’s also been an upswing in current scientific research involving this vibrantly colored fruit that’s native to California, Sicily and Spain.

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Chicken Essence Research

July 26, 2013 Written by JP

Chicken broth has long been considered a healing and nurturing food in many cultures throughout the world. But, as with many traditionally revered foods, scientists rarely devote much time investigating the medicinal or therapeutic potential of such “old wives’ remedies”. Thankfully, an exception to this rule can be found in China, Japan and Malaysia. There, a variation of chicken broth known as chicken essence has been subjected to numerous animal, human and test tube studies.

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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Food and Drink, Nutrition | 2 Comments

Reconsidering Honey

July 12, 2013 Written by JP

At this very moment, my opinion about honey is in a profound state of flux. On the one hand, I’m well aware that honey contains a relatively high percentage of fructose – a form of sugar that has increasingly been linked to adverse health consequences, such as fatty liver disease and obesity. But, why is it that so many learned, holistic advocates recommend it and use it in recipes? I believe I’ve figured out the reason why and have now come to terms with the rightful place honey ought to hold in my own diet.

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Posted in Diabetes, Diet and Weight Loss, Food and Drink | 3 Comments