Posts Tagged ‘Prebiotics’

Prescription 2018: Natural Kidney Protection

July 11, 2018 Written by JP

Arguably, the kidneys are the least appreciated and discussed organs in the human body. They play a vital role in maintaining homeostasis by filtering blood while contributing to a number of important biological functions, including regulating blood pressure, bone mineral density and the production of red blood cells. But, unless something goes wrong with these two bean-shaped organs, most people hardly give them a second thought. If you’re one of those people, this is your chance to learn a few simple steps you can take to keep your kidneys healthy so that you won’t need to think about them much in the future.
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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Detoxification, Food and Drink | 5 Comments & Updates

Prescription 2015: Feed Your Good Gut Bacteria

September 18, 2015 Written by JP

The importance of gut bacteria has become a red hot topic over the last several years. Best-selling books by the likes of Drs. David Perlmutter (“Brain Maker” ), Gerard Mullin (“The Gut Balance Revolution”) and Raphael Kellman (“The Microbiome Diet”) have ushered in a new era of “probiotic-medicine”. In previous decades, research on gut microbiota primarily focused on bacterial imbalance (aka dysbiosis) and its role in digestive disorders, such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. These days, specialists in the field are closely examining diversity and quantities of gut bacteria in relation to diseases ranging from depression to obesity. However, along with these exciting new findings comes many questions about how to practically manipulate gut microbiota.

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Posted in Food and Drink, Mental Health, Nutrition | 32 Comments & Updates

Still Nuts About Nuts?

June 30, 2014 Written by JP

A reader asks: You’ve written a lot of blogs about nuts and how healthy you believe they are. I’m not convinced though, because you also frequently mention the importance of keeping an eye on one’s omega-6 to omega-3 ratio. My understanding is that most nuts are top heavy in omega-6 fatty acids and mostly devoid of omega-3s. These two recommendations seem to be at odds. Am I missing something? Bottom line, what’s your current stance on eating nuts and how it relates to the whole omega 6/3 ratio issue?

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Posted in Food and Drink, Heart Health, Nutrition | 12 Comments & Updates

A New Prebiotic Ingredient

May 7, 2012 Written by JP

There’s an old adage that says to avoid foods that contain ingredients you can’t easily pronounce. The purest interpretation might lead one to steer clear of processed foods altogether. I’m fully supportive of this philosophy provided that it works for you. However, in my experience, most people eat at least some pre-packaged or refined foods. And, much to the chagrin of purists, sometimes hard to pronounce ingredients are actually quite good for you.

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Posted in Diabetes, Food and Drink, Nutrition | 4 Comments & Updates

Chickpea Discovery

October 14, 2011 Written by JP

Eating a varied diet is one of the best ways to ensure nutritional adequacy. I periodically examine my own menus and look for practical ways to broaden my nutrient intake and keep things interesting. This past week, I decided to try an unorthodox dip to have alongside vegetables. Most of the dips I’m accustomed to are dairy or egg-based and rather rich. However, the alternative I recently discovered doesn’t contain any cheese, mayonnaise or milk. Instead, it uses pureed chickpeas or garbanzo beans as a “creamy” base. The product itself consists of a short list of health promoting ingredients: raw chickpeas, tahini or sesame seed butter, lemon juice, citric acid, garlic, non-GMO olive oil, fresh red pepper paste and salt. Each one ounce serving contains only 45 calories and a fairly strong macronutrient composition: 2 grams of protein, 3 grams of fat, 2 grams of dietary fiber and 1 gram of naturally occurring sugar.

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Posted in Diet and Weight Loss, Food and Drink, Nutrition | 11 Comments & Updates

Natural Products Expo West 2011 Part One

March 16, 2011 Written by JP

Last Friday, Saturday and Sunday I walked the floor of the Anaheim Convention Center along with over 58,000 other members of the natural health community. I had my comfy Sanuk walking shoes on and a mission at hand: to survey the current trends in the natural food sector with a critical but fair eye. Some of what I saw left me hopeful, so that’s what I’ll focus on today. In my next installment on the Natural Products Expo West, I’ll discuss some of the more troublesome aspects of this colossal trade show.
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Posted in Diet and Weight Loss, Nutritional Supplements, Product Reviews | 12 Comments & Updates

Isoflavone Research

February 13, 2010 Written by JP

Within every living flower, plant and seed there is a complex factory fast at work. The goods manufactured have one basic goal in mind – to ensure survival. In this way, human beings are quite similar to the inhabitants of the botanical world. But, when we think of ourselves, we tend to focus on the external characteristics or feelings and thoughts that we experience. Rarely do we contemplate the broad array of natural substances that travel through the bloodstream, reside in organs and otherwise populate the inner metropolis that is our physiology. That specific type of curiosity is almost exclusively the domain of physicians and scientists.

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Posted in Food and Drink, Men's Health, Women's Health | 10 Comments & Updates

Healthy Holiday Gifts

December 8, 2009 Written by JP

The holidays are rapidly approaching. It’s officially crunch time for shopping for those special gifts for beloved family, friends and mates. In the coming weeks, I’m going to share some health promoting gift ideas that I’ll personally be giving out. I want to start by telling you a little bit about my mother’s recent birthday. Selecting a gift for her is always a challenge because she absolutely refuses to offer any suggestions about what she might enjoy. Her feeling is that she has doesn’t need any more “stuff”. So typically we’ll give my parents concert or theater tickets or a gift certificate for a new and interesting restaurant. But this year, my wife and I came up with a different type of present. We wanted to choose something that we knew Mom would genuinely enjoy and, more importantly, actually use. In addition, we’re always looking for innovative ways to improve the health of those we love. By combining these two goals, we were able to find the perfect birthday gift – something that would keep on giving for an entire year. Read more »


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Posted in Food and Drink | 10 Comments & Updates

Yacon Syrup

November 23, 2009 Written by JP

You can’t always trust news headlines. I found two recent examples of this on a national cable network and a highly regarded medical site. On the cable news station, one headline touted a story about a woman who was supposedly arrested for “cutting in line” at a discount store. Now that’s an attention grabber! If there’s an actual law against line-cutting, then I was surrounded by hoards of criminals when I recently attended a U2 concert. The truth in this instance is that the person involved also engaged in other inappropriate activities which played a role in her arrest. The second item that caught my eye had to do with a supposed “artificial” sweetener that could lower blood pressure and cholesterol. Which one could it be? Nutrasweet? Splenda? SweetN’ Low? Imagine my surprise when I discovered that oligofructose (OFS) was classified as a synthetic sweetener! That’s news to me, because it is in fact derived from natural sources. Read more »


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Posted in Diabetes, Food and Drink, Nutrition | 15 Comments & Updates

Prebiotics and Probiotics

May 1, 2009 Written by JP

I’ve discussed the importance of probiotics in the past. Probiotics are friendly bacteria that primarily inhabit the digestive system. They play a role in everything from helping to break down food to improving immune function, and even supporting healthy mood. Eating cultured and fermented foods and supplementing with probiotic supplements is one way to increase the number of these desirable microbes. But there’s another strategy that can support the growth and population of these intestinal helpers – by eating and supplementing with prebiotics.
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Posted in Diet and Weight Loss, Heart Health, Nutritional Supplements | 19 Comments & Updates