Foods

Ezekiel Bread

ezekiel

Ezekiel bread is a type of sprouted grain bread that is prepared using traditional methods of soaking, sprouting and baking that have been in existence for thousands of years. Ezekiel bread is made using sprouted whole grains, legumes and sometimes seeds. It contains no sugar, no preservatives and no artificial ingredients, unlike most other commercial breads.

Compared to breads that don’t contain sprouted grains, Ezekiel bread has more protein, fiber, and absorbable vitamins and minerals. It also contains less harmful antinutrients, like phytic acid, and is even less concentrated with gluten.

Is Ezekiel Bread Gluten-Free?

Ezekiel bread is not gluten-free because it’s usually made using sprouted ancient wheat grains, barley and rye, all of which contain the protein gluten. This is one of the main reasons I don’t recommend everyone make Ezekiel bread a staple of their diet.

Research now shows that a large percentage of the general population report that they react negatively to eating gluten and feel better when they remove gluten-containing grains and products from their diet, despite not positively testing for celiac disease or having a confirmed allergy to wheat. (1) A gluten intolerance is very common and something altogether different than celiac disease, which is difficult for many people to comprehend.

Gluten is also linked to many negative reactions and conditions, including not only Celiac disease, but also irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and other forms of digestive distress. (2) For all the above reasons, gluten-free diets are a big trend nowadays and gluten-free products are springing up all over supermarket shelves.

However, many gluten-free products are very highly processed and refined, while being devoid of nutrients. As a result, consuming packaged gluten-free products doesn’t usually solve the root of most digestive problems.

While research isn’t yet conclusive, gluten, the protein found in wheat and its cousins, may be linked to increasing cases of attention deficit disorder (ADD), dttention deficit hyper-activity disorder (ADHD), autism, anxiety, anemia, cancer, Crohn’s disease, depression, dermatitis and skin disorders, allergies, epilepsy, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, IBS, lupus, multiple sclerosis, migraines, rheumatoid arthritis, and schizophrenia.

For those who are sensitive to gluten but who aren’t truly allergic to it, soaking, sprouting, fermenting and lightly cooking wheat products can greatly reduce their gluten content. That being said, though, Ezekiel bread and other sprouted grains still contain gluten and aren’t meant for those with a true allergy to gluten (such as celiac disease).

Ezekiel Bread Nutrition Facts

According to Food For Life, the makers of one of the most popular types of Ezekiel breads, one slice of Ezekiel 4:9 7 Grain Sprouted Bread has: (3)

  • 80 calories
  • 4 grams of protein
  • 3 grams of fiber
  • 8 percent vitamin B1 thiamine
  • 8 percent phosphorus
  • 6 percent magnesium
  • 6 percent niacin

Ezekiel bread is made with the following ingredients: organic sprouted wheat, filtered water, organic malted barley, organic sprouted rye, organic sprouted barley, organic sprouted oats, organic sprouted millet, organic sprouted corn, organic sprouted brown rice, fresh yeast, organic wheat gluten and sea salt.

How Did Our Ancestors Eat So Much Bread Without Any Problems?

The wheat our ancestors ate were more easily digested forms of wheat. In addition, their diets weren’t so laden with wheat and wheat byproducts. Instead, they ate a diverse range of plant foods. Lastly, our ancestors properly processed their grains, including wheat, before eating them.

Since then, both overexposure to wheat, in its many forms in processed foods, and the development of high-yield wheat crops contributes to rising cases of celiac disease and gluten intolerance. People with celiac disease develop and pass on genes that react drastically to even miniscule amounts of gluten.

In fact, modern wheat can affect all of us negatively. There are many compounds in wheat gluten that can damage us, including gliadins, gluteomorphins, glutenin, lectins and wheat germ agglutinin.

It’s the structure of these compounds that have detrimental health effects on humans because they create a negative reaction within the digestive tract for many people.

  • Gliadinsmake up the bulk of gluten and are very hard for us to digest. Worse, their amino acid structure is very similar to that of human organs, so when we develop antibodies to gliadins, our immune systems can attack our own tissues.
  • Wheat germ agglutinin (WGA) is a lectin that causes severe issues for people with celiac disease or sensitivity to gluten. Sprouting wheat grains doesn’t eliminate this lectin. WGA isn’t checked for during gluten intolerance tests, and it can damage human tissues even when allergies or sensitivities aren’t present.

Studies suggest that sourdough bread fermentation can partially degrade gluten proteins in bread and pasta. That’s good news if you have gluten sensitivity because few gluten-free products are completely gluten-free and those that are lack nutritional value.

If you do have celiac disease, look for gluten-free products and those in which fermenting practices have been used. A 2012 study has found that sourdough fermentation can help reduce intestinal inflammation in those with celiac disease, and fermentation increases the nutrient value of foods. (4)

Why Sprouted Grains Are Healthier

The reason that Ezekiel Bread is the healthier option over other breads has to do with its preparation, specifically that the grains used to make Ezekiel bread have been sprouted. Many plant foods, especially grains, contain factors that can be toxic and mess with your gut lining. Specifically, unsprouted grains contain something called antinutrients.

Antinutrients are compounds found in foods like grains, legumes and nuts that bind to minerals and make them unusable by the body. (5) So even though whole grains do have nutrients in them, the presence of antinutrients means you’re not actually absorbing most of the minerals and vitamins from the whole grains. While sprouting lessens antinutrient content, many traditional cultures also choose to ferment sprouted grains in order to further lower antinutrient content.

Sprouting and fermenting foods, especially grains and legumes, greatly increases their nutrient content and makes them more easily digestible. But probably most importantly, sprouting grains deactivates important nutrient blockers (antinutrients). (6) This means that compared to breads that haven’t been sprouted, Ezekiel bread’s nutrients are more easily used by the body, and you’re also less likely to experience digestive problems from eating it.

When compared to breads that are made with grains that haven’t been sprouted, sprouted grain breads are the following:

  • A form of complete protein: Ezekiel bread contains 18 amino acids, the building blocks of proteins, including all nine essential amino acids.
  • Increase their digestibility: This happens because sprouting breaks down starches in grains and turns them into more easily digested simple sugars.
  • Increase how well their vitamin and minerals can be absorbed: Sprouting breaks down antinutrients, or the enzyme inhibitors that can interfere with your ability to absorb calcium, magnesium, iron, copper and zinc found in the grains.
  • Increase the vitamin and mineral concentration:Vitamin C, the B vitamins and vitamin E all become more concentrated when sprouting.
  • A high source of dietary fiber:Sprouted breads are made using a combination of sprouted whole grains and legumes, both of which have high fiber contents that help digestion and make you feel full.

Ezekiel bread is a much healthier option than most other breads. However, that being said, for most people who are looking to reverse disease or to reach a healthier weight, I usually recommend staying away from grains altogether, at least for a period of time.

Once you’re able to reach your health-related goals through eating a healing diet, then you can try reintroducing certain whole grains and grain products, like Ezekiel bread for example, back into your diet to see what kind of reaction you have. Some people do better eating grains than others and usually the only way to know if you can tolerate grains, or if you experience any sort of grain-related symptoms such as leaky gut syndrome or gluten sensitivity, is to eliminate them altogether for a period of time.

Once you reintroduce grains, if you find that you can tolerate them well, I always recommend eating grains that have been sprouted and fermented, like Ezekiel bread. These types of grains have many more health benefits and less risks associated with eating them than more refined carbohydrates do.

I also recommend consuming sprouted grains on occasion, as opposed to with every single meal, or as the center of your plate. The same rule goes for Ezekiel bread: It can play a part in an otherwise healthy diet for some people, but it’s best not to think of it as a staple of your diet.

History of Ezekiel Bread

Sprouted Ezekiel bread has a very long tradition that stems back to the Biblical times. Ezekiel 4:9 bread is said to be “crafted in the likeness of the Holy Scripture, verse Ezekiel 4:9.” Ezekiel 4:9 refers to a passage in the Bible that describes how to prepare sprouted bread using the grains wheat, barley, beans, lentils, millet and fitches (which is spelt). The passage was meant for the Israelites who would be in exile for 390 days.

Take thou also unto thee wheat, and barley, and beans, and lentiles, and millet, and fitches, and put them in one vessel, and make thee bread thereof, according to the number of the days that thou shalt lie upon thy side, three hundred and ninety days shalt thou eat thereof … — Ezekiel 4:9 (7)

It’s believed that the biblical bread recipe was intended to help people survive famine during an upcoming siege. Certain grains, like barley and millet for example, throughout history had actually been considered somewhat of a poor man’s food. This is because these hardy grains were able to last through times of drought and frosts, and when the grains were sprouted and all combined together, they made a good source of complete protein that could nurture the population.

Similar breads have been made ever since ancient times, with different cultures tweaking the recipe in various ways. For example, Essence bread is a type of ancient sprouted Hebrew bread that is made in a similar way to Ezekiel bread still today.  Essence bread is said to stem back thousands of years to around the time of the 2nd century B.C.

Many other cultures have made fermented sourdough breads for centuries. Sourdough breads are made using an acidic substance that ferments when combined with grains and creates a natural yeast. These types of breads were made before cultivated yeasts even existed and result in a slightly sour taste to the bread. Ancient sourdough breads have been popular in parts of Europe since before written history! Some sources claim that a type of ancient sourdough bread was first made around the time of 3,700 B.C.

How to Make Homemade Ezekiel Bread

Some people prefer to make their own sprouted bread to ensure they’re getting the freshest product with the best ingredients. If you’d like to try making your own sprouted bread, look for unprocessed, untreated whole grains in health food stores (usually in the bulk section) or try buying them online.

You can sprout almost any grain, but you need to start with whole grain berries and not the kind that have been milled, rolled, flaked or prepared in other ways that will prevent them from sprouting. Some of the best options to include in sprouted bread are: wheat, spelt, oat groats, barley, buckwheat, brown rice, einkorn wheat, as well as various seeds like sesame, poppy, chia and flaxseeds.

The process of making homemade sprouted bread involves:

Soaking grains: You can do this in a large bowl or even a crockpot/slow cooker.

Draining the grains: You’ll need either a strainer with small holes in it or a sleeve/cheese cloth. This step is to separate the soaked grains from the water they’ve been sitting in.

Drying or dehydrating grains: You’ll need to dry the grains out after they’ve sprouted to turn them into flour. You can either do this by baking them at a low temperature in the oven, or some people choose to dehydrate them.

Grinding the grains into flour: You can either use a high-speed blender like a Vitamix, or choose to purchase a grinder specifically made for flours. There are a range of grain grinders available on the market that differ in terms of price and capabilities, depending on what you’re looking for.

Recipe for Homemade Sprouted Grain Ezekiel Bread:

Ingredients:

  • 3½ cups of untreated/raw whole grains (try the following combination: ½ cup barley flour, ¼ cup finely ground broad bean (fava bean) flour, ¼ cup millet flour, 1 cup durum/spelt wheat flour, ½ cup finely ground lentil flour)
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • 2¼ teaspoons, or one ¼ ounce package active dry yeast

Instructions:

To make sprouted flours:

  1. Place grains into a large bowl and cover with warm water by about two inches and then add vinegar. Stir together to combine.
  2. Let the grains soak in the bowl for 18 to 24 hours, depending on the kind (see the chart below).
  3. Drain the grains and rinse them well. Then place them in a shallow bowl/dish/container that has a wide opening in which air can circulate. You can add 1–2 tablespoons of water for moisture but the grains shouldn’t be soaking anymore. Leave the grains out on the countertop in a room-temperature space.
  4. Allow the grains to sit and sprout over 2–3 days (depending on the kind). Every 12 hours while they’re soaking, rinse them well. Leave them to sprout until you see tiny, cream-colored sprout emerging at the end of the grains.
  5. Once sprouted, rinse and dry grains. Transfer the grains to the oven or a dehydrator lined with a nonstick sheets. Dehydrate the grains for 12 to 18 hours or until first. You can either freeze the grains to use later at this point, or grind them into flour/dough to use right away. To grind them to flour in order to bake into bread, follow directions below for making bread.

To make homemade bread:

  1. Add about half of the grains to a food processor/grinder and sprinkle half the salt over. Process until the mixture comes together into a ball. Place it in an airtight covered container. If you want your bread to have a fermented sourdough taste, leave the container at room temperature for 1 to 2 days. If not, leave it out for no more than about 12 hours.
  2. Add the yeast and knead the dough. Do this on a clean counter by sprinkling the dry yeast over the dough and kneading for no less than 20 minutes.
  3. Allow the yeast to get active by transferring the dough to a bowl and forming it into a ball. Cover the bowl with a plastic bag and let it sit for about 1 ½ hours so the yeast and grains can interact, and the dough rill rise.
  4. Preheat your oven to 350F (177C). Grease a bead pan and press in your dough. Bake for about 60 minutes (or if you have a thermometer, until the internal temperature of the bread measured reaches about 180 to 190F).

Storing the bread:

Because your bread will have no preservatives in it and sprouted flour is prone to growing mold over time, it’s recommended to freeze your bread within 2–3 days of making it. You can also try making sprouted bread (or muffins, cookies, etc.) in bulk and freezing them for later.

Where to Buy Ezekiel Bread

Ezekiel bread can be found in health food stores and now even most larger chain grocery stores. Normally it’s stored in the frozen section since it contains no preservatives and goes bad more quickly than other breads.

Some of the most popular brands of sprouted breads are:

  • Food For Life (this is the company that makes Ezekiel 4:9 bread)
  • Alvarado Street
  • Manna Bread
  • Sha Sha Co.
  • Everfresh Organic
  • Silver Hills Bakery

Homemade sprouted grain breads, especially sourdough breads, can also be found at farmer’s markets and traditional bakeries. Ask about the preparation methods to make sure the grains were sprouted first and that what you’re buying is truly “whole grain.”

The Bottom Line on Sprouted Breads like Ezekiel Bread

Considering Ezekiel bread is sprouted, it’s a much better option than types of bread that aren’t sprouted.

  • Sprouting and fermenting are historical and natural methods of processing plant foods.
  • Sprouting and fermenting can destroy antinutrients in plant foods.
  • Sprouting and fermenting can reduce gluten content in wheat products.
  • Sprouting and fermenting greatly increase nutritional and probiotic content in plant foods.
  • Sprouting and fermenting make foods more easily digestible.
  • You can sprout your own food at home, and it’s probably easier than you thought, too!

Health and Wellness Associates

312-972-WELL

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Foods

Which OIL can cause blindness?

oils2

There remains a great deal of confusion around the so-called “healthy” cooking oil called canola. If you are still cooking with canola or eating foods that contain canola, you will want to read this article.

There is no such thing as a naturally occurring plant named canola, but rather a plant that results from the super-hybridization (genetic modification) of the rapeseed plant, which is a member of the mustard family.

The name “Canola Oil,” which stands for “Canadian Oil Low Acid,” was invented because no one would buy a product called “Rapeseed Oil.”

As we reported earlier, oil from the rapeseed plant was originally used as a lubricant for steam engines and as a penetrating oil in the light rail industry. It was not meant for human consumption.

Canola oil is an excellent insecticide, which is registered with the EPA. It is the primary ingredient in many “organic” pesticide products. Vegol Year-Round Pesticidal Oil is 96 percent canola oil.

The product label states: “CAUTION: Avoid contact with skin or clothing.” There is even an Environmental Hazard warning that states: “Do not apply directly to water. Do not contaminate water when disposing of equipment…”

The label warns that if you get the product on your skin, you should rinse with water for 15 to 20 minutes, remove all contaminated clothing and then call poison control or a doctor for treatment advice.

There is no such warning, however, on a bottle of canola oil found in the supermarket. In fact, the label on this product states that it contains 100 percent canola oil. It is interesting that a product that contains 96 percent canola can be so hazardous while a product that contains 100 percent is not hazardous at all.

Although canola was not developed using biotechnology, the majority of what is grown today is from genetically modified seed so that it is able to withstand herbicides. In fact, canola oil is one of the most chemically altered foods in the American diet. Almost 90 percent of canola is genetically modified to be resistant to Roundup.

Because food manufacturers are not required to tell you whether an item contains genetically modified substances or not, it is wise to assume that if a food item contains canola oil – it is genetically modified.

Some common foods that contain canola oil are peanut butter, lunch meat, bread, salad dressing, bread, garlic salts, baked goods, french fries, diet shakes and bars and cereal.

In addition, the omega-3 in canola oil is easily damaged by heat and will become rancid and foul-smelling. Manufacturers deodorize the oil with dangerous chemicals, which changes the omega-3 fat into trans fats.

According to a study that analyzed canola and soybean oils, between .56 and 4.2 percent contain toxic trans fats. Of course, trans fats are insanely harmful and directly associated with a number of serious diseases, especially heart disease…. the number one killer in the world.

This highly refined oil is also void of any real nutrient value – it has no positive nutritional impact on the body. It is also high in oxidized omega-6 fats, and omega-3 fats that we are unable to use. Although omega-6 fatty acids are essential, Americans consume 11-30 times more omega-6 fatty acids than omega-3′s – mostly in the form of partially hydrogenated oils.

If we consume high amounts of omega-6′s, it may put the body at risk for life-threatening conditions such as cancer, hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, arthritis and a variety of autoimmune disorders.

It is not only heart disease that we should be worried about when using canola oil. Author John Thomas reported in his book Young Again that rapeseed (canola oil) fed to cows, pigs and sheep between 1986 and 1991 in parts of Europe caused the animals to go blind and attack people. When the rapeseed was removed from the diet the

attacks and blindness stopped. The product was banned in Europe in 1991.

So… what oil are we to use

Keep in mind the truth that the closer foods are to their natural state the better they are for us. Any food that has gone through industrial processing has had its personality changed and is no longer recognizable by the body or of much use to it.

Substances that are of no use, such as those that have been denatured or hyper-processed, may also contain dangerous additives or by-products of the refining process.

However, there is one oil that has been used for thousands of years and, in its most natural form, is not only delicious but jam packed with nutrients and therapeutic properties which are garnering the attention of both natural practitioners and mainline physicians alike.

Coconut oil is like no other oil on this planet. Made by by pressing the raw meat of the coconut, this oil, although high in saturated fat, is translated into immediate energy in the body. It is a stable oil that is classified as a “functional food” – meaning that it provides a vast array of benefits beyond its nutritional content.

Along with this energy comes a host of other valuable properties including antimicrobial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, anticarcinogenic, anti-protozoa and antioxidant capabilities. Coconut oil has been proven to go head to head with the bacteria that cause ulcers, urinary tract infections, throat infections, pneumonia and gonorrhea.

Coconut oil also kills fungus and yeasts that can cause such things as candidiasis, ringworm, athlete’s foot, thrush, diaper rash and other infections. In addition, coconut oil has been used as an effective remedy against tapeworms, lice, giardia and other parasites.

Known quite simply as “the healthiest oil on this planet,” coconut oil is different in composition from other oils – this unique composition is what makes it so effective and healthy.

All fats and oils are comprised of molecules known as fatty acids. Fatty acids can be classified one of two ways. The first way is by their saturation – there are saturated fats, monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats.

You can also classify fatty acids by the length of the carbon chain within each fatty acid – short chain, medium chain and long chain. Coconut oil is mostly medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs), also called medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs).

Most other fats or oils in our diets from both plant and animal sources are long-chain fatty acids (LCFAs). In fact, almost 98 – 100 percent of all fatty acids we consume are LCFAs.

So, you might ask, what is wrong with a LCFA? The issue comes in when we look at how the body responds to the size of the chain. LCFAs are received differently in the body than MCFAs, which are absorbed quickly, transported in the portal blood directly to the liver, and able to be used for energy. In contrast, the longer chain fatty acids are carried through the lymph and are not readily available for energy, but rather stored as fat.

But… coconut oil contains saturated fat, doesn’t it?

Yes, it does. However, it is healthy saturated fat, and besides, it is actually a myth, all in the name of corporate profits, that saturated fat causes heart disease. The naturally occurring saturated fat that is in coconut oil actually promotes heart health, encourages weight loss, regulates blood sugar and supports thyroid function.

Using coconut oil is as easy as substituting it for your old oil. The rich tropical taste is an added bonus – just be sure you purchase organic virgin coconut oil from a reputable dealer.

Vitamins and Supplements

Do not take multivitamins that contain folic acid, and if you are pregnant, Do Not take prenatal vitamins with folic acid.

folicacidfoods

DO NOT take multivitamins that contain folic acid. and If you are pregnant, DO NOT take prenatal vitamins that contain folic acid!Folic acid supplementation is dangerous – especially for pregnant women

Women who take supplemental folic acid increase their breast cancer risk by 20-30%, according to a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Researchers collected data on women’s folic acid intake from multivitamins over a 10-year period – they found that the women who took multivitamins containing folic acid were more likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer than those that did not. 1,2

A study published earlier this year found a 163% increased risk of prostate cancer in men taking folic acid supplements.3

A new meta-analysis of folic acid supplementation and colorectal cancer risk found that those who took folic acid for more than three years increased their risk of having a colorectal adenoma by 35%.4 In the U.S., Canada, and most recently Chile, colorectal cancer rates have climbed since the advent of mandatory fortification of flour with folic acid.10-11

Another new study, has found that folic acid supplementation by pregnant women increases the risk of childhood asthma by 26% 5, and yet another study linked folic acid supplementation during pregnancy to increased incidence of respiratory tract infections in infants, especially those resulting in hospitalization.6

This past month in Norway, where there is no fortification of flour with folic acid, researchers conducting a six-year study on the homocysteine-lowering effects of B vitamins in patients with heart disease made an unexpected finding: the patients whose supplement included folic acid had a greater risk of cancer incidence and cancer mortality.7 These patients were 43% more likely to die from cancer.

Most alarming was another study that compared women who took folic acid during their pregnancy to those that did not. Thirty years later those women who were given a hefty dose of folic acid during pregnancy were twice as likely to die from breast cancer.8 Shocking info huh!

If folic acid can have these dangerous effects, why is it included in most multivitamins, prenatal vitamins and fortified grain products?

Folic acid is the synthetic form of folate, a member of the family of B vitamins that is involved with DNA synthesis and DNA methylation, which essentially turns genes on and off. Because of these crucial functions, folate plays important roles in fetal development and nerve tissue health as well as cancer initiation and progression.

The protective effects of folate against neural tube defects (NTDs) have received much attention in the past. Unfortunately, this knowledge and public attention did not result in a campaign by the U.S. government encouraging women to get plenty of natural dietary folate from vegetables – instead, pregnant women are pushed to take folic acid supplements.

Folic acid is chemically different from dietary folate, which results in differences in uptake and processing of these two substances by the cells in the intestinal wall. Some folic acid is chemically modified to be more similar to natural folate, but the intestinal cells are limited in how much folic acid they can modify – excess folic acid often enters the circulation unmodified. Scientists do not yet know the implications of circulating synthetic folic acid. Many Americans, through multivitamin use and consumption of fortified foods, are taking in excessive amounts of folic acid, and thus may have unmodified folic acid circulating in their blood – this could contribute to the cancer-promoting effects.9,10-11

The recommendation that pregnant women take folic acid supplements is especially troubling – these women could safely increase their folate status and prevent neural tube defects (NTDs) by eating green vegetables, but instead they are instructed to take folic acid supplements, which put them at risk for breast cancer later in life. The children are also put at risk –women who take folic acid supplements as a substitute for good nutrition fail to provide their unborn children with the additional nutrients in folate-containing foods. Maternal nutrition is a critical determinant of childhood health – there are inverse associations between maternal vegetable intake and childhood cancers.12-13

Unlike synthetic folic acid, folate obtained from food sources – especially green vegetables – protects against breast and prostate cancer.

Paradoxically, in people who do not take folic acid supplements there is inverse relationship between dietary folate intake and breast and prostate cancer.14,3 Folate is an essential nutrient with vital functions. It is probable that folate levels need to be tightly regulated by the body – that the timing and dose of folate is an important determinant of whether folate has positive or negative effects. Folate’s actions on DNA may prevent cancer from initiating, but may also promote the proliferation of tumor cells that may already present.15 Luckily, getting our folate exclusively from food ensures that we do not get too much. It comes naturally packaged in balance with other micronutrients and the body regulates its absorption.9

Rich sources of food folate

As a reference point, the U.S. RDA for folate is 400μg.  Below is the approximate folate content for a 100-calorie serving.16

Spinach, raw 843 μg Edamame 225 μg
Endive 835 μg Tomatoes, yellow 200 μg
Romaine lettuce 800 μg Tomatoes, orange 180 μg
Asparagus, cooked 750 μg Chickpeas 150 μg
Mustard greens, raw 700 μg Red peppers, raw 150 μg
Collards, raw 550 μg Papaya 90 μg
Okra, cooked 520 μg Snow/Snap peas, raw 100 μg
Bok choy, raw 500 μg Summer squash 100 μg
Broccoli Rabe, raw 375 μg Tomatoes, red 85 μg
Arugula, raw 340 μg Strawberries 75 μg
Artichokes, cooked 330 μg Oranges 70 μg
Brussels sprouts, cooked 300 μg Beets, cooked 50 μg
Broccoli, cooked 300 μg Blackberries 55 μg
Cauliflower, raw 225 μg Avocado 50 μg
Red leaf lettuce 225 μg Sunflower seeds 40 μg
Celery, raw 225 μg Quinoa, cooked 35 μg

Clearly, we do not need synthetic folic acid supplements to meet our daily folate requirements.

It is not recommend to take prenatal vitamins generally available on the market because of the potentially harmful ingredients that they contain, such as folic acid. Sensitive to the needs of women who are pregnant or of childbearing age, Dr. Fuhrman designed his own prenatal vitamin called Gentle Prenatal, Gentle Care Formula, which is recommended.

Special recommendations for pregnant women:

– Gentle Prenatal (delivers the iron and extra vitamin D needed by pregnant women) – Osteo-Sun – DHA+EPA Purity – A nutrient dense diet, rich in green vegetables (and folate)

Gentle Care Formula (multivitamin and mineral) Too much of certain nutrients, including folic acid, has been shown to have negative health effects and may also promote breast cancer.1,2,16 This formulation avoids potentially toxic ingredients, such as vitamin A17 , beta carotene18-20, folic acid, copper and iron. All of the ingredients are selected for optimal quality, absorption, and gentleness. This balanced antioxidant blend also offers phytochemical and carotenoid concentrates from green food extracts.

Gentle Prenatal (multivitamin and mineral) contains the same carefully designed combination of vitamins and minerals present in Gentle Care Formula, but has been uniquely tailored to the needs of pregnant women with iron and more vitamin D.

References: 1. Stolzenberg-Solomon RZ et al. Folate intake, alcohol use, and postmenopausal breast cancer risk in the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal, and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial. Am J Clin Nutr. 2006 Apr;83(4):895-904. 2. Kim YI. Does a high folate intake increase the risk of breast cancer? Nut Rev; 2006; 64(10PT1) 468-75. 3. Figueiredo JC et al. Folic acid and risk of prostate cancer: results from a randomized clinical trial. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2009 Mar 18;101(6):432-5. Epub 2009 Mar 10. 4. Fife, J et al. Folic Acid Supplementation and Colorectal Cancer Risk; A Meta-analysis. Colorectal Dis. 2009 Oct 27. [Epub ahead of print] 5. Whitrow MJ, Moore VM, Rumbold AR, Davies MJ. Effect of supplemental folic acid in pregnancy on childhood asthma: a prospective birth cohort study. Am J Epidemiol. 2009 Dec 15;170(12):1486-93. 6. Haberg SE, London SJ, Stigum H, Nafstad P, Nystad W. Folic acid supplements in pregnancy and early childhood respiratory health. Arch Dis Child. 2009 Mar;94(3):180-4. Epub 2008 Dec 3. 7. Ebbing M et al. Cancer Incidence and Mortality After Treatment With Folic Acid and Vitamin B12. JAMA. 2009;302(19):2119-2126. 8. Charles D et al. Taking folate in pregnancy and risk of maternal breast cancer. BMJ 2004;329:1375–6 9. Harvard School of Public Health; The Nutrition Source: Keep the Multi, Skip the Heavily Fortified Foods; http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/what-should-you-eat/folicacid/ Date accessed: 8/29/08. 10. Hirsch S et al. Colon cancer in Chile before and after the start of the flour fortification program with folic acid. Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2009 Apr;21(4):436-9. 11. http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/591111 12. Kwan ML et al. Maternal diet and risk of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Public Health Rep. 2009 Jul-Aug;124(4):503-14. Tower RL et al. The epidemiology of childhood leukemia with a focus on birth weight and diet. Crit Rev Clin Lab Sci. 2007;44(3):203-42. Petridou E et al. Maternal diet and acute lymphoblastic leukemia in young children.Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2005 Aug;14(8):1935-9. Jensen CD et al. Maternal dietary risk factors in childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (United States).Cancer Causes Control. 2004 Aug;15(6):559-70. 13. Huncharek M et al. A meta-analysis of maternal cured meat consumption during pregnancy and the risk of childhood brain tumors. Neuroepidemiology. 2004 Jan-Apr;23(1-2):78-84. Pogoda JM et al. An international case-control study of maternal diet during pregnancy and childhood brain tumor risk: a histology-specific analysis by food group. Ann Epidemiol. 2009 Mar;19(3):148-60. 14. Sellers TA et al. Dietary folate intake, alcohol, and risk of breast cancer in a prospective study of postmenopausal women. Epidemiology. 2001 Jul;12(4):420-8. 15. Kim YI. Folic acid fortification and supplementation–good for some but not so good for others. Nutr Rev. 2007 Nov;65(11):504-11. 16. http://www.nutritiondata.com/tools/nutrient-search 17. Bjelakovic G, Nikolava D, Gluud LL, et al. Antioxidant supplements for prevention of mortality in healthy participants and patient with various diseases. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2008;16(2):CD00776. 18. Mayne ST. Beta-carotene, carotenoids, and disease prevention in humans. FASEB. 1996;10(7):690-701. 19. Goodman GE. Prevention of lung cancer. Current Opinion in Oncology 1998;10(2):122-126. 20. Kolata G. Studies Find Beta Carotene, Taken by Millions, Can’t Forestall Cancer or Heart Disease. New York Times, Jan 19, 1996.