Foods, Uncategorized

Enjoy the Fall Apple Harvest

Enjoy the Fall Apple Harvest

appleharvest

Crisp, juicy apples are a fall tradition. Take advantage of the bountiful selection of apples available this time of year. There are hundreds of varieties to sample. They range from red to yellow to green, crunchy to tender, sweet to tart and simple to complex.

Apples contain a wide variety of phytochemicals, many of which have been found to have strong antioxidant activity. They are particularly high in quercetin, a flavonoid antioxidant.1 Epidemiological studies have linked the consumption of apples with reduced risk of some cancers, cardiovascular disease, asthma, diabetes and obesity.2-7 Not only can eating an apple a day help keep the doctor away, an apple a day might keep the pounds away too; adding apples to the diet has been shown to enhance weight loss.8-9 To optimize phytochemical content, it is important to eat the pigment-rich apple skin. Choose whole, organic apples over applesauce or apple juice.

Apples are also a rich source of pectin, a type of soluble fiber that is found in plant cell walls and tissues. This soluble fiber works to lower cholesterol by reducing the amount that is absorbed in the intestines. Studies have shown that the pectin in apples interacts with other apple phytonutrients to achieve an even greater reduction in cholesterol.10 Researchers have also discovered that apples can boost intestinal health by increasing the numbers of good gut bacteria which feed on apple pectin.11

Portable and easy to pack, apples are great to include in your on-the-go meals. For an easy dessert, enjoy them baked with a sprinkle of cinnamon and nutmeg. I like to dice an apple, toss it with baby greens, some chickpeas, maybe a handful of walnuts or pumpkin seeds and then top it off with one of my flavored vinegars or perhaps my Almond Balsamic Dressing.

Experiment with the many different varieties of apples to discover which ones are your favorites. Have fun seeking out your local organic apple growers, farm stands and farmers markets and look for different types of interesting apples. They do not have to look perfect. The smaller and more imperfect they look, the better they taste. If you go apple picking and get lots of them, don’t worry, you can store them for several months. Just wrap each apple in a paper towel to prevent them from touching each other and store in a closed cardboard box in a cool place such as the basement or garage.

We are in this together!

Health and Wellness Associates
EHS Telehealth
Dr Furhman

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Diets and Weight Loss, Foods, Health and Disease, Rx to Wellness, Uncategorized

Health Benefits of Cherries

Health Benefits of Cherries

 

Cherries for gout

100g of cherries has 50 caloriesCherries are especially useful for treating gout.  Gout is a kind of arthritis linked to an unusually high amount of uric acid in the bloodstream. Uric acid is made in the liver and sometimes too much uric acid is made. Needle-like crystals form as uric acid levels increase, and these crystals build up in the joints over time, resulting in the pain and inflammation typical of gout.

Bing cherries have antioxidant as well as anti-inflammatory properties, in particular a compound known as cyanidin, which has been found to inhibit the activity of the enzyme involved in the making of uric acid. Research has revealed that eating the equivalent of a pound of fresh cherries each day is highly effective for lowering uric acid levels.

One study demonstrated that healthy people who ate Bing cherries for 28 days had reduced inflammation markers and they stayed low for days despite discontinuation of cherry consumption.

Another study has also shown that eating cherries may lower risk of gout attacks. Gout sufferers consuming cherries for a 2 day period had a 35 % reduced risk of gout attacks when compared with those not eating cherries. The risk of gout flare continued decreasing with the increase of cherry intake, up to 3 servings over 2 days. It was found that additional cherry intake did not provide any extra benefit.[3]

Nutritional value of cherries (red) per 100g:

  •     How many calories in cherries – 50
  •     How much protein in cherries – 1g
  •     How many carbs in cherries – 12g
  •     What is the fat content of cherries – 0.3g

Nutrients in cherries

Cherries are a very good source of vitamins C and A. They are a good source of copper, calcium, iron, potassium and manganese.

 

Cherries and blood pressure

Cherries and blood pressure

Montmorency tart cherry juice lowers blood pressure

Consuming tart cherry juice is as effective for reducing high blood pressure as blood pressure lowering medications. Participants of a 2016 study who had early signs of hypertension experienced a blood pressure reduction of 7% three hours after consuming a Montmorency tart cherry concentrate and water mixture.[4]

The blood pressure readings of the 15 participants was least 130/90 mmHg, which means they had a higher risk of having cardiovascular related problems. They consumed either 60ml of tart cherry juice concentrate or 60ml of a commercial fruit-flavored drink.

Blood pressure was taken before consuming the Montmorency cherry concentrate and was measured thereafter on an hourly basis. The participants consuming the Montmorency cherry concentrate experienced a blood pressure reduction of 7 mmHg in the 3 hours after consumption.

The greatest systolic blood pressure improvement occurred when vanillic and protocatechuic, the cherry concentrate’s phenolic acids, reached peak plasma levels. The reduction in blood pressure from the consumption of the Montmorency cherry concentrate was comparable to the reduction achieved by blood pressure lowering medication.

A 2018 study found that consuming Montmorency tart cherry juice reduced systolic blood pressure in individuals between the ages of 65 and 80. The 34 study participants in this 12-week randomized controlled trial were randomly assigned to 1 of 2 groups.[5]

The 1st group drank 240ml of Montmorency tart cherry juice in the morning and 240ml in the evening every day for the 12 weeks. The 2nd group drank the equivalent amount of a cherry flavored placebo drink devoid of tart cherries. Blood pressure as well as blood sugar, insulin, weight and cholesterol were measured when the study began and again when it ended.

The Montmorency tart cherry juice group had a significant reduction (4.1 mmHg) in systolic blood pressure in comparison to the drink placebo drink group.

How much tart cherry juice should you drink a day to lower blood pressure?

The participants in the 2016 study drank 60ml of tart cherry juice concentrate, which is estimated to be equivalent to about 500g of whole tart cherries.

The participants in the 2018 study drank 480 ml tart cherry juice, which was prepared from 68ml Montmorency tart cherry juice concentrate diluted with 412ml water.

Health Benefits of Cherries

Tart cherry juice for sleep
Melatonin in cherries

Montmorency tart cherries have been found to contain substantial amounts of the sleep hormone melatonin, which helps in regulating the sleep-wake cycle. Although some other foods also have melatonin, the quantity is too low to be effective, but, according to research, Montmorency cherries have 0.1 to 0.3 milligram of melatonin a serving,[6] and contain about 6 times more melatonin compared to Balaton cherries. At this dosage melatonin has been proven to be an efficient sleep inducer.

 

A 2014 study concluded that Montmorency tart cherry juice helps in improving the quality and duration of sleep, as well as help in reducing insomnia severity.[7] The 7 study participants who suffered from insomnia that consumed the cherry juice in the morning as well as at night slept over an hour longer each night.

Besides Montmorency tart cherries being a good source of melatonin, tart cherry juice also helps in increasing the availability of the essential amino acid tryptophan, a precursor to serotonin which helps with sleep.  The tart cherry juice inhibits a tryptophan degrading enzyme and degradation of tryptophan is a predictor of insomnia. The researchers suggest the melatonin and tryptophan combination in Montmorency tart cherries is likely contributing to the benefits of tart cherries for sleep.

Cherries for weight loss

The Chemistry of Cherries

A 2008 animal study has suggested that tart cherries have significant potential for reducing belly fat. Obese rats that were given tart cherry powder combined with a high-fat diet gained less weight than rats that were not given cherries. After 12 weeks, the rats that were given the tart cherry powder had 54% body fat in comparison to 63% for rats that were fed a “Western diet”. The difference in weight gain was particularly pronounced in fat around the waist area, the rats that were given the cherry powder gained less belly fat.

The rats were given either a high fat and moderate carbohydrate diet,  or a low fat and high carbohydrate diet, both of which came either with or without tart cherry powder. The cherry enriched diet rats experienced a total cholesterol level reduction of approximately 11%.The TNF-alpha inflammation marker was reduced by 40% and interleukin 6 (IL-6) was reduced by 31%.

Health Benefits of Cherries

Cherries and cancer

Cherries have quite high levels of anthocyanins (the flavonoids giving cherries their intense red color), which give them anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and chemopreventative properties. Tart cherries contain the natural compound perillyl alcohol, which seems to be very effective in reducing the incidence of all kinds of cancer.  Perillyl alcohol has tested well for treating advanced prostate, breast and ovary cancers.[9] Research suggests that substances in tart cherries can reduce the formation of the carcinogenic chemicals (HCAAs) that develop from the charring of meat.

Cherries for colon cancer

Two of the anthocyanidins present in cherries, quercetin and isoquerxitrin, have been found to prevent the growth of colon cancer.

Cherries for breast cancer

Cyandin-3-glucoside, another anthocyanin found in cherries and other fruits, has antioxidative and anti‐inflammatory properties and also induces the death of  breast cancer cells. Cyandin-3-glucoside inhibits the cytokine VEGF, which plays a key role in tumor angiogenesis. Angiogenesis (new blood vessel formation) plays a major role in breast cancer progression by providing cancer cells with nutrients, oxygen, and blood vessels for cancer cells to spread.

Delphinidin is another  anthocyanin found in cherries and other brightly colored fruits and veggies, and is also found in certain dietary supplements used as complementary cancer treatment. Delphinidin induces cell death in HER2+ breast cancer cells. Delphinidin also inhibits epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) signaling in breast cancer cells.

Cherries and muscle soreness

Tart cherry juice benefits for exercise

Tart cherry juice improves exercise recovery

Cherries help to alleviate muscle soreness after exercising. A cup of tart cherry juice can help in reducing the soreness and inflammation of the muscles that is experienced after strenuous exercise. Marathon runners consuming tart cherry juice twice a day for 7 days before a race experienced less post race pain compared to runners not consuming cherry juice.

A 2011 study revealed that men who had tart cherry juice after weight training exercises experienced less muscle pain as well as less strength loss.

A 2019 study found that active women consuming tart cherry concentrate twice a day for eight days experienced reduced muscle soreness after exercising.

Tart cherry juice improves exercise performance

A 2019 study concluded that Montmorency cherry supplementation improves cycling performance. Eight trained cyclists supplementing Montmorency tart cherry for 7 days improved cycling time-trial performance. The exercise performance improvement was accompanied by muscle oxygenation enhancement which suggests that the cherry polyphenols’ vasoactive properties could be supporting the performance improvement effects.

Cherries and osteoarthritis

Tart cherry juice for arthritis

Commonly used pain medication for osteoarthritis doesn’t actually reduce inflammation and has  unwanted side effects such as kidney or liver damage. The pain relieving properties of tart cherries have been show to be effective for the relief of pain associated with osteoarthritis without the side effects of conventional treatments.

A 2007 study revealed that pain and function improved significantly in osteoarthritis of the knee patients when they were given tart cherries in supplement form for 8 weeks.

Cherry juice for inflammation

In a 2012 double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study, 20 patients suffering from inflammatory osteoarthritis had significant reductions in inflammation markers after consuming tart cherry juice twice daily for 3 weeks.

The study participants included twenty  40 to 70 year old women experiencing at least moderate osteoarthritis pain. They consumed 10.5-ounces of tart cherry juice or a placebo cherry drink twice daily for 3 weeks. There was a statistically significant reduction in inflammation among those individuals who consumed the tart cherry juice, which was indicated by reduced C-reactive protein levels. The reduction in inflammation was greatest for individuals who had shown the highest levels of inflammation at the beginning of the study.

Cherry juice for pain relief

Cherries are a natural pain reliever. Researchers have found that anthocyanidins from cherries have the ability to block both COX-1 and COX-2, enzymes considered to cause pain. Of all the fruits which were tested, cherries had the highest amounts of key anthocyanidins. The COX-inhibitory activities of the anthocyanidins in cherries were even found to be comparable to those of naproxen and ibuprofen.

Cherries and heart health

Tart cherries and cholesterol

Elevated LDL cholesterol levels are a risk factor for atherosclerosis and other cardiovascular diseases. The standard medical approach to help reduce LDL cholesterol levels to a safer range is to prescribe statins to reduce blood lipid levels. However, some patients encounter Statins are however not without side effects such as muscle pain to liver dysfunction.

A 2011 study reported a 26% reduction in cholesterol levels in mice fed tart cherry powder. A  reduction in early death of 65% was also reported, which was believed to be as a result of an improvement in cardiovascular health.

Another 2011 study in humans reported a reduction in of triglycerides levels of more than 17% on average after consuming 8-ounces of tart cherry juice daily for 4 weeks.[21]

A 2018 study reported a significant reduction in LDL cholesterol levels after participants drank Montmorency tart cherry juice made from concentrate. Study participants drinking 480ml of Montmorency tart cherry juice daily for 12 weeks experienced a reduction in LDL cholesterol levels as well as lower levels of total cholesterol.

How to Freeze Cherries

Benefits of cherries for skin

What is oxidative stress?

Oxidative stress when the body has an imbalance of antioxidants and free radicals. Free radicals are produced by the cells of the body during normal metabolic processes, and free radical neutralizing antioxidants are also produced by the cells. The body usually maintains a balance between free radicals and antioxidants.

Oxidative stress plays an important part in the aging process, especially in the skin. Aging results in the thinning of the epidermal (outer) as well as dermal (under) layers of the skin. This leads to fine wrinkles as a result of reduction of elastic fibers, collagen, and hyaluronic acid.

What are antioxidants?

Free radicals are unstable molecules which can cause damage in the body, and antioxidants neutralize free radicals by giving the free radical an electron. Antioxidants are produced naturally by the body and can also come from food such as fruit and veggies.

Several human studies have shown that sweet as well as tart cherries reduce oxidative stress. Melatonin, carotenoids, anthocyanins, polyphenols,  and vitamins C and E are all contributors to the antioxidant properties of cherries.

Cherries are an excellent source of anthocyanins, the flavonoid pigment that gives the cherry it’s color, and which has the greatest antioxidant capacity of any of the flavonoids. Tart cherries have more anthocyanins in comparison to sweet cherries. Scientific evidence has suggested that anthocyanins could possibly delay the appearance of signs of skin aging.

Health Benefits of Cherry Juice

Cherry juice and diabetes

There is some evidence to suggest that consumption of cherries could help in promoting healthy glucose regulation and reducing diabetes risk.

The enzymes dipeptidyl peptidase-4 and α glucosidase which are involved in the promotion of diabetes are inhibited by chlorogenic acid, one the main polyphenols of tart cherry juice.

Study results suggest that blood glucose could be reduced from anthocyanins by slowing the production of glucose from complex carbohydrates. The production of glucagon by pancreatic α cells could also be reduced, and hepatic glucose uptake and production of insulin by pancreatic β cells increased.

A 2008 study revealed a significant decrease in hemoglobin A1C (HbA1C) after diabetic women supplemented 40 mL of concentrated tart cherry juice day for 6 weeks. Fasting blood glucose was also decreased by 8%.

History of cherries

Cherries were named after the ancient Turkish town of Cerasus and go as far back to at least 300 B.C.

Cherries were among the first fruits the early settlers brought to America. The first cherry orchard was planted in northern Michigan in the 1600s. The 1st commercial tart cherry orchards in Michigan were planted in 1893.

The ultimate celebration of cherries is the National Cherry Festival, which is held each year in July in Traverse City, Michigan.

Cherry trees have played a part in American folklore since George Washington chopped down his father’s cherry tree, then couldn’t tell a lie and told his father what he’d done.

Sweet cherries are cultivated throughout North America and Europe. France, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Germany and Russia are big producers in Europe. Sour cherries are cultivated in Eastern Europe, Germany, Russia, and the United States. Germany tops the world in cherry production, followed by the United States.

Remember We Are In This Together!
Health and Wellness Associates
EHS Telehealth
Article reviewed by Dr Patricia Carrothers, Regenerative and Preventative Medicine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Uncategorized, Vitamins and Supplements

Vitamin D Protects Against Dementia

 

Vitamin D Protects Against Dementia

 

Fat-soluble vitamin D protects bone health and helps the body absorb dietary calcium, magnesium, and other minerals.

We can get vitamin D from fish, liver, sunlight, and supplements.

Dr. David Llewellyn and his associates at the University of Exeter Medical School in the United Kingdom reported in the journal Neurology that low blood levels of vitamin D are also associated with a greater likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

The researchers measured blood levels of vitamin D in more than 1,600 adults with the average age of 73.

The subjects did not have dementia at the beginning of the study. Volunteers with vitamin D levels of less than 25 nmol/L were twice as likely to have Alzheimer’s disease or another dementia at a follow-up five years later.

Earlier laboratory studies indicated that vitamin D helps break down brain-toxic amyloid proteins, which may explain the connection between low vitamin D and greater dementia risk.

The new study demonstrates an association with dementia risk but not a cause-and-effect relationship; however, it strongly suggests that getting adequate vitamin D may protect brain health.

Dont go out and buy Vitamin D until you talk to a healthcare provider and they figure out the right Vitamin D for you, and also what other supplements you must take with it to make it all work.   If your provider does not know what other supplements you are suppose to take, RUN!

You can always contact us to  help.

Remember, We Are In This Together!

Health and Wellness Associates
EHS Telehealth

WordPress:  https://healthandwellnessassociates.co/

Foods, Uncategorized

Gluten-Free Lower-Carb Lemon Bar Recipe

Gluten-Free Lower-Carb Lemon Bar Recipe

 

Low-Carb Lemon Bars

 

There are two kinds of lemon bars in this world. First are the bright yellow ones that usually have a lot of lemon and a lot of sugar (as much as 3 1/2 cups of sugar for a 13×9-inch pan of lemon bars). Then there are lemon bars with a light yellow hue, such as this one. These dessert bars have the addition of milk or cream, which mellows the bright lemon color. The milk or cream rounds out the sharpness of the lemon, requiring less sugar in the recipe while maintaining plenty of lemon flavor.

Fresh lemon juice is much better than bottled for this recipe (and in general), and the zest of the lemon adds a lot more flavor. Plus, these lemon bars feature an almond flour crust making them gluten-free. But don’t think you will feel deprived—this is a rich dessert sure to satisfy a lemon lover.

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cups ​almond flour
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) cold, unsalted butter
  • 2/3 to 3/4 cup fresh lemon juice (about 5 lemons)
  • Enough water to make a total of 1 1/4 cups liquid when added to the lemon juice
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons lemon zest (a microplane grater works best for this)
  • 5 medium eggs
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar, plus more for garnish if desired
  • 1/4 cup almond flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.

  2. Prepare a 13 X 9-inch pan—either butter it very well, or line it with greased parchment paper or foil.

  3. For the crust, put the almond flour, powdered sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until the lumps are gone. Alternatively, use a bowl and whisk.

  4. Cut the cold butter into medium cubes (16 cubes is about right). Add a few at a time to the mixture, either pulsing the food processor or, if mixing by hand, using a pastry blender or two table knives. Blend until the mixture looks like a crumbly meal.

  5. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Smooth with your hand until crust is even, then press until firm.

  6. Bake until just golden brown, about 15 minutes, but start checking at 10 minutes, as once it starts to brown it goes quickly. Remove the pan, then turn the oven down to 300 F.

  7. Cool the crust at room temperature for a few minutes, and then pop it into the refrigerator for 5 to 10 minutes, until firm (but not completely cold).

  8. For the filling, mix all the ingredients in a blender, and pour over the crust.

  9. Bake until the filling is just set (the center should barely jiggle when you gently shake the pan). This should take about 15 to 20 minutes.

  10. Remove from the oven and cool until room temperature, then place in the refrigerator and chill completely before cutting (at least 2 hours). If you like, sprinkle additional powdered sugar over the top (sift through a sieve).

     

Remember We are in this together!

 

Health and Wellness Associates
EHS Telehealth

WordPress:  https://healthandwellnessassociates.co/

Uncategorized, Vitamins and Supplements

Amazon Caught Selling FAKE Suppliments

Have you gotten into the habit of buying your nutritional supplements through Amazon, along with your other day-to-day necessities? If so, you may want to reconsider.

The e-commerce giant — which controls an estimated 40% of all U.S. e-commerce1 and handles more consumer searches than Google2 — has been found to sell counterfeit supplements on more than one occasion. In July 2019, Wired reported3 that Amazon had pulled fake Align probiotics by third-party sellers off its site and issued full refunds to customers.

Now, the Organic & Natural Health Association warns that Amazon may be defrauding customers twice by preventing genuine high-quality cannabidiol (CBD) products from being sold on its site, while simultaneously promoting and selling products that claim to contain CBD but don’t.

How Amazon Misleads Consumers on CBD

As reported by the Organic & Natural Health Association4 on October 15, 2019, Amazon’s policy prohibits the sale of CBD products, yet when you search for “CBD” in its search engine, thousands of products match that search term.

The reason for this is because Amazon allows vendors to tag their products with whatever search words they want — including terms that are prohibited per its own policy, apparently. You can even find results matching the search term “crack pipes,”5 even though illicit drugs and drug paraphernalia are strictly prohibited under Amazon’s rules.

Amazon also allows vendors to purchase advertising space for CBD products, again despite the fact that they don’t actually allow CBD products to be sold. To investigate this paradox, the Organic & Natural Health Association hired a third-party laboratory to test Amazon’s best-seller, New Age Premium Hemp Oil 1000 MG, for the presence of cannabinoids.

In what appears to be a clear violation of Amazon’s policy, the product was found to contain approximately 1% CBD6 (7.7 milligrams of CBD per 30 drops). It does not list CBD on the label, however. In a statement, Karen Howard, CEO and executive director of Organic & Natural Health, said:7

“It’s really important for consumers to know that because Amazon doesn’t allow the sale of products with CBD, there are no reputable companies selling CBD on their site …

Amazon states it has banned the sale of CBD supplements on its site, but allows advertising and tagging of CBD instead, inviting an influx of products to consumers that the FDA has been warning about …

Essentially, the public is being defrauded twice. First, Amazon’s best-seller, New Age Premium Hemp Oil contains CBD even though its label does not list CBD. Second, those searching for CBD products are being misled into buying products containing zero CBD.

We will continue our analysis of these products on Amazon’s site. Without any requirement for GMPs, consumers are running the risk of consuming products adulterated with processed oils, and we also know synthetic cannabinoid is in the market …

This deception Amazon is spoon-feeding consumers on CBD is highly irresponsible to millions of Americans in search of legitimate CBD supplements to help specific health ailments including stress, sleep and pain.”

Amazon Shirks Responsibility for Counterfeits

In instances where Amazon has warned consumers about counterfeit sales and refunded their money, the company has “taken far more action than it’s obligated to under the law,” Wired points out.8 The reason for this is because they’re considered a third-party marketplace and not an actual vendor; they’re simply an intermediary — or so they claim.9

Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act10 shields companies like Amazon, eBay and Etsy from most liability for what’s being sold on their sites, even if products are found to be dangerous. Amazon manages to take a nearly 20% cut of most sales, while escaping all liabilities of defrauding customers and even while breaking their own policies.

EBay, for example, was found not guilty in a case where a vendor was selling recalled items,11 which is against eBay’s terms of service. As noted by QZ.com:12

“This undermines the very existence of U.S. tort laws. Potential liability is considered a kind of protection that incentivizes individuals and companies to act responsibly and produce safe products — or pay.”

Indeed, retail vendors are responsible for everything they sell, and can be held liable for dangerous or counterfeit products. However, when a dangerous product is bought via Amazon, it can be near-impossible to track down the Amazon vendor responsible for a defective or counterfeit product.

Some of them are overseas. Most simply vanish and cannot be located. But the main problem with Amazon’s categorization as a third-party marketplace is that it’s not a mere marketplace platform anymore. As noted by Wired:13

“Amazon is both a retailer and a third-party marketplace. It buys some products directly from manufacturers and sells them at a markup, and it allows independent merchants to offer their goods directly to consumers, the latter of which accounts for 58 percent of gross merchandise sales on the platform.

But the line between those two parts of its business are not always clear. Amazon exerts a significant amount of control over sellers, including dictating how their goods appear in search results. It also often warehouses and ships their products for them.

And unlike on eBay, Etsy, or other online marketplaces, a single Amazon product listing can feature goods from dozens of independent sellers, making it difficult for consumers to understand from whom they’re purchasing a product.

‘Amazon has obviously kept pushing the needle further and further toward taking responsibility for marketplace goods,’ says [Eric] Goldman [professor at Santa Clara University School of Law who has written extensively about intermediary liability].

The US 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals ruled14,15 earlier this month that these kinds of differences do, in fact, make Amazon liable for harmful products sold by third-party sellers in some circumstances.”

According to the Pennsylvania court of appeals ruling:16

“Amazon fails to account for the fact that under the Agreement, third-party vendors can communicate with the customers only through Amazon. This enables third-party vendors to conceal themselves from the customer, leaving customers injured by defective products with no direct recourse to the third-party vendor.

There are numerous cases in which neither Amazon nor the party injured by a defective product, sold by Amazon.com, were able to locate the product’s third-party vendor or manufacturer.”

 

Bad Actors Run Amok on Amazon

A related article17 in The Verge points out that “Recent investigations find that bad actors are running amok” on Amazon, and that the platform “may be too big to police.”

The investigation in question was performed by three Wall Street Journal18 reporters, who discovered “4,152 items for sale on Amazon that have been declared unsafe or banned by federal regulators, or have deceptive labels.”19

This included 52 listings for supplements previously identified by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Justice Department as containing illegally imported prescription drugs, 116 products falsely listed as “FDA Approved” when in fact they’re not, and 80 listings for infant sleeping wedges that Amazon claims to have banned after FDA suffocation warnings were issued.

Adding insult to injury, dozens of these potentially dangerous items were also tagged “Amazon’s Choice.” As noted by The Verge, this label is based on customer ratings, price and average shipping time, but most consumers tend to interpret it as a seal of approval.

Senators Call for Thorough Investigation

In response to The Journal’s investigation, three Democratic senators — Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., Ed Markey, D-Mass. and Bob Menendez, D-N.J. — have written a letter to Amazon calling for a thorough investigation.20 In their letter,21 dated August 29, 2019, the three senators write:

 

“In addition to defective helmets, the WSJ investigation identified myriad problematic items for sale on the platform, including … unregistered pesticides; toxic paint strippers; pain relievers lacking appropriate FDA warning labels …

electronics deceptively labeled as third-party certified; and thousands of children’s products lacking federally mandated choking hazard labels, as well as toys containing lead at levels that violate federal limits.

Even when Amazon has banned products, its monitoring appears to be inadequate … they still remain widely and easily accessible on the platform … Unquestionably, Amazon is falling short of its commitment to keeping safe those consumers who use its massive platform.

We call on you to immediately remove … all the problematic products examined in the recent WSJ report; explain how you are going about this process; conduct a sweeping internal investigation of your enforcement and consumer safety policies; and institute changes that will continue to keep unsafe products off your platform.”

 

Hijacked Reviews — Another Tactic That Can Mislead You

The Verge also points out another significant problem on Amazon’s platform that results in customers being deceived: hijacked reviews.22 In some cases, the reviews you see under a product do not actually refer to the product currently for sale but for some previously listed product.

This migration of reviews appears to be the result of Amazon allowing sellers to edit listings. The take-home message in this case is that if a product has an excellent rating, you’d do well to read through the reviews to make sure they’re actually referring to the specific product you’re considering buying. Also look to make sure the positive reviews are tagged “Verified Purchase,” to avoid being misled by fake reviews.

Don’t Buy CBD From Amazon

The growing recognition of CBD’s medicinal benefits has led to an explosion of CBD products hitting the market. According to Project CBD, at least 50 conditions23 are believed to be improved by CBD, including pain, seizures, muscle spasms, nausea associated with chemotherapy, digestive disorders, degenerative neurological disorders, mood disorders and high blood pressure.

Cannabis has been legalized in several states, either for medical or recreational use or both, and hemp was included as a legal crop in the 2018 Farm Bill,24 leading to a rapidly growing market of hemp-derived CBD products. That CBD has noteworthy health benefits seems indisputable, but quality is paramount.

The fact that Amazon is prohibiting vendors from selling high-quality CBD products on its platform while advertising and shuttling consumers toward fake ones is a double disgrace. It seems Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is willing to sell just about anything to fund his dream of going into outer space.25

The take-home message here is this: Knowing that Amazon will not permit high-quality CBD products to be sold means you simply should not buy anything CBD-related from them. I also recommend caution when buying other nutritional supplements.

Also keep in mind that since CBD oil became a focus of popular holistic medicine almost overnight, effective quality control has not caught up yet and some products do not meet the claims made on the label.26 Until such a system is in place, it’s important you purchase your CBD products from a trusted source.

The need for more stringent quality control has already been demonstrated in studies27 showing 26.19% of 84 CBD products tested contained less CBD than advertised, and 42.85% of them contained more. Only 30.95% were accurately labeled.

The Case for Organic CBD

Heavy metal testing is particularly important for hemp-based CBD products, as the plant is known to extract heavy metals from the soil. In fact, it’s frequently used for bioremediation purposes,28 which is great if the hemp is used for rope, fuel and other nonmedical uses.

When made into medicine, however, this soil-cleansing feature could pose significant problems, as it must be grown in clean soil. As a general rule, I recommend seeking out certified organic CBD products to ensure the least amount of contamination with pesticides and other harmful agricultural contaminants.

Remember, We are in this together!

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Diets and Weight Loss, Foods, Uncategorized

Goat Cheese & Artichoke Dip Recipe

Goat Cheese & Artichoke Dip Recipe

 

Goat cheese & artichoke dip recipe - Dr. Axe

INGREDIENTS:

  • One 14-ounce can artichoke hearts, drained
  • 1 pound chévre goat cheese
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • ½ cup pecorino romano, grated
  • 1 tablespoon parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chives
  • ½ tablespoon basil
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • Dash of cayenne pepper (optional*)

 

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a food processor, mix all ingredients except the pecorino romano until well incorporated and creamy.
  2. Top with freshly grated pecorino romano.

 

If you’re someone who enjoys snacking or dips, you’ve likely had your share of artichoke and cheese dips. And sure, they’ve probably been tasty. You might have even prepared a few. But if you’re ready to take your dips to the next level, it’s time to make this artichoke dip recipe. Trust me — this one’s tastier (and much healthier) than any spinach and artichoke dip or cheesy dip I’ve ever had.

 

Goat Cheese Appetizers: A Crowd Favorite

Goat cheese is one of my favorite cheeses. It’s tangy and creamy, perfect for adding to your favorite dishes. It’s also lower in the milk proteins some people are sensitive to, so often even if you struggle with digesting traditional cow’s milk cheeses, you might find you can tolerate goat’s milk better. Different countries call goat’s cheese by different names; one of the most common is the French chèvre, which is what we’ll use here.

Goat cheese & artichoke dip recipe ingredients - Dr. Axe

 

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Foods, Uncategorized

Cheesy Chicken and Rice Casserole

Cheesy Chicken and Rice Casserole

 

Chicken and rice casserole recipe - Dr. Axe

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2–3 cups wild rice, cooked
  • 1 cup goat milk
  • 6 medium mushrooms, quartered
  • 4 chicken thighs, chopped
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 4 sprigs thyme
  • 1½ cup kale, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 1 cup goat cheese, grated
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons butter or avocado oil
  • 2 tablespoons arrowroot starch
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper

 

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a small saucepan over medium heat, create roux by whisking butter and arrowroot starch until it bubbles, about 2 minutes.
  3. Add broth, whisking continuously to thicken for about 10 minutes.
  4. Once the mixture is visibly thicker, add goat milk and continue to whisk for about 5 minutes, allowing to thicken a bit more.
  5. Combine all ingredients except for goat cheese in a casserole dish, mixing thoroughly.
  6. Top with goat cheese and bake for 40 minutes.

 

I think you’ll find that not only is this chicken and rice casserole recipe super tasty and comforting, it’s also energizing, filling and gentle on your stomach.

The week nights can get very busy, and we often find ourselves rushing to make dinner choices that are quick, easy and inexpensive. When you need to throw a bunch of ingredients in a pot and call it a day, there’s nothing better than slow cooker recipes and casseroles.

Unlike most casserole recipes that are made with refined carbohydrates and other processed ingredients that can be hard on your digestive system, my chicken and rice casserole is made with gluten-free wild rice, chicken thighs, mushrooms, kale and goat cheese. It’s also made with a tasty roux that’s made with arrowroot, one of my go-to gluten-free flours, and goat milk.

The Healthiest Rice Option

When you roam through the rice options at the grocery store, you may be a bit confused about all of the options. There’s white rice, brown rice, black rice, wild rice, jasmine rice — the list goes on. Do you need some help choosing the healthiest rice options for your home cooking? Well, I’ve got you covered.

One of the healthiest rice options out there is wild rice. Did you know that wild rice is actually a grass and not a grain? It’s a semi-aquatic grass that grows naturally in waterways throughout the United States. It’s completely gluten-free and rich in antioxidants.

Chicken and rice casserole recipe - Dr. Axe

Wild rice has a nutty flavor and texture, so it really adds depth to a recipe. Plus, you may notice that after eating a meal with wild rice, you feel energized, which is because of the magnesium content.

Aside from the wild rice in my chicken and rice casserole, some other ingredients that make this a healthy and filling dinner option are the goat milk, chicken broth and arrowroot flour that makes up the roux. You get a creamy texture and rich flavor, but this roux is easy on your digestive system.

Plus, the combination of mushrooms, kale, garlic and shallot gives this chicken and rice casserole a boost of vitamins and minerals that will support your immune system and help to reduce inflammation. Who knew a casserole can do so much for your health?

 

Remember We Are In This Together!

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Foods, Health and Disease, Uncategorized

Heart-Healthy Eggs Benedict Recipe with Asparagus

Heart-Healthy Eggs Benedict Recipe with Asparagus

 

Eggs benedict recipe - Dr. Axe

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 bunch asparagus (16 pieces)
  • 1–2 teaspoons coconut or avocado oil
  • ¼ tomato, sliced
  • ½ avocado, sliced
  • 2 eggs, poached
  • hollandaise sauce  ( recipe below)

 

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a medium-size frying pan over medium heat, add coconut or avocado oil.
  2. Add the asparagus to the frying pan and pan fry until for tender, about 8–10 minutes.
  3. In a small pot, bring 2–3 cups of water to a boil.
  4. Once boiling, gently lower the eggs into the water and allow to boil for 3 minutes. Remove the eggs once finished and set them aside for assembly.
  5. Divide the asparagus on two separate plates and add sliced tomato and avocado on top.
  6. Add the eggs and drizzle on the hollandaise.
  7. Top with chives.

Eggs Benedict is one of those items that you’ll always see on a breakfast or brunch menu. It’s a breakfast classic. But, when prepared with the traditional ingredients, it can be hard on your waistline, heart, brain and digestion.

In my eggs Benedict recipe, I use immune-boosting, heart healthy, anti-inflammatory foods like avocado, asparagus and tomato. This low-carb breakfast is also high in healthy fats that are key for maintaining optimal health. So give this eggs Benedict recipe a try — you’ll never go back to the traditional dish again.

5-Minute Blender Hollandaise Sauce Recipe

Hollandaise sauce recipe - Dr. Axe

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 tablespoon grass-fed butter or ghee
  • 1 egg yolk
  • ¼ teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ tablespoon water

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a small sauce pan, melt the butter or ghee over medium-low heat.
  2. Add all the ingredients into a high-powered blender until well combined.

 

Remember we are in this together!

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EHS Telehealth

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Foods, Uncategorized

Creamy Southwest Chicken : Low Carb

Creamy Southwest Chicken

 

southwest chicken

Low carb chicken recipes are a must-have for many on low carb diets. This creamy chicken skillet dish is one you can have on the table in 20 minutes, from prep time to finished product, using canned green chiles and shredded cheese for enhanced flavor. This is also one of those dishes you can still serve to family members who may not be on the low carb diet you’re on. Just add their desired side dish, with your low carb options at the same time. The chiles are mild, so this isn’t a spicy dish, but it is a tasty one. Serve with refried beans and/or a salad and sliced avocado. To give it some heat and spice things up, add red pepper flakes or sriracha.

 

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 medium chicken breast (boneless, skinless)
  • 1/4 cup onion (minced)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 4.5 ounce can green chiles (chopped)
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup cheddar (shredded, or jack cheese)

Preparation

1) Heat large skillet with oil over medium heat.

2) Cut chicken into bite-sized pieces and season with salt and pepper. Saute until brown on both sides, adding onions about halfway through.

3) Add garlic and cook for another minute.

4) If needed, deglaze the pan with a little water.

5) Add green chiles and cream, and simmer until chicken is done on both sides and the sauce is thickened.

6) Top with shredded cheddar or jack cheese, and serve when cheese melts.

Optional garnish: avocado slices or cilantro.

Suggested Additions: Add low carb veggies such as chopped broccoli or cauliflower to boost fiber; use feta cheese and sun-dried tomatoes instead of cheddar or jack.

Slow Cooker Creamy Southwest Chicken Recipe

In addition to pan frying this creamy chicken dish, as this recipe does, you can use the recipe in a slow cooker. By using the slow cooker, you can create this dish with less prep time. If you go the slow cooker route, you can forego chopping the chicken into small pieces and leave them whole.

Here’s how: Add all the ingredients, except the cheese, including chicken stock (1/2 cup), into the slow cooker. Top the ingredients with the chicken and finish with the salt and pepper to taste. Depending on the thickness of your chicken breasts, anywhere from 4.5 to 6 hours and your dish will be ready. As you serve the chicken, top with the shredded cheese. Quinoa noodles are a great relatively low carb supplement to add to the slow cooker version of this recipe.

 

-People Start to Heal The Moment They Are Heard-
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Health and Disease, Uncategorized

Plastic Tea Bags : Plastic in Your Body

 

Billions of ‘Microplastics’ in Your Tea From Each Plastic Teabag

News Picture: Billions of 'Microplastics' in Your Tea From Each Plastic Teabag: Study

A new study warns that even your soothing cup of tea might serve up some invisible health hazards.

Some tea companies are replacing traditional paper teabags with plastic ones, but the new bags may be adding billions of tiny bits of plastic to your beverage, a team from Canada reports.

“We show that steeping a single plastic teabag at brewing temperature [205 degrees Fahrenheit] releases approximately 11.6 billion microplastics and 3.1 billion nanoplastics into a single cup of the beverage,” concluded a team led by Nathalie Tufenkji. She’s a professor of chemical engineering at McGill University in Montreal.

The global proliferation of microplastics — bits of plastic so small they are often invisible to the naked eye — have made headlines recently, having been found in large numbers in ocean and tap water, seafood and even human poop.

“In the past few years, there has been a steadily increasing body of scientific literature demonstrating that not only are microplastics permeating the broader environment, they are entering our bodies, as well,” noted Dr. Kenneth Spaeth, chief of occupational and environmental medicine at Northwell Health in Great Neck, N.Y. He wasn’t involved in the new research.

Spaeth stressed that there’s just too little data on whether or not microplastics pose a threat to human health. However, “based on the molecular composition of microplastics, there is reason to have real concern about the potential health effects,” he said, “since they contain a variety of components known to harm human health — including hormone-disrupting chemicals, as well as human carcinogens.”

In the new study, the Montreal team noted that the heat of brewed tea can cause plastic tea bags to break down into bits of plastic that are thousands of times smaller than the diameter of a human hair. That means you can’t see, taste or feel them in your mouth.

Investigating further, the researchers removed the tea from plastic teabags sourced from four different manufacturers. They then washed out the empty bags and placed them in hot water.

Using a powerful electron microscope, Tufenkji’s team found that a single bag released close to 12 billion microplastic particles, and more than 3 billion of the [even smaller] nanoplastic particles, into the water.

These levels were thousands of times greater than seen in other foods, they noted.

In a separate experiment, the researchers fed varying doses of these particles to very tiny animals — water fleas. Although the fleas lived, they did exhibit some physical and behavioral abnormalities after being fed the microplastics, the researchers report Sept. 25 in the journal Environmental Science & Technology.

Still, more research must be done to see if microplastics have health effects on humans, the McGill researchers said.

Spaeth said the new study “raises the specter that human exposure to microplastics is not just a result of the widespread contamination of the broader environment, but that our use of plastics in consumer products is notably adding to our microplastics exposure.”     Steven Reinberg

-People Start to Heal The Moment They Are Heard-
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