Red Meat Raises Bowel Problems for Men
A new study suggests that men who eat lots of red meat are much more likely to have bowel problems, pain and nausea than their peers who stick mainly with chicken or fish.
Researchers examined more than two decades of data on more than 46,000 men and found frequent red meat eaters were 58 percent more likely to be diagnosed with diverticulitis, a common bowel condition that occurs when small pockets or bulges lining the intestines become inflamed.
“Previous studies have shown that a high fiber diet is associated with a lower risk of diverticulitis, however, the role of other dietary factors in influencing risk of diverticulitis was not well studied,” said senior study author Andrew Chan, a researcher at Harvard University and Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.
“Our result show that diets high in red meat may be associated with a higher risk of diverticulitis,” Chan added by email.
Diverticulitis is common, resulting in more than 200,000 hospitalizations a year in the U.S. at a cost of more than $2 billion, Chan and colleagues note in the journal Gut.
New cases are on the rise, and the exact causes are unknown, although the condition has been linked to smoking, obesity and the use of certain nonprescription painkillers known as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
While diverticulitis can often be treated with a liquid or low-fiber diet, severe cases may require hospitalization and surgery to fix complications like perforations in the gut wall.
Researchers examined data collected on men who were aged 40 to 75 when they joined the study between 1986 and 2012. Every four years men were asked how often, on average, they ate red meat, poultry and fish over the preceding year.
They were given nine options, ranging from ‘never’ or ‘less than once a month,’ to ‘six or more times a day.’
During the study period, 764 men developed diverticulitis.
Men who ate the most red meat were also more likely to smoke, more likely to regularly take NSAIDs, and less likely to eat foods with fiber or get intense exercise.
By contrast, men who ate more chicken and fish were less likely to smoke or take NSAIDs and more likely to get vigorous exercise.
After accounting for these other factors that can influence the risk of diverticulitis, red meat was still associated with higher odds of developing the bowel disorder.
Each daily serving of red meat was associated with an 18 percent increased risk, the study found.
Unprocessed meats like beef, pork and lamb were associated with a greater risk than processed meats like bacon or sausage.
It’s possible the higher cooking temperatures typically used to prepare unprocessed meats may influence the composition of bacteria in the gut or inflammatory activity, though the exact reason for the increased risk tied to these foods is unknown, the researchers note.
Swapping one daily serving of red meat for chicken or fish was associated with a 20 percent reduction in the risk of this bowel disorder, the study also found.
The study is observational, and doesn’t prove red meat causes diverticulitis.
Other limitations of the study include its reliance on men to accurately recall and report how much meat they ate and the possibility that the results may not apply to women, the authors point out.
Even so, the findings should offer yet another reason to consider cutting back on red meat, said Samantha Heller, a nutritionist at New York University Langone Medical Center in New York City who wasn’t involved in the study.
Diets high in red and processed meats have been linked with increased risks of inflammatory bowel diseases, so the link found in this study “is not surprising,” Heller said by email.
“Focusing on a more plant based, higher fiber diet that includes legumes, whole grains, nuts, vegetables and fruits, replete with appropriate fluid intake, may go a long way in helping reduce of inflammatory bowel diseases, diverticulitis, and other chronic diseases,” Heller added.
Health and Wellness Associates
Dr P Carrothers
Natural Compounds in Ordinary Foods Beat Prostate Cancer
Adding common foods to your diet can help you beat — or even avoid developing — prostate cancer, hints a study conducted at The University of Texas at Austin. Researchers discovered that several natural compounds found in foods starve cancerous tumors of the nutrition they need to thrive and spread.
For instance, a main dish of curry, which contains the spice turmeric, topped off with baked apples, whose skins contain ursolic acid, provides essential nutrients effective in fighting cancer.
Researchers used a unique method to analyze plant-based chemicals and discover specific combinations that shrink prostate tumors.
They first tested 142 natural compounds on mouse and human cell lines to see which inhibited prostate cancer cell growth when administered alone or in combination with another nutrient. The most promising active ingredients were then tested on model animals: ursolic acid, a waxy natural chemical found in apple peels and rosemary; curcumin, the bright yellow plant compound in turmeric; and resveratrol, found in red grapes and berries.
The found that when combined with either curcumin or resveratrol, ursolic acid prevented the uptake of glutamine, a nutrient necessary for cancer growth.
“These nutrients have potential anti-cancer properties and are readily available,” says Stafano Tiziani. Combinations of the nutrients, he says, “have a better effect on prostate cancer than existing drugs.
“The beauty of this study is that we were able to inhibit tumor growth in mice without toxicity,” Tiziani said.
The study was published in Precision Oncology.
Other studies have also found potential cancer therapies in foods, including turmeric, apple peels, and green tea.
Italian researchers at the University of Parma studied men with a pre-malignant form of prostate cancer called prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PIN), and found that those who took three 200 milligram capsules of green tea extract daily slashed their risk of developing prostate cancer by 90 percent when compared to men taking a placebo.
Previous studies have found that lycopene, the pigment that gives tomatoes and watermelons their bright red color, can decrease the risk of prostate cancer by up to 35 percent. One study found that men with precancerous changes in their prostates who took 4 milligrams of lycopene twice daily lowered the risk of their condition progressing to cancer.
A study at Britain’s University of Portsmouth found that lycopene in tomatoes becomes even more biologically active when cooked with a small amount of oil.
A study from the University of Missouri found that resveratrol can make chemotherapy and radiation more effective in men who have aggressive prostate cancer.
Researcher Michael Nicholl found that the combination of resveratrol and radiation treatment killed 97 percent of tumor cells. “It’s important to note that this killed all types of prostate tumor cells, including aggressive tumor cells,” he said.
An Italian study found that men who drank three cups of Italian-style coffee every day reduced their risk of prostate cancer by 53 percent. “Italian Style” coffee is prepared using high pressure, very high water temperature, and no filters. The benefit is probably due to the caffeine, but scientists say that the method of preparation could lead to a higher concentration of the helpful bioactive substances.
A high-fiber diet may be able to inhibit early-stage prostate cancer by stopping tumors from growing, said a study published in the journal Cancer Prevention Research. Scientists fed one group of mice inositol hexaphosphate (IP6), a natural type of carbohydrate that’s found in large amounts in high-fiber diets. A second group of mice didn’t get the supplement. MRIs were used to monitor the progression of prostate cancer.
“The study’s results were really rather profound,” said researcher Komal Raina. “We saw dramatically reduced tumor volumes.” IP6 kept prostate tumors from making new blood vessels needed to make the cancer grow and metastasize.
Health and Wellness Associates
Sylvia Booth Hubbard
Dr P Carrothers
5 Foods That Have More Sodium Than Chips
Your body needs sodium—but there’s no denying that most of us are getting way too much of it. According to recent stats from the American Heart Association, the average daily sodium intake in this country is 3,600 milligrams—more than double the Association’s recommendation of 1,500 milligrams max. But avoiding clear offenders like salted nuts and potato chips may not be enough to bring you down into the recommended range since there are so many sneaky salt bombs out there. Just look at these seemingly healthful foods—they all contain more than 255 milligrams of sodium, which is the amount you’ll find in a 1 ½-ounce bag of Lays Classic Potato Chips:
1/2 Cup Nonfat Cottage Cheese
This packs a surprising 270 milligrams of sodium—and if you’re not careful, it’s easy to eat more than ½ cup and really overdo it with the salty stuff.
A 6 1/2″ Whole-Wheat Pita
Pitas come with a health halo—especially when they’re whole-wheat—and they can be a good source of fiber. But they also come with a heavy dose of sodium: 284 milligrams in just one pocket.
2 Tbsp Reduced-Fat Italian Salad Dressing
Yup, you can take in more sodium in 2 Tbsp of your salad topper than in an entire bag of chips: This variety is loaded with 260 mg per serving—although plenty of other types of salad dressing pack just as much.
While the exact stats will of course vary from brand to brand, the USDA says that one store-bought veggie burger patty tends to come in around 398 milligrams of sodium—and that’s before you even consider all of the salt in the bun (many types of bread are just as salty as pitas, if not more so).
1/2 Cup Canned Tomato Sauce
Tomato sauce has its virtues—it contains lycopene, for example, a carotenoid that research has linked to a decreased risk of heart disease and certain types of cancer. But you have to eat it in moderation since each ½-cup serving packs a shocking 642 milligrams of sodium.
Health and Wellness Associates
Does Alcohol Raise the Risk for Breast Cancer?
It’s no secret that genetic, hormonal and environmental factors all seem to play a role in breast cancer. (1) When it comes to alcohol and breast cancer risk specifically, a May 2016 study provides even more insight suggesting that lifestyle factors — including how much alcohol a woman drinks — really matters.
Danish researchers published a study in the British Journal of Medicine providing even more detail of the alcohol and breast cancer risk connection. Analyzing women’s change in alcohol consumption over a five-year period, Danish researchers found that women who increased the amount of alcohol they drank over a five-year period faced a higher risk of breast cancer.
For instance, women who drank two more alcohol drinks a day over five years saw a 30 percent increased risk of breast cancer compared to women with stable alcohol intake. That same study found a 20 percent lower risk of heart disease in woman who drank more. However, the study authors noted there are other ways to lower heart disease risk without increasing your breast cancer risk from drinking alcohol. (2, 3)
Alcohol and Breast Cancer Risk Findings
Research consistently shows that drinking alcoholic beverages increases a woman’s risk of hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer. Alcohol not only damages DNA in cells, but it also triggers higher levels of estrogen and other hormones linked to hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer. Compared to women who don’t drink at all, women who have three alcoholic drinks per week have a 15 percent higher risk of breast cancer. The estimated alcohol and breast cancer risk increases another 10 percent for each additional drink women regularly have each day, according to breastcancer.org.
Here are more important alcohol and breast cancer risk findings:
A large meta-analysis looking at the relationship between alcohol and breast cancer risk in women also found that women who drank about three alcoholic drinks a week experienced a moderate increase in breast cancer risk. (4)
A 2009 study found that drinking just three to four alcoholic beverages a week increases a women’s risk of breast cancer recurrence in women who’d been diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer. (5)
In March 2016, University of Houston researchers found that alcohol not only fuels estrogen that drives the growth of breast cancer cells, but it also diminishes the effects of popular cancer drug Tamoxifen, a widely-used estrogen-blocking drug used to treat many breast cancers. (6)
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises women to drink no more than one drink a day. (7) If you drink less than this, don’t increase the amount of alcohol you drink.
Defining a “Drink”
When considering all of this research investigating alcohol and breast cancer risk, it’s important to understand what a “drink” actually means. For instance, drinking one dirty martini is very different than drinking a glass of beer or wine. Each may seem like a single drink, but a dirty martini typically contains about 6 ounces of vodka. That means your single martini, for instance, would actually be considered four drinks.
Researchers often use the following National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism guidelines to define what constitutes as one drink, which is about 0.6 ounces of pure alcohol:
- 12 ounces of beer or hard cider (3 to 7 percent alcohol)
- 8 ounces of malt liquor
- 5 ounces of wine
- 1.5 ounces or a “shot” of 80-proof liquor
Keep in mind that a craft beer with a high alcohol percentage served in a common 16-ounce pint glass could actually be more on par with drinking two 12-ounce bottles of beer with a more standard alcohol percentage of 3 to 7 percent alcohol. (8) And when you’re sipping on something like red wine, be aware of how many ounces the glass is really holding.
Women who drink up to one drink a day and men who drink up to two drinks a day are considered moderate drinkers. Women having four or more drinks on any day or a total of eight or more drinks a week are considered high-risk, excessive drinkers. (For men, drinking more than five drinks on any day or 15 or more drinks a week is considered high-risk, excessive drinking.) (9)
Other Ways to Lower Your Risk of Breast Cancer
With breast cancer cases expected to increase 50 percent by 2030, it’s important to not only consider alcohol and breast cancer risk, but take steps to lower your risk through other lifestyle improvements. (10) The important takeaway is that there are many things you can do lower your breast cancer risk in a meaningful way. Aside from lowering the levels of alcohol you drink, here are other ways to get started:
Fruits and veggies are loaded with cancer-fighting compounds — Interesting, a 2016 study found that when girls eat more fruit during adolescence (at least 2.9 servings a day), they enjoy a 25 percent lower risk of developing breast cancer later in life compared to girls who eat the lowest levels of fruit during adolescence (less than a serving a day). (11, 12) Just be sure to choose organic when possible, since some fruits and veggies on the dirty dozen list harbor pesticides linked to cancer.
Eat organic, fresh foods as much as possible — Avoid canned foods and drinks. Most contain toxic BPA, also known as bisphenol A, a harmful chemical linked to hormone disruption and breast cancer. (13)
Avoid the heavy metal cadmium — It’s found in cigarettes smoke and linked to an increased risk of breast cancer. (14, 15) Cadmium is a common food contaminant most often found in shellfish, liver and kidney meats.
Exercise — Strenuous exercise for 4+ hours a week can help lower your risk of breast cancer. Exercises can also help keep you out of the overweight/obese category, which is another risk factor for breast cancer in woman who have reached menopause. (16)
Final Thoughts on Alcohol and Breast Cancer Risk
It’s clear that alcohol and breast cancer risk are related, but it may be unrealistic for some women to completely give up all alcoholic drinks for the rest of their lives. The science suggests that increasing the amount of alcohol you drink in midlife increases your risk. Other large research studies found that drinking three drinks or more a week moderately increases risk. In other words, you don’t have to be a binge drinker to experience a significant increase in risk.
Having a glass of red wine now and then can provide you with a healthy dose of resveratrol, a potent antioxidant shown to expand your lifespan and aid in weight loss. However, it’s important to remember that alcohol is a neurotoxin that also puts unnecessary stress on your liver. You can easily get those same benefits from blueberries and supplements, so don’t rely on even occasional red wine as your sole source of resveratrol.
Health and Wellness Associates
Dr P. Carrothers – JA
Flour-less Pancakes Recipe
Total Time: 15 minutes
- 2 ripe bananas, mashed
- 3 eggs
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- sea salt to taste
- Combine all ingredients in a bowl
- Pour batter into a pan with melted ghee over medium heat. Cook until small bubbles form and then flip.
Health and Wellness Associates
Dr P Carrothers
Lower Cholesterol With Food, Not Drugs
Do you or someone you love have high cholesterol? You are not alone. It is estimated that half of all adults in the United States have high total cholesterol and more than 25 percent have high LDL or ‘bad’ cholesterol1 . I urge anyone who has been troubled by the news that their cholesterol is high to stop focusing on a number. Your cholesterol level is only one of many risk factors for heart disease. If you are truly concerned about cardiovascular disease, here’s what should be drawing your attention:
Achieving a normal body fat percentage
Achieving a normal blood pressure without the use of medication
Achieving a normal blood glucose without medication
Achieving a favorable cholesterol level without medication
Engage in aerobic exercise and strength training
The most dramatic protection from heart disease results from maintaining a normal weight, cholesterol and blood pressure with diet and exercise, so that you do not require medications. Medications cannot produce comparable results.
Your First Course of Action
Being well means removing risk factors for heart disease. Since diet is usually the cause of heart disease,2, 3 taking a drug will do little to stop the progression of the disease as long as a patient’s diet – the cause of the disease – remains the same..
If you have elevated cholesterol, dietary and lifestyle modifications should be your first course of action. For most people who commit to change their unhealthy habits, medication will prove unnecessary. Fuel your body with nutrients by eating a healthy diet rich in antioxidants and gradually increase your exercise tolerance.
In my medical practice, I have coached thousands of patients to successfully lower their cholesterol through a Nutritarian diet. People drop their blood pressure, lower their blood glucose, lower their weight and improve their exercise tolerance.
Dramatic Change with Diet, Not Pills
In a 2001 study, a high-fiber, high nutrient diet focusing on vegetables, fruit and nuts was found to reduce cholesterol by 33 percent within two weeks.4 A 2015 study surveying participants who followed the same nutrient-dense, plant rich diet reported an average 42 mg/dl decrease in LDL cholesterol in those with at least 80 percent adherence to that diet. In addition, those who started out obese lost an average of 50 pounds for the entire three year period. Those who started with hypertension reduced their systolic blood pressure by an average of 26 mm Hg Case studies accompanied this data, and documenting reversal of atherosclerosis and resolution of heart problems.5 Previous studies on similar diet and lifestyle changes have been shown to cause regression of atherosclerotic heart disease.6, 7 Living healthfully produces such dramatic changes because it doesn’t address just one risk factor; it makes your entire body healthier. It is for those who want real protection, without the side effects of drugs.
Unlike taking a cholesterol lowering statin drug while continuing a disease-causing style of eating, a and lifestyle does more than address one or two heart disease risk factors. You don’t just lower your cholesterol, you become more resistant to diabetes and cancer, and improve your immune function.
Achieve Overall Protection
No medication can cover up a poor diet, and no single medication can significantly reduce multiple risk factors. Unlike drugs, the Nutritarian diet does significantly reduce multiple risk factors, including lowering body weight and blood pressure, reducing intravascular inflammation, and benefiting intravascular elasticity. A superior diet delivers benefits that protect overall, and almost immediately. For patients fighting cardiovascular disease, a diet of can offer many benefits in addition to cholesterol- lowering:
Lower blood pressure8-16
Lower intravascular inflammation17-21
Lower blood glucose and triglyceride levels22
Lower inflammatory markers, including C-reactive protein
and white blood cell count23-30
Increased tissue antioxidant content31
Improved exercise tolerance and oxygen efficiency16
Larger LDL particle size (smaller particles are more heart disease-promoting) and and lower particle number Prevents LDL from becoming oxidized, (a more damaging form of cholesterol)32-34
The Side Effects are Side Benefits
Prescribing statins is counterproductive. Encouraging a patient to take a statin drug downplays the urgency needed for lifestyle and dietary changes. Changes that I know would drastically improve the health, life expectancy and quality of life of dangerously unhealthy individuals. I always say a prescription pad is like a permission slip. You can choose to remove the cause or treat the symptom; treating the symptom with drugs does not reverse heart disease and carries the risk of significant adverse effects. Almost all of my patients prefer a more effective approach, one that not only reduces cholesterol and restores the health of arteries but also reduces blood pressure and reverses heart disease much more effectively than any medication.
My new book, The End of Heart Disease (April 2016) explains the risk of drugs and medical procedures and details the most effective way to protect your heart and your life.
Health and Wellness Associates
Archived : Dr Joel Fuhrman
How Pomegranate Helps Clean Your Arteries
Arteries are responsible for carrying oxygen-rich blood throughout the body. When you have healthy arteries, blood flows through the body quite easily. As you age, fatty deposits, cholesterol and cellular waste products settle on the inner walls of your arteries. Research shows that pomegranate can actually help clean your arteries helping to keep blood flowing smoothly.
When arteries become clogged, the build up of arterial plaque can significantly reduce blood flow, and in some instances, arteries can become completely blocked. Since clogged arteries can increase your risk of stroke, heart attack and even death, it is crucial to take the necessary steps to reduce arterial plaque and do what you can to clean your arteries.
The Artery Cleaning Power of Pomegranate Juice
Making simple lifestyle changes are an excellent way to treat and prevent clogged arteries. This includes a diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables, but are some fruits and vegetables more helpful than others?
Pomegranates are extremely rich in antioxidants, including polyphenols, anthocyanins and tannins. Compared to other fruit juices, such as blueberry, orange and cranberry, pomegranate juice has the most antioxidant power. It is these high levels of antioxidants found in pomegranates that help clean clogged arteries.
Can Pomegranates Actually Reverse Atherosclerosis?
Promising research conducted on the benefits of pomegranate juice has found that
pomegranates can prevent clogged arteries and may even reverse the progression of atherosclerosis. Specifically, researchers have found that pomegranates encourage the production of nitric oxide, which is an essential chemical that promotes healthy blood flow and keeps the arteries open. This is helpful in reducing the effects of oxidative stress on blood vessels. Perhaps the most exciting finding from this research is the ability of pomegranates to reduce plaque accumulations that have already built up in the blood vessels.
Additional research has also found that drinking pomegranate juice had a significant effect on arterial plaque. Researchers instructed participants to drink pomegranate juice on a daily basis. Within three months, plaque accumulations were reduced by 13 percent. After one year, arterial plaque was reduced by 30 percent. Plaque accumulation actually increased by nine percent within the group of people who were not drinking pomegranate juice on a daily basis.
In addition to healthier arteries with less plaque accumulation, pomegranate juice has other positive effects on the heart, including reduced fat accumulation around the heart, reduced inflammation within the blood vessels, less oxidative stress and improved ECG results. Given the dangers of cardiovascular disease and clogged arteries, the results of this research are certainly promising. With the help of this exotic fruit, it is possible to clean your arteries and greatly reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke.
Health and Wellness Associates
Archived : Jay Jaranson
Aspartame linked to vision loss, cancer and other illnesses
Aspartame – sold under the brand names NutraSweet, Sugar Twin and Equal – is one of the most popular artificial sweeteners available on the market. It is used as a low-calorie sugar substitute in more than 6,000 processed products worldwide, especially in diet or sugar-free foods and beverages.
While it remains the most used artificial sweetener, it has also faced controversy in recent years. As more and more research links aspartame to severe health effects, increasing numbers of people are becoming aware of this hidden poison and are trying to avoid it at all costs. That’s why Pepsi proactively removed it from their diet soda last year.
Complaints of various health issues have been filed since aspartame first appeared on the market in the 1980s. As reported by The Nutritional Source, aspartame is one of the most exhaustively studied chemicals in the human food supply, with more than 200 studies completed.
Dr. Betty Martini, the founder of the worldwide volunteer force Mission Possible World Health International, which is committed to removing aspartame from our food, notes that aspartame has brought more complaints to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) than any other additive; it is responsible for 75 percent of such complaints.
Over the years, more than 90 side effects – including vision loss, seizures, brain tumors, cancer and mild rashes – have been associated with regular consumption of aspartame. Furthermore, it can mimic the symptoms of diseases such as fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, lupus, ADD, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, chronic fatigue and depression.
When aspartame is processed by the body it breaks down into phenylalanine (50 percent), aspartic acid (40 percent) and methanol (or wood alcohol, 10 percent).
Aspartame can make you blind
We have all heard the stories about alcoholics ending up blind or dead after drinking methanol during Prohibition. Aspartame consists of 10 percent methanol which our body further breaks down into formaldehyde and formic acid. These compounds accumulate in the retina of the eye and destroy the optic nerve, causing vision loss and blindness.
Furthermore, methanol poisoning may cause central nervous system depression, and can lead to metabolic acidosis and coma.
As reported by Dr. Martini, in 1986 the Community Nutrition Institute petitioned the FDA to ban aspartame because so many people had gone blind and had seizures. Despite the apparent link, the FDA, backed up by the drug and chemical industry, refused to take aspartame out of production.
It messes with your brain
Excessive amounts of phenylalanine block the transport of essential amino acids to the brain, which contributes to reduced levels of dopamine and serotonin. While our brains need this amino acid, too much of it has been linked to emotional and behavioral disorders and brain damage.
Furthermore, too much aspartic acid, another amino acid present in aspartame, can cause over-stimulation and death of brain cells. It leaks too much calcium into the cells and triggers excessive amounts of free radicals, which may damage and kill neurons.
G.D. Searle, the company behind the discovery of aspartame, was warned as early as 1971 that excess amounts of aspartic acid caused holes in the brain of mice and posed a serious threat to human health, yet nobody found it necessary to remove aspartame from the shelves.
Induces brain tumors
Before its approval, aspartame had been rejected multiple times over fears of brain tumors and cancer, the Huffington Post reported. In 1996, Dr. John Olney, who founded the field of neuroscience called excitotoxicity, and attorney James Turner, attempted to stop the approval of aspartame.
Even the FDA’s own toxicologist, Dr. Adrian Gross, told Congress that aspartame could cause brain tumors and brain cancer, and that approving it would violate the Delaney Amendment, which forbids putting anything in food known to cause cancer.
Sadly enough, Donald Rumsfeld – who was CEO of G.D. Searle and part of Reagan’s transition team – and Monsanto joined forces. In 1985, Monsanto purchased G.D. Searle, the company that held the patent to aspartame. They managed to pull a few strings and played a substantial role in the approval of aspartame by the FDA.
If you need assistance in managing your aspartame intake, especially if you have diabetes, please give us a call and we can help y ou, in the comforts of your home, with all your healthcare concerns.
Health and Wellness Associates
Use Baking Soda to Get Sweet Tomatoes
Home grown tomatoes are nothing at all like those that you buy in the stores. Even the vine ripened ones can’t compare in taste to the sweetness of those you grow yourself. Here is a neat tip to get the most sweet tomatoes each year.
Just sprinkle a small amount baking soda on the soil around your tomato plants being careful not to get the soda on the plant itself. (you can also use 1 tsp in a gallon of water and water the plants that way!)
The baking soda absorbs into the soil and lowers the acidity levels. This will give you tomatoes that are more sweet than tart.
Be careful with young seedlings and be sure to test on one plant before you try it on all of them. If your soil is already quite alkaline, you could alter it too much by adding too much baking soda.
You can also do this with canned tomatoes when making sauce if you like. It will sweeten them without having to add extra sugar (and calories!)
Another use of the baking soda and tomatoes it to make an organic spray to treat tomato fungal disease.
Combine 1 gallon of water with 1 tbsp of baking soda and 2 1/2 tbsp of vegetable oil in a spray bottle. Stir and add 1/2 tsp of castile soap. Spray this solution on the foliage of tomato plants until the fungal disease disappears.
Health and Wellness Associates
Sweet and Sour Meatballs
- 1 20-ounce can pineapple chunks
- 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons ketchup
- 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1 large egg
- 1 medium carrot, shredded
- 1/4 cup finely chopped scallion whites
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Chinese five-spice powder
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 8 ounces ground turkey breast
- 8 ounces ground pork
- 2 teaspoons canola oil
- 1 large red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1/2 cup sliced scallion greens
1.Preheat oven to 450°F. Line a baking sheet with foil and coat with cooking spray.
2.Drain pineapple juice into a small bowl. Whisk in vinegar, ketchup, soy sauce, brown sugar, cornstarch and crushed red pepper. Set aside.
3.Finely chop enough pineapple to yield 1/2 cup. Press out excess moisture with paper towels. Reserve the remaining pineapple chunks for the sauce.
4.Lightly beat egg in a large bowl. Stir in carrot, scallion whites, ginger, five-spice powder, salt and the finely chopped pineapple. Add turkey and pork; gently mix to combine (do not overmix). Using a scant 1 tablespoon each, make 36 small meatballs. Bake on the prepared baking sheet until just cooked through, about 15 minutes.
5.Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add bell pepper and cook for 1 minute. Whisk the reserved juice mixture and add to the pan. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in the remaining pineapple and the cooked meatballs.
6.To serve, thread a meatball and a piece of pineapple and/or pepper onto a small skewer or toothpick. Transfer to a platter, drizzle with sauce and sprinkle with scallion greens.
Tips & Notes
- Make Ahead Tip: Freeze cooked meatballs in sauce airtight for up to 3 months. Defrost before reheating. Equipment: 36 short skewers or toothpicks
Per serving: 37 calories; 1 g fat (0 g sat, 0 g mono); 12 mg cholesterol; 4 g carbohydrates; 1 g added sugars; 3 g protein; 0 g fiber; 101 mg sodium; 76 mg potassium.
Health and Wellness Associates