The chart below is an intriguing illustration of the top 12 researched health benefits of olive oil — one of the most nutritious foods around. One example of its power is a new study reported in Science Daily that found extra virgin olive oil, long-known for its heart health benefits, has been identified for its rapid destruction of human cancer cells in a laboratory setting.
Other studies have found that olive oil can protect against high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes and osteoporosis.
Some good ways to eat olive is to use it in salad dressings and on vegetables, rub it on meat and fish before cooking to keep it moist, use it instead of butter in sauces and gravies, spread it on fresh bread, and saute or cook food with it.
A bright smile, white teeth and healthy gums are something everyone would like to enjoy. Gingivitis is a very common form of inflammatory gum disease caused by bacteria in the mouth. It causes gums to become red, swollen and bleed easily during brushing or flossing. If left untreated, gingivitis can lead to an even more severe form of gum disease called periodontitis, which also may harm the bones underneath the gums.
Symptoms of periodontitis include bad breath, toothache, loose teeth, receding gums or tooth loss. According to the study called “Prevalence of Periodontitis in Adults”, almost half of all American adults have mild, moderate or severe periodontal disease. For those who are 65 or older, the percentage increases to 70%.
Researchers have previously discovered that people who consume low amounts of calcium and vitamin D can develop bone loss and osteoporosis. Scientists at the Saint Louis University Center for Advanced Dental Education reasoned that because vitamin D also has antimicrobial effects and can remedy the inflammatory response, it would be reasonable to pursue a study to determine whether calcium and vitamin D may have a positive effect on periodontal disease.
The study included 51 people who were receiving periodontal maintenance therapy. 23 were taking vitamin D and calcium during the study and 28 did not. All of the participants had at least two areas in their mouth that had loss of gum tissue and reduced support around the teeth.
At the end of the study, those taking the vitamin D and calcium had fewer bleeding sites, less attachment loss, and smaller open spaces between the teeth and gums. The researchers concluded there was a good trend for improved health of the gums, teeth, and bones in the mouth with the use of these nutritional supplements.
Studies have also proven that calcium can prevent osteoporosis, reduce high blood pressure, relax the nerves and muscles, prevent colon cancer and kidney stones, and act as an effective remedy for insomnia and sleeplessness.
In one study called “The Nutritional Relationships of Magnesium”, the author notes that the type of insomnia associated with a calcium deficiency is one that causes difficulty with falling asleep. On the other hand, the classical sign of magnesium deficiency is insomnia characterized by falling asleep easily, but awakening frequently throughout the night, and with individuals finding themselves tired even after several hours of sleep.
It’s important to note that a balanced calcium magnesium ratio is important to overall health, and these two minerals should be taken together for best results (in a two to one ratio with twice as much calcium and magnesium). The original research on this recommended ratio appeared in 1935 in the Journal of Physiological Reviews.
William Sears, M.D. writes: “Calcium helps the brain use the amino acid tryptophan to manufacture the sleep-inducing substance melatonin. This explains why dairy products, which contain both tryptophan and calcium, are some of the top sleep-inducing foods.”
Jobee Knight, a nutritional researcher and founder of Nutrition Breakthroughs in Glendale California, is someone who fought her own battle against sleeplessness and insomnia. She decided to put her background to use by searching out effective natural insomnia remedies for relaxation and deeper sleep.
The result was Sleep Minerals II, a natural sleep remedy that contains highly absorbable forms of calcium and magnesium, combined with vitamin D and zinc. These are the most effective minerals for sleeplessness as well as for menopause insomnia, heart health, restless leg syndrome and bone strength. The ingredients are formulated in a softgel with healthy oils, making them more quickly absorbable than tablets or capsules and providing a deeper, longer-lasting sleep.
Tammy M. of Meridian, Idaho says: “I was plagued with insomnia for five years and desperate for a breakthrough. Nothing has helped me more than the Sleep Minerals. I’m so sold on them I could go door to door promoting them. I’m 60 years old and have never slept so soundly.”
Calcium and vitamin D are two of the key cornerstones of good health. They play many roles in the body and both should be included in the diet.
This natural health news is provided by Nutrition Breakthroughs, a publisher of nutrition articles and a supplier of effective natural remedies since 2002. Nutrition Breakthroughs makes the original calcium and magnesium based natural sleep aid Sleep Minerals II, as well as Joints and More, the natural solution for joint relief, aches and pains, stronger hair and nails, and more energy.
Here is a valuable chart of the best food sources of calcium, some of which may actually be a surprise.
Calcium is one of the most famous of all minerals due to its vast array of benefits to our health. Dr. Linus Pauling, the two-time Nobel Prize winner said: “You can trace every sickness, every disease, and every ailment to a mineral deficiency.”
Studies have proven that calcium increases bone health, reduces high blood pressure, relaxes the nerves and muscles, prevents colon cancer and kidney stones, and acts as an effective remedy for insomnia and sleeplessness.
Adelle Davis, one of the first nutritionists to base her recommendations on scientific studies, says: “A calcium deficiency often shows itself by insomnia, another form of an inability to relax. The harm done by sleeping tablets, to say nothing of the thousands of dollars spent on them, could largely be avoided if the calcium intake were adequate.”
Calcium was discovered by the British chemist Sir Humphry Davy in the early 1800’s. Regarding stomach and colon health, a 2007 study in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute found that calcium protects high-risk people from developing the polyps (growths in the large intestine) that can lead to cancer in the large bowel.
Calcium supplements were also shown to help prevent kidney stones in a 2008 study at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine.
Calcium is directly related to our cycles of sleep. In one study, published in the European Neurology Journal, researchers found that calcium levels in the body are higher during some of the deepest levels of sleep, such as the rapid eye movement (REM) phase. The study concluded that disturbances in sleep, especially the absence of REM deep sleep or disturbed REM sleep, are related to a calcium deficiency.
William Sears, M.D. writes: “Calcium helps the brain use the amino acid tryptophan to manufacture the sleep-inducing substance melatonin. This explains why dairy products, which contain both tryptophan and calcium, are one of the top sleep-inducing foods.”
One calcium-based supplement shown to be effective for insomnia is Sleep Minerals II from Nutrition Breakthroughs. This formula contains highly absorbable forms of calcium and magnesium, the best minerals for sleeplessness and insomnia, as well as for menopause insomnia, heart health, restless legs syndrome and bone strength. It also includes vitamin D and zinc and is delivered in a softgel form with healthy carrier oils, making it more quickly absorbable than tablets or capsules and providing a deeper, longer-lasting sleep.
Richard P. of Parkville, Maryland says: *The Sleep Minerals are making quite a difference. I was regularly waking up at around 3:00 a.m. and couldn‘t go back to sleep. Now I wake up once to go to the bathroom, but the great thing is, I then fall back asleep and sleep several more hours.*
Anita L. of New Caney, Texas says: “I was having hot flashes every 30 minutes to an hour through the night and was so miserable. After about two weeks of taking the Sleep Minerals, I noticed an incredible difference with my sleep. I have much less interruptions from hot flashes, I’m sleeping much better and I’m a lot more comfortable.”
Calcium can be obtained from foods or supplements, and a combination of both may be beneficial to overall health.
This health news is provided by Nutrition Breakthroughs, a publisher of nutrition articles and supplier of effective natural remedies since 2002. Nutrition Breakthroughs makes the original calcium and magnesium based natural sleep aid Sleep Minerals II, as well as Joints and More, the natural solution for joint relief, aches and pains, stronger hair and nails and more energy.
Blue and purple colored berries are delicious treats that provide many health benefits, particularly for the eyes. These fruits get their colorings from one of the plant kingdom’s most powerful substances – anthocyanins.
In one recent study, Japanese scientists in Tokyo studied the effects of black currant anthocyanins on work-induced computer eye problems and visual fatigue.
With a dose of 50 milligrams of black currant, there was a significant increased ability of the eyes to adjust to darkness, as well as reduced eye strain and improvement in symptoms of eye fatigue or vision problems. The study participants also described an added bonus of reduced lower back pain..
The bilberry fruit is a close cousin to the famous blueberry. During World War II, British fighter pilots reported improved nighttime vision after eating bilberry jam. One of the most important studies on bilberries was done by researchers at the Human Nutrition Research Center in Boston, MA. The researchers used an enriched extract of bilberry in a test tube along with human retina cells. The cells were exposed to oxygen damage and bilberry was shown to have a profound antioxidant effect – protecting and reversing the damage.
Bilberry removed the stress in eye tissue, which is a strong indicator that it can safeguard the eyes against disorders of aging such as macular degeneration (blurred vision), cataracts (cloudy vision) and glaucoma (eye pressure causing optic nerve damage). The results were published in the Alternative Medicine Review journal.
This news is brought to you by Nutrition Breakthroughs, a provider of natural health articles and effective natural remedies since 2001. Nutrition Breakthroughs makes the effective calcium and magnesium based natural sleep aid Sleep Minerals II, and Joints and More, the natural solution for joint relief, allergies, stronger hair and nails, and more energy.
There are certain foods that can greatly help the appearance of the skin; smoothing wrinkles and fine lines and easing skin dryness. These include healthy proteins, especially oily fish like salmon, as well as quality fats like avocados, almonds and olive oil, and the vitamins A, B, C and E.
The famous Vitamin C can significantly enhance skin health and appearance and is becoming known as an anti wrinkle vitamin. It helps to increase collagen levels in the body, which is the body’s most abundant protein. Collagen acts to connect the body together and is found in skin, hair, nails, bones and muscles.
Vitamin C is not produced naturally in the body and must be obtained from sources like citrus fruits, dark leafy greens, tomatoes, berries and vitamin supplements. Collagen declines in the body after age 40 and can be depleted by a high sugar intake, fast foods and smoking.
In support of vitamin C as an anti wrinkle vitamin, a study from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition announced the results of researchers from the United Kingdom. They discovered that higher vitamin C intakes were associated with a lower likelihood of a wrinkled skin appearance and skin dryness. Vitamin C majorly improved overall skin appearance in a study of 4,025 women aged 40 to 74.
This health news is provided by Nutrition Breakthroughs, maker of Joints and More, which naturally increases collagen levels in the body and helps to create smoother skin, hair and nails – as well as helping to ease stiff, painful joints and other aches and pains. For more information, visit the Joints and More page.
Essential fatty acids are natural, healthy fats the body cannot make on its own: hence the term “essential”. These are called Omega 3 fats and Omega 6 fats. Omega 3 fats are things like fish, fish oil, olive oil, avocado, seeds and green vegetables. Recent research studies are finding these fats benefit the eyes, joints, heart, lungs, immunity and more.
Omega 6 fats include vegetable oils like safflower oil and corn oil, as well as mayonnaise, fried foods, dairy and beef. Many people eat more Omega 6 fats than Omega 3’s and when the balance between the fats becomes imbalanced, many health problems can occur – particularly high cholesterol and high blood pressure.
One study of people with dry eyes was recently published in the journal “Cornea”. They were given a daily dose of fish oil and flax oil. At the end of the 90-day study, 70% of the participants with dry eye had no symptoms and also had an increase in tear production and volume.
In the journal “Proceedings of the Nutrition Society,” researchers analyzed several controlled trials of fish oil use for arthritis. The trials showed a reduction in tender joint counts and a decreased use of anti-inflammatory drugs with fish oil supplementation. An important research note was that anti-inflammatory drugs can adversely affect the heart. Fish oil is known to have a direct, positive effect on the heart.
Here’s some more information on how to achieve good heart health from Dr. Joseph Mercola — a physician trained in both traditional and natural medicine. He says to: “Replace harmful vegetable oils and synthetic hydrogenated fats such as margarine with healthy fats, including olive oil, butter, avocado, pastured eggs and coconut oil (remember olive oil should be used cold only, and one should use coconut oil for cooking and baking).”
This natural health news is provided to you by Nutrition Breakthroughs, a provider of nutrition articles and effective natural remedies since 2001. Nutrition Breakthroughs makes the original calcium and magnesium based sleep aid Sleep Minerals II, as well as Joints and More, the natural solution for joint relief, aches and pains, stronger hair and nails and more energy.
It can make a person feel so healthy and energetic to have smooth digestion and elimination, and it can feel equally as bad to experience an upset stomach, constipation or diarrhea.
With infrequent bowel movements, the digestive tract can retain a large quantity of toxic material that can accumulate over time and contribute to many chronic health problems and conditions. Nature has provided us with some time-tested and research-supported laxative foods that not only relieve constipation but also deliver many additional health benefits.
One of these foods is flaxseed, which has been proven to have a dual effectiveness for both constipation and diarrhea. The study on flaxseed comes from the Natural Products Research Division of the Aga Khan Medical College in Pakistan. Flaxseed oil and its gel-like fiber was given orally to people and it caused a dose-dependent increase in looser bowel movements – meaning that the higher the dose, the more effective it was. Flaxseed is also an effective remedy for hot flashes, other menopause symptoms and high cholesterol.
When studied for its anti-diarrheal effect, flaxseed oil reduced diarrhea by 50%, when it was induced by giving castor-oil. This effect was discovered to be from the ability of flaxseed oil to prevent low potassium levels. The researchers confirmed the medicinal use of flaxseed for both constipation and diarrhea, with a sound basis for both.
Aloe vera leaves are commonly used as a remedy for constipation and the laxative effect of their plant chemicals is well-proven. In one study of 28 adults, aloe vera had a laxative response that was stronger than a stimulant called phenolphthalein. The German Commission E, which is a governmental regulatory agency that has evaluated the usefulness of 300 different herbs, has approved aloe vera laxative preparations for use as a constipation treatment. Aloe vera is also rich and vitamins and minerals and it enhances dental health when used as a mouthwash, heals canker sores and helps heal burns.
The stomach-friendly bacteria in yogurt known as “probiotics,” have been increasingly researched as a remedy for constipation. Scientists from the School of Medicine at King’s College in London reviewed 14 studies involving 1,182 participants. The consensus of the studies is that certain strains of probiotics from supplements can speed up the movement of food through the intestines and it increase stool frequency. Probiotics are widely available in supplements, yogurts (unsweetened is best), and foods such as sauerkraut and pickles. Probiotics are also known to strengthen immunity and encourage healthy skin.
Magnesium is a long-time, traditional and effective cure for constipation. A recent study from the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition confirmed this by their study of magnesium in 3,835 women in Japan — 26% of which had constipation. The researchers found that low magnesium intake was associated with an increase in constipation.
They also discovered that dietary fiber intake, intake of water, or water from other fluids were not associated with constipation. However, low intake of water from foods was definitely related to constipation. The foods highest in water content include vegetables and fruits, and these are a great assistance for achieving smooth stomach health.
Magnesium is also a proven remedy for insomnia, heart health, bone strength and headaches. In one study from the Romanian Journal of Neurology, researchers conducted biochemical and neurological tests in cases of restless leg syndrome with insomnia. The investigators reported several examples of sleep disorders. They found agitated sleep with frequent periods of night time awakenings and a decrease of the duration and percentage of the deeper rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. These things are also found in other forms of insomnia that are caused by magnesium deficiency.
This health news is provided by Nutrition Breakthroughs, a publisher of nutrition articles and supplier of effective natural remedies since 2002. Nutrition Breakthroughs makes the original calcium and magnesium based natural sleep aid Sleep Minerals II, as well as Joints and More, the natural solution for joint relief, aches and pains, stronger hair and nails, and more energy.
Nutrition Breakthroughs wishes you and your family the most festive, rewarding, pleasurable and healthy holiday season. And here’s to the realization of your hopes and dreams and goals in the New Year.
Our purpose is to provide you with high quality nutrition articles and natural health products that contribute to your good health, energy, restful sleep and well-being. Enjoy the season!
By Dr. Joseph Mercola, a physician trained in both traditional and natural medicine who provides the most up-to-date natural health information.
Shared by Nutrition Breakthroughs, maker of the natural sulfur based remedy Joints and More, for joint relief, aches and pains, stronger hair and nails, and more energy.
Sulfur may be referred to as a somewhat “forgotten” mineral that you don’t hear mentioned very often, but it’s very important for optimal body function. Scientists are now saying it’s possible you’re not getting enough sulfur in your diet, in spite of the fact that it’s found in so many foods.
Some of the most excellent sources are high-protein foods such as organic, pastured eggs, grass-fed meats, nuts and wild-caught Alaskan salmon, and it’s also found in leafy greens like kale, spinach and broccoli, as well as in onions and garlic.
Why is sulfur important? As MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) science researcher Stephanie Seneff wrote for the Weston A. Price Foundation noted:
“Sulfur is known as a healing mineral, and a sulfur deficiency often leads to pain and inflammation associated with various muscle and skeletal disorders.
Sulfur plays a role in many biological processes, one of which is metabolism. It is present in insulin, the essential hormone that promotes the utilization of sugar derived from carbohydrates for fuel in muscle and fat cells.”
Sulfur: The Third Most Abundant Mineral in Your Body
Six chemical elements — oxygen, carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, calcium and phosphorus — make up 99 percent of your body mass. The next five — potassium, sulfur, sodium, chlorine, and magnesium — kick in that last 1 percent in slightly varying degrees.
But while sulfur seems to be relatively inconsequential in this list, the fact is it’s the third most abundant mineral in your body. One of its most vibrant functions is as an antioxidant.
Sulfur is present in all living tissues. It’s a component in two important amino acids: methionine (mainly from egg whites and fish), which is essential, meaning your body doesn’t synthesize and must be obtained from an outside source, and cysteine, which needs sulfur at a steady rate and is synthesized by your body.
Your skin, muscles and bones contain about half the sulfur in your body. Your hair and nails, made of the sturdy protein keratin, contain a large share of sulfur, while your cartilage and connective tissues are a more flexible form, which changes and breaks down over time, leading to recognizable signs of aging.
Some of these indicators include wrinkles, sore muscles and joint pain, which may be an indication of a sulfur deficiency.
What’s so Special About Sulfur?
Sulfur plays a critical role in detoxification, as it is part of one of the most important antioxidants that your body produces: Glutathione (glutathione is the master antioxidant and it detoxifies every cell in your body). Without sulfur, glutathione is rendered ineffective. That’s significant because glutathione is your body’s built-in detoxifier.
One study explained that significance in a report about how sulfur and some of its compounds may protect against exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light, X-rays and radiation, and can be used for detoxification.
Scientists concede that a sulfur deficiency may be a base cause for Alzheimer’s disease, which is growing exponentially every year. One article discussed the association between dementia and other prevalent problems and a shortage of sulfur in the body:
“Interestingly, sulfur is a very potent Aluminum Antagonist, which should satisfy those who maintain that aluminum is a significant factor with Alzheimer’s disease.
Likewise, a majority of younger and older patients who were suffering from a ‘foggy mind,’ concentration problems, and/or poor memory, showed below-normal sulfur levels, including many children or adults diagnosed with ADD / ADHD …” (from Acu-Cell Disorders).
Another article outlined reasons why sulfur and sulfate shortages within the body may explain the prevalence of heart disease. Research scientist Stephanie Seneff, Ph.D. at MIT called cholesterol sulfate a “mysterious molecule” that fluctuates in the blood and causes instability that may help cause cardiovascular disease.
Research backs up traditional remedies pointing to topical remedies using sulfur and MSM as an effective treatment for acne and other skin conditions, such as acne, rosacea, scabies, seborrheic dermatitis and parasites.
The Science Behind the Healing in Sulfur-Containing Foods
Several beneficial compounds containing sulfur express themselves with healing in your body. Glucosinolates are one of them, found primarily in crucifer vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli and cabbage, and leafy green veggies like kale, collard greens and arugula.
When you cut or bite into cruciferous vegetables, you’ll detect a pungent odor, caused by sulfur-infused glucosinolates being released.
The George Mateljan Foundation a not-for-profit organization that studies scientific information on healthy foods and specific nutrients explained how this phenomenon has dual benefits, taste-wise and in healing:
“The cutting process may actually increase certain health benefits since some of the newly formed (and transformed) sulfur-containing molecules have been shown to have cancer-preventive properties.
This includes the sulfur-containing glucosinolates, which are formed when an enzyme called myrosinase is activated.”
Interestingly, scientists suggest that if you plan to cook your crucifer veggies you chop them, then allow them to rest for a few minutes beforehand so that the maximum benefit can be released. Cooking them too soon after cutting prevents the myrosinase enzymes from forming, so the benefits are lost.
The Significance of MSM and DMSO
MSM (methylsulfonylmethane) is a naturally occurring sulfur compound in your body that’s well known for supporting your joints, but it’s also useful in other areas of your body. The make-up of MSM is 34 percent sulfur by weight, but it also affects sulfur metabolism.
Perhaps the best way you know if you don’t have enough MSM in your system is by symptoms that may include fatigue, prevalence in experiencing high stress, physically and psychologically, depression and even degenerative diseases, such as Parkinson’s disease, arteriosclerosis, osteoarthritis and cancer.
MSM metabolizes dimethyl sulfoxide, a controversial anti-inflammatory and analgesic compound known as DMSO, which, unfortunately, is approved for use in veterinary medicine only, not in humans. One article explained that DMSO:
” … Holds promise in managing a wide range of debilitating health conditions. DMSO is an approved pharmacological agent in more than 125 countries, and its safety and therapeutic effects are backed by nearly 50 years of research and more than 10,000 scientific articles on its biological implications.”
One article discusses Dr. Stanley Jacob’s research on DMSO and its benefits in many applications, including the treatment of head trauma. According to Jacob, its ability as a free-radical scavenger and diuretic is part of the key to improving the blood supply to the brain, which reduces swelling:
“This improves blood oxygenation to brain tissue. Injured brain cells often aren’t dead. When these cells get increased blood supply and more oxygen, and when the free radicals are scavenged, dying cells can recover, and brain swelling is reduced very rapidly.”
Sulfur Deficiency in Regard to Obesity
It’s no secret that obesity has overtaken an alarming percentage of the American population, but it’s also an epidemic worldwide. One reason is because so many countries have embraced the Western diet. What does that have to do with sulfur deficiency? Again, as Seneff wrote for the Weston A. Price Foundation:
“A diet high in grains like bread and cereal is likely to be deficient in sulfur. Increasingly, whole foods such as corn and soybeans are disassembled into component parts with chemical names, and then reassembled into heavily processed foods. Sulfur is lost along the way, and so is the awareness that this loss matters.”
The problem with this type of diet is that it’s heavy on grains, such as bread, hamburger buns, and cereal, where the sulfur content is low. Developing “fast” food and convenience food was actually a brilliant marketing ploy.
But in the rush to polish off the fuel needed to keep functioning, important things like nutrition have gone by the wayside. Additionally, food manufacturers that “fortify” foods, such as breakfast cereals, with a dozen or so vitamins and minerals have misled many consumers to believe they’re feeding their children a “complete” breakfast that’s not only good for them but also convenient!
Mineral Deficiencies Sometimes Cause ‘Mystery’ Symptoms
Stephanie Seneff has a few theories:
“My extensive literature search has led me to two mysterious molecules found in the blood stream and in many other parts of the body: vitamin D3 sulfate and cholesterol sulfate. Upon exposure to the sun, the skin synthesizes vitamin D3 sulfate, a form of vitamin D that, unlike unsulfated vitamin D3, is water-soluble.
As a consequence, it can travel freely in the blood stream rather than encapsulated inside LDL (the so-called ‘bad’ cholesterol) for transport. The form of vitamin D that is present in both human milk and raw cow’s milk is vitamin D3 sulfate (pasteurization destroys it in cow’s milk).”
A few other minerals that you may not be getting enough of are magnesium and sulfate (which soaking in an Epsom salts bath may help alleviate). A shortage of these could lead to high blood pressure, heart problems, high blood pressure and symptoms like leg cramps, muscle twitches or spasms.
Eating more vegetables, nuts and seafood is a good way to avoid deficiencies in these minerals, which could help you avoid developing serious diseases and disorders.
How to Increase Your Sulfur Intake Naturally
One of the most basic ways to obtain sulfur is by drinking water. In fact, you get about 10 percent of the sulfur in your body in this way. Hard tap water may contain more sulfur than soft water (however tap water should always be filtered), and studies indicate that the incidences of heart disease are greater for those who drink soft water.
If you want to increase your sulfur intake, one of the best things you can do is eat more sulfur-rich foods. Eating foods like garlic, for instance (as opposed to taking a garlic supplement), is an example; a good amount would be three cloves per day — raw and crushed or chopped before eating.
There are individuals who don’t care for garlic. If this applies to you, gazpacho and pesto are good ways to enjoy garlic in the raw, since mixing it with complementary foods dissipates the odor compounds and backs them off a bit. Another delicious and easy way to do that is to sprinkle garlic with olive oil and roast it, especially with sweet potatoes, carrots and onions.
The Allium Family of Vegetables Contain Disease-Preventing Sulfur Compounds
Clinical studies have identified organic sulfur-containing compounds (OSCs) from allium vegetables (such as garlic and onions) as potentially beneficial in preventing many diseases, including “infections, cardiovascular and metabolic affections, cancers and related indispositions.”
One study observed that garlic has been used for treating infections for thousands of years in many areas of the world, including Egypt, India, China and Greece. Its antibacterial, antibiotic, antiseptic, antiviral and antifungal benefits are due, at least in part, to the sulfur. As reported in the Saudi Pharmaceutical Journal:
“Garlic has historically been used to treat earaches, leprosy, deafness, severe diarrhea, constipation and parasitic infections, and to lower fever, fight infections and relieve stomach aches.
The most compelling evidence [is] that garlic and related sulfur constituents can suppress cancer risk and alter the biological behaviour of tumors. Experimentally, garlic and its associated sulfur components are reported to suppress tumor incidence in breast, colon, skin, uterine, esophagus and lung cancers.”
This article is shared with you by Nutrition Breakthroughs, maker of the natural sulfur based remedy Joints and More, for joint relief, aches and pains, stronger hair and nails, and more energy.
By Mary Jane Brown, PhD, RD (Registered Dietician) – Courtesy of Authority Nutrition
Shared by Nutrition Breakthroughs, maker of the effective calcium and magnesium based sleep aid Sleep Minerals II. ************************************************************************
About 20% of the human body is made up of protein.Because your body doesn’t store protein, it’s important to get enough from your diet each day.
You can get protein from many food sources, including plants and animals.
Some people claim that the source of the protein, whether animal or plant, shouldn’t matter.
Others suggest that plant protein is superior to animal protein.
This article compares animal and plant proteins.
The Amino Acid Profile Varies Between Plant and Animal Proteins
When eaten, protein is broken down into amino acids.
Proteins and amino acids are used for almost every metabolic process in the body.
However, different proteins can vary greatly in the types of amino acids they contain.
While animal proteins tend to contain a good balance of all the amino acids that we need, some plant proteins are low in certain amino acids.
For example, some key plant proteins are often low in methionine, tryptophan, lycine and isoleucine.
Bottom Line: All proteins are made up of amino acids, although the amount and type of each amino acid varies based on the protein source.
Animal Proteins Are Complete, But Plant Proteins Are Not
In total, there are around 20 amino acids that the human body uses to build proteins.
These amino acids are classified as either essential or non-essential.
Your body can produce non-essential amino acids. However, it cannot produce essential amino acids, which need to be obtained through your diet.
For optimal health, your body needs all the essential amino acids in the right ratios.
Animal protein sources, such as meat, fish, poultry, eggs and dairy are similar to the protein found in your body.
These are considered to be complete sources of protein because they contain all of the essential amino acids that your body needs to function effectively.
On the contrary, plant protein sources, such as beans, lentils and nuts are considered to be incomplete, as they lack one or more of the essential amino acids that your body needs
Some sources report soy protein as complete. However, two essential amino acids are only found in small amounts in soy, so it isn’t comparable to animal protein.
Bottom Line: Animal foods are the highest quality protein sources. Plant sources lack one or more amino acids, which makes it more difficult to get all the amino acids that your body needs.
Some Nutrients Are More Abundant in Animal Protein Sources
Of course, proteins are rarely found in isolation. They usually come with a wide variety of other nutrients.
Foods that contain animal protein tend to be high in several nutrients that are often lacking in plant foods.
Vitamin B12: Vitamin B12 is mainly found in fish, meat, poultry and dairy products. Many people who avoid animal foods are deficient.
Vitamin D: Vitamin D is found in oily fish, eggs and dairy. Some plants contain it, but the type found in animal foods is better used by your body.
DHA: Docosahexenoic acid (DHA) is an essential omega-3 fat found in fatty fish. It’s important for brain health and is hard to get from plant sources.
Heme-iron: Heme-iron is predominantly found in meat, especially red meat. It is much better absorbed in the body than non-heme iron from plant foods.
Zinc: Zinc is mainly found in animal protein sources, such as beef, pork and lamb. It is also more easily absorbed and used from animal protein sources.
Of course, there are also plenty of nutrients found in plants that are lacking in animal foods. Therefore, eating balanced amounts of both is the best way to get all the nutrients you need.
Bottom Line: Animal protein sources are higher in certain nutrients, such as vitamin B12, vitamin D, the omega-3 fatty acid DHA, heme-iron and zinc.
Certain Types of Meat May Cause Disease
Red meat is a high-quality protein source.
Several observational studies have linked red meat consumption to an increased risk of heart disease, stroke and early death.
However, further research has suggested that the problem is not with all red meat, but rather with processed red meat.(meat that has been preserved by curing, salting, smoking, drying or canning).
In a large observational study including 448,568 individuals, processed meat was linked to an increased risk of death, with no effect for unprocessed red meat.
Another study involving over 34,000 women made similar observations. In this case, processed meat was associated with heart failure.
Also, a large review of 20 studies found that processed meat was associated with an increased risk of heart disease and diabetes. Again, no association was found for unprocessed red meat.
Additional studies have confirmed that unprocessed red meat consumption is not linked to heart disease.
Despite this, one study found that replacing 1 serving per day of red meat with 1 serving of poultry was associated with a 27% lower risk of stroke.
Furthermore, the health risks associated with processed red meat are not linked to fish and other meats, such as turkey and chicken.
Bottom Line: Processed red meat is associated with an increased risk of disease. Unprocessed red meat and other lean meats are generally healthy.
Diets High in Plant Protein are Linked to Many Benefits
Diets high in plant protein, such as the vegetarian diet, are linked with many health benefits.
Studies suggest vegetarians tend to have a lower body weight, lower cholesterol and lower blood pressure levels.
They also have a lower risk of stroke, cancer and death from heart disease than non-vegetarians.
Lower Risk of Heart Disease
A study found that a diet rich in protein (about half from plants) lowered blood pressure, cholesterol levels and the risk of heart disease more than a standard diet or a healthy high-carb diet.
The EcoAtkins trial found that a low-carb, high-plant protein diet helped lower cholesterol and blood pressure more than a high-carb, low-fat diet.
Reduced Risk of Type 2 Diabetes
One small study of people with type 2 diabetes found that replacing 2 servings of red meat with legumes 3 days per week improved cholesterol and blood sugar.
However, another small 6-week study of diabetics compared a diet high in plant protein with a diet high in animal protein. No differences were found in blood sugar, cholesterol and blood pressure.
Protection Against Weight Gain
Diets high in plant protein may also help you control your weight.
An observational study following 120,000 men and women over 20 years found that eating more nuts was linked to weight loss.
Also, eating one serving of beans, chickpeas, lentils or peas per day can increase fullness and may lead to better weight management and weight loss.
Correlation Does Not Imply Causation
It’s important to remember that observational studies only report statistical associations. They cannot prove that these benefits were caused by eliminating meat or other animal protein sources.
One thing to consider is that people on vegetarian diets tend to be more health-conscious than the general population.
Therefore, the health benefits of vegetarian diets are likely due to overall healthier diets and lifestyles, rather than any inherent difference between plant and animal proteins.
Bottom Line: A diet high in plant protein is linked to a lower risk of heart disease, diabetes and obesity. This may be explained by an overall healthier lifestyle in vegetarians.
Animal Protein Also Has Health Benefits
Animal protein is also associated with positive health effects, despite often being portrayed as unhealthy compared to plant protein.
The Nurses’ Health study reported that poultry, fish and low-fat dairy were associated with a lower risk of heart disease.
People who eat fish regularly are also likely to have a lower risk of heart attacks, strokes and death from heart disease.
One study of more than 40,000 males found that those who regularly ate one or more servings of fish per week had a 15% lower risk of heart disease.
Additionally, eating eggs has been linked to improved cholesterol levels and weight loss. In one study, women who ate eggs for breakfast, rather than a bagel, reported feeling fuller and ate less later in the day.
Last but not least, eating animal protein is linked with increased lean muscle mass and a reduction in the muscle loss that occurs with age.
Bottom Line: Certain animal protein sources are linked to a reduced risk of heart disease, improved cholesterol levels, weight loss and increased muscle mass.
Take Home Message
For optimal health, the evidence supports a diet that is low in processed meat, rich in plant protein, with some animal sources such as grass-fed meat, fish, poultry, eggs and dairy.
As plant protein food sources often have lower quality proteins, vegetarians and vegans should eat a wide variety of foods to ensure that they are getting all the amino acids that they need.
For meat eaters, it’s important to get the right balance of both animal and plant foods.
This health news on “Animal vs Plant Protein” is shared by Nutrition Breakthroughs, a publisher of nutrition articles and supplier of effective natural remedies since 2002. Nutrition Breakthroughs makes the original calcium and magnesium based sleep aid Sleep Minerals II, as well as Joints and More, the natural solution for joint relief, aches and pains, stronger hair and nails, and more energy.