The progenitor of much of the modern thinking about the mental condition was put forth by a neurotic, strange, feminine Jewish man of the lowest order, Sigmund Schlomo Freud (1856-1939). What follows is, in part, […]
By Dr. Mercola
If your impression of prunes is that they’re something old people eat for help with regularity (although there is that), you could use a bit more information about the benefits of this delicious food. For some people, prunes have somehow gleaned a reputation as dry, mealy and terrible-tasting, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Sure, they may look a little odd, being a wrinkly, purple-to-black lump, but they’re tasty to the point of crave worthy.
In case you’re not familiar with prunes, they’re simply dried plums, just like raisins are dried grapes. More specifically, prunes are sun-dried plums that skipped the fermentation process.1 To make the moist little morsels more intriguing to 25- through 54-year-old females, the California Prune Board asked the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to begin referring to prunes as “dried plums.”
It must be working, as prune consumption shifted. Europe is on the receiving end of 40 percent of the California prune market, and it’s jumped 37 percent in just the last year, Fresh Plaza, a global produce news site, notes:
“It is moving away from the traditional home baking and breakfast occasions into the acceptance of prunes as a healthy snack and a versatile ingredient for home cooking. Chefs from all around the world are starting to recognize the significant benefits of including prunes in a whole range of recipes.”2
Prunes, much like peaches, are referred to as “freestone,” meaning the large pit in the center can stay intact through the drying process, then be easily removed before packaging. Medicine throughout centuries made use of prunes for fever, high blood pressure, jaundice, diabetes, digestion and constipation, still one of its most popular remedies.
Eat Your Prunes — They’re Good for You
Just like raisins, prunes offer chewy sweetness and amazing versatility as well as plenty of surprising nutrients. Fiber, potassium, iron and retinol from vitamin A are some of its most prominent nutrients (in fact, the drying process increases the fiber content)3 as are the vitamin K and beta-carotenes.
While I don’t recommend you eat an entire cup (174 grams) of pitted prunes in one sitting due to their fructose content (about 5 grams in five prunes4), if you did, you’d get 12 grams, or 49 percent,5 of the recommended dietary allowance (RDI) of fiber, which is what U.S. health organizations say you need for one day (I believe about 50 grams of fiber per 1,000 calories consumed is ideal, however).
colon cancer. In fact, two studies — the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal, and Ovarian (PLCO) Screening Trial and another by the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) — noted that “dietary fiber intake is inversely related to the incidence of colon adenomas and cancer.”6
Even more recent studies have come to the same conclusion, such as one conducted in 2015 by researchers at Texas A&M. Nancy Turner, AgriLife research professor in the nutrition and food science department, showed that dried plum consumption provides beneficial effects by helping your colon retain advantageous gut microbiota.7
The 36 percent RDI in potassium,8 a mineral crucial for good health, you get from eating 1 cup of prunes helps balance the chemical and electrical processes in your body, lowers your risk of stroke and heart disease along with your blood pressure, and optimizes several other important body functions.
In the same cup of prunes, you also get 129 percent of the DRI in vitamin K, which may help prevent inflammation and osteoporosis and improve your insulin sensitivity.9 Other prominent nutrients in prunes include more than 20 percent DRI of several B vitamins10 along with notable amounts of vitamin A, calcium, magnesium, zinc, copper, manganese, selenium and boron.
Prunes Should Be Eaten in Moderation
Prunes are a rich source of simple sugars, including fructose. Despite this, research has shown dried plums do not lead to a rapid rise in blood sugar concentration when consumed,11 possibly due to their high fiber and sorbitol content. However, the fructose still constitutes good reason to limit your intake, as is true in regard to consuming most other fruits. Fruits such as plums and prunes can be good for you, but in limited amounts.
One medium prune contains 1.2 grams of fructose. If you’re insulin- or leptin-resistant (are overweight, diabetic, hypertensive or have high cholesterol), then it would be especially advisable for you to limit your fruit intake.
As a general rule, I recommend limiting your fructose intake to a maximum of 15 grams of fructose per day from all sources, including whole fruit. If you are not insulin/leptin resistant (are of normal weight without diabetes, hypertension or high cholesterol) I suggest limiting your fructose intake to 25 grams per day (or less) from all sources.
What Have Prunes Done for You Lately?
Prunes, as you’ve already read, contain a lot of extremely health-beneficial nutrients. It’s how they relate to your body in terms of disease prevention, however, that makes them so valuable. The end conclusion of one study, for instance, reported in the Journal of Medicinal Plants Research, lists several of those benefits:
“Prunes have been found pharmacologically active as antioxidant, anticancer, anxiolytic, mild laxative and antihyperlipedimic. Their efficacy in treatment and prevention of … osteoporosis has been documented in clinical studies.
It exerts positive effects on cardiovascular parameters possibly through antioxidant activities, high fiber and potassium contents. In conclusion, prunes have wide range of nutritional and medicinal uses and daily consumption can be beneficial in the treatment or prevention of different ailments.”12
Flavonoid polyphenolic antioxidants in plums, such as lutein and cryptoxanthin, help scavenge free radicals from your body. Free radicals come from toxins that enter your body through your skin and the air you breathe, such as pollution and toxic fumes from household cleaners, food dyes and other unhealthy food ingredients. Free radicals are also produced normally during metabolism. Medical News Today reports:
“Antioxidants, called polyphenols, may prevent cell mutation and reduce cancer cell formation. Prunes were found to have the highest range of polyphenols when compared with other dried fruits, such as raisins, figs, and dates.”13
Bahram H. Arjmandi, Ph.D, a registered dietician and researcher at Florida State University, was one of the first to investigate “estrogen receptors in the gut to aid in calcium transport and to demonstrate the efficacy of dried plum in protecting bone in both animal models of osteoporosis and postmenopausal women.”14 NDTV’s Smart Cooky quotes Arjmandi:
“Over my career, I have tested numerous fruits, including figs, dates, strawberries and raisins, and none of them come anywhere close to having the effect on bone density that dried plums or prunes have. All fruits and vegetables have a positive effect on nutrition, but in terms of bone health, this particular food is exceptional.“15
Other Good Things You Get From Eating Prunes
The incredible compounds in prunes provide several benefits that may seem unrelated, which just goes to show you how all-encompassing such nutrients can be. Here are several more super advantages you gain:
1. Prunes are considered heart healthy, mostly due to the potassium content, which optimizes heart function and nerve responses throughout your body. Daily potassium intake helps lower your blood pressure, as well as your risk of heart disease, heart attack and stroke.
2. Prunes help fight osteoporosis, in part due to the boron content, which Alive, a health and wellness site, explains:
“Helps regulate mineral metabolism and optimizes estrogen levels, which in turn increases calcium absorption. Additionally, boron helps convert vitamin D to its active form, which helps the osteoblasts [bone-building cells] utilize calcium for bone formation.”16
3. Eating prunes benefits your hair and skin due to the array of vitamins and minerals they provide, which even help slow signs of aging, such as wrinkles. High amounts of iron helps prevent a deficiency that can show up in dry, discolored hair, and even hair loss.
4. Prune consumption benefits your vision due to high vitamin A, which produces retinol. Being deficient in this vitamin is a leading cause of macular degeneration, dry eyes, cataracts and night blindness.
5. The nutrients in prunes go a long way. Nutritionist Anshul Jaibharat offers both a caution and an encouragement:
“Prunes are high in natural sugar, so too many may not be good for people watching their weight. After all, excess of anything is stored as fat in your body. Prunes have such high nutritional values ensuring that you can eat just one piece and still gain measurable nutrients.“17
Is Prune Juice Beneficial for Constipation?
You’ve no doubt heard about the effects of prune juice being a good laxative. In fact, studies have shown it to be even more effective than psyllium husk at treating constipation.18 Prune juice, too, is lauded for decreasing the “transit time” of foods in your digestive tract.
For people with constipation, eating the whole prune may be enough to get things moving, and I recommend trying this first. If the constipation persists, you could try drinking a small amount of prune juice in the morning to help stimulate the desired action. Additionally, another dose half an hour to an hour after a meal might prove helpful, as well.19
I do not, however, recommend drinking prune juice regularly or in large quantities because of the sugar content. If chronic constipation is a problem for you, there are many other natural strategies to treat it. Constipation aside, here are a few more ways to incorporate whole prunes into your diet:
- Use kitchen shears to cut prunes in smaller pieces to toss into salad greens or mixed with quinoa, coconut and chopped walnuts.
- They’re a great snack for traveling, whether you’re in the car or on a walking trail, and even in your lunchbox.
- An ounce (28 grams) can be added to smoothies for a bit of natural sweetness, as well as extra antioxidants and fiber.
- Pitted prunes and a little water in your food processor produces a tasty topping for everything from banana bread made from coconut flour to homemade vanilla bean ice cream sweetened with stevia. (As is nearly always the case, the healthiest recipes are those you make yourself.)
- Try adding a handful of prunes to savory dishes such as chicken with rosemary and basil.
By Dr. Mercola
Spices are a wonderful addition to foods and beverages because they can add just the right flair. Nutmeg, for instance, lends quiet warmth and complexity, in desserts like apple crisp and in vegetables like spinach, as in the savory Indian dish, saag peneer. And paprika lends mild sweetness to meat dishes and goulash.
But flavor is just one trait that makes spices such an integral part of cooking and eating. They can also be incredibly good for your health and help you reach your weight goals. One of the great things about adding spices of any kind to your meals is that the flavor can help you feel more satisfied, so you don’t feel so deprived when you eat foods with fewer calories, says Jaclyn London, senior clinical dietician at Mount Sinai Hospital.1
London adds that in regard to spices, “The key is that all the ones we talk about for weight loss or maintenance have anti-inflammatory properties and a flavor profile that may help limit overall calorie intake.” With that, here are several examples of spices to try in your quest to lose weight.
Warming Spices to Narrow Your Waistline
While cinnamon is delicious and warming, it also kicks in your metabolism. Studies also show it helps reduce blood glucose levels and improve insulin resistance for people with type 2 diabetes. In fact, in one study published in Diabetes Care concluded that it:
“Reduced serum glucose [and] triglyceride … levels in people with type 2 diabetes. Because [it] would not contribute to caloric intake, [people with] type 2 diabetes or elevated glucose [or] triglyceride … levels may benefit from the regular inclusion of cinnamon in their daily diet.”2
Nutritionist and author Marilyn Glenville, Ph.D., the former president of the Food and Health Forum at the UK Royal Society of Medicine, warns that people with bleeding disorders or anyone taking blood thinners such as warfarin or heparin should avoid cinnamon, as it contains the blood-thinning compound coumarin.3
There’s a popular legend that Confucius ate ginger at every meal. One reason why may be explained in a study reported by the European Journal of Gastroenterology and Hematology, which explored the effects of ginger on “gastric motility,” aka how quickly food moved through the colon instead of sticking around and causing problems.4
The study involved 11 patients, some of whom were given placebos, and concluded with the statement that ginger encouraged more antral contractions in comparison between the two, which conceivably promoted more rapid gastric emptying.5 It also boosts insulin sensitivity, which London explains is due to ginger’s anti-inflammatory properties, reducing fatty acids and promoting weight stability.
Referred to as the “queen of spices” in India and Nepal, cardamom is one of the most expensive spices but still a very popular ingredient in tea and coffee. It’s related to cinnamon and is shown in studies to help lower blood glucose levels and regulate your insulin, as well as optimize your cholesterol levels.6
Studies say this little-known spice, a thermogenic herb, has dozens of other valuable health benefits and uses, besides being antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory, which can sooth your gastrointestinal system and enhance your metabolic function.7
Cardamom is regarded as a diuretic in Ayurvedic tradition. One study also compared it favorably with8 commercial products designed to relieve weight retention, colic, diarrhea and constipation.9 It’s also been noted for balancing gut flora to optimize digestion.10
Spicy Foods Offer Much More Than Heat
You’ve heard the term “active ingredient.” Well, the active ingredient in chili powder is capsaicin. London calls chili powder a “triple threat” because as it boosts your energy, it can help you eat slower.
Additionally, a sprinkle of chili powder on your food may inspire you to eat more healthy plant-based offerings rather than an extra helping of bread or rice. All three advantages relate to eating less, which may be what you’re hoping for. Capsaicin also stimulates brown fat, a type of fat that generates heat by helping you burn calories, which is why it’s being explored as a tool for weight loss, healthy metabolism, and more.11
Recent animal studies note that piperine’s ability to inhibit new fat cells from forming, known as adipogenesis, helps reduce waist size and body fat and optimizes cholesterol levels.13 With similar effects to capsaicin, Europeans have used black pepper for thousands of years in traditional medicine to treat inflammation and digestive problems. Its effectiveness is due in part to a compound known as piperine. Daily Mail notes:
“Piperine has similar effects to capsaicin in chilies and is what gives black pepper its heat. It’s the heat which helps prevent the formation of new fat cells, especially if you decide to indulge in a mouth-searing meal featuring pepper and chili.”12
Known for jazzing up Southwestern fare, cumin is also capable of suppressing your appetite and keeping fat cells from showing up again after weight loss.
Ginseng, particularly the Siberian variety, is known for speeding up your metabolism and giving you a “second wind” of energy, which may be why tea with ginseng has been a “thing” all over Asia and Europe for centuries. Siberian ginseng is known as an adaptogen, which Daily Mail describes as something that “works according to what your body needs.” Glenville says it provides energy when required, and helps combat stress and fatigue when you are under pressure.14
Cayenne pepper is noted for a phenomenon known as thermogenesis, which consumes oxygen in your body and can result in weight loss. It contains capsaicin, which gives it its heat, but also promotes fat oxidation15 and increases fat burning by as much as 16 percent.
Capsaicin has been shown to have potential for promoting metabolic and vascular health. Further, the same study shows it has “favorable effects” on atherosclerosis, hypertension, diabetes, obesity, non-alcoholic fatty liver, cardiac hypertrophy and stroke risk.16 But while spice is good, Eat This observes there’s such a thing as too much: “Too much spicy food can send you to Toilet Town, but a little hit of capsaicin, the compound that gives chili pepper its powerful kick, has proven to reduce belly fat, suppress appetite and boost thermogenesis.”17
Spices Further Your Weight Loss Goals in Surprising Ways
Practically speaking, one reason garlic powder can help you lose weight is because its strong flavor may make you take smaller bites and also eat slower, which may prevent you from eating too much. Studies also indicate that when you eat garlic, your body temperature can increase, a sure sign of a revved up metabolism. Spry Living says:
“Garlic is thermogenic. It makes your body generate heat, which burns calories [and] revs up an enzyme called AMP-activated protein kinase that regulates metabolism. This enzyme targets many areas of the body, including muscles and a form of fat called brown fat, which produces heat and burns off calories.”18
Practically a prerequisite for any kind of Indian curry, turmeric is a huge star in the constellation of beneficial spices. London notes that when it comes to weight loss, turmeric can differentiate fat cells by halting their formation and ability to reduce in size.19 Detailing why this is important, Glenville notes:
“Its active ingredient is curcumin and although the research has not shown that curcumin can actually help with weight loss, it is thought to stop the regrowth of fat after someone has lost weight. This could be helpful as many people end up putting back the weight they have lost after a diet.”20
Turmeric also helps reduce inflammation, which can be a significant contributor to obesity and the inability to lose weight. One study notes:
“Curcumin is the active ingredient in turmeric. Evidence suggests curcumin may regulate lipid metabolism, which plays a central role in the development of obesity and its complications. The present review addresses the evidence and mechanisms by which curcumin may play a role in downregulating obesity and reducing the impact of associated problems.”21
It’s probably no surprise that the compound in mustard seed that’s responsible for burning fat and enhancing your metabolism is, once again, capsaicin. Glenville explains:
“Mustard is part of the cruciferous family of vegetables which are thought to have many health benefits. Other cruciferous vegetables include cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli and Brussels sprouts. If you are buying ready-made mustard make sure that it does not contain sugar as this is going to be counter-productive for your weight.”22
Another study at Oxford Polytechnic University in England found that 1 teaspoon of mustard seed can elevate your metabolism by 25 percent, a benefit that persists for several hours after consumption. This may be due to the phytochemical allyl isothiocyanates, which also deliver the flavor.23 Be careful, though: when mustard is neon yellow or loaded with sugar, health benefits go out the window.
How Diet ‘Tricks’ Can Masquerade as Lasting Weight Loss
Nutritionist Monica Reinagel explored a new diet designed to help people lose weight by “flushing impurities from your body and super-charging your metabolism.”24 The secret of these weight loss benefits were said to be spices like coriander, cumin, pepper, cinnamon and black pepper.
While noting the anti-inflammatory and blood thinning ability of turmeric, garlic and ginger, and that cinnamon can stabilize blood sugar, Reinagel asserted that losing 7 to 12 pounds the first week is often more about losing water rather than fat, a trajectory that can’t be sustained longer than a few weeks.
Limiting your intake of net carbs (total carbs minus fiber) to under 40 to 50 grams per day and replacing them with healthy fats is necessary for lasting weight loss, as this will transition your body into primarily burning fat for fuel. Unless you continue limiting your net carbs going forward, the downward momentum generally dwindles, as does your metabolism. Further, unless exercise is a priority, muscle tissue may also begin to diminish, lowering your metabolism even more.
Regardless of how quickly weight is shed, if the same old eating habits climb back in the saddle, lost pounds are notorious for returning, and then some.
Ways to Keep Weight Off Once You’ve Lost It
The biggest hurdle people face when they double down on a diet plan that’s drastically different from what future habits can sustain is that, too often, the weight comes right back. Here are some ways to help you lose weight and also keep it off once you’ve reached your goal:
• Intermittent fasting helps reset your body to burn fat for fuel and helps optimize insulin sensitivity and mitochondrial health and energy production. It involves cutting calories in whole or in part, either a couple of days a week, every other day, or even daily.
For instance, you may restrict your eating to a window of six to eight hours, choosing between having breakfast and lunch, or lunch and dinner, but avoid having both breakfast and dinner. It’s one of the most effective interventions for normalizing your weight.
• The amount of fiber in your diet is crucial for weight loss, as it is for general health. Eat foods known for keeping food moving smoothly through your colon, such as veggies, nuts and seeds such as chia.
• Vitamin D, or lack thereof, derived to some extent from foods you eat and primarily via the sunshine you bask in on any given day, can have an impact on your ability to lose and maintain weight. One study25 showed that for more than 4,600 women 65 years old and older, low vitamin D levels contributed to mild weight gain.26
• Reversing insulin/leptin resistance plays a key role in preventing obesity, metabolic disorders such as type 2 diabetes and inflammatory diseases like rheumatoid arthritis. Trading refined sugar and processed fructose for healthy fats will help optimize your insulin and leptin levels. For more detailed dietary guidance, please see my nutrition plan.
• Exercise is extremely important in the quest for weight loss, as well as shoring up sagging muscles and keeping them firm and strong. Exercise also benefits your glucose, insulin and leptin levels by optimizing insulin/leptin receptor sensitivity, subsequently helping to prevent chronic disease.
By Dr. Mercola
A number of foods have known anti-cancer activity. Among the more well-known are members of the cruciferous family, with broccoli leading the pack when it comes to undergoing scientific investigation. One of the lesser-known ones is mustard seed, which also belongs to the brassica genus.1,2
As it turns out, not only does mustard seed contain compounds shown to inhibit cancer proliferation, it also contains compounds that augment the cancer-fighting potential of other cruciferous veggies, delivering a real double-punch when combined. For this reason, I recommend keeping organic mustard seed powder in your kitchen at all times. Mustard seed powder can also be used to whip up homemade topical remedies, such as plasters and baths to relieve pain.
Mustard Seed Compound Effectively Blocks Bladder Cancer Progression
One 2010 study3 discovered a compound found in both brown mustard and cruciferous vegetables called allyl isothiocyanate (AITC), also known as mustard oil, lowered the risk of bladder cancer by 34.5 percent and was 100 percent effective at preventing the spread of cancer into surrounding muscle cells. The complete stop of cancer progression is quite remarkable considering the cancer metastasized into surrounding tissues 71 percent of the time in untreated controls.
Importantly, the whole food — mustard seed powder — was more effective than the purified form. Dry mustard seed contain a compound called sinigrin, a precursor to AITC. When combined with water (which is what happens in your stomach), an enzyme called myrosinase converts the sinigrin into AITC.
A related form of this enzyme is found in the human digestive tract, but the plant-based one is far more effective, accomplishing a more complete conversion. This is likely why the whole food worked better than the isolated compound.4 Another interesting finding was that higher doses were not more effective. Animals given 71.5 milligrams (mg) of mustard seed powder per kilo of body weight were the ones in which cancer occurrence was reduced by 34 percent and metastasis completely blocked.
In animals treated with 715 mg of mustard seed powder per kilo, tumor growth was reduced by just 23 percent, and tumor invasion still occurred up to 62 percent of the time. So, a little can go a long way! Other studies have made similar findings. As reported by Natural Society: 5
“A similar conclusion was found by Dr. Anthony Di Pasqua, a bioinorganic chemist at the University of North Carolina and his colleague Dr. Fung-Lung Chung from Georgetown University. Their studies support Bhattacharya’s conclusions about AITC is brown mustard seed.
Dr. Di Pasqua said:6 ‘Our studies have shown that, once inside the cell, ITCs [isothiocyanates7] bind to proteins and that protein binding affinities are closely associated with the ability to induce apoptosis (cell suicide).’”
Myrosinase Is the Key to Maximizing Chemoprotective Effects of Cruciferous Veggies
ITCs are derivatives of sulfur-containing compounds called glucosinolates, found in cruciferous vegetables. Different glucosinolates hydrolyze into different ITCs. Broccoli, for example, is high in glucoraphanin, a glucosinolate precursor to sulforaphane, which has well-established chemoprotective effects.8,9 Sulforaphane also helps improve blood pressure, heart health10 and kidney function.
Scientists believe sulforaphane’s benefits are related to improved DNA methylation, which is crucial for normal cellular function and proper gene expression, especially in the easily damaged inner lining of the arteries (endothelium). Broccoli, like mustard seed, also contains sinigrin, the precursor to AITC. As mentioned, glucosinolate hydrolysis is catalyzed by a class of enzymes called myrosinase. Plant sources known to be particularly high in myrosinase include:
To reiterate, the enzyme myrosinase is critical for the conversion of the various glucosinolates into ITCs11 — the compounds that ultimately provide you with health benefits such as chemoprotection — and, while most if not all cruciferous veggies do contain some myrosinase, you can significantly boost the conversion by eating cruciferous vegetables together with a particularly myrosinase-rich food.
Doing so is a simple way to really maximize the chemoprotective effects of these vegetables. Wasabi, for example, has been shown to increase the chemoprotective effects of cruciferous vegetables by as much as 40 percent.12
Mustard seed appears to be the most effective, however, as it contains a particularly resilient form of myrosinase. Research confirms mustard seed can boost sulforaphane formation even in boiled broccoli, which is typically not recommended as boiling prevents sulforaphane formation by inactivating the myrosinase in the broccoli.13
ITCs Also Increase Levels of Master Antioxidant in Your Body
Once ITCs are absorbed, they turn into glutathione in your liver. Known as your body’s most powerful antioxidant, glutathione is a tripeptide found in every single cell in your body. It is called “master antioxidant” because it is intracellular and has the unique ability of maximizing the performance of all the other antioxidants, including vitamins C and E, CoQ10, alpha-lipoic acid, as well as the fresh vegetables and fruits that you eat.
Glutathione’s primary function is to protect your cells and mitochondria from oxidative and peroxidative damage. It is also essential for detoxification, energy utilization, and preventing the diseases we associate with aging. Glutathione also eliminates toxins from your cells and gives protection from the damaging effects of radiation, chemicals and environmental pollutants.
Add Mustard to All Cruciferous Veggies
AITC is found in all cruciferous vegetables, not just mustard. Here’s a list of vegetables that belong to this important family.14 Adding one or more of these foods to your diet each week may go a long way toward lowering your cancer risk. And, remember, to really boost the chemoprotective effects of these cruciferous veggies, be sure to add some mustard seed powder or other myrosinase-rich food (see earlier list).
Mustard (leaves and seed; brown, green, white and black)
Turnips (roots and greens)
Cooking Also Affects Anticancer Potential of Cruciferous Vegetables
Another factor that can affect the health benefits of cruciferous vegetables to a significant degree is the way you cook them. Studies have not been done on every single member of this family, but research clearly demonstrates there’s an ideal way to prepare and eat mature broccoli.
In the video above, Elizabeth Jeffery, Ph.D., a researcher and professor in the department of food science and human nutrition at the University of Illinois, delves into this research,15 which shows that steaming your broccoli for three to four minutes is ideal. Do not go past five minutes. While I normally recommend eating most of your vegetables raw, mature broccoli and some other cruciferous vegetables are exceptions to this rule.
When you eat raw mature broccoli, you only get about 12 percent of the total sulforaphane content theoretically available based on the parent compound. Steaming your broccoli spears for three to four minutes will optimize the sulforaphane content by eliminating epithiospecifier protein — a heat-sensitive sulfur-grabbing protein that inactivates sulforaphane — while still retaining the enzyme myrosinase, which converts glucoraphanin to sulforaphane.
Again, without myrosinase, you cannot get any sulforaphane. Boiling your broccoli past the one-minute mark is not recommended, as it will destroy a majority of the myrosinase. If you want to boil your broccoli, blanch it in boiling water for no more than 20 to 30 seconds, immerse it in cold water to stop the cooking process, and be sure to add some mustard seed powder to your dish.
Cauliflower also contains sulforaphane. Boiling or blanching cauliflower causes the greatest loss of antioxidants,16 so steaming appears to be your best bet for cauliflower as well. Unfortunately, while research has identified the ideal steaming times for broccoli, the same has not been identified for cauliflower specifically, but it is likely similar to broccoli’s.
Moreover, research17 reveals different varieties of cauliflower respond differently to various levels of heat and cooking times. In one study, blanching purple cauliflower at 70 degrees C (158 degrees F) significantly increased sulforaphane content compared to 50 degrees C (120 degrees F), while immersion time had no significant influence. In Roman cauliflower, on the other hand, both temperature and immersion time played a role.
Broccoli Sprouts — Grow Them at Home and Eat Them Raw
Broccoli SPROUTS, on the other hand, are best eaten raw, and are an excellent alternative if you don’t like the taste or smell of mature broccoli.
Sprouted broccoli seeds are also far more potent, nutritionally speaking, than mature broccoli, so you don’t need to eat nearly as much to reap the clinical benefits from key therapeutic compounds. Research shows that even small quantities of broccoli sprout extract have the power to markedly reduce the size of rat mammary tumors induced by chemical carcinogens. As noted by researchers at Johns Hopkins University:18,19
“Three-day-old broccoli sprouts consistently contain 20 to 50 times the amount of chemoprotective compounds found in mature broccoli heads, and may offer a simple, dietary means of chemically reducing cancer risk.”
Broccoli sprouts are easy and inexpensive to grow at home. Growing your own is also the best way to ensure the active ingredients in the sprouts have not been destroyed by processing. Commercially-available broccoli sprouts are typically heated in order to kill off harmful bacteria. However, use of high heat may also render the sprouts worthless, as it will negatively affect the conversion of glucosinolates to ITCs.
A recent study20 evaluating ways of eliminating microbial contaminants on broccoli sprouts found treating the sprouts with high pressure could kill off bacteria while leaving heat-sensitive nutrients intact. What’s more, the pressure treatment actually boosted glucosinolate to ITC conversion. As reported by Science Daily:21
“Results showed that processing broccoli sprouts at 400 to 600 megapascals increased the amount of glucosinolates that turned into isothiocyanates. Up to 85 percent of glucosinolates were converted under high pressure processing, boosting the plants’ potential health-promoting compounds.
The rate of conversion for mild heat treatment at 60 degrees Celsius was 69 percent. Isothiocyanate levels in boiled samples were undetectable or not quantifiable. Thus, the researchers say high pressure could be a preferred method over heating for processing broccoli sprouts.”
Other Medicinal Uses for Mustard Seed
Getting back to mustard seed, powdered mustard seed actually has a long history of use, especially in Ayurvedic medicine, where it was used topically to improve blood circulation and detoxification. Taken internally, 1 teaspoon of mustard seed powder twice a day can be used as a remedy for constipation. Mustard plaster and mustard baths were also common folk remedies for muscle and joint pain. Part of the pain-relieving effect is due to the mustard seed’s high magnesium and selenium content.
You can easily recreate such remedies today using inexpensive household ingredients. For a soothing, pain-relieving mustard bath, fill your tub with warm water. In a glass jar, mix together the following ingredients, then add to your bath and soak:22
- 1/4 cup baking soda
- 1 tablespoon mustard powder
- 1 or 2 drops wintergreen or peppermint essential oil
- 1 or 2 drops rosemary essential oil
- 1 or 2 drops eucalyptus essential oil
There are a number of take-home messages here. First, as a group, cruciferous vegetables are known to have a wide range of health benefits, including the quelling of inflammation and prevention of cancer, and the list of cruciferous vegetables is far longer than most people realize. This means you have plenty to choose from should broccoli, cauliflower or Brussels sprouts fail to tantalize your taste buds.
Secondly, cruciferous veggies contain several different chemoprotective compounds, but they require the enzyme myrosinase to work. Not only do some cruciferous vegetables contain higher amounts of this critical enzyme, but preparation and cooking can greatly affect its activity, and therein lies the problem. After all, some veggies — Brussels sprouts, for example — are not particularly delectable raw. So, the question is, how do you cook these foods without forgoing the health benefits?
To recap, your best bet for many cruciferous veggies is to lightly steam them and eat them in combination with a myrosinase-rich food. Mustard seed is the most potent. Doing this is a “hack” that basically gives you the benefit of raw food even though it’s been lightly cooked. But there’s yet another trick, presented by Dr. Michael Greger in the video below,23 which he dubs the “hack and hold” technique.
One More Cooking Trick to Boost Sulforaphane Content
When a cruciferous vegetable is chopped, the myrosinase is activated. So, by chopping the food and waiting about 40 minutes, the sulforaphane will have formed, allowing you to cook the food (in excess of the recommended three to four minutes of steaming) without risking sulforaphane loss.
The reason for this is because both the precursor to sulforaphane and the sulforaphane itself are largely resistant to heat. It’s the myrosinase that gets destroyed during cooking, which then prevents the formation of sulforaphane. By allowing the sulforaphane to form before you cook it, you circumvent this chain of events. An example given by Greger is the making of broccoli soup. When making the soup, you’ll want to blend the raw broccoli first; wait 40 minutes for the sulforaphane to form, then boil it.
By Ann Coulter | 11 October 2017
V DARE — Now the media are just taunting us with their tall tales about Stephen Paddock, the alleged Las Vegas shooter. Reputedly serious news organizations are claiming that he made a living playing video poker. That’s like claiming someone made a living smoking crack.
The media are either doing PR for the gambling industry or they don’t want anyone considering the possibility that Paddock was using gambling to launder money.
NBC News reports, with a straight face: “Las Vegas gunman earned millions as a gambler.“ A Los Angeles Times article is headlined, “In the solitary world of video poker, Stephen Paddock knew how to win.” The story says that Paddock’s gambling “was at least a steady income over a period of years.”
How do reporters imagine casino owners make a living? Any ideas on how all those glorious lobbies, lights, pools and fountains are paid for? How do they think Sheldon Adelson and Steve Wynn became billionaires if gambling is a winning proposition for people like Paddock – and therefore, by definition, a losing proposition for the casinos? […]
By Mike King
THE ANTI-NEW YORK TIMES — Harvey Weinstein (cough cough), is one of the moguliest of moguls in the history of Hollyweird. For decades, his credentials, rap-sheet protected him from long-whispered allegations of running a “casting couch” for ambitious young starlets looking for their big break, or just hoping to survive in Perverttown.
Jewish-Globalist-Zionist-Billionaire-Hollywood legend, Democrat Party mega donor, Holohoax promoter — a true “made man” sitting at or near the apex of the Jewish power pyramid over America. And now, thanks to the shocking exposes published by Sulzberger’s Slimes, the world is finally seeing the full extent of Weinstein’s predatory madness.
And the “casting couch” is only the least of it. Multiple allegations of rape, exposure & masturbation, and implied threats against potential whistle blowers are suddenly flowing forth from all quarters and being splattered across the front pages and TV screens of the Piranha Press. Though Sugar and I, er, “The Editorial Board” of The Anti-New York Times are pleased to see this MONSTER finally get his long overdue comeuppance, there is a vexing question that stumped us, for a little while, namely, “Why now?” […]
Sunday, October 15, 2017
Message from the Arcturian Collective for October 15, 2017
We are the Arcturian Collective and we wish to speak with you today.
We send you healing rays of purple and aqua light, and ask that you visualize yourself being coated and surrounded by these healing frequencies. Much you have learned you will need to unlearn. You are in the process of expanding greatly. All is being made new within and around you. This illusion is cracking like an egg, and the harder shell that has been surrounding you, and limiting you, and telling you all that you cannot be, is simply false, and is falling away.
Are you ready to realize all that you are, all that you are not and have never been? That you are likely from the stars on a top secret mission to embody a human form so that the human collective can absorb your light language and your energy signatures? For light is energy and it changes all it interacts with. Light and energy exchange are the way that other higher fifth dimensional societies exchange ideas, energy, and ultimately thrive.
We know you on Earth are not thriving yet, far from it, but you will be, and we are eager to assist you in your missions of healing and hope across this most treasured planet, Gaia. She is such an unbelievably loving, wise and pure soul and so eager to expand with her beloved Humanity. You are so cared for from all sides. We of the skies and space surrounding your planet are breathless with anticipation of the greatest story of ascension any has ever experienced or witnessed. The ascension of an entire planet with her populations still embodied has never before been attempted. It is shockingly exciting. Also of interest is the breadth of emotions you Humans embody, for you are a very emotional race, much more than the others, and there is much to clear.
You are truly clearing for your ancestors as well, which you may have already been told. It is indeed true. The layers of cleansing and muck are deep on your planet but very real, and they are being cleared away with great relish and ferocity. It takes a strong heart and constitution to do what you renegades are doing! We salute you and honor you in your progress. Shortly we will be able to assist you more openly. If you would like this, please ask and it will therefore happen more swiftly. For we are polite you see, and always honor the prime directive in this free will universe. It is our sacred law to not infringe upon another’s will.
We must be asked. So please do ask. Ask for our healing ships to come and surround your neighborhoods with healing pulses of light and love. Ask us for insight, for news, for greetings from home, for many of you – most – are not from here. But you know this deep within, do you not? What a long and lonely road this has been for our ascending ones. We know this. You knew this before you volunteered. The reunions are coming! Be assured of this and be hopeful and at peace. The rocks in your shoes are to be removed and the heaviness of your hearts are to be made light.
Be in joy! Connect with us, connect with yourself, your higher self, for we are all connected, we are all one. Heaven has big plans for you, our light warriors of light warriors! Many happy times and new friendships are ahead. All is being made well. When the earth shakes, when the illusion breaks, when truly the apple cart is upset, know that in order to make a new world you have to remake it, and you need the right ingredients, don’t you? Well team Earth, you are the right ingredients and we are so proud of you.
Please ask for healing and assistance with expanding your heart spaces and assistance with remembering your mission, your memories, your pledges before you came here to yourself and to all of us, in how you promised to hold the light in whatever circumstances, for that is why you are here now, in this precious time! To remember who you are! And when you remember this, you will remember all that you can do, because you have done many brave and wonderful things before – it is stored in your DNA, which is coming online now, as you type, as you speak, as you remember to listen to the call of the woods, as you remember to listen to the fairy laughter in the flowers and feel their gentle buzzing energy around you….You are all of these things for we are all connected!
Embrace change for it is coming. And my friends, it is YOU. YOU are this change. Wake up and be all that you are and all that you promised to us and to yourself that you would be.
Whatever happens, choose love. Embody love. Breathe love. For love is unstoppable. Love is truly the greatest force in the universe, and it is within you.
We love you. We are eager to assist you with your transformation, your metamorphosis from where you are to all that you will become. Remember we are only guides, you are in the drivers seat. Where will you choose to go? It is all up to you. We know you can do it. Listen to the still small voice with in you, deep within your heart space, and you will find your true self. Remember the ancient truth, “Seek and ye shall find.” For surely it is very true.
We love you. In loving service, we are the Arcturian Collective and it was our pleasure to speak with you this day.
— Submitted by galaxygirl
Terra Zetzz at 10/15/2017 01:42:00 PM