Better Nutrition September2020

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YOUR ULTIMATE RESOURCE FOR NATURAL LIVING

SEPTEMBER 2020 * betternutrition.com

NATURAL

STRESS

BUSTERS

MUST-KNOW

BENEFITS OF

EATING

SEASONALLY

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Manuka

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CONTENTS

September 2020 / Vol. 82 / No. 9

46

This Healthy

Chicken Pad

Thai is long on

protein and

fiber and short

on calories.

departments

6 NEWSBITES

Why You Should Go Organic

It’s better for you—and the planet.

10 PASSION BEHIND THE PRODUCT

Snack On!

Why LesserEvil is the last word in

tasty and delicious indulgences.

CLICK ON

THIS!

RESOURCES &

REFERENCES

For links to studies

cited in our articles

and other helpful

sites and books, visit

betternutrition.com.

26

32

36

features

The Secrets of Becoming

Stress-Hardy

It’s easy to become overwhelmed by all the

new tensions we’re facing, but these four simple

strategies can help you feel calmer and more

centered as you face the pressures of modern life.

Back To School Online

Distance learning provides its own unique

set of challenges for young scholars. Here’s

a roundup of essential tips and tricks—plus

must-have supplements—to keep kids happy

and healthy in this brave new world of learning.

How to Eat After a Heart

Attack

Prevention is the best medicine—especially when

it comes to preventing a second heart attack.

Holistic cardiologist Steven Masley, MD, offers

dietary advice gleaned from his years of clinical

experience that can help enhance recovery and

protect the heart from further damage.

12 IN THE SPOTLIGHT

Food for the Soul

Author Leah Vanderveldt on the

spiritual side of eating and wellness.

14 HOT BUYS

Healthy Fall Finds

Natural products we’re excited about.

16 CHECK OUT

How to Benefit from Calcium

Supplements

This key mineral works better with a

little help from its friends.

18 ASK THE NATUROPATHIC DOCTOR

Antiviral Herbs & Vitamins

The best immune-boosting nutrients.

22 NATURAL BEAUTY

Witch Hazel: A Skin-Healing

Wonder

The ancient secret to radiant skin.

40 ASK THE NUTRITIONIST

6 Must-Know Benefits of Eating

Seasonally

The foundation of a healthful diet.

42 EATING4HEALTH

Amino Acids

Why you need them and where to

find them.

44 HEALTHY DISH

A Better (Mini) Burger

Delicious light-and-lean sliders.

46 RECIPE4HEALTH

The Skinny Secret

A high-protein, low-calorie take on

Chicken Pad Thai.

48 COOK WITH SUPPLEMENTS

A Honey Like No Other

Sweeten up your life with Manuka.

FREE eBOOK!

Be Well: Immune-

Boosting Foods,

Recipes, & Herbs

Here’s a way

to make the

munchies support

your immune

system—and fight

the Quarantine

15—with five easy,

healthy treats

for any occasion.

Plus, learn about

the seven things

that weaken your

immune system,

and read up on four

immune-fortifying

herbs you’ll want

to take.

NEW!

EDITORS’ BLOG

We’re answering

questions and sharing

natural solutions for

everyday wellness.

New blogs monthly,

including Guest

Editor posts from

leading-edge health

experts such as Jonny

Bowden, PhD, RD.

SIGN UP FOR OUR

NEWSLETTER

Receive timely

articles, recipes,

eBooks, and exclusive

giveaways in

your inbox weekly

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Healthy Buzz.

Photo: (cover) adobestock.com ; (this page) Megan Olson

2 • SEPTEMBER 2020


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EDITOR’S * LETTER

Taking Time

for You

Has your life been turned upside down

since the pandemic began? Most of us

have been forced to adapt to a radically

new way of living. Plans have gone

out the window. Work has changed

or, in many cases, has ended altogether.

Socializing is awkward and tricky. And

there seems to be no end in sight. It’s

no wonder so many of us are struggling

with stress, depression, and anxiety.

Taking care of yourself is more

important than ever. If there’s a theme

to this issue, I think it’s that—self-care.

Chris Mann’s interview with wellness

expert Leah Vanderveldt, author of

Magical Self-Care for Everyday Life,

illustrates this so well. As you’ll read on

p. 12, Vanderveldt “sprinkles conscious

and soulful eating with a bewitching

blend of earthy and otherworldly

self-care ingredients.” I especially like

her breathwork tips. I did one of her quick

exercises just now, and it definitely

helped me feel more centered and calm.

One of the other standout articles

in this issue as it relates to self-care is

“The Secrets of Becoming Stress-Hardy”

on p. 26 by Melissa Diane Smith.

Blending her own experience with

research, Smith developed four

stress-relief techniques to help diffuse

anxiety, tension, and other challenges.

When I’m feeling overwhelmed,

I take an extra magnesium capsule,

something Smith covers in her article.

If I feel stressed right before bed,

the magnesium does the trick and

I’m able to fall asleep.

I hope all of the articles in this issue

give you new ways to care for your mental,

physical, and spiritual health.

Be well!

nbrechka@aimmedia.com

*

*

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*

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Our Writers

Meet the passionate

people behind this issue

of Better Nutrition!

Jeannette Bessinger, CHHC, is an

award-winning educator, author of multiple

books, and a real food chef. She’s helped

thousands of people make lasting changes

to unhealthy habits. jeannettebessinger.com

Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS, is a boardcertified

nutritionist and the bestselling

author of 15 books, including The 150

Healthiest Foods on Earth and Living

Low Carb. jonnybowden.com

Emily A. Kane, ND, LAc, has a private

practice in Juneau, Alaska, where she lives

with her husband and daughter. She is the

author of two books on natural health,

including Managing Menopause Naturally.

dremilykane.com

Chris Mann is a California-based wellness

writer and interviewer with 20 years’ experience

in natural health publishing. He is also an entertainment

author and podcaster. ChrisMann.tv

Megan Olson is a Phoenix-based certified

nutrition practitioner and the founder of

Skinny Fitalicious. She has been featured in

Shape magazine, Women’s Health, and more.

skinnyfitalicious.com

Melissa Diane Smith, Dipl. Nutr.,

is a holistic nutritionist who has 25 years

of clinical experience and specializes in

using food as medicine. She is the author

of Going Against GMOs and other books.

melissadianesmith.com

Kimberly Lord Stewart is an awardwinning

journalist who has worked for

leading natural product publications since

1996. She’s the author of Eating Between

the Lines. eatingbetweenthelines.net

Sherrie Strausfogel has been writing

about natural beauty for more than 20 years.

Based in Honolulu, she also writes about

spas, wellness, and travel. She is the author

of Hawaii’s Spa Experience.

Lisa Turner is a chef, food writer, product

developer, and nutrition coach in Boulder, Colo.

She has more than 20 years of experience

in researching and writing about nourishing

foods. lisaturnercooks.com

Vera Tweed has been writing about

supplements, holistic nutrition, and fitness

for more than 20 years. She is the editorial

director at Natural Health Connections and

author of Hormone Harmony. veratweed.com

Neil Zevnik is a private chef specializing

in healthy cuisine, with clients who have

included Jennifer Garner, Charlize Theron,

and the CEO of Disney. neilzevnik.com

YOUR ULTIMATE GUIDE TO NATURAL LIVING

Editor in Chief

Creative Director

Executive Editor

Associate Editor

Digital Editor

Copy Editor

Beauty Editor

Contributing Editors

Contributing Writers

Print Ad Coordinator

Prepress Manager

Prepress Specialist

Editorial Offices

Publisher

& East Coast Sales

Integrated Media Sales

Director, West Coast

Director of Retail Sales

Senior Brand Marketing

Manager

Marketing Designer

Accounting & Billing

Nicole Brechka

Rachel Joyosa

Jerry Shaver

Elizabeth Fisher

Maureen Farrar

James Naples

Sherrie Strausfogel

Vera Tweed, Helen Gray

Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS, Jeannette

Bessinger, CHHC, Emily A. Kane,

ND, LAc, Chris Mann, Megan Olson,

Melissa Diane Smith, Kimberly Lord

Stewart, Lisa Turner, Neil Zevnik

Kim Hoff

Joy Kelley

Idania Mentana

512 Main Street, Suite 1

El Segundo, CA 90245

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Joshua Kelly

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Judith Nesnadny

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BETTER NUTRITION, ISSN #0405-668X. Vol. 82, No. 9. Published monthly by Cruz Bay Publishing,

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4 •

SEPTEMBER 2020


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NEWS*BITES

BY VERA TWEED

WHY YOU

SHOULD GO

ORGANIC

Nutritious and sustainable,

organic food is better for

you—and the planet.

Many people choose organic food to lessen

their exposure to synthetic pesticides

and fertilizers, but there are many

more benefits to this wholesome way

of eating. Health-wise, organic crops

contain more concentrated nutrients

than conventional crops, so they’re

better for you. Plus, organic farming

methods protect and enhance our

environment, making our food supply

more sustainable, diverse, and secure.

“What happens on organic farms

has a synergistic impact,” says Jessica

Shade, PhD, Director of Science Programs

at The Organic Center, a nonprofit

educational and research organization.

Organic farming makes the soil richer,

more resilient to climate change,

and capable of absorbing and retaining

more carbon monoxide from the

atmosphere. And organic farmers

grow a much greater variety of crops,

which helps us develop more diverse diets

while also enabling essential pollinators,

such as bees and birds, to thrive.

“Organic farms have almost twice as

many pollinators as conventional farms,”

says Shade.

Health Benefits

A review of 35 different studies,

published in the journal Nutrients,

compared the health of people who

regularly eat conventional produce with

those who eat a mostly organic diet.

Organic consumers

suffered from

less infertility, and

pregnant women who

ate organic experienced

less preeclampsia

and their babies

had fewer birth defects.

Children who ate

a mostly organic diet

had fewer allergies

and ear infections, and

adults were less likely to be overweight

or to develop serious health issues,

including heart disease, diabetes,

stroke, or non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Nutritional Content

An analysis of more than 300 studies

found that when compared to

conventionally grown crops, organic

plant foods contain:

did you know ...

Organic farms grow flowers

and other plants just to

attract pollinators such as

bees, as well as lady bugs

and other beneficial insects

that eat harmful bugs.

69% more flavanones

51% more anthocyanins

50% more flavonols

28% more stilbenes

26% more flavones

19% more phenolic

acids

And it’s not just veggies. When

compared to conventional meat and

milk, organic versions have been

found to contain more beneficial

omega-3 fats and antioxidants.

In addition, organic meat contains

less cholesterol, and organic milk

contains more minerals.

For more information, visit organic-center.org

Illustration: adobestock.com

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50–65%

FEWER

DEATHS

People who walk significantly

more steps each day live

longer, according to a study that

tracked nearly 5,000 people for a

decade. More specifically, researchers

compared the lifespans of Americans

who were age 40 or older at the outset

and took no more than 4,000, 8,000,

or at least 12,000 steps daily. Compared

to people taking 4,000 or fewer daily

steps, risk of death from any cause

was 50 percent lower for those taking

8,000 daily steps and 65 percent

lower for 12,000 daily steps.

Steps can be measured with

pedometers, smartwatches, fitness

bands, or the Apple Health app on

iPhones and the Google Fit app

on Android phones.

8 • SEPTEMBER 2020 NEWS*BITES

UBIQUINOL

Relieves Fatigue

Ubiquinol is the active form of

CoQ10, a nutrient used by cells to

produce energy. While many studies

have shown that it can help people

with heart failure, a new study

in Japan found that Ubiquinol

supplements can also revitalize

energy in healthy middle-aged

people who experience fatigue.

In a group of 60 people, researchers

compared the effects of 100 or 150 mg

of Ubiquinol daily to a placebo during

a 12-week period. They measured

blood levels of the nutrient and

surveyed participants’ energy levels

during and after a series of challenging

mental tests. They found that both

doses of Ubiquinol raised blood levels

of the nutrient and significantly

enhanced energy. The study was

published in the journal Nutrients.

FISH AND FISH OIL

REDUCES BRAIN DAMAGE FROM

AIR POLLUTION

Air pollution makes the brain shrink faster with age, but the omega-3

fats in fish and fish oil can counteract the effect. In a study of 1,315

women with an average age of 70 who lived in polluted areas, brain

scans showed that those with the highest blood levels of omega-3s

suffered the least brain shrinkage. Although

individual needs vary, eating salmon,

sardines, or other omega-3-rich fish several

times a week—or taking 1,000 mg or more of

fish oil or vegan omega-3 supplements—can

usually get blood levels into a healthy range.

Photos: adobestock.com


PASSION BEHIND THE PRODUCT *

companies fostering personal & global well-being

Snack On!

Charles Coristine, owner of LesserEvil, left his Wall Street job to

buy this boutique snack company—and the world is a sweeter

(and cleaner) place because of it.

BY NEIL ZEVNIK

There was a time not so long ago when

“snacking” was a dirty word. If you

were someone who “ate healthy,” you

eschewed all of those between-meal

indulgences that were most likely

fried in some unhealthy oil and/or

loaded with sugar and preservatives.

Unfortunately, sensible options were

few and far between—and their flavor

often left a lot to be desired.

But then attitudes changed. Nutritional

information became more available.

“Grazing” became a viable dietary habit.

And a wide panoply of healthy and tasty

snacks inundated store shelves.

So the question now becomes not

which snacks are genuinely healthy,

but which ones make the greatest

contribution to personal and planetary

welfare? Enter Charles Coristine and

his LesserEvil brand.

When Popcorn and

Meditation Merge

Coristine left behind a successful career

on Wall Street to dive into a whole new

world when he bought boutique snack

company LesserEvil. Focused on organic

popcorn and inspired by his meditations

at a holistic nutrition retreat, he conceived

of a laughing Buddha as the perfect

packaging guru for his brand.

“The gurus on our packages represent

our curiosity around our existence

and interconnectedness,” Coristine

says. “We want to endorse a holistic

message of universal tolerance, love,

and peace. We believe that there is

a guru in each and every one of us.

People love the playful and universal

messaging, they care about organic,

and they care about what they put

into their bodies. ”

10 • SEPTEMBER 2020


Natural Medicine

Online House Call:

A 5-Part Series

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“Our mantra around food is that we

would not put anything in our snacks

that we wouldn’t feed our own

children,” says Charles Coristine of

his LesserEvil brand.

So Coristine set out to source only the

best ingredients he could find. For sound

reasons. “They actually taste better and

are better for you and your family,” he

says. “Our mantra around food is that

we would not put anything in our snacks

that we wouldn’t feed our own children.”

That means organic of course.

But it also includes no GMOs, no

refined sugars or salts, no vegetable

or hydrogenated oils, no antibiotics or

hormones, no preservatives, and no

artificial colors or flavors.

All of which would mean nothing

without flavor. “It’s all about the oils,”

says Coristine. You can feel the difference

organic coconut oil, avocado oil, and

ghee make. It comes down to the

experience of eating and how you feel

afterwards. Does it make you feel light

and fulfilled, or heavy and guilty?”

It’s About More Than Healthy

Snacking

Not content with just creating splendid

snacks, LesserEvil wants to make a

contribution to improving the world in

other ways as well. Organic ingredients,

sustainable sourcing, energy-saving

initiatives, and biodegradable packaging

are just a few of their contributions to

the welfare of the planet. And they even

compost most of their factory waste.

Because for Coristine, LesserEvil

is as much a way of life as a business.

“I think, if you believe in your heart,

all-in conviction is a very powerful

thing,” he says. “This is our recipe for life:

super-clean ingredients and dynamite

taste, for what we hope is a down-anddirty

smash-em-up beautiful life.”

CRUNCH

ON THIS!

First heavenly

popcorn, now

Paleo and Egg

White Puffs in a range of

tasty flavors. And when you want

something sweet to sink your teeth

into, try LesserEvil’s scrumptious

mini cookies in Almond Butter

Chocolate Chip and Snickerdoodle.

Many of the products are compatible

with common dietary restrictions,

including dairy-free, vegan, Paleo,

and more.

The Institute for Natural Medicine

is pleased to offer a FREE online

learning series with hands-on,

mini-sessions from naturopathic

medicine’s leading experts.

Nutrition & Diet Remain

Your Best Medicine

Denise Long, ND discusses the cleanseelimination

approach, an anti-inflammatory

diet and how to find the right food choices for

your best health.

Crane Holmes, ND shares an overview of

special diets and the microbiome and why you

might benefit from changing your daily eating

choices.

The Radical Impact of

Movement & Exercise

Michelle Simon, ND inspires you to bring

movement to your life and shows easy-to-learn

exercises to keep you in shape and well.

Mark Heisig, ND teaches novel physical

medicine approaches that address chronic

pain and explores effective approaches to

post-concussion syndrome.

the Mind-Body Connection

Nicola Dehlinger, ND explains why mind-body

medicine is essential to healing and offers

techniques to connect you to your best self.

Visit


IN THE SPOTLIGHT *

stay-healthy secrets from leading experts

Food for the Soul

Nutrition writer and wellness expert Leah Vanderveldt looks

at the spiritual side of eating and wellness in her latest book,

Magical Self-Care for Everyday Life.

BY CHRIS MANN

As the author of several forwardthinking

cookbooks, including 2019’s

The CBD Kitchen, Leah Vanderveldt

has long known that nourishment

extends significantly beyond the

physical to the mental, emotional,

and even the enchantingly spiritual.

Her latest book—Magical Self-Care

for Everyday Life: Create Your Own

Personal Wellness Rituals Using the

Tarot, Space-Clearing, Breathwork,

High-Vibe Recipes, and More—sprinkles

conscious and soulful eating with

a bewitching blend of earthy and

otherworldly self-care ingredients.

“Magical self-care means connecting

to your intuition to take care of yourself

holistically,” she says. “It uses mystical

and everyday tools and practices to

get you in touch with your core self

and inner wisdom. It’s about adding

a little fun, mystery, and magic to your

wellness routine.”

For Vanderveldt, who embraces

alternative therapies ranging from reiki

to herbalism to astrology, this expanded

approach to wellness meaningfully

augments her primary self-care habits

of getting enough sleep, drinking a lot of

water, and eating well. “I think intentional

rituals can enhance and make us more

mindful of the routine things we do to

care for ourselves anyway,” she says.

“For example, before sleep I like to wind

down with an herbal infusion and some

breathwork. I infuse my drinking water

with crystals as a way to make hydrating

more exciting. And when I prepare a

meal for myself, I think of how I want to

feel and channel that into my cooking.

Adding these intentional elements

makes these things feel special and

brings me into the present moment.”

Win a copy of Magical Self-Care for Everyday Life! We’re giving away

5 copies. Email your name and address to betternutritionfreebie@

gmail.com. Put “Self-Care” in the subject line.

Photo: Diana Zapata

12 • SEPTEMBER 2020


Everyone Wants to Know …

BN: What are some key ways to get practical

with magic in the kitchen?

LV: First, ingredients. So many plants have magical

properties. It’s worth doing a quick search on herbs

and plants that you want to use in your cooking and

just seeing if they have any lore behind them. Basil is a

great herb for abundance, for example, and just knowing

that as you’re cooking with it can be a little magical.

Second, set an intention for your meal. Beyond it being

cooked well and tasting good, your intention could be, “I

want to feel really supported and calm as a result of eating

this dish.” As you prep and stir, think of your intention.

BN: Why is it helpful to embody the four seasons?

How can we do that with food this fall?

LV: Nature is such a good mirror for us. It subtly

prompts us to change our rhythms and get a balance of

everything throughout the year. In the fall, we get foods

that want to be roasted and turned into soups and

stews—we’re being encouraged to warm ourselves from

the inside out as the weather gets colder. As the harvest

comes in and the leaves begin to fall, we’re asked to

turn toward our homes and ourselves a little bit more

and reflect on what we’d like to shed. The grounding,

warming, sweet foods of fall help to steady and support

us as we go through this transitional time of year.

BN: How can the tarot factor into daily self-care?

LV: I use it as a daily check-in. If something’s on my

mind or I’m feeling a little off, I’ll ask the tarot about

it or just come to my deck with an open mind and

pull a card. I journal about whatever comes up. The

tarot is an intuitive tool, but it also helps you get to

know yourself better, which is key to finding self-care

that really nourishes you. You can also ask the cards:

What kind of self-care would best support me today?

How would my mind feel cared for? My body? My heart?

BN: Which high-vibe recipes help ground your

favorite magical rituals?

LV: I love a hearty stew or lentil dish after a breathwork

practice. There’s a specific type of breathwork that

involves deep, continuous breathing for 30 minutes at a

time. The experience is challenging but transformational.

I find that I need something really filling and comforting

to eat afterward to ground down. Breath represents

the air element, and lentils are from the earth, so they

balance each other out nicely. It helps me come back

to Earth and feels cozy.

BN: What goes into The Empress Breakfast?

LV: I love making toast that feels a little fancy. I found

myself doing my daily tarot check-in over breakfast and I

decided to make a meal as a tribute to one of my favorite

cards—The Empress (a tarot card symbolizing abundance,

receptivity, and self-worth). I use fresh ricotta, roasted

squash, basil, olive oil, and pomegranate seeds—which

is the Empress’s signature fruit.

BN: What role does breathwork play in

our healing?

LV: It’s one of our most accessible wellness tools—it’s

free, simple, and holistically cleansing. It can physically

cleanse the body, but it helps emotionally and spiritually

cleanse too. As the parent of a one-year-old, my days

feel busy and a little all over the place. But I can always

make time to breathe. I like to do a six-count inhale and

six-count exhale four times in a row. In a minute I feel

calmer and more connected to myself.

I do longer breathwork sessions (like I mentioned

above) that help with emotional release. Breathwork is

connected to the idea that unprocessed emotions are

stored in the body, and when we engage the breath in a

way that activates the whole body, we’re able to get into

those stuck places and release them. When I find myself

feeling really tense and overwhelmed, I know it’s time to

do a long breathwork practice.

BN: How has embracing the feminine in you

changed your life?

LV: I’m not burnt out all the time, I feel more creative,

and it’s given me the strength to do what I really love

and do it in a way that feels good. We’re so encouraged

to be on, doing, and productive all the time, but that

needs to be balanced by quiet, space, connection, and

softness. It’s an ongoing process, but it’s helped me

balance my nervous system and feel more grounded

throughout my day.

BN: How can eating well help cultivate a kinder

relationship with oneself?

LV: It’s about finding what feels good for you and your

body. I think we get caught up in trying to eat a certain

way or eat certain things because they’re “good” for

us. But I think there’s an element of listening to what

our bodies need and want that’s really important to

our emotional and physical health. Balance is where

the kindness lies—not being too rigid about your food

while also giving yourself everything you need to thrive.

SEPTEMBER 2020 • 13


HOT BUYS *

Meet Your

Come Clean

Immune Team Clean, clarify, and

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health to the next level anytime, anywhere

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From yummy elderberry gummies to skin-brightening cleansing pads, may

we present our favorite new products of the month.

Give It a Shot

Mushrooms and

adaptogenic herbs

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in Four Sigmatic Wellness

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sip. Pick from Adaptogen

Focus with Lion’s Mane;

Adaptogen Immune Support

Elderberry with Chaga; and

Adaptogen Beauty with

Tremella. Try starting

your day with Focus,

then try caffeine-free

Immune Support midday,

and end with Beauty.

Enjoy the Sweet Life

Kick sugar, keep candy.

That’s the tagline for

Smart Sweets, a company

dedicated to making

delicious candy you can

feel good about. Their

chewy, berry-flavored

Sweet Fish candies taste

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and they are infinitely

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plant-based ingredients

and are free from

sugar alcohols, artificial

sweeteners, and added

sugar. Just 3 grams of

sugar per bag.

It’s the Berries

Black elderberry has

been used for centuries

in traditional herbalism

for immune support.

Gaia Herbs Elderberry

Gummies are a tasty way

to reap the benefits of

this immune-fortifying

berry. These vegan,

gluten-free chews

are made from real

fruit. The elderberries

are hand-picked

and hand-harvested.

They’re available in

three varieties: Everyday

Elderberry; GaiaKids Everyday

Elderberry; and Black

Elderberry Extra Strength.


16 • SEPTEMBER 2020 CHECK OUT *

guide to cutting-edge supplements

How to Benefit from

Calcium Supplements

We all know that calcium helps build strong bones,

but there’s a lot more to it than that.

Calcium for bone health is one of the

most widely doctor-recommended

supplements, but conventional advice

to take it typically omits a few important

facts. Too much supplemental calcium,

as well as too little, can be detrimental

to your health. And it doesn’t work

alone. Calcium needs a few other

important nutrients—magnesium,

vitamin D, and vitamin K 2

—to deliver

its rightful benefits.

Calcium and Magnesium

These two minerals need to be balanced

because they work together in the human

body. For example, calcium excites

nerves and makes muscles contract,

while magnesium calms nerves and

makes muscles relax. Calcium is used in

blood clotting, while magnesium helps

to prevent dangerous clots.

Too much calcium in relation to

magnesium leads to an exaggerated

and lingering stress response in

nerves, muscles, and hormones.

BY VERA TWEED

Such an imbalance can also raise levels

of chronic inflammation and is linked

to heart disease, diabetes, some cancers,

chronic obstructive pulmonary disease,

depression, cognitive problems, and

premature death. And this type of

imbalance is rampant.

During the past few decades, studies

have suggested that the optimum ratio

of calcium to magnesium is under

2:1—at least 250 mg of magnesium

with 500 mg of calcium, as an example.

But the typical American consumes a

ratio of 3:1—too little magnesium in

relation to calcium.

Since the late 1970s, the amount

of calcium in American diets has

increased more than twice as much

as magnesium because calcium—but

not magnesium—is added to many

processed foods. A rise in chronic

diseases parallels this trend.

The Calcium, Vitamin D,

Magnesium Trio

Vitamin D is recognized as being

essential for the absorption of calcium,

as well as overall health. And vitamin

D supplements have gained popularity

in recent years, especially as we spend

more time indoors, so our bodies

produce less of the “sunshine vitamin.”

But without adequate magnesium

intake, vitamin D cannot become fully

active in the human body, and even high

doses may not correct a deficiency.

Garden of Life

Living Calcium

Advanced

Nature’s

Answer

Marine Based

Cal-Mag

New Chapter

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take care

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Photo: adobestock.com


In addition, high-dose vitamin D

supplements—often taken today—can

severely deplete magnesium, creating or

worsening an imbalance with calcium.

A balanced combination of these

nutrients provides optimum benefits.

While calcium alone does not reduce

fractures in older people, studies

have found that a combination of

vitamin D and magnesium has reduced

the incidence of fractures, Alzheimer’s

disease, and death.

How to Get Enough

Calcium—But Not Too Much

Experts recommend 1,000 mg of calcium daily for adults, and 1,200 mg daily

for women over 50 and men over 70. These refer to total intake from food

and supplements, not supplements alone.

To identify the right amount of supplemental calcium for you, calculate

the amount of calcium in your diet. If you fall short, take supplements to fill

the gap. For example, if you need 1,000 mg and your diet provides 700 mg,

supplement with 300 mg.

To get the full benefits, also take these nutrients that work with calcium:

MAGNESIUM: Most Americans are deficient. To maintain a balance with calcium,

the daily requirement would be at least half of your optimum calcium

intake: 500 mg of magnesium for women up to age 50 and men up to age

70, and 600 mg after that.

VITAMIN D: Daily recommended amounts are 600 IU (15 mcg) for adults up

to age 70 and 800 IU (20 mcg) thereafter, assuming you get minimal sun

exposure. Use supplements to make up any shortfall in your diet or get a

vitamin D blood test and take enough to achieve optimum blood levels.

VITAMIN K 2

: There is no set recommendation for daily intake of vitamin K 2

,

and studies have used a range of doses. Research supports 180 mcg daily

of the MK-7 form and 1,500 mcg daily for the MK-4 form.

How to Calculate Amounts of Calcium, Magnesium,

and Vitamin D in Your Diet

To track the amount of calcium, magnesium, and vitamin D in your typical

meals, snacks, and beverages, use a website or app such as:

myfitnesspal.com: website and app

mynetdiary.com: app

Calcium and Vitamin K 2

Studies show that high levels of calcium

can promote heart disease through

calcification and stiffening of arteries.

Vitamin K 2

can prevent and possibly

reverse these conditions, enabling calcium

to be better utilized for bone health and

other functions, without the risks.

The richest food source of vitamin

K 2

is natto, a Japanese fermented soy

food, but other foods are not likely to

provide adequate amounts. Studies have

found that two forms of the vitamin

are effective: MK-4 and MK-7. Supplements

may contain one or both forms,

and the vitamin is sometimes combined

with other nutrients in formulas for

bone health.

Click It

Visit betternutrition.com for

more articles about calcium,

including:

Can You Take Too Much Calcium?

betternutrition.com/featuresdept/can-you-take-too-muchcalcium

Calcium Myths and Facts

betternutrition.com/checkout/

calcium-myths

Photo: adobestock.com

Although free food-tracking versions of these are available, you may need

to use a paid version to track specific nutrient intake. However, once you get

a sense of where you stand, you won’t need to continually track individual

nutrients unless you make significant changes in your diet.

Eating for Bone Health

betternutrition.com/diet-andnutrition/7-high-calcium-foodsfor-bone-health

SEPTEMBER 2020 • 17


ASK THE NATUROPATHIC DOCTOR *

answers to your health questions

Antiviral Herbs & Vitamins

Key supplements you need for optimum immune health.

BY EMILY KANE, ND, LAC

QWhat if there is a second wave of COVID-19

this fall? What can I do to reduce my risk

of getting ill with COVID, or any other viral

infection?

The best approach to health, always, is

to avoid getting sick. In case that sounds

sassy, what I mean is that health is a

force that requires tending. Don’t take it

for granted! If you read my column you

know I stress eating good food, practicing

good sleep and hygiene habits, drinking

water, getting exercise—the basics. Your

body/mind/spirit require tender loving

care and a good deal of maintenance.

Invest in your self-care, and make good

choices, as often as possible.

We do know that COVID-19 usually

causes mild symptoms unless you have

underlying health weaknesses. The more

“co-morbidities,” the more vulnerable

you are. Many of these health-slaying

conditions are preventable (clogged

arteries, chronic bronchial infections,

diabetes). Making more informed

choices now can help restore, and

preserve, your precious health.

For one thing, make sure you’re

getting adequate sleep, which can

increase your resistance to all infections.

Less than seven hours of sleep a night

over time will inhibit your production

of natural killer (NK) cells—potent

white blood cells that fight disease.

Sleep also allows melatonin to be

released into the body, which supports

immune function and helps control

inflammation in viral infections via

its antioxidant properties.

And wear a mask when you go out in

public. Why should we still be wearing

Photo: adobestock.com

18 • SEPTEMBER 2020


ASK THE NATUROPATHIC DOCTOR

masks when in crowded spaces? Because

of asymptomatic spreading of COVID-19

and many other viral illnesses. Seriously

ill people are likely contagious for at least

10 days after symptoms appear. Even

people with mild cases can be contagious

for several days.

DIY Herbal Hacks

Studies of COVID-19 have given us some

useful information about preventing and

containing viral outbreaks. Suppose,

for instance, we could kill the virus in

the nose and throat before it became

established? Maybe we can. Consider

making an antiviral nose and throat spray

Viruses 101

Viruses are tiny,

using well-established herbs that

have antiviral activity:

as you know, and

astragalus, licorice,

do their dirty work did you know ... elderberry, and

inside cells. As

opposed to bacteria,

which are much

larger and infect the

space outside our cells,

viruses penetrate into

our cells, co-opting

replication machinery

and multiplying like

Our bodies have a built-in

natural antiviral mechanism.

It’s called fever. In

general, a mild fever for

a few days is the perfect

solution for burning out

a virus.

eupatorium. Mixing

one or a few of these

tinctures with a saline

or xylitol spray is a

convenient way to

help keep viruses from

becoming established

in your body. Or you

could enjoy steam

crazy. This stealth destruction can

make us feel achy all over, as though

we were hit by a proverbial bus.

Luckily, our bodies have a built-in

natural antiviral mechanism. It’s

called fever. In general a mild fever

for a few days is the perfect solution

for burning out a virus. I’ve often heard

health professionals suggest Tylenol

for fevers. I advise against that. Try

inhalation with antimicrobial essential

oils such as thyme, oregano, or eucalyptus.

Garlic is renowned for its antiviral

properties. Because it’s pretty bitter

raw, you can bake peeled garlic with a

bunch of other robust roasting veggies,

or pop cloves in the microwave for a

few minutes, then peel and enjoy.

Cooked garlic can be dipped in a bit

of honey for children.

to avoid suppressing a fever other than

in a baby or frail elder, or if the fever

lasts for more than 48 hours or goes

over 104°F.

Instead, push the fever. This is

your body trying to kill the virus. Heat

stimulates the metabolism, increasing

enzyme productivity and enhancing

bone marrow release of new white

blood cells. A fever means that your

immune system is working to slay

the virus.

To put it plainly, viruses dislike heat.

In addition to frequently washing your

hands and keeping your fingers away

from the “danger triangle” of eyes,

nose, and mouth, one of the best ways

to ward off illness if you’re concerned

about viral exposure is to sweat. Get in

a sauna, bundle up and go for a brisk

walk, or take a hot bath then cuddle up

in bed with a heavy blanket.

What More Can You Do?

Given the lack of proven therapies

for many viral illnesses, including

COVID-19, lifestyle and nutritional

considerations are especially vital.

Getting outdoors, for example, is very

helpful for a healthy immune response,

in part because sun exposure promotes

vitamin D 3

synthesis, another innate

immune enhancer. It is well documented

that patients exposed to direct sunlight

and plenty of fresh air during the 1918

influenza pandemic had much lower

rates of infection and less severity

of infection.

Fruits and vegetables are

naturally high in fiber and

bioflavonoids. Fiber and fermented

foods enhance the gut microbiome

and improve its overall ability

to fight viruses. Flavonoids (natural

pigments found in brightly colored

produce) help reduce inflammation and

inhibit the viral enzyme 3CL protease,

which slows viral replication.

Vitamin C is also a potent virusfighter

that works by helping increase NK

cell production, decreasing inflammatory

fallout from viral infections, and

reducing penetration of inflammatory

proteins into lung cells by nearly

threefold. In fact, recent Chinese

research details shortened hospital

stays and zero mortality among

hospitalized COVID-19 patients who

received intravenous vitamin C.

No adverse reactions were reported.

Other natural antivirals include:

*

*

*

*

*

*

+

Propolis is a substance produced

by honeybees to seal gaps in their

hives. Along with its high flavonoid

content, propolis helps viral clearance

by increasing apoptosis (death of

cells that are sick).

Astragalus reduces inflammation,

is a proven antiviral, and inhibits

production of inflammatory cytokines.

Berberine, the active constituent

in goldenseal, has antiviral and

antibacterial properties.

Elderberry has been shown to

reduce the severity and duration of

colds and flu by blocking both viral

uptake and the ability of viruses to

infect host cells. (It has not been

studied in relation to COVID-19.)

Vitamin A, up to 25,000 IUs daily, is

a potent immune booster. Woman

who are pregnant or could become

pregnant should use with caution.

Zinc has been shown in preliminary

studies to potentially reduce COVID

severity. Use 5–50 mg daily.

Find a licensed

naturopathic doctor for

a virtual (telemedicine)

or in-person

consultation at

naturemed.org/

find-an-nd/.


Back-to-School

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22 • SEPTEMBER 2020 NATURAL BEAUTY *

pure ingredients for skin & body

Witch Hazel:

A Skin-Healing Wonder

Clean and clarify your complexion, and calm under-eye

puffiness with witch hazel—a time-honored medicinal

plant full of skincare uses.

Want the ultimate in clean skin? Just a

simple swipe or spray of toner removes

any last traces of dirt and impurities

stuck in your pores after you wash while

also killing bacteria that can live within

the pores. Toning balances the skin’s

pH level, which makes it less prone to

irritation, reduces acne and blackheads,

prevents ingrown hairs, and evens skin

tone. Toning also shrinks pores,

refreshes, hydrates, and prepares

skin for a serum or moisturizer.

The time-honored medicinal

plant witch hazel (Hamamelis

virginiana) continues to be the

standard ingredient in many toners.

Native to North America, witch hazel

was used by indigenous tribes to fight

swelling, sores, and infections. The

bark and leaves of the witch hazel plant

contain antioxidant polyphenols and

tannins that are used to make this

skin-healing astringent. Plus, witch

hazel is high in proanthocyanidins

that have antiviral effects.

Witch hazel offers benefits over

other beauty ingredients because

it’s completely natural and free of

environmental pollutants, irritating

ingredients, fake fragrances,

BY SHERRIE STRAUSFOGEL

and other contaminants. “It’s the power

in all of our toner products,” says Bryan

Jackowitz, president of Humphreys Witch

Hazel Skincare. “The natural botanical

power of certified organic witch hazel

effectively removes excess oils and

impurities in a natural way, without

using artificial ingredients like salicylic

acid, high levels of denatured alcohols,

alpha or beta hydroxy acids, or benzoyl

peroxide. In addition to cleansing and

toning, witch hazel helps to soothe

skin irritations due to environmental

exposure or use of harsh skincare

products. Another beauty use and makeup

artist secret is to use witch hazel toner

to reduce under-eye puffiness and to

set makeup after application.”

Toners can also be used for a quick

refresh throughout the day. Refrigerate

your toner, close your eyes and spray,

or put a few drops of cooling toner into

the palms of your hands and then press

them into your face. With all these skin

benefits, isn’t it worth the extra step in

your skincare regimen?

Photo: adobestock.com


Give sensitive skin what it craves

with Humphreys Soothe Witch Hazel with

Rose Alcohol-Free Toner. This Wild Crop

Certified Witch Hazel toner adds

soothing rose water and moisturizing

sodium hyaluronate, vitamin E, and

aloe to treat sensitive skin. Your skin

may be drier in the winter and oilier

in the summer, so Humphreys offers

seven toners tailored to every skin

condition—all distilled to extract

witch hazel’s pure therapeutic essence.

Earth Science Refreshing Facial

Mist gives your skin a burst of soothing

plant-based moisture and antioxidants

for a healthy-looking glow. Witch

hazel helps freshen, cool, and recharge

skin. Hyaluronic acid and aloe vera

naturally replenish moisture, while sea

kelp, calendula, and chamomile calm,

hydrate, and comfort skin. It’s also

enriched with panthenol and niacin.

Refine large pores and

discoloration with InstaNatural 7%

Glycolic AHA Toner. Witch hazel is

combined with the exfoliating benefits

of glycolic, lactic, and fruit acids

to boost the skin’s natural renewal

process and prep it for moisturizer or

treatment. Hydrating hyaluronic acid

and soothing botanicals help brighten

and smooth skin without causing

irritation or dryness.

Tighten and tone your skin with

Derma E Firming DMAE Toner. Witch hazel,

firming DMAE, and potent antioxidants

alpha lipoic acid and C-ester strengthen

skin, rebalance its pH after cleansing,

and prep it to better absorb a serum or

moisturizer. Additional natural astringents

horsetail and horse chestnut, plus

calming lemon grass and chamomile,

refresh your skin.

Refresh and recharge your skin

with Hyalogic Orange Blossom Facial Toner.

Witch hazel, steam-distilled neroli

orange blossoms, hyaluronic acid, and

aloe intensely hydrate and soothe skin.

Spray this toner to prep your skin to

better absorb a serum or moisturizer.

The zesty scents of neroli and white

grapefruit make an ideal makeup or

midday refresher. This toner is also

available in Rose Water.

SEPTEMBER 2020 • 23


MOR I NGA

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Graviola

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*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.


BLACK GARLIC


The

Secrets

of Becoming

Stress-

Hardy

TRY THESE FOUR

STRATEGIES TO

FEEL CALMER,

MORE CENTERED,

AND BETTER

ABLE TO HANDLE

MODERN PRES-

SURES AND

CHALLENGES.

BY MELISSA DIANE SMITH

More so than any other year in recent history,

2020 has brought unprecedented changes to

our lives: A worldwide pandemic, which led to

social distancing, anxiety, and stay-at-home

orders along with an economic shutdown, unsettled work

conditions, job layoffs and furloughs, financial difficulties,

and uncertainty about the future.

If you’ve been feeling stressed this year, that’s understandable,

and you aren’t alone. In late April, during the height of the

coronavirus-related economic crisis, roughly 70 percent

of Americans experienced moderate-to-severe mental

distress—triple the rate seen in 2018.

No one could have predicted the twists and turns we have

experienced. During these unsteady times, it’s more important

than ever to learn how to make yourself more resilient to extra

stress. By following the strategies below, you can feel stronger,

more focused, and better fortified to cope with life’s unexpected

changes and pressures.

26 • SEPTEMBER 2020


SEPTEMBER 2020 • 27


1Avoid Drugs, Alcohol,

Cigarettes, and Chemicals

The first step in developing stresshardiness

is to avoid unnecessary

substances that increase the body’s

stress load. This includes drugs, alcohol,

cigarettes, and even chemical additives

in processed foods. More than half a

century ago, the father of modern stress

research, Hans Selye, MD, discovered

that exposure to toxic chemicals elicited

the body’s stress response and caused

enlarged, overworked adrenal glands

and suppression of the immune system.

2Eat A Nutritious, Blood-

Sugar-Balancing Diet

You may be tempted to reach for sugar

when you’re anxious—sugar actually

does reduce psychological stress in the

short term, but it causes long-term

physical stress to your brain and body.

Refined carbohydrates, such as sugar,

sugar-sweetened beverages, and whiteflour

products, rob the body of its nutrient

reserves and weaken the adrenal glands,

which produce our body’s main stress

response hormones. This makes people

feel more tired and less able to cope in

the long run. High sugar intake also is

linked to depression, which lowers our

ability to cope with stress.

A key to promoting stress-hardiness

is to eat foods that are rich in nutrients

and that help stabilize blood-sugar

levels, including adequate amounts of

unprocessed protein and fat, as well as

low-starch vegetables such as broccoli,

greens, asparagus, and mushrooms.

A nutritious blood-sugar-balancing

diet helps adrenal glands function at

their best and promotes increased

mental focus, better moods, and more

long-term energy.

Eating a diet that is rich in fresh

fruits and vegetables is particularly

important. Research has established

that people who eat more fruits and

vegetables have a reduced incidence

of mental disorders, including lower

rates of perceived stress, negative

mood, and depression. People who eat

more fruits and vegetables also have

Are EMFs Causing Your Body

More Stress?

In our day-to-day lives, our bodies are challenged by many environmental

stressors, including increasing levels of electromagnetic fields (EMFs)—some

of which are unavoidable. Natural EMF sources include the Earth’s magnetic

field and sunlight.

But in recent decades, we have been exposed to an astounding amount

of synthetic EMFs from manmade sources, such as mobile phones, WiFi

and Bluetooth technologies, cell phone towers, and, increasingly, the

controversial 5G network of communication bandwidths. Other EMF sources

include computer screens, microwave ovens, and other technological devices

that we use.

Exposure to EMFs results in oxidative stress—formation of free radicals—in

many tissues of the body and may also cause significant changes in blood antioxidant

markers. Research also suggests that EMFs affect the nervous system. The

most commonly reported symptoms related to EMF exposure include headache,

fatigue, sleep disturbance, insomnia, depression, attention dysfunction, irritability,

anxiety, and memory changes.

Information medicine—a relatively new branch of Western medicine that

describes bodily functions in terms of frequencies and oscillations—aims

to restore dysfunctional cell imbalances often caused by EMF exposure in a

number of ways. One is by applying biologically healthy frequencies. In this

method, a cutting-edge device, often in a chip form that attaches to your

cell phone, contains an encapsulated blend of minerals programmed with

state-of-the-art biofeedback devices.

“Just like a hard drive, this device stores thousands of beneficial frequencies

that go into resonance with the electromagnetic field of the body and inform

the body to make changes to counteract the synthetic electromagnetic fields

we have introduced into our environment,” says David Andres, the Chief

Executive Officer for Vita-chip in the United States.

“When these harmful electromagnetic fields are counteracted by using the

chip, your body can reduce the stress it’s been experiencing from EMFs by

lowering levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, as well as balancing levels of

serotonin, the mood hormone, and regulating melatonin, the sleep hormone,”

says Andres. The body can then reactivate its natural healing capabilities,

and people end up experiencing less stress, reduced pain, more energy, and

improved sleep, according to Andres.

To learn more about the Swiss-made informational bio-resonance chip,

known as Vita-chip (now available in the U.S.), visit vitachipus.com.

Photo: (this page and previous spread) adobestock.com

28 • SEPTEMBER 2020


Nearly half of all

Americans—and

by some estimates

up to 80 percent—

don’t get enough

stress-busting

magnesium from

their diets.

a higher likelihood of optimal mental

states. Green leafy vegetables, such as

broccoli, spinach, and kale, are particularly

rich in nutrients that are good for

stress management, such as magnesium

and B vitamins, including folate.

3Use Nutrient Supplements

and Other Natural Remedies

For extra support, it’s a good idea to

regularly use supplements and have

other stress-relieving natural remedies

on hand when you need them. While it’s

not a definitive list, key stress-busting

supplements, include:

Daily Multiple

Studies have linked stress with

deficiencies in micronutrients, so a

daily broad-spectrum multi with a

wide range of nutrients is a great place

to start boosting your mood and your

body’s ability to handle stress. One

study found that men who took a daily

multi containing vitamins, minerals,

and antioxidants showed a significant

reduction in anxiety and stress, along

with an improvement in alertness

and general daily functioning, when

compared to men taking a placebo.

stress and help reduce or eliminate its

adverse effects. Yet research shows

that Americans struggle to get the

recommended amounts of 310–420 mg

per day. Nearly half of all Americans—

and by some estimates up to 80 percent—

don’t get enough from their diets.

Most multivitamins contain less than

100 mg of magnesium, so most people

can benefit from taking a separate

magnesium supplement. Start slowly,

with doses of 150–300 mg per day.

But if you exercise heavily, are under a

lot of stress, or have health conditions

associated with magnesium deficiency

(ranging from high blood pressure to

metabolic syndrome to depression),

you may need considerably more.

Magnesium citrate is the most

commonly used form in supplements.

You can take capsules, tablets, or powders

(that you can mix into beverages). If you

end up taking too much, the main side

effect is loose stools. You can usually

solve that problem by taking less of

the supplement or by switching to a

different form of magnesium (e.g.,

magnesium glycinate).

Bach Flower Rescue Remedy

Rescue Remedy, which contains five

Bach flower essences, provides convenient,

gentle, non-habit-forming relief of

occasional stress: It is the most widely

distributed natural stress and sleep

brand worldwide. Developed over 80

years ago and trusted today by millions,

Rescue Remedy is a great resource to

keep in your purse or briefcase—or as

part of your first aid kit—for support

during unexpected or upsetting events.

To help relieve feelings of stress,

put 4 drops into your drink of choice or

directly on your tongue. The remedy is

also available as a spray and as pastilles

(sugar-free lozenges).

CBD

CBD (cannabidiol), a naturally occurring

compound in cannabis plants, is an

anxiety-buster (but it doesn’t get you

high). Recent studies show that CBD

elevates levels of serotonin—often

called the “feel-good” hormone—and

diminishes anxiety. In one study in

Brazil, participants who took CBD

reported lower anxiety levels, and

brain scans confirmed the participants’

testimonials. Another study in Brazil

monitored people who suffered from

Social Anxiety Disorder during a public

speaking test. Researchers found that

participants who consumed CBD

experienced “significantly reduced

anxiety,” while the placebo group

suffered from higher anxiety.

More than half of the CBD users

surveyed in a Harris Pol—some 55

percent—said they use CBD to relax.

Respondents said they consider it more

of a wellness aid than a recreational

drug. Approximately 10 percent of men

said they use CBD on a regular basis

compared to 4 percent of women.

CBD can be taken sublingually—by

letting a tincture, spray, oil, or lozenge

absorb under your tongue—or you can

try capsules. Some CBD formulas are

specifically designed for stress relief

and include either essential oils or other

herbs linked to stress reduction, such

as chamomile, lavender, holy basil, and

Magnesium

Most holistic practitioners consider

this mineral the top supplement for

relieving stress. In fact, it’s so good at

managing anxiety and stress that it’s

sometimes called a natural “chill pill.”

Magnesium seems to act on many

levels to improve the body’s response to

Bach Rescue

Remedy Drops

CV Sciences PlusCBD

Hemp SoftGels

Gold Formula

MegaFood

B-UnStressed

Natural Factors

Stress-Relax

Magnesium Citrate

RidgeCrest Herbals

Anxiety Free Stress

Relief Complex

SEPTEMBER 2020 • 29


ashwagandha. Two examples: Garden of

Life Dr. Formulated CBD Stress Relief

Liquid Drops and PlusCBD Sprays.

4Develop The 3 C’s of

Psychological Hardiness

The topics covered so far—avoiding

stressful substances, eating a bloodsugar-balancing

diet, and using nutrient

supplements and other natural

remedies—are all ways to enhance

the physical condition of the body. Total

health depends on other factors that

are mental, emotional, and spiritual in

nature. Although stress from any source

affects the body, it’s not enough to be

physically strong. Research shows that

to be truly resistant to stress, it’s also

important to be psychologically hardy.

We owe much of our understanding

of psychological hardiness to psychologist

Suzanne Kobasa, PhD, who developed

the concept almost four decades ago.

Although high stress was generally

regarded as leading to a high risk of

illness, Kobasa conducted numerous

studies in the late 1970s and early 1980s

that showed this wasn’t always true.

Some people did succumb to the negative

effects of stress with a much higher

incidence of illness, but others experienced

equal amounts of stress and remained

quite healthy. Kobasa found that those

who avoided illness had a different way

of dealing with stressful events than

the subjects in her studies who became

sick. She identified the following three

characteristics—what she called the

“three Cs” of psychological hardiness—

that kept people well even when they

were under great stress. They are:

Commitment—People with hardy

personalities have a deep commitment

to their work and personal relationships,

which they say gives them “meaning,

direction, and excitement.” Such

involvement supports them in solving their

problems without letting stress disrupt

their goals—and they have dedication to

a task and the belief that is achievable.

Control—They feel they can control

problems either through their actions

or through their attitude toward those

events. They recognize what is beyond

their control, and they don’t waste effort

and angst trying to control those things.

Challenge—They see stress or change

as an inevitable part of life and more of

a challenge or opportunity for growth

than a threat. They aren’t frightened of

change, but are willing to work through

difficult circumstances and even look

forward to the chance to think creatively

to solve problems.

In study after study, Kobasa found

that individuals who possessed the

three personality characteristics of

commitment, control, and challenge

remained in good health even when

exposed to high levels of stress. In one

study that tracked the health of 259

executives over five years, Kobasa found

that managers who possessed high

levels of the “three Cs” had half the

incidence of illness of those who didn’t.

In the end, keep reminding yourself

that stress hardiness isn’t the avoidance

of stress. It’s a positive response

to stress and the ability to minimize

its negative effects. Just as germs don’t

always make us sick if we have strong

immune systems, stress is far less likely

to make us ill if we learn the secrets of

how to make ourselves stress-hardy.

Photo: adobestock.com

30 • SEPTEMBER 2020


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— BACK TO —

SCHOOL

ONLINE

TIPS, TRICKS, AND ESSENTIAL

SUPPLEMENTS TO SUPPORT

YOUNG SCHOLARS.

BY LISA TURNER

32 • SEPTEMBER 2020


As Covid-19 restrictions

impact school openings

in the fall, back-t0-

school may look really

different for your family this

year. On the one hand, taking a

break from rushed breakfasts,

chauffeuring kids to extracurricular

activities, the monotony

of packing lunches, and the

endless parade of germs kids

bring home doesn’t sound all

that terrible. But online education

presents its own unique challenges.

Here’s a round-up of essential

tips, tricks, and must-have

supplements to keep kids happy

and healthy in this brave new

world of learning.

Promote focus and attention.

It’s harder for some kids to focus

without the structure of a classroom

setting. First, make it clear that this is

not a vacation, but simply a different

way of going to school. Emphasize

structure with a daily schedule built

around online school hours, and create

a dedicated space—ideally, one that’s

used just for school and homework in

a location that minimizes distractions.

If space is limited, get creative about

underused areas such as hallways or

landings. And let kids customize their

own spaces. If they’re sharing a space

with siblings, create mini-cubicles with

cardboard partitions around tables or

desks. Stock up on supplies such as

pens and pencils, erasers, staplers, and

writing paper, and make it comfortable,

with desks and chairs that support

posture. For extra support, consider

omega-3 fats, choline, phosphatidylserine,

and other supplements that promote

focus and attention.

Back-to-school

essentials: Nordic

Naturals Omega

Focus Jr.; MRM

Kids Attention!;

Carlson Kid’s

Chewable DHA.

SEPTEMBER 2020 • 33


Keep eyes healthy. Excessive

screen time can impact eyes, leading

to vision-related problems known as

computer vision syndrome or digital eye

strain. The most common symptoms

include eye strain, blurred vision,

dry eyes, headaches, and/or neck or

shoulder pain. While most of these

symptoms are temporary, some people

may experience continued blurred

distance vision and other issues even

after shutting off the screen.

To keep kids’ eyes healthy, reduce

overhead lighting to minimize screen

glare and increase the font size to make

content easier to read. Be sure eyes are

an arm’s length away from the screen,

and take breaks. For every 20 minutes

of screen time, look away for 20

seconds and focus on an object 20 feet

away. Minimize screen time however

you can: print documents instead of

reading them online, and if possible,

get textbooks and printed materials

from your child’s school. And keep

eyes healthy with drops and visionsupportive

supplements. Lubricant

eye drops, especially, can relieve

symptoms of dryness and irritation.

Back-to-school essentials:

ChildLife Healthy

Vision SoftMelts;

Similasan

Computer Eye

Relief homeopathic

drops; Boiron

Optique-1 drops.

Support sleep.

Extra screen time can disrupt sleep

patterns. Computers, e-readers,

tablets, and cell phones emit blue light,

a short-wavelength light that impacts

levels of sleep-inducing melatonin. LED

lights and fluorescent bulbs can have

the same effect. Exposure to blue light

in the evening increases the amount of

time it takes to fall asleep and decreases

restorative REM sleep. It’s an even

bigger problem for teens, whose

circadian rhythms are already naturally

shifting. Erratic schedules, lack of

routine, and stress can further impact

the body’s natural sleep cycle.

To support sound sleep, make sure

kids turn screens off at least an hour

before bed and shift to a slower, more

relaxed pace. Stick to regular school

week and weekend sleep schedules,

with the same wake-up time and

bedtimes they’d follow if they were

going to school. If kids still struggle

with sleep, try safe-for-kids supplements

such as chamomile, lemon balm,

passionflower, and magnesium.

Back-to-school

essentials:

Nature’s Plus

Animal Parade

MAG Kidz

magnesium powder;

WishGarden Herbal

Remedies Sleepy

Nights for Kids; Genexa Children’s

Sleepology chewable tablets.

Photo: (this page and previous spread) adobestock.com

34 • SEPTEMBER 2020


Photo: (top right) adobestock.com

Boost mood. An unfamiliar

routine and isolation from friends can

leave kids feeling lonely, moody, and

depressed—especially teens, for whom

peer support is essential. In one survey

by the American Civil Liberties Union

of Southern California, more than half

of respondents said they were in need

of mental health support since school

closures began in mid-March. Students

also rated their mental health on a

scale of 1 to 10, and 23 percent rated

their mental health a 3 or lower—more

than triple the number of respondents

who rated their mental health that low

before the pandemic began.

To support your kid’s mood and mental

health, keep the lines of communication

open. Have frank, age-appropriate

conversations around Covid-19 and how

your children may be feeling. Maintain

your daily routine as much as possible:

get dressed and have breakfast with the

family at your usual time, have dinner

together, and emphasize after-dinner

activities such as playing games or going

for a walk together. Minimize TV and

video games to give your kids a break

from screens, and encourage teens to

keep in touch with friends via phone

calls instead of social media. Also try

omega-3, vitamin D3, and probiotic

supplements to boost mood.

Back-to-school

essentials: Doctor’s

Best Vitamin D3

Kids Gummies;

Kyolic Kyo-

Dophilus Kids

Probiotic; Country

Life Omega 3 Mood.

Reduce stress. Worries about

Covid-19, economic concerns from

parents losing jobs, and ongoing

uncertainty can impact kids, especially

high school juniors and seniors who may

be wondering what their college years

will look like. And frustrations with

online learning—unfamiliar platforms,

issues with technology, household

distractions, and fears about falling behind

academically—only add to anxiety.

To mitigate stress, talk openly with

kids about their fears and come up with

action plans to address what you can.

Make online learning less stressful by

upgrading your internet service, giving

each kid a dedicated computer or laptop

if possible, keeping pets quiet during

school hours, and making sure all family

members are respectful of learning

time. Encourage kids to exercise and

practice deep breathing. Even a simple

two-minute belly breathing practice

can soothe emotions and calm anxiety.

Stress-soothing supplements such as

L-theanine, chamomile, passionflower,

and B vitamins can offer extra support.

Back-to-school essentials:

KAL Children’s

Relax-A-Saurus

L-Theanine Blend;

Good Day Chocolate

Calm for Kids;

MegaFoods Kids B

Complex.

Focus on physical health.

During a normal school day, kids get

plenty of movement from after-school

sports, physical education, and even

transitioning between classes and

activities. But online learning means

kids are more sedentary, impacting

mood, sleep, and concentration. Plus,

being at home all day means more

opportunity for mindless snacking.

Encourage kids to make movement

a priority because being physically active

enhances brain health and cognition,

increases concentration and attention,

and improves mood. Set alarms for

breaks between online classes, and

encourage kids to step away from their

study space and get moving, ideally,

outside. Try a walk in the park, an

afternoon bike ride, rollerblading, or a

jog around the block. Even dancing or

doing jumping jacks in the back yard can

improve mood and focus. And keep your

kitchen stocked with healthy munchies

such as hummus, yogurt, almond butter,

cheese, guacamole, fresh fruit, and plenty

of good-for-you packaged snacks.

Back-to-school essentials: Bearitos

Baked Veggie Puffs;

Biena Baked Chickpea

Puffs; Bitsy’s

Smart Crackers;

RX Kids bars;

KIND Kids Chewy

Granola Bars.

SEPTEMBER 2020 • 35


How

to Eat

after a

Heart

Attack

36 • SEPTEMBER 2020


A HEART ATTACK

IS A FRIGHTENING,

TRAUMATIC EVENT,

BUT THE RIGHT

DIET CAN IMPROVE

RECOVERY,

PROTECT THE

HEART AGAINST

FURTHER DAMAGE,

AND ENHANCE ITS

FUNCTION.

BY VERA TWEED

Nearly one in four people who have a

heart attack go on to have a second one,

but the right foods can significantly

improve the odds of a long and healthy

life. More than 20 years ago, the Lyon Diet Heart

Study broke new ground by testing the effects of

two diets in a group of 605 men and women who

had suffered a heart attack. During a period of

nearly four years, it found that compared to the

usual recommended low-fat diet, a Mediterranean

diet reduced second heart attacks, strokes,

hospitalizations, and deaths by 73 percent.

This study was unique in that it looked at people

after a heart attack. Many other studies have

found that the Mediterranean diet is effective

in preventing heart disease.

With nearly a thousand patients in his

practice, Steven Masley, MD, has found that

a modified version of the Mediterranean diet—

incorporating additional research on food

and heart function—has restored circulation,

blocked further growth of plaque, and even

reversed heart disease.

SEPTEMBER 2020 • 37


The Ideal Diet

“The ideal diet is a combo of Mediterranean

and low-glycemic load—cut out the bread

and the rice and the pasta and the sugar to

get a full benefit from the Mediterranean

diet,” says Masley. “Glycemic” refers to

how much different foods raise blood

sugar—starchy and sugary foods that

produce a bigger rise are high-glycemic.

One study tracked more than 20,000

people in Greece who ate a Mediterranean

diet for 10 years. It found that those who

ate the least starchy and sugary foods were

40 percent less likely to develop heart disease

and 50 percent less likely to die from it.

“Cholesterol is really not the number

one cause for heart attack, stroke, and

cardiac death,” says Masley. “Blood

sugar levels are the strongest predictors.”

What Is the Mediterranean

Diet, Really?

Though highly touted by proponents

of healthful eating, the Mediterranean

diet is widely misunderstood as being

based on platefuls of pasta. Having

spent much time in Mediterranean

regions and even working as a chef in

France, Masley is quick to point out

that pasta and other grains play a very

small role in the traditional diets of

the region.

Where we might eat a big plateful

of pasta, a true Mediterranean serving

would be one-fourth to one-sixth the

amount, eaten on a small plate before

a main dish of vegetables and protein.

Pizza would be one thin-crust slice with

a little cheese and sauce, eaten once or

twice a month as an appetizer.

In addition, Mediterranean natives

burn more carb-rich foods because they

traditionally walk much more than we do.

If you don’t get at least 7 hours of physical

activity per week—formal exercise and/

What to Eat

The Mediterranean diet consists of fresh food, locally grown and in-season as much as possible, prepared from scratch.

Here are some of Masley’s basic recommendations:

*

*

*

*

*

*

If you don’t usually eat breakfast,

you don’t have to. But if you find

yourself snacking mid-morning,

try a Steven’s Breakfast Shake

(recipe available at drmasley.com)

and wait until lunch to eat.

Make lunch your biggest meal

of the day.

Eat fish and seafood three to five

times a week—less often will not

produce the full benefits.

Eat at least 2 cups of leafy greens

daily plus a variety of other brightly

colored vegetables. Different

pigments stem from

different nutrients, so

a rainbow provides the

best nourishment.

Eat beans daily. Canned

beans are fine, but steer

clear of canned baked

beans, which can

contain 3 teaspoons

(12 grams) of sugar in

a half-cup serving.

Avoid snacking,

especially after dinner.

If you really need a

snack during the day,

have a handful of nuts.

*

*

*

*

If you drink coffee, have no more

than 2–3 cups in the early part of

the day.

Drink mostly water. If you like wine,

have a glass with a meal.

Use extra virgin olive oil for salad

dressings and to cook at low heat.

For medium- or high-heat cooking,

use almond or avocado oil.

If you like yogurt, choose plain

yogurt and add berries or the zest

of an orange or lemon. Flavored

yogurt contains as much sugar

as cake.

SAMPLE MEALS

BREAKFAST:

An omelet with

vegetables or

steel cut oats

with some fruit.

LUNCH:

A salad with

extra virgin olive

oil and vinegar,

vegetable soup, or

grilled or steamed

vegetables with

a protein such as

seafood, chicken,

or beans.

DINNER:

A different protein

than lunch and

double the amount

of vegetables you

might normally

eat. Experiment

with different

recipes such as the

Ratatouille with

Cannellini Beans.

DESSERT:

One piece of fruit

and perhaps a

piece (about 1

ounce) of dark

chocolate with

70 percent cacao.

Photos: (this page and previous spread) adobestock.com

38 • SEPTEMBER 2020


or work-related movement—Masley

recommends limiting starchy carbs.

The key ingredients that deliver

benefits in the Mediterranean diet, he

says, are plenty of vegetables, including

leafy greens and a rainbow of brightly

colored veggies; beans for protein and

fiber; fish and seafood for healthy fat

and protein; some poultry for protein;

olive oil; nuts; and a variety of herbs.

Photo: adobestock.com

The Mediterranean

Lifestyle

Mediterranean folk traditionally take

breaks from whatever they do all day to

enjoy meals with others, savoring flavors

and conversation. Even a simple, everyday

meal is cause to pause whatever else is

going on in life. Plus, they don’t snack.

They don’t eat while working or doing

other things. They often go for walks

before or after dinner. And they enjoy

their food rather than eating mindlessly.

This view of food, along with fresh

ingredients, lays the foundation for the

benefits of the Mediterranean diet.

Where’s the Beef?

While Masley doesn’t insist on giving

up red meat completely, he recommends

eating it only a few times per month,

even if it’s grassfed or organic. The

reason is a metabolite called TMAO

(trimethylamine-N-oxide.)

When we eat red meat, bacteria

in our guts produce TMAO, which is

now being recognized as a harmful

substance. Researchers who analyzed

clinical trials with more than 10,000

people found that among people who

have heart disease, elevated levels of

TMAO from consistently eating red

meat increased risk for heart attacks

by 62 percent. Occasionally eating meat

doesn’t pose the same risks, but processed

meats, such as sliced cold cuts, are not

recommended at all.

Following this type of Mediterranean

diet reduces plaque and enhances

circulation to the heart. “If you can

change circulation,” says Masley, “you

can really rejuvenate people and give

them their lives back.”

Ratatouille with Cannellini Beans

Serves 4

This fragrant and delicious recipe comes from the South of France—and lucky for all of us,

it’s packed with nutrients. Ratatouille can be served hot or cold, and usually tastes better when

served the next day. With the beans included, it makes a whole meal, or you can skip the beans

and serve this as a side dish. For more recipes from Dr. Masley, visit drmasley.com/recipes.

1 medium Italian eggplant, ends trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided

1 medium sweet onion, finely chopped

½ tsp. sea salt

¼ tsp. ground black pepper

1 tsp. fines herbes (or Italian herb seasoning)

3 small zucchini, cut into ½-inch cubes (about 2½ cups)

2 small yellow squash, cut into ½-inch cubes (about 2 cups)

2 Tbs. dry red wine

3 fresh medium tomatoes, chopped (about 2½ cups)

4 medium garlic cloves, minced

1 Tbs. finely chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley

1 tsp. minced fresh rosemary

1 Tbs. finely chopped fresh basil

1 (15-oz.) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

pinch of paprika or cayenne

1. Heat large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add eggplant and 2 Tbs. water. Cook 2–3 minutes,

stirring occasionally. When water has evaporated, reduce heat to medium, and add 2 Tbs. olive oil.

Sauté another 2–3 minutes, until eggplant is tender.

2. Meanwhile, heat large saucepan over medium heat. Add remaining olive oil, onion, salt,

black pepper, and fines herbes. Sauté 2–3 minutes, until the onion is soft and translucent.

Add zucchini, yellow squash, eggplant, and wine, and stir to combine. Cover, and cook,

stirring occasionally, 3–4 minutes, until vegetables soften.

3. Reduce heat to low, and add tomatoes, garlic, and fresh herbs. Add beans, cover, and simmer

10 minutes, until squash softens and flavors blend. Taste, and adjust seasoning as desired.

Per serving: 330 cal; 11g prot; 14g total fat (2g sat fat); 41g carb; 0mg chol; 480mg sod; 15g fiber; 15g sugar

SEPTEMBER 2020 • 39


40 • SEPTEMBER 2020 ASK THE NUTRITIONIST *

answers to your food questions

6 Must-Know Benefits of

Eating Seasonally

Incorporating more in-season foods into your diet

promises a cornucopia of benefits.

BY MELISSA DIANE SMITH

QIs there any reason I should

change what I eat based on

the season of the year?

Yes. Our convenience-driven modern

food system includes imported foods

flown into the United States from all

around the world, and we can obtain

most of what we want anytime we

want it—strawberries in winter,

asparagus in fall, and apples almost

all year round. It’s easy to think that

seasons don’t matter.

But keep in mind that the industrialization

of our food supply, which led

to this variety of non-seasonal foods at

our fingertips, only occurred a short

time ago—within the last 50–100

years. Before then, when people were

involved in the harvesting, collecting,

and preparation of their own food, they

ate seasonally. There are numerous

reasons to return our eating habits to

follow the cycles of nature as much as

possible. Here are six of the best:

Richer flavor

Most of us know how much

more delectable fresh-off-the-farm

fruits and vegetables are compared

to their mass-produced, stale

counterparts. The latter are bred

to favor uniform ripening and shelf

life over flavor, and are often treated

with ripening agents such as gases,

chemicals, and heat processes.

Produce that is picked in season when

it’s fully ripened tastes better and

fresher and is typically juicer than

artificially ripened foods that are

grown out of season.

Higher in nutrients

Foods that are grown and

consumed during proper seasons are

more nutritionally dense than their

out-of-season counterparts. Consider

that out-of-season produce is forced

to unnatural ripeness, skips nutrientbuilding

seasonality, and sometimes

can spend as much as five days losing

nutrients in transit to supermarkets.

Photo: adobestock.com


In a study monitoring the vitamin C

content of broccoli, researchers found

that broccoli grown during its peak

season in the fall had almost double

the amount of vitamin C compared to

broccoli grown in the spring.

Lower cost

You may not realize it, but buying

seasonal produce is easier on your

wallet. When a fruit or vegetable is in

season, it’s abundant and, not surprisingly,

available at a lower price. Simple supply

and demand. If you’re buying produce

that’s out of season, it’s not as available,

and the price you pay has a built-in

surcharge. In fact, buying in-season

produce is so much cheaper that it’s

actually one of the top ways to save

money when buying healthy food. And

if you take advantage of weekly specials,

you can enjoy even more savings.

More environmentally friendly

It’s far more beneficial for the

environment to buy produce that is

both seasonal and local. Buying local

means buying foods that have undergone

less travel, processing, and packaging.

Most of us don’t know that on average,

fruits and vegetables travel 1,300–2,000

miles to get from farms to stores in our

area. This has a negative impact on our

environment: the ships, planes, and

trucks used to transport food use a lot

of fuel, which pollutes our water, air,

and land.

Ready to Eat for Autumn?

Sometime during the month of September, the winds of change usually

shift from the warm breezes of late summer to autumn’s chill. When the

weather changes, it’s a good idea to move away from light summer foods

toward heartier fall fare, and it’s the perfect time to harmonize our eating

habits with what’s seasonally available.

Though where we live makes a difference as to what’s available each

season, generally speaking, the fruits and vegetables that are at the

peak in September and October in most parts of the United States are:

* Apples * Cranberries

* Beets * Pears

* Bell peppers * Pumpkin

* Broccoli * Root vegetables,

* Carrots including

turnips,

rutabagas,

parsnips, sweet

potatoes

and yams

Nuts are another iconic food of autumn. That’s appropriate because fall

is when nuts are their freshest. The harvest season for almonds, hazelnuts,

pecans, and pistachios usually occurs from September through November,

and chestnuts and walnuts are harvested slightly later.

There actually are peak seasons for seafood, poultry, and meat, too.

Although regional differences may determine the options that are available,

seafood that tends to be best in the autumn includes scallops, Pacific halibut,

petrale sole, and red grouper.

Turkey also is at its peak in the fall, as opposed to chicken, whose peak season

is in spring to early summer. (We’ve all heard the term “spring chicken.”)

Although pork and beef are available year-round, both are more at their

peak and typically less expensive in autumn and early winter than earlier in

the year.

To really take advantage of autumn’s bounty, create fall-inspired dishes

made with combinations of in-season foods. Examples include: Apple,

Sage, and Turkey or Pork Meatloaf; Pan-Sautéed Petrale Sole in Butter with

Broccoli and Carrots; Pumpkin Pecan Muffins; and Salad with Sliced Pear,

Dried Cranberries, and Hazelnuts.

*

Winter squash,

such as butternut

squash

and spaghetti

squash

Harmonious with the

wisdom of nature

Many holistic practitioners believe that

nature has an innate wisdom when it

comes to seasonal foods. The foods of

winter, for instance, tend to be heavier

and denser, which helps fortify us

against colder, harsher weather. After a

long winter—during which many of us

put on extra weight—nature provides

spring vegetables, such as artichokes

and asparagus, which help support

detoxification. During the hot days of

summer, hydrating vegetables and

fruits such as cucumber, watermelon,

and peaches, are readily available. And

many fall foods are rich in beta-carotene,

which is converted to vitamin A and

helps protect against colds and flu.

Diet broadening

Seeking out and trying new fruits

and vegetables that are in season is a

great way to vary your diet and try

different types of produce. It prevents

you from consuming the same produce

over and over again and opens up

whole new worlds of foods! A key to

a health-promoting diet is eating a

wide range of fresh fruits and vegetables

that are rich in different nutrients.

Eating seasonally expands this way

of eating and keeps it more interesting

and engaging.

Finally, don’t think eating seasonally

has to be a 100 percent commitment. If

you like some fruits and vegetables that

are available year-round, go ahead and

have them. Start small adding seasonal

items to your diet, and continue to add

more as you can. And know that with

each seasonal item you choose, you are

improving your nutrient intake, saving

money, and making a better choice for

the environment.

SEPTEMBER 2020 • 41


EATING 4 HEALTH *

You’ve heard a lot about amino acids

and how important they are for building

muscle. But these building blocks of

protein are responsible for many other

critical systems and functions in the

body, including neurotransmitter and

hormone production, immune health,

nervous system function, tissue repair,

digestion, and reproduction.

When you eat foods that are high

in protein, the body breaks them down

into amino acids. Your body needs

20 different amino acids, which are

categorized as essential, conditionally

essential, or non-essential:

Essential amino acids are considered

“essential” because your body can’t

make them—you have to get them

from your diet. There are nine of them:

histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine,

methionine, phenylalanine, threonine,

tryptophan, and valine.

Non-essential amino acids are

synthesized by the body, even if they’re

not consumed in the diet. The eleven

non-essential amino acids are alanine,

arginine, asparagine, aspartic acid,

cysteine, glutamic acid, glutamine,

glycine, proline, serine, and tyrosine.

Conditionally essential amino acids,

also called “conditional amino acids,”

include some non-essential amino acids

whose synthesis may be limited under

certain conditions, including serious

illness, injury, surgery, or extreme

trauma or stress. For instance, tyrosine

is considered an essential amino acid

for people with phenylketonuria (PKU),

a condition in which the body can’t

synthesize tyrosine. Other conditional

amino acids include arginine, cysteine,

glutamine, glycine, proline, and serine.

42 • SEPTEMBER 2020

foods & meals that heal

Amino Acids

What they are and where to find them.

BY LISA TURNER

You’ll find amino acids

in a variety of foods, but

there’s a catch: meat,

fish, dairy, eggs,

and other animal

foods contain all

nine essential

amino acids and are

considered complete

proteins. Some plant

foods—including soy and

quinoa—contain all nine essential

amino acids, but there’s some debate

over whether they contain adequate

quantities to be considered complete

proteins. Beans, grains, and nuts are

also rich in certain amino acids, but

are low or lacking in others—called the

limiting amino acid. For example, beans

are low in tryptophan and methionine,

and grains, nuts, and seeds lack lysine.

If you eat a variety of plant-based

proteins, it’s easy enough to compensate

for limiting amino acids and get all nine

essentials—and you don’t have to eat

them all at the same meal. Here’s a guide

to the best food sources of amino acids,

and ways to add them to your diet.

1

Tofu contains all nine essential

amino acids, as well as calcium,

iron, and other nutrients. Edamame

and tempeh are other good sources of

protein and amino acids. Look for tofu

made with calcium sulfate for the highest

calcium content.

Recipe Tips: Sauté tofu cubes with

garlic, red pepper strips, and scallions,

then toss with cooked rice noodles and

sesame seeds; crumble tofu and simmer

in tomato sauce with onions, garlic,

and paprika, and serve over rice; toss

edamame with quinoa, shredded red

cabbage, carrots, red onions, and cilantro,

and dress with a sesame oil vinaigrette.

2Eggs are high in all nine essential

amino acids, as well as other

nutrients such as choline, lutein,

and zeaxanthin. Look for pastured or

true free-range eggs from chickens

allowed to roam freely outdoors and

graze on grass, seeds, and insects—

some studies suggest they’re higher in

omega-3s and significantly higher in

vitamin D.

Recipe Tips: Serve soft-poached eggs

over sautéed escarole and radicchio,

and top with grated Asiago cheese; halve

boiled eggs and mash the yolks with

avocado, shallots, and green Tabasco

sauce for spicy deviled eggs; whisk eggs

with almond flour, cheddar cheese, and

minced chives, and cook in a waffle iron.

3Grass-fed beef is a complete

protein that has a superior

nutritional profile as compared

to grain-fed beef, with less total fat and

saturated fat, and higher levels of omega-3

fats, vitamin E, and other antioxidants.

Recipe Tips: Sauté thin strips of beef

with broccoli, mushrooms, ginger, garlic,

tamari, and sesame seeds; cook ground

beef with crushed tomatoes, olives, capers,

garlic, anchovies, and red pepper flakes

Photo: adobestock.com


make it!

for a spicy puttanesca sauce; simmer

lean beef with barbecue sauce in a slow

cooker, then shred and serve on slider

buns with coleslaw and pickles.

4Buckwheat, in spite of the

name, is gluten-free. Technically

not a cereal grain, it comes from

a plant related to sorrel and rhubarb.

It’s high in most essential amino acids

and is also rich in polyphenols, fiber,

magnesium, and other nutrients.

Recipe Tips: Toss buckwheat with

shredded Brussels sprouts, hemp seeds,

cherry tomatoes, and chickpeas, and

dress with an olive oil vinaigrette; top

buckwheat with yogurt, frozen blackberries,

and chia seeds for an easy

breakfast bowl; toss buckwheat with

roasted golden beets, arugula, red

onions, and olive oil.

Corn and Quinoa Chowder

Serves 6

We used organic red quinoa, which

is available in most natural foods

markets, but the flavor’s just as good

with white quinoa.

¾ cup red or white quinoa,

rinsed and drained

1 tsp. cumin seeds

1 ½ Tbs. olive oil

2 ½ cups fresh or frozen corn kernels

1 large red potato, diced (about 1 cup)

4 small shallots, chopped (about ¼ cup)

4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth

2 cups plain soymilk

1 large red bell pepper, diced

3 Tbs. chopped cilantro, plus a few

sprigs for garnish

1. Toast quinoa and cumin seeds in pot

over medium-high heat, 3 to 4 minutes,

or until golden and fragrant, stirring

constantly. Transfer to bowl.

2. Heat oil in pot; add corn, potato and

shallots. Sauté 5 minutes, or until shallots

are translucent. Add broth and soymilk,

and bring to a boil. Stir in quinoa mixture.

Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and

simmer 10 minutes. Stir in bell pepper,

cover and simmer 5 minutes, or until

quinoa and vegetables are tender.

3. Remove from heat; stir in chopped

cilantro. Season to taste with salt and

pepper. Ladle into soup bowls, and

garnish with cilantro sprigs and lime

wedges, if desired.

Per serving: 253 cal; 8g prot; 7g total fat (0g sat

fat); 44g carb; 0mg chol; 378mg sod; 5g fiber;

1g sugar

5Pistachios are not actually

nuts; they’re the seeds of fruit

from the pistachio tree that have a

well-rounded content of essential amino

acids. They’re also rich in potassium and

monounsaturated fats, as well as lutein

and zeaxanthin. Combine them with beans

or grains to form a complete protein.

Recipe Tips: Add toasted pistachios,

minced dried apricots, cardamom, and

cumin to brown rice for a Middle Eastern

side; grind pistachios into a meal and

use as a coating for grilled chicken or

fish; combine pistachio butter with

apple cider vinegar and honey for a

creamy, protein-rich salad dressing.

Photo: adobestock.com

6Cottage cheese, like other

forms of dairy, contains all nine

essential amino acids, as well as

calcium, selenium, vitamin B 12

, and

other B vitamins. Look for organic

varieties, or try probiotic-rich cultured

cottage cheese.

Recipe Tips: Mix cottage cheese with

chia seeds, frozen berries, and oats for

a breakfast bowl; mash cottage cheese

with avocado and spread on toast;

add it to sautéed garlic, onions, frozen

spinach, and curry powder for a quick

palak paneer.

7Quinoa is rich in protein and

contains all nine essential amino

acids. It’s used as a grain, but

is actually a seed from a plant that’s

related to spinach and chard, so it’s

naturally gluten-free. Quinoa is also a

great source of fiber, potassium, iron,

and other key nutrients.

Recipe Tips: Grind quinoa into

flour and use as a pancake base with

blueberries, vanilla, and honey; mix

quinoa with lentils, ground pumpkin

seeds, mushrooms, and onion, form

into burgers and grill; toss quinoa

with cherry tomatoes, shallots, basil,

feta cheese, and olive oil.

8Hemp seeds are rich in

protein and amino acids, as

well as magnesium, zinc, iron,

B vitamins, and omega-3s. Combine

them with beans for a complete protein.

Recipe Tips: Toss hemp seeds with

black beans, corn, red peppers, cilantro,

and honey-lime vinaigrette; top oatmeal

with raspberries, hemp seeds, and

honey; sauté chard, red lentils, and

garlic, and top with hemp seeds.

SEPTEMBER 2020 • 43


HEALTHY DISH *

Back in the 1960s when I was an aspiring

jazz musician, sliders were one of my

favorite foods. Only they weren’t called

“sliders” back then—they were called

“White Castle.” These scrumptious

little mystery meat burgers with the

grease-soaked buns and the little pickle

in the middle were the most

delicious things ever, and I always

looked forward to picking up a box

on the way home from a gig at 3 a.m.

That was then. And to paraphrase a

cigarette commercial from those same

days, sliders “have come a long way,

baby!” These modern-day Asian Sliders,

for instance, are an upgrade from your

typical “labor day burgers” in several

ways. For one thing, they’re made from

turkey, not beef. For another, they’re not

greasy at all. They’re also not grilled at

high temperatures, which is definitely

a good thing because high-temperature

grilling and charring can produce

carcinogenic compounds. Finally, they’re

seasoned with incredibly healthy spices

such as ginger and sesame seeds—and

to top it off, they’re baked!

As great as protein and healthy fat

are, there’s one dietary ingredient

they’re lacking: fiber. But not this

burger. The imaginative addition of

½ cup of rolled oats adds 4 grams

of fiber. Not exactly the equivalent

of a cup of black beans, but still more

fiber than the average burger. And for

even more fiber (and flavor!), I highly

recommend the avocado option.

44 • SEPTEMBER 2020

recipe makeovers full of modern flavor

A Better (Mini) Burger

Step up your burger game with super-tasty Asian Sliders—they are

big on flavor, packed with good nutrition, and easy to make.

BY JONNY BOWDEN, PHD, CNS, AND JEANNETTE BESSINGER, CHHC

Notes from the Clean Food Coach:

These sliders are great with lettuce and avocado on whole wheat slider buns, or sliced and rolled into whole grain wraps.

They’re also tasty chopped into a fresh green salad if you want to avoid the carb hit from bread.

Photo: adobestock.com


Photo: adobestock.com

make it!

Asian Sliders

Makes 8 Sliders

Putting away food for fall and winter?

Any uncooked turkey burgers can

be frozen for up to three months.

To prepare frozen patties, thaw

overnight in the refrigerator and

follow the baking instructions.

1 egg

2 Tbs. hoisin sauce

1 Tbs. Dijon mustard

1 Tbs. minced ginger

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tsp. salt

1 lb. lean ground turkey

½ cup whole rolled oats

¼ cup thinly sliced scallions

¼ cup black sesame seeds (or

white)

1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray large

cookie sheet lightly with olive oil,

and set aside.

2. Place egg, hoisin sauce, Dijon,

ginger, garlic, and salt in large

bowl, and whisk to combine. Gently

fold in turkey, oats, scallions, and

sesame seeds, and mix well with

clean hands, being careful not to

overwork meat.

3. Use ice cream scoop to form

8 small, even patties. Arrange on

prepared baking sheet, and bake

about 15 minutes, until inserted

meat thermometer reads 170°F.

Per serving: 160 cal; 13g prot; 8g total fat

(2g sat fat); 7g carb; 65mg chol; 450mg

sod; 1g fiber; 1g sugar

Featured Ingredient:

Black Sesame Seeds

The sesame seed has been around a long time, at least since the days of The

Thousand and One Arabian Nights. In fact, sesame is the oldest known plant

grown for its seeds and oil, and is especially valued in Eastern, Mediterranean,

and African cultures. Sesame seeds are about 50–60 percent oil, and much

of that oil contains sesamin and sesamolin, two important members of the

lignan family of polyphenols (plant chemicals that are really good for you).

When the seeds are refined (as in the making of sesame oil), two other

phenolic antioxidants—sesamol and sesaminol—are formed.

But you don’t need to know all the technical names of the lignan family to

understand that these plant chemicals have major health benefits. Sesame seed

lignans—including the aforementioned sesamin and sesaminol—enhance

vitamin E’s absorption and availability, improve lipid profiles, and help normalize

blood pressure. Animal studies show that sesame lignans enhance fat burning

by increasing the activity of several liver enzymes that break down fatty acids.

CHOLESTEROL AND SESAME SEEDS

If you’re familiar with my book The Great Cholesterol Myth, you know that I’m not a

fan of using cholesterol as the ultimate marker for heart disease risk. So I’m loath to

tout the “cholesterol-lowering” properties of any food or supplement because I’m not

at all sure that lowering cholesterol is the same as lowering the risk for heart disease.

That aside, it’s worth noting that sesame lignans do help reduce cholesterol.

In a study published in the Journal of Lipid Research, sesamin lowered both serum

(blood) and liver cholesterol levels. The researchers suggested that sesamin deserves

further study as a “possible hypocholesterolemic agent of natural origin.” And in

a study in the Journal of Nutrition, 50 grams of sesame seed powder taken daily

for five weeks improved total cholesterol, LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, cholesterol ratio,

and antioxidant status in postmenopausal women. The researchers noted some

improvements in sex hormone status as well, and suggested a benefit of sesame

for postmenopausal women.

NUTRIENT PROFILE

Sesame seeds are very high in calcium, but much of it is bound to oxalic acid,

making it less bioavailable than other forms of calcium. In parts of Japan, whole

sesame seeds are prepared as a condiment known as gomasio, made by toasting

whole sesame seeds with unrefined sea salt at high temperatures. This process

may improve the assimilation of calcium by getting rid of the oxalates.

Calcium aside, sesame seeds are a rich source of minerals, fiber, and protein.

Two tablespoons of seeds contain 35 percent of the Daily Value for copper, 2 grams

of fiber, and 3 grams of protein—more protein than any other nut or seed—plus

other nutrients including iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and manganese.

You can really enhance the nutty flavor of sesame seeds by toasting them in a dry

skillet over medium heat until they’re golden brown. They come in shades of black,

brown, and yellow as well as the more common beige variety. The black seeds have

the strongest flavor.

Tahini is made from hulled sesame seeds and is, therefore, a more refined product,

though still delicious. Other traditional sesame-based dishes include hummus, a

Middle Eastern appetizer made of ground chickpeas, garlic, and tahini; and baba

ghanoush, which has a base of roasted eggplant seasoned with tahini, lemon juice,

garlic, and salt.

SEPTEMBER 2020 • 45


RECIPE 4 HEALTH *

In The Low-Calorie Cookbook: Healthy,

Satisfying Meals with 500 Calories or

Less, Megan Olson poignantly shares

how she went from “missing out on so

many opportunities in life” because of

her weight to finding joy and purpose in

healthy cooking. She’s also the creator

of Skinny Fitalicious (skinnyfitalicious.

com), a blog dedicated to serving up

tasty low-cal recipes and helping others

overcome weight issues.

What’s even more important than

what you put in your mouth, says Olson,

is being able to shift your perspective.

“Mindset is the foundation of lasting

weight loss,” she says. “When you have

the right mindset, implementing good

nutrition is easier.”

This recipe for pad Thai—made

using sweet potato “zoodles”—is one of

Olson’s favorites from the new cookbook.

Healthy Chicken Pad

Thai

Serves 4

High in protein and fiber but

low in calories, this healthy spin

on chicken pad Thai is better

for you than takeout. It combines spiralized

sweet potato and an array of vegetables with

a creamy lime-peanut butter sauce. You’ll

love this for an easy and filling meal!

SAUCE

½ cup creamy unsalted, sugar-free peanut,

sunflower, almond or cashew butter

½ cup water

1 Tbs. honey

1 Tbs. fresh lime juice

1 Tbs. rice wine vinegar

2 Tbs. coconut aminos or soy sauce

1 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. ground ginger

CHICKEN PAD THAI

1 lb. chicken breast tenders

46 • SEPTEMBER 2020

make it!

eating clean made easy

The Skinny Secret

After years of struggling with her weight, cookbook author

Megan Olson effortlessly lost 80 lbs. by focusing on portion

sizes and high-quality ingredients.

BY NICOLE BRECHKA

1 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil

2 large egg whites

1 cup diced red bell pepper

2 cups julienned carrots

1 cup coarsely chopped red cabbage

2 cups spiralized sweet potato

2 Tbs. coarsely chopped raw cashews

¼ Tbs. coarsely chopped fresh cilantro

¼ Tbs. finely chopped green onions

1. To make sauce: Mix together nut butter,

water, honey, lime juice, vinegar, coconut

aminos, garlic powder, and ginger in

medium bowl.

2. To make pad Thai: Add half of sauce

to large skillet over medium heat. Add

chicken breast tenders, and cook 5 minutes,

until internal temperature reaches

165°F. Transfer chicken and sauce to

plate, and set aside.

3. Add oil and egg whites to skillet. Cook

egg whites 2–3 minutes, until scrambled,

transfer to separate plate, and set aside.

Add bell pepper, carrots, cabbage, and

sweet potato to skillet. Cook vegetables

5 minutes, then add chicken, remaining

sauce, and egg whites. Toss to combine,

and cook pad Thai 5 minutes, or until

the vegetables are al dente.

4. Serve pad Thai with cashews, cilantro,

green onions, and remaining sauce.

Store in refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Per serving: 520 cal; 38g prot; 25g total fat

(4.5g sat fat); 39g carb; 85mg chol; 310mg sod;

7g fiber; 18g sugar

Excerpted with

permission from

The Low Calorie

Cookbook: Healthy,

Satisfying Meals

with 500 Calories

or Less by Megan

Olson (Page Street

Publishing Co.,

2020).

Photo: Megan Olson


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SEPTEMBER 2020 • 47


COOK WITH SUPPLEMENTS *

easy ways to boost your nutrition

A Honey Like No Other

Manuka honey is not your ordinary sweetener—it adds an extra dose

of key nutrients to recipes and boasts antibacterial properties.

Manuka, a “super honey” from New

Zealand, has made waves in recent

years for its ability to enhance health

and beauty. In addition to containing

a variety of vitamins, minerals, and

antioxidants, Manuka has potent

bacteria-fighting qualities not found

in other honey varietals. In fact,

researchers have identified more

than 80 different strains of bacteria

that can be inhibited by Manuka,

including some that are resistant to

conventional antibiotics.

As a bonus, it’s also great for

cooking, and this delicious recipe is

a great way to boost your resistance

to nasty bugs and enjoy a sweet treat

at the same time!

Gluten-Free Maple Banana

Oatmeal Bake

Serves 8

Warm, comforting, and full of flavor but no

guilt, this filling breakfast will have you looking

forward to morning (or any time of day!).

OATMEAL BAKE

1 cup mashed banana

1 pasture-raised egg

(or substitute flax egg)

¹/3 cup cream nut butter

3 Tbs. maple syrup

3 Tbs. Wedderspoon Beechwood Honey

¾ cup unsweetened non-dairy milk

1 tsp. vanilla extract

3 cups rolled oats

½ tsp. baking powder

GLAZE

¾ cup raw cashews,

soaked in boiling

water for 10 minutes

5 Tbs. non-dairy milk

½ tsp. cinnamon

2 Tbs. Wedderspoon

Manuka Honey

1 Tbs. maple syrup

1 tsp. vanilla extract

Wedderspoon

Raw Beechwood and

Raw Manuka Honeys

1. To make oatmeal: Preheat oven to

350°F and grease 8x8 baking dish.

In large bowl, mix banana, egg,

nut butter, maple syrup, honey,

milk, and vanilla extract. Add oats

and baking power, and mix until

well combined. Add to baking

dish, and bake 20–25 minutes.

2. To make glaze: While oatmeal bakes,

strain cashews and place in blender or

food processor. Add remaining glaze

ingredients, and blend until creamy.

3. Remove oatmeal bake from oven, top with

glaze, and enjoy!

Per serving: 370 cal; 10g prot; 14g total fat (2g sat fat);

54g carb; 25mg chol; 90mg sod; 6g fiber; 21g sugar

Recipe by Rachel Mansfield, author of the new cookbook

Just the Good Stuff and podcast host of Just the Good

Stuff. Find her at rachlmansfield.com and on Instagram

@rachLmansfield.

Photo: Rachel Mansfield

48 •

SEPTEMBER 2020


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