YOUR ULTIMATE RESOURCE FOR NATURAL LIVING
OCTOBER 2020 * betternutrition.com
THE SCIENCE OF
THE HEALTH OF
How to Keep
Potato Salad gets a
tangy health kick from
VERI F I E D
Garden of Life ® kids
OUR KIDS’ HEALTH
IS PRIORITY ONE
What’s more important than our kids’ health? As hard as we may try, kids don’t always eat nutritious meals
formulas in delicious gummies, powders and liquids.
YOUR ULTIMATE RESOURCE FOR NATURAL LIVING
October 2020 / Vol. 82 / No. 10
can do so much
more than fill
a pie shell.
BN’s Big Buyer’s Guide to
Immune Health Supplements
Cold and flu season is back—with the added
concern of Covid-19. So what can you do to
protect yourself and your family from harmful
invaders? In addition to masking up and social
distancing, these supplements can help.
The Covid Mood Guide
From constant worry about family and friends
to the loneliness of isolation, the pandemic
has introduced a whole new wave of stressors
to our already overburdened lives. If you find
yourself feeling overwhelmed, check out these
11 easy ways to protect your mood and regain
There’s much more to this versatile fruit than
Jack-o’-lanterns and pumpkin pie. Just check
out this collection of savory and sweet pumpkin
recipes. You’ll never look at this seasonal
standby the same way again.
Immunity & Healthy Gums
Why oral health is more important
than you think.
10 PASSION BEHIND THE PRODUCT
The Seed of the Universe
Move over, quinoa. There’s a “new”
gluten-free ancient grain in town.
12 IN THE SPOTLIGHT
The Road to Stroke Recovery
Diet, exercise, and lifestyle tips from
Amytis Towfighi, MD.
14 HOT BUYS
All the Rage
Natural products we’re excited about.
16 CHECK OUT
Vitamin C for the Heart, Brain,
and Pain Relief
This basic nutrient does a lot more
than just boost immunity.
18 ASK THE NATUROPATHIC DOCTOR
Do I Really Need to Take
The answer is probably yes.
22 NATURAL BEAUTY
Detox Your Skin with Charcoal
This dark, gritty ingredient works like
a magnet to pull out impurities.
Eating for Iron
Eight great sources that aren’t liver.
42 ASK THE NUTRITIONIST
Protect the Health of Your Breasts
How toxins influence breast cancer.
44 HEALTHY DISH
Perfect Potato Salad
A lighter take on Oktoberfest.
Half the Sugar, All the Fun
Brownies so good, you’ll never miss
the sweet stuff.
48 COOK WITH SUPPLEMENTS
A delicious breakfast latte powered
by our favorite fungi.
For links to studies
cited in our articles
and other helpful
sites and books, visit
Discover new ways
to maximize your
clarity, memory, and
your age. Also, learn
about a specific
nutrient that works
in a unique way to
nourish the brain.
MAXIMIZE FOCUS &
free copy now at
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natural solutions for
New blogs monthly,
Editor posts from
experts such as Jonny
Bowden, PhD, RD.
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Photo: (cover and this page) adobestock.com
2 • OCTOBER 2020
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THIS IS HEALTH TRANSFORMED.
EDITOR’S * LETTER
When people find out what I do for a
living, they frequently ask for advice on
what supplements to take. From my start
as a supplement editor (I’ve been working
in this field for more than 20 years),
I developed a passion for helping people
find great products to enhance their lives.
I take supplements every day myself,
and I’ve experimented with lots of
different combinations. The following
is my current daily regimen. (Want
more ideas? See p. 18 for Dr. Emily
Kane’s “must-take” supplement list.)
• Vitamin C, a whole-food source from
berries, including camu camu and amla.
• Cordyceps—for energy and immune
• Magnesium glycinate—for stress,
sleep, and bone and heart health.
• Probiotics—for overall health,
including digestive and immune health.
• Fish oils—for overall health, hormone
balance, optimal brain function.
• I-3-C (Indole-3-Carbinol)—for
improved estrogen detoxification.
• Folate—for mood and hormone
balance. I use the 5-MTHF form.
I also take a B-complex.
• Green Foods—for energy, detox,
• Turmeric—for inflammation, liver
and immune health, healthy skin, and
• CoQ10 (Ubiquinol)—for anti-aging,
energy, and heart health.
• Digestive enzymes—for enhanced
nutrient absorption from food and
inflammation (if taken between meals).
• Zinc carnosine—for gastrointestinal
Which supplements do you take
regularly? Email me at the address below.
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
Joyce Goldstein is an American chef, twotime
James Beard Foundation award winner,
and cookbook author. Her books include
Jam Session: A Fruit-Preserving Handbook
and The New Mediterranean Jewish Table.
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.
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
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.
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
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
Print Ad Coordinator
Integrated Media Sales
Director, West Coast
Integrated Media Sales
Director, East Coast & Midwest
Director of Retail Sales
Senior Brand Marketing
Accounting & Billing
Vera Tweed, Helen Gray
Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS, Jeannette
Bessinger, CHHC, Joyce Goldstein,
Emily A. Kane, ND, LAc, Chris Mann,
Melissa Diane Smith, Lisa Turner,
512 Main Street, Suite 1
El Segundo, CA 90245
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BETTER NUTRITION, ISSN #0405-668X. Vol. 82, No. 10. Published monthly by Pocket Outdoor
Media. 5720 Flatiron Parkway, Boulder, CO 80301; ©2020 Pocket Outdoor Media. All rights
reserved. Mechanical requirements and circulation listed in Standard Rate and Data Service. The
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any form of medical treatment. The information presented here is not meant to diagnose or
treat any medical condition. We urge you to see a physician or other medical professional before
undertaking any form of medical treatment.
BY VERA TWEED
When used correctly, your toothbrush
and floss can do more than just keep
your pearly whites sparkling. By keeping
your gums healthy, they can also reduce
chronic inflammation that predisposes
you to colds, flu, and—according to
a new study—deadly complications
“Inflammation in the body makes Covid
severity worse,” says Shervin Molayem,
DDS, a Los Angeles-based periodontist and
coauthor of the study, which was published
in the Journal of the California Dental
Association. Hospitalized Covid patients
with preexisting gum disease have higher
levels of inflammation and are much
more likely to suffer respiratory failure,
requiring a ventilator.
Gum disease is a common source of
inflammation because it creates pockets
around teeth where harmful bacteria take
up residence, secrete toxins, and trigger
an inflammatory response. Through the
many blood vessels that surround teeth,
bacteria and toxins circulate through
your body in about a minute, setting off
To fight off infections of any kind,
says Molayem, “Your body has only so
many resources.” If these are tied up
fighting gum disease, there are fewer
resources to protect you from colds, flu,
and Covid infection and complications.
How to Stop Gum Disease
If your gums are already inflamed,
dental treatment from a periodontist
(a gum specialist) is essential.
To prevent gum problems, Molayem
recommends these three steps:
Floss the right way: Gently pull the
floss in between teeth, pull to the side
to wrap the floss around one tooth, and
clean all the way down to the gum line.
Repeat this on the side of every tooth
and then rinse with water.
Brush gently: Rough brushing can
injure gums. Brush each quarter of
your mouth for 30 seconds.
Rinse with an alcohol-free mouthwash:
Alcohol dries the mouth, which increases
bacterial growth. Look for an alcohol-free
mouthwash such as TheraBreath 24-Hour
Fresh Breath Oral Rinse, Stella-Life Vega
Oral Care Rinse, and Nature’s Answer
PerioBrite. The latter two contain herbs
such as echinacea to fight bacteria and
calendula to soothe gums.
6 • OCTOBER 2020
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* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
Send Your Excess Pounds
Packing With LIPOIC ACID
According to a 24-week trial in The Journal of Nutrition, women
and some men lost weight—without changing their diets or exercise
habits—with lipoic acid, also known as alpha lipoic acid. The study
compared lipoic acid supplements with a placebo in two groups of
healthy but overweight men and women, with 31 people in each group.
After daily supplementation with 600 mg of lipoic acid, nearly half the
women lost 5 percent or more of their initial weight, and the heaviest
men also lost some weight. Lipoic acid is an antioxidant that has
been shown to reduce some markers of inflammation. Lipoic acid
supplements are widely available at health food stores; one that we
like is Bluebonnet Alpha Lipoic Acid 600 mg.
8 • OCTOBER 2020 NEWS*BITES
Farm workers suffer more chemical-related injuries than any other
workforce in this country, according to the Natural Resources Defense
Council. In addition to being exposed to toxic pesticides in the fields,
workers can unintentionally expose their families by carrying home
pesticide residues on clothing, shoes, and skin. And pesticides can
drift beyond the fields, exposing entire communities.
By choosing organic produce, you can help increase demand for
organic farming and reduce harm to those we depend on for our food.
And, as an added benefit, you can reduce pesticide levels in your own body
by as much as 70 percent by eating an organic diet for just one week.
Got a Frozen
Also known as adhesive capsulitis,
frozen shoulder occurs when connective
tissue in the shoulder joint stiffens,
making movement painful. When
there is no known cause (such as an
injury), the trigger can be blood
sugar in a high-normal range. A study
of more than 600 people, with and
without the condition, found that
risk for frozen shoulder increases
when fasting blood sugar is over
90 mg/dL, and significantly decreases
when levels are 85 mg/dL or lower.
(Prediabetes begins at 100 mg/dL
and type 2 diabetes at 126 mg/dL.)
Reducing carbs and sugar typically
lowers blood-sugar levels.
PASSION BEHIND THE PRODUCT *
companies fostering personal & global well-being
The Seed of the Universe
Move over quinoa. There’s a “new” ancient grain in town—fonio,
a hearty, gluten-free species from West Africa introduced to
America by Yolélé Foods.
BY NEIL ZEVNIK
For all you fans of quinoa out there
(and those who have yet to enjoy it),
I have a special treat to propose—
fonio, the most excellent ancient grain
that you’ve probably never heard of.
And it comes with a special bonus:
in addition to being delicious and
gluten-free, it provides societal and
environmental benefits in a part of
the world that’s desperately in need
At once delicious and nutritious,
fonio is native to West Africa, where
it has been a prized and ubiquitous
source of nutrition for over 5,000 years.
It’s known in Mali as “The Seed of the
Universe,” the root of all existence.
Gluten-free and low-glycemic, it’s a
low- calorie-density food
that is rich in fiber
It’s also high in two
key amino acids—
did you know ...
“Yolélé” basically means
“Let’s Party!” in Fulani, a
local language in Senegal
has always been
my driving passion,
was created in
that spirit,” says
Photo: Sara Costa
10 • OCTOBER 2020
for the Planet,
to Protect Your Skin.
promote hair, skin, and nail growth
and are deficient in all other grains.
And as if that weren’t enough, it
is, in my humble opinion, one of the
tastiest grains around—slightly earthy
and pleasingly nutty, with a light, fluffy
texture that provides a perfect backdrop
for any number of foods and flavors.
Out of Africa
The man who helped bring this product
to America is Pierre Thiam, a noted
restaurateur, cookbook author, and
passionate supporter of West African
foods and farmers. While writing his
first cookbook, Yolélé! Recipes From
the Heart of Senegal, he realized that
“many of the amazing ingredients I was
using in my recipes were not readily
accessible in the U.S. Some of them, like
fonio, are resilient and nutritious, but
the small family farmers that grow it
barely make a living. I realized that I could
positively impact these communities
if I could figure out a way to develop a
chain of value for these crops.”
So he created Yolélé Foods to
share the joy of West African cuisine,
create economic opportunity for
smallholder farms, and support
biodiverse, regenerative, and resilient
food systems in his homeland.
THE GRAIN THING
Newly arrived in the U.S.,
thanks to Pierre Thiam and
Yolélé Foods, fonio is an ancient
grain that has been a staple
in West African diets for thousands
of years. Today’s consumers
can enjoy this gluten-free
treat in a variety of healthy
flavors, including Moringa &
Spinach; Tomato & Bell Pepper;
and Onion, Lime & Chili.
But Pierre’s gaze extends beyond his
regional aspirations. “To me the most
important thing about the fonio journey,
is that it can serve as a model of
development for other similar African
products. It’s a nutritious product of
regenerative agriculture that can bring
economic prosperity to rural Africa and
help diversify our global diets.” In the
face of the growing disruption of
climate change, especially in the Sahel
region of West Africa, a fast-growing,
drought-resistant crop like fonio
assumes heightened importance.
Beyond the societal and environmental
aspects, Yolélé’s mission is deeply
personal for Pierre. “Sharing culture
through food has always been my
driving passion, and Yolélé was created
in that spirit. In truth, I love every step
of seeing what was first an idea and a
dream become a reality.”
And his final aspiration and determination?
“I can change the world!”
PROTECT collection is and
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& free of harmful chemicals.
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IN THE SPOTLIGHT *
stay-healthy secrets from leading experts
The Road to Stroke Recovery
Amytis Towfighi, MD, coauthor of What You Must Know About Strokes:
How to Recover from a Stroke and How to Prevent Another Stroke,
empowers survivors to reduce their risk for another stroke.
BY CHRIS MANN
Every 40 seconds, someone in the United
States has a stroke, an often deadly
condition that occurs when blood
flow to the brain is interrupted.
Roughly 25 percent of stroke patients
have suffered a stroke before.
Proper nutrition, exercise, and
other healthy lifestyle factors are
central to avoiding these brain
attacks—especially for stroke
survivors. “Stroke can be a lifechanging
event,” says Amytis
Towfighi, MD, an associate professor
of neurology and the James and
Dorothy Williams Stroke Scholar at
the Keck School of Medicine of the
University of Southern California. “Over
the years, I found that patients were
often surprised to hear that four out of
“Knowing what to
do is only half the
battle,” says Amytis
Towfighi, MD. “The
far more difficult task
is making changes to
highly ingrained habits,
particularly when life
gets in the way. This
has become the focus
of my research.”
Photo: Michael Ziegler
Everyone Wants to
BN: How important are diet
and related health conditions
in preventing strokes?
AT: Four out of five strokes are
caused by five key factors: blood
pressure, smoking, poor diet, physical
inactivity, and abdominal obesity.
This means that most strokes can
be avoided. Other stroke risk factors
tied to diet include diabetes and
BN: What are some essential
lifestyle tips that can help keep
AT: Get at least 150 minutes per week
of moderate-intensity aerobic activity
or 75 minutes per week of vigorous
aerobic activity. Get up and move
throughout the day. Eat at least five
servings of fruits and vegetables a day.
Don’t smoke. Drink alcohol in moderation—one
drink or less per day for
women and two drinks or less per day
for men. And maintain a normal body
mass index (i.e., 18.5-25 kg/m 2 ).
BN: Which foods—and diets—
are key to stroke prevention?
AT: The Mediterranean diet has been
shown to reduce the risk of stroke in
a large trial. Key components of this
famous diet include:
* Three servings of fresh fruit a day
* Two or more servings of vegetables
* Three or more servings of seafood
or fish—especially fatty fish—
* Three or more servings of legumes
* Four tablespoons of olive oil a day
* Three or more servings of tree nuts
* Two servings of sofrito a week
* Emphasizing white meat over
BN: What is sofrito and why
should we make it twice a week
to prevent stroke?
AT: Sofrito is a typical technique of
lightly frying onions and garlic in
extra virgin olive oil. Tomato sofrito
is a staple of many Mediterranean
dishes. Recent studies have suggested
that the process of sautéing tomatoes,
onion, and garlic in olive oil may
improve the bioavailability of healthy
compounds (such as polyphenols and
Photo: Diana Zapata
12 • OCTOBER 2020
Photo: (food) adobestock.com
five strokes could be prevented through
changes in lifestyle and blood pressure
control. Yet, knowing what to do is
only half the battle. The far more difficult
task is making changes to highly
ingrained habits, particularly when
life gets in the way. This has become
the focus of my research.”
Towfighi has teamed with seasoned
health writer and dietitian Laura
Stevens—who reached out to the neurologist
after experiencing a stroke herself—
to coauthor the comprehensive new book
What You Must Know About Strokes:
How to Recover from a Stroke and How
to Prevent Another Stroke (Square One
Publishers, 2020). “I was thrilled to have
the opportunity to collaborate with her,”
says Towfighi of Stevens, and “to provide
people with advice and tools to help them
prevent a stroke.”
Win a copy of What
Your Must Know About
Strokes! We’re giving
away 5 books. Email your
name and address to
gmail.com. Put “Strokes”
in the subject line.
Cooking for Stroke Prevention
Sofrito serves as a
flavor base for many
dishes including chicken,
fish, and vegetables. The sauce becomes
sweeter overnight, so feel free to double the
recipe, refrigerate for up to 5 days, and add to
any dish throughout the week.
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
½ green bell pepper, seeded, and minced,
2 large carrots, finely diced, optional
2 large celery sticks, finely diced, optional
4 large cloves garlic, minced
1 large can crushed tomatoes (or 5–6 large
ripe tomatoes, diced)
1. Heat large frying pan over medium heat,
and pour olive oil to coat bottom of pan.
Sauté onions until translucent and soft;
2. Add green bell pepper, carrots, and celery,
if using, and cook until softened.
3. Add minced garlic, and sauté one minute
more. Add diced tomatoes and mix well.
Simmer over very low heat 20–40 minutes,
stirring occasionally, until a thick sauce
4. Allow to cool, then store in the refrigerator
Per serving: 200 cal; 3g prot; 14g total fat (2g sat fat);
17g carb; 0mg chol; 65mg sod; 5g fiber; 10g sugar
Persian Yogurt &
This is one of the
easiest appetizers you
can make! Be sure to buy
regular full-fat Greek yogurt and not the
2 cups whole-fat Greek yogurt
4 Persian cucumbers (or 1 English
2 Tbs. dried mint
Salt and pepper, to taste
Combine all ingredients in bowl. Serve as an
appetizer, side dish, or dip.
Per serving: 130 cal; 12g prot; 6g total fat (3g sat fat);
7g carb; 15mg chol; 45mg sod; 1g fiber; 6g sugar
Recipes provided and excerpted with permission from Amytis
carotenoids), allowing the body to
better absorb these healthy nutrients.
BN: What role does whole-fat
dairy—even cheese, which is
high in saturated fat—play in
AT: The dairy story is an interesting
one. For years, dietary guidelines
have recommended low-fat or nonfat
dairy products in an effort to
reduce calorie and fat consumption.
However, foods are not simply a
collection of components, such as
fat and calories, but rather complex
matrices with more nuanced effects
on health. Recent studies, including
a review of 37 trials enrolling
nearly 185,000 participants, have
shown that whole-fat dairy does not
cause weight gain; dairy consumption
improves body composition
by increasing lean body mass and
reducing body fat; yogurt consumption
reduces weight gain; fermented
dairy, including cheese, lowers cardiovascular
risk; and yogurt, cheese,
and even dairy fat protect against
type 2 diabetes.
There are several potential reasons
for the health benefits of whole-fat
dairy. First, compared with meat, dairy
has a greater proportion of short
and medium chain fatty acids. These
shorter fatty acids may have beneficial
health effects. Second, yogurt
contains probiotics, which have been
shown to improve sugar levels in the
blood, reduce body weight, lower
BMI, and lower fat percentage. Also,
fermented dairy products lower risk
of diabetes and cardiovascular risk.
BN: Is there another core
takeaway from your book that
you would like to share?
AT: It’s essential to know the signs
and symptoms of stroke—an easy
way to remember these things is
using the acronym FAST:
FACE: Is a person’s smile uneven?
Is one side drooping?
ARM: When raised, is one arm drifting
down or paralyzed?
SPEECH: Is the speech difficult to
understand? Can the patient understand
what you are saying?
TIME: Time to call 911. If you spot
any of these signs in yourself or
someone else, call 911 right away.
OCTOBER 2020 • 13
HOT BUYS *
Generate your own
If you watch Shark Tank, collagen production
you may remember with Natural Factors
when TaDa Foods! founder BioSil Small Vegan Liquid
John Sorial got a deal Capsules, a new liquid
for his frozen falafel capsule form of the
street wraps. Now, the popular supplement.
thriving company is The ingredients in
expanding their East BioSil help your skin
Mediterranean cuisine regain lost collagen,
with Falafel Poppers (also add new collagen, and
frozen). They come in protect existing collagen.
Cucumber Dill Yogurt, Lemony The supplement also
Roasted Garlic Hummus, does a great job at
and Harissa Hummus. Each increasing vital elastin
bite delivers perfectly and keratin in your
seasoned falafel with body. Take daily for
a creamy hummus best results.
new & notable
All the Rage
Here’s what’s exciting and new this month at health food stores.
If you’re on a keto or
Paleo diet, your life
is about to get a lot
sweeter. Enter Superfat
Keto Cookies. These
tasty treats are made
with almond and
coconut flour, grass-fed
butter, and grass-fed
collagen. No added
sugar and no grains,
fillers, or palm oil.
Available flavors are
Peanut Butter Chocolate
Chip, Chocolate Chip, and
Snickerdoodle. One serving
has just 2–3 grams
of net carbs.
Two of the best
together in Nature’s Answer
Standardized Sambucus +
Probiotic. This unique
combination of pure
black elderberry extract
works to support
a healthy immune
system. It’s made with
10 billion CFUs and
contains 6,400 mg
of black elderberry.
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CHECK OUT *
Vitamin C is known as an essential
nutrient for healthy immune function
and fighting colds and other infections,
but it also plays a vital role in the
health of the heart and brain, in
healing from injuries, and in pain
relief. In all these cases, low blood
levels of vitamin C—but not low
enough to produce severe signs of
deficiency such as scurvy—have a
detrimental effect, whereas higher
levels are beneficial.
16 • OCTOBER 2020
guide to cutting-edge supplements
Vitamin C for the Heart,
Brain, and Pain Relief
This basic nutrient does a lot more than just boost
immunity—although it does that too!
BY LISA TURNER
Vitamin C and the Heart
Vitamin C reduces harmful inflammation
and helps build collagen and
connective tissues that keep organs
and blood vessels working well.
Numerous studies have found that
low levels of the vitamin correlate
with more heart disease and deaths.
Most heart attacks are caused
by plaque in arteries rupturing and
blocking blood flow to the heart.
Collagen is one of the building blocks
of arteries and it needs to be stable
to prevent plaque rupture. Sufficient
vitamin C makes collagen more stable
and reduces the risk of plaque rupture.
Research at Oregon State University
found that people with metabolic
syndrome, which increases risks for
heart disease and diabetes, need more
Drugs that Deplete Vitamin C
Three types of drugs have been shown to deplete levels of vitamin C.
HEARTBURN DRUGS: Studies have found that both healthy people and those
with H. pylori infection who took omeprazole (Prilosec and similar drugs) for
4 weeks experienced significant drops in vitamin C levels. The drugs likely
inhibit absorption of vitamin C in the stomach.
ASPIRIN: Studies in the 1970s were the first to find that high-dose aspirin
taken for arthritis depleted levels of vitamin C. Later research found that an
aspirin dose of 600 mg stopped the absorption of vitamin C by leukocytes—
white blood cells in the immune system that fight pathogens. On the other
hand, vitamin C may prevent stomach damage from aspirin use.
BIRTH CONTROL PILLS: Some studies have found that vitamin C levels are
lower, and levels of harmful oxidation are higher, in women who take birth
control pills. Taking vitamin C supplements reduces the oxidative effects of
birth control pills.
vitamin C. Metabolic syndrome means
having at least three of these conditions:
abdominal obesity, high blood pressure,
high blood sugar, low levels of “good”
HDL cholesterol, and high levels of
“People with metabolic syndrome
can eat the same amount of vitamin C as
people without metabolic syndrome, but
they have lower plasma concentrations
of vitamin C,” said Maret Traber, PhD,
a professor at Oregon State. It’s estimated
that about 35 percent of American adults
suffer from metabolic syndrome.
Vitamin C, Mood, and Mental Function
Measurements of vitamin C in cerebrospinal
fluid show that the vitamin is
much more concentrated in the brain
and nervous system than in the blood,
and it influences mental function. Evidence
from more than 50 studies shows that
higher levels of vitamin C correlate with
better memory, concentration, attention,
and overall mental function.
This holds true in healthy people,
those suffering from minor cognitive
impairment, and those with Alzheimer’s
disease. Other studies have
found that low levels of vitamin C are
also related to depression.
Vitamin C Enhances Healing and
The need for vitamin C increases after
injury or surgery, and during illness.
Studies show that high-dose vitamin C
has improved healing from fractures,
joint replacement surgery, anterior
cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction,
and tendon injuries.
Vitamin C enhances formation of
collagen and has been found to speed
up healing of bones, ligaments, and
tendons. It also reduces oxidative
stress generated by an injury or illness.
Studies have found that high-dose
vitamin C reduces the need for opiate
medications for pain control. It is
useful for reducing pain from shingles,
as well as nerve pain, neck pain, back
pain, arthritis pain, and other muscle,
joint, and bone pain.
Vitamin C is often depleted during
hospitalization, and can be severely
depleted during some cancer treatments.
High-dose vitamin treatment, including
intravenous vitamin C, can help relieve
Vitamin C Doses
The Recommended Dietary Allowances
(RDAs) of vitamin C to prevent deficiency
are 90 mg daily for men, 75 mg for
women, 85 mg during pregnancy, and
120 mg when breastfeeding. However,
scientists at the National Institutes
of Health recommended decades ago
that the RDA should be increased to
200 mg daily.
Studies of vitamin C to enhance
healing from injuries and surgeries
found that at least 500 mg daily was
beneficial. Specific dosages have not
been established for different health
conditions, but much higher doses are
often used, orally or intravenously,
in treatments by health practitioners.
OCTOBER 2020 • 17
ASK THE NATUROPATHIC DOCTOR *
answers to your health questions
Do I Really Need to
Even if you eat a perfect organic, whole-foods
diet, the answer is probably yes.
BY EMILY KANE, ND, LAC
QA lot of regular
to think that
supplements just produce
“expensive urine.” I think
drugs are way worse,
but it’s still confusing.
The best idea, always, is to value and
preserve your health to the best of
your ability. Top priority, every day.
If COVID-19 has shown us anything,
it’s that people who are generally well
tend to have milder disease, which is
why maintaining optimum health is
So, what are some strategies for
staying healthy? A targeted regimen
of dietary supplements tops the list.
That’s mostly because our food—even
have the vitamin and
mineral content as it did
before our air, water, and
soil became saturated
planet is beleaguered
with the stuff—and so are our
guts and immune systems!
Vitamin C for Tissue Repair &
One example of a critical nutrient
that requires supplementation is
vitamin C. Humans are incapable
of internally producing vitamin C
(ascorbic acid), which is used by
the body for tissue repair, wound
healing, adrenal health, and collagen
integrity. Unless you drink
fresh-squeezed orange juice or use
a lot of lemon/lime in your water or
cooking, you probably aren’t getting
a beneficial amount of vitamin C
from your diet.
The Recommended Dietary
Allowance (RDA) for vitamin C is 65
mg per day. This is the minimum
18 • OCTOBER 2020
Supplementing with melatonin at bedtime is a
sensible way to offset the melatonin deficiency caused
by indoor lighting. Blame Thomas Edison for our
insomnia and night owling!
ASK THE NATUROPATHIC DOCTOR
amount needed to prevent scurvy. But if stored in our fat cells, so it can be tricky
your goal is optimal health, and not just for overweight people to achieve optimal
scurvy prevention, you’ll want quite a bit blood levels of 60–80 ng/mL.
more. The best dose is just under what Another benefit of losing weight is
would produce a loose stool. I take about that your D 3
levels will move toward the
2,500 mg daily, in the evening, because optimal range as the vitamin becomes
it can help with tissue repair overnight. liberated from fat cells that are being
[Editor note: Read more about vitamin C used up for fuel.
on p. 16 and on p. 25.]
Melatonin for Sounder Sleep
Supplementing with melatonin at
bedtime is a sensible way to offset the
melatonin deficiency caused by indoor
lighting. Blame Thomas Edison for our
insomnia and night owling!
Melatonin is produced naturally by
the body, although we lack definitive
information about how much—it seems
to vary with age and light exposure.
Generally, humans are thought to secrete
about 10 ng/mL daily, but some research
says up to 60 ng/mL.
I mention this because there is no
danger of suppressing natural melatonin
production if we use lower doses
than the body would optimally produce
Click It Dr. Kane offers an annual wellness retreat on the Big Island
of Hawaii in January. Join her in 2021! More info at www.tri.ps/DSR.
20 • OCTOBER 2020
Vitamin D 3
for Overall Health
Many of us don’t get enough of this
essential vitamin. Our bodies make
vitamin D after being exposed to the
sun, but because we now live mostly
indoors (and slather on sunscreen when
we venture outside), even people in
Southern California and Arizona are
widely vitamin D 3
-deficient unless they
take a supplement. I generally recommend
5,000 IUs daily. It’s best to check your
serum levels a few times until you
understand which dose will bring them
into an optimal range. Inexpensive tests
are often offered at local health fairs.
Also take note that vitamin D 3
naturally. So start low with your melatonin
dose: 0.5 mg may be enough to allow
for deep sleep onset within 20 minutes
of laying your head on the pillow. I use
2.5 mg nightly. Too much can produce
weird dreams, but nothing worse. And
turn off your electronics an hour before
bed! This will help your sleep to be more
Omega-3 Fats Are Key
If you’re lucky enough to live near a
supply of wild, oily fish, they’re the
best way to get your essential omega-3
fatty acids. Otherwise, consider supplementing
with a high-quality fish oil
blend of EPA and DHA, sourced from
wild (not farmed) fatty fish, and ideally
cold-pressed (like good olive oil). The
best sources of fish oil come from the
SMASH fish: salmon, mackerel, anchovies,
sardines, and herring. Fish oil has
been proven to improve cardiovascular
disease, particularly in high-risk populations
such as African American men.
Supergreen Powders for
Healthy Blood Vessels
If you eat the rainbow of colorful fruits
and vegetables, you likely get enough
healing bioflavonoids in your diet. If, for
whatever reason, you don’t eat 5 cups of
vegetables and 1–2 cups of fresh fruit
daily, then consider supplementing with
a supergreen food powder or an antiinflammatory
Bioflavonoids are a major agent of repair,
specifically for the inner lining of blood
vessels. Healthy blood vessels don’t accumulate
plaque, which is a major cause of
high blood pressure and stroke.
and phosphatidylcholine. These are
very important nerve factors that help
balance the sympathetic (fight or flight)
and parasympathetic (feed and breed)
responses to our constantly stimulating
environment. A high-quality
B complex supplement can help
you get adequate amounts of these
key stress-busting nutrients.
Find a licensed
naturopathic doctor for
a virtual (telemedicine)
Vitamin A for Healthy Skin
The fat-soluble fraction of a major
bioflavonoid (beta-carotene) is vitamin
A, which is important for skin health.
And it also has significant antiviral
properties. If you suffer from acne or
easily irritable skin, try a course of
25,000 IUs of vitamin A (in a gel cap)
daily for 6 weeks to 6 months.
Vitamin E for Women Over 40
Women over 40 should consider
adding vitamin E to their health and
beauty regimen, because it’s a natural
attenuator of estrogen, which keeps
the skin elastic and bones strong.
Try 400–800 IUs daily unless you have
premenstrual breast tenderness, in
which case a higher dose of 1,600 IUs
may be helpful for a few years.
B Vitamins for Stress
B vitamins are often referred to
as “antistress,” and for good reason—
they are important nerve nutrients.
Red meat is a major dietary source of
B vitamins, in particular B 12
need to supplement with B 12
2,000 mcg daily, ideally in sublingual
form). Fermented foods are a good
source of B 12
, as is nutritional yeast—
but you probably won’t want to eat ¼
cup of nutritional yeast every day!
The numbered B vitamins are watersoluble
and are generally well absorbed
unless you have a chronic gut issue such
as celiac disease. Many folks with celiac or
IBD are B-deficient—ask a nutritionally
oriented doctor or naturopathic physician
to check your blood levels.
There is a category of fat-soluble
B vitamins as well: lecithin, inositol,
STRENGTHEN YOUR GUT.
When common ailments take a toll on your health, turn to
Syntol’s unique combination of probiotics, prebiotics and
enzymes to enhance your immune defenses. The lining of your
intestinal tract houses roughly 70% of your immune system.
That’s right—the key to stronger immunity lies in your gut.
Creates an intestinal barrier against pathogens*
Supports the production of antibodies*
Processes vitamins and minerals essential for
healthy immune function*
Nourishes the gut with immune boosting
probiotics and enzymes*
*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.
To keep your immune system strong and to learn more
about Syntol, visit www.syntol.org or call 800-490-1566
NATURAL BEAUTY *
Not all charcoal is created equal.
Made from coconut shells or bamboo,
activated charcoal is a fine, black
powder that is odorless and tasteless.
Quite different from ashes from burnt
wood or the charcoal in a barbecue grill,
charcoal becomes “activated” when
high temperatures combine with a gas
to expand its surface area, creating tiny
pores that trap toxins and chemicals.
Activated charcoal has been used for
centuries to speed healing from cuts
and insect bites, and as an antidote for
poisoning, which is probably one of its
better-known uses. The first recorded
22 • OCTOBER 2020
pure ingredients for skin & body
Detox Your Skin
Dirt, air pollution, and chemicals from synthetic skincare
products can clog your pores and dull your skin. But this dark,
gritty ingredient works like a magnet to pull toxins
and impurities to the surface so they can be washed away.
BY SHERRIE STRAUSFOGEL
use was in the 1500s
by Egyptians. It was
also used by Native
you’ll find activated
charcoal in face
washes, scrubs, masks,
moisturizers, soaps, and shampoos.
The antibacterial properties of
activated charcoal help reduce acne and
improve overall skin health. Depending
on your skin’s amount of oil, dryness,
or sensitivity, you can use exfoliating
products sparingly one to three times a
week. Do not use daily as they can soak
did you know ...
Activated charcoal works
best when it sits on the
skin for a full minute,
which gives it time to pull
out dirt and toxins.
up too much of your
skin’s natural oils.
And be sure to moisturize
masks or cleansers.
is also turning up in toothpaste and
dental floss because it has the ability to
bind to plaque and absorb microscopic
particles that stain teeth. It also changes
the pH balance in the mouth, helping
prevent cavities, bad breath, and gum
disease. (Don’t be alarmed when your
teeth turn black—it rinses away.)
Make your grin sparkle with
Dr. Tung’s Activated Charcoal Floss. Vegan
floss is coated with activated charcoal
from coconuts, antibacterial turmeric,
natural licorice aroma, natural lemongrass
oil, and vegetable wax to remove
plaque and food debris and leave
breath feeling fresh. It expands when
moist into interdental spaces, so it’s
gentler on gums and softer on fingers.
The thick floss is ideal for braces
and wide spaces, and is rolled in an
eco-friendly cardboard dispenser.
Cleanse and clear congested pores
with Reviva Labs Bamboo Charcoal Pore
Minimizing Cleansing Gel. This gentle
bamboo charcoal cleanser is infused
with soothing rosehip seed and borage
oils, calendula, burdock root, lavender,
geranium, and aloe to protect your
skin from dehydration and irritation.
Perk up dull, oily skin with Now
Solutions Charcoal Detox Moisturizer. White
charcoal powder from ubame oak bark
absorbs excess oil, dirt, and impurities,
while soothing aloe and superfruits goji
and açai berry help rejuvenate your
skin. This lightweight moisturizer will
leave your skin feeling soft and smooth.
Detox skin and refine pores with
Juice Beauty Bamboo Pore Refining Mask.
Activated bamboo charcoal made from
renewable and sustainable bamboo
plants, along with absorbent clay and
a blend of alpha and polyhydroxy acids,
unclogs pores and helps clear blemishes.
Leaves oily and blemish-prone
skin feeling softer and looking more
Purify your skin as you lather
with The Seaweed Bath Co. Purifying Detox
Facial Bar. This unscented soap cleans
with charcoal powder and exfoliating
volcanic ash, and moisturizes with
sustainably harvested bladderwrack
seaweed, shea butter, and green tea.
Bladderwrack seaweed is also a natural
detoxifier that promotes skin elasticity.
Use as a face and body cleanser, and
your skin will feel clean and clear.
OCTOBER 2020 • 23
24 • OCTOBER 2020
Is it a cold, flu, or Covid?
This fall and winter, many of us
will be wondering just that if we start
feeling sick, especially since many
of the symptoms associated with
these viruses overlap. What can
you do? Focus on supporting your
immune system with a daily immune
health regimen—here’s how to
create your plan.
BY LISA TURNER
All of the following
remedies can be taken
daily, all year long,
so pick the ones you
are most likely to take every
day. One other option: find
a combination formula that
includes some or all of these
It’s one of the best immune health
vitamins out there. It’s a safe, effective
antioxidant that’s been shown to prevent
and treat flu and other viral infections.
Studies suggest that taking vitamin C
frequently throughout the day, rather
than in one concentrated dose, results
in higher plasma levels. For maximum
effectiveness, choose ascorbic acid in
combination with bioflavonoids and
other associated micronutrients.
Higher doses of ascorbic acid can
cause stomach upset; buffered forms or
liposomal vitamin C prevent this, and
some research suggests that liposomal
vitamin C is also better absorbed
than traditional ascorbic acid. One
form, called Ester-C, uses a proprietary,
water-based process that
creates a pH-neutral product that’s
gentler on the stomach and has
Whole food-based vitamin
C supplements may also be
easier to absorb, as they rely
on body-ready fruits
and veggies that
in vitamin C.
OCTOBER 2020 • 25
A number of studies have found that
vitamin D boosts the body’s natural
defenses, and helps ward off viruses that
cause colds, flu, and respiratory illness.
Vitamin D supplements should be taken
daily during the winter, when sunshine
is at a minimum and levels of this
crucial substance can drop dramatically.
In addition to supporting overall
immunity, vitamin D supplements may
reduce risk of respiratory infections by
50 percent. Studies show a direct and
dramatic impact of vitamin D on respiratory
and lung health, including preventing
viral and bacterial respiratory infection,
asthma, and other conditions. The
recommended form is vitamin D3, or
cholecalciferol. Studies show that D3
converts to its active form faster than
CAN IV VITAMIN C
& VITAMIN D HELP
IV vitamin C is currently being studied in
China and Italy as an adjunct therapy for
Covid-19. However, there is not yet enough
scientific evidence to determine if it can help
reduce the severity of the novel coronavirus.
How might vitamin C work in Covid-19
patients? According to the Linus Pauling Institute,
one of the world’s foremost vitamin C research centers,
“Very high vitamin C levels may create free radicals
that destroy viruses and bacteria. Our body’s cells have
defenses against these free radicals, but viruses do not.
Another possibility is IV vitamin C renews the body’s
antioxidant protection. Serious infections can use up our
body’s vitamin C and other antioxidants very quickly.”
Keep in mind, IV vitamin C and vitamin C supplements
are not the same: You can’t get blood levels of vitamin C
as high with supplements as you can with IV vitamin C.
Vitamin D status may also play a role in the severity of Covid-19 symptoms.
According to a recent study using real-world data in The FEBS Journal,
low plasma levels of vitamin D appear to be an independent risk factor for
Covid-19 infection and hospitalization. “The main finding of our study was the
significant association of low plasma vitamin D level with the likelihood of
Covid-19 infection among patients who were tested for Covid-19, even after
adjustment for age, gender, socioeconomic status, and chronic mental and physical
disorders,” said Eugene Merzon, MD, one of the lead researchers.
26 • OCTOBER 2020
vitamin D 2
, and is significantly better at
raising blood levels of vitamin D.
Used for thousands of years in traditional
Chinese medicine, medicinal mushrooms
are rich in polysaccharides and betaglucans,
both of which help protect
against viruses and support overall
immune function. Mushrooms are also
high in L-ergothioneine and glutathione,
extremely powerful antioxidants that
protect against viruses and support
the immune system.
Reishi, shiitake, maitake, and turkey
tail mushrooms are the most widely
used medicinal varieties, but even
culinary mushrooms such as button
and porcini have the same type of
immunostimulatory compounds. Some
In one study,
took the probiotic
every day used less
than half the sick
leave of workers
studies also suggest that mushrooms
are even more potent when taken with
ashwagandha, an Ayurvedic herb that
also promotes immune function.
Another immune-enhancing fungus
related to the mushroom family is
Cordyceps sinensis, which has been used
for thousands of years in traditional
Chinese and Tibetan medicine. It’s a
bizarre fungus that grows on the bodies
of caterpillars (modern versions are grown
on grains, so they’re vegan). Cordyceps
has powerful immunomodulatory effects
and has been studied for its effects on
the flu virus. Studies show that cordyceps
has antiviral, anti-influenza properties,
and appears to work in part by increasing
the number of natural killer cells and
the expression of proteins that regulate
white blood cell activities.
Curcumin, the most active compound in
turmeric, is a powerful anti-inflammatory
and immune-supportive agent that
can modulate the activation of T cells, B
cells, macrophages, neutrophils, natural
killer cells, and other components of the
immune response. Because turmeric
naturally contains as little as 2 percent
curcumin, concentrated supplements
may better a better source than food.
Additionally, because the spice is
insoluble in water, curcumin is hard for
the body to absorb—undissolved particles
are too large to be absorbed through
the intestinal wall into the bloodstream,
so they’re excreted by the body. Most
curcumin supplements include piperine
Photos: (this page and previous spread) adobestock.com
6 SAFE, SIMPLE REMEDIES
Rub garlic on your
feet. The idea is
that the active
the skin and are
(Test it: if you
rub garlic on your
feet, you’ll taste it
in your mouth in
about 15 minutes.)
to do it: thinly
slice several garlic
cloves, layer on
the bottom of the
feet, wrap feet in
plastic wrap, and
cover with socks.
You can also just
mince 1–2 garlic
cloves, drop in a
small cup of water
and chug it—or
take garlic in capsule
show that a daily
severity of colds
Gargle with apple
an acidic coating
in the throat that
and bacteria. Mix
a tablespoon in
warm water and
several times a
day. Or mix equal
parts ACV and
raw honey in a
small jar, and
take 1 tablespoon
every hour (store
in the refrigerate
You can also
gargle with salt
water: the briny
sore throat, promotes
creates an environment
pathogens. Mix ½
teaspoon sea salt
in a cup of warm
water, gargle, and
spit it out. Don’t
overdo it; too much
salt will irritate
Clean your ears
virus enters the
body through the
ear canal, and
cleaning the ears
peroxide can halt
of the virus.
Pour 3 percent
solution in a
dropper bottle, tilt
you head to one
side, and place
several drops of
into the ear. Hold
your head in place
for about two minutes;
you’ll feel a
fizzing or bubbling
your head to the
other side and
repeat. You can do
this every couple
of hours, or until
there’s no more
bubbling or fizzing
when you add the
drops. If nothing
else, your ears will
be clean. (If you’ve
had a punctured
eardrum, or any
ear surgeries, skip
Wear wet socks.
This is a simple
form of hydrotherapy,
thought to clear
blocked nasal passages
activity by shocking
the body into
bed, soak your
feet in a tub of
hot water. At the
same time, soak a
pair of thin cotton
socks in a bowl of
ice water. Wring
them out well,
put them on your
feet, cover with a
heavy pair of wool
socks, and crawl
into bed. Your feet
will start warming
up quickly, and
be relieved within
about 30 minutes.
Drink ginger tea.
It’s thought to
and clear nasal
pepper, garlic, and
other spicy and
also help. For a
combine ¼ cup
sliced ginger root
with 3 cups water,
and add a clove of
garlic and as much
cayenne pepper as
you can bear. Simmer,
20 minutes, then
strain and sweeten
with raw honey.
You can also add
onions, green tea
bags, or apple
slices—all are rich
in quercetin, an
and acts as a natural
soup. The hot
vapors from soup
the airways and
also calms and
membranes in the
any kind of soup
also helps with
more liquid content,
Speaking of soup
... see our recipe
Soup with Thyme
on p. 28. It’s filled
OCTOBER 2020 • 27
increases bioavailability. Others may use
technology—like coating curcumin
molecules with substances that make them
water-soluble, or using very tiny particles—
to make curcumin more available.
One caution: Curcumin can bind
to iron and decrease its availability, so
people with low iron status or anemia
should check with their health care
providers before taking any turmeric
or curcumin product.
from black pepper, which significantly
Zinc is essential for immune cell
Slow-Cooker French Onion Soup with Thyme
Onions truly are a magical ingredient. They bring flavor to
every dish they grace, and they add health benefits such
as antihistamine and antioxidant actions. Thyme offers
an intense woodsy flavor to this warming soup as well as a
strong antiviral and antimicrobial action—perfect for when
cold symptoms hit. Recipe adapted from The Herbalist’s
Healing Kitchen by Devon Young. Used with permission.
4 lbs. yellow onions, sliced pole to pole (about 8–10 cups
4 Tbs. butter or olive oil, divided
2 Tbs. all-purpose flour (of your choice)
1 Tbs. Cognac, optional
1 cup dry white wine
8 cups bone broth (or beef or chicken broth)
3 Tbs. fresh thyme
4 cups 1-inch crusty bread cubes, for serving (gluten-free or grain-free works too)
1 cup shredded Gruyère cheese, for serving
1. Toss onions and 1 Tbs. butter in slow cooker. Set heat to low, and cover with lid.
Cook about 10 hours, stirring occasionally. (I do not recommend trying to speed
up this process by using high heat because it may lead to uneven caramelization.)
2. When onions are cooked, transfer to large stockpot over medium heat. Add flour and
1 Tbs. butter. Cook, stirring, 1–2 minutes to brown the flour.
3. Increase heat to medium-high. Add Cognac, if using, and white wine, and cook 3–4
minutes, until alcohol is mostly cooked off. Add bone broth and thyme, and bring to a
low boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, and cover pot.
4. Preheat oven to 400°F. Melt remaining 2 Tbs. butter, and toss with bread cubes. Place
bread on baking sheet, and toast in the oven 15–20 minutes, tossing occasionally to
ensure even browning. When golden and crispy, remove the bread from oven. Preheat
broiler and place rack close to the heating element.
5. Ladle soup into ovenproof bowls. Top with bread cubes and cheese. Place bowls under
the broiler until cheese is melted, bubbly, and slightly browned, 1–2 minutes. Serve
Per serving: 430 cal; 24g prot; 15g total fat (9g sat fat); 46g carb; 40mg chol; 480mg sod; 5g fiber; 15g sugar
28 • OCTOBER 2020
function, and even mild deficiencies
can suppress immune function. A review
of studies examining vitamins and minerals
for colds and flu treatment showed that
70 mg of zinc per day alleviated cough,
sore throat, and fever if taken with 24
hours of the onset of symptoms. Zinc
lozenges that also include elderberry
can ease and shorten the duration of
cold and flu symptoms. One warning:
because excessive zinc can depress the
immune system, the daily recommended
dose of 70 mg should not be exceeded.
These live cultures found in yogurt and
fermented foods are beneficial bacteria
that improve immune function in the
gut and fight off pathogens—significant,
because the gut represents about 70
percent of the immune system. Studies
show that probiotics work by preventing
pathogens from adhering to the intestinal
walls, enhancing the gut’s barrier function,
modulating inflammation, and stimulating
protective responses to pathogens. Other
research suggests that probiotics specifically
help prevent respiratory infections and
the common cold. In one study, workers
who took Lactobacillus reuteri (a specific
probiotic strain that stimulate white
blood cells) every day had less than half
the sick leave of workers who didn’t. In
another study, Lactobacillus acidophilus
or a combination of L. acidophilus NCFM
and Bifidobacterium animalis subsp
lactis B1-07 helped alleviate cold and flu
symptoms, including cough.
Consider adding the following supplements
to your daily regimen during
cold and flu season to protect against
pathogens. They work best when used
at the first sign of illness, and should
be kept on hand and taken immediately
when first feeling sick.
Studies show Korean ginseng boosts
immunity, protects against colds
and flu and shortens their duration,
and can help the flu vaccine work
better. Fermented forms tend
to be absorbed faster and more
consistently than non-fermented
forms. Another herb called Siberian
ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus)
isn’t actually related to true ginseng,
but has similar immune-boosting
Research shows that it can significantly
improve symptoms of upper
respiratory tract infections, and may
even prevent them from occurring.
In one study, andrographis was twice
as effective as a placebo at reducing
cough, nasal discharge, headache,
fever, sore throat, earache, fatigue,
sleep disturbances, and other symptoms
of respiratory tract infection.
Andrographis may also prevent
infection by the flu virus, and can
lessen the severity and duration of
the flu. Some studies used a specific
product called Kan Jang, a Scandinavian
cold remedy that combines
andrographis with Siberian ginseng.
Elderberry (Sambucus nigra), as a
standardized extract, has been shown
to fight bronchitis by rendering the
virus noninfectious, and may also
protect against the flu virus. Other
studies show a significant reduction
of cold duration and severity
after taking Sambucus extracts.
Elderberry can be taken daily
throughout the year.
Andrographis, also called “Indian
echinacea,” has been used in
traditional medicine for thousands of
years to protect against infection.
* Gradual onset, even over a few days
* Normal body temperature
* No chills
* Mild fatigue
* Chest congestion, cough,
* Stuffy, runny nose and sneezing
* Mild or no aches and pains
* Mild or no headache
* Gradually developing sore throat
* Normal appetite
* Sudden onset, often over
a few hours
* Fever over 100°F
* Shaking chills
* Extreme fatigue, exhaustion
* Coughing, may be dryer or less
* Usually mild or no stuffy nose
* Strong muscle aches and pains
* More severe headache
* May or may not include sore throat
* Loss of appetite
* Fever or chills
* Shortness of breath or
* Muscle or body aches
* New loss of taste or smell
* Congestion or runny nose
* Nausea or vomiting
Sources: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Harvard Health Letter; Mayo Clinic; Tufts Medical Center; Berkeley Wellness newsletter
30 • OCTOBER 2020
THE WIDEST VARIETY OF
IMMUNE SUPPORT SUPPLEMENTS
FOR YOU AND YOUR FAMILY
11 EASY WAYS
TO STAY CALM,
BY LISA TURNER
They say we’re all in this
together—but if current
social restrictions, financial
concerns, and isolation have
left you feeling stressed and depressed,
it sure can feel like you’re all alone.
And it’s not all in your head. Studies
show that social isolation and uncertainty
about the future breed anxiety and
depression, and financial fears are linked
with higher levels of anxiety and poor
mental health. And to make matters
worse, chronic stress significantly impacts
immune health, inflammation, and
susceptibility to infectious disease.
There’s not much you can do about
the state of the world, but you can take
steps to protect your mood. Here are some
of the best ways to feel better, right now.
32 • 0CTOBER 2020
0CTOBER 2020 • 33
1Step away from that double
espresso. Caffeine increases feelings
of stress and anxiety. Make your
morning latte with green tea instead—
it’s rich in L-theanine, a compound that
interacts with neurotransmitters in the
brain and helps relieve anxiety. In one
study, volunteers who took L-theanine
showed more alpha waves, a sign of
calm and relaxation. Other research
shows that L-theanine can improve
mood in people with major depressive
disorder and reduce anxiety better than
2Get off the couch. Exercise is
critical for reducing stress, improving
mood, and promoting healthy sleep.
Moving your body works in part
by lowering stress hormones and
temporarily boosting endorphins, brain
chemicals that promote better mood.
Over the long run, exercise appears to
encourage the brain to rewire itself in
a way that eases depression. Shoot for
three to five days a week. If possible,
exercise outside, and with a friend—
hikes and long walks are ideal.
3Don’t hold your breath. Stress
and anxiety decrease respiration—
not good for mood and mental health.
Deep, steady breathing helps lower
cortisol levels and can reduce stress and
anxiety. A simple online yoga or meditation
class can help, and both are linked
with improvements in anxiety and depression,
and an overall sense of well-being.
Nearly half of all
by some estimates
up to 80 percent—
don’t get enough
4Go back to school. This is the
perfect time to cultivate a new
skill. Studies show that novel activities
promote chemical changes in the brain,
increasing levels of dopamine—a brain
chemical that’s linked with pleasure and
enjoyment. Learning a skill or activity
can also create new neural pathways,
improve mood, and lessen depression.
Try an online class—language,
painting, cooking, music, or whatever
inspires your creative passion.
5Clean up your plate. What
you eat directly influences
neurotransmitters and inflammation,
and can impact stress, anxiety, and
depression. Go easy on the carbs and
saturated fat, and focus on whole foods
high in brain-healthy nutrients such as
tryptophan, vitamin B 12
, folate, omega-3s,
calcium, lycopene, and anthocyanins.
Excellent choices for supporting mood
include walnuts, soybeans, white beans,
yogurt, cheese, eggs, turkey, salmon, hemp
seeds, yogurt, collard greens, tomatoes,
pink grapefruit, avocado, broccoli, spinach,
beets, blackberries, and red cabbage.
6Tame the flame. New research
links depression with brain
inflammation, and studies consistently
show that people with major depressive
Photo: (this and previous spread) adobestock.com
34 • OCTOBER 2020
disorder have increased levels of
inflammatory biomarkers. Stress and
trauma also promote inflammation,
impacting mood by breaking down
tryptophan and disrupting serotonin.
One of the best ways to tame the flame is
curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric,
which has been shown in dozens of
studies to reduce inflammation, not
only in the brain but also in the gut,
a critical component of overall mood.
Curcumin also elevates serotonin and
dopamine, brain chemicals linked
with a sense of ease and well-being.
7Stabilize your sleep.
Insufficient or poor-quality
sleep is directly linked with
depression and anxiety. It
goes both ways: stress and
depression also make it
harder to fall asleep and
stay asleep. Rest easy
with a consistent
and avoid computers
and other electronics
at least two to four
hours before bed
(screens emit blue light
that disturbs melatonin
production and regular
sleep). Try to go to sleep and
wake up around the same time
every day, and don’t oversleep. Too
much sleep is linked with depression.
If you struggle with sleep, supplements
such as melatonin, valerian, lemon
balm, and lavender essential oil have
8Hug a tree. Being outside with
flowers and trees reduces stress and
improves mood. In one study, taking
a walk in nature reduced depression
scores in 71 percent of participants.
And you don’t have to break a sweat—
in the same study, the equivalent
amount of exercise indoors didn’t
impact mood. Plus, a regular dose of
sunshine enhances vitamin D production,
which can relieve stress, anxiety,
and depression. Vitamin D influences
related to brain function and mood,
and a number of studies have linked
low vitamin D with increased stress,
depression, and anxiety.
Vitamin D3 5,000 IU
Zhou Calm Now
9Make your belly better.
Gut and mood are intimately
linked through the gut-brain axis,
and gut microbiota communicate
with the central nervous system
(CNS) through a variety of pathways.
Beneficial microorganisms in the
gut produce serotonin and other
neuroactive substances, and research
links disturbances in the gut microbiome
with increased risk of depression. Other
studies show that a healthy microbiome
can protect against anxiety and other
mood disorders. Add fermented
foods such as yogurt, kefir, tempeh,
and kimchi to your diet, or take a
naturally improve the body’s
response to stress and help the
body’s own systems reach a
state of physical and mental
balance. Rhodiola rosea
appears to impact serotonin
and dopamine, and studies
suggest that it can significantly
reduce anxiety, stress, anger,
and depression. Ashwagandha
also helps regulate neurotransmitters,
and some research suggests
that it also has effects on anxiety similar
to those of benzodiazepines, a prescription
Eat chocolate. It’s rich
11in anandamide and PEA
(phenyl- ethylamine), compounds
that reduce stress and encourage a
sense of calm and happiness. It’s also
high in magnesium, critical in the
body’s production of the stress hormone
cortisol, low levels of which are linked
with feelings of anxiety. In one study,
people who ate 40 grams of chocolate
a day reported less stress. And choose
extra-dark chocolate. It’s higher in
beneficial compounds and lower in
sugar than milk chocolate. Other good
sources of magnesium include leafy
greens, pumpkin seeds, black beans,
cashews, and avocado.
0CTOBER 2020 • 35
YOU BY WITHOUT
BY JOYCE GOLDSTEIN
Even when Halloween and
Thanksgiving aren’t just
around the corner, there’s a world
of good reasons to cook with fresh pumpkin.
“Pumpkins are grown on every continent
except Antarctica,” explains DeeDee Stovel, author
of Pumpkin: A Super Food for All 12 Months of the Year.
“For people who only associate pumpkin with pie, it’s
a revelation to see all the ways you can use it.” Peeled
chunks are found in African stews, Indian curries,
Italian risottos, and Caribbean soups. Mexicans simmer
pumpkins with brown sugar for breakfast; Turks make
a soft pumpkin dessert. Brazilians stuff and bake whole
pumpkins, while Japanese cooks slice them into thin
strips to be
fried in tempura batter.
Here at home, pumpkin purée
provides a slightly sweet, colorful base
for quick breads, coffee cakes, and pie fillings.
One easy way to start cooking with fresh pumpkin is
to substitute peeled cubes for potatoes, yams, or carrots in
favorite recipes. Another is to steam, roast, or microwave
chunks of pumpkin, then purée the flesh, and serve the
way you would mashed potatoes. Also, try fresh pumpkin
purée in your favorite holiday recipes. You may never want
to go back to canned (although, we have to admit, it makes
baking a whole lot easier). Whichever method you choose,
the delicious benefits are ... dare we say it ... HUGE.
36 • OCTOBER 2020
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C A L L N O W F O R O U R S P E C I A L I N T R O D U C T O R Y O F F E R
Sugar-Free Pumpkin Coffee Cake
with Streusel Topping
This streusel-topped treat tastes so rich, no
one will guess it’s chock-full of good-for-you
ingredients such as oats, whole-grain pastry
flour, and, of course, pumpkin.
2 cups whole-grain gluten-free pastry flour
1½ cups rolled oats
1 Tbs. baking powder
1 Tbs. ground cinnamon
1½ tsp. ground ginger
½ tsp. ground nutmeg
½ tsp. salt
½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1½ cups monkfruit sweetener (or sweetener
of your choice)
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1¾ cups fresh or canned pumpkin purée
½ cup whole-grain gluten-free pastry flour
½ cup rolled oats
¼ cup natural sugar alternative (a monkfruit
and erythritol blend works well)
¼ cup natural brown sugar alternative (try
Lakanto Golden Monkfruit Sweetener)
4 Tbs. butter, melted
1. To make Coffee Cake: Preheat oven to
350°F. Coat 10-inch square pan with
2. Combine flour, oats, baking powder,
cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt in
bowl. Beat butter and sugar in separate
bowl until fluffy. Mix eggs and pumpkin
into butter mixture. Stir flour mixture into
pumpkin mixture. Spread in pan.
3. To make Streusel Topping: Mix all ingredients
together until crumbly. Spread on
coffee cake. Bake 1 hour, or until toothpick
inserted in center comes out
clean. Cool 10 minutes, then
slice into squares, and serve.
Per serving: 280 cal;
7g prot; 14g total fat
(8g sat. fat); 65g
carb; 75mg chol;
1 cup cooked:
* 49 calories
* 2 g protein
* 12 g carbs
* 0 g cholesterol
* 2 g sodium
* 3 g fiber
This Provençal dish is a favorite throughout
France, where large wedges of pumpkin are
sold at vegetable markets in the fall and winter.
If you don’t have fresh sage, substitute 1
Tbs. dried rubbed sage.
1 2½-lb. pumpkin, peeled, seeded and cubed
8 cloves garlic, peeled and minced (2½ Tbs.)
¹⁄ ³ cup chopped parsley
2 Tbs. chopped fresh sage
¼ cup olive oil
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
¼ cup breadcrumbs (of your choice)
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray 9x13-inch
baking dish or gratin dish with cooking
2. Toss pumpkin with garlic, parsley, sage,
and salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to
baking dish, and drizzle with olive oil.
* 3 g sugars
* 12,230 IU
* 12 mg
* 1 mg zinc
3. Bake 1 hour, or until pumpkin
begins to soften and brown
around the edges, stirring
occasionally. Toss with
cheese and breadcrumbs.
Bake 15 minutes more,
or until top is golden
Per serving: 170 cal; 5g prot;
11g total fat (2.5g sat. fat);
14g carb; 5mg chol; 167mg
sod; 1g fiber; 6g sugar
Moroccan Pumpkin and Lentils
This hearty North African stew will ward off
the first chill of fall with its colorful ingredients
and warm, spicy flavors.
2 Tbs. olive oil
1 large onion, diced (1½ cups)
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and sliced
1 14.5-oz. can diced tomatoes, or 4 tomatoes,
1 cup green lentils, rinsed
1 Tbs. paprika
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 2-lb. pumpkin, peeled, seeded, and cubed
½ cup tomato purée
¼ cup chopped cilantro, for garnish
1. Heat olive oil in large saucepan over
medium-high heat. Add onion and
jalapeño, and sauté 10 minutes, or until
onion is translucent and golden. Add tomatoes,
lentils, and spices, and cook 2–3
minutes more. Stir in pumpkin, tomato
purée, and 2½ cups water. Season with
salt and pepper.
2. Reduce heat to medium-low, and cook 40
minutes, or until pumpkin and lentils are
tender, stirring occasionally and adding
more water if needed. Season with salt
and pepper. Garnish with cilantro, and
Per serving: 161 cal; 9g prot; 4g total fat
(0.5g sat. fat); 25g carb; 0mg chol; 287mg sod;
9g fiber; 7g sugar
EATING 4 HEALTH *
You know iron is critical for building red
blood cells and many other physiological
functions. Here’s the good news: you
don’t have to eat liver (or even red meat)
to get this important mineral. But if
you follow a meat-free diet, there are a
few things you should know. First, iron
comes in two forms: heme iron, found
in meat, is the most readily available
to the body. The form found in plants,
called non-heme iron, is less efficiently
absorbed. To further complicate matters,
phytic acid, a compound found in
legumes, nuts, and grains—abundant
in plant-based diets—inhibits the
availability of iron and other minerals.
That doesn’t mean you can’t get enough
iron without eating meat. To enhance
your absorption of this important
mineral, soak beans, grains and legumes
before cooking to reduce their phytic
acid content (sprouting has a similar
effect). And include more foods rich in
vitamin C, such as broccoli, red peppers,
strawberries, and kiwi fruit, in your diet.
Studies show that vitamin C enhances
iron absorption and, in some cases, may
offset the effects of phytic acid. Here are
eight great iron-rich foods to try.
8 mg of iron in a
or about 44 percent of the daily value,
they’re four times higher in iron than
red meat, and have almost twice as
much iron as liver. And oysters contain
the readily available heme type of iron.
Recipe Tips: Steam oysters and serve
with garlic butter; broil oysters and
top with shallots and minced tarragon;
simmer oysters, celery, and onions in
milk or cream and top with parsley for
a simple oyster soup.
40 • OCTOBER 2020
foods & meals that heal
Eating for Iron
Not a fan of liver? Here are eight other sources of this key mineral.
BY LISA TURNER
2Dark chocolate, happily, is a great source of iron. A 3-ounce
serving (45–60 percent cacao) has 7 mg, or about 39 percent of the daily
value. Cacao nibs are similar in iron content, plus they’re sugar-free
and, like dark chocolate, high in antioxidants.
Recipe Tips: Dip strawberries in melted dark chocolate for an easy, elegant
dessert; purée cacao nibs, cherries, and coconut milk for an iron-rich breakfast
smoothie; make a mole with unsweetened dark chocolate, tomatoes,
peppers, onions, garlic, and spices.
3Spinach is rich in iron, with
6.5 mg (about 35 percent of
the daily value) per cup. Swiss
chard is another good source. One cup,
cooked, has about 4 mg of iron. And
both are high in vitamin C, which
enhances iron absorption.
Recipe Tips: Sauté chopped spinach
with red peppers and cooked black
lentils; brush whole Swiss chard
leaves with olive oil and grill until
tender; make an iron-rich salad with
shredded spinach, sliced strawberries,
and toasted walnuts.
4White beans are one of the
richest sources of plant-based iron,
with 8 mg, or about 44 percent
of the daily value, per cup. Black beans,
kidney beans, and chickpeas are also
excellent plant-based sources of iron,
with 4–5 mg per cup.
Recipe Tips: Purée white beans with
sautéed garlic, leeks, vegetable broth,
and nutritional yeast for a creamy,
iron-rich alfredo sauce; sauté chickpeas
in olive oil with minced red peppers,
red onions, and spinach; toss black
beans with broccoli florets, cooked
corn, and a cilantro-lime vinaigrette.
5Lentils, like white beans,
are loaded with iron. One cup
contains 6 mg, or about 34
percent of the daily value. Red, black,
and sprouted lentils have similar
amounts, and black lentils are also
high in polyphenol antioxidants.
Recipe Tips: Combine lentils with
cooked quinoa, red peppers, and minced
shallots; toss black lentils with cubed
sweet potatoes, scallions, and spinach;
sauté chickpeas with shredded Swiss
chard, garlic, harissa, and cumin.
roughly 4.5 mg
of iron, about
28 percent of the
daily value. Tofu
and edamame have
similar amounts. The
advantage of tempeh: the
fermentation process breaks down
phytic acid, improving iron absorption.
Recipe Tips: Simmer cubed tempeh
with onion and garlic in tomato sauce;
toss tempeh slices with olive oil and
garlic powder, grill until browned, and
serve with grilled chard; make a colorful
slaw with shredded red cabbage, carrots,
scallions, and edamame.
7Cooked tomatoes are
a great source of iron, and
they’re high in vitamin C.
The highest: canned puréed
tomatoes, with 4.5 mg per cup, or
about 28 percent of the daily value.
Crushed tomatoes and tomato
sauce are other good iron sources.
Recipe Tips: Simmer white beans,
broccoli, and leeks in tomato sauce;
make vegan chili with puréed
tomatoes, crumbled tempeh, kidney
beans, onions, and garlic; whip
up homemade salsa with canned
tomatoes, minced scallions,
jalapeño peppers, and cilantro.
Double Decker Tempeh Reuben
12 oz. tempeh
2 Tbs. olive oil
2 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. fine sea salt
1 tsp. smoked paprika
½ tsp. ground coriander
½ tsp. brown sugar
½ tsp. mustard powder
½ tsp. garlic powder
½ tsp. onion powder
½ cup vegan mayonnaise
1 Tbs. ketchup
1 tsp. bottled or fresh
1. Preheat oven to 375°. Lightly grease a baking sheet.
½ tsp. hot sauce
½ tsp. smoked paprika
¼ tsp. fine sea salt
6 slices Food For Life
7 Sprouted Grains
2. Rub tempeh with oil. In small bowl, stir together pepper, salt, paprika, coriander,
sugar, mustard, and garlic and onion powders. Rub spice blend all over tempeh,
and place on baking sheet. Bake until deep brown, about 30 minutes.
3. In medium bowl whisk together mayonnaise, ketchup, horseradish, hot sauce,
paprika, and salt. Set aside.
4. Cut tempeh into thin strips. Divide half of tempeh between 2 slices of bread.
Top with sauerkraut, drizzle with dressing, and top with 2 more bread slices. Divide
remaining tempeh between sandwiches, top with more sauerkraut and dressing,
and place remaining bread slices on top.
Per serving: 540 cal; 24g prot; 35g total fat (4g sat fat); 33g carb; 0mg chol; 1140mg sod;
5.5g fiber; 3g sugar
How Much Iron Do You Need?
Iron requirements vary widely across gender and life stage. Here’s how much
you need every day.
RECOMMENDED DIETARY ALLOWANCES (RDAS) FOR IRON*
Age Male Female Pregnancy Lactation
Birth to 6 months 0.27 mg 0.27 mg
7–12 months 11 mg 11 mg
1–3 years 7 mg 7 mg
4–8 years 10 mg 10 mg
9–13 years 8 mg 8 mg
14–18 years 11 mg 15 mg 27 mg 10 mg
19–50 years 8 mg 18 mg 27 mg 9 mg
51+ years 8 mg 8 mg
*Source: National Institutes of Health, Office of Dietary Supplements.
Photo: (bottom) adobestock.com
8Sardines are higher in iron
than salmon, tuna, or shrimp.
A three-ounce serving has 2 mg,
or about 11 percent of the daily value.
And like other animal products,
it contains the more readily available
heme type of iron.
Recipe Tips: Mix canned sardines
with mashed avocado and minced red
onion for a tuna-fish alternative; serve
sardines in tacos and top with salsa,
slaw, and crumbled cotija cheese; make
a twist on Salade Niçoise with spinach,
sardines, Kalamata olives, boiled eggs,
and cooked green beans.
Iron values taken from the USDA National Nutrient
Database for Standard Reference. Recipe courtesy of
OCTOBER 2020 • 41
ASK THE NUTRITIONIST *
QSeveral older women
I know either have had
breast cancer or have it
now. I’m only 18, but I’m
wondering if there is anything I can do
to protect my breasts now so I don’t
develop breast cancer in the future?
Kudos to you for thinking about
prevention early in life! There are
many things you can do to protect
the health of your breasts. Key strategies
focus on avoiding hormone
disruptive chemicals and potential
carcinogens (chemicals that cause
cancer) in the food you eat and
in the cleaning and personal
care products you use.
42 • OCTOBER 2020
answers to your food questions
Protect the Health
of Your Breasts
During Breast Cancer Awareness Month, learn the basics of
prevention by choosing organic food and using safe cleaning and
personal care products free of risky toxic chemicals.
BY MELISSA DIANE SMITH
What to Know about Breast
About one in every eight women will
develop breast cancer in her lifetime.
Contrary to popular belief, only 5–10
percent of breast cancer diagnoses are
associated with a family history of the
disease. Between 15 and 20 percent of
breast cancers are linked to lifestyle
factors, and more than 70 percent of
breast cancers are largely unexplained.
Research has focused on endocrine
disruptors—chemicals in our
environment that interfere with
hormone action, which in turn leads
to adverse physiological effects. The
picture that has emerged from the
research is that exposure to environmental
toxins during critical windows
of susceptibility (puberty, pregnancy,
lactation, and menopause) may
increase the likelihood of developing
a breast cancer.
One great resource is Protect
Our Breasts (protectourbreasts.org),
which features information on the
Silent Spring Institute’s 216 mammary
carcinogens and The Endocrine
Disruptors Exchange’s list of 870
potential endocrine disruptors. The
Protect Our Breasts website states:
“The newest science clearly shows
women are most vulnerable during
the years up and through the first
full-term pregnancy. It is NOT
women in their 50s. It is the
young women who think
nothing of a potential diagnosis
that need most to avoid toxins
in everyday products now and
throughout their pregnancy—
for their own health and for the
Cynthia Barstow, founder and
executive director of Protect Our
Breasts and author of The Eco Foods
Guide, says: “We were stunned
(by this information) … Our directive
was made crystal clear: translate
the science into messages that young
women can apply to themselves
now—immediately—to protect their
easts and prevent a diagnosis later
in life.” (If you’re an older woman or a
man, following the tips below can still
help protect health, but please also
share this information with younger
women in your life who may not be
thinking about the issue.)
Avoid Hormone-Disrupting and
It may come as a shock to learn how
prevalent unsafe chemicals are in our
lives. From years of increasing industrial
and agricultural chemical use, our
planet has become overburdened by
toxins in the air, soil, and grass—which
translates to the food we consume and
products we use. Though we cannot
avoid some of these noxious substances,
it’s important to take control and limit
our exposure where we can. Here are
five simple steps that everyone can take:
Choose USDA Organic food.
It’s an unappetizing but unavoidable
fact: many of our go-to fruits and
veggies are saturated with pesticide
residue. According to What’s on My Food?
(whatsonmyfood.org), a searchable
database presented by the Pesticide
Action Network, seasonal favorites
including cranberries, green beans,
potatoes, winter squash, and celery may
contain residues of between 13 and 64
potentially harmful pesticides. Some of
these pesticides are known or probable
carcinogens; some are suspected hormone
disruptors; some are neurotoxins; and
some are reproductive toxins.
You can avoid or dramatically limit
your exposure to these pesticides by
choosing USDA Certified Organic fruits
and vegetables. Also look for organic
turkey and other meats; organic flour,
sweeteners, and dessert ingredients;
and organic candy for Halloween.
Store leftovers in glass containers,
not plastic containers or plastic wrap.
Chemicals from those sealable plastic
containers can leach into your food.
Common offenders include #3 polyvinyl
chloride (PVC); #6 polystyrene; and #7
other/polycarbonate (usually labeled by
a small number surrounded by a triangle
on the container). Plastic wrap is most
often made out of #3 PVC plastic, which
is created with the addition of plasticizers,
such as phthalates, that are well-known
endocrine disruptors. Avoid these options,
and store food in glass containers instead.
Use safe cleaners when cleaning
It may seem counterintuitive, but cleaning
your house can actually be bad for
your health—if you’re using potentially
toxic conventional cleaning products.
Many chemicals in common cleaning
products can increase a woman’s risk of
breast cancer. Even household cleaning
products claiming to be “Green” or
“All-Natural” may still contain harmful
carcinogens and endocrine disruptors.
To make sure you’re maintaining a
healthy home, check out the Environmental
Working Group’s (EWG) Guide
to Healthy Cleaning. Non-harmful
multi-purpose cleaners that get an
A rating include Dr. Bronner’s
Pure-Castile Soap; Earth Friendly Products
ECOS All–Purpose Cleaner; Planet
All-Purpose Spray Cleaner; and Seventh
Generation Disinfecting Multi-Surface
Cleaner. You can also make your own
healthy cleaning products by using
everyday ingredients such as white
vinegar and baking soda.
Use makeup and personal care products
without harmful ingredients.
Thousands of chemicals, including
hormone disruptors and carcinogens,
lurk in personal care products such as
lipstick, toothpaste, shampoo, and lotion.
EWG developed its Skin Deep database
of cosmetics and Healthy Living app to
help people avoid these unsafe products.
Clean personal care products that
either are EWG Verified (which meet
EWG’s strict criteria for transparency
and health) or have a high rating of
1 on their list include Mineral Fusion
lipstick, lip gloss, and foundation;
Tom’s of Maine Antiplaque & Whitening
Toothpaste, Peppermint; Tom’s of
Maine Fresh Mint Toothpaste; Redmond
Earthpaste; Avalon Organics Shampoo;
and Everyone 3 in 1 Lotion, unscented
as well as most scented varieties.
Avoid synthetic fragrances.
Beware of any product that lists
the word “fragrance” in its ingredients.
The ugly truth is that most fragrances
are a cocktail of chemicals, and federal
law doesn’t require companies to list
any of the chemicals separately on
product labels. Research from EWG and
the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics found
an average of 14 chemicals in 17 namebrand
fragrance products, and none of
them was listed on the label. Phthalates,
parabens, and artificial musks in particular
are potential endocrine disruptors
that have been linked to breast cancer.
Choose unscented personal care and
cleaning products, or scented products
with essential oils or citrus ingredients
for a pleasant aroma. For a perfume
alternative, use pure essential oils.
For more information about
harmful chemicals in our food,
cleaning, and personal care
products, visit these websites:
What’s on My Food?
(whatsonmyfood.org), a searchable
database of common foods and
the pesticide residues found on
them, presented by the Pesticide
Environmental Working Group’s
(EWG) Guide to Healthy Cleaning
searchable database of cleaning
Environmental Working Group’s
Skin Deep Guide to Cosmetics
(ewg.org/skindeep) and Healthy
Living app, a database that rates
70,000 personal care products
OCTOBER 2020 • 43
HEALTHY DISH *
What’s a picnic without comfort food like
potato salad? Our sweet-tart German
version replaces the heavy canned mayo
of classic potato salad with a tangy shot
of apple cider vinegar. As I wrote in The
150 Healthiest Foods On Earth, apple cider
vinegar has a long tradition of being used
as an all-purpose medicinal food. If you
44 • OCTOBER 2020
recipe makeovers full of modern flavor
Perfect Potato Salad
Celebrate Oktoberfest in healthy style with this slimmed-down
version of a German classic.
BY JONNY BOWDEN, PHD, CNS, AND JEANNETTE BESSINGER, CHHC
use the organic, less processed version,
you’ll be getting a hefty dose of the antioxidants
and vitamins found in apples,
and the vinegar will help regulate your
blood sugar and “alkalize” your system
(trust us, that’s a good thing).
Many of the nutrients found in
potatoes are concentrated in the skin,
so you’ll get some fiber, iron, vitamin
C, B 6
, potassium, manganese, and
copper, as well as many beneficial
antioxidants. The turkey bacon and
eggs add a double dose of protein,
which helps balance out the carbs
in this filling and satisfying side.
Lighter German Potato Salad
1¼ lbs. small baby Yukon Gold
potatoes, unpeeled and diced
into bite-sized pieces
4 slices turkey bacon (nitrate-free)
¹⁄ ³ cup diced Vidalia onion
1 Tbs. sugar
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. fresh ground pepper
½ cup plus 1 Tbs. low-sodium
vegetable broth (or water)
¼ cup raw apple cider vinegar
1 tsp. kudzu (or cornstarch)
1 tsp. mustard seeds
3 hard boiled eggs, peeled and
¹⁄ ³ cup sliced green onions, optional
1. In large saucepan, add potatoes and
enough water to generously cover.
Bring to a boil over high heat, then
lower heat, partially cover, and simmer
10–15 minutes until potatoes
are fork-tender. Drain well.
2. While potatoes are cooking, in a
large sauté pan or Dutch oven,
cook turkey bacon over medium
heat until crisp. Remove bacon
and set on paper towels to drain.
3. Add onion to hot pan and cook in
oils left by the bacon, 4–5 minutes
until softened, but not browned.
Stir in sugar, salt, pepper, ½ cup
broth, and vinegar until well combined.
Increase heat to medium
high and simmer about 3 minutes.
4. While vinegar mixture is simmering,
in a small cup stir kudzu
into 1 Tbs. broth until dissolved.
Pour kudzu mixture into vinegar
mixture and simmer 1 minute or
until slightly thickened. Reduce
heat to medium low and crumble
bacon strips into mixture. Fold in
potatoes and heat 2–3 minutes
until warm throughout.
5. Gently fold in mustard seeds, eggs,
and green onions, if using. Adjust
seasonings if necessary and serve
Per serving: 220 cal; 10g prot; 7g total fat
(2g sat fat); 29g carb; 155mg chol; 550mg
sod; 4g fiber; 6g sugar
I included apple cider vinegar in my book,
The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth because
it’s a virtual infusion of healthy minerals, vitamins,
and amino acids. In fact, unpasteurized vinegar
can contain as many as 50 different nutrients,
including those that come from the original
“starting” material (in this case, apples).
Apple cider vinegar is cheap and easy to use,
and it benefits our health in numerous ways.
Hippocrates, the father of medicine, thought of
it as a powerful elixir and a naturally occurring
antibiotic and antiseptic that fights germs. Ancient
Egyptians, Romans, and Greeks used it. And apple cider vinegar is mentioned
in the Bible as an antiseptic and healing agent. Even Columbus had barrels of
vinegar on his ships for the prevention of scurvy. Indeed, apple cider vinegar
has been used for thousands of years, as both a health and a cleansing agent.
But note well the term “unpasteurized.” Remember that pasteurization is
basically a process that subjects foods to tremendous amounts of heat. That has
the “benefit” of destroying microorganisms, but it’s a dubious benefit when it also
destroys the heat-sensitive vitamins and enzymes that made it a good food to begin
with. To get the health benefits of vinegar, look for “unpasteurized,” “unfiltered,”
“traditionally brewed,” “traditionally fermented,” or “aged in wood” on the label.
VINEGAR AND DIABETES
In a study published in Diabetes Care, apple cider vinegar significantly improved
insulin sensitivity in insulin-resistant subjects. (The vinegar also improved insulin
sensitivity somewhat in diabetics, but the results
Notes from the
Clean Food Coach:
To save time, you can cook
the potatoes and bacon ahead,
make a simple dressing, and toss
them together lightly with the
prepared egg and green onion.
Warm everything gently in a large
sauté pan just before serving.
To make the dressing, whisk
together 1 Tbs. olive oil, 2 tsp.
apple cider vinegar, 1 tsp. country
Dijon mustard, ½ tsp. sugar, and
½ tsp. salt.
didn’t quite reach statistical significance.)
The authors stated that “vinegar may
possess physiological effects similar to …
metformin,” a drug typically given to
diabetics and prediabetics to increase
insulin sensitivity, and noted that “further
investigations to examine the efficacy
of vinegar as an antidiabetic therapy
Since insulin resistance is a feature
of metabolic syndrome and often precedes
diabetes, anything that makes the cells
more sensitive to insulin and helps
control blood sugar is worth checking out.
Nutritionist and researcher Jeff Volek, PhD,
RD, suggests a salad with vinegar at the
beginning of every meal for its potential
help with managing blood sugar.
OCTOBER 2020 • 45
RECIPE 4 HEALTH *
Added sugar is everywhere—in yogurts make it!
and bottle dressings, boxed mac and
cheese and pre-sliced bread, and even in
organic packaged granola. The health implications
of sugar are vast, from cardiovascular
disease to type 2 diabetes. With
all this sugar lurking, how can you avoid
it and still make quick, flavorful, meals
your kids will love? Enter Half the Sugar, QUICK TIP
All the Love by award-winning cookbook You can substitute
author Jennifer Tyler Lee and Associate
Professor of Pediatrics at Stanford canned sweet
Anisha Patel, MD, MSPH. Topics covered
for the fresh
include debunking sugar myths, how to
avoid hidden sugars, and how to cook
and bake low-sugar, kid-friendly recipes
(such as No-Bake Peanut Butter Energy
Bars, BBQ Chicken Pizza, and Three-
Ingredient Strawberry Jam). Here’s one
of the authors’ favorites from the cookbook—Double
46 • OCTOBER 2020
eating clean made easy
Half the Sugar, All the Fun
These rich, fudgy brownies really hit the mark—you’ll never
even notice the “missing” sugar.
Double Chocolate Brownies
Makes 24 brownies
Sweet potatoes surprisingly give these
brownies a natural sweetness, while almond
butter adds a creamy, rich texture—plus
they’re studded with chocolate chips. They
don’t need flour, so
they’re great for
½ lb. sweet potatoes,
and boiled until
½ cup unsweetened
½ cup coconut oil or unsalted butter
(1 stick), melted
1 large egg plus 1 large egg yolk
¼ cup maple syrup
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
¾ cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. baking soda
1 cup plus 2 Tbs. semisweet chocolate
chips (6 ¾ oz.)
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 13×9-inch
baking dish with parchment paper, leaving
2 inches of overhang on each side. Coat
with nonstick cooking spray.
2. Combine sweet potatoes, almond butter,
coconut oil, egg, and egg yolk in food
processor. Process until very smooth,
making sure no chunks of sweet potato
remain, about 1 minute.
3. Scrape down sides of bowl and add maple
syrup and vanilla. Process until combined,
about 30 seconds.
4. Add cocoa powder, salt, and baking soda,
and process until dry ingredients are
incorporated, about 1 minute more. Fold
in 1 cup chocolate chips.
5. Pour batter into prepared pan, spread
it into even layer, and sprinkle with
remaining chocolate chips. Bake 27–30
minutes, until top is set and toothpick
inserted into center comes out with a few
moist crumbs. Let brownies cool slightly.
Cut into 24 bars.
Per serving: 140 cal;
2g prot; 11g total fat
(6g sat fat); 12g carb;
15mg chol; 95mg sod;
2g fiber; 7g sugar
Recipe excerpted from
Half the Sugar, All the
Love by Jennifer Tyler
Lee and Anisha Patel,
MD, MSPH, Workman
Photo: Erin Scott
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COOK WITH SUPPLEMENTS *
easy ways to boost your nutrition
Harness the power of medicinal mushrooms with this
delicious breakfast (or anytime) drink.
Chaga, cordyceps, lion’s mane, and
maitake mushrooms have been valued
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Spiced Chai Latte with
This coffee house-style drink gets an extra
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It’s a perfectly nutritious (and delicious!)
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large batch of the chai spice mix ahead of
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a latte whenever you want.
CHAI SPICE MIX:
3 tsp. ground ginger
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. cardamom
1 tsp. allspice
1 tsp. ground cloves
¼ tsp. ground black
8 oz. plant-based milk
of your choice
1 Tbs. Original
Laird Superfood Original
Superfood Creamer with
1. Mix chai spice ingredients together in
2. In small pot over medium heat, heat milk
to not-quite boiling. Stir in creamer and 1
tsp. chai spice mix.
3. Store remaining chai spice mix in sealed
jar for future lattes.
Per serving: 120 cal; 3g prot; 7g total fat (2g sat fat);
17g carb; 0mg chol; 200mg sod; 5g fiber; 3g sugar
Recipe courtesy Laird Superfood
Photo courtesy Inlight Photography
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