Better Nutrition October 2020



OCTOBER 2020 *









How to Keep




During a









Our Oktoberfestinspired


Potato Salad gets a

tangy health kick from

Apple Cider


p. 44






Garden of Life ® kids



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.



October 2020 / Vol. 82 / No. 10






Our favorite

fall superfruit

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

your balance.

Pumpkin Love

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.


The Seed of the Universe

Move over, quinoa. There’s a “new”

gluten-free ancient grain in town.


The Road to Stroke Recovery

Diet, exercise, and lifestyle tips from

Amytis Towfighi, MD.


All the Rage

Natural products we’re excited about.


Vitamin C for the Heart, Brain,

and Pain Relief

This basic nutrient does a lot more

than just boost immunity.


Do I Really Need to Take


The answer is probably yes.


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.


Protect the Health of Your Breasts

How toxins influence breast cancer.


Perfect Potato Salad

A lighter take on Oktoberfest.


Half the Sugar, All the Fun

Brownies so good, you’ll never miss

the sweet stuff.


Morning Mushrooms

A delicious breakfast latte powered

by our favorite fungi.

Click On




For links to studies

cited in our articles

and other helpful

sites and books, visit

Free eBOOK!

The Healthy

Brain Guide

Discover new ways

to maximize your

focus, mental

clarity, memory, and

more—no matter

your age. Also, learn

about a specific

nutrient that works

in a unique way to

nourish the brain.










+ Memory-Boosting

Supplements, Foods,

& Recipes

Download your

free copy now at



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.



Receive timely

articles, recipes,

eBooks, and exclusive

giveaways in

your inbox weekly

with our newsletter

Healthy Buzz.

Photo: (cover and this page)

2 • OCTOBER 2020



CV Acute Clinically Researched Wide Spectrum

Proprietary Immune Formula

“People often ask me: ‘How can I keep my immune system strong?’ That’s why

we introduced CV Acute, a clinically supported herbal immune formula.”

Michael D. Lewis, MD, MPH (855) 758-7223

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.


4 •


My Everyday


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,

and immunity.

• Turmeric—for inflammation, liver

and immune health, healthy skin, and

hormone balance.

• 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.












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.

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.

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.

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.

Neil Zevnik is a private chef specializing

in healthy cuisine, with clients who have

included Jennifer Garner, Charlize Theron,

and the CEO of Disney.


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


Integrated Media Sales

Director, West Coast

Integrated Media Sales

Director, East Coast & Midwest

Director of Retail Sales

Senior Brand Marketing


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, Joyce Goldstein,

Emily A. Kane, ND, LAc, Chris Mann,

Melissa Diane Smith, Lisa Turner,

Neil Zevnik

Kim Hoff

Joy Kelley

Idania Mentana

512 Main Street, Suite 1

El Segundo, CA 90245


Rob Lutz


Anne Hassett


Mason Wells


Joshua Kelly

800-443-4974, ext. 702

For cover imprint changes, email

or call 702-587-8583

Kristen Zohn


Judith Nesnadny

Linda Koerner


Chief Executive Officer Robin Thurston

Chief Operating Officer & President Danielle Quatrochi

Senior Vice President of Sales & Business Development Tommy OHare

VP of Finance Greg Abrahamson

Manager of Operations & HR Ilana Coenen





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

opinions expressed by the columnists and contributors to BETTER NUTRITION are not necessarily

those of the editor or publisher. Fraudulent or objectionable advertising is not knowingly accepted.

Advertisers and advertising agencies assume liability for all content of advertising and for any

claims arising therefrom. Articles appearing in BETTER NUTRITION may not be reproduced in whole

or in part without the express permission of the publisher. BETTER NUTRITION does not endorse

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.



the surprising



immunity &



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

of Covid-19.

“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

systemic inflammation.

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


Mushroom Mycelium Syrup


Delicious Syrup for Daily Immune Support*

Introducing a brand new delivery method

from Host Defense ® ! Crafted with two

forms of Elderberry fruit (juice and

extract), plus Chaga, Reishi, and Turkey

Tail mushroom mycelium, our Elderberry

Plus syrup is perfect for daily immune

support and respiratory health.*


Find Your Mushroom

at your local health food

store and online at

* 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.





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.



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.


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

of them.

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

and antioxidants.

It’s also high in two

key amino acids—

methionine and

cysteine, which

did you know ...

“Yolélé” basically means

“Let’s Party!” in Fulani, a

local language in Senegal

“Sharing culture

through food

has always been

my driving passion,

and Yolélé

was created in

that spirit,” says

restaurateur and

cookbook author

Pierre Thiam.

Photo: Sara Costa

10 • OCTOBER 2020

Gentle Enough

for the Planet,

Powerful Enough

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.


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.

Outward Bound

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

always will be reef safe, mineral based,

& free of harmful chemicals.

Learn more at


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.


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

Know …

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

cholesterol abnormalities.

BN: What are some essential

lifestyle tips that can help keep

us stroke-free?

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

a day

* Three or more servings of seafood

or fish—especially fatty fish—

per week

* Three or more servings of legumes

a week

* Four tablespoons of olive oil a day

* Three or more servings of tree nuts

a week

* Two servings of sofrito a week

* Emphasizing white meat over

red meat

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)

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

betternutritionfreebie@ Put “Strokes”

in the subject line.

Cooking for Stroke Prevention



Serves 4

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;

avoid browning.

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

is achieved.

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 &

Cucumber Salad

Serves 4

This is one of the

easiest appetizers you

can make! Be sure to buy

regular full-fat Greek yogurt and not the

sweetened variety.

2 cups whole-fat Greek yogurt

4 Persian cucumbers (or 1 English

cucumber), diced

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

Towfighi, MD.

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

stroke risk?

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


Pop Goes

Collagen Booster

the Falafel

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.

Keto Cookie


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.

Perfect Pairing

Two of the best


supplements come

together in Nature’s Answer

Standardized Sambucus +

Probiotic. This unique

combination of pure

black elderberry extract

and immune-specific

probiotic cultures

works to support

a healthy immune

system. It’s made with

10 billion CFUs and

contains 6,400 mg

of black elderberry.

Tension & Pain

Relief in Sight

Pulled a muscle?

Sprained your

ankle? Dealing with

inflammation and

pain from arthritis

or other causes? Try

Trace Minerals Research

TMskincare CBD and

Magnesium Cream. This

soothing cream has

600 mg of full-spectrum

CBD and 10% magnesium

chloride, which

is absorbed through

the skin to help relax

tight muscles and ease

tension and stress.


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!


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

Reduces Pain

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

treatment-related pain.

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.

Dr. Mercola


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OCTOBER 2020 • 17


answers to your health questions

Do I Really Need to

Take Supplements?

Even if you eat a perfect organic, whole-foods

diet, the answer is probably yes.


QA lot of regular


doctors seem

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 important.

So, what are some strategies for

staying healthy? A targeted regimen

of dietary supplements tops the list.

That’s mostly because our food—even

when organic—doesn’t

have the vitamin and

mineral content as it did

before our air, water, and

soil became saturated

with man-made

chemicals. Our

planet is beleaguered

with the stuff—and so are our

guts and immune systems!

Vitamin C for Tissue Repair &

Much More

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!


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

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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

profoundly restorative.

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

turmeric-based blend.

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)

or in-person

consultation at


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

. Vegans

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,




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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

With Charcoal

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.


use was in the 1500s

by Egyptians. It was

also used by Native

Americans. Today,

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

when using

activated charcoal

masks or cleansers.

Activated charcoal

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.


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


Vitamin C

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

improved bioavailability.

Whole food-based vitamin

C supplements may also be

easier to absorb, as they rely

on body-ready fruits

and veggies that

are rich

in vitamin C.

OCTOBER 2020 • 25

Vitamin D

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





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.

Medicinal Mushrooms

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,

workers who

took the probiotic

bacteria Lactobacillus


every day used less

than half the sick

leave of workers

who didn’t.

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)




Rub garlic on your

feet. The idea is

that the active

compounds in

garlic penetrate

the skin and are

absorbed into

the bloodstream.

(Test it: if you

rub garlic on your

feet, you’ll taste it

in your mouth in

about 15 minutes.)

Here’s how

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

eat garlic—finely

mince 1–2 garlic

cloves, drop in a

small cup of water

and chug it—or

take garlic in capsule

form. Studies

show that a daily

garlic supplement

significantly reduces

incidence and

severity of colds

and flu.

Gargle with apple

cider vinegar.

Raw, unpasteurized

apple cider

vinegar (ACV)

contains probiotics

and creates

an acidic coating

in the throat that

deters viruses

and bacteria. Mix

a tablespoon in

warm water and

gargle; repeat

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

between doses).

You can also

gargle with salt

water: the briny

solution soothes

sore throat, promotes

healing of

irritated mucous

membranes, and

creates an environment


inhospitable to

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

the throat.

Clean your ears

with hydrogen

peroxide. Some

people hypothesize

the cold

virus enters the

body through the

ear canal, and

cleaning the ears

with hydrogen

peroxide can halt


of the virus.

Pour 3 percent

hydrogen peroxide

solution in a

dropper bottle, tilt

you head to one

side, and place

several drops of

hydrogen peroxide

into the ear. Hold

your head in place

for about two minutes;

you’ll feel a

fizzing or bubbling

sensation. Tilt

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

this option.)

Wear wet socks.

This is a simple

form of hydrotherapy,

which is

thought to clear

blocked nasal passages

and increase

immune system

activity by shocking

the body into

quickly increasing

circulation. Before

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

congestion should

be relieved within

about 30 minutes.

Drink ginger tea.

It’s thought to

decrease inflammation,


mucus secretions,

and clear nasal

passages. Cayenne

pepper, garlic, and

other spicy and

pungent foods

also help. For a

decongestant tea,

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,

covered, for

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

antioxidant that

reduces inflammation,


immune response,

and acts as a natural


Eat chicken

soup. The hot

vapors from soup

increase the

temperature of

the airways and

promote secretions.

Warm broth

also calms and

soothes inflamed

membranes in the

throat. Drinking

any kind of soup

also helps with


more liquid content,

the better.

[Editor’s note:

Speaking of soup

... see our recipe

for Slow-Cooker

French Onion

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

Serves 6

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.

Herbal Upgrades

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

antiviral activities.

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.

Arthur Andrew


Syntol AMD



Dr. Ohhira’s


Gaia Herbs



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* Gradual onset, even over a few days

* Normal body temperature

* No chills

* Mild fatigue

* Chest congestion, cough,

and hacking

* 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

or sneezing

* Strong muscle aches and pains

* More severe headache

* May or may not include sore throat

* Loss of appetite


* Fever or chills

* Cough

* Shortness of breath or

difficulty breathing

* Fatigue

* Muscle or body aches

* Headache

* New loss of taste or smell

* Diarrhea

* 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












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

prescription medications.

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


magnesium from

their diets.

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)

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

before-bed routine,

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

proven benefits.

Life Extension

Curcumin Elite

Natural Factors

Extra Strength

Tranquil Sleep

Nature’s Way

Fortify Daily

Probiotic Mood

& Stress

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.

Nordic Naturals

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

high-quality probiotic.

Adapt, naturally.

10Adaptogenic herbs

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

anti-anxiety drug.

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










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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Sugar-Free Pumpkin Coffee Cake

with Streusel Topping

Serves 12

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

cooking spray.

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;

340mg sod;

11g fiber;

1g sugar

38 •



1 cup cooked:

* 49 calories

* 2 g protein

* 12 g carbs

* 0 g cholesterol

* 2 g sodium

* 3 g fiber



Pumpkin-Parmesan Gratin

Serves 6

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

vitamin A

* 12 mg

vitamin C

* 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

Serves 8

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

serve hot.

Per serving: 161 cal; 9g prot; 4g total fat

(0.5g sat. fat); 25g carb; 0mg chol; 287mg sod;

9g fiber; 7g sugar



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.


Oysters. With

8 mg of iron in a

3-ounce serving,

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.


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.



A halfcup



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.

make it!

Double Decker Tempeh Reuben

Serves 4

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

grated horseradish

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

Bread, toasted

Sauerkraut, drained

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.


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)

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


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.


What to Know about Breast

Cancer Susceptibility

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 (,

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

next generation.”

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

Carcinogenic Chemicals

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?

(, 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

your home.

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.

Click It

For more information about

harmful chemicals in our food,

cleaning, and personal care

products, visit these websites:

What’s on My Food?

(, a searchable

database of common foods and

the pesticide residues found on

them, presented by the Pesticide

Action Network.

Environmental Working Group’s

(EWG) Guide to Healthy Cleaning

(, a

searchable database of cleaning


Environmental Working Group’s

Skin Deep Guide to Cosmetics

( and Healthy

Living app, a database that rates

70,000 personal care products

for safety.

OCTOBER 2020 • 43


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.


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.

—Dr. Jonny



make it!

Lighter German Potato Salad

Serves 4

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


Apple Cider


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.


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

are warranted.”

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


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

1 cup

author Jennifer Tyler Lee and Associate

Professor of Pediatrics at Stanford canned sweet

potato purée

Anisha Patel, MD, MSPH. Topics covered

for the fresh

include debunking sugar myths, how to

sweet potato.

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

Chocolate Brownies.

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

gluten-free families.

½ lb. sweet potatoes,

peeled, cubed,

and boiled until


½ cup unsweetened

almond butter

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

Publishing ©2019.

Photo: Erin Scott





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easy ways to boost your nutrition

Morning Mushrooms

Harness the power of medicinal mushrooms with this

delicious breakfast (or anytime) drink.

Chaga, cordyceps, lion’s mane, and

maitake mushrooms have been valued

for their healing and immune-boosting

properties in Eastern medicine for

centuries. This epic combination will

add a delightful spark of energy and

vibrancy to your day.

make it!

Spiced Chai Latte with

Functional Mushrooms

Serves 1

This coffee house-style drink gets an extra

energy kick from medicinal mushrooms.

It’s a perfectly nutritious (and delicious!)

way to fuel your mornings. You can make a

large batch of the chai spice mix ahead of

time so that you’re ready to quickly prepare

a latte whenever you want.


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


Creamer with

Functional Mushrooms

Laird Superfood Original

Superfood Creamer with

Functional Mushrooms

1. Mix chai spice ingredients together in

small bowl.

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

48 •


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