New doTERRA Products – Convention 2014

At the 2014 doTERRA Convention, ten new products were announced! You can read more about each of the products below by clicking on the product image.

Veráge™ Skin Care Collection

verage skin care collectionVeráge is an exclusive system of natural skin care products that nourish and hydrate skin and reduce the visible signs of aging. The advanced plant technology used in Veráge promotes an optimal lipid balance—the same balance found in healthy, youthful-looking skin. Each product is composed of true gifts from the Earth: nourishing plant extracts, pure and potent CPTG® essential oils, and select natural ingredients. The dōTERRA Veráge Skin Care Collection delivers results you can see and feel, naturally.

Harnessing powerful plant extracts, emollients, and CPTG essential oils, Veráge provides your skin with everything it needs. Using the same stringent standards found in our CPTG essential oils, the ingredients used in Veráge are of the highest quality and purity. Each product in the Veráge system contains plant extracts that have been extensively researched and shown to promote youthful-looking skin. Veráge has been scientifically formulated to provide a natural and efficacious system that brings skin back to life. Using Veráge daily will promote a smooth, resilient, glowing complexion.

 

HD Clear™ Facial Kit

HD Clear Facial KitAlthough signs of problem skin may begin in the early teens, it affects individuals of all ages, both physically and emotionally. Many individuals experience skin issues for years, trying numerous products, harsh chemicals, and abrasive treatments to obtain clear skin. dōTERRA has created a better way to address problem skin issues at their core—naturally and effectively.
Introducing HD Clear, an advanced line of natural products that combine the power of CPTG® essential oils and plant extracts to produce the results you want and expect—clear, smooth skin.

HD Clear is a three-step system that works synergistically, with each product building on the next to thoroughly cleanse and purify the skin, control overactive oil glands, and deliver optimal hydration for a balanced moisture level. Derived from pure plant extracts, the ingredients in HD Clear are gentle and calming to the skin, but powerfully effective. Using HD Clear every day
will help reduce breakouts; promote a clear, healthy complexion; and soothe the irritation of distressed skin. HD Clear provides a natural solution for problem skin of all ages.

 

Correct-X Essential Ointment

correctx-smFrankincense, Helichrysm, Melaleuca, Cedarwood, and Lavender—all CPTG® essential oils known to help assist in soothing skin irritations—form the base of dōTERRA Correct-X. This multi-purpose, all natural ointment helps soothe skin and enhance the natural process of skin returning to a healthy state after being distressed. Correct-X provides a moisture barrier that helps protect against additional damage while simultaneously soothing and hydrating the skin. This petroleum-free, preservative-free ointment absorbs quickly and is gentle and non-irritating, making it ideal for sensitive skin.

DIRECTIONS FOR USE
Apply onto affected areas as needed.

 

On Guard Natural Whitening Toothpaste Sample Packets

ToothPaste_Samples_smdōTERRA’s fluoride-free Natural Whitening Toothpaste combines the protective benefits of dōTERRA’s proprietary On Guard® blend of CPTG Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade essential oils with other natural ingredients that help strengthen teeth, reduce plaque and whiten teeth with gentle polishing agents. The On Guard blend of Wild Orange, Clove, Cinnamon, Eucalyptus, and Rosemary essential oils provides an extra cleaning boost. Additional essential oils of Peppermint and Wintergreen, and the natural sweetener xylitol, give On Guard Natural Whitening Toothpaste a refreshingly unique cinnamon-mint flavor that leaves your breath—and toothbrush!—fresh and clean throughout the day.

 

Arborvitae

doterra-essential-oil-Arborvitae_smKnown as the “tree of life,” Arborvitae is majestic in size and abundant in therapeutic benefits. Arborvitae essential oil has a high content of tropolones, a group of chemical compounds that protect against environmental and seasonal threats, have powerful purifying properties, and promote healthy cell function. Hinokitiol, one of the tropolones in Arborvitae, protects the body from harmful elements while supporting normal cell activity. This compound also contributes to Arborvitae’s natural insect repellent properties. Thujic acid, another tropolone found in Arborvitae, has been studied for its ability to protect against common threats in the environment. Native to Canada, all parts of the Arborvitae tree were used extensively by Native Americans for health benefits and for building vessels, totem poles, baskets, and clothing. Because of its natural preserving properties, Arborvitae prevents wood from rotting, which makes it popular in woodcraft and for preserving natural wood surfaces.

 

Cardamom

doterra-essential-oil-Cardamom_sm
A close relative to Ginger, Cardamom is known as being the most expensive cooking spice and for being beneficial to the digestive system in a variety of ways. Cardamom is commonly used to help reduce indigestion and nausea, and to soothe stomach discomfort and promote digestion. Its distinct scent can lessen motion sickness while promoting a positive mood. Cardamom has profound effects on the respiratory system due to its high 1,8-cineole content, which promotes clear breathing and respiratory health. Native to Southeast Asia, Cardamom is added to traditional Indian sweets and teas for its cool, yet minty aroma and flavor. dōTERRA Cardamom essential oil is extracted from Cardamom seeds grown in Guatemala, using our strict CPTG® testing standards. Through a collaborative and responsible sourcing arrangement, we are able to have a significant impact on the lives of local partners, ensuring that these farming communities enjoy improved livelihoods.

 

Breathe Respiratory Blend – Now with Cardamom!

doterra-essential-oil-blend-Breathe (Small)Enhanced with the powerful respiratory benefits of Cardamom, Breathe is a remarkable blend of essential oils that combine to help you breathe easier. A staple in the dōTERRA essential oil line, Breathe supports healthy respiratory function when seasonal threats are high and can be used safely by all members of the family to soothe airways and promote clear breathing. This proprietary blend consists of Laurel Leaf, Peppermint, Eucalyptus, Melaleuca, Lemon, Ravensara, and Cardamom essential oils, all known for their positive effects on the respiratory system. Breathe can be applied topically to the chest, back, or bottom of feet, or diffused at nighttime to calm the senses and promote sleep.

Primary Benefits

- Maintains clear airways and breathing
- Supports overall respiratory health
- Helps minimize the effects of seasonal threats

 

Breathe Respiratory Drops

Breathe_Respiratory_Drops_smBreathe is a long-trusted essential oil blend and has helped many with oils such as Lemon, Peppermint, Eucalyptus, and now Cardamom. Respiratory issues are not fun and we all turn to anything that will help, but very little ever does. Breathe essential oil is a tried and true support to this age-old foe.

Breathe all-natural drops are a blend of selected oils from Breathe CPTG Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade® essential oil blend mixed into a respiratory drop to make it more convenient to enjoy the benefits of these oils. Lemon, Peppermint, Eucalyptus, Thyme, Melissa, and Cardamom essential oils all help to clean and soothe airways and now they can be delivered straight to your mouth and throat in these great-tasting lozenges.

 

 TerraGreens™

TerraGreensdōTERRA TerraGreens™ is a proprietary blend of whole food fruits and vegetables combined with superfruits and dōTERRA CPTG Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade® Essential Oils. This powdered mix packs a daily boost of fruits and vegetables into a mix that can be stirred into 8 oz. of liquid for easy and convenient nutritional supplementation.

Primary Benefits

• Provides the body with essential nutrients
• Supports immune health
• Supports digestive health
• Supports weight management
• All natural ingredients
• GMO and gluten free
• Vegan-friendly

 

dōTERRA Petal Diffuser

Petal-DiffuserThe dōTERRA Petal Diffuser is a small, user-friendly diffuser that delivers health-promoting benefits to your family and home. It has a relaxing mist and soft white ambient light, making it ideal for nighttime diffusion, and can cover up to 100 square feet. The Petal Diffuser has three timed settings—1, 2, and 4 hours—allowing you to customize the release of essential oils into the air. This convenient diffuser is stable, light, and easy to use—perfect for home or office use.

The Petal Diffuser permeates an ultra-fine, yet substantial mist output into the air, releasing the aromatic and therapeutic benefits of dōTERRA CPTG® essential oils quickly and safely. This high quality, affordable diffuser is perfect for both novice and experienced essential oil users who want a reliable, easy-to-use essential oil diffuser.

Is Water A Basic Human Right?

Or should someone be profiting from it? Nestle’s CEO Peter Brabeck believes that access to water should NOT be a public right. Hear more on this and his other ideas in this video…

He also shares his beliefs that “Organic is NOT best”. It is a bit worrisome to me that this man is at the head of one of the world’s largest corporations.

What are your thoughts? Do you think water is a basic human right? Speak Your Mind Below.

9 Habits of People Who Never Have to Clean Their Homes

I’m posting this because I am one of those people who thinks they need a maid. This article was obviously NOT written by someone with children because there is no way that if you didn’t do your dishes each day that at the end of the week there would only be 15 dishes! I wish!! Haha! In our home if we leave all of the dishes for a full week there are at least three dishwasher loads full of dishes. You’ll see what I mean – Read on.

Dark Hard Wood Flooring In Living Room

Okay, so here are their suggestions.

1. They put away their clothes every night.

When you’re changing into your pajamas, it might be tempting to just toss your clothes on a chair or even on the floor, but don’t fall prey to that lazy trap. It takes a couple of seconds to put them in your laundry hamper or return them to your closet. You’ll be thankful that you won’t have to spend extra time rounding up stray socks all over your room when it’s laundry day. Same could be said when you’re trying on an outfit or when you’ve just finished doing your laundry.

My thoughts: I need to clean out my closet and my dresser of old clothes so that I have enough hangers and room to put the clothes I wear. My personality is the guilty kind…I have a hard time getting rid of stuff (especially clothes) because I *may* need them in the future. Seriously though…I still have shirts from high school (I graduated 17 years ago). I think it’s time for a run to Deseret Industries (my favorite place to take our second hand items). 

2. They don’t own extras.

What are you going to do with a dozen sets of sheets or five cheese graters? If you don’t need it: Edit, edit, edit. You’ll be saving much more space.

My thoughts:Yes, 5 extra cheese graters are probably not necessary but having 5 spatulas is when you have a home of 5 people. So are 10 plates in three sizes each, 6 glasses in two sizes each, 10 bowls in 2 sizes each, plus a myriad of storage containers, cutting boards, pots, pans, baking dishes, etc… I do want to live in my home and actually feed my family.

3. They keep a paper trail to a minimum.

It’s easy to leave stacks of junk mail, delivery menus, and old newspapers on every surface of your house. Create a good filing system to save the important documents and toss the rest.

My thoughts: Honestly, they lost me at “create a good filing system”. If I knew how to do that it would have been done 14 years ago. I don’t have an organized brain – just ask my poor husband. Maybe I need to hire a professional organizer as well. Ha!

4. They wipe down every surface after use.

Let’s be real, the less grime build-up, the easier it is to clean. Mildew, grease, and food stains are not a good look for your house.

My thoughts: My problem in the past was that I hated using the washcloths because I would have to get a new one out everyday because they get the nastiest smell on them after sitting out for a day. I did solve this problem with getting Norwex cloths though! LOVE them. Still though, it takes doing step 7 in order to make this one even possible.

5. They don’t have beds piled up with too much stuff.

Sure, it’s nice to have some decorative pillows and throw blankets to maintain a perfectly styled bed, but let’s keep it to a minimum. The fewer steps it takes to make your bed every morning, the more likely you’ll actually do it.

My thoughts: Why oh why didn’t I get this naturally in my genes? When I was a kid I wouldn’t sleep under my covers just so I didn’t have to make my bed (crazy thing, my 12 year old daughter is now like this). I guess I just feel like I have a full day and I get sucked into it first thing. I do want to add this to my list of things to do though because I love getting into a freshly made bed at night (which is usually when I make it – right before I get back into it). Ha! 

6. They put their shoes and coats away.

It’s common for an entryway to have a shoe pile-up or for coats to be haphazardly placed on the entry bench, but it sure doesn’t look tidy. Put your shoes in your closet or place a shoe rack near the door. Make sure to hang your coat as soon as you take it off.

My thoughts: No problem here! We’re still in flip-flops so we don’t have to worry about a plethora of warm weather clothing.

7. They never let dishes pile up.

This one’s pretty much a no-brainer, but taking a few minutes to do three or five dishes is way better than doing 15 at the end of the week.

My thoughts: I already shared my thoughts on this at the top…15 dishes! Please!! :)

8. They put things back where they came from.

If you do this, you won’t have a precarious stack of DVDs, magazines, books, and toys on your coffee table. This habit makes the panic-filled, 5-minute clean-up before guests arrive a little better.

My thoughts: This one is a great idea. It’s a little harder to implement with a three year old who likes to take things back out once they get put away. :)

9. They dust and vacuum on the regular.

A few minutes of dusting or vacuuming at least 2-3 times a week will save you from doing a deep clean on the weekend when you could be relaxing.

My thoughts: Again…lost me at 2-3 times a week! Haha!

Final Thoughts…I think I do still need a maid. Here’s why. We recently hired lawn care guys to come and weed our flower beds, mow the lawn, edge, etc… They are in and out in less than 30 minutes. For us to do that it would take a few hours (You should see their mad weeding skills! I don’t have them, nor do I want to “practice makes perfect” that aspect of my life either). Just like yard care, house care takes me a ridiculous amount of time. It isn’t something I love, it isn’t something I desire to do, and I know there are people who do have an amazing gift for cleaning. Why not support local businesses in doing something they want to do (it helps take care of their families) since it isn’t something I want to do but is something I want done. Here’s the only reason why I haven’t at this point…I worry about the impact on my kids, I worry about having a stranger in my home, I always feel like I have to clean before someone comes over to clean (I know it’s weird).

Would LOVE to hear your thoughts! Leave a comment below.

 

This story originally appeared on HouseBeautiful.com

Magnesium Deficiency and What Kind Is Best To Take?

 

magnesium deficiency

I have been fighting extreme exhaustion for at least 7 months and before that just an overall tired feeling for several years. Some days have been so bad that I would get up in the morning, shower and get ready for my day and have to lay down. I needed a nap almost everyday, which was fine when my toddler was taking naps and then he stopped about a month ago and I felt a little panicked. One chiropractor told me that my adrenals were shot, one told me that my neck placement could be affecting everything in my body, a reflexology lady also told me that my adrenals and thyroid were drained and that I needed magnesium and iodine, and a chiro that is also a nutritionist agreed with all the above and ordered blood work.

My husband being the genius that he is when it comes to nutrition and research started looking into thyroid, and adrenals, and the pituitary gland (which controls both of the previous two). It led him to look extensively at magnesium and what it means to be magnesium deficient. Here is a list of some of the symptoms he found:

SIGNS OF MAGNESIUM DEFICIENCY
(the brief list)

  • tiredIrritability and anxiety
  • Lethargy
  • Impaired memory and cognitive function
  • Anorexia or loss of appetite
  • Weakness
  • Muscle spasms
  • Vertigo
  • Irregular or rapid heartbeat

It is estimated that between 68 to 80 percent of the United States population is magnesium deficient. So it isn’t too far of a stretch to think that this is the reason why I’ve been feeling the above symptoms for the past several months.

TOP 10 FOODS THAT CONTAIN MAGNESIUM

There are several foods that contain this essential mineral naturally. The downside is that the soil used to grow these foods is so depleted of this mineral that we are not getting nearly enough magnesium from our diets. If you want to include the following foods it certainly wouldn’t hurt though!

  1. kaleKale
  2. Spinach
  3. Swiss Chard
  4. Pumpkin Seeds
  5. Sesame Seeds
  6. Cashews
  7. Quinoa
  8. Avocados
  9. Bananas
  10. Brown Rice

THE BEST FORMS OF MAGNESIUM

  • Magnesium glycinate is a chelated form of magnesium that tends to provide the highest levels of absorption and bioavailability and is typically considered ideal for those who are trying to correct a deficiency.
  • Magnesium malate is a fantastic choice for people suffering from fatigue, since malic acid — a natural fruit acid present in most cells in the body — is a vital component of enzymes that play a key role in ATP synthesis and energy production. Since the ionic bonds of magnesium and malic acid are easily broken, magnesium malate is also highly soluble.
  • Magnesium citrate is the most popular magnesium supplement, probably because it is inexpensive and easily absorbed. Since citric acid is a mild laxative, magnesium citrate functions as a constipation aid as well as a magnesium source. It is a great choice for individuals with rectal or colon problems but is unsuitable for those with loose bowel movements.
  • Magnesium taurate is the best choice of magnesium supplement for people with cardiovascular issues, since it is known to prevent arrhythmias and guard the heart from damage caused by heart attacks. Magnesium taurate is easily absorbed (magnesium and taurine stabilize cell membranes together), and it contains no laxative properties.
  • Magnesium chloride contains only 12 percent magnesium, but has better absorption than others, such as magnesium oxide, which contains five times more magnesium
  • Magnesium carbonate is another popular, bioavailable form of magnesium that actually turns into magnesium chloride when it mixes with the hydrochloric acid in our stomachs. It is a good choice for people suffering from indigestion and acid reflux, since it contains antacid properties.

According to Dr. Mercola “it’s important to maintain the proper balance between magnesium, calcium, vitamin K2, and vitamin D”. You can read more about balancing these supplements here.

I hope that you have found this post to be helpful! If there are any other topics you’d like to learn more about please leave a comment below!

Sources:

Amazing Uses for Aloe Vera

I love Aloe Vera! My Mom had a plant all growing up and it was the first thing we applied when anyone got a sunburn. In fact, this past weekend we were at my Moms and my daughter got sunburned pretty bad on her face. After applying my Burn Cream we applied Aloe on it.

Aloe is super easy to grow. Once it has mature leaves you can just cut one off, slice it lengthwise and apply directly on the skin. It’s so soothing! You can also find Aloe Vera gel in most health food stores. Be sure to check the ingredients though as some contain alcohol, artificial colors, fragrance, etc…

amazing-uses-for-aloe-vera

Here are some other great uses for Aloe Vera!

Shaving gel

Aloe vera is a perfect natural substitute for those awful, chemical-laden shaving gels and creams found in drug stores. Firstly, the plant consists of approximately 95 percent water, so it provides a nice, slippery surface that allows for a pleasant, close shave. Secondly, it is packed with anti-inflammatory enzymes, making it good for treating shaving nicks and rashes. Lastly, it moisturizes and nourishes the skin, leaving it feeling soft and rejuvenated. You can use aloe vera gel alone for this purpose, or mix it with other skin-friendly ingredients, such as almond oil or eucalyptus oil, for an even more luxurious shave.

Treats bad breath

Bad breath, or halitosis, is a common medical condition that affects an estimated 1 in 4 people on a regular basis. Though commercial toothpastes and mouthwashes can help treat it, their aggressive and unnatural ingredients often leave a lot to be desired. Instead, consider aloe vera. Aside from being a potent antibacterial, aloe contains an anti-inflammatory compound named beta-Sisterol that is known to soothe acid indigestion, which (along with oral bacteria) is a common cause of bad breath.

Though aloe vera does work alone as a mouthwash and toothpaste, mixing it with baking soda seems to have a particularly powerful effect. Aloe vera oil can also be used for oil pulling, the ancient Ayurvedic practice of cleansing the mouth by swishing oil around it for between 15 and 20 minutes.

Makeup remover

Unlike commercial makeup removers, which often contain harsh chemicals that dehydrate the skin, aloe vera gel is a natural and gentle way to remove makeup (including makeup around the eye, where the skin is most delicate). Simply squeeze a dollop of the gel onto a cotton ball and gently rub the makeup from your face. Incidentally, refrigerated cotton balls soaked in aloe vera make an excellent compress for tired and puffy eyes.

Source: NaturalNews.com

Is There Only One Essential Oil Company That Sells Pure Oils?

is there only one essential oil company that sells pure oils

Since we have an online presence and promote the use of essential oils, we’ve been asked this question more time than I can count.  The simple answer is – I’m sure there isn’t. The complicated answer is – Good luck trying to find them. What I mean is that the process of getting pure oils starts with the soil the seeds are planted in and gets more and more complex from there. To find a company that is aware and cares about every aspect of the growing, testing, and bottling process is going to be like finding a needle in a haystack. Believe me, when I got started using essential oils I looked at several companies. I wanted to make sure that I had chosen the best company for my family. What I found was a little overwhelming (do you know how many companies sell oils?) and at some points amusing (companies certifying their oils were pure via prayer or by smell alone).

Dr. Pappas from Essential Oil University recently wrote a post about this very topic and I thought it was a great opportunity to echo my thoughts. He wrote:

There are many companies in the world producing pure essential oils. But finding those companies may not be the easiest of tasks, and even if you find them, they may not be selling their product in small retail bottles. As a general rule, the farther down the supply chain you go the less likely you are to be getting pure product. There are a lot of companies out there selling essential oils and most of them have no ability (or in many cases no desire) to do the necessary quality control to verify what they are getting from their supplier before they pass it on to their customers. Additionally, pure does not necessary equate with good quality. A pure oil can be distilled incorrectly or could have been obtain from a particular variety of plant species that was not ideal. Furthermore, with regards to therapeutic grade, we need to be diligent at discerning what the claim really means. There seems to be a misconception that there is some kind of independent body that certifies oils as therapeutic grade, but to this date there is no such body, at least not one that is widely recognized. Does this mean there is no such thing as therapeutic grade? No, but just realize that any therapeutic grade standard out there right now is an internally derived company standard. Now this standard may be an overall great standard and perfectly acceptable to me or any other analyst or aromatherapist out there but it just needs to be noted that its not an independent standard. Some of the company standards that I have been privileged to access have in fact even been quite exceptional in some cases, surpassing the conventional standards of ISO, etc. In the end, for most people who don’t have access to their own GC/MS, it all boils down to who do you trust to give you the pure oil.

Trust is very important to me and was at the foundation of what I was looking for when I started searching for companies. What I found and love about doTERRA (which is the company we selected after doing our research) is that the founders do have a high level of integrity and I do trust them. I’ve been using these oils for almost 4 years and there is no doubt in my mind that these oils are pure and beneficial. People get hung up on doTERRA’s Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade standard but there are two thoughts I have on this. One, do you really want the government to be telling you what is good and what isn’t? As I’ve become more aware of the FDA, EPA, and other governmental regulatory committees, there is no way that I would blindly follow their recommendations. For example, the FDA has approved fluoride, aspartame, high fructose corn syrup, and a myriad of other poisonous substances and said they are safe for human consumption…I’m not inclined to trust their “standards”.  Two, every company has internal standards. doTERRA has just shown us what their standard is so we know what to expect.

If you’re going to choose alternative methods of healing, don’t you want to choose the best? Do your research! If you’re interested in learning more about doTERRA here are several resources you can look at.

If you have additional questions feel free to leave your question or comment below or send me an email.

Stop Berries From Molding

stop berries from moldingI have to say that I haven’t tried this yet simply because we don’t usually have berries going bad. I have two boys that can’t let berries stay in the fridge for more than a few days. I do want to share the info for anyone who does have berries go bad in the fridge. Harvest season is also coming for a lot of areas across the countries. Life is busy, it is always nice to buy an extra few days.

I’ve had a lot of people share this quick fix and have reported great success with it. I say it’s worth a try!

After you purchase your berries, before you store them in the fridge, wash them with a vinegar solution. Prepare a mixture of one part vinegar (I’ve heard white vinegar is the best) to ten parts water. For example 1/2 cup vinegar in 5 cups water if you have a lot to wash or 1/4 cup vinegar in 2 1/2 cups water.  Next, place the berries into the mixture and swirl around. Drain, rinse, and store in the fridge.

The vinegar kills any mold spores and other bacteria that might be on the surface of the fruit. I’ve heard Raspberries will last a week or more and strawberries go almost two weeks without getting moldy and soft.

Have you tried this? We’d love to hear from you! What other ways do you keep your berries fresh?

The Most Beneficial Fruits & Vegetables

most-beneficial-fruits-and-vegetables

By Dr. Mercola

Eating more fresh vegetables is one of the simplest choices you can make to improve your health and ward off countless chronic diseases. Virtually anyvegetable is good for you… but some are better than others.

To a large extent, the best vegetables for you are those that appeal to your palate and agree with you. I highly recommend listening to your body, in that the foods you eat, including vegetables, should leave you feeling satisfied and energized.

Beyond that, however, if you want to eat the vegetables that have the most nutritional density you should choose from the list of powerhouse fruits and vegetables. These are the foods most strongly associated with reduced chronic disease risk.

41 Powerhouse Vegetables and Fruits Based on Nutrient Density

You may have heard the advice to eat dark green leafy vegetables or focus on including a rainbow of colors (green, purple, red, and orange) when choosing your produce. This is good advice, but a researcher from William Paterson University took it a step further by analyzing levels of 17 nutrients in food considered to be important for lowering your risk of heart disease and cancer.1 These include:

Potassium Fiber Protein
Calcium Iron Thiamin
Riboflavin Niacin Folate
Zinc Vitamin A Vitamin B6
Vitamin B12 Vitamin C Vitamin D
Vitamin E Vitamin K

The study calculated how many of the above nutrients (per calorie of energy) were included in 47 fruits and vegetables (based on a 2,000-calorie-a-day diet).

The higher the value, the more nutrient dense the food was determined to be. Forty-one of the foods satisfied “powerhouse” criterion and were more nutrient dense than non-powerhouse fruits and vegetables.

There were some limitations, for instance, the study did not factor in valuable phytochemicals and other so-called xenohormetic compounds (e.g. polyphenols) produced by environmental stressors to the plants that might drastically alter its nutritional merit by optimizing your gene expression and increasing longevity.

That being said, the 41 foods below topped the list based on nutrient density (with some surprising results).2 If you’re in a veggie rut, this list offers some great ideas to expand your diet while adding valuable nutrition to your meals.

Item Nutrient Density Score
Watercress 100.00
Chinese cabbage 91.99
Chard 89.27
Beet green 87.08
Spinach 86.43
Chicory 73.36
Leaf lettuce 70.73
Parsley 65.59
Romaine lettuce 63.48
Collard green 62.49
Turnip green 62.12
Mustard green 61.39
Endive 60.44
Chive 54.80
Kale 49.07
Dandelion green 46.34
Red pepper 41.26
Arugula 37.65
Broccoli 34.89
Pumpkin 33.82
Brussels sprout 32.23
Scallion 27.35
Kohlrabi 25.92
Cauliflower 25.13
Cabbage 24.51
Carrot 22.60
Tomato 20.37
Lemon 18.72
Iceberg lettuce 18.28
Strawberry 17.59
Radish 16.91
Winter squash (all varieties) 13.89
Orange 12.91
Lime 12.23
Grapefruit (pink and red) 11.64
Rutabaga 11.58
Turnip 11.43
Blackberry 11.39
Leek 10.69
Sweet potato 10.51
Grapefruit (white) 10.47

My Most Recommended Vegetables List

My recommended list of vegetables provides a guide to the most nutritious vegetables, and those to limit due to their high carbohydrate content (think: starch is “hidden sugar”). You’ll notice many similarities to the powerhouse vegetable list above. Generally speaking, the greener the vegetable, the more nutritious it will be. I strongly advise you to avoid wilted vegetables of any kind, because when vegetables wilt, they lose much of their nutritional value.

And while I typically recommend choosing organic vegetables as much as possible to avoid pesticides (as well as boost nutrition), wilted organic vegetables may actually be less healthy than fresh conventionally farmed vegetables. Freshness is a key factor in vegetable quality, so if you can’t grow your own, look for those farmed locally or, better still, farmed locally andorganically. So, as a general guide, the following list of vegetables details some of the best and worst vegetables for your health.

Highly Recommended Vegetables
Asparagus Escarole
Avocado (actually a fruit) Fennel
Beet greens Green and red cabbage
Bok choy Kale
Broccoli Kohlrabi
Brussels sprouts Lettuce: romaine, red leaf, green leaf
Cauliflower Mustard greens
Celery Onions
Chicory Parsley
Chinese cabbage Peppers: red, green, yellow and hot
Chives Tomatoes
Collard greens Turnips
Cucumbers Spinach
Dandelion greens Zucchini
Endive
Use sparingly due to high carbohydrate levels
Beets Jicama
Carrots Winter squashes
Eggplant
Vegetables to Avoid
Potatoes Corn

Organic Vegetables May Provide Even More Nutrients

As mentioned, if you can find locally grown organic produce, this is your best bet from a nutritional perspective. It will be fresh (non-wilted), free from chemicals, and more nutritious. According to a study published in the journal PLOS ONE,3 growing tomatoes according to organic standards results in dramatically elevated nutrient content compared to tomatoes grown conventionally, using agricultural chemicals. The organic tomatoes were found to contain 55 percent more vitamin C and 139 percent more total phenolic content at the stage of commercial maturity compared to conventionally grown tomatoes.

You may have noticed that sometimes organic produce, such as tomatoes, are smaller than conventionally grown varieties, but don’t let this dissuade you. While many unaware consumers equate size with quality, this simply isn’t the case. According to research published in 2009, American produce, while larger than ever before, contains fewer nutrients and tastes worse than it did in your grandparents’ days. In fact, the average vegetable found in today’s supermarket is anywhere from 5 percent to 40 percent lower in minerals such as magnesium, iron, calcium, and zinc than those harvested just 50 years ago.

As the featured study suggests, jumbo-sized produce contains more “dry matter” than anything else, which dilutes mineral concentrations. Previous research has also shown there can be a nutritional difference between organic and conventionally grown vegetables. For example, a 2003 study in the Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry found that organic foods are better for fighting cancer.4 A 2010 study conducted by PLOS ONE also found organic strawberries to be more nutrient-rich than non-organic strawberries.5

But perhaps one of the best studies out there on the benefits of organic versus conventionally grown foods is the 2007 Quality Low Input Food Project – a $25-million study into organic food, and one of the largest of its kind.6 The researchers grew fruit and vegetables, and raised cattle, on adjacent organic and non-organic sites, and discovered that:

  • Organic fruit and vegetables contained up to 40 percent more antioxidants
  • Organic produce had higher levels of beneficial minerals like iron and zinc
  • Milk from organic herds contained up to 90 percent more antioxidants

The results were so impressive they stated that eating organic foods can even help to increase the nutrient intake of people who don’t eat the recommended five servings of fruits and vegetables a day. So if you’re looking to get more nutritional density out of your food, eating organic is wise choice.

Three More Ways to Boost the Nutrient Power of Your Vegetables

What else can you do to get even more nutrition out of the foods you eat? Plenty, actually. The way in which you prepare and grow your veggies makes a difference, with the following suggestions at the top of my list:

1. Fermenting

Fermenting is one of the best ways to turn ordinary vegetables into superfoods. The culturing process produces beneficial microbes that are extremely important for human health as they help balance your intestinal flora, thereby boosting overall immunity. Moreover, your gut is the primary locus of your immune system and also literally serves as your second brain, and even produces more of the neurotransmitter serotonin—known to have a beneficial influence on your mood—than your brain does. So, maintaining a healthy gut will benefit your mind as well as your body.

Fermented foods are also some of the best chelators and detox agents available, meaning they can help rid your body of a wide variety of toxins, including heavy metals. When fermenting vegetables, you can either use a starter culture or simply allow the natural enzymes, and good bacteria in and on the vegetables, to do all the work. This is called “wild fermentation.” Personally, I prefer a starter culture, as it provides a larger number of different species and the culture can be optimized with species that produce high levels of vitamin K2, which research is finding is likely every bit as important as vitamin D.

For over a year now, we’ve been making two to three gallons of fermented vegetables every week in our Chicago office for our staff to enjoy. We use a starter culture of the same probiotic strains that we sell as a supplement, which has been researched by our team to produce about 10 times the amount of vitamin K2 as any other starter culture.

When we had the vegetables tested, we found that in a four- to six-ounce serving there were literally 10 trillion beneficial bacteria, or about 100 times the amount of bacteria in a bottle of high-potency probiotics. There are about 100 trillion bacteria in your gut, so a single serving can literally “reseed” 10 percent of the bacterial population of the average person’s gut! To me, that’s extraordinary and a profoundly powerful reason to consider adding fermented vegetables as a staple in your diet.

2. Juicing

Juicing doesn’t actually alter the nutritional value of your vegetables, but what it does do is provide an easy way for you to consume more vegetables. Virtually every health authority recommends that we get six to eight servings of vegetables and fruits per day and very few of us actually get that. Juicing is an easy way to virtually guarantee that you will reach your daily target for vegetables. Raw juice can be likened to a “living broth,” as it is teeming with micronutrients and good bacteria that many people are lacking.

When you drink fresh-made green juice, it is almost like receiving an intravenous infusion of vitamins, minerals, and enzymes because they go straight into your system without having to be broken down. Drinking your juice first thing in the morning can give you a natural energy boost without resorting to stimulants like coffee. Since the juice is already in an easily digestible form, it can help revitalize your energy levels within as little as 20 minutes.

Plus, juicing helps you absorb all the nutrients from the vegetables. This is important because many people have impaired digestion as a result of making less-than-optimal food choices over many years. This limits your body’s ability to absorb all the nutrients from the vegetables. Juicing will help to liberate key nutrients from the tough plant cell walls for you, so you will receive most of the nutrition, rather than having it go down the toilet.

Juicing also allows you to add a wider variety of vegetables in your diet. Many people eat the same vegetable salads or side dishes every day. This violates the principle of regular food rotation and increases your chance of developing an allergy to a certain food. Plus, it limits the number of different phytochemicals in your diet, as each vegetable will offer unique benefits. With juicing, you can juice a wide variety of vegetables that you may not normally enjoy eating whole.

3. Sprouting

Sprouts are a superfood that many people overlook, as they offer a concentrated source of nutrition that’s different from eating the vegetable in mature form. Sprouts in general have the following beneficial attributes:

  • Support for cell regeneration
  • Powerful sources of antioxidants, minerals, vitamins, and enzymes that protect against free radical damage
  • Alkalinizing effect on your body, which is thought to protect against disease, including cancer (as many tumors are acidic)
  • Abundantly rich in oxygen, which can also help protect against abnormal cell growth, viruses, and bacteria that cannot survive in an oxygen-rich environment

Some of the most commonly sprouted beans, nuts, seeds and grains include:

  • Broccoli: known to have powerful anti-cancer properties, courtesy of the enzyme sulforaphane
  • Alfalfa: a significant dietary source of phytoestrogens. Also a good source of vitamins A, B, C, D, E, F, and K
  • Wheatgrass: high in vitamins B, C, E and many minerals
  • Mung bean: good source of protein, fiber, and vitamins C and A
  • Clover: significant source of beneficial isoflavones
  • Lentil Sprouts: contain 26 percent protein, and can be eaten without cooking
  • Sunflower: contains minerals, healthy fats, essential fatty acids, fiber, and phytosterols. It’s also one of the highest in protein
  • Pea shoots: good source of vitamins A, C, and folic acid, and one of the highest in protein

My two favorites are sunflower and watercress sprouts. They provide some of the highest quality protein you can eat. They are also a perfect complement to fermented vegetables. It is hard to imagine a healthier combination that provides the essentials of nutrition very inexpensively. In addition to their nutritional profile, sprouts are also easy to grow on your own with very little space and time.

Are You Eating Your Veggies?

Despite the fact that vegetables have been proven to help lower your risk of chronic disease and support longevity, most Americans are not eating nearly enough of these natural, relatively inexpensive superfoods. The latest data shows that nearly 23 percent of Americans report consuming vegetables and fruits less than one time daily, with a median vegetable intake of just 1.6 times per day overall.7 This is quite a shame, as people who eat seven or more portions of vegetables and fruit a day have a 42 percent lower risk of dying from any cause, compared to those who eat less than one portion. They also enjoy a 31 percent lower risk of heart disease and a 25 percent lower risk of cancer.8

The research, published in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health, is among the first to quantify the health benefits of eating different amounts of fresh produce. As you might suspect, eating any amount of vegetables was better than none at all, but the benefits increased with more servings:

  • Those who ate five to seven servings of vegetables and fruits per day had a 36 percent lower risk of dying from any cause
  • Three to five servings was associated with a 29 percent lower risk
  • One to three servings was associated with a 14 percent lower risk

Most vegetables are not very calorie dense and as a result they probably should constitute the bulk of your diet by volume. Even though my diet is 70 percent fat by calories, if you were to spread out all the food I eat in a day, the largest volume of food would be vegetables. Vegetables contain an array of antioxidants and other disease-fighting compounds that are very difficult to get anywhere else. Plant chemicals called phytochemicals can reduce inflammation and eliminate carcinogens, while others regulate the rate at which your cells reproduce, get rid of old cells, and maintain DNA. Studies have repeatedly shown that people with higher vegetable intake have:

  • Lower risks of stroke, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, Alzheimer’s disease, and heart disease
  • Lower risks of certain types of cancer, eye diseases, and digestive problems
  • Reduced risk of kidney stones and bone loss
  • Higher scores on cognitive tests
  • Higher antioxidant levels
  • Lower biomarkers for oxidative stress

Vegetables have an impressive way of offering widespread benefits to your health. When you eat them, you’re getting dozens, maybe even hundreds or thousands, of super-nutrients that support optimal, body-wide health. We’ve compiled an extensive review of the health benefits of vegetables in our Mercola Food Facts Library. If you want to know more, that’s an excellent place to start, but suffice to say mama was right: if you want to be healthy and strong, you’ve got to eat your vegetables.

Is Your Honey A Hoax?

is your honey a hoax

honey-without-pollen-food-safety-news1-thumb-350x838-11588Just because those cute little bear-shaped bottles at the grocery store say “honey” on them does not necessarily mean that they actually contain honey. A comprehensive investigation conducted by Food Safety News (FSN) has found that the vast majority of so-called honey products sold at grocery stores, big box stores, drug stores, and restaurants do not contain any pollen, which means they are not real honey.

For the investigation, Vaughn Bryant, one of the nation’s leading melissopalynologists, or experts in identifying pollen in honey, and director of the Palynology Research Laboratory at Texas A&M University, evaluated more than 60 products labeled as “honey” that had been purchased by FSN from ten states and the District of Columbia.

Bryant found that 76 percent of “honey” samples purchased from major grocery store chains like Kroger and Safeway, and 77 percent of samples purchased from big box chains like Sam’s Club and Wal-Mart, did not contain any pollen. Even worse were “honey” samples taken from drug stores like Walgreens and CVS, and fast food restaurants like McDonald’s and KFC, 100 percent of which were found to contain not a trace of pollen.

The full FSN report with a list of all the pollen-less “honey” brands can be accessed here:
http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2011/11/tests-…

So what is all this phony honey made of? It is difficult to say for sure, as pollen is the key to verifying that honey is real. According to FSN, much of this imposter honey is more likely being secretly imported from China, and may even be contaminated with antibiotic drugs and other foreign materials.

Learn More Here

Reading Ingredient Labels – What To Look For

reading-labels-what-to-look-for

Reading labels wasn’t always a hobby of mine. I used to buy what looked yummy! I think that is how most of the general population buys their food. I thought that food makers cared about their ingredients and would put things in them that made me and my family healthy. Then I realized that they were putting in ingredients that were cheap or addicting. It was a sad day when I realized that some of the staple items in my pantry were going in the garbage never to return again.

Since then I’ve become a pro at reading labels. I walk the aisles of a store and I don’t know if I should feel anger or sadness at what I find. I now find that I read labels of food at other people’s houses not realizing I’m even doing it. There are some ingredients that I’m just not okay ingesting and even more so I’m not okay with my children ingesting. Processed chemicals have no place in the human diet. They are toxic and have serious side effects. People ask me all the time what I’m looking for when I read labels. Here are the top 5.

  1. High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)

    bigstock-Glass-with-cola-and-Poison-s-14780372It is addicting and horrible for you to consume. There are many people who liken it to cocaine because of the refining process it goes through and the addiction it can create. The sad thing about this ingredient is that it is in EVERYTHING! Don’t believe me? Go pick five things (if you eat the standard American diet) from your cupboards, pantry, or fridge that has been packaged and was bought from the store and see how many have it in it. We are talking about syrup, graham crackers, sloppy joe mix, ketchup, cookies, crackers, stuffing, sauces, ice cream, sushi, jams, jellies, pudding, marshmallows, candy, gum, chocolate, salad dressing, soft drinks, bread, baked beans, pickles, cereal, fruit snacks, fruit drinks, sandwich spreads, whipped toppings, yogurt, applesauce, bbq sauce, marinades, soup, breakfast sandwiches, energy drinks, nuts, canned fruit, AND cough syrup, children’s acetaminophen, and cold medicine. This is not a complete list, but you get where I’m going. It. Is. In. Everything! Stop eating it. Please stop giving it to your kids.

    The risks of consuming HFCS are weight gain and obesity, developing Type 2 Diabetes, hypertension and elevated (bad) cholesterol levels, severe liver damage, and risk of mercury exposure. It’s no wonder that the American population is so unhealthy when you see what this ingredient is included in. Many companies are starting to shift away from using it as an ingredient. Until it is banned you will want to be on the lookout for this toxic ingredient!

  2.  Artificial Color

    colorful jelly candies in glass jar isolated on whiteOur society has become so wrapped up in the way that something looks rather than if it’s good for us or not. I’m guilty of it myself. It’s funner to eat something if it looks appealing, but is it worth the risks that come with eating the foods that have artificial color in them? For me it definitely isn’t. Two years ago we cut this ingredient out of our home. Our youngest son had never had anything with food coloring in it. We went on vacation and my sweet husband got me one of my favorite (in my “past life”) road treats… Mike & Ike’s. I was so sad and torn. Here he had done this nice gesture, paid money for it, and I do love them but I also didn’t want to eat them. Guess what I did? I ate them. Not only that, I gave some to my son. I didn’t think it would do any harm in a child who had never had this ingredient before. Ha! I was wrong. He was crazy, like spastic crazy. I wasn’t sure if it was the candy or not so I tested it again the following day by giving him only a few of them. Sure enough the craziness set in again. Several months later at Halloween he was at his Grandma’s house and came home again acting like that crazy kid. I asked my older children what he ate at Grandma’s and they told me Halloween Oreos…you know the ones with orange filling. His behavior was no surprise.

    In addition to behavioral changes, artificial color has also been linked to long-term health problems such as cancer (source), and they are also contributing to the obesity epidemic (source). While candy, jello, Kool-Aid, and your children’s medications may look prettier, they are causing lasting damage. It’s best to look for products that don’t have this ingredient.

  3. Artificial Flavor

    With the never ending list of foods that we have available to us and the diverse flavors, why on earth would we want chemicals flavoring our food? Do you realize that’s what artificial flavor is? It’s a chemical concoction just like anti-freeze, fertilizer, pesticides, and hair spray are chemical concoctions. Were you aware that the FDA has approved over 1,700 artificial flavors? I have a tendency to want to stay away from anything the FDA has approved because they are money driven, not safety driven. If a company has enough money, they can get approval. Companies are not even required to say what their “artificial flavor” consists of but it can include benzyl isobutyrate, ethyl acetate, ethyl methylphenylglycidate (petroleum derivative), methyl benzoate (petroleum derivative), hydroxyphenyl-2-butanone (source) and are used in most processed foods.

    Artificial flavors have been known to cause chest pain, headaches, fatigue, nervous system depression, allergies, and even brain damage. Unfortunately, this is only the beginning of the list. Other symptoms including seizures, nausea, dizziness, and many more. (source)

    The best way to avoid artificial ingredients is to read the labels. Some products even include it on the front of the packaging. It will clearly tell you that it contains “Artificial Flavors”. Steer clear!

  4. Aspartame

    Why this ingredient hasn’t been outlawed is beyond me. It is one of the most toxic and dangerous substances included in food products! This ingredient is also known as NutraSweet, Equal, Spoonful, and Equal-Measure. According to Mercola, aspartame accounts for 75% of the adverse reactions to food additives reported to the FDA. Some of the side effects include headaches and migraines, muscle spasms, weight gain, depression, fatigue, nausea, hearing loss, vision problems, insomnia, irritability, anxiety attacks, difficulty breathing, tinnitus, vertigo, memory loss, joint pain, and SO much more! Brain tumors, Mutiple Sclerosis, Epilepsy, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Parkinson’s Disease, Alzheimer’s, Mental Retardation, Lymphoma, Birth Defects, Fibromyalgia, and Diabetes can be triggered or worsened by ingesting aspartame.

  5. Hydrogenated Oils

    Hydrogenated oils are generally oils that in their natural state are often healthy. During the process of hydrogenating the oils they are turned into poison. Common oils that are hydrogenated are palm, kernel, corn or coconut oils. Hydrogenation occurs when the oil is heated up to to several hundred degrees under intense pressure. It is then injected with a catalyst to rearrange the molecules. The catalyst used is typically a metal such as nickel, platinum, and even aluminum. What once was a liquid oil now turns into a solid, which makes it either a partially hydrogenated oil or fully hydrogenated oil. The new hydrogenated oil is only one molecule away from being plastic! Not a very appetizing idea. You may be surprised to learn that these oils can be found in margarine, vegetable shortening, non-dairy whipped dessert toppings, cake frosting, white bread, non-dairy coffee creamers, tortillas, fast food, donuts, peanut butter, and ice cream.

    This ingredient will thicken your blood making it much harder for the heart to function properly and the veins to transport blood effectively which can lead to high blood pressure as well as high cholesterol.

    In some studies it has been shown that such oils contributes to high cholesterol because it actually scars the internal walls of the arteries. This is due to the nickel that is often used in the hydrogenation process. This causes the body to then produce cholesterol to heal the walls of the arteries which is one reason that the plaque builds up on the arterial walls. As the walls are continually scarred this slowly shrinks the opening for blood to flow through making the heart work much harder, placing a great strain on the heart and eventually wears the heart out. 

    Hydrogenated oils can slow the micro circulation of blood through the brain further causing various emotional and physical ailments such an Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, ADHD and muddled thinking just to name a few. Remember also that one of the metals sometimes used in the hydrogenation process is aluminum which has been linked to the onset of Alzheimer’s disease in a number of studies. (source)

It is so important to be proactive with your health and especially the health of your children. No one will be looking out for them the way you should. It may not be an easy change to cut these ingredients out of your diet but it is possible. If all you can do is cut out one of them please let it be aspartame first followed by high fructose corn syrup. By eliminating these two ingredients you will have eliminated the others in large part. Our food industry is overrun with food-like products instead of real food. Take a stand and be proactive in eating food that is real instead of a chemical concoction.

What other ingredients do you feel it’s important to steer clear of? We would love to hear your thoughts.