Archive for March, 2013

what is Calcium and how Does a Vegan get it?

These Questions or excuses keep coming up by people who don’t follow a plant based lifestyle.  So I’m here to answer them.

First,

What is Calcium?

Calcium is a chemical element with the symbol “Ca”  Calcium is needed by all living organisms, including humans, it is used in the body to build and maintain strong bones.  it also contributes to the healthy communication between the brain and parts of the body.

Calcium regulates muscle contraction, including the heartbeat. It also plays a key role in normal blood coagulation (clotting).
 
How much calcium should I consume each day?

According to the Institute of Medicine (IoM), we should consume calcium daily at the following amounts:

  • age 0 to 6 months 200 mg per day
  • age 7 to 12 months 260 mg per day
  • age 1 to 3 years 700 mg per day
  • age 4 to 8 years 1000 mg per day
  • age 9 to 18 years 1300 mg per day
  • age 19 to 50 years 1000 mg per day
  • breastfeeding or pregnant teenager 1000 mg per day
  • breastfeeding or pregnant adult 1000 mg per day
  • age 51 to 70 years (male) 1000 mg per day
  • age 51 to 70 years (female) 1200 mg per day
  • age 71+ years 1200 mg per day

Which foods are rich in calcium

  • Milk
  • Cheese
  • Yogurt
  • Seaweeds, such as kelp, hijiki and wakame
  • Nuts and seeds, including pistachio, sesame, almonds, hazelnuts
  • Beans
  • Figs
  • Broccoli
  • Spinach
  • Tofu
  • Dandelion leaves
  • Many fortified breakfast cereals
  • Many fortified drinks, including soy milk and a variety of fruit juices
  • Crushed eggshells – they can be ground into a powder and added to foods and/or drinks

Milk which is pushed by the government for “THE” source of Calcium has about 300mg of Calcium.

Well any of the plant based milks have exactly the same amount without the animal proteins.

Now where do vegans get their calcium if they don’t drink “fake” milk?

40 Vegan Sources of Calcium

Vegetables (per cup)

Bok choy (cooked) – 330 mg
Kale – 180mg
Bean sprouts – 320 mg
Spinach (cooked) – 250 mg
Collard greens (cooked) – 260 mg
Mustard greens (cooked) – 100 mg
Turnip greens (cooked) – 200 mg
Swiss chard (cooked) – 100 mg
Seaweed (Wakame) – 120mg
Okra – 130 mg
Broccoli – 45 mg
Fennel – 45 mg
Artichoke – 55 mg
Celery – 40 mg
Leeks – 55 mg

Nuts, nut butters and seeds

Almonds (1/4 cup) – 95 mg
Brazil nuts (1/4 cup) – 55 mg
Hazelnuts (1/4 cup) – 55 mg
Almond butter (1 tbsp) – 43 mg
Sesame seeds (1 tbsp) – 63 mg
Tahini (1 tbsp) – 65 mg

Grains

Cereals (calcium fortified, ½ cup) – 250 to 500 mg
Amaranth (cooked, ½ cup) – 135 mg
Brown rice (cooked, 1 cup) – 50 mg
Quinoa (cooked, 1 cup) – 80 mg

Legumes and beans

Chickpeas (cooked, 1 cup) – 80 mg
Pinto beans (cooked, 1 cup) – 75 mg
Soy beans (cooked, 1 cup) – 200 mg
Tofu (soft or firm, 4 oz) – 120 – 400mg
Tempeh (1 cup) – 150 mg
Navy beans (1 cup) – 110 mg
White beans (cooked, 1 cup) – 140 mg

Fruit (per cup)

Figs (dried) – 300 mg
Apricots (dried) – 75mg
Kiwi – 60mg
Rhubarb (cooked) – 350 mg
Orange – 70 mg
Prunes – 75 mg
Blackberries – 40 mg

Miscellaneous

Blackstrap molasses (1 tbsp) – 135 mg

http://www.drlisawatson.com/40-vegan-calcium-sources

As you can see, A Vegan or person who lives a plant based lifestyle will have healthy bones and teeth.

In just 3-4 servings of certain foods, you will get more then enough calcium in a day.

healthy blood pressure

Some information you need to know  to understand what a healthy blood pressure is.

Systolic Blood Pressure or SYS for short (top number) is the number that measures the pressure on your arteries. When your heart beats, it pushes blood through the arteries and creates pressure on the arteries. This is called systolic blood pressure.

  • less then 120 is normal sytolic pressure and a healthy blood pressure
  • 120 – 139 pre-hypertension, or borderline high blood pressure and getting close to not being a healthy blood pressure.
  • greater then 140 or higher is considered to be hypertension, or high blood pressure and not a healthy blood pressure.

Diastolic Blood Pressure Number or DIA for short (bottom number) is the number that measures the pressure in the arteries when the heart rests between beats.

  • Less then 80 is normal diastolic number and a healthy blood pressure
  • 80-89 prehypertension and getting close to not being healthy blood pressure.
  • 90 or higher is considered to be hypertension or high blood pressure and isn’t a healthy blood pressure.

Even people with prehypertension are at a higher risk of developing heart disease. When you get to this point something needs to be done. I recommend fixing the problem. High blood pressure is a symptom of a unhealthy body and medication only treats the symptom and not the problem.
I turned to a low fat plant based lifestyle. I have made huge improvements to my life and health but when healing yourself from 35 years of abuse its a slow road. Do not expect instant results.

How Is Blood Pressure Measured?
Blood pressure is measured with a simple, painless test using a blood pressure cuff — doctors call it a sphygmomanometer. It consists of a small pressure gauge that is attached to a cuff.

The inflatable cuff is wrapped around your upper arm. Some blood pressure cuffs wrap around the forearm or wrist.

When taking your blood pressure, your doctor will use a stethoscope to listen to the blood moving through an artery.

The cuff is inflated to a pressure that’s known to be higher than your systolic blood pressure. As the cuff deflates, the first sound heard through the stethoscope is the systolic blood pressure. It sounds like a whooshing noise. When this noise goes away, that indicates the diastolic blood pressure.

http://www.webmd.com/hypertension-high-blood-pressure/guide/diastolic-and-systolic-blood-pressure-know-your-numbers

The systolic blood pressure number is always said first, and then the diastolic blood pressure number is given. For example, your blood pressure may be read as “120 over 80” or written 120/80.

Blood pressure is measured in millimeters of mercury (mm Hg).

How Often Should I Get My Blood Pressure Checked?

If your blood pressure is normal (less than 120/80), get it checked at least every 2 years or more frequently as your doctor suggests.
If your blood pressure is borderline high — systolic blood pressure between 120 and 139 or diastolic blood pressure of 80 to 89 — check it at least every year or more often as your doctor suggests.

If your blood pressure is 140/90 or higher, talk with your doctor as this is high blood pressure and requires a doctor’s attention.

Other natural methods of helping you reach a healthy blood pressure are herbs and certain foods like ginger and lemons.  One of the best herbs is know as the “king of herbs” Ganoderma Lucidum

Organic Farming

When shopping I refer to buy food that was grown using organic farming methods and GMO free over conventional methods using GMO seeds, this is not always easy living in the US. We are one of the few first world countries that don’t require GMO labeling on food. Where I live in Maine we are trying to get a law past that would require such a label.

Wholefoods who supports organic farming is making a move to require all their suppliers disclose if products are GMO or not, it has put suppliers in a rush to change ingredients so they can keep that label off their products. Its funny that there is such a demand for such a easy solution to give people the choice of whether or not they eat GMO products. Seems no one in Washington seems to care or maybe the lobbyist are working against the will of the people. hmm money before health, that never happens around here.

Pictures like this have been going around the internet
Image

Unfortunately this is only partly correct

Jeffery Smiths article on GMO codes
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jeffrey-smith/plu-codes-do-not-indicate_b_473088.html

GMO codes are hypothetical

Those that run PLU-universe figured that someday some retailer might want to distinguish between a GMO and a non-GMO for price or inventory purposes. So they created a convention of 5 digits starting with an 8, just in case it catches on. But it hasn’t. No one uses that number 8 as far as we can tell. And why would they? Most Americans say they would avoid GMOs if they were labeled.

Some seed companies don’t even want gardeners to know which seed is genetically modified. One company that sells zucchini seeds outfitted with virus genes announced that they would refuse to sell seed packets in Vermont, since the state legislature requires GM seeds to be labeled.

One other thing I found out recently was just because food has been grown using organic Farming Methods doesn’t mean its 100% GMO free.

http://blogcritics.org/tastes/article/can-gmo-food-be-organic/

Until recently, I assumed GMO food could not be called “organic.” The U.S. and Canada both prohibit 100% certified organic food from containing GMO ingredients. However, contamination of the crops may cause organic feed to contain some percentage of GMO ingredients.

Ganoderma Lucidum or Reishi Mushroom

Some of Ganoderma Lucidum‘s well documented attributes:

-Anti-bacterial Anti-candida
-Anti-inflammatory Anti-oxidant
-Anti-viral
-Blood Pressure Moderator
-Blood Sugar Moderator
-Cholesterol Reducer
-Information on Cholesterol
-Immune Enhance

Hard to believe all that is found in a red fleshy Mushroom know as Ganoderma Lucidum

What is Ganoderma 365? What makes it better than other Ganoderma Lucidum? Watch this informative video and
find out about the new “King of Herbs”! Features GanoLife International Marketing Director Marvin Higbee

The lingzhi mushroom or reishi mushroom (traditional Chinese: 靈芝; pinyin: língzhī; Japanese: reishi; Vietnamese: linh chi; literally: “supernatural mushroom”) encompasses several fungal species of the genus Ganoderma, and most commonly refers to the closely related species, Ganoderma lucidum and Ganoderma tsugae. G. lucidum enjoys special veneration in East Asia, where it has been used as a medicinal mushroom in traditional Chinese medicine for more than 2,000 years,[1] making it one of the oldest mushrooms known to have been used medicinally. Lingzhi is listed in the American Herbal Pharmacopoeia and Therapeutic Compendium.

Today Ganoderma Lucidum Mushroom is consumed mainly in supplements form. A few company’s are using Coffee the number 2 consumed beverage in the world next to water as a delivery system .. Of course the quality of the Ganoderma varies from company to company. Right now as it stands Gano Lifes 365 products are the most pure and potent of all the major competitors, Followed by Gano Excel(no products available in the USA at time of this blog) and Organo gold coming in last.

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly (Cholesterol)

After living a plant based lifestyle for a few months I was actually excited to have my cholesterol tested. When I
received my results in the mail today I was confused and shocked.

Triglycerides 182 mg/dL Borderline High (not good)
HDL Cholesterol 24 mg/dL Low (not good)
LDL Cholesterol 89 mg/dL Low and very good

HDL cholesterol aka GOOD Cholesterol

> 60 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) are high. That’s good.
< 40 mg/dL are low. That’s bad.

In general, people with high HDL are at lower risk for heart disease. People with low HDL are at higher risk.

What Can I Do if my HDL Cholesterol Level Is Low? If your HDL is low, you can take several steps to boost your HDL level and reduce your heart disease risk:

Exercise. Aerobic exercise for 30 to 60 minutes on most days of the week can help pump up HDL.
Quit smoking. Tobacco smoke lowers HDL, and quitting can increase HDL levels. (I dont and never have smoked)
Keep a healthy weight. Besides improving HDL levels, avoiding obesity reduces risk for heart disease and multiple other health conditions. (Down 30 pounds, 30 more to go)

http://www.webmd.com/cholesterol-management/hdl-cholesterol-the-good-cholesterol

LDL Cholesterol aka BAD Cholesterol

Expert groups define the levels of LDL cholesterol as follows:

< 100 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) is optimal.
100 to 129 mg/dL is near-optimal.
130 and 159 mg/dL is borderline high.
160 and 189 mg/dL is high.
190 mg/dL or more is very high.

http://www.webmd.com/cholesterol-management/ldl-cholesterol-the-bad-cholesterol

Triglycerides

A blood test that measures your cholesterol also measures your triglycerides.
For a general idea about your triglycerides level, compare your test results to the following:

Normal is less than 150.
Borderline-high is 150 to 199.
High is 200 to 499.
Very high is 500 or higher.

What causes high triglycerides?
High triglycerides are usually caused by other conditions, such as:

Obesity.
Poorly controlled diabetes. (dont have)
An underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism). (my is normal)
Kidney disease.
Regularly eating more calories than you burn.
Drinking a lot of alcohol. (dont hardly drink)

Certain medicines may also raise triglycerides. These medicines include:

Tamoxifen.
Steroids.
Beta-blockers. (taking for high blood pressure)
Diuretics.
Estrogen.
Birth control pills.
In a few cases, high triglycerides also can run in families.

http://www.webmd.com/cholesterol-management/tc/high-triglycerides-overview

When life gives you lemons, Drink them!

Dont make sugary lemonade, just juice them and drink them!

884336_479877945400750_1660171157_o

Are Oils Healthy?

“Vegetable (and Fish) Oils

In nature there are no “free” vegetable oils – all are obtained by man-made processing. These important nutrients are bound within the substances of plants and in this complex form are essential for good health. When these oils are processed free of their surrounding fibers, vitamins, minerals and other phytochemicals they become medicines, at best, and toxic, at worst. Some of the common consequences of consuming these so called, “good fats,” even flaxseed and fish oil, are: obesity, type-2 diabetes, bleeding, immune system depression and cancer.”

Read more here

http://www.drmcdougall.com/med_hot_vegetableoils.html

Make sure you read this one

“The fat you eat is the fat you wear,”

http://www.drmcdougall.com/misc/2007nl/aug/oils.htm

 

 

Please post thoughts and links to other views.