Archive for the ‘Health & Wellness’ Category

The New Medicine

January 2, 2011

The title of this documentary, which came out in 2006, really caught my attention.  For awhile now, Jeff and I have been talking about the idea of producing a documentary about how the human body works, and specifically how it is biologically designed to cure any imbalance that happens within it.  Our modern medicine has taught us that we need to manipulate, change and alter the state of imbalance from the outside (drugs and surgery), and that our bodies need modern technology and medicine to be balanced and remain healthy.  This, sadly, has removed the patient from the equation of keeping himself/herself in good health.  We often turn over our own healing power to the hands of others who, quite frankly, don’t know us as well as we know ourselves.  Besides, drugs and surgery don’t heal.  The body is the only thing that can heal itself.  There can be a place for modern medicine, but without the body’s own ability to keep itself balanced, health is impossible.  We need to understand the role we play and the role medicine plays before we can obtain the health we desire.

The New Medicine delves into this very issue.  It’s a discussion of integrative medicine at its best, and how we have come, through science, to better understand the link between our minds, bodies and our health.

If you have ever heard me say, “if the professionals helping you with health issues do not treat you like a member of the team, switch teams!” then, you’ll see why this statement could be the difference between health and illness.

To your better health!

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More on GMOs

November 11, 2010

I recently posted about GMOs (genetically modified organisms) and the importance of knowing what they are and how they are affecting the fuel we put into our bodies.  In a nutshell, the body was not designed by nature to ingest, digest or absorb man-made products.  Anytime we change around the molecular or genetic structure of something, it changes how our bodies deal with it.  Anything “other” is seen as foreign and toxic, and the body reacts accordingly.

This past spring, my garden produced quite a few 2nd generation tomato plants from those I had purchased as “organic” plants in the store last season.  These 2nd generation plants didn’t produce one single tomato.  Interesting, huh?  The problem with “letting loose” GMOs is that, once in nature, they can cross pollinate with organics and affect future generations of these plants as well.

It is important to point out that other countries have made it illegal to modify food sources.  Our country is the leader in GMOs.  My question is WHY???  I think nature did a great job of creating exactly what the body needs and can utilize.

It’s worth asking and inquiring . . .

Check out the following article by Kim Evans a journalist for Natural News and the links below for more information.

To your health!

Beware of GMOs: Genes Remain a Mystery to Scientists

Monday, November 08, 2010 by: Kim Evans, citizen journalist


(NaturalNews) As scientists are busy manipulating the genes of edibles including corn, soybeans, canola, papaya, zucchini, and now rice and salmon, an interesting fact comes into light about what exactly scientists know and don’t know about human genes. According to geneticist Steven Salzberg of the University of Maryland, “Not only do we not know what all the genes are – we don’t even know how many there are.”

Genetically manipulated foods have been found to change the genetic structure of our healthy bacteria – and this makes one wonder if GMO foods might be altering our own genetic make-up as well. But if they are, how would we know? By a geneticist’s own words, scientists can’t even find all of our genes – let alone know what they all do or how they’ll act if they are changed. In addition, one gene often controls several different things – and with scientists not even knowing all of the genes we have, it makes it pretty difficult to know where to look when things start going wrong – and next to impossible to fix.

In all seriousness, isn’t this a little like letting a kindergartner have free reign over a delicate, extraordinary, and extremely complicated project that affects the health and, quite literally, the survival of our entire species? How smart would that be?

Some of the foods that scientists are genetically manipulating – and dumping into grocery stores – make it impossible for plants to reproduce naturally. These plants have what are called terminator genes inserted into them and terminator genes are literally designed to end the reproductive ability of the plant. According to GMO manufacturers, these genes have no other purpose but to protect the profits of the manufacturers by discouraging seed saving.

But what happens if these terminator genes permeate our own genetic make-up – the same way the genes of GMO soy incorporate themselves into the genes of our healthy bacteria? There’s been little to no testing of this, but perhaps it’s one of the reasons that animals consuming genetically manipulated foods often become sterile and have reproductive problems. Perhaps it’s one of the reasons that human infertility rates have been sky-rocketing too.

Despite the extraordinary risks and deplorable consequences, the FDA stands firm that no testing is required for these new, genetically different foods that scientists are making up in laboratories. The agency is also staunchly against labeling these new genetic creations so that informed people who actually want to have children can easily avoid them.

Here’s what we know: the genes of these new genetic creations can and do leak into other living organisms. We also know that these scientifically derived foods have genes specifically designed to put an end to reproductive ability and produce pesticides continuously. With GMO foods lining grocery store shelves, this combination unfortunately takes the term buyer beware to a whole new level.

More:
http://www.sciencenews.org/view/gen…
http://www.nd.edu/~chem191/f2.html
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jeffr…

Study – GMO soy changes our healthy bacteria:
http://www.nature.com/nbt/journal/v…

Seeds of Deception, Jeffrey Smith

What we put inside our bodies besides food

November 6, 2010

Yesterday, Dr Joseph Mercola posted a very good article about vaccines.  I pass this on simply because I believe in education and having people know the whole story behind issues so they can make educated decisions regarding their health.

I have included an excerpt from Dr Mercola’s article.  The link for the entire article is at the end.  Read on and consider when making choices about vaccinations.

To your health!

“In the early 1950s, the United States administered four vaccines — diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis and smallpox. Children received 13 doses of four vaccines by the time they were two years old and not more than three vaccines in a single visit.

By the mid-1980s, there were seven vaccines — diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, measles, mumps, rubella and polio.  Children received 15 doses of seven vaccines by the time they were two years old and not more than four vaccines in a single visit.

Since the mid-1980s, many vaccines have been added to the schedule.

Today, children may receive as many as 37 doses of 14 vaccines by the age of two, and as many as eight vaccines in a single visit.

The United States recommends more vaccines than any country in world. The CDC recommends 48 doses of 14 vaccines by age six, and 69 doses of 16 vaccines by age 18.

The CDC also recommends an annual flu shot for all Americans from six months of age through year of death.

What exactly is fueling this dramatic rise in the number of shots recommended to our children and adults?”

For Full Article:

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/11/04/big-profits-linked-to-vaccine-mandates.aspx

Do you know what a GMO is?

August 26, 2010

Recently, a friend, who takes great pride in educating himself and others on the things most of us just don’t know are going on in the world, sent me a great article that I think you all should read.  It merely gives a bit of commentary on a growing problem within our food industry – Genetically Modified Organisms.

Take a peek, and if you wish, look into this issue.  There are many things we can do, and the simplest is not to purchase foods that are GMO.  Labeling will tell you if something is not (it won’t say that it is) and organic foods (at least for now) are not GMO.  Best bet is to stay away from soy and corn.  Highly modified crops!

If you want to take a stand and don’t necessarily want to become imprisoned for it, then do so with your dollars!  It goes a long way!

To your better health!!

GMO Crop Sabotage on the Rise: French citizens destroy trial vineyard

By Rady Ananda

Orginal Article can be found at Food Freedom.

Early Sunday morning, French police stood helpless as sixty people, locked inside an open-air field of genetically modified grapevines, uprooted all the plants.  In Spain last month, dozens of people destroyed two GMO fields. On the millennial cusp, Indian farmers burned Bt cotton in their Cremate Monsanto campaign. Ignored by multinational corporations and corrupt public policy makers, citizens act to protect the food supply and the planet.

The French vineyard is the same field attacked last year when the plants were only cut. But the security features installed after that incident kept authorities at bay while the group accomplished its mission yesterday.

Speaking for the group, Olivier Florent told Le Figero that they condemned the use of public funds for open-field testing of GMOs “that we do not want.”

Pitching tents in the rain near France’s National Institute for Agronomic Research (INRA) site in Colmar the night before, the group waited until 5 AM before converging on the site and locking the gates behind them. They uprooted all 70 plants, then submitted to arrest.

This is the second attack on GMO crops to make international news this year. In July dozens of people destroyed two experimental corn crops in Spain. In an anonymous press release, they wrote, “This kind of direct action is the best way to respond to the fait accompli policy through which the Generalitat, the State and the biotech multinationals have been unilaterally imposing genetically modified organisms.”

In the late 1990s, Indian farmers burnt Bt cotton fields in their Cremate Monsanto campaign. Monsanto did not disclose to farmers that the GM seeds were experimental. “Despite the heavy use of chemical fertiliser, traces of which still can be observed in the field, the Bt plants grew miserably, less than half the size of the traditional cotton plants in the adjacent fields.”

After the Haiti earthquake this year, Monsanto offered 475 tons of hybrid corn and terminator vegetable seeds in partnership with USAID. In June, 10,000 Haitian farmers marched in protest of the “poison gift” which produces no viable seeds for future plantings and requires heavy chemical inputs. Haitian farm leader Chavannes Jean-Baptiste observed that the biotech plan makes farmers dependent on multinational corporations.

In the US, GMOs were secretly foisted on the public in the mid-1990s, and only now is the US Supreme Court addressing the scourge. In June, the high court upheld partial deregulation of GM alfalfa, which permits limited planting while the USDA prepares an Environmental Impact Statement. Natural and organic alfalfa supply is threatened by the very real potential of GM contamination. This would destroy the organic meat and dairy industry.

Last Friday, a federal court took a tougher position on GM sugar beets. Judge Jeffrey S. White revoked USDA approval of the GM beet, while allowing for its planting this year only.

Also this month, a British farmer exposed that milk and meat from cloned animals had secretly entered the food supply.

Public opposition to GM crops has grown in recent years as more evidence surfaces that DNA-altered crops:

Meanwhile, President Obama has appointed Islam Siddiqui as Agriculture Trade Negotiator. Siddiqui is a former pesticide lobbyist and vice president of CropLife America, a biotech and pesticide trade group that lobbies to weaken environmental laws.

The US is pushing hard at the world to accept GM foods. Recently, the American Farm Bureau Federation called for stronger sanctions against the European Union for its GM crop ban.

But as governments and trade agreements circumvent the will of the people, some take matters into their own hands. The rise in GMO crop destruction is a clear indication that the world’s people reject chemical and genetic pollution of the food supply and the environment.

“If people let the government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny.” ~Thomas Jefferson

Say “Good-bye Gaterade!”

July 20, 2010

So, I don’t know if you are as crazy health conscious as I am, but even if you aren’t, here’s some info that you might be interested in checking out!  You may or may not have heard the recent buzz about a long-known (at least in some cultures) way to help rebalance your electrolytes NATURALLY!  Yes, I know it might be news to some, but the neon colors used in popular sports drinks are not natural!  In fact, the balance of electrolytes within these drinks is really not what the body intended at all!

So, what do we do in the summer months when we’re running around, sweating and needing hydration?  The answer is young coconut water (also known as green coconut water).

The benefits of coconut water do not stop there, however!  They are really too numerous to list here (check out www.knowledgebase-script.com/demo/article-320.html for more info).  The celebs are in on this secret too, so it’s easy to find the stuff and the numerous information about it.  Personally, I like to mix it with acai juice for added antioxidants and a more inviting taste!

Drink up . . . you’re body needs it!

Here’s a gene test that doesn’t make you think “Cloning!”

May 25, 2010

Alright, so I’m on a roll . . . 2 posts in less than an hour . . . forgive me, I tend to work this way!

Okay, so the subject is gene analysis.  I’m pretty pumped about this one, and this is why.

If you know me well (and have spoken to me about health and wellness in the past year!), then you know one of my favorite things to point out is that our personal health is not necessarily a science. The reason they say doctor’s “practice” medicine is that we never really know for sure what’s going to work when it comes to improving your health.  A lot is trial and error, and your lucky if you hit the target from the get-go.  So, hold onto your seats because I’m about to eat my words.  Now you don’t have to guess anymore!

Many of you know about the multitude of take-home test kits that are currently on the market.  You can test your blood sugar, your adrenal health, the level of heavy metals in your system by submitting something as simple as your hair, urine or saliva.  I really think this was all invented for those who have a deathly fear of the needle!

Anyway, now there is a take-home test that requires nothing but a buckle swab (taken from inside your mouth along your cheek) and you can get certain aspects of your DNA blue print.  What is so fabulous is you get the information as it pertains to your predisposition for certain bodily imbalances and how well or poorly you synthesize certain vitamins, etc.

What this means is when it comes to certain areas, there’s no more guessing.  This is the direction we’re going in, and I couldn’t be more thrilled.  No more DNA studies for cloning, let’s use the info to target what we need to do to take care of this one life we have now!  For more info check out

http://yourgenesnp.marketamerica.com/index.cfm?action=services.gsFAQ

Let me know if you need to know how to order the test!  I’m getting mine as we speak!

To YOUR health!!!!

Food, Inc . . . a great education!

May 25, 2010

Okay, so it’s been awhile since I last put something out into cyberspace, but let me tell you, I have a great tip now!

For those of you who haven’t seen it, you have to check out the documentary “Food, Inc.”  It’s brilliantly directed by Robert Kenner and features investigative journalists Eric Schlosser and Michael Pollan.  Just as a quick side note, if you haven’t read Schlosser’s Fast Food Nation and Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma, you should seriously consider it after watching this movie.

Personally, I’m not one to jump on every conspiracy issue that comes along.  My take is you should be educated and then you can make your own call (and make your own decisions from a place of knowledge and understanding).  That being said, you can’t help but want to do what the film asks of you in the end credits . . . to use your vote and know you have the opportunity 3 times a day to make a difference.  I’m saying no more than that for fear of giving too much away!

We’ve been educated in this country (and any country, really) to believe what we’re told by special interest groups, corporations, the govt, etc, so this side of the story where it comes to our personal fuel needs to be heard.  What goes on in the world of Food is anything but straightforward.

So, check it out.  It’s a great education, but certainly not for the squeamish . . . you may want to forgo the popcorn with this one!

Why are “playdates” just for children?

February 6, 2010

I asked myself this question after reading the newest post on a great website that my father turned me on to . . .thanks, Dad!  You must check it out  http://www.happiness-project.com

The author, Gretchen Rubin, wrote a book about a year-long project in which she researched, pondered and questioned thousands of sources about what it meant to be happy.  Personally, I think we all should take such a hiatus.  The book, The Happiness Project (also the name of her site) is now on the NY Times #1 Bestseller list.

The current post is entitled “Schedule Time For Play.”  I like it, actually, I really like it!  In fact, just last night, I was talking to my husband, Jeff, about how we needed to schedule date nights.  The conversation seemed so strange to me in some ways, because we live in the same house and for most working couples, we do spend quite a bit of time together.  The fact is, however, we do not have a whole lot of “quality” time.  Most of our conversations are interrupted by a very enthusiastic 2-year-old who just cannot fathom how anyone would want to hold a conversation that is not entirely focused on and directed towards her.  Those of you with children know exactly what I’m talking about!

Anyway, as Rubin points out, we do live in a time where if we don’t schedule things, they just don’t get done.  A bit sad, but true, so let’s embrace the time we are in, at least that’s how I feel.

One of my favorite parts of Rubin’s recent post is, “[a] reason to schedule time for play is that once you’ve scheduled it, you can look forward to it. Anticipation is one of the four stages of enjoying a happy event (anticipation, reveling, expression, and reflection), and one way to get more happiness bang for the buck is eagerly to anticipate something fun.”

This is what I told Jeff in our conversation about date nights.  Now,  if I can marry my “play time” with “hubby time,” well, now that IS something to look forward to!

Happy Reading!

Wellness, what does this really mean?

February 2, 2010

Just today, I received an email from a very close friend of mine who has lovingly brought 7 amazing children into this world.  Okay, so you have to love and respect her for that alone!

She is frustrated and concerned with her search for answers to some health concerns that her children are having.  She explained in her email her journey with western and holistic practitioners, and highlighted her feelings that in her experience, the naturalists have often come across with an us-versus-them attitude that she has had a tough time taking.  That, in addition, to not being able to pinpoint the source of the health issues even after spending thousands of dollars and many hours of her very precious time.  I felt compelled to share with you a bit of my response to her.

We are all here to help one another, and much of my message is the following . . .

If it helps, this is my take:  I am integrative.  I believe allopathic (ie Western medicine) is great if you have an acute health issue (ex, bleeding on the side of the road or having a seizure, etc) and for medical testing (to rule out and or pinpoint issues – although there are many limitations here).  I am more of a purest when it comes to the actual treatment, but it all depends there as well.  My “specialty” is more about prevention. I have also done extensive research on vaccines and the host of modern illness that have come from them.  The connections are very scary, and I’m not saying this in an us-against-them way at all.  The truth is, we have been given a whole lot of information that is geared to get us to buy pharmaceuticals.  They don’t help with many things that they are prescribed for, and in cases such as vaccines end up creating a whole host of issues that the body is not designed to deal with.

Okay, so take a deep breath.  My “way” is never to overwhelm a person entering this arena for the first time.  We deal with what’s in front of us first, and then little by little, we educate.  People are smart.  If given good, solid, scientifically based information, they will make educated decisions.  The problem is, main-stream medical practice is anything but straightforward and biology- based . . . at least not where the human body is concerned.  The human body is already equipped by nature with what it needs.  The more we “mess” with it, the harder it is for it to do what it is
supposed to do.

I also agree with you about  the cost issue.  It’s a huge problem.  Part of the reason the holistic practitioners you’ve met appear to be on the tear when it comes to modern medicine. Our system has made it this way.  An organic farmer has to pay 2x what a conventional farmer does just to get his crop to market.  Our health care system only supports Western medicine AND we have been educated by the pharmaceutical companies.  It’s incredible to me to count how many drug ads there are on TV in one program sitting. The doctors treating patients are only taught how to manage illness, not how to prevent it in the first place.

To me, however, it is a part of our responsibility to do what we need to do for our bodies.  Clearly, the govt is not going to do it for us, at least not for quite awhile.  If it costs more now, well, we just have to learn ways to find what we need as affordably as we can.  I don’t think it means we have to give in to the system, though.

Our health concerns, and those of our children, is something we have to put time and effort into, whether we like it or not.  We may not find the person who can help us the first 10 go arounds, but if we keep trying and educating ourselves as we go along, the right people will come our way, and they will help us in our journey.  It is a journey.  With medicine and health . ..that’s why we call is “practicing medicine.”  No one ever knows for sure. You just have to keep trying things until you find what works.  I believe you are doing this.  Each time you venture out, you meet someone who gets a bit closer to the answers you need.  The fact is, if you resonated with the nutritionist who wanted you to buy this and that, you’d still be doing it. Something didn’t fit, so you kept looking.  It didn’t have anything to do with what she was prescribing.  It could have all been very good.  You did it in the name of “expense,” but that wasn’t it. Your inner being knows better.  It knows other answers are out there.  It knows it has to keep looking.  When you find it, you’ll know.  That’s what I tell everyone.  I’ve had long-term clients who spent the money to stay with me because they have looked at it as finally getting to know their bodies and buying back their health.  The real reason, however, is that they trust me, and my way “resonates” with them.  It might not with everyone, but for them, it does.  That’s a big reason why they are able to heal.  You see, it’s only 20% good practitioner . . .the other 80% is you.

Just know, my friend, that although you have a lot on your plate, you are capable of finding the answers.  If you’re confused, that’s good.  It means you’re actively searching.  You’re not alone.  You’re on the right path, but all you have to do is ask your gut, and it will tell you that.

Raspberries . . . oh, yum!

February 2, 2010

Okay, so I don’t know about you, but I’ve begun to be curious about the occasional “cravings’ that I have for certain foods.  Perhaps, I don’t fall into the category of “chocoholic” or “fast food junky,” but I do know that all cravings are our bodies speaking to us.
The last few weeks, mine has been saying “more raspberries, please!”  I like to buy the frozen, organic variety for Madison.  We defrost them in the refrigerator and put them over plain yogurt . .. I don’t like the flavored stuff . . . too much sugar!  I recently found myself taking more and more bite-fuls of these berries and then wondering why, at this particular time, I’m I craving them more than usual.  On my search, I found (on the Whole Foods website) some very interesting and wonderful facts about this tasty berry.  Thought you might be interested too . . . especially if you like them as much as I do!
Enjoy!
With gratitude and a true passion for you to BE WELL,
Traci

Raspberries

Fragrantly sweet with a subtly tart overtone and almost-melt-in-your-mouth texture, raspberries are wonderfully delicious and are usually in limited supply. Most cultivated varieties of raspberries are grown in California from June through October.

A member of the rose family and a bramble fruit like the blackberry, raspberries are delicately structured with a hollow core. Raspberries are known as “aggregate fruits” since they are a compendium of smaller seed-containing fruits, called drupelets, that are arranged around a hollow central cavity.

This chart graphically details the %DV that a serving of Raspberries provides for each of the nutrients of which it is a good, very good, or excellent source according to our Food Rating System. Additional information about the amount of these nutrients provided by Raspberries can be found in the Food Rating System Chart. A link that takes you to the In-Depth Nutritional Profile for Raspberries, featuring information over 80 nutrients, can be found under the Food Rating System Chart.

Health Benefits

Red raspberry is most often the source of a dietary supplement sold in many health food stores called ellagic acid. This substance found naturally in raspberries belongs to the family of phytonutrients called tannins, and it is viewed as being responsible for a good portion of the antioxidant activity of this (and other) berries.

Phytonutrients for Antioxidant, Antimicrobial and Anticarcinogenic Protection

As an antioxidant food containing ellagic acid, raspberries help prevent unwanted damage to cell membranes and other structures in the body by neutralizing free radicals. Ellagic acid is not the only well-researched phytonutrient component of raspberry, however. Raspberry’s flavonoid content is also well documented. Here the key substances are quercetin, kaempferol, and the cyanidin-based molecules called cyanidin-3-glucosylrutinoside and cyanidin-3-rutinoside. These flavonoid molecules are also classified as anthocyanins, and they belong to the group of substances that give raspberries their rich red color. Raspberries’ anthocyanins also give these delectable berries unique antioxidant properties, as well as some antimicrobial ones, including the ability to prevent overgrowth of certain bacteria and fungi in the body (for example, the yeast Candida albicans, which is a frequent culprit in vaginal infections and can be a contributing cause in irritable bowel syndrome).

Additionally, research is suggesting that raspberries may have cancer protective properties. Research with animals has suggested that raspberries have have the potential to inhibit cancer cell proliferation and tumor formation in various parts of the body, including the colon.

Antioxidants Unique to Raspberries Provide Powerful Protection

Raspberries possess almost 50% higher antioxidant activity than strawberries, three times that of kiwis, and ten times the antioxidant activity of tomatoes, shows research conducted in the Netherlands and published in the journal BioFactors.

The biggest contribution to raspberries’ antioxidant capacity is their ellagitannins, a family of compounds almost exclusive to the raspberry, which are reported to have anti-cancer activity. Vitamin C contributes about 20% of the total antioxidant capacity, accounting for up to 30 milligrams in 100 grams (3.5 ounces) of fruit. Raspberries anthocyanins, especially cyanidin and pelagonidin glycosides, make up another 25%. And more good news: freezing and storing raspberries does not significantly affect their antioxidant activity, although in this study, their concentration of vitamin C was halved by the freezing process.

Plus Vitamin and Mineral Antioxidants

In addition to their unique phytonutrient content, raspberries are filled with traditional nutrients, primarily in the antioxidant and B vitamin categories. Raspberries emerged from our nutrient ranking system as an excellent source of manganese and vitamin C, two critical antioxidant nutrients that help protect the body’s tissue from oxygen-related damage. They also qualified as a good source of riboflavin, folate, niacin, magnesium, potassium and copper. Coupled with this strong B vitamin and mineral content, raspberries qualified as “excellent” in terms of dietary fiber. This combination of nutrients makes raspberries a great fruit choice for having minimal impact on blood sugars.

Promote Optimal Health

Research published in Cancer Letters provides one reason why diets high in fruit help prevent cancer: raspberries, blackberries and muscadine grapes inhibit metalloproteinase enzymes. Although essential for the development and remodeling of tissues, if produced in abnormally high amounts, these enzymes play a significant role in cancer development by providing a mechanism for its invasion and spread.

Protection against Macular Degeneration

Your mother may have told you carrots would keep your eyes bright as a child, but as an adult, it looks like fruit is even more important for keeping your sight. Data reported in a study published in the Archives of Ophthalmology indicates that eating 3 or more servings of fruit per day may lower your risk of age-related macular degeneration (ARMD), the primary cause of vision loss in older adults, by 36%, compared to persons who consume less than 1.5 servings of fruit daily.

In this study, which involved over 110,000 women and men, researchers evaluated the effect of study participants’ consumption of fruits; vegetables; the antioxidant vitamins A, C, and E; and carotenoids on the development of early ARMD or neovascular ARMD, a more severe form of the illness associated with vision loss. While, surprisingly, intakes of vegetables, antioxidant vitamins and carotenoids were not strongly related to incidence of either form of ARMD, fruit intake was definitely protective against the severe form of this vision-destroying disease. Three servings of fruit may sound like a lot to eat each day, but raspberries can help you reach this goal. Top your morning cereal or lunch time yogurt or cottage cheese with fresh raspberries. Transform the taste and presentation of any green salad with a handful of raspberries and a splash of balsamic vinegar. Blend frozen raspberries with a spoonful of honey and some vanilla soy milk, freeze for 20 minutes, then spoon into serving cups and decorate with a sprig of mint for an elegant, healthy treat.

Description

Raspberries are known as “aggregate fruits” since they are a compendium of smaller seed-containing fruits, called drupelets, which are arranged around a hollow central cavity. Their shape conveys to them a very delicate, almost “melt-in-your-mouth” texture. They are fragrantly sweet with a subtly tart overtone. While the most common type of raspberry (Rubus idaeus) is red-pink in color, raspberries actually come in a range of colors including black, purple, orange, yellow and white. Both loganberries and boysenberries are hybrids of raspberries.

History

Raspberries can trace a long history dating back to prehistoric times. While wild raspberries are thought to have originated in eastern Asia, there are also varieties that are native to the Western Hemisphere. The seeds of these raspberries were likely to have been carried by travelers or animals that came across the Bering Straight during ancient times.

The spread of wild raspberries through the world seems to have occurred via similar means. The early hunter-gatherers traveled to far distances to collect food. On their treks back to the villages they would discard what they considered to be inferior quality foods, including the smaller sized raspberries. Thus began the propagation of these plants in other areas.

There seems to be no evidence that raspberries were cultivated until this millennia, with the first written mention being found in an English book on herbal medicine dated 1548. Raspberries began to be grown more widely in Europe and North America in the 19th century when many new varieties such as the loganberry and boysenberry were developed through either accidental or intentional crossbreeding. Currently, the leading commercial producers of raspberries include Russia, Poland, Yugoslavia, Germany, Chile and the United States.

How to Select and Store

As raspberries are highly perishable, they should only be purchased one or two days prior to use. Choose berries that are firm, plump and deep in color, while avoiding those that are soft, mushy or moldy. If you are buying berries prepackaged in a container, make sure that they are not packed too tightly, since this may cause them to become crushed and damaged, and that the container has no signs of stains or moisture, indication of possible spoilage. Raspberries are generally available from midsummer through early fall.

Raspberries are one of the most perishable fruits, so extreme care should be taken in their storage. Before storing in the refrigerator, remove any berries that are molded or spoiled so that they will not contaminate the others. Place the unwashed berries back in their original container or spread them out on a plate lined with a paper towel, then cover the plate with plastic wrap. Raspberries will keep fresh in the refrigerator for one or two days. Make sure not to leave raspberries at room temperature or exposed to sunlight for too long, as this will cause them to spoil.

Raspberries freeze very well. Wash them gently using the low pressure of the sink sprayer so that they will maintain their delicate shape and then pat dry with a paper towel. Arrange them in a single layer on a flat pan or cookie sheet and place them in the freezer. Once frozen, transfer the berries to a heavy plastic bag and return them to the freezer where they will keep for up to one year. Adding a bit of lemon juice to the raspberries will help to preserve their color.

Baby foods containing berries are bereft of anthocyanins, the water-soluble plant pigments responsible not only for the blue, purple, and red color of berries, but also for many of their health benefits.

Anthocyanins are found in fresh and frozen berries, but not in processed foods.

A study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found anthocyanins were almost undetectable in canned foods, bread, cereals, and baby foods containing berries, even in baby foods prepared from fruits high in anthocyanins, such as blueberries.

This may be due to anthocyanins’ unique chemical structure, which renders them unstable even at a neutral pH and therefore much more susceptible to destruction during processing than other phytonutrients, such as proanthocyanidins. To give your children the full health benefits of berries, purchase fresh or frozen berries and purée them.

How to Enjoy

For some of our favorite recipes, click Recipes.

Tips for Preparing Raspberries:

As raspberries are very delicate, wash them very gently, using the light pressure of the sink sprayer if possible, and then patting them dry. They should be washed right before eating or recipe preparation so that they do not become water-soaked and are not left at room temperature for too long. Do not use any berries that are overly soft and mushy unless you will be puréeing them for a sauce or coulis.

A Few Quick Serving Ideas:

Mix fresh raspberries in with creamy millet porridge for a sweet morning breakfast treat.

While at first glance it may seem unusual, the flavor combination created by sprinkling fresh raspberries with balsamic vinegar will send your palate to heaven.

Plain yogurt mixed with raspberries, honey and freshly ground mint is delicious eaten as is or used as a topping for waffles or pancakes.

Almond butter and raspberry jam are a flavorful alternative to the traditional PB&J sandwich.

Depending upon how much sweetener you use, homemade raspberry coulis can be used as a sauce for either savory poultry dishes or sweet desserts.

Individual Concerns

Raspberries and Oxalates

Raspberries are among a small number of foods that contain measurable amounts of oxalates, naturally-occurring substances found in plants, animals, and human beings. When oxalates become too concentrated in body fluids, they can crystallize and cause health problems. For this reason, individuals with already existing and untreated kidney or gallbladder problems may want to avoid eating raspberries. Laboratory studies have shown that oxalates may also interfere with absorption of calcium from the body. Yet, in every peer-reviewed research study we’ve seen, the ability of oxalates to lower calcium absorption is relatively small and definitely does not outweigh the ability of oxalate-containing foods to contribute calcium to the meal plan. If your digestive tract is healthy, and you do a good job of chewing and relaxing while you enjoy your meals, you will get significant benefits-including absorption of calcium-from calcium-rich foods plant foods that also contain oxalic acid. Ordinarily, a healthcare practitioner would not discourage a person focused on ensuring that they are meeting their calcium requirements from eating these nutrient-rich foods because of their oxalate content. For more on this subject, please see “Can you tell me what oxalates are and in which foods they can be found?”

Nutritional Profile

Raspberries are an excellent source of fiber, manganese and vitamin C. They are a good source of vitamin B2, folate, niacin, magnesium, potassium and copper. In addition, they contain significant amounts of the anti-cancer phytochemical ellagic acid.

For an in-depth nutritional profile click here: Raspberries.

In-Depth Nutritional Profile

In addition to the nutrients highlighted in our ratings chart, an in-depth nutritional profile for Raspberries is also available. This profile includes information on a full array of nutrients, including carbohydrates, sugar, soluble and insoluble fiber, sodium, vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, amino acids and more.

Introduction to Food Rating System Chart

In order to better help you identify foods that feature a high concentration of nutrients for the calories they contain, we created a Food Rating System. This system allows us to highlight the foods that are especially rich in particular nutrients. The following chart shows the nutrients for which this food is either an excellent, very good, or good source (below the chart you will find a table that explains these qualifications). If a nutrient is not listed in the chart, it does not necessarily mean that the food doesn’t contain it. It simply means that the nutrient is not provided in a sufficient amount or concentration to meet our rating criteria. (To view this food’s in-depth nutritional profile that includes values for dozens of nutrients – not just the ones rated as excellent, very good, or good – please use the link below the chart.) To read this chart accurately, you’ll need to glance up in the top left corner where you will find the name of the food and the serving size we used to calculate the food’s nutrient composition. This serving size will tell you how much of the food you need to eat to obtain the amount of nutrients found in the chart. Now, returning to the chart itself, you can look next to the nutrient name in order to find the nutrient amount it offers, the percent Daily Value (DV%) that this amount represents, the nutrient density that we calculated for this food and nutrient, and the rating we established in our rating system. For most of our nutrient ratings, we adopted the government standards for food labeling that are found in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s “Reference Values for Nutrition Labeling.” Read more background information and details of our rating system.

Raspberries
1.00 cup
123.00 grams
60.28 calories
Nutrient Amount DV
(%)
Nutrient
Density
World’s Healthiest
Foods Rating
manganese 1.24 mg 62.0 18.5 excellent
vitamin C 30.76 mg 51.3 15.3 excellent
dietary fiber 8.34 g 33.4 10.0 excellent
folate 31.98 mcg 8.0 2.4 good
vitamin B2 (riboflavin) 0.12 mg 7.1 2.1 good
magnesium 22.14 mg 5.5 1.7 good
vitamin B3 (niacin) 1.10 mg 5.5 1.6 good
potassium 186.96 mg 5.3 1.6 good
omega 3 fatty acids 0.12 g 5.0 1.5 good
copper 0.10 mg 5.0 1.5 good
World’s Healthiest
Foods Rating
Rule
excellent DV>=75% OR Density>=7.6 AND DV>=10%
very good DV>=50% OR Density>=3.4 AND DV>=5%
good DV>=25% OR Density>=1.5 AND DV>=2.5%

In-Depth Nutritional Profile for Raspberries

References

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