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Recently I read this piece about sunscreen safety.  Apparently, typical sunscreens we cover ourselves and our kids with contain one more of these potential dangerous chemicals:

Dioxybenzone and oxybenzone are some of the most powerful free radical generators known to man. Other chemicals on this list have been connected to things like  cancer and hormonal imbalance.

I have been using Kiss My Face Sunscreeen for a few years. I love how light this cream is and how easily it absorbs into the skin, without leaving a typical white residue. I also like how it gives me and my family great sun protection without the dangerous chemicals. It is available in a spray bottle, as a cream or even as a sunblock stick.

What else can be done to protect the skin agains harmful UV-rays?

Nutrition helps, like it does with everything else.

Antioxidant-rich foods have been linked to good sun-protection of the skin. As pesticide residue can deplete the body’s antioxidant supplies,  it’s always better to choose certified organic foods.

1. Green tea’s  epigallocatechins directly block DNA damage from UV light, which has been demonstrated in studies involving human skin cells.

2. Moderate amounts of sunlight are helpful, as they provide us with vitamin D. A good buildup of this vitamin is essential, if you’d like to avoid sunburn. Dr. Mercola recommends staying in the sun until the skin turns light pink (for Caucasian skin.)

3. Phytonutrients lycopene in tomatoes and phenols in olive oil have been linked to better sun protection by a German study.

 Vitamin C, vitamin E and the mineral selenium all are good antioxidants that protect the skin against sun damage.

4. For vitamin C, try kiwis, oranges, bell peppers, broccoli, papaya,  and strawberries.

5. For vitamin E, try  sunflower seeds, almonds, olives, egg yolks and dark green leafy vegetables.

6. For selenium, try  mushrooms and fish.  Buying wild-caught fish is better,  because pesticide and antibiotic residues in farmed fish deplete the body’s antioxidant supplies.

7. Limonene and ellagic acid are other sun-protective nutrients. Citrus fruits, such as oranges, lemons and limes,  are rich in limonene and berries, such as blueberries and rasberries are rich in ellagic acid.

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A week ago, we went to our three year old friend’s birthday party, where my kid was the only one that didn’t eat a slice of cake and didn’t sample any candy. He didn’t care, because he didn’t know what cake or candy tasted like. My husband and I caught a few disapproving looks from other parents, however. Like: “You are depriving your child” kind of looks.

Yesterday, my husband took our 2.5 year old son to an age-appropriate Easter-themed workshop at a local museum. The plan for the workshop was to decorate Easter eggs. What was used for the decorations? You’re right: rice crispies, frosting and chocolate sprinkles. All  of this sugar at 11 am. As my husband put it: “My kid ate breakfast, how about you teach him some creativity instead of ruining his health and appetite for lunch?” so, they left the workshop. I love my man!

Unfortunately this new trend of fully immersing our children in sugar is everywhere. In preschools, you are expected to bring cake for your kid’s birthday and cupcakes for every other joyful occasion. Birthdays are supposed to be full of sugar and having some M & Ms in a school lunch box is more of a norm than an exception.

There is nothing wrong with a little cake or a Snicker bar once in a great while for older kids or for adults. Introducing highly refined, health-destructive foods to two year olds is criminal, in my opinion. One day your kid will discover chocolate. One day your kid would love cupcakes. Knowing how truly poisonous these foods are to children’s health, why would you introduce them yourselves at the time the kid is barely eating solids? The reason why my two and a half year old doesn’t know what candy is is because I care for his health. The reason why my two and ahalf year old loves eating salad is because he doesn’t eat cookies. Te reason why he enjoys healthy natural foods is because I take good care to not pollute his taste buds with overwhelmingly strong flavors of refined and processed sugary snacks. You choose what your little children eat for a reason: put some thought into what goes into their mouths.

Nancy Appleton, PhD, presents this list of why sugar is bad for heath in her book Lick the Sugar Habit. Every single claim on this list is backed up by a scientific study. You can read even more about sugar dangers here. See if you will give your kid a candy bar after reading this.

  1. Sugar can suppress your immune system and impair your defenses against infectious disease.
  2. Sugar upsets the mineral relationships in your body: causes chromium and copper deficiencies and interferes with absorption of calcium and magnesium.
  3. Sugar can cause a rapid rise of adrenaline, hyperactivity, anxiety, difficulty concentrating, and crankiness in children.
  4. Sugar can produce a significant rise in total cholesterol, triglycerides and bad cholesterol and a decrease in good cholesterol.
  5. Sugar causes a loss of tissue elasticity and function.
  6. Sugar feeds cancer cells and has been connected with the development of cancer of the breast, ovaries, prostate, rectum, pancreas, biliary tract, lung, gallbladder and stomach.
  7. Sugar can increase fasting levels of glucose and can cause reactive hypoglycemia.
  8. Sugar can weaken eyesight.
  9. Sugar can cause many problems with the gastrointestinal tract including: an acidic digestive tract, indigestion, malabsorption in patients with functional bowel disease, increased risk of Crohn’s disease, and ulcerative colitis.
  10. Sugar can cause premature aging.In fact, the single most important factor that accelerates aging is insulin, which is triggered by sugar.
  11. Sugar can lead to alcoholism.
  12. Sugar can cause your saliva to become acidic, tooth decay, and periodontal disease.
  13. Sugar contributes to obesity.
  14. Sugar can cause autoimmune diseases such as: arthritis, asthma, and multiple sclerosis.
  15. Sugar greatly assists the uncontrolled growth of Candida Albicans (yeast infections)
  16. Sugar can cause gallstones.
  17. Sugar can cause appendicitis.
  18. Sugar can cause hemorrhoids.
  19. Sugar can cause varicose veins.
  20. Sugar can elevate glucose and insulin responses in oral contraceptive users.
  21. Sugar can contribute to osteoporosis.
  22. Sugar can cause a decrease in your insulin sensitivity thereby causing an abnormally high insulin levels and eventually diabetes.
  23. Sugar can lower your Vitamin E levels.
  24. Sugar can increase your systolic blood pressure.
  25. Sugar can cause drowsiness and decreased activity in children.
  26. High sugar intake increases advanced glycation end products (AGEs),which are sugar molecules that attach to and damage proteins in your body. AGEs speed up the aging of cells, which may contribute to a variety of chronic and fatal diseases.
  27. Sugar can interfere with your absorption of protein.
  28. Sugar causes food allergies.
  29. Sugar can cause toxemia during pregnancy.
  30. Sugar can contribute to eczema in children.
  31. Sugar can cause atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease.
  32. Sugar can impair the structure of your DNA.
  33. Sugar can change the structure of protein and cause a permanent alteration of the way the proteins act in your body.
  34. Sugar can make your skin age by changing the structure of collagen.
  35. Sugar can cause cataracts and nearsightedness.
  36. Sugar can cause emphysema.
  37. High sugar intake can impair the physiological homeostasis of many systems in your body
  38. Sugar lowers the ability of enzymes to function.
  39. Sugar intake is higher in people with Parkinson’s disease.
  40. Sugar can increase the size of your liver by making your liver cells divide, and it can increase the amount of fat in your liver, leading to fatty liver disease.
  41. Sugar can increase kidney size and produce pathological changes in the kidney such as the formation of kidney stones. Fructose is helping to drive up rates of kidney disease.
  42. Sugar can damage your pancreas.
  43. Sugar can increase your body’s fluid retention.
  44. Sugar is enemy #1 of your bowel movement.
  45. Sugar can compromise the lining of your capillaries.
  46. Sugar can make your tendons more brittle.
  47. Sugar can cause headaches, including migraines.
  48. Sugar can reduce the learning capacity, adversely affect your children’s grades and cause learning disorders.
  49. Sugar can cause an increase in delta, alpha, and theta brain waves, which can alter your ability to think clearly.
  50. Sugar can cause depression.
  51. Sugar can increase your risk of gout.
  52. Sugar can increase your risk of Alzheimer’s disease. MRI studies show that adults 60 and older who have high uric acid are four to five times more likely to have vascular dementia, the second most common form of dementia after Alzheimer’s.
  53. Sugar can cause hormonal imbalances such as: increasing estrogen in men, exacerbating PMS, and decreasing growth hormone.
  54. Sugar can lead to dizziness.
  55. Diets high in sugar will increase free radicals and oxidative stress.
  56. A high sucrose diet of subjects with peripheral vascular disease significantly increases platelet adhesion.
  57. High sugar consumption by pregnant adolescents can lead to a substantial decrease in gestation duration and is associated with a twofold-increased risk for delivering a small-for-gestational-age (SGA) infant.
  58. Sugar is an addictive substance.
  59. Sugar can be intoxicating, similar to alcohol.
  60. Sugar given to premature babies can affect the amount of carbon dioxide they produce.
  61. Decrease in sugar intake can increase emotional stability.
  62. Your body changes sugar into 2 to 5 times more fat in the bloodstream than it does starch.
  63. The rapid absorption of sugar promotes excessive food intake in obese subjects.
  64. Sugar can worsen the symptoms of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
  65. Sugar adversely affects urinary electrolyte composition.
  66. Sugar can impair the function of your adrenal glands.
  67. Sugar has the potential of inducing abnormal metabolic processes in normal, healthy individuals, thereby promoting chronic degenerative diseases.
  68. Intravenous feedings (IVs) of sugar water can cut off oxygen to your brain.
  69. Sugar increases your risk of polio.
  70. High sugar intake can cause epileptic seizures.
  71. Sugar causes high blood pressure in obese people.
  72. In intensive care units, limiting sugar saves lives.
  73. Sugar may induce cell death.
  74. In juvenile rehabilitation centers, when children were put on low sugar diets, there was a 44 percent drop in antisocial behavior.
  75. Sugar dehydrates newborns.
  76. Sugar can cause gum disease.

I always have quinoa leftovers. I also usually have some veggies in the fridge. Combining the two typically produces delicious entrees or side dishes. Tonight I cooked one, using my brand new Xtrema pot I bought off dr. Mercola’s website. Xtrema cookware looks sleek, is easy to clean, can be used both on the stove, in the oven or in a microwave and most importantly, it does not leak heavy metals into foods. My new pot exceeded my expectations: it heated the food evenly, nothing stuck to it,’ it kept the food warm for a while afterwards and it looked really good. I am happy to know that my new pots and pans are going to not just be pretty and cook foods well, but also contribute to my family’s health. Anyway, here’s what i made:

Yummy Quinoa Dish

Ingredients:

Quinoa, cooked- 3 cups

Carrots, grated – 3/4 cup

Broccoli florets – 1/2  cup

Onions, diced -1 medium

Tofu, cubed – 1 cup (or use cooked chicken instead)

Zucchini, chopped -1 medium

Parsley, chopped  – 1/2 cup

Braggs Aminos 2 tbsp

Olive oil – 1/4cup

Garlic – 2 cloves, diced

Paprika to taste

Warm up 1/2 of the olive oil in the  pan. Add the onions and saute for 3 minutes. Add the  Braggs and the tofu (or chicken. ) Saute for another 4 mins, or until the tofu has a little crust. Add the remaining oil, the carrots , the parsley and the broccoli. Lower the flame, cover with the lid and let simmer for another 2 mins. Add some water, if things are getting sticky. Add the remaining veggies and let simmer for two more minutes. Mix in the  quinoa. Taste and add the  spices. Let simmer for another 2  minutes.

Image credit

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