(December 11, 2008) — Scientists have demonstrated that sugar can be an addictive substance, wielding its power over the brains of lab animals in a manner similar to many drugs of abuse. Researchers found profound behavioral changes in rats that, through experimental conditions, have been trained to become dependent on high doses of sugar. Lab animals that were denied sugar for a prolonged period after learning to binge worked harder to get it when it was reintroduced to them. They consumed more sugar than they ever had before, suggesting craving and relapse behavior. … > full story
Drink Tea To Avoid Tooth Erosion, Study Suggests (November 28, 2008) — Researchers compared green and black tea to soda and orange juice in terms of their short- and long-term erosive effect on human teeth. The study found that the erosive effect of tea was similar to that of water, which has no erosive effect. … full story
Tea consumption had its origin in China more than 4,000 years ago. Green tea has been used as traditional medicine in areas such as China, Japan, India and Thailand to help everything from controlling bleeding and helping heal wounds to regulating body temperature, blood sugar and promoting digestion.
The Kissa Yojoki (Book of Tea), written by Zen priest Eisai in 1191, describes how drinking green tea can have a positive effect on the five vital organs, especially the heart. The book discusses tea’s medicinal qualities, which include easing the effects of alcohol, acting as a stimulant, curing blotchiness, quenching thirst, eliminating indigestion, curing beriberi disease, preventing fatigue, and improving urinary and brain function.
Reducing the negative effects of LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) by lowering levels of triglycerides and increasing the production of HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol).
Joy Bauer, a New York City nutritionist, says [the catechins in green tea] increase levels of the metabolism speeding brain chemical norepinephrine (noradrenaline).
Japanese researchers claim that drinking five cups of green tea a day can burn 70 to 80 extra calories. Dr. Nicholas Perricone, a self-proclaimed anti-aging specialist, appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show and told Oprah’s viewers they can lose 10 lbs (4.5 kg) in 6 weeks drinking green tea instead of coffee.
anti-cancer activity because of isoflavone/phytoestrogens content
alleviate postmenopausal “hot flashes”. 1
If cut before it blooms, alfalfa is low in fiber and high in energy.
improves soil structure and condition, and controls weeds in subsequent crop rotations.
Alfalfa is a good source of protein, B-complex vitamins, and certain minerals, including calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, and potassium.
Alfalfa could help prevent fatigue associated with vitamin/mineral deficiency or protein energy malnutrition in disadvantaged parts of the world.
absorbs significant quantities of cholesterol. The direct interaction of saponins and cholesterol is thought to be responsible for the ability of alfalfa and other saponin-containing plant materials to reverse diet induced cholesterolemia in rats. Alfalfa saponins also interact with cholesterol found in intestinal cell membranes. This potentially alters cholesterol metabolism by interfering with intestinal absorption of cholesterol. 3
absorbs bile acids in the small intestine which then enter the large intestine and are eliminated along with steroids. Since steroids normally facilitate cholesterol absorption, their elimination provides another possible mechanism to reverse or prevent cholesterolemia. 4
Alfalfa, Supplementwatch.com, 2002
International Forage Factsheet Series, http://www.forages.css.orst.edu/Topics/Species/Legumes/Alfalfa/International_Fact_Sheet.html
Hwang J, Sevanian A, Hodis H, Ursini F. Synergistic Inhibition of LDL Oxidation by Phytoestrogens and Ascorbic Acid. Free Radical Biol Med, 29(1); 2000:79-89; Malinow M, McLaughlin P, Stafford C, Livingston A, Kohler G. Alfalfa saponins and alfalfa seeds. Atherosclerosis, 37;1980:433-438; Molgaard J, von Schenck H, Olsson A. Alfalfa seeds lower low density lipoprotein cholesterol and apolipoprotein B concentrations in patients with type II hyperlipoproteinemia. Atherosclerosis, 65,1987:173-79.
Story J, LePage S, Petro M, West L, Cassidy M, Lightfoot F, Vahouny G. Interactions of alfalfa plant and sprout
Refined sugar is a simple carbohydrate because its been stripped of its nutrients. A sugar plant has nutrients. Sugar cane and molasses are more directly utilized, not extracted, and carry more of the nutrients to metabolize sugar. more about sugar
Sugar drives insulin levels to abnormal heights, causing Type 2 Diabetes or Syndrome X.
Sugar depresses the immune system by slowing the ability of white blood cells to kill infection. Think of a group of kids just after a sugary cereal breakfast; they’re very susceptible to passing around viruses and bacteria.
“Eating or drinking 100 grams (8 tbsp.) of sugar, the equivalent of about two cans of soda, can reduce the ability of white blood cells to kill germs by forty percent. The immune-suppressing effect of sugar starts less than thirty minutes after ingestion and may last for five hours.” (from Feeding Your Immune System)
Our body deals with excess sugar by creating more insulin.
What is the purpose of Insulin? It is a hormone secreted by the pancreas. Its main function is to store energy from food. Only a small amount of carbs are stored as glycogen, the rest are converted into triglycerides. Yes, triglycerides!
Why is insulin fluctuation problematic? Cells become resistant when too much insulin is pumped. They turn off their insulin receptors and are not ready to receive energy from food. The cells are trying to protect themselves from the excess, so they send a signal that they’ve had enough.
Sugar depletes B vitamins and harms the nervous system. Adrenaline is made from B vitamins; stress causes adrenaline production. If too much adrenaline enters the system, cortisol is produced. Cortisol harms many processes, including the nervous system.
Sugar harms digestion because it feeds candida which can lead to candida infection.
Sugar creates an acidic body system. (not acidic blood ph, but acidic cells created by consuming certain food types) Acidic cells lead to all types of disease (allergy, cancer, diabetes, endo, candida, arthritis, etc.)
Alternatives to refined sugar?
The food industry has tried to create chemical imitations for sugar to help us avoid calories. Water is the only drink that truly has zero calories. A chemical concoction like diet soda dehydrates the body because it takes water away to dissolve and try to break down those chemicals. All of the chemical sweetners have side effects.
Aspartame, or Nutra Sweet (brand name), is found in so many drinks, yogurts, gums, usually in food items traditionally sweetened with sugar, which people have decided they want to avoid, either to avoid calorie intake or tooth decay.
When the FDA approved aspartame, it was never intended to become so widely used, and the threshold for consumption by which they figured it would be “safe” for humans is usually surpassed by anyone taking more than one serving per day.
It was tested only in its powder form and then it was stated that it does not produce cancer in the animals, but does produce brain lesions.
In its liquid form it turns into poisonous wood alcohol (methanol). Methanol is stored in the liver and accumulates.
Discovered by accident through biological warfare research and has become entrenched in our food supply.
Aspartame is linked to the rise in the rate of childhood seizures. (adapted from Chemical Crazy and Insulin Resistant by Sherrie Attila)
Sucanat is non-refined cane sugar which retains its molasses content. The pure dried cane juice is extracted by mechanical processes, heated and cooled at which point the small brown grainy crystals are formed. (from WikiPedia)
Xylitol is extracted from fruit, usually strawberries, raspberries, or blueberries. It is safe and good for preventing tooth decay. Many chewing gums and natural toothpastes are made with xylitol.
Both sucanat and xylitol are able to be measured and used in a way similar to white sugar in cooking and baking.
Agave Nectar is a cactus plant similar to aloe vera. It doesn’t effect blood sugar levels.
Stevia is a sweet herb, not a sugary substance. It can be in liquid or powder and is measured in drops and has no effect on blood sugar.
Honey sugars are surrounded by nutrients to metabolize the sugar. In recipies, increase flour or decrease liquid, add a bit of baking soda and powder.
Maple Syrup sugars are surrounded by nutrients to metabolize the sugar
Molasses is sugar which is not refined or whitened. It contains a good compliment of B vitamins. The strong flavor makes it inappropriate for some recipes. Available in granule form.
Ground dates add sweetness and fiber.
Applesauce adds moisture and sweetness.
Ground grapes add moisture and sweetness.
Sugar may be entrenched in our diets, but nutritious additions and alternatives can be found. Some families may wish to delete sugar completely. Artificial sweeteners should be avoided. Any change you can make to control sugar intake will be an improvement, and step by step, we can all build healthier habits.
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