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Vibrant Living, Issue #136 The Three rails of Good Health, Benefits of Pomegranates, Yummy Recipes
December 01, 2012
|Greetings Health Seekers,
Welcome to the VIBRANT LIVING NEWSLETTER
I trust you all found something to be thankful for this month even if you did not celebrate the Thanksgiving Holiday. I have found over the years that there is so much to be thankful for on a daily basis, and that this daily gratitude opens the floodgates for more good to flow into my life. I feel very fortunate to be living the life that I am and to be blessed with good people in my life. For me there’s no better way to celebrate life with friends and family than by honoring the human temple with the natural bounty given to us in the raw foods we eat.
In this issue of Vibrant Living I discuss the Three Rails of Good Health, the benefits of pomegranates, the revamping of the raw recipe pages with new recipes on the website, and the usual pearls of wisdom here and there. Please Enjoy
“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” – Mahatman Gandhi
Pomegranate season is here now with the festive red globes adorning produce displays at the farmers markets and in groceries throughout the northern hemisphere. As you might suspect pomegranates are a bounty of nutritional goodness. Pomegranates are loaded with phytonutrients and antioxidants. They are particularly high in vitamin C and potassium.
Pomegranates resemble the heart to some degree and as it turns out they are good for the heart, arteries, vessels, and related tissues. They fight atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) and help keep blood platelets from sticking together and forming blood clots. Pomegranates have been shown to lower blood pressure and cholesterol. Because they are good for the heart and circulatory system, studies suggest that they may help with erectile dysfunction (ED), which is common among men in their fifties and beyond. The consumption of pomegranates has also been shown to increase oxygen levels to the heart, probably due to cleaning up the circulatory system.
Not only are pomegranates good for your heart and blood vessels but according to Dr Joel Furman, they have been shown to inhibit breast cancer, prostate cancer, colon cancer, leukemia and to prevent vascular changes that promote tumor growth in lab animals. Dr Furman also notes that pomegranate juice contains phytochemical compounds that stimulate serotonin and estrogen receptors, improving symptoms of depression and increasing bone mass in lab animals.
Studies show pomegranates may also be anti-inflammatory and help with conditions that are related to chronic inflammation.
Juicing pomegranates is perhaps the easiest way to consume them, although some of the goodness is contained in the seeds. Peeling the fruit by hand takes patience because of the bitter white membrane between seed pods, but the benefits may make your efforts worthwhile. One method for extracting the seeds is as follows:
• Remove the crown and score the skin lengthwise in quarters with a sharp knife being careful not to pierce the seeds.
• Submerge the fruit under cold water in a bowl for 5 minutes
• Pull the fruit apart and sort the seeds from the membrane which will float.
• The seeds will fall to the bottom of the bowl.
• Drain the water and towel dry the seeds for use in a recipe or enjoy out of hand.
“A vigorous five-mile hike will do more for an unhappy but otherwise healthy adult than all the medicine and psychology in the world.” ~ Paul Dudley White
Persimmon and Spinach Smoothie
Since you’re receiving this newsletter, I’m pretty confident that you are in the know or at least learning about the principles of a healthy diet, the first rail of good health. And most of us have been beat over the head with the importance of exercise which is the second rail of good health. However, sometimes the importance of the third rail gets lost in the shuffle of our busy lives. The research below highlights the importance of fresh air, which is the third rail of good health.
According to ScienceNews.org, a recent study done by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory found negative health effects from breathing increased levels of carbon dioxide (CO2), typical in modern day construction, which makes buildings more air tight to be energy efficient. The researchers tested reasoning skills of volunteers while exposing them to different levels of CO2, the main component of human exhalation. They found that as CO2 levels increased, the strategic and leadership abilities worsened to a degree “so astonishing that it was almost hard to believe,” said epidemiologist Mark Mendell. The highest level of CO2 tested, 2,500 ppm,could easily be found in large buildings, homes, and schools, which are compliant with current building standards. Testing at 1,000 ppm, a level of CO2 previously used as a benchmark of good ventilation, caused a significant drop off in performance of the participants.
Ah, now I know why I struggled in those portable classrooms, with their florescent lights and air tight doors and windows….lol. Thirty kids and the teacher breathing up all the oxygen as the period went on, replacing it with ever increasing levels of CO2. I think we’ve all known for a long time that we’re not as sharp and sometimes just plain groggy when we’re in a building or space with poor ventilation. I know for myself I’ve always felt my very best outdoors breathing deeply of that natural energizer, fresh air. I like to sleep with the bedroom window open year round because I sleep so much better and awaken in the morning feeling fully refreshed. Just as fresh air is a rejuvenator, the lack of it not only dulls the senses, but weakens the immune system and compromises health on all levels.
Another way to boost the oxygen levels in your home is to get green, literally. The use of house plants to soften the man made indoor environment, bring color and a little nature indoors has been used for hundreds if not thousands of years. Now granted, the benefit of receiving oxygen from indoor plants was probably not known for a long time, but people received the positive effects none the less. Some plants provide more oxygen than others, and it takes several large potted plants to balance the CO2/oxygen ratio for each person in the house, but every little bit helps.
In my humble opinion the three main rails of good health are diet, exercise, and fresh air, and I would include sunshine in with fresh air since they can often be enjoyed simultaneously. I feel that leaving out any one of the three is a recipe for declining health, atrophy, disease, and premature death. That may sound harsh, but is none the less the truth. Each of these three components is needed if we are to thrive.
The great sanatoriums in Europe and elsewhere in the late 18th early 19th century were famous for taking their patients out of their stuffy hospital rooms and out into the fresh air and sunshine as soon as possible. The results were dramatic, particularly when mixed with raw foods and fasting. The only reason modern medicine has diverted from this successful time-proven model is that there is far more money to be made from surgeries and pharmaceuticals. Oh, and I expect a little to do with ego and arrogance too. So what can we do to maintain our good health? The recipe is really quite simple:
• Eat a healthy high raw food diet, comprised of copious amounts of fresh vegetables and green juices, fruits, some nuts and seeds, and sea vegetables.
• Exercise daily, if only for a ½ hour walk, dancing to your favorite tunes, doing active house work, or working in the yard.
• Get as much fresh air each day as you can. Have the windows open as much as possible and sleep with windows open at night in the bedroom or close by.
When I’m doing these three things on a regular basis I feel on top of my game, and when I slip a little on one of the rails, well I notice that too. When I’m feeling great I handle the challenges of life almost like a Zen master, but when I’m feeling off it can be difficult to think and respond to life’s challenges in a way that shows respect to others and who I really am. When I align myself with and follow the guidelines of the natural world, the world rewards me with her grace and good will. Please make a resolution now that you will include all three rails of good health into your daily routine so you can enjoy the good health and life you deserve.
Sea Spaghetti with Tomato Apricot Sauce
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
Although I believe strongly in a diet comprised mostly of fresh raw foods, I do supplement with super green powders, nuts, seeds, sea vegetables, and the occasional dried fruit such as goji berries. If you’re like me you’re always looking for a good deal on quality food whether it’s fresh from the farmers market or purchased online, so I thought I would share with you where I make most of my online purchases.
You may already be aware of the Raw Food World and their “at cost” specials, but if not here you go. When you go to purchase supportive foods like those listed above you can save money and get “at cost” special pricing by going to the link below and clicking on the “at cost” specials tab. This also allows you to save up to 14% on every order of their already good deals. The important thing to remember is that fresh is best and these products are supportive and should not be your mainstay. Enjoy!
There are a number of new testimonies at the website which I hope you will read and pass on to others when you feel they would benefit. And please feel free to leave your own story if you feel moved to do so.
You need not be 100% raw to share a testimony; the fact is most people on the raw diet are not 100% anyway. Your story may inspire someone else, perhaps from the other side of the globe, to give the raw food diet a try.
Please send me your health questions, they can be submitted anonymously if you prefer, and you may help someone else improve their health and quality life.
Be Well and Wonderful, Hugh
The contents of my website and my newsletter are gleaned from my experiences and observations, meant only for educational purposes and not intended to replace medical advice, consultations, or treatment of any kind. I recommend you see your professional health care provider if you suspect you have an illness or disease of any kind. I'm not medically trained, and I would never suggest or imply that I know what is best for someone else's body or overall health, ultimately each of us is the only one who knows what's best for us.
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