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Articles from 2011 In April


New Hope 360 Blog

It’s Hemp History Week: Hemp hemp hooray!

For me, the continued U.S. ban on growing hemp as a commercial crop is another one of those rather embarrassing national quirks that makes me wonder, “What’s up with us?!” (Or rather, our government—always a convenient bogeyman.)

This week, May 2–8, manufacturers, retailers, and health gurus are gathering forces to do something about this wrong-headed ban. It’s the 2nd Annual Hemp History Week, sponsored by Manitoba Harvest (whose cofounder, Mike Fata, pioneered hemp legalization in Canada, which took effect in 1998), Nutiva, Nature’s Path, Dr. Bronner, Sequel, as well as health celebs like Dr. Andrew Weil and Alicia Silverstone. Retail partners such as Whole Foods, Mother’s, and Fred Meyer will be holding hemp-related events this week, along with events at local farmer’s markets and more. To find an event near you, go here. To sign a petition or get involved, go here.

The goal is to educate consumers about the nutritional, environmental, and economic benefits of hemp, and to advocate for policy change, so U.S. farmers can once again grow this profitable, sustainable, traditional crop.

A few things you may not know about hemp:

  • The oilseed and fiber (industrial) varieties of the species Cannabis sativa L. has NO drug value and little to no measurable amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychoactive in “pot.”
  • The small, nutty tasting seeds are ridiculously healthy—packed with a unique balance of omega-3 essential fatty acids, plant-based protein, fiber, antioxidants, chlorophyll, and minerals like calcium, magnesium, and iron.
  • Hempseeds are great sprinkled on oatmeal, yogurt, salads—and are used to make hemp milk, protein powder, granola, and more. (And unlike flaxseeds, they don’t need refrigerating or grinding before eating.)
  • Omega 3- and vitamin E-rich hemp oil can be used in cooking, and is a popular emollient ingredient in natural personal care products.
  • Fast-growing hemp crops can be grown without pesticides!!! (Compare this to cotton, which accounts for nearly 25 percent of all pesticide use.)
  • Strong hemp fiber can be used to make sustainable clothing, paper, and even homes and car components.
  • Farmers net an average of $200–$400 per acre for hemp crops, compared to $50 or less for (government-subsidized) soy and corn.

 

Smart kids supplements

 

 

 

                         

Nordic Naturals Baby’s DHA

Promote your baby’s brain, eye, and immune- and nervous-system development during a crucial time with this 100 percent arctic cod liver oil supplement, third-party tested for purity.

 

Natural Vitality Kids Calm

This liquid kids multi combines 24 organic fruits and veggies, omega-3s, and a magnesium-calcium balance important for muscular and nervous system balance. Plus, kids will drink up the organic fruity splash flavor sweetened with organic agave and organic stevia. 

 

 

Carlson for Kids Ddrops

Gentle enough for children older than 2, this liquid vitamin D3 contains a yearlong supply. Add one drop (400 IU) to food or beverage daily.

 

 

Garden of Life Vitamin Code Kids

This whole-food, chewable multi is for children ages 4 and up and meets your little one’s special diet needs (vegetarian, gluten-free, and soy-free). Plus, it’s made with organically grown fruits and veggies.

 

 

Vitalah Children’s Oxylent

Sprinkle this vitamin powerhouse in your child’s water for a boost of vitamins B, C, and D; calcium; magnesium; and zinc.

Gluten-free Chickpea Patties with Cucumber-Feta Salad

Prep 14 minutes

Cook 25 minutes

Serves 3 / Make your own bread crumbs by grinding gluten-free bread in a food processor. Save time by prepping the cucumber-feta salad while the patties cook. Toast sesame seeds by stirring them frequently in a hot, dry skillet until fragrant and golden. Serve with Greek yogurt mixed with chopped fresh dill.

2 tablespoons lemon juice, divided

1 (15-ounce) can salt-free chickpeas, drained

¼ cup chopped fresh parsley

2 large egg whites

1/3 cup gluten-free bread crumbs

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds

¼ teaspoon dried thyme

1 ½ teaspoons paprika

1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste

4 teaspoons olive oil

1 medium cucumber

2 ounces feta cheese, crumbled

1. Put 1 tablespoon lemon juice and next nine ingredients (chickpeas through salt) in a food processor. Pulse until finely chopped, but not puréed. Form chickpea mixture into three ¾-inch-thick patties, pressing firmly to compress so they don’t crumble.

2. Heat a skillet over medium heat; then add olive oil. Cook patties 5 minutes. Flip and cook for 4–5 more minutes, until a sharp knife inserted into a patty’s center feels hot to the touch.

3. While patties cook, dice cucumber. Combine remaining 1 tablespoon lemon juice, cucumber, and feta in a small bowl.

4. Remove cooked patties to serving plates. Top with cucumber-feta salad and serve immediately.

PER SERVING: 470 cal, 14g fat (7g mono, 3g poly, 4g sat), 16mg chol, 21g protein, 64g carb, 19g fiber, 683mg sodium

Best supplements for bone health

 

Most people know about calcium and vitamin D for strong bones. But new research suggests other powerful nutrients may work synergistically to prevent osteoporosis. Aren’t sure you need a bone supplement? Everyone loses bone mass with age. Individual risk depends on gender—80 percent of people with osteoporosis are women—family history, dietary calcium intake, and physical-activity level. Focusing on prevention during the crucial growing years and as you age makes sense: Osteoporosis often progresses slowly, without symptoms. Here’s what bones need.

By the numbers

10 million            Americans with osteoporosis

34 million            Americans with low bone density

Calcium

This bulky mineral won’t fit into a multivitamin so choose a separate supplement, preferably one combined with cofactors vitamin D and magnesium. Check labels for elemental calcium amounts per serving. Organic, or chelated, forms, like calcium citrate or ascorbate (which also contains bone-building vitamin C), are well absorbed any time, but take inorganic forms with food to improve absorption. If you take heartburn medications, choose a form like citrate, says Linda Massey, PhD, RD, a nutrition professor at Washington State University. “It’s well absorbed even in the absence of stomach-acid production.” 

Dose:  1,000 mg daily for adults ages 19–50, and for men up to age 71; 1,200 mg daily for women over age 51 and men over age 71. Youths ages 9 to 18 should aim for 1,300 mg daily from food and supplement sources. For optimal absorption, split into 500-mg doses (the amount the body can absorb at once) and take with magnesium and vitamin D.

Magnesium, vitamin k

 

Magnesium

Half the body’s magnesium resides in bone, which suggests this mineral is just as crucial for bone density as calcium. It helps activate vitamin D and parathyroid hormone, “which influence calcium metabolism and absorption,” explainsMark A. Stengler, NMD, coauthor of Prescription for Natural Cures (Wiley, 2011). With age, your body absorbs less magnesium and excretes more, so supplementation makes sense. Check labels for elemental magnesium amounts. Well-absorbed forms include magnesium citrate or magnesium glycinate.

Dose:  Take 250–350 mg twice daily in divided doses. To avoid possible digestive upset, take with calcium at a 2:1 ratio of calcium to magnesium. Those with kidney disease should consult a doctor first.

Vitamin K

Found abundantly in leafy greens, vitamin K regulates both blood clotting and bone metabolism. More biologically active vitamin K2—specifically the MK-7 (menaquinone-7) form of K2—benefits bones most, says Susan E. Brown, PhD, author of Better Bones, Better Body (Keats, 2000).

Dose: 250–1,000 mcg vitamin K1, 45–180 mcg K2 (MK-7 form) daily. Don’t take vitamin K if you also take blood-thinning medications such as warfarin.

Vitamin D, Lycopene

 

Vitamin D

Among its myriad health benefits, vitamin D helps bones absorb calcium. In a recent, multiyear study of more than 3,000 women ages 66 to 71, supplementing with vitamin D3 (800 IU daily) and calcium (1,000 mg daily) significantly increased bone-mineral density compared to a control group.

Dose: Test blood levels to see how much you need. General recommendations are 600 IU daily for adults, 800 IU daily for those over age 70, according to the Institute of Medicine. Most vitamin D experts believe these amounts are much too low; for example, prominent researcher Robert P. Heaney, MD, suggests aiming for 3,000 IU daily from all sources (food, supplements, and sun).

Lycopene

Research suggests a positive link between fruit and vegetable intake and bone health, highlighting the importance of nutrients such as lycopene, a carotenoid found in tomatoes. In a recently published study, supplementing with lycopene for four months helped slow bone turnover—the balance between the natural removal of mature bone tissue and new bone tissue formation—in a group of 60 postmenopausal women. Researchers believe lycopene may reduce oxidative stress and slow bone-mineral breakdown.

Dose: 30–70 mg lycopene daily in the form of either capsules or tomato juice or paste (1 cup tomato juice or ½ cup spaghetti sauce both have more than 20 mg lycopene)

Does calcium raise heart attack risk?

A controversial research review published last year in the British Medical Journal suggested taking calcium-only supplements may contribute to breast-artery calcifications, raising heart attack risk. Not so, say experts such as Susan E. Brown, PhD, director of the Center for Better Bones. Still, take calcium with cofactors vitamins D and K2 (in MK-7 form) as well as magnesium to maximize benefits and reduce risks, she says.

Asian-Spiced Catfish with Carrot Slaw

catfish

Serves 4 / When you want a versatile, tasty, sustainable, and affordable fish, catfish is it. For quick prep, use your food processor to shred the carrots (or buy them preshredded). Sweet red chile sauce is available in the Asian section of natural markets; it keeps for ages in the fridge and dresses up any cooked vegetables, tofu, or seared meats.

1/2 cup rice vinegar

2 tablespoons brown rice syrup

2 teaspoons sweet red chile sauce

8 ounces udon noodles

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon ground cumin

Pinch of cayenne

4 (6-ounce) catfish fillets

1 tablespoon canola oil, plus more for pan

4 medium carrots, peeled and shredded

3 cups thinly sliced napa cabbage

1. Combine rice vinegar, brown rice syrup, and chile sauce in a small bowl. Set aside.

2. Cook noodles according to package directions, 8–10 minutes. Drain, rinse, and drain again; keep warm.

3. In a small bowl, combine ginger, cumin, and cayenne. Cut each catfish into 2-inch pieces; place in shallow dish and sprinkle with spice blend, turning to coat.

4. Heat oil in a skillet or wok over high heat. Add carrots and cabbage. Stir-fry quickly for 1–2 minutes, until slightly wilted but still crisp. Remove from heat, place in a bowl, and drizzle with half of the dressing; toss.

5. Heat a little more oil in the pan and add catfish; fry for about 3 minutes, until browned on both sides. Add remaining sauce and cook until bubbly, tossing gently. Serve fish over noodles with slaw.

PER SERVING: 303 cal, 9g fat (4g mono, 3g poly, 2g sat), 98mg chol, 31g protein, 32g carb, 4g fiber, 163mg sodium

Delicious Living

Alpha-carotene for longevity

If you eat plenty of alpha-carotene—a potent antioxidant found in yellow, orange, red, and green fruits and vegetables—you might live longer, according to recent research. A 14-year study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, following 15,000 American adults, found that people with higher alpha-carotene blood levels were up to 39 percent less likely to die from all causes, including cardiovascular disease and cancer. Alpha-carotene may counteract oxidative damage to the body, which affects the development of chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer.

Delicious Living

Down in the dumps? Look to vitamin D

Low levels of the sunshine vitamin may invite a gloomy outlook, says a new study that supports past research linking vitamin D to depression. Published in the International Archives of Medicine, the study found that people with vitamin D deficiency (serum vitamin D less than or equal to 50 nmol/L) showed increased depression risk compared with people with sufficient levels (serum vitamin D levels of at least 75 nmol/L). Though it’s unclear whether vitamin D deficiency leads to depression or the other way around, researchers believe that vitamin D positively affects mood because of the wide distribution of vitamin D receptors throughout the brain.

Delicious Living

Gluten-free Chicken and Dumplings

Prep 7 minutes

Cook 20 minutes

Serves 4–6 / Try this the next time you have leftover rotisserie chicken. For light dumplings, use finely ground chickpea and brown rice flours. The gravy will only taste as good as the chicken stock used, so choose one that is especially flavorful.

6 tablespoons plus 1/2 cup chickpea flour

4 cups reduced-sodium, gluten-free chicken broth or stock

½ cup brown rice flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

¼ teaspoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon garlic salt

1 egg

¼ cup reduced-fat (2 percent) milk

1 tablespoon canola oil

2 cups shredded or diced cooked chicken breast

3 cups mixed frozen vegetables (such as a peas-corn–green bean blend)

1 cup frozen pearl onions (petite white onions)

1. Place 6 tablespoons chickpea flour in a medium bowl. Whisk in broth by the tablespoonful until a smooth paste forms. Slowly add remaining broth, whisking constantly. Pour mixture into a 12-inch-wide saucepan (big enough to hold all dumplings without clumping together). Bring to a boil, whisking frequently. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer over medium-low heat while making dumplings. Season to taste.

2. Sift remaining ½ cup chickpea flour, rice flour, baking powder, sugar, and garlic salt into a medium bowl. Add egg, milk, and oil. Stir until uniform. Set aside.

3. Whisk sauce again until smooth (some foaming or separation may have occurred); then stir in chicken and frozen vegetables. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to a simmer. Drop dumpling dough by the tablespoonful into simmering stew, leaving an inch between each (they will double in size). Cover and simmer for 8–10 minutes, until dumplings are firm and cooked through (not wet when cut in half). Spoon into bowls and serve.

PER SERVING: 445 cal, 8g fat (3g mono, 3g poly, 2g sat), 102mg chol, 38g protein, 57g carb, 10g fiber, 645mg sodium

Delicious Living

Creamy Yellow Squash and Corn Casserole


Serves 6–8 / Cottage cheese, fresh corn, and yellow squash make an easy, healthy, and economical summer dinner that kids will love. To cut down on moisture, you may want to salt the squash before prepping the dish, but be aware that this adds sodium. For more zip, include chopped fresh basil or cilantro in the cottage-cheese mixture. Serve with warmed tortillas.

2 cups (1 pound) low-fat, no-sodium cottage cheese

3 eggs

2 cups corn kernels (about 2 fresh ears)

3 large cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

2 pounds small summer squash, sliced ¼ inch thick

1/3 cup grated cheddar cheese

1. Drain cottage cheese in a mesh strainer set over a bowl for at least 30 minutes.

2. Preheat oven to 350˚. In a large bowl, stir eggs and drained cottage cheese until well blended. Pat corn dry with a paper towel. Stir corn, garlic, and chives into cottage-cheese mixture. Layer half of squash over the bottom of a deep 2 1/2-quart casserole dish. Season generously with salt and pepper. Cover with cottage-cheese mixture and top with remaining squash. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese. Bake for 35–40 minutes or until set.

PER SERVING: 185 cal, 6g fat (2g mono, 1g poly, 3g sat), 116mg chol, 18g protein, 17g carb, 3g fiber, 605mg sodium

Delicious Living

Rosemary Beef Hash

Serves 6 / This stretches 1 pound of high-quality, grass-fed beef or bison into a hearty one-dish meal with the addition of fiber-rich mushrooms and potatoes. Top with poached eggs, or convert into sloppy joes by adding more ketchup and serving on hamburger buns.

1 large russet potato

6 tablespoons low-sodium ketchup

1 tablespoon low-sodium Worcestershire sauce

2 teaspoons canola oil

1 large onion, finely diced

6 button mushrooms, cleaned and finely diced

1 pound grass-fed ground beef (95% lean)

1 1/2 teaspoons dried rosemary, slightly crushed

1. Bring a small pot of water to boil. Submerge potato, reduce heat, and simmer for 15–20 minutes, until just barely tender. Drain and set aside; when cool, peel and grate using the largest holes on the grater, to yield 1 1/2 cups grated potato.

2. In a small bowl, combine ketchup and Worcestershire sauce. Set aside.

3. Heat a large skillet; add oil, and then sauté onions and mushrooms until soft and mostly dry, about 10 minutes. Add beef and brown well. Add grated potato, rosemary, and sauce; brown on medium-high for 8 minutes. Stir in sauce and serve.

PER SERVING: 179 cal, 4g fat (2g mono, 0g poly, 2g sat), 46mg chol, 18g protein, 18g carb, 2g fiber, 83mg sodium