mushrooms

  1. This Superfood REVERSES Aging

    If you love mushrooms, you’ve got lots of company. After all, mushrooms taste good… and they’re great for perking up a pizza or sassing up your salad.
    But mushrooms have also treated more patients for disease than you might believe.
    And the reason is simple – mushrooms learn to survive in some pretty tough environments.
    That means they develop specific nutrients that can fight bacteria, viruses, toxins, and even cancer.
    So when we eat mushrooms, we get the benefits of those nutrients.
    In fact, mushrooms may be one of the greatest anti-aging superfoods on the planet.
    But here’s the trick – you need to make sure you’re getting the right kinds.
    Two of the most powerful nutrients in mushrooms have been studied extensively: ergothioneine and glutathione.
    Ergothioneine was discovered over a century ago. But it was ignored until recent studies showed that it acts as a powerful antioxidant in our bodies.
    That means it hunts down and neutralizes the free radicals that trigger early aging and disease.
    Glutathione is better known as a master antioxidant. It’s been shown to lower your risk of everything from cancer to Alzheimer’s.
    And the best source of these powerful nutrients? Mushrooms.
    A research paper, published by the Penn State Center for Plant and Mushroom Products for the health journal, Food Chemistry, described the benefits of mushrooms. Researchers found that white button mushrooms – like the ones you can find in your local grocery store – contain low levels of the two antioxidants, but they’re still higher than those found in most other foods.
    The best mushrooms for antioxidant power are Chaga, Cordyceps, Lion’s Mane, Reishi, Maitake, Turkey Tail, and Shiitake. These mushrooms used to be hard to find, but now most grocery stores carry them.
    Portabella mushrooms (which are common) have about the same ergothioneine and glutathione as white button mushrooms.
    And along with adding mushrooms to your diet, you can super-charge your anti-aging program with these other great tips:
    The Super Antioxidant and Anti-Aging Program:
    • Get 1000-3000 IU of vitamin D every day. Especially in winter, you need to supplement every day.
    • Exercise. Getting enough exercise not only boosts your anti-aging program, but if you do it outside, you get more sunshine – and that helps your body produce its own vitamin D.
    • Eat your way to health. Along with mushrooms, eat lots of veggies and fruits – the more colorful the better.
    • Take anti-aging nutrients. Alpha-lipoic acid, CoQ10, and astaxanthin are powerful antioxidants and anti-aging nutrients.
    • Keep your blood sugar under control. One of the other reasons we age fast is because of out-of-control blood sugar. Use the mineral chromium and the herbal extract berberine to help keep your blood sugar under control.
    • Make sure you have enough nutrients to support your whole body. This usually means taking a multivitamin to make up for the nutrients you’re not getting.

  2. Doesn’t anyone believe in prevention anymore?

    Some cancer researchers estimate that we could prevent up to 40 percent of new cancer cases in this country with better nutrition and simple lifestyle changes. I tend to agree. In fact, I‘d push those estimates even higher if you‘re talking about preventing colon, breast, and prostate cancer.

    The Chinese have known this for centuries. That‘s why two "super foods" have been part of their family meals for literally thousands of years. Of course, I‘m talking about mushrooms and green tea.

    It‘s not any big secret among followers of alternative medicine that these two foods build your immune system and can help protect you against cancer. But on main street U.S.A., the idea isn‘t setting off fireworks. And that‘s a shame, because literally hundreds of studies have shown that mushrooms and green tea can help protect you against cancer.

    Plus--a new study I just read about in the International Cancer Journal makes that claim even stronger. In this study, Australian and Chinese researchers showed that mushrooms and green tea--when consumed daily--can almost wipe out any risk you have of getting breast cancer.

    Here‘s how…

    Breast cancer rates slashed
    A team of scientists from the University of Western Australia and Zhejiang University, China studied the dietary habits of 2,000 women between the ages of 20 and 87. The women lived in an affluent part of southeast China and about half of them had breast cancer. The other half did not have breast cancer.

    Researchers asked these women about their daily consumption of mushrooms and green tea. Researchers found that the most common types of mushroom eaten were fresh white button mushrooms, Agaricus bisporus, and fragrant dried mushrooms, Lentinula edodes.

    They also surveyed other known risk factors, such as education level, weight, exercise, and smoking status. What they found was remarkable.

    The women who ate just 1/3 of an ounce of fresh mushrooms daily were 64 percent less likely to develop breast cancer. Plus--women who ate fresh mushrooms and drank green tea daily were about 80 to 90 percent less likely to get breast cancer compared to their counterparts who didn‘t consume the super foods.

    Wow... 80 to 90 percent less likely to develop breast cancer! And these women weren‘t even eating shiitake mushrooms, known to have anti-cancerous properties. They were eating regular old button mushrooms you can find in any grocery store in the U.S. That certainly got my attention. We‘re talking about non-toxic, non-drug options for preventing cancer.

    How can you argue with 2,000 years of experience fighting cancer?
    Green tea and mushrooms are traditional foods in China. They‘ve been served at family dinners for literally thousands of years. Clearly, this is a very healthy tradition. And that‘s because edible mushrooms (such as shiitake mushrooms) contain lentinian, a compound that boosts the immune system and prevents tumor growth. Green tea contains polyphenols called catechins that helps block the spread of cancer cells to healthy tissues.

    Is it any surprise, then, that women in China are 4 to 5 times less likely to get breast cancer compared to women in the U.S.? In China, only about 19 women per 100,000 get breast cancer. In the U.S., more than 100 women per 100,000 get breast cancer in their lifetime.

    Getting angry at the Genentech
    Of course, after reading about these powerful results among Chinese women, I got angry. What’s it going to take for health practitioners in the U.S. to get serious about preventing cancer with good nutrition? Does anyone in the U.S. really want to prevent cancer?

    Of course, I‘m a bit of a cynic. So I jump right on the money trail. Money--not lack of knowledge--is a big part of the problem. For instance, without a burgeoning cancer population, what would all the oncologists do? What would Big Pharma do if we all could prevent cancer naturally?

    Let‘s consider how much Big Pharma makes from just one of their cancer drugs.

    Two years ago, the New York Times reported that a colon cancer patient would have to fork over almost $100,000 a year to pay for Genentech’s new drug Avastin. That’s double the cost of the next most-expensive cancer drug. And now, two years later, Avastin is used to treat breast and lung cancer patients. This new "wonder drug" works by cutting off blood supply to cancer tumors.

    Just imagine the profits!
    Avastin pulls in more than $3.5 billion a year for Genentech. In fact, cancer drugs like Avastin rake in the most money for Big Pharma, second only to popular cholesterol-lowering drugs (like statins, which we covered in last week‘s Guide to Good Health: http://www.northstarnutritionals.com/article_list.php?docs_id=120).

    So--with such a hefty price tag, Avastin must save lives and cure cancer, right? Well, I‘m not so sure. Now that it‘s been on the market for a few years and we have more data to look at, the numbers don‘t look so great. Studies show Avastin only prolongs a cancer patient‘s life by a few months at best.

    Of course Big Pharma‘s out for money, but there‘s got to be somebody who still believes in prevention.

    Okay, what about the American Cancer Society? Don‘t they want to help you prevent cancer? Well, sometimes I wonder. Think about all the people they employ... the dinners, the daffodil sales, the golf tournaments. Are they really serious about preventing cancer or are they happy hosting their annual Walk for Life?!

    It‘s a legitimate question, especially after reading how so many Chinese women are preventing breast cancer naturally. Just how much does the ACS care about preventing cancer?

    According to their web site, they spent 18% of their funds (or $189 million) on prevention in 2008. Sure-- that‘s a lot of money. But in my book, it‘s not enough. Especially when you see that they spent more than that on their fundraisers.

    So I was wondering, what does the American Cancer Society have to say about mushrooms and green tea? Research abounds on these two nutritional powerhouses, so I ran a quick search on the ACS web site and decided to type the word "mushrooms" into their key word search. Any guess what I found first on their list of matches?

    It was an article dating from 3-28-2000. Yes, the article was positive. But it dated back almost 10 years, folks! So much has happened in that span of time. I hardly consider a 10-year-old marginally helpful article about mushrooms a real tool in preventing cancer.

    Okay, enough ranting for this week!

    It‘s time I step off my soap-box and give you some real tips for eating healthy that hopefully will keep cancer from ever taking hold in your body. Here‘s what I recommend:

    • Add mushrooms to your daily diet when you can. Toss them into salads, sautés, and stir-fries whenever possible.
    • Drink two or three cups of green tea a day. Go straight for the good stuff from an actual tea bag…not the sugary kind made by some of the popular manufacturers.
    • Limit red meat to 2-3 times per week. Choose only fresh meats that have been raised without hormones, pesticides and antibiotics. Avoid meats that have been cured, like bacon, ham and lunch meat as these contain nitrates, a known carcinogen.
    • Avoid processed foods (along the inside aisles of the grocery store) made with preservatives and food colorings.
    • Eat as much fresh produce as you can. Especially go for green leafy vegetables like kale and spinach. Also, choose colorful foods like peppers, blueberries, and tomatoes. Shoot for eight to 10 servings per day.
    • Get plenty of fish into your diet.
    • Eliminate your intake of refined carbohydrates, especially sugar.

    That’s a good start. For more comprehensive dietary guidelines, look back at my Christmas list from 2008. Here‘s a link: http://www.northstarnutritionals.com/article_list.php?docs_id=73

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