Top Ten Anti-Oxidants

Top Ten Anti-Oxidants

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       An antioxidant is a molecule that inhibits the oxidation of other molecules. Oxidation is a chemical reaction that transfers electrons or hydrogen from a substance to an oxidizing agent, which can produce free radicals that can start chain reactions, inducing damage or death to living cells and cancer. Antioxidants terminate these chain reactions by removing free radical intermediates, and inhibit other oxidation reactions. They do this by being oxidized themselves, so antioxidants are often reducing agents such as thiols, ascorbic acid, or polyphenols. Although oxidation reactions are crucial for life, they can also be damaging; plants and animals maintain complex systems of multiple types of antioxidants, such as glutathione, vitamin C, vitamin A, and vitamin E as well as enzymes such as catalase, superoxide dismutase and various peroxidases. Insufficient levels of antioxidants, or inhibition of the antioxidant enzymes, cause oxidative stress and may damage or kill cells. Oxidative stress is damage to cell structure and cell function by overly reactive oxygen-containing molecules and chronic excessive inflammation. The use of antioxidants in pharmacology is intensively studied, particularly as treatments for stroke and neurodegenerative diseases. Antioxidants are widely used in dietary supplements and have been investigated for the prevention of diseases such as cancer, coronary heart disease and even altitude sickness.

  1. Astaxanthin
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            Astaxanthin is believed by some sources to be the most powerful antioxidant found in nature. Astaxanthin is found in microalgae, yeast, salmon, trout, krill, shrimp, crayfish, crustaceans, and the feathers of some birds. It provides the red color of salmon meat and the red color of cooked shellfish. Professor Basil Weedon’s group was the first to prove the structure of astaxanthin by synthesis, in 1975. Astaxanthin, unlike several carotenes and one other known carotenoid, is not converted to vitamin A (retinol) in the human body. It is an antioxidant with a slightly lower antioxidant activity in some model systems than other carotenoids. However, in living organisms the free-radical terminating effectiveness of each carotenoid is heavily modified by its lipid solubility, and thus varies with the type of system being protected. The commercial production of astaxanthin comes from both natural and synthetic sources.
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Astaxanthin,
  2. Seanol (Ecklonia Cava)

           Seanol is an extremely rare seaweed extract from Ecklonia Cava, proven 100 times more powerful than any land based antioxidant and believed to reduce the effects of aging. Ecklonia cava is a species of brown alga found in the ocean off Japan and Korea. It is used as an herbal remedy in the form of an extract called Seanol, a polyphenol. Another phlorotannin-rich natural agent, Ventol, is also extract from E. cava. One of the phlorotannins component is called fucodiphlorethol G.
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seanol,
  3. Tumeric
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           “Anti-Oxidant/Anti-Inflammatory. A plant native to South India and Indonesia, if you like curry or mustard, you’re already familiar with this yellow food. What you might not know is that turmeric — due in large part to curcumin, tumeric’s primary active ingredient — is one of the most powerful anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatories on the planet. The majority of foods we eat, including low fat diets, promote arterial inflammation, which is a leading (and often underrated) cause of heart disease. In the fitness context, exercise-induced physiological stress causes inflammation, which impedes muscular repair. In a general sense, the more quickly the inflammation subsides, the more quickly one recovers from training. Foods like turmeric reduce inflammation, thus expediting recovery (and circulatory health). Extrapolated over time, an athlete on a nutritional regimen high in anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatory foods such as turmeric (buttressed by a predominantly alkaline-forming diet) will in turn be able to train harder, more effectively and more efficiently in a given time period while simultaneously taking out an insurance policy against the primary culprits that foil even the most conscientious athletes — undue fatigue, overtraining and illness. Furthermore, it’s worth noting that there is some evidence to suggest that people who eat diets rich in turmeric have lower rates of breast, prostate, lung, colon and skin cancers. Curcumin can be taken in capsule form, but it is not the most bio-available substance in extract form. Personally, I prefer to drink turmeric in a tea – 1/2 spoonful dissolved in hot water does the trick.” — Tim Ferris
    Links: http://www.fourhourworkweek.com/blog/2012/05/23/10-uncommon-superfoods-from-the-world-of-ultra-endurance/,
  4. Grapes
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    Grapes are loaded with phytochemicals, antioxidants that may help protect against cancer and heart disease. Two of those phytochemicals, anthocyanin and proanthocyanidin, may be especially good for your immune system.
    Links: Wine,
  5. Blueberries
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           Blueberries is often-cited superfruit, containing moderate-rich concentrations of anthocyanins, vitamin C, manganese, and dietary fiber, pterostilbene (an undefined phytochemical under preliminary research) and low calorie content.
    Links: Top Ten Berrieshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Superfood,
  6. Goji Berries
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           Goji berry or wolfberry is the fruit of Lycium barbarum and Lycium chinense, two very closely related species of boxthorn in the family Solanaceae (which also includes the potato, tomato, eggplant, deadly nightshade, chili pepper and tobacco). The two species are native to southeastern Europe and Asia. Goji berries have been used for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine and can be consumed in teas or in berry form. Wolfberries contain many nutrients and phytochemicals including; 11 essential and 22 trace dietary minerals,18 amino acids, 6 essential vitamins, 8 polysaccharides and 6 monosaccharides, 5 unsaturated fatty acids, including the essential fatty acids, linoleic acid and alpha-linolenic acid, beta-sitosterol and other phytosterols, 5 carotenoids, including beta-carotene and zeaxanthin, lutein, lycopene and cryptoxanthin, a xanthophyll, as well as antioxidant properties.
    Links: Top Ten Berries, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goji_berry,
  7. Pomegranate
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           The pomegranate, Punica granatum, is a fruit-bearing deciduous shrub or small tree growing between five and eight meters tall. Native to the geographic Kurdistan of modern day Iran and Iraq, the pomegranate has been cultivated in the Caucasus since ancient times. From there it spread to Asian areas such as the Caucasus as well as the Himalayas in Northern India. Today, it is widely cultivated throughout Turkey, Kurdistan, Iran, Syria, Spain, Portugal, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Iraq, Lebanon, Egypt, China, Burma, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Jordan, Philippines, the drier parts of southeast Asia, the Mediterranean region of Southern Europe, and tropical Africa. Introduced into Latin America and California by Spanish settlers in 1769, pomegranate is also cultivated in parts of California and Arizona for juice production. The pomegranate has been mentioned in many ancient texts, notably the Book of Exodus, the Homeric Hymns and the Quran.
    Links: 
  8. Raspberries and Strawberries
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    Berries, especially raspberries and strawberries, contain ellagic acid, another phytochemical that may help protect against cancer-causing agents in the diet and the environment.
    Links: http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/10-super-foods,
  9. Nuts
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    Nuts are one of the most balanced foods on the planet. They offer a good dose of “healthy” fats along with a smaller amount of protein and carbohydrate. Each type of nut offers a unique profile of minerals, phytochemicals, and types of fat. Walnuts are the highest in plant omega-3s, for example, while Brazil nuts are best for selenium. Most nuts also contain phytochemicals such as resveratrol and plant sterols, which help lower cholesterol.
    Links: http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/10-super-foods,
  10. Kale, Collard Greens and Spinach
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           Kale or borecole is a form of cabbage (Brassica oleracea Acephala Group), green or purple, in which the central leaves do not form a head. It is considered to be closer to wild cabbage than most domesticated forms. The species Brassica oleracea contains a wide array of vegetables, including broccoli, cauliflower, collard greens and brussels sprouts. The cultivar group Acephala also includes spring greens and collard greens, which are extremely similar genetically. Kale is very high in beta carotene, vitamin K, vitamin C, lutein, zeaxanthin, and reasonably rich in calcium. Kale, as with broccoli and other brassicas, contains sulforaphane (particularly when chopped or minced), a chemical with potent anti-cancer properties. Boiling decreases the level of sulforaphane; however, steaming, microwaving, or stir frying do not result in significant loss. Along with other brassica vegetables, kale is also a source of indole-3-carbinol, a chemical which boosts DNA repair in cells and appears to block the growth of cancer cells. Kale is also a good source of carotenoids.
    Links: Top Ten Anticarcinogens, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kale,
  11. Pu-Erh Tea
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           “This tea can be perhaps the most expensive in the world, with some cakes priced at $350K (for a 250g cake), its leaves derived from trees upwards of 1,700 years old. A post-fermented tea product produced in the Yunnan province of China and carefully aged, the harvesting, creation and ceremony of Pu-erh is an art steeped in preserved tradition dating back millennia. But what makes Pu-erh truly unique is the process by which the leaves are fermented by microbes after drying and then aged. It is believed that the microbial activity in the tea provides probiotic health benefits unique Pu-erh, such as reducing arterial plaque and LDL cholesterol levels as well as aiding in weight loss by reducing blood sugar levels and improving the body’s ability to metabolize fat. Dramatically less costly versions of Pu-erh are available [TIM: I drink this version almost every morning]; versions I have used provide a long-lasting even-keeled energy. To learn more, I suggest you consult your local teahouse. There is nothing like a traditional Pu-erh tea ceremony administered by a tea master. It’s an extraordinary experience. If you happen to be in LA, Colin Hudon at Temple Tea in Venice is excellent.” — Tim Ferris
    Links: Top Ten Teas, http://www.fourhourworkweek.com/blog/2012/05/23/10-uncommon-superfoods-from-the-world-of-ultra-endurance/,
  12. Sweet Potatoes, Carrots, Butternut and Acorn Squash
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    Both white and sweet potatoes provide important nutrients such as vitamins C and B6, potassium, and fiber. But sweet potatoes have more of these nutrients. They also bring to the table key nutrients such as calcium and whopping amounts of vitamin A. Other orange vegetables are nutrient-rich and packed with phytochemicals as well. Carrots are famously high in vitamin A, while butternut and acorn squash are tops in vitamins A and C.
    Links: http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/10-super-foods,
  13. Beans
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    Bean have high levels of antioxidant activity, offering amazing package of nutrients, including many vitamins and minerals. Lentils and black-eyed peas are rich in folate and zinc, while black beans and kidney beans also offer a good amount of folate.
    Links: http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/10-super-foods,
  14. Links: Top Ten Superfoods,

Gnosis Approved Antioxidants

Top Ten Plant Proteins

Top Ten Plant Proteins

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  1. Spirulina
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           Spirulina is a microalga that can be consumed by humans and animals. It is usually taken by humans as a nutritional supplement and is made primarily from two species of cyanobacteria: Arthrospira platensis and Arthrospira maxima. Arthrospira is cultivated worldwide; used as a dietary supplement as well as a whole food; and is available in tablet, flake and powder form. Dried Spirulina contains about 60% (51–71%) protein. It is a complete protein containing all essential amino acids, though with reduced amounts of methionine, cysteine and lysine when compared to the proteins of meat, eggs and milk. It is, however, superior to typical plant protein, such as that from legumes.
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spirulina_(dietary_supplement),
  2. Hemp Seeds
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           Rich in both essential fatty acids: omega-6 and omega-3 hemp seeds have an ideal ratio of the two omegas (3:1). It also has roughly 30% protein by content. Sprinkle raw hemp seeds on salads and soups to inject some of these healthy fats into your diet. Your Body will love you for it.
    Links: Cannabis, http://thriveforward.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/05-Macronutrients-2-Ref-Top-Ten-Healthy-Fats.pdf,
  3. Pumpkin Seeds
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           Pepita is a Spanish culinary term for the pumpkin seed, the edible seed of a pumpkin or other cultivar of squash (genus Cucurbita). The seeds are typically rather flat and asymmetrically oval, and light green in color inside a white hull. The seeds have a 50% fat content, a 30% protein content and are also good sources of iron, zinc, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, and potassium. 25 grams of pepitas can provide over 20 percent of the recommended daily iron intake. Furthermore, just one-fourth cup of pepitas provides approximately 185 mg of magnesium, nearly 50% of the Recommended Daily Intake.
    Links: Top Ten Seeds, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pumpkin_seeds
  4. Peanuts
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    The peanut, or groundnut, is a species in the legume or “bean” family (Fabaceae). The peanut was probably first domesticated and cultivated in the valleys of Paraguay. Peanuts are rich in nutrients, providing over 30 essential nutrients and phytonutrients, and are a good source of niacin, folate, fiber, vitamin E, magnesium and phosphorus. They also are naturally free of trans-fats and sodium, and contain about 25% protein. Peanuts are a good source of niacin, and thus contribute to brain health and blood flow. Recent research on peanuts has found antioxidants and other chemicals that may provide health benefits, rivaling the antioxidant content of many fruits. Roasted peanuts rival the antioxidant content of blackberries and strawberries, and are far richer in antioxidants than carrots or beets. Peanuts are also a significant source of resveratrol, a chemical associated with but not proven to cause a reduction in risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer. The average amount of resveratrol in one ounce of commonly eaten peanuts (15 whole peanut kernels) is 73 μg.
    Links: Top Ten Anticarcinogens, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peanut,
  5. Pistachios
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    The pistachio is a small tree originally from Central Asia and the Middle East. In research at Pennsylvania State University, pistachios in particular significantly reduced levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL cholesterol) while increasing antioxidant levels. Pistachios are also a great source of protein with a protein content percentage of over 21%.
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pistachios,
  6. Almonds
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           Rich in protein (20% by content) and monounsaturated fat, just one ounce of almonds also provides 35% of your daily needs of antioxidant vitamin E. Swap out your peanut butter for almond butter without sacrificing the nutty taste.
    Links: Top Ten Nuts, http://thriveforward.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/05-Macronutrients-2-Ref-Top-Ten-Healthy-Fats.pdf,
  7. Sesame Seeds
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           Sesame is a flowering plant in the genus Sesamum with wild relatives occurring in Africa and a smaller number in India. Sesame seed is one of the oldest oilseed crops known, domesticated well over 3,000 years ago. It was a major summer crop in the Middle East for thousands of years, as attested to by the discovery of many ancient presses for sesame oil in the region. Sesame has one of the highest oil contents of any seed and has a fat content of 61%.
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sesame_seeds,
  8. Brazil Nuts
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           Not only are Brazil nuts a source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fat but they are rich in the antioxidant mineral selenium, which provides a powerful defense against free radical damage. They also have a protein content of 14%.
    Links: http://thriveforward.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/05-Macronutrients-2-Ref-Top-Ten-Healthy-Fats.pdf,
  9. Soybeans (Tofu and Tempeh)
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           The soybean is a species of legume native to East Asia, widely grown for its edible bean which has numerous uses. Soybeans produce significantly more protein per acre than most other uses of land. Traditional nonfermented food uses of soybeans include soy milk, and from the latter tofu and tofu skin. Fermented foods include soy sauce, fermented bean paste, natto, and tempeh, among others. The oil is used in many industrial applications. The beans contain significant amounts of phytic acid, alpha-linolenic acid, isoflavones and has a fat content of roughly 20%. Soybeans are also considered by many agencies to be a source of complete protein. A complete protein is one that contains significant amounts of all the essential amino acids that must be provided to the human body because of the body’s inability to synthesize them.
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soy,
  10. Coconut Oil/Butter
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           Historically, coconut oil was thought to be unhealthy because it is high in saturated fat. We now know that it is actually rich in medium chain triglycerides which are readily burned for fuel in the liver, bypassing fat storage. Always look for virgin coconut oil instead of refined versions (which can be partially or fully hydrogenated, thereby eliminating any positive health benefits). Coconut oil can also withstand high heats without oxidizing – making it an ideal cooking oil for any frying you need to do.
    Links: http://thriveforward.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/05-Macronutrients-2-Ref-Top-Ten-Healthy-Fats.pdf,
  11. Links: Health, Top Ten Superfoods,

Check Out These Protein Packed Superfoods

Top Ten Plant Fats

Top Ten Plant Fats

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  1. Savi Seeds
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           These little gems are the highest source of omega-3 on the planet… 17 times more than wild salmon! By eating the entire seed you also get beneficial plant-based protein and fiber. SaviSeeds are a satisfying snack and a great way to increase the amount of essential omega-3 fatty acids in your diet.
    Links: 
    http://thriveforward.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/05-Macronutrients-2-Ref-Top-Ten-Healthy-Fats.pdf,
  2. Hemp Seeds
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    Rich in both essential fatty acids: omega-6 and omega-3 hemp seeds have an ideal ratio of the two omegas (3:1). Sprinkle raw hemp seeds on salads and soups to inject some of these healthy fats into your diet. Your Body will love you for it.
    Links: Cannabis, http://thriveforward.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/05-Macronutrients-2-Ref-Top-Ten-Healthy-Fats.pdf,
  3. Chia Seeds (Runner’s Fuel)

    Salvia hispanica, commonly known as chia or runner’s fuel, is a species of flowering plant in the mint family, Lamiaceae, native to central and southern Mexico and Guatemala. The 16th century Codex Mendoza provides evidence that it was cultivated by the Aztec in pre-Columbian times; economic historians have suggested that it was as important as maize as a food crop. Chia is grown commercially for its seed, a food that is rich in omega-3 fatty acids. One pilot study found that 10 weeks ingestion of 25 grams per day of milled chia seeds, produced high blood levels of alpha-linolenic acid and eicosapentaenoic acid, an omega-3 long-chain fatty acid considered good for the heart, while having no effect on inflammation or disease risk factors. According to the USDA, a one ounce (28 gram) serving of chia seeds contains 9 grams of fat, 5 milligrams of sodium, 11 grams of dietary fiber and 4 grams of protein. The seeds also have 18% of the recommended daily intake of calcium, 27% phosphorus and 30% manganese, similar in nutrient content to other edible seeds such as flax or sesame. The seeds are often consumed by runners before marathons and long distance events as it improves endurance. Chia seeds may be added to other foods as a topping or put into smoothies, breakfast cereals, energy bars, yogurt, made into a gelatin-like substance, or consumed raw.
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chia_seeds,
  4. Walnuts
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    Walnuts are an excellent source of anti-inflammatory omega-3 essential fatty acids, in the form of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). Walnuts are also rich in antioxidants and a very good source of manganese and copper. Other minerals provided by walnuts include calcium, chromium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, vanadium, zinc and some vitamin B6 in limited amounts. Walnuts also contain antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds.
    Links: http://thriveforward.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/05-Macronutrients-2-Ref-Top-Ten-Healthy-Fats.pdf,
  5. Coconut Oil/Butter
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    Historically, coconut oil was thought to be unhealthy because it is high in saturated fat. We now know that it is actually rich in medium chain triglycerides which are readily burned for fuel in the liver, bypassing fat storage. Always look for virgin coconut oil instead of refined versions (which can be partially or fully hydrogenated, thereby eliminating any positive health benefits). Coconut oil can also withstand high heats without oxidizing – making it an ideal cooking oil for any frying you need to do.
    Links: http://thriveforward.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/05-Macronutrients-2-Ref-Top-Ten-Healthy-Fats.pdf,
  6. Avocado
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           The avocado (Persea americana) is a tree native to Central Mexico, classified in the flowering plant family Lauraceae along with cinnamon, camphor and bay laurel. Avocado or alligator pear also refers to the fruit (botanically a large berry that contains a single seed) of the tree, which may be pear-shaped, egg-shaped or spherical. Avocados are commercially valuable and are cultivated in tropical and Mediterranean climates throughout the world. They have a green-skinned, pear-shaped fleshy body that ripens after harvesting. Trees are partially self-pollinating and often are propagated through grafting to maintain a predictable quality and quantity of the fruit. The fruit is not sweet, but fatty, and distinctly yet subtly flavored, and of smooth, almost creamy texture. It is used in both savory and sweet dishes, though in many countries not for both. The avocado is very popular in vegetarian cuisine, as substitute for meats in sandwiches and salads because of its high fat content. Avocados have diverse fats. For a typical avocado: About 75% of an avocado’s calories come from fat, most of which is monounsaturated fat. On a 100 g basis, avocados have 35% more potassium (485 mg) than bananas (358 mg). They are rich in B vitamins, as well as vitamin E and vitamin K. Avocados also have a high fiber content of 75% insoluble and 25% soluble fiber. High avocado intake was shown in one preliminary study to lower blood cholesterol levels. Specifically, after a seven-day diet rich in avocados, mild hypercholesterolemia patients showed a 17% decrease in total serum cholesterol levels. These subjects also showed a 22% decrease in both LDL (harmful cholesterol) and triglyceride levels and 11% increase in HDL (helpful cholesterol) levels. Additionally a Japanese team synthesized the four chiral components, and identified (2R, 4R)-16-heptadecene-1, 2, 4-triol as a natural antibacterial component. Due to a combination of specific aliphatic acetogenins, avocado is under preliminary research for potential anti-cancer activity. Extracts of P. americana have been used in laboratory research to study potential use for treating hypertension or diabetes mellitus.
    Links: Top Ten Avocado Recipes, Top Ten Aphrodisiacs, Top Ten Anticarcinogens,  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avocado,
  7. Almonds
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    Rich in protein and monounsaturated fat, just one ounce of almonds also provides 35% of your daily needs of antioxidant vitamin E. Swap out your peanut butter for almond butter without sacrificing the nutty taste.
    Links: Top Ten Nuts, http://thriveforward.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/05-Macronutrients-2-Ref-Top-Ten-Healthy-Fats.pdf,
  8. Sunflower Seeds
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    These tiny seeds are acceptable forms of monounsaturated fat if you are allergic to nuts. Plus, they pack a good punch of vitamins and minerals, including manganese, magnesium, copper, selenium, phosphorus, vitamin B1, vitamin B6 and folate.
    Links: http://thriveforward.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/05-Macronutrients-2-Ref-Top-Ten-Healthy-Fats.pdf,
  9. Brazil Nuts
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    Not only are Brazil nuts a source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fat but they are rich in the antioxidant mineral selenium, which provides a powerful defense against free radical damage.
    Links: http://thriveforward.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/05-Macronutrients-2-Ref-Top-Ten-Healthy-Fats.pdf,
  10. Cocoa Nibs
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    Take cocoa beans, roast them, break them into small pieces and you have cacao nibs. They provide a healthy dose of monounsaturated fat, magnesium and antioxidants as well as serving to satisfy your sweet tooth. Add them to oatmeal, smoothies or fruit!
    Links: http://thriveforward.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/05-Macronutrients-2-Ref-Top-Ten-Healthy-Fats.pdf,
  11. Kale
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           Kale or borecole is a form of cabbage (Brassica oleracea Acephala Group), green or purple, in which the central leaves do not form a head. It is considered to be closer to wild cabbage than most domesticated forms. The species Brassica oleracea contains a wide array of vegetables, including broccoli, cauliflower, collard greens and brussels sprouts. The cultivar group Acephala also includes spring greens and collard greens, which are extremely similar genetically. Kale is very high in beta carotene, vitamin K, vitamin C, lutein, zeaxanthin, and reasonably rich in calcium. Kale, as with broccoli and other brassicas, contains sulforaphane (particularly when chopped or minced), a chemical with potent anti-cancer properties. Boiling decreases the level of sulforaphane; however, steaming, microwaving, or stir frying do not result in significant loss. Along with other brassica vegetables, kale is also a source of indole-3-carbinol, a chemical which boosts DNA repair in cells and appears to block the growth of cancer cells. Kale is also a good source of carotenoids.
    Links: Top Ten Anticarcinogens, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kale,
  12. Olives
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    The olive is a species of small tree in the family Oleaceae, native to the coastal areas of the eastern Mediterranean Basin as well as northern Iraq, and northern Iran at the south of the Caspian Sea.
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olives#Cultivation_and_uses,
  13. Flax Seeds
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    Flax is a food and fiber crop that is grown in cooler regions of the world. Flax fibres are taken from the stem of the plant and are two to three times as strong as those of cotton. As well, flax fibers are naturally smooth and straight. Europe and North America depended on flax for vegetable-based cloth until the 19th century, when cotton overtook flax as the most common plant used for making linen paper. It is native to the region extending from the eastern Mediterranean to India and was probably first domesticated in the Fertile Crescent. Flax was extensively cultivated in ancient China and ancient Egypt. Most types have similar nutritional characteristics and equal numbers of short-chain omega-3 fatty acids.

    Links: Top Ten Seeds, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flax_seeds,
  14. Soybeans (Tofu and Tempeh)
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    The soybean is a species of legume native to East Asia, widely grown for its edible bean which has numerous uses. Soybeans produce significantly more protein per acre than most other uses of land. Traditional nonfermented food uses of soybeans include soy milk, and from the latter tofu and tofu skin. Fermented foods include soy sauce, fermented bean paste, natto, and tempeh, among others. The oil is used in many industrial applications. The beans contain significant amounts of phytic acid, alpha-linolenic acid, isoflavones and has a fat content of roughly 20%. Soybeans are also considered by many agencies to be a source of complete protein. A complete protein is one that contains significant amounts of all the essential amino acids that must be provided to the human body because of the body’s inability to synthesize them.
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soy,
  15. Pumpkin and Sesame Seeds
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    Pepita is a Spanish culinary term for the pumpkin seed, the edible seed of a pumpkin or other cultivar of squash (genus Cucurbita). The seeds are typically rather flat and asymmetrically oval, and light green in color inside a white hull. The seeds have a 50% fat content and are also good sources of protein, as well as iron, zinc, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, and potassium. 25 grams of pepitas can provide over 20 percent of the recommended daily iron intake. Furthermore, just one-fourth cup of pepitas provides approximately 185 mg of magnesium, nearly 50% of the Recommended Daily Intake.  Sesame is a flowering plant in the genus Sesamum with wild relatives occurring in Africa and a smaller number in India. Sesame seed is one of the oldest oilseed crops known, domesticated well over 3,000 years ago. It was a major summer crop in the Middle East for thousands of years, as attested to by the discovery of many ancient presses for sesame oil in the region. Sesame has one of the highest oil contents of any seed and has a fat content of 61%.
    Links: Top Ten Seeds,  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pumpkin_seedshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sesame_seeds,
  16. Safflower
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    Safflower is a highly branched, herbaceous, thistle-like annual plant. It is commercially cultivated for vegetable oil extracted from the seeds. Safflower is native to arid environments having seasonal rain. It grows a deep taproot which enables it to thrive in such environments. There are two types of safflower that produce different kinds of oil: one high in monounsaturated fatty acid (oleic acid) and the other high in polyunsaturated fatty acid (linoleic acid).
    Links: Top 100 Flowershttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Safflower,
  17. Links: Health, Top Ten Superfoods, thriveforward.com, http://thriveforward.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/05-Macronutrients-2-Ref-Top-Ten-Healthy-Fats.pdf,

Top Ten Sonoma County Appellations

Top Ten Sonoma County Appellations

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  1. Russian River Valley
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    The Russian River Valley lies adjacent to and west of the city of Santa Rosa and incorporates the southern reach of the Russian River, where the river bends westward and cuts through the Coast Range to the Pacific Ocean. The AVA is characterized by regular cooling fog from the coast. The fog flows through the Petaluma Wind Gap and the channel cut by the river. The fog generally arrives in the evening or early morning and retreats before noon in the day. The appellation was granted AVA status in 1983 and accounts for about one-sixth of the total planted vineyard acreage in Sonoma County. In 2005 the AVA was expanded by 30,200 acres to 126,600 by recognizing previously overlooked portions of the fog regions. Presently the Russian River AVA includes more than 15,000 acres planted to wine grapes. About 80 wineries are present in the Russian River Valley. The area is known for its success with cool climate varietals, notably Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
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  2. Sonoma Valley
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    Sonoma Valley is known for its unique terroir with Sonoma Mountain protecting the area from the wet and cool influence of the nearby Pacific Ocean. The Sonoma Mountains to the west help protect the valley from excessive rainfall. The cool air that does affect the region comes northward from San Pablo Bay through the Carneros region and southward from the Santa Rosa plain. Sonoma Valley has played a significant role in the history of California wine.
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  3. Dry Creek Valley
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    Dry Creek Valley in the Russian River Valley centers around Dry Creek, a tributary of the Russian River, and is approximately 16 miles long and 2 miles wide. The appellation is known particularly for its Sauvignon Blanc and Zinfandel production. Dry Creek Valley AVA is home to the majority of the Sonoma Gallo vineyards, who established winery facilities in the valley in the early 1990’s.
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  4. Alexander Valley
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    Alexander Valley runs along the Russian River north of Healdsburg to Mendocino County. It is one of the most densely planted vineyards in Sonoma County. Viticulture has existed in the area since the 1850s but the wine industry has only recently experienced success beginning in the 1960s with Simi Winery. Significant purchases of vineyard land by E & J Gallo Winery in 1988 and Kendall-Jackson in 1996 also raised the status of the Alexander Valley. Alexander Valley wines include Cabernet, Chardonnay Sauvignon Blanc and Zinfandel.
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  5. Los Carneros
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    Los Carneros spans the low hills of the Mayacamas Mountains dividing both Napa and Sonoma Valleys just north of San Pablo Bay. The larger portion of the AVA stretches into Sonoma County with grapes grown here also being allowed to use the Sonoma Valley AVA designation. The area’s close proximity to the Bay has made it an ideal location for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay production with producers from international Champagne houses such as Moët et Chandon (Domaine Chandon California), Taittinger (Domaine Carneros), and Cava producers planting vineyards or sourcing grapes from the area.
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  6. Sonoma Mountain
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    The Sonoma Mountains, includes the town of Glen Ellen and is bordered on the west by the Sonoma Valley AVA. The area is known for the diverse micro-climates that occur within the crevices and folds of the hillside terrain and as such is home to production for a wide range of varietals including Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, and Zinfandel.
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  7. Rockpile
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    Rockpile is situated at the northwest point of the Dry Creek Valley AVA, past Healdsburg. The area was first planted by Italian immigrants at the turn of the 20th century. Many of today’s vineyards were formerly occupied by a reservoir created by the Warm Springs Dam on the Russian River. The area is known for its fruity, ripe Zinfandels.
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  8. Sonoma Coast
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    Sonoma Coast contains more than 500,000 acres, mostly along the coastline of the Pacific Ocean. It extends from San Pablo Bay to the border with Mendocino County. The appellation is known for its cool climate and high rainfall relative to other parts of Sonoma County. Pinot Noir grapes grow especially well in this region, where they benefit from slightly cooler day temperatures.
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  9. Knights Valley
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    Knights Valley occupies the boundaries between the southern end of the Alexander Valley AVA and the northern end of Napa Valley. Some of the earliest vineyards in the area were owned by Beringer Vineyards. The area is known for its Cabernet Sauvignon.
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  10. Chalk Hill
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    Chalk Hill is a sub-appellation of the Russian River Valley located near the town of Windsor along the foothills at the southern end of Alexander Valley and along the Santa Rosa plain. The name Chalk Hill comes from the unique volcanic soil of chalky white ash which enhances the planting of white wine varietals like Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. The majority of the region’s wineries are located on the western slopes of the Mayacamas Mountains.
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  11. Fort Ross – Seaview
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    The 27,500-acre Fort Ross-Seaview American viticultural area is located in the western part of Sonoma County and contains 18 commercial vineyards on 506 acres. It lies entirely within the Sonoma Coast AVA and does not overlap other AVAs. Vineyards within this area are generally located on rounded ridges with summits extending above 1,200 feet consisting of steep, mountainous terrain made up of canyons, narrow valleys, ridges, and 800- to 1,800-foot peaks. The climate above 900 feet is influenced by longer periods of sunlight and is warmer than that in the surrounding land below.
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  12. Bennett Valley
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    Bennet Valley is one of Sonoma County’s newest AVAs and is a principal grape supplier to Kendall-Jackson. The AVA is surrounded to the south, east and west by the Sonoma Mountains and to the north by the city of Santa Rosa. The region receives a moderating effect on its climate from the Pacific Ocean through the coastal fogs and breeze that creep into the area from the southwest through Crane Canyon between Sonoma Mountain and Taylor Mountain.
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  13. Green Valley of Russian River Valley
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    Green Valley of Russian River Valley AVA was formerly known as the Sonoma County Green Valley AVA. Located at the southwestern corner of the Russian River Valley AVA, its close proximity to the Pacific Ocean makes it one of the coolest appellations within Sonoma County. The climate in the Green Valley is even cooler than other parts of the Russian River Valley, and favors the cultivation of cool climate grape varietals. Seeking to connect the region with the more commercially successful Russian River Valley name, the appellation formally changed its name on April 23, 2007.
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  14. Pine Mountain-Cloverdale Peak
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    The Pine Mountain-Cloverdale Peak Appellation is one of the highest elevation grape-growing regions in California. The AVA, which rises from 1,600 feet at its lowest point to 3,000 feet at the mountain’s peak, has grapes growing primarily at 1,800 feet and higher. The very high elevation of the mountain affects virtually every climatic element influencing wine grape production which includes fog cover, hours of daylight, daytime and nighttime temperatures, rainfall, and wind.
    Links:
  15. Links: Wine, Top Ten Wine Regions, Top Ten US Wine Regions, Top Ten Californian Wine Regions,

Enjoy!

Top Ten Californian Wine Regions

Top Ten Californian Wine Regions

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  1. Sonoma County, California
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    Although many associate premium California wines with Napa, Sonoma County is currently becoming a major wine destination in the world. Starting in 1812, Russian colonists planted grapes at Fort Ross on the Sonoma Coast. In 1823, Spanish Franciscan Father Altamira planted thousands of vines in Sonoma.  When the missions were taken over by the Mexican government in 1834, cuttings from Sonoma Mission vineyards were transported and planted throughout northern California. Today Sonoma County has 15 distinct AVAs with more than 250 wineries and 50 grape varieties including Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Zinfandel, and the sought after Russian River, Carneros and Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir. It is estimated that the wine industry and related tourism contributes over $8 billion to the local economy each year, about 40% of the county’s contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Wine seekers love the laid-back, unpretentious atmosphere of many of the wineries.  The largest judging of American wines in the world, The San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, is held yearly in Sonoma County’s quaint town of Cloverdale. In 2013, the event had over 5,500 entries from most of the wine regions represented in the United States.
    Links: Top Ten Sonoma County Appelations, Top Ten Sonom County Wineries, Top 100 Sonoma County Wines, http://sonoma.com/wineries/alphalistings.html, 
  2. Napa Valley, California

    The Napa Valley is undoubtedly the most famous wine region in the United States with more than 450 wineries producing outstanding Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, pinot noir, merlot and zinfandel. Commercial wine production in the region dates back to the 19th century. John Patchett established the Napa Valley’s first commercial vineyard in 1858 although Charles Krug is commonly cited as establishing the area’s first winery in 1861.  Inglenook Winery in 1879 was the first Bordeaux style winery in the USA winning gold medals at the 1889 World’s Fair in Paris. By the end of the 19th century there were more than 140 wineries in the area. Of those original wineries, several still exist in the valley today including Beaulieu, Beringer, Charles Krug, Chateau Montelena, Far Niente, Mayacamas, Markham Vineyards, and Schramsberg Vineyards. Viticulture in Napa suffered several setbacks in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, including an outbreak of the vine disease phylloxera, Prohibition, and the Great Depression. The modern era of winemaking in California began when Beaulieu hired André Tchelisticheff in 1938. He introduced key ideas which included aging wine in small French Oak barrels, cold fermentation, vineyard frost prevention, and malolactic fermentation. The wine industry in Napa Valley was cemented with the help of the Paris Wine Tasting of 1976, establishing this region as a producer of quality wine equal to that of Old World wine regions. Within the Napa Valley AVA, there are sixteen sub-AVAs, Los Carneros, Howell Mountain, Wild Horse Valley, Stags Leap District, Mt. Veeder, Atlas Peak, Spring Mountain, Oakville, Rutherford, St. Helena, Chiles Valley, Yountville, Diamond Mountain, Oak Knoll, Calistoga, and Coombsville.
    Links: http://napavalley.com/wineries/alphalistings.html,
  3. Temecula Valley, California
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    The Temecula Valley is a small, rural wine region in southern California with a climate similar to that of Spain and southern Italy. The region is one hour northeast of San Diego located in Riverside County. Over 200 years ago, winemaking began in California at Mission San Juan Capistrano fifty miles west of Temecula. The first modern commercial vineyards in Temecula Valley were established in 1968. There are over 40 wineries here. In addition to growing Chardonnay, Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc, varietals such as Viognier, Syrah and Pinot Gris have recently been added. In addition, Temecula Valley’s hotter climate is particularly well-suited to grapes such as the Rhône varietals, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Zinfandel.  The Annual Temecula Valley Balloon and Wine Festival occurs in late spring.
    Links: http://www.temeculawines.org/,
  4. The Sierra Foothills, California
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    Grapes were introduced to the area in the nineteenth century during the California Gold Rush in the 1850’s in the Shenandoah Valley in Amador County. The Sierra Foothills AVA, reorganized in 1987,  includes eight California counties: Amador, Calaveras, El Dorado, Mariposa, Nevada, Placer, Tuolumne and Yuba. The total area of the appellation is 2,600,000 acres, with nearly 6,000 acres of grapevines, one of the largest AVAs in the state of California. The most common grape variety is Zinfandel, but you will also find Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot, Barbera, Chardonnay, Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc. There are over 100 wineries located within the Sierra Foothills AVA.
    Links: http://www.calwineries.com/explore/regions/sierra-foothills,
  5. Paso Robles, California
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    Paso Robles meaning Pass of the Oaks is located in the coastal mountain range of central California. In the County of San Luis Obispo wine grapes were introduced in 1797 by the Spanish conquistadors and Franciscan missionary padres of the Mission San Miguel where wine making artifacts can still be seen. There are over 180 wineries with 26,000 acres of vineyards in this region. Commercial winemaking was introduced to the Paso Robles region in 1882. The Paso Robles wine region gained notoriety when Ignace Paderewski, a famous Polish statesman and concert pianist, visited Paso Robles, became enchanted with the area, and purchased 2,000 acres. In the early 1920s, he planted Petite Sirah and Zinfandel on his Rancho San Ignacio vineyard that went on to become award-winners solidifying Paso Robles as a premier wine region. Now, in addition to the first plantings of the Rhône varietal Syrah in California, Paso Robles also has the largest acreage of Syrah, Viognier and Roussanne.  Some of the other 40 varietals are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and old vine Zinfandel.
    Links: www.pasowine.com/wineries/,
  6. Santa Cruz Mountains
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    The Santa Cruz Mountains region, producing wine for over 150 years, was the first wine growing area to be distinguished primarily by a mountain range. The 400,000 acre appellation is framed by Mount Madonna in the south and Half Moon Bay in the north. Vineyards encompass 1,500 acres with currently over 70 wineries.  Top varietals here are pinot noir, merlot, syrah, chardonnay, and pinot grigio.  Although this region might be overlooked as it does not produce large quantities of wine, numerous award winning wines have emerged from the area since the famous 1976 Judgement of Paris tasting.  David Bruce Winery was one of 12 California wineries to participate in this now famous event.  Since then, David Bruce wines have consistently taken top honors in competitive tastings.
    Links: www.scmwa.com/‎,
  7. Mendocino County
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    This region, one of the largest in California, is part of the larger North Coast AVA. The first vineyards were established in the 1850’s in the Redwood Valley by returning farmers who failed to find success during the California Gold Rush. Parducci Wines founded in 1931 during Prohibition, remained the only commercial winery in Mendocino until the late 1960’s. As of 2005, ten AVA’s have been designated: Anderson Valley,  Cole Ranch,  Covelo,  Dos Rios,  McDowell Valley, Mendocino, Mendocino Ridge,  Potter Valley,  Redwood Valley, and Yorkville Highlands. The majority of Mendocino County plantings are in the eastern side of the county, clustered around the cities of Redwood Valley, Ukiah and Hopland. The Anderson Valley is one of California’s coolest wine growing regions in the state. Since the 1980’s, the area has been associated with sparkling wine  due to the success of Louis Roederer’s California Roederer Estate. Chardonnay is the county’s leading planting followed by Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot noir. Other varietals include Barbera, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Carignane, Charbono, Chenin blanc, Gewürztraminer, Grenache, Malbec, Merlot, Muscat Canelli, Petit Verdot, Petite Sirah, Pinot blanc,  Riesling, Roussanne, Sangiovese, Sauvignon blanc, Semillon, Syrah, Viognier and Zinfandel. Because the county is focusing on organic viticulture, it has been designated as “California’s organic wine Mecca.”
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  8. Monterey County
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    Currently growing in popularity, Monterey County was selected as one of the world’s top ten wine destinations by Wine Enthusiast Magazine in February, 2013. The Spanish mission in Soledad supported the first wine grapes in the region. In the early 1960′s, several successful wineries emerged including Wente, Mirassou, Paul Masson, J. Lohr and Chalone. The 9 AVAs with over 175 vineyards include Monterey, Santa Lucia Highlands, Arroyo Seco, San Lucas, Hames Valley, Chalone, Carmel Valley, San Antonio Valley, and San Bernabe. The northernmost region produces Pinot Noir and Chardonnay while the warmer regions support over 40 varietals. Monterey’s wine region expanded by 40 percent from 2012-2013, now producing 40,000 acres of grapes generating $630 million a year for the county. Popular varietals include Pinot Noirs, Chardonnays and Syrahs. This regions is know as a “viticultural laboratory’ because there is continual experimentation with new clones, trellising, water management and harvesting systems.
    Links: 
  9. Santa Barbara County
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    Santa Barbara County is unique as the coastal mountains, the Santa Ynez and San Rafael, lie east to west with valleys open to the Pacific Ocean.  The distinct microclimates, some of the coolest in California, create ideal conditions for growing grapes with ample acid, tannins and flavors. There are four official appellations: Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara, Santa Maria Valley, Santa Ynez Valley, and Santa Rita Hills. Within the broad Santa Barbara County designation are several other micro-regions: the Los Alamos Valley region, Ballard Canyon, the Los Olivos District and the Santa Maria Bench. Paso Robles is technically a part of the Santa Barbara wine growing region. Slightly less than half of the grapes grown in Santa Barbara County are used by local vintners and the rest are exported to wineries outside the area.  There are 110 wineries growing outstanding pinot noir and chardonnay.
    Links: http://sbcountywines.com/SBC.html,
  10. San Joaquin Valley
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    The San Joaquin Valley is an agriculturally rich area growing cotton, grains, vegetables, fruits and nuts.  In addition, the majority of California’s wine, table and raisin grapes are grown in this valley. The San Joaquin valley is comprised of four main American AVAs: Fresno County, Fresno Diablo Grande, Stanislaus County, Salado Creek, Madera County, and the Tracy Hills. The San Joaquin Valley was discovered by Spanish explorers in the 150s but remained virtually uninhabited until the 1849 California Gold Rush. The first grapes were planted in the 1850s to quench the thirst of the Forty-Niners who migrated to California during this period. When irrigation was introduced in the 1880s, the agriculture industry began to flourish. The San Joaquin Valley has the richest and deepest soils in the world. The combination of soil and regional weather creates growing conditions that are ideal creating vines that are naturally vigorous. Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon do very well and reds such as Grenache, Tempranillo and Zinfandel shine.
    Links:
  11. Livermore Valley
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    Livermore Valley is part of the larger Central Coast appellation. Livermore winemaking dates back to 1849, when Robert Livermore’s grapes, planted in 1946 produced the first vintage. Charles Wetmore brought recognition to California wines, starting Cresta Blanca Winery in 1882 and winning the grand prize at the 1889 Paris International Exposition with a sauvignon blanc-semillon blend. The Wente family claims to have planted the state’s first Chardonnay in 1916 and is still prominent in the valley today. There are 4,000 acres of grapes and 50 wineries in the valley today. Despite Livermore’s reputation for having a hot climate, temperature surveys show it to be similar to Napa Valley. Bold reds such as Petit Sirah, Syrah, Malbec, Barbera, zinfandel, and Cabernet Sauvignon love this hotter temperature region. Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon are also grown in the cooler parts of the valley.  Livermore still needs a few blockbuster wines to reach the standard of great California wine regions but all the elements are in place for this to occur sometime in the near future if the current urban sprawl doesn’t consume the agricultural growth of the region.
    Links:
  12. Links: Wine, Top Ten Wine Regions, Top Ten US Wine Regions,

Enjoy!

Top Ten American Wine Regions

Top Ten American Wine Regions

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  1. Sonoma County, California
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    Although many associate premium California wines with Napa, Sonoma County is currently becoming a major wine destination in the world. Starting in 1812, Russian colonists planted grapes at Fort Ross on the Sonoma Coast. In 1823, Spanish Franciscan Father Altamira planted thousands of vines in Sonoma.  When the missions were taken over by the Mexican government in 1834, cuttings from Sonoma Mission vineyards were transported and planted throughout northern California. Today Sonoma County has 15 distinct AVAs with more than 250 wineries and 50 grape varieties including Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Zinfandel, and the sought after Russian River, Carneros and Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir. It is estimated that the wine industry and related tourism contributes over $8 billion to the local economy each year, about 40% of the county’s contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Wine seekers love the laid-back, unpretentious atmosphere of many of the wineries.  The largest judging of American wines in the world, The San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, is held yearly in Sonoma County’s quaint town of Cloverdale. In 2013, the event had over 5,500 entries from most of the wine regions represented in the United States.
    Links: Top Ten Sonoma County AppelationsTop Ten Sonom County WineriesTop 100 Sonoma County Wines, http://sonoma.com/wineries/alphalistings.html,
  2. Napa Valley, California

    The Napa Valley is the most well known wine region in the US with more than 450 wineries producing outstanding Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, pinot noir, merlot and zinfandel. Commercial wine production in the region dates back to the 19th century. John Patchett established the Napa Valley’s first commercial vineyard in 1858 although Charles Krug is commonly cited as establishing the area’s first winery in 1861. Inglenook Winery in 1879 was the first Bordeaux style winery in the USA winning gold medals at the 1889 World’s Fair in Paris. By the end of the 19th century there were more than 140 wineries in the area. Of those original wineries, several still exist in the valley today including Beaulieu, Beringer, Charles Krug, Chateau Montelena, Far Niente, Mayacamas, Markham Vineyards and Schramsberg Vineyards. Viticulture in Napa suffered several setbacks in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, including an outbreak of the vine disease phylloxera, Prohibition and the Great Depession. The modern era of winemaking in California began when Beaulieu hired André Tchelisticheff in 1938. He introduced key ideas which included aging wine in small French Oak barrels, cold fermentation, vineyard frost prevention, and malolactic fermentation. The wine industry in Napa Valley was cemented with the help of the Paris Wine Tasting of 1976, establishing this region as a producer of quality wine equal to that of Old World wine regions. Within the Napa Valley AVA, there are sixteen sub-AVAs, Los Carneros, Howell Mountain, Wild Horse Valley, Stags Leap District, Mt. Veeder, Atlas Peak, Spring Mountain, Oakville, Rutherford, St. Helena, Chiles Valley, Yountville, Diamond Mountain, Oak Knoll, Calistoga, and Coombsville.
    Links: http://napavalley.com/wineries/alphalistings.html,
  3. Willamette Valley, Oregon
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    The Willamette Valley is located between Oregon’s Coast Range and the Cascades. Most of the wine grapes grown here come from vineyards located on bench-land hillsides in the western portion of the Valley. The three million acres of vineyards are divided into six- sub AVAs: ChehalemMountains, Dundee Hills, Eola-Amity Hills, McMinnville, Ribbon Ridge and Yamhill-Carlton. A cool climate, rainy winters and long daylight hours during growing season are ideal for growing pinots, both pinot gris and pinot noir. Some of the 400 wineries in this region also produce some Chardonnay, Rielsing, Sauvignon Blanc, Gewürztraminer, Syrah, Cabernet and Merlot. Berry farms and hazelnut and grass seed fields are also found in the valley, as are pine farms where Christmas trees are grown. To the north of this region is the city of Portland, an attractive, ecofriendly tourist destination.
    Links:  http://willamettewines.com/wineries/,
  4. Finger Lakes, New York
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    The Finger Lakes region in upstate New York supplies 90% of the wine produced in the state. The Pleasant Valley Wine Company is the region’s oldest winery and has been winning awards across the world since 1867.  The area has nearly 100 independent wineries with more than 11,000 acres of vineyard mainly around Seneca Lake and Cayuga Lake, two of the more prominent eleven Finger Lakes. The main varietals include Riesling, Chardonnay and Gewürztraminer. The beautiful hills, rivers and lakes here are also a draw for nature lovers exploring the regional network of trails after they’ve had their fill of wine tastings and vineyard viewing. This area is ideal for people traveling from East Coast cities such as Boston, Pittsburgh and New York City. The annual Finger Lakes Wine Festival is held each July. With a focus on sustainable growing practices, this area is producing high quality wines and is fast becoming one of the up-and-coming wine-producing regions in the U.S.
    Links: http://www.fingerlakes.com/wine,
  5. Long Island, New York
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    Just two hours from Manhattan, the North and South Forks of Long Island extend 120 miles into the Atlantic Ocean. Located here are the two winemaking regions, the North Fork and the Hamptons.  The first commercially grown grapes on Long Island were planted in 1973 by optimistic Harvard graduates Louisa and Alex Hargrave. Most vineyards are located at the East End in the counties of Nassau and Suffolk with over 50 unique wineries. The North Fork comprises approximately 3,000 acres of vineyards with about 40 wineries which produce wines from twenty different varietals. The Hamptons are notably cooler than the North Fork due to fog and ocean breezes; four wineries are located here. In little over a quarter of a century, the Long Island wine industry has grown from one small vineyard to 3,000 acres of vines and over fifty producers of world-class wines.  Family-owned farms, artisanal food producers and small-production winemakers coexist among Hamptonites, sharing the wealth of the region’s many gifts.   With similarities in maritime climate and northerly latitude with Bordeaux, Long Island  primarily grows outstanding Merlot. In recent years, Cabernet Franc, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Chenin Blanc have been added to the list. Some top producers are Paumanok Vineyards, Macari Vineyards, Shinn Estate Vineyards and Farmhouse, Lenz, Bedell and Sparkling Pointe all located on the North Fork. The South Fork is home to only three wineries, but they are equally impressive.
    Links:
  6. Temecula Valley, California
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    The TemeculaValley is a small, rural wine region in southern California with a climate similar to that of Spain and southern Italy. The region is one hour northeast of San Diego located in Riverside County. Over 200 years ago, winemaking began in California at Mission San Juan Capistrano 50 miles west of Temecula. The first modern commercial vineyards in Temecula Valley were established in 1968. There are over 40 wineries here. In addition to growing Chardonnay, Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc, varietals such as Viognier, Syrah and Pinot Gris have recently been added. In addition, Temecula Valley’s hotter climate is particularly well-suited to grapes such as the Rhone varietals, Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel. The Annual Temecula Valley Balloon and Wine Festival occurs in late spring.
    Links: http://www.temeculawines.org/,
  7. The Sierra Foothills, California
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    Grapes were introduced to the area in the 19th century during the California Gold Rush in the 1850’s in the Shenandoah Valley in Amador County. The Sierra Foothills AVA, recognized in 1987,  includes eight California counties: Amador, Calaveras, El Dorado, Mariposa, Nevada, Placer, Tuolumne and Yuba. The total area of the appellation is 2,600,000 acres, with nearly 6,000 acres of grapevines, one of the largest AVAs in the state of California. The most common grape variety is Zinfandel, but you will also find Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot, Barbera, Chardonnay, Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc. There are over 100 wineries located within the Sierra Foothills AVA.
    Links: 
    http://www.calwineries.com/explore/regions/sierra-foothills,
  8. Washington State, Columbia, Yakima, Walla Walla and Horse Heaven Hills
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    Located on the same latitude as Burgundy and Bordeaux southern France, the Columbia valley is located about three hours from Washington’s largest city, Seattle. The valley lies in a rain shadow caused by the cascades creating a dry, continental climate.  Forty thousand acres of vineyards are planted here.  Within the ColumbiaValley is the Yakima Valley, Washington’s first AVA established in 1983. Forty percent of Washington state’s yearly wine production comes from the 12,000 acres of vineyards in the Yakima region. The most common grape varietals are Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Semillon, Gewürztraminer, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Merlot. In addition to grapes, the Yakima Valley is  home to several fruit orchards growing apples, cherries, nectarines, peaches, pears, and plums. The area also grows nearly 80% of the U.S. hop production. There are more than 80 wineries in this area, making it a great choice for people who want to explore the winemaking industry in a rural setting. The Catch the Crush harvest festival occurs each October; wineries open their doors to music, grape-stomping and unique tasting events. An even more rural grape-growing area can be found in the Walla Walla Valley, a relatively dry region tucked in the southeast corner, where some of the West Coast’s best red wines are produced. Horse Heaven Hills is part of the much larger Columbia Valley and produces 25 percent of Washington State’s wine. It’s situated in between the Yakima Valley and the Columbia River. Horse Heaven Hills produced Washington’s first 100-point wines, as deemed by The Wine Advocate, Robert Parker, the 2002 and 2003 Quilceda Creek Vintners Cabernet Sauvignon.
    Links: WashingtonWineCountry.org, WineYakimaValley.org,
  9. Paso Robles, California
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    Paso Robles meaning Pass of the Oaks is located in the coastal mountain range of central California. In the County of San Luis Obispo wine grapes were introduced in 1797 by the Spanish conquistadors and Franciscan missionary padres of the Mission San Miguel where wine making artifacts can still be seen. There are over 180 wineries with 26,000 acres of vineyards in this region. Commercial winemaking was introduced to the Paso Robles region in 1882. The Paso Robles wine region gained notoriety when Ignace Paderewski, a famous Polish statesman and concert pianist, visited Paso Robles, became enchanted with the area, and purchased 2,000 acres. In the early 1920s, he planted Petite Sirah and Zinfandel on his Rancho San Ignacio vineyard that went on to become award-winners solidifying Paso Robles as a premier wine region. Now, in addition to the first plantings of the Rhône varietal Syrah in California, Paso Robles also has the largest acreage of Syrah, Viognier and Roussanne.  Some of the other 40 varietals are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and old vine Zinfandel.
    Links: Sculptures, www.pasowine.com/wineries/,
  10. Texas Hill Country
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    The wide-open spaces, forested hills and rugged landscapes of Texas Hill Country are attractive to anyone with a love of nature and an appreciation of uncrowded rural landscapes. Approved in 1991, it is the 2nd largest AVA in the U.S. covering 15,000 square miles. North of San Antonio and west of Austin, more than 30 wineries can be found in this region of the Lone Star State pouring mainly zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot with lesser amounts of Chenin Blanc and Chardonnay. The historic town of Fredricksburg is the starting point for a vineyard tour that follows U.S. Highway 290 and includes a dozen quality wineries. The Austin Wine and Music Festival is usually held in April.  In all, the state of Texas currently has eight approved AVAs.
    Links: TexasWineTrail.com,
  11. Grand Valley, Colorado
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    The western slope of the Rockies has an ideal climate for growing certain grape varietals that produce quality wines. The vineyards are located around the towns of Palisade and Grand Junction along the Colorado River. Some wineries also grow peach and cherries. Many wineries make fruit wines using local stone fruit in addition to traditional grape vintages. More than 85% percent of Colorado’s premium wine grape vineyards are located in this area. Grape varietals include Chardonnay, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc. Wines produced from these grapes are winning major national and international awards for their quality. Colorado is home to over 80 wineries. The Colorado Mountain Winefest is held in Palisade every September.
    Links: http://www.grandvalleywine.com/,
  12. Loudon County, Virginia
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    Loudon County, a winemaking region that sits just outside of Washington, D.C., has flourished in the past few decades. With the onset of wine making in the 1600’s at Jamestown Colony, wineries in this region today are situated amid some famous historic sites.  Despite its location near one of the world’s most important cities, this area has a very rural flavor. There are over 30 wineries in Loudon County with an overall 200 wineries in the state of Virginia. The main varietals include Chardonnay, Viognier, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chamourcin, Merlot, and a native Virginia red varietal called Norton. Central Virginia also produces wine particularly in the Monticello AVA. This is the region where Thomas Jefferson grew grapes on his estate in the 1770’s before the Revolutionary War began. Wine Enthusiast magazine recently named Virginia one of its top 10 wine travel destinations for 2012.
    Links: http://www.virginiawine.org/,
  13. Links: Wine, Top Ten Wine Regions,

Enjoy!

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