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 Superfoods

Top Ten Superfoods

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       Superfood is a term used to describe foods with high nutrient or phytochemical content that may confer higher levels of concentrated health benefits, with few properties considered to be negative.

  1. Moringa (Olefiera)
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    Dubbed the “miracle tree” and the “world’s most nutritious plant species ever studied,” this amazing tree is native to regions of Africa/Asia but can grow almost anywhere due to its incredible ability to extract nutrients from the soil and air. Its leaves are an all-around green superfood; with more than 90 nutrients, moringa is like a utility baseball player that can excel in every position. High in a wide array of vitamins and minerals it’s anti-oxidant rich (46 anti-oxidants), anti-diabetes (reduces blood glucose) and promotes heart health (lipid lowering) among other benefits. Available in capsule and powder form, brew the powder into a tea or add to juice or your morning smoothie.” — Tim Ferris
    Links: http://www.fourhourworkweek.com/blog/2012/05/23/10-uncommon-superfoods-from-the-world-of-ultra-endurance/,
  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: Top Ten Antioxidants, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seanol,
  3. 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,
  4. 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,
  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 AntioxidantsTop Ten Berries, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Superfood,
  6. 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),
  7. Suma Root and Ginseng
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    “Adaptogen. Adaptogens are metabolic regulators that increase the body’s ability to – for lack of a better phrase – adapt to environmental stressors, both physical and emotional. Suma is a ginseng-like adaptogen extracted from a root native to Brazil that is linked to improved immune system functionality and hormonal regulation. Combine with (American) ginseng, Ashwaganda (Indian ginseng), and Eleutherococcus (Siberian ginseng) to create a potent combination that promotes longevity and stress management — normalizing and balancing emotional and physical energy levels. Take in capsules or brew into a tea.” — Tim Ferris
    Links: Top Ten Teashttp://www.fourhourworkweek.com/blog/2012/05/23/10-uncommon-superfoods-from-the-world-of-ultra-endurance/,
  8. Allium Family: Garlic, Onions, Leeks and Chives

    Garlic, onions, leeks and chives contain flavonoids that stimulate the production of glutathione (the tripeptide that is the liver’s most potent antioxidant). Glutathione enhances elimination of toxins and carcinogens, putting the allium family of vegetables at the top of the list for foods that can help prevent cancer. Here are just a few benefits from members of this family.
    Garlic:
    – Lowers total cholesterol (but raises HDL—”good”—cholesterol)
    – Lessens the risk of atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries)
    – Lowers blood pressure
    – Reduces the risk of blood clots (cause of the majority of strokes and heart attacks)
    – Destroys infection-causing viruses and bacteria
    – Reduces the risk of certain cancers, in particular, stomach cancers
    – Produces more “natural killer” cells in the blood to fight tumors and infections
    – Helps fight against neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s
    – Enhances detoxification by reducing toxins
    – For optimum effect, eat garlic raw. Cooking can destroy some of the allicin compound, which is the active constituent.
    Links: Top Ten Anticarcinogens, http://www.oprah.com/health/The-Allium-Family-Dr-Perricones-No-2-Superfood#ixzz2cjyOiXIm,
  9. 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,
  10. Eggplant

           The eggplant, closely related to the tomato and potato, was domesticated in India from Solanum incanum. The fruit is botanically classified as a berry and contains numerous small, soft seeds which are edible, but have a bitter taste because they contain nicotinoid alkaloids; this is unsurprising as it is also a close relative of tobacco. Eggplant is purportedly claimed to reduce the number of cancerous cells in humans.
    Links: Top Ten Anticarcinogens, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eggplant,
  11. Cannabis
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    Cannabis is a genus of flowering plants that includes three putative varieties, Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica and Cannabis ruderalis. These three taxa are indigenous to Central Asia, and South Asia. Cannabis has long been used for fiber (hemp), for seed and seed oils, which among many other benefits is high in protein, for medicinal purposes, and as a recreational drug. Industrial hemp products are made from Cannabis plants selected to produce an abundance of fiber. Marijuana consists of the dried flowers of Cannabis plants selectively bred to produce high levels of THC and other psychoactive cannabinoids. Various extracts including hashish and hash oil are also produced from the plant. A synthetic form of the main psychoactive cannabinoid in Cannabis, Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), is used as a treatment for a wide range of medical conditions, including anticarcinogenic effects, glaucoma, AIDS wasting, neuropathic pain, treatment of spasticity associated with multiple sclerosis, chemotherapy-induced nausea, treatment of allergies, inflammation, infection, epilepsy, depression, bipolar disorders, anxiety disorder, dependency and withdrawal, autoimmune disease, neuroprotection, fever, disorders of blood pressure, the list goes on and on.The Yanghai Tombs, a vast ancient cemetery (54,000 square m) situated in the Turfan district of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of the People’s Republic of China, have revealed the 2,700-year-old grave of a shaman. He is thought to have belonged to the Jushi culture recorded in the area centuries later in the Hanshu, Chap 96B. Near the head and foot of the shaman was a large leather basket and wooden bowl filled with 789g of cannabis, superbly preserved by climatic and burial conditions. An international team demonstrated that this material contained tetrahydrocannabinol, the psychoactive component of cannabis. The cannabis was presumably employed by this culture as a medicinal or psychoactive agent, or an aid to divination. This is the oldest documentation of cannabis as a pharmacologically active agent. Settlements which date from c. 2200-1700 BC in the Bactria and Margiana contained elaborate ritual structures with rooms containing everything needed for making drinks containing extracts from poppy (opium), hemp (cannabis), and ephedra (which contains ephedrine). “While we have no evidence of the use of ephedra among the steppe tribes, we have already seen that they did share in the cultic use of hemp, a practice that ranged from Romania east to the Yenisei River from at least the 3rd millennium BC on where its use was later encountered in the apparatus for smoking hemp found at Pazyryk.” Cannabis is first referred to in Hindu Vedas between 2000 and 1400 BC, in the Atharvaveda. By the 10th century AD, it has been suggested that it was referred to by some in India as “food of the gods”. Cannabis use eventually became a ritual part of the Hindu festival of Holi. In Buddhism, cannabis is generally regarded as an intoxicant and therefore a hindrance to development of meditation and clear awareness. In ancient Germanic culture, Cannabis was associated with the Norse love goddess, Freya. An anointing oil mentioned in Exodus is, by some translators, said to contain Cannabis. Sufis have used Cannabis in a spiritual context since the 13th century AD. In the Punjab, Cannabis or Sukha, “peace-giver,” is the term Sikhs use to refer to it. Initiated by the tenth guru of the Sikhs, Guru Gobind Singh, cannabis or bhang was used to help in meditation and was also used before battles to aid as a painkiller, growing naturally all over Punjab. Narrated by many historical and native accounts cannabis is pounded by the Sikhs, especially during religious festivals like Hola Mohalla. Even today, Nihang Sikhs gather in their thousands at Anandpur, on the occasion of the festival of Hola Mohalla and display their martial skills and of course cannabis is pounded by the Nihang Sikhs. This tradition has been in place since the time of Guru Gobind Singh. Their fighting style is referred to as shastar vidiya, which is among the most intimidating and brutal martial art. The compositions from the Sri Dasam Granth are used in unison with the battle maneuvers. In modern times the Rastafari movement has embraced Cannabis as a sacrament. Elders of the Ethiopian Zion Coptic Church, a religious movement founded in the US in 1975 with no ties to either Ethiopia or the Coptic Church, consider Cannabis to be the Eucharist, claiming it as an oral tradition from Ethiopia dating back to the time of Christ. Like the Rastafari, some modern Gnostic Christian sects have asserted that Cannabis is the Tree of Life. Other organized religions founded in the 20th century that treat Cannabis as a sacrament are the THC Ministry, the Way of Infinite Harmony, Cantheism, the Cannabis Assembly and the Church of Cognizance. Rastafari and Sikh use tend to be among the biggest consumers of modern Cannabis use.
    Links: Cannabis, Top 100 Cannabis StrainsGreat Bob Marley Songs, Great Jimi Hendrix Songs, Great Peter Tosh Songs, Top Ten Songs to Spark Up To, Top 100 Symbolshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cannabis,
  12. Pine Pollen
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    There are 115 species of pine but only a select few are used for the amazing benefits from their pine pollen, including the Masson pine. Pine pollen has been found to restore proper hormone levels, strengthen the immune system, improve mental cognition, balances androgenic and estrogenic hormones, supports the liver, great for the skin and hair, protects the cardiovascular system, regulates weight by supporting the metabolism, increases energy and vitality, increases glutathione (the body’s master antioxidant), optimizes breast health in women and prostate health in men, improves endurance, is an aphrodisiac and helps supports a healthy sex life, may reduce pain and inflammation and I that wasn’t enough, it even helps with hangovers.
    Links:
  13. Apricot Seeds & Sprouted Mung Beans

    “Cancer Cell Inhibition. Both of these foods share one thing in common: high levels of laetrile (vitamin B17), which has been found effective in arresting tumor growth. But how does it kill cancer cells without killing healthy cells? Without getting too technical, there is some evidence to support that when laetrile comes into contact with an enzyme called beta-glucosidase (which is only found in cancer cells), the laetrile is broken down, releasing “manufactured” hydrogen cyanide (HCN), which attacks the cancerous cell. Normal cells remain unaffected because of the mitochondrial enzyme rhodanase, which detoxifies the cyanide component. Cancer cells lack this enzyme. I’m not saying laetrile is a magical cure for cancer. But it might be a cheap preventive measure. Organic and raw apricot kernels (the seed inside the pit) are available online (try Nuts.com or iHerb.com). I blend them into my Vitamix morning smoothie. Sprout mung beans overnight (using a simple sprouting vessel) and eat over rice. Alternatively, you can make a broth with turmeric or even brew a coffee-like drink in a French Press with nutritional yeast.” — Tim Ferris
    Links: Top Ten Anticarcinogens, http://www.fourhourworkweek.com/blog/2012/05/23/10-uncommon-superfoods-from-the-world-of-ultra-endurance/,
  14. Cordyceps (Sinensis) Extracts

    “Stamina. Well-known for centuries in Chinese herbal medicine, Cordyceps sinensis is a parasitic dried fungus that grows on caterpillar larvae native to high-altitude regions of China, Nepal and Tibet. Gross, right? But awesome when it comes to health and athletic performance. Pharmacologically anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory and anti-lipid (cholesterol lowering), studies indicate enhanced immune system functionality as well as improved stamina in endurance athletes via increased aerobic capacity and oxygen utilization as well as stabilized blood sugar metabolism. Chinese Olympic Track & Field athletes have been swearing by it for decades, and I can attest to their effectiveness. Another plus? Increased sex drive and functionality. The benefits of Cordyceps are enhanced when combined with the adaptogen rhodiola, as they are in Optygen and ShroomTech — both good recommended products.” — Tim Ferris
    Links: http://www.fourhourworkweek.com/blog/2012/05/23/10-uncommon-superfoods-from-the-world-of-ultra-endurance/,
  15. Turmeric
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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, turmeric’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: Top Ten Anticarcinogens, http://www.fourhourworkweek.com/blog/2012/05/23/10-uncommon-superfoods-from-the-world-of-ultra-endurance/,
  16. Tulsi
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    Ocimum tenuiflorum, also known as Holy Basil, tulsi, or tulasī, is an aromatic plant in the family Lamiaceae which is native throughout the Eastern World tropics and widespread as a cultivated plant and an escaped weed. It is an erect, much branched subshrub, 30–60 cm tall with hairy stems and simple, opposite, green leaves that are strongly scented. Leaves have petioles, and are ovate, up to 5 cm long, usually slightly toothed. The flowers are purplish in elongate racemes in close whorls. The two main morphotypes cultivated in India and Nepal are green-leaved (Sri or Lakshmi tulsi) and purple-leaved (Krishna tulsi). Tulsi is cultivated for religious and medicinal purposes, and for its essential oil. It is widely known across South Asia as a medicinal plant and an herbal tea, commonly used in Ayurveda, and has an important role within the Vaishnavite tradition of Hinduism, in which devotees perform worship involving holy basil plants or leaves. The variety of Ocimum tenuiflorum used in Thai cuisine is referred to as Thai holy basil. A variety of in vitro studies and animal studies have indicated some potential pharmacological properties of Ocimum tenuiflorum or its extracts. Recent studies suggest tulasi may be a COX-2 inhibitor, like many modern painkillers, due to its high concentration of eugenol. One small study showed it to reduce blood glucose levels in type 2 diabetics when combined with hypoglycemic drugs. The same study showed significant reduction in total cholesterol levels with tulsi. Another study showed its beneficial effect on blood glucose levels is due to its antioxidant properties. Tulsi also shows some promise for protection from radiation poisoning and cataracts. It has anti-oxidant properties and can repair cells damaged by exposure to radiation. The fixed oil has demonstrated antihyperlipidemic and cardioprotective effects in rats fed a high fat diet. A double-blind trial conducted in 2011 suggested that an alcoholic extract of tulsi modulates immunity, thus promoting immune system function. β-Elemene has been studied for its potential anticancer properties, but human clinical trials have yet to confirm its effectiveness. Isolated O. sanctum extracts have some antibacterial activity against E. coli, S. aureus and P. aeruginosa.
    Links: Top Ten Teas, Top Ten Anticarcinogens, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tulsi,
  17. 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: Top Ten Antioxidants,
  18. Broccoli

           Broccoli is a plant in the cabbage family, whose large flower head is used as a vegetable. The word broccoli, from the Italian plural of broccolo, refers to “the flowering top of a cabbage.” Broccoli is usually boiled or steamed, but may be eaten raw and has become popular as a raw vegetable in hors d’œuvre trays. Broccoli most closely resembles cauliflower, which is a different cultivar group of the same species. Broccoli was derived from cultivated leafy cole crops in the Northern Mediterranean in about the 6th century BC. Since the Roman Empire, broccoli has been considered a uniquely valuable food among Italians. Broccoli was brought to England from Antwerp in the mid-1700’s by Peter Scheemakers and was first introduced to the US by Italian immigrants, not becoming widely known until the 1920’s. Broccoli is high in vitamin C, as well as dietary fiber; it also contains multiple nutrients with potent anti-cancer properties, such as diindolylmethane and small amounts of selenium. A single serving provides more than 30 mg of Vitamin C and a half-cup provides 52 mg of Vitamin C. The 3,3′-Diindolylmethane found in broccoli is a potent modulator of the innate immune response system with anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-cancer activity. Broccoli also contains the compound glucoraphanin, which can be processed into an anti-cancer compound sulforaphane, though the benefits of broccoli are greatly reduced if the vegetable is boiled. Broccoli is also an excellent source of indole-3-carbinol, a chemical which boosts DNA repair in cells and appears to block the growth of cancer cells. Boiling broccoli reduces the levels of suspected anti-carcinogenic compounds, such as sulforaphane, with losses of 20–30% after 5 minutes, 40–50% after 10 minutes, and 77% after 30 minutes. However, other preparation methods such as steaming, microwaving, and stir frying had no significant effect on the compounds. Broccoli has the highest levels of carotenoids in the brassica family. It is particularly rich in lutein and also provides a modest amount of beta-carotene. A high intake of broccoli has been found to reduce the risk of aggressive prostate cancer. Broccoli consumption may also help prevent heart disease.
    Links: Top Ten Anticarcinogens, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Broccoli,
  19. Cherries
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           The cherry is the fruit of many plants of the genus Prunus, and is a fleshy drupe (stone fruit). The cherry fruits of commerce are usually obtained from a limited number of species, including especially cultivars of the wild cherry, Prunus avium. Cherries contain anthocyanins, the red pigment in berries. Cherry anthocyanins have been shown to reduce pain and inflammation. Anthocyanins are also potent antioxidants under active research for a variety of potential health benefits. According to a study funded by the Cherry Marketing Institute, presented at the Experimental Biology 2008 meeting in San Diego, rats that received whole tart cherry powder mixed into a high-fat diet did not gain as much weight or build up as much body fat, and their blood showed much lower levels of inflammation indicators that have been linked to heart disease and diabetes. In addition, they had significantly lower blood levels of cholesterol and triglycerides.
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cherry,
  20. Shitake Mushrooms

           The Shiitake (Lentinula edodes) is an edible mushroom native to East Asia, which is cultivated and consumed in many Asian countries, as well as being dried and exported to many countries around the world. It is a feature of many Asian cuisines including Vietnamese, Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Thai. In the East, the shiitake mushroom has long been considered a delicacy as well as a medicinal mushroom. Modern research has indicated shiitake mushroom may stimulate the immune system, possess antibacterial properties, reduce platelet aggregation, and possess antiviral properties, possibly through antiviral agents known as proteinase inhibitors. Active hexose correlated compound (AHCC) is an α-glucan-rich compound isolated from shiitake. In Japan, AHCC is the 2nd most popular complementary and alternative medicine used by cancer patients and is metabolized via the CYP450 2D6 pathway. Research using animal models has shown that AHCC may increase the body’s resistance to pathogens as shown in experiments with the influenza virus, West Nile encephalitis virus and bacterial infection. Animal research and limited clinical trials suggest that AHCC may enhance immune function. A double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of 21 people supported the idea that AHCC may enhance immune function. Studies have shown that AHCC may benefit patients with hepatocellular carcinoma and prostate cancer. Lentinan, a compound isolated from shiitake, is used as an intravenous anticancer agent in some countries. Studies have demonstrated lentinan possesses antitumor properties, and clinical studies have associated lentinan with a higher survival rate, higher quality of life, and lower recurrence of cancer.
    Links: Top Ten Mushrooms, Top Ten Anticarcinogens, Top Ten Asian Recipeshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shitake_mushroom,
  21. 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/,
  22. 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,
  23. Tomato

           The word “tomato” may refer to the plant (Solanum lycopersicum) or the edible, typically red, fruit that it bears. Originating in South America, the tomato was spread around the world following the Spanish colonization of the Americas, and its many varieties are now widely grown, often in greenhouses in cooler climates. The tomato fruit is consumed in diverse ways, including raw, as an ingredient in many dishes and sauces, and in drinks. While it is botanically a fruit, it is considered a vegetable for culinary purposes. Tomatoes contain the carotene lycopene, one of the most powerful natural antioxidants. In some studies, lycopene, especially in cooked tomatoes, has been found to help prevent prostate cancer. Lycopene has also been shown to improve the skin’s ability to protect against harmful UV rays. A study done by researchers at Manchester and Newcastle universities revealed that tomato can protect against sunburn and help keeping the skin looking youthful. Natural genetic variation in tomatoes and their wild relatives has given a genetic plethora of genes that produce lycopene, carotene, anthocyanin, and other antioxidants. Tomato varieties are available with double the normal vitamin C (Doublerich), 40 times normal vitamin A (97L97), high levels of anthocyanin (resulting in blue tomatoes), and two to four times the normal amount of lycopene (numerous available cultivars with the high crimson gene). Tomato consumption has also been associated with decreased risk of breast cancer, head and neck cancers and might be strongly protective against neurodegenerative diseases. Tomatoes and tomato sauces and puree are said to help lower urinary tract symptoms (BPH) and may have anticancer properties. Tomato consumption might be beneficial for reducing cardiovascular risk associated with type 2 diabetes.
    Links: Top Ten Anticarcinogens, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tomatoe,
  24. Peppers

    The term “peppers” encompasses a diverse group of plants, ranging from the popular sweet green or red bell pepper to the fiery hot habañero or the even more lethal Scotch bonnet. When Columbus tasted the small, hot red “berries” he found on his Caribbean voyages, he believed he had reached India, where Europeans obtained black pepper, and called them red pepper. In truth, the native peoples of the Americas had been growing and enjoying sweet and chili peppers for an estimated 7,000 years. Soon after Columbus’s ships brought them back to Spain, traders spread them around the world, transforming cuisines, and people’s preventive health prospects, from Morocco to Hungary, and India to China. Peppers, whether sweet bell or hot chili, are members of the plant genus “capsicum,” a term that comes from the Greek word kapto, which means “to bite.” All peppers contain compounds called capsaicinoids. This is especially true of chili peppers, which derive their spicy heat—as well as extraordinary anti-inflammatory, analgesic, anti-cancer, heart-healthy effects, from very high levels of capsaicinoids, the most common form of which is capsaicin. In addition to capsaicin, chilies are high in antioxidant carotenes and flavonoids, and contain about twice the amount of vitamin C found in citrus fruits. Almost any dish, from homemade soups, stews and chili to stir-fries, salads and salsas, can benefit from small amounts of hot peppers.
    Links: Top Ten Anticarcinogens, http://www.oprah.com/health/Hot-Peppers-Dr-Perricones-Superfood-No-7-Superfood#ixzz2cjxYUM7m,
  25. Camu Camu
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    “A sour lemon-sized orange-purple fruit indigenous to Amazonian lowlands, camu camu contains an impressive array of phytochemicals, bioflavonoids, amino acids, vitamins and minerals like beta-carotene and potassium. Most importantly, camu camu boasts the highest natural vitamin C density of any food on the planet — anywhere from 20-50 times the level of vitamin C in a typical orange, and scores extremely high on the “ORAC” (“oxygen radical absorbance capacity”) scale, a method of quantifying the anti-oxidant capacities of biological samples. Camu camu also reduces levels of the stress hormone cortisol and facilitates the uptake of serotonin. In other words, it will make you happy. Available in supplement form, I like Navitas Naturals Organic Camu Powder. Add a teaspoon to juice or smoothie (taste is tart, a bit like orange juice itself).” — Tim Ferris
    Links: http://www.fourhourworkweek.com/blog/2012/05/23/10-uncommon-superfoods-from-the-world-of-ultra-endurance/,
  26. Spinach
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           Spinach (Spinacia oleracea) is an edible flowering plant in the family of Amaranthaceae. It is native to central and southwestern Asia. Spinach has a high nutritional value and is extremely rich in antioxidants, especially when fresh, steamed, or quickly boiled. It is a rich source of vitamin A (and especially high in lutein), vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, magnesium, manganese, folate, betaine, iron, vitamin B2, calcium, potassium, vitamin B6, folic acid, copper, protein, phosphorus, zinc, niacin, selenium and omega-3 fatty acids. Recently, opioid peptides called rubiscolins have also been found in spinach. Polyglutamyl folate (vitamin B9 or folic acid) is a vital constituent of cells, and spinach is a good source of folic acid. Boiling spinach can more than halve the level of folate left in the spinach, but microwaving does not affect folate content. Vitamin B9 was first isolated from spinach in 1941.
    Links:
  27. Macadamia Nuts
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           Macadamia is a genus of nine species of flowering plants in the family Proteaceae, with a disjunct distribution native to eastern Australia (seven species), New Caledonia (one species M. neurophylla) and Sulawesi in Indonesia (one species, M. hildebrandii). Compared to other common edible seeds such as almonds and cashews, macadamias are high in fat and low in protein. They have the highest amount of monounsaturated fats of any known seed and contain approximately 22% of omega-7 palmitoleic acid, which has biological effects similar to saturated fat. They also contain 9% protein, 9% carbohydrate, and 2% dietary fiber, as well as calcium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, selenium, iron, thiamine, riboflavin and niacin.
    Links: Top Ten Nuts, Top Ten Chocolates,
  28. Cashews
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           The cashew is a tree in the family Anacardiaceae. Its English name derives from the Portuguese name for the fruit of the cashew tree, caju, which in turn derives from the indigenous Tupi name, acajú. Originally native to Northeast Brazil, it is now widely grown in tropical climates for its cashew seeds and cashew apples. The fats and oils in cashew nuts are 54% monounsaturated fat (18:1), 18% polyunsaturated fat (18:2), and 16% saturated fat (9% palmitic acid (16:0) and 7% stearic acid (18:0)). Cashews, as with other tree nuts, are a good source of antioxidants. Alkyl phenols, in particular, are abundant in cashews. Cashews are also a good source of dietary trace minerals copper, iron and zinc. The cashew nutshell liquid (CNSL), a byproduct of processing cashew, is mostly composed of anacardic acids (70%), cardol (18%) and cardanol (5%). These acids have been used effectively against tooth abscesses due to their lethality to a wide range of Gram-positive bacteria. Many parts of the plant are used by the Patamona of Guyana medicinally. The bark is scraped and soaked overnight or boiled as an antidiarrheal; it also yields a gum used in varnish. Seeds are ground into powders used for antivenom for snake bites. The nut oil is used topically as an antifungal and for healing cracked heels.
    Links: Top Ten Anticarcinogens, 
  29. Bananas
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           Banana is the common name for herbaceous plants of the genus Musa and for the fruit they produce. It is one of the oldest cultivated plants. They are native to tropical South and Southeast Asia, and are likely to have been first domesticated in Papua New Guinea. Today, they are cultivated throughout the tropics. They are grown in at least 107 countries, primarily for their fruit, and to a lesser extent to make fiber, banana wine and as ornamental plants. Its fruits, rich in starch, grow in clusters hanging from the top of the plant. They come in a variety of sizes and colors when ripe, including yellow, purple, and red. Bananas are an excellent source of vitamin B6, soluble fiber, and contain moderate amounts of vitamin C, manganese and potassium. Along with other fruits and vegetables, consumption of bananas may be associated with a reduced risk of colorectal cancer and in women, breast cancer and renal cell carcinoma. Banana ingestion may affect dopamine production in people deficient in the amino acid tyrosine, a dopamine precursor present in bananas.
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bananas,
  30. Calamarine

           Deepsea Omega 3.
    Links:
  31. Green Coffee Beans
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    “Fat Loss. Similar to green tea and grape seed extract, organic raw (green) coffee beans have powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties effective in combating free radical damage. Benefits in weight management are due to two active compounds, caffeine (lower in green beans) and chlorogenic acid (which is destroyed by roasting) [TIM: Also found in my perennial fave, yerba mate]. The caffeine releases fatty acids into the bloodstream from stored body fat, while the chlorogenic acid increases efficiency of metabolizing these fats while inhibiting sugar (glucose) absorption by the blood stream. Simply grind the green beans and prepare in a French Press like normal coffee. Alternatively, place the ground beans in water in the sun to brew iced coffee. However, don’t expect it to taste like coffee – it doesn’t. Slightly bitter and somewhat flavorless, try adding erythritol to sweeten. Nor will it give you a boost; its caffeine content is significantly lower than roasted beans.” — Tim Ferris
    Links: http://www.fourhourworkweek.com/blog/2012/05/23/10-uncommon-superfoods-from-the-world-of-ultra-endurance/,
  32. Links: Top 100 Plants,

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