Ancient Grains – Why Bother?

Ancient Grains – Why Bother
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We eat a lot of wheat—pounds and pounds a year per person, mostly in the form of bread, pasta and pizza. Another favourite grain, of course, is rice. In recent years, many “ancient grains”—sometimes called heritage grains or hyped as super grains— have been rediscovered but remain much less familiar. Some (such as farro) are types of wheat or are related to wheat; others are technically seeds (quinoa) but are often referred to as grains, since they are cooked and eaten like cereal grains. All are worth trying because, by and large, they’re more nutritious than the more common grains, plus they add variety to your diet.

The grains described below are good, sometimes excellent, sources of protein and fibre. They also provide minerals such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron and zinc, along with phenols (antioxidants) and other potentially beneficial compounds; some are rich in vitamin E and B vitamins. In contrast to most of the wheat and rice we eat, these grains tend to come in their “whole” form, with their bran, germ and endosperm intact, which makes them more nutritious, just as whole wheat and brown rice are more nutritious than their refined counterparts. For people with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, another advantage is that several of these grains—including amaranth, quinoa and teff—are gluten free. A downside is their higher cost.

You can prepare these grains as salads or use them in soups and stews (just boil as you would rice). Some, such as amaranth, teff and wheat berries, cook up well as hot cereals. You can also substitute their flours for wheat flour to increase the nutritional value of breads, muffins and other baked goods. An increasing number of packaged foods— breakfast cereals, pastas, breads and pancake mixes—contain these interesting grains, too, though sometimes in small amounts.

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Amaranth. – gluten free, protein, calcium.
Native to both Mesoamerica and the Andes and a major food crop of the Aztecs and Incas, respectively, this tiny grain resembles fine couscous and has a nutty, sometimes peppery, flavor. Popped amaranth is a popular street snack in South America. For a grain, it’s relatively rich in calcium—with about 60 milligrams per 4 ounces, cooked. Because amaranth (like quinoa, see below) contains a good balance of essential amino acids and is particularly high in lysine, it is considered more of a “complete” protein than most grains (and plant foods in general).
Amaranth is almost always whole, since the grains are too small to easily refine. Be sure not to overcook it since it will become sticky.

Farro (or emmer wheat).
Also called Pharaoh’s wheat, this chewy, nutty-tasting grain is a relative of modern wheat that originated in Egypt thousands of years ago. It’s said to have been widely consumed by the Roman legions, and in Italy today it’s a common ingredient in soups and is used as a substitute for arborio rice in risotto dishes (called farrotto). Many pasta lovers prefer pasta made from farro to pasta made from durum wheat. Look for “whole farro” on labels; if it’s “pearled,” it’s not a whole grain because the bran has been removed.

Freekeh (or farik).
Common in Middle Eastern and North African cuisine, freekeh refers to a harvesting process rather than an actual grain. The grain, typically wheat, is harvested when it is young, yellow, and soft—at its peak nutrition—and then roasted. Similar in texture to bulgur, it tends to have a smoky, nutty flavor. Though freekeh is being billed as the hottest new ancient grain, it’s still not widely available in stores. You might find it in Middle Eastern or other specialty markets; it’s also sold online.

Quinoa (keen-nyeewah) Gluten free, protein.
Called the “mother of all grains” by the Incas, who considered it sacred, quinoa from the Andes is known for being rich in high-quality protein. There are over 120 varieties, in many different colors. Pale yellow quinoa is most common, though red quinoa contains significantly more phenols and has higher antioxidant activity. Quinoa cooks up fluffy with a nutty flavor. Because the seeds are naturally coated with bitter compounds (saponins, which defend against insects), they must be washed before cooking. Even if the package says the seeds were washed, it’s a good idea to rinse them to remove any remaining bitterness. Kañiwa (kah-nyeewah), quinoa’s smaller and lesser-known red cousin, doesn’t need to be rinsed before cooking because it doesn’t have the bitter compounds.

Teff. Gluten Free. Calcium.
Originating in Ethiopia more than 2,500 years ago, teff (sometimes called taf) remains a staple there, where it’s mostly used to make a spongy sourdough bread. It is one of the smallest grains in the world—so tiny (like poppy seeds) that its bran germ, and endosperm cannot be separated, so it can be consumed only as a whole grain.
According to the Whole Grains Council, there are about 3,000 teff grains in just one gram (1/28th of an ounce). Like amaranth, teff has about 60 milligrams of calcium per four ounces, cooked. Teff is slightly sweet, with white varieties mildest in flavour; darker varieties taste earthier, even chocolate-like.

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Wheat berries.
These are the whole kernels of the wheat plant, from which all wheat products, including wheat flour, are made; only the inedible outer husks are removed. Available in red and white varieties, they resemble short-grain brown rice. When boiled, they have a chewy texture and nutty flavor. Since they are the least processed form of wheat, wheat berries can be even richer in nutrients and fibre than whole-wheat flour. That’s because the processing of whole-wheat flour, even if less extreme than for refined wheat flour, can still degrade some of the kernels’ healthful components.

Are They SUPER?
Labeling these grains as “super”—the latest trend—is over stating their place in a healthy diet. I tend not to label any clean food a ‘Super-food’ we all need a wide variety of foods for health. All whole grains are healthful, each in its own way. Besides the ones listed here, there are other healthful options, including barley (a cereal grain that helps lower blood cholesterol), spelt (an ancient wheat species), millet (a food staple in Africa and Asia), buckwheat (not related to wheat), khorasan wheat (Kamut is the registered brand name) and a variety of pigmented rices, such as Thai black rice (which get their dark colours from antioxidants called anthocyanins). If your regular supermarket doesn’t carry them, look for them at health food stores, specialty markets and on the Internet.

There are many recipe ideas for exchanging modern, processed, nutrient sparse grains with these nutrient dense, unprocessed, whole, ancient alternatives.

Eat Clean. Stay Active. Feel Great

Jax.

Common Spice Cures Diabetes! NO WAY?

The Kitchen Cupboard Remedy for Diabetes


 

Another article from my current favourite website…..

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Dear Reader,

What if I told you that an all-natural spice found in apple pie — and probably sitting in your kitchen cabinet right now — could give you all of these benefits…

  • Better blood sugar control…
  • Better triglyceride (blood fat) levels…
  • Better LDL cholesterol levels…
  • Better total cholesterol levels…


Well, that’s exactly what you get with Cinnamon, the dried inner bark of a tree from Sri Lanka.

And it’s all down to cinnamon’s active compound, called Methyhydroxy Chalcone Polymer — or MHCP, for short — which boosts the activity of insulin by about 20 times, allows glucose to pass more easily from the bloodstream into the cells, and helps your body burn excess sugar levels in your bloodstream.

Proven In Scientific Studies…

Cinnamon’s incredible effects on blood sugar levels isn’t just wishful thinking. It’s been proven in scores of well-documented studies to help tame out-of-control blood sugar and help keep it in the safety zone.

For example, according to a study at the University of Hannover, Germany, and published in theEuropean Journal of Clinical Investigation, cinnamon was shown to have a powerful effect on elevated blood sugar levels.

In the placebo-controlled, double-blind study, researchers gave 79 patients either cinnamon or a placebo pill for four months. The results? Patients taking cinnamon experienced a 10.3% reduction in blood sugar levels while the placebo group only received a 2.4% reduction.

In another study published in The Journal of Diabetic Medicine, researchers tested cinnamon against popular diabetes drugs. They gave one group the drugs. The other group took only cinnamon. And the results were conclusive: The participants in the cinnamon group had much better blood sugar control than the drug-only group.

And in another study, Dr. Richard Anderson and colleagues at the Human Nutrition Research Center in Maryland, USA, performed a double-blind, placebo-controlled study on patients with blood sugar problems. They gave the patients either one, three, or six grams of cinnamon or an equal dose of a placebo and tested blood sugar levels at 0… 40… and 60-day intervals.

The results were interesting to say the least. In the placebo group, patients experienced zero or only very miniscule improvements in blood glucose levels, triglycerides, total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels.

Yet, the patients taking cinnamon had impressive improvements in blood glucose readings and had better triglyceride, total cholesterol and lower LDL (bad cholesterol) levels.

Long-Term, Spectacular Results…

What’s more, the researchers found that the longer the patients took cinnamon, the better their results.

Indeed, 60-day readings proved better than 40-day readings. All told, there have been more than 50 separate studies done on cinnamon’s effects on blood glucose levels. And in every case, patients got much better blood sugar control and cholesterol levels.

In addition, cinnamon works fast — in a matter of mere days or even hours! So it doesn’t just work better the longer you take it… it works almost from the very first dose!

So inspired were they by cinnamon’s unique healing qualities that two health pioneers teamed up to research the scientific proof for dozens of other natural blood sugar-busting remedies.

And what they discovered has now been turned into a single, 11 ingredient drug-free formulation which has been scientifically proven to be 3 times more effective than top-selling diabetes drugs in to ONE perfect drug-free solution… There’s a full report about this here.

A breakthrough that could change your life for ever…

Dr. Vern Cherewatenko and Ken Hampshire — two of the most knowledgeable experts on the planet when it comes to dealing with type 2 diabetes — set out to formulate the perfect blend of natural substances that would equip your body’s own ability to achieve perfect regulation of your blood sugar.

Dr. Vern Cherewatenko is pretty famous in the US. Not only is he a practising doctor at his own private clinic, his book The Diabetes Cure: A Natural Plan That Can Slow, Stop, Even Cure Type 2 Diabetesbecame an instant bestseller.

You see, Dr Vern completely understands what it’s like to be diabetic since he himself is a former type 2 diabetic. But, Dr Vern managed to rid himself of type 2 diabetes using the same secrets that he now shares with thousands of his patients who visit him at his clinic in Renton, Washington.

But as good as his book is, Dr. Vern never rests on his laurels…

That’s why, along with Ken Hampshire, he set out to look at all the latest cutting-edge research emanating from all the leading medical authorities on diabetes.

And what they came up with after years of research was a breakthrough new super formula designed to help patients to…

  • Control blood sugar…
  • Boost the action and release of insulin…
  • Help patients lose weight without restrictive diets…
  • Help improve blood pressure and lower “bad” cholesterol and triglycerides…
  • Fight the deadly and debilitating complications of diabetes…
  • And, above all, to do it naturally — free from drugs that can trigger other nasty side effects.


But here’s the game changer. It’s all very well designing a new formula and telling people that it should work for them in theory… but it’s quite another matter proving it in a rigorous, double-blind, placebo controlled clinical trial. 

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So, I think it might be worth adding a supplement of 3 or 6g of cinnamon daily for week or two and see what it does to bodyfat stores. As high or fluctuating blood sugar stimulates fat storage, anything that will control and reduce blod sugar will help our attempts to reduce body fat stores.

I’ll let you know how I get on – perhaps you’lltry it too and report back here?

 

Eat Clean   Live Well   Feel Great

 

Jax

 

WARNING Fructose = Diabetes T2 & IBS – Don’t Eat It !

This Dirty Little Secret Increases Your Diabetes Risk

This article is from one of my favourite websites……..
Dear Reader,

I can give you plenty of good reasons to avoid fructose, but all you need is one: Type 2 diabetes.

A new study highlights diabetes and all the other key reasons why it’s essential to avoid this dangerous component of processed foods and soft drinks.

The research findings speak for themselves

When I read that US researchers at the University of California, Davis (UCD), recently presented a new fructose study at the American Diabetes Association 67th Annual Scientific Sessions in Chicago, something rang a bell. That ringing came from eight years ago, in an e-Alert I sent our members about a UCD study from some of the same researchers who mounted this new study.

The 2002 UCD study reported on animal testing that showed how fructose consumption contributed to insulin resistance, high blood pressure, and elevated triglyceride levels — three of the core symptoms of metabolic syndrome. Other metabolic syndrome symptoms include excessive abdominal fat, high C-reactive protein level, and low HDL (‘good’) cholesterol. Three or more of these symptoms put a patient at high risk of developing Type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

In the conclusions to their 2002 study, the UCD team noted that a high intake of fructose might increase body weight and encourage insulin resistance.

Five years later, a study of human subjects confirms those results…

The UCD researchers began by giving a series of tests to assess heart disease risk in 23 overweight adults, aged 43 to 70.

Study profile:

* For two weeks, each subject ate a strict diet that consisted of 30 per cent fat, and 55 per cent complex carbohydrates.

* After the first phase was complete, subjects were allowed to eat whatever they liked for eight weeks, along with three sweetened beverages each day that supplied a quarter of their energy intake — about half the group drank a glucose beverage while the other half drank a fructose beverage.

* After the second phase was complete, subjects returned to the 30/55 diet while continuing with their daily drinks.

* Throughout the study, further checks of heart disease indicators occurred at two, eight, and 10 weeks.

Results showed that just two weeks after subjects began drinking sweetened drinks, triglyceride (blood fat) levels were up in the fructose group, but had actually dropped in the glucose group.

Over the entire range of the study, LDL (‘bad’) cholesterol increased and insulin sensitivity decreased in the fructose group but didn’t change in the glucose group. In addition, fructose subjects gained about three pounds overall, but no weight gain was reported in the glucose group.

Fructose by any other name…

UCD researcher, Dr Peter J. Havel (who participated in both the 2002 and 2007 studies), told WebMD Medical News that most people get added sugars in their diet from daily beverages — which tends to be a lifelong habit, far exceeding the two weeks in which fructose quickly had an adverse effect on triglycerides.

So what exactly is in that vast array of choices in the beverage aisle?

Checking the ingredients of your soft drink, sports tea, vitamin water, power drink, etc, you might wonder what the difference is between fructose, high fructose corn syrup, and crystalline fructose. Is one better than the other? Well… put it this way: If only part of your house is on fire, your house is still on fire.

The average high fructose corn syrup is made up of about 50 per cent fructose.

But according to the Sugar Association (sugar.org), increased fructose content of HFCS is becoming more common. Some of these syrups contain more than 90 per cent fructose.

And then there’s crystalline fructose that’s present in many ‘health’ drinks and vitamin-enhanced beverages. But does the process of crystallizing magically transform fructose into something healthy? Let’s look at the contents. According to the Fructose Information Center (fructose.org), crystalline fructose contains nearly 100 per cent fructose. And just to make it even less appealing, it contains traces of lead, chloride, and arsenic. Yum! And keep in mind this information comes from an association that ADVOCATES fructose use and consumption.

All of this is very bad news for those who are fructose intolerant and don’t even know it. They may suffer from chronic problems such as irritable bowel syndrome without making the connection between their condition and their fructose intake.

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Interesting, eh?

So, from now on don’t buy anything containing fructose!! It’s not harmless fruit sugar.

You’ll find it in Diabetic jams, chocolates, sweets or soft drinks.  Stop adding fructose to your baking too!!

 

Use either table sugar or Stevia / Truvia which is the ONLY safe sweetener I have ever come across.

 

Eat Clean    Live Well    Feel Great

 

Jax