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Archive for January, 2014

Phosphorus is an essential nutrient required for proper cell functioning, regulation of calcium, strong bones and teeth, and for making ATP (adenosine triphosphate) a molecule which provides energy to our cells. A deficiency in phosphorus can lead to lowered appetite, anemia, muscle pain, improper bone formation (rickets), numbness, and a weakened immune system. Phosphorus is found in almost every food, and as such, deficiency is rare. Conversely consuming too much phosphorus causes the body to send calcium from the bones to the blood in an attempt to restore balance. This transfer of calcium weakens bones, and can cause calcification of internal organs, increasing risk of heart attack and other vascular diseases. Some scientific research suggests that phosphorus is more easily absorbed from meat products,4 and you can only absorb half of the phosphorus contained in plant foods. The amount of phosphorus absorbed differs from person to person, and as HealthAliciousNess.com considers nutrients from plant sources to be optimal for health, the plant sources of phosphorus are still listed here and recommended. The DV (Percent Daily Value) for phosphorus is 1000mg. Below is a list of high phosphorus foods by common serving size, for more, see the extended lists of high phosphorus foods by nutrient density, and phosphorus rich foods.

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#1: Seeds (Pumpkin & Squash)

Phosphorous in 100g Per cup (129g) Per ounce (28g)
1233mg (123% DV) 1591mg (159% DV) 345mg (35% DV)

Other Seeds High in Phosphorous (%DV per ounce): Sunflower Seeds (32%), Chia Seeds (24%), Sesame Seeds (22%), Watermelon Seeds (21%), and Flaxseeds (18%).

#2: Cheese (Romano)

Phosphorous in 100g Per package (142g) Per ounce (28g)
760mg (76% DV) 1079mg (108% DV) 213mg (21% DV)

Other Types of Cheese High in Phosphorous (%DV per ounce): Parmesan (23%), Goat Cheese (20%), Nonfat Mozzarella (18%), Gruyere and Swiss (17%), Gouda, Edam and Nonfat Cream Cheese (15%).

#3: Fish (Salmon)

Phosphorous in 100g Per 1/2 Fillet (154g) Per 3oz (85g)
371mg (37% DV) 571mg (57% DV) 315mg (32% DV)

Other Fish High in Phosphorous (%DV per 3oz Cooked): Carp (45%), American Shad (30%), Whitefish and Cod (29%), Tuna (28%), and Mackerel (27%).

#4: Shellfish (Scallops)

Phosphorous in 100g (Cooked) Per 3oz (85g) Per ounce (28g)
426mg (43% DV) 362mg (36% DV) 121mg (12% DV)

Other Shellfish High in Phosphorous (%DV per 3oz Cooked): Clams (29%), Shrimp (26%), Mussels and Crab (24%).

#5: Nuts (Brazil)

Phosphorous in 100g Per cup (133g) Per ounce (28g)
725mg (73% DV) 964mg (96% DV) 203mg (20% DV)

Other Nuts High in Phosphorous (%DV per ounce): Pine Nuts (16%), Almonds and Cashews (14%), and Pistachios (13%).

#6: Pork (Lean Sirloin)

Phosphorous in 100g Per roast (638g) Per 3oz (85g)
311mg (31% DV) 1984mg (198% DV) 264mg (26% DV)

A Lean Pork Chop (180g) provides (55%) DV.

#7: Beef & Veal (Lean Beef)

Phosphorous in 100g Per piece (283g) Per 3oz (85g)
286mg (29% DV) 809mg (81% DV) 243mg (24% DV)

Veal leg provides (25%) per 3oz of phosphorus.

#8: Low Fat Dairy (Nonfat Yogurt)

Phosphorous 100g Per cup (245g) Per container (227g)
157mg (16% DV) 385mg (38% DV) 356mg (36% DV)

1 cup of Nonfat Milk provides 25% DV of phosphorus.

#9: Soya Foods (Tofu)

Phosphorous in 100g Per 3oz (85g) Per ounce (28g)
287mg (29% DV) 241mg (24% DV) 80mg (8% DV)

Soybeans (Edamame) are Also High in Phosphorous: providing (18%) DV per ounce.

#10: Beans & Lentils (Lentils)

Phosphorous in 100g Per cup (198g) Per tablespoon (12g)
180mg (18% DV) 356mg (36% DV) 22mg (2% DV)

Other Beans and Lentils High in Phosphorous (%DV per cup cooked): Adzuki (39%), Yellow Beans (32%), White Beans (30%), Chickpeas and Black Turtle Beans (28%), Pinto and Kidney Beans (25%).

Top 10 High Phosphorus Foods by Nutrient Density (Phosphorus per Gram)

#1: Seeds (Pumpkin) 1233mg (123% DV) per 100 grams 345mg (35% DV) per ounce (28 grams)
#2: Spices (Ground Mustard Seed) 828mg (83% DV) per 100 grams 17mg (2% DV) per teaspoon (2 grams)
#3: Cheese (Parmesan) 807mg (81% DV) per 100 grams 40mg (4% DV) per tablespoon (5 grams)
#4: Nuts (Brazil) 725mg (73% DV) per 100 grams 203mg (20% DV) per ounce (28 grams)
#5: Cocoa Powder 734mg (73% DV) per 100 grams 37mg (4% DV) per tablespoon (5 grams)
#6: Edamame (Soybeans) 649mg (65% DV) per 100 grams 182mg (18% DV) per ounce (28 grams)
#7: Baker’s Yeast 637mg (64% DV) per 100 grams 26mg (3% DV) per teaspoon (4 grams)
#8: Bacon 533mg (53% DV) per 100 grams 43mg (4% DV) per slice (8 grams)
#9: Liver (Beef) 497mg (50% DV) per 100 grams 338mg (34% DV) per slice (68 grams)
#10: Canned Sardines 490mg (49% DV) per 100 grams 451mg (45% DV) per can (92 grams)

Phosphorus Rich Foods

White Mushrooms (Cooked) 105mg (11% DV) per 100 gram serving113mg (11% DV) per cup, sliced (108 grams)
Click to see complete nutrition facts for White Mushrooms

Tortilla Chips 318mg (32% DV) per 100 gram serving89mg (9% DV) per ounce (28 grams)
Click to see complete nutrition facts for Tortilla Chips

Buckwheat (Cooked) 319mg (32% DV) per 100 gram serving523mg (52% DV) per cup (164 grams)
Click to see complete nutrition facts for Buckwheat

Peanut Butter 369mg (37% DV) per 100 gram serving133mg (13% DV) per 2 tablespoons (36 grams)
Click to see complete nutrition facts for Peanut Butter

Bran (Not well absorbed)* 1677mg (168% DV) per 100 gram serving 1426mg (144% DV) per cup (118 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Bran
Wheat Germ (Not well absorbed)* 1146mg (115% DV) per 100 gram serving 1295mg (129% DV) per cup (113 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Toasted Wheat Germ
Fortified Cereals** 1150mg (115% DV) per 100 gram serving 1426mg (144% DV) in 2 cups (124 grams) 713mg (72% DV) per cup (62 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Fortified Cereals
Poppy Seeds 849mg (85% DV) per 100 gram serving 76mg (8% DV) per tablespoon (9 grams) 25mg (3% DV) per teaspoon (3 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Poppy Seeds
Cocoa Powder 734mg (73% DV) per 100 gram serving 631mg (63% DV) per cup (86 grams) 37mg (4% DV) per tablespoon (5 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Cocoa Powder
Baking Powder 6869mg (687% DV) per 100 gram serving 344mg (34% DV) per teaspoon (5 grams) 206mg (21% DV) per 1/2 teaspoon (3 grams)
Click to see complete nutrition facts for Baking Powder
Whey Powder 932mg (93% DV) per 100 gram serving 1351mg (135% DV) per cup (145 grams) 75mg (7% DV) per tablespoon (8 grams)
Click to see complete nutrition facts for Whey Powder
Caviar 356mg (36% DV) per 100 gram serving 100mg (10% DV) per ounce (28 grams) 57mg (6% DV) per tablespoon (16 grams)
Click to see complete nutrition facts for Caviar
Tempeh 266mg (27% DV) per 100 gram serving 442mg (44% DV) per cup (166 grams) 74mg (8% DV) per ounce (28 grams)
Click to see complete nutrition facts for Tempeh
Sun Dried Tomatoes 356mg (36% DV) per 100 gram serving 192mg (19% DV) per cup (54 grams) 7mg (1% DV) per piece (2 grams)
Click to see complete nutrition facts for Sun Dried Tomatoes
Ham (Lean) 322mg (32% DV) per 100 gram serving 274mg (27% DV) per 3oz (85 grams) 892mg (89% DV) per piece (277 grams)
Click to see complete nutrition facts for Ham
Rice Cakes (Brown) 360mg (36% DV) per 100 gram serving 65mg (6% DV) per 2 cakes (18 grams) 32mg (3% DV) per cake (9 grams)
Click to see complete nutrition facts for Brown Rice Cakes
Popcorn 358mg (36% DV) per 100 gram serving 29mg (3% DV) per cup (8 grams) 100mg (10% DV) per ounce (28 grams)
Click to see complete nutrition facts for Popcorn
Watercress 60mg (6% DV) per 100 gram serving 20mg (2% DV) per cup chopped (34 grams) 15mg (2% DV) per 10 sprigs (25 grams)
Click to see complete nutrition facts for Watercress
Shiitake Mushrooms (Dried) 294mg (29% DV) per 100 gram serving 44mg (4% DV) per 4 mushrooms (15 grams) 12mg (1% DV) per mushroom (4 grams)
Click to see complete nutrition facts for Shiitake Mushrooms
Portabella Mushrooms 108mg (11% DV) per 100 gram serving 93mg (9% DV) per cup, diced (86 grams) 91mg (9% DV) per mushroom (84 grams)
Click to see complete nutrition facts for Portabella Mushrooms

*While bran and germ (the components of whole grains) are high in phosphorus, they are in a storage form called phytin, which is not absorbed.Ref

**Amount of phosphorus may vary greatly between products. Be sure to check nutrition labels for the exact amount of phosphorus from each individual product.
For more high phosphorus foods use the nutrient ranking tool.

People at Risk of a Phosphorus Deficiency

  • Alcoholics – Alcohol can draw phosphorus supplies from the bones, lowering overall levels.3
  • People Taking Salt Substitutes – Salt substitutes which contain potassium may reduce phosphorus levels in the long term.3
  • Long distance athletes – People who exercise over long distances lose electrolytes via sweat and need to replenish their sodium, potassium, magnesium, and phosphorus levels.
  • Dehydration – People who consume excess alcohol, or suffer diarrhea, or can be otherwise dehydrated need to replenish their sodium, potassium, magnesium, and phosphorus levels.
  • Drugs which may Lower Phosphorus Levels3
    • Antacids – Antacids with aluminum, calcium, or magnesium, can hamper phosphorus absorption in the digestive system.
    • Anticonvulsants – Anticonvulsants, such as phenobarbital and carbamazepine or Tegretol, can lower levels of
      phosphorus in the body, and create enzymes which hamper absorption.
    • Bile Acid Sequestrants – Bile acid sequestrants used to lower cholesterol can prevent phosphorus being absorbed by the body.
    • Corticosteroids – Corticosteroids, such as prednisone or methylprednisolone (Medrol), can increase excretion of phosphorus in unrine.
    • Insulin – Insulin in high doses may lower phosphorus absorption.
    • ACE Inhibitors (Blood Pressure Medication) – ACE Inhibitors such as Benazepril (Lotensin), Captopril (Capoten), Enalapril (Vasotec),
      Fosinopril (Monopril), Lisinopril (Zestril, Prinivil), Quinapril (Accupril), and Ramipril (Altace) may lower levels of phosphorus.
    • Cyclosporine (Immune Supressant)
    • Cardiac Glycosides (Digoxin or Lanoxin)
    • Heparins (Blood-thinning Drugs)
    • Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (ie: Ibuprofen or Advil)

Recipes High in Phosphorus

How to Cook Oatmeal (Oats)

How to Cook Rye

Blackberry Salad

Warnings

  • Cheese, Bacon, and Whole Milk are  high cholesterol foods which should be eaten in moderate amounts or avoided by people at risk of heart disease or stroke.
  • Pumpkin and Squash Seeds, Sunflower Seeds, Sesame Seeds, Flax Seeds, Cheese, and Nuts are
    high calorie foods
    and should be
    eaten in moderate amounts by people with a high body mass index.
  • People with kidney failure should regulate their intake of phosphorus foods, and avoid phosphorus foods if their level is high. Normal phosphorus levels range between 3.5 to 5.5 mg/dL. The National Kidney Foundation can provide more guidance on kidney failure and phosphorus foods.

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Source:  http://www.healthaliciousness.com/articles/high-phosphorus-foods.php

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Posted by: Steven Peters in Health June 10, 2013

antioxidant foodsThe antioxidant values of foods listed are expressed in ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) units, a unit of measurement for antioxidants developed by the National Institute on Aging in the National Institutes of Health (NIH). How ORAC got started was by a group of individuals with an interest in antioxidants and health who have put together information which is backed by peer-reviewed scientific publications.

The ORAC values listed are based on the laboratory measure of ORAC, expressed in micromoles of Trolox Equivalents per 100 grams of sample. This is important to consider when comparing something like a ground spice to say, a raw fruit. 100 grams of ground spice is likely to be much denser in organic compounds, and therefore have a higher ORAC value than 100 grams of a raw fruit, which would be made up of mostly water weight. However, you would find it difficult and possibly dangerous to ingest large quantities of spices, so it makes sense to eat a wide variety of antioxidant-rich foods – not just the ones at the top of the list.

Antioxidant value of Sumac, bran, rawSumac, bran, raw

The antioxidant value of Sumac, bran, raw described in ORAC units is 312,400 μ mol TE/100g.

Sumac is a high-tannin variety of sorghum. Sorghum is a genus of numerous species of grasses, one of which is raised for grain and many of which are used as fodder plants either cultivated or as part of pasture. The plants are cultivated in warmer climates worldwide. Species are native to tropical and subtropical regions of all continents in addition to the southwest Pacific and Australasia.

Antioxidant value of Spices, cloves, groundCloves

The antioxidant value of Cloves described in ORAC units is: 290,283 μ mol TE/100g.

Cloves are the aromatic dried flower buds of a tree in the family Myrtaceae. Cloves are native to the Maluku islands in Indonesia and used as a spice in cuisines all over the world. Cloves are harvested primarily in Indonesia, India, Madagascar, Zanzibar, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.

Eugenol comprises 72-90% of the essential oil extracted from cloves, and is the compound most responsible for the cloves’ aroma. Other important essential oil constituents of clove oil include acetyl eugenol, beta-caryophyllene and vanillin, crategolic acid, tannins such as bicornin, gallotannic acid, methyl salicylate (painkiller), the flavonoids eugenin, kaempferol, rhamnetin, and many others.

Antioxidant value of Acai, fruit pulp/skin, powderAcai, fruit pulp/skin, powder

The antioxidant value of Acai, fruit pulp/skin, powder described in ORAC units is:  102,700 μ mol TE/100g.
The acai berry is the fruit of the acai palm, native to tropical Central and South America. Freeze-dried acai powder was found to have antioxidant activity in vitro against superoxide and peroxyl radicals, and mild activity for peroxynitrite and hydroxyl radicals. The powder was reported to inhibit hydrogen peroxide-induced oxidation in neutrophils, and to have a slight stimulatory effect on the reactive radical, nitric oxide.

Extracts of acai seeds were reported to have antioxidant capacity in vitro against peroxyl radicals, similar to the antioxidant capacity of the pulp, with higher antioxidant capacity against peroxynitrite and hydroxyl radicals.

The anthocyanins of fruit likely have relevance to antioxidant capacity only in the plant’s natural defensive mechanisms and in vitro.

The Linus Pauling Institute and European Food Safety Authority state that dietary anthocyanins and other flavonoids have little or no direct antioxidant food value following digestion. Unlike controlled test tube conditions, the fate of anthocyanins in vivo shows they are poorly conserved (less than 5%), with most of what is absorbed existing as chemically modified metabolites destined for rapid excretion.

Antioxidant value of Cocoa, dry powder, unsweetenedCocoa, dry powder, unsweetened

The antioxidant value of Cocoa, dry powder, unsweetened described in ORAC units is: 55,653 μ mol TE/100g.
Cocoa solids are the low-fat component of chocolate. When sold as an end product, it may also be called cocoa powder, cocoa, and cacao. Dark chocolate compared has only 20,816 μ mol TE/100g.

Cocoa powder is rich in flavonoids, a type of phenolic. The amount of flavonoids depends on the amount of processing and manufacturing the cocoa powder undergoes, but cocoa powder can contain up to 10% its weight in flavonoids. Flavanols are one of six compounds further classified as flavonoids. Flavanols, which are also found in fruits and vegetables, are linked to certain health benefits linked to coronary heart disease and stroke. The topic of how flavanols benefit cardiovascular health is still under debate. It has been suggested that the flavanols may take part in mechanisms such as nitric oxide and antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antiplatelet effects. Benefiting these mechanisms may improve endothelial function, lipid levels, blood pressure and insulin resistance.

Antioxidant value of Nuts, pecansPecans

The antioxidant value of pecans described in ORAC units is:
17,940 μ mol TE/100g.
Pecans are a good source of protein and unsaturated fats. Like walnuts (which pecans resemble), pecans are rich in omega-6 fatty acids, although pecans contain about half as much omega-6 as walnuts. When omega-6′s  are a higher ratio than omega-3′s, it is not the optimum ratio for each fatty acid to be in to achieve the most effective mode of action within the body.

A diet rich in seeds can lower the risk of gallstones in women. The antioxidants and plant sterols found in pecans reduce high cholesterol by reducing the “bad” LDL cholesterol levels.

Clinical research published in the Journal of Nutrition (September 2001) found that eating about a handful of pecans each day may help lower cholesterol levels similar to what is often seen with cholesterol-lowering medications.

Antioxidant value of Elderberries, rawElderberries, raw

The antioxidant value of Elderberries, raw described in ORAC units is: 14,697 μ mol TE/100g.

Black elderberry has been used medicinally for hundreds of years.Some preliminary studies demonstrate that elderberry may have a measurable effect in treating the flu, alleviating allergies, and boosting overall respiratory health.

Elder is used in Traditional Chinese Medicine, dissolved in wine, for rheumatism and traumatic injury.

Antioxidant value of Blueberries, wild, rawBlueberries, wild, raw

The antioxidant value of Blueberries, wild, raw described in ORAC units is: 9,621 μ mol TE/100g.

Blueberries have a diverse range of micronutrients, with moderate levels (relative to respective Dietary Reference Intakes) of the essential dietary mineral manganese, vitamin C, vitamin K and dietary fiber (table).[24]One serving provides a relatively low glycemic load score of 4 out of 100 per day.

Blueberries contain anthocyanins, other pigments and various phytochemicals, which are under preliminary research for their potential role in reducing risks of diseases such as inflammation and cancer. Similar to red grape, blueberries may contain resveratrol.

Most studies have been conducted using the highbush cultivar of blueberries (V. corymbosum), while content of polyphenols and anthocyanins in lowbush (wild) blueberries (V. angustifolium) exceeds values found in highbush cultivars.

Cranberries

The antioxidant value of Cranberries, raw described in ORAC units is:  9,090 μ mol TE/100g.

Raw cranberries are a source of polyphenol antioxidants, phytochemicals under active research for possible benefits to the cardiovascular system and immune system, and as anti-cancer agents, such as in isolated prostate cancer cells. In addition, it is uncertain whether polyphenols and flavonoids account for the benefits of diets rich in plant-derived foods.

Cranberry juice contains a high molecular weight non-dialyzable material that might inhibit formation of plaque by Streptococcus mutans pathogens that cause tooth decay. Cranberry juice components also may possibly influence formation of kidney stones.

Antioxidant value of Nuts, pistachio nuts, rawNuts, pistachio nuts, raw

The antioxidant value of Nuts, pistachio nuts, raw described in ORAC units is: 7,675 μ mol TE/100g.
 
In research at Pennsylvania State University, pistachios in particular significantly reduced levels of low-density lipoprotein(LDL cholesterol) while increasing antioxidant levels in the serum of volunteers. In rats, consumption of pistachios as 20% of daily caloric intake increased beneficial high-density lipoprotein (HDL cholesterol) without lowering LDL cholesterol, and while reducing LDL oxidation.

Consuming unsalted, dry-roasted pistachios prevents any addition of unwanted fats and additional sodium in the diet that may affect cardiac health adversely and increase hypertension.

Human studies have shown that 32–63 grams per day of pistachio seeds can significantly elevate plasma levels oflutein, alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, and gamma-tocopherol.

Antioxidant value of Garlic, rawGarlic, raw

The antioxidant value of Garlic, raw described in ORAC units is: 5,708 μ mol TE/100g.
Garlic is claimed to help prevent heart disease (including atherosclerosis, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure) and cancer. Animal studies, and some early research studies in humans, have suggested possible cardiovascular benefits of garlic.
A Czech study found garlic supplementation reduced accumulation of cholesterol on the vascular walls of animals.Another study had similar results, with garlic supplementation significantly reducing aortic plaque deposits of cholesterol-fed rabbits.

Read more at http://naturalrevolution.org/10-highest-antioxidant-foods-in-the-world/#ebmGxukvxz86RBtj.99

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Electrolytes are salts that are naturally part of body fluids. When an athlete (or a gardener or a mail carrier or anyone else who engages in physical activity) sweats, electrolytes are lost through the sweat. If electrolytes are lost too quickly, the body does not have the ability to restore them as rapidly as they were lost. Sports drinks contain electrolytes such as chloride, sodium, and potassium to help replenish what was lost through sweat. Introducing electrolytes back into the body helps keep dehydration from occurring. Dehydration can become a very serious problem if not attended to. Electrolytes help to increase the absorption of fluids into the bloodstream.

Source:  http://www.articleclick.com/Article/The-Benefits-of-Electrolytes-in-Sports-Drinks/980689

These include providing and maintaining the body?s amounts of water, blood pH, and muscle action. However, the more we exercise and sweat, the more electrolytes we lose, especially that of potassium and sodium. This can lead to a potentially harmful fluid electrolyte imbalance and other health risks. For instance, according to a study published in the American Journal of Medical Science, there may be possible link between electrolytes and hypertension (high blood pressure).Electrolytes carry an electrical charge, which allows them to conduct an electrical current in water. This is an important benefit, as it enables electrolytes to regulate how and where these fluids are distributed throughout the body. In addition, this current can keep water from floating freely across cell membranes. These electrical currents allow cells — especially nerve, heart, muscle cells — to carry certain electrical impulses across themselves and to other cells. These impulses enable such vital tasks as nerve impulses and muscle contractions. The most common and frequently tested electrolytes include sodium, calcium, potassium, chlorine, magnesium, and bicarbonate.

Source:  http://www.lifexpand.com/signs-of-electrolyte-imbalance-a-46.html

pH Levels

Electrolyte minerals are vital to the metabolic functions of our body systems. When we have a sufficient reserve of electrolyte minerals, the buffering process (the cushioning and removing of unwanted acids from our systems), is not a problem. When we are young, we usually have sufficient reserves. Over time, the electrolyte mineral reserves can become depleted by ingesting too many processed and refined acid-forming foods, or from excessive mental or emotional stress. When we run short of electrolyte minerals, our body is no longer able to maintain an efficient homeostasis (a state of equilibrium).

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The evolution of our modern-day lifestyle continues to bring more challenges to our health and well-being. Most of our diets include so many refined, processed foods and sugar, not to mention having to deal with the chemical pollutants in the air we breathe and the food we eat. One of the major causes of an imbalanced system is the food in our pantries and refrigerators. The amount of processed and refined foods we consume has continued to increase over the last several decades including foods treated with preservatives, chemicals, pesticides and hormones. Not only are the chemicals creating havoc and toxicity in our systems, but the continual consumption of the processed and refined foods are also throwing off the delicate pH balance of our bodies.

pHrange
pH Levels (Potential Hydrogen Levels)

The pH level is one of the most important balance systems of the body. The pH level is a measure of acidity or alkalinity, on a scale of zero to fourteen, with zero being most acid, fourteen being most alkaline and seven being mid-range. You may have seen shampoos advertised as pH balanced. These are shampoos designed to match the pH level of the hair. The pH levels of our bodies vary from one organ or system to the next. For example, the stomach pH is much more acid than the intestinal pH because the stomach needs an acid environment (hydrochloric acid) to break down food for digestion. Whereas, the flora (good bacteria) of the intestine need a more alkaline environment to assimilate and process the nutrients from the foods digested by the stomach.

Electrolyte minerals are vital to the metabolic functions of our body systems. When we have a sufficient reserve of electrolyte minerals, the buffering process (the cushioning and removing of unwanted acids from our systems), is not a problem. When we are young, we usually have sufficient reserves. Over time, the electrolyte mineral reserves can become depleted by ingesting too many processed and refined acid-forming foods, or from excessive mental or emotional stress. When we run short of electrolyte minerals, our body is no longer able to maintain an efficient homeostasis (a state of equilibrium).

The body has a hierarchy of priorities for survival. Second only to breathing and sustaining our heartbeat, the most important metabolic function that our bodies perform is maintaining a specific pH. The most important pH level that the body must regulate is the blood’s pH level. The body’s blood pH level must be maintained at 7.4 (slightly alkaline). If it varies more than a point, death can result from a coma or a seizure. In order to maintain the blood’s critical pH balance, the body will compromise less important functions. Once the electrolyte reserves become depleted, the body begins to rob these electrolytes from the various organs and systems of the body to maintain the blood’s pH level. This is where the imbalance begins. The following are examples of altered pH levels and the resulting imbalanced internal body system:

If the bowels and intestines are robbed of electrolyte minerals, the pH level becomes altered. This creates an imbalance in the bacterial environment, which can leave the bowels and intestines open to pathogens (including candida and parasites), irritations and disturbances. Have you ever heard of irritable bowel syndrome or leaky gut syndrome?

Also, when the body becomes depleted of organic sodium (an essential electrolyte mineral, not table salt), the body may not be able to manufacture enough hydrochloric acid in the stomach. This can create an imbalanced digestive system, where foods are not being digested properly.

These imbalances can be aggravated further because our body systems will generally deplete electrolytes from the weakest areas first. So if someone already has a weakened body system, the further depletion of electrolyte minerals will cause a greater imbalance and more dysfunction. When our bodies become too depleted, overall functioning becomes weakened, affecting the immune system and the body’s ability to fight off bacterial and viral infections.

The Good News

We can begin to reverse this depletion process by replenishing the electrolyte minerals in our bodies. By eating more pH-alkaline forming foods (fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, fresh juices, sprouted seeds, alkaline grains), we can begin to replenish our reserve supply of electrolyte minerals.

http://www.omplace.com/articles/Cleansing.html
BALANCING ACID/ALKALINE FOODS

The current typical Western diet is largely composed of acid-forming foods (proteins, cereals, sugars). Alkaline-producing foods such as vegetables are eaten in much smaller quantities. Stimulants like tobacco, coffee, tea, and alcohol are also extremely acidifying. Stress, and physical activity (both insufficient or excessive amounts) also cause acidification.

Water is the most abundant compound in the human body, comprising 70% of the body. The body therefore contains a wide range of solutions, which may be more or less acid. pH (potential of Hydrogen) is a measure of the acidity or alkalinity of a solution – the ratio between positively charged ions (acid-forming) and negatively charged ions (alkaline-forming.) The pH of any solution is the measure of its hydrogen-ion concentration. The higher the pH reading, the more alkaline and oxygen rich the fluid is. The lower the pH reading, the more acidic and oxygen deprived the fluid is. The pH range is from 0 to 14, with 7.0 being neutral. Anything above 7.0 is alkaline, anything below 7.0 is considered acidic.

Human blood pH should be slightly alkaline (7.35 – 7.45). Below or above this range means symptoms and disease. If blood pH moves below 6.8 or above 7.8, cells stop functioning and the body dies. The body therefore continually strives to balance pH. When this balance is compromised many problems can occur.

An imbalanced diet high in acidic-producing foods such as animal protein, sugar, caffeine, and processed foods puts pressure on the body’s regulating systems to maintain pH neutrality. The extra buffering required can deplete the body of alkaline minerals such as sodium, potassium, magnesium, and calcium, making the person prone to chronic and degenerative disease. Minerals are borrowed from vital organs and bones to buffer (neutralize) the acid and safely remove it from the body. Because of this strain, the body can suffer severe and prolonged damage–a condition that may go undetected for years.

Health problems caused by acidosis
Research shows that unless the body’s pH level is slightly alkaline, the body cannot heal itself. So no matter what means you choose to take care of your health, it won’t be effective until the pH level is balanced. If your body’s pH is not balanced, for example, you cannot effectively assimilate vitamins, minerals and food supplements. Your body pH affects everything.

Acidosis will decrease the body’s ability to absorb minerals and other nutrients, decrease the energy production in the cells, decrease it’s ability to repair damaged cells, decrease it’s ability to detoxify heavy metals, make tumor cells thrive, and make it more susceptible to fatigue and illness.

An acidic pH can occur from an acid-forming diet, emotional stress, toxic overload, and/or immune reactions or any process that deprives the cells of oxygen and other nutrients. The body will try to compensate for acidic pH by using alkaline minerals. If the diet does not contain enough minerals to compensate, a build up of acids in the cells will occur. Acidosis can cause such problems as:

Cardiovascular damage.
Weight gain, obesity and diabetes.
Bladder conditions.
Kidney stones.
Immune deficiency.
Acceleration of free radical damage.
Hormonal problems.
Premature aging.
Osteoporosis and joint pain.
Aching muscles and lactic acid buildup.
Low energy and chronic fatigue.
Slow digestion and elimination.
Yeast/fungal overgrowth.
Lack of energy and fatigue.
Lower body temperature.
Tendency to get infections.
Loss of drive, joy, and enthusiasm.
Depressive tendencies.
Easily stressed.
Pale complexion.
Headaches.
Inflammation of the corneas and eyelids.
Loose and painful teeth.
Inflamed, sensitive gums.
Mouth and stomach ulcers.
Cracks at the corners of the lips.
Excess stomach acid.
Gastritis.
Nails are thin and split easily.
Hair looks dull, has split ends, and falls out.
Dry skin.
Skin easily irritated.
Leg cramps and spasms.
http://www.trans4mind.com/nutrition/pH.html
GLYCEMIC INDEX
http://www.trans4mind.com/nutrition/glycemic_index.html

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1 shot of Wheat grass Juice = 1 Kilogram of Vegetables?

by Melanie Dufault

INTRODUCTION

As common knowledge may have it, vegetables are part of a balanced, nutritious diet.  The arduous process of eating the required amount of fruits and vegetables each day, however, can become quite cumbersome.  In fact, only “one in eleven people eats the recommended servings of fruits and vegetables per day.” 1 Therefore, with the claim that one shot of wheat grass juice is the equivalent of one kilogram of vegetables, wheat grass presents an enticing, cure-all option for those of us lacking in the essential amino acids, enzymes, minerals and vitamins found in vegetables. 2

Setting aside the grandiose claims that wheat grass can do everything from prevent cancer to blood detoxification, 3 the main question at hand here is whether or not a single 30-ml shot is the equivalent of one kilogram of vegetables.  Before tackling the more complex issues of disease causation and treatment, we must first analyze why health food advocates are claiming that wheat grass is a super food 4 that supersedes the nutritional value of your commonplace produce product.

WHAT IS WHEAT GRASS?

Wheat grass, the young version of the common wheat plant Triticum aestivum, is a juice consumed orally in quantities of two to four ounces per day. 3 Health food stores have sold wheat grass since the early 1940’s in the US but this super food has recently become an international phenomena. The active ingredients in wheat grass are vitamins A, B, C and E, calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, natural enzymes and chlorophyll. 5

Table 1. Nutritional Facts of 1 oz. of Wheat grass Juice 1

SUPPOSED HEALTH BENEFITS OF WHEAT GRASS

Health food companies as well as health data resources are boasting about the nutritional benefits of wheat grass.  Wheat grass is deemed a “blood purifier, cleanser, and detoxifier” that prevents diseases such as cancer by increasing the flow of oxygen to cells.3 Wheat grass supposedly executes the following functions: promoting healthy vascular, intestinal, and bronchial systems, promoting clearer thinking, revitalizing energy level, halting cancer cells’ growth hormones and eliminating toxins from the body.6 Wow, so that’s quite a resumé, especially considering the variation of sources, which span anywhere from doctors to popular magazines to health institutes to profit-run health food stores.

WHY IS WHEAT GRASS SO HEALTHY?

So what is it about wheat grass that makes such grandiose declarations possible?  Well, as all vegetables do, wheat grass contains chlorophyll.  The chlorophyll in wheat grass is considered especially potent because wheat grass contains 70% chlorophyll, 6 which functions similarly to hemoglobin by stimulating red blood cell production. 4 As shown in a pilot study, which randomly selected patients with transfusion dependent b-thalassemia in a controlled study to receive wheat grass juice verse the typical procedure of blood transfusions, wheat grass juice “was found to have beneficial effect on the transfusion requirements in 50% of patients.” 17 Although there are some inadequacies in this study, the small sample size of 16 patients and the indiscipline of the patients to ingest the wheat grass juice, there is still some suggestion that wheat grass juice “decreased the total volume of blood transfused and increased the intervals between blood transfusions,” suggesting an increase in red blood cells. 15 The chlorophyll also accounts for an increase in energy in a similar way as it functions in plants, sunlight excites electrons, which become stored energy as ATP in the cells. 9

a bit of a stretch though just based on its antioxidant properties.

The claims above encompass so many different aspects of health and therefore, for them to hold any weight, the claims require a multitude of research in order to suggest any correlation with wheat grass.  Since these studies are surprisingly absent, for reasons discussed later, the question has become, is wheat grass even equivalent to the amounts of vegetables that it claims?  As doctor and author Sandra Cabot explains, before considering the more complex effects of wheat grass, “the most important thing to do is look at the nutrients in the wheat grass juice, what does it contain, there’s a lot of research behind these nutrients”. 5

EVIDENCE OF HEALTH BENEFITS

The only problem with Dr Cabot’s approach, however, is that there is even less evidence about the make-up of wheat grass in comparison to other vegetables.  There seem to only be review articles regarding the claim that one shot of wheat grass juice is the equivalent of one kilogram of vegetables. 2 Of course, each source sites this same information in many different formats including “15 pounds of wheat grass is equivalent to 350 pounds of the choicest vegetables.” 8 In the end, however, the nutrient comparison between wheat grass and other vegetables is left to sources such as the Table 1 displayed above.  The table only shows evidence of Vitamin C and Iron, respectively at 6% abd 10% of daily value.  This level of vitamins and nutrients hardly seems adequate to answer for the health benefits of wheat grass.

this study do suggest some healing properties of wheat grass, the small sample size makes the claims difficult to apply in the universal setting that the internet hype has displayed.

CONCLUSION

Unfortunately, I believe that my question has gone unanswered.  Although, multiple sources claim that one shot of wheat grass is equivalent to one kilogram of vegetables, this question goes largely untested by the health community.  The few studies that are around regarding wheat grass are mostly faulty in sample size.  Interestingly, the few academic studies found all seem to reference each other.  This close connection amongst the articles implies a lack of clinical trials regarding the wheat grass product.  As wheat grass becomes more prevalent in health food stores and widely accepted internationally, the evidence behind these claims should be presented to the public.

How are we to believe that wheat grass can cure cancer and prevent heart disease if we aren’t given any evidence regarding even the basic vitamins and minerals in wheat grass?  As a skeptical Dr Samir Samman points out, “The claims include prevention of cancer, prevention of heart disease prevention of diabetes, chelation or detoxification of heavy metals, cleansing, liver cleansing and prevention of hair loss and none of these claims have actually been substantiated in the scientific literature.” 11 This is not to say that these claims will not stand up to scientific research, but it is to suggest that researchers invest in large sample size, double-blind trials on wheat grass, especially if any of its miracle claims may be true.

REFERENCES

1. http://www.jambajuice.com/menuguide/index_juices.html

2. http://www.ncahf.org/articles/s-z/wheat grass.html

3. http://www.hippocratesinst.org/html/wheat grass2.htm

4. Ripley, Jacqui.  “Weekend: Seven super antioxidant foods: There’s more than one way to tackle those damaging free radicals” The Guardian.  September 2006; pg. 6

http://proquest.umi.com.proxy.library.vanderbilt.edu/pqdweb?did=1128397701&sid=1&Fmt=3&clientId=2335&RQT=309&VName=PQD

5. http://www.internethealthlibrary.com/Plant-Remedies/wheat grass.htm

6. Bradley, Ronald. “You can reduce stress—lose weight–detoxify–stop smoking–increase energy with living foods.” Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients (April 2003): 86(3).

http://direct.bl.uk/bld/PlaceOrder.do?UIN=128703883&ETOC=RN&from=searchengine

7. http://www.ncahf.org/articles/s-z/wheat grass.html

8. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wheat grass

9. http://www.wholisticresearch.com/info/artshow.php3?artid=383

10. Gaby, Alan R. “Wheat grass juice for ulcerative colitis.

(Literature Review & Commentary).” Townsend Letter for Doctors and

Patients (August-Sept 2002)

http://find.galegroup.com.proxy.library.vanderbilt.edu/itx/infomark.do?&contentSet=IACDocuments&type=retrieve&tabID=T002&prodId=HRCA&docId=A90794436&source=gale&srcprod=HRCA&userGroupName=tel_a_vanderbilt&version=1.0>.

11. “Wheat grass, healthy for the body and the bank account” Landline October 13, 2002,

12. http://www.ncahf.org/articles/s-z/wheat grass.html

13.http://www.choice.com.au/viewArticle.aspx?id=105224&catId=100395&tid=100008&p=1&title=Wheat grass+juice

14. Hess D. ‘The raw and the organic: politics of therapeutic cancer diets in the US’ Annals of the Academy

of Political and Social Science (2002); 583: 76-97 http://ann.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/583/1/76

15. Fernandes CJ; Odonovan DJ Natural antioxidant therapy for patients with hemolytic anemia. Indian Pediatr 2005; 42: 618-620. http://www.indianpediatrics.net/june2005/618.pdf

16. Ben-Arye E, Goldin E, Wengrower D, Stamper A, Kohn R, Berry E. Wheat grass juice in the treatment of active distal ulcerative colitis: a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial. Scand J Gastroenterol 2002; 37: 444-449.

http://taylorandfrancis.metapress.com/(eznprdiq2wvl0cu0udye5n3w)/app/home/contribution.asp?referrer=parent&backto=issue,12,19;journal,60,120;linkingpublicationresults,1:101949,1

17. Marawaha RK, Bansal D, Kaur S, Trehan A. Wheat grass juice reduces transfusion requirement in patients with thalassemia major: a pilot study. Indian Pediatr 2004; 41: 716-720. http://medind.nic.in/ibv/t04/i7/ibvt04i7p716.pdf

18. Kulkarni Sunil D, Jai. C. Tilak, R. Acharya, Nilima S. Rajurkar, T. P. A. Devasagayam, A. V. R. Reddy. Evaluation of the antioxidant activity of wheat grass (Triticum aestivum L.) as a function of growth under different conditions. Phytotherapy Research 2006; 203: 218-227.

http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/abstract/112474006/ABSTRACT?CRETRY=1&SRETRY=0

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pH Chart

Alkaline | Acid

pHrange
pH Levels (Potential Hydrogen Levels)

Source:  http://www.balance-ph-diet.com/acid_alkaline_food_chart.html

The following table identifies various foods’ pH-level. Each one is assigned a number which mirrors its approximate relative potential of alkalinity (+) or acidity (-) existent in one ounce (28.35g) of food. The higher the number, the better it is for you to eat.

Healthy Alkaline Foods

– Eat lots of them!

Vegetables

Alfalfa Grass +29.3

Asparagus +1.3

Barley Grass +28.1

Brussels Sprouts +0.5

Cabbage Lettuce, Fresh +14.1

Cauliflower +3.1

Cayenne Pepper +18.8

Celery +13.3

Chives +8.3

Comfrey +1.5

Cucumber, Fresh +31.5

Dandelion +22.7

Dog Grass +22.6

Endive, Fresh +14.5

French Cut Green Beans +11.2

Garlic +13.2

Green Cabbage December Harvest +4.0

Green Cabbage, March Harvest +2.0

Kale +7.4

Kamut Grass +27.6

Lamb’s Lettuce +4.8

Leeks (Bulbs) +7.2

Lettuce +2.2

Onion +3.0

Peas, Fresh +5.1

Peas, Ripe +0.5

Red Cabbage +6.3

Rhubarb Stalks +6.3

Savoy Cabbage +4.5

Shave Grass +21.7

Sorrel +11.5

Soy Sprouts +29.5

Spinach (Other Than March) +13.1

Spinach, March Harvest +8.0

Sprouted Chia Seeds +28.5

Sprouted Radish Seeds +28.4

Straw Grass +21.4

Watercress +7.7

Wheat Grass +33.8

White Cabbage +3.3

Zucchini +5.7

Root Vegetables

Beet +11.3

Carrot +9.5

Horseradish +6.8

Kohlrabi +5.1

Potatoes +2.0

Red Radish +16.7

Rutabaga +3.1

Summer Black Radish +39.4

Turnip +8.0

White Radish (Spring) +3.1

Fruits

Avocado (Protein) +15.6

Fresh Lemon +9.9

Limes +8.2

Tomato +13.6

Non-Stored Organic Grains And Legumes

Buckwheat Groats +0.5

Granulated Soy (Cooked Ground Soy Beans) +12.8

Lentils +0.6

Lima Beans +12.0

Soy Flour +2.5

Soy Lecithin (Pure) +38.0

Soy Nuts (soaked Soy Beans, Then Air Dried) +26.5

Soybeans, Fresh +12.0

Spelt +0.5

Tofu +3.2

White Beans (Navy Beans) +12.1

Nuts

Almonds +3.6

Brazil Nuts +0.5

Seeds

Caraway Seeds +2.3

Cumin Seeds +1.1

Fennel Seeds +1.3

Flax Seeds +1.3

Pumpkin Seeds +5.6

Sesame Seeds +0.5

Sunflower Seeds +5.4

Wheat Kernel +11.4

Fats (Fresh, Cold-Pressed Oils)

Borage Oil +3.2

Evening Primrose Oil +4.1

Flax Seed Oil +3.5

Marine Lipids +4.7

Olive Oil +1.0

Foods you should only

consume moderately

Fruits

(In Season, For Cleansing Only Or With Moderation)

Apricot -9.5

Banana, Ripe -10.1

Banana, Unripe +4.8

Black Currant -6.1

Blueberry -5.3

Cantaloupe -2.5

Cherry, Sour +3.5

Cherry, Sweet -3.6

Coconut, Fresh +0.5

Cranberry -7.0

Currant -8.2

Date -4.7

Fig Juice Powder -2.4

Gooseberry, Ripe -7.7

Grape, Ripe -7.6

Grapefruit -1.7

Italian Plum -4.9

Mandarin Orange -11.5

Mango -8.7

Orange -9.2

Papaya -9.4

Peach -9.7

Pear -9.9

Pineapple -12.6

Raspberry -5.1

Red Currant -2.4

Rose Hips -15.5

Strawberry -5.4

Tangerine -8.5

Watermelon -1.0

Yellow Plum -4.9

Non-Stored Grains

Brown Rice -12.5

Wheat -10.1

Nuts

Hazelnuts -2.0

Macadamia Nuts -3.2

Walnuts -8.0

Fish

Fresh Water Fish -11.8

Fats

Coconut Milk -1.5

Sunflower Oil -6.7

Unhealthy Acidic Foods

– Try to avoid them!

Meat, Poultry, And Fish

Beef -34.5

Chicken (to -22) -18.0

Eggs (to -22)

Liver -3.0

Ocean Fish -20.0

Organ Meats -3.0

Oysters -5.0

Pork -38.0

Veal -35.0

Milk And Milk Products

Buttermilk +1.3

Cream -3.9

Hard Cheese -18.1

Homogenized Milk -1.0

Quark -17.3

Bread, Biscuits (Stored Grains/Risen Dough)

Rye Bread -2.5

White Biscuit -6.5

White Bread -10.0

Whole-Grain Bread -4.5

Whole-Meal Bread -6.5

Nuts

Cashews -9.3

Peanuts -12.8

Pistachios -16.6

Fats

Butter -3.9

Corn Oil -6.5

Margarine -7.5

Sweets

Artificial Sweetners -26.5

Barley Malt Syrup -9.3

Beet Sugar -15.1

Brown Rice Syrup -8.7

Chocolate -24.6

Dr. Bronner’s Barley

Dried Sugar Cane Juice -18.0

Fructose -9.5

Honey -7.6

Malt Sweetener -9.8

Milk Sugar -9.4

Molasses -14.6

Turbinado Sugar -9.5

White Sugar -17.6

Condiments

Ketchup -12.4

Mayonaise -12.5

Mustard -19.2

Soy Sauce -36.2

Vinegar -39.4

Beverages

Beer -26.8

Coffee -25.1

Fruit Juice Sweetened

Fruit Juice, Packaged, Natural -8.7

Liquor -38.7

Tea (Black) -27.1

Wine -16.4

Miscellaneous

Canned Foods

Microwaved Foods

Processed Foods

Table: pH scale of alkaline and acid forming foods

(Source: “Back To The House Of Health” by Shelley Redford Young)

The more alkaline-forming foods you add to your nutrition, the stronger will be the results. Should you not be able to completely avoid acidic foods, you should at least try to consume as less as possible of them, and instead put more green food and veggies on your plate. Remember that every little step to a more alkaline diet is an improvement to a healthier way of life.

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