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HBOT for your gut?

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) to Treat Candida

Hyperbaric Medicine is the fascinating use of barometric pressure to deliver increased oxygen dissolved in plasma to the body. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is a form of treatment in which a patient breathes 100% oxygen at higher than normal atmospheric pressure (greater than 1 atmosphere absolute). This therapy is given in the same chamber that has been used primarily to treat decompression sickness in deep sea divers. In the sixties, HBOT went out of practice because of its use without adequate scientific validation. Over the last two decades, animal studies, clinical trials and well-validated clinical experience has shown the utility of HBOT for a variety of medical indications. Although there is still some debate among the experts (some consider HBOT controversial), there is renewed interest in Hyperbaric Medicine in many nations.

How HBOT Works

The basic premise for HBOT is anchored to the role of oxygen in the body and the controlled pressurization of the environment in which the oxygen is delivered. In HBOT, a patient is breathing pure oxygen in a pressurized room or tube. The air pressure is increased to three times higher than normal air pressure. Under these conditions, your lungs can gather more oxygen than would be possible breathing pure oxygen at normal air pressure. The bloodstream carries this oxygen throughout the body. By delivering oxygen under these conditions, the body more efficiently and effectively can fight bacteria and stimulate the release of substances called growth factors and stem cells, which promote healing.

Conditions treated with HBOT include invasive fungal infections, invasive candida infections, bubbles of air in your blood vessels, and wounds that won’t heal as a result of diabetes or radiation injury. The parameters for HBOT are highly individualized and usually part of an integrative approach, incorporating other therapies, customized to each patient’s needs. Your holistic health provider may be able to assist you in finding qualified practitioners in your area and specific to your needs.

References

 

A Sustainable Food System?

A Sustainable Food System: It’s Everyone’s Job and It’s Easier than You Think

Across the globe, health and environmentally-conscious individuals and groups are advocating for a sustainable food system; this includes farming practices, seed to harvest to distribution practices, and waste management. Every action we take – and every inaction – affects the food we eat; our choices impact taste, appearance, variety available, and nutrient quality and has an impact on our health and the sustainability of the planet. Each of us can make a difference, as there are many “pro-sustainability choices” and most are easier than you might think.

Why Sustainable Choices Matter: Planetary Health and Human Health

The relationship between the environment and human health is complex and intricately linked to nine key “planetary boundaries” that scientists use to measure changes in the planet’s air, land, and water systems. When these boundaries are breached, there are rapid, irreversible environmental threats that impact our health and food supply and the very conditions under which humanity can thrive on Earth.

To date, four of the nine planetary boundaries have been crossed: climate change, biosphere integrity, land-system change, and the global nitrogen cycle. The evidence for these breaches is seen in a number of scientific observations:

  • loss of biodiversity
  • soil, air and water pollution
  • polar ice-cap melting
  • rising sea levels and ocean acidification
  • species endangerment and alterations in habitats
  • inadequate development of water and land resources to meet food and energy needs

These changes have unalterable effects on planetary and human health, including increased:

  • disease carried by wildlife (e.g., Lyme, West Nile, Ebola)
  • novel viruses transmitted by wildlife
  • food and waterborne disease (e.g., bacterial illness)
  • malnutrition in both industrialized and non-industrialized countries
  • cancer, heart disease, respiratory illness, diabetes, and other chronic diseases

Farms & Feed, Gardens & Groceries

A major contributor to environmental rifts and the degradation of health is our reliance on factory farms (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations or CAFOs). In the U.S., most meat, poultry, egg and dairy come from CAFOs. Whether in the U.S. or around the globe, acquiring the land needed for such farming often means deforestation, a practice associated with habitat destruction, changes in ecosystems and biodiversity, and climate change.

Mounting evidence from the past two decades shows deforestation is also associated with rising rates of infectious disease in animals and humans. When wildlife lose their natural habitat to deforestation, they are forced to migrate into a new ecosystem where they are biologically ill-equipped to fend off bacteria or viruses that exist in the new ecosystem. When animals and humans intermingle within ecosystems that have been typically foreign to one another, this sets up a pathway for pathogen transmission from wildlife to humans.

CAFO farmed livestock are fed hormones and antibiotics to prevent disease and promote faster growth. It has been well established that antibiotics in animal feed is a primary factor in human antibiotic resistance, a serious public health problem. Farms that promote “grass-fed” beef are more humane for animals and the meat produced is better for humans, but we must keep in mind that aspects of all farming practices can damage delicate ecosystems. We have to feed billions of people, many of whom consume too much of any kind of meat. As part of the solution, we can each commit to consuming less meat and more vegetables and make good, sustainable choices.

Simple Sustainable Choices You can Make

Grow Your Food. Growing food saves money and reduces the environmental cost of factory farming. Start a garden or even an organic container garden. Remember: if you use commercial, chemically-laden soil, fertilizer or feed, you are not only damaging your personal ecosystem, you are also diminishing the quality of nutrients and vitality of the food you are growing. Use organic soil, native plants, natural fertilizer and pest control, and compost. Practice conservation-friendly watering to help your garden grow.

Be a Conscious Consumer. When you can’t grow your own foods, buy organic, in-season foods from a local farm market or CSA (Community Supported Agriculture or crop-share) in your area.

Veg-out More Often. Even just one day a week, replace meat-based recipes with savory vegetarian options.

Expiration Date Knowledge. “Sell-by” and “use-by” dates are manufacturer suggestions for peak quality. The dates are not federally regulated to indicate safety, except on certain baby foods. Not sure if you should keep a food or toss it? Refer to a shelf life guide.

Net-Zero Your Fridge. Before you grocery shop to restock, try to make use of all perishable food: Leftover meat and vegetables can be turned into a casserole, stew or broth. Fruit can be frozen. Learn what food can be canned or preserved for later use. Your biggest impact will come from what you do with your groceries (or garden harvest) so that as little food as possible goes to waste, ending-up in an environmentally destructive landfill.

Be Freezer Friendly. Freeze leftovers (ideally in reusable containers) if you won’t have the chance to eat them before they go bad. Refer to this chart for freezer-life of common foods.

These choices aren’t complicated; they only require that you pay attention to what you choose to buy or grow and how you go about doing it. Start with one or two of these approaches and try others over time. Your health and your planet will thank you.

References

Step Aside Dairy. We are “Nuts for Nut Milks!”

Ditching Dairy? Try Nut Milk!

With endless varieties of nut milks lining the grocery shelves, you might wonder “Can I make my own nut milk at home?” Yes you can, and it’s not as difficult as you might think. You can enhance this basic recipe, good for nearly any nut, by adding fresh berries, coconut, or blending varieties of nuts (Cashew-Almond Milk, for example). Start simple and when you’re comfortable with the basic recipe, experiment with flavor.

Nut Milk Basics

  • Buy raw unsalted nuts
  • Soak the nuts overnight according to guidelines listed below (also see website listed in Resources)
  • Drain and rinse the soaked nuts
  • Blend the nuts with fresh, clean water (use a high quality blender)
  • Strain the nut milk. For sustainability, use a piece of clean cotton cloth. It can be washed and reused hundreds of times.
  • Sweeten with raw honey, molasses or stevia if desired
  • Chill, drink, enjoy!

Helpful Tips

A blender is the best tool for this job, but a food processor works too. Nut milk from a blender is a bit creamier and sweeter.

After blending, straining the milk provides the best consistency for a drinkable nut milk.

Some folks prefer to leave their nut milk unstrained, especially those with high-powered blenders, but unstrained milk will separate more in the fridge and will need to be mixed again before serving. Unstrained milk is thicker and creamier than strained.

Another option, for those who prefer a thinner milk, is to add clean water to strained or even unstrained milk. Simply add clean water until the milk reaches your preferred consistency.

To make 2 cups of Cashew Nut Milk:

  • 1 cup raw, unsalted cashews, or any raw nuts without skins
  • 2 cups water
  • Soaking water

Soak the nuts: Place the nuts in a medium glass bowl. Cover with water. Cover the bowl with a cloth and let sit overnight at room temperature or up to 2 days in the refrigerator. The nuts will plump as they absorb water and should feel a little squishy if you pinch them. The longer the nuts soak, the creamier the milk will be.

Drain and rinse the nuts: Drain the nuts through a fine-mesh strainer or colander, then rinse them thoroughly under cool running water. Place the nuts in a blender (or food processor) and add the 2 cups of water.

Blend on high speed: Pulse the blender a few times to break up the nuts, then blend continuously on high speed for 3 minutes. If using a food processor, process for 4 minutes total, pausing to scrape down the sides halfway through. The nuts should be broken down into a very fine meal, and the water should be white and opaque.

Strain out the nut meal: Line the fine-mesh strainer or colander with either an opened nut bag, 2 layers of cheesecloth or a piece of cotton and set over a measuring cup or bowl. Pour the nut mixture through the strainer. Gather the nut bag or cheesecloth around the nut meal and twist close. Squeeze and press with clean hands to extract as much nut milk as possible. You should get about 2 cups.

Refrigerate the nut milk: Store the nut milk in sealed containers in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. If it separates, just shake to recombine. Save the nut meal for another use such as in vegan lasagna, enchiladas, home-made ice cream, cookies and more!

Nut Soaking Guidelines by Hardness

Long-soak nuts (almonds, pistachios, and hazelnuts) need at least 8 hours.

Medium-soak nuts (pecans, walnuts, and Brazil nuts) are oilier and swell up quickly, so require less soaking time.

Short-soak nuts (cashews, macadamias, and pine nuts) have the highest fat content and require only 2 to 4 hours soaking. Do not soak these nuts for longer than 4 hours. Soaking them for extended periods of time breaks down their health-promoting oils.

References

 

Recipe of the Month!

Garlic Roasted Radishes

What is the secret to this recipe? Bring out the sweetness, and maximize the health benefits of radishes, by roasting this jewel-hued veggie in garlic. Roasting draws out a mildly sweet juice that tempers the peppery flavor of rashishes. The garlic and butter (or ghee, if you prefer) blend perfectly with this hidden sweetness, giving the roasted radish a delectable aroma and flavor. Enjoy these over salads, served as a side dish to a roasted or grilled main course, or as a snack.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. radishes, ends trimmed and halved
  • 1 Tbsp. melted ghee or butter (vegan option: use coconut oil or avocado oil)
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 2–3 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1/4 tsp. dried parsley, dried chives or dried dill

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. In a bowl, combine the radishes, melted ghee or butter, salt and pepper and toss until radishes are evenly coated. Save adding the minced garlic until just before the radishes are done roasting.
  3. Spread radishes out in a large 9×13 inch baking dish. Don’t over crowd.
  4. Bake for 20-25 minutes, tossing every 10 or so minutes.
  5. Add the minced garlic and dried parsley and bake for an additional 5 minutes or until radishes are golden brown and cooked through.

Optional: Serve with a side of ranch dressing for dipping or drizzle on top and garnish with parsley, dill or chives.

References

 

Featured food: Radish!

Radishes

With its peppery, almost spicy flavor, radishes may not be one of the most popular garden vegetables, but they are one of the most nutritious. And they make a striking addition to salads and side dishes. For centuries, radishes have been used in Ayurvedic Medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine to treat fever, sore throat, bile disorders, inflammation, and bacterial and fungal conditions.

Radishes are an excellent source of immunity-boosting Vitamin C. Other plant chemicals in rashies act as antioxidants, which are known for reducing risk for cancer, heart disease, and other chronic illnesses. Several phytochemicals in radishes contain antibacterial and antifungal properties. One antifungal protein is RsAFP2. In research, RsAFP2 caused cell death in Candida albicans, a common fungus normally found in humans, which, when overgrown may cause vaginal yeast infections, oral yeast infections (thrush), and invasive candidiasis.

Radishes are root vegetables from the Brassica family. Close relatives of the radish include broccoli, kale, cauliflower, and turnips to name a few. Radish bulbs, also called globes, come in many shapes and colors. The most popular variety in the United States resembles an amethyst colored golf ball with a small tail. Other varieties are white, purple, or black. They may be larger and oblong in shape. Lighter-colored varieties, including the winter daikon radish, have a milder taste. Radishes become overly pungent if they are left in the ground too long or not eaten right away. For the best flavor and texture, select smaller globes.

There are many ways to enjoy radishes and boost the nutrient power of your meals and snacks:

  • Add thin radish slices to sandwiches
  • Add grated radishes to coleslaw
  • Add zest and crunch to tuna salad by adding 1 to 2 teaspoons of chopped radishes
  • Top your steak, burger, or veggie burger with grilled radish slices
  • Use radishes as a healthy crudité for dips
  • Roast or grill radishes with garlic, herbs, olive oil or other healthy fat

References