1. The bitter and the sweet
Humans love sweet things. Sweet fruit, sweet teas, sweet everything. We’ve been doing our best to remove the bitter taste from foods for at least as long as we’ve been farming. It may make our meals more palatable, but according to Jo Robinson in a recent op-ed piece in the New York Times, our desire to make everything sweeter has removed a hefty component of the plant’s nutritional benefits, particularly the phytonutrients.
But what are phytonutrients and why do they matter?
Phytonutrients are the bitter and astringent-tasting compounds that protect us against major illnesses like cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. And recent studies have shown that the fruits and vegetables in our grocery stores are relatively low in these healthy compounds.
So how do we regain some of this lost nutrition? By eating more wild plants that retain their dark color and bitter taste, Robinson says.
Robinson writes that “wild dandelions have seven times more phytonutrients than spinach while a purple potato native to Peru has 28 times more cancer-fighting anthocyanins than common russet potatoes.”
So while we all love the sweet taste, incorporating some more “wild” plant varieties can up your illness-beating nutrient profile. Look for darker-colored corn, use arugula and herbs instead of lettuce, and eat up those scallions. If you want to get really crazy, try using blue cornmeal for your next batch of weekend pancakes.
2. Got raw milk?
For years raw or unpasteurized milk has been considered a “high-risk” food and banned in many states. But new studies released by the Journal of Food Protection show that this is not the case. Three Quantitative Microbial Risk Assessments (QMRAs), the gold-standard in determining food risks, have shown that unpasteurized milk is a low-risk food, low risk for pathogens like E.Coli and Staphylococcus, and even low risk for immune-sensitive groups like pregnant women, children and the elderly.
If you find dairy works for you, raw milk is a cleaner and more nutrient-rich option than commercial milk. Advocates of raw milk highlight its many health benefits, including high amounts of Vitamin A, D, C, B12, K, protein, and beneficial bacteria.
At Clean, we find that dairy is one of the most common toxic triggers. During the cleanse we remove all dairy and then reintroduce it at the end in order to see how we respond to it. Some people show immediate sensitivities to dairy while others have no problem. Some people may even be sensitive only to commercial dairy but not to raw dairy. It all depends on the person.
If you are sensitive to dairy, have gut issues or an autoimmune condition, Dr. Amy Myers reminds us of all the reasons why we definitely want to stay away from it.
3. Humans & Computers: Frenemies for life
Clean Reads #1 profiled some great articles on why we need to limit our time being plugged in if we want to think clearly. Well, a study from the University of Gothenburg has pushed this argument further by concluding that heavy computer and smartphone use can create stress, sleep disorders and depression.
Researchers from the Gothenburg study found that it was very easy “to spend more time than planned at the computer” leading to mental overload, stress and neglect of important health practices like sleep and exercise.
They also found that stress builds when we feel we always need to be available by phone or email. Our sense of guilt can increase if we haven’t replied to messages quickly enough. This resulted in the “feeling of never being free” and created “difficulties separating work and private life.”
The more we know how our devices are stressing us out, the more we can find strategies to use them in healthy ways.
+ Hey ladies! Woman seem to be particularly prone to stress and depression when using the computer without taking sufficient breaks.
+Similar results were found in a study on mobile phone use in 2011.
4. “Junk food to the principal’s office”
When I was in middle school, we snacked on chips, chocolate bars and candy from the school snack machines. But it looks like that is about to change with the implementation of
U.S. Department of Agriculture's new "Smart Snacks in School" program.
This program places limits on how much fat, sugar and salt can be found in items sold in vending machines and at school snack counters. That means no more candy bars and potato chips. It also kicks out sodas and sugary sports drinks. In place of these, the new nutrition standards require “more of the foods we should encourage” like whole grains, low fat dairy, fruits, vegetables, and leaner protein. On the drink menu: water and 100% fruit and vegetable juices.
According to the USDA, schools and food companies must comply by July 14th, 2014. That’s coming up fast. Score one for healthier eating, and healthier kids. This is huge.
5. “We stress hard for the money...”
The American Psychological Association’s Stress in America survey has “money” listed as the number one cause of stress today. In another prominent survey money is also cited as the number one cause of divorce.
Okay, we get it. We’re stressed about money. But what do we do?
Learning some practical tips and addressing our emotional baggage around money are great places to start.
+Author Seth Godin gives us some wise thoughts and practical tips to reduce the confusion around money and how to make it work for us.
+Is money stressing us out, or are our thoughts about money stressing us out? There’s a big difference. Byron Katie shows us how our thoughts about money maybe deeper than we think.
+What’s another way to relieve all that money stress? Shake your body! Here’s a track we think you’ll enjoy.