Credit to: GUARDIAN UK

© Guardian UK: The climate change talks are taking place in Doha, Qatar. Photograph: Osama Faisal/AP

Head of Brazilian delegation says countries should not be allowed to carry over credits into second round of Kyoto protocol.

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Credit to: http://thewatchers.adorraeli.com/

Tweet Tweet The devastating earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan in March caused a nuclear disaster that left high quantities of radioactive cesium and other toxins in the soil in around the Fukushima prefecture. But a recent campaign has been launched by civil servants and independent entrepreneurs who are focusing their efforts on the use of sunflowers to clean contaminants from the fallout zone. Project leader Shinji Handa explains the long term plan. Sunflower seeds...

The devastating earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan in March caused a nuclear disaster that left high quantities of radioactive cesium and other toxins in the soil in around the Fukushima prefecture. But a recent campaign has been launched by civil servants and independent entrepreneurs who are focusing their efforts on the use of sunflowers to clean contaminants from the fallout zone. (more…)

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10 Best Foods for Your Heart

On January 30, 2011, in General, Sustainability, by PM100
0

Heart disease can be very fatal and can hit anyone suddenly. But you can reduce the chance of heart disease by following the right diet. So what are the best foods for a healthy heart?

 

Oatmeal Porridge with Berries

Oatmeal Porridge with Berries

Oatmeal

 

Start your day with a steaming bowl of oats, which are full of omega-3 fatty acids, folate, and potassium. This fiber-rich superfood can lower levels of LDL (or bad) cholesterol and help keep arteries clear.

Opt for coarse or steel-cut oats over instant varieties—which contain more fiber—and top your bowl off with a banana for another 4 grams of fiber. (more…)

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What Color Is Your Diet?

On November 17, 2009, in General, Sustainability, by PM100
1

Rainbow FoodDr. David Heber recommends a diet with fruits and vegetables across the spectrum of color.

Heber, author of “What Color is Your Diet?” and director of the UCLA Center for Human Nutrition, says Americans do not receive enough fruits and vegetables in their diets. He believes a category system he created would make it easier to consume the proper amount and types of vitamins needed in diets.

Nearly all fruits and vegetables are low-fat and contain fiber and natural chemicals known as phytonutrients that can help protect against heart disease, cancer and age-related cognitive decline, cataracts and macular degeneration.

Government health experts say that people should get a minimum five servings a day of fresh produce. Currently it’s estimated about a third of the population fulfils that requirement, and it may be as high as 80% that do not get enough servings. As many as 50 percent of Americans don’t eat a piece of fruit all day long. Nine servings are optimal for health maintenance.

“What Color Is Your Diet?” provides a color guide to fruits and vegetables and their benefits, as well as recipes to encourage an increased intake of produce. Heber says that counting servings may not be adequate if you are missing out on one or more major color categories. Not all members of the fruit and vegetable group are alike.

They have unique properties that provide combinations of substances with unique effects on human biology. Therefore, simply eating five servings a day of fruits and vegetables will not guarantee that you are eating enough of the different substances needed to stimulate the metabolic pathways of genes in the different organs where fruits and vegetables have their beneficial effects.

The colors represent 25,000 chemicals that are beneficial. There is evidence that interaction between the colors provides benefits, so it’s important to have a diverse diet and eat different foods. We normally eat three color groups on average in this country. Heber believes in evolutionary terms, man started out on a plant-based diet.

Fruits and vegetables are historically and biologically important. Our ancestors the hunter-gatherers ate over 800 varieties. The different colors represent families of compounds, and we have even selectively bred the colors we eat into an even narrower range. There are red carrots in India, we eat orange ones. There are 150 varieties of sweet peas, but only a few are available to us. We need to make an extra effort to eat many different foods to get the full range of benefits, he says

Heber groups produce into seven color categories:

Red Group
(tomatoes, can of V8 juice, pink grapefruit, watermelon)
These contain the carotenoid lycopene, which helps rid the body of free radicals that damage genes. Lycopene seems to protect against prostate cancer as well as heart and lung disease. Processed juices contain a lot of the beneficial ingredients. One glass of tomato juice gives you 50 percent of the recommended lycopene.

Yellow/Green Group
(spinach greens, collard greens, mustard greens, turnip greens, yellow corn, green peas, avocado, honeydew melon)
These are sources of the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin. These are believed to reduce the risk of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. Lutein is a yellow-green substance that concentrates in the back of your eye. It may also reduce atherosclerosis.

Orange Group
(carrots, mangos, apricots, cantaloupes, pumpkin, acorn squash, winter squash, sweet potatoes)
These contain alpha carotene, which protects against cancer. They also contain beta-carotene, which the body converts to vitamin A.

It protects the skin against free-radical damage and helps repair damaged DNA. Beta-carotene is also good for night vision. It’s important to note that these beneficial nutrients can be received from other foods, too. For instance vitamin is found in dairy products and meat. But it’s not as beneficial because you get high calories and fat along with it.

Orange/
Yellow Group
(pineapple, orange juice, oranges, tangerines, peaches, papayas, nectarines)
These contain beta cryptothanxin, which helps cells in the body communicate and may help prevent heart disease. Also, an orange contains 170 percent of the recommended daily vitamin C. It’s interesting to note that the skin of an orange is high in a protective fat that has been found to kill cancer cells in humans and animals, which highlights the fact that two-thirds of all drugs come from the plant world.

Red/Purple Group
(beets, eggplant, purple grapes, red wine, grape juice, prunes, cranberries, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, red apples)
These are loaded with powerful antioxidants called anthocyanins believed to protect against heart disease by preventing blood clots. They may also delay the aging of cells in the body. There is some evidence they may help delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.

Green Group

(broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, Chinese cabbage or bok choi, kale)
These contain the chemicals sulforaphane and isocyanate and they also contain indoles, all of which help ward off cancer by inhibiting carcinogens. It’s a fact that ten percent of the population – like George Bush Sr. – doesn’t like broccoli. But it is important in diets because of the beneficial chemicals it contains.

White/Green Group
(leeks, scallions, garlic, onions, celery, pears, white wine, endive, chives)
The onion family contains allicin, which has antitumor properties. Other foods in this group contain antioxidant flavonoids like quercetin and kaempferol.

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THE RAINBOW DIET

On September 20, 2009, in General, Sustainability, by PM100
0
RD2

THE POT OF GOLDEN GLOW AT THE END OF THE RAINBOW DIET


Eating a Variety of Colors Improves Health, and Here’s a Little Secret About It.
A recent issue of Consumer Reports pointed out the health benefits of eating a “rainbow of produce.” Even on the face of it, this seems more sensible than a monochrome, all-mauve dietary approach, even if it is the latest thing in Hollywood.
Indeed, the body does benefit from eating a variety of hues. In this article, we’ll talk about why that is, and we’ll tell you about a small but very important detail that the magazine article forgot to mention.

YOUR DIET — MICRONUTRIENTS, FOOD COLOR, AND HEALTH

We all know about protein, fat, and carbohydrates—they’re the most rudimentary classifications of food. Beyond that, we know about important vitamins like A, C, E, D, and B complex, as well as essential minerals like zinc, chromium, calcium, and magnesium. But there are also hundreds of “micronutrients”—nutrients  that are required in lower quantities but are nonetheless essential to keeping your body’s intricate systems functioning properly.

Eating the full rainbow assortment of fresh raw fruits and vegetables on a regular basis—in addition to eating whole grains, nuts, seeds, and legumes while moderating intake of animal fat, refined flour, sugar, and stimulants—is the key to giving your body the nutrients it needs to build cells right and strengthening your immune and detoxification systems so they can do a better job of fighting off disease and aging.

Many nutrients are associated with various colors. Take the carotenes, for instance, which are important antioxidants that range in color from deep yellow to deep red. (Note: There are many carotenes other than top-dog “beta carotene.”) Anthocyanins are another class of essential “phytochemicals” and can be found in foods colored anywhere from black, blue and purple to reddish. Flavinoids come in a similarly varied assortment of colored foods. Even white vegetables can be helpful; for instance, those from the onion family supply allicin, which is thought to boost the immune system, fight heart disease, and reduce the risk of cancer.

Perhaps the most important color in the “rainbow diet” is green. Dark-green leafy vegetables—such as kale, collars, chard, spinach, tat soy, and bok choy—are packed with important nutrients. These include omega 3 essential fatty acids, which are critical for building good quality cells in the body and may be important in regulating inflammation. Most people eating a Western diet are deficient in omega 3’s. Other great green veggies include broccoli, cabbage, and the green portions of scallions, chives and leeks.

WHAT CONSUMER REPORTS FORGOT TO SAY ABOUT THE RAINBOW DIET

In the farm field, all foods are not created equal. The nutrient quality of the food you eat will largely depend on the nutrient quality of the soil the food was grown in. In industrial agriculture—the type of farming that supplies the vast majority of fruits and vegetables in the supermarket—farmers usually apply a only a nitrogen-potassium-phosphorus (NPK) fertilizer to the farm fields. While the NPK fertilizer does supply the primary ingredients needed to make plants grow fast and tall, it does little to supply the nutrients needed to allow plants to grow RICH—that is, rich in macro- and micronutrients alike.

On an organic farm, soil quality is maintained through the use of organic matter like manure and field waste, which is digested and turned into useable nutrients by worms, nematodes, bacteria, mycorhizal fungi, and other organisms found in healthy soil. Additionally, cover crops are often grown to improve soil quality and prevent loss of precious top soil.

All this care and nurturing of the “dirt” ends up creating soil that is richer in nutrients than soil found on industrial farms. When the plants suck up sustenance from the organic soil, the nutrient mix results in a fruit or vegetable that is more densely packed with a wider variety of nutrients. Not only do soils on conventional farms not get the broad-spectrum replenishment they need, the toxicity of the chemical pesticides and fertilizers used kill a large percentage of the beneficial organisms that are essential for good soil health.

There’s one other reason why the rainbow diet will benefit you more if it comes from organic or “sustainably grown” food. Many of the beneficial micronutrients in the food fall into the class of “phenolics.” It turns out that plants make these compounds to ward off pests. But with industrial farming, chemical pesticides keep insects off the plant almost completely. The plant has no need to defend itself, and therefore produces fewer phenolics, resulting in less-nutritious food for us.  This was confirmed for several plant species in recent studies published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

The last thing to think about here is the variety of toxic pesticides applied to conventionally grown crops. One of the goals of the rainbow diet is to enhance your detoxification processes. When you ingest pesticides, that just places more burden on the detox system you’re trying to help. So, organic food not only gives you more of the good stuff, it gives you a lot less of the bad stuff.

WRAP UP: THE RAINBOW DIET—EAT IT!

Finally, we advise that you eat your rainbow of fruits and vegetables fresh and raw. Cooking destroys enzymes and some other compounds and can lower the nutritional value of the food.

We were pleased to see Consumer Reports reminding people that good nutrition can be a pretty easy concept to grasp, and now we’re happy to have given you the full story. The rainbow diet concept is a good mnemonic device, and we encourage you to make sure your daily intake of food comprises as many colors as possible. Except pink, maybe. Stay away from the Manhattans and Pepto-Bismol.


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What Color Is Your Diet?

On September 20, 2009, in General, Sustainability, by PM100
0

RD3

Dr. David Heber recommends a diet with fruits and vegetables across the spectrum of color.

Heber, author of “What Color is Your Diet?” and director of the UCLA Center for Human Nutrition, says Americans do not receive enough fruits and vegetables in their diets. He believes a category system he created would make it easier to consume the proper amount and types of vitamins needed in diets.

Nearly all fruits and vegetables are low-fat and contain fiber and natural chemicals known as phytonutrients that can help protect against heart disease, cancer and age-related cognitive decline, cataracts and muscular degeneration.

Government health experts say that people should get a minimum five servings a day of fresh produce. Currently it’s estimated about a third of the population fulfils that requirement, and it may be as high as 80% that do not get enough servings. As many as 50 percent of Americans don’t eat a piece of fruit all day long. Nine servings are optimal for health maintenance.

“What Color Is Your Diet?” provides a color guide to fruits and vegetables and their benefits, as well as recipes to encourage an increased intake of produce. Heber says that counting servings may not be adequate if you are missing out on one or more major color categories. Not all members of the fruit and vegetable group are alike.

They have unique properties that provide combinations of substances with unique effects on human biology. Therefore, simply eating five servings a day of fruits and vegetables will not guarantee that you are eating enough of the different substances needed to stimulate the metabolic pathways of genes in the different organs where fruits and vegetables have their beneficial effects.

The colors represent 25,000 chemicals that are beneficial. There is evidence that interaction between the colors provides benefits, so it’s important to have a diverse diet and eat different foods. We normally eat three color groups on average in this country. Heber believes in evolutionary terms, man started out on a plant-based diet.

Fruits and vegetables are historically and biologically important. Our ancestors the hunter-gatherers ate over 800 varieties. The different colors represent families of compounds, and we have even selectively bred the colors we eat into an even narrower range. There are red carrots in India, we eat orange ones. There are 150 varieties of sweet peas, but only a few are available to us. We need to make an extra effort to eat many different foods to get the full range of benefits, he says Heber groups produce into seven color categories:

Red Group
(tomatoes, can of V8 juice, pink grapefruit, watermelon)
These contain the carotenoid lycopene, which helps rid the body of free radicals that damage genes. Lycopene seems to protect against prostate cancer as well as heart and lung disease. Processed juices contain a lot of the beneficial ingredients. One glass of tomato juice gives you 50 percent of the recommended lycopene.

Yellow/Green Group
(spinach greens, collard greens, mustard greens, turnip greens, yellow corn, green peas, avocado, honeydew melon)
These are sources of the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin. These are believed to reduce the risk of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. Lutein is a yellow-green substance that concentrates in the back of your eye. It may also reduce atherosclerosis.

Orange Group
(carrots, mangos, apricots, cantaloupes, pumpkin, acorn squash, winter squash, sweet potatoes)
These contain alpha carotene, which protects against cancer. They also contain beta-carotene, which the body converts to vitamin A.

It protects the skin against free-radical damage and helps repair damaged DNA. Beta-carotene is also good for night vision. It’s important to note that these beneficial nutrients can be received from other foods, too. For instance vitamin is found in dairy products and meat. But it’s not as beneficial because you get high calories and fat along with it.

Orange/
Yellow Group
(pineapple, orange juice, oranges, tangerines, peaches, papayas, nectarines)
These contain beta cryptothanxin, which helps cells in the body communicate and may help prevent heart disease. Also, an orange contains 170 percent of the recommended daily vitamin C. It’s interesting to note that the skin of an orange is high in a protective fat that has been found to kill cancer cells in humans and animals, which highlights the fact that two-thirds of all drugs come from the plant world.

Red/Purple Group
(beets, eggplant, purple grapes, red wine, grape juice, prunes, cranberries, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, red apples)
These are loaded with powerful antioxidants called anthocyanins believed to protect against heart disease by preventing blood clots. They may also delay the aging of cells in the body. There is some evidence they may help delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.

Green Group

(broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, Chinese cabbage or bok choi, kale)
These contain the chemicals sulforaphane and isocyanate and they also contain indoles, all of which help ward off cancer by inhibiting carcinogens. It’s a fact that ten percent of the population – like George Bush Sr. – doesn’t like broccoli. But it is important in diets because of the beneficial chemicals it contains.

White/Green Group
(leeks, scallions, garlic, onions, celery, pears, white wine, endive, chives)
The onion family contains allicin, which has antitumor properties. Other foods in this group contain antioxidant flavonoids like quercetin and kaempferol.

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