admin

Benefits of Clove Oil

abuyotam / Pixabay

Clove oil is extracted from clove buds, flower buds found on trees in the Myrtaceae family native to Indonesia. Clove is most commonly known in its ground form as an Indian spice.  Clove oil has historically been used for the treatment of many illnesses, the most popular being oral care. But as essential oil’s gain popularity and homeopathic remedies become all the rage, you may find yourself questioning what else clove oil can be used for?

1.)  Stye

A stye is an inflammation on or around the eyelash, you may experience pain, swelling, and irritation to the eyes. A stye is typically quite visible and easy to diagnose. Clove oil can be used to treat the eye and reduce the irritation and pain. Simply apply a small amount of clove oil directly to the stye, avoid getting the clove oil in your eye as it may cause irritation.

2.)  Ear Ache

Living with an earache can be difficult and painful; clove oil is believed to relieve both the pain and fight off infection. It is suggested that by placing a drop of clove oil in the ear canal, you can have near instant relief from an earache.

3.)  Insect Repellent

Clove oil has become a popular ingredient in insect repellent, especially insect repellant made completely of essential oils. Clove oil can be combined with other essential oils or diluted to use by itself. Do not apply clove oil directly to the skin, rather use a diluting oil or rubbing alcohol at a 1:10 ration of clove to a diluting agent. You can then place your homemade repellant in a spray bottle or roller ball for convenient use.

4.)  Dental Health

Due to the germicidal content in this type of oil, it is most commonly known for its uses to relieve dental pain. Clove is believed to be an effective way to relieve toothaches, cavities, sore gums, and bad breath. According to, Organic Facts, caution should be used when using clove oil to treat oral problems. Too much clove oil or no diluting it properly may lead to burns inside of the mouth.

5.)  Candida

Candida is the most common cause of fungal infection, such as athlete’s foot. Many varieties of candida fungal infections are harmless, but if the immune system is compromised, candida can cause dangerous disease. Candida is most common in the intestines and throat, which are well treated with this oil. Clove oil cannot eliminate candida overgrowth, however, it can be used in mild to moderate cases to manage the growth of candida, according to enatural healing.

Green Tea Extract, Can It Really Help with Weight Loss?

raoyi163 / Pixabay

What Exactly is Green Tea?

Green Tea, Similar to black tea and Oolong tea, is made from Camellia Sinensis. The difference between these widely popular teas is the process in which they turn into a tea. Oolong tea and black tea are created by fermenting camellia sinensis, for different time periods. Green tea is made from the same leaves, however, with no fermentation process. Instead, the leaves are pan-fried or steamed and then quickly dried to prevent oxidation. The tea is then made by steeping the tea leaves, like with most varieties of tea available. The different types of green tea available are a product of different crops. Different growing conditions and cultivation processes can result in different types of green tea, according, Wikipedia.

Why Use Green Tea Extract?

Let’s face it, tea is widely popular as, especially in Asian culture. It can frequently be found paired with sushi as well as in bubble teas. Matcha tea is believed to be one of the healthiest varieties of drink available, but not everyone is up for its acquired flavor. If this is the case, you can easily purchase green tea extract. Green tea extract has all of the health properties of drinking your daily dose of green tea, in many cases, it may be even more potent. Green tea extract is believed to have an array of health benefits, ranging from killing cancer to aiding in weight loss, or just giving you a good old fashioned daily dose of caffeine. Not to mention it is packed full of antioxidants.

Green Tea Extract for Weight Loss

There is a vastly larger chance that if you were to read the ingredients label on a bottle of weight loss supplements, that you would find green tea extract listed. You can even purchase specific “green tea” weight loss supplements. Green tea extract is believed to increase metabolism, though it is still considered skeptical as to whether or not the increase in metabolism is due to the green tea itself or the amount of caffeine that it contains.  However, the majority of people who use green tea extract as a weight loss supplement report results. It is recommended that you always consult a physician before starting a weight loss supplement. You should also be aware of any extra additives that may be in the green tea extract or supplement that you choose to use.  Pure green tea extract can be purchased in liquid form and taken orally or added to food that you consume, such as smoothies. It is also readily available at health food stores in capsule form, to be taken daily to aid in weight loss.

Green or Matcha extract has become widely popular for its believed health benefits, especially the benefits that it may have on weight loss. The combination of antioxidant’s and caffeine are believed to greatly boost energy and metabolism, as well as providing you with many other health advantages’ from the same supplement. Tea is the perfect option for someone who is already on their weight loss journey and is looking for a little boost. It is also a great caffeine replacement for coffee and soda drinkers looking to cut out their surgery habits.

A Guide to Mindful Eating for a Healthy Weight

geralt / Pixabay

Maintaining a healthy weight doesn’t mean that you have to go jump on every diet bandwagon that comes in and out of popularity. Diet fads are always coming and going, but all you really need to do to maintain a healthy weight Is to keep mindful eating habits. Being aware of everything you put into your body is the quickest way to keep yourself on track.

Stay aware of what you are eating

One of the best ways to keep yourself on track is by staying self-aware and holding yourself accountable. Start out by keeping a food diary. Writing down everything that you eat and drink; at the end of the day look over everything you ate and how many calories you took in, along with how many calories you burned for the day. This will help keep you self-aware, and before you know it you will begin thinking through everything you eat before you eat it.

Think Before You Eat

When something looks delicious and is tempting you; take a moment to think it over.

  • Are you really even hungry or does it just look good?
  • Is it healthy or something you will regret later?
  • Have you splurged yet today?
  • Is it an emotional need that I can meet in a healthier way?

Thinking before you eat will help you make healthy eating options. Moderation and self-awareness are always key. Keeping a mindful food cycle means always considering how much, why, when, what and how often you are eating.

Don’t Make Your-Self Miserable

Being mindful of what you eat doesn’t mean that you have to restrict yourself to the point of being miserable. If you continuously limit yourself and never indulge, even in the slightest, eventually you will reach a breaking point. Binge eating and overindulging to recover from a diet fad disaster is far worse than the occasional mind-full indulgence.

Make Time for Food

With so many things distracting us from food, convenience food is taking over. But convenient food is rarely ever healthy food. Take the time to eat healthy meals and snacks. Put down the cell phone or whatever you are working on, sit down and consciously enjoy a meal rather than shoveling it in behind a screen.  Make it a point in your home to sit down at the table to eat dinner every night, without distraction. Take the time to think about what you are eating, where it came from, what’s in it, and how much you are eating.

Is coffee Paleo?

Is coffee Paleo?
For many people, the morning isn’t fueled by the excitement of a great day—it’s fueled by coffee.

And when the 3 p.m. blues comes around, guess who’s up for coffee round 2 (or round 5 or 6)? With coffee houses popping up everywhere and coffee pots just getting easier (and cheaper) to use, it’s no wonder that this energizing drink has quickly risen to claim a spot as one of the most-consumed beverages in the world.

But should you run off and pour yourself another mug, or is it time to shut the kitchen coffeemaker down for good?

Is Coffee Healthy?

It’s not surprising that a good bit of research has been done into how coffee affects the human body.

We know that it can definitely give us a jolt (that’s the caffeine), but does it do anything else for us? As it turns out, there’s more to coffee than meets the eye (or, I suppose, the taste buds). Studies show that drinking coffee reduces the risk of cancer, especially in the colon and prostate. It can also reduce the risk for type 2 diabetes, and another study showed that there is an inverse relationship between the amount of coffee you drink and how likely you are to die from general and specific causes.

(To be completely frank, coffee isn’t a miracle food. Despite some claims to the contrary, the potential benefits of coffee are relatively small.)
In addition, there are a few things to watch out for with coffee.

In particular, watch what you put in your coffee. The studies above show the benefits of coffee—not mochas, lattes with flavored syrup, or coffee with ice cream and sprinkles. From processed sugar to dairy, it’s the add-ins that cause the greatest issues.

Finally, if you have or think you might have adrenal fatigue, then it’s probably a good idea to cut the coffee (and all caffeine) out of your diet since it will only stress your adrenals more, which will slow your recovery.

What do the Paleo gurus say?

Mark Sisson says: “The overwhelming majority of the observational literature finds that coffee is linked to lower body weight and protection from type 2 diabetes. [To get the most out of your coffee,] get up and move around a bit when you drink. Since that coffee has just liberated a bunch of fatty acids from your adipose tissue, use them! If you don’t, the bulk of those fatty acids will simply be recycled back into your body fat. Remember that coffee isn’t just caffeine. It is a whole plant food/drink with hundreds of bioactive compounds beyond just caffeine….The taste and health effects of coffee thusly depend on dozens of factors, and that’s why coffee has different effects on different people as reflected across dozens of studies.”

Robb Wolf says: “If you have to ask, ‘If I can’t have sugar, coffee mate, cream, etc. in my morning cup, what can I do to make it taste good?’, then you really need to question the reasons behind your habit. Is it replacing sleep, masking a sugar or cream fix, or do you just REALLY like that Starbucks cup? If you truly ENJOY coffee for all of its warm, black deliciousness and you don’t have any compelling health or lifestyle reasons to avoid it, then I am not going to steal your ‘morning thunder.’ Keep on keeping on (with an occasional detox to clean things out). But, if on the other hand, your coffee needs a mate(s), or you’re using it as a means to function in the AM; take the time to conduct a CSI (Coffee Scene Investigation).”

So is coffee Paleo?

Yes.

However, with great deliciousness comes great responsibility. Avoid allowing coffee to become a crutch for poor sleep or stress management patterns, and be aware that the health effects of coffee don’t count for much when you drown it in sugar or processed cream.

For maximum health benefits, take your coffee black or with coconut oil and ghee.

Issue No. 34

Is Yogurt Paleo?

NeuPaddy / Pixabay

If you go to the dairy section of any grocery store, you’re likely to see rows and rows of yogurt—Greek, plain, flavored, snack-size, and more—lined up like stout little soldiers waiting to be put into someone’s cart. They come in greens, blues, reds, and more, in any flavor you can think of. But what on earth is yogurt anyway? And should we be eating more of it?

If you’re wondering how yogurt-makers get their yogurt to be, well, a lot gooier than milk, they do it through fermentation. The discovery of yogurt was likely an accident because people in Central Asia in about 6000 BC would milk their cows and then carry around the milk—all warm and fresh—in sacs made of animal stomachs. The milk would go sour, and yogurt was born! Thankfully, yogurt today doesn’t go through a few rounds of incubation in an animal stomach before making it store shelves; it probably wouldn’t be as popular.

When people talk about how great yogurt is, they most often cite the calcium content (it’s made from milk, after all) and the trendy term “probiotics.” Probiotics, in a nutshell, are the little bacteria in your intestines that help you out when you digest food and fight off the baddies. They’re shown to reduce inflammation and improve immune function, so supplementing with them is a great idea. These bacteria can be found in yogurt, so it’s a great addition to the diet, right? But many who follow a Paleo lifestyle don’t tolerate dairy. Now what?

What do the Paleo gurus say?

Nell Stephenson says: “Personally, the resulting effects of eating dairy (congestion and bloating) render it not something I want to include.   In the event that a situation arises when I feel I need to eat some probiotics, such as a few years ago after I finished a course of antibiotics for a case of swimmer’s ear, I prefer a top of the line capsule not sourced from dairy or soy.

If you are someone who makes the choice to include some dairy in the form of yogurt in your diet, at the very least, be sure to use a brand that is really just yogurt.   All too often, we see yogurts that are really nothing more than a usual concoction of low-fat or fat-free milk, gelatin, artificial sugars and flavors and no probiotics!”

Joel Runyon says: “Is yogurt Paleo? The short answer—no. Generally speaking, yogurt is not considered Paleo. The main reason that yogurt is not paleo is that it is a form of dairy. Almost all dairy is off limits for the following reasons: Dairy consumption has been linked to the development of many diseases in humans, including some very serious and chronic such as diabetes, cancer, and heart disease, [and] the quality of dairy that is widely available today is usually very poor. It is filled with added sugar and comes from sick cows that have been mistreated and given hormones and antibiotics.”

So is yogurt Paleo?

No.

It’s best to avoid yogurt because although it’s got some probiotics in it (sometimes…), they’re not nearly enough to justify the consumption of inflammatory dairy, especially when you risk exposing yourself to the antibiotics and other toxins in the milk the yogurt was made from.

Article by: Carrie Ott

Issue No. 57

Did Our Ancestors Eat Just Meat?

First off, this solely depends on where the ancestors lived on the plane, more importantly, did our ancestors eat just meat? Humans living in the northern cold climates had no choice but to eat diets composed mostly of meat. This was to keep up a protein-rich diet to help our ancestors to survive and eventually evolve. In the past, it was theorized that humans ate mostly meat and some in-season fruit, root, and greens that were raw. However, now scientists are changing their thinking about what our human ancestors ate 10,000+ years ago.

Recently, scientists found evidence that plants were cooked over 10,000 years ago.

Why does this matter? Think about all of the plants that are only edible after cooking. Also, cooking creates more nutrient-dense food, which has been proposed to have increased human brain size.

Paleo and primal diets have stressed the importance of foods that ancient (very ancient) ancestors used to eat. Primarily focusing on high-quality meat, fish and game, and some plant. In the light of this new research, it’s probable and possible that our ancient ancestors ate more plants than we previously gave our ancient Caveman and lady credit.

Scientists recently found evidence of ceramic pots and cooked plants inside of the vessels. Our caveman ancestors could have been boiling plants and processing different plants for a larger diet range.

Dr. Julie Dunne, lead author of the paper and post-doctoral researcher, said: “Until now, the importance of plants in prehistoric diets has been under-recognized but this work clearly demonstrates the importance of plants as a reliable dietary resource.

“These findings also emphasize the sophistication of these early hunter-gatherers in their utilization of a broad range of plant types, and the ability to boil them for long periods of time in newly invented ceramic vessels would have significantly increased the range of plants prehistoric people could eat.”

Is Donor Breastmilk Really Best for Preemies?

Should Preemies Use Donor Breastmilk?

 

Would donor breastmilk be best for preemies? You have probably heard the quote “breast is best.” This is true for all babies regardless if the breastmilk is from the baby’s mother or other sources. 

Preemies are especially susceptible to more illness and disabilities later in life. In the past, preemies have been mostly excluded from donor breast milk due to the fact that doctors and hospitals were concerned with the safety of the breast milk.

Research shows that donor breast milk CAN be incredibly beneficial for preemie babies. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the governing body for pediatric doctors, has embraced breast milk in the neonatal unit, if “proper safety measures” are used in the hospital.

The AAP does discourage buying donor breast milk from online sources and “milk-sharing”.

How is donor breastmilk safe?

Donors are screened for hepatitis and HIV, and the milk is pasteurized and sometimes the milk is cultured for bacterial contamination. Although pasteurization does kill “good” bacteria, this is seen as a necessary step for the vulnerable infant.

Why is breast milk best?

Breastmilk is the IDEAL nutrition for an infant. The list of benefits is long and even effects the child for the rest of his or her life. For a quick and dirty list, breastmilk helps fight off viruses, bacteria, infections, allergies, asthma, diabetes, obesity, certain cancers, reduces hospitalization, fewer ear infections, fewer respiratory illness, etc.

Mother’s breast milk is best for the infant, but if that’s not possible than using donor breastmilk could be the next best thing – even for preemies.

Photo by j2dread

Why “Mommy Brain” is a Good Thing.

Why Mommy Brain is a Good Thing!

Being a mother, 3 times over, one thing that seems to weaken every time is my memory and brain. The first couple years are usually a blur of late-night feedings, teething woes, bumps and bruises and trying to remember anything beyond this new bundle of energy.

Many times, I have talked with other moms about having “mommy’s brain”. Forgetting important events, showing up late or completely forgetting events never happened prior to kids. Now, it’s a weekly occurrence.

New research just out shows that “mommy brain” is a good thing!

Here’s what happens.

After giving birth, moms had greatly reduced gray matter in the brain associated with social interactions. These long-term changes were theorized to improve a mom’s ability to protect and nurture her child. AND the areas of the brain that retain memories and thinking functions had no changes.

These changes lasted for at least the first two years after birth. Researchers theorize that this is an evolutionary change for mother’s to develop emotional attachments to her baby. Further, the more changes to the mother’s brain, the higher the emotional attachment.

So, maybe “mommy brain” is a good thing.

What do you think?

Health Benefits of Turkey and Uses

It’s Turkey time again—time when you sit down with family, watch a football game if you’re so inclined, and pass the food with all the fixings but what are the health benefits of turkey? Front and center in the biggest food celebration of the year is turkey, the nearly ubiquitous Thanksgiving meat. Around 7 billion pounds of turkey (that’s 10 Empire State Buildings!) are produced yearly in the US, so if you’re a fan of the bird, you’re in luck. You can thank Sarah Josepha Hale, writer of the nursery rhyme Mary Had a Little Lamb, for convincing Abraham Lincoln that America should have an official turkey day.

Contrary to popular belief, though, it’s not the tryptophan in turkey that makes you sleepy. This is a widely believed myth. In reality, you get sleepy after a Thanksgiving meal because you simply ate too much. The overindulgence in carbs and sometimes alcohol contribute to blood sugar spikes that tire your body out. But that doesn’t mean that a big serving of turkey is bad for you! In fact, turkey (in moderate portions, of course) is a great source of many nutrients.

Why is Turkey Good for You?

  1. Vitamins. Turkey contains lots of vitamin B6, which improves immune function and supplements the body’s key systems. Vitamin B6 deficiency is relatively common.
  2. Selenium. The selenium found in turkey carries a whole host of health benefits—too many to discuss—but among them are noted improvements in Alzheimer’s patients, better management of diabetes, and less incidence of benign tumors. Many people are deficient in selenium, and if fish (another great source) is not one of your favorite foods, turkey is a great alternative.
  3. Tryptophan. This chemical isn’t responsible for making you sleepy—in fact, it helps to balance blood sugar (which is the actual source of the sleepiness problem; you just don’t get enough turkey compared to everything else you eat on Thanksgiving). Tryptophan is an amino acid that produces serotonin, a mood stabilizer. It improves mental health and immune function.

Those are just a few of the great things about turkey. But before you go out and buy packages and packages of turkey meat to snack on every day, there are a few things you should know. Buying packing turkey deli meat isn’t a good choice—it’s often loaded with sodium and is extremely processed, so there are many things besides actual turkey meat hiding in there. Slow-cooking or baking a fresh turkey is the way to go. But how do you know that your turkey is fresh?

How Do You Choose Good Turkeys?

  1. Don’t believe your grocery store’s “fresh” label without asking the butcher when the turkey was actually prepared. Many stores label their turkeys as “fresh” even though they were packaged 9 months or more ago!
  2. Turkeys that are raised and then sold the same day or the day after they are harvested have a more intense flavor and better texture than frozen turkeys, so if you have a local butcher or meat shop, that will likely be your best bet. Local turkeys are also much less likely to have been given antibiotics and a grain-based diet.
  3. Choose turkey meat that is supple. Grainy or excessively firm meat should be avoided.

Turkeys are a great, nutritious meal anytime, but they really shine during the fall season. Remember that on average, you can plan for about a pound of turkey per person. This season, make sure turkey is on the menu and share it around!

Article by: Carrie Ott

Photo by Mike_fleming

Do Sardines Have Health Benefits?

One question some people have asked is if sardines have health benefits, especiallyy linked towards the paleo diet.

One of my most vivid memories of elementary school is of sitting in one of our incredibly cramped, 20-person classrooms and eating lunch with friends. They’d be munching on zebra cakes and I would, with an excited smile, pop the lid off my little bin of sardines.

Apparently the smell of fish was less favorable to the 8-year-olds than the sweet aroma of those zebra cakes, because more often than not, I’d look up from my sardines to find myself sitting all alone.

What are Sardines?

I think part of the problem was that no one really knew what a sardine was—a small, whole fish also known as a pilchard. Belonging to the herring family, sardines are rather tiny, oily fish that you can buy fresh or in a can.

Because people tend not to eat whole animals anymore, the sardines were probably a bit off-putting to my classmates. Yet how I loved them so!

Are Sardines Healthy?

The truth of the matter is that sardines are a very resilient fish, and their size is a big factor in whether or not they are toxic.

Sardines are quite small, which means that they tend not to absorb the same amount of toxins as larger fish. In fact, the Environmental Defense Fund lists sardines as some of the least-toxic fish you can eat.

Their mercury content is low, and these little fish are packed with not only a huge helping of omega-3s but also more than 100% of your daily recommended serving of vitamin B12! Vitamin B12 is responsible for keeping nerves and blood cells healthy, and it’s also extremely important for making DNA, so getting a whole bunch of it certainly isn’t a bad thing!

In addition, sardines are packed with vitamin D, which is one of the easiest nutrients to become deficient in nowadays—with people spending so much time inside, getting this vital nutrient from the sun is becoming harder and harder. Thankfully, sardines are one of the best foods for boosting your vitamin D.

Because sardines are low in toxicity and mercury, packed with nutrients, and cheap to boot, it seems like they may be a good addition to a Paleo lifestyle.

What do other Paleo gurus say?

Mark Sisson says: “As for those species that offer both high omega-3s and low toxin risk, here are some budget-friendly samplings: light tuna, anchovies, sardines, Atlantic herring, and Atlantic mackerel. These species are generally wild caught. Because they’re tiny and low on the food chain, tiny fish [like sardines] will be largely free of the heavy metals other, larger fish tend to accumulate.”

Sébastien Noël says: “The next time you’re passing through the canned fish aisle, look a shelf above the cans of salmon, and consider the sardines as well. They’re convenient as a quick snack to throw into your purse or car, and…they provide a lot [of] nutrition.”

Are Sardines Paleo?

Definitely!

Sardines are a great source of many vitamins and minerals with very little toxicity. They’re small and cheap, and while you can eat them out of a can, be sure to choose wholesome varieties—sardines in water or olive oil are better than sardines in, say, mustard or soybean oil. Be sure to check ingredient labels, and enjoy your little fish! It’s okay, you can eat the bones too.

Issue No. 38

Is Beer Paleo?

Almost anywhere you go in the world, one thing you’re likely to be able to find is beer, but is beer paleo?

In fact, that’s one of the beer’s largest draws—it can be fun to try to sample as many exotic varieties and microbrews as you can find.

What Is Beer, Anyway?

Beer is one of the oldest drinks in human history, dating back more than 7,000 years to ale, its most ancient form. In fact, some historians credit the making of beer as humanity’s first step toward technological advancement, since water wasn’t always safe to drink.

For the most part, beer is made from fermented barley. And unlike a drink like whiskey, beer isn’t distilled, so it still contains many of the proteins and other components of the food that is fermented.
Increasingly, there are beers made from other fermented foods, but still, the great majority is made from barley.

Is Beer Healthy?

Believe it or not, there are possible health benefits to beer.

Beer has a big tendency to bring people together in fun social settings, and there is little doubt that hanging out with friends, relaxing, and laughing are all extremely healthy activities. And there is also no arguing with the overwhelming evidence that beer is chock full of B vitamins, particularly B3, B6, and B9, because of the yeast content.

However, it’s important to keep in mind that barley—which constitutes most beers—brings the same damage to our guts as we could expect from other gluten-containing grains like wheat. That means inflammation, disruption of gut flora, and all those nasties that arise from the gluten content of beer.

In addition, hops (a standard beer ingredient) is a huge source of phytoestrogens—the same toxin that makes eating soy not such a great idea because of the way the chemical reacts with our estrogen receptors.
Most importantly, however, we can’t forget about the alcohol. Alcohol is, plain and simple, a toxin, and the effect of alcohol on the brain is irrefutable.

So we’ve got some nice B vitamins in beer, but we’ve also got some toxins to worry about; where does that leave us?
Well, as far as researchers have learned, the evidence tends in one direction. Studies show that beer can do some strange things in our bodies, like making us more prone to passive overeating (when we eat way too much because it’s just there) and disrupting our natural sleep cycles. Beer has also been shown to increase the chances of developing multiple types of cancer, too. And it’s fairly well known that alcohol can have a negative impact on the liver.

It seems, then, that beer isn’t such a friendly drink after all, and Paleo experts tend to agree.

What do other Paleo gurus say?

Mark Sisson says: “Overall, beers are pretty unPrimal. But if you can drink them without ill effect, I don’t think the occasional glass or bottle will do you much harm. Celiacs and gluten-sensitive should definitely steer clear, or opt for wine, cider, or other choices.”

The Paleo Mom says: “[If you’re working on autoimmune issues] make sure to stay away from any grain-based alcohols though, especially beer and ale which contain gluten. Alcohol is not good for anyone dealing with leaky gut issues. However, an occasional drink…is probably okay. Cooking with alcohol is also probably okay for most people, even if you don’t tolerate an actual drink. But once again, I do urge caution as you experiment to find where your individual line is.”

Is Beer Paleo?

No.

Beer is not Paleo, but remember that quantity and quality are also key here. Non-alcoholic gluten-free beers (they do exist, though they’re rare) are fine, and an occasional sip here and there isn’t going to decimate your body. However, one of the dangers of beer is that it is addictive—more so than marijuana, studies say. So because the negatives outweigh the positives by a longshot, why not just avoid beer and go for a nice, relaxing cup of your favorite Paleo drink?

Issue No. 38

Photo by Miss Dilettante

Is Tuna Paleo?

 

Until 2013 (when salmon surged ahead), tuna was the second-most popular seafood consumed in the U.S. and it’s not only in the U.S. that tuna is a favorite, so what’s the deal is tuna paleo or not?

If you’ve ever been to a sushi restaurant, you’ve likely noticed that some of the most common cuts of sashimi are maguro and toro—in other words, types of tuna.

Fish is regularly touted as a very nutritious food, but it’s also common to hear warnings about certain seafood, including tuna.

So should you regularly consume tuna?

Is Tuna Healthy?

The main concern I hear about tuna is its mercury content.

Mercury poisoning is a scary thought, and we’ve all heard about the dangers of playing with old thermometers. Studies have shown that in rats and other animals, a diet excessively high in mercury can lead to stunted growth, deformed limbs, and mental disease.

However, the mercury concern in tuna (and in fish in general) is very much overstated, except in certain circumstances.

I won’t go into a great deal of detail in this article, but the short version is this: No good studies have ever shown any problem with eating seafood “high” in mercury other than a few species of shark and whale, or fish from polluted areas. The reason that these certain cases exist is that mercury’s harmful effects occur when it is in excess of selenium. And for almost all seafood (including tuna), selenium is higher than mercury.

If you want to read more on this issue, check out Chris Kresser’s great article.

On the other hand, tuna has many nutritious qualities that make consumption a great idea. It tends to be high in omega-3s, which are great anti-inflammatories that have shown tendencies to reduce heart disease and high blood pressure, in addition to calming down allergies and asthma.

Even better, tuna is rich in selenium, a nutrient that helps to normalize our bodies—it regulates our thyroid and hormones, assists with DNA synthesis, and protects our bodies from oxidative damage and infection.

And just generally, tuna is very dense in vitamins and minerals, something that we should frankly care a lot more about in our foods.

What Do Other Paleo Experts Say?

Robb Wolf says: “Maintaining adequate levels of selenium can protect us from mercury toxicity by binding to mercury as well as protecting us from oxidative damage. On top of that, the fish consumed by humans (except for the Mako shark and possibly some species of whales) contain more selenium than mercury. This makes it safe to get all the positive health aspects associated with eating fish 1-2 times per week.”

Mark Sisson says: “Tuna is tasty, especially the steaks, and it’s a decent source of omega-3s, but the mercury content can’t be ignored. Avoid if you are pregnant, nursing, or a small child, and don’t make tuna of any kind a daily staple. Look for troll and pole-caught tuna over longline-caught tuna, as the former tend to run smaller and accumulate fewer contaminants than the latter.”

Is Tuna Paleo?

Yes!

Issue No. 39

Photo by nedrichards

Is Coconut Milk Paleo?

Coconut milk photo
Photo by simpleprovisions

Is Coconut Milk Paleo?

Coconut milk has a few misconceptions swirling around the evolutionary foodie-verse about it— both about what it actually is and is coconut milk Paleo friendly. Many think that coconut milk is the liquid inside a fresh coconut (that’s actually coconut water), but the milk is actually a prepared beverage. Made by mixing shredded coconut and water, the mixture is simmered, strained and squeezed to create the rich, creamy drink we call coconut milk.

Found in both cans and cartons, not all coconut milks are created equally. While a can of pure coconut milk sporting an ingredient list of coconut and water is pretty clear on where it falls on the Paleo spectrum, there are other health factors to consider. If it’s in a can, BPA (Bisphenol-A), a component of the can’s metal lining, can potentially leach into the milk. BPA has been found to have estrogenic activity and has been linked to a role in a host of diseases, from diabetes to cancer. Look for brands that are BPA-free.

Additionally, many companies turn out milk with not-so-nice additives and ingredients. Some add in thickeners, gums or carrageenan, which can cause digestive problems, especially for those with compromised gastrointestinal systems.

Coconut milk in cartons can fall even farther away from a clean ingredient list, prompting it to be called a “coconut beverage. ” Many companies turning out coconut milk in cartons sweeten it, flavor it and add thickeners — not the real deal when it comes to coconut milk.

To avoid any additives or ingredients that might cause issues, many Paleo advocates recommend making your own. Try using shredded dried coconut and mix it with water to create your own coconut milk.

So, is it Paleo?

If you make your own from just coconut meat and water, then the answer is a resounding yes. Things get murky, however, when choosing store-bought brands. Depending on ingredients and personal preference in avoiding BPA’s, it can be a bit of a judgment call on what type of coconut milk is acceptable on a Paleo regimen.

What do the Paleo gurus say?

Chris Kresser says: “Coconut milk is often a staple fat source for those following a Paleo diet. From a nutritional perspective, it’s an excellent choice.” However, he cautions that “Women who are trying to get pregnant, are pregnant or breastfeeding, children and other vulnerable populations (chronically ill) should avoid canned coconut milk products except for those that are BPA-free. Healthy people may be fine with canned coconut milk, provided they don’t react to the guar gum and provided they’re willing to take the side of industry scientists that claim BPA doesn’t cause harm in humans.”

Stephanie Greunke, RD (and member of Robb Wolf’s RD consulting team) says: “I’ve read countless recipes that list coconut milk as an ingredient and want to make sure that people realize coconut milk means just that – coconut milk in the can, prepared from a whole coconut, or shredded coconut mixed and prepared with water. While a multitude of companies is coming out with their own version of coconut milk by the quart and half a gallon, these new innovations are truly coconut beverages, not milk. In short, do not use the coconut milk beverages in your recipes.”

Mark Sisson says: “If you find yourself holed up in a dingy Albuquerque motel room littered with empty tetra-paks of Aroy-D, you’ve got a problem. Other than that, as long as you’re not gaining unwanted body fat, or drinking so much that it displaces other, more nutrient-dense foods in your diet, you’re probably fine. ”

Conclusion?

Yes, coconut milk is Paleo-acceptable. But watch where it comes from and what’s in it, what it’s called and how often you drink it to ensure that it’s a healthy addition to your diet.

Issue No. 23

1 2 3 15