Juicing and Raw Foods

April 8, 2013
Why Soak and Sprout Your Nuts, Seeds, and Grains?

Chances are you've already heard about soaking and sprouting your nuts, seed and grains but are not sure how this benefits you or how it effects the taste. So why soak and sprout your nuts, seeds, and grains?

Differences in tastes?

The taste of nuts, seeds and grains after soaking is enerally sweeter and not terribly diluted at all. Soaking nuts or seeds removes tannins so that you have a softer, more palate friendly taste. Many people prefer the taste of soaked pecans to unsoaked ones and some nuts, like almonds, become better smoothie ingrediants after being soaked for a day.

Soak and Sprout to Increases Nutrient Content

Almonds soak and sprout in waterIf you soak and sprout your nuts, seeds and grains it will dramatically increase the available nutrient content and increase proteins, minerals, vitamins and enzymes by 300% to 1200%. Soaking and sprouting also makes grains, legumes and nuts more easily digestible and encourages the production of beneficial enzymes which will help the break down of gluten, and makes proteins more readily available for absorption.

Enzyme Inhibitors

Just like other raw foods, nuts and seeds contain enzymes which we want to benefit from. However, till the germination conditions are met the enzymes in most nuts and seeds stay dormant because they are being held hostage by so-called enzyme inhibitors which is a natural mechanism to ensure the proliferation of the species. When the conditions are right for seeds to start growing, the enzymes within them break free and start to break down nutrients into simpler chemical forms, thus making them easier for digestion and easier to absorb.

In his book Enzyme Nutrition: the Food Enzyme Concept, Dr. Edward Howell cites a 1948 University of California experiment in which chickens were fed a diet of raw soybeans, containing enzyme inhibitors. The birds looked sick, failed to grow and gain body weight, while their pancreas gland enlarged significantly. A similar 1960 U.S. Department of Agriculture experiment, using rats, confirmed those findings. Howell also describes how, after two months of unwittingly consuming raw wheat germ with enzyme inhibitors still in them, he developed severe gastrointestinal issues.

How Long do I Soak?

Soaking time can vary wildly based on a number of factors, but to be in the right ballpark you can use our chart as a guide. Generally If the nuts or seeds you are planning to soak have brown skins, such as almonds, walnuts, filberts and pecans, they have a high level of enzyme inhibitors and should be soaked for several hours. White nuts, such as macadamias, pine nuts and hemp seeds require very short soaking time or no soaking at all, since they have a very little amount of enzyme inhibitors.

###

Soaking and Sprouting Chart

Nut, Grain or Seed Soak Time Sprout Time
Adzuki 12 hours 3-5 days
Alfalfa 8 hours 2-5 days
Almonds 8-12 hours 12 hours
Barley 6-8 hours 2 days
Black Beans 12 hours 3-4 days
Black Eyed Peas 12 hours 4-6 days
Broccoli 8 hours 3-6 days
Buckwheat (hulled) 6 hours 2 days
Cabbage 4-6 hours 4-5 days
Cashews 2-2.5 hours N/A
Chickpeas 12-24 hours 1-3 days
Clover 4-6 hours 4-5 days
Corn 12 hours 2-3 days
Cow Peas 12 hours 4-6 days
Fenugreek 8 hours 4-5 days
Flax 8 hours N/A
Green Peas 12 hours 2-3 days
Hazelnuts (filberts) 8 N/A
Kamut 7 hours 2-3 days
Lentils 8 hours 12 hours
Millet 8 hours 2-3 days
Mung Beans 1 day 3-5 days
Mustard 8 hours 5-7 days
Oats (hulless) 1/5-1 hour 1-3 days
Oat Groats 6 hours 2 days
Peanuts (valencia) 1 day 2-4 days
Peas 12 hours 1-3 days
Pecans 4-6 hours N/A
Pinto Beans 12 hours 2-4 days
Pumpkin Seeds (hulled) 8 hours 1 day
Quinoa 2 hours 1 day
Radish 8 hours 3-4 days
Red Clover 8 hours 3-5 days
Rice (brown) 12 hours 3-4 days
Rice (Wild) 9 hours 4-5 days
Rye 8 hours 3 days
Sesame Seeds 8 hours 1-2 days
Spelt 7 hours 2 days
Sunflower Seeds (hulled) 2 hours 2-3 days
Triticale 12 hours 2-3 days
Walnuts 4 hours N/A
Watercress 4-6 hours 4-5 days
Wheatberries 7 hours 2-3 days

Do not soak: Brazil Nuts, Hemp Seeds, Macadamia Nuts, Pine Nuts or Pistachio Nuts

Continue reading...

March 15, 2013
What is Turmeric?

Turmeric is a perennial plant of the ginger family which has a mustard yellow powder that is commonly used as a culinary spice in South Asia and has an active medicinal ingredient called Curcumin which has many anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, and anti-bacterial properties.

Turmeric is native to tropical South Asia and requires temperate climate with a considerable amount of rainfall to survive. In medieval Europe, turmeric became known as Indian saffron since it was widely used as an alternative to the far more expensive saffron spice. Turmeric has been used in India for hundreds of years and is a major part of Ayurvedic medicine after having been first introduced as a dye.

By the way I don't recommend Turmeric for juicing. There's a lot of juicing material on this site so I don't want you to get confused. I do recommend Turmeric as a spice on appropriate foods. It's actually quite good and beneficial to your health.

My personal Experience with Turmeric

I have recently tried Turmeric Juice from Whole Foods, though I'd recommend making your own, and not only did it taste great, but it made me feel better. I had some serious throat pain at the time and aspirin was only took the pain away about 20% where as the Turmeric numbed the pain about 80% so I can say that Turmeric does help with relieving pain. It tasted really good, granted what I had was mixed with other types of juice as well. Keep in mind you can also add Turmeric to your diet a number of different ways.

turmericWhat are the Benefits of Turmeric?

The health benefits of Turmeric have been recognized by Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine for hundreds of years and has been used to treat everyday problems such as indigestion, flatulence, arthritis, Alzheimer's disease, cancer, diabetes, HIV, high cholesterol, heartburn, jaundice, liver disorders, and menstrual disorders. Turmeric can also be applied topically in poultices to reduce inflammation and to relieve wounds, cuts, and bruises.

Alzheimer's Disease

Inflammation inside of the brain has been suspected to be one of the contributing factors in the development of Alzheimer's disease. Studies have shown that Turmeric has anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant activity. Therefore, regular daily consumption of Turmeric capsules may be an effective way to prevent the onset of Alzheimer's.

Arthritis

Due to its anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties, it is not surprising that Turmeric is now being used as an effective natural remedy for Arthritis pain. Therefore, taking 500mg to 1000mg Turmeric capsules three times per day may provide significant relief from osteoarthritis pain.

turmeric_01

Asthma

Since turmeric is an anti-inflammatory, it can help reduce the inflammation associated with asthma. Add 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder to a glass of warm milk, and drink this mixture as an effective asthma home remedy.

 

Cancer

Several recent studies have found that Turmeric can induce apoptosis, a process that triggers the self-destruction and elimination of damaged (cancerous) cells. Further research is still required before the full effects of Turmeric on cancer cells can be determined. However, existing studies suggest that daily Turmeric powder or supplements combined with a balanced, nutritious diet may help prevent or even destroy cancer cells.

Colds and Flu

Turmeric's anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal agents can help our body fight against colds, cough and flu. Therefore, when symptoms of these infections are present, simply mix one teaspoon of Turmeric powder into a glass of warm milk once per day. Also drink plenty of water throughout the day.

Diabetes

Recent studies have shown that the antioxidant agents in Turmeric help reduce insulin resistance, which may prevent the onset of Type-2 Diabetes. Therefore, a simple preventive remedy is to take one teaspoon of turmeric powder twice a day with meals. Curcumin extracts or capsules can also be used as an alternative to the powder.

Inflammation

Turmeric's key ingredient Curcumin is known for its anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Therefore, Turmeric powder can help in healing cuts, wounds, and other skin infections including boils.

  • Heat one cup of Flax Seed Oil in a small saucepan on the stove.
  • Thinly slice a small onion and add it to the hot oil.
  • Fry the onions until they are dark brown and crunchy.
  • Remove the brown onions and mix 2 tablespoons of Turmeric powder into the oil.
  • Turn off the stove and let the oil cool down to a temperature that is comfortable to touch.
  • Using a cotton swab, apply a small amount of the oil onto the injured or infected skin area.
  • Apply this three times per day until the wound or infection is cured.
  • Save the remaining oil into an airtight container for future use.

For internal injuries, fractures, sprains, and herniated disks, dip a piece of unbleached cotton fabric into the warm Turmeric oil. The fabric or cotton pad should be large enough to cover the outer skin of the affected area. Secure it in place and leave this cotton pad on overnight.

You can also add one teaspoon of turmeric powder into a warm glass of milk and drink it before going to bed to prevent internal inflammation and infections.

Pain Killer

Turmeric spice is a natural painkiller.

Weight Loss

Curcumin in Turmeric powder has been found to help increase the flow of bile, an important component in the breakdown of dietary fat. Therefore, taking one teaspoon of Turmeric powder with every meal may be an effective weight loss aid when combined with a healthy diet and exercise program.

What are the Side Effects of Turmeric?

Moderate use of Turmeric powder as part of regular diet is fairly safe, and recent studies have found that a dosage of 500mg capsules of Turmeric three times per day is safe. However, prolonged consumption of high doses of Turmeric extract may cause stomach or liver distress, as well as dehydration and constipation. Therefore, it should be avoided by people with gallstones or bile obstructions. If you are currently taking blood thinners (including Aspirin), you should consult your doctor before taking Turmeric since it is an anti-platelet (prevents blood clots).

Continue reading...

July 14, 2012
NuGo Nutritian Bars Product Review

I recently tried a brand of nutrition bars called NuGo that I was very surprised by. Not everything in these bars are totally raw food, but they are a much healthier alternative to most other snacks and they are so incredible tasting that I had to write about them.

I was at Whole Foods and one of these bars, specifically the Chocolate Pretzel with Sea Salt, was laying out of place with other products and I picked it up thinking it looked like it would taste good so I purchased it.

I tried it later that day and was stunned by how great it tasted. No exaggeration. I’m not being paid to blog about this product, but if NuGo wants to send me free bars I’ll accept. 🙂

NuGo BarI’ve tried several other flavors since then but the Chocolate Pretzel with Sea Salt is the best. Other video reviews of this product are also commenting that this is the best of the bars. They also have a few totally Vegan bars called the NuGo10 bars that are also great. I’ve tried a number of energy bars and health bars over the years and none of them taste as good as the NuGo bars.

NuGo has put out a wide variety of flavors with some being Gluten Free, Soy & Dairy Free, Vegan, almost Sugar Free, Low Glycemic, and all Organic.

The family of bars as of this writing are…

[raw]

  • NuGo Free
  • NuGo Slim
  • NuGo Organic

  • NuGo Dark
  • NuGo Family
  • Crispy Cat

  • Smart Carb
  • NuGo 10 (Vegan)


[clear]
[/raw]

There are multiple flavors within those products so as you can see they have a lot to choose from. I would recommend the NuGo Dark Pretzel with SeaSalt for sure.

Here’s a quote from the NuGo website as of this writing…

“NuGo makes the finest, healthiest, most delicious bars available today. NuGo believes that pure, natural ingredients are both better for you and better tasting. From our very first bar to the latest, we’ve maintained a commitment to creating great snacks without taking shortcuts. NuGo uses only real milk and dark chocolate on our bars, not fake chocolate coatings made from vegetable fats! Real chocolate gives NuGo bars a distinctively delicious taste. Enjoy.”

Nugo10 Vegan Bars

NuGo10_apple-cinnamonNuGo 10 bars are packed full of raw natural energy! With only 3 nuts, 3 fruits and 4 seeds you are sure to feel refreshed after eating this healthy snack. NuGo 10 is high in fiber, gluten free, dairy free, soy free, and made in a peanut free facility.

Gluten Free • Dairy Free • Peanut Free Facility • Raw • OU Pareve, Vegan

While most of the bars are obviously not completely raw foods, they are quite a bit healthier than most snack alternatives and they taste so good that you won’t want the less healthy stuff anyway. I was honestly blown away by the tastes of these bars. I’ve only tried some of the flavors as of this writing but I suspect most if not all of them are quite good. I’ve found them at Whole Foods and Sprouts but you can also check out their web site at http://www.nugonutrition.com/.

Continue reading...