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iHerb Blog

Gluten Free Granola Recipe that's Packed with Nutritional Value
Gluten Free Granola Recipe that's Packed with Nutritional Value

Granola is usually considered one of the healthier breakfast cereals, but it often has a lot of sugar and not a lot of protein. This recipe changes all of that, and it's gluten free.

Ingredients:

2/3 cup raw shredded coconut

6 Tbs. sesame or flax seeds

4 cups nuts, raw and shelled

1/2 cup sunflower seeds

4 Tbs. melted coconut oil

4 Tbs. maple syrup

1-1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. vanilla extract

2/3 cup dried cranberries or raisins

Instructions:

  1. Line a 9-by-13-inch pan with parchment paper and preheat your oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Set the dried cranberries aside and add all the other ingredients in a large bowl. Mix thoroughly so that the cinnamon, oil, syrup, and vanilla extract coat everything.
  3. Spread mixture evenly in pan and place in oven.
  4. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring occasionally until the nuts are crispy and coconut is golden.
  5. Let cool, and then stir in the cranberries or raisins.
  6. Store in a mason jar in the fridge. This will stay fresh for one week.

This recipe yields approximately 12 half-cup servings. It can be eaten as a cereal with your favorite milk or as a snack.

Be sure to stop by iHerb for your Gluten Free Grocery Needs!

Reference

Amie; Gluten-Free, Paleo Homemade Cranberry Granola {And Why All Calories Are NOT Created Equal}; The Healthy Apple Website; Accessed 10/28/16

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Unexpected Benefit From Furry Pets
Unexpected Benefit From Furry Pets

When most people think of the benefits of having a dog, cat or other furry animal they would likely associate feelings of the unconditional love these animals extend to their owners. Pets are often able to boost our mood and fight off feelings of loneliness. They are also able to produce a number of other proven health benefits enhancing social skills, decreasing a person’s risk of heart attack, and reducing the likelihood of allergies.

Historically, the popular medical thought was that furry pet ownership might lead to the development of allergies, but new data from population-based studies disputes this line of thinking. In fact, some studies show that furry pets actually reduce the development of allergies. A new study from the University of Turko in Finland indicates that the responsible factor maybe that exposure to furry animals leads to changes in the human gut flora and resultant changes in the human system to block allergies.

Background Data:
The rate of allergic diseases among urban populations worldwide has increased dramatically over recent years. It is thought that a reduction in the exposure to natural environmental factors may be responsible. One of the important environmental factors may be exposure to animals as several studies have shown that exposure to furry animals, including early-life contacts with livestock, has been reported to be protective against asthma and allergies. While most researchers have focused on the direct immune response to this exposure, there may be another factor – increased exposure to microbial diversity and its influence on the human microbiome.

New Data:
To explore the relationship to furry pet exposure and the development of allergic diseases like asthma, researchers in Finland examined the gut flora of children enrolled in an ongoing randomized placebo-controlled study in children with a family history of asthma, eczema, hayfever, or food allergy.

The researchers identified infants (n = 51) of...

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Fire Extinguishers
Fire Extinguishers

Natural approaches to whole body inflammation

Inflammation occurs as a reaction to injury or infection. It’s characterized by pain, redness, swelling, and sometimes loss of function. It’s actually part of our natural defense against invading organisms. During inflammation, white blood cells rush to the area to destroy harmful microorganisms and dead cells, thus preventing the spread of irritation and permitting tissue to repair itself.

But sometimes inflammation can produce harmful effects, and that’s a problem. Chronic low-level inflammation plays a central role in many diseases, including cancer, Alzheimer’s, heart disease, and osteoporosis.

When you scrape your knee, it’s easy to see and feel the inflammatory response. But chronic, low-level inflammation, known as “silent inflammation,” is stealthier. To determine the extent of the problem, physicians can measure blood levels of C-reactive protein (CRP). For this reason, I recommend adding a CRP test to your yearly physical. It’s actually a stronger predictor of heart attack than cholesterol levels.

The Anti-Inflammatory Diet

Diet plays a definite role in triggering the inflammatory response. Studies have shown that CRP levels tend to be higher in people with high-glycemic diets. Conversely, a diet that’s rich in fiber and low in refined carbohydrates is associated with lower CRP levels.

In general, diet rich in fruits and vegetables has the greatest benefit. It’s also important to avoid refined or simple sugars, which increase the glycemic load linked to inflammatory response.

Fight Fire with Supplements

Vitamins C and E, zinc, selenium, and flavonoid-rich extracts—such as grape seed or pine bark extract (Pycnogenol)—are the most important antioxidants for fighting inflammation. Supplementation with fish oil products that provide a combined dosage of 3 grams EPA+DHA daily has also proved to be effective in reducing inflammation and producing...

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Smoothie Recipes and Tips

Smoothies are a delicious way to consume lots of fruits and veggies, and they’re the perfect way to start your day.

 Check out this video for awesome tips on how to get the most out of your smoothies - plus three recipe ideas for inspiration!

Mentioned Products:

Organic Hemp Seeds

 Organic White Chia Seeds 

Organic Hemp Seed Oil 

Chloroxygen 

Sunwarrior Vanilla Protein Powder 

Other smoothie add-ins:

Sprouted Almond Butter

Klamath Lake Blue Green Algae

Reference:

Sarah Nagel is a vlogger focusing on living a holistic lifestyle. Check out her YouTube channel here.

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Vitamin D Levels Drop Despite Massive Education Effort
Vitamin D Levels Drop Despite Massive Education Effort

A huge and growing amount of research has now shown that vitamin D deficiency is very common with some studies showing at least 50% of the North American general population having low blood levels of vitamin D – a finding thought to play a major role in the development in many of the chronic degenerative diseases. In fact, vitamin D deficiency may be the most common medical condition in the world and vitamin D supplementation may be the most cost effective strategy in improving health, reducing disease, and living longer. Those deficient in vitamin D have twice the rate of death and a doubling of risk for many diseases, such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, asthma and autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis. The human genome contains more than 2,700 binding sites for active D3; those binding sites are near genes involved in virtually every known major disease of humans.

Background Information

Vitamin D is actually more of a “prohormone” than a vitamin. We produce vitamin D3 in our body by the reaction of a chemical in our skin in response to sunlight. This vitamin D3 is converted by the liver and then the kidneys to its active hormonal form 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3.

The ideal method for determining the optimal dosage requires a readily available blood test for 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 or 25(OH)D3. For optimum health, blood levels should be between 50-80 ng/mL. While some people can achieve an optimal level with just 600 IU per day (or 20 minutes of daily sunlight exposure) others may require as much 10,000 IU per day. The only way to determine where a person may fall is by testing. Many doctors are now routinely checking vitamin D status in their patients.

Risk Factors in a Vitamin D Deficiency 

Insufficient exposure to sunlight – working and playing indoors, covering up with clothes or sunscreen when outside, residing at a high latitude.


Aging – seniors are at greater risk due to lack of mobility and skin that is less...

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