The Unknown Secret of Honeybush Tea

Honeybush tea is probably the most underrated and least known health beverage I’ve come across. Grown in the high mountains of the Western and Eastern Cape regions of South Africa, this unique plant is not only delicious but it is extremely healthy for you. Honeybush tea is made from the leaves, stems and flowers of the honeybush shrub. It’s been cultivated by the indigenous people of South Africa for hundreds of years. The Tea contains no caffeine, very little tannins, has many of the same health benefits as rooibos tea and makes a superb iced tea. Each cup contains healthy anti-oxidants, along with minerals such as: Calcium, Copper, Iron, Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium, Magnesium, Manganese and Zinc. This herb is said to have positive effects in preventing breast, prostate, and uterine cancer; reducing the risk of osteoporosis; having anti-fungal and anti-viral properties; lowering cholesterol levels, and much more. Most important of all, Honeybush is a pleasant tasting beverage that can be consumed every day.

My Thoughts:

I really love honeybush tea! I currently drink the organic honeybush tea from Numi. If you haven’t tried it before, I highly recommend it. Honeybush tea is also a great tea base if you want to create your own tea. I just started adding fresh organic mint leaves to each cup…so delicious! Would love to hear what everyone else thinks of Honeybush Tea.

Eating Pecans Protects Your Brain and Fights Disease

Lowell, MA – Eating about a handful of pecans each day may play a role in protecting the nervous system, according to a new animal study published in the current issue of Current Topics in Nutraceutical Research. The study, conducted at the Center for Cellular Neurobiology at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, suggests adding pecans to your diet may delay the progression of age-related motor neuron degeneration. This may include diseases like amyotropic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

Researchers suggest vitamin E – a natural antioxidant found in pecans – may provide a key element to neurological protection shown in the study. Antioxidants are nutrients found in foods that help protect against cell damage, and studies have shown, can help fight diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, cancer and heart disease. Pecans are the most antioxidant-rich tree nut and are among the top 15 foods to contain the highest antioxidant capacity, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). “These findings suggest regular consumption of pecans may provide significant nutritive and antioxidant benefits for your body,” said lead researcher Thomas B. Shea, PhD. Dr. Shea and his research team carried out a number of laboratory studies on three groups of mice specifically bred to demonstrate severe decline in motor neuron function that are commonly used in studies of ALS.

Each of the three groups was fed a control diet or one of two diets containing differing amounts of pecans ground into their food. Standard testing methods were used to determine how well the mice scored relative to motor neuron functions, both before and after they were provided with one of the three diets. Mice provided a diet supplemented with pecans displayed a significant delay in decline in motor function compared to mice receiving no pecans. Mice eating the diet with the most pecans (0.05%) fared best.

Both pecan groups fared significantly better than those whose diets contained no pecans. The result was based on how the mice performed in highly specific tests, each of which compared mice on the control diet with mice consuming pecan-enriched diets. “Eating healthy doesn’t have to mean eating bland,” said Beth Hubrich, a registered dietitian with the National Pecan Shellers Association. “Pecans are a tasty addition to a healthy diet and scientific research continues to show they’re good for you as well.”

Eating a handful of pecans will also provide you with more than 19 vitamins and minerals, including vitamin A, folic acid, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc and several B vitamins, Hubrich said. Pecans are naturally cholesterol-free and sodium-free.

Top 10 Organic Food Buying Tips

Whether you’re already a fan of organic foods or you just want to shop wisely and handle your food safely, consider these tips:

  • Buy fruits and vegetables in season to ensure the highest quality.

Also, try to buy your produce the day it’s delivered to market to ensure that you’re buying the freshest food possible. Ask your grocer what day new produce arrives.

  • Read food labels carefully.

Just because a product says it’s organic or contains organic ingredients doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a healthier alternative. Some organic products may still be high in sugar, salt, fat or calories.

  • Don’t confuse natural foods with organic foods.

Only those products with the “USDA Organic” label have met USDA standards.

  • Wash all fresh fruits and vegetables thoroughly with running water to reduce the amount of dirt and bacteria.

If appropriate, use a small scrub brush — for example, before eating apples, potatoes, cucumbers or other produce in which you eat the outer skin.

  • If you’re concerned about pesticides, peel your fruits and vegetables and trim outer leaves of leafy vegetables in addition to washing them thoroughly.

Keep in mind that peeling your fruits and vegetables may also reduce the amount of nutrients and fiber. Some pesticide residue also collects in fat, so remove fat from meat and the skin from poultry and fish.

  • Buy organic food at farmer’s markets when you can.

Not only is this a great way to buy organic food that’s in season but you get to talk to the farmers directly about how the food is grown. Plus you support the farmers who have invested in organic growing processes.

  • Buy in bulk.

Whether you’re shopping at a natural foods store, supermarket or co-op, buying in bulk is a great way to stretch your food dollar. For beans, grains, lentils and nuts, head straight for the bulk containers. Just make sure you have a cool, dry place in your kitchen to store your dry goods for a few months. Not every item you can buy in bulk is worth the bother. Do the math.

  • Be flexible.

To nab the best deals on organic foods you need to be a focused, yet flexible, shopper. Always shop with a list but never be afraid to snap up a good bargain when you see one. Write “three vegetables” on your shopping list and then look around at store specials. Do the same for proteins and grains. Never ever buy an item that you don’t need just because it’s on sale or you have a coupon.

  • Shop online.

Can’t find a local source for the organic food you want? Don’t give up. Hop online. You may be able to order the organic foods that you want online.The GreenPeople directory from the Organic Consumer Association is a good place to begin your online search for affordable organic foods. A roundup of additional organic directories is also available on the site. And be sure to check out this list of cyber-markets offering organic products from Organic Kitchen. Shop wisely.

  • Grow your own.

If you’re really serious about garden-fresh organic produce, why not plant your own? Seeds are available from companies such as Seeds of Change. And Organic Kitchen has a big roundup of organic gardening tips. Start small. Carrots, radishes, and beets are easy to grow.

Is Cheap Food Worth Risking Your Life?

While relying mainly on hard work, yield variations, composts, green manures, organic pest controls, and mechanical cultivation for a productive agriculture, the Organic community has managed to produce globally accepted crops and livestock even without resorting to synthetically made soil enrichers, chemical pesticides, plant growth enhancers, genetically modified organisms and alternative feeds.

The organic market nowadays still continues to grow in a precipitous pace that their forty years of extensive labor and prowess enabled them to build a $25 billion a year market that provides the consumers in the U.S. a healthier alternative to the affordable yet perilous modernized or industrialized agricultural services in terms of food products. According to the latest sales statistics, there are more than 75 million Americans who are sentient about their health and environment that they are more willing to pay more for all-organic products, despite the present economic state. These organic consumers are aware that healthy living is to eat organic, as fresh unpreserved organic foods contain more essential nutrients that aid in boosting the immune system and help prevent cancer. Buying organic also helps in reducing the greenhouse effect and can also be the solution to the imminent falling-off of global fuel reserve and the very costly healthcare services. Organic farming provides us all with a good quality of life. On the contrary,

Industrial agriculture offers nothing but health and environmental hazards and cruelty to animals such as hypertension, obesity, food poisoning brought about by pesticides, high risk for cancer because of the use of chemical, preservatives and radiation, water contamination, and climate change. The claim that industrialized foods and food products are cheaper compared to organic is actually not true. As a matter of fact, they are more costly if the hundreds of billions of dollars that the citizens pay for the annual taxes, health care and environmental maintenance are to be taken into account.

Even the pandemic AH1N1 or the Swine Flu Virus can be directly ascribed to the poorly tended farming lands. There are also products that claim to be “natural” however they’re not. Be sure to buy products that are certified by the USDA National Organic Program (NOP). Certified food and other organic products are 95-100% purely organic. This means that the farmer or producer adhered to the strict regulation of the NOP in terms of organic agriculture and that no synthetic fertilizers, GMOs, irradiation or any forms of industrial agriculture is practiced. The scary fact is that the organic and “natural” food industry is controlled by huge corporations and we all know what they care about: profits and market share.

The UNFI and the WFM are but two of the biggest and most monopolizing wholesalers and retailers of the industry, selling mainly so-called “natural” but not organic products. Because of their vast grip of the market, the small coop and grocery owners find it hard to compete in selling their mostly organic products.