July 10, 2017
July 10, 2017
June 10, 2017
Live from the strawberry crate towers – grow more strawberries when you follow a few simple tips I also answer your garden questions.
May 2, 2017
A new animal study showed that 500g of concentrated strawberry extract (equivalent to around 10 and 15 strawberries) can reduce breast cancer cell growth. Researchers noted that their findings build on existing data that prove the usefulness of strawberries in reducing blood cholesterol levels. Published in Scientific Reports, authors claimed that a diet that is rich in strawberries can potentially prevent or treat breast cancer.
“We have shown for the first time that strawberry extract, rich in phenolic compounds, inhibits the proliferation of breast cancer cells in in vitro and in vivo models,” wrote Maurizio Battino, co-author of the study, in an article on ScienceDaily.com. Battino explained the process of the study as such: cells from a highly aggressive, invasive A17 tumor line were treated with various concentrations (between 0.5 and 5 mg/ml) of Alba strawberry extract, for periods of 24, 48, and 72 hours. Battino and his team found that all cells demonstrated decreased cell viability; with the amount of change dependent on the dosage and time. Furthermore, it was seen that the strawberry extract reduced the expression of several genes associated with the invasion and metastasis of cancer cells.
In the in vivo model, the team used female laboratory mice. When these mice were one month old, they were divided into two groups. One was given a standard diet, the other an enriched diet, which was 15 percent strawberry extract. After following their respective diets for another month, all mice were injected with A17 breast cancer cells. These tumors were monitored biweekly by palpation. Battino and his team extracted the tumors after five weeks and analyzed their specific weight and volume. Data saw that a strawberry extract supplemented diet stopped the propagation of cancer cells to adjacent healthy tissue. The tumors were also significantly smaller in both weight and volume.
Despite these positive results, researchers stressed that these involved animal models and cannot be assumed to be similar for humans. Battino stressed this with the explanation that “the majority of diseases, including cancer, are complex and involve complex interactions between cellular and molecular systems that determine the development of the disease. These results are without a doubt valid for understanding potential effects of strawberries on breast cancer and the molecular mechanisms involved, but they must be complemented with clinical and epidemiological studies to verify whether humans experience the same positive effects as we have observed in mice.”
Another factor to note, authors said, is that the concentration of phenolic compounds in strawberries (which is known to be the catalyst of these beneficial health effects) vary greatly between varieties. That being said, researchers concluded their study with the suggestion that a healthy lifestyle and nutrient-dense diet can dramatically reduce the risk of developing any form of cancer.
Despite the study using strawberry extract, consuming the fresh fruit can still improve overall health. Strawberries are excellent sources of various antioxidants and contain essential nutrients and vitamins such as potassium, manganese, and magnesium. The berry is also loaded with vitamin C.
Studies have shown that consuming ample amounts of strawberries can reduce blood pressure levels by negating the effects of sodium in the body. Wellness experts also recommend the berry for diabetic patients. Strawberries score low in the glycemic food index and help regulate blood sugar. There is research that suggest eating around 37 strawberries a day can reduce diabetes-related complications such as kidney disease and neuropathy.
A Harvard study concluded that regular consumption of anthocyanins (a type of flavonoids found in berries) can reduce the risk of a heart attack by 32 percent in young and middle-aged women. Researchers noted that women who ate three servings of strawberries or blueberries per week fared the best.
These are just a few examples of the numerous health benefits strawberries offer. It wouldn’t hurt to try integrating this delicious superfood in your diet today. Discover more news about anti-cancer food nutrients at Nutrients.news.
April 24, 2017
November 11, 2016
Planting strawberry runners in strawberry crate towers is a quick and simple way to have an endless supply of FREE plants. This means more fruit and lots of plants to share with friends so they can grow berries too. I’ll share how to do this and also a strawberry crate tower overwintering tip.
Valerie Burke, MSM
November 2, 2015
How can one food group offer so many incredible health benefits, from preventing heart attack, stroke and dementia to protecting you from the flu? The answer is phytonutrients, and berries are simply loaded. Reading this “berry primer” will have you snatching them by the handfuls.
As the rock stars of the fruit kingdom, berries are some of the most disease preventive foods on the planet, coveted by our hunter-gatherer ancestors for millennia. Modern science is now revealing why these little red and purple beauties have been so revered—their high levels of polyphenols and other nutrients provide health benefits from head to toe.
Berries boost your immunity and calm inflammation because they’re packed so full of antioxidants, vitamins and fiber—in fact, they contain some of the highest antioxidant levels of all foods. Berries protect your heart and brain and slow down aging—and they’re a cancer cell’s worst nightmare. They’re also lower in sugar than most other fruits so less likely to destabilize your insulin.
You may have heard references to polyphenols, flavonoids, flavanols, anthocyanins, and other technical terms. These can be confusing, so before we get into health benefits, let’s review some basic berry nomenclature to build a foundation for your appreciation.
A berry is scientifically defined as a fleshy fruit produced by the ovary of a single flower, which includes fruits not commonly considered berries such as grapes, bananas, tomatoes, cucumbers, and eggplants—but excluding strawberries and raspberries. Although various horticultural camps disagree about what constitutes a berry, this article will focus on the common culinary classification, what we see at the market labeled as “berries.”
The naturally occurring compounds primarily responsible for berries’ nutritional value are the following:
· Phytochemicals (sometimes called phytonutrients) are naturally occurring plant compounds with protective or disease preventive properties. The thousands of phytochemicals are divided into three categories: phenolic acids (which are polyphenols), flavonoids, and stilbenes/lignans.
· Polyphenols are the most abundant natural antioxidants in our food supply. Examples include resveratrol (grapes), ellagic acid (nuts and berries), capsaicin (hot peppers), epigallocatechin gallate or EGCG (green tea), quercetin, tannins, and diferuloylmethanes (found only in turmeric).
· Flavonoids are the most diverse group of polyphenols (there are 4,000!). Flavonoids are what give berries and other fruits and veggies their vibrant colors, as well as stellar antioxidant properties. Plants produce flavonoids to protect themselves from parasites, oxidative injury and harsh climatic conditions. Flavonoids benefit more than 200 different diseases with 79 different pharmaceutical actions, including cardioprotective, neuroprotective and antineoplastic. Flavonoids are divided in several subclasses, including flavanols (includes catechins and proanthrocyanidins), flavones, isoflavones (soy), and anthocyanins.
· Anthocyanins are pigments giving plants (including berries) their deep red, purple and blue colors. The darker the berry, the more anthocyanin it contains. This pigment has significant cardioprotective, neuroprotective and antitumor properties, as well as many others.
One of the most remarkable gifts from berries is the protection they afford your heart, which results mostly from their anthocyanin content. Anthocyanins support the endothelial lining of your circulatory system by improving blood pressure, reducing oxidative stress and inflammation, enhancing capillary strength, inhibiting platelet formation, and preventing the buildup of arterial plaque.
One in three US adults now has high blood pressure, and multiple studies show the benefits of blueberries for blood pressure and overall heart health. A study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics involving high-risk postmenopausal women found that consuming one cup of blueberries daily for eight weeks reduced blood pressure and arterial stiffness, possibly due to increased nitric oxide production.
Women who consume more than three servings of blueberries and strawberries per week were found to have a 32 percent lower risk of heart attack. One cup of mixed berries per day has been shown to lower blood pressure and raise beneficial HDL. Blueberries offer additional protection from type 2 diabetes by stabilizing blood sugar levels and improving insulin sensitivity. In a scientific review of the cardioprotective benefits of anthocyanins, researchers wrote:
“Epidemiological studies suggest that increased consumption of anthocyanins lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD), the most common cause of mortality among men and women.
Anthocyanins frequently interact with other phytochemicals, exhibiting synergistic biological effects but making contributions from individual components difficult to decipher. Over the past 2 decades, many peer-reviewed publications have demonstrated that in addition to their noted in vitro antioxidant activity, anthocyanins may regulate different signaling pathways involved in the development of CVD.”
Berries are some of the best foods you can eat to lower your risk for Alzheimer’s disease and other neurological disorders. A Chinese study found the incidence of dementia (Alzheimer’s, vascular and other forms) was more than 500 percent higher for those who did not consume berries on a regular basis. A team of international researchers reviewed the science of berries’ neuroprotective effects and drew the following conclusions:
Berries significantly reduce the risk for multiple types of dementia
· Strawberries decrease oxidation and build neurological health
· Bilberries protect against arterial and neural damage
· Black currants discourage the formation of beta-amyloid plaques, which are common in dementia
· Blueberries are associated with improved memory and learning, as well as reduced radical oxidation species that harm brain cells
The benefits of strawberries for your brain is at least partly explained by a recently discovered compound called fisetin, a flavonol similar to quercetin that’s found in strawberries and several other fruits and vegetables. Research published in Aging Cell found fisetin prevented mice who were programmed to develop Alzheimer’s disease from actually developing it. Pamela Maher’s research team identified numerous ways in which fisetin works on metabolic pathways to reduce age-related cognitive decline, including raising intracellular glutathione levels and reducing brain inflammation, all of which she summarized in a 2009 paper.
If you’re simply feeling blue, maybe you need to EAT more blue! Low dopamine levels can result in depression and other mood disturbances, but anthocyanins and proanthrocyanidins help your brain produce more dopamine.  Or try some goji berries, shown to substantially increase feelings of well-being and improve cognitive performance after only two weeks.
There is evidence that berries (particularly blueberries, possibly because they’ve been the most studied) can help protect you from cancer, including breast, colon, liver and melanoma.
Blueberries are found to induce apoptosis (cell death) in virulent breast cancer cell lines. An isolate in blueberries named pterostilbene (related to resveratrol) was shown to selectively kill cancer stem cells and suppress the adverse effects of radiation. In fact, pterostilbene has demonstrated anti-cancer activity against breast, colon, gastric, esophageal and prostate cancers. However, blueberries aren’t the only berries with anticarcinogenic effects. The acai berry shows promise in treating leukemia and colon cancer, as well as supporting overall immune function, metabolism and arthritis. Bilberry inhibits colon cancer and leukemia. Blackberries and black raspberries have been demonstrated to be antiproliferative.
The bottom line is, if you want to capitalize on the healing power of berries, an excellent strategy is to incorporate them into your diet on a daily basis—and the more variety the better. To maximize antioxidant benefits, go organic. One study found that organically grown blueberries have significantly higher concentrations of phenol antioxidants and anthocyanins than conventionally grown, as well as significantly higher total antioxidant capacity.
Each berry has its own special complement of phytochemicals, so add multiple types of berries to your list next time you’re hunting and gathering at your local farmers market.
Berry Special Health Benefits
Strawberry: Improved lipid profile, reduced cardiovascular and type 2 diabetes risk; protection from esophageal cancer; eight strawberries have more vitamin C than a medium sized orange
Raspberry: Support for esophageal cancer, erectile dysfunction and low sperm count
Goji Berry: Protects male reproductive organs from damage by endocrine disrupting chemicals, such as BPA
Black Currant: Support for brain power mood, allergies and rheumatoid arthritis
Elderberry: Inhibits influenza A and B as effectively as amantadine or Tamiflu
Schisandra berry: Improves mitochondrial function
Read More At: GreenMedInfo.com
© November 2nd, 2015 GreenMedInfo LLC. This work is reproduced and distributed with the permission of GreenMedInfo LLC. Want to learn more from GreenMedInfo? Sign up for the newsletter here http://www.greenmedinfo.com/greenmed/newsletter.
 Johnson SA et al. Daily Blueberry Consumption Improves Blood Pressure and Arterial Stiffness in Postmenopausal Women with Pre- and Stage 1-Hypertension: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics 2015 March;115(3):369-377
 Wei, CJ et al. Risk factors for dementia in highly educated elderly people in Tianjin, China. Clin Neurol & Neurosurg. 2014 July;122:408 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clineuro.2014.04.004
 Subash S. et al. Neuroprotective effects of berry fruits on neurodegenerative diseases. Neural Regen Res. 2014 Aug 15; 9(16): 1557–1566.
 Currais A. et al. Modulation of p25 and inflammatory pathways by fisetin maintains cognitive function in Alzheimer’s disease transgenic mice. Aging Cell. 2014 Apr;13(2):379-90. doi: 10.1111/acel.12185. Epub 2013 Dec 17. PMCID: PMC3954948
 Maher P. Modulation of multiple pathways involved in the maintenance of neuronal function during aging by fisetin. Genes Nutr. 2009 Dec; 4(4): 297–307. doi: 10.1007/s12263-009-0142-5
 Rahman MM. et al. Effects of anthocyanins on psychological stress-induced oxidative stress and neurotransmitter status. J Agric Food Chem. 2008 Aug 27;56(16):7545-50. doi: 10.1021/jf800930s. Epub 2008 Jul 29.
Wang SY. et al. Fruit Quality, Antioxidant Capacity, and Flavonoid Content of Organically and Conventionally Grown Blueberries. J Agric Food Chem. 2008 July; 56 (14):5788–5794 DOI: 10.1021/jf703775r
July 31, 2016
Visit https://calikimgardenandhome.com to get your free growing guide, “Grow 3 Vegetables in 6 Weeks”.
In this episode, I share with you 3 quick and easy tips to help you grow more strawberries in the strawberry crate towers! Let me know how your strawberry crate towers are doing!
April 19, 2016
You’ve probably heard that purple foods — from blueberries to purple versions of foods such as potatoes — are particularly good for your health, and you may have wondered what’s behind this effect. In fact, it literally is the purple color itself that’s good for you — the pigments that give foods their purple color are a family of potent antioxidants known as anthocyanins.
Studies have linked anthocyanins to lowered risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, neurological disease, cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease. They also appear to help control — and possibly prevent — obesity and diabetes, in part by inhibiting certain digestive enzymes and helping control levels of blood sugar. They are potent anti-inflammatories, and are therefore also likely to reduce the risk of most chronic diseases.
So how can you boost your intake of these super-antioxidants? Primarily by eating deep red, blue and purple fruits and vegetables. This includes all berries, including strawberries, as well as other fruits including cherries, pomegranates and plums.
Some vegetables are only high in anthocyanins if you pick the variety with the right color: purple sweet potatoes, red onions and purple cabbage, for example. Other high-anthocyanin vegetables include beets and eggplant. In the case of eggplant, be sure not to throw away the skin, as that’s where most of the anthocyanins reside. The skin is also high in fiber, potassium and magnesium.
The skins of red and purple grapes are of course a good source of anthocyanins, which also makes red wine a good source of this antioxidant. Along with resveratrol (another powerful antioxidant), anthocyanins may be responsible for many of the remarkable health benefits of red wine.
All of the above are foods that are relatively easy to come by. But if you’re in the mood for something that’s less common in the US diet, there are some other anthocyanin-rich foods you can try. One of these is guava fruit, and particularly the blue-green peels. Another is black rice, or, if that’s too expensive, Kerala Red rice. Both of these are natural varieties of rice — not to be confused with genetically modified “Golden Rice.”
December 28, 2015
Magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in your body. More than 3,750 magnesium-binding sites have been detected on human proteins,1 and it’s required for more than 300 different enzymes in your body.
In short, magnesium plays an important role in a wide variety of biochemical processes, including the following:
|Creation of ATP2,3 (adenosine triphospate), the energy molecules of your body||Action of your heart muscle||Proper formation of bones and teeth|
|Relaxation of blood vessels||Regulation of blood sugar levels||Activating muscles and nerves|
|Helping digest proteins, carbohydrates, and fats||Serving as a cofactor for RNA and DNA||It’s also a catalyst for neurotransmitters like serotonin|
As is the case with vitamin D, if you don’t have enough magnesium, your body simply cannot function optimally, and insufficient cellular magnesium levels set the stage for deterioration of metabolic function that can snowball into more serious health problems.
For starters, magnesium is critical for the optimization of your mitochondria, which have enormous potential to influence your health, especially the prevention of cancer.
In fact, optimizing mitochondrial metabolism may be at the core of effective cancer treatment. But your mitochondrial function is also crucial for overall good health, energy, and athletic performance.
Optimizing Mitochondrial Function with Magnesium
Mitochondria are tiny organelles, originally thought to be derived from bacteria. Most cells have anywhere from 1 to 2,000 of them. Your organs need energy to function properly, and that energy is produced by the mitochondria in each cell.
Since mitochondrial function is at the very heart of everything that occurs in your body, optimizing mitochondrial function (and preventing mitochondrial dysfunction) by making sure you get all the right nutrients and precursors your mitochondria need is extremely important for health and disease prevention.
As explained by Rhonda Patrick, Ph.D., in the video above, magnesium plays an important role. Patrick has done extensive research on the link between mitochondrial metabolism, apoptosis and cancer, and on the effects of hyperthermic conditioning on muscle growth.
High-intensity interval training helps optimize athletic performance by increasing your oxidative capacity, meaning the ability of your muscle cells to consume oxygen. Your oxidative capacity relies on your mitochondria’s ability to produce ATP by consuming that oxygen inside the cell.
As noted by Patrick, “You want your ATP production to exceed your ATP consumption, in order to enhance or maximize your performance and avoid muscle fatigue.”
You can increase your oxidative capacity in two ways:
Common Causes for Magnesium Deficiency
A century ago, we were getting an estimated 500 milligrams (mg) of magnesium from the food we ate, courtesy of the nutrient-rich soil in which it was grown. Today, estimates suggest we’re only getting 150 to 300 mg a day from our food supply.
As noted by Patrick, eating a diet rich in calories and poor in micronutrients (read processed foods) is a primary risk factor for magnesium deficiency, for the simple reason that magnesium resides at the center of the chlorophyll molecule.
Chlorophyll, as you may know, is what gives plants their green color. Most Americans eat far too few fruits and vegetables, which may explain why more than half of the American public is deficient in magnesium.
In addition to not getting sufficient amounts from your diet, magnesium is also lost through stress, lack of sleep, alcohol consumption, and prescription drug use (especially diuretics, statins, fluoride and fluoride-containing drugs such as fluoroquinolone antibiotics).
Magnesium levels can also decline in the presence of certain hormones, such as estrogen. If you have elevated insulin levels — which an estimated 80 percent of Americans do — you’re quite likely to have low magnesium levels.4
Increasing your magnesium intake may actually go a long way toward improving your condition, or warding off insulin resistance and diabetes in the first place. In one study,5 prediabetics with the highest magnesium intake reduced their risk for blood sugar and metabolic problems by 71 percent.
A second study6 also found that higher magnesium intake reduces the risk of impaired glucose and insulin metabolism and slows progression from pre-diabetes to diabetes.
According to the authors, “Magnesium intake may be particularly beneficial in offsetting your risk of developing diabetes, if you are high risk.” The mechanism by which magnesium controls glucose and insulin homeostasis appears to involve two genes responsible for magnesium homeostasis.7
Magnesium is also required to activate tyrosine kinase, an enzyme that functions as an “on” or “off” switch in many cellular functions and is required for the proper function of your insulin receptors. Last but not least, digestive problems such as Crohn’s disease and leaky gut impair your body’s ability to absorb magnesium, which is yet another cause of inadequate magnesium levels.
As noted by Dr. Dean, it’s quite possible that magnesium insufficiency is part of why health problems such as heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure are so prevalent these days. It may also play a role in fibromyalgia,8 magnesium deficiency is a well-recognized factor in migraines.9