Raw Food Fans Listen Up: Always Cook these Foods Before Eating

Raw Food Fans Listen Up: Always Cook these Foods Before Eating

Claremont Colonic Newsletter
For anyone consuming a standard American diet that’s heavy on processed meat, dairy, and overcooked vegetables, adding the right raw foods can certainly boost your health. Raw foods have a lot going for them, especially when it comes to preserving nutrients. Yet, there are still some foods that are unsafe if eaten raw and others that are simply more nutritious when cooked. Here are nine foods you should avoid eating raw.

Raw cookie dough
If eating raw cookie dough is your favorite indulgence when baking, listen up! Tasting uncooked food made with flour could make you seriously ill, suggests a study published in The New England Journal of Medicine. Research, which led to a recall of more than ten million pounds of flour in 2016, found that a type of E. coli bacteria previously discovered in wet environments, like ground beef and lettuce, can also thrive in dry hosts like baking flour. A total of 56 cases of infection were identified in 24 states. Over a quarter of patients were hospitalized. One even went into kidney failure. All of the people, however, recovered.

Raw beans
Raw kidney beans are hard and bitter. So, it’s unlikely anyone would grab a handful to snack on. Nevertheless, it’s important to understand that there is a reason beans need to be cooked to a soft state. Beans contain proteins called phytohemagglutinin. When these beans are eaten raw or are inadequately cooked, they are toxic and can lead to food poisoning, reports the Independent. There are other beans that contain phytohemagglutinin, but red kidney beans have the highest concentration. So, just a handful of raw or undercooked kidney beans is enough to cause gastrointestinal issues like vomiting, nausea, and diarrhea two to three hours after eating. In fact, the more you eat, the more intense your symptoms will be.

Raw potatoes
Make sure you have cooked your potatoes through. Unlike pasta, al-dente potatoes can be dangerous. Raw potatoes are potentially toxic because of a compound called solanine. Even in small amounts, solanine is highly toxic, according to MedlinePlus. Potatoes with just a little green under the skin have a higher concentration of solanine. Moreover, potatoes that have started to sprout eyes also have a higher concentration of solanine. Potato poisoning may cause stomach pain, headache, and even paralysis. Therefore, if you cut into a potato that’s green throughout, don’t eat it — even when cooked.

Raw olives
Raw olives, like potatoes, are something you don’t want to eat raw. While they won’t make you sick, unprocessed olives straight from the tree are very bitter. And green olives are by far the most bitter, thanks to a compound called oleuropein. The only way to remove the bitterness and make them edible is by curing them with either a lye or brine solution, according to Cook’s Info. Although some raw food enthusiasts may eat raw olives, no Mediterranean olive producer would ever consider eating them straight off the tree.

Raw wild mushrooms
Raw wild mushrooms are rough on the stomach and tough to digest. Cooking them helps you avoid serving up gastrointestinal distress. Additionally, many are actually quite toxic and even potentially deadly when eaten raw. Cooking, on the other hand, breaks down the harmful compounds. That said, some wild mushrooms are deadly raw or cooked. So, unless you are 100 percent certain a wild mushroom is edible, don’t eat it!

Raw pork
Yes, you can eat raw steak tartar. No, you can’t eat raw pork. Sure, the danger associated with eating uncooked or undercooked pork has lessened over the years. Still, eating pork raw is not advised. A study published in Comprehensive Reviews looked at how Salmonella, Campylobacter, Trichinella spiralis, Toxoplasma gondii, Listeria monocytogenes, and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus relates to the pork industry. Researchers found that, overall, pork does contribute to foodborne diseases. One parasite you definitely don’t want in your gut and intestines is tapeworm. A tapeworm can grow longer than 12 feet and live inside its host for years, suggests Medline Plus. It has many segments, and each segment can produce eggs. So, pass on the raw or undercooked pork.

Raw chicken
Of course, just like pork, chicken should never be eaten raw or pink — no matter what some chefs advise. Between the processing plant and the supermarket, raw chicken picks up lots and lots of nasty bacteria. If digested, it can cause chills, diarrhea, and fever. In fact, salmonella poisoning, often linked to contaminated foods like poultry, affects about 1.4 million Americans each year. It’s also responsible for almost half the bacterial infections in the U.S., according to Medical News Today.

Raw asparagus
You may find a few shaved asparagus salad recipes floating around the internet. But, in reality, asparagus is a vegetable that really should be cooked. Some vegetables are just more beneficial for your health when eaten cooked, and asparagus falls in this category. Asparagus has more cancer-fighting antioxidants when cooked. Cooking also increases the absorption of vital nutrients like vitamins A, B, C, E, and K. You won’t get sick from eating raw asparagus, but cooking it will help break down the fiber, making it easier to digest.

Raw sprouts
Like any fresh produce that’s eaten raw or lightly cooked, sprouts carry a risk of foodborne illness, suggests Foodsafety.gov. While they’re certainly tasty on top of salad, use them with caution. When uncooked, they can harbor harmful bacteria such as salmonella, E. coli and listeria. Sprouts should only be purchased fresh. But young children, pregnant women, the elderly, and anyone whose immune is compromised should avoid sprouts altogether.

So, what about those homegrown sprouts, you ask? Well, when it comes to harmful bacteria, they’re not immune. Even if just a few harmful bacteria are present in or on the seed, the bacteria will multiply quickly during sprouting, even under the sanitary conditions of your home.

Contributor: The Alternative Daily

Your True Crime Obsession Could Be Hurting Your Mental Health

Your True Crime Obsession Could Be Hurting Your Mental Health

Claremont Colonic Clinic Newsletter
After a year on high alert, flooding your system with nerve-wracking entertainment may exacerbate problems in other areas of life.
Over the past few years, America’s fascination with true crime has blossomed. Series from the podcast “Serial” to Netflix’s Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel have garnered huge followings due, largely, to audiences’ morbid curiosity and the taboo of it all: Why did they do it? How did they do it? What drives them? How were they able to move about society undetected? There’s also the desire to understand the dark side of the human condition. Women—who are often the primary consumers of true crime, according to a 2010 study—tend to view true crime as an educational tool, providing a framework on how to detect potential abusers and avoid dangerous situations. Plus, an unsolved mystery can be entertaining as hell.

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with a daily true crime habit, but if you’re feeling depressed, anxious, or paranoid, you may need to re-evaluate how much you’re taking in. Recent research showed that when people actively consumed crime news, whether through news outlets, radio, or television documentaries, they reported being more fearful of crime—regardless of actual crime rates. The same can be said for true crime fans. It’s important to monitor how you’re feeling as you’re listening, reading, or watching—which is easier said than done—and be aware of how these stories may negatively impact your mental health.

For starters, overconsumption of murder podcasts can give you the overinflated sense that serial killers are constantly lurking around us. (According to the FBI, serial murder accounts for less than one percent of all murders in a given year.) “I’m convinced I’m going to be killed on a daily basis and I know logically that is probably not going to happen,” Amanda Vicary, the chair of the psychology department at Illinois Wesleyan University and author of the 2010 study on true crime fan demographics, told VICE. “It’s hard to keep logic in mind when you’re watching and hearing these stories all the time.”

Another problem is that the stories depicted in true crime series hardly represent the full scope of crime in the U.S. country. The cases that tend to be shared are ones that captivate an audience due to their uniqueness and even then, they tend to be sensationalized, psychologist Erica Rojas told VICE. “Ask yourself: Are they accurate depictions of the average event that happens? Not really,” she said. “On the one hand, it’s certainly healthy to prepare ourselves for this dangerous event out there, but on the other hand, living in this state of alertness can really lead to unnecessary paranoia sometimes.”

Vicary, who is currently studying people’s anxiety levels after they listen to a true crime podcast, said she has heard anecdotes from people who acted more cautiously because of true crime content. This caution becomes a problem, she said, when you’re unable to leave the house because of your fear, or when you’re hesitant to exchange small talk with strangers in public (something that has been shown to make you happier and feel more connected to your community).

A constant state of high alert, paranoia, and hypervigilance is helpful when we’re trying to protect ourselves from threat in a genuine crisis, Jessica Micono, a forensic psychology professor at Regis University and co-host of the podcast Psychology After Dark, told VICE. But persistent hypervigilance that stems from a diet of true crime can lead to increased overall stress. “That increased stress can subsequently lead to stress-related illnesses, things like cardiovascular disease or hypertension,” Micono said.

Prolonged exposure to true crime can activate the sympathetic nervous system, the part of the nervous system responsible for the fight or flight response, Rojas said. “What happens when that’s activated is it produces these heightened levels of stress hormones,” she said. “So, they’re good in the moment, they get our adrenaline running, they make us run or avoid that physical threat. Where it can get tricky is if there’s long term and chronic exposure to this, it can lead to mental health problems, like anxiety and depression, and physical health problems, like a decreased immune response or medical issues.”

After a year on high alert because of the pandemic, flooding your system with nerve-wracking entertainment may exacerbate problems in other areas of life. “If you’re going through day-to-day life at this heightened level of fear as your baseline, how are you able to manage other stressors that might happen normally in your day-to-day life, like living in a pandemic?” therapist Erin Parisi told VICE. “Our baselines are already pretty high at that point. You have a bad day at work or you maybe have an argument with your partner and then it can quickly become too much. Everything piles on.”

Additionally, overexposure to terrifying stories, especially before bed, can permeate our subconscious and cause nightmares. Prolonged sleep deprivation can result in high blood pressure, diabetes, heart attack, heart failure, obesity, depression, and more.

If your true crime habit is inhibiting your ability to leave the house, get work done, or live without an overwhelming sense of paranoia—feeling like you’re constantly being followed, assuming every noise you hear at night is a murderer breaking in, incorrectly assuming every stranger you encounter will harm you—experts suggest seeking help from a mental health professional. Especially if you already experience anxiety and depression, these stories could compound your symptoms, Vicary said, so a therapist can help you work through your triggers and trauma.

And, like most good things, it’s a good idea to enjoy your true crime in moderation. When you feel the weight of murder and deception bogging you down, switch up your entertainment to include some comedy or mindless reality TV to lighten the mood. “Some of us enjoy that little adrenaline dump from true crime, and others like playing armchair detective, and that’s all fine, that’s entertaining,” Micono said. “It’s important to honor those dark interests; it’s also important to engage in light activities as well.”

Contributor: Allie Volpe – Vice.com

SmartWatches Detect Viral Infection Before Symptoms Surface in Study

SmartWatches Detect Viral Infection Before Symptoms Surface in Study

Claremont Colonic Center
Someday, your smartwatch might be able to tell you if you’re coming down with a virus and how sick you’ll be — even before symptoms start.
In a small study, researchers showed that a wearable device, like a Fitbit or Apple Watch, could detect which patients had the H1N1 flu and which had a common cold.

“One of our goals was to be able to detect that infection before a person feels symptoms, because they may be spreading pathogens without even knowing that they’re sick,” explained senior researcher Jessilyn Dunn, an assistant professor of biomedical engineering at Duke University in Durham, N.C.

The wristband does this by reading biological signs, including resting heart rate, heart rate variability and skin temperature, she said.

“The device detects illness and that your body is fighting something,” Dunn said. “We’re still working on trying to improve the distinction between different types of infections.”

Having this information can help patients by alerting them to contact their doctor, she noted. This, in turn, can help in planning how best to use limited resources in a time of crisis like the coronavirus pandemic.

“One of the ways that we think about it is for COVID-19. If we could actually predict who is going to be sick, and when, and how sick that person is going to be and what kind of care resources will they need, we could actually do a more intelligent triage and allocation of resources. So it gives us sort of a lens into the future,” she said.

Dunn foresees a future where everyone is wearing a smartwatch.

“In that future, where everybody does have a smartwatch, this would just be something that would be going on in the background. It would be a passive monitoring system, and that would give us an idea of who’s likely to be sick and how sick they’re likely to become,” she explained. For the study, Dunn’s team gave 31 volunteers a nasal dose of H1N1 flu and 18 a common cold virus. Participants wore the sensor wristband for four days before and five days after inoculation.

Using only data from the wearable devices, the researchers could tell the difference between those infected and those not infected with up to 92% accuracy for H1N1 and 88% for the cold virus. The data could also distinguish between mild and moderate infection a day before symptoms started with 90% accuracy for H1N1 and 89% for the cold virus.

Infectious disease expert Dr. Marc Siegel, a clinical professor of medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City, said this might be an advance. But it will need more development and testing in a large number of people before it is ready for public use.

“This may not be a way to diagnose COVID or the flu, but it is a way to monitor metabolic changes to show that you’re getting the virus,” he said. “If you think about it, it’s not all that different than what we do when we take a temperature and a heart rate, and we have those monitors now.”

Ideally, Siegel would like to see such monitors be able to identify a variety of pathogens. Also, he wonders how this information might be used.

“If it’s accurate, it can be useful, because it could tell you in advance that you’re about to get sick, and then you can go get checked or stay home or have a cup of tea, whatever,” he said. “If this is useful in keeping sick people home and away from work, I’m all for it.”

The report was published online Sept. 29 in JAMA Network Open.

Contributor: Steven Reinberg, HealthDay Reporter – US News & World Report

Popular Foods That Decrease Visceral Fat, Say Dietitians

Popular Foods That Decrease Visceral Fat, Say Dietitians

Claremont Colonic Center
You know the saying “you are what you eat”? That sentiment could not be more true than with visceral fat. Visceral fat is the type of fat that lives within the abdominal cavity. Meaning, it surrounds our vital organs. This type of fat has been associated with poor health outcomes when compared to subcutaneous fat, the fat that lives directly under our skin.

When we think of weight gain, we typically think of subcutaneous weight gain: meaning, we notice the shape of our body has changed in size. However, visceral fat may actually be more concerning for our health than subcutaneous fat—the type of fat that hugs our thighs, hips, and arms.

Visceral fat can make it challenging for our internal organs to work optimally. For example, increased visceral fat in the liver has been associated with glucose, lipid, and endocrine dysfunction.

Studies show that weight loss alone may not be the best indicator of health, but rather visceral fat loss plays a critical role in our metabolic wellbeing. This means that an increase in visceral fat can impact everything from our hormone health to our cholesterol levels!

And yet, certain foods can directly impact body composition and may play a role in decreasing visceral fat tissue! Let’s dive in, and for even more healthy eating tips, be sure to check out our list of The 7 Healthiest Foods to Eat Right Now.

1. Fatty Fish

Fatty fish—like salmon, tuna, sardines, and mackerel—are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids. These particular varieties of fish are high in heart-healthy fats, protein, and Vitamin D!

Anya Rosen, MS, RD, LD, CPT explains that heart-healthy omega-3s in fatty fish have been shown to benefit body fat composition through various mechanisms such as improving insulin sensitivity and combating inflammation.

Fatty fish is also a great source of dietary protein, which boosts metabolic rate and increases levels of fullness hormones such as GLP-1, PYY and cholecystokinin, states Rosen.

2. Coconut oil

This tropical oil gets a bad rep for its high saturated fat content. However, research shows that the specific type of fat in coconut oil, medium-chain triglycerides, can significantly decrease the total amount of fat stored by the body, even in the context of a calorie surplus!

In this case, eating more could actually translate to burning fat!

3. Beans

Beans, beans, they make you… shrink?

One study suggests that eating more beans may help decrease the total accumulation of visceral fat, Nicole Stefanow, MS RDN, a NYC-based dietitian, tells us.

Perhaps, Stefanow hypothesizes, this may be because beans are a great source of prebiotic soluble fiber.

Stefanow explains this mechanism by stating that although soluble fiber cannot be digested by our own bodies, it can be metabolized and turned into short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) by the healthy microbes in our gut. Studies have linked SCFAs to a decrease in visceral fat.

4. Yogurt

One study suggests that consistent intake of yogurt decreased the amount of abdominal adipose tissue stored. In other words, the probiotic effect of yogurt was enough to improve body fat in the midsection of the participants who ate yogurt consistently.

Yogurt is particularly balanced in macronutrients and contains a good source of protein. Ashley Larson, RD, tells us that yogurt can improve satiety, helps you stay full longer, and reduces overall calorie intake.

In addition, Larson explains, yogurt contains healthy bacteria, called probiotics, that help to balance your gut bacteria and reduce bloat or other digestive problems. One study showed that those who consistently ate whole-fat yogurt lost more weight and reduced their waist circumference over the course of a year. Larson recommends boosting your nutrition by adding yogurt to your morning smoothie or incorporating it as an afternoon snack to help you lose belly fat. Here are the The 20 Best and Worst Greek Yogurts, According to Dietitians.

5. Eggs

A high protein, low glycemic breakfast may start your day off strong for weight loss! Especially if you are one to lean on high-carb breakfast options like bagels, cereal, or fruit!

This study analyzed the macronutrient composition of the diet. Meaning, they looked at how much protein, fat, and carbs the participants consumed in a day. They found that even without reducing calories, participants lost visceral body fat when swapping a carb for a lower glycemic choice—such as a protein/fat combination.

Eggs are a perfect source of protein and healthy fat to start your day off on the right note. The researchers also noted that you can redistribute body fat, even when the scale doesn’t budge!

As if we needed it, there’s more proof that the scale does not tell the whole story for our health!

Contributor: Caroline Thomason, RDN – Eat This, Not That!