January 18, 2017

Better Cholesterol With Butter?

 by Amanda Box

As a natural health practitioner, I get asked all sorts of questions about what I eat.

  • Are you a vegan?
  • Do you eat only raw foods?
  • Are you gluten-free?

However, nothing shocks people more than when I confess my favorite and most consumed food: BUTTER.

By now, I’m used to the gasps and the questioning looks I receive upon my confession. I’ve been given speeches about how it is going to clog my arteries or cause me to gain weight. But my favorite response has got to be, “You’re young; it is going to catch up with you some day!”

I wholeheartedly disagree. I don’t fear butter, or most fats for that matter. My family line is plagued with heart disease, strokes, and high blood pressure. Yet I refuse to change my butter-loving ways. That is because I know something that most people don’t.

Eating saturated fat does not raise your cholesterol, nor does not contribute to heart disease!

The low-fat revolution is a BIG FAT LIE!

Before you stop reading because you think I’ve completely lost my mind, I urge you to give me a chance to explain myself. I know doctors tell you differently, but I want to invite you to join me in debunking the myth that saturated fat is bad.

Read on and by the time you’re finished with this article, you may be tossing out your low-fat foods and replacing them with their full-fat counterparts!

Hydrogenated Oils

Saturated fats have long been demonized as the heart clogging “bad” fat. The famed “heart healthy diet” is typically low in fat and does not allow any unsaturated fat.

It prohibits animal-based fats like butter, meat, and whole milk products. Tropical oils like coconut oil are also a saturated fat and considered to be heart clogging. Instead, the “heart healthy diet” replaces naturally sourced fat with man made lower-fat alternatives and deems them more heart healthy.

When the shift away from animal fats became popular, vegetable oil based products began to flood the market. We no longer ate the natural sourced foods that have been around for thousands of years. Margarine and low-fat milk became the so-called healthier alternatives. And society bought the lie hook, line and sinker.

Interestingly enough, Procter and Gamble, the maker of Crisco, a vegetable based alternative to lard and butter, helped launch the American Heart Association. As a result, it wasn’t too long before doctors began to recommend vegetable oils instead of animal fats in their patient’s diets.

For close to 60 years, we favored hydrogenated fats like Crisco and margarine because we believed they were healthy. Luckily, research has recently proven that artificially manufactured hydrogenated oils are far worse for our health than any other fat on the market!

Hydrogenated oils are chemically altered and are closer in composition to plastic than oil.[1] Consuming hydrogenated oils in food is literally like eating fake food! It may taste good to you, but you might as well take a bite out of a plastic toy hamburger!

Eating food that is chemically structured like plastic is extremely dangerous! It can change the viscosity of our blood, which is the biggest threat. If blood becomes thicker and harder to pump, then our blood pressure automatically rises.

Plus, blood thick with hydrogenated oil damages the artery walls. The workload forces your arteries to pump with increasing pressure. The increased workload and pressure to pump causes damage to the arteries. What comes to repair the arteries? Cholesterol.

Let me clarify this for you. Cholesterol is often blamed for clogged arteries. But cholesterol is simply showing up to fix the damage. It is doing nothing more than it’s God-given job.The real culprit in this situation is hydrogenated oil.[2]

The Truth About Unsaturated Oils

Saturated Fats

Saturated fats are commonly identified because they are solid at room temperature, and unsaturated fats are liquid at room temperature. Saturated fat may seem like a poor choice compared to the thinner, liquid unsaturated fats. However, this difference is in their chemistry.

The difference between saturated fats and unsaturated fats is that saturated fat is “saturated” with hydrogen atoms. This keeps the fat intact. Unsaturated fats have less hydrogen. This allows for free radicals to attack where there is no saturation.

Polyunsaturated Fats

Polyunsaturated oils also have unprotected areas that are easy targets for oxidation and free radicals. These oils are, unfortunately, often touted as the healthiest fat you can consume. This couldn’t be much further from the truth.

Their chemical composition makes them highly unstable. They can easily go rancid or oxidize. Heat, moisture, and exposure to oxygen promote this detrimental change in chemical structure. Simply cooking with unsaturated oils produces oxidation.

Rancid and oxidized oils contain free radicals. Free radicals act like pillagers by attacking cells, damaging DNA and causing inflammation. Our bloodstream absorbs these oxidized cells, which then deposits LDL (bad) cholesterol on our artery walls, causing damage and plaque buildup.

polyunsaturated fats are responsible for health problemsThe consumption of polyunsaturated fats is behind many health problems including:

  • Cancer
  • Heart disease
  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Liver damage
  • Weight gain
  • Digestive problems

The typical American diet contains around 30% polyunsaturated oils a day! These oils hide out in processed foods and fast foods. The most common polyunsaturated oils are:

  • Corn
  • Soy
  • Canola
  • Safflower

Avoiding these polyunsaturated oils is important for keeping cholesterol build-up at bay. But it is also crucial for preventing many other health conditions the oils can contribute to.

Many believe because these oils are vegetable based, that they are a healthier choice. However, these oils can cause damage from being chemically unstable. To make matters worse, they are also highly processed and covered in pesticide residues.

If at all possible, cut these harmful polyunsaturated oils from your diet! Don’t forget to read the labels on all the food you buy. Canola and safflower oil are even found in “health food” products!

Monounsaturated fats

Monounsaturated oils are far healthier than polyunsaturated oils. Though still unsaturated, they experience markedly less oxidation during cooking. Some healthy sources of monounsaturated fats include:

  • Olive oil
  • Peanut oil
  • Avocado oil

These oils are great for sautéing and baking. Let me give you one valuable piece of advice. Avoid frying with monounsaturated oils at high temperatures because this can cause oxidation and lead to inflammation. Remember, saturated fats are you friends when it comes to fats!

The Benefits of Saturated Fat

Saturated fat does not cause heart disease, nor does it raise your cholesterol. Studies have begun to surface supporting this. The Annals of Internal Medicine most recently published an article here that supports change in fatty acid consumption to promote cardiovascular health.

Saturated fats can benefit our health in many ways. You might have noticed the rise in popularity of coconut oil. For years, we regarded it as dangerous and damaging to our health. But once we discovered its amazing medicinal properties, coconut oil demand skyrocketed![3]

A recent study added a soybean oil or coconut oil to the diet of 40 women. Not surprisingly, the women who consumed the coconut oil had a significant decrease in their waist circumference with increased weight loss, as well as increased HDL (“good” cholesterol) and decreased ratios of “bad” to “good” cholesterol.[4]

benefits of saturated oilCoconut oil is only one tropical oil that is healthy saturated fat. The best sources of saturated fat from animals are eggs, grass-fed beef and buffalo, organically-raised chickens and wild-caught fish.

Some of saturated fats roles in the body include:

  • Bone strength
  • Cell membrane integrity
  • Increased immunity
  • Contributes to weight loss
  • Improves lung health
  • Protects the Liver

As it turns out, people who have the highest percentage of saturated fat in their diets have the lowest risk of heart disease. Some saturated fats contain specific fatty acids called palmitic and stearic acid, which can LOWER cholesterol levels!

Sugar: The True Culprit of High Cholesterol

Though polyunsaturated oils and hydrogenated oils can contribute to cholesterol buildup, there is a culprit that is far worse. Carbohydrates!

Processed carbohydrates, which many Americans eat today in place of fat, increase the risk of obesity, heart disease and high cholesterol.

Some physicians with all their training, knowledge and authority don’t often admit they are wrong. But there are a few doctors who have had it right from the beginning.

While some doctors were promoting low-fat diets, Dr. Atkins and Dr. Weston Price had diet plans that encouraged the opposite. Although, Price had passed away before the low-fat revolution, Sally Fallon took over his cause. Both Atkins and Price touted a higher-fat, lower-carbohydrate diet for health and wellness. Neither were fearful of saturated fats. Both believed that refined sugar and processed carbohydrates were behind the breakdown of health.

sugar contributes to heart diseaseThough a can of soda may not contain an ounce of fat or cholesterol, it is far more dangerous than high cholesterol foods like the incredible edible egg.

Sugar contributes to heart disease by[5]:

  • Increasing LDL cholesterol
  • Decreasing HDL cholesterol
  • Raising triglycerides levels
  • Increasing inflammation

These side-effects make sugar nothing short of deadly. Thankfully, The American Heart Association has finally caught on. It now recommends a low sugar diet after years of promoting sugar instead of fat.

White flour and processed foods can act identical to sugar in the body. A carbohydrate in wheat, called amylopectin A, is more easily converted to blood sugar than just about any other carbohydrate. Two slices of bread made with whole-wheat flour raise blood sugar higher than six teaspoons of table sugar and higher than many candy bars. [6]

An easy way to avoid refined carbohydrates is by substituting vegetables for grains at mealtime. Eating a salad or adding an extra portion of green beans to your plate is much better than a slice of bread.

benefits of butterBack To Butter

In my defense of my favorite food, butter, I want to list some of the amazing benefits of this saturated fat.[7]

  • Helps the body to absorb and utilize minerals
  • Protects against infections in the intestinal tract
  • Protects against plaque build-up in the arteries
  • Increases brain function
  • Stimulates weight-loss (via CLA found only in grass or pasture-fed butter)
  • High in fat soluble vitamins A, E, and K
  • Prevents cancer[8]

Butter, in my opinion is a health food. So, do you still think I’m crazy?

I want to clarify that not all butter has these amazing health benefits. Most of us can agree that the nutritional content of the animal’s flesh depends on the content of its diet, and the same goes for butter.

Only grassfed or pasture butter contains health promoting CLA (conjugated linoleum acids) and high levels of fat-soluble vitamins. CLA has been linked to superior heart health, suppression of tumors, reduced belly fat and greater fat loss in the obese and overweight. Most milk cows are pasture raised, but are also fed a diet high in soy and corn. But without a primarily grass based-diet, these cows will not produce milk high in nutrients. Pasture feeding leads to dairy CLA levels 3-5 times that of grain-fed cattle.[9]

You can actually see the difference in color between grassfed butter and regular butter. Grassfed butter is bright yellow in color. It’s yellow because it has more carotene (think carrot, think orange) and Vitamin A. Regular butter is nearly white unless food coloring is added. Kerrygold is a great brand of grassfed butter and is typically found at most health food stores.

If you’d like to make your own butter, it’s really quite simple. The hardest part is finding quality cream. Raw, pastured cream from a local farmer is best. However, if you can’t find a source, you can also use organic cream.

Homemade Butter

how to make homemade butterIngredients:

  • 1 pint organic, pastured, heavy whipping cream
  • 1 pinch salt (optional)

Directions

  1. Pour cream into a blender, food processor, or large, empty jar with a tight fitting lid. Secure the lid and turn the processor on at its lowest setting. It will only take a minute or two before you have whipping cream.
  2. For salted butter, stop your processor and add a pinch of sea salt, to taste.
  3. Secure the lid again and continue to blend on low. In another minute or two, you will start to see a lot of liquid. Once you have this liquid, you’re done!
  4. Take a large cup, or bowl, and place some cheesecloth, a paper coffee filter or a small, fine-meshed sieve in it. Pour the butter into the cloth and let it drain. Carefully squeeze out some of the remaining buttermilk. Gently unwrap the cheesecloth and transfer the butter to your butter dish.

Adapted from www.thegraciouspantry.com

You don’t have to stop there! You can add herbs, spices, and fruits to your butter for delicious creamy goodness. Flavored butters are absolutely amazing and the combinations are endless! Add a touch of elegance to your next meal with your own homemade flavored butter. Use flavored butters on breads, sandwiches, or, with vegetables, meats, fish or eggs.

Here are a few recipes. But don’t be afraid to experiment and create your own flavor combinations!

Ingredients:

Raspberry Walnut Butter:

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup raspberries
  • ¼cup finely chopped walnuts

Lemon Pesto Butter:

  • 1 cup butter
  • Clove of garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh basil or 1 teaspoon dried basil

Honey Mustard:

  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 2 tablespoon honey

Pumpkin Pie:

  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 tablespoon canned pumpkin
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon molasses
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

Directions:

  1. Let the butter thaw to room temperature and using a stand mixer, whip until fluffy (just ten seconds or so). Add ingredients and whip until combined. You can do this by hand, but the mixer just makes it easier.
  2. Once combined, either spoon into little glass dishes and store in fridge, or prepare in logs.
  3. To prepare logs, place whipped butter on parchment paper and cool in fridge. When the butter has cooled a little, roll it into a log inside the parchment paper. It will harden in the fridge. Slice off just the amount you need for a serving.

This grain-free cookie recipe contains no refined sugar and incorporates plenty of my favorite ingredient…butter! A low-sugar, healthy diet does not have to be bland. Everyone needs a little sweet in your life, and these cookies are just that!

Butter Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 2 ½ cups blanched almond flour
  • ½ teaspoon Celtic sea salt
  • ½ cup salted butter, cut into pieces
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. In a food processor, place almond flour and salt and pulse briefly. Add butter, honey, and vanilla and pulse until ingredients are well blended. Separate dough into 2 balls and place each on a piece of parchment paper. Cover each ball of dough with another piece of parchment paper and roll out to your desired thickness. Place in freezer for 30 minutes. Using a 2-inch round cookie cutter or the top of a 2-inch wide jar cut out cookies. Bake at 350° for 5-7 minutes.
  2. Add butter, honey and vanilla and pulse until ingredients are well blended.
  3. Separate dough into 2 balls and place each on a piece of parchment paper.
  4. Cover each ball of dough with another piece of parchment paper and roll out to ½ inch thickness.
  5. Place in freezer for 30 minutes.
  6. Using a 2-inch round cookie cutter (or the top of a 2-inch wide jelly jar) cut out cookies and place on cookie sheet.
  7. Bake at 350° for 5-7 minutes.

Adapted from www.elanaspantry.com

Icing (optional)

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoon of melted butter
  • 2 teaspoon honey or ¼ teaspoon of liquid stevia
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ⅛ teaspoon lemon juice

Directions:

  1. Mix ingredients together and spread over cooled butter cookies.

Life presents us with wonderful serendipities… like making butter that’s good for you! Butter is truly a superfood. So what are you waiting for? Go make a batch of homemade butter and put a generous helping on your vegetables!

This article may be opposite of what you have believed for years about cholesterol. But, wouldn’t you agree that it is good news!?

You no longer have to deprive yourself of some of the most delicious foods, including butter! Saturated fat doesn’t have to be your enemy any longer.

Instead, avoid hydrogenated and polyunsaturated oils if you have cholesterol concerns. Protect yourself from heart disease by reducing your sugar and carbohydrate intake.

The true way to achieve healthy cholesterol, and overall well-being, is to eat the fresh and healthy foods of our ancestors.

Do you agree that butter is a superfood? Then use the sharing icons below to spread the word!

 

 

 

Amanda Box, N.D.Amanda Box is a Traditional  Naturopath and a graduate of Clayton College of Natural Health. She’s been in the health and wellness industry for over 12 years and currently practices naturopathic consulting in the Kansas City, Missouri area.  Her passion is helping others achieve wellness of the whole person – mind, body, and spirit. If you don’t have a good local naturopathic practitioner to turn to for your personal needs, Amanda does phone consultations! She can help you with weight loss, detox/cleansing, acute and chronic illnesses, skin and body care, grocery shopping, pantry overhauls, and more! Visit her blog “My Life in a Healthnut Shell” at http://amandabox.blogspot.com/ for contact info.

 

 

Sources:
[1]http://www.uihealthcare.org/2column.aspx?id=236829
[2] http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/trans-fats-science-and-risks
[3] http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-1092-coconut%20oil.aspx?activeingredientid=1092&activeingredientname=coconut%20oil
[4] Assuncao ML, Ferreira HS, dos Santos AF, et al: Effects of dietary coconut oil on the biochemical and anthropometric profiles of women presenting abdominal obesity. Lipids 44:593-601, 2009
[5] http://www.webmd.com/heart-disease/news/20100420/high-sugar-diet-linked-lower-good-cholesterol
[6] http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-mark-hyman/sugar-heart-attack_b_4746440.html
[7] http://www.bulletproofexec.com/butter-is-better-for-your-brain-and-now-your-heart/
[8] http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1753-4887.1995.tb01525.x/abstract
[9] http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/03/23/conjugated-linoleic-acid-from-grass-fed-beef.aspx

Preventing Parkinson’s One Bite at a Time

 By Amanda Box, N.D.

I’ve seen a particular picture roaming the internet and social media lately. There are different versions, but they all have the same message. It is a picture of a fruit and vegetable stand with a sign that states, “Nature’s Pharmacy,” “The Original Pharmacy,” or “The Farmacy.”  You might think that it’s cute or clever, but there is really a stone-cold truth in that lighthearted photograph.

Nutrition provides us with what we need to combat disease in our body. If we are lacking in nutrition, our cells do not function properly. And when cells aren’t able to do their God-given jobs, disease is the result.

Brain Nutrition

Our brain is made up of primarily fat and nerve cells. Those cells are called neurons, otherwise known as nerve cells. These nerve cells are amazing in their biology. They can transmit information from one area of the body to another in less than a millisecond!

Certain neurons in the brain produce chemicals, as well. One of those chemicals is called dopamine. Dopamine is the chemical that reduces muscles contractions. Without sufficient dopamine in the brain, the result is uncontrolled tremors, freezing muscles, and uncontrollable movements. This is also known as Parkinson’s disease (PD).

Nerve cells need certain amino acids, enzymes, vitamins, and minerals in order to do their jobs. Even the production of dopamine is created from a particular combination of these nutrients! Could it be that many cases of Parkinson’s disease are truly caused by lack of nutrition?

One of the most important nutrients for the brain is the amino acid L-Tyrosine. Without it, we cannot produce dopamine in the brain. The above image illustrates how this process works.  L-Tyrosine converts to L-dopa, which in turn becomes dopamine. Our body does not make L-Tyrosine on its own. You must either eat foods containing L-Tyrosine or its precursor, L-Phenylalanine.

Many people with Parkinson’s disease, or those with Parkinson’s in their family, supplement with L-Tyrosine to keep up their dopamine production. I do have to caution; however, if you are taking L-dopa or Levadopa, do not take L-Tyrosine because it can inhibit the action of those drugs.

brain foodL-Tyrosine can also be consumed in everyday foods! This brings me back to the picture of the “Farmacy.”  Great health starts at its source, good food! Some of the top tyrosine containing foods include:

  • Turkey
  • Eggs
  • Cottage Cheese
  • Shrimp
  • Mustard Greens

The formation of dopamine requires several other nutrients, as well. These become co-factors and co-enzymes in dopamine production. These important nutrients include:

Folic acid  

Otherwise known as folate. It is considered one of the B vitamins. Folic acid is found in:

  • Lentils
  • Most beans
  • Spinach
  • And collard greens

B6

Another B vitamin. High levels of B6 are found in:

  • Tuna
  • Chicken
  • Turkey
  • Potatoes
  • Cod
  • Sunflower seeds
  • And spinach

B3

Often called Niacin, this B vitamin is found in:

  • Tuna
  • Chicken
  • Turkey
  • Lamb
  • Beef
  • Salmon
  • Sardines
  • And peanuts

Iron

This important mineral is found in:

  • Liver
  • Beef
  • Spinach
  • And lentils

Zinc

You can consume your zinc by eating:,

  • Beef
  • Spinach
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Beans
  • And nuts

I believe that giving your brain cells the nutrition it needs can keep the production of dopamine running smoothly, therefore preventing Parkinson’s disease.

Peter Piper’s Pick for Parkinson’s

One of the most flabbergasting prevention treatments for Parkinson’s that I’ve come across is smoking!  Research has found that those who smoke have a lower incidence of Parkinson’s disease than non-smokers. Nonetheless, I don’t find this to be a valuable excuse to continue smoking – or even to begin for that matter! Smoking causes a plethora of other diseases! But why would something as harmful as smoking prevent Parkinson’s? Scientists have concluded that nicotine in tobacco lowers Parkinson’s risk.

Tobacco is in a family of plants called Solanaceae. Other members of the Solanaceae species include tomatoes and peppers. These foods actually contain low levels of edible nicotine! The Annals of Neurology published a study this past May that included 500 people who were newly diagnosed with Parkinson’s and 650 people who did not have Parkinson’s disease. The study concluded that the more peppers a person ate, the lower their risk of Parkinson’s became!  This decrease added up to a whopping 19%!! Pretty great results for a spicy vegetable!!

I must also point out that this protection was most apparent in those who were non-smokers. This study is a huge step towards proving that nutrition provides a powerful role in disease prevention. Who would have guessed that peppers would have neuro-protective properties?

Caffeine’s Parkinson’s Perks

Coffee drinkers, I am happy to announce to you that your cup of joe has benefits in both Parkinson’s treatment and prevention!! As I explained earlier, Parkinson’s is the result of our brain’s neurons not producing adequate levels of dopamine for our body. Caffeine, however, is a dopaminergic. This means it stimulates the release of dopamine.

There have been several studies linking caffeine consumption and lowered risk of acquiring PD. Yet, until last year, there was no clear evidence on its effects on Parkinson’s symptoms. In August 2012, a study was published in Neurology concluding caffeine also benefitted those suffering with Parkinson’s. Participants in the study took either a placebo or the equivalent of 2-4 cups of coffee in caffeine pills a day. Those who took the caffeine pills had on average a 5-point improvement on the Parkinson’s symptoms scale! They also experienced a 3-point improvement in both their speed of movement and how much stiffness they experienced compared to those taking the placebo. (1)

These benefits don’t begin and end with coffee. Tea is a great example of another healthy source of caffeine. Green tea, for example, contains not only caffeine, but polyphenols, as well. It is also believed that polyphenols can be neuro-protective!

Healthy Fat = Healthy Brain

Did you know that ⅔ of your brain is composed of fats! That’s right! But not just any fat. These specialized fatty acids are the building blocks for the not only cell membranes, but the myelin sheaths of your nerve cells!  Scientists have reported that those with neuro-degenerative disorders like Parkinson’s disease, display fatty acid membrane loss. Luckily, incorporating the right fats into your diet you can protect your brain cells!

The most abundant fat in the brain is DHA. DHA is known for its abilities to:

DHA makes up much of the neuron’s myelin sheath and cell membrane. Therefore, getting adequate DHA in our diet is extremely important! Eating fatty fish like tuna, salmon, and sardines are great sources. However, many of these fish can also contain high levels of mercury, a neurotoxin to the brain. I instead would recommend supplementing with a quality, third party tested fish oil instead. Start out with at least 500 mg of DHA per daily dose.

MCTs or Medium Chain Triglycerides, like those found in coconut oil can be beneficial to the brain, as well.  A 2004 study published in the journal Neurobiology of Aging found that the MCTs almost immediately improved cognitive function in older adults with memory disorders! This is due to something called ketone bodies, present in medium chain triglycerides. These ketone bodies serve as an alternative source of fuel that boosts blood flow to the brain. Increased blood to the brain decreases the degeneration of neurons. Supplementing with 2-4 tbsp. of coconut oil a day or 1 tbsp. of pure MCT oil is a great daily dose.

Butter for the brain?

Your brain needs cholesterol in order to function. Where does it get that cholesterol? From the food you eat! Butter is also high in oleic acid, which is another important fatty acid in the myelin sheath of neurons. Not just any ol’ butter will suffice. Be sure and buy a quality grass-fed butter. Grass fed cows produce more nutrient dense butter than other cows.  The color of grass fed butter is a nice deep yellow.

Not all fats are beneficial for the brain!

There is one particular fat you want to avoid like the plague: trans-fats. Trans-fats are not only a cause of high cholesterol and heart disease, but also brain diseases. Things like french fries, chips, margarine, and anything that is hydrogenated, are trans-fats. These lab-altered fats alter our brain chemistry, creating “brain blocks.” Trans-fats can take the place of DHA in the brain and interfere with the electrical activity of our neurons. This just sets the stage for degeneration of these nerve cells, which leads to neuro-degenerative diseases.

Butter Coffee for Better Brain Function

butter coffee

One of newest health trends is called Butter Coffee. Otherwise known as Bulletproof Coffee, this concept was introduced by health blogger Dave Asprey. He was inspired to create this combination after visiting the mountains of Tibet. The Tibetan people there drank Yak butter tea.  A lover of coffee, Dave decided to add high quality butter to his morning joe instead. He boasts butter coffee’s ability to increase energy and promote weight-loss. I, however, am touting it for it Parkinson’s prevention abilities.  Bulletproof Coffee contains only 3 ingredients, all of which I have covered as beneficial to preventing and treating Parkinson’s disease.

  • 2 cups organic coffee
  • 2 tbsp. grass-fed butter
  • 2 tbsp. MCT oil or extra virgin coconut oil

Coffee can be highly sprayed with pesticides, so using an organic blend is very important.  In order to get the best benefits from the butter, it must be grass-fed. Kerry Gold is a fantastic brand of grass-fed butter and can be purchased at nearly every health food store. MCT oil is around 6 times stronger than coconut oil, but can be more difficult to find.  You can purchase it here.

This trifecta of ingredients contains both brain boosting fats and caffeine! I recommend blending the mixture as the oil want to float to the top. When blended, it creates a frothy, cappuccino like effect.

Brain Boosting Salsa

As I mentioned early, both tomatoes and peppers are in the Solanaceae family of plants that are known to lower the risk of PD. My absolute favorite way to consume this combination is in fresh salsa!!

Use fresh tomatoes, shelf stable tomatoes in glass or boxed containers. Canned tomatoes have unfortunately been found to contain high levels of BPA, which is a synthetic estrogen that has been linked to reproductive issues and heart disease. This salsa also contains cilantro, which has mercury-binding properties. This helps to detox that neurotoxic metal from your body and brain. (By the way, it is a possibility that mercury is one main environmental contributor to PD. By lowering dopamine levels, mercury is often held responsible for tremors associated with Parkinson’s.)

brain boosting salsa

This salsa is incredibly easy to make and serves as a great condiment for fish, chicken, or your favorite Mexican dish.

Combine:

  • 3 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 cup finely diced onion
  • 5 serrano chiles, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons lime juice

Chill for at least an hour to let the flavors meld together.

Adopt the “Farmacy” lifestyle and let nutrition heal you. These foods can reduce the neuro-degeneration that leads to Parkinson’s.

Not only will good, nutrient rich foods keep you out of the doctor’s office, but it will save you money in medical bills. Parkinson’s, like so many other diseases, can be prevented with the right combination of nature’s best foods. Your daily diet is a simple way to encourage your brain to produce more dopamine.

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Amanda BoxAmanda Box is a Doctor of Naturopathy and a graduate of Clayton College of Natural Health. She’s been in the health and wellness industry for over 10 years and currently has a Naturopathic consulting practice in Sioux Falls, SD.  Her passion is helping others achieve wellness of the whole person – mind, body, and spirit. If you don’t have a good local naturopathic doctor to turn to for your personal needs, Dr. Amanda does phone consultations! She can help you with weight loss, detox/cleansing, acute and chronic illnesses, skin and body care, grocery shopping, pantry overhauls, and more! Visit her blog “My Life in a Healthnut Shell” at http://amandabox.blogspot.com/ for contact info.
(1) http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504763_162-57484791-10391704/caffeine-from-two-to-four-daily-cups-of-coffee-may-reduce-parkinsons-disease-symptoms/

 

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