Benefits of CBD Oil

Article courtesy of http://www.elixinol.com

By Andreea Macoveiciuc April 17, 2016

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One of more than 80 active cannabinoids in the Cannabis plant, CBD does not produce euphoria or intoxication, and has a very low affinity for CB1 and CB2 receptors when compared to THC (100 times less than tetrahydrocannabinol).  Cannabidiol is a cannabinoid that interacts mildly with the endocannabinoid system, and acts as an antagonist for substances that do bind to the CB1 and CB2 receptors, activating them and causing biological responses. The term “antagonist” refers to a compound that inhibits or dampens the functions of a receptor, while agonists are chemicals that bind to receptors and active them. Being an antagonist, CBD doesn’t activate the receptors directly, but it helps other cannabinoids to be better absorbed and keeps the receptors working effectively.

CBD increases the density of CB1 receptors, amplifying the effects of cannabinoids that bind to those receptors, and reduces the effects of substances that make CB2 receptors less responsive. Through its interactions with the endocannabinoid system, CBD contributes to the transmission of certain signals within our bodies, and most of the existing studies suggest that this compound causes only clinically desirable effects, or no effects at all. So in today’s article we’ll take a closer look at some studies that investigate the interactions between CBD and the brain’s signaling system in order to identify the proven and potential health benefits of cannabidiol and CBD-rich products.

Health benefits of CBD, as supported by research

Cannabidiol may be effective as a natural solution for pain relief, research suggests. A review article conducted by US scientists from GW Pharmaceuticals has shown that cannabinoid analgesics have been well tolerated in clinical trials, and might be a useful addition to pharmacological treatments of pain. Although the pain-relief mechanisms of CBD aren’t fully understood, this cannabinoid is regarded by many health professionals as an effective solution for treating central neuropathic pain in patients with multiple scelrosis, rheumatoid arthritis and even some types of cancer.

A potential alternative to strong analgetics for patients suffering from chronic pain,  CBD has less potent analgesic properties when compared to most opioid painkillers, but exerts natural anti-inflammatory effects, and this may enhance its effectiveness against acute and chronic pain. Also, it has fewer side effects than strong painkillers, and may help in easing pain from chemotherapy drugs.

The anti-inflammatory effect of cannabidiol recommends this compound as a natural solution for relieving arthritis pain, the use of this cannabinoid in the early stages of the disease showing promise for slowing down or even reversing the symptoms. In lab studies, CBD has been found to reduce acute inflammatory pain and it seems that the compound is effective against several types of joint diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis.

CBD may also be effective in treating mood disorders, anxiety and depression, as it possesses anxiolytic properties and inhibits stress and anxiety without causing psychoactive effects. Some studies suggest that the compound may be a viable treatment for patients with generalized anxiety disorder thanks to its action on the limbic and paralimbic brain areas. Brazilian researchers have found a rapid onset of therapeutic effects in SAD patients treated with a single dose of CBD, the compound exerting no psychoactive action and being well tolerated.

The list of positive health effects of cannabidiol doesn’t end here. The compound seems to help protect the brain and may be a suitable solution for treating neurodegenerative disorders, studies suggest. In patients with neurodegenerative disorders, the loss of nerve cells leads to a decline in cognitive and motor functions, and it is believed that inflammation plays a role in the progressive nature of neurodegeneration. The anti-inflammatory properties of CBD and the lack of psychotropic effects may recommend this substance as a promising agent for a wide range of neurodegenerative diseases.

According to researchers from the University of California – Irvine, CBD seems to help in treating certain psychotic symptomsand may be a potential solution for patients affected by schizophrenia. The compound has been found to be superior to conventional antipsychotic medications, has fewer side effects and is more cost-effective than most of the available medications, scientists say. German researchers found that cannabidiol seems to work better than medications onschizophrenia’s “negative symptoms”, which are difficult to treat, and doesn’t cause weight or movement problems, as often happens with other drugs.

A controlled animal study conducted by Italian researchers showed that topical application of cannabinoid-rich creams may help in reducing the brain damage caused by autoimmune encephalomyelitis. The mechanisms that cause this disease are similar to those that lead to multiple sclerosis in humans (damage to the myelin in the central nervous system), so scientists concluded that CBD could be used in the clinical management of multiple sclerosis and its associated symptoms, in association with current conventional therapy.

Another animal study found that the administration of cannabidiol may be useful in reducing the damage caused by intervertebral disc degeneration. At the same time, research suggests that CBD may be the first non-toxic exogenous agent effective in killing breast cancer cells. Cannabidiol may be a viable addition to epilepsy treatments, and may block the formation of plaques in the brain that favor the occurrence of Alzheimer’s disease.

If you’re curious to do a little research on your own, you’ll see that there are lots of articles and studies talking about the beneficial effects of cannabidiol in patients with epilepsy, the available data suggesting that CBD is able not only to significantly alleviate the symptoms of this condition and decrease the intensity of seizures, but also to reduce their frequency. Although there’s still no official recommendation for adding CBD to epilepsy treatment plans or for replacing the established anti-epileptic medications with this natural compound, results from clinical trials are promising and encouraging.

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White Bean & Kale Soup

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Vegan White Bean & Kale Soup – easy to prepare and delicious.

This is a perfect weeknight meal!

 

Ingredients:

1/2 large onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 c diced carrots (2-3 carrots)
1/2lb (4 cups) kale, removed stems, chop
1 14oz can diced Italian tomatoes
1 14oz can white beans, drained & rinsed
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
1 bay leaf
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp thyme
salt & pepper to taste
6 cups vegetable broth
*optional – red pepper flakes or cayenne

Directions:
Saute onion, celery, carrots and garlic in 2-3 TBSP of vegetable broth for about 5 minutes. Add seasonings and kale and saute for anoth 3-4 minutes. Add tomatoes, beans and vegetable broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer on low until vegetables are tender. Enjoy!

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New Vegan Restaurant in Santa Monica

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As an advocate of a plant based diet (and a follower myself), I’m excited to see new offerings around town. How wonderful to be able to peruse an entire menu…so many choices. I’m especially excited about Santa Monica’s newest vegan kid on the block. eLOVate Kitchen, located just a block south of the Santa Monica pier.

If you haven’t been there yet, you’ve got to put it on your list. The menu is fantastic – I’d expect nothing less from famed Chef, Roberto Martin. Here are just a few of their menu items that will definitely delight your tastebuds – Hearts of Palm & Artichoke Ceviche, Guajillo Jackfruit Tacos, Sake Braised Daikon Scallops – sounds great, right? They also have plenty of kid friendly choices and delicious desserts…namely, hancrafted vegan ice cream.

eLOVate will appeal to vegan and non-vegans alike. I’m putting on top of my list for recommendations.

Follow the link below to read more about eLOVate and view their full menu.

Let me know what you think!

www.elovatekitchen.com

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Healthy Grilling for the 4th of July

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It’s a holiday weekend and many folks will be firing up the grill. Before you do, read this article from Dr. Joel Fuhrman and your backyard BBQ a healthy (and delicious) one.

Warmer weather and outdoor grilling often go hand-in-hand. Yet, research has shown that turning up the heat can cause potentially cancer-causing substances to form. Here are some ways to grill in the great outdoors while reducing your exposure to harmful substances.

  • Make vegetables your main attraction! If you have a grilling basket, fill it with your favorite sliced vegetables, or make vegetable skewers. Mushrooms, onions, garlic, cherry tomatoes, zucchini, and summer squash all combine well, but get creative with your top picks or seasonal harvests. Toss with a little water, balsamic vinegar, and some MatoZest or fresh or dried herbs such as basil, oregano or rosemary for a robust and nutritious dish. Try blending spices with walnuts and a bit of your favorite vinegar and brush it on the veggies frequently while grilling. If you are grilling any starchy vegetables you can soak or marinate them first in a water-vinegar mix to add to their water content to minimize the production of acrylamide, which is a cooking-related carcinogen formed when starches are cooked at high temperatures.1,2 Avoid eating the blackened portions of grilled vegetables, starchy or non-starchy.
  • Keep in mind that meats contain several harmful elements including animal protein, arachidonic acid and heme iron.4-7 When grilled or even cooked at high temperatures, carcinogenic compounds are also formed (see box).  Redefine the burger with bean or veggie burgers! Store-bought burgers often have added salt and concentrated soy protein, but you can make your own nutritious burgers. Try this recipe for Sunny Bean Burgers and toss them on the grill.
  •   As an alternative to burgers, serve up grilled portabella mushrooms (marinated in your favorite vinegar) and serve on a toasted whole grain pita with sliced tomato, raw onion and a pesto dressing made from basil, avocado and pine nuts.
  •   Grill corn on the cob in the husk or make party corn cobs by husking, spraying lightly with a mix of extra-virgin olive oil and water, and sprinkling with your favorite herbs. Place on the grill for 6-10 minutes, rotating frequently to minimize browning.
  •   When it comes to grilling, vegetables, mushroom and bean burgers are the safest choices. But for those who choose to grill and eat meat occasionally:
  • To minimize these harms, limit your portions consistent with a Nutritarian diet: Use only small amounts of meat mixed in with a bean burger and some mushrooms and onion. The phytates in the beans sop up the hydroxyl radicals and excess iron from the meat, reducing its toxicity. Also, anti-cancer foods like onions, garlic and cruciferous vegetables may help the body detoxify some of the HCAs.8-11
  • Completely avoid processed meats, such as hot dogs and sausages. NOCs are potent carcinogens; there is convincing evidence that processed meats (and red meats) are a cause of colorectal cancers, and high intake of processed meat is also associated with heart disease, stroke and diabetes.12-15
Meat-related Carcinogens3
Formed in meats cooked at high temperatures

  • Heterocyclic amines (HCAs) – formed in hamburger, steak, chicken, and fish as a reaction between creatinine amino acids and glucose. Higher temperatures and longer cooking times increases HCA production
  • Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) – formed from flames and smoke; when meat juices drip and flame hits meat
  • N-nitroso compounds (NOCs) – formed in the stomach from nitrate/nitrite preservatives, found in processed meats

References:

  1. Parzefall W: Minireview on the toxicity of dietary acrylamide. Food Chem Toxicol 2008;46:1360-1364.
    2. Hogervorst JG, Baars BJ, Schouten LJ, et al: The carcinogenicity of dietary acrylamide intake: a comparative discussion of epidemiological and experimental animal research. Crit Rev Toxicol 2010;40:485-512.
    3. National Cancer Institute. Chemicals in Meat Cooked at High Temperatures and Cancer Risk. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Risk/cooked-meats. Accessed July 1, 2014.
    4. National Cancer Institute: Food Sources of Arachidonic Acid [http://appliedresearch.cancer.gov/diet/foodsources/fatty_acids/table4.html]
    5. de Lorgeril M, Salen P: New insights into the health effects of dietary saturated and omega-6 and omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. BMC Med 2012;10:50.
    6. Kaaks R: Nutrition, insulin, IGF-1 metabolism and cancer risk: a summary of epidemiological evidence. Novartis Found Symp 2004;262:247-260; discussion 260-268.
    7. Brewer GJ: Iron and copper toxicity in diseases of aging, particularly atherosclerosis and Alzheimer’s disease. Exp Biol Med 2007;232:323-335.
    8. Murray S, Lake BG, Gray S, et al: Effect of cruciferous vegetable consumption on heterocyclic aromatic amine metabolism in man. Carcinogenesis 2001;22:1413-1420.
    9. Walters DG, Young PJ, Agus C, et al: Cruciferous vegetable consumption alters the metabolism of the dietary carcinogen 2-amino-1-methyl-6-phenylimidazo[4,5-b]pyridine (PhIP) in humans. Carcinogenesis 2004;25:1659-1669.
    10. Kurzawa-Zegota M, Najafzadeh M, Baumgartner A, et al: The protective effect of the flavonoids on food-mutagen-induced DNA damage in peripheral blood lymphocytes from colon cancer patients. Food Chem Toxicol 2012;50:124-129.
    11. Wilson C, Aboyade-Cole A, Newell O, et al: Diallyl sulfide inhibits PhIP-induced DNA strand breaks in normal human breast epithelial cells. Oncol Rep 2007;17:807-811.
    12. Continuous Update Project. Colorectal Cancer Report 2010 Summary: Food, Nutrition, Physical Activity, and the Prevention of Colorectal Cancer.: World Cancer Research Fund/American Institute for Cancer Research; 2011.
    13. Chen GC, Lv DB, Pang Z, et al: Red and processed meat consumption and risk of stroke: a meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies. Eur J Clin Nutr 2013;67:91-95.
    14. Micha R, Wallace SK, Mozaffarian D: Red and processed meat consumption and risk of incident coronary heart disease, stroke, and diabetes mellitus: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Circulation 2010;121:2271-2283.
    15. John EM, Stern MC, Sinha R, et al: Meat Consumption, Cooking Practices, Meat Mutagens, and Risk of Prostate Cancer. Nutr Cancer 2011:1.

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Natural Skin Care

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I’m a firm believer that the products we put ON our bodies, are as important as what we put in our bodies.

Many cosmetic products products contain irritants, carcinogens and endocrine disrupters. I say go as natural as possible to avoid any problems.

Instead of lotions that are mostly chemicals, consider trying something as simple as coconut oil, almond oil or shea butter. (Choose organic if at all possible.) These items are so moisturizing. Coconut oil is my personal favorite – it’s light and absorbs quickly.
I like to add essential oils to mine, not only for the aroma, but also for the therapeutic effect. Lavender oil is a go to for many reasons – it’s soothing to irritated skin (bug bites, burns, etc) and helps soothe and can help you sleep. I’ve been using lavender oil with my kids since they were babies – just a drop on their pillow at bedtime.

Make sure when you purchase essential oils, that you buy from a reputable company. Quality counts. You want to look for 100% pure, therapeutic grade, organic essential oils that have not been diluted.

I was recently sent a sample of Lavender EO from GoPure Naturals. I’m really happy with the quality of this oil. And I think it;s one of the best values around – $17.95 for a 4oz bottle on Amazon.

I brought it to my yoga studio to add to the diffuser, and it was a hit with the entire class.

The company also sells a few other EO’s as well as natural skin care products. This is a small, family owned business – which is exactly what I like to support when possible.

I hope they offer more EO varieties in the future – I personally would love to see some blends.
Check them out, and let me know what you think.: http://www.gopurenaturals.com/

Superfood Spotlight: Flax Seeds

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Flax seeds have been cultivated for consumption for close to 6000 years. There are so many health benefits of these tiny seeds – they should be a pantry staple. The good news, they’re not expensive, and they are readily available in most grocery stores.

Here are my top 3 reasons that I recommend all of my clients consume 1 TBSP of ground flax seed every day:

  1. Flax seeds are high in Omega 3’s, specifically ALA, which is essential for health maintenance and disease prevention The ALA in flaxseed has found to be stable for at least 3 hours of cooking at oven temperatures (approximately 300F), which makes it available after ground flaxseeds have been added to baked goods.
  1. Flax seeds are high in soluble fiber. The soluble fiber traps fat and cholesterol in the digestive system so that it unable to be absorbed. Also, flax is extremely high in both insoluble fiber which can support colon detoxification, fat loss and reduce sugar cravings.
  2. Flax seeds are high in lingans. Flaxseeds are the richest source of plant lignans, having about 8 times the lignan content of sesame seeds [note that flaxseed oil does not contain lignans – they bind to the fiber]. The other plant foods on the list have about one-tenth or less the amount of lignans as sesame seeds per serving.

The three lignans found in flaxseeds can be converted by intestinal bacteria into enterolactone  and enterodiol which            naturally balance hormones which may be the reason flax seeds reduce the risk of breast cancer.

A study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that the lignans in flaxseeds may also reduce the risk of endometrial and ovarian cancer.

**In addition, flaxseed is a good source of iron, zinc, calcium, protein, potassium, magnesium, vitamin E, and folate.

Ground flaxseed provides more nutritional benefits than does whole flaxseed. That’s because the seeds are very hard, making them difficult to crack, even with careful chewing. Grinding breaks the seeds up, making them easier to digest when eaten. If whole flax seeds remain unbroken, they may pass undigested through the body.

You can add the ground flaxseed to your morning oatmeal or other cereal. I blend 1 TBSP of ground flaxseed into a green smoothie each morning. You can also add them to muffins, bread and cookie recipes

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Add More Greens to Your Diet!

Did you know that less than 7% of Americans are eating their recommended daily servings of vegetables?

That number is staggering to me.

As a Nutritionist, I recommend a high intake of fresh vegetables – both cooked and raw. With today’s busy schedules, work travel, finicky eaters, etc – reaching and optimal amount can be a challenge.

While there is no substitute for eating your vegetables, you can give your diet a boost by using a powdered greens product.
My personal favorite is PHresh Greens.

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Just 1tsp of Phresh Greens provides 3-4 servings of vegetables. Think about all of those added nutrients.

Just add it to water, juice or your favorite smoothie! pHresh Products™ pHresh greens® Raw Alkalizing Superfood is made with 16 raw ingredients that were carefully selected for their highly alkalizing properties. It is a full spectrum alkalizing superfood blend of energy rich vegetables, cereal grasses and sea algaes. pHresh greens® is highly bio-available and provides your body with a rich natural source of vitamins, trace minerals, chlorophyll and other phytonutrients beneficial to health. It is also made with True Intention ensuring that you will get all the ingredients’ nutritional benefits without any harmful chemicals, additives, preservatives or fillers. Its all natural organic ingredients have been carefully slow dried to help retain its life energy. pHresh greens® is made from the natural produce itself, thus ensuring you are getting the vital nutrients of the ingredients from a natural state, it’s just like harvesting produce from your own organic vegetable garden!*

  • Non-GMO and Non-Irradiated.*
  • No Yeast, Nuts, Soy, or Animal Products.*
  • No Herbicides, Pesticides or Synthetic Chemicals.*
  • No Preservatives, Artificial Colors, Flavors, Sweeteners or Sugars.*
  • Gluten Free*
  • Contains no Egg, Wheat, Dairy or Caffeine*
  • BPA Free*

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Why Raw Green Superfood?

Super foods by definition are foods that are nutritionally dense, high in fiber and are believed to help fight disease and increase longevity. Green superfoods are foods with outstanding qualities that are high in chlorophyll content. Most green superfoods are the ones you’ll find in nature that don’t require any kind of processing or refining there by keeping them in a raw green superfood state. You’ve probably heard of superfoods, but may not know what makes them so “super”. Loaded with essential nutrients that enhance energy, fight disease and help detoxify. Green superfoods is a term usually used to describe young cereal grasses such as wheat grass, barley grass, oat grass, as well as spirulina, chlorella, collards, broccoli, kale and other leafy vegetables. A diet comprised of green superfoods enables grass-eating animals to continually maintain their weight, strength, and vibrant health. Raw green superfoods are among the world’s most nutrient-rich, dense and beneficial foods on Earth. A quality green supplement is a concentrated power source of important phyto-nutrients (live sun energy) and the minerals, vitamins, fiber, enzymes, carotenoids, and antioxidants which have been stripped from most modern foods of today. Raw green superfoods are rich in chlorophyll, often called the ‘blood’ of plants. It has the same molecular structure of human blood with the exception of its center atom, which is magnesium based rather than iron.*

What makes this product better than other greens on the market?

pHresh greens® is:

  • Made with all organic ingredients*
    raw*
  • Naturally balanced source of antioxidants, B-vitamins, carotenoids, phytonutrients, enzymes and dietary fiber*
  • Great for detoxifying and cleansing*
  • Complete raw food with powerful antioxidants*
  • Alkaline green vegetables, cereal grasses and sea algaes, all help to balance pH levels

Enjoy this delicious Blueberry smoothie recipe!

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  • 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp Phresh Greens

Toss ingredients into your blender and blend until smooth and enjoy!

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