Vegetables and Fruits to Manage Pain November 21 2013

For anyone who suffers a painful fibromayalgia or arthritis, or other pain, such as from injuries or surgery, it is likely possible, according to nutritional bio-physiological research, to reduce and minimize pain with raw vegetable and fruit smoothies made in high performance blending machines. Dr Stephen Grindstead (*) suggested in a blog about pain management that various nutrients in raw fruit and vegetables have anti-inflammatory powers.

Complex carbohydrates, those often consumed by vegans and vegetarians, also have shown pain-minimizing attributes.Obviously, fibromayalgia is directly associated or linked of causing inflammation. While the reduction of inflammation is not likely to cure the disease such as fibromayalgia or arthritis, the reduction of inflammation can assist the organism in attacking the problem and promoting a healing much better than as if the body constantly has to try putting out inflammatory fires, so to speak. Being always on the defensive, physiologically speaking, is not going to help make anything better. So inflammation has to be brought under control first.


Cherry Smoothies are Better than Aspirin 

Aspirin and anthocyanins in tart red cherries, which is naturally occurring, have some commonalities.  They both fight inflammation in the body in a similar way. Anthocyanins in tart red cherries is responsible for the flower colors red to blue. Another pain relieve agent comes from soy products. There is a direct correlation between consuming soy before surgery and a decrease in pain level, according to studies in animals.

In order to take advantage of these pain and inflammation reducing agents, one might want to mix up a breakfast smoothie containing 1 ripe banana, 1 cup of tart frozen cherries, and 1 cup of soymilk. Don't inlcude Aspirin, of course.  After blending, it is best to serve the smoothie immediately.


Fibromyalgia and Nutrition

According to studies conducted by the National Fibromyalgia Association, referenced by Dr. Grinstead (*), it was concluded that there is a direct association between nutrition and managing pain. Accordingly, the healthier the nutrition / food is the better pain is manageable. Wanting to keep pain under control may require a drastic change in lifestyle habits. These changes will naturally have to include the right balanced healthier and more nutrient rich diet as well as a more active lifestyle in respect to exercise. Health does not come from inactivity, in other words.

Nutritionists and health researchers promote a preventative approach. Malnutrition of vitamin deficiencies can have a direct affect on getting sick. For example the frequent cold and affected by viruses and the feeling of fatigue is a direct result to not eating well, or better, even eating bad dead food that has little to no nutritional value at all. In order to help prevent these sicknesses, healthy fresh nutrition is essential to give the body the proper remedies to fight off disease.


Nutrients Help Joints Stay Supple

You can add nutrients that help joint pain to smoothies or soups that you make with your high performance blender.  Ground flax seed, curcumin and Vitamin B12 may help you keep your range of motion in shoulders, hands, feet, hips and knees.

Flax seed comes in an oil, a liquid or a dry form.  The latter can be ground in an ordinary grinder and added to smoothie recipes.  Because it is a good source of omega-3 and fiber, it helps your joints stay healthy and your weight under control.  A daily dosage is three generous tablespoons or ¼ cup.

Curcumin is another nutrient said to have anti-inflammatory properties.  It is a spice closely related to ginger (*)  and can be used in many sauces, soups and even raw food smoothies.  Curcumin has been used as a natural remedy for a multitude of conditions and is thought to promote cardiovascular health and even relieve menstrual cramps. The supplement may also lower bad LDL cholesterol and restore kidneys to health, although more studies are needed.

Vitamin B12 also has pain management properties.  However, it is best to get the benefit from fortified soymilk instead of meat, especially if you are trying to reduce nagging or chronic pain.  The saturated fats in meat tend to aggravate inflammation.  Yeast can also be a good source of B12.  Adding fortified soymilk to your smoothies and yeast to your baked goods can help to ease your pain.


Complex Carbohydrates and Pain Control

The complex carbohydrates in vegetables such as peppers, spinach, broccoli and mushrooms are also reported to reduce pain.  Adding very lean meat, such as turkey, that also has tryptophan may also reduce pain, according to Dr. Margaret A. Caudill (*) who serves as a co-director at the Arnold Pain Center, which is located at Deaconess Hospital in Boston. If you are looking for additional ingredients to further your goal of pain control, consider lentils, split peas and whole grains.  All are good sources of complex carbohydrates.

The vegetables and beans can be easily combined for a highly nutritious soup.  Placing these vegetables in your high performance blender along with some bean sprouts makes a fantastic green smoothie.

Research continues to shed light on a fact we always knew:  that a balanced diet is necessary to maintain optimal health.  However, the science behind this simple statement is helping us understand just how powerful good nutrition can be.  Pain control can be as close as your next smoothie when you carefully consider the ingredients and stay away from foods with high fats that wreak havoc on your joints and muscles.





(*) References:

Dr. Stephen F. Grindstead

Spice closely related to ginger:

Dr. Margaret A. Caudill:


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Top 4 Myths about Nutrition November 16 2013

With so much information on cable TV and on websites competing for attention, it is sometimes difficult to sort nutrition facts from fiction. The advocates for each new product or fad diet make claims that really need to be examined in light of scientific facts.

Whether you use your high performance blender to make raw fruit or vegetable smoothies, or you prefer to make soups, sauces and dips, debunking these top 4 myths will give you some information about ingredients you use.


#1 You shouldn’t eat eggs because they raise your cholesterol


It is true that a regular chicken egg contains 200 mg of cholesterol and 1.6 grams of saturated fat; most of the cholesterol is in the yolk. But egg consumption alone does not raise one’s cholesterol levels.


An individual person’s cholesterol level is due to a number of factors, including heredity and activity level. Anyone who has quizzed a doctor about the components of cholesterol test results learns that there are at least three separate measurements: low density lipoproteins (LDL) or “bad” cholesterol, very low density lipoproteins (VLDL) also known as triglycerides, and high density lipoproteins (HDL) or “good” cholesterol. It is the interrelationship of these three components along with the overall total that doctors consider before prescribing medication, dietary changes or


While eating high cholesterol foods can contribute to higher cholesterol levels, it is important to eat them in moderation and make sure you are getting plenty of exercise and that your diet is consistently healthy overall.


#2 A vegetarian diet is a healthy diet


Not all vegetarians or vegans have healthy diets. A person attempting a vegetarian diet must find alternative sources of protein and make sure that sufficient levels of calcium, vitamin B12 and omega-3 can be found in non-meat products and non-animal products, as well. While it may appear on the surface that a vegetarian diet is healthier, it is up to the individual to pay attention to daily requirements and select meals that provide the necessary nutrition.   By including veggie burgers, lentils, beans, tofu, nuts and seeds in the vegetarian diet, you will reach the recommended level of protein.


If you are staying away from dairy completely, include kale, spinach and collard greens to ensure that you are getting the proper amount of calcium. Miso, seaweed and nutritional yeast are good sources of vitamin B12.


Green smoothies, soups or sauces made with your high performance blender can help you achieve the right nutritional balance needed in the vegetarian diet.


#3 All sugar is unhealthy and should be avoided


The body converts all sugar, whether processed or fructose from fruit, starches and carbohydrates into glucose, which is needed for energy. The insulin our bodies produce carries the glucose into the cells to be used for energy or stored for later use.   Too much sugar overloads the body, causing weight gain, hyperactivity and the infamous “sugar crash” when the energy is expended and the sugar level plummets.


Sugar from fruit is digested and enters the bloodstream at a more even rate than sweets and processed sugar. As a result, the body’s sugar level does not tend to spike and crash when it creates glucose from fruit. Another obvious benefit from fruit is that you receive vital vitamins and minerals not present in other sugary snacks.


Fruit smoothies provide energy, and a smoothie base of dairy milk or soymilk gives you a protein boost.


#4 Organic foods have higher nutritional value


The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) defined the processes that must be followed in order to earn the “organic” label. Organic fruits and vegetables must be grown without the use of chemicals or synthetic material. Fertilizers must be natural, and farmers use beneficial insects instead of insecticides. Weed growth is controlled through crop rotation and weeding instead of spraying herbicides. Organic meats must come from animals that have not been given antibiotics, hormones or any other medications that would prevent disease or encourage growth.


According to an article published on the Mayo Clinic’s website ***, a study that reviewed articles and papers written in the last 50 years was not able to conclude that organic foods are more nutritious than food grown using conventional methods. Organic fruits, vegetables and meats are more expensive, though, due to the labor-intensive processes that must be followed in order to earn the distinctive label.


Whether you make raw smoothies from organic or conventional produce, you will receive the same nutritional benefits. It is the ingredients you choose that determines health value, and not the way the food is produced.


Consider these myths officially debunked and most all-or-nothing statements; all generalized bits of knowledge should be closely examined. When it comes to nutrition, it is important to gather as much scientifically valid information as possible because good health depends on good choices.


*** Reference Mayo Clinic's website: