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Magnesium, zinc and selenium: Key nutrients for men

Posted by Fritz on October 13, 2010 at 4:09 PM Comments comments (1)

Nutrients especially needed by men include magnesium, zinc and selenium.  These nutrients are found in highconcentrations in sunflower seeds, peanuts, cashews, cacao, sesame seeds, andflaxseed, which we have combined into a raw recipe at Organico.


We labeled this “Raw Balls for Men,” but our customers havesuggested “MenErgy Balls” for the quick energy they provide, or “Raw Balls forHumans” because women need these nutrient-packed snacks as well.  At Organico, we offer raw balls for everyonethat provide a perfect, super-healthy pick-up after a long surfing session orpilates class.


Magnesiumis a critical co-factor in more than 300 enzymatic reactions in the human body.  Virtuallyall chemical reactions in the body require anenzyme system to help the biochemical reaction take place.  Magnesium helps maintain normal muscle andnerve function, keeps heart rhythm steady, supports a healthyimmune system, and keeps bones strong. Magnesium also helps regulate blood sugar levels, promotes normalblood pressure, and is known to be involved in energy metabolism and protein synthesis


Selenium acts asan antioxidant against free radicalsthat damage our DNA.  It helpsfight against cancer, heart disease and even aging.  Selenium also contributes to good health by promotingnormal liver function.  Other benefits ofselenium include protection againstheart disease, the protection against toxic minerals, and theneutralisation of alcohol, smoke, and fats. It can help to increase malepotency and it also involved in the maintenance of hair, skin and eyes.


Zinc is one ofthe minerals men should never be without and has such a wide application inhuman health that everybody should ensure that they obtain enough of this traceelement.  There are no specific storagesites known for zinc and so a regular supply in the diet is required. Zinc isfound in all parts of our body:  60% isfound in muscle, 30% in bone and about 5% in skin.  Particularly high concentrations are in theprostate gland and semen.  Men need morezinc than women because male semen contains 100 times more zinc than is foundin the blood.  The more sexually active aman the more zinc he will require.  Therecommended amounts of zinc for adult men are 1/3 higher than those for women.


It is thought that zinc supplementation can help skinconditions such as acne and exzema, prostate problems, anorexia nervosa,alcoholics and those suffering from trauma or post-surgery.


Aloe Vera Juice Can Detoxify Your System

Posted by Fritz on October 13, 2010 at 3:36 PM Comments comments (1)

Aloe vera gel is a great natural treatment for burns,including sunburn, and can be used to enhance the general health of your skin.  Drinking aloe vera juice is known to help todetoxify the body and cleanse the colon and the bloodstream.  It is also thought that aloe vera juice canhelp with intestinal or stomach problems, and aid in the healing of ulcers andhelp the digestive tract to work smoothly.


However, its taste is rather astringent, or bitter, which iswhy we created a recipe mixing the aloe pulp with citrus, honey, and some otherflavors to make a delicious and healing tonic. At Organico, we also sell the whole aloe vera leaves which you can useto peel and apply directly to your skin to keep it healthy.


There are many benefits to aloe vera juice.  When aloe vera juice is taken twice daily in2-4 oz doses it is said that it can help a person to maintain good health.  It is also said that aloe vera juice canimprove circulation.  The aloe helpsdilate the capillaries and aid in cell growth.


The juice or gel acts as a antibacterial, antiviral andantifungal agent, preventing illness.  Theoverall effect of taking aloe vera juice regularly can be a feeling of energyand health.


The benefits of aloe vera juice go beyond that of the aloevera gel.  Putting aloe vera into aningestible form allows people to get both the external and internal benefits ofaloe vera.  By drinking aloe vera juice aperson can get the benefits of aloe vera's ability to aid in digestion, improvecirculation, detoxify and heal from the inside.  Aloe vera juice can be a part of a person'sdaily health regimen because it is safe to take everyday.  A simple 2 -4 ounces twice a day is all aperson needs to reap the benefits of aloe vera juice.


Cosmetic uses of aloe vera include:


eye wrinkle remover,

treating acne and pimples,

underarm odor remover,

after shave lotion,

removing pregnancy stretchmarks,

removes dandruff,

regenerates cells and prevents wrinkles,

helping scalp and dandruff.


According to Wikipedia:


Internal intake of Aloe vera has been linked withimproved blood glucoselevels in diabetics,[55][56] andwith lower blood lipidsin hyperlipidaemic patients,[57] butalso with acute hepatitis (liver disease).[49]In other diseases,preliminary studies have suggested oral Aloe vera gel may reducesymptoms and inflammation in patients with ulcerative colitis.[58]Compounds extracted from Aloe vera have been used as an immunostimulantthat aids in fighting cancers in cats and dogs;[5]however, this treatment has not been scientifically tested in humans. Theinjection of Aloe vera extracts to treat cancer has resulted in thedeaths of several patients.[59]


Topical application of Aloe vera may be effective forgenitalherpes and psoriasis.[60]However, it is not effective for the prevention of radiation-induced injuries.Although anecdotally useful, it has not been proven to offer protection fromsunburn or suntan.[61] In adouble-blind clinical trial the group using an Aloe vera containing dentifriceand the group using a fluoridated dentifrice both demonstrated a statisticallysignificant reduction of gingivitis and plaque.[62]


Aloe vera extracts have antibacterialand antifungalactivities, which may help in the treatment of minor skin infections, such as boils and benign skincysts. Aloevera extracts have been shown to inhibit the growth of fungi that cause tinea;[63]however, evidence for control beneath human skin remains to be established. Forits anti-fungal properties, Aloe vera is used as a fish tank waterconditioner. For bacteria, inner-leaf gel from Aloe vera was shown toinhibit growth of Streptococcus and Shigellaspecies in vitro.[64] Incontrast, Aloe vera extracts failed to show antibiotic propertiesagainst Xanthomonas species.[65]



Sunflower Seeds Are Great for Men's Diet

Posted by Fritz on October 12, 2010 at 9:05 PM Comments comments (1)

At Organico, we sell seeds, nuts and grains in bulk,including the nutritional powerhouse, raw sunflower seeds.  These seeds are especially high in seleniumand zinc, and are included in our “Raw Balls for Men” because men are oftenshort of these essential nutrients.


Eating sunflower seeds helps in the production of selenium in the body, which in turn aids inprotecting the cells from damage.  Rawsunflower seeds are also a rich source of Zinc, which helps the body recuperatefrom any kind of injuries and fight infections.


Just a quarter cup of these seeds is enough to make up forabout 90% of the daily requirements of Vitamin E in the body.  To counter and neutralize free radicals, Vitamin E is required in adequate quantity and thiscan be ensured by eating raw sunflower seeds. Adequate quantities of Vitamin E in the body also reduce chances ofdeveloping asthma and rheumatoid arthritis (RA), colon cancer and cardiovascular diseases.


Apart from being a rich source ofVitamin E, raw sunflower seeds also contain linoleic acid (essentialfatty acid), amino acids and minerals. Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins and the minerals contained in rawsunflower seeds include magnesium, potassium, zinc and calcium.


Sunflower seeds candrastically improve the regulation of blood pressure in the body, unlike anyanimal protein.  Sunflower seeds areimmensely rich in unsaturated fat (about 90%).  This may help keep the level of 'goodcholesterol' high in the body, thereby countering the ill-effects on 'badcholesterol'.   Raw sunflower seedsdecrease the cholesterol level in the bodydue to the concentration of phytosterols and it being a rich source of dietaryfiber.


One of the important health benefits of sunflower seedsis that it also helps in preventing the onset of depression.  Low levels of serotonin (a neurotransmitter)results in increased levels of anxiety, tension and depression.  Thisneurotransmitter is processed by the amino acid known as Tryptophan, which is contained in sunflower seeds.  So the intake of raw sunflower seeds helps inthe production of serotonin, which when released, has a calming effect on thenerves and relieves tension and almost all forms of depression.


Copper is also required by the body to help carry oxygen to the red blood cells.  25% of the daily requirement is easily coveredby one ounce of raw sunflower seeds.


The nutritional value of raw sunflower seeds that is containedin one serving (1/4 cup) includes 11.0 g of fat, 3.0 g of fiber and 6.0 g ofprotein. Raw sunflower seeds also provide the daily requirement of iron in thebody.  Vitamin B-6 is also an importantpart of raw sunflower seeds.


Sunflower seeds also contain folate, which is essential forcell growth and reproduction, and is responsible for the body's cells tomanufacture DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) and RNA (ribonucleic acid).


My Original Raw Dip Recipe

Posted by Fritz on October 12, 2010 at 6:48 PM Comments comments (3)

This is the first raw food recipe we featured in our delidepartment in July, 2010.  Fritz had justreturned from a raw foods retreat and wanted to incorporate the best ofingredients into a signature dip that was versatile enough to be used as asauce.  You can add pipa juice and use itas a salad dressing.

This is cranked up to full throttle flavor and cansupercharge vegetables, pastas and anything green.


Ingredients:  rawalmonds, coconut, avocado, extra virgin olive oil, ginger, orange, lime, soysauce.  Consider substituting freshcoconut for dry, use one cup.


Fritz’s Raw Dip


1 cup (300 grams) raw almonds

Half cup dry coconut

1 avocado

1 tsp. grated ginger

Juice of one orange

Juice of two limes

Half cup olive oil

1 ounce soy sauce


In a food processor, grind almonds to powder (optional:  soak almonds half-day or overnight)  Add coconut, then add avocado in smallpieces, to smooth consistency.  Add otheringredients, stopping the food processor each time to scrape down the sides.



Raw Almonds Make a Great Snack

Posted by Fritz on October 12, 2010 at 6:45 PM Comments comments (0)

At Organico, we use raw almonds in our raw foods recipes,including Fritz’s original Raw Dip, and sell them by weight, whole and sliced,along with a wide selection of other nuts and seeds, including raw organiccacao seeds.  Almonds are rich in dietaryfiber, vitamins, and minerals and packed with numerous health promotingphyto-chemicals, which offer protection against diseases and cancers.

These nuts are a rich source of energy and nutrients.  Soaking them in water for a few hours willmake them more mild.  They are especiallyrich in mono-unsaturated fatty acids like oleic and palmitoleicacids that help to lower LDL or "bad cholesterol" andincrease HDL or "good cholesterol". 

The nuts are an excellent source of vitaminE, about 25 g per100 g (about 170% of RDA).  Vitamin E is a powerful lipid solubleantioxidant, required for maintaining the integrity of cell membrane of mucusmembranes and skin by protecting it from harmful oxygen free radicals.  33% of the daily requirement of Vitamin Erequired by the body can be made up by taking one ounce of almonds, about 27grams.

Almonds are gluten-freeand healthy alternatives for people with wheat foodallergy and celiac disease.  They can be used to prepare a floursubstitute.  Almondmilk is lactose free, makingit an alternative to cow's milk for people who are lactose intolerant.

These nuts are packed with many important B-complex vitaminssuch as riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B-6, and folates. Almonds are also high in folic acid,which is beneficial for expecting mothers and their newborn babies. Folic acid helps inpreventing any kind of abnormalities in infants.

They are also rich source of minerals like manganese,potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc and selenium.

Magnesiumis required by the body for undisturbed bloodcirculation, oxygen and several nutrients throughout the body. Mostcases of heart attacks are associated with a deficiency of this importantmineral. So, a quarter-cup of almonds provides about 25% of the dailyrequirement of magnesium. 

Potassiumis another substance which has its role in nerve transmission and contractionof different body muscles.  Normal blood pressure and proper heart function is thusdependent on an adequate quantity of this mineral. A quarter cup of almondscontain 257 mg of potassium, and beefs up your defense against high blood pressureand atherosclerosis.

Among other health benefits is its quality to enhance brainpower.  For good memory, we require thebrain boosting element known as riboflavin and L-carnitine, which are alsofound in abundance in almonds.


Flaxseed is Great Source of Omega 3s

Posted by Fritz on October 12, 2010 at 6:42 PM Comments comments (0)

Flaxseed, sometimes called linseed or in Spanish linaza, is one of the healthiest and least expensive foods available at Organico. It has recently been labeled a Superfood and is the richest plant-basedsource of the king of the inflammatories, Omega 3s.  

At Organico, flaxseed is available as an ingredient to ourfruit smoothies and is a key ingredient in Fritz’s original Raw Dip recipe.(link)  We also sell it by weight, groundand whole. 

Although flaxseed contains all sorts of healthy components,it owes its healthy reputation primarily to three ingredients:

Omega-3 essential fatty acids, "good" fats that have been shown to have heart-healthy effects.  (Flax is the richest source of Omega 3’s in the plant kingdom).Lignans, which have both plant estrogen and antioxidant qualities. Flaxseed contains 75- 800 times more lignans than other plant foods Fiber. Flaxseed contains both the soluble and insoluble typesAlthough Lilian Thompson, PhD, an internationally knownflaxseed researcher from the University of Toronto, says research indicatesthat flax’s possible health benefits include reducing the risks of certaincancers as well as cardiovascular disease and lung disease. Here are moredetails:


Recent studies have suggested that flaxseed may have aprotective effect against cancer, particularly breast cancer, prostate cancer,and colon cancer. At least two of the componentsin flaxseed seem to contribute, says Kelley C. Fitzpatrick, M.Sc., director ofhealth and nutrition with the Flax Council of Canada.

The lignans in flaxseed may provide some protection againstcancers that are sensitive to hormones.  Lignansmay help protect against cancer by:

Blocking enzymes that are involved in hormone metabolism. Interfering with the growth and spread of tumor cells. Some of the other components in flaxseed also haveantioxidant properties, which may contribute to protection against cancer and heart disease.



Research suggests that plant omega-3s help thecardiovascular system via several different mechanisms, includinganti-inflammatory action and normalizing the heartbeat, Fitzpatrick says.

Several studies have suggested that diets rich in flaxseedomega-3s help prevent hardening of the arteries and keep plaque from beingdeposited in the arteries, partly by keeping white blood cells from sticking tothe blood vessels’ inner linings.

"Lignans in flaxseed have been shown to reduceatherosclerotic plaque buildup by up to 75%," Fitzpatrick says.

Eating flaxseed daily may help your cholesterollevels, too. Small particles of LDL or "bad" cholesterol inthe bloodstream have been linked to an increased risk of heart disease,obesity, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome



Two components in flaxseed, ALA and lignans, may reduce theinflammation that accompanies certain illnesses (such as Parkinson's disease and asthma)by helping to block the release of certain pro-inflammatory agents, Fitzpatricksays.

The plant omega-3 ALA has been shown to decreaseinflammatory reactions in humans. And studies in animals have found thatlignans can decrease levels of several pro-inflammatory agents.

Reducing inflammatory reactions associated with plaquebuildup in the arteries may be another way flaxseed helps prevent heart attackand strokes.


Hot Flashes

One preliminary study on menopausal women, published in2007, reported that 2 tablespoons of ground flaxseed (taken twice each day) cutthe women's hot flashes in half.  And,the intensity of their hot flashes dropped by 57%. The women noticed a differenceafter talking the daily flaxseed for just one week, and achieved the maximumbenefit within two weeks.

And how much flaxseed do you need? The optimum dose toobtain health benefits is not yet known. But 1-2 tablespoons of ground flaxseeda day is currently the suggested dose, according to the Flax Council of Canada.

Here are more tips for using, buying, and storing flaxseed:

Buy it ground or grind it yourself. Flaxseed, wheneaten whole, is more likely to pass through the intestinal tract undigested,which means your body doesn't get all the healthful components. If you want togrind flaxseed yourself, those little electric coffee grinders seem to workbest.

Add flaxseed to a food you habitually eat. Every timeyou have a certain food, like oatmeal, smoothies, soup, or yogurt, stir in acouple tablespoons of ground flaxseed. Soon it will be a habit and you won’thave to think about it, you’ll just do it.

Hide flaxseed in dark, moist dishes. The dishes thathide flaxseed the best usually have a darkly colored sauces or meat mixtures.No one tends to notice flaxseed when it's stirred into enchilada casserole,chicken Parmesan, chili, beef stew, meatloaf ormeatballs. For a 4-serving casserole, you can usually get away with adding 2-4tablespoons of ground flaxseed. For a dish serving 6-8, use 4-8 tablespoons.

Use it in baking. Substitute ground flaxseed for partof the flour in recipes for quick breads, muffins, rolls, bread, bagels,pancakes, and waffles. Try replacing 1/4 to 1/2 cup of the flour with groundflaxseed if the recipe calls for 2 or more cups of flour.

Keep it in the freezer. The best place to storeground flaxseed is the freezer. Freeze pre-ground flaxseed in the bag youbought it in, or in a plastic sealable bag if you ground it yourself. Thefreezer will keep the ground flax from oxidizing and losing its nutritionalpotency.

Whole flaxseed keeps longer. The outside shell inwhole flaxseed appears to keep the fatty acids inside well protected. It’s agood idea to keep your whole flaxseed in a dark, cool place until you grind it.But as long as it is dry and of good quality, whole flaxseed can be stored atroom temperature for up to a year


From WebMD

Preliminary research suggests that eating a diet rich inflax could slash your risk of ever feeling “down in the dumps”. Follow upstudies show that just 2-3 tablespoons of flax daily can help up to 2/3rds ofseverely depressed women bounce back within eight weeks.  Flax, says Udo Erasmus,PhD, has a mood boosting ingredient: docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) that isessential for the proper function of brain cells, yet up to 85% of women aren’tgetting enough of it.

Early research conducted by Dr. Martha Clare Morris ofChicago’s Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Medical Centernotes that a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids is believed to be important forbrain development. She stated that some participants in the study saw adecreased risk of Alzheimer’s from eating a diethigh in Omege-3 fatty acids.