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Pescetarian diet – pros and cons?

Lately I have realized that I subconsciously avoid any food with meat and I prefer eating fish or seafood.

As I have continued following the pescetarian life-style, I wanted to make sure I wasn’t missing anything important, so I made a research about pescetarian diet and its pros and cons.

follow link Who is a pescetarian?

The word “ go to link pescetarian” is a mixture of the “ enter site pesce” (“fish” in Italian) + tarian (short for “vegetarian”).

Sometimes you will find this term written as “pescatarian”.

A pescetarian is a person who mostly follows a vegetarian diet but also adds fish and seafood to it.

Even though the red meat is a source of iron, protein and other vitamins, many people associate the red meat consumption with the higher risk of the development of cardiovascular diseases and even cancer. Besides red meat is quite heavy for the stomach to digest it.
Chicken meat is easy to digest, but it is healthy only if we talk of organic stock. It can be even dangerous to eat non-organic chicken because of the hormone levels and other nasties injected in the meat.
Anyway, most of people I know refuse from eating meat because of ethical reasons as they are against slaughtering animals for food.

At the same time many people find a vegan or a vegetarian diet too limited or too strict (for example, vegan and vegetarians can lack Vitamin B12, proteins, zinc, etc), this way pescetarian life-style is a very good option for them.

Why is being a pescetarian beneficial for you?

There is one very important advantage in adding fish to your daily menu.

It is a very rich source of Omega 3 fatty acids. These fatty acids are very important for the healthy eye sight and nervous system.

They act as the anti-inflammatory agents in your body fighting with chronic diseases such as arthritis, and they also make your skin and hair look healthy.

Fish is a natural source of protein which you might be afraid to lose if you refuse from meat products and besides the fish protein is easily digested by the human’s body.

Omega 3 fatty acids defend your brain from Alzheimer’s disease as the docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) decreases the chances of developing dementia lately.

The vitamin D contained in fish will help you to fight with the early signs of depression.

Cons of being a pescetarian.

The cons are connected not with the fish meat itself, but with the chemical composition of the certain fish meat.
Some fish meat contains the high mercury amount and once this mercury gets accumulated in your body, it can cause irreversible changes to your nervous system, so it is very important to choose fish with the low levels of mercury.

Please strictly AVOID using this kind of fish for your pescetarian menu: tuna (ahi, albacore, bigeye, yellowfin), shark, mackarel (king, spanish, gulf), tilefish, orange roughy, swordfish, marlin, grouper, sea bass, bluefish.

Feel SAFE to add this fish and sea-food to your pescetarian menu: salmon, herring, crab, crawfish, catfish, clam, butterfish, anchovies, croaker, flounder, mackarel (atlantic, chub), oysters, pollock, perch, trout (rainbow, freshwater), sardines, shrimps and scallops, telapia, squid, mullet.

Please check the full list composed by the US Drug and Food Administration for the high and low level mercury fish here.

Pregnant women should be specially careful with the choice of fish as the high mercury level can lead to the delays in the fetus development.

If you are pregnant and consider to be a pescetarian, please check the following advice from the US Drug and Food Administration here.

 

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What are eco-testers good for? How to protect ourselves from food with high nitrate content?

Today I want to discuss an important topic with you – How to protect yourself from food with the high content of nitrates.
I have recently moved to Cyprus and here I like to get my fruits and vegetables directly from farmers, who assure me that their products are fully organic, free of nitrates, etc.

Yes, they really taste much nicer than the supermarket stuff and they have rich smell.

However, I started to ask myself a question if I’m really making a safe choice and how healthy are these fresh fruit and vegetables I get every day?

It is common knowledge that different chemicals, fertilizers and pesticides are used for growing fruits and vegetables. The increased concentration of fertilizers in the soil can lead to the severe damage of your health. Out of all chemicals nitrates are the most harmful and if they are consumed by you daily, it can be bad news for your organism and will bring to developing serious diseases.

What are nitrates? 

Nitrates are nitric acid (HNO3) compounds which plants (fruits, vegetables) extract from the soil. Nitrates are harmless by themselves, but as soon as they get into our bodies, they are transformed into the poisonous nitrites.

Nitrates are specially dangerous for children.

Example of diseases caused by the high level of nitrates:

I think all of you know personally people who got food intoxication after consuming watermelons, cucumbers and mushrooms. Apart from the food intoxication, vomiting and diarrhea, the high level of nitrates can lead to such serious diseases as:

  • Methemoglobinemia (baby blue syndrome). It is blood disorder at which the insufficient level of oxygen is delivered to the cells. Usually hemoglobin carries oxygen through your blood, but in case of methemoglobinemia, the specific type of hemoglobin (called methemoglobin) is produced by your body. Methemoglobin carries the oxygen through your bloodstream, but it doesn’t bring it to the cells. If produced in excessive quantities methemoglobin starts replacing your normal hemoglobine which leads to hypoxia and its consequences such as headache, nausea, shortness of breath, rapid heart rate and fatigue. Even loss of consciousness in the most severe cases.
  • Cancer. After being consumed nitrates are converted to nitrites. After the reaction with natural and synthetic compounds nitrites produce N-Nitroso compounds, many of which are in fact, carcinogenic.
  • Birth Defects. It is possible that nitrites and N-Nitroso compounds are connected with birth defects.
  • Disruption of thyroid function.

So are we being exposed to dangerous chemicals while buying our fruits and vegetables from farmers? Unfortunately, the control over nitrate levels in fresh fruits and vegetables is neglected in most places. It is not a secret that many farmers use too much fertilizers and this will result in the dangerous level of the nitrate content in fruits and vegetables produced by them.

Is there a way to protect ourselves? 

Yes, there is. There are special devices called nitrate testers, eco-testers or green-testers. They are small and portable. They are meant to quickly determine the level of nitrates in fruits and vegetables you are about to buy.

Eco-testers are suitable for farmers, distributors, shop owners, restaurant owners, in fact, for all those people who want to protect their own health and the health of their customers/consumers.
In just three seconds you can make the decision whether you have made the right choice about the food you are going to get.

What are the dangers of green-testers?

You can become obsessed with measuring whatever food you are getting 🙂 Like I ended up doing )))
Apart from this humorous remark, there are no other dangers, only profits. And yes, don’t forget to wash your eco-tester probe after every use.

 

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Is “organic” fish another myth?

Organic fish – is there such thing?

In my previous blog post I have already discussed with my readers what “organic” really means. If you have missed this article, click here.
If we talk of organic chicken, it is easy! Organic chicken means that the chicken was fed with organic food (food grown without pesticides and other harmful substances), it was grown without antibiotics and growth hormones and had the relative freedom of movement.

What about fish? Can we really be sure that the fish we are eating is organic and if it can fit our organic food menu?

Let’s get into details.

The New Zealand and Alaskan wild salmon are the most expensive fish in the salmon market as they grow in the cleanest and pristine environment, far from the industrial pollution.

This is definitely the healthiest option we can find on the market, but as we don’t really control the fish environment and the food they eat, we can not label them as organic.

Fish dealers and farmers are trying hard to catch up with the organic market as it brings millions of profit. However, we can not call the farmed carnivorous fish “organic” because of one simple reason – they prey on small fish which may be not organic.

So in order to farm really organic fish, farms need to control the quality of water as well as the food supply as well. So in order to grow organic carnivorous fish, farmers will also need to grow organic small fish to feed the farmed carnivorous fish with. And it is a very complicated infrastructure!

Nowadays about 50 percents of the world’s consumed fish are grown in aquafarms. And most grown species are carnivorous. I have come across an interesting article about whether the carnivorous fish can be made vegetarian in order to fit the “organic” label.

Are there any fish farms (aquafarms) certified as organic?

In Europe there are strict rules which farms must meet in order to be considered organic. You can get more information on the regulations here.

The main organic aquafarms are located in the UK, Ireland, France, Greece and Germany.

In Europe the ECOFISH project develops a guide to help to conventional fish farms switch to organic ones.

However, USDA does not certify any organic aquaculture production at the moment. The USDA National Organic Program (NOP) is just in the process of creating standards of organic practice for aquaculture.

As we can see there is still much of improvement to be introduced so that we could have really organic fish on our tables.

Nevertheless, don’t be upset to discover that your fish oil supplements are not 100% organic.  I personally go for brands which offer the fish oil from wild Alaskan salmon and krill oil from Antarctica as they are more ecologically safe. You can check the fish and krill oil supplements I recommend personally here.

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Why to choose organic? What does organic farming mean? Organic labeling.

All you need to know about organic. Why to choose organic? What does “organic farming” mean ? Organic labeling.

“Organic” is the way farmers process, grow and fertilize their agricultural products. Let’s think why it is better for your health to use organic products.

  • organic food doesn’t contain as much pesticides as non-organic food. While in conventional agriculture they use chemicals which tend to remain in the food we eat
  • you can be sure that the organic food is fresh as it can’t be stored in the supermarkets for weeks.
  • organic vegetables and fruits have rich smell typical for their species. Not organic vegetables and fruits usually have no typical flavor at all
  • organic farming is more environment friendly. Farmers tend to use water-conservation ad energy-saving practices, to reduce erosion of soil. The absence of pesticides and other harmful substances is also more healthy for the environment and wild habitat.
  • the organically grown livestock have the relative freedom of movement, they graze on open pastures which make them healthier.
  • the organically grown livestock can not be given antibiotics, growth hormones, GMO food and other products which can influence their system not in the unnatural way.
  • organic dairy products are richer in vitamins and nutrients.

This way, I can make a conclusion that organic food is more healthy to use as it doesn’t contain chemicals and preservatives. People, who consume only organic food, tend to be more healthy than those who don’t.

What are the organic labeling requirements?

The organic labeling requirements are different in every country.
Please click here to find the information on these requirements in the USA.

Please click here to find the information on these requirements in EU.
If you can see any of these labels on the products, you can be sure that these products correspond to organic standards of these countries:

Why is organic food more expensive?

There are several important reasons for it

  • Organic farms are usually smaller than the conventional farms. In general, it takes them more time to produce their crops and livestock as they don’t use chemicals and growth hormones.

  • Demand exceeds the supply as much more people started to want to consume organic products.

  • Organic farmers can’t use the inexpensive conventional solutions to grow their crops and they use compost and manure instead which are more expensive.

  • it is also quite expensive to get the organic certification and organic farms will need to cater for annual inspection fees.

Organic health supplements are more expensive for the same reason, as they are produced from organic ingredients.

 

Organic Reviewer

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Should we use any supplements at all in our daily menu?

My dear reader, I’m sure the question whether to use organic supplements or not has been on the

back on your mind for some time. And quite rightly so!

We will try to find the answer together.

Everyone wants to be healthy as health is the source of our energy, good mood and happiness in life.

Our health can be easily ruined by the food we eat, air we breathe, by stress, fatigue, lack of sleep and many other unfavorable factors as well as … by side-effects of the pharmaceutical drugs we take.

Many doctors will advise you to take all your vitamins and minerals mainly from your food to keep your body balance. It is definitely true when you have your own garden and you have fresh organic fruits and vegetables grown by you as a part of your daily diet. Let’s just consider the following realistic factors:

1) The quality of soil has highly deteriorated as it has been over-farmed over years. This kind of soil simply can not produce products rich and minerals and vitamins. Planting hybrid crops, the usage of modern fertilizers, pesticides and other chemicals to get the harvest quicker than it is foreseen by nature doesn’t make the food we consume today healthier.
2) Long transportation of food. Food products are being transported to different corners of the world and they need to look fresh and nice so that people would be willing to buy them. To preserve their natural look and shape fruits, vegetables and greens are sprayed by chemicals. Just look at that apples, peaches and pears you see in supermarkets! They shine like diamonds 🙂 Naturally, by the time that goods get to an end-consumer, they will lose their nutritious value.
3) Food processing. Refining products removes their natural provision of calcium, zinc, magnesium, cobalt, etc.

4) Excessive usage of artificial colors, sweeteners, flavors, stabilizers will not just lead to the decrease in the food quality but to its toxicity and harm for health.

As you can see, it might not be a bad idea to provide yourself with natural vitamins and minerals contained in organic supplements in order to stay healthy and energetic.

You might ask whether organic is a must. Well, organic supplements are definitely better than non-organic as they are derived from organic components and contain no potentially harmful ingredients.

How do we know whether we should use any organic vitamin and dietary supplements at all?

Sometimes people use vitamins and dietary supplements thoughtlessly.

I wouldn’t advise it as the excess of them can bring the negative impact on the health. First of all, consult with your doctor after having a blood test. Its results will show what you are deficient of.

Organic Reviewer

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Trustworthy reviews on organic supplements and vitamins

There are millions of offers on the market of organic supplements.

Some offers are good, some offers are good for nothing and you feel yourself drowned in them.

A lot of questions arise, but the most principle ones are:

  • which health supplements to choose?
  • where to buy the best organic vitamins and the best organic supplements?

You may ask – why would I buy organic supplements on-line? If I can go to the local pharmacy and buy what I’m offered there?
I will give you just one simple reason for it. While buying on-line you can calmly and without any rush read reviews on organic supplements and choose exactly what serves you the purpose. I have bought so many unnecessary, expensive and, in fact, unhelpful things advised by the pharmacists, so that now I prefer to shop on-line as it gives me the freedom of choice without any pressure.

What do I pay attention to while choosing the supplements for myself?

  1. Brand. It should be the respectable brand as you don’t want to end up consuming something which was produced in hidden laboratories in India (no offense for reputable Indian companies!). I choose famous European and American supplements brands, such as Gaia Herbs, New Chapter, Bio Schwartz, Biotics Research, Vitamin Code, Country life etc.
  2. It is better to choose products with organic ingredients and it must be indicated on the label.
  3. Non GMO, gluten-free.
  4. I read organic supplements reviews of other people. These reviews can be very helpful and will let me understand all pros and cons.
  5. The site which sells me organic supplements must have the full review of a product.
  6. Price. It should be reasonable in comparison with similar offers.
  7. Delivery time. You don’t want to wait for the goods to reach you two months later.

I will be helping you to choose the best health supplements which I’m either using myself or have heard only good things about!

Organic Reviewer

 

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Turmeric and curcumin – what is the difference?

Curcumin vs. turmeric. What is the difference between curcumin and turmeric?

I was among those who mixed those two. I will explain you now so that you wouldn’t mix it anymore.
Turmeric is the spice extracted from the root of the plant Curcuma Longa. Turmeric is very popular in India and Asia and it is used in many meals of their traditional cuisine. 

Curcumin is the most active component of the turmeric spice. It possesses a very powerful anti-oxidizing and anti-inflammatory effect.

In short, turmeric is a whole while curcumin is a part of the whole and quite a small part of it which doesn’t exceed five percents.

That’s why organic supplements producers try to augment the quantity of curcumin by extracting it from turmeric root. However, they face a serious problem – it becomes not very digestible. To increase the digestibility pepper extract and other enhancers (bromelein, bioperine, lecitin, etc) are added to curcumin supplements.

Some producers still produce the pure curcumin as this kind of curcumin is capable to stay in the large intestine for a longer period of time, hence it is effective for the intestines related pathologies.

How can we use this knowledge now?

Now we can choose the best curcumin supplements for ourselves.
If you want to use the turmeric spice as a prophylactic measure, then it is better to purchase just the turmeric powder and to add it to food. Or you can check my simple recipes with turmeric here. It will still be effective and together with pepper and other spices it will also be digestible.
If you need the turmeric to be highly effective, then pay attention to curcumin supplements.
If you need the curcumin for inflammatory bowel disease treatment, choose curcumin supplements without any pepper extract.


For any other cases, use the standard curcumin supplements with pepper or bioperine extract or any penetration enhancer.

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Stress and fatigue. How to reduce stress and fatigue factors and stay healthy and calm.

Stress and fatigue. How to reduce stress and fatigue factors and stay healthy and calm.

The modern life rhythm is very fast and we need to keep moving quickly in order to fit it. Whether we can or can not fit it, we feel stressed and tired. Stress has already become the inseparable part of our life and this is the natural reaction of a body for the nervous tension, negative emotions, work overload and situations difficult to solve. 

Let’s understand how it works. Stress increases the heart rate, leads to heart and headaches, damages your nervous and immune system and leads to insomnia. In its turn insomnia leads to the constant fatigue.

What are the symptoms of stress?

  1. The constant feeling of irritation even without the reasonable reasons

  2. Depression, the lack of desire to do anything, the constant desire to sleep or vice versa – insomnia. We can’t fall asleep easily as we continue thinking about everything when we go to sleep, it seems that our head will burst now

  3.  The decrease of the concentration level, headache, stomach ache, inability to take a deep breath, panic attacks

  4. The lack of appetite or devouring of food.

    If you recognize any of these states, then it is something to consider. Personally I have been going through these circles many times.

    Is there a way out?

    Surely, there is. Those who have pets at home might be more lucky then others. If I feel down, I pet my cat! Cats take away all your bad emotions. If you don’t have any pets, you can do anything which makes you happy.
    Don’t forget to be positive!

    Go to sleep early and before going to sleep take a relaxing bath.
    The air in your bedroom should be fresh and cool.
    Take a habit to leave all your problems at the threshold of your home.
    Make sport and get involved in mediation or yoga classes
    .
    The food must be light and highly digestible.
    Take herbal natural stress relief supplements.


    What should the best stress and anxiety supplements contain?

    In my opinion the best anxiety and stress-relief supplements should consist of the following ingredients:

    Vitamin B12, Vitamin C, magnesium, Omega-3, zinc. And herbal organic supplements such as passionflower, lemon balm, chamomile, ginseng, lavender flowers, mint, valerian root and turmeric (curcumin).