Essential Vitamins for Our Body

Our bodies can make four of 13 vitamins we need for optimal health. So actually, there are only nine vitamins that are essential. Remember "essential?" We can only get an essential nutrient from our food. Regarding vitamins, Biotin (B7), Pantothenic acid (B5), and vitamin K are made in the human intestine, normally in amounts adequate… Read More

Seaweed nutrition facts and seaweed benefits

Edible Seaweed The term "edible" is reserved for those seaweeds that are mostly marine algae since most freshwater algae is toxic. Even so, some of the marine algae can irritate the GI tract and/or have a laxative effect. It is probably a good idea to know what kind of seaweed one is consuming. No problem… Read More

Spirulina Health Benefits

Spirulina Definition: What is Spirulina? Spirulina, a blue-green algae family member, is actually a cyanobacterium. Although they use photosynthesis to convert sunlight and carbon dioxide into energy and have chlorophyll the way algae does, it has no membrane enclosed nucleus housing its DNA. Thus it is not a true algae but a type of bacteria.… Read More

Chlorella Benefits and Dangers

Chlorella Benefits It turns out that chlorella's cellular membrane is impervious to the digestive juices of our gastro-intestinal system. So, much like a chicken egg, the wall (or shell) has to be broken to get to the good stuff inside. Chlorella for Detox At the top of the list is detoxification which is extremely important… Read More

Astaxanthin benefits, dangers and side effects

What is Astaxanthin? Astaxanthin (AST) is not algae itself but is derived from one of the freshwater green algae, specifically the micro-algae Haematoccous pluvialis. It is actually a carotenoid, a phytonutrient that provides the pigments that makes many of our plants, animals and fish colorful. In this case, our Haematoccous pluvialis gives salmon and flamingos… Read More

What is pond scum, or algae? Harmful or Useful?

The word algae is the plural form of an incredible range of organisms that we usually associate with single-celled life forms having a nucleus and being able to use photosynthesis to create their own food from sunlight and carbon dioxide. Their waste is oxygen without which we humans would die off in a matter of… Read More

Enzymes Definition and Functions What is enzyme and its function? Enzymes are proteins required by almost every process in our bodies and they seem to be pretty important to life. One source says there are 55,000 of these specialized proteins in our body; another says 75,000. It seems to depend on whom we ask but who's counting and… Read More

Commercial Probiotic Products: Danone made it first

For now, the Paris food company Group DANONE has taken the lead in turning probiotics into big bucks. Activia, their latest big thing, has a bacteria called bifidus animalus as its key ingredient. It is able to pass through the stomach without getting zapped by the hydrochloric acid bath. Then it moves into the intestine… Read More

Health Benefits of Probiotics and Prebiotics

Probiotics; Intestinal Flora is Vital to Life. In a word, probiotics are bacteria. For our purposes we are talking about the bacteria that live in our intestines and impart many known healthful benefits to us. In actuality we know very little about these squatters in our guts but new findings are coming fast and furious.… Read More

Dietary Fiber Definition, Benefits, Importance

Fiber comes from plants and includes such things as cellulose, pectin and gums. They are the indigestible part of plant foods that move through the digestive system, absorbing water and easing the passage of waste products. Soluble or Non-Soluble Dietary Fiber? Most dietary fiber is classified as to whether it is water soluble or not… Read More

Essential Nutrients

Does optimal health really depend on essential nutrients? It has been said that the U.S. is the most overfed and undernourished country in the world. Just taking that statement on faith would indicate that there is very little correlation between eating and nourishment. Nourishment comes from nutrition, nutrition comes from food and it appears that… Read More

Food Pyramid or Food Plate?

Food pyramids are out, food plates are in! On June 2nd of 2011 the USDA put their pyramids out and introduced their new "food plate" icon and it appears that they got it right this time. The new graphic for USDA food recommendations is shown below and can be accessed on the USDA website at… Read More