Monday, May 18, 2009

Pops Ingredient #7: Cayenne

Here's #7 of 77 Ingredients in the Pops (77 in both Green and Purple combined)

Cayenne pepper is named for the city of Cayenne in French Guiana. It consists primarily of the capsaicinoid Capsaicin, which is derived from the seeds and pods of a pepper related to bell peppers and jalapenos.
“Cayenne lowers blood pressure, blood cholesterol, triglycerides, and LDL/HDL ratio, while strengthening the heart. It reduces blood clots, dilates capillaries, has anti-inflammatory properties, and is a great pain reliever.” (Willard, 2004, p1)

Adding Cayenne to your diet may also enhance your metabolism (Lass, 2008, p2), helping you burn more calories and fat. Another reason it may promote weight loss is its capacity to stimulate thermogenesis, the generation of heat. Cayenne can speed up the rate at which energy is released, so that less of the fat you consume is stored (Shan, 2008, p3).

This ingredient can be found in Pop A Purple. See here.


  1. Lass J. Add some to lose some. Alive: Canadian Journal of Health & Nutrition [serial online]. April 2008;306:118-119. Available from: Alt HealthWatch, Ipswich, MA. Accessed May 15, 2009.
  2. Shan Y. Tackling the obesity crisis in the UK. Primary Health Care [serial online]. October 2008;18(8):25-30. Available from: CINAHL Plus with Full Text, Ipswich, MA. Accessed May 15, 2009.
  3. Willard T. Herb profile: Cayenne. Alive: Canadian Journal of Health & Nutrition [serial online]. June 2004;260:114-115. Available from: Alt HealthWatch, Ipswich, MA. Accessed May 15, 2009.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

5.5 Million Views: Who really pays for our cheap stuff?

Story of Stuff.

Fabulous. This could shake your values right down to your bone marrow.
Why NOT to buy the next latest gadget or other new faddish piece of clothing.
I promise you will not guess, according to this, who really pays for your ability to buy stuff so cheap. See here.

The art alone is priceless. I dare you not to cry.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Bifidus: Pops Ingredient #43

What is Bifidus? Why is it in the Pops?
Bifidus. Bifidobacteria is an important group of bacteria that resides in the human colon, which is colonized by hundreds of bacterial species. Beneficial bacteria like bifidobacteria are important for gastrointestinal health, and for overall health.

They prevent the overgrowth of pathogenic bacteria, make certain nutrients in the diet more available for absorption, and produce vitamin K. They also stimulate the immune system to protect against gastrointestinal infection, inflammation, and allergic diseases.

Bifidobacteria are the largest group of bacteria in the intestine of infants, but their relative numbers decline in adulthood. Increased levels potential disease-causing bacteria, such as Clostridium perfringens, streptococci, and enterobacteria are found in older adults. This imbalance in healthy versus disease-causing bacteria can result in numerous disorders.

Inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis can be debilitating conditions. Conventional treatments can cause serious side effects; however, people with these conditions have been shown to have reduced numbers of protective probiotic bacteria, such as bifidobacteria.

People with celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder with gastrointestinal symptoms, also have lower numbers of bifidobacterium than healthy people. Although there is no cure yet for celiac disease, probiotics with bifidobacterium help control the symptoms.

Collado MC, Donat E, Ribes-Koninckx C, Calabuig M, Sanz Y. Imbalances in faecal and duodenal Bifidobacterium species composition in active and non-active coeliac disease. BMC Microbiol. 2008 Dec 22;8:232.

Leenen CH, Dieleman LA. Inulin and oligofructose in chronic inflammatory bowel disease. J Nutr. 2007 Nov;137(11 Suppl):2572S-2575S.

Penders J, Thijs C, Vink C, Stelma FF, et al. Factors influencing the composition of the intestinal microbiota in early infancy. Pediatrics. 2006 Aug;118(2):511-21.

Roberfroid MB. Inulin-type fructans: functional food ingredients. J Nutr. 2007 Nov;137(11 Suppl):2493S-2502S.

Tuohy KM. Inulin-type fructans in healthy aging. J Nutr. 2007 Nov;137(11 Suppl):2590S-2593S.

Veereman G. Pediatric applications of inulin and oligofructose. J Nutr. 2007 Nov;137(11 Suppl):2585S-2589S.

What's Really in a Lot of 'Healthy' Foods?

The fine print is where they hide what you're really eating.

A lot of Americans think they're eating a healthy diet these days. But it's easy to be fooled by our assumptions and the ways that food manufacturers play on them.

Just in from the Wall St. Journal (PDF here in case):

"Chicken." The average American eats about 90 pounds of it a year, more than twice as much as in the 1970s, part of the switch to lower-fat, lower-cholesterol meat proteins. But roughly one-third of the fresh chicken sold in the U.S. is "plumped" with water, salt and sometimes a seaweed extract called carrageenan that helps it retain the added water. The U.S. Department of Agriculture says chicken processed this way can still be labeled "all natural" or "100% natural" because those are all natural ingredients, even though they aren't naturally found in chicken...

"...So-called enhanced or "plumped" chicken has between 200 and 400 mgs of sodium per serving, almost as much as a serving of fast-food french fries..."

"Wheat bread." This is a meaningless term, since almost all bread is made with wheat. Some manufacturers add to the illusion by using a brown wrapper or darkening bread with brown sugar or molasses. The more healthful stuff is whole wheat, which includes the outer bran and the wheat germ inside, good sources of nutrients and fiber. Check the ingredients. If the first one listed is "enriched wheat flour," you aren't getting much whole grain...

"Trick you with old food pyramid" A few bread makers are still displaying the USDA's old Food Pyramid on their packages -- the one that recommended six to 11 servings of bread or pasta a day. That's been replaced by a more individualized pyramid that recommends only six carbohydrate servings, three of which should be whole grains.

More disgusting examples here.

They know we don't read the labels before we buy. Much less the fine print.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Camu camu: Ingredient #57

Do you know what's in those Pops? The daily whole food multi we take?

73 Ingredients.

No, nothing synthetic, No artificial colors or anything else fake or toxic. Just 73 things to boost your health.

Here's #57:
Camu camu. A small purple-red fruit from a small tree that grows in the Amazon rain forest. This nutritious fruit has extremely high amounts of Vitamin C (2.4–3.0 grams per 100 grams of fruit), as well as significant amounts of potassium, calcium, magnesium, zinc, and B vitamins.

Vitamin C is not only the most important antioxidant obtained from food, it is also a potent anti-inflammatory agent that can protect against numerous chronic diseases. Moreover, camu camu exerts more powerful healing effects than synthetic supplements with equivalent vitamin C content. One reason for this effect is that camu camu contains numerous other antioxidant and anti-inflammatory substances such as carotenoids and anthocyanines that appear to amplify its healing effects. In addition, the high levels of potassium found in camu camu increase vitamin C absorption.

Adequate amounts of vitamin C are essential for healthy connective tissue, which includes skin, blood vessels, bones ligaments, and tendons. People with low levels of vitamin C suffer from poor wound healing and in extreme cases, scurvy. Chronically low levels of vitamin C can contribute to the development of cancer and cardiovascular disease. By removing free radicals, vitamin C can cancel out the cell-damaging effects of free radicals, providing protection from heart disease, cancers, and numerous other age-related diseases like macular degeneration and cataracts.

The extremely high nutritional content of camu camu means that it has many other health-promoting properties. Antidepressive, antiviral (herpes, HIV), and memory enhancement are among its biological effects. This fruit has been long used by people in traditional Amazonian societies, and it beginning to be cultivated on a large scale so that its health benefits can be enjoyed by all.


Zapata SM, Dufour JM. Camu-camu Myrciaria dubia (HBK) McVaugh: Chemical composition of fruit. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture. Volume 61 Issue 3, Pages 349 – 351.

Dr. Duke's Phytochemical and Ethnobotanical Databases. [Online Database] 08 May 2009.

Inoue T, Komoda H, Uchida T, Node K. Tropical fruit camu-camu (Myrciaria dubia) has anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory properties. J Cardiol. 2008 Oct;52(2):127-32. Epub 2008 Jul 29

Justi KC, Visentainer JV, Evelázio de Souza N, et al. Nutritional composition and vitamin C stability in stored camu-camu (Myrciaria dubia) pulp. Arch Latinoam Nutr. 2000 Dec;50(4):405-8.

Li Y, Schellhorn HE. New developments and novel therapeutic perspectives for vitamin C. J Nutr. 2007 Oct;137(10):2171-84.
Did you get your Camu Camu today?

Wednesday, May 6, 2009