Summer 2014


BlueberriesIt’s summertime in the northern hemisphere, and food stores and farmer’s markets are offering an abundance of locally grown produce, including seasonal fruits and berries. From June through September, a colorful palette of berries invites us to indulge our taste buds and reap fabulous health benefits! The Cayce readings recommend berries for their cleansing properties, as well as for their nerve-building qualities and their nutritional contribution of iron, phosphorus, and silicon. Just a few readings mention specific types of berries, such as blackberries, gooseberries, or raspberries. Only a single reading highlights the blueberry, suggesting to “...especially use the garden blueberry.” (3118-1) However, this reading, given for a 56-year-old woman suffering from multiple sclerosis, includes a significant promise regarding the blueberry’s nutritional potential: “This is a property which someone, some day, will use in its proper place!” In the 21st century, we have seen this promise fulfilled as the blueberry is one of the most intensely researched and medicinally valued foods of our time.

Blueberries pack a powerful nutritional punch. They provide the minerals calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, phosphorus, and zinc, along with small amounts of vitamins A, B, and C. Blueberries also contain dietary fiber, important for digestive health. They are exceptionally high in manganese, an essential trace mineral that plays an important role in bone formation and helps the body metabolize protein, carbohydrates, and fat. Blueberries are also packed with antioxidants, powerful phytochemicals that assist the body in neutralizing free radicals, which have been associated with various degenerative conditions, including heart disease, cancer, and mental decline. The bioflavonoid antioxidants anthocyanin and proanthocyanin, which provide some of the pigments that lend blueberries their deep purple-blue color, have been shown to offer protection against inflammation. Chronic inflammation at the cellular level has been linked to several degenerative and age-related diseases.

Cardiovascular and metabolic health benefits
In recent years, researchers have identified numerous health benefits linked to the consumption of blueberries. In a 2010 study conducted at Pennington Biomedical Research Centre in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, obese study subjects who had a family history of diabetes and who were considered “prediabetic” were shown to have improved insulin resistance and a reduced risk of developing Type 2 diabetes as a result of consuming a blueberry-rich smoothie twice daily over a 42-day period. Previously, an animal study at University of Michigan Cardiovascular Center had demonstrated that a blueberry-rich diet significantly reduced the risks of cardiovascular disease and metabolic syndrome, which relates to a group of health conditions that include excessive abdominal fat, high blood pressure, and elevated blood sugar. The Michigan study determined that blueberry intake positively affected genes related to fat-burning and -storage.

Memory booster
Recent research conducted at the University of Cincinnati showed that drinking two cups of blueberry juice each day for 12 weeks improved memory scores in elderly study subjects. Averaging 78 years of age, participants registered no weight gain over the course of the study. The blueberry's high content of anthocyanins, which have been associated with increased neuronal signaling in the brain, may partially explain the surprising results of this memory study. Previous research, conducted with animals, had also linked blueberry consumption to memory improvement. Several years earlier, a study at the USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging suggested that a blueberry-rich diet may improve motor skills and reverse age-related short-term memory loss.

Additional research has confirmed the blueberry's role in supporting cardiovascular health, reducing undesirable LDL cholesterol levels, and protecting the heart muscle and brain against damage. A cousin of the European bilberry, which has been shown to improve night vision and prevent tired eyes, the blueberry has also been credited with benefiting eye health and reducing eye fatigue.

Wild blueberries Cultivated vs. wild
The large, juicy, plump-looking blueberries sold in supermarkets are typically the cultivated kind. Wild blueberries tend to be smaller in size, but higher in disease-fighting antioxidants. Both offer the opportunity of combining culinary pleasure with medicinal properties. Enjoy the delicious taste of blueberries on their own or combined with other fruits and berries, or sprinkle them over your morning cereal. Add blueberries to pancakes, muffins, or crisps. Put them in your blender with other berries and fruits, then add yogurt, milk, or almond milk for a delicious smoothie.

North America's blueberry season begins in Florida in mid-May, then moves farther north and concludes in Canada by September, although controlled-atmosphere storage keeps the market supplied with North American berries for a few weeks longer. Freeze the fresh berries for use during winter, or purchase them frozen for year-round enjoyment of some of the best disease protection nutrition can provide!

Originally published in Venture Inward magazine.
Copyright © Simone Gabbay


Butter really is good for you

The fact that the Cayce diet favors the consumption of butter as part of a healthy eating plan has long surprised readers who followed mainstream nutritionists’ advice to avoid saturated fats. But enlightened experts have always advocated butter with its solid record as a healthy and versatile dietary fat.

In June of this year, TIME magazine featured a major article conceding that the science associating butter and other saturated fats with an increased risk of heart disease had been wrong. It is not these natural fats, but rather our indiscriminate consumption of refined carbohydrates, that is responsible for many of our modern diseases, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity.

Once again, the Cayce readings were on track and ahead of their time, while at the same time being aligned with time-honored eating traditions. Butter, especially butter derived from pasture-fed cows, is an excellent source of natural fats and fat-soluble vitamins, notably vitamin A, which helps support optimal immune function and the health of the endocrine system. Butter is easily digested and does not put a strain on the liver. This makes it a good fat for anyone, including those with a weak digestive system.

Eat your veggies—save your life!

A study conducted at University College London supports the advice from the Cayce readings that vegetables and fruits be at the center of the human diet. The study concluded that those who eat seven or more servings of fresh veggies and fruit daily may reduce their risk of dying from a wide range of diseases by up to 42 percent compared with those who eat less than one serving a day. The consumption of vegetables, including salad veggies, appeared to have a greater protective effect than eating fruit.

Vegetables, especially those belonging to the green leafy, and yellow or orange, varieties, are a storehouse of vitamins, minerals, and other phytonutrients, many of which offer antioxidant properties, meaning they protect health by preventing free radical damage.

Eating plenty of veggies and fruit also ensures a predominantly alkaline-forming diet, as recommended by Cayce. Keeping the body in an alkaline state helps to maintain optimal metabolic function and a high state of health; it also prevents colds, infections, and other illnesses.

Morning sunlight stimulates metabolism

It’s easier to be slim and trim if you are an early riser. A study conducted at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago showed that exposure to early-morning light supports a healthy metabolism and helps fight flab by influencing the hormones that regulate appetite. Study subjects who rose early and were exposed to sunlight in the early morning hours were also more likely to have a lower body mass index (BMI) than night owls who slept into the morning hours and went outside later in the day. The results of this study align with other research concluding that altering light exposure affects metabolism, for instance in individuals working the night shift.

Folk wisdom and traditional healthcare methods around the world have long maintained that sleep begun at least an hour before midnight is more refreshing and rejuvenating than sleep begun later at night and extended late into the morning. As Cayce reading 4569-1 suggests, “Well that the body rest with the shadows. Early to bed, early to rise.”

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We wish all our readers a happy and healthy summer!

Simone Gabbay and the team

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