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Is there a sugar-insulin-cancer link?

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High fat coupled with high sugar diets may switch on an excess of your insulin genes in such a way that the genes express differently, pumping out more insulin than the body requires. If you look at those with colon cancer, you can see how their glucose (sugar) metabolic pathways and insulin signaling pathways are running at completely different levels than people who don’t have colon cancer. That's the basis of a new study. Check out the March 7, 2012 news release, Study shows how high-fat diets increase colon cancer risk.

Researchers found that colon cancer may be caused by excess insulin circulating in the body which likely is caused by eating too much fat and sugar. You don't want foods high in fat and sugar to change your body's methylation patterns.

Scientists studying trends in health, nutritional findings, or what treatments work better are able to share information by having numerous Internet-based hubs for looking at news releases that point to studies and abstracts published online and/or in print in medical and scientific journals.

You can find some pretty good news releases on health, diet, and stress. Check out these various March 7, 2012 healthy trends-related news releases on new studies: How repeated stress impairs memory, What does chronic stress in adolescence mean at the molecular level?, Pycnogenol (French maritime pine bark extract) shown to improve menopause symptoms in new study, Internet-based therapy relieves persistent tinnitus, The effect of catch-up growth by various diets and resveratrol intervention on bone status, More effective treatments urgently needed for adolescent depression, and Study shows how high-fat diets increase colon cancer risk.

Let's take a look at one of these new studies that reveal how high-fat diets may increase colon cancer risk. The Temple University study has been published this month in the journal Cancer Prevention Research. Observe how many of these studies focus on the effects of certain diets rather than only examining the results of specific drugs.

In that same journal, March 2012 issue, you also can find another study, Effects of Tomato- and Soy-Rich Diets on the IGF-I Hormonal Network: A Crossover Study of Postmenopausal Women at High Risk for Breast Cancer. Cancer Prev Res March 2012 5:498; Published OnlineFirst February 3, 2012; doi:10.1158/1940-6207.CAPR-12-0011.

How to read what's important in a medical journal article

When you check out many studies, look at the abstract of the study to see what the conclusions or results are, since the full study of recently published material usually are by subscription to various medical journals. Sometimes the full study is published, but often you'll be reading the abstract of the study to get a handle on what the conclusions or results of the study found.

The abstract explained, "The tomato-rich diet had little effect on cell-signaling biomarkers previously associated with breast cancer risk. However, results of the soy intervention showed that concentrations of IGF-I and IGFBP-3 increased by 21.6 and 154.7 μmol/L, respectively (P = 0.001 for both) and SHBG decreased by 5.4 μmol/L (P < 0.001) after consumption of the soy protein supplement.

Increased soy protein intake may lead to small, but significant, increases in IGF-I and IGFBP-3. Soy consumption also led to a significant decrease in SHBG, which has been hypothesized to promote, rather than prevent, cancer growth. Previous epidemiologic studies, however, have confirmed protective effect of soy on breast cancer. Additional investigation about the effect of soy on breast cancer risk and its mechanism of action is warranted. Cancer Prev Res; 4(5); 702–10. ©2011 AACR."

How High-Fat Diets May Increase Colon Cancer Risk

Cancer loves insulin. And cancer also loves sugar. Now when you look at the study on how high-fat diets increase colon cancer risk, the actual study is titled, "The Interaction of a High-Fat Diet and Regular Moderate Intensity Exercise on Intestinal Polyp Development in ApcMin/+ Mice," published in that same Cancer Prevention Research journal. The study noted that the Western-style diet was used. Diet and exercise are two environmental factors that can alter colon cancer risk, according to the study's abstract.

The purpose of this study was to determine whether regular moderate-intensity treadmill exercise training could attenuate polyp formation in ApcMin/+ mice fed the Western-style diet. But what if the scientists tried other diets such as pan-Asian, Mediterranean, Mexican, Pacific Islander, or Scandinavian-Saami? What about diets rich in fish eaten in small fishing villages across Europe or Asia? Check out the news release and follow up with at least the abstract of the study to see what was done in the process.

Cancer Loves Insulin, Sugar, and Cured Meats?

Sounds like a recipe for a barbeque. But you need validated evidence. Next, you might wish to check out the study in the June 8, 2010 Cancer Prevention Research journal with the article on red meat, "Meat Processing and Colon Carcinogenesis: Cooked, Nitrite-Treated, and Oxidized High-Heme Cured Meat Promotes Mucin-Depleted Foci in Rats."

Processed meat intake is associated with colorectal cancer risk, but no experimental study supports the epidemiologic evidence. To study the effect of meat processing on carcinogenesis promotion, researchers first did a 14-day study with 16 models of cured meat. The study focused on processed meats.

The study found that a model cured meat, similar to ham stored aerobically, increased the number of preneoplastic lesions, which suggests colon carcinogenesis promotion. Nitrite treatment and oxidation increased this promoting effect, which was linked with increased fecal ATNC level. This study could lead to process modifications to make nonpromoting processed meat. Cancer Prev Res; 3(7); 852–64. ©2010 AACR.

In these studies, rats were observed because researchers surmise that whatever happens to the rats possibly can also happen to humans even though the animals have different types of digestive systems. Generally, if cancer develops in rats after eating a certain type of diet, chances are that it could develop in humans, but more studies need to be done with more rats, most scientists would agree.

In the March 7, 2012news release, Study shows how high-fat diets increase colon cancer risk, this Temple University study published this month in the journal Cancer Prevention Research, notes that eating too much fat and sugar, according to numerous epidemiologists, puts a person at greater risk for colon cancer. Now, researchers at Temple University have established a link that may explain why.

Altered dietary metabolic pathways

The findings of the study, “Epigenetic Differences in Normal Colon Mucosa of Cancer Patients Suggest Altered Dietary Metabolic Pathways,” were published in the March 2012 issue of the American Association for Cancer Research’s journal, Cancer Prevention Research. “There have always been questions about why things like diet and obesity are independent risk factors for colon cancer,” said Carmen Sapienza, professor of pathology in Temple’s Fels Institute for Cancer Research and Molecular Biology, the study’s lead author, according to the news release. “This study suggests how and why high fat diets are linked to colon cancer.”

The researchers compared colon tissue in non-colon cancer patients with normal colon tissue in patients with the disease. In the normal tissue from patients with colon cancer, they found that epigenetic marks on genes involved in breaking down carbohydrates, lipids and amino acids — abundant in the fatty Western diet — appeared to have been retrained. Epigenetic marks are chemical modifications that serve as on/off switches for many genes.

“These foods are changing the methylation patterns on a person’s insulin genes so that they express differently, pumping out more insulin than the body requires,” said Sapienza. “In people that have colon cancer, their glucose metabolic pathways and insulin signaling pathways are running at completely different levels than people who don’t have colon cancer.”

Sapienza said, according to the news release, that cancer cells love insulin and studies have shown that tumors feed off of insulin. “Insulin is only supposed to be expressed in your pancreas, so having this extra insulin is bad,” he said, according to the news release.

Sapienza pointed out that people don’t usually get colon cancer until the age of 50 or older. So it is unclear when the epigenetic modification of the genes begins.

“The hypothesis is that the changes in the metabolic pathways happen first, and once they occur, if any kind of mutation happens that causes a cancerous polyp, you are going to feed it through this excess insulin,” he said, according to the news release.

“There have always been questions about why things like diet and obesity are independent risk factors for colon cancer. This study suggests how and why high fat diets are linked to colon cancer.” -- Carmen Sapienza, professor of pathology, Fels Institute for Cancer Research and Molecular Biology. Sapienza said this study provides the first evidence of widespread epigenetic modification of metabolic pathway genes occurring in healthy colon tissue.

The researchers theorize that if the modification found in healthy colon tissue could also be found in other healthy tissues in the body, they might be used to diagnose or determine the likelihood of colon cancer by through a saliva or blood test in addition to a colonoscopy.

In addition to Sapienza, researchers on the study included Matthew L. Silviera, Brian P. Smith and Jasmine Powell of the Fels Institute for Cancer Researcher and Molecular Biology in Temple’s School of Medicine. The National Institutes of Health and Temple’s Fels Institute for Cancer Research and Molecular Biology funded the study. Also see "Bread a Culprit in Americans Eating too Much Salt."

Why Cancer Loves Sugar

Here's why cancer loves sugar. Cancer cells work somewhat like a seed, and cannot grow unless the conditions are right. Heredity and environment play a part, of course, but the epigentic tags on the genes have to be switched on by a high-sugar diet to feed the cancer cells and keep them replicating. Cancer patients often test out with overactive anabolic glands, and doctors test patients for an overactive anterior pituitary gland and high levels of sugar in the patient's blood.

New studies reveal that foods containing black squid ink fight cancer and tumor cells by preventing the growth of new blood vessels which causes tumor and cancer cells to grow. Check out the various black foods such as the large bin labeled "Forbidden Rice," which is black rice, at Sacramento's Whole Foods Market. Also see the article, "Angiogenesis Foundation - Squid Ink Discovered to be Antiangiogenic."

Sacramento's new food trend is to eat black foods, especially squid ink pasta with black beans one day and black rice with blueberries the next. If you look at Sacramento's various natural food markets, stores are carrying more black foods such as black rice (also known as 'forbidden' rice) and squid ink pasta. See, Squid Ink Pasta: Cooking Terms: RecipeTips.com.

A state of body chemistry has to exist which favors the cancer cells to take hold and grow as if they were a virus. This state of body chemistry is controlled by heredity and environment. But diet is part of environment. If you look at a patient with blood cancer, for example, leukemia, it seems as if the cancer is acting as if it were a virus, devouring the sugar in the blood in order to grow abnormally, reproduce, and spread. Check out Dr. Myerhof's studies at the University of Pennsylvania. Myerhof was a 1922 Nobel Prize laureate in physiology.

You have to look at some of the studies by Nobel laureate in physiology, Dr. Meyerhof of the University of Pennsylvania, who felt that the growth of cancer cells might be stopped if biochemists could find a way to stop the tumor's appetite for sugar. What scientists found, according to the book, Your Body is Your Best Doctor, is that cancer cells need an abnormal amount of sugar for their growth. Dr. Myerhof studied glycolysis. In 1922, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine, with Archibald Vivian Hill, for his work on muscle metabolism, including glycolysis, according to the Wikipedia website.

If you have a balanced body chemistry, you can be exposed to environmental toxins to a certain degree and not be made sick early on in your exposure to these toxins, of course, to a degree of exposure

So when scientists look at lactic acid, they note how lactic acid is essential for the growth of cancer cells. So how do you stop or limit the growth of cells that furiously feed on sugar? What scientists continue to research is whether if sugar is limited, perhaps the growth of cancer cells could be slowed.

That's why nutritionists and some doctors want people to limit the sugar level of their blood. According to Dr. Page's book, Your Body is Your Best Doctor, it notes, "We do not remember seeing a single cancer case that had a correct blood sugar level." And if you look at healthy people who don't have cancer, a correct blood sugar level can be obtained by many simply by eating a sugar-free diet.

Why Some Doctors Want to Inhibit the Anterior Pituitary Gland So It Wouldn't Be So Overactive

Some doctors even treated cancer patients with tiny doses of insulin to lower their high blood sugar levels, and these cancer patients were not diabetics. Diet also was changed so the cancer patients were not eating foods containing sugar, or even excess sugar.

The doctors were not really trying to control the blood sugar levels in cancer patients. Instead what they were trying to inhibit was the anterior pituitary gland, so it wouldn't be so overactive. The sugar levels of the blood of cancer patients serve as an index to the amounts of insulin or other glandular substance required, according to Dr. Page's book. That's why diet is important when you're trying to slow down or prevent cancer.

Cancer patients often test out with overactive anabolic glands. In fact about 95 percent of cancer cases had overactive anterior pituitary glands and also abnormally high sugar levels, according to the book, Your Body is Your Best Doctor, by Melvin E. Page, D.D.S, and H. Leon Abrams, Jr., page 178.

Cancer cells differ from normal cells from which cancel cells originate. But they differ only in their rate of growth and in their abnormal size. What might cause those high sugar levels and overactive anterior pituitary glands in cancer patients?

Why Glycolysis Happens

Why glycolysis happens is that the cancer cells split the sugar molecule into lactic acid molecules by a process that's related to alcoholic fermentation. That process is called glycolysis, acccording to Dr. Page's book, Your Body is Your Best Doctor, page 178.

Let's look at children's diets right here in Sacramento. Are kids getting too much sugar in their daily meals and snacks? Cancer kills more children between the ages of three and fifteen than any other disease, according to the American Cancer Society. If you've had a complete blood chemistry test when you go for a physical exam, you also might have your doctor or naturopath take a look at your endocrine patterns.

When you think of all the processed foods that contain sugar from ketchup to BBQ sauce, from sodas to some low-sodium soups, from some types of tomato sauce to condiments. Sugar seems to be everywhere. When you look at the box of one brand of sea salt, one of the ingredients is dextrose.

Now why would dextrose, a sugar be added to a box of commercial, supermarket shelf variety of sea salt? People buying the sea salt wouldn't have any idea that a sugar called dextrose has been added to the salt. Imagine someone rinsing his mouth with salt containing a type of sugar thinking that the salt water rinse would help prevent tooth decay or gum disease.

The point is whatever doctors and scientists are researching about tumors and cancers, it seems that these abnormal cells love sugar. And in some biology lab courses, rats were fed sugar to raise their blood pressure instead of salt

Another preservative in some types of beef is the synthetic female hormone, stilbesterol given to beef cattle to help the cows gain weight. According to Dr. Page's book, Your Body is Your Best Doctor, "it has been proven that stilbesterol can cause cancer in rats."

So basically, with all these environmental hazards in foods, why add sugar to your diet? For the sake of your teeth, bones, and cells, you don't need excess sugar. Your brain will get enough sugar from the fruits and vegetables you eat without adding table sugar or sweet syrups to your salt, condiments, soups, processed foods, sauces, or other types of meals. As far as tumors, scientists around the world are studying how squid ink may prevent new blood vessels from growing in some types of tumors.

Anthocyanins in Black Foods and How Squid Ink Prevents New Blood Vessels From Growing In Some Tumors

Basically, black foods are healthy for their anti-cancer properties and the high amount of anti-oxidant in foods that are colored black. When it comes to black beans which contain high amounts of antioxidants, the black-colored plant foods also have health benefits. It's the chemicals in the black color in black beans that also fights cancer. See, Foods That Fight Cancer - American Institute for Cancer Research Blog. Also check out the articles on black beans at the Bean Institute site.

These plant pigments are more than coloring agents for fruit juices, wine, and other beverages. They also contain an array of health-promoting benefits.

When anthocynanins are eaten in large amounts by humans, these antioxidant flavonoids that protect specific body systems. They have some of the strongest physiological effects of any plant compounds, and they are also provide pigment for pansies, petunias, and plums. See the article, Anthocyanins by Marilyn Sterling, R.D. Anthocyanins have anti-inflammatory properties, which affect collagen and the nervous system. Check out the health benefits at the Anthocyanins article site.

For example black squid ink, usually sold in black pasta is supposed to stop tumors in their tracks by preventing new blood vessels from growing in tumors. See the latest studies on how squid ink stops new blood vessels from growing in cancer and tumor cells, "Angiogenesis Foundation - Squid Ink Discovered to be Antiangiogenic."

Another amazing study focuses on the health benefits of black rice bran

If you can't find black rice bran yet in the stores or online, make your own by grinding black rice into a meal. You won't get just the bran, but you will get a healthy meal or flour for making other foods such as crackers, breads, and brownies. Or check out the black rice bran sales online, for example, the site, Black Rice Bran Sale. Also see, The next big food fad is black rice bran | Smartplanet.

Black beans are supposed to have anti-oxidant properties to knock-out free radicals. And black rice, often called forbidden rice, is supposed to contain more anti-oxidants than blue berries and also due to the black coloring, help to destroy cancer and tumor cells. Check out the site, Black Foods Are the New Green | The Dr. Oz Show.

You can buy black rice in Sacramento in bulk food bins at the Whole Foods Market on Arden Way and Eastern Avenue. It's labeled as "forbidden rice." In fact, if you watched the Dr. Oz show this morning, May 5, 2011, on Dish Satellite Network channel 58 in Sacramento, you may have heard the show that featured black-colored foods such as squid ink pasta, black beans, and black rice.

Sacramento is ready for black rice. In fact, Whole Foods Market on Arden and Eastern Avenues in Sacramento sells black rice in its bulk containers under the label, "Forbidden Rice." Centuries ago in China black rice was called "forbidden rice" because only the emperor could eat it, possibly because of its health benefits and delicious taste. You can also mix black rice with brown rice or mahogany rice. Check out the articles, Influence of Cooking on Anthocyanins in Black Rice (Oryza sativa L. japonica var. SBR) and Phenolic Profiles and Antioxidant Activity of Black Rice Bran of Different Commercially Available Varieties.

The time has come for black rice bran also to be on store shelves

t's not available yet in local stores. But keep watching. In fact the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry has a whole column of studies on black rice and its health effects. See the articles at this website using the key words in the site's search engine "black rice." Black rice may be bought online or in stores such as Sacramento's Whole Foods Market, at least as far as this week, it was in the bulk rice and grain bin aisle listed as "Forbidden Rice--black rice." And it's very affordable.

Scientists are reporting evidence that black rice — a little-known variety of the grain that is the staple food for one-third of the world population — may help soothe the inflammation involved in allergies, asthma, and other diseases. Their study appears in ACS' bi-weekly Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

Chinese black rice could replace blueberries as the supreme superfood for a fraction of the price and deliver more health benefits announced researchers at American Chemical Society's (ACS) annual fall meeting, according to an American Chemical Society Septemeber 7, 2010 press release, "ACS in the News."

According to an October 20, 2010 study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, black rice bran may cut inflammation. See the article, "Black rice bran may help fight disease-related inflammation." See the article, "The Next Big Food Fad is Black Rice Bran."

UC Davis in the Sacramento-Davis regional area also researches rice

In the Sacramento area, UC Davis also studies the health benefits and production of rice bran oil, rice bran, and whole-grain brown rice.The University of California Cooperative and Extension (UCCE) Rice Project is an interdisciplinary collaboration that fosters research in rice production management and facilitates the exchange of information and the development and spread of promising technologies.The project studies rice production in California, especially in the Sacramento area.

You'd have to eat many times more servings of black rice to get the same nutrients from black rice bran, which is difficult to find at this time in stores. But you can buy black rice and grind it to a flour in a coffee grinder or a dry grinder (such as a Vita-Mix dry grinder) and then sprinkle the black rice flour or meal over other foods.

As the studies on black rice bran reach the stores, availability of black rice bran may change

In the meantime, keep on grinding the black rice into flour and sprinkle it on foods. If you cook black rice, you'll find it's a very sticky rice and tastes good as a fruit-sweetened rice pudding, the way some people may eat it in China, for example. Black rice also is popular in Thailand and Indonesia.

For more information on black rice, see the California Rice Commission website. You might also look for black, Japonica and mahogany Japonica short grain rice in the Sacramento area. In fact, Sacramento and the surrounding valley areas are California's main rice-growing regions.

To buy black Japonica rice online, which may be a field blend of black and mahogany Japonica rice, check out the Max Vite, website where you can order just one bag of Lundberg Black Japonica Rice or as many as you want. Or you can also see the site, Lundberg Black Japonica Rice, 16-Ounces (Pack of 12): Amazon.com . Lundberg is located in N. California in Richvale, located approximately 80 miles north of Sacramento.

Black Japonica rice grains have a thick bran layer that is black or mahogany in color

The grains are sweet, nutty and musky in flavor and chewy, with a moist,crunchy texture. Best uses for black rice are for salads, soups, stuffings, and casseroles.

Zhimin Xu, associate professor at the Department of Food Science at Louisiana State University Agricultural Center, explained in a September 1, 2010 American Chemical Society (ACS) announcement, "Just a spoonful of black rice bran contains more health promoting anthocyanin antioxidants than are found in a spoonful of blueberries, but with less sugar and more fiber and vitamin E antioxidants."

Is there a way to make it easier to find black rice bran in Sacramento? The anthocyanin antioxidants are high in black rice and black rice bran. These are substances that may help fight heart disease, cancer, and other diseases.

If black rice bran has more antioxidants than brown rice bran, why is black rice harder to find in stores, but easy to obtain online?

And a search for black rice bran online, brings up few places to order it, whereas black rice is easier to find online than in some stores locally, but the black rice is some brands may be often mixed with mahogony Japonica rice.

In Albany, California, Mendel Friedman, of the US Dept. of Agriculture, and colleagues have also done previous research showing some potential health benefits of eating black rice bran. But will you get the same benefits if black rice is easier to find than black rice bran in the stores or online? Keep on searching.

Stores may get the idea and start selling it. In the meantime, if all you can find is black rice, then be sure to soak it at least an hour before you cook it. Black rice takes longer to cook than brown rice. But after it's soaked and softened, then it cooks up like any other rice.

Also see the following sites selling black rice online, "Temple of Thai.com," and Black Jasmine Rice at the Alter Eco Fair Trade site. Lotus Foods sells back rice. It has been known in historic times in China as "forbidden rice." Some sites sell black rice from Thailand. Other sites sell black rice from China or other nations. Other sites sell California-grown black rice. Check out the search engine sites under the key words, "black rice."

Bran is the outer husk of the grain

Experiments, which were done in cell cultures, hinted that black rice bran suppressed the release of histamine, which causes inflammation, according to the news release, "Black rice bran may help fight disease-related inflammation." In the new study, scientists tested the effects of black rice bran extract on skin inflammation in laboratory mice.

When they injected the extract into the mice, it reduced skin inflammation by about 32 percent compared to control animals and also decreased production of certain substances known to promote inflammation. But will black rice bran work with people in a similar way to what worked with mice?

Brown rice bran extract did not have these effects, according to researchers

When the scientists fed the mice a diet containing 10 percent black rice bran, it reduced swelling associated with allergic contact dermatitis, a common type of skin irritation. The findings "further demonstrate the potential value of black rice bran as an anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic food ingredient and possibly also as a therapeutic agent for the treatment and prevention of diseases associated with chronic inflammation," the article notes.

You can read and download the original article based on the study, "Protective Effects of Black Rice Bran against Chemically-Induced Inflammation of Mouse Skin. " The study's contact is Mendel Friedman, Ph.D. Western Regional Research CenterAgricultural Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Albany, Calif. 94710.

If you're looking for black rice or black rice bran in Sacramento, try some of the ethnic Japanese grocers for Japonica black rice. Or buy from N. California's Lundberg company. Or buy online from Amazon.com. For more information on rice in Sacramento, see, Farmers' Rice Cooperative, P.O. Box 15223, Sacramento, CA 95851.

The Farmers' Rice Cooperative (FRC) is the largest grower-owned Rice Cooperative in California

FRC is the leader in rice milling and packaging technology in its facilities and a major supplier of premium medium grain and short grain rice for retail, food service, industrial and export. Products offered include rice flour, brewers, brown, second heads, waxy sweet, regular milled white rice, short grain, medium grain, long grain, stabilized rice bran.

Can a breakfast of brown and black rice with wild organic blueberries help to reduce certain types of hypertension? Research shows that brown rice with no added salt may help to reduce blood pressure, in some cases, especially when eaten with wild blueberries for breakfast. See the article, Blueberry Research | Antioxidant Benefits, Disease Prevention.

In the Sacramento regional area, at the University of California, Davis, a study found that blueberries may reduce the build up of so called "bad" cholesterol that contributes to cardiovascular disease and stroke, according to UC Davis scientists. Antioxidants are believed to be the active component. See the UC Davis study published in the USDA Agricultural Research Service. July 2004; Food Navigator. August 2004.

Here are some facts about high blood pressure

What causes 90% of the older population to develop high blood pressure? See the May 3, 2010 Natural News article, Eat brown rice to prevent high blood pressure, lower heart attack risk. According to an October 20, 2010 study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, black rice bran may cut inflammation. See the article, "Black rice bran may help fight disease-related inflammation." See the article, "The Next Big Food Fad is Black Rice Bran."

The University of California Cooperative and Extension (UCCE) Rice Project is an interdisciplinary collaboration that fosters research in rice production management and facilitates the exchange of information and the development and spread of promising technologies.The project studies rice production in California, especially in the Sacramento area.

You'd have to eat many times more servings of black rice to get the same nutrients from black rice bran, which is difficult to find at this time in stores. But you can buy black rice and grind it to a flour in a coffee grinder or a dry grinder (such as a Vita-Mix dry grinder) and then sprinkle the black rice flour or meal over other foods.

You can buy black rice in Sacramento in various supermarkets and food stores around town and also in the bulk bins at the Whole Foods Market on Arden and Eastern Avenues. The black rice, a product of China, are marked "forbidden rice," which is another name for black rice. It goes back to the historical era in some areas of Asia when only the king or royalty was allowed eat the more nutritious black rice, and the rest of the population had to do with white rice.

For more information on black rice in Sacramento, see the California Rice Commission website. You might also look for black, Japonica and mahogany Japonica short grain rice in the Sacramento area. In fact, Sacramento and the surrounding valley areas are California's main rice-growing regions.

Blueberries paired with black or brown rice and decaf green tea for a healthier breakfast recipe in Sacramento

Blueberries have the highest cellular antioxidant activity of selected fruits tested. Lead scientist Rui Hai Liu, Ph.D. used the cellular antioxidant activity (CAA) assay — a new assay developed by the Cornell University Department of Food Science — to determine antioxidant activity of antioxidants, foods, and dietary supplements.

Wild Blueberries outperformed two dozen commonly consumed fruits like pomegranates, strawberries, cultivated blueberries, cranberries, apples and red grapes. Antioxidant have been linked with anti-aging, anti-cancer and heart-health benefits. Check out these studies: Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 2008; 56(18): 8418-8426 and Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 2007; 55(22): 8896-8907.

A recent recommendation for detecting and treating high blood pressure is available from the Seventh Report of the Joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure of the National Heart and Lung Institutes, National Institutes of Health.

Where Can You Pick Blueberries in Sacramento?
You can pay to pick your own blueberries locally, from specific farms or find berries at various farmers' markets. Folsom, in the Sacramento area, marks the location of headquarters of the US Highbush Blueberry Council, which represents around 2,000 blueberries growers in the USA representing a half-billion pounds of production each year. According to an April 15, 2010 Sacramento News Review.com article by Alastair Bland, Little, blue, different - Homegrown - Green Guide, Americans hardly eat blueberries.

As the summer approaches, you may find ample opportunity in the Sacramento area and surrounding regions to go out to specific blueberry farms that invite the public to pay and pick the blueberries. For example, there's Bolster's Hilltop Ranch in Camino, an unincorporated town in El Dorado county, with a population of about 4,961, where customers must pick the fruit for themselves.

According to Alastair Bland's article, Bolster's Hilltop Ranch in Camino consists of 4 acres of fields that produce nine varieties of blueberries. See my April 13, 2010 Examiner article for blueberry or any other berry jam recipe, "How to make healthier blueberry or strawberry jam: health benefits of pectin."

If you want to learn about various species of blueberries that grow in California, there are three species in the genus Vaccinium. The farm's first variety to ripen each season is the duke blueberry, according to the article, Little, blue, different - Homegrown - Green Guide. You can see this plump berry variety in late May. It's Bolster's "favorite variety."

If you want more California blueberries, there are varieties such as the sharpblue, Georgia gem, marimba, misty, Gulf Coast, and Cape Fear blueberries. Before you start growing blueberries in Sacramento climate, find out which blueberries do best in the warm, California climate. Blueberries are native to North America. Some varieties of blueberries do better in different, colder climates.

In California, including the Sacramento regional areas, some people pay to come and pick blueberries from certain farms that invite people to pay and pick. In June, Bolster's Hilltop Ranch could be full of pay-to-pick customers. Other places you can buy local blueberries are in supermarket and various natural foods and whole foods stores in the area.

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