Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD, DNM, ROHP

International Best-Selling & 18-Time Book Author, Board-Certified Doctor of Natural Medicine

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10 Probiotic-Rich Foods to Supercharge Your Health

August 26, 2015

Most people know that yogurt (at least the unsweetened kind with live cultures) is a healthy option but few people consider the many other foods rich in beneficial bacteria or yeasts that help boost health.  Based on my new book, The Probiotic Promise:  Simple Steps to Heal Your Body from the Inside Out, here are 10 of my favorite probiotic-rich picks to add to your diet. 

Cheese:  Some cheeses offer probiotics, including:  yogurt cheese (made from straining yogurt through a cheesecloth to thicken it) and some unpasteurized dairy-free cheeses made through the addition of probiotic cu…

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The Truth about Xanthan (and Many Gluten-Free Foods)

August 19, 2015

Is your gluten-free bread safe to eat?

If you’ve read the labels on packaged food lately, chances are good that you’ve seen xanthan gum listed on the label.  And, like most people you probably hesitated, wondering, “what exactly is xanthan gum?” and then wondered whether you should purchase this food product.  To help you make your own decision, let me share some information about xanthan, how it is made, and research as to whether this substance is healthy or not.

Xanthan gum is a carbohydrate that is secreted by bacteria known as Xanthomonas campestris.  It is used as a thickener and stabilizing ingredient in pac…

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How Nature Rewires Your Brain and Reduces Mental Illness Risk

July 22, 2015

Taking a nature walk can boost your mental health.

Have you had your daily dose of trees, flowers, and shrubs?  No, I don’t mean in the form of herbal medicine, although there are countless studies supporting the use of herbalism in our daily lives.  I’m referring to spending time communing with nature.  We all know that spending time in nature just feels great but thanks to a new study published in the medical journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, there are more reasons than ever to get outdoors and spend time in nature:  the experience transforms your brain and reduces your risk o…

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Is an Anti-Cancer Wonder Drug Growing on Your Front Lawn?

July 5, 2015

If you walk past my home you’ll know if from the dandelions that grow rampant on the front lawn.  While neighbors continue to douse the yellow flowers with pesticides, like Monsanto’s Round-Up, which have been shown to cause cancer, I prefer to let the resilient and prevalent flowers grow.  That’s because, in addition to dandelion’s excellent nutritional benefits, it is increasingly being shown in research to have potent anti-cancer properties.  

One of the most exciting studies about dandelion’s anti-cancer abilities was published in the journal Evidence-Based Complementar…

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The Food that Cuts Your Risk of Premature Death by 20 Percent

July 2, 2015

Eating nuts regularly could lengthen your life.

Here’s some news to go nuts about.  Exciting research found that simply adding one food to your diet could drastically slash your risk of dying.  According to the study published in the New England Journal of Medicine eating nuts could save your life.  The researchers found that  eating a handful of nuts on a daily basis cut the risk of premature death from any serious illnesses by 20 percent, including erious conditions like cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.

The study examine 76,464 women in the Nurses’ Health Study and 42,498 men in the Health Professionals Follow-Up S…

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Carotenoids Show Promise for Cancer

June 5, 2015

Apricots are an excellent source of carotenoidsCarotenoids are a group of phytonutrients (plant nutrients) that provide the yellow-orange-red pigments found in foods like carrots, sweet potatoes, apricots, mangoes, pumpkin, tomatoes, papaya, peaches, squash, and other similarly colored foods. You may have heard of beta-carotene, lutein, and lycopene, all of which are specific types of carotenoids.

While there are over 700 different carotenoids in nature, only about 60 are found in food. And the average person in North America eats fewer than a dozen different kinds and only in modest amounts.

Some carotenoids, specifically alpha-caro…

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The Little-Known Herb that Combats Allergies

May 25, 2015

The herb perilla has been scientifically proven to aid allergies

It’s that time of year again:  the season of itchy eyes, sneezing, runny noses, and breathing troubles for anyone who suffers from allergies.  While it is tempting to run for the decongestants and anti-histamines and lock yourself indoors, Mother Nature offers help in the form of a little-known herb that can significantly improve most allergy symptoms.

This mostly unknown herb, Perilla frutescens, is part of the mint family.  Sometimes just called perilla, an extract from the plant’s leaves have been found in many studies to be effective for the treatment of allergies, including:  n…

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13 Foods that Fight Allergies

May 8, 2015

There are many naturally-occurring plant compounds called phytonutrients that assist with allergies.  The main ones include:  anthocyanin, curcumin, hesperetin, and quercetin.  Don’t worry about remembering their names.  I’ve listed the food sources of each below.  Of course, if you have a food allergy or sensitivity to one of the sources indicated, avoid that food.

Eat Foods Rich in Anthocyanins

The phytonutrient group known as anthocyanins give foods their purplish-red colour.  They have natural anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce the nasal, sinus, and other infl…

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South African Herb Has Potent Anti-viral Activity

May 4, 2015

Umckaloabo shows potent anti-viral activity

A South African herb known as Pelargonium sidoides (Umckaloabo) which has been used and approved for the treatment of respiratory conditions like bronchitis has been studied for its antiviral effects with excellent results.  The research published in the journal Antiviral Research showed that Umckaloabo is a promising, antiviral natural medicine even against some drug-resistant strains of flu virus.  The study, conducted by the Institute of Immunology at the Center of Public Health Research at National Laboratory of Health, Luxembourg, tested the herb’s antiviral effects both in the labor…

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Not Lovin’ It: How Much Salt is in that McDonald’s Meal?

May 1, 2015

We all know that there is a lot of salt in fast food but just how much sodium is in that McDonald’s food you’re eating?  I’ve compiled a list of some common foods to give you a sense.  Keep in mind that most experts recommend getting less than 2300 mg of sodium per DAY (not meal!) and that anyone with high blood pressure or heart disease is usually advised to get less than 1500 mg daily.  That’s nearly impossible while dining in or taking out Mickey Ds.

Burgers, Sandwiches, and Wraps

Big Mac 960 mg

Cheeseburger 680 mg

Quarter Pounder with bacon and cheese 1380 mg

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