Wednesday, 31 August 2016

16 Detoxing Cleanse Foods

Artichokes contain antioxidant plant compounds called caffeoylquinic acids, which are used to treat hepatic (liver) disorders because they stimulate bile flow. Bile helps the body to digest fats, and efficient bile flow clears the system of potentially inflammatory substances contained in fatty foods. 

Avocado provides heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acids and glutathione, a compound that blocks the absorption of certain fats by the intestines that cause oxidative damage AND is essential for liver pathway cleansing. Avocados made our list of disease-fighting, weight-maintaining foods. 
Beets are among the few edible plants that contain betalains, plant pigments that give some beets their deep red color and have powerful anti-inflammatory and fungicidal properties. Betalains promote cell structure, repair and regeneration, especially in the liver-the body's primary detox center. 

Broccoli is one of the cruciferous vegetables, which are named for their cross-shaped flowers and known for powerful antioxidant properties. Science has shown that a diet rich in cruciferous veggies reduces the risk of certain cancers. Other cruciferous vegetables include cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and kale. 

Collard greens
 increase bile acid binding, which makes it easier for bile to bind to large lipid molecules and pull them apart. Leftover bile acids are then excreted from the GI tract normally, taking leftover lipid molecules with them. Bile acid binding therefore helps to keep LDL "bad" cholesterol in check. 

Dandelion root acts as a diuretic by increasing urine production. 

Dill and fennel
 are plants rich in vitamins and anti-inflammatory chemicals. Dill contains chemicals that help with the activation of glutathione, a liver antioxidant that attaches to free radical molecules and disarms them. Fennel is rich in Vitamin C, which has antimicrobial and antioxidant properties. Fennel is also high in fiber but low in calories-an ideal cleanse food. 

Green tea is richer in antioxidants than white, black, and oolong teas, even though they all come from the same plant. The caffeine in green tea also gives this energizing drink a diuretic effect, which helps to alleviate bloating by counteracting water retention. 

Lemon, like all citrus fruits, is rich in antioxidant Vitamin C. 

Milk thistle is one of the frequently researched plants in association with promoting liver detoxification. While more scientific inquiry is needed for firm recommendations, Milk thistle contains a mixture of polyphenolic compounds (plant protectors) that assist liver cells in removing toxins from healthy blood cells. 

Onion and garlic are both members of the allium family of vegetables, which provide pungent flavors to foods. These plants contain flavonoids that stimulate the production of glutathione, one of the liver's strongest antioxidants. As a result, onion and garlic have powerful anti-bacterial and immune-boosting properties.
Other fresh veggies (greens) are a good source of glutathione-essential for detox of liver pathway. Fresh vegetables can also provide excellent sources of insoluble fiber, which gets the gut moving. Crisp, crunchy raw veggies are highest in this sort of fiber. Think kale, collards, and broccoli! 

Wheat grass is a vitamin and mineral-rich grass commonly served in powder or juice form. While scientific evidence to support health claims about wheatgrass is lacking, products containing wheatgrass may add some yummy, low-calorie variety to your selection of cleanse foods and beverages. 

Yogurt that contains probiotics-make sure to read the yogurt label-supplies healthy bacteria that fortify the GI tract's natural flora, aiding digestion and boosting the body's natural immune responses. Yogurt is the perfect ingredient to add to a smoothie. 

Foods You Should Cut From Your Diet

Disgusted By Food?

What's the one food you refuse to eat? Peas, tofu, liver and onions? Whatever it is, it's probably because you don't like the way it tastes, not necessarily because it contains ingredients suspected of causing cancer or because it was picked by farmers wearing Hazmat suits. Yet, there are still a lot of those foods on store shelves, and food-industry insiders, who know what goes on behind the scenes, refuse to eat them. 
We polled some of those insiders--people who know the business and work daily to evict pesticides, genetically modified organisms, animal cruelty, social injustice, and unhealthy foods from the food supply--to find out what they know about the dark side of "convenience" foods and what they will eat. Take note so you, too, can avoid the worst of what grocery stores have to offer.



Swordfish

Philip Landrigan, MD, professor of pediatrics and professor and chair of preventive medicine at Mount Sinai School of Medicine

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The Problem: One of Dr. Landrigan's No. 1 warnings to women pregnant or looking to become pregnant? "Make avoiding mercury in fish a priority," he says. Swordfish is notoriously high in the heavy metal, a potent neurotoxin that can damage developing children and even trigger heart attacks in adults. Aside from obvious health concerns, swordfish is often overfished and some of the gear commonly used to wrangle in swordfish often kills turtles, seabirds, and sharks.


The Solution: For a healthy omega-3 brain boost, look for fish that are low in contaminants and have stable populations, such as wild-caught Alaskan salmon, Atlantic mackerel, or pole- or troll-caught Pacific albacore tuna. Got a more adventurous palate? Try snakehead fish to satisfy your fish craving and improve the environment. The invasive species lives on land and water, where it wipes out important frogs, birds, and other critters. Snakehead fish is popping up on some restaurant menus, and the taste and texture is about identical to swordfish.



Nonorganic Strawberries

Robert Kenner, director of Food Inc. and founder of FixFood.org 


The Problem: While filming Food Inc., Kenner says he wanted to film strawberry farmers applying pesticides to their fields. "The workers wear these suits to protect themselves from the dozens and dozens of known dangerous pesticides applied to strawberries," he says. "When I saw this, I thought to myself, if this is how berries are grown, I don't really want to eat them anymore. I haven't been able to eat a nonorganic strawberry ever since." Unfortunately, for the food-concerned public, he wasn't able to get the shot of these farmers. "I guess they didn't think it looked too appetizing."


The Solution: Opt for organic! The Environmental Working Group, which analyzes U.S. Department of Agriculture pesticide-residue data, has found 13 different pesticide residues on chemically grown strawberries.

Diet Soda

Isaac Eliaz, MD, integrative health expert and founder of The Amitabha Medical Clinic and Healing Center in Sebastopol, CA


The Problem: Dr. Eliaz stays away from any diet soda or foods, sugar-free candies, and gum containing artificial sweeteners such as sucralose, aspartame, acesulfame K, and neotame, among others. "The safety data on these sweeteners is shrouded in controversy and conflicts of interest with the manufacturers of these chemical compounds," Dr. Eliaz warns. "Independent research strongly suggests that when metabolized in the body, these sweeteners can cause health-related issues and problems related to metabolism and weight gain, neurological diseases, joint pain, digestive problems, headaches, depression, inflammatory bowel disease, chemical toxicity, and cancer, among others." 


The Solution: If you're craving a soda but want to avoid the shady sweeteners, fake food dyes, and preservatives found in popular brands, try a bottle of Steaz zero-calorie green tea soda or Bionade, a fermented soda that's majorly popular in Europe. 


Anything from McDonald's

Joel Salatin, sustainable farmer and author of This Ain't Normal, Folks 


The Problem: McDonald's isn't just about food-it's about food mentality, according to Salatin. "It represents the pinnacle of factory-farming and industrial food," he says. "The economic model is utterly dependent on stockholders looking for dividends without regards to farm profitability or soil development." 

Fast food typically is loaded with all sorts of the ingredients mentioned earlier in our list-genetically engineered corn, food dyes, artificial sweeteners, and other bad actors in the food supply. The type of farming that supports this type of food business relies on harmful chemicals that not only threaten human health, but also soil health.


The Solution: Learn to cook! You might be surprised to find that paying extra up front for a pasture-raised chicken can be cheaper than buying prepared fast-food chicken. For instance, cooking a chicken and then boiling down the bones for a rich, disease-fighting stock can yield up to three meals for a family!

Canned Tomatoes 


Fredrick Vom Saal, PhD, professor of endocrinologist at the University of Missouri 


The Problem: The resin linings of tin cans contain bisphenol-A, or BPA, a synthetic estrogen that has been linked to ailments ranging from reproductive problems to heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. Studies show that the BPA in most people's bodies exceeds the amount that suppresses sperm production or causes chromosomal damage to the eggs of animals. "You can get 50 micrograms of BPA per liter out of a tomato can, and that's a level that is going to impact people, particularly the young," says vom Saal. "I won't go near canned tomatoes." 


The Solution: Choose tomatoes in glass bottles (which do not need resin linings), such as the brands Eden Organic and Bionaturae. You can also get several types in Tetra Pak boxes, such as Trader Joe's and Pomi.



Bread

William Davis, MD, cardiologist and author of the New York Times best-seller Wheat Belly 


The Problem: Modern wheat is nothing like the grain your mother or grandmother consumed. Today, wheat barely resembles its original form, thanks to extensive genetic manipulations of the 1960s and '70s to increase yields. "You cannot change the basic characteristics of a plant without changing its genetics, biochemistry, and its effects on humans who consume it," Dr. Davis notes. 

In his book, Dr. Davis makes the case that modern-day wheat is triggering all sorts of health problems, everything from digestive diseases like celiac and inflammatory bowel disease to acid reflux, obesity, asthma, and skin disorders. "If there is a food that yields extravagant, extraordinary, and unexpected benefits when avoided, it is bread," says Dr. Davis. "And I don't mean white bread; I mean all bread: white, whole wheat, whole grain, sprouted, organic, French, Italian, fresh, day-old...all of it."


The Solution: Try eliminating bread from your diet for a few weeks to see if you note health improvements. When you do choose grains, look to things like quinoa, buckwheat, millet, and wild rice, but in smaller quantities (less than a half cup) because these can also trigger high blood sugar, Dr. Davis says.

Industrially Produced Hamburgers

Michael Pollan, author of numerous books and articles on the food system including The Omnivore's DilemmaIn Defense of Food and Food Rules 


The Problem: Cattle raised in filthy conditions, pumped full of growth hormones and fed diets composed mostly of genetically modified corn are three major reasons humane, grass-fed ground beef is a better alternative for your burger. But they aren't the only ones, says Pollan. While a steak or roast usually comes from a single animal, processors of ground beef combine meat from hundreds of animals. "This vastly increases the risk of contamination," he says. USDA scientists have found dangerous levels of disease-causing bacteria in over 50 percent of ground beef samples they've tested. 


The Solution: "I love hamburgers, but only eat them when they're grass-fed and ground by a butcher," Pollan says.



Corn

Maryam Henein and George Langworthy, directors of the documentary Vanishing of the Bees 


The Problem: Today's corn plants are more like little pesticide factories with roots. Most of the nation's corn supply is genetically engineered to either produce its own pesticide supply within the plant or withstand heavy sprayings of chemicals, which wind up inside of the food. That's problematic not just for bees, but for people, too. "I avoid corn because most is genetically modified, and on top of that, most of the seeds are treated with systemic pesticides that are killing our bees," says Henein. "And let's not be fooled--the sublethal effects of these pesticides also slowly impair our health."


The Solution: In one way or another, corn is present in the vast majority of processed foods. From ketchup to salad dressing, and even bread, it's hard to escape corn ingredients. One to look out for? "I always try to avoid foods containing high-fructose corn syrup," says Langworthy. "Not only is it unhealthy, but the pesticides used in the production of the corn is detrimental to honeybees and other pollinators."

 To avoid genetically engineered corn, which has never been tested for long-term impacts on human health, choose organic or Non-GMO Verified foods.



White Chocolate

Drew Ramsey, MD, assistant clinical professor of Psychiatry at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and coauthor of The Happiness Diet 


The Problem: The right kind of chocolate serves not only as a sweet treat but a brain-boosting superfood, too. The problem is, white chocolate's health profile is blank. "The data on the health benefits of cacao is pretty awesome," says Dr. Ramsey. "Much of this is due to a set of amazing phytonutrients that can increase blood flow to the brain, protect blood vessels, and boost mood and focus. White chocolate is missing all this goodness." 


The Solution: Indulging in a chocolate treat? Look for organic versions from companies like Theo and NibMor.



Artificial Sweeteners

Maria Rodale, CEO of Rodale Inc. and author of Organic Manifesto 


The Problem: Ironically, there's a lot of evidence that suggest using artificial sweeteners, which have zero calories, is just as bad for your waistline as using regular, high-calorie sugar. For instance, research from the University of Texas has found that mice fed the artificial sweetener aspartame had higher blood sugar levels (which can cause you to overeat) than mice on an aspartame-free diet. Not only are they bad for your health, scientists have detected artificial sweeteners in treated wastewater, posing unknown risks to fish and other marine life. Plus, as Rodale says, "They're unnatural, nonorganic, taste horrible, and lead to all sorts of bad health consequences, false expectations, and short-term strategic thinking." 


The Solution: Refined white sugar isn't any healthier, but you can replace it with small amounts of nutritional sweeteners, including honey, blackstrap molasses, and maple syrup, all of which have high levels of vitamins and minerals.



Sprouts

Doug Powell, PhD, professor of food safety at Kansas State University and author of the BarfBlog food-safety website


The Problem: Sprouts have been the source of so many major food recalls that they're not worth the risk, Powell says. Whether bean or broccoli, alfalfa or pea, sprouts have been at the center of at least 40 significant outbreaks of foodborne illness over the past 20 years. They're often found to be contaminated with salmonella, E. coli, and listeria; they're vulnerable to contamination because the seeds require moist, warm conditions in order to sprout--conditions that are ideal for bacteria to multiply.


The Solution: Get the crunch of sprouts--without the added bacteria--by shredding cabbage or carrots onto your sandwiches. If you really enjoy the flavor of sprouts, cook them first.

Butter-Flavored Microwave Popcorn

Alexandra Scranton, director of science and research at Women's Voices for the Earth, a nonprofit that advocates for environmental health issues that directly affect women


The Problem: Diacetyl, a chemical used in butter flavoring, is used in a lot of fake butter flavorings, despite the fact that the chemical is so harmful to factory workers that it's known to cause an occupational disease called "popcorn lung," Scranton says. After news of the chemical got out to the popcorn-eating public, companies started replacing diacetyl with another additive--which can actually turn into diacetyl under certain conditions, she adds. Neither chemical is disclosed on microwave-popcorn bags because the exact formulations of flavorings are considered trade secrets. "It's a classic example of the need for better chemical regulation and improved transparency on the chemicals used in our food and other household products," she says. 


The Solution: Make your own popcorn using real butter. Pop it on the stovetop in a pot, or go an easier route: Put a small handful of kernels into a brown paper lunch bag and stick the bag in the microwave. The kernels will pop just like those fake-butter-flavored kernels in standard microwave popcorn bags. When they're done, pour some melted organic butter over them. "Makes pretty good popcorn at a fraction of the cost!" Scranton says.

Food Dyes

Michael F. Jacobson, PhD, executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest 


The Problem: Health advocates have tried for years to get the Food and Drug Administration to ban food dyes, based on small studies linking them to hyperactivity in children and cancer in animals, and that's one reason Jacobson avoids them. Red 3 has caused cancer in lab rats, and Yellow 5 and Yellow 6 may contain cancer-causing contaminants. But mainly, he says, he avoids them on principle. "I just don't like eating synthetic chemicals and the oftentimes synthetic foods in which they're used." His group criticizes companies that use food dyes to make foods appear healthier than they are and to replace truly healthy ingredients--in arecent report on the nutritional quality of fruit juices, the center noted that Tropicana Twister Cherry Berry Blast contains no berry and cherry juice but lots of the artificial dye, Red 40.


The Solution: Read labels anytime you're buying a prepackaged food. Food dyes can crop up in some really unexpected places, even healthy foods like cheese and yogurt. 


Chain-Restaurant Ice Cream Sundaes

Dave Zinczenko, editor-in-chief of Men's Health magazine and author of the Eat This, Not That series


The Problem: "No matter where you go, the ice cream sundaes made in most chain restaurants have a couple things in common--namely, supersized portions and an ingredient list a mile long," he says. "All you really need for ice cream is milk, sugar, and maybe a little vanilla, but somehow these places are loading it up with corn syrup, cellulose gum, and vegetable shortening." In addition to being unhealthy, those additives are usually derived from genetically modified corn and soy. 


The Solution: Go local, says Zinczenko. Small-batch ice cream from local stores is less likely to be some industry Franken-food creation. Or, for totally homemade sundaes, you could try making your own ice cream. "A killer caramel sauce can be made with just sugar, butter, and heat, and you'll never have to wonder what kind of chemicals you're loading up on," he says. "Plus, you'll control your portion size, which means you can indulge in moderation without widening your waistline." 



Tea made from coffee leaves found to beneficial for health

A tea brewed from the leaves of the coffee plant have been found to be high in compounds that are good for human health.
Once it was a simple question: tea or coffee? Now, after a scientific breakthrough that choice will become rather less straightforward. 

Researchers have discovered that a rare type of tea made from the coffee plant is more healthy than both the other beverages. 

The scientists found that “coffee leaf tea” contained high levels of compounds credited with lowering the risk of heart disease and diabetes. 

The leaves were found to contain more antioxidants than normal tea – which is already renowned for its healthy properties – and high levels of a natural chemical found in mangos known to combat inflammation. 

The researchers believe the leaves of Coffea plants, as they are known scientifically, have been largely overlooked due to high value placed on coffee beans, which are actually seeds inside cherries produced by the small green shrub. These contain far fewer of the healthy compounds.
The researchers at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew, London, and the Joint Research Unit for Crop Diversity, Adaptation and Development in Montpellier, believe coffee leaves could provide a new, healthy drink to rival coffee and traditional green or black tea. 

The drink, which contains low levels of caffeine, has earthy taste neither as bitter as tea nor as strong as coffee. 

Dr Aaron Davies, a coffee expert and botanist at Kew Gardens who helped conduct the research, said coffee leaf tea was popular among some locals in places like Ethiopia and South Sudan and there had even been an attempt to market it in Britain in the 1800s. 

He said: “In 1851 people were touting it as the next tea and there were all these reports at the time about its qualities. I spent some time in Sudan and met a village elder who made it every day – she would hike for a couple of hours to collect the leaves to make tea. 

“What was surprising was how many antioxidants are in the coffee leaves. They are much higher than those in green tea and normal black tea. 

“There were also very high levels of a substance called mangiferin in the leaves of arabica coffee plants. This chemical was first extracted from mangos but has had lots of healthy properties attached to it.” 

Dr Davies found samples of coffee leaf tea in the Kew collections that date back nearly 100 years. At the time coffee producers in Sumatra and Java, in modern day Indonesia, had attempted to popularise coffee leaf tea in the UK and Australia. 

Reports at the time claim the drink could offer immediate relief from hunger, fatigue and had the ability to “clear the brain of its cobwebs”. It was also described as refreshing, although there were some who described it as undrinkable. 

Tests on 23 species of coffee plant by Mr Davies and Dr Claudine Campa from the Joint Research Unit for Crop Diversity, Adaptation and Development, showed that seven had high levels of mangiferin in their leaves.

Arabica coffee leaves were found to contain the highest levels of mangiferin, which has been found to have anti-inflammatory effects while also reduce the risk of diabetes, blood cholesterol, and protecting neurons in the brain. 

The results, published in the scientific journal Annals of Botany, showed that arabica also had the highest levels of antioxidants – higher than those found in tea or traditional coffee. 

Dr Davies said that despite being widely reputed to have medicinal like qualities, coffee leaf tea never caught on in Britain despite attempts to introduce it from Indonesia. 

He said: “In South east Asia in the late 1800s there was coffee crisis as arabica plantations were hit badly by coffee leaf rust. 

“Other species of coffee were taken to Asia as a result and people seemed to stop drinking the tea from coffee leaves in that area, so I wonder if there is a link. 

“In the collection at Kew, some of the samples look like green tea and some of them look like black tea, so there are clearly differences in the way it is prepared. It is possible the new coffee species were not to the locals taste and so it lost popularity. 

“What is amazing though is that there is so much work that goes on into the healthy properties of tea, but coffee leaves have been completely overlooked.” 

The researchers admit, however, the impact of the compounds found in coffee leaves on the human body requires further research. 

Studies on tea has found it to be rich in similar antioxidants that are thought to be beneficial against heart disease, diabetes and even cancer, although work is still being conducted to prove the role they play in the human body too. 

The health benefits of compounds in coffee beans, however, are more controversial, with some studies showing contradictory findings, although it has been reported to reduce the risk of diseases like Parkinson’s disease, dementia and heart disease. 

Coffee leaf tea is not yet widely available, but is sold by some health food shops. 
Master tea taster Alex Probyn, who runs his own tea blending business and also advises Marks and Spencers on tea, tried coffee leaf tea while on a trip to Ethiopia and tested a sample that we obtained by mail order from a health food shop in the United States.

He said: “When I tried it in Ethiopia, it had a very fresh flavour, a bit like cut grass that is similar to what you would expect from a green tea. There is not any hint of coffee in there and most people would struggle to identify it from other leaves. 

“The coffee leaves have quite a pungent and greenish character – they are bitter but not unpleasant. The sample that you have has a slightly menthol and eucalyptus taste that makes me think something else has been added to it to soften the bitterness. 

“If I could find a source then I would use coffee leaves in my own blends as I think it offers something that is a little bit different. The difficulty may be that coffee growers will want the leaves to stay on their plants so they can produce good beans.” 

Coffee beans are the world’s second most valuable commodity after crude oil, with almost eight million tonnes produced a year in an industry worth more than £43 billion. There are also 165 million cups of tea drunk every day in the UK.

The 9 Foods Never to Eat

Whether they're chock-full of trans fat, or processed beyond recognition, these staples may be sabotaging your health. Ditch them from your diet now, says Clean Plates founder Jared Koch.

Canned tomatoes 
The red veggie is known as the best source of lycopene, an essential nutrient, but beware of the canned variety. All canned food contains the harmful chemical BPA, but it's especially concerning in tomatoes, whose acidity causes the BPA to cling on. "It's not the tomatoes that are bad," says Koch. "It's the way they're stored." If fresh isn't an option, look for tomatoes in glass jars or BPA-free cardboard containers. 

Deli meats
 
Rethink tomorrow's low-calorie turkey and cheese sandwich. Salami, ham, roast beef and other deli meats are poor quality, packed with sodium, made from animals raised on hormones and antibiotics, and filled with nitrates. They may also contain chemical flavoring and dyes, so opt for fresh meat - like roast turkey or chicken - or wild-caught tuna-fish salad in your lunchbox. 

Margarine 
Unlike butter, which is made from animal products, margarine is created from vegetable oil. Its manufacturing process fills the spreadable stuff with trans fat, which increases inflammation by damaging the cells lining your blood vessels, upping your risk for cardiovascular disease, cancer, degenerative diseases, weight gain, and too-high bad cholesterol. "In my mind, it's one of the worst foods in the food supply," says Koch. "There's a common myth that healthy eating is equated with being vegetarian, and that's not necessarily true." 

Vegetable oils 
"You want your ratio of omega-6 fatty acids to omega-3 fatty acids to be about one-to-one," says Koch. "It's closer to 15-to-one in the American population." Today's highly refined vegetable oils, most often found in baked goods, are very high in omega-6 fatty acids, and are largely responsible for that unhealthy proportion. A lack of balance can lead to inflammation, so choose oils high in omega-3 fatty acids instead, like coconut, grapeseed and olive. 

Microwave popcorn 
Before you sit down for family movie night, pop a bowl of kernels on the stove, not in the microwave. The bag's liner contains PFOA, a proven toxicant and carcinogen in animals. When microwaved, PFOA clings on to popcorn, and preliminary human studies have linked the chemical to infertility, liver and testicular cancer. 


Non-organic potatoes
 
It's unrealistic to purchase everything organic, but if you can swing buying a few foods that way, make spuds one of them. Although you're not told to eat organic potatoes after often as you are say, apples, it's just as important. "They're heavily sprayed and they're root vegetables, so they take up a lot of the pesticides and fungicides," says Koch. "They've been shown to have a high concentration of everything." 

Table salt
 
No, a little salt sprinkled on your dinner won't do much harm, but when you choose table salt, you're missing out on healthy minerals found in sea, Himalayan and crystal salt. "Table salt is a refined product, so there aren't any nutrients in it," says Koch. "Our bodies need a lot of those trace minerals." Swapping in high-quality salt is an easy change to make, and from a cooking standpoint, significantly increases foods' flavor. 


Soy protein isolate 
There are two types of soy: whole soy - found in protein-packed edamame and soy nuts - and soy protein isolate, which is which is the highly refined, nutrient-stripped product found in foods like tofu, soy "meats" such as tofurkey, and soy milk. With soy consumption already unhealthily high in America, it's best to choose alternatives like coconut or almond milk and tempeh. 

Artificial sweeteners 
If you can't find it in nature, it's probably better to avoid it, which is why a half-teaspoon of sugar in your coffee, a dash of honey, or stevia are better options than a packet of Splenda. "Artificial sweeteners are so much sweeter - sometimes 200 times more so than table sugar - so the brain starts to crave sweeter foods," says Koch. Research is still out on whether artificial sweeteners, many of which contain aspartame, cause cancer and neurological programs, but science has confirmed that they spur weight gain and increase appetite.

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

A Few Simple Mistakes That Led To Loss Of Millions Of Dollars (15 pics)

Department of Education’s Bookkeeping Error
Of all the entries on this list, this one is without a doubt the most ironic of them all. We all know how important education is, as it helps to cultivate and develop a child’s mind, while also providing individuals with credentials and a pathway towards the profession of their choice, and it is up to the people who run the educational system to provide schools and students with the things that they need. The New York City Department of Education manages all of the public schools in the city, which is the largest school system in the U.S. This department gets an annual budget of around 25 million dollars, as it has to provide services for over one million students, services like transportation. In 2006, a New York City comptroller made a very costly typo when he added an extra letter to a word, which caused the computer’s accounting software to misinterpret a document regarding the Department of Education’s transportation budget. This mistake caused the department to spend double on their transportation budget, which ended up costing an additional 1.4 million dollars.

The Chilean Currency Mistake
Everyone around the world uses some form of legal currency, whether it is the U.S. dollar, the Japanese Yen, the British Pound, the Indian Rupee, the Chinese Yuan, the Euro used by The European Union, or one of the other currencies used in certain regions and countries. In 2016, most transactions involving currency are done electronically and digitally with the use of credit cards or bank issued cards, but plain cash is still used as well, which is why governments continue to produce physical currency in the forms of “paper” money and coins. It actually costs a lot to produce currency, and if by chance there is a mistake made anywhere on the currency, it would no longer be considered legal tender within the country, which would effectively eliminate an entire year’s worth of issued currency if it were ever actually released to the public. That is exactly what happened in Chile in 2008, when the Chilean Mint misspelled the country’s name on their 50-Peso coins. “Chiie” not “Chile.” This mistake was not officially reported until 2009, and despite the Chilean government not taking them out of circulation, the people effectively  did.

Rogers vs Bell
For those unfamiliar with the Canadian telecommunications landscape, there are basically two companies which run the entire sector, and those companies are known as Bell Aliant and Rogers Communications. These companies may be bitter business rivals, but there are times when even rivals get together to make deals, and it was their different interpretations of a comma that led to a legal battle between the two which ended up costing a combined one million dollars in legal fees. Both companies entered into a five-year deal, which stated “This agreement shall be effective from the date it is made and shall continue in force for a period of five years from the date it is made, and thereafter for successive five year terms, unless and until terminated by one year prior notice in writing by either party.” Bell believed that the second comma in that section meant that either company could cancel the contract at any time with one year’s notice; while Rogers believed that the contract would last the full five years, and could then be cancelled after a one year notice. Ultimately, the courts sided with Rogers, but this is just one example of how punctuation can cost people a lot of money.

The Wrong Lottery Ticket
This list entry is actually a very satisfying one, especially when you take into account how much money lotteries make when people buy tickets in an attempt to win a life changing jackpot. In January of this year, a grocery store clerk in Virginia named Michael T. Donnelly, was lucky enough to win 7 million dollars from the jackpot of the Cash4Life lottery. What really makes this lottery win lucky, is the fact that the only reason he had the ticket in the first place was because of a mistake he himself made when dealing with a customer. As it turns out, a customer wanted to buy Powerball tickets, but Michael pressed the wrong button, producing the Cash4Life ticket instead; the customer did not want the ticket however, so instead of simply throwing it out, Michael decided to buy it for himself, and the rest as they say is history.

Pepsi’s Chinese Blunder



Usually, for a product or business to become very successful, there needs to be a fairly good amount of marketing applied in order reach as many consumers as possible, which is why there are always advertisements during tv shows and sporting events. Marketing, costs a lot of money, and in regards to massive, global corporations, they spend millions of dollars in advertising their products. Pepsi is considered to be one of the most popular soft drinks in the world, and in the 1960s, PepsiCo launched a new marketing campaign for Pepsi in China, a campaign which cost the company a hefty sum. At the time, Pepsi’s slogan was “Come Alive With the Pepsi Generation”, and it was the same slogan that the company decided to use in China, but apparently the marketing team did not think to check the Chinese translation of the slogan before making it public. In China, the slogan was translated into, “Pepsi brings your relatives back from the dead”, which in Chinese culture, is a terrible statement to make, and as a result, the company lost millions in advertisements and sales.

Typosquatting
We all use the internet, usually to search for things, which is why search engines like Google exist to make things easier, and those search engines can receive a lot of daily traffic, which is why advertisers pay them huge sums of money to promote specific products. There are times though when people accidentally misspell the word or website that they are searching for, and as it turns out huge companies like Google, actually lose millions of dollars every year because of simple typos and typosquatting. Typosquatting relies on people making typos when typing a web address into a browser, and when these people press enter, they are brought to a different site that is filled with advertisements. The reason why Google loses so much money every year, is because there are several sites that possess misspelled variations of Google, and when someone visits one of these other sites, Google subsequently loses ad revenue.

Coors Translation Blunder
Two entries ago, it was mentioned that marketing is an important tool to help promote and sell a product, and even though you might think that there is no real reason to have to market beer, you would be wrong, because it is actually a very competitive business to be in. The Coors Brewing Company is a part of the world’s seventh largest brewing company, and it has been around for almost 150 years now, with its most well known product of course being Coors beer. During its overseas marketing campaign, Coors continued to use the slogan “Turn It Loose”, and had it translated into Spanish, which was where things went wrong for the brewery, because just like with Pepsi, the Coors marketing team did not notice what the slogan translated into before making it public. Apparently when translated, the slogan in Spanish reads, “Suffer From Diarrhea” which at the time obviously did not help to sell beer, causing the company to lose millions in sales and marketing costs.

The Yellow Pages One Letter Mix-up
Today, everyone has a phone in the palm of their hand, and if you want to actually call someone, it usually only requires you to tap the screen a few times. Before everyone had a cell phone, the main way that people were able to call and communicate with each other, was through the use of a landline phone which needed to be situated in one specific place. Today, if you need to call a business, repairman, or restaurant, you just use the internet on your phone to find the number you need, but in the predominant years of the landline, you had to use the Yellow Pages which were found in a big, heavy phonebook. Yellow Pages was also used to promote businesses like travel agencies, one of which was the California-based agency known as Banner Travel Services who paid for printed advertisement. The advertisement was supposed to mention the agency’s specialization in exotic travel, but someone at Yellow Pages accidentally wrote it as erotic travel. The result of this was Yellow Pages being sued for gross negligence, which ended up costing the printer 10 million dollars.

Another Comma Mistake
Throughout the history of the United States, and most other countries, there have been trade deals agreed upon which include some sort of tariff. A tariff is a tax affixed to imported goods and services, which is actually meant to restrict trade in order to make the price of those goods and services more expensive for consumers. In 1872 the U.S, government passed The Tariff Act which was supposed to get rid of the tariffs on “fruit-plants, tropical and semi-tropical for the purpose of propagation or cultivation.” Unfortunately, the person who wrote the bill placed a comma in a place it did not belong which caused the bill to instead read “fruit, plants tropical and semi-tropical for the purpose of propagation or cultivation,” which meant that no one importing fruits would have to pay any kind of tariff. The result of this mistake? Importers refused to pay tariffs even though the U.S. government still wanted them to, which led to multiple lawsuits, and the U.S Treasury eventually having to refund the importers a total of 2 million dollars (which is equivalent to 40 million in today’s currency).

Scratch Ticket Debacle
Most of the time, when a person goes out to buy a new car, they go to a car dealership in order to get one that they believe works properly and possesses no form of damage. Dealerships have actually been around since the very late 1800s, and since then, dealers have tried every kind of promotional tool available to get people to come and buy cars from them. In 2007, a car dealership in Roswell, New Mexico, tried to boost their sales numbers by mailing out 50,000 scratch tickets to local residents. There was only supposed to be one official winning ticket that paid $1,000, but the marketing company in charge of producing the tickets mistakenly made every ticket a winner, which forced the dealership to have to pay residents 50 million dollars. The dealership was unsurprisingly unable to carry out such a payment, so instead they offered every winner a $5 Walmart gift certificate.

Lockheed Martin’s Comma Mistake
Some of you may have heard of the name Lockheed Martin, but for those who have not, it is a multi-billion dollar company that specializes in aerospace, security, defense, and advanced technologies. It is considered to be the largest defense contractor in the world, and in the late 1990s, the company signed a contract to produce C-130J transport aircrafts for the airforce of a still unknown country. A group of aircrafts like that actually take years to properly build, so included in the contract was a formula which adjusted for inflation to adequately gauge the overall price of the planes. The problem though, is that Lockheed Martin messed up the formula by placing a comma in the wrong place in their calculations, which caused the price of the planes to rise significantly lower than the inflation rate. The country that ordered the planes forced Lockheed Martin to honor the contract as it was written, and as a result the company ended up losing around 70 million dollars.

NASA’s Hyphen Mishap
This list has showcased just how important punctuation is, especially in regards to the placement and usage of the comma, but in this entry, you will see that a hyphen can also lead to the loss of millions of dollars. In 1962, NASA launched the Mariner 1 spacecraft which was supposed to be America’s first interplanetary probe, and its mission was to visit the planet Venus, Probes like this require very specific coding in order function properly, and unfortunately for NASA, someone forgot to place a hyphen somewhere in the probe’s coding for trajectory and speed, which caused the probe to explode only a few minutes after it launched. A few weeks later, NASA sent a different probe to Venus, but the fact that Mariner 1 exploded, effectively meant that 18.5 million dollars (almost 150 million in today’s money) literally went up in flames.

A Company Destroyed By An “S”
There exist companies all over the world that have been operating for over one hundred years, and even though they have longevity, it is still possible for such companies to shut down for a variety of reasons, including stupid ones. Taylor & Sons Ltd was an engineering company in the United Kingdom that had operated for 124 years until it financially collapsed in 2009 because a government employee unnecessarily pressed S on their keyboard. In the U.K. companies must register with a government agency known as Companies House which keeps records of corporate information like financial statements. In 2009, the agency declared that Taylor & Sons Ltd had closed, even though it was still very much open for business, but the agency’s declaration still caused orders and contracts to be cancelled, and also caused suppliers to stop offering the company credit. As it turns out, a different company known as Taylor & Son was supposed to be declared closed, but someone inside Companies House accidentally added an S to the end of the name. This resulted in Taylor & Sons Ltd, a company that in 2009 was valued at over 11 million dollars, to permanently shut down.

Juan Pablo Davila
At the start of this list, we talked about Chile losing millions in released currency because of a spelling error on a coin, but that is not the only mistake that caused the Chilean government to lose millions of dollars. In 1994, a former copper trader named Juan Pablo Davila was working for a government owned company called Codelco, and one day while the stock market was open, he bought stock that he was actually supposed to sell. To rectify this mistake, Davila for some reason went into a trading frenzy, and by day’s end, he bought and sold stocks in such a terrible way that his company ended up losing 175 million dollars. Unsurprisingly, Davila was fired because of this, and even though this mistake took place when online trading was still relatively new, there is no excuse for losing THAT much money; which is why this blunder led to the creation of the term “Davilar”, which in the trading world, is used to describe a massive screw-up.

Mizuho Securities
Mizuho Securities Co., Ltd is a Japanese investment banking and securities firm which is a part of Japan’s second largest bank, and they take the top spot for losing millions because of a very simple mistake. In 2005, the firm added the recruitment company J-Com Co., Ltd to their economic portfolio, and when one of their traders went to sell some of the new acquisition’s shares on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, he made a simple yet monumental mistake. The trader was supposed to sell one share for 610,000 Yen, but instead, thanks to a typo, he sold 610,000 shares for just a single Yen. Now, you do not have to be good at math to know that that was a huge and terrible blunder, which it was, because as a result of that typo, Mizuho Securities ended up losing approximately 340 million dollars in just one day.

Healthy On a Budget: 10 Incredibly Cheap Health Foods

Our grocery stores are so awash in cheap, unhealthy food that nutritious eating has almost started to seem like a luxury pursuit. Eating a healthy, whole food diet can feel like something for those who have money to spend on organic vegetables and free-range meat, but tough for a family on a budget. But eating healthily does not have to be expensive. Happily, there are plenty of nourishing, delicious foods that cost next to nothing. Here are ten super-healthy ingredients that won’t break the bank. 

Cabbage

The humble cabbage is a thrifty cook's dream. A five pound head will generally set you back three dollars. In spite of it's low cost, it packs a nutritional punch, though. It's low in calories, but loaded with vitamins and minerals like Vitamins K and C, iron, calcium, and potassium.  

Parsley

Often used as a mere garnish, parsley is actually a nutritional dynamo, packed with antioxidants, and vitamins C and A. It's also an ingredient in traditional medicine, with proponents who claim it's useful in treating everything from gastrointestinal issues to menstrual problems. While those claims are hard to verify, at less than a dollar a bunch, it might be worth trying.  

Dried Beans

Protein is often the most expensive element of a meal, but beans are one of the rare exceptions. You can usually buy a one pound bag for a dollar (or less), which is much less than you'd pay for an equivalent amount of meat, but with much less fat and none of the cholesterol. In addition to protein, beans are also high in folate, iron, fiber, and other nutrients.  

Eggs

Even the most expensive organic free-range eggs come in at less than fifty cents an egg. And for that price, you get an exceptional source of protein that is high in B vitamins and anti-oxidants. They're also incredibly flexible and can be worked into almost any dish. 

Brown Rice

Rice provides so much energy at such low cost, it's the world's most widely eaten staple. Brown rice, which has not had the bran and germ removed is higher in minerals like magnesium and zinc than white rice and is also has a lower glycemic index, making it the healthier option.  

Bananas

Sweets have become too large a part of the American diet in part because they've grown so cheap. But if you want a low-cost treat, you don't have to go for something unhealthy. Bananas, which are high in potassium, vitamin B6, and vitamin C, make a wonderful treat at less than a quarter each.  

Carrots

We've all been told since childhood that carrots are good for eyesight, which turns out to be not exactly true. Nonetheless, they are excellent for you as they are high in vitamin A, thiamin, niacin, folate, vitamin B6, and a host of other nutrients.  

Rutabagas

High in vitamins C and B6 and minerals like calcium, magnesium, and phosphorous, the rutabaga is a nourishing vegetable with a unique taste that are excellent, boiled, roasted, or mashed. They keep wonderfully making them excellent for buying in bulk.  

Canned Sardines

Like many fish, sardines are high in healthy omega-3 fatty acids, but unlike many larger fish, they are low in mercury and PCBs. That makes them a wonderful choice, especially for women who are pregnant or nursing. Even better, canned sardines which can be eaten as is, cooked, added to a sauce, or almost anything else you can think of, are one of the most affordable fishes on the market.  

Sweet Potatoes

Being a hardy tuber that stores well makes sweet potatoes a lot cheaper than many other vegetables. And that's great news, because they are also loaded with potassium, Vitamin A, and fiber.