Relaunches with Focus on Immunity Relaunches with Focus on Immunity

We are excited to announce that, founded in 2015 by Kathy Parnay and Mary Gospe, has relaunched with a new focus on empowering you to build and maintain a healthy immune system – naturally.

The original goal of the site was to share the story of Kathy’s husband, Stefan, who cured his aggressive prostate cancer at age 47 by adopting a low-glycemic, alkalizing plant-based diet that starved the cancer of sugar and an acidic environment. We invite you to check out our extensive content on Healing Cancer with Food if you or a loved one have cancer or are interested in prevention.

In addition to aiding in the prevention and reversal of cancer, obesity, diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure, a plant-based diet helps strengthen your immune system.  The CDC tells us to wear masks, practice social distancing and wash your hands frequently, but does not mention the importance of maintaining a healthy immune system in the fight against disease.

As we enter the second year of the Covid-19 pandemic, we hope to educate and empower you to take control of your health by learning how to support your immune system through diet, nutrition and lifestyle changes. We encourage you to use plant-based4health as a resource to live a healthy and vibrant life.

We invite you to explore our new site’s rich content, including:

We also invite you to subscribe to our mailing list if you’d like to receive our periodic articles in your inbox. [mc4wp_form id=”3577″]

We hope you like the new site and would love to hear your feedback, questions and comments.

To your health!

Mary Gospe & Kathy Parnay

The Importance of Zinc for Immunity

The Importance of Zinc for Immunity

Zinc is an essential trace mineral that plays an important role in your immune health. According the the National Institutes of Health, “Zinc is involved in numerous aspects of cellular metabolism. It is required for the catalytic activity of approximately 100 enzymes and it plays a role in immune function, protein synthesis, wound healing, DNA synthesis, and cell division.” Zinc is an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antiviral agent. It has been shown to lesson the severity of the common cold by boosting white blood cells and interfering with the attachment of rhinoviruses to our cells.

According to Dr. Michael Greger, “researchers have found that zinc is indeed beneficial in reducing both duration and severity of the common cold when taken within the first twenty-four hours of symptom onset. Zinc lozenges…appear to shorten colds, by about three days…with significant reductions…in nasal discharge and congestion and hoarseness, and cough.” He goes on to recommend “…lozenges containing around 10 to 15 milligrams of zinc taken every two waking hours for a few days, starting immediately upon symptom onset, as either zinc acetate or zinc gluconate without zinc binders such as citric acid, tartaric acid, glycine, sorbitol, or mannitol may work best.”

In a recent study published this month, “Zinc against COVID-19? Symptom surveillance and deficiency risk groups,” researchers determined that “zinc should be included as part of preventative supplementation for COVID-19 and in general for support of immune health.” They conclude that “zinc provides a safe and cheap alternative to enhance immunity worldwide, both to correct chronic nutritional deficiencies and to address acute deficiencies resulting from a viral infection and host immune response.”

Zinc is not stored in the body and therefore required in our daily diet. Zinc absorption diminishes as we age and deficiency is frequently found in elderly patients. Symptoms of zinc deficiency include loss of appetite, unexplained weight loss, wounds that won’t heal, lack of alertness, decreased sense of smell and taste, and diarrhea.

Plant-based sources of zinc include legumes, grains, nuts, seeds, oats and tofu. It is often added to fortified foods and is available as dietary supplement. According to the NIH, “phytates—which are present in whole-grain breads, cereals, legumes, and other foods—bind zinc and inhibit its absorption. Thus, the bioavailability of zinc from grains and plant foods is lower than that from animal foods, although many grain- and plant-based foods are still good sources of zinc.” Soaking, fermenting, sprouting and cooking beans, grains and seeds reduces the phytates, thus increasing zinc bioavailability.

The current RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance) of zinc is 11 mg for adult males and 8mg for females with 40 mg of zinc a day to be the upper limit dose for adults.  When purchasing supplements, it is important to make sure that the supplement company uses third party quality control testing and clearly identifies the nutrient sources.

Probiotics can help ease anxiety and depression

Probiotics can help ease anxiety and depression

The power of food to heal through the gut-brain connection

It’s common knowledge that our thoughts and emotions directly affect the health of our gut. Negative feelings like stress and anxiety can lead to an upset stomach, heartburn, nausea, loose stools, etc. This is called the gut-brain connection  But did you know that this relationship between our brains and our gut also works in reverse? 

Researchers have found that the health of the microbiota in our gut (the community of microorganisms) can impact our behavior and emotions.

By altering bacteria in the gut through specially designed diets with probiotics/prebiotics, researchers have discovered that the health of your gut microbiota can be used as a tool to support psychiatric therapies by easing anxiety and depression.  Although the current studies are small, their findings are promising.

Probiotics are the live bacteria found in fermented foods and prebiotics are types of dietary fiber that feed the good gut bacteria. Although supplements can provide an easy way to get your probiotics, consuming probiotics and prebiotics through whole foods offers a greater source of overall nutrition than taking them as supplements. If you choose to add probiotics to your diet, be aware that not all fermented foods contain live bacteria due to the type of processing they have gone through and the way they are stored. For example, pasteurizing kills bacteria and some pickled foods are not actually fermented. 

Vegan probiotic foods that support gut health:

  • Sauerkraut (fermented cabbage)
  • Kimchi (spicy fermented red cabbage)
  • Fermented vegetables (not all pickled vegetables are fermented)
  • Kombucha (fermented tea)
  • Tempeh (fermented soy)
  • Miso (fermented soy in the form of a broth)

Common prebiotic foods:

  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Leeks
  • Asparagus
  • Bananas
  • Barley
  • Oats 
  • Apples
  • Cocoa
  • Flaxseed
  • Seaweed
Amazing Avocados

Amazing Avocados

Avocados are a amazing creamy fruit (technically a berry) and one that I try to eat daily. I love them spread on toast, sliced in a sandwich, diced in a salad or as a topping on chili. And let’s not forget guacamole for an delicious appetizer!

Packed with nutrients, avocados have over 20 vitamins and minerals, including vitamin E, potassium, folate and brain-healthy omega-6 fatty acids.  According to avocados are anti-inflammatory, can help lower cholesterol and triglycerides, and decrease prostate cancer risk in men.

Some of the healing properties of avocados according to Medical Medium Anthony William include:

  • Helping with digestive disorders
  • Having an aspirin-like quality without thinning the blood
  • Reducing polyps in the intestinal lining
  • An anti-aging effect on the skin, reducing dryness and helping to eliminate dark circles under the eyes
  • An easily assimilable food with protein ratios that are equal to breast milk

And research from states that eating avocados with other foods such as tomatoes, helps with absorption of nutrients such as lycopene and beta-carotene.

Avocados have a small about of Vitamin K which can interfere with the anticoagulant medication Coumadin, also known as Warfarin. So please avoid avocados if you are on that medication. Otherwise, enjoy this healthy and delicious fruit.

-July 2018

Is a plant-based diet safe during pregnancy?

Is a plant-based diet safe during pregnancy?

Pregnant women need to pay special attention to their diet to be sure they are eating nutritious foods and avoiding added fats, sugar, alcohol, caffeine and toxins. A 100% whole food, plant-based diet that emphasizes organic food, along with a prenatal vitamin and vitamin B12, is perfectly safe for mother and baby. In fact, this diet helps women avoid toxins from eating fish contaminated with mercury and the antibiotics, hormones and saturated fat found in meat products. It also may help prevent many of the problems pregnant women on the Standard American Diet face. This includes preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, and large babies who cannot fit through their mother’s birth canal and must be delivered via Caesarian Section.


Self healing through movement – Qigong

Self healing through movement – Qigong

qigongWe all know exercise is important in creating a healthy lifestyle, but did you know that exercise, in combination with a diet rich in whole plant-based foods, is an important component in the healing process?

Our modern way of life tends to breed stagnation. We spend hours everyday hunched over our computers and iPhones or lounging in front of the television. After a long day at work, the mental exhaustion and stress can make it hard to get motivated to go the gym. We’ve all heard about the dangers of a sedentary lifestyle. Our bodies were built for moving.