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Cynara Continues to Cultivate a Sustainable Artichoke Harvest

Cynara seeks to advance the harvest of fresh artichokes in Peru and Spain, by continuing to create an effective and non-GMO production chain and ultimately improve the quality of life of their growers and strategic partners. The company has over a 14 year history of working closely with farmers to promote sustainable agriculture, growing practices, and bringing freshly picked and jarred artichokes from field to table. With an optimal climate and nutrient dense soil, Peru and Spain have proven to be the two best cultivators of premium artichokes for the world. Cynara artichokes are processed within 24-48 hours of harvest, in close proximity to the fields in which they are grown.  Cynara’s global sourcing capability ensures a consistency in both and quantity and quality throughout the supply chain.

Non-GMO began as a consumer-driven movement in the natural food space and has expanded to conventional brands and households everywhere. Today, even more shoppers are concerned about the detrimental effects of GMOs on health and the environment and are looking for trusted non-GMO foods. Cynara is staying true to the roots of the movement. Cynara’s fully non-GMO product portfolio includes sizes ranging from Florets to Baby and Petite, while most popular are the company’s signature Grilled and Marinated  Artichoke Hearts.

Come taste the full story at Booth 5531 at Natural Foods Expo West in Anaheim, CA March 9 – 11 2018.

How Does Running Improve Health and Mood?

How Does Running Improve Health and Mood?

How Does Running Improve Health and Mood?

We all know exercise is good for us, but choosing the right exercise program can seem daunting. There’s the hassle of joining a gym, buying equipment, taking lessons, scheduling time with teammates… it can all seem very overwhelming. However, there is an easy solution. The easiest and most accessible method of exercising is running. It doesn’t require lessons, special equipment, or difficult to access locations. All you need are your legs, good running shoes, and a safe place to run. Be it at your local school track, in a park, or on the road near your home, you can start a running regimen right away. And you will quickly notice that regular running will improve your health and mood, and you will also be pleased to discover that the positive effects from running happen almost immediately.

I have been an avid runner since high school, and much of my good health and positivity over the past few decades can be attributed to running.

Many experts agree that running can do wonders to improve your health and your mood. Numerous studies have backed up the claims that running can benefit your health and well being in a number of different ways.




Here’s a benefit you shouldn’t forget. This study found that exercise protects the brain as it ages, and actually helps improve thinking skills. Studies suggest that the prefrontal cortex and medial temporal cortex, which are segments of the brain that control thinking and memory, are actually larger in the brains of those who run than in those who do not participate in any aerobic exercise. In addition, running stimulates the release of growth factors such as chemicals that improve the health of brain cells, helps new blood vessels grow, and helps new brain cells survive.

Similarly, a study in the Journal of American Geriatrics Society reports that women who start running at a young age decrease their risk of dementia later in life.

Prevent Diseases

Regular running is proven to help reduce heart attack risks as your arteries retain elasticity and the heart is strengthened. Running also helps alleviate high blood pressure, osteoporosis, it helps reduce resistance to insulin, reduces inflammation, increased your good cholesterol, and reduces the risk of a stroke. For women, running may also decrease your risk of breast cancer.


Regular exercise, including running, is helpful in improving sleep. Those who run are proven to sleep better at night due to regulated circadian rhythms, being able to fall asleep quicker, a deeper sleep, and reduced symptoms of insomnia and certain types of sleep apnea. Another positive side effect: sleeping better at night means heightened alertness during the day, as well as being generally less drowsy while going about your day.

Weight Loss

Of course, all exercise is important when it comes to losing weight. However, running burns off more calories per minute than any other form of exercise with the exception of cross country skiing. Also, more exercise increases your metabolism, which is totally enough of an excuse to have an extra drink or dessert once in a while.

Decrease in Bad Habits

Not only does jogging help you lose weight, but it also has been proven to decrease interest in certain junk food. Also, marijuana users reduced their use after picking up jogging. Not surprisingly, jogging has benefits to users of other drugs. Meth users fund that running renews strength in the neurotransmitters that help you feel good, which is what attracts people to that drug. By re-normalizing the transmitters, users can experience the good feelings without the drug.


Studies show that high impact running improves the brain’s ability to learn. In fact, learning speed increases after only one week of working out as well as over time. After intense physical exercise like running, vocabulary learning is roughly 20 percent faster. So if you want to boost your vocabulary, or pick up a new language, lace up those sneakers.


Running and all exercise help to boost immunity, decrease the risk of respiratory infections, and a decrease in the severity of asthma side effects. While running doesn’t give anyone a perfect immune system, the benefit are strong enough to make a difference in the frequency of getting sick, as well as the severity.


Running does wonders to help your mood, and you can see the results in a variety of ways.

Easing Depression

Running gives a boost to your emotional well being. Numerous studies, including this one show that even a single bout of exercise helps those suffering from depression. Results are immediate and consistent, and a decrease in depression can be noticed as quickly as five minutes following a run. The more frequently you run, the less depressed you might be as a result.

Reducing Anxiety

If you suffer from anxiety, running may help. Running (and all exercise) creates new brain cells, which has a calming effect. Similar to fighting depression, increased running reduces anxiety.

Same Effects as a Drug

Many different behavioral activities, such as eating, drinking and sex can activate reward pathways in your brain. Drugs are unfortunately a potent way to activate these pathways. However, running increases neurogenesis in the hippocampus. This is what we call “runners high.” And the science backs this up.

Increasing Self Esteem

Running has been proven to boost confidence, and raises your self-esteem. Outside of how exercise can raise your self esteem, running allows you to set goals. How much farther today can you run than you did last time? Can you run a 5k race without stopping? Can you finish a 10k race? A half marathon? A marathon? People have been proven to be happier when they are working towards a goal, whether or not it is actually achieved. Setting a goal triggers happiness on its own. And we all should keep in mind that life is about the journey, not the destination.

Increase in Creativity

Amazingly, running increases creative thinking! This study shows that body movement helps overcome mental blocks and obstacles. For that matter, and this should come as no surprise, but the same study shows that watching TV or videos decreases creativity. So turn off the TV and go for a run.

Make New Friends

Running is a great activity to do with friends. Don’t have any friends interested? There are a wide variety of local running groups or websites where you can find others interested in joining you. Not interested in making new friends? Running is one of the only athletic activities that you can do on your own.

Discover Your Neighborhood

How often have you driven by side streets in your neighborhood but never explored them? Or that local park? Or the path by the river? There are no doubt a variety of parks and spaces near where you live that are runner friendly. Opening up your world is one of the greatest benefits of running.

There are no doubts that exercise is good for you, but running is one of the few that almost anyone can start right away. The benefits of exercise, both for the body and mind, are numerous and many benefits begin the first time you run. And many other benefits get banked to help out your body and mind in the decades to come. To be healthier, happier and more active, all you need to do is lace up your sneakers and put one foot in front of the other. And repeat. And keep repeating. And enjoy the journey.


Forget about Learning to Cope. Let’s Thrive!

How do we arrive at our very own picture of flourishing health, at a place where we can say and truly feel that we are blossoming and thriving?  How do we go from mere stress management and coping to feeling vital and fully alive? In a caffeinated world with one demand after another shuttling toward us, it might not seem within our reach.

Each one of us has different needs that can go unmet and we face different sets of demands  that seem to hinder us in the process. But despite our individual differences, there are some basic steps that most of us will find helpful in turning the tide toward creativity, vitality and growth.  It is a path that Danish author Jesper Bay-Hansen charts in his forthcoming book, The Art of Living Bright: A Path to Empowerment in Your Own Life.

First, we need to get in touch with what we need to maintain our own unique form of balance. This ability requires us to take time out and unplug from the constant stream of external stimulation of modern life. To check in with ourselves, to open our hearts, the flow of emotions and the sensations of our bodies. To reflect while sitting in a place of acknowledgement, acceptance and love. A practice like meditation helps us do all these things.

Meditation also encourages us to maintain inner awareness when we go back into the world, allowing us to feel centered and connected to ourselves in the midst of activity. Self-awareness is essential in being able to shift from an experience of the world as being stressful. We find ourselves in better stead to make choices that nurture and sustain us, that are authentic to us and that in turn allow us to channel our energy in the directions where we feel effective.  This also makes us infinitely more capable of achieving our goals. Events become opportunities for creative engagement, expansion and contribution. We find our passion and can connect to something we care about. We turn creative! Next thing you know, we are off and making the world a better place.

Even a major loss can be transformed into something powerfully enlivening and meaningful when we have the tools to experience ourselves in dialogue with it and to maximize its value and role for our development. The event becomes something that helps us clarify our own lives and deepen in our sense of self.  Instead of being depleted or needing to protect ourselves from that possibility, we embrace what the world has to offer us and emerge with a real sense of ongoing growth, vitality and strength.

Read an excerpt from Dr. Bay-Hansen’s newest book, for an even bigger picture of what it means to thrive and to live “A Bright Life”.


8 Health Benefits of Artichokes

There are many ways to reap the amazing health benefits of artichokes. While many people’s favorite part is the heart, it is the leaves that contain many of the artichoke’s powerful health benefits.

There are ways to cook an artichoke, such as steaming or braising, so that the entire thing, stem and all, can be consumed. However, even eating just the meat of the leaves and the heart will provide benefits.

Here are 8 reasons to add more artichokes to your diet.

High in Antioxidants

A study done by the USDA found that artichokes have more antioxidants than any other vegetable and they ranked seventh in a study of the antioxidant levels of 1,000 different foods. Some of the powerful antioxidants in artichokes are quercertin, rutin, anthocyanins, cynarin, luteolin, and silymarin.

Cancer Prevention and Treatment

Studies done with artichoke leaf extract have found that they induce apoptosis (cell death) and reduce cell proliferation in many different forms of cancer, including prostate cancer, leukemia, and breast cancer. An Italian study found that a diet rich in the flavanoids present in artichokes reduces the risk of breast cancer.

Increased Bile Flow

The pulp of artichoke leaves contains a polyphenol antioxidant called cynarin which increases bile flow.

Good for the Liver Thanks to cynarin and another antioxidant, silymarin, artichokes are very beneficial to the liver. Studies have found they may even regenerate liver tissue. Artichokes have long been used in folk and alternative medicine as a treatment for liver ailments and the scientific studies are now proving them to be correct.

Better Digestion

Artichokes help the digestive system. They are a natural diuretic, they aid digestion, improve gallbladder function and, as mentioned above, they are of great benefit to the liver.

Hangover Treatment

Thanks to their positive effects on the liver, many people swear by artichokes as a hangover treatment. Instead of the hair of the dog, try the leaves of an artichoke.

Cholesterol Reduction

Ingredients in artichoke leaves have been shown to reduce cholesterol by inhibiting HMG-CoA reductase. They raise good cholesterol (HDL) and lower bad cholesterol (LDL).

High in Fiber

One large artichoke contains a quarter of the recommended daily intake of fiber. A medium artichoke has more fiber than a cup of prunes.


Health benefits of exercise

Regular exercise can help protect you from heart disease and stroke, high blood pressure, noninsulin-dependent diabetes, obesity, back pain, osteoporosis, and can improve your mood and help you to better manage stress.

For the greatest overall health benefits, experts recommend that you do 20 to 30 minutes of aerobic activity three or more times a week and some type of muscle strengthening activity and stretching at least twice a week. However, if you are unable to do this level of activity, you can gain substantial health benefits by accumulating 30 minutes or more of moderate-intensity physical activity a day, at least five times a week.

If you have been inactive for a while, you may want to start with less strenuous activities such as walking or swimming at a comfortable pace. Beginning at a slow pace will allow you to become physically fit without straining your body. Once you are in better shape, you can gradually do more strenuous activity.

How Physical Activity Impacts Health

Regular physical activity that is performed on most days of the week reduces the risk of developing or dying from some of the leading causes of illness and death in the United States.

  • Reduces the risk of dying prematurely.
  • Reduces the risk of dying prematurely from heart disease.
  • Reduces the risk of developing diabetes.
  • Reduces the risk of developing high blood pressure.
  • Helps reduce blood pressure in people who already have high blood pressure.
  • Reduces the risk of developing colon cancer.
  • Reduces feelings of depression and anxiety.
  • Helps control weight.
  • Helps build and maintain healthy bones, muscles, and joints.
  • Helps older adults become stronger and better able to move about without falling.
  • Promotes psychological well-being.

Specific Health Benefits of Exercise

Heart Disease and Stroke. Daily physical activity can help prevent heart disease and stroke by strengthening your heart muscle, lowering your blood pressure, raising your high-density lipoprotein (HDL) levels (good cholesterol) and lowering low-density lipoprotein (LDL) levels (bad cholesterol), improving blood flow, and increasing your heart’s working capacity.

High Blood Pressure. Regular physical activity can reduce blood pressure in those with high blood pressure levels. Physical activity also reduces body fatness, which is associated with high blood pressure.

Noninsulin-Dependent Diabetes. By reducing body fatness, physical activity can help to prevent and control this type of diabetes.

Obesity. Physical activity helps to reduce body fat by building or preserving muscle mass and improving the body’s ability to use calories. When physical activity is combined with proper nutrition, it can help control weight and prevent obesity, a major risk factor for many diseases.

Back Pain. By increasing muscle strength and endurance and improving flexibility and posture, regular exercise helps to prevent back pain.

Osteoporosis. Regular weight-bearing exercise promotes bone formation and may prevent many forms of bone loss associated with aging.

Psychological Effects. Regular physical activity can improve your mood and the way you feel about yourself. Researchers also have found that exercise is likely to reduce depression and anxiety and help you to better manage stress.

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