Archive for April, 2015

New Study Shows Probiotic Supplementation May Prevent Symptoms of Child Autism

Thursday, April 30th, 2015

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a complex developmental disability that impairs social interaction and communication. A child with autism has difficulty interacting with others, shows little interest in others, and lacks social awareness. Autism is more prevalent among boys than girls, with the ratio estimated at 4:1. Autism is a multifactorial disorder; several factors must be considered when determining the case. These factors include complex genetic interactions, nutritional deficiencies or overloads, pre- and postnatal exposure to chemicals or viruses, errors during the embryonic neural tube closure process, dysfunctional immune systems, and allergies. Recent studies have correlated gut dysfunction with ASD and suggest a possible role of the gastrointestinal (GI) microflora in symptomatology and or severity of symptoms in autistic children. Many autistic children experience severe dietary or GI problems including abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhea, and bloating. These symptoms may be due to the disruption of the indigenous gut flora promoting the overgrowth of potentially pathogenic microorganisms.

A growing body of medical research indicates that alterations in the type of bacteria that live in the GI tract can influence brain function, mood and overall mental health. Recently, Hsaio and colleagues (2013) linked gut microbes to ASD in a mouse model. They showed that ASD symptoms are triggered by compositional and structural shifts of microbes and associated metabolites. More importantly, they provided some of the first conclusive evidence of reversing symptoms of ASD via administration of Bacteroides fragilis probiotic. The broader potential of this research is identifying an analogous probiotic that can treat subsets of individuals with ASD; probiotics may provide therapeutic strategies for neurodevelopmental disorders. Therapies that target the gut microbiome may hold the key for making progress against a wide range of notoriously difficult psychiatric illnesses.

In a new study from Finland, Pärtty and colleagues (2015) are the first to show that probiotic supplementation early in life may be effective for reducing attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and ASD in children.

Researchers in Finland tested the hypothesis that probiotic supplementation may protect against the development of ADHD and AS by reviewing data from a study that was originally designed to test the effect of early supplementation with a probiotic in infancy on the later development of eczema. The mothers of 159 children were recruited in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study and received 10 billion colony-forming units of Lactobacillus rhamnosus or placebo daily for 4 weeks before expected delivery. After delivery, the capsule contents were given either to the children or continuously to the mothers (if breast-feeding) for 6 months.

To evaluate the possible link between probiotic supplementation and ADHD or AS, 75 of these children were evaluated by an experienced third party child psychiatrist or neurologist and the children were randomized and blinded so as not to produce any study bias. Results showed that ADHD or AS was diagnosed in 6/35 (17.1%) children in the placebo and none in the probiotic group (0/40). The probability value of this occurring was 0.008, indicating that it was not due to chance, but rather to a clear effect.

Previously stored fecal samples allowed the researchers to analyze the children for gut bacteria during their first six months of life. The researchers found that the numbers of Bifidobacterium species bacteria in feces during the first 6 months of life was lower in children with ADHD and AS compared to the healthy children.

The researchers concluded “Probiotic supplementation early in life may reduce the risk of neuropsychiatric disorder development later in childhood possible by mechanisms not limited to gut microbiota composition.”

References

Gilbert JA, Krajmalnik-Brown R, Porazinska DL, Weiss SJ, Knight R. 2013. Toward Effective Probiotics for Autism and Other Neurodevelopmental Disorders. Cell 155(7):1446-1448.

Hsaio EY, McBride SW, Hsien S, Sharon G, Hyde ER, McCue T, Codelli JA, Chow J, Reisman SE, Petrosino JF, et al. 2013. Cell 155(7):1451–1463.

Kaluzna-Czaplinska J, Blaszczyk S. 2012. The level of arabinitol in autistic children after probiotic therapy. Nutrition 28:124-126.

Pärtty A, Kalliomäki M, Wacklin P, Salminen S, Isolauri E. 2015. A possible link between early probiotic intervention and the risk of neuropsychiatric disorders later in childhood: a randomized trial. Pediatr Res. doi: 10.1038/pr.2015.51.

MELT® Organic Love

Thursday, April 23rd, 2015

Hillary of Charleston, SC was looking for that one thing she could do to improve her daily diet. As a consummate lover of butter, she was thrilled to discover Rich & Creamy MELT® Organic as her Butter 2.0.

How did you discover MELT?

“I was not actively avoiding butter, but I wanted to get back in shape. Like everyone else, I had a New Year’s resolution to hit the gym and do a better job of eating right despite how busy I was, especially being in graduate school. I LOVE butter and I could eat it by the spoonful. When I discovered MELT, I was trying to cut back on eating so much butter since I know that’s not the best thing for me.

When I read MELT’s label in the store, I saw that it’s healthy so I didn’t have worry about hiding it or only having it in moderation. I love a creamy, smooth texture. When I first tried MELT (yes, by the spoonful), I was amazed at how creamy and delicious it was! MELT has a subtle sweetness to it that is AMAZING.”

How do you use MELT?

“I use it every time I cook something, mostly on vegetables. I am a horrible cook! But I do know how to steam vegetables or bake them in the oven. I just love how MELT tastes, and better yet, every time I use it, I think of how awesome it is that I’m using one of my favorite products AND that it’s healthy?!

I have gotten my parents hooked on MELT as well – they love Honey MELT. As a marathon runner, my mom has always been into healthy eating and she loves MELT. Since my mom is the one who grocery shops, my dad eats MELT too.”

Parting thoughts?

“I am a huge chocolate fan and would love to try Chocolate MELT, especially since I am trying to stay away from processed food and foods high in sugar and artificial sweeteners.”

MELT® Organic Love

Tuesday, April 7th, 2015

Lesly of Sandpoint, ID discovered MELT Organic spreads during her courageous journey to mitigate her Mast Cell Disorder through diet. Since Lesly is forced to avoid many forms of protein, eating good fats has become a high priority for her, hence her appreciation for MELT.

“With Mast Cell Disorder, I am always dealing with high levels of histamines leaking into my system through my GI tract, so I have had a ton of allergies to food and smells, which was quite scary at first because I would go into anaphylactic shock. I went to an allergist who was savvy enough to know about Mast Cell Disorders and we went from there. Mast Cell Disorder also includes sensitivities to chemicals and fumes. It’s pretty crazy and my condition has changed my lifestyle.

I realized early on that my condition is linked to a leaky gut that probably began after multiple rounds of antibiotics used to treat recurring strep throat.

I was looking for a butter replacement and discovered MELT at my local Safeway. Price point is a huge consideration for me, so I appreciate MELT’s high quality list of ingredients in a product that I can afford.

Because of my situation, I can’t eat non-organic food – I react to even a tiny amount of GMOs. I was sold on MELT Organic spreads because everything in MELT is organic and GMO free –MELT was a no brainer for me. I found other organic and GMO free butter replacements, but they cost twice as much, which is a hardship for me. I am so thankful MELT is affordable and available in my area.”

How do you use MELT?

“MELT is fantastic because there are very few options that I can trust AND afford. I use MELT a several times per day. My morning cup of coffee is the one vice I have held onto; in the morning I use Honey MELT in my bullet proof coffee. I don’t know what it is about those healthy fats but they just start my morning off right. When I use creamer instead of MELT, it’s just not the same – MELT’s healthy fats are very energizing in my coffee.

I am not able to eat most protein because it releases too many histamines, which is what I am avoiding as much as possible, so the healthy fats in MELT have become especially important because they replace eating protein. I get some protein from spirulina and other non-animal sources, but I have to avoid protein from animal sources. I need MELT for its healthy fats.

Since I had to eliminate several foods, I primarily use MELT on roasted vegetables. I make a huge plate of roasted vegetables every night and slather on the MELT – it is so delicious and good for me! I love it.

I am anxious to try Chocolate MELT. I would love to try Chocolate MELT on gluten-free waffles!”

Do you believe your nutritional approach could reverse your Mast Cell Disease?

“That remains to be seen; I am definitely more stable than I was a year ago. During spring last year, I was having anaphylactic shock 4 or 5 times per week; it was very alarming and frustrating. I am not having those issues this year so I have come a long way. Some of it has been from Western Medicine, but I feel like a lot of it is the nutritional information I have researched on my own, especially for changing my diet. I have been able to back off on some of the medication as targeted supplementation and diet have helped me to feel better. That’s exciting.

I was using butter, but I had to stop because my cholesterol was becoming quite high, which was when I switched to MELT. Replacing butter with MELT was the only change in my diet – I just had my cholesterol levels re-measured and while they are still above normal, my total cholesterol is coming down and my HDL/ LDL ratio is improving. I credit eating MELT for my improvement since it was the only dietary change I made. I love it!”

Cocoa Brownies

Thursday, April 2nd, 2015

cocoa-brownies

Cocoa Brownies
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
 
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup (150 grams) sugar
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 2 egg whites, room temperature
  • ¼ cup (56 grams) MELT organic chocolate spread, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ⅓ cup (40 grams) all purpose flour
  • ½ cup (40 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • pinch of salt
Instructions
  1. Heat the oven to 350F. Line an 8X8" baking pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. In a mixing bowl, with the paddle attachment on, beat on low speed the sugar, the whole egg and the egg whites until fluffy and thickened, about 5 minutes.
  3. Beat in the chocolate spread and vanilla extract and stir to combine.
  4. Gently, fold in the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Stir until just combined.
  5. Pour the brownie batter into the prepared baking pan and bake in preheated oven for 20 to 22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes almost clean (the brownies will combine to cook as the cool down)
  6. Remove from the oven and cool completely on a wire rack before cutting into bars.
  7. For clean cuts, use a sharp knife and clean the blade after each cut.

Grain Free Pumpkin Nut Bread

Thursday, April 2nd, 2015

grain-free-pumpkin-bread

Grain Free Pumpkin Nut Bread
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup homemade pumpkin puree
  • 4 eggs
  • ⅓ cup Vermont maple syrup
  • ¼ cup MELT Organic spread
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • ¼ cup tapioca flour
  • ½ cup coconut flour
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¾ cup chopped nuts of your choice
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. Line a small loaf pan with parchment paper.
  3. Mix the pumpkin, eggs, maple syrup & MELT Organic.
  4. Sift in the salt, spices, flours, baking soda and baking powder.
  5. Mix thoroughly.
  6. Add the nuts and mix.
  7. Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 45-50 minutes or until it tests done in the center.

Citrus Honey Biscuits

Thursday, April 2nd, 2015

Citrus-Honey-Biscuits

Citrus Honey Biscuits
Author: 
Recipe type: Breakfast
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 10
 
Ingredients
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2¼ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 ounces Honey MELT Organic, diced
  • 2 eggs, divided
  • ½ cup plain Greek yogurt
  • zest of 1 orange
  • zest of 1 Meyer lemon
  • 3 tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon honey
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silpat.
  2. Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl.
  3. Add the diced Honey MELT Organic and work into the flour mixture with a pastry cutter, fork or even your fingers until the texture of a coarse meal.
  4. Beat 1 egg in a medium bowl.
  5. Add the yogurt, zests, orange juice and honey and whisk together until smooth.
  6. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and stir with a spatula until just barely combined.
  7. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Knead a few times until it comes together and then roll into a circle about 1 inch thick.
  8. Using a biscuit cutter or rim of a glass, cut into circles.
  9. Place biscuits on the baking sheet. Combine scraps and roll out again to use all the dough.
  10. Beat the remaining egg in a small bowl and brush the tops of each biscuit.
  11. Bake for 12-14 minutes until tops are golden brown and biscuits are cooked through.
  12. Remove from the oven, let sit a couple of minutes before serving warm.

Gluten Free Pumpkin Bread

Wednesday, April 1st, 2015

gluten-free-pumpkin-bread

Gluten Free Pumpkin Bread
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
Ingredients
  • ½ cup Rich & Creamy MELT Organic spread
  • ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • ½ cup raw honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 (15 oz) can pumpkin puree
  • 2 cups gluten free flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • ½ tsp ground cloves
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Grease a bread pan with MELT spread
  3. In a large bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, salt & spices and set aside.
  4. With a mixer, beat butter and honey together on med-high until light and fluffy (7-8 minutes)
  5. Blend in eggs and applesauce
  6. Beat in vanilla
  7. Set mixer on low and slowly add in flour mixture. Beat until just combined - do not over mix.
  8. Add in pumpkin and blend on medium until just combined.
  9. Bake for approx. 1 hour 10 minutes. (cover with foil if top becomes browned before done)

Soft-Baked Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies

Wednesday, April 1st, 2015

Soft-Baked-Vegan-Chocolate-Chip-Cookies-2

Soft-Baked Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 24
 
Ingredients
  • 6 tablespoons MELT Organic Rich and Creamy Spread
  • 1¼ cups plus 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons corn starch
  • ¼ teaspoon fine salt
  • ½ cup dark brown sugar
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1½ tablespoons almond milk or other non-dairy milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips or 1 cup regular semi-sweet chocolate chips (see Notes)
Instructions
  1. In a large glass bowl, melt the MELT 🙂 in a microwave. Set aside to cool a bit.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, corn starch and salt. Set aside.
  3. Add the sugars to the bowl with the MELT and whisk until incorporated. Add the almond milk and vanilla and whisk a bit more. Add the flour mixture into the wet ingredients and stir just until combined. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  4. Cover the bowl and place the dough in the refrigerator for one hour or more.
  5. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment.
  6. Scoop level tablespoons of the dough and drop onto the prepared cookie sheet, spacing them about 2 inches apart.
  7. Bake for 10 to 11 minutes.
  8. Remove from the oven and cool on the baking sheet for one minute before cooling completely on a wire rack.
  9. Makes 24 cookies.
  10. Notes:
  11. If keeping these vegan is a concern, be sure your chocolate chips are truly vegan. Good quality chocolate contains cocoa and cocoa butter, but some companies may add milk or milk solids. Check the ingredients list.
  12. I keep the remaining dough in the refrigerator while each batch is baking to keep the dough from getting too soft.

Breakfast Banana Muffins

Wednesday, April 1st, 2015

Breakfast banana

BREAKFAST BANANA MUFFINS
Author: 
Recipe type: Breakfast
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
 
Ingredients
  • 2 bananas, mashed
  • ¾ cup raw sugar or honey
  • 1 egg
  • ⅓ cup MELT® Organic Honey, melted
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Optional: ¼ cup cinnamon chips (or 1 tablespoon cinnamon), walnuts, or chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, beat together bananas, sugar, egg and MELT until all ingredients form a smooth batter.
  3. Combine dry ingredients. Fold in flour mixture to the liquid ingredients and mix just until smooth. Be careful not to over mix.
  4. Arrange cupcake liners in muffin-tin and fill halfway up with batter.
  5. Bake for about 15 minutes (until a toothpick inserted comes out clean).
  6. Remove from over and allow to cool, then add a bit of Melt on top and devour.

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