April 2017

Olive Branch Wellness Center
Wellness Newsletter

Arsenic in Your Diet? Here's How to Avoid It.

Arsenic is a poison we associate with murders in old mystery novels. But arsenic may be hiding on your breakfast or dinner table, silently hurting your family's health. High levels of arsenic can be found in rice and rice products, infant formula, processed fruit juices, and drinking water.
How did arsenic get into our food? Naturally occurring minerals in the soil can break down into elements including arsenic. However, most of the arsenic entering our food supply is from agricultural practices. We used arsenic laden pesticides for years. Even though these pesticides were banned in the 1980s, the arsenic remains in the soil. We also feed arsenic-laden drugs and animal by-products to animals that produce the manure we use for fertilizer.

Regular exposure to low doses of arsenic can cause a variety of cancers, including bladder, skin and lung cancer. It is also associated with prostate, kidney and liver cancer. It can also contribute to diabetes, cardiovascular disease and reproductive problems. Studies found it can also weaken the immune system.










Ray Ilg, ND

Raynette Ilg, N.D., is the owner of Olive Branch Wellness Center in South Elgin, IL. A Naturopath who earned a Bachelors of Science in Biological Medicine and then a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine from National University of Health Sciences, she employs Nutritional Guidance, Herbal Medicine, Hydrotherapy, and Homeopathy in her clinic. Dr. Ray can be contacted via her website,
Olive Branch Wellness Center

Rice and rice products are one of the main sources of arsenic sneaking into our diet. I advise my patients to reduce their consumption of grains and carbohydrates for many reasons, but am now adding arsenic as a reason to limit rice consumption to a minimum.
Rice flour and rice syrup are used heavily in "gluten free"foods, while rice "milk"is often found in dairy-free foods. This means that people trying to avoid common allergens like gluten and dairy, may be trading one health risk for another by consuming more rice products.

The level of arsenic in rice-based foods poses an even bigger risk for infants and children. Many parents use rice cereal as a first solid food for babies. But if an infant eats rice cereal for three meals a day, they are over their weekly limit for arsenic in just two days! Consumer Reports advises parents to limit their children's consumption of rice cereal, rice milk, rice cakes and rice pastas. 

Different types of rice have different levels of arsenic, depending on where they're grown. For example, sushi rice grown in the United States has relatively low levels of arsenic, which is good news if you're a sushi fan. White Basmati from India, Pakistan and California also tested low for arsenic. Brown rice has a whopping 80% more arsenic than white rice, because arsenic accumulates in the outer layers of the grain. (The best choice for brown rice with lower arsenic levels is brown basmati rice from India, Pakistan or California.)

If you are looking for another reason to avoid the refined carbs in rice, add arsenic to the list! Use veggies or high protein whole grains like quinoa or millet in place of rice whenever you can.

Olive Branch Wellness Center 630-370-7290


The Monthly "Vita - Mini"


Luckily for us, vitamin B13 is manufactured by our body's intestinal flora. Its common chemical name is orotic acid. B13 is primarily used to metabolize folic acid and vitamin B12. It also assists us in using essential nutrients like calcium and magnesium by bonding with them to form orotate salts. Compared to other forms of these minerals, calcium orotate and magnesium orotate are more easily transported from the gut into the blood stream. There, they later separate from the orotate to be used by the body.

B13 is used in the treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS), and in certain forms of heart and liver disease. It's also used in anti-aging medicine, and gives health to hair, skin and nails. Orotic acid in the urine can also be a marker in diagnosing liver malfunction or bleeding in the digestive tract.

Deficiencies in vitamin B13 are rare, but when they happen, they can cause liver disorders and cell degeneration. The best external sources of vitamin B13 are beef, whey and root vegetables.

Jeana's Cucina






Easy Paleo Shrimp and Avocado Salad


    1 lb. cooked frozen shrimp, thawed

    2 avocados, diced

    2-3 T fresh cilantro, chopped

    3 T fresh-squeezed lime juice

    1 tsp. ground cumin

    1/2 tsp. finely ground sea salt

    3 T  olive oil

    6 green onions, thickly sliced


    Let shrimp thaw overnight in the fridge.  Put thawed shrimp into a colander placed in the sink and let the shrimp drain well.

    Whisk together the lime juice, cumin, and salt then whisk in the olive oil a little at a time to make the dressing.  Cut up the avocado into bite-sized chunks, put in a bowl large enough to hold all the ingredients, and toss with about half the dressing.

    Cut the green onions into thick slices.  If the shrimp is still wet, pat dry with paper towels.  Add the green onions, cilantro, and drained shrimp to the avocados and gently combine, adding as much additional dressing as you prefer.  Season to taste with more salt if desired


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