Friday, December 19, 2014

Let’s not allow political correctness to get in the way of a real discussion about Islamic terrorism

December 18, 2014
by benign0
Down in Australia’s premiere banking district at the heart of Sydney last Monday, Man Haron Monis, a self-styled Islamic cleric took staff and customers of a Lindt cafe in Martin Place hostage and forced them to raise a black flag bearing an Arabic inscription in white that says “There is no god but Allah; Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.” The message is consistent with Shahada, an Islamic doctrine that is one of the faith’s key pillars. Ben MacQueen of Australia’s Monash University refers to it as “the testimony or core statement of belief in Islam.” The siege ended with three people dead — two hostages and Monis.
Up in Peshawar, Pakistan, 141 people of which 132 were children lost their lives to a “revenge attack” perpetrated by the Pakistani Taliban yesterday. The attack was, according to a Taliban statement, in retaliation for on-going Pakistani military attacks against them. Some witnesses say that the Taliban attackers who carried out this barbaric execution of innocent children shouted “Allahu Akbar!” (“God is great!”) as they shot kids often at point-blank range. This year’s Nobel Peace Prize winner, 17-year-old Malala Yousafzai, was also a victim of a Taliban attack on account of her being a vocal advocate of women’s right to education there.
Islamic jihad
On both occasions, the barbarity on exhibit was perpetrated on the bases of supposedly perverted interpretations of Islamic doctrine and scripture. The argument of course is that the earlier was the result of the “isolated” actions of a mentally unstable “madman” and that the latter involved the actions of foot soldiers grossly misguided by the vindictive tunnel-visioned zealotry of their charismatic leaders. But the common denominator between the two seemingly unrelated tragedies remained confronting and inescapable.

In Australia, the collective response to that elephant in the debating room was manifest in a Twitter hashtag: #illridewithyou (“I’ll ride with you”). Australians have used this hashtag to rally around the Muslim community here by encouraging people to follow the example of Brisbane woman Rachael Jacobs who, in the days following the violent end to the Sydney Martin Place Siege, posted on her Facebook profile an account of how she spotted a Muslim woman who removed her headscarf as she walked towards a train station and then further writes, “I ran after her at the train station. I said ‘put it back on. I’ll walk with u’. She started to cry and hugged me for about a minute – then walked off alone.” Since then, the hashtag campaign has taken off. A Sydney TV editor tweeted;
If you reg take the #373 bus b/w Coogee/MartinPl, wear religious attire, & don’t feel safe alone: I’ll ride with you. @ me for schedule.
The underlying assumption in this preemptive initiative is, of course, that Muslims will collectively be seen as a target for a backlash coming from a majority presumably furious over the latest acts of “Islamic terrorism”. Actually it’s two assumptions: (1) that there will be a virulent resurgence of islamophobia in Australian society, and (2) that Muslims will be the victims of such a development.
Suffice to say, it is easy to incite such feelings after the fact. In normal times, Muslims and non-Muslims generally try to stay out of each others’ faces and spaces at best. At worst, they shun one another. The continuum between both extremes describes Australian society business-as-usual. An event such as the Martin Place Siege usually sparks a trendy re-evaluation of this normal dynamic. Otherwise, the status quo is a familiar comfort zone for most Australians.
What is disturbing is that underneath both circumstances — normal business as usual or in the heat of emotional upheaval in the aftermath of the next in-the-name-of-Islam atrocity — lies a bedrock of political correctness. In normal times, people are tightlipped about one anothers’ deeply-ingrained distaste for the others’ beliefs and practices. Christians and members of the broader secular society of Australia are baffled and irked by what many regard to be the dogmatic and controlling — often oppressive — belief system of Muslims, while Muslims tend to be judgmental of the infidel’s sinfully-liberated ways. But thanks to political correctness, that is all simply not discussed. When tragedies such as the Martin Place Siege strike, suddenly the violence is an “isolated” incident that has supposedly “does not reflect the broader Muslim community”.
Media are laughing either way, in the case-in-point presented by the events in recent days; flooding the airwaves with inflammatory images of a black Islamic flag being waved in the midst of the unfolding atrocity then suddenly shifting its focus onto a quaint hashtag in its aftermath that aims to whitewash the Islamic imprint on them. Political correctness is the cultural trump card that smoothens the landscape of discourse in both instances.
What seems to escape the attention of many thought leaders today is the very way this painting of Muslims as “victims” by movements such as #illridewithyou contributes to the foundation of most terrorist movements which target marginalised people of society many of whom feel that they are victims of an indifferent or even hostile mainstream. The recruitment initiatives instigated by the Islamic State in the West, for example reportedly attract “the young unemployed and disaffected” who “desire to make their lives, and perhaps their deaths, count for something.”
A campaign such as that of the “I’ll ride with you” movement could possibly further re-enforce the idea of a “them” and “us” in society and heighten a need by individuals within certain high-risk sectors of that society to satisfy a personal craving for a sense of belonging making them more vulnerable to radicalisation. Indeed, small wonder that most terror recruits consist of young men according to a Psychology Today report
It is very significant that most terrorists are young men, usually adolescents. Adolescence can be a psychologically difficult period, during which a person becomes aware of themselves as a separate individual, with a sense of vulnerability and fragility. As a result, there is a strong need for identity and belonging. This is why adolescents often join gangs, and become followers of fashion or of pop groups. Belonging to a group helps to alleviate their sense of separateness and strengthens their identity.
Political correctness suppresses motivation and courage to enter into the hard conversations. When the hard questions are ignored for the sake of some kind of contrived “peace”, problems fester underneath the seemingly calm surface. Problems like terrorism.
Perhaps we are long overdue for a more realistic and more confronting debate that is way outside our collective comfort zone as a society and certainly beyond anything that could be effected by trendy Twitter hashtags.

10 Foods That Will Shorten Your Life

When we think of the various things that constitute the bare minimum of necessities that we require to sustain our all too brief sojourn on this planet, good food is certainly foremost among them. And yet, in the midst of the undoubted superabundance of prosperity in the alleged First World, we find ourselves more troubled than ever by reports of our allotted span of years being prematurely shortened by inferior food.
How is this calamity possible? And why is it permitted? These are questions for a much longer article. In the meantime, here’s a list of the ten foods that will shorten your life. Caveat emptor, and bon appetit!
1. Doughnuts
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And so it was that the men in the white lab coats at last came for Homer Simpson. Yep, doughnuts, Dunkin or otherwise, are listed at the top of the ten foods that are most likely to shorten the number of your days above ground. Feel like going for something glazed? Maybe crunching a cruller? Big mistake!
These tasty ambassadors of the Grim Reaper are filled with the usual culprits (sugar, hydrogenated oils, white enriched flour). But they also contain more than their fair share of acrylamides. These noxious substances are created during the frying process and seem to be especially handy at causing cancer in rats.
In conclusion, don’t eat anything, ever, again. It’s just not worth it to open your mouth, only to stuff it chock full of political incorrectness.
2. French Fries
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Anything with potatoes in it is pretty much out. So sayeth our benevolent public servants in ye olde white lab coats. The latest casualty is french fries (freedom fries in Libertarian parlance). Not only are they deep fried, but they’re also manufactured using the finest quality hydrogenated oil.
And, as every medical expert from Dr. Oz to Dr. Doolittle has assured us at one time or another, the more trans fats in our blood cells, the greater risk of heart attack, stroke, and imminent, certain death.
3. Bacon
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Yep, it’s official. Scientists hate us. Again, it’s those dastardly cursed nitrates that are to blame. The human stomach digests nitrates in a very odd way, converting them into Nitrosamine, a chemical that has been proven to be a carcinogen. The way the bacon makers (and the FDA) get around the whole hullabaloo is that nitrates don’t become Nitrosamine until they hit your tummy and begin to do their merry dance of death. A yummy, yummy dance of death, to be sure.
4. Potato Chips
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Thanks to slack FDA regulations that permit manufacturers to shore up every bit of food with hideous chemicals that seem solely designed to kill us, they’re certainly succeeding.
So the word is that potato chips may soon come equipped with a doozy of an additive: Asparaginase, a drug that has been used to combat leukemia. However, the list of side effects associated with this drug reads like a hypochondriac’s bible. Consider yourself warned, and start checking the list of ingredients on your next bag of sour cream chips.
5. Fish
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Fish, those nefarious deep diving denizens of the sea, are fifth on the list. To be fair to our fine finned friends, it’s no so much their doing as our own. It seems that we’ve polluted their watery home with so much mercury that they’ve naturally adapted by storing up unnaturally high levels of this dangerous substance in their bodies.
As a result, after poisoning their habitat, we harvest and consume them and…yep, poison ourselves right back. Admittedly, there’s more irony than indignation in this particular addition to the list. But “I’d rather be fishing” still sounds more inviting than “I’d Rather Be Poisoned With Enough Mercury To Shore Up A Thousand Thermometers”.
6. Microwave Popcorn
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It seems that the main trouble associated with microwave popcorn is in the butter substitute that most brands of this distressingly convenient and handy invention contain. According to recent scientific studies, most microwave popcorn brands use a chemical called diacetyl. This ingredient has been linked to severe respiratory and lung issues, some of them resulting in fatalities. Err, so don’t pass the popcorn on movie night. Bake a cake?
7. Alcohol
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Alcohol comes in high on the list as another major life shortener.
8. Red Meat
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Of course, red meat comes in for its share of abuse. Hamburgers, steaks, and the like are perennial culprits behind all manner of ills, from elevated blood pressure and obesity, straight up through heart attack and stroke.
No matter where you turn, scientific and medical experts are determined to make us feel guilty for loving a good cut of beef.
9. Processed Meat
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The aloof, frequently Green party voting, experts who publish these sorts of lists have a strong animus toward processed meat, i.e., store bought hot dogs, pepperoni on pizza, etc. According to them, eating large quantities of processed meat not only builds up unhealthy entities, such as nitrates, in your system, but also contributes mightily to the aging process.
It’s also unfortunately true that a too robust consumption of such meats will tend to pack on the pounds, particularly if you don’t get your rightful share of exercise. Walk it off, people!
10. Soda
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Sugary carbonated soda is a major menace. A recent study concluded that a daily dose of your average twenty ounce fizzy drink contributed to a whopping 4.6 years of extra aging. According to the same study (who asked them?), that’s the same amount of premature aging a person can expect from a life time of cigarette smoking.


10 Natural Remedies to Boost Your Sperm Count

Food design.preview
One possible reason of infertility is inadequate sperm count.  If the sperm count is less than 15 million per ml, it is considered low.  Oligoospermia or known as low sperm count can happen due to a number of variety of reasons and contributing factors like hormonal abnormalities, infected semen, infection in the prostate gland, varicoceles (enlargement of veins within the scrotum), damaged sperm ducts, use of anabolic steroids, cigarette smoking, alcohol abuse, drug abuse, toxic chemicals, certain medications, heavy metal exposure and radiation. Even vaginal lubricants tend to be toxic to sperm.
So, we gathered helpful remedies that will increase the sperm count:

1. Maca Root

Maca root (black variety) is know to help improve sperm production and motility. It is a popular fertility herb that helps balance the hormones.   Take 1 to 3 teaspoons of maca root in 2 divided doses for a few months daily. You can add it to a glass of water, a healthy smoothie or protein shake, or just sprinkle it on cereal. As maca root is high in fiber, start by taking ½ teaspoon and gradually increase the dosage over a few weeks.

2. Ashwagandha

A 2013 pilot study, found that ashwagandha root extract can significantly increase sperm count, semen volume and sperm motility. This herb also promotes healthy testosterone production. It also improves your overall health, increases vitality and reduces stress and anxiety.  Mix ½ teaspoon of ashwagandha powder, also known as Indian ginseng, in a glass of warm milk. Drink it twice daily for a few months.  Another option is to take ashwagandha root extract. Consult your doctor for proper dosage.

3. Panax Ginseng

Panax ginseng or better know as Korean ginseng, is commonly used in traditional Chinese medicine to help the body fight stress.  But is also used to increase testosterone, and sperm count and motility to enhance male fertility and improve erectile performance. Take 1 to 3 capsules of 500 mg Panax ginseng daily for at least 3 months. Make sure to c onsult your doctor before starting this or any other supplement regimen.

4. Garlic

Garlic acts as a natural aphrodisiac and increases sperm production. It contains a compound called allicin, which boosts the endurance of the sperm and also improves blood circulation. Plus, the mineral selenium in garlic helps improve sperm motility.  Simply include 1 or 2 crushed garlic cloves in your daily diet.

5. Tribulus

Tribulus terrestris  is an Ayurvedic remedy that increases sperm count, improves sperm quality as it can enhance hormonal levels. A 2012 study by Indian researchers also found this aphrodisiac herb to be helpful in treating oligozoospermia (low sperm count). Take 1 to 3 capsules of 500 mg Tribulus terrestris daily for a few months, but only after consulting your doctor.

6. Saw Palmetto

Saw palmetto, commonly known and used for prostate health, is another useful herb to increase sperm count. It is also best for treating erectile dysfunction. Take 160 mg of saw palmetto extract twice daily for a few months, after consulting your doctor. The supplement should be standardized to contain 85 to 95% fatty acids and sterols.

9. Horny Goat Weed

Horny goat weed is a time-tested aphrodisiac commonly used in traditional Chinese medicine. It helps increase sperm production and treat erectile dysfunction. Horny goat weed supplements, however, have not been tested for safety as yet.  Take 250 to 500 mg of horny goat weed supplement daily for a few months, after consulting your doctor.

10. Green Tea

Research suggests that the high antioxidants in green tea have good fertility-boosting potential as they neutralize free radicals that can damage sperm cells. According to a 2012 study published in the journal Molecular Nutrition and Food Research, low doses of a compound called epigallocatechin gallate found in green tea can improve sperm quality, including motility, thus improving its potential for fertilization. However, higher concentrations of EGCG can have an opposite effect. Thus, further studies are still required.  Drink 1 or 2 cups of green tea daily to enjoy enhanced fertility as well as overall health.
Additional Tips
  • Go organic in terms of food as well as other products, such as deodorants and other cosmetics, to avoid toxic chemicals.
  • Eat foods rich in vitamin C, zinc, selenium, folic acid and omega-3 fatty acids, such as pumpkin seeds, walnuts, Brazil nuts, sesame seeds, flaxseeds, chia seeds, spinach, eggs, lentils, beans, broccoli, tomatoes and oranges. You can also take nutritional supplements after consulting your doctor.
  • Avoid the use of plastic bottles, containers and other items made of plastic to reduce xenoestrogen (environmental estrogen) exposure.
  • Do not wear tight briefs or boxers.
  • Steer clear of hot baths and saunas to avoid heating the testicles, which is detrimental to normal sperm production.
  • Manage stress as it can interfere with the hormones that help produce sperms.
  • Keep your weight in check.
  • Get proper sleep.

Black Tomatoes May Look Strange But Are Excellent For Your Health

Black Tomatoes (1)You may think that these black tomatoes called the Indigo Rose look very strange indeed but surprisingly they are excellent as part of your diet!
The ‘Indigo Rose’ is a new, strangely-colored variety of tomato. The fruit is jet black on the outside and juicy purple-red on the inside. These colors might not sound very appealing, but black tomatoes are supposed to be very tasty, and most importantly, rich in antioxidants. Indigo Rose is a cross-breed between red and purple tomatoes, and is the latest ‘superfood’ to hit the market.
I have to admit, I never even knew that purple tomatoes exist. The modified fruit, bred by scientists in America, contain a special antioxidant called anthocyanin. Anthocyanin is responsible for fighting diseases like diabetes and obesity, and is the main pigment that lends the tomato its purple color. And when the purple tomatoes are mixed with the regular red ones, the resultant breed turns out black.
Black Tomatoes (2)
Black tomatoes were first bred by Professor Jim Myers at the University of Oregon, during a graduate study about the health benefits of tomatoes. When they discovered that purple tomatoes contained anthocyanin, which also provides color to blueberries, they decided to cross them with some wild red ones. Eventually, they came up with a black strain.
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“It is the first improved tomato variety in the world that has anthocyanins in its fruit,” said Prof. Myers. “It (the breeding) will lead to a better understanding on how the antioxidants express in tomatoes and may contribute to human health. They (anthocyanin) have many varied effects on human health, but while they are powerful antioxidants in the test tube, we don’t really know whether they have an antioxidant effect on the human body,” he added.
Sutton Seeds, a company based out of Devon County, has secured the rights to start selling the new plants for the first time in the UK. Assistant product manager Alfie Jackson said: “There are some dark colored tomatoes but Indigo Rose is the only real black tomato and is the darkest that has ever been bred. They are not as sweet as normal tomatoes and have a more savory flavor, and are nice roasted or eaten in salads.”
Black Tomatoes (4)
So what makes the Indigo Rose so different from other dark tomato breeds? According to Myers, it’s all in the genes. “If you want a really, really purple tomato that can be as black as an eggplant, give Indigo Rose a try,” he said. “Other so-called purple and black tomatoes have the green flesh gene, which prevents normal chlorophyll breakdown.”
“People are passionate about their tomatoes,” he added, while commenting on the taste of the black variety. “The purple color draws their interest and because it’s extraordinary, people tend to expect impressive flavor as well. It does have a good balance of sugars and acids and tastes just like a tomato. Anthocyanins are essentially tasteless.”
During the growth process, these tomatoes start out green and turn black when exposed to sunlight. This is because the anthocyanins get produced in the fruit only when light touches the surface. “If you pick an Indigo Rose and expose the non-purple area to sunlight, it will turn purple in about a week,” said Myers.
But he cautioned planters against picking the fruit too soon – it needs to ripen fully for complete development of sugars and acids. In the State of Oregon, the average first ripe date is about 91 days after planting. These black tomatoes do give a pretty good yield, and Myers insists that they are not GMO (genetically modified organisms).
Black Tomatoes (5)
Now that the Indigo Rose has been successfully launched to consumer markets, Myers and his team are already thinking of their next big project. They intend to target cherry tomatoes as the next of several new versions in the Indigo-anthocyanin series. It will take three years to breed- these new tomatoes are also expected to be black and really high on flavor.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

A Man Donated A Christmas Gift 14 Years Ago Not Realizing He Sent It To The Woman He Will Marry

When Joana, a girl from the Philippines, received a shoebox filled of gifts back in year 2000 she never imagined that the she would marry the boy who packed her Christmas gift.
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Joana was attending a vacation Bible School in Quezon City, suburb of Manila, when she received the gift-filled shoebox from a 7-year-old boy named Tyrel Wolfe from Idaho. It was part of their graduation ceremony.  The box encloses more than collection of cute and fun gifts, it also included a picture of Tyrel together with his name and address and a recorded presentation of a Gospel which eventually convince Joana to accept Jesus Christ as her Savior.  In the long run, her father also received Christ in his life and become a pastor.
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Joana sent Tyrel a letter explaining the impact of his gift to her and her family. Unfortunately, Tyrel never received it.
Eleven years later, on the month of November, Joana tried to track Tyrel through Facebook. They easily connected and never stopped exchanging Facebook messages after that. Finally, with the blessings of their family, Tyrel and Joana tied the knot on October 5, 2014.
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Since the newly wed was brought together by an Operation Christmas Child they encouraged their guests to “Pack a Shoebox”.
“My mom is the one who originally came up with the suggestion,” Tyrel said. “Operation Christmas Child is what brought Joana and me together, so we wanted to somehow make the project a part of our celebration.”
The newly wed drop the shoeboxes at Samaritan’s Purse headquarters in North Carolina during the first day of National Collection week.

5-star perks for VIP inmates bared in Philippine prison but top jail exec excused!

December 17, 2014
by benign0
At first, I really didn’t understand what the big “shock” over the 5-star-hotel-like trappings laid out for “special” inmates in the Philippines’ main prison facility, the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa City, Metro Manila was all about. Stories about the top-notch perks enjoyed by the country’s prison royalty have been the stuff of legend for the longest time.
But then on second look, perhaps it was the sheer audacity with which these perks were funded and developed within the prison that shocked the civil sensibilities of the chattering classes. A music video recorded in — get this — a music studio for inmates built within the prison complex is available for viewing on YouTube!
Now that is shocking!
Nevertheless the real question that people need to be asking now that all that has been laid bare before the media following a “raid” conducted by the Justice Department recently is: Whose heads will roll?.
Of course there is no shortage of after-the-fact “recommendations” from the phalanx of “experts” that have descended upon the now-trending issue
“The military should take over the prison, and all the people involved from top to bottom must be fired,” Dante Jimenez, founder of the Manila-based watchdog group Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption, said.
“It’s unfair that even after conviction, we’re still not sure that justice has been served,” added Teresita See, head of the Manila-based Movement for the Restoration of Peace and Order.
But of course.
I wouldn’t hold my breath though. No less than the Philippines’ Bureau of Corrections chief Franklin Bucayu is pleading ignorance of the shenanigans going on in his own prison system. And here’s another shocking revelation: Justice Secretary Leila De Lima is buying that plea. De Lima has reportedly cleared Bucayu of any accountability over the scandal and is instead going after middle management…
De Lima, however, said she directed NBP executives and officers – from Superintendent Roberto Rabo down to the jail guards – to submit their respective explanations as to why they should not be held administratively liable over the illegal drugs, mobile phones and gadgets seized from 20 drug lords operating from inside the prison.
“I will require all of them to explain why these contrabands were these inside the maximum security compound, and depending on their explanations we determine who will be charged administratively,” she said in an interview.
It’s no wonder that the Philippines has become world-renowned for its criminalno-justice system. Top execs and cabinet-level officers are hardly ever held accountable for much of the country’s most appalling crimes — the underlying irony here being that nothing ever gets done without top-level prodding. This is a country after all where murders don’t get solved within a reasonable timeframe unless orders come directly from the President. The corollary also holds true: murders also don’t get solved by order of a top government exec such as the President.
Indeed, the list of cases of appalling deprivation of justice is long and getting longer by the day. A politically-motivated massacre of 58 people allegedly perpetrated by Maguindanao warlord Andal Ampatuan remains unresolved after five years, for example. Even more astounding, the 1983 murder of national hero Benigno ‘Ninoy’ Aquino Jr, father of the current President of the Philippines himself, Benigno Simeon ‘BS’ Aquino III hasn’t been solved despite that current presidential term entering its fifth year!
Justice in the Philippines?
The first and last words of that sentence belong only in a sentence that ends in a question mark. And the answer to that no-brainer question is pretty clear.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

113 Year-old-man reveals his secret: 5 Foods for long life

Bernardo LaPallo is not an ordinary man. Born in 1901 and at 113 he is older than any of you and that happened not by chance but by sheer discipline and desire to live longer. He has a few secrets though; five of them to be exact and he shared that so you can live a long life too.
LaPallo who hails from Mesa, Arizona claims that he has never been sick a day in his life and that he has avoid red meat and eats mostly organic food and vegetables. His secret is a recipe that he inherited from his father who was a doctor and a much disciplined man.
Bernardo LaPallo Oldest Man Alive 113 Year old man reveals his secret: 5 Foods for long life
Bernardo LaPallo is already 113 years old and still kicking.
If you think that yeah maybe he’s 113 years old but can’t live decently, you’re wrong. He can still do a lot of stuff including solving crosswords and reading books – not ebooks, he is traditional like that.
Check the video done when he was 110 below to learn his 5 secret foods for long life, and yeah he’s still alive:
We listed the five foods below for your convenience:

Garlic

Garlic has been used in many continents as a medicinal herb. It has antiseptic and antibacterial properties that have been proven to work effectively without the side effects.

Honey

Honey, nature’s best sweetener has been featured in our website several times for its wonderful effects. If you need a sweetener, our 110-year-old legend wants you to use this.

Cinnamon

Cinnamon is a popular food enhancer and while extracts from the bark of the cinnamon tree have also been used traditionally as medicine throughout the world, the very cinnamon power you can buy in stores can lower blood cholesterol and prevent onset of diabetes.

Chocolate

The food of the gods is called as such for a reason. And if you think chocolates are just for kids or those with sweet tooth, you’re wrong. LaPallo says it’s a vital ingredient in having a long life.

Olive oil

Wars have been fought for olive and its oil. We’re not kidding. But today you can easily buy them in groceries and they’re not expensive at all. Incorporate it in your daily diet and feel the difference.

Bernardo LaPallo holding a bottle of olive oil during an interview with the press.
Bernardo LaPallo Olive Oil 113 Year old man reveals his secret: 5 Foods for long life