Wednesday, November 30, 2011

ACCEPTANCE

The first thing to get you started on changing your diet, lifestyle, etc after a diagnosis is acceptance.  No matter what the diagnosis, be it diabetes, arthritis, cancer or something else, you have to first come to an acceptance of the illness before you can do what you need to do to fight it off!  Many of the foods you need to eat to fight said illness will often be something not currently in your diet or something you simply don't like.  But do yourself a big favor.  Think of such foods as the medicine your body needs to perform the tasks required of it.  That will make it much easier to change your diet and include the foods you need.  Our bodies are wonderfully made and they have an enormous ability to heal if we will keep unhealthy things out of them and feed them the nutrients they need.  You really can help your body do its job!

Many times people say, "I could never eat enough of that to do me any good."  But that is not the way to look at it.  You must realize you can't do it all in one setting, one day, or one week.  It requires a change in diet on a regular basis.  You can't eat asparagus once and think that will help.  You need to eat the foods at least once a week and once daily in some instances.  It is not a matter of how much but how often!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

ASPARAGUS AS AN ANTI-INFLAMMATORY

Asparagus is a great natural anti-inflammatory.  Since inflammation in the body is known to contribute to many illnesses and is thought by the medical community to contribute to the proliferation of cancer, asparagus should be on all our list of foods we eat!  This is one of the vegetables we need to get our children to start eating as young as possible.

The phytochemicals in asparagus mimic a type of anti-inflammatory known as a COX-2 inhibitor.  Other nutrients in which asparagus is rich are other cancer-fighters such as Vitamin-A which has been shown in lab and animal studies to take on skin, breast, liver, colon, and prostate cancers.  Another is Vitamin-K (prostate and lung cancers).  Also folic acid which is known as an excellent fighter of many cancers including colorectal, esophageal, stomach, and breast.

If you don't like asparagus, think of it as preventative medicine and learn to like it.  If you suffer from any of the above mentioned cancers, it is imperative to add asparagus to your diet!

Monday, November 28, 2011

AVOIDING CONSTIPATION

There are natural ways to help prevent that embarrassing problem of constipation.  Digestive tract and stomach problems are very pervasive but no one wants to talk about them.  So here is a little free advice.  You can help to keep your digestive system working by getting enough fiber and magnesium.  We all know that fiber adds bulk that makes it easier to eliminate waste.  But did you realize the magnesium is Mother Nature's muscle relaxant which tends to keep things moving along and it also tends to attract water which hydrates the stool.  According to Dr. Gerald E. Mullin, associate professor of medicine at John Hopkins University School of Medicine, getting enough fiber and magnesium in the diet can prevent constipation in most people.  However, if constipation becomes a serious issue, you should always check with your doctor.  There could be a more serious problem involved. Dr. Mullin suggests including these foods rich if fiber and magnesium to your diet on a regular basis: spinach, squash, broccoli, basil, and almonds.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

ALLICIN

The compound allicin, found in onions and garlic, is what accounts for their pungent smell.  It also provides a cancer-protecting punch.  It appears to be especially effective in fighting colon cancer.  Allicin is a strong antibacterial and antiviral compound and it appears in research to keep carcinogens from affecting healthy colon cells.  Be sure to include these two foods in your diet and include them often if you have a family history of colon cancer or have had it yourself!

Friday, November 25, 2011

ANTIOXIDANTS EVERYDAY

As has been noted already on this blog, antioxidants are vitally important to maintain a healthy body.  So we know it is important to eat them everyday.  And that is such a simple thing to do.  One of the easiest ways to add antioxidant-rich foods to your diet is to make a habit of adding berries such as blueberries, strawberries or raspberries to your morning cereal or oatmeal.  Fresh or frozen berries are fine so don't use the excuse that berries are out of season!

Another way to add antioxidants daily is to add a cup of fresh brewed tea, hot or iced, to your daily regimen.

There are many ways to add more antioxidants to your diet but these are too of the really easy ones.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

WELL-ROUNDED DIET

"Each of us absorbs nutrients differently, a wide-ranging diet is the only way to guarantee you'll get the nourishment you need."  by Rebecca Katz, a chef who works with oncologists and nutritionists.  We need to step outside our food comfort zones and strive to eat a well balanced diet to keep our bodies operating efficiently!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

BROCCOLI AND CANCER

We all know broccoli is good for us and we should eat more of it.  That said, today we will talk about broccoli and cancer.  Broccoli has both anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties and both are important to the person dealing with cancer.  Both are also important in those who are hoping to prevent cancer.

Sulforaphane, a well-studied phytochemical in broccoli, appears to slow the growth of leukemia and melanoma cells.  Another metabolite, glucosinolate, can inhibit the growth of breast cancer.  If you are battling any of those three mentioned cancers, be sure to make broccoli an important part of your diet.

Monday, November 21, 2011

WHAT ARE PROBIOTICS?

Do you see the word probiotics on foods or supplements and wonder what they are exactly?  The answer is simple.  Probiotics are natural, healthy bacteria that help produce stong levels of good bacteria in the gastrointestinal system.  You may not realize that we all have both good and bad bacteria in our gastrointestinal tract and a probiotic is an edible product that contains the 'friendly' bacteria.  Probiotics help to complete the digestive process and can assist in the production of vitamins.  Probiotics discourage the growth of disease-causing bacteria, therefore providing a boost to the immune system.  Probiotics can be purchased as supplements but they are also found in foods.  In most cases, by eating foods like yogurt with live cultures, sour cream, buttermilk, sauerkraut and other fermented foods on a routine basis, you will not need supplements. 

Has your health practioner ever told you to eat some yogurt when you are taking antibiotics?  If so, that is the reason why.  While the antibiotics kill the bad bacteria, they often kill the good bacteria, too.  If taking your meds causes you to suffer with diarreha, you need some probiotics.  Grab some cartons of yogurt when you purchase your antibiotics.

OMEGA-3 EGGS

Do you know what it means to purchase eggs labeled Omega-3?  It simply means that the chickens who laid the eggs were fed flaxseeds which could make the eggs have a higher content of the heart-healthy fatty acids, Omega-3s.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

WHAT ARE CARBS?

We hear so much about carbs, especially if you are diabetic, but do you really know what a carb is?
First of all, carb/s is a shortened term for carbohydrates.  Okay, you say, now what is a carbohydrate?
A carbohydrate, along with protein and fat, is one of the 3 macronutrients supplying our bodies with the calories they need to function.  That's right; our bodies must have calories to function properly.  Simply put, carbohydrate foods are the sugars and starches.  So fruits, vegetables, grains, potatoes, etc are carb foods.  Many foods, milk for example, contain all 3 of the macronutrients of carbs, fat, and protein.

Diabetics are told to watch their carbs and to avoid refined carbs because when you eat foods high in poor quality carbs, such as refined sugar, bleached white flour, etc, they can raise your blood sugar rapidly and your insulin to higher than normal levels.  Over time, excessive sugar in the blood can be damaging to the body leading to obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.

Friday, November 18, 2011

CANCER, DIET, AND NUTRITION

Integrative oncologist Donald Abrams, director of clinical programs for the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, tells his patients by way of analogy that when it comes to cancer, you need to be a bad host!  "I tell them that cancer is a weed, you are the garden, and our job is to make your soil as inhospitable as possible to further growth and spread of the weed.  The first approach I take is through diet and nutrition."

Saturday, November 12, 2011

TEA IS ONE OF THE MOST WIDELY CONSUMED BEVERAGES IN THE WORLD!

Staying hydrated and drinking plenty of liquids is important to our overall health. Tea is a great beverage choice as it basically has no carbs, protein or fat. It is tasty, is a natural source of amino acid and antioxidant catechins. It is available in several forms and is tasty both as a hot drink or iced. Note that we are talking about true tea here. Herbal teas usually contain no actual tea leaves but infusions of fruit and/or herbs. Therefore, this post is not about herbal teas.

True tea comes from the Camellia Sinensis evergreen plant commonly known as the tea bush. The tea bush grows mainly in tropical and sub-tropical climates. This plant or tree prefers acidic soil and requires an annual rainfall of at least fifty inches. Camellia Sinensis plants can grow into trees but are usually kept cropped to about waist height to make cultivation easier. Only the leaves from the top 1-2 inches are picked. Many of the top-quality teas, such as darjeeling, are picked from plants grown at elevations of about 5,000 feet. This causes the plants to grow slower thus acquiring a better flavor.

There are four basic types of true tea common to us today. They are black, green, white and oolong. Each is unique but they all come from the same source. The difference occurs in the processing. Briefly, here is a description of each type and what makes it unique. Green tea leaves are unwilted and unoxidized. White tea leaves are wilted and unoxidized. Oolong tea leaves are wilted, bruised and partially oxidized. Black tea leaves are crushed and fully oxidized. Because of the oxidation process, white and green teas have a higher concentration of the antioxidant catechins.

Proper preparation also differs for each of the tea types. For black tea, boiling water should be used. Many of the active substances in black tea won't develop at lower temperatures. This is the most common mistake made when brewing black tea! For optimum results, black tea should be brewed about 4 minutes and never longer than 5 minutes. Longer brewing will cause the tea to taste bitter.

Green tea should be brewed at a lower temperature, approximately 180-185 degrees which is below the boiling point. Hotter water will burn the green tea leaves causing a bitter taste. When brewing green tea, it is best to pre-warm the mug or teapot you will brew in. This will keep the tea from cooling immediately before it is fully steeped.

Oolong tea should be brewed at about the boiling point in a pre-warmed mug or pot. For oolong tea, it is best to use spring water. The minerals in the water tend to bring out more of the flavor in the tea. High-quality oolong tea leaves can be brewed several times. It actually improves with reuse. Many believe the third brewing actually produces the best tea.

To keep your teas fresh and flavorful, store them in a dry, dark, cool place inside an airtight container.
The health properties of tea are constantly in debate. Many believe drinking tea will help to prevent heart disease, cancer, diabetes, etc. One thing we know for sure is that tea contains both antioxidant and amino acid properties. It also doesn't add to our daily carb, protein or fat and calorie count when drank in it's natural state without adding sugar, milk, etc. And it tastes good. If you aren't currently a tea drinker, become one. It sure won't hurt you and it just might be healthy for you.


Friday, November 11, 2011

APPLES AND LUNG CANCER

A study in Finland found that persons who ate the most flavonoids (powerful antioxidants) had a 46% lower risk of developing lung cancer than those who ate the least.  Apples are high in antioxidants and should be a part of your diet. 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

GROUND POULTRY

Poultry is a good lean protein and a good source of necessary minerals. It should be a
part of a diabetic's healthy diet. Having said that, let me add this; beware of
ground poultry. Read the fine print before you purchase packages of ground
chicken or turkey! They often contain skin which can really push the fat into
an unhealthy level. You don't have to avoid it, just beware of what you are
buying!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

MINT FOR WEIGHT LOSS

Would you believe researchers at a West Virginia university say the scent of mint is an appetite suppressant! In their research, people who chewed a piece of minty gum or applied a mint-scented lotion when they had an urge to snack throughout the day, consumed around 3,000 calories less per week. Struggling with weight or snacking? Why not try it? What have you got to lose??? 3000 less calories per week is almost a pound of weight loss per week.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

COFFEE IMPROVES BODY'S RESPONSE TO INSULIN

Coffee contains antioxidants and magnesium which can help improve your body's response to insulin.  Studies show that drinking 6 cups a day may reduce the risk of getting diabetes by 30%.  But drink that black, leave out the cream and sugar.  Six cups is a lot, so drink decaffinated.  Don't want six cups (that's cups, not mugs!), even a moderate amount should be helpful.  So if you are at risk for diabetes, have a cup of Joe.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

DARK CHOCOLATE FOR YOUR HEART?

According to an article in Circulation: Heart Failure, an American Heart Association Journal, a serving of dark chocolate once or twice weekly led to a 32% reduction of heart failure risk for women.  Remember though, a serving is only about 1 ounce.  And that is dark chocolate, not milk chocolate or what is known as white chocolate which both have too much fat and sugar!  So when you want to indulge in chocolate, be sure it is dark chocolate and keep that indulgence down to an ounce or two a week.


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

GREEN VEGETABLES VS CANCER

Vegetables such as brussels sprouts, cabbage, broccoli, etc, which are high in vitamins A & C are another great source of antioxidants.  Studies have shown that just 1 serving a day of such vegetables is associated with a 50% reduction in cancer risk.

DOES YOUR FOOD TASTE LIKE CARDBOARD?

If you are taking medications or treatments that cause your food to taste like cardboard, there is a fix!  When we are sick, we need food for the nutritional value to help in the healing process.  However, medications and treatments often make us turn away from food.  If your food has that "cardboard" taste, you need to wake up your dulled taste buds.  One way to do that is to spritz some fresh lemon juice into your mouth.  Another way to wake up those taste buds, is to add sea salt to your food until the flavor moves to the front of the mouth where the senses haven't dulled quite so much.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

FOCUS ON EATING WHOLE FOODS

Whenever possible, you should eat whole foods, not processed foods.  This means to eat a food as near as possible in its original state.  In other words, eat an apple rather than an apple pastry.   Eat fresh or frozen peas rather than buying a can that is loaded down with salt and other preservatives.  The closer a food is to its natural state, the healthier it is for your body.  If you live where you can, you should buy your foods daily or several times a week rather than once or twice a month.  If that is not possible or you catch a good sale on something, go ahead and buy extra and freeze it for later.