Thursday, April 27, 2017

BROCCOLI AND CANCER

We all know broccoli is good for us and we should eat more of it.  That said, here is some information 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 helping 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.


Wednesday, April 26, 2017

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 flax seeds which could make the eggs have a higher content of the heart-healthy fatty acids, Omega-3s.


Note: This picture is not a brand recommendation. 

Monday, April 24, 2017

BE A BAD HOST TO CANCER!

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."


I first saw this quote in 2011 but I continue to think we need to make our bodies a "bad host" to cancer. There are many short articles on this blog about diet and cancer, if you are interested.

Note: File Photo

Friday, April 21, 2017

GINGER

This statement about Ginger from the Ayurvedic (traditional Eastern Indian medicine) says that ginger 'fires' the body's digestive hearth to make the stomach and colon more efficient in metabolizing food.  


Ginger also contains tumor inhibitors.

Try this recipe for Ginger Ale with Frozen Grapes since it is important to make your own when using ginger ale for medicinal purposes.  Most store bought ginger ale only contains a minimun amount of ginger!

GINGER ALE WITH FROZEN GRAPES
4 cups water
2 cups sliced fresh, unpeeled ginger
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tbsp honey
frozen seedless grapes
sparkling water
mint springs for garnish, optional

In a saucepan bring the water and ginger to a boil; lower the heat, cover, and simmer 1 hour.  Uncover and simmer another 30 minutes.  Strain the mixture through cheesecloth and discard the ginger.  Stir in the lemon juice and honey.  Allow to cool to room temperature.

For Ginger Ale (per serving) add 1/4 cup of the mixture to a glass with the frozen grapes.  Fill the glass with sparkling water.  Add a mint sprig, if desired.

For a Hot Beverage stir 3 tablespoons of the mixture into 1 cup of hot water.  Add more honey and lemon to taste, if desired.

Store the syrup in refrigerator for up to a week.  Make drinks only as wanted rather than making up at the mixture at once.

BLUEBERRIES AND VITAMIN K

Did you know that eating a half cup of blueberries a day will give you approximately 20% of your daily requirement for Vitamin K.  Vitamin K helps to keep bones healthy and strong.  And the little blueberry is full of other great nutrition, too.  If you have osteoporosis or other bone problems, or you just want to work to prevent them, eat some blueberries several times a week, if not daily.



SOUP FOR A COLD?

Studies show that your mother was right!  Eating soup can reduce inflammation and help clear away mucous therefore easing the symptoms of colds and upper respiratory tract infections.  And, yes, when you don't feel well, you may not want to make homemade soup.  That is okay, too.  As we the public have become more attuned to how the foods we eat affect our bodies, the food manufacturers have come up with ways to keep our business!  After all, if they don't have us the consumers, they have no business!  You can now find soups with lower fat, lower sodium, organic, etc on the grocer's shelves.  Just be sure to read the labels!  And did you know you can also find soup in the freezer section?  The plus for frozen soups is that they usually contain much less sodium since they don't need it as a preservative.  Next time you are grocery shopping, check out the soups and purchase one or two to have on hand when needed. Brothy soups are better for this than rich creamy soups.


Note: File Photo



ALMONDS AND CALCIUM

Did you realize that almonds aren't just heart-healthy but they are also a good source of calcium?  If you want to protect your bones, add some almonds to your morning oatmeal, green beans, trail mix, etc.  1/4 cup of almonds has almost as much calcium as 1/4 cup of milk.  Many doctors recommend eating 10 almonds a day for heart-health; that added calcium will be good for you, too. That's 10 raw almonds without salt and a candy coating!


WHICH COFFEE ROAST IS MOST BENEFICIAL FOR YOUR HEALTH?

You may not give much though to which coffee roast is the healthiest. After all we buy coffee for the flavor and yes, often the caffeine. Really, who bothers to think about such trivial things as how it was roasted, right? Actually, we should. According to a study about five years ago from the University of British Columbia, you should choose a medium-blend coffee for the most health benefits. Coffee beans have two types of antioxidants. Some are natural to the bean while others develop from a chemical reaction when they are roasted. As the beans darken, the amount of disease-fighters gradually decreases while the quantity of the antioxidants from the color change increases. Medium roast gives the best mix of both types of antioxidants, which is most likely to be most beneficial to the human body in different ways. Look for the words American, regular, or breakfast when choosing your coffee blend. 


This is one of the small ways we can give our bodies the most natural protection. If we learn to make small changes like this on a daily and routine basis, it is amazing how much our bodies can benefit without any big change in our lifestyles.

Note: This picture is not to support this particular brand but to show the roast on the front of the can.

Friday, April 14, 2017

OLIVE OIL FOR RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS

Studies have shown that the high concentrations of monounsaturated fatty acids in olive oil seem to protect against joint inflammation.  The participants in one study who consumed approximately 3 tablespoons of olive oil a day lessened their chance of developing rheumatoid arthritis by 60%.  If you suffer from RA, it might be worth it for you to add more olive oil to your diet.  Beware though that olive oil can be high in calories so use as a replacement for butter, etc. Don't be afraid of olive oil because of the fat content. Olive oil contains healthy fats your body needs.



Thursday, April 13, 2017

CALORIES - AN UGLY WORD!!

Calories - what an ugly word. But remember, calories do count whether you count them or not. The only way to lose weight, and most diabetics should (me included!), is to use up more calories than you take it in. Sounds simple, doesn't it? It is simple, we just don't like doing it!!



Tuesday, April 11, 2017

WHAT WE EAT AFFECTS BODY CHEMISTRY

"Everything you eat and drink changes the chemistry of your blood. Our cell membranes are lined with fats that are comprised primarily of those we've eaten in the last 90 days." Keith I Block, MD, Medical Director of the Block Center for Integrative Cancer Treatment and Director of Integrative Medical Education at University of Illinois College of Medicine. Did you note he says "in the last 90 days"? You cannot change your body overnight. You do it steadily over time!



Friday, April 7, 2017

DIABETIC PRESCRIPTION: EXERCISE

I know! Most of us hate the word exercise, let alone the actual activity involved. Well, get over it! Once we've allowed ourselves to become diabetic, we no longer have a choice. We must exercise!


Yes, you read that right. I really did say, "Once we've allowed ourselves to become diabetic." I'm talking to us Type 2 diabetics on that one, you Type 1s don't have to accept that remark. Now before you get all mad, have steam coming out your ears and start sputtering, "Who does she think she is, telling me I'm responsible for the fact I became diabetic," hear me out. Did you know you had diabetes in your family history? Did a doctor ever tell you to lose weight? Did a doctor ever tell you to change your diet or lifestyle? Did a doctor ever tell you to get more exercise (there's that dirty word again)? Did you gorge on sweets and/or carbs? You get the point. But there is a diabetic prescription: EXERCISE!

We helped to create this problem in our bodies, now we have to take our medicines. And that doesn't stop with pills and shots. Just consider exercise another of the medicines we have to take. I read somewhere that exercise is the diabetes treatment almost everyone can benefit from. I backed up, read that again and the light bulb came on. I got it! Exercise is another of our treatments and we need to think of it as such. It's not something we know we should do, something we might get around to someday, but something we have to do just as we have to take our other prescriptions the doctor gives us.

We don't, however, have to go out and join a gym or buy expensive equipment. Of course you can if you want to and it is a good thing to do, but it isn't necessary. We can work exercise into our everyday lives! We Americans have become very lazy as a whole. This is often caused by some terrific technological advances and inventions. But we can't use that as an excuse. Following are some easy ways to get started adding more exercise into your everyday routine. Give them a try. After all it is YOUR life that matters.

1. Hide the remote controls; they make it too easy to be lazy. This includes the garage door remote. Getting in and out of the car to open the garage door is good exercise.

2. Carry your groceries from the car to the kitchen one bag at a time. More steps and lifting; more exercise.

3. Instead of stacking things by the stairs to avoid extra trips up and down, make the trips. Stairs are a great way to get exercise.

4. Push the kids or grandkids on the swings. Play frisbee with them, etc. Quality time with the children is an added benefit.

5. Go for a walk. Start with a short walk and work your way up to several blocks or 30-40 minutes. If the weather is bad, go to the local mall and walk.

6. Walk around while talking on the phone instead of plopping down in a comfy chair.

7. Stop driving around the parking lot for ten minutes trying to get a parking spot next to the entrance. Park farther away and enjoy the walk.

8. Put items you use often on higher shelves so you do more stretching and reaching to get them.

9. Housework is an excellent exercise. Vacuum an extra time per week, etc.

10. Gardening is another wonderful exercise.

I'm sure you can think of other ways to add exercise to your daily routine. Take that prescription seriously. Do whatever works for you but do something! Take that most-hated prescription: EXERCISE!



Thursday, April 6, 2017

A COMPLETE MEAL

Do you know what a complete meal consists of?  To have a complete meal you need to have whole grain, vegetables, lean protein, and some heart-healthy fat. The picture below shows this as good as any I have seen.



Tuesday, April 4, 2017

FOODS (CARBS) HIGHEST IN RESISTANT STARCH

A couple days ago I mentioned some of the foods that are high in Resistant Starch (RS). Below is a list of some of the foods highest in RS. Try to eat some RS foods at every meal when possible or at least a couple meals a day.

This list starts with the foods highest in RS and goes down accordingly.

  • Bananas (note: buy your bananas as green as you can eat them for the most RS. A mostly green banana medium-size, approximately 7 to 8-inches, has 12.5 grams of RS while a ripe banana of the same size has 4.7 grams.) Can't stand greenish bananas? That's okay. The ripe banana still has more RS than other foods.
  • Oatmeal ( 1/2 cup uncooked, toasted, comes in right under the ripe banana with 4.6 grams)
  • White beans, (1/2 cup has 3.8 grams - the highest of all the beans)
  • Lentils (1/2 cup has 3.4 grams)
  • Potatoes (Surprised? Yes, one small cooked potato has 3.2 grams!)
  • Garbanzo beans (1/2 cup has 2.1 grams)
  • Whole-wheat pasta (1 cup cooked has 2.0 grams)
  • Brown rice (1/2 cup cooked has 1.7 grams)
  • Pumpernickel bread (1-oz slice has 1.3 grams)
This is a very small list of RS foods. But you have probably gotten the idea that some of the carbs you are afraid to eat are actually what you should be eating. As with any food, you should not go overboard but you should include resistant starch foods in your daily diet.

Note: File photo

BUCKWHEAT

Many people think buckwheat is a cereal grain. Actually, it is a fruit seed that is related to rhubarb and sorrel which makes it a suitable substitute for grains for people who are sensitive to wheat or other grains that contain protein gluten. Buckwheat is available as a gluten-free whole-grain flour.


Some of the health benefits of this healthy food are:
  • Controlling cholesterol - Buckwheat's beneficial effects are due in part to its rich supply of flavonoids, particularly rutin. Flavonoids are phytonutrients that protect against disease by extending the action of vitamin C and acting as antioxidants. Buckwheat's lipid-lowering activity is largely due to rutin and other flavonoid compounds. These compounds help maintain blood flow, keep platelets from clotting excessively (platelets are compounds in blood that, when triggered, clump together, thus preventing excessive blood loss, and protect LDL from free radical oxidation into potentially harmful cholesterol oxides. All these actions help to protect against heart disease.
  • Keeping the cardiovascular system healthy.  Buckwheat also contains almost 86 milligrams of magnesium in a one-cup serving. Magnesium relaxes blood vessels, improving blood flow and nutrient delivery while lowering blood pressure.
  • May contribute to the regulation of blood sugar.  Canadian researchers, publishing their findings in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry have found new evidence that buckwheat may be helpful in the management of diabetes.  Buckwheat is also a rich source of magnesium, a mineral that acts as a co-factor for more than 300 enzymes, including enzymes involved in the body's use of glucose and insulin secretion.
  • Aids digestion.  Buckwheat has a high fiber content which helps to regulate bowels and moves toxins quickly and effeciently out of the body.  And this may help to prevent colon cancer.
  • Buckwheat also has anti-inflammatory properties which our bodies always need.
Note: This is a file photo.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

POTS AND PANS

Many doctors, especially cancer specialists, discourage the practice of cooking in aluminum or nonstick coated cookware. They recommend cast iron and stainless steel. Something to keep in mind when purchasing new pots and pans.



RESISTANT STARCH FOODS

In my last post I promised more about carbs so here is a follow-up. Have you ever heard of resistant starch foods? Possibly not. As with most things, there are carbs that are good for you and carbs that aren't so good for you. Think cookies, doughnuts, bagels, etc. These are not carbs you should be stuffing yourself with! Such carbs will not have a positive effect on your body! But there are RS foods (resistant starch foods), carbs, that you should be eating that will help you lose weight, keep weight off, control blood sugar, lower cholesterol and triglycerides, etc.

Resistant Starch may sound like a strange name but the name comes from the fact that RS foods resists digestion. RS doesn't get absorbed into the bloodstream in the small intestine like other foods therefore creating a chain reaction in the body that literally shrinks fat cells, preserves muscle and stokes metabolism. Yes, there are some foods that we don't want to be fully digested and absorbed into the body. We need foods that pass through our digestive system taking unwanted toxins, etc with them. Fiber is a good example. Fiber is important for passing through the digestive system and causing it to work properly. Think of RS foods in a similar manner.

You may be wondering if RS foods are exotic, expensive, etc. Good news! They are neither and you probably have them in your pantry right now. Some of the carbs highest in resistant starch are bananas, oatmeal, beans, even potatoes. Start eating resistant carbs at every meal and you will be surprised how quickly you will see your belly bloat disappear, starting having more energy, drop some weight, etc.

More to follow in the next post.

Note: File Photo

LOW CARB DIETING

Are you on a low-carb diet or avoiding carbs in your everyday meals? Do you have trouble zipping your jeans because of belly bloat? If so you might be surprised to know that your low-carb dieting may be the culprit and here's the reason why. The National Institute of Digestive Diseases says you need carbs to keep your system operating properly. They state that one of the key symptoms of belly bloat is constipation and constipation is a common side effect of a low-carb diet. In one of their studies 68% of the participants on a low-carb diet complained of constipation. Compare that to 30% for the general non-dieting population and 35% for dieters who ate more carbs. Many blame their belly bloat on eating carbs and therefore may be causing their problem by skipping necessary carbs.

Did you know that carbs can actually shrink fat cells, especially in the belly. They can also boost fat burning and curb cravings. Over the next few days I will talk more about carbs, good carbs and bad carbs and how each can effect your body. You might be surprised!

Note: File Photo
PS - How many whole grains do you see here????

MOUTH HAVE A METALLIC TASTE?

If you are on medications or treatments that leave a metallic taste in your mouth causing food to taste lousy, add a little sweetener (such as maple syrup) to your food with a squeeze of lemon.  Or try adding some nut butter (such as almond or peanut butter) to help overcome the metallic taste.  When ill, it is important to eat even though food doesn't always taste good.  You must have the nutrition to help your body heal.


Note: File Photo