Sunday, July 31, 2005

Good Spices for Fighting Cancer; The Bad News About GM Food

Recent research from the University of Texas Cancer Center has found that the active ingredient curcumin found in the spices turmeric and curry, seems to fight cancer, specifically melanoma. The spice halts the cancer cells from spreading and then causes them to kill themselves. The spice also helped with disorders such as arthritis. An interesting side note is that Curcumin has long been used as a food additive in India and other Asian countries where the incidence of the top four cancers that occur in America is four times lower. On the political front, news that genetically engineered food may not be good for you has surfaced in Germany. The German politcians forced the biotech company Monsanto to expose a controversial (hidden) document that states their bio-engineered corn caused animals that were fed on it to develop kidney and liver disease, increased blood sugar levels and reactions that mimic cancer and allergies. The scary thing is that Genetically Engineered food is contained in 75 % of processed food with soybeans and corn being the most modified. That is why the most important thing an informed health consumer can do is read labels. If you know what ingredients to avoid, you'll know what foods to purchase. The odds are that any processed food that contains "starch, corn flour and meal, dextrin, soy sauce and margarine" have been modified. As far as produce goes, Gentically Modified Produce has a 5 number code prefaced by the number 8 on the PLU sticker. All this label reading and food checking sounds like a big hassle (it is!), that is why it is just easier to avoid processed foods to begin with and eat whole foods that do not come in boxes or cans with 150 ingredients on the labels.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Beat the Heat

Health Tip of the Week: A recent and current string of high temperatures have reminded me that it is time to write about heat exhaustion. Many people are out in the hot sun, gardening, fishing, golfing, running or just laying on the beach. Heat exhaustion is a condition when excessive fluid loss results in a rise in body temperature. Symptoms include, thirst, loss of appetite,, headaches, dizziness, clammy skin and nausea. To prevent heat exhaustion drink plenty of water and keep an extra supply close at hand. Eat more fruits and vegetables (high water content). Electrolyte drinks, like gatorade are helpful, but better if diluted with water to cut down on the sugar. Alcohol, caffeine and smoking all dehydrate the body and contribute to heat exhaustion. Wearing a hat is also very helpful as the head's blood vessels are close to the skin and they tend to gain or lose heat quickly.

Thought for the Week: In 1957, BJ Palmer, developer of Chiropractic, laid down the principle, "Above down, Inside out versus Outside in, Below up." This principle meant that the intelligence of the body flowed from the brain downward, from the inside of the body outward. True health came from the inside out, as opposed to medicine, which treated the body from the outside in.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Here's Health!

I am often asked, "What are the main things a person could do to maximize, preserve and maintain health?" Rather than quote research papers, diet books or news on the latest, trendy vitamin, I'll just tell you what I do for myself and my family. Nutritionally, I feel there are two things that are unique and contribute to health in more ways than the average person knows about. The first is probiotics. Live bacteria found in foods like yogurt boosts the immune system, balances the digestive system and wards off harmful bacteria and germs. It is no co-incidence that the eastern Europeans who consumed a lot of yogurt were the ones who regularly lived over 100 years of age. My family eats plenty of organic yogurt each day as well as supplement our diet with acidolphillus (a big probiotic) capsules. The next most important food to impact our health is Omega 3 Fatty Acids. This essential fatty acid cleans up and maintains the cardiovascular system. The fat helps with arterial health, cholesterol, blood pressure and may even prevent strokes. It is also important for brain function and development as well as helping the joints remain healthy. My family's daily diet is high in foods that contain Omega 3 fatty acids. Foods like flax seeds, walnuts, olive oil, coconut oil and salmon. We supplement our diet with a daily dose of purifed, liquid fish oil.

In general, each day we take a multiple vitamin/mineral powder supplement. The All-In One powder mixes with juice or water. Speaking of which, we try to drink between 6-8 8oz glasses of water each day. The hardest thing that we do at home is try to eliminate the use of plastic containers, teflon pans and microwaving plastic. It is difficult, but we are making great headway. The plastics (storage & cooking) and teflon when heated, leak dangerous toxins into your food that can effect genetics. As far as eating food goes, when at home we eliminate as many presevatives and chemicals as possible. I read all food labels and check for things like hydrogenated oils, high fructose corn syrup and artificial sweetners. These three ingrediants are especially harmful to your health. If given the choice, we buy organic. You would think after reading this, I am against sweets and junk food. I am not. I am against unhealthy ingrediants. I don't think twice about eating something with sugar as long as it is organic and unrefined. My wife and I purchase all of our "Junk" food at the organic market.

Exercise plays a big role in my life. I try to exercise 3-5 days per week. I do a combination of weight training and cardio. I run 2-3 times a week. The exercise keeps the heart healthy, the metabolism sharp and strengthens bones. Pre-baby, My wife and I would get 8 hours sleep a night. Now that she is getting older, we are getting closer again to the magic number. The body recovers and rejuvenates with proper amounts of sleep. As far as mental health goes, I keep a positive attitude through daily affirmations, prayers and deep breathing. The deep breaths calm the body and help to fight stress. Positive people, studies show, are healthier people. A good laugh is some of the best medicine out there.

My family and I have our spine checked for nerve interference once a week. Spinal nerve pressure disrupts nerve flow which causes the body to not be able to function or perform at 100% of its ability, compromising health. Chiropractic spinal adjustments maintain our quality of life.

So, there you have it. This is what happens in my household each and every day. It is a lot of work to be healthy and it isn't even a guarantee that you will reach 100 yrs old. It just makes more sense to me to try and do what is right for my body rather than what is wrong.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Are you labeled?

Labels are funny. Especially in healthcare. If a condition has a label or name on it, the chances are there is a drug for it. Case in point, osteopenia. Osteopenia is a mild bone density loss. It is often associated with normal aging. As we get older, our bones become less dense. Unfortunately, because it is a scary name..."Osteopenia," you get a drug. The fact of the matter, dispite the many wonderful (sarcasm) drug commercials on the television, you don't need a drug. Keeping our bones healthy and strong is actually a lot easier than it sounds. Exercise increases bone density, especially resistance training. Resistance training can be with weights and rubberbands, anything you body has to "fight" against. Walking and jogging is also good for the bones. 1500mg a day of calcium will keep the bones strong. Foods high in calcium are Leafy green and dark vegetables, nuts, salmon, dairy products and even fortifed orange juice. To ensure you are getting enough calcium, take a supplement. Calcium carbonate is probably the best absorbed calcium (other than real food). The third most important thing you can do for your bones is make sure you are getting enough vitamin D. Vitamin D is responsible for making sure the calcium is absorbed in the body. Most of our vitamin D comes from the sun. Salmon is high in Vitamin D and so is Cod-Liver oil. Smoking, caffeine, salt, alcohol and phosphorus from SODA, all deplete the calcium from the body.

Monday, July 04, 2005

10,000 Maniacal Steps

Being overweight is probably the top contributing factor to almost all diseases. Excess weight leads to heart disease, diabetes, stroke, high blood pressure and even arthritis. Poor diet, as I am sure you are aware, and over-eating lead to weight gain. The other main culprit to weight gain is lack of exercise. Recent research has found that walking at a slow rate (2mph) is just as effective at burning calories and weight loss as walking at a higher MPH rate. This is good news for the elderly, over--over weight and arthritic people. The slow walking is very easy on the joints and just about anyone can go for a slow walk. The trick is that the walks should be daily and last between 60 to 90 minutes. A new weight loss program has become very successful based on 10,000 steps. To lose weight and be healthy, one should walk 10,000 steps a day. This amounts to about 5 miles a day, but it counts every single step you take from wake-up until bed time. Purchase a pedometer (measures steps)(inexpensive), and clip it on your waist and start stepping. It can actually be a fun game to play. You will figure out neat ways to get extra steps in, like parking your car farther away, using bathrooms or water fountains on the other side of the building, etc. All of these extra steps, coupled in with your walking routine will get you to 10,000 steps and a brand new healthy lifestyle.

Thought for the Week: At the inquest over a railroad accident, the crossing guard swears that he waved his lantern to oncoming cars. What he failed to testify, was that he forgot to light his lantern. Similarly, chiropractors who fail to tell the whole story about chiropractic, what it can do and what it cannot do, are deceiving there patients, and more importantly causing them to experience less than the full life they deserve. A part of the truth is not the whole truth. (R.Gold) Regular chiropractic care stimulates nerve flow, improving bodily function, thus improving performance, health and quality of life. IN EVERYBODY, ALL OF THE TIME.