Health News

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What Happens When a Rancher’s Wife Turns Vegan?

By |March 29th, 2017|

Tommy Sonnen told his wife Renee not to name the cows but she did and that was the beginning of a new life for both of them.

Dirty Dozen Are The Best Produce to Eat Organic

By |March 23rd, 2017|

This is the 2017 list of 'Dirty Dozen' fruits and vegetables that are best eaten organic as they have been proven to be drenched in deadly chemicals. Plus a list of the 'Clean 15'.

What Stimulates Love More: a Kiss or Chocolate?

By |February 8th, 2017|

Chocolate will give you a bigger buzz than a kiss! This was what a study discovered with couples in long-term relationships.

Misfit Produce Coming to a Store Near You!

By |October 16th, 2016|

Great news! Why throw out edible food?! I was surprised by Save-on 2 weeks ago when I saw Misshapen red/yellow peppers at for only a couple of dollars. There was nothing wrong with them so I bought some and they were delicious.

Then a few days ago I saw this article via Facebook.

‘Misfit’ produce makes grocery store debut in Alberta Save-On-Foods locations

Red Meat Linked to Kidney Failure

By |September 8th, 2016|

A diet high in red meat has been found to cause the kidneys to fail.  It was found that those who ate the most of red meat had a 40% higher risk of developing ESRD (end-stage renal disease) commonly known as kidney failure.

ESRD is the final stage of chronic kidney disease; the kidneys stop doing their job to keep the body alive and the only way for survival is to have dialysis or a kidney transplant.

There was research using data from the The Singapore Chinese Health Study followed 63,257 Chinese adults, aged 45-74 for an average of 15.5 years.  They found a strong relationship with those eating big quantities of red meat and ESRD.  There were 951 cases of ESRD occurred showing a very clear trend. It is interesting that they found no association of the consuming of poultry, eggs, fish or dairy products.   Soy and beans were actually found to be somewhat protective.

Woon-PuayKoh, researcher and her team examined the data from the Singapore Chinese Health Study linking the data with the Singapore Renal Registry holding the records of all Singapore ESRD patients. The goal was to find the role of different protein sources on ESRD outcomes.

“We embarked on our study to see what advice should be given to CKD patients or to the general population worried about their kidney health regarding types or sources of protein intake. Our findings suggest that these individuals can still maintain protein intake but consider switching to plant-based sources; however, if they still choose to eat meat, fish/shellfish and poultry are better alternatives to red meat.”said Dr.Koh.

The research found that kidney failure was less when red meat was replaced in one’s diet with proteins like fish and poultry.  The study found that when one serving of red meat is substituted with another protein, there was a 62% reduction of developing ESRD.

“It is best to eat red meat in moderation. For example, instead of eating red meat for every meal or daily, it is advisable to replace it with other meat such as poultry and fish, or plant-based protein such as soya and legumes for alternate meals or days,” said professor Woon-Puay Koh, from the Duke-NUS Medical School.

Red meat consumed in China is mostly pork; it is 97% of the red meat intake.  The other proteins were eggs, dairy, shellfish, fish, soy, legumes, and poultry.

Kidneys are necessary!

To survive we need our vital organ, kidneys.  To make sure we survive we were given two kidneys.  If both kidneys fail we will not live.

  1. One of the important things kidneys do is remove the waste from our body (drugs, urea, ammonia, and other toxic substances). Build up of waste can be very damaging to the body.
  2. They remove excess water from the body.
  3. Kidneys help control blood pressure.
  4. Help make red blood cells and maintain the body’s calcium levels.

What happens for those at risk of ESRD is that the kidneys slowly stop working over 10 to 20 years.

To learn more about the symptoms of ESRD go to The National Library of Medicine for the list.

Many reasons to be concerned about kidney failure.  See these facts:

  • 10% of the people in the world get chronic kidney disease; millions die every year.
  • 26 million American adults have kidney disease and most don’t know it.
  • Chronic kidney disease is on the rise, growing by approximately 8% each year according to the World Health Organization.
  • More than 2 million people in the world receive treatment with dialysis or a kidney transplant yearly.
  • Diabetes (type 2) and high blood pressure are the two leading causes of kidney […]

Eat These Power Foods to Fight Cancer

By |January 17th, 2016|

It has been found that there are power foods to help us fight cancer.  This is important as according to WHO, cancer is expected to rise 70% over the next 20 years even though there have been many advances in medical technology and knowledge.  President Barack Obama, on January 13, 2016 announced a national initiative to find a cure for cancer.

Is it best that we just wait for the medical system to find a cure or can we do something for ourselves now?

The place to begin is with eating healthy real foods, especially foods that have been proven scientifically to help in fighting cancer. Here are six of them.

6 Power Foods to Help Fight Cancer

1.  Tomatoes Help Lower Cancer Risk

  • Breast cancer can be reduced with tomatoes with their high amounts of carotenoids (alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin, lycopene, and total carotenoids) as shown by research in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute .
  • Prostate cancer was found to be reduced in a study showing men who ate more than 10 portions of tomatoes or tomato products per week reduced their risk of prostate cancer by 18% compared to men who ate less than 10.
  • Consuming tomatoes and tomato-based products has been shown to lower risk of lung, stomach, and prostate gland cancer and it may also preventive it for breast, cervix, oral cavity, colon, esophagus, and pancreas.  It is clear that the current evidence favours the consumption of tomatoes and tomato products rather than lycopene supplements as stated in the Oxford Journals.

2. Cruciferous Vegetables (Broccoli, Cabbage, Brussels Sprouts) Help Prevent Cancer

3. Avocados Help Cure Cancer

  • The glutathione found in avocados has been found to help prevent some kinds of cancers.
    Researchers found extracts from Hass avocados kill or stop the growth of pre-cancerous cells that lead to oral cancer.
  • Avocado extract was found to inhibit prostate cancer.
  • Molecules in avocados have been found to attack leukemia stem cells directly while leaving healthy cells unharmed according to a study.

4. Garlic Fights Cancer

  • Lung cancer was decreased by 44% in a study with those who ate raw garlic two or more times a week according to a study published in the journal Cancer Prevention Research. The researchers also found that even smokers who ate raw garlic decreased their risk of lung cancer by around 30%.
  • Garlic, as an allium vegetable, has been found in a study to protect against stomach and colon cancers.
  • “In test tubes, garlic seems to kill cancer cells. And studies suggest that people who eat more raw or cooked garlic are less likely to get colon and stomach cancers and cancer of the esophagus.” – University of Maryland Medical Center.

5. Legumes (Beans and Lentils) Reduce Cancer Risk

  • Prostate cancer was found to be lower in a six-year study of more than 14,000 Seventh Day Adventist men living in the United States.  Those with the highest intakes of legumes (beans, lentils, or split peas) had a significantly lower risk of prostate cancer
  • Legumes were found to reduce […]

What We Leaned From Science About Health In 2015

By |January 4th, 2016|

2015 was a big year for us health nuts, with an abundance of great health studies published. They definitely affect our decisions for nourishment and lifestyle in small and large ways.

The latest scientific health research is helpful in making good decisions.

10 Health Discoveries Scientifically Proven in 2015

1. Highly Processed Foods Linked To Addictive Eating

In February, 2015 a University of Michigan study confirmed that those highly-processed and fatty foods like pizza, chips and sugary chocolate are, in fact, addictive. The study also determined which healthy foods we have more control over.

You can find the most and least addictive foods here.

2. Sleep Is Important For Weight Loss and Optimal Health.

In March, 2015 a study revealed that losing 30 minutes of sleep per day may promote weight gain and unfavorably affect your metabolism.

In June, 2015 the American Academy of Sleep Medicine & Sleep Research Society recommended that people get at least seven hours of sleep per night to maintain optimal health. This was following a 12-month project conducted by a Consensus Panel of 15 of the nation’s foremost sleep experts.

3. Mental Health Prescription: Nature

In March, 2015 the medical journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, discovered that being outdoors and spending time in nature transforms our brain and reduces our risk of mental illness.

The study included two groups of people who walked for 90 minutes, one group in a nature setting and the other beside a busy four-lane road. The researchers measured heart and respiration rates, did brain scans and participants filled out questionnaires before and after walking. They found that the people who took 90 minute nature walks had lower levels of anxiety and had reduced brain activity in an area of the brain which has been linked to mental illness.

4. Carbonated Drinks Associated With A High Risk of Out-Of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest

In September 1, 2015 the findings of a 6 year study was analyzed and posted by European Society of Cardiology linking carbonated beverages with Out-Of-Hospital Cardiac Arrests (OHCA). The research was done by the cardiology department at Fukuoka University in Japan. Beverage consumption of almost 800,000 people was tracked in Japan for seven years. They found that those who spent more money on carbonated beverages were more likely to suffer cardiac arrests outside of a hospital.

5.  Our Biological Age Is More Important Than Our Chronological Age 

On July 28, a study was published in which scientists traced biomarkers for aging in healthy people in their 20s and 30s to determine how our biological age is related to our chronological age. First you need to know that we have two ages, our chronological age (determined by the year of birth) and our biological age (determined by our lifestyle choices). The one we have control over is our biological age. The scientists found that some people do seem to age faster than others, as often revealed in their physical appearance. Results show that those who look younger actually are younger biologically, according to these biomarkers.

 

6. Bacon, Hot Dogs And Other Processed Meats Cause Cancer

At the end of October, the World Health Organization announced that bacon, sausages, hot dogs and other processed meats cause cancer. After extensive research and evaluation, they classified bacon and other processed meats as carcinogens. The World Health Organization has evaluated the carcinogenicity of the consumption of red meat and processed meat. They concluded that one 50 gram portion of processed meat eaten daily increases the risk of colorectal cancer by 18 percent.

7. E-Cigarette Flavors May Cause […]

How To Accept Yourself – Instead of Making New Year’s Resolutions

By |January 3rd, 2016|

Would you rather lose 10 pounds that will probably be back by springtime, or would you rather gain a new perspective that will last for a lifetime?

This may sound like an unfair question, but it speaks to the difference between the permanent, life-changing process of learning to accept yourself, as opposed to achieving one or two superficial goals around the beginning of the new year.

Can you imagine a friendship or a romantic relationship in which one party says to the other:

“You know Sally (or Barry). Your teeth need to be whiter. I think I could like you or even love you IF you get your teeth whitened by next Tuesday. ”

The answer is not very likely because you know that by the next time these two come together, another request would emerge.

“You know, I’m happy with your teeth now. But you are definitely carrying a few extra pounds and your laugh is kind of weird. I know these are harder to deal with so I will (generously) give you a whole month to change. Then, I might really like you or even love you”.

Could you imagine yourself saying this to your friends and loved ones?

Of course not, but that is exactly how we treat ourselves. We decide that we can only be happy and love ourselves if we make changes to our body or finances (or whatever) and we make resolutions to do so.

New years resolutions many 450

Making New Year’s Resolutions like this is not only potentially problematic with our psychological health; it also has very little chance of success.

Although 40 to 50 % of the population makes New Year’s resolutions, only 8% ever achieve their goals. These successes were probably short attainable goals rather than lofty long term goals. Experts like psychologist Lynn Bufka recommend setting manageable goals, so we have a better chance of succeeding.

It’s totally OK to improve yourself. It’s wonderful to create better habits and buff up and be healthier, but it is so much easier and holistic if you start with an acceptance of yourself.

How Do We Do That?

1. Find the Good Within Ourselves and Be Thankful For It

This includes parts of our personality and activities which we can think about and can make a list of. For example, “I care about the environment. I’m a good cook. I can run like the wind.”

Yes, write it down, make a list and be thankful for it. Research has shown that gratitude is linked to better relationships and healthier habits.

2. Be Realistic About Our Limitations

Recognize that everyone is totally unique and has a different function in life. Everyone, including you, is doing their best given the circumstances. I like this short affirmation by Farnoosh Brock:  “I accept myself. I love myself. I forgive myself for what I didn’t know until I learned it.”

3. Be As Compassionate and Forgiving to Yourself As You Would Be to Others.

If your friend was feeling bad about not getting top marks on an exam, would you berate them for it? That’s exactly what we do to ourselves. Be a good friend to yourself every time self-judgment or criticism come up in our mind. Give your friend (you) the benefit of the doubt.

Forgive yourself sign on old wood with a blurred sunset sky and sea on background

4. Watch for the Inner Positive Feelings

We have many positive thoughts and feelings and experiences during the day but we tend to remember the problems since they have to be dealt with and […]

Smoking Is Not The Only Cause of Lung Cancer

By |December 12th, 2015|

Lung cancer is the most prevalent cancer in the world. More people die from it than any other cancer, according to the World Health Organization.

Fact:  85–90 percent of those who died from lung cancer in the United States were smokers.  According to the Harvard Family Health Guide, 15,000 non-smoking Americans die each year from lung cancer, which indicates that other harmful factors need to be addressed to help combat this widespread cancer.

5 Ways That Lung Cancer Develops in Non-Smokers

We know that cigarette smoking is definitely the main cause of lung cancer. Still, there are many cases of lung cancer that occur in non-smokers.

Research has identified many environmental factors and everyday hazards that will increase a non-smoker’s chance of developing lung cancer.

1. Radon Gas

Radon gas is considered to be the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers. According to the WHO, it’s estimated to cause between 3 and 14 percent of all lung cancers, depending on the average radon level in the country.

What is radon gas? It is a naturally-occurring radioactive gas formed when uranium and other radioactive elements decay. It’s invisible, tasteless and odorless, making it easy to go unnoticed. It’s found in rocks, soil and even sometimes water. Some homes are built on soil with natural uranium deposits and it can become radon-contaminated.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that one out of every 15 homes in the U.S. contains dangerous levels of radon gas. Learn whether you should have your house tested in A Citizen’s Guide to Radon, produced by the EPA.

2. Passive Smoking

Tobacco smoke has more than 7,000 chemicals of which  hundreds are toxic and about 70 are known to cause cancer. Secondhand smoke kills 600,000 people worldwide annually. While smoke-free laws are becoming more widespread, only 18 percent of people in the world are protected by national smoke-free laws.

When a non-smoking woman lives with a smoker, she has a 24 percent increased risk for developing lung cancer. When a non-smoking man lives with a smoker, he has a 37 percent increased risk for developing lung cancer, when compared with other non-smokers. Exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke is never safe according to the WHO Fact Sheet.

We all deserve to have access to tobacco-smoke free air. Having laws that ban smoking in public places have helped to reduce this danger of lung cancer in non-smokers and children, but further action is necessary. The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, an affiliate of the American Cancer Society, is working to make more places smoke-free.

3. Asbestos

A study at Turin University, Italy found asbestos caused 107,000 lung cancer deaths in 2004, and 1,523,000 people were left on disability  from exposure. Sadly, 125 million people in the world are exposed to asbestos at the workplace according to WHO Assessment of Asbestos.

Asbestos-related lung cancer takes between 15 and 35 years to develop. When you add cigarette smoke to those exposed to asbestos, it drastically increases the risk of  develop asbestos lung cancer by 50 to 84 times.

Asbestos is a natural mineral which has been used in North America since the late 1800s as a thermal and insulation material. When the fibers of asbestos are disturbed, they release microscopic fibers into the air and when inhaled, can become trapped in the lungs.

Asbestos use is now limited or banned in many countries including the Unites States, but there are still 125 million people exposed to it worldwide. WHO, in collaboration with many organizations, is working towards eliminating the use of all types of asbestos.

In the past century, asbestos has been incorporated into thousands […]

Halloween Silliness

By |November 4th, 2015|

Our Halloween Party and Dance was originally scheduled for the day after Halloween. This is called All Saints Day so several of us dressed as saints. Can you guess them?

Spoiler Alert:

In the middle is Saint Saint Therese De Lisieux
In back is Yogananda (from Autobiography of a Yogi) and Guru Picou ( a spoof)

Diana, by the way is the Joker’s girlfriend Harley Quinn.  Randy is a smurf with the silly orange hat.  Then there is the usual assortment of cats and pirates.

Healthy Snacks We Enjoyed:

Two different types of healthy popcorn.  One is Curried Popcorn

A wonderful healthy cake.

And LARGE amounts of a special green tea.

Meditation and Yoga Result In Less Doctor Visits

By |October 14th, 2015|

Be still or be ill. Meditation and yoga can help you experience a deep state of relaxation and better health.

A meditation a day can keep the doctor away.

Research was carried out at the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine where 4,400 patients were trained to practice deep relaxation techniques like yoga and meditation by their healthcare providers. A control group of 13,000 patients were studied who were not practicing relaxation techniques. Researchers found after a year, those practicing relaxation had their visits to the doctor dropped by 42 percent, lab tests by 44 percent and procedures by 21 percent. Health service use by the second group remained the same. Also, emergency hospital visits dropped to about 1.7 a year from 3.7 in the year before practicing relaxation techniques.

Patients who experienced the most beneficial reductions were those with cardiovascular, musculoskeletal, neurologic and gastrointestinal issues.

“Evidence over the last few decades has linked practices like meditation and yoga to beneficial physiological changes in the body ranging from better cardiac function to reduced inflammation,” said Dr. James Stah, Director of the Institute for Technology Assessment at Massachusetts General.

Meditation OR Yoga?

Although meditation and yoga might seem quite different approaches, they both achieve one similar and important goal; they relax both the body and mind at the same time. Since the mind and body are intimately connected, when you relax the mind, the body follows. When you relax the body, the mind follows.

Most yoga traditions also contain within them, some time for meditation.

ThinkstockPhotos-476882350

Meditation, Found to Be Helpful For Better Health in Many Studies

Note: There are many different kinds of meditations available, each with a different goal and they thus will direct your mind to focus and ‘let go’ in different ways. Shop around to find one that suits your personality and lifestyle.

If you would like to start meditating, here is a place to start:

Free Guided Meditations at UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center

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Yoga, a Mind and Body Practice, Can Be Helpful For Better Health

National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health says yoga:

  • Can reduce low-back pain and improve function.
  • May lower depression, stress and insomnia.
  • Lower heart rate and blood pressure.
  • Improve overall physical fitness, strength and flexibility.

To learn more about the benefits of yoga, watch this video: Scientific Results of Yoga for Health and Well-Being Video

Please Note: We all have different bodies with different needs and abilities. Carefully consider the type of yoga for you and select an instructor who is experienced and attentive to help you in practicing yoga that will work best for you. If you have a medical condition, talk to your health care provider before starting yoga. Be especially careful about doing hot yoga as people with heart disease, lung disease or a history of heatstroke may want to avoid this form of yoga. Pregnant women please check with your health care provider before starting hot yoga.

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Is It Cost Effective?

When there are less health problems, the cost of drugs, surgery, ambulances and a hospital stay will be less. A limitation of this study is that it did not take into account the cost of the relaxation training. In my opinion, it would be better […]

Cancer Survivors Often Eat Poorly

By |October 14th, 2015|

Cancer survivors often do not eat a healthy, deeply nourishing diet according to research. This is shocking to me, that the individuals who are most motivated to improve their situation are not doing so! Some cancer survivors in the United States are inspired to learn about better food choices and dietary ways to improve their health, but the findings are that many are not doing this.