Modern scientists can’t argue with acupuncture’s effectiveness for menopause symptoms

(from our friends at Everyday Health)

Many menopausal women complain that “hot flash” is too mild a word for an experience that they say is more like jumping into a furnace. Hot flashes can include feelings of intense heat, profuse sweating and rapid heartbeat. Nausea, headache, dizziness and anxiety are also possible.

Polly Gilgenbach was getting more than a dozen hot flashes a day when she went for acupuncture treatment at the Mayo Clinic. “I’m down to two or three a day,” she reports.

Several studies have confirmed the anecdotal evidence from women like Polly who say acupuncture has eased their menopause symptoms.  What’s still unclear is how it works.

In Chinese medicine, acupuncture is intended to affect the life-energy, called Chi, that runs through the body along specific pathways.

That explanation does not satisfy modern scientists, but they can’t argue with acupuncture’s effectiveness, which can be proven with modern scientific methods. To show that the placebo effect was not behind acupuncture’s apparent success, at least one study used fake needles on half the women in the trial. The women who thought they were receiving acupuncture but weren’t got less relief from their menopause symptoms than the women who got the real needles.

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STATINS A BAD IDEA SAYS HEAD OF BRITISH MEDICAL ASSOCIATION

(Reprinted by permission)

Health chief slams statins: Millions face terrible side effects as prescription escalates

Excerpts:

LEADING doctors are demanding an end to the widespread prescription of statins, warning that one in four Britons will soon be at risk of terrible side effects from the controversial heart drugs.

Those sounding the alarm include Dr Kailash Chand, deputy chairman of the British Medical Association, who suffered “awful” muscle pains while taking statins and claims that plans to prescribe them to millions more adults will “only benefit drug companies.”

The drugs are currently offered to patients with a 20 per cent risk of developing heart disease to help keep their cholesterol levels in check.

Around seven million adults take the drugs. Under guidance to be published later this month by Government drug watchdog the National Institute for Care and Health Excellence (NICE), the threshold will be cut to a 10 per cent risk.

This will see millions more adults routinely prescribed the drugs. Aseem Malhotra, a cardiology specialist registrar, and Dr Malcolm Kendrick, a GP and cholesterol expert, will write to NICE, urging it to reconsider the move.

They will ask the watchdog not to rely on evidence from drug company sponsored trials, which have been shown to play down the risk of side effects including diabetes, impotence, cataracts, muscle pains, mental impairment, fatigue and liver dysfunction.

Dr Chand warned that giving the drugs to low-risk patients was “a commercialisation device” and not in their interests. Many experts say it is unnecessary to “medicalise” a problem which could be controlled with simple dietary changes, pointing to a study showing that eating an apple a day cuts cholesterol levels as effectively as taking statins.

 

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YES, VIRGINIA, THERE ARE TOXINS IN YOUR PERSONAL CARE PRODUCTS

What sort of toxic chemicals do lurk in antiperspirants and deodorants? Plenty. The Breast Cancer Fund (BCF) reports that the following common ingredients in these products may cause cancer:

  • Triclosan can affect hormones and could be linked to breast cancer.
  • Phthalates are endocrine disrupters, which interfere with the body’s hormone function and also are linked to breast cancer, although the studies have only fueled controversy.
  • Parabens have been found in breast cancer biopsies and are known to be absorbed into the skin. They also disrupt hormones and mimic natural estrogens, a cause of breast cancer.

 

Read BCF’s articles, “Chemicals in Cosmetics” and “Endocrine Disrupting Compounds,” to learn more.

But these are not the only controversial compounds found in deodorants and antiperspirants. They can also include:

 

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Center for Disease Control releases new “superfood” list

The list may surprise you. The score is based, zero to one hundred, on standard Recommended Daily Allowances of vitamins and minerals.

Note that watercress not only scores a perfect 100, but it also promotes ALKALINITY in your blood which is what you want–to be slightly alkaline. Inflammation is what causes cancer and most metabolic diseases.

Item Nutrient Density Score
Watercress 100.00
Chinese cabbage 91.99
Chard 89.27
Beet green 87.08
Spinach 86.43
Chicory 73.36
Leaf lettuce 70.73
Parsley 65.59
Romaine lettuce 63.48
Collard green 62.49
Turnip green 62.12
Mustard green 61.39
Endive 60.44
Chive 54.80
Kale 49.07
Dandelion green 46.34
Red pepper 41.26
Arugula 37.65
Broccoli 34.89
Pumpkin 33.82
Brussels sprout 32.23
Scallion 27.35
Kohlrabi 25.92
Cauliflower 25.13
Cabbage 24.51
Carrot 22.60
Tomato 20.37
Lemon 18.72
Iceberg lettuce 18.28
Strawberry 17.59
Radish 16.91
Winter squash (all varieties) 13.89
Orange 12.91
Lime 12.23
Grapefruit (pink and red) 11.64
Rutabaga 11.58
Turnip 11.43
Blackberry 11.39
Leek 10.69
Sweet potato 10.51
Grapefruit (white) 10.47
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Not saying you gotta be vegan but….

It’s been awhile since I last posted, school is getting busier and I have been doing lots of studying and reading. Here is something I want to share with you that I find very interesting: how much protein is enough?

In Ayurvedic medicine, there is a toxic residue produced by protein called “ama” which is why they recommend being vegan. What modern scientists have discovered is there is a sticky protein polysaccharide called amyloid plaque which obstructs brain pathways in those with Alzheimer’s.

So again, HOW MUCH PROTEIN IS TOO MUCH. Straight up, my advice as a holistic nutritionist, is about three ounces only four days a week. What kind? GRASS FED BEEF THAT IS ORGANIC (preferably local).

Here is the other thing about too much protein…research over the past FORTY YEARS has shown the single greatest contributor to bone loss is due to acids released from too much dietary protein.

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Why going to hospital is a REALLY bad idea!

(reprinted by permission)

People who are hospitalized in the United States risk acquiring healthcare-associated infections, which kill 75,000 patients per year, US health authorities said Wednesday.

Many bacterial infections — which can lead to serious complications from pneumonia and illnesses of the intestinal tract — could be prevented if healthcare workers practiced common hygiene, said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Although there has been some progress, today and every day more than 200 Americans with healthcare-associated infections will die during their hospital stay,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden.

“The most advanced medical care won’t work if clinicians don’t prevent infections through basic things such as regular hand hygiene.”

The data, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, came from 183 US hospitals in 2011.

That year, the CDC survey found that about 721,800 infections occurred in 648,000 hospital patients.

Some 75,000 patients with healthcare-associated infections died during their hospitalizations.

The most common infections were pneumonia and surgical site infections (each at 22 percent), followed by gastrointestinal infections (17 percent), urinary tract infections (13 percent), and bloodstream infections (10 percent).

The germs causing these infections were C. difficile (12 percent), Staphylococcus aureus, including MRSA (11 percent), Klebsiella (10 percent), E. coli (9 percent), Enterococcus (9 percent), and Pseudomonas (7 percent).

A second report out Wednesday from the CDC found that nationwide, such infections are on the decline in recent years.

Bloodstream infections were down 44 percent between 2008 and 2012, and infections related to 10 selected surgical procedures were down 20 percent in the same timeframe.

Hospital infections with MRSA and C. difficile showed less substantive declines, at four percent and two percent respectively from 2011 to 2012.

The United Sates is “making progress in preventing healthcare-associated infections,” said Patrick Conway, chief medical officer at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

He said the gains come from three main mechanisms, including financial incentives, performance measures and public reporting to improve transparency, and increased use of interventions that have proven effective.

“This progress represents thousands of lives saved, prevented patient harm, and the associated reduction in costs across our nation.”

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Ten best foods for your dog

(reprinted by permission):

Dogs Like Veggies, Too
If you’re on the lookout for new and fun ways to rev up your furry best friend’s diet, adding vegetables and fruits can be a really healthy way to do that. Of course certain veggies and fruits will be better for your dog than others. Take a look at the following 10 healthiest human foods for dogs and consider adding them to your own dog’s meal routine.


Cantaloupe
Believe it or not, the same fruit salad staple that humans have come to know and love is just as good for dogs. They’re full of vitamins that will help with your canine’s eyesight, as well as lots of vitamin A and lots of beta carotene, which helps reduce the risk of cancer and prevents cell damage. It’s also a good source of vitamins B-6 and C, fiber, folate, niacin and potassium.

Green Beans
Getting your dog to eat his green beans will probably be easier than getting your kids to do the same. Green beans are good for your pooch because of their omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins A, C, and K. They’re also a good source of calcium, copper, fiber, folic acid, iron, niacin, manganese, potassium, riboflavin and thiamin, as well as beta carotene. Essentially, they’re the superpower of vegetables for your pooch.

Spinach
We certainly understand the value of spinach in our own diets, but luckily this green, leafy vegetable can be just as powerful for your dog. Although it’s high in iron (with almost twice as much of it as most other sources), spinach is a particularly good option for your dog since it helps fend off inflammatory and cardiovascular issues, along with cancer.

Apples
Besides the fact that it’s super fun to watch a dog eat an apple, the powerful antioxidants and loads of vitamin C will do wonders for your dog’s diet, as well.

Pumpkin
Feed your dog pumpkin to load him up on fiber, vitamin A and anti-oxidants to help alleviate diarrhea and constipation and to promote his overall cardiovascular health.

Sweet Potatoes
A great source of vitamins E, A, B-6 and C, as well as calcium, iron, folate, potassium, copper, thiamine and iron, sweet potatoes are a wonderful (and super tasty!) addition to any pooch’s dinner bowl.

Blueberries
Blueberries, with their high levels of resveratrol and their anti-cancer and heart disease fighting qualities, make a great option for your dog’s diet. As an added bonus, the tannins found in blueberries also help prevent urinary tract infections.

Watermelon
If it’s lycopene that you’re looking to add to your dog’s diet, watermelon is your best source for that. The health benefits don’t stop there, though. Give your pooch a piece of this delicious summer treat and you’ll be loading him with up with tons of healthy vitamin A, B-6 and C, as well as thiamin.

Asparagus
When cut into bite size pieces, Asparagus makes a healthy veggie option for your dog because of its vitamin K, A, B1, B2, C and E, along with the folate, iron, copper, fiber, manganese and potassium that’s found in them.

Brussels Sprouts
Maybe if your kid sees your dog eating her Brussels sprouts, she’ll hop on board and eat them, too. And your dog should be eating Brussels sprouts for their vitamins K and G, manganese, folate, fiber, potassium and vitamins A, B1 and B6.

DO YOUR BEST TO ALWAYS BUY ORGANIC. SHOP LOCA. SHOP THE CLEMSON AREA FOOD EXCHANGE OR BUY INTO A CSA.

 

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Bamboo not as green as you think…

Many people are buying bamboo items because the marketing is that bamboo is a green choice for clothing. In fact four companies are in trouble with the Federal Trade Commission for making false claims about their bamboo clothing.

Here are a few tips if you’re looking to go green with your wardrobe:

•  Be thrifty
As in thrift store. The greenest clothes come preworn. Reused clothing stays out of the landfill and saves the fossil fuels used to make, package, and transport a new garment. So visit the used-clothing or vintage clothes store nearest you before hitting the mall.

•  Favor plant fibers
Organic cotton is still relatively water-intensive, but its production doesn’t result in a load of chemicals being dumped into the soil. And you can find green clothes made from other less-thirsty plants, such as flax (which is used to make linen) and hemp.

•  Save the bamboo for flooring
Bamboo’s environmental downsides come primarily from the processing of its pulp into fiber for use in clothing, bedsheets, towels, and other fabric products. However, it’s still a better choice than most wood used in things like hardwood flooring, cutting boards, and furniture.

•  Recycle your old clothes
The FTC accused bamboo specifically of not biodegrading in landfills, but in reality, no clothing will degrade in a landfill, whether it’s made from cotton, bamboo, or any other fiber. When your clothes have worn thin, send them to a charity. You may not think your holey white T-shirt is worth anything, but the charity can sell it to a textile recycler, which will turn it into rags or even acoustic stuffing for your car doors. Just make sure your donated clothing is clean; a single pair of dirty underwear can contaminate an entire bin of recyclable clothing, condemning the clothes to a landfill.

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14 nutrition tips for 2014

OK, I did think about 2,014 nutrition tips but that is just too much so here we go:

Tip #1: Sweet potatoes are one of the best vegetables you can eat. A nutritional all-star, they’re loaded with carotenoids, vitamin C, potassium, and fiber. Mix in unsweetened applesauce or crushed pineapple for extra moisture and sweetness.

Tip #2: Instead of chips, try munching on asparagus for a quick snack. It’s delicious raw or lightly steamed. Throw some in your lunch box for a snack or use a few stalks to dress up your next vegetable platter.

Tip #3: For an easy vegetable side dish, steam fresh spinach for 2 or 3 minutes (or cook some frozen spinach). Then drizzle on a little balsamic vinegar or parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast which is loaded with B12 and tastes like parmesan cheese.

Tip #4: For a quick, healthy pizza, buy a whole-wheat crust and top it with a modest amount of shredded light mozzarella, a spicy red pepper spaghetti sauce (look for a lower-sodium brand), sliced onion and red pepper, and chopped marinated artichoke hearts – or your favorite veggies. Follow the baking instructions on the crust package.

Tip #5: Make a delicious homemade sorbet by freezing 4 cups of your favorite berries or melon chunks, then combining them with a half cup of orange juice in a blender or food processor until very smooth.

Tip #6: Read nutrition labels carefully. Make sure the serving size on the label matches what you eat. If not, adjust the numbers accordingly.

Tip #7: Choose whole-wheat bread, brown rice, and whole-wheat pasta instead of the white, refined varieties.

Tip #8: If all you have on hand is full-fat salad dressing, mix it half-and-half with vinegar or lemon juice to reduce fat and calories. I prefer this method as your body needs fat to feel full. It also needs healthy fats to metabolize certain vitamins.

Tip #9: Uncut garlic and onions lose their flavor if you store them in the refrigerator. Instead, preserve their freshness and taste by keeping them on the kitchen counter: onions in a bowl and garlic heads in a container that gives them a little air.

Tip #10: Afraid of undercooking your fish? For white fish, a fillet of 1 inch should be sauteed for 5-7 minutes total while a 1/4 inch thick fillet will take from 2-4 minutes to cook. You want the fish to be opaque and flaky but still moist.

Tip #11: When buying chicken parts, stick to the breast and drumstick. They have far fewer calories and far less fat than the thigh and wing.

Tip #12: Looking for a flavorful lower-fat cheese? Jarlsberg Lite, a delightful Swiss cheese available at most deli counters, has only 2 grams of saturated fat per ounce. (Most cheeses have 5 or 6 grams.)

Tip #13: Treat all raw poultry, seafood, and meat as if they were contaminated with bacteria. Wash your hands, sponges, and implements carefully in hot, soapy water after touching them and before touching anything else. Never put cooked meat or poultry back on a plate that contains raw juices.

Tip #14: Leftovers should be refrigerated or frozen within 2 hours of cooking the food. If cooked food has been left out for more than 2 hours, throw it away. (Reheating will not destroy some pathogens.) If refrigerated leftovers won’t be eaten within 2–4 days, freeze them.

You know by now that I am a huge proponent of organic so do your best to shop the CLEMSON AREA FOOD EXCHANGE.

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Follow these rules (so easy) to get the most from your food

(reprinted by permission)

You’ve heard the standard nutrition advice before, like stick to fruits and vegetables, and focus on whole foods. But what if you’re following all the tips andstill missing out on important nutrients?

In order to make the most of your food, you need phytonutrients—the healthy plant compounds that fight cancer, lower blood pressure, and cholesterol, and enhance memory—says Jo Robinson, author of the new book Eating on the Wild Side. Follow these six surprising food rules to get more of them.

1. Look for dark colors

Focus on blue foods like blueberries or blue potatoes, black like blackberries or currents, red foods like cranberries or peppers, or purple—concord grapes or purple asparagus, says Robinson. These foods all contain anthocyanin, which has more health benefits than other plant nutrients.

2. Stop peeling carrots

The nutrients in the skin of a carrot are equal to the amount in an entire peeled carrot, says Robinson. Just wash off the dirt and enjoy.

Know the 5 Foods You’re Eating Wrong so you can cut, cook, and sip for the most health benefits.

3. Embrace the bitterness

Americans have a habit of skipping bitter foods—which means they’re missing major health benefits, says Robinson. A dandelion, for example, has twice the calcium and eight times more antioxidants than spinach, says Robinson. If that’s a bit too extreme for you, start small by adding pieces of bitter red lettuce or radicchio to regular salad.

4. Rip up lettuce before storing it

It’s easy to forget vegetables are still alive when they’re harvested, says Robinson. When ripped, lettuce will believe a predator is eating it, so it produces four times the amount of antioxidant-rich substances in order to protect itself. (Yes, you’re benefiting from scared lettuce.)

5. Have an “eat me first” list

Certain foods lose nutrients faster than others, says Robinson. Eat arugula, broccoli, cherries, and kale within one to two days of harvest. Foods like onions, potatoes, or apples are okay for a few days longer.

6. Let the garlic rest

Don’t toss whole cloves of garlic into hot oil. Instead, mince it and set it aside for 10 minutes. Chopping will start a chemical reaction allowing an enzyme to produce the healthy compound that reduces the risk of cancer and heart disease, says Robinson.

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