Weekly Health Tips

These health tips and information on this web site is not to be construed as professional advice or medical recommendations. I do not endorse or guarantee references or sites listed, and no unfavorable inference should be drawn from failure of any resource to be listed here. Readers are encouraged to direct any questions concerning personal health care to licensed physicians or other appropriate healthcare professionals.

Week of December 31, 2005:        Almonds
There are three reasons almonds are a perfect nutritional “boost” to meals and snacks:

1. New research supports almonds’ ability to lower cholesterol.

2. Almonds are the most nutritionally dense nut, whether compared calorie per calorie or ounce per ounce. A one-ounce, 164-calorie serving of almonds, or about a handful, is an excellent source of vitamin E and magnesium, and a good source of fiber. It also offers heart-healthy monounsaturated fat, protein, potassium, calcium, phosphorous and iron.

3. Eating almonds may help maintain or even lose weight. A recent study in the International Journal of Obesity found that adding a daily ration of almonds to a low-calorie diet enhanced weight loss, as well as significantly improved risk factors associated with heart disease, when compared to a low-fat, low-calorie diet. Researchers cited almonds’ heart-healthy monounsaturated fat as being very satiating, helping satisfy the appetite and prevent patients from overeating.

Almonds are tasty, satisfying and versatile. Whether added to low-fat yogurt, included in a healthy trail mix, or munched on their own, almonds have a toasty crunch that’s perfect for any time of day, and for many other foods.

Week of December 24, 2005:        Increasing Upper Body Strength
Upper body strength is harder to achieve than lower body strength because we use our legs more in everyday living. Have patience when trying to increase upper body strength: increase slowly–both resistance and duration. Using weights that are too heavy can cause injury and hinder your training objectives. If you try to take two or three steps forward, you may wind up four steps back.

Week of December 17, 2005:         Beans
Eat beans for good health. The flavonoids in beans are effective antioxidants that help protect against heart disease and cancer. These flavonoids are found in the coating of such beans as navy, pintos, kidney, great northern and black beans. To reduce the after-effect of digestive gas from beans, rinse the water containing the beans (from soaking or in the can) off of the beans before cooking them for dinner.

Week of December 10, 2005:         Think and Be Stronger
Competitive athletes often use a technique called visualization to help give them an edge over their opponents. ”Just thinking about exercise can help maintain muscle strength,” says Dr. Vinoth Ranganathan, who, with a team of researchers from the Cleveland Clinic Foundation in Ohio, investigated the strength benefits of imagining exercising a muscle. Of course, actual strength-training exercises, as opposed to imaginary ones, are still the most effective means of building strong, healthy muscles.

Week of December 3, 2005:         Exercising During TV-Commercial Breaks
Overweight and under-exercised, the human body leaves itself open and vulnerable to a myriad of chronic conditions, including arthritis, back pain, heart disease, diabetes, etc.

During an hour-long television show, there will be around six commercial breaks which would total about 15 minutes. If you exercise during those commercial breaks, you can do 15-minutes of exercise that you normally would not have found time for. Do each movement to the rhythm of your breathing. A few examples of what you can do are these:

* With arms held straight out sideways at shoulder height, do circles forward and backward
* With arms held straight out sideways at shoulder height, twist the torso to the left and to the right
* Side bends
* Standing toe touches (with arms stretched high overhead)
* Push-ups
* Deep knee bends (squats)

Doing this once a day, you can improve your health. Doing it twice a day, you will get twice the benefit.

Week of November 26, 2005:        B Vitamins
The B complex is an extremely essential group of nutrients that the body must get through diet or produce in intestinal flora to enable it to: (1) transform food into energy, (2) maintain a strong immune system, (3) balance many of the body’s hormones, and (4) perform a wide variety of other tasks.

The B vitamins work together as a complex and are dependent upon each other to perform their individual tasks in the body. Insufficient intake of one B vitamin can create imbalances and deficiencies in others and impair the body’s ability to assimilate and metabolize them. If a depletion or excess of one over the other occurs for a period of any duration, there will be a problem in the entire complex. Because of this relationship between the B vitamins, an isolated deficiency of only one B vitamin is rarely seen. This is another good reason for taking the B vitamins as a complex, a whole, and not separately.

An excellent source of B vitamins in their natural proportions can be found in Argentine beef liver powder.

Week of November 19, 2005:        Stress
Stress is caused by the body’s instinct to defend itself. This instinct is good in emergencies, like getting out of the way of a speeding car but it can cause physical symptoms if it goes on for too long in response to life’s daily challenges and changes.

When this happens, it’s as though your body gets ready to jump out of the way of the car, but you are sitting still. Your body is working overtime, with no place to put the extra energy. This can make you feel anxious, afraid, worried and uptight.

Any sort of change can make you feel stressed, even good change. It’s not just the change or event itself, but also how you react to it that matters. What may be stressful is different for each person–one person may not feel stressed by retiring from work and another person may feel stressed.

Other things that may be stressful include being laid off from your job, your child leaving or returning home, the death of your spouse, divorce or marriage, an illness, an injury, a job promotion, money problems, moving, or having a baby.

Signs of stress may include anxiety, back pain, constipation or diarrhea, depression, fatigue, headaches, high blood pressure, insomnia, problems with relationships, shortness of breath, stiff neck, upset stomach, and weight gain or loss .

To deal with stress, it helps to exercise on a regular basis, eat well-balanced meals, get enough sleep, meditate, and get away from your daily stresses with group sports, social events and hobbies.

Week of November 12, 2005:        Old Cough Remedy
If you’re having trouble sleeping due to a cough and congestion, an old time remedy worked for most people. It sounds strange, but it does help. Put Vicks Vapor Rub on the bottom of your feet. Then put on a pair of socks.

Week of November 5, 2005:        Bananas and Plantains
Bananas and plantains strengthen the surface cells of the stomach lining, forming a sturdier barrier against noxious juices. Rats fed banana powder had a visibly thicker stomach lining. Other rats were fed aspirin and other chemicals to see what happened to the barrier in the stomach. The lining decreased with aspirin and even was thinner with Tagamet. In the rats that were fed both banana powder and aspirin, the banana counteracted the drug’s erosive effects and the lining was still increased by almost 20%.

Bananas are also great for helping to lower cholesterol because of their high pectin content. One medium banana has as much pectin as a medium size apple. Unripe, green plantains are super potent against ulcers. The bigger the better as they contain more of the active chemical that protects the stomach. Eat unripe green plantains boiled or baked and if you do fry them, use organic, unrefined coconut oil as it does not break down in high heat. Oils that break down in high heat are toxic in the body and cause free radical damage. Free radicals are highly reactive molecules that can tear into your cells and start nasty chain reactions that can leave behind extensive damage, including alteration of your genetic code (DNA) and formation of cancer cells. That is one reason why you need to stay away from fried foods if you are serious about fighting the aging process.

Week of October 29, 2005:        Meat from Grass-Fed Animals
Meat from grass-fed animals has two to four times more omega-3 fatty acids than meat from grain-fed animals. Omega-3s are called “good fats” because they play a vital role in every cell and system in your body. Of all the fats, they are the most heart-friendly. People who have ample amounts of omega-3s in their diet are less likely to have high blood pressure or an irregular heartbeat and they are 50 percent less likely to suffer a heart attack. Omega-3s are essential for your brain too. People with a diet rich in omega-3s are less likely to suffer from depression, schizophrenia, attention deficit disorder (hyperactivity), or Alzheimer’s disease.

Week of October 22, 2005:        Reduced Sugar Cereal
The Associated Press asked a panel of nutrition scientists to examine six major brands of cereal that advertise reduced-sugar versions of their products. Their verdict: The new products have less sugar content, but in terms of nutrition they’re virtually the same because the cereals contain more refined carbohydrates. Why are there more carbs? To make the cereals crunchy. The problem is that refined carbohydrates act exactly the same as sugar in the body.

Week of October 15, 2005:        Metabolic Syndrome
Today’s youngsters may be the first generation of children to have a shorter life expectancy than their parents–and the reason is obesity. People don’t die just from being overweight. They die from the many things that come with it. The majority of overweight children and teenagers already have at least one additional heart disease risk factor, and 25% have two or more. If they have three out of five major risk factors, they are said to have something called metabolic syndrome, a condition that has been identified as a significant marker for heart disease risk.

The five risk factors are high blood pressure (hypertension), high triglycerides, low HDL (“good” cholesterol), abdominal obesity and high fasting blood sugar. If you’ve got any three of them, you’ve got metabolic syndrome.

The best way to avoid metabolic syndrome is to concentrate on eating natural, whole foods. Fresh fruit is better than juice. Grilled chicken is better than breaded and fried chicken tenders. Water is better than soda. Nuts are better than chips. The less processed a food is, the more work the body does to digest the carbohydrate, leading to a less severe rise in insulin.

The best approach to decreasing metabolic syndrome may be prevention. Children should be encouraged to develop a healthy lifestyle that includes a quality whole-foods diet, regular physical activity and less sitting around watching television or playing computer games.

Week of October 8, 2005:        Electrical Pollution
Everyone living with electricity is being negatively affected. It is only a question of degree. See Dr. Neil Cherry, Evidence that Electromagnetic Radiation is Genotoxic: the implications for the epidemiology of cancer and cardiac, neurological and reproductive effects. Dr. Cherry made his presentation to the New Zealand Parliament in May 2000 and the European Parliament in June, 2000. Check out the web site Electrical Pollution Solutions for more information.

Week of October 1, 2005:        Food for Health
Antibacterial: asparagus, Brussels sprouts, carrots, cranberries, garlic, palm hearts (eat raw only), peppercorns, peppers, pineapple, strawberries

Anti-cancer: broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, corn, flaxseed, lemon/lime, papaya, spinach, strawberries
Antioxidant: apricots, blueberries, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, oats, peppercorns, sesame seeds
Bone health: eggs, oats, romaine lettuce, salmon, spinach
Cleanses: artichokes, beets, blueberries, broccoli, chick peas, flaxseed, grapefruit, kidney beans, leeks, mangos, melon, orange, parsley, parsnip, peaches, whole wheat
Detoxifies: apples, bananas, beets, buckwheat, carrots, figs, nettles, onions, parsnip, pears, sunflower seeds, sweet potato, yams

Week of September 24, 2005:        Digestive Tract Health
The digestive tract is the way nutrition is delivered to the body. An unhealthy digestive tract leads to a hampered intake of nutrition which is vital for staying well. To keep the digestive tract healthy:

* Eat plenty of fiber. Foods that contain fiber (fruits, vegetables, whole grains) pass more easily and quickly through the digestive tract. Fiber gives stool bulk and also softens it, which helps to prevent constipation, diarrhea and the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. Fiber can decrease pressure in the intestinal tract which reduces the risk of developing hemorrhoids and small pouches in the colon (diverticulitis). A fiber-rich diet may also play a part in lowering the risk of colon and rectal cancer.

* Reduce fat and oils in the diet. Excess fat slows digestion, which can lead to heartburn, bloating and constipation. A high-fat diet may also worsen the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, pancreatitis, and Crohn’s disease. A diet high in saturated fat (animal fat) may increase the risk of colon cancer.

* Drink ample fluids. Fluids lubricate food waste so that it passes more easily through the digestive tract. Fluids also soften stool, helping to prevent constipation and dissolve minerals, vitamins and other nutrients, making them easier for your tissues to absorb. Water is best, but milk, juice, and most other beverages are more than 90 percent water, so they also can help meet your daily fluid needs. (Carbonated drinks hamper the digestion of protein.)

* Drink less alcohol, if you drink at all. Anything more than a moderate amount of alcohol (one drink a day for women or two drinks a day for men) can lead to digestive disorders. Alcohol can inflame the stomach lining and relax the lower esophageal sphincter (the valve that prevents stomach acid from backing up into the esophagus). This can cause bleeding or heartburn. Alcohol can also aggravate symptoms such as diarrhea or nausea.

Week of September 17, 2005:        Alternate Nostril Breathing
Alternate nostril breathing is done by alternating between the two nostrils when breathing. To do this, you breathe through only one nostril at a time. The logic behind this is that normal breathing alternates from one nostril to the other at various times during the day. In a healthy person the breath will alternate between nostrils about every two hours but because most people are not in optimum health, this time period varies considerably between people and reduces their vitality. If the right nostril is used, the result will be a mental and nervous disturbance. If the left nostril is used, the result will be chronic fatigue and reduced brain function. The longer the flow of breath in one nostril, the more serious the illness will be.

There are a couple benefits of doing alternate nostril breathing. First, the exercise produces optimum function to both sides of the brain (optimum creativity and optimum logical verbal activity) and also creates a more balanced person, with both halves of the brain functioning properly. Second, yogis consider this to be the best technique to calm the mind and the nervous system.

Medical science has recently discovered the nasal cycle (known by yogis thousands of years ago) and that one nostril is much easier to breathe through than the other at any particular time and that this alternates about every three hours. The scientists also discovered that the nasal cycle corresponds with brain function. The electrical activity of the brain was found to be greater on the side opposite the less congested nostril. The right side of the brain controls creative activity, while the left side controls logical verbal activity. The study showed that when the left nostril was less obstructed, the right side of the brain was predominant. Test subjects did better on creative tests. When the right nostril was less obstructed the left side of the brain was predominant and the test subjects did better on verbal skills.

One of the ways to do alternate nostril breathing is as follows:

1. Close the right nostril with your right thumb and inhale through the left nostril to the count of four seconds and exhale through this nostril to the count of eight seconds.

2. Inhale through the right nostril to the count of four seconds and exhale through this nostril to the count of eight seconds.

Do the above two steps three times.

Alternate nostril breathing shouldn’t be done if you have a cold or if your nasal passages are blocked in any way. Forced breathing through the nose may lead to complications.

Week of September 10, 2005:        Skipping Breakfast–A Good Way to Gain Weight
Skipping breakfast is not an effective way to lose weight. Researchers investigated the relationship between breakfast type, energy intake and body mass index (BMI). They found that it’s not just breakfast but the type of food eaten that is connected with BMI.

Obesity is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, certain types of cancer, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes. From 1960 to 1994 obesity in American adults almost doubled from 12.8% to 22.5%. At the same time, between 1965 and 1991, the proportion of adults skipping breakfast increased from 14% to 25%. Some of the reasons people give for skipping breakfast include lack of time for preparing and consuming food, and concerns about excess body weight.

An inverse relationship has been found between BMI and breakfast consumption. Breakfast eaters tend to have lower BMI than those who skip breakfast, and obese individuals are more likely to skip breakfast. It has been found that moderately obese women lose more weight when they consume 70% of their daily energy intake before noon instead of in the afternoon or evening.

Information from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III), a large population-based study conducted in the United States, 1988-1994, was analyzed for breakfast type, total daily energy intake, and BMI. There were several categories studied, “skippers” (people who skip breakfast), “meat/eggs”, “ready-to-eat cereal (RTEC)”, “cooked cereal,” “breads,” “quick breads” (e.g. waffles, French toast), “fruit/vegetables,” “dairy,” “fats/sweets,” and “beverages.” Other factors taken into consideration were age, gender, race, smoking, alcohol intake, physical activity and socio-economic status.

The researchers found those who ate ready-to-eat cereal, cooked cereal, or quick breads for breakfast had a significantly lower BMI compared to the skippers and the meat/eggs eaters. The skippers and fruit/vegetable eaters had the lowest daily energy intake and meat/egg eaters had the highest daily energy intake. The skippers, meat/eggs eaters, and dairy eaters had the highest BMIs.

Week of August 20, 2005:        Sunlight for Pain and Relaxation
Sunlight may be a key prescription for easing pain. A recent hospital study (University of Pittsburgh, Jeffrey Walch and Bruce Rabin) found that patients in sunnier rooms needed fewer painkillers than patients in darker rooms. They were able to cut their drug costs by 21%. Bright light improves mood and triggers the release of “feel good” brain chemicals such as serotonin.

Researchers at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center found that exposure to ultraviolet light may produce a relaxing effect. The research was reported in the July issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. For six weeks, study participants had tanning sessions on Mondays and Wednesdays in two identical-looking tanning beds. They spent half of each session in one bed and half in the other. Only one bed used ultraviolet light (UV). UV light occurs naturally in sunlight and is responsible for the tanning and burning effects of the sun. Artificial UV light is used in tanning beds and sunlamps. Mood was measured before and after each tanning exposure. The results revealed greater relaxation and lower tension after UV exposure compared to non-UV exposure. The researchers theorize that UV exposure leads to the release of chemicals in the brain called endorphins that are linked to both pain relief and euphoric feelings.

If you can’t get natural sunlight, full-spectrum bulbs may have the same effect.

Week of August 13, 2005:        Walking on Stones
A research team from the Oregon Research Institute did a 16-week study. They divided 108 volunteers over 60 into two groups: One group spent three sessions a week walking on cobblestones like the ones in traditional stone paths in China (walked on for centuries as a healing therapy). The other group spent an equal amount of time simply walking normally. At the end of the study, one of these groups showed measurable improvement in balance, mobility, and blood pressure. And guess what? The stone-strollers got all the benefits, just like the ancient Chinese have maintained forever and a day. The results are in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Week of August 6, 2005:        Healthy Skin
Diet and other choices you make are clearly reflected in your face and skin, the body’s largest and most protective organ. If you take care of yourself, your skin will show it. If you eat poorly, smoke, or skimp on sleep, your skin won’t look so good. Your skin is a barometer of the health of your entire body. Proper nutrition, getting enough sleep, regular exercise, fresh air (but not too much sun), keeping your worries under control, avoiding negative habits, such as smoking and overindulgence in alcohol, will keep you glowing and rosy. It’s important to remember that your skin needs proper nourishment to ensure proper function. It isn’t just a shell that holds your insides in, it’s a functioning body organ.

Sugar upsets digestion, which can lead to inflammatory skin problems such as acne, rashes and rosacea. In older people, sugar makes the skin age faster by changing the structure of collagen, a protein that is the building block of skin. As the structure of the skin changes, wrinkles become increasingly apparent. A high-fat diet may contribute to the development of skin cancer. Over-processed foods, such as French fries and chips, are high in carcinogens and should be eaten very sparingly.

Your skin will benefit from eating a wide range of fruits and vegetables, especially, if you eat them instead of sugary and fried foods. For optimal skin health, plenty of nutrient-rich vitamins and minerals are a must, and a lack of A, B or C vitamins can lead to dry skin and rashes. Fruits and vegetables are also rich in antioxidants, which can prevent the oxidation of free radicals that leads to inflammatory skin problems.

To cleanse your body of toxins, it’s important to drink plenty of fluids. The standard recommendation is eight glasses of water (or other healthy liquids such as herbal teas or fresh juices) daily. Fluids flush toxins out of the bowel, kidneys and liver. An essential element of all metabolic processes, water keeps the body’s systems and organs performing at peak efficiency, and the skin supple and hydrated. Add a bit of lemon juice to assist in the process.

Week of July 30, 2005:        Relaxation
Relaxation is an important part of overall health. To relax and achieve the maximum benefit, you should dim the lights (use an eyebag), eliminate noise and interruptions, lie in a position that does not require any tension in the muscles, clear the mind (don’t think about things you need to accomplish or take care of), and concentrate on breathing in and breathing out. Yoga websites can provide many restorative poses that enhance relaxation. An example is waterfall:

Week of July 23, 2005:        Forward Bending
Forward bends restore the elasticity of the cerebral blood vessels, which may become rigid with atherosclerosis. Forwards bends can reduce the risk of strokes. A gentle supported forward bend can be done with a chair. Face the chair and bend over. If your head does not touch the seat of the chair, add pillows and blankets, piling them high enough to support the top of your head. The goal would be to slowly, over time, to reduce the pile until your head can reach the seat and be supported comfortably. (If you do both forward and backward bending, do the forward bending first.)

Week of July 16, 2005:        Supported Backward Bending
Studies have shown that every minute of supported backward bending provides circulatory enhancement, increasing blood and oxygen flow without force or fatigue, equal to running one mile. There are various yoga poses that you can use to get the benefit. Here are a couple examples (supported dwi pada viparita dandasana and supported setu bandha sarvangasana). There are others that are even easier to do than these. It is best to have an instructor to insure proper positioning.

Week of July 9, 2005:        Brain Power
For good brain function, never skip breakfast. Have food with protein (eggs, yogurt) and some complex carbohydrates (whole grains, fruits, nuts, vegetables). The lecithin found in eggs is rich in choline, which enhances thinking and memory retention. The complex carbohydrates help to maintain a steady supply of glucose required by the brain. Take your supplements at breakfast to give your day a boost. The herb gingko biloba has been found to increase the blood flow to the brain, which helps alertness and memory.

Exercise keeps the brain performing properly. Reading, and crossword puzzles keep your memory and brain sharp as you age.

Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish support healthy neurological function.

Week of July 2, 2005:        Whole Grains
The less processing a grain product has undergone, the more nutrition it contains–more vitamins and minerals, more fiber, protection from diabetes, heart disease, constipation, and cancer. You can get whole wheat bread, whole wheat pasta, brown rice, and oatmeal (not instant).

Week of June 25, 2005:        Healthy Veins
The health of your veins is an indicator of your overall health. Varicose veins, spider veins, and broken capillaries show up on the legs and can be both embarrassing and uncomfortable. Poor circulation which seems to exacerbate these problems can be helped with exercise, diet, and topical creams.

Yoga is very helpful in enhancing circulation in the body. Vitamin C is important because it supports the connective tissues (veins and capillaries). Flavonoids help protect the inner lining of blood vessels. Horse chestnut, butcher’s broom, bilberry, gingko, and cayenne are all herbs that help improve circulation. Special topical creams formulated to improve the appearance of the veins and ease the discomfort can be found in health food stores.

Week of June 18, 2005:        Aching Joints
Aching joints can occur at any age. Sometimes it may be caused by sensitivity to certain foods–many times white flour, white sugar, dairy products, and vegetables in the nightshade family (tomatoes, white potatoes, and eggplant) are the culprits. Dehydration may also cause joint pain if you don’t get enough water.

You can add foods to your diet that can help with relieving the pain–cayenne pepper (can also be used in a cream to rub on the painful area), ginger, and turmeric. Pineapple eaten by itself will help ease inflammation (joints and muscles).

Week of June 11, 2005:        Fast Food
A 15-year study of 3000 adults, ages 18-30, shows the negative impact that fast food has on the body, regardless of what else people ate and the exercise they did. Those who ate fast foods less than once a week were compared to those who ate fast food more than twice a week. The frequent eaters had gained 10 pounds and had a twofold greater increase in insulin resistance (pre-diabetes). (Mark A. Pereira, Ph.D, et al, “Fast-Food Habits, Weight Gain, and Insulin Resistance (the CARDIA Study): 15-Year Prospective Analysis,” Lancet (Jan 1, 2005))

If you need more persuasion to drive by a fast food place rather than drive thru, check out the book, Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal, or the documentary movie, Super Size Me.

If you must eat in a hurry or on the run, consider a smoothie made with fruit with a protein blend added like those offered at Smoothie King or some workout gyms instead of a sandwich and fries. It’s more filling than a salad and helps to meet your daily fruit intake requirements. It also gives you energy till your next meal.

Week of June 4, 2005:        Foods to Improve Your Diet
Some foods for a healthy and balanced diet are: black beans (antioxidants and folate), blueberries (some of the most health-protecting antioxidants), broccoli (detoxifies and contains cancer fighting nutrients), dark chocolate (has a high mineral content–limit to 1 ounce a day because of sugar and fat), oats (high in fiber), onions (nutrients fight heart disease), salmon (omega-3 essential fatty acids), spinach (antioxidants and folate), sweet potatoes (vitamins and beta carotene), tomatoes (lycopene), walnuts (healthy fat content–1.5 ounces daily).

Week of May 28, 2005:         Apple Cider Vinegar
There are many benefits from taking a daily dose of apple cider vinegar, an old folk remedy. Dr. Jarvis, the author of the book Folk Medicine, prescribes two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar and a teaspoon of honey in a cup of water for ailments such as arthritis, insomnia, high blood pressure, and food poisoning. Apple cider vinegar can help:

* normalize the body’s acid/alkaline balance
* cleanse the digestive tract
* aid in the removal of calcium deposits from joints and blood vessels without affecting the calcium in the bones and teeth
* add potassium to the body

Week of May 21, 2005:        Homocysteine
Homocysteine is a harmful amino acid your body forms as a by-product of the digestion of certain foods (like well-done steak). Increased homocysteine in the bloodstream is strongly associated with the occurrence of heart disease. This correlation has been common knowledge in alternative medicine circles for years.

Your body, however, has a built-in defense mechanism against homocysteine buildup–it transforms it into a harmless substance called cystathionine, which is flushed from the body in the urine.

Research conducted in the Netherlands points to the likelihood that some people are genetically unable to convert homocysteine at a sufficient rate, contributing to unsafe levels in the body and subsequent increased risk of heart disease. This research also studied the effects of a treatment for homocysteine that alternative medicine has been recommending for years: folic acid. The results confirmed that folic acid supplementation lowers homocysteine levels, decreasing the risk of cardiovascular disease.

The Netherlands research also concluded that those people with a genetically reduced capacity to process homocysteine were only at increased risk for heart disease when their folic acid levels were low. Which means that even if you’re one of those unfortunate souls whose body is ill-equipped to break down homocysteine, folic acid supplementation can “even the playing field” as far as your heart disease risk goes. But taking folic acid isn’t the only thing you can do to reduce blood homocysteine–Vitamins B12 and B6 are also critical for the metabolism of this killer amino acid. When you cook steak, prepare it as rare as you can enjoy it, because the closer to “well done” it is, the more homocysteine you’ll produce in digesting it.

Week of May 14, 2005:        Pomegranate and Grape Juice
Recent research has found support for the benefits of pomegranate juice and grape juice. The first study (a joint effort by Italian and American researchers) concluded that two glasses of pomegranate juice reduced the progression of arteriosclerosis in laboratory animals by at least 30%. Pomegranate juice is also a good source of vitamins and antioxidants.

The other study, a human trial of 40 men with high blood pressure, has shown that the consumption of grape juice over an eight-week period correlated with a significant drop in blood pressure. This bolsters the findings of other studies, including some American research that pinpointed Concord grape juice as being a powerful anti-hypertensive, as well as an effective cholesterol lowering agent and inhibitor of arteriosclerosis.

Week of May 7, 2005:        Onions and Bone Loss
Bioflavinoids are compounds that have amazing healing powers. One of the most powerful of these is quercetin, one of the strongest natural cancer-fighting agents you can find. Two of the best sources of quercetin are yellow and red onions. Garlic is good too, but it doesn’t contain any quercetin. White onions have only a minute amount of it. Another main source of quercetin is the apple. But onions also contain potent sulfur compounds that offer other health benefits.

In the latter part of 1999, researchers reported that, when dried onion was fed to animals it could reverse the same type of bone loss seen in those suffering from osteoporosis. Male rats fed 1 gram of onion powder per day for a period of only four weeks increased the mineral content of their bones by over 17 percent, the thickness increased by over 13 percent and the mineral density increased by over 13 percent. Overall, the addition of just onion powder inhibited bone reabsorption by about 20 percent which is higher than any other treatment that we currently have available.

The effect with dried onion powder was greater than that available from the prescription drug Calcitonin. The researchers even did tests on female rats that had their ovaries removed and found that the addition of thirty 1,500 mg of dried onion daily prevented bone loss that would have occurred when estrogen levels normally decrease.

None of these tests have been verified in humans, but it’s obvious that the onion has super, natural power. Research is definitely in the early stages, so there is no specific information about the best form to take, but a good guess is that raw is best. Throw them on your salads, cook with them, and eat them anyway you can. If you have allergies to sulfur you may have problems with onions. Also, those with adrenal disease may want to use them sparingly as some people claim that onions stimulate the adrenal glands.

The onion skins contain the most quercetin, but since they are not edible, just cook with them, in soups for example, and toss them before serving like you do with bay leaves. Onion may make your breath stink, but with benefits like those listed above, just carry your toothbrush and some tooth soap with you and don’t worry about it.

If you eat raw onions and happen to have a stainless steel spoon, you can rub it all over your mouth and tongue and it will get rid of the odor. A spoon works well because it forms to the roof of the mouth. Chefs use little stainless steel blocks to get rid of garlic and onion smells off of their hands.

Also, remember that whatever affects your bones, also affects your teeth!

Week of April 30, 2005:        Water Works for Weight Loss
Nothing suppresses the appetite like water–lots of water. Start with two quart bottles in the morning and carry one with you wherever you go. You will have to make more trips to the bathroom, but it’s worth it. Try to drink the 64 ounces of water before you eat dinner, so you aren’t up half the night going to the bathroom.

Water fills you up and lessens your appetite and prevents those hunger pangs you get when your blood sugar drops and you reach for something sweet–cookies, candy, ice cream, or other treat. Water also flushes out the system, rids the body of bloat and toxins and adds color to your complexion.

Week of April 23, 2005:        Stress
A small study has revealed that the immune cells of women under chronic stress displayed chromosomal changes characteristic of increased aging when compared with the cells of women leading calmer lives. Doctors examined the telomeres (small pieces of DNA that protect and stabilize the ends of chromosomes) of immune cells in 58 women ranging in age from 20 to 50. Since telomeres shorten with age as the cells divide, telomere length is a measure of aging. Eventually the telomeres reach a point after which no further cell division is possible.

The study, which was published in the November 29, 2004 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, suggests that chronic stress has the potential to shorten the life of immune cells. The authors note that promoting cellular aging might be one way in which stress influences the onset of age-related diseases and conditions. While the doctors admit they are unsure of the mechanism through which stress affects the immune cells, they suggest that changes in stress hormone levels might be involved. The researchers also plan to investigate whether this effect is seen in other types of cells in the body.

For relief from stress, a yoga class is very helpful. A natural remedy for stress is aromatherapy using essential oils.

Week of April 16, 2005:        Sleep and Obesity
A recent study revealed that the number of hours slept has an influence on the risk of obesity–the less sleep, the higher the risk. The researchers at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health and the Obesity Research Center, found a link between the risk of being obese and the number of hours of sleep each night. Other factors, such as physical activity, age and depression, to name a few, made no difference to the weight gain.

Two hormones–leptin, a hormone that suppresses appetite, and grehlin, a hormone that increases food intake and is thought to play a role in long-term regulation of body weight–are involved. Sleep deprivation lowers the levels of leptin and raises levels of grehlin.

Getting anything less than the seven (as the least) to nine hours sleep we need is asking for trouble. It could lead to a loss of physical and mental health, to poor memory, poor coordination, and now, to weight gain and obesity.

Week of April 9, 2005:        Sunflower Seeds
The protein in sunflower seeds can’t be beat. And it won’t clog up your arteries like beef and pork chops coagulated with grease. Raw sunflower seeds make for a tasty mid-afternoon snack and they’re a lot better for you than a Snickers bar or a Dr. Pepper. Wash ’em down by chewing them until they’re a liquid. Savor the subtle tastes as your mouth enzymes break them down and prepare the seeds for stomach digestion. Sprouted sunflower seeds on top of a baked potato that you’ve split down the middle are better for your heart and health than sour cream and a huge dab of butter.

Week of April 2, 2005:        Muscles and Aging
Even without suffering a major trauma to the body, we lose muscle and strength at an alarming rate as we age. Some studies say the process begins in our early twenties: other studies say by age forty we lose muscle each year. The process particularly significant for women, who tend to have smaller bodies and smaller bones and are not as used as men are to exerting their bodies against resistance.

If you don’t use a muscle it weakens rapidly, as the NASA scientists discovered when the first men they sent up into space returned with significant muscle and strength loss. Why? The astronauts didn’t use their muscles to get around in their weightless environment.–excerpt from Strength Training on the Ball by Colleen Craig

Week of March 26, 2005:        Gum Disease
Gum disease afflicts millions of Americans. It is largely due to nutritional deficiency caused by the consumption of processed nutrient-deprived foods of civilized societies. Once the gums degenerate, they are easily infected by microbes. Nutrients that help maintain normal gums and prevent recession include folic acid, riboflavin, vitamin C, bioflavonoids, vitamin A, vitamin K, calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin D. Healing and regenerating the gums involves taking the appropriate nutritional supplements as well as improving the diet. Improving the diet is a major step in treating gum disease. You can also rub oil of oregano on all gum surfaces twice a day and use a small amount on a toothbrush to brush the teeth.

Week of March 19, 2005:        Eggs
Eggs are one of the most nutritious foods. They come in their own package, full of protein, fats, vitamins, and minerals. When purchasing eggs, look for eggs labeled organic or from vegetarian cage-free chickens. Eggs have all the essential amino acids the body needs. Eggs are one of the few foods that have vitamin D and 13 essential vitamins and minerals. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, eating up to one egg a day has no substantial impact on the risk of coronary heart disease or stroke for people with normal blood cholesterol levels.

Week of March 12, 2005:        Probiotics
The probiotics (beneficial bacteria) found in yogurt, cultured soy, and cottage cheese support overall health. Besides aiding digestion, they are helpful in other important ways. L. acidophilus has been shown to prevent substances in the digestive tract from developing into cancer-causing carcinogens. Probiotics can lower total cholesterol levels in addition to LDL (bad) cholesterol. The severity and duration of diarrhea can be decreased by probiotics. Yeast infections can be prevented by probiotics.

Week of March 5, 2005:        A Positive Attitude is a Key to Good Health
“Happiness is the way you decide to live your life. It isn’t something someone else gives to you. When you are happy with life in general, you are much healthier because you send a positive message to your body. This is how we learn to become our best friend instead of our worst enemy.”

“You have more power over your outlook on life and your feelings than you ever realized.”
“Do you want to become an angel on Earth and develop your soul to its fullest potential by seeing the best in each situation?”
“Do you want create hell on Earth in your own mind by choosing to see the worst in each situation?”
“It’s up to you through your power of choice! Developing our soul is our main purpose on Earth, and each experience has a lesson for us to learn.”
“We have a tendency to want to fix everyone else except ourselves. With our eyes we see what is wrong with the world and everyone else. How can we develop our souls if we are looking in the wrong direction? The only person that we can control is ourselves. The only person that we are responsible for developing is ourselves. Our focus should be on ourselves and not someone else!”

–excerpt from Chapter 11 of The Art of Falling in Love with your Time on Earth by Mannie Billig

Week of February 26, 2005:        Food Additives
Over 10,000 additives are put into the food we eat. They are used to flavor, color, preserve, acidify, alkalize, and emulsify. They are also used for leavening and to enhance the nutritional value. The abundant, spoilage-free food supply is touted by the food industry and credited to the use of the food additives. Health practitioners have condemned these same additives as the source of many of our health problems.

These additives are not food. Most of them are man-made chemicals which the body is not programmed to handle. I.e., they are toxins. It has been estimated that the average American consumes 14 pounds of additives every year. The symptoms of chemical toxicity slowly creep up on us and manifest themselves as arthritis, failing vision, aches and pains, poor digestion, poor immunity, and other ailments attributed to “aging.”

Some of the additives to avoid are as follows:

* Alginate (derived from kelp, used for texturing in dairy products and thickening acidic foods; may cause skin eruptions
* Artificial colorings (numerous problems with these have caused some to be banned)
* Carrageenan (from seaweed and possibly linked to ulcers and cancer in the digestive tract)
* Calcium (or sodium) propionate (anti-mold preservative in bread, possibly linked to migraines)
* High fructose corn syrup (sweetener that is cheaper than sugar and found in almost everything; may be a leading factor in the increasing number of diabetics in USA)
* Hydrogenated oil or partially hydrogenated oil (chemically altered oils that contribute to cancer, heart disease, diabetes, MS, and many other health problems)
* Mannitol (sweetener with half the calories of sugar that may cause abdominal pain and diarrhea)
* Monosodium glutamate (MSG) (a flavor enhancer that may cause nerve cell destruction)
* Sodium nitrate; sodium nitrite (preservative and coloring agent that can form cancer-causing nitrosamines, used in processed meats, smoked fish, and corned beef)
* Sulfur dioxide, sodium bisulfite (prevents discoloration and bacterial growth and used in dried fruit, processed potatoes, and wine; allergic reactions are abundant)

Week of February 19, 2005:        Morgellons Disease
Physicians treating patients with Morgellons Disease believe that it involves a new organism. This organism has been difficult to identify, but appears to infect individuals whose immune systems have been altered by Lyme Disease. The Morgellons Research Foundation is working to identify this organism and determine the source of the disturbing crawling, stinging, and biting sensations experienced by people with this disease.

Most individuals with this disease report non-healing skin lesions, which are associated with highly unusual structures that can be described as fiber-like or filamentous, and are the most striking features of this disease. In addition, many people consistently report finding objects described as black specks, and granules associated with their skin and skin lesions. The granules have also been described as sand or seeds, but are often seen to have fibers emerging from one end. The elongated fibers are often twisted into balls or what appear to be bundles of fibers, as they grow within the skin. Many people refer to these bundles as fiber balls, fuzz balls, or lint balls. The fibers are clearly hyphae-like structures, and but do not fall within the description of known hyphae or pseudohyphae. The fibers are most often white, but are also consistently seen as blue, black, and sometimes red. The fibers exhibit a high degree of autofluorescence and are not derived from textiles.

Additional organisms may be found on the skin of those with Morgellons Disease, but are considered incidental findings. The only consistencies observed by laboratories affiliated with this foundation, have been the fibers, black specks, and granule-like structures. These consistencies are the main focus of the investigation of the primary cause of Morgellons Disease.

Week of February 12, 2005:        Keep Moving
Find ways to move your body on a daily basis. Climb stairs when you have a choice between stairs and escalators or elevators. Walk the dog, chase your children, mow the lawn, vacuum the house–anything that moves your limbs is not only a fitness tool, it’s a stress buster. Think “keep moving” in small doses. It doesn’t have to be an hour in the gym, a 45-minute aerobic class, or kickboxing, although those activities a few times a week will help. In the meantime, keep moving.

Week of February 5, 2005:        Cataracts
Eating greens nourishes your eyes with important carotenoids–lutein and zeaxanthin–that may help reduce the risk of cataracts, a recent study revealed. Cataracts are a leading cause of vision loss in older people. Good sources for lutein and zeaxanthin are bok choi, collard greens, kale, romaine lettuce, and spinach. Several research studies show that the antioxidant properties of vitamins C and E may protect against the development and progression of cataracts. Good sources of vitamin C are broccoli, Brussels sprouts, collard greens, kale, red cabbage, and snow peas. Good sources of vitamin E include wheat germ, sunflower seeds, pine nuts, sun-dried tomatoes, and almonds. Canned and fresh tomatoes are good sources of both vitamins C and E.

Week of January 29, 2005:        When Your Body Tells You Something, Listen
“Many books have been written about how to be a healthy individual, from eating right to getting enough exercise and the sleep that your body requires. One way to improve our health is to develop our mind and body to a point that we can feel the effect that each action has upon our being.

“For example, if you went out last night to a bar and had too much to drink, the message from your mind and body would develop into what is called a hangover. You would probably feel terrible. More than likely, you would experience a terrible headache and feel bad. What message is your mind and body sending? It’s probably saying, ‘I don’t like this very much. Please don’t do it again because it’s not good for me.’”–excerpt from Chapter 13 of The Art of Falling in Love with Your Time on Earth by Mannie Billig.

Week of January 22, 2005:        Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus (NPH)
Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus is a neurological condition which normally occurs in adults 55-years and older. NPH is an accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) causing the ventricles of the brain to enlarge, in turn, stretching the nerve tissue of the brain causing a triad of symptoms. A quarter million Americans with some of the same symptoms as dementia, Alzheimer’s, or Parkinson’s may actually have NPH but it’s difficult to tell the difference because the symptoms of NPH are in many ways similar to those of Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s. However, the feeling of feet glued to the floor, or difficulty walking is the first symptom to appear in NPH. And it’s different from, for example, Parkinson’s tremors. In Alzheimer’s, memory loss and confusion tend to be early symptoms, whereas in NPH these appear later. Fortunately, once NPH is confirmed, chances are it can be treated.

If you have a friend or family member that appears to have “old-age” problems, please research more about Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus.

Week of January 15, 2005:        The Healing Power of Prayer
Prayer is the most commonly used form of alternative medicine according to a National Institutes of Health survey. A researcher at Yale found that bereaved people who used religion to cope needed fewer doctor visits than those who did not. Other research has shown that prayer improves heart disease, hypertension, and cancer. Several studies have shown that people who have religious faith had fewer symptoms of depression. Another study found that those who pray showed improved heart and lung function. Even heart patients who have others praying for them do better than those who did not. Numerous studies have shown that prayer promotes healing after surgery.

Read more about the power of prayer:

The Power of Prayer in Medicine by Jeanie Lerche Davis
Healing power of prayer revealed (BBC News: Health)
Prayer as a Healing Force by Dr. Larry Dossey M.D
The Healing Power Of Prayer by Harold G. Koenig, M.D.

Week of January 8, 2005:        Tea
Research results from the U.S. Department of Agriculture indicates that drinking black tea can help lower blood levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL), the cholesterol associated with increased heart disease risk. Drinking black tea did not reduce the levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL), the “good” cholesterol.

Researchers at h-density lipoprotein (HDL), the “good” cholesterol.

Researchers at Newcastle University’s Medicinal Plant Research Centre studied the properties of coffee and green and black tea and found both green and black tea inhibited the activity of the enzyme associated with the development of Alzheimer’s. Coffee had no significant effect. The tea also hindered the activity of an enzyme which has been discovered in protein deposits found on the brain of patients with Alzheimer’s. Green tea went one step further by obstructing the activity of a constituent which plays a role in the production of protein deposits in the brain associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Green tea continued to have its inhibitive effect for a week, whereas black tea’s enzyme-inhibiting properties lasted for only one day.

Week of January 1, 2005:        Carob (St. John’s Bread)
Carob is native to the Mediterranean regions but cultivated in other warm climates. The large red pods have been used for food for animal and man since prehistoric times. The pods and their extracted content have numerous common names: locust bean gum and St. John’s Bread. The name of St. John’s Bread came from the belief that they may have been the “locust” eaten by John the Baptist in the wilderness for 40 days (Mark 1:6). It has been claimed that the seeds were the origin of the carat, the measure of weight for precious jewels and metals.

100 grams of the edible portion of the carob pod (about a cup of the entire pod, minus the seeds) contains 352 mg of calcium, making carob one of the richest nonmeat calcium sources. Using the same volume compared to milk (considered a good source of calcium) carob is nearly three times richer in calcium. Carob is also a good source of B vitamins, though not a complete protein.

The pods can be eaten (spit out the seeds). The pods can be cracked and the seeds removed then ground into a flour, which can be added to bread and pasty recipes or blended into liquids like rice or soy milk.

Throughout southern California and the Southwest, there are tens of thousands of carob trees, mostly along streets and in parks. The brown leathery pods ripen from September through February.

Week of December 25, 2004:        Aromatherapy
Essential oils are highly concentrated aromatic oils from plant leaves, flowers, seeds, barks, roots, and the rinds of some fruit. These oils have been used since ancient times for aromatherapy, for healing and satisfying the senses. The benefits of essential oils can be acquired through inhalation or external application.

Aromatherapy stimulates the part of the brain dealing with emotions and memory and can affect the mind, mood, and feelings and actually cause physiological changes in the body.

Week of December 27, 2003:        B Vitamins Ease Chronic Pain
The treatment of chronic pain costs almost $100 billion every year. Prescription drugs have many side effects and only cover the pain instead of fixing the problem. A group of researchers in Texas believe that B vitamins may be the solution.

Scientists at Parker Research Institute in Dallas discovered that B1, B6 and B12 taken alone or in combination relieved pain caused by nervous system damage (sciatica, lumbago, facial paralysis, and other conditions).

If you decide to try this, for the best results include the entire range of B vitamins:

B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid), B6 (pyridoxine), folic acid, B12 (cobolamin) .

Week of December 20, 2003:        Natural Vitamins
Clinical evidence and several studies indicate that the body detects the difference and that natural forms of vitamins including A, B-complex, C, D, and E are more absorbable and assimilable by the body and have a more profound effect on deficiencies and disease than synthetics. It has also been shown that sensitive individuals who have reactions to the synthetic vitamins can take the truly natural forms with no problems.

There are some real problems with synthetic vitamins and most supplements containing them. Not only are they synthesized, but are also isolated components completely removed from the family of micronutrients that accompany them naturally in whole foods. They are not intact with their co-factors such as enzymes, co-enzymes, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, trace elements, proteins, phytonutrients, and essential fatty acids as they would be in whole foods or properly manufactured whole food supplements. They cannot possibly have the synergistic, nutritional effect of the whole food vitamins. A natural source of B vitamins is powdered desiccated Argentine beef liver.

Week of December 13, 2003:        Remedy for the Flu
Fortunately, I haven’t had the flu of any variety this year. I received an email from an old friend who was hit by it and hit hard. His wife gave him a remedy to try and it worked. I thought this would be a good thing to share with others who may find themselves in the same boat. Here it is:

Have been under the weather since Tuesday morning. Very upset stomach, very, very, acidic-worst case of diarrhea I can ever remember, and weak. Last night my stomach was so upset I couldn’t sleep. Then about 4:30 AM came a revelation from GOD.

Marsha asked me if we had any rye (the grain). I do all the cooking. Yes, we had rye. She told me to cook some in plain water with a little olive oil and eat it and my stomach would be better. Over the years I have learned it is best to do what she says even, if it sounds strange. This did sound more reasonable than most things she comes up with so I didn’t argue.

I put about 2/3 cup of rye and 1 1/2 cup of water, with 1 TB of olive oil on the stove and cooked it for about 1 hour. It was very good, had no problems and went to bed about 2 hours later. Slept like a baby till noon. No upset stomach or diarrhea. Had some more when I got up and more for supper. I’m slowly eating a few more foods but it seems that things are starting to work again. All I can tell you is, I didn’t bother a doctor, had no medication and I wish Marsha had told me sooner.

Week of December 6, 2003:        Foods that Calm
Foods that enable the release of serotonin and other soothing chemicals into your system can help you maintain or regain your calm. Complex carbs are best for doing this. Eating carbohydrate-rich food raises your body’s insulin level. The insulin then lowers the blood levels of the amino acids that compete with tryptophan, the precursor of serotonin. Once the amino acids are lowered, tryptophan can go to the brain where it is converted to serotonin.

Carbs that have been highly refined, such as WHITE rice, WHITE pasta, and WHITE sugar, will cause the blood sugar levels to spike quickly. The body responds by releasing insulin at a higher level to bring the glucose levels back to normal. The insulin works fast, the glucose level drops, and you’re suddenly get tired, grouchy, and vulnerable to stress

Avoid those roller coaster, up and down swings by eating complex carbs such as whole grains, fruit, vegetables, nuts, and beans. These foods are also filled with the minerals and vitamins you require to fight stress-induced nutrient depletion.

When you’re under stress the foods that will help are almonds, broccoli, brown rice, kale, and poultry.

The foods to stay away from when you’re under stress are alcohol, candy, cookies, fast food, and WHITE bread.

Week of November 29, 2003:        Mistletoe
Mistletoe is used by herbalists for hypertension (high blood pressure) and as a complement to cancer therapy. For hypertension it is taken orally (tea or a liquid extract) and combined with other herbs such as hawthorn and garlic. It should be only used under the supervision of a qualified health care professional. When used as a complement to cancer therapy, mistletoe is given by injection and available only in Europe.

Week of November 22, 2003:        Avocados
You can’t say enough good things about avocados. Many consider the avocado a perfect food. The content of acid vs. alkaline in avocados is balanced. Avocados are easily digested. Avocados contains all the antioxidant vitamins and are high in vitamin E.

Week of November 15, 2003:        Sulphur
The body contains as much sulphur as it does potassium and it is found in your skin, hair, and nails. It helps to detoxify the body. It helps to boost the immune system. It conteracts the effects of aging and the diseases associated with the elderly.

Sulphur is an essential constituent of protein, biotin, and vitamin B1. It is found in foods such as beef, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, cheese, chicken, eggs, garlic, kale, lettuce, nuts, raw onions, raspberries, and turnips.

Week of November 8, 2003:        Supplement Form With Like Form
A little known trick to supplement your diet is to supplement form with like form. Notice that a walnut looks like a brain. To maintain good brain function, eat walnuts. Slice open a tomato and it has chambers a resembles the heart. To maintain a healthy heart, eat plenty of tomatoes. Slice a carrot and the pieces look like an eye with the radiating marks in the iris. Grapes resemble the blood cells. Eat white grapes (or drink white grape juice) for white blood cells and red grapes (or drink red grape juice) for red blood cells.

Week of November 1, 2003:        Yoga For Good Health
Yoga can help you avoid osteoporosis and offset the detrimental effects of stress in your life.  Classes are offered in most cities and videos are available at the public library.

Week of October 25, 2003:        Chestnuts
Chestnuts have less fat than any other kind of nut. Cashews come in second. Other nuts (in order of their fat content) are: peanuts, almonds, pistachios, walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, brazil nuts, and macadamias.

Week of October 18, 2003:        Relief from a Cold
As soon as you start to feel a cold trying to invade, there’s something you can do to knock it out. Throw a couple chicken drumsticks (organic is recommended) into a pot of water, bring to a boil and simmer all day. After it boils you can add fresh garlic and onions and any other spices you like. Before you serve yourself some fresh chicken soup you can add some noodles to make a complete meal.

I tried this with a man in his eighties who started sneezing and sniffling one day. I made him the fresh chicken soup for his supper and the next day he showed no symptoms of a cold

Week of October 11, 2003:        Eat Cabbage
Eating raw (coleslaw), cooked or even fermented cabbage (sauerkraut) only ONCE a week may cut your chances of colon cancer by 66%.

Week of October 4, 2003:        Selenium
In research elevated selenium in the blood was associated with a significantly better chance that an important tumor-suppressing gene called p53 would be activated. (Just last year an Indiana University School of Medicine study showed striking evidence that selenium intake triggers activity of the p53 gene.) In a Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center press release, the authors of the study warn that “megadosing” with selenium supplements is not recommended, although a toxic dose of selenium is hard to come by.

The U.S. RDA for selenium if 55 mcg, and the average diet probably falls short of that amount. I say “probably” because the selenium content of fruits and vegetables depends on the selenium content of the soil they’re grown in. In the U.S., selenium is most highly concentrated in the soil of six western states: North and South Dakota, Utah, Colorado, Montana and Wyoming. Anyone who lives in these states and eats large amounts of fruits and vegetables daily might be at slight risk of getting too much selenium, but only if they’re also taking a high dosage selenium supplement as well.

Dr. Martin L. Smith, the author of the Indiana University study on the tumor-suppressing p53 gene, noted that in order to reap the cancer preventive qualities of selenium, daily intake should be around 200 mcg. This is well over the RDA, but you would have to get more than 2,500 mcg of selenium per day for an extended period to receive a toxic amount, so the chances of getting a dangerous dose are extremely slim.

Besides fruit and vegetables, bread, fish, and meat all contain selenium. The real selenium powerhouse, however, is the Brazil nut, weighing in at 840 mcg of selenium per ounce.

Week of September 27, 2003:        Arginine
Arginine is a nonessential amino acid found in a variety of foods. It plays a role in several important body functions, including cell division, wound heating, immune function, and the removal of ammonia from the body. Arginine may also be important during growth periods, since experts believe it may stimulate secretion of human growth hormone.

Most people get the arginine they need through food or via production in the body and supplements are not recommended for children. The average U.S. diet provides about 5.5 grams of arginine per day. However, certain conditions can deplete the body’s arginine stores, including infections, severe burns, and injuries.

Foods that contain arginine are oats, nuts, sesame seeds, eggs and meat. Powdered desiccated Argentine beef liver has approximately 165 mg of arginine in 5 grams (see nutritional content).

Week of September 20, 2003:        Water-Soluble Fiber
All dietary fibers are classified as either water-soluble or insoluble. Water-soluble fibers have been shown to support cardiovascular health. Studies have shown that higher fiber intake reduced the risk of heart attack by well over 25 percent. But among those who had the highest intake of fruit and water-soluble fiber, heart attack risk was reduced by an impressive 36 percent. Those with the highest intake of cereal fiber actually increased their heart attack risk by more than 10 percent. This was attributed to the fact that the sources of this type of fiber appeared to be refined grains. But while many food products claim to be “whole grain” or “whole wheat,” the product may actually contain very little of either.

Good quality water-soluble fiber is easy to come by when a little care is taken to find unrefined sources of these foods:

* Fruits, including oranges, peaches, apples, and grapes
* Vegetables, including carrots, squash, and corn
* Nuts and seeds (in particular, psyllium seeds)
* Legumes, including peanuts, lentils, peas, and kidney, black, and pinto beans
* Oats and barley

Buying these items fresh and using them in your meals will insure that you’re getting the good stuff.

Week of September 13, 2003:        Staying Young
Everybody wants to feel and stay young. A few tips on slowing down aging:

Eat foods that reduce aging such as blueberries, cherries, strawberries, garlic, onions, orange and yellow vegetables, dark leafy greens, nuts, seed, cold-water fish, and bran.

Drink plenty of water which helps flush fat and waste out of your system.

Exercise for strength and stretch for flexibility (weightlifting, Yoga, Pilates, ballet).

Supplement your diet with plenty of antioxidants, such as vitamin C, vitamin E, Ginko biloba, etc.

Meditate to reduce stress or use a simple exercise to lower blood pressure: breathe in on 4 counts and breath out for 10 counts for five minutes several times a day.

Do things to stimulate your brain such as reading, watching movies, playing chess, doing crossword puzzles, dancing, playing musical instruments, and playing board games.

Think of aging as a time to love and appreciate life, not to fear death.

Week of September 6, 2003:        Water and the Lack of It
Americans (75%), and most of the world population, are chronically dehydrated. In 37% of Americans, the thirst mechanism is so weak that it is often mistaken for hunger. A glass of water shuts down midnight hunger pangs for most dieters.

Lack of water is the #1 trigger of daytime fatigue. Even mild dehydration will slow down your metabolism as much as 3%. A 2% drop in body water can trigger fuzzy short-term memory, trouble with basic math, and difficulty focusing on the computer screen or on a printed page.

Preliminary research indicates that 8-10 glasses of water a day could significantly ease back and joint pain for up to 80% of sufferers. Drinking 5 glasses of water daily decreases the risk of breast cancer by 79%, and one is 50% less likely to develop bladder cancer.

Weeks of August 23 and 30, 2003:        Adrenal Rebuilding
A great many people in our society suffer from adrenal exhaustion. This exhaustion is caused by undetectable amounts of adrenalin, due to the hectic pace and stress of life in the 21st century, being sent into the bloodstream. Imagine running into a saber-toothed tiger once every 48 hours and you’ll get the idea.

Contrary to what you might think, adrenal powder does not contain hormones. Hormones normally have to be in a moist environment to survive. What adrenal powder does is give you the “building blocks” to rebuild exhausted adrenals, which then in turn will produce the hormones your body requires.

One of the hormones the adrenals secrete is testosterone.

Week of August 16, 2003:        Food vs. a Vitamin Pill
Eating foods that contain antioxidants (substances that prevent free radicals from causing damage) will do a much better job of delivering those antioxidants than a vitamin pill can. Foods high in antioxidants are: apricots, avocados, blueberries, Brazil nuts, cheese (made from raw milk is best), eggs, peppercorns, salmon, sunflower seeds, tea, and tuna.

Week of August 9, 2003:        Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar can be used to alleviate arthritis. Only use organic cider vinegar and never pour boiling water on it as that denatures it. If you’re not used to the taste, start with a teaspoonful in a glass of warm water 3 times a day. Gradually increase the dose as you get used to it. Since blackstrap molasses is also good for arthritis, add a spoonful of that to your mixture, which makes taste better and adds more minerals to your diet.

Don’t stop by the average grocery to pick up apple cider vinegar. You need to use raw, unfiltered, unpasteurized apple cider vinegar with the “mother” in it–usually only available at health food stores. The “mother” in vinegar is the webby looking mess floating in the bottle. While that may not sound too appealing, the ‘mother’ is the bacteria culture that assists the fermentation process in creating the apple cider vinegar.

Week of August 2, 2003:        Caution in Hot Weather
August is normally the hottest month of the year in North America. Even highly conditioned athletes need to take special precautions when they exercise in hot weather. Here are some things to do to protect yourself from the heat:

* Always acclimatize for up to a week when exercising in hot weather conditions. This allows your body to gradually adapt to the heat.
* Hydrate well before thirst kicks in. Once you are thirsty you are already dehydrated.
* Don’t exercise vigorously during the hottest time of day–train closer to sunrise or sunset.
* Wear light, loose clothing, such as cotton, so sweat can evaporate.
* Use sunscreen to prevent sunburn.
* Wear a hat that shades your head and allows ventilation.
* Drink plenty of liquids such as, water or sports drink every 15 minutes.
* If you feel your abilities start to diminish, stop activity and try to cool off.
* Don’t drink alcohol or beverages with caffeine before exercise because they increase the rate of dehydration.
* Remember that it is easier to prevent heat illness than to treat it once symptoms develop.

Week of July 26, 2003:        Fish for Healthy Eyes
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a disorder of the center of the retina, called the macula. There are two types of macular degeneration–dry AMD (the most typical), and the far more debilitating wet AMD in which blood vessels begin to grow in areas of the macula where they shouldn’t be, creating bleeding and scar tissue that lead to severe vision loss.

The National Eye Institute (NEI) has sponsored research–the Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS)–a major, ongoing clinical trial.

Recently they examined the dietary information of more than 4,500 AREDS subjects, aged 60-80 years old. NEI scientists analyzed the results of omega-3 fatty acid consumption through fish intake on subjects whose AMD status ranged from healthy and free of AMD to severe cases.

After variables such as individual medical characteristics and demographic information were accounted for, two striking results stood out:

* Subjects that ate one or more servings of fish each week (four ounces of canned tuna, or the same amount of broiled or baked fish) reduced their chances of developing wet AMD by about one-third.

* Subjects that consumed more than two weekly fish servings cut their chances of wet AMD in half.

In addition, there are whole foods that may help lower your AMD risk. These include yellow-orange vegetables, green leafy vegetables and blueberries. Bilberry (a European cousin of the blueberry) is an excellent antioxidant botanical that’s also very good for the eyes, and especially the macula.

Week of July 19, 2003:        Feverfew and Migraines
Feverfew has a long history of use in traditional and folk medicine as a treatment for disorders often controlled by aspirin, such as fever, headaches and some of the accompanying symptoms such as nausea and depression.

In the last few years feverfew has been gaining fame as an effective treatment for migraine headaches. It may also help diseases caused by chronic inflammation such as arthritis.

I know personally of a woman who had migraines that kept her bedridden for a day and a half when they hit. She never knew when it was going to happen. Several times a migraine came on while she was on vacation which was not only a nuisance, but a very painful situation away from home.

I told her that feverfew was known to help migraines and she was willing to try anything at that point. She has been taking a daily dose of feverfew for almost three years now and she has not had a migraine (she always says, “Knock on wood.”). A couple times she has had a slight headache that she thought might turn into a migraine but it didn’t. She is a true believer in the healing power of feverfew.

Week of July 12, 2003:        Melanoma
Melanoma is a serious form of skin cancer. In men, melanoma is found most often on the area between the shoulders and hips or on the head and neck. In women, melanoma often develops on the lower legs. Melanoma may also appear under the fingernails or toenails or on the palms or soles. The chance of developing melanoma increases with age, but it affects all age groups and is one of the most common cancers in young adults.

Melanoma starts from accumulated DNA damage in a skin cell. Due to the damage, the cell loses it ability to control its growth and it multiplies repeatedly. The deeper the melanoma has advanced through the layers of skin, the more likely it is to be fatal.

There are four basic warning signs in melanoma:

* Asymmetry (if a line was drawn through the middle, the two side would not match)
* Border (irregular in shape with scalloped or notched edges)
* Color (typically brown or black and sometimes mixes of red, white, and blue)
* Diameter (larger that a quarter of an inch, the size of a pencil eraser)

If you notice an odd-looking mole or marking on your skin, contact your healthcare specialist as soon as possible.

Week of July 5, 2003:        Healthy Hair
The most important factor for healthy hair is a well-balanced diet.  Wash your hair daily with a gentle hypoallergenic shampoo to stimulate growth. The fewer chemicals used on your hair the better (use perms, dyes, and sprays as little as possible).

If you have to use a hair dryer, use the lowest possible setting.  After swimming in a pool wash your hair thoroughly to avoid damage by chlorine.  Use natural sunscreen products on your hair such as coffee extracts or wild pansy.  Be gentle when brushing the hair.

Week of June 28, 2003:        Grapefruit Seed Extract
In 1972 Dr. Jacob Harich, a physicist, discovered grapefruit seed extract(GSE). GSE has been used all over the world for the better health of people, plants and animals. Grapefruit extract is used as an antibiotic, antiseptic, disinfectant, and as a preservative in food and cosmetics. Grapefruit extract is also non-toxic, environmentally safe, and quickly biodegradable. It causes no side effects and is often dramatically less expensive than existing treatments.

GSE can be used for athlete’s foot, gingivitis, skin cleansing, sore throats, and sores that won’t heal.

Week of June 21, 2003:        Chew, Chew, Chew Your Food
John Tilden, MD (1851-1940) was a medical doctor in the late 1800s and early 1900s. He explained how eating starch too quickly causes gas in the bowels.

“When digestion of starch is not started in the mouth by thoroughly mixing it with the mouth secretions, fermentation results, and gas fills the stomach and bowels, causing much discomfort. The bloating will in time cause constipation. When the bowels are distended with gas, peristalsis (compulsory action) is overcome, and obstinate constipation follows.” — J.H. Tilden

In other words, chew your food thoroughly, especially if you’re having a starchy food. Chewing food thoroughly also helps if you are trying to lose weight.

Week of June 14, 2003:        Take Care of Your Legs
Experts recommend the following self-care treatments for healthier leg veins.

* Don’t cross your legs when you sit.
* Take warm, not hot, baths, and end by splashing cold water on the legs.
* Avoid high heels. Low-heeled shoes work calf muscles more, which is better for veins. Don’t wear tight clothes around your calves or groin that can restrict circulation.
* Take three or four ten to fifteen-minute breaks every day to elevate your legs above the level of your heart (for example, by lying down with your legs resting on three or four pillows).
* Avoiding long periods of sitting or standing. Make a point of changing your position, shifting from one leg to the other or walk gently back and forth, frequently to encourage blood flow.
* Keep your bodyweight at or below the recommended weight for your gender, age, and height. Losing excess pounds takes unnecessary pressure off your veins.
* Get plenty of exercise. Get your legs moving. Walking is a great way to encourage blood circulation in your legs.

Week of June 7, 2003:        Raw Milk
Raw milk, right from the cow or the goat, is superior to pasteurized milk. Pasteurization alters the physical structure of milk so that many nutrients are lost. A person may become more susceptible to osteoporosis and diabetes due to the alteration.

Another modern process to which milk is subjected is homogenization. During homogenization the fat globules are broken down so they can’t rise to the top (like cream does). Homogenization is linked to heart disease because the transformed fats can puncture the inner walls of blood vessels, requiring cholesterol to heal the wounds, and in turn may lead to a buildup that can cause blockages.

If you can consume raw milk, you can avoid many of the modern diseases so prevalent in society today. If you can’t find a source of raw milk, you may be able to find cheese made from raw milk.

Week of May 31, 2003:        Liquid Chlorophyll
To stop bleeding pour liquid chlorophyll on a tissue and apply to the spot that is bleeding. It stops the bleeding very quickly. It’s a good item to keep in your first aid kit.

Chlorophyll is non-toxic, soothing to body tissues and safe for use by people of all ages. It can be used to clean fruits and vegetables when a few drops are added to water. It can also be used as a nutritional supplement. Taken internally it chlorophyll will:

* Help to cleanse the blood
* Encourage production of hemoglobin
* Strengthen cells
* Improve immune response
* Deodorize the body, including the bowel

Scientists have also found that chlorophyll helps to strengthen cellular walls in animal tissue and helps to promote the elimination of toxins from the body.

Week of May 24, 2003:        Get Your Vitamin D Outdoors
Vitamin D deficiency can cause osteoporosis and other health problems. Most people don’t get their requirements for vitamin D from food, they get it from sunlight. Exposing a few of inches of skin to sunlight for ten minutes a day provides all the vitamin D you need. Good food sources of vitamin D include fatty fish, eggs, vitamin D-fortified milk and butter, but concern about heart attacks has caused many people to reduce their intake of these foods. At the same time, concern about skin cancer has caused many people to reduce their exposure to sunlight. Many senior citizens develop vitamin D deficiency because they do not go outdoors at all.

Week of May 17, 2003:        Flaxseed
Flaxseed is approximately 30% oil, most of which consists of linoleic acid and alpha-linolenic acid. These essential fatty acids (EFAs) cannot be made by the body so they have to come from the diet. These particular EFAs provide moisture, softness, and smoothness to the bladder, hair, and the skin. Studies have shown that flaxseed lowers blood cholesterol and triglycerides. Other studies have shown that flaxseed taken daily helps reduce the symptoms of an enlarged prostate.

Week of May 10, 2003:        Use Your Hands to Help Your Vision
After staring at a computer screen for a long period or reading for quite some time, do this easy exercise to improve your vision. Lie down with a pillow on your chest. Rest your arms on the pillow and place your cupped hands over your eyes. The bottoms of your hands should be lightly resting on your cheekbones and the tips of your fingers should be gently lying on your forehead. Once in this position close your eyes and start to breathe deeply from your stomach. Relax in this manner for ten minutes.

Week of May 3, 2003:        Sunflower Seeds
Sunflower seeds are full of protein and the type of fat they contain are good for you too.

Raw sunflower seeds make a great snack and they’re a lot better for you than a candy bar or a soft drink. Chew them until they’re a liquid before you swallow. Savor the subtle taste as the enzymes in your saliva break them down and prepare the seeds for stomach digestion.

You can also get sprouted sunflower seeds at some health food stores or sprout your own with an inexpensive kit. Sprouting activates the seed which changes as it sprouts. There is a dramatic increase in enzyme levels, seed fats are converted to essential fatty acids and carbohydrates, proteins are converted to essential amino acids and/or sugars, and vitamin levels (on a dry basis) increase substantially. Because of the activated enzymes, sprouts are much easier to digest than dry seeds. Also, as the seed sprouts, the flavor is enhanced.

Week of April 26, 2003:        Eat Good Food and Less of It
Luigi Cornaro lived to the age of 102 by following two cardinal rules:

1) Eat what agrees with your digestion (quality)
2) Eat as little as possible (quantity)

He believed that by following these rules, stopping bad habits, breathing fresh air, and taking sunlight, one’s emotions would come into balance along with one’s health.

Week of April 19, 2003:        Stay Away From Junk Food
Eating highly processed snacks and fast food at the drive-thru will insure disease and obesity. Natural snacks are better for your health and your waistline: fresh fruit, raw nuts, seeds, carrot sticks, celery sticks, homemade popcorn, and salads.

Week of April 12, 2003:        Gallbladder Cleanse
When the gallbladder is working the way it is supposed to, the healthy digestion of food occurs. When food leaves the stomach, the gallbladder releases bile to break down fats as they pass through the first section of the small intestine. Toxins in the bile are eliminated by the body and most of the bile acids are reabsorbed back into the blood. The liver filters the blood and sends the bile to the gallbladder for storage until needed again.

Because of our diet, the gallbladder accumulates gallstones. A gallbladder cleanse will flush them from the gallbladder. There are many products available to accomplish this. You will be able to see the results and may be surprised at the number of stones that are flushed. A cleanse may be done annually or more often if necessary.

Week of April 5, 2003:        Travel Healthy
When traveling by car across the country, bring lots of fresh fruits, nuts, and vegetables. You can add cheese or almond butter to whole wheat crackers. You can usually find 100% juice in vending machines at rest stops and in the quick marts at gas stations along the way. Between snacks drink plenty of bottled water so you don’t dehydrate.

Try to stop, get out and walk around every 2 – 3 hours. You can do this with a quick run into the restroom at rest stops and gas stations as well as when you make stops for fuel. Before you get back into your vehicle, stretch your arms in front, back, and overhead. Stretch the back of each leg so that your hamstrings and calves get a little extra circulation. Bend at the waist forward, backward and to each side. Try to get some sunshine and fresh air too while you’re taking a break from the road.

Week of March 29, 2003:        Ten-Day Rice Diet
A dramatic step to take to improve your health is a ten-day whole brown rice diet (organic is the recommended type to use). This diet is described in You Are All Sanpaku by George Ohsawa. Eating only whole brown rice, water and salt for ten straight days is not easy. You have to really want to improve your health and have the determination to stick to it.

You can get creative even when limited to brown rice. Besides the normal cooking method of whole brown rice, you can grind the grain in a blender or other device and make creamed brown rice. In most health food stores you can find (with no other ingredients) brown rice noodles, brown rice cakes (with salt added if you want), brown rice crackers, and puffed whole brown rice. You can also roast brown rice and make a tea out of it. Then dry the rice and eat the crunchy remains later. To use up leftover cooked brown rice, fry it (no oil) to heat it.

Week of March 22, 2003:        Preventing Memory Loss
On average, we lose nerve cells at a rate of 1% a year, starting in our mid-twenties. As a result, by age 70, we’ve lost more than one-third of the cells critical to memory functions.

Memory loss can be exacerbated by other factors too: stress, depression, disease, nutritional deficiencies (especially of vitamins B1 and B12), and certain prescription medications. Trauma, strokes, and heart attacks can also reduce oxygen flow to the brain, killing cells and causing memory loss.

You don’t have to accept any of these assaults on the brain as indefensible. Through good diet, exercise and helpful supplements, you can help keep the mind sharp and memory intact.

Week of March 15, 2003:        Cholesterol
Cholesterol can come from your diet but your body manufactures most of it. Lowering the consumption of fat in your diet may help but may not be enough to reduce your cholesterol level. There are several things that can help reduce your total cholesterol–fiber, garlic, and lecithin.

Fiber can be added just be consuming more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

Garlic can be taken in a supplement but adding fresh garlic to your meals is cheaper and tastes great.

Lecithin enables fats to be dispersed in water and removed from the body. You can buy lecithin in granule form and add it to smoothies.

Week of March 8, 2003:        Relief from Arthritis
There are four spices found in the kitchen that can relieve the pain of arthritis. Those spices are: celery, ginger, red pepper, and turmeric.

Celery contains more than three dozen anti-inflammatory components and seven arthritis-fighting substances. In addition celery helps to slow aging, lowers blood pressure and cholesterol, and can be used in the treatment of gout.

Ginger contains both anti-inflammatory and arthritis-fighting compounds. Ginger also helps to increase circulation and kill many intestinal parasites.

Red pepper (capsicum) interferes with pain perception in the body and triggers the body to release endorphins. Red pepper (also called cayenne) in an ointment or cream can be rubbed on painful joints four times a day. (Wash your hands thoroughly with soap to avoid getting it in your eyes which can be quite painful.)

Turmeric can alleviate arthritis pain with the substances it contains. Turmeric also can strengthen the immune system and dissolve cysts and gallstones. Turmeric is one of the ingredients in curry.

You can use these spices in soups according to your own taste.

Week of March 1, 2003:        Rice for Good Health
According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition women in southern China who have a rice-based diet are at a lower risk for high cholesterol, diabetes, heart disease, and obesity than the women in northern China who have a wheat-based diet.

Rice bran (rice’s coating) lowers blood sugar when it’s too high. Rice bran also has unique forms of the antioxidant vitamin E. Gamma-oryzanol in rice bran helps convert fat to muscle, enhances blood circulation to the extremities, reduces clots, and improves hormonal balance.

Brown (or unrefined) rice has its bran layers with all the nutrients intact and the fatty acids of the germ protected.

Week of February 22, 2003:        Brown Rice Diet
A brown rice diet can be used to lose weight. On this diet you can eat as much brown rice as you want. The only thing that can be added to the brown rice when you make it is water and sea salt. Do this diet for at least 5 days. You can remain on this diet for up to 10 days.

Week of February 15, 2003:        Antioxidants
During the past fifty years the most significant medical discovery has been that antioxidants minimize the damage done by free radicals in the blood that attack and weaken body tissues. Studies conducted have found that antioxidants help prevent breast cancer, cataracts, colon cancer, heart disease, lung cancer, senility, skin wrinkling, and stroke.

The best source of antioxidants is organically grown fruits and vegetables (at least 3 servings of each per day). If you can’t include all these in your diet, try a supplement. You can find a combination antioxidant supplement which should include vitamin C, vitamin E, and beta-carotene. Of course, the actual fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet that include the fiber are preferable.

Week of February 8, 2003:        Skin and Diet
Individuals who have a higher dietary intake of certain foods have less skin damage and wrinkling. Those certain foods are apples, cherries, dried fruit, eggs, fish, jam, legumes, melons, multigrain bread, nuts, olive oil, olives, pears, prunes, tea, vegetables, yogurt and water.

The foods that are associated with more skin damage and wrinkling are butter, cakes, cordials, margarine, pastries, potatoes, red meat, soft drinks, and sugar products, and whole milk.

Week of February 1, 2003:        Microwave Cooking
They’re convenient and fast, but are microwave ovens really safe? There are very few studies on microwave cooking and food quality. The few studies that have been done all describe some type of damage.

One study showed breakdown of vitamin B-12 to inactive degradation products in microwaved foods. The magazine Health & Healing Wisdom reports that Russian research concerning neurological effects of altered magnetic states of microwaved foods caused the Russian government to outlaw all food microwave apparatus in 1976. Another study showed depletion of antibodies and breakdown of enzymes when breast milk is microwaved.

The FDA found that there’s also a problem with release of potentially toxic molecules into the food from packaging designed to help brown food during microwaving in foods such as pizza, French fries, waffles, popcorn, and breaded fish.

Two Swiss researchers sequestered subjects under close scrutiny and blood tested them after randomly eating food that was either microwaved or conventionally cooked. They found all sorts of potentially nasty stuff: (1) blood hemoglobin levels decreased significantly after ingesting microwaved foods, both total levels and the amount contained in each red blood cell; (2) white blood cell levels tended to increase for no other reason than foods were microwaved; (3) microwaves altered protein molecules; (4) LDL cholesterol (the ‘bad’ type) increased relative to HDL cholesterol (the ‘good’ type).

The Swiss researchers were immediately sued by the “Swiss Association of Dealers for Electroapparatuses for Households and Industry,” and one of them was convicted by the Swiss Federal Court of “interfering with commerce.” The fine was the equivalent of $65,000. The message to other researchers was to think twice before stepping on too many big-money toes.

The best news is that you don’t have to use a microwave oven and there are other ways to heat your food.

Week of January 25, 2003:        Benefits of Sauerkraut
Eating sauerkraut is a great way to protect the balance of bacteria in your GI tract. Sauerkraut is one of the few foods that contain the bacterium Lactobacilli plantarum. L. plantarum is a very dominant strain of healthful bacteria our ancestors consumed regularly.

Sauerkraut juice can be used to treat canker sores. Simply, swish about a tablespoon around in your mouth before swallowing it, morning and evening.

Week of January 18, 2003:        How to Prevent Computer Eyestrain
If you sit in front of a computer a lot, you’re going to experience some eyestrain. Here are some tips to reduce it:

* Set your monitor at, or slightly below, eye level.
* Keep reference material as close to the screen as possible to minimize head and eye movements and changes in focus.
* Minimize the reflection and glare from room lighting and dust the computer screen often.
* Make it a habit to regularly turn away from the computer and look at a distant object for a few seconds. Consciously blink your eyes frequently to keep them lubricated.
* Eat more blueberries, or take bilberry extract daily. The bilberry is a dark blue berry from a shrub found throughout Europe, similar to the blueberry but with more pigments. It can help protect your vision by strengthening the little blood vessels in your eyes. You can find bilberry extract in health food stores. Standardized extracts that specify flavonoid content are the best.

Week of January 11, 2003:        Gum Health
Healthy gums are more useful than glistening white teeth. You can daily massage your gums with 70% edible oil (sesame or coconut or any groundnut) and 15% fine powder of rock salt.

For your teeth, do this teeth exercise to ensure proper blood circulation and increase the life of your teeth and gums:  Keep your lips closed. Pound your upper teeth on your lower teeth 30 to 40 times, twice a day.

Week of January 4, 2003:        Start a Fitness Program
There are quite a few activities that people can start at any age. The top ten for people over 50 are:

Walking
Jogging
Treadmill
Golf
Bowling
Swimming
Bicycling
Fishing
Weight-lifting
Hiking

You need to wear appropriate clothing for the exercise you choose.  Do a different routine every day in order to work different muscles which increases strength.

Week of December 28, 2002:        Limit the Caffeine in Your Diet
It is ironic that people use beverages that contain caffeine to counteract the stress in their life. Too much caffeine weakens the adrenal stress response, leading to eventual exhaustion.

Read the book about the six chemical functions in the body needed for peak performance and optimal health: The Chemistry of Success: Six Secrets of Peak Performance

Week of August 10, 2002:        Cell Phone Precaution
Cell phones are a convenience but what are the health risks involved in using such devices? In 1993, when the cell phone industry’s chief lobbyist hired epidemiologist and pathologist Dr. George Carlo to refute claims that cell phones, which had never been subjected to premarket testing, cause cancer, no one thought he would discover otherwise. But after six years of exhaustive analysis and scrupulous peer review, the results proved that radiation from a cell phone’s antenna can cause the formation of micronuclei red flags for cancer in the brain. Children in particular are more susceptible to the radiation than adults.

The book Cell Phones: Invisible Hazards in the Wireless Age by Dr. George Carlo and Martin Schram has the facts and figures on the hazards of using cell phones. Headaches, dizziness, discomfort and attention disorder are symptoms of the onset of degeneration leading to cancer. Anything over two minutes a day poses danger.

Headsets are being used to try to reduce the risk but obviously, the best way to reduce the risk is to reduce the usage.

Week of August 3, 2002:        Eczema and Oolong Tea
Research in Japan has shown that skin health will improve within a week if a person suffering from eczema drinks oolong tea. The partial fermentation process used to make oolong tea produces high concentrations of polyphenols which is what gives the oolong tea its healing properties.

Oolong tea is also called red tea or yellow tea. You can find it in Asian markets.

Week of July 27, 2002:        Summer and Water
During the hot summer days don’t forget to drink plenty of water. If you are thirsty, you have already dehydrated. When you are working or exercising in the hot weather, drink lots of water before, during and after your physical exertions. The more you sweat, the more water you need to drink. Your body’s cooling systems can’t work properly if you don’t have enough water in your system.

Week of July 20, 2002:        Restaurant Savvy
If you find yourself in a restaurant several times a week, your nutrition and waistline may suffer. You can improve your nutrition and keep extra pounds off by simply being a little careful when ordering your meal.

In the description on the menu, look for items that contain the following: au jus, au vin, baked, balsamic, broiled, fresh, fruit-sweetened, grilled, marinara, marinated, poached, roasted, steamed, vinaigrette, whole-grain, and yogurt.

Avoid items that contain these: Alfredo, au gratin, batter-dipped, bordelaise, breaded, buttery, creamed, crispy, croissant, filo wrapped, fried, gravy, hollandaise, parmigiana, puff pastry, sauteed, scalloped, and stuffed.

Week of July 13, 2002:        Sitting Up Straight
Sitting in front of the computer for long periods of time can cause back problems. Make sure your lower back gets some kind of support from your chair or something else like a small pillow. Keep your ears over your shoulders and your chin parallel to the floor. Keep your shoulders relaxed and sit close to the desk. Get up every half hour to 45 minutes for a short walk and stretch your arms overhead.

Week of July 6, 2002:        Walking
Walking is a great addition to your fitness program. To benefit more from walking, swing your arms while you walk, lengthen your strides, carry light weights in your hands, and walk uphill. Walking outside is better than using a treadmill. Try to slowly increase your weekly “mileage.” Walking after meals will help improve your digestion and control your bodyweight.

Week of June 29, 2002:        Cloves
For a cheap and effective breath freshener, try putting a clove (Szygium aromaticum) in your mouth and let it soften. As you chew the softened spice, it will release oils to freshen your breath. Cloves can also be used to aid digestion, and ease hiccups, nausea, toothache, and vomiting.

Week of June 22, 2002:        Rest
Getting the proper rest and amount of sleep every night is crucial to good health. If you exercise on a regular basis, you’ll find that taking a week off and resting every seven weeks will give yourself a needed break and you’ll be ready for more progress and improvement.

Week of June 15, 2002:        Breathing for Better Health
There’s a trick to breathing that is well known by singers, belly dancers, and those who practice the various forms of Chinese exercise. When you were a baby, you did it.

At your desk at work, or at home watching TV, try a few breaths like this:

Your stomach just below your ribs moves out a little as you breathe in, and goes back down when you breathe out. Just a tiny bit, do it softly and gently. (It feels like you’re breathing down into your tummy a little). You’ll find yourself relaxing and feeling better! Do five or ten breaths to start, whenever you want. You can do more as you get used to it. Little by little it becomes your natural way of breathing, with lots of healthy benefits.

Week of June 8, 2002:        Alternative Health Care
Alternative health care is a method of treating health problems not normally taught in medical schools or used in most hospitals. With the high costs of new technology the cost of treatments by conventional medicine are rising constantly. Getting new drugs to market also runs up costs. There are also many undesirable side effects that occur when someone is “on medication.”

Alternative medicine is not for everyone. Those who think there is a pill or a shot to cure whatever ails them and take no responsibility to make a sound diet and exercise program part of the routines of their life will not find the miracle they’re looking for. For example, those unhealthly people browsing through the health food store and check out with only an herbal supplement and a six-pack of natural root beer just don’t get it. Or someone at the local buffet piling his or her plate with starchy foods but being very careful to drink the diet soda also doesn’t have a clue.

There are many different altenative health care treatments to choose from. Here are just a few:

Acupuncture
Chiropractic
Cranial sacral therapy
Energy work
Herbal cleanses
Massage

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has a website on Alternative Health at http://altmed.od.nih.gov/

Week of June 1, 2002:        Water
When traveling your diet probably won’t be the same as when you are at home. Sometimes you may get constipation merely because you aren’t taking in the same amount of liquids as you normally do. Be sure to drink plenty of water while traveling to keep your digestive system on an even keel.

Week of May 25, 2002:        Travel and Keeping Fit
When you travel, you can keep up with your fitness program by using a little ingenuity. Take the chair that is usually found at the desk in the room and use it to do dips and stretches. Do chest presses on the desk. You can always do some jumping jacks, toe raises, and side bends in an open space.

A week or two of restaurant food doesn’t have to end with extra pounds on the scales. Avoid the bread, pasta and fried stuff. Go for the fruit, veggies, and protein (chicken, salmon, tuna, and eggs). Take your own teabags with you so you can enjoy the flavors you like best.

Week of May 18, 2002:        High Fructose Corn Syrup
The foods you find in the grocery store proclaim loudly “Low Fat” or No Fat.” With the fat taken out the processed food is almost tasteless. To get you to keep coming back for more (sounds like cigarette manufacturers or drug dealers doesn’t it?), they double the sugar content with high fructose corn syrup. The manufacturer makes out like a bandit because you have to have that good-tasting no-fat cookie. You won’t lose any weight chomping down on the no-fat stuff and you will increase your chances of getting diabetes. If you want some food that is good for you, go to the health food store and read the labels carefully.

Week of May 11, 2002:        Eggs
The health of a chicken allowed to walk around outside during the day is much better than the ones in assembly line cages that never see true daylight. The eggs from the free-range (or cage-free) chickens are healthier too. You are what you eat. Check out Unhealthy Food = Unhealthy People.

Week of May 4, 2002:        Headaches, neck and shoulder problems
Sitting in front of a computer for hours at a time can cause headaches and neck and shoulder problems. First, your monitor should be high enough so that you look straight ahead while at the keyboard. Second, get up for a glass of water every 45-60 minutes. Third, occasionally stretch your arms overhead and then behind your back. If you can afford it, a weekly or bi-weekly massage by a licensed massage therapist will help eliminate the knots and contractions that accumulate over the weeks and months of surfing the internet.

Week of April 27, 2002:        Joint Health
Copper is vital for the functioning of an enzyme responsible for strengthening bones and joints. Good sources of copper are peanuts, liver, nuts and seeds.

Week of April 20, 2002:        Hair Health
The amino acids cystine, methionine and cysteine are essential for the health of your hair. Without them healthy growth and repair can’t happen. The best sources for amino acids is protein: beef, cheese, chicken, eggs, nuts, and turkey. A good source of these and other amino acids is powdered, desiccated Argentine beef liver.

Week of April 13, 2002:        Helping Your Immune System
Your immune system will ward off disease as long as you take in the nutrients necessary to keep it functioning properly. Try mixing up smoothies which are filling and have a good ratio of protein to carbs and fats. Start with some tofu and blend with strawberries, raspberries, or blueberries. Berries are some of the best sources of vitamin C and bioflavanoids. Add seeds (sunflower, pumpkin, flax, etc.) to your smoothie for their essential fatty acids. The best time to consume your smoothie is within 30 minutes after it has been made so you don’t lose any nutritional value. Here’s a recipe from The Food Doctor : Healing Foods for Mind and Body that is good for you and tastes good too:

Ruby Tofu Smoothie

3 T. sunflower seeds
1.5 T. pumpkin seeds
18 oz. berries (your choice)
14 oz. organic tofu, drained and diced
3 pints of rice milk or oat milk

Put the seeds in the food processor and grind for 30 seconds. Add the berries, tofu, and rice milk. Blend until smooth and serve immediately. Use your imagination to vary this recipe. Yogurt could be substituted for the tofu, other fruits for the berries, and soymilk for the rice milk. Just be sure to keep the quantity the same.

Week of April 6, 2002:        Ingredients
The most important information on the package of food you buy is the list of ingredients. There are several ingredients to avoid for better health.

Refined sugar is one you want to avoid if possible. Sugar can be listed in many different forms: brown sugar, white sugar, corn sweeteners, high fructose corn syrup, dextrose, glucose, lactose, maltose.
Refined (white) flour has the most nutritious part of the grain removed along with the fiber.

Preservatives are added to extend the shelf life of the food inside the package, not to enhance your nutrition or health.

Food coloring is used to make the food look prettier not for its nutritional value.

Ingredients are listed in order of the greatest to least amount added to the product. If sugar is the first or second item listed, look for a different brand.

How important are the ingredients in your food? Eating too much refined food is a real health wrecker. Read a news article at New Scientist.com: Too much bread or cereal may be making kids short-sighted.

Week of March 30, 2002:        Magnetic Fields and Health
After long space flights, NASA’s scientists discovered that astronauts experienced space sickness and bone loss from the absence of the magnetic field of the earth. They solved the problem by including magnetic-field generators in the space shuttles.

Before space flight brought to our attention the effect of magnetic fields on the human body, Japanese scientists had investigated some unexplained maladies in their urban citizenry. They found that it was the result of magnetic-field deficiency caused by the iron and steel girders used as the base of their modern buildings. Those who spent most of their time in such buildings had been deprived of exposure to the geomagnetic field which resulted in the unexplained maladies. Those who lived in houses made of wood, stone and other natural bulding materials were not plagued with these illnesses. Eventually this led to using magnetic pads to treat those who had been sickened from the deficiency.

Source: from the chapter “Magnetobiology and the Art and Science of Healing” in A Practical Guide to Vibrational Medicine: Energy Healing and Spiritual Transformation by Richard Gerber, M.D. This book covers a variety of alternative healing therapies that treat the body with different forms and frequencies of energy to rebalance the body, mind and spirit.

Week of March 23, 2002:        Oxygen
Everyone knows that we need oxygen to live and that without it we die. What is not known is the amount of oxygen in your body can vary greatly depending upon your lifestyle. When your body is not getting the maximum oxygen, you will experience a decline in energy which can lead to aging, chronic illnesses, and fatigue. The factors that affect the oxygen levels in your body are: air pollution, smoking, carbon monoxide, stress, exercise, and diet.

Air pollution (fumes from factories, cleaning agents, building materials, carpeting, upholstery, etc.) crowds out the oxygen available to you as you breathe. Breathing through the nose will help to block the toxins from entering the body but your system can be overwhelmed. Damage can occur to the lungs and the ability to exchange carbon dioxide for oxygen can be diminished which will cause the lungs and heart to work harder.

Cigarette smoke paralyzes the tiny projections in the lungs called cilia and also decreases the amount of hemoglobin in the blood. Moving back and forth cilia sweep debris out of the lungs. When paralyzed by cigarette smoke, the cilia cannot function properly in keeping the lungs clean. Oxygen intake is diminished by both effects of cigarette smoke on the body.

Exposure to odorless carbon monoxide can limit the amount of oxygen reaching the cells and can be lethal.

Stress can lead to constriction of the blood vessels, tightened muscles, and shallow breathing, all of which lower the amount of oxygen available to the muscles and internal organs.

If you don’t exercise on a regular basis your lungs, heart and blood vessels will grow weaker which will reduce the amount of oxygen available to all parts of the body.

In your diet the raw fruits and vegetables that have the highest water content are also the highest in their oxygen content. Once these foods are processed or refined, their water content is decreased significantly which means the oxygen content is decreased at the same time.

Source: from the chapter “How Oxygen Benefits Peak Performance and Health” in The Chemistry of Success: 6 Secrets of Peak Performance by Susan M. Lark, M.D. and James A. Richards, M.B.A. This book explains the six essential chemical functions of the body and how to maximize them for maintaining top performance and good health.

Week of March 16, 2002:        Irradiated Food
Before you eat food that has been irradiated, you should read up on the process before you decide to eat such food. The “experts” think that “the advantages of irradiating food compensate for the disadvantages.” It is a risk that you do not have to take.

An article in the Reader’s Digest for February 2002, “The Unthinkable” by Susan Freinkel, reported the following on page 66:

What worries experts [scientists who study nuclear terrorism] most is a variation on a 1987 incident in Brazil: Teens got hold of a stolen capsule of Cesium-137 and spread the glittery powder all over their neighborhood. Four people died, more than 200 were contaminated, and 110,000 had to be monitored for radiation exposure. Eighty-five houses had to be destroyed. “It created a hell of a mess,” says Albright. If someone spread Cesium-137–it’s used in medical devices and to radiate food–around a major U.S. city, the potential damage could be devastating.  For further information on Food Irradiation do searches for:

Food Irradiation and Its Regulations
Food Irradiation
Irradiate Food? We Should Clean Up Food Processing Plants Instead
Chemical Formed in Irradiated Food Causes Mutations, Recent Study Reveals
FAQs About Food Irradiation
Nukeburgers – The Industry’s Solution to E-Coli
How Irradiation Affects Food
Alternatives to Food Irradiation

Week of March 9, 2002:        Wash Your Hands
A little handwashing goes a long way. After a workout at the gym, if you’re not showering there, wash your hands carefully with plenty of soap and water. Before you handle food and before eating, wash your hands. This habit can help you avoid the flu, a cold, or an intestinal tract disorder.

More infections are passed by dirty hands than any other way. And in terms of preventing the spread of germs, hand-washing is one of the greatest discoveries of medical science.

Week of March 2, 2002:        Put Fiber In Your Diet
Because the average diet is made up of refined and highly processed foods, most people are fiber deficient. If you can get enough fiber in your diet, you will be less likely to overeat. Foods full of fiber will fill you up and you won’t feel hungry all the time. If you fill your body with nutritionless food, you can suffer from malnutrition and be obese at the same time.

To increase fiber in your diet eat whole foods and grains and avoid the “white” foods–bread, rice, sugar and flour. Buy food you have to cook or prepare before eating (fruits and vegetables). If the food you buy requires only toasting, heating or no heating at all, carefully read the ingredients to avoid the refined and highly processed ones.

Replace white rice with brown rice, white bread with whole wheat bread, regular pasta with whole wheat pasta.

Try using honey or pure maple syrup in your recipes that call for granulated sugar.

Week of February 23, 2002:        Skin Care
For healthy skin try the following:

  • Use herbal products on your skin. Lavender and chamomile are a couple good ones to try. Lotions with Vitamin A, C, and E are good for the hands, neck and face.
  • Try a facial once a month which is good for the skin’s cycle of regeneration as well as helping to ease stress.
  • Avoid products with denatured alcohol, perfumes and fragrances.
  • Don’t wash your skin more than twice a day.

Week of February 16, 2002::        Milk
Ten years ago Michael Zemel, chairman of the Department of Nutrition at the University, of Tennessee in Knoxville, added two cups of yogurt to the daily diets of a group of African American men with high blood pressure to see if it would bring down their blood pressure. The blood pressure readings were lowered, but he noticed something else. The body fat of these men had dropped an average of almost 11 pounds. “It was too striking an effect not to be real,” Zemel says. “But I didn’t have an explanation for it, and I tend not to believe things I can’t explain.”

In the years since his findings were documented, a number of studies have reinforced those findings. In all age groups, childhood through college-age to midlife, it was found that the more calcium from dairy that people consume, the leaner they are. Women have a tendency to gain weight at midlife at the rate of about half-pound to a pound a year, according to Robert Heaney, a calcium researcher at Creighton University in Omaha. The exception in his studies was in women who received 1000 to 1300 milligrams of calcium a day, generally from food. Their weight gain at midlife? Zero.

Zemel theorizes that a high-calcium diet suppresses calcitriol, a hormone that signals fat cells to make more fat and burn less. If you’re exercising and cutting calories to lose weight, he says, you’ll do yourself a favor by making sure you include three or four servings of dairy a day.

Read the full story in the L.A. Times: An Outpouring of Evidence, from October 22, 2001.

Week of February 9, 2002:        Honey
Honey can improve performance and power during exercise. Use a teaspoon in a pint of water and sip the mixture throughout your exercise routine.

Unrefined honey is one of the most pure, digestible, and energy-loaded foods in existence. Levulose and dextrose are its chief components. These types of sugars have the ability to be speedily absorbed into the blood stream without having to go through various breakdown processes.–from Rich Tucker’s Biblical Nutrition

Week of February 2, 2002:        Detoxify
By fasting you can detoxify your body and give your digestive organs a rest.

When you’re not fasting, you can do other things to assist the major detoxification areas of the body–the liver, colon and lymph glands.

Drink 8 to 10 glasses a water a day to flush out impurities through the skin and the kidneys.

Supplement your diet with the herb milk thistle (70 to 210 mg three times daily) which will improve the liver’s ability to detoxify harmful substances.

Replenish the friendly bacteria of the gut with Lactobacillus acidophilus and bifidus (a couple billion organisms a day).

In the evening mix a tablespoon of psyllium husks in plenty of water or juice to sweep the colon walls clean.

Add a thousand mg of vitamin C three times a day which rounds up free radicals.

Do exercises that involve an up and down movement to stimulate the circulation of the lymph fluids which help eliminate wastes and toxins from the body (jumping jacks, step exercises, Hindu squats and pushups).

Increase your intake of fresh fruit and vegetables, and their juices.

Week of January 26, 2002:        Diabetes
There has been a huge increase in the number of Americans that have diabetes. The risk factors for diabetes are:

you have a family history of diabetes
you are of Hispanic, African-American, Asian-American, or Native American descent
you have high levels of cholesterol or triglyceride
you are moderately overweight or obese
you had a baby weighing nine pounds or more at birth
you had high blood-sugar levels during pregnancy

To reduce the risk of diabetes you can do the following:

eat a low-fat diet (avoid hydrogenated fats, use olive oil in their place)
cut back on the white food in your diet–white bread, white flour, white sugar, and white rice
eat whole grain cereals and bread–shredded wheat, brown rice, real whole wheat bread
eat more fruits and vegetables
get more than 5 hours of sleep every night
lift weights to increase the muscle mass which will help you metabolize glucose

Week of January 19, 2002:        The Potato Fix
Potatoes help neutralize acids in the body. The juice of the potato is antibiotic. A raw white potato can be used to draw out toxins from the body. Cut a piece about one-half inch thick. Cut diagonally both ways (criss-cross) on the side to put on the skin where you have an insect or spider bite or even a cyst. Tape it onto the skin with a large band-aid. Check on it after four hours. If it has turned dark, put a fresh piece of potato on it. After four hours remove the potato. The potato will draw out the toxin. If necessary, do it again the next day.

Week of January 12, 2002:        Asparagus
Significant amounts of beta-carotene, vitamin C, folic acid, and potassium are in a half cup of cooked asparagus. Beta-carotene can be converted into vitamin A in the intestine and the liver. Vitamin A is essential for healthy eyes. Vitamin C protects against cancer and heart disease and also helps boost the immune system. Folic acid helps prevent birth defects, cervical cancer, colon and rectal cancer and heart disease. Potassium helps regulate the electrolyte balance within cells, and helps maintain normal heart function and blood pressure. Asparagus is a natural diuretic, and a heart-healthy food, containing no fat, cholesterol or sodium. In 1991, an Italian researcher reported a compound found in asparagus had shown some antiviral activity in test tube studies.

Week of January 5, 2002:        Super Foods
Based on the latest research, there are certain foods that contain phytochemicals that will help in reaching the goal of good health. Try to include these every week in your diet. They are:

Broccoli, cabbage and kale (crusiferous vegetables) stimulate the liver to break down pesticides and other carcinogens in the body.

Carrots, mangos and winter squash (orange fruits and vegetables) help prevent cancer in the lungs, the stomach and esophagus.

Citrus fruits, apples, yams, and red wine have the flavonoids that fight cancer in the body.

Pink grapefruit, red bell pepper’s, and tomatoes contain lycopene that fight cancer in the lungs and the prostate.

Red grapes, blueberries, and strawberries help to prevent clot formation and inhibit tumor growth.

Spinach, collard greens, pumpkins, and avocados help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, and macular dengeneration.

Week of December 29, 2001:        Cold Sores
Cold sores are fluid filled blisters that commonly occur on the lips. They also can occur in the mouth, particularly on the gums and roof of the mouth (hard palate), but this is rare. The pain may precede the appearance of the lesion by a few days.

Cold sores result from a herpes simplex virus which becomes active. This virus is latent (dormant) in afflicted people, but can be activated by conditions such as stress, fever, trauma, hormonal changes, and exposure to sunlight. When lesions reappear, they tend to form in the same location.

Larrea tridentata lotion can ease the pain and help heal cold sores and other lesions in the mouth. Native Americans have long used the larrea plant for treating digestive disorders, rheumatism, venereal disease, sores, bronchitis, chickenpox, influenza, and the common cold. Larrea tridentata lotion is also soothing on other cuts and scrapes on the body. It’s a good item to keep in your first aid kit around the house or in your car.

Week of December 15, 2001:        Homocysteine
Too much homocysteine in the body can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. It is also a neurotoxin which can destroy neurons and the protective myelin sheath. Other diseases affected by excessive levels of homocysteine are Type II diabetes, arthritis, kidney failure, osteoporosis, cancer, and birth defects.

The simple, natural way to keep the level of homocysteine low is DIET. High levels of homocysteine have been linked to deficiencies of vitamin B6, vitamin B12, and folic acid. A basic vitamin B capsule can supply this need or you can get it the natural way, in the food you eat.

The best food sources of vitamin B6 are liver, sunflower seeds, wheat germ, walnuts, and eggs.

The best food sources of vitamin B12 are liver, oily fish and egg yolk.

The best food sources of folic acid are fresh green leafy vegetables (broccoli and spinach), whole grains and liver.

For more information on homocysteine do searches on:

What is Homocysteine?
Homocysteine and Heart Attacks
Homocysteine and Heart Disease
Vegetarians and Vegans Have Elevated Homocysteine Levels

Week of December 8, 2001:        Balance
To maintain proper balance several conditions must occur:

both inner ears must be functioning normally
the brain must be functioning properly (includes the cerebrum, cerebellum, and the brainstem)
you must be awake and alert
the spinal cord must be working
muscle strength must be adequate, especially the leg and trunk muscles
the joints must have adequate flexibility, especially the ankles, knees and hips
After any kind of serious injury to the body (including strokes, broken bones, and joint injuries), the sense of balance may be distorted and may need to be reoriented.

Do searches to learn more about proprioception training.

Week of December 1, 2001:        Losing Weight
To start losing weight, walk for 7 minutes after each meal. At night if you have dessert, don’t eat it until sometime after your 7-minute walk. After you eat dessert, walk another 7 minutes.

If the weather or time interferes with the 7-minute walk, do some other activity such as vacuuming or going up and down steps.

Being in an upright position will help the digestion of your food. Don’t run or do too strenuous an exercise because the blood is needed in the stomach for digestion.

Week of November 24, 2001:        Pomegranates
Research has recently shown that pomegranate juice is more effective than grape juice for disease-fighting benefits. Pomegranate wine and oil have a higher level of flavonoids than red wine which has been touted for its healthy benefits. All pomegranate products have almost the same level of flavonoids as green tea.

For more information on pomegranates do searches for:

What is a pomegranate fruit?
Nutrition of Pomegranates
Punica granatum L.
Pomegranates and Pomegranate Juice

Week of November 17, 2001:        Jumping rope
Jumping rope burns a lot of calories and shapes the calves, thighs and shoulders. You will have to increase your jumping time gradually as your body gets used to this exercise.

There are different types of jumping rope for the sake of variety. First, hold one foot a few inches off the ground and kick it in front of you as you jump to the other foot. Alternate feet as you jump. Second, as you jump shift your weight to the right. On the next jump, shift your weight to the left. Keep alternating from right to left until you finish. Third, jump as fast as you can for as long as you can.

Week of November 10, 2001:        Garlic
The sulfur compounds in garlic give it that distinctive odor. Research has shown that garlic is antibacterial and antiviral. Garlic also helps to reduce cholesterol and boosts immunity. Raw garlic is best for the antibacterial and antiviral benefits. Garlic, raw or cooked, helps to ward off cancer and heart disease.

If a cold has gone down to your throat, a quick way to conquer it is to take five garlic capsules and five cayenne pepper capsules at each meal until it subsides. It’s amazing how fast you can recover by doing this instead of suffering for days.

Week of November 3, 2001:        Eye Health
To maintain good vision you need the basic antioxidant vitamins (B complexes, beta carotene, vitamin C and vitamin E) and the minerals selenium and zinc.

Many fresh fruits and vegetables are good sources of vitamins and minerals. Be sure to include in your diet plenty of yellow and orange colored food such as carrots, yams, squashes, and greens.

A class of nutrients called carotenoids are pigments that that have a direct affect on the eye tissue. Two compounds, lutein and zeaxanthin, have an affinity to the retina and macula of the eye. The lutein and zeaxanthin taken from food accumulate at the visual center of the eye–the macula lutea or “yellow spot” located in the center of the retina close to the optic nerve’s exit.

Research in 1980 showed that animals deprived of these carotenoids developed signs of retinal disease. In 1994 a report by the journal of the American Medical Association revealed that adults that ate three to five servings of spinach weekly (providing 6 mg of carotenoids) experienced a 43 percent reduction of macular degeneration. Macular degeneration is when the central vision becomes blurred and a person cannot focus on what is directly in front of them.

The herbs bilberry and gingko biloba have both been researched for their ability to aid in the structural integrity of the eye. Gingko improves long distance visual acuity and protects the retina from free radical damage. Bilberry’s uses are far reaching when it comes to eye health. A vast amount of research has shown that the use of bilberry has a positive effect with the following eye conditions: diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration, cataract, and glaucoma. Anthocyanosids are the chemical compound in bilberry that gives it the ability to strengthen the connective tissues, to relax muscles, prevent free radical damage, improve blood flow to the eye, and improve night blindness.

Blueberries are related to bilberry (huckleberry) and contain many of the same compounds. Adding them to your diet is important.

Week of October 27, 2001: Essential Oils
When applied to the skin (as during a massage), essential oils begin to work immediately on the tissues of the body. The molecules of the oil are so small that they are quickly absorbed through the pores of the skin and into the bloodstream and carried to every part of the body. There are over 150 different essential oils each with its own scent and healing properties.

Do searches for more information on essential oils:

Aromatherapy & Essential Oils Information
Aromatherapy Explored
Balancing Body, Mind & Spirit With Pure Essential Oils
More About Essential Oils
Twelve Oils of Ancient Scripture
Information about Essential Oils

Week of October 20, 2001:        Help for Motion Sickness
A natural way to combat motion sickness is to use ear candles a few days prior to making your trip. You may have to do each ear several times. The number of times is determined by the amount of matter that is pulled up from the ear. In addition to using ear candles, you can drink ginger tea (boiling water with a teaspoon of ginger from the spice rack) and add B6 supplements to your diet.

Week of October 13, 2001:         Face Massage
A face massage will help open clogged sinuses. It also feels good and helps with relaxation.

For about 30 seconds gently rub the scalp, outer ear, then facial area. Use a good quality natural massage oil or cream on the facial area. First, start at the forehead above the nose and work above the eyebrow area and down to the temple. Second, start at the top of the eyebrow and slowly work down to the cheekbone, then to the side of the nostril, and over to the ear. Third, start at the chin, working up the jawbone to the ear. Fourth, start at the lower neck and go up the neck to the back of the ear. End with massaging the scalp. To add to the relaxation of this massage, play some gentle, relaxing music and burn some aromatherapy candles.

Do searches for further information on face massage and massage oils:

Give Yourself a Face Massage
Face Massage to Prevent Wrinkles
The Technique for a Face Massage
Self Massage – Arms, Abdomen, Face and Neck
Making Homemade Massage Oils
Recipes for Baby Wipes, Massage Oils, and Other Goodies

Week of October 6, 2001:        Colds in Winter
Consider using a humidifier in your home or bedroom and keeping the thermostat slightly lower in the winter months.

The lack of humidity due to overheating the home can make your nose and throat very dry. When that happens, the body cannot efficiently trap germs and expel them through sneezing and coughing.

Week of September 29, 2001:        Wheat, Spelt, and Kamut
Wheat is the most important carbohydrate crop in world trade. Almost every country cultivates wheat.

Whole wheat contains 12 B vitamins and vitamin E. It also has protein, essential fatty acids and numerous trace minerals (copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, zinc).

Many people are allergic to wheat. Some theorize that this is due to the genetic manipulation for smut resistance done in the late 1920s. For those allergic to wheat, kamut and spelt (heirloom wheat varieties) can be eaten instead because they haven’t been altered.

Kamut is a durum (used for pasta) wheat with a high percentage of lipids.

Spelt was cultivated more than 9,000 years ago and is mentioned by name in the Bible (Exodus 9:32, Isaiah 28:25, Ezekiel 4:9). It has an excellent flavor and is more readily assimilated into the body than wheat.

Do searches for more info on these grains:

Kamut: Ancient Grain, New Cereal
Nutritional Analysis of Kamut Grain
What is Kamut?
About Spelt
Spelt: What is it?
What St. Hildegard had to say about spelt

Week of September 22, 2001:        Yogurt
Yogurt has more protein and calcium than an equal volume of milk. The vitamin D and lactose in the yogurt help the body absorb the calcium. Besides helping to prevent osteoporosis, calcium also helps to maintain muscle tone. Yogurt also has plenty of healthy bacteria that helps digestion and gives your immune system a boost. Studies have shown that yogurt helps to prevent yeast infections and colon cancer.

To get the most benefit from consuming yogurt, READ the label CAREFULLY. Avoid brands with sugar added (corn syrup) and artificial flavors. Look for yogurt made from organic milk with live and active cultures (lactobacillus bulgaricus, acidophilus, streptococcus thermophilus). If you buy plain yogurt, you can add your own fruits (applesauce, blueberries, strawberries, orange sections, pineapple chunks). Chopped walnuts or pecans or powdered spices such as cinnamon or ginger can also be added. Use your imagination.

Week of September 15, 2001:        Potassium
There have been numerous studies that show low potassium may play a role in high blood pressure and that people taking potassium supplements had significantly lower blood pressure than those who were not taking supplements.

Some foods that have significant amounts of potassium are: almonds, apricots, artichokes, asparagus, avocado, bananas, barley, beets, brown rice, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, chick peas, chicken, coconut, corn, figs, ginger, kidney beans, kiwi fruit, melons, onions, oranges, papaya, pineapple, potatoes, prunes, radishes, raspberries, rye, spinach, squash, strawberries, sweet potato, tofu, and walnuts. Fresh food is best because potassium is destroyed in foods during the canning process.

Potassium is essential for normal growth and for building muscle. Potassium isn’t stored in the body so you must consume it daily to insure a sufficient amount in your system. Potassium is lost whenever fluids leave the body (urine, sweat, diarrhea, and vomiting). When an excessive amount of fluids are lost, the potassium level in the body may be extra low.

Week of September 8, 2001:        Cloves
Instead of using a mouthwash full of chemicals, try sucking on a clove to freshen your breath. It’s cheaper than mouthwash or gum and easier on your teeth.

For further reading search for:

The Healing Herbs
Cloves–Syzygium Aromaticum
Clove Bud References

Week of September 1, 2001:        Ginger
Try adding ginger to your diet (cereals, breads, juice mixtures, meats, fish, etc.) to keep your intestinal tract clean. Raw ginger is best but powdered works as well.

Ginger also can normalize blood pressure, ease congestion in the throat and lungs, and relieve the symptoms of cold and flu.

Week of August 25, 2001:        Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar has been used as a home remedy for a variety of ailments for years.

Before World War II apple cider vinegar was used to help weight loss. For a person on a diet and with a regular exercise program, the apple cider vinegar works like this:

Eat a protein snack before going to bed (3/4 ounce of chicken, beef, avocado, tuna, or tofu). Follow it with one cup of water mixed with 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar.

When you wake up the next day, drink one cup of water mixed with one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and one tablespoon of honey. Do a short exercise routine and then have breakfast.

Before lunch make two glasses of the mixture of one cup water with the apple cider vinegar and honey (1 tablespoon each). Drink one of the glasses before lunch. Then eat lunch and then follow it with the other glass of the mixture. Don’t have any other beverages.

Before dinner make two glasses of the mixture to drink before and after your meal.

You can do this apple cider vinegar diet for as long as you want. Be sure to brush your teeth or rinse your mouth with water after drinking the apple cider vinegar because it is hard on tooth enamel.

Drinking apple cider vinegar daily will benefit your health in other ways besides weight loss. It can soothe arthritis, shrink an enlarged prostate gland, keep your urinary tract at the correct acid level, clean arteries, curb your appetite, and assist in digestion.

Week of August 18, 2001:        Apples
Remember the old saying, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” ? It was based on observation but science continues to substantiate it.

Apples contain pectin which helps to remove cholesterol, lead, and other toxic metals from the digestive tract.
Apples stimulate the growth of beneficial bacteria in the large intestine.

Apples contain calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, vitamin C, and beta carotene.

Apples are considered to be an A-grade energy food. A-grade foods are the most effective for energy production. Apples release their sugars slowly and provide a consistent release of sugar throughout the day.

Apples can be used in place of expensive concoctions from the drug store: Grated raw apples for fever; steamed apples with honey for a dry cough; apples prepared with agar for eliminating mucus from the lungs.

Be sure to buy organic apples to avoid pesticides and other undesirable chemicals.

Week of August 11, 2001:        Foods to Relieve Stress
Certain foods are good for combating stress. The following can be eaten as snacks or part of a meal:

A milkshake made with fresh blueberries or raspberries
Almond butter on rye toast
Smoked mackerel pâté on wholegrain crackers
Spinach salad with sunflower seeds
Strawberry and kiwi fruit salad
A soy milk smoothie made with mango and sunflower seeds
For some great products, check out these web sites:

Week of August 4, 2001:        Exercise the Brain
To keep your mind sharp, the brain needs a balance of activities every day. Ordinary routines throughout the day offer opportunities to stimulate your brain instead of mindlessly going through the motions. These “exercises” are called “neurobics.” Examples of using routines to stimulate the brain are:

Shower with your eyes closed feeling for the faucets, soap, and towel.
Brush your teeth with the opposite hand that you normally use.
Walk or drive a different way to work (leave earlier if it’s a longer route).
The next time you eat out, try a type of cuisine that you haven’t had before (Thai, Indian, Irish, Japanese, etc.)
Prepare holiday food (Thanksgiving, 4th of July) on an ordinary weekend.
As you listen to music, try to identify the instruments playing.

Week of July 28, 2001:        Unwanted Moles or Warts
If you have any growths such as a wart or mole that you would like to get rid of, try using C-Herb. This is a combination of herbs and mineral salts. The ingredients are: water, fiber, black walnut, burdock, white oak bark, and mineral salts.

To use C-Herb apply it after your shower. Don’t touch this herb, apply it (only a very tiny amount) to the growth with a toothpick and cover it with a bandaid. Do that for 3 days (or nights) in a row. Then leave it alone for 3 days or nights (don’t do anything to the growth). Then apply it again for 3 consecutive days (or nights). Keep doing this until the grow falls off.

Week of July 21, 2001:        Buffalo Meat
Buffalo (also called bison) meat is a healthy alternative to beef. It is prepared just like beef except at a lower temperature to prevent drying. Buffalo meat if cooked properly is just as juicy as beef and more tender.

Buffalo has a much lower content of fat and cholesterol than beef.

Week of July 14, 2001:        Milk Thistle for the Liver
One of the many functions of the liver is detoxifying the body–neutralizing toxins produced within the body and those that originate from the outside. Almost 2 quarts of blood pass through the liver every minute. It filters out toxins delivered by the immune system which eventually leave the body in urine or feces. The liver also neutralizes toxins from air pollution, cigarette smoke, drugs, and pesticides. Alcohol consumption and heavy smoking can damage the liver considerably.

Milk thistle has been used to protect and support the liver for centuries. The active ingredients of milk thistle help strengthen liver cell walls and ease inflammation. One of those ingredients, silymarin, is a powerful antioxidant with more free-radical-scavenging capability than vitamins C and E.

Week of July 7, 2001:        Gallstones
The gallbladder stores bile made by the liver. Bile helps the body digest fats. When the release of bile doesn’t work the way it’s supposed to, tiny crystals may form resulting in the fats not being digested properly and the formation of gallstones. As long as the stone stays put, there’s no problem. If it gets pushed into the duct that goes from the gallbladder to the small intestine and blocks the bile flow, it can result in a gallbladder attack with severe abdominal pain.

Studies have shown that getting plenty of vitamin C, eliminating refined carbohydrates and oils in the diet, and exercising properly all appear to play a part in preventing the formation of gallstones.

Obesity will increase the chance of getting gallstones, so maintaining the proper weight is very important. A yo-yo diet (weight goes down, then back up, then down, then back up) will also increase the risk of gallstones.

If you have gallstones, try peppermint oil. More than seven studies have reported that peppermint products can dissolve gallstones in six months to two years.

Week of June 30, 2001:        Food for Good Health
All the food you eat affects your body a lot more than you can imagine.  If someone suffers from a chronic illness, find out what kind of food they have in their diet (highly refined or whole), what proportions they have of complex carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.

Correcting the diet can work wonders. Choosing to do so takes willpower.

A few examples of how foods can affect your body are:

Celery helps reduce blood pressure.
Cherries remove excess body acids.
Ginger stimulates digestion and boosts circulation.
Mushrooms detoxify the body.
Rye is helpful for the liver.
Sunflower seeds are highly nutritious and good for constipation.

There are many books available that can guide you in choosing what is best for you. I recommend “The New Whole Foods Encyclopedia” by Rebecca Wood.

Week of June 23, 2001:        Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs)
An essential fatty acid (EFA) is a type of fat that the body cannot produce itself. The diet is the only source for these important nutrients. There are two major types of EFAs: Omega-6 fatty acids (linoleic acid and gamma-linoleic acid) and Omega-3 fatty acids (alpha-linoleic acid and eicosapentaenoic acid).

Linoleic acid is found in vegetable oils (corn, safflower, sunflower). However, over-refinement and hydrogenation renders the fat unusable. Consuming an excess of these fats may increase the inflammation levels of the body.

Gamma-linoleic acid is derived from borage, black currant, and evening primrose oils.

Alpha-linolenic acid is found in dark leafy green vegetables, hemp, whole grains, seeds, nuts, and flax oil.

Eicosapentaenoic acid is found in fish oils. The body can make this fatty acid from alpha-linoleic acid found in flax.

According to Dr. Artemis Simopoulos, M.D., co-author of The Omega Diet, omega-3 fatty acids are undetectable in blood samples of 20% of Americans. That 20% must have atrocious diets.

Scientific studies have shown that EFAs increase calcium absorption from the gut, increase the amount of calcium deposited in the bone, stimulate synthesis of bone collagen, improve bone strength, and reduce urinary excretion of calcium.

Week of June 16, 2001:        Lemon for Bruises
A simple healing aid for a bad bruise is half a lemon. Rub the lemon pulp over the bruise as soon as possible. Repeat the lemon treatment every hour. The lemon reduces the swelling and the vitamin C promotes healing.

This tip comes from page 54 of Rainforest Home Remedies: The Maya Way to Heal Your Body & Replenish Your Soul by Rosita Arvigo and Nadine Epstein.

Week of June 9, 2001:        Relax and Stretch at the keyboard
Sitting in front of a computer for hours can be quite stressful on your body. Take ten minutes every hour or two to stretch your muscles (or do one of the following every 15 minutes).

1. Drop your head forward slowly and stretch the back of your neck. Then lift your chin as high as possible. From there roll your head to the left, come back to center and then roll your head to the right.
2. Put your hands on your shoulders and twist to the left and then to the right. This will stretch your upper back.

3. Lock your fingers together with palms out and lift them over your head with your elbows straight. Lean slowly to the left and then the right. This will stretch your side.

4. Clasp your hands behind your neck and press your elbows back. This will stretch your chest.

5. From the previous position raise your left elbow and lower your right elbow pulling your hands toward your right shoulder. Then switch with your right elbow up and left elbow down pulling your hands toward your left shoulder.

6. Hold your arms straight out at shoulder level and slowly rotate your arms in small circles, first forward and then backward.

7. With your arms in the same position point your hands to the floor bending at the wrist. Hold as you count to five. Then reverse with your hands pointing toward the ceiling for another five-count.

8. Hold your hands in front of you with the palms down and spread your fingers and thumbs as far apart as possible. Hold as you count to five, then relax.

9. Roll your shoulders forward, down and back as far as you can five times. Then reverse the movement five times. Let your hands hang freely as you do these shrugs.

Week of June 2, 2001:        Thymus Gland
In the upper part of the chest behind the breastbone the thymus gland produces cells for your immune system that help fight infection. As a person grows older the thymus gland shrinks in size and its function diminishes. Before you get out of bed in the morning, tap on the middle of the breastbone with your fingers for five minutes. This exercise will stimulate the thymus gland and boost the health of your immune system.

Week of May 26, 2001:        Sesame Seeds
Add sesame seeds to your diet. They taste good and are good for you. They contain more than ten times the amount of calcium that an equal amount of cow’s milk does. They also contain phosphorous, iron, vitamin A, and numerous amino acids. Hulling the seeds eliminates most of the calcium and other nutrients. Sesame butter is ground from unhulled sesame seeds. Tahini is made from hulled sesame seeds. Like anything else, don’t overdo it.

Week of May 19, 2001:        Zinc
The body needs zinc for healthy skin, hair, and nails, and an efficient immune system.

Here are some signs which may indicate a deficiency in zinc: frequent cold or flu, oily skin, pale skin, stretch marks around abdomen or back, white marks on fingernails.

Foods that are full of zinc: alfalfa sprouts, almonds, asparagus, Brazil nuts, brown rice, buckwheat, cheese, eggs, endive, lentils, liver, mushrooms, peas, radishes, seaweed, sunflower seeds, turkey. (Zinc appears to be absorbed better when it comes from animal sources.)

Behavior or lifestyle that may deplete zinc in the body: alcohol consumption, a calorie-restricted diet, drinking large amounts of coffee or tea, excessive perspiration (due to exercise or sport), hormone medication (birth control pills, hormone replacement therapy), smoking.

Week of May 12, 2001:        Iodine
Iodine is necessary for the thyroid gland to produce the hormones that help to produce energy from fat, control cholesterol levels, stabilize weight, aid reproduction, assist nerve and bone formation, and control the healthiness of hair, skin and nails.

The amount of iodine in the soil in which your food is grown or raised is not a reliable source. To insure adequate consumption, include fish and vegetables from the ocean in your diet. Kelp (a sea vegetable) may be used as a salt substitute to provide iodine in your diet. Iodine can be found in food coloring and dough conditioners which may unintentionally put too much iodine into your system. Too much can cause skin rashes and cause the thyroid to reduce hormone production.

When the body is deficient in iodine, the thyroid gland enlarges to help it absorb any available iodine in the blood. This enlargement of the thyroid is known as goiter. Landlocked people of Switzerland and the U.S. Midwest used to get goiters quite often until iodine was added to table salt.

The recommended daily intake is 150 mcg. The safe upper limit is 1000 mcg.

The best thing to do is to have a well-balanced diet and avoid processed food as often as possible. If you are concerned about your thyroid, you can have a blood test to determine how well it is functioning.

Week of May 5, 2001:        Sleep
Adequate sleep is absolutely essential to maintain a healthy body because that is when the body rebuilds itself.

During the night, human growth hormone triggers proteins throughout the body to build new cells and repair any damage. It is only released during sleep which is why getting the proper amount of sleep is so important.

Foods that contain tryptophan will help you get a good night’s sleep. Good sources are: bananas, dates, figs, nut butters, tuna, turkey, and wholegrain crackers.

Some herbs that help relieve insomnia are: basil, chamomile, dill, kava, and marjoram.

Week of April 28, 2001:        Lower back maintenance
To help maintain a healthy lower back: for five minutes every day, hang forward over a hyperextension bench/Roman chair to stretch out the lumbar portion of your spine.

To prevent boredom, read a magazine article, newspaper, or other item to help pass the five minutes quickly.

Week of April 21, 2001:        Carob (also known as Saint John’s Bread)
St. John the Baptist lived in the wilderness on locusts and wild honey. The locusts referred to were not bugs–they were the pods from the locust tree. We call these pods “carob.”

Carob can be found in snacks sold in health food stores. It is similar to chocolate except that it has no caffeine and no oxalic acids. Carob has less fat and calories than chocolate.

Carob has 3 times as much calcium as milk. It is also a good source of potassium. Carob contains vitamin A and B and other minerals.

Carob also contains tannin. Since tannic acid reduces the absorption of protein through the intestinal wall, it should be used in moderation–especially by children.

Week of April 14, 2001:        Acid pH
Acid pH is a silent killer. The diseases it causes are numerous–arthritis, cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, immune deficiencies, osteoporosis, etc. Diet seems to be the major influence in maintaining the proper pH levels in the body.

When food is broken down, it leaves residues which combine with the fluids in the body to produce either acid or alkaline potentials of pH. Foods are either acid-forming or alkaline-forming.

Some acid-forming foods are: white sugar, soft drinks, meat, coffee, tea, dairy products, and flour products.

To keep your body from becoming too acid, only 20% of the foods you eat should be acid.

A lemon may seem to be an acid-forming food, but it is alkaline in the body.

Week of April 7, 2001:        Got Milk?
The dairy and meat industries utilized 55% of the antibiotics produced in the United States. This demonstrates just how diseased the animals are. Dairy cows are being injected with synthetic growth hormones to increase milk production (as much as 15%). The hormones can cause premature joint degeneration, generalized illness, and mastitis (inflammation of the udder). The mastitis causes pus which can be found in the milk along with antibiotic and pesticide residues.

To extend the shelf life of milk, preservatives, such as formaldehyde (a class A carcinogen), are added.

Try using alternatives to milk: organic milk, rice milk, or soy milk.

Week of March 31, 2001:        Music
Numerous studies have shown that music can actually change physiology (functions and vital processes of living organisms).

Relaxing music can significantly reduce heart rate, respiratory rate, and measurable states of anxiety. Patients hospitalized after having a heart attack exposed to music for two days had fewer complications than the patients who had no music exposure.

Experiments have shown that both systolic and diastolic blood pressure readings have decreased by as much as five points by those listening to music. Too much noise can increase blood pressure by 10 percent.

Listening to music can increase immunity. What happens is an increase of the level of interleukin-1 (an immune-cell messenger molecule that helps to regulate the activity of other immune cells) in the body. It also appears to lower the level of cortisol (a stress hormone that can weaken the immune system when excessive). The level of ACTH, another stress-related hormone, is lowered also.

Certain types of music can boost endorphins (the brain’s natural painkillers) in the body. Endorphins also strengthen the immune system.

There are a couple books that can give you more information on the subject:

The Role of Music in the Twenty-first Century by Fabien Maman and Sounds of Healing by Mitchell L. Gaynor, M.D.

Week of March 24, 2001:        Food fast and cheap
Do you like to drive up to a speaker and within five minutes have a meal to go?

According to Eric Schlosser’s Fast-Food Nation teenage workers making minimum wages serve meat after dropping it on the floor, pick their noses into the food, and watch cockroaches and rats feed and defecate on unprepared foods.

A simple “hamburger” frequently consists of beef from many different cattle (dozens to hundreds) that came from as many as six different countries. In the previous eight years half a million Americans (the majority are children) have been sickened from E. coli infections.

Add a carbonated beverage to that yummy “hamburger” and you get another health hazard laced either with sugar or aspartame. Order a salad with dressing and you get hydrogenated oil, another stumbling block to good health.

Week of March 17, 2001:        Quercetin
When viruses invade your body, they leave behind them a trail of free radicals–tiny unstable substances that can weaken the defenses of your immune system. Quercetin, a natural chemical found in fruits and vegetables, is quite effective in disarming free radicals. Quercetin is one of the most abundant compounds available in fruits and vegetables. To make sure you get enough quercetin, try to have three servings of vegetables and two servings of fruit daily. When you want to give your immune system a good boost, consume a total of nine servings of fruits and vegetables a day. Try including the following foods in your diet to get a good dose of quercetin: apples, berries, black tea, garlic, grapes, onions, peppers, and tomatoes.

Week of March 10, 2001:        Fiber
To maintain a healthy heart and good circulation, fiber is essential. Fiber removes the excess cholesterol and saturated fats from the digestive tract. A shortage of fiber in the diet will allow the re-absorption of cholesterol back into the bloodstream from the intestines.

Fiber also helps to remove the toxic waste that accumulates in the large intestine. Without fiber to clean out the toxic waste, it can be reabsorbed through the intestinal wall back into the bloodstream and may cause fatigue, headaches, and nausea.

A lack of fiber can also cause hemorrhoids and diverticulosis.

The two types of fiber are soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber dissolves in water, and insoluble fiber does not. Soluble fiber is found in the soft pulp of fruits such as berries, peaches, plums, oranges, etc. Insoluble fiber is found in whole grains and legumes such as brown rice, oats, wheat, sweet corn, kidney beans, and lentils.

Include at least three sources of fiber in your diet daily.

Week of March 3, 2001:        Guidelines for Eating Healthy
Not only can you become stronger by eating less, but you can also increase your longevity. Many diseases are caused by inefficiency of the internal digestive organs and overeating is one of the major reasons for this. Inefficient digestion often is the harbinger of many foreign particles in the blood stream, insufficient filtration by the kidneys. Don’t beg for trouble; just eat less.

1. Don’t eat unless you are hungry.
2. Always eat with enjoyment.
3. Don’t stuff yourself.

From: Rich Tucker’s Biblical Nutrition

Week of February 24, 2001:        Thyme
A couple people I know have chronic coughs that are irritating to those who are seated nearby them in restaurants and theaters. An article in a health news magazine recommended drinking tea from the dried leaves of thyme for those who have coughs and bronchial spasms. The article said to drink it three times a day. Both these people tried the tea and benefited quite well much to the appreciation of the patrons of eateries and cinemas. To make the tea, steep a teaspoon of the dried leaves for about 7 minutes. Strain the leaves as you pour into a teacup or mug and add a small amount of natural sweetener such as honey, sorghum, or maple syrup.

Week of February 17, 2001:        Advice from 500 B.C.

“Perhaps one of the clearest explanations of [the members of the Essene communities] diet may be found in the following passage from the Dead Sea Scrolls: ‘Kill not the food which goes into your mouth. For if you eat living food, the same will quicken you, but if you kill your food, the dead food will kill you also. For life comes only from life, and death comes always from death. For everything which kills your foods, kills your bodies also.’ Their lifestyle permitted them to reach advanced ages, attaining 120 years or more with vitality and great endurance.”

–From p. 41 of The Isaiah Effect: Decoding the Lost Science of Prayer and Prophecy by Gregg Braden

That wisdom has been proven scientifically.  See Unhealthy Food=Unhealthy People.

Week of February 10, 2001:        Toxins
You can have toxins in your body no matter how careful you are. You own body will produce toxins as byproducts of metabolism. Those toxins which come from within the body itself are called endotoxins. Endotoxins can irritate or inflame tissues and inhibit normal functions unless they are eliminated from the body.

The harmful substances that come from outside your body are called exotoxins. Exotoxins can irritate the digestive tract. When that happens, your body will tell your immune system to get rid of what it perceives to be foreign invaders. Stomach cramps followed by a spell of diarrhea is one of the quickest ways your body flushes itself. Vomiting could be another result of the irritation.

The major organs of detoxification are the skin, lungs, liver, kidneys, and bowel. They are assisted by the lymph glands and healthy circulation. All these parts of your body require certain nutrients to eliminate the toxins properly–antioxidants, B vitamins, the amino acid glutathione, vitamin C, and plenty of water to keep the whole process moving toward elimination of the toxins.

Week of February 3, 2001:        Food Additives
Ever wonder why the American public has such outrageous health care costs? Check out the additives allowed by the Food and Drug Administration:

Aspartame, which can be found in diet soft drinks, instant desserts, gum, and candy, has been linked to blurred vision, depression, headaches, insomnia, nausea, rashes, tinnitus, and seizures.

Benzoic acid, which is an ingredient in beer, barbecue sauce, fruit juice, margarine, pickles, and soft drinks, may lead to asthma attacks, hives, hyperactivity, and irritation of the eyes and mucous membranes.

BHA and BHT are used in baked goods, breakfast cereals, candy, and shortening and have been implicated in behavioral problems, immune system disorders, kidney and liver damage, and sterility.

BVO (brominated vegetable oil) is found in soft drinks and contains bromate, a poison.

Propyl gallate is used in cereals, frozen dairy foods, gum, vegetable oil, and shortening and has been linked with allergies, asthma, gastric irritation, and kidney and liver problems.

For more details on these approved food additives read Hard to Swallow, the Truth About Food Additives by Doris Sarjeant and Karen Evans.

Read the labels and control what you put into your body.

Week of January 27, 2001:        Brown Sugar
Using brown sugar instead of white sugar is not the healthy way to sweeten your food. It isn’t the same as “brown bread” vs. “white bread” or whole-grain flour vs. refined flour. Brown sugar is made by taking white sugar and stirring in either molasses or caramel coloring. There are natural sweeteners (as opposed to artificial) out there that are more healthy to consume.

Rapadura is made from sugar cane but contains all the minerals, vitamins, and other nutrients of the original plant.

Honey contains enzymes and minerals (the darker honey is, the more minerals it contains).

Stevia is thirty times sweeter than sugar with no calories or nutrients.

Which ever way you choose to sweeten your palate, use in moderation.

Week of January 20, 2001:        Diet Soda
Using diet soda to lose weight is a big mistake. First, the carbonation in the drink stops protein digestion. Protein burns one and one-third its own weight in fat. Burning fat is what you want when you are trying to lose weight.

Second, the chemicals used to replace sugar may be bad for your health. For example, aspartame has been found to cause neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s disease. Aspartame may also induce headaches, nausea, vision problems, and seizures. Studies show that one can of diet soda contains .06% aspartame disguised as natural flavoring that kills brain cells in every sip.

Despite these findings, the FDA still classifies diet sodas as safe products. See How Diet Soda Turns to Poison, Earth Island Journal, Volume 12, no. 4, page 29 (Fall 1997).

Instead of drinking diet soda or any type of carbonated beverage when on a diet, try pure fruit or vegetable juice (no sugar added) or unsweetened tea when trying to lose weight.

Information from the chapter on Malnutrition in Sex, Money and Power: The Bible Shows You How

Week of January 13, 2001:        Fasting
The elimination of toxins and wastes from the body helps it to function properly and supports the immune system. You do this every day through perspiring, sneezing, breathing, urinating, and bowel movements. At times the body gets overloaded and can’t keep up which makes you more vulnerable to disease. When that happens, you need to do something to assist your internal organs. One thing that can be done is fasting. Fasting is one of the oldest methods of detoxifying the body. While fasting you need to drink at least 12 cups of liquid a day. Some things to drink while fasting are: good fresh water, fresh vegetable and fruit juices, and herbal teas. If you want to detoxify and lose weight at the same time, try the three-day diet for as many weeks as it take you to reach your goal.

Week of January 6, 2001:        Nature’s best foods for weight loss
Nature’s best foods to help lose weight are:

Beans and legumes (black beans, kidney beans, lentils)
Fruits (apples, berries, grapes, kiwifruit, mangoes, papaya, pineapple)
Leafy Greens (broccoli, kale, spinach)
Lean proteins (poultry, eggs, fish)
Sweet potatoes
Vegetables (carrots, celery, peppers)
Whole grains (barley, brown rice, oatmeal, whole wheat breads)

The reason these foods work so well is that they all have a high amount of fiber. With these foods you need to consume at least 8 cups of water a day (which also helps you lose weight). These foods help satisfy your appetite better than highly processed foods that have less nutrition due to the processing.

Week of December 30, 2000:        Phytochemicals
Phytochemicals are the chemicals that can be found in plants. Almost all phytochemicals that you ingest act as powerful antioxidants which aid the body in ridding itself of free radicals–the harmful by-products of breathing oxygen and detoxifying. The pigments of plants contain antioxidants to help protect them from the harmful effects of the sun.

You can determine what plants contain beneficial phytochemicals by their color–the richer the color, the higher the phytochemical content. Some foods that contain an abundance of these disease-preventing nutrients are berries, broccoli, kale, peppers, squash, sweet potatoes, tomatoes.

Bioflavonoids are a group of phytochemicals that have antioxidant and immune-boosting properties. Foods that contain some of the most potent bioflavonoids are bilberries, blueberries, purple grapes. and red wine.

Week of December 23, 2000:        Vitamin K
A study at Tufts University that had 900 older men and women participating revealed that the ones whose diets included vitamin K had the lowest incidence of hip fractures. The more vitamin K in their diet, the lower the risk.

250 micrograms of vitamin K a day was found to be protective in the study. To get sufficient vitamin K you need to consume green vegetables on a regular basis (asparagus, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, collards, romaine, spinach or other leafy greens). Vitamin K is also found in cheese and liver.

A vitamin K deficiency can cause a tendency to bruise easily, nosebleeds, internal hemorrhages, or miscarriages.

One form of vitamin K is produced in the digestive tract by friendly bacteria. This bacteria can be destroyed by antibiotics, cholesterol-lowering drugs, and laxatives that contain mineral oil.

Week of December 16, 2000:        Belly Breathing
Belly breathing or deep abdominal breathing, puts air down into the lower portion of the lungs where the exchange of oxygen is most efficient. When you do this, the heart rate slows down, the blood pressure decreases, the muscles relax, anxiety dissipates and the mind becomes tranquil.

Deep breathing can also improve digestion and sleeping and increase your energy. It can also reduce symptoms of depression and PMS and combat infertility and hot flashes.

To learn to do this:

1. Lie on your back with a book on your belly. Relax the muscles of your stomach. The deeply inhale into your abdomen so that the book rises. As you exhale the book will lower back down. (This will help you expand the entire chest cavity.)

2. As you are sitting, place your right hand on your abdomen and your left hand on your chest. When you breathe deeply your left hand should stay still while your right hand goes in and out as you breathe.

3. Watch a clock with a second and hand breathe in slowly for 5 seconds. Then breathe out for 5 seconds.

Week of December 9, 2000:        Relax
Relax by using progressive relaxation. First, loosen your clothing and get comfortable. Lie down in a darkened room with your eyes closed and breathe deeply from your stomach. Concentrate on the air moving in and out as you breathe. Second, tighten the muscles of your feet for ten seconds, then release (keep breathing deeply). Third, work your way up tightening and releasing the sets of muscles of your legs, then your trunk and arms. Finally, you work the muscles of your face.

Do this every day at the same time for 15-20 minutes.

This is also a good method to use to go to sleep on those nights when you can’t get to sleep.

Week of December 2, 2000:        Foods that cause pain
Conditions of chronic pain such as rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis can be relieved by changes in the diet. Some ingredients in food products to avoid if you experience chronic pain are:

Alcohol
Aspartame
Caffeine
Hydrogenated and trans fats
MSG (monosodium glutamate)
Sugar
White Flour