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A Health, Nutrition, and Alternative Medicine Blog

Monday, July 27, 2009

The benefits of green leafy vegetables

Written by Tena Moore

Everyone knows that they should eat their leafy greens, such as kale, spinach and chard, but not everyone knows why. Although most people just think ‘because they are good for me’, that is not the half of it. Leafy greens are extremely healthy for the entire body and mind. Leafy greens boost the immune system, offer energy, help detoxify the body, and protect the body against many diseases, such as cancer. They are also known to offer benefits to the heart, bones and brain.

It’s a little challenging to lump all the leafy greens together to tell you the benefits; they all have their own health benefits. For instance, kale is known to help the body detoxify, keep the brain extra sharp, and decrease the risk of cataracts. Collard greens are known for easing menopausal symptoms, fighting cancers, and keeping the heart and lungs healthy. Spinach is known to protect the body against memory loss, heart disease, and cataracts.
Leafy greens are nutritional goldmines; they offer an abundance of phytonutrients, minerals and vitamins. They protect against osteoporosis, heart disease, cancer, and other diseases. They help prevent cell damage in the body, and some studies have shown they protect against diabetes and help reduce inflammation in the body, cutting the risk of arthritis and other inflammatory diseases. In short, they offer just about every health benefit you can imagine, with no negative effects whatsoever.

Other Posts

Organic food really is healthier
Whole grains can shrink your mid-section and ward off disease
Get more sleep - Lose more weight
The Antioxidant Properties of Chocolate
English cider apples are rich in polyphenols which are also found in Red Wine

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Friday, October 31, 2008

Garlic for Heart Health and Cancer Protection

Available in every grocery store and easy to grow, garlic is a much more than a great seasoning or something to help support your immune system when you are feeling under the weather; garlic offers over 70 health-promoting natural chemicals and improves cardiovascular health.

Garlic can help lower bad cholesterol and blood pressure. It can be used to treat ear infections and other bacterial issues. It can decrease the risk of stroke and heart attack. It can help slow tumor growth and protect against certain cancers, such as stomach, colon, esophageal and breast cancers. It is even used to help people undergoing chemotherapy. The newest studies on garlic have shown it to decrease blood sugar levels and increase insulin release in laboratory animals.


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Friday, October 17, 2008

Can Gum Disease Lead to Cancer?

Studies seem to indicate that gum disease may lead to an increased risk of lung, kidney, pancreatic, and blood cancer. Researchers in England studied the medical records of nearly fifty thousand men who were patients at Lancet Oncology in an effort to ascertain if there is a link between the immune system and both gum disease and cancer.

What they found seems to confirm what scientists have theorized for years, and that is that inflammatory processes within the body may lead to other more serious medical conditions including cancer.

In fact, researchers theorized that gum disease might even of a weak immune system, which in turn may make an individual more susceptible to periodontal disease and hematological cancers. Some researchers even suggested that long-term gum disease might trigger a response from the body’s immune system that allows cancer cells to form.

The study results revealed that the risk of kidney cancer and pancreatic cancer increased nearly fifty percent for individual’s who suffer from gum disease. Additionally, patients with gum disease were thirty percent more likely to suffer from blood cancers such as leukemia. The risk lung cancer increased about fourteen percent if a smoker also had gum disease, and even more astonishing was the fact that gum disease increased the risk of lung cancer among non-smokers as well
The alarming thing about these statistics is that gum disease is preventable with regular dental treatment. This, therefore, signifies the extreme importance of good dental hygiene.

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Monday, June 16, 2008

Can Asthma Be Caused By Dairy?

Written by Tena Moore

Can asthma be caused by dairy? I never gave the idea a thought until my doctor wanted to put me on daily steroids for my asthma. After refusing the steroid prescription, I shared a pattern I had noticed with my doctor:

I used my inhaler almost every time I ate.

Of course, she wasn't happy that I had decided to refuse the steroids and let me know that if I didn't figure out what was causing the asthma, I'd need to start taking them. She also said she'd give me time to see if I could reduce my asthma by figuring out food allergies.

If you've ever had a food allergy, you know how difficult it is to figure out which food is causing the issue. After looking at my diet habits, I decided it might be dairy. I proposed the idea to a few friends who thought it was preposterous. They could believe it was the weather, my cat, poor air quality or the pollen, but not dairy. While all of those environmental allergens are likely to cause asthma, it didn't explain why I needed to use my inhaler within five minutes after eating cheesy Mexican food or pizza.

Having an allergy to dairy is unlike being lactose intolerant, although they are sometimes confused with each other. Lactose intolerance is an inability to absorb and digest the sugar in milk, known as lactose. Lactose intolerance results in gastrointestinal symptoms, such as bloating, gas, abdominal pain or bloating, diarrhea and vomiting.

Food allergies happen when the body identifies the food as harmful and produces antibodies against the food. In the case of dairy, the body identifies the casein or whey as toxic. A food allergy can involve the body's immune system, cardiovascular system, skin, gastrointestinal tract and respiratory system. A severe food allergy can cause anaphylaxis, swelling of the mouth, throat or airways to the lungs, and an inability to breathe. A less severe food allergy can cause a skin rash or hives, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain and yes, wheezing and asthma.

I did quite a bit of online research and found a variety of opinions on the situation. Then I took the information straight to my doctor. She said that yes, it sounded like I had a dairy allergy and asked me to take dairy out of my diet to see if it helped. It did! She also told me to start taking calcium supplements.

When I came home from the doctor, I called my mother and said, "You're going to think this is weird, but at age 36 I think I have a dairy allergy."

My mom's response was, "Again!?"

I found out from mom that when I was about six months old they diagnosed me with a dairy and egg allergy after I broke out in hives and was rushed to the hospital. When I was about two years old my doctor asked her to start reintroducing me to dairy and eggs in small portions. Slowly, she gave me more milk, cheese and eggs (a source of lecithin), until it was 'normal' for me to eat again. After talking to several people about this, I've found that it's quite normal for babies to have dairy allergies.

In hindsight, I’m not sure that I ever got over my food allergies. I had asthma and allergies throughout my childhood and always sounded congested; perhaps I was just tolerating it and taking allergy and asthma medicine to combat the symptoms.

Without dairy, I am no longer bloated, flatulent or congested. I have hardly any mucus at all, which I thought was something that was 'normal' and the best news of all is that I don't have to start taking daily steroids.

Now, I am on a mission to find out if it is casein or whey that I am allergic to, because I just noticed that wheat gives me some of the same symptoms.

Has anyone else experienced dairy allergies in relation to asthma?

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