Organic fruits and vegetables

Organic fruits and vegetables
To Love Oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance. --Oscar Wilde

Monday, March 30, 2015

Breast Cancer and the Effects of alcohol consumption

Breast cancer is a leading cause of death amongst women.  Several studies have shown significant association between alcohol consumption and breast cancer. Breast cancer is now the most common cancer in the UK. In 2005 more than 45,500 women were diagnosed with breast cancer, that’s around 125 women a day. Risk factors are family history (genetic), sedentary life style, diet, smoking and alcohol. In many recent studies a significant association between alcohol intake and breast cancer has been found. There is an increase risk of 7% for each additional 10 grams of alcohol consumed on a daily basis.

There is a lot of disagreement about whether drinking alcohol has healthy benefits for the body.  Some previous studies have even led to recommendations for drinking a moderate amount (one glass a day) of red wine (but no other alcoholic beverages) to help reduce the risk of heart attack. This comes from the benefits of resveratrol intake.  Resveratrol is an antioxidant that comes from the skins of the grapes that are used to make wine. However benefits from resveratrol can come from just eating fresh grapes or blueberries. If you want to get more resveratrol, consume it in your diet. This way, you'll get more than just resveratrol. You’ll also get fiber that will tell you when it's time to stop eating (are there grapeaholics?) and you won’t have any of the side effects of drinking alcohol.

For instance studies show that even a moderate (one glass a day) alcohol consumption is linked to atrial fibrillation, a condition that can lead to stroke, and to higher rates of breast cancer. Other results suggest that consumption of one or two alcoholic drinks per day by postmenopausal women could increase their risk of breast cancer.  Alcohol is converted to carcinogenic substances through the oxidation of ethanol to acetaldehyde and the generation of free radicals. Alcohol is also being investigated for its’ role in metastasis of tumor cells.

Smith et al found that alcohol intake of at least 30g daily over a period of years increased the risk of breast cancer by 30 to 40% compared with non-drinkers. For postmenopausal women even less than one drink a day was associated with up to a 30% increase in breast cancer mortality compared to non-drinkers.

This information leads me to believe that the perceived benefits of drinking wine are outweighed by the risk of developing breast cancer.  I’ll keep eating my blueberries and grapes and worry about something else for a while.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Soft drinks--love me not

A diet rule:  If you drink a diet soda with a candy bar, the calories in the candy bar are cancelled out by the diet soda.  We all like to find ways to justify drinking soft drinks. We kind of know they’re not good for us. But the truth is, becoming daily partners with soda is severely hurting us as a nation.  The National Domestic Violence Hotline says, “many abusive partners may seem absolutely perfect in the early stages of a relationship.  Possessive and controlling behaviors don’t always appear overnight, but rather emerge and intensify as the relationship grows.” This perfectly describes many peoples’ relationship with soda.  At first, we enjoy soda now and then at a party, or when we’re eating out.  We begin to relate having a fun time with drinking a soda.  We may even find that we “need” to have a soda every time we eat a certain food. We may also find that drinking a soda squirts “feel good” chemicals in our bodies when we’re feeling blue.  So we make that trek to the gas station whenever we’re feeling down.  But after a while, we start needing our soda more regularly until we are drinking it every day or even several times a day. Our need for soft drinks has now become an addictive and abusive habit.   

In 2005 the average American drank 379 sodas per year.  That’s 1¼ 12 oz. cans per day.  The average for diet soda was 171 cans per year. Between 1977 and 2001, Americans’ daily calorie consumption increased by 250-300 calories, nearly half of which came from sugary drinks alone. Drinking soda and other sugary beverages has become the single largest contributor to daily caloric intake. 

Why is drinking all these soft drinks so bad for me? For one thing we risk disease.  We absorb liquid sugar in as little as 30 minutes, much faster than a candy bar, leading to a spike in blood sugar that the body isn’t equipped to handle.  These spikes overwhelm the body and lead to the transformation of sugar into fat in the liver, which directly contributes to both diabetes and heart disease. Those who drink one to two sugar-sweetened beverages per day have a 26% higher risk for developing type II diabetes.

The American Heart Association recommends that Americans consume no more than 5-9 teaspoons of sugar per day.  Many nutritionists take that number down to 0, and tell us to get our sugars from whole foods like apples and dates and bananas.  How much sugar (or high fructose corn syrup) is in a can of soda?  Each brand varies its amount, but 10 teaspoons of sugar is a nice thumbnail average.  So people who drink the average amount of regular soda are consuming an additional 3,700 teaspoons of sugar or other sweetener per year.  An average serving of soda is 150 calories.  If you consume 150 calories every day all year long, you can expect to be 15 pounds heavier.  So reason number #2 is you will gain weight.

“So, that’s why I just drink diet soda.”  I guess we’ll need to go deeper into the list of ingredients to help you see more of the warning signs of abuse. Phosphoric Acid is an important ingredient in all soft drinks.  It’s added to keep the carbon in the carbonated water. In the bloodstream Phosphoric Acid changes the pH of the body so that it is highly acidic.  This is a huge stress on the body.  It acts like battery acid splashed on your skin.  Most immune systems would go on strike in a highly acidic environment. 

Many sodas also contain 2-acetyl-4-tetrahydroxybutylimidazole, or THI.  This caramel coloring suppresses the immune system all by itself. The digestive system cannot make THI into a substance the body can use. THI slows down the immune system, which increases susceptibility to disease.

Have you had time to look at the research on Aspartame, the sweetener of most diet soft drinks?  Some of its’ effects include brain damage, behavioral and mood changes, headaches and migraines, increase in hunger, body weight, and BMI, other health problems like retinal damage, pre-term delivery, and disruption of odor-associated learning.  You can find these studies at this hyperlink: ( )

Among the conclusions that have been found are:
1. Aspartame may be a dietary trigger of headache in some people.
2. Even chewing gum with aspartame can cause headaches.
3. Aspartame triggers migraines in children and adolescents.
4.  One study found that eating artificial sweeteners simply perpetuates a craving for sweets and overall sugar consumption is not reduced.
5.  According to Sharon Fowler, M.P.H: 
“On average, for each diet soft drink our participants drank per day, they were 65 percent more likely to become overweight during the next seven to eight years, and 41 percent more likely to become obese.”
6.  Aspartame can increase the feeling of hunger.
7.  There was an association between intake of artificially sweetened carbonated and noncarbonated soft drinks and an increased risk of preterm delivery.
8.  Aspartame causes a variety of disease in children including headaches, convulsions, unexplained visual loss, rashes, asthma, gastrointestinal problems, obesity, marked weight loss, hypoglycemia, diabetes, addiction (probably largely due to the methyl alcohol), hyperthyroidism, and a host of neuropsychiatric features. The latter include extreme fatigue, irritability, hyperactivity, depression, antisocial behavior (including suicide), poor school performance, the deterioration of intelligence, and brain tumors.
9.  Aspartame is a possible mechanism in causing retinal damage.

Nervous yet?  Countless published studies manufactured by the Food industry try to show that this chemical is safe.  You will find conflicting information when you look for it on the internet. The FDA still allows this ingredient in soda. However if you are struggling with migraines or headaches, weight issues, or addiction to soda, I would say that you need to detox from it as quickly as possible.  And make sure to never give it to children. I wouldn't even drink it while I was pregnant. There may be disagreement on some of the issues with drinking a soft drink.  If you look at the science underlying all of the ingredients involved, you can make a solid case for leaving this marriage as soon as possible.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

A Simple Headache Diet

In my last post, I talked about why we get headaches and the kinds of foods we can avoid to help us overcome our headaches.  This includes processed foods like chocolate, vinegar, pizza, salted or pickled foods, MSG, nuts, food additives, yeast, hydrolyzed protein, baked goods, smoked meats, dairy, coffee, tea, soda, energy drinks and other caffeinated beverages, and alcohol.  We should not drown our headaches in drugs (like codeine, Tylenol, barbituates, and ergotamines). These can cause rebound headaches.  Even aspirin can cause a daily headache. 

So now we know what not to do. What can we eat? Dr. Joel Fuhrman, in his book, “Fasting and Eating for Health” has prepared a sample diet for migraine patients:

A small piece of melon
Oatmeal or other whole grain hot cereal or yeast-free whole grain bread

A large green salad (no dressing except 1 t. olive oil permitted)
Corn, sweet potato, white potato, brown rice, steamed carrots
A Bunch of grapes

A small salad
Steamed green vegetables such as broccoli, artichoke, kale, cabbage, or asparagus
A starchy vegetable or grain (such as butternut or acorn squash, baked potato, corn, millet, quinoa, rice, or pasta). Tomato sauce made without salt is okay. 

This type of diet should clean out most of the toxins in the body in a few days.  You can eat this simple type of diet for up to a month.  Then begin adding one new food at a time back into the diet. Begin with fresh fruits. Next, include legumes, nuts, or seeds.  Try not to swing back into your former eating habits of highly processed, salty, and high-protein, animal based foods.  If you keep doing what you have been doing, you will keep getting what you have been getting. You will invariably end up with headaches again. 

The main risk with home detoxification is when there is withdrawal from long-acting or potent drugs.  These can cause seizures or other difficult withdrawal symptoms.  Often behavioral modification is needed to help patients break their daily, even hourly, medication habit. There may also be co-existing conditions, which worsen during the detoxification process (e.g. depression, anxiety).  In this circumstance medical support is necessary. 

Our bodies are amazing machines.  If given proper clean food, sleep, fresh air, sunlight, and exercise, we will heal naturally. The most efficient cleansing occurs during sleep.  Take advantage of this and make sure to get 12 full hours a day (during sleep time) to rest the body from any food.  This will allow it to devote its efforts to the elimination of wastes. Remember that when we are on a clean diet like this one, we may at first experience some discomfort.  You may have cravings for your favorite sugary or salty foods.  You may still have headaches.  You may feel lethargic and even weak.  But soon those symptoms will go away.  Then you know that the body has finished detoxing.  You will feel light and energetic and Happily Free of your Headaches.

Monday, March 23, 2015

I have a headache

“Often, when I eat at Chinese restaurants, I get a bad headache.”  “When I skip a meal, I suffer with a headache.”  “I wake up every morning with a headache.”  Most of us have suffered from headache at one time or another in our lives.  Headaches are our country’s number one pain problem. It is the most common reason patients visit a doctor.  

Why do we get headaches?  MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia provides an excellent list of headache types and causes. 
1.     Tension headaches are related to stress and holding your head and neck in abnormal positions. 
2.     Migraine headaches have an aura or group or warning symptoms that begin before the headache.  Migraines can be triggered by foods such as chocolate, certain cheeses, MSG, caffeine withdrawal, lack of sleep, and alcohol. 
3.     Rebound headaches are headaches that keep coming back (often from overuse of pain medicines (sometimes called Medication Overuse Headaches). 
4.     A Cluster headache is a very painful headache that occurs several times a day for months. 
5.     Sinus headaches are due to swelling in the sinus passages. 
6.     Headaches due to having a cold, flu, fever, missing a meal, too little sleep, or PMS.
7.     Headache due to “temporal arteritis:” a swollen inflamed artery that supplies blood to part of the head, temple, and neck.
8.     Headache as a symptom of something more serious such as high blood pressure, hemorrhage, brain tumor, hydrocephalus, pseudomotor cerebri, carbon monoxide poisoning, sleep apnea, stroke, brain aneurysm,  or arteriovenous malformation.

What does a headache mean? Dr. Joel Fuhrman says in his book, Fasting and Eating for Health, “Headaches are a signal that something is wrong.  Typically they result from retained toxins in the body.  When these metabolic waste products are eliminated, people can regain their long sought-after-freedom from pain. The major cause of both tension headaches and migraines is the retention of toxins or tissue irritants within the central nervous system.  These chemical irritants may cause an oversensitivity of nerve tissues to other stimuli.”

If this is true, can someone remove these toxins from their body and restore health?  The general physician treats headache with medication, without trying to remove the causes of the headache.  The trouble with any kind of medication is that it is also “toxic.”  According to Dr. Fuhrman, all drugs used to treat headaches can cause rebound headaches as they wash out of the system. Our first line of defense should always be detoxification, and not the “drugging merry-go-round” usually provided patients with headache pain. 

“Often, in order to recover your health, you may have to temporarily feel bad so your body can cleanse itself of an offensive substance.”  --Dr. Joel Fuhrman.  Fasting for a period time, almost always relieves headache symptoms. 

What foods should I avoid? When headaches are caused by severe allergies, avoidance of certain foods can be enough to get rid of headaches.  These foods have been noted to trigger headaches:  Salted foods, chocolate, coffee, baked goods, smoked meats, cheese, ice cream, nuts, eggs, banana, herring, fatty foods, citrus, NutraSweet (aspartame which is often found in diet soft drinks, lemonades, and even gum), Energy drinks, MSG (which goes by many names), nitrates (present in processed meats), concentrated sweets. and alcohol. 

A high protein diet is the most common reason people suffer from headaches.  Protein break down and digestion causes the production of multiple toxins that our small livers cannot handle.  Humans were designed by nature to consume a low protein diet. Reduce animal protein to one or two servings per week. 

What if this doesn't work?  Dr. Fuhrman goes on to explain the kind of diet a migraine sufferer should strictly adhere to until their recovery.  To begin with they should withhold all medications, including oral contraceptives.  When you're suffering from a migraine, it's incredibly tempting to pop a few pills and drown the pain in drug-like foods and beverages like coffee and soda.  These often offer temporary relief, but they bite you back later on when the body has to clear out the toxins they introduce. Stop consuming all herbal preparations, food supplements, tea, soft drinks, coffee and all caffeinated beverages.  The rest of the program the sufferer must avoid all salt, MSG, canned and pickled foods and sauces and any processed foods that may contain preservatives and artificial flavorings.  Also avoid all sweets, including honey, maple syrup, dried fruit or sweet fruit juice.  Eat no animal foods or dairy foods. In the beginning avoid most fruits and all fruit juices. Fruits can be reintroduced once a recovery is achieved.  Even avoiding nuts, seeds, legumes, onions, yeast containing products, and olives at first are essential.

Once a definite recovery has been achieved and the patient is free of headaches for one month, some of the prohibited foods may be added back to the diet.  Add one food every few days, starting with fresh fruits, then legumes, nuts and seeds.  Never return to the former eating habits of highly salted, processed, animal based foods so that the cycle doesn't have to begin again.

Hands down, the quickest and most surefire way to get rid of your headaches for good is to do an extended water fast (Note: fasting should be done with medical supervision). Chronic headaches are usually gone in under a week when all toxic inputs cease and people get as much sleep and emotional, mental, and physical rest that they can. Fasting speeds up the detox process because the body is able to bring more energy to bear on housecleaning when the digestive system goes into stasis and the rest of the body is at rest.