Is It Better to Drink a Little Alcohol than None at All?

Find out if the light to moderate alcohol drinkers prevail at the end of the video. My husband and I have heated discussions about this. We both were very much surprised at the end. Yes, alcohol causes cancer and many other complications. Certain studies like the famous J-shaped curve one, where yes, excessive drinking is bad, but light drinkers appear to actually have lower mortality than abstainers?

Click the video link below to listen for the answer.

— Read on nutritionfacts.org/video/is-it-better-to-drink-little-alcohol-than-none-at-all/

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Kale-A-Bration Time! 

I’ve coined the term, Kale-a-bration because that’s how I feel when my kale plants are thriving beautifully.  There’s a celebratory feeling that comes over me every time Im in my garden.  Kale is my new go-to because it goes in practically every dish I make.  From salads, cold or hot pasta dishes, soups, green juices and can’t forget my smoothies.  My kale patch serves my family of five well, and I still have enough to share with my friends and family.   There’s nothing better than freshly picked kale. The flavors are so strong and the leaves are full of life and vigor.  Growing my own garden saves me a lot of money. What I grow serves my family through the summer and winter months. I freeze my greens, tomatoes and so much more for the winter months.  My favorite is definitely the kale plant. 

Kale is very easy to grow and extremely versatile. It also grows well into the cold winter months.  This superfood is packed with a slew of vital nutrients our bodies depend on.  Just one cup of chopped cooked kale contains 1180% of the daily requirement of vitamin K, 98% of vitamin A and 71% of vitamin C, 27% of manganese, 6% calcium, 22% copper and so much more!  There’s also a mixture of antioxidants like cartotenoids (lutein and zeaxanthin – help promote eye health, protect against cataracts and age-related macular degeneration) and flavonoids (more than 45) which have anti-cancer properties.  It also contains 10% dietary fiber and only has 36 calories! 

The brassicas vegetables are highly nutritious for fighting cancers. It’s beneficial to eat them everyday.  The kale variety I’m growing is known by three names, Lacinato kale, dinosaur kale and Tuscan kale.  It’s one of my favorite to plant because it’s easy to grow from seed, cooks exceptionally well, and the crop loves the cold, so I’ll continue harvesting from this patch way into the winter months. I’m also growing cabbage, collards, bok chow, broccoli and cauliflower. A healthy blend of the brassica family.   My garden is grown with no pesticides or herbicides. I take careful pride in what I plant and how it’s maintained. If I have pest, I don’t spray harmful chemicals.  I rely on ladybugs 🐞 and praying mantis to eat aphids and other small pest, which usually infest my brassicas. If you’re interested in organic pest control, order from Peaceful Vally

Beet This Fact


     Beets are incredibly delicious, easy to grow, and extremely healthy for you.  Did you know that beet roots has cancer fighting properties?   Beets have long been know as a healthy source of nutrients, but scientific evidence also validates their significance as a defense against cancer. Some research even shows cases of remission in cancer patients who were given high concentrations of beet root. I grew my own this year.  There’s nothing better than picking fresh beets and preparing them as you like. 


     This root vegetable is a good source of iron, potassium, phosphorus, calcium, sulfur  magnesium, iodine, and a number of trace minerals. However, it is the synergy between certain elements found only in specific combinations and concentrations within the beet that give it its cancer-fighting power.  The leaves are also eatable and holds valuable nutrients. While other foods contain iron, the human body is able to assimilate it from the beet root more readily than from almost any other food.  Researchers suspect that there is a catalyst in the beet root that helps the body more easily use the available iron. 

     Beet juice powder is one of the most concentrated forms of the root, with a typical serving size being a teaspoon or two added to 8 ounces of water plus 8 ounces of fresh vegetable juice. Larger dosages may be necessary for those with a cancer diagnosis.  I’ve always enjoyed juicing, eating and cooking with all varieties of beets.  After researching beet powder, I am interested in trying it out. The benefits outweighs the taste, especially if you’re looking for healthy alternatives. I grew up seeing my mother with this red vegetable that made a huge mess. I loved handeling it, but I was one of the haters as a young child.  In my family, there were no excuses, I had to eat it.  Now I’m a mom and I’ve included beets in our diets of course, just more creatively. Beets have an earthy taste. Some people like it or hate it. My advise for the non-likers, smoothies and fresh juices are the best ways to consume vegetables. I juice it and blend it in smoothies for my children. Knowing how to combine the different vegetables to off-set the tastes helps tremendously. 

Here are my favorite beet juice recipes. 

Beet Juice – Granny Dearest 

  • 1 Green Granny Smith Apple
  • 1 Inch piece peeled fresh ginger
  • 3 Medium Carrots 
  • 1 Large beet, peeled
  • 1 Medium orange peeled 

 Beet Juice – Energizer 

  • 1 Large beetroot
  • 1 Medium Gala Apple 
  • 1/2 Piece fresh ginger
  • 2 Cucumbers 
  • 1 bunch of parsley 

Smoothie – Beet Powerhouse 

  • 1 Large beetroot (Juiced) 
  • 2 Ripe bananas 
  • 1 Cup strawberries 
  • 1/2 bunch of fresh/frozen kale
  • 1 Cup ice
  • 1 Cup of coconut milk 
  • 1 tsp of raw honey

I hope you enjoy my recipes, and try to come up with your own combinations. Be adventurous and don’t be intimidated to try new things. 

Resources:  Adapted from “Benefits of beets documented to defeat cancer,” by Johnathan Landsman, at http://naturalhealth365.com


Coffee: Who and What To Believe?

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Check these studies out. The first says 3-4 cups of coffee a day reduces the risk of endometrial cancer, which is the most common cancer of the female reproductive organs in the US, affecting around 1 in 37 women in their lifetime. Then the second one says, 4 cups a day is linked to early death. The third claims that the risk of suicide for adults who drank between 2-4 cups of coffee each day was 50% lower when compared with adults who drank decaffeinated coffee, very little or no coffee.

Study links coffee intake with reduced risk of endometrial cancer
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/288988.php

Four cups of coffee a day linked to risk of early death
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/264778.php?sr

Drinking coffee linked to lower suicide risk in adults
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/263962.php

I’m not a huge coffee drinker, but when I do indulge in a cup it’s when I’m totally exhausted and need a quick pick me up. On average, I drink about 2-3 cups a month, and I even go without it for months on end. What will my faith be? Should I start drinking coffee to prevent early death or even suicide?

There are many research studies about coffee consumption, and they can be extremely confusing. One have to wonder what and who to believe? Especially, who’s funding them. I believe in moderation. Too much of one thing is never good for anyone.

More reading:
Coffee and Cancer
Coffee and Health
9 Facts About Coffee That Will Impress Your Friends
Photo credit: Shutterstock

Fresh Bowls of Fruits

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Starting the day off with a fresh bowl of fruit sets the tone for my day. It energizes me and makes me feel full. Having a fruit bowl also reminds me of a hot summer day especially, during these winter snowy days we’ve been having here in New York City. These bowls really brightens up my mornings. I couldn’t tell you when was the last time I had a bacon egg and cheese on a toasted bagel for breakfast. For the past three years my morning breakfasts have been much healthier and much more nutritious.

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A healthy breakfast should contain fruits or vegetables, nuts for added protein and sometimes a whole grain bread or oats. This type of combination of fiber, protein, and a small amount of fat will help provide the nutrients you need to carry you through the day. But for me, a fruit bowl does that same thing.

I can get really creative with my fruit bowls. Depending on what’s in season, I add in one or two citrus fruits, some berries, melons, bananas, apples and even some nuts. Fruit provides vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C and potassium.

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If you notice in all of these picture, I mostly included orange and red colored fruits. Well, according to the International Carotenoid Society, these colors are known to be essential for plant growth and photosynthesis, and are a main dietary source of vitamin A in humans. They are thought to be associated with reduced risk of several chronic health disorders including some forms of cancer, heart disease and eye degeneration. Lycopene is a carotenoid, a natural color pigment that contributes to the red color of tomatoe and various other fruits and vegetables. The yellow/red fruits and vegetables contain mostly hydrocarbon carotenoids (carotenes). The common yellow ones are apricot, cantaloupe, carrot, pumpkin, and sweet potato that are the primary sources of beta-carotene and beta-carotene and several other hydrocarbon carotenoids.

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In part, the beneficial effects of carotenoids are thought to be due to their role as antioxidants. Antioxidants supports cellular activities by fighting off other chemicals known as free radicals.

Consider adding the following orange/red hue fruits and vegetables to your diet for more antioxidants.
Apricots, carrots, oranges, papaya, peaches, pumpkins, cantaloupe, sweet potato, winter squash, tangerines, nectarines, mangoes and butternut squash.
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News Alert: A Must Read for all Women

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The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has partnered up with Keep A Breast Foundation (KAB) last year to develop a new ‘Dirty Dozen’ list that’s geared for women. How amazing is that? Instantly, I felt compelled to share this information.

Breast cancer affects both men and women but, we are affected by it more for obvious reasons. This list is wonderful because it outlines details about hazardous chemicals that increases our changes of getting breast cancer. Plus, it includes ways on how you can avoid them.

The EWG/KAB Dirty Dozen list includes BPA, phthalates and other endocrine disruptors that are widespread in consumer products such as plastic containers, food cans and fragrances. Use the link below to see the full list.

Click here to see the list of the dirtiest and most common used endocrine disruptors.

Resources:
Image: Endocrine System Image

Cruciferous Vegetables

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Cruciferous vegetables—cabbages, cauliflower, broccoli rabe—contain a powerful range of disease fighters. One particular hero, sulforaphane, may increase enzymes that lower the incidence of colon and lung cancers.

A study published in the August 2003 issue of the International Journal of Cancer suggests that eating lots of cruciferous vegetables may provide a significant survival advantage for women diagnosed with ovarian cancer. One of the most aggressive cancers, ovarian cancer claims the lives of 14,000 American women each year.

Try this recipe: Red cabbage, carrots, vegan mayo and almond slices.

Food Facts: Cauliflower

Cauliflower is an excellent source of vitamin C, and a very good source of folate and vitamin K.

According to whfoods website cauliflower is high in vitamin K, which act like as a direct regulator of our inflammatory response. In addition, one of the glucosinolates found in cauliflower—glucobrassicin—can be readily converted into an isothiocyanate molecule called ITC, or indole-3-carbinol.

I3C is an anti-inflammatory compound that can actually operate at the genetic level, and by doing so, prevent the initiation of inflammatory responses at a very early stage.

Like chronic oxidative stress and chronic weakened detox ability, chronic unwanted inflammation can significantly increase our risk of cancers and other chronic diseases (especially cardiovascular diseases).

Cauliflower, a cruciferous vegetable, is in the same plant family as broccoli, kale, cabbage and collards. These vegetables should be included in your daily meal plan to help facilitate detoxification.

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Resource:
For a more in-depth understanding of the benefits of cauliflower read it here at whfoods.com.

Cruciferous Vegetables – Raw, Sauté, Steam, or Fry

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I grabbed all of these items before I left the house. I figured, I’ll cut everything up at lunchtime and create my own salad. If you look closely, There’s no lettuce. I thought, I would use my purple cabbage instead. I eat and cook a lot of different cabbages. There are red, green, and Savoy cabbages, and each one contain different patterns of health benefit.

Cabbage is in the cruciferous family along with broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower. A study published in the August 2003 issue of the International Journal of Cancer suggests that eating lots of cruciferous vegetables may provide a significant survival advantage for women diagnosed with ovarian cancer. One of the most aggressive cancers, ovarian cancer claims the lives of 14,000 American women each year.

According to the whfoods website there are over 475 studies that have examined the role of this cruciferous vegetable in cancer prevention (and in some cases, cancer treatment). The uniqueness of cabbage in cancer prevention is due to the three different types of nutrient richness found in this widely enjoyed food.

The three types are:
(1) antioxidant richness
(2) anti-inflammatory richness
(3) richness in glucosinolates

Incorporate more cabbage in your diet. They’re great lightly sautéed, juiced, steamed or even eaten raw. My salad has about two 2 cups of red cabbage. I enjoy eating cabbage served up in any style. There are do many different benefits in how you consume cabbage. For an in-depth look at these benefits check out whfoods.org.
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Resources:

Study: Miron A, Hancianu M, Aprotosoaie AC et al. [Contributions to chemical study of the raw polysaccharide isolated from the fresh pressed juice of white cabbage leaves]. Rev Med Chir Soc Med Nat Iasi. 2006 Oct-Dec;110(4):1020-6. 2006.

Study: Higdon JV, Delage B, Williams DE, et al. Cruciferous Vegetables and Human Cancer Risk: Epidemiologic Evidence and Mechanistic Basis. Pharmacol Res. 2007 March; 55(3): 224-236. 2007.
Whfoods.org
Top 12 Tips to Prevent Cancer
Eat Cabbage for Beautiful Skin

Some advice to bear in mind when selecting sunscreen:

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■ Look for products with an SPF of 15 to 50, and that are labeled “broad spectrum protection,” meaning they protect against both UVA and UVB rays. Higher SPF values are misleading. “It’s like the gas mileage sticker on a car. It’s based on test conditions that you’ll never achieve in the real world,” said Ms. Lunder.

■ Keep babies younger than 6 months out of the sun, as their skin is especially sensitive. Sunscreen should not be used on infants. If they are outdoors, keep them completely covered and in the shade.

■ Try to keep older children inside when the sun is harshest, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. A bad sunburn in childhood or adolescence doubles the risk of melanoma later in life, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation.

■ Avoid sunscreen sprays. The F.D.A. has banned sunscreen powders (though some products may still be available) and has asked for more data on sprays. The concern is twofold: that not enough sunscreen makes it onto the skin, and that the spray may be inhaled into the lungs.

■ Avoid products with vitamin A, retinol or its derivatives, such as retinyl palmitate and retinyl acetate. At the moment, the F.D.A. says there isn’t enough evidence to suggest these are harmful, but the Canadian health authorities appear to be concerned that the additives increase sun sensitivity. They have proposed requiring that sunscreens with retinyl palmitate carry a warning saying they can increase the possibility of a sunburn for up to a week.

■ The Environmental Working Group recommends avoiding products with oxybenzone, a chemical that may disrupt hormones. Though research has found this effect, many scientists say the effect is so weak as to be insignificant. The advocacy group, however, recommends products that use zinc oxide and titanium dioxide as active ingredients. (These products may leave a milky white film on the skin.)

■ Look for fragrance-free products. Scents bring more unnecessary chemicals and potential allergens to the mix.

■ Take endorsements and seals of approval with a grain of salt. The Skin Cancer Foundation gives a “seal of recommendation” to sunscreens, but only if their manufacturer has donated $10,000 to become a member of the organization.

Source:
Well NY Times Article
Skin Cancer Foundation
How does sunscreen work?