Thursday, March 31, 2011

LIFE

 Forget about the one's who don't. Believe everything happens for a reason. If you get a second chance, grab it with both hands. If it changes your life, let it. Nobody said life would be easy, they just promised it would be worth it. Most of all Wake up each day with a *Smile* on your face. Friday I am having my lab test and Monday I will be having ct scans.   Next week I will be smelling the roses and will be waiting to hear the news......

BALANCING OUR BODIES

Acidifying, Alkalizing, and Acid Foods

Monday, October 19, 2009  
by Christopher Vasey, N.D

Diet is the principal source of the acid and alkaline substances that determine the pH balance or imbalance of the body. It is therefore indispensable to have full knowledge of the properties of the foods you eat and to know precisely whether a given food has an alkalizing or acidifying effect on you personally.

All the foods we eat can be divided into three basic groups: acidifying foods, alkalizing foods, and acid foods. The definitions of the first two groups are based on the effects these foods have on the body - either acidifying or alkalizing - whereas the criterion for the third group is based on a basic property of the food - specifically its acid flavor - and does not consider its effect on the body. What is the reason for this difference?

As much as possible the characteristics of foods should always be defined based on their effects on the body rather than their intrinsic qualities, as it is the effects that concern people who are concerned about their health. In fact, a food can display alkaline characteristics yet have an acidifying effect on the body. This is the case with white sugar, which is used to moderate the acid in the highly acidic tastes of certain fruits such as rhubarb or black currant. While this neutralization is very real on the level of taste, it vanishes when it comes to the body. When metabolized, white sugar produces numerous acids and is therefore strongly acidifying. In matters of therapeutic treatment it is very important to recognize the decisive nature of this effect.

A great mistake made by some dietitians is to consider only chemical analyses of foods and to assume that the body greatly benefits from the nutritive qualities revealed by these analyses.
The great French nutritionist and naturopath P. V. Marchesseau once said that "food has no intrinsic value. The only value it possesses comes from the digestive tract that receives it." How should we define the quality of a food such as grass, for example, when it is good or bad depending on whether it enters the digestive tract of a cow or a human being? The same holds true for foods appropriate for people: raw vegetables are good for someone in good health, but not for a patient with enteritis or colitis. For the latter, the coarse nature of the vegetable fiber causes even greater irritation to an already inflamed digestive tract. Dairy products are beneficial for most people, but not for those who are lactose intolerant, and so forth.

Knowing the effects a food has on the body is of fundamental importance. The foods in the first two groups, acidifying and alkalizing, have been classified according to their observed effects on human beings.

The effect of foods in the third group, that of acid foods, cannot be clearly defined in a definitive manner, unlike the first two groups. It varies according to the individual body's ability to metabolize acids. These foods, primarily fruits, whey, and vinegar, have an alkalizing effect on those whose bodies properly metabolize weak acids, but are acidifying for those whose bodies metabolize acids poorly if at all. As these foods cannot be classified according to their effects, they are defined by their intrinsic characteristic of acid taste.

Generally speaking, the foods from this group are associated with foods that have alkalizing qualities, because that is their effect on the majority of people who eat them. But it would be a serious error to adopt that as the sole classification, because, on the one hand, it does not entirely correspond to the reality, and on the other, most people who are concerned about their acid-alkaline balance have a metabolic weakness toward acids. For them, knowledge of this third group is crucial.
Understanding these three groups permits you to select without risk of error the foods that are necessary to add to your diet to restore the ideal acid-alkaline balance. You should choose foods according to these two rules of thumb:
  • If your body metabolizes acids properly, the quantity of alkalizing and acid foods should be higher than the quantity of acidifying foods.
  • If you have a metabolic inability to handle acids, the quantity of alkalizing foods should be higher than the quantity of acidifying and acid foods.

Two points need to be emphasized. First, the more a person is afflicted by acidification or a metabolic inability to handle acids, the higher should be the proportion of alkalizing foods in the diet in proportion to the others. In fact, while a person with a healthy acid-alkaline balance can eat acidifying and alkaline foods in equal amounts, people with an imbalance should make alkalizing foods 60 to 80 percent of their diet.

Reducing acidifying foods drastically or eliminating them completely would not be wise, because foods rich in proteins (eggs, dairy products, meat, fish) are among the acidifying group. An adequate intake of proteins is a prerequisite for alkaline minerals to establish themselves properly in the tissues. Tissues require proteins to produce a good framework to contain the minerals. Otherwise, a portion of the alkaline minerals ingested will leave the body and will therefore be unavailable when the body needs them to neutralize acids.

Second, the more you suffer from problems caused by acidification or a metabolic inability to handle acids, the greater the necessity to consume a more significant amount of alkaline foods at every meal. If you include those foods in every meal of the day, neutralization of food acids or acids produced in the digestive process is handled directly by the alkaline elements contributed by the food just eaten.
This intake represents a valuable aid to the body, for without it food acids leave the intestinal tract and enter the internal environment, forcing the body to draw from its tissue reserves the alkaline elements it requires to neutralize them. This results in a depletion of the body's mineral content and prompts the appearance of health conditions caused by acidification.

People who can metabolize acids properly are less subject to the necessity of eating more alkaline foods than acid foods. They have good reserves of alkaline elements that can be drawn on when needed to neutralize the acids from a meal that consists exclusively or almost exclusively of acidifying foods.

CANCER

 Alternative cancer treatments really do heal cancer.   Treat the cause and it goes away.

Stress can be health concern contributor

Elaine Blaisdell, Cumberland Times-News, Md.
Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News 03-28-11


March 28--CUMBERLAND -- In today's fast-paced world stress is on the rise, and it can affect physical and emotional health. It is important to learn how to de-stress so that a person's health is not affected, mental health officials say.

"Stress is more prevalent in today's society -- more than ever. Over time, people overextend themselves by getting involved in too many activities, feeling like they have to run all the time," said Cumberland psychologist Dr. Kevin Peterson.

Approximately three-quarters of Americans say they experience chronic stress at unhealthy levels, putting them at risk for heart disease, diabetes and depression, according to the American Psychological Association's 2010 "Stress in America" survey.

Stress is what people feel when they have to handle more than they are used to, according to WebMd. When a person is stressed, his body responds as though it's in danger. Stress makes hormones that speed up the heart, makes a person breathe faster and gives a burst of energy. Some stress is normal; however, if it happens too often or lasts too long it can affect a person's health.

"Prolonged stress causes depression, anxiety, sleep disturbance and causes people to eat poorly," said Peterson. "All this compounds into an unhealthy lifestyle."

"A little stress in our daily lives motivates us to accomplish our tasks -- before the deadline at work, for example," said C.J. Cangianelli, local life coach. "Stress becomes problematic when our eating and sleeping patterns change, when we become unfocused and consumed with worry and anxiety. Listen to your body. It will tell you when your stress has reached unhealthy levels."

In order to de-stress, Peterson suggests simplifying life by focusing on priorities and by asking such questions as: What is it that I want out of life, What can I let go of and What is the source of my stress?
"Focus on the stress and remember that it is a temporary, natural part of life that we all encounter," said Peterson. "Even if you're in a period of stress right now, it will pass. Focus on taking care of the moment and the stress will pass."

Cangianelli recommends determining your cause of stress and making a plan to address it.
"If you are having money troubles, talk to a financial adviser," said Cangianelli. "If you are stressed out over an assignment at work, talk to your supervisor."

Don't spend all your time alone, indoors, stressing about life, says a State Point news service article. Enjoy natural sunlight and the great outdoors. Or spend more time with people who love you for yourself and who have upbeat outlooks about life. These people lift your spirits, help you have fun and even may help solve problems in your life

CHEMOTHERAPY

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

USDA and Organic Certifications

It’s hard to tell these days what “organic” really means. Consumers regularly fall victim to "greenwashing" by companies with questionable ethics. How do you know if a product is completely organic or merely contains an organic ingredient or two?  One solution to this issue was solved by the USDA. They created a set of organic certifications to help distinguish what is really organic. However, it is not as straight forward as you might think.Rate this item
 

National Organic Program (NOP)

The USDA National Organic Program (NOP) is a federal regulation governing organic production, processing, and delivery. The USDA certifications, tests and assessment processes all follow the standards set by the NOP. The USDA is the implementing body of said program.

A Closer Look at USDA Certification

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), in order to protect consumers and organic producers, has set certain standards for producers to qualify their products as certified organic. Adhering to USDA organic standards will entitle producers to use the “organic” label on their products. There are a number of certifying organizations accredited by the USDA to assess products and determine if they meet USDA certification.

Are All Organic Products 100% Organic?

There are actually different levels of certification that the USDA gives to various products. Even if producers would like to have a 100% organic product, there are cases when materials or ingredients available for production do not qualify it as such. The USDA, therefore, has created four levels of categorizing organic products: 100% organic, certified organic, made with organic ingredients, and notating organic substances with an asterisk in the list of ingredients.

Products with a “100% Organic” label utilize only organic ingredients. These items do not contain any additional non-organic ingredients and may be recognized by the USDA Organic seal. Those that are “Certified Organic” use 95-99.9% organic ingredients. Although these products contain 0.1-5% non-organic material, they are also permitted to utilize the USDA Organic seal. Items, however, with only 70-97.9% organic materials, will only be represented with “Made with Organic Ingredients” and may not display the USDA Organic seal. Products containing less than 70% organic ingredients may not carry one of the USDA labels. Any organic ingredients will be marked with an asterisk only indicating their organic nature.

USDA Organic Beef, Dairy and Poultry

Aside from crops, meat and dairy products can also carry the USDA Organic certification if they pass stringent USDA requirements. The raising of the animals and the maintenance of the farms must follow strict guidelines. The producers as well as the processing companies must be USDA organic certified. The production and handling of the food must also meet the organic standards to utilize the USDA Organic seal.

Hidden Health Benefits of Tea

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

U.S. study ranks walnuts as most healthy nuts


 LOS ANGELES, March 27  -- Walnuts have a combination of more healthful antioxidants and higher quality antioxidants than any other nut, U.S. researchers have found.
Study findings were presented on Sunday at the 241st National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS) in Anaheim, Southern California.
Nuts contain plenty of high-quality protein that can substitute for meat, vitamins and minerals, dietary fiber, and are dairy- and gluten-free, ACS researchers said in the study.
Moreover, nuts contain healthful polyunsaturated and monosaturated fats rather than artery-clogging saturated fat, according to the study.

The researchers based their conclusion on analysis of antioxidants in nine different types of nuts: walnuts, almonds, peanuts, pistachios, hazelnuts, Brazil nuts, cashews, macadamias and pecans.
They found that walnuts have the highest levels of antioxidants, with plenty of high-quality protein that can substitute for meat, vitamins and minerals, dietary fiber, and are dairy- and gluten- free.
The latest study adds more evidence that walnuts are top nuts for heart-healthy antioxidants, the researchers said.

Previous studies showed that regular consumption of small amounts of nuts or peanut butter can decrease the risk of heart disease, certain kinds of cancer, gallstones, Type 2 diabetes, and other health problems.
But the latest study is the first to compare both the amount and quality of antioxidants found in different nuts.

"Walnuts rank above peanuts, almonds, pecans, pistachios and other nuts," said Joe Vinson, Ph.D., who led the latest study.

"A handful of walnuts contains almost twice as much antioxidants as an equivalent amount of any other commonly consumed nut. But unfortunately, people don't eat a lot of them. This study suggests that consumers should eat more walnuts as part of a healthy diet."

DEBATE ~ DO WE KNOW THE HISTORY AND WHY IT HELPS MEDICALLY


  The History of Marijuana

Marijuana has been used for thousands of years, both for smoking and for making rope and fuel. Then, between 1937 and 1947, $220 billion was spent by the American government to mount a propaganda war, painting the plant as a source of evil. This despite the fact that, back in 1797, hemp aka marijuana, was the major cash crop of President George Washington at his Mount Vernon estate. Thomas Jefferson also grew hemp.

The cost of outlawing marijuana rose even higher: between 1948 and 1963 the cost came in at $1.5 billion; from 1964 to 1969 – so just four years – the cost had risen to $9 billion. The cost continues to rise.

Marijuana History Milestones
BC 7000 to 8000 Dried hemp woven into fabric 6000 Hemp seeds used as food by the Chinese 2727 Cannabis used as a medication in China 1200 Marijuana used as medication in India 800 Cannabis becomes the ‘sacred grass’ of the hindus 700 to 300 Marijuana becomes high status plant in Scythia An ancient region of Eurasia extending from the mouth of the Danube River on the Black Sea) 500 Marijuana plant was introduced into Europe AD 500-600 Cannabis is mentioned in the Jewish sacred text, the Talmud 900 to 1000 Cannabis becomes popular as a ‘recreational drug’ in the Arab world, where alcohol was prohibited 1492 Columbus did not just ‘sail the ocean blue’ he also introduced the cannabis Sativa plant to America 1619 In Jamestown, Virginia, marijuana becomes a compulsory crop and is used as a trading crop between US and Central and South Asia 1797 George Washington grows marijuana 1798 Napoleon bans the use of marijuana after noting the amount of marijuana smoked by the Egyptians 1840 Cannabis based medicines available in America and hashish medications sold in Persia (Iran) 1876 Marijuana gifted to the Americans by the Sultan of Turkey resulting in an sudden increase in Turkish smoking parlors across North East US 1906 The FDA was formed, giving the government an insight into drug use within the country 1908 Henry Ford uses hemp plastic to make the first Model T. He fuels it with ethanol made from hemp. 1913 Anti-marijuana law passed in California, banning the use of “preparations of hemp, or loco weed 1915 Anti-marijuana law passed in Utah 1919 Anti-marijuana law passed in Texas 1924 Anti-marijuana law passed in Louisiana 1927 Anti-marijuana law passed in New York 1928 Recreational use of marijuana outlawed in the UK 1930 Harry J Anslinger becomes first commissioner of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, declaring war on drugs 1930 First use of the word ‘Muggles’ – not non-wizards as per J K Rowling but bales of marijuana 1936
Reefer Madness propaganda film released stating that marijuana causes madness1937 Marijuana tax introduced into the US – pay a dollar and you could legally grow and sell marijuana. Proof of paying the tax was a stamp; however, the Treasury did not issue any stamps. 1937 First marijuana conviction; Samuel R Caldwell was convicted of selling the marijuana when not in possession of the tax stamp. 1944 New York Mayor, Fiorello La Guardia, called for abolition of the tax stamp. 1950 Harry J Anslinger claims that marijuana is a gateway drug to heroin. 1951 Passing of the Boggs Act results in ruthless sentences for drug offenses because drugs were, apparently, a tool of Communist China. 1956 Narcotic Control Act classifies marijuana as dangerous as heroin and penalties increase even further 1961 Anslinger went to the United Nations and was successful in convincing more than 100 other countries to consolidate their drug laws with those of America, thereby creating a single convention. Thus marijuana became globally illegal 1972 It is estimated that 24 million Americans had used marijuana 1972 Don Crowe – Vietnam War veteran was sentenced to 50 years for selling 1 ounce marijuana. His customer was an undercover police officer and this was Crowe’s first offense. 1972 The National Commission on Marijuana and Drug Abuse released a report that showed marijuana use did not lead to crime. The researchers also reported that police were selective in the people they targeted, going for people with a certain ‘look.’ President Nixon, who had commissioned report, decided to ignore the findings (he reportedly never read the report) and continued with his anti-marijuana crusade. 1972 The Drug Enforcement Agency is created, pulling all the American drug resources into one agency. The DEA had the authority to enter homes without knocking. 1980s President Reagan is in power and there is a reported one arrest every 38 seconds for the violation of marijuana laws 1980s Judge Francis law recommends the reclassification of marijuana as a prescription drug. No action was taken. 1998 Medical Marijuana becomes legal in Washington 1996 1999California passes Proposition 215, allowing the use of medical marijuana Use of medical marijuana becomes legal in Alaska1999 Use of medical marijuana legalized in Maine 1999 Medical marijuana becomes legal in Oregon 2000 Hawaii legalizes medical marijuana 2001 Medical Marijuana becomes legal in Nevada 2003 Medical marijuana becomes legal in Canada 2003 Maryland approves the use of medical marijuana. This law requires the court to consider a defendant’s use of medical marijuana to be a mitigating factor in marijuana-related state prosecution. If the patient, post-arrest, successfully makes the case at trial that his or her use of marijuana is one of medical necessity, then the maximum penalty allowed by law would be a $100 fine.2003 Study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine concludes there are “no major short-term harmful effects, and possibly some beneficial effects” from using marijuana medically in HIV-infected patients taking protease inhibitors 2003 In the Netherlands pharmacies become legally obligated to stock and dispense medical marijuana. They are also required to advise users of the benefits of cannabis tea. 2003 US Government patent the therapeutic use of cannabinoids as antioxidants and neuroprotectants. 2003 California: S.B. 420 signed into law, which will create an ID card for medical marijuana users to show law enforcement officers. 2003 US Supreme Court refuses to hear an appeal in the case of Conant v. Walters, thus turning down “the Bush administration’s request to consider whether the federal government can punish doctors for recommending or perhaps even talking about the benefits of the drug [medical marijuana] to sick patients.” 2003 Of the Deans who responded to a confidential poll, over 60% believed that ‘physicians should have the legal right to recommend or prescribe marijuana to receive symptoms of medical complaints. 2003 In the case of Ashcroft v Raich, the US 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2:1 that people who use marijuana for medical purposes cannot be prosecuted by the federal government so long as they grow their own or obtain it from other growers without charge. 2004 Marijuana reclassified in the UK from a Class B drug to a Class C. Penalty for cannabis possession reduced from 5 year maximum prison sentence to 2 year maximum sentence. 2004 Vermont becomes the 10th state to decriminalize medical marijuana. 2004 Limited use of medical marijuana becomes legal in Montana. 2005 In the case of Gonzales v. Raich (previously Ashcroft v. Raich), the United States Supreme Court ruled that the Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution allowed the federal government to ban the use of cannabis, including medical use. The court found the federal law valid, although the cannabis in question had been grown and consumed within a single state, and had never entered interstate commerce. 2005 The Supreme Court rules that, “Federal authorities may prosecute sick people who smoke pot on doctors’ orders,” concluding that state medical marijuana laws don’t protect users from a federal ban on the drug. One week later, the House voted down an amendment that would have stopped the Justice Department from bringing such case.2003 Study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine concludes there are “no major short-term harmful effects, and possibly some beneficial effects” from using marijuana medically in HIV-infected patients taking protease inhibitors 2003 In the Netherlands pharmacies become legally obligated to stock and dispense medical marijuana. They are also required to advise users of the benefits of cannabis tea. 2003 US Government patent the therapeutic use of cannabinoids as antioxidants and neuroprotectants. 2003 California: S.B. 420 signed into law, which will create an ID card for medical marijuana users to show law enforcement officers. 2003 US Supreme Court refuses to hear an appeal in the case of Conant v. Walters, thus turning down “the Bush administration’s request to consider whether the federal government can punish doctors for recommending or perhaps even talking about the benefits of the drug [medical marijuana] to sick patients.” 2003 Of the Deans who responded to a confidential poll, over 60% believed that ‘physicians should have the legal right to recommend or prescribe marijuana to receive symptoms of medical complaints. 2003 In the case of Ashcroft v Raich, the US 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2:1 that people who use marijuana for medical purposes cannot be prosecuted by the federal government so long as they grow their own or obtain it from other growers without charge. 2004 Marijuana reclassified in the UK from a Class B drug to a Class C. Penalty for cannabis possession reduced from 5 year maximum prison sentence to 2 year maximum sentence. 2004 Vermont becomes the 10th state to decriminalize medical marijuana. 2004 Limited use of medical marijuana becomes legal in Montana. 2005 In the case of Gonzales v. Raich (previously Ashcroft v. Raich), the United States Supreme Court ruled that the Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution allowed the federal government to ban the use of cannabis, including medical use. The court found the federal law valid, although the cannabis in question had been grown and consumed within a single state, and had never entered interstate commerce. 2005 The Supreme Court rules that, “Federal authorities may prosecute sick people who smoke pot on doctors’ orders,” concluding that state medical marijuana laws don’t protect users from a federal ban on the drug. One week later, the House voted down an amendment that would have stopped the Justice Department from bringing such case.2006 Rhode Island legalizes medical marijuana. 2006 A large research study undertaken at UCLA finds that smoking marijuana, even regularly and heavily, does not lead to lung cancer. 2007 Medical marijuana becomes legal in New Mexico. 2007 Rhode Island medical marijuana act amended. 2008 In Michigan an act is passed that removes state-level criminal penalties on the use, possession and cultivation of marijuana by patients who have been diagnosed by a physician as having a debilitating medical condition. 2009 Cannabis reclassified to Class B in the UK 2010 New Jersey approves medical marijuana bill: New Jersey Compassionate Medical Marijuana Act was passed by the state Assembly in a 48-14 vote 2010 A board of Iowa pharmacists voted for the reclassification of cannabis to a schedule 2 drug – that is they recognize the benefits of medical marijuana and support its legalization within the state. 2010 Study commissioned in Tennessee to help legislature decide whether and how to implement a system of patient registration and medical marijuana distribution. 2010 Kansas 2010 Medical Marijuana Act introduced to the House by Rep Gail Finney 2010 Arkansas supporters of medical cannabis release draft three of their Medicinal Cannabis Act of 2011 2010 Use of medical marijuana in Arizona to appear on November ballot paper. 2010 Use of medical marijuana in Massachusetts to appear on November ballot paper. 2010 Peter Buckley announces plans to introduce the Oregon Cannabis Revenue Act (OCRA) to the state legislature. 2010 South Dakota to ballot for medical marijuana in November.

DEBATE ~ DO WE KNOW THE HISTORY AND WHY IT HELPS MEDICALLY

SO DOES IT HELP MEDICALLY
Here is some more interesting reading about cannabis as a possible cure for cancer.“To document a connection between lung cancer and marijuana smoking, Dr. Tashkin received a very large grant from the National Institute of Drug Abuse. With over 2,200 subjects, the research was one of the largest case control studies of its kind ever!”

Remember now, it was the US government who wanted this test done.“The government was horrified at the results and did its best to ignore them as Dr. Tashkin failed to find any link between smoking marijuana and the development of lung cancer. In almost every category studied, a person was no more likely to develop lung cancer if they smoked marijuana than if they didn’t smoke marijuana.
In this group of people the smokers of marijuana actually had a lower incidence of lung cancer than the people who did not smoke anything at all.”Wait a minute, the ones smoking marijuana had LESS incidence of cancer than the people not smoking marijuana? But we have always been told marijuana use causes cancer, haven’t we?“This makes no sense. How can people who are taking carcinogens directly into their lungs have a lower incidence of lung cancer than people who are not? It makes no sense unless perhaps the cannabinoids found in cannabis are such powerful anti-cancer agents that they can prevent the development of cancers even in the presence of cancer causing agents.”
We also have to look at the animal testing that backs these claims up. It has been shown that in lab animals, cannabinoids do in fact reduce the size of HUMAN cancer cells.“Cannabinoids inhibit tumour growth in laboratory animals. They do so by modulating key cell-signalling pathways, thereby inducing direct growth arrest and death of tumour cells….. Cannabinoids are selective antitumour compounds, as they can kill tumour cells without affecting their non-transformed counterparts.
The cannabinoids found in cannabis can not only slow the growth of tumors, they can actually selectively kill cancer cells.”
Since for the vast majority of people, cannabis has no negative side effects and only beneficial effects, it would seem that the regular appropriate ingestion of cannabis as a cancer preventative agent would be a prudent course of action.“ 
 
 
 
 
 

Monday, March 28, 2011

WALL SPRINGS PARK IN PALM HARBOR

The other day I had discovered this park not far from my home; Wall Springs Park.  I could not imagine what this spring was like in the early 1900's, It must of been awesome.  I wished that it was preserved and could be in use today, but it was destroyed and now just a park with the spring not being used. This would have been so healing!!!

The property in and around "Wall Springs" was purchased by Charles F. Wall on February 28, 1884 and remained in his family until May 17, 1927 when the property was sold to Harry W. Davis.

The spring became known as "Wall Springs" during ownership by the Wall family. Once the property was sold to the Davis family the spring became known as "Health Springs" and was used as a health spa. When the property was purchased by the Cullen Family on February 6, 1948 the spring name changed back to "Wall Springs" and the area was used as a recreational area until the mid - 1960's.
The spring and adjoining pond were used as a spa & bathing area from the turn of the 20th century until the mid 1960'









How to Improve Immune Function

Improving ones immune function isn't as hard as you think. A few simple changes can increase your immune response exponentially by way of nutrition, exercise and rest.

Establish a consistent diet plan that consists of all your vitamins and minerals. Add variety to your diet by way of implementing a variety of fruits, vegetables and other foods that all fuse together to promote general health and well being. Eat about 2 servings of yogurt, preferably the type with special digestive enzymes in them. These enzymes promote the growth of healthy bacteria that is needed to aid in a healthy immune system. Your body naturally produces most of these enzymes but they are depleted rapidly as your body is ravaged from the toxic environment in which we all live. Antibiotics, poor diet, environmental stress all contribute to this decrease in live, and active cultures. Eat lots of green leafy vegetables as these contain phytonutrients and vitamins rarely found in other foods. These rare vitamins include but are not limited to vitamin k, magnesium and folic acid.


 Supplementation can be a great asset in the fight for a healthier immune system due in part to it's wide range of vitamins and minerals in a timed released state. We are all on the run and our daily lives are often boggled down with stressors such as school, work, and family. Due to this, we rarely eat a wholesome diet that fulfills our total nutritional needs which results in an impaired immune system leaving us vulnerable to a number of ailments. When implemented correctly supplements can help bridge the gap and make up for those losses. A multivitamin is always a mainstay as it puts a variety of vitamins in your body which in turn improves immune function instantaneously. Acidophilus has also garnered a lot of praise of late as it has been shown to improve immune function by adding healthy bacteria back to the gut which is lost on a daily basis. It also improves digestion which allows your body to better utilize the vitamins already stored in your body. Green tea is also a world renown supplement which improves metabolic function and increases immunity. Green tea is a potent antioxidant that neutralizes free radicals rapidly.



Rest is just as important as the other 2 steps because your body does all it's repairing and healing as you sleep. Adaquete sleep is anywhere from 6-8 hours depending on the person. Quality sleep improves mental accuity





IMMUNE SYSTEM

How to Improve an Immune System

 
 BY Paticia Bryant Resnick
 
 
How to Improve an Immune Systemthumbnail 
 
We live in a world where it's just harder to stay healthy. Fresh and healthy food is available, but you usually have to go out of your way to find it. The foundation of health is a healthy immune system, so the best way to get and stay healthy is to do whatever it takes to support your immune system. This can be a multi-pronged approach involving diet, exercise, supplementation and attitude.

things you'll need:
  • Varied diet
  • Basic vitamin and mineral supplements
  • Exercise
  • Relaxation
    • 1
      Start with a healthy diet. This doesn't mean you can't ever have ice cream again. It does mean moderation in indulgences. It also means eating a varied diet, with an emphasis on healthy vegetables, fruits, grains, proteins and liquids. There is no magic food. Rather, emphasize a variety of colors and textures at every meal. Limit salt, sugar and fat. Have a salad along with your lunch, and dinner and make sure it includes a variety of colors and tastes. Have fatty fish like tuna or salmon at least twice a week. Eat a vegetarian diet one or two days each week. Drink plenty of water instead of caffeinated and sweetened beverages.
    • 2
      Find a good multi-vitamin and multi-mineral tablet. You will do better by buying them separately. Look for a mineral supplement that includes trace minerals. Your vitamin supplement should include as wide a range of vitamins as possible, from A to C and D and all the B vitamins. Take each supplement with a meal, but take them separately, because some vitamins and minerals will work against each other when it comes time for your body to absorb them.
    • 3
      Get some exercise every day. This doesn't mean you have to go out and run 5 miles a day. Start by making small changes. Park farther out in the parking lot, and walk to your destination. Take one flight of stairs before you get on the elevator. Do simple stretches several times a day. Get up from your desk once an hour, and walk around the perimeter of the floor where you work. Walk up and down one flight of stairs at each break.
    • 4
      Make time for genuine relaxation. This doesn't necessarily mean plopping on the couch in front of the television. Find a local park, and make time for a leisurely walk. Stop for a bit and just sit under a tree, watching the world go by. This will work even better if there's a lake or stream nearby to release good ions into the air.
    • 5
      Adopt a habit of meditation. Twice a day is optimum, but every little bit helps. The key here is removing yourself from the normal noise of your mind and the world around you. There are many excellent books on meditation, or find a local teacher. Your mind and your body will be grateful.

skin cancer

Using sunscreen daily can cut risk of skin cancer in half

Linda Shrieves, The Orlando Sentinel, Fla.
Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News
03-24-11


March 23--For years, dermatologists have been telling Americans to lather on the sunscreen every day to prevent skin cancer.

There was just one problem with that: There was no definitive evidence that it really worked.
Now, finally, here's some proof.

A long-term study in Australia has found that people who use sunscreen every day reduced their risk of getting melanoma -- or skin cancer -- by 50 percent -- compared to people who used sunscreen occasionally.

Starting in 1992, Australian researchers followed 1,621 white Australian adults to study their sunscreen usage and their skin. The participants were divided into two groups. One group of 809 patients was told to use sunscreen as they usually did (38 percent of them said they never used sunscreen, while 35 percent said they used sunscreen infrequently.)

The other group of 812 patients was given unlimited supplies of sunscreen (SPF 16) with instructions to apply it to their heads, necks, arms and hands daily. In addition to reporting daily on their sunscreen usage, scientists weighed their sunscreen bottles when the participants returned them -- to determine how much sunscreen they were using.

No sunscreen was supplied after 1996, but the study's participants continued to answer questions about sun exposure, sunscreen use, and melanoma formation -- until 2006, when the extended follow-up ended.

By 2006, 11 people in the daily-sunscreen group had developed a primary melanoma, compared to 22 people in the group that used sunscreen at their own discretion.
The study found that the risk for developing any melanoma was reduced by 50 percent when participants used sunscreen every day -- and the risk for developing an invasive melanoma (a tumor that penetrates below the skin's surface) was reduced by 73 percent among daily users.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Acid Alkaline Balance

  
Monday, October 19, 2009  by Christopher Vasey, N.D
Despite the extreme diversity of substances used by the body to build itself and function, it is possible to classify them in two major groups: basic (or alkaline) substances and acid substances. These two different groups of substances have opposing but complementary characteristics. To be healthy, the body needs both. When alkaline elements and acid elements are present in equal quantities the acid-alkaline or pH balance is achieved.

How Acidity is measured
As the difference between an acid and an alkaline is based on their ability to free more or less hydrogen ions, the unit that measures the degree of acidity or alkalinity of a substance is shorthand for the substance’s potential (p) for freeing hydrogen (H) ions, or pH.
The pH measuring scale goes from 0 to 14. The number 7 indicates the ideal balance between acids and alkaline substances and is known as a neutral pH. The greater potential a substance has for freeing hydrogen ions the smaller is its pH number. The acidity range is from 6 to 0, zero indicating a state of absolute acidity. Conversely, a more alkaline pH is indicated by a higher figure, from 8 to 14, the last figure representing a state of total alkalinity (meaning a state in which no hydrogen ions are freed).

Note that on the pH measurement scale the greater the degree of acidity the lower the pH reading.
The pH of different substances can be measured with a special reactive paper known as litmus paper. When put into contact with a dilution of the substance to be tested, the paper changes color to a degree that corresponds to the degree of acidity or alkalinity of that substance.
pH and Health
The body functions at its best when the pH of its internal biochemical environment, measured as a whole, is equal to 7.39, meaning slightly alkaline. The normal range of this optimum pH is very small, from a slightly more acidic reading of 7.36 to a more alkaline reading of 7.42. A reading of anything higher or lower than these figures indicates acidosis (from 7.36 to7) or alkalosis (7.42 to 7.8). If these limits are exceeded, the body cans no longer function, and illness appears.
Illnesses caused by Acidification
A surprising number and variety of physical problems and diseases can be caused by acidity. Indeed a triple action can prompt their appearance: enzymatic disturbances, aggressive activity by acids, and demineralization; three factors capable of striking any organic tissue.
  • Lack of energy: constant fatigue, loss of physical tone and psychical drive
  • Nervousness: agitation without cause, sensitivity, easily stressed
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Inflamed, sensitive gums
  • Cracks at the corners of the lips
  • Dental cavities
  • Attack of diarrhea which expels acids
  • Rectal burning sensation
  • Predisposition to intestinal inflammation (enteritis, colitis)
  • Burning and irritation in the bladder or urethra
  • Runny nose
  • Prone to chills
  • Dry skin
  • Skin tends to be red and irritated in regions where there are heavy concentrations or sweat (knees, underarms, etc)
  • Itches
  • Nails are thin and split and break easily
  • Hair looks dull and falls out in noticeable quantities
  • Leg cramps and spasms
  • Stiff neck
  • Lumbago
  • Mineral and calcium depletion of the skeleton
  • Osteoporosis
  • Rheumatism
  • Arthritis
  • Sciatica
  • Tendinitis
  • Migrant joint pains
  • Etc

Acidosis: a Widespread Problem
Today the vast majority of the populace of the Western industrialized nations suffers from problems caused by acidification, because both modern lifestyle and diet promote acidification of the body’s internal environment.
In general, the current standard diet is primarily composed of acidic or acidifying elements (proteins, cereals, sugars). Alkaline food such as vegetables are eaten in much smaller quantities. Their alkaline content is insufficient to neutralize surplus acids. Furthermore, the consumption of stimulants like tobacco, coffee, tea, and alcohol – every one of which has an extremely acidifying effect on the body – has grown to enormous proportions.
Stress, nervous tension, noise, shortage of time, and other pressures are facts of life today and contribute to increasing the body’s acidification through the physiological disturbances they create.
Physical exercise – which can play an important role in maintaining acid-alkaline balance – is more often than not either insufficient or excessive. In both cases, acidification of the body’s internal environment is the result.
Of all the factors causing acidification the most important is unquestionably the food. The majority of acidosis sufferers can be treated simply by significantly reducing their consumption of acidifying and acidic food and increasing their consumption of alkaline foods.

Water - The Foundation for pH Balance

Monday, October 19, 2009  By David Whelan
Did you know that truly vibrant health begins with proper pH Balance and drinking alkaline drinking water. The foundation of pH balance is proper nutrition. A body that is pH balanced (acid alkaline balanced) is a body that's healthy, energetic, and vibrant. When you ere overly acidic, it may become sick, tired, and diseased. Drinking ionic, structured, mineral rich, alkaline drinking water should be your first step in beginning any pH balancing program.
According to author Sung Bong in his book, "The History of The Alkaline Water Machine", the Japanese discovered that the healthiest water to drink is alkaline water (or ionized water).
Alkaline water was initially used in agriculture, and eventually, experiments were conducted by medical professionals on the human body and when these experiments completed, Japanese doctors concluded that ionic, alkaline water was the healthiest form of water for the human body, and that it alleviated many symptoms of adult diseases. Eventually, Japanese hospitals began to use water ionizers for the treatment of their patients, and on Jan. 15, 1966, the water ionizer was approved as a health improvement medical device by the Health and Rehabilitation Ministry of the Japanese Government.
Japanese-made water ionizers were first introduced to Korea in the 1970?s, and today they are also approved as medical devices by the government of South Korea. In 1985, they found their way into the United States. Unfortunately, these water ionizers are expensive, costing as much as $1000. The alternative to using a water ionizer is to use pH drops that make your water alkaline.
The Japanese classify human diseases into 2 categories: contagious disease and adult diseases. Adult degenerative diseases are non-contagious disease we get as a result of getting older. Examples are diseases such as cancer, heart disease, hardening of the arteries, high blood pressure, diabetes, arthritis, gout, kidney disease, chronic diarrhea and constipation, hemorrhoids, asthma, hay fever, allergies, headaches, fibromyalgia, neuralgia (nerve pain), psoriasis, hives, eczema, indigestion, gas, nausea, morning sickness, tooth and gum diseases, obesity, osteoporosis, and leg cramps. Many claim that the underlying cause of these adult diseases is the accumulation of acid wastes in the body, poor blood circulation and poor cell activity.
Since these adult diseases are caused by too much acid in our body, according to the Japanese, unless the treatment actually removes acids from the body, The ?cure? at best will be only temporary. And if the medicine were successful in removing acid from the affected area, the acid would go to some other place in the body to create side effects there. Medical researchers have been looking for medicine to cure every kind of disease. None of these drugs reduce the acidity of the body. As a matter of fact, most pharmaceutical drugs are acidic.
Herman Aihara, in his book entitled ACID & ALKALINE, states the following: "If the condition of our extra cellular fluids, especially the blood, becomes acidic, our physical condition will first manifest as tiredness, proneness to colds, etc. When these fluids become more acidic, our condition then manifests as pains and suffering such as headaches, chest pains, stomach aches, etc. According to Keiichi Morishita in his HIDDEN TRUTH OF CANCER, if the blood develops a more acidic condition, then our body deposits these acidic substances in some area of the body so that the blood will be able to maintain an alkaline condition.
When beginning any plan to get your pH back to a balanced state, remember this - it all starts with drinking good water! Your body contains 70% (or more) water. The more alkaline water you drink, the faster you'll see the results you're after.

ACIDIFYING FOODS

Acidifying foods are primarily those that are rich in proteins, carbohydrates / sugars, and/or saturated fats.
LIST OF ACIDIFYING FOODS
  • Meat, poultry, cold cuts, meat extracts, fish, seafood (mussels, shrimp)
  • Eggs
  • Cheeses (strong cheeses are more acidic than mild cheeses)
  • Animal fats such as lard and suet
  • Vegetable oils, especially peanut oil and oils that are refined or hardened (margarine)
  • Whole grains and refined grains: wheat, oats, especially millet
  • Bread, pasta, cereal flakes, and foods with a grain base
  • Leguminous plants such as peanuts, soybeans, white beans, broad beans
  • White sugar
  • Sweets: syrups, pastry, chocolate, candy, jelly, fruit preserves
  • Oleaginous fruits: walnuts, hazelnuts, pumpkin seeds
  • Commercially manufactured sweet drinks, primarily sodas
  • Coffee, tea, cocoa, wine
  • Condiments such as mayonnaise, mustard, and ketchup

Foods rich in proteins (meat, dairy products, and leguminous plants) are acidifying because their digestion produces amino acids; and because proteins, once they have been utilized by the body's cells, engender products of acidic degradation, such as uric acid, which primarily comes from the proteins that serve in the construction of the cell core and are found in foods consisting of cells, such as animal meats. Unlike meat and fish, dairy products do not carry uric acid because milk and cheese are not composed of animal tissues. Furthermore, the essential amino acids that make up animal meats always contain sulfur, an acidic mineral.
Although they are not composed of animal tissue, the leguminous plants (soybeans, chickpeas) bring a large quantity of uric acid into the body because they are rich in purines. Intrinsically alkaline, these purines are transformed into uric acid so they may be eliminated from the body. The presence of large amounts of purines in coffee, tea, and cocoa also explains why these beverages, as well as chocolate, are acidifying.
The acidifying nature of foods rich in fats (animal fat used in cooking, the fat contained in meat, deep-frying oil) is twofold. First, fat is utilized by the body in the form of fatty acids, and secondly, saturated fatty acids-which animalbased foods contain in great quantity-are difficult to metabolize. When their digestion is incomplete they create toxic acid substances such as acetones, acetylacetic acid, betahydroxybutyric acid, and others. These waste products and metabolic residues appear only if fat breakdown in the body is faulty; normal digestion of fats yields fatty acids. As fat consumption is rather high in today's standard diet, acidification from fats is all too common.
The acidifying properties of carbohydrates are due to the same types of processes that are involved with fat and its acidic nature. In the form of starch, carbohydrates are actually aggregates of thousands of glucose molecules-up to 250,000 of them-whereas it takes only several hundred amino acids to produce a protein. For the body to use carbohydrates they must be broken down into increasingly smaller fragments until they are reduced to their basic constituent element: the glucose molecule.
The greatest culprit in the production of acids is the poor conversion of long chains of glucose. Just like fat and proteins, carbohydrates go through various stages of transformation during which their characteristic properties change what was originally alkaline into an acid. If these conversions are interrupted while in progress the body becomes acidified, because the intermediary acid substances are not converted back into alkaline substances, as would be the normal end result of this process. This breakdown of the process is all too common, since the over consumption of carbohydrates (bread, cereals, pastas, crackers) is quite significant and often goes well beyond the body's capacity to digest them properly. The problem is the same whether the process involves whole grains or refined grains.
While cereal grains are acidifying, germinated grains are not. In fact, because of the radical transformation of their composition due to the germination process, these foods are considered to be alkalizing and are classified with green vegetables, since young grain sprouts are more or less green when eaten. This is also the case for the sprouts of leguminous plants such as soybeans, lentils, and chickpeas. (Bread made with sprouted grains, however, is not alkalizing.)
White sugar, a carbohydrate that consists of only two molecules (glucose and fructose), is acidifying for a different reason. Its acidifying nature, and that of the foods containing it (jellies, candies, chocolate, cookies), comes from the fact that it is refined and stripped of all trace elements, vitamins, and enzymes; it is thus generally poorly converted by the body. The body cannot indefinitely continue releasing large quantities of vitamins and trace elements to produce the conversion of sugar into energy. The average annual consumption of white sugar today is more than ninety pounds per person, which is more than the body can handle. The transformation of sugar in the body inevitably stalls at one of the intermediary acidic stages.
Refined white sugar and all the products that contain it are strongly acidifying, but the naturally occurring sugars of fruits and vegetables (like carrots and beets) are not. This is because the tissues of fruits and vegetables contain all the necessary trace elements, vitamins, and enzymes necessary to complete their transformation in the body. For the same reasons, whole sugar, meaning the concentrate obtained from the evaporation of sugar-cane sap, is not acidifying either. Brown sugars, on the other hand, have undergone several refining processes that have depleted their vitamin and trace element content. Consequently, they too are acidifying, and the closer they are to white sugar (the most acidic form of sugar), the more acidifying their effect is on the body. The fructose or fruit sugar available for sale commercially is also depleted of all its naturally occurring vitamin content, making it an acidifying agent as well.
Oleaginous fruits (except for almonds and Brazil nuts) are all acidifying, including walnuts, hazelnuts, cashews, pecans, coconut, or even the seeds used in health food mixes-sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, and so forth. Their acidifying character is due to their high fat content as well as their high content of protein, phosphorus, and sulfur. However, a couple of sunflower seeds does not acidify the body to the same extent as six to twelve ounces of meat, although both foods are included in the list of acidifying foods.
Based on their characteristics, the foods in the acidifying group have an acidifying effect on everyone who eats them, unlike acid foods, which may have an acidifying or alkalizing effect depending on the individual's physical capabilities. The manner in which the body utilizes acidifying foods inevitably leads to the production of acids, so it is advisable to pay strict attention to the amount of acidifying foods you include in your daily diet if you want to avoid acidification of your internal environment. This does not mean an extreme reduction or complete elimination of these items from the diet; it is simply a matter of keeping the quantity of acidifying foods lower than that of alkalizing foods. This should be a general guideline for what you eat every day, or even better, for what you eat at every meal.

ALKALIZING FOODS

Alkalizing foods consist primarily of green and colored vegetables (with the exception of tomatoes) and potatoes.
These foods are alkalizing because they are rich in alkaline elements and contain little if any acid substances, and because they do not produce acids when they are utilized by the body. Even when significant amounts of this type of food are consumed, no acid is produced, regardless of the metabolic capacities of the person who eats them. Just as acidifying foods are acidifying for everyone, alkalizing foods are alkalizing for everyone. These are the foods that people suffering from an pH imbalance need to eat above all.
Green and colored vegetables are the primary source of alkaline substances for the body. They should be included in every main meal, whether as salad, raw or cooked vegetables, juice, or soup, by anyone trying to restore or maintain acid-alkaline balance. The sole exception is the tomato, which is very acidifying whether eaten raw or cooked. (Botanically speaking, however, the tomato is not a vegetable but a fruit.)
LIST OF ALKALIZING FOODS
  • Potatoes
  • Green vegetables, raw or cooked: salad greens, green beans, cabbage, and so on
  • Colored vegetables: carrots, beets (except for tomatoes)
  • Corn (kernels or cooked as polenta)
  • Milk (liquid and powdered form), large-curd cottage cheese, cream, butter
  • Bananas
  • Almonds, Brazil nuts
  • Chestnuts
  • Dried fruits: dates, raisins (except for those that are acidic to the taste-apricots, apples, pineapple)
  • Alkaline mineral waters
  • Almond milk
  • Black olives preserved in oil
  • Avocado
  • Cold-pressed oils
  • Natural sugar

Potatoes are well known for their anti-acidifying qualities; their juice is often recommended as a remedy for stomach acidity and ulcers. The potato's wealth of alkaline elements makes it the best choice of foods to counter the acidification of the body. A starchy food, it is nourishing and a beneficial alternative to cereal grains, which are acidifying. An alkaline diet must include potatoes more often than foods from cereal grains.
Another nourishing and valuable food for fighting excess acidity is the chestnut. Like the potato, it is starchy, a food that supplies fuel for energy, and it is not acidifying like cereal grains. Chestnuts can be roasted in the oven or boiled in water and eaten as a vegetable. The best-known recipe containing them is probably red cabbage with chestnuts. Like potatoes, chestnuts go well with cheese. But watch out for chestnut purees, which are often sweetened with sugar.
Of all the fruits, the banana is the only one that is truly alkalizing, because its own acid content is so weak that it never causes acidification, even when consumed in large quantities or as a regular part of the diet. Other fruits, in contrast, even those that are only faintly acid, such as melons, do contain acids, which means that the more one eats of them, the greater the acidifying effect they have.
Generally speaking, dried fruits (dates, raisins) are alkalizing because a portion of their acid content is oxidized in the drying process. They are less alkalizing if they are set out to dry before reaching full maturity, as is often the case with apples and apricots. The alkaline nature of dried fruits is also slightly reduced when they are treated with sulfur as a preservative.
Almonds and Brazil nuts are the only alkalizing oleaginous fruits. They can be eaten just as they are, or chopped or sliced and mixed with salads, vegetables, and desserts. Some dietetic and health food stores sell a sugarless almond paste, which can be mixed with water to make almond milk, a very pleasant and alkalizing beverage.
Black olives preserved in olive oil are alkalizing, unlike those, either black or green, that are preserved in a vinegar-based brine.
Raw or whole sugar is not alkalizing, properly speaking, meaning that it does not alkalize the internal environment if eaten in large quantities, but when eaten in moderation it does not acidify either, as is the case with other sugars. The same is true of corn, milk, large-curd cottage cheese, cream, butter, and so on, which, eaten in moderation, do not acidify the body.
Water usually has a pH of 7. When it is highly chlorinated, it becomes acid. Carbonated mineral water is also acid, because the gas that gives it its carbonation is carbonic acid. The principal alkaline mineral waters-those with a pH above 7-are Limpia Water (Italy), Contrexeville and Evian (France), and Henniez bleue (Switzerland). To determine whether a mineral water is alkaline, read the label on the bottle, as the pH is indicated there. You can also make your own alkaline water by adding pH drops to it

FOOD AND NUTRIENTS!!

Food finesse: a few tricks to help you get the most nutrients out of your food

Chicago Tribune
03-21-11

The way you prepare your food can be just as important as what food you eat. Is there any point in eating broccoli, for example, if you cook the life out of its natural carcinogen killers? On the other hand, some foods, such as tomatoes, may offer more benefits when they're cooked.
Fortunately, nutrition experts know a few tricks to help you get the most nutrients out of your food.
___
Eggs
The process: Scrambling your eggs activates avidin, a protein that binds to biotin and renders it useless, said registered dietitian Robert Wildman. "Biotin is an important B vitamin that helps with energy support and thick, lustrous hair," he said.
The fix: Try poaching or boiling. Omelet lovers should know it's better to beat your eggs than to forgo them altogether. Eggs are a perfect source of protein and contain all nine essential amino acids. The yolk, by the way, is an important part of the package; it contains choline, a nutrient considered essential for cardiovascular and brain function as well as the health of cell membranes, nutrition expert Jonny Bowden wrote in "The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth" (Fair Winds Press, $24.99).
Garlic
The process: Penn State University researchers have shown that microwave heating or roasting garlic can diminish or destroy its anti-cancer activity. If garlic is processed or dried, meanwhile, it loses its ability to form hydrogen sulfide, a substance that relaxes blood vessels and may be good for the heart, according a study in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.
The fix: Eating garlic raw is best, but if you do need to cook your garlic, chop or crush it before hand and allow it to "stand for at least 10 minutes, said the Penn State researchers. This allows it to create hydrogen sulfide and helps create the compound allicin, which is thought to be responsible for many of garlic's health benefits.
Meat
The process: Frying, grilling or barbecuing meats at high temperatures can form carcinogens known as HCA's or heterocyclic amines. Some research has shown HCA's can cause genetic mutations in our cells that lead to the development of cancer. Scorching high fat meat carries another risk. "As the smoke rises, another class of carcinogenic compounds called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) is deposited on meat, according to the American Institute of Cancer Research.
The fix: Avoid flare-ups. Also, microwave your meat for a few minutes and pour off the juices before cooking it on the grill, said Kristin Anderson, associate professor at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health. Baked or stewed meat has fewer carcinogens. Though it's important to cook meat thoroughly to kill bacteria, turning down the heat or cutting off burned portions when it's finished can considerably reduce HCA's. Marinating meat in some spices and herbs, such as rosemary, may also reduce the compounds according to researchers at Kansas State University and the Food Science Institute, but research is mixed. If you really want to avoid carcinogens, grill tofu, vegetables or fruit.
Tomatoes
The process: While raw tomatoes are certainly nutritious, it's difficult for the body to absorb their lycopene, a powerful antioxidant linked to prostate health.
The fix: Cooking tomatoes or breaking up and mashing them and combining them with some type of fat or oil may enhance absorption, said registered dietitian Susan Mitchell. "Because of their cooked composition, tomato sauce and similar products appear to enhance absorption, as the lycopene is available to the body in a more concentrated form," said Mitchell. Still, "raw tomatoes have many other wonderful attributes than lycopene such as vitamin C, beta and alpha carotene, potassium, folate as well as super low in sodium and 1 gram of fiber per medium plum tomato," she said. And when tomatoes are cooked, they lose some vitamin C. "The ideal would be a combination in the diet of both fresh and cooked," said Mitchell.
Potatoes
The process: When high-carbohydrate or starchy foods are cooked at high temperatures _ think crispy potato chips or French fries _ it creates the chemical acrylamide, which has been linked to cancer and neurological problems in lab rats. Acrylamide is also found in coffee and cereal grain-based foods such as cookies, crackers, breakfast cereals and toast.
The fix: Boil or microwave potatoes. Frying causes the greatest acrylamide formation, followed by roasting and baking. Acrylamide starts forming at temperatures above 248 degrees Fahrenheit; boiling, microwaving or steaming doesn't cause it to form. Pre-soak your potatoes in water. It can reduce levels of acrylamide, but only if the potatoes are fried to a light color, according to research in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture. Soak them for 15 to 30 minutes, then drain and blot dry before cooking to prevent splattering or fires. Don't store potatoes in the refrigerator. It increases acrylamide during cooking. Use a dark, cool closet or pantry to prevent sprouting.
Broccoli
The process: Overcooking broccoli by boiling or microwaving can destroy the important enzyme myrosinase, which is needed to release a key nutrient called sulforaphane. Sulforphane binds to sugar and is very heat sensitive. "Myrosinase has to be present to get broccoli's benefit; if it's not there, sulforaphane, broccoli's cancer-preventive and anti-inflammatory component, doesn't form," said University of Illinois nutrition professor Elizabeth Jeffery. Her research has shown that myrosinase is also destroyed in powdered broccoli products.
The fix: Steaming broccoli for two to four minutes makes it easier to get the nutrients, said Jeffery. If you're taking a powdered broccoli supplement, combine it with myrosinase-rich fresh broccoli sprouts at the same meal. Jeffery's study showed the powder and sprouts seem to have a synergistic effect, sharing the myrosinase. Other foods that contain sulforaphane and can be teamed with broccoli to boost its benefits include mustard, radishes, arugula and wasabi. When broccoli is paired with tomatoes, it has been shown to be more effective at shrinking prostate tumors than when eaten alone.