The month of September is marked by our awareness of Ovarian Cancer, followed by Breast Cancer in October. As “Booming Women,” our concern for these two cancers with regard to prevention, supporting treatment, and reducing the possibility of recurrence does not require a calendar celebration but rather an awareness of choices we can make to address these concerns.
Many of us who consume garlic and onions as a traditional part of our diets are familiar with the lingering odor that remains in our mouths and on our breaths for hours after the meal is complete. What produces these odors are the unique sulfur compounds of the lily or Allium family, which includes onions, leeks, and garlic. In addition to the thiosulfinates, the best known is allicin. Garlic and onions also contain other health-benefiting phytonutrients. Among these are other sulfur-containing compounds including sulfoxides, such as alliin, and dithiins such as 1,2-vinyldithiin. In addition, garlic and onion also deliver powerful flavonoids that have potent beneficial effects on our health.
With the enduring summer heat and the abundance of fresh, nutritious offerings from the summer market basket, we need not stray from our commitment and intention to maintain our path to healing, health, and vitality as we negotiate dessert and its delightful iced offerings. In contrast to many commercially available brands, which are often burdened with unhealthy amounts of sugar and fat and also typically contain artificial dyes, flavors and preservatives to make them more appealing. These homemade frozen summer treats are made from simple ingredients and. when consumed in moderation, they are both delicious and nutritious. Indulge and enjoy!
Summer’s bounty offers us so many health-promoting superfoods that it’s impossible to highlight any single one.
Our eyes, often referred to as our “windows to the world,” are the organs that allow us to see and explore the possibilities of the world around us. To achieve this function, our eyes, like the rest of our body, need to be nourished and nurtured to remain healthy. Unfortunately, it is not till we reach midlife or have matured to develop symptoms of decline that many of us become aware of the need to support and protect our eyes.
Plant foods contain thousands of different natural chemicals referred to as phytochemicals or phytonutrients. “Phyto” is, in fact, the Greek word for plant. Phytonutrients are actually part of a plant’s defense system, protecting it from environmental challenges including insects, fungus, and UV radiation. Plant foods rich in phytonutrients include vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and legumes.
It only takes one quick glance in the mirror for us to recognize the physical changes we are going through at this time of our lives. But beyond the image in the looking glass, I encourage us all to contemplate what is going on beneath the skin. The emerging aches and pains that many of us experience might be indications of inflammation and the degenerative joint and bone conditions known as osteoarthritis and osteoporosis.
In my last blog post, Tips for Better Brain Health, I suggested that we clean up our diets and our home environments by eliminating harmful toxins, thereby improving the health of our brains. This month, I’m taking this concept a step further by encouraging you to grow your own organic vegetables and herbs.
In the month of April, we acknowledge National Autism Month and the population of Americans on the autism spectrum. As we pause to reflect on this condition, what becomes most alarming is how quickly the statistics are rising: about 1 out of every 68 children in the USA is now “on the spectrum,” a figure unbelievable to many of us. And though baby boomer children were not affected in such numbers, many of us boomers are parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles to special needs children and young adults.
The idea that alcohol might actually be good for us is relatively new. For years, health experts focused only on the long list of ways that alcohol can hurt us: by increasing our risk of heart disease, liver disease, diabetes, and stroke; by contributing to reflux esophagitis, which can lead to a dependence on reflux medications; and by interfering with the nervous system to the detriment of our mood, behavior, and ability to make clear and safe decisions.