Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Food that helps you

Everybody's dream is to live a healthy life.
Can something help?
What can actually reduce the risk of cancer?

1) Tea. Green Tea.
It proved to have the antioxidant EGCG and also helping the growth of (good)intestinal bacteria. These inhibit the growth of bad ones and since up to 70% of the immune system is located in the digestive tract drinking as much as a few cups a day will help to increase immunity.

2) Chili peppers.
They increase the metabolism, keep the blood thin and are able to release endorphins.

3) Ginger.
Particularly effective to prevent colon cancer.

4) Blueberries.
The colour is a sign.
All purple or dark blue colored vegetables and fruit are very healthy.
They prevent cancer and heart diseases.

5) Cinnamon.
It is rich in antioxidants that inhibit blood clotting and bacterial growth.

6) Sweet potatoes.
They are one of the best food.
They contain glutathione, an antioxidant that can enhance nutrient metabolism and immune-system health.

7) Tomatoes.
Especially the new kind, the purple tomato.

8) Figs.
The fiber in figs can lower insulin and blood-sugar levels, reducing the risk of diabetes and metabolic syndrome.
But if you already have diabetes avoid eating them, since their high content in sugar.

9) Mushrooms.
They reduce the risk of cancer.

Also these can reduce the risk of cancer, thanks to polyphenols called ellagitannins, which give the fruit its color.

Monday, October 27, 2008

One purple tomato a day keeps the cancer away.

One purple tomato a day keeps the cancer away.
The new produced purple vegetables are rich in an antioxidant pigment called anthocyanin which is thought to have anti-cancer properties.
They were produced by incorporating genes from the snapdragon flower, which is high in anthocyanin.
Mice fed with them live longer.
Tomatoes already contain high levels of beneficial antioxidant compounds, such as lycopene and flavonoids, but adding Anthocyanins which have been found to help significantly slow the growth of colon cancer cells, improves their activity in the cancer's fight.
And it is also the first example of a GMO [genetically modified organism] with a trait that really offers a potential benefit for all consumers.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Less Vitamin D, less children

AN Australian infertility study has revealed disturbing levels of vitamin D deficiency among men who are unable to impregnate their partners.

The discovery surprised Sydney researchers investigating the incidence of DNA fragmentation of sperm, a significant factor in male infertility.

Sunlight is the major source of vitamin D, which helps regulate levels of calcium and phosphorous to generate healthy bones.

Fertility specialist Dr Anne Clark screened the blood of almost 800 men with fertility problems, finding almost a third had lower than normal levels of vitamin D.

"In a significant number of these men, there were also elevated levels of homocysteine, an amino acid in the blood associated with cell toxicity, and deficiency in folate, which is essential for healthy new cells," said Dr Clark, medical director of the treatment centre Fertility First.

"Men in the study group who agreed to make lifestyle changes and take dietary supplements had surprisingly good fertility outcomes." Dr Clark said the study's results were unexpected.

"Vitamin D and folate deficiency are known to be associated with infertility in women, but the outcomes of the screening among men in our study group came as a complete surprise."

Dr Clark said concerns about skin cancer could be a contributing factor to vitamin D deficiency among men, along with work and lifestyle choices, avoiding too much direct sunlight exposure.

"If that is the case, one wonders if the outcomes in the study group also raise the possibility of significant vitamin D deficiency in the broader public, and its effect on fertility levels," she said.

Of the 794 men tested, 58 per cent were shown to have high levels of DNA fragmentation, according to results to be presented at a national fertility conference in Brisbane tomorrow.

About 100 of the men agreed to quit smoking, minimise or stop their intake of caffeine and alcohol, reduce weight and take a three-month course of vitamins and antioxidants before commencing fertility treatment.


Friday, October 17, 2008

How to survive a heart attack

When I had my heart attack at 43, all my doctors were really surprised. I was young, I'm not overweight, and I don't eat a lot of fatty foods.

At first, Francisco Menendez thought the tightness in his chest was indigestion.

In fact, I never eat junk food. My father had a heart attack, but he was in his 70s, so that is not a significant risk factor.

However, a closer look at my medical records would have suggested there was a problem. My total cholesterol was around 400, and my triglycerides, which are really affected by diet and exercise, were 600 to 700. A healthy number is 150 or below.

I was not on a statin, but the doctors were urging me to start exercising more and to cut down on refined carbohydrates, like pasta and bread. That can really make your triglycerides shoot up, and I love all those things.

The night of my heart attack I was home, and I felt a lot of pressure in my chest. Not pain, really. I thought it was indigestion. It went on all night and even though my wife Ingrid urged me to go to the hospital, a heart attack was the last thing on my mind.

The next morning the pressure was so great I could barely walk, so I took a taxi to the hospital. I know you are supposed to call an ambulance, but that's what I did. When I got to the emergency room, I knew what to say: "I have chest pressure, and I think I am having a heart attack." It was 6 a.m. and they wheeled me in and started giving me blood thinners right away.

The doctors were excellent, and they told me they were going to give me an angioplasty. That scared me because after my dad had his angioplasty, he had to have open-heart surgery. I didn't want that. Health Magazine: How doctors diagnose and treat a heart attack

The oddest thing about the angioplasty was that for six hours they told me not to move my foot, and I didn't know why. Turns out there is a plug in your skin where they put the needle in, and if it comes loose your blood shoots out like shaken Champagne because you are on blood thinners. I wish they would have told me that, because I didn't know why I needed to hold my foot still.

I ended up having three angioplasties, but my heart attack was mild. It turns out my heart was less than 5 percent damaged. I ended up on a lot of medications. I take a statin, TriCor, and Plavix, and a baby aspirin every day.

I have a stress test every year and a half, and so far my cholesterol looks OK; it's about 160. I don't think about myself as a person who had a heart attack, but I think my wife worries.

I still hate to exercise, and I do eat bread and pasta, but mostly my diet is fine.

The worst thing about being a young heart-attack survivor is knowing I will have to be on these medications forever. I am convinced that if I became a strict vegetarian and got all the stress out of my life I could go off the meds. But that would require me to quit my job and move to the country, and I am not ready to do that yet. -- As told to Bryan Miller