High blood pressure, a blood pressure greater than 120/80 is a condition that affects millions in the US. It is responsible for early death due to heart disease, stroke and kidney failure. It is also a major cause of blindness. Because hypertension is primarily a lifestyle disease you can do much to prevent, control or cure this problem starting with a good breakfast. In the journal, Hypertension 2007 Aug;50(2):313-319, it was reported that adding ground flaxseed, an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, to your breakfast helped to relax blood vessels thus reducing blood pressure. Even though the drop was relatively small 1-2 mm Hg even small drops can be beneficial. Other foods to incorporate in you diet to reduce your blood pressure include: Walnuts - They are loaded with omega-3 fats and help your heart in other important ways. Berries - One study recorded a seven-point dip in systolic pressure from a daily dose. Tomatoes - The lycopene in tomatoes has a talent for tamping down blood pressure. Remember the words of the wise man, “Good understanding giveth favour: but the way of transgressors is hard.” (Proverbs 13:15)
REDUCING THE RISK OF COLON CANCER!
Proverbs 13:16 - “Every prudent man dealeth with knowledge: but a fool layeth open his folly.” “Colorectal cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer in the United States. In 2005 (the most recent year for which statistics are available), more than 141,000 Americans were told they have colorectal cancer, including 72,007 men and 69,398 women.” (www.cdc.gov/features/dsColorectalCancer/) But there is a way to reduce the incidence of colon polyps thus reducing the incidence of colon cancer. What is it? WEIGHT LOSS! “A study of nearly 8,000 Japanese men showed that when theirbody mass index (BMI)went up, so did the number of colon adenomas, a kind of polyp that could become cancerous. But a year later, the men who had trimmed down had a lower occurrence of polyps than the men who gained or maintained their weight. The extra pounds may somehow encourage insulin resistance and chronic inflammation, two things thought to spur cancer cells. For Extra Protection Add these other actions to your colon-health to-do list: Hit the pavement. A brisk walk 30 minutes a day may slow the growth of colon cells. Get your share of whole grains. The good-for-you nutrients in whole grains help keep your plumbing clear. Eat an apple a day. It might very well help keep colon cancer away.” (RealAge.com. March 27, 2009) So be prudent with this knowledge and watch God work!
HELP FOR THE KIDNEYS!
Kidney disease is increasing in the US. With the high intake of salt, the high protein diets and the high prevalence of hypertension, the kidneys are “taking a beating.” Dialysis clinics are found literally in every town in the country. To preserve and maintain healthy kidneys there are a few simple things you can do. According to information from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 1994-2004, one of the most important things to do is “Toss the Pop and Save the Kidney!” Drinking soft drinks, two or more per day, was shown to increase the amount of albumin in the urine. About 11% of the population has albuminuria. Among those who drink two or more cans of soda per day, 17%t have this early marker of kidney disease, the study found. “Researchers aren’t sure why soda seems to stress the kidneys, but it could be that high-fructose corn syrup, phosphorous, or some other ingredient in the fizzy stuff gives kidneys a hard time. A recent pilot study by other researchers, reported in the journal Environmental Health, found that nine of 20 commercial samples of high fructose corn syrup from three manufacturers contained detectable levels of mercury." This adds the intriguing possibility that it is not just the sugar itself in high fructose corn syrup that is harmful, because mercury is harmful to kidneys as well." (Source: Loyola University Health System) So for better health leave off the soft drinks and drink water or 100% fruit juices for better kidney health!
A HOBBY THAT HELPS YOU LIVE LONGER!
A hobby is more than a way to pass the time. It may be a way to get more of it. Know which hobby has probably added years to the longest-lived people in the world? It’s gardening. The benefits of gardening reach body and soul, according to Dan Buettner and his book, The Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer from the People Who've Lived the Longest. In His study of Okinawans who tend to live longer than other ethnic groups,gardening is “a source of daily physical activity that exercises the body with a wide range of motion and helps reduce stress," he writes. So, as the ground thaws (or spring approaches in areas where the ground does not freeze) and the seed catalogs start arriving, make a pact to plan -- and plant -- a plot this year. There are lots of other wonderful side benefits to gardening besides the body and mind boost. Here are the other garden goodies Buettner notes in his book: A veggie-packed life. Okinawan centenarians eat a plant-based diet, often incorporating vegetables that they grow. A bit of sun. Vitamin D, produced by the body when it’s exposed to sunlight, promotes stronger bones and better health. A dash of spice. Mugwort, ginger, and turmeric are staples of an Okinawan garden, and all have proven medicinal qualities.” (RealAge.com, March 31, 2009) REMEMBER GOD KNOWS WHAT IS BEST! He placed man in a garden, “to dress and keep it” for a reason! So why not grow something this year, for better health!
KIDNEY STONES ANYONE?
Kidney stones, a very painful condition that is increasing in children can be prevented by following two simple steps according to kidney specialist Dr. Alicia Neu, co-director of the kidney stone clinic at the Children's Center at Johns Hopkins Children's Center in Baltimore. “The best ways to prevent the most common types of kidney stones or slow their growth is to limit salt in the diet and drink plenty of water. To reduce sodium intake, consume no more than 2.4 grams of sodium -- or 1 teaspoon of table salt -- per day. Also stay away from salty snacks, processed foods, and sodas, and rinse canned foods under running water to reduce their sodium content. Look for products that have labels that say 'no salt added' or low sodium'. Children should aim to drink at least two liters (64 ounces) of water per day. Sugar-laden juices and sodas are no substitute for water. A child (and an adult) can tell if he or she is drinking enough water if there is an urge to urinate every three hours. Less frequent urination may be a sign of dehydration." So remember Proverbs 22:6 - “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Therefore watch the sodium intake and drink at least 64 ounces of water each day and then watch God work to prevent kidney stones! (ScoutNews January 4, 2007)