Sunday, October 23, 2022

What Makes our Tummy Smile; Fake News About Remedies; and African American Health


Holistic Habits by Cheryl A. Mothes, Ph.D. Natural Health Nutrition Counselor

Content is a daily radio script from my KHIS radio spot - tune in at 6:15 (CST) every morning to Justin and Meredith’s morning show on 89.9 FM.

 We know that the gut is where all the magic happens for our health, and science is giving us the best ways to help them function at their peak! Here is how:

Gut Health

An assessment of websites on "complementary and alternative medicine for cancer” found that “many endorse unproven therapies and some that are outright dangerous,” potentially exploiting highly vulnerable cancer patients and enriching irresponsible snake oil peddlers.”  The most pervasive are the "shark-cartilage" peddlers, accounting for millions of dollars of sales every year. Interest in shark cartilage as an anticancer agent arose because a supplement maker authored a book called Sharks Do not Get Cancer. But that is simply not true. Even if sharks were less susceptible to cancer, how can we think cancer patients can benefit from eating powdered cartilage from a shark when studies refute it? Sadly, it has reduced shark populations and misdirected patients to cancer therapies that are ineffective and may even be harmful to them. Shark products can contain the neurotoxin BMAA, which has been detected at elevated levels in the brains of Alzheimer’s disease and ALS patients and may “play a role in the development of neurodegenerative diseases.”  When it comes to marketing “unproven cancer treatments,” be extremely cautious about what you read on the internet. Have a terrific Tuesday everyone, and if you really do want to fight cancer, eat an apple, drink green tea, use turmeric as your favorite spice, and eat pomegranate berries, nuts, soybeans, flax seeds, and broccoli—all of which have been shown to have anti-cancer effects!

 COVID brought this into the spotlight - the Black-white death gap for women is about three years, and for men, closer to five years. Increased COVID-19 mortality and complications occur more often in individuals with pre-existing conditions like hypertension, obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease––all are more prevalent in African Americans. More high blood pressure, more diabetes, more strokes, and more likely to die at early ages from all causes put together. Why do Black Americans live sicker and die younger than their white counterparts? Among African Americans whose socioeconomic status is comparable to that of whites, health outcomes are still poorer. Part of that has to do with lifestyle behaviors. Fewer than 5 percent of African American adults met physical activity guidelines. If you look at food messages on African American television shows, not only does Black prime time contain a greater number of food commercials, but African American audiences may also be receiving nearly three times as many advertisements for low-nutrient junk such as candy and soda. African Americans tend to consume fewer fresh fruits and vegetables and are more likely to eat junkier foods. There is good evidence that simply eating a more plant-based diet could help eliminate disparities in cardiovascular disease and diabetes, but sometimes it is not simple when there are few good grocery stores in neighborhoods. We can all benefit from plantifying our plates and working together on this!

 Yesterday we talked about the death gap for African Americans - living sicker and dying younger than white Americans. African Americans have higher obesity rates, cutting their lifespans by six years, but Black vegetarians and vegans have less than half the risk of obesity compared to those who eat meat. Even at the same exercise levels, those eating more plant-based had but a fraction of the obesity risk. In African Americans, hypertension is the most significant contributor to their increased cardiovascular disease burden and mortality but… Black vegetarians and vegans combined had 44 percent lower odds of hypertension, and the same thing was found for total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol: cutting odds in half among Black vegetarians and vegans. The researchers conclude these results suggest that there are sizeable advantages to a vegetarian diet in Black individuals, and cardiovascular disease risk factors are even lower in African American vegans (who eat only plant-based foods, meaning no dairy). So, there is tremendous potential for plant-based diets to improve the health of African Americans.

It is Fix It Friday and let us toast up some pepita granola! Petita's, pumpkin seeds, have more protein per ounce than any other seed, the same as beef, and are a lot healthier for us. Here is how:

 In a large pan over medium heat, toast 1 cup of old-fashioned rolled oats, then add 1/4 cup of chopped walnuts and 1/4 cup of pumpkin seeds and stir them around for 3 to 5 minutes. Then reduce the heat and add 2 Tbsp ground flax seeds, 1 Tbsp chia seeds, and 1 t cinnamon and keep toasting until it is fragrant - 4 or 5 minutes. Add 3 Tbsp of maple syrup (not maple-flavored corn syrup) and continue to stir until everything is coated and removed from the heat. Once it has cooled, add raisins, dried cherries, cashews, dried blueberries - anything to make it pop! Improve your health on the shelf with this granola, and the "Be a Plant-based Woman Warrior" cookbook!

 Here is your blast from the past!

 How many times have you started a plan to get healthier, and it works for a day or two or maybe even more, but then it falls apart and you beat yourself up for it? There is a new approach that is finding great success, in the long term, and all it asks is for five minutes of time, three times a day, five days of a week. It was developed by a physician who saw his patients fail repeatedly, and the plan is outlined in his book, "Feel better in 5". Stay tuned to learn more about it this week and have a marvelous Monday!

 Yesterday we mentioned the book, "Feel better in 5" and the physician who wrote it has helped many patients to live better lives through 5 minutes a day of three things that he calls "health snacks" because they are so small and "doable". One healthy snack is for your mind, to reduce levels of stress and anxiety, one is for your body, to get you moving more, and one is for your heart, to strengthen your joy and connection with others. He reminds us that the way we choose to live each day greatly defines how healthy we end up being - by making good choices each day we are healthier and feel better. More to come and have a terrific Tuesday! 

We have been sharing information on "Feel better in 5", a method that requires only 15 minutes a day to help us move the needle on our health, with 5 minutes of exercise, 5 minutes of stress management, and 5 minutes of focusing on joy. The author says that many will say, "Surely you can't transform your health in just 15 minutes a day" but research shows these small habit changes, he calls them "health snacks" are powerful in reducing inflammation, in improving our gene expression, and in winding back the aging process - all of which we've talked about so many times.  So, grab the book "Feel better in 5" to live longer and live stronger on this wonderful Wednesday!

 We are talking more today about the incredibly easy concept of choosing three 5 minutes of "health snacks" a day to profoundly change your wellness. The physician who wrote the book "Feel better in 5" shows how daily habits make a difference, and once his patients mastered 5 minutes of exercise, they moved to 10, then more and many times it encouraged them to eat healthier or stop a bad habit, simply because they felt better and had been successful in improving one aspect of their lives.  That "ripple effect" can be successful in establishing life-long changes that can literally transform the trajectory of our health - with only 15 minutes a day! So, improve the health on your shelf by getting the book "Feel better in 5"!

 Here's more about the book "Feel better in 5", which maps out simple ways to find 5 minutes a day for exercise, 5 for stress management, and 5 for joy.  The author explains how easy it is to start and therefore maintain, and ways to connect these 5-minute "health snacks" with an existing habit to make it even easier. As he says, this approach does not force you to bend around what it demands, it bends around your own life rhythms. He gives clear examples of exercise, stress management, and happiness snacks and you can choose from lists that, for example, help with back pain, or with anxiety, or family dynamics. So, if you have not already, get the book and have a wealth of health on this fantastic Friday!



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Holistic Habits by Cheryl A. Mothes, Ph.D. Natural Health Nutrition Counselor Content is a daily radio script from my KHIS radio spot - tu...