Archived posts by category: Health News
Archived posts by category: Health News
Vitamin D, not technically a vitamin at all, is created in our bodies when the sun hits our skin. It’s good to see that after a cold grey winter like this one, some attention is being paid to this important nutrient. Here are a couple of interesting articles:
This next article does a thorough job of talking about Vitamin D with regards to how many people are deficient. Unfortunately, the entire article focuses on taking supplements and never once even mentions that you can get lots of free Vitamin D from going out into the sunshine.
Any time that sun is shining and you have some time to spare, roll your sleeves up and soak in some sun. Try to get 10-30 minutes per day without the use of sunblock. If that’s not possible, supplements may be your only option.
Read our full page on Vitamin D.
We’ve been filtering our water for years, but after doing more research on water, decided to switch to bottled distilled water. Tap water is so bad these days that filtering it doesn’t get all the chemicals out. Flouride, in particular, was the main impetus for the switch. That’s not to say that filtering your tap water is not worthwhile, because it is. We chose to take the extra step.
Even during times when money has been scarce, we kept room in our budget for bottled water. Nothing is more important to long-term and short-term health than clean water.
So this recent article in the New York Times was a welcome surprise. It is painful to hear that so many people are consuming unsafe water in the United States. But an honest look at the problem allows us to make changes for the better.
The 35-year-old federal law regulating tap water is so out of date that the water Americans drink can pose what scientists say are serious health risks — and still be legal.
Only 91 contaminants are regulated by the Safe Drinking Water Act, yet more than 60,000 chemicals are used within the United States, according to Environmental Protection Agency estimates. Government and independent scientists have scrutinized thousands of those chemicals in recent decades, and identified hundreds associated with a risk of cancer and other diseases at small concentrations in drinking water, according to an analysis of government records by The New York Times.
This isn’t news in some health-conscious circles, but it’s wonderful to see it addressed so prominently in the New York Times. This article challenges the idea, long touted by the dairy industry, that milk is beneficial in combating osteoporosis. It goes even further and suggests that maybe it is part of the problem.
The science of osteoporosis and its resultant fractures has long been plagued by some vexing observations. Why, for example, are osteoporotic fractures relatively rare in Asian countries like Japan, where people live as long or longer than Americans and consume almost no calcium-rich dairy products? Why, in Western countries that consume the most dairy foods, are rates of osteoporotic fractures among the highest in the world? And why has no consistent link been found between the amount of calcium people consume and protection against osteoporosis?
An alternative theory of bone health may — or may not — explain these apparent contradictions. It is the theory of low-acid eating, a diet laden with fruits and vegetables but relatively low in acid-producing protein and moderate in cereal grains. Its proponents suggest that this menu plan could lead to stronger bones than the typical American diet rich in dairy products and animal protein, often enhanced by calcium supplements.
There has been a lot of concern these last several days over Swine Flu, a severe flu thought to have started its most recent round in Mexico. The government’s advice? Wash your hands often, cover your mouth when you cough, and most of all don’t panic.
We concur with all of that advice, most of all the last one. And we offer one more piece of advice not likely to come from officials: eat well and consume plenty of anti-viral foods.
When your body is healthy, and your immune system is at its best, you are able to combat viruses more effectively. Here are some tips on staying healthy during a flu outbreak (or any outbreak for that matter):
If you are planning to travel by plane or know you will be in tight quarters with many others, take special care to follow the above guidelines before and during your travels.
“Most parents already know that sugary sodas and greasy potato chips are not the healthiest food choices for children. But what about the hundreds of other widely available and kid-friendly packaged foods — pastas, frozen dinners, granola bars — that at least appear to be more wholesome?
“A new Canadian study suggests that even these foods — most of which make nutritional claims on the packaging — aren’t all they profess to be.”
At foodscout, we believe the only real health food is the food that nature provides. Very few people can eat a perfect diet all of the time and it isn’t necessary to do so. But when you buy processed and packaged foods, do so consciously. Acknowledge that it isn’t the ideal choice. This awareness will encourage you to buy healthier foods going forward.
We like to follow what we light-heartedly call the “foodscout diet” – eating the foods that we list on our site. But we also sometimes like to give into our cravings and have a little treat. At this point, even our binges are relatively healthy, so this might take the form of BBQ tofu, Greens+ Chocolate Bars, or a vegan gluten-free pizza. For us, this is a deviation from what we know we should be eating, so we acknowledge that fact and enjoy these treats with this awareness. Over time, we have decreased the frequency of such deviations.
Don’t blindly assume that something is healthy just because the package says it is. Marketing companies know that health is a big seller and they have no problem labeling high fat, high salt, nutritionally deficient foods as “health food.” Decide for yourself what your diet standards are and stick with them.
“Rana Parker tells pudgy police they have the right to remain chubby, but it can and will be used against them on the streets of Los Angeles. The dietitian lays down the law for recruits, veterans and top brass, letting them know that eating right can help them do a better job and could even save their lives.”
Reuters reported on a new study linking low levels of vitamin D with depression. The study does not conclude whether the vitamin D deficiency is a cause or a consequence of the depression.
If it is the cause, this would confirm a physiological connection between sunlight and happiness.
Seniors, particularly those in nursing homes, are at risk of a vitamin D deficiency because they do not spend as much time outdoors.
A new study, reported by the BBC, shows that cooked tomatoes help guard against sunburn, wrinkles, and even skin cancer, by protecting the skin from UV rays.
We suggest though, that you ignore the reporter’s statement that “pizza and spaghetti bolognese could become new tools in the fight against sunburn and wrinkles” and just focus on eating more tomatoes with your healthy meals. Pizza and spaghetti do not qualify.
More information on the health benefits of tomatoes can be found on our Tomatoes page.
More information on foods and nutrients that are beneficial to the skin can be found on our Skin page.
Reuters reports on a study validating that changes in diet can help control diabetes and blood sugar levels: “In children and adolescents with type 1, or insulin-dependent, diabetes, consumption of a low glycemic index diet may improve blood sugar control, according to results of a National Institutes of Health-sponsored study.
“Glycemic index, or GI, refers to how rapidly a food causes blood sugar to rise. High-GI foods, like white bread and potatoes, tend to spur a quick surge in blood sugar, while low-GI foods, such as lentils, soybeans, yogurt and many high-fiber grains, create a more gradual increase in blood sugar.”
For helpful information on what kinds of foods can help control blood sugar, visit our Blood Sugar page in the Health Benefits section.
Reuters reports on the importance of observing your bowel movements to determine the state of your internal health, and give some tips about what to look for.
“When it comes to ways to keep track of our health, a daily peek in the toilet bowl is probably not what first comes to mind. But one gastroenterologist says that your bowel movements can be an important clue to the state of your digestive health.”
Read the full article on Reuters.