exotic fruits, Tropical Delight or SUPERFRUIT!

We all have heard about Superfoods.   If you haven’t, Superfoods are those fruits and vegetables and plants that contain a higher than average amount of vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants*.

Now, learn about the newest exotic fruits I am calling Tropical Delight or SUPER FRUIT – so called because of their  deep color, saturated with vitamins and minerals and antioxidants To The MAX.  These fruits can only be found in the tropics!

You may or may not have heard of passion fruit or the star fruit. These are two of the more unfamiliar Super Fruits that are not common in every supermarket.  Or maybe you have only heard of passion fruit ice tea!

But these healthy foods are making their way to your grocery store near you, finding their places in the supermarket shelves next to the apples and oranges and pears. So more and more, you can enjoy these vitamin –rich, tasty, healthful tropical fruits, that are so good for you!

Some of these delights you will find on the shelves are:

Passion Fruit
Passion fruit is highly fragrant and egg shaped. Its color is yellow, red and purple.  It is rich in vitamin A and C and fiber. Every scoop taste like guava and is delicious on yogurt or fruit salad.

Star fruit
Star fruit has very few calories and a great source of vitamins C. You and eat the whole “star” – skin, seeds and flesh. There is no need to peel the skin or remove the seed. Allow the juice to run down your hand and be a kid again!

Acai
We all have heard about acai – the tiny, dark, round fruit, the size of a blueberry that taste like chocolate. It has been hailed as the preeminent antioxidant and now found in almost every health drink. Acai is almost responsible for the very term Superfood.  This tiny fruit belongs to the blueberry family which is rich in anthocyanins that are responsible for its purple color. Like is cousin the blueberry, acai provides many health benefits (some real some imagined).

Mango
This egg- shaped fruit is most known for it scent.  The mango color ranges from green to yellow to red. They are packed with antioxidants, vitamin C, potassium and fiber. Mango is very fleshy and sweet.  Cut away the seed and enjoy the sweet rich orange flesh.  Don’t for get to eat the peel. That’s where the fiber is.

Papaya
This big pear- shaped fruit can be enjoyed in many ways. It can be eaten raw, baked, boiled, or cooked with other ingredients to make porridge, depending on what part of the world you are living. Papaya has lots of vitamin C; it is a good source of folate and potassium. It also contains the enzyme papain use in meat tenderizer.

As a little girl, papaya grew all over my mother’s yard! We would eat it ripe and raw. We call it pawpaw in Nigeria. My uncle was tall enough to pick them for me.  (it was also believed to cure Yellow Fever)

Pomegranate
This deep red fruit is filled with jewel-like seeds. To eat a pomegranate, squeeze the ruby red juice from the pulp around the seeds and then eat the seeds themselves – plain or with other fruit, yogurt or desserts.

Pomegranates are called a “lazy man’s” fruit because they cannot be eaten on the run! You have to be reclining on your “Lazy Boy Chair” to enjoy the high dose of antioxidant. Suck the ruby juice and crunch the seeds.

Guava
Guava is sweet, juicy and acidic. It is round, oval and pear -shaped. The edible insides may be white, yellow or red, seed filled or seedless. The skin is soft and edible. It is an excellent source of vitamin A, C, potassium, fiber and phosphorous.

A glass of guava juice daily will do you good!

Kiwi
Kiwi is an egg-shaped fruit with fuzzy brown skin and sweet flesh. Do not let the fuzzy look fool you. The skin is edible and packed with fiber.  Enjoy the delicious green or golden flesh and edible tiny seeds.

Kiwi is a great source of potassium and fiber with twice the vitamin C punch of an orange.

Put kiwi in salad, smooth it up with guava, juice it up in mango or top it up on low fat yogurt.

Run to the grocery store ( or open-air market) near you!

 

Superfood is a term sometimes used to describe food with high phytonutrient content that may confer health benefits as a result. For example, blueberries are often considered a superfood (or superfruit) because they contain significant amounts of antioxidantsanthocyaninsvitamin Cmanganese, and dietary fiber.[1]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Superfood

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Diabetes: The Sugar Disease

This is not a fun or witty blog post. But it’s VERY IMPORTANT to know!  

True story: I am a nurse and I was shocked when another nurse was diabetic and did not even know! She was thirsty, drinking, peeing, thirsty, drinking, peeing, eating too much and gaining weight, tired all the time, blurred vision…  It wasn’t until she went to see her doctor that she learned she was a type 2 diabetic!  

What is diabetes?  Type 2 Diabetes is the most common form of diabetes and is a condition where you have too much glucose in your blood and not enough insulin.  Insulin deficiency is caused by the pancreas not producing enough insulin. This results in a glucose build-up in the body which is passed into the urine, causing excessive thirst and urination.

Diabetes is a disease that can be controlled.  But if not properly managed, it will cause a serious health problem such as high blood pressure and heart disease. You can lower you risk of complications by changing your life style habits with increased physical activities.

Common symptoms of diabetes

  • Excessive thirst and voracious appetite.
  • Frequent Urination, sometimes every hour.
  • Tiredness plus unusual weight gain.
  • Breathing more deeply and rapidly than normal.
  • Dry mouth and blurring vision.
  • Nausea and weakness.
  • Cramping and abdominal pain.
  • Frequent vaginal yeast infections that do not go away
  • Non-healing wounds.
  • Itchy, dry skin – especially at the groin area and bend of the arms, hands and legs.

You can manage your diabetes and prevent complications with these quick tips.

  • Don’t go outside bare footed. Wear your slippers.
  • Pay attention to your feet daily.  Inspect between your legs and toes.
  • Add to your snack pack few glucose tablets or hard candy. Always carry it with you in case of low blood sugar.
  • Check your blood sugar before every meal and before bed time.
  • Make insulin your lifestyle. It will be a convenient addition too your current therapy.
  • Plan your meals and power up your diet. Eat low glycemic index food. They will not cause a spike in blood sugar.
  • Drink lots of water – high glucose causes the body to lose water and you skin can get dry. This may cause the skin to get itchy and crack and that can lead to infection.
  • Regular exercise daily is an important part of managing your diabetes.
  • Diabetes is a circulation problem and can turn a minor cut into non-healing wound that may require a visit to a doctor or wound care center.
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Stressed out? You are the Stress and the Stressor.

Stress is the social and psychological pressure to do too much and to do things you don’t really want to do.

Some pressure is required by life and some pushes us for greater creativity.  But when pressure pushes you out of your comfort zone it takes a toll on your physical health and emotional well-being.

Stress and stressors are health concerns because they affect your body inside and out more than you may realize.  They will affect your thought process, feelings and your behavior -which may lead to headaches, chest tightness or even high blood pressure.  Stress can make you feel anxious, irritable, edgy,   jumpy, fearful, impatient, fuzzy or tired. People around you may start to notice your mood changes from your emotional outbursts, weight gain due to overeating, depression and calling in sick to work.

If you are stressed out, you are not alone. Our fast paced world is not going to change — but it will get even busier with information overload. The workplace environment is no longer on solid ground but on shifting sand! All our home lives are very demanding and the stressors of everyday life are pressing on you from all sides.

But you can change the way you react to these environmental stressors by changing your lifestyle and diet.

If you allow stress to dominate your life, it will become chronic stress. This is when the body secretes stress hormones, called cortisol, almost all the time. When this hormone is secreted for a long period of time, they stop protecting you and instead start to damage the body.  Elevated cortisol is toxic to brain cells. Elevated cortisol also increases blood sugar and insulin levels – eventually leading to belly fat. People with belly fat have low energy levels and are likely to develop diabetes.

Chronically high levels of cortisol lowers DHEA, another hormone that helps you maintain youthfulness and also resist stress.

Stress does not have to dominate your life.  The stress solution of diet and lifestyle changes may help improve your resistance to stress and stressors.

THAT solution is what I talk about week by week here in my blog! That is what my whole blog is all about!

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Heat and Dehydration

 For those living in Texas and Oklahoma, summer 2011 heat is like nothing that they have ever experienced in recent years.  It is draining, exhausting  and unbearable from morning till night and in some part of these states night heat  is worse. Heat will lead to dehydration – a condition that occurs when the loss of body fluids, mostly water, goes above the amount that is taken in. With dehydration, more water is released out of our bodies than the amount of water we take in through drinking.

Dehydrated Elephant Skin

Dehydration is caused by heat exposure, too much exercise or decreased water intake.

Under intense heat, you lose water in the form of water mist in the breath and as water in sweat, urine and stool. Along with the water you are losing, small amounts of salts are also lost.

As the heat bears on and you lose too much water, you body may become out of balance or dehydrated . If you do not replace the lost water soon, you may go into severe dehydration that can lead to coma or death.

Conditions that may lead to dehydration:

  • Heat exposure, and too much exercise.
  • Vomiting, diarrhea, and increased urination.
  • The inability to seek appropriate water and food.
  • No access to safe drinking water

The signs and symptoms that tells you are  in dehydration may range from minor to severe:

  • The increased thirst, dry mouth and sticky tongue.
  • Light head, weakness and dizziness.  When this start to occur the heart jumps and pounds .
  • Confusion, sluggishness and fainting, this occurs when the body  is unable to sweat.
  • Urine output become less and the color changes from yellow to tea color.

The following ways is how to take fluids if you are dehydrated:

  1. Sip small amounts of water and suck on ice chips.
  2. Drink carbohydrate/electrolyte-containing drinks like sports drinks such as Gatorade.
  3. Suck on popsicles made from juices and sports drinks.
  4. Remove any excess clothing and loosen other clothing .
  5. Air-conditioned areas are best for helping return body temperatures to normal.
  6. If air conditioning is not available, increase cooling by sitting near fans or in the shade.
  7. If outside place a wet towel around you.
  8. If available jump into a pool!

Prevention is better that care.” The best treatment for dehydration is prevention. Anticipate the need for increase fluid intake and plan ahead and take extra water to outdoors and events.

  • Avoid exercise and exposure during high heat index days and high heat stress days.
  • Avoid alcohol consumption, especially when it is very hot, because alcohol increases water loss.
  • Wear light-colored and loosing fitting clothing and carry a personal fan!
  • Find air-conditioned or shady areas to cool off between exposures to hot temperatures.
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“oh just one quick thing”

“oh just one quick thing,”… the words that slow down a Doctor and throw an entire office’s schedule off-track.

Waiting room discomfort (ie: HELL) is part of the doctor’s office experience because everybody wants to get in on time and out fast.  It is good to remember however, that a scheduled time is not a guarantee.

Doctors do not just up and walk out the room when “your time is up.” No, they will continue to answer your questions and address all of your issues.

Patients seldom schedule an appointment for one concern and one issue only.  When warned, the receptionist will schedule the appointment accordingly.  But seldom does the patient give such advance warning!

Problems occur then, when in the room with the doctor, that the patient’s  truck of multiple medical issues is unloaded – slowing the doctor down as he tries to accommodate the extra problems and making the next patient late.

The ongoing “Waiting Room Discomfort” is due to the fact that the doctor has addressed additional medical concerns – the extra time the doctor spends has cut into other patient’s appointment.

So, if you are this same type of patient, would you be kind enough to explain to everybody else why they have to wait for the doctor – the doctor who they hope will be as attentive to their concerns – the doctor who will approach their specifics issues and concerns in a way they desire – the doctor who will answer all their 10 question before their surgery – the doctor who will explain a procedure first to parents before their child goes into surgery.

So,  as you are waiting, please be patient and generous  – yes, perhaps  costing you Time and Money –and understand that additional time is sometimes needed for the physical and emotional well-being of the patient who requires care that does not fit into the day’s schedule.

When you schedule your appointment to see your doctor, be sure to tell them in advance that you have list of issues and ask for enough time.

When you see a physician for the first time, outline your expectations and ask up-front if they will be able to work with you.

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Only Bending Knees Shall Walk

Only Bending Knees Shall Walk – Improve joint Health with Daily Self Care

 Some of us get out of bed every morning with ease but for some of us, with back, bone and joint pain, it is an agony.

 Joint pain is caused by many factors.  Diseases like cancer, osteoporosis (weak bones), age, race or previous surgeries all can cause or contribute to pain. And with a serious disease such as osteoporosis, the result can be falls, broken bones and surgery.

You can avoid the body shop of pins, nails, screws and rods by improving the working order of the joints with daily self care.

Stretching daily and every day helps to improve flexibility and avoid injuries to the joints.

In addition to daily stretching, choose the right exercises. Avoid the constant pounding, fast starting-stopping motions, jumping and twisting, running too fast and stopping suddenly that wear out joints.

Instead choose exercise that that are low-impact on the joints such as walking 30 minutes a day, five days a week, for better bone health. Walking is an excellent form of exercise for joint health and for those with conditions like diabetes, asthma, heart disease and depression.

Control your weight with regular walking.  If you allow weight to become a big issue it will increase the force on your knees. Over time, you knees will wear down if you weigh more, simply from the increased forces on the weight-bearing cartilage.  Since all the bones of the skeleton are joined together; the extra weight will put strain on your back and on the discs in your spine.

Can you feel the pain now!

Take high quality vitamins and supplements daily to help support and maintain joint health. Vitamin D and K are the most important! Taking those help to lubricate, support and protect cartilage in your joints. But don’t neglect ALL the other minerals and vitamins that make for good joint and bone health (including Vitamin C).

If your joints are in bad shape – hot, swollen, popping, and cracking – and an every 3 month steroid shot is not giving you relief, seek a chiropractic care! Severe bone disease such as arthritis, disc problems or pinched nerves needs specialists in spine and joint problems. Visit them regularly to keep your spine moving properly.

Stay Healthy!

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11684396
http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Bone/Bone_Health/Nutrition/other_nutrients.asp
http://www.livestrong.com/article/375532-vitamin-c-bone-health/
http://arthritis.webmd.com/slideshow-keep-joints-healthy

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To Die Is Obesity and To Live Is Exercise

This is not about fat. This is really about eating right and staying healthy. It is about the solution to obesity: superfoods and exercise.  Obesity IS beatable. But be prepared. It may take 3 to 5 years. But it is time well spent; a strategy best recommended and has the best outcome.

Surgery?  Shortcuts? TOO MANY RISKS!

As an ER and ICU nurse, I have seen too many times the disaster of bariatric surgery, of all types: constant nausea, vomiting, chronic lack of energy, dehydration, anemia, infections, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, life-time diet restrictions, chronic digestive issues and life-long poor health. The failure rate is high and disappointment and depression follows.

So, WHY NOT invest 3 to 5 years to gradually and healthily lose weight?! Feel alive! Enjoy life!

Bariatric surgery is a “cheat” to avoid exercise and make hard decisions about diet and lifestyle – a cheat that doesn’t work.

Has Obesity Knocked You Down?

Obesity is usually caused, in essence, by eating more calories than are burned. However, other factors, including underlying medical conditions, certain medications and heredity can also contribute to the condition. Obesity can be a major factor in a person having a stroke, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea and reduced mobility. Obesity can also present problems during pregnancy, by putting expectant mothers at increased risk for hypertension, diabetes and obese newborns.

Obesity is beatable. But it takes work, commitment and discipline. The best way to avoid or address obesity is by eating smaller portions, making nutritious food choices and gradually, exercising more.

If you have been struggling to lose more than 100 pounds of body weight and don’t want to undergo a surgical approach, then develop a diet plan based entirely of extraordinarily healthy foods – superfoods. You already know the value of eating a well-balanced diet, but are you choosing the right fruits and vegetables on a weekly and daily basis?

Super Foods to the Rescue!

Superfoods are some of nature’s best gifts; oats, broccoli, and soy are only a few highly-nutritious choices that may help you live longer, fight disease, and keep you in great shape.

Superfoods are the extra nutritious foods containing an abundance of antioxidants, minerals and vitamins. They may have special properties that support good health, anti aging benefits, and may even help with weight management. Eating superfoods, in their natural state (raw), is the best way the body can convert the food into energy. A higher absorption rate means you benefit from the macronutrients. Eat them on a daily basis.

Develop a diet plan based entirely of superfoods.

  • Beans – high in fiber and low in calories.
  • Blueberries – a rich source of antioxidants and phytonutrients.
  • Broccoli – this green vegetable contains high levels of Vitamin C, fiber, and calcium.
  • Oats – rich in fiber and chock full of potassium and zinc, oatmeal is a dieter’s best friend.
  • Oranges – citrus fruits are full of Vitamin C, but oranges are also a valuable source of pectin.
  • Pumpkin – rich in Vitamins C, E, and beta carotene, pumpkin is also a valuable source of fiber.
  • Wild Salmon – with its high level of Omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Soy – the high protein content and Omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Tomatoes – lycopene, Tomatoes are rich in B vitamins, chromium, and even lutein that supports good eye health.
  • Turkey – another valuable source of protein, turkey is also rich in iron, zinc, and B vitamins.
  • Walnuts – vitamin E, fiber, protein, and B vitamins. (but don’t avoid all the other tree nuts!)
  • Yogurt – also a valuable source of protein, calcium, and B-vitamins that give you an energy boost.

I recommend (and credit) the book by Dr. Steven Pratt, SuperFoods Rx – Fourteen Foods That Will Change Your Life, for some content used here and as a resource for additional information.

Baby Steps to Health

Your sedentary lifestyle is your path of “baby steps to an early grave,” but you can choose to change that path with Exercise.  Here are just five ways to easily get rid of the belly fat accumulated from a sedentary lifestyle:

  1. Walk every day. Walking is a fat burning activity in itself, 30 minutes of exercise per day to stay healthy.
  2. Cut back on the sugar. You’ll be doing your belly a favor; sugar is processed in the body very quickly and will be converted into body fat immediately if you don’t burn it off.
  3. Add a few weights to your workout. Resistance training is one of the simplest ways to increase your calorie output, and can help you burn off that fats – with ease.
  4. Sit up straight! It’s not only good for your posture, but may also give you a daily workout.
  5. Reduce stress in your life. Sleeping 7-8 hours each night, taking breaks, and meditating regularly can help balance out any unhealthy stress levels.

Getting rid of fat will take time and losing weight overall will require a long-term commitment to healthy eating and regular exercise.

resources: http://www.google.com/#hl=en&q=superfoods
PRO: http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/superfoods-everyone-needs
http://www.webmd.com/diet/guide/10-everyday-super-foods
http://www.superfoodsrx.com/superfoods
con: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Superfood
other links: http://www.locateadoc.com/articles/superfoods-are-they-just-a-myth-1463.html

As always, the opinions (and these are only informed opinions) are my own. I am licensed, Registered Nurse who works at a well-respected hospital. I see a lot of patients with both good outcomes and poor outcomes to their medical problems and their treatments. I am sure that not every doctor will agree with my opinions. But I am also sure many do. I know they do. They say so. Do your own research. And be smart. Do seek professional medical advice for any serious problem or before starting any diet or exercise regime.

And Sorry for the Long Post! I had lots to say! — Any comments or thoughts? Has your diet worked? What diet worked for you? What diets *didn’t* work? And do you *feel* healthier?!

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