Dynamic Duos: Powerful Food Combinations for Your Health

Author: Eugene Sung

Mario and Luigi. Batman and Robin. Calvin and Hobbes. Hall and Oates. Sometimes two is better than one. Nutrition can work the same way as food scientists have been touting the benefits of food synergy (when components within or between foods work together in the body for maximum health benefits). Try these simple combinations to maximize your nutrition potential.

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Onions + Black Grapes: Onions contain quercitin, a powerful anti-oxidant, which has been shown to provide cardiovascular protection and relieve allergy symptoms. Catechin, an anti-oxidant found in grapes, may help prevent cardiovascular disease, cancer, and neurological disorders. Combining these two can be a powerhouse for your cardiovascular system by inhibiting blood clots and boosting overall heart health.

Oatmeal + Blueberries: Whole grains, such as oatmeal, contain phytochemicals that can combat inflammation and disease. They also contain avenanthramides, which can help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by preventing free radicals from damaging LDL cholesterol (oxidized LDL is more likely to encourage plaque buildup in the arteries). Opt for coarse or steel-cut oats over instant varieties.

Blueberries have long been praised as a cancer fighter because of their concentrations of ellagic acid. They also are a good source of fiber, vitamin C and K and manganese. A study published in the The Journal of Nutrition showed that the amount of time LDL was protected from oxidation increased from 137 to 216 minutes when vitamin C was added to oat phytochemicals.

Fish + Garlic: Fish is a good source of omega-3 fats and selenium, low in saturated fat and high in protein. Omega-3 fatty acids help lower blood pressure, heart rate, and triglycerides; improve blood-vessel function; and reduce inflammation. Remember, avoid farmed fish and opt for wild caught fish.

Garlic has been shown to be a cancer fighter (a study from the National Cancer Institute found that eating approximately 2 teaspoons or more of garlic was associated with a statistically significant lower risk of prostate cancer for the participants in the study), a detoxifier and it may lower cholesterol.

Researchers at the University of Guelph tested the effects of garlic and fish oil supplements, taken alone and together, on men with moderately high blood cholesterol. The combination lowered total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides.

Salad Greens + Almonds/Avocados: The plant pigments found in brightly colored vegetables can reduce the risk of heart disease, cataracts, and cancer. However, they need to be eaten with a small amount of absorption-boosting monounsaturated fat, which can be found in almonds or avocados.

An Ohio State University study measured how well phytochemicals from a mixed green salad were absorbed when eaten with or without 3.5 tbsp of avocado. The avocado’s fatty acids helped subjects absorb 8.3 times more alpha-carotene, 13.6 times more beta-carotene, and 4.3 times more lutein than those who ate their salads plain.

Green Tea + Lemon: Green tea contains catechins, which has been associated with lower incidences of cancer and cardiovascular disease. However, catechin breaks down quickly in a non-acidic environment and roughly 20% of catechin is available for absorption after digestion. A study published in Molecular Nutrition and Food Research found that adding lemon juice to tea increases the level of antioxidant utilization in the body more than 5 times.

<a href=”http://kairosclinic.net/2013/06/11/dynamic-duos-powerful-food-combinations-for-your-health/”>Source</a>

<em>Post reprinted with permission from the author. </em>

About the author: Eugene Sung is a chiropractic physican based in Los Angeles. His specialties are evidence-based protocols for musculoskeletal injuries and nutrition therapy. He can be reached <a href=”http://kairosclinic.wordpress.com”>here</a>.

Sleep Deprivation Links to Higher Risk for Breast Cancer?

I was always considered the night owl in my family. Ever since college, my sleeping patterns consisted of multiple nights burning the midnight oil (in addition to a couple of all nighters). Simply put, my body was pretty programmed to function better at night because it was the time of the day where I was least distracted and I could be very productive. However, a couple of months ago, I decided that I needed to improve my quality (and quantity) of sleep by adopting a normal sleeping schedule (aka, sleeping earlier and waking up earlier). It’s definitely helped with my mood and skin (well, I think it appears better).

However, I’m sure you all know there’s health benefits to getting more hours of sleep daily, but apparently, according to this NYT article, six or seven hours of sleep is still not enough. The article states that poor sleep does quite a number to your mood, productivity, and physical health (including your metabolism and weight control — this could add up to 10 pounds in a year!), among some factors.

However, one of the more alarming things that I came across in the article for women? A higher risk for breast cancer:

The risk of cancer may also be elevated in people who fail to get enough sleep. A Japanese study of nearly 24,000 women ages 40 to 79 found that those who slept less than six hours a night were more likely to develop breast cancer than women who slept longer. The increased risk may result from diminished secretion of the sleep hormone melatonin. Among participants in the Nurses Health Study, Eva S. Schernhammer of Harvard Medical School found a link between low melatonin levels and an increased risk of breast cancer.

Hear that ladies? Keep the hours of sleep you collect daily in check – and your boobies will love you!

Source

Asian Women Don’t Get Breast Cancer?

Photo by Richard Cavosora, courtesy of Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum’s “A Book of Hope: Stories of Healing to Honor Asian American & Pacific Islander Cancer Survivors.”

We may be nearing the end of October, but that doesn’t mean breast cancer awareness stops here. The most commonly diagnosed cancer among Asian American women is something we have to be vigilant about year-round. Here, a personal story about one woman fighting for awareness in the Asian American community.

“Asian women don’t get breast cancer.”

What if you heard these words from a medical professional? Susan Shinagawa did in 1991 after finding a lump in her breast during her monthly self-exam. Today, it’s those words that drive the work she now does. Shinagawa wants to make sure that no other woman of Asian descent will hear these words and that all women regularly get screened for breast cancer.

A decade ago, Shinagawa was working as a program administrator at an academic cancer center in San Diego, Calif. She says that, at the time, she knew very little about cancer even though she worked at the center. A friend of hers was giving breast self-examination (BSE) workshops and asked Shinagawa to attend. So she went to support her friend.

At the workshop, Shinagawa’s friend mentioned several risk factors for breast cancer that caught her attention. She had a couple of those risk factors and decided that she should start doing BSE. She began doing monthly BSE and recorded what she felt each month on a breast map.

“After several months of doing monthly self-exams, I felt something completely different in May 1991 than I’d ever felt,” Shinagawa says during our phone interview. “It was really obvious and just underneath my skin. I could even look straight down and see this lump sticking out.”

Shinagawa was preparing to take a leave of absence from work to join her naval pilot husband in Florida for a year. Before she left, she decided to get the lump checked out.

Her mammogram came out negative. However, says Shinagawa, at that time, 40 percent of all pre-menopausal women had false negative mammograms. The diagnostic radiologist decided to do a sonogram, which showed Shinagawa’s lump to be a solid mass, and not cystic. So Shinagawa went to see a surgical oncologist, who told her that she had fibrocystic breast disease, a.k.a. lumpy breasts. He told her that she had nothing to worry about, that she was too young to have breast cancer, she had no family history of it and besides, “Asian women don’t get breast cancer.”

“At that time, I really didn’t know anything about breast cancer or cancer statistics. So his comments really didn’t hit me,” says Shinagawa. “All I was thinking was, ‘I’m young and this is what I want to hear.’” But a little voice inside Shinagawa’s head kept telling her that something was going on.

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