By Jendayi Iyi
Seeking optimum health,
appears to be gaining in pop- ularity. Stores are jumping on the bandwagon and offer- ing better choices with more organic food. Unfortunately, it only takes a drive down a major thoroughfare in the city to see the parking lots and drive up windows of fast food restaurants filled with cars. Add to this the countless bom- bardment of advertising on TV and billboards of unhealthy food choices.
I wonder, do people know
what real food is anymore? Do people know the impact of not eating real food has as a contributor to disease in the body? The body can begin to heal itself only if given the proper nutrients. Food lack- ing nutrients simply passes through the body doing more harm than good, leaving in its wake harmful disease-contrib- uting substances.
I define real food as food
closest to its original state. For example, food in the pro- duce department is unpro- cessed, doesn’t come in a can and isn’t made into a ready to heat and eat meal. If your food comes in a can, box or pack- age, chances are it has been so altered until the nutrients and enzymes are at a minimum at best.
Time is at a premium these
days. Many mothers, who in past generations may have spent more time in the kitchen preparing wholesome meals, now spend time working out- side the home which leads to time-saving meals no where in the league of their predeces- sors. The eating out ratio is in- creasing in leaps and bounds. The art of cooking and prepar- ing meals is declining. The days of sitting down to a table with family members enjoying a home-prepared meal, sadly, is diminishing to holidays and other special occasions.
Now, having a family dinner
time is more like a fantasy on television or in a movie. The behavior of people now is that of mindless eaters, eating while riding in a car, watch- ing TV or staring into a com- puter. Consequently, we don’t chew our food adequately to release what is needed from the food through mastication and mixing with the saliva and we are not paying attention to how much we are consuming.
Our food choices are many
times spontaneous, with us not thinking past the immedi- ate satisfaction of our appetite, not how to best nutritionally serve our bodies. Many of us shop for food with a long shelf life, which is what the chemi- cals and preservative ensure. The downside of preservatives is that we pay with our health. Put a piece of green vegetable in front of a child and it’s like putting a foreign object in front of him and expecting him to eat it. Move outside the pizza box and look into more fruits, nuts, seeds and grains.
Real food is “live” food
without the nutrients being stripped from it during pro- cessing. Read your labels. If you can hardly pronounce an ingredient or never heard of it, chances are it’s not for your highest good. Food has changed more in the past 50 years than it has since the beginning of time. Genetically modified, preservative, sugar filled food is what you’ll find more of in your neighborhood grocery store.
Did you know that 30 per-
cent less embalming fluid is needed to preserve a body now than 50 years ago? That’s be- cause we eat more preserva- tives in our food which stays in our system.
They say the worst thing
you can mess with is a per- son’s taste buds. It’s true. The thing is, we have formed habits since childhood to prefer cer- tain tastes. Add to that, most flavors in modern food is cre- ated in a laboratory. Because we cover the real taste of food with salt, sugar and then douse much of it in unhealthy oils when we eat so much fried food, again to the detriment of our health.
A good rule of thumb is to
eat a rainbow of food a day. Including many different col- ored foods closest to their original state assures you of getting much needed vitamins, enzymes and minerals essen- tial to good health. Take for instance green.
Green in your leafy veg-
etables is usually an indica- tor that what you are about to eat is full of chlorophyll. The main benefit of chlorophyll is that it nourishes the blood so significantly, it’s like getting brand new blood. Chlorophyll (which is the blood of the plant) is rich in potassium, vi- tamin A and aids in the elimi- nation of toxins. Each color in food has its own beneficial characteristics for the body.
Use your local farmers
market and ask the vendors where the food came from. The more local the food is, the better your chances of having fresher food. Ask if it’s organic (free of pesticides and chemicals). Cost is a concern when buying healthy food, but look at it this way: you can pay for it with your money or pay at the expense of your health. At minimum, try to buy your green leafy vegetable organic as it is very difficult to wash chemicals out of each little crevice of spinach or kale.
Eating real food will lead
you to longevity, energy, glow- ing, healthier looking skin, and overall health in the body. Steadily improve the ratio of real food in your diet. Take responsibility for your health. It’s up to you every time you eat. The choices are daily ones so every day is another chance to eat right. Choose wisely be- cause your body is the house you live in and without it, you have nowhere to live.
THE MICHIGAN CHRONICLE
April 21-28, 2010
Middle-aged Americans report more mobility-related disabilities
The proportion of older
middle-aged Americans who report disabilities related to mobility increased significant- ly from 1997 to 2007, in con- trast to the disability decline that has been found among Americans ages 65 and over, according to a new study by the RAND Corporation and the University of Michigan.
Researchers found a rise in
the proportion of Americans aged 50 to 64 who reported mobility-related difficulties or the need for help in daily per- sonal care activities such as getting out of bed, according findings published in the April 6 edition of the journal Health Affairs.
The reason for the increase
is not clear, although many of those reporting disabilities say they are due to health problems that began in their thirties and forties.
“Although the overall rate
of needing help with personal care among this group re- mains very low — less than 2 percent — this rise in disabil- ity is reason for concern,” said Linda Martin, the study’s lead author and a senior fellow at RAND, a nonprofit research organization. “It does not bode well for future trends for the 65 and older population, plus there are substantial personal and societal costs of caring for people of any age who need help.”
Researchers examined dis-
ability trends among people aged 50 to 64 by analyzing information from the 1997 to 2007 National Health Interview Survey, a nationally represen- tative effort that asks thou- sands of community-dwelling Americans each year about a broad range of issues regard- ing their health status.
More than 40 percent of
people aged 50 to 64 reported that because of a health prob- lem they had difficulty with at least one of nine physical func- tions and many reported prob- lems with more than one. Over the study period, researchers noted a significant increase in the number of people re- porting that a health problem made it difficult for them to stoop, stand for two hours, walk a quarter mile or climb
10 steps without resting. There also was a significant
increase in the proportion of people who reported needing help with personal care activi- ties of daily living such as get- ting in or out of bed or getting around inside their homes.
“This is a disappointing
trend with potentially far- reaching and long-term nega- tive consequences,” said Richard Suzman, director of the Division of Behavioral and Social Research at the Nation- al Institute on Aging, which funded the study. “If people have such difficulties in middle age, how can we expect that this age group — today’s baby boomers — will be able to take care of itself with advancing age? If it continues, this trend could have a significant effect on the need for long-term care in the future.”
From 1997 to 2007, in-
creasing proportions of people aged 50 to 64 attributed their need for help to back or neck problems, diabetes, and de- pression, anxiety or emotional problems. By 2005-07, the four most common causes for needing help were these three plus arthritis or rheumatism. People who reported these conditions as causes were most likely to report that the ailments started at ages 30 to 49 years.
The reported increases in
conditions causing disability may reflect real deterioration of health or improved aware- ness of conditions as a result of diagnosis and treatment. It also could be that improved medical care has extended the lives of people whose disabili- ties began early in life and who might have not survived to age 50 in earlier decades.
Despite continuing con-
cerns about obesity in the United States, those needing help did not cite obesity as an important cause of their limi- tations.
“We have this uptick of
people in their fifties and early sixties who say they need help with their daily activities of living and we’re not sure why,” said study co-author Vicki Freedman, a research profes- sor at the Institute for Social Research at U-M. “But the pat-
terns suggest the need for pre- vention and early intervention before the age of Medicare eli- gibility.”
Other authors of the study
are Robert Schoeni and Patri- cia Andreski of the Institute for Social Research (ISR).
RAND Health, a division of
the RAND Corporation, is the nation’s largest independent health policy research pro- gram, with a broad research portfolio that focuses on qual- ity, costs and health services delivery, among other topics.
The University of Michigan
Institute for Social Research is the world’s largest academ- ic social science survey and research organization, and a world leader in developing and applying social science meth- odology, and in educating re- searchers and students from around the world.
Established in 1949, ISR
conducts some of the most widely cited studies in the nation, including the Thom- son Reuters/University of Michigan Survey of Consumer Attitudes, the American Na- tional Election Studies, the Monitoring the Future Study, the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, the Health and Retirement Study, the Co- lumbia County Longitudinal Study and the National Survey of Black Americans. ISR re- searchers also collaborate with social scientists in more than 60 nations on the World Values Surveys and other projects, and the Institute has established formal ties with universities in Poland, China, and South Africa. ISR is also home to the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR), the world’s largest digital social science data archive. Visit the ISR website at http://www.isr. umich.edu for more informa- tion.
The RAND Corporation is a
nonprofit research organiza- tion providing objective analy- sis and effective solutions that address the challenges facing the public and private sectors around the world. To sign up for RAND e-mail alerts: http://
email.html. RAND is a regis- tered trademark.
April is National Alcohol Awareness Month
Resource Guide for Asthma Sufferers
Aſter suffering through long, frigid winters, spring sunshine is typically welcomed by residents of Southeast Michigan. But the relaxing transition to spring doesn’t let everyone breathe easily. Seasonal change is oſten one of several occurrences that trigger health problems among asthma sufferers; symptoms include chest congestion, wheezing (whistle-like sounds that come with breathing), and difficulty breathing at night or early in the morning. Yet, just as relaxing times can reveal symptoms, exercise can also trigger the illness.
Following are recommended precautions and resources to help asthmatics experience the joys of spring, courtesy of the Southeast Michigan-based Midwest Health Plan:
Start that spring cleaning – While replacing heavy winter linens with lighter ones, put mattresses and pillows in dust-proof covers before making beds. Invisible dust mites feed off of skin cells that naturally shed from the body, and dust mites trigger allergies. Doctors also recommend weekly washing of linen and keeping bedrooms free of stuffed toys, rugs and carpets.
Cool down, electrically – Use air conditioning. Open windows may let in allergy-causing pollen; fans can circulate allergy triggers, like pet fur.
Don’t be a (cigarette) butt-head – Cigarette contaminants hurt respiration and marijuana (besides being illegal) contains chemicals that store-bought cigarettes don’t.
52,013 kids have asthma*
In Wayne County
Make sure your child can breathe easy.
If you have Medicaid, Midwest Health Plan offers: An extensive network of physicians A large network of specialists practicing at major area hospitals Affiliation with all major pharmacy chains Experience in serving Southeast Michigan for over 10 years
*Michigan Behavioral Risk Factor Survey, 2002
To Join Midwest Health Plan, call Michigan Enrolls 1-888-367-6557 during the month of May.
Avoid chemical odors – Steer clear of lawn sprays, insect repellant, household cleaning products and even some perfumes and hair sprays.
Ask the doc – Check with physicians about spring activities and the best way to offset asthma problems. For more information, visit www.aanma.org (Allergy and Asthma Network/Mothers of Asthmatics), www.aaaai.org (American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology), www.lungusa.org (American Lung Association), www.aafa.org (Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America), www.epa.gov/asthma (US Environmental Protection Agency), www.nhlbi.nih.gov (National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health), www.nationaljewish.org (National Jewish Medical and Research Center), www.asthmaactionamerica.com (Asthma Action America), or www.1on1health.com (1on1health).
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