Saturday, March 17, 2007

Banana - Wonder food

Bananas: Containing three natural sugars - sucrose, fructose and
glucose combined with fiber, a banana gives an instant, sustained and
substantial boost of energy. Research has proven that just two bananas
provide enough energy for a strenuous 90-minute workout. No wonder the
banana is the number one fruit with the world's leading athletes. But energy
isn't the only way a banana can help us keep fit. It can also help
overcome or prevent a substantial number of illnesses and conditions,
making it a must to add to our daily diet.

Depression: According to a recent survey undertaken by MIND amongst
people suffering from depression, many felt much better after eating a
banana. This is because bananas contain tryptophan, a type of protein
that the body converts into serotonin, known to make you relax, improve
your mood and generally make you feel happier.

PMS: Forget the pills -- eat a banana. The vitamin B6 it contains
regulates blood glucose levels, which can affect your mood.

Anemia: High in iron, bananas can stimulate the production of
hemoglobin in the blood and so helps in cases of anemia.

Blood Pressure: This unique tropical fruit is extremely high in
potassium yet low in salt, making it the perfect way to beat blood pressure.
So much so, the US Food and Drug Administration has just allowed the
banana industry to make official claims for the fruit's ability to reduce
the risk of blood pressure and stroke.

Brain Power: 200 students at a Twickenham (Middlesex) school were
helped through their exams this year by eating bananas at breakfast,
break, and lunch in a bid to boost their brain power. Research has shown
that the potassium-packed fruit can assist learning by making pupils more

Constipation: High in fiber, including bananas in the diet can help
restore normal bowel action, helping to overcome the problem without
resorting to laxatives.

Hangovers: One of the quickest ways of curing a hangover is to make a
banana milkshake, sweetened with honey. The banana calms the stomach
and, with the help of the honey, builds up depleted blood sugar levels,
while the milk soothes and re-hydrates your system.

Heartburn: Bananas have a natural antacid effect in the body, so if
you suffer from heartburn, try eating a banana for soothing relief.
Morning Sickness: Snacking on bananas between meals helps to keep
blood sugar levels up and avoid morning sickness.

Mosquito bites: Before reaching for the insect bite cream, try
rubbing the affected area with the inside of a banana skin. Many people find
it amazingly successful at reducing swelling and irritation.
Nerves: Bananas are high in B vitamins that help calm the nervous

Overweight and at work? Studies at the Institute of Psychology in
Austria found pressure at work leads to gorging on comfort food like
chocolate and crisps. Looking at 5,000 hospital patients, researchers found
the most obese were more likely to be in high-pressure jobs. The report
concluded that, to avoid panic-induced food cravings, we need to
control our blood sugar levels by snacking on high carbohydrate foods every
two hours to keep levels steady.

Ulcers: The banana is used as the dietary food against intestinal
disorders because of its soft texture and smoothness. It is the only raw
fruit that can be eaten without distress in over-chronicler cases. It
also neutralizes over-acidity and reduces irritation by coating the
lining of the stomach.

Temperature control: Many other cultures see bananas as a "cooling"
fruit that can lower both the physical and emotional temperature of
expectant mothers. In Thailand, for example, pregnant women eat bananas to
ensure their baby is born with a cool temperature.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD): Bananas can help SAD sufferers
because they contain the natural mood enhancer tryptophan.

Smoking: Bananas can also help people trying to give up smoking. The
B6, B12 they contain, as well as the potassium and magnesium found in
them, help the body recover from the effects of nicotine withdrawal.

Stress: Potassium is a vital mineral, which helps normalize the
heartbeat, sends oxygen to the brain and regulates your body's water
balance. When we are stressed, our metabolic rate rises, thereby reducing our
potassium levels. These can be rebalanced with the help of a
high-potassium banana snack.

Strokes: According to research in "The New England Journal of
Medicine, "eating bananas as part of a regular diet can cut the risk of death
by strokes by as much as 40%!

So, a banana really is a natural remedy for many ills. When you
compare it to an apple, it has four times the protein, twice the
carbohydrates, three times the phosphorus, five times the vitamin A and iron,
and twice the other vitamins and minerals. It is also rich in potassium and
is one of the best value foods around. So maybe its time to change that
well-known phrase so that we say, "A banana a day keeps the doctor

Superfood Concentrate

Friday, March 16, 2007

Media Bias

I have to deviate from the normal health and wellness information to point out something that pisses me off! The liberal media bias that has a double standard when it comes to reporting political news. I could come up with dozens of examples, but I am short on time. What do you think?

Bush’s Eight Vs. Clinton’s 93

by L. Brent Bozell III
March 14, 2007

The March 13 Washington Post erupted on the front page with the revelation that the White House played a role in the dismissal of eight U.S. Attorneys. “Firings Had Genesis In White House,” screamed the headline. Documents showed that back in 2005, White House counsel Harriet Miers recommended the idea to the Justice Department that all 93 U.S. Attorneys be replaced. Instead, the Bush team dismissed only eight.

But something quite amazing was omitted by those hard-charging Post reporters Dan Eggen and John Solomon digging through White House E-mails for their scandalized front-page bombshell. Didn’t Bill Clinton’s brand new Attorney General Janet Reno demand resignations from all 93 U.S. attorneys on March 24, 1993? Wouldn’t that fact be relevant to the story? Wouldn’t it have the effect of lessening the oh-my-God hyperbole on the front page if the reader was shown that what Bush did was one-tenth as dramatic as what Team Clinton did? Yes, and yes.

Bush’s attorney general fired eight. Clinton’s fired 93. The media think the eight dismissals were a scandal so massive some have begun calling on Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to resign. But they thought the 93 Clinton firings were not worth investigating for the length of a cigarette break. Can a liberal double standard be any more obvious?

The Washington Post was by no means alone. The March 13 New York Times also hyped the story of the White House looking into dismissing U.S. attorneys on page one – and reporters David Johnston and Eric Lipton also completely skipped the fact of Janet Reno’s “March Massacre.” ABC’s “Good Morning America” on March 13 carried a story from Justice Department correspondent Pierre Thomas, and he also completely skipped the Clinton-Reno firings. Worse yet, in the middle of this episode of amnesia, ABC brought on George Stephanopoulos – who defended the Clinton firings as the White House spokesman in 1993 – to describe this as an urgent matter putting pressure on Karl Rove to testify before Congress and for Gonzales to resign!

But surely the media gave the Reno order equal, if not ten-fold coverage back in ‘93, right? Think again. ABC never reported it. The New York Times front-page headline yawned: “Attorney General Seeks Resignations from Prosecutors.” (At least an editorial the next day blasted Reno’s move as “an odd first step in the wrong direction.”)

The Washington Post demonstrated a much richer double standard. While the Post has filed six heavy-breathing front-page stories on their newest Bush scandal, back in 1993, the story was over within a day or two. They reported Janet Reno’s purge on the front page, utterly without suspicion: “The Clinton administration yesterday requested that the nation's 93 U.S. attorneys submit their resignations, a move that likely will mean the quick departure of two figures who have played prominent roles in the politics of the District and Virginia.”

The headline was simply “Washington Area to Lose 2 High-Profile Prosecutors; All U.S. Attorneys Told to Tender Resignations.” They then added helpfully that Reno said it was routine.

The Post noted mildly that the canned D.C. prosecutor was Jay Stephens, who was right in the middle of investigating corrupt Rep. Dan Rostenkowski, the man who was sure to play a major role in passing Hillary’s socialist health-care plan. Was the mass firing a way to get rid of him? Stephens protested. The Washington Post editorialized and answered: Get lost. “Jay Stephens Strikes Out” was their headline.

The suggestion that the White House had a political agenda was a contemptible reach, editorialized the Post: “The innuendo in which U.S. Attorney Jay Stephens has indulged in the past few days can only be calculated to undermine the integrity and reputation of the prosecutorial process he claims it is his goal to protect. Attorney General Janet Reno announced at a news conference Tuesday that all U.S. attorneys across the country were being asked for their resignations. No surprise there. These are political appointees who owed their jobs to the last administration and have expected to be replaced ever since last November's election.”
So in 2007, the firing of a U.S. Attorney is an egregious ethical offense, but in 1993, it was merely a customary transition of administrations.

The American people deserve Washington reporters who report the news in full historical context, not Democratic Party context. Every so-called “objective” reporter who reproduces Senator Chuck Schumer’s talking points about how this is an unprecedented Gonzales outrage without remembering Reno’s March Massacre is making a mockery of journalism, and history.

Do you have a mind of your own? Do you see any disparity here?

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

How Wearing A Bra Increases The Risk Of Breast Cancer By 125 Times!

A few weeks ago, I received an email from a lady asking if wearing a bra increases breast cancer (a friend had told her this). Well, as odd as that may sound, there is a lot of truth to it.

There have been many studies showing that women who wear bras all the time, even to bed, are 125 times MORE LIKELY to develop breast cancer than a woman who has at NO time worn one. The 24-hour bra wearers face a horrendous 75% chance of contracting breast cancer.

In fact, a book entitled "Dressed to Kill" by Sydney Ross Singer and Soma Grismaijer talks all about this subject in great detail.

But Wait, Don't Burn Your Bra Just Yet ...
Anyone who knows me, even just a little, knows that I am NOT about "extremes" of any kind - mon.ey, food, exercise, work, etc., etc. So, just as many medical studies have flaws, so does this one.

In VERY simple terms ... women who wear bras "all the time", tend to usually have bigger than average breast s. Bigger breast s are usually due to higher estrogen levels. And, higher estrogen tends to trigger cancer more often - especially in the breast s. Of course, that's just ONE flaw of many with this study.

BUT, please note that it is NOT a good idea to wear your bra ALL the time, as it WILL increase your rate of breast cancer (just not as much as this study or as the book claims). At the very least, don't wear them to bed. Find a happy medium ... The less often you can wear them, the better.

Reference:• Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) News 2002; 58(11)• "Dressed to Kill" by Sydney Ross Singer and Soma Grismaijer

From Sam Robbins HFL Newsletter:

Vitally Well Natural Health and Nutrition

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Good Salt - Bad Salt

Salt: Don't Ban It Entirely
Salt is bad for blood pressure but good for brain development, researchers say.

Truth About Iodized Salt
Is the salt in your kitchen salt iodized? Most people don't know. "Most people buy just whatever one their hand grabs... and until about five years ago, it didn't really matter," says Glen Maberly, MBBS, MD, an endocrinologist and professor of international health in the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta.

Yet getting too little iodine -- called iodine deficiency -- is a serious issue. Iodine is an essential mineral for the production of thyroid hormones. Too little iodine in a pregnant women's diet can affect the development of the fetus' brain and can cause cretinism, an irreversible form of physical and mental retardation. Iodine deficiency during infancy can also result in abnormal brain development and impaired intellectual development.

"The developing brain is the most sensitive organ. Iodine deficiency doesn't make people idiots, but it does make them less smart," says Maberly.

In the U.S., iodine deficiency is more common in women than men. It's also common in pregnant women and adolescents, he tells WebMD.

Iodine deficiency is thought to be rare in the U.S. It's considered a problem of third-world countries, but Maberly disagrees. "Iodine nutrition in the U.S. is borderline," he tells WebMD. "A pregnant woman may not be protected. Even if she eats a normal diet, her intake is probably inadequate. Only 70% of table salt is iodine-fortified."

Until nearly five years ago, Americans who got dairy, bread, and meat in their diets got plenty of iodine, he explains. Machines used in production were cleaned with an iodine disinfecting solution, so some iodine ended up in dairy, bread, meat products. That ended when companies quit using iodine disinfectant.

Iodized salt is rarely found in canned, frozen, or boxed food, says Maberly. French fries and other snack foods mostly contain regular salt -- not iodized salt.

In fact, Americans now get one-third less iodine than they once did, he notes.
Both newborns and toddlers are affected by iodine deficiency. A recent study showed lower IQ scores among children with mild iodine deficiency -- proof that the problem exists in developed countries, writes researcher Piedad Santiago-Fernandez, MD, an endocrinologist at the Complejo Hospitalario Carlos Haya in Malaga, Spain.

It's true, says Michael Karl, MD, an endocrinologist with the University of Miami School of Medicine. "You can certainly see even subtle changes in iodine can affect IQ," Karl tells WebMD. "Iodine is critical in the first years of life, extraordinarily important up to 3 or 5 years of age."
Children in financially stressed families are likely at highest risk. They rarely take multivitamins, he tells WebMD. "Iodine deficiency is not an epidemic yet, but it's serious enough that it should be watched."

Sea salt and most salt substitutes are not iodized. Unless fruits and vegetables are grown in iodine-rich soil, they will not contain iodine. Restaurants usually order salt in bulk, and often it's not iodized salt.

However, anything from the sea - such as seaweed (kelp) or fish -- can be a good source of iodine, says Maberly. A cup of cow's milk contains nearly 100 micrograms of iodine. Some breads contain iodine, but not all.

The normal requirement for iodine, according to World Health Organization standards: Adults need 150 micrograms a day. Women trying to get pregnant should increase their intake to 200 to 300 micrograms a day.

"We certainly should make pregnant and lactating women aware of this deficiency," says Karl. "I don't think most primary care doctors are aware of it."

Salt and Your Blood Pressure
The link between sodium and blood pressure has been rocky in recent years. Two decades ago, the landmark study known as Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) showed that a low-sodium, low-fat diet -- high in calcium, fruits, and vegetables -- had a direct impact on lowering blood pressure.

But a study last year challenged that dictum. It indicated that high-sodium intake is a marker for a poor-quality diet. It wasn't the sodium that affected blood pressure, but the lack of other important vitamins and minerals. That study was funded by the salt industry.

David McCarron, MD, a longtime paid consultant for the salt industry, presented these findings at the American Heart Association's 57th annual high blood pressure research conference last year. However, a new report from the DASH research group shows -- once again -- that cutting sodium improved blood pressure, especially as people hit their 40s and 50s.

"In general, people who are older benefit more from lowering their sodium. Around age 40, 50, we begin to see a real difference," says Daniel W. Jones, MD, a hypertension expert with the University of Mississippi, and spokesman for the American Heart Association.

Whether a person is salt-sensitive is at the heart of this issue. Everyone's response to sodium is different, Jones explains. Obese people and black people, seem to benefit more from sodium restriction than white people do, studies have shown.

But he says "that most people have some salt sensitivity," says Jones. "Some have more than others." Problem is, there is no easy test for determining salt sensitivity, he explains.

His personal philosophy: "Everyone hopes to become old, and as we get older, we become sensitive to salt. It makes sense to start early enough to affect your health. I think the direct health benefits from restricting sodium -- like the DASH study -- does call for restricting sodium," says Jones.

Good Salt Source