Posts Tagged ‘Diabetes’

Why is Cinnamon So Healthy for seniors?

Monday, September 26, 2011
posted by Gilmore
Cinnamon

Image via Wikipedia

With the onset of the cooler weather brought by Autumn, we typically shift from drinking cool drinks to savoring warmer ones.   Hot ciders, hot teas and hot chocolates are the choices for many folks for Autumn beverages, because they warm us up on cold mornings and evenings.   The spice that is often chosen to enhance these beverages is cinnamon, because it enhances the taste of the hot drinks.   Cinnamon does more than enhance the flavor of hot beverages, it’s water soluble component  provides a balanced anti-inflammatory effect for our senior bodies.   It turns out that inflammation in our bodies is like a two-edge sword. We need an inflammatory response, because without it infections and wounds would never be healed.  The second edge of inflammation acts as an accessory in many serious diseases including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, osteoarthritis and many others. For good health, especially for good senior health, we need to keep the inflammatory response in balance. As we age the inflammatory processes tend to fall out of balance causing those serious diseases.
Fortunately our bodies have their own balancing mechanisms that utilize certain proteins that can be induced by insulin, which is an anti-inflammatory hormone, and cinnamon extract.  Recent research has shown that water soluble cinnamon extract lessens a type of intestinal inflammation.  In addition to lessening inflammation, cinnamon has been shown to mimic the effects of insulin, manage blood-sugar metabolism, help regulate fatty acids, help reduce blood sugar and cholesterol levels, and act synergistically with insulin.  Working together with insulin cinnamon reduces the type of inflammation in order to improve cardiovascular health.

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Seniors Can Reduce Risk of Colorectal Cancers

Wednesday, October 27, 2010
posted by Gilmore
1.A.seniors.walking n biking
Image by Transportation for America via Flickr

For seniors who are concerned about taking affordable, preemptive steps to promote their senior health, here are five steps that, if taken, can greatly reduce the risk of contracting colorectal cancer.  The results are from a study in Europe that were recently published in a medial journal in Britain.  The researchers found that folks who lost weight,  limited their consumption of alcoholic beverages, stopped smoking, maintained a healthy diet and exercised about 30 minutes a day reduced their risk of colorectal cancer by more than 20%.  This was the first study that combined all five factors, because earlier studies had considered these factors individually in isolation from the others.  It is not certain why following these recommendations helps to  prevent colorectal cancer, but suffering from high insulin and diabetes are known risk factors for colorectal cancer.  Lack of physical activity and obesity lead to high insulin states, that typically lead to the growth of cancer cells.  The European study found that women who lost weight sufficient to reduce their waist size to 35 inches and men to reduce their waist size to 40 inches were in the healthy zone.  In terms of alcohol consumption men who consumed no more that 14 drinks per week and women no more than 7 were also remained in the healthy zone.  In summary seniors who want to take preemptive aging steps to foster their senior health would be well advised to implement these five lifestyle recommendations.

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Tofu scramble (vegan)
Image via Wikipedia

Many articles in the press have promoted the health benefits of consuming soy as a food. In fact in 1999 the FDA allowed a health claim to be made for soy as a food. This action by the FDA was very unusual; it came under attack by certain folks who were later identified as representing a narrow slice of the food industry. These critics apparently felt threatened by the success of soy which would take away some of their pre-soy approval profits. The end result of this story has a happy ending for seniors who are concerned about fostering their senior health. As a result of the criticism, many clinical studies and research were performed on soy and the verdict is in; soy is a very healthy source of nutrition for all ages including seniors.
Soy proteins and its isoflavanones provide a wide range of health benefits through direct and complementary paths in our bodies. They operate by various means to reduce inflammation and block oxidation. These healthy effects provide a multilayer protection against cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and osteoporosis as well as many other unhealthy conditions that accompany aging. It turns out that soy protein and isoflavones have been shown to lower LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. This is very good news about soy for seniors who are concerned about taking preemptive aging steps to promote their cardiovascular health.

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Senior lady and her granddaughter
Image by Damon Duncan via Flickr

Now that the Federal Government has passed Health Care Reform legislation this would be an appropriate time to take take a serious look at what each one of us can do to reform our individual health care practices. Seniors need to be particularly attentive to taking care of our senior health by the choices that we make in terms of the foods we consume, supplements that we take, and the exercise schedule that we follow. When you get right down to the nittygritty there is a lot that seniors and boomers can do to prevent or preempt diseases from ever getting started. This becomes more serious for folks the older we get, because of the special issues that affect senior health. We can choose our lifestyle so that we head in a direction with a high probability of attaining greater health or in an opposite direction with an equal probability of coming down with one of the big three diseases.
The big three killer diseases are cancer, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. A small number of lifestyle changes can reduce the probability of seniors contracting one of the big three by 80%. Instead of raising your health insurance premiums these lifestyle changes will very likely keep them steady and in some cases may actually lower them. These lifestyle changes are attainable by most folks, but they do require sincere commitment. The alternatives for not embracing these changes are higher health insurance premiums for everyone, seriously degraded quality of life and early death. The big lifestyle changes can be reduced to four. They include eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, maintaining a healthy weight, and not smoking. As one motivation coach put it, “Where attention goes, energy flows, and the result shows”. Practicing the healthy four lifestyle changes will help seniors preempt cancer, promote cardiovascular health, and avoid diabetes.

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What Makes Sweet Potatoes A Super Food?

Monday, March 8, 2010
posted by Gilmore
Sweet potato
Image via Wikipedia

For many folks sweet potatoes are a food for the Thanksgiving season and usually no other time. It turns out that sweet potatoes provide an impressive array of nutrients, despite the fact that they are not really potatoes. They are members of the Convolvulaceae family which are plants with trumpet shaped flowers. Sweet potatoes come in 400 different varieties and range in skin color from white to yellow to orange to red to purple. The typical sweet potato has orange flesh and is sometimes called a yam. Folks have been consuming sweet potatoes for about 8,000 years. They were introduced in Europe by Christopher Columbus when he returned from the New World after 1492.
The good news for seniors is that sweet potatoes provide large amounts of the vitamins A and C and the minerals potassium and manganese. To top it off they deliver lots of fiber. Additional nutrients found in sweet potatoes include beta-carotene, copper, and vitamin B-6. Sweet potatoes hold special interest for senior men who need to supplement with beta-carotene, because consuming them on a regular basis may support cognitive function. Sweet potatoes have shown to provide significant support in reeling in some of the markers for diabetes, particularly improved insulin resistance. Finally in a cancer risk study that compared folks in Asia with those in North America and Northern Europe, the folks in Asia who regularly consumed sweet potatoes had a much lower risk of cancer compared with the folks in Northern Europe and North America who did not. For all these good healthy results that come from consuming sweet potatoes the conclusion for senior health is that sweet potatoes really are a super food.

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Green Tea Extract For Blood Glucose Control

Friday, January 15, 2010
posted by Gilmore
Green tea leaves from a field in Boseong, Jeol...
Image via Wikipedia

Recently a study about the effects of green tea extract on blood glucose control was conducted in the Far East. The study was conducted over a four month period in the following manner. The participants include both men and women who showed elevated blood glucose levels prior to the start of the study. The volunteers were divided into two groups such that one group drank a supplement of green tea extract every day for two months and then ceased taking the supplement for two months. The second group followed the same schedule but in reverse order. Prior to the initiation of the study all the volunteers were borderline diabetics or prediabetic. Their blood glucose levels measured at the start of the study provided the baseline against which any changes would be compared. The blood glucose levels were measured using the hemoglobin A1c levels.
The first group that started taking the green tea extract saw a reduction in their hemoglobin A1c levels. This group started at a baseline of 6.2% which declined to 5.9% after two months. Their levels continued to decline to 5.8% after two more months during which time they did not supplement with the green tea extract. For the second group that delayed two months before starting to take the green tea extract the results were nearly as good with the hemoglobin levels coming in at 6.1%, 6.1% and 5.9%. Healthy hemoglobin levels range from 4% to 5.9%, so supplementing with green tea extract modulated the long-term control of blood glucose. This is good news for seniors who are concerned about their senior health in regard to controlling their blood glucose levels and avoiding diabetes.

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Preempt the Big 3 Diseases or Not?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009
posted by Gilmore
la_farmers_market
Image by lachshand via Flickr

With all the smoke and mirrors in the media about reforming health care maybe its time to take a new look or think out of our usual health care box. It turns out that there is a lot that ordinary folks can do to prevent or preempt diseases from ever getting started. This goes double for folks as we get older, because of the special issues that affect senior health. We can choose our lifestyle so that we head in a direction with a high probability of attaining greater health or in an opposite direction with an equal probability of coming down with one of the big three diseases. The big three killer diseases are in order diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. Four straight forward lifestyle changes can reduce the probability of contracting one of the big three by 80%. These lifestyle changes will not raise your health insurance premiums, but in some cases may actually lower them.

The big four lifestyle changes are within the reach of most folks, but they do require serious commitment. They are not monumental challenges like trying to climb Mt. Everest and return safely. The alternatives for not embracing these changes are higher health insurance premiums for everyone, seriously degraded quality of life and early death. The big four lifestyle changes include eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, maintaining a healthy weight, and not smoking. As one motivation coach put it, “Where attention goes, energy flows, and the result shows”. This is something that we can do for ourselves and our country, because a healthy people make a country healthy and prosperous.

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Cinnamon – Balances Inflammation

Thursday, September 3, 2009
posted by Gilmore
cinnamon bark Cinnamomum verum.

Image via Wikipedia

Inflammation in our bodies is like a two-edge sword. We need an inflammatory response, because without it infections and wounds would never be healed. The second edge of inflammation acts as an accessory in many serious diseases including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, osteoarthritis and many others. For good health, especially for good senior health, we need to keep the inflammatory response in balance. As we age the inflammatory processes tend to fall out of balance causing those serious diseases.

It turns out that our bodies have their own balancing mechanisms that utilize certain proteins that can be induced by insulin, which is an anti-inflammatory hormone, and cinnamon extract. Recent research has shown that water soluble cinnamon extract lessens a type of intestinal inflammation. In addition to lessening inflammation, cinnamon has been shown to mimic the effects of insulin, manage blood-sugar metabolism, help regulate fatty acids, help reduce blood sugar and cholesterol levels, and act synergistically with insulin. Working together with insulin cinnamon reduces the type of inflammation that is known to the increase the risk for cardiovascular disease.

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