source: ze eduardo
Arthritis is painful. No one likes pain.  Some fear pain more than death itself.  Furthermore, it affects all areas of well being, as pain can radiate beyond the physical and into a person’s social, emotional and psychological life.  Coping seems impossible, as pain affects everything a person does.  Dulling or numbing pain with painkillers and medication seems the only way out.  If you cannot feel it, then you think you are controlling it.  

However, this is exactly how pain actually controls the person.  A vicious cycle erupts and to live pain free or even become tolerant, means to rely on drugs. I am irked when I see commercials on TV for anti-inflammatories and pain medicines for arthritis because they don’t even begin to offer another option other than pills and, well… more pills.  Not always the best, as drugs come with some rather concerning warnings and side effects.

Arthritis doesn’t just hit the elderly.  In Canada, statistics say 1 in 1,000 children have juvenile arthritis.  

How Food Hurts

Eating foods high in saturated fats, excess dairy, red meats, alcohol and sugar all contribute to the ouch of arthritis.  Combined with a sedentary lifestyle, this will leave arthritis sufferers reaching for the medicine bottle almost every time.  

Eating like this makes the body more acidic and higher acidity in the body creates a perfect environment for inflammation.  Even some foods that are good for you are culprits for arthritic pain, including the nightshades like potatoes, tomatoes and peppers.  Avoid these if you suffer from arthritis.

How food helps - Superfoods for Arthritis

No need to eat boring foods - try some avocado, pecans, bananas, cherries, leafy dark greens, barley, wheat germ and brewer’s yeast – all terrific foods for arthritis and inflammation.  Incorporate these foods, preferably organic, into your meals whenever possible.  Wheat germ and brewer’s yeast (½ -1 tablespoon) can be blended into fruit shakes and smoothies.  Adding some cold-water fish or a good fish-oil supplement to your diet will also reduce inflammation and pain.

Spice makes everything nice

Arthritis sufferers may find great hope in their spice cupboards with ginger.  Ginger is not just the spice of choice for gingerbread men.  It has been regarded for it’s medicinal values for literally thousands of years.  Battles were once fought for this gnarly-looking little root!  

Ginger has anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties and is highly effective at reducing swelling, pain and discomfort.  The bonus of using this powerful and tasty spice is that it comes with no side effects.  Ask any gingerbread man if he’s ever had arthritis!

Erin Bell

source: casamelo
Mention breast cancer and everything comes up pink!  I get a little cranky when I see this, not because pink toasters aren’t fun, or pink dump trucks are not cool!  It’s because of the mindset that we must find a cure for breast cancer because that is our only hope.  The message is still “more research.” As the leading cancer in women, statistics say that 1 out of every 8 women will experience this disease in Canada. Some major advancements have been made in conventional treatments for breast cancer, but discouragingly, I notice that very little of the focus is on prevention.

Many factors contribute to the development of breast cancer.   Too much estrogen has been indicated as a major factor.  Nasty substances included in everyday products like cosmetics, bleached tampons, dry-cleaning solvents, hair supplies and even low cal foods to promote weight loss are often loaded with the very substances that can have been linked to breast cancer.  Yet, manufacturers of these products are sponsoring and participating in research efforts to find a cure.  This is one step forward two steps back if you ask me.

Prevention being swept under the carpet

Why is prevention swept under the carpet – often getting nothing more than a marginal mention?  As a nutritionist, I offered to participate in a local charity event for cancer, offering my knowledge and services to the public for treatment options of cancer.  I was shocked and well… offended when the coordinator of the event rep told me that the organization did not allow people like me, with holistic nutritional and dietary counsel to participate because they had dieticians in hospitals who can do that if cancer patients want to know about their diet.  (Have you tried eating hospital food?)

Future challenges

Society has become complacent and almost accepting of the statistics, as reported in Health Service Journal July 2003 which stated: 

The acceptance of breast cancer as a disease we have to put up with is affirmed in a survey conducted by the charity Breast Cancer Care.  Asked about the challenges for breast cancer over the next 30 years, the majority of the 80 breast cancer experts participating predicted that 30 years from now breast cancer will still be incurable but it will be a disease women live with, like diabetes or asthma, rather than die from, and that the biggest problem will be the sheer number requiring care.

What can you do

Prevention starts with healthy fuel for the body that provide defenses such as:
  • Cruciferous vegetables (like broccoli, cauliflower, kale, and cabbage). They are very high in a plant nutrient called Indole-3-Carbinol which has been shown to break down the bad, cancer-promoting estrogens in the body to non-toxic forms.  
  • Antioxidants – if it’s colored, eat it! That is, naturally colored, as in berries and richly colored fruits and veggies.  They’re brightly colored like that for a reason.  The have strong antioxidant properties within those pigments.
  • Low Fat Dairy and Meat – We love our dairy products and thick slices of meat, but they aren’t doing anything for prevention.  Keep dairy and meat to a minimum of servings and keep it low in fat.
An ounce of prevention is worth pounds and pounds of cure.  And isn’t that why everything is turning pink?

Erin Bell