Holidays, the Christmas season, erotic disappointments, setbacks of one sort or another, are all partly causes and partly excuses for stuffing ourselves. Certainly, the Christmas season is a time for family reunion and as it has been customary now for many years, also a time for excessive eating and drinking, which is hard to avoid with so many delicacies appearing on the festal table. No one, not even a nutritionist would dare admonish her patients for not showing a modicum of restraint during such times.
But all excesses eventually come to an end, when it is time to think of re-establishing balance, starting with some detoxification. That is to say, biochemically neutralizing many potentially harmful chemical compounds that may have accumulated in the body, and not only during the Christmas period. The days following Christmas are a good time to start detoxification. Not merely because we may have overindulged during the holiday season, but also because people tend to remain more homebound in the winter than in the summer, and therefore it may be easier to follow a certain dietary routine and a healthier lifestyle.
One of the most intriguing questions that face today’s health professionals is the rampant rise of food allergies during the last fifteen years or more. People were allergic to foods before, but recently the numbers of sufferers have increased to the point of an incipient epidemic. Some people are allergic to so many foods, that finding something to eat is becoming a serious problem, never mind having a balanced diet. But before we go any further, it is important to clear up some confusion that exists around food allergies. More →
Freedom from flaws
Going into a large modern food supermarket is an experience. Spotlessly clean corridors and shelves, air-conditioning working to perfection, foods arranged in endless rows of flawless logic—well, most of the times. My husband says he can never understand why some foods are placed where they are. But then he knows nothing about the cost of some supermarket areas to the exhibitor, or the subtleties of food marketing. Supermarkets are not designed with hard-headed husbands in mind, but for starry-eyed housewives, or at least women giving a very good imitation thereof.
When it comes to the foods, the presentation can only be called brilliant. Beautifully designed packages, colorful displays, attractive wrappers sealing foods bearing gifts—like the Greeks of old. Vegetable and fruits grown to perfection behind protective cellophane ready to burst with the vigor of freshness, makes one grateful to mother nature. Their bright, lively colors would have enchanted the painters of natures mortes or previous centuries, their external surfaces free of the slightest flaw. More →
During the last thirty years or so,
a nutrition movement has been gaining momentum, generally known as “Food Combining.” Aside from certain Hippocratic Corpus leads and some precepts of the ancient Essenes of Dead-Sea-Scrolls fame, the modern principles of this movement were first framed into a coherent whole by William Howard Hay, a New York doctor, late in the 19th century. Hay fell grievously ill and was declared incurable by his attending physicians. But he cured himself by changing his diet, and wrote some very uncomplimentary things about his fellow doctors, exposing their incompetence and blind spots. The American Medical Association took up the gauntlet, and pronounced Hay a quack. But some of his contemporary physicians refused to readily dismiss his ideas. More →
A blueprint of body chemistry
Most people including the large majority of health scientists know blood groups from the viewpoint of blood transfusions. The fact that Blood Type O may be a donor to virtually all other types, while blood groups A, B and AB of the ABO group classification system have to be a lot more careful. Many people died on blood transfusion because this simple fact was unknown in earlier centuries, until scientists understood the simple intricacies of blood grouping.
But blood types seem to have some other important properties. They are indicative of certain levels of biological and biochemical functions and appear to determine the pattern of our diseases and our body’s nutritional preferences. In fact, our blood type seems to be a blueprint to much of our body chemistry; a guide to our nutritional absorption; and a cipher code to the diseases we are prone to, and the foods that can prevent them. More →
Dry land and erect posture
If there is such a thing as a universal disease, that must surely be back pain. Diseases of the muscles, joints and bones, medically described as “musculoskeletal disorders,” may not be unusually dangerous, but they are frequently the most prevalent and incapacitating complaints. No area of the human body presents more problems than the back. It has been estimated that nearly 80 percent of humans will suffer from some form of back pains during their lifetimes. That’s what happens when a creature evolved to move more or less horizontally in water, takes to the land and later even stands on its hind legs. Our skeleton was not designed for dry land, much less for an erect posture.
The result is musculoskeletal disorders, such as rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, osteoporosis, sciatica, spondylitis, etc, which may be from mildly annoying to excruciatingly painful. Although there is usually a physiological or hereditary cause underlying the problem, the onset of the symptoms is often linked to some physical or psychological stress. And because we have come to think of these problems as inevitable, part of the wear and tear of living, we often tend to do nothing about them, or simply take another handful of painkillers. In acute cases surgery is frequently advised. More →
You have probably repeatedly heard that frying as a cooking method is bad for you. You have been warned by food columnists, perhaps admonished by your doctor, and probably had other friends discuss with you the dangers of frying. Yet, you live in a country like Greece where frying is not only an everyday affair, but frequent enough to tickle or repel your nostrils at every step. At the same time, the people of this country have a pretty good health record, and are second only to the Japanese in expected life span at middle age. Surely there is a contradiction here somewhere. Are you expected to take these warnings seriously, or what? Let me tell you. More →
A no longer questioned link
The connection of lung cancer and smoking is no longer disputed. The number of studies documenting the connection is now beyond count. The fact that since women have started smoking, the incidence of female lung cancer has closely followed the proportion of smoking women, leaves little room for vacillation or doubt. Statistically speaking, the link between the frequency of lung cancer and the number of pack-years of smoking, remains indisputable and unequivocal. And the over 400 billion dollars that American cigarette manufacturers have agreed to pay as compensation, emphatically confirms the verdict of guilty as charged. More →
The types of anemia.
Anemia of one form or another is a rather common condition that may affect well over 35 percent of the population of western countries. The name derives from a Greek word meaning “lack of blood” and refers to a deficiency in red blood cells or in the hemoglobin (iron carrying) part of these cells. The basic function of red blood cells is to transport oxygen from the lungs to the cells of the body and take back carbon dioxide, helping the oxygenation and energy production of the body. There are three major types of anemias:
1. Anemias caused by excessive blood loss
2. Anemias caused by disproportionate red blood cell destruction
3. Anemias caused by deficient red blood cell production
The first type of anemias may be either chronic, such as from a bleeding ulcer for example, or acute from a wound or other injury. The latter requires immediate attention, as the loss of one third of total blood, or about 1.5 liters, may prove fatal.
The second type of anemias occurs when more old or abnormal red blood cells are destroyed by the spleen, than new cells are produced by the organism. The commonest cause of excessive red blood cell destruction is abnormal shape. And the most common reasons for abnormal red blood cell shape are defective hemoglobin synthesis as that caused by sickle cell anemia, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, hereditary red blood cell enzyme defects, and others.
The third type of anemia is by far the most common. The most frequent cause of deficient red blood cell production is nutrient deficiency. And the most common nutrient deficiencies are these connected with iron, vitamin B12 or cobalamin, and folic acid another B vitamin.
The importance of fiber
As we all know, the discovery of the benefits of fiber is relatively recent. It all started with relevant observations of physicians and other health professionals in Africa. Many of our modern diseases associated with the digestive system, were generally absent in African populations, and even though by European standards African food left a lot to be desired, being both relatively monotonous and somewhat rough for European stomachs.
The health professionals involved were intrigued by this difference in disease patterns. Further observations showed that Africans digested their meals better than the European population. Soon the observant doctors came to the conclusion that the difference was in the amount of fiber the Africans ate with their foods, that “roughage” which appeared so crude by European standards. Increasing the fiber in their own diets showed that their hunch was right. Further tests left no doubt about the importance of fiber in the diet. More →