Health, Medicine & Nutrition
5 Grocery Staples for Youth & Vitality PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Wednesday, 19 December 2012 15:06
Next Time You Stop at the Store, Pick Up These Tasty,
Nutrition-packed Foods, Physician Advises

It’s the question we ask ourselves almost every day: What’s for dinner?

Entwined in this daily dialogue is wondering whether we’ll need to dash into the grocery store on the way home from work. The next time we make one of those supermarket pit stops, Dr. Eudene Harry, author of “Live Younger in 8 Simple Steps,” (www.LivingHealthyLookingYounger.com), would like us to veer in a new direction.

“When people shop on the go, they tend to gravitate toward old standbys and foods they can multipurpose with – usually not the most nutritious choices possible. But by substituting a few items on your list, you can not only look and feel more youthful, you’ll boost your resistance to certain cancers and other illnesses.”

Some of the most nutrition-packed foods not only taste great, they’re readily available at the grocery store and easy to prepare, Harry says.

“The more you eat, the more you’ll crave them.”

Here are five food combos for shoppers with healthy eating on their minds:

• Tomato, garlic, chicken and almonds: Tomatoes contain one of the world’s most concentrated sources of cancer-fighting lycopene, which is best absorbed from tomatoes that are cooked. Garlic has been used for centuries for various health purposes and is a known free-radical destroyer. Nuts help to lose weight, maintain healthy blood pressure and support moods; almond crumbs are a great substitute for bread crumbs on chicken. Pair these goodies with whole wheat couscous for a full dinner.

• Pomegranate-Balsamic tempeh: With its high protein, fiber and isoflavones content, and meaty texture, tempeh is heavily utilized by vegetarians. It’s made from soybeans processed in a manner similar to cheese making. Like tofu, tempeh takes on the flavors with which it is cooked or marinated, including zesty-tangy balsamic vinegar – perfect for accentuating salads.

• Mashed cauliflower gone Greek: Not only does the “original” yogurt have a thicker texture and richer taste, it’s also denser in lactobacilli, the healthy bacteria that may delay the onset of cancer. And yogurt is low in fat and high in protein, which is essential for many body functions, including building and repairing muscle tissue, organs, bones and connective tissue. Rather than add fatty, cholesterol-filled butter and sour cream to starchy potatoes that stick to your ribs, why not pair two healthy options with mashed cauliflower with Greek yogurt and fresh black pepper for simple goodness?

• Sushi – wild salmon, minced cucumbers, shredded carrots, kelp, sesame seeds and rice: A sushi roll is much more filling and satisfying than a non-sushi eater would think. Many grocery chains offer ready-made rolls, but they are also fairly easy to make. A bamboo roller is a great start; place a sheet of nutrient-dense kelp as the first thing on the roller, and add, lengthwise, desired ingredients. Your first try is not likely to be perfect, but the tasty and healthy ingredients will be there.

• Fruit salad for dessert: Bring together chopped apples, strawberries, cantaloupe, watermelon and pineapple with blueberries and grapes for a sweet and juicy post-dinner palate-cleanser. Lemon juice prevents fruits from bruising. If that’s not enough, combine the salad with Greek yogurt – perhaps blended with vanilla or almond extract – and fiber-filled granola for a parfait.

About Eudene Harry, M.D.

Dr. Eudene Harry holds a bachelor’s in biology from New York University and completed both her medical degree and residency training at Thomas Jefferson University. Currently the medical director for the integrative and holistic Oasis Wellness and Rejuvenation Center, she has practiced medicine for nearly 20 years, is board certified in both emergency and holistic medicine, and for more than a decade practiced emergency medicine as an attending physician in Level II trauma centers. In 2005 she opened Oasis for Optimal Health, a private practice focused on integrative, holistic wellness and empowering and educating the patient.

 
Red Cross celebrates National Blood Donor Month PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Ben Corey   
Tuesday, 18 December 2012 14:02
PEORIA, Ill. (Dec. 17, 2012) — January is National Blood Donor Month, a time when the American Red Cross recognizes and thanks the millions of dedicated blood donors across the country for helping ensure a stable blood supply for patients in need.

Since 1970, National Blood Donor Month has been celebrated in an effort to educate Americans about the importance of regular blood donation and the impact it can have. Every day, around 44,000 pints of blood are needed in hospitals to help treat trauma victims, surgery patients, organ transplant recipients, premature babies, cancer patients and more.

January can be an especially challenging month to collect blood donations because of inclement weather and seasonal illnesses.
Throughout the month, the Red Cross is honoring the contributions of those who roll up their sleeves to help save lives, one donation at a time.

Join the nearly 4 million dedicated Red Cross blood donors across the country and make an appointment to give by visiting redcrossblood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS.

Upcoming blood donation opportunities:

Henry County
Jan. 3 from 12-6 p.m. at First United Methodist Church South Campus Building, 302 N. State St. in Geneseo, Ill.

Jan. 5 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at YMCA, 315 W. First St. in Kewanee, Ill.

Jan. 8 from 2-6 p.m. at St. Paul Lutheran Church, 1001 Ninth St. in Orion, Ill.

Jan. 9 from 1:15-5:15 p.m. at First Christian Church, 105 Dwight St. in Kewanee, Ill.

Jan. 10 from 2-6 p.m. at St. John’s Vianney Church, 313 S. West St. in Cambridge, Ill.

Jan. 15 from 1-6 p.m. at First United Methodist Church, 214 NW Second Ave. in Galva, Ill.

Mercer County
Jan. 15 from 12-6 p.m. at VFW Hall, 106 SW Third Ave. in Aledo, Ill.

The need is constant. The gratification is instant. Give blood.™

Whiteside County
Jan. 2 from 2-6 p.m. at Rock Falls Blood Donation Center, 112 W. Second St. in Rock Falls, Ill.

Jan. 8 from 8-11 a.m. at River Bend Senior Center, 912 Fourth St. in Fulton, Ill.

Jan. 9 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Rock Falls Blood Donation Center, 112 W. Second St. in Rock Falls, Ill.

Jan. 10 from 3-8 p.m. at Tampico United Methodist Church, 202 Lincoln Ave. in Tampico, Ill.

Jan. 15 from 1-5:15 p.m. at River Bend Senior Center, 912 Fourth St. in Fulton, Ill.

Jan. 15 from 12-6 p.m. at United Methodist Church, 200 W. Lincolnway in Morrison, Ill.

How to donate blood
Simply call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental consent in some states), weigh
at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

About the American Red Cross
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org.

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Branstad to Pursue State-Federal Partnership Model that Will Protect State’s Autonomy, Remains Focused on Better Care at Lower Cost in Iowa PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Office of the Governor of Iowa   
Monday, 17 December 2012 14:52

(DES MOINES) - Gov. Terry E. Branstad today submitted a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to inform the Federal government that Iowa will avoid a costly state-based model and will instead pursue a state-federal partnership to retain autonomy over Iowa’s healthcare system and minimize costs. The State will pursue a practical path that prevents Federal intrusion into the State’s health insurance and Medicaid operations. The governor’s decision comes in response to the December 14 deadline Sec. Sebelius gave states to make a decision. If Iowa did not submit its letter today, the State would have defaulted into a Federal exchange.

Gov. Branstad first stated his guiding principles on health care reform, saying, “Iowans deserve health care reform that improves care, lowers cost and most of all makes people healthier.”

The letter is found here and the text is pasted below the release.

In the letter, Branstad outlined the reasons for his decision stating, “…I continue to have concerns that an intrusive Federal exchange would raise costs on individuals and businesses, making it harder for them to create jobs and raise family incomes in Iowa. The State of Iowa intends to minimize the Federal government’s intrusion into the regulation of insurance. We will continue to regulate insurance plans in Iowa and retain control over our Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Plan eligibility.

“If our State loses control of the costs of these programs, other funding priorities like education, public safety and workforce development may be threatened. Maintaining responsibility and operational control will also enable our efforts to modernize health care and to change our payment methods to reward quality and improve Iowans’ health instead of procedure volume.”

Branstad could choose one of three options: A state-built, state-funded exchange; a state-Federal partnership model; or a full Federal takeover of Iowa's health insurance system.

  • A full State-built, State-financed exchange would cost $16 million annually. Additionally, the Federal government has yet to put forth clear parameters on what would be expected of a state-built, state-financed exchange. For example, Utah already has a state exchange, but it is doubtful regulators will approve it under the Affordable Care Act. Even Massachusetts, whose system was modeled when crafting the Affordable Care Act, is unlikely to meet the requirements put forth by the Federal government without changes to its design. Gov. Branstad believes it would be irresponsible to put the state in this kind of financial and regulatory limbo.
  • A State-Federal partnership will allow the Federal government to pay for initial exchange set-up costs and administer the cumbersome web portal, a federal call center and expensive web interfaces. However, the State would still be able to administer its own health care programs, oversee and regulate the insurance industry in Iowa, and put in place measures that will expand Iowans' ownership of their own health through the Healthiest State Initiative. Gov. Branstad assures Iowans that Iowa will not be forced or bullied into significant costs that sink our budget, and we will continue to maintain the high quality of health care access in Iowa that covers more than 90 percent of our residents.
  • Gov. Branstad believes a full Federal takeover of our insurance, regulatory and health care systems doesn’t meet our needs. A quick look at the dysfunction in Washington, DC, underscores concerns of opening the door to the Federal government. Gov. Branstad does not believe it is in Iowans' best interests to have the Federal government interfering in their lives from thousands of miles away.

“Iowa is well positioned to meet the standards outlined by HHS thus far and maintain control of our insurance regulation and Medicaid eligibility responsibilities as allowed under PPACA. Iowa will partner with the Federal government in these areas of a Federal exchange,” Branstad concluded.

The text of the letter sent to Sec. Sebelius is as follows:

December 14, 2012

 

The Honorable Kathleen Sebelius

US Department of Health & Human Services (HHS)

200 Independence Avenue Southwest

Washington, DC 20201

 

Dear Secretary Sebelius,

Iowans deserve health care reform that improves care, lowers cost and most of all makes people healthier. These principles guide my actions on health care. Unfortunately, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) has not advanced these important principles, which align with the goal I announced last year for Iowa to become the healthiest state in the nation. Our initiative is being led by the private sector, has been endorsed by the public sector and is working to improve the health of our population person by person, community by community.

I have come to realize that a health benefits exchange will not improve the quality of health care, lower the cost of health care or make Iowans healthier. There also remain many questions about intended flexibilities for states and the final regulatory and policy framework in which a state financed exchange would operate. I am not convinced that my State would have the freedom and flexibility needed to design an exchange to meet the health care needs of our people. Additionally, the cost of building and maintaining a state-financed and based exchange, estimated at $15.9 million annually, would not advance the health of Iowans and would not be a prudent option for my State.  Therefore, Iowa will not finance, build and maintain a costly state-based health benefits exchange.

That said, I continue to have concerns that an intrusive Federal exchange would raise costs on individuals and businesses, making it harder for them to create jobs and raise family incomes in Iowa. The State of Iowa intends to minimize the Federal government’s intrusion into the regulation of insurance. We will continue to regulate insurance plans in Iowa and retain control over our Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Plan eligibility. Iowa control of these programs is critical to health care for Iowans, stability for job creators and the fiscal bottom line for our State. If our state loses control of the costs of these programs, other funding priorities like education, public safety and workforce development may be threatened. Maintaining responsibility and operational control will also enable our efforts to modernize health care and to change our payment methods to reward quality and improve Iowans’ health instead of procedure volume.

Since the HHS has extended deadlines and continues to issue draft rules and provide further information and guidance to states, Iowa reserves our right to amend our intentions. We also have the clear expectation that our State’s rights will be respected and our operational and regulatory control will not be superseded by the Federal government.  Iowa is well positioned to meet the standards outlined by HHS thus far and maintain control of our insurance regulation and Medicaid eligibility responsibilities as allowed under PPACA. Iowa will partner with the Federal government in these areas of a Federal exchange. I hope that you will continue to work with States building all types of exchanges to provide the maximum amount of information needed to fulfill our responsibilities in improving the health of our citizens and implementing health benefits exchanges.

 

Sincerely,

 

 

 

Terry E. Branstad

Governor

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3 Things All Women Should Know About Their Bodies PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Tuesday, 11 December 2012 16:14
Between Untested Therapies & Intrusive Politics,
RN Says Individuals Must Take Responsibility for Their Health

There’s plenty of information about women’s physical and health-care needs. Unfortunately, some of it is incomplete, or based on opinion and conjecture, or it’s just plain bad information, says registered nurse Iyalode Edwards.

“Women tend to be more vigilant about their bodies than men, and there is a huge marketplace of literature, products, studies, politics and other opinions on women’s health,” says Edwards, author of “Multiple Orgasms Made Simple: ‘How to Do It’ Sex Secrets All Women Should Know!” (www.multipleOmadesimple.com).

“Not all of it makes sense.”

It’s only natural that women are more focused on their bodies than men because women have the more complex anatomy, she says. But old ideas from a society based in patriarchy, along with today’s health market issues, can create confusion. Edwards, who has more than 35 years experience as a registered nurse, clarifies three points about which she sees the most misunderstanding among her patients:

• Untested therapies: Several years ago hormone replacement therapy was all the rage, used almost as a cure-all for post-menopausal women suffering a variety of symptoms. After a few decades, however, a large percentage of those women started suffering ovarian and breast cancer, in addition to other complications. More recently, vaccines for the human papillomavirus have been touted to girls and young women as the new preventative measure against cervical cancer. But thousands of girls have experienced a wide range of side effects, including seizures, strokes, dizziness, fatigue, weakness, headaches, vomiting, weakness, joint pain, auto-immune problems, chest pains, hair loss, appetite loss, personality changes, insomnia, tremors and menstrual cycle changes. Be wary of new cure-alls. Adverse effects are sometimes not revealed until they’ve been in use for a significant amount of time.

• Health through pleasure: A 2011 survey by Jane Magazine found that, while more than 87 percent of men aged 18 to 26 years old experienced orgasm “most or all of the time” during sex, only 46.8 percent of women could say the same thing. Not only could that percentage be much higher for women, it could be more meaningful, too. “The truth is, if you have all your sex organs intact and can achieve the first level of climax, then you can achieve it multiple times during the same encounter,” Edwards says. “You just need information, and there has been too much misinformation disseminated.” Sexual satisfaction comes with several health benefits, including improved cardiovascular functioning, sounder sleep and a deeper bond with a partner.

• The politics of women’s health: As imperative as it is to know more and listen closely to one’s body, it is also important to stay connected to current events since women’s health care has become a political football, she says. Comments from multiple elected officials seem to be narrowing the definition of rape, and there are many who support limiting women’s care in insurance plans, to name a few public debates. “I want women to be more aware of their bodies,” Edwards says. “Unfortunately, the rhetoric of many politicians seems to be pointing backward regarding our health.”

About Iyalode Edwards, R.N.

Iyalode Edwards is the author of “Multiple Orgasms Made Simple,” a straightforward, step-by-step how-to guide that includes physiological explanations for sensations women experience. Edwards is a registered nurse with more than 35 years of experience. She informally interviewed a number of women and physicians as part of her research.

 
Pharmacist Warns: With Natural Supplements, Cheap Can be Bad for Your Health PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Tuesday, 11 December 2012 08:59
He Details Potential Problems & How Consumers
Can Protect Themselves

Of the 15 toys recalled in the United States so far this year because of the dangers they pose to children, 10 were manufactured in China.

Chinese drywall imported from 2001 to 2007 released sulfur gas that sickened homeowners and corroded wiring, air-conditioning systems and other metal surfaces. Many of those homeowners are still trying to win compensation.

In recent years, U.S. dogs and cats died from eating Chinese pet food made with melamine, and the FDA warned consumers to throw away toothpastes made in China because of the risk they included an antifreeze ingredient.

“The problem is, manufacturers, distributors and consumers alike are attracted to inexpensive goods, and in countries like China, things can be produced cheaply in part because there are fewer regulations regarding quality control,” says Joe Veilleux, president of Euromed USA (www.euromedusa.com) and a registered pharmacist.

“That’s why I warn people who buy all-natural nutritional supplements not to buy the cheapest products available. If the ingredients in them are not subject to regulatory oversight, they can be dangerous.”

The active ingredients in many natural supplements are botanicals – extracts from herbs and other medicinal plants. Some of the dangerous potential problems that can occur without rigorous quality control include:

• Contamination by pesticides and other heavy metals. Exposure to these contaminants can be hazardous to humans and can be present if growing conditions and plant materials are not carefully monitored. Manufacturers who aren’t held to government standards may not even check for contamination.

• Radiation exposure. The ground the plants are grown in may have radiation, which is absorbed by the plants. This is another contaminant for which regulated manufacturers carefully test.

• Species misidentification. Slightly different varieties of a plant may have vastly different properties. Black cohosh, for example, is a member of the buttercup family and is used to treat menopause symptoms like hot flashes. Some varieties of the genus Actaea may look similar to Actaea racemosa, but they do not have the same effect and, in fact, can be harmful.

While price can be a red flag for consumers, surprisingly, one sign that a product meets high quality standards is if it comes from a company that incorporates environmental sustainability practices, Veilleux says.

“A company that’s making an effort to address issues such as sustainability is farther along in the evolutionary process,” Vielleux explains. “A company’s first mission will be to provide the best quality of product it can. Once it has achieved that, it looks to improve in other ways, including sustainability, reducing its impact on the environment and social responsibility. But it can’t get to step 2 until it has mastered step 1.”

Veilleux says a reliable sign that a company is serious about “green” issues is if it has earned ISO 14001 certification.

“ISO stands for International Standardization Organization. Its criteria can be applied and measured uniformly in countries around the world,” Vielleux says. “So whether a company’s in China or the United States, if it has ISO 14001 certification, you can be assured it takes sustainability and environmental issues seriously.”

Euromed’s factory in Barcelona earned the ISO 14001 certification in July of this year.

Another way to safeguard yourself is to buy products from major U.S. brands, such as GNC and Whole Foods, Veilleux says.

“The big brands have a lot to lose, so they’re not as likely to take chances by obtaining their ingredients from unregulated sources,” Veilleux says. “Having their products blamed for a public health crisis would be disastrous to them.”

About Euromed USA

Euromed USA supplies standardized botanical and herbal extracts and natural active substances for use in the pharmaceutical, health food and cosmetics industries. By extracting the necessary chemicals, the company can guarantee its products meet the precise chemical specifications necessary. Euromed was founded 40 years ago. Its parent company is the 100-year-old Rottapharm-Madaus corporation based in Italy.

 
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