In his recent book, The Jerusalem Diet (WaterBrook), pastor Ted Haggard cites a CBS News report on the link between obesity and sleep deprivation. The report was based on an article in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism and explained that sleep affects the body's production of hormones, including leptin, which helps control appetite.
Leptin levels rise when we sleep, telling the brain that the body has stored up enough food. "If you deprive your body of sleep," Haggard warns, "you may develop a shortage of this hormone. And...your body may start asking for food it doesn't really need." read more
According to medical doctor Don Colbert, a recent study shows that chocolate--the dark variety, that is--can be good for you. Dark chocolate, Colbert says, contains high levels of flavonoids, an antioxidant that protects the heart and blood vessels from the damaging stress of free radicals. This beloved treat can actually increase the levels of antioxidants in the blood by about 20 percent! Colbert recommends restraint, however, because the high sugar content of most chocolate candy causes more health problems than chocolate can protect you from. So if you get chocolate, get only the dark--and eat it only in moderation. read more
That many of our modern-day medicines are derived from herbs? That's because "herbal plants are time-tested and approved sources of healing," writes nutritionist and women's health specialist Janet Maccaro in her book, Natural Health Remedies: An A-Z Family Guide. Though some Americans are still skeptical, Europeans have used herbs as medicines for centuries. So the next time you're ill, consider asking your doctor for an herbal alternative to the medicine he prescribes. It may provide the same benefit without the negative side effects! read more
In his book Hope, Help and Healing for Eating Disorders (Shaw, 2002), Christian psychologist and certified eating disorder specialist Gregory L. Jantz, Ph.D., offers a body-mind-spirit approach to healing from eating disorders.
Jantz advocates proper nutrition as an important and often overlooked aspect of treatment for eating disorders. His nutrition-based rehabilitation program starts with nutrients that support the body systems most compromised by an eating disorder and works toward restoration of a person's complete nutritional health.
As a person recovering from an eating disorder works toward making healthy eating choices, Jantz offers the following guidelines, which he has adapted from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: read more
We often hear about avoiding the foods and beverages that can raise our risk of developing diabetes such as alcohol, fast food, processed meats, high-sugar foods, soft drinks and so on. But according to the October 2006 issue of Shape magazine, here are six things you should add to your diet to arm your body's defenses in this battle: read more
One way to avoid putting on weight, according to fitness trainer Dino Nowak, is to stop eating mindlessly, particularly while engaging in other activities such as watching TV. In his book The Final Makeover (Siloam), Nowak suggests that if you eat in front of a TV or computer screen you do not pay attention to how much you are consuming and can easily exceed a healthful amount. If the snack you choose is not good for you (potato chips, cookies, ice cream), the negative effects of the indulgence are that much worse. So from now on, use your head when you go to the pantry: Select a nutritional food, put only one serving on a plate or into a bowl, and eat it purposefully--to satisfy hunger--rather than out of mere habit or a need to keep your hands busy during a sedentary activity. read more
You've probably never thought of apples as a significant part of a weight-loss regimen, but apples are a great source of fiber, and fiber not only improves digestion but also encourages weight loss. A medium-sized apple contains about five grams of fiber, more than most commercially made cereals--even the health food store variety. They also have almost no fat or cholesterol, so they are a healthy choice for a snack or dessert. read more
It is not difficult to understand that the easiest and best way to beat cancer in your own body is through prevention. This offensive strategy against disease requires a lifestyle that should be pursued by everyone living in today's polluted environment. If you have had cancer or are in remission, if you have cancer now or are in a particularly high-risk group, or even if you feel it will not touch you, developing a cancer-free lifestyle is the only insurance policy available for good health.
One key in developing a cancer-free lifestyle is ongoing, moderate exercise. Research indicates that those who use up 2,000 calories or more in physical activity each week have a third less risk of getting all types of cancer as compared to sedentary individuals. One study found that women who exercise an average of four hours per week reduced their risk of breast cancer by 50 percent compared to that of age-matched inactive women. Exercise may also help boost the immune system and even help promote such healthy habits as getting a good night's sleep.
And the best exercise may not be as strenuous as you think. Brisk walking, not jogging or pumping iron, may well prove to be the perfect exercise. This form of exercise provides the ideal opportunity for worship and prayer as well. Just take along a tape player loaded with your favorite worship music, and you're off to a healthier physical and spiritual life! read more
Scientists from the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) and Children's Hospital Boston found that children who spend more time watching television are more likely to eat the high-calorie foods they see advertised. Previous studies have linked children who watch more television to obesity, but this study (results appear in the April 2006 issue of the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine) breaks new ground by providing evidence explaining the connection. read more
On his Web site, Dr. Reginald B. Cherry cites a study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology claiming an increase in the risk of heart disease for women with low bone density. Cherry says, "This study suggest that women who take steps early in life to keep their bones strong, or boost their bone density once weakness appears, may not only prevent osteoporosis but may prevent heart disease as well." read more
Much has been reported about the potential for illness and death as the result of bird flu. But is it a true threat or just another case of the media capitalizing on our fears?
Leslie Ann Dauphin, Ph.D., a microbiologist at the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta and recent author of The Germ Handbook (Siloam), has researched the avian influenza virus that causes bird flu. Dauphin told SpiritLed Woman the virus does not usually infect people.
Dauphin says: "Although rare, the viruses…may be transmitted to humans via direct contact with infected birds or surfaces that infected birds have been in contact with...[or] through an intermediate host, such as a pig." read more
You've probably heard people tell you that walking is good for your health because it increases muscle and bone strength, improves circulation and the overall condition of your heart, and lowers cholesterol. But did you know it can even reduce your risk for certain cancers? read more
Though some cancers have no effective method for facilitating early detection, there are ways to screen for breast cancer with the goal of diagnosing the disease at an early, treatable stage. In 2003, the American Cancer Society issued the following guidelines for the early detection of breast cancer:
Yearly mammograms are recommended starting at age 40 and continuing for as long as a woman is in good health.
A clinical breast exam should be part of a periodic health exam, about every three years for a woman in her 20s and 30s, and every year for women 40 and older.
Women should examine their own breasts to become familiar with how their breasts normally feel. Any changes should be promptly reported to their health-care providers. Don't procrastinate.
Women who have a strong family history, a genetic tendency, or have already had breast cancer should talk with their doctors about the benefits and limitations of starting mammography screening earlier, of having more frequent clinical exams, or of having additional screening tests such as a breast ultrasound or MRI.
While the search for a cure continues, these screening guidelines have proven to be useful for increasing the likelihood of detecting breast cancer at an early stage, thereby facilitating a good response to treatment. But their benefit depends on adherence.
Far too many Holy Spirit-led women are failing to take advantage of these simple and effective screening methods. Don't let fear, myths and old wives tales prevent you from getting a breast exam and mammogram. Become proactive in preserving your health so that you might experience the blessing of a long and healthy life. read more
In her book Finally FIT!, Lorraine Bossé-Smith points out the benefits of keeping active. Exercise, she writes, will reduce stress, improve the quality of your sleep, give you more energy, maintain healthier muscles and joints, increase bone density, decrease blood pressure, reduce your chances of becoming depressed and make you feel better about yourself. So what are you waiting for? Get up and get going! read more
The time you spend in interaction with others can dramatically affect your physical health.
One evening I was called to an old, ramshackle home out in the country to examine a home death. When I arrived at the house, a deputy met me at the door. "Doc, sure looks natural. The old lady's been up here, all alone, for years. Never left the house. Never had any visitors. Never went to the doctor—not that I can blame her."
He looked rather suspiciously toward me as I ducked to enter the undersized door, ignoring his slight to the medical profession. He continued his soliloquy: "She had a friend who brought her food and supplies. Her friend found her here this evening and called us." read more
Although we have known for some time that the underlying issue for eating disorders is a need for control, research now links this need for control to unresolved pain from significantly hurtful experiences in a person's life. According to Dr. Gregory Jantz in his book Hope, Help and Healing for Eating Disorders (Shaw Books, 2002), "Studies have indicated that 80 percent or more of people with eating disorders have been victims of some sort of abuse--whether verbal, emotional, physical or sexual. By controlling what you eat, you are really trying to control that terrible pain." read more