16 foods that will improve your memory, lower your blood pressure, and boost your immune system

16 foods that will improve your memory, lower your blood pressure, and boost your immune system

I have found and interesting article from AARP Magazine and thought I would share it with you today. The article is, “16 foods that will improve memory, lower blood pressure and boost the immune system”.  Boosting your immune system is very important in cancer prevention.  If your immune system is healthy, then it will automatically kill cancer cells.  These foods are multitaskers when it comes to improving your health!

Blueberries: These little guys are loaded with antioxidants.  Antioxidants work to rid the body of little electrically charged molecules, in our bloodstream, called free radicals.  These free radicals can cause damage to cell DNA.  This happens naturally in everyone, so it’s important to have these little babies in your diet.  They not only fight cancer; they may cut the risk of heart attack in women, and fight memory loss.  Not bad for such little berries.

Pomegranates: Another fruit just loaded with antioxidants.  They can lower blood pressure, fight free radicals, and help keep your heart and blood vessels healthy.

Avocados:  Give me that Guac!  This little guy has glutathione.  That’s a fancy name for an antioxidant that helps to improve overall hormone function. I would like to add here; it may not be good for breast  cancer survivors to eat a lot of avocados.  They are rich in an enzyme that is involved in estrogen metabolism.

Dark Chocolate: Dark Chocolate is rich in antioxidants and flavonoids. The highest level of antioxidants come from the cacao bean itself.  These are cancer fighting and the flavonoids help in decreasing blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels.  Don’t overdo it, though.  An ounce square has what you need; and be sure you check the sugar content on your label.  Some dark chocolate bars can be loaded with sugar.  Weigh your options, if you are a woman that is sensitive to caffeine.

Sweet Potatoes: Sweet potatoes have a large amount of vitamin B6 and potassium.  These help protect your immune system.  Plus, they can help regulate your blood pressure.

Garlic:  Garlic contains sulfur compounds that make it antioxidant and antimicrobial.  Antimicrobial means it can fight a host of infections.  Yea!  It can also help in preventing heart attacks and strokes.  Crush it or mince it.  It is a powerhouse.

Asparagus:  Asparagus is a fantastic cell repair veggie.  It is high in protein, potassium, and vitamin B12.  A great meatless protein for cancer survivors.

Kale: Kale has several strong cancer fighting compounds fight free radicals, detoxifies the body and inhibits the growth of cancer cells; and if that’s not enough, it fights cataract formation in the eyes, with lutein.  It does contain a large amount of vitamin K.  This is not recommended for people on blood thinners.  Vitamin K improves blood clotting.

Yogurt:  Yogurt is a dairy product that has live cultures.  It can help with blood pressure and balancing the gastrointestinal tract.  There are mixed findings with dairy products and cancer.  Whatever the findings, the benefits definitely outweigh the bad.  The recommended daily allowance for and adult is 3-4 servings daily.  And reduced fat is recommended.

Coffee:  Coffee is loaded with antioxidants.  It protect the body’s cells against damage, and reduces the risk against diabetes, heart attack and stroke.  It does contain caffeine.  There is about 90 mg. of caffeine per each 8 oz. cup of coffee.   Women that are sensitive to caffeine (I am one) can experience soreness in the breast tissue.  As of 2013, there has been no link to caffeine consumption and breast cancer or fibrocystic breast changes.  The soreness alone, is enough for me to limit my caffeine consumption.

Green Tea: Green Tea is loaded with catechins.  These are antioxidants that protect cells and may cut the risk of certain cancers; esophageal, stomach, prostate, and postmenopausal breast cancer, to name a few.

Walnuts: Walnuts have high levels of omega -3 fatty acids and vitamin E; which are good for building immunity and a healthy heart.  These little guys have twice the antioxidants of any other nut.

Olive Oil: Olive oil can help in lowering blood pressure, cholesterol and risk of stroke.  Olive oil has been found to contain antioxidants and oleic acid that can lessen the production and development of tumors.

Wild Salmon: Wild Salmon is full of Omega-3 fatty acids.  Eating a balanced diet with the required Omega-3 fatty acids can fight premature aging of cells and can cut the risks of  breast, colon and prostate cancers.  Provided, it is consumed in moderation.

Thyme: Thyme is an antimicrobial and antioxidant

Basil:  Basil has anti inflammatory properties and is antimicrobial and antioxidant.

I hope this post has helped you understand the good qualities these foods have, and has inspired you to try them.  They do offer great benefits for a healthy body and life.  Stay tuned for some recipes, including some of these fantastic foods.  This article may be found in AARP Magazine April -May 2013

Online Communities and Support for Cancer Patients and Survivors

Online Communities and Support for Cancer Patients and Survivors

The American Cancer Society provides 3 different online communities for support.  When you are diagnosed,  so much information is given to you, and you can be overwhelmed.  I know my first oncologist appointment was 4 hours long.  I was crying, I was numb and I was trying to understand all they were telling me, and I was afraid of it all.

It amazes me just how much is out there.  Someone may tell you about things available, and this is fantastic.  My posts are to help make this information available if you do not know.  www.cancer.org is a great resource site.  You may not be ready for it at first.  Lord knows, I wasn’t.  You take one day at a time and you get used to the idea.  You are stronger than you think.

These 3 online communities may or may not be for you.  I just want to make you aware, that they are there.

WhatNext is a community of cancer survivors and patients that have been diagnosed with cancers like yours.  These people share their experiences and information and most importantly, give support.

Circle of Sharing is very unique.  This is fantastic, if you have immediate family that is far away.  This online service helps family and friends get information about the patient’s own diagnosis; and this information can be shared, only, within the circle of people included.

Cancer Survivor’s Network  This online support network is therapeutic in that you can have your own space online, share your experience and start an online blog.  There are also chat rooms and discussion boards where you can share with other survivors.

It is my hope that posting this information will help others in their journey.

Eugene Bernard Costlow

Eugene Bernard Costlow

My Dad was taken by prostate cancer in August 1998.  He was a strong, quiet soul and He worked hard, as a Mink farmer in Adams Township, Pennsylvania.  I have to smile when I think of him and my Mom.  She would order his meals for him, when we went out.  She had the stronger personality.  He never complained.

He was in his 80’s; and had a pacemaker put in, the year before.  The Cardiologist was the only doctor he saw.  He noticed something was wrong, when the cancer closed off both his kidneys.  He had mowed the grass, on the riding mower, the day before he went into the hospital.

They were going to start radiation treatments, and his prognosis was dialysis for the rest of his life.  That Sunday, after a week in the hospital; he died quietly, with us there.  He was so active, and I know he wouldn’t have liked the dialysis.

I always viewed him in awe.  One look from him, and I would behave.  We became closer in the years that I took him to appointments, and grocery shopping.  That was our time together and I cherish them.  To one of God’s angels, I love you Dad.

A light and lemony soup, Spinach, Pasta and Pea soup

A light and lemony soup, Spinach, Pasta and Pea soup

This soup  from Cooking Light, is surprisingly light.  A nice clear broth that goes down easy.  Spinach, Pasta and Pea soup is packed with cancer fighting foods.  Olive oil, fresh Garlic, Onion, and Spinach to name a few.  You can use Chicken broth or Vegetable broth the choice is yours.  I mince my garlic and use 1/2  of a frozen package of spinach.  Just a preference.

Spinach, Pasta and Pea Soup

Ingredients

1 Tables. olive oil, 2-3 garlic cloves thinly sliced, 4 c. vegetable broth, 2 c. water, 3/4 c. orzo pasta (uncooked), 1 Tables. lemon zest, 1 (15 oz.) can garbanzo beans (chick peas) drained, 1-1 1/2 teas. oregano dried, 1 Tables. lemon juice, 1/2 teas. black pepper, 1/8 teas. salt, 1 (6 oz.) pkg. of Fresh baby spinach, shaved or grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

Instructions

Heat a large saucepan over high heat

Add olive oil to the pan and swirl it to coat the bottom.  Add the garlic and onion; sauté 30 sec., stirring constantly.

Add the vegetable broth and two c. of water and bring to a boil.

Add the orzo, lemon zest and chick peas.  Cover and cook 10 min. or until the orzo is done.

Stir in the oregano, and next 4 ingredients (through the spinach).

Ladle the soup into bowls and top with grated or shaved parmesan cheese.  Enjoy!

Looking for a low cost way to get alkaline water?  The Pitcher of Life may be what you are looking for.

Looking for a low cost way to get alkaline water? The Pitcher of Life may be what you are looking for.

I have done a lot of reading about alkaline water, and how cancer cells cannot survive in an alkaline environment.  In my reading I checked the pH of bottled water and the more alkaline, the more expensive.  In home water ionizers are also expensive.

One day, as I was looking around, I came across the Pitcher of Life.  This water pitcher filters your tap water, and adds calcium and magnesium to the water, as it filters it.  This raises the pH of the water, so it is more alkaline.

The price of the pitcher is $49.95 and $19.97 for the filter, before  tax and shipping.  The filter is changed every two months.

I have had mine for about 3 weeks.  I make my teas with it, and I can filter a quart at a time to make iced tea.  This is portable, so you can take it anywhere.  We have well water, and it’s pH  is pretty low.  This is one thing I can do, to optimize my diet.  If you own a Pitcher of Life, please leave your comments about it.  The information could be beneficial to others.  Thank You.

With this awesome zucchini grinder, you will not miss steak!

With this awesome zucchini grinder, you will not miss steak!

This zucchini grinder sandwich, is a fabulous substitute for steak and cheese.  The recipe comes from allrecipes.com.  There is a marinara recipe included, but if you are in a hurry, jar marinara will do just fine.  Muir Glen makes an organic marinara and it’s available at Wal-Mart.  For added oomph, get whole grain rolls and serve it up with Aldi Simply Nature brand vegetable chips.  This makes a tasty meatless meal.

Ingredients

Marinara Sauce:  1 Tbsp. olive oil, 2 cloves garlic , peeled and coarsely chopped, 1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes, 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil or 1 1/2 teas. dried, 1 teas. red wine vinegar, 1 teas. white sugar, 1(14.5 oz.) can diced tomatoes, salt and pepper to taste.

Grinders: 1 Tables. butter, 2 med. zucchini cubed, 1 pinch red pepper flakes, salt and pepper to taste, 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, 4 kaiser rolls split.

Directions:

To make marinara sauce, heat olive oil in a saucepan over med. heat.  Add garlic, basil and red pepper flakes; cook and stir for a min or two until fragrant.  Stir in sugar, vinegar, salt and pepper.  Pour in the tomatoes with their juices and simmer over low heat for 15 min.  Remove from heat and purée until smooth in a food processor.  I do this different.  I break up the tomatoes while they are simmering so they are a little chunky.  It’s just a preference.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Melt the butter in a skillet over med. heat.  Cook the zucchini in butter until browned and slightly tender.  Remember the sandwiches are going in the oven, so don’t overdo the zucchini.  Season with red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.

Spoon a generous amount of the zucchini mixture onto each sandwich roll.  Top with a handful of shredded mozzarella.  Close the rolls and wrap each in a piece of aluminum foil.  This makes them so goood!

Bake for 10-15 min. in the preheated oven, until the bread is heated through, and the cheese is melted.  The rolls will be soft and have a little crunch, Ohh, my.  🙂