Tuesday, October 18, 2011



Learn Which Risk Factors You Can Control

Elevated cholesterol levels aren't caused by a high-cholesterol diet alone. The fact is, a combination of factors affect your cholesterol levels. There are two main categories of risks that contribute to high cholesterol—those that you can't change (uncontrollable risks), and those that you can (controllable risks).

Uncontrollable Risk Factors
These variables are out of your control. Although you can't do anything to change them, it's important to know whether you fall into any of these higher-risk categories. How many of these risk factors do you exhibit?
  • Your age. Your risk of developing high cholesterol increases as you age. Men over age 45 and women over 55 are at higher risk than their younger counterparts.
  • Your gender. Overall, men are more prone to high cholesterol than women—until women reach 50 to 55 years of age, that is. Naturally-occurring cholesterol levels in women increase around this age.
  • Your family history. Your family has given you more than your eye color. They've also partly determined your risk for several conditions and diseases. Some people have a genetic predisposition to high cholesterol. Your risk is higher if an immediate family member had high cholesterol and/or its associated problems (like heart disease), especially at a young age (under 55).
  • Your race. Somewhat related to family history, your race can also predetermine part of your cholesterol risk. In the U.S., African Americans, for example, are more likely to develop high cholesterol than Caucasians.
Controllable Risk Factors
Factors that you can control are related to your lifestyle—the choices you make each day about what to eat and whether or not to exercise. These are areas of your life where you can take control to improve your cholesterol levels and enhance your overall health.
  • Your diet. Since your body makes about 80% of its cholesterol, the other 20% comes from the foods you eat. If your diet is high in cholesterol-promoting foods (saturated fat, cholesterol, trans fat) and low in heart-healthy foods (healthy fats, whole grains, fish, fruits and veggies), then your diet is probably contributing to your high cholesterol levels.
  • Your activity level. Inactive people are an increased risk for high cholesterol. Regular exercise naturally decreases the LDL (bad) cholesterol levels in your blood while increasing your HDL (good) cholesterol levels. Exercise does not have to be strenuous to offer benefits.
  • Your weight. Being overweight increases your blood cholesterol levels since your body stores the extra calories you eat as triglycerides. When these triglyceride levels are high, HDL (good) cholesterol levels tend to be low. Losing just 10% of your body weight (if you are overweight), can improve your cholesterol levels.
  • Smoking. Did you know that smoking is the leading preventable cause of heart disease, due to its effects on your arteries, heart, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels? Smoking damages the walls of your arteries and lowers your HDL (good) cholesterol levels. Quitting can stop (and potentially reverse) a lot of the existing damage to your body, and improve your cholesterol.
When you have other existing health conditions, you are compounding your risk of serious complications and disease if you don't lower your cholesterol. Add high risk factors into the picture (family history, age, race) and your risk is compounded even more. The good thing is that you can break that chain of progressive disease at any point by changing what you can control.

Lowering your cholesterol can help improve your health by reducing your risk of heart attack, stroke, and other serious health problems. You should work closely with your doctor to develop a cholesterol-lowering plan that is safe and effective for you. These plans usually involve some combination of dietary changes, regular exercise, medication, and weight loss.
By Nicole Nichols

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


Have you heard?  The pomegranate has been linked to prevent breast cancer!

That’s right, in a report from the Cancer Prevention Research, a team from the City of Hope Cancer Center at Duarte in California, stated, “Estrogen stimulates the proliferation of breast cancer cells and the growth of estrogen-responsive tumours. The aromatase enzyme, which converts androgen to estrogen, plays a key role in breast carcinogenesis.” That adds the pomegranate to our list of fruit fighting cancer!

So in other words, some forms of breast cancer are links to estrogen.  It’s a wonder how a hormone that does so much good, could also do so much bad.  These researchers discovered that pomegranate has several phytochemical compounds that block androgen from becoming estrogen.

Any fruit that is rich in color is loaded with antioxidants, therefore it is no wonder that the pomegranate is a rich source of antioxidants, like the ellagitannins. The research team commented that, “Ten ellagitannins-derived compounds including ellagic acid, gallagic acid (etc) were examined for their ability to inhibit aromatase activity and testosterone-induced breast cancer cell proliferation. We identified six with antiaromatase activity.”

Shiuan Chen, the lead author of the research team, mentioned, “We previously found other fruits, such as grapes, to be capable of the inhibition of aromatase”.

So it seems that many antioxidant fruits are capable of preventing cancer, however the researchers warn that these fruit shouldn’t be a substitute for medicine for those that already have the malignant disease.

Other Ways to Prevent Breast Cancer:

     Get regular mammograms
     Keep alcohol consumption low
     Eat well
     Maintain a healthy weight

Other Health Benefits of the Pomegranate:

     Prevents cardiovascular diseases
     Lowers blood pressure

Pomegranates Stops Prostate Cancer Cells

Currently, there’s no cure for prostate cancer. Treatment for it involves surgery, suppression of testosterone and radiation. However, recent studies from the University of California reveals how the juice from pomegranates may have what it takes to stop the prostate cancer cells.

The testing procedure had researchers inject pomegranate juice on laboratory-cultured prostate cancer cells. The result was a significant cell adhesion, making the cells stick to each other and decreases the chance of spreading.

Pomegranate juice has conjugated fatty acids, flavones, hydrobenzoic acids and phenylpropanoids. These four ingredients are crucial in fighting the migration of the cancer cells. Proponent for the study, Professor Manuela Martins-Green said, “Because the genes and proteins involved in the movement of prostate cancer cells are essentially the same as those involved in the movement of other types of cancer cells, the same modified components of the juice could have a much broader impact in cancer treatment.”
As expected, further studies will begin on how pomegranate juice affects cancer patients. This could be a breakthrough in curing cancer.

Add Pomegranate Seeds to Salad, Stews and More

There are many recipes where pomegranate seeds are being used. To name a few, recipes, such as pomegranate stew with chicken, salad recipes, pomegranate granita and a lot more. Same with salads, there are many varieties of it and you just have to learn how to prepare it and simply choose a recipe that you like most.

Pomegranate is known to be a staple in the cuisine of Persian style. In fact its juice is popular and is most widely present in U.S. It is also not just widely known as the “super food” in nutritional aspects, but because making a juice out of pomegranate is very taxing and lots of fruits are needed. It is advised also to use the seeds or remove pomegranate while it is still fresh. It can stand up for a short time while baking and also keeps their color garnet.
In some preparations, you will need to know how to get pomegranate seeds out. It is actually not that difficult to remove pomegranate seeds. Simply keep it tidy first, utilize a large mixing bowl, and fill with water to half-full. Next, cut the pomegranate by half, and submerge it in water by halves. Using your hands, separate its seeds from its inner membrane. Remember, membranes are fragile and usually floats on the surface. Remove membrane and its outer rind while removing the seeds. Lastly, skim its surface for the tiny bits to be eliminated. Drain in colander, and there you go, seeds are all set to use.

Monday, October 10, 2011

6 Tips to Beat Colds and Flu This Year

How Can You Stay Healthy? Here are some Tips:
  1. Hands Off: 80% of colds are spread by direct contact with people who are already sick. It is the number one way germs are transmitted. So keep your distance when possible.
  2. Keep it Clean: The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that hand-washing is the single-most important prevention step for reducing disease transmission. Make sure you lather your hands up frequently.
  3. Drink More Water: Drinking eight, 8-ounce glasses of water should already be part of your daily routine, but especially during cold and flu season. Water is used by every cell in your body and essential for flushing out toxins and germs.
  4. Drink Green Tea: Canadian researchers added green tea to lab samples of the adenovirus (one of the bugs responsible for colds), and found that it stopped the virus from replicating. All the credit goes to EGCG, a chemical compound found in certain kinds of tea, but in the highest concentrations in green tea. Each serving of our Kerisma Xtreme Tea contains the nutritional equivalent to 20 cups of green tea!
  5. Exercise: Quite simply, people who exercise regularly are less likely to get sick. Exercise keeps your immune system strong and also reduces stress levels. The more stressed you are, the more likely you are to catch the cold or flu.
  6. Sleep On It: Getting a good night’s rest is essential to a healthy immune system. Resting allows the body to recuperate, so it is ready to fight another day. Adults should get at least 7-9 hours, more for younger teens and children.
More than 1 billion colds plague Americans from October through March every year. Take some simple steps to put up your best fight this year.