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Smoothie of the Month: October

October is Flu Season Month! Nourishing Your Immune System…

 

The immune system protects the body from illness, infection, and disease. This complex system uses different body tissues and chemical reactions to defend our bodies from harmful invades like bacteria, viruses, microbes, free radicals, and parasites.
The Components of the Immune System: The Lymphatic system plays a large tole in the immune function. The Lymph Vessel circulate and drain body fluid known as lymph to and from our organs. Lymph transports nutrients to the organs and removes any excess substances from them.

The Lymph also contains white blood cells-the soldiers of our body that kill a wide range of harmful invaders. White blood cells are manufactured in the thymus and one bone marrow, then release into the lymph and circulated through the lymph vessels to their destination.

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Risk Factors for the Immune System:

Diet and lifestyle plays a huge role in our immune system’s ability to keep our body functioning at it best. Unhealthy habits significantly increase the numbers of harmful chemical compounds our body takes in.

  • Processes food
  • Alcohol
  • Cigarette
  • Paint fumes
  • Exhaust fumes and other gasses and pollutants in the air.

Free radicals destabilize healthy atoms in the body, causing cell damage that may eventually lead to illness and disease. Basically, the more free radicals we take in, the harder it becomes for our immune system to keep us healthy.

Immune Statistics:

 

  • The immune system is closely linked to cancer, (source: The second leading death in the US CDC, 2011)
  • Estimated 23.5 Million Americans suffer from autoimmune disease, and incidences are on the rise (source: US Dept. of Health & Human Services 2010)
  • Approximately 1 in 2 males and 1 in 3 females will contract cancer over the course of their lifetime. (source: American Cancer Society,2011)
  • Over 40 diseases have been classified as having autoimmune roots; these diseases can be both chronic and deadly. (source: National Institute of Allergy& Infectious diseases, 2004)

 

Preventing Immune System issues:

  • Living a healthy lifestyle is the KEY to maintaining a powerful immune system.
  • Keep your free radical’s intake low
  • Avoid processed foods
  • Fatty meats
  • Quit smoking
  • Avoid stress (Stress can weaken your immune system)

Foods that boost Your Immune System:

 

  • Carrots, bell peppers, dark leafy greens (high level of Vitamin A)
  • Sunflower seed, almonds (both high in vitamins E- fat soluble that serve as powerful antioxidants.)
  • Papaya, strawberries, citrus, broccoli (high in Vitamin C)
  • Spelt, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, oats (All of these food contain Zinc – an element that maintains white blood cell levels and help heal wounds.)
  • Garlic (known to have antibacterial and antiviral properties, and is also helpful preventing cancers.)

 

 

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The Zinc Booster… We hope you enjoy!

Ingredients 

1 cup Arugula

1 Banana

1 Yellow Pepper

1Cup of Strawberries

¼ cup of pumpkin seeds

1 cup of Spring Water

Ice

Blend it all up, and make a smoothie!

Person holding a glass of thick green vegetable juice

 

We suggest you use a NutriBullet, Health Master, Ninja Super Blender! You may also use a regular blender- just blend a a little longer. If you decide to try this recipe, take a photo and tag us on social media! 

Happy Slurping!

Source: Nutribullet Natural Healing Food & William B Ershler” The influence of an aging immune system.”

*Disclaimer:

If you have any specific questions about any medical matter, you should consult your doctor or other professional healthcare provider.

Ruby A. Neeson Diabetes Awareness Foundation, Inc. is a Georgia-based nonprofit organization raising diabetes awareness and prevention through education, community outreach and advocacy programs.

We are dedicated and committed to creating supportable, sustainable opportunities for those affected by diabetes.

For information on services and organization opportunities, please visit www.fightdiabetesnow.org.

Fight Diabetes Now- Together We Can Win!

Artificial Pancreas Filed for Approval in the U.S.

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According to Newsweek, an artificial pancreas that is awaiting approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) could help those who suffer from diabetes by monitoring their blood sugar levels. The artificial pancreas would help diabetes sufferers by delivering insulin to prevent hypoglycemic attacks. The MiniMed 640G, which is developed by the Dublin-based firm Medtronic, combines a glucose sensor with an insulin pump that is connected to a patch that delivers insulin into the body. The device works with a display the size of a smartphone that provides information to diabetes sufferers who wear the “artificial pancreas.”

Learn more here.

*Disclaimer:

If you have any specific questions about any medical matter, you should consult your doctor or other professional healthcare provider.

For additional information on Heart Disease, Heart Disease Risk Factors, Preventing Heart Disease and related topics, click here.

Ruby A. Neeson Diabetes Awareness Foundation, Inc. is a Georgia-based nonprofit organization raising diabetes awareness and prevention through education, community outreach and advocacy programs.

We are dedicated and committed to creating supportable, sustainable opportunities for those affected by diabetes.

For information on services and organization opportunities, please visitwww.fightdiabetesnow.org.

Fight Diabetes Now- Together We Can Win!

 

 

Diabetes and Chronic Kidney Disease

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Did you know? Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure.

It has been estimated that more than 20 million American adults have Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD). CKD has two main causes: high blood pressure and diabetes. CKD, especially if undetected, can progress to irreversible kidney failure.

Almost half of people starting dialysis have kidney failure caused by diabetes. Diabetes can damage your kidneys. This damage can happen over many years, without you feeling it. But, even if you have diabetes, you can take steps to help keep your kidneys healthy.

  • Keep Your Kidneys Healthy by Managing Your Diabetes: Managing your diabetes is an important part of keeping your kidneys healthy. If you have diabetes, you can lower your risk for kidney disease by controlling your blood sugar and keeping your blood pressure and cholesterol at the levels set with your provider. Making healthy food choices, being more physically active, and quitting smoking if you smoke also can help keep your kidneys healthy. Losing weight if you are overweight is another way to help your kidneys.
  • Know how well your kidneys are working by getting checked for kidney disease: If you have diabetes, it is important to get checked for kidney disease. Early kidney disease usually does not have signs or symptoms. Testing is the only way to know how your kidneys are doing. Two tests are needed to check for kidney disease. A blood test checks your GFR, which tells how well your kidneys are filtering. A urine test checks for albumin in your urine. Albumin is a protein that can pass into the urine when the kidneys are damaged. The sooner you know you have kidney disease, the sooner you can get treatment to help delay or prevent kidney failure. If you have diabetes, talk to your health care provider about getting your kidneys checked.

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Minority populations, particularly African Americans, Hispanic and Latino Americans, and American Indians and Alaska Natives, bear a disproportionate burden of CKD and kidney failure.

Your health is important. If you have diabetes or high blood pressure, do not forget to speak with your health care provider about kidney disease and kidney disease testing.

Source: The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases

*Disclaimer:

If you have any specific questions about any medical matter, you should consult your doctor or other professional healthcare provider.

Ruby A. Neeson Diabetes Awareness Foundation, Inc. is a Georgia-based nonprofit organization raising diabetes awareness and prevention through education, community outreach and advocacy programs. We are dedicated and committed to creating supportable, sustainable opportunities for those affected by diabetes. For information on services and organization opportunities, please visitwww.fightdiabetesnow.org.

Fight Diabetes Now- Together We Can Win!

February is American Heart Month

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Heart disease is the preeminent cause of death for men and women in the United States. Each year, 1 in 4 deaths are caused by heart disease.
The good news is, oftentimes, heart disease can be prevented when people make healthy choices and manage health conditions.
In collaboration with our community partners, we endeavor to make a difference in communities by spreading awareness and strategies for preventing heart disease. We encourage you to live heart healthy lives.
In awareness of American Heart Month, we hope you can benefit from a few tips to help you control your risk of heart disease.

Reduce Blood Sugar

Most of the food we eat is turned into glucose (or blood sugar) that our bodies use for energy. Your body makes a hormone called insulin that acts like a carrier to take your food energy into your cells. If your fasting blood sugar level is below 100, you are in the healthy range. If not, your results could indicate diabetes or pre-diabetes.
The following tips can all help reduce your blood sugar:

  • Reduce consumption of simple sugars that are found in soda, candy and sugary desserts
  • Get regular physical activity! Moderate intensity aerobic physical activity directly helps your body respond to insulin
  • Take medications or insulin if it is prescribed for you

Manage Blood Pressure

High blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke. When your blood pressure stays within healthy ranges, you reduce the strain on your heart, arteries, and kidneys which keeps you healthier longer.

To help manage blood pressure:

  • Follow the healthy plate (1/2 plate vegetables, 1/4 protein, 1/4 starch)
  • Avoid processed foods which can be high in salt (sodium)
  • Be physically active daily (30-60 minutes)
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Manage stress, limit alcohol and avoid tobacco smoke.

Control Cholesterol

When you control your cholesterol, you are giving your arteries their best chance to remain clear of blockages. Cholesterol combines with white blood cells and forms plaque in your veins and arteries. This plaque forms blockages which lead to heart disease and stroke.

Eat Healthy Foods

Healthy foods are the fuel our bodies use to make new cells and create the energy we need to thrive and fight diseases.  Let Food be Your Medicine. A few tips for healthy eating:

  • Eat vegetables and fruits daily (Make ½ your plate consist of vegetables)
  • Eat fiber-rich foods including beans and oatmeal
  • Eat fish twice a week
  • Use healthy oils including extra virgin olive and coconut oil
  • Avoid processed and refined foods
  • Avoid added sugars

Get Fit! Be Active

If you get at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity (like brisk walking), five days a week, you can almost guarantee yourself a healthier and more satisfying life while lowering your risks for heart disease, stroke and diabetes.

Go Smoke FREE! Stop Smoking

Cigarette smokers have a higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease. Do you know the risk of Smoking and Diabetes? Are you aware that secondhand smoke has been linked to Type 2 diabetes and obesity? Smoking and secondhand smoke can contribute to very serious, life-threatening health complications for people with diabetes- or at a high risk of developing diabetes. People with diabetes who smoke have higher levels of HbA1c than nonsmoking people with diabetes. If you smoke, quitting is the best thing you can do for your health.  Smoking can also reduce your good cholesterol (HDL) and your lung capacity, making it harder to get the physical activity you need for better health. Whatever it takes for you to stop smoking, it is worth it!

Lose Weight

If you have too much fat — especially if you carry it all in your waist — you’re at higher risk for such health problems as high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol and diabetes. Even losing as few as five or ten pounds can produce a dramatic blood pressure reduction.

*Disclaimer:

If you have any specific questions about any medical matter, you should consult your doctor or other professional healthcare provider.

For additional information on Heart Disease, Heart Disease Risk Factors, Preventing Heart Disease and related topics, click here.

Ruby A. Neeson Diabetes Awareness Foundation, Inc. is a Georgia-based nonprofit organization raising diabetes awareness and prevention through education, community outreach and advocacy programs.

We are dedicated and committed to creating supportable, sustainable opportunities for those affected by diabetes.

For information on services and organization opportunities, please visit www.fightdiabetesnow.org.

Fight Diabetes Now- Together We Can Win!

Healthy Heart Recipe: Strawberry and Pineapple Parfait

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Heart Healthy, and Diabetic Friendly Treat Just for You!

Many diabetics shy away from fruit because they perceive it to be high in sugar and therefore likely to raise their blood-glucose levels. However, the American Diabetes Association encourages diabetics to include fruit as part of their diets because fruits, including strawberries, contain essential vitamins and minerals for good health.

Pineapples are both juicy and fleshy with the stem serving as the fibrous core. They are generally harvested during the autumn season, with availability year round fresh. Pineapples are not only delicious to many, they contain several nutritional benefits such as: Fat free; saturated fat free; very low sodium; cholesterol free; high in vitamin C.

Strawberries can be part of a balanced diabetic diet, and they may even provide specific health benefits for diabetics. According to research reported in the April 2010 issue of “The British Journal of Nutrition,” consuming strawberries and other berries may reduce the body’s overall glucose response after a meal.

You can regulate your blood sugar level by adding coconut fiber to your diet. Coconut fiber is in the meat of the coconut.

This raw parfait recipe is super simple and easy. All you’ll need is:

2 cups of young coconut meat
4 cup of chunky pieces of fresh pineapple
4 cups of sliced strawberries (you really only need 1 cup of sliced strawberries, the rest will get blended)

Blend 1 cup of young coconut meat with 3 cups of pineapple (using a Vitamix is ideal for that creamy consistency but a regular food processor works as well) and place at the bottom of your glass. Sprinkle with pineapple chunks on top.

Blend the other cup of young coconut meat with 3 cups of strawberries and place on top of the layered pineapple cream and pineapple chunks.

For the finish, top it off with the remaining cup of sliced strawberries.

Enjoy!

A healthy lifestyle is pivotal to living well with diabetes. Nourishment, and a healthy balanced diet plays a important part in that process.

Recipe Courtesy of Healthy Heart Coalition of Fulton County

*Disclaimer:

If you have any specific questions about any medical matter, you should consult your doctor or other professional healthcare provider.

Stroke Awareness Month

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May is American Stroke Awareness Mouth.

A stroke occurs when the blood supply to part of your brain is interrupted or severely reduced, depriving brain tissue of oxygen and nutrients. Within minutes, brain cells begin to die.

A stroke is a medical emergency. Prompt treatment is crucial. Early action can minimize brain damage and potential complications.

The good news is that strokes can be treated and prevented, and many fewer Americans die of stroke now than even 15 years ago.

Despite the tremendous toll stroke takes, the vast majority of Americans do not think of stroke as a major health concern. And one in three Americans is unable to identify all the F.A.S.T. (Face Drooping. Arm Weakness. Speech Difficulty. Time to Call 9-1-1) stroke warning signs.

American Stroke Month is an annual opportunity to get the word out. Each May, the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association recognizes American Stroke Month by rallying the nation around the cause because together we can end stroke.

What does diabetes have to do with strokes?

If you have diabetes, your chances of having a stroke are 1.5 times higher than in people who don’t have diabetes. But you can lower your risk by taking care of your health.

How do I know whether I’m at high risk for a stroke?

Having diabetes raises your risk for stroke. But your risk is even greater if:

  • you’re over age 55
  • your family background is African American
  • you’ve already had a stroke or a transient ischemic (ih-SKEE-mik) attack (also called a TIA or a mini-stroke)
  • you have a family history of stroke or TIAs
  • you have heart disease
  • you have high blood pressure
  • you’re overweight
  • you have high LDL (bad) cholesterol and low HDL (good) cholesterol levels
  • you are not physically active
  • you smoke

You can’t change some of these risk factors. But you can lower your chances of having a stroke by taking care of your diabetes and tackling some of the other risk factors, such as losing weight if you’re overweight. It’s up to you.

How can I lower my risk of having a stroke?

Lower your risk by keeping your blood glucose (blood sugar), blood pressure and cholesterol on target with healthy eating, physical activity, and, if needed, medicine. And if you smoke, quit. Every step you take will help. The closer your numbers are to your targets, the better your chances of preventing a stroke.

What are the warning signs of a stroke?

Typical warning signs of a stroke develop suddenly and can include:

  • weakness or numbness on one side of the body
  • sudden confusion or trouble understanding
  • trouble talking
  • dizziness, loss of balance, or trouble walking
  • trouble seeing out of one or both eyes
  • double vision
  • severe headache

If you have warning signs of a stroke, call 9-1-1 right away. Getting treatment as soon as possible after a stroke can help prevent permanent damage to your brain.

Review the symptoms of a stroke with your family and friends. Make sure they know about the importance of calling 9-1-1.

If the blood flow to your brain is blocked for a short time, you might have one or more of the warning signs temporarily, meaning you’ve had a TIA (mini-stroke). TIAs put you at risk for a stroke in the future.

How is a stroke diagnosed?

A number of tests may be done if a stroke is suspected:

  • Your health care provider will check for changes in how your body is working. For example, your provider will check your ability to move your arms and legs. Your health care provider also can check brain functions such as your ability to read or to describe a picture.
  • CT and MRI tests use special scans to provide images of the brain.
  • An ECG (electrocardiogram) provides information on heart rate and rhythm.
  • An ultrasound examination can show problems in the carotid (kuh-ROT-ihd) arteries, which carry blood from the heart to the brain.
  • In a cerebral (seh-REEB-rahl) arteriogram (ar-TEER-ee-oh-gram), a small tube is inserted into an artery and positioned in the neck. The health care provider injects dye into the artery. Then the provider takes X-rays to look for narrowed or blocked arteries.

What are the treatments for stroke?

Treatment You Need Right Away
“Clot-busting” drugs must be given within hours after a stroke to minimize damage. That’s why it’s important to call 9-1-1 if you’re having symptoms.

Surgical Treatments You May Need
Several options for surgical treatment of blocked blood vessels are available. These include:

  • Carotid artery surgery, also called carotid endarterectomy (en-dar-tuh-REK-tuh-mee) removes buildups of fat inside the artery and restores blood flow to the brain.
  • Carotid stenting can remove a blockage in a blood vessel to the brain. A small tube with a balloon attached is threaded into the narrowed or blocked blood vessel. Then the balloon is inflated, opening the narrowed artery. A wire tube, or stent, may be left in place to help keep the artery open.

Other Treatments
The way you are cared for following a stroke includes treatments and exercises to restore function or help people relearn skills. Physical, occupational and speech therapy may be included, as well as psychological counseling. Steps to prevent future problems should include quitting smoking, healthy eating, physical activity, to manage blood glucose, blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

Source (s): American Diabetes Association and Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research

For additional information about The American Heart Association and F.A.S.T. click here

Ruby A. Neeson Diabetes Awareness Foundation, Inc. is a Georgia-based nonprofit organization raising diabetes awareness and prevention through education, community outreach and advocacy programs.

We are dedicated and committed to creating supportable, sustainable opportunities for those affected by diabetes.

For information on services and organization opportunities, please visit www.fightdiabetesnow.org.

Fight Diabetes Now- Together We Can Win!

 

Why Take Care of Your Diabetes?

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You may have heard people say they have “a touch of diabetes” or that their “sugar is a little high.” These words suggest that diabetes is not a serious disease. That is not correct. Diabetes is serious, but you can learn to manage it.

People with diabetes need to make healthy food choices, stay at a healthy weight, move more every day, and take their medicine even when they feel good. It’s a lot to do.It’s not easy, but it’s worth it!

Taking care of yourself and your diabetes can help you feel good today and in the future. When your blood sugar (glucose) is close to normal, you are likely to:

  • Have more energy
  • Be less tired and thirsty
  • Need to pass urine less often
  • Heal better
  • Have fewer skin or bladder infections

You will also have less chance of having health problems caused by diabetes such as:

  • Heart Attack or Stroke
  • Eye Problems that can lead to trouble seeing or going blind
  • Pain, tingling, or numbness in your hands and feet, also called nerve damage
  • Kidney problems that can cause your kidneys to stop working
  • Teeth and gum problems

Actions You Can Take

  • check markAsk your health care team what type of diabetes you have.
  • check markLearn where you can go for support.
  • check markLearn how caring for your diabetes helps you feel good today and in the future.

You can learn more about diabetes health by joining a support group to get peer support with managing your diabetes.

Ruby A. Neeson Diabetes Awareness Foundation, Inc. is a Georgia-based nonprofit charitable organization heightening diabetes awareness and prevention through education, community outreach programs, and advocacy support.

We are dedicated and committed to creating supportable, sustainable opportunities for those affected by diabetes.

For information on services and organization opportunities, please visit www.fightdiabetesnow.org.

Fight Diabetes Now- Together We Can Win!