For more than 30 years, Marlene Shelton worked to turn a dream into a reality: to create a safe haven for those living out life’s last journey and needing end-of-life care. Her dream at St. Anthony’s became the Fern & Russell F. de Greeff Hospice House, the only hospital facility of its kind dedicated to serving the medical, physical, emotional and spiritual needs of hospice patients in a home-like setting.
Breast cancer affects 1 out of 8 women in the U.S., making it the most common cancer in women, according to the American Cancer Society (ACS). Mammograms, yearly clinical exams, self-breast exams and breast health awareness are considered the best methods for detecting the disease early.
Last year, a government task force caused some controversy when it advised that routine mammograms in healthy women be scheduled every two years beginning at age 50. However, the ACS and other organizations stand by longstanding recommendations for screening mammograms to begin annually at age 40, and even younger in women at higher risk. And OB/GYNs continue to recommend self-breast exams.
A recent analysis showed that a woman who gets a yearly mammogram beginning at age 40 reduces her risk of dying from breast cancer by 40 percent, whereas there is only a 23 percent reduction in risk if a woman waits until age 50 to begin biennial mammograms.
An apple a day may indeed keep the doctor away. A study found that women who ate dried apples for a year had lowered their total cholesterol by 14 percent. Their levels of “bad” (LDL) cholesterol had fallen by 23 percent and their levels of “good” (HDL) cholesterol had risen by about 4 percent.
The study, whose findings were presented at the Experimental Biology 2011 conference, included 160 women who were randomly assigned to eat about 2.7 ounces of dried apples or prunes daily. Those who ate prunes also experienced benefits, but not to the extent of those who consumed apples.
Why are these yellow, red and green fruits so good for us? One reason could be that they are rich in pectin, a soluble fiber, which blocks cholesterol absorption in the gut. Apple peels also are loaded with antioxidants that prevent cellular damage from free radicals.
Come late summer, children exchange their bathing caps for thinking caps. To keep their bodies fueled and their brains focused at school, it’s important they eat right throughout the day. That starts with a good breakfast.
Sugary cereals, while popular with kids, are not the most nutritious breakfast food. They cause blood-sugar levels to peak and then plummet over a couple of hours. By contrast, whole-grain foods, such as oatmeal, are a good choice. Oatmeal is absorbed more slowly in the body and gives children energy that lasts through the morning.
Kids also need hearty and healthy lunches. What makes a nutritionally sound lunch? Think colorful (fruits and veggies), variety (proteins, fruits and vegetables, whole grains), nutrient-dense and delicious. Hard-boiled eggs, berries and trail mix make great lunchtime staples.
So what should you avoid putting in your child’s lunch bag? Foods that are highly processed and full of non-nutritional ingredients like dyes and sweeteners. Those foods do not help kids concentrate or absorb information.
For information, please call our Health Access Line at 314-ANTHONY (268-4669) or 800-554-9550 or visit find a physician online.
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