We were having breakfast with some friends last week, and I was drinking cranberry juice. “T” asked if I had been reading the reports that cranberries were dangerous. I had heard no such thing, but I was curious.
Since menopause, I’ve taken cranberry capsules 3-5 days a week as a preventative measure against urinary tract infections. It has worked great, and I didn’t want to give it up and go back to antibiotics.
I’ve been preoccupied with work, but I finally had a chance to do some research. Every site I went on had mostly great things to say about cranberries and cranberry juice, but there were a few warnings.
One site confirmed what my doctor once told me about cranberry. “People used to think that cranberry worked for urinary tract infections by making the urine acidic and, therefore, unlikely to support the growth of bacteria. But researchers don’t believe this explanation any more. They now think that some of the chemicals in cranberries keep bacteria from sticking to the cells that line the urinary tract where they can multiply. Cranberry, however, does not seem to have the ability to release bacteria which are already stuck to these cells. This may explain why cranberry is possibly effective in preventing urinary tract infections, but possibly ineffective in treating them.”
The danger my friend had heard about was the association between high consumption of cranberry and kidney stones. Even cranberry capsules raise urinary oxalate levels, so it is probably wise not to take cranberry - as a fruit, a juice, or a pill - every day.
Cranberry does react with several prescription medications. I didn’t know that, but since I don’t take any prescription medications, I don’t have to worry.
The thing I learned that surprised me was that cranberry contains salicylic acid - an important ingredient in aspirin. Drinking cranberry juice, like taking aspirin, can reduce swelling and prevent blood clots. In other words - it is a blood thinner. That is a good thing for thick blooded type As, but not so great for Type Os like me whose blood is thin already.
I had often wondered why on the BTD food list, cranberry is beneficial for three blood types, but neutral for Os. Perhaps its blood thinning properties have something to do with that. However on the GTD, cranberry is either beneficial or super beneficial for all Types.
I never found anything that recommended that everyone stop cranberry. You just have to weigh the benefits against the possible side effects.
It would be interesting to have the ability to compare the bloodwork of high profile diet gurus.
One of the places I buy supplements always puts a free health newsletter in my bag or box. I have never seen this particular author write anything either pro or con about the BTD. I usually scan through his newsletter, occasionally making a note of something that might prove helpful.
In a recent issue he wrote about a medical exam and published the results of his bloodwork. He said that his numbers were a great except for a few. His blood sugar is high, as is his cortisol and homocysteine. His overall cholesterol is high, though his ratio is good.
I asked myself, do I want to follow a nutritional pro who has high blood sugar and high cholesterol? Probably not. If a nutritionist’s program doesn’t work for himself, I would not be inclined to place my health in his hands
Then I started wondering how Dr. D’s blood work would compare to some of his critics like Andrew Weil, Michael Klaper, and John McMahon.
I’m just a volunteer blogger. I don’t have the clout to propose such a challenge. But it sure would be interesting.
I’ve been doing a different kind of exercise for the past two months that has had unexpectedly good results.
Last spring, a friend in the neighborhood had guests from up north who wanted to experience life in Texas. They did tourist things like the Alamo and the LBJ Library. But they also did some activities that are ordinary in Texas, but not so common in other states. One of the things they did was attend a line dancing class at a local community center. My friend was so enthusiastic about it that three of us decided we wanted to give the class a try.
The class is taught as an exercise class, but the group also performs at local events – like fireman’s picnics, Lion’s Club barbeques, and retirement centers.
The first thing that surprised me was that this really was good physical exercise. I’m in pretty good shape, but after an hour of dancing my heart rate is up and I’m breathing faster than normal. It is also great for balance, something my Physical Therapist son encourages me to work on.
The second thing was the realization that this was going to be good mental exercise as well. In an hour we do eight to ten dances. Each one has a unique pattern of steps. The first month I felt lost most of the time. I began to wonder if it would ever make sense. Gradually the steps became easier, and I found that when the music started my feet remembered the pattern.
We don’t do the same dances every week. I have no idea how many are in the total repertoire. The teacher has a stack of CDs that she brings each week. Some dances we repeat often. Others are dances the group has done in the past and everyone knows the steps except the new members. We stumble along feeling clueless. The others tell us not to worry, that we will eventually get it.
I read comments on the Forum from time to time from people who have trouble disciplining themselves to exercise. Check with your local community center. Perhaps there is a dancing class that reflects your local culture. You can have fun and exercise at the same time.
I’m not ready to join the performance group yet, but I see the potential that one day I might buy a pair of boots and give it a whirl.
I had two really happy blogs planned in my head - - until yesterday’s Supreme Court decision upholding Obamacare as Constitutional. This will be short: You are now more responsible for your own healthcare than ever before.
If you are old like me (I’m a year away from 60) – Medicare will not be there for you. Medicare funding is being stripped to pay for Medicaid. If you are overweight, better lose it now…you will not get the hip or knee replacement you are going to need. If your blood sugar is high, better get it down…diabetics are high risk, and will have their health care rationed. Same for high cholesterol and high blood pressure.
If you are young – your health care costs will skyrocket, though that may be hidden by artificial low fees at the doctor's office. It's the new taxes that go into effect after the elections that are frightening. I am also concerned about rationed care for babies born with disabilities. A friend had a Downs baby several years ago who was born with a hole in his heart. The surgery to repair his heart was covered by insurance. It will not be long before surgery will be denied in cases like this.
I am sick (pardon the pun) of hearing about how wonderful and inexpensive health care is in Europe. Read the news! Europe is bankrupt. They are all jockeying for position to have the United States and China bail out their economies. Now the US is headed for bankruptcy as well.
The only bright spot I find in all of this is that I have been serious about managing my own health since I was 23. When I started the BTD in 2003 (and as a Type O eliminated wheat and most dairy from my diet) I conquered inflammation and felt better than ever. My BMI is excellent. I am high energy. I do not take any prescription medications.
If you are not serious about your health care, better start. Otherwise you will find yourself in a “dying room” like they have in Chinese orphanages.
You can do this! I believe that God designed our bodies to heal themselves if they are given healthy food and appropriate exercise. Be suspicious of any “one size fits all” plan for eating. You need a health regimen that is appropriate for you as an individual and for your blood type.
A facebook friend posted that she had a soup recipe that called for kale and she was looking for a substitution since she couldn’t find kale at the grocery store in our Hill Country town. I commented that I had never had any trouble finding kale locally. As far as substitutions, I said that any other green should work in a soup recipe, but that kale was worth looking for since it was a beneficial food for everyone.
By then I was hungry for kale. The next day I was in Wal-Mart, and there in the produce department were beautiful bunches of kale. Of course I bought one.
I soaked a pound of black eyed peas overnight, and yesterday morning I started them cooking on low heat in the crock pot with one chopped up onion and two minced cloves of garlic.
When the black eyed peas were just barely done - about midafternoon - I removed half of them from the crock pot. I tore the leafy part of the kale into bite sized pieces and put them in the crock pot. After turning the heat to high, I let them cook for another hour.
The first thing I noticed was that the house didn’t smell like kale. While I think kale tastes good, it has a bad smell when I cook it by itself. Whether it was the crock pot or cooking it in the black eyed pea broth, I don’t know, but there was no smell.
I gave my Honorable Husband the plain black-eyed peas. He does not like cooked greens. I ate the black eyed peas and kale together and thought it was delicious. I probably should have added a little sauce, but in my opinion this was a good combination. Our Darling Daughter was home for the weekend. She, like her father, prefers raw to cooked greens. But she ate the combination and declared it to be good.
The moral of the story is - there is no end to the ways you can cook beneficial vegetables - and - never underestimate what you might find at Wal-Mart!