Holistic Habits by Cheryl A. Mothes, Ph.D. Natural Health Nutrition Counselor (15)

A short week and happy holiday week everyone!

We know that beans are SUPER powerful, plant-based proteins that are loaded with prebiotics and antioxidants, but which are the best ones for our health? The top five are pinto beans, black beans, small red beans (not the larger kidney beans), garbanzo beans, and in number 1 place are LENTILS! Lentils are perhaps the “best among all tested legumes for the development of a dietary supplement for promoting heart health and preventing cancers.” Simply adding beans to a meal, including breakfast, slows down our stomach emptying so you feel fuller longer, and reduces oxidative stress and inflammatory responses, just to name a few benefits. When subjects were fed a cup of chickpeas daily for 3 weeks, bad gut bacteria were crowded out, and the good bacteria increased, allowing our gut microbiomes to be healthier! Add beans to your plantified plates and have a terrific Tuesday everyone!

Established in 1965, the IARC is the international agency for research on cancer. It aims to find preventive measures and reduce the burden and suffering from cancer. They classify carcinogens – those substances that cause cancer – into groups. For example, Group 1 carcinogens have sufficient research findings to be classified as “carcinogenic to humans.” It is important to know that along with many tobacco compounds, alcoholic beverages and processed meats are listed – because they cause cancer. What we drink and eat matters so much when it comes to cancer. Live longer and live stronger by avoiding tobacco, alcohol, and processed meats like ham, bacon, sausage, deli meats, hot dogs, and cold cuts. Have a wonderful Wednesday everybody!

In 2015 US Dietary guidelines advised eating less sugar… and the soda-funded “International Life Sciences Institute” sponsored a review that concluded that the guidelines were simply not trustworthy. It is an example of how opinions are biased due to industry funding, as it was paid for by companies like Coca-Cola, Hershey, Red Bull, and the makers of Oreos. And, the writers of the research swore they were not biased, but that turned out to be false… so they had to retract those statements. There were some bright spots – candy companies like the makers of Snickers, Skittles, and M&M’s broke ranks with the other food companies and denounced the paper. They knew that telling people to ignore guidelines to cut down on sugar made them all look bad. The best way to get your sugar is from nature’s candy – a plethora of fruits that are sweet AND loaded with fiber and nutrition!

It is “fix it Friday” and we are fixing our favorite veggie sandwich! Ikaria, Greece is one of the five Blue Zones in the world where people live longest and best, and their sourdough bread is a staple there. Start this sandwich off with two thick slices of bread and drizzle olive oil on it, then toast it in the oven. Spread your favorite hummus on the untoasted side of the bread. Layer on thinly sliced tomato, avocado, radishes, and cucumber, a small handful of peeled and grated beet and of grated carrot, your favorite greens like spinach or arugula, drizzle on balsamic vinegar, and then add the other piece of toasted bread to the top. Welcome to raw beets! Beets contain nearly ALL the nutrients we need – loaded with vitamins and minerals and low in calories and fat. Slice up all the veggies, have a variety of greens, various bean, and hummus spreads, and let everyone make their own sammies on this fantastic Friday!


This month is prostate cancer awareness month, and it is especially important because more than 10% of men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer, making it the most likely cancer diagnosis for them. But there is lots of good news that we will cover this week – since we did not have meatless Monday yesterday, we are going to double up on it today! A landmark study showed that men who ate a Western diet – the standard American diet that is heavy in meat – had a 250% higher risk of prostate cancer-related death…but those who ate a whole-foods, plant-based diet had a 37% lower risk of death from ALL causes. This week we will cover specific recommendations for ways to reduce your risk of prostate cancer, or for those men in your life. Meatless is a good place to start and have a terrific Tuesday everyone!

More about prostate cancer awareness month today, with not-so-surprising news that like all cancers, avoiding meat and dairy improves not only your overall health but your ability to thwart prostate cancer. We are going to share some specific recommendations today on what to avoid, men. Based on a large Harvard University prostate cancer study, as well as mortality data, eggs and poultry may be the worst offenders. Men who consume only three eggs per week have an 81% higher risk of dying from prostate cancer. It appears the choline in eggs, which is converted into a toxin called tri-methylamine, is the culprit. Then the link between eating poultry with prostate cancer may be due to the cooked-meat carcinogens – for some reason they build up more in the muscles of chickens and turkeys than in other animals. We have talked about this before – when we cook meat it causes cancer-producing substances called HCA. So, you can be healthier men, on this wonderful Wednesday, by eating fewer eggs and less poultry!

One more day of talking about what NOT to do to prevent prostate cancer, which is the number one cancer faced by men in our country. We talked about avoiding eggs and poultry yesterday, and there is also evidence that the hormones in dairy products, and other growth factors, can stimulate the growth of hormone-sensitive tumors like prostate cancer. And of course, we have talked about its relationship to heart disease and other conditions. Men placed on a plant-based diet for a year showed that their blood could suppress cancer cell growth by 70%, which is nearly eight times the stopping power compared to those who ate meat and dairy. So, power up your plate with plant-based foods to thwart prostate cancer and live longer and stronger!

It is prostate cancer awareness month – prostate cancer is a frightening diagnosis to receive, and though many men survive it, the long-term effects of treatment and surgeries can be life-altering. So, let us do all we can to prevent it! In addition to removing poultry and eggs from our diets, there are things we can add. Exercise helps – daily moderate exercise improves oxygen in our cells and rids us of toxins, especially if we do it outside with fresh air and sunshine. Then add flax seeds – yes, those tiny little seeds are packed with a punch when it comes to tumor suppression – buy them whole and grind them right before you toss them into your smoothie or oatmeal. Lastly, if you were to add only one thing to your diet to help prevent prostate cancer it is those cruciferous veggies! One serving a day of broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, or kale can cut the risk of cancer progression by more than 50%! Have a fantastic Friday everyone!

References: “How Not to Die, Discover the Foods Scientifically Proven to Prevent and Reverse Disease” by Michael Gregor, M.D. and “Undo It”, How Simple Lifestyle Changes Can Reverse Most Chronic Diseases” by Dean Ornish M.D. and Anne Ornish

Content is daily radio script from my KHIS radio spot – tune in at 6:15 (CST) every morning to Justin and Meredith’s morning show 89.9 FM.
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