Holistic Habits by Cheryl A. Mothes, Ph.D. Natural Health Nutrition Counselor (23)

Current estimates suggest that alcohol consumption causes about 6% of all cancer deaths worldwide. In men, alcohol causes mostly head, neck, and gastrointestinal cancers, whereas it is mostly breast cancer in women. Alcohol appears to cause more than 100,000 cases of breast cancer every year! And it is not just heavy drinkers. “All levels of evidence show a risk relationship between alcohol consumption and the risk of breast cancer, even at low levels of consumption.” We are seeing more comments like this in the medical literature: the “consumption of…an addictive carcinogen, cannot be considered a healthy lifestyle choice!” and “… the final message on alcohol should be clear: It is toxic, carcinogenic, birth defect-causing, and potentially addictive. The alcohol lobby and advertisers can manipulate the scientific evidence that places profits over public health. “They do this through denying the evidence, distorting the evidence, and trying to distract the public’s attention.” Improve your health on the shelf by tossing the alcohol and getting ready for “dry January” – stay tuned

When it comes to causing cancer and other detrimental health issues, “the alcohol industry, referred to as “Big Booze”, appears to be engaged in the same kind of extensive misrepresentation of the evidence” for which Big Tobacco is best known. Alcohol companies sometimes even use the cause of cancer prevention to promote their carcinogenic products, such as Mike’s Hard Pink Lemonade. “Join The Fight & Drink Pink,” associating their pink-ribboned alcohol with the death of one of their employees from breast cancer. Ironically, they are contributing to that same risk. Of course, cancer risk is one of the things the alcohol industry will not tell us, but why don’t our doctors? Sadly, it has not been a focus, and the fact is that most physicians are drinkers themselves. The fact that alcohol causes cancer cannot be refuted, and more physicians are studying, learning, and communicating this to their patients. Let us all live longer and live stronger by ending alcohol consumption. Have a terrific Tuesday everyone!

This week we are focusing on the negative effects of alcohol consumption – let us look at the benefits of stopping it. As we mentioned several times, it causes cancer. Additionally, less alcohol means more energy! Drinking alcohol reduces the quality of our sleep, so we wake up with less fog and have more energy all day. We are also more hydrated – yes, alcohol is one of the most dehydrating substances we can consume and being hydrated has many benefits. Another benefit from ceasing alcohol consumption is reduction of acid reflux, heartburn, strokes, and heart disease – wow! Avoiding alcohol for just four weeks can lower your heart rate and your blood pressure. AND a bonus is we lose weight! Have a wonderful Wednesday by making it alcohol free!

We’ve talked a lot this week about the harmful effects of drinking alcohol – and for the first time in 20 years, fewer Americans are regularly drinking! Along with it, non-alcoholic beverages are becoming more available to help individuals who need some time to transition away from the flavors and experience they have become accustomed to – and the lower cost, lower calories and health benefits are great. The sales of non-alcoholic beverages shot up 33% in 2021. Water and tea are best for our bodies, but if you have been accustomed to drinking alcohol, these alternatives are a much better choice for you. Improve your health on the shelf by replacing your “real deal” beverages with these better imposters.


It is FIX IT FRIDAY and what a perfect time for a recipe for Very Quick Black Bean Chili

Chop one large onion and 2 garlic cloves and stir-fry them in a bit of water until they start to brown. Add 2 cans of drained and rinsed black beans (15 ounces each), 1 bunch of chopped green onions, a 16-ounce jar of salsa, one 16-ounce package of frozen corn and heat for 10 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of chopped cilantro for 1 minute and serve over a bed of cooked brown rice or steamed spinach. Dig into it with organic tortilla chips for a great, fast party in your mouth on a cool fall evening! This recipe is from the book, “Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease” by Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, who is in his 80’s and married to the author of “Be a Plant Based Woman Warrior” cookbook – it is a GREAT book that has that bonus of 150 recipes!

References: NutritionFacts.org by Dr. Michael Greger

From LAST year, if you missed it 🙂

Hey, did you know that mushrooms are not only the second most popular pizza topping but they are also disease-fighting stars? Many times, we recognize foods as being healthy because of what they DON’T have – like cholesterol, fat, salt, or calories – mushrooms are good examples. But mushrooms not only have protein and fiber – but they can also have medicinal properties because of immune-enhancing sugars found in their cell walls, called beta-glucans. Mushrooms have selenium, vitamin D, glutathione and ergothioneine – huge words that mean they stop the oxidative stress that is considered the main culprit in causing cancer, heart disease and dementia. So, load up with medicinal mushrooms and have a marvelous meatless Monday everyone!

It is “Giving Tuesday” when we are reminded to be generous. Recently, researchers confirmed that people are heavily influenced by others, especially when it comes to taking on what is called “prosocial” behavior” – actions designed to benefit society. As it turns out, just like a virus, cooperative behavior is “transmissible” – it is contagious! They found that watching someone perform an act of kindness elicited subsequent helpful acts – witnessing prosocial actions leads people to adopt the same underlying goal. And we are more motivated to help others when we see THEY benefitted, rather than when we benefited. On this giving Tuesday, just know that your acts of generosity are influencing others!

We talked Monday about the healing power of mushrooms and how they stop oxidative stress, which reduces disease. They have four important nutrients and ergothioneine is one that is Important. Called ergo for short, it is produced by fungi, but we humans cannot make it, so we must get it from food. We pull ergo into our red blood cells, and they rapidly distribute it around our bodies to the tissues that are under the most oxidative stress – where we need it most. ISN’T that amazing!

Mushrooms contain 10 times more ergo than any other food so plantify your plates with mushrooms to live longer and live stronger on this wonderful Wednesday!

One more day about mushrooms and a master antioxidant they provide called ergothioneine – ergo for short. Current research is centering on the potential it must prevent and treat neurological conditions of aging, such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis, and dementia. Studying many those living in Japan, they found that those who ate the most mushrooms, highest in ergo, had the least dementia. In the U.S. we consume a lot less ergo than other countries, about a fourth of what those in Italy consume. So, add to the health on your shelf and buy some great mushrooms to have on your salads and in your soups and pasta every day!

Of course the coronavirus has been on our minds now for months and is still very much a concern. But did you know that world-wide, Noncommunicable diseases kill 41 million people with many of them being young, premature deaths? It is due to cardiovascular disease, cancer, respiratory disease then diabetes. Unhealthy diets and lack of physical activity increase the risk, yet it seems we put all the emphasis on detection and treatment rather than prevention. No matter what our ages or conditions, we can bend the health curve in the right direction with a whole foods, plant-based diet, and exercise. Enjoy a wealth of health everyone and have a fantastic Friday!

References: University of Texas at Austin, The Blues Zones newsletter, Robert Beelman, PhD Pennsylvania State University, Healthspan by Dr. Scott Stoll

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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