Diseases & Conditions
While the H1N1 Flu (Swine Flu) makes this year’s flu season particularly worrisome, there is good news. According to Hawaii Health Department spokeswoman Janice Okubo, the rate of non-fatal flu cases in Hawaii — either seasonal or H1N1 — is down from earlier this summer. But, she warns that widespread outbreaks in some Mainland states could easily spread to Hawai'i at any time. To help prevent an outbreak, the Hawaii Department of Health (DOH) recommends that everyone get the new H1N1 vaccine as it becomes available.
February is American Heart Month, so it is fitting that we take a moment to consider the impact of heart disease on society and our personal health.
With summer nearing its end, many of us will be heading back to school or coming back from a vacation – it’s a time that presents the perfect opportunity to adopt a healthier diet. Over 1.5 million people are expected to be diagnosed with cancer in 2012, according to the American Cancer Society. That staggering number can be alarming, especially as obesity continues to be a huge problem for Americans.
Our understanding of cancer has evolved significantly over the past decade. Research indicates that diet and lifestyle play a much larger role in the development of cancer than previously thought. Leading health and medical experts have begun to focus more and more on prevention, with increasing focus on plant-based diets. To help prevent cancer, the American Cancer Society recommends maintaining a healthy weight throughout life, staying physically active on a regular basis, and adopting a healthy plant-based diet.1
“Learn and Live.”
That’s the motto of the American Heart Association (AHA), which might strike you as innocuous at first, until you consider the alternative.
If the cost of treating a chronic health condition is weighing you down, you’re not alone. Last month, the World Economic Forum estimated that by the year 2030, the global cost of treating chronic health conditions will total $47 trillion dollars.1 According to the National Institute of Health, diabetes alone affects almost 26 million people in the United States and national treatment costs for diabetes total $174 billion dollars per year. Furthermore, individuals diagnosed with diabetes have an average of twice as many medical expenses as non-diabetics.2
According to the American Cancer Society’s “Cancer Facts and Figures, 2011”, scientific evidence suggests that about one-third of the 571,950 cancer deaths expected to occur in 2011 will be related to overweight or obesity, physical inactivity, or poor nutrition and thus could be prevented. This highlights three recommendations in regard to nutrition, physical activity, and cancer prevention:
- Maintain a healthy weight throughout life
- Adopt a physically active lifestyle
- Consume a healthy diet with an emphasis on plant sources
Autumn is the favorite season for many Hawaii residents. Our autumn weather is as nice, if not better, than summer, with its calm temperatures and warm waters. However, the arrival of the cooling atmosphere also means the arrival of cold and flu season. Even if you can’t completely avoid getting sick this season, you can still lessen the duration and severity of a sickness with a strong immune system. Here are some tips to keep strong and healthy during the fall and winter months. You can considerably boost your immune system by following even a few of these suggestions:
An important way to lower our risk of cancer is to adopt a plant-based diet, according to the American Cancer Society. Their Guidelines On Nutrition And Physical Activity For Cancer Prevention includes eating “a healthy diet, with an emphasis on plant sources.”1 Plant-based diets tend to be lower in saturated fats and high in fiber, vitamins, and phytochemicals. That is why to lower cancer risk, the world famous Dr. William Sears recommends:2
Incorporate these foods into your diet to help reduce your risk of heart disease and promote cardiovascular health. Oatmeal: A steaming bowl of oatmeal is the perfect way to start your day. Oats are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium, potassium, folate, niacin, calcium, and soluble fiber. For added heart health, top your oatmeal with ground flaxseed and blueberries. For a sweet treat that’s also good for your heart, bake some delicious oatmeal raisin cookies.