Organic health

When you buy organic, you:

    • Protect your family’s health
      Conventional farmers rely heavily on pesticides that may cause cancer and detrimental reproductive effects. Of the 28 most commonly used pesticides, at least 23 are carcinogenic. Pesticide residues in food cause 20,000 cancer deaths and thousands more new cancers per year, according to the National Academy of Sciences.

 

    • Prevent soil erosion
      We are facing the worst topsoil erosion in history due to our current conventional agricultural practices of chemical-intensive, mono-crop farming. The Soil Conservation Service estimates more than 3 billion tons of topsoil are eroded from U.S. croplands each year. Organic production practices inherently build long-term soil health and stability.

 

    • Protect water quality
      The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that pesticides contaminate the groundwater in 38 states, polluting the primary source of drinking water for more than half the country’s population. Conventional agriculture is considered the largest non-point source of water pollution in the U.S.

 

    • Support small farmers
      For the most part, organic farms are small, independently owned family farms of fewer than 100 acres. It’s estimated that the U.S. has lost more than 650,000 family farms in the past decade. Organic farming could be one of the few survival tactics left for family farms.

 

    • Support a true economy
      Although organic foods might seem more expensive than conventional foods, conventional food prices don’t reflect the hidden costs borne by taxpayers, including billions of dollars in federal agricultural subsidies. If you add in the environmental and social costs of irrigation to a head of lettuce, for example, its price would range between $2 and $3.

 

  • Taste better flavor
    There’s a good reason why many chefs use organic foods in their recipes — they taste better! Because organic foods are not treated with fungicides, they must be sent to market as close to harvest as possible. Produce is ripe and may have suffered less nutritional loss by the time you eat it.

Shopping for Health

Having problem maintaining a balanced diet? A lot of us often buy something from the grocery that isn’t really good for the health. Here are some grocery tips for some healthy meals at home.

Never go grocery shopping on an empty stomach. You want to be able to think clearly and be alert. Grocery shopping can be confusing especially when the whole store is crowded. You wouldn’t want your stomach growling while waiting in line for the check out counter.

Select canned fruits and tuna that are packed in water, not oil or syrup. There are healthy oils, of course. However, being immersed in oil for a period of time can prove to be unhealthy.

Look at the labels for the words “hydrogenated” or “partially hydrogenated”. The earlier you see them appear on the list, the higher the amount of unhealthy trans fatty acids the food will contain.

Don’t buy turkey with the skin on it, and if you plan to buy chicken – buy a chicken breast meal. The breast is where all that healthy white meat is.

When you select frozen dinners, select those that are not only low in fat, but low in sodium and cholesterol as well.

If you aren’t consuming enough dairy products, go with calcium fortified orange juice instead.

Go for whole grain breads, cereals, and rolls.

Give cantaloupe a try. With just 95 calories, half of the melon will provide more than a day’s supply of Vitamin C and beta-carotene.

Don’t be tricked into buying yogurt covered by nuts or raisins, as the coating is normally made of sugar and partially hydrogenated oils.

Get some of the low fat treats, such as pretzels, ginger snaps, and angel food cake.

By following the above tips when grocery shopping, you’ll avoid the bad foods and get those that you need. There are many different healthy foods at the grocery. Those twinkies may taste great, but they pack a mean wallop to the body.

Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia Overview

Millions of people have been diagnosed with some form of mental illness. Dozens of types of disorders exist with varying degrees of severity. Few of those disorders carry the stigma that accompanies schizophrenia. It is estimated that 24 million people worldwide suffer from this disorder. It was over a century ago when the term schizophrenia was first introduced. Schizophrenia is a complex mental illness characterized by a disruption of normal thought processes, emotions and reality. Most people with schizophrenia will behave abnormally while finding it difficult to understand their condition. The schizophrenia causes are not clearly defined. It is believed that genetic factors play a role in determining who might exhibit signs and symptoms of schizophrenia. Scientists have studied various genome sequences with moderate results indicating any genetic relationship to schizophrenia. Several environmental factors are linked to an increased incidence of schizophrenia. Factors range from complicated urban living environments to consequences surrounding family problems, unemployment and even isolation due to different types of discrimination. Recreational drug abuse has been associated with cases of schizophrenia. In particular, excessive use of marijuana, cocaine and amphetamines has been correlated with the development of schizophrenia.

Diagnosing schizophrenia can be difficult and highly subjective. Males have shown a slightly greater incidence over females in developing schizophrenia. Males will also show signs and symptoms at a younger age. Although more rare, children are susceptible to developing schizophrenia as well. Schizophrenia signs can appear suddenly and without warning. In most cases, however, early signs and symptoms will slowly develop. Schizophrenia signs will vary in type and onset. Many patients will experience comorbid conditions such as depression and anxiety during early stages of disease progression. Subtle changes in appearance and behavior will occur in someone experiencing early onset schizophrenia. A patient might show a lack of care for personal hygiene and dress. Often times, sleep abnormalities will lend to erratic behavior. Many schizophrenia patients will show signs of social instability. A patient might lose interest in hobbies, in work and in relationships. They can develop random paranoid delusions which can lend to suspicious or hostile behavior. A person suffering from schizophrenia will likely lose normal emotional reactions. They might show no expressions of laughter or crying. It has also been shown that patients tend to make irrational statements or simply distort words and phrases as if confused.

Schizophrenia symptoms are disabling and very difficult to control. During active psychosis, a patient will most likely not be able to function in any predictable manor. Schizophrenia patients will often times experience hallucinations, delusions and deterioration of thoughts and behaviors. The symptoms will present differently in each patient. The most common hallucinations involve hearing voices which usually have meaning to the patient. The voices can be harsh and critical. Visual hallucinations can occur as well and may even be related to voices the patient is experiencing. Various delusions have been studied in individuals suffering from schizophrenia and occur in nearly 90% of patients. Delusions are often bizarre in nature, leading to varying degrees of irrational thoughts. The combination of hallucinations and delusions contribute to wildly disorganized patterns of behavior. Many schizophrenia patients have fragmented speech, uncontrolled thoughts and can become lost in those conditions. It is terrible important to find adequate treatment and behavioral control for these patients. Schizophrenia treatment should involve both medicinal and psychological approaches. The most popular class of medication and first line treatment is antipsychotics. Cases have shown that medications in combination with mental health support, evaluation and monitoring have resulted in positive outcomes for treating and controlling schizophrenia.