CHECK WITH YOUR DOCTOR BEFORE STARTING AN EXERCISE PROGRAM

You hear it all the time: “Before beginning any exercise program, see your doctor.”

It’s good advice, especially if you’ve been sedentary and are now determined to get back into shape. It is important to consult a physician about your current state of health so you can be aware of possible limitations or problems that could arise while you’re working out.

….FULL ARTICLE

BREASTFEEDING GIVES BABIES THE BEST START

Breastfeeding is the best way to give your child a healthy start in life. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says human milk provides the most complete form of nutrition for infants. It is more convenient than bottle feeding because the milk is always available at the right temperature, and there are no supplies to sterilize or formulas to mix. Breast milk substitutes such as formula are harder to digest, especially for premature infants since they have an immature gut.

….FULL ARTICLE

SUMMER CAMP SEND-OFF

With summer vacation looming, parents and kids are getting ready for camp. Many camps require attendees to have a pre-participation physical to make sure the child is ready to participate in all the camp activities, including swimming and hiking. Be sure to schedule any physicals with your doctor’s office in advance to fill out any forms. The camp needs to know about any medical conditions your child may have and/or medications he may be taking. You may also need to provide immunization records.

….FULL ARTICLE

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Hippocrates, the father of modern-day medicine, put it bluntly: "Let food be thy medicine and medicine thy food."


Another variation on this theme is the admonishment to "Eat to live; don't live to eat."


Too often we look for healing in medicine bottles. But perhaps it would be better if we looked elsewhere, to the fruits and vegetables sections of our local grocery store. Fruits and vegetables can be your best, relatively inexpensive non-prescription medicine.


You can find almost anything you take for various ailments in pill form in natural abundance in different fruits or vegetables. For instance, people who have high blood pressure can eat foods rich in potassium, such as dried apricots, squash, fish, sweet potatoes, beans, beets and bananas. Calcium and magnesium also battle high blood pressure. You will get these essential minerals from halibut, spinach, bran cereal, almonds and pumpkin seeds. Omega 3 fatty acids from oily fish such as tuna have also been shown to lower blood pressure. While adding these to your diet, be sure to subtract salt,  using fresh herbs and spices to give food a better taste.


We've all heard vitamin C is our best defense against the common

cold. It may be easier to pop a vitamin C tablet, but it would be better to eat an orange. There simply is no substitute for food in its most natural state. A tablet can't totally duplicate the compounds plants use to protect themselves from decay and biological attack. Ingesting the fresh fruit imparts its protective elements directly to you. For example, if you eat a fresh tomato, you not only get the powerful antioxidant lycopene but a number of other antioxidants as well, along with vitamins, minerals and nutrients that work together to prevent heart disease by decreasing cholesterol and lipid levels.


Another element that helps keep your body strong and flexible is calcium. Including calcium-rich foods into your diet will help you combat osteoporosis. Foods that rebuild bone tissue include dairy products such as milk and cheese. However, some people are lactose intolerant, so good alternatives are canned sardines, salmon, dark green vegetables such as broccoli, collard greens and bok choy, tofu and calcium-fortified juices. Vitamin K increases bone density and thus reduces fracture  rates. Prime sources of vitamin K include leafy green vegetables such as spinach. Get outside and soak up the sun to get vitamin D

GO NATURAL - FIND HEALTH IN FRUITS AND VEGETABLES

into your bones.


Raw food in a rainbow of color can help you gain and maintain health and wellness. Be sure to use cooking methods that don't diminish the nutrients in these foods. Usually your best bet is to boil or sauté vegetables or eat them raw - without adding fatty dressings or sauces. Pair wise food choices with a solid, consistent exercise program, and you'll find your health rapidly improving in astonishing ways. But be sure to discuss your plans to use food as medicine with your family care physician, and don't toss out all your prescriptions before consulting with him or her.

DR. JOHN E. REESOR

A native of Louisville, Dr. John Reesor joined Family Practice Associates in 2001. He is on the community-based faculty of the University of Kentucky College of Medicine. Dr. Reesor's goal is "to help patients  live a long, healthy and prosperous life."

more articles by Dr. john e. reesor