There are eight (8) groups of edible items in the stores, and perhaps in our kitchen pantry, that we should stay away from because they cause havoc on our body and increase our risk for the development major diseases as children and when we grow older.

Unfortunately, their adverse impact on health and longevity happens gradually and not immediately evident, until it’s too late. The debilitating illnesses they cause including diabetes, hypertension, arthritis, heart attack, stroke, and cancer, are mostly preventable.

Among these unhealthy items are tobacco, alcohol, processed meats and processed vegetables, regular red meat, soft drinks of any and all kind, yogurt, cereal bars, and other items with wheat and high fructose corn syrup.

Healthy foods include: a lot of vegetables, green-leafy and multicolor varieties, avocado, olives and olive oil instead of vegetable oil and corn oil, wild-caught smaller fishes (salmon, sardines, mackerel, not huge albacore tuna, swordfish, and other giant fishes).

Avoid farmed fishes which are loaded with antibiotics, hormones, etc. Eat a handful of nuts (almond, walnuts, etc.) daily. The pescatarian diet (vegetable and seafood diet, no animal meat at all) appears to be gaining popularity because it is healthier.

Many fast food restaurants offer breakfast menu 24/7 because today, they recognize the concept that we eat when we are hungry and eat what we eat for nutrition, without the old rigid rule that each meal, like breakfast, should have “standard” items. This could also help in dieting. Calories (quantity) and specific food items (quality) and their nutritional and health value are the current recommendation. The caveat I propose: Push yourself away from the table less than full.

I cannot overemphasize the health benefits of physical exercise, at least 5 times a week, even simple brisk-walking for 30 minutes a day. Exercise is not only good for losing excess weight but it boosts the immune system, provides brain and psychological health, and also prevents cancer and Alzheimer’s.

To prevent all diseases listed above, we must start our pre-emptive and pro-active health strategy in the cellular (DNA) level as illustrated in my book of living a healthy lifestyle beginning in the womb and dieting initiated in the crib, entitled Let’s Stop “Killing” Our Children (view at philipSchua.com).

If we do not protect our children and prevent them from acquiring diseases as they grow older in spite of all the information easily accessible today, then we are hurting them by unwittingly, albeit unintentionally, contributing to their unhealthy lifestyle, which will increase their risks for diseases and shorten their life. Hence, the title of that book which is a primer and home reference in disease prevention and healthy lifestyle. This book of health wisdom, together with my weekly column, is part of my personal public health educational campaign for a healthier society.

Practical garden and household tips

Most of these tips and pointers are truly interesting, very useful, and quite easy to follow, besides being money-savers.

Microwave cooking corn on the cob: Remove husk, wrap a corn cob in a paper towel and wet thoroughly. Place in microwave oven for 5 minutes. Wait for 2 minutes before taking it out.

For potatoes: Wash thoroughly and wrap in paper towel. Wet fully and microwave for 4 minutes; longer, if needed. Adjust according to size. Skin of potato is edible too and nutritious.

Home cleanser for kitchen top, bathroom, etc.: Instead of expensive harsh chemicals, which are toxic also, mix 1 cup vinegar (acetic acid), 3 cups water, 1 tsp. dishwashing soap. Besides being antibacterial, this is also anti-fungus, anti-mold/algae.

Another option: Mix 1/2 cup white vinegar, 1 pint rubbing alcohol, and 1 teaspoon liquid dishwashing liquid. Add enough water to make a gallon. Pour into a spray bottle and use as cleaning agent.

To unclog a drain: Pour 1/2 cup vinegar and 1/2 cup baking soda down the drain. Rinse with water.

To clean microwave oven: Mix one cup vinegar and one cup water in a glass bowl and boil on high for about 10 minutes.

Toothpaste could be used to clean and shine faucets and showerheads, silver, bronze or gold. Rinse with water well and dry with a towel.

Regular Vinegar alone can be used in spray bottle to clean the kitchen and bathrooms, etc. Safer and cheaper than toxic chemical cleaners.

Coke and Pepsi are toxic to the body, and must be used only to clean toilet bowls to remove stains. The chemicals in cola drinks are good as rust remover, pesticide, window cleaner, dishwasher, bug killer, insect bite pain remover, metal (coins, etc.) cleaner, and paint remover.

When your cellphone falls in a pool of water, do not turn it off or on, and immediately place it in a zip-lock or any plastic bag full of uncooked rice, or silica gel desiccant that comes with some medication bottles, electronic packing or luggage. The same thing with tablet/laptop.

For infected plant leaves, mix 1 tablespoon of 3 percent hydrogen peroxide and 8 ounces of water, and use this as a spray. This is also anti-fungus.

To improve seed germination, immerse seeds in 3 percent peroxide for 5 minutes before planting. Scraping the seeds a little will also help.

Epsom salt may be used to sprinkle around plants, like fruits trees, to improve its health, every two weeks.

Save used coffee and mix with potting soil as fertilizer.

Baking soda could be used for insect bites and splinter wound disinfectant.

Baking soda paste could also be used for cleaning and making toe nail shine.

For severe sun burn, ½ cup baking soda in a tub of water for 10-20 minute bathing soothes and prevents infection.

Baking soda plus vinegar could be used for 15-minute, twice a day, foot soak to fight athlete’s foot.

Baking soda may also be used as facial cleanser.

Epsom salt may also be used a foot soak to clean and remove odor.

Full strength regular vinegar could be used as a weed killer.

Aspirin, which is used by florist to keep flowers fresh, could be used for plant health by dissolving 4 tablets in a gallon and use it for irrigation of plants.

To scare off animals (racoons, rats, cats, dogs, deer, etc.), mix garlic, pepper and water then blend and strain. Spray the solution around plants and nearby areas.

To clean dirty cookies sheet, pour baking soda-vinegar solution in it and leave for 5 minutes.

If you run out of toothpaste, combine baking soda and lemon, and make a thick paste of it.
Warning: The following must NOT be mixed: bleach and vinegar, bleach and ammonia, bleach and alcohol, hydrogen peroxide and vinegar, and baking soda and vinegar.

A caveat: Natural, organic, non-processed, wild-caught are key words that we should always remember and be conscious of for health maintenance and preservation.

***

Philip S. Chua, MD, FACS, FPCS, Cardiac Surgeon Emeritus in Northwest Indiana and chairman of cardiac surgery from 1997 to 2010 at Cebu Doctors University Hospital, where he holds the title of Physician Emeritus in Surgery, is based in Las Vegas, Nevada. He is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, the Philippine College of Surgeons, and the Denton A. Cooley Cardiovascular Surgical Society. He is the chairman of the Filipino United Network – USA, a 501(c)(3) humanitarian foundation in the United States. Email: scalpelpen@gmail.com

Dr. Philip S. Chua
Dr. Philip S. Chua

Philip S. Chua, MD, FACS, FPCS, Cardiac Surgeon Emeritus in Northwest Indiana and chairman of cardiac surgery from 1997 to 2010 at Cebu Doctors University Hospital, where he holds the title of Physician Emeritus in Surgery, is based in Las Vegas, Nevada. He is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, the Philippine College of Surgeons, and the Denton A. Cooley Cardiovascular Surgical Society. He is the chairman of the Filipino United Network – USA, a 501(c)(3) humanitarian foundation in the United States.

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