Turmeric: Nature’s most potent pain reliever and more

July 2nd, 2019

By Chris Matos

I have suffered from chronic pain in my knees and back for several years now. This pain prohibits me from doing activities and hobbies that use to bring much enjoyment to life. I tried many different treatments from over-the-counter to prescription pain pills, all of which either had no effect or were causing additional problems. This encouraged me to research healthier and more effective treatments for pain. I discovered turmeric curcumin and an impressive list of health benefits such as diminished joint pain, improved brain function, lower risk of heart disease and cancer, thwarting Alzheimer’s disease, and even anti-aging effects.

Background
Turmeric curcumin has been used for centuries in food and medicine dating back nearly 4,000 years because of its potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. Known as the main spice in the Indian dish curry, it is argued by many to be the most powerful herb on the planet at fighting and potentially reversing disease. Curcumin is one of the active ingredients in turmeric responsible for so many of its benefits and yellow color. In fact, turmeric is even good for treating hip pain and other inflammatory conditions in dogs, thanks to this active ingredient. Today’s market primarily includes turmeric supplements with products composed of 95 percent curcumin.

Turmeric curcumin happens to be poorly absorbed by the human body, so it is often recommended to purchase turmeric supplements that contain black pepper or piperine to maximize absorption. However, these chemical additives can have adverse side effects. Furthermore, turmeric and curcumin are two of the most scientifically studied natural ingredients. Many of the studies have been conducted locally at the Texas Medical Center in Houston who support turmeric’s potency and usefulness for many health conditions.

Does it really work?
Personally, having tried ten of the most rated turmeric supplements on Amazon only a couple showed positive results, yet none delivered the benefits I had expected. Realizing all supplements are not made equal I found a true gem. Nuvothera’s Super-Micronized Turmeric Curcumin utilizes the full turmeric root with over 200 beneficial molecules. Having the full complement of turmeric molecules works better as a whole rather than in isolation of only curcumin alone. Perhaps the greatest feature is the “micronized” aspect which simply means they have made the particle size incredibly small improving its absorption and bioavailability. Micronizing is so effective no black pepper or chemical enhancers are needed. This aids effectiveness and eliminates the risk of harmful side effects. Research studies have shown this super micronized turmeric curcumin to be over 100 times more potent compared to other curcumin brands.

What turmeric does for the body is amazing. Health-wise turmeric and curcumin benefits range in everything from helping with blood clots and depression to combating inflammation, boosting skin health, regulating cholesterol, and more. Nuvothera’s website (Nuvothera.com) has been eye opening from the amount of reliable information and videos showing how their product excels beyond all others. Since using their maximum potency turmeric those expected benefits have become surpassed, truly changing my life. I am able to enjoy a healthy pain free life everyday while enhancing my mood. This has become the go to gift for family who become so thankful and share all the benefits they have experienced. To feel the great rewards from turmeric, demand the best quality and begin living life to the fullest.

Houston Methodist Clear Lake plans new medical office building

May 2nd, 2019

Houston Methodist Clear Lake Hospital will begin construction soon on a six-story,
150,000-square-foot medical office building on land adjacent to its campus on NASA
Pkwy. – the first phase in a multi-year expansion plan.

Houston Methodist Clear Lake Hospital will begin construction soon on a six- story, 150,000-square-foot medical office building on land adjacent to its campus – the first phase in a multi-year expansion plan.

The $40 million medical office building will be home to Houston Methodist Orthopedics & Sports Medicine at Clear Lake as well as the hospital’s physical therapy facilities. The building’s upper floors will contain office and clinic space for physicians from a broad range of specialties.

“This is a significant milestone in our long-range expansion plans as we continue to grow to serve the Bay Area and surrounding communities,” said Houston Methodist Clear Lake CEO Dan Newman. “Over the next five years, we plan to add 30 to 40 new physicians to our hospital campus – across multiple specialties – and the new medical office building gives us the physical footprint we need to accommodate that growth.”

The building will be constructed on land that previously was part of the Nassau Bay Shopping Village in the 1800 block of Upper Bay Road. The hospital purchased that center in 2015. Construction is expected to begin in August and the building will open in 2021.

“This is the first major facility expansion we are undertaking since the hospital became part of the Houston Methodist system in 2014,” Newman said. “The strategic acquisition of the shopping center land in 2015 makes it possible for us to add facilities, bring in new physicians and expand our service offerings – today and in the future.”

As part of its phase one effort, the hospital also plans to demolish the existing Fuddruckers restaurant on NASA Parkway in Nassau Bay to make way for construction of a new, more visible entrance that will improve access. That project will also include enhanced signage to make it easier for patients and visitors to navigate the growing campus.

“We are already making plans for a second phase of construction that will include an expansion of the hospital itself,” said Newman. “It’s an exciting time for Houston Methodist Clear Lake.”

The Decline of America’s Health and Nutrition

January 2nd, 2019

By Sumer Dene

I received a Bachelor’s degree in Animal Science at Rutgers University. Afterwards, I researched animal law at the Superior Courts in Washington, D.C. These fundamental experiences inspired me to examine how belief systems, laws, and science influence food production.

We are inundated with fast food corporations and advertisements aimed to fix problems while creating them. A “happy meal” entices children to be brand loyal to a logo, while parents are lured by convenience and price. Nonetheless, kids are encouraged to eat addictive, unhealthy food in exchange for a gift and Americans suffer through relentless habit.

Healthy food is inaccessible and unaffordable to many communities while chronic disease is the leading cause of death and disability in America. The most common, and costly preventable health problems include heart disease, stroke, cancer, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and arthritis. According to the United Nations, over 800 million people suffer from undernourishment around the world. For the Dietary Guidelines of 2020-2025, we urge policymakers to make critical decisions in securing the future of nutritious food supply.

Unsustainable Agriculture
Food is an important part of identity to maintain physical, emotional and mental health. It is a creative tool to best represent a person’s heritage and to connect people, globally, culturally, and even spiritually. However, there is a widespread cognitive dissonance in our relationship with food and how it got to our plate. This is a result of mass marketing of ultra-processed foods that undermine traditional culture. The destructive power of large-scale animal agribusiness far exceeds any other technology on earth. The U.N. addresses meat as the “world’s most urgent problem.” Instead of carrying the past in front of us, we must look forward to improve food production, health, the environment, and a booming economy and ecosystem.

The Guidelines
Integrity is determined by individuals awareness of truth and the ability to innovate and lead with research-driven science. Branded labels guide consumers when making important nutritional choices. The USDA oversees Federal Dietary Guidelines as well as policy and promotion of meat and dairy products. They are also in charge of educational systems, nutritional programs and multi-billion dollar advertising campaigns. The Standard American Diet (SAD) promotes food that may make you ill, particularly to the young and the poor. The USDA supports the agricultural economy by partnering with large scale food corporations such as McDonald’s, Taco Bell, and Dominos, to develop heavy meat and dairy menus. Dietary Guidelines affect school lunch programs, nutrition for the military, food subsidies, food labels, SNAP (food stamps), and job growth.

Health Issues:

Hunger and Disease
According to the USDA, models are emerging that view hunger as a health issue. The need for sustainable, nutritious food has skyrocketed. Imagine if the agriculture department existed mainly for land grants to local farmers and funding for agricultural research and education. Many doctors and scientists have recommended to limit meat and dairy for the future of food supply. This would reduce the catastrophic effects of industrial farming, from its vast emissions, water pollution, and disease. A change in dietary guidelines would allow opportunities for new markets to grow, give support to local organic farmers, increase global collaboration, improve access and affordability to healthy foods, and advance sustainable technology for food production.

A Giant Leaf Forward
A dedicated group of chefs, gardeners, researchers, culinary anthropologists, and nutritionists are developing an integrative plant-based menu for the 2030 Mars Mission. Space gardens will be essential to explore space beyond lower earth orbit. The veggie experiment at the International Space station grows plants in a lunar greenhouse with very little water and no soil. This could be used on earth as a large-scale hydroponic source of food. Space exploration brings out the best in people, improves life on earth, and inspires youth to get involved to make a difference in the world. The food choices we make directly affect the world around us. We are a part of a whole, interconnected system. For the upcoming Dietary Guidelines of 2020-2025, scientists, doctors, and policymakers will discuss the imminent changes needed to protect the health and welfare of our planet. The question is: “Where will the future take us?” The committee will conduct a review of evidence and conclude with a scientific report by early 2020.

The Facts, Effects of Agribusiness
80% of antibiotics sold in the U.S. are for livestock.

Less than 1% of U.S. farmland is organic. Livestock covers 45% of the earth’s total land and accounts for more worldwide greenhouse gas emissions than all of the transportation systems combined.

Animal agriculture is responsible to up to 91% of Amazon deforestation, 136 million rainforest acres have been cleared to grow feed and animals. Agribusiness is the leading cause of species extinction, deforestation, water pollution and habitat destruction.

Animal farms pollute waterways more than all other industrial sources and account for more than half of water used in the United States.

Over 95% of farm animals in the U.S. are raised in factory farms with minimal animal cruelty laws.

Livestock operations have created more than 500 nitrogen flooded dead zones in oceans around the world.

1/3 of the planet is desertified, with livestock as the leading driver.

This is known as the largest mass extinction on earth in the last 65 million years.

Fatty liver disease

January 2nd, 2019

More than 100 million Americans have potentially life threatening fatty liver disease and most do not even know it. Overeating and drinking excessive amounts of alcohol this holiday season could put someone already with the disease on the fast track to liver failure.

“There are usually no symptoms associated with fatty liver disease and no pain, so it goes undiagnosed in many people. Overtime if not diagnosed the condition has the potential to cause end stage liver failure.” said Dr. Candice Dunn, an internal medicine primary care physician at Houston Methodist Primary Care Group. “In fact, the disease is so prevalent that it will soon overtake Hepatitis C as the No. 1 reason for liver transplantation in the United States.”

Fatty liver disease is a group of disorders which all cause fat deposits in liver cells. This disrupts normal liver functioning and at a certain point can lead to liver failure and in some cases death. It is thought that insulin resistance could be the main factor initiating the disease, but genetics, environmental factors, weight, diet, exercise and many other factors can contribute. By definition the disease is not caused by alcohol intake but once diagnosed alcohol intake of any amount can severely worsen the disease. Many people with this condition suffer from metabolic syndrome, a constellation of factors which includes a large waist circumference (men greater than 40 inches, women greater than 35 inches), high blood pressure, high cholesterol and insulin resistance that heighten the risk of heart attack, stroke and type 2 diabetes.

“Fatty liver disease, much like type 2 diabetes, is manageable with proper diet and exercise. If you lose seven to 10 percent of your current weight, you can eliminate some fat from your liver,” Dunn said. “I would encourage people this holiday season to use portion control but still enjoy the holidays.”

Dunn says avoid supersizing food; use a smaller plate; don’t fill up the entire plate; don’t go back for seconds; limit the amount of sweets and, of course, limit alcohol intake to one or two drinks per week.”

Vigorous exercise, such as weight lifting, swimming, running or aerobics, between 75 and 150 minutes a week with a heart rate of 120 or above during the holiday season and beyond will help you tackle this problem. Dunn suggests eating fruits and vegetables before attending a family function or holiday party will help a person feel full and avoid foods high in fat. It has been found that up to 20 percent of people with fatty liver disease will develop cirrhosis, which can be life threatening or require liver transplant. Dunn says that number is likely to grow as the nation’s obesity epidemic continues to get worse.

“If people are concerned about whether or not they have fatty liver disease, they can ask their physician to order liver function testing,” Dunn said. “The good thing is that with a few lifestyle changes this is a disease that is very manageable. Portion control and exercise are the keys to keeping it in check.”

To learn more about Houston Methodist Primary Care Group, visit them at houstonmethodist.org/pcg or call 713-441-7265.

Breast cancer risk factors women need to avoid

October 1st, 2018

By Sumer Dene

Bay Group Media has and always will support Breast Cancer research. As a company we predominantly employ women and understand the importance of spreading knowledge to our readers. Information can save lives and help prevent tragedies. Our CEO, Rick Clapp has experienced the devastation and complexities of cancer and is a champion survivor.

Breast Cancer Awareness month is dedicated to spread awareness of the most common cancer among women. People gather at special events and fundraisers around the world to offer support. Health groups respectfully join together to discuss, inquire and evaluate a resolution to the pandemic we call cancer.

The goal of Breast Cancer Awareness month is to build a community of fabulous cognizant women who embrace their bodies, maintain a healthy lifestyle and unite in sisterhood. Being happy with who you are and mindful of your daily choices can go a long way and can lead others to do the same.

We encourage women to love and respect each other. Groups challenge the limited view of female sexuality and advocate for chemical regulations, a healthier work and home environment and transparent information regarding health and wellness.

RISK FACTORS
Risk factors for breast cancer include age, obesity, heavy drinking, smoking, chronic inflammation, high stress and toxins in our environment and diet. According to the National Cancer Institute, being exposed for a long time and/or to high levels of hormones is linked to an increased risk in breast cancer. Pesticides, synthetic chemicals and plastics leach harmful toxins that emulate estrogen in the body. These chemicals are found in processed foods, conventional health and beauty products, and the unnecessary plastic we use daily.

Excess estrogen is stored in fat and sequentially signals the body to store more fat. It’s a dangerous cycle that affects our lives in many ways. If something doesn’t seem right, ask pertinent questions. Answers become clear when you investigate. Educating yourself on important issues within a community brings everything to light to assess the bigger picture. In a free market with unlimited information and choice, where can we find solutions to complex, intricate issues for the betterment of society and the health of our people?

The “system” can be changed from the inside out. We can address obstacles to unite and lead towards a better world. Cancer rates have risen exponentially as time goes by, and so has the prevalence of many other diseases. U.S. taxpayers spend a groundbreaking $38 billion yearly to subsidize meat and dairy consumption including heavy subsidies on corn and soy. Nevertheless, experts and scientists advocate for a diverse diet rich in healthy fats, leafy and cruciferous vegetables, low-glycemic fruits, herbs and spices, and fibrous and fermented foods.

In a consumption driven industry, citizens pay for their own demise. This is an indicator of an issue that lingers in our government, food and education system and even within ourselves. We can all agree that changing government subsidies for the betterment of our people can save millions, advance healthcare and improve the quality of our lives.

SAVES LIVES
Early detection of breast cancer can save lives. Check yourself for any changes in breasts 4-5 days after your period. Notice any change in shape, color, size and contour. Caress breasts in different positions and gradually increase pressure applying three fingers in a U-shaped circular motion. Pregnant women can reduce their chances of breast cancer by breast-feeding, which results in lowered estrogen levels in the body. Learn to relax and be aware of how stress triggers you. High cortisol levels over time affect the production of hormones and weaken the immune system. Recognize negative thoughts and realize that most anxieties are not reality or truth. The best we can do is prepare for the worst, expect the best, and help others live with passion and to their highest potential.

Women are learning to embrace their femininity without limits. Female sexuality is elusive and mysterious, not until recently has culture allowed women to express themselves, connect to their body and discover their true potential as leaders in our world.

It is time to celebrate womanhood for the beauty and power that it contains. What messages do women receive growing up in this culture? Peer support groups are now spreading social messages to better lives by sharing relatable experiences. When we acknowledge and understand ourselves and the differences we have with the opposite sex we can deepen our relationships.

We strive to inspire men and women to live with intention and mindfulness to support a community of strong individuals that celebrate life together.

There is no rhyme or reason for a disease that affects people worldwide from many walks of life. Cancer has no prejudice or boundaries. It can affect anyone at any time of their lives for reasons unknown to science. The environment we are raised in dictates our habits and lifestyle choices. For any change to take place it must first happen within. A guideline for longevity is to enjoy a nutrient dense diet with healthy fats and wholesome foods, live life to the fullest, and be happy.

In the month of October, set aside a moment to honor the courageous people affected by this appalling disease and stand together to move forward to find solutions that can implement profound changes.

Whole-foods Lifestyle

August 1st, 2018

Sumer Dene

I am honored to be Bay Area Houston’s new featured writer!

A little about me; I grew up in Atlanta, New Jersey, Houston and Los Angeles. I graduated with a degree in Animal Science from Rutgers University. In an active research environment, we ask important questions like how and why.

I was a model in New York City and Los Angeles. I did runway and editorial modeling and a national broadcast commercial.

The industry taught me how to be professional, poised and confident.

However, the demands took a toll and I felt stripped of my identity. Beauty is supposed to be unique, kind, graceful, natural and full of life. Why alter and idealize it? It was difficult to be myself and live up to unrealistic measurements and standards.

After college, I was a law intern at the Superior courts in Washington, D.C. I discovered the importance of finding fact to represent important truths. Change is inevitable and so is growth- if you are willing. Laws change over time based on the wants and needs of the people.

After my internship I moved to Austin, TX. Here I discovered eccentric art, music, culture and a variety of whole-foods available anywhere at any time of day.

I couldn’t believe my eyes, all of the versatile, quality, affordable fresh foods made convenient to order. How did people not know about this? More importantly, why are whole-foods normally so difficult to find in our daily, multi-faceted life?

Why?
Through knowledge and pertinent information we can share common goals to find solutions to major problems in our society. Our food system is complex, and it doesn’t have to be. Food connects us, brings us together and fuels us. Nutrition plays an important role in how we look, feel, think and interpret information. How we choose to nurture ourselves is a decision we make every day for the rest of our lives. We can inspire loved ones to make healthier choices from living by example and becoming informed. The main reason people don’t give a whole-foods lifestyle a try is because of lack of information, pressure from advertisements, family and friends.

Over time I learned to be aware of what I put in my body and things started to change.

How?
A whole-foods lifestyle first begins with a variety of vegetables, fruits, whole grains and legumes. Everyone does it differently- it’s a learning experience to find out what is best suited for you.

There’s no need to limit or restrict yourself. This is a long-term goal to improve health and quality of life. You’ll learn each step is easier than the next. It’s supposed to be fun, simple and easy. It’s about exploring healthful foods and sharing that joy with the world, and that is why I developed a versatile, efficient guide to help others begin their personal journey with food.

Ingredients
It’s amazing what you can do with a few simple ingredients to combine into something delicious and nutritious. The less ingredients, the better.

Avoid words like high fructose corn syrup, gelatin, caraganeen, palm oil, white (refined), hydrogenated oils (trans fats), sodium nitrates, sodium benzoate, red 40, yellow 5 or any type of artificial color or taste used for marketing purposes. If you can’t pronounce it, you probably shouldn’t eat it. Check servings sizes and percent daily values to calculate specific nutritional needs.

Processed and refined foods are stripped of valuable nutrients. These are “empty” calories high in saturated fats with no nutritional value. To make things worse, many low-fat items are high in sugars while concentrated juices lack the essential fiber you need. This leaves you in a destructive pattern feeling unsatisfied and hungry for more.

1. Purchase fruits and vegetables in season and legumes, oats, seeds, teas, herbs and spices in bulk. You can maintain freshness in sealed glass jars. Also at many stores they offer freshly ground peanut or almond butter.

2. Stay hydrated. Drink at least 2 liters or more a day. Tal has amazing stainless steel water bottles that keep your water fresh and cool all day. You can find many sizes and colors at Walmart.

3. Make shopping simple. Reusable bags can hold many more items without tear and make grocery shopping so much more convenient.

4. Pot some plants, grow some trees. Look for a local nursery near you. Also Walmart and Home Depot have a variety of non-gmo organic seeds. You’ll grow much more than you need so make sure to share with family, friends and your community. There’s numerous therapeutic benefits to gardening plus it’s highly cost-effective.

Do your research – get the most out of your calories

Next month I will share some whole-foods recipes and suggestions. Feel free to contact me at SumerDene@gmail.com

I value your input and suggestions, all ideas are welcome.