Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.

Mark's Daily Apple

1 Nov

Is Banked Blood Bad?

blooddonationBlood transfusions save millions of lives every year, and I happen to think giving blood is one of the simplest and best acts of love for your fellow humans. But banked blood may also be causing unintended harm.

In an interesting piece I caught in this week’s Time, writer Alice Park details a difficult question health experts have been pondering for some time now: whether banked blood is causing deaths in some patients. Heart attacks and deaths jump significantly – as much as 25% – in patients who receive blood transfusions. It’s not due to allergies or infections or mistakes. Even accounting for these factors, heart attacks still happen more often and without warning in those who get transfusions. What gives?

Keep reading…

1 Nov

This Antioxidant Powerhouse Is in Season

cranberriesCranberries. We’re not talking about the aluminum can hunk of gel on your grandmother’s Thanksgiving table. We’re talking about fresh cranberries, one of nature’s most powerful antioxidant sources! Fresh, tart cranberries are in season right now and can be found at great prices in many stores.

Cranberries promote urinary tract health, but they are also good for the gastrointestinal tract and the mouth. Recent studies have shown they may play a role in helping to reduce the risk of kidney stones, as well as lower bad (LDL) cholesterol. Not too shabby for this sour little fruit!

Cranberries contain anthocyanadins, potent antioxidants also found in blueberries and pomegranates. As you know, antioxidants fight inflammation and free radical oxidation in your body. Translation: they help prevent aging, disease, and health problems! Cranberries also contain plenty of vitamin C, vitamin K, and manganese. You can stew fresh berries, or pit them and dice them up into salads, or reduce them into a delicious topping for pork, duck, turkey or other meats. Aaron will be bringing you a cranberry recipe later today, so stay tuned!

Keep reading…

31 Oct

The Biggest Myth About Cancer: That It Just “Happens”

glovesThere are many persistent myths about cancer and cancer prevention, but central among them is the assumption that cancer “just happens”. This is fallacious. How you live and what you choose to put in your body has a direct – and significant – causative relationship to whether or not your risk for cancer will be elevated.

Cancer isn’t an overnight event – it develops most frequently over many years due to a range of factors. A fascinating review of over 7,000 studies (talk about thorough) finds that what you eat and how fast you grow are perhaps most significant. I’ve long said that the fuel you serve your body impacts 70% of your health (the rest is exercise and stress management). But it’s interesting, especially in light of our Primal Health explorations, to consider the role of growth – and by growth researchers are talking about hormones.

Keep reading…

31 Oct

The Hypothetical Game

When I was a kid my best friend and I loved playing the hypothetical game. In case you are unfamiliar with this pastime it basically involves inquiring as to the minimum limits of compensation it would take to get the other person to experience something downright horrible. For example, “How much money would it take for you to run up to ugly Julie right now and kiss her on the mouth?” (We were juvenile, I know.) Or maybe, “How many Snickers would it take to get you to eat an entire earthworm?”

The consequences of such actions are fairly clear. My friend would probably be slapped by Julie and made a social pariah in the first case, and would likely vomit in the latter. Oh, but the sweet reward. We all have our price, and this is the beauty of the hypothetical game. (I think at age 10 it was somewhere around $100 and 2 1/2, respectively.)

Keep reading…

© 2014 Mark's Daily Apple