Health - Archives

Spinach by Risë Rafferty

Spinach

March 1, 2017 | Risë Rafferty, RDN

Spinach is an extremely nutrient-packed vegetable. Its tender leaves and mild flavor have made it a versatile food. Interestingly, the cooler the temperatures and the more stress the spinach experiences while growing, the denser the vitamins and minerals it contains. Unfortunately, even though spinach is probably one of the most commonly consumed dark green leafy vegetables, the average American (myself included) does not get anywhere near the three cups a day of green leafy vegetables that Dr. Terry Wahls consumed to address her multiple sclerosis. Her testimony is quite provocative, as she shares how, with the aid of dramatic dietary intervention, she went from being wheelchair bound to riding bikes and running. After reaping such results, Dr. Wahls is motivated to eat her greens. What would motivate you to eat more green leafy vegetables?

Cancer fighter

Rather than saying that green vegetables prevent cancer, science likes to identify individual substances that have proven efficacy in the lab. Spinach contains chlorophyll; chlorophyllin, a substance produced from chlorophyll; NOG (N-oxalylglycine); and MGDG, …
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Risë Rafferty, RDN

Health Educator
Light Bearers

The Improbabilities of Probiotics by Risë Rafferty

The Improbabilities of Probiotics

February 1, 2017 | Risë Rafferty, RDN

If we readily saw the microscopic organisms swimming in lake water the way Antonie van Leeuwenhoek did, we would probably never venture in again. If we could see what lives on our teeth as Leeuwenhoek observed, we might not be able to stomach a kiss in the light. Referred to as “the Improbable Father of Microbiology,” Leeuwenhoek was a Dutchman who owned a textile business in the seventeenth century. Though he traded cloth, his were among the first eyes to see bacteria. At the time, traders in textiles used small glass spheres to examine the detail and quality of material. Leeuwenhoek took his small glass spheres to the next level and created extremely high quality magnifying lenses. In 1674 he reported seeing single cell organisms through his lens. The scientists of the day refused to accept his findings until three years later. In 1676 he discovered bacteria. In pond water and in the tartar he scraped from off his own teeth, he observed thousands of “tiny animals” in motion.1

Since …
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Risë Rafferty, RDN

Health Educator
Light Bearers

Authority by Rise Rafferty

Authority

January 4, 2017 | Risë Rafferty, RDN

“Who of you respect authority?” questioned the professor to those of us sitting in her classroom. I immediately raised my hand. Awkwardly, I realized that mine was the only hand raised. I was surprised but unshaken in my response. I respect authority. It’s how my mama raised me. A good 20 plus years older than my peers, I attributed the difference in our reactions to our age discrepancy. Maybe my classmates were shy or did not understand why the question was asked. Maybe their respect for authority was lost due to a bad experience. On the other hand, maybe they were not taught what my mama taught me. For whatever reason, there was a lack of hands raised in the classroom that day. I believe it was but a microcosm of our society today.

Humanity has a right to question and to stand up to authority when it is in the wrong. “When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice; but when a wicked man rules, the people groan” …
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Risë Rafferty, RDN

Health Educator
Light Bearers

Tumeric—One Who Is Victorious Over Disease

Turmeric—One Who Is Victorious Over Disease

November 30, 2016 | Risë Rafferty, RDN

Did you know that an estimated 80% of the world’s inhabitants rely on traditional therapies that have been used for thousands of years? Anciently, turmeric was used in places like China and India to aid digestion, improve liver function, treat arthritis pain, heartburn, stomach ulcers, inflammation, and cancer. Turmeric has been applied directly to the skin as a healing salve for eczema, small pox, shingles, and wounds. But does turmeric have actual medicinal legitimacy? Does it have any proven effects on specific disease processes? From the research that I have been exposed to, I would say turmeric is living up to one of its traditional Indian nicknames: one who is victorious over disease.

Turmeric is a shrub-like tropical plant that grows about three feet tall. It bears a lovely pink-hued flower, but it is the finger-like underground stems, or rhizomes, that are so highly valued. If not used fresh, the stems are boiled, dried, and ground into a deep orange-yellow spice. Turmeric, commonly used in curries and savory dishes, is …
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Risë Rafferty, RDN

Health Educator
Light Bearers

The Plantrician by Risë Rafferty

The Plantrician

November 2, 2016 | Risë Rafferty, RDN

You will not find this word in Webster’s dictionary, in a telephone book, or a listing of careers. The word plantrician was created to identify health care practitioners, such as physicians or clinicians, who are empowered with knowledge of the benefits of whole-food, plant-based nutrition.1 I recently had the privilege of attending the International Plantrician Project Convention. I spent four days being saturated with lectures, research, enthusiasm, chit-chat, and meals all focused on the power of the plant. Pioneer physicians in the field, researchers, authors, dietitians, farmers, and athletes presented and reaffirmed the efficacy of plant-based nutritional therapy for a variety of diseases and imbalances.

While this convention was not spiritual in nature, Scott Stoll, MD, co-founder of the Plantrician Project, walked around the convention hall daily, praying for God’s blessing and His Spirit to be present in the meetings. His keynote address included a description of God’s design for the original diet of man as found in the book of Genesis. Stoll’s philosophy emanates from his statement, “Physicians are …
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Risë Rafferty, RDN

Health Educator
Light Bearers

Butyrate and the Bowel, Part 3 by Rise Rafferty

Butyrate and the Bowel, pt 3

October 5, 2016 | Risë Rafferty, RDN

Crosstalk is a term that can pertain to telecommunications, when distinguishable signals leak from one connection to another. In electronics, crosstalk is a phenomenon by which a signal on one circuit or channel of a transmission system creates an effect on another circuit or channel. The term has been borrowed and used in reference to the human body when communication signals in one body system “leak out” and communicate to another seemingly unrelated body system. For example, science is suggesting that crosstalk exists between the bowel and the brain via butyrate.

We have been looking at the short-chain fatty acid butyrate the past couple months and have seen what a significant role it plays in bowel health, immune system function, obesity, and diabetes. “Indeed, it is clear that host energy metabolism and immune functions critically depend on butyrate as a potent regulator, highlighting butyrate as a key mediator of host-microbe crosstalk.”1 But even beyond this crosstalk between host and microbe, the suggestion that butyrate crosstalks with the brain has led …
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Risë Rafferty, RDN

Health Educator
Light Bearers

Butyrate and the Bowel, pt 2 by Risë Rafferty

Butyrate and the Bowel, pt 2

August 31, 2016 | Risë Rafferty, RDN

Last month we began understanding one of the ways the community of microbes residing within impacts the health of its host organ, the colon, as well as other facets of human health. This community is composed of many members in various concentrations or percentages. There are thousands of varieties/species, some of which science is still discovering. They could be likened to family clans; the McCalahans, the De Lucas, the Gonzalezs, the Takahashis, different and unique from each other, yet dwelling in one community. The strains of microbes that flourish in this community are in part determined by what they are fed.

We learned that certain strains of bacteria ferment carbohydrates that have been thus far indigestible in the digestive system. As the bacteria break these indigestible carbohydrates down, they produce short-chain fatty acids that are secreted into the colon, byproducts of the fermentation process. Butyrate is one of these short-chain fatty acid byproducts. We observed that butyrate has made headlines in medical journals as a result of the intriguing results …
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Risë Rafferty, RDN

Health Educator
Light Bearers