By J. Manuel Cordova, M. D.
Internal Medicine & Geriatric Specialist
Weight And Health
‘Good’ health is not all about weight. It is not unusual for many people to associate weight with health but weight in itself is certainly only one factor to be considered. There are certain foods which can help our bodies more so than others. There are also a number of supplements which can be helpful if your normal diet is not supplying sufficient amounts of nutrients that your body needs. Don’t assume, however, that ‘more’ of a particular supplement is a good thing. Some supplements can actually be harmful to your health and can cause serious problems, particularly if taken with certain medications.
Although there is unlimited information available about food, diets and supplements, the age factor is very important –and in many cases, is not specifically addressed in ads or promotions of the products. The senior population and baby boomers typically take more medication than a younger person. For this reason, you should be very careful about taking supplements or herbal enhancements in conjunction with your other medications. You might experience severe adverse affects and not understand why. Your current health condition is also an extremely important factor to consider before taking supplements, potions or herbal enhancements.
Always consult with a qualified physician regarding your health and what is best. Even though a prescription may not be required to purchase many items, certain supplements, potions and herbs … and even some food, could cause harm. Don’t make assumptions when it comes to your health. One example is getting too much Vitamin K. If you are on a prescription medication for anticoagulation, such as warfarin (coumadin), you should be aware of too much Vitamin K. It’s fairly common for a physician to prescribe coumadin after a surgical procedure to help prevent blood clots. Too much Vitamin K can reduce the effects of the anticoagulant, making you more at risk for blood clots.
Green tea is very popular for anti-cancer effects, but also contains Vitamin K. In moderation, there should be no problem. Too much, however, may cause problems. One case I recently became aware of involved a man who drank a gallon of green tea everyday. His medication did not work until he stopped drinking the tea. Spinach and cabbage also contain Vitamin K. Certain combinations of herbal ingredients may block your body from absorbing other medications and supplements. Every person is unique when it comes to your health. The older we are, the more of an issue this becomes. Caution is warranted when starting something new.
What we see on the outside does not always reflect our true health and wellness condition on the inside. A person can be slightly overweight and still be healthy, particularly if you normally eat a balanced diet and are physically active.
Here is some information that may help a little regarding foods that are especially good for you and easy to include in your current meal planning.
1. Apples …good source for fiber that can help lower cholesterol and glucose levels, and good vitamin C.
2. Blueberries…good antioxidant, fiber and vitamin C.
3. Mango …good antioxidant and high fiber to help lower cholesterol.
4. Broccoli … good source of folate for better red blood cells, may help prevent heart disease, diabetes & some cancers, and good vitamin C.
(Ed. Note: Dr Còrdova lives and has his Medical Practice here at Lakeside, He is the President of the Geriatric & Gerontology Association of Jalisco. 766-27-77.)