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The Health Up Newsletter
Created Weekly by Teri Yunus 
Health Up With Teri Health & Wellness Coaching

december 7, 2023 | issue 166

What's Inside This Week:
  1. Tips for Your Online Health Research
  2. Immunity Building Through Simple Lifestyle Shifts
  3. Garlic - A Superfood?
  4. Did You Know?
  5. Recipe of the Week
  6. Health Tip Tuesday!
  7. My Favorite Quotes

Tips for Your Online Research 
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Millions of people use the internet to learn more about what is happening in their body. We experience symptoms and turn to the internet for answers as a starting place. How do we know what is reputable and what is not? Websites can look professional and words used can lead us to believe things that are completely untrue or at best, partially true. Unfortunately, the
internet is flooded with advertisements (sometimes disguised as research) filled with false claims and pseudoscientific jargon about “alternative” supplements, remedies, and treatments. If these advertisements are to be believed, with a your credit card, you can cure any ailment known to the direct marketing industry. Being mislead online is common…marketing has become expert at deception. 
People who have been diagnosed with cancer are among the most likely to seek out and use alternative/complementary therapies since the prognosis and effectiveness of conventional treatments is often very poor. For patients
with little hope of recovery through conventional means, the false hopes
and far-fetched promises of “miracle cures” even may serve to temporarily
enhance emotional well-being. But for care to be considered of long-term benefit to a patient, certain criteria need to be met. Sadly, it's hard to determine what is legitimate and what is fluff. Here are a few guidelines that may help you during your search online. 
  1. Studies with human cancer patients showing positive, measurable benefits; for example, eating ground flaxseed has been shown to help breast cancer patients
  2. A mechanism of action that is logical and scientifically valid
  3. Human cell studies or animal studies corroborating the evidence and mechanism of action
  4. No toxicity or other health risk from the therapy or supplement
These guidelines may seem simple but are not always easy to follow. Often studies on alternative therapies are downplayed by conventional medicine and that can make it even more challenging to know what is true and what is not. My best recommendation is to know the source of any information being reviewed. If there is money to be made in a particular treatment or supplement, be extra cautious. When we are desperately seeking a cure, we may fall for advertisements that most often do not work yet can be expensive and time-wasting. Listen to your gut wisdom…if something seems too good to be true, it very likely is. Find a resource you trust and delve in deep. Be skeptical and proceed with caution. 
Of the millions diagnosed with cancer every year, as many as 90 to 95% of cancers are caused by “lifestyle factors,” and only 5% to 10% caused by bad genes. “The contribution of cancer-killing chemo to five-year survival in cancer patients, is only about 2%. There are some pediatric cancers we’ve gotten good at treating, and testicular cancer and Hodgkin’s disease are exceptions, but if you look at our most common cancers—colon, lung, breast, and prostate—the success rate is only about 1%. Meaning like, out of nearly 14,000 colon cancer patients, only 146 lived out five years thanks to chemotherapy. So, the chance of survival benefit is like one in a hundred, but doctors don’t tell patients that", Dr. Michael Greger ( 
Dr. Greger also mentions that it’s not enough to just avoid the bad stuff. Eating is pretty much “a zero-sum game.” Everything we put in our mouth is a lost opportunity to put something even healthier in our mouths. So, it’s not just about avoiding foods with cancer-promoting properties; we need to eat foods with active cancer-suppressing mechanisms. By “wholistic” nutrition, we’re talking about whole foods. These are some of the purported active ingredients of healthy things like turmeric, or green tea, or broccoli, but this is how we should get them—not from pills. Ultimately “cancer development” may “primarily be a nutrition-responsive disease,” but we’re not talking about nutritional supplements, but rather “whole, intact food.”
Prevention is the best medicine. Getting a diagnosis of the “C” word is not something any of us want to experience. You have the power to reduce your risk…not take it away completely but you can affect your longevity and wellness overall with what you put in your mouth. Choose wisely, as they say. 
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And by ‘vegan’ diet, I mean, whole food plant based diet :)

Immunity Building Through SImple Lifestyle Shifts
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It is being called Tripledemic 2023…Flu, Covid-19 and RSV are all making an appearance and the news likes to come up with these catchy (pun intended) words to get our attention. There's plenty we can do to reduce our risk. Boosting our immunity is top on the list. 
Immunity is the body’s ability to resist harmful microorganisms to fight infection and disease. Improving your immunity is multi-faceted…it’s not just one thing. My focus this month will provide you with some insight to look at your health behaviors and find ways to improve your ability to combat disease. Many Americans are chronically dehydrated…we just don’t drink enough water. Adequate hydration is super important for immunity. Moving our bodies is a great immunity booster. Most agree that we need at least 30 minutes of movement every.  Sleep deprivation is not uncommon for many of us. Our bodies need 7-9 hours of sleep nightly. Some people claim they need less. What might be true is that we have trained our bodies to get by with less. These people may be sleep deprived without being aware that their immune system may be suffering. Chronic stress depresses the immune system and increases the risk of several types of illnesses. Stress raises the level of hormones called catecholamines and leads to increased levels of suppressor T cells that can suppress our immunity. This makes us more susceptible to viral illnesses including respiratory conditions like colds, flu and the novel coronavirus. We can reduce stress with strategies like deep breathing, meditation, exercise and relaxation.
An optimistic attitude and laughter can help. Imagine the best outcome in situations, including difficult ones. We may not be able to control events around us, but we can choose how to respond. Responding in a positive way may strengthen your immunity. Watching a funny movie boosts natural killer cell activity…laughter is good medicine. And smiling! Smiling literally interrupts the stress loop that can easily get stuck on repeat. So, practice smiling…fake it til you make it. We can alter our stress levels by ‘tricking’ our minds into believing it by smiling. We’re learning more and more about the role of the gut microbiome and we know there is a strong connection to immunity…so feed it well. Processed foods and sugar along with alcohol and other toxins kill the good bacteria that is so protective. Eat whole foods…this is what your gut wants so badly. Give it what it wants and watch the benefits unfold.
The number one way to boost immunity…."It’s the food", says Dr. Michael Klaper, “it’s always been the food”. Eating a board diverse whole foods plant-based diet has a synergistic effect. These foods lay the groundwork for excellent health and superior immune function. A high nutrient way of eating creates a strong foundation and like a skyscraper … if the foundation is strong, it can withstand strong winds. Your body is the same. A weak foundation (malnourished by eating a poor diet) leads to lower immunity and more illness. Let’s look some of the foods that we know of to be super immunity boosters.
  • Mushrooms – activate the body’s natural immunity. White button mushrooms may protect the respiratory tract.  It’s best to eat mushrooms cooked.
  • Cruciferous Vegetables – kale, collards, mustard greens, arugula, watercress, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower contain isothiocyanates, an enzyme that can improve immunity. Chopping these raw prior to eating or cooking can activate enzymes that can boost immunity.
  • Berries – powerful anti-cancer properties that also offer protection against viruses. Berries and grapes are rich in resveratrol, an antioxidant phytochemical with strong antiviral effects.
  • Kiwifruit – contains potent antioxidants and are packed with vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin E, folate and potassium and fiber!
  • Garlic & onions – stimulate immunity and have virus-killing activity against common respiratory viruses. Many other benefits to these foods, too.
  • Green tea – helps boost immunity by enhancing immune cells that act as first-line defense against infection.
Eating a variety of whole plant foods while avoiding or significantly reducing processed and animal foods is one of our top methods to optimal health. In addition, washing your hands adequately, keeping your hands away from your face and staying home, especially if you are not feeling well are important. Rest and hydration, along with the healthiest diet is your best bet in avoiding viral illness while, at the same time, reducing your risk of diabetes, heart disease and cancer as a bonus. 
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Garlic - A Superfood?
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Love it or hate it, we cannot discount the health benefits of garlic. The primary active compound in garlic is allicin, a sulfur compound produced in the presence of oxygen and a specific enzyme in garlic. Garlic may be one of the most researched foods to date. There is plenty of good information demonstrating the benefits of garlic including antibacterial, anti-thrombotic, anti-arthritic, and blood sugar lowering properties. Most notably, however, are the multiple studies suggesting eating garlic can effectively reduce the risk of cancer. In his book (Chris Beat Cancer), Chris Wark discusses how raw garlic and onions were a major part of his nutritional strategy to help his body heal stage IIIc colon cancer after surgery. Chris consumed raw garlic and onions twice a day every single day in a giant salad and also ate multiple garlic cloves per day. He's alive and thriving more than 20 years after his diagnosis. 
Studies demonstrate that the allicin in garlic may provide these benefits:
  • Anti-cancer activity - inhibits growth and metastasis of cancer cells and enhances immune function.
  • Vasodilation and blood pressure reduction by relaxing blood vessel walls, lower blood pressure and improved blood circulation.
  • Improved insulin sensitivity and blood sugar control by promoting the secretion and action of insulin, thereby reducing blood sugar levels. It is beneficial for those with diabetes.
  • Improved sexual function - as a vasodilator can reduce male impotence and improve sexual function that is associated with poor blood circulation.
  • Evidence suggests that garlic may prevent occurrences of the common cold and reduce the number of days affected by cold symptoms.
Raw garlic is the most potent cancer fighter. It's not always easy to get raw garlic into our diets, though. Roasting garlic improves the taste but we may lose some of the benefits. Crushing or chopping it may be a way to not only potentiate the benefit by releasing potent enzymes, but may make it easier to slip into our salad dressing or use to top off any dish. Garlic supplements may be beneficial but most agree that they are a poor second to the real thing. Overconsumption isn't a good idea, especially when starting out. Start small and increase as tolerated. Garlic can cause bad breath, stomach upset and allergy in some. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, it may not be the right time to experiment with more garlic. Those people with bleeding tendencies need to take caution, as well. 
Then there's black garlic…even more potent and delicious. We love to add it to our salads. We love it so much, you may find us just dipping into the jar for a healthy treat. (Yeah, we've come that far!!!). Check it out. You may learn to love it as much as we do. I gave a clove to my son and he wasn't so keen on it…so keep an open mind. :)
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Artificial sweeteners such as saccharin and sorbitol may disrupt the microbiome and lead to health issues. 
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Recipe of the Week
Vegan White Bean Jackfruit Chili
This Vegan White Bean Jackfruit Chili is veggie-packed and loaded with hearty, smoky flavor. It’s gluten-free, oil-free, nut-free, and full of comfy, cozy vibes.
  • Author: Caitlin Shoemaker
  • Yield: Serves 4
  • 4 cups vegetable broth, divided
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 3 jalapeños, diced and de-seeded* (optional)
  • 3–5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped; stems and leaves divided
  • 1 teaspoon ancho chili powder or regular chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • 2 cans of Navy, Cannellini, or Great Northern beans, drained; (2 3/4 cups or 517 g of beans)
  • 2 14-ounce cans jackfruit, drained and rinsed well* (400 g total drained weight)
  • Optional toppings: fresh jalapeño or coconut yogurt
  1. Bring a large pot to high heat; once warm, add 1/4 cup of vegetable broth along with the onion, corn, and jalapeños (if using). Cook over high heat for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring the mixture occasionally to remove moisture from the vegetables. The vegetables will start to stick to the pan and browning will occur to the bottom of the pan; once this happens, let the vegetables sit for 30 seconds, then deglaze the pot with an additional 1/4 cup of broth, scraping all of the brown and black bits off of the bottom of the pan.
  2. Reduce the heat to medium and add the garlic, cilantro stems, chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, and salt. Sauté for an additional 1-2 minutes, until the garlic is fragrant and spices are evenly distributed.
  3. Break up and smash up the jackfruit. It can be shredded into pieces that resemble chicken. Add the beans, jackfruit and vegetable broth to the pot. Cover the pot and bring the mixture to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, uncover and reduce the heat to medium-low; simmer for 12 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Divide the chili into serving bowls and top with the cilantro leaves and/or as desired; leftovers will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Jackfruit: most people prefer to remove the “seeds” and tough cores that come with canned jackfruit, but I don’t mind them – I recommend thinly slicing the cores if using, though. If you’d like to reduce the “canned” flavor of the jackfruit, remove it from the can and submerge it in water. Store in the fridge for up to 48 hours before cooking, then drain, shred, and use as instructed in the recipe.
Recipe adapted from
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My Favorite Quotes
“No matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow.” 
-Maya Angelou

Important Disclaimer
The content in this newsletter is intended for educational/informational purposes only. It is not intended to replace the advice of your health care professional. 
hen Basics tea
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