WELLNESS TIP OF THE WEEK
The Rainbow Rule: For Healthy Meals, Color is Key
by Doug Sparks
Bold colors don’t just make food look appetizing. Assuming you’re eating whole foods, vivid colors may indicate a high level of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.
Consider the tomato. Red pigment is sometimes caused by two different healthy chemicals: the carotenoid lycopene and the flavonoid anthocyanin.
Have you heard that blueberries promote longevity? This idea might have a basis in science — they contain ellagic acid, which has prompted recent cancer research.
Green veggies provide lutein, which has been shown to protect against macular degeneration, and zeaxanthin, another carotenoid that might be good for keeping your peepers strong.
Purple, white, orange and yellow. Thinking like Picasso when you’re prepping a plate makes mealtime visually interesting, and it might just turn you into an accidental nutritionist.
HEALTH IN THE VALLEY
Providing Top Treatment Together – Medical Collaboration in Lawrence
by Alyson Aiello (excerpted from a full story in the May/June 2015 print issue)
Collaboration within the health and medical community serving Lawrence is second nature, according to Rich Napolitano, senior vice president of external relations and chief development officer at the Greater Lawrence Family Health Center.
It comes down to a shared mission to provide top-notch health care for all, which often involves a variety of committed medical professionals and quality services. A community of about 78,000 people and approximately 7 square miles in size, Lawrence is a densely populated urban area with a high percentage of residents living below federal poverty levels. Working together, the GLFHC and institutions such as Lawrence General Hospital are creating an environment in which they are able to provide care for all city residents, but at the same time are becoming the destination of choice for people from other communities seeking care.
GLFHC operates six clinical sites in Lawrence and Methuen, plus two school sites at Lawrence High School and Greater Lawrence Technical School. GLFHC’s predominant service is family medicine and primary care, with more than 100 clinicians on staff and a spectrum of specialized programs in areas such as alternative medicine, childhood obesity and addiction treatment. Each site, with the exception of the schools, has an in-house retail pharmacy that serves patients and non-patients. Doctors also travel to 13 area sites to provide care to the homeless. While GLFHC offers a robust roster of services, it relies on solid relationships with other institutions to fill the gaps where needed.
For example, at GLFHC’s New Balance Foundation Imaging Center, located at their Haverhill Street clinic, films are reviewed by personnel from the nationally-recognized radiology department at Lawrence General. The hospital is also home to one of GLFHC’s clinical sites, and it provides all lab services for GLFHC locations. As a result, everyone, including low income families, has access to the technology and the expertise they might need.
Another source of collaboration is the Mayor’s Health Task Force, established in Lawrence in 2002, which addresses health and social justice factors affecting Greater Lawrence’s underserved low-income community, and promotes health equity. The MHTF serves thousands from the Spanish- and English-speaking communities through education, screenings, and links to medical services related to obesity, diabetes, heart disease, mental health, breast and prostate cancers, oral health, youth development, teen pregnancy and insurance enrollment.
Napolitano says he is more confident than ever that the city of Lawrence offers a commitment to community health care that is unmatched — and that’s attractive to doctors.
WELLNESS AROUND THE WEB
Dogs Proving Unexpectedly Useful in Fight Against Bone Cancer
We may think of “man’s best friend” as a lovable companion first and foremost … but thanks to unexpected links found between the types of cancer found in both dogs and humans, they may become humankind’s best shot against bone cancer. Researchers at Tufts Medical Center are working in the rapidly expanding field of comparative oncology, in which the cancers of humans and animals are compared in order to find beneficial treatments and cures for both. A particular type of bone cancer, osteosarcoma, has been noted by veterinarians and human doctors alike for its remarkable similarities in both species — and because dogs, like humans, have an immune system, they make much more useful research subjects than your typical “lab mice.” (via CBS Sunday Morning)
Growing Consensus Indicates the Internet is Addictive
Since the Internet became easily accessible, there’s been a lot of research about its potential to be “addictive” in the same manner as drugs, and growing consensus among researchers indicates that it is indeed the case. In fact, it turns out that people who become addicted to the Web follow the same “natural arc” as those who abuse substances, says Stanford University psychiatrist Anna Lembke. “Addiction begins with intermittent to recreational use, then progresses into daily use, and then progresses into consequential use, which in some cases will progress to life-threatening use,” she explains. While Internet addiction is not currently listed in the DSM as a validated clinical diagnosis, Lembke says the evidence piling up will eventually tip the scales in favor of its inclusion. (via KQED Science)
The App That Apple Doesn’t Want You to Use
Mindfulness, or being completely conscious and aware of one’s actions, is a difficult thing to practice in the information age. Our phones, tablets and other electronic gizmos are constantly at an arm’s length away, making distraction more than a little tempting — one might say it’s closer to a certainty! The irony is, of course, that there’s an app for that — although it’s not one Apple wants its users getting anywhere near. Space, designed to encourage more conscious use of smart devices, was rejected from the App Store earlier this year. The reason? “Any app designed to help people use their phones less is unacceptable for distribution in the App Store,” a representative from the Apple Store Review reportedly said. On the other hand, if you’re an Android user, you won’t have to circumvent the system in any way — Google accepted the application to the Play Store without issue. (via Thrive Global)