Reader mailbag!

You really keep me hopping. It has been a while since I got a chance to reply to all your questions and comments.

While I can’t reply to everyone, hopefully what I can get to is helpful to you.

Let’s get started…

First off is Russ, who has some questions about turmeric and curcumin. He writes…

“Are they effective? Are they worth using? Is the info on them ‘fake news?’ Any negative side effects?”

Good questions, Russ. First, let me explain that while turmeric and curcumin are sometimes used interchangeably, they aren’t exactly the same thing.

Turmeric is the whole spice or plant, used most often in curry. Curcumin is one of the main components of turmeric. So when you use curcumin, you are getting an extract of turmeric. When you use turmeric, you get some curcumin, but also other components.

Both turmeric and curcumin have been shown to have anti-inflammatory benefits, so they’re good for joint health, as well as benefits to the stomach, colon and liver.

We specifically use curcumin in Digestive Freedom Plus because it also stimulates bile production in the gall bladder. So saying there is benefit here is not “fake news.”

Turmeric and curcumin are considered safe. Very high doses can cause stomach upset, but that is true of a lot of things. Like anything else, it’s always a good idea to check with your doctor before trying something new, especially if you are on medications.

Next, I want to address a note from Gene, who’s quite skeptical about the power of nutrition and supplements to help you stay healthy…

“Sorry Jeff, but PLEASE don’t send me emails (or tell folks) about ANY pill I take to fix joints. THEY DO NOT. I had a Meniscus tear in my knee and my surgeon said that that is ALL BS. If it were true, then eating animal brains would make us smarter or eating animal lungs or hearts or livers or kidneys, etc. would improve those organs, improve the eyes? Eat eyes, etc. Our bodies just do NOT work that way. Stem cells are the only things to actually heal and improve things, so our bodies can heal themselves.” 

Ok Gene, let me try to tackle this.

First, there are many supplements with proven benefits throughout the body, including the joints. Many natural substances can target inflammation, speed healing and return the body to normal function, replacing lost nutrients or return your body to a more natural, balanced state.

A torn meniscus may likely require surgery, sure. But for your doctor to say all supplements are BS is… well, that’s BS.

And I wouldn’t eat eyes or lungs, nor would I recommend you do either. Not because organs like the heart don’t contain nutrients like CoQ10 (because they do). But because it’s gross.

Plus, there are some “glandular” supplements like thyroid extracts that actually do work as you suggest. I’d recommend your doctor read up on them.

Now, a note from Clark, with something we can all probably relate to…

“Went to get a haircut this week. As I sat down in the barber chair there was a big mirror in front of me with an ‘old man’ looking back at me! I don’t see myself as old when no mirror is present even at 86. I do most anything I want to do like cutting down overgrown bushes with a chainsaw. I have decided to go with what I feel inside and not what I see on the outside.”

I’m with Clark. Age is just a number. Go with what you feel inside.

A couple times recently I mentioned my pet peeve of people leaving their carts willy-nilly throughout the parking lot while grocery shopping. To me it smacks of laziness, not to mention a good chance my car is going to get a door ding from some cart gone amuck.

Cindy has another perspective…

“Hi Jeff… my son worked at a grocery store doing bagging and helping to carry out when he was younger and he told me the highlight of his day was collecting up the carts left around the parking lot… gave him exercise, fresh air, and a chance to get away from the hustle bustle inside the store.  I always walked my cart back to the store before this… but then started leaving it on the grass strip in front of the parking space.  Just thought this might help you to know that to some young men and women, cart gathering is fun!!  Thanks for your wonderful blog… I learn a lot from it!!”

Why should the fresh air and exercise (and fun!) be reserved for young bucks? Get a little extra fresh air yourself and return your own cart is my philosophy, especially if there’s no cart “corral” to round them up. Kudos to your son for working hard and seeing the bright side. Good man.

In the category of how small our world is sometimes, I little while ago I mentioned a book by a Dr. Joshua Coleman, and his advice about how to approach your spouse with help around the house.

I got a chuckle when I read this…

“Well Jeff? Oddly enough? Joshua Coleman PhD? Just so happens to be my older brother. Thanks for plugging his book and while being interviewed on ‘Good Morning America’ several years ago he opined that ‘conversations typically end the way they begin’ so don’t come at him sideways about doing chores, come at him sweet and you’ll probably get your desired (or close to it) results. Lazy is relative and I am lazy too but I’m not the psychologist here and if my girlfriend comes at me sweet, I’m putty in her hands.” Adam Coleman

I’m not the psychologist here either, but it sounds like good advice to me.

When I asked for tips on how to keep your produce fresh, I got a bunch. Here are three of my favorites to try…

  1. “I recently learned how to keep strawberries fresh longer.  Rinse them in a mild solution of apple cider vinegar and water.  I pour the solution over the entire package, drain and refrigerate.  They keep for over a week without ‘fuzzy berries’ ruining them.” Sharon
  2. “When purchasing green onions, instead of refrigerating, place in appropriate size container with water, white (root end) immersed and leave on counter. Snip green parts as needed & they will continue to grow in water. No throwing out the 2 or 3 that got forgotten in the fridge.” Nancy
  1. “A few months ago when my asparagus was ready to harvest, I was leaving on vacation.  I just took the fresh asparagus and put it in a Ziploc bag and put it in the freezer. After I got back I took the bag out and stir fried it frozen. It was just as good as fresh.  If you thaw it out it gets rubbery so cook it gently frozen.” Sheri

Great tips. Thanks ladies!

Now, here’s a comment from Stephen, who took my letter about cavorting with squirrels a bit seriously…

“Huh? So we need to ‘get to know’ wild animals? What part of ‘foolish’ am I missing…. Next you’ll say we need to ‘get to know’ deer, moose, even bear? Having lived in Yosemite, this attitude has got many visitors killed and hurt badly… Animals have been put down because of this… Please…”

This is a bit of the “slippery slope” argument to the extreme. It’s a big leap from my dad feeding a peanut to a squirrel to having a picnic lunch with Yogi Bear.

For the record, I don’t suggest “getting to know” a moose. If you’ve ever seen what a moose can do to a car going full speed on a secluded Maine road, you’ll know… they’re probably lousy houseguests.

Ok, that’s about all I have room for today. Please keep your comments and questions coming.

God Bless,
Jeff Reagan

Editor, Patriot Health Alliance

P.S. One more note from my new friend John. He’s knows the deal when it comes to Pennsylvania treats (enjoy, but only every so often). I’m with him – Lebanon bologna is top notch. And yes, wet bottom pie is the only way to go…

“Coming from Pennsylvania Dutch stock, I certainly agree with you on Shoofly Pie, but it has to be wet bottom variety. I also am partial to Tastykake chocolate cupcakes and butterscotch Krimpets. Lucky for my waistline, I live in Colorado and only get to eat these delicacies about one week every three years when I get to visit my native state. I always bring a suitcase full of these goodies back to Colorado to share with my grandkids. I also bring back an ice chest filled with Pennsylvania Dutch scrapple, sausage (the best in America) and Lebanon bologna (best in the world).  Again, can’t get these items in Colorado which helps keep my heart healthy. Well bon appétit to us on the rare occasions we can get these foods!”

About Jeff Reagan, Editor, Jeff Reagan's Daily Health Newsletter for Conservatives

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