While everyone is talking about Big Bird these days, I think we should all focus more on Kermit. He has been singing about being green since my kids were little. And even though we can all agree - "it's not easy being green", now studies show that being green (by that I mean eating more vegetables, which often leads to a healthier weight) can save lives.
We can help ourselves be healthier. The NBC show Extra featured Dr. Kristi Funk as part of their coverage of Breast Cancer Awareness month. Her advice was simple. There are things we can do to help reduce the risk of getting breast cancer. Some of her tips include go green and eat vegetables; exercise and don’t be overweight; and get screened. I followed her advice and had my mammogram this month.
Dr. Kristi Funk (pictured right) is one of many women working on improving women’s healthcare and finding treatments and cures for cancer and other diseases. But there is a lot we can do for ourselves in addition to seeing our doctors. Study after study has shown that Dr. Funk’s advice is on the right track, exercise and being green is not only good for our environment, but it is good for our health. But as Kermit says in his song - “it’s not easy being green“. Vegetables may not be convenient to some and may cause allergies in others, and they are not as good as candy or salty and fatty foods, but studies have shown “eating green” helps fight disease. Talk to your doctor about what you eat and see what they recommend about your eating habits, taking into account your tolerance levels and any food allergies you might have.
Dr Funk also points out that being screened for breast cancer is the number one thing we can do to lower the risk for the disease. Screening is helpful for other cancers as well. Health screening is essential for the future of healthcare to help reduce healthcare costs and turn our system from a “disease control” healthcare system to a “disease prevention” healthcare system. But as arguments continue over the right way to reduce healthcare costs, screening seems to lose emphasis. Just look at google search - there are 10 to 15 million searches for health care each month, but less than 100,000 searches for health screening. Remember what Dr Funk said about screening - it is the number one thing we can do to lower the risk of getting breast cancer. The take away from all this? Go green and Get screened! Kermit was right. Green is beautiful.