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Women's Health

Mercy Women's Care at St. Anne
3404 W. Sylvania Avenue
Toledo, OH 43623

Mercy Women's Care at St. Charles
Navarre Medical Plaza
2702 Navarre Avenue
Suite 101
Oregon, OH 43616

Mercy Women's Care at St. V's
2213 Cherry Street
Toledo, OH 43608

Nutrition Tips

separator What is Tofu?
Tofu is not a New Age food invented by hippies. It’s a classic food from Japan, China and Korea. It’s a curd made from soybeans, and it can taste terrific, depending on how you cook it. Benefits of including some tofu in your diet include:

  • Good source of protein
  • Lower in fat than many meats
  • Good source of soy isoflavones, which may offer some protection against breast and prostate cancer

Experiment with different types of tofu. You can find flavored varieties in the dairy cases of whole foods groceries stores. There are barbecue flavors, Thai flavors… Try adding these to a favorite vegetable stir-fry. 

Source: A. Weil, Eating Well for Optimum Health. Quill, 2001.

Guarana: Not a Great Option
Guarana is a natural caffeine source. It’s often one of the ingredients used in energy drinks and herbal “weight loss” teas.

Sure, guarana is natural. That doesn’t make it wonderful. In fact, it’s often combined with ephedrine to produce an even stronger stimulant effect. The combination has been known to cause irregular heartbeats, insomnia and an increase in blood pressure.

When you see guarana listed on weight loss products or energy drinks, think twice about using the product. Frequent use can actually cause you to become addicted.

Source: The Food and Drug Administration 

Be Wary of Diet Herbal Teas
Herbal teas that people drink to help them lose weight contain potentially dangerous laxatives. The labels usually don’t say the teas have laxative properties, and may describe the products as “natural bowel cleansers,” or something similar. They may also not refer directly to weight loss, but are likely to use the terms “slim,” “trim,” “dieter’s,” etc. 

First-time users of these drinks can suffer stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea that last for several days. Long-time users can experience chronic diarrhea or constipation due to dependence on the laxatives. Severe reactions can include fainting, dehydration and electrolyte disorders that can cause paralysis, irregular heartbeat, and in rare cases, death.

Source: Food and Drug Administration 

Tomatoes and Prostate Cancer
A recent study indicates once again that tomatoes, especially cooked ones, can reduce the risk of prostate cancer. The protective benefit comes from lycopene, the pigment that makes tomatoes red. The body seems to absorb lycopene most efficiently when the tomato is cooked. 

The study results showed that men who consumed more than two servings of tomato sauce per week had a 35 percent reduction in prostate cancer risk compared with men who never ate tomato sauce.

Source: Journal of the National Cancer Institute, 6 March 2002.

Cascara: Bad as a Laxative
Cascara is an herbal laxative, but just because it’s herbal doesn’t mean it’s good for you. It irritates the bowel quickly (sometimes almost violently). Regular use of cascara will cause you to become dependent on it because it becomes difficult to move your bowels on your own.

You may have heard about cascara as a “natural” way to lose weight, but that kind of information is misguided. Taking a laxative for weight control is a dangerous approach.

Source: Food and Drug Administration

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