In light of Earth Day, which occurred this weekend on April 22nd, it is important to appreciate the Earth and its abundance.  As we celebrate Earth Day, it is important to recognize the impact the Earth has had to shape our people, culture, and values. It is important to understand the Earth’s relationship to its people and it is changing environment. There are various themes that explore the Earth’s impact on us and our impact on it. Earth Day is a time to reflect on these themes and aim towards making a positive change to our planet.

Historical and Cultural Connections

There is a long and complex history between the relationships of Africana people and the environment. The concept of Ubuntu, which emphasizes the interconnectedness of all things and the importance of community, has long been a central tenet of African culture. This concept can also be traced in many indigenous knowledge systems throughout the continent and the diaspora. In many cultures, nature is personified which further the connection between the Earth and humanity. These historical and cultural connections give the African diaspora a unique perspective on environmental issues and a deep understanding of the importance of sustainability.

Environmental Justice

Environmental justice is a critical issue that disproportionately affects marginalized communities. From air and water pollution to climate change, these communities often withstand the worst of environmental harm. Africa is rich in many resources that contribute new innovative technology like electric cars solar panels and cell phones. Foreign companies often unethically source these materials, meaning workers are underpaid, work in harsh conditions, and the infrastructure causes pollution in the local environment. This causes poor health conditions to the locals of these regions. Pollution and climate change are causing a decline in health globally. Raising awareness about the changing environment is a way of showing you care about the community. 

Connecting with Nature

Connecting with nature can be a powerful and healing experience. Many indigenous belief systems from all over the world pay homage to the Earth as the Earth has provided humanity with its life force.  Whether it’s visiting national parks, hiking in the mountains, or spending time at the beach, being in nature can provide a sense of peace and renewal. Being in nature not only connects us to the world but also connects us to ourselves. Often we are so engaged in our daily habits and lose sight of the bigger picture. Nature can help us feel grounded by making us feel present in its organic beauty that stimulates all our senses.

As a collective, we have decided to celebrate Earth Day on April 22nd of every year, and on this day we should come to together and express gratitude for the gracious systems that allow our Earth to be habitable. Although we celebrate only Earth Day once a year, the Earth has never stopped providing for us. Its bountifulness has provided us the ability to thrive. During this time of reflection, we should consider the ways we can give back to our planet was much as it has given to us.

A great question to ask your primary care physician is “should I be worried about my cholesterol?” The answer to this frequently asked question is yes, but the reason as to why I advocate for more people understanding why may surprise you…


This Week’s Tip by Dr. Prince J. El …

It is because their cholesterol is harder to track.

For a moment, I want you to visualize the process of testing your cholesterol. You will need to fast for 12 hours before going to your primary’s office and having blood drawn to check your lipid panel. The lipid panel would display your total cholesterol, High density lipid level (HDL), Low Density Lipids (LDL), Triglycerides, and maybe Very Low-Density Lipoprotein (VLDL), Non-HDL Cholesterol, and the ratio between total cholesterol and HDL. Here is the thing, along with knowing that the most important kinds of cholesterol to know are HDL, the “good” cholesterol, and LDL (the “bad” cholesterol), understanding the method of calculating cholesterol, and how frequently cholesterol is checked, is more complicated than you think.

It goes without saying, the lack of questioning by any person of what and how important cholesterol is to our health is only a reflection of how little is known about the role cholesterol plays in health. It illustrates how much information has been provided to the consuming public on how cholesterol helps in filtering impurities from blood in the liver with bile to break down other fats, vitamins, and minerals with pancreatic juices in the small intestine. Sparing the reader from an in-depth, deep dive into the common biliary duct, hepatic portal vein: occlusion, diabetes, fatty liver disease, cirrhosis, pancreatitis, irritable bowel syndrome, pale stool, constipation, and colon cancer could all be treated from combining the right dietary cholesterol to the right enzymes, allow me to conclude with these final points:

Given that the leading cause of obesity is due to the consumption of large amounts of processed and / or fast foods high in sugar, and fat, the general public at risk for high blood sugar test for diabetes much easier and more regularly than testing for high cholesterol.  Very rarely will cholesterol levels be tested more than for what is necessary for employment, or activity based purposes; to which at a minimum, once every 1-2 years unless pre-existing medical conditions, and risk factors are indicators to an increased higher risk for cardiovascular disease such as stroke, or rhythm related disorder.

This brings me back to a frequently asked question: how can people safely lower cholesterol fast? My answer to this question is with a question: if you are looking to lower your cholesterol fast, are you willing to let go of what raises it? Do you really need to lower your cholesterol fast? Are you just looking to pass the test for now or the near future to keep facing the same challenges of your past? What could you do differently from taking medications for high cholesterol and some possible side effects? What could you do aside from just searching for foods that lower bad cholesterol? What would it mean to lower your cholesterol? Is it lowering the risks of you having a stroke, you keeping off the unwanted weight? Is it fewer pokes and prods with needles? Is it more time walking along the beach with someone who’s company you enjoy? Is it having a long live to watch your future generations grow and prosper? Or is it something else?

When it comes to cholesterol, because I know how long it takes for the body to process cholesterol, and I know how the whites of your eyes can turn a little yellow from high LDL cholesterol in the bloodstream, I don’t just asses and recommend a few herbs, I asses a whole life style.

When was the last time you got your cholesterol checked? Don’t forget your why! Wellness

Dr. Prince J. EL

Wellness Consultant

Tell us your thoughts. Where do you hope to see AfriKin go? How do we move forward and evolve while holding onto the rich traditions that make us who we are?