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Wednesday - May 22, 2019

Archive for the ‘ Health & Nutrition ’ Category

 

Everything You Wanted to Know About Chiggers (And Maybe More Than You Wanted to Know)

May 16th, 2019

On a recent trip to visit my family, I brought home an unwelcome souvenir–chigger bites.  Chiggers are mites, but they have many nicknames like harvest mites, harvest bugs, harvest lice, mower’s mites, or red bugs. Technically chiggers are arachnids, in the same family as spiders and ticks. Since I haven’t experienced chigger bites since I was young, I had forgotten how heinous those bites can be.  I want to share my experience with you, so you can avoid a week-long itch fest if you get chigger bites. Where chiggers reside. Chiggers live in every country. Their favorite spots are... Read More

Tips for Reducing Anxiety Through Diet

May 9th, 2019

The National Institute of Mental Health reports that 40 million adults—18% of the population—struggle with anxiety. Anxiety is normal; job interviews, public speaking and other everyday occurrences can cause anxiety.  It only becomes a problem when it extends beyond worry in an unreasonable, uncontrollable way. Anxiety can be a symptom of another mental illness, such as panic disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, phobias, or obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).  Anxiety and anxiety disorders are the most common behavioral health issues in the U.S. There are some important health habits... Read More

Brushing Your Teeth Twice a Day Lowers Your Health Risk

May 2nd, 2019

Thirty percent of Americans only brush their teeth once daily.  That is certainly enough to reduce the level of plaque-causing bacteria–it takes about 24 hours to develop on teeth–but you are more likely to have cavities if you only brush once daily, particularly if you are only brushing in the morning.  If you are going to brush once a day, it should be at night. It is always tempting to take a few shortcuts to simplify our lives.  I’d like to make the case that brushing once daily is not enough. Let’s talk about the health benefits of brushing twice daily. Prevent gum disease.... Read More

Three Simple Ways You Can Help The Environment

April 25th, 2019

This week we celebrated Earth Day, the world’s largest environmental movement. Our impact on the environment is complex and often interrelated.  For example, bees are dying from a variety of factors—pesticides, drought, habitat destruction, nutrition deficit, air pollution, global warming and more. Ninety percent of the world’s food crops are pollinated by bees, and humans are responsible for two major reasons that bees are dying: pesticides and habitat destruction. If bees die out, the world will face a serious food crisis. Our oceans are clogged with plastic, which is harmful to marine... Read More

Everybody Handles Distress Differently

April 18th, 2019

On Monday evening, a massive fire broke out at the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.  With about 13 million visitors each year, the cathedral is the city’s most visited monument, and has been part of Paris for more than 800 years. Many across the globe are expressing shock and distress about the burning of such an iconic Gothic structure that housed religious artifacts and works of art, some of which are lost, some moved just in time. When tragedy strikes, some of us never recover from it. The way we cope with these situations differ greatly. Some people immediately fall into a deep depression,... Read More

Allergy Season Is Already Here, Thanks to Climate Change

April 11th, 2019

You may have already noticed some sniffles and sneezes from pollen and other spring allergens. That’s because allergy season is starting earlier than it has in years past.  In a recent paper written by a plant physiologist at the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service, the authors considered temperature and pollen trends in the Northern Hemisphere going back decades. The paper, published in Lancet, found a clear correlation between the change in temperature, the change and the increase in the length of the allergy season, and also the amount of pollen that’s being recorded. What does this... Read More

Spring Clean Your Workout Routine

April 4th, 2019

Spring brings to mind rebirth, rejuvenation, renewal, and resurrection.  According to Wikipedia, “During early spring, the axis of the Earth is increasing its tilt relative to the Sun, and the length of daylight rapidly increases for the relevant hemisphere. The hemisphere begins to warm significantly, causing new plant growth to ‘spring forth,’ giving the season its name.”  This time of year is the perfect time to spring forth with a new exercise routine. Changing your workout is important to avoid boredom, overcome plateaus, and achieve new levels of fitness. Here are some ideas for... Read More

Myths and Facts About Organ Donation

March 28th, 2019

Organ donation is the process of committing your organs to help another person live. After you die, your healthy organs and tissues are transplanted into another person. Experts say that the organs from one donor can save or help as many as 50 people. You can donate eyes, tissue, and organs including kidneys, heart, liver, pancreas, intestines, and lungs. Right now, 113,653 people are on the national organ transplant waiting list, with a new name added every 10 minutes. The factors used in matching donors with recipients  include blood type, time spent waiting, other important medical information,... Read More

Low Gluten or No Gluten?

March 21st, 2019

Today, about three million Americans are gluten free, 72 per cent of whom are classified as PWAGs: people without celiac disease avoiding gluten. Aside from celiac disease, there are other conditions impacted by gluten in the diet–rheumatoid arthritis, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and other autoimmune disorders. Gluten is a mixture of two different proteins present in cereal grains, especially wheat, rye, and barley. For those with sensitivities, gluten causes inflammation and damage in the intestinal tracts and other parts of the body. One in 133 people have celiac disease, an autoimmune disease... Read More

Three Tips to Spring Clean Your Diet

March 14th, 2019

The spring equinox (also called the March equinox or vernal equinox) falls on Wednesday, March 20, 2019, at 5:58 P.M. EST. This event marks the astronomical first day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere.  Fun fact: the word equinox comes from the Latin meaning “equal night,” referring to the fact that the length of the day and night are nearly equal in most parts of the world. Since spring is almost here for most of us, it’s a great time to think about ways to spruce up our eating habits a bit.  Here are three ways to refine your diet this spring. Make small edits to your diet.  We all... Read More

Stroke: Not A Senior Citizen’s Health Issue

March 7th, 2019

This week a 90s heartthrob died of a massive stroke. Luke Perry was a relatively young 52 when he suffered a massive stroke. While that seems quite young, ten percent of strokes happen in adults younger than 45.  The causes are many, but the prevalence of diabetes and obesity are largely to blame as well as smoking or, more rarely, an injury that damages a blood vessel in the brain. A stroke happens when a blood vessel in the brain becomes blocked or bursts. When this happens, the impacted part of the brain starts to die, leading to common symptoms such as numbness or difficulty with speech.  A... Read More

Writing Things Down Is Better for Your Memory

March 1st, 2019

If you are of a certain age, you remember when computers were huge mainframes in the computer science lab, you took a typewriter to college, and you wrote notes by hand in class. Technology has presented us with many modern opportunities to take notes – laptops, tablets, phones, watches.  While we have many options at our disposal, science is proving that the best way to take notes for retaining knowledge is a good, old-fashioned paper and pen. Studies of memory retention using a variety of different tools for note taking show that note-taking by hand improves retention in almost all circumstances.... Read More

Is Breakfast the Most Important Meal of the Day?

February 21st, 2019

Recently, an article in Forbes magazine highlighted a study in Australia that claimed, when it came to weight loss, there was no significant difference in people assigned to skip breakfast and those assigned to eat it. Some in the intermittent fasting community say you should not eat anything before 11AM, so your eating cycle can go on later in the day and make you less likely to break the fast before bedtime. While these assertions may be true, there are some good reasons to eat breakfast. There are studies that show those who eat earlier in the day lose more weight than those who eat later in... Read More

Biosensors Could Make Staying Healthy a Little Easier

February 14th, 2019

If you look closely at a Gatorade commercial featuring Serena Williams called “You Fuel Us, We’ll Fuel You,” you may have noticed she is wearing a small patch.  That patch is a biosensor being used as a health monitor—in this case, by assessing sweat. Biosensors are currently being tested in athletes, but have other applications in the world of health. The sensor itself is a soft, flexible patch that adheres to the skin and is placed directly on the forearm or back. It’s a little larger than a quarter and about the same thickness. Fluids can be collected non-invasively and many... Read More

Three Weird Things That May Predict Heart Disease

February 7th, 2019

It’s February, the month we celebrate matters of the heart. Valentine’s Day aside, February is also American Heart Month and Go Red for Women Day, the American Heart Association’s initiative to increase women’s heart health awareness. What better time to talk about that thing that makes you tick? The Centers for Disease Control identifies cardiovascular disease as the number one killer of Americans. Most Americans know the most common indicators of heart trouble, such as high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, weight, and diabetes. Instead of sharing traditional heart health tips,... Read More

Facts About Food That Can Influence Your Diet

January 30th, 2019
fruits and vegetables

Did you know that a green (unripe) banana confers its own unique health benefits? Green bananas are a good source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals, and contain resistant starch which cannot be broken down by enzymes in your digestive system and, therefore, acts more like fiber. Including foods high in resistant starch in your diet may reduce your risk of diabetes and heart disease by aiding in blood sugar control and lowering blood cholesterol levels. Bananas have higher levels of antioxidants as they ripen. Fully ripened bananas produce a substance called Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF). TNF regulates... Read More

What Is the Slow-Carb Diet?

January 24th, 2019
asparagus and steak

Low- and no- carb eating is all the rage these days.  Ditching carbs is tough to do-over the long haul. For starters, adults in the U.S. get about 50 percent of their daily calories from carbohydrates. If you cut out all carbs, you’ll have to give up fruits, vegetables, whole grains and beans — which are the building blocks of a healthy diet. If you’re a woman, you may be doing yourself a disservice giving up carbs.  For women, particularly peri-menopausal or menopausal women, carbs stimulate serotonin production in the brain. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that governs our mood.  Some... Read More

Monthly Micro Resolutions Can Make Achieving Your Health Goals Easier

January 17th, 2019

Already struggling with your New Year’s resolution?  Most will abandon their resolutions as early as February.  If you feel like you keep setting goals for yourself and then failing to achieve them, instead of doing the same thing (can you say the definition of insanity?), try something new! Micro resolutions are small goals that you can achieve in 30 days or less.  The goal of the micro resolution is that each goal snowballs into the next, creating a pattern for success.  If you don’t accomplish your goal, you start with a clean slate the next month.  Here are some tips for successfully... Read More

Five Tips for Eating Healthy without Breaking the Bank

January 10th, 2019
chicken plate

Did you resolve to eat healthier in 2019?  Eating healthy is one of the most popular New Year’s resolutions, right up there with “spend less money” and “exercise more.” Healthy eating can be expensive if you’re on a tight budget, but it can be done with a little thought and creativity.  Here are some easy tips for eating healthy on a budget: Plan your meals. If you plan your meals, build a shopping list, and only buy what’s on the list, you’ll spend less on stuff you don’t need.  You can save even more if you take a look at what’s on sale at your grocery store... Read More

Four Tips for Staying Up When the Weather Gets You Down

January 3rd, 2019
girl with hand pressed to window

It’s more than just a song lyric—rainy days really can get you down! Weather has a definite effect on our emotions. About 9 percent of people fall into a “rain haters” category, a group that feels angrier and less happy on days with more precipitation.  When it’s dark and dreary, some of us are more susceptible to feeling lonely or down. A lack of sunlight can cause Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD. This mood disorder usually affects people during the months when daylight becomes more scarce. When exposed to less sunlight, your body produces more melatonin, the hormone which... Read More