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Sunday - August 1, 2021

Archive for the ‘ Health & Wellbeing ’ Category

 

Three Weird Things That May Predict Heart Disease

August 1st, 2021

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. For their treatment, you can get discount prescription... Read More

Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.

July 31st, 2021

Recently, a friend of mine posted on social media that he was considering a plant-based diet to reduce his risk of heart disease.  What does that means for those of us who are omnivores – eaters of food that are of both plant and animal origin? Is it necessary to eschew animal protein to have a healthy heart? Michael Pollan, author of The Omnivore’s Dilemma and Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual, among others, has been an outspoken critic of both America’s obsession with healthy eating and American food policy.  In 2009, Mr. Pollan spoke to a room full of CDC scientists about how and why... Read More

Biosensors Could Make Staying Healthy a Little Easier

July 30th, 2021

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

Facts About Food That Can Influence Your Diet

July 29th, 2021
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

Move Over Kale, Sea Greens Are the New Super Food

July 28th, 2021

Sea greens, also known as sea vegetables, are a group of foods in the seaweed family, that grow in the ocean. If you eat Japanese food you may be familiar with some sea greens – nori, the dark green wrapper on your sushi, or kombu, a common ingredient in miso soup. If you think you’ve never had seaweed, think again! Agar, a gelatinous substance that comes from red seaweed is used as a thickener in many foods. Sea vegetables are some of the most nutrient-packed foods on earth, packed with fiber vitamins and minerals. They are beneficial to us because they slow the aging process by promoting... Read More

Soup IS Good Food

July 28th, 2021

Researchers think Tom Yum Gung, a zesty Thai soup, might have cancer-fighting ingredients as well as good taste. Also called hot and sour soup, Tom Yum Gung is a shrimp soup with herbal ingredients like coriander, lemon grass, lime leaves and even galangal roots, a pungent root similar to ginger. A recent joint study by Thailand’s Kasetsart University and Japan’s Kyoto and Kinki Universities has found that the ingredients in Tom Yum Gung soup are 100 times more effective in inhibiting cancerous tumor growth than other foods. Soup has long been thought to have health enhancing properties.... Read More

The Physical Activity Formula for Those With Sedentary Jobs

July 27th, 2021

Perhaps you’ve heard that sitting is the new smoking?  Sitting all day is not good for our health.  We’ve actually known this, from a public health perspective, for over 60 years. Back in the 50s, researchers studied men (yes, not much research done with women in those days) who had jobs that required them to sit, compared to those who were standing or walking during the work day. The study showed that the rates of illness and early death were highest among those who were the least active. As we are now a society of desk jockeys, it makes sense that scientists would revisit this... Read More

The Loss of Everything You Know

July 26th, 2021

My mother has dementia. When I talk to her it is like talking to a pre-school age child — stream of consciousness-style ramblings of reality mixed with fantasy. It is disturbing to compare this woman to the person my mother was before dementia.  She was smart, witty, and quite opinionated.  She was a modern woman who was still quite old-fashioned; a unique woman for her generation. Dementia is not a disease, but rather a group of symptoms caused by other conditions.  Dementia causes problems with thinking, memory, and reasoning, happening when the parts of the brain used for learning,... Read More

What Is Your Big WHY?

July 25th, 2021

Every new year brings with it resolutions, goals, intentions – whatever you want to call it.  In short, we make plans for how to be better versions of ourselves.  I’d like to suggest that we think differently about the new year by considering our big WHY? Your big why is something you plug into emotionally that drives you when things get tough. It’s not a wish or a goal, it’s something that will change your life or others around you or do something for you that really matters to your soul. It’s your purpose. If you made a resolution, you may already be feeling like you should... Read More

The Lazy Human’s Guide to Exercise

July 24th, 2021

Exercise can seem daunting, exhausting or downright impossible if you are busy…and who isn’t busy? Time and gym access are the two biggest excuses Americans cite for not working out.  Research conducted at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada, suggests that taking the stairs 30 minutes a week can give our body adequate exercise for good health. Stair climbing is a rigorous activity and previous research has found climbing stairs can burn calories two to three times faster than just walking. In the McMaster study, 17 healthy men, average age 64, were asked to walk, lift weights, and climb... Read More

What About Your Diet?

July 23rd, 2021

There is no perfect diet for everyone, in spite of what you might have heard.  It seems the human body can adapt to almost any diet and survive, even thrive!  Consider the diet of the Inuit, the people indigenous to polar locations such as Siberia, Alaska, Canada, and Greenland. Theirs is a mostly meat diet, and yet they are a hardy population who consume few to no vegetables in their diet. In the US, experts recommend a diet largely focused on healthy grains, fruits and vegetables.  Most Americans don’t get the recommended 5 servings per day, and even fewer eat the 5-9 servings that is considered... Read More

Sleep Care Is the New Self Care

July 22nd, 2021

While at work a few weeks back, some of my co-workers and I talked about the pesky cold that seems to be going around as some of the COVID-19 restrictions have lifted.  We all mutually didn’t feel so hot, and it started to become apparent that something was spreading. All of us could name at least two peers that had been sick, and now it was sneaking up on us, too. In the last several years, I can hardly remember a time that I felt truly sick. I haven’t run a fever since I was a child, and my immune system has always been super solid – as long as I’m properly taking care of myself.  Summer... Read More

Column: How the Effects of the Pandemic Inspired a Year of Self-Growth

July 8th, 2021

I can still remember exactly where I was when news broke that most, if not all, colleges and universities nationwide were closing campuses due to the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic. It was the most normal of evenings as I sat at the desk in my dorm room, writing a research essay for one of my journalism classes and arranging weekend plans with friends over the phone. A mix of shock, confusion, and excitement filled the dormitory halls as the freshmen students at Emerson College checked their emails to find out that classes were being moved online and talk of shutting down resident buildings was... Read More

Time to Feel Better: 5 Easy Circadian Rhythm Reset Secrets

June 22nd, 2021

Do you continuously wake up at 5AM and feel thoroughly rested—officially ready to start your day? If you do, it’s likely that you’ve established strong sleep-wake routines that keep your circadian rhythm(s) in check. For those that answered a firm no, it might be time to reconsider switching up or completely replacing some of your daily rituals. Why? How much sleep we get and when we get it correlates directly with our metabolic health and overall liveliness in the long run. If you want to feel and perform at your best (But really, who would say no to that?), read on for some circadian rhythm... Read More

3 Reasons to Read Food Labels 

June 16th, 2021

Recently, I had dinner at my favorite Mexican restaurant.  Usually I get a meal and don’t have room for the sopapilla that comes with it, but this time I took the sopapilla home to eat later. When I was ready to eat it, I was surprised to see that the “honey” for the sopapilla was not honey at all. It was fake honey made with corn syrup. I happened to have some locally source honey at home and used that instead of the faux honey. This is just one of the reasons it’s important to read labels. If you’re trying to change your life by eating fewer processed foods, less sugar, or any number... Read More

In A Clench? It’s Not Good For Your Teeth.

June 10th, 2021

If you ever wake up in the morning with a tight or sore jaw, fatigue, or sensitive teeth, you could be grinding or clenching your teeth at night.  The condition, known as bruxism, can lead to headaches and dental problems. Teeth grinding can be caused by stress and anxiety,  and it often occurs during sleep, caused by an abnormal bite or missing or crooked teeth. More importantly, bruxism can be caused by sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the throat muscles relax during the night, blocking the airway and interrupting breathing. About 25% of people with obstructive sleep... Read More

Three Ways Technology is Improving Your Healthcare

May 10th, 2021

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines health technology as “the application of organized knowledge and skills in the form of devices, medicines, vaccines, procedures and systems developed to solve a health problem and improve quality of lives.” We live in an era where technology touches our lives almost everywhere, but in terms of healthcare, we have more access than ever to our healthcare providers and tools to guide our personal health strategy.  For example, mobile apps give us access to price comparisons for prescription medicines. Fitness devices and apps can give us feedback on... Read More

How to Breakup with Your Couch, or The Science of Motivation

April 6th, 2021

What is it that makes it so challenging to peel oneself off the couch and workout? Who are these crazies who jump out of bed at 5 a.m. and run in the cold, crepuscular morning hours? Or who get in a power hike after work when the rest of us want nothing more than to go home and veg. What powers these people, and how do we bottle it? It seems like it should be enough to merely want to exercise—to want to look better; to want a more toned body; to want to control high blood pressure or diabetes; to want to be healthier. But, as anyone who has chosen the couch over the treadmill can attest, wanting... Read More

8 Super Foods to Bring Out Your Inner Super Human

April 1st, 2021

If you’re looking to eat right and feel great at the same time, there are some foods that you should consider adding to your menu. While there are plenty of healthy foods out there that you can choose from, the foods listed in this article are some of my favorites. They are all super nutritious and will help you to maintain robust health and a strong physique. These foods will also enhance your body’s health from the inside to the outside!   Chia seeds – A powerhouse of vitamins and nutrients, chia seeds are also a great alternative to the more processed grains you may be faced... Read More

Are Optimists Healthier Than Pessimists?

March 30th, 2021

Are you a glass half-full person? In other words, are you hopeful and confident about the future?  If so, you might be healthier than your friends who believe that the worst will happen. Many studies have reported that optimism influences health. Among the findings:   Highly pessimistic men were three times more likely to develop hypertension. People with positive emotions had lower blood pressures. The most pessimistic men were more than twice as likely to develop heart disease compared with the most optimistic.   It is hard to know if optimism is the result of good health, or if... Read More