“Q: How does eating healthy and exercising impact my health?
A: With proper exercise and nutrition, you can control, manage or completely avoid 60-70% of illnesses such as: heart disease, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, diabetes, obesity, high cholesterol, colon cancer, breast cancer, stroke, heart attack, arthritis, etc. Working out improves your confidence and self-esteem. It aids you in getting better sleep and giving you more energy and stamina throughout the day. Exercising slows down the aging process, improves sexual performance and restores libido. Last but not least, a healthy lifestyle builds and maintains healthy bones, muscles and joints while simultaneously increasing your immune system.
Q: How is my social life affecting my health?
A: Being healthy isn’t just a lack of illness; it’s a positive balance between body, mind and soul. In order for your social life to affect your life in a positive way, you need to create a healthy environment to socialize in. Socialize in a physically friendly an environment with walks in the park, meeting in an exercise facility for a class, biking, hiking, volleyball or tennis. Surround yourself with people who believe in healthy lifestyle and encourage your friends to join you. If you need to meet in a restaurant or a bar, choose healthy foods and low calorie drinks to stay on track.”
The American Diabetes Association (ADA) reports that millions of people living in the United States are predisposed to diabetes. They have a form of insulin resistance that precedes type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is a disorder in the body which can’t regulate blood sugar properly. If we include natural healthy foods in our diet they could help our bodies with this deficiency and regulate our blood sugar.
Beans such as pinto, black beans and kidney beans are excellent to help keep blood sugar under control. “They are an excellent source of soluble fiber — a form of fiber that forms a sticky gel inside of your stomach. Beans are known to have a low glycemic index, so they don’t cause the same insulin spike that high glycemic index foods do.”
“Nuts are another source of essential nutrients such as monounsaturated fatty acids, vitamin E and magnesium. A review paper published in the September 2008 issue of the “Journal of Nutrition” notes that several research studies have shown that nuts help curb the blood sugar spikes that often accompany a meal. The paper adds that nuts also reduce the risk of heart disease — a condition that disproportionally afflicts those with insulin resistance. Nuts can be incorporated into your diet by tossing them into green salads, healthy desserts or eaten as a snack.”
Oatmeal can help too as it is high in soluble fiber. A study at the University of Heidelberg and published in the May 2008 issue of “Experimental and Clinical Endocrinology and Diabetes” reveal that those who suffer from type 2 diabetes who consumed oatmeal daily lowered their average insulin and blood glucose levels over a four-week period.
Other sources are fruit and vegetables which are natural nutrient powerhouses and high in vitamin C, thiamine, dietary fiber, potassium and dietary calcium. If we suffer from type 2 diabetes, increasing our fruit and vegetable consumption on a daily bases could boost the blood sugar.
Credit: Ryan Devon
Healthier living is the key and according to those who study aging, the secret to a long and productive life in the United States is to act like you live somewhere else. Word has it that every year some other country’s lifestyle is being touted as having the magic bullet to cure obesity, heart disease, and premature death. For an unclogged heart, some advocate herding goats and downing olive oil like those who live in Mediterranean area. Moreover, that in order to be healthier, avoid breast cancer and live to be a hundred we should gorge ourselves on Japanese tofu; and to be happy we should try hunting elk and searching for cowberries.
To be healthier, some of the places we are being told to emulate “are known as Blue Zones or Cold Spots. Blue Zones were pinpointed by explorer Dan Buettner and a team of longevity researchers and are described in his book The Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer from the People Who’ve Lived the Longest. They’re areas in Italy, Japan, Greece, California, and Costa Rica where the people have traditionally stayed healthier and active to age 100 or older. Similarly, Cold Spots, as identified by integrative medicine physician Daphne Miller, MD, author of The Jungle Effect, are five areas in Mexico, Iceland, Japan, Greece, and Cameroon with low rates of “Western” ailments like heart disease, depression, and certain cancers.”
Me, I would love to eat myself to a long and healthier life. I also love raw vegetables, but since I live in the city of Los Angeles I’m not about to start hunting for those wild and exotic edible plants known to be good for health and longevity. Although, I do admire the “vascular supremacy of the Mediterranean” people, I can’t completely replace the butter that I love with olive oil; nor could I replace the chips and dips and go totally nuts.
To be healthier, it’s crucial “that we all try says David L. Katz, MD, founding director of the Yale Prevention Research Center: “The Centers for Disease Control has projected that one in three Americans will have diabetes by 2050.” I get it - so in order to be healthier, I am going to give it my best shot going forward and strive for a healthier and more meaningful life.
Credit: Valerie Frankel
Garlic is said to have many healing properties that are beneficial to our health, including lower our blood pressure and cholesterol levels, but let’s not risk overdosing on it. Garlic is just one of over 5000 other dietary supplements that individuals take on a daily bases; perhaps you are one of them. The bad news is that very few of the supplements being taken today have been tested enough to see how they interact with prescription drugs that we may be taking. It is a fact, no one really knows what exact combination of garlic and prescription drugs might cause us to have a harsh reaction. This is especially true for the large number of individuals who are taking anti-medication to prevent coagulant or blood clots and a garlic supplement at the same time.
Garlic may be thought of as being harmless but a high dose could act as a blood thinner for those on a prescription drug to prevent blood clotting or hypertension. Depending on the strength of the garlic it could cause the blood to thin and result in excessive bleeding. Also at risk are those taking drugs for depression, infections, cancer treatment or other psychiatric problems; those supplements like Green Tea, Ginseng, Yohimbe, Zinc, Kava, Licorice Root, Melatonin, and Vitamin K could reduce the effectiveness of your prescribed medications. However, studies show that garlic has been used for thousands of years around the world without much side effects or problems, but if eaten in moderation things should be fine. However, eating too much may cause unwanted and undesirable side effects or problems.
So how does one know if they are taking an excessive amount of garlic or other supplements? The individual may experience stomach aches, internal or gastrointestinal bleeding or bleeding in the brain. Those who are prone to such problems are especially at risk. Yet, it is not known how best to treat garlic or other supplemental overdoses unless the supplement is stopped with medication or some procedure. If you think you experience an overdose the best solution, be prudent and seek prompt medical attention.
Credit Sources: Health Benefits of Garlic, History of Garlic and Garlic Facts; Planting Garlic; Harvesting Garlic; Storing and Preserving Garlic & AARP
Heart disease has long been thought of as a problem for men, but more women die of heart disease each year than men. The most common heart attack symptom in women is a type of pain, pressure or discomfort in the chest. However, it’s not always severe and women are more likely than men to have heart attack symptoms that are unrelated to chest pain. It may be something like neck, shoulder, upper back or abdominal discomfort; shortness of breath; nausea and vomiting; sweating; lightheadedness, dizziness or fatigue.
Women have been known to have symptoms that are more subtle than the crushing chest pain often associated with heart attacks. This may be because women tend to have blockages not only in their main arteries, but also in the smaller arteries that supply blood to the heart; a condition called small vessel heart disease or micro-vascular disease.
Often women will show up at the hospital after a huge amount of heart damage has already occurred. Most often this is because their symptoms are not those typically associated with a heart attack. The traditional factors for coronary artery disease such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure and obesity affect women and men, but other factors may play a huge role in the development of heart disease in women. Metabolic syndrome which is revealed by a combination of fat around the middle stomach area/abdomen, high blood pressure, high blood sugar and high triglycerides all have a greater effect on women than men.
Mental stress and depression affect women’s hearts even more than men and depression makes it difficult to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Smoking is also a risk factor for heart disease in women. Low levels of estrogen after menopause also poses a significant risk for developing cardiovascular disease in the smaller blood vessels of the heart.
Credit: Mayo Clinic
Back pain can cost you a bundle but you are not alone. Approximately 80% of adults suffer from some type of back pain at some point in their life. Back pain is among the major reasons that people visit their physicians each year. At the same time, it has become a chronic pain in our wallets. According to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association, those who patients who suffer from back pain need about $6100 worth of medical treatment every year. If you’re one of them it’s very likely that you will be spending big on prescription, doctor visits, copayments or perhaps even surgery.
However, we could all help ourselves and alleviate the pain by making some small adjustment in our lives. Alan Hedge an ergonomics professor at Cornell University suggest that we sit back in our chair and place our computer at arms’ length then keep the elbow tight against the body when using our mouse and keyboard. If that doesn’t help, then perhaps we should check with our employer to see if there is an ergonomist on staff. If so, he might recommend a chair with a more flexible back which could alleviate any strain.
At times, we may be tempted to go in for an MRI at the onset of back pain but it is not recommended. Orthopedic surgeon, Brook Martin suggested waiting a few weeks; moreover that the MRI won’t show muscle strain or pulled ligaments which often times is the reason for the pain. An MRI would more than likely reveal other common issues like bulged disks which might lead to unnecessary surgery. Cheap remedies like ice and ibuprofen often solve the problem. Others caution that surgery is not always a cure all since it cause loss work time and in a good percent of cases the operation is not successful in alleviating the pain.
Credit: Amanda Gengler
According to recent studies, having a vasectomy really has no side effects on the production of testosterone or other hormones. The body can still produces sperm and seminal fluid. Vasectomies are performed under local anesthetic most often in a doctor’s office or clinic. The doctor makes a couple of incisions in the scrotum to lift out each sperm carrying tube “vas deferens” then cut and close thereby blocking the passage of sperm. The vasectomy operation generally takes less than 25 minutes and the man can return to work after two days.
A vasectomy is considered safe, but in about 15% of the cases the surgery brings the risk of chronic genital testicular pain. Up to 6% of these men experience pain so severe that it disables them sexually. At times, the pain doesn’t come until years later and involve testicular pain, pain during erection or ejaculation. The syndrome is difficult to treat and options available include more surgery. A great percentage of the men who have the surgery experience deep regret because a vasectomy is essentially irreversible. Most often, younger men regret it a few years later not being able to father children. Then there are those men who were married, but later divorce regret not being able to start a new family.
Those men with the most chronic conditions of pain frequently feel the vasectomy was the worst decision they ever made. The psychological effects of the vasectomy could cause an increase in masculine behavior as they strive to compensate for the lost ejaculations and increase in the problems in their relationships. This could be especially true in those cases where the partner did not agree to the vasectomy procedure. Another issue with having the vasectomy, after they’ve experienced all of the above, many men aren’t comfortable talking about the problem and many everyday acquaintances don’t feel comfortable hearing about it either; a situation that can lead to isolation and depression.
Credit: Voluntary Assoc for Sterilization
Hiatal hernia, a condition associated with overeating, obesity, and injury to the stomach or a congenital deformity is fairly common especially among older individuals. Hiatal hernia symptoms can involve chronic heartburn, chest pain, difficulty swallowing or indigestion and may be caused by a weakness in the diaphragm which allows the stomach to move up into the chest area alongside the esophagus. Stomach acids are difficult to tolerate by the esophagus and even minor discomfort could cause damage.
A lighter diet and reducing one’s weight could help alleviate the hernia or condition as well as taking antacids and not lying down or bending over right after eating. However, in order for these to work one should avoid raw fruits, vegetables and juices. Elevating one’s head at night to sleep could also help. Some physicians have been known to prescribe medication that neutralize the stomach acids or decrease the production of it in the stomach lining.
If these do not help or further complications develop it may be necessary to opt for surgery to repair the hernia which can be major and may put the individual out of incapacitate one for some time. The Hiatal hernia is eliminated during surgery in the same manner as a repair to the Para-esophageal hernias. Additionally, a part of the upper stomach is placed around the lower sphincter to alleviate pressure and prevent further acid reflux.
Source Credit: medicinenetcom/hiatalhernia/articlehtm
Many individuals in society today are stressed to the point of no return, but don’t have the time or energy to travel constantly from home to the office of a therapist. The good news is that in today’s cyber world it is possible to gain sessions of needed therapy via the internet or Skype. This is a therapy practice that is gaining respect and a wide audience as we move forward into the 21st century. Some hospitals have even begin studies on how telemedicine might help them with their older patients who are home bound and suffer from depression.
More importantly, online therapy and messaging help many providers follow up with other patients who might be on antidepressants because of mental illness; unemployment; loss of a love one; divorce; separation; etc. While many insurers won’t pay for videoconference (under some circumstances Medicare will). Nevertheless, with one in about every four Americans needing psychologically or mental counseling video therapy is proving to be more than helpful in many situations.
Some say that video therapy can be as effective as a regular in person session. If you are at all interested or know someone who may need help you can find therapists at breakthrough.com or etherapywebcom.
Source Credit: Christina Ianzito – AARP
Are you one of the thousands of individuals who are seeking ways to get rid of acne scars, blemishes or spots in the hopes of having that clear beautiful skin that you’ve been longing for? Perhaps you have tried the micro dermabrasion or skin chemical peels for your acne which can be quite expensive and very uncomfortable. On the other hand, perhaps you’re like me and have tried those homemade remedies that are supposed to work like oatmeal paste, strawberry leaves, cinnamon and honey, etc. Some of us may even go to the extremes and drink a gallon of water each day which is supposed to keep us hydrated and flush all the impurities out – to no avail.
Me, I’ve tried Aloe Vera, green teas, sulfur, sage extract and a ton of different acne creams and lotions, including Proactive but none of them worked. Then my friend Carla told me about something else, a blue light therapy or the acne light treatment by Tanda Skincare. The Luxe device is quite costly, but the daily self-treatments can be done at home and significantly reduce acne, and wrinkles. So at this point in my life, I thought forget the money – go for it – since there is almost nothing I wouldn’t do to keep my skin fresh and flawless.
A handful a day will suffice. Nuts can be one of the best ways to fight disease because of all the antioxidants and protein that they contain. Recent studies done at the University of Toronto showed that by replacing 50 grams of carb from one’s diet each day with 2.5 ounces of nuts could help control blood glucose in those with type 2 diabetes. This same amount in our daily diet could also reduce bad LDL cholesterol by as much as 7%. A woman’s risk of breast cancer can be cut in half by eating the exact same amount. Several servings a week could also reduce an individual’s cardiovascular risk by as much as 74% and there is no need to be concerned about the high fat content. According to the Nurse’s Health Study from the Harvard School of Public Health, individuals who consume a couple of servings a week have a lower risk of obesity than those who eat nuts less frequently or not at all. Nuts as a snack between meals can help us feel fuller thereby decreasing hunger and the desire for junk food. So next time you feel hungry rather than splurging on fast food - grab a handful of nuts, but remember don’t eat too many.
Most often a sore throat is caused by viruses which cannot be treated with antibiotics like penicillin.
Therefore we should avoid antibiotics unless we are certain there is a bacterial infection. You may ask why? – The side effects are unpredictable and a heavy reliance on drugs can create an allergic reaction to them. On the other hand, overexposure to drugs or antibiotics could enable germs to grow and develop a resistant to the various strains. In order to differentiate between a viral and a bacterial infection a throat culture or swab of the infected mucus area should be taken by a physician and sent for testing. This type of illness can normally be cured with lots of rest and by drinking plenty of hot liquids. However, over the years I have found that gargling with a mouthwash or salt water does nothing to cure an infected throat. Nor does anesthetic sprays or lozenges, but they may ease the pain a bit; nevertheless, they do nothing for the infection.
Source: Ear, Nose & Throat Book, Stanley Farb, MD
Skin Moles: Skin moles are generally benign or non-cancerous. Nevertheless changes in one can mean the onset of melanoma or cancer. One can be alert for warning signs by noticing changes in size, shape or texture of the skin. There may even be redness around the mole area or bleeding.
Cancer and Exercise: People who don’t exercise regularly contract the disease seven times more than those who exercise according to a study by German scientists. Moreover, their experiments showed that tumor cancer growths were twice as high in sedentary people as opposed to other individuals who spent at least 20 minutes a day on the treadmill.
Sex and Cancer: “Sexual activity may also help prevent prostate cancer. The theory is that sex hormones build up during abstinence and possibly reduce the prostate cells’ immunity significantly.”
Colon Cancer: Studies show that the primary victims of colon cancer are adults over the age of 40 and it mostly affects those who have polyps or inflammatory bowel disease or a family history of the disease. Therefore, early detection is imperative because in most cases by the time that discomfort is felt the disease is likely to be beyond curing. Studies also show that those who shun coffee, tea and alcohol have substantially lower rates of the disease that the rest of the population.
A “world of water” can be a wonderful place if you’re fit; but if you’re not, it can still be wonderful but not so great. People will look at you funny and wonder why you’re still fat – why you don’t go on a diet or take care of yourself better. They don’t realize that perhaps there is a problem with your thyroids or that it’s heredity and that fat runs in the family and is part of your genes. But they don’t really care about that, all they see is that you’re fat and that you are not one of them.
A probable solution, start drinking water – a lot of it. Drink water whenever you think about it – try to consume at least 96 ounces a day. It will curve your appetite and flush the toxins from your body as well as cause the pounds to fall off. Water is our body’s “most important nutrient, it’s involved in every bodily function, and makes up 70- 75%” of our body.” Drinking lots of it is followed by weight loss because it helps the digestive tract process foods; at the same time staves off hunger. If we don’t drink enough water our bodies become dehydrated and we eat more. When we drink water we hydrate ourselves, thus suppressing the appetite and eating less.
Water is a must; if we don’t drink enough of it we’re naturally going to gain weight or find it harder to lose simply because we are denying our body what it so desperately needs. S0 drink more - you’ll find yourself eating less and suddenly you’ll be one who wonders why those other people don’t take better care of themselves better.