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June 13, 2011

Lowering Triglycerides Levels

Recent studies have shown that borderline patients with high levels of triglyceride can lower triglycerides with a change in lifestyle and a change in diet. Triglycerides are a form of fat in the bloodstream that can rise if someone is overweight, inactive, a smoker, consumes too much alcohol, or eats a diet high in carbohydrates.

Experts from a screening study demonstrated that people who have less than a 100mg/dL of triglycerides are the healthiest and that these levels are optimal. Borderline triglyceride patients have levels between 150-199mg/dL. Borderline patients should consider losing 5% of their body weight and limit their calorie intake as well as limiting sugars to less than 10% of their total intake. Weight loss has shown valuable changes on lipids and lipoproteins. With 5-10% loss of body weight comes with positive benefits such as a 20% reduction of triglycerides along with a 15% decrease in LDL cholesterol and 8-10% decrease in HDL cholesterol.

There has been a lot of confusion with how triglycerides can be controlled and how much it actually affects the cardiovascular system. Borderline patients are recommended to consume no more than 100g of fructose from processed foods. Fruits and vegetables that are low in fructose, such as strawberries, grapefruit, bananas, and peaches, should be eaten. A diet that consists of high fiber whole grains and healthy unsaturated fats such as omega-3 fatty acids is also strongly encouraged. As for exercise, at least 150 minutes per week should to help reduce triglycerides.

May 16, 2011

Dealing with Seasonal Allergies

Filed under: allergies — Tags: , , — Kcondon @ 4:56 pm

Woman sneezing in fieldIf the warmer temperatures and the blooming flowers haven’t clued you in, the arrival of seasonal allergies is sure to let you know that spring is here. If the symptoms have notoriously let loose upon you, don’t lose hope; you’re not the only one. Patients experience seasonal allergy symptoms such as runny nose, irritated eyes, and congestion. To prevent or reduce the occurrence of seasonal allergies with the additional aid of allergy medication , there are a number of simple “at home” measures one can put to the test.

Looking out for high pollen counts : Before heading outside, plan ahead and check the local pollen count. Avoiding the outdoors when the pollen count is high is a definite way to greatly reduce the severity of seasonal allergies especially if pollen is an allergen for you. Pollen counts are usually higher during mid day, 10 am to 2 pm, although factors including humidity and location affect the pollen count as well. When the pollen count is higher avoid going outside. Planning outdoor activities when the pollen count is low will help you enjoy your day without the interference of allergies.

Keeping Clean : After being outside, change your clothes, and take a shower. This will minimize your exposure to outdoor allergens. This is most beneficial if you happen to step out when the pollen count is high

Use the Dryer: If you don’t suffer from seasonal allergies, hanging your clothes outside to dry is a commendable method of saving energy. For the rest of you, it is best if you use the dryer because hanging laundry outside will cause a large build up of allergens on your clothes.

Good Housekeeping : If you also suffer from year-round allergies, then it is best to prevent them from occurring as well because when it comes to allergies, the more is not the merrier. Typical year-round allergies, often caused by allergens such as dust and mold, are best avoided when there is no place for accumulation of said allergens. Mold typically accumulates in the bathroom; thus, to avoid mold growth, leave the fan running up to thirty minutes after a shower or baths. Reduce clutter in your home lest the amount of objects that dust can settle on.

The Benefits of Music

Music is part of our everyday lives. We hear it in the elevator, in the malls, and while we drive. We think of music as something to dance or relax to when it is actually much more than that. A study done by Michael Miller, M.D., director of the preventive cardiology at the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore, shows that music has many more health benefits that you think.

Music can help to lower blood pressure naturally. A recent study indicates that listening to music such as classical or Celtic music can assist in lowering blood pressure as much as cutting salt out of your diet or losing a few pounds can. Music can lower the risk of heart disease from 5-15%. Although music should not replace any blood pressure medication or exercise, it can always help! It is not known if music has long term effects.

Music that has a strong beat can sync your brainwaves which can increase alertness and sharpen concentration. The change in brainwave activity allows the brain to shift speeds when necessary. Music with a slower tempo brings upon a calm state of mind and improves the ability to focus long after listening to music.

Music can also slow down our breathing and our heart rate. This causes your body to relax, which prevents chronic stress from occurring. Music can result in a positive state of mind which can help to overcome depression and anxiety. People who have suffered depression felt like they could control the pain with music. Music naturally releases endorphins which act like a natural pain killer. Music distracts someone from pain which encourages relaxation.

Listening to soothing music for at least half an hour a day can help reduce stress. Moreover, listening to music while falling asleep can ensure that we get the sleep we need by taking away stress, depression, and anxiety that we might take to our beds from a tough day. Music can also boost exercise performance and can increase energy.

It is now easy to see that music is not just here to keep us entertained while driving to work; it is so much more than that. With so many benefits for our health and mind, it’s no wonder there’s music everywhere we go.

May 10, 2011

Soap-and-Water Cleanser Can Reduce Skin Infections in Wrestlers

Filed under: skin care — Tags: , , , — sgordon @ 7:00 pm

According to researchers at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, 97% of university wrestlers can reduce their risk of skin infection by using soap-and- water cleansing wipes.

Dr. Anderson, a family physian, came up with a theory that if athletes were to use medicated skin wipes after each match, the number of skin infections could be reduced.  Dr Anderson, also a team physician for Gopher wrestling team, studied 151 high school athletes who engaged in two weekend tournaments in January and February(up to 5 matches per day). The athletes were asked to use 75% isopropyl alcohol wipe, a soap-and water- based cleansing body wipe, or nothing at all.

The results concluded that without the skin wipe, 15.7% of all athletes developed a skin infection or a rate of 512.8 to exposure. Of the boys who were asked to use the alcohol wipes, 8.9% developed an infection. For those who used the soap-and-water wipe, 1.8% became infected. Infections are very common during wrestling season. Athletes only shower at the end of the day; therefore pathogens transfer between the matches and remain on their skin for 10 to 12 hours. This can cause problems, especially if over time the rises of matches increase further. Over the past 30 years, the numbers of matches for high school wrestlers have increased by 50% to 60%. The more matches there are, the more likely athletes will develop infections.

Infections seen in wrestlers include: herpes gladiatorum, and Staphylococcus.

February 12, 2011

Coconut Water Craze

Filed under: Nutrition — Tags: , , — sgordon @ 12:50 am

Coconut Water, “Natures Energy Drink” is becoming quite a popular health drink that we see more and more people experimenting with. Celebrities too are becoming quite accepting of this new drink, as well as supporting to its multimillion dollar industry now.

Coconut water, found in an immature green coconut is abundant with minerals and nutritional traits. Coconut liquid is the purest of all waters and is fat free, low in calories(46 calories), excellent in hydration ( 600 mg of Carbohydrates), so no wonder its becoming high in demand.

Coconut liquid contains more electrolytes (conducts electricity) than in any fruit, vegetables juices or sports drinks available in stores, and contains salts, sugars and vitamins needed for a healthy athlete. It provides athletes with a quick nutrition source for quick energy needed. It is made up of copper, sulfur and phosphorus which are necessary to correct any electrolyte imbalances in the body. A proper amount of electrolytes is necessary for appropriate heart and nerve functions, coordination, absorption of fluids, and muscle control. Cocunut fluids also contain the proper amount of vitamin c to meet the bodies daily requirement in the body, as well as other vitamins such as niacin, pantothenic acid, biotin, riboflavin, folic acid and thiamin. It even contains 600mg of potassium per serving! Coconut fluids contain an abundant amount of vitamins and minerals.

Drinking coconut water improves digestion, improves calcium amount, and absorption of magnesium. Magnesium absorption is needed to support the development of strong bones and teeth, and protects the body against chance of developing osteoporosis . Osteoporosis is a disease in which the bones are brittle and can fracture easily. Drinking coconut water boosts the immune system, stops fatigue, controls diabetes, eases stomach pain, assists in proper circulation, improves intestinal health and prevents hypertension (elevated high blood pressure).

Could this new health drink offer you anything better? Well, for those who enjoy drinking, you may be ecstatic that it can cure hangovers too! Remember those unpleasant symptoms after drinking a lot of alcohol? Symptoms such as headaches, nausea, body aches, dizziness, loss of appetite, sensitivity to light, and thirst? Well, that unpleasant feeling can be avoided by drinking a good amount of coconut juice. It’s hard to function properly when your body is hurting all over, but with coconut water you can function much better. The key to cure hangovers has always been hydration, and with the extensive amount of hydration offered through drinking coconut water, it might be worth to try. Drinking coconut water  rehydrates the body, as well as offers lots of potassium, which alcohol depletes your body of. So next time you are suffering from a hangover, resort to drinking coconut water; it can help!

January 25, 2011

Depression During Pregnancy Can Be Unsafe For Unborn Baby

Filed under: Pregnancy — Tags: , , , — sgordon @ 10:28 pm

Pregnancy DepressionA new study finds that babies born to mothers who are depressed during pregnancy have higher levels of stress hormones, decreased muscle tone, and other neurological and behavior differences.  This means that infants are either more sensitive to stress or are less able to shut down their stress responses.

Lead Investigator Dr. Delia M. Vasquez and her colleagues conducted a study, that included 154  pregnant woman, over the age of 20, whose depressive symptoms, were addressed during their 28,32, or 37th week of pregnancy. Their depressive symptoms were also looked at after the birth. Umbilical cord blood was taken at birth to measure the levels of stress hormones, and at 2 weeks, the infants underwent neurobehavioral tests. Neurobehavioral tests assess the infant’s motor skills, and responses to stress.

A clinical director of U-M’s Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Section, Dr Sheila Marcus, stated it’s difficult to say what the differences in babies born to mothers with depression, if it is a possible or negative thing. She also said that it is hard to determine what the impact will be as they age, but they are looking into differences in risk markers.  With the knowledge of these risk markers, will the physicians know which women need more attention during pregnancy or what woman will benefit from postpartum programs.

It is important that pregnant women who show signs of depression contact a therapist because up to one in five women experience depression during pregnancy.

The Super Pomegranate!

Filed under: Nutrition — Tags: , , , — sgordon @ 10:24 pm

A pomegranate is a unique fruit in comparison to many of the others. It consists of a hard exterior which protects the pomegranate seeds embedded inside.Pomegranates have been used in many literary works as a symbol of fertility and marriage. There have been numerous myths written based on pomegranates! People in the early ages even believed in the pomegranate’s ability to heal and restore health.

In this century, pomegranates are considered to be one of the healthiest fruits out there. Pomegranates contain an abundance of vitamins and other beneficial properties. These consist of: antioxidants, folic acid, iron, and more.

The antioxidants aid the heart by lowering plaque buildup in the arteries. Plaque buildup can cause high blood pressure or even worse conditions such as heart attack or stroke. There are numerous other types of heart conditions that can occur. Reducing plaque in the blood vessels allows proper blood flow.  In addition, pomegranates have been found to lower levels of LDL (low density lipoprotein) cholesterol.

Drinking about ¼ cup of pomegranate juice regularly allows for good circulation and control of blood pressure. Better yet, it has also been found that pomegranates can help prevent certain cancers like lung cancer, breast cancer, and prostate cancer.
Pomegranates are also a great source of fiber. The fiber is found in the pomegranate seeds. Just a half cup serving of pomegranate seeds provides about five grams of fiber. That’s 20% of the recommended daily intake of fiber!
Moreover, pomegranates have the ability to reduce inflammation. For this reason eating pomegranates can be especially beneficial for arthritis patients. It has also been found that pomegranates are able to stop cartilage from progressively deteriorating.

Despite all the benefits of pomegranates, they are still not eaten to as large of a scale as other fruits. It’s “[A pomegranate] a day that keeps the doctor away!” Some even believe that eating pomegranates when you are sick can get rid of the common cold. It’s up to you to determine whether this is a myth or not. Try it for yourself!

December 17, 2010

The Best Ways to Keep Your Skin Smooth For Winter

Filed under: skin care — Candace @ 6:49 pm

When winter shows up, is your skin ready to handle the cold? Low temperatures, low humidity, and strong winds can diminish the skins natural lipid layer. This layer of skin is what keeps moisture locked in to keep the skin from drying out.

Don’t consistently apply moisture to the skin; that will cause it to dry out faster. Locking moisture in is the best action. During the winter, we use our heaters all the time. Dry air from furnaces and other heating sources cause the skin to lose moisture quickly.

There are a few things you can do to keep your skin from drying out. When using water to wash your hands or take a shower, using lukewarm water instead of hot water will reduce dryness. If you cannot resist the hot showers then try to cut down the amount of time you spend in the shower to help your skin stay healthy. Even though it is cold, avoiding drying chemicals and heat from a hot tub will help your skin. After showering or washing your hands, apply moisturizer while the skin is still damp to lock in moisture. The best lotions would be 100% Shea butter or Cetaphil Lotion. When drying the skin, it is best to pat the skin instead of rubbing as to avoid dryness brought on through friction.

Soaps are a big thing to skin. Avoid using soaps that will dry out your skin. Use soaps that contain glycerin or petroleum such as Aveeno body wash.

To prevent the face from drying out, it is best to exfoliate once a week or every other week. Using a salt or a sugar scrub when the skin is dry will give it a smooth feeling that you cannot resist. Applying face lotion will help your skin as well.

The place on your skin that needs the most attention is your lips. Lips do not hold in as much moisture as the rest of our body, making them dry out faster. Something everyone does, is lick their lips. Licking your lips actually causes them to dry out faster. Using a simple lip balm will keep your lips moisturized for winter. To get dead flakes off of your lips, you can use a tooth brush in a circular motion on your lips to remove dead flakes.

Skin and lips need to be taken care of during the winter. Before you go outside, put on some moisturizer and gloves to keep your skin from drying out. Take care of your skin this winter to stop the itchiness and the redness.

August 17, 2010

Food – An Antidote to Stress

Filed under: Uncategorized — Candace @ 6:00 pm

The biggest health disorder in the USA is stress, which leads to various more serious conditions. To relieve stress all you need to do is eat nutritious food, and do breathing exercises.

Avoid Caffeine! Coffee, tea, chocolate, and soda are all sources of caffeine. Consuming caffeine causes more adrenaline and thus more stress. Caffeine does improve your attentiveness, and increase activity in the muscles, nervous system, and heart. An overdose of caffeine has the same impact as stress would. It is thought that caffeine is linked to hypertension and high cholesterol.

Fish Fish are full of vitamin B6 and B12, both are helpful to keep stress levels down. If a person have a lack of vitamin B12 they are more likely to suffer from depression.

Broccoli – More B vitamins are found in broccoli, as well as folic acid. Folic acid relieves stress and anxiety, panic and depression.

Whole grain – Carbohydrates boost the level of serotonin in your body (the hormone that calms you). Carbs from white bread and pastas will give you a temporary boost, and then a crash while complex carbs take longer to digest and give you a happier sensation

Sushi – Not only do you have the B vitamins from the fish, but also you have the seaweed in the rolls which has magnesium, pantothenic acid, and vitamin B2. All three of these supplements are helpful in reducing stress.

On top of the B vitamins, milk also provides antioxidants that help destroy radicals which are associated with stress.

August 16, 2010

5 Reasons You Should Skip Milk

Filed under: Nutrition — Tags: , , — Candace @ 5:56 pm

Calcium means strong bones and helps us build muscle, but there are other sources of calcium than milk. Milk actually has harmful effects on our health. People with chronic constipation, arthritis, and allergies have had their condition disappear when they stop eating dairy.

Dairy cows aren’t fed healthily – This alters the milk, and can cause health conditions in the cow. Cows are fed soy, corn, cottonseed meal or commercial foods. These contain a lot of bad things; chicken manure, and pesticides are just a couple of the ingredients in dairy cows food.

Pasteurization – Pasteurizing milk means that the milk has been heated to a high enough temperature to kill specific bacteria and stop enzymes. Unfortunately it also destroys vitamins, denatures milk proteins, kills valuable bacteria and encourages pathogens. Calves that are fed pasteurized milk are not healthy and often die young. Pasteurization was started in the 1920’s to stop many diseases started by dirty production methods, but now that production methods have been cleaned up pasteurization is no longer necessary.

Ultra-pasteurized – This is used to kill heat resistant bacteria. It increases the milks shelf life, but lowers it safeness. Ultra-pasteurized milk goes from refrigerated (cold) to above boiling in less than two seconds. This has the same effects as regular pasteurization just to higher effects: less vitamins, more pathogens.

Homogenized – Homogenization breaks down fat pieces so they do not rise to the top. This type of milk is harder to digest. Rather than proteins being digested in the stomach, they are being broken down and absorbed into the bloodstream. These unusual proteins can cause the immune system to be inflamed. Homogenized milk has been known to increase your risk of heart disease.

If you want to drink milk, rather than buying any milk it is suggested to buy pure raw milk from grass-few cows. The problem is not the milk, but rather the processing it goes to from cow to store.

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