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Nutrition and Hormonal Balance

  Good Morning,  Nutrition and Hormonal Balance As an acupuncturist in the area of fertility, I realize tha...

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Saturday, November 26, 2016

A Guide to Good Personal Hygiene

A Guide to Good Personal Hygiene

 Proper grooming and healthy personal habits can help you ward off illnesses and feel good about yourself. Find out which personal hygiene habits should be part of your regular routine.


Mom was right: Good personal hygiene is essential to promoting good health.
Personal hygiene habits such as washing your hands and brushing and flossing your teeth will help keep bacteria, viruses, and illnesses at bay. And there are mental as well as physical benefits. “Practicing good body hygiene helps you feel good about yourself, which is important for your mental health,” notes Donald Novey, MD, an integrative medicine physician with the Advocate Medical Group in Park Ridge, Ill. People who have poor hygiene — disheveled hair and clothes, body odor, bad breath, missing teeth, and the like — often are seen as unhealthy and may face discrimination.
Personal Hygiene: Healthy Habits Include Good Grooming
If you want to minimize your risk of infection and also enhance your overall health, follow these basic personal hygiene habits:
  • Bathe regularly. Wash your body and your hair often. “I’m not saying that you need to shower or bathe every day,” remarks Dr. Novey. “But you should clean your body and shampoo your hair at regular intervals that work for you.” Your body is constantly shedding skin. Novey explains, “That skin needs to come off. Otherwise, it will cake up and can cause illnesses.”
  • Trim your nails. Keeping your finger and toenails trimmed and in good shape will prevent problems such as hang nails and infected nail beds. Feet that are clean and dry are less likely to contract athlete’s foot, Novey says.
  • Brush and floss. Ideally, you should brush your teeth after every meal. At the very least, brush your teeth twice a day and floss daily. Brushing minimizes the accumulation of bacteria in your mouth, which can cause tooth decay and gum disease, Novey says. Flossing, too, helps maintain strong, healthy gums. “The bacteria that builds up and causes gum disease can go straight to the heart and cause very serious valve problems,” Novey explains. Unhealthy gums also can cause your teeth to loosen, which makes it difficult to chew and to eat properly, he adds. To maintain a healthy smile, visit the dentist at six-month intervals for checkups and cleanings.
  • Wash your hands. Washing your hands before preparing or eating food, after going to the bathroom, after coughing or sneezing, and after handling garbage, goes a long way toward preventing the spread of bacteria and viruses. Keep a hygiene product, like an alcohol-based sanitizing gel, handy for when soap and water isn’t available.
  • Sleep tight. Get plenty of rest — 8 to 10 hours a night — so that you are refreshed and are ready to take on the day every morning. Lack of sleep can leave you feeling run down and can compromise your body's natural defenses, your immune system, Novey says.
Personal Hygiene: Poor Hygiene Hints at Other Issues
If someone you know hasn’t bathed or appears unkempt, it could be a sign that he or she is depressed. “When people are sad or depressed, they neglect themselves,” Novey says. Talking about the importance of proper personal hygiene for preventing illnesses and providing personal hygiene items may help some people. Be candid but sensitive and understanding in your discussions, Novey says. Despite your best efforts, your friend or loved one may need professional help. You should encourage them to see a counselor or doctor if their personal hygiene doesn’t improve.

Personal Hygiene: Good Habits Help Keep You Healthy
For most people, good hygiene is so much a part of their daily routines that they think little about it. They bathe, they brush their teeth, visit the dentist and doctor for regular checkups, and wash their hands when preparing or eating food and handling unsanitary items. To keep those you care about healthy and safe, help them learn, and be sure that they are practicing, good personal hygiene.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Want To Keep Some Hand Sanitizer Handy Each Time You Use An ATM, Cautions New Study

New York City is particularly dirty and some of the most shared surfaces of this big city are automated teller machines. Scientists at New York University tested these for microbes as research for a study. The study, published in the journal mSphere and conducted between June and July 2014, took swabs of keypads from 66 ATM machines from Manhattan, Queens, and Brooklyn, ranging from midtown to Flushing to Inwood to Ozone Park in the US.

Specifically, the most common identified sources of microbes on the keypads were from household surfaces such as televisions, restrooms, kitchens and pillows, as well as from bony fish, mollusks and chicken.

"ATM surfaces, potentially retaining microbial signatures of human inhabitants ... are interesting from both a biodiversity perspective and a public health perspective," lead author NYU project scientist Holly M. Bik and her colleagues wrote. They focused on neighborhoods with distinct population demographics, swabbing around for patterns. The goal was to add to the body of work on the "urban microbiome."
It's a big project in New York, given that, as the authors report, the urban surfaces of Manhattan have a greater surface area than the geographic breadth of the island itself.

On one ATM near Brighton Beach, they detected Toxoplasma, the culprit in the infectious disease Toxoplasmosis, that doesn't usually show symptoms but feels like a flu if you have a weakened immune system or are a baby. But, as John Metcalfe reports at CityLab, other findings were even less savory, like protists associated with your intestinal tract, a bug related to the sexually transmitted infection trichomoniasis, "Don't panic just yet," Metcalfe cautions. "The research didn't determine how many of these microbes were still active when collected, and it's possible that many were in such small amounts that they wouldn't be harmful," he says.
Are you someone who washes his hands often and is tagged a psycho by friends? Well, pay no heed to that because you are doing the right thing! This new study gives you enough to refute claims that you're a crazy person.

However, no significant difference was found in the keypads from ATMs located outdoors versus indoors, the researchers noted. Well, till the time researchers are doing their work and digging out more reasons to stay from these bacteria, you might like to keep some hand sanitizer handy.

Friday, November 18, 2016

20 Common Everyday Foods You Should Have to Avoid Vitamin B 12 Deficiency

Are you weak and pale? Do you often feel tired or agitated? Chances are it all stemmed from stress or anxiety. Perhaps a long day at work or due to an irregular sleeping pattern. Yet all of this could be sourced back to a Vitamin B12 deficiency. It is a condition characterized by deficiency of this
Vitamin, which helps carry oxygen throughout your body. Insufficient Vitamin B12 can make you anaemic, rendering you weak and tired almost often.

Whatever you eat, either keeps you or kills you. Your diet or as such, your dietary habits are the primary sources of intake of all the essential nutrients and minerals in the body. And moreover as our bodies do not make vitamin B12, we intake it from the foods and supplements which we regularly consume. Animal-based foods such as meat, milk and eggs are excellent sources of vitamin B12. Although, precisely how much you need and from what you should get it depends on factors such as age, sex and metabolism.

Causes of Vitamin B12 deficiency

There can be other causes of such deficiency, besides a diet. It can also happen if you have certain conditions.

Categorically put, the causes of the deficiency can be divided into 3 parts. Namely:

Inadequate intake:

Heavy drinking is attributed to low vitamin B12 levels.A strict vegetarian diet over a prolonged period of time can also cause this deficiency.

A condition that causes thinning of the stomach lining, known as Atrophic gastritis, is known to cause B12 deficiency.Pernicious anaemia, a condition marked by lack of vitamin
B12, leads to lowered productions of red blood cellsPost gastrectomy (a procedure which requires the removal of the stomach, either partially or as a whole)Certain immune and neurodegenerative disorders such as Grave’s disease (an auto-immune disease of the thyroid gland) or lupus (a group of diseases characterized by an inflammation of one’s skin) can also lead to vitamin B12 deficiency.Certain medications contain acid reducing compounds which can also cause such deficiencyIntestinal diseases such as celiac disease (a condition in which digesting food becomes troublesome because of the small intestine’s sensitivity to gluten) or Crohn’s disease (marked by inflammation of the intestines) can be responsible as well.

 Defective Transport:

A genetic disorder known as Transcobalamin deficiency can also lead to this deficiency. This disorder damages the circulation of ‘Cobalamin’ or Vitamin B12 throughout the body.

Symptoms of this deficiency are quite apparent. Signs of this condition resemble anaemic symptoms as a lack of vitamin B12 directly leads to anaemia.
The following are some of the typical signs of this condition: 

Weakness and fatigueFrequent palpitations and difficulty in breathingDry and pale skinA smooth, slippery tongueNumb and tingling nerves and bouts of light-headednessLoss of appetiteGas, diarrhoea or constipationFrequent mood swings, memory loss and behavioural problemsGreying of hair, though a rare condition, can happen in the event of a vitamin B12 deficiency

In severe cases, you may experience difficulty while walking. Infants born to vegan mothers, who are entirely breastfed, can be at a risk of anaemia, weakness and associated physical developmental delays.

The condition is easily diagnosable through a blood test. It has been also observed that the risk of vitamin B deficiency increases with the age of an individual.

Preventing Vitamin B12 deficiency

You may avoid this deficiency by including the right ingredients in your diet. Having a healthy combination of leafy vegetables and animal based foods such as eggs, meat and fish can help balance the vitamin B12 levels in the body. Because B12 is an essential nutrient for improved red blood cell production and nerve function, foods rich in the vitamins are also known as brain foods.Some commonly available foods that you should eat your way to a smarter living include:

Animal based meats such as beef and lean chicken are an excellent source of vitamin B12.Sea foods such as fishes and clams provide vitamin and essential nutrients.Eggs, which can be used with a variety of salads and soups, are also rich in B12. Other dairy based foods such as cheese and milk also help.Other kinds of generic foods such as whey powder, low-fat buttermilk, rice milk, liver sausagesand even veggie burgers are also replete with this Vitamin.

Consuming the above mentioned multi-vitamin foods does help the body absorb essential nutrients. Yet, having the right combination of foods is necessary for enjoying all the benefits. Moreover, there are several subcategories for each of these vitamins such as B1, B2, B7, B12 etc.The top 20 foods that help you avoid Vitamin B12 deficiency have been enumerated below. For the sake of convenience, they are categorised according to their types.

They include:

Animal based foods

Not only is the mammal liver loaded with nutritional ingredients, it is also a storehouse of vitamin B12.  Packed with minerals and energy, it helps increase muscle strength, libido and brain functions.


As previously cited, eggs are easily available and are very good sources of vitamin B12. A yolk of a single egg contains about 300 grams of vitamin B complex. Moreover, it contains 6 grams of protein and 9 essential amino acids which help the body in various ways, the most significant of those being keeping heart diseases at bay and strengthening the immune system.


Pork, when consumed in moderate amounts, can be a very good energizer, besides being a good source of vitamin B12.


Not only is Turkey meat low in fat, but is also rich in nutrients that are required to control the levels of cholesterol. It helps reduce chances of cancer and cardiac ailments.

Lean chicken and beef

Chicken, lamb and mutton are good sources of vitamin B12. Beef or in general red meat, in controlled quantities,suppliesyour body with around 6 micrograms of vitamin B12 which is more than adequate for your daily requirements. 

Organic substances such as vegetables are also rich in B12. Some of the different vegetables rich in B12 include:

Sprouted Alfalfa

The classic American sprout is delicious as well as nutritious. Widely used in sandwiches and salads, these thread-like sprouted veggies are an excellent source of vitamin B12.


Mushrooms are a good source of this vitamin. B12 is one of the complex and large vitamins present in mushrooms as compared to the other chemically simple vitamin B forms.

Cereals and Soy products

Bran and soy based cereals, in particular, are excellent plant-based source of vitamin B12. Don’t forget to include soy based cakes, burgers and sauces in your daily diet.


Look no further! Did you know that the humble potato is packed with Vitamin B12? With the different types of potatoes and the wide of variety of dishes they can be incorporated into, potatoes could just be the perfect remedy for a B12 deficiency.


Popularly known as beet, beetroot is considered as a popular superfood because of its high nutrition content. In addition to being rich in vitamin B12, this vegetable is packed with the goodness of iron, magnesium and potassium.

Fruits are not only delicious but are also a popular source of vitamins and minerals. Some of the B12 rich vitamins are:


This energy-rich fruit is also a nutrition vault. Due its availability and low price, it is one of the most highly cultivated fruits in the tropical and sub-tropical regions. Along with being B12 rich, it also has a high calorie content.


Mango is a widely popular fruit in India. Cultivated widely, it comes in different shapes and tastes. The fruit is rich in vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants and also offer protection against cancer.


Apart from being a rich source of nutrients, vitamins and minerals, this bright coloured winter fruit is a good laxative. It reduces cholesterol level and is a recommended source of vitamin B complex (Vitamin B12 complex refers to the different types of vitamins).


An apple a day keeps the doctor away; this old adage is no fluff. Apple is a rich repository of anti-oxidants and is a proven detoxifying agent. It is rich in vitamin B12 and helps maintain a glowing skin.


Blueberries, besides being popular anti-oxidants, also have a high nutritional content. These have different types of vitamin B complex groups which are also good for the metabolic system. 

Daily intake of fish is called to counter certain diseases. You may be advised for 1-2 weekly servings of fish if you are deficient in vitamin B12. 

Sea foods and fish

This fresh water fish is not only a good source of vitamin B12 but is also packed with Omega 3 fatty acids, the same acids that keep your ticker, hale and ‘hearty’.


An average cup of sardines provides 310 calories of energy along with being a key contributor of essential nutrients and vitamins.

Crabs and crustaceans

Crabs and lobsters are popular seafood. Apart from being a joy to your taste buds, they are also generously packed with essential vitamins. The average crab has 9.7 micrograms of vitamin B12 in it.


Many molluscs fall under the category of top B12 rich foods. Oysters and scallops are the most popular delicacies within this group.


Possibly the best vitamin B12 food among its habitat counterparts, 3 shellfish clams provide around 84 micrograms of vitamins, the major ones being Vitamin B7 and B12.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

6 Ways to Boost Women's Health

6 Ways to Boost Women's Health

 Women's health concerns are a little different from those of men. If you're a woman, these tips will soon have you feeling fit and energetic.



To look and feel your best at every age, it’s important to make smart lifestyle and health choices. Here are six simple things that women can do every day (or with regularity) to ensure good health:

Health Tip #1: Eat a healthy diet. “You want to eat as close to a natural foods diet as you can,” says Donald Novey, MD, an integrative medicine physician with the Advocate Medical Group in Park Ridge, Ill. That means a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables and fewer processed foods. Eat whole grains and high-fiber foods and choose leaner cuts of meat, fish, and poultry. Include low-fat dairy products in your diet as well — depending on your age, you need between 800 and 1,500 milligrams of calcium daily to help avoid osteoporosis, Dr. Novey says. Avoid foods and beverages that are high in calories, sugar, salt, and fat.
Healthy eating will help you maintain a proper weight for your height, which is important because being overweight can lead to a number of illnesses. Looking for a healthy snack? Try some raw vegetables, such as celery, carrots, broccoli, cucumbers, or zucchini with dip made from low-fat yogurt.
If you’re not getting enough vitamins and nutrients in your diet, you might want to take a multivitamin and a calcium supplement to make sure you’re maintaining good health.

Health Tip #2: Exercise. Heart disease is the leading cause of death among women in America, but plenty of exercise can help keep your heart healthy. You want to exercise at least 30 minutes a day, five days a week, if not every day. Aerobic exercises (walking, swimming, jogging, bicycling, dancing) are good for women’s health in general and especially for your heart, says Sabrena Merrill, MS, of Lawrence, Kan., a certified personal trainer and group fitness instructor and a spokeswoman for the American Council on Exercise.

Health Tip #3: Avoid risky habits. Stay away from cigarettes and people who smoke. Don’t use drugs. If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation. Most women’s health studies show that women can safely consume one drink a day. A drink is considered to be about 12 to 14 grams of alcohol, which is equal to 12 ounces of beer (4.5 percent alcohol); 5 ounces of wine (12.9 percent alcohol); or 1.5 ounces of spirits (hard liquor such as gin or whiskey, 80-proof).

Health Tip #4: Manage stress. No matter what stage of her life — daughter, mother, grandmother — a woman often wears many hats and deals with a lot of pressure and stress. “Take a few minutes every day just to relax and get your perspective back again,” Novey says. “It doesn’t take long, and mental health is important to your physical well-being.” You also can manage stress with exercise, relaxation techniques, or meditation.

Health Tip #5: Sun safely. Excessive exposure to the sun’s harmful rays can cause skin cancer, which can be deadly. To protect against skin cancer, wear sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15 if you are going to be outdoors for more than a few minutes. Even if you wear sunscreen faithfully, you should check regularly for signs of skin cancer. Warning signs include any changes in the size, shape, color, or feel of birthmarks, moles, or freckles, or new, enlarging, pigmented, or red skin areas. If you spot any changes or you find you have sores that are not healing, consult your doctor.

Health Tip #6: Check for breast cancer. The American Cancer Society no longer recommends monthly breast self-exams for women. However, it still suggests them as “an option” for women, starting in their 20s. You should be on the lookout for any changes in your breasts and report any concerns to your doctor. All women 40 and older should get a yearly mammogram as a mammogram is the most effective way of detecting cancer in its earliest stages, when it is most treatable.
A woman’s health needs change as she ages, but the basics of women’s health remain the same. If you follow these six simple healthy living tips, you will improve your quality of life for years to come.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Your Phone May Be Smart, But Your Doctor Still Knows More

Your Phone May Be Smart, But Your Doctor Still Knows More

 If you're feeling sick and you want to know what's wrong with you, there's an app for that. But the diagnosis won't be as accurate as the one you'd get from a doctor -- not by a long shot. 

In a head-to-head comparison, real human physicians outperformed a collection of 23 symptom-checker apps and websites by a margin of more than 2 to 1, according to a report published Monday in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine.

Even when the contestants got three chances to figure out what ailed a hypothetical patient, the diagnostic software lagged far behind actual doctors. Indeed, the apps and websites suggested the right diagnosis only slightly more than half of the time, the report says. 

The research team -- from Harvard Medical School, Brigham & Women's Hospital in Boston and the Human Diagnosis Project in Washington, D.C. -- asked 234 physicians to read through a selection of 45 "clinical vignettes" to see how they would handle these hypothetical patients. Each vignette included the medical history of the "patient" but no results from a physical exam, blood test or other kind of lab work. 

Most of the doctors were trained in internal medicine, though the group included some pediatricians and family practice physicians too. About half of them were in residency or fellowship, so their training was not yet complete. 

Even so, of the 1,105 vignettes they considered, they listed the correct diagnosis first 72% of the time, according to the study. 

The 23 symptom checkers evaluated a total of 770 vignettes in an earlier study by some of the same researchers. The apps and websites (including several from professional medical organizations, such as the American Academy of Physicians, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Dutch College of General Practitioners) listed the correct diagnosis first just 34% of the time. 

Both the doctors and the computer programs were able to include more than one ailment in their differential diagnosis. So the researchers also compared how often the correct diagnosis was among the top three responses. 

For the doctors, that happened 84% of the time. For the symptom checkers, it was 51% of the time. 

Though the humans trounced the computers across the board, there were situations in which did a particularly good job of naming the correct diagnosis first. For instance, their margin in cases with common conditions was 70% to 38%. In cases with uncommon conditions, it grew to 76% to 28%. 

The seriousness of the malady made a difference too. In cases with low acuity, doctors bested software by 65% to 41%. But in cases with high acuity, that gap widened to 79% to 24%. 

"Physicians vastly outperformed computer algorithms in diagnostic accuracy," the researchers concluded. Full disclosure: Three of the study authors are doctors, and none are apps.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Should You Take Multivitamins ?

Multivitamins: Should You Take One?

Food is the best source of most nutrients, but a multivitamin can help provide what your diet doesn't. Find out what to look for in a daily multivitamin.

Our bodies need many different vitamins and minerals to function properly.
Vitamins and minerals also offer us protection against a host of ailments, including heart disease and some cancers, such as colon and cervical cancer.
The good news is that we can get most of the vitamins and minerals our bodies need daily by choosing the right foods and eating a wide variety of them.
Still, many people take a multivitamin daily as an insurance policy — just to be sure they are getting all the vitamins and minerals that their bodies require.
“A multivitamin is a good idea for the trace elements,” says Donald Novey, MD, an integrative medicine physician with the Advocate Medical Group in Park Ridge, Ill.
“You want a multivitamin for all those little things at the bottom of the ingredients list. The ones at the top of the list are familiar and the ones we can’t avoid if we're eating enriched foods. It’s the trace elements at the bottom that are the ones often missing.”
Trace elements include chromium, folic acid, potassium, iron, manganese, selenium, and zinc.

Daily Vitamin: Our Needs Change With Age

Vitamin supplements can be particularly important during certain stages of our lives, Dr. Novey says. For example, women in their childbearing years can benefit from folic acid, which decreases the risk of some birth defects. A pregnant woman needs a multivitamin, starting in the first trimester, to ensure that the baby receives proper nutrition. Active and older women can benefit from increased calcium, which can help prevent bone loss and fractures. Vegetarians also can benefit from taking extra calcium, iron, zinc, and vitamins B12 and D.
Does it matter what time of day you take a multivitamin? Not really, says Stephen Bickston, MD, AGAF, professor of internal medicine and director of the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center at Virginia Commonwealth University Health Center in Richmond. However, he says, some people find it helpful to take vitamins at the same time every day. If it becomes part of their routine, they are less likely to forget. Also, he says, some people feel that if they take their vitamin with food, it is less likely to cause stomach upset. “I often recommend that people take a chewable vitamin,” Dr. Bickston says, “because they seem to be well tolerated, even in people who have serious digestive conditions, which is what I deal with in my practice.”

Daily Vitamin: Tips for Shopping for the Right Multivitamin 

Do you need to buy brand name vitamins? Novey says vitamins are like any other consumer product: “You get what you pay for.” He suggests shopping for vitamins in health food or natural food stores. Read the label and make sure its expiration date is at least a few months away. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s advice on how much to take — or the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) — is often written as “% DV” for percentage of daily value on the label. However, be careful because the DVs on the label may not take into consideration the different requirements for age and gender as RDAs do.
Multivitamins can be beneficial, but doctors warn not to be suckered by “mega” vitamins. The amount of vitamins in a standard multi is generally what you need for health benefits. Rarely do people need more than the RDA of any vitamin. When it comes to vitamins, the too-much-of-a-good-thing rule can apply, Bickston says.

Daily Vitamin: Ensuring Good Health

Clearly, eating a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, fish, lean meats and poultry, and low-fat dairy products is the best way to get your daily dose of vitamins and nutrients to keep your body functioning properly and to ward off illnesses. But taking a multivitamin daily is a good backup plan, and an easy way to fill in any gaps in your diet.


Tuesday, November 8, 2016

How to Eat a Healthy Diet

How to Eat a Healthy Diet 

 In order to keep yourself in the best shape possible, it's essential to eat a healthy diet. Find out exactly what you should be eating on a regular basis.


If you are what you eat, it follows that you want to stick to a healthy diet that’s well balanced. “You want to eat a variety of foods,” says Stephen Bickston, MD, AGAF, professor of internal medicine and director of the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center at Virginia Commonwealth University Health Center in Richmond. “You don’t want to be overly restrictive of any one food group or eat too much of another.”

Healthy Diet: The Building Blocks
The best source of meal planning for most Americans is the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Food Pyramid. The pyramid, updated in 2005, suggests that for a healthy diet each day you should eat:
  • 6 to 8 servings of grains. These include bread, cereal, rice, and pasta, and at least 3 servings should be from whole grains. A serving of bread is one slice while a serving of cereal is 1/2 (cooked) to 1 cup (ready-to-eat). A serving of rice or pasta is 1/2 cup cooked (1 ounce dry). Save fat-laden baked goods such as croissants, muffins, and donuts for an occasional treat.
  • 2 to 4 servings of fruits and 4 to 6 servings of vegetables. Most fruits and vegetables are naturally low in fat, making them a great addition to your healthy diet. Fruits and vegetables also provide the fiber, vitamins, and minerals you need for your body’s systems to function at peak performance. Fruits and vegetables also will add flavor to a healthy diet. It's best to serve them fresh, steamed, or cut up in salads. Be sure to skip the calorie-laden toppings, butter, and mayonnaise, except on occasion. A serving of raw or cooked vegetables is equal to 1/2 cup (1 cup for leafy greens); a serving of a fruit is 1/2 cup or a fresh fruit the size of a tennis ball.
  • 2 to 3 servings of milk, yogurt, and cheese. Choose dairy products wisely. Go for fat-free or reduced-fat milk or cheeses. Substitute yogurt for sour cream in many recipes and no one will notice the difference. A serving of dairy is equal to 1 cup of milk or yogurt or 1.5 to 2 ounces of cheese.
  • 2 to 3 servings of meat, poultry, fish, dry beans, eggs, and nuts. For a healthy diet, the best ways to prepare beef, pork, veal, lamb, poultry, and fish is to bake or broil them. Look for the words “loin” or “round” in cuts of meats because they're the leanest. Remove all visible fat or skin before cooking, and season with herbs, spices, and fat-free marinades. A serving of meat, fish, or poultry is 2 to 3 ounces. Some crossover foods such as dried beans, lentils, and peanut butter can provide protein without the animal fat and cholesterol you get from meats. A ¼ cup cooked beans or 1 tablespoon of peanut butter is equal to 1 ounce of lean meat.
  • Use fats, oils, and sweets sparingly. No diet should totally eliminate any one food group, even fats, oils, and sweets. It’s fine to include them in your diet as long as it’s on occasion and in moderation, Bickston says.
Healthy Diet: Eat Right and the Right Amount
How many calories you need in a day depends on your sex, age, body type, and how active you are. Generally, active children ages 2 to 8 need between 1,400 and 2,000 calories a day. Active teenage girls and women can consume about 2,200 calories a day without gaining weight. Teenage boys and men who are very active should consume about 3,000 calories a day to maintain their weight. If you're not active, you calorie needs drop by 400 to 600 calories a day.
The best way to know how much to eat is to listen to your body, says Donald Novey, MD, an integrative medicine physician with the Advocate Medical Group in Park Ridge, Ill. “Pull away from the table when you’re comfortable but not yet full. Wait about 20 minutes,” he says. “Usually your body says, ‘That’s good.’ If you’re still hungry after that, you might want to eat a little more.”

Healthy Diet: Exercise Is Part of the Plan
At the bottom of the new USDA food pyramid is a space for exercise. Exercise is an important component of a well-balanced diet and good nutrition. You can reap "fabulous rewards," says Dr Novey, just by exercising and eating “a healthy diet of foods that nature provides.”

About Drinking Alcohol -Health

Drinking Alcohol: Health Boost or Health Risk?

When it comes to alcohol, how much is too much? Find out what the experts recommend and how to recognize the signs that you're drinking too much. 

A large number of studies have shown that moderate alcohol intake can lower the risk of cardiovascular disease in men and women. Moderate drinking means one drink per day for women and one to two for men, says Donald Novey, MD, an integrative medicine physician with the Advocate Medical Group in Park Ridge, Ill. “The difference in amounts is because of how men and women metabolize alcohol,” Dr. Novey explains.
“When you say one drink, the size of that drink matters,” Novey adds. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture one drink is equal to:
  • 12 ounces of beer or
  • 5 ounces of wine or
  • 1½ ounces of spirits (hard liquor such as gin or whiskey, 80-proof)
The Dangers of Drinking Too Much
Unfortunately, some people can’t stop at just one or two drinks. Too much alcohol can result in serious health consequences. Heavy alcohol intake can damage the liver, causing cirrhosis, a fatal disease. Excessive drinking also can raise blood pressure and damage the heart, and is linked to many different cancers, including mouth, esophagus, breast, prostate, and colorectal cancers. The health risks are even greater for those who not only drink but smoke as well.
The consequences of excessive drinking can be serious not only for the alcoholic, but also for their friends, family, and even innocent bystanders. According to the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, more than 16,000 people die each year in automobile accidents that involve drunken drivers. Other data indicates that one in three violent crimes involves the use of alcohol and as many as three out of four violent incidents against a spouse involve alcohol. “Alcohol is a depressant. It makes people sad over time, not happy,” Novey says. When depressed, people can do some rather unfortunate things to themselves and their loved ones.

Signs of Alcohol Abuse
How can you tell if you or someone you know might have a drinking problem? Physicians often use the CAGE test, which involves four simple questions, Novey says:
  • Cutting down. Have you ever felt you should cut down on your drinking?
  • Annoyance by criticism. Have people annoyed you by criticizing your drinking?
  • Guilty feeling. Have you ever felt guilty about drinking alcohol?
  • Eye-openers. Have you ever had a drink first thing in the morning to steady your nerves or to get rid of a hangover (an “eye-opener”)?
If the answer to just one of these questions is yes, a drinking problem is likely and professional help is needed, Novey says.
Other signs of a drinking problem:
  • You find you can’t stop drinking once you start.
  • You’re having problems at work or at school.
  • Other people notice your drinking and comment on it.
  • You can’t remember what you did when you were drinking alcohol.
Moderation Rules
Consuming no more than one drink a day for women and no more than two drinks for men is safe, and perhaps even heart healthy. On the other hand, excessive drinking can have serious consequences. If you think you may have a drinking problem or suspect that someone you love does, seek professional help. Contact your family physician or a support group for substance abuse before irreparable damage is done.


Saturday, November 5, 2016

How They Save Lives -Seat Belts

Seat Belts: How They Save Lives

 Do you snap in your seat belt as soon as you get in the car? Do your children have the right safety seats for their weight and age? If you've answered no, even just once, you need to read on.


It's been proven time and again, on back roads and superhighways: A seat belt can save a life in a car accident. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 15,000 lives are saved each year in the United States because drivers and their passengers were wearing seat belts when they were in accidents.
Seat Belt Safety: 5-Way Protection
“Seat belts prevent occupants of the vehicle from serious injury in five ways,” says Angela Osterhuber, director of the Pennsylvania Traffic Injury Prevention Project in Media, Pa. A seat belt:
  • Keeps the occupants of the vehicle inside. “It’s clearly a myth that people are better off being thrown clear from the crash,” Osterhuber says. “People thrown from a vehicle are four times more likely to be killed than those who remain inside.”
  • Restrains the strongest parts of the body. “Restraints are designed to contact your body at its strongest parts. For an older child and adult, these parts are the hips and shoulders, which is where the seat belt should be strapped,” Osterhuber says.
  • Spreads out any force from the collision. “Lap-and-shoulder belts spread the force of the crash over a wide area of the body. By putting less stress on any one area, they can help you avoid serious injury,” Osterhuber says. A shoulder strap also helps keep your head and upper body away from the dashboard, steering wheel, and other hard interior parts of the automobile should you stop suddenly or be hit by another vehicle.
  • Helps the body to slow down. “What is it that causes injury? A quick change in speed,” Osterhuber says. “Seat belts help extend the time it takes for you to slow down in a crash.”
  • Protects your brain and spinal cord. A seat belt is designed to protect these two critical areas. “Head injuries may be hard to see immediately, but they can be deadly,” Osterhuber says. Likewise, spinal cord injuries can have serious consequences.
Seat Belt Safety: Buckle Up Correctly
Adjusting your seat belt properly is a must: Getting the right fit is as important as wearing it. The strap that goes across your lap should fit snugly over your hips and upper thigh area. “If the belt rides up on the stomach, it could cause serious injuries in a crash,” Osterhuber says.
Shoulder belts should rest securely across your chest and shoulders between your breasts. Don’t ever let the strap fall across your neck or face and never place the strap under your arms or behind your back. “Any one of these positions can cause serious injury,” Osterhuber says.
Seat Belt Safety: Rules for Infants and Children
Children are not small adults — they need specialized protection in a moving vehicle. “Their skeletal structure is different,” Osterhuber says. Age, height, and weight determine the safest way for a child to travel.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, here’s how to select the right option for your child:
  • Rear-facing child safety seat. Children under age 1 and those who weigh less than 20 pounds should sit in rear-facing, child safety seats approved by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The seats should be placed in the backseat of the car.
  • Forward-facing child safety seat. Children older than 1 who weigh more than 20 pounds should ride in forward-facing child safety seats. The seat should be placed in the rear of the vehicle until the child reaches the upper weight or height limit of the particular seat. Typically, a child will outgrow a safety seat around age 4 and once she reaches about 40 pounds.
  • Booster seat. Children age 4 and older who weigh more than 40 pounds should ride in booster seats. A child can safely progress to a seat belt when the belt fits properly across the upper thighs and chest. “This is usually at age 8 or when they are at least 4 feet 9 inches tall,” Osterhuber says.
  • Seat belt. When children outgrow their booster seats, they can use seat belts, but they still should sit in the back of the vehicle. “Really, all children should be riding in the backseat of the car until they are at least 13 years old,” Osterhuber says.
Seat Belt Safety: A Clear Message
The National Safety Council recently reported a drop in traffic fatalities for 2008, indicating a record low since the 1920s when it began publishing statistical reports. One reason given for the decline is the increased use of seat belts.
It takes only a few seconds to buckle up once you get in the car. Why wouldn’t you?

Thursday, November 3, 2016

10 Ways to Fit In Exercise

Finding Fitness: 10 Ways to Fit In Exercise

 The "E" word can make you cringe, but exercise is really necessary. Besides, it can be fun: Learn how to squeeze fitness into your busy day.

The benefits of regular exercise are unrivaled: Physical activity can help you lose weight and prevent a host of ailments, including heart disease, diabetes, and osteoporosis. Being fit also can help you stay mentally sharp.
While most people know they should exercise, you may not know where to start or how to fit it into a busy schedule. The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and the American Heart Association (AHA) recommend that healthy adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity spread out over five days a week, or 20 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity on each of three days a week.
“This is something we recommend to all Americans,” says Gerald Fletcher, MD, a cardiologist at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla., and a spokesman for the AHA.
An ideal fitness routine also includes resistance or weight training to improve muscle strength and endurance. The ACSM and the AHA recommend that most adults engage in resistance training at least twice a week. 

Finding Fitness: 10 Ways to Get in Exercise

Sometimes the problem isn’t motivation — it’s simply finding the time. But scheduling exercise isn’t as difficult as you might think. Here are 10 ways to get you moving more often:
  1. Be less efficient. People typically try to think of ways to make daily tasks easier. But if we make them harder, we can get more exercise, says Sabrena Merrill, MS, of Lawrence, Kan., a certified personal trainer, group fitness instructor, and spokeswoman for the American Council on Exercise (ACE). “Bring in the groceries from your car one bag at a time so you have to make several trips,” Merrill says. “Put the laundry away a few items at a time, rather than carrying it up in a basket.”
  2. Shun labor-saving devices. Wash the car by hand rather than taking it to the car wash. “It takes about an hour and a half to do a good job, and in the meantime you’ve gotten great exercise,” Merrill says. Use a push mower rather than a riding mower to groom your lawn.
  3. Going somewhere? Take the long way. Walking up or down a few flights of stairs each day can be good for your heart. Avoid elevators and escalators whenever possible. If you ride the bus or subway to work, get off a stop before your office and walk the extra distance. When you go to the mall or the grocery store, park furthest from the entrance, not as close to it as you can, and you'll get a few extra minutes of walking — one of the best exercises there is, Dr. Fletcher says. “Walking is great because anyone can do it and you don’t need any special equipment other than a properly fitting pair of sneakers.”
  4. Be a morning person. Studies show that people who exercise in the morning are more likely to stick with it. As Merrill explains, “Are you going to feel like exercising at the end of a hard day? Probably not. If you do your workout in the morning, you’re not only more likely to do it, but you'll also set a positive tone for the day.”
  5. Ink the deal. Whether morning, afternoon, or evening, pick the time that is most convenient for you to exercise and write it down in your daily planner. Keep your exercise routine as you would keep any appointment.
  6. Watch your step. Investing in a good pedometer can help you stay motivated. “If you have a pedometer attached to your waist and you can see how many steps you’ve taken, you’ll see it doesn’t take long to walk 5,000 steps and you will be inspired,” Merrill says. And building up to 10,000 steps a day won’t seem like such a daunting a task.
  7. Hire the right help. While weight training is important, if you don’t know what you’re doing, you run the risk of injuring yourself or not being effective, Merrill says. It’s best to get instructions from a personal trainer at the gym. You also can buy a weight-training DVD and follow along in your living room.
  8. Keep records. Grab a diary or logbook, and every day that you exercise, write down what you did and for how long. Your records will make it easy for you to see what you’ve accomplished and make you more accountable. Blank pages? You’d be ashamed.
  9. Phone a friend. Find someone who likes the same activity that you do — walking in the neighborhood, riding bikes, playing tennis — and make a date to do it together. “Exercising with a friend or in a group can be very motivating,” Fletcher says. “You are likely to walk longer or bike greater distances if you’re talking to a friend along the way. The time will go by faster.” Don’t have a buddy who is available? Grab an MP3 player and listen to your favorite music or an audio book while exercising.
  10. Do what you like. Whatever exercise you choose, be sure it’s one that you enjoy. You’re more likely to stick with it if it’s something you have fun doing rather than something you see as a chore, Fletcher says.
If you can’t fit 30 minutes a day into your schedule, get more exercise simply by being less efficient with your chores and adding a little extra walking distance everywhere you go. However, if you pick an activity you like, finding time for fitness will become effortless and the rewards enormous.


Tuesday, November 1, 2016

The Health Benefits of Water

The Health Benefits of Water


 We all need water to survive, but how exactly does it help?


Did you know that your body weight is approximately 60 percent water? Your body uses water in all its cells, organs, and tissues to help regulate its temperature and maintain other bodily functions. Because your body loses water through breathing, sweating, and digestion, it's important to rehydrate by drinking fluids and eating foods that contain water. The amount of water you need depends on a variety of factors, including the climate you live in, how physically active you are, and whether you're experiencing an illness or have any other health problems.

Water Protects Your Tissues, Spinal Cord, and Joints
Water does more than just quench your thirst and regulate your body's temperature; it also keeps the tissues in your body moist. You know how it feels when your eyes, nose, or mouth gets dry? Keeping your body hydrated helps it retain optimum levels of moisture in these sensitive areas, as well as in the blood, bones, and the brain. In addition, water helps protect the spinal cord, and it acts as a lubricant and cushion for your joints.

Water Helps Your Body Remove Waste

Adequate water intake enables your body to excrete waste through perspiration, urination, and defecation. The kidneys and liver use it to help flush out waste, as do your intestines. Water can also keep you from getting constipated by softening your stools and helping move the food you've eaten through your intestinal tract. However, it should be noted that there is no evidence to prove that increasing your fluid intake will cure constipation

Water Aids in Digestion

Digestion starts with saliva, the basis of which is water. Digestion relies on enzymes that are found in saliva to help break down food and liquid and to dissolve minerals and other nutrients. Proper digestion makes minerals and nutrients more accessible to the body. Water is also necessary to help you digest soluble fiber. With the help of water, this fiber dissolves easily and benefits your bowel health by making well-formed, soft stools that are easy to pass.

Water Prevents You From Becoming Dehydrated

Your body loses fluids when you engage in vigorous exercise, sweat in high heat, or come down with a fever or contract an illness that causes vomiting or diarrhea. If you're losing fluids for any of these reasons, it's important to increase your fluid intake so that you can restore your body's natural hydration levels. Your doctor may also recommend that you drink more fluids to help treat other health conditions, like bladder infections and urinary tract stones. If you're pregnant or nursing, you may want to consult with your physician about your fluid intake because your body will be using more fluids than usual, especially if you're breastfeeding.
How Much Water Do You Need? 

There's no hard and fast rule, and many individuals meet their daily hydration needs by simply drinking water when they're thirsty, according to a report on nutrient recommendations from the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. In fact, most people who are in good physical health get enough fluids by drinking water and other beverages when they're thirsty, and also by drinking a beverage with each of their meals, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. If you're not sure about your hydration level, look at your urine. If it's clear, you're in good shape. If it's dark, you're probably dehydrated.