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The Biggest Health Trends of 2017

Health News September 13, 2017

A lot of us make grand resolutions about our health practices on January 1st. Many people truly have the motivation to see them through, and there are many that don’t. Regardless of what group we fall into, the year is almost over, and once again we will set more goals for ourselves and our health that we just can’t meet.

Here are some of the biggest health trends this year that seemed to catch most people’s attention. There are no worries though, if you feel motivated again for this year’s end and you want to make a New Year’s resolution, maybe this list will help you out.

Sugar Detoxing

Giving up sugar and sugary foods is a great trend this year. Many people are as excited about this trend as they were over giving up carbs. When you detox from sugar, you must remember that not only sweet foods have sugar as an ingredient but foods like white bread, pastas, and white rice, turn into sugar once inside the body. So your grandmother’s biscuits could be just as bad for you as a doughnut.

Slime for Stress Relief

Yes, we know it sounds crazy but it’s true. We already know that kids love slime, it comes in balls you can open and sometimes plastic packaging. They stretch it, pull it, and wrap it around things, such as their bodies. Now adults are finding that playing with slime can help to relieve stress. Adults are using it to play with at their work desks, at home at the end of the day and playing with their kids and spouses can add extra fun to this vintage substance that has been around, it seems, forever. So the ball squeezing technique is out and yes folks, slime is in.

One Bowl Meals

The one bowl meal is a great popular trend this year and it’s working its way into just about every meal. Not only can you eat less because there is simply less food inside of a bowl than you can put on a plate, but it’s also a way to pile a lot of healthy ingredients into one bowl with a nice sauce and you’ve got a pretty health-friendly meal.

Healthy Recipe Videos

Our last trend is quite popular on YouTube, Vimeo and other video sites and that is recipe videos. People are loving to watch others create healthy and gourmet meals live on their phones and computers. It’s a simple way to get new ideas on how to eat more healthily and these videos are a lot of fun as well. It is much more entertaining to watch how and why a recipe is made than to read it in some magazine. Many recipe videos on social media are also live and viewers can type out questions for the cook and host to answer. Not only are professionals getting in on the act but your next door neightbor may be filming tonight’s dinner right now.


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6 Powerfully Natural Treatments for Indigestion

Health News September 12, 2017

Indigestion, is something that many people get on a regular basis. And for those who have had it at least once, they will know just how uncomfortable and painful it can be. For some, it is so severe that they think they are having an actual heart attack. Indigestion or dysepsia, as it is sometimes called, can be brought on by particular foods, such as, fatty foods, spicy foods, rich foods like pizza, or just plain old overeating of any foods.

Some people who suffer wth acid reflux or GERDS, tend to be more prone to getting indigestion more frequently and more severly than the average person. Stomach ulcers, stress, anxiety, and irritable bowel syndrom, can also bring on indigestion more frequently. So what can we do about this uncomfortable and painful illness. There are some natural ways to help prevent and soothe common indigestion.

1. Apple Cider Vinegar

This may sound strange since vinegars are high in acid, but raw apple cider vinegar can help to maintain a healthy gut and balance the acids already within the stomach. A tablespoon of raw apple cider in a cup of water taken two- three times a day can help to prevent indigestion and soothe indigestion already occuring.

2. Fennel Seeds

Fennel seeds are a part of the parsley family and extremely helpful for indigestion. They have natural compounds within them that soothe the colon. You can make a tea from the seeds or purchase fennel tea already prepared. You can also put fennel seeds on your food, like salads, and in your trailmix for a helpful solution to indigestion.

3. Ginger

Ginger is known to stimulate the digestive juices and allow the enzymes to flow more smoothly through the digestive track. Ginger is well known for curing an upset stomach as well. You can buy fresh ginger, it’s very economical and you can make a tea from it with ginger and honey to help soothe your symptoms.

4. Baking Soda

Baking soda is a natural alternative to expensive antiacids and works just as well for an indigestion attack. Baking soda helps to reduce the stomach acid. A half of a teaspoon to a glass of water will help ease the uncomfortability of overeating.

5. Herbal  Teas

One of the simplest and easiest natural remedies for indigestion and GERDS symptoms is an herbal tea. Many herbs will help to soothe the stomach and ease the pain that fatty foods and/or overeating can bring. Teas like chamomile, licorice, slippery elm, and peppermint are the most effective.

6. Cumin

Most of you will recognize cumin as a spice we often use in chile dishes, however it is also a digestive aid. It can be added into a glass of water or taken directly from a spoon of roasted seeds of cumin. If your discomfort came from overeating, mix a quarter teaspoon of cumin powder into a glass of water, or use the leaf of the cumin, called coriander, to get rid of that burning and bloating feeling.



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Why I Work Myself to Death

Health News September 6, 2017

In America, there are a lot of sayings that are local just for us, but one we share, but say and think too often is, “I will sleep when I’m dead.” What an awful mantra because all too often your health fails when your body does not receive enough rest and down time. Why do so many  people find pride in working themselves to death, particularly in the U.S.?

According to Salon Magazine, if we were to even begin to understand why Americans feel they must work so hard is because of the overuse of the word, “lazy”, in our American vocabulary. Americans have been found through research, to be the most overworked people in the industrialized world. Though studies, particularly one done by Staples, reports that Americans are overworked and tired. Research shows that workers in the UK work at least 19 per cent less than their American counterparts. Although many Americans know about these statistics, it does not stop them from working too many hours, and taking less days off, along with shorter vacations.

Though the word is out that Americans are overworked, many feel that they must work extra hours and take little days off due to the economy crash in 2007. So for many, this state of working themselves to death is a necessity. If these cases were also studied, many non-Americans might see why people work so hard. However, there are many people in the U.S. who have no money issues or financial setbacks and still spend their time working out of habit and also a fear of not having enough. These people are on the opposite spectrum, they are trying to protect what they have. Who knows, maybe that thinking is also more of an American way of thinking.

If we stop looking at the word “lazy” as a bad word, the new “L word”, maybe some people will be able to slow down and relax a little bit. Maybe if Americans would stop giving that word such a bad reputation, they could work as it makes sense to work and not try to outdo themselves each week with how many hours they put in.

Americans have also made themselves believe that they need a lot of things. There are teens with upscale cell phones and upscale cars because their parents want them to have the best and find it hard to say no to themselves and their children. Of course, all of these fancy gadgets cost money to purchase and maintain. Maybe if we need or want less and live a simpler life where luxury is sitting by the ocean instead of having a big screen TV, things may begin to change.


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U.S. Healthcare Ranked the Worst While NHS Ranks the Best

Health News September 6, 2017

Eleven wealthy countries were tested and studied when it came to their healthcare plan and the U.S. ranked the worst out of everyone. For many Americans, this news does not come as a surprise. In the U.S. you need to be well-off financially to afford really good healthcare or a part of the country’s welfare system. The U.K’s NHS ranked higher in many different categories compared to all the other countries.

Quality was ranked in five various domains and the U.S. fell short in each one. The news came through Eric Schneider, of the Commonwealth think tank in the country’s capital, Washington, D.C. The domains were broken down into categories, the first was ease of access to the system. how easy it was for those of various incomes to access the healthcare system, efficiency within the healthcare department, and how well the process was working for those who did have access and how those patients were thriving within the system. They studied just how healthy the participants were within the system itself.

The World Health Organization was one of the groups who did the analysis, along with the patient and doctor questionnaires. Though the U.K. ranked at the top of all other categories, they ranked at the bottom when it came to how well patients did after treatment. The number one problem in the U.S. is access. As we stated above, your income has a lot to do with the your access to healthcare and the quality of care you receive.

Former President Obama put into action the Affordable Care Act, which made some difference but very little. Those Americans with low income status still reported trouble accessing the system. Approximately 44 per cent of low income citizens reported trouble with access while even 26 per cent of the wealthier citizens reported the same trouble. Obama’s ACA did work however to add 20 million extra people to the system which is quite a stride for the former President to make. The trouble is that with the debates in Congress going on, their decisions could disqualify at least that same amount from the ACA, which basically made Obama’s work irrelevant to many.

It doesn’t look as if any time soon, the U.S. will catch up with the rest of the world when it comes to healthcare gaps, as a matter of fact, if congress comes to an agreement on most healthcare decisions on the agenda, a lot more Americans will be out in the cold when it comes to quality healthcare.

Source: US Ranked Worst Healthcare System 

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Salmonella 101: What Do You Need to Know?

Health News August 31, 2017

Many of us have heard the word “salmonella” and it can be very alarming. In serious cases people get extremely ill and some die because of this bacteria. There are salmonella breakouts here and there ocassionally that we hear about on the news. Often it has to do with a poultry product or some other animal protein, but this latest case has to do with a food we would never think of as being dangerous, papayas, from Mexico.

One death and 109 infections have been the results so far from this deadly illness. In 16 states, 35 people have already been hospitalized. One of the things that make salmonella so scary is that you never know what food you purchase will be infected . You can’t look at a papaya or any fruit and tell if it has been affected by a salmonella outbreak.

The Center for Disease Control (the CDC), is taking this latest outbreak very seriously by demanding that restaurants not use these papayas, and markets not sell the Maradol papayas from Mexico. The Maradol papayas have green skin, that turns yellow once they begin to ripen more. Retailers are also blocked from selling these specific papayas.

In the last two weeks of this outbreak, the salmonella strain has affected over 16 states, mostly in the Northeast and a few Southern states and the midwest. So far, though the investigation is ongoing, the West Coast has not been affected. Carica de Campeche is the Mexican farm being investigated, so far 5 strains of salmonella have been discovered in that location. Since July 26th, the fruit has been recalled by the company who distributes it here in the States. Any papaya from Carica de Campeche has been pulled from the markets between july 10th and the 26th.

Other Mexican farms that grow papaya are now being investigated as a safety measure to see if these other farms were affected by the virus. The CDC is taking every precaution possible to make sure that all the affected papaya is off the market and out of the restaurants to keep consumers as safe as possible.

Source: Deadly Salmonella Outbreak


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Nature Study Demonstrates Method for Repairing Genes in Human Embryos that Prevent Inherited Diseases

Health News August 30, 2017

Scientists have found an effective way to utilize an editing tool that changes genes to alter them from disease carriers and mutate them so that they don’t pass diseases from one generation to another. This gene mutation will stop many diseases from affecting future generations of a family and then the planet as a whole. Many people marry and pass on genetic mutations that cause disease. So this study goes further than any particular bloodline.

The gene editing tool is called CRISPR and it has the ability to hone in on mutations in nuclear DNA that is the cause of a genetic heart disease, called cardiomyopathy, which can cause sudden death and heart failure. This research was published in the journal Nature. This was the very first time scientists had tested CRISPR on clinical-quality donated human eggs.

One of the greatest things about these findings is that once the gene has been corrected, this will enable all future embryos in that lineage to be free of that particular disease. This was verified by author Shoukrat Mitalipov, the director of the center for Embryonic Cell and Gene Therapy in Portland, Oregon, at OHSU Portland’s aerial tram area. The author says that these studies are able to lift the burden of genetic diseases that plague certain families, off of their minds and make room for an even healthier planet in the process.

Co-author Paula Amato, M.D., believes that through this research the number of cycles will decrease with women who have been trying to produce disease-free embryos. Many women who have a lineage of disease, try multiple pregnancies before they can achieve a healthy embryo. So this is good news for those trying to conceive healthy children. Dr. Amato is a gynecological professor at OHSU School of Medicine.

Though cardiomyopathy can occur in men and women of all ages, it the number one cardiac arrest killer in young people today. With this study, the inherited disease can be erased totally in one family’s entire future lineage.

Source: OHSU News


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7 Ways to Work Out Longer and Stronger

Body and Beauty August 30, 2017

Do you want a new healthy and strong body going into 2018? There are ways to work out that are secrets only the best trainers know. Certainly, you can start slow and build up to what you want to do, as most people do. These tips and tricks are not meant to rush your growth, because you don’t want to injure yourself. But if you’ve been working out for  a while you may be ready to kick it up a few notches, and here’s how:

1. Set a Goal

When you set a goal for yourself you are much more inclined to go for it than if you are just winging it to see how many crunches you can do. A goal would be, ” how many crunches can I do in 5 minutes?” This is the type of goal that motivates you to stretch yourself a bit more each week.

2. Create a Plan

Using some sort of planner to schedule your goals and workout times is a great way to keep yourself motivated. Without a schedule, it’s easier to brush off your workout until another time or another day, then you find yourself skipping days, simply from forgetfulness or lack of interest. So always create a schedule by using a planner.

3. Change Up Your Routine

Doing the same set of workout exercises can get redundant and boring. This is why it is great to change things up a bit and keep your workout routine interesting. You can do this by changing the number of sets or the order of your routine. Every once in a while add a new exercise into your routine to challenge you even further.

4. Focus on Every Body Part

Some people like to spot train and that is fine, as spot training focuses your routine on a certain area of your body, but your workout must include every area of the body to be a successful workout each time.

5. Eat Right and Take Supplements as Needed

Remember that when working out your body must be in the best condition possible. Therefore it is vital that you eat the right foods and take supplements as you need them. Do your research because there are a lot of things out there on the market and you want to to take the ones that are going to serve your body the best.

6. Motivate Yourself

Stay motivated by encouraging yourself through affirmations and reading books that keep you encouraged. Books by other trainers and trainees are great to have around the house for when you begin to feel a bit tired or bored from your workout. Also, working out with friends can be a perfect way to stay motivated and have a little healthy competition.

7. Be Safe

One of the most important things you can do for yourself is to be safe and do your exercises correctly with proper form so that don’t have to deal with injury. Don’t push yourself to the point of pain each time you exercise. Yes, if you are stretching yourself to do more and challenging yourself, you will feel sore at times, but pain is unnecessary. Take good care of your muscles and joints and don’t forget to stretch before and after your workout.

Source:Beach Body on Demand

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Harvard Medical School: Your Brain On Chocolate

Health News August 29, 2017

Did you know that chocolate, real chocolate, the one without all the cream, sugar, and preservatives, is not only delicious and satisfying, but also good for your brain? Harvard University’s blog says so, and they have a good reason. According to statistics and research, the countries that eat the most chocolate, also have the most Nobel Prize recipients. This study and its findings were published in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine.

Could it be possible that intelligence and the functioning of your brain could correlate with how much good chocolate you are eating, or is this finding simply a coincidence? Studies are still being conducted to see if this is a truth or a coincidence, so right now, the New England Journal of Medicine leaves us unsure.

Although there are no solid answers, many people today have realized the health benefits of chocolate through other sources of research over the last decade and we do know that chocolate carries certain compounds that are healthy for our diet. Many researchers say it’s a piece of dark chocolate a day that may keep the doctor away. As with any healthy food, they must also be combined with an otherwise healthy diet and lifestyle. Hearing about chocolate actually affecting your level of intelligence and brain functioning is still new.

As we age, our brain is subject to many different forms of illness and disease, Alzheimer’s and dementia are just two of the ways our brains can suffer from the effects of aging. So any study that focuses on what is good and healthy for high level brain functioning is worth listening to, though there are still no solid conclusions. However, the studies do still go on and one day soon in the future we will know if chocolate really does have a positive affect on the brain or if this Noble Peace Prize study is just a coincidence.

There are preventative methods that help keep your brain functioning at a normal level as you age, and that is of course, a generally healthy lifestyle, exercise, study, reading, even crossword puzzles are a huge help. All things in moderation also helps, such as drinking alcohol, eating dessert maybe only one or two nights a week. Paying attention to your diet and filling in the gaps when needed, like getting enough fruits and vegetables, and also taking in enough fiber.

Even if in a study in the near future, we get a resounding “yes” for the question, “is chocolate good for your brain functioning?”, we must still live as healthily as possible as the time goes by and we begin the aging process. The earlier you can start thinking about and taking care of your health, the better off you will be when you get there, brain and all.

Source: Harvard Medical School: Your Brain on Chocolate 


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Health and Fitness Claims: How Do You Tell Fact from Fiction?

Health News August 21, 2017

It appears that almost everyday we hear something new on the news about what we should eat or not eat, how much we should exercise, should we detox or not detox. These are just a few of the things that seem to change constantly when it comes to research on what creates a healthy lifestyle. All of the news can be confusing and make you want to give up on living a healthier life. However, we know that some of the health and lifestyle information out there is quite beneficial, but how do we know what’s worth listening to and what we can toss away?

Here are a few ways you can tell fact from fiction when it comes to health and fitness claims:

It Sounds Too Good To Be True

There are health and fitness claims that are just too good to be true. Claims that tell you that you can drop those extra 20 lbs in four days, get rid of your acne problem in just a couple of days with one cream, or lose belly fat in a week. These all sound fantastic, but that is a part of the problem. They sound too fantastic to be true, and you can bet your last dollar that they are. Weight loss, especially healthy weight loss, takes time and consistent exercise and eating right.

Is the Claim Based on Independent Study?

Independent study is when a research company who is not linked in any way to the product, does their own study to see if the claims are true. They have no reason to lie because they have nothing to gain. Just recently an athletic shoe was introduced into the market caiming to give you perfectly fit legs just by wearing the shoe. The shoes even became a favorite among many celebrities, but the Exercise and Health program at the University of Wisconsin performed an independent study and proved that the manufacturers claims were false.

When considering a new product or program, do your own research on the product, find out who is paying for the product or sponsoring the product and you will know who has something to gain from making false claims.

Who Are the Research Participants?

If a research study chooses a specific group of people to participate, the study may be tainted because the pill, program, exercise, may work well for a group of 20 somethings, but what about the 40 somethings? Will this work well for those who fall outside of the demographic of the study? This is a form of research you can’t always trust, particularly if the product was suposedly made for the majority of people, all ages.


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The Science of Happiness

Lifestyle August 21, 2017

This is not the first time we have heard about happiness and science merging, but the research never ceases to find out why some people live a generally happy life and others, no matter how many material things they have, seem to never be happy. Research shows that once you get the things you need with ease, like a home, food, the ability to pay your bills on time, there is not much higher to go on the happiness scale. In other words, unless you are struggling for your basic needs, happiness appears to be a choice you make every day.

Once, in an interview, one of the richest women in the world, Oprah Winfrey, admitted that she was not what you would call, ” a happy person at all times”, now we know, it is impossible for anyone to be happy all of the time, but we would expect that Oprah would be generally happy most of the time, but she admits that it is hard for her. Some researchers call this the “happiness quotient”. The happiness quotient explains that every person has a level of happiness that they can naturally reach, no matter what their lifestyle may be. There have been studies where people on remote islands who seemingly have none of life’s luxuries and work hard every day for their own basic needs, are some of the happiest people in the world.

Research shows that everyone’s level of happiness is individual. Some will always be happy even without having a lot of material things, or the perfect job, or the perfect mate. Happiness comes naturally to these types  of people. Their happiness quotient is naturally high, while others will always struggle to be happy even when it seems as though they have everything.

Scientists say that you can raise your happiness quotient through programs like positive psychology, learning how to think positively about your life in spite of what you have or don’t have. Many positive psychology programs teach you that material things don’t bring you happiness, as in the case of Oprah Winfrey, who we would expect to be ecstatic at all times. Research shows that you raise your happiness quotient by focus, focusing on the things, people, experiences, you have in your life every day. These programs are not saying to ingnore your problems, it is simply simply saying that a beleif that everything will be well, will slowly raise your happiness quotient.


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