Health Tips - Issue 10

  1. Adequate water intake each day is essential for optimal health, yet many people today are chronically dehydrated. Here's an easy way to determine whether or not you need to increase your daily water intake. When you pee, notice the color of your urine. If it is clear or light yellow (like lemonade) in color, you are most likely meeting your daily water requirements. However, if it is dark yellow or rust colored, you are definitely dehydrated and need to increase the amount of water you drink each day. Note: The use of certain vitamins and other supplements can make your urine bright yellow, so to conduct this test, abstain from using supplements for 24 hours.

  2. Did you know that not all skin cancers are the same? Research has shown that the most dangerous types of skin cancers (melanomas) are those that occur on the scalp and neck. To protect yourself from skin cancer, schedule checkup with a dermatologist once a year and avoid excessive sunlight.

  3. Attention men, if your mother, sister, or daughter test positive for either the BRCA1 or BRCA2 breast cancer gene, this means that you have nearly two to three times the risk of developing prostate cancer compared to men with female family members who do not test positive for either the BRCA1 or BRCA2 breast cancer gene.

  4. Do you need to lower your LDL ("bad") cholesterol levels? If so, try eating more tomatoes. That's because recent research conducted by scientists in Finland shows that adding tomatoes or tomato products (including ketchup) to one's diet can reduce LDL cholesterol levels by more than 10 percent.

  5. Want to decrease your risk of developing arthritis? Then avoid eating foods cooked at high temperatures. That's because high-temperature cooking produces high amounts of chemical compounds in foods known as advanced glycation end (AGE) products, which trigger inflammation in the body, a prime cause of both rheumatoid and osteoarthritis.

  6. One of the most commonly mis- and undiagnosed health conditions in the US is hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid function). Long recognized as a primary cause of a variety of health conditions such as chronic fatigue, constipation, and other nagging health complaints, hypothyroidism has now been linked to a much more serious disease - congestive heart failure. A recently concluded 12-year study of more than 3,000 men and women found that adults with hypothyroidism have twice the risk of developing congestive heart failure, compared to adults with normal thyroid function. To find out if you suffer from hypothyroidism, consult with your Health Expert.

  7. Do you have a problem avoiding sweets? If so, try chewing gum during the day. That's because a recent study of people who crave sweets found that when they started chewing gum, they reduced their cravings and intake of sweets. The researchers who conducted the study speculate that the act of chewing gum may satisfy the desire for sweet foods.

  8. It's long been known that taking aspirin once a day can reduce the risk of heart attack and other types of heart disease. Now researchers have found that daily aspirin intake can reduce the most common type of breast cancer (breast cancer that is estrogen receptor-positive). Most likely this is because aspirin has been shown to reduce the body's production of estrogen. Note: Before you start to take aspirin, consult with your Health Expert to be sure doing so is right for you.)

  9. Did you know that crying can be good for your health? It's true! Research shows that crying not only helps to relief stress, it also helps to eliminate stored toxins in the body and lower blood pressure. It can also lead to feelings of deeper connectedness with loved ones when tears are shed in their presence. And here's the best part - you don't have to experience sadness in your personal life to get the benefits that crying provides. You can get the same results by watching sad movies so long as you don't hold back your tears.

  10. Want to increase your energy levels, boost your memory, and enhance your creativity? Then take a nap! Contrary to what you may think, a short (10 to 20 minutes) nap in the afternoon can lead to noticeable improvements in all of the above categories.

  11. Here's a good reason not to "take your job home with you." Doing so may kill you! That's because people who are unable to mentally and emotionally disconnect from their jobs at the end of the day, tend to be under far more stress. Stress, in turn, can lead to heart attacks, and research has shown that people who are unable to properly manage job stress have a 70 percent greater change of having a heart attack.

  12. Here are two good reasons not to smoke marijuana. 1) Smoking on marijuana "joint" causes 20 times more damage to the lungs than smoking a single cigarette. 2) In addition, habitual pot smoking has been found to significantly increase the risk of breast cancer in men.

  13. Do you suffer from chronic fatigue no matter what you do to boost your energy? If so, you may suffer from "adrenal burnout," or an adrenal condition known as Addison's disease. Your adrenal glands play a very important role in supplying your body with the energy it needs each day. When they become overworked - an all-too-common occurrence in today's fast-paced world - the adrenal glands become exhausted, leaving you feeling the same way. So, if you are tired all the time, have your Health Expert test your adrenal gland function, something that can easily be done through blood and saliva tests.

  14. If you suffer from mild depression, try meditation. That's because research conducted at the University of California at San Francisco has found that just 30 minutes of meditation each day improved mild depression as much as antidepressants. Best of all, meditation costs nothing and is free of the wide variety of dangerous side effects antidepressant drugs can cause.

  15. Here's an easy and tasty way to lower high blood pressure. Spice up your vegetables with nutmeg. That's because research has shown that nutmeg helps blood to flow more evenly throughout the body, thus reducing blood pressure levels. For best results, use between one-half and one teaspoon of nutmeg a day.

  16. If you use a microwave for cooking, be sure never to microwave food in plastic containers. Doing so disperses chemicals in plastic that are known as endocrine disrupters because of the way they interfere with normal hormone function in the body. Note: Some researchers also suspect that microwaving foods also increases the risk of cancer because microwaves change foods' chemical composition.

  17. Want to get more benefits from the fruits and vegetables you eat? Then don't peel their skins. That's because, on average, there are 27 times as many antioxidant nutrients in the skins of fruits and vegetables than there are in fruit and vegetable pulp.

  18. Your mouth is one of the primary ways harmful bacteria and viruses enter your body. Here's a simple way you can prevent this from happening. Make a point of chewing a sprig or two of fresh basil (dried basil will work too) at least once a day. Research has shown that basil acts as a strong, natural antibacterial and antiviral agent that kills both bacteria and viruses in the mouth on contact.

  19. Do you have a pet dog or puppy that is prone to hyperactive behavior? If so, here's a solution you can try. Place a drop or two of peppermint oil on your palm, then rub your hands together. Once you are done, lightly rub your palms over your dog's front paws. Doing so will cause your pet to inhale the peppermint oil and become more relaxed.

  20. Do you have trouble getting a good night's sleep? If so, the amino acid L-theanine might be helpful. This amino acid supplement, which is derived from green tea, has been shown to improve deep sleep because of its role in producing a neurotransmitter known as GABA, which must be present in adequate amounts for restful sleep to occur. L-theanine is available over the counter at most health foods stores, and can safely be taken in a dose of 50 to 200 mg once a night before bedtime.

All material © 2010 WellnessWatchersMD. All rights reserved.
Use of this site constitutes acceptance of WellnessWatchersMD's terms of use and privacy policy. The information provided in this Web site is intended for your general knowledge only, and is not a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. Please see your personal physician immediately if you have any concern about your health, and you should always consult your physician before starting a fitness regimen.