Health Tips - Issue 11

  1. Need a quick boost of energy? Then try snacking on cashews. That's because cashews are loaded with B vitamins, which help create energy at the cellular level. Cashews are also rich in protein and are a good source of iron, the combination of which also enhances energy levels. For added energy, try adding one or two tablespoons of cashew butter to a protein smoothie.

  2. Do you tend to eat high-fat foods on a regular basis? If so, you may want to make walnuts part of your regular food intake, as well. That's because walnuts are one of the best food sources of omega-3 oils. High fat foods can raise cholesterol levels and increase your risk of heart disease. Omega-3s help to lower cholesterol and reduce heart disease risk. According to research conducted in 2006, walnuts were found to be even more effective than olive oil - another excellent source of omega-3 oils - for counteracting the unhealthy effects of high fat foods. That's because they are rich in a type of omega-3 oil known as alpha-linolenic acid, which is known to improve circulation and help protect the integrity of the arteries.

  3. Are you experiencing pain or tenderness in either of your legs? Such pain, especially in the calf muscles, can be a warning sign of blood clots. Other warning signs include leg swelling, shortness of breath, and change in skin tone (unusual redness). If you experience any of these symptoms, see your Health Expert immediately because blood clots, if left untreated, can be fatal.

  4. Do you suffer from joint pain? If so, you might want to try drinking three or four glasses of green tea each day. That's because new research has found that an ingredient in green tea, known as epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) can help prevent the production of chemicals in the body that can cause the inflammation responsible for triggering joint pain. Moreover, since green tea is also rich in antioxidants, by making it a part of your daily health routine, you will also be protecting yourself from a variety of other health problems caused by free radical damage.

  5. Do you have trouble falling asleep? If so, the problem may be due to your diet. To improve your ability to get a good night's sleep, try these dietary solutions: Eliminate all alcoholic and caffeine beverages. Eliminate sugar and simple carbohydrate foods. Increase your intake of fresh vegetables and whole grains. Eat more protein foods, such as lean meats, poultry, fish, and eggs, to regulate insulin levels and avoid insulin spikes that can interfere with sleep. Eat meals rich in carbohydrates for dinner, but also include foods rich in tryptophan, such as turkey, chicken, nuts, and seeds. Tryptophan helps to boost your body's production of the sleep hormone melatonin. Avoid eating two hours or more before you go to bed.

  6. Are you trying to get quit smoking? If so, research conducted at Duke University might help you. According to the research, eating more fruits, vegetables, and dairy foods can make cigarettes taste lousy, making it easier to refrain from smoking. Conversely, coffee, alcohol, and red meat all improve the taste of cigarettes, so eliminating them from your diet until you successfully wean yourself from the smoking habit may also be helpful.

  7. Want to lower your blood pressure? Then reach for a piece of dark chocolate. That's the conclusion reached by a recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, after researchers found that eating 30 calories of dark chocolate each day can significantly reduce both systolic and diastolic blood pressure levels in as little as 18 weeks. Best of all, none of the participants in the study who consumed 30 calories of dark chocolate a day experienced any weight gain.

  8. With winter on the way, many people start to use lip balms to protect against dry, chapped lips. However, most commercial lip balms can be bad for your health. That's because they contain potentially harmful ingredients such as petroleum and parabens, which can be swallowed once the lip balms are applied. Additionally, such ingredients can also seal in harmful bacteria on the lips, causing cold sores and allergic reactions. For a healthy alternative to commercial lip balms try applying alow vera gel to your lips.. Not only does aloe vera help to protect against dryness and chapping, it can also quickly reverse such symptoms, along with the pain that can accompany them.

  9. Want to protect your heart? Then eat more spinach. That's because spinach is rich in nutrients that help to lower homocysteine levels. In recent years, elevated homocysteine levels have been shown to be one of the highest risk factors for heart disease. Because spinach is rich in vitamin B6, folate, and betaine, all of which can significantly reduce homocysteine levels, it is an excellent "heart-healthy" food. For best results, be sure to eat only organic spinach and avoid overcooking. Lightly steaming spinach will increase the ability of your body to absorb the nutrients that spinach contains.

  10. Do you find it difficult to concentrate and stay alert? If so, try applying a cold pack to your forehead for a few minutes when you need to be alert. Doing this will help to lower the temperature of your brain. Research shows that lower brain temperatures improve the ability to concentrate and promote greater alertness.

  11. To protect yourself from heart disease eat more garlic. That's because garlic contains a variety of sulfur compounds, which inhibit the formation of artery-clogging blood clots, and reduce elevated cholesterol levels and high blood pressure. To avoid the body odor associated with eating garlic, try roasting it instead of eating it raw. To roast, wrap a garlic clove in aluminum foil and bake at 400 degrees F for 40 minutes. As an additional benefit, the compounds in garlic also help to kill off harmful bacteria, making it an excellent natural antibiotic.

  12. The next time you or a loved one is stricken with a bouit of diarrhea, reach for some honey. That's because research shows that honey can help to eliminate the germs and toxins that can cause diarrhea. For best results, use organic honey, and eat one tablespoon every hour until symptoms abate. Also be sure to drink at least two quarts of water per day to prevent dehydration.

  13. A fast and simple way to reduce fever is to increase your consumption of cool water. Drink a minimum of two quarts of water a day during times of fever to help your symptoms abate more quickly.

  14. Contrary to popular belief, the best food sources of calcium are not dairy foods. They're green foods. Kale, in particular, is an especially rich source of calcium. So, to ensure that your body is getting enough calcium, rather than reaching for dairy products, load up on green foods, instead.

  15. Does your child suffer from frequent ear infections? If so, you may be able to reduce their occurrence or eliminate them altogether by giving your child a massage. Here's what to do: Starting at the front of the neck, near the collarbone, gently massage the lymph glands that run along both sides of the neck. Use a circular motion as you massage and take your time. When you reach the jaw area, reverse direction and massage back down towards the collarbone. By performing this massage on a regular basis, you will help your child's body to clear away blockages in the lymphatic system and eliminate mucus fluids, both of which can cuase ear infections. This method can also be used to ease symptoms of sinus congestion.

  16. Do you suffer from PMS? Then you might want to consider using the herb chaste berry (also known as Vitex agnus-castex). This traditional herb is widely used by women throughout Asia and Europe to prevent and relief symptoms of PMS, and its benefits in this area have also been substantiated by research. In one study, published in the British Medical Journal, researchers ffound that dried chaste beery extract significantly reduced all symptoms of PMS except bloating. Caution: Should you decide to use chaste berry, be sure to first inform your Health Expert about your decision.

  17. During winter months, as we find ourselves staying indoors longer, we are also more apt to breathe drier air. Dry air can increase the risk of air-borne infections, include cold and flu bugs, because of how dry air reduces the normal moisture of the sinuses. To avoid this risk, take steps to improve the humidity levels of your home and workplace. You can accomplish this easily by placing more plants in your home and workplacer, and by investing in a humidifier. Ideally, your home environment should have a humidity level of between 40 and 60 percent. You can check this by purchasing a hygrometer, which measure indoor humidity levels and is available at most hardware stores. If humidity levels are below 40 percent, then the use of a humidifier may be essential. Caution: For best results, be sure to clean the tank and pan every three to four days to prevent mold.

  18. Are you prone to nosebleeds. If so do the following: Apply K-Y Jelly or another type of water-based lubricant to the inside rim of your nose, using a cotton-tip or your little finger. This will reduce the likelihood of a bloody nose. Also be sure that your home and work environments contain enough moisture, as breathing air that is too dry can significantly increase the risk of nosebleeds. Caution: Persisitent nosebleeds may be a sign of a more serious condition. If nosebleeds do not abate within 20 to 30 minutes, seek prompt medical attention.

  19. Here's an effective and easy to make alternative to commercial mouthwash products, which contain alcohol and a host of other unhealthy chemicals. Pour one quart of pure, filtered water in a clean, glass jar. The add one teaspoon each of salt and baking soda, along with a few drops of peppermint oil. Cover the jar and shake vigorously to mix all ingredients. Not only is this mouthwash healthy for you, it is also very inexpensive and can be used just as any other mouthwash product.

  20. During winter months, for most people the risk of catching the cold or flu can increase dramatically. In some cases, such conditions can lead to pneumonia, which can potentially be fatal. Sometimes, however, people mistake symptoms of penumonia for a bad case of the flu. Recognizing pneumonia symptoms early can literally mean the difference between life and death, especially for children and the elderly. The most common symptoms of pneumonia are sudden shaking chills, cough, and fever. These symptoms are usually accompanied by chest congestion, greenish, yellowish, or blood-tinged sputum, and a headache. Rapid breathing with sharp chest pain can also be present. If you experience any of these symptoms, seek prompy medical attention.

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