Health Tips - Issue 4

  1. You know that you need to brush your teeth and floss - ideally after every meal - if you want to maintain good dental health and protect the health of our gums. Now scientists have discovered another protective measure you can take: eat yogurt. That's the recommendation of researchers who recently published a study in the Journal of Periodontology. In the study, the researchers found that men and women who ate at least two ounces of fermented milk products, such as yogurt, had significant improvements in the overall health of their gums. The reason for the improvements is because yogurt contains rich levels of calcium. A lack of calcium in your diet can cause gum disease.

  2. Want to improve your odds of not getting cancer? Then make sure you do what it takes to achieve and maintain your optimum weight level. That's because recent research published in the prestigious medical journal Lancet shows that being overweight can increase the risk of a dozen types of cancer, including cancer of the breast, colon, kidney, and thyroid gland. This finding is based on data compiled from 141 studies that tracked nearly 300,000 people on four continents for up to 15 years. The studies clearly show that overweight people have a higher risk of developing these 12 types of cancer. The researchers who evaluated the studies believe that extra fat cells associated with being overweight or obese cause hormone levels to change, thus triggering the formation of cancer cells.

  3. Here's another reason why you should take care to bet regular exercise and manage your blood pressure and cholesterol levels: Doing so can help you reduce your risk of developing brain and cognitive problems as you grow older - as well as potentially avoiding Alzheimer's disease and senile dementia - according to a paper published earlier this year in the medical journal Alzheimer's and Dementia.. It's long been known that exercise and healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels are essential for ensuring healthy hearts. Now it turns out that these same preventive measures are also good for your brain.

  4. Want to stay healthy and protect your environment at the same time? Then consider walking or bicycling whenever you need to travel short distances. Not only will you be providing yourself with the wide range of physical health benefits associated with walking and bicycling, you will also improve your ability to manage stress. That's because both walking and bicycling have been found to create meditative states of mind that trigger relaxation. And of course both activities are non-polluting.

  5. It's common sense that a healthy planet is also good for your health. Here's another way that you can protect our planet's natural resources: stop receiving junk mail. That's because the production of junk mail results in the use of over 100 million trees and 28 billion gallons of water each and every year. To get off junk mail lists visit the following websites: Catalog Choice and GreenDimes.

  6. Need to lose weight? Trying eating cactus. Specifically the cactus plant Caralluma fimbriata, which has a long history as a natural appetite suppressant. In addition, it also has the ability to block enzymes involved in the production of fat. Fortunately, you do not have to eat the cactus plant itself. You can get the same fat-fighting benefits from a variety of natural weight-loss products that contain extracts of Caralluma fimbriata. You can find such products at your local health food store. Just check the label to see if the products contains Caralluma fimbriata.

  7. One of the biggest health risks in the United States these days is insulin resistance, when can lead to a number of serious health problems, including type II diabetes. One of the main reasons insulin resistance is so dangerous is because of how it causes an elevation in blood glucose (blood sugar) levels. Here are some tips you can use to protect yourself against insulin resistance and elevated blood sugar: Avoid eating processed foods and minimize your consumption of carbohydrate foods. In addition, make sure to only eat complex carbohydrates, such as whole grains, beans, potatoes, squash and yams, avoiding all simple carbohydrates, such as white bread, pasta, etc. (As a basic rule of thumb, if food is white, don't eat it.) In addition, make sure your meals contain foods rich in alpha-lipoic acid, and nutrient that has been shown to not only protect against insulin resistance and elevated blood sugar, but also to improve overall metabolism. Foods rich in alpha-lipoic acid include broccoli, carrots, potatoes, spinach, tomatoes, and yams. You can also try taking an alpha-lipoic supplement once a day.

  8. Here's a beauty tip the next time you find yourself experiencing puffy eyes due to lack of sleep. Steep green tea bags in two cups of water for five minutes. Then remove the tea bags and pour the green tea into an ice cube tray. Place the ice cube tray in your freezer. Whenever you notice you are puffy-eyed, take one of the ice cubes and rub it gently under each of your eyes for a few minutes. Not only will this reduce puffiness, it also helps to diminish dark circles under your eyes.

  9. Do you suffer from dry, flaking skin? If so, this do-it-yourself tip can help. Warm one to two cups of water, and then pour it in a bowl. Then add a few drops of extra virgin olive oil and stir the mixture. Next soak a wash cloth in the mixture, and then apply it over the area of dry skin for a few minutes. This will help to improve circulation to the affected area, as well as moisturizing the skin and removing dead skin cells. Repeat this process one or two times a day until you see the improvements you desire.

  10. Are you confused about the quality of the vitamins and other supplements you buy? Here's how you can be sure that what you are buying is a brand you can trust. Before buying any supplement product, check the label to see if the product contains a seal of approval from the USP (United States Pharmacopeia), NSF (National Sanitation Foundation), or Consumer Lab. These seals confirm that the product in question satisfied the requirements of independent testing that confirms that it contains the ingredients on the label in the noted amounts. For added assurance, seek the advice of a nutritionally-oriented physician.

  11. The next time you suffer from a bruise or any other type of physical trauma, consider arnica, a plant that is widely popular in Europe for its pain-soothing properties. Arnica is rich in compounds known as sesquiterpene lactones, which act to reduce inflammation by getting rid of fluid buildup in bruised tissues. You can find arnica at your local health food store in the form of creams, gels, essential oils, and tinctures. Simply rub arnica into the painful area to start the healing process. For additional relief, you can also take arnica internally as a homeopathic remedy.

  12. Walking. It's been called the perfect exercise because of how easy it is to do and the fact that it provides so many health benefits. Here's another one: Walking can actually make you smarter! That's right. According to research conducted by the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, walking for 45 minutes for as little as three times a day improves the decision-making abilities of adults by as much as 11 percent. So make a point of walking on a regular basis, ideally outside so that you also benefit by breathing fresh air. Just be sure to first invest in a good pair of walking shoes to spare yourself from sore feet or blisters.

  13. Are you at risk for high blood pressure? If so, try to avoid exposure to noise at night. That's because research shows that night noise can raise blood pressure levels. This is true even if you are exposed to noise while you are sleeping and don't wake up. Even sleeping beside someone who snores can increase your risk of high blood pressure. So, if your partner snores or you live in an area where night noise is common, take steps to minimize your noise exposure. One helpful solution is to try sleeping with earplugs.

  14. Want to boost your body's immune function and elevate your mood easily and quickly? Try singing. Research shows that singing for pleasure - such as in the shower or while driving in your car - can actually improve the functioning of the body's immune system, thereby increasing resistance to infectious diseases. Singing also has been shown to boost levels of the endorphin and dopamine hormones, both of which are associated with feelings of enhanced pleasure, calm, and relaxation. Some studies suggest singing can even improve memory. So even if you sing off key, try making singing a part of your daily life to improve your health.

  15. Are you feeling sick or rundown? If so, start laughing. That's because scientists have found that laughing boosts immune function, thereby also improving the body's ability to fend off disease. Laughing can also increase energy levels because the act of laughing increases one's intake of oxygen.

  16. Looking for a very pleasurable way to improve your health? Have more sex. Researchers have found that men and women who have sex to the point of orgasm twice a week or more are much more likely to avoid developing hardening of the arteries, compared to men and women who have sex infrequently or not at all. In addition, men and women who have active sex lives also tend to live longer and stay healthier throughout their lives. Sex also can significantly reduce stress levels, which is also important since stress is associated with up to 95 percent of all disease conditions.

  17. Do you frequently experience stress as a result of your job? If so, your risk of developing heart disease can be as much as 70 percent higher compared to people who do not typically experience stress at work. People who are chronically under stress need to do something about it. If necessary, they may even need to seek another job if they are unable to improve their current working conditions. Other useful steps include developing stress management skills, learning how to meditate, or taking a few five minute breaks during work to banish stress. In addition, if your job makes you stressed, speak with you physician to learn about other stress-busting strategies.

  18. Do you suffer from frequent stiffness in your neck and shoulders? If so, the problem may be caused by your pillow. Like with most other things, when it comes to pillows, one size most definitely does not fit all. In actuality, the type of pillow that is right for you depends on the position you habitually sleep in. People who sleep on their backs usually do well sleeping on medium soft pillows in order to achieve maximum neck support. Conversely, people who usually sleep on their sides do best sleeping on pillows that are thick and firm. And people who sleep on their stomachs do best with thin, very soft pillows that do not cause neck strain.

  19. Are you prone to suffer indigestion or constipation. If so, try drinking a glass of carbonated water once a day. That's because research shows that a daily glass of carbonated water can significantly reduce indigestion and constipation, as well as belching and bloating. In addition, drinking carbonated water can improve gallbladder function, which is also important because of the role your gallbladder plays in digestion and elimination.

  20. Do you suffer from allergies? If so, here's a useful acupressure technique you can use to relieve an allergic reaction. (Acupressure is similar to acupuncture, and uses pressure applied by the fingertips instead of needles to stimulate healing.) As soon as you feel an allergic reaction coming on, use your thumb and index finger to apply pressure in the center of the webbing of your other hand, between your other thumb and index finger. Gradually increase the pressure you apply, angling towards the bone that connects your index finger. Apply constant pressure for at least two minutes while simultaneously taking slow, deep breaths. Then switch hands and repeat the process.

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