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Ovarian Cancer – Know Your Symptoms

by Cindy Gray

Ovarian cancer is the fifth most common cause of cancer deaths in women, claiming over 14,000 lives each year, according to the American Cancer Society. Ovarian cancer is the most deadly of all the cancers that may affect the female reproductive system. It is more likely to occur in white women than African American women, and over half of those diagnosed with ovarian cancer symptoms are over the age of 63.

Do you know the 3 ovarian cancer symptoms to watch for?

Recently, the tragic death of Brittany Burns, (girlfriend to a noted Buffalo Bills football player) has recently brought this silent but deadly disease to the attention of the media.

Detecting Early Ovarian Cancer Symptoms Can Save Lives

Women who are diagnosed in the early stage of ovarian cancer have a 90% likelihood of survival. Sadly, a lack of general knowledge about ovarian cancer symptoms means that most women are not diagnosed until the disease is much further advanced.

Unfortunately, the early symptoms of ovarian cancer apply to many other less serious conditions, but if these symptoms persist on a daily basis for two to three weeks, it is essential to visit your doctor and have them checked out.

The four early symptoms of ovarian cancer, according to the Foundation for Women's Cancer, are:

  • Frequent bloating
  • Pain in the stomach or pelvis
  • Feeling full quickly or having problems eating
  • Urinating, or feeling the need to do so, more often than in the past

While all these symptoms may be experienced as part of everyday life at some stage, they are more likely to be ovarian cancer symptoms if they start suddenly, happen daily and continuously, and if feel differently to common menstrual aches and pains (for women of menstruating age.)

Related:  Perimenopause and Mood: Understanding the Connection

Additional symptoms of ovarian cancer, although alone these are not indicative of cancer, include:

  • Back pain
  • Indigestion
  • Pain with sexual intercourse
  • Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Changes in menstrual cycle

Pass this information on to the women in your family and circle of friends. By making everyone aware of ovarian cancer symptoms, lives may be saved and the tragic death of Brittany Burns will not have been in vain.

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Brain Training: Fitness for Your Brain

by Cindy Gray

Like your muscles, the brain needs regular exercise or training to stay strong and functioning normally. Brain exercises or brain training can boost cognitive function and is especially important as we age. 

Brain Training: Fitness for Your Brain

Don’t Lose Your Mind

Move it or lose it is a phrase that applies to your brain as well as your body.  Studies show that certain good-old fashion common sense when it comes to diet, exercise and lifestyle are the key to keeping your brain healthy. 

Not smoking, limiting alcohol consumption and getting plenty of sleep are important, but so is regular physical activity that boosts circulation and blood flow to the brain.

There are several non-physical ways that also exercise your brain to keep it fit.  As it turns out, some specially designed computerized cognitive training is not particularly helpful in improving your cognitive abilities. So what is?  Real world activities!

Related:  Super Berries for Super Memory Enhancement for Older Adults

Novelty

When it comes to your brain’s physical fitness, change is good.  Challenging your brain regularly with something new has great benefits. It doesn’t have to be complex like solving a math algorithm either. Simply taking a new route home from the office, brushing your teeth or hair with your non-dominant hand or memorizing the lyrics to a new song can keep your noggin in tip top shape.

Real Challenges

To really boost your brain power, you can do simple challenges to going all out like learning a new language or taking up a new sport like golf, tennis or Karate. 

Other great ideas for brain fitness are:

  • Try to recall your grocery list an hour after you get home from the store.
  • Listen to music, or better yet, play it. Take piano or guitar lessons.
  • Balance your checkbook in your head.  Math is a strenuous brain workout when you don’t have pen and paper or a calculator.
  • Take a cooking class to create new or foreign cuisine. Cooking involves the five senses; smell, touch, sight and taste, all of which engage your brain in a meaningful way.
  • Take up a new hobby that demands good hand-eye skills like knitting or sewing, puzzles, drawing or painting.

You can exercise your brain regularly most anywhere. At the office make a conscious effort to block distractions and stay focused on one particular task until it’s complete.  The more you practice the better you will get at it. 

Just like your muscles, though, after a hard workout your brain needs time to recover.  Getting a good night’s sleep every night is one way to keep your mental faculties strong. Also, it’s not a bad idea to indulge in some mindless TV viewing once in awhile, especially watching something that makes you laugh. Meditation can also be very beneficial for letting your brain relax and rejuvenate.

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Memory Problems and When to Seek Help

by Cindy Gray

We are all forgetful from time to time. Everybody has misplaced their car keys, forgotten to take their medicine or can’t remember a password.  As we age though, what these lapses in memory mean can be cause for concern.  What is normal age-related memory loss and what are memory problems?

What memory problems should you be concerned about?

Normal Age Related Memory Lapses

You may be telling someone about a great book you just finished and go completely blank on what the title is. Perhaps you find yourself in the garage with no idea what you went into it for, or suddenly can’t remember the street your friend lives on despite visiting her there for years.  While frustrating, these types of memory losses are part of normal aging and not cause for concern.

Minor memory lapses are not the same as dementia or the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.  Severe memory loss is not an inevitable part of aging either. Our brains can create new brain cells regardless of age.  In a way your brain is much like your muscles, if you don’t exercise and strengthen them they become weak.  Your brain needs to be regularly challenged to maintain cognitive skills through reading, doing crossword puzzles, playing card games and even with physical exercises like playing golf, swimming or doing Tai Chi.

Related:  How Aerobic Exercise Battles Cognitive Decline and Dementia

Abnormal Memory Problems

There are several signs and symptoms it is time to seek medical attention when memory problems become so severe and frequent that they interfere with daily life.  Symptoms of mild cognitive impairment or MCI are:

  • Difficulty recalling the names of new acquaintances
  • Losing or misplacing things regularly
  • Being unable to follow the flow of a conversation
  • Frequently forgetting important things like doctor appointment, or planned social outings

If this is you or a loved one, it is time to seek medical attention for diagnosis as to what may be causing the memory lapses.

Dementia is a definite possibility if you or someone you know experiences:

  • Problems with finding the right words to express themselves
  • Mood changes like frequent anger, or the opposite, apathy or feeling depressed
  • Inability to perform normal everyday tasks like balancing their checkbook, figuring out how to run the dishwasher or unable to remember how to play a simple game like checkers
  • Frequent bouts of confusion about where they are, what day it is, who a loved one is, or where they normally sit at the dinner table
  • Repetitive behaviors like asking the same question over and over or obsessively collecting items they don’t need or bathing several times a day

A diagnosis of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease is grim news and is much more important than just run of the mill memory problems. The person who is suffering from either will need a lot of support and encouragement at first, and eventually round the clock care.  There is no cure for dementia or Alzheimer’s but a doctor may prescribe certain drugs to try and slow down the progression of the symptoms. Staying active and socially engaged will help to ward off depression and relieve symptoms temporarily.

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Seven Lifestyle-Based Ways to Improve Your Memory

by Cindy Gray

How you live impacts how you feel and how well your brain functions. In this article, we will take a closer look at seven lifestyle changes that you can make. We’ll cover everything from ways to improve memory and memory improvement tips to tricks and tips such as the use of mnemonic devices.

Puzzles are one of the best ways to improve memory

Tip #1:  Great Sleep

Without a doubt one of the single most important steps you can take to improve your memory, your mood, your immune system and your overall health is to invest in better sleep. The choice to use the word “sleep” is no accident, as great sleep has been proven to help build great brains.

Tip #2:  Consume Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids can be found in fish such as wild Alaskan salmon, sardines, chia seeds, walnuts and more. The brain is essentially 3 pounds of fat and it needs healthy fat, like omega-3s to stay healthy. The bottom line is that if you want to enhance your memory, your body needs omega-3s.

Related:  Five Tips to Avoiding Memory Loss

Tip #3:  Invest in a Healthy Diet

The food you eat will impact your mood, the health of your body and, of course, your brain health and memory. Poor food choices weaken the immune system, can lead to disease, increase inflammation throughout the body and can leave one simply feeling sluggish. If you want excellent recall, then invest in a healthy diet consisting largely of fruits and vegetables as well as healthy protein sources such as nuts, seeds and organically raised lean cuts of meat.

Tip #4: Exercise

Studies have shown that those who exercise actually build and maintain healthier brains that those who do not and this does make sense as exercising increases blood flow to the brain. When selecting any type of exercise whether it is resistance training or aerobic conditioning, your number one priority is to perform all exercises correctly and safely. Remember if you are injured, you can’t work out, and that means no brain benefits!

Tip #5: Skip the Multitasking

Multitasking is unpleasant, your brain hates it and it can negatively impact your memory. It takes focus to build a great memory and that focus can’t be achieved while multitasking. Also, for most people multitasking is stressful. Increased stress means increased stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline. Prolonged exposure to stress hormones will negatively impact your health, so skip the multitasking!

Tip #6:  Brain Games

The best brain games are the ones you love. There are many different ways that you can use brain games to improve your memory. Playing just a few minutes of brain games per week can help you see improvements. Games such as chess, even puzzle and action video games can all be used to help you build your memory.

Tip #7:  Mnemonic Devices

Simply stated, mnemonic devices work! A mnemonic device is any tool that helps you remember something better and with greater recall. Some famous mnemonic is ROY G BIV which is used to remember the colors of the rainbow. Try adapting the strategy of mnemonics in your own life and you’ll see that you can remember and recall a great deal of information.

Together these seven memory improvement tips will help you boost your memory. When you improve your health you’ll enjoy greater mental clarity and focus. Armed with this clarity and focus you can expect to enjoy a significant improvement in overall memory and recall.

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Five Fun Ways to Connect With Your Partner

by Cindy Gray

Life for most couples is busy as they juggle work, raising a family and maintaining a home with sports, church, hobbies and other commitments. It’s easy to lose sight of your priorities and neglect your partner as you live life at full speed. Here are some ways to connect with your spouse and keep your relationship fresh and loving.

Impulsive treats are good ways to connect with your spouse

Sharing Food Pleasures

There are plenty of ways to share time and food together and add to the quality of your relationship with your partner or spouse. Try meeting for lunch occasionally. It need not be a restaurant – sharing a brown bag lunch in the park can be a great way to connect with your spouse, just like you did when you were courting!

If you both enjoy cooking, prepare a meal together. It’s fun to be in the kitchen sharing tips and chatting as you create something together. Develop your teamwork skills, or each take responsibility for a separate dish. Try new recipes then sit down and eat together. If one partner does not like to cook, they can participate by opening wine and preparing the table, complete with candlelight and soft music. As Shakespeare said: “If music be the food of love, play on.”

Play Games

Have a night without the TV. Get out a favorite board game, play cards, challenge your partner to a word game, or do a giant crossword together. It’s a great chance to communicate, laugh together and have fun as a new way to connect with your spouse.

Go on a Picnic

A change of routine can be great for relationships that are getting a little predictable and boring. Plan a romantic picnic, perhaps as a surprise for your partner. Pack a few of their favorite foods and head off to a beauty spot that you have always intended to visit, or perhaps a place that has a special significance in your relationship. A picnic provides time to talk without distractions as you share romantic moments together.

Related:  Seven Exercises for Better Sex

Ask Each Other Questions

Communicating is an all-important way to connect with your spouse. Make time to ask each other questions, and listen carefully and quietly to the answers. It can be a special time to learn what your partner really thinks about you, your future or perhaps pursue a special dream together.

Share Happy Memories

Every couple shares happy memories that can only be appreciated by the other partner. Cuddle close and share old photographs as you recall when you met, when he proposed, your wedding day, birth of a child or special vacation. Happy memories build happy futures, making this the best possible way to connect with your spouse.

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Lose Stress to Gain Joy

by Cindy Gray

Do you feel stressed? Here’s a quick stress test to check if you need help letting go of stress.

Pause and check your physical demeanor.

  • Are your shoulders hunched and tight?
  • Is your jaw clenched?
  • Are you sitting forward on your chair, rather than relaxing back into the chair?
  • Is your mind running over a past conversation with someone or the list of things you have to do?

All these are physical indicators of the fact that you need help on letting go of stress and learning to relax.

Laughter is a good way of letting go of stress

Be Aware of Physical Stress

It’s good to recognize when your body or mind is showing signs of stress. First of all, embrace it with a smile. Physically focus on that stress, whether it is in tight muscles or a mind in turmoil. Gradually imagine relaxing those muscles; wriggle, stretch and rotate the tense areas to release that stress. You can do exactly the same with your mind. Imagine gathering up all those thoughts in a bundle, throwing them in an imaginary bin and putting the lid on tight. Be conscious that you feel lighter as you are physically and mentally letting go of stress.

Exercise

When stressful thoughts and situations threaten to overwhelm you, go for a short walk or run. Getting your heart pumping releases endorphins that lift your mood and alleviate stress, whether it is family induced or work related.

Related:  The Best Way to Fight Stress

Breathe Deeply

If you can’t escape and do some exercise, consciously start to breath deeper and more slowly. Shallow breathing is a sign of panic, but deep breathing slows the heart rate and fills your lungs with oxygen. Concentrate on your lungs filling up and gradually releasing each breath. Do this for 3-5 minutes and then return to your task after letting go of stress through this simple relaxation technique.

Make a Cup of Tea

While coffee and caffeinated soda can raise blood pressure and cause the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis to speed up, a cup of green tea can calm and soothe. The very act of slowing sipping can de-stress until the theanine in the green tea gets to work, calming your nervous system.

Binge on Omega-3

While sugary carbohydrate snacks may seem to offer comfort, fruit and vegetables provide a better way of letting go of stress. Omega-3 rich foods are known to help reduce the symptoms of stress, so enjoy a tuna sandwich or some fresh fruit as a pick-me-up.

Share Your Problem

If you feel overwhelmed by stress, it’s good to share your thoughts with someone outside the situation who can bring a new perspective to the problem.

Stress is one of the leading causes of ill health, so it’s important not to let it build up. Letting go of stress is not easy, but by following these tips you should be able to master the situation and overcome the physical effects that stress can cause.

 

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Six Benefits of Bubble Baths

by Cindy Gray

For those who enjoy bubbly baths, you are about to learn about the mental and physical health benefits bubble baths provide. If you’re not one to indulge in a relaxing bubble bath, perhaps this will persuade you to change your mind and jump in the tub!

Who’d have thought there were so many bubble bath benefits!

1.     Bubble Bath Benefits for Relaxation

A warm soak in a comfortable bath provides the perfect environment for relaxing. As the scents and steam rise, they create a calming atmosphere, encouraging you to de-stress and forget about work, family and other worries, at least temporarily. Banish your cell phone and read a book or just lie back and enjoy your time free from interruption.

2.     Aromatherapy in the Bath Tub

Add a relaxing scent to your bubbly bath with a couple of drops of essential oil such as lavender, bergamot, vanilla or cedarwood will encourage natural relaxation. Avoid synthetic fragrances as they can affect the endocrine system and increase the risk of breast cancer.

3.     Deep Muscle Relaxation

The hot water encourages deep muscle relaxation to ease cramps, prevent tension headaches and improve muscle elasticity. Follow your bubble bath benefits with a gentle stretch of the musculoskeletal system to improve posture and reduce back problems.

Related:  Safe Anxiety Treatments: Rose and Lavender are Scents That Soothe

4.     Bubble Bath Benefits Include Detoxing

Make your bubble bath hot enough to produce a sweat to remove toxins from the body naturally. The increased circulation stimulates the lymphatic system which sweats out toxins and increases lymph drainage.

5.     Hot Baths Boost Immunity

The heat of the steam stimulates the immune system and improves health. An improved immune system will help your body fight bacteria and viruses which should mean less coughs and colds naturally.

6.     Bubble Baths for Healthy Skin

Bubble bath benefits include glowing, healthy skin. A warm soak increases blood circulation, providing nourishment to damaged tissue. In addition, using a loofah or natural sponge to slough away dead skin cells will leave you with soft, glowing skin. Use a pumice stone and give your feet a good exfoliating scrub too. Moisturize your skin after your bubbly bath with coconut oil or olive oil and you will quickly eradicate any patches of dry or itchy skin.

By using natural organic products, your bubble bath benefits will avoid any reactions caused by chemicals and artificial fragrances. With so many health benefits available from a simple bubbly bath, make sure you book a session in your “home spa” at least once a week! 

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Omega 3 Fish Oil for Weight Loss

by Cindy Gray

We are conditioned to think that all fat is bad, especially if we are trying to lose weight. Low-fat diets have been promoted for decades as the only way to shed body fat, but now it seems that is not entirely true. A recent study by the University of South Australian found that there are definite benefits of omega 3 fish oil for weight loss when taken in conjunction with regular exercise.

Studies show the benefits of omega 3 fish oil weight loss

Study on the Weight Loss Benefits of Omega-3 Fish Oil

The Australian study focused on 75 participants who were diagnosed as overweight (>25 BMI) or obese (>30 BMI) with other risk factors for metabolic syndrome. These increased risk factors included high cholesterol, elevated triglycerides, hypertension and/or heightened insulin levels.

The group was divided into four different categories and each group was given either:

  • Tuna fish oil supplements (omega-3) with no exercise
  • Tuna fish oil supplements (omega-3) with exercise
  • Sunflower oil supplements (no omega-3) with no exercise
  • Sunflower oil supplements (no omega-3) with exercise

The supplements were 6 x 100 mg capsules of omega-3 fish oil or sunflower oil. The participants who included exercise in their program also completed three 45-minute runs each week at 75% of their maximum heart rate. No dietary changes were made to any of the participants’ routine.

After three weeks, members of three of the groups remained the same weight.  However, the group taking tuna fish oil supplements combined with exercise showed an average weight loss of 4.5 pounds, and a marked decrease in percentage body fat. This clearly showed the benefits of omega 3 fish oil for weight loss when combined with regular exercise.

The study concluded that if the fish oil supplements and exercise regimen were adopted by someone who was also on a calorie-controlled diet, the weight loss could be even more substantial.

Related:  Natural Weight Loss Supplement Resveratrol

How Does Omega-3 Fish Oil Benefit Weight Loss?

Omega-3 is known to improve blood flow to the muscles during exercise. It also helps trigger enzymes involved in burning or oxidizing fat when the metabolic rate increases during exercise. The combination of omega-3 and exercise prompts the body to carry fat to where the muscles can burn it as energy, thereby lowering body fat stores.

The study participants also underwent DEXA body scans which distinguish between fat, muscle and bone. Although three groups of participants remained unchanged, the group taking omega-3 with exercise showed a significant reduction of belly fat.

Those who took omega-3 fish oil without exercise still benefitted, as their blood pressure decreased during the study and there was a beneficial effect on their heart rate and triglyceride levels.

These encouraging results showing the benefits of omega 3 fish oil weight loss will now be followed up with other studies by Professor Howe, Director of the Australian Technology Network for Metabolic Fitness. In the meantime, dieters have nothing to lose but fat if they add 600 mg omega-3 fish oil and regular exercise to their weight loss plan. 

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Ten Tips to Have Healthy Teeth for Life

by Cindy Gray

10 tips to have healthy teeth for lifeHealthy teeth are more than just cosmetic. Strong healthy teeth allow you to chew well for good nutrition and they mean no toothache, pain or gum disease which research shows is linked to an increased risk of heart disease. Here are 10 ways to ensure a lifetime of healthy teeth.

1. Start Early

As soon as that first tooth appears at around six months of age, responsible parents should be encouraging good dental care. Clean baby teeth with a soft brush and supervise brushing when children start to brush for themselves, around the age of 2.

2. Dental Sealants

Protect your child's molars with a dental sealant.  Talk to your dental professional about the importance of this procedure for healthy teeth.

3. Protect with Fluoride

Check whether your water is fluoridated. If not, make sure you always buy toothpaste and mouthwash that contains fluoride to support strong healthy teeth.  However, there is significant controversy over the safety of fluoride usage.  Do your own research and make dental health decisions based on what you learn.

4. Twice a Day Routine

Teeth should be cleaned at least twice a day – and that means using a toothbrush AND floss to clean between the teeth.  Don’t forget to clean your tongue with a tongue scraper, to remove bacteria and prevent bad breath.  Rinsing with warm water and sea salt is also a natural and healthy habit to include.

5. New Toothbrush

Find a toothbrush that suits your teeth and grip. Electric toothbrushes are thorough and easy to use. Remember that toothbrushes need to be replaced as soon as the bristles start to show wear; usually every six months.

6. Eat Healthily

According to Anthony M. Iacopino DMD, PhD., omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation and lower the risk of gum disease, an important part of maintaining healthy teeth. Eating whole foods, grains, nuts, fruit and vegetables also support healthy teeth along with calcium from dairy products.

Related:  Could Your Dentist Be Your Most Trusted Health Source?

7. Avoid sugar

When sugars are dissolved in the mouth, they produce acid which erodes tooth enamel and allows tooth decay. Sugary carbonated drinks and candies are the worst culprits, so avoid or brush after consuming.

8. Protect teeth

Wear a mouth guard or full-face helmet to protect healthy teeth when you play contact sports or go skateboarding or roller blading. It will avoid disfigurement if you sustain a blow to your teeth.

9. Regular Dental Checkups

Regular visits to the dentist every six months allows any problems to be identified and corrected, long before they cause serious damage or decay which may mean fillings, crowns or even extractions.

10. Avoid Misuse

Heathy teeth are designed for chewing food, not for removing bottle caps, opening packaging or biting hard objects. Teeth can easily get chipped or broken and don't re-grow, so use your teeth for the purpose for which they were designed.  You won't get a third set!

Anyone can have strong healthy teeth for life if they follow the above tips. Don't let laziness and poor dental habits rob you of that healthy smile. 

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Who Gets Age-Related Macular Degeneration?

by Cindy Gray

Age-related macular degeneration, or AMD, is a condition of the eye that affects the clear, central vision required for activities like reading and driving.  AMD with associated vision loss currently affects roughly 1.75 million Americans, most over the age of 60.  Knowing who is at risk for age-related macular degeneration helps people determine whether or not they should make an appointment with a professional for an eye exam. 

Age-related macular degeneration is most likely to develop in people 60 years of age or older.

Risk Factors for Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Here are common risk factors that increase a person’s chances for developing AMD:

Age – As mentioned, the disease occurs more often in people over the age of 60.

Genetics – People with a family history of AMD have greater risks for developing it.  Scientists have identified nearly 20 different genes that may play a part, with possibly more to come.  Because of the wide variety of genetic influences and risk factors, there are no genetic tests that can accurately predict the development of AMD.

Race – Research shows AMD is more common among Caucasian Americans than those of African-American or Hispanic descent. 

Smoking – Research also shows that smoking raises a person's chances for developing age-related macular degeneration.  A British study found that smokers were twice as likely to develop the disease as non-smokers.  The researchers also discovered long-lasting effects of smoking, with data showing higher risks for the development of AMD for as long as 20 years after quitting.

While the American Academy of Ophthalmology currently recommends against routine genetic testing for AMD, people who have one or more risk factors may want to consult with an ophthalmologist for a comprehensive eye exam which often includes the following:

  • Dilation – drops placed in the eyes widen pupils for a better view of the back of the eye, retina, and optic nerve
  • Amsler Grid – an eye test used by eye care professionals to determine if there are changes in central vision
  • Visual Acuity Test – measures the ability to see at a distance
  • Fluorescein Angiogram – injection of fluorescent dye into the arm allows eye care professionals to detect leaking blood vessels as dye passes through the eye
  • Optical Coherence Tomography – light waves produce high-resolution images of eye tissue

Related:  Eyesight Improvement:  Reduce Risk of Macular Degeneration

Diagnosis of Age-Related Macular Degeneration

To diagnose age-related macular degeneration, ophthalmologists look for drusen, which are yellow deposits that lie underneath the retina.  The presence of very small drusen are common with aging, however, larger deposits may indicate the development of AMD.  Eye doctors also look for changes in pigment found underneath the retina as opposed to in the iris (or the colored part of the eye).

Because AMD can cause vision loss and blindness, it is important to have a better understanding of the disease, especially for people who are approaching 60 years of age.  Knowing the risks for AMD helps ensure earlier diagnosis, better treatment, and the best eye health possible.  

Healthy Living Starts Here... Free Resource Guide

 

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What Are Eye Floaters? Should You Be Worried?

by Cindy Gray

Many people take clear vision for granted until they develop eye floaters, little specks or "cobwebs" that float around in eye fluid.  When the eyes stop moving, floaters dart or drift outside of the field of vision.  Because they are generally not considered serious, floaters usually require no treatment, but in certain situations, they can be indicative of a more serious problem.  Learning more about eye floaters helps determine whether their development is a simple nuisance or a cause for concern. 

Eye floaters drift around the eye and appear as specks or cobwebs in the field of vision.

Causes of Eye Floaters

The development of eye floaters is a normal part of the aging process.  As people move through middle age and beyond, the jelly-like material (vitreous) inside the eyes becomes more fluid, and bits can clump together and drift around the eye.  While they may not go away completely, floaters tend to move to the bottom of the eye in time and require no treatment.  Although usually not a cause for concern, there are instances where eye floaters can be a symptom of more serious problems like eye injury, eye hemorrhage, infection, inflammation (uveitis), or retinal detachment.

Related:  Tell-Tale Signs of Vitamin A Deficiency

Vitreous Detachment and Retinal Detachment

Vitreous detachment occurs when a section of the vitreous pulls away from the retina. Although many new eye floaters may develop, this condition does not threaten vision and typically requires no treatment.    

Retinal detachment occurs when a portion of the retina is pulled out of place from the back of the eye. This causes the development of many new floaters, light flashes, and possible peripheral (side) vision loss.  Retinal detachment is a very serious condition that can lead to permanent vision loss or blindness quickly.  People who experience these symptoms should seek immediate help from an eye care professional.

Additional People at Risk for Eye Floaters

In addition to being a common product of aging, floaters develop more often in the eyes of people who are diabetic, very nearsighted, or those who have gone through cataract surgery. 

Surgical Treatment

While rare, eye floaters can sometimes accumulate and cause significant visual impairment.  In a procedure called a vitrectomy, a surgeon removes the vitreous gel from the eye along with debris and replaces it with a salt solution.  Because it comes with serious risks like retinal tears, detachment, or cataracts, this surgery is recommended only for cases where floaters cause significant visual impairment.

Eye floaters can be bothersome, particularly when people engage in activities like reading or working at a computer.  Fortunately, floaters tend to move from the field of vision eventually, and most require no treatment.  Because eye floaters can be a symptom of serious eye conditions or injury, people who develop them should consult with an eye care professional.  

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Essential Fatty Acids: Benefits and Sources

by Cindy Gray

With an enthusiasm for better health on the rise in America, many people are making quality nutrition a top priority.  Essential fatty acids (EFAs) play a key role.  They are called "essential" because they are not made naturally by the body, but must be obtained through food or supplements.  Learning more about these important nutrients can help to ensure a nutritious diet and a healthy body.

The only way to obtain essential fatty acids is through foods or supplements.

Omega 3 Fatty Acids

Essential omega 3 fatty acids include alpha-linolenic acid (ALA).  The body converts ALA to eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), two more essential fatty acids; however, the process isn't very efficient.  Therefore, EPA and DHA are considered "conditionally essential."

Sources of omega 3 fatty acids include green leafy vegetables, beans, nuts, flaxseeds, citrus fruits, melons, and cherries which contain ALA.  Omega 3 sources of EPA and DHA include fatty fish like salmon, tuna, and mackerel, and other marine life, such as algae and krill.  Flax oil (ALA) and fish oil (EPA and DHA) supplements also make good sources of omega 3 fatty acids.

Omega 6 Fatty Acids

Linoleic acid (LA) is an essential fatty acid present in many leafy vegetables, seeds, nuts, and grains.  Oils like sunflower, safflower, corn, peanut, and canola oil also offer linoleic acid.  LA breaks down to gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) within the body or arachidonic acid (AA), two other essential fatty acids.  Natural sources of GLA include oils like black currant, borage, evening primrose, and hemp oils.  You can also obtain AA through consumption of eggs, fish and meat.

Related:  Three Surprising Seafood Sources of EFA’s

Health Benefits of Essential Fatty Acids

Essential fatty acids help promote a variety of functions in the human body including:

  • Cell development
  • Absorption of vitamins and minerals
  • Nourishment of skin, hair, and nails
  • Proper nerve function
  • Hormone production

EFAs and Disease

EFA deficiency has been linked to a number of diseases and disorders including:

  • Atherosclerosis
  • Diabetes
  • Eczema
  • Hypertension
  • Certain mental disorders like depression and bipolar disorder
  • Learning disorders
  • PMS
  • Rheumatoid arthritis

Studies show the consumption of EFAs can help improve these conditions.  For instance, it has been found that diets high in ALA, EPA and DHA can help protect against heart disease by lowering blood pressure, reducing cholesterol, and providing anticoagulant properties.  Research shows that supplementation with GLA can relieve symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, and subjects with eczema are able to reduce their use of antibiotics and steroids for treatment of the disease.

People can consume large amounts of essential fatty acids with few side effects.  Occasionally some experience stomach upset, gas, or diarrhea, but these effects typically diminish over time.  Individuals on anticoagulant or blood thinning medications should check with their doctor before taking fish oil supplements as they can thin the blood.

While scientists continue to study how EFAs affect the health, it is clear they offer many benefits.  Whether consumed through a meal or taken as a supplement, EFAs are safe and well tolerated by the body. 

 

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Three Gluten-Free Party Recipes for Italian Dinners

by Cindy Gray

Since pasta is a wheat product loaded with gluten, Italian food and gluten-free don’t seem to go together.  While gluten-free means wheat-free (and other grains like barley, rye or commercially processed oats) that doesn’t mean you can’t serve a delicious Italian feast with gluten-free party recipes. 

These three Gluten-Free Italian recipes are perfect for your next dinner party. They are simple to prepare and delicious, so send out those invitations and get cooking!

Gluten-free party recipes you’ll find easy and delicious

THE APPETIZER

Noodles do a great job of holding the sauce and meatballs. But you can skip them and enjoy these gluten-free party recipes for appetizers.

MEATBALLS

Ingredients:

3 Tbsp. nutritional yeast

½ Tbsp. red pepper flakes

1/3 cup chopped fresh basil

½ Tbsp. Italian Seasoning

½ Tbsp. dried parsley

1 lbs. package of lean ground turkey

2 egg whites

2 Tbsp. milled flax seed

1/3 cup dried chopped onions

1 Tbsp. minced, garlic

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Put all the ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.  Form meatballs into one-inch diameter; makes approximately 30 meatballs. Place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicon baking sheet.

Bake meatballs for about 15 minutes, then turn and continue cooking for 3 to 5 minutes until golden brown. Remove from the oven and let them rest for 5 to 10 minutes before serving

MARINARA DIPPING SAUCE

Making homemade sauce instead of store-bought sauce ensures it is really free of gluten; plus it will taste better and have less sugar or preservatives.

Ingredients:

½ tsp salt

½ tsp black pepper

½ tsp dried parsley

½ tsp oregano

½ tsp rosemary

1-14.5 oz. can of stewed tomatoes

1-14.5 oz. can of tomato paste

One half red or yellow bell peppers (stem and seeds removed)

¼ cup dried or fresh onions, chopped

1Tbsp. minced garlic

Preparation:

Place all ingredients in a blender. Mix until mixture is fairly smooth.  Spray a saucepan lightly with oil and pour in marinara sauce. Simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes.

Serve with meatballs.

THE SALAD COURSE

This quick and easy caprese salad is healthy, and it’s an Italian dinner staple that’s gluten-free. 

Spinach Caprese Salad

Ingredients:

2 Tbsp. fresh chopped basil

1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar

½ Tbsp. of olive oil

1 and ½ cups baby spinach

½ cup of cherry tomatoes, chopped

1 oz. of fresh buffalo mozzarella, cubed

Preparation:

Place the spinach in a bowl. Add cherry tomatoes, mozzarella cubes and basil. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and enjoy!

Related:  Mediterranean Diet Improves Quality of Life

THE MAIN COURSE

Nothing says Italian like home cooked lasagna. This noodle-less version is healthier than what mom used to make (sorry mom); it’s gluten-free and delicious.

Ingredients:

1 lb. lean ground turkey

2 large or 5 small zucchini sliced lengthwise

1 white onion, diced

1 small eggplant, sliced

1 green pepper, diced

16 oz. baby spinach

8 oz. mushrooms, sliced

1-15 oz. tomato sauce

1-12 oz. can of tomato paste

2 egg whites

1-15 oz. fat-free ricotta cheese

8 oz. fat-free mozzarella cheese, shredded

1 and ½ Tbsp. salt

2 Tbsp. basil

1 Tbsp. oregano

¼ cup nutritional yeast

1 Tbsp. garlic, minced

Directions:

Lightly salt and oil zucchini and eggplant slices. Bake in oven for 5 minutes.

Place turkey in a pot and cover.  Cook over medium heat till browned (about for 5 minutes.)

Add vegetables and sauté for 5 minutes.

Combine meat with sauce and mix well. Simmer 15-20 minutes.

In a separate bowl, blend ricotta, egg whites and parsley.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and prepare a baking pan.

Layer lasagna in the following order: 1/3 meat sauce, 1/3 zucchini, 1/2 ricotta mixture, 1/2 eggplant slices, then all the mushrooms.

Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and allow cooling for about 10 minutes before serving. Slice into lasagna into squares

Bon appetite!

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Pro Hiking Tips To Stay Safe & Have Fun

by Cindy Gray

The great outdoors is a wonderful place to spend time. Hiking is a terrific way to enjoy nature’s beauty, plus it’s healthy and fun.  Following these hiking tips will make your next outdoor excursion safe and fun.

Pro Hiking Tips To Stay Safe & Have Fun

Safety in Numbers

The more the merrier is certainly true of hiking. Going it alone can be risky if you fall and injure yourself or run into an unfriendly critter.  Going with a group and staying together is safer and a lot more fun.

With kids along the adults in the group should share the duty of making sure they are all accounted for at all times so no one gets left behind or wanders off. 

Before you set off make sure to inform someone not on the hike where you are going and how long you think you will be gone. That way if you don’t return as planned, that contact can call for help.  Leave a note in your parked vehicle indicating how many are in your group, time of departure, expected time of return, and the general area you plan to be enjoying.

Make sure everyone has some form of identification on them, and a name and contact number in case of emergency.  Make it easier for helpers or rescuers to assist you as best as possible.  

Hydration Nation

Hiking can be a strenuous, thirsty good time. Always start your hike well hydrated and bring plenty of water with you.  Avoid alcoholic drinks or those high in sugar because they are actually dehydrating.  If you are hiking at higher elevations, your body has to work harder to compensate for the thinner air, causing dehydration to happen more quickly than under normal circumstances. 

Bring extra water in case the day turns out to be longer than planned due to weather delays or other reasons.  Two to three quarts per person is a good rule for hikes lasting more than 90 minutes.

If you are hiking in extremely hot weather be sure to bring drinks with electrolytes like sodium and potassium to replace minerals lost during heavy sweating.  Sports drinks, or electrolyte infused water are smart choices.

Be a Foodie

Like water, have plenty of food along for your hike.  Make sure everyone eats a healthy, protein-rich meal prior to departure.  Pack snacks like jerky, trail mix, granola bars, cookies, and other snacks that are a mix of carbohydrates, protein, and sugar to give you energy.  Bring along some apples and peanut butter. 

Plan to eat a small amount every hour you will be hiking, and bring extra in case the day runs long.  Another trick of experienced hikers is to enjoy honey sticks on your hike.  Honey is nature’s power source, and it tastes great. As a carbohydrate, honey is a natural energy booster.

Related:  The Benefits of Honey

Organized Chaos

Mother Nature is unpredictable, so being organized with these things in your daypack besides food and water will make for a better and safer hiking experience.

  • Small first aid kit, including snake bite kit
  • Rain gear (coat and pants), or rain poncho
  • Extra layers (long sleeve shirt)
  • Flashlight or headlight in case darkness sneaks up
  • Small mirror for flashing in case of emergency
  • Paper trail map of the area and compass
  • Extra sunscreen
  • Bug repellent (mosquitoes live near water and are more active at dusk)
  • Matches and lighter for emergency fire only
  • Tissues and toilet paper
  • Plastic bags for trash carry-out (don’t litter!)

Make sure every member of the party is wearing a safety whistle, or has one in their pocket or jacket (in case they get separated from their backpack.)  Teach younger hikers not to ‘call wolf’—in other works, it’s not a toy, and it’s used only in emergencies, not for play.

Use hiking as an opportunity to teach younger hikers (and many adult hikers) how to be aware of landmarks.  Teach them about directions.  Many people don’t know north from south or east from west.   The sun always rises in the east; it always sets in the west. Looking at a rising sun, your left arm is north, your right is south. Looking at a setting sun, your right arm is north, your left is south.

Bottled Shade

One item often left off hiking tips lists is sunscreen.  That’s too bad because a bad burn can turn the hike into a painful experience. Even in the winter or under cloudy skies, you can get can get a sunburn.  In fact, burns occur more quickly at higher elevations.

Lather a sunblock of at least 30 SPF over all exposed skin including inside the ears and your hands.  Wear a hat and sunglasses for extra protection.

Avoid Hairy Situations

Another hiking tip not commonly offered is to secure long hair under a hat or with a headband.  Long hair can blow across your face obscuring your vision and cause a nasty fall. It is also easily snagged in low hanging tree branches and bushes and can yank you up short and even cause a neck injury.  Keeping your locks locked down is a good hiking tip that can help avoid a hike up a mountain turning into a fall off a cliff.

Remember, take only pictures; and leave only footprints.  Be respectful of nature.  Bring along a trash bag and please don’t litter.  Stay only on the trail.  If you take these hiking tips to heart, your next hike should be good safe fun.

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Hard To Recognize Heart Attack Symptoms

by Cindy Gray

Heart disease kills around 600,000 people each year in the United States.  It is the leading cause of death in men and women and kills more people than the top three most deadly and common cancers combined. Cardiovascular disease can sneak up on you so being able to recognize some heart attack symptoms that are not as common, especially in women, could save your life.

How to recognize symptoms of heart attack.

Unusual Heart Attack Symptoms

In the movies someone having a heart attack gasps, clutches their chest, moans, and collapses. In real life heart attack symptoms can be much less dramatic and pain is not always centered in the chest over the heart.  Less obvious symptoms of a heart attack include:

Jaw Pain

Often mistaken for stress or grinding one’s teeth during sleep, jaw pain can be a sign of a heart attack. Women in particular suffer this symptom more than men and are quick to write it off as stress and anxiety and not of an impending heart attack. Worse yet, sometimes even doctors fail to recognize this as a common sign of heart attack in women, which delays treatment and can cause further damage to the heart.

Back Pain

Most people don’t think heart attack when their back is hurting. They think an impending heart attack will cause pain in the chest and radiate down the left arm. This is more common for men. Women often suffer back pain when having a heart attack, but may think it is from sleeping incorrectly or from heavy lifting.  

Related:  Natural Ways to Treat Lower Back Pain

Shortness of Breath

Suddenly feeling out of breath does not automatically indicate an asthma attack or that you are out of shape.  Women, more so than men, will experience sudden breathlessness or difficulty breathing when having a heart attack. That is why women and heart attack symptoms must be examined. Too often it is dismissed as an anxiety attack and again, that can cause a delay in proper treatment.

Other Men and Women Heart Attack Symptoms

Some other symptoms of a heart attack that are missed because they seem unrelated to a heart problem are:

  • Extreme fatigue
  • Nausea, vomiting or stomach pain
  • Pain radiating down both arms
  • Sweating profusely even when at rest

Since all of these symptoms from jaw pain to sweating can be symptoms of a heart attack, men and women who are at risk for cardiovascular disease should seek medical help immediately. Women who think they are experiencing a heart attack should not accept a diagnosis of an anxiety attack or flu and insist on being evaluated for a heart attack. 

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Three Protein Packed Breakfasts

by Cindy Gray

Starting the day off with a protein rich breakfast has significant benefits. If you want your body and mind to perform their best, then the right nutrition is a must. Proper levels of protein are an essential way to boost your energy level, help your brain function and rebuild. In this article, we’ll look at three protein rich breakfasts that are fast, easy and, of course, packed with plenty of protein.

Example of a protein rich breakfast

Protein Rich Breakfast #1-High Protein Pancakes

High protein pancake mixes and recipes are fast and a great way to start off the day. Protein powder can be added to many recipes and that means an instant protein pump. Oats and eggs are staple ingredients in high protein pancakes as well as egg whites, pea protein powder, almond butter and other options. Adding chia seeds and Greek yogurt are two easy ways to boost the protein in your pancakes to a new level.

Related:  How Breakfast Can Naturally Boost Your Energy

If you are looking for variety, consider sweet potato pancakes, peanut butter or other nut or seed butters, such as walnut butter or pumpkin seeds or pumpkin seed butters. In this way, you’ll get tons of protein as well as vitamins, minerals and powerful antioxidants. The idea that a nutrient packed, protein packed breakfast must be a tough one to make is simply not true.

Protein Rich Breakfast #2-Oats, Milk and Berries

Can it really be that simple? Oats, milk and berries for a nutrient and protein packed breakfast? Oats have a lot going for them as they are easy to digest, packed with nutrition and are a source of low calorie protein and fiber. One of the best reasons to opt for oats in the morning is that oats leaves you filling full longer. You digest them slowly, which makes them great for dieters. Also, the addition of milk helps to add yet more protein. Berries, both fresh and frozen, are a way to boost the antioxidant and nutrition levels of your breakfast. A small serving of strawberries, for example, can provide nearly 100% of your daily requirement of vitamin C.

Protein Rich Breakfast #3-Omelets

When it comes to protein packed breakfasts it is tough to top what omelets have to offer. Eggs are more than just a source of protein, as they contain vitamins and minerals necessary for brain function, such as the all-important choline. Eggs are a complete protein and are high in many B vitamins including B12, B1, B2 and more. The seemingly simple egg is also a rich source of vitamins A and D as well as a range of minerals including calcium, iron, phosphorus and immune boosting zinc. It is no overstatement to conclude that eggs are nutrient dense. When selecting eggs for your omelet, it is best to opt for eggs that come from free-range hens.

Another key benefit of omelets is that they provide variety. You can easily incorporate other nutritious foods ranging from kale to mushrooms, peppers, garlic and onions into one super-nutrient dense meal.

If you are looking for easy and fast, nutrient and protein packed breakfast options, then these three options have you covered. A protein packed breakfast will help you stay full until lunch time and help you think more clearly during those early morning hours.

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What Can Cause Short Term Memory Loss?

by Cindy Gray

What is Short Term Memory Loss?

Short term memory loss is when a person can remember events from years ago, for example, but cannot clearly remember things that happened yesterday. The short term memory is also known as the primary or active memory and covers events from seconds ago to several days ago. Stored in the frontal lobe of the brain, the short term memory has much less capacity than long-term memory, where facts and memories are stored.

There are many causes of short term memory loss

Causes of short term memory loss include medical problems, or may be an early symptom of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. However, other things can cause short term memory loss such as:

  • Head trauma during a fall or accident
  • Lack of oxygen to the brain
  • Alcohol and drug abuse
  • Seizures and epilepsy
  • Heart bypass surgery
  • Stroke
  • Depression

The cause of any short term memory loss greatly affects how it may be treated by doctors.

Related:  Improve Brain Health with Lifelong Learning

How to Avoid Short Term Memory Loss

As always, the best remedy for memory loss is avoiding such a problem in the first place. Studies show there are several things we can do to minimize the risk of short term memory loss in later life, such as:

  • Enjoying exercise 3-5 times per week
  • Eating plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables (remember that 5-a-day rule!)
  • Keeping your brain active with crosswords, number puzzles such as Sudoku or  Ken-Ken
  • Learning a new language has been rated as a good way to keep the mind sharp and the memory active
  • Maintaining good sleep patterns
  • Drinking moderate amounts of red wine (within the Department of Health recommended weekly guidelines of 21 units of alcohol for men and 14 units for women)

How many of these activities do you do regularly?

How to Improve your Memory Function

One of the best ways to improve your short term memory loss is with the use of mnemonic devices and memory tools to retain information. Mnemonics is a trick for remembering facts or names. Learning rhymes such as “30 days hath September, April, June and November” is a good example. Other memory aids include associating a word or name with another related object as a memory prompt. For example, Rod has a red truck.

Playing memory games is another good way to keep the short term memory sharp. Have someone put 20 items on a tray. Scrutinize the objects for 30 seconds then remove the tray and try to write down every item you can remember. Again, grouping associated items together can help.

It’s never too early to start protecting yourself from short term memory loss. Run through the checklist of preventative activities again and make sure you include each one in your everyday life for the best possible short term memory health.  

 

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How Fish Oil Increases Joint Mobility

by Cindy Gray

Did you know there are over 300 joints in the human body?  Each one of those joints benefit from omega-3 fish oil sourced from oily fish or fish oil supplements. Here’s how!

There are many proven benefits of omega-3 fish oil for joints

The ends of the bones in the body are cushioned with cartilage, which buffers unyielding bones from jolts and shocks that are part of daily wear and tear. Synovial fluid also fills the cavities of joints, further reducing friction between the bone and cartilage. In a healthy joint, this works well, but inflammation, wear and tear, and loss of synovial fluid due to age can all lead to painful joints. Research now shows that the significant benefits of omega-3 fish oil for joints can help significantly reduce inflammation, and ease painful joints.

Causes of Joint Pain

Arthritis is a common cause of joint pain in older adults. Osteoarthritis in particular can limit joint mobility as the cartilage deteriorates, exposing the bone and making walking painful. It may be the result of advancing age, obesity or it may be triggered by injury. There are many studies underway to better understand the benefits of omega-3 fish oil for joints.

Unlike arthritis, which tends to be age-related, rheumatoid arthritis affects all ages. This autoimmune disease means that the body attacks its own tissue resulting in painful deformed joints. Gout is another type of arthritis caused when uric acid crystals form in the synovial fluid, inevitably causing excruciating pain.

Related:  Top Foods to Help Ease Chronic Joint Pain

Benefits of Omega-3 Fish Oil for Joints

Research has shown that certain foods help relieve painful joints, namely oily fish and foods high in omega-3 fatty acids. Fish oil contains two different types of fatty acids: eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).  Both demonstrate the significant benefits of omega-3 fish oil for joints affected by rheumatoid arthritis.

Although doctors do not yet fully understand why omega-3s help relieve painful joints, research at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston found that omega-3 produces resolvin, a powerful anti-inflammatory compound that helps to relieve arthritic joints.

Other benefits of omega-3 fish oil for joints include relieving morning stiffness and reducing tenderness in the affected joints. Unlike NSAID medications, fish oil does not cause unpleasant side effects such as kidney problems, stomach ulcers and tinnitus.

Numerous clinical trials have shown the benefits of omega-3 fish oil for joints, making it a safe, affordable and effective treatment for all types of joint pain; as well as supporting a healthy heart, helping to lower cholesterol and maintain mental acuity. Check with your doctor if you are on medications or blood thinners before taking fish oil supplements, and choose a high quality omega-3 supplement from a safe and sustainable source. 


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Top 3 Causes of Low Energy

by Cindy Gray

If you suffer from tiredness and an ongoing lack of energy, the root cause could be far simpler than you might imagine. Energy comes from our diet and, not surprisingly, the main causes of low energy involve what we eat and drink. 

Lack of energy may have a simple dietary cause

Lack of Energy from Too Much Caffeine

Caffeine is a well-known stimulant, that’s why we take it when we need to concentrate or to stay awake while studying. Stimulants, as their name suggests, stimulate the body to release energy. However, each energy high is followed by an energy low which usually prompts us to pour another strong cup of coffee. This ongoing cycle swings from a short-term energy spurt to a complete lack of energy, making us more and more caffeine dependent.

This cycle builds up to cause Adrenal Fatigue when your adrenals finally tire of responding to the stimulants which trigger the release of stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline. After constantly reacting to caffeine, the adrenals are weakened and become less able to respond.

A study showed this clearly when participants were given 300 mg, 600 mg of caffeine or a placebo daily for five days. On the sixth day, the participants were given caffeine and then measured for their cortisol response. Those who had previously been given caffeine saw no cortisol response while those who had taken the placebo saw a large spike in cortisol production. 

The only way to treat the problem and cure your lack of energy is to avoid caffeine altogether.

Too Many Comfort Carbs

Carbohydrates are the main source of energy for all the body’s functions. Understanding how carbs work helps us appreciate why eating too much sugar and simple carbohydrates can actually cause fatigue and lack of energy.

When we eat simple carbs such as a sweet snack, the body converts it easily into glucose for instant energy. However, if we eat complex carbs such as brown rice, beans and whole grains, the breakdown into energy is a long, slow process.

In the same way as caffeine can trigger a spike of energy followed by a crash of fatigue, too many simple carbs may actually cause a lack of energy after a sugar spike.  Try switching to snacks containing complex carbs such as cereal bars, nuts and fruit for a steady energy supply throughout the day.

Related:  Four Healthy Carbs You Should Consider Adding to Your Diet

Lack of Energy from Too Little Protein

Although protein is not a primary source of energy, it is responsible for producing enzymes to digest food and activate metabolism. If caffeine and sugar are not the culprits for your lack of energy, try eating more protein. You’ll feel fuller for longer, and your body should be better able to convert food into a steady stream of long-lasting energy.

If you continue to suffer from fatigue, you should consult your doctor and check whether your lack of energy is a medical rather than a dietary problem. 30 Days to Rethink How You Take Supplements

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6 Super Easy Ways to Get Rid of Indigestion Fast

by Cindy Gray

Indigestion affects most people at one time or another. It can range from mild discomfort below the ribs to severe pain that prevents you from sleeping. Understanding the cause of indigestion can be the first step in remedying this common health issue.

Indigestion is a common health issue

Causes of Indigestion

Indigestion is generally caused by what you eat. Spicy foods can be hard to digest, especially late in the evening. Fatty foods laden with oil and cholesterol may also be hard for the body to digest. Overeating and excess alcohol are further common causes of indigestion. These can all cause acid reflux or GERD, when the stomach contents and pancreatic juices flow back up the esophagus causing pain, irritation, inflammation or a burning sensation.

If none of these causes apply, there is a chance that your indigestion is caused by a medical condition such as a stomach ulcer, gastroparesis, irritable bowel syndrome or pancreatitis, so you should consult your doctor without delay.

Related:  Five Supplements that Help Heal Tissue Damage Caused by Acid Reflux

Treat Indigestion Naturally with:

  1. Fruit and Vegetables

Returning to a more wholesome diet based on fresh fruit, vegetables, legumes and whole wheat products can quickly remedy any ongoing problems of heartburn. In particular, bananas are high in potassium which alkalizes acid. They also prompt the stomach to produce more mucus which protects the stomach lining and esophagus. Apples also create an alkaline environment, reducing indigestion and acid reflux symptoms fast.

  1. Water

Sipping warm water can calm the stomach and aid digestion, particularly if the cause is overindulgence. However, you should not drink too much water or it may make you feel bloated.

  1. Peppermint Tea

Peppermint is a known digestive aid and is easily taken as peppermint tea to soothe indigestion. Immerse the peppermint tea bag in hot water for 3-5 minutes. Remove the tea bag and cool before slowly sipping this healthy remedy.

  1. Fennel Seeds

Fennel is particularly good for treating stomach upsets caused by spicy foods. Fennel neutralizes the acid and reduces nausea quickly and safely. Simply added ground roasted fennel seeds to a glass of water and drink twice a day until the indigestion has gone.

  1. Ginger

Ginger is another excellent treatment for indigestion, especially if it is caused by overeating. Ginger accelerates the digestive process by helping the digestive process juices break down the food, moving it into the intestine faster. Simply grate a little ginger root into a glass of warm water. Add a few drops of lemon juice and honey to taste, then drink it down.

  1. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is a versatile home remedy for all types of ailments including indigestion. Add one tablespoon to a cup of water sweetened with a little honey. Drink 3-4 times a day to relieve persistent indigestion naturally.

Of course, prevention is always better than cure, so try to work out what caused your indigestion, and take steps to avoid it in the future. 

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