Tinnitus is a persistent ringing in the ear that can be annoying to live with. Unfortunately, there is no medical cure, but our healthy living tips explore the holistic treatments for sufferers. The official number of tinnitus sufferers is almost 50 million Americans, according to the American Tinnitus Association, so you are not alone in suffering with this common problem.
Healthy habits and lifestyle changes may help Tinnitus sufferers.
What is Tinnitus?
Tinnitus is an ongoing ringing, hissing or buzzing noise in a person’s ear. It may affect the sufferer’s hearing but is not necessarily restricted to those with some degree of deafness. Tinnitus often develops after an ear infection, damage to nerve endings in the auditory canal, or exposure to a loud bang.
Our hearing works when vibrations caused by sound pass through the bones of the eardrum and reach a fluid-filled cavity in the inner ear. Tiny, sensitive hairs pick up the vibration and send an impulse to the brain through the auditory nerve. If these hairs are damaged or for some reason permanently vibrate, the brain “hears” non-stop noise vibrations which are known medically as tinnitus.
To prevent tinnitus you should only play music at 60% when wearing earbuds, and wear ear plugs when operating noisy machinery or at a concert.
Doctors may prescribe a hearing aid to help control the noise, but there are some healthy living tips to help you live with tinnitus.
Some people suffering with ringing in the ears find that some food, drinks and medication can affect their symptoms. Keep a diary of the days when the ringing is worse and see if there is a common cause. These may include caffeine (tea, cola and energy drinks as well as coffee), salty foods, taking aspirin or after drinking alcohol.
If you smoke, consider quitting. Smoking affects the blood flow to the nerve cells that control your hearing. Nicotine also creates a kick of adrenaline which can make the tinnitus sound much worse.
Other healthy habits for tinnitus include creating soft background noise from a radio, white-noise machine or even a fan to help mask the ringing.
Stress and worry can make tinnitus even worse, so introduce some relaxation techniques into your life. Yoga, tai-chi, meditation and muscle relaxation CDs can all help reduce ringing in the ears.
Of course, getting your overall health checked out by your doctor is a healthy habit to consider if you develop tinnitus. The ringing noise may be caused by other conditions such as a buildup of ear wax, fibromyalgia, hypertension, thyroid issues or Lyme disease. Hopefully these healthy living tips will help improve the problem over time.
We take many aspects of life for granted, such as the ability to balance. Healthy habits are important for maintaining many everyday activities such as walking on an uneven sidewalk, stepping off a curb to cross the street, or getting out of bed without falling over. Let’s look at how all the amazing parts of our body work together for perfect balance, and pick up some healthy living tips to keep it that way.
Balance is defined as the “ability to maintain the body’s center of mass over its base of support.” We need perfect balance to stand upright, see clearly as we move around, and live a normal healthy life.
Lack of balance is shown by a range of symptoms such as dizziness, vertigo and the inability to walk steadily in a straight line. These can cause nausea, feelings of disorientation, and problems with sight, hearing, concentrating and remembering things. It takes a combination of systems all working synergistically together to maintain balance.
Muscles, bones and joints that provide motor control. Movements and postural adjustments that help us stay balanced are driven by the brain through sensory receptors and motor impulses. Information from the joints and body relay information to the brain.
Vision to provide sensory input through sight, giving a sense of distance and proportion. Rods and cones in the retina provide fine detail and visual information about how the body is orientated in relation to other objects.
The inner ear contains semicircular canals filled with fluid that detect turning movements. It sends sensory information to the brain to make compensatory adjustments to the rest of the body
Nerves are used to detect changes in the body as we move around. For example, pressure on the front soles of the feet tells the brain that you are leaning forward. Movement in the neck tells the brain which way you are looking. All these allow the brain to make fine adjustments so that the body remains upright and balanced through an ongoing series of large and small movements.
Healthy Living Tips to Support Balance
Fortunately, all these activities go on subconsciously or proprioceptively, allowing us to think, move and get on with life while the body and brain control the task of keeping us upright and safe.
As balance requires a coordinated combination of several systems, if one component ceases to function correctly, it is likely to affect our balance. Disease, injury or aging can affect sight, muscles, joints, the nervous system and the brain, resulting in imbalance.
Balance also depends on other more subtle factors. Make sure to get enough sleep, as being tired can affect your balance. Side effects of prescription drugs can dizziness and a feeling of being imbalanced and off-center. Having a clear mind also helps with balance, therefore stress can impact your ability to remain balanced. Hatha yoga is one of the best ways to safely and naturally improve your ability to be balanced.
By taking care of the body holistically, we can support the interaction of different components that allow us to balance. Healthy habits include taking supplements that support vision, active cognitive function and supple joints and bones. If just one part of the whole becomes incapacitated, your balance is likely to suffer as a result.
Even the healthiest adults may encounter balance issues, particularly as they grow older. While some imbalance issues may require medication, other balance problems can be cured by understanding the cause and adopting healthy habits to prevent them.
Here are some healthy living tips and advice about how to deal with seven common causes of imbalance, so you can feel a bit steadier on your feet.
Some people suffer visual disturbances, flashing images, partial blindness in one eye or dizziness as part of what is known as a migraine aura. Take preventative headache medication at the first signs of a migraine to avoid it developing into a cluster migraine and try to avoid any trigger foods such as chocolate, strawberries and red wine.
2. Inflammation of the Inner Ear
The inner ear is made up of several semi-circular canals lined with hairs and nerves to sense when we turn our head or move. This is the balance control center of the body. Unfortunately the quantity of nerve cells steadily decline after the age of 55. If healthy habits are ignored, it can result in a loss of balance, vertigo, BPPV or acoustic neuroma. A knock on the head, low blood pressure or an ear infection can also affect the balance in the inner ear. Get a regular checkup with a health professional to ensure that your whole body is healthy as part of balance support.
An irregular heartbeat can cause momentary loss of balance or co-ordination. Any irregular heartbeat, such as racing, throbbing or a rapid pulse should be checked out by a medical professional to avoid more serious health issues.
4. Peripheral neuropathy
The brain relies on peripheral nerves to transmit sensory information which helps the different systems in the body to control balance. Physical injury, diabetes, repetitive stress and metabolic disorders can disrupt the nerve messages to the brain, resulting in balance problems.
5. Depression and anxiety
Lightheadedness can be brought on by panic attacks, feelings of anxiety, hyperventilation and other emotional stresses. Regular exercise and good social support can help negate these serious health issues, helping ease anxiety and reducing associated dizzy spells.
6. Standing up too quickly
Another cause of imbalance is suddenly standing or sitting up, or getting out of bed too quickly. Rapid movement can cause a drop in blood pressure, a common cause of unsteadiness.Healthy living tips for better balance include getting into the habit of rising slowly and steadily from a chair or bed.
7. Muscle weakness
Regular exercise may help improve muscle weakness. In rare instances, loss of balance and weakness may be due to medical problems such as MS, Alzheimer’s, lupus and brain tumors.
If you are suffering from momentary balance issues it makes sense to get your overall fitness checked out by a doctor regularly as one of the healthy habits to ensure your whole body is functioning well. Other commonsense healthy living tips include adopting a healthy diet and regular exercise suitable for your age and ability. Not only will this diagnose any health issues, it may also prevent balance issues in later life.
As a general life rule, either too much indulgence or too much restriction of virtually anything that is considered “good”—even essential—usually leads to problems. Sleep is a perfect example. Sleeping too few or too many hours can create a serious and negative impact on your health. These less than optimal amounts of sleep is associated with premature aging, increased mortality, and a higher incidence of disease including diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and cancer.
The magic number of hours for sleep appears to be seven to eight hours. In a study published in the journal Sleep in August 2010, and conducted by researchers at the West Virginia University’s faculty of medicine, study participants who slept fewer than five hours a day including naps, had more than double the risk of angina, coronary artery disease, heart attacks, and stroke. Those who slept more than seven hours also had an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. The participates who slept nine hours or longer were one-and-a-half times more likely than seven-hour sleepers to develop the disease.
A study published in The Journal of Sleep Research in 2009, looked at the association between sleep duration and all-cause and cause-specific mortality. Researchers found a statistically significant increase in all-cause mortality, especially of cardiovascular disease and cancer in those who slept either too many or too few hours. In another study conducted by UCSD and published in 2002, researchers found a 15% increased risk of mortality in those who slept more than 8.5 hours or less than 4.5 hours.
Too Little is Too Big of a Problem
How big of a problem is disrupted sleep in America? According to a study published in 2006, fifty- to seventy-million Americans chronically suffer from sleep disorders that hinder daily functioning and adversely affect health and longevity. The National Sleep Foundation conducted a poll of Americans and the majority (63%) said they do not get the recommended seven to eight hours of sleep. Nearly one third (31%) reported sleeping less than seven hours a night. One in five adults stated that they were so sleepy during the day that it interfered with their daily activities. Seven in ten adults (69%) said they experience frequent sleep problems.
Chronic Disease and Accelerated Aging
A Harvard University study published in 2010 followed 56,000 U.S. adults and found that sleeping less than seven hours a night increases the risk of obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease. Another study published in the journal Lancet in October 1999 found several biological signs of “accelerated” aging in healthy young men after they slept only four hours per night for one week. Those signs included changes in their glucose and stress hormone (cortisol) levels compared to that typically seen in middle age. According to researchers, the physiological changes observed in the sleep deprived young men could predispose them to diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity and memory loss.
As important as the number of hours you sleep is to your health and longevity, the exact times that you go to sleep and wake up is equally important. Staying up late or working the night shift, even if you get seven or eight hours of sleep, has a significant deleterious effect on various hormone levels and inflammatory markers. Sleeping at the “wrong” times increases your risk of the same chronic diseases associated with sleeping too few hours: diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease, gastrointestinal disorders, depression and cancer—especially breast, prostate, endometrial and colorectal cancers. For example, a study published in the journal Cell Metabolism in August 2010 found that staying up until 2 a.m. upset the body’s internal clock and caused fatty acids in the blood, called triglycerides, to become abnormally high. High triglycerides are known to increase the risk of heart disease.
In another study, researchers at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonia, Texas, reported that epidemiological studies find an increase of breast, prostate, endometrial and colon cancer in individuals who work at night or whose circadian rhythms had been disrupted for other reasons. Disruption of the normal circadian rhythms has also been associated with poor pregnancy outcomes (Mosendane et al 2008). In contrast, going to bed before 10 p.m. and getting up by 6 a.m. can reduce your risk of all of these conditions by as much as fifty percent.
15 Tips for Better Sleep:
Eat three nutritious meals a day. The evening meal should be light and early.
Exercise regularly, preferably early in the morning. If you exercise in the late evening, it may keep you awake.
Go to sleep by 10 p.m.
Eliminate or severely restrict stimulants such as caffeine and alcohol.
Wear comfortable clothing to bed.
Avoid spicy foods at the evening meal.
Do not bring work-related material into the bedroom and turn off the television, and avoid the news or negative information.
A gentle massage of the hands, feet, and neck before sleeping can aid in relaxation.
Stress can definitely interfere with sleep. So practicing an effective stress reducing technique such as Transcendental Meditation, Qi Gong, or yoga can be very beneficial.
Make sure that your room is dark. If you can’t make it completely dark, wear a comfortable eye mask. It can also be helpful to keep your room quiet and cool.
Avoid alcohol. Alcohol interferes with the sleep hormone melatonin. Alcohol may seem to help you fall asleep, but it can also cause you to wake up in the middle of night.
Listen to soothing music before going to sleep. According to a 2005 study conducted by Marion Good Ph.D., R.N., at Case Western Reserve University, listening to soothing music for 45 minutes in bed improved subjects sleep quality by an average of 35% over a three week period.
Take a warm bath in the evening. A 1999 study published in TheEuropean Journal of Applied Physiology found that a ten minute evening bath helped the elderly to sleep better.
Don’t bring your electrical devices into the bedroom. The electromagnetic frequencies they produce can disrupt the flow of melatonin. Shut off your cell phone, Wi-Fi, and any other electrical devices in or near the room where you sleep. Don’t use an electric blanket (or at least unplug it before you go to sleep.) Choose a battery operated alarm clock instead of an electrically powered clock radio.
If you have trouble sleeping, please try all the gentle, natural approaches presented above, rather than using pharmaceutical medications which can disrupt the full health-producing benefits available in sleep. You may also want to create a ritual that is most relaxing for you—one that best prepares you to ease into this extraordinarily powerful, health-promoting, sublime activity. Soothing music, warm baths, gentle massages, perhaps reading an uplifting book or hearing the calming voice of an enjoyable book on tape, or simply being in quiet meditation or prayer, you may find is the perfect approach that consistently and magically lulls you to health-giving, life-enhancing sleep.
When you feel stressed out, it’s common to hear well-meaning advice such as “don’t sweat it.” But sweating (when it occurs during exercise) may be the best medicine to combat stress. Numerous studies have confirmed the benefits of exercise for mental and physical health.
People who suffer from chronic stress often have jam-packed schedules. These busy folks cannot fathom how they could squeeze exercise into their already hectic lives. But it is essential to make time for physical exercise. When you are swimming, playing tennis, walking in the park, working in your garden or concentrating on yoga poses, your body produces endorphins, the “feel good” hormones that help fight stress and anxiety. Exercise also reduces stress-induced cortisol which has been linked to serious health problems including heart disease, gastrointestinal problems and heart disease.
A study published in the journal Sports Medicine and Science found that regular exercise can help people cope with even the toughest stressful situations. The study found that cancer patients who embarked on a 10-week program of light to moderate aerobic exercise had significantly increased energy levels and a more positive outlook on life. Another recent study found that quality of life and even medical outcomes improved among women with breast cancer who engaged in regular physical activity.
Another benefit of exercise is that it helps to improve the quality and duration of sleep; and coping with stressful situations is much easier when you’re well-rested. Experts caution that you should get your exercise at least five hours before bedtime so that your body has the time to cool down before sleep. As an added bonus, regular exercise helps you maintain a healthier weight, reduce body fat and improve muscle tone.
Bear in mind you don’t have to run a marathon or participate in a triathlon to reap the benefits of regular exercise. Studies have shown that even 10 minutes of exercise a day can help to improve your mood. As your fitness level improves, increase the amount of time spent exercising. Enjoy the benefits of exercise and sweat away the stress.
It’s no overstatement to say that your brain can be considered the “leader” of your entire body. After all, it controls everything that you do, think, feel, see, and hear—both consciously and subconsciously.
Maintaining the health, wellness, and optimal functioning of your brain is essential if you are to remain capable of carrying out the many complex activities of human life in its most evolved state. And the key to this optimal functioning depends on a variety of neurotransmitters and hormones.
In addition to memory and emotions, these brain chemicals are also responsible for stress, blood pressure, pleasure and pain, motivation, learning, attention, muscle movement, energy, thyroid function, reproductive function, sleep, and even your very heartbeat. In other words, virtually every body function you can think of.
While many people realize that the brain performs all of these functions, most of us think of memory and/or comprehensive first and foremost when we think brain health. And, in our darker moments, these thoughts may turn to Alzheimer’s disease and/or dementia.
This makes total sense when you consider that more than five million Americans suffer from Alzheimer’s disease, which is the most common form of dementia in the U.S. And while most adults fear the idea of Alzheimer’s, the majority of treatments for the disease center around treatment rather than prevention. Ludicrous, isn’t it?
That’s exactly what researchers from Switzerland thought. Rather than look at ways to treat the disease, they foods at ways to prevent the disease by focusing on maintaining a healthy neural function in an effort to protect against the development of dementia and/or Alzheimer’s disease.
They found that the essential fatty acid docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), as well as B vitamins and vitamins C, D, and E all play a role in brain health and work to delay brain aging. This makes perfect sense!
First of all, vitamin C is a potent antioxidant, which is known to fight the free radical damage that has been associated with both dementia and Alzheimer’s. Similarly, vitamin E is an antioxidant powerhouse, working to prevent cell damage throughout the body.
To this point, a Johns Hopkins University study examined the use of vitamins C and E in 4,740 patients ages 65 and older. Researchers found that the people who took both vitamins had significantly lower incidence and severity of Alzheimer’s disease compared to the people who took one or neither of the nutrients.
Vitamin D supports brain and nervous system function and correlates with cognitive function and mood. Additionally, there is evidence that low levels of vitamin D are correlated with low mood and poor cognitive performance.
B vitamins are a group of 11 separate water-soluble vitamins that are known to support brain health and boost energy levels. Within this group, vitamins B6, B12, and folic acid appear to be the most beneficial for brain health.
Vitamin B6 is important to a healthy inflammatory response, and one disease in particular that has been associated with inflammation is Alzheimer’s disease. Vitamin B6 is also critical for the synthesis of neurotransmitters.
Similarly, vitamin B12 is also important for the synthesis of neurotransmitters. Plus, it helps in DNA synthesis, nervous system health, and brain functioning.
Folic acid is known to prevent neural tube defects in the first eight weeks of pregnancy, and research indicates that folic acid helps with brain health, DNA synthesis, and neurotransmitter function. Additionally, folic acid deficiencies have been associated with depression and dementia.
Lastly, the omega-3 fatty acid DHA is a natural brain booster. Your brain needs DHA to create healthy nerve cell membranes. Your brain uses nerve cells for mood, attention, and memory.
Given all this, it’s no wonder the researchers concluded, “The use of vitamins and DHA for the aging population in general, and for individuals at risk in particular, is a viable alternative approach to delaying brain aging and for protecting against the onset of AD pathology.”
What does this mean for you? Simple. If you aren’t already, immediately start taking a high-quality multinutrient and fish oil supplement that is high in DHA. Your body—and your brain—will thank you.
No one wants to hear that they have high blood pressure or high triglyceride levels. Of course, many people aren’t aware of the significance of triglycerides. These lipids are stored in your fat cells. Individuals eating the wrong kinds of foods, such as a lot of fats and carbs instead of healthier options like fruits and vegetables, may be shocked to learn that they can have dangerously high triglyceride levels.
The reason that triglycerides must be treated with great care is that they can play a significant role in different serious diseases. Heart attacks, strokes and a hardening of the arteries (or atherosclerosis) are all possible results of having high triglyceride levels. Fortunately, there are ways that those with high triglycerides can lower those levels. In this article, we will take a look at a few high blood pressure remedies and ways that you can lower your triglyceride levels. As a bonus, these heart healthy foods are also good for digestion.
Not All Fat is the Same
If you have high triglyceride levels and are seeking to reduce the fat in your diet, realize that not all fat is the same. It has been found that omega-3 fatty acids, such as the ones found in wild Alaskan salmon and sardines, can work to lower triglyceride levels. These two types of fish are not just good ways of lowering your triglyceride levels, but also exceptional heart and brain foods as well. Making the switch from fatty red meat choices to salmon and sardines is a savvy choice. In general, switching your unhealthy fats, such as trans fat, for healthy fats is a major step in the right direction.
Skip the High Carb Diet
If you like or love your carbs, you might want to consider reducing them in order to get your triglyceride levels down. Diets that are high in carbohydrates can cause your triglyceride levels to soar.
Drop the Pounds and Lower Your Triglycerides
One of the single best ways of reducing your triglyceride levels is to lose weight. Consuming less calories and losing weight will lower your triglycerides and also help keep you healthy in a variety of different ways.
Exercising Will Help Lower Your Triglycerides
Exercising and losing weight work quite well together. If you want to see those pounds drop quickly and your triglycerides follow, then consider adopting a lifestyle that includes both losing weight and exercising.
Make Healthier Food Choices
If you have high triglycerides, then different food choices are in order. If your current diet is comprised mostly of carbohydrates and fattening foods, then it’s time to make the switch to healthier foods. Pack your diet full of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and smart protein choices, such as wild Alaskan salmon and sardines. Greatly reducing or eliminating your processed food intake in favor of whole food choices will do wonders to improve your health and lower your triglycerides as well.
Dr. Christine Horner shows you some of the reasons some people appear to age faster than others, and how to become one of those people.
Sarah James from Wyoming writes, "Getting old is not as bad as feeling old, why do some people age faster than others, what can I do to slow things down?"
That's a great question, as a plastic surgeon I noticed when people would come into my office, that suddenly as we start to get older, there are certain people that look really old at forty and some people that look really young at sixty, so what's the difference? Well we can definitely look to our diet and lifestyle, the good old diet and lifestyle as far as making the big difference.
When we look at our genes we know that they do have an influence, but they've done lots of twin studies, so these are some of the best ones where they have the same genes and they will find that the twin that has the healthier diet and lifestyle has all the indicators as far as having slowed aging and even on their chromosomes they have the little ends of them that telomeres that correspond to lifespan they'll be longer in the twin that has the better diet and lifestyle. Wow, so how about calorie restriction, I mean I've read that the only proven test or theory that we have for extending life is actually not eating as much, have you found that to be true in your reading.
Yes, so it actually, that was the first experiment they did on rats back in the thirties and they thought well lets see what happens if we restrict calories to the rats and they thought that they would become less healthy and in fact it was the opposite. So they became healthier, their heart rate slowed, their blood lipids became better, their blood pressure went down, and their life span increased fairly significantly so it was tested then on monkeys and then actually there was a human test on it, where they had people that went into the desert of Arizona and lived in a bubble for two years, and they did calorie restriction and they found all the same parameters, as far as improved blood lipids and blood pressure, and all the things that help with aging, they also looked genetically to see what genes we have that are turned on as far as longevity genes, and the length of our telomeres at the end of our chromosomes.
So, calorie restriction is most proven, but there' actually some supplements that we can take that have the same gene activations and lengthening the telomere without having to starve yourself.
Ok, so what are those?
Believe it or not resveratrol which is a substance that comes out of grape skins, so this is the French. You like to talk about the French and their drinking of their wines, and one of the reasons is because of the substance resveratrol, and so resveratrol actually to get enough of it you need to take it in supplement form but it activates the same longevity genes and all the different patterns that we see in calorie restrictions.
Well I have to stop you there, so the French live longer than we do but they smoke, they drink red wine the eat cheese, pâté. What's up with that? I mean how do they get to live that type of lifestyle and live longer than we do? Please explain that.
So you know the interesting thing is that when we look at that culture as well as other cultures say like the Japanese the Japanese will smoke 10 times more than Americans do, but they have like 10 times lower instances of lung cancer. Well why is that?
Well it's because of how we eat. So if you're eating you know fast foods processed foods, burgers and fries and colas and so forth it accelerates the damage you know that occurs, VS eating a diet that is full of fruits vegetables, and the French eat very well.
The Japanese eat primarily a plant based diet and they're also eating smaller portions. So you know Americans we do all these supersized and the French do these little tiny portions so the calorie restrictions definitely tells us we don't need to be eating as much as we are and cultures of extraordinarily longevity, they eat about a third of the calories of what Americans do so we can cut down our portion size and make sure that we're eating nutrient dense foods that are primarily found in plants.
That's why sometimes I have gone into a French restaurant and the entrée cost thirty five dollars and I have to use this microscope to find it on the plate.
You savor it more? Ok, ok.
So the other troubling thing is, we're living longer in America but we have just as many or more chronic diseases, many rates of cancer are going up cardiovascular disease is not going down, so how do we bring those two back to into some parody so we're actually living longer but we're living at a high quality of life rather than a lower quality of life, just with more years?
So some things kind of skew the statistics on life expectancy that most people just don't think about and
has to do with infant mortality, because we're averaging life expectancy, so if we actually have a better longevity or of our infants then it skews the whole life expectancy so sometimes it seems like we're living longer than we actually are because of that.
In addition to that we also have a lot of different technologies that help to keep us alive as you point out there seems to be an increase in a lot of these different diseases so I say hey if your going to be around you might as well take care of yourself because you want to enjoy your life and not be sick.
So this is where it's really important to pay attention to your diet and lifestyle. I think that western medicine is going to save you, they can but you don't want that kind of assistance.
So lets just say if we have one or two things that will really help promote longevity at a high quality. What would those one or two things would be for you?
Well again we're talking diet and lifestyle, so eating lots of plants, getting lots of exercise, getting plenty of sleep, stress reduction.
I'm listing more, and a few key supplements you can take like the resveratrol.
Great, well thank you very much Dr. Horner for sharing your views on how to promote longevity.
If you have any questions about aging, or any other health matter please click on the link below, we'd love to hear from you.
Scheduling yearly comprehensive exams - health care experts say that eye care should begin early in life, starting in infancy. Comprehensive eye exams performed by a certified optometrist can not only evaluate vision, but can also detect health problems such as high blood pressure (BP) and diabetes well in advance so they can be treated in time. Early detection and treatment is key.
Protect your eyes against against UV rays - long-term exposure to the sun poses significant risk not just to your skin, but to your eyes as well - which is why it’s always important to wear sunglasses. Choose a pair that blocks more than 95 percent of UV-A and more than 99 percent of UV-B radiation.
Give your eyes a break - it is estimated that up to two-thirds of Americans spend up to seven hours daily using computers or other digital devices. This can lead to problems such as dry eye, eyestrain, headaches, neck aches, lower back pain and fatigue. Proper lighting, appropriate seating and viewing angles, and sitting at the correct reading distances to eliminate visual stress and discomfort are all recommended to keep your eyes and vision healthy.
Eat your greens - make sure you eat five servings of fruits and green leafy vegetables every day. This will ensure that your body gets a steady supply of the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, essential fatty acids, vitamins C and E and the mineral zinc - all proven to protect eyesight and promote eye health. Your body doesn’t make any of these nutrients naturally, so you must get them from your diet.
Practice safe wear and care of contact lenses - more than 40 million Americans use contact lenses to improve their vision. While some adhere to medical guidelines for wearing contacts, others are putting their vision at risk daily through unsafe practices. Improper contact lens use can lead to blurred or fuzzy vision, red or irritated eyes, pain in and around the eyes, or a more serious condition in which the cornea becomes inflamed, known as keratitis.
Hearing loss is a very common medical condition, believed to affect more than 28 million Americans. It can be caused by multiple factors including aging, excessive exposure to loud noise, illness, chemicals or physical trauma - or any combination of these.
Animal studies have already shown that intake of antioxidant vitamins along with magnesium can protect against hearing loss. A recent study looked at the association between daily intake of the antioxidant vitamins beta-carotene and vitamins C and E and magnesium on hearing thresholds in US adults.
Data on hearing thresholds was assessed from over 2500 participants aged 20 to 69 years from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). This study clearly showed that higher intakes of magnesium along with beta-carotene and vitamin C were associated with better hearing thresholds. In other words, dietary intake of antioxidants and magnesium is associated with a lower risk of hearing loss.
Similarly, studies have shown that a lack of folic acid, a B vitamin, is linked to susceptibility to age-related hearing problems. For example, a Dutch study reported that folic acid supplements delayed age-related low frequency hearing loss in middle-aged people, suggesting that supplementing with folic acid may help to lessen this type of hearing loss.
Sensori-neural hearing loss (SSNHL) is another type of hearing loss - one that can happen suddenly, without warning. In such cases, a person typically experiences complete or partial loss of hearing in one or both ears.
Occasionally, a viral upper respiratory infection or very loud noise may precede SSNHL. In such cases, hearing can recover within a twenty-four hour period if attended to. However, if not treated properly, hearing loss may become a permanent condition.
Some doctors prescribe Niacin, another B vitamin which seems to improve blood circulation to the inner ear, to treat SSNHL. Niacin may also help some people with tinnitus, but only if their condition was originally caused by circulation problems.
Health solutions like superfoods provide multiple disease-fighting nutrients. These foods or health food supplements are calorie sparse and nutrient dense meaning they pack a lot of punch. They are a superior source of antioxidants and essential nutrients. Meaning that they are nutrients we need but cannot make ourselves. Providing the nutritional support to increase energy naturally, regulate your digestive system, lower high blood pressure, strengthen your immune system and provide joint pain relief.
Take a closer look at the handful of foods that have super properties and can contribute greatly to your overall health:
Green Superfoods - Often when you hear or read the term “green superfood” what is being referenced are foods such as wheat grass. However, there are other foods that often fall into this category as well. Some of the other green superfoods are kale and spinach. One of the key attributes that the green superfoods have in common is that they are all rich in vitamins and minerals and may even aid with detoxification.
Probiotics - Probiotics are live microorganisms that can be consumed to improve overall intestinal tract health. Some studies indicate that they may be very beneficial to overall health as they boost the immune system.
Spirulina - Spirulina is a form of healthy blue-green algae that is used as a dietary supplement. It is very high in nutrition, protein, vitamins and minerals as well as essential fatty acids. When combined with the fact that spirulina is low in calories, it is easy to see why this supplement makes the superfoods list.
Chlorophyll- Chlorophyll is another superfood that can be both high in nutrition and play a role in detoxification. Chlorophyll is a deep, rich pigment found in plants and algae. It is necessary for photosynthesis. Some studies claim that chlorophyll may even help with removing toxic compounds from the body.
Enzymes - There is no doubt that enzymes are important. For example, they are critical in the process of breaking down the food we eat so that our bodies can absorb it. The amount of science surrounding enzymes and their importance is simply staggering. One of the key reasons that raw vegans are so enthusiastic about their diet is that in a raw diet all the enzymes are preserved. Enzymes are generally lost when food is cooked. However, it is possible to obtain enzymes in a pill form. There are dozens of widely used enzymes including bromelain, which is derived from pineapple and is believed to help fight inflammation. In general, enzymes can help with everything from inflammation to the digestion of food.
Antioxidants - The odds are you have heard at least a little about the importance of antioxidants. Antioxidants, as the name indicates, helps repair the damage that occurs to the body as a result of oxidative damage. This damage can be thought of as a sort of rust in the body as it occurs from simply being alive, eating and breathing. However, the damage of oxidation can be combated via antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables, for example. Virtually all fruits and vegetables have antioxidants and some have a higher level of than others.
Garlic- Garlic is seen by many as being nothing short of amazing and with good reason. Garlic functions as an anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal and even as an antioxidant. If you are feeling under the weather, this is a great food to reach for!