Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The Biggest Mistakes You Make Using Your Fridge

Does your milk smell like onions? Your lettuce go limp in a week? What about cold cuts? Are you throwing them out before you get a chance to make sandwiches? Avoid the mistakes below and you may find you're wasting less food.
  • Storing milk and dairy on the door As temperatures are highest on the door, keeping your milk, yogurt, and butter there can shorten their "shelf life". Better to keep them on refrigerator shelves. 
  • Not keeping meat in the meat drawer On most models, this compartment, called the meat drawer or deli locker, is designed to keep foods colder than the rest of the refrigerator, making it an ideal spot for storing raw meat or poultry, cold cuts, or anything that spoils quickly like the smoked salmon, shrimp, or caviar you may splurge on during the holidays. Many of these drawers have various settings -- choose the coldest one,and it may even keep your chicken and hamburger meat slightly below freezing so they'll stay fresh significantly longer. Remember to keep meat, poultry, and fish in containers or bags so their juices can't leak out and contaminate other foods in the locker.
  • Failing to clean the condenser coils If you notice that your fridge temperatures seem to be rising, it could be because you need to clean the coils. This easy-to-do task should be done several times a year and even more often if you have dogs or cats that shed. Unplug the unit, snap off the grate, then use an inexpensive coil-cleaning brush, which you can find at hardware stores, or your vacuum's crevice tool. You may even see a drop in your electric bill as your unit will operate more efficiently. 
  • Not wrapping foods tightly before freezing them You can use zipper-top freezer bags, aluminum foil, or heavy-duty plastic wrap but whichever you opt for make sure to remove all the air by smoothing it around the food. If you're using storage containers, fill them almost to the top so you'll protect leftovers from burn but give the food enough room to expand as it freezes. 
  • Not stashing fruits and vegetables in the crispers They're called crispers for a reason. Keep your Boston lettuce and your broccoli in one of your fridge's produce drawers with the humidity level set to high and you may be surprised at how long they stay sprightly. Use one crisper for veggies, the other for fruit with the humidity levels at low. By keeping a half an onion in a produce drawer, wrapped up in plastic of course, you'll help keep it from flavoring your milk.

Monday, December 2, 2013


NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - A generally active life, even without regular exercise sessions, was tied to better heart health and greater longevity in a study of older Swedes.

Based on nearly 3,900 men and women over age 60 in Stockholm, the study adds to evidence suggesting that just sitting around may be actively harmful, researchers say.

"We have known for 60 years that physical activity is important for the heart," said lead author Elin Ekblom-Bak, of the ├ůstrand Laboratory of Work Physiology of the Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences in Stockholm.

But until recently the research has mainly focused on exercise and has "forgotten" about the background activity that we do during daily life, she told Reuters Health.

Whether someone exercises vigorously or not, it still usually only takes up a small fraction of the day. That leaves the rest of the time for either sitting still or engaging in non-exercise activities, like home repairs, lawn care and gardening, car maintenance, hunting or fishing.

For older people, who tend to exercise vigorously less than younger people, spending more time doing low-intensity activities like these could help cut down on sitting time, Ekblom-Bak and her colleagues write in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

Between 1997 and 1999, more than 5,000 60-year-olds were invited to participate in the study, which began with a questionnaire about health history, lifestyle and daily activities, as well as medical tests and measurements.

At the study's outset, people who were more active on a daily basis, regardless of their exercise levels, tended to have smaller waists and healthier cholesterol levels.

The participants were followed for the next 12.5 years. During that time nearly 500 people had a first-time heart attack or stroke, and nearly 400 people died from any cause.

People who had reported high levels of daily non-exercise activity were less likely to suffer a heart-related event and less likely to die than those who were the least active.

For every 100 people reporting low activity levels who had a heart attack or stroke, for example, only 73 highly active people experienced such events. For every 100 of the least active who died, only 70 of the most active did.

"These are fascinating findings," said David Dunstan, of the Baker IDI Heart & Diabetes Institute in Melbourne, Australia, "but not really surprising since other studies that have looked at this from a different angle - that is, describing the detrimental relationship between excessive sitting and mortality outcomes - are essentially showing the same thing but in reverse because there is such a high correlation between sitting time and nonexercise physical activity behaviors."

While sitting, muscles do not contract and blood flow decreases, which reduces the efficiency of many body processes, like absorbing glucose from the blood, said Dunstan, who studies heart health and exercise.
Non-exercise activity likely prevents the general slowing-down associated with sitting, he told Reuters Health.

"In addition to engaging in regular health enhancing exercise, people should be encouraged to also think what they do during the long periods in the day in which they are not exercising," he said in an email.
"Engaging in regular exercise is still important," Ekblom-Bak said. "We saw that those who exercised regularly and that also had a daily physically active life had the lowest risk profile of all."

Moderate-to-vigorous exercise helps strengthen the heart muscle and other body muscles, and may help regulate blood pressure more than general activity, Dunstan said.

But it is important for doctors and society in general to promote daily activity, not just exercise, she said.
"Human beings are designed to move," said Phillip B. Sparling, a professor of Applied Physiology and Health Behavior at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta who was not involved with the new study.

"Ideally, we should have a mix of all levels of activity," he said. "But, regardless of whether one exercises or not, the new message is to move more and sit less throughout the day."

Tuesday, November 26, 2013



Need another reason to roast chestnuts this winter?
Look no further than a study published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine which suggests people who eat nuts have a lower risk of death compared to people who never eat them.
Researchers at Harvard and Indiana University looked at data gathered through the mammoth, decades-long Nurses' Health Study and Health Professionals Follow-Up Study - health information for nearly 120,000 men and women in all. They looked at the risk of death in these subjects from several common health problems, and they compared this risk against their consumption of nuts.
They found that people who ate an average of one serving of nuts per day had a 20 percent lower risk of death from several common health problems compared to those who never ate nuts. The more nuts they ate, the greater the effect.
The researchers noted that the study was funded in part by the International Tree Nut Council Nutrition Research and Education Foundation, a nonprofit industry group, but they stated the organization had no role or influence over any aspect of the study.
Lead study author Dr. Ying Bao, an internist at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, Mass., says the findings reinforce what many have long suspected about the benefits of nut consumption.
"Nuts are a nutrient dense food," she said. "Previous studies show benefits for different chronic diseases - benefits for diabetes, metabolic syndrome, even colon cancer. And, of course, heart disease."
Importantly, those who consumed nuts were also those who tended to be less obese, less likely to smoke, more likely to exercise, and more likely to eat fruits and vegetables - all healthy factors that could contribute to longer life in and of themselves. However, even after taking all of these factors into account - as well as others like age, race and family history - the researchers still found that those who ate nuts came out on top when it came to early death due to cancer, heart disease, and lung disease.
The study is the largest yet to show such benefits.
"There are very few studies that show the benefit of nuts on total mortality," Bao said. "We had a great opportunity to look at this association, which is understudied, in a large study sample."
Dr. David Katz, founding director of Yale University's Prevention Research Center, who is not affiliated with the study, said that though the study cannot prove conclusively that eating more nuts will keep you alive longer, the findings are healthy food for thought.
"One potentially important reason why nuts reduce disease risk and death is what they add to the diet, another is what they remove from the diet," Katz said. "People who eat more nuts are likely eating them instead of other foods, perhaps snack foods apt to be far less nutritious."
Doctor's Take:
This research adds to the increasing body of research that show that nuts have several health benefits. And while no food can keep you alive forever, nutritionists have long known that nuts are full of nutrients. So if you can afford them, you might consider adding a handful of nuts per day to your diet.
However, it's important to remember that eating nuts is not a substitute for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. This means eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, exercising, not smoking, and limiting alcohol intake to 1 or 2 glasses per day.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013


A commentary in the current issue of the British Medical Journal (BMJ) suggests that saturated fat is not really so bad after all. The article has the media buzzing, with headlines exonerating saturated fat sprouting like mushrooms throughout cyberspace and print media alike. My most recent Google search of “saturated fat” limited to news retrieved 20,000 sites.

Since the new paper is just a commentary- one doc’s opinion- and not a new study, and since this opinion has been asserted many times already, I’m not sure I really get the reaction- but hey, I just work here. Let’s deal with it.

Is it, in fact, time to absolve saturated fat? No, it’s not. But then again, it was never time to demonize it in the first place. I will lay out my case that we are ill-served to think of saturated fat as either scapegoat, or martyred saint.

1) Ancel Keys was never really wrong.
The case against saturated fat, its implication in the development of atherosclerosis, inflammation, and chronic diseases, notably heart disease, involves a vast expanse of research over many years by thousands of researchers around the world. But dealing with all of that in this column would be a terrible bother, so let’s just blame it all on Ancel Keys. Keys was certainly among the first to emphasize the association between saturated fat intake and heart disease.

The temptation to absolve saturated fat comes along with a temptation to indict Dr. Keys of crimes against dinner. But, Ancel Keys, while perhaps not quite right, was never really wrong.
Keys looked at rates of disease around the world and correctly noted that heart disease was more common in societies that ate more meat and dairy. His mistake may have been to look past that dietary pattern for the “active ingredient” in it, which led to the convictions of dietary cholesterol, saturated fat, and to a lesser extent overall dietary fat.

There’s much that could be said about this. Whole columns could be written about dietary cholesterol, dietary fat, and saturated fat and ways we went wrong. In fact, I- along with innumerable others- have written just such columns. Simply click the inserted links.

But for now, here’s the key point about Keys: I bet he never imagined Snackwell cookies! Keys was comparing the health of people eating meat and cheese and ice cream, to the health of people eating mostly plants, and to other people eating lots of plants along with nuts, and seeds, and fish. Nobody was eating low-fat junk food, because it hadn’t been invented yet.

When it was invented, to exploit the interest in limiting fat intake in general, and saturated fat intake specifically, it created a whole new way of eating badly. Yes, we can reduce our intake of saturated fat and replace it with sugar and starch and glow-in-the-dark food chemicals, and not wind up healthier. Is anyone really shocked about this? My kingdom to anyone who can find and verify the recommendation, attributed to Dr. Keys: “eat Snackwell cookies!”

2) Ancel Keys wasn’t entirely right.
Saturated fat is not one food component; it’s a category. Just as polyunsaturated fats include the anti-inflammatory omega-3s, and the pro-inflammatory omega-6s (and even that is over simplified), so does the saturated fat class contain a diversity of members. One of them, stearic acid, found in dark chocolate among other places, is now clearly established to be innocuous. Another, lauric acid, predominant in coconut oil among other places, may prove to be as well. But still others, such as palmitic acid and myristic acid, appear to be substantially guilty as charged, contributing to inflammation and atherosclerosis. The body of relevant evidence is expansive.

What this means is that even if there are harms attached to some saturated fats, summary judgment against the whole clan was never valid. The combination of parsing and over-simplification invites the devils in the details to run amok. That clearly happened here.

Some saturated fat simply isn’t harmful. Some is.

3) Saturated fat and ALL dietary fat should never have been conflated.
Our penchant for summary judgments took us further into the realm of folly. Whatever the legitimacy of efforts to cut saturated fat, there was never any in extending this thinking to all fat, and that too, happened. Even Keys could have noted that some of the healthiest populations in his studies were eating a liberal amount of total fat from nuts, seeds, olives, avocadoes, fish, and seafood. We do note that now, and call this the Mediterranean diet, and have situated it conclusively on the short list of contenders for “best diet” laurels.
Our errant actions with regard to dietary fats now invite, in predictable Newtonian fashion, a commensurate and opposite reaction. That doesn’t make it right.

4) You don’t rise from lateral moves.
If you interpret advice to stop playing with fire as a license to start playing with sulfuric acid, you may not improve your risks of getting burned. But that would hardly be a basis to conclude that fire is harmless. This, in essence, is what we are at risk of doing with saturated fat. We could have cut it by improving our diets. But we didn’t; we did, in fact, start eating Snackwell cookies and the like. All this means is that there is more than one way to eat badly. Again, anyone inclined to shock at that revelation?

5) You can’t assert that X doesn’t lead to Y if X never happened in the first place.
Consider this line, taken ver batim from the new BMJ commentary:
"In the past 30 years in the U.S. the proportion of energy from consumed fat has fallen from 40% to 30% (although absolute fat consumption has remained the same), yet obesity has rocketed."

The author of the commentary, Dr. Malhotra, adds the “yet” at the end of this line as if to indicate this is a surprise outcome. We cut dietary fat, but got fatter! But in implying this, he also seems to be implying that he failed to read what he just wrote. Re-read his line.

If the percent of calories from fat went down, but total fat intake did not (this is exactly what he is saying, and yes, it is true)- it leads inexorably to only one conclusion: total calorie intake went up, diluting down the percent of calories coming from fat. Can you imagine not rolling your eyes at a statement, pretending to be provocative, that read: “our calorie intake went up and yet we got fatter!” The only reasonable reaction to that assertion is: duh!

It seems pretty clear that most journalists covering this story ignored the implications of this line. But more surprisingly, the author himself ignored the implications of what he wrote. We never really cut our fat intake-we simply diluted it as a percent of total calories by eating more sugar and starch. So we kept the saturated fat, replaced some of it in time with trans fat, and applied a generous icing of starch and high-fructose corn syrup. And yet, amazingly, we didn’t wind up healthier. Well then, yes, clearly saturated fat must be good for us! Or not.

6) Sat fat can’t sing the blues.
I trust you’ve heard of the Blue Zones, and the diets found there. These are the dietary patterns consumed by the population groups around the world that experience the longest lives and the most vitality. There are no high sat-fat diets in the Blue Zones. Period.

There are low-fat, plant-based diets. And there are higher-fat, Mediterranean diets- but these are diets rich in monounsaturated fat, and a mix of polyunsaturated fats including a generous dose of omega-3s. Saturated fat is at rather low levels.

So, the idea that you should liberalize your intake of saturated fat is more conjectural and less based in epidemiology than the argument to cut it ever was. Perhaps we can eat a lot of saturated fat and live a long, healthy life, but there is no real-world experience to validate the claim; it’s just a hypothesis. If you choose to test it, you are casting yourself as guinea pig in your own research. If you’re still here and I’ve checked out, I guess you get the last laugh- but I won’t be around to hear you chuckle. On the other hand, if you check out and I keep going, I guess I get to say I told you so. But you won’t be around to hear me pontificate.

I suppose, for the sake of word count if nothing else, that will do. So where does it leave us?

We vilified saturated fat, and were almost certainly silly to do so. Now, some seem on a mission to canonize it- and that is at least as silly. Diets can be lower, or higher, in saturated fat content and be crummy either way. There is no evidence of long-term health benefit from the willful addition to the diet of saturated fat.

We must recall that all dietary fat is not created equal, and all saturated fat is not created equal either. A lot of opportunity for better health is let down the drain when we fail to distinguish baby from bathwater.

The world’s best diets, associated with the world’s best health outcomes, encompass both higher and lower levels of total dietary fat. But all such diets are relatively low in saturated fat, as our native Stone Age diet was thought to be. And in case you are wondering about the basis for my assertions here, I can provide these: (1) I am currently completing work on the 3 edition of my nutrition textbook for health care professionals, which encompasses well over 5,000 citations. I have been obligated, and privileged, to view the scientific literature on diet and health from altitude as few others have. And, (2) I have recently completed an invited paper, now in press at the journal Annual Review in Public Health, entitled “Can We Say What Diet is Best for Health?” That was a lesser effort than the book, but with similar obligations. And finally, I have no dog in the fight. I don’t care what diet is best- I just care that we all have access to the best information about diet and health.

If we focus only on cutting saturated fat, we can find new ways to eat badly. We have, over the years, done exactly that. Of note, we can do the same when cutting carbs, or gluten, or fructose, or sugar, or meat, or grains, or salt, or wheat, too. Diet never was, and never will be, a single ingredient enterprise. The whole recipe matters.

There is no need to obsess about cutting saturated fat. But I advise against any particular effort to add saturated fat to your diet. In fact, don’t waste much time focusing on saturated fat per se. Rather, focus on eating well, as the Okinawans have long done with a very low-fat plant-based diet, or as the Mediterraneans have long done with a much higher-fat, but still mostly plant-based diet. If we choose wholesome foods, we will wind up with better diets and better health. Incidentally, our saturated fat intake will not be more than moderate.

Demonizing saturated fat never helped us much. Canonizing it now won’t help us any either. All who share a concern for eating well and the health advances that can come from it must band together to renounce the perennial branding of this, that, or the other food component as scapegoat, or saint.

It is, and always was, the big picture- the overall dietary pattern, and for that matter lifestyle pattern- that matters. We could cut saturated fat and eat better, or worse, depending on what we eat instead. A bounty of science along with an application of sense points very reliably to variations on the theme of optimal eating for Homo sapiens. We could all get there from here, and by so doing, add years to life, add life to years, and love food that loves us back. None of this will happen though if we replace the follies of history with old mistakes in new directions.


Saturday, October 19, 2013

Male Runner Beats Breasts Cancer Twice

James McCabe was only 43 when his doctor delivered some surprising news: He had cancer, and it would hit him twice.

"I had a lump on my right side," said the telecommunications manager from Taunton, Mass. "I didn't think anything of it, but after six months, I went for my annual physical and mentioned it to my physician."
A mammogram and a biopsy revealed breast cancer, a rare disease in men and one McCabe says that they hardly think about.

Breast cancer is about 100 times less common among men than among women, according to the American Cancer Society. For men, the lifetime risk is about 1 in 1,000 and, unlike the disease in women, has remained stable over the last three decades.

About 2,240 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in men this year, and about 410 will die from breast cancer.

"When I first found out, I never thought men got breast cancer," said McCabe, who is now 48. "I am the only male in a women's facility -- it's kind of awkward. But over time I got used to it."

Genetic tests showed there was no family history of the disease. With six siblings, including four sisters, no one had ever been diagnosed with breast cancer, according to McCabe.

In 2008, he underwent a mastectomy followed by four courses of chemotherapy every two weeks, then 35 rounds of radiation. "The chemo was the worse -- it's pretty strong stuff," he said. "I pretty much had to wear a hazmat suit."

Then last year, the cancer came back, this time in his lymph nodes and McCabe had 16 more rounds of chemotherapy and 30 more radiation treatments.

But McCabe, an avid runner, found strength in competition. Not only did he survive his cancer, but in September, he beat his doctor in the Rock 'n' Roll Providence Half Marathon in Rhode Island. McCabe's winning time was 1:39 -- "not bad for an old guy," he quipped.

Dr. Steven Lane, his radiation oncologist, said he finished at 1:53. "It shows you can't let anything limit what you can do if you set a goal and go for it."

"I see him as an inspiration not only to other cancer patients, but to everybody," said Lane, who is chief of the oncology department at the Radiation Therapy Center at Signature Healthcare in Brockton. "He's been through this twice and maintained upbeat and keeping up on things. He is invested in long-distance running and through the course of treatment kept it up."

Lane said though breast cancer in men is rare, "most men deal with it quite well from a psychological standpoint."

McCabe's enthusiasm for running started when his brother encouraged him to do a 5K race just after his first cancer diagnosis in 2008.

"Last year I was doing 5 Ks and five miles," he said. "I try to do five miles before 5 a.m. -- three times a week. I was inspired by a few friends. I got hooked on it."

On Aug. 20, 2012, just the day before undergoing a second surgery, McCabe ran a half-marathon.

On Sunday, McCabe will run the Bay State Marathon, his first big one.
Next year, McCabe hopes to run a race to raise cancer awareness sponsored by the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, where he has follow-up treatment every three months.

His advice to other men?

"Don't disregard anything that looks out of the ordinary," he said. "Mine looked like no big deal. I would never have thought I had breast cancer. Most guys, including myself, are dumbfounded they have it."

As for his prognosis, McCabe said, "I hope for the best."

His doctor is optimistic, too.

"We know that people with positive lymph nodes always have more advanced disease, but with proper treatment the chance of clearing all the cancer cells and keep them from coming back, he has a high chance of survival," said Lane. "At this point, seven months out, he is doing very well and is not having any major long-term complications."


Thursday, September 26, 2013



For a couple in a marital relationship, physical intimacy is a way to express and enhance their love. The way you hold your partner, the small hugs, a tiny kiss and the way you look into your beloved’s eyes, all make a difference in your relationship.

If you feel the level of physical intimacy in your relationship dropping considerably and you are in a desperate need to boost it up, there are some foods that can provide you with a solution. Certain foods can help you boost the physical aspect of your love life. So, take a look at six of them.

1. Almonds
Almonds are a great source of adding essential fatty acids in the body. These fatty acids are responsible for producing various important hormones required by men for enhancing their physical relationships. Smell of almonds also helps in arousing passion in women. Almonds can help you boost your physical relations. So, add raw almonds in your diet, sans any salt or sweetener.

2. Figs
Figs improve stamina During an intercourse, it is natural to crave for more stamina. Figs contain amino acids, which provide your body with good amount of stamina for your physical enjoyment, as well as increase the craving for your partner. Other than this, the shape of this sweet and juicy fruit is quite sensual as well.

3. Celery
If you want to increase the stimulus that is produced during intercourse then you should try celery. It contains androsterone, an odorless hormone that is released through male perspiration, which acts as a turn on for women. So, next time you want to arouse your woman, try having celery. Best way to have celery is to eat it raw, just before getting into bed.

4. Avocados
Avocados are good It is useful for men and women alike. It increases the protein content in your system, so that you get more energy. It also provides vitamin B6, which is useful for production of male hormones. It also contains potassium that helps in regulating the thyroid gland in women. These two elements (male hormones and thyroid gland) help to boost your physical craving for your partner.

5. Garlic
Garlic is an important element to cure many ailments and diseases. Well, you might be wondering that eating raw garlic may turn your partner off, but the heat in this herb is a good stirrer for your libido. Garlic also contains allicin, a chemical, which allows free flow of blood to the s*xual organs. But, it is always best to have garlic in moderation, so that your breath does not end up driving your partner away.

6. Strawberries and Chocolates
Both these foods are filled with aphrodisiac qualities. Strawberries have essential fatty acids, which are essential for s*xual arousal in both men and women. While, cocoa in chocolates contains a chemical, phenylethylamine, that stimulates feelings of excitement and well-being. So, dip some strawberries in chocolate and feed them to your partner to boost your love life.

Add these s*x boosting foods in your diet to bring back the spark in your love life!

Monday, September 23, 2013

For Men – 7 Ways To Keep Your Penis healthy

1. Be sexually responsible. If you are not married, abstinence is the key. But if you must have sex, use condoms and if you are married, be faithful to your partner who’s been tested and is free of sexually transmitted infections.

2. Get vaccinated. If you’re age 26 or younger, consider the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine to help prevent private part warts.

3. Stay physically active. Moderate physical activity can significantly reduce your risk of erectile dysfunction.

4. Practice good hygiene. If you’re not circumcised, regularly clean beneath your foreskin with soap and water.

5. Know your medications. Discuss medication use and possible side effects with your doctor.

6. Pay attention to your mental health. Seek treatment for depression and other mental health conditions.

7. Stop smoking and limit the amount of alcohol you drink. If you smoke, take the first step and decide to quit — then ask your doctor for help.

Remember, some penile problems can’t be prevented.

However, routinely examining your penis can give you greater awareness of the condition of your penis and help you detect changes.

Regular checkups can also help ensure that problems affecting your penis are diagnosed as soon as possible.

While you might find it difficult to discuss problems affecting your penis with your doctor, don’t let embarrassment prevent you from taking charge of your health. 

Thursday, September 19, 2013



A man's last years ought to be spent strapped to the fighting chair of a game-fisher while battling a black marlin, not tethered to a nursing-home bed, incontinent and unable to talk.
But the latter is a likely scenario if you're one of approximately 600,000 Americans who will have a stroke this year.
"Your chance of dying is 20 percent-but you have a 40 percent chance of being disabled and a 25 percent chance of being severely disabled," says Dr. David Spence, director of the stroke-prevention center at the Robarts Research Institute in Canada.
An ischemic stroke—the kind that affects most men—occurs when an artery to the brain is blocked by arterial plaque that has broken loose and caused a blood clot. In fact, it's just like a heart attack, only instead of heart cells dying for lack of blood, brain cells are kicking off-thousands of brain cells. Perhaps paralyzing half of your body. Or slurring your speech. Or plunging you into senility.
But a "brain attack" is not inevitable.
"Fifty to 80 percent of strokes can be prevented," says Dr. David Wiebers, a professor of neurology at the Mayo Clinic and author of Stroke-Free for Life. "Making the simple choices at 25, 35, or 45 years of age can make an enormous difference in preventing stroke when you're in your 60s, 70s, or 80s."

Swallow Nature's Blood Thinner

Loma Linda University researchers found that men who drank five or more 8-ounce glasses of water daily cut their stroke risk by 53 percent compared with guys who drank fewer than three glasses. Water helps to thin the blood, which in turn makes it less likely to form clots, explains Jackie Chan, Dr.P.H., the lead study author.
But don't chug your extra H2O all at once.
"You need to drink water throughout the day to keep your blood thin, starting with a glass or two in the morning," adds Dr. Chan.

Swig Less Soda

Unless it's the diet stuff. The Loma Linda University researchers also discovered that the men who drank large quantities of fluids other than water actually had a higher risk of stroke—46 percent higher.
One theory is that sugary drinks like soda draw water out of the bloodstream, thickening the blood. Another explanation may be the boost in triglycerides caused by sipping liquid sugar.
"Elevated levels of triglycerides-any level above 150-are a risk factor for arterial disease," says Dr. Daniel Fisher, an assistant professor at the New York University School of Medicine.

Count to 3

You may have just lowered your stroke risk.
In a study published in the journal Stroke, researchers noted that of 2,100 men, the anxious guys were three times more likely to have a fatal ischemic stroke than the more serene men. "
Anxiety causes chronic overproduction of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that regulates the brain's control of circulation," says Ernest Friedman, M.D., a professor of psychiatry at Case Western Reserve University.
Counting to three—or reining in your racing mind in any other way—helps by stabilizing your levels of serotonin, the antidote to excess dopamine, says Dr. Friedman.

Hold Your Breath

At least when you're around a smoker. University of Auckland researchers found that people exposed to secondhand smoke are 82 percent more likely to suffer a stroke than those who never inhale. It seems that carbon monoxide promotes clot formation by interfering with nitric oxide, a biochemical that relaxes blood vessels.
"To get rid of every single bit of carbon monoxide after a night at the bar, you'd have to breathe fresh air for about 8 hours. But most of the carbon monoxide will be gone from your body in the first hour," says Laurence Fechter, Ph.D., a professor of toxicology at the University of Oklahoma.
So on your way home, make sure you roll down the car windows and start sucking in some clean air.

Beat Homocysteine

Research suggests that people with high blood levels of this amino acid are more likely to stroke out than those with low readings. Extra folate will help reduce the risk, but only for some people. "Fifty to 60 percent won't respond with lower homocysteine," says Dr. Seth J. Baum, medical director of the Mind/Body Medical Institute, a Harvard affiliate.
Dr. Baum recommends 1,000 micrograms (mcg) of folate, plus 25 milligrams (mg) of vitamin B6, 1,000 mcg of B12, and 1,800 mg of the amino acid N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC). "With folate, B6, B12, and NAC supplements, almost everyone will have normal homocysteine levels," says Dr. Baum.

Pick Up an Iron Supplement

Aerobic exercise is antistroke medicine. Can't run or cycle to save your life? Then lift. "Regular resistance training decreases blood pressure, elevates HDL cholesterol, lowers LDL cholesterol, and decreases the stickiness of the blood," says Dr. Jerry Judd Pryde, a physiatrist at Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles.
If you don't already weight-train, try the American Heart Association program: Lift weights two or three times a week, targeting the major muscle groups. For each of the following, choose a weight you can lift eight to 12 times at most, and do one set to fatigue: bench press, shoulder press, lying triceps extension, biceps curl, seated row, lat pulldown, crunch, squat, Romanian deadlift, and calf raise.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Healthy Lifestyle: 6 Great Ways to Start Your Day

Healthy Lifestyle: 6 Great Ways to Start Your Day

A Healthy Lifestyle Starts Each Morning!

The way you spend your morning can add a certain flavor to the rest of your day. Here are some healthy lifestyle habits to incorporate into your morning routine that can leave you better able to handle the stress you experience. Try one or several, and experiment until you find what suits you.

Put On Some Music
Music therapy has been shown to reduce stress and have a positive effect on health. But you don't need a therapist to enjoy some of the benefits music has to offer. Listening to music as you get ready and start your day will create positive energy and a soothing sense of peace (or a sense of fun, if you play party music). Music can compliment other healthy lifestyle habits, adding a sense of peace to a yoga workout, putting a spring in your step on a morning walk, or stimulating your mind as you write in your journal.

Stretch in the Shower
The hot water will loosen up your muscles, so it’s easier to get a good stretch. The act of stretching will help to release stored tension and enable you to start the day feeling more relaxed, at peace, and ready to handle what comes your way.

Eat a Balanced Breakfast
For those of you who start the day on a bagel and coffee, read this! Breakfast is known as ‘the most important meal of the day’ for a very good reason: a healthy meal in the morning can balance your blood sugar levels and give you the sustenance you need to handle physical and mental stress. Without it, you will be less resilient, both physically and mentally. Be sure to have plenty of protein and fruit, not just caffeine and empty calories!

Drink Green Tea
Sipping a warm cup of tea is a soothing activity that will help you prepare for the day ahead and feel nurtured. Green tea is loaded with antioxidants, so it’s a delicious and healthy lifestyle choice.

Write in Your Journal
Journaling has many health and stress management benefits, and can also lead to increased self-awareness. Writing once a day can help you feel focused, process negative emotions, and solve problems.

Morning Walk
Walking has so many health benefits, the stress management benefits are practically just gravy! A morning walk can get you ready for your day, help you sleep better at night, lower your stress level, and reduce your risk of numerous health conditions. And if you bring a dog with you, you’ll be lavished with attention as well!

For a healthy body and peaceful mind, few activities give as much ‘bang for your buck’ as yoga. Combining all the goodness of several stress management techniques, such as diaphragmic breathing, meditation, stretching and more, yoga provides some of the best stress management and health benefits you can find in a single technique. A good way to start your morning is by doing a series of yoga poses called Sun Salutations.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Holy Water May be Harmful to Your Health, Study Finds

Holy Water May be Harmful to Your Health, Study Finds

By LIZ FIELDS | Good Morning America – 8 hours ago

Despite its purported cleansing properties, holy water could actually be more harmful than healing, according to a new Austrian study on "holy" springs.

Researchers at the Institute of Hygiene and Applied Immunology at the Medical University of Vienna tested water from 21 springs in Austria and 18 fonts in Vienna and found samples contained up to 62 million bacteria per milliliter of water, none of it safe to drink.

Tests indicated 86 percent of the holy water, commonly used in baptism ceremonies and to wet congregants' lips, was infected with common bacteria found in fecal matter such as E. coli, enterococci and Campylobacter, which can lead to diarrhea, cramping, abdominal pain, and fever.

Nitrates, commonly found in fertilizer from farms, were also identified in the water. If ingested, water containing nitrates over the maximum contaminant level could cause serious illness, especially in infants younger than 6 months, which could lead to death if untreated, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

"We need to warn people against drinking from these sources," said Dr Alexander Kirschner, study researcher and microbiologist at the Medical University of Vienna.

The study, published in the Journal of Water and Health, also found that all church and hospital chapel fonts contained bacteria -- the busier the church, the higher the bacterial count.

"This may represent a problem that has hitherto been underestimated, especially in hospitals, since there a lot of people with weakened immune systems there," Kirschner said.

There have been advances made for the more hygienic use of holy water, including the invention of a holy water dispenser a few years ago by an Italian priest, while studies have also indicated that adding salt (at recommended levels of 20 percent) can help disinfect the water.

But Kirschner cautions that salt is not a reliable way to prevent infection and instead recommends priests regularly change the holy water in churches and erect signs to inform congregants about the dangers as well as of the history of the holy springs.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Bad Effects Of Car Air Conditioners

Nasa Sekunder Omoha:

Things we must know about ......AIR CONDITIONERS

No wonder more folks are dying from cancer than ever before.

We wonder where this stuff comes from but here is an example that explains a lot of the cancer causing incidents.

Many people are in their cars first thing in the morning and the last thing at night, 7 days a week.

Please do NOT turn on A/C as soon as you enter the car.

Open the windows after you enter your car and turn ON the AC after a couple of minutes.

Here's why: According to a research, the dashboard emits Benzene, a cancer-causing toxin (carcinogen - take time to observe the smell of heated plastic in your car).

In addition to causing cancer, Benzene poisons your bones, causes anemia and reduces white blood cells.

Prolonged exposure will cause Leukemia, increasing the risk of cancer.Can also cause miscarriage. .

Acceptable Benzene level indoors is 50 mg per sq. ft.

A car parked indoors with windows closed will contain 400-800 mg of Benzene.

If parked outdoors under the sun at a temperature above 70 degrees F, the Benzene level goes up to 2000-4000 mg, 40 times the acceptable level.

People who get into the car, keeping windows closed will inevitably inhale, in quick succession, excessive amounts of the toxin.

Benzene is a toxin that affects your kidney and liver. What's worse, it is extremely difficult for your body to expel this toxic stuff.

So, please open the windows and doors of your car and give time for the deadly interior air to clear out before you enter........

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Diabetes is a global epidemic

Diabetes is a global epidemic

Did you know that? The latest estimates in 2012:
◾More than 371 million people have diabetes.
◾Half of people with diabetes are undiagnosed.
◾4.8 million people died due to diabetes.
◾More than 471 billion USD were spent on healthcare for diabetes.

In the Eastern Mediterranean Region too, there has been a rapid increase in the incidence of diabetes mellitus, mainly of type 2. It is now the fourth leading cause of death in the Region and an estimated 22 million people have diabetes out of a total adult population of 290 million.

The urbanization and continuing nutritional change from a healthy Mediterranean diet to an increasingly western-style diet is associated with reduced activity , obesity, and a loss of productive effect of the traditional diet that risk factors increases the incidence of non communicable disease including DM , cardiovascular diseases Hypertension and cancer.

From Public health background I think we always should think of polices for continuing integration of preventive health service for early detection and control of DM

Overweight and obesity are the major contributors to DM

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Mental Health

Mental health is a state of emotional well being or an absence of any mental disorder. It is also the ability of a person to cope with normal stresses of life and make a contribution to the society. Recent studies also state that a mere absence of any mental disease doesn't describe a sound mental health. It is only the health of the person's mind. Hence, a person suffering from any one of these, social, physical or cultural impacts on oneself cannot be in a fit emotional state. Psychology is the study of mental health. The professional psychologists study the behaviour the human mind to establish the nature of the disease a person is suffering from.

Different people have disparate mental wellness. Researchers refer to the mental health as an attribute that enhances emotional well being and the ability to live a full and aesthetic life, combating changes and challenges effectively.

To maintain a sound mental health, one must follow many good, simple practices. Physical health is one important factor determining the quality of the mind. A robust healthy body will help in maintaining a sound mental state. Other little factors determining mental well being are good eating habits, enough sleeping hours, stress-free working and innovative recreation.

Simple meals through the day go a long way in ensuring that both the mind and the body stay fit. Skin must be kept clean by regular baths and a sound sleep must be enjoyed every single day, in an airy, comfortable room. Physical exercise is a fine way to maintain the balance of thoughts and actions. Exercising the muscles every day and making some time alone to even exercise the mind using meditation or relaxing to soothing music.

These practices help in controlling conflicting emotions like worry, anger and fear. Alcohol and drugs must be avoided at all cost to have a good emotional balance. Laughter is a significant part of one's life. A good humour brings alive a happy mood that keeps mental trouble at bay. On the contrary, criticism can be taking its toll on a person's mind. Courtesy and friendship show the good nature of a person and keep him stress free.

Moreover, one must find happiness in what one is supposed to do, as this keeps one in a fine feather. Satisfaction and pleasure in one's duties adds to the positive healthfulness of the psyche. Apart from the duties, a person should maintain an active social life that can help him de-stress from the hectic schedule of work. Helping others, finding time to meet friends and have a hearty laugh with them and visiting parents and other relatives are sure fire ways to calm oneself.

Confidence building is another way to maintain a clean bill of health. By knowing our strengths and weaknesses, we must learn to accept them. Financial problems are another stress causing factor. We must learn to spend for our needs alone and not for our wants. All these followed every day will keep our mind happy and hale.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

How to Increase Your Testosterone Naturally

By Justin 

Research now shows that men are starting to lose testosterone levels at an earlier age and more dramatic rate than ever before.  This is due to a wide range of factors we will discuss today.

As I continue to move through my thirties I am constantly trying to keep up with the best techniques to maintain high testosterone levels and actually increase them.  I know that around the age thirty most men start to lose testosterone and will eventually begin to feel the similar effect to “menopause” for women or we can call it “man-o-pause” for men. There is actually a medically defined term believe it or not–andropause.

Testosterone can help you have more energy, strength, cognitive function, a leaner and more muscular physique, and not to mention better and more frequent sex.  Must I say more?

Some of the greatest contributors to decreasing testosterone levels are the following:
  • Inflammation – creating insulin resistance and the depression of testosterone production. Mainly from diet.
  • Insulin Resistance – which leads to fat gain and fat cells release estrogen (the anti-testosterone). From poor dietary habits and lack of sleep.
  • Stress – causes a release of the hormone cortisol which can lead to increased insulin resistance and we now know why that is no good. From lack of sleep and lifestyle stress.
So let’s dig into how we can enhance testosterone naturally.

The best way to solve these issues is to adopt an anti-inflammatory diet high in healthy omega-3 fatty acids and lower in inflammatory omega-6’s.  

This can be done through a diet consisting of grassfed meats, wild caught fish, pastured eggs, healthy fats, and the eliminations of vegetable oils, grain-fed meats, and highly processed foods. 

If you are insulin resistant we strongly suggest cutting out grains for 30 days or longer. 

One of the best jump starts to increasing testosterone is our 30-day Metabolic Reset program.

You also need to make sure you are sleeping well. One of the major causes of decreased testosterone and weight gain in men is the lack of sleep. 

Swallow your pride Gladiator, you are not a machine that runs on coffee and snack bars, you need to recharge and repair and your body does this during your precious sleeping hours.

In addition to a non-inflammatory, high omega-3 diet, you may want to consider supplementation. 

Only take supplements after you have diet piece nailed down. And make sure you choose the high quality supplements you can get your hands on, otherwise save your cash.  

A great beginning supplement protocol would be:
  • A Multi-Strain Probiotic – to help absorb nutrients from your food giving you all the elements necessary for the body to create the right hormones (testosterone being the one we are focusing on here).
  • Vitamin-D w/ vit K – because we are almost ALL deficient in vitamin D and it is one of the most critical supplements we can take for overall body function.
Great look at the benefits of Testosterone from “The Art of Manliness”
  • Fish Oil/Krill Oil – get a shot of omega-3’s from either liquid or pill form.  I prefer the krill oil because of the added benefits but it does have a higher price tag, choose for yourself.
  • Coconut Oil – amazing for balancing metabolic function. Make sure it is raw, organic, and cold-processed like the one we use from Nutiva.
  • Gassfed Organic Red Meat – red meat is one of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet.  If you get it from a grassfed source you will increase your beneficial omega-3’s.  Consuming grain fed meat can actually increase inflammation (because all the genetically modified corn, soy and wheat they’re eating is high in omega-6).  US Wellness Meats is one of our favorite sources.
  • Wild-Caught Salmon – get your hands on some high quality salmon that is loaded with all the muscle building goodies your brain and body craves. Vital Choice has everything you could ever want and the quality is second to none.
Movement also plays a critical role in stimulating testosterone secretion.  

Focus on movements that require high intensity for a short amount of time.  

Our favourites are sprinting, and focused weight training.  
Be careful not to over train and for the average person we would not recommend high-intensity interval training, or HIIT, more than 2-3 times/ week.  

During the other days just move your body in some fashion.  Try to get some movement everyday, walking is one of the best solutions and is great for fat-burning as well.  Eliminate all long distance cardio if you want to maximize testosterone.

This is a great start to increasing testosterone naturally but we have plenty more tips to share with you and each individual is always unique so a customized plan is always best. 

Contact us with any questions or to get your testosterone increasing program.

Remember, you do not have to be satisfied with a low-testosterone lifestyle as you age. 

Wake up and take control of your life with a few simple changes to your diet, supplements, and lifestyle.