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Find Out the Truth About Tap Water

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To Your Health

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Family Features) While the tap water you drink may look clean, it may contain harmful contaminants like lead, pesticides and industrial pollutants. These and others may be picked up on the journey from your water treatment plant through miles of pipes to your home.

To help clear up any misconceptions about what’s really in your water, the experts at PUR offer this myth-busting advice:

Myth: Living close to a fresh water source makes tap water safer to drink.

Truth: Even if you live close to a fresh water source, your water goes on a long journey through an often aging infrastructure before it reaches your tap. According to Environmental Health & Engineering, Inc., up to 10 million lead service lines are still in use in the country today, potentially allowing lead particles to enter into your water.

Myth: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates all contaminants.

Truth: There are about 100,000 potential contaminants in drinking water. According to the EPA, its Safe Drinking Water Act only regulates 103. That means water that meets the government’s safe drinking standards may not meet yours.

Myth: All water filters are created equal.

Truth: While both pitcher and faucet filters remove unwanted contaminants, a faucet filter is usually a step up from a pitcher because it has a longer life and can remove even more contaminants, including lead. As every brand is different, it’s important to check the types of contaminants each filter removes and confirm it is certified by NSF and the Water Quality Association for contamination reduction. Doing so can help you get the healthiest, cleanest tasting water possible.

Myth: You can determine if tap water is safe to drink by how it looks, smells and tastes.

Truth: While your water might look, smell and taste clean, it could contain contaminants that are potentially harmful to your health, like lead, which is colorless, odorless and has no taste.

“Knowing what’s in the water you drink and cook with is important, but determining the quality of your local water supply can seem daunting,” said Keri Glassman, registered dietitian, nutritionist and PUR spokesperson. “Fortunately, there’s a free online resource called KnowYourWater.com that allows users to type in any address to easily learn about lead and other possible contaminants in their water.”

Myth: Boiling water removes lead.

Truth: Boiling water may reduce bacteria found in the water, but will not remove lead. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the lead concentration of water can actually increase slightly when water is boiled because some of the water evaporates during the boiling process.

Myth: Drinking filtered water is expensive.

Truth: Using a faucet filtration system for one year is comparable in cost to purchasing enough bottled water to last only two months. An option like the PUR Advanced Faucet Filtration System is an on-demand solution for filtered water right from the tap and is certified to reduce over 70 contaminants, including 99 percent of lead, 96 percent of mercury and 92 percent of certain pesticides.

 

Get your individual water quality report and learn more at KnowYourWater.com.

 

 

March 28, 2018 |

Move More for a Healthy Heart

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To Your Health

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Family Features) While heart health and how to prevent heart disease are important topics, many people in the United States – African Americans, in particular – remain at risk.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, African Americans ages 18-49 are almost twice as likely as Caucasians to die from heart disease. Additionally, about 33 percent of African Americans ages 35-49 and 61 percent ages 50-64 have high blood pressure, which is a major risk factor for heart disease.

However, there are many ways for you to lower your risk for heart disease, and one of the most important is by becoming physically active. National guidelines recommend at least 2 hours, 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity per week for adults, like brisk walking where your blood gets pumping and you are a little breathless. If you find yourself short of time, you can incorporate physical activity in small chunks, such as three 10-minute intervals per day, and still achieve some heart health benefits.

How Moving More Helps

When done regularly, physical activity can give your entire body – not just your heart – a boost. Getting your heart rate up and breaking a sweat can:

  • Strengthen heart muscles
  • Improve blood flow
  • Lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels
  • Help control weight

Ways to Become More Active Every Day

In addition to working toward at least 150 minutes of physical activity each week, it’s important to avoid being sedentary, when possible. You can do that by making choices that build activity in your day. Some examples include:

  • Taking the stairs
  • Printing at the printer farthest from your desk at work.
  • Getting off the bus one stop early
  • Parking in the farthest space from the door
  • Walking around while you are on the phone or having walking meetings
  • Being active with your children, including playing outdoors
  • Planning a vacation that includes physical activities
  • Playing basketball or taking a yoga class with friends instead of meeting up for drinks or a meal
  • Putting on some music and dancing

Check with Your Doctor

Certain physical activities are safe for most people. However, if you have a chronic health condition such as heart disease, arthritis or diabetes, talk with your doctor about the type and amount of physical activity that is right for your health.

Incorporating regular physical activity into your life can help your health in many ways, but it can be especially helpful for your heart. Find more heart-healthy facts and tips from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute at nhlbi.nih.gov.

 

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

 

 

March 21, 2018 |

Best for Preemies: A 100 Percent Human Milk Diet

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To Your Health

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Family Features) It is widely known that breast milk is best for babies. However, many people are not aware that babies born prematurely need more calories and protein than breast milk alone can provide.

This is why for preemies weighing less than 3 pounds, 5 ounces (1,500 grams), the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends fortifying mother’s milk or pasteurized donor milk, using a product called human milk fortifier (HMF).

This product name can be a cause of confusion for many because it suggests the fortifier is made from human milk. Yet, this is not the case; nearly all commercial HMFs are made from cow milk.

“In the past, we’ve had to rely on bovine milk – cow milk – protein to help preemies grow, and that’s not natural,” said Amy Hair, MD, assistant professor of pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine, neonatologist and director of the neonatal nutrition program at Texas Children’s Hospital.

While some cow milk-based nutrition may be OK for full-term infants, clinical studies show that the risk of several severe complications, particularly necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), increases with every 10 percent of cow milk in a premature infant’s diet, according to research published in “Breastfeeding Medicine.” NEC is one of the leading causes of death among preterm babies.

In fact, NEC affects 1 in 6 extremely premature infants who receive cow milk-based nutrition in their diet, according to research published in the “Journal of Pediatrics.”

That is why neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) across the country are instead turning to a fortifier from Prolacta Bioscience that is made with 100 percent human donor milk, instead of cow milk. Using a fortifier in the NICU made from human milk is the only way to ensure that extremely premature infants receive an exclusive human milk diet.

“Provision of an exclusively human milk diet during the early postnatal period, a diet devoid of cow milk protein, is associated with lower risks of death, NEC, NEC requiring surgery and sepsis in extremely preterm infants,” said Steven A. Abrams, MD, director of the Dell Pediatric Research Institute and chair of pediatrics at the Dell Medical School at the University of Texas at Austin.

An exclusive human milk diet gives preemies the best chance to grow strong and healthy. Parents should be encouraged to talk with their baby’s care team about fortification and the benefits of a 100 percent human milk-based fortifier. Learn more at prolacta.com.

 

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

March 14, 2018 |

Take Steps Toward a Healthier Lifestyle

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To Your Health

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Family Features) There isn’t a better time than now to start getting fit with health information and products so easily accessible. Simply incorporate the basics into your daily routine – good nutrition, adequate exercise and a daily supplement – and start down the path toward better health.

Plan a Nutritious Diet

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans describes a healthy diet as one that emphasizes fruits, vegetables, lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, nuts, whole grains and fat-free or low-fat milk products. It should be low in saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, salt and added sugar.

  • Warm weather makes fresh produce more easily accessible. Eat more fruits and vegetables by setting freshly washed and prepared produce on the kitchen counter or at eye level in the fridge. At every meal, make sure half your plate is made up of fruit and vegetable servings.
  • One-fourth of your plate at every meal should be made up of grains, such as wheat, rice, oats, cornmeal or barley. People who eat whole grains as part of a healthy diet have a reduced risk of some chronic diseases.
  • The remaining one-fourth of your plate should be lean or low-fat cuts of meat, plant-based protein or seafood.

Get Regular Exercise

The Department of Health and Human Services recommends an adequate amount of exercise every day. This guide can point to the right amount of exercise to add to your schedule:

  • Get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity every week. For best results, spread the time out over several days.
  • Do strength training exercises at least twice a week. Lifting weights builds muscle, which means the body burns more calories – even at rest.
  • It’s important to keep in mind that when people are active, they produce more free radicals. The antioxidants found in supplements can help buffer the negative effects of the workout.

Improving your diet, exercising regularly, taking a daily supplement and getting enough restorative sleep are all important steps to overall wellness. Work to incorporate each step into your daily routine until you reach your goal of good health, and find more health-conscious tips at eLivingToday.com.

 

 

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

March 7, 2018 |

Super Foods for a Nutritious Diet

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To Your Health

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Family Features) The health community has long praised the benefits of vitamins and nutrients derived from natural sources. For those looking to improve their health or take preventative measures, these 10 natural super foods can be incorporated into your daily diet to help support your health:

Green Tea – Armed with a special type of antioxidants called polyphenols, green tea can decrease plaque formed in the arteries and can fight prostate cancer.

Rosemary – Studies have shown this powerful spice can reduce the risk of stroke, as well as protect against Alzheimer’s disease.

Almonds – Full of plant sterols and amino acids, almonds can help lower high cholesterol and promote muscle growth. These handheld treats are also rich in vitamin E, which can protect skin from sun damage.

Fatty Fish – Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, fatty fish such as salmon, flounder and sardines can lower the risk of heart disease.

Bananas – This easy, portable snack is loaded with essential potassium, which regulates the nervous system. Bananas also offer loads of vitamin B-6, which aids immunity and metabolism.

Whole Grains – These powerful body defenders have been known to boost immunity, protect against various cancers and reduce cholesterol.

Eggs – These energy-packed breakfast favorites contain a special type of protein that helps build muscle strength more than other proteins. When compared to other breakfast foods, eggs can also keep you feeling fuller longer with fewer calories and fat.

Spinach – Chock-full of magnesium, potassium and various vitamins and nutrients, spinach can prevent clogged arteries and protect against prostate and colon cancers.

Soy – This protein-packed food contains isoflavones, which can aid in treatment and prevention of prostate cancer. Also, research from the Food and Drug Administration shows that 25 grams per day can help lessen the risk of heart disease.

Dark Chocolate – Satisfy your sweet tooth and improve blood flow to the brain at the same time. Dark chocolate can also lower blood pressure and increase skin’s resistance to UV rays.

Find more health-conscious tips at eLivingToday.com.

 

 

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

February 28, 2018 |

Wake Up Refreshed

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To Your Health

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Simple ways to begin your morning

(Family Features) Ready, set, go. Just as you would set off at the starting line of a race, this hectic pace is how mornings begin for many men and women.

Instead of waking with dread to face another hectic morning, consider these tips for a healthier way to ease into your daily rituals. While these activities may require you to allow extra time, you may be pleased with the productive results.

Meditate. A practice that has been around for thousands of years may still be one of the best stress busters for hurried mornings. To start, find a place in your home that is free of noise and distraction. Practice sitting still, with eyes closed, and focus only on your breathing. Using deep, controlled breaths, try to steer your thoughts away from negative and stress-inducing thoughts.

Stretch. While the most health-conscious person may opt for a morning sweat-a-thon, working in some stretches can also be beneficial. When you awake, think about oft-used muscles and extend each one for 15-30 seconds.

Activate. Give your brain some fuel in the morning while also doing something nice for your mind. For example, journaling is a gentle way to ease into your morning and get your brain firing. If you can’t think of a topic, simply write down a few affirmations for the day, revisit a pleasant memory from your past or scribble down a goal for the week. Journaling can be an uplifting way to engage the mind and express gratitude for the day ahead.

Find more tips for starting your day on the right foot at eLivingToday.com.

 

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

February 21, 2018 |

Top Tips to Get Ready to Run

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To Your Health

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Family Features) You’ve made the decision to get in shape, and whether your goal is a full marathon or simply a few laps around the neighborhood, there are a few steps to consider taking before you strap on those shoes and head toward the finish line.

Here are a few tips to help get you ready for the big race:

Seek Quality Sneakers – Feet come in a variety of widths and sizes, so visit a specialty running store to find perfect-fitting sneakers. These may come with a hefty price tag, but there are no shortcuts for comfort and support while running long distances.

Make a Schedule – Try to aim for at least 10 hours of training per week, including three days where you run and two or three days of other physical activity such as cycling or strength training. To avoid exhaustion, be sure to include at least 1-2 “rest” days per week.

Stick with Water – Avoid sports drinks that are loaded with preservatives and sugars. You can’t go wrong with the hydrating power of water. As a rule, try to consume at least 6-8 ounces of water for every 20 minutes you run. Proper hydration after the run is also vital.

Go Online – Many websites have training guides for various skill levels or different types of races. If you have a smartphone, look for apps that can take you through day-by-day workouts to get you marathon-ready.

Nutrition – Filling your body with the proper amount of fuel can help ensure finish-line success. Load up on quality carbohydrates, such as beans, peas, whole-wheat pastas, whole-grain cereals, apples, brown rice and root vegetables. Protein also plays an important role in a runner’s nutrition, so fill up on lean meats, fish, eggs, low-fat dairy, peanut butter and soy protein sources, as well.

By following these general rules, you’ll be able to focus on achieving your goal and enjoy the thrill of finishing the race. Find more tips for a healthier lifestyle at eLivingToday.com.

 

 

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

 

 

 

February 14, 2018 |
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