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Bridging the Gap

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To Your Health

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why your diet is missing critical nutrients and what you can do about it

(Family Features) Today, our busy lifestyles make it challenging to ensure we’re getting all of the nutrients our body needs. We split time between 40+ hour work weeks, after school activities, band practice, time at the gym and errands – all leaving precious little time to ensure we eat a balanced diet. It’s easy to understand why many Americans have a nutrient gap.

According to a study published in The Journal of Nutrition, 90 percent of Americans fall short in getting key nutrients from food alone. To make up for this shortfall, supplementing with essential nutrients like omega-3s, lutein, zeaxanthin, and vitamins D and E can help ensure your body is getting the vital nutrition it needs for optimal health.Bridging The Gap pic

Don’t know how best to fill your shortfalls? Consider sitting down with a registered dietitian to discuss your unique needs, especially if you’re taking medication or have a health condition. Beforehand, take stock of your diet and arm yourself with information about how you can improve your overall nutrition to fight heart disease, and support eye health, brain health and prenatal health.

Check your diet
According to the American Heart Association, the average adult’s daily diet should include:
* Eight or more servings of colorful, vitamin E- and lutein-rich fruits and green vegetables
* Three or more servings of 100 percent whole grains
* Three servings of a calcium/vitamin D-rich food, such as nonfat milk
* Two servings of protein/iron/zinc-rich foods, such as legumes, chicken breast or extra-lean meat
* At least twice a week, a serving of fatty fish with omega-3s, such as salmon

Fill nutrient gaps
If you aren’t eating enough nutrient-rich food, supplementing with the right nutrients can help fill the gap. Shortfalls should be addressed, as deficiencies may lead to health issues.

Eye health: Proper eye care is often neglected until it is too late to make a difference. According to the American Optometric Association, lutein and zeaxanthin may reduce the risk of chronic eye diseases, including cataracts.

Heart health: Heart disease and stroke are top killers, according to the American Heart Association. Omega-3 fatty acids are beneficial to your heart, whether healthy or at high risk for cardiovascular disease. However, people closely monitoring fat intake, such as those with coronary artery disease, may not get enough omega-3s by diet alone.

Brain health: Brain volume and general cognitive function decline with age. Focusing on nutrition, physical health, mental health and social well-being can help support brain health. In addition, studies from the Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging show that vitamin E helps slow the progression of Alzheimer’s because of its antioxidant properties.

Prenatal health: A mother’s nutrition at conception, during pregnancy and through lactation plays a key role in determining both her and her child’s health. Numerous studies have found a range of benefits associated with DHA omega-3 supplementation, including support of infant brain, eye and nervous system development.

To learn more about the essential nutrients your body needs, visit www.vitaminsinmotion.com.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images
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Source: DSM

 

April 15, 2015 |

Snoring Solutions to Improve Relationships, Health

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SnoringTo Your Health

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Family Features) For many people, snoring makes a night of restful sleep a far-off dream. The noisy interruptions may even have a detrimental effect on relationships and health.

More than a quarter of Americans say that a snoring bed partner makes them annoyed or angry, according to a recent survey from the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine (AADSM). Forty percent of women also claim snoring in the opposite sex is a turnoff, and nearly one in 10 Americans went so far as to admit that snoring has hurt at least one of their romantic relationships. One in five says that a snoring partner could even drive them out of bed.

Beyond the bedroom
In addition to pushing couples to sleep apart, snoring can cause health worries. Snoring is a tell-tale sign of obstructive sleep apnea, a potentially life-threatening condition that causes sufferers to stop breathing repeatedly during sleep for anywhere from a few seconds to more than a minute. If left untreated, sleep apnea can increase the risk for serious health problems from congestive heart failure to diabetes and depression.

“Because it can be embarrassing, snoring can often be the elephant in the room when it comes to addressing relationship frustrations and health concerns,” said Kathleen Bennett, D.D.S., president of the AADSM. “But it’s important that your significant other is made aware of their snoring – and the effects it has on you, your relationship and their personal health – so they can begin taking steps to remedy it.”

Seeking treatment
There are several treatment options for sleep apnea, according to AADSM experts. It is important to speak with a physician to determine which option is best for you.

The first line of treatment for sleep apnea is continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy. But according to the AADSM, up to 50 percent of sleep apnea patients do not comply with or tolerate this form of treatment.

“Sleep apnea is traditionally treated with a CPAP machine, which includes a constantly running motor, tubing and a face mask. It’s a great treatment, but it’s not the only option,” said Dr. Bennett. “Many people are surprised to learn that dentists can help treat sleep apnea with an oral appliance, a device similar to an orthodontic retainer, that’s effective, less cumbersome and more discreet.”

Oral appliance therapy uses a small mouth guard-like device worn only during sleep to maintain an open, unobstructed airway, making it a sleeker, more attractive treatment option for many sleep apnea sufferers. An oral appliance prevents the airway from collapsing by supporting the jaw in a forward position. The devices, which are a proven and effective sleep apnea treatment, also come with the perks of being silent, portable and simple to care for. A patient first must be diagnosed with snoring or sleep apnea by a physician. Then a dentist can examine the diagnosed patient and provide a custom-made oral appliance, which is covered by many medical insurance plans.

Additionally, upper airway surgery is a potential treatment for some patients. A detailed examination of the entire upper airway is necessary before your doctor can decide if you are a candidate for surgery.

If you or your significant other suffers from sleep apnea or loud and frequent snoring, visit www.LocalSleepDentist.com to learn more and find a dentist in your area who can help.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

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Source: American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine

April 8, 2015 |

5 Tips for Taking Back Your Shower

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To Your Health

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(Family Features) If you’re like many busy women, you may have discovered that your shower is the only time you have to yourself each day, away from the stress and responsibilities of everyday life. Making the most of each shower will allow you to take the time to cleanse not only your body, but also your mind.

With these five simple tips, you can wash away your worries and make each shower an enjoyable escape.

1. Start with a deep breath and clear your mind. Commit to leaving worries and stress at the shower door, and instead focus on positive, energizing thoughts. Envision a carefree weekend activity, or recall the sights and sounds of a soothing tropical getaway. Channel your attention on creating positive energy.

2. Set the mood with the right music and lighting. If you shower in the morning, give yourself a burst of energy with upbeat music and a brightly lit room. Conversely, if you’re winding down the day, mellow tunes and dimmed lights will help slow your pace.

3. Moisturize your skin from head to toe with a hydrating body wash that leaves skin feeling soft and radiant. One option, Softsoap Fresh & Glow Hydrating Shower Cream, is made with 100 percent real extracts sourced from milk, coconuts and almonds; the unique formula is proven to lock in long-lasting moisture.

4. Though you may be tempted to let the steaming water soothe your skin and tired muscles, be wary of keeping the heat up too long. Excessive hot water can be harsh on your hair and skin, and strip skin of moisture. Opt instead for a lukewarm or slightly warmer temperature and finish with a cool blast to help seal pores and invigorate your spirit.

5. Even if you’re short on time, commit to indulging in one pampering treatment each day, such as deep conditioning your hair or exfoliating tired skin. For smooth, healthy-looking skin that glows, consider Softsoap Fresh & Glow Exfoliating Fruit Polish. Packed with exfoliating apricot seeds and made with 100 percent real extracts sourced from kiwi and orange, it’s a quick and effective way to moisturize and refresh your skin.

With these few simple changes, you’ll be able to make the most of each shower, leaving you feeling refreshed, rejuvenated and ready to tackle the day. For more information and ideas, visit www.Softsoap.com.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images
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Source: Softsoap

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

April 1, 2015 |

Your Perfect State of Organization

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To Your Health by Dr. Ferdinand Esser

Live Well & Prosper

(Family Features) Life gets busy and clutter has a way of sneaking up on everyone. It may be all those shoes, the lack of space or the fact that you have absolutely no time – there are many reasons for the mess. But, whether you’re a single person living in an apartment or have a large family in a sprawling house, everyone can benefit from more organization. By simply thinking about storage differently and coming up with a smart organizational system that works for you, you’ll be on the way to creating a well-balanced, happier home.

 

“For many, just the thought of starting the de-cluttering and organizing process is daunting,” said Lisa Engel, VP and General Manager Digital Commerce, ClosetMaid. “By breaking it down – room by room, or need by need, the process can actually become rejuvenating. You’re literally creating an easier life for yourself.”

 

Starting the process

 

If you’re just beginning, remember: baby steps. Focus on one small area or room – or even your junk drawer. Don’t get overwhelmed by the big picture as that’s when frustration mounts, causing you to walk away in disgust. Be sure to finish the project you’ve begun. You’ll feel a sense of accomplishment and be encouraged to tackle subsequent rooms and projects.

 

 

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Get organized with products such as ClosetMaid’s SuiteSymphony in Espresso, Mini Off-set Organizer and Activity Table.
PHOTO COURTESY OF CLOSETMAID.

 

 

Already started

 

Stuck midway through an organizational project and need some inspiration to finish? Don’t be afraid to utilize online resources. ClosetMaid’s idea galleries, design tools and online store can help provide affordable and stylish solutions. Thinking of your project as a mini-makeover can help make it more exciting and less of a chore. Try taking pictures along the way, documenting your progress can really be rewarding.

 

Already organized

 

If your home is already organized, you know that keeping clutter at bay is a full-time job. Be sure to keep a watchful eye on areas that naturally accumulate clutter, such as entryways and child play areas. If you do have children, get them involved in the organization process by teaching them where items belong and how to store them. By labeling storage bins, baskets or drawers, your kids will always be able to help your home stay organized and clean.

 

“If you think like an organized person, soon you will be one,” said Lorie Marrero, certified professional organizer and author of the “Clutter Diet.” “It all starts with your state of mind.”

 

To find your perfect state of organization visit www.ClosetMaid.com, www.StorganizationBlog.com or call 1-800-874-0008.

 

March 25, 2015 |

Stay on Track With Your Wellness Goals

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To Your Health(Family Features) With dreams of bettering their lives, people of all ages pledge to create resolutions with the start of every year. Many people discover, however, that it’s easy to make a resolution but difficult to stick to it.

 

With these helpful tips from Sunsweet and Dawn Jackson Blatner, registered dietitian, certified specialist in sports dietetics and licensed dietitian nutritionist, it’s easy to get back on a healthy living track:

 

1.     Get Back on Track

Falling off the wagon can be discouraging, but don’t let your mind get in the way of your might. Track your daily meals and snacks to help you stay focused on what and how much you are eating. Writing in a food journal is a great way to look back over your week to see what you did well and could do better next week.

2.     Pack Your Lunch

Being in control of what you eat throughout the day is powerful in staying on track with your resolutions. Why hit the greasy food truck outside when you can whip up a fresh salad at home? Sunsweet’s Quinoa, Grape12533_a  and Prune Salad is an easy, protein-packed lunch that will power you through the day.

 

3.     Choose Right at Snack Time

The 3 p.m. slump is almost unavoidable. You’re three hours past lunch and it’s too soon for dinner. Instead of reaching for an unsatisfying bag of pretzels or chips, bring Sunsweet Ones Individually Wrapped Prunes or nuts from home to curb the afternoon hunger. Ones are lower in sugar than other dried fruit and have a low glycemic index of only 29. Prunes are digested and absorbed slowly by the body, which helps to sustain energy over a longer period of time compared to foods with a higher glycemic index.

 

4.     Get Moving

Everyone has a lot on their plate and with a busy schedule comes loads of stress and anxiety, but much of that can be alleviated with exercise. If you think about it, 30-40 minutes of exercise a day is only 2 percent of your day. Small changes, like walks around the block or using an app to count steps is a great way to track your movement throughout the day.

 

5.     Make it Fun12533_b

Instead of making drastic resolutions early in the year, and inevitably falling off the wagon a month or two later, embrace a Healthy Living Lifestyle. The key to lasting, lifelong health is to make changes you enjoy. Make eating well and exercising fun and it won’t be hard to stick with.

 

Staying on track takes will power and determination, but by squeezing a few easy hacks into your day you’ll be on your way to reaching your wellness goals.

 

 

March 13, 2015 |

Preventive Care Key to Fighting Skin Cancer

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PHOTO COURTESY OF GETTY IMAGES

(Family Features) Are you at risk for skin cancer? Do you know the signs? According to research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime. That means odds are quite high that at least one in your circle of friends will face this dangerous disease. As the season for bare skin approaches, are you aware of the risks and preventative measures necessary to avoid sun exposure?

 

Approximately 58 million Americans are affected by actinic keratosis (AKs), the most common form of pre-cancerous skin damage known casually as “pre-cancers,” according to a report published by The Society for Investigative Dermatology and The American Academy of Dermatology Association. An estimated 10 percent of AKs will become squamous cell carcinoma, the second most common form of skin cancer, within two years.

 

AKs are rough-textured, dry, scaly patches on the skin that are caused by excessive exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light such as sunlight. They occur most often on areas such as the face, scalp and ears. They can range in color from skin-toned to reddish-brown. They can be as small as a pinhead or larger than a quarter.

 

AKs predominately affect people over 50, and slightly more men than women. Individuals who are most likely affected by AKs include those who have risk factors including: fair skin; blond or red hair; blue, green or grey eyes; a history of kidney disease or weakened immune system; daily, long-term exposure to the sun; multiple severe sunburns early in life; and older age.

 

Fortunately, skin cancer can be avoided with treatment, yet many patients fail to seek treatment. What they may not realize is that there are actually many treatment options available, such as cryotherapy (freezing); topical medication; and photodynamic therapy. Additional treatment options include curettage, chemical peel, dermabrasion, surgical incision and lasers.

 

To reduce your risk of skin cancer you can take some precautions:

 

  • Regular skin evaluations by a dermatologist can catch the disease early so that it can be treated. Just as you schedule an annual physical or other routine checkups as part of your regular health routine, a recurring appointment with a dermatologist can significantly alter your chances of developing skin cancer.

 

  • In between visits to the dermatologist, perform thorough self-checks by examining your skin all over on a regular basis.

 

  • Avoid damaging sun rays and protect your skin by seeking the shade during high sun hours (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.); avoiding sunburns; and covering your skin with clothing and hats.

 

  • Do not use tanning booths!

 

  • Understand sunscreen, and use a broad spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher every day. For extended outdoor activity, use a water-resistant, broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. Apply 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) of sunscreen to your entire body 30 minutes before going outside. Reapply every two hours or immediately after swimming or excessive sweating.

 

Do yourself a favor and get checked before the summer season to ensure you are properly caring for and protecting your skin from the sun’s damaging rays. The skin is the largest organ of the human body. Make the call to your dermatologist today.

 

For more information, including additional details about AKs and how to identify the signs of skin damage, visit www.spotsignsofAK.com.

 

March 6, 2015 |

Posture Perfect: Smartphone Use Affects Spinal Health

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To hold a phone properly, keep it at eye level with a neutral, relaxed neck.

 

 

(Family Features) Despite the many benefits of having information at your fingertips, smartphones and tablets can do damage to your body and overall health in unexpected ways.

 

You may not realize it, but all that time spent with your head down checking email and texting may be creating more than a social gap — you may also be harming your spine. Research suggests that spinal pressure actually doubles with each inch you bend your head down.

 

Smartphone users spend an average of two to four hours per day hunched over, says Kenneth Hansraj, chief of spine surgery at New York Spine Surgery & Rehabilitation Medicine, in his recent report for Surgical Technology International. As a result, back and neck pain have increased among users of electronic gadgets, and the effects may linger for years.

 

“Poor posture is easy to spot in the hunched over forms of older adults who have carried bad habits for a lifetime,” said Stephen Gubernick, Doctor of Chiropractic at The Joint Chiropractic. “However, few people realize that there are health implications that make good posture essential for healthy living at any age.”

 

Dr. Gubernick explained that a misalignment of your spine can affect your overall health and well-being. Your spine protects your nervous system, which controls and coordinates all the different functions of your body. Any disruption in nerve communication to your organs and tissues may result in abnormal function. “There are countless benefits from simply improving the alignment of the spine,” he added.

 

Poor posture negatively impacts your muscles and ligaments, as well as your spine, which can lead to a host of health problems ranging from neck and back pain to gastrointestinal problems and even hyperkyphosis — a condition in which the spine curvature is significantly exaggerated, with increased risk of pulmonary and arterial health problems.

 

When posture or other factors cause a misalignment, a spinal adjustment is one way to help restore normal nerve function and communication, thereby allowing your body to work normally and naturally.

 

In addition to recommending exercises that strengthen your core postural muscles in an effort to sustain and improve posture, a chiropractor can also assist you with identifying proper posture techniques to use during daily activities that help reduce the risk of injury.

 

To learn more about how your spine affects your body’s overall health, visit http://www.thejoint.com/spine.

 

Why Posture Matters

There are many benefits to practicing good posture. According to the American Chiropractic Association, keeping your spine aligned properly:

  • Ensures bones and joints are correctly aligned. This helps the muscles to be used properly, diminishing the abnormal wear which can cause degenerative arthritis and joint pain.
  • Places less stress on the ligaments which link the spinal joints, decreasing the chance of injury.
  • Creates efficiency within the muscle groups, helping the body use less energy and avoid fatigue.
  • Reduces the likelihood of back and muscular pain, overuse disorders and muscle strain.

 

 

Maintaining Good Posture

Ditching your smartphone probably isn’t a practical solution for improving your posture, so instead work to keep your posture in check with these tips:

  • To protect your posture while using your phone and other electronic devices, avoid angling your head down for prolonged periods. Raise the device closer to eye level, or use a stand to prop the screen.
  • Treat back and neck pain, which may signal a posture problem or worsen poor posture habits, with regular chiropractic adjustments to keep your body balanced and flexible.
  • When sitting, avoid crossing your legs and keep your knees at or below hip level. Use a back pillow to support your lower and middle back. Relax your shoulders and avoid sitting in the same position for extended periods of time.
  • While standing, keep your feet shoulder width apart and your knees slightly bent. Stand straight with your shoulders pulled back and your stomach tucked in.

What to Expect When You Visit the Chiropractor

If you’ve never visited a chiropractor before, you may find yourself intimidated by the unknown. Take heart, you’re not alone. According to The Joint … the chiropractic place, the following are answers to some patients’ most common questions:

 

Do I need an appointment? You will most likely need an appointment at traditional chiropractic clinics but not at The Joint where chiropractors are available on a walk-in basis, including during evening and weekend hours.

 

What will happen during the visit? After a full exam and consultation, you will be adjusted on a comfortably cushioned adjustment table. You will remain fully clothed for the duration of your visit, so wear non-restrictive clothing to make it easier to rest comfortably while lying down on the table.

 

How long will my visit take? You should plan around 20 minutes for your first visit,SourceURL:file://localhost/Users/marybeth/Desktop/12491_UF.doc

though follow-up visits can take as few as five minutes or so. At the end of your visit,  your doctor will determine the best treatment plan for your specific needs.

 

Will I experience side effects? Although chiropractic is a proven safe and effective treatment, you might experience side effects after your first visit, such as headaches, fatigue and soreness. Side effects from chiropractic care typically are mild and disappear within 24 hours.

 

What will it cost? Many insurance plans cover a limited number of chiropractic visits. Average appointment costs may range anywhere from $40 to $125 per session, and no-insurance clinics, such as The Joint, offer affordable plans and packages that eliminate the need for insurance.

 

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

February 24, 2015 |
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