Tag Archives: health and wellness

aRE yOU bALD?

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stress

Or just stressed and pulling your hair out?

A new study from UC San Francisco is the first to show that while the impact of life’s stressors accumulate overtime and accelerate cellular aging, these negative effects may be reduced by maintaining a healthy diet, exercising and sleeping well.

“The study participants who exercised, slept well and ate well had less telomere (the protective caps at the ends of chromosomes that affect how quickly cells age) shortening than the ones who didn’t maintain healthy lifestyles, even when they had similar levels of stress,” said lead author Eli Puterman, PhD, assistant professor in the department of psychiatry at UCSF. “It’s very important that we promote healthy living, especially under circumstances of typical experiences of life stressors like death, caregiving and job loss.”

Shorter telomeres have become associated with a broad range of aging-related diseases, including stroke, vascular dementia, cardiovascular disease, obesity, osteoporosis diabetes, and many forms of cancer.

“This is the first study that supports the idea, at least observationally, that stressful events can accelerate immune cell aging in adults, even in the short period of one year. Exciting, though, is that these results further suggest that keeping active, and eating and sleeping well during periods of high stress are particularly important to attenuate the accelerated aging of our immune cells,” said Puterman.

 

What’s A Little Spare Tire or Two…

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Obesity is a global health concern. In the US, more than 69% of adults aged 20 years or over are overweight or obese. Similar numbers are found in the UK, where around 62% of individuals aged 16 or over are overweight or obese.

It is well known that being overweight can increase the risk of potentially serious health problems, such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke. Past research has also shown that overweight and obesity can increase the risk of cancer.

Last year an eight analysis was completed. Results of the analysis revealed that 166,955 participants developed one of the 22 cancers during the 7.5-year follow-up. The researchers found that BMI (Body Mass Index) was linked to the development of 17 out of these 22 cancers, and the link was particularly strong for 10 of these cancers.

Every 5 kg/m2 increase in BMI was associated with a higher risk of the following cancers:

Womb/Uterine (62% increased risk)
Gallbladder (31% increased risk)
Kidney (25% increased risk)
Liver (19% increased risk)
Cervical (10% increased risk)
Colon (10% increased risk)
Ovarian (9% increased risk)
Thyroid (9% increased risk)
Leukemia (9% increased risk)
Breast (5% increased risk)

A 1 kg/m2 increase in average BMI (the equivalent to 8-10 pounds per adult) across the country’s population – which occurs around every 12 years based on current trends – may cause an additional 3,790 cases of the 10 cancers every year.

obesity

 

 

 

 

 

Are You Losing Your Mind?

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In the first large, population-based study of its kind, a team of researchers has found a link between vitamin D consumption and the risk of developing dementia. Older people who do not get enough vitamin D could double their risk of developing the condition. Similarly, younger people who do not consume enough vitamin D increase their risks of developing dementia later on.

Vitamin D is important for the body’s immune function, growth and repair of bones, and normal calcium and phosphorus absorption. It can be obtained from fish, milk, eggs and cheese. oily-fish

Dementia is a collective term used to describe the problems that people with various underlying brain disorders can have with their memory, language and thinking. Alzheimer’s disease is the best known and most common disorder under the umbrella of dementia.

Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the US and is believed to currently affect 5.3 million Americans. It is most common in people aged over 65, in which a tenth of the population has the condition, but has been known to afflict individuals as young as 40 years of age.

The authors of the study, published in Neurology, state that low concentrations of vitamin D are associated with the development of Alzheimer’s disease. Worryingly, there are high rates of vitamin D deficiency in older adults – the group most at risk from developing dementia.

The CDC report that one third of the US population do not get sufficient amounts of vitamin D, with 8% of the population at risk of vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D is obtained from sun exposure and foods such as milk, eggs, cheese and fatty fish.

The study could provide a good starting point for this area of research. “Our findings are very encouraging and even if a small number of people could benefit, this would have enormous public health implications given the devastating and costly nature of dementia.” New deitary guidelines are supporting eating vitamin D rich foods once a day and oily fish a minimum of once a week.

 

 

Secrets to Living Longer

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TIME Magazine ran an article last year about a 115 year old woman and asked her, before her death in 2010, what her secrets were for living such a long life. Keep in mind that genetics play a part but there are so many other factors as well. She was asked her secrets and she gave her top NINE keys to long life. Her response is as follows…

1. Diet matters. A Lot! A largely Mediterranean diet — which is high in fruits, vegetables, nuts, and healthy fats like olive oil — gets a lot of attention and has been linked to a healthier older age, lower risk for heart disease, and even protection against memory loss.
2. Getting educated will add a few years. Educated people are more likely to land better jobs, plan for their future, and make healthier lifestyle choices.
3. Stress isn’t bad for you, necessarily. Productive, hardworking people (even in old age) are not stressed and miserable, but tend to be happier, healthier, and more socially connected than their less productive peers.
4. Above all else, be mindful. The mind does have influence on the body. Meditation teaches the mind to let go and therefore allows the body to let go as well. Self awareness takes the place of the exterior environment and increases the body and mind’s ability to function.
5. You don’t have to be a Pollyanna. Thinking positive” isn’t necessarily healthy. If you’re very optimistic, especially in the face of illness and recovery, if you don’t consider the possibility that you might have setbacks, then those setbacks are harder to deal with. Better to plan for every contingency.
6. Social inclusion is critical. Having a strong social network not only provides you with the support you need in bad times but also provides you with cohorts during the good times. A strong family and friend network is vital to good health.
7. Sitting a lot is the worst thing you can do. You sit, you become stagnant. You stop moving, you die. Being active, moving, stretching, walking is the key to a healthy body and long lasting health. And it’s fun too.
8. Your personality says it all. Conscientiousness beats out all other personality type when it comes to life expectancy. The qualities of a prudent, persistent, well-organized person, like a scientist-professor — somewhat obsessive and not at all carefree are the qualities that help lead to a long life. A carefree person takes needless chances. A conscientious person makes smart choices.
9. Sometimes, it’s all about the genes. Even though the lifestyle you lead and the outlook you have on life makes a world of difference, you can’t overlook that good genes help play a part in living a long, healthy life.

Hendrikje Van Andel-Schipper lived to be 115 and passed away peacefully in her sleep in her home in Denmark.She was active up until the time of her death. She had to have known something of importance. Hendrikje van Andel-Schipper, 113 years

Labels L I E !

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A study performed last week shows that soda consumers may be getting a much higher dose of the harmful sugar fructose than they have been led to believe, according to a new study. Researchers analyzed the chemical composition of 34 popular beverages, finding that beverages and juices made with high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), such as Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Dr Pepper, Mountain Dew and Sprite, all contain 50 percent more fructose than glucose, a blend that calls into question claims that sugar and HFCS are essentially the same.

The research also shows that the ingredients on some product labels do not represent their fructose content. For example, Goran’s team found that the label on Pepsi Throwback indicates it is made with real sugar (sucrose) yet the analysis demonstrated that it contains more than 50 percent fructose. Sierra Mist, Gatorade and Mexican Coca-Cola also have higher concentrations of fructose than implied by their label. This suggests that these beverages might contain HFCS, which is not disclosed on their labels.

What does this mean for the consumer?

Higher sugar contents means:
More calories consumed
Greater spike in blood sugar levels after consumption
Increased danger of liver, heart, and cardiovascular disease

Health is so much more than you may think…

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Health is the level of functional or metabolic efficiency of a living organism. In humans, it is the general condition of a person’s mind and body, usually meaning to be free from illness, injury or pain (as in “good health” or “healthy“). The World Health Organization (WHO) defined health in its broader sense in 1946 as “a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”.

So what does that mean?

Are you healthy if you don’t feel sick?

Are you healthy if your doctor doesn’t prescribe any changes to your current lifestyle?

In a world where HEALTH is subjective, here are three areas you should look at to determine your overall health:

1. Body

Are you eating healthy. limiting your sugar, fat, and red meat intake?

Are you exercising properly and refraining from injuring yourself?

Are you avoiding putting toxins of any kind into your body (i.e. preservatives, chemicals from hygiene products, alcohol, drugs, etc)

Are you watching your food and water intake and are they at healthy quantities?

2. Mind

Are you exercising your mind, creating new pathways?

Are you limiting stress?

Are you learning new things and practicing old skills and talents?

Are you meditating or taking time to relax and reflect each day?

3. Relationships

Are you treating others and being treated with respect?

Are your relationships healthy and non-toxic?

Are you important to someone or several someones?

Do you have a relationship with a higher power?

Health is a multifaceted achievement.  To obtain true health, all three aspects of your life must enjoy a certain level of health.  Failing in one aspect will mean a lessening of health in the other two aspects. To be truly healthy, you cannot ignore one aspect but must maintain a high balance in all three.

 

Important Habits of Happy, Healthy, and Successful Individuals

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Why are some people better at life than others? they seem to have it all, wealth, healthy, and a bounty of other blessings.  What’s their secret?
It’s no secret. These individuals simply follow a set of habits that positively affect their lives in all areas.   Want to know what those habits are?
Happy, Healthy, Successful people:
1. Don’t hold grudges.
2. Think outside of the box.
3. Go by a routine and make exercise a part of it. It takes practice to develop healthy habits and stick with them. Once you do, your internal foundation will be strong.
4. Have a support system, thereby not wasting time with negative or toxic people.
5. Don’t care about what other people think. Does a tiger lose sleep over the opinion of sheep?
6. Don’t people please.
7. See difficult and challenging situations as opportunities for personal growth.
8. Consider handling rejection a skill and are resilient.
9. Make time for themselves. Whether it’s getting eight hours of sleep every night, finding 15 minutes to read the newspaper in peace or an hour to go to the gym, they make it a priority — just like everything else. When you take care of yourself, you have a bigger impact on others.
10. Are spiritual. They set aside time each day for reflection through yoga or meditation.
11. Practice deep breathing.
12. Know there isn’t such a thing as “having it all,” and they’re happy about that. Wouldn’t the world be a boring place for them otherwise?
13. Don’t permit Fear to hold them back. They’re ready to take risks.
14. Know how to say “NO,” and don’t hold back. These people have learned to set boundaries. Plenty of them.
15. Learned a great deal from other people whom they admire. Either they had a great mentor, or they took note of how those they aspired to be like handled various situations.
16. Follow their inner guidance. Not only do they have a vision, but they follow it.
17. Give without expecting anything in return.
18. Aren’t pretentious or conceited.
19. Authentically believe in what they’re doing. Passion is what drives them.
20. Don’t complain.
21. Live by their core values in both their professional and personal lives.
22. Are happy to swim against the tide.
23. Finish what they start.
24. Don’t compare themselves to other people.
25. Make health a priority. This includes physical, mental, emotional health and how they treat their bodies.
26. Advocate for their own health.
27. Put God or a higher power first in their lives.
28. Focus on relationships. If you aren’t right with those you love and who love you, then nothing else will compensate for that lack.
29. Spend time enjoying nature.
30. Want everyone to succeed, too.