Making sure you stay healthy in your older age

You’re more likely to get sick when you get older because your immune system becomes weaker. That’s why doctors always recommend that the elderly get a yearly flu shot and a regular physical exam.

As you get older, you should do everything you can to stay healthy and take care of yourself.

Exercise Daily

Muscles become weak over time if they are not being used. This means you should get some exercise in everyday to keep your muscles strong. Twenty minutes is the recommended amount of daily exercise you should get, but you can always get more. You don’t always have to go to the gym for exercise either. There are plenty of creative ways to get your exercise.

Here are some ideas:
-Take your dog for a walk
-Do physical chores around the house like washing windows, mowing the lawn, vacuuming the carpet etc.
-Play video games that encourage movement. Both the Wii and Kinect consoles offer interactive, physical games.
-Take care of a garden or flower bed.
-Go socialize with others at a senior center or other place in your community.

Eat Healthy Meals

In addition to exercise, you should try to eat healthy meals. In general, this means avoiding fast food and choosing fresh options at the grocery store. Prepackaged meals contain a lot of salt, fat and other things that are not good for your health, so these should be avoided when possible. You don’t have to follow a strict diet plan, just be more conscious of the foods you eat and make better choices. Alcohol should only be drunk in moderation.

Buy Health and Life Insurance

Insurance is one of those things you don’t want to be without, whether it is life insurance, health insurance, auto insurance or anything else. It can be expensive, but it is a necessity. Insurance is there to protect you when something goes wrong, which can be more stressful in your older age.

Health insurance is particularly important because it is expensive to see a doctor without it. Plus, you’re more likely to need a doctor when you are older, so having health insurance puts a lot of worry out of your mind.

It can be difficult to obtain life insurance in your older age, but definitely not impossible. In fact, there are some companies that focus on life insurance specifically for elderly people. Life insurance info can be obtained on the Internet, through brokers, and from the government. It is important because you want to make sure your family is taken care of when you are gone.

There are definitely plenty of other things you can do to ensure you stay healthy in your old age, like keeping an active mind, volunteering in your community, and socializing with others. The most important thing is to have a routine that involves staying active both mentally and physically and pairing it with a healthy diet.

Can you think of any other ways to stay healthy in your twilight years?

Curcumin for pain and inflammation

Turmeric is the most popular spice in Indian cuisine and a major ingredient of curry powders. Turmeric has a long history of medicinal use, especially to treat inflammation. Curcumin is the yellow pigment in turmeric. Curcumin is one of the best investigated botanical constituents in the biomedical literature; it has been shown to act as a master switch by turning off the inflammatory cascade at the inflammatory enzyme level.

A study published in Alternative Medicine Review, used 100 participants divided into two groups. the first group was given the “best available treatment” and the second group was given the same treatment plus 200 mg of the curcumin formulation each day.

In this trial, positive results were obtained for all end-points evaluated. Thus, after eight months of continuous use of 1 g/day Meriva, the WOMAC score for OA symptoms decreased by more than 50 percent, while the treadmill test showed an overall three-fold increase in walking distance compared to the control group. The objective and subjective clinical outcomes were substantiated by interesting findings in the biochemical evaluation of inflammatory status and oxidative stress in patients in the treatment group. The significant decrease of all inflammatory markers measured suggests that the clinical improvements observed have a clear mechanistic basis that validates previous in vitro observations of curcumin on joint cells.

The evidence is starting to suggest a that curcumin could be a possible replacement for NSAIDS, which can have serious side effects in the long term.

Buying New Gym Shoes? Let Your Feet Lead the Way!

Some like them light, others like them heavy and some like them somewhere in between. No matter what you prefer, there’s a gym shoe out there just waiting for you, all you have to do is walk into the athletic store and let your feet do the rest. Just in case you’re unsure about what your feet (and your body) need to be comfortable, here’s what you should look for:

A specific shoe for a specific activity.
It’s never a good idea to purchase a pair of gym shoes that are made for walking if you’re planning to run. Walking shoes tend to be stiff, while running shoes are flexible with extra components such as cushioning to handle higher levels of impact. Running in walking shoes can lead to aching heels, shin splints, and muscle aches.

Shoes that fit your foot type and no one else’s.
Some us have flat feet, others have narrow feet, and some of us have wide feet. Never try to stuff your wide feet into a narrow pair of gym shoes because they look good. You’ll end up with more than just aching heels at the end of the day. A good shoe store will have all the equipment it needs to measure your foot precisely, and match you with the perfect shoe. Listen to the salesperson’s suggestions and you won’t be sorry later. Here’s another tip, foot size continues to change as we age, so have your feet measured twice a year.

Wiggle room.
Ok, so of course you need extra room for socks, but you’ll need even more room to wiggle your toes. Yes, gym shoes should not be snug at the front, but your heel shouldn’t slip out of the shoes either. Leave at least 3/8-1/2 inch between the front of your big toe and the inside of the front of the shoe for a comfortable fit. You shouldn’t feel any tightness anywhere. If you do, keep trying until you don’t!

Cutting-edge components for whatever ails you.
Having trouble getting shoes to fit no matter what you do? Try a pair that allows you to pump up the tongue for a customized fit. Got heel pain? Try a pair of gym shoes that come with clear inserts or shoes that are filled with gel, air, or Freon. These components add extra shock absorption, so you’re feet are less likely to hurt after a vigorous workout.

Mileage.
Yes, shoes rack up the miles, just like a car. And, like a car, they can break down when they’ve racked up too many. Ask the salesperson how many miles your shoes will last. The figure should be somewhere between 350 and 400 miles. Once your gym shoes hit the mark, it’s time to trade them in for a new pair. If you just don’t have time to calculate miles, it’s ok. You can go by how your shoes look and feel. If the shoes no longer offer support, they’re uncomfortable, or the back heel is worn out, it’s time to throw those puppies out and buy a new pair.

For more information about choosing the best gym shoes for your feet, visit WebMD.com.

Leading vaccine researcher/supporter charged with fraud, laundering, andf stealing

Millions of American parents are putting their trust, their child’s lives, in the hands of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), by having their children vaccinated. Consequently, what are parent’s supposed to do when one of the biggest names, Dr. Poul Thorsen, in vaccine research and support is nothing more than a liar and a thief.

The Huffington Post reports:
Danish police are investigating Dr. Poul Thorsen, who has vanished along with almost $2 million that he had supposedly spent on research.

Thorsen was a leading member of a Danish research group that wrote several key studies supporting CDC’s claims that the MMR vaccine and mercury-laden vaccines were safe for children. Thorsen’s 2003 Danish study reported a 20-fold increase in autism in Denmark after that country banned mercury based preservatives in its vaccines. His study concluded that mercury could therefore not be the culprit behind the autism epidemic.

His study has long been criticized as fraudulent since it failed to disclose that the increase was an artifact of new mandates requiring, for the first time, that autism cases be reported on the national registry.

Now a federal grand jury in Atlanta has indicted Thorsen and charged him with 13 counts of wire fraud, 9 counts of money laundering and stealing more than $1 million in grant money from the CDC over a four-year period.

Are Vitamin B12 Supplements Safe?

Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin that the body needs for proper red blood cell formation, DNA synthesis, and neurological function. B12 can be found in many foods and it may be added to others. It is available in supplement form in regular and prescription strength.

Foods that naturally contain vitamin B12 include liver, clams, trout, salmon, yogurt, tuna, milk, eggs, chicken, and ham. B12 is usually added to breakfast cereals, which provide 100 percent of the daily value. At 48 micrograms (mcg) and 34.2 mcg, respectively, liver and clams contain the highest amounts of vitamin B12, while chicken has the lowest at 0.3 mcg. Liver provides 800 percent of the daily value and clams provide 570 percent. Trout provides 90 percent and salmon provides 80 percent.

It’s very easy to get enough B12 from diet alone because the recommended dietary allowances (RDAs) are so low. Individuals age 14 and older need only 2.4 mcg per day. Pregnant women need only 2.6 mcg and lactating women need 2.8 mcg.

While vitamin B12 deficiency is unlikely, it is not impossible. B12 deficiencies may affect individuals with untreated anemia and the elderly because the body’s ability to absorb the vitamin decreases with age. In these cases, B12 supplements may be prescribed in either regular or prescription strength. The strength and dosage will depend on the severity of the anemia other condition.

Although it’s best to take vitamin B12 supplements under a doctor’s care, this vitamin is not dangerous. Even if taken in large amounts, a B12 overdose is highly unlikely. When taken orally, any B12 that cannot be absorbed is eliminated through the colon.

If you think you might be at risk of vitamin B12 deficiency, contact your doctor to discuss your concerns. He will order certain lab tests that will help confirm a deficiency. Once confirmed, he may prescribe prescription strength B12 or a low dose vitamin B12 supplement that can beurchased at any vitamin emporium or drug store.

For more information about vitamin B12 supplements, visit the Office of Dietary Supplements of the National Institutes of Health at http://ods.od.nih.gov/.

Coffee cuts agressive cancer risk

A study that involved 5929 Swedish women, found a 33 percent to 57 percent lower risk for ER-negative cancer (the most aggressive type of breast cancer) than did those who drank less than one cup a day.

“Now, we don’t have all the details,” he cautioned. “We don’t know, for example, what specific type of coffee we’re talking about here. But what we do know is that the protective effect is quite striking and remains even after adjusting for a lot of other factors that have the potential to play a protective role. And we know that we’re talking about what we could call a relatively normal amount of coffee drinking. Certainly we’re not talking about consuming gigantic amounts of coffee. So, this is a very intriguing finding.”

HealthDay

Now the challenge is finding what it is in coffee that produces this protective effect, and if it will work with other types of cancer.

Restaurant menus, tricks of the trade

If the restaurant owner/manager is doing their job correctly, the menu will be the heart of the business. Although many restaurant owners don’t pay much attention to their menus, menu engineering can yield greater profits.

“It embodies the restaurant’s demographics, concept, physical factors and personality. It’s a sales vehicle, and many restaurants, smart ones, use it to get you to eat right. And we’re not talking about your health, but about their profits.”

Being a business owner and proponent of free markets, I don’t feel there is anything wrong with business making a buck. However, consumers need to be aware that health is not a concern when selling items on a menu.

Marlys Harris reports for Yahoo Finance that menu dishes are normally divided up into 4 dishes, and clever menu engineering steers you to the most profitable items coupled with enjoying the meal. This makes sense considering business thrives on repeat business and referrals.

The following are seven ploys used in restaurant menus.

The first in show: Testing has shown that if you decide on a dish like chicken, you are most likely to choose the first item under the chicken heading. If a menu is engineered correctly, the most profitable items always appear first.

Menu Siberia: Dishes that require expensive ingredients and are labor intensive, which makes them less profitable, are usually placed in harder to find places.

Visual aids: People tend to order dishes that have boxes around them or pictures of the dish. So, If restaurants want to promote profitable dishes like chicken wings, photos definitely help.

Package deals: You walk into an establishment with the intention of getting a cheese burger and a medium drink, but leave paying a few bucks extra for the package deal that includes fries and a large drink. Getting a large percentage of customers to pay to shell out a few extra bucks for package deals translates to bigger profits.

Dollar-sign avoidance: Getting rid of dollar signs and decimals makes spending less threatening.

Small plate-large plate conundrum: A restaurant may offer two sizes of the same dish, but the price difference is almost pure profit.

Ingredient embroidery: The more special each ingredient sounds the better it sells. Just because it’s labeled “Grandma’s Three Cheese Mac and Cheese” will sell better than just plain mac and cheese.

Do you Really Need Milk to get your Daily Dose of Calcium?

You don’t need milk, but you do need calcium and vitamin D. In many areas across the U.S., such as urban food deserts and rural areas, milk may be one of the only calcium-rich foods available. So unfortunately, people living in these areas might not have a choice. In other areas where a wide variety of foods is the norm, you could easily consume enough calcium without including milk in your diet.

According to the Office of Dietary Supplements of the National Institutes of Health (NIH):

Calcium is required for vascular contraction and vasodilation, muscle function, nerve transmission, intracellular signaling and hormonal secretion, though less than 1% of total body calcium is needed to support these critical metabolic functions. Serum calcium is very tightly regulated and does not fluctuate with changes in dietary intakes; the body uses bone tissue as a reservoir for, and source of calcium, to maintain constant concentrations of calcium in blood, muscle, and intercellular fluids. The remaining 99% of the body’s calcium supply is stored in the bones and teeth where it supports their structure and function.

The recommended daily intakes (RDI) are 1,300 mg for teens 14 to 18 years of age and 1,000 mg for adults ages 19 to 50 (males up to age 70). Females age 51 to 70 need 1,200 mg and all adults over 71 need 1,200 mg. Infants need the least amount of calcium, so the risk of inadequate intake is miniscule. Babies from 0 to 6 months need 200 mg and ages 7 to 12 months need 260 mg. Toddlers ages 1 to 3 need 700 mg, children ages 4 to 8 need 1,000 mg, and kids and tweens ages 9 to 13 should consume 1,300 mg.

Although milk has been heavily marketed as the best way to get the calcium you need for strong bones, there are many other foods that contain more or just as much calcium per serving as milk. Eight ounces of milk contains anywhere from 285 to 302 mg per serving, depending on whether it’s nonfat, reduced fat, lactose-reduced or whole. Foods that contain around the same or more calcium than milk include:

-Sardines (324 mg per serving)
-Cheddar cheese (306 mg)
-Calcium-fortified cereal (100-1,000 mg per serving)
-Soy milk (80-500 mg per serving)
-Yogurt (415 mg plain, 245-384 mg fruit)
-Calcium fortified orange juice (200-260 mg)
-Mozzarella (275 mg)

If you’re allergic to dairy products, you can still get enough calcium by eating sardines, salmon (181 mg per serving), spinach (120 mg), tofu (138 mg), turnip greens (99 mg), kale (90 mg), Chinese cabbage (74 mg), and instant breakfast drinks (105-250 mg). Bread, broccoli, sour cream, tortillas, frozen yogurt, cottage cheese, pudding and cream cheese also contain calcium.

Doctors agree that obtaining calcium mainly from food sources is best, but supplements can fill the gaps when needed. The two main forms of calcium in supplements are carbonate and citrate. Calcium carbonate is the most popular of the two, it’s widely available, and it’s inexpensive. Both forms of calcium are well absorbed, but calcium citrate is better tolerated and absorbed by individuals with reduced levels of stomach acid. The body can absorb calcium citrate effectively when taken with or without food. Calcium carbonate is absorbed more efficiently when consumed with food.

There are several other types of calcium that can be found in supplements and fortified foods. They are:

-Gluconate
-Lactate
-Phosphate

Several different forms of calcium can be found in calcium-fortified juices, but a popular type is calcium citrate malate. This form of calcium is well absorbed by the body and it’s also inexpensive.

For more information about calcium and to print a food chart that lists calcium rich foods along with daily values, visit the Office of Dietary Supplements of the National Institutes of Health at http://ods.od.nih.gov/.

Super foods that won’t break your budget

Are you afraid that trying to eat healthily will drain your wallet? Not to worry, some of the healthiest foods in the world are actually very, very cheap. Planet Green lists a number of foods that are great for your body but won’t break the budget:

Kale-
It’s loaded with vitamin C, vitamin B, and calcium, and costs just over a dollar a bunch.

Broccoli and Cabbage-
These low-cost cruciferous vegetables neutralize toxins in your liver.

Winter Squash-
It’s just a few dollars a pound, it’s a good source of vitamin B6 and folate.

Sweet Potatoes-
They’re full of fiber, protein, vitamin A, and vitamin C.

Adzuki Beans-
They contain some of the highest levels of protein of any variety of beans, and they also contain high levels of potassium, fiber, B vitamins, iron, zinc, and manganese.

Black Beans=
These are a good source of folate, dietary fiber, manganese, protein, magnesium, vitamin B1 (thiamin), phosphorus, and iron.

Sunflower Seeds-
Raw sunflower seeds contain 76 percent of the RDA for vitamin E.

Almonds-
Almonds are good for heart health and loaded with vitamin E.

To see the rest of their cheap superfood selections, click on the link below.

greenplanet.com

Easing the symptoms of arthritis

46 million adults have been diagnosed with arthritis. 9% of these individuals claim arthritis limits their physical capabilities; 21 million people alone suffer from osteoarthritis. Unfortunately, the incidence of arthritis is on the rise, but there are things you can do to ease the symptoms.

Exercise can be a great way to deal with the aches and pains of arthritis. But it’s important to perform the right exercises under a doctor’s supervision.

Here are suggestions about exercising if you have arthritis, courtesy of the University of Washington School of Medicine:

  • If you have a physical or occupational therapist, he or she should participate in creating your exercise plan.
  • Your exercises should put minimal stress on your joints, especially when you first start out. Don’t overdo it.
  • Try a combination of both therapeutic (designed to help ease symptoms and improve joint function) and recreational (just for fun) exercises.
  • Use other methods to ease symptoms, such as using heating pads and ice packs, eating a healthy diet, taking medication as prescribed, and maintaining a healthy body weight.

(HealthDay News)

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