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HOW TO USE EXERCISE AND DIET TO HANDLE DEPRESSION

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HOW TO USE EXERCISE AND DIET TO HANDLE DEPRESSION

  1. Let Your Pet Nuzzle Blues Away

Sometimes your pet really can be your best friend, and that’s good therapy. When you play with him, you take your mind off your problems. And when you take care of him, you’re focused on something outside yourself, which can be therapeutic.

 

  1. Eat Smart to Lift Mind and Body

No specific foods treat depression, but a healthy diet can be part of an overall treatment plan. Build your meals and snacks around plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

 

  1. Choose Foods to Boost Your Mood

Some studies say omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin B12 may ease the mood changes of depression, especially for people who may not get enough of these nutrients. Fatty fish like salmon, tuna, and mackerel have omega-3s. So do flaxseed, nuts, soybeans, and dark green vegetables. Seafood is a good source of B12, but vegetarians  can get it in fortified cereals, dairy products, and supplements.

 

  1. Try Low-Fat Carbs for a Pick-Me-Up

Carbohydrates raise your level of the brain chemical serotonin, which enhances your sense of well-being. Go for low-fat options like popcorn, a baked potato, graham crackers, or pasta. Carbs from vegetables, fruit, and whole grains are even better choices — they also give you fiber.

 

  1. Drink Less Caffeine

Do you really need that third cup of coffee? Anxiety often happens along with depression. And too much caffeine can make you nervous, jittery, or anxious. While scientists haven’t found a clear link between caffeine and depression, cutting back on it may help lower your risk for the condition and improve your sleep.

 

  1. Treat Your Aches and Pains

When you hurt, it’s hard to stay in a good mood. Work with your health care team to treat your depression and your pain.

 

  1. Work Out to Change How You Feel

Exercise works almost as well as antidepressants for some people. And you don’t have to run a marathon. Just take a walk with a friend. As time goes on, move more until you exercise on most days of the week. You’ll feel better physically, sleep better at night, and boost your mood.

 

  1. Choose an Exercise You Enjoy

If you don’t like to run, you won’t last long training for a 10k race. But you will stay with an exercise plan you like. You can take walks, go golfing without a cart, ride a bike, work in your garden, play tennis, or go swimming. The important thing is to pick something you like. Then you’ll look forward to it and feel better when you do it.

 

  1. Exercise With Others for Support

Connections with other people can help you overcome the sluggish, lonely feelings of depression. Join an exercise group or work out with a friend. You’ll stay in touch and have support to keep yourself on track.

 

  1. Be Sure You Get Enough Sunlight

Do you feel more depressed during darker, cold months? You may have seasonal affective disorder (SAD). It’s most common in the winter, when there’s less sunlight. You can treat SAD with light therapy, antidepressants, and talk therapy.

 

  1. Explore Your Creativity

Painting, photography, music, knitting, or writing in a journal are all ways you can explore your feelings and express what’s on your mind. The goal isn’t to create a masterpiece. Do something that gives you pleasure. It may help you better understand who you are and how you feel.

 

  1. Make Time for Mindful Relaxation

Stress and anxiety can add to your depression symptoms and make it harder to recover. Learn to relax and you can help restore a sense of calm and control. You might consider a yoga or meditation class. Or you could simply listen to soothing music while you take a long, warm bath.

 

  1. Get Involved in Your Community

When you spend time with people or causes you care about, you can regain a sense of purpose. And it doesn’t take much to get started. You can volunteer with a charity. Or join a discussion group at the library or at church. You’ll feel good about yourself when you meet new people and do new things.

 

  1. Keep Friends and Family in Your Life

The people who love you want to support you. If you shut them out, they can’t. If you let them in, you’ll feel a lot better. Call a friend and go for a walk. Have a cup of coffee with your partner. You may find it helps to talk about your depression. It feels good to have someone listen.

 

  1. Get the Sleep You Need

Depression makes it hard to get good rest. Some people sleep too much. Others can’t fall asleep easily. As you recover, relearn good nighttime habits. Start by going to bed and getting up the same times each day. Use relaxation techniques to help you drift off. Quality shut-eye makes your mind and body feel better.

 

  1. Avoid Alcohol and Drugs

They can slow your recovery from depression or stop it in its tracks. They can also make the condition worse and keep antidepressants from working well. If you have a problem with substance abuse, ask for help now. You’ll have a far better chance of getting past depression.

 

  1. Stick to Your Treatment

Exercise, a healthy diet, and other good habits may help you feel positive about your life. But they won’t replace medical treatment or talk therapy. Depression is a serious illness, and it carries a risk of suicide. If you are thinking about harming yourself, get help right away. And never stop or change your treatment without discussing it with your doctor.

SOURCE: webMD

Health Tip

How I Survived a Heart Attack – Francisco Menendez

How I Survived a Heart Attack

Francisco Menendez, 49, is a real estate broker in New York. His heart attack happened six years ago, and he still worries about his odds for long-term health. But besides the annoyance of having to take medication, he feels healthy and energetic today.

“I don’t think of myself as a person who had a heart attack.”

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(FRANCISCO MENENDEZ)

When I had my heart attack at 43, all my doctors were really surprised. I was young, I’m not overweight, and I don’t eat a lot of fatty foods. In fact, I never eat junk food. My father had a heart attack, but he was in his 70s, so that is not a significant risk factor.

However, a closer look at my medical records would have suggested there was a problem. My total cholesterol was around 400, and my triglycerides, which are really affected by diet and exercise, were 600 to 700. A healthy number is 150 or below. I was not on a statin, but the doctors were urging me to start exercising more and to cut down on refined carbohydrates, like pasta and bread. That can really make your triglycerides shoot up, and I love all those things.

The night of my heart attack I was home, and I felt a lot of pressure in my chest. Not pain, really. I thought it was indigestion. It went on all night and even though my wife Ingrid urged me to go to the hospital, a heart attack was the last thing on my mind.

The next morning the pressure was so great I could barely walk, so I took a taxi to the hospital. I know you are supposed to call an ambulance, but that’s what I did. When I got to the emergency room, I knew what to say: “I have chest pressure and I think I am having a heart attack.” It was 6 a.m. and they wheeled me in and started giving me blood thinners right away.

The doctors were excellent, and they told me they were going to give me an angioplasty. That scared me because after my dad had his angioplasty, he had to have open-heart surgery. I didn’t want that.

The oddest thing about the angioplasty was that for six hours they told me not to move my foot, and I didn’t know why. Turns out there is a plug in your skin where they put the needle in, and if it comes loose your blood shoots out like shaken Champagne because you are on blood thinners. I wish they would have told me that, because I didn’t know why I needed to hold my foot still.

I ended up having three angioplasties, but my heart attack was mild. It turns out my heart was less than 5% damaged. I ended up on a lot of medications. I take a statin, TriCor, and Plavix, and a baby aspirin every day. I have a stress test every year and a half, and so far my cholesterol looks OK; it’s about 160. I don’t think about myself as a person who had a heart attack, but I think my wife worries. I still hate to exercise, and I do eat bread and pasta, but mostly my diet is fine.

The worst thing about being a young heart-attack survivor is knowing I will have to be on these medications forever. I am convinced that if I became a strict vegetarian and got all the stress out of my life I could go off the meds. But that would require me to quit my job and move to the country, and I am not ready to do that yet.

Health Tip

What You Should Know About Liver Failure

Liver failure occurs when large parts of the liver become damaged beyond repair and the liver is no longer able to function.

It is a life-threatening condition that demands urgent medical care. Most often, liver failure occurs gradually and over many years. However, a more rare condition known as acute liver failure occurs rapidly (in as little as 48 hours) and can be difficult to detect initially.

CAUSES

The most common causes of chronic liver failure (where the organ fails over months to years) include:

  • Hepatitis B
  • Hepatitis C
  • Long-term alcohol consumption
  • Cirrhosis
  • Hemochromatosis (an inherited disorder that causes the body to absorb and store too much iron)
  • Malnutrition

The causes of acute liver failure, when the organ fails rapidly, however, are often different. These include:

  • Acetaminophen (Tylenol) overdose
  • Viruses including hepatitis A, B, and C (especially in children)
  • Reactions to certain prescription and herbal medications
  • Ingestion of poisonous wild mushrooms

SYMPTOMS

The initial symptoms are often ones that can be due to any number or conditions. Because of this, it may be initially difficult to diagnose. Early symptoms include:

  • Nausea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fatigue
  • Diarrhea

However, as it progresses, the symptoms become more serious, requiring urgent care. These symptoms include:

  • Jaundice
  • Bleeding easily
  • Swollen abdomen
  • Mental disorientation or confusion (known as hepatic encephalopathy)
  • Sleepiness
  • Coma

TREATMENT

If detected early enough, acute failure caused by an overdose of acetaminophen can sometimes be treated and its effects reversed. Likewise, if a virus causes liver failure, supportive care can be given at a hospital to treat the symptoms until the virus runs its course. In these cases, the liver will sometimes recover on its own.

For such failure that is the result of long-term deterioration, the initial treatment goal may be to save whatever part of the liver is still functioning. If this is not possible, then a liver transplant is required. Fortunately, liver transplant is a common procedure that is often successful.

PREVENTION

The best way of prevention is to limit your risk of developing cirrhosis or hepatitis. Here are some tips to help prevent these conditions:

  • Get a hepatitis vaccine or an immunoglobulin shot to prevent hepatitis A or B.
  • Eat a proper diet from all of the food groups.
  • Drink alcohol in moderation. Avoid alcohol when you are taking acetaminophen (Tylenol).
  • Practice proper hygiene. Since germs are commonly spread by hands, be sure to wash your hands thoroughly after you use the bathroom. Also, wash your hands before you touch any food.
  • Don’t handle any blood or blood products.
  • Don’t share any personal toiletry items, including toothbrushes and razors.
  • If you get a tattoo or a body piercing, make sure the conditions are sanitary and all equipment is aseptic (free of disease-causing microorganisms).
  • Be sure to use protection (condoms) when having sex.
  • If you use illegal intravenous drugs, don’t share needles with anyone.

SOURCE: WebMD

Health Tip

STOMACH CANCER – CAUSES, SYMPTOMS & DIAGNOSES

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STOMACH CANCER – CAUSES & SYMPTOMS
Stomach cancer (gastric cancer) starts when cancer cells exist in the inner lining of your stomach. These cells can develop into a growth (tumor). The disease usually takes several years to grow. If the signs of this cancer are detected early, it can be easily treated.
Causes
1. Infections with a common bacteria, H. pylori, which causes ulcers, inflammation in the gut called gastritis, long-lasting anemia, and growths in your stomach called polyps.
2. Smoking
3. Being overweight or obese
4. A diet high in smoked, pickled, or salty foods
5. Stomach surgery for an ulcer
6. Type-A blood
7. Epstein-Barr virus infection
8. Certain genes
9. Working in coal, metal, timber, or rubber industries
10. Exposure to asbestos

Symptoms
1. Indigestion
2. Feeling bloated after meal
3. Heartburn
4. Slight nausea
5. Loss of appetite

As stomach tumors grow, you may have more serious symptoms, such as:
1. Stomach pain
2. Blood in your stool
3. Vomiting
4. Weight loss for no reason
5. Trouble swallowing
6. Yellowish eyes or skin
7. Swelling in your stomach
8. Constipation or diarrhea
9. Weakness or feeling tired
10. Heartburn

Diagnosis
Your doctor will give you a physical exam. He’ll also ask about your medical history to see if you have any risk factors for stomach cancer or any family members who’ve had it. Then, he might give you some tests, including:
1. Blood tests to look for signs of cancer in your body.
2. Upper endoscopy. Your doctor will put a thin, flexible tube with a small camera down your throat to look into your stomach.
3. Upper GI series test. You’ll drink a chalky liquid with a substance called barium. The fluid coats your stomach and makes it show up more clearly on X-rays.
4. CT scan . This is a powerful X-ray that makes detailed pictures of the inside of your body.
5. Biopsy . Your doctor takes a small piece of tissue from your stomach to look at under a microscope for signs of cancer cells. He might do this during an endoscopy.

SOURCE: webMD

Health Tip

HOW TO DEAL WITH ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION

HOW TO DEAL WITH ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION

Watch Your Weight

Sometimes all those extra pounds can take a toll on your sex life. If you’re obese, you’re more likely to get high cholesterol levels and diabetes, which can lead to erection problems. One study shows that men with a waist size over 40 inches are more likely to have erectile dysfunction. If you want to stay on top of your game, try to keep a healthy weight.

Try a heart-healthy Diet

Erectile Dysfunction is often linked to heart disease, so it makes sense that a heart-healthy diet would be good for your erections, too. Try to cut back on artery-clogging foods like full-fat dairy, fried foods, and red meat. Eat more fresh fruits and veggies, fish, and whole grains. Cleaning up your diet can pay off in the bedroom.

Manage Your Blood Pressure

High blood pressure can narrow your blood vessels, lessening blood flow through your body. If less flows to your penis you may find it’s not so easy to get an erection. If you don’t check your blood pressure regularly, it’s time to start. You may have high blood pressure and not even know it.

Cut Down High Cholesterol

When cholesterol builds up in your blood vessels, it causes them to narrow, which can slow down your blood flow. That can make it tougher to get or keep an erection. If you’ve got high cholesterol, your doctor can suggest ways to lower it, like medication or a change in your diet.

Get Diabetes Under Control

You might find yourself with Erectile Dysfunction if you don’t take care of your diabetes. That’s because high blood sugar can damage the nerves and blood vessels in your penis. Talk to your doctor about ways to get your diabetes in check so you can get back in the groove.

If You Smoke, Quit

Need another reason to kick the habit? Here’s one: Men who smoke are twice as likely to have erection problems as men who don’t. Smoking hurts your sex life because it narrows your blood vessels. What’s more, Erectile Dysfunction medications may not work as well for men who smoke.

If You Drink, Keep It Moderate

Drinking and sex aren’t always a great mix. More than a drink or two can dampen your libido, soften your erection, or make it difficult to have an orgasm. If alcohol is causing your Erectile Dysfunction, it probably will go away when you cut back on or quit drinking.

Skip Illicit Drugs

Many recreational drugs can lead to erection trouble. Both uppers (like cocaine and amphetamines) and downers (like marijuana and opiates) may cause problems. These drugs often slow down your central nervous system, and some can also damage blood vessels. If you think you have a drug problem, this is just one more reason to seek help.

Get Exercise

It’s good for your sex life in lots of ways. It helps your heart and blood vessels stay healthy, keeps your weight in check, lowers stress, and in general just makes you feel good. And your workout doesn’t even have to be strenuous. A study shows that even a 30-minute walk each day could lower your chance of having Erectile Dysfunction.

Keep Tabs on Testosterone

Testosterone levels gradually start to fall around age 30 and continue to drop as you get older. If it gets too low, it can affect your sex drive and your ability to get an erection. A simple blood test can tell you if you have low testosterone, and there are plenty of ways to treat it.

Don’t Use Anabolic Steroids

You might not think pumping your body full of extra testosterone to build up muscles would hurt your erections, but it can. All that synthetic T turns off your body’s ability to make its own, which means your problems will start when you quit taking the steroids. You could get a lot of other bad side effects, too, from shrunken testicles to baldness. Your best bet: Stay away from these risky drugs.

Manage Stress

When you’re stressed out from work, relationship problems, or a major life change, your libido can take a hit. And if you end up with Erectile Dysfunction, you may find it leads to even more anxiety. Cut down your stress levels, and you’ll see benefits in the bedroom.

Treat Sleep Apnea

Research shows a link between the sleep disorder and Erectile Dysfunction. When you get treated for sleep apnea, you may see improvements in your erection problems as well. So if you think you might have sleep apnea, or if you know you have it and aren’t doing anything about it, it’s time to talk to your doctor.

Know Your Medication Side Effects

Erectile dysfunction is a common side effect for many prescription drugs, such as: Diuretics (water pills), Antidepressants, Muscle relaxers, Cancer drugs, Antihistamines, Opioid painkillers.

If you use any of these medications and start to have erection problems, don’t just stop taking them on your own. Talk to your doctor about possible fixes.

Be Proactive

It’s not unusual to have trouble getting an erection once in a while, but if it starts happening more often, don’t ignore it. Talk to your doctor. You might have a health problem that’s causing it. The sooner you deal with it, the sooner your sex life will be back on track.

SOURCE: webMD

Health Tip

Your Kidneys Are In Danger With These Things

Your Kidneys Are In Danger With These Things

  1. Too Much Protein

Protein is essential to a healthy diet. But if your kidneys don’t work normally, eating too much of it can overtax them. Check with your doctor.  You may need to eat small portions of different types of protein. Eggs, fish, beans, and nuts are all good sources.

  1. Salt

In some people, too much salt can raise blood pressure and speed up kidney damage. It also may lead to kidney stones, which can cause nausea, severe pain, and trouble peeing.

  1. Smoking

Not only can it worsen high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes — the two leading causes of kidney disease — but it can interfere with medicines used to treat them. It also slows blood flow to the kidneys and can cause kidney problems in people who already have kidney disease.

  1. Alcohol

Heavy drinkers — men who have more than 14 drinks a week and women who have more than seven — double their risk of kidney disease. But a single binge session (more than four or five drinks in less than 2 hours) can sometimes cause “acute kidney injury.” That can lead to severe kidney damage, and you might need dialysis — when a machine helps to do part of your kidneys’ work.

  1. Sodas

If you drink two or more diet sodas a day, you may be more likely to get kidney disease. In one study, diet soda-drinking women had kidneys that worked 30% less well after 20 years compared with other women. Sugar-sweetened drinks did not have the same effect.

  1. Dehydration

Your kidneys need water to work properly. Not getting enough — especially if that happens often — can cause kidney damage. How can you tell if you’re drinking what you need? Your pee should be light yellow.

  1. Pain Medication

Taken regularly, large amounts of over-the-counter pain medications — acetaminophen, aspirin, and ibuprofen — can damage your kidneys. But that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to tough it out. Talk to your doctor about what you’re taking and how much to see if you might need another option.

  1. Illegal Drugs

The use of cocaine, heroin, or methamphetamine (not a good idea for a host of reasons) can cause kidney damage in different ways. Some of these drugs can lead to high blood pressure, as well — one of the leading causes of kidney disease.

  1. Overtraining

Working out too hard for too long can cause rhabdomyolysis,  a condition in which damaged muscle tissue breaks down very fast. This dumps substances into your blood that can hurt your kidneys and make them fail. Don’t overdo it. Build up your workouts gradually – don’t suddenly make them more intense. If you can, avoid working out in high heat and humidity. See your doctor if you have muscle pain and dark-colored pee.

  1. Bodybuilding Steroids

Some people take anabolic steroids — drugs that work like the male hormone testosterone — to get extreme muscles. But they can cause scarring in the parts of your kidneys that filter your blood.  This can make your body parts swell, make you lose protein in your blood, and give you high cholesterol.

  1. Heartburn Drugs

Drugs called proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), which cut down on stomach acid, can cause swelling in your kidneys if you take them for a long time.  Some studies suggest that taking a lot of PPIs can also make you more likely to get long-term kidney disease.  If you’re worried, ask your doctor if another kind of heartburn drug, an H2 blocker, might be better for you.

  1. Strep Throat

When you have this infection, your body makes proteins called antibodies to fight it. Extra ones can settle in the filtering parts of your kidneys and make them inflamed.  It usually doesn’t last long, but the kidney damage may be permanent for some people.   If you think you have strep throat, see your doctor as soon as possible.

SOURCE: http://www.webmd.com/kidney-stones/ss/slideshow-hurt-kidneys

Health Tip

Brain Exercises That Work

Brain Exercises That Work

On top of a healthy diet and regular exercise, there are ways to give your brain its own workout routine — without emptying your wallet. Although brain training software is everywhere these days, it has yet to show any significant neurological benefits for older adults. In a 2014 review published in PLOS Medicine, Australian researchers looked at 52 different studies on computerized cognitive training on a total 4,885 participants and found that the games are not particularly effective in improving brain performance.

Experts recommend sticking to brain training that involves real-world activities. Exercises to strengthen brain function should offer novelty and challenge. “Almost any silly suggestion can work,” says David Eagleman, PhD, neuroscientist and assistant professor at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. “Drive home via a different route; brush your teeth with your opposite hand. The brain works through associations [which is why it’s easier to memorize lyrics to a song than it is to try and remember the same words without music], so the more senses you involve the better.”

Your morning newspaper is a great place to start. “Simple games like Sudoku and word games are good, as well as comic strips where you find things that are different from one picture to the next,” says John E. Morley, MD, director of St. Louis University’s Division of Geriatric Medicine and author of The Science of Staying Young. In addition to word games, Dr. Morley recommends the following exercises to sharpen your mental skills:

  1. Test your recall. Make a list — of grocery items, things to do, or anything else that comes to mind — and memorize it. An hour or so later, see how many items you can recall. Make items on the list as challenging as possible for the greatest mental stimulation.
  2. Let the music play. Learn to play a musical instrument or join a choir. Studies show that learning something new and complex over a longer period of time is ideal for the aging mind.
  3. Do math in your head. Figure out problems without the aid of pencil, paper, or computer; you can make this more difficult — and athletic — by walking at the same time.
  4. Take a cooking class. Learn how to cook a new cuisine. Cooking uses a number of senses: smell, touch, sight, and taste, which all involve different parts of the brain.
  5. Learn a foreign language. The listening and hearing involved stimulates the brain. What’s more, a rich vocabulary has been linked to a reduced risk for cognitive decline.
  6. Create word pictures. Visualize the spelling of a word in your head, then try and think of any other words that begin (or end) with the same two letters.
  7. Draw a map from memory. After returning home from visiting a new place, try to draw a map of the area; repeat this exercise each time you visit a new location.
  8. Challenge your taste buds. When eating, try to identify individual ingredients in your meal, including subtle herbs and spices.
  9. Refine your hand-eye abilities. Take up a new hobby that involves fine-motor skills, such as knitting, drawing, painting, assembling a puzzle, etc.
  10. Learn a new sport. Start doing an athletic exercise that utilizes both mind and body, such as yoga, golf, or tennis.

Soon people will realize that they can take steps to keep their brains healthy, just as they know they can prevent heart disease by taking certain actions, says Bender. “In the coming decade, I predict brain wellness to be right up there with heart health — now that there’s proof that living a brain-healthy lifestyle works!”

SOURCE: everydayHEALTH (Linda Melone & Sarah McNaughton)

Health Tip

Sex after a heart attack

Sex after a heart attack

Many adults with heart disease—or who’ve suffered a past heart attack—are less sexually active than they used to be. Some even stop having sex completely, often fearing that sex may trigger another heart attack. However, for most people it is still possible to enjoy an active sex life with heart disease.

A recent study was carried out among 10,000 people who have sex once a week. It was discovered that only two or three will experience another heart attack.  Their risk of dying during sex is extremely low.

  • Check with your doctor before resuming sexual activity.
  • Participate in a cardiac rehabilitation program to improve your fitness.
  • If you can exercise hard enough to work up a light sweat without triggering symptoms, you should be safe to have sex.
  • Wait to have sex if you have advanced heart failure, severe valve disease, uncontrolled arrhythmia, unstable angina, unstable or severe heart disease.
  • Once your condition is under control, ask your doctor when it’s safe to resume sexual activity.
  • Source: Harvard Medical School
Health Tip

FOR A HEALTHY HEART AVOID THE FOLLOWING FOODS

For a healthy heart, avoid the following foods.

Improving your diet lowers your risk for heart disease in many ways, including helping to lower high cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar and insulin levels, as well as preventing obesity and improving the function of your heart and blood vessels.

If you are watching your heart health, the following foods should not make it onto your meal plan very often. In fact, if you can cut them out of your diet, your heart will be healthier for it.

  1. Processed meats

Processed meats are preserved with salts, nitrites and other preservatives. They include hot dogs, bacon, sausage, salami, ham, turkey, bologna, and chicken. Studies have found that the worst types of meats for the heart are those that are processed.

The high levels of salt and preservatives found in processed meats are part of the problem.

  1. Highly refined and processed grains and carbohydrates

Whole grain intake, in place of starches (like potatoes) and refined carbohydrates (like white bread, white rice, and low-fiber breakfast cereals) give a lower risk of heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. Whole grains are also linked to lower weight gain over time. This makes sense, considering that whole grains lower blood pressure and cholesterol, and may improve blood vessel function and reduce hunger.

Refined or processed foods include white bread, white rice, low-fiber breakfast cereals, sweets and sugars, and other refined or processed carbohydrates.

The high levels of processing them remove many of the healthy components in whole grains, such as dietary fiber, minerals, phytochemicals, and fatty acids.

The high levels of processing destroy the food’s natural structure. For example, eating a finely milled oats or grains produces higher spikes in blood sugar than less-processed types.

Again processing often adds many ingredients that are less healthy, particularly trans fats, sodium, and sugars.

Some research shows that fructose is metabolized differently than other sugars, in a way that increases the liver’s production of new fat. Fructose represents about half of the sugar in sweeteners like high-fructose corn syrup or sucrose (found in cane sugar and beet sugar). That’s not to suggest that you never eat a slice of pie or white bread — just make them an occasional treat rather than a regular part of your diet.

  1. Soft drinks and other sugary drinks

A lot of people are drinking more and more of their calories instead of eating them. Most of the increase is from sugary drinks, especially sodas, sweetened fruit drinks, and sports drinks. A 12-ounce can of soda contains the equivalent of 10 teaspoons of table sugar. Diet sodas are sugar-free or low in calories, but have no nutrients.

Sugary drinks have all the same ill effects on the heart as highly refined and processed carbohydrates. Research also shows that your body does not compute the calories you ingest in liquid form in the same way as it does the calories you take in from solid foods. So if you add a soda to your meal, you are likely to eat about the same amount of calories from the rest of your food as if you drank water instead. The soda calories are just “added on.”

In addition to the other harms of highly refined and processed carbohydrates, sugary drinks also increase your chances of weight gain.

Health Tip

HOW MUCH DO YOU KNOW ABOUT YOUR BRAIN?

 

HOW MUCH DO YOU KNOW ABOUT YOUR BRAIN

Do you know that;

  1. Your brain is still developing even after society calls you an adult. But it doesn’t last long. Once you hit your late 20s, you start a very slow “cognitive decline.”
  2. After you turn 40, it gets 5% smaller with each passing decade. It shrinks even faster once you hit 70. Scientists aren’t sure why, but brain cells die off with age.
  3. In the memory battle of the sexes, women win. Men score lower on memory tests than women at every age, and especially after age 40.
  4. Studies show that people with healthier hearts score higher on mental tests. So habits that help your heart also help your brain. Good sleep, a healthy, balanced diet, and exercise are all brain boosters, even as your mind matures.
  5. The kind of memory that helps you remember facts, like knowing the capital of a countryis called semantic memory. Procedural memory is your muscle memory — the kind that’s responsible for the phrase “It’s like riding a bike.” Events that happen to you — episodic memories — are the ones that tend to go first.
  6. Just like good physical health is a boon for your brain, so is good mental and emotional health. Challenging your brain with new skills keeps it firing on all cylinders for longer. And a group of good friends is not only good company, it can help you live longer — and remember more, too.
  7. Blood flow to your brain naturally slows down as you age, and it affects your frontal cortex first. (That’s where you store words.) Regular exercise can get your heart pumping, and bonus blood can keep your mind humming.
  8. On the other hand, your language skills stay with you throughout your life. In fact, your vocabulary keeps getting bigger into middle age.
  9. When it comes to memory matters, B all you can B. Three B vitamins — folic acid, B6, and B12 — all help lower levels of certain proteins that bring on dementia. You can get all three naturally from bread, fortified cereal, and leafy greens.
  10. Sometimes a blow to your head causes memory loss right away. But even if you get through it with your memories intact, you may be more likely to get Alzheimer’s later on.
  11. A large study found that while your memory may slip as you get older, your overall mental health seems to improve.

SOURCE: webMD www.webmd.com/brain/rm-quiz-your-aging-brain