Archive for March, 2012

With Spring Comes Hay Fever: What Plants to Avoid


Spring is finally here! After a long and cold winter, everyone is in their glory with the sunshine and warm weather.

However, coming hand-in-hand with the blooming season is some people’s dreaded seasonal nightmare: hay fever.

One of the best plans of action for fighting spring allergies is to avoid the things that make your sneezing, itching and watering eyes worse. Warren V. Filley, M.D., a spokesperson for the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, recently told health.com which plants you should avoid.

• Ragweed – It is common along riverbanks and in rural areas. Dr. Filley says that almost 75 percent of people with allergies are sensitive to ragweed.

• Mountain cedar – This tree is commonly found in mountainous regions and, according to Dr. Filley, causes some of the “most severe allergy symptoms I have ever seen.”

• Ryegrass – This grass is common in dry lawns, meadows and pastures. This, along with other grasses, is often very problematic for allergy sufferers, Dr. Filley says.

• Maple – These trees are found along streams and in woods all through the eastern United States and Canada. The maple produces potent allergens.

• Elm – Common in the wetlands, these trees will most likely aggravate your allergies.

• Mulberry – This pretty tree can be very deceiving. Found in woods and river valleys, it is often associated with contributing to hay fever.

• Pecan – Although it makes many good desserts, the pollen from pecan – found in woods and orchards – is second only to ragweed as the most severe source of allergens.

• Oak – It may have less potent pollen, but it produces very large quantities of it, Dr. Filley says. Avoid the woods just for this one.

• Pigweed/Tumbleweed – This common weed is found in lawns and along roadsides, but be aware that it will not do your sinuses any good.

• Arizona cypress – Found specifically in warm climates and well-drained soil areas, this tree can contribute to pollen problems almost all year round, according to the article.

• Mold – Allergies acting up in the spring could be because of mold levels rising with wetter, warmer air. Dr. Filley contributes various types of molds to producing significant allergy symptoms throughout the United States.

While this only touches on a few possible plants and their related allergens, every day researchers are finding more and more possible allergens that people are dealing with in their lives.

Keep in mind that medication will help most symptoms of allergies, but it’s best to see an allergist to determine the exact allergy that you are dealing with and treat that particular allergen, rather than taking a general “allergy pill” that encompasses many different symptoms and allergens.

Straight From the Headlines: Ease Back Into Spring


As the ice and snow start to melt and the mercury starts to rise again, everyone starts to think about getting back in shape for the spring and summer seasons. Instead of hitting the exercise hard, many experts suggest easing back into your springtime routine. According to www.prevention.com, here are some tips to get you started.

Start Slow- Take the time you need to jump start your spring diet and exercise plan. By easing into your regimen you will be more successful in keeping with your diet and exercise plan.

Plan a New Menu- You need to really look at your diet and the amount of calories you are consuming on a daily basis. Choose foods that are low in calories but are filling to help you fight off the hunger throughout the day.

Get outdoors- Now that the weather is breaking, mix up your exercise routine and enjoy the weather outdoors. Walk, hike, bike, run … enjoy yourself and the beautiful season.

Carrot Facts


We have always been told that by eating our carrots we are helping to improve our eyesight, and while this is true, there are many other great benefits to eating carrots.

The beta-carotene in carrots is an antioxidant combating the free radicals that contribute to conditions like cancer, heart disease, and a few other conditions.

Cooking carrots actually raises the nutritional benefits of this great vegetable. By cooking them you free the beta-carotene from the fiber, thereby allowing your body to better absorb the beta-carotene.

If you eat just a half cup of carrots each day you will get more than the recommended dosage of beta-carotene in your diet.

One good way to get your daily dosage without eating carrots everyday is to simply add the carrots to your favorite blended drink.

Eat Fruits and Veggies to Lower Blood Pressure


According to a recent study done by the American Heart Association, one in three adults suffer from hypertension or high blood pressure. While many people are prescribed medication to help reduce their blood pressure, nutritionists say that simply by eating your fruits and vegetables that you can help reduce your blood pressure naturally.

Fruits and vegetables are chock full of great vitamins and nutrients that will help to lower your blood pressure, and combined with medication and exercise you will be back on the healthy track. Physicians recommend 4 to 5 servings of vegetables per day and 2 to 3 servings of fruit per day. The following are some great blood pressure lowering options:

Vegetables: swiss chard, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, spinach and lettuce.

Fruits: citrus fruits, bananas, and apples.

While all fruits and vegetables are good for you, the above contain the appropriate amounts of the right vitamins and nutrients that when added to your regular diet will equal out to a heart-supportive diet.

By simply making some small changes to your every day eating and making sure to get the appropriate number of foods and vegetables in your daily diet, you will see your blood pressure numbers gradually decreasing.