Archive for March, 2015

Healthy Eating for Children

Monday, March 30th, 2015

best vitamins for kidsEating healthy will always be a staple in living a good life. It is essential in keeping us healthy during our adulthood but equally important during our growing years. Most parents think that kids could get away with everything in terms of their diet. But proper nutrition is needed for normal and optimum growth.

Part of a parent’s responsibility is to ensure that their kids are getting the right nutrition for their age. They must be sure that their kids are getting a balance and healthy diet. It might sound simple but if getting your kids to eat their fruits and vegetables can be a daunting task as many parents know.

Calcium

 

Calcium helps make strong bones and teeth, and this nutrient is most important during the years when bones are growing. Foods that are highest in calcium come from the cow — low-fat milk, cheeses, and yogurt. But some leafy vegetables and fortified juices are also good sources of calcium. Here are some ways to give your child the calcium he needs:

  • Start his day with a bowl of cold or hot whole-grain cereal topped with skim or low-fat milk and sliced fresh fruit.
  • Serve low-fat yogurt, smoothies, or cheese after school and between meals for a nourishing calcium-rich snack.
  • Calcium-fortified juices and cereals are fine nondairy alternatives to help meet your child’s daily requirement.

 

Fiber

Grandma called it roughage and everyone, kids included, needs plenty of it each day to keep their digestive system working well. Here’s how to get your kids used to the taste of fiber-rich foods, which they can come to love.

A bowl of high-fiber cereal is a great start to meeting your child’s daily needs. Read food labels to find whole-grain cereals that provide 3 grams or more of fiber per serving. Usually, the more sugar in a cereal, the less fiber. Add sweetness to cereal with fresh, canned (unsweetened), or frozen fruit.

Have cut-up whole fruits and veggies on hand to help your child meet the recommended five or more daily servings of fiber. Keep fruit juice to a minimum. Whole fruits and vegetables contain much more fiber and less sugar than most juices.

Beans are loaded with fiber and protein. Drain and rinse canned beans and toss into soups, stews, salads, scrambled eggs and omelets, and salsas.

Protein

Every cell in the body is made of protein, which makes this major nutrient essential for healthy growth and development. Protein is found in animal products such as dairy, eggs, seafood, and meats. In somewhat lesser amounts, it is also in beans, nuts, vegetables, and grains. Boost your child’s nutritional intake with these protein-rich food ideas.

Even finicky kids love eggs. French toast, scrambled eggs, pancakes, and omelets are kid-pleasing dishes that contain plenty of protein, iron, and other important nutrients.

Branch out from fish sticks and try salmon dishes that kids will enjoy. Top salmon or other fish fillets with salsa or teriyaki sauce to give your child lean protein along with heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids.

Add nuts to cereals, yogurts, or vegetables for added protein, fiber, and healthy unsaturated fats.

Antioxidant Superfoods

Antioxidants help defend the body against harmful substances that can damage the body’s cells. Power up your child’s diet with foods rich in antioxidants, such as almonds, berries, citrus, carrots, spinach, tomatoes, and bell peppers.

  • Bring orange wedges, 100% citrus juice, fruit, or nut granola bars to the next sports practice for a refreshing and energizing treat.
  • Pack school lunches with baby carrots, grape tomatoes, or red bell pepper slices for a fiber- and antioxidant-rich lunch or snack.
  • Add plenty of antioxidant-rich tomatoes or tomato sauce to pizza, spaghetti, meatloaf, soups, and stews.

 

Iron

Children’s diets are often lacking in iron, a mineral that carries oxygen in the blood and helps keep kids energized. Boost the iron in your kids’ diet with lean meats, eggs, fish, dark leafy greens, beans, dried fruits, and iron-fortified grains.

Vitamin C increases the absorption of iron, so pair eggs with oranges or orange juice.

Serve spinach salads at mealtime, topped with strawberries, dried cranberries, and/or slivered almonds and a light raspberry vinaigrette dressing. The fruit will help the body absorb the iron in the spinach, and kids will love the taste.

When kids refuse a meal, offer iron-fortified cereal topped with low-fat milk or yogurt and fruit as a healthy meal substitute.

Taking the Bite off Diabetes

Monday, March 23rd, 2015

summer fruitDiabetes continues to be a top concern for many health professionals across the world. It is a condition that could easily be managed with proper diabetes treatment. Diabetes is not a debilitating disease. If properly managed and treated, people with diabetes could live fuller and more productive lives. However, the success of any diabetic treatment ultimately depends on the patients understanding and commitment to treatment.

3 Things to Remember in the Treatment for Diabetes

  1. The first step in the treatment of diabetes type 1 or 2 is proper education. This could be done by regular communication and establishing a relationship with your health provider. Learn everything about diabetes and make a lifelong commitment towards eating a healthy diet and living a healthy lifestyle.
  2. Diabetes can be managed by eating a healthy diet. Shedding some extra pounds could go a long way in controlling your blood sugar. A typical diabetic diet should consist of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes and good fat.
  3. Living an active lifestyle also helps people manage their weight better. Exercising regularly helps maintain blood sugar levels. All it takes is thirty minutes of simple exercises like walking or climbing a flight of stairs to help you keep weight under control. Moderate exercises and activities like dancing, yoga or any aerobic exercise combined with a healthy diet helps you live a fuller life, with or without diabetes.

 

What is the Management and Treatment for Diabetes

  • Proper Identification – People with diabetes constantly walk a fine line between having too much or too little blood sugar. This makes the possibility of a diabetic attack highly probable. Wearing a tag or bracelets that identifies you as a person with diabetes helps emergency services or people treat you more effectively. Having a glucagon kit readily available ensures quick treatment of diabetic symptoms.
  • Regular Checkups  – Diabetes poses serious medical complications if left untreated. Poor eyesight, glaucoma, cataracts and retinal damage for example are medical complications that can occur due to diabetes. Regular checkups help identify early symptoms of diabetes and help your physician provide proper care and treatment.
  • Strengthen your Immune System – Diabetes symptoms include a weakened immune system. Boost your immune system by eating a healthy diet and getting a flu shot every year. Hepatitis B vaccinations are strongly advised for diabetic patients who have no previous records of vaccination.
  •  Maintain Proper Blood pressure Levels – Elevated blood sugar levels can cause high blood pressure. Ask your doctor if medication is required to help you maintain proper blood pressure levels. Diabetes symptoms include headaches and dizziness that may be caused by elevated blood pressure. Eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly prevents fat buildup that could complicate your current medical situation.
  •  Feet and Teeth Care – Check your feet regularly for cuts, sores or blisters. Consult with your doctor immediately if you see any of these signs. Regularly wash your feet with lukewarm water. Dry them thoroughly and apply moisturizers. A compromised immune system makes us susceptible to infections. The mouth is a perfect breeding ground for bacteria. Proper mouth care helps prevent the growth of bacteria and reduces your risk for infections and disease.

Switching to Healthy Lifestyle

We all know the health risks that come with smoking and this could be aggravated by diabetes. Smokers with diabetes have a higher chance of acquiring cardiovascular disease. Switching to a healthy lifestyle and quitting the smoking habit goes a long way in helping your manage your diabetes.

Alcohol when drank in large amounts could elevate or decrease blood sugar levels. Coupled with an unhealthy diet, this could complicate your medical condition. Alcohol also contains carbohydrates. Include the carbohydrate content found in your drinks to help you manage your blood sugar levels better.

Reducing Stress and Anxiety

Stress could elevate your blood pressure and affect blood sugar levels. Finding yourself with diabetes can be very stressful. The body reacts to stress in many different ways. This includes elevated blood pressures and the release of hormones. This could affect how the body reacts to insulin.

Fishing for a Longer and Healthier Life

Sunday, March 1st, 2015

Ever wondered why some people have a longer life expectancy? It has often been said that we are what we eat. And if we took a closer look at the diets of countries that have the longest life expectancy then it would be no surprise that their diets have the healthiest mix of foods prepared over their table. The Japanese in particular have diets that are rich with fish and vegetables. So what makes it standout from most of today’s modern diet and what are the benefits of taking fish oil?

Fish takes a centerpiece when we talk about Japanese diets. Its cuisine is characterized by fish often prepared raw combined with fruits and vegetables. One nutrient that is found in great amounts in fish particularly fish fat is Omega 3. This could not be found in fats found in animal meat making it special to fish fat.

Unlike many of the body’s much needed nutrients which are produced by breaking down food, Omega 3 is an essential fatty acid that could only be taken directly from its source. Good sources of these fatty acids include cold water fishes like salmon, herring and calamari. It could also be found in plant based sources like flaxseed.

Omega 3 fatty acids can be categorized into three types; EPA, DHA and ALA. Fish fat and calamari or squid oil contain EPA and DHA while plant based sources have ALA. Those contained in plant sources however (ALA), needs to be converted to EPA and DLA before being used by the body.

Omega 3 could be found in great amounts in fish fat. It is also referred to as polyunsaturated or essential fatty acids. Omega 3 or “good fat” helps clear clogged arteries and reduces the risks for cardiovascular diseases. This is the exact opposite the action of meat fat which is one of the main culprits in strokes or heart attacks.

The benefits of Omega 3 go beyond keeping our hearts healthy. It is also a vital building block for cell walls. It helps regulate the flow of nutrients to and from the cell and helps send signals to the brain. Omega 3 is essential for keeping our body’s basic unit (cells) healthy and functioning at its optimum.

Omega 3 is required for normal brain development. Pregnant women are strongly advised to take their recommended dietary allowance of Omega 3 to ensure normal brain development. This is also important during their growing years for optimum brain growth.

Omega 3 also plays a role in the production of hormones. It is responsible for regulating the production of eicosanoids. This aids in the body’s normal immune functioning by reducing inflammation. It reduces blood clotting and promotes the dilation of blood vessels. Omega 3 could also decrease the gravity of strokes and heart attacks by reducing blood clots.

A healthy diet means eating the right type and amount of nutrients. But many of us fail to follow a healthy diet because of the lack of food choices. Varying your choice of foods

The best way to get the most out of eating fish based diets is to have variety. You could have the recommended daily amounts of Omega 3 by eating cold water fish or squid oils. Omega 3 fatty acids could be sourced from a variety of food. These include cold fish, prawns and squid oils which are rich in DHA and EPA. ALA, the third type of Omega 3 fatty acid could be taken from vegetable oils and nuts. Plant sources for ALA include soy bean, flax seed, canola and olive oil.

Selecting the Right Pair – Better Eyesight

Sunday, March 1st, 2015

Did you know that eyeglasses date all the way back to 1000 AD? Today, over a quarter of the world population require glasses. If you fall into that 25 percent, you have likely gone through some trial and error when it comes to shopping for the right type of glasses. Finding the right fit at a reasonable price can be a frustrating process. The good news is that there has never been a better time to find a pair of cheap eyeglasses that are a perfect fit.

Whether you require prescription or non-prescription reading glasses, you likely have personal preferences. The most important consideration when purchasing glasses is that they meet the needs specified by your physician or ophthalmologist.

Wearing the wrong pair of glasses can cause headaches, blurred vision, nausea, vertigo, and permanent damage to your eyes. It is not uncommon for one to experience a short adjustment period to new glasses; if you experience continued discomfort it is important contact a professional to assess your needs.

Getting the Best Deal

Some consumers spend on average spend hundreds of dollars and even up to a thousand for prescription glasses. The internet is packed with websites offering affordable glasses. If you opt to buy over the internet, be sure to take some time to research the vendor to ensure they offer a quality product. Customer reviews are a great way to measure the quality and reputation of the seller. You should also search around the web to take advantage of special sales and offers.

More than just a Fashion Statement

Sunglasses are not only fashionable—they save your eyes too! The sun’s UV rays can cause extensive damage to your eyes. Medical experts agree that wearing a pair of glasses with UV protection is a vital step in maintaining ocular health. The most effective sunglasses block 100% of UVA and UVB rays; be sure to read the product label before purchasing to confirm the amount of protection the glasses offer.

Glasses with bigger or “wraparound” lenses tend to provide more protection as well. Don’t be afraid to wear your sunglasses year round; eye experts recommend wearing sunglasses in the winter as well. Remember that some sunglasses are made for fashion only; be sure to double check that they offer appropriate protection.

Get a Spare

Unfortunately glasses tend to disappear. Don’t tear out your hair looking for them—get a second pair! Glasses can have a short life. Whether we sit on them, scratch the lenses, or the dog chews on them, it is a safe bet to have a backup pair. Glasses are occasionally offered at a discount price when you buy two pairs. Take advantage of a two for one special and avoid being without them when you need them the most. You can always buy a much cheaper pair to get you by until you can purchase a better set.

 Second Nature

There is a perfect pair of glasses out there for you; it may take some trial and error, but you will find a pair of eyeglasses that are the right fit, price, function, and look for you. The right pair of glasses will feel natural and let you get through the day without worrying about your vision or eye health. The right eyewear can be a great fashion accessory as well. Whatever your needs may be, don’t settle for a mediocre pair. Get a set that works for you!