6 Healthy Packaged Foods That Save You Time And Money

When choosing packaged foods, it’s important to read the labels. This can be time consuming but worth it. To save time, try focusing specifically on foods low in sugar, low in salt and high in protein. Stay away from anything containing high fructose corn syrup which is an unnecessary sugar additive. Why do we even need sugar in bread? Foods with the fewest ingredients are best. If you don’t know what an ingredient is, chances are it’s not good for you.

Marketing techniques labeling foods as Lite, gluten free, healthy or wheat may not always be the healthiest choice. As an educated consumer you should know the difference. Many so called “wheat” products may not be whole grain or made from whole wheat. The first ingredient should be whole wheat flour. Wheat flour, unbleached wheat flour, multigrain, enriched, and stone-ground wheat flour are alternative ways of saying “refined white flour.”

To save you some time in the grocery store, I’ve compiled a list of packaged healthy foods that can also save you money. Here are 6 packaged foods that I recommend:

1. Canned beans. Opt for the low salt version if you can. Always rinse the beans thoroughly to wash away any unnecessary salt. Try to avoid beans with sauce or refried beans that tend to be high in sodium.

2. vegetables. Plain vegetables without sauces and added salt are a healthy and delicious addition to any meal. Steamables are a great choice when you’re in a hurry or just too tired to cook. They are quick and easy and leave you with little clean up. They can be more expensive, so stock up when they’re on sale. I’ve found them on sale for as little or close to $1 a bag.

3. Frozen berries. Not only are they delicious, but can really save you money. Especially in the winter when berries are out of season and more expensive. Try mixing them in plain Greek yogurt. Or serving them with pancakes or French toast. It makes a natural sweet sauce. Sometimes we thaw them in the microwave, making them a little warm to pour over our pancakes. Try topping them with a dollop of Greek yogurt too. It gives it a taste that’s almost like a crepe.

4. Nut butter. If the ingredient says almonds, you have a winner. It takes some time to stir, but if you store it in the refrigerator, you shouldn’t have to stir it again.

5. Low sugar cereals. Ideally cereals should have less than 6 grams of sugar. Opt for whole grain cereal such as toasted oats and muesli. Unsweetened instant oatmeal can be thrown in the microwave for a quick & healthy breakfast.

6. Canned Tuna fish. Packed in water. This is a quick and inexpensive source of protein. I pack my tuna salad with lots of vegetables like onions, celery, carrots, vinegar, pepper and olive oil mayonnaise (it tastes just like the real thing without adding as much fat and calories).

When choosing pre-packaged foods just remember, marketing can be deceptive. The fewer ingredients, the more natural the product. Look for whole wheat flour as a first ingredient when selecting whole grain foods. Try to stay away from processed foods that are high in sodium, sugar or contain high fructose corn syrup.

Calcium Needs At All Life Stages

It is the most abundant mineral in the body, present mainly in the bones and teeth. From the start, toddlers have an increased need for dietary calcium to support bone growth and skeletal development that takes place rapidly in the early years of life. This development and its need – continues into the teenage years and is particularly crucial for adolescent girls who need to stock their calcium supplies to prevent osteoporosis later in life. Adequate intake at this stage is needed to support ongoing bone growth and to achieve peak bone mass. It is an essential dietary element required in optimal amounts for good bone health, efficient nerve and muscle function, and overall cardiovascular health. Without enough of it throughout life, a person’s bones can begin to weaken over time. That can make it more difficult to stay active while also creating a higher risk of fractures and osteoporosis. A person’s bone density will generally reach its peak at roughly age 30, and then begin to fade after that. Adequate daily intake can help maintain proper bone density and help prevent osteoporosis – which creates porous and fragile bones. It makes up about three percent of the earth’s crust and is a basic component of most animals and plants. Eating a diet rich in calcium helps to restore it to the bones; supplements can help as well.

Why is calcium necessary?

It is known mostly for its role in building and maintaining strong bones and teeth, but it is also required for proper functioning of the heart, muscles and nervous system. It plays a role in maintaining normal blood pressure, regulating blood clotting. It is also associated with relieving mood swings, food cravings, and decreasing the pain, tenderness and bloating associated with premenstrual syndrome.

What are the deficiency signs?

Deficiency symptoms (also known as hypocalcemia) range from minor – numbness or tingling of the fingers, muscle cramps, lethargy and poor appetite – to more severe, including mental confusion, skeletal malformations, dermatitis, and in infants, delayed development. Illnesses such as osteoporosis (brittle, thin, porous bones that easily break) and rickets are also associated with a deficiency.

How much, and what kind, does an adult need?

If vitamin D levels are optimal, most adults should be able to meet their daily calcium needs via a varied diet. When individuals are unable to get enough of it through a diet or for those who may need more than the recommended daily allowance, supplements can help. Doctors recommends women supplement with 500 to 700 mg of calcium citrate in two divided doses taken with meals for a total of 1,000-1,200 mg a day from all sources. Supplementing with its citrate form, which is more easily absorbed than other forms, taken with half the dosage amount of magnesium.

How much does a child need?

The normal daily recommended intake for children is as follows: infants through three years of age is 400-800 mg; children between 4 and 10 years of age is 800 mg; adolescent males is 800-1,200 mg; and adolescent females is 800-1,200 mg daily.
How do you get enough from foods?

An abundant source of this mineral in the American diet is dairy products – two glasses of milk per day provide 1,000-1,200 mg. If you choose to get via dairy products – and this is not essential, as there are many other calcium-rich foods – make sure you use only hormone-free, organic dairy products to reduce your exposure to the antibiotics and hormones found in many dairy products. Non-dairy foods include: greens such as collards, mustard, kale, and bok choy; canned salmon (with bones) and sardines; tofu, soy milk, fruit juice and cereals; blackstrap molasses; and broccoli.

Are there any risks associated with too much?

Its supplements can be constipating, and should be balanced with magnesium as discussed above. Excessive amounts in the blood may have negative effects, including nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, and increased urination. More serious complications include kidney toxicity, confusion, and irregular heart rhythm. Studies indicate that men who take too much may have an increased risk of prostate cancer, and should limit their dietary intake to 500-600 mg daily from all sources.

Who should we take it as supplements?

It is an important mineral for the human body. It helps build and protect your teeth and bones. Getting enough of it over your lifetime can help prevent osteoporosis. Most people get it through their normal diet. Dairy foods and leafy green vegetables have high levels of calcium. Your health care provider will tell you if you need to take extra dose id required.

TYPES OF CALCIUM SUPPLEMENTS

Forms of calcium include:
Calcium Type
Pros
Calcium citrate (21% calcium)
Most easily absorbed
Calcium carbonate
Least expensive; has more elemental calcium

Calcium carbonate. Over-the-counter (OTC) antacid products contain it and these sources of it do not cost much. Each pill or chew provides 200 mg or more of calcium.

Calcium citrate. This is a more expensive form of calcium. It is absorbed well on an empty or full stomach. People with low levels of stomach acid (a condition that is more common in people over age 50) absorb this better than other forms.

HOW TO TAKE HIGHER DOSE

Increase the dose of your supplement slowly. Your provider may suggest that you start with 500 mg a day for a week, and then add more over time.Try to spread the extra dose you take over the day. DO NOT take more than 500 mg at a time. Taking it throughout the day will:

Allow more calcium to be absorbed

Cut down on side effects such as gas, bloating, and constipation
The total amount adults need every day from food and supplements:
19 to 50 years: 1,000 mg/day
51 to 70 years: Men – 1,000 mg/day; Women – 1,200 mg/day
71 years and over: 1,200 mg/day

SIDE EFFECTS AND SAFETY

DO NOT take more than the recommended amount of it. Try the following if you have side effects from taking extra calcium:

Drink more fluids.

Eat high-fiber foods

Switch to another form of calcium if the diet changes do not help.

Always tell your provider and pharmacist if you are taking extra dose. Its supplements may change the way your body absorbs some medicines. These include certain types of antibiotics and iron pills.

Are there any other special considerations?

Vitamin D is key to absorbing and so make sure to get adequate intake of vitamin D. Vitamin D, often referred to as the “sunshine vitamin,” is actually a fat-soluble hormone that the body can synthesize naturally. There are several forms, including two that are important to humans: D2 and D3. Vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) is synthesized by plants, and vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) is synthesized by humans when skin is exposed to ultraviolet-B (UVB) rays from sunlight. The active form of the vitamin is calcitriol, synthesized from either D2 or D3 in the kidneys. Vitamin D helps to maintain normal blood levels of calcium and phosphorus.

Vitamin K2 is a beneficial form of Vitamin K for bones. Unlike Vitamin K1 which is used to activate blood clotting proteins, Vitamin K2 is beneficial for activating proteins which help bind calcium to bones. Vitamin K2 is found in food but not in anywhere near the concentration found in Osteo-K. Taking Osteo-K helps boost daily intake of vitamin K2 to support bone health. Older people may need to take it in extra larger doses because they do not absorb it as well as younger people.

If you take oral vitamin D,you also need to take vitamin K2. Vitamin K2 helps to move calcium to proper areas where its needed and removes it from sites where it shouldn’t be present like arteries and soft tissues. When you take vitamin D, your body creates more of these vitamin K2-dependent proteins, the proteins that will move it around. They have a lot of potential health benefits. But until the K2 comes in to activate those proteins, those benefits aren’t realized. So, really, if you’re taking vitamin D, you’re creating an increased demand for K2. Vitamin K2 deficiency is one of the reason why people suffer from vitamin D toxicity symptoms which includes improper calcification leading to hardening of arteries. And vitamin D and K2 work together to strengthen your bones and improve your heart health.

It seems likely that 150 to 200 mgs of vitamin k2 is enough to activate your K2 dependent proteins to shuttle calcium to proper areas.

How can you tell that you are deficit of vitamin k2?

There is no specific tests for finding it. By assessing the lifestyle and diet you eat,one can find whether he is lacking the critical nutrients needed for the body. If you face following health conditions then you are likely deficient in vitamin K2.

Do you have osteoporosis?

Do you have heart disease?

Do you have diabetes?

If you are facing such symptoms, its better to think on deficiencies and take necessary steps.

How to Safeguard Your Immune System

The immune system of a human body is a network of cells, tissues and organs that work together to defend the body against the attacks by the ‘foreign’ invaders. The term ‘foreign invader’ is used for the bacteria, parasites, fungi and other viruses that can lead to illness through infections. It is the job of an immune system to keep these infectious organisms out and destroy them.

Though unseen, the immune system cells are constantly gobbling up with the bacteria and blocking viruses from invading your cells. Similar to your heartbeat and indigestion, the immune response is a system that functions on its own and you don’t control them. But, there are a lot of practices that can work as your helping hand. Some of such practices are:

Good hygiene- The first step to begin with the defence is to keep all prospective germs at bay. How can it be done? By following good personal hygiene habits. Stop infection as it begins and before it begins. Make sure you avoid spreading your infections to others with these simple measures:

  • Wash your hands regularly with soap or use sanitizers 5-6 times a day. Always prepare or eat food after washing your hands and every time you use the restroom.
  • Whenever you sneeze or cough, make sure you cover your mouth and nose with a tissue in order to avoid its germs infect others.
  • Always bandage all your cuts because if left open, it can become septic and harm your immune system. If you have any serious cut or wound anywhere on your body, get is examined by the doctor within due course of time.
  • Do not touch your healing wounds and do not squeeze pimples because doing so allows germs to enter your body.

Vaccination or Immunisation- A number of serious infections can be prevented by immunisation. Whereas vaccination is used to cure a sore arm or low fever. The vaccination is generally safe and effective in curing such diseases. And when it comes to the infections, consult your doctor for the immunisation status. A number of health care providers and centres provide immunisation services. Generally:

  • Children should be given all necessary immunisations and vaccinations as and when recommended by the doctors.
  • All adults should make sure their vaccinations are up-to-date.
  • Travellers should get additional immunisations before their date of journey.

Food safety- Mark yourself safe from the causes of food-poisoning not because they are life-threatening but they can lead to serious medical conditions sometimes. For this, you have to prepare and store your food safely. Take necessary precautions to kill germs or to prevent them entering your immune system:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water before and after each time you handle a raw food.
  • Rinse all meat, poultry, and fish under running water before cooking. Rinse all fruits and vegetables under running water before cooking or serving them.
  • Separate raw foods and cooked foods, and never use the same utensils or cutting boards with cooked meat that were used with raw meat.

Healthy travel- If you’re planning a trip, make sure you consult your doctor once, for, if your body needs some immunisations and vaccines before you make any travel. Consult your doctor at least 3 months or as early as possible about your journey and ask him about the precautions you have to take during your visit to the place.

Top Ways to Prevent Chronic Disease

Even if you have a family history of chronic diseases, you can take steps to prevent these conditions and maintain your health for many years. Studies show the best ways to prevent chronic diseases include:

Eating Healthy Foods
No diet has to be perfect, but you should strive to eat nutritious, lean foods as much as possible. A healthy diet should always include foods like:

  • Vegetables and fruits
  • Lean meats like poultry
  • Fish
  • Nuts
  • Beans
  • Whole grains
  • Healthy fats like olive oil or avocados

By filling your plate with these items, you’ll rarely have space left to eat sugary or fatty foods that can increase your risk of a chronic disease.

Staying Active
You don’t have to run marathons to see the health benefits of exercise. Simply walking for about 150 minutes each week can help your body stay healthy. Even if you walk in short 10 minute intervals, you will see healthy benefits.

For extra health benefits, incorporate resistance training to build strong muscles and bones.

Maintaining Low Blood Pressure
High blood pressure (hypertension) can hurt your heart and your kidneys. While a healthy diet and exercise should keep your blood pressure healthy, be sure to check your blood pressure at least once a year and take blood pressure medicines as your doctor recommends.

Sleeping Well
Sleep may play a larger role in your health than you think. People who are sleep deprived tend to have higher levels of stress, higher blood pressure, higher blood sugar and poor metabolism. Proper sleep helps your body work well.

Keep a Healthy Weight
If you are already at a healthy weight, work to maintain that weight through proper diet and exercise. If you are carrying a few extra pounds, work with your physician to find ways to lose weight that work for you. Everyone is different, and no single weight loss plan works for everyone. Keep trying to find the plan that’s right for you and your lifestyle.

Don’t Smoke
Smoking has countless negative effects on your health, increasing your risk for heart attack, stroke, lung cancer and more. If you need help quitting smoking, speak to your physician. Your physician can help you find smoking cessation support and give you access to prescription medicines that might help you quit.

Remember, your doctor is your partner in healthy living. If you have any questions about preventing or managing chronic disease, always ask your physician for help.

Texans Save Yourselves: Get Affordable Health Insurance Now

Even Superman should have health insurance. Amusingly, most of us who struggle with health coverage are similar to Superheroes and their woes. We encounter problems with obtaining health insurance for a number of reasons. Either our employers do not provide it, the costs are too high, or the plan does not adequately suit our needs. Superman is self-employed, does not produce an income, and has an incredibly risky profession, which includes daily injuries and a high possibility of death each day.

If Superman attempted to get health insurance from most companies in the United States, it is rather probable he would get rejected over and over again.

Some of us believe we are indestructible, like Superman, and we do not opt for health insurance because it seems unnecessary. However, a lot of people would love to have the security knowing their well-being is covered, yet simply know they cannot afford it. Regardless, whatever the reasoning behind your choice to ‘wing-it,’ is, it is crucial to your health, security and emotional state that you reconsider.

It is no secret the United State’s health care system has flaws. Politicians have been trying to amend these flukes for decades, and it is constantly an issue that resurfaces during each presidential election. While it will be some time before any revolutionary changes are observed in our system, now is the time for you to change your outlook on health insurance options.

Certain states are worse off in their status’s of having heath insurance. Health insurance companies need to come to rescue for Texan inhabitants. Texas has one of poorest ratios of those who have health insurance coverage to those who do not. Currently, 1 in 4 Texans do not. That is 25% of the population!

Every individual comes with a unique situation. Be smart. Protect yourself. Indestructible or not, you never know when a freak accident or sickness will occur and leave you broke and emotionally shattered.

Dental Health Activities

Dental health activities are designed to encourage good dental health practices and to help avoid dental cavities, gum diseases and oral cancer. State dental health programs are the primary entities responsible for conducting the core activities with regard to oral health conditions within different states. Local health departments in association with the dental community and public/private schools also arrange various dental health activities. The promotion of dental sealants and monitoring of the fluoride content in drinking water are examples of disease prevention activities. The American Dental Association provides a great deal of resources for dental health activities.

Classroom dental health activities are an integral component in the development of a child. Dental health activities to provide valuable oral care education and to promote the importance of proper dental hygiene among children are conducted with the help of posters, interactive dental health games and contests, health fairs and classroom presentations. Health educators present programs on topics such as brushing and flossing, bad breath, good nutrition and how to overcome the fear of visiting the dentist. The organization and administration of school-based fluoride mouth rinse programs and the promotion of school dental screening are examples of additional dental health activities focused on children.

Organizations such as Oral Health America develop, implement, and facilitate educational and service programs designed to raise awareness of the importance of oral health. Nationwide activities and campaigns coordinate schools, governments, care providers, and corporate and community partners in the fight against tooth decay and oral disease prevention. Many state dental health programs are involved in epidemiological surveys, applied research projects and community needs assessments. This information is important in developing an appropriate and responsive community programming. Many public health systems operate independent public health dental activities. These activities vary in scope and size across each state depending on population requirements. State grants are allotted to develop innovative dental activities and programs specific to individual states? needs, and improve access to oral health services.

What to Do When You Go See a Chiropractor

So you had been suffering from backache for days, now, you decide that you needed a help. Chiropractors can treat neck pain, back pain, headache, and various other aches and pains that may occur within the body.

The first time you visit them, they will have to ask about your health history and general health condition so they would be able to detect the main cause of the problem and to decide about the best remedy for your condition. Prepare about 30 minutes of your time on your first visit, preceding ones will only last for about 15 minutes or less. The time however would vary depending upon the kind of treatment that your body may call for.

Here are the lists of the things that you can expect on your first visit:

o Chiropractor may ask about your personal and your family medical history

o Ask about some major illnesses that you’ve experienced in the past

o Confirm about surgeries or operations that you had

o Medications or anything that you are currently taking

o Will ask you to describe your present condition

o Steps that you performed in order to deal with your current condition

o Will ask about your diet and exercise

o Check your sleeping habits, work routine, home life, and stress level.

As simple as these questions may seem to be, they are important to the chiropractors since through these set of questions, they can obtain a thorough background of your life in the long run. Answer each question properly and truthfully, it’s for your own good after all.

3 Steps to a Successful Health Care Program

We all have friends who have been sick or diagnosed with severe health problems. You may be fairly health still (congratulations!) or you might already have some issues. No matter what your particular health is right now, there are three things you can start with immediately to take better care of yourself.

1. Good Nutrition. You have probably heard this dozens of times but do you really adhere to a good diet? How often do you eat fast food? How many sodas do you drink every week? Every day? Do you eat a lot of packaged processed food, even though it is labeled “Healthy Choice” or something similar. This is not good for you! You need to eat natural, unprocessed food. Fruits, vegetables, fish, nuts, soy products and the like. Your body will gradually break down if continually fed unhealthy products.

2. Exercise. This does not mean you have to run marathons or spend hours at the gym every day. Do things that you enjoy or you will not be able to sustain a exercise regime. Walking is one of the best forms of exercise. Light weights give you some body strength and muscles are what burn the most fat so you will be able to maintain a healthy weight. Keep moving as much as possible. Gardening, walking the dog, stretching, yoga, these are all wonderful ways to keep yourself fit.

3. Take Some Good Supplements. No matter how well we eat, we are not able to take in the daily amount of vitamins, nutrients, etc. that doctors and nutritionists recommend. Make sure you get on a well recommended program that you can trust. There are some excellent natural vitamin companies out there, you just need to do the research and choose one. Look for a company with longevity and ask around to some of your healthier friends what they use.

Start today as you have no time to lose. Remember, if you have any questions about what you should do or take, check with your doctor.

Uses of Medical Masks

It is known to everyone that medical masks are an important part in maintaining hygiene in the area of health care. This equipment belongs to the category of medical tools known by the name personal protective equipment or PPE. The medical masks are present everywhere in a health care establishment, right from the operation room to the general outpatient unit. Their main function is to prevent the spread of contagious diseases and thus control any sort of infections. They are critical for the promotion of health and hygiene.

There are different kinds of medical masks available in the market. Disposable medical masks have become very popular, thanks to the spread of pandemics such as swine flu, H1N1 related infections and so on and so forth. The disposable masks are very effective in flu season when there is a greater threat of the epidemic being spread. They also come very useful in all sorts of emergency situations where there is a risk of infection.

The reusable masks come off as highly useful to people who suffer from severe allergies and asthma situations. These masks which are washable are helpful for those who are highly prone to infections caused by virus or bacteria. These masks are to be chosen properly. They should be able to effectively filter out the allergens in the form of pollen grains, dust particles, fungi or bacteria that are airborne. The masks can also be used by air travelers especially in those long distance flights involving a lot of time where the passengers have to deal with many people.

The sizes of medical masks may vary from person to person depending on the age group he or she belongs to. Thus a mask meant for the adult will not properly fit a small kid. Hence you need to purchase small sized masks for children. The medical professionals especially doctors will be able to help you choose the proper kind of masks for you.

Knowing the Basics of Interventional Pain Management

Anyone, who is dealing with chronic and/or acute pain, knows the “pain” associated with the condition. In most cases, patients spend a considerable amount of time with primary care doctors, physical therapist, and specialists, hoping to find a more permanent solution. Interventional pain management is a practical alternative in such cases, where the concerned patient has tried all other treatment options.

Understanding interventional pain management

Interventional pain management is a specialized field in medicine that deals with the diagnosis and treatment of chronic and/or acute pain and other related disorders. This is more of a “multidisciplinary” approach, which is offered by a team of experienced doctors and healthcare professionals. With interventional pain management, doctors aim to reduce chronic and or acute pain, besides focusing on better living. The treatment is entirely different from other forms of pain management because there is no direct dependency on pain-relief medications. In most cases, a physician may refer the matter to a pain management doctor, who will decide on the line of treatment, depending on the facts of the case. In case of interventional pain management, pain management physician will work together with chiropractors, physical therapists, occupational therapists, psychologists, neurologist, and orthopaedic surgeon as needed to treat the condition by utilizing minimally invasive procedures such as epidural injections, facet blocks, trigger point injections, etc.

Things worth knowing

Interventional pain management is particularly beneficial for patients who are suffering from neck and back pain. Physicians may use more than one approach to the condition, depending on the diagnosis. The use of steroidal injections in the joints and epidural space is quite common, while injections are also used to treat a spinal nerve root, which is diagnosed as the source of pain. Branch blocks are also used for diagnostic purpose followed by radiofrequency ablation, while doctors may also use additional injections in the facet joints. Discography is also utilized to find the possible cause of pain, and in this procedure, a special dye is used in an injectable form into a disc to understand the pathology better.

In some cases, minimally-invasive procedures like “Radiofrequency Ablation” can be used for the medical branches, so as to restrict the movement of pain signals. Doctors may also suggest the use of heated electrodes for certain nerves that carry the pain signals, and this process is also known better as Rhizotomy. Not to forget, physical therapy and other forms of occupational therapies are also used for the treatment. Doctors also suggest lifestyle changes to patients, if they find any hope for better health.

The first appointment

You need to visit an Interventional Pain Management specialist, who will do a thorough exam to understand the possible concerns and issues related to the condition. Doctors may also suggest a few tests including x-rays and MRI for accurate diagnosis. You must also discuss the other kinds of treatments you have tried for your condition, and as required, doctors may suggest a line of therapy, after discussing the expectations, costs and other aspects.