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Load Up on Vitamin C this Flu Season

Sniffling, sneezing, coughing, hacking, the sounds of cold and flu season are upon us.  If you are one of those people that start chugging O.J. as soon as you hear these familiar sounds, then you are already ahead of the cold and flu fighting game.  While vitamin C cannot prevent a cold, it can shorten the length of time you battle a cold or lessen the severity of your cold.

While people typically turn to oranges and their juice to get their daily dose of vitamin C, the 69.7 mg of vitamin C in a medium size orange is actually less than many other common fruits and veggies. If you are looking for an alternative to get your daily dose of vitamin C and help curb the symptoms of the cold and flu season, check out these other options.

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Pineapple : Along with 78.0 mg of vitamin C, pineapple also contains bromelain, a digestive enzyme that breaks down food and helps to reduce bloating.

Chili peppers : Just a half cup of chopped chili peppers or diced chili peppers have 107.8 mg of vitamin C. Plus capsaicin, the compound that makes chili peppers hot can also help to relieve joint and muscle pain.

Red bell peppers : At 190 mg, a cup of chopped red peppers contains nearly three times more vitamin C than an orange.  They are also a great source of vitamin A, promoting healthy eyes.

Green bell peppers : Even though it isn't as power packed as its red sister, a cup of chopped green peppers contains 120 mg of vitamin C. It's also a great source of fiber.

Kale : A one cup serving of kale provides 80.4 mg of vitamin C, along with twice your recommended daily allowance of vitamin A and seven times the recommended amount of vitamin K.  Kale also provides numerous minerals and fatty acids.

Cauliflower : Cauliflower gives you 127.7 mg of vitamin C, plus 5 grams of fiber and 5 grams of protein.

Signs, Symptoms and Risks of Breast Cancer

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and because it is one of the most common cancers in the United States we offer these facts, symptoms, signs, possible causes and your risks of having breast cancer.

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BREAST CANCER FACTS:

  • One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime.
  • Breast cancer is the second leading cause of death among women.
  • Each year it is estimated that more than 220,000 women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer and more than 40,000 will die.

CAUSES:

While there is no clear answer to what causes breast cancer, researchers have identified things that can increase your risk of breast cancer.

BREAST CANCER SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS:

  • A lump in the breast or thickening that feels different than regular tissue.
  • Discharge from the nipple.
  • Change in size or shape of your breast.
  • Changes to the skin of the breast, including dimpling.
  • Redness of the skin of the breast.

RISKS:

  • Being female.
  • Increasing age.
  • A personal history of breast cancer.
  • A family history of breast cancer.
  • Inherited genes that cause breast cancer.
  • Radiation exposure.
  • Obesity.
  • Beginning your period at a young age.
  • Beginning menopause at an older age.
  • Drinking alcohol.

Having children later in life or not at all.

Awareness 101: Ward off Breast Cancer

In support of October's Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the American Institute for Cancer Research recently estimated that nearly 40 percent of breast cancer can be prevented if all women would follow these four simple lifestyle changes.

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  1. Have one alcoholic drink per day, MAX : abstaining is even better although.
  2. Get moving for at least 30 minutes per day : besides helping you to keep a healthy weight, exercise will also help boost your immune system and keep your hormones in check.
  3. Watch your body weight and keep it down : fat cells produce estrogen which can only fuel some cancers.
  4. If you have a baby and breastfeed, try to breastfeed exclusively for 6 months : this in and of itself can reduce your risk of getting breast cancer by 60 percent.

Blood Pressure Myths

Did you know that roughly one in three American adults has high blood pressure?  A staggering fact is that having untreated blood pressure can lead to further serious conditions like heart failure, stroke, heart disease and kidney failure.

But do you know the facts about high blood pressure? Or have you fallen victim to believing the many myths out there about blood pressure?

Find out more as we sift through the myths to find the facts!

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MYTH : Lower blood pressure is always better.

Low blood pressure could be a concern if it causes symptoms of dizziness, fainting or shock.  But, it is true that sometimes low blood pressure is normal for some people.

MYTH : Nervousness, sweating and lack of sleep are all symptoms.

Actually high blood pressure does not have any symptoms.  Nearly one-third of all adults who have high blood pressure do not even know that they have blood pressure issues at all.

MYTH - If you have high cholesterol, then you have high blood pressure.

While many of the same poor exercise and food choices cause both high cholesterol and high blood pressure, people can have just one or the other : or both.

MYTH : Once you are feeling better you don't need to take your blood pressure medication anymore.

If a doctor has prescribed a blood pressure medication for your high blood pressure, you should follow their exact orders.