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Fight the Flu and Load Up on Vitamin C

Written by Lisa Jillanza

 

oranges vitamin c pills and orange juice 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. 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. Broccoli : In just one serving, broccoli provides 132 mg of vitamin C, filling fiber and only 30 calories.  Studies have shown that broccoli also has cancer-preventing properties. Strawberries : One cup of this super fruit provides 84.7 mg of vitamin C, plus folate and other compounds that promote heart health.  Strawberries also help to whiten your teeth naturally. Cauliflower : Cauliflower gives you 127.7 mg of vitamin C, plus 5 grams of fiber and 5 grams of protein. 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.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Written by Lisa Jillanza

Heart framing on woman chest with pink badge to support breast c This month we look at some common issues that surround the talks about breast cancer : including the risks, prevention, signs and symptoms of breast cancer.

Cancer is the most feared disease in the world and the worst feared word in the English language, and rightfully so.  Every day we hear stories of cancer : both of people who have lost their battle, people who are battling or people who have survived. 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 ways that you can decrease your risk of having breast cancer. 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 220,00 women in the United States will be

diagnosed with breast cancer and more than 40,000 will die 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.

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

PREVENTION:

  • Talk to your doctor about breast cancer screening.
  • Conduct breast self-exams.
  • Drink alcohol in moderation.
  • Exercise.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Limit your use of postmenopausal hormone therapy.

Osteoporosis Warning Signs: Ways you can tell if you are on your way to this dreaded disease

Written by Lisa Jillanza

Osteoporosis is one of the most common ailments of adults over the age of 50 and it is definitely a problem that people do not want to live with.  Weak bones lead to fractures and many other scary problems that could leave you disabled.

Before turning into full-blown osteoporosis, osteopenia : the process of thinning bones - precedes the ailment.  There are some warning signs to look for to determine if your bones are in fact thinning.

Here are some warning signs for osteoporosis:

  • Warning Sign #1 - You've had more than one fracture in the past two years or a fracture that seemed pretty severe considering the circumstances.
  • Warning Sign #2 : You are naturally a small or thin person.
  • Warning Sign #3 : You have an autoimmune condition that causes you to take prednisone or another corticosteroid.
  • Warning Sign #4 : You are a smoker and have been throughout your adult life.
  • Warning Sign #5 : You drink more than two alcoholic beverages a day.
  • Warning Sign #6 : You do not drink milk or you have a lactose intolerance that prevents you from drinking milk.
  • Warning Sign #7 : You have an eating disorder.
  • Warning Sign #8 : You are an Asian or Caucasian female over the age of 50.
  • Warning Sign #9 : You have a family member who had osteoporosis before the age of 50 or before menopause.

So, what can you do to prevent your bones from thinning? Look over the warning signs and risks to determine how high of a risk you are to have osteoporosis.

Keep these tips in mind:

  • If you smoke, quit!
  • Curb the number of alcoholic drinks that you consume and drink only socially.
  • Compile a family history and be aware of the medical conditions of your first and second degree relatives.
  • Be sure to take a supplement with calcium, magnesium and vitamin D.
  • Eat a diet high in dairy and other calcium-rich foods.
  • Have a bone density test done, also called a DXA scan or densitometry, which uses a special X-ray to measure the amount of calcium and bone-hardening materials in the bone segments.  Doctors rely on the bone density tests to tell a lot about a person's bones.  The test can tell whether your bones are porous, which make them fragile, or if they are dense and solid.

If you are concerned about your risk factors and how many warning signs that you said “yes” to, it is always best to consult your physician.  They can conduct the proper testing to determine your risk factor and also prescribe bone-strengthening hormones to help build up your bone strength, thereby lessening your risk of having osteoporosis.

How to Strengthen Your Immune System Against Colds Naturally

Written by Lisa Jillanza

Having a strong immune system is important in maintaining our physical well being. It protects you from all types of virus and bacteria that may cause infection and other health problems. Colds and flu are only two of the most common sickness that you can get if you have a weak immune system. It may sound ordinary, but it is quite common to find people suffering from colds and flu that don't seem to go away. Hence, before you experience major medical complications, it's wise to learn natural ways to keep your immune system healthy and well-balanced.

What should be included in your diet?

Eating the right food is the perfect answer to how you can strengthen your immune system. Although there's nothing wrong with sodas and fries, it's still advisable to minimize your consumption on such food and focus on the healthier ones. Green leafy veggies should be on top of your "what to eat" list. Be extra creative when cooking meals and learn different ways incorporate green leafy vegetables on your diet. It's advisable to consume at least one meal with such vegetables.

Don't forget dairy products, as well. Milk and yogurt are only dairy products you should consume. Yogurt does not only strengthen your immune system, but it also helps you regulate bowel movement. This means you will be keeping less toxic in your body if you will consume yogurt regularly. You should also eat enough fish or other protein-rich food to keep your body well-balanced.

Fruits can never be erased. This is the other option of those who don't want to eat vegetables, and if you're one of them, it's healthy to know that you should double or even triple your fruit intake. It also wise to eat it fresh or turned into shakes, as long as limit the glucose and other flavorings. Here's a list of the top vitamins that your immune system needs.

  • Vitamin C - this increases the production of bacteria and virus-fighting agents in your body. Papaya, guava, kiwi, orange, grapefruit, and strawberries are the best fruit sources of Vitamin C.
  • Zinc - zinc helps in the production of T-cells which also helps in fighting various types of virus. It also slows down cancer cell metastasis and tumor growth.
  • Beta carotene - beta carotene is also helpful in fighting cancer cells and balancing the immune system. It also erases the compounds that can cause aging.

Healthy habits

Living a healthy life means keeping in mind a good set of healthy habits. It may be challenging to follow all of it, but every small step can go a long way. Other healthy habits, on the other hand, sound too conventional that you may not consider it. But believe it or not, paying enough attention to such practices is a great way to spare you from cough, flu, and other health problems. Here's a shortlist of it.

  • Wash your hands, especially before and after eating
  • Consume enough water
  • Have enough sleep
  • Regular workout
  • Stay happy and stress-free
  • Give yourself a full-body massage

What should you avoid?

A right diet is not a license that you can already keep your bad practices. Aside from eating the right food and maintaining healthy habits, you should also know the things to avoid. This will balance all the changes you want to make. Aside from that, it will also spare you from diversified health problems.

I'm talking about unhealthy practices like, smoking, drinking, or doing drugs. All these three have negative effects to your overall health. It also weakens your immune system especially if you're doing it excessively. Drinking alcoholic liquids and smoking can be present in occasional parties, but having it a part of your daily life is a no-no. As for drugs, it's highly advisable to completely avoid it.

Extra facts you may not know

Apart from diet and habitual actions, there are more natural ways to strengthen your immune system. Making love is one of it. You read that right, having sex a couple of times a week was proven effective in increasing your immunoglobin A. this is an antibody that fights colds and flu. Eating garlic is also another way to strengthen your body. It has anti-microbial properties that blocks infections.