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There's An App for That

Written by Lisa Jillanza

there's an app for that With the popularity of smart phones growing by the day, the health world has joined in on the hype by creating numerous apps that bring the keys to better health right to your phone.

Here are some of the best health apps available today.


Heart Disease Risk Calculator

If you are in need of a reality check and you are in possession of an iPhone, simply download the free Heart Disease Risk Calculator app to find out what your odds are of having a heart attack, stroke or heart failure within the next decade.  While the advice given within the app is not to be taken over the advice of a medical doctor, it will still help you to encourage healthy eating and living.

My Last Cigarette

If you made a New Year's Resolution to quit smoking and nearly four months later you still haven't quit, then perhaps you should download the My Last Cigarette app.  Only $1 for the iPhone, this app tells you how much money you are saving by not smoking and how much you have altered your life expectancy by quitting.  The app also provides motivational messages to keep you smoke-free, which most researchers believe help people to stay their course after quitting.


Instant Heart Rate

Using just your smart phone camera and the Instant Heart Rate free app for both iPhone and Android, doctors agree that this is one of the most accurate heart rate monitor apps.


Allergy Caddy

For those with food allergies, Allergy Caddy available for the iPhone for just $2 helps you to avoid certain foods at more than 30 different restaurant chains by consulting the public accessible data available through the app.



Utilizing the extensive database at Johns Hopkins University coupled with pattern-recognition technology, MelApp, available for $2 on the iPhone, can access your melanoma risk by simply scanning your photos of lesions that are questionable.


Available at no cost for the Android, Blackberry and iPhone, ZocDoc allows you to search for dentists and physicians in many major U.S. markets.  After reading the review and choosing a doctor, you can make an appointment without making any phone calls.


This free app for all three major smart phones tracks any drug interactions and safety data for more than 8,000 drugs. Medscape also provides medical news and information on more than 4,000 diseases and conditions.


Spring is in The AirAnd So Are Allergens

Written by Lisa Jillanza

Now that the long, cold winter is behind us, spring is in the air, as are allergens, ragweed, pollen, and mold.  For those with seasonal allergies, spring can be quite a hard season to get through.

According to a study on www.health.com, the best action for fighting your spring allergies is to avoid the plants that make your coughing, sneezing, and watery eyes worse.

But many people aren't sure exactly what combination of allergens that are affecting them.  Here is a list of some of the most popular plants and their allergens.

  • Ragweed : It is common along riverbanks and in rural areas. Almost 75 percent of people with allergies are sensitive to ragweed.
  • Mountain cedar :This tree is commonly found in mountainous regions and, causes some of the most severe allergy symptoms around.
  • Ryegrass : This grass is common in dry lawns, meadows and pastures. This, along with other grasses, is often very problematic for allergy sufferers.
  • 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.  Avoid the woods just for this one.
  • Pigweed/Tumbleweed : This common weed is found in lawns and along roadsides, but beware 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 study.
  • Mold : Allergies acting up in the spring could be because of mold levels rising with wetter, warmer air.  The study 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.

Always seek medical advice when dealing with the treatment of seasonal allergies.

Cancer Fighting Diets

Written by Lisa Jillanza

The causes of cancer still remains unknown, however, it is believed that certain factors can increase a person's risk of getting cancer. Majority of all cases of cancer are believed to be a direct result of a person's lifestyle. Those who maintain an unhealthy lifestyle such as those who smoke, eat less than healthy diets, drink or live a sedentary lifestyle increase their risk of getting cancer. Immediately stopping this unhealthy habits and living a healthier lifestyle could greatly decrease your risk of cancer.

A cancer fighting diet is one which is mainly composed of eating a lot of vegetables, whole grains and fruits. Cooking destroys a lot of the cancer fighting nutrients contained in these types of food. Eating fresh fruits and vegetables preserves these nutrients and insures that you get their full benefit.

5 Top Cancer Fighting Vegetables

Many vegetables have been found to contain great amounts of cancer fighting ingredients which help to keep the disease at bay. However, some vegetables are better in fighting cancer than others.


Cabbage is certainly making waves as one of the top cancer preventing vegetables. This green leafy vegetable contains indole-3-carbinol a naturally occurring anti-oxidant. Great amounts of these compounds are found in many green leafy vegetables especially in cabbage. Research has shown that indole-3-carbinol increases the effectiveness of chemotherapy in killing cancer cells.

This vegetable also contains a lot of other nutrients such as folic acid, potassium, vitamin C and fibers. Eating cabbage also decreases the risks of acquiring common cancers such as breast, prostate and colon cancers.


This vegetable has long been used as an effective way of fighting heart disease. Recently, studies have shown its effectiveness in fighting cancer as well. The two main chemicals contained in garlic believed to be beneficial in fighting cancer are allicin and allyl surfur. These compounds have been found to have a significant effect in reducing the incidence of cancer in populations studied.

Garlic has been found to be effective in reducing the risk of prostate and stomach cancer.  Another study also showed that middle-aged women who took garlic reduced their risks of developing colon cancer. Allyl surfur which is contained in garlic greatly reduces the risk of cancer by mainly preventing the growth of cancer cells.


Ginger has long been used as a popular way of spicing and adding flavor to our food. This vegetable has been found to contain natural compounds which are effective in fighting cancer. Gingerol a naturally occurring compound found in ginger reduces the growth of cancer cells in the body. Studies have shown that ginger reduces the risk of developing colon cancer.

Soy produce

A lot of studies have shown the effectiveness of Soy in reducing the risk of developing breast cancer. Soy contains isoflavone genistien which has shown cancer fighting abilities. This compound has shown promise in fighting breast, cancer and prostate cancers. Among the studies Soy has been most effective in fighting prostate cancer.

Umbeliferous Vegetables

A group of vegetables known to have excellent cancer fighting compounds are Umbeliferous vegetables. These groups of vegetables include carrots, celery and parsnips. Carrots are the most popular among the group as a type of vegetable known to contain cancer fighting compounds. Like all vegetables these contain phytonutrients which decrease the risk of developing cancer.

“We are what we eat”, this age old adage still holds true today. Living an active lifestyle and exercising daily is useless unless we also maintain a healthy diet. Maintaining a balanced diet complements our efforts of living a healthier and fuller lifestyle. Studies have shown that certain types of food increase or lower our chances of getting cancer. For those with a family history of cancer, eating a cancer fighting diet could be the best chance of avoiding the disease.

Final Thoughts

Fiber could be found in vegetables, whole grains and fruits. The fresher and less cooked they are the higher the fiber contained in food. Another great way of knowing fiber contained is that the more colorful the fruit or vegetable, the higher the fiber contained inside.

Eating fruits and vegetables increase fiber intake. Fruits and vegetables are mainly composed of fibers which are excellent in maintaining normal digestive functions. They increase the speed and facilitate the passage of stools through the digestive tract and help eliminates cancer causing agents before they can do harm.

It's All in the Feet

Written by Lisa Jillanza

As odd as it may seem, your feet may be the window to your overall body health. Here are some things to look for regarding your feet that will give you clues that there may be other important body issues to look into.

No hair on your feet or toes If your feet or toes are lacking hair, it can be a sign of having poor circulation because of vascular disease.  If you notice that your feet and toes do not have any hair on them, you will want to consult your doctor to find out ways to improve your circulation thereby reducing your risk of acquiring vascular disease.

A wound that won't heal on your foot Wounds on your feet that just won't heal could be an indication of diabetes.  Over time, elevated blood glucose levels can lead to serious nerve damage in your feet and because of this damage you may not feel when you have a sore or a wound on your foot.  If your wound continues to go unhealed there could be major problems, including amputation.  If you notice a wound that won't heal on your feet be sure to contact your doctor to discuss your wound.  If you are currently living with or being treated for diabetes, be sure to check your feet often and mark any changes.

Cold feet While most women are known for their “cold feet” there may be something even more serious going on if you constantly have cold feet.  For women, having cold feet is a sign of an under functioning thyroid, the gland that regulates temperature and metabolism.  Poor circulation is another explanation of cold feet in both women and men.  If you experience cold feet that simply don't warm up with warm socks or slippers, talk it over with your doctor to have your thyroid checked and explore your options, which may include thyroid medications.

Thick, yellow toenails

Toenails are not supposed to be thick and/or yellow.  Thick, yellow nails are most often an indication of a fungal infection living beneath your toenails.  People that have other medical conditions, like rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes and other immune deficiencies are more likely to get a fungal infection than those that do not have these conditions.  To treat thick, yellow toenails, you will need to consult a podiatrist.  While there are plenty of over-the-counter treatments for thick, yellow toenails, by the time your nails are already discolored and thick it is too late for any over-the-counter creams or medicines to work. You must discuss your options with a professional.

An enlarged big toe Gout is the condition when the big toe suddenly swells up to an uncomfortable size. Gout is actually a form of arthritis due to the buildup of uric acid. This condition typically shows up in your big toe because it affects the part of your body with the lowest temperature, which is often the big toe.  It can also occur in your knees, elbows, Achilles tendon and the instep of your foot.  If you discover that your big toe has swollen to an abnormally large size, contact a foot care specialist, who with diet recommendations and medication, can help to cure this condition.

Get a Quiet Night's Sleep by Eliminating Snoring

Written by Lisa Jillanza

Does your snoring prevent you from sleeping at night? Do you wake up tired and restless? If you answered yes to these questions, you may have a sleep disorder, which is preventing you from getting a good night's sleep. Do not worry, you are not alone. It is estimated that 40 percent of men and 30 percent of women snore while sleeping.

Find out why you are Snoring

The most important thing for you to realize is that there is help available and there are tips that can help you sleep better. The first step that you should take is to try to find a reason for your snoring. You should monitor your snoring to see what your sleep patterns are. Try to note things like, do you sleep on your back, do you sleep with your mouth open or shut, and do you seem to stop breathing while you are snoring. These are important answers to know.

You can make an appointment with your doctor and take along the answers to the above questions. He will be able to completely examination you and rule out any health problem besides your sleep disorder. Your doctor may be able to pinpoint the cause for your snoring. More importantly, he may be able to help you find a treatment plan the will work for you.

Tips to Alleviate Snoring

There are some things you can do at home that may be able to keep your from snoring or reduce your amount of snoring. You should also try to avoid certain foods close to bedtime like dairy products, soymilk, caffeine and alcohol. You should also refrain from taking sleeping pills or antihistamines right before bedtime.

If you sleep on your back, some people have suggested putting a tennis ball down the back of your shirt while you sleep. The idea is that you when you roll over, it will be uncomfortable forcing you will roll back over on your stomach. Some studies have suggested that doing throat exercises and singing throughout the day can reduce your snoring at night.

If these tips are not working for you, there are several medical treatments that are available for you to try. There is the CPAP machine, where you put a mask on while you sleep and it helps you breathe better. There are also several types of nasal strips that you wear while you are sleeping to also help you breathe better during the night. Surgery is another option that many people with sleep disorders try when other options are not working.

Benefits of a Good Night's sleep

The number one benefit of getting a good night's sleep is that it will make you more productive during the day. Studies show that there is a direct link between sleep and a person's productivity throughout the day.  Without a good night's sleep, a person has less energy and they are not as alert and focused. These are the three key ingredients to productivity and without them a person's performance may be at their best level.

The benefits and necessity of sleep was obvious even to Shakespeare 400 years ago and has been recognized by human cultures throughout time. The U.S department of Health and Human services today recommends that most adults get from 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night. A more typical amount however, is 6.5 hours, which is plenty enough to function but you should realize that higher amounts of sleep are correlated with

  • decreased chance of sickness
  • healthier weight
  • lighter mood
  • healthy skin
  • not having bags under your eyes

All of these are essential to looking your best, but the healing power of sleep is not limited to your complexion. Sleep is also associated with:

  • clarity of thought, better grades, and higher quality work
  • lower risk of blood pressure and diabetes
  • lower risk of injury "drowsy driving" is responsible for thousands of deaths every year

The amount of sleep recommended varies across age groups; kids need even more than 7-8 hours. The Government endorsed values, backed up by research conducted by the National Center on Sleep Disorders Research, are: 9 hours for teens, 10 to 12 hours for school aged and preschool children, and for the koala-like newborns, around 16 to 18 hours of sleep every day. For these youngsters, sleep is safest when it is done on their backs- if you let them sleep on their bellies that will increase the occurrence of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

There are other benefits that you will receive once you start having a good night's sleep. Since you will not be tired anymore, any depression or anxiety problems may diminish. Your mood will lift and your attitude is likely to become more positive.

Spending your nights not able to sleep and your days being tired can be a stressful way to live and over time it will wear you out. But once you begin getting a good night's sleep, you will be amazed at the difference it will make in your life.