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The calendar might read May, but summertime is just around the corner. It’s time to get geared up for warmer months, longer days and all the fun that only summer can bring. To make this summer your best one yet, here are some health tips to keep in mind these next few months.

 

  • Get at least 150 minutes of aerobic activity a week.
  • Wear sunscreen and insect repellant.
  • Keep cool in extreme heat.
  • Eat a healthy diet including nutritious fruits and vegetables.
  • Keep hydrated with water instead of sugary drinks and alcohol.

 

(Continued from part I)

Common Flu symptoms

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Body aches
  • Headaches 

Experts say that the biggest mistake that we can do is to self-diagnose. While we are still in this pandemic, you should assume that you have COVID-19 unless you test otherwise. Once you are tested for COVID-19 and depending on those results, you may then want to be tested for the flu (or even strep throat). 

Unfortunately, you can also have more than one illness at a time – like “flurona” or you can experience regular seasonal allergies alongside of having COVID-19 or one of its variants.

There are a few home remedies that can help you once you know for sure what condition is affecting you. For fever and body aches, use fever and pain-reducing medications like acetaminophen and ibuprofen.

For congestion, use an over-the-counter medication like Mucinex. If the congestion is due to allergies, try a nasal steroid spray.

For fatigue, make sure to stay hydrated, get enough electrolytes and lots of rest. Sleep is always your biggest aid to help your body recuperate and regenerate itself.

Another thing to keep in mind is that it is never too late to get vaccinated for COVID-19, the flu or both. Getting vaccinated early helps to build up your immunity and protect you throughout the cold and flu season.

It’s that time of year again and no we aren’t talking about when our furry friend brings us baskets of chocolates and goodies. We are talking about the “perfect storm” of maladies where many play the guessing game of, “What Am I Suffering From?” From new variants of COVID-19 to the common cold, to seasonal allergies and the flu, how are we supposed to figure out how to remedy what ails us, when we don’t even know what it is?

Here are some common symptoms and treatments so we can end the guessing game once and for all.

General COVID-19 symptoms

  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Runny nose
  • Fever
  • Loss of Taste and Smell
  • Body aches

Omicron COVID-19 symptoms

  • Cough
  • Fatigue
  • Runny nose and congestion
  • Night sweats
  • Less likely to have a loss of taste or smell 

Common cold symptoms

  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Sore throat
  • Cough
  • Congestion 

Common Seasonal Allergies symptoms

  • Itchy or watery eyes
  • Itchy throat
  • Itchy ear canals
  • Stuffy or runny nose
  • Tiredness or fatigue

(Continued in part II…)

During this month, millions of people all over the world take part in and recognize April as Parkinson’s Disease Awareness Month.

 

It is a very common disease, but many people are unclear about what Parkinson’s is and how it affects those with the condition. 

According to American Parkinson’s Disease Association (APDA), “Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a type of movement disorder that can affect the ability to perform common, daily activities. It is a chronic and progressive disease, meaning that the symptoms become worse over time. It is characterized by its most common of motor symptoms—tremors (a form of rhythmic shaking), stiffness or rigidity of the muscles, and slowness of movement (called bradykinesia)—but also manifests in non-motor symptoms including sleep problemsconstipation, anxiety, depression, and fatigue, among others.”

Some interesting statistics about Parkinson’s include:

  • Nearly one million Americans are living with Parkinson’s.
    • Approximately 60,000 Americans are diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease each year, and this number does not reflect the thousands of cases that go undetected.
    • Seven to 10 million people worldwide are estimated to be living with Parkinson’s disease.
    • Incidence of Parkinson’s increases with age, but an estimated four percent of people with Parkinson’s are diagnosed before the age of 50.

Unfortunately, the cause of Parkinson’s is unknown and presently, there is no cure. Current research is showing that exercise can improve brain function and may slow disease progression, especially if early onset. The earlier the intervention, the better effects exercise can have on the individual.

  • Mangoes are an excellent source of vitamins A and C, and they are also an excellent way to replenish potassium lost through exercise or for those who are constantly “on the go.”
  • An average-sized mango can even contain up to 40 percent of your daily fiber requirement, thereby being a great way to curb constipation and irregularity.
  • Mangoes can also help to prevent certain types of cancer and help to lower blood cholesterol levels, too.

Recipe: Jamaican Jerk Chicken Salad 

  • ½ cup prepared or purchased honey mustard dressing
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
  • 4 chicken breast halves without skin, boneless
  • 1 tablespoon Jamaican Jerk seasoning
  • 2 large fresh mangoes
  • 10 to 12 cups mixed greens 

Stir together honey mustard dressing and lime zest.  Cover and chill dressing while preparing chicken. 

Rinse chicken and pat dry; sprinkle with Jerk seasoning.  In a large skillet cook the seasoned chicken in hot oil over medium-high heat about 6 minutes on each side until browned and no longer pink.  Thinly slice each chicken breast. 

Arrange warm chicken and mango atop greens on four plates; drizzle with the honey mustard dressing.

Recipe: Mango Pork 

  • 2 medium ripe mangoes
  • 1 pork tenderloin, about ¾ pound
  • Cooking spray or olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Hot pepper sauce 

Put pulp of one mango in food processor or blender.

Cut the other mango into small cubes.  Trim pork tenderloin and slice into 1-inch thick medallions.  Flatten slices lightly with hand.  Spray a skillet or medium saucepan with cooking spray or add a small amount of olive oil and heat on medium-high.  Brown pork for one minute on each side. Season each side with salt and pepper to taste. 

Reduce heat and cook pork another five minutes to cook through.  Remove to plate and add mango to skillet or saucepan. Cook puree about, scraping up brown bits of pork, for about 30 seconds.  Add several drops of hot sauce and the mango cubes.  Toss cubes in puree while heating through.  Spoon sauce over pork and serve with pasta or hot cooked rice.