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Posted by P Pate on

Can stress shorten your lifespan?

That’s the question on a lot of people’s minds these days.

No wonder…Stress now ranks among the top factors that contribute to illness, and interfere with or slow down recovery for many people.
The consequences of stress can be devastating…
What most people don’t know is that, in the body, stress was never intended to be a long-term condition. Stress was originally intended as a measure to react in “fight or flight” conditions – in other words, life threatening or dangerous situations. As such, when illness or events cause stress, your body starts diverting all possible resources to a few basic organs (which might be needed), to prepare you to either flee or fight for survival.

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In your body, the response was never intended to last for a long period, since usually the “fight or flight” situation would be resolved – either way – within a matter of minutes. By design, once the “danger” is resolved, everything in your body is supposed to return to normal again within a few minutes (provided you are still alive!) but during that time you need to be able to perform at abnormal levels.

One of these “temporary priority changes” stress provides, is the redistribution of water in your body. Water is temporarily diverted from a number of organs to offer ample supply to muscles and lungs. Additionally, to make sure that you have an ample supply for as long as is needed, water is also withdrawn from the lower back region – which explains why many people suffering from chronic stress will also complain about chronic back pain. (Interesting right?).

There are a number of things to keep in mind when dealing with stress:

>>In many cases, stress is a matter of choice. While it is true that our attitudes determine how we react to stressful situations, it is also true often we create unnecessary stress, or allow others to stress us out. How much stress you experience will partly be a matter of character, and partly a matter of choice. Some things are worth stressing about, and some are not – analyze your unique situation, and decide for yourself.

>>Stress is (often) created from being disorganized. If you are not able to discern between what is urgent and what is important, and treat both the same way, you will be creating stress for yourself. Urgent things need to be taken care of as soon as possible, but in as short a time as possible. Important things need to be scheduled, and have the proper amount of time devoted to them.

>>Many people simply have to live with huge amounts of stress – some of it might be due to their careers, and some of it might be due to circumstance or the environment. If your stress originates from a source you cannot change, find a way to deal with it. Explore different stress-reducing activities, and see what works for you. For some people it is better to indulge in physical activity, and for others it is better to engage in relaxing tasks or hobbies.

Stress is a very real threat to your longevity – so make a point of keeping it down to the absolute minimum. In the end, only you can make the changes necessary for your health and well-being.

Posted by P Pate on

Healthy School Food

School Food or Bagged Lunches?

Healthy school food is preparing healthy lunches and snacks for children and teens of all ages. Give them healthy options to pick from. They will be more likely to eat a lunch or snack that they choose. Get them involved in the making of lunches for school. Older children can help make great sandwiches or stuff pitas, while younger kids can place snacks into plastic bags or containers.

Use shopping as a way to teach and guide your children to help them make good choices that will lead to a healthy lifestyle. School foods are usually high in sodium and fat with extra calories. Sending your child to school with a nutritious foods help with the essential vitamins and minerals they need to grow and develop over the years.

What is a Balanced Lunch?

Children need 1-2 serving of vegetables and fruit ½ cup of cherry tomatoes and 1 pear, I serving from grain products, whole wheat bread from a sandwich , ½ -1 serving of milk, 1 carton of milk and ½ serving of meat chicken salad on a sandwich. It is always helpful to pack your lunches the night before because the next morning is usually very busy.

Leftovers are a great way to provide your children with exciting lunch for the next day. Things like a chicken breast or pita bread pocket with tuna on it can be fun and healthy. Teach your children the importance of washing their hands first before preparing lunches. Also put foods that need to stay hot in a thermos and if sending milk send it in a thermos for cooling as well.

Children need well balanced nutritional meals to grow and develop into healthy adults
Teach your children about nutrition as early as possible, and one way is to start while in the grocery store shopping for the healthy school food preparations
Packing your own lunch for your child is usually a lot healthier than the school lunch
Children are eager to learn give them options, also teach and learn all about the importance of healthy eating
Variety is the Key to Healthy Eating

Most kids experience food by touch, sight and taste using variety of shapes, colors and textures is important to introducing new healthy foods to children. One way to keep children interest is change bread use different types of bread like rye, flax, bagels, and pocket pitas just to name a few.

Kids enjoy dip; try using cottage cheese, guacamole or hummus as healthy dips. Cut sandwiches into diamonds or triangles use a cookie cutter to make fun shapes. Offer nut-free trail mix. Combine dried cranberries, raisins dried apricots with sunflower seeds.

Posted by P Pate on

A Necessary But Controversial Supplement

A Necessary But Controversial Supplement

Brown glass bottle and pills on black table, close up

The American Heart Association recommends obtaining antioxidants, including vitamin E, by eating a well balanced diet high in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains rather than from supplements. For those unable to receive the benefits of natural foods, however, supplements offer the best alternative.

Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin found in many foods, fats, and oils. NHS Heroes It is also an antioxidant, a substance that may help prevent damage to the body’s cells. Antioxidants may provide protection against serious diseases including heart disease and cancer.

Vitamin E is also important in helping your body make red blood cells, and it helps the body to use vitamin K.

People who can’t absorb fat properly may develop vitamin E deficiency. Symptoms of serious vitamin E deficiency include:

Muscle weakness
Loss of muscle mass
Abnormal eye movements
Vision problems
Unsteady walking
If “E” deficiency lasts a long time, it may also cause liver and kidney problems. Although most people in the United States aren’t seriously deficient in vitamin E, many people may have slightly low levels.

Although most of the research remains inconclusive, and ongoing studies are necessary, what IS known has prompted some physicians to prescribe, and some people to use vitamin E for treating and preventing a variety of conditions. The following are some of the most common uses.

> In addition to specific medications, Vitamin E is also used for those with diseases of the heart and blood vessels, including hardening of the arteries. Some benefits have been suggested for use with heart attacks, chest pain, leg pain due to blocked arteries, and high blood pressure.

***Many population studies have found that people with higher levels of vitamin E in their bodies have a lower risk of heart disease. So researchers investigated whether taking vitamin E supplements might help prevent heart disease. But the results have not shown that vitamin E helps. One large clinical study, however, suggested that vitamin E from foods — not supplements — may reduce the risk of death from stroke in postmenopausal women.

>Vitamin E is also used for treating diabetes and its complications, for prevention of some cancers, particularly lung and oral cancer in smokers; colorectal cancer and polyps; and gastric, prostate, and pancreatic cancer. Researchers note that taking antioxidant supplements may not work as well as eating antioxidant foods. Many experts believe getting antioxidants from foods may be the best way to protect against cancer.

People with diabetes tend to have low levels of antioxidants, which has led some researchers to theorize that this might explain why they’re at increased risk for conditions such as heart disease.

Vitamin E supplements and other antioxidants may help reduce the risk of heart disease and other complications in people with diabetes. Research shows that antioxidants may help control blood sugar levels and lower cholesterol levels in people with type 2 diabetes while protecting against the complications of eye damage (retinopathy) and kidney damage (nephropathy) in those with type 1 diabetes. One study found that people with type 2 diabetes who took 400 IU of vitamin E daily reduced their risk of heart attack and of dying from heart disease.

>Similar recommendations have been suggested for use in treating certain diseases of the brain and nervous system including Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias and Parkinson’s disease.

>Night cramps, restless leg syndrome, and for other disorders involving nerves and muscles.

>Some women are prescribed vitamin E for premenstrual syndrome (PMS), painful periods, menopausal syndrome, hot flashes associated with breast cancer, and breast cysts. Some studies suggest that taking vitamin E along with vitamin C may help prevent pre-eclampsia in women who are at high risk. Women with pre-eclampsia have high blood pressure and too much protein in the urine. Pre-eclampsia is a common cause of premature births. Not all studies agree, however.

Often, it is recommended (with good results) to lessen the harmful effects of medical treatments such as dialysis and radiation. Some people apply vitamin E to their skin to keep it from aging and to protect against the skin effects of chemicals used for cancer therapy (chemotherapy).

Dietary Sources:

The richest source of vitamin E is wheat germ. One tablespoon of Wheat Germ Oil provides 100% of the daily recommenced value, as developed by the Food And Drug Administration (FDA).

Other foods that contain a significant amount of vitamin E include:

Nuts — almonds, hazelnuts, and walnuts
Sunflower seeds
Corn-oil margarine
Cold-pressed vegetable oils, including olive, corn, safflower, soybean, cottonseed, and canola
Dark green leafy vegetables like spinach and kale
Greens — beet, collard, mustard, turnip
Sweet potatoes
*Risks. Vitamin E supplements have unclear benefits and risks. So don’t use them in high doses or for the long term unless your doctor suggests it.

*Side effects. Topical vitamin E can irritate the skin. Overdoses of vitamin E supplements can cause nausea, headache, bleeding, fatigue, and other symptoms.


Always check with your doctor before taking vitamin E supplements. Vitamin E may increase the risk of bleeding, especially if you are taking blood-thinners such as warfarin (Coumadin), aspirin, or clopidogrel (Plavix).

Possible Interactions:

***If you are being treated with any of the following medications, you should not use vitamin E supplements without first talking to your health care provider:

Antidepressant medications

Antipsychotic medications

Aspirin — Because vitamin E can increase the risk of bleeding, people who take aspirin should talk to their doctor before taking vitamin E

Warfarin (Coumadin) — Taking vitamin E at the same time as other blood-thinners can increase the risk of bleeding.

AZT – a medication used to treat HIV and AIDS.

Beta-blockers — This type of medication is used to treat high blood pressure. Vitamin E interferes with the body’ s absorption of certain kindsof beta-blockers.

Medications, such as “statins” which are used to lower cholesterol may reduce how much vitamin E your body absorbs. Statins include:

Lovastatin (Mevacor)
Simvastatin (Zocor)
Pravastatin (Pravachol)
Atorvastatin (Lipitor)
Fluvastatin (Lescol)
Rosuvastatin (Crestor)
Gemfibrozil — This medication, used to lower cholesterol, may also reduce vitamin E levels.

Chemotherapy drugs — Some doctors worry that antioxidants like vitamin E may reduce the effectiveness of chemotherapy drugs. Talk to your oncologist before taking vitamin E or any supplement.

Be SAFE, while staying healthy…If you think you need Vitamin E, or any other supplement in your diet, speak to your healthcare practitioner FIRST.

To your good health!

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