Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Al Sears, MD
11903 Southern Blvd., Ste. 208
Royal Palm Beach, FL 33411December 16, 2009
You can’t turn on a TV or pick up a magazine or newspaper these days without seeing the latest, scary statistics about this season’s flu epidemic.
But what can you do about it?
Well, first, you can try to prevent getting sick in the first place. You can take advantage of something you probably already have in your own kitchen … garlic. Raw garlic has antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties which provide both prevention and treatment of illness by killing many of the pathogens responsible for it.
Plus, a new study from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows that eating garlic appears to boost our natural supply of hydrogen sulfide, which acts as an antioxidant and transmits cellular signals that relax blood vessels and increase blood flow. This process may be the reason a garlic-rich diet appears to protect against various cancers, including breast, prostate and colon cancer.
If you do happen to catch a cold or flu, you won’t find much help from over-the-counter drugs—even the FDA warns of the ineffectiveness and risks of these drugs, especially in children.1 So it’s only natural that people would try to find something else that will work.
The good news is there are some natural, home remedies that can provide significant relief.
Garlic is something I also recommend to help recharge your immune system. Brew a bedtime elixir of four mashed garlic cloves steeped in eight ounces of hot water and flavored with the juice of a lemon.2 To ward off garlic’s tendency to make your breath smell “garlicky,” eat some neutralizing fennel seeds, like those served at Indian restaurants.
For additional relief, it’s as easy as taking a quick trip to your local grocery store. Here are a few more things you can do to help ease cold and flu symptoms:
For nasal congestion: Go for a bowl of chicken soup. Since the 12th century, this soothing soup has been a staple cold remedy. Now scientists have put it to the test and discovered that it relieves colds in two ways: (1) it acts as an anti-inflammatory and, (2) it relieves nasal clog.3
For lung congestion: Rub castor oil or dry mustard (mixed with water to make a poultice) on your chest, cover with muslin or flannel, and lay a hot-water bottle on top to open up your airway and boost circulation in your lungs.4
For sore throat: Drink hot lemonade, made with real lemons, several slices of ginger root, and honey to taste.5 Herbal teas, such as slippery elm, cherry bark, or licorice (not anise) can also be soothing. You can also gargle with turmeric mixed in warm water to reduce inflammation in your throat.
For stomach ache: Drink chamomile tea, fresh ginger tea, or ginger ale (made with real ginger), to sooth an upset stomach. Ginger is also an antiviral and can help you recover from viral infections.
To Your Good Health,
Al Sears, MD
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
How to Combat Holiday Depression
By Tabby Biddle
Do the holidays take a toll on your mood year after year? Put into practice some proven tools to combat holiday depression and you could make this holiday season one of the best ones yet.
Holidays are supposed to be a time of joy, right? So why does the depression rate soar at thisl time of celebration? If the holidays have taken an emotional toll on you in the past, tune into the some of the tools below to combat holiday depression this season.
Tools to Combat Holiday Depression
1. Know the triggers. First and foremost, recognizing what triggers your depression symptoms is a powerful way to combat holiday depression. As with most everything in life, the first step to change is awareness. When you recognize your depression triggers, you can defuse their power. In other words, your knowledge is power.
Finances. With the added expenses of gifts, travel, food and entertainment, the holidays can stress your budget as well as your peace of mind. Stress has been shown to trigger depression symptoms.
Relationships. Facing the holidays without a loved one can be tough and leave you feeling lonely and sad. On the opposite front, the stress of being with family members where there is strain in the relationship can trigger depression symptoms.
Irregular Schedule. The extra socializing and shopping can disrupt your usual schedule. When exercise, sleep and regular meals take a back seat, depression symptoms are typically triggered.
2. Acknowledge how you feel. You can't force yourself to be happy just because it's the holiday season. If someone close to you has recently died or you can't be with loved ones, realize that it's normal to feel sadness and grief. Take time to cry and express your feelings. If you feel tension with a family member, talk to them about it--or if this feels too daunting--write about how you feel in a journal.
3. Stay connected. If you feel lonely, seek out social, religious or community events to make personal connections. Volunteering your time to help others also is a good way to lift your mood and establish new friendships. Companionship is a fantastic way to combat holiday depression.
4. Keep a routine. Don't let the holidays become a free-for-all. An inconsistent eating and sleep schedule can lead to a lot of ups and downs. Studies have shown that keeping a consistent schedule can reduce minor mood swings that often lead to more severe episodes of depression. Stick to a regular sleep and wake time (as best you can), and eat your meals on a consistent schedule.
5. Skip overindulging this year. Most of us overindulge during the holidays. It seems like par for the holiday course. However, if you are serious about combating holiday depression, moderation can be your best friend. Overindulging on sweets and alcohol is a sure-fire way to trigger depression symptoms. Have a healthy snack before heading out to a holiday party so that you don't go overboard on sweets or alcohol.
6. Eat balanced, healthy meals. This may sound like a real challenge for the holiday season when there seems to be a party every other night, and a zillion tasks on your to-do list. However, you should know that a spike or drop in your blood sugar during the day can drastically change your mood (for the worse). Studies show that eating a diet rich in vegetables, fruits, nuts, whole grains, fish and lean meats (and reducing your intake of simple carbohydrates and caffeine) can cut your risk of depression.
7. Get some exercise. When you exercise, you release endorphins (otherwise known as the body's "feel-good" chemicals). For some people, exercise works better than antidepressants to combat holiday depression. Studies have shown that doing 30 minutes or more of exercise a day, for three to five days a week, can significantly improve depression symptoms.
8. Take a yoga class. Let's face it--the holidays can be stressful! And research shows that stress and anxiety can increase depression symptoms. Yoga, on the other hand, has been shown to reduce stress and help improve your mood. If you've never done yoga before, try out a gentle or beginner yoga class and learn how to relax your mind and body for a more peaceful and potentially more joyful holiday.
9. Stick to a budget. Before you go shopping, decide how much money you can afford to spend - and then stick to your budget. Overspending can lead to guilt, stress and feeling out of control which ultimately can trigger depression symptoms.
10. Say 'no' when you feel overwhelmed. Saying 'yes' when you should say 'no' can leave you feeling resentful, overwhelmed and stressed. Take care of yourself first. Friends and colleagues will understand if you can't participate in every activity or event.
Final Tool (and maybe the most important):
Get sufficient sleep. Studies show that too little sleep can have a considerable influence on your mood. To combat holiday depression, make the quality and quantity of your sleep a priority. Set a regular bedtime and wake-up time. Research suggests that most adults need between seven and nine hours each night.
Instead of just surviving the holidays--by using these suggested tools to combat holiday depression--you may find yourself actually enjoying the holidays this year! If however you feel that your depression symptoms are severe and not improving, contact your doctor. Depression carries the risk of suicide. If you are thinking about suicide, seek help from your doctor immediately.
Coping during this holiday season. Mental Health America (formerly National Mental Health Association). http://www.mhai.org/Holiday_Stress.pdf. Accessed Dec. 2, 2009.
Depression Slideshow: Tips for Exercise, Diet and Stress Reduction. Reviewed by Brunilda Nazario, MD. WebMD. January 14, 2009.
on-diet-stress-exercise-slideshow. Accessed Dec. 2, 2009.
Holiday depression and stress. Mental Health America (formerly National Mental Health Association). http://www.nmha.org/index.cfm?objectid=c7d
f954d-1372-4d20-c80ed0a7ab69d250. Accessed Dec. 2, 2009.
Mayo Clinic Staff. Stress, depression and the holidays: 10 tips for coping. MayoClinic.com. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/stress/MH
00030. Accessed Dec. 2, 2009.
Melin, G.J. Depression and Diet: Make Healthy Choices. Mayo Clinic. October 27, 2009. Website: http://www.mayoclinic.com
Copyright © 2009 MTS Corp. All rights reserved.
Monday, December 21, 2009
Below are four ( 4 ) questions and a Bonus question to test your perception, reasoning and the quickness of your logical processing.
They are stated simply so you should try to answer them instantly.
To assure the accuracy of the results, you should not take your time, but instead, answer each of them immediately.
Let's find out just how clever you really are ....
Ready? GO!!! (scroll down slowly to uncover Q's and A's )
You are a participant in a race. You overtake the second person. What position are you in?
Answer : If you answered that you are first, then you are absolutely WRONG!
If you overtake the second person and you take his place, YOU are in second place!
Try not to screw up next time. Now answer the second question, but don't take as much time as you took for the first question, OK?
If you overtake the last person, then you are...?
Answer : If you answered that you are second to last, then you are WRONG again. Tell me Sunshine, how can you overtake the LAST person??
You're not very good at this, are you?
Third Question :
Very tricky arithmetic! Note: This must be done in your head only. Do NOT use paper and pencil or a calculator .
Take 1000 and add 40 to it. Now add another 1000. Now add 30 ... Add another 1000 . Now add 20. Now add another 1000 . Now add 10 ... What is the total?
Scroll down for the correct answer.....
Did you get 5000 ?
The correct answer is actually 4100 .
If you don't believe it, check it with a calculator!
Today is definitely not your day, is it ?
Maybe you'll get the last question right.... Maybe..
Fourth Question :
Mary's father has five daughters: 1. Nana, 2.. Nene, 3. Nini, 4. Nono, and ??? What is the name of the fifth daughter?
Did you Answer Nunu? NO! Of course it isn't.
Her name is Mary Good grief; read the question again!
Okay, now the Bonus round,
i.e., a final chance to
A mute person goes into a shop and wants to buy a toothbrush. By imitating the action of brushing his teeth he successfully expresses himself to the shopkeeper and the purchase is done.
Next, a blind man comes into the shop who wants to buy a pair of sunglasses; how does HE indicate what he wants?
It's really very simple
He opens his mouth and ask for it...
Does your employer actually pay you to think??
If so, Do NOT let them see your answers for this test!
PASS THIS ON TO FRUSTRATE THE
SMART PEOPLE IN YOUR LIFE!
Have a nice day, one and all.
Saturday, December 19, 2009
Lifelong Health: The New, New Year's Resolution -- Get into Your Own Shape
Too often, Americans believe that our physical appearance is the best measure of health. We strive for the perfect body -- primarily by dieting, diet pills, rapid weight loss programs or perhaps an exercise DVD that sits unused in the cabinet. We hope for youthful skin, masking age with expensive facial creams that promise the impossible, injections that paralyze muscles and even plastic surgery to tighten, lift and "rejuvenate." Especially as the new year approaches, Americans will do anything to "get into shape" -- but whose shape should we get into?
When it comes to getting into shape, we need to change the slogan to "find your own healthy shape." Your shape -- the shape of your body, the shape of your health and the shape of your life -- is very personal and unique. There is not a one-size-fits-all approach to health. It takes so much more than fitting into those skinny jeans to be healthy.
So when you consider your health plans for the new year, take some time to re-evaluate and expand your definition of "shape." Do not just center your goals on losing those extra pounds. Finding your own healthy shape requires a comprehensive approach that involves virtually every element of your life.
First, start with the basics. Instead of dieting, commit to learning more about food. Understand that the key to health is eating more of the right foods, not just less of the wrong. Eat the right fats (olive oil, canola oil and omega-3 fatty acids), the right protein (lean meats and fatty fish), more fruits and vegetables, and more whole-grain carbohydrates.
Don't worry about how much you weigh -- worry about how much you move. Living an active life is strongly linked to health, happiness and longevity. Get more exercise, but make sure you find an activity that fits into your lifestyle. We are not all meant to run marathons or be iron men! You do not even need to be "athletic." Just find an exercise routine that fits your shape. It must be attainable, consistent and should always include a healthy mix of stretching, balance, weight training and aerobic activity.
Next, finding your own healthy shape requires you to move beyond fitness and nutrition. Are you passionate about what you do? Do you love life and find joy in your friends, family and community? If not, make a change. Having passion and enthusiasm for life is a huge element of your health.
Along with passion comes love. Men and women who experience love live much longer than those who do not. Having a loving partner or friend to share your life absolutely promotes health. This particularly applies to men, who live 10 years longer if they are in longstanding, monogamous relationships. Loneliness must be avoided at all costs, and love should be cultivated whenever possible.
Another crucial element of finding your own shape is maintaining good self-esteem. Studies conducted by the Commonwealth Fund have shown that self-love, or high self-esteem, is among the most powerful predictors of longevity. You must feel good about yourself, your image and your body. If you do not love yourself, you will never be satisfied and your health will suffer.
Remember the shape of your spiritual health as well. Whether you are religious or not, we can all benefit from the core tenets of all spiritual teachings to be a good person, treat others kindly, give of yourself and forgive those around you. Find more faith in yourself and in those around you; it will not only cultivate a sense of peace. but will also benefit your physical health.
Lastly, be more educated and more empowered about your health. Have regular medical checkups and require your primary care physician to focus on early detection and prevention. If you develop an illness, learn as much as possible about the problem and become actively involved in treatment decisions.
In the end, finding your own healthy shape is easy -- it's intuitive. Be a good person and make every effort possible to live a healthy life. Find more passion, be more faithful, get more active and be more loving. Remember, the pursuit of health happens every day, in every aspect of your life. So, don't wait!
Dr. David Lipschitz is the author of the book "Breaking the Rules of Aging." To find out more about Dr. David Lipschitz and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com. More information is available at www.DrDavidHealth.com.
Copyright 2009 Creators Syndicate Inc.
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