FOODS TO FIGHT CHOLESTEROL

Foods that fight cholesterol often have high amounts of dietary fiber, omega-3 fatty acids and monounsaturated fats. Most of these nutrients can be found in fruits, vegetables, fish and whole grains, which should already be included in your daily diet. High-density lipoprotein (HDL) is called “good cholesterol” because it removes excess cholesterol from your arteries and sends it to your liver for disposal. According to the American Heart Association (AHA), you should consume four to five servings of vegetables and fruits daily to maintain your cholesterol HDL level.
Dietary Fiber
Dietary fiber consists of two different types of fiber: insoluble and soluble fiber. Insoluble fiber promotes movement in your intestines, relieving constipation and other bowel disorders. According to the Mayo Clinic, you can find insoluble fiber in wheat bran, whole-wheat flour, dark and leafy vegetables, nuts and seeds. Soluble fiber breaks down in water and changes into a gel, which helps lower your low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or “bad cholesterol.” Soluble fibers take longer to digest, which makes you feel full longer, therefore causing you to eat less. You can find this nutrient in oranges, apples, barley, oatmeal, carrots and legumes.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are good for your heart due to their cholesterol-lowering qualities. According to “Controlling Cholesterol for Dummies,” these polyunsaturated fatty acids prevent triglycerides, chemical forms of fat, from converting excess calories into fat by lowering triglyceride levels in your body. Omega-3 fatty acids are also high in HDL. You can find Omega-3 fatty acids in fish, especially salmon, albacore tuna, herring and trout.
Monounsaturated Fats
Whole milk, red meat, eggs, butter and some margarines contain saturated fats and trans fats. Monounsaturated fat, meanwhile, is unsaturated fat that does not increase your LDL. In fact, according to the AHA, monounsaturated fat may lower your cholesterol when used as a replacement for saturated fat and trans fat. You can find monounsaturated fat in fish, nuts and vegetable oils, but limit consumption to 25 to 35 percent of your caloric intake.






WHAT’S MORBID OBESITY?

The term morbid obesity refers to patients who are 50 – 100% — or 100 pounds above — their ideal body weight. Alternatively, a BMI (body mass index) value greater than 39 may be used to diagnose morbid obesity.
Medical problems commonly resulting from untreated morbid obesity include the following:
-Diabetes
-Hypertension
-Heart disease
-Stroke
-Certain cancers
, including breast and colon
-Depression
-Osteoarthritis

Affected people may gradually develop hypoxemia (decreased blood oxygen saturation) and have problems with sleep apnea (periodic cessation of breathing while asleep).
Decreased blood oxygen and problems associated with sleep apnea may result in feeling drowsy through the day (somnolence), high blood pressure, and pulmonary hypertension. In extreme cases, especially when medical treatment is not sought, this can lead to right-sided heart failure (cor pulmonale), and ultimately death.






ENDORPHINS: KEY TO NATURAL HAPPINESS

Scientists believe that endorphins and pain are connected because the body releases endorphins to help combat the effects of physical pain and stress. These neurotransmitters have an effect on the brain that is often compared to that of morphine or other opiate drugs, in that endorphins and opiate drugs affect the same receptors in the brain. Endorphins and pain are connected because pain can cause the release of endorphins in the brain, but other activities are also believed to release endorphins. Laughter, physical contact with loved ones, sex, childbirth, strenuous exercise, and eating certain foods are also believed to cause the release of endorphins. Experts believe that endorphins can help people bond with one another, overcome physical and mental fatigue, and cope with extreme pain.
Not everyone releases the same amounts of endorphins with the same amounts of stimulus. Of all possible stimuli for the release of these neurotransmitters, endorphins and pain are usually most strongly linked. It is believed that the primary function of endorphins is to attach themselves to the brain’s opioid receptors, dampening feelings of physical pain. At the same time, endorphins can also enhance feelings of well-being and pleasure. They typically do this by stifling neural activity in the cerebral cortex and thalamus regions of the brain. These regions of the brain are considered responsible for registering feelings of physical pain, so that when activity there is diminished, levels of the feel-good neurotransmitter dopamine rise in the area.
The brain’s release of endorphins can cause feelings of calm and euphoria. Immunity may be strengthened, appetite may change, and the hormones that regulate sex drive may become more balanced. The connection between endorphins and pain has been implicated in several well-known phenomena, including the mother’s ability to endure the pain of childbirth and the feelings of well-being one may experience after strenuous physical exercise.






6 SUPERFOODS FOR YOUR HUNGRY BRAIN!

The brain is a very hungry organ. It is the first of the body’s organs to absorb nutrients from the food we eat. Give the body junk food and the brain suffers. Certain brain foods actually help boost a child’s brain growth and improves brain function, memory, and concentration. That’s a very important piece of information for all parents to ensure that they are giving their kids the “superfoods” they need to get the most of their school day. Here are a few foods to consider:
-Salmon
Salmon is high in omega 3′s, which are essential for brain growth and function. Research shows that when kids get more of these fatty acids in their diets, they have sharper minds and do better at mental skill tests. LUNCH: Instead of making a tuna sandwich, make salmon salad instead. Simply add a little mayo or plain yogurt and add some celery or carrots or a little chopped green onion. A little Dijon is a nice extra too. Serve on WHOLE grain bread, which is also a good brain food. DINNER: Salmon patties are easy to make – use 14 oz. canned salmon, add some blanched baby spinach, ½ onion finely chopped and salt and pepper. Make into patties and then into panko. Heat grapeseed oil, cook over medium heat, and serve with brown rice.
-Peanut Butter
Peanuts and peanut butter are a great source of vitamin E, a potent antioxidant that protects nervous membranes. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals which helps to prevent cell and tissue damage.
-Berries
In general, the more intense in color, the more nutrition. Berries also have a high level of antioxidants, especially Vitamin C. Try berries with your morning oatmeal, add cranberries to couscous and feta, or make a fast sherbet – freeze berries that you’ve had in your fridge and know they need to be eaten by the next day.
-Whole Grains
The brain needs a constant supply of glucose and whole grains provide that in spades. The fibers helps regulate the release of glucose into the body. And, remember, getting enough fiber is important for pooping every day.
-Beans
Beans are really special because they have energy from protein and complex carbs and have lots of fiber as well as lots of vitamins and minerals. They should win the gold medal for about the best food on the planet. They are excellent brain food since they keep a child’s energy and thinking levels at peak performance for a long time.
-Milk and Yogurt
You’ve heard “milk does the body good” and it’s true. Dairy foods are packed with protein and B vitamins – essential for growth of brain tissue. Milk and yogurt also provide a bigger punch with both protein and carbs, the preferred source of energy for the brain.






FETAL ULTRASOUND: HERE’S LOOKING AT YOU, BABY!

A fetal ultrasound, or sonogram, is an imaging technique that uses high-frequency sound waves to produce images of a baby in the uterus.
Fetal ultrasound images can help your health care provider evaluate your baby’s growth and development and determine how your pregnancy is progressing. A fetal ultrasound might also give you the chance to study your baby’s profile months before delivery. In some cases, fetal ultrasound is used to evaluate possible problems or confirm a diagnosis.
Fetal ultrasound is often done during the first trimester to confirm and date the pregnancy and again during the second trimester — between 18 and 20 weeks — when anatomic details are visible. If your baby’s health needs to be monitored more closely, ultrasounds might be repeated throughout the pregnancy.
A fetal ultrasound can be done at any point during pregnancy. Your health care provider might use a fetal ultrasound to:
-Confirm the pregnancy and its location.
-Determine your baby’s gestational age.
-Confirm the number of babies.
-Evaluate your baby’s growth.
-Study the placenta and amniotic fluid levels.
-Identify birth defects.
-Investigate signs or symptoms.
-Perform other prenatal tests.
-Determine fetal position before delivery.






A HEART ATTACK WITHOUT KNOW IT?

When you have a heart attack, you know it because the main symptom—crushing chest pain—is overwhelmingly obvious. That’s what most of us believe about heart attacks. But it’s not always true.
What few people realize: Studies show that 20% to 60% of all heart attacks in people over age 45 are unrecognized or “silent.” And the older you are, the more likely it is that you’ve already had a silent heart attack. In a study of 110 people with a mean age of 82, an astounding 68% had suffered a silent heart attack.
What happens during a silent heart attack? You may have no symptoms at all. Or you may have symptoms that are so mild—for example, a bout of breathlessness, digestive upset or neurological symptoms such as fainting—that neither you nor your doctor connects them with a heart attack.
Scientists don’t know why some people have unrecognized heart attacks. But they do know that a silent heart attack is a real heart attack and can cause as much damage to heart muscle as a non-silent heart attack. And just like a person with a known heart attack, anyone who has had a silent heart attack is at higher risk for another heart attack, heart failure, stroke… or sudden death from an irregular heartbeat.
Recent scientific evidence: In a six-year study by cardiologists from the University of California in San Diego and San Francisco—published in Clinical Research in Cardiology in April 2011—people who were diagnosed with a silent heart attack at the beginning of the study were 80% more likely to have another “cardiovascular event,” such as a heart attack or stroke, by the end of the study period.
In a five-year study by cardiologists at the Mayo Clinic, people with an unrecognized heart attack were seven times more likely to die of heart disease than people who didn’t have an unrecognized heart attack.






LACK OF SLEEP MAKES YOU SICK!

Lack of sleep can affect your immune system. Studies show that people who don’t get quality sleep or enough sleep are more likely to get sick after being exposed to a virus, such as the common cold. Lack of sleep can also affect how fast you recover if you do get sick.
During sleep, your immune system releases proteins called cytokines, some of which help promote sleep. Certain cytokines need to increase when you have an infection or inflammation, or when you’re under stress. Sleep deprivation may decrease production of these protective cytokines. In addition, infection-fighting antibodies and cells are reduced during periods when you don’t get enough sleep.
So, your body needs sleep to fight infectious diseases. Long-term lack of sleep also increases your risk of obesity, diabetes, and heart and blood vessel (cardiovascular) disease.
How much sleep do you need to bolster your immune system? The optimal amount of sleep for most adults is seven to eight hours of good sleep each night. Teenagers need nine to 10 hours of sleep. School-aged children may need 10 or more hours of sleep.
But more sleep isn’t always better. For adults, sleeping more than nine to 10 hours a night may result in poor quality of sleep, such as difficulty falling or staying asleep.






REDUCE THE RISK OF STROKE!

Knowing your stroke risk factors, following your doctor’s recommendations and adopting a healthy lifestyle are the best steps you can take to prevent a stroke. If you’ve had a stroke or a TIA, these measures may help you avoid having another stroke. Many stroke prevention strategies are the same as strategies to prevent heart disease. In general, healthy lifestyle recommendations include:
-Controlling high blood pressure (hypertension). One of the most important things you can do to reduce your stroke risk is to keep your blood pressure under control. If you’ve had a stroke, lowering your blood pressure can help prevent a subsequent transient ischemic attack or stroke. Exercising, managing stress, maintaining a healthy weight, and limiting the amount of sodium and alcohol you eat and drink are all ways to keep high blood pressure in check.
-Lowering the amount of cholesterol and saturated fat in your diet. Eating less cholesterol and fat, especially saturated fat and trans fats, may reduce the plaque in your arteries.
-Quitting tobacco use. Smoking raises the risk of stroke for both the smoker and nonsmokers exposed to secondhand smoke. Quitting tobacco use reduces your risk of stroke.
-Controlling diabetes. You can manage diabetes with diet, exercise, weight control and medication.
-Maintaining a healthy weight. Being overweight contributes to other stroke risk factors, such as high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
-Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables. A diet containing five or more daily servings of fruits or vegetables may reduce your risk of stroke.
-Exercising regularly. Aerobic exercise reduces your risk of stroke in many ways. Exercise can lower your blood pressure, increase your level of high-density lipoprotein (HDL, or “good”) cholesterol, and improve the overall health of your blood vessels and heart. It also helps you lose weight, control diabetes and reduce stress. Gradually work up to 30 minutes of activity — such as walking, jogging, swimming or bicycling — on most, if not all, days of the week.
-Drinking alcohol in moderation, if at all. Alcohol can be both a risk factor and a preventive measure for stroke.
-Treat obstructive sleep apnea, if present. Your doctor may recommend an overnight oxygen assessment to screen for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).






PHYSICAL CAUSES OF ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION

Male sexual arousal is a complex process that involves the brain, hormones, emotions, nerves, muscles and blood vessels. Erectile dysfunction can result from a problem with any of these. Likewise, stress and mental health problems can cause or worsen erectile dysfunction. Sometimes a combination of physical and psychological issues causes erectile dysfunction. For instance, a minor physical problem that slows your sexual response may cause anxiety about maintaining an erection. The resulting anxiety can lead to or worsen erectile dysfunction.
Physical causes of erectile dysfunction
In most cases, erectile dysfunction is caused by something physical. Common causes include:
-Heart disease
-Clogged blood vessels
(atherosclerosis)
-High cholesterol
-High blood pressure
-Diabetes
-Obesity
-Metabolic syndrome
, a condition involving increased blood pressure, high insulin levels, body fat around the waist and high cholesterol
-Parkinson’s disease
-Multiple sclerosis
-Low testosterone
-Peyronie’s disease
, development of scar tissue inside the penis
-Certain prescription medications
-Tobacco use
-Alcoholism
and other forms of substance abuse
-Treatments for prostate cancer or enlarged prostate
-Surgeries or injuries that affect the pelvic area or spinal cord






WHAT TRIGGERS A DEADLY ASTHMA ATTACK?

One in 12 Americans have asthma, according to new statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. If you’re one of them – or if a family member is – you should be doing all you can to avoid the things that can trigger an asthma attack. Triggers vary from person to person, but keep clicking to see eight common ones…
-Tobacco smoke. People with asthma shouldn’t smoke, obviously. In addition, they should avoid exposure to secondhand smoke.
-Dust mites. Dust mites are in just about everyone’s home, and they can cause big trouble for asthmatics. To reduce exposure to the mites, use mattress and pillowcase covers. Don’t use down-filled pillows, quilts, or comforters. And remove stuffed animals and clutter from bedrooms.
-Air pollution. Car exhaust, industrial pollutants, and other things that foul the air outside can trigger asthma attacks. So pay attention to air quality forecasts.
-Cockroaches. To limit exposure to asthma attack-causing roaches and their dander, keep your home scrupulously free of crumbs and other food sources.
-Pets. Furry pets can cause big problems for asthma sufferers. Best to find them a new home. If that’s not in the cards, the animal should at least be regularly bathed and trimmed – and kept out of the asthmatic’s bedroom. Frequent vacuuming and damp-mopping can help too.
-Mold. To keep airborne mold particles to a minimum, keep humidity in the home between 35 and 50 percent (in hot, humid climates, an air conditioner or dehumidifier might be necessary). Fix water leaks. They can promote the growth of mold behind walls and under floors.
-Infections. Flu, colds, and other respiratory infections can trigger an attack.
-Exercise. Strenuous physical exercise might be good for your heart and waistline – but not so good for your breathing.