Between juice bars and high-powered home juicing machines, drinking your fruits and veggies has certainly gone mainstream. Depending on the specific mixes you sip — a vegetable blend, for instance — juice can be a filling snack when you’re on the go. But is juicing a way to lose weight and boost health? Some juicing proponents claim that your body can better absorb nutrients in juice form. But there’s no scientific evidence of this — or that drinking only the juice of a fruit or vegetable is any healthier than eating the fruit or vegetable itself. Another claim is that juicing gives your system a break from digesting fiber. But the fact is that most Americans fail to get enough fiber in their daily diet. There’s also a lot of talk about juicing to get rid of toxins. But many health experts say the body removes toxins on its own. Juices may have some long-term health benefits — grapefruit, lemon, celery and red grape juices have all been the subject of research. But while experts agree that juices are a good way to get more fruits and vegetables into your diet, they shouldn’t be the only source of nutrients, as in a juice fast. No juice is a weight-loss miracle, and fruit juice in particular can cause spikes in blood sugar. Some fruit-based smoothies can… read on >
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Twenty-three more illnesses caused by an E. coli outbreak tied to tainted romaine lettuce were reported by U.S. health officials on Wednesday. That brings the total number of cases to 172, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. But there was potential good news: The outbreak, tied to lettuce grown near Yuma, Ariz., might be nearing its end. That’s because “romaine lettuce from the Yuma growing region is past its shelf life and is likely no longer being sold in stores or served in restaurants,” the CDC noted. “The last shipments of romaine lettuce from the Yuma growing region were harvested on April 16, 2018, and the harvest season is over.” In fact, the agency said the newest cases all occurred among people who first reported becoming ill two to three weeks ago. That’s “still within the window when contaminated romaine was available for sale,” the CDC said, and “the latest reported illness started on May 2.” The outbreak has been caused by a particularly virulent strain of E. coli O157:H7. Of the 157 cases reported with good information, 75 (48 percent) have resulted in hospitalization, and 20 people have developed a dangerous form of kidney failure. “This is a higher hospitalization rate than usual for E. coli O157:H7 infections, which is usually around 30 percent,” the agency noted. So far there has… read on >
Whether you’re studying for an important exam or learning a new language, there’s more proof that nonstop cramming sessions may not translate into the long-term memory retention you want. Memory is a complex process that requires time for the brain to absorb new information. One needed step is called memory consolidation, when the newly created memory is set, so you can retrieve it later on. Extensive research has shown that this consolidation takes place as you sleep, and explains why studying before bed may help you retain what you just read. While your body gets needed rest, your brain is busy working. During this active state, different parts of the brain communicate with each other. Research done at Aachen University in Germany found that taking a 90-minute nap after learning can also boost recall for some people after motor-skill or language learning. Want another approach? A study done at New York University found that you can also “set” a new memory during waking hours by simply taking a break after a learning session, rather than immediately jumping onto another task or onto one of your high-tech gadgets. Enjoy a short walk or grab a snack and let your conscious mind wander so your brain can get to work on what you just learned and not be distracted by a new challenge. More information Read the… read on >
(HealthDay News) — A football helmet is a necessary part of the uniform that reduces the risk of a concussion or other head injury. But the helmet has to fit properly. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission offers these tips for selecting a football helmet: Make sure the child’s eyes are visible and that he can see straight ahead and from side to side. The helmet should cover the head from the middle of the forehead to the back of the head and should not sit too high or low. The helmet should be snug and not slide on the head. Clean the helmet regularly with mild detergent, and inspect for any damage. Store it in a temperature controlled location away from direct sunlight. Learn the symptoms of a concussion and remove your athlete from play at the first sign of this injury.
Any approach that differs from conventional — or Western — medicine is typically considered complementary and alternative, or CAM. But these practices have become much more mainstream, leading to growth in the health care approach called integrative medicine, which draws on traditional and non-traditional systems tailored to each individual’s needs. The U.S. National Institutes of Health agency that reports on CAM therapies has even changed its name to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, to better reflect this shift in philosophy. Getting familiar with integrative health will help you decide if it’s the approach you want. Integrative medicine focuses on your well-being and considers all aspects of your health: physical, emotional, mental, social, spiritual and environmental. It draws on whatever medical approaches — traditional or alternative — will serve you best. Integrative medicine centers are now part of many leading institutions across the United States, such as the University of Arizona, Duke, Scripps, Vanderbilt and the University of California, San Francisco. Board certification for practitioners from the American Board of Integrative Medicine was introduced in 2014. These advances have made it easier to find integrative doctors and medical centers. Key Tenets of Integrative Medicine: Creating a partnership between patient and practitioner. Using conventional and alternative methods as needed, and less-invasive yet effective interventions when possible. Focusing on prevention and promoting good health as… read on >
Cannabidiol (CBD) oil has become the hot new product in states that have legalized medical marijuana. The non-intoxicating marijuana extract is being credited with helping treat a host of medical problems — everything from epileptic seizures to anxiety to inflammation to sleeplessness. But experts say the evidence is scant for most of these touted benefits. Worse, CBD is being produced without any regulation, resulting in products that vary widely in quality, said Marcel Bonn-Miller, an adjunct assistant professor of psychology in psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. “It really is the Wild West,” Bonn-Miller said. “Joe Bob who starts up a CBD company could say whatever the hell he wants on a label and sell it to people.” Cannabidiol is extracted from the flowers and buds of marijuana or hemp plants. It does not produce intoxication; marijuana’s “high” is caused by the chemical tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). CBD oil is legal in 30 states where medicinal and/or recreational marijuana is legal, according to Governing magazine. Seventeen additional states have CBD-specific laws on the books, according to Prevention magazine. Those are Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming. Strong Evidence for Treating Epilepsy Only one purported use for cannabidiol, to treat epilepsy, has significant scientific evidence supporting it. Last month, a… read on >
Hundreds of millions of people visit U.S. amusement parks every year and take over a billion rides. Serious injuries are few — about one in 24 million. Yet accidents — including fatal accidents — do happen, often because riders didn’t follow safety guidelines or had a pre-existing medical condition. But sometimes accidents can be caused by faulty equipment or operator error. Here’s how to protect yourself and your family while still having fun. Always follow posted safety rules, especially those concerning age, height, weight and health restrictions. Be conservative when choosing rides for children, seniors and people with disabilities. Use all seat belts, shoulder harnesses and lap bars. Double check that they’re fully latched. Both small, thin riders and obese riders are at higher risk than others of being ejected from rides that have only lap restraints. All riders must keep all limbs inside the ride at all times. Hold onto handrails and stay seated until the ride comes to a complete stop. Keep your eyes forward to protect your neck. Never stand up or rock in a ride that’s not designed for it. If a ride stops midway, stay seated and wait for instructions. Make sure your kids know this if they ride without you. Report unsafe behavior or conditions you see to a manager immediately. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission regulates how… read on >
Motorcycles are still deadlier than cars, but there’s some good news: Nearly 6 percent fewer bikers died on U.S. roads last year than in 2016, a new report says. Preliminary data indicate that there were 4,990 motorcyclist fatalities in the United States in 2017 — which is 296 fewer than the year before, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA). But even with that reduction, motorcyclists account for a disproportionate amount of all traffic deaths. Deaths per mile traveled are 28 times higher among motorcyclists than among people in passenger vehicles, the report noted. “Motorcyclist fatality numbers have fluctuated from year to year over the past decade,” said report author Tara Casanova Powell. “While we are cautiously optimistic about this projection, we really need to see a sustained trend downward toward eventually eliminating motorcyclist fatalities altogether,” she said in a GHSA news release. Last year, motorcyclist deaths fell in 30 states, remained the same in two states and rose in 18 states, according to the report. In 2016, one-quarter of motorcyclists who died had a blood alcohol level over the legal limit, the highest percentage of any vehicle type. Data suggest that trend continued in 2017. Several states had an increase in distracted riding-related motorcycle deaths in recent years. And one state (Virginia) had more than double the number of such deaths between 2016… read on >
(HealthDay News) — Many people don’t get enough exercise. But a sedentary lifestyle has been linked to a host of physical and mental woes, from cancer to depression. The National Library of Medicine says an inactive lifestyle also is associated with: Obesity. Heart disease. High blood pressure. High cholesterol. Stroke. Type 2 diabetes. Osteoporosis.
While allergists have long known that farm life helps prevent allergies in kids, new research shows the benefit might even extend to adults who live near a farm. The findings “are indicative of potentially beneficial health effects of living in close proximity to farms,” said a team led by Dr. Lidwien Smit, of Utrecht University in the Netherlands. One U.S. expert said the study supports what’s known as the “hygiene hypothesis.” This theory holds that early exposure to immune-system allergy triggers — called antigens — actually helps prime the body against developing allergies. This theory was supported “when it was demonstrated that children growing up on farms developed less asthma and atopic diseases later in life,” noted Dr. Alan Mensch, a pulmonologist at Plainview and Syosset Hospitals on Long Island, N.Y. “This included allergies to grass, dust mites, and even cats and dogs,” he said. But is there any benefit to simply living near livestock farms for people who aren’t farmers or ranchers? To find out, Smit’s group surveyed 2,500 adults between 20 and 72 years old who lived in rural areas near farms. The Dutch team found that nearly 30 percent of the adults had allergies. Of these people, nearly 12 percent were allergic to grass, nearly 12 percent were allergic to house dust mites, around 5 percent were allergic to cats and about… read on >