A community for people who want to remain as healthy as possible as we age.

Using Sleep to Improve Your Game

(Dr. Michael J. Breus, The Sleep Doctor™) It was great to see [the] news of the New York Jets' recent decision to make sleep specialists part of their in-season training program… I think this is a pretty smart and forward-thinking strategy for a team to take. Sleep can play a big role in the competitive world of pro sports…
And what about the rest of us? We may not be taking to the football field or basketball court every day, but the underlying relationship between better sleep and higher functioning applies in different ways to all of us. We're learning more all the time about how sleep can improve not only physical but also cognitive performance, and also about the negative consequences of disrupted sleep on performance:…
·         People who slept shortly after learning new information were more likely to retain that information than those who delayed sleep after learning.
·         Sleep deprivation has frequently been shown to have a negative effect on reaction time…
·        Forgoing sleep for the sake of being "productive" -- something most of us have probably done at some point -- appears to wind up interfering with performance, not enhancing it.
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Sleep Problems Cost Billions

(Science Daily) According to [sleep scientist Børge Sivertsen], a recently-published study from the United States puts the annual losses from insomnia alone at 63.2 billion US dollars annually. Only a third of this was due to actual absence from work; two thirds was due to a loss in productivity while at work…
"The disease is a major cause of the many traffic accidents on American roads," Sivertsen says…
Sleep disorder sufferers are often major health care users, which leads to an increase in social costs…
Sivertsen wants insomnia treatment to become more accessible, and to include cognitive behavioural therapy.
"Several recent studies show that the Internet can be used to offer good and cost-effective methods of treatment. This is particularly true in areas where sleep centres are few and far between," he suggests.
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How Many Hours Of Sleep Do You Really Need?

(Dr. Christopher Winter, Martha Jefferson Hospital Sleep Medicine Center) How much sleep an individual needs is a complicated question to answer because it depends on the individual and many factors including genetic traits. It is no different than asking, "How many calories should I consume?" That depends on a list of factors including age, body size and composition, activity level, medical history, and whether or not the patient is seeking to gain or lose weight…
So how can you figure out how much sleep you need? Here are some tips to see if your sleep is on the right track, or if a change is needed.
·         How long does it take you to fall asleep? We usually consider a normal sleep latency (the time it takes to fall asleep) to be about 15-20 minutes. If you are asleep before your head hits the pillow, you might not be sleeping enough. If it takes you an hour or more to fall asleep, you might be trying to sleep too much.
·         Do you awaken during the night?... Think of it as your brain saying, "Sorry, but I can't stay asleep that long."
·         Do you frequently wake up before your alarm? Even if you go back to sleep, it might be your brain's way of telling you that it's gotten what it needs in terms of sleep…
·         Finally, and most importantly, how do you feel during the day?... If you feel driven to sleep, you might need more sleep. If not, your sleep might be perfect, even if you are only sleeping seven hours.
So with that, I hereby grant anyone reading this article (including the patient who sent me the misguided email) absolute and complete permission to not sleep eight hours every night so long as you feel like your sleep is healthy, and you feel energetic and awake the following day.
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Napping Tips

(Andrew Weil, M.D.) Studies on sleep and the opinions of sleep experts are convincing: napping has value. People who nap generally enjoy better mental health and mental efficiency than people who do not. Unfortunately, finding opportunities to rest during daylight hours in our society is not so easy - the North American culture is actively opposed to the whole concept, bombarding us with stimulation in more and more places and times.
If you want to embrace the habit of napping - as many cultures worldwide do - consider the following: 
·         Accept napping as a positive thing. Remind yourself frequently that napping can make a day more productive - it is actually the opposite of being lazy.
·         Do not fight the body's desire to nap. This will result in unpleasant or unproductive naps.
·         Take naps when you can. If your schedule does not permit a nap every day, consider taking productive naps as a passenger in cars, trains and airplanes.
·         Consider time and duration. Napping for too long, too often or at the wrong time of day can be counterproductive. See what length and schedule works best for you.
·         Napping can mean just taking a break. Lying on a hammock or just staring into space is the essence of rest - it is not doing that refreshes you in body and mind.
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Tips for Better Sleep

(Huffington Post) Researchers from the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md. taught 334 study participants a bedtime technique involving deep breathing and imagery, which they dubbed a "tension tamer." Sixty-five percent of the volunteers reported decreased stress after trying out the new method -- and that group also reported better sleep. "A novel stress reduction technique, the 10-minute Tension Tamer, can reduce perceived stress levels in a majority of subjects resulting in improved sleep quality, decreased sleep latency and improved fatigue," the authors wrote in their abstract.
(RealAge.com) Here's how to doze off -- and wake up smarter: Exercise during the day, just not within 2 hours of bedtime… Put all your electronic toys to sleep an hour before you turn in… Make the room cool and dark.
(Dr. Michael J. Breus, Clinical Psychologist) A new study indicates that yoga can help improve sleep among people suffering from chronic insomnia. Researchers at Harvard Medical School investigated how a daily yoga practice might affect sleep for people with insomnia and found broad improvements to measurements of sleep quality and quantity.
(Reader’s Digest) Blackout curtains still not doing the trick? We uncovered studies that show how certain plants can deepen sleep and stop tossing and turning. For light sleepers: Jasmine… For stressed sleepers: Lavender… For fitful sleepers: Gardenia.
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More Recent Research on Sleep

(Health.com) Sleep deprivation, [a recent] study found, impairs the ability of fat cells to respond to insulin, a hormone that regulates metabolism and is involved in diabetes… After the four nights of sleep deprivation, blood tests revealed that the participants' overall insulin sensitivity was 16% lower, on average, than after the nights of normal sleep. Moreover, their fat cells' sensitivity to insulin dropped by 30%, to levels typically seen in people who are obese or who have diabetes.
(Huffington Post) Researchers found … that working the night shift is linked with a 2.77 times higher risk of prostate cancer, as well as a 1.76 times higher risk of lung cancer, a 2.03 times higher risk of colon cancer, a 1.74 times higher risk of bladder cancer, a 1.31 times higher risk for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, a 20.9 times higher risk for rectal cancer and a 2.27 times higher risk for pancreatic cancer.
(Dr. Michael J. Breus, The Sleep Doctor™) [Researchers] found a strong association between poor sleep quality and resistant hypertension in women. Resistant hypertension is a form of high blood pressure that does not respond to treatment, including use of blood-pressure-lowering medications… [I]t was sleep quality, not sleep quantity, that researchers determined had link to the risk of resistant hypertension.
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Vietnamese Beef-Noodle Soup with Asian Greens
Introduce your taste buds to Vietnamese cuisine with this quick and easy soup. The rich broth, aromatic herbs, and tender steak will leave you wanting more.
Smoked Turkey, Kale & Rice Bake
This hearty one-skillet dinner is loaded with celery, kale, tomatoes and quick-cooking brown rice. It’s easy to make the recipe vegetarian by substituting smoked tofu for the turkey.
Los Angeles Times:
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Become a Sugar Sleuth

(Appetite for Health) Added sugars are now thought to be more harmful to your health than almost any other negative nutrient, like saturated fat or cholesterol.  Sugars are so metabolically damaging because they cause blood sugar levels to spike, which elevates insulin and a whole cascade of other reactions follow.  In addition, eating lots of added sugars drive up huger and decrease satiety, making it harder to control calories. It’s so bad, many refer to it as toxic.
Too much added sugar is linked to overweight and obesity, metabolic syndrome, type II diabetes, heart disease, chronic inflammation, premature aging and  wrinkles, and much more. That’s why we all need to do more to eat and drink less of it…
For a few days, you should become a sugar sleuth to see if you’re keeping added sugars in your diet to no more than about 100 calories or 25 grams or 6 teaspoons a day. Read the Nutrition Facts and ingredient list for everything you eat and drink…
Sugar aliases to look out for on labels include: Cane juice, evaporated cane juice, brown rice syrup, agave, sucrose, dextrose, honey,  dextrose, sorbitol, mannitol, honey, agave, dextrin, maltodextrin, high fructose corn syrup and any other syrup.
For the most part, if  there is an “-ose,” or “-ols” it means it’s a sugar. Although sucralose is a sugar substitute.
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Fiber: Start roughing it!

(Harvard School of Public Health) Long heralded as part of a healthy diet, fiber appears to reduce the risk of developing various conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, diverticular disease, and constipation…
Some tips for increasing fiber intake:
·         Eat whole fruits instead of drinking fruit juices.
·         Replace white rice, bread, and pasta with brown rice and whole grain products.
·         Choose whole grain cereals for breakfast.
·         Snack on raw vegetables instead of chips, crackers, or chocolate bars.
·         Substitute legumes for meat two to three times per week in chili and soups.
·         Experiment with international dishes (such as Indian or Middle Eastern) that use whole grains and legumes as part of the main meal (as in Indian dahls) or in salads (for example, tabbouleh).
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How Infection Can Trigger Autoimmune Disease

(Science Daily) Australian scientists have confirmed a 'weak link' in the immune system -- identifying the exact conditions under which an infection can trigger an autoantibody response, a process not clearly understood until now…
"Our finding explains a lot about how autoimmune conditions that target particular organs such as the heart or nervous system could develop after an infection. It also suggests that if you know enough about the disease and the molecular messaging systems involved, it may be possible in future to modulate the germinal centre response."
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New Approach to Combat Viral Infections Identified

(Science Daily) When a virus such as influenza invades our bodies, interferon proteins are among the first immune molecules produced to fight off the attack. Interferon can also play a role in suppressing tumor growth and the effects of autoimmune diseases, and doctors may use an artificial form of interferon to treat patients with certain cancers or multiple sclerosis. But even this approach sometimes fails when patients' bodies reject the foreign interferon or growing resistant to its effects.
A study … offers a new strategy for enhancing the effects of interferon in fighting off infection. The research suggests that, by targeting a particular molecule in the interferon signaling pathway, specially designed drugs may be able to boost the activity of a person's own interferon, augmenting the immune system's fight against viruses.
It's possible that the same drugs might also be effective against some types of cancer and certain autoimmune conditions.
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Any Screening for Colon Cancer Better Than None

(MedPage Today) Alternatives to screening colonoscopy demonstrated similar accuracy and lower cost for detecting colorectal cancer in people who had an initial negative colonoscopy, according to a computer simulation of screening strategies.
Annual screening with highly sensitive fecal occult blood testing or fecal immunochemical testing, computed tomographic colonography every 5 years, or screening colonoscopy every 10 years reduced the risk of colorectal cancer by one-third, to almost four-fold compared with no screening, depending on adherence, reported Amy Knudsen, PhD…, and colleagues.
The two fecal tests and colonography led to similar benefits in life-years gained compared with repeat colonoscopy but with fewer complications, they wrote.
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Patient Preferences Often Ignored in Treatment Decisions, Warn Experts

(Science Daily) Patients' preferences are often misinterpreted or ignored in treatment decisions, leading to a "silent misdiagnosis" that is damaging to both doctors and patients, warn experts…
Evidence also shows that patients often choose different treatments after they become better informed about the risks and benefits, say the authors. One study found that 40% fewer patients preferred surgery for benign prostate disease once they were informed about the risks of sexual dysfunction.
Ensuring patients' preferences are not misdiagnosed is not as simple as asking the patient what he or she wants, explain the authors. Instead it requires three steps: adopting a mindset of scientific detachment; using data to formulate a provisional diagnosis; and engaging the patient in three steps of shared decision making: team, option and decision talk.
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A Potentially Deadly Reason to Seek Preventive Health Care

(Science Daily) Emergency rooms are more crowded than ever, with more than 136 million people making a trip annually. According to a study…, some of these trips may be preventable under the regular care of an allergist. Such care may also save lives.
Researchers found 25 percent of individuals who went to the emergency room or were hospitalized for anaphylaxis, a life-threatening allergic reaction, had severe anaphylaxis, which required hospitalization or included heart or lung failure. This notable number of people were also less likely to have filled a prescription for life-saving epinephrine or to have visited with an allergist in the previous year.
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Sandy inspires first Doctors Without Borders U.S. relief effort

(Reuters) Manhattan doctor Lucy Doyle has done stints with the global medical relief organization Doctors Without Borders in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Kenya. But her latest assignment is a real eye-opener: New York City.
In the wake of Superstorm Sandy, Doctors Without Borders has set up its first-ever medical clinic in the United States, and Doyle finds herself on the front line of disaster just miles from her day job.
"A lot of us have said it feels a lot like being in the field in a foreign country," said Doyle, who specializes in internal medicine at New York's Bellevue Hospital, now closed by Sandy's damage.
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Recession Forces Districts to Cut Back on Lifesaving Vaccinations

(Scientific American) Local and state health departments across the U.S. monitor communities for infectious disease outbreaks, ensure that restaurant food is safe, and provide walk-in immunization and clinics for sexually transmitted diseases.
Yet since the financial crisis began in 2007, 40 percent of the nation's health departments have suffered serious budget cuts that have forced them to shed a quarter of their workforce. Many experts fear that these cutbacks are putting the country at risk for epidemics.
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Medicare hospital payments to increase

(UPI) U.S. government officials said they finalized out-patient Medicare hospital payment increases, which go into effect Jan. 1.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, said the payment increase affects hospital out-patient departments in more than 4,000 U.S. hospitals including: general acute care hospitals, in-patient rehabilitation facilities, in-patient psychiatric facilities, long-term acute care hospitals, children's hospitals and cancer hospitals, as well as 5,000 Medicare-participating Ambulatory Surgical Centers.
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States get 3 more weeks for health exchange plans

(Vitals, NBC News) There’s nothing like a deadline to focus the mind and states have a good one coming up next week – they have to decide if they're going to run their own health insurance marketplaces, called exchanges, or have the federal government do it for them. 
But they got a little break late Friday -- if they do decide to run their own exchanges, they'll have until December 14 to submit their plans to the federal government…
The exchanges – think Travelocity for health insurance – will provide a mechanism for more people to buy insurance. They’re supposed to provide a side-by-side comparison on price, what’s covered and how much you might have to pay out of pocket for a doctor’s visit. They’ll also be a route for people to get a little extra cash from the federal government to buy insurance; the health care law provides for a generous federal subsidy for many, if not most, buyers.
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Fat Tissue Promotes Tumor Growth

(Science Daily)  Researchers may have discovered a new explanation as to why obese patients with cancer often have a poorer prognosis compared with those who are lean…
"Studies of the population have clearly established that there is a link between obesity and cancer incidence," said Mikhail Kolonin, Ph.D… "Moreover, for several cancers, obesity is associated with a poorer prognosis."
Kolonin and his colleagues evaluated how obesity promotes cancer progression. "Our earlier studies led us to hypothesize that fat tissue called white adipose tissue, which is the fat tissue that expands in individuals who are obese, is itself directly involved and that it is not just diet and lifestyle that are important," he said.
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More Reasons To Lose Weight

(NBC News) This fall, British health advocates surveyed 1,000 U.K. males and found that 33 percent of guys between 35 and 60 years old possess guts so rotund, their bellies form a full eclipse of their genitalia when the men stand and take a gander down south. This blubbery blind spot leaves such men more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes, colon cancer, heart disease and other health problems, recent research has shown.
(Medical News Today) Losing weight can directly aid in bettering the quality of sleeping among obese or overweight people, according to a study being presented at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions.
(The People’s Pharmacy) Losing weight can have unexpected benefits by lowering inflammation throughout the body. There is increasing evidence that belly fat, is metabolically active. By secreting inflammatory compounds this abdominal adiposity increases the propensity for blood to clot and reduces the flexibility of blood vessels. These negative factors contribute to heart disease.
(UPI) Employers in Sweden often rule out overweight job candidates because of concerns about their productivity, researchers say.
(Science Daily) Medical doctors are as biased against obesity as the general public is, according to a study… The research tested the anti-fat biases of nearly 400,000 participants, over 2000 of who were MDs. All the participants, including the MDs, reported a strong preference for thin people rather than fat people in a web-based test that measures both implicit and explicit anti-fat bias.
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Losing weight without dieting

(Harvard School of Public Health) By slowing down our eating and being more mindful of where our food comes from, we can shed extra pounds without following a particular diet, Lilian Cheung, lecturer in nutrition at Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH), wrote September 25, 2012 in a Huffington Post blog.
“It is possible to attain a healthy weight and have a more satisfying life at the same time by simply paying attention to what and how we eat,” she wrote. The editorial director of HSPH’s The Nutrition Source, Cheung co-authored the book Savor: Mindful Eating, Mindful Life with Vietnamese Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh in 2010.
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Gargling Sugar Water Boosts Self-Control, Study Finds

(Science Daily) To boost self-control, gargle sugar water. According to a study co-authored by University of Georgia professor of psychology Leonard Martin…, a mouth rinse with glucose improves self-control.
"Researchers used to think you had to drink the glucose and get it into your body to give you the energy to (have) self control," Martin said. "After this trial, it seems that glucose stimulates the simple carbohydrate sensors on the tongue. This, in turn, signals the motivational centers of the brain where our self-related goals are represented. These signals tell your body to pay attention."
Community: I’d been craving sweets and unhealthy fats lately, but then read that magnesium can help reduce cravings (I can’t find the article now to link to it, unfortunately). So I started taking one of my magnesium supplement pills in the morning as well as at night, and it seems to be working. Even if it’s a placebo effect, that’s okay with me.
And there are many practical things we can do to improve impulse control.
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More Weight Loss Tips

(Appetite for Health) There are oodles of reasons why popular diets rarely lead to long-term weight loss success. That’s why most dietitians, like us, recommend a non-diet approach to losing lbs. We advocate changes to your eating and lifestyle that you can actually live with—not for just for four weeks—but for the rest of your life… [Following] a moderate, calorie-controlled program that you can live with for the rest of your life is the best approach.
(Scripps Howard News Service) [P]eople think that when they’ve gained weight they need to grab the first promising diet program that comes along, the newest weight-loss product or even a familiar diet that has failed repeatedly. It’s far better to take the time to understand how we tick as individuals and learn about what weight-loss research has found yields the best results. Jumping into action can be particularly unwise if you’re not prepared with tools that work.
(Science Daily) Eating mindfully, or consuming food in response to physical cues of hunger and fullness, is just as effective as adhering to nutrition-based guidelines in reducing weight and blood sugar levels in adults with Type 2 diabetes, a new study suggests.
(SouthBeachDiet.com) We all sometimes give in to our temptations. So if you occasionally slip up while following the South Beach Diet, does it mean you’ve failed? Not even close! Everyone is bound to have moments of weakness, but the good news is that it’s never too late to get back on track. If your indulgences have caused you to pack on a few pounds or experience cravings, … simply cut back on carbs, including fruits, whole grains, and starchy vegetables. Once you’ve lost the added weight and eliminated your cravings, you can pick up where you left off. Follow these tips to help you create a game plan to fight off temptation before it strikes again.
(Art Markman, Ph.D.) Failures of willpower reflect the operation of the motivational system and not just a lack of energy. How will this help you engage your stop system? If you find yourself in a difficult spot, try to find a way to give yourself a little reward. When you stand in front of that buffet table filled with desserts, seek out a friend and have a fun conversation. That rewarding conversation will help revive the stop system and keep you on your diet.
Community: There are many practical things we can do to improve willpower.
(Yoni Freedhoff, MD, U.S. News & World Report) "Because I exercised."For folks trying to lose or maintain their weight, those three words are dangerous. Our perception of the virtues of exercise often makes us feel as if we deserve or have earned more—an extra helping, an indulgent sweet, or, in my case, a beer or two… While there is no behavior more conducive to good health than regular exercise, if weight's your concern, food is where it's at.
(Dr. Jade Teta, Integrative Physician) Here is the scenario for you. When you start off on a hormonal approach to fat loss, you realize that eating becomes a matter of eating more of the right things rather than less of anything… The first step in a hormones-first approach is to begin eating not a lower calorie diet, but a smarter calorie diet. I have my patients start by eating as much lean protein as they like, as many low-sugar fruits as they wish (e.g., apples, pears, berries), and unlimited amounts of non-starchy vegetables. I then suggest limiting all starchy foods to no more than five to 15 bites at each of the three major meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner), depending on their tolerance.
From there, they learn to pay attention to how hungry they feel from meal to meal, what the strength and prevalence of their cravings are, and how much energy they have.
(Harvard School of Public Health) Don't be misled by fad diets that make blanket pronouncements on the dangers of carbohydrates. Carbs provide the body with fuel it needs for physical activity and for proper organ function, and they are an important part of a healthy diet. But some kinds of carbohydrates are far better than others.
(Monica Reinagel, MS, LDN, CNS) Digesting food burns calories. And it's true that a few foods, such as grapefruit and celery, contain fewer calories than it takes to digest them. So, when you eat these foods, you actually burn more calories than you take in… When nutritionists estimate how many calories you should eat, we're already taking into consideration how many calories you burn chewing and digesting your food. The "negative-calorie diet" essentially subtracts those calories twice…
But will eating a whole bunch of celery and grapefruit speed your weight loss? Only if you eat them instead of brownies and potato chips. In other words, you can't eat a brownie and then burn off the calories by chasing it with a hundred sticks of celery. The only way to make this work is to eat the hundred sticks of celery first. Then, with any luck, you'll be too full to eat the brownie.
More . . .


Cooking Light:
105 Slow-Cooker Favorites
Our escape on a chilly autumn evening? The slow cooker. Come home to our favorite main dishes, sides, appetizers, and drinks that are sure to soothe your family with the simple joys of comfort food.
6 Healthy Brunch Dishes
Lingering over a leisurely brunch with family or friends is a pleasurable way to start a weekend. Need some recipe ideas? Check out this selection of our favorite South Beach Diet brunch recipes. We've included some old standbys, like a quiche, omelets, and a casserole classic, along with delicious Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese "Breakwiches," and recipes for popovers and mini-soufflés that look really impressive but are super-easy to make. Whether you're hosting a formal brunch with guests or you simply slept in and want to prepare a luxurious late-morning meal, these healthy brunch dishes are sure to get you up and running!
Pork Chops Oreganata
Marinate pork for 30 minutes, then broil quickly for a delicious, saucy dinner in no time.
Manhattan Clam Chowder
There’s long been a feud between Manhattan’s tomato-based clam chowder and the cream-based New England clam chowder. No matter which you prefer, you can’t deny that this easy clam chowder will put dinner on the table before you can finish the debate.
Easy Thanksgiving Recipes & Menus
Tasty Thanksgiving recipes for a healthier holiday feast.
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Stay Warm with Squash

(The Supermarket Guru) Although the squash is botanically classified as a fruit, many consider it a vegetable for culinary purposes. It is often served as a side dish, and is popular in soups, breads and pies. The carotenoids (including lutein, zeaxanthin, and beta-cryptoxanthin) that give many squash signature orange color are powerful antioxidants that protect health, especially during cold and flu season. As well as having a good amount of vitamin C, potassium, fiber, manganese and folate, they are also a source of omega-3 fatty acids, B vitamins, and copper.
Squash is mostly composed of starchy carbohydrates but an increasing number of studies now show that the starch-related components have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, as well as anti-diabetic, and insulin-regulating properties.
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25 Of The Healthiest Herbs And Spices In The World

(Huffington Post) There are a number of delicious foods you can eat for the sake of your health -- but still, all too often, we hear complaints that healthful food just doesn't taste good.
Enter herbs and spices. The aromatic flavorings can transform a dish without adding calories or fat (for the most part). But many of the roots and seeds and leaves and flowers pack surprising additional health benefits of their own. From promoting longevity to fighting pain and more, here are 26 of the healthiest herbs and spices of all time, as nominated by HuffPost Wellness Editor, Dr. Patricia Fitzgerald. 
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7UP maker sued over antioxidant claims

(Reuters) Dr Pepper Snapple Group Inc, the maker of 7UP, was sued on Thursday for allegedly misleading consumers over the supposed health benefits of an antioxidant it uses in some varieties of the soft drink.
The Center for Science in the Public Interest, an advocacy group for food safety and nutrition, said the company's advertising and packaging suggest that the drinks contain antioxidants from blackberries, cherries, cranberries, pomegranates and raspberries, rather than added Vitamin E.
Community: “7Up with antioxidants to be taken off the market,” but they say it’s not about this lawsuit. Uh huh.
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What the dietary supplement label says

(HHS HealthBeat) If the label on a dietary supplement says it can do something good for you, can you believe it? An investigation by the Office of the Inspector General in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says the answer is not necessarily. The IG’s office bought a sample of 127 supplements, and checked the accuracy of the claims.
The investigators noted that the Food and Drug Administration wants supplement companies to have solid evidence that the supplements do what they claim they do.
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The Latest from The People's Pharmacy

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Home blood pressure monitors show mixed results: study

(Reuters) Home blood pressure monitors may be useful to some older adults who have suffered a stroke, but little help to others, according to a UK study…
"Overall, home monitoring did not improve blood pressure control in patients with hypertension and a history of stroke," wrote lead researcher Sally Kerry, a researcher at Queen Mary, University of London.
The exception, though, was patients whose blood pressure was poorly controlled at the study's start.
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Trouble remembering details from your doctor visit? Try these tips.

(NIH Senior Health, via email) No matter your age, it may be hard to remember everything that happens during your doctor visit. Use these tips to help you recall the important details.
For more suggestions, watch the short video, “Remembering What You and Your Doctor Discussed.”
The information on Talking with Your Doctor was provided by NIHSeniorHealth and developed by the National Institute on Aging (NIA).
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Hospitals Gamble On Urgent Care Clinics To Keep Patients Healthy

(Kaiser Health News) Most of the 9,000 urgent care clinics nationwide are owned by corporation or physicians, but hospital systems are increasingly aiming to get a cut of the booming industry.  Hospitals already own about 27 percent of the centers, according to the Urgent Care Association of America. Tom Charland, CEO of Merchant Medicine, a consulting firm focusing on walk-in clinics, thinks that’s just the beginning.
"We're still in the very early stages of this trend," said Charland. “I think we’re going to see a lot more hospitals opening urgent care centers, either their first one or you’re going to find hospitals who might have one or two opening more.”
He cautions that it's still unclear whether hospitals will actually be successful at managing urgent care centers. Hospitals tend to be good at providing high-quality care, but they're not always so good at customer service.
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Hospital guidelines not linked to readmissions: study

(Reuters Health) Procedural guidelines designed to ensure patients get quality care while in the hospital are also thought to reduce the chances a patient will need to be readmitted down the line, but a new study suggests there's little connection between the two.
"The idea was, increasing the quality of care provided by these hospitals would improve the outcomes," said the report's lead author Dr. Michaela S. Stefan, an academic hospitalist at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, Mass.
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Election Decides a Raft of State Health Issues

(MedPage Today) The nation's eyes may have been more focused on Washington on Tuesday night, but issues on ballots across the country were shaping health policy in the states.
Voters rejected and approved measures dealing with the touchy issues of medical marijuana, physician-assisted suicide, and abortion in a number of states. Five states also voted on measures aimed squarely at the Affordable Care Act (ACA), with one -- Missouri -- passing an initiative that could hamstring efforts to establish its health insurance exchange under the ACA.
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