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Common Nutrient Deficiencies!

Nutrient deficiencies is quite common. Magnesium, iodine, and vitamin B12 are just a few examples of nutrients that a good portion of people are missing in their diet, and the lack of these nutrients can be the cause of anything starting from fatigue and muscle weakness to a weakened immune system, impaired brain functioning and even dangerous long-term health effects.

These 5 nutrients are the ones that most people don’t get enough of:

1. Magnesium

People living in Western countries who typically eat a lot of processed foods and not enough leafy greens are often found to be deficient in magnesium, an essential mineral. In the US alone, about half of the population may not be getting enough magnesium from their diet.

Those who have an underlying health condition are especially likely to have lower than normal magnesium levels in their blood. Magnesium is very important and it directly influences our bone health and energy levels, but low levels of magnesium have also been linked to degenerative diseases, such as metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes.

Magnesium is responsible for approximately 800 enzymatic functions in the human body, and is one of the most important minerals for good overall health in children as well as adults. Here are some reasons why you should include magnesium in your child’s diet:

  • It helps children to get better sleep.
  • It provides energy.
  • It aids blood sugar and insulin management in the body.
  • It helps in DNA formation.
  • It is beneficial for the hormonal health of kids.
  • It helps in maintaining blood pressure, and ensures good heart health.
  • It aids digestion, helps in the absorption of various vital nutrients by the body, and regulates bowel movements.
  • It is effective in building stronger bones and teeth.
  • It is good for healthy muscles and nerves.
  • It is beneficial in transporting calcium and potassium to the membranes of the body.
  • It is helpful in protein synthesis.
  • It aids the respiration process.

The recommended daily amount of magnesium for kids is as follows:

  • Babies to the age of 6 months may require 30 mg.
  • Babies from 7 to 12 months of age may require 75 mg.
  • Toddlers from 1 to 3 years of age may require 80 mg.
  • Kids from 4 to 8 years of age may require 130 mg.
  • Children from 9 to 13 years of age may require 240 mg.
  • Boys from 14-18 years of age may require 410 mg, and girls from 14-18 years may require 360 mg.

People suffering from certain conditions may require higher levels. To get enough magnesium, you may choose to take supplements and to include more magnesium-rich foods in your diet.

Foods rich in magnesium include:

  • Nuts (almonds, cashews, peanuts)
  • Leafy greens (spinach, kale)
  • Fruit (bananas, figs, berries)
  • Vegetables (avocados, peas, broccoli, asparagus, brussels sprouts, cabbage)
  • Legumes (beans, lentils)

2. Iron

Iron helps move oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body and helps muscles store and use oxygen. If your child’s diet lacks iron, he or she might develop a condition called iron deficiency.

Iron deficiency in children is a common problem. It can occur at many levels, from a mild deficiency all the way to iron deficiency anemia — a condition in which blood doesn’t have enough healthy red blood cells. Untreated iron deficiency can affect a child’s growth and development.

On average, iron deficiencies are more common among children and women of childbearing age, but it is among the most widespread deficiency in the world, affecting an estimated 25% of the people. This is alarming, as iron plays a key role in producing hemoglobin, a protein in our red blood cells that helps carry oxygen to the different cells in the body.

In turn, an iron deficiency may lead to a decreased number of red blood cells in the body, a condition also known as anemia, which causes symptoms like tiredness, a weak immune system and an inability to concentrate.

When possible, iron supplements should be avoided, unless otherwise recommended by your doctor, as excess iron intake, too, can be extremely dangerous and cause liver cirrhosis.

How much iron do children need?

Babies are born with iron stored in their bodies, but a steady amount of additional iron is needed to fuel a child’s rapid growth and development. Here’s a guide to iron needs at different ages:

Age groupRecommended amount of iron a day
7 – 12 months11 mg
1 – 3 years7 mg
4 – 8 years10 mg
9 – 13 years8 mg
14 – 18 years, girls15 mg
14 – 18 years, boys11 mg

Iron exists in food sources in two different forms: heme iron and nonheme iron. The former can be derived from animal foods only and is more easily metabolized by the human body. Nonheme iron, on the other hand, is more widespread and exists both in plant and animal products, but it is more difficult for the human body to absorb. This explains why vegetarians and vegans, too, are more likely to suffer from iron deficiencies than those who consume animal products.

Some foods rich in nonheme iron:

  • Legumes (beans, chickpeas, and lentils)
  • Leafy greens (spinach, kale)
  • Tomatoes
  • Seeds (pumpkin and sesame)
  • Dark chocolate
  • Iron-fortified foods, such as oatmeal and other grains.

3. Vitamin B12

Nowadays, it’s very rare for people to suffer from vitamin C deficiency, as this vitamin is so abundant but lately we witness mass vitamin B12 deficiency, with an estimated 80-90% of vegans and vegetarians suffering from this condition.

Another group often having lower-than-normal vitamin B12 levels are older adults, as the ability to absorb the vitamin decreases with age. But don’t let these trends affect you, as maintaining an adequate B12 intake will benefit your health since the vitamin is essential for every cell in the body.

Unlike many other vitamins, such as vitamin D, for example, the body cannot produce vitamin B12 on its own, so we rely on our diet completely to supply us with cobalamin (another name of vitamin B12).

Deficiency in B12 manifests itself in megaloblastic anemia, a condition where the bone marrow produces large, immature red blood cells that are much worse at carrying oxygen. This condition manifests itself in many symptoms, such as muscle weakness, shortness of breath, fatigue and other symptoms. Luckily, taking vitamin B12 in supplement form isn’t dangerous, as the vitamin is water-soluble, so any excess is easily excreted through urine.

Infants up to 6 months old need 0.4 microgram per day, and those between 7 and 12 months old need 0.5 microgram per day of vitamin B-12. The RDA for children between the ages of 1 and 3 is 0.9 micrograms per day, and for children from 4 to 8 the requirement is 1.2 micrograms per day. Children aged 9 to 13 need 1.8 micrograms per day and everyone aged 14 and older needs 2.4 micrograms per day.

Foods rich in vitamin B12 are typically meat, diary (milk, yogurt, cheese) and eggs. Kids who are vegan may need to take vitamin B-12 supplements to meet their daily needs.

4. Calcium

Another essential mineral that we often don’t get enough of is calcium, with over half of the US population alone reportedly suffering from a calcium deficiency. This is especially true about kids and adults past the age of 50.

Calcium is essential for transmitting electrical signals through the nerves. The body stores excess calcium in the bones, and when we eat less than the required amount of calcium, this storage is extracted. The tragic result is conditions where a person has soft and more fragile bones, the most common ones being rickets and osteoporosis. Young kids and babies need calcium and vitamin D to prevent a disease called rickets. Rickets softens the bones and causes bow legs, stunted growth, and sometimes sore or weak muscles.

Good food sources of calcium include:

  • Dairy
  • Fish
  • Green vegetables
  • Almonds
  • Fortified drinks and foods
  • Beans and lentils.

Dairy foods like these are among the best natural sources of calcium:

  • milk
  • yogurt
  • hard cheeses, like cheddar

The percentage of fat in milk and other dairy foods doesn’t affect their calcium content — nonfat, 1%, 2%, or whole milk all have about the same amount of calcium.

5. Iodine

The last, but not least nutrient that people are often deficient in is iodine. Unlike many other deficiencies we discussed above, iodine deficiency has a more regional pattern. The amount of iodine one consumes will depend on how rich in iodine the soil in a specific region is, as well as how accessible seafood is in your specific region.

Nearly a third of the world population is deficient in iodine. Iodine is essential for one’s hormonal health, as it participates in the production of thyroid hormones, which control anything from your weight, metabolism and brain development. The main symptom of iodine deficiency is an enlarged thyroid gland, increased sweating, and weight gain.

Amount of iodine needed in a kid’s diet:

  • Children aged 1-11 years – 90-120 mcg/day
  • Infants – Adequate intake is 110-130 mcg/day

Researchers from a study from November 2013 published in the Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology determined that infants assimilate additional iodine quite efficiently when they are breastfed by mothers taking iodine supplements. It’s possible to achieve that by either taking a supplement or consuming foods rich in iodine:

  • Sea vegetables, including nori, kombu, wakame, and arame, which have the highest concentrations of iodine of any food available.
  • Fish
  • Dairy
  • Eggs.

Also, in some countries where iodine deficiency is widespread, regulations require fortifying table salt with iodine.

Source: Internet & Others

Photo by Photo by Alex Green on Pexels.com

The views expressed in this article should not be considered as a substitute for a physician’s advice. Always make sure to seek a doctor or a professional’s advice before proceeding with the home treatment plan.


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Avoid these cleaning mistakes

Being a bit of a germaphobe these days is natural, if not necessary, but when we’re so focused on cleaning and disinfecting all the surfaces in our home from the coronavirus with whatever supplies we have on hand, we might forget that not all chemicals mix well. In fact, mixing many household cleaners can end in the worst way possible – with toxic fumes and corrosive chemicals being spread throughout your home. Don’t get us wrong, thorough cleaning is VERY important, but be careful with the mixtures we list in this article, as they can be incredibly dangerous and damaging to both your home and your health.

woman holding a plastic basin with cleaning materials
Photo by Liliana Drew on Pexels.com

How Do I Know Which Chemicals Are Safe to Mix?

First things first, if you ever find yourself in a situation where you end up inhaling toxic fumes, getting some of them on your skin, or accidentally spreading cleaning chemicals in your eyes, mouth or nose, and you’re experiencing difficulty breathing, pain, lightheadedness, a rash – seek medical help.

In addition, it’s always safer to keep the windows open while cleaning with chemicals to air out the house, and it’s also advisable to wear protective gloves while working with chemicals, even if you think it’s something benign like a window cleaning solution.

When it comes to working with different cleaning products, it’s always better to stick to one on a specific surface or to wait for the chemical to dry completely before using a different cleaning solution. Layering products right on top of each other usually won’t make your home cleaner anyway. On the contrary, it can make surfaces, like countertops, furniture, and tables, sticky, therefore it’s ill-advised.

However, mixing certain household chemicals is especially dangerous, as all the products you use to clean your home are chemicals, after all, and mixing those can result in unexpected and often toxic chemical reactions. You should be particularly careful with the following 7 combinations, many of which include common disinfectants and cleaners like bleach, rubbing alcohol, and even vinegar:

1. Mixing Toilet Cleaner and Bleach

Although each toilet cleaning product has a different formula (depending on the brand), most of these products contain various types of alcohols and acids, which don’t mix well with bleach. They can result in toxic fumes, which can be extremely dangerous to humans and animals alike. Thus, stick to one or the other, and never mix the two.

2. Bleach + Ammonia = Chloramine

While most people don’t casually keep ammonia in the cleaning cabinet these days, that doesn’t mean you don’t have products that contain the chemical in your home. In fact, it’s very common, and a multitude of common cleaners, such as glass cleaners, bathroom cleaners, multi-surface cleaners, furniture polish, and stainless steel cleaners contain it.

The problem is that ammonia and bleach mixed create chlorine gas – an incredibly toxic substance. Even in small concentrations, it can cause eye and skin irritation, but if you happen to inhale more of it, it can lead to permanent lung damage and can even be deadly. So, make sure you’re not using any products that contain ammonia with bleach, ever.

3. Mixing Different Drain Cleaners

Drain cleaners are very highly concentrated, as their job is to get through all that gunk clogging up the drain, but like many other products, the active ingredients one brand uses will not necessarily be the same with those featured in another brand’s drain cleaner. This is a problem, as many of these contain bleach, which is very reactive with other cleaning agents, as you already know. For your own safety, don’t use two different types of drain cleaners together or immediately one after another. Better safe than sorry.

4. Bleach + Rubbing Alcohol = Chloroform

Rubbing alcohol and bleach are probably the two ingredients we hear the most of lately, as both can destroy the virus we’re trying to protect ourselves from. And while the two are effective when used separately, mixing the two together is extremely dangerous.

When mixed, bleach and rubbing alcohol form two compounds – chloroform and chloroacetone, both extremely toxic and hazardous. Chloroform is a chemical that had been used to knock people unconscious in the past when inhaled, but it is now considered a carcinogen. The other one – chloroacetone – is essentially a type of tear gas. Neither of these chemicals is something you’d like to experience, trust us.

5. Bleach + Vinegar = Toxic Chlorine Gas

Vinegar is a cleaning staple for many, as we often think of it as “natural” and non-toxic. Natural it may be, but it is a type of acid nevertheless, and acids and bleach yield a toxic combination – chlorine gas, which as we mentioned above, is an extremely toxic and dangerous gas.

In fact, chlorine gas may sound familiar to you, even if you’re not into chemistry. This is because chlorine gas was the first chemical weapon ever used, and it was released to torture soldiers during World War I and caused many deaths and injuries.

6. Vinegar + Hydrogen Peroxide = Paracetic Acid

Another ingredient you should never mix with any kind of vinegar is hydrogen peroxide, as well as any other commercial cleaning product that contains it. This includes pretty much any product that doesn’t contain bleach but is advertised to whiten or remove stains, such as Lysol, OxiClean, as well as many detergents, tile cleaners, etc.

When the two ingredients are combined, they yield peracetic acid – a corrosive ingredient that will eat through and break down any surface it touches, including the skin. Hence, be careful even with natural alternatives to cleaning, as many contain either vinegar or hydrogen peroxide.

7. Mixing Vinegar and Baking Soda

While the fizzy substance created when you mix baking soda and vinegar – the natural cleaning staples – is not toxic, but you have to be careful with this mixture nevertheless. This is because the reaction of the two chemicals releases carbon dioxide in great quantities, and if you happen to mix the two in a closed container, it may cause an explosion. Thus, always mix these two in a bowl, to avoid damaging your home or suffering an injury.

Source: AZchemistry, Internet & Others

Photo by Liliana Drew on Pexels.com

The views expressed in this article should not be considered as a substitute for a physician’s advice. Always make sure to seek a doctor or a professional’s advice before proceeding with the home treatment plan.


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Helping your child deal with Anxiety

woman in white t shirt covering her face
Anxious child

No parent wants to see their child sad or frightened, but more and more children in the Western world are now coping with stress and anxiety. For the most part, parents of children who suffer from these feelings are at a loss while at the same time they look for every possible way to help their children cope with this situation, sometimes to no avail. If your children are suffering from anxiety, or you know parents of such children, you should read the following article, which highlights some of the common causes of anxiety, signs the child is suffering and how to cope with it so that you can be the best parent you can be and help them cope.

Common Causes of Anxiety in Children:

  • Anxiety and depression affect many children1
    • 7.1% of children aged 3-17 years (approximately 4.4 million) have diagnosed anxiety.
    • 3.2% of children aged 3-17 years (approximately 1.9 million) have diagnosed depression.
  • Anxiety and depression have increased over time2
    • “Ever having been diagnosed with either anxiety or depression” among children aged 6-17 years increased from 5.4% in 2003 to 8% in 2007 and to 8.4% in 2011–2012.
    • “Ever having been diagnosed with anxiety” among children aged 6-17 years increased from 5.5% in 2007 to 6.4% in 2011–2012.
    • “Ever having been diagnosed with depression” among children aged 6-17 years did not change between 2007 (4.7%) and 2011–2012 (4.9%).

Common Causes of Anxiety in Children:

1. A significant change in the family – One of the main causes of anxiety and depression among children is a significant change in the family – divorce, death, moving, and even birth can undermine your child’s peace of mind. Think about these significant changes and understand that they can shake your child’s stability and make them feel insecure, leading to confusion and eventually to anxiety and depression.

2. Parental instability – Another reason many children experience anxiety and depression is parental instability, which means that the parent’s life is unstable and as a result, the children’s security is undermined. Money, feelings of depression, family turmoil or fighting between parents can cause your children to experience a tremendous sense of helplessness because they want to help, but they don’t have the means to do so, thereby making the road to anxiety and depression very short.

3. Packed schedules – Today most children have packed schedules; From school through to private lessons to spending time with friends, these are just some of the activities that many children take part in. These children tend to run between activities which can cause great stress. Even if they seem happy and enjoy the activity load, in most cases they need occasional quiet and rest.

4. Educational pressure – the school curriculum can be a burden on many children, along with the number of assignments and tests given throughout the year. Therefore, this is one of the causes of stress among many children who are anxious about succeeding in school. Such pressure is most common among teenagers and children who are afraid to make mistakes and fail or be imperfect.

5. Popularity – In today’s reality, the need to show off and be seen exists in everyone, even in many children. For the most part, being shunned or even simply not popular can be a major factor of depression in children. As they grow, most of them want to integrate and feel a sense of belonging to a particular group, and this pressure can sometimes be agonizing.

6. Bullying – This common problem affects many children very strongly, especially in the mental-emotional aspect, and sometimes can also cause physical damage. Children who struggle with bullying often feel embarrassed that they are targets, and as a result may hide the abuse from their parents and teachers for fear of drawing attention to themselves and exposing their weaknesses.

7. News – Everywhere in the world there are media outlets that report on various events that happen around the world, and this information, which can sometimes be difficult, is exposed to many children. News headlines and images depicting natural disasters, terrorist attacks, violence, and more can cause anxiety among children. When children see and hear bad news, they may worry that something bad can happen to them or someone they love.

8. A scary film or book – today’s movies, television, and literature have become more blunt and speculative, therefore, fiction stories can cause distress or anxiety among some children. Children are often affected by frightening, violent, or disturbing scenes that are shown in a movie or written in a book. Some may even be more sensitive. Try to understand who your child is, how sensitive he/she is, and what scares them, and limit the content they are exposed to based on this knowledge.

Causes, signs, and ways of dealing with anxiety in children:

Physical signs

    They often complain of headaches or stomachaches, although there is no medical reason behind the pain.

    Refuse to eat snacks or meals at school.

    Don’t use restrooms other than those at home.

    They are restless, nervous, hyperactive or distracted.

    They begin to tremble or sweat in threatening situations.

    They have constant difficulty falling asleep.

    Their muscles are tense all the time.

Emotional signs

    They often cry.

    They are overly sensitive.

    They are angry for no apparent reason.

    They are afraid to make small mistakes.

    They suffer from excessive fears (natural disasters, bees, etc.).

    Worry about what happens in the future.

    Suffer from recurring nightmares about the loss of a parent or other loved one.

    Their worries and fears interfere with them having child fun.

    They suffer from tantrums.

    They are preoccupied with obsessive thoughts or suffering compulsive behaviors (finger tapping, hand washing, etc.).

Behavioral signs

    They always ask, “What if?”

    They refrain from participating in class activities, even outside school hours.

    They are quiet or preoccupied with something while they are supposed to work with others.

    They Refuse to go to school.

    They often are alone during recess.

    They refuse to talk to people in public places.

    They constantly ask permission from parents, teachers, and friends.

    They say, “I can’t ” without a real reason.

    They find it difficult to part from people who are close to them, even if only for a short time, and they respond to this separation in an exaggerated and unusual way.

Ways of coping with children with anxiety

Managing Symptoms: Staying Healthy

Being healthy is important for all children, and can be especially important for children with depression or anxiety. In addition to getting the right treatment, leading a healthy lifestyle can play a role in managing symptoms of depression or anxiety. Here are some healthy behaviors that may help:

  • Having a healthy eating plan centered on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes (beans, peas, and lentils), lean protein sources, and nuts and seeds
  • Participating in physical activity each day based on age
  • Getting the recommended amount of sleep each night based on age
  • Practicing mindfulness or relaxation techniques

1. Teach children to control anxiety

Not one of us is interested in seeing their child anxious and sad, and the best way to help them overcome it is actually to teach them to control these feelings. Talk to your child about their feelings and the panic attacks they suffer from, try to understand how they begin, their triggers and the symptoms. When you learn to identify them, they can be better controlled. Of course, the beginning will be difficult and the self-control will improve over time and practice.

2. Don’t avoid certain things just because they can trigger your child’s anxiety

Preventing situations that cause anxiety in children can be an effective short-term solution, however, this won’t help your child develop the coping skills needed to deal with anxiety in the long term. If you constantly come to your child’s rescue when they are faced with something that causes them anxiety, they’ll learn that they have someone that will deal with their anxiety for them. This is why you need to allow your child to experience these situations and teach them how to deal with and soothe panic attacks.

3. Present the situation in a positive but realistic light

You can’t sugar coat your child’s fear and make them believe they’ll never happen. Whether it’s failing a test, a visit to the dentist, or bullying, these are things your child really might have to face, and they can be scary, you, however, need to show them that you are confident in the ability to deal with these situations. The intention here is to reassure the children that they will understand that any experience they undergo, good or bad, is temporary and can be controlled. Over time, their level of anxiety will decline and they will rely on the confidence you place on them.

4. Respect their feelings but don’t empower them

It’s important to understand that respecting their feelings doesn’t mean you are approving or agreeing with them.  If your child is afraid, for example, to go to the doctor because they are scared of shots, don’t undermine this fear, but at the same time don’t increase it. Just listen to your child, be empathic and help them understand why they are afraid, and then encourage them and make them feel that they can conquer their fears. Remember, the message you want to convey is “I know you’re scared, it’s fine, I’m here and I’m going to help you through this.”

5. Don’t ask leading questions

You should encourage your children to talk about their feelings and anxieties, but try not to use leading questions : “Are you afraid of the test next week?” Or “Are you afraid of visiting the doctor?” To avoid asking them questions that will increase their anxiety just ask them open questions such as: “How do you feel about the test you have next week?”

6. Encourage them to accept their anxieties

You must show your children that you appreciate the effort their putting into coping with the depression and anxiety they experience, which will encourage them to continue to do so until the situation changes. Remember that your children cope with anxiety attacks every day, and with your support, their feelings will improve and eventually they’ll be able to overcome their fears.

7. Be a role model in dealing with anxiety

The best way to help your children deal with anxiety is by showing them how you deal with it. Children, especially at a young age, absorb much of the behaviors of their environment and especially their parents. If they constantly hear their parents complain and see them unable to cope with their stress and fears they will adopt these same inabilities. We aren’t saying you need to pretend to not have fears or feels stress, but we are saying that you should be exhibiting the correct way to deal with it

Closing words

Every parent wants their child to be happy, so many parents find it difficult to help their children and understand them when they are suffering from anxiety. We believe that thanks to the knowledge you’ve acquired here, you’ll be able to identify signs of anxiety in your children and know how to help them cope with it. In addition, you may want to consider providing your child with professional care, such as therapy.

Further Read

CDC: Children’s Mental Health

CDC: Suicide Prevention

CDC: Bullying Research

CDC: Positive Parenting Tips

CDC: Adolescent and School Mental Health

Source: CDC, Internet & Others

Photo by Nataliya Vaitkevich on Pexels.com

The views expressed in this article should not be considered as a substitute for a physician’s advice. Always make sure to seek a doctor or a professional’s advice before proceeding with the home treatment plan.


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Undiagnosed Allergies

Allergies are more common than ever with almost half of the population worldwide having experienced an allergic reaction at least once in their lifetime. Up to 40 percent of children suffer from allergic rhinitis. And children are more likely to develop allergies if one or both parents have allergies. Often, we can simply misattribute an allergy symptom as an age-related change in our body, a flu or some other health condition.

Normally, allergens are harmless. But when a person has allergies, the body thinks these allergens are harmful. The body then attacks allergens with antibodies called immunoglobulin E (IgE). These antibodies are attached to special cells called mast cells. Allergens stick to the antibodies. This makes the mast cells release histamine and other chemicals causing an allergic reaction. When the chemicals irritate nearby nasal tissue, this causes nasal allergy symptoms. When this happens in the lungs’ breathing tubes, it can cause asthma symptoms such as cough and wheeze. When the reaction involves the whole body, this can be a severe allergic reaction.

sick little girl blowing nose with tissue lying in bed
Allergies in kids

Allergies can affect anyone. It doesn’t matter regardless of age, gender, race, or socioeconomic status. Generally, allergies are more common in children. But allergies can happen at any age. And they can come back after being in remission for many years. Allergies tend to happen in families. But the exact reason isn’t yet understood. Allergy symptoms often happen slowly over time.

These are some silent signs of allergies that you might mistake for something else.

1. A (Kind Of) Stuffy Nose and Sore Throat

Long-lasting sneezing, with a stuffy or runny nose, may signal the presence of allergic rhinitis—the collection of symptoms that affect the nose when you have an allergic reaction to something you breathe in and that lands on the lining inside the nose.

If you have specifically noticed asthma symptoms, such as shortness of breath, coughing, wheezing, your kid may have allergies.

2. Itchy, Irritated or Swollen Skin

Does your skin feel itchy and irritated, even though you’re moisturizing it and don’t see any rash or breakouts? Or do you wake up with a somewhat swollen face or eyelids in the morning? These signs may be a symptom of an allergy.

And though it is true that people with dry skin can also experience skin itching, especially in the winter, a constant itchiness should still be a warning sign for you. If swelling and itchiness is accompanied by other symptoms, such as headaches, a stuffed nose, or any other symptom we mention on this list, it may be caused by an allergy.

Foods, medications, supplements, fragrances, detergents, or anything else, really, can provoke these symptoms. You can be allergic to specific laundry detergents, for example, which can cause headaches, irritability, swelling and skin itching because we use it to clean our clothes, sheets and towels.

3. Experiencing Headaches, Fatigue and Irritability

Allergies can take a toll on your mental health, too, causing irritability and nervousness. It makes sense, too, if you think about it, as it is very nerve-wracking indeed to feel slightly sick, itchy and swollen without a definite idea if it’s just a new normal for you, or a cause of concern. Other related symptoms are exhaustion, mental tiredness and headaches. These two symptoms make you feel less focused and alert, too, which can really affect your productivity and life satisfaction.

4. Persisting Rash or a Recurrent Flare Up

If you experience skin rashes that flare up from time to time, possibly every season, it may indicate that you have an undiagnosed allergy. It doesn’t have to be allergic hives either, rosacea, eczema, acne and other skin conditions can all worsen due to an allergy. Also, keep in mind that allergies are often systemic, which means that a rash on your back or on the tops of your hands, for example, can be caused by a food allergy or even an allergy to cat fur, and not necessarily a product that contacted with your hands or back.

5. A Persisting Cold or Sinus Infection

A cold or sinus infection that doesn’t go away for a long time may be an allergy in disguise, especially when a treatment with antibiotics proves ineffective. This is especially true about seasonal allergies. In fact, patients with serious undiagnosed allergies often mistake them for a respiratory infection and complain to the doctor about a cold or sinusitis, when in reality they just have an allergy.

6. Sensitive or Watery Eyes

One of the most common contact allergy symptoms are uncontrollably itchy eyes, but it rarely happens that you have such a strong reaction to an allergen that your eyes immediately turn red and start itching like crazy. If you feel that your eyes become more sensitive or watery when you’re outside and it’s windy, for example, it may indicate a dust allergy. It is also often the case that some skincare or makeup products can make your eyes watery or red. As it is the case with all of these symptoms, you should observe and see if any other allergy symptoms accompany it, and if so, it may be worth a visit to a doctor.

7. Feeling Sick Only Outdoors or In a Specific Building

Are you experiencing headaches and itchiness only when you’re in school? Or, on the other hand, you feel tired and your nose is runny only when you spend time outside? It can mean that you have an allergy to a specific object found outdoors or indoors, be it pollen, mold, animals or anything else.

Allergy Triggers

Many things can trigger allergic reactions. But the most common triggers or allergens are:

  • Tree, grass, and weed pollens
  • Natural rubber latex
  • Molds
  • Dust mites
  • Animal dander, urine, and oil from skin
  • Foods
  • Medicines
  • Feathers
  • Bee stings
  • Pests such as cockroaches and mice

Allergy treatment: The 3 most effective ways to treat allergies are avoidance, allergy shots (immunotherapy), and medicine. Avoidance means staying away from something that gives you an allergic reaction.

Suggestions for staying away from allergens are:

  • Stay indoors when the pollen count is high and on windy days.
  • Control dust in the home, particularly your child’s bedroom.
  • Use air conditioning instead of opening the windows.
  • Put a dehumidifier in damp areas of the home. But remember to clean it often.
  • After playing outside when the pollen counts are high, have your child take a bath or shower, wash his or her hair, and change clothes.

Take vacations in areas where pollen is not as common, such as near the ocean.

Takeaway: If you experience a combination of the symptoms for an extended period of time, try to look for patterns and understand what product, object or animal could be triggering these symptoms. Keep a diary.

You physician or an allergologist will also help you figure out what might be causing your allergy and if it’s maybe something else, as well as be able to prescribe a suitable treatment. In the end, it is important to treat even minor allergy symptoms, as they can really affect your daily life, confidence and life satisfaction.

Source: Internet & Others

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The views expressed in this article should not be considered as a substitute for a physician’s advice. Always make sure to seek a doctor or a professional’s advice before proceeding with the home treatment plan.


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DIY Hand Sanitizer

Here are 3 useful and simple recipes of DIY hand sanitizers. None of these recipes use more than three ingredients, some of which you likely already have lying about in the medicine cabinet.

Before we show you how to make hand sanitizer at home, however, it’s crucial to point out that using hand sanitizers is merely a supplement to hand-washing, as no hand sanitizer will clean your hands as well as soap and water. We’d also like to inform you that hand sanitizers contain a lot of alcohol that may dry out your hands, so we recommend moisturizing your hands an hour after every use of hand sanitizers.

Equipment

You’ll need a few containers and kitchen tools in order to do this recipe, namely:

  •     A clean bowl
  •     A funnel
  •     Something for mixing (e.g. a spatula, spoon)
  •     A clean, empty hand sanitizer bottle or any other container with a lid.

Recipe 1: Fragrance-Free Hand Sanitizer

Artificial fragrance is one of the main issues of hand sanitizers available in stores. The problem with fragrance is that it can be very sensitizing for the skin, especially with frequent use. This means that it can make your skin red, bumpy and itchy, cause an allergic reaction and further dry out your skin. If you have sensitive skin and are prone to skin allergies, this fragrance-free two-ingredient recipe is the best for you.

Note that we recommend purchasing the highest percentage of isopropyl alcohol, 99% is the best. This is because the hand sanitizer should contain at least 60% alcohol to make it as effective at killing germs as possible.

Ingredients

  • ⅔ cup isopropyl alcohol
  • ⅓ cup plain aloe vera gel

Directions

Combine all ingredients in a bowl, mix thoroughly until smooth and homogeneous using a spoon or spatula.

Recipe 2: Get the Benefits of Essential Oils

You can add essential oils to your hand sanitizer to make it smell nicer. Essential oils also have a variety of wellness benefits, some being capable of invigorating you while others may calm and de-stress you, for example. Here are a few examples of aromatherapeutic oils you can use and what they can do:

  •     Tea Tree Essential Oil has powerful antiseptic and germ-fighting properties.
  •     Cinnamon Essential Oil makes you more alert, has antiseptic properties and helps relieve headaches.
  •     Lavender Essential Oil relaxes, soothes the skin, and helps migraines.
  •     Eucalyptus Essential Oil has antibacterial properties and boosts the immune system.
  •     Peppermint Essential Oil energizes, relieves migraines, a stuffy nose and allergy symptoms.

Keep in mind that it’s best to avoid essential oils if you have sensitive skin. But even if you don’t, never use them directly on the skin without diluting, as they are very concentrated and may cause various adverse skin reactions. Doing a patch test before applying onto your hands is also recommended.

When purchasing essential oils, it’s the safest to use purest products you can find. Search for labels like “pure grade”, “therapeutic grade”, “certified organic” and “aromatherapy grade” on the bottle – these labels suggest the essential oil is of high quality.

Ingredients

  • ⅔ cup isopropyl alcohol
  • ⅓ cup of plain aloe vera gel
  • 10 drops essential oil of choice

Directions

Combine all ingredients in a bowl, mix thoroughly until smooth and homogenous using a spoon or spatula.

Recipe 3: Using Grain Alcohol

If you don’t have access to isopropyl alcohol, you can also make hand sanitizer using grain alcohol, i.e. liquor. It’s recommended to use 190-proof grain alcohol, which is 95% alcohol, or the highest alcohol content you can find.

Ingredients

  • ⅔ cup grain alcohol
  • ⅓ cup of plain aloe vera gel
  • 10 drops essential oil of choice (optional)

Directions

Combine all ingredients in a bowl, mix thoroughly until smooth and homogenous using a spoon or spatula.

Bottling Up and Storing DIY Hand Sanitizer

Put a funnel into the bottle you’re going to use for the hand sanitizer and pour the mixture through the funnel. It’s best to find a bottle that’s tightly sealed and has a dispenser or pump, as with time, the alcohol will evaporate from the sanitizer, rendering it less effective, and this happens faster when the product is in a jar. Store the product out of direct sunlight and try to use it up within 1 month.

How to Use Hand Sanitizer Correctly

Believe it or not, technique matters when it comes to hand sanitizer use. The product is best applied onto dry hands. If your hands are dirty, we suggest wiping them down with a tissue first. Here is the most effective way to use a hand sanitizer:

  • Use about a dime-sized amount.
  • Rub your hands together for 20-30 seconds. Make sure you get the areas between your fingers, the backside of the hands, and under the fingernails.
  • Wait for the sanitizer to dry completely, and try not to wipe or rinse your hands for 15-20 minutes after use.

That’s it. Now your hands should be clean. Repeat as many times a day as needed, but remember that it’s preferable to wash your hands with soap and water and use sanitizer as a supplement to hand-washing.

Source: Internet & Others

Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com

The views expressed in this article should not be considered as a substitute for a physician’s advice. Always make sure to seek a doctor or a professional’s advice before proceeding with the home treatment plan.


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Parenting Perspectives

We live in extraordinarily good times. But quite often we “follow the herd” and adopt hollow values and misconceptions that place more emphasis on everything that isn’t important. If we know how to identify these behaviors and learn why they are so harmful to our personal well-being, we can make our lives and the world better.

Why is this important?

Our children learn more by watching us then by listening what we say to them. So, lead by example.

mother and baby playing together
Parenting

Perspective 1. A successful person needs an apartment, a car, and a new cell phone

Understanding this perspective is critical because many parents mistakenly believe that they aren’t good parents if they cannot provide for everything that their child wants. Consumer culture is a very large part of our modern society, so if we meet someone who owns their own apartment, car and the newest mobile phone, we’ll probably see them as successful. But does such property make a person successful? What about their relationship status? Their debt? Their ability to enjoy life? All of these are of no less importance than the things they own, but nevertheless, we hardly think about them… This perception is important to change, because the things we acquire, even if they are evidence of being in an excellent economic situation and not just reckless purchases leading to debt, are not what define us or the people around us.

The key to remember is that “fulfill the needs of your child. Not their wants

Perspective 2. Life needs to be documented on social networks

Oh Millennials! These are the people who take pictures of all their meals before they start eating, take mirror selfies regularly, and generally are unable to disconnect from their Facebook account or their Instagram. These people are so concerned about nurturing themselves in the virtual space that they sometimes hurt themselves and the people around them in a variety of ways, some of which are felt more and some less.

At the most serious levels, such behavior can lead to the development of depression and narcissism, which is why it’s very important that we all work, collectively and individually, on reducing this habit significantly. Just ask your family members or friends to stop doing these things, and if they’re evasive or a reluctant to respond, confront them with the fact that they are damaging your relationship and your time in favor of meaningless.

Perspective 3. We all need to be celebrities

More and more people, especially young people, try to live their lives as celebrities do, almost imitating them. This is a very familiar and negative phenomenon that many social researchers and psychologists have tried to explain and change, and it is very easy to understand why. First, it’s clear to all that the average young person doesn’t have the time, the money, or the support that would allow for the wild and exaggerated lifestyle certain celebrities appear to live. Second, the inability to perfectly mimic the example that celebrities exhibit causes many to feel miserable and develop feelings of inferiority. To avoid this, all we have to do is tell ourselves and our children that we need to be who we are. True, long-term happiness won’t exist in people trying to be something or someone they aren’t.

Perspective 4. Parenting is a competition

Many parents think they need to do everything for their child: Buy them the best new toys, guide them at every crossroads in their lives, etc. With all these demands, when do you have time as parents to spend with the whole family walking around the neighborhood, or maybe getting involved in an activity that helps you recharge?

The simple answer, of course, is that you won’t have time if this is how you live your life. When people don’t devote time to these activities, they hurt themselves and their families significantly. These anxious parents should be reminded that parenting isn’t a competition with the other parents at school. If they see that another family has a better stroller or takes professional family photographs, they don’t have to be jealous of them and aspire to do the same things – you can simply compliment them and move on in life.

Perspective 5. Academic degrees are the key to success

Over the years, our society has developed a certain obsession with academic degrees. But the reality today is that there is no truth to the claim that a person without a degree is less successful than those with an advanced education of one kind or another, and in many professions where the salary is high and the conditions are good there are no such requirements. Of course, it is important to learn and acquire knowledge that will enable a person to make a living, but we shouldn’t put down honest fields of work that may not be as prestigious as others. Because without them, and the people who chose them, we wouldn’t be able to live the way we do.

Above all, remember, your child is watching you and learning from you. Be kind.

Source: Internet & Others

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The views expressed in this article should not be considered as a substitute for a physician’s advice. Always make sure to seek a doctor or a professional’s advice before proceeding with the home treatment plan.


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Natural Remedy for Migraine

Headaches, including migraines, are extremely common. Because headaches can stem from a variety of causes, some headache sufferers seek treatment on a near-daily basis. Fortunately, there are several home-remedy treatments that can help alleviate migraine pain and other types of headaches.

faceless woman covering face with hands while sitting at home
Migraine sufferer

Foods that trigger Migraine

  • foods with nitrates including hot
    dogs, deli meats, bacon, and sausage
  • chocolate
  • cheese that contains the
    naturally-occurring compound tyramine, such as blue, feta, cheddar, Parmesan,
    and Swiss
  • alcohol, especially red wine
  • foods that contain monosodium
    glutamate (MSG), a flavor enhancer
  • foods that are very cold such as ice
    cream or iced drinks
  • processed foods
  • pickled foods
  • beans
  • dried fruits
  • cultured dairy products such as
    buttermilk, sour cream, and yogurt

Foods to add to your diet

Magnesium deficiency is linked to headaches and migraines. Studies show magnesium oxide supplementation helps prevent migraines with aura. It may also prevent menstrual-related migraines. You can get magnesium from foods that include:

  • almonds
  • sesame seeds
  • sunflower seeds
  • Brazil nuts
  • cashews
  • peanut butter
  • oatmeal
  • eggs
  • milk

Headache Home Remedy: Lavender Oil

Not only does lavender smell great — it’s also a useful home remedy for headaches and migraine pain. Lavender oil can be either inhaled or applied topically. Two to four drops for every two to three cups of boiling water are recommended when inhaling lavender-oil vapors as a headache treatment. Unlike many medicinal oils, this home remedy can also be safely applied externally without the need to dilute it. Lavender oil should not be taken orally.

Headache Home Remedy: Peppermint Oil

Peppermint is a soothing home remedy that has been shown to benefit tension headaches. This fresh-smelling oil has vaso-constricting and vaso-dilating properties, which help control blood flow in the body. Headaches and migraine pain are often due to poor blood flow, and peppermint oil helps to open and close the vessels that promote flow. Peppermint home remedies also open up the sinuses so that more oxygen can get into the bloodstream.

Headache Home Remedy: Basil Oil

Basil, the strong-scented herb used as a topping for pizzas and pastas, certainly tastes and smells good. And for people in need of a natural headache treatment, the oil derived from basil plants can also be a useful home remedy. Basil works as a muscle relaxant, so it is especially helpful for headaches caused by tension and tight muscles.

Headache Home Remedy: DIY Scalp Massage

Do-it-yourself scalp massages can be an effective way to alleviate migraine pain, and they feel great. Researchers in Brazil showed that massaging the greater occipital nerve — the area in the back of the head, at the base of the skull — reduces migraine pain. Massage in general has been identified as a useful home remedy for headaches, especially reflexology (massaging reflex points on the hands and feet)

Headache Home Remedy: Feverfew

Feverfew, as its name suggests, is used to treat fever, but it’s most commonly known as an herbal headache treatment. This home remedy became popular in the 1980s, when a landmark study in Great Britain showed that 70 percent of participants had less migraine pain after taking feverfew daily. Since then, more studies have demonstrated feverfew’s benefit in preventing and treating migraine pain. One study showed improvement in migraine pain among people who took daily feverfew in combination with white willow, another herbal home remedy, which contains properties similar to aspirin.

Headache Home Remedy: Ginger

Ginger is known to ease nausea caused by many conditions, including migraines. It may also have other migraine benefits. According to research , ginger powder decreased migraine severity and duration as well as the prescription drug sumatriptan, and with fewer side effects.

Headache Home Remedy: Flaxseed

Some headaches are caused by inflammation, which can be reduced by consuming omega-3 fatty acids. Flaxseed can help provide headache relief because it’s rich in omega-3s. Flaxseed can be used as a home remedy in several forms, including as an oil and ground or whole seeds

Headache Home Remedy: Buckwheat

Buckwheat’s usefulness as a home remedy for headaches and migraine pain comes from a flavonoid known as rutin. Flavonoids are phytochemicals, which are found in plants, and have been shown to contain antioxidant properties, which counteract damage to cells. In addition, researchers in Taiwan have demonstrated the effects of flavonoids on inflammation, a common cause of headaches.

Headache Home Remedy: Yoga

Yoga is thought to help improve blood flow and reduce muscle tension, which can help relieve symptoms for people who get migraines. A comprehensive research compared conventional migraine treatment with and without the addition of regular yoga practice. The researchers found that the group who participated in a yoga program had greater relief than the group who joined in conventional treatment alone.

Source: Internet, Healthline, MedNews, & Others

P Photo by Keira Burton on Pexels.com

The views expressed in this article should not be considered as a substitute for a physician’s advice. Always make sure to seek a doctor or a professional’s advice before proceeding with the home treatment plan.


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Castor Oil

The very thought of this oil makes me queasy. And while you may not enjoy its taste, it’s pretty nutritious. This medicinal concoction is filled with Vitamin E, making it a suitable remedy for a number of other things (which don’t require you to take it orally). It is also packed with proteins, minerals and has anti-fungal and antibacterial properties.

Many believe that Cleopatra used the pale yellow liquid to brighten the whites of her eyes. Castor oil is simple to use and isn’t harsh on your skin, making it an excellent remedy for many different ailments.

Castor oil
Castor oil

As this list will come to show, there are a number of seemingly abnormal uses for this medicine – some of which will surely surprise you!

Topical Uses for Castor Oil

  • Arthritis treatment
  • Strengthen and grow hair
  • Acne treatment
  • Skin moisturizer
  • Deep cleanser
  • Eliminate fine lines and wrinkles
  • Reduce swelling and inflammation
  • Support lymphatic system
  • Increase circulation
  • Heal wounds and abrasions
  • Relieve menstrual cramps

Oral Uses for Castor Oil

  • Relieve constipation
  • Clean out intestines before surgery
  • Induction of labor

Use it to treat acne

The common skin condition, acne, is a result of impurities accumulating in your pores, causing the skin to become irritated and inflamed. Many of the acne remedies on the market today contain benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid, which tend to dry out the skin. Castor oil, similar to using neem oil, is a natural resource that draws out dirt, dead skin cells, excess oils, and bacteria without drying out your skin.

Use it to relieve arthritis pain

To get some relief from pain caused by arthritis, massage castor oil onto those achy joints. For added benefits, create a paste by mixing some castor oil with turmeric or cayenne pepper. Be sure to keep it away from your eyes, particularly if using cayenne pepper.

Use it to promote hair growth

Whether you want thicker hair, or would like to cover up a balding area on your scalp, massage some castor oil into the area for about 6 minutes every day to promote natural hair growth. It can also be used on the eyebrows. For a thicker brow line, just massage a few drops for a couple of minutes every day.

Use it to promote healthy bowels

Ingesting castor oil is a great way to alleviate constipation. On this note, however, caution is advised – the oil does work extremely well as a laxative. Simply mix a teaspoon into orange or cranberry juice each morning to keep your bowels working regularly.

Use it to kill ringworms

A relatively common skin condition, ringworm is caused by a fungus and grows into a ring-shaped, red rash. Studies show that nearly 20 percent of the population has suffered from ringworm at least once in their life. The undecylenic acid found in the castor oil acts as an antifungal agent that kills the infection.

Use it to remove warts and skin tags

To remove unsightly warts and skin tags, opt for castor oil. Just apply the oil to the wart or skin tag every day for a few weeks – you should begin to see the mark disappear. Unfortunately, castor oil will not work on moles, so be sure you know what you are trying to remove before using it.

Use it to relieve calluses and corns

When applied directly to the affected area, castor oil will help get rid of calluses. Simply massage a bit of the oil into the corns to help alleviate the pain and the swelling that they cause. Though it may take a couple of applications, you will see them disappear over time.

Use it to promote healthy skin

One of its lesser-known uses, castor oil works wonderfully at eliminating and preventing wrinkles. It is also ideal for pregnant women – rubbing castor oil onto the skin can help improve elasticity and prevent stretch marks caused by pregnancy. For a youthful glow, just apply it directly to your skin. Castor oil’s miraculous ability to hydrate the skin makes it a perfect remedy for treating cracked heels. It is rich in vitamins, and essential nutrients help to hydrate dry, cracked skin. Simply rub castor oil on your feet, put on a pair of socks, and leave on overnight.

Use it to treat sunburn

With the same cooling sensation as aloe, castor oil is great for alleviating painful sunburns. The ricinoleic acid will protect any blisters that pop up from becoming infected and reduce the inflammation associated with sunburns.

Use it to relieve pain from scratches

To relieve pain from scratches and other abrasions, opt for castor oil. Simply add a few drops to your scratches, allowing the healing properties of the oils to heal them. Castor oil is also a great option for treating ringworm and other fungal ailments.

Use it to relieve sore muscles

Castor oil makes for a wonderful massage oil that can be used to alleviate sore muscles. Just apply it to the affected area and massage. It may also be used as an oil for general massages – due to its Vitamin E content, it is great for your skin.

Use it to treat hemorrhoids

Castor oil is great at shrinking hemorrhoids and alleviating the pain and itching that they cause. Simply soak a cotton ball in the oil and apply it to your hemorrhoids. You may leave the cotton ball for about 15 minutes or so. It is important to note, however, that this only works for hemorrhoids that are outside the body.

Use it to treat insomnia

If you’ve been suffering from sleepless nights of late, castor oil is an effective remedy. Just rub a bit on your eyelids before getting into bed (make sure that you don’t actually get any in your eyes). The castor oil will help bring about a peaceful night’s sleep and will have you feeling refreshed in the morning.

Use it to treat toenail fungus

The undecylenic acid found in castor oil is an active ingredient that is great for relieving fungus in the body. To treat toenail fungus, soak your feet in warm water and Epsom salt for five minutes. Follow the soak by liberally applying castor oil to the affected toenail.

Use it to soothe tired eyes

In removing tiredness from around the eyes, castor oil works much like petroleum jelly. Before you go to bed at night, rub a little around your eyes and just a tad on your eyelashes, allowing the oil to soak in overnight, leaving you looking and feeling a little more refreshed in the morning. Again, just be careful not to get it in your eyes.

Source: Internet & Others

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The views expressed in this article should not be considered as a substitute for a physician’s advice. Always make sure to seek a doctor or a professional’s advice before proceeding with the home treatment plan.


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Natural Remedy to Alleviate Dry and Flaky Skin!

There is a direct connection between the foods we eat and how our skin feels, a connection you can make use of to address the skin issues you are experiencing. In the cold winter months, the most common skin concern is certainly skin dryness and flaking.To alleviate stubbornly dry skin, moisturizing the skin is often not enough because you need to treat this concern from the inside out by increasing your consumption of the right kinds of foods.

close up view of human dry skin
Dry and flaky skin

The list below have been proven to increase skin health and improve skin dryness:

1. Do not avoid oils

If you have dry skin, avoiding oils is probably the last thing you want to do. This is because the very definition of dry skin is skin deficient in lipids and consuming more oils would help your body replenish those lipids. That doesn’t mean, however, that you should start overindulging in dairy and fatty meat, as those are rich in saturated fats that are bad for the heart.

So, instead, take the plant-based route and use extra virgin cooking oils in your food. Since every cooking oil has its own unique cocktail of antioxidants and fats, it’s nice to mix things up and use a variety of oils. Some of the best oils for dry skin are:

• Olive oil – this oil has a skin-calming, anti-inflammatory effect and consists primarily of monounsaturated fat, which has been shown in studies to also increase skin elasticity and firmness.

• Flaxseed oil – may reduce sun damage and has demonstrated in studies to improve skin hydration and make skin smoother when consumed regularly.

• Pumpkin seed oil – pumpkin seeds are an excellent source of vitamin A and zinc, both of which are known to boost skin health, make it more youthful, and improve the skin’s barrier function.

If you don’t have any of these oils at home or simply don’t enjoy them in foods, don’t go out of your way and purchase them – any good quality cooking oil will help dry skin because it’s rich in lipids.

2. Red grapes

Though red grapes may not be accessible where you live year-round, it’s an excellent fruit to consider if it is available, especially since many people experience skin dryness all year, and not only in the winter. The reason why red grapes are so beneficial for dry skin is due to an ingredient called resveratrol that’s present in the skin of red grapes.

Apart from the ability of this compound to reduce the effects of skin aging, in-vitro studies also suggest that resveratrol also slows down the production of free radicals that damage the skin and make it more prone to conditions like dryness, acne, and even sun damage.

3. Salmon and other kinds of cold-water fish

Plants are not the only source of healthy fats to consider if you have dry skin. In fact, eating more fish does wonders for your skin’s health, as it contains an entire cocktail of ingredients that improve skin health. As you probably know, fatty fish like salmon, sardines, herring, and mackerel hold plenty of omega-3 fatty acids that are super healthy for our brain and the entire body. This includes your skin, especially when it’s dry or inflamed.

In addition, fish is a source of protein, zinc, and vitamin E, all of which reduce inflammation, help renew and produce new skin cells, and boost overall skin health. “Certain fish like halibut and yellowfin tuna also contain selenium, which preserves elastin in the skin, helping your skin stay supple, smooth, and tight,” Brooke Alpert, a registered dietitian also pointed out.

4. Nuts and seeds

If you’re not a fan of fish, a great alternative source of healthy fats is nuts and seeds. As we’ve already mentioned, pumpkin seeds and flaxseeds are extremely beneficial for those who have dry skin. Many seeds and nuts, particularly almonds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and walnuts are rich in both omega-3 fats and vitamin E, just like fish.

Consuming any kind of nuts and seeds will improve the lipid barrier of the skin, help protect your skin from sun damage, reduce skin inflammation, so they’re essentially a natural remedy for dry skin.

5. Asparagus

Asparagus is probably the easiest and one of the healthiest side dishes imaginable – just trim of the woodsy ends and sautee them with a touch of olive oil and maybe some garlic for 10-15 minutes, et voila, it’s ready to serve. This peculiar looking vegetable is super rich in vitamins, notably vitamin E, which guards your skin against the elements, improves skin texture, and may even prevent wrinkles.

6. Tangerines and other citrus fruit

Apart from being a festive treat, tangerines will also hydrate the skin and provide it with the much-needed vitamin C. While many are aware of the role vitamin C plays in immune health, few know of the importance of this vitamin for skin health. As a potent antioxidant, vitamin C prevents environmental damage to the skin, but the main function it plays in the skin is boosting collagen production.

Collagen is a jelly-like building block of skin, the lack of which causes wrinkles, loss of firmness, and dryness. Unfortunately, our skin tends to slow down the production of collagen with age, but vitamin C has been shown experimentally to speed up this process. In addition, not consuming enough vitamin C can lead to dry and scaly skin on its own, so make sure to consume plenty of foods that contain it to keep your skin hydrated, plump, and healthy.

7. Tomato

Another excellent source of vitamin C that’s actually savory and not sweet is the tomato. But that’s not the only skin-beneficial ingredient tomatoes have, as they also contain carotenoids, which are essentially different versions of vitamin A. More specifically, tomatoes are rich in beta carotene, lutein, and lycopene.

These ingredients don’t just give tomatoes their bright color, they also prevent your skin from being damaged by the environment, prevent wrinkles, and promote collagen production.

8. Sweet Potatoes

An alternative side dish to consider if you have dry skin is sweet potatoes. As every orange fruit and veggie, sweet potatoes are quite rich in vitamin A and beta carotene, the skin-repairing and plumping benefits of which we’ve already touched upon. Drizzle some pumpkin seed oil on top of baked sweet potato to add some healthy fats, and you’re golden!

9. Cucumbers

Cucumbers are famous for, well, being mainly water. But that’s by no means a disadvantage, especially if your skin is craving water so much. And while putting cucumber slices over the eyes was once a popular skin treatment, dermatologists and estheticians today say that you’re likely better off if you eat that cucumber instead of putting it on your skin, preferably with the peel, too. Apart from just hydrating your skin, cucumber peels hold silica, which also nourishes and calms the skin.

10. Avocados

Most people are aware of the fact that avocados are super rich in healthy fats, which is true, but that’s not the only reason you should start eating more avocado toast and guacamole when your skin is dry. In fact, avocados are also packed with compounds called polyhydroxylated fatty alcohols and antioxidants like lutein and zeaxanthin according to scientific articles. These compounds help repair the skin, protect it from environmental damage, and fight inflammation in the skin. So, definitely add some avocado goodness into your diet.

Source: Internet & Others

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

The views expressed in this article should not be considered as a substitute for a physician’s advice. Always make sure to seek a doctor or a professional’s advice before proceeding with the home treatment plan.


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Happiness Secrets

Things to teach our kids:

Before you say something bad, think about those who can’t talk and say something back.

Before you complain about the taste or variety of your food, remember there are starving people in the world.

Before you yell at your partner, think of how lonely some people feel as they go to sleep in an empty bed.

Before you complain about the state of things today, think about all the people who never got to see this day.Before you get upset because the house is a mess, remember that there are people who don’t have a roof over their head.

Before you let traffic and long commutes irritate you, think about how fortunate you are to have a job and a car.

Before you point an accusing finger at someone, remember that you’re not perfect, and you make mistakes too.

And the most important rule of them all:

Before you let a depressing thought ruin your mood, put a smile on your face and be thankful you’re alive!

Source: Internet & Others

The views expressed in this article should not be considered as a substitute for a physician’s advice. Always make sure to seek a doctor or a professional’s advice before proceeding with the home treatment plan.


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Have you heard of Sea Buckthorn?

Sea buckthorn fruit are orange berries and among the most nutrient- and vitamin-rich fruits on the planet. Being an integral part of traditional medicine all across the globe, Sea buckthorn comes in many forms, such as oils, supplements, jams and juices. It is used over centuries as food, traditional medicine, and skin treatment in Mongolia, Russia, Ukraine, and northern Europe.

Sea Buckthorn
Benefits of Sea Buckthorn

What Is a Sea Buckthorn?

Confusingly enough, the plant has no actual connection to the sea, it is a deciduous shrub that grows naturally in high altitudes all across Northern Europe, China, and Russia.

For centuries, the berries of the sea buckthorn plant have been harvested and used in medicine, skincare, and food. Some of the oldest records of using the berries in medicine come from Tibet and Ancient China, but even the Greeks knew of the golden sea buckthorn.

Sea buckthorn berries are edible and nutritious, though astringent, sour, and oily [12] unless ‘bletted‘ (frosted to reduce the astringency) and/or mixed as a drink with sweeter substances such as apple or grape juice. They are rarely consumed fresh. Most often, the berries are pressed to yield sea buckthorn juice, which is then filtered and divided into a fatty layer that’s used in cosmetics and supplements, and a vitamin-rich layer that’s incorporated in foods.

Frozen berries and sea buckthorn puree used in foods are also available, as are teas, syrups, liquors, juices, pies and jams containing the berries. But by far the most popular product made of sea buckthorn is sea buckthorn oil. These foods are valued for their high content of vitamin C and carotenoids, whereas the oil is the only plant-based oil to contain all four healthy omega fats (omega-3, omega-6, omega-7, and omega-9).

Apart from that, sea buckthorn products are packed full of antioxidants, folate and vitamin E. Needless to say, the puree or frozen berries contain all the above-mentioned beneficial nutrients. All these compounds make sea buckthorn a very potent plant that has a wide range of uses and proven health benefits, which we list below:

1. Boosts Your Immune System and Protects from Cancer

All the parts of the plant are extremely high in antioxidants, particularly in vitamin C, which is what allows the plant to survive in such harsh climatic conditions. For centuries, the berries were used to make vitamin and antioxidant-rich foods that can boost your immune system.

Most notably, sea buckthorn is traditionally featured in preserved foods, such as syrups, jams, and juices, that were used to keep up the immunity during the harsh winter months. Research supports sea buckthorn’s capability to help you withstand illness, with test-tube studies stating that it can prevent the growth of certain bacteria and viruses.

Apart from that, the antioxidants the fruits contain are suggested to protect the body from cancer, as they are particularly rich in quercetin and other flavonoids that are known to have these effects.

2. Skin Benefits

Sea buckthorn oil is among the best anti-aging oils to use directly on the skin, as the omega fats, vitamins and antioxidants the oil contains have proven to protect the skin from sun damage, deeply moisturize the skin and promote skin elasticity.

Apart from that, sea buckthorn oil is effective at relieving redness, inflammation and skin irritation, even in patients suffering from dermatitis, razor burn, frostbite and burns, so keeping a bottle of this oil in your medicine cabinet just in case is a pretty wise idea. Keep in mind, however, that the oil is bright orange in color and you’ll need to dilute it with a carrier oil, such as sweet almond oil, jojoba oil or marula oil if you want to use it on your face to prevent tinting.

3. Supports Heart Health

Sea buckthorn oil is also available in capsules, which are manufactured as a supplement. These sea buckthorn oil capsules may be useful to those of you suffering from heart disease, high blood pressure, and high LDL cholesterol levels.

In one longitudinal study, hypertensive patients were given 0.75 ml of sea buckthorn oil daily for a month, which not only reduced their blood pressure but also lowered the level of bad cholesterol and triglycerides in their blood. A different study also found that 5 grams of sea buckthorn oil supplementation for the duration of a month can decrease blood clot formation.

4. Promotes Liver Health

The healthy oils, vitamin E and carotenoids sea buckthorn contains seem to have a beneficial effect on the liver as well. Namely, supplementation with sea buckthorn extract can protect the liver from damage and improve its metabolic activity.

In one study, patients suffering from cirrhosis were given sea buckthorn extract for 6 months, which significantly improved their liver function. Apart from that, the cholesterol and triglyceride-lowering effect of sea buckthorn oil discussed above can help your liver metabolize nutrients better as well.

5. Reduces Symptoms of Menopause

Sea buckthorn oil supplementation has also been found to improve symptoms of menopause in a study with postmenopausal women who took 3 grams of the oil supplement daily for three months. The study concludes that the oil supplement is effective at relieving certain symptoms of menopause.

6. Digestive Issues

Sea buckthorn oil and foods that contain sea buckthorn is their ability to boost digestion and reduce inflammation in the digestive system. For centuries, the crushed berries were used in Chinese medicine as a remedy for poor digestion and stomachaches.

Studies in animal models found a lower recurrence in stomach ulcers as well. Sea buckthorn is suggested to improve the mucous lining of the stomach, which makes it more resilient to developing ulcers. The healthy fats and antioxidants may also boost metabolism, improving your body’s ability to absorb nutrients from food.

7. May Prevent Diabetes

The last scientifically-proven health benefit of sea buckthorn is its ability to help prevent diabetes. There is research suggesting that supplements made of crushed, dried sea buckthorn berry powder may help reduce sugar level spikes.

Namely, a study looking at healthy individuals found that the participants experienced fewer sugar spikes after meals containing sugar when they consumed the sea buckthorn extract, which, as the authors suggest, can have a positive long-term effect and help prevent the development of type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome. Knowing how increasingly common both conditions are, it’s definitely worth, at the very least, giving sea buckthorn a try.

Precautions

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There isn’t enough reliable information to know if sea buckthorn is safe to use when pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Children: Sea buckthorn is POSSIBLY SAFE when used orally for up to 6 weeks in children 1-7 years of age.

Bleeding disorder: Sea buckthorn might slow blood clotting when taken as a medicine. There is some concern that it might increase the risk of bruising and bleeding in people with bleeding disorders.

Low blood pressure: Sea buckthorn might lower blood pressure when taken as a medicine. In theory, taking sea buckthorn might make blood pressure become too low in people with low blood pressure.

Surgery: Sea buckthorn might slow blood clotting when taken as a medicine. There is some concern that it might cause extra bleeding during and after surgery. Stop using sea buckthorn at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.

Photo by Eva Elijas on Pexels.com

Source: Internet, Webmd.com & Others

The views expressed in this article should not be considered as a substitute for a physician’s advice. Always make sure to seek a doctor or a professional’s advice before proceeding with the home treatment plan.


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Raising Bilingual or Multi-lingual kids

Our kids are multi-lingual. Today, with the development of global international culture, more and more parents want to give their young children as many language skills as possible – not only one native tongue but also other languages that can be used for the better in the future; for those who aren’t native English speakers, English is, of course, usually at the top of the list, but your native tongue can be on the list of languages you’d want to teach.

First, a statistic: Approximately 20% of children in the United States speak a language other than English at home, with Spanish as the most common non-English language. There are many more bilingual or multilingual persons than there are monolingual. More than half the world’s population is bilingual.

raising bilingual kids
Myths of raising multi-lingual kids

Our desire as parents is to help our children become bi or even a multi-lingual, as early as possible, however, the fears in doing this often outweigh the desire – a lot of myths revolve around the issue of bilingual and multi-lingual child rearing which bother many parents who ultimately decide to abandon this worthy goal. In order to debunk these myths and show that there is no truth behind them, we will present you with the main ones and explain why they are wrong and why it’s worthwhile and recommended to overcome these fears and begin the process of teaching your child more languages at an early age.

MYTH 1. Learning two languages simultaneously will confuse the child

Many of those who argue against the introduction of an additional language cling to the myth that the extra language can confuse a child leading to them using both languages in one sentence. But it is important that you know that although this may happen, it isn’t really harmful; On the contrary, it is an act of ingenuity on the part of the child, and an intelligent use of all the tools at their disposal in order to convey an idea and to convey a certain message in a clearer and understandable way.

Experts agree that the mixing of languages is temporary, and eventually, as the vocabulary of the child in the two languages learned will increase, and the more exposed they are to both languages, the habit will disappear. We, as adults, also tend to mix languages unintentionally when we don’t know how to say a particular term in a single language or when a word in another language sounds better or more accurate in describing a situation. If you occasionally mix English and Spanish, for example, when you talk to each other at home or around your child, you can’t expect your child not to do so – and as mentioned, it doesn’t indicate any shortcoming or problem.

MYTH 2. Raising a bilingual child leads to a delay in speech development

Following the previous myth, there are those who argue that not only will confusion be the plight of those who try to teach their child two languages at the same time, but also a general delay in the development of speech and communication. This concern is based on a number of incidents that have occurred, but the delay has always been temporary, and this isn’t true for everyone. Unfortunately, many parents who are concerned about language development difficulties stop the learning process and return to teaching their child only one language.

Dr. Ellen Stubbe Kester, founder and president of an institute which provides speech therapy for bilingual children, says that scientific research indicates that bilingualism does not delay speech development or language acquisition, even if your child has been diagnosed with speech delay at some level or another, Kester adds that studies have shown that children with delayed development of bilingual language were eventually able to acquire languages with the same level of competence as language-delayed children raised as single-language speakers.

MYTH 3. Children absorb the language easily and are able to become bilingual without any effort at all

With there being those who think that learning a second language may harm the process of acquiring language – a myth that, as we see isn’t true, there are those who believe that learning a second language is a very simple process for the child. They believe that all that is needed is to talk to the child in the language they want to teach, or to just place them in front of different sources of that language, for example, T.V shows and music and they will absorb it on their own and wish to speak it without any significant educational intervention.

This is an unrealistic idea that is ly to lead to insignificant results; The process of teaching a new language should not be a heavy burden on your shoulders, However, it is important to present the child with the correct language and structure, as well as to persist in proper and consistent learning, whether in everyday conversations with the same language or traditional means of study. The idea is that in the end, you must expose your child to the language in a way that is meaningful to them, this includes interesting learning methods that relate to their daily life and routine.

MYTH 4. There is a point where it’s too late to raise your child bilingual

Many parents believe that there is a certain stage in childhood after which it is too late to try to raise their child bilingual. Therefore, if their child has crossed that age, they will not try to teach them a second language. But you should know that this is a mistake because all professionals and experts indicate that in most cases there are three optimal times for teaching a child a second language.

It is true that the best stage to impart to the child the knowledge of the additional language is from the moment of birth until the age of 3 – since this is the period when they acquire their first language and their mind is still open and able to be molded – but the 4-7 age range is also suitable for this purpose, as at this age they can still process multiple languages, that is to build a second language system next to the first language and learn how to speak both languages well. The third window of opportunity is between the age of 8 and puberty. After puberty, studies show that new languages are stored in a separate area of the brain thus making language acquisition at this age much more difficult, yet still possible.

MYTH 5. Parents must master both languages to teach their child both

In a house where two parents speak only one language, or only one of them speaks the other language they want to impart to a child, it is questionable whether it is even possible to raise a bilingual child. The obvious question of parents who don’t know a second language is: “If we speak one language among ourselves, how is it possible for a child to develop a second language?” But know that this is definitely something that can be done – today there are many professional aids that can help you teach your child a second language.

Of course you should take into consideration that if you decide to teach your child a second language without being able to speak it yourself, you may also have to learn some parts of it to help your child absorb it better – but you don’t need to speak it fluently; Movies, books, and of course, classes and professionals who specialize in language learning for children can be of great help to you and contribute to the development of the additional language in your child even without you mastering it as a second language yourself.

MYTH 6. Only very smart children can be bilingual

This is a myth that needs to be refuted right away: every child can be bilingual, regardless of their IQ or intelligence. When you teach your child a second language you should not be concerned about whether they are “smart enough” to go through the process, but only whether you are willing to make some lifestyle changes to make it happen.

It might be helpful to know that children are actually born ready to learn languages, and don’t need any special intellect or gift to do so; As we have already explained to you, a young brain has an advantage in learning languages more than any other tendency. It is clear that in later stages, some will have higher language learning abilities than others, but this is a skill most children have at young ages.

MYTH 7. Children should be fluent in one language before learning another

Many parents raising bilingual kids worry that two languages at once will put too much pressure on their children. They think that by waiting until they are fluent in one language it will be much easier for them to learn another. However as children get older, they become aware of the languages. This means that they need to “learn” a language, rather than acquire it naturally. It is widely agreed that the younger the child learns a language, the easier it is for them to learn, with the “Window of Opportunity” being between birth and five years old. By waiting until your child has learned one language to start a new one, you may miss this window.

MYTH 8 If my child has developmental challenges or learning disabilities, then learning a second language will make it even harder for them.

Wrong . Studies that compared bilingual children with SLI (specific language impairment) to monolingual children with SLI found that the bilingual kids showed equivalent levels of language-related strengths and weaknesses to the monolingual group. The same goes for children with developmental disorders, such as Autism.

MYTH 9 If I’m not speaking my mother tongue to my children, they’ll get the same strong accent and make the same mistakes as me.

Having an accent is not an indicator of language fluency. Secondly, accents change over our childhood and adolescence, and in many instances do not stabilize until the early 20s. Once kids start mingling with other children (around ages 2 or 3) they’ll start to learn their accent from their friends.

For more info: Read https://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/gradeschool/school/Pages/7-Myths-Facts-Bilingual-Children-Learning-Language.aspx


Source: Internet, Bilingualkidspot.com & Others

Photo: by RODNAE Poductions on Pexels.com

The views expressed in this article should not be considered as a substitute for a physician’s advice. Always make sure to seek a doctor or a professional’s advice before proceeding with the home treatment plan.


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Parenting difficult kids

That said, life is hard for kids who don’t comply or fit in. They may be disfavored by teachers, sitters, or family members, which can lead to self-doubt. When your kids don’t behave the way you expect them to, when they are disrespectful, when they hit or even make mistakes, many parents raise their voices and shout at their child. Sometimes, even if they don’t really want or mean to, it seems there is no other choice, however, you might be surprised to hear that yelling does more harm than good. Not only does it make you feel guilty, but your children will live in a stressful environment where at any moment their favorite person may raise their voices. Want to stop this harmful habit?

little boy screaming out from quarrel
Crying/Cranky child

1. Understand that shouting isn’t effective

Shouting doesn’t stop someone from being annoying. Then why do so many parents think it is normal to yell at their children to try and change them? Parents think that yelling is ok but yelling belittles kids and undermines the parent-child bond.

Communicate about how it is going. Listen to what your child says and observe where there is a spike in emotion. This will give you a clue to the crux of the matter if they have not told you directly. Kids may not be able to articulate what is wrong, but they reveal it through behavior or affect (emotion). Being heard goes a long way; when a child feels less alone, he or she is more motivated to comply without feeling controlled.

2. Instead of yelling, say “Stop it!”

Repeat if necessary, and avoid raising your voice. According to one of the studies, children whose parents yell at them or even hit them have an 80 percent chance of repeating the treatment they received that same day, and 50 percent chance of returning to do it within a few hours. So, repeat your message and emphasize it without raising your voice or your hands on your children.

3. Take a deep breath

You’ve already told your child to pick up his/her toys and get ready for bed, but when you returned after 5 minutes to their room, their toys were still everywhere. Instead of losing your temper, close his eyes and breathe deeply. “Take a break,” says Michelle LaRowe, author of the book “A Mom’s Ultimate Book of Lists.” While you’re in “time-out,” think about what you will tell your child without yelling.

4. Speak in a calm but firm voice

Using a firm voice, even if it is soft, is the most effective way to influence the child.  When you speak in a calm but firm soft voice, children have to work to listen—and they almost always do. The calmer and softer you speak, the more impact your words will have, You can even try to whisper, and not only will your child understand your instructions better, you also won’t lose your voice trying to convey your message to them.

5. Teach the child good behavior

Just as you wouldn’t yell at a child who falls when they are first learning how to ride a bicycle, there is no reason to shout at a child who is learning how to behave. Parent’s most important role is to teach the child how to behave correctly, and to explain to them why hitting is bad. It’s okay to be angry, but you do not have to hit, you can tell your friend that you’re angry at him with words. Yelling won’t help, but your explanation will teach the child how to behave.

6. Set rules and abide by them

One of the reasons why many parents get mad at their children is because children test limits, and this happens when parents don’t keep to their word when children break the rules. If your child is watching TV and you tell him/her to turn it off, but after five minutes still see the TV on and you say “turn off the TV or you’ll get punished” and after 5 minutes you’re still talking, and not acting, you’ll only find yourself frustrated. To prevent this, you must simply set clear rules and abide by them, without allowing your children to test you. If you specify a consequence, follow through.

7. Lower your expectations

You can’t sit a baby in a car for hours and expect them to remain calm, and you can’t expect a toddler to go to the mall for hours without getting tired. Know what to expect from your child by age and state of development, and act accordingly; limit your supermarket time or shop online instead of dragging your kids along for long stretches of boring shopping, and find ways to keep your children happy even when you can’t avoid it.

8. Don’t give your children attention when they demand it with negative behavior

Children to get attention from their parents, even if it sometimes is negative. Parents tend to give their children attention by praising them and giving them rewards for good behavior and punishing them for bad behavior, and your children will get what they can from you. Instead of responding with shouting, you may want to ignore children when they are acting out, such as when they cry to get your attention. If you yell at them, you’ll just be giving them what they want, teaching them that If they want your attention they need to be bad to get it.

Reward him or her for containing behaviors that provoke others. It could be ice cream or a toy but it could also be an interesting shared experience, like a movie or a road trip with one parent. Sharing what they like to do with them can help cement a strong identity.

9. Put yourself in your child’s shoes

If your boss yells at you, are you going to listen to him, or will you be busy feeling shame and anger? When you yell at your children, you risk damaging the sense of self-worth. Furthermore, they don’t actually have the chance to process what you’re saying because their busy focusing on how you’re saying it. If you want to teach your children what is acceptable and what is not, do it without making them feel shame and embarrassment.

10. Accept that you aren’t perfect

Your children have driven you crazy all day and you tried to keep cool, but in the end, there was one small case that made you lose your temper and yell at them – you raised your voice and now you can’t go back. Explain to them that it frustrates you when they don’t listen, and ask them to do better and that you will, too.

11. Get Help

Explore supports for his or her strengths. Support can come in the form of an opposite influence: If she tends to get revved up, maybe a calm friend will bring out the best in him or her.

Make your home an interesting place for your family as much as possible. Create a culture that works: strong consequences, clear rules, and a place where positive things happen, from meaningful conversations to cooked meals to friends coming over. This forms a base from which strong selves are made.


For more: see Parenting Resources

Source: Internet & Others

Photo: by Keira Burton on Pexels.com

The views expressed in this article should not be considered as a substitute for a physician’s advice. Always make sure to seek a doctor or a professional’s advice before proceeding with the home treatment plan.


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The dangers of Salt

Most kids are getting too much salt. Although it’s commonplace to add salt (or sodium) to meals for seasoning purposes, many of us consume exorbitant amounts of it each day without even realizing it. The recommended amount of sodium intake per day for adults is 2-1.5 grams, equivalent to 6-5 grams of salt, which amounts to only one teaspoon per day, and the recommended amount for children up to the age of 9 is up to 1.2 g of sodium per day. It’s already known that there is a direct connection between high blood pressure, heart attacks and brain aneurysms, and the amount of salt intake per day, which makes the subject even more pressing. Therefore, we must become familiar with the various foods which contain high amounts of sodium.

Excessive salt intake can be dangerous for kids
Excessive salt intake can be dangerous

How much sodium are children and youth in the U.S. eating?

On average, kids ages 2 to 19 eat more than 3,100 mg sodium per day, about double the amount the American Heart Association recommends. The older children get, the more calories and sodium they tend to eat.

In the 2 to 19-year-old age group of boys and girls, boys 12 to 19 eat the most sodium — an average of 4,220 mg/day. Girls in the same age group eat about 2,950 mg/day.  

Where do kids get their sodium?

Children 6 to 18 get about:

  • 14 percent at breakfast
  • 31 percent at lunch 
  • 39 percent at dinner 
  • 16 percent at snack time 

Grocery store and restaurant foods make up 81 percent of the sodium they eat, which means it’s in their food from the get-go and they can’t take it out.

According to national data about Americans’ eating habits, these foods are the leading contributors to the sodium kids eat:
  • Pizza
  • Bread and rolls
  • Cold cuts and cured meats
  • Savory snacks (such as chips and pretzels)
  • Sandwiches (including burgers)
  • Cheese
  • Chicken patties, nuggets and tenders
  • Pasta mixed dishes (like spaghetti with sauce)
  • Mexican mixed dishes (like burritos and tacos)
  • Soup

Brands and restaurants make versions of the same foods with different sodium levels, and some options are even purposefully made with less sodium. You can make smarter choices about the foods you eat by comparing labels to pick the product with the lowest amount of sodium you can find.

How can too much sodium hurt my child’s health?

Eating too much sodium is associated with higher blood pressure in children and teens, and the effect is even greater if they’re overweight or obese. Kids with high-sodium diets are almost 40 percent more likely to have elevated blood pressure than kids with lower-sodium diets. 

There is a link between high blood pressure in childhood and high blood pressure in adulthood. High blood pressure in childhood is linked to early development of heart disease and risk for premature death. Kids with high-sodium diets are almost 40 percent more likely to have elevated blood pressure than kids with lower-sodium diets.  

Luckily, lowering blood pressure during childhood can help lower the risk for high blood pressure as an adult. And it can be as simple as helping them eat less sodium, which can help lower blood pressure in children and teens.

How can I help reduce the sodium my kids get?

Making sure your kids get less sodium today can help prevent heart disease tomorrow, especially for kids who are overweight and obese. 

1. Bread

One slice of bread usually contains 150 mg of sodium, and a pita or a decently sized baguette can easily contain twice that amount: If you usually eat grilled cheese for breakfast, a small sandwich at lunch, and a slice of bread with soup in the evening, along with other salty foods, you’re most probably going over the recommended daily intake of sodium. Try to cook dishes with whole grains such as quinoa, season them with herbs and avoid adding salt, which will help you reduce salt intake in general and bread in particular.

2. Sausages

The best way to fill a sandwich is with cold cuts such as salami or turkey, however, these tend to contain high amounts of sodium. In three ounces of turkey lunch meats contain 780 mg sodium, while in just one gram of salami (about 3 slices), there is 450 mg sodium. This is why you should avoid eating processed sausages as much as possible. Doing so will help you significantly cut back on your salt intake.

3. Muffins and other baked goods

It’s very tempting to go into a bakery and buy muffins or any other baked good, and enjoy its delicious taste, all without considering the amount of sodium they may contain. The tempting treats contain many calories, saturated fat, sugar, and some 570 mg of sodium, if not more. This is close to half the recommended daily amount, so opt for baking your own pastries.

4. Cereals

A great way to start the day is with a bowl of cereal, which is especially popular among young children and teens. Many kinds of cereal contain less than 200 mg of sodium per serving, but there are also quite a few that contain 300 mg per serving. You can easily avoid salt in the morning by making healthier whole grain meals, such as oatmeal, which has great taste and uncompromising quality.

5. Sauces

We often season our food with different sauces, whether it’s salad, hamburgers or sushi, while we don’t always pay attention to the high salt they contain. Sauces and condiments are actually at the top of the list of high-sodium food items. One tablespoon of barbecue sauce contains 175 mg of sodium, while the same amount of teriyaki sauce contains 690 mg sodium. Therefore, it is important that you choose low sodium options of the same sauces.

6. Instant meals

Many people that don’t have time slaving over a stove to make soup or stews from scratch often take a shortcut by pouring some hot water into a cup-o-noodles. However, by doing so, you are compromising the quality of the food. These high-speed meals contain high amounts of sodium, which is linked to heart disease and high blood pressure. Therefore, it’s important to critically examine the ingredients of those foods and soups. It should be noted that in a regular serving of chicken flavor cup-o-noodles, there is 1070 mg of sodium.

7. Pizza

We all love pizza – whether we eat it for lunch, dinner, or breakfast the next day, it’s simply delicious. However, it’s important to know that pizza contains various sources of salt, including tomato sauce, breadcrumbs and of course, cheese. It’s no wonder that pizza is a bomb of sodium waiting to explode and threaten our health if we do not know how to consume the right amount. In fact, only one slice of pizza contains 650 mg of sodium, before you add olives or any other added salt, not to mention that most of us eat more than one slice, which means that without even trying you can easily reach half of the recommended daily intake of sodium. Therefore, the next time you order one, be sure to eat as little sodium as possible that day.

8. Canned beans

While making soup, rice or a stew, a good way to enrich the dish with protein and fiber is by adding canned beans, because of the convenience it offers. The problem is that the same can of beans contains a large dose of sodium, but this can be fixed. All you have to do is rinse off the beans, reducing the amount of sodium on them, or you can buy a can of sodium-free or salt-free beans. However, it is always better to purchase dry, salt-free beans and cook them on your own.

9. Cottage cheese

Cottage cheese, whether fat-free or regular, is a great source of protein, but when it comes to sodium, it’s something to be wary of. One cup of this cheese contains 920 mg of sodium, which is almost half of the recommended daily intake, so you should look for cottage cheese with no sodium or salt at all, and enrich its flavor by adding fresh or dry herbs.

Source: AHA & Others

Photo: by Kaboompics .com on Pexels.com

The views expressed in this article should not be considered as a substitute for a physician’s advice. Always make sure to seek a doctor or a professional’s advice before proceeding with the home treatment plan.


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The power of Turmeric

Turmeric is a flowering plant, Curcuma longa of the ginger family, Zingiberaceae, the roots of which are used in cooking. Turmeric is a common spice that contains a chemical called curcumin, which might reduce swelling. But did you know that turmeric is actually roughly as potent as many kinds of medication?

Turmeric powder for better health, Super spice
Turmeric – a super spice

Lipitor/Atorvastatin (cholesterol medication)

A 2008 study revealed that a standardized preparation of curcuminoids from turmeric had very similar effects to atorvastatin (trade name Lipitor) when it came to treating endothelial dysfunction, a driver for atherosclerosis. It was also associated with reductions in oxidative stress and inflammation in type 2 diabetic patients.

It is also found effective against the buildup of fat in the liver in people who drink little or no alcohol (nonalcoholic fatty liver disease or NAFLD). Taking turmeric extract by mouth reduces markers of liver injury in people who have this condition. It also seems to help prevent the build-up of more fat in the liver.

Aspirin (blood thinner)

Research shows that curcumin has even more anti-platelet and prostacyclin modulating effects than aspirin. This goes to show that it could be useful to patients prone to vascular thrombosis, who often require anti-arthritis therapy.

Corticosteroids (steroid medications)

Numerous studies have found that turmeric can be just as effective as many kinds of steroids. One found that the curcumin found within turmeric compared favorably to steroids used to treat the inflammatory eye disease known as anterior uveitis. Other studies also found that chemicals found within turmeric are just as effective as steroidal drugs that tackle lung ischemia-reperfusion injuries and those that protect injuries caused by lung transplants.

Prozac/Fluoxetine & Imipramine (antidepressants)

A 2011 study that can be found in the journal Acta Poloniae Pharmaceutica showed us that curcumin also compares favorably to both Imipramine as well as Prozac/Fluoxetine when it comes to tackling the root causes of depression.

Anti-inflammatory Drugs

Curcumin has also been found to be an effective alternative to a whole host of anti-inflammatory drugs. These include ibuprofen, aspirin, phenylbutazone, naproxen, sulindac, dexamethasone, celecoxib, indomethacin, diclofenac, and tamoxifen, particularly when it comes to exerting anti-inflammatory and anti-proliferative activity against tumor cells.

Oxaliplatin (a chemotherapy drug)

A 2007 study concluded that curcumin also compares favorably with oxaliplatin as an antiproliferative agent in colorectal cell lines, which is certainly good news for any patients who are undergoing chemotherapy.

Metformin (diabetes drug)

Curcumin has also been touted as being highly valuable in the treatment of diabetes. One study found that it suppresses gluconeogenic gene expression (which suppresses glucose production in the liver) in hepatoma cells, while simultaneously activating AMPK (which increases glucose uptake). What’s more, the researchers actually discovered that curcumin is between 500 and 100,000 times more powerful than metformin in activating AMPK and its downstream target acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACC).

Allergy medicines

Taking turmeric by mouth seems to reduce hay fever symptoms such as sneezing, itching, runny nose, and congestion.

A note of caution:

Medications that slow blood clotting (Anticoagulant / Antiplatelet drugs) interacts with TURMERIC

Turmeric might slow blood clotting. Taking turmeric along with medications that also slow clotting might increase the chances of bruising and bleeding.

Some medications that slow blood clotting include aspirin, clopidogrel (Plavix), diclofenac (Voltaren, Cataflam, others), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others), naproxen (Anaprox, Naprosyn, others), dalteparin (Fragmin), enoxaparin (Lovenox), heparin, warfarin (Coumadin), and others.

Source: Internet & Other sources

Photo: by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

The views expressed in this article should not be considered as a substitute for a physician’s advice. Always make sure to seek a doctor or a professional’s advice before proceeding with the home treatment plan.


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Five Tibetan Rites: Yoga That’ll Make You Younger!

Yoga, was invented thousands of years ago, connects the body to the soul and mind, but only in the last few decades have we been exposed to it and its principles.

If you want Yoga methods for kids, you can find it here.

The Five Tibetans are a series of exercises that include a variety of yoga poses, which are believed to be more than 2,500 years old. In contrast to yoga exercises from the Indian school that emphasizes static movement, the Five Tibetans focus on continuous movement that allows the body and soul to be freed from the hassles we experience daily. Many call these exercises “Fountain of Youth” thanks to their beneficial influence on the body, soul, and mind.

excited barefoot ethnic mother and cute girl doing stretching exercises together yoga holistic healing kids
Yoga for kids

How to do The Five Tibetans

The Five Tibetans can be done in the comfort of your own home. Below we’ve detailed exactly how to do these special exercises, which require 10 minutes daily – an investment that is definitely worthwhile.

Tips:

The exercises are also called rites or “rituals”, and it is therefore recommended to repeat each pose 21 times. We recommended you get to this number gradually. Start by repeating each pose 7 times. Once you feel ready, move up to 14 reps, and then on to 21.

Take a few deep breaths between each rite and continue them in order.

We recommend not doing the rites in the evening as they build up energy that can last hours, which will make it harder for you to fall asleep.

Rite 1

• Stand with your legs apart, slightly wider than your shoulders, and raise your hands to your sides.

• Rotate clockwise 7 full times and stop.

• After performing this exercise, take a deep breath and simultaneously lift your hands over your head, joining your palms.

• Lower your hands as you exhale.

Rite 2

• Lay flat on your back, on a mat, with your legs straight and your arms by your sides, palms facing down.

• While taking a deep breath, bend your head toward your chest and lift your legs up without bending your knees.

• Exhale and return to the starting position.

• Take a few deep breaths while you’re still lying on your back to prepare for the next exercise.

Rite 3

• Kneel on the floor with your back straight, legs together, toes flexed, and your hands resting on the backs of your thighs.

• While taking a deep breath, crane your head and neck and arch your back as far as you possibly can, while still remaining comfortable. Support yourself with your hands against your thighs.

• On an exhale, return to the starting position by lowering your head to your chest.

Rite 4

• Sit on the floor with your back straight and your legs spread out slightly and stretched forward. Your palms should be placed down in line with your shoulders.

• Take a deep breath and press your hands and feet downwards as you climb up into a bridge position. Tilt your head back gently as you do.

• Breathe out and slowly return to your initial position while lowering your head toward your chest.

Rite 5

• Place your hands and feet on the floor, arch your back, bend your head back, and lift your chest up.

• Take a deep breath and lift your buttocks upwards as you lower your head down to form an upside down “V.” (As in downward dog)

• Exhale while simultaneously bending your elbows and moving forward, lowering your chest down returning to the initial position. Once you’ve finished performing all the rites, lay on your back with your arms crossed over your chest. Take a few deep breaths and adjust your breathing slowly until you are ready to get up and get on with your day. Within a short period of time you’ll start feeling the effects of The Five Tibetans, and according to those who follow this method, it certainly feels you’re drinking from the Fountain of Youth.

Source: Internet & Other sources

Photo: by Ketut Subiya on Pexels

The views expressed in this article should not be considered as a substitute for a physician’s advice. Always make sure to seek a doctor or a professional’s advice before proceeding with the home treatment plan.


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Eat this, instead of that!

diverse little girls eating carrot while celebrating easter
A few minor changes to your dietary intake can make a tremendous impact on your health and well-being, and that is certainly some food for thought!

1) Eat Healthy Snacks instead of Junk Food – It seems as if junk food is everywhere we look. The supermarket shelves are stocked full of candies, potato chips, cakes, donuts and assorted baked goods. The grease, oil, refined sugar and saturated fats found in these foods are the major contributors of many unnecessary health problems.

You can still enjoy a quick snack and get the essential nutrition by replacing junk food with healthier alternatives. Fresh fruits, such as apples and oranges, make for excellent substitutes to candy bars. A handful of almonds replaces a bag of potato chips, baked potatoes replace French fries and skim or low fat milk replaces whole milk. You can also choose low fat frozen yogurt topped with fresh fruit over ice cream. Snacking can still be fun after all.

2) Dried Herbs and Spices Instead of Salty Foods – A High daily intake of sodium can result in certain heart problems over time. Rather than adding salt to your meals, consider the healthier alternative of cinnamon, turmeric, cayenne, clove, garlic, ginger, sage, parsley and basil. Not only will you be adding delicious flavors to your favorite dishes, you’ll also be limiting any risk of heart diseases in the future. Go ahead and spice things up!

3) Choose Whole Grains Over Refined Ones – Refined grains are consumed daily with nearly every meal. They are commonly found in white rice, white flour, white sugar and white breads. Cereals also contain large amounts of refined grains and tons of sugar.

The healthier solution here would be to replace the refined grains with whole grains. Substitute brown rice for white rice, whole grain bread over traditional white bread, and healthier bran cereals over the sugary variety of cereals. Oatmeal is an ideal replacement for refined cereal. Try cooking with quinoa and barley as well.

4) Eat More Cold-Water Fish and Less Red Meat – We all love our steaks and beef, but they also contain a high amount of saturated fats. Consuming a regular diet of red meat on a daily basis may increase the risk of hypertension, cardiovascular diseases, obesity and strokes.

Cold-water fish, such as tuna, swordfish, whitefish, mackrel, salmon, anchovies, and trout all contain Omega-3 fatty acids, which are the essential fats the body needs. Omega-3 helps combat depression, boosts memory production and greatly reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s Disease. Fish can also be frozen for long periods of time, so it never goes to waste.

5) Add Avocados to Your Diet Instead of Mayonnaise or Jam – Mayonnaise is most commonly used while preparing sandwiches and in dips. Mayonnaise gives that dry turkey sandwich a bit of extra taste. Mayonnaise is also loaded with plenty of trans and saturated fats, which are very unhealthy for you.

Avocados are the healthy alternatives to mayonnaise. They contain over 25 essential nutrients which are all vital health components. These specific nutrients protect against cancer, prevent heart diseases and prevent bone diseases from occurring. Avocados are also the main ingredients used for making guacamole, which perfectly complements whole wheat tortilla chips.

6) Eliminate Butter with Extra Virgin Olive Oil – You can’t hear a frying pan sizzle without the sweet sound of butter being applied to it. Some of the most popular dishes are cooked exclusively with butter. Butter is delicious but extremely unhealthy. Butter significantly increases high cholesterol levels, diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure and heart diseases.

Use extra virgin olive oil instead of butter to give your meals a solid dose of essential Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids. Olive oil can be substituted for butter when baking or cooking.

7) Go Organic! – What exactly does organic mean? Simply put organic means natural. Organic farming relies on the usage of natural fertilizers and pesticides, which do not contain harmful toxins.

Non-organic foods are generally exposed to harmful pesticides and other dangerous chemicals. So, the next time you’re outside fruit and vegetable shopping, consider visiting your local farmer’s market instead.

8) Drink Water Instead of Sugary Beverages – Soda contains high amounts of refined sugar with absolutely no nutritional values whatsoever. Sugar found in sodas and other sweetened drinks leads to fatigue, causes dental problems, triggers depression and can eventually lead to diabetes.

Avoid sugary beverages and drink water as often as possible. Water flushes out all the toxins in the body and helps to promote regular digestion. Filtered water is even better because it removes all chemicals found from the tap. Make sure you carry a bottle of water wherever you go.

9) Make the Switch from Regular Breakfast Cereals to Oats – Walk down any cereal aisle in the supermarket and you’ll be bombarded with a tremendous selection of unhealthy cereals that are loaded with refined sugars.

Cooked oats make for the best substitute for a healthy morning breakfast. You can add a pinch of cinnamon, brown sugar, chopped nuts or fresh fruit to give it a little extra flavoring. A healthy bowl of oatmeal can drastically reduce heart diseases, stabilize blood sugar, and lower cholesterol.

10) Drink Green Tea Instead of Coffee – Most people prefer to start their day with a cup of coffee. The aroma of freshly brewed coffee can be very difficult to resist. Coffee also carries a list of health problems that include; acid reflux, intestinal problems, heartburn, anxiety, nausea and can induce unwanted stress.

Green tea is the healthier hot beverage alternative from coffee and provides a quick caffeine boost as well. Green tea is a staple in Asian culture and served with nearly every meal. Green tea also contains powerful antioxidants which fight off diseases and lower the risk of cancer.

11) Replace Granola with Nuts – While granola may seem like an innocent yogurt topper, it’s almost always loaded with added sugar. To get the crunch you crave without the extra calories and sugar, top your yogurt with some nuts instead.

12) Swap Bagels for English Muffins – One bagel is equivalent to roughly four slices of nutrient-void white bread. Not only is this morning staple super caloric, but it’s also missing nutrients like fiber and protein to keep you energized through the morning.

13) Swap Bowl for Burrito – Depending on the size of the tortilla, a flour-based wrap could tack up to 470 calories and 98 grams of carbs on to your order. To get the flavor you crave—without overdoing it—opt for a bowl instead or choose a corn tortilla. Load it up with tons of veggies, go light on the rice, and choose salsa over sour cream to ensure a healthy meal.

Source: Internet & Other sources

Photo: by Eren Li on Pexels.com

The views expressed in this article should not be considered as a substitute for a physician’s advice. Always make sure to seek a doctor or a professional’s advice before proceeding with the home treatment plan.


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Food to improve our immune system

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Photo by Ella Olsson on Pexels.com

Our immune system’s ability to fight disease depends on the food that we consume. The immune system and white blood cells work together to deal with various infections, such as bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites, and even treat cancer cells. The normal range of white blood cells in the body is 4,300 -10,800 cells per microliter of blood.

Below you will find the recommended nutrients and foods that can be used to improve the production of white blood cells:

Vitamin C

It is very important to include different vitamins in your daily diet, but vitamin C is the most important for increasing the production of white blood cells. Foods that include citrus, chili, broccoli and green and red peppers are rich in vitamin C, making them essential to your diet. Also, it should be noted that broccoli not only helps to increase white blood cells, it also contains many antioxidants thanks to its high vitamins A and E content.

Zinc

The consumption of zinc accelerates immune system function, which is linked to increased production of white blood cells. Studies have shown that zinc deficiency may increase the risk of infection, and other studies have found evidence that zinc intake of 75 mg or more per day may reduce the duration of a cold and also the severity of the symptoms associated with it. Natural food sources include beans, sunflower seeds, chicken, nuts, whole grains, pumpkin seeds, wheat grass, and spinach.

Folic acid

Folic acid is a water-soluble vitamin that is needed to create and maintain new cells, and the consumption of this nutrient is especially important during periods of rapid cell division, such as during pregnancy or during the development and growth of infants. Vegetables such as spinach, turnips, peas, legumes and other fruits and vegetables are rich in folic acid, so it is recommended to add them to your regular weekly menu.

Selenium

The recommended daily amount of selenium for an adult is 55 micrograms, and a lack of this mineral may increase the chances of developing angina, myocardial infarction, and coronary heart disease. In addition, selenium can increase the production of white blood cells and can be found in beef, tuna, salmon, chicken, beans, and Brazil nuts.

Beta-carotene

This substance helps protect the thymus gland, which creates immune system cells. Foods that contain beta-carotene increase the production of white blood cells, and they have the ability to fight infections if you make sure to consume them daily. Daily consumption of this nutrient should range from 2 -7 mg per day and it can be found in fruits and vegetables such as carrots, tomatoes, oranges, loquat, pumpkin, mangos and dark leafy green vegetables.

Turmeric

Turmeric is a great anti-inflammatory substance that relieves both types of arthritis; Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. In addition, the main active ingredient is curcumin, which has proven its ability to reduce inflammation and fever, thanks to its positive effect on the proper functioning of white blood cells.

Kale

Just one cup of kale will give you all the vitamin A you need a day, which can help your body fight cancer cells. Also, kale increases the production of white blood cells and helps antibodies respond to invasive infections and even neutralize them.

Garlic

Garlic contains elements that stimulate the immune system. Furthermore, it has an impressive ability to fight infections, thanks to the large concentration of allicin, created by crushing fresh garlic cloves.

Prebiotic and Probiotic

A high-fiber plant-rich diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes appear to support the growth and maintenance of beneficial microbes. Certain helpful microbes break down fibers into short chain fatty acids, which have been shown to stimulate immune cell activity. These fibers are sometimes called prebiotics because they feed microbes. Therefore, a diet containing probiotic and prebiotic foods may be beneficial. Probiotic foods contain live helpful bacteria, and prebiotic foods contain fiber and oligosaccharides that feed and maintain healthy colonies of those bacteria.

  • Probiotic foods include kefir, yogurt with live active cultures, fermented vegetables, sauerkraut, tempeh, kombucha tea, kimchi, and miso.
  • Prebiotic foods include garlic, onions, leeks, asparagus, Jerusalem artichokes, dandelion greens, bananas, and seaweed. However, a more general rule is to eat a variety of fruits, vegetables, beans, and whole grains for dietary prebiotics.

Green tea

Cell studies have shown that tea catechins such as those found in green tea can prevent flu and some cold viruses from replicating and can increase immune activity. Human trials are still limited.

Takeaway

  1. Eat a balanced diet with whole fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, and plenty of water.
  2. Perform moderate exercise
  3. Sleep 7-9 hours every night
  4. Manage stress
  5. Wash your hands

Source: Internet & Other sources

The views expressed in this article should not be considered as a substitute for a physician’s advice. Always make sure to seek a doctor or a professional’s advice before proceeding with the home treatment plan.

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Metallic Taste in Your Mouth!

If your mouth constantly tastes like old pennies, you’re not alone. There are actually several different conditions that may cause this to arise, some of which are far less serious than others. Below, we’ve listed some of the most common causes for a metallic taste in your mouth.

1. Over-the-counter vitamins or medicines

Multivitamins that contain heavy metals (such as zinc, copper or chromium) or certain types of cold remedies (like zinc lozenges) can cause a metallic taste to develop in your mouth. Calcium or iron supplements can cause this too, as can prenatal vitamins. The taste will often go away as your body breaks down the vitamins or medicine. If it doesn’t, check your dosage to ensure you are not taking too much. Also if you lack vitamin B-12, your nerves might not function properly, and you might develop tinnitus or a metallic taste.

2. Infections

Certain kinds of infections, such as colds, sinusitis, and upper respiratory infections can alter your sense of taste. Such sensory changes are typically temporary and will usually go away as soon as you get better.

3. Poor oral hygiene

If you don’t brush your teeth and floss regularly, then you may end up with teeth and gum problems like gingivitis, periodontitis and certain kinds of tooth infections. These usually get better with a prescription from your dentist, with any metallic tastes leaving along with them.

4. Prescription drugs

These medicines include the gout medicine allopurinol, antibiotics such as tetracycline, lithium, used in the treatment of certain psychiatric conditions, and particular cardiac drugs. Certain drugs which cause your mouth to go dry may also be the cause, since they may be absorbed close to your taste buds.

5. Dementia

Persons with dementia often experience taste abnormalities. This is because there is a connection between the taste buds and the brain. As a result, taste abnormalities often arise when the part of the brain related to taste is not functioning properly.

6. Chemical exposure

If you find that you have been exposed to lead or mercury, such as through accidental inhalation, then you may find that you have a metallic taste in your mouth, which should be seen to by a professional.

7. Cancer treatment

A metallic taste in your mouth may also arise if you are being treated for cancer via radiation therapy or chemotherapy. This is a normal side effect and should not be anything to worry about.

8. Pregnancy

During some of the earliest stages of pregnancy, some expectant mothers find that their sense of taste has been altered drastically. One of those changes may be a metallic taste in the mouth. Consult your doctor if it is causing you any distress.

9. Hay Fever or allergic rhinitis

Hay fever can leave a metallic taste in your mouth due to inflamed nasal passages that disrupt your ability to taste.

10. Covid-19

COVID-19 is an illness caused by a strand of coronavirus discovered in late 2019. COVID-19 can cause a wide range of flu-like symptoms 2 to 14 days after exposure.

11. Pine nut syndrome

Pine nut syndrome is a rare reaction to pine nuts that begins 12 to 48 hours after eating them. It causes a bitter metallic taste in your mouth that can last up to a month.

Treating the underlying cause

  • Allergies are usually treated by making lifestyle changes to reduce contact with dust, mold, and other allergens. Non-drowsy antihistamines are available over the counter to help you manage your symptoms.
  • If you have a viral infection, such as a sinus infection or COVID-19, it’s important to stay hydrated and get plenty of rest to allow your body to recuperate. Nasal decongestants may help you improve your breathing. Ibuprofen and other anti-inflammatories may help with body aches and pains.
  • If you’re experiencing shortness of breath, a fever over 103 degrees, or pressure in your chest, you should seek medical attention.
  • If your medication is causing your symptoms, a doctor may recommend changing your dose or the medication.

Source: Internet & Other sources

The views expressed in this article should not be considered as a substitute for a physician’s advice. Always make sure to seek a doctor or a professional’s advice before proceeding with the home treatment plan.


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Flu in 2020-21

Typically, the winter months bring the peak of flu season. As cases of COVID-19 have soared in the U.S. over the past few weeks, however, cases of the flu have remained extremely low.

But first, What is Flu?

Flu Numbers for 2019-20

The final data on flu season 2019/2020 was released by the CDC in April as COVID-19 continued to spread throughout the United States.

Between October 1, 2019 and April 4, 2020, the flu resulted in:

  • 39 to 56 million illnesses
  • 410,000 to 740,000 hospitalizations
  • 24,000 to 62,000 deaths
  • 195 pediatric deaths

Flu Numbers for 2020-21

Flu season typically peaks between December and February each year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that the flu causes up to 45 million illnesses, up to 810,000 hospitalizations and up to 61,000 deaths each year. But this flu season, there have been just 925 cases of the flu around the U.S so far.

“Though caused by a different virus from the one that causes COVID-19, the flu is also a respiratory viral disease, so everything we are doing to slow transmission of COVID-19, such as wearing face masks, frequent handwashing and physical distancing, should also reduce transmission of flu,” says Eili Klein, Ph.D., associate professor of emergency medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

More people also received the flu vaccine this season compared with last season, many schools and businesses are holding virtual classes or meetings instead of in-person, and fewer people have been traveling — all of which could be keeping flu cases down.

“We commonly see flu spread in communities, schools, businesses and through travel each year, so these changes are likely keeping the flu away,” says Lisa Maragakis, M.D., M.P.H., senior director of infection prevention for the Johns Hopkins Health System and associate professor of medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Klein believes that even if this flu season turns out to be less severe than usual, it could affect the severity of the next flu season. “Because of the current restrictions and precautions everyone is taking this season, far fewer people will be infected or exposed to the flu virus, and therefore won’t become immune to certain strains of the virus,” he says. “So the number of people who may have more severe infections next year is likely to be greater because immunity will be lower.”

Flu season typically runs through May, so there’s still a chance that flu cases will pick up in the next few months. Also, one strain of flu — influenza B — tends to circulate later in the season.

Takeaway:

Johns Hopkins Medicine experts recommend continuing prevention methods to protect against the flu and COVID-19 as well as getting the flu vaccine. “The flu vaccine takes about two weeks for antibodies to develop and begin protecting you from the illness, so getting the flu vaccine any time through mid-April will still be helpful in preventing the flu,” Maragakis says. She advises that anyone who hasn’t already gotten their flu vaccination should do so as soon as possible, but she notes that 14 days must elapse between getting the COVID-19 vaccination and any other vaccinations, including the flu vaccine.

From: Covid-19 Story Tip: Flu Cases Dramatically Low So Far This Season (hopkinsmedicine.org)


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TIPS FOR A HAPPY FAMILY

1. Share experiences and stories

As parents, when you come home, place your children in front of you, not distractions like the TV or your cell phone. True, it’s hard after a day’s work to give your children your full attention, but only through the conversations, questions, and partnerships you make with your children can you achieve a happy family life. When you or your children come home, be sure to ask them if they have a story to share with you, and if not, share something from your day with them, and give them something to look forward to at the end of the day.

2. Enjoy each other

The essence of a happy family is that each member of the household takes care to encourage and uplift other family members when they’re feeling down, and this is due to good relations between the members of the household, Rabbi Boteach says. For a believer in the family unit, there should be a joy that characterizes the interactions at home, such as the joy of the children when they see their parents coming home from work and vice versa. This joy can be derived from the creation of shared experiences, from deep conversations, cooking together, leisure activities, etc. Invest most of your free time in your family, so that you get along with each other, have more mutual interactions with each other and have a happier family overall.

3. Remember to maintain your relationship and marriage

The people who created your family unit are you and your spouse, so remember that your relationship should come first. Boteach explains that there are many families where the children come first, so they become providers of a substitute of love and this is an unfair burden to put on them. In addition, this negatively affects the family unit in general and the parents’ relationship in particular, because children eventually leave home. So, keep in mind the importance of your relationship and marriage and make sure to nurture and protect it because they are what created your little family in the first place.

4. Eat meals together as a family

During a normal week, we often find ourselves eating lunch and dinner separately from our family members. This isn’t normal and you should be aiming to eat at least four meals together in a week. Boteach’s argument is that a family that eats together stays together – family meals are essential for a happy life because it is time to connect on a personal level with one another.

5. Remember that family comes before friends

In happy families, the importance of family is greater than the importance of friends, and now is where we need to take a look at family frameworks. Camp counselors have one thing right, says Boteach, they know that kids also need fun. When children are bombarded with rules and become bored and restless, they start looking for excitement outside the home, which is where friends come in. and while this is not really a problem, it becomes one when their friendships become more important than family.

6. Limiting after school activities

Some children choose to participate in after-school activities, whether it’s tutoring, volunteering, or other things, and as a result, their stay at home is significantly lessened from year to year. If your children are never home, this is a recipe for an unhappy family, says Boteach. He believes that the two must be balanced and that children should be allowed to spend time outside of the house, while at the same time limiting them to a certain number of activities so that their time at home with family isn’t affected. Boteach suggests that we should strive to carry out activities outside the home as a family, for example taking the children on a bike ride, spending time together at the beach or at the pool, and so on.

7. Build and honor rituals

To make your family unit happy, you should create rituals that can be religious, national or even private to your family. Dr. Barbara Fiese, a professor and head of the psychology department at Syracuse University in New York, says that happy families have unique and meaningful rituals that bring them together. According to her, these rituals can be as simple as ordering from a specific restaurant one night a week, singing a specific song together, and even going on a hike over the weekend. These rituals tend to bring the family closer together, because they repeat themselves over time when it is important to keep them and to be flexible if necessary. For example, if you decide Wednesday nights are pizza night, everyone should be committed to that night. If the pizzeria is closed, be flexible by ordering from somewhere else. Don’t give up on the ritual altogether.

8. Do not raise your voice

Children develop and shape according to the stable things in their life, especially when they are young. Therefore, Boteach explains that children should be in a relaxed environment at home, one that will allow them to thrive as individuals. As parents, you have to talk to your children, set strict rules and punish them if necessary, but don’t lose control and start shouting and running around, both at home and in public especially. If you find yourself yelling at your children, it means you are getting out of control and creating an uneasy home environment for your children. So, the next time you are about to scream, stop yourself and try to convey your message in calm and relaxed tones, thus keeping a calm environment in the house and making sure your kid’s defenses are lowered and their ears and hearts are open to listening.

9. Don’t fight in front of your kids

One of the most important things to never do in front of your kids is fight and shout at each other. As parents, you have to solve the problems between you in private and not in front of your children. However, Boteach says, "If your kids see you fight and argue, apologize and say, ‘We are sorry you had to see it. Daddy and I just had a disagreement, but everything is OK now.’" If you do this, you will be able to create a comfortable environment in which feelings can be expressed to one another, and children will learn to say sorry and admit their mistakes if necessary.

10. Do not work too hard

Routine can sometimes suck us in and in doing so it can ruin our private life and family unit. Boteach explains that if you, the parents, are always away from home because of work, you are actually putting it first, before your children – which can lead them to develop feelings of insecurity. Therefore, if you don’t want your children to believe that they are not important enough, you should cut back on your working hours and of course not bring it home with you, especially when with your children.

11. Be flexible

It’s easy to say and hard to do, but it’s one of the things that’s important for you to stick to because families are constantly changing over time, so you have to learn and teach your child to be open to changes in your family unit. Fiese says that despite the changes that take place – someone getting married, someone dying, teens growing up and adults growing old, everyone’s still part of the same family. Therefore, be flexible about the changes that happened and know how to accept them and deal with them together as one unified family.

12. Have inside jokes

Family unity is a very important thing, and in order to have it, one must create friendships and connections between siblings and the parents. In order to achieve such unity, Fiese recommends adopting inside jokes, inventions and even pranks, because she claims that this is one of the simplest ways to achieve happiness in the family unit – jokes and nicknames symbolize a group to which a person feels belonging to and is used as a platform for creating much larger and more meaningful experiences.

13. Communicate

When all’s said and done, communication is the key to success and achieving a happy family. In many families, everything is told to the mom, who then passes those messages on, but a happy family is more flexible and utilizes other channels of communication. Thus, a happy family is a family where all members of the unit are able to communicate openly with one another without being afraid or embarrassed. If you see that your children are not communicating with you in the way you want, initiate a conversation with them in which you share something about yourself, and try to talk to them eye to eye.

From Rabbi Shmuel Boteach


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Health Benefits of Dandelion Tea

Did you know that in some parts of Europe, dandelion leaves are added to salads? Or that dandelion tea prepared from the flowers, leaves, and toasted roots of this plant have been traditionally used as a remedy for urinary tract infections, the common cold, and toxin accumulation in the body for centuries? All this may sound extremely surprising to many of us who consider the yellow-flowered plant a persistent garden weed. But it’s true – dandelions are good for more than just blowing off their seeds to make a wish come true…

First of all, the low-calorie herbal tea is an excellent source of many nutrients, such as beta-carotene and vitamin A, magnesium, calcium, zinc, and iron. In addition, scientists have already verified many of the traditional health claims associated with dandelion tea, and many more are to be authenticated soon.

An example of the latter is that only recently scientists have started to explore the anti-cancer benefits of dandelions, and in-vitro studies have already confirmed that a concentrated dandelion extract can eradicate melanoma and pancreatic cancer cells in a petri dish. Hopefully, further studies will likewise confirm that this so-called “garden weed” is also capable of helping live cancer patients, too, so stay tuned for updates.

While the cancer-fighting effect of dandelion tea has limited research support, there are many other, verified benefits of the herbal tea – we list 6 such benefits below.

1. Relieves bloating and improves digestion

When you feel like your tummy is bloated and your food is stuck in the stomach heavy as a rock, try sipping on some dandelion tea. Dandelion tea is a known diuretic, which means that it will make your body drain of excess swelling and water weight, and it will increase your urine output. Therefore, the tea may be beneficial for a bloated belly. In fact, one study has shown a diuretic effect after participants drank just 2 cups of dandelion leaf tea. In addition, dandelion root tea is said to soothe an irritated digestive system and relieve constipation. Historically, dandelion root tea is also often used to improve one’s appetite.

2. Prevents urinary tract infections

Recurring urinary tract infections (UTIs) are surprisingly common and the numbers of people affected by persistent UTIs are growing every year. Being able to prevent recurring UTIs and avoid taking excessive antibiotics is key. One promising preventative method is a mixture of dandelion and bearberry (also known as uva-ursi) – a commonly sold combination that has been shown to offer antibacterial and preventative benefits for those at risk for UTIs – a list that includes pregnant women, men over 50, and menopausal women, to name a few.

3. Aids in weight loss

A recently discovered benefit of dandelion tea is its ability to aid in weight loss. Curiously, recent Korean research has noted that dandelion is very similar to the weight loss drug Orlistat. This drug works by blocking the synthesis of pancreatic lipase, a certain enzyme that breaks down fat in the digestion process. According to the study, the dandelion extract had very similar results to the anti-obesity drug in an animal model, which means that dandelion may have some weight loss benefits. Since the flower also has digestive and diuretic benefits, as we mentioned earlier, dandelion tea may actually be an excellent choice for those who seek to lose excess weight.

4. Can serve as a coffee replacement

Those of you who already tried dandelion tea may already know it as a natural coffee substitute. It’s true – when roasted, the roots of the dandelion become caramelized and have a rich, sweet, toasty flavor and a deep aroma when brewed into a herbal tea. In fact, you can easily make your own dandelion “coffee” from fresh roots, here’s how:

First, keep in mind that it’s instrumental to only use pesticide-free dandelions for this recipe.

Also, remember that it’s best to harvest the roots in the fall.

To harvest dandelion roots, simply pull out the plant, cut off the leaves, wash the roots until completely clean with tepid water, chop them up into smaller pieces, and roast them in the oven at 200°F (95°C) for 2-3 hours until the roots harden and brown up. Simmer about 3 tablespoons of ground-up roasted roots with 250 ml (8.5 oz) water on low heat for 15-20 minutes to prepare 1 cup of dandelion coffee.

5. Promotes liver health

In traditional medicine, dandelion root extract has been used as a detoxifying liver tonic for centuries. Naturopaths use dandelion root tea to cleanse the liver and relieve symptoms of liver problems. There is finally some scientific evidence that confirms that, in fact, dandelion root extract may boost the flow of bile, which is why the herbal tea may be able to improve symptoms of liver disease. In addition, a 2017 study has concluded that dandelion may be beneficial to liver function due to its naturally high concentration of polysaccharides.

6. Can lower blood pressure

The last but definitely not the least benefit dandelion tea may have is its ability to lower blood pressure. Studies show that it may be due to a high concentration of potassium in dandelions. As you may know, potassium is an electrolyte that has the ability to stimulate the heartbeat and help the kidneys strain out toxins better from the blood. That said if you’re already taking diuretic medications to manage your blood pressure, combining it with dandelion tea may be overkill, and could lead to undesired dangerous consequences, so make sure to consult your doctor before starting to drink it every day. In fact, if you’re on any prescription medication, always make sure to talk to your physician if you decide to take any natural remedy, including dandelion tea.

7. Aids in bowel movement

Dandelion root is used for the treatment of muscle aches, loss of appetite, upset stomach, intestinal gas, gallstones, joint pain, eczema and bruises. It also increases urine production and serves as a laxative to increase bowel movements.

How to Make Dandelion Tea

There are so many ways to incorporate the dandelion plant into your everyday meals. One of the best ways to experience all of the dandelion benefits is by making your own dandelion tea.

If you like to drink other herbal teas such as chamomile or nettle, you may also enjoy dandelion tea and vice versa.

You can make tea with the dandelion roots or flowers. It’s very easy — follow these simple directions:

  • Steep about one tablespoon of the stems or flowers for 30 minutes in five ounces of boiling water.
  • Strain the roots and flowers or drink them up with your tea.
  • This recipe can be doubled or tripled if you plan on making several days’ worth of tea.

You can also buy organic dandelion tea bags at most health food stores. You may even find teabags that are made with both dandelion and turmeric.

You can also roast the root of your dandelion plant to make a coffee-like beverage. Here’s how it’s done:

  • After cleaning the root, chop it in a food processor.
  • Use a baking sheet and roast the pieces in an oven at 300 degrees Fahrenheit for two hours.
  • Then let it steep in boiling water for 10 minutes before drinking.

Source: Internet & Other sources

The views expressed in this article should not be considered as a substitute for a physician’s advice. Always make sure to seek a doctor or a professional’s advice before proceeding with the home treatment plan.


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Home Remedies for Hair Loss

Hair loss is normal. Hair loss (alopecia) can affect just your scalp or your entire body, and it can be temporary or permanent. It can be the result of heredity, hormonal changes, medical conditions or a normal part of aging. It’s common to lose about 50-100 strands a day, and up to 250 strands when you wash your hair. About 10% of your hair is dormant, and will fall out after 2-3 months.

Hair loss is typically related to one or more of the following factors:

  • Family history (heredity).
  • Hormonal changes and medical conditions.
  • Medications and supplements.
  • Radiation therapy to the head.
  • A very stressful event.
  • Hairstyles and treatments.

Here are some natural ways to promote hair growth and prevent hair loss.

1. Coconut milk

Coconut milk contains a rich source of nutrients including vitamin E, potassium, and iron. Applying this liquid directly to the roots can help prevent hair breakage and accelerate hair growth. The antibacterial properties in the milk can also protect the scalp, as it’s a natural conditioner for both hair and skin. It’s recommended that you leave the treatment in overnight.

2. Amla, Indian gooseberry

This fruit is well known for its high levels of vitamins. It’s also packed with antioxidants, which can prevent premature graying of the hair. The essential fatty acids in this fruit can also keep hair follicles strong. Apply a paste of dried amla with lime juice to the scalp to nourish your locks and make your hair extra lustrous. To make the paste mix 2 teaspoons of lime juice with 2 teaspoons of dried amla powder.

3. Scalp massage

Regularly treating your head to a massage is effective in keeping your hair healthy. A massage stimulates blood flow to the scalp and promotes hair growth. Combining a head massage with lukewarm oil can prevent hair loss and dandruff too.

There are a number of oils to try: coconut, jojoba, mustard, almond, lavender, olive, or sesame oil – all full of added nutrients. Jojoba oil is especially recommended because it replaces sebum (an oily secretion from the sebaceous glands) in the scalp.

4. Neem, Indian lilac

Neem oil is extracted from the fruit of the Indian lilac tree. This treatment is effective because the tree is rich in antioxidants which counter free radicals. Neem is regenerative and contains fatty acids like linoleic, oleic, and stearic acids, which also condition the scalp and hair. Neem is an astringent and can also treat itching, dandruff and head lice without chemicals. Neem oil has a bitter smell so it’s recommended that you mix it with an aromatic essential oil like lavender, tea tree or orange. You can massage this mixture into your scalp and apply it to your locks too.

5. Aloe vera

Aloe Vera is another good remedy for hair loss. Applying pure aloe gel directly to the scalp helps balance the pH level. The plant extract is rich in vitamins, amino acids, minerals, and enzymes. The aloe strengthens hair elasticity and can soften and moisturize your hair, acting as a natural conditioner. Dissolving a small amount of salt into the gel can also help. The salt penetrates through deeper skin layers and can prevent hair from falling out unnecessarily.

6. Egg white and curd

The combination of egg white and curd creates a super hair treatment that promotes hair growth. Eggs are rich in sulfur, selenium, iodine, phosphorus, iron and zinc. Curd has many nutrients and is anti-fungal. This mixture makes an excellent conditioner, making your hair look shiny and at the same time, it effectively fights dandruff and hair loss. Combine the ingredients and apply the mask to your scalp and hair.

7. Henna

While most people know henna as a natural hair dye, it is also an excellent way to strengthen and condition your hair. More importantly henna controls excessive hair loss. When applied to the hair and scalp it creates a protective coat over the hair shafts and its nutrients repair the hair cuticles, making the strands thick and strong. To prevent hair loss, combine dried henna leaves or powdered henna with mustard oil and a teaspoon of lemon juice. Massage this oil mix into your scalp. Leave it to rest for 30 minutes and rinse your hair after.

8. Hibiscus

This vibrant flower has many rejuvenating properties for hair. It’s an old Indian method of maintaining a thick mane of hair. Because of its rich vitamin C and amino acid content, this flower works to prevent premature graying. It also nourishes the hair and treats dandruff. When you combine the crushed leaves of the flowers with coconut or sesame oil and apply this paste to your scalp regularly, it can help with hair loss. It’s best to leave the paste in your hair for several hours and then rinse.

Good habits:

· Be gentle with your hair. Use a detangler and avoid tugging when brushing and combing, especially when your hair is wet. A wide-toothed comb might help prevent pulling out hair. Avoid harsh treatments such as hot rollers, curling irons, hot-oil treatments and permanents. Limit the tension on hair from styles that use rubber bands, barrettes and braids.

· Protect your hair from sunlight and other sources of ultraviolet light.

Habits to avoid:

  • Don’t comb or rub your hair while wet

Wet hair is more fragile because the protective layer has been stripped. Towel drying or combing your hair when wet can cause the hair to snap and break. Untangle your hair before you wet it and blot your hair with a towel.

  • Don’t overheat your hair

Excess use of your hair dryer or straightening iron can dry out your hair shafts, leading to dull, and brittle hair. The heat can damage the proteins and the dryness also strips your hair of natural moisture, resulting in dry cuticles, which will snap off. It’s recommended you limit this activity to 2 to 3 times a week.

  • Don’t wash your hair with hot water

Boiling hot water can weaken your hair follicles and cause hair to fall out. Having a steaming hot shower frequently can strip away the protective oils and this can cause your scalp pores to overproduce oil, which can damage the hair at the root, resulting in excessive shedding. Opt for washing your hair with lukewarm to warm water, and rinsing with cooler temperatures, to lock in moisture.

Source: Internet & Other sources

The views expressed in this article should not be considered as a substitute for a physician’s advice. Always make sure to seek a doctor or a professional’s advice before proceeding with the home treatment plan.


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LATEST NEWS: Latest Trend and common factor among COVID-related hospitalization

According to Texas DHS we average 1200 new cases and ~25 deaths daily from Covid, today.

We currently have ~80,000 covid cases in our healthcare system that splits according to this classification:

And the surprise of all surprise, the most common age of covid sufferers is not the elderly but young parents.

More alarmingly, in the last six months, the share of 18 to 49-year-olds being hospitalized for COVID-19 has doubled.

Takeaway:

What is the most important takeaway from recent study by CDC and DHS?

GET VACCINATED!