7 Health “Myths” You’re Still Believing

Even with the advancements that have been made in the medical field, there are a number of health myths that are believed by quite a significant number of individuals. This has been credited to the previously held beliefs that were in existence before being proven to be untrue. However, they still exist.

Some of the most common myths that are taken into account include:

Brushing your teeth after eating

While this has become a popular myth, a great local dentist will tell you that brushing your teeth immediately after eating can have a negative effect on the health of your teeth. Why is this? It turns out that the acids in food can make the enamel on your teeth softer and more sensitive. This can damage your teeth.

Instead, wait at least a half hour after finishing your meal to brush. It has also been found that the action of swirling down a glass of water after having a meal can help wash down the food particles.

Fat-free food is “healthy”

A number of years ago, the population received advice on the need for eating a diet that is low on fat and has a high composition of carb. Interestingly, there is no scientific study that has been shown to demonstrate the basis of such a diet in preventing disease. Further to this, studies that have been conducted on this have indicated that such a diet does not lead to weight loss, reduce the risk chances of contracting heart diseases or even preventing cancer.

Eat small meals to speed your metabolism

The body depends on the metabolism of the ingested food to effectively carry out its activities. Scientifically, the metabolism process is not dependent on the amount of food that has been taken. It is therefore a health myth that if you take small meals this will enhance the metabolism process.

It has been found that actually eating two to three meals per day has the precise effect on the total number of calories that are burned as eating five to six meals or even more meals in smaller quantities.

However, it is worth noting that the process of eating frequently might have a number of health benefits for some individuals. However, some studies have also found that eating too often can be harmful as this has the effect of significantly increasing the fat in the abdomen if the meal is high in calories.

All calories are created equal

This is perhaps the most common health myth that has to be done away with as fast as possible. All calories are not created equal and have a great variation in the composition of all the factors that make up the fat content. For instance, with the same volume considered, the calories that are present in red meat are not the same as the ones that are found in white meat. This variation is brought about by the fact that the calorie content is premised on a number of biological dispositions.

Saturated fat has also been found to categorically not increase the chances of contracting heart diseases.

Eating red meat is dangerous

It has often been cited that dietary protein which is high in red meat can be dangerous to the health of an individual. While it is appreciated that for individuals with kidney diseases cutting down on red meat will be beneficial for their recovery, this is not the case for people with a healthy lifestyle. In addition to this, athletes who take in large amounts of protein have a higher protein intake as compared to the individuals where this is not the case.

Gluten free foods are healthy

A lot of adverts for foods have been displaying them as gluten free in a bid to increase sells and portraying this as true. On the contrary, this is not the case since a number of research studies have found that this is not the case for healthy individuals.

Microwaving food kills the nutrients

Microwaving food in the right and recommended temperatures has no effect on the nutrients that are present in the food.

Seek medical advice on the health benefits of eating healthy and avoid health myths.

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7 Best Practices for a Happy Healthy Smile

It takes approximately three seconds for another person to make a judgment about you when they initially meet you. One of the first things people notice is the condition of your smile. They also pay close attention to the whiteness and condition of your teeth. Maintaining a happy healthy smile is a great way to make a positive first impression.

The society in which we live places a great deal of value on external factors. Based on these factors, people will make assumptions about you. For instance, if your teeth are in disrepair, people may believe that you do not care about your appearance. Or they may think you do not have the money to attend to the health of your teeth. Although the assumptions may be false, people tend to operate on things they believe to be true.

A happy healthy smile involves consistently taking care of your gums, lips, teeth and tongue. If you want a happy healthy smile, it is not a difficult thing to achieve. There are 7 best practices that will ensure your smile represents you well.

1. Avoid toxins such as tobacco products and alcohol.

Contrary to the messages in cigarette and alcohol commercials, ingesting these products will not make you look sophisticated or chic. Over time, cigarettes and alcohol will wreak havoc on your oral hygiene. They contain toxins that affect the way your breath smells. In addition, using tobacco and alcohol products cause gum disease and stained teeth. It is best to refrain from using these products. However, you should develop the habit of immediately brushing your teeth if you decide to consume these products.

2. Practice preventative care by visiting a dentist twice a year.

It is understandable that many people do not like going to the dentist. The drills, shots, and invasive probing are enough to frighten the bravest soul. However, scheduling routine dental visits is a necessity if you want a happy healthy smile. Quality dentists (for example, Las Vegas-based Absolute Dental) are able to conduct deep cleanings that remove tartar and plaque. They can also screen for various diseases such as cancer and gum disease.

3. Eat a healthy diet.

A food plan that consists of sugary treats and heavy starches does not create a happy healthy smile. In fact, your diet has the potential to build or destroy your oral health. Proper food choices prevent cavities, stained teeth, and plaque. Eat a diet that is rich in unprocessed foods such as fruits, vegetables, and lean protein. Increase your water intake to at least 8 glasses of water each day.

4. Learn proper brushing and flossing techniques.

Most people brush their teeth at least once a day. Some people even brush their teeth two or three times each day. Brushing your teeth increases your chances of having a happy healthy smile if you are doing it correctly. You should brush your teeth at a 45-degree angle with a soft bristle toothbrush for about two minutes. As you are brushing, be careful to brush each tooth individually. You should floss around each tooth at least one time each day.

5. Take care of your lips.

The lips are one of the most neglected body parts. Many people do not think about caring for their lips until they are chapped, dry or cracked. There are measures that you can take in order to prevent problems commonly associated with your lips. Moisturize your lips each day with an emollient lip balm. Be careful not to lick your lips because it makes them dry. Refrain from smoking because it discolors your lips.

6. Whiten your teeth.

The unfortunate truth is most people do not have pearly whites. They have ‘off-yellows’. Yellowed and stained teeth are caused by the ingestion of unhealthy foods or smoking. One way to brighten your smile is to invest in a teeth whitening system. You can get one from your local drug store, or the dentist can do whiten your teeth with a professional system. White teeth are a big part of a happy healthy smile.

7. Eliminate food that stain your teeth.

Maintaining a happy healthy smile takes sacrifice and dedication. If you’re reading this article, chances are you aren’t snacking on bed bugs in a third world country; you have all the access you need to the right foods! In order to optimize your chances of getting a healthy smile, you will have to eliminate foods that contribute to poor oral hygiene. Coffee, tea, candy, desserts, refined starches and sodas are the chief offenders that prevent your smile from becoming healthy.

By putting these best practices into action, you can have a happy healthy smile that gets you noticed. Resolve to make the commitment necessary to maintain your happy, healthy smile.

Vegan Foods Packed with DHA

DHA, or docosahexaenoic acid, is an essential omega-3 fatty acid that plays an important role in brain function. Unfortunately, the average American diet falls well below the daily recommendation of 220 milligrams. To make sure a person maintains adequate DHA levels, it is important to learn what foods are rich in this fatty acid, especially when following a vegan diet.

Importance of DHA

The medical community has long touted the importance of DHA, especially during pregnancy and infant development. However, it is vital for adults as well. It is found in the brain and retina and supports a healthy cardiovascular system. Deficiencies have been linked to challenging conditions, including autism, depression, Parkinson’s disease, and MS. To maintain top health, it is vital to consume adequate amounts.

Vegan Foods Rich in DHA

To obtain the recommended amounts of DHA, many people turn to supplements. However, it is always better to receive nutrition from food. Although a vegan’s diet is somewhat limited, there are numerous foods that contain high levels of DHA.

Adding chia or hemp seeds to the diet is a smart way to naturally increase DHA levels. A single ounce of these seeds contains over 1,000 milligrams. It is easy for a person to sprinkle the seeds on breakfast cereal or yogurt. They work nicely in smoothies as well. When blended properly, chia seeds are barely noticeable in a drink’s texture. For a tasty dessert, it is possible to combine these seeds with pudding.

Mustard oil is another great source of DHA. Anyone who uses olive oil in salad dressing can substitute mustard oil in its place. A tablespoon of this oil contains 826 milligrams of omega-3. Although conventional grocery stores may not carry this product, it is easy to find in most Indian food stores.

Seaweed is considered a superfood and is a popular ingredient in many Asian dishes. Seaweed contains numerous vitamins and minerals. It is one of the best vegan sources of DHA, EPA, and DHEA. One of the simplest recipes to prepare is miso soup with tofu and seaweed.

Many vegetables contain high amounts of DHA. Winter squash is a versatile food that provides 338 milligrams in every cup. Leafy greens are also filled with omega-3 fatty acids. For instance, spinach, cabbage, and kale top the charts with approximately 300 milligrams of DHA per cup. Broccoli and brussel sprouts are wise options as well.

Certain fruits contain DHA and should be incorporated into a vegan diet. Mangoes and honeydew melons are great summer foods. One cup of each fruit offers 60 to 70 milligrams of omega-3 fatty acids. Blueberries are extremely healthy and provide approximately 175 milligrams per cup.

Wild rice is a healthy source of DHA and is a staple for people who follow a vegan diet. Besides 156 milligrams of omega-3, this grain is filled with protein, fiber, iron, and other important minerals. This food has a toasty, nutty, and earthy flavor that is perfect for a pilaf or another side dish.

A vegan must rely on natural herbs and spices to add flavors to ordinary dishes. Cloves, oregano, marjoram, and tarragon are four of the richest in DHA. Although it is impossible to satisfy omega-3 daily requirements with these alone, they add distinct taste and interest to other foods.

Vegans do not eat meat, fish, poultry, or any other animal products, which makes it difficult to attain adequate nutrition. It is necessary to get creative in the kitchen and uncover some healthy food choices that are outside the box. Since DHA is a fatty acid responsible for major bodily functions, it is vital to fill the plate with foods rich in this substance. After uncovering what foods contain the highest amounts, it is fun to try new and delicious recipes. This makes it possible to protect animals and the environment while maintaining a lifestyle that provides increased energy and top health.

The Role Bad Pollution Plays on Your Health

A wide variety of pollutants can damage your cells, and some of these include lead, oil, ozone, sulfur dioxide and carbon monoxide. Moreover, particulates are able to enter your body and could weaken your immune system, and the presence of these chemicals may result in oxidative stress.

The Respiratory System

According to several studies, airborne chemicals might reduce an athlete’s aerobic capacity, and the pollutants may contribute to the development of asthma. In urban areas, high levels of carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide can usually be found in the air. When sunlight comes into contact with nitrogen dioxide, ozone is created. This substance is known to cause inhabitants to experience shortness of breath and to frequently cough.

Pollutants in Water

A recent report showed that industrial waste from landfills commonly seeps into the water table, and many of the chemicals are carcinogens. In some cases, pesticides can also accumulate in lakes and rivers.

The Cardiovascular System

The free radicals in certain pollutants might slowly damage the blood vessels and cause them to become relatively inflexible. Furthermore, the toxins have the ability to oxidize cholesterol, and as a result, the substance is converted into plaque, which may block the flow of blood.

Numerous analyses have shown that catechins strengthen the walls of the arteries and reduce oxidative stress. Found in several teas, these substances also decrease inflammation in the blood vessels.

Protecting the Skin

As skin cells divide, the DNA in each cell is copied and added to the new cell. Chemicals can slightly damage the DNA while it is being replicated, and if the recently created cell contains an error, the mistake will be passed on to new DNA. The accumulation of these errors may cause fine lines and wrinkles.

Chemicals can also lower the skin’s levels of collagen, which is the major protein in the skin cells. Particular pollutants are known to prevent nutrients and water from reaching the skin, and as a result, the production of collagen may be blunted. Low levels of collagen could reduce the smoothness and the elasticity of the skin.

The Effects of Pollutants on Energy

In order to eliminate chemicals from the body, the immune system must produce additional white blood cells and boost the activity of antibodies. These techniques could decrease energy and may inhibit focus. Additionally, chemicals can sometimes interfere with the creation of adenosine triphosphate, which delivers energy to the cells.

The Impact of Free Radicals

Pollutants contain countless free radicals. These molecules attempt to steal an electron from healthy cells by promoting oxidation, which weakens the cells. Over time, this damage accumulates and can cause serious diseases, such as cancer, arthritis, heart disease and neurological conditions.

The Benefits of Antioxidants

These compounds neutralize radicals by giving an electron to the reactive molecules. As a result, the substances could prevent diseases and tremendously slow the accumulation of damage in the body. Powerful antioxidants include astaxanthin, lutein, vitamin E, vitamin A and lycopene. Each of these substances is fat-soluble, and consequently, the compounds are likely to be absorbed by a person’s tissues.

Water-soluble antioxidants can be found in fruits, numerous herbs, vegetables, coffee and olive oil. A partial list of these substances would contain vitamin C, catechins, glutathione and ubiquinol.

Reducing Pollution

According to several studies, most children in 2014 are likely to have shorter lifespans that their parents, and a major cause of this reduced life expectancy is the proliferation of unnatural chemicals. In order to decrease pollution, we can utilize renewable sources of energy, reduce the amount of fossil fuels that we use and allow companies that are approved by the EPA to dispose of unused chemicals.

The Truth About the Freshman 15 and How You Can Beat It

Before heading off to college, teens are pummeled with advice from well-meaning relatives and loved ones. They’re told to get enough sleep, not to party too hard and to keep their noses to the proverbial grindstone. Sadly, they’re often woefully unprepared to cope with the reality of being on their own for the first time. That, more than anything, all too often leads to the gaining of the dreaded “freshman 15.”

Weight Gain in College Freshmen is a Real Problem

As easy as it may be to scoff at the seemingly cliche idea of packing on 15 pounds during the first year of college, research has shown that it’s an actual phenomenon. Of course, it’s not always 15 pounds. A Cornell University study of students from two large freshmen introductory classes showed an average weight gain of about 5.5 ounces per week, which translated to more like five to seven extra pounds during the first year. However, another study by Auburn University showed that a whopping 70 percent of freshmen gained weight. The average weight gain was around 12 pounds, with some students gaining as much as 37 pounds.

Why Do College Freshman Gain Weight?

College freshmen gain weight for a number of reasons. Environmental and social factors play a large part. When everyone around you is eating poorly, being sedentary and drinking excessively, it’s all too easy to adopt those habits too. There’s more to it than that, though. Some of the biggest culprits behind the freshman 15 phenomenon include:

  • Late-night studying and snacking sessions
  • Easy access to fast food, especially via delivery
  • Subsisting off largely unhealthy cafeteria food
  • Sleep deprivation and counteracting it by guzzling sugary energy drinks
  • No longer being held accountable by parents
  • Lack of exercise
  • Little or no education about proper nutrition

Keep the Freshman 15 at Bay with These Clever Tricks

Most of the advice you’ll find about avoiding the freshman 15 is fairly obvious. Eat less. Exercise more. Get plenty of sleep. These things will all help keep you in better shape, but they’re too vague and generic for most college kids to put into action. A handful of better, more actionable ways to ward off freshman year weight gain include:

  • Take the Stairs – Research from Harvard Medical School has shown that climbing the stairs is an effective way to lose weight and keep it off. Even at a slow pace, climbing the stairs burns calories three times as quickly as walking on a flat surface. Simply devoting 15 minutes here and there to climbing up and down the stairs at the dorm can make a huge difference.
  • Load Up on Antioxidants – Free radicals bombard your body on a daily basis. They wreak havoc on overall health. Antioxidants counteract their effects, so adding more to your diet can help you become healthier and stronger overall. Focus on antioxidant-rich foods like artichokes, watermelon, beans and red grapefruit. If necessary, take a supplement too.
  • Strength in Numbers – Eat meals with the same group of friends. Challenge each other to stick with healthier fare and smaller portions. It’s easier to stick with the program when you have to stay accountable to others.
  • Walk 10,000 Steps Per Day – Ask for a Fitbit for your birthday or Christmas, and use it to walk at least 10,000 steps per day.
  • Focus on Feeling Good – Instead of worrying about the number on the scale or your overall image, dedicate yourself to a healthy lifestyle in order to feel strong, healthy and good. This, more than anything, will keep you on track and help you avoid those dreaded 15 extra pounds.

Starting college is exciting, but it’s stressful too. Don’t let it take a toll on your health. The freshman 15 isn’t a foregone conclusion. By being mindful about what you eat, how much you move and on simply leading a healthy lifestyle, you should be able to avoid this unpleasant pitfall without too much trouble.

10 Charities Focused On Helping the Children

Many children need help all over the world, and there are several charities that focus on their causes. Your passion may be health issues or education. You might like to make an ailing child’s dream come true. Undoubtedly, you will be able to find a charity among the eight listed below that is promoting what you believe is a very worthy cause. Whether you volunteer your services or offer a donation, you will be doing your part to make the world a better place.

1. Operation USA

The founders of Operation USA saw a need that they wanted to fulfill. They noticed that most charities are not addressing the plight of children who have been displaced by war, tsunamis, earthquakes and hurricanes. This organization accepts private funds to help communities that have been ravaged by the afore-mentioned disasters recover from the catastrophic effects. They do so by re-building the communities, offering healthcare services and providing education.

2. Children International

Children International is a non-profit organization that helps children by providing them with healthcare and education. They also lend their services to improve living conditions within the community. For example, Children International has been instrumental in bringing clean water to areas that lack sanitation services.

3. UNICEF

UNICEF is a children’s charity that works to save the lives of children living in countries where the child mortality rate is extremely high. This charity provides these poverty-stricken areas with the vaccines and antibiotics that prevent children from dying before their fifth birthdays. Before UNICEF began its work, 12 million children died in 1990 before reaching the age of five.

4. The National Runaway Safeline

The National Runaway Safeline’s goal is simple. These people wish to keep children who have run away from home off of the streets, and they run several hotlines to accomplish this goal. They also have a hotline for kids who are thinking of running away that caters to the kids themselves or the people who know them. They even send volunteers out into the community to ensure that kids know that the hotlines exist.

5. Abducted & Missing Children’s Recovery Project

This non-profit organization’s goal is to find missing and abducted children. It also searches for new ways to prevent abductions from occurring. The volunteers perform their duties by working directly with the families of missing kids to ensure that they have the support they need. They also provide people with a Child Safety Kit at no cost that helps parents teach their children about abductions without scaring them.

6. The National Council for Adoption

The National Council for Adoption’s mission is to place every child who is without a home with a loving permanent family. One way they do this is to bring the issue of adoption to the public’s attention as often as possible. They wish to let everyone know that adoption is an excellent choice to make, and they start with women who are experiencing unplanned pregnancies.

7. The Dream Factory

The Dream Factory grants children’s wishes, but it is different from other wish-granting organizations because the children do not have to have life-threatening diseases. Kids are eligible to participate in this program if they have chronic illnesses or other disorders that cause them to experience emotional and/or physical pain. The volunteers make these kids’ dreams come true by raising money for them from within their communities.

8. The Force for Good Foundation

Nu Skin’s Force for Good Foundation is involved with several different organizations that help children. One of their favorite causes is children’s health. To promote this objective, Nu Skin donates money to different charities that provide children around the world with medical care. One of them is the Southeast Asia Children’s Heart Fund that paid for a toddler’s surgery in Singapore.

50 Facts and Quotes about Centenarians

Centenarians are becoming more and more common as time advances. Life expectancy rates are increasing, even among Americans. Medical and technology advances are even helping the unhealthy live longer. They might not be the happiest seniors on the block but they’re alive.

More and more health corporations are making over a billion dollars in revenue annually. It’s not just big pharma or the Doctors that vaccinated you. It’s the health companies that have their product at your gym. It’s the vitamin companies that have made being healthy taste really good. The business world of health is booming.

Technology to protect the human body is advancing to new levels. The hearing aids are more advanced than ever before. Sunglasses have technology built into them to actually block out the bad UV rays and still make you look cool.

Who knows, you might live to a hundred. If you’re like me and you want to achieve centenarianism, here are some quotes and facts that you should know!

1. In first-world countries, as many as 1 in 6,000 people will make it to 100.

2. Being free from disease at the age of 93 will greatly increase your chance of living seven more years.

3. Eighty-five percent of centenarians are women.

4. The oldest living human, Jeanne Calmet, died in 1997 at the age of 122.

5. Three percent of people older than 99 have looked for love at online dating sites.

6. Dementia afflicts 50 percent of American centenarians.

7. For 3 percent of eunuchs in Korea’s royal court, the 99th birthday was only the beginning.

8. Males over the age of 100 enjoy better health than do their female counterparts.

9. Out of every five centenarians, three are disabled.

10. California boasts the highest number of 100-and-older inhabitants.

11. Most centenarians call urban areas home.

12. Twenty-five percent of children born today will likely live 100 years or more.

13. During every decade since the 1950s, the number of U.S. centenarians has doubled.

14. Twelve percent of individuals over the age of 100 are Internet-savvy.

15. Centenarians exist in equal proportions around the world.

16. People born to mothers under the age of 25 are twice as likely as the rest to hit the century mark.

17. Thirty-seven percent of centenarians smoked for an average of 31 years.

18. Nearly 105,000 individuals over the age of 99 reside in America today.

19. One out of every four people makes it to 100 without losing a single marble.

20. Of every 26 baby boomers alive today, one will live to see 100.

21. One in three centenarians resides in a nursing home.

22. African-Americans comprise 12 percent of America’s 100-plus crowd.

23. At least three out of five centenarians will suffer a disability.

24. The survival of traumatic events will more likely lengthen life expectancy than shorten it.

25. One in five centenarians has never exercised.

26. Between 1980 and 2010, the number of Americans aged 100 or more increased by 65.8 percent.

27. Asian-Americans represent 2.5 percent of the centenarian population.

28. A 105-year-old Texas woman ascribed her longevity to bacon.

29. Centenarians are 60 percent less likely than the younger set to suffer from heart disease.

30. One in every 1,000 who live to see 100 will continue on to see 110.

31. Thirty percent of centenarians live at home with family.

32. If your parents survived to a ripe old age, chances are that you will too.

33. A 107-year-old Arkansas man died at the hands of a SWAT team.

34. Although 19 percent of centenarians use cell phones, they don’t often text while driving.

35. Six percent of centenarians identify as Hispanic.

36. Nearly 43 out of every 100,000 Japanese will live to see their 100th birthday.

37. California boasts just under 6,000 centenarians.

38. People older than 99 very rarely suffer from depression.

39. No more than 40 centenarians live in Alaska, suggesting that freezing temperatures won’t always help you keep.

40. Experts estimate that by the year 2050, more than one million people will have passed the century mark.

41. Among the 100-and-older set, psychiatric illnesses are rare.

42. The Midwest and Northeast boast the highest proportion of American residents over the age of 99.

43. Centenarians exist in equal proportions around the globe.

44. American Revolutionary War veteran Samuel Downing lived to be 102.

45. The Japanese attribute their high percentage of centenary citizens to a diet rich in grains, vegetables and fish.

46. One in every three centenarians lives alone.

47. People who have passed the century mark often contain a variant of the FOXO3A gene.

48. Surviving until 80 will greatly up your chances of reaching 100.

49. Extroverts with many friends and high self-esteem are common in the over-99 population.

50. Never-married women are more likely than most to one day celebrate their own centennial.