United Preference Health & Wellness

Health & Wellness tailored for the consumer


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5 Natural Cold Weather Cures

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Prevent chapped lips and wrinkles Omega-3 fatty acids, found in cold water fish such as salmon and tuna, help skin retain moisture. Berries, especially strawberries, contain vitamin C, which promotes moist, healthy skin. In a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, eating foods rich in vitamin C was associated with fewer wrinkles.

Hydrate nails and hair The human body consists of about 60% water. Indeed, water is essential to life and certainly staying hydrated is necessary to maintain good health. Drinking enough water—about eight 8-ounce glasses daily—not only helps move toxins through and out of the body quickly, it also keeps skin cells plump with moisture to prevent hair and nails from becoming dry and brittle.

Protect against sun and wind burn Eating dark chocolate can protect your skin from damage. In a study published in the Journal of Nutrition, dark chocolate, which is rich in flavonoids, appears to promote healthy skin and even protect against skin cancer. In the study, women who added flavonoid-rich hot cocoa to their breakfast during a three-month period had 25% less skin reddening after UV light exposure and doubled the flow of blood in the skin, raising moisture levels and reducing dryness. Beta-Carotene, found in foods such as fish liver oil, meat, milk, cheese, eggs, spinach, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, apricots, and peaches, can also help prevent dry, flaky skin.

Relieve dry eyes To soothe achy, puffy eyes, eat more vegetables that have natural cooling properties. Cucumbers, celery, and even sliced zucchini all have high water content, which can help moisturize eyes while reducing puffiness. Citrus fruits and berries rich in vitamin C help reduce inflammation around the eyes.

Breakout busters The mineral zinc is known to be a powerful acne fighter, as it may prevent the hormonal imbalances that lead to outbreaks. Zinc is also important for protein synthesis and the formation of collagen, which is fundamental to healthy skin and oil control. Foods rich in zinc include: Red meat, poultry, salmon, shellfish, almonds, peanuts, cashews, and sunflower seeds.


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Why avocados are one of the healthiest fruits on the planet

Avocados…

1) contain oleic acid, a monounsaturated fat that helps lower ‘bad’ cholesterol and raise ‘good’ cholesterol.

2) are a good source of potassium, an important mineral that helps protect against high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke.

3) help increase the body’s absorption of carotenoids, which are  powerful antioxidants that help protect cells from free radical activity and strengthen the body’s immune system.

4) are an excellent source of iron and copper (which build red blood cells)

5) contain vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, C, K and they’re high in vitamin E (which slows aging).

6) are low in sugar, starch-free and are a good source of dietary fiber, perfect for slow burning energy without a sugar crash.

7) are a good food choice for diabetics or those with other sugar-sensitive conditions.

8)  improve your complexion because they are full of Vitamin E, which provides moisturizing assets through both consumption and topical use.


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10 Foods that Help Women Focus

1. Caffeine

– The key is moderation.

2. Sugar

– Snack on a something naturally sweet such as fresh fruit, or reach for brain food like whole grain carbohydrates such as pasta to improve your attentiveness.

3. Fish

– Serve up fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids twice a week to give your brain the vitamins it needs to develop and function properly.

4. Blueberries

– Studies also show a link between lab animals and improved learning ability when it comes to this blue fruit.

5. Popcorn

– Popcorn contains vitamins B6, B12, and E, which are believed to enhance your memory and focus.

6. Avocados

– Not only are they high in Omega 3 Fatty acids, but Avocados also help lower bad cholesterol and reduce risk of plaque buildup to enhance blood flow and fuel your brain.

7. Nuts and Seeds

– Loaded with antioxidants nuts and seeds also help give your brain long-term protection against the decline of your cognitive functions.

8. Green Vegetables

– The Folic Acid in greens will help keep your mind sharp.

9. Low-Calorie Breakfast

–  Fruits, dairy and cereals that are high in fiber and low in calories.

10. Supplements

–  Vitamins like B, C, E, and nutrients like beta-carotene, magnesium, ginseng and ginkgo are thought to help enhance your memory and ability to focus.

 

Source: http://www.sheknows.com/health-and-wellness/articles/824161/10-foods-that-help-women-focus


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Boys With Low Muscle Strength Increase Chance of Early Death

A new study conducted by the researchers from the Karolinska Institute in Sweden found that, for men, the effect of having low muscle strength in youth was similar to the well-known risk factors for early death.  Those risk factors include being overweight or having high blood pressure.

The study included more than 1 million Swedish males aged 16 to 19 who were followed for 24 years. The participants underwent strength tests at the start of the study. Early death was defined as death before age 55.

Adults who had high muscular strength as teens had a 20 percent to 35 percent lower risk of early death from any cause and also from cardiovascular diseases, independently of blood pressure or body-mass index, the results indicated.

In addition, those who were the strongest as teens also had a 20 percent to 30 percent lower risk of early death from suicide and were 65 percent less likely to be diagnosed with a mental health disorder, such as schizophrenia or mood disorders.

These findings point to the need for young people, particularly those with very low strength, to get regular exercise to improve their muscular fitness, the study authors said in the report, published in the Nov. 20 online edition of the BMJ.

Keep in mind that the study found an association between low muscle strength during teen years and early death in men; it did not prove cause-and-effect.

Source: http://consumer.healthday.com/Article.asp?AID=670881


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Aspirin Resistance Increases Severity of Strokes

A small Australian study found aspirin resistance correlated with an increase in severity and size of infarct in patients admitted to hospital with an acute stroke.  The study was lead by Bernard Yan, MD, of Royal Melbourne Hospital in Parkville, Australia, and colleagues.

The use of aspirin before a stroke has been associated with less severe symptoms at admission and improved functional outcomes at discharge. And short-term aspirin therapy has been shown to significantly reduce the risks of death and dependency at 6 months following an acute ischemic stroke.  Resistance to aspirin, however, may contribute to poor clinical outcomes in some patients.  The presence of aspirin resistance was associated with a worse stroke according to both the NIHSS and ASPECTS.

Bernard Yan said, “Aspirin also reduces platelet microaggregates and platelet-derived vasoconstricting products,” they added. “This may ease ischemic injury by improving local blood flow. Aspirin-resistant patients may not experience the same therapeutic effect and, as a result, sustain a larger stroke.”

Alternatively, other neuroprotective or anti-inflammatory processes could be involved in the observed relationship, Yan and colleagues noted.

Note that both the NIH Stroke Scale (NIHSS) and the Alberta Stroke Program Early CT Score (ASPECTS) were used as assessments in this study.

Source: http://www.medpagetoday.com/Cardiology/Strokes/36024


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Consumers Want Calorie Counts on Menus

Technomic conducted a survey of restaurant consumer attitudes and found that 65 percent favor such labeling in restaurants, with the strongest demand for listing of calories and sodium content.

Moreover, 70 percent of consumers say they care that chain restaurants disclose calorie and other nutritional information on their menus and 68 percent want nutritional information on all restaurant menus, not just chains. About the same percentage claim that having this information is helpful in making ordering decisions and believe it has a positive impact on consumer health and nutrition.

While only 38 percent want local, state and/or federal government to play a more active role in regulating health and nutrition in restaurants, 58 percent expect governments will become more active.

Bob Goldin, Technomic’s executive vice president and director of the referenced study, believes these results show that consumers are increasingly demanding more transparency from restaurants.

“Consumers believe that more readily available information will help them make more informed choices when eating out. As a consequence, we expect restaurants will face growing pressure for more comprehensive nutritional disclosure,” he added.

Source: http://www.qsrweb.com/article/203893/Study-finds-high-customer-support-for-nutritional-disclosure-at-restaurants


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Pedometers Promote Physical Activity


Research has shown that wearing a pedometer promotes physical activity and helps with weight loss.

“Just as a watch can’t make a person be on time, a pedometer can’t make a person active,” said Dr. Barbara Bushman, an exercise specialist and personal trainer with the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM). “But it’s a good tool for promoting physical activity.”

A summary of 26 different studies showed that pedometer users walked at least 2,000 more steps each day than nonusers, according to the Harvard Health Letter, produced by experts at Harvard Medical School. Also, using a pedometer helped them increase overall physical activity levels by 27 percent.

For most healthy adults, 10,000 steps per day is a reasonable goal, according to ACSM.

Source: http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/11/12/us-fitness-pedometers-idUSBRE8AB0CZ20121112