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Fatty acids are broken down during digestion, and then
absorbed into the blood. According to the
Heart Association (AHA), Omega-3 Fatty acids decrease the risk of abnormal
heartbeats, slow growth of plaque, and work to lower blood pressure.
Examples of Omega-3 fatty acids:
Fish (salmon, mackerel, mackerel, herring, whitefish)
flaxseed oil, basil, broccoli, walnuts, spinach, grape leaves.
AHA spokeswoman Alice H. Lichtenstein, DSc, states “studies
have shown that foods that have a lot of fiber are clearly associated with
lower risk of heart disease.” The Institute of Medicine Dietary Reference Intakes
recommends 21 grams of fiber per day for women 50 and older, and 30 for men 50
Examples of fiber:
Fruits (apples, bananas, oranges, strawberries,
raspberries), oatmeal, whole grain rice, lentils, chickpeas, almonds, avocados,
Unlike fatty acids,
trans fat can be very harmful to your heart because of their tendency to
raise bad cholesterol. The AHA recommends that trans fats make up less than 1
percent of your daily calories. Avoid foods labeled “hydrogenated oil” or
“partially hydrogenated oil.”
Examples of trans-fat:
Packages snacks, baked goods, stick margarine, milk, cheese,
high-fat animal products (beef, pork, lamb)
Are your gums hurting
Did you know that your oral health and overall health could
be connected? The
American Heart Association has studied the
relationship between gum disease and heart disease. While there’s no
conclusive evidence of a correlation, experts agree that the mouth can offer
warning signs of something serious. People with gum disease often have health
issues that not only put their mouth at risk, but their heart and blood
According to the Mayo
Clinic, our mouths are full of bacteria — most of them harmless. Daily
brushing and flossing keep these bacteria under control. However, without
proper oral hygiene, bacteria can reach levels that might aggravate certain
Endocarditis (an infection of the heart’s inner lining)
typically occurs when bacteria or germs from another part of the body (like the
mouth) spread through the bloodstream and attach to damaged areas of the heart.
Some research also suggests that inflammation and infections caused by oral
bacteria may be linked to heart disease, clogged arteries, and stroke.
What are best practices for oral hygiene? The American
Dental Association recommends the following:
Brush your teeth twice a day with a fluoride
Clean between your teeth once a day with floss
or another interdental cleaner (like picks or pre-threaded flossers)
Replace your toothbrush every three to four
Eat a balanced diet and limit snacks
Schedule regular dental check-ups – at least
once or twice a year
So, it’s wise to keep up your oral care routine to maintain
optimal health. Your heart may thank you for it!
Live Longer, Live Better
While sky-diving or swimming the
English Channel may be on your bucket list, a less-exciting (but equally
important) dream for most people is longevity- living a long, healthy life. As
far as we can tell, there is no viable Fountain of Youth, but it turns out there’s
another way to improve your chances of living longer.
Don’t worry, be happy. And have a
A study performed by researchers at
University College London analyzed the well-being and life outlook of participants over age 65,
and how it related to their mortality. The study found during the 8 and a half
year follow up period, those who felt the most fulfilled were 30 percent less
likely to die than their less fulfilled counterparts. Well-being was determined
from a questionnaire that measured the participants’ sense of control, purpose,
and sense of worth. The moral of the story is that a sense of purpose leads to
But the real
question is- what brings someone purpose? The answer varies from person to
person. Purpose can come from a relationship, child, hobby, spiritual
affiliation, or career.
too late to find- or change- your life’s purpose. If you are struggling with
knowing your life’s purpose, try answering these questions in a journal.
What makes you come alive?
Take some time to consider what makes you forget to look at the clock.
Whether these activities are careers or hobbies, invest in the things that make
What did you want to be when you grew
Your strengths have been part of your identity your entire life. Look
through some old photo albums or journals to find your favorite activities as a
child. This can serve as a guide to your innate strengths, and help you develop
them moving forward.
What would you do if you knew you
could not fail?
Fear can be a great motivator. Instead of imagining the scenarios in
which you could be unsuccessful or embarrassed, imagine a life where failure
does not exist. This will not only improve your outlook on life, but help you
discover some secret passions that can lead to a more purposeful life.
What is stopping you?
What are the barriers in your life? Who is telling you “no”? Are you
telling yourself no? Think about the things you bring into your life that stop
you from reaching a goal, and plan ways to remove them.
What breaks your heart?
By asking yourself this question, you will find what matters to you. Try
writing out all the different issues that you find meaningful, and then a come
up with a solution. If homelessness tugs at your heart strings, start volunteering
at a homeless shelter. If you want to improve education, seek opportunities to
read to or tutor children.
The important thing to remember about your purpose is that it
is developed through passion and daily action. Your purpose may change and evolve,
but discovering new ways to be fulfilled is part of the journey to a healthier
(and longer!) life.
It’s easy, cheap, and pretty darn tasty! Experts say that starting off each day with a glass of warm lemon water can lead to a host of benefits, both short and long term. So pucker up, because here are some of the top reasons why lemon water is just great.
Boost your Immune System
Vitamin C isn’t just for oranges- there’s a lot in lemons, and according to The World’s Healthiest Foods, consuming the vitamin daily can help keep infections at bay. This is especially crucial during the winter months when nasty colds and the flu lurk around every corner.
Keeping the mind sharp is a crucial part of aging. The potassium in lemons is known to help with both brain and nerve function. So, pour a tall glass of lemon water and whip out the Sudoku.
According to WebMD, staying hydrated can help with constipation, weight loss, and avoiding kidney stones. For those who get bored with the taste of plain water, adding lemon can give your H20 the little kick you need to chug on.
Experts believe that vitamin C can help maintain a youthful glow, as it helps with iron absorption and delays signs of aging due to free radical damage, says Women’s Health Magazine.
Love on your liver with lemons- liversupport.com notes the detoxifying powers of Vitamin C through its manufacturing of glutathione, which is used to neutralize toxins in the liver.
Not too hot, not too cold
Make sure to keep your lemon water lukewarm, as cold lemon water can hinder some of the lemons’ digestive powers, and boiling lemon water can erode at your teeth’s enamel.
The string of holidays that occur in winter are usually associated with joy: hall-decking, gift-giving, family-gathering, and lots of food. However, the cold weather and lack of sunshine can have serious effects on a persons’ mood, potentially leading to a condition called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). For most affected, SAD occurs in the winter months and can lead to lethargy, depression, and general moodiness. According to Mental Health America, some two million seniors suffer from some form of depression. Therefore, it is especially important for seniors to know the signs of SAD so that with the help of their physician, they can identify and treat symptoms.
What makes people SAD?
Sunlight provides benefits that can have a direct effect on mood. According to WebMD, the lack of sun can upset your biological clock, leading to variations in sleep schedules- a common symptom of depression. Additionally, serotonin (a brain chemical that affects mood) levels may be disrupted.
According to the Mayo Clinic’s description of SAD, symptoms may include the following:
When a parent, spouse, or family member becomes sick, many lovingly and willingly step up and assume the role of caregiver. We want to provide for our loved ones; however, caregiving is an all-consuming, physical, mental and emotional commitment. The enormous strain can cause caregivers to become stressed, depressed, or burnt out.
According to a recent survey conducted by PNC Financial Services group, approximately 60 percent of soon-to-be-retirees are concerned about becoming a caregiver for an aging parent or family member.
The survey also found that roughly 30 percent of respondents said that they expect to stay in the workforce for longer than they had previously planned so they can afford their loved ones' health costs.
There's also the added strain on time and scheduling that comes with being a caregiver. For example, when not at work, nearly all of caregivers' time may be devoted to ensuring the comfort and well-being of those they're providing for. While it's possible to be this accommodating in the short-term, over time, failure to look after yourself can take its toll on your own health and well-being.
A key aspect of caregiving is balance. It requires giving a parent or loved one the time and attention they need, but also taking time out for yourself.
If you're in this situation, the following tips may help you reach this balance.
1. Give yourself a break. Caregiving is an all-consuming task that requires the energy and time to dress, feed and bathe another human being every single day. Even if it seems there's rarely enough time in the day already, it’s crucial that you carve out time for you. This means doing more than just resting for lunch or a snack - it means truly getting away for a while. Alone time is key to maintaining a healthy balance. Whenever possible, try to get out of the house and do something on your own, whether for pure entertainment purposes - like going to a movie - or to satisfy a hobby, such as gardening, reading or writing.
2. Talk it out. While the loved one you're caring for may feel like the only person in your life, it's important to maintain other meaningful relationships. Caregiving.com recommended never letting a day go by without talking to a friend, relative or spouse. Even a quick chat can help keep you connected and remind you that you're not alone.
3. Establish a routine. By nature, people tend to be creatures of habit, and there's good reason for that: healthy habits not only provide stability but also comfort. One of the best places to start forming healthy habits is around your sleep schedule. Set a plan for when you'll get into bed and stick to it, and when your alarm goes off in the morning, don't hit the snooze button. With a little discipline, you can get into a regular routine that will help you cope with any struggles that may arise throughout the day.
Typically, Medicare Supplement plans are more expensive than Medicare Advantage, but also offer significant additional coverage. The Medicare Supplement plan can potentially save you thousands if serious illness or injury occurs. As CBS News states, “You might be able to realize substantial savings in premiums with a Medicare Advantage plan, but you also need to be aware of the tradeoffs with such a plan.”
In a recent interview with Bankers Fidelity’s Medicare Strategy Specialist, Christian Novacek urged seniors to ask the following questions when comparing plans:
Novacek goes on to state: “[With Medicare Advantage] you initially save on premiums, but the tradeoff is having a high deductible maximum of $3500- 6,700 annually per person depending on your provider.
If you would like to minimize your risk, and prefer to err on the side of caution when it comes to your health, finances and the longevity of your retirement plan, then a Medigap plan is the way to go. “
Undoubtedly, the choice between Medicare Supplement and Medicare Advantage will vary from person to person. Just keep in mind that you can't purchase both; it has to be one or the other, as insurers are forbidden from selling Medigap to someone who has Medicare Advantage. Your insurance representative can help provide you with additional tips to make the best decision.
Not affiliated with or endorsed by the United States government or the Federal Medicare program. This is a solicitation of insurance and an independent agent/producer may contact you. Medicare Supplement policy form series B 21092 underwritten by Bankers Fidelity Life Insurance Company, Atlanta, GA; Medicare Supplement policy form series B 21492 underwritten by Bankers Fidelity Assurance Company, Atlanta, GA. Limitations and exclusions apply; actual policy provisions control. Rates subject to change on a class basis. Individually underwritten; application to determine eligibility required. Products not sold in AK, CA, CT, FL, MA, ME, MN, NH, NJ, NY, OR, RI, VT, WA or WI. Plan availability varies by state.
“An apple a day keeps the doctor away” might be true, but we’re still going to suggest at least one physical per year. Annual visits let your physician know how you're doing and also where you stand in comparison to people of a similar age.
You’ve got a busy schedule, and with an average 18 day wait time for family practice physicians, you want to make sure you get your doctor’s visit right on the first try. There’s nothing worse than walking out of the doctor’s office and suddenly remembering the foot pain you’ve been having for weeks- the foot pain you forgot to mention to your doctor.
The following tips will help you avoid post-visit regrets, and make sure you’re getting the most out of your visit.
It’s a day I will never forget. Although it was 24 years ago, it’s as clear as what happened this morning. My husband, who was working from home that day, was the one who got the call from my doctor. He immediately called me at work: his voice trembled as he told me the news. I had breast cancer. This was unfathomable to me. I was a registered nurse after all…surely I would’ve had some sort of inkling, some tell-tale sign. But I had no symptoms, no pain, no discomfort, nothing.
I was 56 years old at the time, and had put off a mammogram that my doctor had recommended the year prior. It was just a routine check, and well, life is busy, right? So I waited. Finally, on my doctor’s strong urging, I gave in. The mammogram showed a small tumor on the left breast. A general surgeon preformed a biopsy on January 19, 1990 and found it to be cancerous. The next days and weeks were a whirlwind of emotion — a lot of fear, anxiety and uncertainty, mixed with a flood of support, care and love from my friends, family and co-workers.
I had a big decision to make. Of the four options the oncologist offered me, I chose the left mastectomy. The hospital stay lasted three days, followed by in-home physical therapy.I was fortunate to have an excellent team surrounding me, which allowed me to return to nursing six weeks later. As an ongoing treatment, I was put onTamoxifen twice a day, a medication I took faithfully for eight years.
Two years after my initial diagnosis, my husband and I moved to another city.
A few years passed with no sign of cancer. Then, in 1998, I developed incontinence pain. I was referred to an urologist and again received the news no one ever wants to hear. I had cancer. Again! This time it was uterine cancer. I had a hysterectomy on January 18, 1999, and had preventative radiation of the cervix. I received twenty-eight doses.
It seemed like I was destined to be a victim of cancer, in whatever form it decided to take. But my story has a happy ending. I have been cancer free since 1999. And while I’m not immune to the typical ailments that come with aging, I am proud to tell you that at the wise age of 81, I still travel, take care of my own home, work in the yard and live life to the fullest.
Cancer isn’t something I would’ve ever asked for, but it has definitely given me a deep appreciation for life. Through the power of faith, family and friends, I know I can overcome any adversity – whatever life wants to bring my way, I’m ready to take it on.