Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Baked Fish reduces Heart Failure Risk in Women

A recent study has revealed that postmenopausal women who ate more baked or broiled fish were at a lower risk of developing a heart failure compared to those who ate more fried fish.

Researchers have found that women who ate baked/broiled fish (five or more servings/week) had a 30% lower risk of heart failure compared to women who seldom ate it (less than one serving/month).

The study further suggests that the type of fish and cooking method may affect heart failure risk. Dark fish (salmon, mackerel and bluefish) significantly reduce heart failure risk than either tuna or white fish (sole, snapper and cod).

On the other hand, eating fried fish hikes the risk of a heart failure. Even one serving a week was associated with a 48% higher heart failure risk.

"Not all fish are equal, and how you prepare it really matters," said Donald Lloyd-Jones, senior author of the study. "When you fry fish, you not only lose a lot of the benefits, you likely add some things related to the cooking process that is harmful," he added.

A team led by Lloyd-Jones examined self-reported dietary data from 84,493 postmenopausal women in the Women's Health Initiative Observational Study.

They divided the participants based on the frequency and type of fish consumption. The baked/broiled fish group consisted of canned tuna, tuna salad, tuna casserole, white fish (broiled or baked), dark fish (broiled or baked) and shellfish (not fried). Whereas, the fried fish group consisted of fried fish, fish sandwich and fried shellfish.

The result showed that participants who ate more baked/broiled fish tended to be healthier and younger than their counterparts who ate fried fish.

They were more physically active and fit - more educated and less likely to smoke, have diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease (irregular heartbeat and coronary artery disease).

The study appears in the journal Circulation: Heart Failure.

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Thursday, May 19, 2011

Traveling despite Asthma and Allergies

Traveling can expose you to new triggers for allergies and asthma, but planning ahead can help you breathe a bit easier while you're away.

The American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology offers these travel suggestions:
  •  Pack your asthma and allergy meds in carry-on bags, and keep them in their original containers.
  •  Continue to take your medications on schedule as directed by your doctor.
  •  Prepare for potential problems, such as food allergies.
  •  Keep contact information for your allergist and an emergency contact handy.
  •  If possible, find an allergist at your travel destination.
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Monday, May 9, 2011

Health Tip : Assess your Eating Habits

If you've tried various diets and can't seem to lose weight, maybe it's time to re-evaluate your eating habits.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers these suggestions:
  •  Keep a diary of all foods you eat, when you ate them, how you were feeling, and what you were doing when you ate. Review the diary after a few days and look for patterns in your habits.
  •  Take note of factors such as how quickly you ate, how much you ate, any meals you skipped, when you ate dessert, and when you ate despite not being hungry.
  •  Think about why you have those eating habits, and choose those that you'd like to change.
  •  Use your diary to figure out what causes you to eat when you aren't hungry (factors such as stress, while watching TV or being bored). Figure out of how to avoid eating in response to those triggers.
  •  Be consistent with your new eating habits, and realize that it may take time for them to stick.
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Red Wine and Chocolate Sharpen your Mind

Red wine and chocolate make for a deadly combination to keep your mind sharp and alert, a study suggests.

Polyphenols, plant chemicals rich in dark chocolate and wines, dilate blood vessels, speeding the supply of blood to the brain.

"This provides it with a rush of oxygen and sugars, making complex calculations easier and quicker. Besides polyphenols are more effective in combination than alone," the Daily Mail reports.

The theory follows two Northumbria University studies into the effects of polyphenols on the mind. In the first, healthy adults were set a series of tests after taking a capsule packed with Resveratrol, the 'wonder ingredient' in red wine. Scans showed a noticeable increase in blood flow to their brains after taking the supplement.

"Greater improvements may be seen in the elderly," said doctoral researcher Emma Wightman from Northumbria, because blood flow to the brain naturally decreases with age.

Unfortunately for wine lovers, the quantities of Resveratrol used in the study would equate to drinking crates of the stuff. But it is easy to get the same amounts from supplements sold in health food stores.

"And with resveratrol credited with abilities from extending life to burning off junk food," Wightman says. "There is nothing to stop people from stocking up."

"There is research showing quite a lot of health benefits and there is nothing to suggest there are any adverse effects. You are not going to come to any harm," she said.

In order to benefit from the health qualities of chocolate, choose only the dark chocolate. Other types do more damage to the body than good. And when it comes to wine, we know it's fancy, we know it tastes good, but drink moderately and not every day.

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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Common Causes of Itching

If itchy skin is irritating you, figuring out what's making you scratch can help you find a solution.

The U.S. National Library of Medicine says common causes of itching include:
  •  Having an allergic reaction.
  •  Having dry skin, a skin rash or a skin condition such as eczema.
  •  Having an insect bite or sting.
  •  Being exposed to irritating chemicals.
  •  Having pinworms, scabies or head lice.
  •  Being pregnant.
  •  Having a reaction to a medication.
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