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Be Well, Be Well Informed
Winter often brings on sniffles, coughs and even sometimes the flu. Beyond the flu shot, what else can you do to stay healthy? Research suggests you can boost your immune system by getting enough sleep, exercising, and – most importantly – eating key healthy foods.
“The three main antioxidants that help boost our immune systems are vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin E. And the best way to get those antioxidants is to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables,” says Judy Farnsworth, R.D., CDE, a dietitian at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation.
Food That Fight Illness
Antioxidants help stabilize free radicals, which can damage the body’s cells and compromise the immune system. Different fruits and vegetables contain different types of antioxidants, so it’s important to eat a colorful variety, Farnsworth says. Stock up on green leafy vegetables, broccoli, garlic, citrus fruit and berries. Dark berries such as blueberries are especially potent, antioxidant powerhouses. Read More about Foods to Boost Your Immune System
While your kids are young, you might think it wise to postpone any ambitious travel plans. But it’s worth reconsidering. Don’t let your children – and the whole family – miss out on travel, which provides enriching learning opportunities.
Palo Alto Medical Foundation pediatrician Manisha Panchal, M.D., answers parents’ common questions about traveling with children, and offers these tips for safe, healthy and happy travels together.
Read More about Tips for Traveling with Kids
A diagnosis of prediabetes means that your blood glucose levels are higher than normal – putting you at increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The good news is there are simple things you can do to decrease that risk.
“The key is to make small, simple changes – but make them permanent,” says Dr. Mehta. “Incorporate change that is sustainable in your everyday life so that you can live an improved, healthier lifestyle and not go back to your old ways.”
Heart disease is the leading killer for both men and women in the United States. For years, doctors have monitored patients’ heart health through cholesterol levels, assessed through a simple blood test. They usually prescribed statins (a medication to lower cholesterol levels and reduce heart disease risk) when “bad” LDL cholesterol levels were higher than 160 mg/dL.
The new guidelines call for doctors to use an online cardiovascular risk calculator, which includes factors such as race, gender, age and heart disease risk factors beyond cholesterol numbers. The guidelines list four groups of people who would benefit from taking statins to prevent a heart attack or stroke. These are: Read More about New Guidelines for Preventing Heart Attacks – What They Mean for You
Our brains are hardwired to pay attention to the negative, and for good reason. Our ancestors who were alert, watchful and worried, survived. Those who weren’t got eaten. But today our DNA’s disposition puts us into a state of unnecessary chronic stress – stress that raises our blood pressure, causes anxiety or depression, and hurts our health in many ways.
“To survive better in our 21st century lives, it’s important to learn to react less automatically and negatively to the stresses that bombard us. We can do this by practicing skills that increase our capacity for appreciation, and for calming our bodies and minds,” says Renée Burgard, LCSW, a psychotherapist who teaches mindfulness and stress reduction classes at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation and at Silicon Valley companies such as Google and Apple.
Parents are often horrified when their sweet toddler turns into an unrecognizable monster, kicking, screaming and writhing on the floor because they can’t get what they want. Although it may seem that time is standing still when your child is having a tantrum, these fits of temper are a normal part of a young child’s development and he or she will eventually grow out of them.
Children overall are more sleep deprived than ever before. Not only do kids go to bed as late as 10 p.m., but they also have inconsistent bedtimes, which can lead to hyperactivity and trouble with social and emotional behavior. As adults, we feel fatigue when deprived of sleep. But studies show that sleep deprived children typically exhibit hyperactivity and quick mood swings.
Fortunately, behavior improves significantly once children have a consistent bedtime that gives them adequate sleep. Why do so many educated parents unknowingly deprive their children of something so basic and crucial to good development? Here are five main reasons, and suggestions for solutions from Palo Alto Medical Foundation’s internal medicine specialist Ronesh Sinha, M.D. Read More about Parents, Let Your Children Sleep