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17 tips to pick the freshest veggies and ripest fruit

Refusing to eat broccoli or skipping the salad bar aren’t just habits exhibited by picky kids; turns out, most grown-ups aren’t eating their fruits and veggies, either. Federal guidelines recommend adults eat at least 1 and 1/2 to 2 cups of fruit and 2 to 3 cups of vegetables a day. But only 12 percent of adults meet the requirement for fruit and just 9 percent of adults eat enough vegetables, according to a new report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Making sure you’re getting your daily fill isn’t the only problem; finding the best, ripest and tastiest fruits and vegetables isn’t as intuitive as you might think. It’s a task that requires all five senses to decipher the quality of your supermarket produce. Regardless of what you’re shopping for, start with these three rules:

1. Beautiful doesn’t mean delicious

Sub-par conventional produce is bred to look waxy, glistening, and perfectly symmetrical, while prime fruits and vegetables are often irregularly shaped, with slight visual imperfections outside but a world of flavor waiting inside.

2. Use your hands

You can learn more about a fruit or vegetable from picking it up than you can from staring it down. Heavy, sturdy fruits and vegetables with taut skin and peels are telltale signs of freshness.

3. Shop with the seasons

In the Golden Age of the American supermarket, Chilean tomatoes and South African asparagus are an arm’s length away when our soil is blanketed in snow. Sure, sometimes you just need a tomato, but there are three persuasive reasons to shop in season: it’s cheaper, it’s better and it’s better for you.

To dig even deeper into our hunt for perfect produce, Eat This, Not That! asked Aliza Green, author of “Field Guide to Produce,” and Chef Ned Elliott of Portland’s Urban Farmer restaurant for the dirt on scoring the best of the bounty. Use the tips and tricks that follow and you’ll bring home the best fruits and vegetables every time, just like an Italian grandma. And while you’re at the store, check out these50 Best Supermarket Shopping Tips Ever.

1. Apples

Perfect pick: Firm and heavy for its size with smooth, matte, unbroken skin and no bruising. The odd blemish (read: wormhole) or brown “scald” streaks do not negatively impact flavor. The smaller the apple, the bigger the flavor wallop.

Peak season: September to May

Handle with care: Keep apples in a plastic bag in the crisper away from vegetables. Here, they should remain edible for several weeks.

The payoff: These fall and spring favorites are packed with quercetin, a flavonoid linked to better heart health, plus the soluble fiber pectin, which keeps cholesterol in check.

2. Artichokes

Perfect pick: An artichoke with deep green, heavyset, undamaged, tightly closed leaves is the best bet. The leaves should squeak when pinched together.

Peak season: March to May

Handle with care: Store in the fridge in a plastic bag for up to five days.

The payoff: Aside from being a good source of protein, artichokes have a higher total antioxidant capacity than any other common vegetable, according to USDA tests.

3. Asparagus

Perfect pick: Look for vibrant green spears with tight purple-tinged buds. Avoid spears that are fading in color or wilting. Thinner spears are sweeter and more tender.

Peak season: March to June

Handle with care: Trim the woody ends and stand the stalks upright in a small amount of water in a tall container. Cover the tops with a plastic bag and cook within a few days.

The payoff: Asparagus are potent sources of folate, a B-vitamin that protects the heart by helping to reduce inflammation.

4. Avocados

Perfect pick: Avocados should feel firm to the touch without any sunken, mushy spots. They should not rattle when shaken — that’s a sign the pit has pulled away from the flesh.

Peak season: Year-round

Handle with care: To ripen, place avocados in a paper bag and store at room temperature for two to four days. To speed up this process, add an apple to the bag, which emits ripening ethylene gas. Ripe avocados can be stored in the fridge for up to one week.

The payoff: The green berry (yes, we said berry!) packs plenty of cholesterol-lowering monounsaturated fat. Bonus: A diet rich in monounsaturated fat may prevent body fat distribution around the belly by down regulating the expression of certain fat genes. Simply put: It can whittle your waist by zapping away belly fat.

5. Bananas

Perfect pick: Ripe bananas have uniform yellow skins or small brown freckles indicating they are at their sweetest. Avoid any with evident bruising or split skins.

Peak season: Year-round

Handle with care: Store unripe bananas on the counter, away from direct heat and sunlight (speed things up by placing green bananas in an open paper bag). Once ripened, refrigerate; though the peel turns brown, the flavor and quality are unaffected.

The payoff: Bananas are a good source of vitamin B6, which helps prevent cognitive decline, according to scientists at the USDA.

6. Beets

Perfect pick: A beet that’s in its prime should have a smooth, deep-red surface that’s unyielding when pressed. Smaller roots are sweeter and more tender. Attached greens should be deep green and not withered.

Peak season: June to October

Handle with care: Remove the leaves (which are great sautéed in olive oil) and store in a plastic bag in the fridge for no more than two days. The beets will last in the crisper for up to 2 weeks.

The payoff: Beets serve up a hefty dose of folate, which may help regulate cholesterol levels and boost heart health.


Salad of Roasted Heirloom Beets with Capers and Pistachios

Roasted Red and Golden Beet Salad with Pistacchios

Renee Comet / The New Jewish Tab

Article source: https://www.today.com/health/how-always-buy-freshest-produce-t119008

Will County Health Department Offers Holiday Food Safety Tips

JOLIET, IL – From the Will County Health Department: As we have reached the time for holiday meals and parties, it is once again a good practice to review both the practical things, as well as the “sometimes hidden and forgotten secrets,” when it comes to keeping our food safe.

Some of the common items, such as washing hands with warm water and soap for 20 seconds before handling food, and rewashing them when any change of tasks takes place while preparing food (such as handling garbage, touching the dog or cat, picking up something that fell on the floor), are common instinct for many.

But there may be some other tips that make people say, “Oh, I never thought of that!”

The Food and Drug Administration likes to highlight four major categories, or should we say four specific verbs, when it comes to preparing food: clean, separate, cook, and chill.

The “clean” category includes the part about 20 second hand washing, but it also reminds us to clean all surfaces that will have contact with the food: such as countertops, cutting boards, dishes, and utensils. They should be washed with hot,soapy water as well.

But here’s an important thing to distinguish: while it is wise to rinse fruits and vegetables thoroughly under cool, running water (with perhaps a produce brush to remove stubborn surface dirt), it is not wise to rinse raw meat and poultry before cooking, as this can cause bacteria to spread to areas around the sink, such as countertops.

“Some people rinse out the cavity of the turkey or of a chicken, or even rinse their steaks,” says Will County Health Department Environmental Director Tom Casey. “But when you do that you are literally splashing the raw meat juices all over; in addition to on your hands, arms, and body.”

For “separate,” this is where you do not allow raw food that will be cooked to touch foods that will not be cooked until they are served. For example; raw eggs, meat, and poultry; as well as their juices; should be kept away from vegetables, salads, and other ready to eat items. It is best to keep all of this in mind through the entire process: from the purchase at the store, to the storing in the refrigerator, to the preparation and serving of the meal.

There should also be separate cutting boards for foods that are raw and for ready to eat foods. And another thing that could be an “oops, I forgot” moment: cooked meat, or anything that is ready to be served, should not be placed on an unwashed plate that has already held raw eggs, meat, poultry, or their juices. This will avoid cross-contamination.

For the “cook” category, temperature is extremely critical, especially when preparing a holiday turkey. A turkey should never be judged to be “done” or “not done” depending upon its color. Instead, a food thermometer should be used, and should be inserted into the innermost part of the thigh and wing away from the bone, as well as the thickest part of the breast. The temperature for both the turkey and stuffing (if the turkey is stuffed) should be a minimum of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

And speaking of stuffing, there’s another important area of caution that is often forgotten. Not only should the stuffing be the same temperature as the turkey when done cooking, but the turkey should be stuffed just prior to being placed in the oven. In addition, it should be stuffed rather loosely, at about ¾ cup of stuffing for each pound of the turkey.

Other “cook” items include bringing sauces, soups, and gravies to a rolling boil when heating or reheating. And if you are making your own eggnog, or if you need raw eggs for a certain recipe; you should use pasteurized shell eggs, liquid or frozen pasteurized egg products, or powered egg whites. “The pasteurized shell eggs are where the eggs are heated up while still in the shell according to FDA regulation, and then preserved at 41 degrees Fahrenheit or less,” Casey explained. “You need to ask your grocer if they carry these products.”

And while on the topic of raw eggs: although this is a favorite of many kids, eating uncooked cookie dough is not safe, as it may contain raw eggs. “Yes, a lot of us did that,” Casey admits. “But it’s just not safe. And this goes for stuffing as well. Some people like to taste their stuffing after all the flavorings are added before it goes into the bird. But you are consuming raw stuffing, which commonly means you are eating raw eggs.”

For the “chill” category, the number one rule is to refrigerate leftovers and takeout foods within two hours of the meal’s conclusion. It is important to remember that room temperature falls right in the middle of the “danger zone” for bacteria to begin rapidly growing on food that’s left out. That danger zone is identified as anywhere between 41 and 135 degrees Fahrenheit. Although we often love to leave leftovers and desserts out for a while as the evening at home moves into relaxation time, this includes pumpkin pie as well.

And getting back to the start of the process, food should not be defrosted at room temperature. You should defrost in the refrigerator, under cold running water, or in the microwave as part of the cooking process. “The reason to use cold constantly running water,” Casey explained. “is to make sure particles are rinsed off and going down the drain. This is much safer than having something, like a turkey, thawing in stagnant water.”

And if you are using the fridge to defrost, it’s important to remember to not wait until the night before your meal. For example, a 20-pound turkey often takes four or five days of refrigeration to completely defrost.

What’s something else that is often not thought of? Always thaw raw meat, small or large, on the bottom shelf of your refrigerator. This avoids the dripping of raw meat juices on to food that would be stored below.

For more advice on holiday food safety, you can go to the Food and Drug Administration https://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm092815 or Centers for Disease Control https://www.cdc.gov/features/holidayfoodsafety/index.html websites.

Image via Unsplash

This Face-Recognition App Could Potentially Identify Diseases

Article source: https://patch.com/illinois/joliet/will-county-health-department-offers-holiday-food-safety-tips

3 Thanksgiving Health and Safety Tips

Thanksgiving represents a great opportunity for pharmacists to play an important role in patient education. From medication safety to the prevention of foodborne illnesses, pharmacists can provide great resources and support. 

Check out these 3 Thanksgiving health and safety tips:

1. Encourage patients to get their annual influenza vaccines. Influenza activity is low in the United States, but it is increasing.1 Vaccination is the best way for patients to protect themselves and family members from the flu. Let patients know that it takes about 2 weeks for the vaccine to become effective. The most frequently reported influenza virus type so far this season has been influenza A.

2. Educate patients to poison-proof their homes. Poison prevention is extremely important, especially for families with children and pets. Medications should be stored out of the reach of children and pets, preferably in a locked area. Those who are hosting Thanksgiving celebrations in their homes should be sure to keep guests’ handbags and suitcases, which may contain medications, out of the reach of children. Tell families to assign an adult to keep an eye on children, as poisoning can happen in the blink of an eye. Families should keep the Poison Help Line number (1-800-222-1222) on hand, which is a great free resource available 24/7 for poison emergencies.

Keep chocolate, coffee, and caffeine products away from pets. These products contain methylxanthines, which can cause vomiting, diarrhea, panting, excessive thirst and urination, hyperactivity, arrhythmias, tremors, seizures, and even death.Products containing the sweetener xylitol (eg, gum, candy, baked goods, and toothpaste) should also be kept out of reach. Xylitol can cause insulin release, which can lead to liver failure and hypoglycemia. Tell families that they can contact their veterinarians or the Animal Poison Control Center (1-888-426-4435) in an emergency.2 There may be a $65 fee applied for a consultation with the Animal Poison Control Center.

3. Prevent foodborne illness during the Thanksgiving meal. Advise patients to purchase a food thermometer to make sure that the turkey is cooked and reaches a temperature of 165°F.3 The preferred method of thawing a turkey is in the refrigerator. It is important to plan ahead to allow about 24 hours for every 4 to 5 pounds in a refrigerator set at 40°F or below.3 

It is important to wash one’s hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before preparing food. The turkey should not be washed, as this can spread pathogens onto kitchen surfaces. Additionally, raw turkey should be separated from all other foods.  Separate cutting boards, plates, and utensils should be used when handling raw turkey to prevent cross-contamination. The turkey’s temperature should be checked by inserting the thermometer in the thickest part of the breast, the innermost part of the thigh, and the innermost part of the wing. Leftovers should be refrigerated within 2 hours to prevent Clostridium perfringens, which are bacteria that grow in cooked foods left at room temperature.4 Symptoms include vomiting and abdominal cramps within 6 to 24 hours of consuming the affected food. This is the second-most-common bacterial cause of food poisoning, with most outbreaks occurring in November and December.4
 

References

1.  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Weekly US influenza surveillance report. cdc.gov/flu/weekly/index.htm. Updated November 9, 2017. Accessed November 14, 2017.
2. ASPCA. People foods to avoid feeding your pets. aspca.org/pet-care/animal-poison-control/people-foods-avoid-feeding-your-pets. Accessed November 14, 2017.
3. Foodsafety.gov. Thanksgiving. foodsafety.gov/keep/events/thanksgiving/index.html.  Accessed November 14, 2017.
4. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Food safety tips for your holiday turkey.  cdc.gov/features/turkeytime/index.html. Updated November 13, 2017. Accessed November 14, 2017.

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Article source: http://www.pharmacytimes.com/contributor/jennifer-gershman-pharmd-cph/2017/11/3-thanksgiving-health-and-safety-tips-

Whole30 Recipes, Diet Tips on Busy Philipps Instagram: Best Of …

One of the many reasons we love Busy Philipps is her candid and often hilarious Instagram, where she frequently posts about her fitness exploits (remember when she tried to sweat out her post-Oscars hangover in a trampoline class?). So we weren’t surprised to see the White Chicks actress recapping the highs and lows of her experience on the Whole30 diet this week.

Philipps announced in a post yesterday that she had successfully stuck to the diet for an entire month, ”despite a few days that were rough” when she “really wanted tequila or gummy bears.” The Whole30 rules are simple but daunting: 1) Cut out all legumes, dairy, added sugar, baked goods and treats, alcohol, and a few processed food ingredients (MSG, sulfites, and carrageenan) for 30 days. 2) Don’t weigh yourself. 3) Don’t cheat.

Philipps, 38, said she decided to try the Whole30 diet because, well, everyone she knew was doing it, and she thought it would help her get “back on track before the holidays.” Plus, she was up for an interesting challenge. “Which it was,” she wrote.

Day 30 of @whole30!!! I did it! I Instagram storied how I feel so if you’re interested, you can watch. Also. I’m not paid by them. I just did it cause literally every person I’ve ever known was doing it and I thought it would be good to get myself back on track before the holidays and an interesting challenge. Which it was. Both of those things. Yay!! I am actually proud that I made it through all 30 days cause there were a few days that were rough. (Especially when I really wanted tequila or gummy bears…)

A post shared by Busy Philipps (@busyphilipps) on Nov 14, 2017 at 8:58pm PST

RELATED: 57 Ways to Lose Weight Forever, According to Science

In a follow-up Instagram story, the mom of two went a little more in-depth on what she learned. For example, cutting out sugar cold turkey showed her how addicted to the sweet stuff she really was. When she felt stressed, she craved her go-to treat: cinnamon gummy bears. ”[Sugar] was really hard for me to get rid of,” she said.

But Philipps did eventually learn healthier strategies to cope with her emotions: ”Because I haven’t been able to alleviate feelings through eating food, it forced me to sort of find other ways to deal.”

The first five days of Whole30 were the toughest, Philipps said, then it got a little easier. Also helpful: that her husband, screenwriter Marc Silverstein, did the diet with her.

Not everyone is as successful on the restrictive plan, however. Health‘s contributing nutrition editor Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD, has warned that banning certain foods can trigger a sense of panic that leads to obsessive thinking, followed by rebound binge eating. In ”3 Ways to Clean Up Your Diet Without Committing to Whole30,” she recommends a more flexible eating strategy that you can actually stick with long term.

busy philipps 30 whole day cleanse instagram

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As for the results? Philipps said that while she hasn’t weighed herself (she swore off the scale a year ago), she can tell from her face that she’s “definitely smaller.” She also noted that her husband lost ”too much weight.” (Weight loss isn’t an actual goal of the Whole30 program, though many dieters do slim down.)

Other effects: Philipps said she feels less bloated, and her joints don’t hurt like they typically do. But Whole30 didn’t make any difference in terms of her irritable bowel syndrome symptoms, which surprised her because she always thought her digestive issues were diet-related.

Philipps ended her Whole30 recap with a few tips. For one, she recommends cooking at home as much as possible, to keep your meals exciting and varied. (She searched Instagram for fun Whole30-approved recipes.) When she did eat out, she ordered lean protein and vegetables, and asked the kitchen to leave out butter. Overall, Philipps says Whole30 was a positive experience—and she would do it again.

Feeling tempted by her review, but wary of adopting so many restrictions? Try simply eliminating processed foods, says Sass. Making this one change is a great compromise because it can slash calories, boost your energy, and seriously upgrade your nutrient intake.

Article source: http://www.health.com/weight-loss/busy-philipps-whole-30-recipes-diet-tips

Tips for folks going through health insurance open enrollment – WBRC FOX6 News

At a meeting of the Greater Birmingham Young Republicans on Thursday evening, the group passed a resolution withdrawing their support for U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore.

Article source: http://www.wbrc.com/story/36864639/tips-for-folks-going-through-health-insurance-open-enrollment

Food safety tips for Thanksgiving – Omaha World

Thanksgiving is quickly approaching and with the stress of preparing the perfect meal, it’s easy to overlook simple safety measures while cooking.

Food-borne illnesses affect 1 in 6 Americans each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Annually, these illnesses result in an estimated 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths.

By taking a few food safety precautions, you can help prevent food poisoning and ensure a safe meal for your loved ones. Here are a few tips from the Nebraska Regional Poison Center:

Preparing your bird

» Don’t defrost the turkey at room temperature. The bacteria can multiply to unsafe numbers on the turkey’s outer layers before inner layers have defrosted.

» Use cold water or the refrigerator to defrost your meat or poultry. Allow one day for every 4-5 pounds to defrost in the refrigerator. Allow about 35 minutes per pound of turkey to defrost in cold water. It’s safest to change the water every 30 minutes.

» Don’t leave an uncooked, thawed turkey out of the refrigerator longer than two hours.

» Don’t stuff turkeys, because doing so makes it difficult for the internal temperature of the turkey to reach 165 F.

Cooking tips

» Don’t set your oven lower than 325 F.

» Don’t partially cook the turkey one day and continue roasting the next day.

» The turkey should cook until the internal temperature reaches 165 F. Use a meat thermometer to check if the turkey is done.

Storing leftovers

» Don’t leave leftovers out on the counter longer than two hours.

» Store leftover turkey in the refrigerator and use within three to four days.

» Store leftover stuffing and gravy in the refrigerator and use within one to day days.

For more information on food poisoning, contact the Nebraska Regional Poison Center by calling 1-800-222-1222.

Article source: http://www.omaha.com/livewellnebraska/health/food-safety-tips-for-thanksgiving/article_90abb712-1041-5587-b407-d5e8f69e8799.html

Humpday Health: Tips to keep your and your kids’ teeth healthy

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Protecting your teeth is a big piece of your overall health.

Brushing and flossing regularly is not the only thing you should do to keep your pearly whites healthy.

“People love to neglect teeth. I think a lot of times people assume if they’re not in any pain, that their teeth are healthy, and that’s not the case at all,” said Wilmington dentist Dr. Yates Williams.

A nice, clean smile is something many people strive for. The cosmetic benefits are clear, but the health ones may not be so obvious.

Dr. Williams says our diets include more and more sugar, so it’s important to keep track of the sweet stuff.

“One of the biggest things we have now is just the added sugars in all the foods we eat and especially the foods that are even advertised to our children, including the cereals, just the snacks, all that stuff, the crackers. So much of it’s processed,” said Dr. Williams.

Children are usually at a higher risk for cavities and other dental problems. That’s why dental health education is key to keeping their teeth safe.

“They’re at a high risk because their oral hygiene is not as good as someone who is a little bit older, a little bit wiser, a little more disciplined,” said Dr. Williams.

Scheduling regular dental visits is also a smart idea. Going to see your dentist every six months is what you should strive for, even as an adult.

“If we go a significant amount of time, we’ll end up, maybe we could have treated something a little differently had we caught it a little sooner, if that makes sense. You talk about root canals and things like that, sometimes you can catch a cavity, oftentimes you can catch a cavity, before it turns into that, before it needs a root canal,” said Dr. Williams.

Dr. Williams says that certain dental conditions can affect other parts of  your health, for example: there is a link between periodontitis and your heart.

That’s why keeping your teeth healthy should be a priority.

Article source: https://www.wwaytv3.com/2017/11/15/humpday-health-tips-to-keep-you-and-your-kids-teeth-healthy/

A few holiday health tips | Health | frontiersman.com – Mat

“There have been 288 outbreaks attributed to pork between 1998 and 2015 resulted in 6,372 illnesses, 443 hospitalizations, and four deaths… However, in 2015 the number of pork-related outbreaks increased by 73 percent compared with the previous three years… Salmonella was found to be the most common pathogen linked to pork outbreaks,” according reports from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). “Salmonella can sometimes gain access to the bloodstream and cause sepsis — a serious, life-threatening infection,” Dr. William Schaffner (CDC) told Healthline for an article published on October 4, 2017. This is a serious issue that needs everyone’s attention as various holiday meals are prepared, especially when foods are left on tables and buffets for long periods of time.

Buffets and other food displays raise a number of issues as we travel through the holiday season. It is important to ensure that foods are prepared and/or cooked at the proper temperatures. Things that should be kept cold should be. Sometimes this requires the items to be placed on a bed of ice. Other times however, it is important to be sure the items are refrigerated as needed.

At Easter time (in the spring), we often hear warnings about hard-boiled eggs. Recent advocates having been touting the health benefits of hard-boiled eggs and you can even find them available in some places like the Dunkin Donut shops. Hard-boiled eggs are also a party favorite for deviled-eggs. So once again, ensure the eggs are kept at the appropriate temperatures to avoid food poisonings.

There are many other things to remember like people with nut allergies are often blind-sided when someone forgets to mention they’ve used chopped nuts or peanut butter in a favorite recipe. Anyone hosting an event/party should be sure to label any item with content warnings. Anyone with any type of food allergy needs to be pro-active to discuss their issues with a host/hostess, even carrying their own food items to a party if necessary.

Lastly for this week, don’t forget to ensure that our four-legged friends are well cared for during this time. Many of our favorites can be dangerous for cats/dogs to ingest. If you are not sure, decide on the side of safety and don’t let the animal eat the items. There are also issues with holiday plants and other decorations that can be harmful to your furry friend. Be sure to check with your vet or a reliable online website.

Article source: http://www.frontiersman.com/national/health/a-few-holiday-health-tips/article_32cd7e4f-d5b6-59c9-b353-68b9b64a6a2f.html

4 Health Tips Every Guy Needs to Know Before Going to the Bar

1. Keep Your Drinks In the Single Digits
It’s easy to rack up a ton of drinks when you’re out at the bar—you’re too busy having a good time to keep count of each one you order. But Carolyn Brown, R.D., a nutrition counselor at Foodtrainers, advises keeping your drinks to 10 or less each week. Your body will seriously thank you for abiding by this rule because overdoing it can negatively affect everything from your brain to your muscles to your heart to your penis.

2. Stay Hydrated
Brown recommends drinking one glass of water or seltzer between every alcoholic drink you have for the night. No more waking up the next morning feeling like you were run over by a tractor-trailer.

3. Avoid Sugary Mixers
Vodka cranberries, rum and cokes, gin and tonics—anything with juice, soda, or tonic water is out. Consuming too much sugar doubles your risk of heart disease, leads to weight gain, messes with your liver, is bad for your teeth. According to the American Heart Association, men should limit their sugar intake to 36 grams (9 teaspoons) of added sugar a day. However, if you need to work up to totally nixing these sugary mixers, adding a splash won’t hurt.

4. Eat Before a Night Out, Not After
Though it may be tempting to hit up that taco truck, you’re more likely to overeat when you’re less than sober. “Beer munchies have never ended well,” says Brown. (Check out the Metashred Diet from Men’s Health for healthy and delicious foods to eat before you head out for the night.)

Article source: https://www.menshealth.com/nutrition/health-tips-to-know-before-drinking-alcohol

Immune boosting tips for a healthy holiday season



The hectic holidays and chill in the air can take a toll on the immune system and make one more susceptible to illness. Stay healthy and vital all season by taking the following steps.

Be Balanced

Eggnog, cookies and champagne toasts at midnight tempt us to overindulge during the holiday season. Be mindful of what you eat and drink at parties and on a daily basis, and balance these extravagances with plenty of healthy hydration and plenty of fresh greens and fruit.

Do not neglect your physical activity. Take walks, practice yoga, do 10 minutes of strength training and take a few minutes each morning and evening to stretch your tired muscles.

Get Support

“We are learning more each day about what weakens the immune system and how we can strengthen it for better health,” says Larry Robinson, vice president of scientific affairs at Embria Health Sciences, a manufacturer of nutrients that support wellness and vitality. “Good immune health requires more than just getting enough vitamin C.”

For extra support, consider taking immune-supporting supplements. Embria’s EpiCor, a whole food fermentate made through a proprietary process using saccharomyces cerevisiae, a common single-celled microorganism, have been shown in studies to support the body’s ability to initiate the proper immune responses. NOW brand EpiCor Plus Immunity contains zinc, selenium, and vitamins D-3 and C, nutritients you need to make it through the holidays healthfully. To learn more, visit nowfoods.com.

Relax

The holiday season is meant to be joyful, but it also can be stressful. Shopping in a crowded mall where you fight for parking, decorating, wrapping gifts, planning menus and dealing with the extended family can bring enough stress to compromise your immune system.

Take advantage of any extra time off from work to rest and relax. Schedule some down time for yourself.

Drink some green tea — which is filled with healthy anti-oxidants that support your immune system — and enjoy a good book. Or take a bubble bath.

If you feel too stressed to relax, call on a friend you can count on to talk you down. We’re in this together, so remember: A burden shared is a burden halved.

— StatePoint

Article source: http://www.theoaklandpress.com/health/20171114/immune-boosting-tips-for-a-healthy-holiday-season