World Health Day and Current Health Issues

what-are-current-health-issues-worldhealthday_path_webWhen you get sick, doesn’t it feel like everyone else follows?

The same concept goes for the world. Whatever happens in one part of the planet can spread epidemically. The World Health Organization (WHO) established World Health Day on April 7. World Health Day initially started in the 1950s to honor WHO for its purpose of spreading the importance of global health. According to WHO, “At least half of the world’s people do not receive the essential health care services they need.”

“Health for All”

For decades, the WHO’s motto has remained “Health for All.” Since this year is the 70th anniversary, the organization wants to act upon the universal health coverage (UHC) for all countries to enable them for the services needed for their people. UHC helps with people’s life expectancy and protects the community from epidemics. 2017 was not one of the years that America faced a disease epidemic. That doesn’t mean America can’t be affected by worldly diseases. In recent years, The U.S. had to deal with preventing the spread of Zika, Ebola, and the H1N1 virus.

How about the rest of the world?

To make it short—last year Yemen was fighting the cholera disease–leaving half a million affected and more than a thousand dead. Madagascar recently experienced a plague including cases of pneumonic plague, bubonic plague, and septicemic plague. Even though it doesn’t seem surprising to most, health professionals were a concern since the area affected was far from the usual radius that receives an epidemic. Additionally, Syria’s people have been fighting their own civil war, but what came with it was the spread of the polio disease leaving about 70 children paralyzed.

Universal health coverage

According to the World Health Organization, universal health coverage can help decrease the poverty rate in most countries – since poverty diseases are a factor. In 2018, WHO is hoping to “inspire, motivate and guide” universal health stakeholders to focus on their mission to advance the health of all people. Like their website states – according to their Director-General, “No one should have to choose between death and financial hardship. No one should have to choose between buying medicine and buying food.”

Why is Chocolate Good for You?

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Cocoa can help with your digestive system

Did you overstock on chocolate this past holiday weekend? Or maybe you’re one of those people who bought a few sweets during the grocery store sales. Either way, chocolate-lovers have no reason to complain because cocoa can help with your digestive system. Weird, right? Don’t start binge eating on chocolate bunnies just yet though. We’re not talking about the chocolate bars you usually buy and consume from the stores, we’re talking the chocolate that comes straight from the cocoa tree! Most of the chocolate people consume are processed cocoa beans with ingredients that contain milk and sugar.

Dark chocolate can help lower blood pressure

There have been studies to prove that dark chocolate can help lower blood pressure. Why? Dark chocolate has the most cocoa in it compared to milk or white chocolate. According to the “News In Health,” the reason why chocolate is good for you comes from the studies of the Kuna Indians who lived in the islands of Panama. Scientists thought the reason why they had a low risk of cardiovascular disease was that of their genes. Yet, the Indians who moved out of the country experienced an increase in high blood pressure. Researchers believed this was caused because the amount of chocolate these people consumed.

Panama is the 11th largest producer of cocoa beans. Therefore, the Kuna Indians had a natural source of chocolate. Dr. Brent M. Egan, a researcher at the Medical University of South Caroline, says that the Kuna Indians consumed chocolate at least “10 times more” than most people in a typical day. The Kuna Indians would have a drink with dried cocoa beans – grounded to their liking – and a drop of sweetener. So the more cocoa, the better.

Who says chocolate is not good for the heart?

Autism Awareness Day

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Today, April 2nd is Autism Awareness Day!

Autism is a mental condition and usually appears in the early stages of childhood. But it’s not a single condition. It comes from a spectrum of disorders. A person can have an autistic disorder where the persona has significant language delays, social interaction, unusual behavior and interests. But there is also Asperger syndrome—a pervasive development disorder that has milder effects than autism disorder.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) predicts about 1 out of 68 children in the United States are on the autistic spectrum. It has become one of the most common disorders in children development. The hallmark symptom is impaired social interactions. Autistic people may or may not understand social cues. They may not answer or respond to their name as often or hold eye contact when they speak to people. Many kids with autism even repeat their behaviors such as rocking or twirling.

So what about Asperger’s syndrome?

Before autistic disorder and Asperger’s syndrome were two different conditions. Though it’s a recent study, it shows that there is no subtype of a larger disorder. Instead, characteristics are stated making the symptoms of Asperger’s underneath the autism spectrum. It was considered to be placed on the “high functioning” end–affecting kids and adults with difficulty in social interaction. With that being said, social anxiety is different than Aspergers. Social anxiety is a symptom and is based on the social situation. People with Aspergers have significant problems with social interactions. They usually have a hard time understanding social cues and have a hard time developing social empathy.

 

 

Ceylon Vs. Cassia Cinnamon and Health Benefits

what-can-cinnamon-do-for-you_path_webDon’t you love the taste of cinnamon buns?

What about the extra spice cinnamon gives you when you take a sip of coffee? Cinnamon is known to be paired with sweetness, but is it weird to say that cinnamon is good for people with diabetes? The pure cinnamon is called Ceylon. It carries an essential oil that comes straight from the bark of the Cinnamomum tree called, cinnamaldehyde. With this type of pure cinnamon, the body can receive amazing benefits. A couple of these benefits are listed below.

Ceylon cinnamon health benefits:

Anti-clotting: Cinnamaldehyde may help with blood clots by slowing down the formation of inflammatory molecules.

Blood sugar control: If you didn’t know, cinnamon is an antioxidant that helps slow the rate of digestion after meals and improve insulin response – hence the reason it’s been said to be good for those with diabetes!

Improve colon health: Cinnamon has a source of fiber and calcium. With this combination, it helps remove bile salts from the body that can reduce the risk of colon cancer.

Unfortunately, according to GentleWorld, the ones sold in grocery stores are not Ceylon — it’s cassia cinnamon.

What’s the difference?

Both are healthy, but one is toxic if consumed too much. Cassia contains a compound called known as coumarin.  In 1954, the Food and Drug Administration banned the use of coumarin after they found that it caused liver damage to animals it was tested on. In the year 2006, there was a study where, even though it caused cancers in lab animals, humans could consume coumarin in small doses. According to the U.S. Department of Health, cinnamon is safe if  6g or less is consumed daily for only 6 weeks. After that, it can become toxic.

So before you go shopping for some cinnamon, try to find Ceylon. If not, make sure you’re not overdoing your cinnamon on your cinnamon rolls!

Afternoon Naps are Appreciated

They say, “sleep is for the weak.” But that doesn’t mean napping is not beneficial.

afternoon-naps-are-appreciated_path_webDr. Sarah Mednick, a psychologist from the University of California, did research that shows 15-90 minute naps can improve brain functions such as memory and creativity. Even some companies such as Google, Uber and Ben & Jerry’s added nap spaces to help their employers boost their creativity and performance. Other studies say napping can be connected to lower rates of cardiovascular disease and inflammation.

But according to Mednick, it depends on what kind of napper the person is. There are some people who can take a nap and feel groggy when they wake-up. Others are natural nappers where they sleep for a couple of minutes and wake-up energized. Whether or not you are a natural napper, provided below are a couple of benefits you may receive when you snooze for a bit!

Benefits of afternoon naps:

Enhance performance

Just like an 8-hour sleep, a nap can enhance performance to reduce mistakes and accidents. NASA did a study on pilots and astronauts to see if napping would help them be more awake. They found out that a 40-minute nap improved their alertness by 100 percent.

Improve memory

There has also been researched that naps can improve memory. Axel Mecklinger, Ph.D., from Saarland University had a study of a memory of word pairs. Once he said the words to the volunteered students, he examined the behaviors of those who took a 90-minute nap and students who watched a movie afterward. Everyone remembered what was said, but the nappers remembered most word pairs.

If you think an afternoon snooze will help you go on with your daily duties, grab a pillow and blanket. Then hit the couch because everyone deserves a nice brief nap once in a while. Afterall, who doesn’t like an afternoon nap?

Purple Day: Epilepsy Awareness

Today, March 26, is known as Purple Day in honor of people with epilepsy.

So how did Purple Day start? In 2008 a nine-year-old girl named, Cassidy Megan, was diagnosed with epilepsy. She wanted to create an international day to spread awareness of the disease to show people that they are not alone. In 2009, her dream came true. The Anita Kaufmann Foundation and the Epilepsy Association of Nopurple-day-epilepsy-awareness_path_webva Scotia came together to launch the first International Purple Day.

Epilepsy is a chronic disorder

If you or someone you know suffers from epilepsy, then you or whoever comes to mind may experience recurring, unprovoked seizures. These seizures occur when they are not caused by a medical condition like drinking withdrawals or low blood sugar. Instead, with epilepsy, it may be related to brain injury or family tendencies. Most of the time the cause is unknown. The human brain is the source of epilepsy. Many people with this disease have more than one type of seizure and may have symptoms of neurological problems.

Seizures can be unpredictable

Some people—not all—may have a warning sign or an inkling that they will receive a seizure soon. That may mean a burst of electrical activity is going through the brain. The middle stage is called the “ictal phase” where visible symptoms start to show when the seizure activity in the brain stops. When it ends, the person goes into a “postictal phase” where it takes them a few minutes or hours to feel like their usual self. If a person you know has epilepsy and has a seizure, it’s best to take them to a safe place with enough space and a flat surface. Turn them to the side to open the airways for the saliva to flow out and look for medical information they should have on them.

Do you Know about Tuberculosis?

world-tuberculosis-day_path_webOn March 24 we acknowledge Tuberculosis

It first sparked in the 1980s—mostly because of the spread of HIV. Since the HIV virus lessens the immune system, it opened doors for unwanted bacteria to make the body sick. Tuberculosis is an infectious disease mostly affecting the lungs. It can spread from one person to another by microdroplets in the air—even if a person is sneezing or coughing

Tuberculosis can be preventable

Tuberculosis can be preventable if the immune system is strong. The bacteria can be lingering around your body, and if you have a low immune system it can come into effect. A few symptoms you would look out for is coughing up blood, night sweats, chills and more. Tuberculosis can affect the kidneys, spine and brain as well. It is contagious, but it’s not easy to catch. You would most likely get tuberculosis from a person you live with or at work—but not likely from a stranger.

Doctors describe tuberculosis in two terms

Latent TB is not contagious—yet. It just means that the person has the infection in their body, but the bacteria in their body is inactive. It causes no problem. However, it can be activated if not treated. Treatment can help control the bacteria from acting up.
Active TB is more serious. It causes you to become sick and contagious. But if a person takes the right treatment immediately for about two weeks—they may less contagious than they were before.
According to the World Health Organization, even though TB is curable—it is known to be “the top infectious killer worldwide.” It had almost 10 million people falling ill to the sickness. Almost killing half of that number. That’s why March 24th was selected to spread awareness—so that one day, it will end.

Ways to Maintain a Healthy Relationship

So you’re in love — or think you’re in love.

Yet, you don’t know if you have a good relationship with your loved one. Being in another person’s life is difficult. It can be messy sometimes and your partner might ignore you because of it. Having a good relationship means dealing with the messy. You learn to deal with your partner’s flaws, their problems and get through fights. We want to help you keep a healthy relationship. ways-to-maintain-a-healthy-relationship_path_web

So, here is some advice:

Don’t be afraid to create boundaries.

You don’t need to change yourself for your partner–especially if have different personalities. It is recommended to speak to your partner about where you stand and set boundaries to make sure your partner respects your separate lives and the life you have together.

Have trust.

It’s always hard to gain someone’s trust. Hopefully, you and your partner already have that in your relationship. Always keep it real, and be truthful. Also, keep in mind that everyone has some sort of baggage. You might have some trust issues. That’s okay, but it’s best to talk it out with your partner. With trust comes understanding.

Be supportive.

Sometimes your loved one wants to do things you may not like, but you stick through it. Why? You want to be supportive. It shows that you care and love the person so much that you will endure their flaws, hobbies and likes—even if you don’t like it.

It all comes down to loyalty. If you want your relationship to last forever, the biggest attribute is always being faithful to each other. Each couple is totally different, but those who last longer has tried to catch each other when one falls.

I mean didn’t your partner fall for you? It might be the reason why you hold them so tight.

A Smile a Day can Keep the Doctor Away!

a-smile-a-day-can-keep-the-doctor-away_path_webYou may be getting sick because your immune system is low, and the reason might be because your stress levels are off the charts. No worries, March 20th is International Happiness Day. Additionally, according to the national calendar, March 19th is National Laughter Day!

The benefits of smiling and laughing:

Many people have said that smiling or laughing can help reduce stress. In the University of Kansas it has been proven! Researchers chose students to participate a multitasking challenge where they had to perform stressful tasks while having chopsticks on their teeth. They checked their heart rate before during and after the tasks were finished. In result, those who displayed smiles had lower heart rates than those who didn’t—concurring that smiles can protect the heart a bit and reduce stress quicker.

Fake it till you make it, right?

Even though most of the health benefits are gained with a genuine smile, a fake smile may do you some good for a while. The muscle in the face when you smile reinforces or transforms emotions that help brains create happiness loops—which encourages positive thinking patterns. According to Sondra Bennet, a biochemist, smiling can help boost cellular levels. Cells can differentiate safety and danger. Therefore, they can find and repair problems—creating balance with the body.

Laughter has similar benefits to smiling, but it also stimulates organs that enhance our intake of oxygen. When laughing, our lungs stretch and our muscle expands gaining the benefits of exercising the body. Laughter can also stimulate our blood flood and aid muscle tension. According to Mayo Clinic, laughter can help boost our immune systems because it has the potential to release neuropeptides, which helps fight illness and stress.

So have a little smile or crack some jokes, because it’s best to defeat those toxins in your body with a free dose of happiness.

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day! What’s in your Green Juice?

happy-st-pattys-day-whats-in-your-green-juice_path_webTomorrow is Saint Patrick’s Day!

Don’t forget to get your green on with some green juice. We already know that the juice trend has been going on since 2010. It’s still going strong. But, have you heard about green juice?  It’s a combination of leafy greens, fruits and a lot of vegetables. Many people drink this type of juice because it supplies the body with an abundant amount of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. The correct way to green juice is to prominently use vegetables in order to receive the benefits your body needs. Are you disgusted? Don’t be!

According to the USDA:

The average person barely eats the recommended amount of vegetables each day. Therefore, it’s highly recommended to drink them like a smoothie to consume most of the nutrients broken down in a juicer. Since the juice is made of many green ingredients—it carries out the pigment, chlorophyll. Chlorophyll has many benefits for the body.

Chlorophyll benefits:

    • regenerates poor blood cells
    • aids the immune system

reduces cholesterol

Better yet, green juice is alkalizing! Alkaline is said to help with neutralizing acid in the bloodstream, which helps with oxygen and energy levels and metabolism.

If you never tried it before, plan out what you’re going to put first. We know that juicing vegetables can seem weird. Stick with your normal fruity smoothies and add a cup of kale. Then, as you get used to tasting the greenery, add more until you reach more vegetables and fewer fruits. Your future body will thank you!

Start Saint Patty’s Day right—with some green juice and luck by your side!