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Onions: Flavor Booster, and So Much More!

Onions might be best known for their smell and how they make you cry when cutting them, but did you know that onions have healing powers as well? Onions contain sulfur compounds and a flavonoid called Quercetin, both of which help the body remove, repair or reverse certain ailments. They also have antibiotic, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. More ways onions can help improve your health include: • Lowering LDL (bad) cholesterol • Lowering blood pressure • Thought to be a cancer treatment, specifically stomach cancer • Protecting against cardiovascular disease • Natural blood thinner • Relieving sinus congestion, cold and flu symptoms • Lessening the risk of stroke • Lowering blood sugar in diabetics • Detoxifying the body by removing heavy metals, including cadmium, lead and mercury, from the body. • Relieving nausea and indigestion • Increasing bone density Onion Recipes for Better Health To treat chest congestion, a compress can help: 1. Quarter 4 onions 2. Steam or lightly sauté in water until soft 3. Let cool until you are able to handle 4. Wrap in cheesecloth and secure with safety pins 5. Apply to chest You can put it on under a shirt or towel to keep it in place. For children you won’t need as many onions so you can cut the recipe down, depending on the size of your child. A good way to keep it in place for little ones is lay the pouch on their chest and wrap an ace bandage all the way around them and secure. Earache Earaches can be very painful and it’s hard to watch your children suffer through one. But, with this simple recipe you can knock out earache pain in a matter of minutes. Here’s what you’ll need: • 1 onion with skin • Bowl • Spatula • Eyedropper Steam the onion with the skin on. Keeping the skin on helps to keep all of the onion juice inside until you’re ready to use it. Once it’s done (when it’s soft) cut in half and put one half into a bowl. Then press the onion with a spatula or other utensil to squeeze out the juice. Use the eyedropper to capture some of the juice Put several drops into the ear and the earache should dissipate within 15 minutes or so. If it doesn’t go away in that amount of time you can apply several more drops. Acne To help get rid of embarrassing acne, apply this simple mixture to your skin: • 1 tablespoon fresh onion juice • 1 tablespoon olive oil Combine and rub over entire face with your fingers in a circular motion. Let sit for about 20 minutes then rinse off with warm water. Pat your face dry. This will help clear up blemishes. It can be used as a spot treatment for breakouts, too. Who would’ve thought the smelly onion could do all this!


First Aid Essentials For Travelers

Let's face it, stuff happens while on vacation. You didn't mean to trip up a step at the city museum or get a splinter in your leg from the driftwood at the beach, but it happened just the same. Instead of wondering how to take care of any minor accidents that happen on your trip, take time before you go to make up a medical travel kit. You don't have to be a boy scout to be prepared; it just makes good sense for anyone traveling. It will depend on where your travels take you as to what to put in your kit, but there are some things that are necessary wherever you go. And while it's true your destination may be in the US where there might be stores available to purchase what you need when you need it, why risk it or interrupt your fun because you need to locate a store? Must haves for any trip: • bandaids in various sizes • antiseptic towelettes • Benadryl tablets or the like • antacid tablets • sunscreen • anything else important to your particular health issues You don't need a lot of each, just enough to help for the duration of your trip. Remember to restock after you get home so it's ready for the next trip. If you're traveling abroad, you medical travel kit will be more extensive as you don't know the availability of various products, plus you want to be certain of what you're taking. Here are the additional items to pack for overseas travel: • Your prescription medication, enough to cover the entire trip. You can ask your doctor about substitutions should you run out or lose your meds. • Medication you might possibly need for motion sickness or altitude sickness. • Allergy medication if you have allergic reactions. This can be an antihistamine, a prescription medication, an epi-kit, and a topical such as Calamine lotion. Keep in mind you may be eating food you've never tried, and allergy information is not always readily available. • You may encounter digestive issues with all the new foods you try on your trip so medicine to help with stomach issues should be packed in your kit. Antacids, anti-diarrheals, and laxatives come in convenient tablet form and can help immensely. • As mentioned previously, sunblock is important. Don't underestimate the strength of the sun and protect your skin from harmful UV rays. • If insects are an issue, be sure to pack a reliable insect repellent. No matter where your travels take you, bring your well-stocked medical kit along. That way you can fix any minor medical issues and continue with your otherwise enjoyable vacation.


Garden-Grown Herbal Remedies

It’s no secret that herbal supplements can be great for your health. They’ve been used for centuries to heal the human body both inside and out. In fact, you may be growing herbs in your garden and not even realize the power they hold. If you’re thinking of planting a healing herb garden, there are a few easy-to-start-with herbs to consider planting: Dandelion. The flowers and roots can be used for many ailments and overall better health. The flowers are generally eaten or made into tea. You can add them to salad, soups or eat raw. They are tasty and contain potassium, beta-carotene and vitamins A and C. Roots and stems contain a creamy substance that can be squeezed out and used for skin issues. Rub it over a bee sting to take away the pain as well as cuts and scrapes. It is a natural acne treatment and can remove warts when applied directly to the affected area several times a day until gone. While dandelion is generally considered safe, you should be aware that some peopl are allergic. Be on the lookout for any skin reaction or gastric upset after using. Garlic. The medicinal value of garlic cannot be ignored. It contains Allicin, which is a natural antibiotic. This helps your system fight infection and can help to strengthen your immune system. Garlic has also been in the forefront of natural remedies for fighting cancer, heart disease, lowering cholesterol, improving blood circulation and lowering blood sugar. Adding garlic to your diet can only improve your health. Used topically garlic can take the pain away from cuts, scrapes, bee stings, and rashes. It has also been successfully used to clear up acne or other skin problems. Cut the clove in half and rub the cut side onto the affected area. Oregano. This herb is high in antioxidants and minerals. Antioxidants are responsible for reducing free radicals, which are chemical reactions in your body that damage your cells and cause premature aging. By adding oregano to your diet you can help keep your body healthy. Cilantro. High in vitamin K, antioxidants, minerals and fiber, cilantro adds flavor to your foods as well as offering health benefits. It can help remove toxins from your body helping to reduce depression and reducing chronic fatigue. It may also play a role in minimizing the effects of Alzheimer’s disease and osteoporosis. Mint. If you’re susceptible to digestive problems or nausea you may want to plant some in your garden. Mint helps calm your stomach and ease flatulence. It contains vitamins, magnesium, iron, phosphorus and calcium making it a great addition for bone health, too. Not to mention it smells great! Growing an herb garden is easy and can be done in a very small space, even a window sill. The benefits you will gain by adding fresh herbs to your diet or to have on hand for topical applications are numerous. Plus, taking care of an herb garden is a simple as planting the seed, watering and snipping to use as needed.


Essential Nutrients For Beautiful Skin

Everyone wants beautiful, soft, radiant skin. But how do we get it? With lotions and potions? Sure, they help, but beautiful skin starts with healthy skin, and that begins on the inside. The first thing you must do to get healthy skin is to improve your diet. What you eat makes a big difference in how your skin looks and feels. Eating foods rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals is the key. Antioxidants help combat the free radicals that attack your body, both inside and outside, doing damage to the cells. Many people simply do not eat a balanced diet. Getting enough fruits and vegetables into your diet to reap the benefits is important to skin health, and over-all health. You can do your best to include nutrient-dense foods in your diet, but another way to help boost nutrition is to take a multivitamin or other supplements. Some powerful antioxidants to look for in your supplements are beta carotene, selenium, and vitamins C, D and E. Let’s go into a little more detail to explain how these nutrients make your skin healthy from the inside out. Beta Carotene Our bodies turn beta carotene into vitamin A. This helps your skin look healthy by keeping the membranes pliable and resilient. It also keeps the cell structure that holds your skin up strong. Beta carotene also helps your body resist damage from external environmental stresses, including the sun's damaging UV rays. Vitamin C This is a building block for collagen, which is a protein that helps cells renew, resulting in firm, smooth, glowing, skin. When collagen is low, the skin cells don't turn over often enough, resulting in dry, dull, leathery skin, which is prone to wrinkles. Exfoliation of the skin with external vitamin C applications is one way to promote skin health. However, taking vitamin C internally, either with food or supplements, wakes up the skin cells from within. Vitamin D Natural production of vitamin D in the body starts to slow around the age of twenty. A reasonable amount of sun exposure, about 15 minutes a day, is needed to produce vitamin D in the body. Eating foods naturally rich in vitamin D, such as salmon, mushrooms, and eggs, will help boost your vitamin D. However, as we age, it's difficult to get all the vitamin D we need in just those foods. Adding vitamin D fortified foods such as milk and yogurt to your diet will help. But, at some point, many of us may need to take a vitamin D supplement to ensure we have enough in our body. Vitamin D supports your skin's elasticity, can help clear up acne, and lessens dark spots, sagging, fine lines, and wrinkles as we age. Vitamin E This is a powerful antioxidant that will help protect and repair your skin. Your body can’t produce vitamin E on its own, so you have to be sure you get enough through food or supplements. However, when choosing a supplement, stay away from synthetic vitamin E. Studies have indicated that synthetic versions of vitamin E can actually do more harm than good. Your health is as plain as the skin on your face. When you see excessive or premature wrinkles, acne, oil, dryness, redness, sagging, discoloration, or other skin conditions, it could be a sign of poor health. Many people don’t realize this, and instead of curing the health problem within, they use all sorts of magic topical products to patch things up. And that's all they're doing – patching things up. The skin problem will continue if the health issue isn't addressed first. The bottom line is, adding the vitamins and minerals your body is lacking will help give your skin the beauty treatment it needs.


Incredible Edible Garlic

Garlic is versatile and has many health benefits. The smell sometimes makes people not want to add garlic to their diet but the benefits outweigh the price you would pay in powerful breath. In If you’re concerned about it though, you can minimize the smell by sucking on a lemon wedge or chewing on a sprig of parsley. Both work well to neutralize the garlic odor in your mouth. Garlic can be eaten raw but most people prefer to add it to cooked foods. It gives your food a flavorful boost. You can also buy garlic supplements that may help reduce garlic breath. Heart & Circulation Powerful antioxidants found in garlic can help reduce free radicals in your body. Free radicals are dangerous molecules that can damage tissue and accelerate the aging process. This means that garlic promotes heart health, reduces and repairs damaged cells and supports healthy blood flow throughout your body, resulting in better circulation. It lowers blood pressure, reduces LDL cholesterol and helps regulate blood sugar. Garlic also relaxes the lining of the blood vessels, thereby helping to reduce plaque buildup in your arteries. This can help prevent strokes and heart attacks. Immune System Support Garlic contains a substance, called Allicin, which is a natural antibiotic. It reduces the ability of germs to grow and produce bacteria in your body. It also boosts your body’s natural defenses helping to rid you allergies, colds, and infections. Detoxification is a process your body goes through to remove toxins so it can perform better. Garlic aids with detoxification and helps your body’s own defenses work better by improving the function of your immune system. Cancer Defense Many studies show that a diet rich in garlic can actually help protect your body form various types of cancers, such as colon, breast and prostate cancer. Garlic contains chemical substances that may actually block cancer-activating carcinogens from being formed in the body. Pain Reliever Garlic is a natural pain killer. It reduces the pain and itch of bug bites, ringworm or other rashes. To apply to the affected area, cut a clove in half and rub the cut side all around the wound. It can also lessen the pain of toothaches. In a similar fashion, apply the cut side of the garlic directly onto the tooth and gums. You can also take a clove and break it up a little with a hammer or mallet and put the whole thing right over the affected tooth. Hold this in place for 10-15 minutes and your pain will be gone. Reapply as needed. Acne Treatment Many swear by applying a garlic mask for their acne. Garlic has natural antifungal and antibacterial properties which helps in clearing up acne prone skin. Make your own mask by crushing several cloves of garlic and mixing with Manuka honey. Apply directly to your face and let sit for approximately 20 minutes, rinse with warm water, blot dry and apply lotion for sensitive skin. Everyone can benefit from adding a little extra garlic to their diet.


The Best Supplements for Menopause

As we age, our body changes. The nutrients required by a thirty-five year old woman are not the same nutrients required by a fifty-five year old woman. Perimenopausal and menopausal women require some specific nutrients to maintain optimum health. Even if a woman eats a wide variety of healthy foods during this time, she may still be missing some essential nutrients. The reason is because her body has shifted and the nutrients she believes she needs may not address the symptoms of perimenopause or menopause. Let’s take a look at some symptoms and see how two important nutrients - calcium and vitamin D - work in tandem to ease those symptoms. Calcium A lack of adequate calcium in the body can lead to reduced bone density. When your body doesn’t get enough calcium, it will take the calcium from the bones in your body. This can lead to bone loss and, eventually, osteoporosis. Other problems, such as restlessness, anxiety, and disturbed sleep patterns may also be the result of a calcium deficiency. Begin building your calcium reserves by eating several of these foods daily: • Plain yogurt • Milk • Cottage Cheese • Mozzarella Cheese • Salmon or Sardines • Spinach • Collard Greens • Broccoli Of course, along with adding calcium rich foods to your diet, taking a calcium supplement is an excellent way to ensure you are getting the right amount. The recommended amount of calcium for perimenopausal and menopausal women until the age of 55 is 1200 mg per day. After 55, it is often recommended to boost the dosage to 1500 mg per day. Our body tends to absorb less calcium as we age. The extra calcium can ease the symptoms of menopause and protect against bone loss. Vitamin D It’s important to know that calcium cannot be absorbed by the body without vitamin D. It doesn't matter how much calcium you take, if you don’t pair it with enough vitamin D, the calcium will not be absorbed properly. Most calcium supplements are now paired with vitamin D, but be sure to look before you buy. Along with helping to absorb calcium to maintain bone health, vitamin D can also combat mood swings, even fighting off depression. Vitamin D is also known to help with memory and overall cognitive performance. One of the easiest, and best, ways to get enough vitamin D is to go outside. The sun works with your body to produce vitamin D through the skin. Just exposing your skin to sunlight 15 minutes a day will provide your body with a healthy dose of vitamin D. This is a case where more is not better. Once you have your 15 minutes, go ahead and lather on the sunscreen to protect your skin from overexposure. You have had all the sunlight you need. If you are unable to get outside daily, add extra servings of milk or yogurt to your diet, along with fatty fish such as salmon or tuna. If, however, these sources of vitamin D are not readily available to you on a routine basis, then adding a supplement is a good idea. The recommended daily allowance of vitamin D is 1000 mg per day. Your doctor or other health professional will be your best resource if you have any doubts or questions about how much calcium and vitamin D you need to maintain optimum health and fight the symptoms of perimenopause or menopause. Make a list of all the calcium rich and vitamin D rich foods you eat each day, then sit down and discuss your lifestyle and eating habits with your doctor or health professional. Adding a supplement may be recommended, and it may be just the answer you were looking for to relieve those symptoms and enjoy better health.


Put Down The Pepto - Cure Indigestion The Natural Way

Indigestion can make you feel bloated and cause pain in your stomach area. It can lead to nausea, uncontrolled flatulence and burping, heartburn and acid reflux making you miserable. Your state of mind can also be a contributor to digestive problems. This means that stress and anxiety and be factors as well. Other causes of indigestion are poor diet, overeating and partaking of too much alcohol. These can lead to a heavy buildup of toxins in the body making your digestive system unable to work properly. Remember overindulgence of anything can cause indigestion. Some Ways to Minimize Indigestion Eat frequent small meals. Keep your body fueled by eating more often to keep your energy up but in smaller quantities. Eating a small meal or snack every 2 to 3 hours will lessen problems and symptoms of indigestion. Eat whole foods. Staying away from highly processed, fatty foods will help you keep the acids down in your stomach. Adding whole foods such as lean meat, fruits and vegetables are a great way to get your body healthy and avoid upset stomach. Eat slowly. Eating too fast will cause you problems. Take it slow by consciously chewing your food and putting your fork down between bites. Avoid alcohol. Alcohol is acidic and contains sugars that can cause your body to be out of balance. Limit caffeine. Consuming fewer caffeinated beverages will help to keep heartburn at bay. Sources of caffeine are coffee, tea, soda, energy drinks among others. Drink Water. Train yourself to drink more water each day. It’s easy to fit more in if you drink a glass up on rising and keep a water bottle with you and sip all day long. Water helps to flush your system, removing toxins and keeps your body well hydrated. Don’t eat late. Eating before bed can cause heartburn, indigestion and acid reflux, making it hard to sleep. This contributes to the cycle by not allowing you to get the proper rest so you can your body in balance. Avoid spicy foods. If you find that spicy meals precede painful indigestion, limit or avoid them altogether. Keeping a food journal can help you determine the types of foods that cause you trouble. Apple Cider Vinegar. Add a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to a glass of water and drink it once or twice a day can aid digestion. It is a fermented product so it helps the healthy bacteria grow and multiply in your intestines which are needed for a healthy digestive tract. Drink peppermint tea. Peppermint tea has a calming effect on your system helping with nausea. Making these dietary changes can help you minimize or even avoid the painful symptoms of indigestion.


The Natural Way to Combat Depression

Depression is a debilitating problem for many people. But treating it with pharmaceuticals can sometimes cause more harm than good. Before resorting to chemical solutions, trying a natural approach can often help. Eat Well Diet alone may not cure depression, but a eating properly is the foundation of a healthy body. If you regularly consume highly processed foods you are contributing to the toxic buildup in your body. This buildup leads to a variety of problems, including depression. Eliminate sugars and high fructose corn syrup, controversial ingredients included in many processed foods and drinks these days. Eating too much sugar can cause highs immediately after eating, followed by a crash. This can make you feel worse than you did before you ate. It’s believed that adding more folic acid and omega-3 fatty acids can also help combat depression. You can find omega-3s in fatty fish such as sardines, salmon and tuna. Avocados, green leafy vegetables and seeds are good sources of folic acid. Exercise Moving your body can keep it healthy and can promote a chemical reaction in your brain that makes you feel good. Endorphins – the chemical responsible - are called the feel good chemical. Your body naturally produces endorphins when you exercise. You can start out small by just walking a for a little bit each day, even as much as 10 minutes will help boost your mood. The more you begin to move your body the better you will feel. In fact, you may find that you begin to crave the exercise for the feel good reaction. Sleep Getting proper sleep is important to a healthy mind and body, but depression makes it hard to get a good rest. Even though you may feel like you’ve slept, it doesn’t mean you are getting proper sleep. If you have trouble getting restful, deep sleep try some relaxation techniques, such as turning off all applications and TV at least one hour prior to your desired bedtime. This will help your mind to relax from those distractions before trying to sleep. Another would be reading a lighthearted book that promotes good feelings. You can also try warm milk as it can be mildly sedative for some people. Go Outside Sunlight is not only good for the soul it promotes the production of vitamin D in your body. Vitamin D helps boost your mood. Herbal Supplements St. John’s wort is an herbal supplement that comes from a flower of the same name. Proponents say it can be as effective as pharmaceutical anti-depressants for treating mild depression. You can make tea from dry St. John’s wort, but the most common way to take it is in pill or liquid form. You can find St. John’s wort in health food stores. Depression can be a debilitating disease, but the treatment is often expensive and carries its own unpleasant side effects. Before resorting to chemical cures, give these natural remedies a shot. Chances are you’ll feel better without the added cost and chemicals.


6 Health Tips Every Boomer and Senior Should Know Before Traveling

(NewsUSA) – Marvin Mallon, 86, and his wife, Reva, know how important it is to plan ahead before embarking on a long journey — especially when it comes to their health. During a road trip through the United States and Canada, Marvin Mallon needed regular hormone injections to treat his prostate cancer. Thanks to his Kaiser Permanente physician, the Southern California grandfather was able to receive his treatment during a stopover in Helena, Montana. “I was miles away from my doctor, and Kaiser Permanente saw to it that I was taken care of,” said Mallon. “Older adults usually have several health concerns,” said Jose Dryjanski, M.D., a travel medicine specialist at Kaiser Permanente in Southern California. “They should consult with their doctor or a travel clinic before going on a long trip. Being prepared is the key to staying safe and healthy.” Dr. Dryjanski offers six basic health tips for a less stressful trip. 1. Get vaccinated. Learn what vaccines are needed. You may need shots to protect against pneumonia, measles, meningitis, polio and other diseases. To develop immunity, vaccines need to be given four to six weeks before your trip begins, so plan accordingly. 2. Remember to take your medication. Refill your prescriptions before you leave. Bring a list of all your medications in case you lose them or need medical attention. Bring important medicines in a carry-on bag. If you have diabetes, check with your airline about travel restrictions regarding insulin, insulin syringes and blood glucose testing supplies. 3. Drink bottled water, and avoid raw food. Stay hydrated. If you’re traveling in a developing country, drink bottled water and bottled juices only. Avoid ice, ice cream, soft cheeses and raw vegetables. Bacteria found in these foods can cause diarrhea and vomiting. 4. Exercise often. Take stretch or walk breaks, especially if you’re on a plane or in a car. Sitting for long periods of time can cause vein and pulmonary clots. 5. Prevent falls and injuries. It’s easy to fall while traveling. You can stumble on a curb while sightseeing, or trip in your unfamiliar hotel room. Walk carefully, and make sure your room has proper lighting and a clear path to the bathroom — free of telephone cords, bags and suitcases. 6. Protect against mosquito bites and sun damage. Mosquito bites can transmit diseases such as malaria. Wear clothing that covers your skin, and use insect repellant approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Prevent sun damage by using sunscreen with a sun protection factor of at least 30. If you’re traveling abroad, find out in advance whether your health plan covers you. Kaiser Permanente members are covered for emergency care anywhere in the world. For more tips, visit share.kp.org/travel. For questions or advice about a specific condition, talk to your physician.


10 Steps to Help Older Adults Prevent Slips, Trips and Falls

(NewsUSA) – Some of the most serious injuries among older adults, age 65 and older, are caused by falling. More than 1.6 million older Americans end up in the emergency room or hospital because of a fall, according to the National Institutes of Health. Seniors who have broken a hip by falling can have trouble recovering and regaining mobility. The good news is many falls are preventable. One of the first things you can do if you take prescription medication is have your health care team review your medication. “Some prescription medicines and over-the-counter drugs, or a combination of them, can make you dizzy or sleepy. Either can lead to a fall,” said ">Jaza Marina, M.D., a geriatrician at Kaiser Permanente in Atlanta. “If you fall, be sure to let your doctor know, even if you aren’t hurt. Sometimes falls are a sign of a new medical problem that needs attention.” Many underlying causes of falls can be treated or corrected. Dr. Marina recommends these 10 proactive steps to reduce the risk of falling. Make your home safe. 1. Remove clutter, throw rugs and electrical cords that might cause you to trip. 2. Store items on bottom shelves. 3. Add grab bars where necessary — in hallways, stairways and bathtubs. 4. Add a rubber bath mat in the shower or tub. 5. Make sure your home is well lit. Use night lights in hallways and bathrooms. 6. Keep a phone and flashlight by your bed. Take care of yourself. 7. Stay as physically active as you can. 8. Wear comfortable shoes with good support. 9. Have your vision and hearing checked. 10. Use a cane or walker if you feel unsteady. For more information on how to prevent falls, visit share.kp.org/preventing-falls. Also check out everybodywalk.org for tips on walking as an exercise. For questions or advice about a specific condition, talk to your physician.


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