Staple Foods Around the World

food staples from around the world

Chances are you have some staple foods in your diet. They may be similar to what people eat in your community because of its availability. It may be different because you choose to live a specific lifestyle. Staple foods vary around the world.  While there is a lot of overlapping of foods and definitely a few staples that are universal, there are some interesting staples in other countries you probably haven’t heard of that are worth trying.

 

Millet

This is a cereal-like grain consumed mainly in Asian and African regions. It’s commonly used for feeding their livestock as well. It’s gluten-free and a good source of protein and fiber. It comes with some great health benefits, including improved digestive health and lowering cholesterol.

It’s not so different from cooking rice either and can be substituted for other grains in your already existing recipes.

 

Tubers

You may be thinking this is not a new food, but potatoes are only one variety of tuber that shows up as a staple food. And with companies like Klondike Brands, you can eat more than the regular Russet potatoes, including purple potatoes which are more common in France.

You’ll recognize yams (found in Indochina and Africa) and sweet potatoes (also found in South America), but you’ll also find cassava in this group, which originates in South America with the potato. Cassava can be converted into flour, is gluten and nut-free, and comes with a bit of an edgy reputation. The root contains some naturally occurring cyanide compounds, but don’t worry, commercially sold cassava isn’t harmful.

 

Rice

Rice is another staple you should be familiar with. It is used in the Chinese-Japanese, and Indonesian regions. White rice is the most commonly consumed, but you can also find the Basmati variety in India and Pakistan or jasmine rice in Thailand.

Though rice isn’t native to the Americas, it has become a staple crop for Latin America and the Caribbean and is eaten almost always alongside brown or black beans.

 

Maize 

Maize is corn. The type of maize you eat may depend on the region you live in. Maize originates in the Americas but is now gaining status as a staple in Africa as well.

There are six different types of corn, and the one most people think of is sweet corn, but there are specific varieties for flour and even popcorn. If you’re looking for another alternative to wheat flour, corn flour or corn meal is good option to look into.

 

Wheat

Wheat is the most widely grown staple crop of them all and is grown on nearly every continent. Asia grows the most wheat of any country, providing more than half of what we use.

We commonly make bread with wheat; however, it is also used for cereal, pasta, crackers, tortillas, and couscous. Though many people have started to avoid wheat or stick to gluten-free varieties, it’s still the most widely used and versatile.

 

What to Look for When Choosing a Therapist

seeking a therapist

If you need help with your life, turning to a therapist is a good solution. Sometimes, you can’t solve your problems by yourself, and someone who is qualified and knows how you tick can be the one to help. However, picking a therapist can be difficult. There may be so many options, and you wonder what the best therapist for the job will be.

There is no right answer. Different problems may require different therapists. However, you can be able to find the therapist that is right for you by searching around. Here are a few tips to help you out.

 

Ask About Therapists!

The best way to find a therapist is through recommendation. Asking your friends or family members about what therapists you use can help you make a choice. If your peers have not gone to a therapist, ask around local forums. If a certain name keeps popping up, investigate them and see if they’re right for you.

 

Talk to Them

A good therapist will be one who lets you talk to them before the session begins. This can break the ice before your first session, and help you determine if the therapist is right for you. Schedule a call or a visit. If the therapist makes you feel uncomfortable, don’t go with them. If you feel like there is some potential, schedule a session with them.

 

Know the Therapist’s Specialties

 You wouldn’t go to a therapist who specializes in couples counseling in order for you to learn how you can get a promotion at your job. When researching and talking to these therapists, do not be afraid to ask what they can help you with.

 

How Tough Do You Want it?

 Some people want a therapist who is going to be honest to them and tell them what they need to do to change their life. Other people will want a therapist who is gentler and helps ease them to solutions. Know your limits, and pick a therapist who can conform to said limits.

 

What is This Therapist’s Experience?

When choosing a therapist, one common sense rule you should follow is choosing one with a portfolio. A therapist who has had plenty of satisfied clients in the past should be able to help you with any of your problems. But there is more to it than just that. Sometimes, you should choose a therapist that is also educated. Therapists can be ordinary people, and that can be good at times. Sometimes, your therapist needs to be a person you can share a drink with. However, your therapist sometimes needs to be someone with qualifications. What is their educational background? How good is the school they wen to? Consider that when choosing a therapist.

 

Search Online for Therapists

 Sometimes, doing some online browsing can help you. You can see pictures of therapists and get a good first impression. The Internet has also made you able to pick a therapist from anywhere. You don’t need to necessarily seek someone local. You can do online therapy through chat, Skype, or any other option that allows for communication. To get started, click here.

Choosing a therapist can be difficult, and sometimes, it’s trial and error. A therapist may seem fine at first, but after a few sessions, you may realize they aren’t for you. On the other hand, the therapist may grow on you and you may have the best therapy session possible.

The point is that you shouldn’t settle for a therapist or rush the choosing process. Only go with a therapist who makes you comfortable and who can help you.

Does Teeth Whitening Have Side Effects?

girl with teeth whitening

If you desire to whiten your teeth, there are many safe options available. But just like any other chemical treatment, the perfect white smile that most people desire does not come easily without potential side effects. As much as people want whiter teeth, some have been influenced by what they have been watching on celebrity fads. Even though fans try to match the perfect smile they see in the movies, they should be aware of the facts that are available concerning the results of teeth whitening.

The most unfortunate thing is that normal teeth are not usually perfectly white as most of us are led to believe. As we grow older, and we continue engaging in habits such as smoking tobacco or drinking excessive amounts of coffee, it is easy for the teeth to eventually become discolored.

To add to teeth discoloration, a lack of proper oral hygiene can make your teeth to stain from the plaque buildup that leads to the formation of tartar. Once tartar is formed on the tooth’s surface, the brown sticky substance cannot be easily brushed off in the morning; you will have to go for a dental checkup.

Potential side effects and results of teeth whitening

Most of the people who have used teeth whitening products have not encountered any side effects. However, some number of individuals encounter some side effects as described below:

Irritation of the soft tissue

Soft tissue irritation is also be known as a chemical burn. The chemical burn can happen if the whitening product gets to interact with the gum tissue in the process of teeth whitening. Once your gums come into contact with the whitening product, the gums will immediately become white. But not to worry, the gums will get back to the normal color in a short while. It can be scary when you look at the white gums when you are undergoing the tooth whitening procedure. The dangerous part only comes when you expose your gums to a high concentration of carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide because it may result in tissue inflammation and redness of the gums. In extreme cases, the soft gums will start to bleed and become painful.

Undesirable results

It is not practical to always achieve the desirable results after the teeth whitening process. If you previously had internal tooth discoloration, you may still see the same discolored parts after the procedure. Now, if you go ahead and start whitening your teeth continuously, you may begin to notice your teeth becoming translucent or gray. The creamy white color you expected becomes a dream that you were having and it may even stress you out. If you have fillings, veneers, crowns, and caps, it is hard to use whitening products.

Over the counter teeth whitening products

Even though most of us have good white teeth, the desire to extend the whiteness to the perfect white shade can tempt you to go to a drug store and purchase teeth whitening products. However, you should be careful when purchasing these products. If you decide to go for the cheap whitening products, it might cost you more, and even leave you with dental issues you never had, like sensitivity issues and brittleness.

It is not possible to have white teeth for all whitening products because some products are substandard and they may cause dental issues instead of sorting out the dental problems you were trying to solve. In other cases, some products may backfire and cause dental problems if you use them more often than the recommended usage as indicated by the manufacturer. In case you are doubtful of a product, contact your dentist for advice.

Carbamide peroxide should be examined. It is the active ingredient in most of the highly sought after teeth whitening solutions. When you dissolve this product in water, it breaks down into a bleaching agent which is known as hydrogen peroxide.

When you consistently use the bleach, it can easily strip away the enamel coat on your teeth. This will expose your teeth to more side effects. These consist of painful teeth sensations, and blotchy appearance because the dark dentin is exposed.

Additionally, enamel that is stripped away makes the teeth brittle, which makes them become more prone to chipping and cracking. In extreme cases, the teeth can become malleable. Your teeth will be more receptive to the sensitivity of cold and hot food items and beverages because it does not have the enamel coating. It will be tough to eat ice cone cream or even go for a hot chocolate.

Professional teeth whitening

Consulting your doctor before a teeth whitening procedure is really important. Teeth whitening will become a challenge when you have braces or veneers. This is because it will be easy to notice the discoloration between areas where braces cover the tooth.

Professional guidance from your dentist will help you to make the best decision for your oral appearance. If you need teeth whitening, have your dentist walk you through some of the best solutions for your situation. This can save you from damaging your teeth and having inconsistent results.

Do you have to whiten your teeth?

Having white teeth is not all there is about having good oral health. Brushing two times a day, flossing, rinsing your mouth using mouthwash, and frequent checkups. These traits will help you to maintain an excellent oral routine that results in the perfect smile. If you plan to whiten your teeth, consult your dentist for the best, honest and informed advice that will help you. For more information regarding teeth whitening procedures, visit Dr. Marc Lazare’s website.

How Therapists and Psychologists Can Better Your Life

therapist waiting on her patient

When you have problems, be it mental disorders or just problems in your life, you should turn to a professional for help. While we all want to be able to help ourselves, there is no shame in seeking someone who can diagnose your problems and give you the tools needed to treat it, or someone who can help you make a plan to tackle your problems. Professionals such as therapists and psychologists can help. This is the basis for therapy and psychology, and in this post, we’ll explain more about the two professions and what they can do for you.

 

The Difference Between the Two

Therapists and psychologists are terms that are sometimes used interchangeably, but there is a difference between them. The job of a psychologist is to diagnose their clients. If you believe you have a mental disorder, you go to a psychologist to get diagnosed. They also help to treat the mental disorder, and they usually enact the help of a psychiatrist to give you medication.

Meanwhile, a therapist is someone who provides advice, guidance, and other help to different clients. Some have degrees, others don’t. They can be counselors, life coaches, mentors, or anyone else who helps you with your problems.

A therapist can help with mental disorders. For example, if you’re depressed, they can teach you ways to cope with your depression. However, most therapists deal with life issues. If you are having marriage problems, a therapist can help you repair your marriage. If you need the motivation to finish a goal, a therapist can cooperate with you and help you to build a plan. These are just a few functions that therapists perform.

If you’re trying to diagnose a mental disorder, seek a psychologist. If you need other types of help in your life, talk to a therapist.

What a Psychologist Can Do For You

To summarize, a psychologist can do the following:

  • Test and diagnose for various mental illnesses.
  • With the help of a psychiatrist, give you medication that can treat said illnesses.
  • Offer advice for all the problems you’re having.
  • Build a plan that is based on your psyche. They know how the mind works and can go through all the mental blocks you may have.

 

What a Therapist Can Do For You

A therapist can:

  • Hold you accountable for your problems. If you fail to reach your goal, they will tell you how you can learn from your mistakes.
  • Formulate a plan to reach your goal.
  • Help repair relationships. This may be in the form of couples therapy, or a solo therapy session where you learn how to handle any communication issues you may have.
  • A therapist can be anyone. Some may have training, while others are just mentors or life coaches. A friend or family member can be your therapist. Sometimes, strangers on the Internet can be the therapists you need, and can motivate you to be better. However, a professionally trained one will be unbiased and learn quickly how you operate, and can make a plan based on your psyche.

And those are just a few things a therapist and a psychologist can do for you. If you need help in life, don’t be afraid to go to one, especially if you feel like you may have an undiagnosed mental disorder. Learning about yourself can help you solve problems and learn techniques to make you succeed.

They don’t have to be expensive, either. There are affordable alternatives out there, both offline or online. Seek them out, and get the help you deserve.

Chronic vs. Acute Sinusitis: What’s the Difference and How are They Best Treated?

Chronic vs. Acute Sinusitis

Sinuses are tiny air-filled cavities found in the skull. Their purpose is to produce mucus, which keeps the nasal passage free of allergens and pollutants. On the other hand, sinusitis is the swelling of the tissue that lines these cavities. Sometimes, this swelling blocks the sinuses thus, trapping in air and mucus, which can lead to pain and pressure. If left untreated, it could lead to a bacterial infection. Did you know there is a difference in chronic vs. acute sinusitis?

Types of sinusitis

There are two main types namely acute and chronic sinusitis.

Acute Sinusitis

This is an infection that usually goes away on its own without having to be treated. Its symptoms can be eased through several treatments, though patients only need antibiotic medications at times. It doesn’t have many complications, but it could lead to chronic sinusitis. The infection could spread to surrounding structures also.

With acute sinusitis, the infection takes over the body drastically and goes away the same way. Most acute sinusitis cases go away within a week, although in some cases, it could last up to 30 days. If the sinusitis infection lasts 4-30 days, it is considered acute. In case it persists for 4-12 weeks, it becomes subacute.

A slight bout of acute sinusitis is not a big deal as some people will experience it with a cold. It is, however, uncommon to have severe acute sinusitis and most people only suffer such bouts once or twice in their lives. Some people experience repeated acute sinusitis bouts.

How an Acute Sinusitis is Contracted

In most cases, people develop acute sinusitis after flu or cold infections. These infections come from viruses that spread to the sinus. The flu stays before going away, which leads to a viral sinus infection. In some cases, bacteria add to the infection. This leads to a bacterial sinus infection, which is worse and lasts longer.

Sometimes, infections travel to the maxillary sinus from infected teeth.This can result from a dental infection.

Additional Risks Factors that Cause a Sinus Infection

Factors that make to someone to be more inclined to a sinus infection include the following:

  • Allergic rhinitis- this kind of allergy leads to an inflammation of the inner nose tissue, leading to blocked sinus drainage pathways. This exposes the sinuses to an infection.
  • Asthma
  • Weak immunity
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Pregnancy
  • Rare nose tumors
  • Past nose or cheek injuries
  • Some medical procedures like the use of a nasogastric tube
  • Smoking

Symptoms of Acute Sinusitis

The common symptoms include:

Treatment

Antibiotics are usually not needed since most of these infections are as a result of viruses. Just like with flu, the body fights off the infection in a few weeks. However, antibiotics might be useful. A doctor might prescribe them if your infection comes with:

  • Severe symptoms and the fact that you are feeling unwell
  • Another infection like cystic fibrosis or a weak immune system
  • Symptoms that seem to be getting worse after a week

Some treatments are prescribed to help in relieving the symptoms. They include:

  • Pain medication like paracetamol, which helps in bringing down the fever and easing the feelings of discomfort
  • Decongestants drops or sprays are sometimes recommended. These help in opening a blocked nose temporarily. However, they should not be used for more than 5 days at one time as they may lead to more congestion in the nose.
  • Drinking a lot of fluids
  • The use of warm face packs over the sinuses and saline drops

Chronic Sinusitis

This kind of infection usually persists for 12 weeks and more despite your efforts to treat it. It usually messes up with drainage thus, causing mucus to build up. This might lead to difficulty in breathing through your nose. You will experience an inflammation around the face and eyes, leading to pain and tenderness.

Chronic sinusitis can be as a result of an infection, nasal polyps, or a deviated nasal septum. This condition is usually common with young and middle-aged people although it can also affect children.

Symptoms

There are different symptoms of chronic sinusitis apart from a blocked nose. They include:

  • Nasal congestion or obstruction that makes it hard to breathe through the nose
  • Thick and discolored discharge from the nose or one that drains down the throat
  • Pain, inflammation, and tenderness around the eyes, forehead, nose, and cheeks
  • Lowered senses of smell and taste
  • Coughs in children, which gets worse at night
  • A sore throat
  • Bad breath
  • Lethargy

As seen above, acute and chronic sinusitis come with the same symptoms. The only difference is that the former is just a temporary infection that comes with a cold. With the latter, the signs last longer and leave the patient feeling lethargic. There is no fever present with chronic sinusitis, though you might experience it with the acute case.

Before developing a chronic case of sinusitis, a patient might have several cases of the acute infection that usually goes for less than a month. A physician might refer the patient to an allergist or ENT specialist for treatment.

Treatment

Patients are advised to treat all underlying problems that might trigger the condition, such as taking care of asthma, allergic rhinitis, fungal, and dental infections. Also, avoid anything that makes the symptoms worse like smoking, scuba diving, and flying.

Medical Treatments

There are several medical treatment options like:

Steroids: these are usually applied to the nasal lining via sprays or drops. These help with the swelling and are to be taken on a long-term basis, which is usually three months. In case the symptoms are severe, steroids might be given orally though these might result in side-effects.

Antibiotics: taking them for 3-4 weeks can be effective. However, it is wise to have them after a full ENT assessment.

In case the patient has a fungal sinus infection, which is usually rare, antifungal medications are prescribed.

If you are in New York and looking for an ENT center, contact the Hudson Valley Sinus Center. These specialists offer services for sinus and nasal disorders.

How is Cartilage Grafted for Use in Rhinoplasty?

girl with nose

The nose is one of the most complex features of the face. It’s shape and texture is due to a combination of skin, soft tissue, and cartilage. Altering the cartilage that gives the nose firmness and height is one of the main aspects of any rhinoplasty. In some cases, your surgeon may recommend that additional material be grafted onto your nose. Grafts during a rhinoplasty require a slightly more complex surgery, but they can provide very impressive and drastic results.

The Reason You May Need Cartilage Grafts

A cartilage graft is a small amount of material that is placed in the nose during a rhinoplasty. It helps to provide additional structure to an area. In many cases, a cartilage graft is necessary because a patient has already had one rhinoplasty. If the first rhinoplasty goes wrong, it can be helpful to get a cartilage graft. This will provide extra support in the area. Depending on the role in your rhinoplasty, you may end up getting one or more types of grafts.

Alar Batten grafts are a type of graft that is placed along the nasal sidewall to keep the nasal valves from collapsing. They can be very helpful for correcting noses that look pinched and make it difficult to breathe. Another method for making it easier to breathe are spreader grafts. These go along the middle of the nose, and they also tend to make the nose a little wider. If the tip of the nose requires more support and form, a doctor may do an onlay graft to project the dome of the nose or an umbrella graft to lift the tip.

Locations That Cartilage Grafts Are Taken From

The cartilage material used in a graft may come from a few different sources. In most cases, it is best to use the patient’s own cartilage because there is less of a risk of rejection. Ideally, doctors take the cartilage from the inside of the nose. Cartilage from the septum is very sturdy, can easily be removed during a rhinoplasty, and will not cause noticeable changes to appearance. If the patient does not have enough cartilage within their septum, the doctor can also take it from the ear and hide incisions and scarring within the crease of the ear.

Cartilage from other sources has a slightly higher risk of rejection, but it is necessary in cases where a patient does not have enough nose or ear cartilage for the procedure. It can be harvested from the rib region, though this typically is not done except for in cases of extreme reconstruction. Patients can also choose to opt for donor cartilage material. This typically comes from a cadaver supply. There are synthetic forms of the material that are used for grafting. Though the procedure of applying it is very similar, it is technically an implant, not a type of graft.

The Process of Grafting During a Rhinoplasty

After you consult your surgeon about your surgery, you will visit the doctor’s office on a schedule date. Most rhinoplasties are done under general anesthesia, so you will be asleep during the procedure. The doctor will start by making incisions along the interior or exterior of the nose. This will begin reshaping the underlying structure of the nose. Depending on the point of origin for your cartilage graft, the surgeon may also make other incisions to remove whats needed.

Once the graft is ready, it will be applied to the appropriate area. It will be supported with pins or small sutures. During the surgery, the doctor will also reshape the nasal region surrounding the graft to create a smooth and unified look. Once the new shape is refined, the surgeon will carefully re-apply the skin and stitch it into place.

Recovery With a Cartilage Graft

Once the surgery is over, your doctor will apply splints both inside and outside your nose. This will keep the graft in place while you heal. You will need to rest for the first twenty four hours after the surgery, and you will not be able to return to work for roughly a week or two. There will be a lot of swelling and bruising surrounding the region of the graft. Many patients find that this looks much worse than it actually feels. Recovery can take a little longer if you have a rib cartilage graft because there is more swelling in the nose and soreness in the chest. Depending on the type of rhinoplasty you have, it can take several months for swelling to go down and the full results to be visible.

Some patients worry that a cartilage graft might dissolve or warp over time. However, the type used in rhinoplasty grafts tends to be much sturdier than the rib cartilage. Most people do not need to worry about the cartilage moving or getting reabsorbed. If you are concerned about it, you should talk to your surgeon. An experienced plastic surgeon can take extra steps like precision suturing to make it easier for the graft to heal well.

Dr. Andrew Frankel specializes in both first time and revision rhinoplasty, at the Lasky Clinic. Click here to learn more.

Factors That Affect Your Joint Health

man stretching hips on field

When most people thinking about joint pain, they imagine a man or woman well advanced in years complaining about arthritis and predicting changes in the weather, but really it can affect anyone at any age along with joint swelling, redness, and limited motion.

The earlier you learn to care for your joints, the more likely you’ll be able to keep up with your favorite activities in later years

Age

As you age, you’re likely to lose some bone density (especially for women after menopause). This means that your bones become more fragile and there’s a better chance of breaking something. The cartilage in your joints also becomes thinner and damage becomes more likely. If not dealt with, these things can easily lead to osteoarthritis and further pain and injuries.

To slow these down, keep exercising and building up muscle. Strong muscles will help to keep ligaments strong and prevent unnecessary damage to your joints. You should also be aware of your limits–you don’t want to push yourself too far and end up with an injury anyway.

Weight

Excessive weight can affect how your joints function and age. Because of the extra pounds, there’s more weight bearing down on your joints than they’re supposed to handle and the added stress will begin to wear them down.

But it doesn’t end there; your cartilage will then begin to wear down, too, and it can’t be regrown. If this keeps up, you’ll likely be headed for hip surgery to get a joint replacement. You can avoid these drastic measures by eating a healthy, controlled diet starting now and continuing to get the right amount of exercise that your body needs to stay fit.

Repetitive Stress or Injuries

You might already eat well and love to workout, but you might have suffered a few injuries that affect your joints. If you continue to put stress on these areas, your joints can also wear down, and more acute injuries may follow. Things like tendinitis, sprains, strains, and dislocations should not be ignored.

Prevent any further injuries by taking the proper precautions for whatever activities you participate in. Wear appropriate shoes and padding to protect yourself, and if you do have an injury, give it time to heal by easing back into physical activity.

Certain Foods

Did you know that certain foods can affect your joint health for better or for worse? Things we love to eat every day are some of the worst culprits. How often do you drink sugary soda or eat fried and processed foods? Be more aware of foods containing saturated fats like your favorite pizza as well as dairy, preservatives, and Omega-6 fatty acids found in corn and other oils.

Luckily, there are some foods you can start adding to your diet to promote joint health. Up the number of fruits and vegetables you’re eating. Opt for low-fat dairy products if you can’t go without. You can also add fish, garlic, and green tea to your current diet plan.

Your Medications

There are several medications out there that people use for their joint pain, especially those with arthritis, but you may be taking other medications that are causing inflammation rather than reducing it, causing you more pain.

Talk with your doctor about your medications. If you don’t think your current prescriptions are doing their job, he may change up what you’re taking. Because he’s familiar with your medication list already, he will be able to balance everything so it’s all working together. If you’re interested in natural joint supplements instead, talk them over with your doctor, too.

It’s Probably Not Cancer, But Just In Case…

lady without cancer laying on couch

When you’re feeling under the weather, but you have no idea what’s causing it, nine times out of ten you jump on the internet and go looking for solutions. Its probably not cancer, even though the symptoms may seem that way. And nine time out of ten, you come away from WebMD thinking you have cancer or some other serious illness that could end unpleasantly.

Before you go have a panic attack, take a look at these risk factors, signs, and symptoms associated with cancer so you can verify that you are not, in fact, dying.

Bodily Functions

Let’s get your immediate worries out of the way. Many physical symptoms of cancer contribute to the symptoms of other illnesses as well, so if you have one symptom out of the ten listed for a particular disease, it’s pretty safe to say that you haven’t contracted it.

Take a look through the following bodily signs to see how you measure up. Remember, some of these may also be the result of recent lifestyle changes or injuries and simply need to be followed up on by your physician.

  • A change in bowel and/or bladder behavior
  • Sudden weight changes
  • Unusual lumps or hardened areas
  • Unexplained and persistent pain, fever, or bleeding/discharge

Behavior & Habits

The next step to take to alleviate your worries about cancer is assessing your current behavior. Are you uncharacteristically tired and seem to have no energy even when you sleep long hours? Symptoms specific to brain cancer would be persistent headaches or issues with your sight and hearing. Your balance could also be off and you might have difficulty forming words.

Other affected aspects of your behavior could be difficulty processing information or remember things. Mood swings and extreme changes in personality may also be signs that something more is going on. If you’re about as weird as normal, chances are that you’re fine.

Now let’s review some of your current habits. While these may not be symptoms of an underlying illness, they can be indicators that put you at a higher risk for cancer. If you’re eating too much greasy junk food and drinking a lot of alcohol instead of getting enough fruits and vegetables, it’s time to make a change. If you spend most of your time sitting or lounging, make a plan to get moving and do more on your feet.

Exposure

So far, it looks like you’ll live, but there are a few more things to run through. If you spend excessive time in the sun or lying in a tanning bed, your at a higher risk for cancer. UV radiation exposure over time can add up and affect how cells are growing in your body.

Review the types of chemicals and infectious agents (like HIV, HPV, or Hepatitis B and C) that you’re exposed to routinely. These can increase your risk of cancer, especially if you haven’t been using the appropriate protective equipment when interacting with such substances or individuals who have them.

Health History

If you’ve made it to this section, then you’re home free. You should already have a good idea of what your health history is like and whether or not cancer risks run in your family. If you don’t, call up a family member to get the story.

Finally, check in regularly with your primary physician, even when you’re feeling fit and healthy, and keep up with your vaccinations. When you do have concerns about your health, don’t be afraid to bring them up at your appointment so your doctor can address them.

If your doctor suspects anything, they can refer you to a specialist like Teton Cancer Institute for further treatment. So stay consistent with tracking your health, and if you still have concerns (even if you’re pretty sure it’s not life-threatening anymore), make an extra appointment just to allay your worries.

Help Your Oral Hygiene Regime

girl smiling with hands above head

It’s common knowledge that brushing and flossing your teeth on the daily is good for your oral health. Maybe swish around some fluoride mouth rinse, avoid sugary foods and drinks, don’t bite your nails – these are all things that we know will contribute in a good way to our dental health.

 

But maybe there are some things that you weren’t aware would affect your dental health in a positive way. Take a gander at these tips and make sure you include them in your daily habits toward improving your oral (and overall) health.

Drink Water

 

Water is so healthy for you! And this is something most people know. It helps with just about every bodily function you can think of, so it should be no surprise that it assists in great oral health too.

Drink water often throughout your day, and try to drink a glass of water after every meal. This will help you wash some of the acidic and sticky foods from your teeth when you are away from your toothbrush.

Eat Fresh Produce

 

Apples, celery, carrots, and peppers are all great for your teeth. These fresh, fibrous, and crispy foods help scrub your teeth as your chew them. They are a great way to finish a meal. And because they are crispy and require more jaw work and more chewing, your mouth produces more saliva, which is great for helping to eliminate some of the bad bacteria that likes to stick to your teeth.

 

When you’re on the go, pack these easy snacks up with you to give your teeth and body some good vibes throughout your busy day.

Wash Your Tongue

 

Did you know that plaque can build up on your tongue too? So don’t neglect your tongue when you are cleaning your teeth. Give it a good brushing with your toothbrush (many toothbrushes now have textured tongue scrubbers on the backside of the bristles). Swishing around a mouth rinse is a good way to kill bacteria on your tongue too.

Try Cinnamon

 

Do you keep cinnamon gum on you for fresh breath? Then you’re ahead of the game, even if you don’t know why.

 

Cinnamon actually has the ability to kill some of the bad bacteria that contributes to plaque and bad breath. That doesn’t mean it’s a replacement for brushing your teeth, but it can definitely help with bad odors in your mouth throughout the day.

 

Try a stick of gum (yes, gum can actually be good for your teeth). You can also try adding some cinnamon oil to a glass of water.

Eat Cheese

 

For all you cheese lovers out there, this might be the best news you’ve ever heard. Yes, cheese can be a positive contribution to your dental health. Cheese has actually been found to neutralize the acidity of plaque and lower the pH levels in your mouth when you eat it.

This doesn’t mean that you should eat a diet that consists only of cheese, but having some cubes of cheese for a snack can be a good thing.

 

Incorporate these healthy tips into your life and you’ll find your Durango dentist raving about the great health of your teeth at your next dental visit.

Exercise Smart for a Stronger, Fitter You

man stretching at beach

You used to be a fitness nut, but after developing some chronic pain, you’ve fallen into a sedentary lifestyle. You would love to get moving again–you miss hiking, long walks, even tumbling–but you’re afraid your old injuries will prevent you from making any progress.

The good news is that you can gain that active life back one step at a time if you consult the right professionals and use the right building blocks to safely build strength, flexibility, and endurance.

Consult a Professional

 

Depending on your health and current level of fitness, you may need an evaluation from your physician. Make a routine appointment and discuss with them the types of movements and exercises that you can start using. They may include other details about how long you should wait before adding new exercises or increasing the intensity of your workout.

It’s also a great idea to consult a professional athletic or personal trainer to put together the best workout plan for your situation. They will likely include recommendations for your diet as well.

Warm Up & Cool Down

 

Whatever level of exercise you plan to engage in, always begin with a warm-up and end with a cool down. Injuries that occur from poor preparation can easily be avoided, but they continue to happen. To avoid pulling a muscle or causing something more serious, take 2 minutes to perform some easy movements that get your blood flowing and your lungs working.

Once you’ve started your workout, you should also take routine stock of how you’re feeling. If you’re struggling to breathe, you might need to ease off on your pace or take a rest altogether. Don’t force your body to do anything it’s not ready to do. Not all pain is good pain, so listen to what your body is telling you.

When you’re workout is finished, remember to end with some calm, relaxing movements and stretches. Make a conscious effort to make kind movements that will help your body, not hurt it.

Balance

 

Unless otherwise instructed, you should be engaging in a variety of exercises meant to work your whole body. Don’t become so focused on those flat abs that you forget the corresponding back muscles. When you put too much focus on one area, you tend to forget to use any others and overuse that one.

Once you begin overusing one set of muscles, you can be sure they are headed for heavy wear and possibly another injury. Get your muscles balanced so you have a solid base to build on. As you strengthen each muscle, you will find you are reaching a higher level of fitness than you’d realized you could. Plus, you will be doing it with more ease.

Variable Movement

 

Lightly touched on above, take care of your body by exploring all types of movement. Look up the terms calisthenics and kinesthetics to get an idea of some skills you can try out and the mindset which should accompany those movements. Training your body to move and function in a variety of ways will help to battle past injuries and prevent new ones.

Think of these exercises as the energetic version of stretching. They increase your range of motion and flexibility while giving you a full body workout. Yoga is a great example of this and an easy place to start.

Body Mechanics

 

We’ve got you thinking about mindful movements, now it’s time to look at body mechanics. When it comes down to it, your posture and spinal health affect everything else. If you’re used to slouching or rounding your back, now is the time to break those habits.

To get an idea of where you’re at, start with some bodyweight squats. Focus on the alignment of your knees, ankles, hips, shoulders, and neck. You might think it’s okay if your form is 90% there, but that missing 10% may be just what sends you back to the couch with severe back pain. Also be mindful of how much weight you are choosing to lift and the length of your workouts.

One Step at a Time

 

It doesn’t take much to get started, and you can achieve your health goals if you give yourself time to grow and gain strength. Once you begin to enjoy the journey, you’ll find that how much better you feel every day is the best reward of all.