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By SMH Webmaster on 9/15/2014 3:11 PM
It’s officially back-to-school time! With many children participating in sports this school year, it is important to be aware of concussion symptoms and what steps you need to take in the event your child exhibits concussion warning signs. A concussion is any sudden bump or hit to the head, which can cause a quick shake of your brain. A few key symptoms to look for include:

Blurred vision Loss of balance Slurred speech Sensitivity to light and sound Ringing in the ears Unconsciousness It is important to monitor your child after a head injury for at least 24 hours, as symptoms may not appear immediately. In any case, it is advised you seek medical attention following any head injury, just to be safe. If untreated, a concussion may cause long-term memory loss, severe and recurring headaches, as well as possible serious brain injuries.

Treatment from your doctor will most likely resolve in physical and mental relaxation. This includes limited use of TV, video...
By SMH Webmaster on 2/17/2014 6:00 AM
Excessive sugar consumption has been linked to diseases such as type 2 diabetes, obesity, and high cholesterol. Now, researchers have found that a diet rich in sugar may double a person’s risk for heart disease. Heart disease is currently the #1 leading cause of death in men and women in the United States, and is responsible for 600,000 deaths every year.

The study was conducted by researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and published in a recent issue of JAMA Internal Medicine. According to the study, those whose added sugar intake makes up at least 19% of their diet are at more than twice the normal risk for dying from heart disease. Added sugars include sugar in all forms, minus those found in fruits and vegetables.

The CDC study is the first of its kind to measure and link the consumption of added sugars to the risk of dying of heart disease based on age, weight, diet, exercise, and overall health. The study authors say that not only can excessive sugar intake make...
By SMH Webmaster on 2/17/2014 6:00 AM
According to the American Stroke Association, 60% of all strokes in the United States occur in women, and stroke is overall the fourth leading cause of death in the United States. Since women are physiologically different than men, experts at the University of Alabama at Birmingham have developed the first—ever stroke prevention guidelines aimed specifically at women.

Guidelines co—author Virginia Howard, Ph.D., explains that one—size—fits—all stroke prevention tips are not helpful for both genders, especially since certain health factors such as diabetes and atrial fibrillation are stronger or more common in women than in men.

The new guidelines highlight stroke risks that are specific to women and provide prevention and treatment tips that have been scientifically proven to help women avoid and battle stroke.

Some of the stroke prevention tips outlined in the guidelines include:

Screening for high blood pressure prior to being prescribed birth control pills, which can increase...
By SMH Webmaster on 2/10/2014 6:00 AM
Fish oils in salmon and other types of fatty fish have been shown to boost heart and brain health, according to a number of different studies. Most types of fish are high in omega—3 fatty acids, which can help improve “good” HDL cholesterol levels and lower high triglyceride levels. Omega—3 fatty acids have also been shown to reduce inflammation and contribute to weight loss.

A recent study found that older women with the highest levels of omega—3 in their bodies generally had better cognition and brain health as they aged. The American Heart Association also backs research that shows omega—3 can improve heart health and help prevent heart disease by decreasing the risk for abnormal heartbeats and lowering blood pressure levels.

Since the human body does not produce omega—3 fatty acids naturally, it’s important to eat foods such as fatty fish on a regular basis to boost your immune system health. Sometimes it can be difficult to eat the amount of fish you need on a daily basis to keep up your omega—3...
By SMH Webmaster on 2/10/2014 6:00 AM
Probiotics are microorganisms that contain certain types of “good” live bacteria that can help regulate your gut flora and digestive system — leading to improved health, better digestive function, and even weight loss. New evidence published in a recent issue of the British Journal of Nutrition has found that women who make a conscious effort to add probiotics to their diet can actually accelerate their weight—loss efforts.

The study, which was conducted by researchers at University Laval in Quebec, involved a total of 125 overweight or obese men and women who were put on a 12—week weight—loss program followed by a 12—week maintenance program. Over the course of the study, participants were randomly selected to take either two probiotic supplements or two placebo per day.

After the first 12—week period, women who took probiotics had lost an average of 10 pounds, whereas the placebo group lost only an average of 6 pounds. After the second 12—week period, women who took probiotics continued to lose...
By SMH Webmaster on 2/3/2014 6:00 AM
Eating healthy whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds can help you lose weight, but sometimes these foods can leave you feeling hungrier soon after consumption, which can be problematic if you’re on the go and lack the time to snack.

A recent study conducted by researchers overseas found that when mice are fed high—fat foods, they actually gain less weight when they are fed foods that contain inulin and beta—glucan — also known as fermentable carbohydrates.

Fermentable carbohydrates are a type of fiber that is broken down by the healthy bacteria in the colon. When the fiber is broken down, a series of short chain fatty acids (SCFAs) are formed,  which then release hormones that control the appetite and create the feeling of fullness. Former studies have linked high consumption of foods that trigger SCFAs with lower levels of the type of dangerous body fat that is linked to cancer, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes.

Here are 6 foods that contain fermentable carbohydrates you can add to your diet to help yourself lose weight and ward off hunger pangs.

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By SMH Webmaster on 2/3/2014 6:00 AM
Considering the growing obesity rates in the United States, many Americans are concerned about being able to purchase and eat healthy foods on a limited budget. Organic and all—natural foods often have a reputation for being more costly than their less healthier counterparts; however, eating healthy can be completely affordable and doable as long as you know how to budget properly.

Here are 7 tips that will help you budget your grocery spending while eating healthy at the same time.

1. Plan a menu and prepare a grocery list ahead of time Arriving at the grocery store without a list can result in overspending and impulse buying. Sit down before you go shopping to make a meal list, and then purchase only the food items for those meals.

2. Take advantage of rewards cards and coupons Clipping coupons may be a thing of the past, but many grocery stores now offer rewards cards and rewards programs that will help you save money. Sign up for rewards cards, emails, and newsletters from your...
By SMH Webmaster on 1/27/2014 6:00 AM
Overweight and obese individuals who drink diet sodas on a regular basis tend to consume a higher number of calories than individuals who consume regular sodas, says a new study conducted by researchers at Johns Hopkins University. Researchers suggest that those who consume diet sodas cut back on high—fat foods to reduce overall calorie consumption and encourage weight loss.

The study was published in last week’s edition of the American Journal of Public Health and was based on data gathered from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, which is a population—based survey that collects data on a variety of health—related topics.

Lead researcher and study author Sara Bleich says that many overweight and obese individuals will attempt to lose weight by switching from regular soda to diet soda, but fail to change their regular eating habits. Although such individuals may have good intentions behind switching to diet soda, they must also focus on lowering their overall calorie reduction to achieve successful weight—loss results.

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By SMH Webmaster on 1/27/2014 6:00 AM
As America continues to rank high in obesity rates, consumers are now paying closer attention to nutrition labels, and are starting to make healthier choices when it comes to the foods they eat. According to researchers from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, working—age adults are now consuming fewer calories and eating foods with better nutritional content as a result of feeling more empowered and confident in regards to becoming healthier and losing weight.

Based on data collected between the years 2005 and 2010, approximately 42% of working—age adults and 57% of older adults say that they consult the nutrition labels on food most or all of the time when making food choices. Additionally, overall daily caloric intake showed a decrease of 78 calories per day during the same time period. Americans have been found to consume 7.5% more fiber per day, as well as 3.3% less total fat, 5.9% less saturated fat, and 7.9% less cholesterol per day.

Experts say that the Obama administration is working hard...
By SMH Webmaster on 1/20/2014 6:00 AM
Most people know that fast food has the potential to wreak havoc on a person’s health and immune system, especially when consumed on a regular basis. Fast food is often high in sodium and saturated fat, and low in vital nutrients. Eating excessive amounts of fast food could increase a person’s risk for developing heart disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer, and other life—threatening diseases.

On the other hand, Americans generally assume that meals at full—service chain restaurants are healthier than those served at fast—food restaurants given the higher cost and dining experience. However, a new study conducted by researchers at Drexel University School of Public Health and published in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior shows that full—service chain restaurants serve food that is just as unhealthy as items at fast—food restaurants.

The study found that nearly one—third of all appetizers and a la carte entrees served at chain restaurants have contents of sodium and saturated fat that are far higher than the daily recommended amounts. Additionally, only one—fifth of all menu items at full—service chain restaurants contain the minimum daily recommended amount of fiber, and full meals generally contain approximately 1,500 calories, over 3,300 milligrams of sodium, and 28 grams of saturated fat.

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By SMH Webmaster on 1/20/2014 6:00 AM
There are multiple health benefits associated with exercising regularly, including increased blood flow, higher energy levels, weight loss, mood boosts, and much more. Exercise also strengthens the immune system, and can help the body fight off viruses, bacteria, and infections, including the common cold.

A study published in a recent issue of the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that people who are active or physically fit typically have fewer and less severe colds than those who are more sedentary. The study involved a total of 1,000 male and female adults of all ages. Compared to those who didn’t exercise, the group of participants who stayed fit through exercise generally experienced cold symptoms that were 41% less severe than their counterparts.

In the United States, the average American adult can expect to suffer from a cold between two and four times per year, whereas children may have up to 12 colds per year. As a result, the United States economy spends about $40 billion per year...
By SMH Webmaster on 1/13/2014 6:00 AM
A new study indicates that African—American women may experience more difficulties with losing weight than Caucasian women because their bodies are designed to burn a fewer amount of calories. The study was conducted by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh and published in the International Journal of Obesity.

Previously, results from studies that compared fat—burning in African—American women to fat—burning in Caucasian women have suggested that African—Americans are less likely to adhere to weight—loss programs and that their bodies require fewer calories than Caucasians. The latest study led by James DeLany and team at the University of Pittsburgh set out to determine the true causes and effects behind the weight—loss theories.

For the study, researchers examined the effects of weight—loss and exercise programs on 39 African—American women and 66 Caucasian women who were all considered severely obese by BMI standards. Each study participant was randomly assigned to either a low—calorie diet program or the diet program combined with exercise.

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By SMH Webmaster on 1/13/2014 6:00 AM
Those who suffer from metabolic syndrome or are at high risk for metabolic syndrome are highly unlikely to improve their nutrition based on recommendations from their health care providers, according to a recent study. People with metabolic syndrome generally suffer from two or more medical conditions that indicate disorders with metabolism and energy storage, such as obesity, high blood pressure, low levels of “good” HDL cholesterol, and more.

The study was led by researchers at the University of Eastern Finland and published in a recent issue of Food and Nutrition Research. According to the study results, most patients who suffer from metabolic syndrome eat diets that are excessively high in sodium and saturated fat, and fail to get adequate amounts of dietary fiber, vitamin D, and unsaturated fat.

The study involved a total of 175 adults who suffered from metabolic syndrome and were slightly overweight based on the BMI index. Each study participant was instructed to keep a food diary listing food intake for a period of 4 days.

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By SMH Webmaster on 1/6/2014 6:00 AM
The weight of American adults has increased steadily since the 1960s, and currently more than half of American adults are overweight. Since the late 1980s, children’s weight has also increased dramatically: the number of overweight children in the United States has more than doubled, so that now at least 11% of American children are overweight. Every year, more than half of all Americans start a weight—loss diet and nearly 50 million Americans are on a diet at any given time.

Over the past several decades, there have been numerous “fad” diets introduced — everything from the South Beach Diet to the Cabbage Soup Diet — that often help to shed pounds quickly but have proven to be ineffective over the long term.

There are also commercial weight—loss programs that offer a more realistic approach to weight loss; the most popular — and effective — of these are Weight Watchers, Nutrisystem and Jenny Craig. These three programs promise weight loss of 1—2 pounds per week, as recommended by physicians and nutritionists. Here you will find a brief comparison of these three programs to help you to determine if one of them might work for you.

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By SMH Webmaster on 1/6/2014 6:00 AM
If your New Year's resolution is to lose weight, then you may feel overwhelmed when faced with all the new diets and weight—loss programs being advertised for 2014.

According to recent research conducted by the University of Scranton, only 8% of all Americans actually follow through with their New Year's resolutions. The major downfall could be partly due to the fact that many resolutioners are making unrealistic goals — especially when it comes to weight loss.

If you have plans to lose weight and want to succeed at your goal, then the key is to make a series of sustainable lifestyle changes that aim to improve your overall health and wellness. Sometimes, making extreme changes may not have the desired effect, and could even result in adverse health consequences.

Here are 4 realistic weight—loss tips you can follow all year long to become healthier — and to get the body you've always wanted.

1. Practice mindful eating Mindful eating is more than just about the foods you choose to eat — it's also about how and when you choose to eat.

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By SMH Webmaster on 12/13/2013 11:18 AM
Although those odds may seem a bit dreary, there are ways you can rise above most other resolutioners and make realistic weight—loss goals. Here are 5 tips you can follow to make sure your weight—loss efforts are successful for the upcoming year

1. Be as realistic as possible Exercising, eating healthy, and cutting out your favorite foods may sound easy in theory, but in reality, you probably won’t make it a week without craving your favorite treats or needing a break from the gym. Recognize your weaknesses when it comes to weight loss, and conquer them as best as possible without being too over—the—top.

For example, don’t overdo it at the gym, or you could become easily burned out, or worse — badly injured. Exercise for 15 to 20 minutes at a time until you are ready to advance to the next level. Also, don’t cut out desserts from your diet completely. Limit yourself to smaller serving sizes, or limit dessert to just 1 or 2 days per week.

2. Make exercise and nutrition a priority When asked...
By SMH Webmaster on 8/6/2013 12:47 PM
I love the summer. Late nights, afternoons at the pool, family vacations, trips to the zoo – I could go on and on with the things I love about summer, but I’m sure I’m not alone when I say I can’t wait for the school—year routine to start. There is something about the monotonous schedule of a day that puts our lives back into check. Knowing what needs to be accomplished each morning and having a scheduled day helps everyone (in my family at least) feel grounded.

I laughed this morning, as I was “that mom” with her kids playing in the back yard at 9 a.m. still in their PJs. It is easy to forgo the basics, like getting dressed in real clothes, when you know the day is going to be spent at home. Though that is one of the things I love about summer, I am ready for the consistency of our morning routine. I know the first week will be full of “Hurry up, were running late” but once we have it down we will be back from dropping Jackson off by 8:10 a.m. and everyone will be dressed and fed, and we can accomplish...
By SMH Webmaster on 8/5/2013 12:15 PM
“…You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Matthew 22:39b NKJV

It’s the second of the two great commandments. The first is to love God with mind, soul and strength. It is embedded in the last two words of our mission statement, “Improving health through Christian Service”. But how can you love your neighbor as yourself? Perhaps the answer lies in our response to another question: Do you love yourself? Think about it before you answer. True beneficence begins with love of self because in order to be in a position to do for someone else one must first be able to do for oneself.

The idea of self—love has been a struggle for people all over the world for thousands of years. Let’s face it, in most sacred writings there seems to be a hierarchy that favors love to the Deity, to others and then to self. If we move self from the last place, it is frowned upon as being selfish. But do we properly understand the command to love others as we love ourselves? Creation Health presents us with ways to measure self—love and also gives us the tools to make modifications where we may fall short. In addition it also teaches us how to love others.

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By SMH Webmaster on 8/5/2013 2:28 AM
Whether it’s misplacing a set of keys or forgetting the name of an old friend, everyone experiences the occasional memory lapse. But when it happens to a parent or older loved one, when should you be concerned?

You may have read about recent studies that have linked those common “senior moments” to the development of dementia. According to Alzheimer’s experts, people who report their own memory concerns are in fact among the most likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia.

New research from Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital shows a distinct correlation between self—reported cognitive concerns and the buildup of beta—amyloid, a chain of amino acids in the brain that play an important role in Alzheimer’s development. In addition, individuals who carry the ApoE4 genetic mutation, which is often associated with the onset of Alzheimer’s disease, are also more likely to report cognitive decline with age.

If you find yourself worrying about...
By SMH Webmaster on 7/29/2013 12:14 PM
“She gave this name to the LORD who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.” Genesis 16:13

During the time of Abraham there was a custom that allowed a wife who was infertile to use her maid as a surrogate mother to bear children for her. So Hagar was chosen for this role. When she became pregnant by her master the Bible says she began to despise her mistress, Sarah. This created tension between all three of them and when Sarah began to “treat her harshly”, she ran away.

Let’s take a closer look at Hagar. She was pregnant with her master’s baby and perhaps a little confused, thinking that this would perhaps increase her status in the household. This was reflected in her behavior toward her mistress, who was already jealous because Hagar was now pregnant by her husband (who, by the way, got blamed for the whole mess). When Sarah complained to him he gave her permission to do what seemed appropriate so he began to treat her badly. After all, she wasn’t one of them; she was an Egyptian slave girl. She was disposable, disenfranchised, disrespected, used and abused.

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