Know Your Options for Long-Term Care Planning and Costs

We spend time and money planning for many big events in life: college tuition, weddings, retirement, travel — the list could go on, but one big expense that many people overlook is the possibility of needing long-term care. These costs can really add up, so it’s important to start planning as early as possible to avoid being caught off guard later on.

What Kind of Care Will You Need?

Whether you’re planning for yourself or a loved one, there are a few risk factors to consider, starting with your family. Do you have a family history of illnesses or conditions that would require assistance or medical care? According to Forbes, having a family history of dementia and other neurological problems increases the odds that you will need long-term care.

Besides these genetic factors, it’s also important to look at your lifestyle and changes you could make to reduce the risk of injury or illness. In some instances, applying a more holistic approach can make a huge improvement and lessen your risk of problems down the road.

  • Diet – Are you eating a healthy, balanced diet? What you eat can affect your chances of developing heart disease and other chronic illnesses. Make sure to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains. Avoid too much dairy as well as processed foods, and be sure to drink plenty of water. Remember, you are what you eat!
  • Exercise – Are you keeping your heart and lungs healthy with exercise? Exercise can also strengthen your bones and increase flexibility, reducing your risk of injury. Low-impact exercise can help you make serious strides in your health. Look to activities like walking, yoga and hiking.
  • Meditation – Stress can be a huge contributor to poor health. By finding ways to cope with and curb stress, you can make serious inroads in your physical and mental health. If meditation is new to you, look to guided apps to help you get started.
  • Unhealthy habits – Unhealthy habits like smoking and excessive drinking can lead to serious illnesses. Make a point to look into smoking cessation, and limit your alcohol intake. As mentioned above, it’s also a good idea to cut out processed foods. By cutting back on sodas, fast food and convenience meals you’re adding to your longevity.

5 Ways Yoga Benefits Your Mental Health

Yoga teacher and licensed psychotherapist Ashley Turner says yoga is the key to psychological and emotional healing as well as resolving issues with self-confidence, relationships, and more.     Ever notice how good you feel — mentally — when you’re practicing yoga regularly? Yoga teacher and licensed psychotherapist Ashley Turner, who is launching a groundbreaking new Yoga Psychology…

Marijuana for Anxiety

Anxiety and Marijuana: CBD, THC, CBD-A All You Need To Know About Weeds Effects on Mental Health  Medical Marijuana Can Treat Anxiety With a global increase of medical marijuana use to treat health conditions, advocates and studies are showing that medical marijuana can be used to treat anxiety disorders. Advocates believe that the chemical makeup…

Food Is Medicine: The Diet of Medicinal Foods, Science & History

Food is medicine - Dr. Axe
Hippocrates was to thank for the famous quote, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food” — which we translated to “food is medicine” and use as our motto. Still to this day medical doctors and historians consider Hippocrates to be the founder of medicine as a “rational science.”

Considered to be one of the most influential figures in the history of medicine and healing, Hippocrates was ahead of his time when, around the year 400 B.C, he advised people to prevent and treat diseases first and foremost by eating a nutrient-dense diet.

Why is a calorie not just a calorie when it comes to your health, and how come it matters so much which types of foods you get your calories from?Foods provide us with energy (calories), but they do much more than that.

The foods you include in your diet also play a critical role in controlling inflammation levels, balancing blood sugar, regulating cardiovascular health (including blood pressure and cholesterol levels), helping the digestive organs to process and eliminate waste, and much, much more. Did you know that certain anti-inflammatory foods even contain powerful active ingredients that help control how your genes are expressed?

Hippocrates and the Ancient Greeks weren’t the only ones onto something when they studied the many medicinal properties of foods. Many traditional systems of healing which have been practiced throughout history — including Ayurvedic Medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine, for example — have taught for thousands of years that food is medicine and a healthy diet is a powerful tool for protecting one’s health.

Below you’ll learn which medicinal foods we now know make the biggest impact in someone’s health overall, which foods you should avoid most, and how to get started today eating a healing diet.


How Food Works Like Medicine

Perhaps more than anything else in our lives, the foods we regularly eat help determine whether or not we will become ill, or remain healthy into older age. Whether vegetables, fruit, meat, oils or grains, foods contain influential substances including antioxidants, phytonutrients, vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, fiber and much more.

Nutrient deficiencies and toxicity from a poor diet are linked to nearly all modern health conditions. John Hopkins University reports that some 80 percent of cancer patients are believed to be malnourished, and that treatments used to battle cancer (like chemotherapy) only increase the body’s need for nutrients and very high-quality foods even more. (1) You probably already know that diabetes and heart disease (currently the No. 1 killer in the U.S. and most industrialized nations) are also illnesses that are highly influenced by one’s diet — and the same can be said for allergies, autoimmune disorders like arthritis, thyroid disorders and many more.

The expanding field of Nutrigenomics (also called Nutritional Genomics) is devoted to studying how food influences gene expressions and contributes to either health and longevity or to disease and earlier death. The principles behind nutrigenomics can be summarized in several key points: genes play a role in disease development and prevention; a poor diet can be a serious risk factor for many diseases; nutrient deficiencies and toxic chemicals in low-quality foods have an effect on human gene expressions; each person is different in terms of how much their genes/health are impacted by their diet; and a healthy but also personalized diet can be used to prevent, mitigate or cure chronic diseases. (2)

Some of the ways that medicinal foods specifically act like natural protectors against disease and help to slow the effects of aging, include:

  • Decreasing & Controlling Inflammation – Inflammation is the root of most diseases and a major contributor to the effects of aging. Inflammation is a response from the immune system when the body perceives it’s being threatened, and it can affect nearly every tissue, hormone and cell in the body. Research also shows that “obesity has a strong inflammatory component,” a problem that now affects nearly two-thirds of all adults in the U.S. (3)
  • Balancing Hormones − Hormones affect every part of health, from your energy and cognitive abilities to your body weight and sex drive. Abnormal hormonal changes contribute to accelerated aging, diabetes, obesity, fatigue, depression, low mental capacity, reproductive problems and an array of autoimmune diseases. (4)
  • Alkalizing the Body – The human body keeps a tight grip on its internal pH level, working hard to keep it around a pH of 7.36. Studies show that when it comes to the pH and net acid load in the human diet, “there has been considerable change from the hunter-gather civilization to the present.” (5) Processed, low-quality foods make the body more acidic and allow diseases to thrive more easily. An alkaline diet (high in plant foods that are detoxifying) helps with cellular renewal and might promote longevity.
  • Balancing Blood Glucose (Sugar) – Diabetes and weight gain are tied to poor insulin response and other hormonal changes. Poorly managed blood sugar levels due to consuming high amounts of sugar and processed carbohydrates can lead to cravings, fatigue, neurological damage, mood disorders, hormonal balances and more. To sustain normal blood sugar, experts recommend that low-glycemic and non-processed carbohydrates take the place of refined, empty calories and added sugar. (6)
  • Detoxifying & Eliminating Toxins – Toxicity is tied to poor digestive health, hormonal changes and decreasing liver functioning. In modern society, we are bombarded by chemicals from our diet and environment that contribute to inflammation, autoimmune diseases, infertility, hypothyroidism, fibromyalgia, and so on.
  • Improving Absorption of Nutrients – Many of today’s illnesses are due to nutritional deficiencies and high rates of free radical damage. The majority of processed convenience foods are stripped of their natural nutrients or at least partly manmade, packed with synthetic ingredients and preservatives but very low in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber and enzymes.

 

Food is medicine guide - Dr. Axe

 


7 of the Best Medicinal Foods

3 Ways Cannabis Helps You Tap The Full Potential Of Yoga

Make sure your body and mind are ready in the first place to be connected, unlocked and upgraded to receive the full effects of this dynamic duo. Weed during yoga (or Ganja Yoga/High Yoga), is another intriguing, relatively uncharted aspect of cannabis done right. Somewhat controversial among some in the yoga community, the one thing…

These Non-Marijuana Plants Contain Cannabinoids!

 

 Marijuana gets all the praise when it comes to useful plants. And while it contributes to everything from pain relief to building material, did you know that there are other plants that contain cannabinoids that are also extremely useful?

These plants are not psychoactive; they don’t contain the ingredient THC. Rather, they contain cannabinoids known as endocannabinoids due to their positive interaction with the endocannabinoid system. This system is responsible for maintaining internal balance (homeostasis).

 

 In other words, these plants won’t get you high but they do pack a punch in anxiety relief and painkilling.

 

1. Coneflower (Echinacea)

Coneflower

According to WebMD, echinacea can do a little bit of everything, from fighting cold symptoms to reducing anxiety, arthritis and fatigue.

The plant works by interacting with the CB2 receptor that regulates your immune system, pain and inflammatory response.

 

 2. Electric Daisy (Acmella Oleracea)

Acmella_oleracea_003

The electric daisy is also known as ‘the toothache plant,’ which should give you an idea of what it’s good for. The Amazon native plant can be turned into an effective painkiller.

 3. Helichrysum Umbraculigerum

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

This plant, which is technically a daisy, is native to South Africa. It contains a large amount of cannabigerol, which gives it antidepressant and anti-inflammatory properties.

5 Easy Ways to Incorporate Self-Care Into Your Everyday

There’s been a lot of talk about the importance of self-care lately and for good reason. Looking after yourself can have incredible benefits on both your mental and physical health, but when life gets busy it can be easy to put your well-being on the bottom of your priority list. Luckily, there are simple and effective practices that you can add to your daily routine. We’ve partnered with Sleep Number to show you the easy ways you can start incorporating self-care into your everyday.

The Best Meditation Posture

When we practice meditation we need to have a comfortable seat and a good posture. The most important feature of the posture is to keep our back straight. To help us do this, if we are sitting on a cushion we make sure that the back of the cushion is slightly higher than the front, inclining our pelvis slightly forward. It is not necessary at first to sit cross-legged, but it is a good idea to become accustomed to sitting in the posture of Buddha Vairochana. If we cannot hold this posture we should sit in one which is as close to this as possible while remaining comfortable.

32 Gifts People With Anxiety Really Want For The Holidays

“What do you really want for the holidays.”

Here’s what they had to say:

1. “To be able to love myself as much as I love my fiancé. And by love myself, I mean look in the mirror and see me as a person…. in all honesty, I can’t imagine how it would feel, to believe him, when he tells me I’m beautiful.” — Monica J.

2. “A real day of rest. Most people think a day of rest is a day off from work, but with anxiety you don’t get a day off. There is a way to help though. A day of rest is not having to go anywhere, not having to cook, not having to clean and not having to do anything that isn’t restful. I want to curl up in bed with snacks and a book all day with no interruptions, but it never happens. If my friends and family would each spend a few minutes helping to make sure I could do that it would be more priceless than any store bought gift I could receive.” — Erica B.

Need A Dose Of Positivity? These Stories Will Give You All The Good Vibes

These days turning on the news can be a stressful proposition: Massive hurricanes thrashing major cities, raging wildfires destroying homes, and let’s not even get started on the round-the-clock media circus. The bottom line is that each of us needs a respite from the negativity that floods our screens daily and we all could use a dose of positivity. To that end, we have partnered with Dignity Health to provide a roundup of all things good news for the mind, body and spirit. Here you’ll find recent updates on the latest health treatments centered on connection, inspirational acts of kindness, and heartwarming stories all in one feed. So, grab a box of tissues, this is going to be a joyful ride!

A New Hope ….

Giving birth can be scary, especially when a child is born at just 23 weeks. In this article, you’ll find the heartwarming story of a Richmond mother’s 128-day journey from the emergency room to the delivery of her healthy baby girl Lorelei. See how the nursing staff of a small NICU unit comforted, encouraged, and supported a young mother and her infant baby during their most trialling time.