• Many people switch to sugar-free gum from the regular variety, thinking it has no harmful health effects. Some do so because of ongoing health complications like diabetes. While it is true that chewing sugar-free gum may have specific benefits and could help one improve their overall well-being, it also has significant downsides. Below are a few important things one should know before heading to the store and buying a pack.

    Ingredients in sugar-free gum
    Many brands manufacture sugar-free gum, each using different ingredients to give their product a distinct taste and set it apart. While they do not use sugar, they use substitutes that mimic the taste of sugar. Some of these substitutes are artificial sweeteners, while others are derived from natural sources. Let’s look at a few examples:

    • Xylitol, sorbitol, isomalt, and maltitol are common sugar-free sweeteners derived from fruits, including berries.
    • Aspartame is an artificial sweetener made from two amino acids: phenylalanine and aspartic acid. It is among the most common ingredients in sugar-free chewing gum.
    • Stevia is a natural sweetener derived from the leaves of the stevia plant.

    Besides the above, sugar-free gum may contain chemical and natural ingredients that help provide texture, long-lasting taste, and chewiness. The ingredients usually differ with each brand.

    Benefits of sugar-free gum
    Here are three probable benefits one might enjoy from chewing sugar-free gum instead of the regular type:

    Reduced tooth decay
    Studies show that chewing sugar-free gum for a short while after meals may help reduce tooth decay. This is perhaps because chewing causes the mouth to produce more saliva, which washes away microscopic food particles that remain behind and fuel bacteria. Experts reveal that chewing sugar-free gum may also prevent or reduce plaque formation.

    Stronger tooth enamel and reduced sensitivity
    Since salvia has phosphate and calcium content, it could strengthen tooth enamel. Furthermore, chewing sugar-free gum could help curb teeth sensitivity, which often results from in-office tooth whitening procedures.

    Improved memory
    Studies indicate that chewing gum, including sugar-free varieties, while performing tasks could improve various aspects of brain function, such as memory, alertness, decision-making, and understanding. Experts also suggest those who chew gum for longer may benefit from reduced signs of stress, anxiety, and depression. While the exact cause of these benefits is yet to be determined, studies point toward better blood flow to the brain caused by chewing.

    Besides providing the benefits listed above, sugar-free chewing gum can help avoid conditions like dry mouth (xerostomia). However, one should chew gum as a remedy only if they receive the go-ahead from their healthcare provider.

    Any product consumed in excess may have adverse effects on the body, including sugar-free gum. Chewing it may cause:

    Headaches and allergies
    Sugar-free gum contains aspartame, a highly debated ingredient among experts. While used as an alternative to sugar, aspartame contains a chemical carcinogen that could increase the risk of headaches. Some may develop hives on the body or suffer from gastrointestinal or respiratory issues if allergic to the ingredient. Therefore, one should speak to an expert before chewing sugar-free gum that contains aspartame.

    Gastrointestinal problems
    Some manufacturers use sorbitol in their sugar-free gum. When a person consumes too much of the ingredient, it may lead to gastrointestinal symptoms like abdominal cramps, bloating, and gas. Too much sorbitol may also trigger diarrhea in some people.

    Jaw disorders
    Chewing gum all the time, including sugar-free options, could cause the jaw muscles to tighten. As a result, one may experience jaw pain. Chewing gum regularly has also been associated with increased temporomandibular joint pain (TMJ). Those with this disorder may experience chronic symptoms like soreness, discomfort, and headaches.

    Dental device damage
    Chewing gum of any kind may have adverse effects on dental devices. The product could damage implants, which could hamper one’s oral health and also be quite expensive to fix.

    Besides increasing the risk of the problems listed above, sugar-free chewing gum can lead to cancerous developments in the body and an unusual increase in appetite. People with a rare hereditary disorder called phenylketonuria are especially advised to limit their consumption of phenylalanine (a component of aspartame) as their bodies cannot metabolize it.

    Tips to reduce gum-related problems
    Learning about the benefits and downsides of sugar-free gum can help one make better decisions for their well-being. Here are a few tips to reduce the risk of health problems from chewing gum:

    • Speak to a healthcare provider to learn about potential health complications before chewing gum.
    • While sugar-free chewing gum may have benefits like reduced cavities or plaque production, it is not a permanent substitute for basic dental habits. So, continue brushing or flossing after meals.
    • Learn about the ingredients that are bad for health. Then carefully read the label of the sugar-free gum before buying it and ensure it does not have those ingredients.
    • Limit chewing gum to about 15 minutes per day.
    • Though pregnant women can chew sugar-free gum, they should be vigilant and speak to an expert to understand if they are allergic to any ingredient.

    Following these guidelines will help minimize the harmful effects of chewing gum. One should speak to a health expert if they have any questions regarding any ingredient used in the product.

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  • Tooth enamel is the strong outer layer that protects the teeth from damage and decay. Over time, the enamel gets damaged by factors such as poor oral hygiene, acidic foods, and tooth erosion. Enamel repair is a vital process that restores this outer layer’s strength and integrity. It is crucial for individuals to understand the details of enamel repair, its importance, and treatment options, and be aware of practical tips for healthy enamel.

    The significance of enamel repair
    Enamel repair is vital for maintaining dental health and preventing tooth damage. Tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the human body, but it can deteriorate from repeated acid attacks by bacteria, plaque, and food habits. When the enamel wears away or gets damaged, the underlying dentin becomes exposed, causing tooth sensitivity, pain, and an increased risk of cavities.

    Enamel restoration is crucial for preserving the teeth’s structural integrity and bypassing the need for more invasive dental treatments. Enamel repair protects the teeth from acid erosion, strengthens the enamel surface, and reduces tooth sensitivity. When enamel damage is promptly addressed, individuals can maintain healthy teeth and prevent the onset of oral health complications.

    Understanding enamel demineralization
    The initial stage of enamel damage is termed enamel demineralization and it occurs when acids dissolve the enamel’s mineral content. This is often triggered by the consumption of acidic foods and beverages, poor oral hygiene, and certain health conditions. Demineralization weakens the enamel, making it vulnerable to further damage.

    Various preventive measures can be adopted to mitigate enamel demineralization. For one, regular brushing and flossing destroy plaque and bacteria, reducing acid production. The use of fluoride toothpaste and mouth rinses can also support enamel remineralization by replenishing the lost minerals. Dentists may also recommend dental sealants or thin protective coatings applied to the teeth, which thwart acid attacks.

    Enamel repair treatment options
    When enamel damage advances beyond the demineralization stage, enamel repair treatment is the only viable option. The treatment choice depends on the extent of the damage and an individual’s specific needs. Some common enamel repair options include:

    Dental bonding
    This procedure involves applying a tooth-colored resin material to the damaged enamel, which is then shaped and polished to match the natural tooth. Dental bonding helps restore the appearance and functionality of the tooth while protecting it from further damage.

    Dental veneers
    These are thin shells made of porcelain or composite resin that are bonded to the teeth’s front surface. They can be used to repair enamel damage, correct tooth discoloration, and enhance an individual’s overall appearance when they smile.

    Dental crowns
    These may be recommended when the enamel damage or decay is extensive. Crowns are tooth-shaped caps that cover the entire visible portion of the teeth, and help restore their strength, shape, and appearance.

    Enamel microabrasion
    This minimally invasive procedure involves the removal of a thin layer of enamel using an abrasive substance. Enamel microabrasion is commonly used to treat superficial enamel stains and defects, restoring the teeth’s natural appearance.

    Remineralization treatments
    Remineralizing agents such as fluoride varnishes and gels can be applied to the teeth to enhance the remineralization process and strengthen the enamel.

    Things to remember
    Enamel repair is a vital aspect for maintaining optimal dental health. By understanding the significance of enamel repair and exploring the treatment options available, individuals can take proactive steps to address enamel damage and preserve their oral well-being.

    Remember, practicing good oral hygiene, including regular brushing and flossing, combined with routine dental check-ups, is essential for preventing enamel damage and maintaining a healthy smile. Additionally, adopting a tooth-friendly meal plan, reducing the consumption of acidic foods and beverages, and avoiding harmful habits such as teeth grinding can significantly contribute to enamel preservation.

    Besides professional treatment, you can also adopt certain lifestyle practices that can aid in enamel repair. Avoiding excessive consumption of sugary and acidic foods and beverages, limiting the intake of carbonated drinks, and using a straw when consuming acidic beverages can help minimize enamel erosion.

    If you suspect enamel damage or experience tooth sensitivity, promptly consult a dental professional. They will assess your condition, recommend appropriate treatment options, and guide you on preventive measures to protect your enamel.

    Taking proactive steps to repair enamel damage enhances the strength and appearance of your teeth, besides safeguarding them from impending oral health issues. Enamel repair is an investment for your long-term dental health and oral well-being.

    Furthermore, incorporating foods rich in calcium, including dairy products and leafy greens, can provide essential nutrients for remineralizing and strengthening the enamel. Drinking fluoridated water or using fluoride supplements as recommended by your dental professional can also contribute to enamel repair.

    Protecting tooth enamel is a lifelong commitment that pays off in terms of improved dental health and a brighter, more confident smile. Hence, take charge of your oral health, embrace enamel repair, and let your smile shine with vitality and beauty! Your teeth deserve the best care to ensure a lifetime of dental well-being.

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  • Headaches can be debilitating, significantly hampering one’s routine and often leading to considerable pain and discomfort. Headaches may have several underlying causes, from stomach problems and food intolerances to lack of sleep and stress. Several home remedies have been suggested for a speedy recovery from headaches in addition to conventional treatment options. Moreover, healthy changes to one’s lifestyle can reduce headache instances and help control their intensity. Here are some foods to help with headache relief:

    Fatty fish
    Fatty fish are excellent sources of the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, which are anti-inflammatory and effective during headaches. Studies have shown that individuals suffering from chronic migraines find pain relief by increasing their intake of omega-3 fatty acids. Some fatty fish varieties to include in one’s meal plan are salmon, herring, tuna, mackerel, anchovies, and mussels. Shellfish also contain high levels of omega-3.

    Water accounts for approximately 92% of watermelon’s constituents. Many cases of severe headaches are caused or aggravated by dehydration; hence, a regular intake of fruits with high water content, such as watermelon, can help reduce headaches. It can also replenish the body with essential nutrients, such as vitamins A and C, potassium, and magnesium.

    Spinach contains high levels of vitamins B2 (also called riboflavin, proven to reduce headaches) and B6, in addition to omega-3 fatty acids. All these nutrients can contribute to the lowered intensity and frequency of headaches. Moreover, leafy greens like spinach and kale are rich in magnesium, which is instrumental in headache relief.

    Eggs are a delicious and protein-rich breakfast option. Two large eggs provide 24% of the body’s daily requirement of riboflavin or vitamin B2, which can help relieve headaches. You can prepare eggs in various ways such as boiled, scrambled, omelets, and sunny-side up for a tasty and nutritious meal.

    Whole grains
    Hypoglycemia, or extremely low blood sugar levels, is one of the leading causes of headaches. Skipping meals and not having sufficient healthy carbohydrates and fiber can trigger hypoglycemia. Thus, it is essential to incorporate whole grains like quinoa, rolled oats, buckwheat, brown rice, and whole wheat (if one is not gluten intolerant) into one’s meal plan to prevent blood sugar levels from dipping and avoid related headaches.

    Ginger has been traditionally recommended as a natural remedy for headaches and digestion issues for ages. It consists of several anti-inflammatory properties, two of which are gingerols and shogaols, which have pain-relieving effects on the body. Ginger tea is recommended as a soothing beverage when healing from headaches. Ginger may be chopped or julienned and added to stir-fries, gravies, soups, etc.

    Beetroot is an excellent natural source of folic acid, which is known to be highly effective in fighting off migraines and headaches. Additionally, it’s loaded with a variety of essential vitamins and minerals, including iron, vitamin A, vitamin C, magnesium, and folate, which can all work together to boost your overall immunity.

    Mushrooms can help with headaches owing to their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Certain compounds in mushrooms, such as ergothioneine, can help reduce brain inflammation, relieving headaches and migraines.

    Figs are a nutrition powerhouse loaded with potassium, which is essential for the proper functioning of the body. In addition, these delectable fruits contain anti-inflammatory properties that can help combat inflammation. They are also low in calories and aid in digestion, potentially reducing the likelihood of digestive issues that can lead to headaches.

    Turmeric contains curcumin, a compound that can reduce the frequency of migraine attacks. It also has several anti-inflammatory properties and omega-3, which can help relieve excruciating headaches.

    Herbal tea
    Studies have shown that herbal tea can calm the body, providing considerable relief from headaches and migraines. When consumed in limited quantities, herbal teas like chamomile tea, ginger tea, and peppermint tea can be excellent sources of comfort and warmth during headaches.

    Packed with omega-3 fatty acids, walnuts are excellent inclusions to one’s breakfast and snack plans, preferably alongside other nuts like almonds and pecan nuts. They are also high in magnesium, required by the body to reduce headache instances.

    Contrary to popular belief, potatoes, when cooked in a healthy way, can provide relief from headaches and replenish the body with essential nutrients. They are rich sources of potassium, which the body requires to relieve headaches. Potatoes are also high in fiber content. However, boiled mashed potatoes are significantly healthier than deep-fried ones.

    Some studies have demonstrated that cantaloupes can help regulate insulin levels in the body and control blood sugar. They can also hydrate the body and relieve headaches. Finally, cantaloupes are packed with magnesium and potassium, which are essential in fighting debilitating headaches.

    Navy beans
    A cup of navy beans contains 29% and 38% of the recommended daily requirement of minerals for women and men, respectively. They may also block certain chemicals that transmit pain, relieving headaches. A cup of boiled navy beans for breakfast can be a satisfying meal.

    Besides following a healthy lifestyle and eating certain foods to reduce headache frequency and intensity, it helps to avoid certain foods, such as processed foods, baked items, and deep-fried foods, to recover faster from headaches and prevent the symptoms from worsening. An active lifestyle and sufficient hydration can also ensure headache relief.

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  • Eczema, a type of dermatitis, is a skin condition that can make the skin feel itchy, dry, and bumpy. This condition usually weakens the skin’s protective barrier, making it prone to dehydration and infections. While there are different types of eczema with distinctive triggers, one can have an increased risk of developing the condition if they have a family history of hay fever, dermatitis, allergies, or asthma. Keep reading to know about its triggers.

    Soap ingredients that can lead to an eczema flare-up
    Individuals with this specific health condition may experience flare-ups following the application of certain products. This is due to the presence of ingredients within these products that have the potential to worsen eczema symptoms. As a result, it is recommended to carefully examine the product label and refrain from using a soap that contains the following items:

    Generally, most soaps available in the market have a balanced pH. But some can contain alkaline properties that can cause an increase in pH level and compromise the skin barrier. Hence healthcare professionals suggest patients carefully check for alkaline soaps and steer clear of them.

    Typically, soap, body wash, and shampoo manufacturers add fragrances to their products to keep them smelling delightful. But in the case of eczema patients, these sweet-smelling fragrances can cause adverse allergic reactions leading to further complications. Hence, people with eczema are suggested to avoid soaps and other products containing fragrances as much as possible.

    Most soaps contain colorants or dyes for reasons such as covering up discoloration of the product, evening out its natural color, or making it look more appealing. However, these dyes can act as allergens, especially in people with sensitive skin or other skin conditions. So, when choosing the best soap for eczema patients, one must avoid products containing dyes to keep flare-ups at bay.

    Essential oils
    Most people believe natural fragrances are more suited for skin than synthetic ones. But this is far from the truth. So, while some essential oils with natural fragrances like tea tree oil can be beneficial against acne, they can also lead to irritation and allergies in some people. Therefore, eczema patients should keep clear of soaps with essential oils.

    Cocamidopropyl betaine
    This ingredient is often used as a foaming agent in most shampoos, soaps, and body washes. While it is known for being tear-free, cocamidopropyl betaine may still cause skin irritation and allergic contact dermatitis, particularly in both adults and children. The best way to control such reactions to the product in eczema patients and people with sensitive skin is to avoid soaps and other products that utilize it as an ingredient.

    Sodium lauryl sulfate
    Soaps and cleaners often contain an ingredient known as sodium lauryl sulfate. This detergent possesses the ability to disrupt the skin barrier. This can worsen eczema and its associated symptoms. Hence, eczema patients are suggested to avoid contact with soaps and other products that contain the detergent.

    Commonly used in the production of bar soaps, ethanol gives a transparent or see-through look to the product. This means the higher the amount of ethanol, the more glass-like the soap. But, when such soaps are used by eczema patients or people with sensitive skin, they can cause burning, stinging, and drying of the skin. Therefore, it’s considered best to give these products a miss.

    A waxy substance naturally produced in sheep, lanolin’s functions are similar to sebum secreted by the human body. Hence, this substance can be found in soaps, moisturizers, and hair care products. While it has beneficial properties, it can also cause allergies in people with atopic dermatitis ( eczema).

    Salicylic acid
    Numerous harsh soaps contain chemicals like salicylic acid that can cause inflammation in eczema patients. This leads to flare-ups and symptoms such as itchiness and skin irritation. One of the primary reasons behind it is that most eczema patients experience salicylate sensitivity leading to extreme skin dryness.

    Harsh soaps contain formaldehyde, a highly irritating chemical that can cause allergic contact dermatitis in areas of the body that experience increased friction, like the inner thighs. While females are more affected by the chemical, it can also cause sensitivity in men. Thus, people with sensitive skin or conditions like eczema must keep their distance from soaps containing this skin irritant.

    If a person has eczema, it’s important to avoid using soaps that contain the ingredients mentioned above. One should also steer clear of potential triggers like peanuts, eggs, and dairy products. One can try doing a patch test to find the right product for one’s skin. But before using any product on the skin, it’s best to consult with a dermatologist. They can evaluate one’s skin type and recommend products that are suitable for one’s skin. In case one notices any signs of allergic reactions like rashes, itchiness, and discoloration after using any products, one must wash the area thoroughly with water.

    Additionally, if eczema patients notice any adverse reactions or infections, they must consult a healthcare professional at the earliest. This must also be done when eczema spreads on a large area of the body.

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  • Over 500 million people worldwide live with asthma and other respiratory conditions, and this number continues to rise. Besides avoiding air pollution and practicing breathing exercises, nutrition is critical in improving lung health. But unfortunately, it is overlooked. Choosing the right foods can maintain healthy lungs, keep inflammatory levels in check, and fight oxidative damage in the body. Scroll down to learn about the best foods to enhance lung health.

    Citrus fruits like oranges are rich in vitamin C and B6, which help carry oxygen to the lungs. They also contain antioxidants that fight inflammation and infections and keep the lungs healthy. Studies have found that the vitamin C in citrus fruits can help fight asthma that results from exercising or when the airways are narrowed down because of strenuous activity.

    Lentils are rich in essential minerals like magnesium, copper, potassium, iron, and fiber, which improve lung health and even protect against conditions like COPD and lung cancer. Since a Mediterranean food plan is rich in legumes like lentils, experts recommend it as one of the healthiest choices for people with poor lung health.

    Beets are an excellent superfood for those looking to enhance lung health. They are considered “red bombs” that increase the body’s oxygen levels, relax blood vessels, and reduce blood pressure. Eating this root vegetable regularly can improve diaphragmatic contractions, making breathing easier. Beets have also been proven useful against the symptoms of viral respiratory infections.

    Using peppers in different recipes is a great way to enhance flavor while enjoying health benefits. The hot flavor and health benefits of peppers are due to an active compound called capsaicin. The heat from this compound loosens the mucus in the mucus membrane, making it easier to be eliminated from the lungs. Studies suggest that capsaicin can also prove useful in fighting cancer metastasis.

    Those who love pumpkin pie will be glad to learn that this dessert is not only tasty but also healthy. Pumpkins are rich sources of beta-carotene and antioxidants like vitamin C, which help lower inflammation and protect against lung cancer. Individuals who are not a fan of pumpkins can snack on pumpkin seeds to enjoy the health benefits. Adding a few seeds to a bowl of Greek yogurt can make the dish more appetizing. Thanks to the health properties of pumpkins, we now have all the more reason to look forward to Halloween!

    Turmeric is one of the most used traditional remedies for inflammatory conditions. It can also be used as a preventative measure to keep the lungs healthy. The spice works well as a lung cleanser to eliminate the built-up mucus inside the organ. It can be added to food preparation or be had in the form of a chewable. Adding black pepper powder to food along with turmeric helps increase its efficacy. If adding turmeric to food does not sound appetizing, one can brew turmeric tea.

    Tomatoes are packed to the brim with health benefits. They are one of the few foods with the antioxidant lycopene, which can help people with respiratory conditions like COPD and asthma strengthen their lungs. The anti-inflammatory nature of tomatoes also helps repair the damage caused to the lungs. Including tomatoes in food preparation is easy. It can add taste to sandwiches, gravies, and curries or be turned into a salsa sauce.

    Grapefruit is rich in water content, perfect for staying hydrated on a hot summer day. It also has many antioxidants that help fight oxidative damage caused to the cells of different organs, including the lungs. Further, the fruit has anti-inflammatory properties, decreasing the chances of further cell damage. Grapefruits carry a flavonoid, naringin, that regulates cell cycles.

    The powerful flavors and notes of garlic are perfect for enhancing food taste. But that is not its only benefit. The spice is also helpful for improving lung health by fighting respiratory infections owing to its antiviral and antibacterial properties. One can use garlic in various recipes, from pasta to roast chicken.

    Green tea
    Tea is among the most popularly consumed beverages across the globe and has been in existence for centuries. Green tea packs several health benefits. Drinking it frequently has been known to have anti-inflammatory effects on the body. The beverage has catechins, a type of antioxidant proven effective against cancer. They help mitigate the growth speed and spread of cancer cells and help fight the disease to a certain extent.

    Besides eating the foods mentioned above, staying hydrated is critical to enhance lung health. Water keeps the lung tissue hydrated and the mucus lining thin. This helps in the smooth movement of mucus. With optimum hydration, the cilia in the lungs also find it easy to expel mucus from the organ. A dehydrated body will have difficulty dealing with the built-up mucus and fighting off the infection. Drinking enough water also helps maintain the consistency of blood and its flow from the heart and lungs to other organs. If unsure, one can consult a nutritionist to determine how much water one should drink daily depending on age, activity levels, and the weather.

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  • Do you often enjoy junk food and then feel guilty about it later? We have some good news. Not all packaged and easy-to-make snacks out there are unhealthy! From air-popped popcorn to baked sweet potato fries, plenty of tasty options won’t wreck your health as much as you imagine. So, don’t feel bad about satisfying your cravings occasionally. Here are a few suggestions for a quick bite to satisfy those hunger pangs.

    Popcorn is a favorite snack for many, especially when watching a movie. It’s a good source of fiber, which can keep you full and satisfied. It also has antioxidants called polyphenols, which are shown to reduce inflammation and protect against cancer and heart disease. When choosing popcorn, buy plain, air-popped varieties or make them at home. Air-popped varieties are healthy, low-calorie, and great fiber alternatives.

    Dark chocolate
    Chocolate is often associated with indulgence and guilt, but dark chocolate with a high percentage of cocoa does have health benefits. It’s rich in antioxidants called flavanols, which are shown to improve heart health and reduce inflammation. Researchers have found that dark chocolate with a high amount of cocoa (at least 70%) can improve blood pressure, reduce heart disease risk, and improve brain blood flow. Dark chocolate also contains iron, magnesium, and copper, which are important for overall health.

    Nuts are often considered a high-calorie and unhealthy snack. However, they’re a good source of protein, fiber, and healthy fats that can help keep you feeling full and satisfied. Almonds, walnuts, and pistachios are rich in polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, which have been shown to improve heart health and reduce inflammation. Nuts are also a good source of vitamin E, which benefits skin and eye health. But remember, always pick unsalted or unsweetened varieties.

    Sweet potato fries
    French fries may be a classic junk food, but sweet potato fries are a healthy alternative. Sweet potatoes are rich in vitamins A and C, fiber, and antioxidants that can help protect against cancer and heart disease. They’re also a good source of complex carbs, which provide sustained energy and help regulate blood sugar levels. Since sweet potatoes have a lower glycemic index, they’re less likely to cause spikes in blood glucose than regular potato fries.

    Guacamole is a delicious dip often considered unhealthy due to its high fat content. However, the fat in guacamole comes from avocados, a good source of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. These are good fats that help improve heart health and reduce inflammation. Avocados are also rich in fiber, potassium, and vitamins C and K. They have been shown to lower cholesterol levels, improve digestion, and reduce the risk of many chronic diseases, including heart disease and cancer.

    Greek yogurt
    Greek yogurt is a healthier alternative to other yogurts because it’s high in protein and low in sugar. It’s made by straining regular yogurt to remove excess liquid and concentrate the protein. This process also removes some lactose, making it easier for those with lactose intolerance to digest. Greek yogurt is a good source of calcium, important for bone health, and probiotics, essential for a healthy gut and robust immune system. Enjoy it as is, or add fresh fruit and a tiny amount of honey for a healthier and more satisfying snack!

    Salsa is a flavorful sauce often enjoyed with chips or as a topping for tacos. While chips aren’t the healthiest option, salsa is a suitable choice low in calories, vitamins, and antioxidants. It’s typically made with fresh vegetables like tomatoes, onions, and peppers. These veggies are rich in vitamins A and C and antioxidants that can protect against cancer and heart disease. Salsa sauce is also a good source of fiber and can help keep you full and satisfied.

    Edamame is a popular snack often enjoyed at Japanese restaurants. It’s made from soybeans that are still in their pods and can be steamed or boiled and seasoned with salt. Edamame is a good source of protein, fiber, and vitamins C and K. It’s also rich in isoflavones. These antioxidants can reduce inflammation and protect against certain cancers. Edamame can be enjoyed individually as a snack or added to salads and stir-fries for a healthy and flavorful twist.

    Hummus is a delicious dip made from chickpeas, tahini, and other healthy ingredients. It’s rich in protein, fiber, and healthy fats that can help keep you feeling full and satisfied. Chickpeas are a good source of plant-based protein and fiber, which can improve digestion and reduce the risk of chronic diseases, including heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Hummus can be enjoyed as a dip with raw vegetables or whole-grain crackers or as a spread on sandwiches and wraps.

    Frozen berries
    Berries are a sweet and satisfying treat that can be pretty healthy. Strawberries and raspberries are particularly good sources of antioxidants and fiber. They can help protect against cancer and heart disease, improve digestion, and regulate blood sugar. Freezing doesn’t significantly lower the nutritional value of fresh fruits, so feel free to munch on some frozen berries when hunger strikes.

    It’s important to remember that while these junk foods may be healthier than their traditional counterparts, they should still be had in moderation. A food plan rich in whole, unprocessed foods is the best way to maintain optimal health. Incorporating these healthier junk food options into your nutrition plan can be a great way to satisfy cravings without sacrificing your health goals.

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  • Lymphoma cancer is detected in the lymphatic system, which comprises the bone marrow, spleen, lymph nodes, stomach, intestines, and skin. The disease is marked by abnormal growth of white blood cells. More than half a million new lymphoma cases are diagnosed in the country every year. Since lymph tissues are spread throughout the body, lymphoma can start almost anywhere. Here are some common early signs of the disease to look out for.

    Types of lymphoma
    The disease can be classified into over 70 types based on cancer growth, aggression, and symptoms. The disease originates in white blood cells called B lymphocytes (B cells) and T lymphocytes (T cells) found in the bone marrow.

    Broadly, lymphoma is divided into two types:

    Non-Hodgkin lymphoma
    It begins in the lymphatic system and is marked by abnormal white blood cell growth that forms tumors throughout one’s body. Non-Hodgkin lymphoma is more common in older adults.

    Hodgkin lymphoma
    Hodgkin lymphoma usually begins in B cells and is comparatively easier to cure at an early stage. It can affect both kids and adults at any point. Several treatments are available for the disease, from chemotherapy, radiation therapy, immunotherapy, and targeted therapy, to stem cell transplantation. A patient’s recovery depends on the type and stage of their cancer.

    What are the early signs of lymphoma?
    Enlargement of lymph nodes is usually the first sign of lymphoma and can feel or appear like lumps under one’s skin. These bumps are usually painless but can be itchy, red, or purple. They can appear around one’s armpits, above the collarbone, groin area, or on the side of the neck.

    Additionally, depending on the location of the lymphoma, one can look for the following early signs of the disease.

    Enlargement of lymph nodes
    Abdominal pain or swelling due to fluid buildup or spleen or liver enlargement
    Nausea or vomiting
    Loss of muscle or body mass
    Breathing difficulties
    Easy bruising
    Inexplicable or chronic fatigue
    Chest pain
    Recurring infections
    Loss of appetite or feeling full without eating much

    Apart from these, non-Hodgkin lymphoma patients can also exhibit the following symptoms:

    Frequently running a temperature without any infection
    Sudden night sweats
    Unintentional loss in body mass, approximately 10% over six months

    Certain infections can also result in enlarged lymph nodes. Thus, having swollen lymph nodes does not automatically indicate cancer. Therefore, regular full-body health examinations and doctor consultations can help one to determine if they have lymphoma or are at risk of the condition.

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  • Menopause marks the end of the regular menstrual cycle. If a woman doesn’t get her period for over 12 months, her body will undergo a series of metabolic changes. Menopause can trigger several discomforts ranging from physical symptoms like hot flashes and night sweats to emotional disturbances like mood swings and personality changes. However, it is possible to manage menopause with simple changes in daily nutrition and lifestyle to improve the outlook in the long run.

    Cruciferous vegetables, leafy greens, and berries
    Several research studies explain why including more green vegetables and berries helped women experience fewer hot flashes associated with menopause over time. Top picks include broccoli, cauliflower, and dark berries, which help increase estrogen levels and further lower the risk of breast cancer complications. Dark greens and leafy vegetables like spinach, chard, leaf lettuce, and beet are also rich sources of calcium, fiber, potassium, magnesium, and B vitamins. These nutrients are essential for regulating mood and energy to lower the impact of menopausal hormone changes that affect one’s personality.

    Healthy omega-3 fatty foods
    Omega 3 fatty acid is one of the crucial anti-inflammatory compounds to include in daily nutrition to help manage hot flashes and lower the severity of night sweats experienced during menopause. Fatty fish like salmon, tuna, mackerel, herring, and sardines are loaded with omega-3s. Chia seeds, hemp seeds, and other assorted nuts are also good sources of healthy fats.

    Foods rich in calcium and vitamin D
    Low levels of estrogen triggered due to hormonal changes affect calcium levels in the body. This, in turn, increases the risk of osteoporosis, among other bone and joint problems. Including more calcium-rich foods and beverages are essential for maintaining healthy bones. Fortified milk, yogurt, and cheese are healthy sources of calcium, vitamin D, and vitamin K nutrients that help strengthen the bones preventing flare-ups and complications.

    Fiber-rich foods
    Menopause tends to slow down one’s metabolism simultaneously due to various hormonal changes. A slow metabolism can trigger drastic changes in body mass index. Also, these metabolic changes affect digestion, can trigger constipation and have a negative impact on blood sugar levels. Nutritionists suggest including more whole grains like barley, oatmeal, quinoa, rye, and Kamut can prevent such drastic changes while maintaining a healthy calorie intake daily.

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  • Period cramps are a result of uterine muscles contracting to shed tissue. The contraction momentarily cuts off the oxygen supply to the uterus, which releases the chemicals that cause pain. Women all around the world face varying degrees of period cramps that interfere with their ability to function normally. But eating certain types of foods and drinks can reduce the pain and provide more comfort during that time of the month.

    Hydration is said to help alleviate period pain. A study showed that women who drank more water used fewer painkillers and reported less severe cramps.

    Turmeric milk
    Turmeric added to milk has traditionally been used by many cultures to relieve PMS symptoms and regularize periods. This anti-inflammatory spice stimulates blood flow in the pelvic region and has an antispasmodic effect.

    Bananas are rich in fiber and magnesium, easy to digest and help regulate bowel movement. They can help one feel less bloated and reduce the severity of cramps.

    A powerhouse of vitamin C and antioxidants, oranges can reduce menstrual cramps. The fruit also has a high water content, thus helping with hydration.

    Fish is a good source of protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and iron. All of these nutrients minimize menstruation discomfort and help improve mood.

    Ginger tea
    Warm ginger tea has anti-inflammatory properties that soothe muscle aches and reduce the sensation of nausea, bloating, and vomiting.

    Chamomile tea
    The antispasmodic properties of hot chamomile tea can ease muscle spasms and soothe one’s nervous system.

    Rich in anti-inflammatory fats, magnesium and potassium, avocados are a cramping superfood that also provide essential nutrients to keep one’s energy levels up.

    Dark chocolate
    Dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants, fiber, iron, zinc, magnesium, and potassium. Along with providing energy, it also alleviates pain and controls cravings.

    Eggs are another superfood packed with nutrients that lessen menstruation pain and prolong the feeling of fullness.

    Probiotic-rich yogurt has been shown to nourish the body and shield one from vaginal infections during periods.

    Fennel seeds
    Fennel seeds are anti-inflammatory. When mixed with ginger powder and warm water, these seeds can work to relieve pain.

    These remedies can also help one to relieve pain after an endometrial biopsy, which is done to examine the lining of the uterus or irregular vaginal bleeding following menopause or in between menstrual cycles. The procedure may lead to period cramps in the lower area of the abdomen for a few days.

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  • Lung cancer is among the leading causes of death in both men and women. Even though it is treatable, early detection and diagnosis are crucial. The two most common symptoms of the condition are believed to be persistent cough and shortness of breath, but in many cases, they do not appear until the advanced stages. So, here are a few other silent signs of lung cancer one should look out for.

    Fatter fingertips
    A few types of lung tumors produce hormone-like chemicals. These chemicals can push more fluid and blood to the fingertip tissues, making them look thicker or larger. Furthermore, the skin next to the nails can look shiny, and the nails may curve more. Statistics suggest that 80% of people with this symptom have lung cancer.

    Stomach issues
    Many people with lung cancer develop hypercalcemia, characterized by high amounts of calcium in the blood. The condition can lead to problems like stomach aches and constipation. Moreover, some hormone-like substances released by the tumors may cause kidney problems, leading to cramps and nausea.

    Hoarseness or changes in voice
    Some also notice a few changes in their voice, making it seem strained or raspy. This may happen due to the lung’s pressure on the nerve that controls the vocal cords. It can also be caused by irritation or injury to the vocal cords. This sudden change in voice may disappear after a short period, but it may be best to visit a doctor if one experiences longer episodes, as hoarseness could be a silent sign of lung cancer.

    Upper body swelling and bruising
    While swelling and bruises may be associated with injuries, they can also be caused by other conditions. A large vein in the body known as the superior vena cava carries blood from the head and arms to the heart. If a tumor presses down on the vein, it can lead to blood pooling and swelling in the upper arms, neck, and chest.

    As lung cancer is a complicated disease, individuals should seek a doctor’s advice as soon as they notice any symptoms. It ensures timely diagnosis and treatment.

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