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As we age, our bood pressure tends to go up. Those in the know say we should be shooting for a rate of 130/80. If you find yourself creeping over that line, doctors recommend more cooking at home than eating out (more than 70% of our sodium intake now comes from food prepared outside our homes.

You may also want to increase your intake of potassium - a mineral found in many fruits and vegetables.

As always, best to consult your doctor before making any changes to your diet.

Okay, we all know sugar is bad, but it tastes so darn good! We can cut down our intake of sugar (and still enjoy the occasional treats) by following a few simple tips:

Whole Fruit vs. Fruit Juice: Fruit juice can have as much sugar as several pieces of whole fruit, but none of the fiber that slows absorption. Eat the whole fruit and skip the juice.

The Best Fruits: Those are the ones that release their sugar into our systems more slowly. These include apples, berries and grapefruit.

Chocolate: Every chocoholic knows there are actual health benefits in chocolate. And the darker the chocolate, the more cocoa (the health-giving stuff) and the less sugar (the not-so-healthy stuff).

Avoid White: Not only is cane sugar white, but foods like white bread, white rice and white pasta are metabolized in your body just like sugar. Health experts say you should substitute whole gains and skip the white.

 

If you’re concerned about your health (and what Baby Boomer isn’t), the 2017 Senior Health Report is available from the United Health Foundation. Best of all, it’s free!

Visit AmericasHealthRankings.org to obtain your copy.

BTW – the healthiest states for Boomer Health are Minnesota, Utah and Hawaii. The 3 “unhealthiest”: Mississippi, Kentucky and Oklahoma.

The report is based on this definition of health from the World Health Organization:
“Health is a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”

There is evidence that a daily regimen of low-dose aspirin (what used to be called “baby aspirin” can reduce the risk of a first heart attack or stroke in those between the ages of 50 and 69. There is also some evidence that it may reduce the risk of colon cancer. Experts warn that such a regimen should only be undertaken by those with a high risk of heart disease and a low risk of bleeding.

As with any drug, do not begin a regimen of low-dose aspirin without consulting your doctor.

Cost should never be an object when it comes to protecting you from the flu. Flu deaths among people our age is on the rise.

Here’s a quick list of places you should check for low-or-no cost flu shots:

  • Walgreen’s
  • CVS
  • Rite Aid
  • Target (stores with a CVS inside)
  • Walmart
  • Your Primary Care Doctor
  • Supermarkets (Several large chains offer them)

New research shows that you may reduce your risk of diabetes by taking 15-minute walk after meals.

This is about the time in January when it’s getting a little harder to keep that resolution. That burst of energy and willpower you had at the start of the year has started to wane as the daily routine of life lures you back into bad habits.

As we roll into cold and flu season, many of us will be guzzling those over-the-counter remedies we think we help us cope with the symptom.

There is a potential downside. Actually there are SEVERAL potential downsides.

Acetaminophen – Many over the over pills and fluids contain this common pain reliever (the main ingredient in Tylenol). It’s also found in many cold medications. If you taking both pain relief pills and cold syrup, you may quickly find yourself consuming way more than 3,000-4,000 milligram dosage recommended as the maximum safe dosage.

Too much acetaminophen can lead to nausea, stomach pain, loss of appetite and ultimately to liver damage. (We don’t have to tell you that liver damage is something we want to avoid.)

Be a Romper Room Do-Bee: You should also stay away from alcohol when taking acetaminophen. And check the ingredients of all the medications you’re taking to keep yourself under that 3,000-4,000 milligram number.

A new study indicates that a diet rich in vitamin C can cut the risk of developing cataracts in people over 40 by 33%.

Researchers stress that the benefits does NOT come from popping vitamin C tablets, but from natural food sources, such as citrus fruit and dark green vegetables.

Bon appétit!

 

 

 

As we grow older, many of us begin experiencing trouble sleeping through the night. If you find yourself waking up in the dark multiple times during the night, try these “sleep hacks” to getting a good night’s rest:

  1. Stay in the Dark – If you do wake up, don’t turn on a light, check your cell phone, or get up to watch TV. This can mess up your internal clock and make you more likely to wake up at the same time the next night.
  2. Upgrade Your Bedding – Is your pillow worn out or uncomfortable? How long has it been since you replaced your mattress? New bedding may be your ticket to dreamland!
  3. Stick to a Schedule – Our internal clocks are not as adjustable as they once were. Try and keep your bed time and the time you rise the same – 7 days a week. (No matter how tempting it may be to sleep in on Saturday morning.)

Eating healthy doesn’t have to mean spending more money for “organic’ or “natural” foods.

Foods that are natural and downright inexpensive include:

  • Bananas
  • Peanut Butter
  • Green and Black Teas
  • Cabbage
  • Beans
  • Lentils
  • Carrots
  • Oatmeal
  • Salmon
  • Sweet Potatoes
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