Deepak Chopra, MD
If you are in the habit of scrubbing your hands, your home and your children with bacteria-fighting gels and soaps, consider this: The average adult intestine has already been colonized by more than 500 species of microbes. Our bodies contain more bacterial cells than human cells, although bacteria take up much less space by comparison.
If you exercise regularly, you probably have a routine set of steps to get ready. You make sure you have water, appropriate clothes and shoes, and any special equipment you need. Before you get moving, do you stretch?
The moment a mother delivers a new person into the world, her next amazing feat begins: producing and delivering the perfect food for that baby. Hormonal changes at delivery trigger the lactation process. Breast milk is the ideal combination of protein, fat, immunity boosting factors and key nutrients to help a baby's body and brain grow strong.
We all know that smoking causes cancer, cardiovascular disease, and multiple respiratory illnesses. Does anyone really need another reason to quit? Okay, here's one: To save your vision. Surprised?
The benefits of organic farming are undeniable. Crops grown without chemical pesticides do not contaminate the earth with toxic substances. Organic farmers use crop rotation and other natural processes to keep the soil healthy and fertile. Studies show that some (but not all) organically grown fruits and vegetables are higher in certain nutrients than the conventionally grown versions. But organic farming is more expensive than conventional farming, and that fact is reflected in the price of organic foods.
Is a friend or loved one turning 50 this year? Suggest that the birthday celebration include making an appointment for a colonoscopy. Nearly 50,000 men and women die of colorectal cancer every year. It is the fourth most frequent cause of cancer deaths in the U.S., and most of the fatal cases occur in people who have not had a regular screening for cancer of the colon and rectum.
One of the most important things parents can do for children's future is to help them maintain a healthy weight. The current statistics tell us we have some work to do. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 17 percent of young Americans ages 2-19 are obese, meaning they are more than 10 percent over a healthy weight for their height and age. Only 21 percent of young people eat the recommended 5 or more daily servings of fruits and vegetables. Even worse, almost half of the “vegetables” consumed by kids are fried potatoes!
After our recent post about the dangers of trans fats (Weekly Health Tip: Why Trans Fats Are the Bad Guys), a reader named Merrymaven posed a very good question: How does one reverse the effects of trans fats? Those of us who ate margarine, commercial baked goods and other trans fat-laden foods before we knew how harmful they could be can certainly change our habits now. But what about the damage trans fats may have done already?
Your lower back is the linchpin of your frame. Taking a few steps to protect and strengthen this vital area will literally keep you in action. The muscles and vertebrae of the lower back, or lumbar area, support your upper body and keep you centered so you can walk, bend forward, lift, turn, stretch and stand. Because it is the center of so much action, the lower back is also a common target for strain and pain.
Men who experience sexual dysfunction generally don't react by reaching for the phone and speed-dialing the doctor. Being unable to achieve and maintain an erection seems like a private, and sometimes embarrassing, issue. How many men and their partners are suffering in silence, hoping that the malfunction will pass?