Sharecare Top 5: Tips to Keep Your Brain Sharp, 5 Age-Defying Dinner Recipes, Dangers of Skipping RA Meds, and More

 

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This week on Sharecare we’re sharing foods that can boost your brain health as well as recipes that can keep you feeling — and looking — your best. Plus, get tips to rev up your love life.

1. Ever heard of the MIND diet? If not, Darria Long Gillespie, MD is here to fill you in. She explains how this delicious, brain-boosting plan can reduce Alzheimer’s disease risk by up to 53%.

2. Looking to boost your weight loss? Discover how these foods can help you re-ignite a tired metabolism to help you feel full faster, increase energy levels and melt those pounds away.

3. Research shows that many people with rheumatoid arthritis don’t take their medications — but missing doses of RA treatment can put your health at risk. If you or a loved one lives with RA, learn why it’s best to stick with your treatment.

4. There are some scary stats about teens texting and driving: Did you know that texting and driving makes your child 24 times more likely to crash? Dr. Mehmet Oz and Dr. Mike Roizen offer tips to give your child next time they’re behind the wheel.

5. Does your sex life need a little lift? Watch this video to find out what you and your partner can do to enhance your time tangled in the sheets by focusing on one simple thing.

Chowing Down on the Run Could Boost Overall Snacking

two teen woman friends

Sometimes it’s hard to find time to get meals in. Whether you’re running to a meeting or trying to get your kids out the door, it might seem like sitting down to eat always takes the backseat to other events in your life. But new research has found that all that eating on the move may play tricks on your body when it comes to deciding whether to snack later on and may even boost your eating in a way that leads to weight gain. Read more  »

Today’s Headlines: Kidney Stones, How to Make Tomatoes Tastier, and Chemotherapy Alternatives

Fresh-squeezed lemonade could solve all of your kidney stone problems. A recent study has shown that the citric acid in lemons has helped break down calcium-filled kidney stones to ease the pain when passing them. “Kidney stones often form when oxalate, a byproduct from some foods, binds with urine. Lemon juice, which is low in oxalate, can stunt the growth of pre-existing stones and prevent crystal deposits in the kidneys from developing into stones.” For best results you should drink natural lemonade that has no added sugars and is as close to fresh-squeezed lemon as possible. (Fox)

Dunking tomatoes in hot water can make them taste better. All produce that comes to the grocery store is picked before it’s ripe and then ripens in the truck while commuting to the stores. Once they arrive, tomatoes are placed in a refrigerator in order to maintain freshness until they are bought. However, it’s been found that colder temperatures reduce the flavor quality of the fruit. “At the National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society this week, researchers presented a simple solution: Just give the fruit a nice, hot bath beforehand. In the experiment, which was led by researchers from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, and the University of Florida, Florida-grown tomatoes were dipped in hot water (about 125 degrees Fahrenheit) for five minutes before getting the same chilly treatment as the other tomatoes. The hot bath seemed to mitigate some of the tasteless effects of the chilling. Important flavor compounds — the chemicals that give tomatoes their taste — were more abundant in the experimental tomatoes, even after they’d been chilled and stored.” Hopefully tomato suppliers get word of these new findings and prep their tomatoes in hot water before shipping them off to stores for tastier tomatoes in the future. (Washington Post)

New approaches to cancer treatments have provided a potential alternative to chemotherapy. In a new study, researchers gave a drug commonly used to treat melanoma to those suffering from brain, lung and colon cancer, instead of traditional chemotherapy treatments. “Researchers used a targeted melanoma drug to treat patients with a range of cancers, from lung cancer to brain cancer, who weren’t being helped by traditional chemotherapy any more. Even though they had many different types of tumors, they all had one thing in common — a genetic mutation called BRAFV600. It’s a mutation familiar to doctors who treat melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. It’s seen in about half of melanoma cases. A pill called vemurafenib, sold under the brand name Zelboraf, specifically targets the mutation. It helps about half of patients with melanoma who have the mutation. The same mutation is sometimes seen in colon cancer, lung cancer, thyroid cancer, brain tumors and some blood cancers.” While the research results proved to be mixed and in need of more testing, for those that it worked on, the results were astounding and either significantly shrunk tumors or eradicated them completely. (NBC)

 

Common Diabetes Drug May Be Acting on Your Intestines

Young Woman Taking Medication

If you have diabetes or know someone who does, you’ve probably heard of the drug metformin. It’s the first line of defense in helping to get high blood sugar levels under control in people with type 2 diabetes and helps to ward off some of the damaging effects of diabetes in the long term. Scientists and physicians had proposed a number of ways metformin has this effect, but the true mechanism hasn’t been nailed down. New research out this week is showing that it may be metformin’s effect on your intestines, rather than on the rest of your body, that is actually making the biggest impact on how metformin shifts your blood sugar. Read more  »

Why Tracking Your Progress Is so Important

Overweight Woman With Digital Tablet Checking Calorie Intake

I’ve seen a few patients recently who have been trying to lose weight for a long time. Most of them feel like they’ve tried everything, but many feel like they’re getting nowhere. Sound familiar? I’ve met a lot of people who find themselves in a similar situation and I want to share a tip from some of the healthiest people I know: track your progress. Tracking can be a great motivator and help you to figure out when something’s working for you and when it isn’t. But even with all of the fancy calorie counters and fitness trackers on the market, tracking progress can be harder than it might first appear. Here’s my advice on how to do it right. Read more  »

Today’s Headlines: Trans Fat, Romance, and Surgery

Trans fats are linked to higher risk of death. For a long time saturated fat was considered to be the worst fat that you could put in your body. But now, recent research shows that there is a new bad guy in town—trans fats. “In a study published in the BMJ, scientists say that trans fats are linked to the highest rates of death from all causes, deaths from heart disease and heart problems. The trans fat risk surpassed even that associated with saturated fat, which is found in formerly taboo-for-the-heart foods like butter, eggs and red meat.” In fact, people who ate trans fats had a 34 percent increase of dying from general causes, a 28 percent increase of dying from heart disease, and a 21 percent increase of heart issues. The study concluded by making sure that people were aware that even though trans fats are proven to be the worst, that does not mean that you should add a lot of saturated fats to your diet. (Time)

Women are more likely to be in the mood for romance with full stomachs. It’s been proven that when women are hungry they cannot focus properly on anything—including romance—until they eat something. “For the first set of scans, participants were shown romantic images, such as a couple holding hands, along with neutral images, like a bowling ball. Researchers observed similar levels of brain activation in response to all images. Participants were then given 500 calories of a meal replacement drink before again undergoing the scan and being shown the same images. Study author Alice Ely said the women were more responsive to romantic cues on the second round of scans.” So ladies, do your partners a favor and make sure that you have a full belly when you’re with them so you can pick up (and be in the mood for) their romance cues. (Fox)

Listening to music helps you recover from surgery. The key to healing after surgery could be in your playlist. A study recently found that music is extremely beneficial to patients recovering from surgery.  “The results, published in The Lancet journal, found patients were significantly less anxious after surgery and reported more satisfaction after listening to music. They also needed less pain medication and reported less pain compared with controls. While the study found listening to music at any time seemed effective, there was a trend for better outcomes if patients listened to music before surgery rather than during or after. And when patients selected their own music, there was a slightly greater reduction in pain and in use of pain relief.” If you or a loved one has an operation coming up, remember to bring your music and earbuds to pass time in the waiting room and improve your post-op recovery. (Reuters)

Sharecare Top 5: How Your Zip Code Affects Your Health, Your Exercise Wake-up Call, and Tips to Get Younger in Just 5 Minutes

This week on Sharecare we’re offering insight on how location can affect your well-being, giving you easy ways to lower your RealAge and sharing advice on how to shape up your fitness routine.

1. It’s easy to make excuses for not exercising — but this may put you at risk for serious diseases down the road. Check out these five reasons to stop hitting the snooze button on your exercise alarm clock.

2. Location doesn’t just matter when it comes to real estate — it impacts your health, too. Find out where people have the best diets, are the most positive and the least stressed. How does your city compare?

3. Taking care of your body isn’t a sprint. Instead, think of it more as a lifelong marathon. And your daily activities count way more than you think. Try these ways to feel healthier — and knock years off your RealAge — in only five minutes a day.

4. Remission for rheumatoid arthritis is possible, but unfortunately much too rare. But don’t get discouraged: Discover some smart things you can do to ensure that you get the best treatment and the best chance of beating RA.

5. Summer may be nearing an end, but you’re still probably taking a refreshing dip in that pool. Did you know that some of the biggest water dangers are so small you need a microscope to see them? Test your IQ on these dangerous pool pests.

Trying to Kick a Craving? Try Playing a Game

Young woman and a smiling chocolate chip cookie.

What’s the last thing you craved? Was it that cup of coffee right after you woke up? Or a cupcake you saw in a bakery? Your brain is constantly assaulted by sights, smells, and sounds that dredge up desires for anything ranging from food to clothes to sex. While those who study the brain have devised a multitude of ways to cut those cravings and keep you from indulging, new research out this week has found that a fun, visual distraction may be enough to get that item of desire out of your mind. Read more  »