7 Experts Share Their Secrets to a Long, Healthy Life

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Today The Dr. Oz Show was excited to host a conference on longevity sponsored by USANA Health Sciences. An amazing group of speakers shared their unique insights into how to live the longest and best quality life possible; including visionary Arianna Huffington, Olympian Alev Kelter, sleep expert Dr. Michael Breus, and chef Marcus Samuelson. Each of our guests shared tips from their own experiences to help all of us live our best lives. Read more  »

Your #MyRegimen Resource Guide

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This week, I am excited to announce The Regimen, a seven-step checklist that guides you every day toward your healthiest self. It’s a comprehensive approach that’s based on the latest research in areas such as nutrition, mental health, and fitness. Including information from the best foods to eat to maintain a healthy gut to the most important activity to keep your brain young, The Regimen is designed for you now and in the future.

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Why We Need More Funding to Fight the Zika Virus

Congress came back from its summer break this week and once again, failed to pass funding for the fight against the Zika virus. The situation is getting more urgent, with mosquitoes on the U.S. mainland now carrying the disease. Florida has seen 56 infections from local mosquitoes and thousands have gotten Zika from traveling abroad. There have already been 16 infants born in the continental U.S. with Zika, a number that will only rise from here.

The debate over Zika funding has been raging since March, when the White House called for $1.9 billion to help fight the spread of the virus. Congress whittled that down to a $1.1 billion bill that’s gone nowhere due to a political stalemate. Republicans tacked a rider onto the bill that would block Puerto Rico’s Planned Parenthood from getting any of the funding to help stop sexual transmission of the virus, and Democrats won’t vote the bill through with this rider attached. Puerto Rico has been the hardest hit U.S. territory, with almost 14,000 cases so far.

With the current bill looking unlikely to pass, Congress has until the end of the month to figure out another way to fund the fight against Zika before it breaks for election season. In the meantime, the Zika crisis continues and the agencies’ funds are dwindling.

Public health agencies, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institutes of Health, are currently running on fumes to fight the growing Zika crisis. The CDC has moved $38 million over from Ebola funding and $44 million from emergency response funds. Of the total $222 million the agency had allocated for Zika, it’s already spent $200 million of that, according to CDC director Dr. Tom Frieden.

I spoke with Dr. Frieden today about the consequences if the CDC doesn’t receive the funding it urgently needs.

“If we don’t get the money we need from Congress it means we won’t be able to support state and local governments to test women and others for Zika virus,” he told me. “We won’t be able to learn more about the disease. We won’t be able to control mosquitoes more effectively.”

So far the CDC has been trying to track every pregnant woman with Zika, which it estimates is up to 584 in the U.S. states and 812 in the U.S. territories, with the majority in Puerto Rico.

CDC’s anti-Zika efforts aren’t the only programs that will suffer if Congress isn’t able to find money for the issue. The National Institute for Allergies and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) will have to put efforts to develop a Zika vaccine on hold. The agency already has several promising candidates, including one that’s currently in Phase 1 of human trials. But if the agency doesn’t get funding by the end of September, it won’t be able to move on to Phase 2 of the trials, according to Anthony Fauci, director of NIAID.

Funding to fight Zika has broad support from the public, with a new survey from March of Dimes showing that 74 percent of Americans favor increased federal funding for research to prevent the spread of Zika. If you’re one of these people, don’t be afraid to let your representatives in Congress know that you support an urgent solution to Zika funding. I’ll be calling my representatives.

For more information on the virus and to find out who is at risk and how to protect yourself, visit the CDC’s Zika Virus page, which is updated daily.

Look out for our big show on Zika, with interviews with Dr. Frieden of the CDC, Anthony Fauci of NIAID, and all the information you need to know to stay safe, next week.

Should You Eat a Low-Sodium Diet?

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As a cardiothoracic surgeon, I know how heart disease can affect an individual and his or her loved ones. That’s why I’m a strong advocate when it comes to preventing disease in the first place. Prevention can be as simple as adopting healthier eating habits, illustrating how proper nutrition can make all the difference when it comes to your wellbeing.

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3 Nutrients You Might Need More Of

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One of the ongoing responsibilities of the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is to keep track of and monitor Americans’ nutritional intake. Periodically, the CDC will release new research that indicate which vitamins and minerals we may need more of. The most recent findings are from their Second Nutrition Report based on data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) from 1999-2006. The good news is that most Americans are consuming a sufficient amount of vitamins and minerals from a variety of food sources but there are some groups of people that may need to be more aware of certain nutrients.

In this week’s blog, I’m highlighting three of these essential nutrients and who might need to increase their intake of these nutrients. Vitamin and mineral deficiencies arise from multiple causes and are influenced by factors such as age, gender, and race or ethnicity. Before overhauling your diet or reaching for supplements, discuss your personal diet and lifestyle habits, along with any symptoms you may have with a physician to avoid any excess nutrient consumption, which can be just as harmful as a nutrient deficiency.

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5 Ways to Fight Fatigue

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Whether you’re running endless errands or sidelined by illness, fatigue strikes all of us at one point or another. Oftentimes, an unhealthy lifestyle is to blame for this common health complaint but you can break out of this cycle of lethargy and weariness by making changes to your daily routine, diet, or sleep schedule.

If you’re experiencing sudden, unexplained fatigue, talk to your doctor about your symptoms since fatigue can also be triggered by medication or indicate a more serious issue, especially if it’s ongoing or long lasting.

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6 Foods You Don’t Have to Refrigerate

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Many fruits and vegetables are perishable and require refrigeration to guard against bacterial and foodborne illnesses such as E. coli or listeria, but not all produce needs to be chilled before you cook or eat them. In fact, some foods can deteriorate if kept in cold conditions or are fresher or taste better at room temperature. Here are six foods that are best stored on your countertop or in your cool, dark pantry instead.

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Staying Hydrated With Fruits and Vegetables

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Drinking water isn’t the only way to stay hydrated every day. About 20 percent of your daily water intake comes from fruits and vegetables. Eating fruits and vegetables with a high water content can help you reach your hydration goals and meet your recommended nutrient intake simultaneously – an easy, win-win situation! The amount of water you should drink every day is influenced by various factors including the environment, how much physical activity you perform, and how much food you eat. If you’re a generally healthy person, drinking too much water isn’t much of a concern. The important point to remember is to drink enough water throughout the day to keep your body functioning optimally. To help you along the way, add these nutritious fruits and vegetables to your diet on a regular basis.

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4 Ways to Have a Healthy Morning

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Every morning, before I head into my office, check in at the hospital, or arrive at the studio to tape The Dr. Oz Show, there are a few habits and rituals I try to follow that help me kick off my days with my best foot forward. Even if I can’t get to them all I find that incorporating at least one or two of these can set the day forward in a healthy, positive motion. Here’s what keeps me going past that mid-morning slump and how you can adapt these easy strategies for yourself.

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