Sharecare Top 5: Spring Superfoods

The birds are chirping, the rain is falling and the pollen count is through the roof. That can only mean one thing: Spring has sprung.  And with the change in weather comes a new set of seasonal fruits and vegetables that not only taste delicious, but also pack a serious nutritional punch. The next time you head to the grocery store or the farmers market, don’t forget to pick up these five spring superfoods.

1. Beets
Whether you eat them cooked, raw or juiced, beets are nutritional powerhouses chockfull of cancer-fighting antioxidants and potassium. Plus, they’re high in folate, and iron, both important nutrients during pregnancy. Beet fiber is great for improving bowel function and cholesterol. And according to a study from the American Heart Association, beet juice may help lower blood pressure. Find out how to select the best beets as well as simple ways to cook them. And watch this video with naturopathic specialist Pina LoGuidice, ND, for tips on getting the most out of beets.

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Sharecare Top 5: Spring Clean Your Life

Spring is here – and for many of us, that means it’s time for spring cleaning. More than a seasonal ritual, it can actually improve your physical and mental health: Decluttering can decrease stress, and cleaning counts as exercise! Check out our 5 tips to spring clean all the spaces in your life.

1. Start with your home.
The author William Morris once said, “have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.” Use this as your spring-cleaning mantra. Go through each room and decide what you want to toss and what could possibly be donated. Clean off the dust, open the windows, go through your pantry and add a new plant or two. These things can help air out your physical space and decrease health-harming stress. Find out the consequences of chronic stress from internist Keri Peterson, MD.

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Sharecare Top 5: Surprising Allergy Triggers

You might be quick to blame your spring allergy symptoms on pollen, or your year-round allergies on other usual suspects: mold, dust or pet dander. But something else you might not expect could be the cause of your sneezing, wheezing and even skin reactions. Watch out for these five surprising allergy triggers.

1. Spices
When you think of food allergies, shellfish or peanuts probably come to mind. But, less commonly, people are allergic to spices. Cinnamon and garlic are prime culprits, — although any spice can trigger a reaction, such as sneezing and wheezing. What’s worse, you don’t just have to eat spices to get an allergic reaction. Spices can also be found in cosmetics and dental products. Watch this video with functional medicine expert Mark Hyman, MD, to find out what increases your risk for a food allergy.

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Sharecare Top 5: Ways to Make Your RealAge Younger

As the saying goes, “age is just a number.” So true! Because when it comes to your health, your calendar age doesn’t mean as much as your RealAge® – the biological age of your body. Find out your RealAge – and make that number even lower with these five tips from the doctors who helped create the RealAge Test.

1. Put exercise on your to-do list.
After a long day of work or running errands (or both!), nothing sounds better than kicking back on the couch. But skipping workouts – or even daily walks – ages your body. On the flipside, getting about 30 minutes of exercise on most days really boosts your health: It lowers LDL (bad) cholesterol, decreases stress and inflammation, and improves your brain function. Learn more about how exercise slows aging from Sharecare expert and RealAge Test co-creator Keith Roach, MD.

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Sharecare Top 5: Surprising Ways to Prevent Diabetes

If you’re at risk for type 2 diabetes or have a family history of the disease, there’s a silver lining. According to the American Diabetes Association, type 2 diabetes isn’t inevitable. Simple lifestyle changes, such as losing weight, exercising and eating healthy can significantly lower your risk. And that’s not all you can do. Here are five surprising ways to help prevent diabetes.

1. Perk up
Coffee does more than perk you up. Studies show that drinking four 8-ounce cups of coffee a day, either caffeinated or decaffeinated, helps stabilize blood sugar by slowing down glucose absorption from the small intestine into the bloodstream. Just go easy on the sugar: Too much of the sweet stuff will counteract coffee’s diabetes-thwarting effects. Watch this video with Medicine Hunter Chris Kilham to discover other health benefits of drinking coffee.

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Sharecare Top 5: Healthy Ways to Go Green

This time of year has us all thinking green, but we’re not just talking four-leaf clovers, St. Patrick’s Day and early signs of spring. We’re talking about environmentally friendly choices and their surprising health benefits. Check out these five simple ways to reduce your environmental footprint while doing your body right.

1. Skip store-bought bottled drinks. If you’re looking to go green and get healthy, say no to bottled beverages. Sports drinks are made with artificial colors and flavors, fruit juice is loaded with sugar, and soda (yes, even the diet stuff) has been linked to increased inflammation, insulin resistance, heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke. Bottled drinks also require tons of energy to ship and contribute to pollution. Stick to filtered tap water, tea and coffee. They’re better for your health and will save you money.

Check out more tips for living sustainably on a budget from nutritionist and Sharecare expert, Kate Geagan.

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Sharecare Top 5: Natural Sleep Remedies That Really Work

How many nights do you stare at the ceiling hoping to fall asleep – or wake up at 3 a.m. and can’t fall back asleep? If this happens often, you’re one of millions of Americans who suffer sleep problems. And as Daylight Saving Time begins and you lose that precious hour of sleep, your sleep woes can get even worse. Fortunately, we’ve got five natural sleep remedies that can help.

1. Try valerian
Can’t get your eyes to shut when your head hits the pillow? Sip some valerian tea. It contains natural sedative compounds that may reduce that time it takes for you to fall asleep. If you’re not much of a tea drinker, Dr. Oz recommends taking a 300 mg of valerian root instead. Watch this video with “Medicine Hunter” Chris Kilham to find out three other herbs that are proven to help you catch some zzz’s.

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Sharecare Top 5: Reasons to Go Nuts

Next time you find yourself at a party or wandering the snack aisle at your local grocery store, skip the chips and dip and head for the nuts. A handful of nearly any variety – from walnuts to pistachios – can arm you against chronic disease and add years to your life. In fact, the cities where people eat the most nuts are some of the healthiest. Read on for five more reasons to go nuts for your health.

1. They can keep you slim.
Despite being relatively high in calories, nuts can actually help you keep pounds off. In part, that’s because nuts are filled with healthy fats, plant-based protein and dietary fiber – all of which help keep you full and help you curb sugar cravings. Find out more reasons why eating healthy snacks like nuts can help you lose weight, from Sharecare expert Arthur Agatston, MD.

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Sharecare Top 5: Ways to Fight the Effects of Winter

This time of year has its perks: snowmen, hot cocoa and this year, the Sochi Olympics. But let’s face it, winter has downsides, too. Frigid temperatures, dry air and lack of sunshine can do a number on your body and your mood. Fortunately there’s hope for all that. We’ve got five tips to help you survive the negative effects of winter, and more.

1. Relieve dry skin
You already know that cold weather can severely dry out your skin. But aside from washing with a mild cleanser and applying moisturizer, there are other ways to protect against dryness. Cut down on alcohol and caffeine, which can rob your skin of moisture. Another option for keeping skin moisturized is coconut oil, which contains strong antioxidants that help soften your skin. Watch this video with dermatologist Rosemarie Ingleton, MD, to find out which products can make dry skin even worse.

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Sharecare Top 5: Tips for Better Sex

Flowers and chocolates are typical expressions of love on Valentine’s Day – but why rely on this special occasion to be romantic? You can keep the sparks flying year-round with a few simple tricks to boost libido and have better sex. Dim the lights and check out our tips to spice up your love life.

1. Say No to TV (and Twitter, too)
Looking to spark that lovin’ feeling? Turn off your television. In fact, take it out of the bedroom. Research has shown that people who have a TV in their bedroom have 50% less sex than those who don’t. Other research suggests TV viewing could increase the risk of erectile dysfunction and lower sperm count. But don’t replace your late-night shows with Twitter, Facebook or other social media. Find out why in this video from sex therapist and Sharecare expert Ian Kerner.

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