What are the Healthiest and Tastiest Coffee?

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When most people think of coffee, they think of a quick pick me up for the day. What most people don’t know is that it’s rich in antioxidants known as polyphenols.  One very important one in coffee is chlorogenic acid (CGA). CGA helps to stop oxidation and reduce inflammation in the body. Some coffee beans have higher amounts of CGAs and are usually grown at high elevation and near the equator. A few places that grow coffee beans with higher quantity of CGAs is Ethiopia, Brazil, Kenya, and Columbia. The following are a some coffees with the highest content of CGAs at the grocery store: Dunkin Donuts Original Blend and McCafe Premium Roast Decaf/Medium Roast. Artisanal hand-roasted coffees also have high amounts of CGAs, almost 50% more.

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Brand is not the only discriminator to consider.  The type of roast you buy is also important. Light and medium roasts tend to preserve CGAs better because the beans are not roasted at higher temperatures as those coffees labeled “dark roast.”  You should also opt for a fresh ground coffee, because pre grounded coffee usually loses CGAs. Studies have shown that 3 to 5 cups of coffee daily is the desired amount for better health. Remember you can always drink high-polyphenol decaf coffees which can offset some of caffeine’s side affects of irritability, sleep inhibition or increased heart rate.

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Allergy Myths and Facts

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With spring approaching next season, allergies are a huge concern for many people. People who suffer from allergies take precautions to lessen or prevent the symptoms, but it is important to be aware of which ones of these precautions actually work. The following are a few myths you may have heard about allergies:

  1. You outgrow allergies as you get older: Allergies happen when your immune system is exposed  to the presence of the allergen, such as pollen, or mold. As you get older and your immune system starts to get weaker, your body doesn’t react as strongly to the allergens.
  2. Allergy tests are the only way to find out what you’re allergic to: The results from allergy tests are not the only things that should be taken into consideration. Other factors should be taken into consideration when trying to determine allergens such as medical history or a physical exam.
  3. Being allergic to certain foods is the same thing as having food sensitivities: Being allergic to something means your immune system is reacting to the allergen, involving organs) and systems and can even be life threatening. Food sensitivity is different because it only involves your digestive system
  4. It is easy to tell the difference between allergies and other conditions: Hay fever, also referred to as allergic rhinitis has some symptoms that are very similar to those of allergies. For example, hay fever can cause itchy eyes, throat or ears which is very similar to what allergies feel like.

Stay healthy!


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Celiac Disease

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We have all heard of people who are on gluten free diet; there are some who follow this diet by choice and others who follow this diet because they have no choice. Those who must follow a gluten free diet for their well being have celiac disease. Celiac disease is when someone is essentially gluten intolerant. If someone with celiac disease were to eat gluten it would cause the immune system to attack the person’s small intestine, which could cause many of the following issues: rashes, abdominal pain, and in severe cases, even death.

celiac disease ribbonIf you are diagnosed with celiac disease you shouldn’t panic as there are more options in grocery stores and restaurants for those who are gluten free. Gluten free diets are being normalized so it’s not too rare now.

On the other hand, if you are following a gluten free diet by choice, you may be omitting some important nutrients, such as fiber and whole grains. Some reports indicate that following a gluten free diet is healthier and in some cases it can be, but you could also be eating more unnecessary calories and more added sugars when consuming prepackaged, gluten-free foods. Always read the labels so you know what you are eating.  Additionally, whole foods are typically better and more nutritious then any type of packaged and processed food.

Remember not to be alarmed if you are diagnosed with celiac disease, because you have many options nowadays.  Those with celiac and on a restricted diet indicate that living gluten-free is pretty easy and eventually you won’t even miss gluten. If you are living gluten-free by choice consider making exceptions to get important nutrients you cannot get in gluten free diets.

Take control of your health.

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Seasonal Sadness

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With the changing of seasons, colder weather and shorter days are ahead which for a lot of people can be very depressing. This is often referred to as seasonal sadness, but the correct term for it is Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). SAD is more than just feeling upset because the weather is colder, it is a disorder that causes mood swings and saps your energy. This type of depression usually begins for people with SAD around fall and lasts through winter. Symptoms disappear during spring and summer.

It’s not necessary to go through this cycle each fall or winter and there are a few demonstrated solutions that can help alleviate SAD  One of the main factors that cause SAD is the reduced sunlight that comes with fall and winter. Studies have found that more people that live farthest from the equator, where there is limited sunlight, suffer from SAD more often. Less sunlight could unbalance internal clock leading to biochemical changes that cause depression.

Tips to Alleviate Symptoms of SAD

Many people find success by purchasing a phototherapy box (light therapy) and sit near it each day.  This light imitates sunlight which can help elevate your mood. Behavior therapy is also another treatment that helps people address negative emotions and find coping skills through “talk therapy.”  It has been found that therapy can also help with your sleeping schedule.  The last resort is using medication such as antidepressants.  People that do not have success with phototherapy and behavior therapy may need to discuss their feelings and symptoms with a physician to determine if it is SAD or another condition.

SAD can be a debilitating condition come fall and winter, but you don’t have to continue to suffer through it. Try to always get as much natural light as possible, go outdoors as frequently as feasible, spend time with friends and family and get daily exercise to help your overall health and wellness.


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Elderberry for Flu and Cold Symptoms

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Elderberry has been used for centuries for multiple purposes, such as to treat wounds or respiratory illnesses like colds. Elder is a shrub or tree and the medicinal parts that are used are the flowers and berries. Studies indicate that the chemicals in elder flower and berries may decrease the swelling in mucous membranes, which in turn, alleviates nasal congestion. There is evidence that suggests that taking elderberry extract, which is called Sambucol, could shorten the amount of time you have the a major cold or flu by 3 days. Sambucol contains herbs and vitamin C in addition to the elderberry, so research does not show if Elderberry by itself could do the same. There is also evidence that suggests a lozenge with Sambucol helped lessen symptoms of a major cold or flu if taken within 24 hours after the symptoms began. There are many forms of elderberry available, like syrup, capsule, and tincture. With the change of seasons going on you might want to consider elderberry for yourself and even your children. As with all supplements, they are considered drugs and you should consult with with your physician and pharmacist for drug interactions.


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What is a Creatinine Kinase Blood Test?

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Creatinine Kinase, often referred to as CK or CPK, is a type of protein required by the muscle cells in your body in order to function. The amount of CK in your body may rise after intense exercise, a heart attack, consumption of alcohol, muscle injury, and even after taking certain supplements and medicines. Blood test results of high CK levels could mean you have muscle or heart damage depending upon a physical exam and discussion of your symptoms.  Your physician may recommend you get this blood test if you experience chest pains and/or weakness and wants to check if you’ve had a heart attack in the past. You may also have to get this test done if you’ve had a sports related injury or a stroke recently. It is important to keep in mind that levels of CK may not peak for up to 2 days after some injuries, so you could have to get tested more than once to see if your heart or other muscles have been harmed. You should try to avoid exercise prior to having your blood drawn for this test and stay hydrated since it makes it easier to locate a vein. Results for the CK vary depending on your age, gender, race, health history, and other factors, so be sure to ask your physician to review your results with you. At this time, Creatinine Kinase is offered at https://www.healthonelabs.com for $39.95.

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Migraines: Food Can Help or Hurt

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Migraines can often be debilitating so it’s important that you do everything you can to prevent them. Some foods that you consume can either cause or help prevent migraines. Trigger foods can increase your likelihood of getting a migraine by 30%. A few foods that may trigger migraines are wine, chocolate, coffee, alcoholic beverages, and citrus fruits. Some common ingredients in those foods are gluten, artificial sweeteners, caffeine, and nitrites. The time you consume these foods and how much you eat are also factors that could determine whether or not you get a migraine.

flu-and-sneezing-imageFoods that are high in histamines may also be triggers for migraines. The theory behind this is that people who suffer from migraines tend to have low or no enzymes that are required to break down histamine.

There are foods that may help prevent migraines. These include foods that are high in omega-3s to omega-6s and folate. Fatty fish like salmon, vegetable oils, and lentils are all good foods to consume if you suffer from migraines. If you know you are someone who suffers from this severe vascular headache, then you might consider making some diet changes.

Take control of your health!

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Blood Pressure – Watch your Numbers

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Blood pressure is self explanatory: it is the pressure of the blood in the circulatory system.Your blood pressure is recorded as two numbers:

  • Systolic blood pressure (the upper number) — indicates how much pressure your blood is exerting against your artery walls when the heart beats.
  • Diastolic blood pressure (the lower number) — indicates how much pressure your blood is exerting against your artery walls while the heart is resting between beats.

It is important that your systolic blood pressure (upper number) remain under 120 rather than just below 140 because it reduces your risk of heart failures or strokes by 33%. Often times when people are trying to lower their blood pressure they always go to drugs right away, but lifestyle changes can be just as effective and permanent. People with high blood pressure typically don’t exercise, are overweight, store fat in their bellies, eat a lot of sugary/fried food, and/or have low levels of vitamin D. Changing eating habits and staying active can go a long way when trying to lower your blood pressure. The best time to check your blood pressure is before you go to sleep at night or right after you wake up because these times are when your blood pressure is the lowest, so if it is above 120 during these times then you should make some lifestyle changes.

Click here for the American Heart Association suggestions on how to take your blood pressure readings.

Generally, physicians are more concerned with the systolic blood pressure (the top number) because it is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease for people over 50.   As you age, the systolic blood pressure can rise due to increased stiffness in the large arteries and build-up of plaque. There is also risk of high diastolic measurements also:  the risk of death from ischemic heart disease and stroke doubles with every 20 mm Hg systolic or 10 mm Hg diastolic increase among people from age 40 to 89.

The following are a few recommendations to help lower your blood pressure:

  • Limit alcohol to no more than 2 drinks a day, and if possible avoid it
  • Avoid sugary/fried foods
  • Exercise, build muscle
  • Keep Vitamin D levels above 75 nmol/L
  • Try not to consume red meats or processed meats & foods
  • Try to avoid smoking and reduce your exposure to air pollutants

Take control of your health!


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It is predicted that this year there will be an increase of about 21% in Lyme Disease in the U.S. due to a growth in acorn production. Believe it or not there is definitely a relationship between acorns and Lyme Disease. Acorns are consumed by white-footed mice that often carry the blacklegged ticks and act as vectors for Lyme Disease. It is expected for Lyme Disease rates to be particularly high in the summer because the ticks are in their nymphal stage so they are harder to spot, meaning they could stay on the host for a longer period of time.

LymeDiseaseIf you believe that you are showing any symptoms or signs of Lyme Disease it is important that you speak to your physician and get tested. You may order a Lyme Disease blood test on our website www.healthonelabs.com for $89.99.


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I have an Abnormal CBC, Now what?

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A Complete Blood Count (CBC) checks your white blood cell count, red blood cell count, hemoglobin, hematocrit, platelet count, lymphocytes, monocytes, neutrophils, and eosinophils. An abnormal CBC result can mean many things and your doctor may want additional testing, in conjunction with a physical exam, to determine why your results are out of range:

  • Abnormal white blood cell count could mean that you have a virus, so your doctor could ask you to get a strep test or a test for mononucleosis. There is also a chance you may have inflammation so your doctor may want a Sedimentation Rate (ESR) or C-Reactive Protein (CRP) test to help pinpoint the issue.
  • An out of range red blood cell count mean may warrant a vitamin B12 and folate, and/or a reticulocyte test to determine if there is anemia
  • Abnormal platelet results may require you to get tests to further assess your platelet count such as a platelet function test. There is also a probability that you have a bleeding or excessive clotting disorder

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There may be other reasons why your CBC test came back with some abnormal results like leukemia, or other bone marrow disorder, despite being rare, so it is important that you speak to your physician about your results.

Take control of your health!  Order your own discount blood lab tests at www.HealthOneLabs.com and stay healthy.


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