Archive for the ‘Health & Wellness’ Category

How to Protect your Skin this Summer

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sun raysWhen you think of summer, one of the first things that may pop into your head is tanning. Sure, it is good to go outside to get some vitamin D from the sun, but it is important that you take the precautions necessary to protect your skin by wearing sunscreen. Studies show that only about 30% of American women and 14% of American men wear sunscreen, which are incredibly low numbers. Many cases of cancer could have been prevented by simply wearing sunscreen before going outside. The following are some tips you should follow to make sure your skin is protected this summer:

  1. A very common misconception is that just because it is cloudy outside, you don’t need to wear sunscreen. Up to 80% of the sun’s UV rays can pass through clouds, which is why people sometimes get sunburned on cloudy days.
  2. Wear sunscreen under your makeup. There are foundations and powders that contain SPF(sun protection factor), but you would need about 10 times the normal amount of foundation/powder to get the right protection from the sun. You should opt for a moisturizer with broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF rating of at least 15, and apply foundation over it.
  3. If you are planning to go in the water, be sure to wear water resistant SPF
  4. Reapply sunscreen every 2 hours or 1 hour if you are in water or sweating
  5. Limit your time directly under the sun under sand or water. These surfaces reflect the damaging rays from the sun, which increases the likelihood of you getting sunburned
  6. Don’t spend too much time under the sun between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm because the sun’s rays are most intense during these times

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Benefits of Aromatherapy

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Aromatherapy is becoming more widely known and used throughout the US, but what is it? Aromatherapy is when you inhale different volatile plants, also referred to as essential oils, to help with many different health conditions. Remember that use of all natural and synthetic substances should be discussed with your physician to ensure there are no negative consequences or drug interactions.

Different essential oils have different health benefits, the following are some essential oils and their health benefits:

  1. Increases energy levels: Cardamon, cinnamon, black pepper, tea tree, jasmine and sage are some essential oils that can help with your energy levels. Most people often lean on stimulants like coffee, energy pills, or cigarettes for a quick pick me up, but these essential oils can help without the damaging side effects on the body. These essential oils increase circulation, and stimulate the mind and body which in turn helps to boost your energy.
  2. Accelerates healing: Rosehip, calendula, lavender, and everlasting are all essential oils that help speed up healing processes in your body. The increased blood flow and oxygen to the wounds is what helps to speed the healing up. These essential oils have anti-microbial properties that protects the body during the healing process. It can also help relieve and reduce severity of skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis.
  3. Helps reduce headaches: Eucalyptus, sandalwood, rosemary, and peppermint are some essential oils known to help with headaches/migraines. These oils can be a great replacement for pharmaceuticals like Ibuprofen. They will not only eliminate your headache, but also help with stress and anxiety.
  4. Managing sleeping habits: Essential oils like lavender, chamomile, rose and jasmine have sedative properties that regulate your sleep. Lack of sleep inhibits you from performing your best on daily activities which could reduce your productiveness throughout the day. Instead of taking hypnotic or soporific drugs to help you sleep, you may want to give essential oil a try. They help realign your circadian rhythm creating a balanced sleeping schedule and has you waking up feeling more energized and refreshed.
  5. Stress relieving: One of the most known uses of essential oils is that helps reduce stress. Some essential oils for this are bergamot, lavender, lemon, and peppermint. These oils are very soothing and even help with anxiety.
  6. Boosts immune system: Oils like lemon, peppermint, cinnamon, and oregano can help boost your immune system. They have antibacterial, antifungal, and antimicrobial properties.

Additional source for essential oils and cancer


Food Allergies vs Food Intolerance

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food allergies

Food allergies and food intolerance are often used interchangeably because they can have some of the same signs, but they are two very different things. When you are allergic to a food, your immune system reacts and affects many organs in the body. Sometimes allergic reactions can be severe and even life threatening. Food intolerance reactions are usually less severe and often only cause digestion problems. If you are allergic to something you cannot consume the food at all, whereas one can ingest foods if you have an intolerance although it will cause discomfort at some level.  Food intolerance can be due to many different things like sensitivity to food additives, irritable bowel syndrome, celiac disease, or the lack of enzymes required to fully digest food. If you have a reaction after eating a certain food, you should consult a physician so that they can determine if you have a food allergy or are intolerant to that specific food.



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.


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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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.


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

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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 for $89.99.


With vacation time in full swing, it is time to ensure you remain healthy before, during and after your vacation.  You want to make the most out of this time, so it is important you stay healthy through some easy actions.

www.HealthOneLabs.comThe following are some tips and precautions for enjoying a healthy vacation:

  1. Before you go you should ask your physician if you need any immunization boosters – ie. tetanus.
  2. If you are headed for an exotic destination in the tropics or developing countries you may want to research if there are any immunizations (like hepatitis A or yellow fever) or medicines you take as a precaution, or have them with you in case you get sick.  The State Department has ample information on travel vaccines.
  3. You can ease jet lag by going to bed 2 hours later(if you are traveling west) and 2 hours earlier(if you are traveling east) each night
  4. About 30 to 70 percent of people who travel to developing countries get traveler’s diarrhea(TD) so you can ask your doctor for antibiotics in case this happens. Also try to avoid raw foods, street fare, ice and unbottled water
  5. Hotels and motels are the most common places to get bed bugs. Places that look rundown and outdated are less vigilant about treating rooms so you are more like to get bed bugs. However, luxury hotels are also prone to bed bug issues so be aware of what to look for before climbing into the bed.  Do keep clothing and luggage off the floors
  6. Remember to stay hydrated. Being on vacation isn’t like your normal routine so you have to drink more water to stay hydrated. You should aim to drink 9 to 13 cups of fluids
  7. Pack all medications in their original packaging in case so the medication can be quickly identified in an emergency or if necessary.
  8. In case you run out of medications or need medical attention be aware of where the local doctor and pharmacy are located at your destination.
  9. Program your cell phone to have someone listed as an Emergency Contact so medical personnel can contact your designated person to assist if required.
  10. Find ways to add exercise while on your vacation – it can be as easy as walking instead of driving, renting a bike or taking a hike nearby.  Have a sense of adventure.

Safe travels!



Omega-3 Fatty Acids

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Whenever people think of fats they automatically assume they’re not good for them, but that’s not always the case. There are well known healthy fats and they are called unsaturated fats. Unsaturated fats are either monounsaturated and polyunsaturated and they help decrease disease risk. Omega-3 fatty acids are an example of the healthy fats. They are a crucial for your health and development, but your body does not produce it so the only way to get it is by consuming foods high in Omega 3s.They can be found in sardines, salmon, anchovies, and herring.

omega 3 imageIt can help reduce risk for cardiovascular disease, rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, and depression. Fish also contains proteins, selenium, and vitamin D that are beneficial for the body. It is important to get a good ratio of Omega-3 and Omega-6 which is another essential fatty acid. You should aim to eat a bit more of Omega-3s because it helps reduce inflammation and Omega-6s promote inflammation. It is recommended you get at least 2 servings of fish and 1 serving of oily (dark meat) fish.

Need to know if you are getting sufficient fatty acids?  Test your levels.

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Four Cancer Myths

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There are many misconceptions about what causes cancer. Having misconceptions and misinformation causes needless worries that can create anxiety and worry. Nowadays you hear information in the news about all the possibilities that have potential cancer causing qualities.  Here are some common cancer fallacies:

  1. Sugar doesn’t necessarily “feed” cancer. Yes it is true that many cancer cells take up blood sugar more quickly than healthy cells, but all cells in our body require sugar for sustenance. Avoiding sugar completely doesn’t guarantee you that you won’t get cancer. As a matter of fact, blood sugar comes from foods with carbs too. It is important to maintain your blood sugar and insulin at healthy levels to maintain proper health and to avoid diabetes and other diseases that can have negative effects on your health.
  2. Going on a gluten-free diet does not reduce the chances of getting cancer. Gluten can be found in wheat, triticale, and barley and is actually a source of protein. Research shows that avoiding gluten does not reduce risk of cancer whatsoever. Not consuming gluten can actually cause you to miss out on their anti-inflammatory, whole grain, cancer protective fiber.  Of course, if you are gluten intolerant or have celiac, you should avoid all gluten to maintain your health.
  3. You don’t have to eat a ton of fruits and vegetables to reduce cancer risks. Many think that in order for fruit and vegetable consumption to reduce chances of getting cancer you have to eat an impossible amount of it daily. In reality you only have to eat 5 servings a day for it to help reduce risks of getting cancer. You should aim to eat about 2 ½ cups of various fruits and vegetables. Eating a variety of different fruit and vegetables adds different phytochemicals and nutrients which may have cancer protecting qualities.
  4. You don’t have to go vegetarian. Plant rich diets are linked to lower cancer risk, but that doesn’t mean you can only eat plants. You can still eat poultry, fish, dairy, and meat –  like everything, eat those foods in moderation. A good option would be the Mediterranean diet which is plant based, and also includes smaller portions of meats, poultry, dairy, etc.

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