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Cut sugar for pain relief and you'll build a better diet.
The message is clear: Less sugar means better health. You may already know that excess sugar has been linked with heart disease, diabetes, dementia, asthma, and skin disorders. But did you know that ditching sugar may relieve chronic pain? “Sugar in any form — be it honey, corn syrup, white sugar, and so on — increases insulin levels in your body, which tells your body to make inflammatory markers, and those markers cause pain,” explains Brenda Powell, MD, an integrative medicine specialist and fellowship director at Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Integrative & Lifestyle Medicine.
Picture a cut on your skin. Now picture that cut becoming infected. It’s red and tender, swollen and hot. That same reaction is what happens when you eat sugar. Now that’s not so sweet, right? But we’re not just talking about foods that actually taste sweet. All simple (stripped) carbohydrates — white rice and white flour, for example — are seen by the body as sugar. The same goes for all those gluten-free baked goods made with corn starch, rice flour, and potato starch. “They’re terrible for your health,” says Dr. Powell.
So what should you eat as part of an anti-inflammatory diet? Lots of fruits and vegetables! Even though there’s some sugar in fruits and selected vegetables, there’s loads of fiber too, so your body breaks them down more slowly and there’s no inflammatory reaction. You can add whole grains such as brown rice, barley, or farro for energy, and lean protein for building muscle, but don’t overdo it, warns Dr. Powell. Picture your plate at every meal, and make sure you have a healthy ratio: two-thirds fruits and vegetables and one-third protein and grains, including nourishing fats. With a delicious diet full of fruits and vegetables, you won’t even miss the sugar!
Meet Dr. Powell and other Cleveland Clinic experts at our Women's Wellness Week retreat, November 10-17, 2016, on beautiful Captiva Island. You'll learn how to improve your health and happiness through exercise, nutrition, stress management, Energy Medicine, and more. View the brochure, complete program, price packages, and online registration process by visiting www.clevelandclinic.org/wellnessretreat.
With Independence Day right around the corner, firework safety is top-of-mind.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reminds people that fireworks can be dangerous, causing serious burns and eye injuries.
From the Cleveland Clinic:
Ahhh…summer! The sun and warmth, lush greenery, and adventures with family and friends are a stellar recipe for relaxation. So why, oh why, can sleep be elusive during this easy, breezy time of year? In a word…or rather, two: light and heat. Exposure to natural light is essential for a normal circadian rhythm (your body’s sleep/wake clock), but the extended daylight during summer can throw things off. The result: you’re not tired at bedtime. To trick your brain into winding down, perform a slight of hand by using blackout shades in the evening. Dim the lights in your home at night, too, and don’t forget to power down your screens, which can contribute to insomnia anytime of year! Onto the next summer sleep hurdle: the heat and humidity. Research has shown that dry, cool air (60 to 68 degrees) is ideal for sleep. That doesn’t fit well with the dog days of summer. Air conditioning is one solution, but a short, cool shower before bed, a cool bandana, lightweight PJs, and a good old-fashioned fan in your bedroom also work great. With sound sleep at night, you’ll be able to truly enjoy the bright, sunny days of summer.
Sleep and technology go together like oil and water. And by oil, we mean the midnight oil that’s far too easy to burn when you get caught up in texting your BFF, catching up on social media, and other online pursuits. Numerous studies show that staying e-connected interferes with sleep. And new research shows that the reverse is true, too: Sleeping badly may make you more likely to check Facebook compulsively the next day. Can you say vicious cycle? The explanation has to do with focus, and a lack thereof: When you don’t sleep well, you tend to be more distracted and distractible. And what are social media and the Internet in general if not distraction’s dream come true! By prioritizing your sleep at night, you’ll improve your focus and productivity by day. Start by getting back to basics: For starters, keep a consistent bedtime and wake time, avoid screens for an hour prior to bedtime, avoid caffeine in the afternoon and evening, and keep your room a sleep haven. Create a relaxing bedtime routine that includes dimming the lights (or switching to red wavelength lights only), keeping the temperature of your room cool, taking a bath or shower, meditating, doing gentle stretching, and…turning off your devices. To avoid temptation, keep them out of the bedroom. They’ll be there in the morning, we promise!
Taken from: http://www.clevelandclinicwellness.com/Emails/DailyTip/Pages/dailytip.aspx?td=03/07/2016
Some great tips from The Cleveland Clinic: http://www.clevelandclinicwellness.com/Emails/DailyTip/Pages/dailytip.aspx?td=02/22/2016
We’re not suggesting that you throw tantrums or lick cookie crumbs off the floor, but engaging in some basic childhood activities, such as the two below, can help you to relieve stress and enjoy the little things more.
Coloring. It’s easy to brush off the current “adult coloring” craze as a passing trend, but it’s tapping into something deeper. By drawing (pun alert!) you away from your usual tangle of thoughts, coloring mimics aspects of mindfulness practice. “Mindfulness is about being aware of the present moment with intention and without judging,” explains Cleveland Clinic psychologist Scott Bea, Psy.D. “So if we can engage in an activity such as coloring without too much judgment, I think it replicates the most positive aspects of mindfulness reasonably well.”
Play. You know what they say about all work and no play! And in a culture that emphasizes productivity, play can be elusive, says Bea. Whether it’s a game of hide-and-seek, charades, or touch football, playful activities help you find balance. As with coloring, play “draws you out of self-awareness,” says Bea, and may help to fend off depression and anxiety as well. Plus, activity in general, no matter which kind, is beneficial for many parts of your body, including your brain.