3 Health and Wellness Trends You Need to Watch in 2017

For 2017, there are three emerging trends to keep at the top of your watch list. These trends are likely to create a more successful wellness program that you and your employees will be excited to participate in.

Emerging Trend #1 – Wearables
Wearable fitness tracking devices have made huge strides in recent years. Gone are the clunky versions of the past that featured a limited level of functionality. Today’s fitness trackers feature a sleek design that easily aligns with the user’s daily wardrobe. More closely resembling a watch or a bracelet than a health monitor, the stylish appearance of these modern trackers has contributed to their increase in popularity.

Emerging Trend #2 – Social Challenges and Gamification
Thanks to the improvements in wearables, social challenges are also growing in popularity. While companies have been aware of the benefits of healthy competition in the workplace for years, particularly when it comes to encouraging active participation in wellness programs, companies have been hesitant to include social challenges due to the burden of managing such challenges.

Emerging Trend #3 – Advanced Analytics
Advanced analytics takes the descriptive statistics of the past, such as the mean, median and mode, and add a new layer by comparing and analyzing claims, biometric, and health risk assessment data. This in-depth reporting allows companies to better identify health risks and tailor their wellness program to decrease the occurrence of costly risk factors; ultimately resulting in companies decreasing healthcare expenses. By using advanced analytics, companies can also better measure the success of their wellness program and make adjustments to best suit the overall health of the company.

Keep an eye on these three emerging trends in the wellness industry and try to incorporate them into your wellness program to ensure that you see the best results.

Corporate Wellness Magazine

7 Natural Remedies for Skin Tags

Skin tags are non-cancerous tumors that appear as bits of flesh or dark colored bumps, usually around neck or chest area. Many people develop skin tags in the middle age and there is a belief appear due to genetics or weight gain.

They are triggered by a growth factor-triggered by insulin. If you have them, this is an addiction that you’re consuming too much sugar or you did at some point in your past. Thus, to prevent their growth, you need to monitor diet.

How to get rid of skin tags:

1. Bicarbonate of soda and Castor Oil. Max some bicarbonate of soda with castor oil and apply on the affected are at night.

2. Tea Tree Oil. This is an excellent remedy for various skin issues such as acne, cold sores, and chicken pox.

3. Garlic. Apply some fresh garlic juice on the skin tag at night and cover with a bandage or plaster. Garlic juice can burn the skin so you should not use it daily, but every third day until the skin tags falls off.

4. Banana Peel. Tape a banana peel to the skin tag leave it overnight. Repeat this procedure for several weeks till the tag falls off.

5. Apple Cider Vinegar. Clean the affected area with warm water and dry it. Soak a cotton ball in apple cider vinegar and place it on the skin tag.

6. Ginger. Rub a slice of ginger on the affected area and it the tag should be gone within two weeks.

7. Pineapple Juice. Apply fresh pineapple juice twice a day until the tags fall off.

Skin tag usually benign, however, if you’re not sure, consult a doctor before trying out these natural remedies.

Evewoman

Food for Thought: Why we need to question the NZ diet

Healthy eating should be easy. Eat plenty of fruit and veggies, strike the right mix of protein and carbs, cut back on the booze and sugar and she’ll be right – right?

Healthy eating is deceptively complex.

But we also know it’s an issue of some urgency for New Zealand. Our ballooning obesity rate presents a public health crisis, and much of that can be traced to diet (exercise and lifestyle too, of course – but we’ll shelve those for another day).

Consensus has formed around some of the culprits: the sweet sting of sugar, increased portion sizes, and more processed food. We’ll explore those how those trends, shaped in part by the multinational food giants, have taken root in New Zealand.

We’ll track how New Zealand’s diet has evolved. In a matter of generations, we’ve moved from meat-and-three-veg to a generous buffet of fast food, prepackaged snacks, ethnic meals, and introduced ingredients from quinoa to kale.

And we’ll look at steps individuals, families, and communities are taking to change their diets for the better.

We’re not here to lecture you on how to eat (though seriously, ease off that added sugar…). But we hope this series will encourage you to question whether the way you eat suits your lifestyle, genetics, and physiology. Call it Food for Thought.

Stuff

5 Natural Allergy Remedies that Work

Before you pop those pills, spray your nose, or get that injection, you might want to consider some of the natural options that help with allergies. Here are some of my preferred foods and remedies:

Papaya Enzymes—papaya contains a natural enzyme known as papain that has natural anti-inflammatory properties. As such, it helps alleviate inflammation linked to sinus and nasal swelling, as well as addressing many of the symptoms of allergies, hay fever, and excessive catarrh buildup.

Quercetin—A natural antioxidant found in foods like apples, berries, cabbage, cauliflower, nuts, onions and tea, this nutrient has been found to have potent anti-inflammatory and antihistamine properties, making it a great choice to reduce the effects of pollens and other allergens.

Green Tea—Green tea is known as one of the best superfoods for many conditions and is also beneficial for allergies. That’s because it contains a potent antioxidant known as epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) that can impact allergies on a cellular level by reducing inflammation. You don’t have to remember EGCG to benefit, however; simply drink more green tea.

Perilla Frutescens—This little-known herb is part of the mint family and has been explored as an all-natural, herbal remedy for allergies. In a study in Experimental Biology and Medicine, researchers found that perilla and one of its active ingredients known as rosmarinic acid significantly reduced inflammatory reactions such as nasal and sinus congestion, and eye irritation. Other research in the International Journal of Molecular Medicine found that the herb was also effective at alleviating allergy-related skin conditions. The effective dose of perilla differs from product to product and depends on whether the seeds or leaves are used, or whether the remedy is an extract of a specific compound or crushed, dried leaves.

Butterbur—Known as Petasites hybridus, this shrub grows in wet, marshy parts of North America, Asia, and Europe. Multiple studies show its effectiveness in the treatment of allergies. Because the raw plant contains chemicals known as pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PA) that can be harmful, be sure to choose a product that is PA-free.

CARE2.COM

What other Options When Diet and Exercise Fail?

Treating obesity can often be difficult. If you’re affected by obesity, you know first-hand that addressing your weight and improving your health is not always an easy task to accomplish. The scope of weight-loss options are wide and can often be confusing and intimidating.

More than 93 million Americans are affected by the disease of obesity. Obesity carries with it various other diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, hypertension, sleep apnea and more. Combined with obesity, these conditions may greatly impact an individual’s quality of health and life.

What are some weight loss options:

Gastric bypass and other weight-loss surgeries are major, life-changing procedures. While weight-loss surgery can help reduce your risk of weight-related health problems — such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and sleep apnea — it can also pose major risks and complications. You may need to meet certain medical guidelines to qualify for weight-loss surgery. You likely will have an extensive screening process to see if you qualify.

When is surgery an option:

In general, gastric bypass and other weight-loss surgery could be an option for you if:

· Efforts to lose weight with diet and exercise have been unsuccessful

· Your body mass index (BMI) is 40 or higher (extreme obesity)

· Your BMI is 35 to 39.9 (obesity) and you have a serious weight-related health problem, such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure or severe sleep apnea.

In some cases, you may qualify for certain types of weight-loss surgery if your BMI is 30 to 34 and you have serious weight-related health problems.

Two-thirds of residents in South Texas are Hispanic and health problems are typically linked to lifestyle choices. More than 50% of South Texans do not get the recommended amounts of exercise, defined as 150 minutes of moderate physical activity per week, and 76% do not eat enough fruits and vegetables. These rates are similar to the rest of the state and nation.

Kris TV

Inguinal Hernia Recovery: Treatment, Prevention, and Home Remedies

Inguinal hernias develop when the tissues of the abdomen bulge through a weaker part of the lower abdominal wall. There are two types of inguinal hernias: indirect and direct.

Indirect inguinal hernias are caused by a defect in the abdominal wall that is present at birth. On the other hand, direct hernias develop over time and are a result of muscle weakness in the lower abdomen—they are most prominent in males.

If not treated, inguinal hernias can lead to complications. One of them is incarceration, which develops fat or part of the small intestine gets stuck in the groin or scrotum and cannot get back to the abdomen. Another complication is strangulation, which occurs when the incarcerated hernia is not treated. The blood supply to the small intestine is lost and that section of the intestine may die.

Inguinal hernia treatment

There are two types of surgery for an inguinal hernia: open hernia repair or laparoscopy. In open hernia repair, an incision is made in the groin to push the protruding tissue back into place and sew up the weakened area. In laparoscopic surgery, several small incisions are made in the abdomen and a tube equipped with a camera is inserted. The surgeon uses tiny instruments to repair the hernia.

Laparoscopic surgery is associated with less scarring and shorter recovery times compared to open hernia repair. On the other hand, laparoscopic surgery may increase the risk of a future hernia developing.

Inguinal hernia prevention

It is impossible to prevent an indirect inguinal hernia, but there are steps you can take in order to reduce your risk. This includes maintaining a healthy weight, consuming high-fiber foods, avoiding lifting heavy objects or doing it carefully and with proper form, not smoking, and not relying on supportive gear (known as a truss) to keep the hernia in place, as it does not correct the problem or help lower the risk of complications.

Inguinal hernia home remedies

Some people may choose to utilize home remedies to treat their hernia, the most common of which include:

Using ice or a cold compress to numb any pain
Avoiding putting pressure or heat on the affected area
Ensuring you get enough rest
Maintaining a healthy body weight
Breaking unhealthy habits like drinking and smoking
Wearing looser clothes to avoid irritation of the affected area

BelMarraHealth

Natural Remedies for Ulcerative Colitis

Medical treatments for ulcerative colitis don’t really cure the disease, but only suppress it. Corticosteroids are used to suppress the immune system and the inflammation in the colon. Remicade is used to suppress the immune system, which works wonders for patients, but makes them prone to opportunistic infections. You’re essentially suppressing your body’s defenses so that it’s not attacking your colon as much – but that also means it’s not defending your body as much either.

There is hope! You guessed it – there are holistically healthy, natural remedies that have been shown to help alleviate and even reverse ulcerative colitis:

Traditional Chinese Medicine. TCM has been found to fully cure ulcerative colitis, but doctors caution you not to dive in fully without knowing the risks. TCM uses natural herbs, but some of its remedies certainly carry side effects and aren’t as harmless as more mainstream natural remedies. However, studies show that 84 percent of patients treated with TCM experience partial or full remission. Surprisingly, patients treated with mainstream prednisone only had a 60.5 percent effective rate.

Probiotics. Some studies show that ulcerative colitis patients can go into and stay in remission by taking probiotics daily. Experts have a theory that ulcerative colitis might be caused by an imbalance in gut bacteria, which probiotics help re-balance.
Stay away from spicy foods, gluten, and dairy products. According to Healthline, some foods can aggravate ulcerative colitis. These include spicy foods, foods that have gluten, and dairy products (e.g. milk and cheese).

MIND diet. Healthline also says that going on an MIND-like diet can lessen ulcerative colitis symptoms and lower a number of episodes someone has. Foods in this diet include olive oil and omega-3 fatty acids (walnuts and fish).

Exam Health

What are Health Benefits of Whole-Grain Diet

Several studies have suggested health benefits of whole grains and high dietary fiber intake, including for glycemic control and insulin sensitivity.

There has been controversy, however, about whether whole grains and fiber are beneficial for weight regulation, partially because there hasn’t been data from controlled metabolic studies.

The new study, led by Dr. Phil Karl of the U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine and Tufts University, provided food to participants for eight weeks and may help explain how whole grain consumption is beneficial for weight management.

People who ate a diet with whole grains lost close to an extra 100 calories per day due to a combination of increased resting metabolic rate and greater fecal losses. This is compared to people who ate refined grains without much fiber.

Based on previous research and current study measurements, however, they believe that the calorie loss was not due exclusively to the digestion of extra fiber intake.

The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans from the United States Department of Health and Human Services and the USDA recommends that Americans replace refined grains with whole grains.

The recommended daily allowance of whole grains is a minimum of 3 ounces of whole grains for women and 4 ounces for men. This is the equivalent to consuming 1.5-2 cups of brown rice or oatmeal each day.

Sci News

Herbal remedies: Could it be more Harm than Good?

When a new supplement comes out with big health claims, many will flock to it based on the “science” behind it. A new study has revealed that some of these supplements could be doing more harm than good.

Herbal supplements are not put through the strict testing like many other medications, and some supplements have been found to contain harmful chemicals. Natural toxins, pesticides, and heavy metals. Medical experts are now urging the government to force independent testing to this supplements

There have been reports of some people experiencing seizures, prolonged illness, and in some cases organ failure. All medications, including any herbal medicines or supplements, should be discussed with your doctor before taking to prevent any damaging side effects.

Startsat60

Natural Remedies for Pediatric Ear Infections

It’s not uncommon for a child to have an ear infection— more than 80 percent of children in the U.S. are diagnosed with ear infections by the time they’re 3 years old.

Pediatric ear infections are also the most common condition that antibiotics are prescribed for in the U.S., according to studies in the Journal of the American Medical Association, but many parents are worried about giving their child antibiotics.

Although your child might have frequent ear infections, antibiotics may not have to be the first line of defense. Here are eight natural remedies you can try:

1. Wait and watch
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that in low-risk kids, a wait-and-watch approach is a better choice than prescribing antibiotics right away. The guidelines, however, will vary depending on your child’s age, severity of symptoms, and whether the infection is in one or both ears.

2. Onion earmuffs
It might seem odd, but “onion ear muffs,” can help ease pain and the antimicrobial properties can heal the infection, Krumbeck said.

3. Garlic oil
Studies show that garlic is anti-inflammatory, will relieve pain, and can fight an ear infection whether it’s viral or bacterial, said Dr. Elisa Song, a holistic pediatrician at Whole Family Wellness in Belmont, California, and founder of Healthy Kids Happy Kids.

4. Acupressure and essential oils
Lavender essential oil reduces inflammation and when used with acupressure, it can help relieve ear infections.

The acupressure points are located in front of and behind the ear and the space between the thumb and index finger on the hand.

5. Use a humidifier
Running a humidifier can help to counteract the dry indoor air, reduce swelling, moisten the membranes and thin the mucus in the Eustachian tubes.

6. Elevate the bed
Prop up your child’s head with pillows to allow the fluid to drain down. For babies, boost up the head of the crib with some books.

7. Vitamin C
An oral vitamin C supplement can reduce swelling in the ears but it’s important to ask your doctor about the dosage, as too much can lead to diarrhea, Krumbeck said.

8. Homeopathic remedies
Studies show that homeopathic treatments can reduce the pain of ear infections and work faster than antibiotics.

Fox News