Probiotics Update – FYI

As senior citizens, I think  that we are often  looking for ways to enhance our well-being: 1)  by changing what we eat; 2)  trying to exercise; and, 3) get enough sleep. And, of course, getting our regular checkups with doctors. By taking as many of these steps as we can,   we hope that  it will lead us to long and healthful lives, right?

In a earlier post ((December 2018), I wrote about Probiotics.  Probiotics are the living bacteria that can be good for your body. I don’t know whether any of you ran right out to your local stores, or drugstores, to buy items to consume in keeping up with the Probiotics craze. As we consider this popular trend,  I want to call your attention to the fact that it turns out  there is much more we still don’t know about Probiotics.  According to Dr. Alfred Roston, a gastroenterologist at Westchester Endoscopy, “the bacteria in probiotics won’t affect everybody in the same way”. Below are some suggestions if you plan on taking probiotics supplements, (which, by the way,  are not FDA regulated).

 Always consult your doctor first
  Eat a well-balanced, plant-based diet
Add fermented foods to your diet like, yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, and kombucha*

Read about probiotics and other health advice at the source links below:
https://www.wphospital.org/WPHRedesign/media/Emerge_WPHRedesign/Documents/WPH-HealthMatters-Magazine.pdf

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/consumer-health/expert-answers/kombucha-tea/faq-20058126

Wishing you wellness!

Farm to Table, GMO’s, Organic: What’s the difference?

One of my New Year’s resolutions is to focus more attention on what type of groceries I am purchasing.  In addition, I want the recipes I make to be creative, tasty and healthful.  My grandmother cooked what could be called ‘soul food’, which was always delicious and she was healthy all her life. She lived to be 94 years old.  My grandmother was not the only person I know of who lived a long life and ate things like collard greens, macaroni & cheese, biscuits. I also remember her having a garden, where she grew all kinds  of vegetables and from which she used to cook her dinner. I actually don’t recall her using a lot of fertilizer on the vegetables she grew.

Recently, I treated myself  and bought the TV Chef Carla Hall’s Soul Food cookbook.  I trusted that when I have seen her on TV she is always doing the right thing by food.  It’s tasty and the ingredients are the best she can find for the occasion. She is creative. Often, when she’s cooking a version of ‘soul food’, Carla makes it a point to prepare her food lighter – by cutting calories – and cutting out fat.  This is how she was trained to cook by her grandmother; and, her grandmother was a dietitian at a hospital.  What better way to learn how to cook ‘good-for-you-soul food’?  Exciting!  Continue reading “Farm to Table, GMO’s, Organic: What’s the difference?”

Healthwise – Yogurt – Probiotics – Diet

Are you aware of the benefits that senior citizens (referred to as elderly people) can receive by eating yogurt?  Are you aware that not all yogurt give you the same benefits, and why you might choose one type versus another type?

First off let’s discuss some of the health benefits of eating Greek yogurt : helps with digestion; controls blood pressure; provides protein, it is also an excellent source of calcium. So there I was eating my Greek yogurt, and something told me to check the ‘benefits’ of the one I was eating. I went to  Fooducate.com

Fooducate is a website that provides detailed information about the nutrition facts of the food you are eating. It also gives the food brand a rating.  There is an app that you can put on your smartphone. It’s considered to be one of the best food rating apps.  To my surprise, I found out that the yogurt I was eating received a B-  for one cup of the yogurt, which is worst than average!   Further details indicated it had over 50% of daily saturated fat, and 6 teaspoons of sugar per serving.  I also checked whether the yogurt I was eating  had probiotics. It did not. Continue reading “Healthwise – Yogurt – Probiotics – Diet”

The Aspirin Question

Just when we thought we had the right information about taking aspirin,  a new study comes out to create confusion.  Even though I have had heart surgery, I must admit I do not take aspirin.  As a matter of fact, I only took it immediately after my open heart surgery 23 years ago.  My surgery   was not because of a heart attack. I stopped taking aspirin because of an allergic reaction one time, and I never took it again.  Now, it turns out that I am on the right side of what is healthy for my age.  Below is a summary of my findings, which I hope helps clear up a few things for you. Please use the source links for more detailed information.

♥ If you are 70 and older, there is no benefit at all to taking an aspirin a day, unless you have had a heart attack; have a stent; had a bypass surgery; suffer from angina, or had a stroke.
♥ The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends that those in their 50s with a 10 percent higher risk because they have high blood pressure/high cholesterol, should continue to take aspirin.  The same is true for people in their 60s.
♥ Aspirin can cause bleeding, which can be dangerous. Find out from your doctor whether there are benefits for you. Continue reading “The Aspirin Question”

Tips for Home Alone Seniors

Have you ever heard that Aging is not for Sissies’ ? Well, some people make fun of this saying, but on a more serious note, living alone as a senior and aging can be difficult, which is why it is good to know some of the ways seniors can take precautions to protect themselves.  Here is a list of things that we seniors should take note of:

Safety Precautions for home alone seniors:
– Remove clutter.
– Remove tripping hazards (electrical cords, throw rugs).
– Use the grab bars in the shower (or install if you don’t have them).
– Prepare an emergency kit: flashlight, batteries, matches, candles. Put it in a place that is easy to remember.
– Keep track of your keys (put them in the same place every time you come in the door).  Don’t put your name and address on your key chain.
– If the doorbell rings call out,   ‘I’ll get it’,  which will alert the person ringing the bell that you are not alone.
– If you are expecting a service person like cable, or other repairman, have someone keep you company while the service is being handled.
– Have a list of friends that you speak with at least once a week.  You can set up a ‘buddy system’ with each other on specific days to touch base. Continue reading “Tips for Home Alone Seniors”

Tweaking Your Workout Activity

I realize that many of us are not  revved up about getting to a 30 minute exercise class, or walking continuously for 30 minutes.  In addition, many seniors do not have the extra income required to spend  on a health club membership.

I was encouraged by a  recent study, which finds that continuous activity is not a requirement to attain the benefits of exercise.  That is to say, you do not have to workout 30 minutes at a time to gain the health benefits! You can actually accumulate those 30 minutes of activity 10 minutes at a time.

The latest studies, published in the Journal of the American Heart Association are summarized below:
Movement strongly influenced longevity. Men and women who exercised fewer than 20 minutes a day, were at the highest risk of premature death.  Those who moved more often, especially if they were active in a day, cut their mortality risk in half”. Continue reading “Tweaking Your Workout Activity”

Senior Citizen Fitness

I know that we have covered this topic over, and over again.  However, no matter where I search for information about senior citizen fitness, the list below is repeated. Below are just a few benefits :)…

Regular exercise improves the following:

  • Immune Function. A healthy, strong body fights off infection and sickness more easily and more quickly. Rather than sapping energy reserves entirely, recovery from an illness will take less of a toll on the body if the person exercises regularly.
  • Cardio-Respiratory and Cardiovascular Function. Frequent physical activity lowers the risk of heart disease and high blood pressure. If the elderly person has hypertension, exercise will help lower their blood pressure.
  • Bone Density and Risk of Osteoporosis. Exercise protects against loss in bone mass. Better bone density will reduce the risk of osteoporosis, lower the risk of falling and prevent broken bones. Post-menopausal women can lose as much as 2 percent bone mass each year, and men also lose bone mass as they age. Research done at Tufts University shows that strength training can dramatically reduce this loss, help restore bones, and contribute to better balance and less fractures. Source: https://www.agingcare.com/Articles/Exercise-benefits-for-the-Elderly-95383.htm

Continue reading “Senior Citizen Fitness”

Memory Protection for Seniors

As we age, memory loss is quite frustrating. For example, recalling names, details of incidents we just experienced, or giving directions to someone.  In addition to remembering our next appointment without checking the calendar to make sure.

I’ve often wondered how one can recognize dementia as opposed to memory loss.  Normal memory loss and dementia are not the same.  Dementia can impact your ability to take care of yourself.  If you are consistently forgetting where you put things time after time, could it be a sign of dementia? How concerned should we be? How can we discern the differences? What steps can we take to keep our brains and memory in good condition?

  • Recent statistics are that  by 2025, the number of people age 65 and older with Alzheimer’s disease is estimated to reach 7.1 million – a 40 percent increase from the 5.1 million age 65 and older affected in 2015.  Source: www.alz.org/facts/overview.asp

Normal forgetfulness:  Occasionally forgetting where you left things that you use regularly, such as glasses or keys.  Forgetting names of acquaintances or blocking one memory with a similar one, such as calling a grandson by your son’s name.  Occasionally forgetting an appointment or walking into a room and forgetting why you entered.  ♦ Not quite being able to retrieve information you have “on the tip of your tongue.”   Continue reading “Memory Protection for Seniors”

Medicare Part B – 65th Birthday Gift!

Congratulations on reaching your 65th birthday!  It’s quite a milestone to reach this number after working toward a free time in your life to enjoy and relax.  To celebrate this occasion, Medicare Part B has a free gift for you.

Imagine!  Read the details below about this great opportunity. And don’t forget to click on the links, which give specific information about advance directives and more. 

How often is it covered?
Preventive visit & yearly wellness exams

Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) covers:

  • A “Welcome to Medicare” preventive visit: You can get this introductory visit only within the first 12 months you have Part B. This visit includes a review of your medical and social history related to your health and education and counseling about preventive services, including these:
    • Certain screenings, shots, and referrals for other care, if needed
    • Height, weight, and blood pressure measurements
    • A calculation of your body mass index
    • A simple vision test
    • A review of your potential risk for depression and your level of safety
    • An offer to talk with you about creating advance directives.
    • A written plan letting you know which screenings, shots, and other preventive services you need. Get details about coverage for screenings, shots, and other preventive services.

This visit is covered one time. You don’t need to have this visit to be covered for yearly “Wellness” visits.