Tag Archives: water

Tired of water? Mix your own fresh flavors

The next time you want a drink of water, instead of going to the faucet or the refrigerator dispenser, try looking in your crisper drawer. Unless you’re a bachelor with nothing in the drawer but a dried out apple and a wilted lettuce leaf, I’m betting you’ve got the secret to delicious tasting water right there in your refrigerator. I’m sure you’ve heard a thousand times that you need to drink more water.  So I’m not going to tell you again. I’m just going to ask one question.   Why aren’t you doing it? Your body needs water to be healthy. Your skin will feel softer, and you will look younger if you drink more water. Soda, coffee and tea and all those other chemical-filled drinks just aren’t giving your body the water it craves.   As a health advocate, I have to tell you that you need to try harder to find water that you like to drink – and that’s where your crisper drawer comes in. You can make a huge variety of delicious flavored waters just by adding some of your favorite fruits, vegetables or herbs.  I got my inspiration from the website 52 Kitchen Adventures. The author lists 50 of her favorite flavor combinations, including things like lemon and lavender, watermelon and mint, cucumber and lime or papaya and mango.  It’s easy to do.  Just wash your produce carefully, cut it up and add it to your water.  If you use herbs, rub the fresh leaves between your hands to bruise them before adding them to the water. Depending on what you include, you may want to pour it through a filter to remove the small particles before you drink it. A fine mesh strainer for loose tea or a paper coffee filter will work great for this. Try out different flavors by making one glass at a time or mix up a whole pitcher and you’ll be set for the day. If you just can’t wait to try it, you can drink it as soon as you put it all together. But to get the most flavor, you’ll want to let it sit in the refrigerator for a couple of hours. Just remember, this is fresh produce, so if you leave the fruit in the water for more than a day or two, the water may change color and start to taste bitter.  That’s a good sign it’s time to dump that batch and start over. My best suggestion is to mix up as much as you think you can drink in 24 hours.  If you get to the end of the day and have some left over, strain out the fruit and freeze it into ice cubes for tomorrow. If you want to jump-start a cold pitcher of water, try using frozen mixed fruit or berries.  That way the fruit will flavor and chill the water at the same time.   This can also be a great way to get your kids started on a healthier path.  Let them choose their favorite fruit for their own special blend, or hold a family contest to see who can come up with the best flavor.  If you have the space, let everyone create their own mix then judge which flavor was the family favorite by seeing which flavor is gone first. Even if the kids guzzle their own creations to win, you’ll know they are drinking the healthy water they need to stay hydrated. And hopefully you’ll all be forming a water-drinking habit that will last for the rest of your lives. So what’s your favorite way to flavor your water?  Visit EmpowHER to share your ideas under the “wellness” category.Michelle King Robson (pronounced robe-son) is one of the nation's leading women's health and wellness advocates. She is the Founder, Chairperson and CEO of EmpowHER, one of the fastest-growing and largest social health companies dedicated exclusively to women's health and wellness. & In 2011 EmpowHER reached more than 60 million women onsite and through syndication expects to reach more than 250 million in 2012.source : http://www.foxnews.com/health/2013/06/03/tired-water-mix-your-own-fresh-flavors/

Kidney stones: Symptoms and treatment

Chances are you or someone you know has had a kidney stone at some point in their life; they are very common, affecting approximately one in ten people throughout their lifetime.  The risk of kidney stones is higher in the United States than the rest of the world and this number has only been increasing over the past two to three decades.  Despite the high incidence in the U.S., however, this is a condition that affects people worldwide and has done so for millennia; bladder and kidney stones have even been found in Egyptian mummies. Kidney stones are small, hard deposits, typically composed of mineral and acid salts, that form inside your kidneys.  As one might expect, because urine is a vehicle for waste excretion, it is comprised of numerous chemicals and wastes (including calcium, oxalate, urate, cysteine, xanthine and phosphate).  When the urine is too concentrated, that is too little liquid and too much waste, crystals will begin to form.  Over time, these crystals can join together and form a larger stone-like solid.   There is no single cause for kidney stones and often, the cause is unknown.  There are, however, different types of kidney stones, which can help pinpoint the origin.  Calcium stones (in the form of calcium oxalate or calcium phosphate), for example, are the most common form of kidney stone.  Oxalate is a naturally occurring substance in food, so anything that increases levels of this compound, can increase the risk of a kidney stone.  Uric acid stones often form in people who do not consume enough fluids, eat high protein diets or have gout.  Struvite stones often form as the result of a kidney infection.   Treatment for kidney stones primarily depends on the size of the stone.  If it is smaller than four millimeters in diameter, you have a good chance of passing it spontaneously. Consuming two to three quarts of water a day and using a pain reliever can help pass these small stones.  Larger stones may require invasive treatment including: surgery, using a scope passed through the urethra or shock-wave lithotripsy, where high-energy sound waves break up the stone in to more easily passable stones. Risk factors for developing kidney stones include: being over age 40, being male, ingesting too little water, too much/little exercise, obesity, weight loss surgery, digestive diseases, and consuming a diet high in salt, protein or sugar, especially fructose.  Having a family history of kidney stones can also increase your risk of developing them; furthermore, if you have already experienced kidney stones, you are at an increased risk of developing more.   Prevention of kidney stones can be as simple as a few dietary changes.  Consuming more water during the day is one of the easiest measures you can take.  Doctors recommend excreting about 2.6 quarts of urine every day.  Depending on the severity of your kidney stones, you may want to measure and monitor your urine excretion.  Consume fewer oxalate-rich foods, especially if you tend to form calcium oxalate stones.  Such foods include chocolate, soy products, okra, beets, sweet potatoes, tea and nuts.  Consume foods low in salt and animal protein.  Speak with your doctor about your calcium intake via food and supplements before making any changes here.  Furthermore, speak with your doctor about the possibility of prescription drugs to help with your kidney stones.  Dr. David B. Samadi is the Vice Chairman of the Department of Urology and Chief of Robotics and Minimally Invasive Surgery at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City. He is a board-certified urologist, specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of urological disease, with a focus on robotic prostate cancer treatments. To learn more please visit his websites RoboticOncology.com and SMART-surgery.com. Find Dr. Samadi on Facebook.source : http://www.foxnews.com/health/2013/05/29/kidney-stones-symptoms-and-treatment/

Toxic waste from Greek yogurt poses danger to waterways

Greek yogurt has become an increasingly popular low-calorie treat in the United States, as it is thicker and contains more protein than regular yogurt.  In fact, the yogurt is in such high demand that total yogurt production has nearly tripled in New York state over the last five years. But the new diet fad harbors a dark secret. When Greek yogurt is strained, a thin, runny waste product known as acid (sour) whey is left over.  According to a new report from Modern Farmer, whey acid – a liquid containing mostly water, lactose (sugar), protein and yogurt cultures – is extremely toxic to the environment, making it illegal to dump.  The substance is so detrimental to the environment that if it enters nearby streams and rivers, it robs the water of so much oxygen that fish and other aquatic life start to die off over potentially large areas. The Modern Farmer report stated that for every 3 to 4 ounces of milk used, Chobani and other manufacturers can only make 1 ounce of Greek yogurt – the rest becoming acid whey.  Chobani is so desperate to get rid of the whey, the report maintained, they pay nearby farmers to haul the whey somewhere else.  They claim that 70 percent of their excess whey winds up in livestock feed. But the yogurt industry has remained relatively secretive on the issue, as there are currently no industry-wide statistics regarding where all of this excess whey is going.. Fortunately, the Modern Farmer report noted a possible consumer of excess whey: babies.  Dave Barbano, a dairy scientist at Cornell University, believes that the tiny amount of protein left over in acid whey could be used in infant formula.  Cheese manufacturers have managed to sell similar products from sweet whey, a byproduct of cheese. Whey protein is sold as an ingredient in body building supplements and in other foodstuffs – and Greek yogurt manufacturers are eager to try the same tactics. “There are a lot of people coming in and out of New York state looking at whether this is a good opportunity for investment,” Barbano told Modern Farmer. Other researchers at the Center for Dairy Research at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, are trying to figure out a way to extract the sugar from acid whey, which could be used as an ingredient in things like icing and bread.  And a farm in Scipio Center, N.Y., is hoping to convert the whey’s lactose into methane – which could ultimately be used to generate electricity. No matter what, the Modern Farmer report maintained that a solution needs to be found as soon as possible, because the development of excess whey isn’t slowing down. Click for more from Modern Farmer.source : http://www.foxnews.com/health/2013/05/29/toxic-waste-from-greek-yogurt-poses-danger-to-waterways/

Save yourself from summer dangers

Whether you’re hitting the beach or relaxing in your own backyard this weekend, it’s important to remember some important summer safety tips along the way.   Dr. Manny Alvarez, senior managing health editor for FoxNews.com, spoke to Dr. Mark Melrose, of Urgent Care Manhattan, about how to avoid common summer health hazards. Food poisoning If you’re attending a summer picnic or barbecue, take precautions to avoid food poisoning. After an hour or two in the heat, any foods that are typically refrigerated should be thrown out, Melrose advised. “Don’t be tempted to bring home leftovers that have been left outdoors all day long. You’ve got to toss them,” Melrose said. Water hazards A trip to the beach or a dip in the pool presents its own safety concerns, especially if small children are involved. Make sure children are never unattended near a pool or beach, and if you’re on a boat, everybody should wear a life jacket, Melrose advised. Also, look out for swimming injuries, especially when people are diving into the water, and react quickly if anyone gets hurt. “If you dive into a pool and hit your head, that would be a reason to call 911,” Melrose said. Sunburns and heat stroke People planning to spend time outside in the sun should also watch out for sunburns and heat stroke, Melrose advised. “The number one solution is to avoid the heat, get into the shade. Get into a cool building,” Melrose said. Most importantly, remember to stay hydrated on hot days, and don’t forget to put on lots of sunscreen when you’re spending time outdoors. “Summer time is definitely busier in hospital emergency departments and urgent care centers. If you take proper measures you can definitely save yourself a trip to the doctor,” Melrose said.source : http://www.foxnews.com/health/2013/05/26/save-yourself-from-summer-dangers/

How to keep your kid healthy this summer

Summer’s right around the corner and as the weather warms up and your kids get ready for endless days at the beach, pool and park, keeping them healthy is your top priority. Find out how to prevent and treat the most common ailments so your kids will be healthy all summer long. Sunburn According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, one blistering sunburn before the age of 18 doubles your child’s chances of developing melanoma—the deadliest form of skin cancer—later on in life. “The most important thing is prevention,” said Dr. Gary Goldenberg, medical director of the dermatology faculty practice at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City.  Goldenberg recommended checking the UV index to find out what your your risk for sunburn is. “It’s not enough to just look outside and say, ‘It’s hot, but it’s cloudy so the chance of sunburn is low,’” he said. Thirty minutes before heading outdoors, apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 50. Since the FDA doesn’t measure higher numbers, you might be getting an SPF 50 anyway, Goldenberg said. Be sure to reapply every time your kid comes out of the water and every few hours. Keep your kid in the shade when possible, and dress him in clothing with UPF protection. If your kid does get a sunburn, Vaseline, aloe or Aquaphor can help to ease discomfort. If the burn is severe, a pediatrician might prescribe a topical or oral steroid. Poison ivy, oak, sumac If your kid comes into contact with any of these plants—through skin or clothing—the potent oil urushiol can cause a rash of linear streaks or blisters that is extremely itchy. Depending on how much your child has been exposed to, the rash can show up right away on one part of the body and then on another a few days later, Goldenberg said.  Plus, scratching the rash can help transfer it to another part of the body. Applying calamine lotion or hydrocortisone cream is usually the best way to treat the rash, yet sometimes a topical or oral steroid might be needed. Be sure to wash your child’s clothing several times in hot water, because the oil can live on clothing for months, according to Dr. JJ Levenstein, a retired, board certified pediatrician and founder MDMoms.com The best way to prevent getting this nasty rash? Follow the old saying: Leaves of three, let it be. Mosquito bites These little bugs, which start to emerge as the sun sets, can be super itchy when they bite. Long sleeves and pants are best to keep them at bay, but if it’s too hot outside, a bug spray with DEET is most effective.  A word of caution: Since DEET has been shown to be toxic to the central nervous system, experts agree it shouldn’t be used on young children.  Apply DEET carefully so your child doesn’t inhale it, and be sure to bathe him or her before bedtime. Hydrocortisone is usually the best way to treat mosquito bites, although your pediatrician might prescribe a topical steroid. Bee stings A bee sting might hurt, but in some kids, it can cause an allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis, which can cause the airways to close. If your kid has been stung and he or she is having trouble breathing, go to the emergency room immediately. If you notice the welt getting larger and larger after each bee sting, speak with his or her pediatrician about carrying an EpiPen, Goldenberg said. Protective clothing, repellent sprays and staying away from bees are the best prevention. Ticks If your kid will be walking through wooded areas or through tall grasses, a tick could possibly latch onto his or her skin, putting them at risk for Lyme disease.  This condition is most common among children ages 5 to 14, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Tucking pants into socks, hair into hats and wearing long sleeves can help. Be sure to check your kid from head to toe for ticks, because the sooner you catch one, the easier it is to remove. If you’re unable to remove it, your child’s pediatrician might run some tests and prescribe antibiotics. Dehydration and heat stroke If your child doesn’t drink enough fluids, long, hot days in the sun can spell trouble for your kid in the form of dehydration, or worse, heat stroke. “Heat stroke means that you’re overheated to a point where you actually start to become a little delirious,” said Levenstein. “Your pulse is rapid, you feel dizzy and incoherent and your core body temperature could rise above 98.6 degrees. You lose your ability to cool yourself down because you’re out of sweat.” Kids under the age of 6 should pre-hydrate 30 minutes before heading outdoors with two to three large cups of water; older kids should drink a liter of water. They should re-hydrate every 30 to 60 minutes and urinate every three to four hours.  If your kid is playing sports, every second or third drink should have electrolytes in it to replace the sodium lost through sweat.Julie Revelant is a freelance writer specializing in parenting, health, food and women's issues and a mom. Learn more about Julie at revelantwriting.com.source : http://www.foxnews.com/health/2013/05/26/how-to-keep-your-kid-healthy-this-summer/

Portland, Ore., rejects adding fluoride to water supply

The mayor of Portland, Ore., has conceded defeat in an effort to add fluoride to the city's drinking water. With more than 80 percent of the expected ballots counted late Tuesday night, the Multnomah County election website showed the fluoride proposal failing, 60 percent to 40 percent. Mayor Charlie Hales supported fluoridation and said “the measure lost despite my own `yes' vote. “That's sure disappointing, but I accept the will of the voters,” he said in a statement. Fluoridation foes were delighted. “We're very excited with how the numbers look,” said Kellie Barnes with the anti-fluoride group Clean Water Portland. If the early returns hold up, “then Portlanders spoke out to value our clean water and ask for better solutions for our kids.” Voters in Portland twice rejected fluoridation before approving it in 1978. That plan was overturned two years later, before any fluoride was ever added to the water. The City Council voted last year to add fluoride to the water supply that serves about 900,000 people. But opponents quickly gathered enough signatures to force a vote on the subject. Rejection of the proposal would keep Portland the largest U.S. city without fluoride in the water or with plans to add it. San Jose, Calif., - which is larger than Portland - has been working to add fluoride to its water supply. Voters had weeks to make their choice in the mail-ballot election. By Tuesday it was too late to rely on the postman, so drop boxes were placed across the city to accommodate those who waited until the final day. “We were still getting ballots from drop sites close to 8 p.m.,” said Eric Sample, a Multnomah County elections spokesman. That meant a “pretty darn long night” of vote counting that likely would stretch into Wednesday, he said. Supporters and opponents of fluoridation raised hundreds of thousands of dollars and traded accusations of sign-stealing and shoddy science in an election that has been the city's most contentious of the 21st century. A sampling of voters dropping off ballots earlier Tuesday in rainy Pioneer Courthouse Square found people opposed to fluoridation. “People don't like change. When in doubt, say no,” said Tracy Rauscher, a native Portlander who, like a native Portlander, did not use an umbrella. Portland's drinking water already contains naturally occurring fluoride, though not at levels considered to be effective at fighting cavities. Backers of fluoridation say adding more of it to the water is a safe, effective and affordable way to improve the health of low-income children whose parents don't stress proper nutrition and dental hygiene. Opponents describe fluoride as a chemical that will ruin the city's pristine water supply, and they argue that adding it would violate an individual's right to consent to medication. Although most Americans drink water treated with fluoride, it has long been a contentious topic. In the 1950s, fluoridation was feared as a Communist plot. Today, people worry that its effect on the body has not been sufficiently examined. “I don't want chemicals in my water,” Sarah Lazzaro said after voting Tuesday. “I know that there are really no known health risks with it, but there's a lot of things we find out later in life really do have health risks.” The issue re-appeared on Portland's radar late last summer, when health organizations that had quietly lobbied the City Council for a year persuaded the panel to unanimously approve fluoridation by March 2014. Days before the vote, 227 people - most of them opponents - signed up to testify at a public hearing that lasted 6 1/2 hours. When their objections weren't heeded, they quickly gathered tens of thousands of signatures to force Tuesday's vote.source : http://www.foxnews.com/health/2013/05/22/portland-ore-rejects-adding-fluoride-to-water-supply/