Health and Beauty http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/4803/all en-US 8 Supposedly Unhealthy Foods That Are Actually Good for You http://www.wisebread.com/8-supposedly-unhealthy-foods-that-are-actually-good-for-you <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-supposedly-unhealthy-foods-that-are-actually-good-for-you" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman-drinking-coffee-cafe-Dollarphotoclub_69832554.jpg" alt="woman drinking coffee" title="woman drinking coffee" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Are you a coffee lover, but you abstain for health reasons? Or do you love snacking on popcorn, but rarely indulge because it's a &quot;junk food?&quot; Then good 'ole science has your back. The following eight foods have gotten a bad rap over the years, but in fact can play a big part in a healthy diet. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-health-foods-not-worth-the-money?ref=seealso">11 Health Foods Not Worth the Money</a>)</p> <h2>1. Coffee</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/coffee%20cup%20shop.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>We've long been told that drinking coffee will lead to a long list of ills: stunted growth, heart disease, and even cancer. It turns out that no correlation has been found between these conditions and drinking coffee, and that people who drink coffee regularly tend to be healthier overall.</p> <p>Coffee has been shown to do exactly what you think it does: decrease risk of depression and improve cognitive function. Studies have also shown that <a href="http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/expert-answers/coffee-and-health/faq-20058339">coffee may even have long-term health benefits</a>, such as protection against diabetes, liver disease, and Parkinson's disease. The key is to stop at two cups a day &mdash; over-consumption can lead to risks, especially for individuals with a specific genetic mutation. And go easy on the cream and sugar.</p> <h2>2. Potatoes</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/roasted%20potatoes.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Before you speed off to the drive-thru, no, we're not talking about french fries. Potatoes are often vilified because of the way we tend to eat them: fried or loaded with butter and cheese. But on their own, these starchy vegetables are actually a <a href="http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&amp;dbid=48">low-calorie, high-fiber food</a>. Potatoes are loaded with vitamin B6, which helps build and support cells, and other vitamins and minerals like potassium. New studies show that potatoes may also help regulate blood sugar. Try preparing a delicious side dish of skin-on, cubed potatoes roasted with olive oil and garlic.</p> <h2>3. Eggs</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/sunny%20side%20up%20eggs.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Worried about your cholesterol? No eggs! That's what we've been told for years, and the cholesterol content in egg yolks has scared away many people who are concerned about their health. Luckily, we've learned over the past 30 years that saturated fat intake has more to do with raising cholesterol levels in the blood than consuming cholesterol from food. <a href="http://www.webmd.com/diet/good-eggs-for-nutrition-theyre-hard-to-beat?page=1">Eggs are incredibly high in protein </a>and have just 75 calories per egg, along with a whole host of nutrients. Balance is key for a healthy diet &mdash; if you have a couple of eggs for breakfast, limit your saturated fat intake for the rest of the day. You should still consult your doctor before adding eggs to your diet if you have high cholesterol.</p> <h2>4. Peanut Butter</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/peanut%20butter%20toast.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>At last, you can feed your kid (and yourself) that peanut butter sandwich without worry. Not many people think of this popular nut butter as a health food, but in moderation it can contribute to a healthy diet. <a href="http://www.prevention.com/food/smart-shopping/healthy-eating-why-peanut-butter-good-you">Peanut butter is high in protein and fiber</a>, so even though it's high in calories, it will keep you full for longer and in turn stop you from eating more. It is also rich in vitamin E and magnesium, and studies show that eating nuts or nut butter may help prevent diabetes. Be sure to select a brand that is low in sodium and sugar and has natural ingredients.</p> <h2>5. Alcohol</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/beer%20sampler.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/alcohol-full-story/">Alcohol can be healthy</a>, but self-control is key. An all-night binge session doesn't count as healthy by a long shot, but a glass of wine every night does a body good. A large number of studies have shown that moderate drinking (one drink per day for women, two per day for men) can considerably decrease your risk for cardiovascular diseases. Alcohol can also reduce risk for gallstones and Type 2 diabetes. It's important to remember that if drinking exceeds healthful levels, alcohol swiftly becomes bad for your health. Excessive drinking has the opposite effect, increasing your risk for heart problems and potentially causing major liver trauma.</p> <h2>6. Canned Beans</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/baked%20beans%20can.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Canned food items have been criticized in recent years due to concerns over <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2014/02/26/283030949/government-studies-suggest-bpa-exposure-from-food-isn-t-risky">leakage of the plastic additive BPA</a>. Some also believe that canned products are not as nutritious as their fresh, dried and frozen counterparts. Recent studies have shown that we don't have to pick convenience over health &mdash; BPA has shown to be harmless in normal amounts, and canned beans are <a href="http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/dried-beans-vs-canned-beans-nutritional-values-3026.html">nutritionally comparable to dried beans</a>, with only slightly fewer nutrients. The key is to buy cans with &quot;no salt added&quot; or rinse salted beans well to remove much of the added sodium. Store leftover beans in a container and not in the can.</p> <h2>7. Popcorn</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/popcorn%20pot.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>When thinking about junk food, popcorn is a snack that often comes to mind. High-calorie movie theatre versions laden with fake butter, oil, and salt are to blame. Many microwave brands are also loaded with chemicals and harmful fat. Homemade popcorn, on the other hand, is a whole grain, high in fiber and low in calories. One cup of air-popped popcorn has just 31 calories and zero grams of fat, and contains essential B vitamins and minerals. Try popping some at home for <a href="http://www.livestrong.com/article/399546-how-healthy-is-popcorn/">a healthy snack</a>.</p> <h2>8. Whole Milk and Yogurt</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/whole%20milk.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Because full-fat dairy is high in saturated fat, we've long been told to avoid it. Many people reach for the low-fat and fat-free varieties of milk and yogurt when they visit the dairy aisle. More saturated fat means more body fat, and less means less, right? According to some studies about the <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2014/02/12/275376259/the-full-fat-paradox-whole-milk-may-keep-us-lean">impact of full-fat dairy on weight</a>, this may not be true. Subjects that consumed whole milk and dairy were more likely to have a trim waistline than those that didn't. Scientists aren't sure why this is the case, citing feeling satiated or a change in metabolism as possible causes. There is one thing we do know: full-fat organic dairy contains beneficial omega-3 fatty acids, making it a healthy choice when eaten in the right amounts.</p> <p><em>Have you been avoiding any of these allegedly harmful foods?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/laurel-randolph">Laurel Randolph</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-supposedly-unhealthy-foods-that-are-actually-good-for-you">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-health-foods-that-are-actually-making-you-fatter">10 Health Foods That Are Actually Making You Fatter</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-6-most-surprisingly-unhealthy-beverages">The 6 Most Surprisingly Unhealthy Beverages</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-foods-with-the-most-bang-for-your-buck">10 Foods With the Most Bang for Your Buck</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-foods-scientifically-proven-to-increase-your-lifespan">6 Foods Scientifically Proven to Increase Your Lifespan</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/great-ways-to-get-calcium">Great Ways to Get Calcium</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Health and Beauty food science healthy food nutrition unhealthy food Tue, 24 Feb 2015 18:00:09 +0000 Laurel Randolph 1302599 at http://www.wisebread.com 9 More Supposedly Healthy Things That Are Actually Hurting You http://www.wisebread.com/9-more-supposedly-healthy-things-that-are-actually-hurting-you <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-more-supposedly-healthy-things-that-are-actually-hurting-you" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man-college-student-homework-library-Dollarphotoclub_70153207.jpg" alt="college student studying" title="college student studying" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>My recent list of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-supposedly-healthy-things-that-are-actually-hurting-you">10 Supposedly Health Things That Are Actually Hurting You</a> was so popular, it got me thinking about even more things that we do for our health &mdash; but shouldn't. The more I learn, the more I think that the safest thing to do is not try to be healthy at all. So please pass the Girl Scout cookies, and I'll be in the TV room, staying healthy.</p> <h2>1. Douching</h2> <p>Although many women see regular douching as an important hygienic measure, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-you-dont-need-to-clean">recommends against it</a>, warning that it can lead to <a href="http://womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/douching.html">yeast and bacterial infections</a>.</p> <h2>2. Internal Steam Baths</h2> <p>As if the false promises of the douche weren't bad enough, good old Gwyneth Paltrow recently mystified and confused women everywhere by recommending the <a href="http://goop.com/city-guide/infrared-saunas-detox-spas-and-the-best-spots-for-colonics/tikkun-spa/">Mugwort V Steam</a>, a spa treatment that steam cleans the vagina.</p> <p>&quot;The lactobacilli strains that keep vaginas healthy are very finicky about their environment and raising the temperature with steam... is likely not beneficial and is potentially harmful,&quot; <a href="https://drjengunter.wordpress.com/2015/01/27/gwyneth-paltrow-says-steam-your-vagina-an-obgyn-says-dont/">wrote OB/GYN Jennifer Gunter</a>. I guess it's the word of a consciously uncoupled actress against the doctor's &mdash; believe who you will.</p> <h2>3. Coconut Oil</h2> <p>For a while, it was dietary dogma that all fats were bad for you. Then we started hearing about <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-fat-filled-foods-you-should-stop-avoiding">health benefits from certain fats</a>, and lately, the golden fat is coconut oil. It is supposed to do everything from burning <em>body</em> fat to killing germs to lowering cholesterol. The truth is, researchers say, a lot more studies are needed before we really know <a href="http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/coconut-oil-and-health">whether eating this saturated fat is a net positive or negative for your health</a>.</p> <p>For now, let's just say that coconut oil may not deliver on the health claims you have heard about, but like all fats, it is guaranteed to provide your body with nine calories per gram. And it's guaranteed to be harder on your wallet than many other oils.</p> <h2>4. Low-Fat Packaged Foods</h2> <p>There are low-fat versions of just about every packaged food nowadays, from soup to cereal to yogurt. But did you ever wonder what food manufacturers do to foods to make them palatable with less fat? Read the ingredients and you may get an eyeful, such as really high amounts of sugar, sodium, or unpronounceable flavor agents.</p> <h2>5. Diet Drinks</h2> <p>Switching from regular Coke to Diet used to be considered a healthy move. And cutting back on the sugar that comes in a soft drink is good for you. But mounting evidence warns that even &quot;natural&quot; artificial sweeteners may be dangerous, primarily due to a link to <a href="http://www.prevention.com/health/healthy-living/artificial-sweeteners-may-contribute-diabetes-and-obesity">diabetes</a>. Artificial sweeteners may damage the microflora in our guts, too, and their super-sweet taste may increase our desire for sweets. Diet soda consumption is also linked to <a href="http://www.prevention.com/health/healthy-living/your-body-diet-soda-infographic">heart attack risk, tooth decay, and other ills</a>.</p> <h2>6. Annual Mammograms Starting at 40</h2> <p>On my 40th birthday, my mother reminded me to make my first mammogram appointment. I didn't, and here's why: New research suggests that women who start annual mammograms at that age expose themselves to an amount of <a href="http://www.prevention.com/health/health-concerns/new-mammogram-guidelines-why-yearly-mammogram-may-be-bad-idea">radiation and stressful false positive results</a> that is not worth the reduction in cancer deaths.</p> <p>Women with a family history of breast cancer or other risk factors are still advised to get the test early and often, but for &quot;a woman with lower risk, it might make sense to start later or screen every other year,&quot; Diana Zuckerman, PhD, president of the National Research Center for Women &amp; Families, told Prevention.</p> <h2>7. Baby Powder</h2> <p>Fortunately, many powders on the market today are no longer made with talc, a mineral product that could cause lung damage if inhaled. But non-talc powders or even plain cornstarch <a href="http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/QAA401185/How-Bad-Is-Baby-Powder.html">can still be inhaled</a>, and women who use talcum powder around their genitals may be putting themselves at <a href="http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/QAA401185/How-Bad-Is-Baby-Powder.html">risk for cancer</a>.</p> <h2>8. Homework</h2> <p>Most parents are annoyed by their kids' homework; it cuts into limited family time and, in many families, leads to endless power struggles. But parents put up with it because it's for the kids' own good.</p> <p>Or is it? A Stanford study concluded that current homework levels &quot;hinder learning, full engagement, and well-being,&quot; by <a href="http://news.stanford.edu/news/2014/march/too-much-homework-031014.html">causing students stress</a> and sleep deprivation, and cutting into time to develop life skills.</p> <p>Sure, you say, but what if the harm caused by homework is offset by its benefits? The thing is, experts are hard pressed to <a href="http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/parenting/homework-has-no-benefit-for-very-young-children-little-benefit-for-upper-primary-students/story-fnet08ui-1226501851265">prove that homework actually benefits students</a>. <a href="http://www.edutopia.org/no-proven-benefits">At all</a>.</p> <h2>9. Some Sunscreens</h2> <p>Wearing sunscreen outdoors is strongly recommended by dermatologists, and yet doctors warn that <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sun-screens-can-really-cost-you-by-the-ounce-and-by-the-tumor">some ingredients</a> in <a href="http://www.webmd.com/beauty/sun/sunscreen-safety-labels-ingredients">some sunscreens could be hazardous to your health</a>. The <a href="http://www.ewg.org/2014sunscreen/what-not-to-bring-on-vacation/">Environmental Working Group recommends against</a> spray-on sunscreens, and those that contain oxybenzone or vitamin A.</p> <p><em>What supposedly healthy thing have you learned is actually harmful? Please warn us in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-more-supposedly-healthy-things-that-are-actually-hurting-you">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-foods-scientifically-proven-to-increase-your-lifespan">6 Foods Scientifically Proven to Increase Your Lifespan</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-enough-sleep">Get enough sleep</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/hungry-have-a-drink">Hungry? Have a drink.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/people-who-love-their-bodies-never-do-these-17-things-do-you">People Who Love Their Bodies Never Do These 17 Things — Do You?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/healthy-people-have-these-10-things-in-their-homes-do-you">Healthy People Have These 10 Things in Their Homes — Do You?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> General Tips Health and Beauty Health risk wellbeing Wed, 18 Feb 2015 12:00:06 +0000 Carrie Kirby 1289909 at http://www.wisebread.com The Alarming Thing I Didn't Know About My Mammogram http://www.wisebread.com/the-alarming-thing-i-didnt-know-about-my-mammogram <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-alarming-thing-i-didnt-know-about-my-mammogram" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/doctor-woman-mammogram-Dollarphotoclub_75519104.jpg" alt="doctor woman mammogram" title="doctor woman mammogram" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><em>&quot;On the day my cancer was so large that it could be felt, it was undetectable on a mammogram.&quot;</em></p> <p>(JoAnn Pushkin, on <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sa5Jq9jXNv8">Mammograms and Dense Breast Tissue with Dr. Andrew Warheit</a>)</p> <p>I want to stop you right now from thinking, &quot;Oh, this is just one of those older-lady things I'll have to deal with.&quot; Wrong. &quot;<a href="http://www.mskcc.org/blog/diagnostic-radiologist-carol-lee-discusses-what-women-should-know-about-breast-density">Dense breasts</a> tend to be more common in younger women and in women with smaller breasts, but anyone &mdash; regardless of age or breast size &mdash; can have dense breasts. Here is my experience.</p> <p>As I was leaving the exam room after my mammogram recently, the technician, whom I have now been seeing for nine years, asked, &quot;Can I give you a hug?&quot; It caught me off-guard, but I didn't think much of it and hugged her. It was only after I was getting into my car that I thought about what an odd thing that was to say.</p> <p>And then I wondered: <em>Had she seen something that made her want to hug me?</em></p> <p>Two days later, my phone rang. It was the radiology office. &quot;I need to schedule you for a mammogram,&quot; the receptionist explained. &quot;I was just there last Friday,&quot; I said, thinking there was a mix-up. &quot;No, um, we need to do another mammogram, and an ultrasound.&quot; I drew a breath, my heart pounding.</p> <p>The receptionist went on to explain that there was an &quot;area of concern&quot; on my right breast, and that because I have very &quot;dense breasts,&quot; the radiologist had recommended additional tests. &quot;Dense breasts?&quot; I was completely unfamiliar with this term. She attempted to explain that this meant it was difficult to see exactly what was on the mammogram, but something was suspicious.</p> <h2>Why Should You be Concerned About Dense Breasts?</h2> <p>According to the Susan G. Komen Foundation, &quot;Women with high breast density are four to five times more likely to get breast cancer than women with low breast density.&quot; Add to that: The number of women who have breast density? 40% to 50%.</p> <p>Yikes.</p> <p>Like me, you may have been going merrily through your annual mammograms, thinking well, that's done, and I'll check it off for another year. What you may not know is that maybe nothing is being found&hellip; because it has not been <em>seen</em>.</p> <h2>What Does It Mean to Have &quot;Dense Breasts&quot;?</h2> <p>Here was the best description that I found: &quot;It's like finding a polar bear in a snowstorm.&quot; Here are <a href="http://ww5.komen.org/BreastCancer/HighBreastDensityonMammogram.html">pictures</a> of what you can see via a mammogram. As you can tell, it gets extremely difficult to see what's what.</p> <p style="margin-left: 40px;"><a href="http://ww5.komen.org/BreastCancer/HighBreastDensityonMammogram.html">Breast density</a> is a measure used to describe the proportion of the different tissues that make up a woman's breasts. Breasts are made up of fat and breast tissue (the milk ducts and lobules, which may be called glandular tissue). Connective tissue helps hold everything place. Breast density is not a measure of how the breasts feel, but rather how the breasts look on a mammogram. It compares the area of breast and connective tissue seen on a mammogram to the area of fat. Breast and connective tissue are denser than fat and this difference shows up on a mammogram.</p> <p>Put another <a href="http://www.healthywomen.org/content/ask-expert/1285/breast-density">way</a>, &quot;Breast density actually refers to how well a <a href="http://www.healthywomen.org/glossary/term/5748">mammogram</a> can 'see' any potential cancers or precancerous conditions within your breasts.&quot;</p> <h2>How Do You Find Out If You Have Dense Breasts?</h2> <p>Ironically, by having a mammogram. That is your starting place.</p> <p>Having been down this road, I would even ask the technician, during your mammogram, if you have dense breasts. My second technician was very open to my questions during both the mammogram and ultrasound, and let me see the screens. I imagine, though, that may not be office policy everywhere.</p> <p>Once you have had a mammogram, what should you do?</p> <p>&quot;Your next step,&quot; advises a breast health advocacy group Are You Dense, &quot;is to <a href="http://www.areyoudense.org/">request a copy</a> of your mammography report from your referring doctor. Make sure it is the report that is generated from the radiologist and not a form letter. Read the report carefully. Look for descriptions of your breast tissue.&quot;</p> <p>If your results are not clear to you from the report, contact your physician and ask for a further explanation.</p> <p>Unfortunately, you cannot assume that you will be informed if you do have dense breast tissue, as not all states have passed legislation requiring notification. (Check your state <a href="http://www.areyoudenseadvocacy.org/dense/">here</a>.)</p> <h2>What If I DO Have Dense Breasts?</h2> <p>Hopefully, by reading this post, you will be armed with information (I wasn't educated about density, which lead me to feel very anxious and upset). What to do:</p> <ul> <li>Obtain a copy of your mammogram report. (I thought <a href="http://www.breastdensity.info/docs/DENSITY-SCENARIOS-FOR-CLINICIANS.pdf">this paper</a>, designed for clinicians, was helpful in understanding degrees of density and clinical recommendations.)<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Speak with your physician, paying special attention to your family history and lifestyle.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Be ready for further testing, including ultrasound and/or MRI, if indicated. In my case, because there was a suspicious area, I had a second mammogram and an ultrasound. Fortunately, my insurance company paid for both tests.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Don't panic, but do be proactive.</li> </ul> <p>My radiologist's letter stated:</p> <p style="margin-left: 40px;">&quot;Remember that if a woman has an area of the breast that needs further work-up, the vast majority of the time, the findings will not be cancer. Even when a biopsy is needed, the majority of the time, the diagnosis is not cancer.&quot;</p> <p>Although my finding was &quot;likely benign,&quot; my tests will be repeated in six months, which is fine by me.</p> <h2>What Causes Dense Breasts?</h2> <p>Somewhat disturbingly, things get vague, here. Some attribute it to rising estrogen levels, genetics, or postmenopausal hormone therapy, although there isn't much agreement.</p> <h2>Learning More</h2> <p>Read the very compelling story of <a href="http://www.areyoudense.org/worxcms_published/stories_page13.shtml">Nancy Cappello, Ph.D</a>, a Stage 3c breast cancer survivor. She received her diagnosis only two months after her annual mammogram came back as &quot;normal.&quot; Her website, <a href="http://www.areyoudense.org/">areyoudense.org,</a> contains many eye-opening testimonials from women who have dense breasts.</p> <p>There is a fine line between being an alarmist and educating someone when it comes to health care. My hope, honestly, is that I frightened you enough to make you be proactive.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/marla-walters">Marla Walters</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-alarming-thing-i-didnt-know-about-my-mammogram">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/going-without-health-insurance-in-2015-heres-what-itll-cost-you">Going Without Health Insurance in 2015? Here&#039;s What It&#039;ll Cost You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-social-media-saved-someones-life">5 Ways Social Media Saved Someone&#039;s Life</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/funny-taste-mystery-using-google-for-medical-diagnoses">Funny Taste Mystery: Using Google for Medical Diagnoses</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/signing-up-for-obamacare-in-2015-heres-whats-new">Signing Up for Obamacare in 2015? Here&#039;s What&#039;s New</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/don-t-waste-your-money-on-homeopathic-remedies">Don’t Waste Your Money on Homeopathic “Remedies”</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Health and Beauty breast cancer cancer health care Thu, 05 Feb 2015 12:00:09 +0000 Marla Walters 1285464 at http://www.wisebread.com Going Without Health Insurance in 2015? Here's What It'll Cost You http://www.wisebread.com/going-without-health-insurance-in-2015-heres-what-itll-cost-you <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/going-without-health-insurance-in-2015-heres-what-itll-cost-you" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/healthcare-stethoscope-money-Dollarphotoclub_64769213.jpg" alt="stethoscope money" title="stethoscope money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The ACA. Obamacare. The Affordable Care Act. Whatever you call it, your finances will almost certainly be affected by it, especially if you choose <em>not</em> to be covered by an approved plan in 2015. While many taxpayers are just now starting to feel the pinch of opting out in 2014, the penalties for this year are much stiffer.&nbsp;</p> <p>Here's what you need to know</p> <h2>How Much Are the Fines?</h2> <p>Straight from the <a href="https://www.healthcare.gov/fees-exemptions/fee-for-not-being-covered/">Healthcare.gov website</a>, the penalty or &quot;tax&quot; for 2015 is either:</p> <ul> <li>2% of your yearly household income over the tax filing threshold (usually anything over $10,000 for an individual); or<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>$235 per adult and $162.50 for each child under 18.</li> </ul> <p>The government wants you to pay the higher of the two amounts, but the maximum for option one can't exceed the &quot;national average premium for a bronze plan.&quot; Just what is that number? For 2014, the average was $204 per person per month or $1020 per month for a family of five or more. The national average for 2015 won't be known until the end of 2015, but the <a href="http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/oct/18/obamacare-bronze-plan-premiums-expected-jump-14-20/">Washington Times states</a> it could go up by as much as 14% in some parts of the country.</p> <p>The maximum for option two can't exceed $975.</p> <h2>How Are the Fines Paid?</h2> <p>Since the health care law is enforced strictly through the IRS, it's quite simply a &quot;tax&quot; thing. If you don't make enough to file (under $10,000 in most cases), you wouldn't pay a fine, anyway. If you do file, you'll have a place to indicate your penalty on your return, and that amount will come off your refund (or you'll have to pay in, like any other tax owed). All major tax filing software services have been updated accordingly to help you fill out the right forms and make paying the fine just a part of the tax process.</p> <h2>Can I Get Out of the Fine?</h2> <p>In a word: yes. But it may take some work. People covered by an ACA or another plan that is considered &quot;minimum essential coverage&quot; don't have to pay.</p> <p>Others are exempt from fine if they had coverage for more than nine months of the year, are a member of a federally recognized tribe, have coverage through a health care sharing ministry, or have religious objections to insurance (including Medicare and Social Security). You can also avoid fines if you are in jail during most of the year or aren't in the U.S. lawfully or face certain financial hardships.</p> <h2>What If I Can't Afford Insurance or the Fine?</h2> <p>If the lowest-priced coverage would cost more than 8% of your household income, you can get an exemption. Additional <a href="https://www.healthcare.gov/fees-exemptions/hardship-exemptions/">examples of hardship</a> that may qualify for an exemption include:</p> <p>1. Being homeless;<br /> 2. Eviction or foreclosure;<br /> 3. Facing shut-off from your utility company;<br /> 4. Experiencing domestic violence;<br /> 5. Experience the death of a family member;<br /> 6. Suffering substantial loss due to a fire, flood, or other natural or human-caused disaster;<br /> 7. Filing for bankruptcy;<br /> 8. Being unable to pay medical expenses that resulted in substantial debt;<br /> 9. Experiencing increases in necessary expenses due to caring for an ill, disabled, or aging family member.</p> <p>There are also exemptions that can be granted due to changes in your state's Medicaid and CHIP programs, cancellation of your individual policy, and your difficulty in getting insurance.</p> <p>Note that all of these require you to fill out an application that can take weeks or months to approve. In the meantime, if you fail to get covered and your application is denied, you will still be held liable for any penalties earned during that time. It's is also suggested that you don't wait until the end of 2015 to apply for the exemption if you have proof of hardship now.</p> <h2>Should I Ever Choose to Pay the Fine?</h2> <p>That's really a personal decision, but I will say that there have been instances where you may owe less by simply paying fines. If you are a healthy adult that can get approved for a traditional pre-ACA plan without pre-existing conditions, you may be eligible for a short-term plan. These plans don't offer some of the benefits required by Obamacare, including maternity coverage or certain free preventative services. They are, however, more in line with pre-ACA pricing for premiums, and many have much lower deductibles and premiums than the subsidized plans offered on the exchange. These plans are good for 3-12 months and make you subject to ACA fines, but may still cost less after fines than better plans on the exchange.</p> <p>All of this will change again in 2016, with another increase in fines, so you'll need to stay abreast of developments. With open enrollment ending soon, however, whatever choice you make should be done without delay.</p> <p><em>Will you get insurance or pay the fine this year?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/linsey-knerl">Linsey Knerl</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/going-without-health-insurance-in-2015-heres-what-itll-cost-you">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/signing-up-for-obamacare-in-2015-heres-whats-new">Signing Up for Obamacare in 2015? Here&#039;s What&#039;s New</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-fall-for-these-common-obamacare-scams">Don&#039;t Fall for These Common Obamacare Scams</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-take-advantage-of-obamacare-for-less-financial-risk-and-more-freedom">How to Take Advantage of Obamacare for Less Financial Risk and More Freedom</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/understanding-the-affordable-care-acts-health-insurance-exchange">Understanding the Affordable Care Act&#039;s Health Insurance Exchange</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-types-of-health-insurance-plans">The Types of Health Insurance Plans</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Health and Beauty Insurance ACA health care health insurance insurance IRS obamacare taxes Tue, 03 Feb 2015 14:00:07 +0000 Linsey Knerl 1284842 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 All Natural Home Remedies for Colds http://www.wisebread.com/7-all-natural-home-remedies-for-colds <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-all-natural-home-remedies-for-colds" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/homemade-miso-soup-Dollarphotoclub_76459071.jpg" alt="homemade miso soup" title="homemade miso soup" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>My husband is a high school English teacher. My daughter is in her first year of preschool. Sickness is a way of life for us with so much exposure to germs. In fact, we just got over a full month of passing around two nasty cold viruses. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-natural-remedies-for-stomach-pain?ref=seealso">12 Natural Remedies for Stomach Pain</a>)</p> <p>Here are some helpful cold remedies that won't send you running to the store, as you likely have most of the ingredients sitting around in your kitchen cabinets. The best part? They're all drug-free!</p> <h2>1. Miso Broth</h2> <p>From upset stomach to coughs and colds, this delicious <a href="http://vibrantwellnessjournal.com/2012/11/08/healing-with-miso/">Miso Soup</a> doubles as a cure and healthy meal option. Miso is made from fermented soy and rice, and it's full of good-for-you living enzymes, vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. My husband skips the veggies and simply warms a few cups of water on the stove. He then dissolves a tablespoon or two of miso in it and sips all day long.</p> <h2>2. Veggie Broth</h2> <p>You don't need to go out and buy miso if you don't have it already. Instead, try this <a href="http://faithfulprovisions.com/natural-healing-broth/">Healing Broth</a> that combines the goodness of garlic, ginger, lemon, cloves, and cayenne pepper. And water for hydration, of course. Simmer on the stove and strain before drinking. The cayenne pepper acts like an expectorant and helps get all the gunk out of your system.</p> <h2>3. Garlic Snack</h2> <p>I love how garlic tastes minced in olive oil. But did you know garlic is a <a href="http://thechalkboardmag.com/would-you-wouldnt-you-gnaw-raw-garlic-for-cold-flu-season">powerful antioxidant</a> with antimicrobial, antiviral, and antibiotic properties? In other words, it's great for fighting cold and flu viruses. You can munch on a whole clove to get the benefits. For those of you with sensitive stomachs, try mincing garlic and letting sit with some olive oil and honey before eating on a cracker.</p> <h2>4. Vapor Rub</h2> <p>Or try mixing together some <a href="http://www.neverhomemaker.com/2014/10/homesteading-natural-vapor-rub.html">DIY Vapor Balm</a> &mdash; much like the popular ones on the market &mdash; using olive oil, beeswax, and essential oils (peppermint and eucalyptus). This balm is wonderful for easing chest congestion and discomfort. The benefit here is knowing exactly what you're rubbing into yourself. You can also make different strengths to suit all your family members by adding more or less essential oils.</p> <h2>5. Salt Gargle</h2> <p>Most of us know about the mighty <a href="http://www.healing-oceans-family-wellness-center.com/salt-water-gargle.html">Salt Gargle</a> to relieve scratchy, sore throats and wash away germs. But are you doing it correctly? Combine &frac12; to &frac34; teaspoon salt with one warmed cup of pure water. Chlorinated tap water will irritate your throat, so skip that in favor of something filtered. Or you can dechlorinate water by leaving it out in the open for 24 hours.</p> <h2>6. Apple Cider Vinegar Drink</h2> <p>My family has long used unfiltered apple cider vinegar as a cold cure. It's pretty darned effective at <a href="http://homeremediesforlife.com/apple-cider-vinegar-sinus-infection/">thinning mucus</a> and clearing out sinuses. Dilute two to four tablespoons of ACV into one cup of warm filtered water (same reason to avoid tap water, as explained above) and add raw honey for taste if you like. Drink up four to six times a day to help kill bacteria and soothe your sore throat. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-awesome-ways-to-use-apple-cider-vinegar?ref=seealso">12 Awesome Ways to Use Apple Cider Vinegar</a>)</p> <h2>7. Honey Coat</h2> <p>Honey is an effective, natural cough suppressant. So, skip the pricey cough drops and syrups and use this mixture of <a href="http://www.reformationacres.com/2014/11/homemade-medicine-made-simple-sweet-lemon-honey-thyme-cough-syrup-recipe.html">honey and lemon</a> instead. Combine a half cup of honey with half a lemon, two cups of water, and some fresh or dried thyme leaves. Store this homemade syrup in your refrigerator for around a month.</p> <p><em>What are your flu-season go-to home remedies? Please share a dose in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-all-natural-home-remedies-for-colds">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-what-it-really-costs-to-get-sick">This Is What It Really Costs to Get Sick</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-more-supposedly-healthy-things-that-are-actually-hurting-you">9 More Supposedly Healthy Things That Are Actually Hurting You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-health-foods-not-worth-the-money">11 Health Foods Not Worth the Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-pet-health-insurance-worth-it">Is Pet Health Insurance Worth It?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-foods-nutritionists-say-you-should-splurge-on">12 Foods Nutritionists Say You Should Splurge On</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Health and Beauty colds cures Health home remedies illness Fri, 30 Jan 2015 16:00:14 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1283630 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Foods Scientifically Proven to Make You Smarter http://www.wisebread.com/7-foods-scientifically-proven-to-make-you-smarter <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-foods-scientifically-proven-to-make-you-smarter" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/coffee art.jpg" alt="coffee art" title="coffee art" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It's well established that the <a href="http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/why-does-the-brain-need-s/">brain uses more energy</a> than any other organ, accounting for up to 20% of the body's total energy needs. Feed your hungry brain these foods to keep it buzzing along at its optimal speed. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-foods-science-says-are-actually-making-you-dumber?ref=seealso">6 Foods Science Says Are Actually Making You Dumber</a>)</p> <h2>1. Avocado</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/avocados.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>This creamy fruit is a staple for many meatless dishes and for vegetarians and vegans who don't eat meat. It's unique among fruits because it is rich with high-quality protein and fats, compounds we typically associate with meat and dairy. It's <a href="http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/avocado-brain-function-6231.html">good for the brain</a> (and the body) because it aids blood circulation. Scramble it in eggs, mash it up to spread on toast, or slice it and sprinkle with a little salt, black pepper, and turmeric for a savory breakfast or snack.</p> <h2>2. Fresh or Frozen Blueberries</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/blueberries_0.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>Blueberries prove that good things come in small packages. When it comes to <a href="http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/your-brain-on-blueberries/">brain health, research says</a> they stave off a number of diseases such as Alzheimer's, enhance learning, and improve motor skills. They're very high in fiber, and though they have a touch of sweetness, they don't spike blood sugar. But make sure you use fresh or frozen blueberries. Dried blueberries often have sugar added and aren't as healthy. And since they have a fairly short growing season, substitute cranberries, pomegranates, cherries, grapes, and blackberries for many of the same health benefits.</p> <h2>3. Salmon</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/salmon%20meat.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>We know salmon makes our skin glow and it's very heart healthy. It's also <a href="http://womensbrainhealth.org/great-minds-think-alike/why-is-salmon-good-for-your-brain">highly beneficial for our brains</a> because of its omega-3 fatty acids. This healthy fat has been found to enhance memory (and therefore fight memory-related diseases brought on by aging), elevate mood, and reduce depression. This makes it a winner of a meal any time of year, especially in the winter when the short days and long nights can cause us to to feel blue.</p> <p>While farmed salmon is cheaper, I suggest opting for wild salmon whenever possible. You'll pay a bit more for it, but it has a much higher level of omega-3s than farmed salmon, so you don't need to eat as much to get all of the health benefits. If salmon isn't available or it's too expensive, tuna is a great alternative and it has vitamin B6, another vitamin important to brain health. Eggs are another option for vegetarians or for people who don't like fish.</p> <h2>4. Seeds and Nuts</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/peanuts_0.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>Toss them in oatmeal or on top of salads, spread them on toast or fruit, and incorporate them into trail mix and baked goods. <a href="http://www.ageright.org/2013/08/08/nuts-and-seeds-the-stars-of-brain-healthy-foods/">Seeds and nuts</a> give us fiber like fruits and veggies and protein like meat and dairy. This helps give our brains an energy boost and it keeps that boost going throughout the day. When it comes to brain health, the vitamin E and magnesium makes seeds and nuts especially valuable. Be careful to avoid sweetened nuts and nut spreads that are highly processed and contain a lot of sugar. Best bet for nut butters &mdash; make your own in a food processor or at the dry goods stations in grocery stores like Whole Foods. All nut, no additives.</p> <h2>5. Coffee and Tea</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/coffee%20art.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>What? Your morning brew of coffee and <a href="http://www.spring.org.uk/2013/11/tea-6-brilliant-effects-on-the-brain.php">tea</a> makes you feel good and is good for you? You betcha! Along with that kick of caffeine that gives you a noticeable and often immediate charge, both beverages have fiber and antioxidants, and they've been shown to <a href="http://www.drperlmutter.com/coffee-can-save-brain/">aid memory and stall aging in the brain</a>.</p> <p>But there are some do's and don'ts when it comes to coffee and tea. Do make it free-trade, organic, and fresh. Don't drown it in sugar and heavy dairy, and don't have more than two to four cups per day. To add a bit of sweetness and get an added health benefit, I like to sprinkle in a warming spice like cinnamon, clove, or nutmeg. You can also use a sweetener like stevia or agave nectar that is a much better alternative than granulated sugar because these alternatives don't spike, and then crash, your blood sugar. <a href="http://www.prevention.com/health/health-concerns/low-blood-sugar-and-memory">Spikes and crashes in blood sugar</a> actually cause damage to your brain.</p> <h2>6. Oatmeal and Brown Rice</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/fried%20brown%20rice.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>The high amount of fiber in <a href="http://www.livestrong.com/article/531680-is-oatmeal-good-for-your-brain/">oatmeal</a> and <a href="https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/cereal/brown-rice.html">brown rice</a> keeps our hearts healthy and our blood pumping, and what's good for the heart is good for the brain. Oatmeal also has the added benefits of protein and omega-3, so it's an especially important food for vegans and vegetarians. Also oatmeal lends itself to adding so many other brain healthy foods like blueberries, seeds, and nuts, and it pairs perfectly with a steaming cup of coffee or tea.</p> <h2>7. Dark Leafy Greens</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/arugula%20salad.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>Whether you like kale, spinach, arugula, or romaine, <a href="http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20434658_4,00.html">get your greens every day</a>. Blend them up in smoothies, make them a base for your salad, or chop them up in a stir-fry. They're an excellent fuel for your whole body, and what makes them so valuable for your brain is their high iron levels without the fat and calories that come from many kinds of iron-rich meat. When we're iron deficient, our thinking gets clouded and our memory dulled. Healthy iron levels enhance our learning abilities and give us the energy needed to get the most out of life.</p> <p><em>Are you getting enough of these delicious brain foods?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/christa-avampato">Christa Avampato</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-foods-scientifically-proven-to-make-you-smarter">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/curing-warts-removing-splinters-and-19-other-bizarre-uses-for-banana-peels">Curing Warts, Removing Splinters, and 19 Other Bizarre Uses for Banana Peels</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-foods-scientifically-proven-to-increase-your-lifespan">6 Foods Scientifically Proven to Increase Your Lifespan</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-ultimate-list-of-hangover-cures">The Ultimate List of Hangover Cures</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/if-youre-eating-these-6-things-your-diet-is-doing-nothing">If You&#039;re Eating These 6 Things, Your &quot;Diet&quot; Is Doing Nothing</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-foods-that-are-scientifically-proven-to-increase-happiness">7 Foods That Are Scientifically Proven to Increase Happiness</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink General Tips Health and Beauty brain food brain hacks health food healthy eating Fri, 30 Jan 2015 12:00:04 +0000 Christa Avampato 1284260 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Foods Scientifically Proven to Increase Your Lifespan http://www.wisebread.com/6-foods-scientifically-proven-to-increase-your-lifespan <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-foods-scientifically-proven-to-increase-your-lifespan" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/grilled-salmon-salad-Dollarphotoclub_65341125.jpg" alt="grilled salmon salad" title="grilled salmon salad" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Abraham Lincoln once said, &quot;In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years.&quot; True. But also&hellip; a few more years couldn't hurt. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/live-long-and-prosper-with-these-15-small-healthy-habits?ref=seealso">Live Long and Prosper With These Healthy Habits</a>)</p> <p>Over the last 150 years, human life expectancy has doubled, mainly due to modern medicine, technology, and advances in diet. How can you make sure you're taking full advantage? To live longer and healthier, incorporate these incredible foods into your diet.</p> <h2>1. Vitamin D</h2> <p>You may have heard about these <a href="http://blog.23andme.com/health-traits/getting-long-in-the-telomeres/">wondrous things called telomeres</a>, the tips of DNA whose length has been proven to correlate with longevity. Vitamin D acquired through a wide variety of sources including sunlight, dairy, and fatty fish like salmon and tuna directly impacts the length of telomeres. <a href="http://sciencenordic.com/vitamin-d-prolongs-life">The more vitamin D we have, the longer our telomeres</a>. Milk, it does a body good.</p> <h2>2. Probiotics</h2> <p>Much of our immunity, the ability to prevent and fight disease, <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23426535">lives in the flora of our gut</a>. Sugar and highly-processed foods (essentially almost any food product that has a commercial on television!) eats away at our fabulous flora. To maintain healthy flora levels, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/15/probiotic-remedies_n_1507166.html">eat a healthy dose of foods that are high in probiotics</a> such as pickled and fermented veggies and yogurt.</p> <h2>3. Antioxidants</h2> <p>Antioxidants are compounds that <a href="http://www.todaysdietitian.com/newarchives/050311p32.shtml">reduce the likelihood of disease and fight aging</a>. Luckily, they can be found in a wide variety of foods. Some of the most potent antioxidants are in a class called <a href="http://www.healthline.com/health-news/food-polyphenols-boost-gut-health-and-longevity-121213">polyphenols</a> and they're found in foods such as organic raw chocolate and green tea.</p> <h2>4. Vitamin B12</h2> <p>Keep your energy pumping by getting your fill of <a href="http://www.nextavenue.org/article/2013-05/fiftysomething-diet-boosting-your-longevity-odds">vitamin B12</a>. B12 is involved in the production of nerve cells, red blood cells, and DNA. It's also heavily involved in brain health. Vegans and vegetarians have a tough time getting enough B12 because it is found in greatest abundance in meat, fish, and dairy so if you are vegan or vegetarian you can get a synthetic form of B12 in fortified cereals and tofu.</p> <h2>5. Turmeric</h2> <p>Indian cuisine makes full use of this magical spice so it's no wonder that people from India often have very long life expectancies. <a href="http://mrvitaminsnews.com.au/alzheimers-disease/curcumin-from-curry-spice-improves-vascular-and-cognitive-health">Turmeric contains curcumin</a>, an active ingredient proven to fight inflammation and blocks cancer causing pathways in cells. It's also perfect sprinkled on roasted veggies, salads, and even in smoothies.</p> <h2>6. Vitamin A</h2> <p>Found in great abundance in carrots, sweet potatoes, and dark leafy greens such as kale, vitamin A <a href="http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/ART02759/facts-about-vitamin-a">fights infection and improves eye health</a>. But be a bit careful with this one because it is possible to have too much of this good thing, and that causes nausea and irritability. One helping of any of these veggies per day provides you with more than enough to stay healthy without making you sick.</p> <p>Modern medicine is a marvel and we're so lucky to have it. However, the food we eat has just as much to do with our health as any miracle drug, and probably more. Incorporate these foods into your diet and you'll be living in up while living well. Buon appetitto!</p> <p><em>Are you getting enough of these life-lengthening foods and nutrients?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/christa-avampato">Christa Avampato</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-foods-scientifically-proven-to-increase-your-lifespan">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-7"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/book-review-in-defense-of-food">Book review: In Defense of Food</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/hungry-have-a-drink">Hungry? Have a drink.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-supposedly-unhealthy-foods-that-are-actually-good-for-you">8 Supposedly Unhealthy Foods That Are Actually Good for You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-more-supposedly-healthy-things-that-are-actually-hurting-you">9 More Supposedly Healthy Things That Are Actually Hurting You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-health-foods-not-worth-the-money">11 Health Foods Not Worth the Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink General Tips Health and Beauty food nutrients Health lifespan nutrition Mon, 26 Jan 2015 12:00:11 +0000 Christa Avampato 1282998 at http://www.wisebread.com 12 Foods Nutritionists Say You Should Splurge On http://www.wisebread.com/12-foods-nutritionists-say-you-should-splurge-on <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/12-foods-nutritionists-say-you-should-splurge-on" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman-grocery-shopping-Dollarphotoclub_7434297.jpg" alt="woman grocery shopping" title="woman grocery shopping" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We're all pinching pennies at the grocery store these days, but sometimes the cheapest items available might not be the healthiest. So where should we loosen the purse strings? (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/turbo-charge-your-diet-with-superfoods?ref=seealso">Turbo-Charge Your Diet With These Superfoods</a>)</p> <p>I've asked nutritionists to weigh in on some higher-priced healthy foods which are worth the splurge. These are their suggestions.</p> <h2>1. Berries</h2> <p>If you have a love/hate relationship with fruit, you're not alone. It seems like every day one health guru is telling you to add more fruit to your diet while another is telling you to cut back on all that natural sugar. Berries, however, seem to be the exception to that rule, as they're lower in calories and sugar than many other fruits, and are packed full of vitamins and nutrients that <a href="http://www.shape.com/blogs/weight-loss-coach/summers-secret-weight-loss-weapon">promote heart health, weight loss, and healthier-looking skin</a>.</p> <p>Dr. Yanyan Li, assistant professor of nutrition in the College of Science and Humanities at Husson University, focuses her research on phytochemicals (natural plant components with health benefits), and she believes that berries, such as blueberries, raspberries and blackberries, are worth the extra money.</p> <p>&quot;Although rather expensive, they are full of strong antioxidants,&quot; Dr. Li says. &quot;Antioxidants help remove free radicals that are associated with a variety of chronic diseases and the aging process.&quot;</p> <p>Personally I've been loading up on blackberries lately, since they're a <a href="http://www.npr.org/2012/07/24/157276973/you-can-never-have-too-many-blackberries">tasty, low-cal way to consume omega-3s, fiber and antioxidants</a>. One cup only contains 62 calories, which means that I get the pleasure of a sweet snack without all the guilt.</p> <h2>2. Cruciferous Vegetables</h2> <p>While I've never had a problem consuming fruits, vegetables have been harder to integrate into my diet. In fact, until fairly recently the only bean I liked was of the jelly variety. Slowly but surely, I'm making strides toward putting more greens on my plate &mdash; even though they make my grocery bill inflate.</p> <p>There's a silver lining, however. According to Dr. Li, &quot;Cruciferous vegetables &mdash; such as broccoli sprouts, broccoli, kale, Brussels sprouts, arugula, and radish &mdash; are high in multiple cancer-preventive components, including carotenoids and isothiocyanates.&quot;</p> <h2>3. Chia Seeds</h2> <p>Hard to believe that your Scooby-Doo Chia Pet is a super-food source. Yep, that's right &mdash; the same seeds used to grow chia &quot;hair&quot; from terracotta pop-culture icons are a concentrated <a href="http://authoritynutrition.com/11-proven-health-benefits-of-chia-seeds/">source of healthy omega-3 fatty acids</a>, carbohydrates, protein, fiber, antioxidants, and calcium. While they're not cheap, they're easily consumed by sprinkling and mixing them into your ordinary diet.</p> <h2>4. Organic Butter</h2> <p>Butter is okay in moderation, even healthy, but non-organic butter can contain toxin residues that tend to be fat-soluble &mdash; and that's not a good thing. Alexander J. Rhinehart, <a href="http://www.aznutritioncenter.com/">certified clinical nutritionist and owner of the Arizona Nutrition Center</a>, explains:</p> <blockquote><p style="margin-left: 40px;">The body often stores toxins away in fat tissue, and consumption/exposure to these same toxins have been linked to insulin resistance and weight gain. As butter is a pure fat, toxin residues can be concentrated in butter &mdash; not to mention any synthetic hormones that had been given to the cows. The residues from feed fed to the cows can find their way into your butter. I recommend opting for the organic butter &mdash; you get an A+ if it is made from grass-fed cows like Kerry Gold Irish Butter &mdash; which has a richer gold color due to higher levels of conjugated linoleic acid.</p> </blockquote> <h2>5. Coconut-Based Products</h2> <p>You're not getting out of the grocery store with a basket full of healthy coconut-based product on the cheap, but at least you can feel better about all the good stuff you're putting into your body.</p> <p>Birgitta Lauren &mdash; president of <a href="http://www.expectingfitness.com/">Expecting Fitness</a>, which is dedicated to exercise and fitness advice for pregnant and new moms &mdash; recommends adding the full spectrum of coconut-based items to your diet, including coconut oil, milk, cream, flour, and sugar. &quot;For all systems &mdash; brain, nervous, metabolic, etc., it has anti-bacterial, anti-viral benefits,&quot; she says.</p> <p>Dr. Rhineart agrees, adding, &quot;Coconut oil is one of the most versatile substances in the grocery store. It is great for cooking as it tolerates high heat. It is also great for use on the skin and hair, as well as infections. It can also help support the immune system. When you consume coconut oil, some of the lauric acid (the main fat of coconut oil, comprising 50% of it's composition), actually is converted to monolaurin, which is known to have wide spectrum anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal/yeast properties. The other primary fats, capric acid and caprylic acid, also share similar properties. Capric and caprylic acid are what typically comprise 'MCT oil', whereas lauric acid must be consumed via coconut oil, or one can supplement with monolaurin directly.&quot;</p> <h2>6. Organic Milk</h2> <p>They say that milk does a body good &mdash; <a href="http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/local/Study-Suggests-Milk-May-Not-Be-Good-For-You-After-All-281388981.html">although even that long-standing claim has been contested recently</a> &mdash; but organic milk will do your body better.</p> <p>Chef Jessica Swift, <a href="http://www.chef-jess.com">a registered dietician with an MSc in nutritional sciences</a>, says, &quot;Conventional milk can be filled with rBS and rBGH, which have been proven to be, how do you say, 'no bueno?' When it comes to skipping these hormones, I would say 'Yes, please' and grab a good ol' jug of the organic stuff.&quot;</p> <h2>7. Chocolate</h2> <p>I don't trust anyone who doesn't like chocolate &mdash; because, seriously, what's wrong with you? But even chocoholics like me would be wise to be a bit more conservative when choosing how to get that sweet cocoa fix.</p> <p>&quot;There are many different chocolates, but only a few that provide optimal healthy benefits,&quot; Chef Jess says. &quot;Skip the Butterfinger and go for a bar that contains at least 70% cocoa; this bar contains antioxidants to aid in optimal heart health.&quot;</p> <h2>8. Antibiotic-Free Chicken</h2> <p>According to the Huffington Post, the excess amount of antibiotics with which we're pumping our chickens is undermining the effectiveness the antibiotics have in fighting new diseases in our own bodies.</p> <p>&quot;Overuse by agricultural companies to make animals grow faster or to cover up poor living conditions for the animals is certainly not worth jeopardizing our ability to take care of our kids, parents, neighbors and the world community,&quot; the article says. The editorial board of <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/meat-and-superbugs/2012/07/01/gJQAV4egGW_story.html">The Washington Post</a> warned that more must be done to reverse the overuse of antibiotics in livestock before a new generation of superbugs is created. The effectiveness of these incredibly powerful drugs is being undermined every day we give them to animals.</p> <p>This long-term preservation of our collective health is certainly worth a few more bucks at the cash register, and your fellow Americans agree: &quot;Consumer Reports found 60% of poll respondents said they would pay more for antibiotic-free meats; <a href="http://notinmyfood.org/document/antibiotics-in-animal-feed">37% would pay up to one dollar more per pound</a>.&quot;</p> <p>Stacy Goldberg, registered nurse and founder of Savorfull, adds, &quot;The shelf life [of antibiotic-free chicken] is shorter, but you will be putting cleaner ingredients in your body.&quot;</p> <h2>9. Organic Eggs</h2> <p>Organic eggs can differ in price drastically from their non-organic counterparts, but there's also a drastic difference in the benefits they offer, too.</p> <p>&quot;Eggs are one of the best foods to eat for health,&quot; says Dr. Lisa Metzger, co-owner of <a href="http://biofunctionalhealth.com/">BioFunctional Health</a>. &quot;Organic free-range eggs are more nutrient dense than commercially raised eggs, having more vitamin A, twice as much omega-3 fatty acids, and more vitamin E due to the diet the free range chicken are fed as opposed to the commercial grain feed.&quot;</p> <h2>10. Grass-Fed Beef</h2> <p>Beef is already pricey, no matter how you slice it. But cattle that are able to graze in open spaces tend to lead healthier lives (with less need for antibiotics), so it's a smart choice to start switching up how you buy your steak.</p> <p>&quot;When cows are able to eat a diet that is natural for them, the nutritional composition of their meat is much more ideal for you, providing an increased level of omega-3s (a type of fat that many folks are lacking in) and other nutrients,&quot; explains Amanda Austin, <a href="http://getwellified.com/">a registered dietician and certified food sensitivity expert</a>. &quot;At the store, make sure that the beef that you're purchasing is actually 100% grass-fed beef &mdash; all cows are grass-fed for the first six to 12 months of life, but most are then 'finished' with grains, which are typically given to cows before slaughter to fatten them up at a quicker rate. You want beef that has been grass-fed for the entirety of the cow's life.&quot;</p> <h2>11. Wild Fish</h2> <p>Farm-raised fish are cheaper &mdash; larger supply is yielded with fewer resources used &mdash; but what once seemed to be an environmentally conscious solution to seafood demand has presented new problems of its own, especially where tuna, halibut, cod, and salmon are concerned.</p> <p>&quot;These predators are usually raised in the open ocean, in net pens,&quot; writes Margo True in an article for Sunset magazine. &quot;What seemed like a great idea initially has now revealed itself to be one in serious need of fixing: The <a href="http://www.sunset.com/food-wine/flavors-of-the-west/seafood-farmed-or-wild">farmed fish pollute the water</a> with their concentrated wastes, spread disease (the crowded conditions make them prone to it, which requires dosing with antibiotics), and escaped fish compete for food with the wild fish.&quot;</p> <h2>12. Walnuts</h2> <p>Personally, I enjoy cashews more than other nuts, and almonds tend to get much of the praise from health professionals, but walnuts also are a great source of healthy protein and other nutrients. &quot;These nuts are packed with omega-3s and heart healthy fats. They may be a little pricey, but I recommend eating a handful of nuts &mdash; including walnuts &mdash; every day,&quot; says Sharon Palmer, <a href="http://www.sharonpalmer.com/">nutrition expert and author of Plant-Powered for Life.</a></p> <p><em>Do you have other suggestions on pricey foods on which we should be splurging? What's your favorite? Let us know in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-foods-nutritionists-say-you-should-splurge-on">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-8"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/healthy-frugal-eating">Healthy, frugal eating</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-new-face-of-poverty-is-fat">The new face of poverty is fat</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/healthy-recipes-with-cost-data">Healthy recipes--with cost data</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-ultimate-green-workout">The Ultimate &quot;Green&quot; Workout</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-health-foods-not-worth-the-money">11 Health Foods Not Worth the Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Health and Beauty Shopping fitness Health healthy foods superfoods Tue, 20 Jan 2015 18:00:27 +0000 Mikey Rox 1277448 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Ways Social Media Saved Someone's Life http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-social-media-saved-someones-life <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-ways-social-media-saved-someones-life" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/shocked-woman-laptop-Dollarphotoclub_75143222.jpg" alt="shocked woman laptop" title="shocked woman laptop" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><em>This post is brought to you by&nbsp;<a href="http://r1.fmpub.net/?k1=cmx-metric&amp;k2=289%7C610%7C1592&amp;k3=disclaimer&amp;k4=&amp;r=http%3A%2F%2Fad.doubleclick.net%2Fddm%2Fclk%2F281939105%3B108256880%3Bl" rel="nofollow">Humana</a>. Click&nbsp;<a href="http://r1.fmpub.net/?k1=cmx-metric&amp;k2=289%7C610%7C1592&amp;k3=disclaimer&amp;k4=&amp;r=http%3A%2F%2Fclosethegap.humana.com%2Fdaily-healthy%2FDr-Metzl-Prescribes-Fitness%2F%3Fcm_mmc%3DArticles-Brand-_-WiseBread-_-Underwritten7-_-TextLink" rel="nofollow">here</a>&nbsp;to learn more.</em></p> <p>I was chugging coffee, trying to meet a deadline before my children got home from school, when I felt a strange sensation: My left eyelid began twitching uncontrollably, fluttering as rapidly as a butterfly's wings.</p> <p><em>Great!</em> I thought. The last thing I had time for at that moment was a trip to the doctor. Instead, I typed a quick Facebook post: &quot;My eyelid keeps twitching uncontrollably. Is that bad?&quot;</p> <p>Within minutes, several mom friends informed me that this had happened to them, too, and that doctors had diagnosed it as a <a href="http://www.allaboutvision.com/conditions/eye-twitching.htm">symptom of stress</a>. Well, that made sense. I made a mental note to see a doctor if it continued for long, but went on with my work, and once my deadline went away, so did the twitching.</p> <p>My story is not nearly as dramatic as those whose social networks helped point them toward life-saving diagnoses. But it illustrates a valuable point: The power of social networks to help us manage our health is much bigger than the occasional life-and-death story. Whether it's on Facebook, Reddit or any other platform, social media can be a valuable reality check to help us figure out when we or our children need <a href="https://closethegap.humana.com/daily-healthy/Dr-Metzl-Prescribes-Fitness/?cm_mmc=Articles-Brand-_-WiseBread-_-Underwritten7-_-TextLink">medical attention</a>, and when we need to just calm down and get on with things.</p> <p>The dramatic stories, though, are much more fun to read about. Enjoy these tales of ordinary people whose lives were saved when strangers or friends online let them know they needed intervention. Nearly every one was a tear jerker for me.</p> <h2>1. Kawasaki Disease</h2> <p>Doctors thought Deborah Kogan's 4-year-old son, Leo, had a strep infection, but when his <a href="http://www.slate.com/articles/double_x/doublex/2011/07/how_facebook_saved_my_sons_life.html">face swelled to &quot;Nutty Professor&quot; proportions</a>, Kogan was puzzled. Within 10 minutes of posting a photo of the sick child on Facebook, Kogan received a phone call from a contact, urging her to rush the boy to the hospital. The Facebook friend's son had had a rare autoimmune disorder called Kawasaki Disease, and she was convinced that Leo had the same thing.</p> <p>Kogan was tempted to ignore this warning and stay home &mdash; until two doctors in her social network contacted her with the same thought.</p> <p>At the hospital, Leo was diagnosed with Kawasaki Disease, and although he suffered liver and heart damage, his life was spared.</p> <h2>2. Mastoiditis</h2> <p>An Australian mother looked to a mother's Facebook group for help identifying a <a href="http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2708061/How-Facebook-saved-daughters-life-Woman-thanks-wonderful-mummies-helped-diagnose-toddlers-severe-illness-doctors-missed-it.htm">red lump on her toddler's head</a>. The photo the woman, identified only as Kerry, posted did not look alarming &mdash; just a little swelling behind the ear. Yet, her friends urged her to take 21-month-old Gracie to the hospital immediately. Some group members had correctly pegged the swelling as mastoiditis, an <a href="http://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/ear-infection/mastoiditis-symptoms-causes-treatments">infection that can lead to hearing loss, meningitis or even a brain abscess</a>.</p> <p>At the hospital, Gracie had surgery, with doctors drilling into her skull to relieve swelling pressure. She made a full recovery.</p> <h2>3. Retinoblastoma</h2> <p>On the other side of the world, another toddler named Grace was also saved when her picture was posted on Facebook &mdash; but this time, her parents didn't even know she was sick. Michele Freeman uploaded an everyday snapshot of her daughter, and a friend who happens to be a pediatric nurse noticed <a href="http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1320423/Facebook-saves-girls-life-family-friend-spots-eye-cancer-mothers-photo.html">something odd about the child's eyes</a>: One reflected red light, as is common in flash photos, while the other eye looked white.</p> <p>Warned by her friend, Freeman had her daughter examined, and Grace was diagnosed with retinoblastoma, a form of cancer. She lost her vision in the affected eye, but the cancer was treated before it could spread.</p> <h2>4. Obstructive Sleep Apnea</h2> <p>Mary Evelyn knew her son would have spina bifida before he was born. She joined some online groups for parents of such children, thinking that this would help her family adjust. Little did she know, her new online community would help save her child's life.</p> <p>After bringing the baby home from the hospital, Evelyn noticed that he took long pauses between breaths while he slept. Her pediatrician said it was normal, but she was not convinced.</p> <p>So Evelyn posted about the issue online, and was urged to take a video to show medical professionals. She did, and the video got the baby admitted to the hospital, where he was later diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea and eventually needed a tracheotomy.</p> <p>&quot;An online community of <a href="http://www.whatdoyoudodear.com/time-internet-saved-sons-life/">strangers saved my baby's life</a>,&quot; Evelyn writes on her blog. Now, she tells other families whose children are diagnosed with SB: &quot;Find your community.&quot;</p> <h2>5. Testicular Cancer</h2> <p>The preceding stories show that moms are very active online when it comes to their kids' health, but not all stories of social diagnosis are about small children. In fact, last year, a college student ended up getting lifesaving cancer surgery because he <a href="http://www.dailydot.com/lifestyle/guy-testicular-cancer-reddit-saved-life/">looked at a photo on Reddit</a> that was labeled as &quot;gross.&quot;</p> <p>The photo was posted by someone who had recently had a testical removed due to cancer. <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/Health/reddit-saved-life-student-finds-testicular-cancer-post/story?id=22599100">Taylor &quot;Chase&quot; Tyree</a>, a computer science major at the Colorado School of Mines, realized he had the same symptoms that the poster described. Four days later, he was in surgery.</p> <p>&quot;I can tell my friends, 'Reddit saved my life!'&quot; Tyree <a href="http://www.reddit.com/r/pics/comments/1xymrx/i_can_tell_my_friends_reddit_saved_my_life_thanks/">posted after the procedure</a>, along with a photo of himself in his hospital gown, thumbs up.</p> <p>It's important to note that all of these stories led the parents and patients to consult real doctors; it would be a terrible idea to rely <em>entirely</em> on the opinions of online friends to make diagnoses. Still, the common thread in all these stories is that the parents or patients would not have seen a doctor at that time, had they not been pushed to do so by their online networks.</p> <p>In the future, social media as a health resource might not be limited to advice from human connections. Researchers are experimenting with analyzing Twitter feeds for hints that the people behind them might be suffering from disorders, including postpartum depression. Others are using social media to <a href="http://healthmap.org/site/diseasedaily/article/digital-disease-detection-using-social-media-predict-flu-trends-31114">track infectious disease outbreaks</a>.</p> <p>Today, your social media connections might realize you are sick before you do. In the future, it could be the social network itself, or an app on the network, that suggests you get that lump checked out.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-social-media-saved-someones-life">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-9"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/healthcare-paperwork-that-doesnt-require-paper-or-work">Healthcare Paperwork That Doesn&#039;t Require Paper or Work</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/going-without-health-insurance-in-2015-heres-what-itll-cost-you">Going Without Health Insurance in 2015? Here&#039;s What It&#039;ll Cost You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/funny-taste-mystery-using-google-for-medical-diagnoses">Funny Taste Mystery: Using Google for Medical Diagnoses</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/signing-up-for-obamacare-in-2015-heres-whats-new">Signing Up for Obamacare in 2015? Here&#039;s What&#039;s New</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/don-t-waste-your-money-on-homeopathic-remedies">Don’t Waste Your Money on Homeopathic “Remedies”</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Health and Beauty Technology health care Humana social media Mon, 19 Jan 2015 16:00:22 +0000 Carrie Kirby 1277995 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Supposedly Healthy Things That Are Actually Hurting You http://www.wisebread.com/10-supposedly-healthy-things-that-are-actually-hurting-you <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-supposedly-healthy-things-that-are-actually-hurting-you" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman-grocery-shopping-food-label-Dollarphotoclub_7027180.jpg" alt="woman grocery shopping" title="woman grocery shopping" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><em>This is post brought to you by <a rel="nofollow" href="http://r1.fmpub.net/?k1=cmx&shy; metric&amp;k2=289%7C608%7C1590&amp;k3=disclaimer&amp;k4=&amp;r=http%3A%2F%2Fad.doubleclick.net%2Fddm%2Fclk%2F281939105%3B108256880%3Bl">Humana</a>. Click <a rel="nofollow" href="http://r1.fmpub.net/?k1=cmx&shy; metric&amp;k2=289%7C608%7C1590&amp;k3=disclaimer&amp;k4=&amp;r=http%3A%2F%2Fclosethegap.humana.com%2Fnews-<br /> trends%2Fthe&shy;heart&shy;of&shy;personalized&shy;care%2F%3Fcm_mmc%3DArticles&shy;Brand&shy;_&shy;WiseBread&shy;_&shy;Underwritten4&shy;_&shy;TextLink">here</a> to learn more.</em></p> <p>Now that the New Year is here, my Facebook feed is full of friends' 2015 resolutions. Not surprisingly, a lot of my friends are vowing to live healthier this year, by making changes in their diet and other behavior. What is surprising: The number of &quot;healthy&quot; pledges people make that have zero positive impact on their health, or could even be harmful.</p> <p>No one likes a resolution troll, so I won't be calling out well-intentioned friends if they pledge to make pseudo-healthy changes in 2015. But maybe if I post this to my wall, they'll learn a little something and choose <a href="https://closethegap.humana.com/news-trends/the-heart-of-personalized-care/?cm_mmc=Articles-Brand-_-WiseBread-_-Underwritten4-_-TextLink">truly healthy changes</a> instead of any of these.</p> <h2>1. Juice Cleanses</h2> <p>Number one on my list combines two useless health trends &mdash; juicing and cleansing &mdash; into the trendiest waste of money of recent years, the juice cleanse. Embraced by celebrities and fueling a burgeoning retail trend, juice cleanses are touted as a way to rid the body of impurities, feel energized, clear your skin, make your hair shine, and cause fairy wings to sprout out of your back.</p> <p>OK, I made up one of those claims. But the others are quite common on the web sites of commercially-produced juice cleanses.</p> <p>The truth is that your <a href="http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/expert-answers/detox-diets/faq-20058040">kidneys and liver do just fine at removing toxins</a> from your body, without any special diet. Vegetable juice can contain plenty of vitamins, but drinking juice is <a href="http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/expert-answers/vegetable-juice/faq-20058178">not as healthy as eating fruits and vegetables whole</a>, because carrot juice, for example, lacks the fiber of the whole carrot. Sure, you may lose weight while doing a juice cleanse, but that has more to do with the <a href="http://www.slate.com/articles/double_x/doublex/2013/11/juice_cleanses_not_healthy_not_virtuous_just_expensive.html">low calorie count in most juice regiments</a>. And <a href="http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/lose-weight-dangers">drastic calorie reduction</a> is bad for you.</p> <h2>2. Antibacterial Soap</h2> <p>Especially during the flu season, no one wants to spread germs. But <a href="http://www.fda.gov/newsevents/newsroom/pressannouncements/ucm378542.htm">according to the Food and Drug Administration</a>, buying antibacterial hand soap is not a good way to stay healthy. The agency says that products marketed as antibacterial are no better than regular soap and water at preventing the spread of germs &mdash; and more worrying, they may contain chemicals that pose health risks with long-term exposure.</p> <h2>3. Vitamin Pills</h2> <p>It seems like a dietary insurance policy: Take a tablet every morning to avoid worries that you didn't eat enough leafy greens. However, several <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-you-can-learn-from-people-who-take-vitamins-its-not-what-you-think">studies have shown no health benefit</a> to taking multivitamins or mineral supplements &mdash; so you might as well save your money. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/multivitamins-arent-as-good-as-you-think-eat-these-real-foods-instead?ref=seealso">Multivitamins Aren't as Good as You Think</a>)</p> <p>A more serious concern is taking megadoses of vitamins without a doctor's prescription. <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/1984/03/14/garden/personal-health-vitamin-therapy-toxic-side-effects-of-massive-doese.html?pagewanted=1">Doctors warn</a> that overdosing on vitamin supplements can cause neurological problems, liver damage, vomiting and a host of other ills, and can interfere with prescribed medication.</p> <h2>4. Teetotaling</h2> <p>This is a touchy subject, because alcohol abuse is extremely unhealthy and often fatal. However, <em>moderate</em> drinking has been shown to <a href="http://consumer.healthday.com/senior-citizen-information-31/misc-aging-news-10/a-little-drinking-cuts-death-risk-for-older-adults-642365.html">confer a health benefit</a> over abstaining from alcohol. If you don't drink, it's not recommended that you start just for your health, because the risks of over-consumption are too great. But if you are a true moderate drinker (defined as just <a href="http://www.cdc.gov/alcohol/faqs.htm#moderateDrinking">one drink per day for women and two for men</a>), you needn't feel like it's ruining your health.</p> <h2>5. Low-Fat, High-Protein, Raw Food, and Other Fad Diets</h2> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/thinking-of-going-on-a-diet-heres-how-to-figure-out-which-one-is-right-for-you">Dietary trends</a> &mdash; usually aimed at weight loss &mdash; come and go. For the most part, reducing a certain food category is not going to hurt you, but beware of going to extremes. For example, overloading on protein can <a href="http://www.medicinenet.com/how_much_dietary_protein_to_consume-page2/views.htm">damage your kidneys</a>.</p> <p>Raw fruits and veggies are good for you, but those who restrict themselves to eating only raw foods miss out on <a href="http://www.livescience.com/26278-risks-raw-vegan-diet.html">nutrients that are unlocked in the cooking process</a>.</p> <h2>6. &quot;Wheat&quot; Bread, &quot;Natural&quot; Chicken, and Other Confusingly Labeled Foods</h2> <p>Healthy-sounding labels are big on packaged foods nowadays, but be aware that a healthy-sounding label doesn't guarantee a healthy product. For instance, some shoppers mistakenly believe that any bread labeled &quot;wheat&quot; contains whole grains; to ensure you're buying whole-grain bread, which is indeed healthier than white, <a href="http://wholegrainscouncil.org/whole-grains-101/identifying-whole-grain-products">look for &quot;whole-wheat flour&quot; on the ingredient list</a>. Even if a product is labeled &quot;whole grain,&quot; if it is also packed with sugar or other unhealthy ingredients, it's not necessarily very good for you.</p> <p>The word &quot;natural&quot; means basically nothing on product labels &mdash; the <a href="http://www.fda.gov/aboutfda/transparency/basics/ucm214868.htm">FDA has not set out rules for its use</a>. So the &quot;natural&quot; chicken, cereal or other product isn't necessarily any better for you than the one without that label.</p> <h2>7. Extreme Exercise</h2> <p>Pushing yourself is in nowadays, with <a href="http://www.stridenation.com/2012/2/28/2830407/the-marathon-more-popular-than-ever">marathons more popular than ever</a> and the cardio/weight lifting program <a href="http://www.fastcodesign.com/3035118/infographic-of-the-day/the-insane-popularity-of-crossfit-visualized">CrossFit growing like crazy</a>. Exercise is great &mdash; but experts warn that too much, at too high intensity, is not great.</p> <p>&quot;Chronic extreme endurance&quot; training, such as for long-distance runs, can damage the heart, <a href="http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/news/20120604/can-too-much-exercise-be-harmful">research has found</a>. Another consequence of pushing too hard can be injuries &mdash; <a href="http://www.healthline.com/health-news/why-too-much-exercise-can-be-bad-042514">especially for child athletes</a>.</p> <p>Severe exertion can even lead to a <a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000473.htm">scary condition called rhabdomyolysis</a>, wherein muscle tissue breaks down and releases its contents into the bloodstream, potentially damaging the kidneys.</p> <h2>8. Energy Bars</h2> <p>Once used mainly by distance athletes, energy bars are everywhere nowadays, and many people use them as a convenient meal or snack on the go.</p> <p>But just because they are associated with sports, don't assume that energy bars are health food. <a href="http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/nutrition-bars-healthy-hype">Dieticians warn</a> that many of them are packed with sugar. Another concern is that if you fill up on bars of any kind, you may not have an appetite for the fresh fruits and veggies you need. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cheaper-and-healthier-20-tasty-energy-bars-you-can-make-at-home?ref=seealso">20 Healthy Energy Bars You Can Make at Home</a>)</p> <h2>9. Extreme Cleanliness</h2> <p>There's nothing wrong with taking a shower, or with washing the kitchen floor. But it's not necessary to maintain a daily cleaning schedule, for either body or home. In fact, excessive cleaning of either can be harmful.</p> <p>For the body, <a href="http://health.howstuffworks.com/skin-care/daily/tips/daily-shower-skin1.htm">excessive showering can damage the skin</a>, and certain areas of your body are <a href="http://drbenkim.com/dont-use-soap-private-parts.htm">too delicate to be lathered up</a>, ever. Babies, in particular, can get <a href="http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/infant-and-toddler-health/in-depth/healthy-baby/art-20044438">dry skin from daily baths</a>.</p> <p>When it comes to the home, recent research suggests that removing all bacteria from the living environment &mdash; previously thought to be the healthiest way to live &mdash; <a href="http://www.medicaldaily.com/hygiene-hypothesis-action-has-our-cleanliness-obsession-made-younger-generations-more-allergy-prone">could actually contribute to allergies</a>.</p> <p>So while there's no need to be stinky, it's healthy to relax a little when it comes to soap and scrub brushes.</p> <h2>10. Sports Drinks</h2> <p>Americans have figured out that soda is not good for you, but when sugary soft drinks are replaced by sports drinks, there's no real health improvement. That's because many sports drinks contain <a href="http://sph.umn.edu/sph-research-finds-sports-drinks-just-as-unhealthy-as-soda/">just as much or more sugar than sodas</a>. Most people &mdash; especially kids &mdash; can rehydrate just fine with water without the need for a specialized beverage. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-money-with-these-10-homemade-healthy-energy-and-sports-drinks?ref=seealso">Healthy Homemade Energy Drinks</a>)</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-supposedly-healthy-things-that-are-actually-hurting-you">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-10"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/22-reasons-to-stop-drinking-soda">22 Reasons to Stop Drinking Soda</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-supposedly-unhealthy-foods-that-are-actually-good-for-you">8 Supposedly Unhealthy Foods That Are Actually Good for You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/frugal-gluten-free-living-delicious-homemade-gluten-free-bread">Frugal Gluten-Free Living: Delicious Homemade Gluten-Free Bread</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-gluten-free-lunch-ideas">20 Gluten-Free Lunch Ideas</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/gluten-free-carb-free-noodles">Gluten-Free, Carb-Free Noodles</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Health and Beauty Humana Thu, 15 Jan 2015 16:00:08 +0000 Carrie Kirby 1277996 at http://www.wisebread.com Signing Up for Obamacare in 2015? Here's What's New http://www.wisebread.com/signing-up-for-obamacare-in-2015-heres-whats-new <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/signing-up-for-obamacare-in-2015-heres-whats-new" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/doctor-nurse-patient-tablet-Dollarphotoclub_65772639.jpg" alt="doctor patient tablet" title="doctor patient tablet" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>On March 23, 2010, President Obama signed ACA into law, enabling all Americans to obtain health insurance via the online marketplaces. Although Americans have had access to Obamacare for a little over a year now, some provisions of the law will change for 2015.</p> <p>If you're planning on buying health insurance this year, here's what's new.</p> <h2>Here's What You Need to Know for 2015</h2> <h3>Open Enrollment Ends February 15</h3> <p>Anyone without health coverage can sign-up during the open enrollment period, which runs November 15, 2014 through February 15, 2015. If you miss open enrollment, you may qualify under the special circumstances period, which grants individuals and families 60-days from a status change, such as birth, marriage, or loss of insurance to apply for coverage.</p> <h3>New Contribution Limits</h3> <p>FSA contribution limits have been raised by $50 for individuals to $2,550. Also, the &quot;Use It or Lose It&quot; rule has now been amended &mdash; in many cases, you can now carry-over up to $500 of your FSA balance into the following year. However, carry-over funds are only extended for use through March 15th of the following year.</p> <p>HSA contribution limits have been increased by $50 for individuals to $3,350, and up $100 for families to $6,650.</p> <h3>Out of Pocket Cost Caps</h3> <p>Maximum out-of-pocket costs are now $6,600 for individuals and $13,200 for families. This is the most you can be accountable for during a coverage year before your provider must cover 100% of medical expenses. This includes deductibles, co-payments, qualified premiums, and other qualified health related expenses.</p> <h3>Employer Mandate Kicks In</h3> <p>As of 2015, the Employer Mandate kicks in. All employers with 100 or more full-time employees must provide a company health plan. Employers with 50-100 employees have until 2016 to implement these changes.</p> <h2>Understanding the Patient's Bill of Rights</h2> <p>As always, it's important to remember that the benefits of the ACA are for all Americans covered by health insurance &mdash; not just those who purchased theirs via the government-run marketplaces. Under this &quot;Patient's Bill of Rights,&quot; you are entitled to some benefits.</p> <ul> <li>You qualify for health coverage regardless if you have a pre-existing condition.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>You can no longer be denied coverage for a mistake on your application.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>You now have access to out-of-network emergency care (without penalty). <br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>You now have the power to choose any physician or pediatrician of choice within your network, and you no longer need a referral for OB-GYN services.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Those receiving Medicare get a 50% discount on brand-name drugs.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>You can stay on a parent's health plan until the age of 26. <br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Insurance companies can no longer use annual and lifetime dollar limits of benefits.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Most plans have to provide free preventive care services, including certain immunizations and screenings for things like women's services, blood pressure, diabetes, depression, HIV, and more. <br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Insurance companies cannot increase your rate in excess of 10% without public disclosure.</li> </ul> <p>But remember: The ACA mandates that every individual must have health insurance, or face a penalty. Those not in compliance with the law will face significant fees. The fee for 2015 increased and is the greater of: $325 per year for individuals and $162.50 a year per child, or 2% of your annual income. So if you don't yet have health insurance, consider taking advantage of the ACA's benefits and sign up before open enrollment ends February 15th.</p> <p><em>Will you be signing up for health insurance this year via an ACA exchange?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/qiana-chavaia">Qiana Chavaia</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/signing-up-for-obamacare-in-2015-heres-whats-new">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-11"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/going-without-health-insurance-in-2015-heres-what-itll-cost-you">Going Without Health Insurance in 2015? Here&#039;s What It&#039;ll Cost You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-fall-for-these-common-obamacare-scams">Don&#039;t Fall for These Common Obamacare Scams</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/understanding-the-affordable-care-acts-health-insurance-exchange">Understanding the Affordable Care Act&#039;s Health Insurance Exchange</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-types-of-health-insurance-plans">The Types of Health Insurance Plans</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/generic-drug-price-lists-for-six-major-pharmacies">Generic Drug Price Lists For Six Major Pharmacies - Updated</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Health and Beauty Insurance ACA health care health insurance obamacare Thu, 15 Jan 2015 14:00:08 +0000 Qiana Chavaia 1279973 at http://www.wisebread.com The Surprising Reason You Are Sick, Tired, and Cranky http://www.wisebread.com/the-surprising-reason-you-are-sick-tired-and-cranky <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-surprising-reason-you-are-sick-tired-and-cranky" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/bored-tired--businesswoman-Dollarphotoclub_50902516.jpg" alt="bored tired businessman" title="bored tired businessman" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><em>This post is brought to you by&nbsp;<a href="http://r1.fmpub.net/?k1=cmx-metric&amp;k2=289%7C609%7C1591&amp;k3=disclaimer&amp;k4=&amp;r=http%3A%2F%2Fad.doubleclick.net%2Fddm%2Fclk%2F281939105%3B108256880%3Bl" rel="nofollow">Humana</a>. Click&nbsp;<a href="http://r1.fmpub.net/?k1=cmx-metric&amp;k2=289%7C609%7C1591&amp;k3=disclaimer&amp;k4=&amp;r=http%3A%2F%2Fclosethegap.humana.com%2Fnews-trends%2F3-gadgets-to-track-light-intake%2F%3Fcm_mmc%3DArticles-Brand-_-WiseBread-_-Underwritten6-_-TextLink" rel="nofollow">here</a>&nbsp;to learn more.</em></p> <p>We all love the sun but it causes cancer, right? So we stay inside or, when we venture out, we lather on the 50+ SPF, cover up our limbs, and hide under a large floppy hat. But what if, in our quest to avoid too much of a good thing, we're simply <em>not getting enough</em> of that good thing?</p> <p>That's what research from the University of California, San Diego found, in a study that linked <a href="http://ucsdnews.ucsd.edu/archive/newsrel/health/08-07VitaminDKE-.asp">low vitamin D levels</a> with increased risk for several health ailments, including breast and colon cancer. In fact, the level of <a href="http://www.webmd.com/women/features/the-causes-of-womens-fatigue?page=2">vitamin D deficiency</a> seen over the past few decades has been described by some doctors as &quot;an epidemic,&quot; caused primarily by our avoidance of the sun. Another physician estimated that a whopping <a href="http://www.oklahomaheart.com/blog/vitamin-d-deficiency-causing-your-high-blood-pressure-0%23.VIL8okt20aV">40% to 75% of people</a> are vitamin D deficient.</p> <p>Getting enough sun exposure, turns out, can help us&nbsp;avoid a whole host of health problems. Perhaps that's just one reason why our ancestors once worshipped the fiery orb. According to research, direct exposure to sunlight at moderate levels can help our bodies fight ailments and gain the following benefits.</p> <h2>1. Better Sleep</h2> <p>Researchers have uncovered a strong correlation between vitamin D deficiency and <a href="http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/sleep-newzzz/201301/vitamin-d-deficiency-and-daytime-sleepiness">sleep problems</a>, including daytime sleepiness, sleep apnea, insomnia, and restless leg syndrome.</p> <h2>2. Stronger Bones</h2> <p><a href="http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/vitamin-d-deficiency">Bone pain and muscle weakness</a> can be the markers of a vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D acts as an aide in the body, helping it use the calcium in the food you've eaten. The two nutrients work together to keep your bones healthy.</p> <h2>3. Boost Energy</h2> <p>Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to chronic fatigue syndrome, an ailment marked by continual tiredness that doesn't go away with increased rest. Other symptoms include muscle weakness, memory problems, and insomnia. One researcher found <a href="http://www.iacfsme.org/Portals/0/pdf/Attachment%20E%20Annedore%20Hoeck,%20Vitamin%20D.pdf">chronic fatigue sufferers recovered quickly</a> when administered an optimal dose of vitamin D.</p> <h2>4. Enhance Mood</h2> <p>Vitamin D deficiency has been associated with <a href="http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/579946">mood disorders</a> like PMS, seasonal affective disorder, non-specified mood disorder, and major depressive disorder.</p> <h2>5. Lower Blood Pressure</h2> <p>One study found that subjects with higher levels of vitamin D had lower blood pressure and <a href="http://www.oklahomaheart.com/blog/vitamin-d-deficiency-causing-your-high-blood-pressure-0%23.VIIgxkt20aU">reduced risk for hypertension</a>. As vitamin D concentrations increased by 10%, the study found, hypertension risk decreased by 8.1%.</p> <h2>6. Prevent Breast and Colon Cancer</h2> <p>As many as 600,000 cases of breast and colorectal <a href="http://ucsdnews.ucsd.edu/archive/newsrel/health/08-07VitaminDKE-.asp">cancer could be prevented</a> each year by increasing vitamin D intake, according to one researcher.</p> <h2>7. Decrease Risks of Autoimmune Disorders</h2> <p>Vitamin D deficiency has even been <a href="http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/747623">linked to many autoimmune disorders</a> including multiple sclerosis (MS), rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, and even systematic lupus. Research has found that a vitamin D supplement can improve these diseases.</p> <h2>8. Protect Against Melanoma</h2> <p>It's unexpected but <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19155143">this study</a> found an increase in melanoma levels among indoor workers who didn't have enough outdoor exposure. The researchers found that UVA light was filtered out by windows, leaving indoor workers exposed only to UVB rays. They concluded that moderate UVA exposure actually helps decrease the risk of melanoma.</p> <h2>How Much Vitamin D Do We Need (and How Can We Get More)?</h2> <p>Our skin helps produce vitamin D after sun exposure but there are many variables that affect its production including season, time of day, where in the world you live, how much skin is exposed, skin color (those with darker skin are <a href="http://www.webmd.com/women/features/the-causes-of-womens-fatigue?page=2">more prone to vitamin D deficiency</a>), age, and whether sunscreen has been applied.</p> <p>Researchers recommend 2000 International Units of vitamin D a day to avoid certain types of cancer. Most of us can get that amount from just <a href="http://ucsdnews.ucsd.edu/archive/newsrel/health/08-07VitaminDKE-.asp">15 minutes of direct sunlight exposure at midday</a>, when the sun is at its strongest (between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.). Of course, melanoma is still a risk, so it's recommended we cover up (with clothing and/or sunscreen) after getting our 15-minute dose. There are <a href="https://closethegap.humana.com/news-trends/3-gadgets-to-track-light-intake/?cm_mmc=Articles-Brand-_-WiseBread-_-Underwritten6-_-TextLink">gadgets you can use to track light intake</a>, just to be sure you've gotten as much as you need.</p> <p>It's more difficult to get proper sun exposure in winter, when cloud cover is heaviest and we're most likely to be clothed. There are also certain populations who are more <a href="http://www.webmd.com/women/features/the-causes-of-womens-fatigue?page=2">prone to a vitamin D deficiency</a> including those with a milk allergy, who follow a strict vegetarian diet, have darker skin (because melanin makes it more difficult for the skin to make vitamin D from sunlight), or are overweight. Proper diet and nutritional supplements can help fill the gaps not met through direct sunlight exposure alone.</p> <p>If you think you may be vitamin D deficient, a simple blood test can measure your levels. The treatment is easy: 15 minutes of direct sunlight exposure per day, a vitamin D supplement, and proper diet. So go ahead, get outside today. It's good for you.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/alaina-tweddale">Alaina Tweddale</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-surprising-reason-you-are-sick-tired-and-cranky">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-12"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-social-media-saved-someones-life">5 Ways Social Media Saved Someone&#039;s Life</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-supposedly-healthy-things-that-are-actually-hurting-you">10 Supposedly Healthy Things That Are Actually Hurting You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-more-sleep-without-spending-more-time-in-bed">How to Get More Sleep Without Spending More Time in Bed</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/healthcare-paperwork-that-doesnt-require-paper-or-work">Healthcare Paperwork That Doesn&#039;t Require Paper or Work</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-nutrients-you-need-more-of">7 Nutrients You Need More Of</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Health and Beauty Humana vitamin D vitamin deficiency Wed, 07 Jan 2015 16:00:11 +0000 Alaina Tweddale 1272453 at http://www.wisebread.com 11 Health Foods Not Worth the Money http://www.wisebread.com/11-health-foods-not-worth-the-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/11-health-foods-not-worth-the-money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/granola-cup-Dollarphotoclub_60520102_0.jpg" alt="granola cup" title="granola cup" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you're at all like me, food takes up a significant chunk of your budget each month. And if you care about things like eating whole foods, buying locally grown food, eating fair trade goods, and eating food that is raised in an environmentally responsible manner, your food spending can take an even bigger bite out of a budget. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-foods-with-the-most-bang-for-your-buck?ref=seealso">10 Foods With the Most Bang for Your Buck</a>)</p> <p>While the cultural shift toward better and more responsible eating seems to be a good thing overall, the truth is that there are some foods you don't need to splurge on. These foods either aren't as good for you as you might think, or they don't have the benefits that have been touted in the past.</p> <h2>1. Gluten-Free Foods</h2> <p>Though <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/18/business/food-industry-wagers-big-on-gluten-free.html?_r=0">up to 30% of people</a> in the United States would like to eat less gluten, recent studies show that <a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/rosspomeroy/2014/05/15/non-celiac-gluten-sensitivity-may-not-exist/">gluten sensitivity doesn't actually exist</a>. Thus, unless you have Celiac Disease, you probably don't need to pay so much to get rid of the gluten. If you suffer from the symptoms of what has been called gluten sensitivity, it's more likely to need to remove the short-chain carbs called <a href="https://stanfordhealthcare.org/content/dam/SHC/for-patients-component/programs-services/clinical-nutrition-services/docs/pdf-lowfodmapdiet.pdf">FODMAPs</a>. These are found in bread, among other things, but are not tied to gluten.</p> <h2>2. Multigrain Bread</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/multigrain-bread-Dollarphotoclub_22964729.jpg" /></p> <p>&quot;Multigrain&quot; is a word that <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/getting-whole-grain-nutrition">sounds healthy but actually isn't</a>. While its use does indicate that a product contains more than one grain, those grains can be as processed as the manufacturer wants to make them. If high quality bread is important to you, <a href="http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/expert-answers/multigrain/faq-20057867">buy whole grain bread instead</a>. That bread will have more fiber, higher nutrient concentrations, and other compounds in the grain that are destroyed by processing.</p> <h2>3. Organic Baby Food</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/organic-baby-food-Dollarphotoclub_63884235.jpg" /></p> <p>You want to buy your child the best, right? Especially when they are so young and fragile. Multiple studies have shown, though, that <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/organic-baby-food-its-more-expensive-but-it-may-not-be-more-nutritious/2013/03/18/b24f91d6-656a-11e2-b84d-21c7b65985ee_story.html">organic baby food doesn't have any more nutrients</a> than the less expensive, non-organic type. <a href="http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0308814600001679">They don't have less pesticide residue, either</a>. So instead of paying so much for baby food, why not spend that money on something that will actually enhance your child's life?</p> <h2>4. Smoothies From the Store</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/smoothies-market-Dollarphotoclub_56629050.jpg" /></p> <p>A smoothie is fruity, yogurt-y, wheat grass-y goodness, right? Not if you buy it from the store. Most of those are <a href="http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/sideshow/-experts-warn-fruit-smoothies-may-be-just-as-unhealthy-as-soda-201445900.html">so high in sugar</a>, they are more comparable to drinking a soda than to biting into a peach. Instead of spending all that money at the store, make your own smoothie at home. That way, you control how much sugar you add, so it ends up both cheaper and healthier.</p> <h2>5. Stick Margarine</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/stick-margarine-Dollarphotoclub_69652410.jpg" /></p> <p>It's not butter, so it must be healthy, right? Wrong! Margarine replaced the supposedly bad fats in butter with partially hydrogenated fats. For a while, science thought those were good for us. As it turns out, these do damage to arteries and other blood vessels. Instead, <a href="http://www.trueactivist.com/butter-vs-margarine-the-big-fat-butter-lie/">eat real butter</a>. Not only does it contain healthier fats, but it has compounds that inhibit tumors and contains relatively high concentrations of the fat-soluble vitamins.</p> <h2>6. Energy Bars</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/energy-bars-Dollarphotoclub_55652293.jpg" /></p> <p>Most energy bars contain a lot of filler material, which usually translates into food that takes up space in your stomach but doesn't offer much in the way of nutritional value. They also tend to be high in sugar, and some of them have way too many calories for a snack, even if you're refueling after a workout. Instead of spending so much on these, buy the raw ingredients to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cheaper-and-healthier-20-tasty-energy-bars-you-can-make-at-home">make your own</a>, instead. Save money and eat something that will actually help your body perform.</p> <h2>7. Enhanced Water</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/energy-drinks-Dollarphotoclub_7266676.jpg" /></p> <p>Enhanced water is basically a way for water companies to get more of your money <a href="http://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2012/08/07/are-enhanced-water-drinks-worth-the-price/">without adding much value</a>. And, sometimes, they also add quite a bit of sugar. For most purposes, regular water is the best beverage to choose. If you're exercising hard, you may want to replace electrolytes, but even then there are better and more cost effective ways to do that without buying the expensive water. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-money-with-these-10-homemade-healthy-energy-and-sports-drinks?ref=seealso">Save Money With These 10 Homemade, Healthy Sports and Energy Drinks</a>)</p> <h2>8. Organic Fruits and Vegetables</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/organic-fruits-vegetables-Dollarphotoclub_68974087.jpg" /></p> <p>Apparently, <a href="http://www.smartplanet.com/blog/science-scope/organic-food-isnt-actually-any-better-for-you-and-its-way-more-expensive/">organic fruits and vegetables don't actually offer many of the benefits</a> we'd like to believe they do. They aren't more nutritious, and they don't offer much, if anything, in the way of health benefits. If you're concerned about pesticides, you can still save money. <a href="http://www.eatingwell.com/food_news_origins/organic_natural/15_foods_you_dont_need_to_buy_organic">These 15 foods</a> are the ones least affected by pesticides, and so you don't have to buy them organic.</p> <h2>9. Low-Fat Foods</h2> <p>The medical establishment has long held that we need to eat less fat but, as it turns out, the more expensive, lower fat foods aren't better for you. When it comes down to fat and diet, it's <a href="http://www.webmd.com/diet/low-fat-diet">more about the type of fat you eat than the amount</a>. This is why it's actually better to eat the full-fat version of milk products and peanut butter. In addition, when they take out the fat they often have to add sugar and other additives to make the food palatable, so foods lower in fat can end up having as many calories &mdash; or more! &mdash; than their full-fat counterparts.</p> <h2>10. Granola</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/granola-cup-Dollarphotoclub_60520102.jpg" /></p> <p>Before you pour milk over those breakfast grains, check the box. Often, granola has so much added sugar that it's worse that almost anything else you can have for breakfast. Sure, it looks good, with all those oats and grains and nuts and even dried fruit, but the truth is that <a href="http://livehealthy.chron.com/bad-granola-diet-3032.html">granola is not nearly as good as it looks</a>. As with so many other things, it's better for you and cheaper to make your own, so you control how healthy it is based on what you put in it.</p> <h2>11. Prepackaged Health Food</h2> <p>As with any prepackaged food, buying it this way is more expensive than buying in bulk or making it yourself and repackaging it at home. Sure, it's nice to have your almonds portioned into 200 calorie snack sizes, but it's not usually worth the extra money. So buy your health foods in larger quantities and take the time to portion them out yourself, or just make it from scratch in the first place.</p> <p>There are so many ways to eat well without breaking your budget. Avoiding spending more on these foods is a great place to start!</p> <p><em>What supposedly healthy foods do you avoid? How do you eat well and save money, too?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sarah-winfrey">Sarah Winfrey</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-health-foods-not-worth-the-money">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-13"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-killer-ways-to-really-actually-lose-weight">7 Killer Ways to Really, Actually Lose Weight</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/youre-doing-it-wrong-6-health-and-fitness-rules-that-have-changed">You&#039;re Doing It Wrong: 6 Health and Fitness Rules That Have Changed</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-simple-ways-to-lower-your-cholesterol">10 Simple Ways to Lower Your Cholesterol</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-healthy-habits-that-can-hurt-you">20+ Healthy Habits That Can Hurt You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/thinking-of-going-on-a-diet-heres-how-to-figure-out-which-one-is-right-for-you">Thinking of Going on a Diet? Here&#039;s How to Figure Out Which One Is Right for You</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Health and Beauty diet fitness Health nutrition shopping Mon, 05 Jan 2015 18:00:08 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1275084 at http://www.wisebread.com Healthcare Paperwork That Doesn't Require Paper or Work http://www.wisebread.com/healthcare-paperwork-that-doesnt-require-paper-or-work <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/healthcare-paperwork-that-doesnt-require-paper-or-work" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/166840579.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><em>This post is brought to you by <a href="http://r1.fmpub.net/?k1=cmx-metric&amp;k2=289%7C596%7C1532&amp;k3=disclaimer&amp;k4=&amp;r=http%3A%2F%2Fad.doubleclick.net%2Fddm%2Fclk%2F281939105%3B108256880%3Bl" rel="nofollow">Humana</a>. Click <a href="http://r1.fmpub.net/?k1=cmx-metric&amp;k2=289%7C596%7C1532&amp;k3=disclaimer&amp;k4=&amp;r=http%3A%2F%2Fclosethegap.humana.com%2Finnovations%2Freducing-paperwork%2F%3Fcm_mmc%3DArticles-Brand-_-WiseBread-_-Sponsored1-_-TextLink" rel="nofollow">here</a> to learn more.</em></p> <p>Insured Americans are more likely to face healthcare paperwork overload than any other industrialized nations, according to<a href="http://www.commonwealthfund.org/Publications/In-the-Literature/2013/Nov/Access-Affordability-and-Insurance.aspx"> a recent report by The Commonwealth Fund</a>, a private foundation whose mission includes various improvements to the U.S. healthcare system. In fact, a staggering one in three American adults reported spending &quot;a lot of time&quot; managing their insurance paperwork, where only 25 percent of Swiss, 19 percent of Dutch, and 17 percent of German respondents claimed the same.</p> <p>Healthcare giant Humana is making strides to tackle the healthcare industry's paperwork problem. The company recognizes the frustration that comes with filling out, figuring out, and following up on healthcare insurance forms. Through use of its online dashboard, <a href="https://closethegap.humana.com/innovations/reducing-paperwork/?cm_mmc=Articles-Brand-_-WiseBread-_-Sponsored1-_-TextLink"><em>My</em>Humana</a>, the company has created a secure, easy-to-use portal that makes it easy to navigate your health information from anywhere you are. All you have to do is log on through your computer, tablet, or smartphone. The online portal cuts the annoying paperwork right out of the equation.</p> <p>With <em>My</em>Humana, all your information is in the same place. There's no need to go back through your plan paperwork or check your personal medical history files to get answers to current healthcare questions. It's all available through the portal, just a mouse click away.</p> <h2>Check Your Deductibles</h2> <p>Know exactly what your deductibles are for medical, dental, vision, and prescription coverage. The portal also shows you how much money has gone toward each deductible during the plan year, including how much you have remaining before your annual deductible is met. If you're not sure of your member ID number, group ID, plan type, or start date, it's all right there, in the portal, for easy access.</p> <h2>Review Your Claims</h2> <p>If you're not sure if you owe money for a recent doctor's visit, you can easily log on and check it out. The portal displays each claim number, the date of the claim, the amount paid, and the amount due. You even see the original amount billed, any discounts applied, and how much was paid by your plan (versus by you). In the event you have a question that's not answered through the portal and are logged in from your smartphone app, there's an easy-to-use phone icon that can automatically connect you with a Humana associate.</p> <h2>Find a Doctor</h2> <p>You won't have to wonder whether a doctor is under your planned. The online search will help find one that's covered through your plan. Before you schedule your next office visit, you can quickly check the portal to find an in network provider. You can look for doctors, dentists, hospitals, pharmacies, and urgent care centers. You can choose to look a provider up by name. Or, if you don't have a specific specialist or other professional in mind, you can search for in network providers in your area. All contact information including phone, street address, and even distance from you are quick and easy to view. With just one click, your smartphone will automatically dial the provider of your choice.</p> <h2>Compare Prescription Costs</h2> <p>The portal can be used to find what your new prescription will cost or just to research cheaper, generic alternatives before you get to the pharmacy counter. &nbsp;Right from the portal you can input your drug and dosage. <em>My</em>Humana will automatically compare the cost of your prescription from both local and mail order pharmacies, highlighting the least expensive option. Once your prescription is in the system, you can set up a text alert to remind you when it's time to refill, if your benefits change, or if the prescription becomes available somewhere else for a lower cost. You can even set up clinical pharmacy alerts, which let you know if any potential problems arise with the medicine you're prescribed.</p> <h2>Access HumanaVitality</h2> <p>HumanVitality is a wellness app that allows you to seamlessly transfer your workouts from your heart rate monitor, pedometer, or other fitness tracking device. The program also allows participants to earn points for completing health-related tasks like getting a flu shot, completing an online health assessment, getting First Aid certified, or going for a bike ride. Accumulated points can be traded in for prizes like movie tickets, a heart rate monitor, or even a digital camera.</p> <p>Thanks to Humana's online portal, navigating your health and insurance information doesn't have to be complicated. Now Humana members can safely file their healthcare paperwork away, knowing that most of what they need can be found with the swipe of a finger. Good-bye paperwork. Hello <em>My</em>Humana.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/alaina-tweddale">Alaina Tweddale</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/healthcare-paperwork-that-doesnt-require-paper-or-work">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-14"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-social-media-saved-someones-life">5 Ways Social Media Saved Someone&#039;s Life</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cost-comparison-emergency-rooms-vs-urgent-care">Cost Comparison: Emergency Rooms vs. Urgent Care Centers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/health-care-reform-good-for-people-like-me">Health Care Reform: Good for People Like Me</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-best-cycling-apps-for-5-or-less">The 10 Best Cycling Apps for $5 or Less</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-examine-your-healthcare-plan-and-save">How to Examine Your Healthcare Plan and Save</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Health and Beauty Technology healthcare Humana Thu, 25 Dec 2014 16:00:11 +0000 Alaina Tweddale 1258888 at http://www.wisebread.com