Woman snacking

The Science Behind Your Snack Attacks

When you get a snack attack, most probably the only science you’re thinking about is how you can most efficiently get a bag of chips into your stomach. However, when it comes to cravings, there really is a good amount of science behind them, and it doesn’t just concern the rate of food traveling to your tummy. The fact is, certain foods, especially those high in sugar, salt, and fat, trigger a release of dopamine, which means they are hitting the pleasure center in your brain at the same time they are hitting the hunger center in your belly and the reaction is an unfailing, “Give me more!” Here are some of the most addictive foods and how they work their magic.

Cheese
Besides being high in fat and cholesterol, cheeses also contain a high level of casomorphin, which binds to the feel-good receptors in the brain. According to Neal Barnard, MD, mice aren’t the only ones susceptible to the lure of a good cheddar. “Casmorphins attach to neurotransmitter in our brain and release dopamine, feel-good chemicals that often lead us to wanting more.” Apparently, Americans are getting cheesier as time goes on. The doctor notes that the average American consumes 30 pounds more cheese per year than he or she did 100 years ago.

Woman eating chips

Carbs
It’s the quick glucose release of carbohydrates like potato chips and pretzels which keep our hands going back to the bag to reach for another. Celina Jean, nutritionist, says, ” Simple carbohydrates are seen as an addictive because they cause a quick glucose release, and this quickly increases a person’s energy. The energy will quickly be used up, and the then you’ll be forced to eat more simple carbohydrates to keep your blood sugar raised.”

Sugary Drinks
Not only do sweet sodas, lemonades, and iced tea provide us with empty calories, a 12 ounce can of the stuff can contain up to 35 grams of sugar. Sodas also trigger dopamine release. That, along with the caffeine jolt can provide a quite a hit of energy. Ashvini Mashru, registered dietician warns, “Once you’re hooked on caffeine, you can suffer symptoms of withdrawal if you try to stop, including sluggishness, headaches, and emotional distress.

French fries

French Fries
Crisp, hot, and salty, french fries have all the classic ingredients of addictive food. Mashru tells us that the fat content in the fries sends signals to our gut and brain telling us to eat more. He says, “Those little potato sticks are also a comfort food. Therefore, every time you go through a line in a restaurant and see them on the menu, you may find the urge to order them as a side to your entree irresistible.”

Chocolate
Chocolate gives you kick because it binds to the same pleasure centers in your brain as drugs and alcohol. A study conducted by Drexel University found chocolate often provides a nice “mouth feel” which triggers the production of the feel-good hormone oxytocin. Dan Defigio, author of Beating Sugar Addiction for Dummies, explains, “Over time, our brains start looking for that dopamine hit, and every time we eat chocolate, it reinforces that wiring.”

What foods are you addicted to? Tell us your shocking stories of how your battles with food addictions. We want to know!

Woman reading bedtime story to child in bed

Improve The Bond With Your Children By Reading Them A Bedtime Story

“A person’s a person, no matter how small.” What a lovely thought for a child to contemplate. This is a quote f5om Dr. Suess’s “Horton Hears A Who!” If you’ve ever read to your children, you do not need to be told that it is the right thing to do. Reading to your children is an act as natural as breathing. It becomes obvious with each question they ask and each phrase they memorize. However, if just the act in itself isn’t enough to convince you, here are some more scientific examples of how your relationship with your child is enriched by sharing bedtime stories.

The Research
According to the Reid Lyon, the behavior branch chief of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, “Neural research shows that when parents and caregivers interact verbally with children–which includes reading to them–kids learn a great deal more than we ever thought possible.” Reading to a child can help the child develop morals and creativity, and children are never too young to start.

The Benefits

Woman reading to child

Develops Communication
Reading a story to your baby helps them to develop their listening, memory, and language recognition skills. It is also a good way to give them the chance to hear words they might not hear otherwise, especially ones which are less likely to come up in everyday speech. Bedtime stories can also improve a child’s memory. You will find that with repetition, children will begin to remember dialogues and story lines, and will often chime in with a spoiler or two.

Creates Routine
Children like to know what’s coming next. Reading a story is an assuring way of letting your child know its time for bed. Not only does the routine element keep stress levels down, the activity itself calms them and helps them sleep better at night.

Increase Imagination
Sometimes, it is hard to believe children’s imaginations need any stimulation, but listening to a story and looking at pictures gives them ideas and helps to motivate their creativity. Reading to children encourages them to question behaviors and develop comprehension skills and increase general cognition.

mother daughter

Stronger Bond
If you’re a parent you know that nothing is better than cuddling up with your child after a long day. Adding books to that experience can strengthen the bond between you by engaging in a shared activity.

Good Habits
When you read to your children, you are instilling them with a love of books. You are their greatest inspiration and the behavior you model is the behavior they’ll imitate. Although it may be hard for busy parents to carve out time to read to their children, bedtime can be a great opportunity to pass on an invaluable gift.

What are your children’s favorite bedtime tales? Let us know what you recommend for giving children the sweetest dreams.

Woman drinking green tea

Secrets To Pumping Up Your Metabolism

“Oh, I just have a fast metabolism.” Heard that one before? To many of us, a fast metabolism is some kind of body double that lives inside a select few people exercising and burning calories while their perfect outer shells sit and pig out on the couch. Well, that’s not far from the truth. Metabolism does work on its own to burn calories and shed fat, and the faster it runs the more calories you burn. However, it’s not only a select few that can reap the benefits. The truth is that you have a huge amount of control over the rate of your metabolism. And to prove it, here are some things that you too can sit back and let your fast metabolism do the work.

Green Tea
Tammy Lakatos Shames, RD, calls green tea “the closest thing to a metabolism potion.” Green tea contains a fat burning plant compound called ECGC. One study showed that people who consumed three to five cups a day of the brew for 12 weeks showed a 4.6 decrease in body weight; other studies suggest that consuming two to four cups of the tea can burn an extra fifty calories daily – five pounds a year, if you do the math.

Dairy
Did you spend last night binge watching “Empire” with an open bag of chips on hand? You can redeem yourself with an eight-ounce glass of milk or a six-ounce container of low-fat yogurt. Calcium boosts metabolism by increasing the rate at which your body disposes of waste, says a University of Copenhagen study. Supplements will not do the job, so let’s hope you like milk.

Iron
Women lose iron when they ovulate, a loss which does not bode well for your metabolic speed. Iron carries oxygen to your muscles. When there is a deficiency of oxygen, your energy levels tank and your metabolism hits the brakes. Shames advises stocking up on iron with beans, dark leafy greens, and fortified cereal.

Working Out

Woman working out

Interval training
If you want a quick metabolism boost, and to save some time in the process, increase the intensity of your workout. One Australian study pitted two group of female stationary bicyclists against each other. One group rode for 40 minutes at a moderate pace, and one group rode for 20-minute intervals, alternating 8-second sprints with 12 seconds of low-impact pedaling. After 15 weeks, the interval trainers lost three times as much body weight as the other group. Lead researcher, Ethlyn Gail Trapp, PhD, suggests that whatever method of exercise you choose, your should start with an 8-second sprint followed by 12 seconds of easy exercise. Aim to work up to 10 sprints in 20 minutes.

Fish Oil
According to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, popping fish oil supplements when you exercise can stimulate your fat burning enzymes. Volunteers who took six grams of fish oil daily and worked out three times per week reported an average loss of 3.4 pounds over 12 weeks, while non-pill poppers saw minimal effects. Take two pills containing 300 mg EPA and 200 mg DHA per capsule two hours before you workout for best results.

Woman and child making salad

Diet
According to the National Institutes of Health, fatty fish like tuna, salmon, and sardines send “I’m full triggers to your brain, eliminating cravings. Another word to the wise, skip the cocktails. Two mixed drinks can slow down the calorie burn by 73 percent. Researchers from the University of Berkeley say that this is because the liver converts alcohol to acetate and uses that as fuel instead of your stores of fat. Another word of advice? Sleep well. It will help you regulate hormones that regulate energy use.

Got it? Now get out there and speed up that metabolism! Let us know how it goes for you. We love to get your stories!

Woman gardening outdoors

Tips For Growing Your Own Organic Produce

You say you’re not the type for organic gardening. People who grow their own organic vegetables are the kind of people who practice yoga. They throw away their razors and change their names to Persimmon or Rutabega. They listen to new age music and Joni Mitchell. They replace all their tight-fitting clothes with sack-like hemp items. You would never fit the bill. Although it may be tempting to find some plausibility in this scenario, it is actually quite far from reality.

Organic gardening is actually one of the most practical things you can do. It’s the healthiest and cheapest way to produce food for your family; the transcendental meditation and is optional. If you’re thinking of growing your own organic produce, here are some tips for keeping it real.

Gardening

Green Manure
Green manure is a way to grow plant material while improving the quality of the soil. It’s usually planted in the winter and grows a few weeks before planting season. It retains nutrients while it grows, until it’s cut down and turned into the soil. Winter rye is a good source of green manure during the winter because it clamps onto the soil to prevent erosion. Comfrey is another excellent green manure option, which helps to add minerals, such as nitrogen and phosphate to the soil.

Compost
Compost is a nutritious humus made from rotting organic material, like grass clippings, wood chips, vegetable or fruit scraps. In fact, you can add anything organic to the compost pile to provide extra nutrition to your plants. Compost can be added directly to the soil and turned under, or you can leave it on the top of the bed and let the worms come and do the work for you. Using compost prevents water erosion and disease. You can make your own compost pile by setting aside a bin and adding organic material at regular intervals, adding it to your vegetable garden bed when the older material becomes finished.

mother and daughter

Mulching
Mulching is a way to slow down the growth of weeds while keeping the soil from dehydration. Although almost anything that provides cover for the bare ground between your vegetables can be used for mulching, organic materials will degrade slowly and add nutrients to the soil. The best organic materials for mulching include dry grass, wood chips, and hay. Spread a few inches of mulch onto areas of bare soil to keep sunlight from reaching the ground and drying the soil.

Companion Planting
Strength in numbers applies to the gardening world as well. Companion planting is the planting of certain types of herbs, flowers, and vegetables together to fight off disease and pests and provide nutrients to one another. Although herbs are the most regularly used for companion planting, there are certain vegetables that should be planted apart or together. For example, planting tomatoes with carrots will make your carrots turn out smaller than usual. Garlic is a natural fungicide that can fight off a large number of diseases and pests. In fact, garlic can even improve the flavor and production of certain vegetables. Beans are an excellent companion choice for corn and grains because they enrich the soil with the nitrogen necessary for these plants to thrive; melons and squash work well with corn as well, because their broad leaves provide the soil with the shade necessary for keeping the corn moist.

Are you going organic? Let us know what you’re doing to make your garden grow!

Woman shielding herself from the rain with umbrella

Natural and Man-Made Causes Of Acid Rain

In 1856, scientist Robert Angus Smith stated the following: ” It has been observed that the stones and bricks of buildings, especially under projecting parts, crumble more readily in large towns where coal is burnt, I was led to attribute this effect to the slow but constant action of acid rain.” This astute observation, and later work on the subject, earned Smith the title of “Father of Acid Rain.”

Acid rain was first brought to public attention when 17th century diarist John Evelyn noticed the degradation of the famous Arundel Towers in Southhampton. Consequently, Evelyn is the the same man who was credited with referring to the atmosphere of London as a “Hellish and dismall cloud of sea-coale.” The phenomena is attributed to air pollution, principally from sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxide, both of which come largely from fossil fuels like coal and oil. Considering this, it is not surprising to learn that the emissions of both have increased since the Industrial Revolution.

Sulfate and Nitrate Sources In the Atmosphere

Natural Sources
Sulfate in the atmosphere comes largely from volcanic emissions, ocean spray, and readily oxidized hydrogen sulfide released from decomposing organic materials in the earth. Nitrate or nitrogen sources include NOx, made by lightening during thunderstorms, organisms in soil, and forest fires. Scientists believe that these natural sources are responsible for one third of the nitrogen and sulfur emissions in the US.

Human Activity
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports that that the major contributors to acid rain are SO2 and NOx, which result from the burning of oil, coal, natural gas, and other fossil fuels. The agency notes that about 70% of SO2 emissions produced in 2006 were caused by fuel combustion by electric utilities using fossil fuel. Fossil fueled industrial facilities contributed 13% to the number. Other, lesser sources were transportation vehicles and industrial processes; highway vehicles being the primary source of NOx emissions, accounting for 36% of the 2006 total. Another 22% was added by off-highway vehicles, like bulldozers, while power plants accounted for 20% of the total.

Effects on the Environment

  • Acid rain lowers pH levels in the water which kills fish, their eggs, and fish food organisms.
  • Acid rain changes soil chemistry, causing soil to lose nutrients like magnesium. potassium, and calcium because it becomes too concentrated with dissolved inorganic aluminum.
  • Acid rain harms trees by robbing the foliage of calcium and lowering their tolerance to stress.
  • Particulates (small pollutant particles) related to acid ran can travel long distances and penetrate deep into lungs. This can leads to the development of bronchitis and asthma in children and is believed to be the cause of major health risks in people over 65 and pregnant women.

Addressing Acid Rain
In 2005, the EPA issued the Clean Air Interstate rule to limit transport of air pollutants along state lines. It is expected to reduce the emission of SO2 by more than 70% and emission of NOx by more than 70%. Analyses of a Gallup poll shows a decline in public concern about acid rain in the late 1980’s. By 2007, only 25% go people polled expressed a great deal of concern abut acid rain, and 20% expressed no concern at all.

What do you think needs to be done about acid rain? Let us know what you think and tell us what we can do on our part to help combat this problem affecting the quality of our lives.

Couple walking in the woods

Be Safe During Outdoor Activities

We all love the accessibility of recording devices, until we find ourselves on the wrong side of the camera. If it weren’t bad enough to have to have our epic stunts end up in epic fails, falls, and face plants, now we have the added probability of someone with a quick draw on the camera ready to capture the moment and post it on social media. It’s spring and that means it’s time to dust off the skateboards, surfboards, roller boards, and whatever other boards that have been sitting in the cellar for the last few months. But if your don’t want to find yourself the subject of unwanted attention on You Tube, here are some safety tips you may want to keep in mind.

Pack Layers
Spring weather is known for its variability. Hot sunny days may give way to cloudy afternoons and vice versa. Prepare for every eventuality by packing extra clothing layers, including socks. Wet feet can be most uncomfortable.

Hiking Preparedness
If you are heading to the mountains, you’re likely to encounter snow, and when there’s snow on the mountains, there is a risk of an avalanche. Check the local avalanche reports before heading up.

Hiking in the spring is wet. Rivers rise and snow melts, making roads muddy and slippery. Be aware of stream crossings and wet surfaces and look out for flash floods and rising water, characteristic of spring. Pitch tents above the high-water mark, even if it means sacrificing an impressive view or a longer distance to the stream. Remember that even designated campground sites can be dangerous in certain conditions.

Cotton Is Rotten
Although cotton is hailed for its comfort and durability, it is not known to mix well with water. Wet cotton clothes can trap water and rob the body of heat. Choose synthetic clothes appropriate for the activity you’re planning.

Paddling
Paddlers need to be aware of the possibility of hypothermia. If the air temperature and water temperature do not exceed 100 degrees when added together, hypothermia can be a real concern. If you must paddle when conditions are less than ideal, be sure to bring dry clothes and a fire starter in a dry bag.

Warm Up
Keep in mind that your muscles, joints, and lungs are probably still in winter mode. Don’t take on anything physically taxing if you’re not ready for it. Make sure to warm up before engaging in physical activity and stretch out when your done. Work up to longer outings to keep your self from getting strained early in the season.

Check Your Gear
Remember that the gear that broke last spring has not gotten fixed by itself. Make sure to examine, clean, and fix gear before heading out, especially if children are part of the plan.

Share Your Expertise
If you see someone who looks as if they’ve bitten off more than they can chew, don’t be afraid to make a suggestion to ease their situation. They may appreciate your advice about finding a safer place to camp or the offer of some water.

Let us know what you’re doing this spring to keep safe. We want to know your best tips for a happy healthy spring.

Woman sneezing into napkin

Living With Seasonal Allergic Rhinitis

Does this season have you doing the allergic salute? The allergic salute, also called the nasal salute, is defined as the gesture of wiping or rubbing the nose in an upward manner with the fingers, palm, or back of hand in and upward motion, and is a common telltale sign of allergic rhinitis.

Suffering with allergies is no fun, and while “saluting” can relieve the symptoms, it can also lead to the transfer of bacteria and germs, and, when done often enough, can result in a “transverse nasal crease,” (a crease running across the nose) which can become a permanent feature. But, worry not. Allergic seasonal rhinitis does not have to doom its sufferers to a life of inevitable unsightly scars. There are some ways to handle the condition salute free. Read on to find out how you can survive the season uncreased.

What Is Allergic Rhinitis?
More commonly referred to as allergies or hay fever, allergic rhinitis happens when your immune system has an extreme reaction to air particles that you breathe. Your immune system reacts by attacking these particles, also called allergens, which causes symptoms, like runny nose and sneezing.

Unfortunately, people with allergies can suffer from the symptoms for many years. They may occur at certain times during the year or at random times. Sinusitis and ear infections are other allergy related problems. Symptoms may become less severe over time and allergens may have less of an effect.

Symptoms
Some of the most common symptoms of allergic rhinitis are repeated sneezing, especially right after waking up in the morning and a runny nose with post-nasal drip. The nasal drainage is usually thin and clear, but may become thick, cloudy and yellowish if there is a sinus or nasal infection involved. Other signs of rhinitis are watery and itchy eyes and itchy ears, nose, and throat.

How Is It Caused?
Pollen from grasses, trees, and weeds is the biggest cause of allergic rhinitis. Dust mites, cockroaches, animal dander, and mold are also triggers, as are things in the workplace, such as chemicals, cereal grain, and wood dust.
If your allergies are due to pollen, your symptoms are more likely to occur when pollen levels are high. If you are affected by indoor allergens, such as dust mites, your symptoms may occur more frequently.

Treatment
While there is no cure for allergic rhinitis, avoiding the causes of your allergies can significantly reduce symptoms. This may require frequent house cleaning to eliminate animals dander, mold, and dust. You may also want to stay indoors when the pollen count is high.

Over the counter medicines are available, but you may want to talk to your doctor first is you have another existing health condition. or are pregnant or breastfeeding.
If allergies are severe, immunotherapy, such as allergy shots, is another option for prevention or reduction of symptoms.

How are you surviving this allergy season? Are you doing the nasal salute, or perhaps you are giving your allergies quite a different salute. Let us know what you do to cope.

Woman sleeping soundly

Suggestions For Distraction-Free Sleep

So you’ve just gotten back from partying for 6 days in the desert and, boy, are you tired. You are going to sleep, but this will not be a regular sleep; this will be an epic sleep. You are going to sleep like the dead and pity the person or thing that dares to interrupt you. But a sleep like this will take careful planning. You need to make sure this sleep is totally free of distractions. If you can just stay awake a few more minutes, you should do the following to ensure your sleep is the blissful one you are anticipating.

Turn Off Electronics
In order to fall asleep, your body increases sleep hormone levels as it gets darker outside. In turn, your body begins to associate darkness with sleep. Exposure to light from electronics, like laptops and cell phones, inhibit the formation of these hormones. For a good night’s sleep, turn off all brightly screened electronic devises at least on hour prior to turning in.

Studies show that people who play computer games more than seven hours per week do not sleep as well as those who refrain from such activity. Also, social media outlets can raise stress and anxiety levels.

Cool Off
Heat can be a major sleep distraction. The best combination for a good night’s sleep is a cool room and hot skin. Set the thermostat to 65 or lower to induce sleepiness and prevent night sweats.

Woman sleeping with book

Keep It Dark
Bright lights are not conducive to good sleep. They trick the body into thinking it is daytime, and prevent sleep hormones from forming. Turn off night lights, overheads, and table lamps. Close your blinds and consider investing in light blocking curtain for extra relaxation.

If you chose to read or write before turning in, try a small book light as opposed to a desktop or overhead light source. if you own a bright clock, check out the dimmer option to lower brightness and face it away from you to avoid obsessive time checks.

Reduce Unwanted Noise
White noise generators are available, as are recordings of natural sounds. These rhythmic sounds can drown out noises which can interfere with sleep. You may also want to listen to some soft music. You can do an online search to find specific pieces of music recommended to aid sleep. Experiment with different types until you find which works best for you. It may be classical or modern ambient.

Use earplugs to keep out background noises and annoying sounds, like car alarms or barking dogs.

Woman with headphones

Avoid falling asleep with head phones on, as they may become uncomfortable. Play music with a self timer, so you don’t need to worry about shutting it off after a certain time.

Take A Supplement
Herbal and mineral supplements have been used as sleep aids since time immemorial. Try taking 600 mg of calcium with 200mg magnesium as a sleep aid.

Hops are also great for helping with insomnia and relieving anxiety. 30 -120 mg should send you off to sleep nicely.

Wild lettuce tablets can also help to reduce sleep anxiety. Take a recommended 30-120 mg nightly.

L-theanine is a another supplement know to improve not only quality of sleep, but also alertness upon waking. Green tea also contains trace amounts of the amino acid.

Valerian roots supplements are another cure for insomnia. Two hundred to eight hundred mg whole help you fall asleep quickly and easily.

How do you keep your sleep distraction-free? Let us know how you keep your bedroom a sanctuary.

Woman smiling at her partner

Tips For Maintaining Your Oral Health

If you are new to a relationship, you can expect to become very familiar with your partner’s mouth. Like it or not, smooches, pecks, and exchange of oral fluids are all par for the course in the early stages of dating. This is why it’s not very surprising to learn that the top criteria for choosing a mate is good teeth. In fact, when it came to polling, 58% of men and 71% of women chose good teeth as the number one “must have” for a date, which may be as good a reason as any for wanting to make sure you have outstanding oral health.

However, even if attracting a mate is not a priority, there are many other reasons for wanting to keep your mouth healthy. Studies also show that those who practice healthy oral hygiene have a much larger chance of keeping their teeth. So, whether you want to keep your love life thriving or whether you want to keep your choppers where they are, here are some tips for oral health maintenance.

Woman brushing teeth

Brushing
Keeping your pearly whites pearly white is the first step to keeping teeth in prime condition. The American Dental Association advises these brushing tips.

Brush Teeth Twice A Day
Be sure to do a thorough job, don’t rush it.

Use The Right Stuff
Make sure you have a fluoride toothpaste and a brush with soft bristles that fits comfortably in your mouth. Battery operated and electric toothbrushes can reduce plaque and gingivitis, a mild gum disease, more effectively than regular brushes and can also be helpful to those who have arthritis or other problems which make brushing difficult.

Do It The Right Way
Hold your brush at a slight angle with the bristles pointed toward the area at which your tooth and gum meet. Use gentle back and forth motion, brushing the inside, outside, and chewing surface of your teeth and tongue.

Keep Equipment Clean
Rinse your toothbrush after every brushing and store in an upright position, allowing it to dry before using it again. Separate your brush from other toothbrushes to prevent contamination. Note that while some brushes come with covers or containers, it is best to avoid routine use of these storage devices, as they can accelerate the growth of mold, yeast, and bacteria.

Replace Toothbrush Regularly
Aim to replace your brush or the head of your battery operated or electric brush every three to four months, or sooner if it begins to look frayed.

Woman flossing

Flossing
Daily flossing is the way to reach the spaces under your gum line and between your teeth. The following are a few ADA flossing basics.

Technique
Aim to break off an 18 inch thread of floss. Wind most of it around the middle finger of one hand and the rest around the middle finger of the other. Grip the floss between your forefinger and thumb.

Easy Does it
Use a gentle rubbing motion to guide the floss between your teeth. Avoid snapping the floss into your gum line, instead try to curve it against the teeth where they meet your gums.

One Tooth At a time
After sliding the floss into the space between your tooth and gum, rub the side of the tooth in a vertical motion. Unwind fresh floss as you move through your mouth to the rest of your teeth.

Floss Alternatives
If you find it difficult to handle floss, there are interdental cleaners, such as pre-threaded flossers. water flossers, dental picks and silicone plaque remover that can do the job just as well.

Other Suggestions
Besides regular brushing and flossing, you may want to incorporate the use of a fluoride containing mouthwash into your oral routine. Also, try to avoid using toothpicks or objects that can cause injury to the gum and allow bacteria in.

Woman with dentist

Seeing A Dentist
No matter how well you take care of your teeth, it is always important to see a professional regularly.

However, you may want to contact your dentist immediately if your notice the following:

  • Tender, red, or swollen gums
  • Bleeding gums
  • Gums pulling away from teeth
  • Loss of permanent teeth
  • Changes in the alignment of your top and bottom teeth
  • Chronic bad breath or a strange taste in the mouth
  • Variation in the fit of dentures or partial dentures
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Unusual cold or heat sensitivity
  • Mouth sores and ulcers that don’t heal in a timely fashion.

We wish you good brushing and great oral health! Let us know how you keep your teeth in shape. We love to hear from you!

Sad woman with cup of tea

Causes of Adult Malnutrition

Malnutrition. It is defined as an excess or deficiency in intake of nutrients It refers to both the overweight and the underweight and, for the first time in centuries, the numbers are getting close. While feeding the hungry has always been always a priority, it is increasingly becoming the case that hunger is merely being traded for obesity, with one form of malnutrition simply being replaced by another, resulting in heart disease, cancer, chronic illness and shorter life expectancies. Ironically, at time when out nation has the most potential to eliminate the epidemic, it has boosted to record levels. Here are some of the most common causes of adult malnutrition.

Poor Diet
One of the leading causes of malnutrition is a poor diet. When an individual does not eat enough food, or if the food they do eat does not provide them with the nutrients required for good health, malnutrition may occur. Improper diet my be cause by several factors, including dysphagia, which is a difficulty swallowing due to an illness.

Sad woman

Mental Health Disorders
Poor mental health is often linked to a malnutrition. Depression may interfere with healthy eating habits and patients with eating disorders, such as bulimia and anorexia, may also suffer from malnutrition.

Limited Mobility
Individuals who have a hard time getting around may become victims of malnutrition because of difficulty getting out to go shopping or simply finding food preparation difficult.

Digestive disorders
Despite eating properly, certain people have health conditions which prevent their bodies from absorbing the nutrients necessary for good health. Examples include individuals with ulcerative colitis of Crohn’s Disease.
Patients with Celiac disease have genetic disorders that make them gluten intolerant. This results in an increased risk of damage to the lining of their intestines. This condition also results in poor food absorption.

Woman drinking

Alcoholism
Alcoholism is a long-term disease that can result in gastritis or pancreatic damage. These conditions interfere with the body’s digestion and prevent the body from absorbing vitamins and producing hormones necessary for the regulation of metabolism. In addition, the calories supplied by the alcohol may reduce food cravings, and result in the person’s lack of desire for food. Consequently, the person’s meager diet may not supply him or her with essential nutrients.

Food Shortages
Poor and developing nations often suffer food shortages due to lack of agricultural technology, such as fertilizers, pesticides, and advanced methods of irrigation.

Food Prices and Distribution
Shockingly, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization, 80% of malnourished children live in nations that actually produce a surplus of food. In these cases, economist blame high food prices and problems with distribution of food to the needy.

Lack of Breastfeeding
Certain experts believe that much of the world’s malnutrition in children and infants is due to lack of breastfeeding. Some women are of the belief that bottle feeding is better, while other mothers, usually in the developing countries, abandon breastfeeding because their babies do not latch on properly, or the mothers find breastfeeding to be painful and uncomfortable.

Do you have any ideas for combatting malnutrition? Let us know how you believe this worldwide epidemic can be addressed. We’d love to start the conversation.