9 Summer Foods That Are Healthier Than You Think

9 Summer Foods That Are Healthier Than You Think

Excerpreted article was written BY LAUREN GELMAN, RD.COM

Watermelon

This juicy and refreshing fruit will not only quench your thirst, but will also deliver a dose of vitamins A, C, potassium, and the cancer-fighting antioxidant lycopene, according to WebMD. It’s also one of the richest natural sources of the amino acid L-citrulline, which helps regulate arterial function and may lower blood pressure, as discovered by researchers in a 2010 Florida State University study. 

Shrimp

Yes, shrimp contains cholesterol, but many researchers think that the cholesterol you consume from food plays a negligible effect on cholesterol in your bloodstream (that number tends to spike in response to a higher intake of certain saturated and trans fats). Shrimp is also high in protein, low in fat, and a good source of heart-protective omega-3s and vitamin B12, according to Outsidemagazine.

Iceberg Lettuce

Darker greens may have more nutrients, says Prevention magazine, but that doesn’t mean iceberg has none. If an iceberg wedge is your favourite salad, note that one cup of shredded leaves delivers about 20 per cent of your daily needs for vitamin K, and 15 per cent for vitamin A. Even if you use iceberg as a salad base for other healthy veggies, you’ve got a great vehicle for overall nutrition.

Popcorn

Real, popped-at-home corn is a terrifically healthy snack. It may even have more antioxidants than certain fruits and vegetables, researchers at the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania found last year. Air-popped and without butter, it’s low in fat and high in fibre, says Today nutrition expert Joy Bauer, RD: “five grams of fibre in a four-cup portion is pretty darn impressive for a snack food.”

Celery

Celery boasts a surprising array of good-for-you nutrients, including anti-inflammatory compounds that soothe your digestive tract, disease-fighting antioxidants, and vitamins such as folate, vitamin K, and vitamin C. Crunch on that next time you swirl it around your Bloody Mary or use as a vessel for French onion dip.

Sunflower Seeds

Nuts are a healthy snack favourite among nutritionists and other health experts, but don’t forget about sunflower seeds. They are high in vitamin E, magnesium, and thiamin, which helps yourbrain function.

Sauerkraut

Go ahead, pile it on. Fermented foods like sauerkraut are a unique source of probiotics, which help maintain a healthy balance of bacteria in your belly. “These healthy microbes help with digestion and nutrient absorption,” writes Darya Pino Rose, PhD, in her new book Foodist. “Without them our gut health deteriorates substantially, setting the stage for many chronic diseases.”

Mushrooms

Cooking Light notes that mushrooms are the only vegetable source of vitamin D; and “many compounds have been identified in mushrooms that show potential for boosting immunity and possibly protecting against cancer,” says Pino Rose in Foodist.

Source: Readers Digest

Canada ‘poor performer’ for high medication costs for common conditions: study

Canada had the second-highest medication costs for common conditions such as high blood pressure and cholesterol in 2015 compared to nine other affluent countries with universal health-care systems, suggests a new study calling for a national drug plan to lower prices.

Lead author Steven Morgan, a professor at the University of British Columbia’s Public School of Health, said the analysis looked at the volume and daily cost of drugs in Canada, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Sweden, Norway, the Netherlands, France, Germany, New Zealand and Australia.

The study, which was published Monday in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, analyzed data involving medications to treat six conditions _ high blood pressure, high cholesterol, depression, diabetes, pain, and gastrointestinal issues such as ulcers.

Annual expenditures per capita ranged from $23 in New Zealand to $171 in Switzerland. In Canada, the cost was $158.

Canada was the only country in the study that lacked universal coverage of outpatient prescription medications as part of its hospital and medical care.

“We have mixed financing, some public and some private, but we also have many people with no insurance,” Morgan said.

“We end up spending more because on average we’re using a more expensive mix of treatments available, which tend to be slightly more prone toward the newer patented drugs rather than the older, off-patented drugs,” he added.

“This study shows that Canada is a relatively poor performer in terms of encouraging cost-conscious prescription drug utilization and a very poor performer in terms of achieving low prices for both the brand name and generic drugs that would be used for these therapeutic categories.”

Morgan said the prices paid in Canada for generic drugs are among the highest in the world and lower volumes of purchases compared to other countries is oftentimes a factor.

High costs for primary-care drugs have major implications for patients, he noted.

“It’s estimated that one in 10 Canadians can’t fill their prescriptions or chooses not to fill their prescriptions as required because of the out-of-pocket costs associated with that.”

In a commentary on the study, Dr. Joel Lexchin of York University in Toronto said “Canada needs universal pharmacare.”

“Canada is not doing well when it comes to ensuring that its population has access to prescription medications,” he said. “We can and must get to a better place.”

Last month, federal Health Minister Jane Philpott announced consultations on proposed regulatory changes related to a drug prices board to curb “unacceptably high” costs.

The Patented Medicine Prices Review Board was created in 1987 to establish a maximum price for new patented drugs and limit increases to the rate of inflation until the patent expires. But Philpott said it is no longer fully able to protect Canadians from excessive prices.

The consultation period, which runs until June 28, includes meetings between Health Canada, patient groups, health professionals and the pharmaceutical industry.

 

Massachusetts medical pot dispensary selling marijuana pizza

A Massachusetts medical marijuana dispensary has created a culinary delight for patients who don’t want to smoke their pot or eat it in the form of sweets.

Quincy-based Ermont Inc. has been selling cannabis-infused pizza for about three weeks to rave reviews.

Director of Operations Seth Yaffe says the company has a whole range of marijuana edibles, but he wanted to offer meals that patients could eat without a lot of sugar.

The 6-inch cheese pizzas sell for $38 apiece. The tomato sauce contains 125 milligrams of THC, the psychoactive compound in marijuana. The company has sold about 200 already. Yaffe says if patients want toppings, they can add their own.

Only people with state-issued medical marijuana ID cards are eligible to buy the pies.

 

A Daily Journal Could Change Your Life: The 10-minute routine

A Daily Journal Could Change Your Life: The 10-minute routine

“Never go to sleep without a request to your subconscious.”  — Thomas Edison

Excerpted article was written by Benjamin P. Hardy

Here’s why.

10 minutes before going to sleep:

It’s common practice for many of the world’s most successful people to intentionally direct the workings of their subconscious mind while they’re sleeping.

How?

Take a few moments before you go to bed to meditate on and write down the things you’re trying to accomplish.

Ask yourself loads of questions related to that thing. In Edison’s words, make some “requests.” Write those questions and thoughts down on paper. The more specific the questions, the clearer your answers will be.

While you’re sleeping, your subconscious mind will get to work on those things.

10 minutes after waking up:

Research confirms the brain, specifically the prefrontal cortex, is most active and readily creative immediately following sleep. Your subconscious mind has been loosely mind-wandering while you slept, making contextual and temporal connections. Creativity, after all, is making connections between different parts of the brain.

In a recent interview with Tim Ferriss, Josh Waitzkin, former chess prodigy and tai chi world champion, explains his morning routine to tap into the subconscious breakthroughs and connections experienced while he was sleeping.

Unlike 80 percent of people between the ages of 18 and 44 who check their smartphones within 15 minutes of waking up, Waitzkin goes to a quiet place, does some meditation and grabs his journal.

In his journal, he thought-dumps for several minutes. Thus, rather than focusing on input like most people who check their notifications, Waitzkin’s focus is on output. This is how he taps into his higher realms of clarity, learning and creativity—what he calls, “crystallized intelligence.”

If you’re not an experienced journal writer, the idea of thought-dumping might be hard to implement. In my experience, it’s good to loosely direct your thought-dumping toward your goals.

Consider the requests you made of your subconscious just before going to bed. You asked yourself loads of questions. You thought about and wrote down the things you’re trying to accomplish.

Now first thing in the morning, when your creative brain is most attuned after its subconscious workout, start writing down whatever comes to mind about those things.

I often get ideas for articles I’m going to write while doing these thought-dumps. I get ideas about how I can be a better husband and father to my three foster children. I get clarity about the goals I believe I should be pursuing. I get insight about people I need to connect with, or how I can improve my current relationships.

To be sure, you’ll need to practice this skill. It might take several attempts before you become proficient. But with consistency, you can become fluent and automatic at achieving creative and intuitive bursts.

2. Journaling accelerates your ability to manifest your goals.

As part of your morning creative burst, use your journal to review and hone your daily to-do list. Review and hone your life vision and big-picture goals.

As you read and rewrite your goals daily, they’ll become forged into your subconscious mind. Eventually, your dreams and vision will consume your inner world and quickly become your physical reality.

3. Journaling creates a springboard for daily recovery.

People struggle drastically to detach from work. More now than ever, we fail to live presently. Our loved ones are lucky to experience a small percentage of our attention while they’re with us.

But utilizing your journal can curb this mismanagement. At the end of your workday, reopen your journal and review your to-do list from that day. If your morning journal session was excellent, you’ll have likely gotten everything done you intended to do. Private victories always precede public victories.

Journal sessions are your post-work reflection time. Account to yourself what you got done that day and what needs to be moved to tomorrow. Write the things you learned and experienced.

Lastly, direct your subconscious by writing about things you want to focus on tomorrow. As you put work behind you for the evening, your subconscious will be preparing a feast for you to consume during your next morning’s creative and planning session.

This end-of-day journal session doesn’t need to be as long as the morning session. Greg McKeown, author of Essentialism, recommends writing far less than you want to—only a few sentences or paragraphs at most. This will help you avoid burnout.

A primary objective of this session is to mentally turn off work mode. Just as in physical training, you need to rest and recover between workdays to get stronger.

Use this session to completely unplug and detach from work. This is your time to recover and be present with your loved ones—because there is more to life than work. The higher quality your recovery, the more potent and powerful your creative sessions will be.

4. Journaling generates clarity and congruence.

This keystone habit has so much power. By journaling in the morning and evening, you’ll quickly see what is incongruent in your life.

You’ll clearly see what needs to be removed and what should be included in your life. Journaling is a beautiful and powerful facilitator of self-discovery. My own journaling is how I’ve come to form my sense of identity and path in life.

Not only will you have more clarity about your path in life, but journaling improves your ability to make small and large decisions along the way.

On the pages of your journal will be the future world you are creating for yourself. You are the author of your life’s story. You deserve to be happy. You have the power to create whatever life you want. As the designer of your world, get as detailed as you desire.

5. Journaling clears your emotions.

Several research studies found that writing in your journal reduces stress. These benefits include:

  • Reducing scatter in your life
  • Increased focus
  • Greater stability
  • Deeper level of learning, order, action and release
  • Holding thoughts still so they can be changed and integrated
  • Releasing pent-up thoughts and emotions
  • Empowerment
  • Bridging inner thinking with outer events
  • Detaching and letting go of the past
  • Allowing you to re-experience the past with today’s adult mind

When you are in an intensely emotional mood, journaling can help you more fully experience and understand those emotions.

After you’ve vented on the pages of your journal, you’ll quickly find a release. Objectivity will return and you’ll be able to move forward.

Without a journal, intense emotional experiences can be crippling for hours, days and even years. But an honest and inspired journal session can be the best form of therapy—quickly returning you better and smarter than you were before.

6. Journaling ingrains your learning.

Humans are bad at retaining information. We forget most of what we read and hear. However, when you write down the things you’ve learned, you retain them far better. Even if you never reread what you’ve written, the simple act of writing something down increases brain development and memory.

Neurologically, when you listen to something, a different part of your brain is engaged than when you write it down. Memory recorded by listening does not discriminate important from unimportant information. Writing creates spatial regions between important and unimportant pieces of information, which allows your memory to target and engrain the important stuff you want to remember.

Furthermore, the act of writing allows your subconscious mind to work out problems in unique ways, intensifying the learning process. You’ll be able to work out problems and get insight while you ponder and write about the things you’re learning.

7. Journaling increases your gratitude.

Even if you start a journal session in a bad mood, the insight writing brings has a subtle way of shifting your mind toward gratitude.

When you start writing what you’re grateful for, new chambers of thought open in the palace of your mind. You’ll often need to put your pen down and take a few breaths. You’ll be captivated not only by the amazing things in your life, but by the awe and brilliance of life in general.

As part of your morning and post-work journaling sessions, be sure to include some gratitude in your writing. It will change your life orientation from scarcity to abundance. The world will increasingly “become your oyster.”

Gratitude journaling is a scientifically proven way to overcome several psychological challenges. The benefits are seemingly endless. Here are just a few:

8. Journaling unfolds the writer in you.

I became a writer through journaling. While I was on a mission-trip, I wrote in my journal for one to two hours per day. I got lost in flow and fell in love with the writing process.

If you want to become a writer one day, start by journaling. Journaling can help you:

  • Develop strong writing habits.
  • Help you discover your voice.
  • Clear your mind and crystalizes your ideas.
  • Get closer to the 10,000 hours Malcom Gladwell says are required to become world-class at what you do.
  • Produce gems you could use in your other writing.

9. Journaling records your life history.

I started journaling in 2008 after reading an article about the importance of journal writing. In the article, the author described how much journaling had changed her life. She said after all these years, she now has 38 recorded volumes of personal and family history.

After finishing that article, I have never stopped writing in my journal. In my family room on a bookshelf are 20-plus journals filled with my thoughts and experiences. I’m certain they will be cherished by my ancestors as I’ve cherished the writing of my loved ones who have passed on.

This post originally appeared on BenjaminHardy.com.

 

Athletes and government officials sometimes get quicker access to MRIs

By Steve Lambert

THE CANADIAN PRESS

WINNIPEG _ Manitobans are waiting longer for magnetic resonance imaging tests, partly because some people such as injured workers, professional athletes and government officials are given faster service, the province’s auditor general said Thursday.

“Some patients were given higher priority for non-medical reasons,” Ricard wrote in his 43-page report.

“On average, members of professional sports teams received MRI scans within a day of referral. And some patients with influence such as government officials, donors or people working in the health care system received quick scans, often the same or next day and without any priority code assigned to their request forms.”

The report said some facilities give priority service to people covered by private insurance, such as pro athletes. One Winnipeg centre has an agreement with the Workers Compensation Board, which pays for the service, to scan injured workers within 20 days.

The report did not delve into which government officials might have received faster service. Ricard said in an interview he did not get into names because of confidentiality rules in the health system. He also said any influential people may have been given priority service without their knowledge.

“We didn’t find any conclusive evidence that these people sought expedited access,” Ricard said.

Health Minister Kelvin Goertzen said the issue would be examined.

“Any time I hear that somebody might be getting a treatment not based on what they need, but who they know or who they are, I would be concerned.”

NDP health critic Matt Wiebe, a backbencher in the NDP government before the Tories won last year’s election, said he had not heard of any government officials being fast-tracked.

As of last June, the average wait time for an MRI scan in the province was 23 weeks  almost twice as long as the wait five years earlier.

While the increase is due largely to a fast-rising demand for scans, Ricard pointed to a number of aggravating factors that occurred under the former NDP government.

The government did not properly compare the benefits of different locations before announcing some new MRI scanners, Ricard wrote. There was also no review to see whether expanding the operating hours at existing centres might be more efficient than adding new machines, he added.

The province lacks a centralized system to process requests for scans, leading to different wait times in different areas. And there are very few measures taken to cut down on the number of unnecessary tests, Ricard wrote.

“Several … staff told us inappropriate MRI requests are a problem and the Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health reports that evidence indicates 10 to 20 per cent of medical imaging exams are unnecessary or inappropriate.”

Wiebe said the former government was focused on getting MRI scanners to different areas of the province to address growing demand and reduce travel time for patients. There were only two scanners in the province in 2004. The NDP had added nine by 2011, Ricard noted.

The Tory government has left the door open to following Saskatchewan’s lead and allowing private clinics to charge for MRI scans as long as they perform an equal number of free scans for people on the public waiting list.

But Federal Health Minister Jane Philpott has condemned that system as bad policy, bad medicine and a violation of the Canada Health Act.

“We remain open to those suggestions or options,” Goertzen said.

“We’ve had … a few proposals that go along that direction. We need to review them more in-depth.”

You’ve got 25,000 mornings. What will you do with each one?

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