Entries in Tips (17)


Dr. Oz's 4 Health Boosting Secrets from Around the World

Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images(NEW YORK) –- From the Mediterranean diet favored by the Greeks to the bread and wine-heavy diet of the French, every culture has its own secrets to diet success, and exotic health solutions for everyday problems.

Dr. Mehmet Oz's daily television show airs in countries around the globe, places like Turkey, China and Australia, where the natives use exotic health secrets to stay strong, healthy and young.

Dr. Oz traveled to those countries to learn their secrets and revealed them to ABC News, explaining tricks from using a musical instrument to cure sleep apnea to an ancient exercise designed for small spaces.

The best news is you don't have to travel thousands of miles around the globe like Dr. Oz, or spend hundreds of dollars, to bring the best of the countries' traditional remedies and practices home to you and your family. These tools are right at your drugstore, health food store or maybe even in your own backyard.

Try importing these four, global tips from Dr. Oz into your everyday health routine.

Purslane in Turkey:  One important food group people in Turkey have no problem consuming enough of is healthy fats, the types of omega-3 fatty acids that are so important in preventing stroke and reducing the risk of heart disease. The more than 73 million residents of this country, however, rely on a natural source for their healthy fats: the herb purslane. It has a slightly sour and salty taste and is actually considered a weed in the United States, but it's eaten throughout much of Europe and the Middle East. In Turkey, they even give purslane to horses to help with joint discomfort because it also acts as an anti-inflammatory. In the United States, purslane is easy to grow on your own using seeds, and can be found at health food stores like Whole Foods. If it's still too exotic for your tastes, however, hazelnuts are another equally good option for adding healthy fats to your diet.

Tai Chi in China:  For the people of China, the challenges of staying healthy in their country are much different. With the world's largest population, the challenge there is finding space to stay physically active in a confined setting. The Chinese have had to learn and adapt to exercising in a way that doesn't take up a lot of space, which is why the practice of Tai Chi is so popular among the nation's more than 1 billion residents. Instead of grabbing caffeine in the morning, China's residents, from the very young to the very old, take to the nation's parks and streets to practice. The poses can be done anywhere and help with strength, balance and flexibility.

Didgeridoo in Australia:  Australia, like the United States, has increasing obesity rates, despite having a highly active population. The Aussies, however, have developed a fun way to deal with the snoring and sleep apnea typically associated with high weight. They use an indigenous musical instrument, the didgeridoo, to exercise the muscles in the back of the throat that cause snoring while you sleep. Those muscles get lax while you sleep so, by exercising them with the didgeridoo, essentially a branch hollowed out by termites that turns into an instrument, you strengthen the muscles so they don't collapse while you sleep.

Noni Juice in Hawaii:  The fourth secret brought Dr. Oz right back to the U.S., to the tropical state of Hawaii. Here the natives drink a juice that comes from the noni, the famine fruit of the island's native Polynesian people, that is said to help with bone pain. The fruit has a strong odor, which is why the juice comes processed on the mainland, eliminating the stink. Another fruit that offers the same benefits as noni, but is more common is the pineapple. Like noni, pineapple is full of Bromelain, a plant extract used for reducing swelling, especially after surgery or injury. The amount of Bromelain found in pineapple and noni fruits is stronger than what you can get in the over-the-counter version and is better also for achieving long term, anti-inflammatory effects.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


9 Tips to Fall Asleep Faster

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Having trouble falling asleep at night? ABC News spoke with Michael Breus, a clinical psychologist and author of The Sleep Doctor's Diet Plan, for these suggestions:

1. Count Backwards from 300 by 3s: Breus said the most common reason people have trouble falling asleep is that they cannot turn off their mind. Breus uses a variety of distraction techniques, one of them is telling people to count backwards from 300 by 3s.

"It's mathematically so complicated you can't do anything else, and it's so doggone boring you are out like a light," Breus said. He also suggests using a worry journal. A worry journal is where you write down the problems you are thinking about on one side of a piece of paper and a solution to each problem on the other. The solution can be as simple as scheduling a time to think more about the issue.

2. Reduce Caffeine Intake: You should be caffeine-free by about 2 p.m., according to Breus. Most people are not aware that caffeine has a half life of up to eight hours and can affect not only your ability to fall asleep, but also the quality of sleep you are getting.

3. Take a Hot Bath: Take a hot bath 60 to 75 minutes before bed. The bath should be warmer than 100 degrees Fahrenheit and you should be in it for longer than 20 minutes. Breus said the bath will relax your musculature and increase your core body temperature. He explains the increase in body temperature is important because once you leave the bath your body temperature will start to cool which is a signal to your brain to release melatonin, a hormone that helps you fall asleep.

4. Stop Exercising Four Hours Before Bed: Exercise is great for sleep, but Breus said that it's hard for the body to wind down after doing it. He advises finding an earlier time in the day to do exercise.

5. Keep the Kids and the Animals Out of Bed: Kids and pets can wake you up in the middle of the night and disrupt your sleep cycle.

6. Have a Comfortable Bed: Often times just buying a new mattress can be the secret to getting a better night's rest.

7. Sleep in a Cool Room:
According to Breus, people sleep best when the room is between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit and the bed's surface is between 82 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit.

8. Eat Your Last Meal Three and a Half to Four Hours Before Bed: Eat your last meal three and a half to four hours before bed. The body was not meant to digest food lying down, it was meant to digest food sitting or standing, Breus told ABC News.

9. Monitor the Amount of Light in Your Room: Breus said that light resets your biological clock and can trick your brain into thinking it's morning. As an example he suggests using a book light to read by rather than a lamp on a bedside table that uses a much stronger bulb.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Dr. Oz's Three Tips for Improving Your Life and Health

ABC/Jeff Neira(NEW YORK) -- Dr. Mehmet Oz appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show for years before hosting his own Emmy Award-winning program, The Dr. Oz Show. He's helped millions of viewers understand the intricacies of the human body, and how simple changes can prove hugely beneficial in people's lives.

"Demystifying the body was the essence of what we were doing," Oz said. "And there are truths about what happens inside of you. The magic that represents the special sacred nature of your body."

In an interview with ABC News' Diane Sawyer, Dr. Oz shared three tips that he believes would benefit everyone:

Walk more. "Do what humans have always done, which is to walk...  I'm not talking about a stroll through the park. But an active, aggressive walk, has been the core of what has allowed humans to survive for decades longer than they should have," Oz said.

Eat rawer, fresher foods. "Half of all the foods you eat, half should be made up of real food. Food that comes out of the ground looking the way it looks when you eat it."

Find your passion. "You have to give your heart a reason to keep beating. It seems so simple. But if you don't have passion, if you don't have vision, if you don't have something that brings you joy day in and day out, then nothing else makes a difference."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Five Tips for Fighting Spring Allergies

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- If you are sneezing and have itchy eyes this spring allergy season, you are not alone. The year 2011 is shaping up to be the worst year for allergy sufferers on record.

More than 35 million Americans suffer from pollen allergies, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. And every year, the United States reportedly spends approximately $21 billion on health costs related to allergies.

A study published Friday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA searched for the cause of a trend towards longer allergy seasons.

Researchers found that a delayed first frost of the fall season and a lengthening of the frost-free season combined with increasing levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere have contributed to a longer allergy season. Longer pollen seasons increase human exposure, the duration of symptoms and severity of symptoms.

"Studies have found that not only do [plants] create more pollen, it's more potent," said Dr. Stanley Fineman, president-elect of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology and a practicing physician in Atlanta.

So what can you do if you are one of the millions of Americans who suffer from pollen allergies every year? Fineman gave ABC News the following five tips for avoiding allergies:

1. Get tested to find out exactly to what you are allergic.

2. Consult your physician about possible treatments such as allergy shots and medication.

3. Wash your hair and clothes regularly to get rid of pollen.

4. If you have pets, groom them regularly because they can bring pollen indoors.

5. Stay indoors as much as possible during pollen season to minimize your exposure.

Thankfully, science has been steadily improving the ability to combat pollen allergy symptoms.

"We can [now] pinpoint what triggers symptoms with specific testing, where in the past it was much more generalized," said Fineman. "Now, it's much more specific and accurate and sensitive. ... Treatments are more targeted and allergy shots are much more effective because we know better dosages."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Organic vs. Nonorganic: What Fruits and Veggies Should You Buy?

Brand X Pictures / Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- We all know that pesticides and other chemicals can cling to the foods we eat and most of us want to minimize our exposure. That's why some people buy organic. Scientists have shown that children age 5 and under, ingest an average of eight pesticides each day. And young children, whose internal organs and systems are developing rapidly, are particularly vulnerable to pesticides' harmful effects.

The best foods to buy organic are apples, bell peppers, carrots, celery and strawberries. And while there are many reasons to buy organic foods, not everyone can find fresh organic produce at their corner store, or afford the premium price tags, so it's important to remember that there are some smart shopping decisions we can make that will help us save money while also reducing the pesticides on our plates.

Organic is not the only option for people that want to reduce the amount of pesticides they consume. There are fruits and vegetables that are known for having very low pesticide residues – spring favorites like asparagus, avocado, sweet peas, grapefruit, onions and cabbage – and onions, avocado, sweet corn, pineapple and mango are generally regarded as some of the cleanest fruits and vegetables year-round.

Steps you can take to keep pesticides off your plate include always washing and peeling your produce, steam cooking leafy greens and giving the frozen organic version a try when the produce you want isn't available fresh.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Sleep Secrets: How to Get a Good Night's Rest

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Is there anything worse than tossing and turning when you really need some sleep?

Ten percent of Americans have chronic sleep problems, and up to 35 percent have occasional difficulty with sleep, according to the University of Pennsylvania Behavioral Sleep Medicine Program.

But there are some simple things you can do to make it easier to settle down for the night. The new issue of Prevention magazine has some sleep solutions, and the magazine's editor-in-chief, Diane Salvatore, visited ABC News’ Good Morning America to talk about them.

Keep to a Set Schedule: The trick is to go to bed every night at the same time and get up at the same time -- even on the weekends, Salvatore said. That sets your biological sleep clock.

Maintain Sleep Diary: Do this to find out why you're not getting the right sleep, Salvatore said. Write down when you go to sleep and wake up, and also what you did in the hours before you went to sleep. Ask yourself: what you were watching on TV? Were you having an argument? Were you on e-mail? Analyze your diary for two weeks to see if there's a pattern.

Avoid Bedtime Exercise: Exercise before bed is not good because it makes your body warm, which is not conducive to sleep.

Avoid Alcohol: A stiff drink will knock you out, but it will keep you waking up all through the night because your body's attempts to metabolize the alcohol will play havoc with your body temperature, hormones and REM sleep. Instead, drink milk before bed. It's metabolizes into melatonin, a hormone that helps regulate sleep.

Chamomile and Other Relaxing Teas: Chamomile is a healing herb that activates the back of your brain and tells the body to go to sleep. Other relaxing drinks contain melatonin, and some have tryptophan – the amino acid that's found in turkey.

White Noise: White noise helps block small distractions and makes it easier for you to sleep.

Block Light: The darker your room can be, the sounder you will sleep.

If you are doing all of these things and you can't sleep, or if you're getting seven to eight hours of sleep but you're still waking up exhausted, you could have a problem such as sleep apnea, Salvatore said. That will need a professional diagnosis and possibly medication or behavioral therapy, she added.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Winter Weather Safety Survival Guide

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(NEW YORK) -- A winter storm -- the likes of which forecasters say hasn't been seen in the Midwest in years -- is expected to pack a potentially dangerous punch of sleet, snow, ice and wind.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency said that over the next few days as the storm moves from the middle of the country to the East Coast it could have an impact on a total of 100 million Americans.

Don't be caught unprepared.  Twenty-five percent of all winter-related fatalities occur because people out in the storm are caught off-guard, according to the National Weather Service.

Here are some winter storm tips from the NWS so you can stay prepared:

-- Use caution and be aware of hazardous driving conditions.  Roads will be snow covered and dangerous.  People are encouraged to use discretion and not go out unless it is absolutely necessary.  Traffic lights may be out and roads will be congested.

-- During snow storm conditions, snow plows are considered emergency vehicles and should be given the right of way.  Listen to the weather reports and plan accordingly.

-- Have an emergency supply kit in the vehicle. A fully charged mobile phone, charger, spare batteries, blanket or sleeping bags, extra food and water are essential.

-- Keep the gas tank as full as possible.  If stranded, run the car periodically to preserve fuel and stay with the car.

-- Make sure someone knows your route and timetable.

-- Major concerns for individuals are loss of heat, power, and telephone service.  Individuals and families should have food and water, flashlights and batteries, first aid supplies and a battery operated radio in their disaster kit.

-- Emergency 911 phone system should be limited to life-threatening situations only.

-- Prepare your home for a power outage.  If you have to leave your home and seek shelter, remember to bring your medications and sleeping gear such as blankets and sleeping bags.  Most of these items will not be provided by the shelter or will be in short supply.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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