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Health Tips

Pumpkin Your Way to Good Health

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web pumpkin health

We pick them.

We carve them.

We even put their spiced flavor in our lattes.

Yes, America loves its pumpkins. And that’s a Very Good Thing, because pumpkins, besides being fun to carve and delicious to eat, are packed with nutritional benefits.

Take weight loss, for example. Pumpkins are a fiber rich food, and fiber slows the digestion which means you feel full longer and are less likely to snack between meals.  There is actually more fiber in one cup of pumpkin than in two slices of whole wheat bread. (Note: Pumpkin-shaped Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and Pumpkin Spice Lattes, unfortunately, don’t count toward your weight loss goals. Not even a little bit. )

And fiber isn’t the only benefit.

Beta-Carotene gives pumpkins their beautiful orange color, and when digested, converts to Vitamin A, the essential vitamin for healthy eyes as it helps the retina absorb light. (Carrots also area rich in beta-carotene, and you’ve never seen a rabbit wearing glasses, so you know it works. Sorry. We had to throw that joke in there.)Vitamin A also helps the body fight infections and viruses, but it doesn’t do it alone. Pumpkin delivers almost 20% of the recommended daily allowance of Vitamin C, which is always a plus during cold season. Plus, Vitamins A and C act as antioxidants, which protect and shield your body against free radicals which could lead to diseases such as cancer.

So, whether you bake them into muffins, mix them into stew or simply cut and roast them all on their own, do your body good by giving it pumpkin.

(And if a stray Pumpkin-shaped Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup makes its way from your child’s trick or treat back into your belly, we won’t tell.)

spectrum healthcare ©2015

 

Finding Sleep

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finding sleepWe don’t normally post updates at midnight, unless that update is about insomnia, in which case, it makes perfect sense.

According to the National Sleep Foundation, 48% of Americans report occasional insomnia, while 22 % experience insomnia almost every night. Now, a lack of sleep can affect concentration, resulting in drowsiness, crankiness and irritability, but it also can take a toll on your health, putting those who suffer from a lack of sleep at a much higher risk for diabetes, depression and hypertension.

But there are steps you can take to help you find sleep.

  • Try to stick to the same sleep routine: going to bed and waking up at the same time to help regulate your body’s internal clock.
  • Avoid heavy meals at night. That big bowl of pasta eaten before bedtime can cause discomfort which leads to sleeplessness.
  • Short power naps can often help get you through the day and leave you refreshed, but for those suffering from insomnia, even a short nap can interfere with falling asleep at bedtime.
  • Keep the light low. Bright light, even from an e-reader, can stimulate brain activity and discourage sleep.
  • If you find yourself lying in bed for more than 15 minutes unable to fall asleep, get up. Engage in a quiet activity, like reading or watching television. It’s important for your brain to associate bed with sleeping and not lying awake, watching the clock. But, keep it boring. The more stimulating the activity, the more likely you’ll be to stay wide awake.

If you find your insomnia persists, give us a call at 928-634-2236. We are here to help you feel better and together, we can help you find a good night’s sleep.

spectrum healthcare ©2015

Move It!

By | Health Tips, Motivation, Primary Care | No Comments

Thanks to computers and computer related tasks, we live in a World of Sitting. Many of today’s jobs involve sitting in a chair for hours on end, and our bodies, well, they weren’t designed to sit for long periods of time. Our muscles need to move and contract and with the exception of typing on a keyboard, many don’t move at all during the workday. And when muscles don’t move, a whole host of problems can occur: metabolism slows, blood circulation becomes impaired, and you are at an increased risk for heart disease and obesity.

The effects of movement have long been touted as beneficial to our bodies, but did you know that sitting for long periods can also increase anxiety?

Researchers from Deakin University’s Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition Research in Australia discovered that engaging in sedentary activities can actually increase anxiety levels. It’s no surprise that in the US alone, as we’ve decreased movement, we’ve seen an increase in anxiety disorders. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association, approximately 40 million adults are affected by anxiety. That’s 18% of the US population.

The easiest way to help combat this effect is quite simple: Get up and move! If possible, move your muscles hourly, even if only for a few minutes. You don’t need to engage in an hour of cardio or yoga; just a quick stroll around the office, simple stretches, marching in place, or simply taking a few steps back and forth every hour can help boost your health.

So if you find your lifestyle requires you to sit for long periods of time, make your health a priority and…

move it

spectrum healthcare ©2015

Extreme Heat Tips

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Okay, Verde Valley, brace yourselves for a hot one.

An extreme heat warning has been issued by the National Weather Service that extends from today through Monday, June 20. And when temperatures are on the rise, problems can occur, so ready yourself using the following tips.

 

If you or someone you know experiences the symptoms of heatstroke, please call 911 immediately.

extreme heat

spectrum healthcare ©2015