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Routine Checkups That Could Save Your Life

Routine Checkups That Could Save Your Life

Approximately 70 percent of all U.S. deaths are linked to health issues that are actually preventable or highly treatable if you receive regular checkups. There are also countless other unnecessary risks that people take on a daily basis that could easily be avoided. By implementing the following routine checkups, you can potentially save your life or the life of a loved one.

1. Preventative Cancer Screenings

Every year, 4 million people die prematurely from cancer. The good news is that if you begin getting regular cancer screenings, you can drastically reduce your risk of battling an advanced case of this medical condition. Anyone who has a family history of a specific type of cancer should get an annual screening, and there are also preventative screenings available for people based on their age, gender, and race. Be sure to consult with your doctor about the type of cancer screenings that would be most beneficial for you, and follow through as recommended to help avoid an unnecessary premature death.

2. Eye Tests To Detect Harmful Eye Diseases

When most people think about issues that could impact their eyes, they are likely to be primarily concerned with going blind. In reality, because your eyes are so complex in their anatomical structure, a routine eye examination can reveal a lot about your underlying health. For example, an eye exam can identify serious health conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure. Regardless of whether or not you have perfect vision, the average person should be getting their eyes tested once every two years. This is even more vital if you have a family history of any type of eye disease, as your risk factor will be increased.

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3. Regular Tire Inspections To Avoid A Highway Blowout

Having a tire blowout is dangerous at any speed, but this potential danger becomes greatly exacerbated on the highway. After all, not only will you be traveling more quickly but there will also be a lot of fast-moving traffic that may be unable to avoid hitting your vehicle if it stops suddenly. Some experts indicate that approximately 400 deaths are caused in the U.S. each year by tire blowouts, so it is definitely wise to avoid this problem with tire inspections. As an added bonus, getting your tires rotated and inflated regularly will increase their life and decrease your vehicle’s gas consumption.

4. Dental Checkups To Detect The Early Signs Of Gum Infection

A serious gum infection can lead to several complications, and you could even die if you do not get assistance quickly enough. With this in mind, it makes sense to visit your dentist twice a year for a checkup. It is also important to note that gum disease can be shared via kissing, which means that going to the dentist regularly could save you and your partner a lot of pain in the future.

5. Property Inspections To Identify And Repair Hazards

Your home or business undoubtedly passed a property inspection at some point, but when was the last time that you had the grounds thoroughly inspected? You may not realize it, but trip hazards and other problems can easily develop. If someone is injured or killed because your premises have become unsafe, you can be held legally accountable. Additionally, there is a strong possibility that you, a loved one, or a pet will end up getting injured or worse if hazards are not identified and repaired.

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6. Depression Screenings For Those With A Family History Of Mental Health Issues

Tragically, suicide is the tenth-leading cause of fatalities in the U.S., and 42,773 people took their own lives in 2014. Each of these deaths could have been prevented with proper access to mental health care, including depression screenings. If you have a family history of mental health problems, it is wise to undergo a depression screening at least once a year. This is especially vital if you begin feeling sad on a regular basis. Keep in mind that many people suffer from depression for several weeks or months before they recognize what is happening. Be open about your family history with your physician so that they can help you stay mentally healthy and safe.

7. An Annual Vet Visit Can Save You And Your Pet From Many Dangerous Diseases

An annual vet visit is a good idea to ensure that your pet remains in good health, but getting into this habit can also personally benefit you and the other human members of your household. Dogs and cats can pass several potentially deadly illnesses to their two-legged friends, including rabies and Lyme disease. Fortunately, a veterinarian can identify and treat issues that might otherwise be passed to you.

8. Work Equipment Should Be Routinely Inspected To Prevent Deadly Injuries

According to OSHA, hundreds of people die each year as the result of using work equipment that is defective or improperly assembled. This makes it imperative for every piece of equipment you work with to be inspected regularly. If you are not given this opportunity, be sure to say something to your supervisor. It is against OSHA regulations for equipment to not be properly maintained and inspected, so your employer has a legal obligation to follow through on any complaints.

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9. Weekly Weigh-Ins Offer Critical Health Details

Sudden weight loss or gain is often one of the body’s first indicators that something is seriously wrong. Therefore, if you weigh yourself weekly, it will be easy to determine if something unusual appears to be happening to your weight. There are many diseases that are often accompanied by unexpected weight loss, including parasitic infections, Parkinson’s disease, depression, tuberculosis, HIV, and leukemia. Many people first discover an issue because their weight changes rapidly, but you may not notice this symptom quickly enough without weekly weigh-ins.

10. Monthly Skin Self-Inspections Can Detect Early Signs Of Melanoma

Sudden changes to your skin could be indicative of the early stages of melanoma, so you should set aside some time once a month to do a self-inspection of your skin. Any changes in the surface of an existing mole or the spread of pigmentation should be closely monitored and reported to your doctor. Just like every other type of cancer, early detection and treatment will greatly increase your chances of making a complete recovery.

Aside from utilizing the previously listed 10 tips, it is also necessary to be aware that your specific medical checkup needs will change based on your age. Make sure that you discuss these changing needs with your physician to ensure that you get exactly what you need in a timely manner.

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Featured photo credit: Conor Lawless via flickr.com

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12 Best Brain Foods that Improve Memory

12 Best Brain Foods that Improve Memory

Nutrition plays a vital role in brain function and staying sharp into the golden years. Personally, my husband is going through medical school, which is like a daily mental marathon. Like any good wife, I am always looking for things that will boost his memory fortitude so he does his best in school.

But you don’t have to be a med student to appreciate better brainiac brilliance. If you combine certain foods with good hydration, proper sleep and exercise, you may just rival Einstein and have a great memory in no time.

I’m going to reveal the list of foods coming out of the kitchen that can improve your memory and make you smarter.

Here are 12 best brain foods that improve memory:

1. Nuts

The American Journal of Epidemiology published a study linking higher intakes of vitamin E with the prevention on cognitive decline.[1]

Nuts like walnuts and almonds (along with other great foods like avocados) are a great source of vitamin E.

Cashews and sunflower seeds also contain an amino acid that reduces stress by boosting serotonin levels.

Walnuts even resemble the brain, just in case you forget the correlation, and are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, which also improve your mental magnitude.

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2. Blueberries

Shown in studies at Tuffs University to benefit both short-term memory and coordination, blueberries pack quite a punch in a tiny blue package.[2]

When compared to other fruits and veggies, blueberries were found to have the highest amount of antioxidants (especially flavonoids), but strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are also full of brain benefits.

3. Tomatoes

Tomatoes are packed full of the antioxidant lycopene, which has shown to help protect against free-radical damage most notably seen in dementia patients.

4. Broccoli

While all green veggies are important and rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, broccoli is a superfood even among these healthy choices.

Since your brain uses so much fuel (it’s only 3% of your body weight but uses up to 17% of your energy), it is more vulnerable to free-radical damage and antioxidants help eliminate this threat.

Broccoli is packed full of antioxidants, is well-known as a powerful cancer fighter and is also full of vitamin K, which is known to enhance cognitive function.

5. Foods Rich in Essential Fatty Acids

Your brain is the fattest organ (not counting the skin) in the human body, and is composed of 60% fat. That means that your brain needs essential fatty acids like DHA and EPA to repair and build up synapses associated with memory.

The body does not naturally produce essential fatty acids so we must get them in our diet.

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Eggs, flax, and oily fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel and herring are great natural sources of these powerful fatty acids. Eggs also contain choline, which is a necessary building block for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, to help you recall information and concentrate.

6. Soy

Soy, along with many other whole foods mentioned here, are full of proteins that trigger neurotransmitters associated with memory.

Soy protein isolate is a concentrated form of the protein that can be found in powder, liquid, or supplement form.

Soy is valuable for improving memory and mental flexibility, so pour soy milk over your cereal and enjoy the benefits.

7. Dark chocolate

When it comes to chocolate, the darker the better. Try to aim for at least 70% cocoa. This yummy desert is rich in flavanol antioxidants which increase blood flow to the brain and shield brain cells from aging.

Take a look at this article if you want to know more benefits of dark chocolate:

15 Surprising and Science-Backed Health Effects of Dark Chocolate

8. Foods Rich in Vitamins: B vitamins, Folic Acid, Iron

Some great foods to obtain brain-boosting B vitamins, folic acid and iron are kale, chard, spinach and other dark leafy greens.

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B6, B12 and folic acid can reduce levels of homocysteine in the blood. Homocysteine increases are found in patients with cognitive impairment like Alzheimer’s, and high risk of stroke.

Studies showed when a group of elderly patients with mild cognitive impairment were given high doses of B6, B12, and folic acid, there was significant reduction in brain shrinkage compared to a similar placebo group.[3]

Other sources of B vitamins are liver, eggs, soybeans, lentils and green beans. Iron also helps accelerate brain function by carrying oxygen. If your brain doesn’t get enough oxygen, it can slow down and people can experience difficulty concentrating, diminished intellect, and a shorter attention span.

To get more iron in your diet, eat lean meats, beans, and iron-fortified cereals. Vitamin C helps in iron absorption, so don’t forget the fruits!

9. Foods Rich in Zinc

Zinc has constantly demonstrated its importance as a powerful nutrient in memory building and thinking. This mineral regulates communications between neurons and the hippocampus.

Zinc is deposited within nerve cells, with the highest concentrations found in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for higher learning function and memory.

Some great sources of zinc are pumpkin seeds, liver, nuts, and peas.

10. Gingko biloba

This herb has been utilized for centuries in eastern culture and is best known for its memory boosting brawn.

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It can increase blood flow in the brain by dilating vessels, increasing oxygen supply and removing free radicals.

However, don’t expect results overnight: this may take a few weeks to build up in your system before you see improvements.

11. Green and black tea

Studies have shown that both green and black tea prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine—a key chemical involved in memory and lacking in Alzheimer’s patients.

Both teas appear to have the same affect on Alzheimer’s disease as many drugs utilized to combat the illness, but green tea wins out as its affects last a full week versus black tea which only lasts the day.

Find out more about green tea here:

11 Health Benefits of Green Tea (+ How to Drink It for Maximum Benefits)

12. Sage and Rosemary

Both of these powerful herbs have been shown to increase memory and mental clarity, and alleviate mental fatigue in studies.

Try to enjoy these savory herbs in your favorite dishes.

When it comes to mental magnitude, eating smart can really make you smarter. Try to implement more of these readily available nutrients and see just how brainy you can be!

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

Reference

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