Is Soy Healthy for Your Heart?

Soy has been considered a healthy food for quite some time. Not only could soy be used as an ingredient for vegan products, but it is widely thought to lower cholesterol levels. As a result, consuming soy protein was thought to help lower the risk of heart disease. Many people enjoy soy-based alternatives, such as soy milk and soy meats because soy was supposed to be a healthy alternative.

Is soy healthy? The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are weighing this particular claim. Researchers from the University of Toronto recently performed a study to determine if the FDA had grounds to do so.

Is Soy Healthy?

The data concerning whether soy protein helps to lower cholesterol hasn’t changed since 1999. Researcher David Jenkins stated the original claim that soy helped reduce serum cholesterol was never disputed by newer data. When the FDA proposed to revoke the health claim that soy reduces cholesterol in 2017, it used 46 trials as its basis. The University of Toronto research team analyzed those 46 trials.

In many cases, the analyses of small studies that produce big effects will differ when sample sizes increase and the results become more precise. The results of University of Toronto trials showing soy helped lower both cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels (which is the type of cholesterol that can damage the heart), remained the same over time.

The research team also performed a meta-analysis in order to analyze the effect of soy in all of the trials combined at various points of time.

According to Jenkins, the data supports the original claim that while soy only lowers cholesterol levels by less than five percent, it still lowered those cholesterol levels. By adding soy to a healthy diet that includes other plant-based food, it would have an even better effect.

Despite the FDA’s proposal, studies show that soy remains incredibly healthy and can help lower cholesterol. For more health news, stay up-to-date with The Benefits Store.

6 Tips for Water Safety

According to the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control, drowning is a much bigger problem than people realize. In fact, it ranks third among leading causes of unintentional, injury-related deaths.

Drowning is a much bigger risk for children. It’s estimated approximately 20 percent of the people that drown are 14 years old or younger. May has been named Drowning Prevention Awareness Month to spread understanding about drowning risks. Here are six water safety tips everyone should keep in mind, especially during the summer:

  1. Children should be taught how to swim – Children should be taught to swim at an early age to help reduce the risk of drowning. They may accidentally jump into the deep end of a pool when they meant to play in the shallow end. Children need to know how to float and survive.
  2. Have safety equipment nearby – Flotation devices that can be thrown into the pool for someone to grab should be stored near the pool. There should also be a phone nearby with a list of emergency phone numbers.
  3. If children are swimming, an adult should supervise – An adult should always supervise any children who are going swimming, whether it’s in a pool, lake or ocean. Even adults shouldn’t go swimming alone.
  4. Learn CPR – Adults who plan to supervise swimming children should learn CPR.
  5. Residential pools should be enclosed – Anyone that owns a pool should build a fence around it. Pool owners will be held liable for anyone that uses the pool, even without permission. This means if a neighboring child jumps in the unenclosed pool without the owner’s knowledge and drowns, the owner will be held responsible.
  6. Teach children safety tips – Children should be taught not to run around the pool because they could trip and fall in.

These are a few water safety tips everyone should follow to help reduce the risk of drowning. For more summer safety tips, visit us at The Benefits Store.

Clean Beaches Month: 4 Ways to Help

Everybody loves going to the beach! Unfortunately, this leads to a lot of trash being left on the beaches. Not only does it make the beaches less pleasant, but that trash ends up contaminating the world’s oceans. That’s why July has been designated Clean Beaches Month. This month is meant to bring awareness to the damage beach litter can cause. By spreading awareness, people will (hopefully) make more of an effort to avoid littering and promoting clean beaches.

Clean Beaches: How Littering Affects Our Environment

The trash left on the beach is a danger to the environment in many ways. Wildlife can become entangled in trash or will mistake it for food. Many birds and sea creatures will choke on the trash they try to consume; if they don’t choke to death, the trash won’t properly digest, causing all kinds of health issues that can lead to death.

There’s also the impact trash can have on the water itself. A lot of trash will not decompose for thousands of years and contribute to the destruction of the world’s eco-friendly coral reefs.

Ways to Keep Beaches Clean

Many states have begun organizing regular beach clean-ups. These clean-ups bring communities together to gather trash that’s been left on their beaches.

The first recognized beach clean-up was in 1984; it was organized by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. It’s estimated around 2,100 volunteers removed over 26 tons of trash during this event. Since then, almost 230 million pounds of trash has been collected on beaches worldwide in an attempt to protect the ocean and its wildlife.

You can help keep the beaches clean:

  1. Find out if your community has a beach clean-up day planned.
  2. Organize your own beach clean-up day event.
  3. Pick up your trash at the beach and encourage friends and family to do the same.
  4. When visiting the beach, pick up others’ trash.

Keep your beaches clean and encourage others to do the same. For all your summer health news updates, visit us at The Benefits Store today.

Breathing Technique Boosts Health and Performance

People sometimes forget just how important breathing is for our bodies; breathing is often taken for granted. By exercising your breathing, you can improve not only how your body performs when it comes to physical activities, but also your body’s general health as well. It’s why you should consider doing a five-minute breathing technique known as IMST.

The Benefits of IMST

Recent research indicates the IMST breathing technique (Inspiratory Muscle Strength Training) can have numerous benefits to the body, including:

  • Improving blood pressure
  • Increasing cognitive abilities
  • Lowering heart attack risk

…and even enhancing your athletic performance. Essentially, IMST is a form of strength training for the muscles you use to breathe.

IMST is performed using a resistive hand-held device; the inspiratory muscle trainer. It was first developed as a way for people suffering from respiratory issues; such as bronchitis, cystic fibrosis, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

During clinical trials, participants performed 30 inhalations a day using IMST. It was found that the systolic blood pressure of participants was lowered by 12 millimeters of mercury – twice as much as what exercising for the same amount of time achieves. The results led to more studies focusing on the benefits of IMST on vascular, cognitive, and physical health.

Further studies compared a group of subjects using IMST and a group using a sham device. Those who used IMST had significantly lower blood pressure and that their large arteries functioned significantly better as a result. These participants also performed better on treadmill tests and cognitive tests. These preliminary studies have shown the promise of IMST.

Stay Up-to-Date On All Health News

IMST is just one of many recent advances in the health industry. Be sure to stay up-to-date with all the latest health-related news and discoveries by continuing to visit us at The Benefits Store

Breast Cancer Treatment: Less-Invasive Mastectomy

Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer affecting women in the U.S. Roughly 12 percent of all American women will develop invasive breast cancer at some point in their lives. It’s estimated that around 268,600 new invasive breast cancer cases will be diagnosed in 2019 alone. One of the ways doctors commonly treat breast cancer is through a mastectomy. Unfortunately, mastectomies are often extremely invasive. A new type of mastectomy has been developed that is less invasive than traditional mastectomies. 

Breast Cancer Treatment: What is Traditional Mastectomy?

There are several types of mastectomies, and all involve removing breast tissue. A total mastectomy requires surgeons to remove the entire breast in order to remove the cancer. When this process is performed, the muscle below the breast remains. Usually, this type of mastectomy is required for women with several or large areas of DCIS (ductal carcinoma in situ). In some cases, the lymph nodes in the underarm areas must be removed as well. In the most serious of cases, the muscle below the breast must also be removed.

How is the New Mastectomy Less Invasive?

A new form of mastectomy has been developed in which the surface of the breast is left intact. The process is commonly referred to as a “nipple-sparing” mastectomy. During the process, breast tissue is removed while leaving the skin, nipple, and areola in place.

The surgeon then immediately rebuilds the breast after removing the cancerous tissue. So far, the process, including the reconstruction, has had a 97 percent success rate. Not only is the new mastectomy less invasive, but allowing the patient to maintain the original shape of the breast instead of losing it in its entirety can help maintain self-esteem. Recovering from cancer is hard enough as it is – the lack of confidence caused by a change in appearance can also be quite difficult to overcome.

Learn More at the Benefits Store

Learn more about breast cancer treatment and stay up-to-date with all the latest cancer-related news and advancements by continuing to visit us at The Benefits Store