Top Foods for Fighting Colds

foods for fighting coldsIt’s the cold and flu season, which means that more people will hopefully be paying attention to their health in order to avoid getting sick and being forced to miss school or work. Although there are flu shots that can help to prevent the flu each season, there is no cure for the common cold. Fortunately, there are ways to fight colds, including through the way one eats. The following are the best foods for fighting colds:

  • Chicken Soup – Chicken soup has been eaten as a remedy for a cold for hundreds of years. It turns out that chicken soup does in fact have healing effects. It can help to loosen up the mucus in one’s throat, thereby relieving the symptoms of a cold.
  • Garlic – Garlic contains allicin, which is an active compound with antimicrobial and antibacterial properties. Numerous studies have revealed that people that use garlic supplements experience fewer colds.
  • TumericTumeric is a spice that has been designated as a superfood. It’s often used in curry dishes and is high in antioxidents. It’s also naturally anti-inflammatory. By consuming tumeric every day, a person can relieve their body of toxins, thereby becoming less susceptible to colds.
  • Fish – Fish that are particularly oily are generally rich in omega-3 fatty acids. These compounds help reduce harmful inflammation within the body, which in turn helps to ensure that the immune system works properly. Studies have shown that omega-3 fatty acids not only help lower inflammation levels, but that they also help lower anxiety, which is a condition known for weakening immune function. Fish that are full of omega-3 fatty acids include mackerel, salmon, and tuna.
  • Dark Leafy Greens – Citrus fruit isn’t the only food packed with vitamin C. Dark leafy greens, such as kale or spinach, boast a large amount of vitamin C as well. By adding plenty of dark leafy greens to one’s diet, a person can help reduce the duration of a cold.

These are a few popular foods for fighting colds. To stay up to date with all the latest health news and information, visit The Benefits Store today.

Losing Weight in the New Year: Will Exercise Really Help?

Losing WeightDeciding on losing weight in the new year is a common New Year’s resolution that many people share. However, it’s a resolution that can be difficult to accomplish. In fact, few people who make such a resolution actually go through with it. This is in part because losing weight in the new year is a lot easier said than done. Many people will begin exercising regularly following the new year in order to lose weight. However, for many, this exercise will become less and less frequent – especially if they don’t see results soon.

Why Losing Weight in the New Year is Difficult

Some people may scoff at those that are unable to lose weight as part of their resolution. They may think that those that have failed do so because of a lack of willpower. They believe that if someone has enough willpower, they will keep exercising no matter how difficult until they begin losing weight.

However, willpower may not be the only reason that a lot of people have difficulty keeping up a regular exercise routine. A recent study on cell metabolism revealed that willpower is not the only factor. The study involved feeding two different diets to two groups of mice. One was a standard diet while the other was a high-fat diet. Researchers observed both groups of mice over a period of 18 weeks.

The group of mice that consumed the high-fat diet spent less time moving – and when they did move, it was at a much slower rate than the other group of mice. However, researchers noticed that this lack of movement occurred before any weight gain set in. It was only afterwards that they gained substantial weight. Upon closer examination, it was discovered that altered dopamine receptors were the cause of the slowdown in movement.

The study reveals that if anyone is planning on losing weight as part of their New Year’s resolution, they need to make sure they’re on a healthy diet. An unhealthy diet can be just as damaging as a lack of willpower. For more health news, visit The Benefits Store today.

6 Ways Dry January Will Benefit Your Health

Dry JanuaryOne of the most common New Year’s resolutions that people share is to become healthier. One of the popular ways to do this – besides exercising more regularly – is to go through a dry January. A dry January refers to a month of sobriety. Abstaining from alcohol for an entire month is more difficult for some than it is for others, but it can have a tremendous impact on one’s health.

How a Dry January Can Benefit One’s Health

The following are just a few ways in which abstaining from alcohol consumption over the period of a month can help improve a person’s overall health:

  • Drink less long-term Health Psychology published a study in which they discovered that people who took part in a dry January ended up drinking less than they normally would have over the following six months.
  • Reduce potential heart problems – Excessive alcohol consumption can cause an increase in the levels of fats in the heart. These levels of fats are known as triglycerides, which contribute to the buildup of plaque in the arteries. When this occurs, there’s an increased risk of stroke and heart attack. Drinking too much alcohol can also lead to high blood pressure, arrhythmia, and cardiomyopathy.
  • Reduce the risk of liver damage – By drinking too much over a period of time, one risks causing damage to the liver. Heavy alcohol consumption can lead to a buildup of fat in the arteries, known as alcohol hepatitis or, in more severe cases, alcohol cirrhosis.
  • Reduce the risk of pancreas issues – Heavy alcohol consumption can disrupt one’s pancreatic function, which can lead to pancreatitis.
  • Lose weight – Alcoholic beverages contain a lot of calories. Almost half of those who participate in dry January end up losing weight, according to a survey performed by Alcohol Concern.
  • Improve sleep – Alcohol consumption disrupts sleep and can lead to insomnia. Cutting down on alcohol can lead to better sleep, allowing the body to restore itself more fully.

Take part in dry January to enjoy these health benefits. Be sure to keep up with The Benefits Store for more health news and advice.

What J.K. Rowling Can Teach Us About Money

What J.K. Rowling Can Teach Us About MoneyJ.K. Rowling may be the billionaire author of the hugely successful “Harry Potter” franchise, but that doesn’t mean that she was always wealthy. In fact, before she wrote the first “Harry Potter” book, she was a single mom living on government assistance in a small apartment. The following is some of the financial advice that J.K. Rowling has to offer:

Never Take Success for Granted

Even though her first three “Harry Potter” books were on numerous best seller lists, she never took her success for granted. She’s stated that talent and intelligence won’t save anyone from bad luck, citing her past short marriage, single-parent status, joblessness, and dependency on welfare as examples. She advises people to plan ahead even when successful to avoid the financial pitfalls that bad luck can often bring.

Pay With Cash When Possible

Depending on welfare has made Rowling more conscious about the use of cash. Using cash instead of credit makes it easier to stay out of debt. People who use credit cards tend to spend more than those who use cash and fall into debt much quicker because they are spending money they don’t have and being charged interest on that money to boot.

Get Professional Financial Advice

Hiring a professional to get financial advice may seem like an unnecessary use of money, but it can end up saving a person a lot of money over the long-term. A professional financial advisor can help people to avoid making bad financial mistakes.

Save for Retirement

It’s important to begin saving for retirement as soon as possible. Otherwise, when the time comes, a person at retirement age may be forced to continue working because they simply can’t afford not to. People who have plenty of money now should put money away as well – just because they are financially stable in the present doesn’t mean that they will be in the future, not without a retirement plan in place.

This is some of the financial advice provided by author J.K. Rowling of “Harry Potter” fame. For more financial advice and health-related news, visit The Benefits Store today.

*Image courtesy of s_bukley /

Terminally Ill Man on Marathon for Pulmonary Fibrosis

Marathon for Pulmonary FibrosisThe strength of the human spirit was on full display this month as terminally ill Evans Wilson finished a marathon in support of pulmonary fibrosis, the very disease that is killing him. The 63-year-old managed to finish the marathon in 10 hours and 55 minutes, walking the entire distance with his oxygen tank.

Pulmonary Fibrosis

Wilson beat his goal of finishing the marathon in 14 hours by over two hours. Wilson was diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis back when he was 57 years old. Because of the fact that the scarring of the lungs caused by pulmonary fibrosis can be the result of a number of other problems, from autoimmune diseases to genetic reasons, it took two years for doctors to diagnose him properly.

Symptoms first began when Wilson walked up a single hill one day only to find himself out of breath. After several similar instances occurred, doctors discovered that he had pulmonary hypertension, which is when high blood pressure in the lungs is caused by the heart working more than it should – a sign that it could be damaged. This initial diagnosis eventually led to doctors discovering the scarring in his lungs.

Pulmonary fibrosis is a terminal condition that most people will only live three years with. It’s a condition that is irreversible. Wilson has survived for five years so far. Although the number of people living with pulmonary fibrosis is unknown, a study from a decade ago used health insurance data to estimate that roughly 42 out of every 100,000 Americans may have pulmonary fibrosis. According to estimates by the American Association of Respiratory Care, around 40,000 Americans may be dying every year due to the illness.

Wilson decided to run the marathon to help raise money for the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation. He hopes that the attention and money will help result in more medications to help treat the disease. He was given an hour and 15 minute head start after being cleared to participate in the marathon despite his condition. To keep up with the latest health care news, be sure to visit The Benefits Store.