4 Ways to Eat More Fruit This Summer

Summer is a great time to start eating more fruit—many are at the height of their season. According to most health studies, people should try to eat at least two to five servings of fruit per day.  For the best deals, visit a bulk food store or go for frozen fruits. 

To incorporate more fruit into your diet this summer, consider the following:

Note: Anyone with blood sugar sensitivities like hypoglycemia or diabetes should be wary of using too many sweet fruits without veggies for balance. Please consult with your doctor before making any changes to your diet. 

1. Fruit Salad: Chop & Mix37802338_l

July’s peak-season fruits include: watermelon, strawberries, cantaloupe, blueberries, peaches, apricots, kiwi, raspberries, and plums. Different fruits have different health benefits, so a fruit salad is a great way to receive a variety of nutrients. For example, plums have high levels of potassium, which may help manage high blood pressure. One easy way to know you’re mixing nutrients is to mix colors. 

2. Smoothies: Toss & Blendsmoothie

A smoothie is a great way to get more fruits, extra protein and even veggies into your diet. Try some protein-packed yogurt or add veggies like spinach, kale, or spirulina powder to improve your amount of daily nutrients. A simple recipe is to blend berries, banana, and 100% apple juice. 
TIP: Put over-ripe bananas in the freezer and use them for extra sweet and refreshing smoothies.

3. Easy Desserts: Chop. Dip. Freeze. popsicle

Try chopping up your favorite fruit, dipping them in yogurt, then freezing them. You can also make homemade popsicles using fresh fruit juice or small fruit chunks in coconut milk or yogurt. If you have left over smoothie, you can freeze that as well! 

4. Juicing: Press or Squeeze31571565_l

If you like fresh juice not from concentrate, you may want to consider investing in a juicer. Juicing, however, does remove a lot of natural fiber, so it should not replace all of the fruit in your diet.

 

Remember, the Watertree Health Prescription Discount Card may help you save on your monthly prescriptions and other medications. Simply click on the “Get Your Free Card” link. The card is available to everyone at any time. For more information about how the free Prescription Discount Card works, check out this short FAQ video: wtree.us/video 
WH_GPS_logo_web_LORESYou can also look up your prescription savings with our card using the wtree.us/SavingsTool. Simply provide the drug name and zip code to find the best price at a pharmacy near you. 

By
WHBlogger 
Updated: 5/28/19

Instructions and Disclaimer: The content on this website is designed for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses. Always consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you might have regarding your health. 

Tell us if this was helpful and let us know what other topics you might like.

Smoking

257652-1-0 The general consensus on smoking is that it is a habit that poses significant health risks to those who smoke and to those around them. But smoking is more than a habit – it’s an addiction, one we have not bothered to include when we talk about alcohol and drug addiction.

What’s in a cigarette?

When you take a puff on a cigarette, you are inhaling any where between 4,000-7,000 different chemicals and almost 70 of them can lead to cancer, more than 500 have been approved by the government, for use in the manufacturer of cigarettes.  A partial list of these ingredients include:

  • Carbon Monoxide
  • Nitrogen Oxides
  • Hydrogen Cyanides
  • Ammonia Methane
  • Arsenic
  • Nicotine
  • Tar
  • Formaldehyde

This toxic pool of chemicals can damage not only the lungs and a person’s airway system, it can eventually damage the body’s ability to get rid of images-10mucus and germs which can lead to emphysema and bronchitis. That’s just part of the damage that smoking can cause.

Nicotine Addiction

Nicotine is a substance made naturally by several plants including the tobacco plant. It is considered an antiherbivore and used as an insecticide. In humans, nicotine acts as a stimulant raising the feeling of alertness, euphoria, and a sensation of being relaxed.

Nicotine addiction has been compared to heroin addiction because it is one of the most difficult habits to kick. Smokers who attempt to quit experience significant withdrawal symptoms that often include cravings, a sense of emptiness, anxiety, depression, moodiness, irritability, and inattentiveness. The fact that cigarette companies continued increasing the levels of nicotine by almost 10% for 6 years, between 1998 and 2004, has made it even harder for regular smokers to give it up.

How to Quit

There is no magic pill to help you stop smoking. Kicking the habit is often a battle of wills. You might think that just knowing what smoking is doing to your body, brain cells and to the people you love, might be enough to help you put it down forever, but addictions are seldom easy to walk away from. Today, those seeking help with quitting have a number of ways to get started, and to complete the journey toward kicking the smoking habit.

The Mayo Clinic suggests the following:

  • Nicotine replacement therapy – Something to speak with your health care professional about. There are nose sprays and inhalers o-QUIT-SMOKING-HEART-facebookavailable, but make sure that you get your doctor’s approval before using any of these.
  • Avoid triggers – Become aware of what things in daily life push your buttons and makes you reach for a cigarette. If you know what these triggers are, you can create a plan to help you avoid them or to help you work through them.
  • Delay – Feel an urge to light up? Find a way to delay having that cigarette for as long as you can – distract the urge by doing something you like or by keeping yourself busy.
  • Chew on it – Having something in your mouth is usually what a cigarette is all about. Substitute the cigarette with sugarless gun, a carrot, celery stick or other healthy snacks.
  • Don’t have ‘just one’ – Avoid the little voice inside telling you that you can stop at one. Don’t believe it. Remind yourself of the goal and why you are doing this. Picture how much better it feels not to have hot smoke coursing through your lungs.

Remember that every day without smoking, means another day your body has to repair the damage – every day without a cigarette means one day closer to a healthier you.

If you are on a prescribed medication to help you stop smoking, or for any condition, and you need help affording your prescriptions, download a free Watertree Health Prescription Discount Card or request a card be mailed to you. It provides significant discounts on almost all recommended medications (brand and generic). Most experts agree, taking your medicines as prescribed improves overall health and wellbeing and lowers cost of health care for everyone. 

References: Lung.org, Mayo Clinic, PBS, Medical News Today, Cancer.org, Smokefree.gov, WebMD

By WHBlogger
07/24/2014
Updated: 5/29/19

Instructions and Disclaimer: The content on this website is designed for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses. Always consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you might have regarding your health.

Tell us if this was helpful and let us know what other topics you might like to see us cover in our blog.

Can Some Medicines Cause Sun Sensitivity?

Continuing Series: Questions From Consumers

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TIP: Use an umbrella on sunny days to shield yourself from the sun

Yes, certain drugs may cause high sensitivity to sunlight (also called photosensitivity). It is also important to note that not every person who uses sun-sensitive drugs has a reaction. 

There are two main types of negative effects:

  1. Photoallergy occurs when UV sunlight causes a structural change in the medicine put on your skin. The reaction usually includes an eczema-like rash, which often happens a few days after exposure. The rash may also spread to other body parts that were not exposed to the sun.
  1. Phototoxicity is the most common type of  reaction. It can occur when your skin is exposed to the sun after certain medications are injected, taken by mouth, or applied to the skin. When the drug absorbs UV light and releases it into the skin, cell death occurs–which looks like a really bad sunburn. Within a few days, symptoms appear on the exposed areas of the body. Among the most common phototoxic drugs are the tetracycline family, NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen), and amiodarone (Cordarone, a heart medication); see full list below.
If either of these conditions occur, see your doctor immediately. 

Ibuprofen bottle and tablets.  Label is not real.Sun-sensitizing drugs can also aggravate existing skin conditions, including eczema and herpes, and may inflame scar tissue. Sun exposure can also worsen autoimmune disorders, such as lupus.

Can Sunscreen Help?AdobeStock_78697670

Yes, it can help lessen the impact of sun exposure. HOWEVER, some ingredients in sunscreens are potentially photosensitizing, so in rare circumstances, it could worsen symptoms. 

Most Common Sun-Sensitizing Drugs (Prescription & Over-The-Counter)

  • Antibiotics: doxycycline, tetracycline, ciprofloxacin, ofloxacin, levofloxacin, trimethoprim
  • Antidepressants: doxepin (Sinequan); and other tricyclics; St. John’s wort
  • Antifungals: griseofulvin
  • Antihistamine: promethazine, diphenhydramine
  • Antihypertensives (blood pressure drugs): hydrochlorothiazide (also found in some blood pressure medicines: Aldactazide, Capozide),diltiazem (Cardizem)
  • Benzocaine
  • Benzoyl peroxide
  • Cholesterol-lowering drugs: simvastatin, atorvastatin, lovastatin, pravastatin
  • Chemotherapy drugs: methotrexate, flutamide, 5-FU, gemcitabine,doxorubicin
  • Diuretics: furosemide, bumetanide, hydrolorothiazide
  • Hypoglycemics: glipizide, glyburide
  • Neuroleptic drugs: Chlorpromazine, fluphenazine, perphenazine, thioridazine, thiothixene
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories: ibuprofen, ketoprofen, naproxen,celecoxib, piroxicam
  • PDT Pro photosensitizers: 5-aminolevulinic acid, methyl-5-aminolevulinic acid
  • Retinoids: isotretinoin, acitretin
  • Sulfonamides: sulfadiazine, sulfamethoxazole, sulfasalazine, sulfisoxazole
Reference: http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/sun-sensitizing-drugs?page=2

By WHBlogger

Updated: 5/23/19


Instructions and Disclaimer: The content on this website is designed for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses. Always consult your health care provider with any questions or concerns you might have regarding your health. 

Jaden, 15

I wish to go to the Bahamas

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Keeping Your Child Safe In and Around Water

37305206_lWarm weather is here and kids of all ages are jumping into pools, and swimming in nearby lakes and oceans. Before you let your kids take a splash in the water, remember that even small pools may be dangerous. The chances are small, but it only takes a second for a child to inhale water and risk drowning. Consider these safety tips in and around water:

  1. Children ages 1-4 are less likely to drown if they are given swimming lessons early in life. You may especially want to consider this if you live where there are a lot of pools in your neighborhood.

  2. It is not recommended that children younger than age 1 take swimming classes due to they are not developmentally ready.

  3. If you are in the pool or hot tub with your kids, instruct them to avoid drains given they may suck hair and loose clothing, and be dangerous. Ensure your drain covers are attached. Families buying a pool might consider one with multiple drains. This reduces the suction power of each one.

  4. An adult must always be present with their toddlers in shallow pools, preferably only a few feet away. Toddlers have little self-control. If they slip into the water, they might take several quick breaths out of fear.

  5. Do not task a person you just met with watching your child.

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  6. Never drink alcohol while supervising children. One sober person should watch the children swim at all times, even at large parties.

  7. Inflatable toys are not substitutes for life jackets. 

    If you have a pool at home…


  8. If your kids are younger than five, you should fence in your pool and use safety locks on the gate. The fence should be a minimum of four-feet tall and not have wide slots. Chain-link fences can also be problematic because children are great climbers, and will go up and over for a quick splash in the water.

  9. Install alarms on any doors leading into an indoor swimming pool area. If your child tries to open the door, it will alert you immediately.

  10. Never leave toys in the pool. If a young child sees a toy, it could entice them to retrieve it.

Remember, the Watertree Health Prescription Discount Card may help you save on medication for you or your loved onesSimply click on the “Get Your Free Card” link. The card is available to everyone at any time. For more information about how the free Prescription Discount Card works, check out this short FAQ video: wtree.us/video 

WH_GPS_logo_web_LORESYou can also look up your prescription savings with our card using the wtree.us/SavingsTool. Simply provide the drug name and zip code to find the best price at a pharmacy near you. 

By WHBlogger 

Updated: 5/23/19

Instructions and Disclaimer: The content on this website is designed for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses. Always consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you might have regarding your health. 

Tell us if this was helpful and let us know what other topics you might like.

360 Approach to Women’s Heart Health

According to the American Heart Association, heart disease is the number one killer of women in the U.S. — heart attacks kill more women than all cancers, respiratory diseases and Alzheimer disease combined. More than 42 million women are affected by some form of cardiovascular disease in this country and the statistics are staggering; 432,000 (35.3%) of deaths in American women older than 20 are caused by cardiovascular disease each year.

If you are an African American woman or a Latina, you “have more risk factors than Caucasian women.” Here are the alarming facts:

African American Women

African-American-Women-Heart-Health

  • Cardiovascular diseases kill nearly 50,000 African American women annually.
  • Of African American women ages 20 and older, 49 percent have heart diseases.
  • Only 1 in 5 African American women believes she is personally at risk.
  • Only 52 percent of African American women are aware of the signs and symptoms of heart attack.
  • Only 36 percent of African American women know that heart disease is their greatest health risk.

Latinas

Latinas

  • Hispanic women are likely to develop heart disease 10 years earlier than Caucasian women.
  • Only 1 in 3 Hispanic women are aware that heart disease is their number one killer.
  • Only 3 in 10 Hispanic women say they have been informed that they are at a higher risk.
  • Only 1 in 4 Hispanic women is aware of treatment options.
  • Hispanic women are more likely to take preventive actions for their family when it comes to health.

But you don’t have to be a victim. And you don’t have to become part of the statistics. You can apply a 360 approach in fighting heart disease – reducing the risk of becoming at risk by knowing the warning signs and adopting a proactive role in maintaining good health.

The Mayo Clinic lists the most common heart attack symptoms in women and they are often more subtle than what we have come to expect. Women are more likely than men, to have heart attack symptoms unrelated to chest pain, such as:
Infographic Showing signs of a heart attack in women.


Womenshealth.gov recommends these preventative measures that can reduce a woman’s risk of heart disease:

Don’t smoke. Women who smoke increase their risk of heart attacks. Quitting can help significantly lower your chances of developing cardiovascular disease.

Know your blood pressure. High blood pressure can lead to heart disease. Have your blood pressure tested every 1 to 2 years. Work with your health professional to lower and manage high blood pressure.

Get tested for diabetes. Diabetics have high blood glucose, which is often symptomless. So get a regular blood glucose test. If you are diabetic, make sure to follow your doctor’s advice and treatment (whether it’s pills or insulin shot). A woman with diabetes has three to seven time higher than normal risk of developing heart disease.

Know your cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Being overweight puts you at higher risk. Maintain a healthy weight relative to your Body Mass Index (a calculation of weight and height). You can start by changing up your diet and exercising:

  • Add more fruits and vegetables, as well as grain to your menu.

healthyfoods

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Exercise and a healthy diet will improve your overall wellbeing, physical and emotional health.

Limit your alcohol intake. You don’t have to give up your occasional glass of wine, beer or other alcoholic beverages. Just manage your intake.

Take control of your stress. Find healthy ways to manage daily stressors and their impact. Find time to do the things that you enjoy – with friends or solo. Taking charge of stress can considerably decrease your chances of having a heart disease.

Remember, if you are on prescribed medication for diabetes, cholesterol management, high blood pressure or any of the other conditions that make you a high risk candidate for heart disease, and you need help affording your prescriptions, download a free Watertree Health Prescription Discount Card or request your card be mailed to you. It provides significant discounts on almost all recommended medications (brand and generic). Most experts agree, taking your medicines as prescribed improves overall health and wellbeing and lowers cost of health care for everyone.

By WHblogger

Updated: 5/9/19

References:  The American Heart Association; womenheart.org; hngnews.com; cdc.gov; sciencedaily.com

Instructions and Disclaimer: The content on this website is designed for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses. Always consult your health care provider with any questions or concerns you might have regarding your health.

What is Lupus?

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Lupus is a disease that causes your immune system to mistakenly attack healthy tissue. It’s estimated that about 1.5 million people in America have been diagnosed with lupus, with about 16,000 new cases each year.

The cause of lupus is still a mystery. It is speculated that it develops in response to a combination of factors both inside and outside your body, including: hormones, genetics, and your environment.

Women are more prone to the disease than men. And, women who are African American, Hispanic, Asian and Native American are more likely to get lupus than Caucasian women.

What Are Some of the Symptoms?

Lupus can be difficult to diagnose because it varies person to person and symptoms come and go. No single test has been developed that can diagnose lupus, so doctors still rely on your medical history, blood work, urinalysis, and assessment of both your kidneys and liver. 

If you think you may have lupus, please see your health care professional.

How Can it be Treated?

Treatment for lupus depends on your symptoms. The most common treatments used to control the disease include:

  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Antimalarial drugs
  • Corticosteroids
  • Immune suppressants

There is still much research being done to better understand this disease. If you are on prescribed medications for lupus or other conditions, and you need help affording your prescriptions, download a free Watertree Health Prescription Discount Card or request a card be mailed to you. Most experts agree, taking your medicines as prescribed improves overall health and wellbeing and lowers cost of health care for everyone.

By WHBlogger 

Updated: 5/9/19

Instructions and Disclaimer: The content on this website is designed for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses. Always consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you might have regarding your health. 

Tell us if this was helpful and let us know what other topics you might like.

Minimize Arthritis Symptoms With Diet & Exercise

by Shane Power, President of Watertree Health 

It may surprise you to know that, in America, 1 in 3 adults between the ages of 18-64 have arthritis. With over 100 different types of this disease, it is predicted that more than 75 million people in this age group will have arthritis by 2040. Practicing good habits can help ease the effects that may develop over time. For example, diet can help alleviate symptoms from the inside out, and physical activity can help improve stamina and mobility. (Always consult your doctor before making any lifestyle changes.) Let’s discuss what else you can do to help cope with this ailment.

Although arthritis cannot be cured, it can be helped by making healthier dietary choices. Here is a list of foods, beverages, and supplements that are highly recommended because they are high in antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, and anti-inflammatory properties, which may help reduce joint pain and inflammation caused by arthritis.

Best Dietary Choices for Arthritis:

  • Ginger
  • Turmeric
  • Garlic
  • Fatty Fish
  • Broccoli
  • Cherries
  • Olive Oil
  • Green Tea
  • Smoothies

Shaking a sedentary lifestyle should be a top priority for most. Physical activity can make a huge difference for those experiencing arthritis and can help reduce pain and improve mobility by 40%. Recent studies have discovered that some sports can help maintain healthy cartilage. The low-impact activities listed below may help make a difference in how you feel.

Best Exercises for Arthritis:

  • Walking
  • Yoga
  • Cycling
  • Water Aerobics
  • Swimming

Following a good daily diet and exercise routine may help minimize arthritis symptoms. Share this story with friends and family who may be suffering. Pain doesn’t always have to be a part of living with this disease.

Ryan, 18

I wish to have a gaming system

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