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HEALTHY LIVING

Support brain health: Simple ways to add to your wellness routine

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(Family Features) When most people think of wellness, diet and exercise are the first things that come to mind. Brain health is another essential element of your overall wellness because it affects your quality of life in many ways.

Brain health is the foundation of your ability to live a productive and successful life by communicating and solving problems. It’s the driving force behind your daily function.

Give your brain extra support with these tips:

Stimulate Your Mind

Like any muscle, your brain needs exercise. Your workout equipment for your brain can include activities like puzzles, reading, learning an instrument, taking up a new hobby or learning a new language.

Focus on Brain-Supporting Foods
What you eat doesn’t just affect your physical health; it affects your brain health, too. One example is the Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay (MIND) diet, which is the result of more than 20 years of data collected by researchers at Rush University Medical Center and Harvard School of Public Health.

It follows the Mediterranean style of eating whole foods with minimal processing and includes an emphasis on plant-based foods, including leafy greens, whole grains and heart-healthy legumes along with some fish and smaller amounts of poultry. The MIND diet aims to build on these principles and emphasizes antioxidant-rich berries, dark leafy greens and fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, herring or sardines.

A dish like Kale and Quinoa Bowl with Salmon reflects the MIND diet guidelines and is a delicious and smart way to support your brain with good nutrition.

“Fueling your brain starts with your plate,” said Melissa Halas, MA, RDN. “This tasty kale, quinoa and salmon recipe by Alton Brown has smart ingredients that match the MIND diet. Plus, the results are delicious. It’s so important to support your brain with the right nutrients.”

Sleep Well
While you catch up on your rest, your body is hard at work rejuvenating all your systems, and your brain is no exception. Getting plenty of sleep each night gives your brain time to repair itself so you wake feeling sharp and focused.

Add a Supplement to Your Daily Routine
Most people fall short of reaching recommended nutrient levels with their diets alone. Supplements can help fill the gap. An option like Neuriva Plus can help support the key indicators of brain health: reasoning (think and understand things in a logical way), focus (zoom in and filter out distractions), accuracy (react with greater speed and precision), memory (record and recall stored information), learning (retain new information) and concentration (concentrating on tasks for longer periods).*

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Available in capsules and gummies, the Neuriva brain health supplements include naturally sourced ingredients like Neurofactor™ (coffee cherry extract) and plant-sourced phosphatidylserine (PS), as well as B vitamins to support brain health.

“I recently turned 60 and over the past couple of decades, I’ve been very focused on taking care of my health from the inside out – first with my food, and now taking action to support my brain health,” said Alton Brown, award-winning chef and food geek. “Neuriva fits perfectly into my holistic regimen, which for me, is just simple life practices, like exercising, eating a balanced diet and getting a good night’s sleep.”  

Manage Stress
Keeping your stress in check is good for your mental well-being, but it also affects your physical and cognitive health. Practicing yoga, meditation or listening to music are some ways to reduce stress while improving your cognitive function and performance.

Connect with Others
Personal interaction also sharpens your brain, as it encourages you to practice communication and other cognitive skills. You can protect and improve your brain health by creating and nurturing connections with friends and family.

Keep Moving
Your brain needs plenty of oxygen for good function. Physical activity burns calories and builds muscle while increasing oxygen flow and stimulating nerve cell growth.

For more ideas to support brain health and wellness, visit Neuriva.com and download the Neuriva Brain Gym app.

Kale and Quinoa Bowl with Salmon

Recipe courtesy of Alton Brown on behalf of Neuriva
Servings: 4

Kale and Quinoa Bowl:

  • 1 bunch lacinato or “dinosaur” kale, stems removed and cut into ribbons (about 4 ounces, stemmed)
  • 1 bunch (1 1/2 ounces) flat leaf parsley, stems removed and roughly chopped
  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice only
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup plain, low-fat yogurt
  • 4 ounces firm feta cheese, divided
  • 1cup (3 1/2 ounces) walnuts, toasted and lightly crushed, divided
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cups cooked white quinoa
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries
  • freshly ground black pepper

Salmon:

  • 2 skin-on salmon fillets (around 1-inch thick and 5 ounces each)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons light olive oil
  1. To make kale and quinoa bowls: In large bowl, toss kale, parsley and shallots with 2 tablespoons olive oil; set aside 10 minutes.
  2. In bowl of food processor, puree remaining olive oil, lemon juice and zest, garlic, yogurt, 2 ounces feta, 1/3 of the walnuts and salt.
  3. Pour dressing over greens then fold in quinoa, remaining walnuts, cherries and remaining feta.
  4. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving with several grinds of black pepper.
  5. To make salmon: Wrap fillets in paper towels then heat large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat 5 minutes.
  6. When skillet is hot, season fillets with salt. Add oil to skillet and carefully tilt to evenly cover bottom. When oil shimmers, slide fillets in, skin-side down, pressing each fillet firmly down with spatula.
  7. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook 3 minutes then cover and cook 2 minutes.
  8. Carefully flip fillets, cover and cook 1 minute, or until fillets reach desired doneness or internal temperature of at least 130 F** on thermometer inserted into centers.
    **The United States Department of Agriculture recommends a minimum internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit.
  9. To serve, separate kale and quinoa mixture into four bowls. Slice each fillet in half and place on top of kale and quinoa.

Content courtesy of Neuriva

Photo courtesy of Getty Images (woman eating at laptop)
Photo courtesy of Getty Images (woman doing a puzzle)
Photo courtesy of Lynne Calamia (Kale and Quinoa Bowl with Salmon)


SOURCE:
Neuriva

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HEALTHY LIVING

Living with psoriatic arthritis? How to manage your symptoms

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(BPT) – Sponsored by Janssen

Imagine finding simple tasks, such as getting out of bed, dressing yourself or turning a faucet on and off, difficult to do because they’re too painful.1 That’s what a typical day can feel like for people living with active psoriatic arthritis (PsA). About 1.5 million Americans are living with PsA, and although patients may experience symptoms differently, the condition can often interfere with basic daily activities.1,2

Active PsA is a chronic condition that occurs when your body’s immune system attacks healthy cells and tissue, which causes inflammation in the joints as well as overproduction of skin cells. 3 Common symptoms of active PsA include joint stiffness, pain and swelling.4 Some patients with active PsA can also experience fatigue, which is an underestimated and underreported concern that can interfere with daily life. 4-6

PsA symptoms can vary and differ in severity from patient to patient, so it’s critical for healthcare providers and patients to have an open dialogue to build a personalized management plan together. 4 A PsA management plan may incorporate lifestyle changes as well as medication potentially to help address the disease symptoms.

“The symptoms of active psoriatic arthritis may be hard to describe or feel invisible at times, but that doesn’t make them any less real,” said Soumya D. Chakravarty, MD, PhD, Senior Director, Strategic Lead, Rheumatology Therapeutic Area at Janssen. “PsA can have debilitating effects on the lives of patients. It’s important for patients to speak about symptoms with their rheumatologist because there are strategies they can implement to help see improvement.”

Here are some top tips for managing symptoms of PsA:

Consider a Healthy Diet

While there isn’t a specific diet for PsA, research shows that certain foods can help reduce inflammation in the body, which contributes to the disease.7 Consider incorporating more anti-inflammatory foods, such as fruits, vegetables, beans, whole grains and healthy fats like fish and avocado, while reducing foods like fatty red meats, dairy, refined sugars and processed foods. 7,8

Think About Finding a Workout That Feels Good

Exercise while living with active PsA can feel daunting, but physical activity has many benefits, including helping to maintain a healthy weight, taking extra pressure off painful joints, keeping joints flexible and increasing endorphins, which can provide an energy boost. 8,9 Make sure to speak with your healthcare provider or a physical therapist about a workout routine that is right for you. As a general guide, try to target 30 minutes of movement each day if you’re able and consider lower impact workouts. 8

Lean On a Support System

For people living with PsA, the disease can have an impact beyond just physical symptoms. 10 Connecting with other patients who understand what you’re experiencing, whether in a support group or an online community, can help if you’re feeling overwhelmed, misunderstood or isolated. 10

Start a Dialogue With Your Healthcare Provider About Treatment Options

In addition to physical tests to assess the severity of your PsA, rheumatologists are also building treatment plans based on outcomes that are more personally significant to patients.6 “It’s important to speak openly with your rheumatologist because there are treatments that may help improve PsA symptoms,” said Dr. Chakravarty.

Be sure to describe your symptoms — such as joint pain, stiffness and swelling — with specific details about how they impact your daily activities. Also, let your rheumatologist know if you are experiencing fatigue from your active PsA. This information will help them develop an individualized treatment plan that is right for you, which may include a biologic therapy, such as TREMFYA® (guselkumab) — a prescription medicine used to treat adults with active PsA. Talk to your doctor to see if TREMFYA® is appropriate for you. TREMFYA® is the first FDA-approved medication of its kind to selectively block interleukin 23 (IL-23), one of the key proteins thought to be responsible for symptoms of PsA. TREMFYA® can help reduce the joint pain, stiffness, and swelling that make everyday tasks harder to do. In two medical studies, more than half of patients treated with TREMFYA® had at least a 20% improvement in joint pain, stiffness, and swelling at 24 weeks. Furthermore, at 24 weeks, people taking TREMFYA® showed an overall improvement in their ability to perform daily activities such as getting dressed, eating and walking. Some patients also reported improvement in fatigue as measured by the Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy – Fatigue (FACIT-F), a questionnaire to measure self-reported tiredness, weakness, and difficulty conducting usual activities due to fatigue.

TREMFYA® is not for everyone; only your doctor can decide if it’s right for you. Do not use if you are allergic to TREMFYA®. TREMFYA® is a prescription medicine that may cause serious side effects, including serious allergic reactions and infections. It affects your immune system and may increase your risk of infections and lower your ability to fight them. Patients should be instructed to seek medical advice if signs and symptoms of clinically important chronic or acute infection occur. Patients should also be evaluated for tuberculosis before being treated with TREMFYA®. Please read the Important Safety Information and the Medication Guide for TREMFYA® available at www.tremfya.com to learn more about these and other risks for TREMFYA®. Discuss any questions you have with your doctor.

Coping with PsA can be overwhelming at times, but as difficult as it may be, don’t get discouraged. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to PsA management and it’s important to remember you have options. There are various steps you can take with your rheumatologist to help alleviate symptoms and better manage the disease.

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch, or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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Tips for caring for a loved one from afar

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(Family Features) Caring for a family member or loved one with a serious health condition like Parkinson’s disease (PD) can be a big undertaking and often takes a concerted effort from many family members and friends to provide the best care possible. Even if you’re not available to provide hands-on assistance on a consistent basis, there are ways to provide aid from a distance.

PD is one condition that may have an impact on the entire family, necessitating a broad care network. The second-most common neurodegenerative disorder behind Alzheimer’s disease, PD affects nearly 1 million nationwide, with more than 60,000 Americans newly diagnosed each year. Because it can be hard to tell if a loved one has the disease and no two people experience it quite the same way, some early signs to look for include tremors, slowness of movement and stiffness or rigidity, among others.

Organizations like the Parkinson’s Foundation have resources that can help you and your family members provide long-distance care to a loved one. As an ally to care partners, the Foundation aims to make life better for people living with PD and their families by improving care and advancing research toward a cure.

Experts from the Foundation offer these tips for long-distance caregivers:

Learn about your loved one’s condition. You will be better able to provide support if you have a basic understanding of the disease. Be sure to gather information on the condition’s symptoms, how it is diagnosed and what treatment options are available.

Be well versed in your loved one’s needs. Learn about his or her general health and keep a list of doctors and neighbors along with their contact information. Also keep any pertinent financial and legal documents readily accessible.

Keep an open line of communication with the primary caregiver. As care partner responsibilities often increase over time – and can easily lead to burnout – be sure to let the primary caregiver know you are there for them. Consider sending a simple gift such as a hand-written card, flowers or a gift card for a self-care appointment, like a massage.

Consistently offer to help. There are many ways you can offer support. If in doubt, directly ask how you can be of the most help. Even if you cannot be present to offer hands-on assistance, consider sending meals, troubleshooting technology issues or providing other assistance based on your skillset. You may even offer to have your loved one come stay with you for a while, if they are able to travel, to give the primary caregiver a respite from duties.

Call often. Set a designated day and time each week to chat with your loved one and make the call faithfully, even if just to catch up for a few minutes. Consider using a video calling service so you can see each other, if possible, to provide an additional level of connection.

Talk finances. Many people won’t ask for financial help, even if the limitations of a fixed income mean going without necessities, so it may be best to have this conversation proactively. If a regular subsidy isn’t possible, offer to buy groceries online, send a weekly meal, purchase medical supplies or help with household utility bills, transportation costs or home-related services.

Visit when possible. If your budget allows, plan regular trips to check on your loved one and plan ahead with the primary care partner so you can provide respite. Offer to take on key responsibilities during your visit and provide a listening ear for the main caregiver while you’re there.

You can find an array of free resources, including a comprehensive Caring and Coping guidebook, a video library, podcast episodes, courses and an online community, at Parkinson.org/Caregivers. To learn more and find additional resources in English or Spanish, visit the website or call the Parkinson’s Foundation toll-free Helpline at 1-800-4PD-INFO (1-800-473-4636).

Photos courtesy of Getty Images


SOURCE:
Parkinson’s Foundation

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Make use of your HSA, FSA funds for eye care

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As the year winds down, it is a great time for you to knock things off your checklist, such as annual doctor visits, gift lists and travel plans, so that you can enjoy the holiday season. One crucial doctor’s appointment that many put off is an annual eye exam. Annual eye exams can help you stay current with your prescription, give you an opportunity to discuss contact lens options if you feel discomfort in your current lens and help your eye doctor detect any eye diseases or vision problems. Maintaining your annual check-up with your eye doctor is vital for your overall health, but another good reason to visit your eye doctor is so that you can take advantage of any remaining funds in your flexible spending account (FSA) to help cover the costs of your annual exam and/or contact lenses.

How to safeguard your eye health and comfort

No matter your age, it’s important to have a complete eye exam every year, and to take care of your vision by protecting your eyes from common stressors and hazards.

Here are some ways to ensure your eyes stay healthy and feel their best.

1. Schedule your annual eye exam

If it’s been over a year since you’ve seen an eye care provider, make an appointment for an eye exam. Your eye care provider not only checks your vision, but they can assess other issues of eye health such as dry eye and glaucoma, which can affect people of any age (though both are more likely to affect older adults).

2. Consider a contact lens upgrade

If you need corrective lenses, ask your eye care provider about the TOTAL family of products, which use proprietary Water Gradient Technology for ultimate comfort. The lens material features a gradual increase in water content, approaching 100% water at the surface, so nothing touches your eye but a gentle cushion of moisture.

“Many patients who wear contact lenses think it’s normal to experience a little discomfort or dryness and may hesitate to bring it up during their annual eye exams, but it doesn’t have to be that way,” says optometrist Melanie Denton Dombrowski. “My patients who switch to the Alcon TOTAL family of products tell me they are pleased to experience exceptional comfort. I’m very happy I can now offer the same level of comfort to everyone, even my patients with astigmatism.”

Available options include:

  • Dailies TOTAL1®, Dailies TOTAL1® for Astigmatism and Dailies TOTAL1® Multifocal are the first and only Water Gradient, daily disposable contact lenses that are designed so that nothing touches your eye but a gentle cushion of moisture, providing exceptional comfort.
  • TOTAL30® is the only Water Gradient monthly replacement lens and is clinically shown to feel like nothing, even on day 30. The advanced technology of TOTAL30® is durable and remains intact during a full month of wear with daily cleaning, disinfecting and storing.

“Contact lens options differ by length of time they’re intended to be worn, and the type of vision correction needed,” says Dr. Denton Dombrowski. “Your eye doctor can help determine your vision correction needs and which lens is right for you.”

To learn more about the TOTAL family of contact lens options, visit TotalContactLenses.com.

3. Practice good eye care

A few simple habits can help reduce eye strain and protect against common irritations. This is crucial for those who work long hours in front of computers or spend time outdoors in the elements.

  • Don’t rub your eyes The surface of your eye scratches easily, and even gentle rubbing may cause debris to damage your cornea. If your eyes feel gritty, try a premium lubricant eye drop, like Systane.
  • Take breaks — Whether you spend the day in front of a screen or out in the wind and sun, rest your eyes occasionally by closing them briefly, or looking away from the screen or the sun for a while. Optometrists recommend computer users follow the 20-20-20 rule: For every 20 minutes spent staring at a screen, look at something 20 feet away, for 20 seconds.
  • Use protection — Spending time outdoors? A UV-shielding pair of sunglasses can help protect your eyes from several eye health risks and discomfort. It’s also a good idea to avoid looking directly at the sun.
  • Practice good hygiene — Always wash your hands before handling contact lenses or other eye products, and make sure the tip of an eye drop bottle never touches your eye or anything else directly.

If you’re looking for ways to use up the last of your FSA funds, think about making a visit to your eye doctor to discuss comfortable lens options. Use these tips to safeguard your eyes, and learn more about contact lenses and other products to help care for your eyes at TotalContactLenses.com.

Rx only. Ask your eye care provider for complete wear, care and safety information.

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