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We would most welcome the comments and suggestions of our readers so we may continue to broaden, enhance and better understand the interest and needs of our audience.
Dr. Taz Bhatia MD.
Living Healthy Tip
Managing Holiday Stress
The holidays are a magical time of year. It is a time of the year to celebrate peace, joy and love. It is when we can take time from our busy lives to enjoy the company of our families. At least this is what all the magazines, movies, and commercials for ham tell us the holidays are. The rest of us know that holidays are stressful. There are parties and dinners to attend, parties and dinners to plan, kids are out of school, and there is always that one person who is impossible to find a gift for. It is easy to let the holidays take over your life and ruin your mental and physical health. Keep in mind that the holidays are for celebrating and renewing yourself; stress is a big big giveaway that you need to re-prioritize how you are spending your holiday. For more, be sure to read my recent blog.
Freezing temperatures, low humidity, and furnace-blasted dry air can leave your skin dry, flaky, and itchy. Everyone needs to protect their skin from drying out in the winter.
If you’ve reached a point where all the heavy creams and milk baths in the world can’t get you hydrated, then it’s time to look at what you’re eating — or not eating. It’s sad to say, but drinking a ton of extra water isn’t going to do much to moisturize your skin. However, certain foods can help.
Choose foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids like wild salmon, walnuts, chia seeds, and flaxseeds. These can help increase your overall moisture level from the inside out.
Chapped lips making it painful to pucker up? Go to bed with honey on your lips or dab coconut oil on the dry area. Honey’s anti-bacterial properties can help to prevent infection as well as moisturize cracked lips. Coconut is loaded with beneficial minerals for moisturizing skin.
It has arrived. The sneezing, coughing, fever-ridden season has officially begun. Affecting children and adults, winter viruses often don’t discriminate based on age, race or gender. Many of my patients want to know what they can do to stay healthy this winter and enjoy the approaching holiday season. Follow this link for Dr. Taz’s tips on boosting your immune system.
Chocolate Pomegranate Clusters
- 1 cup CHOCOLATE CHIPS (Enjoy Life® are gluten-free, dairy-free and soy-free)
- 1 POMEGRANATE (I used POM Wonderful®)
- Arils must be completely dry. To ensure this, leave them out to air dry further for a couple hours or place them on a plate in a barely heated oven (that has been turned off). Any residual moisture will prevent the chocolate from binding to the arils and the clusters will fall apart.
- Line a mini muffin pan with 20 mini muffin cups/liners.
- Melt chocolate chips over low heat.
- Drizzle chocolate into bottom of cups. Add a layer of pomegranate arils to each cup. Drizzle with more chocolate. Repeat so that you have four layers of chocolate and three layers of arils.
- Allow to harden in a cool, dry place.
A: Osteoarthritis, an inflammatory joint disease, is a common condition often affecting adults over the age of 50. I see many patients with osteoarthritis that have exhausted the typical medication options and are looking for other alternatives to manage joint pain and improve mobility.
While there is not a cure for osteoarthritis, I have seen many of my patients reverse progression of this disease. Managing osteoarthritis is a delicate game of reversing inflammation and weight gain. As these issues are resolved, the pain of osteoarthritis often dissipates.
Try beating your osteoarthritis by beginning a movement regimen that you can do. Walking and running may be difficult for patients with osteoarthritis due to the impact on weight bearing joints, while swimming or yoga may be better fits. Stretching and gentle exercises like tai chi or qi gong are also helpful.
There are supplements that target osteoporosis by reversing inflammation. Turmeric, derived from curcumin, is a potent anti-inflammatory. I typically recommend 2-3 grams per day for patients with osteoarthritis. Boswellia is another anti-inflammatory frequently used. Try taking 500 mg 1-2x per day for maximum benefit. Finally, omega 3 fats decrease inflammation. Including 2-3 grams of fish oil daily can help. Some studies show that glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate aid osteoarthritis treatment by providing joint lubrication.
Progressive weight gain only worsens the symptoms of osteoarthritis. An anti-inflammatory diet combined with calorie control is key in preventing progressive weight gain and minimizing the pain of osteoarthritis.
Finally, acupuncture can be helpful for managing the pain of osteoarthritis and decreasing joint inflammation. Reversing osteoarthritis is possible but targeting inflammation and weight gain, rather than just pain are the keys to long-term prevention of this disease.