New Year’s Resolution: Preventive Care

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It is that time of year again where millions of people are vowing to get fit and stay healthy. But when February hits, the gym is deserted. If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to be healthier this year, put a new twist on it and start by seeing your doctor for a routine preventive care exam. Take it one step further and encourage your family members to get a check-up as well—even if they feel healthy and do not present any symptoms. Continue reading

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Apple of my eye.

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An apple a day keeps the doctor away!  We’ve all heard it before, but are we taking this advice seriously?  While National Eat an Apple Day seems silly—dedicating an entire day to eating an apple—the facts are in and apples have earned a day in the spotlight.

So, let’s chat and chew about the health benefits of apples!

Despite what Snow White might have to say about apples, they are one of the healthiest foods a person can eat. Laura Flores, a San Diego-based nutritionist said, “Regular intake of apples has been shown to have cardiovascular benefits. [This is due to] two properties of apples: the fiber that they contain and the Polyphemus that are found in high amounts.” (more) Apples are not only high in fiber and Vitamin C, they are also low in calories, have only a hint of sodium, and no fat or cholesterol.  No wonder EACH American eats roughly 19 pounds of apples every year!

The American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) isn’t shy about their love for fruits and vegetables either.  Studies show that apples have powerful antioxidants, ranking them a top seed amongst all fruits for lowering your risk of cancer.  Best Health Magazine reports that scientists from the American Association for Cancer Research agree “the consumption of flavonol-rich apples could help reduce your risk of developing pancreatic cancer by up to 23 percent.”

Apples provide many other health benefits, including:

  • Healthier Teeth: Eating apples produces saliva in your mouth, which reduces tooth decay by lowering bacteria levels.
  • Decreased risk of Alzheimer’s: Research showed that drinking apple juice could help fight against Alzheimer’s and the effects aging has on the brain.
  • Lowered risk of diabetes: Women who eat at least one apple a day are 28 percent less likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those who don’t eat apples. Apples are full of soluble fiber, which is key to reducing changes in blood sugar levels.
  • Healthy Heart: A large amount of research connects high soluble fiber consumption with a slower buildup of cholesterol-rich plaque in your arteries, which could lead to coronary artery disease.

The list goes on, proving that apples are a fruit to be reckoned with!  Between weight control, detoxing your liver, and lowering your risk for cataracts, it seems like apples can do it all.  So, next time you reach for a fruit, pick your poison carefully. Whether you’re a Granny Smith, Red, or Gold Delicious fan, any apple will lead to a happy ending!

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

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October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month – a month dedicated to spreading the word about steps women can take to detect breast cancer.

Breast cancer is the second most common type of cancer in women. About 1 in 8 women in the United States will get breast cancer during their lifetime—or, 178,000 women each year. Despite the high numbers breast cancer effects, many women can survive breast cancer if it’s found and treated early. It is highly encouraged that women (age 40+) have scheduled mammograms—the screening test for breast cancer—especially women ages 50-74, who should be screened every two years.  It’s important to note however, that while it’s more common in women, men are also susceptible to breast cancer. Nearly 2,000 men are diagnosed each year as well.

The causes of breast cancer are still unknown; however, there are many risk factors that can increase your chance of it developing.

Some unavoidable risk factors include:

  • Gender
  • Aging
  • Genetics
  • Family history, and more.

When it comes to preventable risk factors, the list includes but is not limited to:

  • Drinking less alcohol
  • Exercising regularly
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Breastfeeding
  • Quitting cigarette smoking

Visit the American Cancer Society’s website for a more in-depth look at risk factors for breast cancer.

During October, there are many ways you can get involved to help raise awareness of breast cancer. Whether it’s taking part in a fundraising event or starting one of your own, participating in a walk for the cure, or simply educating yourself and others about early detection and prevention, there are many ways you can help join the fight against breast cancer!

Friendly reminder: Members of the Compass Rose Health Plan (women age 35 and older) are covered at 100% for annual routine mammograms.  See your health plan brochure for more information.