Blog Posts by The Editors at Sharecare

  • Summer's Best Anti-Aging Iced Tea

    Iced tea is a great anti-aging summertime drink.Iced tea is a great anti-aging summertime drink.Sure, you've heard all about New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's plan to ban supersize sugary drinks. But we'll bet you're not cooling off this summer with Big Gulps of Mountain Dew anyway. Here's some good news: Iced tea -- that beloved summertime sipper -- has some awesome anti-aging benefits. Any type of brew will do.

    Smile Alert: 7 worst foods for your teeth

    Green Tea
    If you want to whittle your waist this summer, pour a nice, tall glass of iced green tea. Researchers say the tea's caffeine and antioxidants called catechins help rev up the body's metabolism to melt belly fat. Some research suggests catechins also help curb appetite. You'll need to sip a lot, though -- roughly 7 cups a day -- to reap this benefit. But all that green tea is good for your brain, too. It contains the amino acid theanine, which helps fine-tune mental focus.

    White Tea
    Want to look younger this summer? Make a pitcher of iced white tea. It has anti-aging anti-inflammatory

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  • Anti-Aging Tips to Combat 10 Major Agers

    Want to grow younger in 2012? Pump iron a few times a week.Want to grow younger in 2012? Pump iron a few times a week.We all know what can happen as we get older: memory loss, aching bones, low libido, heart disease, diabetes . . . But the real culprits aren't the problems per se, but the biological mechanisms that cause them in the first place. Here are 10 major agers -- and what you can do to fight back and stay young.

    1. Major Ager: Bad Genes and Short Telomeres
    Responsible for: Memory Problems
    Your genes are key in determining how you age -- and which conditions and diseases you're most vulnerable to getting. It's true, you can't change your genes, but you can help control the way they're expressed. How? Take telomeres -- the tips of your chromosomes. They're much like the tips of a shoelace, and with general wear and tear, they can shorten and fray, causing age-related health issues, such as memory loss.
    Action Plan: Help keep your telomeres -- and memory -- sharp with stress reduction, brain games, and regular exercise.

    Keep your memory sharp with this interactive brain game

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  • Chill the Whine: 4 Steps to End Chronic Complaining

    Don't let someone else's chronic whining get you down.Don't let someone else's chronic whining get you down.By Julie Hanks, LCSW, for Sharecare

    Whining children are difficult to tolerate, but whining adults can be even more challenging! Unlike your children, you can't send your neighbor, co-worker, or best friend to their room when they start sulking or complaining incessantly. Unfortunately, we live in a culture where whining adults are tolerated and often even glamorized on reality TV shows. Somebody else's chronic negativity can drain the joy out of your relationship with him or her -- and zap your own emotional energy.

    What being a good friend does for your health

    I was recently interviewed for a story in The Wall Street Journal called "A Nation of Whiners: Therapists Try Tough Love." In it I talked about how I confront therapy clients who complain for weeks and months on end and help them get to their core problems. Chronic complaining isn't necessarily therapeutic or helpful in therapy -- or in relationships outside the therapy office.

    If you spend time with someone

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  • "The Change" May Come Sooner Than You Think! 5 Surprising Signs You're in Perimenopause

    Perimenopause symptoms can be subtle.Perimenopause symptoms can be subtle.By Deborah A. Wilburn

    Hot flashes, vaginal dryness, irritability. These are all common signs of perimenopause -- the five- to 10-year period during which your estrogen levels fluctuate and egg production becomes erratic until your menstrual cycle stops completely. One year after your very last period, you're considered to be in menopause. The average woman enters menopause at age 52, so you could start developing symptoms anywhere from your early 40s to your late 50s.

    Think you're in perimenopause? Why you still need birth control.

    There are other perimenopause symptoms that many women overlook, says JoAnn Pinkerton, MD, ob/gyn professor and director of the Midlife Health Division at the University of Virginia. If any of these is familiar, you may be in perimenopause:

    1. Your period stops for 3 to 6 months, then starts again. Some women may think they're pregnant, and when they turn out not to be, write it off as nothing in particular. But sporadic menstruation is a

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  • Eat Your Way Younger: 4 Anti-Aging Summer Foods

    Load up on watermelon to look younger this summer.Load up on watermelon to look younger this summer.Of course, you should slather on plenty of SPF 30+ sunscreen all summer long -- year-round, really -- to help prevent aging sun damage and skin cancer. But compounds in summer-fresh fruits and veggies also have anti-aging benefits to boost your skin's natural resilience against wrinkles and sun damage. Pick up these four goodies next time you're at the farmers' market:

    Related: Is your sunscreen safe?

    • Cherries: Eat a daily handful and you may enjoy fresher, less puffy skin. It's all thanks to the inflammation-fighting anthocyanins and melatonin in cherries, according to Allison Tannis, author of Feed Your Skin, Starve Your Wrinkles. Melatonin may boost UV protection and cell growth as well -- two great ways to keep wrinkles at bay. Tart cherries tend to be highest in melatonin.
    • Nectarines: These smooth-skinned sisters of the peach provide a mini-spa's worth of nutrients that may help correct sun damage from the inside out, according to Tannis. They offer skin
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  • The Health Risks of Skinny Jeans?

    By Nicole Lester for Sharecare

    Forever 21 Skinny JeansForever 21 Skinny JeansI love my skinny jeans as much as the next woman, but now (along with high heels, flip-flops, and platform shoes) they come with with a potential health risk: A little problem called meralgia paresthetica. In plain English, it's a condition that causes "pain, tingling, burning sensations or numbness in an oval area over the front and side of the thigh," says Sharecare expert Darshan Shah, MD, a neurologist at NorthShore University HealthSystem.

    Related: Can flip-flops and other comfortable shoes can cause foot pain?

    When you wear skinny jeans, it can cause the artery inside your thigh and the nerve next to it to be squeezed together. As a result, says Mehmet Oz, MD, "the blood can't flow to the tissue, plus the nerve next to it gets irritated."

    Related: How yoga pants can make you fat

    Wondering whether your jeans really are too skinny? Find out with this simple test from Dr. Oz: If you can comfortably fit a marker inside your front

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  • Are You Taking the Right Vitamin D?

    Not all vitamin D supplements are created equal.Not all vitamin D supplements are created equal.We're always urging people to get the nutrition they need from food rather than a pill. But there's one nutritional supplement we think just about everyone needs: vitamin D. Your body produces vitamin D from the sun (and you get some vitamin D from food), but if you're careful about using sunscreen every day (a smart idea to prevent skin cancer), chances are you to don't manufacture enough vitamin D, even in the summer.

    Is your sunscreen safe?

    That means you may be low on this anti-aging vitamin. Recent research links low vitamin D levels to everything from heart disease, diabetes, and osteoporosis to breast cancer and ovarian cancer.

    "On the upside, researchers have found that having healthy amounts of vitamin D3 relaxes your blood vessels, helps bone-building drugs work better, and makes weight loss faster and easier," says Michael F. Roizen, cofounder of RealAge and chief wellness officer at the Cleveland Clinic.

    Here's who vitamin D helps overweight kids.

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  • 6 Steps to Be Happy Today!

    Finding happiness is easier than you think.Finding happiness is easier than you think.By Michael F. Roizen, MD

    When it comes to the perils of give-me-itis, it's easy to believe that owning the latest fashion brings enduring happiness. The truth is you can't buy happiness because happiness really isn't for sale. Besides, even the kindest-hearted folks can turn antisocial and self-centered when surrounded by a media environment that says "you gotta have this -- now." What can actually follow are depression and isolation.

    Can't get happy? It may be a sign of depression.

    The formula for genuine happiness is being generous of spirit and being able to count on others, plus focusing on what you have -- not on what you don't have. Here's how to do that:

    • Volunteer. Share some of your time by volunteering at a school, library, hospital, or any organization that needs a helping hand. Research shows that you'll live longer and younger. That should make you happier.
    • Count your blessings. Really count them. It's important to be conscious of your
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  • 10 Top Healing Herbs and Spices

    Spices and herbs add color, flavor, and healing benefits to any dish.Spices and herbs add color, flavor, and healing benefits to any dish.Herbs and spices do more than add flavor to a dish -- a growing body of evidence highlights real health benefits, too. From black pepper and turmeric to chives and cinnamon, here are 10 seasonings that can help fight cancer and heart disease, and keep other trouble at bay.

    1. Black Pepper
    That pepper mill may not just be a weapon against bland food. It could stop cancer cells from growing and dividing. In the lab, the zingy pepper ingredient called piperine inactivated cells with early signs of cancer trouble and left healthy cells alone.

    2. Chives
    These pungent green shoots may help neutralize the effects of carcinogens and muzzle tumor growth in a host of different cancers. Chives are part of the allium family of herbs, as are onions, garlic, leeks, shallots, and scallions. Research revealed that people who ate lots of allium herbs had fewer signs of hip osteoarthritis.

    10 best foods for healthy blood sugar

    3. Cinnamon
    Cinnamon may help you fend

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  • Don't Let Your Supermarket Make You Fat

    Healthy food can fit into a tight grocery budget.Healthy food can fit into a tight grocery budget.Can your supermarket make you fat? That depends on where you shop for groceries, according to a new study. Shopping at deep-discount supermarkets, especially if they're far from home, is linked to higher body weight and more belly fat than buying groceries at neighborhood markets closer to home.

    The researchers say this is may be because people who trek to discount supermarkets tend to shop less frequently, and stock up more nonperishables and less fresh produce.

    Then there's the belief that healthy food is more expensive than junk food. That depends on how you calculate the cost, according to a new USDA report. If you consider the cost-per-calorie, fruits and vegetables are pricier than proteins, grains, and junk food. However, if you look at the cost per edible weight or per portion -- more realistic measures, say USDA researchers -- fruits and veggies are a smart buy.

    Regardless of where you grocery shop, use these 5 budget-friendly strategies to buy healthy food

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