Blog Posts by The Editors at Sharecare

  • 7 Holiday Pet Hazards: How to Keep Your Pets Safe

    Bad kitty! Breakable ornaments are just one holiday hazard for pets.Bad kitty! Breakable ornaments are just one holiday hazard for pets.Time to deck your halls, feast on seasonal fare, and gear up for that big holiday party. But beware: What's a celebration for you can be downright hazardous for the family dog or cat. From dangling decorations and poisonous poinsettias to toxic table scraps, protect your furry pals from these holiday perils.

    1. The tree. Does your cat climb the tree or your dog swipe gingerbread ornaments off low-hanging branches? If so, hang fresh garlands and wreaths well above paw's reach for an equally festive and safer alternative. If you do have a tree, secure it on a wide, tip-proof base, or anchor it to the wall with a guy wire. And cover the tree stand to prevent pets from lapping up the potentially toxic water inside.

    5 ways to keep your cat from scratching the furniture.

    2. Ornaments. Keep all ornaments (especially hooks, glass, and tinsel) out of snout's reach. Ingesting these (not to mention pine needles) can block or even rupture a pet's intestines.

    3. Holiday plants.

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  • Is Coconut Milk Really Good for You?

    By Dianne Lange

    Are coconut milk's health benefits the real deal?Are coconut milk's health benefits the real deal?Coconut milk is the new kid in the dairy case these days, turning up as a vegan alternative to cow's milk, creamer, yogurt, ice cream, even "butter." But is it the new superfood -- "heaven in a glass," as Biggest Loser fitness guru Jillian Michaels claims? Can it prevent everything from Alzheimer's to goiter?


    In a coconut shell, the stuff doesn't quite live up to the hype (sorry, Jillian). But we do agree that the blend of coconut cream and water is a tasty alternative to moo juice. (Don't confuse the new-generation coconut milk products in the dairy case with coconut water -- the clear liquid from inside young, green coconuts that was last year's new thing -- or the thick canned milk used in Thai curries.)

    Why coconut water is nature's perfect sports drink.

    To our taste buds, beverages like Silk Pure Coconut, Coconut Dream, or Soy Delicious Coconut Milk Beverage are more milk-like than watery almond milk, and they don't have the

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  • 8 Easy Ways to Beat Stress

    A good laugh is a great everyday stress-buster.A good laugh is a great everyday stress-buster.This is a hectic time for year -- and for many of us, a stressful one, too. Chronic stress does a number on your health. It ages you in a hurry, it's bad for your heart, and it may boost your risk of diabetes. But you don't need a week at a spa to unwind. These eight speedy tension-relievers can ease your stress anytime.

    Under pressure? How stress raises your cholesterol.

    Have a good laugh. A good belly laugh triggers production of endorphins, the brain's feel-good neurotransmitters. It also relaxes your blood vessels and increases blood flow -- the ideal antidote to tension.

    Take a walk.
    If stress is a constant companion, add a 20-minute walk to your daily routine. Even better, take your stroll in a neighborhood park. A recent Japanese study revealed that walking outside, especially in a forest setting, is an effective way to combat chronic stress.

    Eat happy meals.
    A healthy diet also is great for stress management. Enjoy foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids (like salmon and Read More »from 8 Easy Ways to Beat Stress
  • 10 Memory-Boosting Foods

    Can nibbling chocolate boost your memory?Can nibbling chocolate boost your memory?Want to slash your risk of age-related memory loss, dementia, even Alzheimer's disease? Pay attention to what's on your plate. A new study by German researchers finds a Mediterranean diet may prevent age-related cognitive declines.

    That's right, a heart-smart diet that helps control your cholesterol, blood sugar, and blood pressure is good for your brain, too. In fact, it can slash your risk of Alzheimer's disease by as much as 60%. So be sure to add these 10 memory-boosting foods to your diet.

    10 eats that lower cholesterol and safeguard your memory.

    Salmon. Coldwater fish like salmon are rich in omega-3 fatty acids to nourish your noggin. A recent study found eating baked or broiled fish at least once a week lowers your risk of memory loss and Alzheimer's disease. It boosts the size of your brain cells. (Skip fried fish -- researchers say it doesn't offer the same benefit.)

    Chocolate. This sweet treat has antioxidants known as polyphenols, which increase blood flow to your brain

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  • Cold Weather Making Your Joints Hurt? 3 Ways to Find Relief

    Cold weather making your joints ache? Cold weather making your joints ache? Brrrr! The days are getting short and cold. For a lot of people that means joint pain, especially if they have arthritis. We polled RealAge Facebook fans to find out what triggers their hip and knee pain, and 42% blamed cold weather -- by far the leading cause. But can the elements really make your joints ache?

    The scientific evidence is conflicting. Some studies find a strong relationship between short, cold, damp days and arthritis flare-ups. Research from Tufts University suggests changes in barometric pressure worsen knee pain in people with arthritis, while colder temperatures can cause painful changes in the viscosity of joint fluid. Other studies have found little or no link between weather and joint pain.

    How old are your hips, knees, and hands? Find out with our JointAge Test.

    Well, tell that to our Facebook fans who say a cold snap does aggravate joint pain. Whether your aches are sparked by the weather or other causes, these three steps can help you feel better.

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  • 7 Bad Habits that Steal Your Sleep

    Working on your laptop in bed is a recipe for a bad night's sleep.Working on your laptop in bed is a recipe for a bad night's sleep.One bad night's sleep is nothing to worry about -- half of all adults suffer occasional bouts of sleeplessness. But chronic insomnia can do more than more than just make you tired during the day. Several recent studies have linked poor slumber with weight gain, high blood pressure, and a higher risk of a heart attack.

    Stress, illness, menopause, and even some medications can trigger insomnia. These 7 everyday habits can steal your slumber, too. The good news: A small change in routine may be all you need to sleep better.

    Take this test to find out what's getting in the way of your sleep.

    You have caffeine after lunch. Caffeine lingers in your system for up to 12 hours, so that after-lunch coffee can leave you wide-eyed at bedtime.

    Try this: Switch to decaf after midmorning. If you like a hot sipper in the evening, try chamomile tea or warm milk. Both will help you get your ZZZs.

    You eat a big dinner. A substantial supper takes hours to digest, making it hard to fall

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  • 10 Cold and Flu Remedies that Really Work

    There may not be a cure for a cold or flu, but there is relief.There may not be a cure for a cold or flu, but there is relief.Aches. Sniffles. Fever. Yep, cold and flu season is in full swing. When you're sick, you just want to feel better, fast. There's no cure for a cold or flu, but we've got 10 home remedies that help ease your symptoms.

    Not sure if you have a cold or the flu? Take this quiz.

    Hot Tea with Honey

    Drink plenty of liquids to stay hydrated, and make sure they're hot. Black tea helps soothe a sore throat and chase away the chills with a good dose of virus-fighting interferon. Add a dollop of antioxidant-rich honey and a squeeze of lemon for vitamin C.

    Orange Juice

    Crave OJ when you're sick? It's full of vitamin C, which may shorten a cold's duration of and work as a natural decongestant. Aim for 500 mg of vitamin C four times a day. A cup of orange juice has 124 mg. Other good sources: strawberries, tomatoes, and broccoli.

    Hot Peppers

    Hot peppers contain capsaicin, the compound that gives chiles their kick and acts as a decongestant to help relieve a stuffy nose.

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  • Could You Have Adult ADHD? 8 Signs and How to Get Help

    Getting the help you need is the first step to managing adult ADHD.Getting the help you need is the first step to managing adult ADHD.Do you have trouble completing projects at work? Finishing chores at home? Keeping your financial house in order? These nagging issues are classic symptoms of adult ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). An estimated 85% of adults who have ADHD go undiagnosed and untreated. And that's too bad, because those ADHD symptoms can wreak havoc on your career and relationships.

    Finances a mess? Tense relationships? 5 ways adult ADHD may be getting in the way of your success.

    For example, do you often:

    • Have great difficulty wrapping up the loose ends on projects?
    • Have trouble staying organized?
    • Miss appointments or obligations?
    • Procrastinate on big projects that require planning and thought?
    • Have trouble sitting still?
    • Often lose important things?
    • Interrupt when other people are speaking?
    • Find it hard to keep track of bills and manage your finances?

    Answered "yes" to four or more of these questions? There's a good chance you have

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  • 9 Ways to Outsmart Food Cravings

    It's true: You can learn to enjoy chocolate in moderation.It's true: You can learn to enjoy chocolate in moderation.The holiday season means temptation is everywhere, from chocolates at the office to cookies from the neighbors. If you're prone to binge eating and food cravings - which can be a real addiction that affects the same areas of the brain as drug cravings - this is a particularly tough time of year. But with a little planning, you can outwit your appetite.

    Eat a protein-rich breakfast. Some protein - like eggs, yogurt, or nuts - in the morning helps prevent overeating later in the day, a new study from the University of Missouri finds. Protein keeps you satisfied so you'll beless tempted by goodies.

    Eat this to fend off a snack attack and flatten your belly.

    Get moving, especially when you crave chocolate. A quick walk will curb even major chocoholic cravings in just 15 minutes. It works by stimulating feel-good brain chemicals.

    Avoid trigger foods. You're less likely to be tempted by the foods you crave if you keep them out of your environment. Banish them from your house.

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  • 6 People Food No-Nos for Pets

    Bad doggy! Keep your dogs -- and cats -- away from holiday treats.Bad doggy! Keep your dogs -- and cats -- away from holiday treats.Holiday feasts mean plenty of tasty temptation for you -- and your dog or cat. Though you may not plan to give people food to your pets, they'll still be cruising for handouts. Ask guests not to share their chow with pets, and keep food out of a sneaky paw's reach. Watch out for that box of chocolates on the coffee table, beware of counter-surfing cats and dogs, and keep your Dumpster-diving pooch out of the trash.

    There are plenty of people food no-nos for pets, but these six items are common on tables this time of year, and they're bad news for both cats and dogs.

    Is your cat having trouble getting around? Here's how to spot arthritis in Fluffy.

    Onions, garlic, and chives. These members of the allium family (including onion and garlic powders) can cause tummy upset in cats and dogs. Very small amounts probably won't do any damage, but if animals eat a lot of onions, garlic, or chives over time, it can cause red blood cell damage that leads to anemia.

    Grapes, raisins,

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