Blog Posts by The Editors at Sharecare

  • Holiday Gift Ideas from the Health Experts

    Sharecare has your ultimate healthy holiday gift guide.

    By Marianne Wait

    If all you want for Christmas is to be finished with shopping, don't despair. We at Sharecare asked some of our top health and fitness experts for a little help in knocking off the hard-to-please recipients on your list. Here are the items they'd most like to give-or get for themselves.

    Holiday Survival Guide

    Making spirits bright
    Yoga expert Kristin McGee suggests a couple of gifts that manage to be naughty and nice at the same time. She starts with sampler packs of heart-healthy red wines, in small "tasting" sizes, from TastingRoom.com-it's a great way for your friends to figure out whether they prefer a hint of strawberry in their wine or "flavors of the forest floor." For friends and family members who prefer to satisfy their sweet tooth as they coddle their heart, McGee suggests antioxidant-laden dark chocolate from SweetRiot.com. Think your loved one's heart needs its cockles warmed? McGee loves the exotic yet homey blends at Kusmi Teas.

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  • Helping Kids Cope with the Tragedy in Connecticut

    The country is in a deep loss. These tips will help parents talk to kids during uncertain times.

    By David Kessler

    Dr. Oz and I met privately with some families of Newtown, Connecticut after his show taped today. I shared tips with them about how to help kids in uncertain times. While they are dealing with intense grief, the country is also in deep loss. All our kids are hearing about it, now from friends and in school. I hope these tips will help.

    Blog: 5 Ways to Help Kids Feel Safe in an Unsafe World

    1. Do not try to keep what is going on from your kids. Even elementary school kids talk about these shooting. Your family style may be to protect the kids from this reality, but many other families are telling their kids and then all kids talk to each other in school.

    2. Show them a recorded news broadcast that you have previewed. During the unfolding of a tragic event, most TV is live and you cannot anticipate what your children may see.

    3. Talk to your kids about the event that is happening. Use simple language that they can understand, which is age

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  • Holiday Eating: The Secret Things Slim People Do

    Here are the top secret things slim people do during the holidays.

    By Michael Roizen, MD

    If your waistband gets tighter with every holiday party, give yourself a traffic ticket -- for speed eating. It's tempting to blame your aunt's famous triple-chocolate rum balls and that box of sugar cookies in the office coffee room for seasonal waist gain, but a compelling Greek study suggests that how fast you eat may be as important as what you put on your plate (or eat right out of the bag, carton or box).

    The secrets to eating mindfully

    Researchers already know that speed eaters are twice as likely to be overweight as those munching leisurely. Now they know why: Scarfing down food faster than a mini-vac reduces the release of appetite-regulating hormones into your bloodstream. These chemicals normally tell your brain to get your hand out of those sugar cookies, pronto. You need them more than ever during the all-you-can-eat buffet that stretches from Thanksgiving to New Year's Day. Yes, the time of year that makes 90 percent of us gain anywhere

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  • Bah Humbug! 10 Things that Get Worse Over the Holidays

    The holidays aren't always merry. These 10 things can get worse during the holiday season.

    By Sharon Orrange, MD for Sharecare

    The holidays aren't all happiness and cheer. They can also bring relationship strain, health problems and downright sadness. Here are 10 things that get worse over the holidays.

    1. Your mood.
    There is great debate about whether the incidence of depression is higher during the holiday season. Seasonal affective disorder ("fall-onset SAD") may account for the blues over the holidays. It's characterized by increased sleep, increased appetite, increased weight, irritability and heavy feeling in the arms and legs. SAD is a seasonal pattern of major depressive episodes. Many believe that depression is balanced out by more social support from family over the holiday season, which may help cushion the blow.

    Blog: Fight SAD Before It Starts

    2.Your relationship with your partner and loved ones.
    Many of you travel to visit relatives during the holidays (not real vacations but rather obligations), and strained relationships with

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  • The Garden of Youth: 3 Plants that Turn Back the Clock

    Add the peppery-tasting holy basil to your stir fry to relieve stress.

    By Rachael Anderson

    You've probably heard of the Fountain of Youth, a legendary spring that makes you young again when you drink from its waters. Unfortunately, no one's found it yet-but Medicine Hunter Chris Kilham has found something almost as good: the garden of youth. Kilham recently teamed up with Mehmet Oz, MD, to share the plants you can eat to add years to your life.

    Dandelion
    Most of us think of dandelion as a pesky weed, but to Kilham it's much more. In fact, he says dandelion is one of the most beneficial plants. It helps detoxify the liver, fights inflammation, promotes weight loss and aids in digestion. There are a few ways you can incorporate dandelion into your diet. One is to use the greens in a salad. (Don't eat chemically treated dandelion found in your backyard, which is not safe, says Kilham.) Another is to drink dandelion tea, which you can find in most health stores.

    Incorporate dandelions into your diet

    Tulsi
    Tulsi, also known as holy

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  • The Major Health Risk You Take Every Day

    Sitting all day may be the worst thing you can do for your health. These tricks will get you moving.

    By Rachael Anderson

    Most people think smoking is the worst thing they can possibly do for their health. But in reality, perhaps the worst thing of all is something most of us do every day: sit. We sit when we drive, work, eat, use the computer, watch TV and read. In fact, before you read any further, you should probably stand up. It turns out that the more time you stay planted on your rear, the less time you're destined to live on this planet.

    Take a break from sitting

    Here's what we know:

    Eye-opening research shows that keeping your butt in a chair (or on the couch) for hours at a time can lead to cancer, obesity, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and premature death. One study by the American Cancer Society found that women who sat six hours a day were 37 percent more likely to die by the end of the 13-year study period; men who sat were 18 percent more likely to die. Another study tied 49,000 U.S. cases of breast cancer and 43,000 of colon cancer to

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  • Restaurants’ Dirty Little Secrets

    Sharecare found 6 ways you can avoid secret health hazards restaurants may be hiding.

    By Rachael Anderson

    Are you getting more than you bargained for when you eat out? Mehmet Oz, MD, and Top Chef All-Stars winner Richard Blais take you behind the swinging kitchen doors to reveal the secret health hazards restaurants are hiding and share their six top tips to help you enjoy your meal without regret.

    1. Look for these hints that the kitchen's dirty
    "Just because the place looks great does not mean the same for the kitchen," says Blais. To make sure that a restaurant's kitchen is clean without barging through the doors, Blais says you need to pay attention to these subtle signs. If you see a bus bin next to a food prep area, crust around ketchup bottles, or glasses stored upside down on a counter, these are red flags that the kitchen might be a mess. And if the bathroom is dirty? The kitchen probably is, too, says Dr. Oz.

    This is the dirtiest thing a restaurant serves

    2. Order your meat "medium"
    According to Blais, an old restaurant trick is to

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  • A Holiday Recipe for Less Family Drama

    Getting the family together on Thanksgiving can lead to some serious squabbles. Quash them with these tips.

    By Julie Hanks

    What comes to mind when you think of family holiday gatherings? I think of festive décor, gathering around the dinner table for fun conversation and of course, enjoying delicious food. But whatever your holiday traditions, it's likely that your family gatherings will be sprinkled with a few tense moments and misunderstandings.

    As the second of nine children married to a man with five siblings, I know a thing or two about family drama during the holidays.

    Through my own personal experience, coupled with professional experience working with families for nearly 20 years, I've learned a few helpful strategies for navigating those occasional stressful situations that come whenever families gather.

    Get along with your family this Thanksgiving

    Accept that everyone will not be happy
    While ideal holiday celebrations are associated with happiness, remember that it's not your job to make everyone happy. I once worked with a couple that traditionally had

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  • Is Your Guy Man Enough for the Doctor?

    The men of Sharecare show (well, grow) their support for Movember.

    By Marianne Wait

    Ladies: How manly is your man? He may be able to build a campfire in the woods or fix the sink when it leaks, and maybe he can even rock your world in the bedroom-but is he man enough to get his prostate checked?

    Many guys are about as likely to see the doctor voluntarily as they are to ask for directions, especially when nothing's broken, bleeding profusely or about to fall off. But getting checkups can be a lifesaver. That's why the men of Sharecare are looking so hairy these days. They're showing-make that growing-their support for men's health issues in honor of Movember, a campaign to raise awareness of (and funds for) prostate cancer and testicular cancer. Check out the photo to see their progress. Yes, the "Mo" in Movember is for mustache!

    Health mistakes men make

    Why would men rather snake a drain than see the doctor? "Men think taking care of themselves is a sign of weakness. It acknowledges vulnerability, and men are supposed to be tough,"

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  • 5 Tips that Helped Me Quit Smoking

    It's the Great American Smokeout. Are you finally ready to quit?

    By Cathy Poley

    I started smoking my freshman year of college, partly because of the stress of new classes and a new environment and partly because it seemed to be "what all the cool kids were doing." It was a great way to socialize, I thought. You had a common activity that bonded you to other people instantly and you had approximately 3 minutes during a smoke break with others to enjoy a conversation.

    I did not intend to smoke for 12 years, but a high-stress job fed my habit.

    Take our Quit Smoking quiz

    I vividly remember the day I decided to quit. I was on a smoke break, and I coughed. It was a loud, long, raspy cough. I had heard that cough before. It was the same cough my grandmother had.

    My grandmother had been a life-long smoker before dying of a heart attack, something to which I am sure her heavy smoking habit contributed. When she had the heart attack she had just sat down at her kitchen table at 9 a.m. with a cigarette.

    When I heard that same

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