Healthy tips you've never heard

October 3, 2012 4:57:18 PM PDT
Everyone likes ideas that can make your life better. Here's one: Laugh more. It will relax blood vessels which protect the heart.

We need painkillers but did you know that taking aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen on a regular basis can cause hair loss?

"Chronic use of these non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can stunt your hair growth. It puts your hair in a resting state, rather than a growth state," pharmacist and author Sherry Torkos said.

Our tip: it's reversible. Torkos warns that blood pressure medicines may also cause hair loss.

Can't sleep at night? Take a second look at decongestants.

"They can cause racing hearts, they can increase your blood pressure and they can cause insomnia and sleeplessness. And if you have glaucoma or prostate disease, it can actually worsen those conditions," Torkos said.

Instead of decongestants, she recommends using alkalol in a neti pot to wash out the sinuses. The alkalol, made of cinnamon and essential oils, clears mucus. And watch for hidden antihistamines.

"Beware when you take some of these over-the-counter sleep aids, you're actually getting antihistamine," Torkos said.

Antihistamines can leave you sleepy the next day.

Love chips? Here's a tip: Swap potato chips for tortilla chips. Tortilla chips have more fiber and less fat. And some are fortified with plant sterols which can lower bad cholesterol.

What's the healthiest oil? She says palm fruit oil. It increases good cholesterol, has lots of antioxidants and they stay potent when its heated. Be careful, get the right palm oil.

"When you're reading the labels, you look for palm fruit oil. Avoid products with hydrogenated palm oil or palm kernel oil, they're very different," Torkos said.

And one more tip: if you feel a little down or depressed, doctors say take a brisk, 20-minute walk. It can increase circulation and serotonin levels which improve mood.


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