Here at the Healthy Life Foundation, our focus is to fund medical research into fighting age related diseases so that we can live longer healthier lives. However, creating a longer healthier life shouldn’t be something that we start thinking about when we get older. It should really start from a young age. By maintaining a strong well-nourished body from our youth, it sets us up with a good foundation for preventing diseases as we get older.
As parents, it is so important that we set a good example for our children and instil healthy habits that they will take into their adult years. The sooner we introduce nutritious choices into our kids’ diets, the easier they’ll be able to develop healthy choices that can last them a lifetime. It is actually much easier and less time consuming than you think!
Here are some tips and tricks to get your kids to enjoy healthy food!
- Disguise the taste of healthier foods.Try adding vegetables to a bolognaise sauce and swap normal pasta noodles for whole wheat. You could also mash carrots with mashed potato or add grated or shredded veggies to stews and sauces to make them blend in.
- Make it fun.Sometimes the more creative food looks, the greater chance your children will try it. You can make smiley face whole grain pancakes, name Broccoli florets “baby trees” and use cookie cutters to turn toast & sandwiches into fun shapes.
- Get them involved.If your children become involved in choosing or cooking meals, they’ll be more interested in eating what they’ve made. You could take them to the store and let them choose the vegetables. If they’re old enough, allow them to cut up vegetables and mix them into a salad.You could also cook simple recipes’ together so that they can be proud of the home cooked meal that they created.
- Cut back on junk.Remember, it is you (not your children) that is in charge of the foods that enter your home. By swapping junk food for healthy snacks, you’ll force your children to eat more fruits, vegetables, whole grains and protein.
- Relax and Enjoy.Remember that it’s what your kids eat over time that matters. Having popcorn at the cinema or eating an ice-cream on the seafront are some of life’s pleasures. As long as you balance these times with smart food choices and physical activity, your children will be fine.
Water plays an immense role in our bodily functions making it an essential part of our everyday life.It is crucial for the functionality of every system in our body including our heart, brain and kidneys. The intake of fluids carry nutrients to our cells, flushes bacteria from our bladder, lubricates our joints, regulates body temperature, boosts healthy skin, eliminate toxins, facilitates proper digestion and is vital for kidney function. However, for most of us drinking enough water is not a habit that we make a priority so unfortunately most of us don’t get enough of it.
Our bodies are made up of 60% water and our blood is made up of 90%. So it is incredibly important that we replenish the water that we loose every day performing our normal functions. The current IOM recommendation for people ages 19 and older is around 3.7 litres for men and 2.7 litres for women. This is your overall fluid intake per day, including anything you eat or drink containing water in it, like fruits or vegetables. Of this total, men should drink around 13 cups from beverages and women should drink 9 cups.
Since dehydration can be life threatening, it is important that you replenish your body with water immediately if you feel yourself becoming dehydrated.
Some of the symptoms of dehydration are:
- Irritability and confusion
- Dry skin that doesn’t bounce back when you pinch it
- Low blood pressure
- Urine is minimal and more yellowish than normal
- Tired or fatigued
- Extreme thirst
- Dry mouth, lips & eyes
Common causes of Dehydration
- Dehydration can happen more easily if you have:
- Vomiting or Diarrhoea
- Heatstroke from being in the sun too long
- High intake of alcohol
- High temperature of 38c or more
- High intense exercise that produces a lot of sweat
- Medication that causes frequent urination
As we get older, the more we tend to worry about our health. But undergoing routine health checks can drastically improve the outcome of some age related diseases. Early diagnosis helps save lives as it provides treatment options at the earliest possible stage and often before the disease starts to spread. Methods of screening tests include cancer screenings that search for cancerous cells or tissues within the body. These screenings increase the chance of successful treatment as it helps detect cancer early when it is most likely curable. Studies show that early diagnosis could save between 5,000 and 10,000 lives per year.
It is not just cancer screenings that are important to our health. There are many other health screenings that are just as important such as cholesterol, blood pressure and routine health checks.
Prevention is always better than a cure. Here are 8 tests that could literally save your life.
Bowel / Colon Cancer Screening– Bowel cancer is the fourth most common cancer in the UK. More than 90% of bowel cancers can be successfully treated if detected early.
Breast Screenings– More than 90% of women diagnosed with breast cancer at the earliest stage survive their disease for at least 5 years compared to around the 15% for women diagnosed at the most advanced stage.
Cervical Screening-Cervical screening is a method of preventing cancer by detecting abnormalities and precancerous cells in the cervix. If left untreated, these abnormalities could lead to cervical cancer.
Skin Checks– Keeping an eye on moles is essential for spotting the early signs of skin cancer. Most moles are harmless, but sometimes they can develop into a rare form of skin cancer called malignant melanoma. If you notice any changes in your moles, it is important to see a specialist.
AAA screening– The aorta is the main blood vessel in the body. It pumps blood from the heart around the body. If a swelling in the aorta is left to get bigger it could burst, causing life threatening bleeds inside the stomach. An abdominal aortic aneurysm won’t have often have symptoms so the test can pick up an AAA before it bursts.
Cholesterol Checks– High levels of cholesterol can build up in the arteries, which increase your risk of heart attack, cardiovascular diseases or stroke so it is incredibly important to have your cholesterol levels checked.
Prostate Check– Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in men. If there are any causes for concern such as an increased need to urinate, straining or not feeling emptied after urinating. Men can be offered a PSA blood test that measures the level of PSA and may help detect early prostate cancer.
Blood Pressure Check– High blood pressure can put you at risk for multiple conditions such as heart failure, stroke, heart attack, kidney disease and may also be responsible for some types of dementia. This is a common test that is incredibly important and could even save your life.
You can usually expect to receive a letter from your GP or local authority inviting you foran NHS Health Check or Screening. But for more information, contact your GP with any questions or concerns.