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Why prevention is better than cure

It is always better to be safe about things than to be sorry later. Heritage health offers wellness
benefits for members for early detection of medical health issues. To list a few:

View full wellness benefits in the product brochure 2022.

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Going outside for a walk will help you reset your mind and keep you active during the day. Getting outside in the sunlight will also expose you to vitamin D, which is a must for your bones.

It is highly recommended people incorporate gut-healthy prebiotic fibers into their diet. Prebiotics are the fuel for the beneficial bacteria in your gut, and it is known that our gut and brain are directly connected and have a great impact on each other. Some simple ways to include prebiotic fibers into your diet can include consuming cooked and then cooled — potatoes and grains, adding legumes to winter dishes such as lupin beans, or even simply adding a scoop of prebiotic fiber powder to a warm bowl of oatmeal or pancakes.

Exercising early in the morning can help to increase energy levels throughout the day. If you find yourself scrambling to put it all together in the morning, consider setting out your exercise clothes the evening prior so that you are more apt to squeeze them in. Regular exercise also promotes more restful nighttime sleep so that you feel more energetic during the day — a win-win.”  

Walking has been shown to be valuable in improving mental health, particularly depression, so it is important to try and walk daily. When you do go for a walk, set your focus on just the experience of walking and your surroundings. For example your feet on the ground, the fresh air, sunshine, birds singing, etc. Be mindful, embrace each step and you will be sure to feel rejuvenated afterwards! 

Make yourself a priority each day to do something that fills you up. That will look different for everybody, but it could be reading in the morning before kids wake up, going for a walk after school drop-off, using time on your lunch break to meditate. We know everyone doesn’t have a lot of time, but carve out longer periods when you can.

Stay away from all of the traditional comfort foods like pie or candy that might make you feel good at the moment but will inevitably make it hard for you to get motivated later. Focus on getting plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet as constipation and irregularity will quite literally make you feel heavier, weighted down, and bloated, thus, less energetic. Keep moving, stay hydrated, and stay regular!

Start the day with a healthy breakfast. When you eat a carbohydrate-rich breakfast, your body releases insulin and stimulates your brain to release serotonin, the feel-good neurotransmitter that helps counter feelings of depression. A healthy breakfast also gives you energy to face the day. 

Beneficial winter foods

Soup

Avoid much salt, beef soup, and cream to get the most out of this meal. You should get recipes that include water as the base and a lot of vegetables. You can pair your soup with whole-grain crackers.

Drink More Warm Milk

Milk and other by-products such as yogurt, cheese, etc. are a great meal choice for winter. This is because they pack a lot of vitamins B12 and A, proteins, and calcium, which boost a person’s health. However, choose to drink skimmed or semi-skilled milk rather than full-fat milk. Moreover, you can take low-fat plain yogurts to decrease the number of calorie intake.

Cauliflower and Broccoli

Broccoli and cauliflower pack a lot of vitamin C, which enhances the immune functions. The chilly weather might pose a challenge in getting fresh vegetables. However, frozen cauliflower and broccoli pack the same nutritious benefits as fresh ones.

Start Your Day with Porridge

The secret to remaining energized until lunchtime is taking a healthy slow-release breakfast such as porridge. You can be creative with this morning meal by adding toppings such as seeds and nuts. Moreover, some winter fruits such as dates and apples can increase the health benefits of this meal.

Consume Root Vegetables

Finding fresh vegetables during winter can be a daunting task. However, root vegetables such as carrots, turnips, and carrots can be readily available. This is because they can withstand the cold weather. Consuming these vegetables as either boiled, raw, roasted can endow you benefits such as vitamins A and C, and a boost of beta-carotene.

Increase Your Intake of Cheese, Eggs, and Fish

Even though the previously discussed meals might not be your cup of tea, you most likely like eggs, cheese, or fish. These meals pack vitamin B12, which boosts the normal functioning of the immune system. Moreover, these meals reduce fatigue and tiredness. What’s even better is that you can consume them at any time of the day.

In essence, these meals will make your winter look shorter since they will boost your immune system and give you the energy to live through the season. Winter doesn’t have to look dull anymore!!!!!!!

The importance of flu vaccinations

Flu vaccines cause antibodies to develop in the body about two weeks after vaccination. These antibodies provide protection against infection with circulating influenza viruses.

Seasonal flu vaccines are designed to protect against the influenza viruses that research indicates will be most common during the upcoming season. The protect against four different flu viruses: an influenza A(H1N1) virus, an influenza A(H3N2) virus, and two influenza B viruses.

A flu vaccine is needed every year for two reasons. First, a person’s immune protection from vaccination declines over time, so an annual flu vaccine is needed for optimal protection. Second, because flu viruses are constantly changing, the composition of flu vaccines is reviewed annually, and vaccines are updated to protect against the viruses that research indicates will be most common during the upcoming flu season. For the best protection, everyone 6 months and older should get vaccinated annually.

Heritage health supports Covid-19 and flu vaccinations. View full benefits in the product brochure 2022.

The “sunshine” vitamin D. There aren’t many foods that contain vitamin D. Fish, dairy and mushrooms do, but in such small amounts that it can be hard to meet your daily requirement from just eating these foods. 

The way people talk about it, you might think that vitamin C is the magic vitamin. Try cranberries, citrus fruits, leafy greens and bell peppers. An apple a day won’t keep the doctor away, but an orange might (and if it doesn’t, it at least tastes good).

While a vitamin E deficiency is rare, it is a vital component to your health — specifically your skin health. Winter weather can cause your skin to get flaky, dry and itchy, but lotions fortified with vitamin E can help your skin hold water, keeping it soft and resilient. It also has been shown to decrease inflammation, redness and wrinkles as well. So while not a supplement in the traditional sense, supplementing your skin routine with some vitamin E does have its benefits. And it’s E-asy to do — most lotions contain this skin-protecting vitamin. Just flip the bottle of your favorite moisturizer over and read the ingredients label. St. Ives, Burt’s Bees, Vaseline and Lubriderm all offer lotions with vitamin E. 

The B vitamins definitely fall into that super-category by maintaining cell health and keeping you feeling energized. And yes, we mean vitamins (plural) because there are different types of B vitamins that have different benefits. B-12 helps regulate your nervous system and B-6 helps your body turn food into energy. B-1 and B-2 also convert what you eat into energy but also tout neurological benefits and support proper eyesight. See what we mean about being super? In the colder months, B-12 is most beneficial for it can improve your mood and boost your energy. You can get your winter dosage in whole grains, red meats, legumes and leafy greens.

Hydrate your body

The winter air can act like a moisture vacuum placed on your skin. Make sure you’re using lotion and moisturizer to hydrate those dry, flaky areas. Drinking enough water each day is also a necessity you shouldn’t neglect.

Ways to stay hydrated

 

A few healthy ways to increase your daily water intake include:

  • Carry a refillable water bottle with you and refill when necessary
  • Add a squeeze of lemon juice or fresh fruits to your water for flavour variety
  • Make water your drink of choice for meals and snack times
  • Avoid sugary beverages such as energy drinks
  • Try making half of your plate fruits and vegetables, which is an easy way to incorporate extra fluid at mealtimes.

What Is Mental Illness?

Mental Illnesses are brain-based conditions that affect thinking, emotions, and behaviors. Since we all have brains – having some kind of mental health problem during your life is really common.

For people who have mental illnesses, their brains have changed in a way in which they are unable to think, feel, or act in ways they want to. For some, this means experiencing extreme and unexpected changes in mood – like feeling more sad or worried than normal. For others, it means not being able to think clearly, not being able to communicate with someone who is talking to them, or having bizarre thoughts to help explain weird feelings they are having.

There are more than 200 classified forms of mental illness. Some of the more common disorders are depression, bipolar disorder, dementia, schizophrenia and anxiety disorders. Symptoms may include changes in mood, personality, personal habits and/or social withdrawal.

Heritage health offers mental health benefits for all members in need. View full benefits in the product brochure 2022.

Make exercise a daily habit – 10 tips

Did you know that you can save on your benefit as well as your pocket by making use of generic medication instead of branded?  Many may not know the difference between the two, let us explain it to you!

You don’t need to get all your exercise at one time. Ten minutes morning, noon and night can give much of the same benefit as 30 minutes all at once.

Finding a workout partner can help keep you on track and motivate you to get out the door.

When you walk, make it brisk, since this may help control weight better than walking at a leisurely pace. What is brisk enough? Walk as though you are meeting someone for lunch and you are a little late.

Hit the gym or go for a 20-minute walk with coworkers, and have lunch afterwards.

Step-counters (pedometers) are an easy, inexpensive way to motivate yourself to be active. Work up to 10,000 steps per day.

Cutting back on screen time is a great way to curb your “sit time.” Move around instead, by visiting the gym or even cleaning the house.

Try to combine cardiovascular exercise with a sedentary activity that you already do. For example, try doing simple exercises while watching TV, or set a reminder at work to get up and walk a few minutes every hour.

Check out the fitness course schedule at your local gym or community center, or the dance or yoga class schedule at a nearby studio. You may find that having the structure of a class helps you learn a new activity and keeps you on track.

Set aside a specific time in your schedule to exercise and put it in your planner.

Set short-term goals—and reward yourself for achieving them. Try targeting a specific event, such as a road race or a walk-for-charity, to participate in—this can help keep you motivated.

Facts about dental and oral health

  • between 60 and 90 percent of school children have at least one dental cavity
  • nearly 100 percent of adults have at least one dental cavity
  • between 15 and 20 percent of adults ages 35 to 44 have severe gum disease
  • about 30 percent of people around the world ages 65 to 74 don’t have any natural teeth left
  • in most countries, out of every 100,000 people, there are between 1 and 10 cases of oral cancer
  • the burden of oral disease is much higher in poor or disadvantaged population groups
  • brushing your teeth with a fluoride toothpaste at least twice a day
  •  flossing your teeth at least once a day
  •  decreasing your intake of sugar
  • eating a diet high in fruits and vegetables
  • avoiding tobacco products
  • drinking fluoridated water
  • seeking professional dental care