Tuesday, February 13, 2018
Plants continuously produce thousands of compounds called phytochemicals. These chemicals perform vital functions for the plants. Some plant chemicals are helpful to humans when consumed in foods, such as fruits, vegetables, plant oils, and whole grains. These phytochemicals have anti-inflammatory properties.
Anti-inflammatory diets purport to protect cells and organs from low-level, chronic inflammation, which some studies have linked to heart disease, cancer, arthritis, and other common health conditions. Dietitians don’t yet have a diet based on clinical evidence, definitively showing that foods with certain phytochemicals prevent or treat diseases—akin to the DASH diet, shown to lower high blood pressure.
Good and Bad Inflammation: Inflammation is not inherently a bad thing—far from it. Short-lived, or acute, inflammation is part of the body’s healing response to injury, toxins, and infection. Damaged cells release chemicals that allow blood vessels to leak fluid into the tissues, causing swelling that may help to isolate the damage from the surrounding tissues. The immune system dispatches special cells to target invaders like bacteria and eliminate the damaged cells.
Phytochemicals and Foods: If you want to try an anti-inflammatory diet, where do you start?
It is important to talk about anti-inflammatory foods rather than specific anti-inflammatory nutrients. Anti-inflammatory foods are the ones you are already advised to eat for optimal health. These include whole grains, which are very rich in phytochemicals, beans, nuts, herbs, and spices are filled with anti-inflammatory compounds called flavonoids and related compounds. Fiber is another part of anti-inflammation, and of course fruits, vegetables, and the omega-3 fatty acids in fish. Anti-inflammatory diets really have some merit but, on the other hand, they’re not magical panaceas.
Monday, February 12, 2018
Monday, February 5, 2018
Friday, January 26, 2018
It’s that time of year — tax time. It’s also a great time to get up to speed on tax-related scams. Here are two ways tax scammers might target you and what you can do about it:
This kind of identity theft happens when someone files a fake tax return using your personal information — like your Social Security number — to get a tax refund. Tax identity theft also happens when someone uses your Social Security number to get a job. You find out about it when you get a letter from the IRS saying:
· more than one tax return was filed in your name, or
· IRS records show wages from an employer you don’t know
If you get a letter like this, contact the IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit at 800-908-4490.
This time scammers aren’t pretending to be you — they’re posing as the IRS. They call you up saying you owe taxes, and threaten to arrest you if you don’t pay right away. They might know all or part of your Social Security number, and they can rig caller ID to make it look like the call is coming from Washington, DC – when it could be coming from anywhere. Leaving you no time to think, they tell you to put the money on a prepaid debit card and tell them the card number right away.
The real IRS won’t ask you to pay with prepaid debit cards or wire transfers, and won’t ask for a credit card number over the phone. When the IRS contacts people about unpaid taxes, they usually do it by mail. You can report IRS imposter scams to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) online or at 800-366-4484, and to the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint.
IdentityTheft.gov is the federal government’s one-stop resource to help you report and recover from identity theft. You can report identity theft, get step-by-step advice, sample letters, and your FTC Identity Theft Affidavit. These resources will help you fix problems caused by the identity theft.
The FTC and its partners are hosting free webinars and Twitter chats to talk about tax identity theft, how to reduce your risk, and what to do if it happens to you. Visit ftc.gov/taxidentitytheft to learn how to participate.
Tuesday, January 23, 2018
In today's world of social media and pressure to be perfect we often forget to be nice to others. We have all experienced the feeling of receiving a compliment. Our mood improves and we are better able to handle what comes our way during the day. In addition, the giver also experiences a good feeling, from making others happy.
Below is some excerpts from The Art of the Compliment about giving and receiving compliments.
Compliments work only if they are sincere reflections of what we think and if they are given freely and not coerced. Compliments backfire if they are not genuine. And faux flattery is usually highly transparent. A false compliment makes the speaker untrustworthy; it raises suspicions about motives. And that can undermine a whole relationship.
The more specific they are, the better. "The way you handled that question at the meeting was brilliant. You really refocused the discussion onto our plans." Compliments work best when they are forthright and not incidental. So you need to clear a little space for a compliment and deliver the praise as a statement. Compliments on appearance are fabulous for making people feel good and help put people at ease. But they don't work in situations where appearance isn't an issue.
How a compliment is received can invalidate both the giver and the observation that inspired it. Sadly, too many women discount compliments. Perhaps you've been in this situation yourself. Someone says, "Wow, you look great today." And you say, "oh, but I feel so fat (ugly) today." Or you get complimented on an outfit and you say, "Oh, this old thing, I've had it for years." Or someone says, "Hey, you gave a really good presentation." And you say, "oh, I just slapped some stuff together in five minutes." Such answers instantly suck the positivity out of the air and deflate the donor. They make the giver feel stupid for noticing and commenting on something so unworthy of praise. They totally invalidate the person's judgment. At the very least, they create social awkwardness. There is only one way to receive a compliment—graciously, with a smile.
I challenge you to spend sometime on the 24th to be aware of what others are doing and give five compliments.
For more information on giving compliments, here is the complete article The Art of the Compliment