Monthly Archives

July 2023

8 Types of Medications That Can Make It Harder to Handle the Heat

By Health & Wellness

Temperatures are soaring in many regions of the country, putting people — especially older adults — at risk for heat-related illness, even death. And one thing that doesn’t help is if you are taking medications that interfere with your body’s ability to cool itself down.“This issue is particularly important for older people because they tend to be on more medications that alter either the body’s control of circulating blood volume and/or cardiac activity,” which can make it harder to deal with the heat, says Cecilia Sorensen, M.D., director of the Global Consortium on Climate Health and Education at Columbia University in New York City.

It’s important to pay attention to this often-overlooked side effect during heat waves, which the Environmental Protection Agency says are increasing in both intensity and frequency. But it’s not just those stifling stretches that can be dangerous. Research shows that older patients with chronic medical conditions who take heat-sensitive medications can have medication-related problems throughout the entire summer.

How do medications affect your heat tolerance?

First, it’s important to understand how your body deals with heat and works to maintain that ideal internal temperature of 98.6 degrees.

To cool off, your body has several tricks. One is perspiration (or sweat). When sweat evaporates from your skin, it cools the body.

Another is when the blood vessels underneath your skin vasodilate (widen) and bring warm blood closer to your skin, allowing the skin to release heat.

Several different medications, though, can interfere with this complex thermoregulation system by limiting the body’s ability to sweat or by reducing blood flow to the skin. Medications can also cause dehydration, and some may make the skin more sensitive to the sun, causing a rash or sunburn.

To learn about the 8 types of medications that don’t mix with heat, from AARP, CLICK HERE.

Cooked or Raw? The Best Ways to Eat 9 Healthy Veggies

By Health & Wellness

Many people assume veggies are always healthier raw; that chopping, slicing, dicing or grating them after they’ve been washed is all they need to work their nutritional magic, but that’s not always the case. In some instances, cooking releases nutrients that aren’t available from vegetables if you eat them straight from the farmers market or supermarket.

From beets (think cooked)  to tomatoes (either raw or cooked), find out how to get the most nutrients from these nine vegetables.

1. Beets

Raw or Cooked? Cooked. Low in calories and high in nutrients, cooked beets reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.

Benefits: Naturally occurring compounds in beets improve blood flow, help keep arteries healthy and reduce LDL cholesterol (the ‘bad’ kind). Beets also provide an impressive helping of fiber (or roughage) to help lower blood pressure and keep you feeling full longer. A bonus: Some research has found that drinking beet juice before you exercise increases endurance.

Tip: To avoid spatters of red juice everywhere when cooking beets, wear disposable gloves and an apron before you start to prep, and cover your cutting board with parchment paper before you begin slicing.

2. Carrots

Raw or Cooked? Both. Raw carrots can help lower blood pressure, and cooked carrots support a healthy immune system.

Benefits:  Both raw and cooked, carrots help keep you healthy. Raw carrots are rich in fiber, which helps lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and cooked carrots release carotenoids, compounds the body converts to vitamin A to help ward off infections and support a healthy immune system, notes Andres Ardisson Korat, a scientist at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center at Tufts University.

Tip: If you plan to serve cooked carrots, the best way to preserve their nutrients is to steam them, which minimizes cooking time and maximizes nutrient content.

To read about the best ways to eat other healthy veggies, from AARP, CLICK HERE.