Nausea: When To Seek Medical Advice

Nausea is very common symptom that is associated with a wide range of health conditions, referring to the physical discomfort that gives a person the feeling that they may be about to vomit.

Often the cause of vomiting or nausea can be determined fairly easily by looking back at a person’s recent actions (such as a particularly stressful day, or that gas station sushi s/he ate for lunch). But there are times when nausea and vomiting are very serious.

Knowing how to recognize when it’s time to see doctor can be the difference between a quick recovery and a life-threatening situation.

What’s serious enough to warrant a doctor or ER visit depends on age and condition. Here is a breakdown of what warning signs to look for by group:

When a child is nauseous, the most common causes are overeating, motion sickness, blocked intestines, milk allergy, viral infections, food poisoning, or illness with a high fever. Another common cause is dehydration, particularly for those too young to communicate the symptoms.

If a child is nauseous and vomiting, look for these signs that s/he needs to seek emergency treatment:

  • Vomiting lasts longer than 24 hours, or longer than 12 hours for infants under 2
  • S/he shows symptoms of dehydration (dry lips, drymouth, sunken eyes, rapid breathing or rapid pulse)
  • S/he hasn’t urinated for longer than six hours
  • S/he is confused or lethargic
  • S/he has a fever of 102°F or higher for children 6 or older (100°F for infants)
  • Any infant with both vomiting and diarrhea
  • Any time an infant has projectile vomiting
  • If a child has vomited continuously for more than two hours
  • S/he hasn’t been able to keep liquids down for eight hours

When an adult feels nauseous, it’s usually easy to determine the cause—motion sickness, food poisoning, a virus, or emotional stress are common triggers.

Most of these causes are not serious, and pass within a matter of hours. But there are times when it is important to seek emergency treatment. On occasion, extensive vomiting can serious damage the esophagus.

An adult should seek medical treatment if:

  • S/he suffers from nausea for more than seven days
  • S/he shows signs of dehydration
  • She suspects she could be pregnant
  • If there is a known injury such as a head injury or infection
  • If vomiting continues for more than 24 hours
  • Blood is in the vomit (red or something appearing like coffee grounds)
  • If the person experiences a stiff neck or headache
  • S/he is lethargic, confused or lacking alertness
  • S/he has abdominal pain
  • S/he is unable to eat or drink for 12 hours

Pregnant women
Nausea is common during pregnancy, especially early on. However, frequent vomiting can lead to hyperemesis gravidarum, a condition in which a fluid and mineral imbalance develops. This is a serious medical condition that can endanger the fetus.

If this nausea is affecting a woman’s everyday life, it’s worth discussing with a doctor, but if an expecting mother experiences any of these, she should seek medical attention right away:

  • She vomits several times a day
  • She is unable to eat or drink without vomiting
  • She is losing weight

Cancer patients
For cancer patients undergoing radiation or chemotherapy, nausea is very common. Patients should be aware of associated risks including dehydration and choking, and always call your cancer team in the following situations:

  • The patient may have inhaled some of the vomit
  • S/he vomits more than three times an hour, for longer than three hours
  • Blood, red, or a coffee grounds-like substance appears in the vomit
  • S/he can’t eat for more than two days, or can’t consume more than 4 cups of liquid or ice chips for more than one day
  • The patient cannot take his/her medications
  • S/he shows signs of dehydration
  • S/he loses two pounds or more within 48 hours or less

Know the Signs and Risks

Most of the time, nausea is not a serious health threat, and it generally passes within a matter of hours. But nausea is a symptom for a wide range of conditions, from anxiety to a concussion.

While some of the most serious causes of nausea are rarer, there are some situations in which a nauseous and vomiting individual requires immediate medical care. Know the signs to keep you and your loved ones safe, and when in doubt, seek assistance.

Does An Apple A Day Really Keep The Doctor Away?

Just as the age-old adage promises, it seems an apple a day really can keep the doctor away.

Apples (along with other fruits and veggies) pack a combination of vitamins and minerals that out-power supplements like artificially made vitamin capsules. These nutrients are critical for our bodies’ health—not only do they keep our immune system strong to fight off germs, but they also reduce our risk for heart disease and cancer.

Doctors believe the reason fruits and vegetables are so much better for our bodies than the bottled stuff is because supplements delve out nutrient one at a time, but the combination of many different nutrients found in natural sources like apples offers added benefits.

So while no amount of apple-eating can guarantee you’ll stay clear of the doctor’s office completely, it’s a great place to start.

The Importance of Doctor’s Check-Ups

Most of us find plenty of reasons to drag our feet when it comes time to get a medical check-up.

After all, if you’re feeling fine, why bother? You’re a busy individual, with plenty on your plate already at work and at home. Maybe the idea of finding something wrong even makes you uncomfortable, which causes you to push off even thinking about it.


Benefits of the Check-Up

While it’s easy to find reasons to push off a check-up, your health is no place to slack off. Studies have shown that being proactive about your health can really pay off. In the long run, you may be buying yourself more time, both in healthy active hours (versus those spent in bed sick or being treated in a hospital), and also in overall life longevity.

On the off chance there is something wrong, catching it early can be life-saving. But even if no health issues are found, a checkup still offers a few important health benefits.

To start, you get the ease of mind of knowing for sure that you have a clean bill of health. You also get important baseline on your health metrics in these appointments, including your weight, height, blood pressure and more, which establishes a record of what is normal for your body. If you suddenly deviate from those metrics without a reason (such as going on a diet), that can serve as a red flag that something is wrong.

A periodic check-in is also an opportunity to build a relationship with your primary physician. If you have questions about your health, this is the time to ask! A doctor can be a great time to get feedback about your diet, exercise or other self-care habits or concerns.


The Annual Check-Up Under Scrutiny

A few years ago, the annual checkup came under fire when a study revealed that recent medical breakthroughs mean the annual checkup was less necessary than it used to be.

But that doesn’t mean a person only needs to see the doctor when they’re feeling ill. Rather, modern technology allows physicians to make more personalized recommendations for individual patients. Based on factors like family history, personal history and test results, one individual may benefit from coming in every six months, while another may be fine to go two years between checkups.

Technology also enables patients to seek medical advice from anywhere, thanks to communication tools like Skype and email that allow doctors to take an initial look and let a patient know if that funny-looking mole on their shoulder is worth a closer look. Studies have shown that regardless of how patients get in touch with their doctors, the health benefits of checking in are the same.


Be Proactive About Your Health

While the annual medical checkup may be on its way out, regular communication with your physician will never be out of style. Be sure to communicate with your physician to determine how frequently you should come in for a checkup, and how to best stay in touch between office visits.

Whether you go for the traditional once-a-year approach, or work out a more customized schedule with your own doctor, be sure to be proactive about your health.

Top Reasons for Summer ER Visits

Summer is a time for outdoor adventures, travel and relaxation. But among health professionals, it’s known as “trauma season”—with good reason. With summer comes an influx in health risks and emergency room visits.

Don’t let your summer get derailed by trips to the ER. Protect yourself and your loved ones by being aware of these most common reasons for summer ER visits, and how to reduce your risk.


Sunburn/Sun Poisoning
A sunburn may sound pretty innocent compared to most things we consider major injuries, but a serious sunburn is not only painful, but also very dangerous.

Beyond increasing your risk for skin cancer later for life, a major sunburn can lead to sun poisoning, a serious condition with symptoms including dehydration, headaches, fever, nausea, confusion, and skin infections. If a person experiences these serious symptoms of sun poisoning, it’s time to get to the hospital.

To reduce your risk, always use a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 and reapply it every two hours while outside. As much as possible, avoid being out in the sun when it’s strongest, between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Children under six months old should never be exposed to the sun. For children younger than a year old, always treat a sunburn as an emergency.


One of the top symptoms people report as a cause for their ER visit is dizziness, one of the most common symptoms of dehydration. It’s a serious summer health issue that can be caused by prolonged periods out in the heat and/or sun.

Additional symptoms of dehydration include extreme thirst, little or no urination, shriveled skin, fever, low blood pressure, rapid heartbeat, rapid breathing, confusion, and in the most serous cases, delirium.

To guard against dehydration, avoid spending long periods in the sun, especially during its peak hours between 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Drink plenty of water, and avoid alcohol, as well as drinks high in sugar or caffeine.

Babies and the elderly are at especially high risk for dehydration, as are individuals on certain medications such as diuretics or blood pressure medications.


Food poisoning
There are two reasons why food poisoning incidents increase in the summer. First, summer’s high temperatures are an ideal environment that allows the bacteria that causes food poisoning to thrive. Secondly, there’s a lot more outdoor cooking in summer, which means people are away from the kitchen’s controlled environment and the tools that usually help them guard against food poisoning risks.

Symptoms of food poisoning can include cramping, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. To protect against food poisoning, follow all standard food safety guidelines no matter where you cook, and refrigerate leftovers right after eating—never eat food items including egg, milk, seafood or meat if they have been unrefrigerated for more than an hour in temperatures over 90° F.


Between slippery decks, deep waters, and a lot of horsing around, it’s easy to see how pools can become high-risk zones.

A person can drown within a matter of minutes. It’s important to always have a responsible adult supervising play carefully—and, ideally, in the pool themselves.

It’s best for children to wear life jackets any time they are swimming, and basic safety rules like no running or diving should always be upheld to reduce the risk of falls and slips. When in the pool, keep a phone nearby in case you need to dial 911.

And learn CPR—it’s one o the best things you can do to stay safe in the water. In those long minutes between when a crisis occurs and an ambulance arrives, your skills can be the difference between life and death.


Outdoor toys
Summer is a great time for kids to play outside. But know the risks, and do what you can to protect them while they play.

Trampolines, for example, can lead to a wide range of serious injuries, including sprains, fractures and concussions. Children should only play on trampolines while under careful adult supervision, and only with precautions like safety netting in place.

Bikes, scooters, skateboards and other outdoor toys come with real risks, too. Children (and everyone) should wear a helmet while using them, and an adult should be present in case of a fall. Children should also wear sturdy shoes that cover their whole feet while playing, and be aware of traffic and safety rules.


Safe Summers are More Fun

With all the fun and adventure summer has to offer, the last thing you and your loved ones want to do is waste time in the ER. The best way to ensure you spend that time together—and not with a doctor—is to be aware of the season’s greatest risk factors, and take precautions to stay safe.

Armed with this knowledge, you can kick back and focus on enjoying all summer has to offer!

Cancer: What to Ask Your Doctor

A cancer diagnosis can be hard to process at first. You may feel shock, anger, or even disbelief. But as a cancer patient, you are an equal partner with your doctor in your treatment and recovery. The more you understand what your body is going through, the better prepared you are to take care of yourself and make the big decisions necessary for your recovery.

So don’t hesitate to ask your doctor any questions you have about your diagnosis or treatment. Helping you understand your cancer is part of their job. If you’re not sure where to start, here are some recommended questions to ask about your cancer to get you started:


Understand Your Diagnosis

  • What type of cancer do I have?
  • Where is my cancer?
  • Has my cancer spread in my body? Where did it start?
  • What stage of cancer do I have?
  • How do I get a copy of my pathology report?
  • What are my odds for survival, as far as you can tell?
  • How can I reach you if I have questions later?


Understand Your Options

  • What is your experience treating the kind of cancer that I have?
  • What are my treatment options?
  • Will I need additional testing before we can determine the best treatment?
  • What treatment do you recommend?
  • What are the advantages and risks of this treatment?
  • Should I consider joining a clinical trial?
  • How can I learn more about clinical trials?


Understand Your Treatment

  • What is the goal for my treatment? Are we curing my cancer or controlling my symptoms?
  • Will additional specialists be involved with my treatment? Who will be in charge of my treatment plan?
  • What drugs will I be on? What will each of them do for me?
  • Will I need any additional drugs or other treatments?
  • What potential risks or side effects are associated with these drugs and/or treatments?
  • What side effects should I report immediately, should I experience them?
  • What should I do to prepare for treatment? Are there foods I should avoid? What about alcohol?
  • What changes should I expect to make to my day-to-day life? Can I exercise during treatment? Can I go to work?
  • How frequently will I need treatments? How long will each treatment last? How long will I need treatments for?
  • How will we know if the treatment is effective?
  • How likely is it that my cancer will recur?
  • How much will my treatment cost? How much will my insurance cover?


As a cancer patient, you play an active role in your fight to recovery. The better you understand your diagnosis and treatment, the better you can care for yourself during this time. So take an active role in your recovery and ask your doctor any question you have—it’s what they’re there for!

Spring Has Sprung: Dealing With Allergies

Spring means sunnier days, warmer weather, blooming flowers … and for some, the unpleasantness of seasonal allergies.

From stuffy noses to coughing to sore throats, allergy symptoms can have a significant impact on your quality of life. If you’re among those with springtime allergies, you don’t have suffer through the entire season. Follow these five tips for a more enjoyable, less sniffly spring.

Pick your protection
There are many medication options available to ease allergy symptoms. Antihistamines are the most commonly recommended medication to treat allergies, and many effective options are available over-the-counter. Some antihistamines can cause drowsiness, so always read the label

For stronger allergies, a doctor may recommend a nasal spray. These can be very effective, but because side effects can include more serious things like nosebleeds, burning or dryness, always go for the lowest effective dose.

A doctor might also recommend allergy shots if medication is not enough to relieve symptoms. It may take as much as a shot a month for three to five years, but these work by slowly building up the body’s resistance to pollen, so it’s a long-term solution.


Prepare Early
Don’t wait until you’re suffering to start treating your allergies. For those who suffer from the same allergies every season, it’s best to be proactive and start taking an allergy medication at least one to two weeks before the allergy season starts.

This allows the medicine to get into your system, which can not only keep symptoms at bay as the season starts, but also help reduce the severity of symptoms throughout the whole season.


Limit Time Outdoors
It may be hard to resist the beautiful weather, but limiting your time outside can significantly reduce your symptoms—after all, outside is where the allergens are. This can be especially helpful in the midday and afternoon hours, which is when allergens tend to be heaviest in the air.

When you do go outside, protect your eyes by wearing glasses or sunglasses, and use a face mask when performing activities likely to aggravate allergies, such as mowing the lawn. For exercise, opt for the gym instead of a trail at the park.

When you go back inside, avoid carrying allergens around with you by taking a shower,a washing your hair right away, and changing your clothes.


Stay Informed
For a heads-up on just how important it is to protect yourself on any given day, pay attention to the local weather report to stay informed abut the pollen and mold counts in your area. The higher the count, the more aggravated your symptoms are bound to be.


Protect Your House
During allergy season, take steps to keep the house clear of the allergens outside. To start, take off your shoes before walking through the house to avoid trekking pollen through the house, and make sure others do, too. Keep your windows closed, and run the air conditioner.

Additionally, use a HEPA filter in your vacuum cleaner—they trap 99.97 percent of microscopic particles in the air.


Fight Back Against Allergies

Don’t let allergies hold you back this spring. Take a pass on the sniffly noses, the sneezing, and the sore throats.

If you are proactive and take these five steps to protect yourself from the allergens in the environment, you can reduce and even avoid your allergy symptoms all season long.

Medication Safety

Medications can help us stay healthy, live more fully, and even extend our lives. But when safety measures aren’t followed or they are used inappropriately, they can do a lot of damage.

Following medication safety guidelines can keep you and your loved ones safe. Review and consider these top 10 rules for medication management to help stay safe while using prescriptions:

  1. Always take medications exactly as prescribed; don’t deviate, self-medicate, or change the dosage.
  1. Do not use a medication past its expiration date—they may be ineffective or even toxic. Even better, dispose of medications when their expiration date arrives to eliminate the risk of taking them by mistake.
  1. Create a list of the medications you take regularly, including over-the-counter pills and vitamins. Keep it with you, update it when necessary, and show it to your doctors at appointments.
  1. As much as possible, go to the same pharmacy for all of your prescriptions. This helps the pharmacy look out for you by keeping tracking of what you’re taking, and alert you to any potential interactions between medications.
  1. Store medications in a secure place out of reach from children or pets—ideally, in a locked cabinet.
  1. When traveling, leave medications in their original containers. Do not store pills in baggies or other unlabeled containers. This leaves you vulnerable to confusing medications, leaving pills easily accessible to children or others, or having pills get crushed or otherwise altered during travel.
  1. Medications should also be stored in a cool place that is not subject to significant changes in temperature or humidity (not the bathroom).
  1. Never take a medication prescribed to someone else, as this can lead to unexpected interactions between medications.
  1. Never crush or remove a medication from its capsules. This can alter how a medication breaks down inside your body (especially time-release or long-lasting medications).
  1. If you aren’t sure of something, ask! Doctors, nurses and pharmacists are all able to address questions about your prescriptions. Never take a medication without being sure you understand your doctor’s directions, or what it will do for you.

Medications important for many of us to maintain our best quality of life, but when something goes wrong, medications can quickly become a serious risk. Keep yourself and your loved ones safe by following these important medicine safety tips.

A Guide to Vegetarianism

The choice to go vegetarian is a personal one. Sometimes it is for medical reasons, sometimes ethical, sometimes both and sometimes neither. Whatever the reasons for your choice to go vegetarian, you

The choice to go vegetarian is a personal one. Sometimes it is for medical reasons, sometimes ethical, sometimes both and sometimes neither. Whatever the reasons for your choice to go vegetarian, you will have to make some very large changes and to pay much more attention to the foods you eat. Would it not be great if there was a guide to help you through the change, a road map of sorts that you could use to point the way? Well, now there is. This article will serve as your tool kit and provide the information you need in order to make the transition to vegetarianism easier.


What Is A Vegetarian Anyhow?

Before you choose a vegetarian diet, you need to answer this simple question. What kind of vegetarian diet are you going to follow? In the broadest sense, a vegetarian is someone who does not eat meat, poultry or seafood. But in reality, that definition is not nearly so clear-cut as it seems to be. There are several types of vegetarian diets. Lacto-ovo vegetarians will not eat meat but will eat eggs and drink milk. They will also consume cheese and other dairy products. This is the most common type of vegetarian. Ovo vegetarians eat only eggs, but do not consume dairy products or eat any meat. Lacto vegetarians consume dairy products but do not eat eggs or any type of meat. Vegans will not consume any dairy, eggs or meat. They will not also wear leather or use any other animal products whatsoever. Research is the key here. Read up on the types of vegetarian diets. Pick the one that best fits your needs. Talk to your medical professionals. Your doctor may know of reasons that a vegetarian diet would not work well for you, and they will most assuredly have information on how to more effectively transition from your normal diet to a vegetarian one.


Make Menus and Find Recipes

Going vegetarian is not easy if you do not have a game plan. To these ends, making menus can be very helpful. A menu works as a road map of sorts. It provides a framework with which you can build the week’s meals. Be sure to check your grocery store to find out what vegetables and fruits are in season, as well as if they have vegetarian-friendly versions of your favorite products. For example, there are delicious tofu-based versions of many meat-based dishes, for example hamburgers, chicken nuggets and deli sliced turkey. These foods can make your adjustment to the vegetarian lifestyle far easier. Also, good recipes are a must-have. There are many vegetarian cookbooks out there. Chances are your local library or bookstore stocks these cookbooks. The Internet is also another good source of recipes. Aim to try a new recipe once weekly. That way your pool of vegetarian-friendly foods is always increasing and you will feel far less burned out.


Make Substitutions

Just because you are embracing a vegetarian lifestyle, it does not mean you have to give up your favorite foods. As mentioned above, there are a number of vegetarian options for dishes in most supermarkets. If your supermarket does not have these vegetarian options, they could very easily stock them for you. Many vegetarian versions of meat-based dishes are made with tofu. Tofu on its own is pretty flavorless. However, the lovely thing about it is that it soaks up the flavors of anything you cook with it. This means if you like spicy foods or sweet foods you can simply season the meat alternative you choose as you would normally and the tofu will suck up all the flavors. As a bonus, many of the vegetarian tofu products have almost the same consistency as meat. Chances are, you may not even miss meat at all.


Start Out Slowly

When adjusting to vegetarianism, it is important to start slowly. Cutting out red meat first is probably the best place to start. Of all the kinds of meat out there, red meats such as beef are the most unhealthy. Clearing these out of your diet will drastically improve your health as well as making the rest of the adjustment process easier. When you have grown accustomed to the lack of red meat, you can wean yourself off of other types of meats as well.

There are many reasons to become a vegetarian, some medical and some personal or ethical. Whatever your reasons are, a vegetarian diet can be much healthier than a diet which contains a lot of meat. No matter which vegetarian diet fits your needs best, there are still several steps you need to make to adjust to being a vegetarian. Now, with this article as your guide, you are fully ready to embrace your new, exciting lifestyle and all the challenges and rewards that come with it.



There are many reasons to become a vegetarian, some medical and some personal or ethical. Whatever your reasons are, a vegetarian diet can be much healthier than a diet which contains a lot of meat. No matter which vegetarian diet fits your needs best, there are still several steps you need to make to adjust to being a vegetarian. Now, with this article as your guide, you are fully ready to embrace your new, exciting lifestyle and all the challenges and rewards that come with it.

Fats: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Stop! Put down that donut. Unhand that candy bar. Before you take another bite, there are some things about fats you need to know. Did you realize that not all fats are bad for you? Some fats, eaten in the proper proportions can help keep your body healthy. If you did not know this small but important fact, do not worry. Many people do not know. It is far easier to think of all fat as evil that needs eradicating, but this article will disprove that notion. We will discuss the difference between good fats and bad fats, and the ways both affect your body, as well as steps to help you make better choices in what types of fats you eat. We will also clarify some of the tricky terminology surrounding the subject of fat, giving you a road map forward. If you are curious, then please keep reading. Oh, and you can pick up the donut now.


The Good

It is a common misconception that all fats are bad for you and go straight to your hips. This is completely untrue. Some fats, in healthy quantities pose a benefit to the body and are actually necessary for good heart health as well as other bodily functions. However, not all fats are created equal. Unsaturated fats are known as good fats, and they come in two types, mono unsaturated and poly unsaturated, based on their chemical composition. These types of fats help protect your heart, lower blood cholesterol and help insulin work more efficiently, which is particularly useful if you have Type II diabetes. As a bonus, unsaturated fats are really easy to add into your diet. Chances are good that you already get your recommended daily allotment of these fats, especially if you like any of the following foods: avocado, olives, peanuts, cashews, hazelnuts, natural peanut butter, fatty fish such as tuna, salmon and mackerel and pumpkin seeds. There are also unsaturated oils. However, be careful with these. There are two types of unsaturated oils. The first type are cold-pressed oils such as peanut, sesamae and extra-virgin olive oil. These oils have been used in Asian cooking for hundreds of years and support your good health. The other type are more recently developed industrially manufactured oils such as soybean, corn, canola and safflower. These oils are manufactured generally using genetically modified crops and in a way that damages the fats, turning them into dangerous trans fats.


The Bad

As we have discussed before, not all fats are created equal. Just as there are good fats, there are also bad fats. These fats are saturated fats and trans-fats. These are the fats which do all the bad things that people have attributed to fats in general for so many years. They clog your arteries, add to your waistline and cause heart disease. Perhaps surprisingly, even a good fat can become a bad fat if it is damaged. Some fats, such as flax seed oil, must be stored in the refrigerator in an opaque container. If they are not properly stored, they will turn into saturated fats, and nobody wants that. Also, if you are going to use nuts and seeds, please be careful. Never eat or cook with nuts or seeds after they start smelling rank or tasting bitter.


The Ugly

We have briefly touched on the effects of bad fats, like the ones found in a lot of donuts, candy bars,  and potato chips, but we feel it is a good idea to discuss these effects in greater detail. Saturated fats and trans fats can cause plaques to build up in the arteries. These plaques are sticky like super glue, and they actively haul in proteins, more fats, and other types of molecules. Eventually, a plaque could even rupture, which can lead to a heart attack or stroke as the blood vessel holding the plaque will be blocked. These bad fats can also lead to fat deposits around the waistline. These fat deposits, in turn decrease the efficiency of insulin which may lead to Type II diabetes or worsen it in those who already have it. In short, saturated fats and trans fats can make your health vastly worse than it would otherwise be.


Fats are very important to your health. However, they are not equally healthy. Unsaturated fats can benefit the body in a number of ways such as improving the health of your heart as well as increasing insulin efficiency for Type II diabetics. Saturated fats, however, will damage your body in various ways and can undo your healthy choices. Think of that before you eat your next donut.

Nutrition 101: Getting Started

Going to the supermarket can feel like walking into a car dealership if you are trying to eat nutritiously. Every item on the shelves claims to be nutritious in one way or other, even things that you likely know blatantly are not, such as candy bars and potato chips. Every product is screaming at you from the shelves like a used car salesman hawking his wares, using all the buzz words. Every food claims to be low fat, low carb, high in protein, low in trans fat. If you do not know what these words mean, or the names of the chemicals you are shoving into your mouth, it will be hard to make the important, healthy choices you need to make. This article will serve as your guide through the labyrinth. We will discuss everything someone just starting out on this journey of healthy eating should need to know in order to not be duped by all the sales claims. This way you will know what nutrients you need, what quantities you need them in, and you will not overspend on the latest fad. If you are just beginning on the journey of healthy eating, just stick with us, and we will get you out the other side.


Too Much, Too Little

Multivitamins can be very useful in enhancing the amount of those nutrients you get too little of in your regular diet. However, taking more than one multivitamin can lead to overdoses of some of them. This overdose can lead to illness as your body attempts to cope with the excess. Furthermore, some vitamins are rendered useless if they are not in a harmonious balance with others. That is why it is so important to make sure that your nutrient intake is in balance as much as you can. There are many ways to insure a correct balance of nutrients. Do not take more than one multivitamin. Make sure to always pick foods from the five food groups at every meal. Check for your serving size based upon your height, weight and activity levels.


Balancing Act

There are five food groups. It is very important to eat a good balance of foods from each group to maintain good health. Many diets insist that you cut out or cut down on certain nutrients such as protein or carbs. However, this is not a good idea. If you cut down on carbs or protein or any other form of nutrition, then chances are likely that the only thing you will succeed in doing is unbalancing your metabolism. The key is balance and moderation. Each food group requires a person to eat different amounts of foods from that group.


Drink Water

The last helpful nutrient is water. Water is necessary for every single process within our bodies. It cools us off, carries nutrients throughout the body, is a major component in most of our organs and cells and helps flush out waste. Humans can live for a couple of weeks without food. However, it is impossible to live more than a few days without water. Some water comes from the foods we eat. However, that water is not nearly enough to power all your body’s processes. To gain the necessary water to maintain healthy, it is important to drink enough of it during a day. The average person needs six to eight glasses of water per day. Many of us, however, do not drink nearly that much and instead fill up the defecit with sugary soft drinks and coffee which can lead to dehydration, issues with blood sugar, and weight gain.


Watch Out For Refined Sugar

Many foods contain refined sugar. It is very important to look out for this sugar in your diet as it can lead to a lot of problems in the long-term. Perhaps the biggest of these problems is diabetes which, if untreated can be fatal. There is no cure for diabetes, and treating it may involve several painful needle pricks a day on top of the needle pricks necessary to test your blood sugar. One would think refined sugar would be easy to spot if you avoid candy, soda, cakes and pies but that isn’t the case. Refined sugar exists in every sort of food from fried rice to potato chips.


Good nutrition is very important. If your nutrition is poor, your health will suffer. Poor nutrition also leads to several diseases, including heart attack, heart disease, stroke, various cancers and some forms of Diabetes. These conditions, though they can be managed are incurable. This means if you are diagnosed with one, you will have it for the rest of your life. Perhaps unsurprisingly, those whose health is bad  report symptoms as diverse as chronic fatigue, irritability and bloating. This is just scratching the surface. Now, however, you have the keys you need to unlock good nutrition and change this grim prognosis. It is never too late to make healthier choices. And you do not even have to make all the changes at once. Every small change you make has a cumulative effect on your health and can make you happier and less ill. With these simple keys, you might even shut up the used car sales talk of the choices at your local supermarket.