Saturday, March 21, 2009

Health Tips for March 21

Health Tip: Your Body Needs Zinc

Zinc is an important mineral found in almost every cell in the human body.

The U.S. National Institutes of Health says that zinc stimulates the activity of approximately 100 enzymes, which are substances that promote biochemical reactions in your body.

Zinc supports a healthy immune system, is needed for wound healing, helps maintain your sense of taste and smell and is needed for DNA synthesis. Zinc also supports normal growth and development during pregnancy, childhood and adolescence.

Zinc is found in lots of foods, and oysters contain more zinc per serving than any other. But if you can't get your hands on oysters or don't like them, there many alternatives.

Red meat and poultry provide the majority of zinc in the American diet. Other good food sources include beans, nuts, certain seafood, whole grains, fortified breakfast cereals and dairy products.

Zinc absorption is greater from a diet high in animal protein than a diet rich in plant proteins.

Health Tip: Coping With Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a painful, tiring condition that affects about five million adults in the United States, the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) says.

While the condition's cause is poorly understood, NIAMS offers these suggestions to help you manage symptoms:

* Even if exercise sounds painful, physical activity is recommended for people with fibromyalgia. Some light and regular exercise -- even just walking -- can help boost energy and ease pain.
* Eat a healthy diet, and stay away from any foods that seem to trigger fibromyalgia symptoms.
* Make sure you get enough sleep each night.
* Stay comfortable at work. When possible, make sure your chair and desk are set up comfortably, limit the hours you work, and try to adjust your responsibilities (if they include standing, lifting, etc.)

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