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National Pistachio Day

Get crackin’ – it’s National Pistachio Day! These creamy, green nuts are a favorite at Private Home Health Care! People have been munching on pistachios for over 9,000 years, and for good reason – they are delicious! Pistachios originated in southern Turkey and steadily spread throughout the world. Filled with nutrients, these fun-to-crack nuts are small but mighty.

Pistachios are one of the most vitamin B6-rich foods. Vitamin B6 is important for several bodily functions, including blood sugar regulation and the formation of hemoglobin, a molecule that carries oxygen in red blood cells. Additionally, pistachios are rich in potassium. Both of these nutrients support heart health!

Pistachios boast  high levels of fiber, which is key to healthy digestion. Fiber also helps with weight loss because it keeps you feeling fuller for longer. By design, pistachios have to be eaten slowly and mindfully. Due to the time it takes to crack open each nut, it allows your stomach to communicate with your brain to say when you are full. This helps you from overeating and weight loss efforts.    

Pistachios contain more antioxidants than most other seeds and nuts! Among nuts, pistachios have the highest content of lutein and zeaxanthin, both of which are very important antioxidants for eye health. They protect your eyes from damage caused by blue light and age-related macular degeneration.

This small green nut contains high levels of polyphenols and tocopherols may help protect against cancer and heart disease. Furthermore, the antioxidants in pistachios are very accessible in the stomach. Therefore, they are more likely to be absorbed during digestion and you can benefit fully from the nutrients pistachios offer. 

Today, celebrate this wonder-nut and eat pistachios! Pistachios are a delicious, convenient snack within themselves, and also add flavor and crunch to any sweet or savory dish!

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National Cherry Month

National Cherry Month

Since the cherry trees come to life in February, it’s the perfect time for National Cherry Month! Throughout Washington D.C., the cherry blossoms burst to life just in time for the National Cherry Blossom Festival.

This annual event began in 1912. The people of Japan sent 3,000 cherry trees as a gift to the United States as a symbol of friendship between two nations. A single cherry looks a bit like a little heart, and February is the month of love. Since Presidents Day is February and one particular president is paired with chopping down a cherry tree – folklore or not – February and cherries just go together.

Cherries are packed with nutrients, one of them is fiber. Fiber helps maintain a healthy gut with probiotic properties and promotes healthy digestion. Cherries also contain high amounts of antioxidants in the form of Vitamin C. This helps fight free radicals in the body and protects from disease. It also prevents and helps with inflammation and bolsters the immune system. The potassium found in cherries is excellent for restoring the body after exercise, as well as heart health. 

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Banana Bread

Banana Bread

At Private Home Health Care, we go bananas for, well, bananas! Bananas are very nutritious and easy to digest. This fruit is especially suitable for elderly folks who may have difficulties chewing or swallowing, or need special diets. They are a great way of delivering essential nutrients to seniors who may need a boost of vitamins. We also love blending our morning smoothie containing a banana a JuicePlus Complete!

Bananas are excellent for people on diuretics because they help replenish nutrients in the body that are expelled through urination. Athletes also benefit greatly from bananas because they refuel the body with nutrients lost through sweat from physical activity.

Bananas are rich in antioxidants, which fight free radicals in the body. Free radicals can be very harmful because if their levels are too high in the body, it can cause cell damage and even death through a process called oxidative stress. This can cause serious illnesses, from heart disease to cancer. Antioxidants counter oxidative stress, and help your body heal on a very basic cellular level, which levels up and translates to overall health. The antioxidants found in bananas are Vitamin C, which helps protect your body from free radicals and supports your immune system. Also, Vitamin A is known to benefit vision and decrease risk of cancer, specifically colon cancer.

Banana bread is a delicious treat that can be very healthy! This recipe contains 3 bananas, protein from eggs and Greek yogurt, as well as whole wheat flour. Happy Baking!

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Bananas

Today is National Banana Bread Day! Bananas are tasty, convenient, and a nutritional powerhouse!

Bananas are rich in fiber, which is great for digestive health. Due to the combination of both fiber and resistant starch, it feeds the ‘good’ gut bacteria and may help protect against colon cancer. These qualities may help aid weight loss because it is what makes bananas filling, despite a medium-sized banana having only 105 calories.

Bananas are great for heart health. They are high in potassium, and potassium-rich foods help manage blood pressure because they assist in ridding the body of more sodium when urinating. Potassium also relaxes the walls of your blood vessels, which aids in lowering blood pressure. In fact, studies have found that people who eat plenty of potassium have up to a 27% lower risk of heart disease. The soluble fiber in bananas also plays a role in heart health, as it can keep cholesterol in check and help ease inflammation. Additionally, bananas contain magnesium, which also helps control blood pressure, blood sugar, and helps to keep bones strong.

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National Margarita Day

When life gives you limes, make margaritas! Today is National Margarita Day! This holiday is held in February as a reminder that one day we will see warmer temperatures. Nothing says summer like a cold, refreshing margarita. Tequila, sweetener (such as agave or triple sec), lime, lemon, and ice are the ingredients to this beloved cocktail.

Though the history is disputed, Margaritas originated in Mexico some time around 1938. The mixing of lime and sweetener with tequila was initially done to mask the taste of bad tequila. But, the drink ended up becoming a sensation and is enjoyed all over the world! People started salting the rims of the glass around the 50’s to make the flavors pop. Now you will find restaurants and bars offering updated versions, such as strawberry or jalapeno margaritas!

Cheers to National Margarita Day!

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Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia Care Staff Education Week

Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia Care Staff Education Week is February 14-21. Each year, the National Council of Certified Dementia Practitioners uses this week to focus on increasing sensitivity and respect for people diagnosed with dementia. During this week, front line staff learn communication techniques and new approaches for helping patients with activities of daily living. 

One of the goals of the week is to help coordinate and promote advancements in the treatment of Alzheimer’s and Dementia. While the number of dementia cases is rising, the outlook continues to improve as more methods for treating and improving the quality of life for Alzheimer’s and dementia patients. Thanks to widespread scientific studies, we are continually deepening our understanding about dementia and Alzheimer’s. This gives the medical and caregiving communities better tools to help care for those with the disease. 

At Private Home Health Care, we are proud to say that our caregivers receive top-level training for caring for dementia and Alzheimer’s clients. Decades of experience has allowed us to perfect an individually tailored experience for your loved ones. We regularly provide community training and workshops for public education about dementia and Alzheimer’s. From day one, PHHC’s motto has been ‘Compassion is at the Heart of Our Care’, and indeed compassion is the foundation for Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease Staff Care Education.  

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National Drink Wine Day

National Drink Wine Day

Today is National Drink Wine Day! While every day can be a wine drinking day, this is yet another reason to drink wine today. Wine does have its benefits after all, thanks to being high in antioxidants and other nutrients. Moderate drinkers of wine have lower risks of liver disease, type II diabetes, certain kinds of cancers, heart attack, and stroke.  It also can reduce the bad cholesterol (LDL) and increase the good (HDL). Red wine tends to have more direct health advantages, but white wine boasts some as well, such as potentially reducing risk of kidney disease. 

Drinking wine includes other benefits as well. When paired with the right meal, it enhances the flavors of spices, fruits, and sauces. A glass of wine helps relax us. Learning about wine keeps our minds sharp, too. Last but not least, drinking wine can be a social activity, such as at a nice dinner with family and friends. Science has long proven that meaningful relationships and strong social ties aids longevity. 

Grab your favorite vintage and celebrate National Drink Wine Day for your health!   

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National Almond Day

National Almond Day

It is National Almond Day! Today we pay tribute to these superfood nuts! Portable and nonperishable, they make for a perfectly balanced snack any time. They are as versatile as they are delicious. You can put them in salads, grind them into flour, or use them as a healthy alternative to milk.

Almonds are a great source of protein, with a 1 ounce serving containing 6 grams! They are also high in fiber and healthy fats, as well as low in carbs. This makes them a perfect choice for a long lasting, energy-boosting snack. Almonds are also great for weight loss, due to the high fiber and protein content, which helps you feel fuller for longer.    

Almonds are one of the world’s best sources of Vitamin E, which is an antioxidant that protects the cells in your body from oxidative damage. A 1 ounce serving of almonds provides 37% of the recommended daily value of Vitamin E. Researchers have linked a higher intake of vitamin E with lower rates of heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s. 

This nut also boasts high levels of magnesium, which supports over 300 essential processes in the body. Magnesium plays a key role in balancing blood sugar levels, as well as blood pressure. These benefits of almonds are great for diabetics or those with cardiac issues. 

Unroasted almonds with the skin on are the healthiest, because nutrients can be lost when heating and the skin contains high amounts of vitamins. In honor of National Almond Day, Private Home Health Care encourages you to enjoy this wonderful nut in as many ways as you can! 

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Happy Mardi Gras!

Get your beads out – today is Mardis Gras! Mardi Gras is French for Fat Tuesday. It’s also called Shrove Tuesday, Carnival Tuesday or Pancake Tuesday, depending on where the celebration is taking place.

No matter the name, it’s a day of celebration that includes over-the-top parades, parties and food indulgence before the Lent begins on Ash Wednesday (tomorrow). Mardi Gras is synonymous with Carnival celebrations in New Orleans, Venice and Rio, but the day is celebrated around the world.

What was once a holiday of religious observances has become a cultural phenomenon, leading to parties for the sake of partying, and not necessarily in anticipation of 40 days of penance between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday.

In New Orleans, Mardi Gras has a rich Mardi Gras history and culture. The colors of purple (justice) gold, (power) and green (faith) have come to symbolize New Orleans’ Mardi Gras.

Today, celebrate by indulging in decadent food and turn up the music to party! Happy Mardi Gras from Private Home Health Care!

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Brain Health = Heart Health

The brain and the heart are the two most important organs in the human body. It is no wonder then that heart health and Alzheimer’s go hand in hand. Steady blood flow to grey matter in the brain is essential for fully functioning and healthy brain cells. In fact, 25% of the blood in each heartbeat goes to the brain to deliver the necessary nutrients. This includes carbohydrates, vitamins, hormones, and amino acids, and they give your brain the energy needed to think clearly and remember information.

Risk factors for dementia and Alzheimer’s include high blood pressure and high cholesterol, which are also risk factors for heart disease. When the circulatory system is not functioning optimally, then the brain is not getting the right amount of blood needed. Also, scientists have found that there is a direct relationship between the plaque in arteries and plaque in the brain that leads to cognitive decline. Hardening of the arteries, a sign of heart disease, causes them to become clogged and stiff, resulting in an increased risk of stroke. Researchers found that those with plaque in arteries had about a 50% higher chance of beta-amyloid tangles, which are the plaque in the brain that is thought to cause Alzheimer’s.  

Two-thirds of Alzheimer’s patients are women. Researchers are still trying to figure out why this is, but one thing that they have found is that there is a direct correlation between older women with heart-related issues and cognitive decline. In fact, female heart attack survivors were twice as likely to see declines in memory and thinking skills. 

The habits for a healthy lifestyle that protect against heart disease also help prevent Alzheimer’s. For instance, a balanced diet with plenty of fruits and veggies, lean meats, and healthy fats is vital for a healthy heart and brain. Regular exercise and stress management are also key for maintaining both cardiovascular and cognitive health. Physical activity plays an especially important role because it gets the blood pumping, which strengthens the heart and increases blood flow to the brain. Even activities that are more directly associated with strengthening brain health, like crossword puzzles, can be good for the heart because it may relieve stress. Simply stated – what’s good for your heart is good for your brain!

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