From Snoring, to Avocado, to Yogurt

small logo
Does singing lessen snoring?

Yes, according to a study at the University in Exeter England. Singing, or attempts at singing anyway (for those of us who cannot carry a tune), help tone the flabby muscles of our upper airways, the soft palate, in particular. Singing exercises for 20 minutes a day appear do the trick, says this report. However, it is prudent to check with your physician if you are a snorer, to rule out sleep apnea (a condition where the person stops breathing for an unsafe length of time while asleep) or other medical conditions that need treatment. Belting out a few songs off key everyday in the family room or in the shower might annoy your house mate, but it will at least please her in bed every night when you snore less.

Does a person snore more after sex?

Studies show that people who snore (more so among men) snore more and louder after sex. Following the act, the partners, especially the male, who is usually the more dominant one, gets so tired, relaxed and sleepy. When this happens, the body as a whole (and the upper airway muscles in particular) become relax and "flabby" that the breathing causes exaggerated vibration of the soft palate and uvula, resulting in louder snores. Sex does not cause snoring among those who do not snore to begin with.

How much Vitamin E do we need?

Vitamin E, a potent antioxidant, increases the level of cytokines in our body. Cytokines are chemical messengers that turn on various immune system defense mechanisms to protect the body against infection, daily wear and tear and cell damages in our body. The recommended dietary requirement of 400 IU for adults was proposed by the American Medical Association a few years ago. More and more physicians are prescribing, and themselves taking, higher dosage of Vitamin E, between 800 IU to 1000 IU daily. Vitamin E also acts as a mild blood thinner, which is good in retarding hardening of the arteries, a major factor in aging, besides heart attack and stroke.

Is avocado good for our hair?

Avocado is not only used as a fruit shake or for guacamole but also as a hair conditioner. Yes, hair conditioner! Unless you are allergic to avocado or you have oily hair. Avocado and its oil are rich in vitamins, essentially fatty acids and minerals and will bring back luster in hair, according to Dee Anna Glaser, M.D., dermatologist at St. Louis University Medical Center. To revive dull hair, get a very ripe avocado, remove the pit, mash the flesh well, wash your hair, and massage the pulp into wet hair for 5 minutes, making the fruit oil penetrate the follicles. Cover hair in plastic wrap for about 60 minutes and rinse several times until pulp is washed out of the hair. Can be done once a week for damaged hair, and once a month for healthier hair. You can also eat some while doing your hair. But watch out for its high cholesterol content.

Is a high-fiber diet really good for us?

Researchers found that diet high in fiber (wheat, bran, grains, oatmeal, fruits and vegetables) is good for our body in more ways than one. It reduces our risk for heart attack and stroke, and also the risk of colorectal cancer. High saturated fat diet (red meat, eggs, dairy products, etc), on the other hand, increases our risk for those ailments above, including cancer of the colon and rectum. The suggested daily requirement of fiber is 20 to 35 grams. High fiber breakfast cereals (wheat, oat meal, bran) provide about 35 to 46 grams per 3 ounces. All the flakes (cornflakes, rice flakes, etc) and other sweet carbo-rich cereals are not high fiber, and therefore, not recommended for us or our youngsters.

What is the RDA for vitamins and minerals?

The Recommended Dietary Requirement (RDA) for the following vitamins and minerals are: Calcium, 800 milligrams; Iron, 10-15 mg; Folic Acid, 180-200 mg; Vitamin A, 4,000-5,000 IU; Vitamin, 400 IU for adults; and Vitamin C, 60 mg. The ten vegetables with highest nutritional value are: Broccoli, spinach, brussells sprouts, lima beans, peas, asparagus, artichokes, cauliflower, sweet potatoes and carrots. Celery provides high fiber content.

Are eggs and red meat essential for our health?

No, not at all. On the contrary, they pose some health hazards. People can survive, and even lead a healthier life, if they eat only fish, vegetables and fruits, and abstained from eating eggs and red meats (pork, beef, etc) for the rest of their life. Fish is an excellent source of protein, and also contains the essential fatty acid, omega-3 oil, among others, which protects our cardiovascular system and lowers our risk for blood clots, heart attack and stroke. This healthier diet will also significantly lower our grocery bills.

Does drinking during pregnancy affect the baby?

Definitely. Drinking alcoholic beverage during pregnancy not only can, but will surely, adversely affect the brain, the personality, and other organ development of the unborn. The earlier in the stage of pregnancy the drinking starts, the greater the damage it causes. Many of this leads to feto-alcohol syndrome, a most cruel and grotesque complication of alcohol on the baby in the uterus (womb). This is the reason why pregnant women should totally abstain from drinking alcoholic beverages. One drink is one too many, if the unborn is to be protected from harm.

Does blood in the stool mean cancer?

Blood in the stool should always concern the person. If it is fresh, red blood, it could be from bleeding hemorrhoids. Tarry stools (black feces) could mean digested blood coming from stomach bleeding, or that the person has taken iron pills or ingested food with blood component (like Dinuguan, etc). But blood in the stools should always alert the person to seek medical advice, to make certain the bleeding is not from colorectal cancer. Undergoing a simple test for occult blood in the stools and colorectal examination, or neglecting to have them done, could spell the difference between life and death from cancer. As a matter of fact, with or without symptoms, a yearly rectal digital (finger) examination is recommended for adults 40 and older.

Does yogart fight infection?

Preventive medicine specialist David L. Katz, M.D., MPH, Yale University, believes the "good" bacteria in yogart (brands whose label says "Live and Active Cultures) help prevent infection by stimulating the body's immune cells and competing with bad bacteria for entry through the intestinal walls. These beneficial actions of yogart prevents infection.

©2003Raoul R. Diez, M.A.O.D.