Wednesday, September 17, 2014

A Chock full of Chia Seeds:

You may have heard about the recent chia seed craze, or you may not have, but no worries we’ve got you covered on the healthfulness of chia seeds. It is claimed that many years ago the Incans, Mayans, and Aztec people used chia seeds as a staple food and their prime source of energy. In fact it is said to be that chia means “strength” in the Mayan language. So what is it about these tiny seeds that pack a punch?

First and foremost chia seeds are filled with fiber which is essential to one’s diet. Many people do not get enough fiber based on the recommended amount of 20-30 grams daily, but chia seeds help solve this problem. This is because chia can give you over 40% of the daily value, just in one small serving. Fiber is necessary for healthy and proper digestion, those who are having trouble in this area should look into incorporating chia seeds into their diet.

One of the special properties of chia seeds is its ability to expand and absorb about 12 times its own weight. This factor gives chia seeds many health benefits such as a curbed appetite for those looking to lose weight, and a boost of energy. Along with that it also prevents dehydration as it absorbs and retains water.

If you aren’t sold on the chia craze yet then take a look at the amazing nutrients and minerals these tiny seeds contain. A one ounce serving of chia seeds will give you 20% of your recommended daily value of calcium,  4 grams of protein, and 5 grams of omega-3 fats. In just a small amount of chia seeds you can easily benefit from a concentrated amount of these nutrients which are essentials for healthy bones, muscles, and overall health.

Because chia seeds are basically flavorless they are easy to mix in with every food. It can be topped on your salad, breaded on your chicken, and sprinkled on your soup. Additionally, chia can be used as a replacement for many things. For example, ground up chia seeds can be used as flour, chia seeds mixed with water can be used to replace eggs in a recipe, and a chia seed gel can be used as a sports drink replacement. The next time you are in your local market pick up a bag of chia seeds which have a shelf life of about five years. You never know what benefits this superfood can bring you, and don’t forget to make your own “Chia-Pet” while you’re at it.

Top iPhone Apps for Seniors:

Recently joined the iPhone revolution? Welcome! With so many apps that can do almost anything on your phone, it is a shame if you don’t explore the possibilities. Some apps are fun games, some bring information to the tip of your fingers, some track medical history, and others are just wacky. There are over one million apps to choose from, and good news- most of them are free! Below we are outlined some of the best apps for seniors to make their lives easier and their days better:

1.  Symple: As the name implies- this app makes things a lot simpler! Symple allows you to log any symptoms or feelings. For example if you have recently been experiencing frequent headaches, log them into Symple's easy to use interface each time. This can make it easier for your doctor to diagnose any issues, as well as discover any links and or patterns.

2. Healthtap: An app that is filled with valuable health information. Got a health question? Open up Healthtap on your iPhone and find questions answered by over 50,000 doctors, all organized into specialties and categories. Not only that but the app includes daily health tips that are valuable for a long life.

3.  Eyereader: Tired of carrying a magnifier around to help you read small print in the market, restaurant, and almost everywhere? Eyereader is definitely the app for you! This app enlarges text and provides light, which is perfect to use on a restaurant menu.

4. Lumosity: The app best known to train your memory and attention without boring the user. Lumosity was designed by neuroscientists, and it creates a personalized brain “workout”. This is all done by playing entertaining games and solving puzzles. Not only has it been proven to maintain cognitive function, but improve cognitive function as well!

5. Silent Bodyguard: Caught in a scary or dangerous situation? Need help? Silent Bodyguard sends out an emergency message with the user’s GPS coordinates to preselected phone contacts, facebook or twitter contacts, as well as email addresses. The app itself is discrete in a way that it does not look like you are calling for help. Silent Bodyguard can be a potentially life saving app and worth the download!

Pass the Peanut Butter!

Peanut Butter- the ideal sandwich spread for the young, old, and those in between. Besides for being creamy or crunchy and absolutely delicious, peanut butter packs a lot of health benefits. Probably the best health benefit that peanut butter gives is the fact that two tablespoons gives you about 7 grams of protein. Protein is necessary for almost every bodily function and task, and it also keeps you fuller longer. This is why many people opt for peanut butter as their go-to snack when trying to lose weight. Another health benefit of peanut butter is that it contains potassium. Many people do not reach the daily recommended amount of potassium which can prove to be dangerous especially in those who high sodium levels. As many people consume too much sodium these days, potassium can counter the effects of too much of it. Besides for supplying potassium to the eater, peanut butter contains many important and vital nutrients as well such as magnesium, Vitamin E, as well as Vitamin B6.

Although peanut butter can give us many health benefits, one must be sure that the right peanut butter is being bought. On today’s supermarket shelves there can be so many option, it can be quite deceiving and overwhelming. Like anything else, it is best to find peanut butter that is all natural. Along with that, the product that contains the least amount of sugar tends to be healthiest. However, note less sugar means that it is less sweet. Lastly, find a brand that doesn’t have too much sodium. The recommended of peanut butter a day is just 2 tablespoons so be careful not to indulge in the whole jar! Now that you see the wonders of peanut butter, a food that many already love, its time to explore all the foods peanut butter can go with. Not only is it a great sandwich spread, but it works great with fruits, and sauces too!

Credit Card Advice for Seniors:

At some point in our life many of us find our wallets stuffed with credit and debit cards of all sorts. Some have great rewards, some have great benefits, and not mention those with low interest rates. As fun as starting your very own credit card collection may be, there are many disadvantages to having a variety of them. First of all, with so many cards for so many different uses, it becomes very easy to forget to pay off your bills on time. Besides for that, having many cards can make it easier for identity theft to occur, along with having the urge to buy many things you don't need. If you find yourself with a stack of plastic, perhaps take some time and do some research. Look into each card individually to see what is best for your needs and lifestyle. The even better thing to do is cancel all or most of your cards and opt for credit card that is senior friendly. Below are some of the best credit cards to consider for seniors of all ages. 

1. As we know the elderly is more prone to identity and credit card theft, seniors must constantly be aware of their charges and payments. Seniors tend to get mixed up in all sorts of scams, by falling into traps and unknowingly giving out their credit card numbers to criminals. One option to prevent this is the True Link Card ( For $10 a month, a trusted administrator can monitor any activity that may be suspicious, as well as set spending limits. This card is a debit card so there will be no interest fees or overdraft fees. Not only is the card great to keep seniors safe, but it is perfect for the forgetful senior as well.

2. For those seniors who love earning rewards and benefits through their card usage, they should check out the AARP Credit Card from Chase ( Designed exclusively for AARP Members this card is big on the cash-back, points reward, and a host of other benefits tailored towards seniors. With no annual fee, this card may may be the right one for the elderly. 

3. For seniors stuck in a low credit pit, one card that may be helpful is the Capital One Secured Mastercard ( This card regularly reports credit changes, as it allows you to build up your credit score. Along with that, it has a yearly fee of just $29, which makes affordable for most. 

These three options are just a few of the many possibilities! Because there are so many cards to choose from, it can feel quite overwhelming to choose the right one. Hopefully the information will give you a great place to start!  

The Truth about Hand Sanitizer:

Most people usually equate hand sanitizer with help, as it is told that it will kill 99% of germs found on the skin. However, studies and research are beginning to show that hand sanitizer is not as good as we think. This may be shocking to hear as hand sanitizer is found almost everywhere, ranging from hospitals, schools, offices, and homes. So what’s the deal with it?

The main ingredient in bacteria fighting agents is alcohol. Studies show that for hand sanitizer to be truly effective, it must contain at least 60% alcohol amongst it’s ingredients. Although this may be true, many companies continue to sell hand sanitizer with less than the necessary amount of alcohol. Anything less than 60% won’t kill the germs and bacteria you were hoping to get rid of. The best thing to do is to look at the label of the hand sanitizer to see its alcohol content.

Besides for not having enough alcohol content in some sanitizers, some do not have any at all. It has found to be that triclosan, the active ingredient in non-alcoholic hand sanitizers, actually make your body resistant to some antibiotics. Meaning, sooner than later the germs and bacteria you are trying to kill off will be able to tolerate the hand sanitizer, thus they will be able to live. This scary truth can cause more harm than good when using hand sanitizer frequently.

Lastly, research shows that hand sanitizers that do not contain 60% of more alcohol, do not even fight off viruses such as the common cold. This is because illnesses like the common cold are not caused by germs and bacteria, rather they are caused by viruses in the body. For all those who slather on the hand sanitizer when they feel a cold coming on, are nothing actually helping to prevent it.  

Now that you know what hand sanitizer is really all about, what is the final verdict? Should you opt for the hand sanitizer or leave it behind? The best route in this matter is to make sure you are using alcohol containing agents, of course with an alcohol content of 60% or above. Anything other than that will not be effective, and can even leave you off worse. Don’t get fooled by choosing the cheapest brand, make sure to buy the right brand so that you can stay healthy!