Get Prune Power!

Prunes, also known as dried plums, do more than stimulate the digestive system – they may help slow osteoporosis.

Prunes, also known as dried plums, have long been known for their ability to, er, get things moving. But dark, sweet, chewy prunes may also help contribute to bone health by slowing osteoporosis, which is the thinning of bone tissue and loss of bone density. In addition to managing bone health by taking vitamin D and calcium, getting regular physical activity, avoiding tobacco and limiting alcohol, here are some delicious ways to enjoy the power of prunes:

  • Put prunes in oatmeal for a heart-healthy, high-fiber breakfast.
  • Combine with unsalted nuts, raisins and cranberries for a homemade trail mix.
  • Sprinkle chopped prunes on salads to add sweetness, texture and fiber.
  • Pair prunes with baked chicken for a sweet and savory entrée.

Please consult your doctor or nutritionist to create your own nutritional plan.

Get walnuts out of the holiday nut bowl and into your pantry, as they may provide many wonderful benefits to your body.

Walnuts, often a crunchy addition to holiday festivities, are a great option in your diet year-round. They may help your body to better use its stored fat, reduce LDL (low-density lipoprotein), or „bad cholesterol,“ and slow osteoporosis.

Add crunch to your lunch-or any meal-by putting walnuts in the mix.

Chop, Chop: Add finely chopped walnuts to pumpkin bread for more texture and taste.

Mix It Up: Fold coarsely chopped walnuts into the filling of your favorite butternut squash ravioli recipe.

Let It Rain: Sprinkle walnuts on your Waldorf salad for a timeless treat. Switch out the full-fat mayo for a low-fat version!

Make It Sweet: If chocolate chip cookies are your favorite „once-in-a-while“ treat, mix in finely chopped walnuts for a mouth-watering bonus.

If your child has asthma, help avoid serious complications by making sure he or she gets a flu shot.

If your child has asthma, be sure he or she gets a flu shot.

A flu shot?

Yes. That’s because the flu can cause complications like pneumonia, which can send a child to the emergency room. Add asthma to the mix and the health-risk meter jumps even higher. If the infection is severe, it can be life-threatening. About 17 million Americans have asthma. More than 7 million are under age 18. Each year, influenza sends 200,000 people, including young children, to the hospital.

Late fall, early winter
The flu roars into millions of American homes around December and January. The best time to get a shot is before it peaks, starting in September. Many doctors offer flu shots before and during the flu season. So do some grocery stores, drug stores, and local health departments.

In addition:

  • If someone in the family has asthma, all family members should get a flu shot to help reduce the chance of spreading the flu virus to the person with asthma.
  • Last year’s flu shot will not protect you from this year’s virus. Each year’s vaccine is based on strains of the virus predicted to be prevalent in the upcoming season. The vaccine changes every year to match those strains, so a yearly flu shot is needed.
  • Since influenza peaks from January through March, a flu shot may still be helpful in December and even later in the season. High-risk groups should be vaccinated in September or as soon as the vaccine becomes available.

Remember, the flu is just one of many possible triggers for asthma attacks. There are also allergens like animal dander, dust mites, and cigarette smoke that can cause problems year round. But by eliminating as many triggers as possible, your child has a better chance of staying healthy.