5 Healthy Food Gift Ideas

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Want to bring a little good cheer into a friend’s life? Here’s our list of five healthy food gift ideas that will make everyone happier (including you, because giving is a great feeling).

1. Walnuts

It may sound like a boring gift, but did you know that eating 12 halves of walnuts daily could increase your lifespan up to 20 percent?! Munching on this healthy snack 30 minutes before mealtime is an effective way to control appetite and keep your arteries clear! Pair a half  pound bag of walnuts with some of the below gifts, or give them to family members as a stocking stuffer!

2. Dark Chocolate

Yes, you read that right! Gift a half pound of dark, 70 percent cacao chocolate as a healthy present this holiday season! One ounce daily can reduce heart attack and stroke risk by 30 percent, while preventing some cancers. This gift also pairs well with some of the other gift suggestions like walnuts, coffee and wine.

3. Coffee

Coffee has many health benefits, so consider adding some java to your gift list this year! Your daily dose of coffee (three cups) can cut stroke risk by 30 percent and may help prevent some cancers, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and type 2 diabetes. This makes a great gift on its own, or paired with dark chocolate.

4. Wine

A bottle of red wine makes a great gift, and even has health benefits! Wine boosts the “good” cholesterol, or high-density lipoprotein, and reduces the “bad” cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein, keeping everything from the brain to sexual functions up and running.

5. Garlic goodness

Garlic-infused olive oil delivers an immune-boosting, heart-healthy flavor and keeps your joints healthy! This is a great gift for the cook in the family, or any foodie friends, and is easy to find. This is also a great gift to pair with some fresh bread and maybe even a bottle of wine.

This content originally appeared on the website of HCA partner sharecare.com.

For more healthy tips and medical information, continue to check in on the Denton Regional Urgent Care blog. At Denton Regional Urgent Care, we have physicians that are board-eligible in family medicine or emergency medicine. We offer convenient access to the expert care you need right when you need it, even after hours or on the weekend as well.

Disclaimer: Patients’ health can vary. Always consult with a medical professional before taking medication, making health-related decisions or deciding if medical advice is right for you.

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Safety Tips for the Fourth of July

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The fourth of July is a favorite holiday for many families. Between grilling out and hanging out with friends watching fireworks, there’s really nothing that beats this summer holiday. Unfortunately, because of the fireworks, grilling and sun exposure, there are a number of people that experience injuries during the fourth of July.  Follow these simple safety tips to be sure your holiday is filled with fun.

For Fireworks

Both kids and adults look forward to the fireworks show, but there is a hazardous side to them as well. The safest bet when watching fireworks is to find a public show that is put on by professionals. Even so, you should still stay 500 feet or more away from the show. If you are planning to set off fireworks yourself, keep a supply of water nearby, only light one firework at a time and never throw or point the firework toward any humans or animals.

For Grilling

The fourth of July wouldn’t be the same without backyard barbeque. If you or someone else is grilling out for the holiday, make sure the grill is always supervised. All humans and animals should steer clear of the grill as well. All utensils should be long-handled to avoid getting burned. Finally, you should never add charcoal starter fluid to the grill once the coals have already been ignited.

For Sun Exposure

Because kids (and adults) like to spend time outdoors during this holiday, it’s imperative that proper sun safety is practiced. Direct sun exposure should be avoided between 10am and 4pm, sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher should be worn and water should be consumed regularly to avoid overheating.

For more summer health tips and medical information, continue to check in on the Denton Regional Urgent Care blog. At Denton Regional Urgent Care, we have physicians that are board-eligible in family medicine or emergency medicine. We offer convenient access to the expert care you need right when you need it, even after hours or on the weekend as well.

Disclaimer: Patients’ health can vary. Always consult with a medical professional before taking medication, making health-related decisions or deciding if medical advice is right for you.

Practicing Pool Safety

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While the pool can be an enjoyable way to cool off during the hot days of summer, it can also be dangerous. Many people think children are the only ones at risk of drowning, but the truth is that even adults can drown when proper pool safety isn’t practiced. If you are planning to spend time poolside this summer, there are a few rules you should follow to ensure a safe, fun swimming experience.

Follow the rules. This may seem like a no brainer, but the pool rules should always be obeyed.  Typically, rules will include no running, pushing or dunking.

Swim with a buddy. People of all ages, even adults, should always make sure there is someone else in or near the water any time someone is swimming.

Learn CPR. This is a smart thing to do no matter what. Knowing CPR could be the difference between life and death, especially in a drowning situation.

Steer clear of pool drains. If a drain is faulty, limbs, hair or clothing can easily become entangled in it. If you are a pool owner and are concerned your drain is faulty, contact your pool service provider to have your drain inspected.

Keep a first aid kit nearby. It’s a good idea to have a first aid kit with scissors, bandages, antibiotics and other safety supplies near the pool.

If you own a pool and are looking to practice proper pool safety, there are a few things you should do. First, install four-sided fencing that will keep your pool separates from the house and additional yard area. Secondly, keep the pool and deck clear of toys, balls and other items that may encourage children to play in the pool unsupervised.

For more healthy tips and up-to-date medical information, check in on the Denton Regional Urgent Care blog regularly.

Disclaimer: Patients’ health can vary. Always consult with a medical professional before taking medication, making health-related decisions or deciding if medical advice is right for you.

Best Flowers to Plant in May

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Perhaps you are one of those gardeners that is fully prepared each season to plant fresh, new flowers. Or, maybe you’re on the opposite side of the spectrum, not remembering to buy flowers until the season is nearly over. If you’re worried you’ve waited too long to plant spring flowers, fear not, you can still grow many types of plants in May.

Sunflowers

One of the most popular annual flowers is the sunflower. Known for their cheerful color, sunflower seeds take four to six days to germinate when they are planted in the middle or end of May. This will allow them to fully mature by early September at the latest. When properly maintained, a sunflower can grow to be 4 to 5 feet tall.

Marigolds

Another popular annual flower commonly grown in May is the marigold, coming in between 8 and 36 inches tall. This flower is known for being easy to care for and vibrantly colorful. Oftentimes marigolds are used to deter insects and other pests that commonly damage fruits and vegetables. Marigolds do best when given full sun exposure.

Zinnias

When planted in May, this flower typically blooms in late June or July and can appear in a variety of colors and sizes. Normally, zinnias will grow to be 2 to 3 feet tall, performing best when given partial shade in well-draining, fertile soils.

Health Benefits of Gardening

In addition to creating a nice landscape for your home, gardening also has a number of health benefits. Recent studies have shown that gardening for as little as 30 minutes can help reduce stress and improve your mood. Planting and maintaining flowers can also help you get fresh air and allow your blood to start moving. Digging, planting and weeding are a great light exercise for the elderly or those who have disabilities.

Even if you’re an inexperienced gardener, you can grow and maintain a healthy garden by following these simple tips. For more helpful tips and up-to-date medical information, continue to check in on the Denton Regional Urgent Care blog.

Disclaimer: Patients’ health can vary. Always consult with a medical professional before taking medication, making health-related decisions or deciding if medical advice is right for you.

Signs and Symptoms of Seasonal Allergies

AllergySeasonal allergies affect more than 67 million people. If you’re one of these people, you know how miserable allergy symptoms can be. Allergies are defined as a heightened sensitivity to a foreign substance, also known as an allergen, forcing the immune system to overreact. Knowing the signs of allergies is crucial to treating them quickly.

Symptoms of Seasonal Allergies

There are a number of symptoms linked to seasonal allergies that can be experienced in a combination of ways. These symptoms include:

  • sneezing
  • wheezing
  • nasal congestion
  • coughing
  • itchy, watery eyes
  • runny nose
  • itchy throat
  • stomach ache
  • itchy skin
  • hives
  • fatigue
  • irritability

How Are Seasonal Allergies Diagnosed?

Most often, a skin test is used to identify specific allergies. Scratching the skin so a doctor can observe your body’s reaction to each allergen, the skin test could help prevent a future allergic reaction which could be life threatening.

Seeking Relief For Seasonal Allergies

While it may not be possible to completely prevent seasonal allergies, there are a number of things you can do to seek relief during their peak. First off, know your allergy triggers (this can be done through the skin test). Secondly, see your doctor or an allergist for a prescription. Antihistamines can help prevent more histamine, a chemical that is released when you’re experiencing an allergic reaction, from being released. He or she will likely recommend a nasal spray as well, which can help reduce the inflammation in the lining of the nose. Finally, it’s a good idea to check pollen counts any time you plan to travel. Typically, pollen counts are lower near the ocean or bays.

If you believe you’re suffering from seasonal allergies, consider visiting Denton Regional Urgent Care. We offer convenient access to the quality care you need right when you need it, even after hours or on the weekend as well.

 Disclaimer: Patients’ health can vary. Always consult with a medical professional before taking medication, making health-related decisions or deciding if medical advice is right for you.

Dressing for Cold-Weather Workouts

iStock-464942804.jpgWhile many people are working to get back into shape at the beginning of the year, it can be difficult to exercise outside with the weather being so cold. Whether you’re planning to jog, go skiing or simply go for a walk outdoors, it’s important to dress both warm and comfortable. If you are planning to exercise outdoors, following the tips below will help you get the most out of your workout.

Start At The Base

The base layer of clothing should be tight fitting and made of wicking material that will keep you both dry and warm. It’s important to avoid cotton as it traps moisture and stays wet. Good materials to look for include polypropylene, silk, polyester, Thermax, Thinsulate and wool.

Continue With The Mid Layer

This is the layer that provides the most insulation. Typically this layer is looser than the base, but should be tight enough to touch the bottom layer. Polyester, fleece, wool and newer synthetic/natural blends are all good options for the middle layer.

Finish With The Outer Layer

The outside layer is responsible for blocking wind and allowing moisture to escape. Usually this layer includes ventilation and consists of wind-resistant materials.

Cover Your Extremities

To properly dress for cold weather, it’s crucial that you cover your head, hands and feet. Wearing a hat, gloves, socks and shoes can help you stay warm during the winter months. Wind-blocking fabric is best for hats and gloves. Fleece is another warm option, although it does not provide protection from the wind.

When in doubt, remember that layering is crucial when outdoors in the wintertime. While it’s important to stay comfortable, it’s more important to stay warm and safe. If you’re looking for more helpful tips and up-to-date medical information, check in on the Denton Regional Urgent Care blog regularly this holiday season. 

Disclaimer: Patients’ health can vary. Always consult with a medical professional before taking medication, making health-related decisions or deciding if medical advice is right for you.

4 Tips to Increase Energy This Winter

Multi Generation Family On Countryside WalkWhile the holiday season is meant to be full of fun and family, it can actually leave you exhausted by the time the New Year comes around. Between cooking Thanksgiving dinner, running around finding gifts for everyone and coming up with your holiday plans, you will likely be drained of energy in no time. When you’re feeling exhausted, it can become difficult to concentrate and you may find yourself easily irritated. When this starts to happen, there are a few things you can do to help boost your energy.

Increase your intake of magnesium.

We all know that eating a balanced diet is important to our overall health, but many people don’t realize that a magnesium deficiency may actually cause your energy level to drop. To reach the recommended daily intake of magnesium (300 milligrams for women, 350 milligrams for men), try adding a handful of almonds, hazelnuts or cashews to your diet, increasing your intake of whole grains and eating more fish.

Take a stroll.

While walking may seem like the last thing you want to do when you’re exhausted, it is actually one of the fastest ways to increase your energy level. Even a brisk 10-minute walk can affect your energy levels for up to two hours. If you continue this practice of 10-minute walks for three weeks, you’ll notice an overall increase in energy level and mood.

Never skip breakfast.

Eating breakfast is key to increased energy throughout the day. Because your body fasts for so many hours throughout the night, it’s key to break that fast as soon as possible when you wake up. Remember, protein and complex carbs are best.

Energize with a quick snack.

Combining fiber, protein and some carbs is an excellent power snack to keep your energy level up. Carbs are always great for a quick energy boost, protein keeps your energy level up and carbs cause the energy to last.

If you feel like you’re consistently lacking energy, consider seeking medical attention at Denton Regional Urgent Care. We offer convenient access to the expert care you need right when you need it, even after hours or on the weekend. 

Disclaimer: Patients’ health can vary. Always consult with a medical professional before taking medication, making health-related decisions or deciding if medical advice is right for you.