There’s a new brew beverage taking over. It’s not beer, but like beer, you can drink Kombucha out of the bottle or straight from the tap. Some varieties are even enhanced with chia seeds.

What is Kombucha?

Kombucha is a naturally carbonated, fermented tea that’s low in sugar. Pronounced kom-BOO-cha, it has been around a long time, dating back 2000 years. Since then, it has been passed around the globe from culture to culture. Its roots can be traced to Russia or China, depending on which source you believe. What was once a home remedy, the fermented tea is now a mass-produced beverage available in most grocery stores.

What Does Kombucha Taste Like?

Kombucha is quite bubbly and fermentation gives it a kind of intense, tangy flavor. Each brand has its own style, and may use different varieties of tea—black, white, or green. People often drink kombucha everyday as a “health tonic.”

Why Is Kombucha Healthy?

Kombucha has become extremely popular because of its abundance of health benefits.

People ...

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0 Comments | Posted By Kelly Harrington, MS, RDN

There's no evidence that daily use of fiber supplements — such as psyllium (Metamucil, Konsyl, others) or methylcellulose (Citrucel) — is harmful.

Fiber has a number of health benefits, including normalizing bowel function and preventing constipation. It's best to get fiber from food, because supplements don't provide the vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that fiber-rich foods do. But fiber supplements can contribute to the recommended daily intake.

Fiber supplements can cause abdominal bloating and gas, at least initially. So if you have intestinal problems, talk to your doctor before adding a fiber supplement to your diet. It's also a good idea to ask your doctor or pharmacist whether fiber supplements interact with any medications you take.

Fiber supplements can decrease the absorption of certain medications, such as aspirin, warfarin (Coumadin) and carbamazepine (Carbatrol, Tegretol). Fiber supplements can also reduce blood sugar levels, which may require an adjustment in your me...

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0 Comments | Posted By Kelly Burke
Busy lives, stressful schedules, poor diets, inadequate sleep, not enough down time and lack of energy: Sound familiar? With all there is to do in life, something has got to give, and often it's your fitness regime. It can be challenging to find time to work out, but the long- and short-term health benefits make it a necessary aspect of achieving optimum health. Here are some tips to help you get back on the track to making positive changes:
 
1. Change your daily habits. We've all heard the advice to park farther away or take the stairs, because it works. Set a goal to take the stairs at work every other day, and then every day.

2. Pace yourself at the gym. Everyone there was a beginner once, so don't be embarrassed if you're going a little slower. Use light weights for strength training, and limit yourself to two to 10 minutes on the stationary bike when you first start out. You'll find that your stamina will quickly improve.

3. Take care of yourself. Wear the proper footwear, removable ...
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0 Comments | Posted By Kelly Burke
Many years ago, as I was stuck in one of the supersonic sardine cans that airline travel had become, I noticed some of the passengers wearing some odd kind of inflatable ruff that made them look like they were going a futuristic mashup of a the 1980s and a renaissance fair, an inflatable contraption around their necks that looked like an Elizabethan collar. 
 
A travel pillow, you say? Please, why would I want to wear one of those, and look like a dork? (Mind you, I was in my twenties then; young, stupid, and seemingly invincible - I grew out of two of those.) After a few more long plane trips and car rides, ending in cricked necks, sore backs, and some very, very poor sleep, I began to rethink my original assessment.
 
Those earliest travel pillows, simply a round inflatable ring that went around the neck, certainly did their job, but they weren’t always perfect. For people with thick necks - like me - neck support pillows could be a little tight, and if they weren’t inflated correctly, y...
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0 Comments | Posted By Kelly Burke

These luscious natural beauty aids from across the globe do everything from smooth tresses to moisturize skin and strengthen nails. 

Research the many beauty ingredients in your medicine cabinet, and you’ll find that few boast the same time-tested performance as natural plant-based oils from across the globe. Whether you use them for your hair, skin, or nails, these oils work best in their most basic and traditional forms, which are rich in restorative fatty acids and other beautifying nutrients. Choose products featuring few ingredients and a high concentration of oils. Here are five of the most effective oils you’ll find in the beauty aisle.

Argan Oil

Origin: Extracted from the nut of a Moroccan tree referred to as the “tree of life,” argan was traditionally used to treat skin infections.

Benefits: Its top therapeutic ingredients include squalene, a compound that promotes production of collagen (a protein that keeps skin taut and youthful); linoleic acid, an anti-inflammatory omega-6 fat...

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0 Comments | Posted By Kelly Burke

“Back-to-School” is an exciting time of year. You’ve shopped for your children’s new school supplies, new shoes, and new clothes, and they’re looking forward to seeing old friends, and meeting their new classmates and teacher.

In the midst of all this school delight, it’s easy to take your child’s health for granted, but we all know how a sick kid can bring life to a halt. Prevention is key when it comes to keeping your child’s immune system functioning full speed. It goes without saying, a healthy child is a more capable learner, and doesn’t miss school or their favorite sport’s practice or game.

To fight off those germ-filled classrooms, ensure your children wash their hands frequently, eat lots of fruits and vegetables, and get enough sleep. Also, here are five immune boosting supplements to consider.

A Children’s Multi-Vitamin with Minerals

If you have a finicky eater, getting a child to eat desirable foods such as fruits and veggies may be a challenge. A multi-vitamin with minerals is...

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0 Comments | Posted By Kelly Harrington, MS, RDN