The Benefits of Giving to Charity: What to Teach Children (and Refresh Yourself On)

donatingWith finances tight for many in the United States, giving to charity may not be at the top of your list of places your money needs to go. Yet, while giving to charity is always an optional thing, doing so on a regular basis can have very real benefits for you and your family.

Teaching Your Children About Charity

Why would your children need to know about charity? Well, it’s one of the key ways that you can help your children develop into caring, well-rounded people when they get older. And in a world so full of violence and apathy, raising concerned, empathetic children is a necessity for the future.

Children, in fact, are naturally caring. One study found that children as young as 21 months show signs of empathy when their parents are upset (crying or arguing). Another study, this one published in the American Psychological Association’s (APA) Developmental Psychology journal, found that even young children who are aggressive and disruptive show “concern for the welfare of others.” However, the startling finding is that this concern can decrease as children reach school age.

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Climate Change Causing “Increases in Tick-Borne Diseases …” What You Need to Know Before Venturing Outside This Spring and Summer

Dog ticks, which are mainly a threat during the spring into summer, do not usually bite people, but that appears to be changing. When the ticks are exposed to higher temperatures, such as may occur as the global climate warms, they appear to acquire a taste for human flesh, a change that could cause an increase in dangerous tick-borne diseases.

According to research by Didier Raoult, a professor at the University of Marseille School of Medicine in France, hot weather may be making dog ticks turn on humans. They decided to investigate after a series of unusual outbreaks in humans occurred.

Raoult and colleagues incubated 500 brown dog ticks at 77 degrees Fahrenheit and 500 at 104 degrees Fahrenheit. They then placed the ticks on their own arms. After 1.5 hours, about half of the ticks kept at 104 degrees had tried to burrow in, compared to none of those at 77 degrees.

“From a global perspective, we predict that as a result of globalization and warming, more pathogens transmitted by the brown dog tick may emerge in the future,” the researchers wrote in PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases.

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TMJ and TMD: Natural Options for Treating and Healing This Common Source of Jaw Pain

Does this sound familiar?

“My jaws are so sore and I have sharp pains running through the joints. I feel a clicking, popping and a grinding sensation anytime I move my jaw to talk or eat. Even my ears have a ringing and buzzing in them. I’m constantly fighting stiffness and pain in my neck and shoulders, plus my hands feel numbness in them. I can’t sleep from all the pain I’m experiencing, and I feel like I’m falling into a depression. What is wrong with me?”

If you are experiencing symptoms like the ones above, you may have temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ/TMD). The disorder was first discovered in 1934 by an otolaryngologist named J.B. Costen, and currently estimates suggest that anywhere from 60 million to over 175 million Americans may suffer from TMD – so if you’re one of them, you’re not alone!

In fact, according to John D. Laughlin III, president of the Holistic Dental Association, 70 to 80 percent of the United States population may have some form of TMD!

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What Essential Vitamin Can Lower Your Risk of Dying as You Age (Especially as You Approach 65 and Beyond)?

old peopleVitamin D, the “sunshine vitamin” your body produces after sufficient exposure to sunlight, has been making headlines recently for its newly revealed role in disease prevention among old and young alike. Now, a new study has found yet another reason why ensuring you’re getting enough of this crucial vitamin should be at the top of your to-do list, especially if you’re in your 60s and beyond.

Researchers at the University of Colorado Denver and Massachusetts General Hospital evaluated the association between vitamin D levels and death rates of those 65 and older and found the vitamin plays a vital role in reducing risk of death associated with older age.

Specifically, older adults with insufficient levels of vitamin D are more likely to die from heart disease and other causes than those with adequate levels. Those with low vitamin D levels were three times more likely to die from heart disease — and 2.5 times more likely to die from any cause — than those with optimal vitamin D.

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9 Causes of Fat Gain (Not One Being Food …)

Have you heard people say they just can’t lose weight even when they nearly starve themselves? Ever felt that way yourself?

A large number of Americans struggle to lose weight every day, despite adhering to healthy diets and regular exercise programs. So what is really going on? While diet and exercise are certainly the two biggest factors, and eating healthy and exercising will result in weight loss for the majority of people who try them, for some it’s just not enough.

In fact, there are several causes of weight gain that have nothing to do with diet or even exercise … so if you’ve been stuck in a weight-loss plateau, keep reading to find out if one of these explanations may be to blame …

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All About Beets: Why They Can’t be Beat for Your Health, Plus Tasty Recipes

beetsThe next time you visit your favorite European restaurant and your waitress asks you, “chicken dumpling or Borscht soup,” think twice before answering as you may be missing out on some tasty health benefits in a bowl — beets.

This often overlooked, underdog vegetable is loaded with antioxidants such as fiber, potassium and vitamin C. Because of its folate-rich properties, just one half cup of cooked beets meets 17 percent of the daily recommended folate intake.

These colorful root vegetables that traditionally come in red are also available in gold and white and contain powerful nutrient compounds that can help protect against heart disease, birth defects and certain cancers, especially colon cancer.

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Spring Cleaning … Everything You Need to Know to Get Your Home Clean, Fresh and Healthy Well Before Summer

Spring has arrived , bringing warmer weather, spring flowers and, for many of us, the first chance to open our windows in months. Spring is also the “best time to rid your house of dirt and clutter,” according to 60 percent of Americans surveyed by The Soap and Detergent Association (SDA).

“For most Americans, spring is a great time to clean and freshen up their home,” said Brian Sansoni, SDA vice president of communication. “They are getting rid of a winter’s worth of dust, dirt and grime. Of course, people also appreciate that there are significant physical and emotional benefits to keeping a clean house all year long.”

In fact, 98 percent of those surveyed said they feel good about themselves when their house is clean … and that alone should be motivation enough to get scrubbing. But there’s more. SDA’s survey found even more benefits from frequent house cleaning:

  • 97% believe their families appreciate a clean home
  • 97% say their furnishings will last longer if they are cleaned regularly
  • 94% understand that cleaning can help reduce incidences of illness, allergies and asthma

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Smoke or Used to Smoke? The Healthiest Foods and Nutritional Supplements to Prevent Lung Cancer and Other Smoker’s Diseases

Nearly 21 percent of U.S. adults smoke cigarettes, and countless others have smoked at some point in their life. This habit continues to be the leading cause of preventable death in the country, causing about one out of every five deaths each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

A top health concern for smokers is lung cancer, of which smoking causes about 90 percent of cases. Your risk of dying from lung cancer is 23 times higher for men who smoke cigarettes and 13 times higher for women compared to non-smokers. Aside from lung cancer, smoking can lead to other forms of cancer, coronary heart disease, stroke, and chronic obstructive lung disease.

The best way to prevent these illnesses, of course, is to quit smoking. But for those who are current or past smokers, there may be a way to reduce some of the harm cigarettes do to your body: make wise food choices.

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How to Get Rid of Your Double-Chin (or Triple-Chin, etc.!) Naturally

double-chinYour double-chin may be inherited from your mother, or it could have been slowly accumulating due to the forces of gravity and time. You may also be predisposed to a double-chin because of the shape of your neck and jaw — and sometimes double-chins just happen, for no good reason at all.

One thing for certain is that most people who have a double-chin want to know how to get rid of it. You may even have considered plastic surgery, as liposuction to the chin can often remove the fat and sagging skin that causes a double-chin in the first place. Of course, plastic surgery is expensive and carries with it significant risks.

It’s also completely unnecessary because a double-chin can be eliminated naturally.

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How Clutter Kills Your Emotions, Energy & More, and What to Do About it Now

clutter free homeMost of us clean our homes regularly, but when was the last time you cleaned out your home’s clutter? Clutter can be anything from stacks of mail taking over your kitchen table to too many toiletries under your bathroom sink.

Clutter takes the form of leftover Christmas wrapping paper and bows that you’re saving for next year to those coffee mugs your friends brought you from their trip to Disney World, which you just can’t get rid of.

While most of us revel in the clutter-free spaces that exist in nice hotel rooms, model homes and pictures in magazines, our own homes are typically far from serene — and our peace of mind is paying for it!

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