Tackling Louisiana’s Black Infant Mortality Crisis

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAEvery year, Black infants are more than twice as likely to die before their first birthday compared to White infants, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For nearly 30 years now, the folks at the Birthing Project USA have been fighting to close that gap. Their mission is to provide pregnant women, particularly Black women with the medical care and support needed to deliver a healthy baby.

As the only national African-American maternal and child health program in the country, the Birthing Project not only assists women during their pregnancy, they also provide education and emotional support for up to one year following the birth of their children.

“We like to call ourselves the Underground Railroad for New Life,” says Birthing Project Executive Director Joia Perry. “We want to ensure that the birth of every baby of color is witnessed and valued. [Our goal is to] decrease infant mortality in Black and brown babies by 50 percent within the next decade.”

Read the rest of my article at [EBONY.com].

3 Signs You’re An Emotional Eater

Emotional EatingPicture this: It’s been a long day at work, you got stuck in traffic on your way home, and you just remembered that you have to bake two dozen cookies for your child’s bake sale, which is tomorrow – your head is spinning! The minute you walk through that front door, you head straight for the kitchen, reach for the bag of chips and get to munching. Sound familiar? If you answered yes, there’s a good chance that you might be an emotional eater, but you’re not alone.

The reality is most of us don’t eat to live. Food is also used for comfort, stress relief or as a way to celebrate. In the long run though, emotional eating can affect your weight, health and overall well-being. Here are three signs that you’re an emotional eater, as well as a few ways you can start taking back control.

 1. You eat even when you’re not hungry.

If your stomach isn’t growling, rumbling or making any other strange noises, yet you still feel the urge to eat something, then you’re not actually hungry. What you’re really seeking is emotional nourishment. Listen to your body. It’ll let you know when it’s time to reach for another snack or meal. If you must eat, grab something healthy. For instance, if you’re craving sweets, opt for a small fruit salad instead.

Read the rest of my article at [BlackDoctor.org].

Workplace Cold & Flu Tips To Protect Your Sick Days

Workplace Cold & Flu Tips To Protect Your Sick DaysWe’re in the dead of winter. You know what that means, right? Dry skin, snow storms, ice-cold temperatures, and germs – lots of them! And get this: Illnesses and viruses are more likely to spread through the workplace since everyone is in such close quarters. Fortunately, there are several precautions you can take to stay healthy this flu season. Read on to find out how to reduce your number of sick days this year!

Wipe down everything.

Sanitize all commonly touched surfaces, including doorknobs, cabinet handles, keyboards, phones, counters, and faucets with disinfecting wipes. According to a recent study conducted by Dr. Charles Gerba of the University of Arizona for the Healthy Workplace Project, the “wash, wipe, sanitize” protocol reduced a person’s chances for catching the flu and common cold by 80 percent.

Wash your hands.

And do so often, especially before eating, after using the restroom, and after being outside. One of the most effective ways to prevent germs from spreading is by washing your hands using soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. Last but not least, it’s always a good idea to carry a travel-size hand sanitizer around with you just in case you don’t have access to soap and water.

Get vaccinated.

Although many folks are still skeptical about getting the flu shot, it’s the best way to reduce your chances for catching the virus, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Read the rest of my article at [BlackDoctor.org].

Diabetes: Head To Toe Effects You Might Also Have To Live With

Diabetes ComplicationsAs if living with diabetes wasn’t already hard enough, other long-term, life-threatening complications that develop naturally can make the disease that much more difficult. Here are five common complications that may come along with diabetes.

1. Alzheimer’s disease

Type 2 diabetes is believed to increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease – and the less controlled that your blood sugar is, the greater your risk.

2. Hearing loss

There are 35 million Americans living with some form of hearing loss, and according to the American Diabetes Association, many of these people have diabetes or prediabetes. Additionally, a recent study found that people with diabetes are twice as likely to experience hearing loss compared to those who aren’t diabetic. While it certainly seems that hearing problems are more common among those with diabetes, there’s still more research that needs to be done regarding the link between diabetes and hearing loss.

Read the rest of my article at [BlackDoctor.org].

Lower Your Cholesterol Without Medication

Lower Your Cholesterol Without MedicationWith approximately 1 in every 6 adults living with high cholesterol, there’s a good chance that you, the one reading this right now, are one of them. High cholesterol comes with its own set of dangers, including an increased risk for heart disease, which is the leading cause of death for African Americans in the U.S. If you already have high cholesterol, here are five tips that will help point you in the right direction.

1. Stay away from saturated fats.

Avoid foods that are naturally high in saturated fats, including lamb, pork, fried chicken, cheese and other dairy products, such as whole or reduced-percent milk. It’s best to stick with “smart” fats. For instance, try substituting butter and lard for canola oil, olive oil and sunflower oil.

2. Eat more fiber.

Fruits, vegetables and whole grains are excellent sources of fiber, which helps reduce your LDL a.k.a. “bad” cholesterol levels. Good ole apples, bananas and oranges all have around 3-4 grams fiber each while raspberries contain a whopping 8 grams of fiber per cup. Soluble fiber, in particular, is the best for lowering your cholesterol. Good sources of soluble fiber include dried beans, oats, barley, lentils, cucumbers, celery and carrots.

Read the rest of my article at [BlackDoctor.org].

No Days Off: How To Stay Healthy On Vacation

How To Stay Healthy On VacationEveryone loves a nice, long, relaxing vacation, right? But, like the holidays, vacations have become synonymous with gaining weight. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to keep those extra pounds far, far away. If you’re planning for a vacation in the near future and want to stay fit and healthy, then you’re definitely going to want to check out these three simple tips. Who knows? You might even lose a little weight during your vacay!

1. Do your research.

A crucial part of vacationing is dining out and getting to know a city and/or country through its food, right? Before you purchase your plane ticket(s) and book your hotel room, take the time to research and locate a few healthy restaurants in the area. Hey, we take it upon ourselves to plan out the activities we’re going to do! Why not do the same with our meals? Also, bringing along a few healthy snacks (low-fat Greek yogurt, fresh fruit, unsalted pretzels, etc.) can be a lifesaver when in you’re in the middle of sightseeing and those hunger pangs just won’t let up.

Read the rest of my article at [BlackDoctor.org].

5 Reasons Your Coffee Habit Is Good For You

5 Reasons Your Coffee Habit Is Good For YouWho would’ve known that coffee could be so good for you? Aside from being a great pick-me-up in the morning, one cup of Joe contains 22 nutrients, including potassium, magnesium, riboflavin and niacin. Impressive, right? Brace yourselves because there’s a lot more where that came from. Here are five additional reasons to love coffee!

1. Burns fat

As a natural fat burner and appetite suppressant, caffeine can boost your metabolism rate by 3-11 percent and can help make weight loss easier and faster. For maximum benefits, it’s best to take your coffee black.

2. Reduces the risk for diabetes

According to a study conducted by Harvard’s School of Public Health, people who consumed an extra cup of coffee a day over a four-year period lowered their risk for type 2 diabetes by 11 percent.

Read the rest of my article at [BlackDoctor.org].