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Stomach Balloon May Aid in Weight Loss, but You Have to Go to Canada for It

As the amount of weight loss surgeries in the U.S. continue to rise, doctors are finding different and better ways to surgically treat obesity. One of the newest players in the game is called an intragastric balloon, and as it’s not approved for use in the United States, many patients have chosen to cross the border to Canada to do the procedure.

The intragastric balloon is less invasive than traditional bariatric surgery. It involves inserting a tube down the esophagus into the stomach, so there’s no surgical incision. A deflated balloon is then threaded down the tube, and once placed, blown up to the size of an orange and filled with sterile blue water. It can stay there for up to six months, at which point it is removed to prevent ruptures. This can be done multiple times if the patient continues to need the support the balloon provides. The balloon decreases the patient’s feelings of hunger, making them eat less and lose weight.

Although the average weight of Americans continues to bound upward, there are still very few bariatric surgeries performed annually. Less than one percent of individuals who meet the criteria for bariatric surgery actually have surgery, according to the American Society for Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery. Each year, about 250,000 Americans choose to have some form of weight loss surgery, the most popular being gastric bypass, a gastric band, sleeve gastrectomy, or duodenal switch. These involve removing a portion of the stomach, restricting how much food can go into the stomach, rerouting the intestinal system, or a combination of these methods. The gastric sleeve is cheapest, costing around $10,000, while the others range from $17,000 to $35,000, according to the Consumer Guide to Bariatric Surgery.
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10 Essential Foods for Alzheimer’s Prevention

Alzheimer’s: The word conjures up scary thoughts of slowly losing your memory as you become a shell of your former self. Experts project that diagnoses of dementia, of which Alzheimer’s is the primary cause, will triple worldwide by 2050. But scientists tell us that preventative measures can go a long way in protecting the brain from memory loss diseases, and they are as simple as doing things like making changes in your diet.

Here are 10 super foods that work to boost brain power and, in turn, lessen your chances of suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. No one food has been shown to prevent Alzheimer’s disease, but healthy eating habits appear to be one of the top factors in lowering your risk for developing Alzheimer’s or dementia.

1. Wild Salmon, Tuna, Sardines (Omega-3 Fatty Acids)
The American Heart Association recommends eating fish at least twice a week because it contains vital omega-3 fatty acids. These good fats help the body function properly and may slow cognitive decline by 10 percent, studies show.

“The main concept is that a diet rich in Omega 3 fatty acids creates BDNF (brain derived neurotrophic factor), a protein between nerve cells that helps increase the strength between connections,” said Michael Gonzalez-Wallace, author of “Super Body Super Brain.”┬áTrout, mackerel, and herring are also good choices, and taking a fish oil vitamin can also help your body obtain this much-needed nutrient.
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Find the Right Diet for Your Personality in “Who Are You Meant To Be”

Every year, more new diets pop up claiming to be revolutionary and suitable for everyone. And every year, millions try them out, hoping that they’ll finally find the solution to losing weight.

Dr. Anne Dranitsaris, PhD and Heather Dranitsaris-Hilliard believe that this model is not how weight loss should be approached. In their new book, Who Are You Meant to Be?, released January 1, 2013, they outline how an individual’s personality affects their behavior and, in turn, their dieting styles.

“We’re looking at [dieting] through a different lens than most. What is it that’s driving our behaviors? Why do we people behave like we do around food?” said Dranitsaris-Hilliard.

The mother-and-daughter team’s book is not a diet guide, but it may be applied toward eating styles as part of an integrated look at human behavior. Through their research, they have identified eight different “striving styles” and find most individuals fall under one of these.
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Get Healthy Snacks from NatureBox for You, Give a Meal to Feeding America

I love snacks. I especially love when they are healthy and tasty. But have you ever, like me, gone into the kitchen for a snack, opened the cupboards and fridge, and turned away dejectedly, only to return and do the same thing in five minutes? Or, worse yet, grabbed whatever was closest to munch on no matter how unhealthy it was? Enter NatureBox here to help.

NatureBox is a service that sends a package of nutritious snacks to your door every month. No more trouble finding a snack when afternoon hunger strikes, you need to grab something on your way out the door, or dinner isn’t ready yet and you need a nibble to tide you over.

But as its name implies, NatureBox doesn’t send candies or brownies or anything of the sort, they pick five different, minimally processed foods each month to keep their subscribers guessing. Standard fare looks something like bags of dried fruit, interesting combinations of granola, and flavored nuts and seeds. Some of the snacks are unusual, but all look worth a try, like Garden Tomato Crunchies, Big Island Dried Pineapple, Roasted Umami Nuts, and Country Ranch Peas. Each box contains fifteen to twenty servings.
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Illuminutri Takes the Guesswork Out of Supplements and Nutrition

With the hundreds of supplements on the market today, it can be confusing to pick the right ones for you and to know that they are safely manufactured with the best ingredients. The FDA does not evaluate supplements before they reach the market so it is up to the consumer to know if what they are taking is healthful and beneficial.

Dr. Stephen Barkow began to see this as a problem in his practice when many patients would come in asking about a particular supplement. He noticed that most people don’t have a direction when taking supplements.

Out of those experiences, the idea for Illuminutri was conceived. Dr. Stephen Barkow and his wife, certified clinical nutritionist Pamina Barkow, decided to combine their expertise to create their own line of supplements to use with their patients as part of a comprehensive health plan.

“Patients come in with a variety of pain, from inflammation to complications from surgeries to chronic pain. I ask myself, ‘What can I do more naturally to reduce pain?’ and then I come up with recommendations for patients. It’s more of a lifestyle change than easy fixes,” said Dr. Barkow.
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