Archive for July, 2010


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Consider a student who is first learning the alphabet. This is commonly done by pairing syllables to written letters and helping the student independently identify and associate these concepts with each other. As a teacher or a parent, how would you start this process? Would you lay out all the letters in the alphabet and ask them to find an F? Of course you wouldn’t! Most teachers would begin by isolating a single letter and just teaching to that concept, and then eventually move the student on. This is an example of reducing the amount of distractors. A distractor is anything which does not have to do with the current teaching element being addressed. Distractions are part of everyday life and are often part of the teaching process – but initially, many students will benefit from the removal of these distractors to allow them to be successful, gain confidence and be reinforced. Reducing the amount of distractors is the first step, but what if a student is still not successful?

If a student makes a mistake this implies a few things; he may not comprehend the material, he might not yet be independently able to complete the task and/or there could be behavioral challenges which are inhibiting his response. The ‘and/or’ in the previous sentence is important because students with autism and other learning challenges often have a complicated combination of challenges which may be affecting his/her responses. Let’s consider behavioral challenges. A student may respond incorrectly because; she could be prompt-dependent, i.e. doesn’t respond independently, she may be seeking attention since she has received more attention in the past for incorrect responses, she may be frustrated, distracted, hungry, excited, tired, bored or simply testing the teacher. Since there a lot of ‘may’s’ and ‘could be’s’ in a discussion on why a learner is not being successful – errorless teaching procedures reduce the chance that the previous myriad of possible variables will negatively effect the student’s response. By minimizing the chance that the student will respond incorrectly (at first) the teacher is building a foundation of correct responses for the student to draw from. This also allows the teacher to initially reinforce the student for these prompted responses which will help him associate learning with fun and enjoyable situations.

Students can be prompted by changing their environment, i.e. in the above example of distractor reduction, or by physically helping the student to respond correctly. Physically prompting, in respect to errorless teaching, would be accomplished by completing the desired response with the student by having them respond correctly. For example, when teaching to colors, a teacher could request, “Please point to red”. The student would be assisted by physically helping him point to the red item in an appropriate amount of time. The teacher would then reinforce that prompted response. Without this level of reinforcement, a student will be less likely to respond independently in the future when he/she is not being prompted. This form of prompting works well with certain activities but other skills like language and verbalization cannot be physically prompted in this manner. Here, repetition and the modeling of correct responses are more effective. Physically prompting a student is, of course, not sustainable in the long term because the goal of most skills is for a learner to independently complete an activity. At what point, though, does a teacher know when to stop or begin to stop prompting a student in this manner? After using errorless teaching procedures for an appropriate period of time, teachers can analyze the amount of progress being made by removing the prompt and making the exact same demand. Based on the student’s response without being helped, the teacher can then determine whether more teaching trials are required or the prompts can be faded. The process and extent to which these prompts are faded is completely dependent on the student and his un-prompted responses. Reinforcing future attempts and/or independent responses is extremely important in the student’s long-term success and ability to sustain and generalize these skills.

Learning a new language can sometimes be challenging. One way to help learn some of the names of everyday objects is to label the items in your room or house with the word in the other language. This is a form of errorless teaching since it (initially) eliminates the chance for incorrect responses. Not surprisingly, these items will not be labeled in such a manner when speaking with an individual using this other language; so these labels or prompts will have to eventually be removed. Prompts such as these can be difficult to fade if they become embedded in the learning process. Removing then as soon as possible, or systematically fading them over a relatively short period of time, will reduce your dependency on them and allow you to more independently recall the names. One way to begin to fade a prompt such as this is to cover a letter or part of the word with tape. When you are comfortable here you would cover more and more of the word until it is completely unreadable. These and other forms of errorless teaching procedures can be very helpful to all learners – but they are especially beneficial for students on the autism spectrum. The key points with all errorless teaching methods are; the subsequent fading of these prompts, providing adequate reinforcement and the goal of independence.


On the past several years there have been numerous concerns over shortages of staff and lack of beds in hospitals nationwide. As an alternative and an answer to the problem, many states, and in fact countries, have developed what is often referred to as “hospital at home” services that provide the same care to patients in a home environment instead of a hospital setting. With the availability of hospital equipment such as hospital beds, a pressure mattress overlay, and the ease of finding qualified at home professional practitioners it has become fairly easy to create a caring and medically sound environment for patients outside of the hospital. In order to determine the quality and validity of such services, studies have been initiated by several organizations to evaluate overall patient health, patient satisfaction and cost savings. Here are some of the results that were recorded.

Patients who were recovering from stroke did better in a hospital environment than an at home setting, for the first three months. The study showed a significant reduction in mortality rates, however, after six months for those patients provided with hospital at home care.

Overall, patients who were provided with a hospital at home setting for a variety of conditions were far more satisfied than those who remained in hospital. Studies were all in agreement that most people prefer to be cared for outside of a hospital and are more comfortable and satisfied in a home style environment.

Other trials noted that fewer patients in a home care setting developed other complications such as bowel or urinary complications.

For patients who were suffering with dementia, those who were receiving hospital at home care were less likely to be prescribed antipsychotic drugs.

For patients suffering from cellulite, there appeared to be no differences between the hospitalized patients and those receiving hospital at home care.

Patients who were being treated for COPD in a hospital at home care were prescribed antibiotics more often than those who were being treated in hospital.

The studies showed no significant differences among patients in or out of hospital when looking at their ability to perform day to day functions or in their cognitive abilities.

From an economic viewpoint, most hospital at home care programs were less expensive than hospital care.

It should be understood that, even with such studies, one should not preclude that hospital care is not as beneficial as home care in every situation, as hospital admittance is often necessary for the overall health of the patient. But where there is the possibility of a patient receiving adequate care in a home style setting, it can be more comfortable, satisfying, and cost effective.

It is also worth mentioning that the quality of services and personnel that provide the hospital at home care should be carefully selected and closely monitored, and that a primary care physician be in constant contact with patients and caregivers. It is not enough to merely assume that a patient is always better cared for at home or in a home style environment, than in a hospital.



Many commentators claim that curing Type 2 diabetes could be as simple as taking a vitamin D capsule every day. But what does vitamin D really have to do with blood sugar control in Type 2 diabetes?

Several studies have found that people who have Type 2 diabetes have, on average, lower concentrations of vitamin D in their bloodstream. What these studies do not show is whether lower levels of vitamin D might cause Type 2 diabetes or perhaps Type 2 diabetes causes lower levels of vitamin D.

Scientists know that vitamin D activates the gene that makes the proteins that enable the cell to respond to insulin. Vitamin D also activates a gene called PPAR-gamma, the same gene that is stimulated by drugs in the TZD class, such as Actos and Avandia. Taking more vitamin D, however, does not necessarily increase the activity of these genes.

That is because the problem may not be a deficiency of vitamin D, but the lack of receptors to attract vitamin D to be absorbed into the cell. Also, vitamin D works in tandem with calcium. Vitamin D helps calcium flow into your beta cells in the pancreas, stimulating them to release insulin. If there isn’t enough calcium, or if the cell cannot respond to calcium, then vitamin D may not help.

And sometimes there are other factors that scientists have yet to identify:

  • morbidly obese Caucasian women, for instance, don’t respond to vitamin D, even after they have had gastric bypass surgery
  • moderately overweight Caucasian women with Type 2 diabetes, however, do
  • Finnish men with the highest vitamin D levels have the lowest risk of developing Type 2 diabetes

Vitamin D levels in Mexican-Americans and in persons of South Asian or African descent, however, is unrelated to blood sugar control
even among persons of European descent, certain genes make diabetics very responsive to vitamin D while diabetics who have other genes do not respond to vitamin D at all.

Although evidence suggests that vitamin D plays a role in insulin sensitivity, vitamin D deficiency in part results from poor nutrition. Vitamin D is also produced as a result of your skin being exposed to sunlight. It helps you absorb calcium, among other functions such as helping to enable the cell to respond to insulin. It is often advised you spend 15 to 20 minutes outdoors each day to gain the benefit of sun exposure.

If you have type 2 diabetes, you may be that fortunate diabetic who responds very well to taking vitamin D supplements daily. Just don’t rely on vitamin D as a cure for Type 2 diabetes.



The early onset of premature grey hair can be one of the major hair thinning causes. This can be rather embarrassing for both men and women.

Strands of grey hair that appear in your 20’s and 30’s is quite normal. Some people start to go grey as early as their teens, early 20’s or 30’s; this can be classified as premature greying when the hair is at least 50% grey. Normally it is a gradual process.

Within the body there is a special type of cell known as Melanocytes which is concentrated within the epidermis throughout the skin. Through a process known as melanogenesis, the Melanocytes, are present in the hair follicles which are located next to the dermal sheath. The melanocytes are situated near the keratinocyte cells which produce keratin, the basic composition of hair. Melanocytes and keratinocytes both contribute to the hair pigmentation and growth.

Due to several reasons, the stem cells may produce less Melanocytes which interferes with sufficient production of melanin which produces healthy hair. Over time, hair will start to lose its natural colour due to a lack of pigmentation. This is due to the aging process where less pigment is produced as the person ages.

Premature graying of the hair may be due to a genetic predisposition, however there are also certain lifestyle factors which play an influential part in graying hair which consist of:

Smoking. Research has found that smoking is extremely bad. It is linked withpremature ageing and can slow melanin production therefore causing loss of pigmentation in hair colour.

Stress. It has been established that there is a link between stress and graying hair. According to research excessive stress is the catalyst of free and unstable molecules that can damage vulnerable cells such as Melanocytes and interfere with melanin production. Stress is also a main cause of a sudden hair loss known as telogen effluvium which causes hair growth to stop prematurely causing the Melanocytes to shut down in the body.

Vitamin B12 deficiency anemia. Vitamin B12 and the other vitamins in the B group are essential for healthy hair growth. These vitamins are vital to ensure that adequate pigmentation is maintained in order to deter the growth of premature grey hairs. If premature graying hair is brought on by conditions such as malnutrition including anemia graying of hair may only be temporary and when the underlying condition is corrected normal hair growth will resume. Healthy hair requires adequate nutrition otherwise you will notice that your hair will gradually become lighter, thinner and extremely brittle.

You are able to conceal grey hair with a good quality hair colour but you will need to ensure that the colour can provide full grey coverage as not all colours are designed for grey hair. Unfortunately grey hair is often dry and the colour may dry it out even more and therefore a wig or hair piece may be more of a practical option.



Caring for your body has never been more important in your life than it is now. This must be done immediately, to prevent further complications.

We have short term and long term goals. The short term goal is to get your diabetes under control. That includes the medication your doctor prescribed for you. You must take that medication on a regular basis. You cannot afford to miss your medication as this are part of the management program of your diabetes.

The second goal is starting to look at what goes into your mouth. It means that certain things in your diet must be omitted, this must change.


  • With diabetes usually comes Hypertension/High Blood Pressure.
  • With Diabetes usually comes High cholesterol
  • With Diabetes usually comes Obesity

Some of the problems are not always obvious. Some of the symptoms, such as numbness and tingling in the extremities of our toes and fingers. That can extend to our arms and legs. Some of our muscles have been known to waste away being caused by Diabetes. The digestive system can cause all sorts of problems including indigestion, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and even constipation. Some medications cause diarrhea.

You can feel dizzy or faint due to a drop in blood pressure after sitting and then standing up.

You can experience problems with urination as well as erectile dysfunction in men, or vaginal dryness in women.

You can become weak and easily tire.

People with diabetes often suffer huge mood swings and depression.

Then there are heart problems with the poor heart having to push that thick unhealthy blood around the clogged arteries and veins cause circulation problems and blindness.

Then there are kidney problems; they cannot cope with all the extra work.

So you understand how serious things are. Maybe you don’t….does amputation mean anything?

Now that you know some of the problems with Diabetes you now have an opportunity to think about what you are going to do.

If you are going to change things, there are a number of lifestyle changes you must make to ensure that you have a long trouble free life and not suffer the effects of this debilitating disorder.


OH MY GOD what can I eat might you ask

There are lots of great foods to eat.

You can eat all the food that GROWS IN THE GROUND, that is, all the fruit and vegetables you can eat. Let your digestive system refine the food the natural way.

You can eat all the fish in the ocean but not have it battered or crumbed.

You must start an EXERCISE program that will include 20-30 minutes a day, six days a week. On the seventh day, walk to a church or synagogue and give thanks to your God.

You must eat 5 or 6 meals a day at regular intervals. There is one concession I will give you. You may include in your meals 10% of lean meal, grilled or roasted, never cooked in fat.

Consider using a small plate and change the portion size.

With your lifestyle changes YOU ARE GOING TO NOTICE SOME GREAT CHANGES. YOU WILL LOSE SOME WEIGHT but you will need to be looking at a new wardrobe, a new shirt, and a new suit. Guys, while you are buying new things, a new tie or two would be great. Ladies, a new dress or a new skirt, and blouse, maybe a new pair of slacks. Ladies this is not an excuse to buy a new pair of shoes, your foot size will not change.




There are many different kinds of hand problems for which having a surgical procedure can make better. Surgery is a very specialized type of surgery that can improve impairment due to an injury, disease, abnormality or other illness. For example, if your hands have lost their strength and/or flexibility and just do not work as nature intended any more than a surgeon can help you. The same can be said if you suffer constant pain in your hand, your wrist or in your fingers.

Hand surgery can be done on any person of any age if it is called for. It is right for you if you do not suffer from any medical problems that could cause complications to arise or reduce healing. Please note that smoking slows the body’s ability to heal and therefore non-smokers will recover quicker than smokers.

Having realistic expectation about the operation and being optimistic also makes you a good candidate. Good patients are those who are dedicated to their own recoveries and are willing to follow their doctor’s instruction for both pre and post-op.

When you go to see the specialist for your consultation it is important that you are completely honest about everything you are asked. The success of the surgical procedure, as well as the safety of it, is very much dependent on the answers you give to questions regarding your medical history, health, work and lifestyle. This is an imperative part of the preparation for hand surgery.

The doctor will want to know if you suffer from any medical conditions for which you are currently in treatment or taking medication for. You must be willing to disclose any allergies you suffer from as well as previous surgeries you have had. You may also be asked if you take any vitamins, herbal supplements or over-the-counter drugs on a regular basis. He may also inquire if you smoke, drink alcohol or take drugs (prescription or recreational). All of these items are an essential component of your patient file.

The hand surgery will be discussed in depth, including what your expectations are and what the hoped for outcome is. Any risks must also be discussed at the time. Feel free to ask any questions that you want. Don’t be shy. If there is anything the specialist has told you that you are not sure about then whatever you do, ask for more information. Do not leave his office unsure about anything.

Before the date for your operation you may be instructed to stop taking the medications you normally take or to reduce the dosages. If you are a smoker then you will be asked to give up cigarettes for a specified number of weeks prior to the date.

Depending on what medications you take on a day-to-day schedule you will be told to stop taking herbal supplements, aspirin and anti-inflammatory drugs because these drugs can cause you to bleed more readily during the hand surgery.




Autism starts before a child turns to three years. It is a disorder in the brain development which weakens the social interaction and communication. Autism causes restricted and repetitive behavior. Autism is a hereditary disorder even though the genetics of autism are complex and it is unclear which genes are responsible. Autism is associated with agents which cause birth defects in rare cases. Other possible causes of autism are childhood vaccines which are controversial and the vaccine hypotheses lack convincing scientific evidence. According to the experts out of 1000 children 3-6 children will have autism. Male are four times more to have autism than females.


The occurrence of autism is not known and it affects many parts of the brain. In the first two years of the child’s life, parents usually notice the signs of autism. Autism is characterized by three distinctive behaviors. The autistic children have difficulties with social interaction, problems with verbal and non verbal communication, and repetitive behaviors or narrow, obsessive interests. There is a reduced sensitivity of pain, but are more sensitive to sound, touch or other sensory stimulation. These reactions may contribute to the behavioral symptoms such as a resistance to being cuddled or hugged. There is no cure for autism but treatment can help. The early behavioral and cognitive interference can help them to develop self-care, social and communication. An infant with autism may be non responsive to people or focus intently on one item by excluding others for a long period of time. With this disorder few children live independently after reaching adulthood and some of them become successful. Some people believe that autism is a condition than a disorder.

Autism children have speech problems, they might not look in to the eyes when talk to them. Before they can pay attention they may have to line up their pencils, these children will say the same sentence again and again. To tell that they are happy they flap their arms or they might hurt themselves if they are not. Some people never learn to talk. They lack empathy. The autistic children cannot interpret the thoughts and feelings of others and also cannot understand the tone of voice and facial expressions. The autistic people have different symptoms and because this it is known as spectrum disorder. The milder version of this disorder is Asperger syndrome. The disorder lasts throughout a person’s life time. Autism shares numerous signs with Rett syndrome and childhood disintegrative disorder. Asperger’s syndrome does not have any delay in the language development. Autistic children are at a higher risk for some co-existing conditions such as fragile X syndrome which causes mental retardation, tuberous sclerosis in which the tumors grow on the brain, epileptic seizures, Tourette syndrome, disabilities in learning and attention deficit disorder. By the time autistic children reach adulthood about 20 to 30% of children develop epilepsy for the reasons unknown. Also schizophrenic people may show some autistic-like behavior but the symptoms do not appear until the late teens or early adulthood. The Schizophrenic people also have hallucinations and delusions which are not found in autism.


Based on the IQ autism is sometimes divided in to the low, medium and high functioning autism. The child affected by autism will show less attention to social stimuli, smile and look at others less often and very rarely respond to their own name. The severity and symptoms of autism may go unrecognized mainly in mildly affected children or when it is covered by more weakening handicaps. Doctors depend on a group of behaviors for diagnosing autism. These behaviors are:

(1) Unable to make friends with peers
(2) Unable to initiate or to continue a conversation with others.
(3) Absence of imaginative and social play.
(4) Unusual, typecast, repetitive use of language.
(5) Preoccupation with certain subjects or objects.
(6) Rigid devotion to certain routines or rituals.

With help of a questionnaire or any other screening instrument doctors assemble information about the child’s development and behavior. Some screening depends on the parent observations and some others on a combination of parent and doctor observations. If there is an indication or possibility of autism, the doctors will ask for more comprehensive evaluation. As autism is a complex disorder a combined evaluation is needed with a multidisciplinary team including psychologist, neurologist, psychiatrist, speech therapist and other expert in diagnosing the children with ASDs. Girls with autism may be suffering from Rett syndrome, a sex-linked genetic disorder described by social withdrawal, deteriorated language skills and hand wringing.


Autism cannot be cured. But according to the experts the earlier intervention can make them to cope up with the day-to-day life. Structured and skill oriented training sessions to help children develop social and language skills. Counseling for parents and siblings of autistic children can help the families to cope with the challenges of living with an autistic child. To handle symptoms of anxiety, depression or obsessive compulsive disorder doctors often prescribe anti depressant medications. To treat severe behavioral problems anti-psychotic medicines are used. With one or more of the anticonvulsant drugs seizures can be treated. To reduce impulsivity and hyperactivity stimulant drugs are some times used effectively.



If you’ve been suffering from extreme anxiety that comes on suddenly and doesn’t cause any real physical effects afterwards, then you’ll want to be asking, “What are panic attacks and is this what I have, too?”

A panic attack (also known as an anxiety attack) is an episode where fear surges through your mind and body. You will feel a combination of mental and physical symptoms that can last anywhere from a few minutes to an hour before easing.
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In severe cases, the person thinks they’re having a heart attack and dying. That’s because the adrenaline is coursing through your veins and causing your body to amp up its blood supply – so you feel a pounding of your heart, flushed skin, and other physical symptoms.

People who get panic attacks frequently and have them over a long period of time may have panic disorder. This is a real medical condition – it’s not something you just get over or lighten up about.

Because this type of ailment interrupts your lifestyle, paralyzing you with fear, it’s important to know what your treatment options are so that you can stop the dizziness, nausea, headaches, chest pain and tightness in your throat (among other symptoms).

A panic attack might strike without warning at any time – when you’re home alone eating breakfast, when you’re in the middle of carpool, at work in a meeting, or even while relaxing at a movie theater.

After an anxiety attack subsides, you might feel like it’s taken its toll on you. That’s normal. But the worst part is – wondering when this ailment will creep back into your life. It’s unusual for someone to simply have one panic attack and then never have one again unless it’s specific to one stressful situation that goes away.

While there’s no scientific evidence of what causes a panic attack, scientists believe it’s a combination of genes, mental focus and stress levels. Genetically, most panic attack sufferers are young women. But that doesn’t mean older or younger women (and males) aren’t afflicted, either – because they are. There might be a family history of anxiety attacks that contributes to your situation.

Unfortunately, the turmoil that a panic attack leaves in its wake can lead to more serious medical problems, such as depression and suicidal thoughts. Depression has been linked to many diseases, so it’s important that once you ask the question, “What are panic attacks,” you find the answer you need and a solution that helps you prevent this from getting out of hand.



Diabetes Mellitus of Type 2 is a disease marked with high degree of blood glucose. This is an effect where the muscle cells, fats and liver incorrectly respond due to resistance of insulin. In this type, manufacture of insulin is very high but is not adequate to keep the demand of the body since insulin cannot go into the cells.

Symptoms of type 2 diabetes are just the same as those of type 1 but they differ in little ways. However, the development of type 2 diabetes seemed to be unnoticed because this type usually start later in life of the person. Medical check-ups regularly will aid you if you are prone to this condition.

Symptoms of Type 2 diabetes are the following:

  • Unending quest of taking fluids even if you have just drank water few hours before. This is because gall bladder is not functioning properly associated with the diabetes.
  • Urinating more than usual is becoming a norm for people with diabetes. They tend to go more often in the bathroom to urinate and this requires again drinking some more fluids.
  • The feeling of more hungry than usual is common to diabetic patient. In this case, hunger strike is not applicable to them rather than they eat in just a few span of time to fill in those hunger.
  • Feeling very tired and cranky is due to the blood glucose level that is either low or high, respectively. If very low blood glucose, the body feels lethargic since there is no energy supply. A very low blood glucose results to an easily irritated and bothered emotional sensation.
  • Cut, bruises and infections that do not heal fast may probably be due to the immune system being damaged by the germs within your body. Since glucose are not converted to cells it is expected that the immunity response is very slow resulting to long time healing of infections or they does not heal at all.
  • An eye disease characterized with distorted or blurry eyesight is called retinopathy. The eyesight is also one of the main goals of diabetes. AN example of this is seeing floating black or red blots that seems like a drifting fibers
  • The numbness or tingling – loss of emotional sensation – of your feet, hands and or even every organ system is one symptom of diabetes type 2. This feeling known commonly as neuropathy, attacks your nerve cells through an inflammation that is due primarily to diabetes.

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Waking up in the morning, we tend to feel hungry, and large breakfasts full of things like eggs, toast and bacon always seem to hit the spot. Of course, as we all know, these traditional breakfast foods are not the healthiest things in the world, especially when consumed on a daily basis: Eggs are high in cholesterol, bacon is high in fat, and bread is full of the types of carbs that can cause you to become sluggish by midmorning. It’s great to have a big breakfast every once in a while, but it’s usually a better idea to start your day with something lighter and more nutrient rich.

To have a healthy breakfast, here are some tips to keep in mind:

Make fruits central: Fruits are far from the typical greasy things that we associate with a full breakfast, but they happen to be the best foods for starting your day in a healthy fashion. They’re full of vitamins that keep you going throughout the day, and they have plenty of those healthy sugars that keep you energetic and help your brain to function at the top of its game at work or school.

Have whole grains: If you must have bread with breakfast, avoid white breads as well as so-called “wheat” breads that are actually not healthy. Instead, have true whole-grain breads made with organic ingredients and featuring real grains and nuts baked right into the bread. Meanwhile, it’s always a good idea to have whole-grain, non-instant oatmeal. Things like this give you good energy, plus plenty of dietary fiber.
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Keep things simple: Breakfast sets the tone for the full day, and when you include too many ingredients in this meal, you’ll end up getting your digestive processes off to a sluggish start, which will slow your metabolism and make you feel languid all day long. To counter these effects, keep your breakfast light and don’t include too many different ingredients. A simple egg, a piece of bread, and some fruit are quite enough.

Exercise first: If you’re trying to be healthy, it’s a good idea to get your daily exercise first thing in the morning, even before you eat. You may feel a little rumbling in your stomach as you’re exercising, but this just means that the calories you burn will have extra impact. Then, by the time you do sit down for breakfast, you’ll be clear-headed and energetic from your workout session, and your body will hungrily devour everything you eat without any negative metabolic effects.

Go organic: Many people are skeptical about whether organic foods are actually beneficial from a health perspective, but there are many studies that have shown that the benefits are real. A Penn State study, for example, found that eggs produced by free-range chickens are higher in vitamins and omega-3 fat content than eggs produced by industrial-farm chickens. The same is true of organic fruits, which tend to have higher nutrient content and lower toxin content than their non-organic counterparts.