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Health Tips #68 ~ [Issue 0305-2]  Wellness Weekly
 Mar 09, 2005 09:32 PST 

* Keeping Vegetables Fresh

Keep the following guidelines in mind when purchasing and storing
vegetables: - String beans: wash and refrigerate in perforated
plastic bags. Use within two to five days. - Broccoli: refrigerate in
perforated plastic. Use within two to three days. - Celery: trim off
leaves, rinse, shake off excess moisture, and refrigerate in
perforated plastic bags. Use within two weeks. - Potatoes: store in a
cool, dark, dry place in paper bags, not plastic. Use within two
months. If stored at room temperature, use within one week. -
Tomatoes: store in a cool place, out of the sun. Putting them in the
refrigerator destroys the flavor. Use within one week.

* Know Your Ophthalmologist

If you are considering surgery to correct your vision problem, it is
important that you know as much about the one doing the surgery as
you do about the surgery itself. Your eye surgeon has a huge
responsibility to help improve and maintain your eyesight. Here are
some things you should ask: 1. How many refractive surgeries have you
done? (Right answer: more than 500.) 2. How long have you been
performing refractive surgeries? (Right answer: at least three
years.) 3. How many refractive surgeries have you done in the past
year? (Right answer: more than 100.) 4. What percentage of your
refractive surgeries achieves 20/40 or better? (Right answer: about
90 percent.) 5. What percentage of your refractive surgeries report
significant complications? (Right answer: less than one percent.) 6.
Is the laser equipment used FDA approved? (Right answer: yes.) 7.
Have you ever had medical malpractice insurance denied or had your
medical license suspended or restricted? (Right answer: no.)

* Soft Drink Avoidance

America is powered by carbonated soft drinks. Americans guzzle soda
pop at a rate of 42 gallons per year. That is an average of 486.2
cans a year for every man, woman, and child. Americans drink more
soda than any other beverage, including water. Regular and diet cola
are what Americans choose 69 percent of the time. Lemon-lime sodas
come in at a distant second. What is wrong with drinking soda? That
can be answered in just one word - sugar! One ounce of soda contains
about three grams of sugar! Although sugar can provide quick energy,
the calories in sugar are "empty" calories. You have to eat more food
at other meals to make up for the nourishment that the sugar in soda
pop lacks. That can add inches to your waistline.

* Fluoride Levels High In Instant Tea

Instant tea may be a source of harmful levels of fluoride, according
to researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St.
Louis, Missouri. The researchers found that some regular strength
preparations contain as much as 6.5 parts per million (ppm) of
fluoride, well over the 4 ppm maximum allowed in drinking water by
the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. "The tea plant is known to
accumulate fluoride from the soil and water -- our study points to
the need for further investigation of the fluoride content of teas,"
says Dr. Michael Whyte. "We do not know how much variation there is
from brand to brand and year to year." The study is published in the
"American Journal of Medicine."

* Alcohol May Help Guard Against Dementia

Older women who drink a moderate amount of alcohol each day may be
helping to keep their minds sharp, say North Carolina researchers.
The research, published in the "American Journal of Epidemiology,"
finds women who reported having one or more alcoholic drinks daily
scored higher on tests of cognitive function than women who reported
drinking less. "Women who reported drinking one or more drinks a day
had a 40 percent lower risk of significant declines in cognitive
function over time, compared to women who reported no alcohol
intake," says study leader Mark Espeland, at Wake Forest University
Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
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