The Checkup: A New Science-Backed Excuse to Eat More Avocado (Victory!) 

• This news might be the only thing to make me smile just as much as a perfectly ripe avocado: New research, published in the journal Phytotherapy Research, looked at 129 studies examining the effects of eating avocado and found that eating the green stuff on the daily seemed to be pretty darn effective at warding off metabolic syndrome (that’s the term to describe having three or more risk factors for heart disease and diabetes). VICTORY. [Health]

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6 Natural Ways to Keep Your Allergies in Check This Spring

Every year when spring rolls around, I’m surprised that my entire face is itchy, I’m sneezing a lot more frequently and that my eyes well up every time I step outside. And then I remember: spring allergies. Drat. There goes my standard of living for the next couple of weeks, as well as a good chunk of change spent on boxes upon boxes of tissues, Allegra-D, and nose spray. If you’re in the same boat, take note give of these six natural and easy ways to set yourself up for the least miserable allergy season possible. (And if all else fails, we won’t shame you for submitting to Benadryl and Netflix.)

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The Checkup: Yikes! Nearly Half of U.S. Adults Have This STI

• Here, a very good reason to schedule that gyno appointment you’ve been putting off: New data from the National Center for Health Statistics found that a whopping 42.5 percent of Americans between the ages of 18 and 59 have the sexually transmitted infection genital human papillomavirus, more commonly known as HPV, which can be the culprit behind cervical cancer. [TIME]

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Why People Who Do Everything Right Still Get Cancer, According to New Study

Yesterday, my friend and I were texting back and forth about how Grey’s Anatomy is our personal version of comfort food. I turn to the show whenever I am feeling down/bored/restless — literally whenever I am feeling anything aside from occupied.

I mention this because on that show, the heroes (those would be the surgeons, of course) manage to survive plane crashes and lion-in-the-city encounters and gunmen loose in the hospital, but one thing they are constantly stumped by — much like us, here in the real world — is cancer. And the question of, Why did this person get cancer? And now, a new study out of Johns Hopkins, published in the journal Science, places the spotlight on why even those who drink all the green juice in the world and get well over 10,000 steps a day in and wouldn’t touch a cigarette with a 10-foot pole can still be struck with news of the C-word.

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The Checkup: How to Make a Loaf of Bread Last Forever

• Whenever I get bread at La Colombe’s Fishtown location (if you haven’t consumed an entire loaf of their fig bread in one sitting, I don’t know what you’re doing with your life), I am ecstatic to have it around for, like, 24 hours — but before I know it, it’s turned hard as a rock. Next time I grab a loaf, though, I’ll be embracing this freezer trick, which involves a baking sheet, some parchment paper, and a freezer bag to make a single loaf of bread last for upward of six months. [POPSUGAR Food]

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Hilarious Tweet Reminds Us to Stock Up on What We Really Need for the Snowstorm

In case you’ve somehow managed to miss the warnings: We are slated to get some snow tonight and tomorrow. Around eight to 12 inches of the white stuff in Philly, to be exact. Meaning you’ll probably be cooped up in your home without a whole lot to do (after you’ve completed your snow-day workout, that is). And you know what boredom breeds? Babies. As we’ve told you guys before, research shows that nine months after a major weather event, there tends to be a baby boom.

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The Checkup: The Most Convincing Reason to Ditch Booze for a Month

• It’s Friday. On Fridays, I tend to tell myself that “I will go out for one drink with friends after work,” only to end up twerking (er, well, trying to twerk) at some bar in Fishtown at 1 a.m. and having a damn near heart attack when I look at my bank account balance the next morning. If your weekend nights unravel in a similar fashion, this writer’s account of his Dry January just may convince you to go the hermit route for a month this year — mostly because he saved over $200 in one month by avoiding drinks and ended up eating out less in the process. (The weight loss that comes along with it doesn’t hurt, either.) [Bon Appétit]

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Why New Jersey Parents Will Soon Be Trading in Bassinets for (Free!) Cardboard Boxes

The baby box New Jersey parents will receive | Image via the Baby Box Co.

The baby box New Jersey parents will receive | Image via the Baby Box Co.

Well, this is awesome: Back in May, we told you guys about Temple University Hospital’s baby box program, a year-long program inspired by the government-funded Finnish tradition of giving new parents free cardboard boxes, simply called baby boxes, that double as bassinets, mattress and all, to be used as a bed for the first five to six months of a newborn’s life. The program was introduced in Finland in the 1930s in an effort to reduce infant deaths; they now boast the lowest infant mortality rate of the 27 wealthiest countries in the world. When Temple announced their program last spring, they had 3,000 baby boxes to give out on a universal basis throughout the year, making it the largest program of its kind in the US. But now, it looks like New Jersey is about to one-up them in a pretty spectacular way.

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Why Alcohol Makes You Poop (And How to Avoid a Bathroom-Filled Morning After)

A little over a year ago, we asked this question: Why does running make you poop? (Here in Be Well Philly Land, we’re never afraid to ask the truly tough questions.) So naturally, we were intrigued when we saw a post on Thrillist delving into a similar subject: the question of why a boozy night leads to a morning filled with trips to the bathroom.

Gross? Maybe. But admit it: You can probably relate.

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