1. They keep intestines functioning well so they can absorb nutrients efficiently
  2. They can help with healthy digestion
  3. They can help support the body’s immune system

Children’s Acidophilus is a combination of several probiotics in a grape-flavored chewable. It is available at the NewSpring Pharmacy store or online at our e-store

EYE SPY: Eye Safety Tips for Kids

Hey kids, what do you call those beautiful eyes of yours? Peepers? Blinkers? Orbs?

Eyes are amazing! Did you know that your eyes can see about 10 million different colors. We have to take good care of our eyes so they don’t get injured.

Here are a few ways you can take care of your eyes.

Never run if you are carrying something sharp like scissors. Ask your parents to show you how to carry scissors safely.

Love sports? Do you play ice hockey, baseball, basketball or tennis? Wear safety glasses when you play these and other sports.

Do you have a pet? A cat or a dog? Wash your hands after playing with your pet.

Did you know that your eyes can get sunburned? Don’t look directly at the sun. Do you have sunglasses for bright, sunny days? Talk to your parents about getting a pair.

Playing with sand is fun, but flying sand can harm eyes. Don’t throw sand and keep away from anyone who you see throwing sand.









How’s your family’s bone health?

We tend to think of bone health as an issue for older people only. The truth is, we need to pay attention to bone health regardless of our age. Throughout our lifetime, we make new bone and lose old bone. Children and young adults make more bone than they lose. Beginning in childhood, our bones keep getting denser, until at some point in our late teen to mid-twenties, our bones are at the most dense that they will ever be. This is called Peak Bone Mass (PBM). Ideally, by this point, our bones are dense enough that we will not suffer from weak bones as we age and begin to make less bone. Therefore, these bone-making years are crucial.

Feed your bones

Calcium and Vitamin D are very important for bone health. Other important nutrients for bone health are Vitamin k, Potassium, Magnesium and Vitamin C. Five or more servings of a wide variety of fruits and vegetables daily will help us maintain overall health, including bone health.

The National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF) recommendations for daily calcium intake are:

Ages 1-3                            700mg

Ages4-8                             1000mg

Ages 9-18                          1300mg

Ages 19+                           1000mg

Age 50+ women                1200mg

Age 70+ men                     1200mg

Vitamin D is just as important because it enables our bodies to absorb calcium. NOF recommends that adults under the age of 50 years get 400-800 International Units (IU) of Vitamin D daily and that those over the age of 50 get 800-1000 IUs daily.  Our skin makes some of the Vitamin D we need when exposed to sunlight, but be careful not to expose your skin to too much sun without protection. We can get some Vitamin D from fatty fish such as salmon, tuna and mackerel. Talk to your healthcare provider to see if you need a Vitamin D supplement, for instance if you are over the age of 60, if you don’t get much sun.


Combined with a healthy diet, exercise strengthens our bones. Children and teens need to get at least 60 minutes of moderate exercise daily. Exercise is important for adult’s bone health as well. Studies have shown that adults who exercise have more bone mass than those who do not. The two best types of exercise for your bones are weight-bearing exercises such as dancing, hiking, jogging, jumping rope, tennis and fast walking; and muscle-strengthening exercises such as lifting weights or lifting your own body weight. A good plan might be to do 30 minutes of weight-bearing exercise five days a week and muscle strengthening exercise twice a week. Start slow if you haven’t exercised in a while; for instance by walking. Consult your healthcare provider regarding the best exercise program if you have Osteoporosis or any other health issue.


Here are some tips for a healthy lifestyle as you provide care for your loved one… 

If you are a caregiver to a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease, remember that you need to be a caregiver to someone else as well – yourself. Do take good care of your own health. If it seems like there are not enough hours in the day to take care of your loved one, and yourself, don’t worry; perhaps you can come up with a strategy to do both at the same time. Here are some tips.

Exercise together

Physical activity is very beneficial, both physically and mentally, for people at all stages of Alzheimer’s and Dementia. Exercising may improve memory and slow mental decline, improve sleep, improve strength and enhance confidence, among other benefits. The exercise can be as simple as a daily walk, gardening, or dancing.

Exercise is certainly just as beneficial to caregivers. Even though the exercise you do with your loved one may be slow-paced, it is still beneficial. For instance, taking a walk provides moderate exercise, fresh air, and the opportunity for social contacts out of the house.

Plan physical activities that you and your loved one can do together and consult your loved one’s healthcare professional if you have any concerns before you begin.The Alzheimer’s Society has  tips on exercise for people with Dementia.

Brain-healthy diet

The Alzheimer’s Association stresses the importance of proper nutrition for people with Alzheimer’s because poor nutrition may increase behavioral symptoms and cause weight loss. Plan nutritious brain-healthy food for your loved one and for yourself and enjoy your meals together.

Researchers at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago have developed a diet plan, the MIND diet, which may reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease by as much as 53 percent. The MIND diet combines elements of the Mediterranean diet and the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet. It recommends 10 “brain healthy food groups” and identifies five “unhealthy food groups” to avoid.

Not all the recommended foods may be appropriate for your loved one, but you can enjoy those that are appropriate together.

The MIND Diet
10 foods to eat daily: green leafy vegetables, other vegetables, nuts, berries, beans, whole grains, fish, poultry, olive oil and wine 
5 foods to avoid: red meats, butter and stick margarine, cheese, pastries and sweets, and fried or fast food

Lift your Spirits with Music

Research has shown that music helps calm people with Alzheimer’s disease and may even reduce their eating and sleep difficulties. People with Alzheimer’s and other Dementia can enjoy music and can engage in rhythm playing and singing even in the late stages of the disease. Experts recommend playing music from early childhood, such as folk songs, in the language they were learned, for patients in later stages of dementia. The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America has more tips on music and its benefits to Alzheimer’s patients.

Caregivers too can get great benefits from music. Listening to music has a calming effect, can lift our spirits, and increase our work output. Research has also shown that listening to music may lessen pain, improve immune function and improve memory. Develop a play list of music that is beneficial and enjoyable to both yourself and your loved one. Play and enjoy the benefits together. Try singing songs together as well.

Enjoy activities with your loved one, but be sure to schedule some time just for yourself. Ask family and friends to help out at least once a week so you can go do something you enjoy, even for a short time. You will return rejuvenated.

Tips to help you and your family prevent kidney disease

Did you know that one in three Americans is at risk of kidney disease? Here are some tips on keeping your kidneys healthy. If you have kidney disease, these tips do not apply. For instance you may need to drink less water, depending on your kidney function and your doctor’s advice. This is because damaged kidneys do not get rid of extra fluid as well as they should.

Stay hydrated

Your kidneys work most efficiently if they have enough water flowing through to carry away the waste they filter. Therefore, it is very important to stay hydrated. Dehydration puts stress on your kidneys. Try to drink 6 to 8 glasses of water each day. Drink more water on hot days and when you exercise than you would normally drink. How can you tell if you are hydrated? The color of your urine is a good indicator. If should be clear or straw colored. Any darker and you know you need to hydrate.

OTCs and kidney function

Avoid daily or regular use of over-the-counter analgesics. Analgesics are medications such as aspirin, acetaminophen and ibuprofen, which help control pain and fever. Overuse of these medications for a long time, as well as of those that contain combinations of analgesics, can damage your kidneys. Read the warning label on your over-the-counter analgesics to see how long you may take them. If you still have pain or fever beyond that time, see your doctor. If you have reduced kidney function, do not take over-the-counter analgesics without the advice of your doctor.

Be kind to your kidney

Your lifestyle matters. When you exercise regularly, you keep your weight and blood pressure healthy, which is good for your kidneys. Combine exercise with foods rich in antioxidants. Cabbage, cauliflower, berries, garlic, and olive oil are all great foods for kidney health. Fish is also good for your kidneys. The American Diabetes Association and the American Heart Association recommend two or three servings of fish a week. Salmon, rainbow trout, mackerel, herring and tuna, are excellent choices.

Becoming an organ donor

More than 96,000 people need a kidney each year, but only about 17,000 receive one. Every day 13 people die waiting for a kidney. To become an organ donor after death you can register online at or you can indicate your wish on your driver’s license. Don’t forget to let your family know your wishes. You can also make a donation to someone you know or to a stranger, while you are still alive, if you are healthy enough.

Useful Resources

Information on kidney disease and its prevention: The National Kidney Foundation:

Information on becoming a kidney and other organ donor: Donate Life America:

Download free cookbooks featuring kidney-friendly recipes:

Love is good for your health

This year, don’t let Valentine’s Day just go by; celebrate the ones you love.
Love is good for your health. Truly! And not just romantic love – all kinds of love. Parents and children, friends and siblings. Here are a few ways that loving relationships are great for you.

Love is good for your heart
A study from Finland showed that married people, both men and women, were much less likely than single people to have a heart attack; and if they did they were less likely to die from it. Another study showed that our disposition in a relationship affects our heart health. The results of that study showed that women who had hostility towards their spouse had increased risk of heart disease, and men who had dominant or controlling behavior towards their spouse had increased risk of heart disease as well.

Blood pressure
One study found that happily married couples had lower blood pressure levels than single people. However, unhappily married couples had higher blood pressure than both their happily married counterparts and single people. This benefit applies to loving friendships as well. Another study found that people in quality relationships of any kind had lower blood pressure, while the loneliest people in the study had up to a 14.4-point rise in systolic blood pressure.

A loving hand
According to a study published in Psychological Science, holding hands with someone you love reduces stress and anxiety. High stress and anxiety can cause blood pressure to rise, increase heart rate, and make you vulnerable to heart disease. The study participants were happily married couples. The women were told they would receive a mild shock to the ankle. Waiting for the shock made the women anxious, but when their husbands held their hands, the women’s anxious brain activity (measured by MRI scan) reduced. A stranger’s touch was also comforting, but less so than the spouse’s touch.

Loving prose, lower cholesterol
In a study published in Human Communication Research, college students spent 20 minutes writing about their love for friends, relatives or romantic partners. They experienced significant drops in total cholesterol (the mean cholesterol levels reduced from 170 mg/dL to 159 mg/dL). Students in the control group wrote about random topics unrelated to love and did not experience the same health benefit. You might want to consider writing a paragraph in the Valentine cards you send out this year!

Remember though, great relationships aren’t built in a day. Great relationships are built daily – on Valentine’s Day and beyond. Keep loving!

Healthy AND Tasty? Yes, you can have it both ways!

The holidays would not be quite the same without all the delicious holiday food we enjoy. It’s a time of the year when we are likely to eat too much sugary food and too little of the healthy foods we need. This holiday season, you can give your family foods that are both delicious and healthy. Here are a few tips.

Fruit kebabs: Skewer delicious fruit – strawberries, grapes, watermelon, pineapple, kiwi – then watch it disappear off the plate. Have you tried grilled fruit skewers? Pre-soak wooden skewers in cold water to prevent them from burning, sprinkle with cinnamon, and grill for a few minutes. Enjoy with ice cream.

Chocolate dipped fruit: It looks amazing and tastes even better. Melt dark chocolate in a bowl, dip fruit of choice, and enjoy. Strawberries and banana are ideal candidates for this treatment.

Roasted Chestnuts: Whether you roast them in the oven or on an open fire, chestnuts are a holiday tradition. And did you know that chestnuts, unlike most other nuts, are low-fat? They contain just one 1 gram of fat. And they are the only nuts that contain vitamin C.

Veggies with a difference: Make your veggie dishes as appealing as all the other delicious holiday dishes on the table, otherwise they will get ignored. You can roast a colorful mixed veggie platter, tossed with olive oil and garnished with sprigs of rosemary, or add fruit, such as avocado and mango to a veggie salad.
Healthy Ingredients: Do you have some favorite healthy ingredients that taste great and will transform any dish. Stock up on those for the holidays and add them to your food liberally. They could be herbs, spices, nuts, fruit, or other tasty food items. Tis the season to be creative so be as imaginative as you can.

Try cooking with coconut oil to add both flavor and health benefits to your holiday dishes. Rice or vegetables fried with coconut oil are particularly tasty. It’s great for baking as well. Coconut oil is good for both body and mind.

Mix a bowl of dried fruits and nuts for quick snacks or to put in salads for some extra taste. Dried fruit is packed full of vitamin C and nuts are full of heart-healthy fats and protein.

Cook up a hearty stew with your favorite herbs and spices to flavor it and keep the family warm. Enjoy the food and the joy of family. Happy Holidays!


January is National Blood Donor Month. Will you be giving the gift of life?

1. Donating blood is safe and simple. It takes just 10 minutes to donate a pint of blood.

2. You could help save up to three people’s lives every time you donate blood!

3. Every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood. More than 44,000 blood donations are needed every day, according to the American Red Cross.

4. Your blood could help save a woman with pregnancy complications, such as ectopic pregnancy or blood loss before, during or after childbirth.

5. Your blood could help save someone involved in a car crash. A car accident victim may need as much as 100 pints of blood.

6. Blood can only be stored for a limited time. Regular blood donations ensure that safe blood will be available when and where it is needed.

7. You or someone you love might need blood someday.

8. Blood cannot be made in a lab, so the gift of blood to save lives can only come from donors like me and you.

9. You will get a free mini health screening. Before you donate blood, your resting heartbeat, blood pressure, cholesterol and hemoglobin levels will be checked.

10. No special reason…you’re just the kind of person who does good things for no reason at all. That’s just how you are…

You can find a blood drive near you and book an appointment online to give blood at See the Events section on Page 4 for an upcoming blood drive in Avondale.