- By Laurel J. Kelly
Housecall: If you’re 65 or older, there’s a flu shot just for you
THIS WEEK'S TOP STORIES
If you're 65 or older, there's a flu shot just for you
The flu season is here. It's affecting more than 13 million people in the U.S. so far, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and it's anticipated flu activity will remain high for a number of weeks. The flu vaccine is your best protection against getting the flu — if you haven't gotten vaccinated, now's the time. And if you're 65 or older, there's a flu shot just for you. Learn more from Dr. James Steckelberg, an emeritus Mayo Clinic infectious diseases specialist.
Daily aspirin therapy: Understand the benefits and risks
Daily aspirin therapy may lower your risk of heart attack, but it isn't recommended or safe for everyone. And you shouldn't start daily aspirin therapy on your own. While taking an occasional aspirin or two is safe for most adults to use for headaches, body aches or fever, daily use of aspirin can have serious side effects, including internal bleeding. Here's what you need to know.
Blood pressure cuff: Does size matter?
Whether you're measuring your blood pressure at home or your health care provider is checking it, the wrong cuff size can affect your numbers. Learn more from Dr. Sheldon Sheps, an emeritus Mayo Clinic hypertension and peripheral vascular diseases specialist.
Negative-calorie foods: Diet gimmick or weight-loss aid?
You may have heard that you can lose weight by eating negative-calorie foods — foods that take more energy to digest than they provide in calories. Celery is a commonly cited example because it's mainly water and fiber. However, the key to successful weight loss is adopting a healthy lifestyle that includes a balanced diet and regular exercise. Learn more from Dr. Donald Hensrud, a Mayo Clinic preventive medicine specialist.
HEALTH TIP OF THE WEEK
Fit more fiber into your diet
Fiber is probably best known for its ability to help with constipation. But fiber also can lower your risk for diabetes and heart disease. How can you get more fiber? Try these tips:
- Choose cereals with bran or fiber in the name.
- Switch to whole-grain breads and pastas.
- Use brown rice, barley and bulgur instead of plain white rice.
- Mix chopped frozen broccoli into prepared spaghetti sauce.
- Drink plenty of water, since fiber works best when it absorbs water.
Need practical advice on diet and exercise? Want creative solutions for stress and other lifestyle issues? Discover more healthy lifestyle topics at mayoclinic.org.
Receive a free e-subscription to Housecall and other health newsletters.