elderly healthy living

5 Ways to Stay Active and Healthy as a We Age

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Senior Couple In Fitness Clothing Running Along Beach

Just about everyone is aware of the importance of staying active as a we age, as it is so important to our overall health and well-being. One of the difficulties associated with that however, is that the body itself is constantly slowing down as we age, which means staying active requires a real effort to get up and about; overcoming the natural tendency to relax.

Here are five tried-and-true components of active, healthy living, using examples that everyone, even seniors, can easily manage and derive great benefit from. If there are some aspects of these suggestions which you just aren’t up to, some home health care assistance may even be an option for filling in some of the gaps.

Light cardiovascular

There’s a tremendous value in cardiovascular workouts, because they increase the heart rate and blood flow,  strengthen the heart muscle, and improves respiratory processes. If you have access to a swimming pool, swimming or water aerobics are great ways to use all the muscles in the body, and if not, a brisk walk in the morning can get your heart pumping. Depending on how fit you are, you might also try hiking, biking, golf, or tennis; all of which are excellent cardiovascular activities.

Regular stretching

Because flexibility decreases significantly as we age, muscles need regular stretching in order to retain some degree of flexibility. There are a great many terrific exercises for stretching legs, back muscles, and torso, to keep muscles from contracting and stiffening, and these should be done as often as possible to maintain and promote flexibility.

Balance training

It’s very important to incorporate even some light balance training into your active senior lifestyle, because this can be extremely helpful in avoiding falls and potentially serious injuries. Disciplines like Pilates, Yoga, and Tai Chi provide this kind of balance training, and classes like this are offered at many local fitness centers and by community organizations. If you need transportation, this could be provided through MD Home Assist.

Strength training

Strength training doesn’t have to be anything like body-building in the traditional athletic sense, but some moderate strengthening of your muscles can help you perform simple household chores much more easily, and it helps to strengthen your bones. You also don’t need any gym equipment or expensive gadgets to help you with strength training – you can use simple elastic resistance bands, ordinary pieces of furniture, and even the walls of your home to provide the resistance you need for some beneficial exercise.

Indoor/Outdoor chores and activities

Staying active and fit can happen as a by-product of doing regular household chores, both indoors and outdoors. Mowing the lawn is good walking exercise, and provides resistance to some extent. You can get great benefits from scrubbing some part of the house, cleaning out a shed, doing laundry, or re-organizing the basement.

When you have chores done for the day, why not hook up with peers for dancing, walking, bocce ball, or some organized activities? If you can keep your active lifestyle full of enjoyable and fun things to do, there is a much greater chance that you’ll continue the activities regularly, and make it a built-in part of your healthy lifestyle.

Assistance with your active lifestyle

Sometimes a little assistance is all that’s needed in order for you to maintain an active lifestyle, and you require some home health care, such as that provided by MD Home Health/Home Assist. Services such as medication reminders, feeding, light housekeeping, healthy grocery shopping, companionship, and transportation services can add motivation, and ease the burden on you, so contact us today, and we’d love to assist in your energies to staying active and healthy.

 


5 Signals You May Want to Consider Home Assistance

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It’s never easy to make the decision to seek assistance with your everyday living tasks. This is understandable whether you recently became disabled or were born with a disability. As a Phoenix home health care provider, we understand your concerns and are here to help.

Pay Attention to These Specific Problems

One thing that may make it easier for you to determine if it’s time to sign up for home care in Phoenix is to consider the following categories of possible issues:

  • Personal Care: Do you have difficulty keeping up with grooming tasks such as showering, shaving, brushing your teeth, and washing your hair? If so, you can get as much or as little assistance as you need from a non-medical healthcare aide.
  • Household Management: It is easy for anyone to feel overwhelmed with caring for the home, with or without a disability. If chores like grocery shopping and yard maintenance are becoming too taxing, having assistance in this and other areas of household management could be a great stress reliever.
  • Financial Difficulties: Has the utility company sent a shut-off because you forgot to pay the bill? Do you have trouble figuring out how much money is in your checking, savings, or other banking accounts? These are common situations that could indicate the need to consider home care in Phoenix. You remain in control of your bank accounts while receiving the help you need to manage them.
  • Signs of Cognitive Impairment or Physical Frailty: Do you feel alarmed at how easy you seem to forget important details in your life? Maybe walking is becoming increasingly difficult or you fatigue easily from all that you have to do. A little extra help can increase your quality of life when either of these issues is a problem.
  • Driving is No Longer Safe: Do you often get lost when trying to drive somewhere? Perhaps driving intimidates you or you have been in several fender benders lately. Having someone else do the driving ensures you get to work, appointments, and leisure activities on time and without the added stress of getting behind the wheel.

    Home Health Care May Be the Answer You Seek

Non-medical assistance at home could be the ideal option for you if you struggle with the effects of a moderate to severe disability. The loving and experienced staff at MD Home Health/Home Assist can help you with personal care, assist with homemaker tasks, and perform a variety of medical and non-medical assistance. We encourage you to contact us today to learn more about the wide range of services we can offer you.


The Benefits of Outsourcing Grocery Shopping and Errands to a Caregiver

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Young woman helping elderly woman with grocery shopping

Every day chores loom large for many seniors who struggle to accomplish basic tasks around the house. Getting to the store and running other errands can become complicated and time consuming.

But these everyday chores need to be done regularly if the senior wants to stay in her own home. She needs nutritious food and the ability to get to the bank, the library and other services.

This is where the benefits of outsourcing grocery shopping and other errands to a caregiver become clear. It can be a positive step to help the elderly live functional lives in their own homes.

It Takes Time

According to a workshop summary called Providing Healthy and Safe Foods As We Age, about one-third of most grocery trips last less than 30 minutes. But the time spent getting to the store and back can double that. And if a senior needs to take the bus, a single trip can take two or more hours.

If he has trouble walking or with his balance, an elderly person can find trips outside the home fraught. The additional struggle to get in and out of a bus while carrying bags can lead to falls and fatigue.

Taking a taxi is a good alternative because it provides direct transportation, but it takes time to arrange and there is the problem of making sure the taxi is available for the trip home.

Getting a ride from family, friends or neighbors is probably the ideal scenario, but it can be very hard for working adults with families to make time for this type of help.

It Takes Energy

Trips outside the home can challenge a senior’s physical endurance and ability to walk easily. In addition, minor aches, regular colds or other ailments that would have caused little if any difficulty a decade earlier can with time cut significantly into her energy levels.

This makes it hard to be consistent with regular trips to the store and other places to handle errands. But consistency is what is needed in order to stay in her own home.

According to the National Resource Center on Nutrition, Physical Activity & Aging, “good nutrition plays a crucial role in keeping older people healthy and functioning,” but many simply aren’t eating well. One of the major reasons is how hard it is to get to the grocery store.

Outsourcing Errands

The answer to this dilemma can be as simple and direct as paying someone to run the errands for the senior. Hiring a caregiver to do the grocery shopping removes it as a barrier to staying healthy.

The senior doesn’t have to worry about begging a ride from family or neighbors. She doesn’t have to worry about finding a taxi at the right time. She won’t have to navigate buses and worry about carrying the groceries.

He won’t be overtaxed by a trip out of the house and up and down the aisles choosing the right food. He can use his physical energy for other activities like a get together with friends, which provides a more direct chance for socializing.

Taking the simple step of outsourcing errands like grocery shopping to a caregiver can keep a senior safer, better fed and more in control of daily care. For more information, contact MD Home Health/ Home Assist.


Curb Caregiver Burnout by Hiring Non-Medical Home Care

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Girl Assisting Disabled Woman Getting Into A CarAccording to the Family Caregiver Alliance, approximately 29% of the U.S. adult population is providing care to someone who is ill, disabled, or in their latter stages of life. This could be a spouse, parent, in-law, a child with special needs, or just a really great friend. Coupled with caring for one’s own household, managing caregiver requirements may become a strain on the caregiver, and may eventually cause strain on relationships as well.

One way to alleviate caregiver burnout is to enlist outside help either through family and friends, or enlisting a home health care agency to provide the services you’re unable to do, thus freeing up time and energy.

 

What to Outsource?


Whether it’s bringing someone into the home each day or just once or twice a week, one of the most helpful tasks to outsource is transportation. If you’re employed and/or caring for a family, driving your loved one to medical appointments may become burdensome, and difficult to juggle. Enlisting a transportation service will help remedy this.

Finding the right transportation isn’t only important for getting loved ones to medical appointments, it’s also effective as a preventative measure against depression. According to the National Caregiver’s Library, one of the biggest needs within the senior population is transportation. It’s critical to the well-being of each person to have mobility to engage in social interactions and activities that will not only get them out of the house, but allow them to connect with others and become more active. Utilizing a home health care agency will allow you to secure not only transportation, but companionship as well for your loved one.

While securing a transportation service is important, it’s even more important to secure a reputable service. Drivers should always complete a background check and have a clean driving record. They should also carry the proper insurance and be well-versed on driving passengers who need more assistance, as opposed to a standard car service.

There are a number of non-medical services that may be outsourced to avoid caregiver burnout. Perhaps housework has become too difficult, or a loved one would prefer having a professional caretaker over a family member as means of maintaining some independence from family and/or dignity. Maybe there are dietary requirements or restrictions that vary drastically from what the rest of the family eats. Finding a service to assist with these basic needs may allow for more opportunities to enjoy time with loved ones, rather than functioning strictly as caregiver.

Are you looking for a caregiver solution to fit your family’s needs? We’d love to sit down with you for a free consultation to discuss how we can help ease your caregiver duties. We have caregivers on-call 24/7, so you never have to worry about not having someone around when you really need them the most. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you’re interested in hiring in-home care in the Phoenix, Arizona area.


What to Expect Post-Surgery

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friendly nurse visiting recovering senior patient

Regardless of age, your post-surgical routine will often play a role in the overall effectiveness of your surgery. For older adults, this often requires  hospice care, visits to the hospital for a short while, or hiring a licensed at-home caregiver. It’s believed that the home is the optimal environment for a successful recovery.

Generally speaking, recovering from surgery will be a much smoother process with the help of a licensed caregiver in the home. It’s of the utmost importance that, once you return home from the hospital after a medical procedure or surgery, you’re as comfortable as possible. Having someone around the home who can help with things like cleaning, meal preparation and transportation to appointments could make a world of difference.

It’s expected that there will be some post-surgery pain. A licensed caregiver can assist with a variety of tasks, including rehabilitation and giving pain medication. One can also requestfriendly doctor talking to a recovering patient in wheelchair that several different caregivers come to the home for short periods of time after surgery as well. For example, a physical therapist may visit for rehabilitation, and a nurse may visit to assist with changing bandages and pain management. Another caregiver may also visit to help clean the home. Sometimes a single caregiver can provide all of the mentioned tasks.

It’s of the utmost importance that the caregivers be licensed and state-certified. They should be insured and have passed an extensive background check. After all, as we mentioned before, one of the biggest components to a successful recovery is feeling comfortable and safe.

Another service home care centers provide is companionship. While you’re recovering, there may be a lot of down time in between physical therapy, meal times, appointments and medication. Friends and family may not always be able to visit, and the independent life you’re trying to maintain may feel lonely while you recover. As a result, you can choose to have a companion visit your home when you’d like some company. This person can sit and talk with you, play games, and engage in safe activities that aid in your recovery. The risk for depression is higher after surgery, and a companion may be able to help curb some of those feelings.

Would you like some assistance or more information about surgery recovery or home care assistance? We offer a full range of home care services in Phoenix, Arizona and would love to send one of our highly skilled professionals to come put a smile on your face today. Give us a call, we’re always here to assist.


The New 80/20 Rule: Exercising vs. Dieting

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Have you heard of the new 80/20 rule for getting and staying healthy?

While you may be familiar with the 80/20 rule for a healthy diet, research suggests there’s more to healthy weight loss than just eating healthy 80% of the time and indulging in less healthy food 20% of the time. 

Exercise is part of the new 80/20 rule, and while many believe 80% of getting healthy relies on physical activity and 20% on diet, registered dietician Katherine Isacks says it’s actually the other way around.

The truth of the matter is that 80% of our weight correlates with what we eat and the recipe is still 80% healthy and 20% indulgent food, according to Rose Erickson at Livestrong.

Now that we can have our cake and eat it too, does that mean we should immediately go and spend an hour at the gym vigorously trying to burn it off? Studies suggest exhausting ourselves at the gym for an hour or every per day doesn’t actually prompt more weight loss.

Research conducted at the University of Copenhagen suggests that those who instead engage in moderate exercise routines are setting themselves up to achieve greater weight loss results than those who jump into vigorous workouts at the gym. This study focused on three groups of young males who were healthy, but inactive: the control group that didn’t change their diet or exercise habits; the moderate group that participated in 30 minutes of exercise per day; and the intense group that added an hour of exercise per day.

The study extended throughout the course of 13 weeks. As predicted, the men who made no changes experienced no change to their weight or physique. However, the following results may surprise you.

While the intense group of men that worked out for an hour per day lost an average of five pounds each, the men who engaged in moderate exercise of 30 minutes per day actually lost an average of 7 pounds each.

How could greater weight loss results be achieved from doing half the amount of exercise?

Each group tracked what they ate during the study, and reported on their overall activity levels throughout the day. Those among the intense workout group tended to eat more, as their bodies were prompted to replace the 600 calories they had burned. They were also less active during the day when not working out.

The moderate exercise group only burned 300 calories per day, and reported higher levels of sustained energy. This group was more active throughout the day; engaging in positive lifestyle changes more readily, like taking the stairs and walking.

They also didn’t report much change in their eating habits, as they weren’t burning enough to prompt a surge in hunger. The intense group did gain more muscle, however, which weighs more than fat.

This new research sheds light on specific misconceptions regarding diet and exercise, and shows that it isn’t necessary to overexert ourselves at the gym.

Rather, moderate exercises prompted increased energy and less temptation to overeat. While this study failed to compare results over time, this is a good model for jump-starting your own fitness plan.

Moderate levels of exercise, combined with a diet that’s 80% healthy and 20% indulgent, may be the recipe to better health.


Alzheimer’s: Taking Care of Parents & Kids

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Alzheimer’s: Taking Care of Parents & Kids

Becoming a caregiver for a loved one with Alzheimer’s is a job in itself.  You are not only responsible for yourself, but also for the daily activities and well-being of a dependent adult.  You may already be trying to juggle caregiving responsibilities and the time-consuming demands of a career.  But what if you also have a role as a caregiver of kids?  Wearing so many caregiving hats can be a struggle, even for the most organized among us.  Often, caregivers find themselves sandwiched between the need to care for a parent afflicted with Alzheimer’s and the immediate needs of their child.  Switching between these roles is never easy, but by doing some planning, life can become a little easier for both you and your family.How to Assist Elders by MD Home Health

Ask for help

Caregiving requires patience, skills, and time.  Taking care of a loved one with Alzheimer’s can overwhelm our abilities to meet their needs, especially when also caring for children. When any of these critical caregiving qualities fall short, you need assistance.  Organizations such as Home Care Phoenix can provide you with dependable caregiver support, to help you better manage your time, responsibilities, and caregiving resources.  A healthcare professional can also help educate you regarding the many nonintuitive facets of Alzheimer’s care.

Caring is a long-term commitment

Entering into the caregiving role means coming to terms with the many facets of Alzheimer’s Disease.  Patients with Alzheimer’s can live upwards of 10 years after the diagnosis, and as the disease progresses, so does the caregiving time commitment.  Becoming a caregiver means coming to terms with the fact that you are in this for the long haul.  That means your relationship with your family will also inevitably be changed.  Although time can be tight, be sure to set aside at least a small amount of time each week to reconnect with your family outside of your Alzheimer’s caregiver role.  This will allow your kids and spouse the chance to have their voices heard.

Taking care of you

Not least of all, you need to care for your own well-being.  Your role as a caregiver is weakened, for both your kids and for an Alzheimer’s patient, if you are physically or mentally diminished.  Time management will become a critical part of your role as caregiver, allowing critical time for your own well-being.  Delegate part of the caregiving responsibilities to a professional care provider, such as Phoenix Home Health Care.  Having help will not only free up valuable time for yourself, but will also allow the Alzheimer’s patient a chance to physically and socially interact with a different care provider.

For more tips on caregiving management, visit us at MD Home Health, where you can learn more about Homecare Phoenix. Take care of yourself, stay educated, and find additional caregiving through the Phoenix home health care team!


September is National Apple Month

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September is National Apple Day Month

MD Home Health, a Phoenix Home Health Care provider, is excited to celebrate National Apple Day Month with all our friends and family. Did you know that our nation has been celebrating the glory of apples since 1904? And did you know that National Apple Day Month actually starts in September and continues through November? To help you to enjoy this three-month celebration to its fullest, we decided to share a few fun but practical facts about apples so you can understand why every home care in Phoenix should include this delicious fruit in their diet!

An Apple A Day Keeps the Doctor Away: Fact or Myth?

It’s that time of year to celebrate your juicy, round friend. As a timeless favorite for fruit, snack, dessert, and cider making, the yummy apples you see in the market every day dominate the hearts of every culture with its thin red or green skin, sweet aroma, and crisp flesh. However besides tasting good and looking good, apples are loved for their delicious taste and nutritious value.In fact, apples are extremely rich in dietary fiber and flavanoids. The phytonutrients (vitamins A and E and beta carotene) in apples can help you regulate your blood sugar, while the antioxidants in apples have been found to reduce the risk of many common ailments such as cancer and diabetes. According to a recent study led by Bahram H. Arjmandi, PhD, RD, Margaret A. Sitton Professor and Chair, Department of Nutrition, Food and Exercise Sciences at The Florida State University in Tallahassee, eating apples regularly will keep your body healthy and your doctors far away! The Office of Child Development also confirms that the complex carbohydrates in apples will help the body to sustain and improve its energy level so that you can tackle your daily routines with better productivity, performance, and attitude. Additionally, because apples are absolutely fat-free, its fiber and rich boron will not only encourage bowel movement but also help prevent osteoporosis.

Interesting Nutrition Facts of Apple

When people think about the nutritious makeup of apples, carbohydrates and vitamin C are among the commonly named. But apples also contain pectin, boron, quercetin, and phytonutrients. Pectin is known for lowering both blood pressure and glucose level. As a form of soluble fiber, pectin can effectively lower your “bad” cholesterol level to improve your overall circulation and body metabolism. Quercetin, on the other hand, promises to reduc the free radical damage. As University of Maryland Medical Center explains, “Quercetin belongs to a group of plant pigments called flavonoids that give many fruits, flowers, and vegetables their color…Quercetin acts like an antihistamine and an anti-inflammatory, and may help protect against heart disease and cancer…”

Eat Your Apples and Live Healthier

Apple is definitely a superfruit for everyone! When you eat an apple, try to leave the peels on. Apple peels have been known to be packed with rich vitamins, minerals, and fiber. As for pesticide residues, Dr. Dianne Hyson from U.C. Davis explains that, “Despite public misperceptions, laboratories have consistently found very low levels — if any — of pesticide residues on the skin of apples.”

So enjoy your apples and experiment with a variety of apple types and recipes to give your body and taste buds some generous treats!

To learn more about improving your diet with apples and other nutritious fruits and vegetables, visit MD Home Health. We will help you to discover a savoring and healthy eating routine!


Brain Exercises to Improve Memory

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Active Retired Seniors, Two Old Men Playing Chess At Park

Brain Exercises to Improve Memory

Brain exercises are a good way to keep your mind sharp and stay on top of your game. Reports find that brain exercises, some as simple as face recognition or number matching, can go a long way to improve memory and delay the effects of long term memory loss.

We all forget things from time to time, whether it a misplaced set of car keys or where we parked the car after going shopping. These instances of forgetfulness pale in comparison with the slow eroding effect of Alzheimer’s disease or dementia that 5 million people in this country suffers from and the 6th leading cause of death according to the Alzheimer’s Association. Strengthening your brain through the use of specifically designed exercises, such as those from Homecare Phoenix providers and others can go a long way to improving your memory and prolonging your life.

Ways to Exercise the Brain

When you engage in physical exercise, you also exercise your brain. Remaining physically active, even in your older years improves the flow of oxygen to the brain. Physical exercise also has the added benefit of staving off the development of certain medical conditions such as diabetes and diseases of the heart, both of which lower your memory retention and place your health at risk.

In addition to physical exercise, maintaining a connection with your social network, be it friends and family, is important for helping you stay connected as you age and keep your mind sharp. A Harvard University School of Public Health study found that elderly people with active social lives have a slower rate of memory decline.

How to Start Improving Your Memory

If you want to begin improving your memory, start by getting up, getting active and getting involved with those around you. You may also consider different memory games and other devices that are designed to exercise your brain, regardless of your physical condition or level of activity. Spending a few minutes a day playing mind games, moving about and interacting with others can go a long way to helping you enjoy more of your life and slow the rate of memory loss and the negative effects of aging.

Services like those provided through MD Home Health, a Phoenix home health care service provider, can help those looking to improve their memory. MD Homecare Phoenix provides those services that help not only exercise the body but also exercise the brain.

 


Good vs. Bad Vegetables

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Whether you’re in the Phoenix Home Health Care system or simply concerned about what you put in your body, not all vegetables are created equal. Some should be eaten every day and others are just bad vegetables, in comparison.

Fresh farmers market fruit and vegetable from above with copy sp

Veggies: The Good, the Bad, the Fattening

According to Dr. Mercola, some vegetables offer better nutritional return than others. Broccoli, asparagus, kale, onions, collard greens, tomatoes, and fennel are just a few vegetables that come highly recommended. Spinach, essentially a superstar of the nutrition world, does as well.

The vegetables that should be used more sparingly include beets, carrots, eggplant, and winter squashes. This is because of their high carbohydrate levels. Likewise, potatoes should be used on occasion rather than as a staple of your food pyramid. Potatoes are very starchy and can cause weight gain (which causes a whole slug of other issues) if ingested too regularly.

The Game Changers

Most people who think of veggies are undoubtedly transported back to childhood, recalling memories of hiding lima beans in paper napkins and feeding peas to the dog. However, vegetables don’t have to taste bad. In fact, two vegetables can be enjoyed quite easily: one is highly tasty and the other doesn’t have much taste at all.

Avocadoes, though technically a fruit, are widely regarded as a vegetable. The main ingredient in guacamole, they aren’t only good for taste buds, but they’re good for your body as well.

Per the Cancer Treatment Centers of America, avocadoes are rich in oleic acid, a type of monounsaturated fat that can help lower bad, LDL cholesterol and raise good, HDL cholesterol. Avocadoes can also offer protection against breast cancer, stroke, and heart disease.

Mushrooms are game changers not because they are as tasty as avocadoes but because their subtle flavor enables them to be added to all sorts of dishes – salads, pizza, spaghetti, rice, and macaroni, just to name a few.

Adding mushrooms to your meals can also add protein, fiber, vitamin C, vitamin B, antioxidants, and minerals to your body.

Organic Vs. Nonorganic

Once upon a time, organic vegetables were only found in the aisles of health stores and farmers’ markets; today, they’re everywhere. This largely has to do with pesticides.

Organic vegetables are grown in environments where pesticides aren’t used; nonorganic vegetables are grown in environments where pesticides are used.

According to the Pesticide Action Network, pesticides may be dangerous to human health: the pesticide chlorpyrifos has been linked to ADHD while the pesticide DDT increases a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer by as much as five-fold.

Still, whether there is true need for panic has yet to be established. This is because while pesticides have been linked to cancer, their correlation is usually only found in farmers and other people routinely exposed to very large amounts as an occupational hazard. The amounts on food are much lower and, therefore, likely much less dangerous. In fact, per the Cancer Research Foundation of the United Kingdom, no link has been found between the trace amounts of pesticides found on vegetables and cancer formation.

Even so, for people who want to err on the side of caution, organic vegetables should be purchased if possible. If you can’t afford or do not have access to organic produce, the benefits of eating nonorganic vegetables will likely far outweigh any theoretical risks. Yet, just to be safe, all vegetables should be thoroughly washed before consumption. This is especially important for people in homecare, Phoenix based or otherwise.

For more information on home care, Phoenix health, and how nutrition impacts your wellbeing, visit us at MD Home Health. Remember, it’s never too late to start eating your veggies.