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Dr. Marie Gabrielle Laguna

Medical doctor-internist

Sleep Loss Linked to Midnight Snacking, Weight Problems, DiabetesMidnight snacking and junk food cravings may also lead to unhealthy eating behaviors and represent a connection between lack of sleep and weight problems, according to a study from University of Arizona sleep scientists.

The study was conducted through a nationwide survey of 3,105 adults from 23 U.S. metropolitan areas. Subjects had been asked if they usually consumed a midnight snack and whether lack of sleep led them to crave junk meals. Additionally they had been asked about their sleep experience and existing health problems.

About 60 percent of subjects claimed they had midnight snacking and two-thirds stated that sleeplessness led them to crave more junk food.

The researchers discovered that junk food cravings were related with midnight snacking, which is also connected to an increased risk for diabetes. They also found that poor sleep is a foremost predictor of junk food cravings, and that junk food cravings were related to a larger possibility of subjects reporting weight problems, diabetes and different fitness issues.

According to the investigators, laboratory studies endorse that sleep deprivation can lead to junk meal cravings at night, which results in increased unhealthy snacking at nighttime, which then leads to weight gain. This linking between poor sleep, junk food cravings and unhealthy midnight snacking could portray the fact that sleep helps in metabolism control.

Sleep is more recognized as a primary aspect in health, alongside diet, claimed the researchers.  The study indicates how sleep and eating patterns are linked and work collectively to promote health.

UA sleep scientists work as interdisciplinary teams, directing studies and leading clinical trials to regulate how sleep influences memory, mental health, stress, alertness and decision-making, and the way environmental issues have an influence on sleep. Sleep and wakefulness difficulties affect an estimated 15 to 20 % of U.S. adults, according to National Institute of Health.

This research was presented at SLEEP 2018, the 32nd annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep SocietiesLLC (APSS), which is a joint enterprise of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society in Baltimore. The assembly is the world’s most popular discussion board to present and speak about today’s trends in medical sleep medication and sleep and the 24-hour cycle that influences physiology and behavior, referred to as circadian rhythm.

Carrots: Facts and Healthy BenefitsCarrots were some of the vegetables scrutinized in recent studies on foods that are rich in beta-carotene and their relation to bone health. More chiefly, ingesting yellow, orange and green veggies was once assessed to find out if a higher consumption is related to higher bone mass.

Interestingly, members who ate a minimum of one serving per day of yellow, orange or green veggies had healthier bone mass than contributors who ate less than one serving per day.

Furthermore, members who ate lower than one helping per day had bone mass at a level that would put them at risk for bone-associated difficulties.

Carrots are vegetables which are often enjoyed as both uncooked and cooked forms.

While carrots can be treasured in a variety of colors,from whites and yellows to reds and purples, most of them are orange in color. As a least goal for vegetable intake from the yellow or orange types, experts recommend consuming them half a cup per day.

Optimal intake would be one cup per day, along with greens, potatoes, squash, and yellow corn which can contribute to your everyday nutrient requirements.

Health Benefits

Carrots are well-recognized for their rich supply of this antioxidant nutrient that was once named for them: beta-carotene. Nonetheless, these delicious root veggies are the best sources of beta-carotene and other vitamins and minerals.

All varieties of carrots have valuable amounts of antioxidant vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C and beta-carotene.

In many varieties of carrots, beta-carotene is essentially the most abundant antioxidant nutrient, which is responsible for over 95% of all carotenoids in many carrot types.

Different carotenoids that are typically present in carrots comprise of alpha-carotene and lutein. The most common antioxidant nutrients in carrots are as follows:

  • Carotenoids
  • Alpha-carotene
  • Beta-carotene
  • Lutein
  • Hydroxycinnamic acids
  • Caffeic acid
  • Coumaric acid
  • Ferulic acid
  • Anthocyanins
  • Cyanidins
  • Malvidins

In a study from the Netherlands, subjects had been followed for a period of 10 years and their meal plans were examined for fruit and vegetable consumption in four color categories: green, orange or yellow, red or purple, and white.

Among these four-color classes, it was foods with deeper colors of orange and yellow that had been determined to be essentially the most protecting against cardiovascular diseases (CVD).

The capability of carrots to provide cancer-protecting advantages has been an active study on this root vegetable. Of special interest on this field are substances found in the carrot referred to as polyacetylenes.

Carrots have the capability to take their fatty acids and convert them into molecules called polyacetylenes. These polyacetylenes include molecules like falcarinol and falcarindiol. Polyacetylenes furnish carrots with defense from microorganisms, including fungi and bacteria, and they have also have proven anti-cancer effects.

There are also some studies which have some that greater carrot consumption may lead to lower glaucoma rates than people with little carrot intake. One phytonutrient in carrots, geranyl acetate, is a substance that is known to give rise to cataract protection.


Lower Belly Fat: How to Burn It EffectivelyLower belly fat is something that most of us handle, and a rapid solution to get rid of it would be good. However, there’s no riskless and fast way to reducing lower belly fats. Doing many crunches everyday will not always yield the best results that you want for your abdomen.

Even though there’s no speedy method to burn lower belly fat, both diet and exercise play a central function in weight loss, which is the most effective way to get rid of belly fat. Here are some of the best tips for weight reduction, thereby getting rid of those unsightly fats from our abdomen.

Choose the Right Carbs

You can consume carbs and nonetheless lose belly fat. The varieties of carbs that you eat are what’s important. Processed and white carbs like certain breads, pastas, and baked items are processed rapidly in our bodies as sugar. When there’s an excessive amount of sugar in our bodies, we retain them as fat within the body, particularly in the belly.

Consume Whole Foods

Whole foods are the varieties of food that come from the earth, like fruits, veggies, seeds, nuts, and beans. Consuming whole foods from nature, as an alternative to fast-food found in packages or cans, is, without doubt, one of best things you can do for yourself and your loved ones.

Whole foods are unprocessed and not exposed to chemical substances and preservatives, unlike boxed and processed foods that may be bought at many grocery retailers. Whole foods additionally tend to have a lot of health advantages. Eating whole foods will not only eliminate the undesirable belly fat but will additionally supply your body with the essential vitamins and minerals it desires to function efficiently.

Consume Fiber

Fiber can be observed in several foods such as grains, fruits, vegetables, and legumes. Fiber not only helps with urge for food control, but it also stabilizes blood sugar, and improves gastrointestinal health, and feeds good bacteria in our microbiome. Feeding the good microorganisms in our bodies can help as lose weight, while processed meals with little to no dietary value could make us gain weight.

Eat more soluble fiber from oats, barley, peas, carrots, beans, apples, citrus fruits, and psyllium.?Soluble fiber will lower bad cholesterol and get rid of them from your digestive system, to decrease the risk of heart disorder while you also lose belly fat.

Reduce the Sugar

The quantity of sugar we consume in a day is rather baffling, therefore checking labels is important. Sugar will also be lurking from crackers and salsa to bread and drinks. By cutting on our sugar consumption, we have  less sugar in the body that will get saved as fat.


Exercise is a good way to lose belly fat, together with eating a healthy diet. Find anything you enjoy doing, whether it’s walking, running, climbing, or yoga. You can additionally try weight coaching, which can support you shed some lower belly fat fast.


When Does Drinking Become a ProblemAbout 2 billion people across the world consume alcoholic drinks.  Drinking becomes a problem when over-consumed. Consumption can harm health as well as social relationship, but the nature and the severity of the effects depend on both the amount of alcohol consumed over time, and the pattern of drinking.

Some people have been heavy drinkers for many years. But, over time, the same amount of alcohol packs a more powerful punch. Other people develop a drinking problem later in life. Sometimes this is a result of major life changes like death of dear friends or a loved one, moving to a new home, or failing health.

These kinds of changes can cause loneliness, boredom, anxiety, or depression. In fact, depression in older adults often goes along with drinking too much.

One drink is equal to one of the following:

  • One 12-ounce can or bottle of regular beer, ale, or wine cooler
  • One 8- or 9-ounce can or bottle of malt liquor
  • One 5-ounce glass of red or white wine
  • One 1.5-ounce shot glass of distilled spirits like gin, rum, tequila, vodka, or whiskey. The label on the bottle will say 80 proof or less.

It is helpful to understand the “standard” drink sizes in order to follow health guidelines. However, it also is important to keep in mind that drinks may be stronger than you think they are if the actual serving sizes are larger than the standard sizes.

Reasons to stop drinking. Check off any reasons that sounds true for you.

  • I want to be healthy by keeping my high blood sugar under (diabetes) control.
  • I want to lower my blood pressure.
  • I want to keep my liver working right.
  • I don’t want to hurt anyone by driving after I’ve been drinking.
  • I don’t want to fall and hurt myself.
  • I want to stop feeling embarrassed about how I act when drinking.
  • I want to live longer.
  • I really wanted to change for the better.

Making change in your drinking habits can be hard. If you don't reach your goal for the first time, don’t give up!

Written by: Vina Benitez, Eternus Global


Whats The Connection Between Hearing And Cognitive HealthThe connection between hearing and cognitive health is that people with hearing loss are more likely to avoid social situations, which may impact both physical activity and emotional well being, any of which may mediate the relationship between hearing ability and brain health.Hearing loss occurs in approximately one in three people aged 65 and above. It is one of the most common conditions affecting older adults. Several studies have indicated that there is a connection between hearing loss and brain function decline.

Maintain that your brain always stays stimulated. According to research, this is the most important thing we can do to maintain our brains as we age to stay mentally engaged. We can also do it through an active social life with friends, family and business associates. Healthy hearing is a key part of staying involved with people you love and the world.

Luckily, hearing aids can help with this problem.

In one study, researchers identified nine risk factors for developing dementia: less childhood education, hypertension, anxiety, obesity, smoking, depression, physical inactivity, social isolation, diabetes, and, you guessed it right- hearing impairment

Although the brain becomes smaller with age, the shrinkage seems to be fast-tracked in older adults with hearing loss.

Do not ignore hearing loss, and do not delay getting the treatment you need. Take it from someone who knows what he's talking about. If hearing loss is potentially contributing to these differences we're seeing on MRI, you may want to treat it before these brain structural changes take place.

Dealing with cognitive health

  • It is important for people with hearing loss to take necessary actions and get the treatment they need.
  • Wear hearing aid device

Hearing Impairment

This is a general term which covers both young age and old aged people having hearing difficulties.

Hard of Hearing

Those whom the sense of hearing although defective is functional with or without hearing aid


Those whom the sense of hearing is non functional for the ordinary purposes of life

When something bad happens about your hearing, you have three choices; you can let it define you, let it destroy you, or you can let it strengthen you.

Written by: Vina Benitez, Eternus Global

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD): Causes, Symptoms, Risk Factors and Treatment

What is a Seasonal Affective Disorder?

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that comes and goes with the seasons and it typically starts in the late fall and early winter. It goes away during the spring and summer. Depressive episodes associated to the summer can happen, but are much less common than winter episodes of SAD.

Signs and Symptoms of SAD

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is not considered as a separate disorder. It is a type of depression exhibiting a repetitive seasonal pattern.

Symptoms of Major Depression that lead to SAD:

  1. You feel depressed most of the day, nearly every day
  2. You are feeling hopeless or worthless
  3. You constantly have low energy
  4. You are starting to lose interest in activities you once enjoyed
  5. You tend to have problems with sleeping
  6. You start to experience changes in your appetite or weight
  7. You are starting to feel sluggish or agitated
  8. You began to have difficulty in concentrating
  9. Your thoughts of death or suicide have turned frequent

Symptoms of the Winter Pattern of SAD include:

  1. You begin to have low energy
  2. You experience hypersomnia
  3. You start to overeat
  4. You begin to gain weight
  5. Your craving for carbohydrates has become extreme
  6. You start to have social withdrawal which equals to the feel of hibernating¯

Symptoms of the less frequently occurring summer seasonal affective disorder include:

  1. You began to have poor appetite with associated weight loss
  2. You experience insomnia
  3. Agitation and restlessness starts to occur in you
  4. Episodes of violent behavior and anxiety start to happen

Risk Factors

Attributes that may increase your risk of SAD include:

  • Being a female, SAD is diagnosed four times more often in women than in men
  • SAD is more frequent in people living far from the equator
  • You have a family history of SAD and it is likely to develop with people who have a family history of other types of depression
  • You have been diagnosed with depression or bipolar disorder
  • You are at a younger age and SAD has been reported even in children and teens

Treatments and Therapies

There are four major types of treatment for SAD:

  1. Medication
  2. Light therapy
  3. Psychotherapy
  4. Vitamin D intake

These types of treatments may be used alone or in combination.


The medication used to treat SAD is the Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs). The use of bupropion, another type of antidepressant, for treating SAD has also approved by the FDA.

Light Therapy

A mainstay of treatment for SAD since the 1980s is light therapy. Light therapy is replacing vitamin D depletion during fall and winter months. Light therapy is daily exposure to bright, artificial light.


A type of psychotherapy that is effective for SAD is cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). CBT-SAD uses basic techniques of CBT such as identifying negative thoughts and replacing them with more positive thoughts. It is used along with a technique called behavioral activation. Activities that are engaging and pleasurable, whether indoors or outdoors, can help the person improve.

Intake of Vitamin D

Low blood levels of vitamin D were found in people with SAD. Due to insufficient dietary intake or insufficient exposure to sunshine, low levels happen.


What Should I Do If I Can't Sleep?Our body needs to sleep 8-9 hours every night in order for our mind to function well in the daytime. If we are lacking in sleep it can cause lack of concentration and energy to do our daily tasks. And sometimes, lack of sleep can lead into some serious conditions.There are many reasons why we can't sleep. If this will persist, it will affect our physical health. So don't be just at ease, seek doctor's advice immediately.

Having a good night's sleep can benefit your health. It is important to us to have good sleep habits (sometimes it is also referred to sleep hygiene¯.)

One effective way to minimize sleep problems is by keeping a sleeping diary when:

You go to bed, sleep, wake up, and get out of bed, take naps, and exercise.

The Following Are Tips For Better Sleeping:

  • Pray and thank God about how good he is to you every day
  • Limit alcohol intake.
  • Consume less caffeinated beverages.
  • A relaxing, dark and quiet room helps you have a comfortable night.
  • If possible, don't place electronic devices such as TV, and smart phones inside your bedroom.
  • During bedtime, limit your consumption of heavy meals. We don't need to eat heavy meals as it will affect our good sleep.
  • Exercise could help you easily fall asleep at night. Exercise for at least 15 minutes every day.
  • Drink water at least 8 glasses a day.
  • Start planning a healthy menu for your diet.
  • Avoid naps, especially in the afternoon.

It's up for you on what you are going to follow

A good sleeping habit plays an important role in our daily lives. Nighttime is the best time for us to relax our consciousness so that we can gain strength for the next day.  Don't forget to pray every night because God didn't forget to wake us up in the morning.

Consult your medical expert. When you can't sleep at night, your doctor will have exact findings on about what you are currently experiencing.

Life always offers us a second chance called tomorrow; so have a good night's sleep.

Written by: Vina Benitez, Eternus Global


Travel to Cold Climates Most of us wanted to travel around the world, but then, what if you are going to travel to a place with cold climate? Always remember the word Safety First¯.Travelling into cold climate places faces many risks.  Even mild climates, wind and rain can produce cold-related injuries in cold temperature.

When travelling in cold climates, wear warm clothing in several loose layers. Gloves should protect your hands, and a hat or hood should protect your head. In wet conditions, shoes should be waterproof and have good traction. Make sure that your cold-weather gear does not restrict your movement or block your eyesight. When engaging in adventure activities in cold weather or around cold water, have safety equipment and gear that will keep you warm and dry.

Conditions in travelling to a cold climate place


Hypothermia happens when your body temperature drops below 95°F. Mild hypothermia can make you feel confused, and you may not think that anything is wrong until it is too late. Being too cold can also cloud your judgment and can cause you to make mistakes, which can be deadly.

Early symptoms of hypothermia include shivering, feeling tired, being clumsy, and being confused. As your body loses more heat, the shivering may stop, your skin may turn blue, the pupils of your eyes may expand, your pulse and breathing may slow down, and you may pass out.


Frostbite happens when a part of the body freezes, leading to damage in tissue. Fingers and toes are more at risk. If tissue can't be saved, the body part may need to be amputated. Warning signs of frostbite include numbness or tingling, stinging, or pain where you are most exposed to the cold. Frostbite is treated by warming the body part in warm water.

Modern clothing and equipment have decreased the risk for adventure travellers, but frostbite still occurs after accidents, as a result of poor planning, and in severe, unexpected weather.

In cold weather, a good rule is to light your fire first before doing anything else. It is always more sensible to keep yourself warm.

Written by: Vina Benitez, Eternus Global


Healthy Aging: Nutrition Tips for Staying Strong and Healthy After 50

5 Nutrition Tips for a Strong and Healthy Aging

The accumulation of excess fat and a lower resting metabolic rate is the cause why aging woman gain weight. You will learn in this blog the tips for healthy aging. Hormonal shifts can cause a range of symptoms and these shifts increase the overall risk for heart disease and stroke. Finally, loss of stomach acid decreases the absorption of certain nutrients.

These 5 nutrition tips may help you live your 50s healthily, strongly, and most of all fabulously.

1. Consider taking B12 Supplements

B12 is a vitamin that is needed to make DNA and it helps keep nerve and blood cells healthy. B12 must be released from its protein host by pepsin during digestion in the stomach. Absorbing certain nutrients becomes more difficult including B12  in old age.

In fish and meat, B12 is primarily found, and older adults are at a greater risk for B12 deficiency. By simply adding the vitamin in a supplemental form to your diet (either by pill or shot), symptoms of B12 deficiency can be avoided.

2. Strictly Cut Back on Salt

We are more likely to develop hypertension as we get older because our blood vessels become less elastic as we age. Also the risk for stroke, heart attack, heart failure, kidney disease and early death increases with high blood pressure. Your consumption of processed foods should be decreased. Aim for 1500 mg of sodium per day or less, which is about ½ teaspoon, and start adding flavorful herbs in place of salt when you cook at home. Herbs provide some great anti-cancer benefits as well!

Consuming more whole foods, such as whole grains, fruits and vegetables will help increase your fiber consumption. Fiber helps you stay fuller for a longer time. This means you will likely eat less throughout the day and be more likely maintain your weight.

3. Use Iron Containing MultiVitamins Cautiously

At the age of 50, the average woman experiences menopause. Due to the termination of menstruation, the need for iron decreases after menopause to about 8 mg of iron a day. The body doesn’t have a natural way to emit iron, therefore iron toxicity can happen. Liver or heart damage and even death can happen due to too much iron in the body. Iron supplements should only be taken by post-menopausal women when prescribed by a physician. Make sure to replace your vitamin soon if it has iron.

  4. Increase Your Calcium and Vitamin D Intake

Vitamin D levels and calcium absorption tank around age 40 due to gastric acid and hormone changes. Increased risk of osteoporosis happens due to lack of estrogen in post-menopausal women and to make matters worse, women over 50 are at a higher risk for osteoporosis and bone fractures.

Consuming adequate calcium before the age of 30 is most ideal. Add rich calcium sources in your diet, including sardines, spinach, broccoli, kale, and low-fat or fat-free milk and yogurt. And also, your physician should test your vitamin D levels and provide additional supplementation as needed.

 5. Plan a Mediterranean Delight Diet

Our blood vessels become less elastic and our total peripheral resistance increases as we turn older. Increased risk of heart disease puts in women in menopause. Mediterranean diet does not only decrease the risk of heart disease but is also delightful.


To Have Better Nutrition Make Healthier Food ChoicesWe make dozens of decisions every day. When it comes to deciding what to eat and feed our families, it can be a lot easier than you might think to make smart, healthy choices. It takes just a little planning.

The food we place into our bodies is our fuel. It provides us with nutrients plus the vitamins, minerals, and other compounds that our bodies need to function. Research shows that good food choices are especially important for children's growing bodies and minds. Smart choices have immediate long-lasting benefits for you and your family.

Parents should be good role models by eating healthy and being physically active with their children.

Setting a good example is very important.¯

Try the GO, SLOW, WHOA approach to food. GO foods are great to eat anytime. They have lots of nutrients and are low in unhealthy fats, sugar, and calories. GO foods include fruits, vegetables, whole-grain cereals, breads, and pastas, fat-free or low-fat milk, yogurt, lean meats, fish, and beans.

SLOW foods should be eaten less often. These include non-whole-grain bread, rice, and pasta; peanut butter, pretzels and fruit juices.

WHOA foods are only for once in a while”foods like French fries, whole milk, cheese, hot dogs, fried fish,  chicken, candy, and soda.

Always remember that Healthier diets don't have to cost more, provided that you have the right attitude, make the right food choices, and try to cook at home.¯

Unfortunately, these days, much of our food isn't eaten at home. It's eaten on the go. One easy way to eat more nutritiously is to pack healthy lunches”both for yourself and for your kids.

When you are in the grocery, Nutrition Facts label is a great resource to help you compare foods. It can help you confirm whether products marked with healthy-sounding terms are really healthy. Low-fat¯ foods aren't that healthy; they can be very high in sugar and calories.

It takes time to build healthy eating decisions in every aspect of your family life. Make healthy food choices so that you can set a good example for your kids.

Good Food, Good Life

Written by: Vina Benitez, Eternus Global