How men can naturally boost testosterone levels

testoTestosterone plays a vital role in men’s health. A hormone that regulates the sex organs, testosterone also impacts metabolism and bone loss, and low testosterone can compromise men’s health.

According to the Urology Care Foundation, roughly 20 percent of men in their 60s have low testosterone, a figure that increases to 30 percent among men in their 70s. While a gradual decline in testosterone levels is part of the aging process, low testosterone can have a negative impact on the body. Low testosterone levels increase body fat and reduce muscle mass, and low testosterone can even lead to depression. Difficulty concentrating is another potential side effect of low testosterone. Men with low testosterone may also experience weakened bones, a symptom that could leave them more susceptible to osteoporosis.

While there are prescription medications designed to boost testosterone, oftentimes low testosterone levels are a byproduct of the lifestyle choices men make. That means men might be able to increase their testosterone levels naturally by making certain lifestyle changes.

* Maintain a healthy weight. Men who are obese or overweight are more susceptible to various ailments or conditions, including low testosterone. When a body is carrying excessive weight, it secretes more aromatase, an enzyme that helps convert testosterone to estrogen, a group of hormones that promote the development and maintenance of female characteristics of the body. Maintaining a healthy weight is a great way to avoid the overproduction of aromatase, which can help the body maintain adequate testosterone levels.

* Make time for sleep. Poor sleeping habits affect many hormones in the male body, and testosterone is no exception. Men who don’t get enough sleep each night may suffer from low testosterone. According to the National Sleep Foundation, sleep needs vary depending on a person’s age, but research has shown that men over the age of 18 need between seven and nine hours of sleep per night to perform at their peak. Younger men whose bodies should not yet be experiencing the gradual decline of testosterone levels common to aging should examine their sleeping habits if their testosterone levels have started to decline. The solution could be as simple as getting more sleep.

* Get off the couch. Men who live sedentary lifestyles could be suffering from low testosterone because they’re spending too much time on the couch. Testosterone adapts to the body’s needs, so a man who isn’t active is unknowingly letting his body tell his brain that it doesn’t need as much testosterone to build muscles and bones. More active men’s bodies are sending a signal to the brain that the body needs more testosterone. Therefore, adopting a more active lifestyle can help men naturally restore their testosterone levels.

* Work to reduce stress. Men who are overly stressed may also suffer from low testosterone.That’s because the body responds to stress by producing more of the hormone cortisol. The more cortisol the body produces, the less capable it is of producing testosterone. Men who work long hours might want to cut back on their work schedules, while those whose stress comes from other sources might want to find ways to more effectively manage that stress.

Low testosterone affects millions of men across the globe. While lower testosterone is often a byproduct of aging, many men could be making lifestyle choices that are negatively affecting their testosterone levels.

Relaxation techniques to calm your nerves

nerveSince 2007, the American Psychological Association has commissioned an annual nationwide survey to examine the state of stress across the United States and understand its impact. The 2013 survey found that people continue to experience what they feel are unhealthy stress levels, with 42 percent of adult respondents reporting that their stress levels have increased over the past five years. In addition, 44 percent of survey respondents feel they aren’t doing enough to manage their stress, painting a potentially troubling future for people who cannot find better and healthier ways to manage their stress.

The picture is none the rosier in Canada, where data from the 2012 Canadian Community Health Survey revealed that nearly 23 percent of Canadians aged 15 and older reported that most days were “quite a bit or extremely stressful.” While those figures marked a slight improvement from the previous year’s survey, it’s apparent that stress is still a considerable concern for people throughout both the United States and Canada.

Though many people unfortunately regard stress as an inevitable side effect of adulthood, it’s important that men, women and even children avoid characterizing stress as simply a byproduct of a difficult and/or successful life and career. Even momentary stress, often referred to as “acute stress,” like the kind that appears when stuck in a traffic jam, can have a potentially devastating impact on overall health. According to the American Institute of Stress, acute stress causes an increase in heart rate and stronger contractions of the heart muscle, and some medical professionals have suggested there is a link between repeated episodes of acute stress and heart attack.

Regular use of relaxation techniques to reduce stress can help to counteract the effects of long-term stress, which the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine notes can contribute to depression, digestive disorders, headaches, high blood pressure, and insomnia. While it’s always best for anyone, and especially those people with heart disease, epilepsy, certain psychiatric conditions or a history of abuse or trauma, to consult their health care provider before attempting to address their stress on their own, the following are two popular relaxation techniques that may help relieve stress in a healthy way.

Meditation

There are many types of meditation, but in general people who meditate employ certain techniques when meditating. These techniques may include maintaining a specific posture or finding a quiet, distraction-free location to meditate. Many practitioners of meditation choose to recite a positive mantra that they repeat throughout their session. While many people question the effectiveness of meditation, research has suggested that routine meditation sessions can alter the brain’s neural pathways and make a person more capable of combatting stress.

Yoga

Yoga has grown increasingly popular in recent years, and much of that can be traced to the multitude of health benefits that have been linked to this typically low-impact practice of the mind and body. The NCCAM notes that studies have suggested yoga is effective at lowering heart rate and blood pressure and can even relieve anxiety and depression. Those are beneficial side effects for sufferers of stress, which over time can contribute to high blood pressure and arrhythmia (abnormal heartbeat) and even cause people to worry too much about minor things or suspect bad things are about to happen.

More information about stress and coping techniques is available at www.apa.org.

How to get a better night’s sleep

When it is 3 a.m. and you are pacing the halls of your dark and quiet house while everyone else is sleeping soundly in their beds, it may seem like you are the only person in the entire world who is not getting some much-needed shut-eye. However, many people struggle to get a good night’s sleep.

Information from the National Sleep Foundation, Better Sleep Council, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and several other organizations indicate that between 20 and 40 percent of the U.S. population experiences insomnia. Many of the people suffering from insomnia have family histories of the condition or are also experiencing depression. Insomnia rates are higher for people over the age of 60, and women are twice as likely to suffer from insomnia than men.

Among Canadians, 40 percent of a recently polled group of 2,000 individuals reported insomnia symptoms at least three times per week in the preceding month. French-speaking Canadians were less likely to experience insomnia than English-speaking residents, but researchers are unsure why.

Although how much sleep a person requires varies from individual to individual, the general consensus is that adults should receive between seven and eight hours of sleep per night to feel rested.

The Institute of Medicine estimates that hundreds of billions of dollars are spent annually on medical costs that are directly related to sleep disorders, while statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicate that 100,000 vehicle accidents occur annually as a result of drowsy drivers. These figures underscore the importance of getting a good night’s rest and understanding how to treat insomnia in order to do so.

* Insomnia may be a byproduct of a physical condition. A person dealing with side effects of certain medications, chronic pain, restless legs syndrome, sleep apnea, and a bevy of other conditions may find it difficult to sleep at night. Identifying the cause of the insomnia can make it easier to treat, so those who can’t sleep at night may have an undiagnosed condition that is affecting their ability to fall asleep.

* Exercise can help promote better sleep habits. A workout will tire you out, increase feel-good endorphins throughout the body and raise body temperature. As the body recovers from the workout, it may feel sated and you can drift off to sleep more easily. Just do not work out too late. Aim to complete a workout two to three hours before planning on going to sleep so your body is not still amped up when your head hits the pillow.

* Establish a regular sleep schedule. Humans are creatures of routine, and training the body to recognize when it is time to wake up and when it’s time to go to sleep can make it easier to enjoy a good night’s rest. Stick to a consistent schedule as much as possible — even on the weekends. It isn’t possible to make up for lost sleep, so pull yourself out of bed at the same time in the morning, even if you didn’t get a good night’s rest. Over time you will condition yourself to accept certain times for sleeping and waking.

* The National Sleep Foundation advises avoiding heavy meals, caffeine and nicotine before bed. Each of these things can rev up the body and make it difficult to settle down.

* On the surface, a cocktail may seem like a good way to unwind and relax. Although a drink or two may help many people fall asleep, it will not produce the deep sleep necessary to recharge the body. When the effects of the alcohol wear off after a few hours, your sleep is likely to be interrupted. In addition, relying on alcohol as a sleep remedy can lead to dependence and further health problems.

* Get up and accept a poor night’s sleep rather than tossing and turning. It can be easy to associate the bed with wakefulness and frustration if you stay in bed and watch the clock. Getting up and reading or listening to relaxing music can help distract the mind and relax the body. Avoid working on the computer or watching television. Bright light can reduce the production of the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin, resulting in further difficulty settling down.

* Thanks to their reproductive hormones, women undergo more sleep changes and challenges than men. Afterward, being woken by children or worrying about them can lead to sleepless nights. Many women experience trouble sleeping during menopause. Different therapies may be needed to figure out the solution for a restful night’s sleep.

* Individuals can try natural remedies to induce sleep or stay asleep. In addition to good sleep hygiene and maintaining a regular sleep schedule, there are a number of herbs that can relax the body. Chamomile tea has soothing properties, and drinking chamomile tea before bed can be an effective sleep strategy. Valerian has been used as a medicinal herb since at least the time of Ancient Greece and Rome, and it can reduce anxiety and promote sleep. Melatonin supplements are produced from plant sources and can induce sleep when taken in the right amounts. Speak with a doctor about possible remedies to find a sleep system that works for you.

Insomnia is a more common problem than many people may think. Recognizing insomnia as a problem and seeking treatment can help many people get on the road to a more restful night’s sleep.

Understanding lymphoma and its potential causes

The human body’s immune system is integral to its short- and long-term health, helping guard the body from a host of threats, including germs and viruses. But the immune system can be compromised, and when this happens, the results can be severe.

Lymphoma is one of the more troubling issues that can compromise a person’s immune system. A cancer of the lymph system, which is a part of the immune system, lymphoma comes in many forms, and recognizing which type of lymphoma a person has can help a doctor tailor a treatment plan and provide a more accurate prognosis to his or her patients. But men and women also can benefit from understanding lymphoma, as it can help them more effectively manage their disease or better understand what a loved one diagnosed with lymphoma is going through.

What are the types of lymphoma?

There are many types of lymphoma, and these types fall into one of two categories: Hodgkin disease and non-Hodgkin lymphomas.

* Hodgkin disease: Hodgkin disease begins in white blood cells known as lymphocytes, and because lymphoid tissue is present in many parts of the body, Hodgkin disease can start nearly anywhere on the body. However, Hodgkin disease most often starts in the lymph nodes of the upper part of the body, such as the chest, neck or under the arms. Hodgkin disease will spread gradually, most often from lymph node to lymph node. But because there are different types of Hodgkin disease, the disease can grow and spread differently depending on the type a person has.

* Non-Hodgkin lymphoma: Non-Hodgkin lymphoma also begins in the lymphocytes and can begin almost anywhere in the body. There are many types of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, but they were often grouped as slow- or fast-growing lymphomas. The former grows so slowly that it produces few symptoms, while the latter spreads so quickly it can cause severe symptoms and may be referred to as an aggressive lymphoma.

What causes lymphoma?

Though researchers are not always certain why certain factors make a person more likely to develop Hodgkin disease, they have determined a handful of factors that increase a person’s risk. People who have had mononucleosis, an infection caused by the Epstein-Barr virus, or EBV, have an increased, albeit small, risk of Hodgkin disease. DNA from EBV is found in roughly half of Hodgkin patients’ Reed-Sternberg cells, which are a type of cell found in people with Hodgkin lymphoma. But many people infected with EBV never develop Hodgkin disease.

Age is another risk factor for Hodgkin disease, as the disease is most common among people between the ages of 15 and 40, especially men and women in their 20s. But many men and women are diagnosed with Hodgkin disease in late adulthood as well. Age also is a risk factor for non-Hodgkin lymphoma, though the majority of cases are diagnosed in people in their 60s or older.

Family history also plays a role, as brothers and sisters of young people with Hodgkin disease have an elevated risk, one that is especially high for the identical twin of a person with Hodgkin disease. But the American Cancer Society still notes that a family link is still seen in only about 5 percent of all cases of Hodgkin disease.

Some studies have suggested that exposure to certain chemicals, most notably benzene, and certain herbicides and insecticides used to kill weeds and insects, may be linked to an elevated risk of developing non-Hodgkin lymphoma. However, such research is ongoing.

Patients treated with radiation therapy for other cancers may also be at an increased risk of developing non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and this risk is even greater for those treated with both radiation and chemotherapy.

Immune system deficiencies and autoimmune diseases have also been linked to a greater risk for non-Hodgkin lymphoma. People who have received organ transplants are often treated with immune system suppressants to ensure the immune system does not attack the new organ, and such suppressants put people at a higher risk of developing non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Children born with immune system deficiencies also have an elevated risk of developing non-Hodgkin lymphoma, as do people with autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and celiac sprue.

Lymphoma is a potentially deadly disease, but one that is often treatable. More information about lymphoma and lymphoma treatment is available at www.cancer.org/cancer/lymphoma.

Environmental factors can trigger asthma

Though many are likely familiar enough with asthma to recognize it’s a respiratory disease that affects millions of people across the globe, few may know the role that environmental triggers play with regard to asthma.

Indoor allergens and irritants often trigger asthma attacks, but fortunately such triggers can be controlled by people who take a proactive approach to reducing their exposure to environmental triggers like those listed below.

Secondhand smoke

The smoke from a cigarette, cigar or pipe contains more than 4,000 substances, some of which are cancerous compounds. In addition to triggering asthma attacks in those already diagnosed with the condition, secondhand smoke is a risk factor for asthma among preschool-aged youngsters. Thanks to their diminutive statures, kids breathe more rapidly than adults, and that means they take in more secondhand smoke when around smokers than older kids or fully grown adults. But secondhand smoke is harmful to adults as well, triggering asthma attacks and increasing their risk for a variety of health conditions. Parents should not let anyone smoke near their children, and adults with older kids should avoid smokers as much as possible.

Dust mites

Tiny, invisible bugs that feed on dead skin, dust mites can be found in mattresses, pillows, carpets, stuffed toys, and clothes, among other things. Individuals who are allergic to dust mites might be susceptible to asthma if they come in contact with dust mites’ body parts and droppings, and such exposure can trigger asthma in youngsters who have not previously exhibited symptoms of the condition. Bedding should be washed in hot water at least once per week and dried completely, and dust proof covers should be used on pillows and mattresses. Vacuum carpets and furniture once per week. Also, parents can reduce their kids’ risk of asthma attacks by only buying stuffed toys that can be washed in hot water.

Molds

Molds live on plant and animal matter and can be found nearly anywhere that moisture is present. Inhaling mold spores, which continually float through indoor and outdoor air, can trigger an asthma attack. Mold problems in a home should be addressed immediately. Mold on hard surfaces can be removed with soap and water, and the surfaces should be allowed to dry completely before being put to use again. Use exhaust fans in rooms such as the kitchen and bathroom, where fans can be used both during and after showering. Some mold growths might be a byproduct of leaks, so check pipes for leaks when any mold is found near sinks, tubs or showers.

Restless legs syndrome affects many

restlessMillions of people are afflicted with restless legs syndrome, an uncomfortable neurological condition that may lead them to repeatedly move their limbs to find relief. In spite of its name, restless legs syndrome, or RLS, is not limited to the lower extremities, as some of the sensations associated with the condition are felt in the arms as well.

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, a division of the National Institutes of Health, says as much as 10 percent of the United States population may have RLS. Several studies show that approximately 2 to 3 percent of adults are affected by moderate to severe RLS, which occurs in both men and women, though incidence of the condition is twice as high among women. Although people of any age can be diagnosed with RLS, it is more often diagnosed in middle-aged men and women and seniors.

The most common symptom of RLS is an irresistible urge to move because of uncomfortable, and sometimes painful, sensations deep within the body. The sensations often defy description but can range from pain, aching, creeping, crawling, or prickling feelings. Symptoms may occur at any time but are most evident when the body is at rest, whether sitting down for long periods of time or when going to sleep. Symptoms may increase in severity throughout the night.

Those with RLS frequently experience periodic limb movements characterized by jerking and twitching, which can make it difficult to fall and stay asleep. Sleep deprivation may carry over into daytime hours and make daily life difficult. Many with RLS also have concentration problems, impaired memory or struggle to perform daily tasks due to exhaustion.

RLS symptoms may vary and change from day to day. Symptoms may subside early in the morning, but they often reappear and worsen at night.

Considerable evidence points to a dysfunction in the brain’s basal ganglia circuits that rely on the neurotransmitter dopamine, which helps regulate muscle movements, as a contributor to RLS. Individuals with Parkinson’s disease often have RLS as well.

RLS may be a genetic condition, as it seems to run in families. Pregnancy, chronic diseases and medications can also aggravate symptoms of RLS.

RLS is diagnosed by looking at certain qualifying criteria. Physicians will document symptoms and note when they occur. Treatment may involve a mixture of medications as well as therapies for relieving symptoms. Medications for RLS may lose their efficacy over time, and doctors may have to work with patients to develop a treatment plan that works.

How to keep things light when dining out this summer

diningDining out is a great way to experience new cuisine and enjoy a meal with family and friends. But dining out often leads to overeating, a problem that’s unhealthy year-round but especially inconvenient when warm air makes it more uncomfortable to deal with the side effects of overeating.

Though some restaurants offer large portions that can make it difficult to lighten things up when dining out in the summer, the following are a handful of ways diners can keep things light but still enjoy their favorite restaurants even when the mercury has risen.

* Don’t be bashful. Some restaurants alter their menus in warmer weather to accommodate those customers who prefer lighter fare on hot nights. But even those that don’t make such alterations might be amenable to customers who request certain changes when dining out. For example, ask your waiter if you can substitute vegetables in lieu of a side of potatoes or french fries, which tend to be heavier and harder to digest. Don’t be afraid to ask for such substitutions or even ask that vegetable servings be doubled.

* Don’t mistake “low-carb” for “low-calorie.” Just because a dish is heralded as “low-carb” does not necessarily mean it’s low in calories. A low-carb dish might seem like the perfect option on a warm summer night, but not if it’s laden with calories. Before ordering a low-carb dish, confirm if it’s also low in calories and low in fat. If not, look for a lighter option to avoid feeling too full after dinner.

* Think inside the box. When ordering a large entree, you can be creative by asking your waiter to box half of your meal before it even reaches the table. This prevents you from overeating and makes it more likely that you will eat a meal that’s more in tune with a healthy serving size.

* Don’t pile on your salad. Salads are a summertime staple for many people, who prefer salads because they’re delicious but not likely to produce any symptoms of overeating. But salads are only as light as their ingredients allow them to be. If you want to keep things light and healthy, avoid adding too many ingredients to your salad. Creamy dressings are often heavy, especially when paired with ingredients like bacon and cheese. When adding ingredients to your salad, opt for lighter and healthier items like raw vegetables or even some fresh fruit.

* Forgo the freebies. While many people consider complementary bread baskets one of the joys of dining out, such freebies also make meals more filling. If you anticipate your meal taking a long time to make it to your table, ask the waiter to bring a plate of fresh fruit or vegetables in lieu of a bread basket or a bowl of chips or nachos. This way you won’t starve while waiting for your meal, but also you won’t be filling up on heavy foods you might regret eating when you head back into the warm summer air.

* Split dessert. Dessert might seem like the ideal way to cap off a delicious meal, but a decadent slice of chocolate cake or creamy helping of creme brulee only makes a meal more filling. If you must indulge in dessert, split your dessert with a fellow diner so your last few bites of the night don’t make you feel uncomfortable when it’s time to leave the restaurant.

Many people prefer to eat less when temperatures rise. And while restaurants tend to offer larger portions than you might eat at home, there are ways to enjoy a night out on the town without overdoing it at the dinner table.

Safe ways to lose weight in advance of your wedding

Many couples aspire to lose weight in the months leading up to their weddings. Few things are a bigger weight-loss motivator than being on display during a wedding, where guests will have their eyes trained on the happy couple.

Brides- and grooms-to-be often cite their impending nuptials as a reason to shed some pounds. A Cornell University study found 70 percent of the roughly 270 engaged women interviewed for the study said they wanted to lose weight for their weddings, with many citing a desire to lose as much as 20 pounds. Losing this amount of weight is feasible over a significant period of time. But according to Samantha Heller, a registered dietitian and exercise physiologist at New York University’s Langone Medical Center in New York City, many people get consumed with other wedding details and forget about weight loss until the last minute, causing many to resort to drastic measures to lose weight in the weeks before walking down the aisle.

Quick fixes may result in rapid weight loss, but all too often such measures don’t work as expected and may cause unexpected side effects. In addition, crash diets or extreme cleanses usually will not help a person keep weight off, which leads to many people packing on the pounds once they return from their honeymoon. Losing weight and keeping that weight off requires that men and women make lifestyle changes, which often include alterations to their eating habits.

* Begin your plan early. Make weight loss as much of a priority as planning the wedding. Schedule a time to speak with a physical trainer and/or dietician who can help you develop a healthy weight loss plan. It may take several months to a year for you to lose weight the right way. Plan accordingly so you will not be scrambling at the last minute.

* Set reasonable goals. Losing 15 to 20 pounds is entirely possible in six months to a year, but losing that much weight in a week is unlikely. Determine how much time you have and set weekly or monthly goals, which can keep you on track and motivate you to lose the weight.

* Don’t buy clothes in smaller sizes. Some brides-to-be order their wedding gowns in the sizes they “hope” to fit into come their wedding day. This is never a good idea, as it may create undue stress that can make losing weight even more difficult. Gowns are also quite expensive. It’s easier to alter a gown to make it smaller and much more complicated (and expensive) to add fabric to increase the size.

* Keep your doctor informed. It is always best to consult with a doctor before starting a weight-loss regimen. Your doctor may suggest certain strategies to facilitate weight loss. Furthermore, you may be able to stop taking certain medications that can cause weight gain.

* Combine cardiovascular exercise and weight training when working out. Cardiovascular exercise alone will not help you lose the maximum amount of weight. Toned muscle will continue to burn calories and rev up your metabolism long after your workout is over. You do not need to use heavy weights; just enough to provide resistance and force your muscles to work a little harder.

* Don’t skip meals. Skipping meals or eating at irregular intervals will make your body think it is starving. This slows down your metabolism as your body works to preserve energy and retain fat, which is counterproductive to your goal of losing weight. Eat at regular intervals and enjoy several small, healthy meals per day. Avoid foods that are high in fat, sodium and refined carbohydrates. Stick to complex carbohydrates that are full of fiber and lean protein.

* Remember to stay hydrated. Symptoms of dehydration can mimic those of hunger. If you start feeling hunger pangs, try a glass of water before you munch on a snack. Your body just may be telling you it needs more fluids.

Wedding weight loss goals are common, and couples can lose weight safely if they avoid crash diets and begin a healthy eating and exercise plan early on.

Diet can help or hinder children in the classroom

Children who are not regularly consuming a healthy and balanced diet may not be receiving the nutrients sufficient for sustained energy and mental acuity. Junk food and high-sugar snacks can affect the body in a number of ways. A 2009 study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that children who routinely ate a diet high in junk foods were more likely to be hyperactive than those who did not. Hyperactive children may struggle to concentrate on simple tasks or find it difficult to focus on more complex matters, such as those presented in a classroom.

The Women’s and Children’s Health Network notes that diet can influence children’s study habits. Foods high in sugar can deplete energy levels and compromise a student’s ability to concentrate for extended periods of time. In an Oxford University study published in FASEB Journal in 2009, researchers tested the cognitive effects a high fat and junk food diet had on rats. After nine days, the rats that ate the junk food were put into a maze and tested against rats that ate a more balanced diet. Rats fueled by the junk food struggled to navigate the maze and made more mistakes than the rats that were given a healthy diet.

Concentration is not the only problem linked to a poor diet. Children who regularly eat junk food have a higher risk for obesity and other conditions. According to the Prevention Institute, junk food shoulders some of the blame for rising rates of diabetes, high blood pressure and stroke, and children who regularly consume junk food have higher rates of chronic illness. Children who are routinely sick and have to stay home from school may miss important lessons and fall behind in their studies.

Children’s obesity that is linked to poor food choices may have higher levels of depression and poor self-esteem. These psychological conditions can have their own profound effects on learning ability and concentration. Disinterest in school or in being around peers may set in. Nutritionists at The Mayo Clinic say that eating high amounts of junk food may result in depression.

The effects of junk food and other dietary choices can easily be changed by altering a child’s eating habits. Children who eat foods made from complex nutrients often experience a renewed ability to concentrate and focus. Diets high in complex carbohydrates, fiber, lean protein, fruits, and vegetables will release a stead supply of energy through bodily metabolism, and this will help prevent the blood sugar peaks and crashes associated with foods high in refined sugar and simple carbohydrates.

The addition of omega-3 fatty acids, which are found in walnuts, oily, cold-water fish, olive oil, and flax seed, can keep children feeling full and improve their mental acuity. All brands of baby formula currently sold in the United States are now fortified with omega-3 fatty acids in the form of DHA and ARA. Some studies in infants suggest that including these fatty acids in infant formulas may have positive effects on visual function and neural development over the short term.

It can be easy to blame declining school progress on insufficient study habits or poor connection with a teacher. However, a child’s diet can help or hinder his or her academic performance as well.

Timeless men’s hairstyles create a classic look

Some men are still holding on to the healthy locks of their youth, while others have much less hair than the women in their lives. The hairstyle a man chooses can say a lot about his personality and the image he hopes to project.

Many men prefer to stay on top of the latest trends, including trends in men’s hair. But some men prefer to look back on photos and not cringe over dated styles. Such men might benefit from any of the following timeless hairstyles, many of which are easy to maintain.

* Side sweep: Classic, timeless and debonair, the side-swept look is the epitome of sophistication. Guys who like to leave the length on the crown longer than the back and sides need only follow a few steps to achieve a Cary Grant-inspired look. Make a deep side part on one side of the head, right at the arch of your eyebrow. Comb the hair over and slick the hair down on the sides. Wet hair, a comb and some hair spray are the only tools necessary to achieve this look.

* Quiff: A style popularized by 1950s heartthrobs (think Elvis Presley or James Dean), some stars of today also sport quiffs, including James Franco and Conan O’Brien. The style is characterized by longer hair in the front that is combed up and back to create a puff over the brow. The sides are slicked back to achieve that perfect “greaser” look.

* Shag: Once popular in the 1970s, the shag has been worn by stars such as Johnny Depp and Owen Wilson. It’s best to work with a seasoned stylist to give you a good base cut and then you can either wash-and-go for a natural look, or use styling wax to give your hair a more styled effect.

* Buzz: One of the easiest styles to maintain, a buzz cut is hair that is sheared off very close to the scalp, leaving only peach fuzz behind. Ideal for the low-maintenance guy, the buzz does not require much washing, styling or daily effort. Some guys prefer a slight variation on the buzz cut, leaving the hair slightly longer above the brows in order to spike it up with some gel.

* Natural: Somewhat similar to the side sweep, but not so severe, a natural side part is timeless and easy. Hair is medium to short all over, and the hair is just slightly parted to the side, following the natural fall of the hairline. Afterward, the style may be kept in place with just a little hairspray.

* Crome dome: Many men are embracing the bald look and actually prefer shaving off all their hair. Gentleman who may be thinning up top or are starting to bald may shave it all off for uniformity. However, there are plenty of guys with full heads’ of hair that also opt to shave it for a sleek look. Ben Kingsley, Andre Agassi, Chris Daughtry, Michael Chiklis, Michael Jordan, and Bruce Willis are all stars who sport bald looks with confidence.