If You Are A Teenager ,You must read this

Whether you are a teen or you’re currently raising one, you may have been bombarded with information regarding teenage health and wellness. Now, more than ever before, advice for staying healthy is targeted at this age group. Why? Perhaps it’s the overall decline in health of all people, or perhaps it’s that people are finally waking up to the idea that good health starts at a young age. Whatever the reason, it’s a good idea to pay attention! Take a look at these tips to get the teenager in your life moving toward a healthier life for good.

Pay Attention to Your Diet … But Don’t Diet

Just like the rest of us, many teenagers are tempted to join the newest diet craze in order to stay thin. But the goal should not be to stay thin, but rather to stay as healthy as possible. This means avoiding those crazy fad diets and eating a well balanced diet instead. Fill your plate with fresh fruits and veggies, lean proteins, and healthy snacks. Avoid junk food, fried food, and sugary snacks as much as possible. Except for very specific circumstances (and under the guidance of a doctor), now is not the time to diet. It’s time to improve the menu and eat a little better every day.

Begin Healthy Hobbies Now

Video games and Netflix binges with friends are a ton of fun. But don’t forget that the hobbies that you pick up now may last a lifetime. Why not join in on something active? Pick up a hobby that requires body movement. As you get older, this hobby may stick, and getting in enough exercise or burning enough calories will be easier because it will already be a part of your life. Do it now,  while you have the energy, and you’re setting yourself up for much better health in the future.

Get Informed

One of the best things about the teenage mind is that it is so curious. Channel that curiosity into learning about healthy living. Learn what exercises produce what results. Learn which foods are the best for basic better health. Learn the way in which your body works and responds to different health measures. The more informed you become, the easier it is to incorporate change, see results, and live a life of health and success.

Getting and staying healthy is something that should be done continuously over time. It’s not a one-time project and then you’re done; it’s a lifelong process. To get you or the teens in your life moving toward better health, incorporate these tips today. A little prevention and knowledge can go a long way in maintaining a healthy life and habits for a lifetime.

12 Foods to Avoid With High Blood Pressure

If you struggle with high blood pressure, you know the constant battle to watch your diet in order to improve your health. “The foods you eat—and don’t eat—very much factor into your blood pressure,” says Kathy McManus, R.D., director of the department of nutrition at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. For instance, high sodium foods disrupt the balance of water in your body, which strains your blood vessels and causes blood pressure to rise. Looking for more tips on what to steer clear of? Start here.


5 Reasons to Drink Tea Without Sugar

Do you drink tea with added sugars? For the majority of the world, the answer is yes. Whether it means stirring a teaspoon of white sugar into a mug of black tea or sipping a prepared iced tea from a bottlemost teas are served with sweeteners.

But in the grander scale of tea history, additives like sugar (and milk) are recent developments. In fact, traditional teas represent thousands of years of effort, all devoted to cultivating leaves that taste good on their own. Over time, tea farmers and crafters have transformed tea from an unpleasant medicinal herb to a popular daily beverage, beloved all over the world.

With that said, we understand the urge to drop a teaspoon or two of sugar into your breakfast blend. Not all teas can live up to the lofty flavor ideals of traditional tea crafters, and modern palates are trained to expect sweetness. Nevertheless, we think tea deserves a chance to be appreciated without sugar, and today we’ve got five good reasons to give it a try.

1. Tea is a naturally healthy treat.

Almost any type of tea offers nutritional and antioxidant benefits for your body, but additives like sugar and milk can offset these natural advantages. Sugar in any beverage adds empty calories, and studies have shown that added milk (even from non-dairy sources) actively reduces recorded health benefits.

But once accustomed to sweetening teas, it can be difficult to stop, especially if your go-to brew comes in a mass-produced tea bag from the grocery store. Instead, try switching to a totally different type; ideally a high quality option that is easy to brew without bitternessThis way, every cup will feel indulgent, even without the additives.

2. Avoid the crash.

We all know the feeling of a sugar rush, followed shortly by plummeting energy levels - and another cup of sweetened tea as a pick-me-up. Instead of falling victim to this roller coaster effect, let tea’s natural combination of caffeine and L-theanine provide you with focused energy throughout the day.

L-theanine is one of our favorite beneficial compounds that exists in every tea, and has been shown to reduce stress, induce relaxation, and improve sleep. In combination with the energy boost from trusty caffeine (also a naturally occurring component of all traditional teas), L-theanine can boost cognitive performance and improve overall productivity, all while avoiding the wild ride of a sugar rush.

3. Save money with multiple infusions.

Hand crafted teas sold in loose leaf form may feel like a treat to save for a special occasion, but quality flavor is more affordable than you might think. Any whole leaf tea without added flavorings can be brewed multiple times, meaning each of those daily servings will yield at least 3 full cups of drinkable tea.

For true tea-heads, this isn’t even a question of frugality: many will toss the first infusion in favor of the second or third, as the leaves unfurl and release fuller flavor in these later infusions. Don’t stop after three, either, since many high quality teas will yield more than five brews before losing flavor intensity.

4. Simplify the brewing process.

Brewing a cup of tea should be simple, but adding sugar and milk can make it unnecessarily complex and frankly, sticky. Instead, keep things clean with a tea that tastes good on its own. Try tea bags that use high quality leaves (like our RBT collection), use a teapot and cup for simple gong fu tea service, or go old-school with loose leaves directly in your mug.

In general, the better the quality of your tea leaves, the easier it is to brew. Whole leaves will release astringent tannins more slowly, while teas picked in the springtime will have more natural sugars and fewer bitter flavor compounds overall. Even mass produced tea bags can often be improved simply by paying attention to steeping time and water temperature. Skip the sugar dish, keep the spoons clean, and finally...

5. Taste your tea.

Ultimately, we recommend foregoing sugar because it hides the taste of the tea, which is what we’re all here for, after all. The huge variety of flavor in the world of tea can be traced back to subtle differences in the growing conditions, tea plant variety, harvest date, and crafting style - all of which combine to create endless layers of flavor in a finished tea, and all of which can be utterly lost under a packet of sugar. In our experience, sipping without sugar is key to fully appreciating great teas.

Do you drink your tea with or without sugar? Let us know what you think in the comments below!

9 Things Healthy, Successful People Always Do Before Bed

Life is too short to be tired all the time. And you're too busy to spend one more minute in bed than you have to.

The obvious solution to these realities is to maximize the quality of your sleep, squeezing as much rest and energy out of every hour in your bed as you can. Of course, there's no substitute for adequate sleep time, but healthy, successful people know that a few simple actions can ensure they wake up rested and ready to go. That's why they always do these things before they turn in for the night.

1. Set a schedule

The first and best step you can take to start getting better sleep is to set a fixed sleep schedule and to stick to -- even on weekends and holidays. For the best results, don't try to fight your personal rhythm. Some folks are programmed to stay awake later, others to wake bright and early. Respect your body's preferences if at all possible.

Struggling to keep to your plan? If "staying on track with a calming bedtime routine is virtually impossible for you, consider setting yourself an alarm -- to go to bed," suggests HuffPo.

2. Check your pre-bed diet

You're not designed to digest and sleep at the same time, so do your best to make sure you either indulge in that heavy dinner early in the night or stick to lighter foods if you'll be eating later.

Feeling peckish around bedtime? "Several foods promote sleep by helping to optimize the release of melatonin. Turkey and warm milk contain tryptophan (the precursor to melatonin), while honey contains orexin, which reduces alertness. Marmite, almonds, chamomile and oatcakes are also good, and bananas have high levels of serotonin and magnesium," The Good Sleep Guide author Sammy Margo tells the UK Telegraph.

3. And your beverages

You're no doubt aware you need to be careful about not consuming caffeine later in the day if you want to get a good night's sleep, but did you know alcohol can also disturb your sleep? That nightcap might make you feel drowsy at bedtime, but it'll make the second half of your night more disturbed and less restful. So have that glass of wine early enough that it's out of your system by the time you turn out the light.

4. Power down your gadgets

The blue light emitted by your computer and other gadgets can keep you up, so switch them off a good hour or two before bed (this will also help you clear your head of the day's concerns before you hit the hay).

Or try F.lux. It's a free app that "makes the color of your computer screen resemble the current time of day, helping your body recognize that bedtime is drawing near," explains Dr. Michael Terman, the co-author of Reset Your Inner Clock.

5. Set the scene

Your body's ideal sleeping environment is cool, dark, and quiet, so do your best to eliminate noise and light from your room (and hey, you can save some money turning down the thermostat too). If your home is loud at night, "use a fan, an air-conditioner, or a white noise app or machine. You can also try ear plugs," suggests Web MD.

A comfy bed is also obviously essential. That might mean splurging on a better mattress or pillows (science says that your pillows probably need replacing every 18 months thanks to an accumulation of dust mites). And apologies to your furry friends, but if you're aiming for the ultimate sleep experience, they're going to need to find their own places to snooze away from your bed.

6. Reflect

Your sleeping subconscious is a powerful tool that can help you make difficult decisions and dream up innovative ideas. But in order for it to do that, you have to ask it for help and take time to listen to its answers. You can make time for a little free writing, or simply take a few moment to reflect on the issues you're facing, the day that's passed, or your hopes for tomorrow. Or try a simple meditation practice.

Whatever method you choose, your goal is to have a clear mind before you settle into bed. "Take some time in the evening to work through the day, make lists to do tomorrow and clear your mental desktop of the stuff that you still have to think about. Then go to bed," Michael A. Grandner of the Behavioral Sleep Medicine program at the University of Pennsylvania tells HuffPost.

7. Adopt a bedtime ritual

Your body and mind need a signal that it's time to sleep, so develop series of relaxing actions you perform each night that act as your own personal off switch. Reading is good, so is taking a hot bath. "The rise, then fall in body temperature promotes drowsiness," explains Harvard Med's Healthy Sleep site.

Just avoid that quick pre-bed work email check or any other potentially stimulating or stressful activity. It can raise your cortisol levels making it harder to get to sleep.

8 Stretch

This is especially important if you spend a good portion of the day hunched over a computer, or otherwise in postures that leave you with a lot of tension.

Health suggests this bit of quick in-bed yoga: "Lie on your back with the soles of your feet together and your knees bent and dropping toward the floor. Place your arms, palms up, by your sides, keeping your shoulders back and your chest open. Close your eyes and inhale through your nose while slowly counting to four, then exhale while counting back down to one. Continue for 10 minutes, or as long as it takes you to feel fully relaxed." Or try this more extensive series of poses from Shape.

9. Don't stress

A regular sleep schedule is great, but don't be a slave to your plan or stress out if you're not sleepy at the "right" time. If you're not drifting off after 15 or 20 minutes, get up and engage in a little more of your preferred pre-bed relaxation activities.

Whatever you do, don't obsess over the time. "Staring at a clock in your bedroom, either when you are trying to fall asleep or when you wake in the middle of the night, can actually increase stress, making it harder to fall asleep. Turn your clock's face away from you," suggests the Harvard sleep site. Or if you want a higher tech solution, you could always buy this clock.

Should fruit be eaten before or after meals?

Fruits are an important part of a healthy and well-balanced diet. They are low in calories and fat but high in fiber. They also contain health-enhancing plant compounds such as antioxidants and they are filled with vitamins and minerals.

Experts recommend fruits for improving an individual’s overall well-being and helping prevent various diseases (heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke and some cancers).

include apples, blueberries, bananas, blackberries, cherries, pears, pineapples, oranges, kiwis and many more. Diets rich in nutrients typically include fruits because they help individuals sustain a healthy weight.

Commonly asked questions in regard to fruit

  • Should fruit be consumed before a meal or hours after a meal?
  • Should fruit be consumed on a full stomach or on an empty stomach?

One response in particular comes from a study published in the journal of ‘Endocrine, Metabolic & Immune Disorders -Drug Targets’. Fruit and its derivatives, such as fruit juice, contain polyphenols. Polyphenols have antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties that shield the body from free radicals and other molecules that cause inflammation. These “enemies” of the body are produced in large quantities just after eating an unbalanced meal, particularly food high in fat, carbohydrates or calories.

Citrus fruits after a fatty meal

It is not the first time that scientific research has dealt with the benefits of eating plentiful fruit after a meal. For example, a study at the University of Buffalo (United States) appeared in 2010 in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, promoting the role of flavonoids in orange juice as “scavengers” in the body.  Two antioxidants, naringin and hesperidin, neutralize the oxidative stress and inflammation generated by a unhealthy meal and prevent damage to the blood vessels.

“Naringin is a flavonoid found in grapefruit, lemon, oranges, clementines, tangerines, and cedar. This flavonoid is important for strengthening the capillary walls, purifying the body and promoting weight loss. It also has effect on the flu, acts as a muscle relaxant, it has anti-cancerous agents, hepatoprotection and anti-atherogenic mechanisms” – concludes Dr. Testa. 

What kinds of fruit have a positive impact on postprandial stress?

“Fruits that best play an antioxidant role are purple fruits that fight free radicals responsible for cellular aging and inflammatory diseases. Among these fruits are blueberries, black plums, black grapes, blackberries and plums” – says Dr. Sara Testa, Nutritionist at Humanitas Hospital.

Is it better to eat fruit before or after meals?

“Preferably, fruit should be eaten before the two main meals because the fibers it contains help reduce the absorption of simple sugars, thus reducing the glycemic index of foods. Contrary to what is often recommended in weight loss diets, fruit in between meals stimulates the endogenous production of insulin and therefore stimulates hunger rather than reducing it” – explains Dr. Testa.

Why we should exercise

If the benefits of physical activity are legion, so are the reasons for avoiding it. We've got suggestions for adding some to your day.

You already know that exercise is good for you. What you may not know is just how good — or exactly what qualifies as exercise. That's what this issue of the Health Letter is all about. The notion that physical activity helps keep us healthy is very old news indeed. Hippocrates wrote about the dangers of too little activity (and too much food). Tai chi, an exercise system of graceful movements that originated in China, dates from the 12th century B.C. Yoga's roots in India go back much further.

But old ideas aren't necessarily good ones, or have much evidence to back them up. This isn't a problem for exercise — or physical activity, the term many researchers prefer because it's more of a catchall. A deluge of studies have documented its health benefits. Many are observational, which always pose the problem of showing associations (people who exercise happen to be healthy) not proof of cause and effect (it's the exercise that makes those people healthy). But after statistical adjustments, these studies suggest that the connection between exercise and health is more than just an association. Besides, results from randomized clinical trials, which are usually seen as making the case for causality, also point to exercise making people healthier.

What's impressive about this research, aside from the sheer volume, is the number of conditions exercise seems to prevent, ameliorate, or delay.

We're used to hearing about exercise fending off heart attacks. The American Heart Association promulgated the country's first set of exercise guidelines in 1972. And it's not hard to envision why exercise helps the heart. If you're physically active, your heart gets trained to beat slower and stronger, so it needs less oxygen to function well; your arteries get springier, so they push your blood along better; and your levels of "good" HDL cholesterol go up.

It's also not much of a surprise that physical activity helps prevent diabetes. Muscles that are used to working stay more receptive to insulin, the hormone that ushers blood sugar into cells, so in fit individuals blood sugar levels aren't as likely to creep up.

But exercise as a soldier in the war against cancer? It seems to be, and on several fronts: breast, colon, endometrial, perhaps ovarian. The effect of physical activity on breast cancer prevention may be stronger after menopause than before, although some research suggests that it takes quite a lot to make a difference: four to seven hours of moderate to vigorous activity a week. Three studies have found that if you've had colon cancer or breast cancer, physical activity reduces the chances of it coming back.

To top things off, moving the body seems to help the brain. Several studies have found that exercise can reduce the symptoms of depression, and it changes the brain in ways similar to antidepressant medications. In old age, physical activity may delay the slide of cognitive decline into dementia, and even once that process has started, exercise can improve certain aspects of thinking.

Easy to avoid

We have to eat, so following nutritional advice is a matter of making choices. Swap out saturated fats for healthy oils. Eat whole grains instead of refined carbohydrates.

But in this day and age, many (perhaps most) people don't need to be physically active unless they choose to be. And most evidence suggests that the choice of the kind of activity is far less important than whether to be active at all. About half of adult Americans don't meet one of the most oft-cited guidelines, which calls for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity (a fast walking pace) most days of the week — and you can accumulate that total in bouts of 10 to 15 minutes. About a quarter of American adults say they devote none of their free time to active pursuits.

Clearly some of us are less athletic than others — and some unathletic individuals were simply born that way. Twin studies suggest that about half of the difference in physical activity among people is probably inherited. And researchers are making headway in identifying particular genes that may influence how we respond to physical exertion. For example, they've identified some of the genes responsible for variation in the beta-agonist receptors in the lungs. How your lungs and heart react to strenuous exercise depends, in part, on those receptors.

But genetic explanations for behaviors like exercising only go so far. Many other influences come into play: family, neighborhood, cultural attitudes, historical circumstances. Research has shown, not surprisingly, that active children are more likely to have parents who encouraged them to be that way. Perceptions of how active parents are also seem to matter. The safety and layout of neighborhoods is a factor, particularly for children. In a dangerous place, having children stay home and watch television instead of going to the park to play might be the healthier choice simply because it's safer.

The trip of a thousand miles begins...

In addition to getting at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise most days of the week we should also resistance training to build up muscle strength twice a week. But some exercise, even if it is pretty minimal, is better than none, particularly among people who are very sedentary.

So in that spirit, we've made 27 suggestions for ways to become a little bit more physically active.

1. Take the far away spot. Walking from the farthest corner of the parking lot will burn a few calories. If it's a parking garage, head for the roof and use the stairs.

2. Walk to the next stop. If you take a bus or train, don't wait at the nearest stop. Walk to the next one. Or, at the end of your journey, get off a stop early and finish up on foot.

3. Hang loose. During your bus or train trip, stand and don't hold on too tightly. You'll improve your sense of balance and build up your "core" back and abdominal muscles.

4. Get into the swing of it. Swinging your arms when you walk will help you reach the brisk pace of 3 to 4 miles per hour that is the most healthful.

5. Walk and talk. If you are a member of a book group, propose 15 to 20 minutes of peripatetic discussion of the book before you sit down and chat.

6. Walk while you watch. Soccer moms, dads, and grandparents can circle the field several times during a game and not miss a single play.

7. Walk tall. Maintaining good posture — chest out, shoulders square but relaxed, stomach in — will help keep your back and abdominal muscles in shape. Besides, you'll just look a whole lot healthier if you don't slouch (mom was right).

8. Adopt someone as your walking, jogging, or biking buddy. Adding a social element to exercise helps many people stick with it.

9. That buddy might have four legs. Several studies have shown that dog owners get more exercise than the canine-less.

10. Be part of the fun. Adults shouldn't miss a chance to jump into the fray if kids are playing on a playground or splashing around in the water. Climbing on the jungle gym (be careful!) and swinging on a swing will strengthen muscles and bones and set a good example.

11. Dine al fresco. Tired of eating at home? Skip the restaurant meal, which tends to be heavy on the calories. Pack a picnic. You'll burn calories looking for the best spot and carrying the picnic basket.

12. Put on your dancing shoes. Exercise doesn't have to be done in a straight line. Dancing can get your heart going and helps with balance. Dance classes tend to have lower dropout rates than gyms. Or just turn up the volume at home and boogie.

13. Wash and dry the dishes by hand. The drying alone is a mini-workout for the arms.

14. Don't use an electric can opener. It's good for your hand, wrist, and arm muscles to use a traditional opener. For the same reason, peel and chop your own vegetables and avoid the precut versions.

15. Clean house. Even if you have a cleaning service, you can take responsibility for vacuuming a couple of rooms yourself. Fifteen minutes burns around 80 calories. Wash some windows and do some dusting and you've got a pretty decent workout — and a cleaner house.

16. Hide that remote. Channel surfing can add hours to screen time. If you have to get up to change the channel, you are more likely to turn it off and maybe do something else that's less sedentary.

17. Go swimmingly somewhere. Swimming is great exercise if you have arthritis because the water supports your weight, taking the load off of joints. The humid air around a pool sometimes makes breathing more comfortable for people with lung problems.

18. Take a walk on the waterside. Even people who can't, or don't like to, swim can get a good workout by walking through the water. Try walking fast, and you'll get cardiovascular benefits. Walking in water is a great way to rehabilitate if you're recovering from an injury and certain types of surgery because the water acts as a spotter, holding you up.

19. Don't e-mail. In the office, get out of your chair, walk down the hallway, and talk to the person. At home, write an old-fashioned letter and walk to a mailbox — and not the nearest one — to mail it.

20. Stand up when you're on the phone. Breaking up long periods of sitting has metabolic benefits. Even standing for a minute or two can help.

21. Grow a garden. No matter how green the thumb, the digging, the planting, the weeding, and the picking will ramp up your activity level and exercise sundry muscles.

22. Use a push mower. Even if you have a large lawn, pick a small part of it to mow in the old-fashioned way. You get a nice workout, you're not burning any gas, and it's usually quieter. The same reasoning favors the rake over the leaf blower.

23. Think small. Small bouts of activity are better than knocking yourself out with a workout that will be hard to replicate.

24. Be a stair master. Take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator whenever you can. It's good for your legs and knees, and your cardiovascular health will benefit from the little bit of huffing and puffing. Don't overdo. One flight at a time.

25. Stairs tip #2. You'll give the gluteal muscles a nice little workout if you can climb up two stairs at a time.

26. Stairs tip #3. You can give your calf muscles a nice little stretch by putting the ball of the foot on the stair and lowering your heel.

7 Potential Health Benefits of Fish Oil

If you had to guess the most-used natural product in the country, you might say melatonin, or maybe probiotics. It turns out, though, the answer is fish oil: According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, nearly 8% of adults take it. Whether you're among them, or you're thinking about buying a supplement, you may be curious about the exact benefits of fish oil—and whether there any downsides to popping a pill. So we put together this primer on what you should know, starting with its impressive range of possible health perks.

Fish oil may fight chronic inflammation

Oils extracted from fatty fish like sardines, anchovies, and mackerel provide two types of omega-3 fatty acids—eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)—that are known to help lower inflammation, and generally improve inflammatory conditions in the body. Because chronic, low-grade inflammation is associated with premature aging and a number of diseases, fish-derived omega-3s may offer a broad spectrum of health protection.

It's thought to be heart protective

Fish oil has been shown to help increase “good” HDL cholesterol, lower triglycerides (or blood fats), reduce blood pressure, prevent plaques from forming in arteries, and stave off hardening of the arteries. For all these reasons, experts believe fish oil may support the health of your heart. Indeed, a September 2019 meta-analysis published in the journal JAHA concluded that marine-derived omega-3s lower the risk of heart attack and heart disease deaths.

Fish oil might help boost bone density

In the typical American diet, it's common to consume far more omega-6 fatty acids—which are found in plant oils, like corn and sunflower oils—than omega-3 fatty acids, particularly DHA and EPA. That imbalance has been implicated as a culprit of low bone density in both men and women. But the good news is that older adults with higher omega-3 intakes have been shown to maintain greater bone density, making fish oil a potential mediator of age-related bone loss.

And support eye health

While study results are mixed, some research shows that fish oil may help lower the risk of age-related macular degeneration. This condition, which becomes more prevalent with age, results in the loss or distortion of the central field of vision.

Fish oil could lower child asthma risk

Research suggests that consuming fish oil during pregnancy may help reduce the risk of asthma in children. And one small study found that consuming fish oil during pregnancy reduced infant allergies. It’s important to note, however, that if you’re expecting, you shouldn't take fish oil on your own. Be sure to talk to your doctor about if it’s appropriate, and if so, the proper dosage and form.

It may even keep your brain sharp

In one study, fish oil improved cognitive performance in healthy adults between the ages of 51 and 72 in just five weeks, compared with the effects of a placebo. Research has also connected higher blood levels of omega-3s with a lower risk of depression and anxiety. What's more, when used as an adjunct to standard antidepressant therapies, fish oil supplementation is beneficial in the treatment of depression compared to a placebo.

And help you stay physically fit

Some research has linked omega-3s to fat loss. And supplemental fish oil has also been shown to slow the normal decline in muscle mass and function in men and women between 60 and 85. The good fats if fish oil also help to stimulate muscle protein growth, and improve muscle mass, even in sedentary older adults, and bolster resistance training-induced increases in muscle strength.  Other research has demonstrated that fish oil may also have an indirect effect on weight management, by stimulating areas in the brain that control food intake.

But don't go overboard on fish oil

Given this long list of potential fish oil benefits, you may be ready to start gulping the stuff. But you can get too much of a good thing.

Fish oil has a blood thinning effect, so too much can increase bleeding risk, especially if it's combined with other blood thinners, like aspirin, or supplemental vitamin E, garlic, ginger, ginseng, ginkgo, and turmeric. Fish oil can also interact with some prescription medications, so be sure to discuss it with your doctor before you start taking a pill.

You may not even need a supplement if you eat fatty fish (like salmon, mackerel, or sardines) a few times a week. Ask your doctor or a registered dietitian if taking fish oil is appropriate for you.

Seek pro advice when choosing a product

Some experts recommend choosing a supplement that provides 1,000 mg of DHA and EPA combined daily. (If you're vegan or allergic to fish, there are plant-based options made from algal oil, the marine algae fish eat to produce DHA and EPA.) But I recommend working with your doctor or a registered dietitian to determine the right product, and ideal dose for your body’s needs. The only way to benefit from a supplement of any kind is to use it properly, and with the guidance of a knowledgeable health professional.