Understanding Molecular Medicine and Its Major Advantages

Molecular medicine is a broad concept and it incorporates the study of molecular structures, identifying genetic errors for the cause of a disease, use medical nanotechnology to correct them. The fundamental concept of molecular medicine is the distribution of medicine to the body cells and it is similar to the assimilation of oxygen by a healthy human being. The discipline (molecular medicine) is new. It combines medical studies of modern times with biochemistry. It offers a bridge between today’s medical science and biochemistry. The course of molecular biology includes disciplines like biochemistry, immunology, and biotechnology. Nanotechnology in medicine has many advantages like it leads to diminished costs of treatment, cost-effective and yet high quality drugs. Nanotechnology in medicines help in effective diagnosis and treatment of diseases, it will lead to modern treatment methods, treating complicated medical problems can become simplified.

Benefits of molecular medicine

Molecular medicines and nanotechnology in medicine have their own advantages. These include the following:

Molecular medicines can lead to the invention of elegant and cheap surgical/diagnostic tools.

  • Medical diagnosis and research can become effective and efficient.
  • Nano medical devices can be implanted permanently to treat specific medical conditions.
  • Many medical conditions can be prevented.
  • Unknown diseases can be treated effectively.
  • This can lead to semi-automated diagnosis and treatment.
  • The nanotechnology in medicines help to reduce mortality rate, improve health.
  • Using gene therapy or similar treatment methods, organs can be replaced easily.
  • The different biological systems in the body can be improved.

When nanotechnology is applied in medicine then it is known as Nano medicine. It caters to the improvement of human health using Nano tools (tools at the molecular level) of the human body. Such technology in medicine encompasses areas like drug delivery using nano-particles.

The human body comprises of molecules, the use of molecular nanotechnology enhances progress in the human medical services. The Nano medicine helps to understand the functioning of the biological machinery inside the living cells. This understanding helps medical professionals to cater to complicated medical conditions like AIDS, cancer, ageing. All these help to bring a significant improvement of the natural human biological structure. The understanding helps to reduce mortality rate, ensure proper functioning at the molecular level of the humans.

The understanding of the molecular medicine has resulted in developing Nano particles/molecules to help transfer medicine to each cell of the body. For a sick or unhealthy entity, such developments in molecular biology lead to effective treatment of complicated diseases. Using Nano medicine, malignant cells within a human body can be tracked and then treated. This entire process includes targeting of bacteria/viruses/tumours within the body by Nano particles, treating infections, diseases.

Molecular medicine advantages

Other advantages of using Nano medicines are given as follows:-

With Nano medicines, treatment is gentle and advanced. Most of such treatments are non-invasive. Powerful drugs may have side effects which cannot be ignored. By using molecular medicines, one can reduce the effects of the drugs. Since the use of Nano medicines does not involve surgery therefore it is less painful. Another important advantage of using Nano medicine is that it involves small yet highly sensitive diagnostic tools which accounts for better treatment of diseases. Treatments using Nano technology in medicines are cost effective. It is effective to treat complicated medical conditions like cancer.

Nano medicine disadvantages:

Nano-particles used as part of nanotechnology in medicines uses biochemical pathways, affect the different biological processes of the human body. Under such circumstances, a lack of knowledge about the effects of the nano-particles on the human body, it processes can be a disadvantage. The researchers who deal with design of the nano-particles remain concerned about their toxicity and characterization on their exposure to the biological pathways. If the nano-particles are toxic then they can pose severe threat to the humans and the environment. The researchers remain concerned as the people part of the society use the molecular medicine. In certain instances, researchers remain in doubt of the possible outcome of the use of certain Nano medicines.

Nanotechnology in medicines have revolutionised medical treatment. The doctors now see a ray of hope to treat medical conditions and diseases which were untreatable earlier. Nano medicines have their own advantages. However, researches are on to make the most of nanotechnology in the days to come.

Knowing the Basics of Interventional Pain Management

Anyone, who is dealing with chronic and/or acute pain, knows the “pain” associated with the condition. In most cases, patients spend a considerable amount of time with primary care doctors, physical therapist, and specialists, hoping to find a more permanent solution. Interventional pain management is a practical alternative in such cases, where the concerned patient has tried all other treatment options.

Understanding interventional pain management

Interventional pain management is a specialized field in medicine that deals with the diagnosis and treatment of chronic and/or acute pain and other related disorders. This is more of a “multidisciplinary” approach, which is offered by a team of experienced doctors and healthcare professionals. With interventional pain management, doctors aim to reduce chronic and or acute pain, besides focusing on better living. The treatment is entirely different from other forms of pain management because there is no direct dependency on pain-relief medications. In most cases, a physician may refer the matter to a pain management doctor, who will decide on the line of treatment, depending on the facts of the case. In case of interventional pain management, pain management physician will work together with chiropractors, physical therapists, occupational therapists, psychologists, neurologist, and orthopaedic surgeon as needed to treat the condition by utilizing minimally invasive procedures such as epidural injections, facet blocks, trigger point injections, etc.

Things worth knowing

Interventional pain management is particularly beneficial for patients who are suffering from neck and back pain. Physicians may use more than one approach to the condition, depending on the diagnosis. The use of steroidal injections in the joints and epidural space is quite common, while injections are also used to treat a spinal nerve root, which is diagnosed as the source of pain. Branch blocks are also used for diagnostic purpose followed by radiofrequency ablation, while doctors may also use additional injections in the facet joints. Discography is also utilized to find the possible cause of pain, and in this procedure, a special dye is used in an injectable form into a disc to understand the pathology better.

In some cases, minimally-invasive procedures like “Radiofrequency Ablation” can be used for the medical branches, so as to restrict the movement of pain signals. Doctors may also suggest the use of heated electrodes for certain nerves that carry the pain signals, and this process is also known better as Rhizotomy. Not to forget, physical therapy and other forms of occupational therapies are also used for the treatment. Doctors also suggest lifestyle changes to patients, if they find any hope for better health.

The first appointment

You need to visit an Interventional Pain Management specialist, who will do a thorough exam to understand the possible concerns and issues related to the condition. Doctors may also suggest a few tests including x-rays and MRI for accurate diagnosis. You must also discuss the other kinds of treatments you have tried for your condition, and as required, doctors may suggest a line of therapy, after discussing the expectations, costs and other aspects.

Kidney Transplant – Patient Assessment Factors

When kidneys stop working effectively, you either have an option of a dialysis or a kidney transplant. Dialysis ensures that you get rid of the waste products from your body but it does not replace all the functions of the kidneys. When you are diagnosed with failing kidneys, treatment can sometimes prevent or at least delay their complete failure.

However, with a transplant, your body can continuously remove the waste products of metabolism, and excess fluid. Kidneys also help in the production of a natural hormone called erythropoietin that prevents anemia. It also helps convert the vitamin D in food into an active compound that helps keep bones healthy. Moreover, it helps excretion of some toxic drugs. Finally, it plays an important role in helping control blood pressure.

Kidneys normally undertake all these functions. It is a known fact that kidney transplant provides patients with a better quality of life than dialysis.

Assessment for kidney transplant

There are a few very important factors to be checked before you undergo kidney transplant surgery. To begin with, you will be referred to transplant only when you are nearing or have started dialysis.

  • There is no dependency on age factor or ethnic background when it comes to assessment for a transplant. It all depends on whether you are fit enough to have the operation and deal with all the after effects of the surgery.
  • Some of the factors checked are evidence of heart disease, chest conditions and other problems. Special investigations are conducted to assess whether these risk factors are too great for transplant.
  • Next there will be a thorough discussion between the specialists such as the surgeons, nephrologist, cardiologist and the physician before the decision is finalized.
  • Once you are considered fit enough for a transplant, the specialists will explain all the risks and benefits to you.
  • Many times there is a waiting list for a transplant.
  • There will be a number of tests conducted to check whether you have had certain virus infections.
  • Well, the specialists will also ask you whether you have any close friends or family who are willing to be live donors.
  • Live donor transplants are known to give the kidneys a better chance of long term survival as compared to diseased donor transplants.

Whether you receive a particular donor kidney or not is determined initially by the blood group. It is pretty difficult to get two people to be perfectly alike, because the genes are different. It is however possible to achieve a good enough match for a successful transplant. The surgery takes around three hours and appropriate care needs to be taken post operation too. 

How Do Strong Social and Community Ties Impact Your Health?

I called my friend, also named Lisa, who lives in Houston, Texas. Hurricane Harvey’s devastation had not only hit Houston, the fourth largest city in the United States, but many communities in the Gulf Coast region. According to my friend, who lives on the north side of Houston where they got no flooding except for those who were near a river or large body of water, the worst of the rain is over. People are leaving shelters scattered thought-out Harris County, where Houston is located.

Out of the 6.5 million people in the greater Houston area only about 1.5 million lost power and most all the water is drinkable. No need for ice, a valuable commodity, for many of us here in Charleston who experienced the wrath of Hurricane Hugo. Unlike Houston, Hurricane Hugo, also a category 4 storm, was a direct hit and as a result we not only got the flooding but also high winds. But no one can deny that the Houston area experienced the worst flooding in its history, with some areas getting as much as 50 inches of rain. And because Hurricane Harvey’s devastation was so widespread, it will take years for the region to recover from this natural disaster.

My friend, Lisa, who is originally from Charleston, knows about hurricanes and the emotional roller coaster they bring; the anxiety before the storm of not knowing exactly what is going to happen, the storm itself, the flooding and aftermath once the storm has passed. No doubt, you too, no matter where you call home, are aware of the horrific situation the residents of the Gulf Coast region, north of Brownsville, Texas, are now experiencing. Lives have been lost, people displaced and the uncertainty of what’s ahead. It is one thing to watch the news again and again and be reminded of the destruction and the anguish. But to just absorb the information without acting when we can help can be paralyzing and emotionally harmful.

Animals as well need help and assistance. Donate to the Houston Humane Society, which is helping animals affected by the storm. The Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund, administered by the Greater Houston Community Foundation, is another charity. You may also want to check out Charity Navigator to further ensure your donations are helping those in need.

By helping those in need, you too can benefit. Studies have shown that people with strong social and community ties tend to live longer, are less likely to report being depressed, and have a stronger a sense of belonging, purpose and self worth.

Things To Keep In Mind When Choosing Laser Resurfacing Treatment

Gone are the days when you had to undergo invasive cosmetic surgery to take years off your skin. Today, laser resurfacing treatment helps to do away with wrinkles, fine lines, blemishes and the appearance of pores in a faster and more efficient way. Here are a few things to keep in mind, when opting for laser resurfacing procedure.

The Time When You Have Laser Treatment Conducted

Laser treated skin is more sensitive to sun exposure for at least one year after you perform the procedure. Many surgeons recommend going in for acne scar treatment and other kinds of skin treatment during the winter months. This is because, daytime hours are shorter and you spend most of your time indoors.

Laser Treatment May Or May Not Hurt

Most patients and doctors tell you that the pain can resemble a rubber band snapping against your skin. But all in all, it depends upon the area and depth of treatment, the laser and an individual’s endurance level. Some types of skin treatment require an anesthetic injection or intravenous sedation.

Choose Your Laser Treatment Professionals Wisely

It goes without saying that skin tightening, microdermabrasion or laser hair removal is the most effective and result oriented when performed by a qualified professional. An amateur won’t be able to offer accurate and desirable results. Opt for a professional based on their qualification, experience and training.

Your Skin Reacts To Certain Medications after Laser Treatment

Make sure your practitioner is well aware about your medical history and the kind of supplements and medication you are currently taking. A surgeon, who is unaware about your situation, can unknowingly prescribe medications which can cause skin reactions. It is best to keep all your cards on the table to avoid complications and speed up recovery.

Consider Going In For Multiple Treatments

Sometimes you may need more than one treatment to feel satisfied with the results. In these situations you need to be patient, take your prescribed medications and ensure you follow the doctor’s advice to the T. Once the treatment is complete, you are sure to be rewarded as the results you obtain are long lasting.

If you are thinking about going in for a laser treatment, make sure you consult a knowledgeable and well experienced professional who knows the nuances that go into these kinds of procedures. Rest assured, you get the skin you want and look younger even though age tells you otherwise.

Myalgic Encephalomyelitis Recovery Testimonial

In 1989 I was medically diagnosed with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, due to chemical poisoning from pesticides such as 245-T, Network, Roundup, Asulox and Malathian and heavy metal poisoning from Mercury (due to toxicity from amalgam fillings in my teeth), aluminium and lead.

After consultations with many doctors, specialists and natural health therapists, including Homeopaths and Acupuncturists, I was told that I would never regain normal health again due to the length of time I had been ill with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis. At that time, I wasn’t able to work, couldn’t sleep at night, had no energy and reacted to almost everything I ate!

I was getting pretty desperate at that stage to get my health, life and career back to normal when I met Philip Rafferty while he was doing allergy testing in a health food store. As I already knew of my allergies, I thought I would put him to the test. You can imagine my surprise when in a couple of minutes of using Kinesiology; he was able to correctly identify what my allergies were.

My life at that time had been a real struggle. I had just undergone two years of medical treatment and was taking all the right remedies and nutrition; however, I was still suffering from extreme fatigue, hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar), chronic Candida, food allergies, poor concentration, short term memory loss, acne and had very little energy. I then decided to have several Kinesiology treatments, and to my surprise, I started feeling much better.

Kinesiology Got Rid Of My Allergies, Lots Of Health Issues And My Myalgic Encephalomyelitis
To help me understand, Philip explained that Kinesiology encompasses holistic health disciplines that use gentle manual muscle monitoring to obtain information about a person’s well-being. It may assist with pain, stress, allergies, TMJ problems, toxicity, heavy metals, candida, dehydration, learning, sabotages, and more. Kinesiology realigned the muscles in my body, and as the muscles are connected with the organs, puts the organs back into balance, and this allowed my body to assimilate nutrition and water properly. He said that by putting the muscles back into balance, that my body would be able to heal itself from Myalgic Encephalomyelitis.

While my muscles were out of balance, my body was using up all its energy just trying to function on a basic level, therefore leaving me with no energy to do anything else. After several Kinesiology treatments my food allergies reduced, my blood sugar came back to normal, the severe cystic acne on my face cleared dramatically, I started to gain weight and I had a lot more energy.

Amazing Results Recovering From Myalgic Encephlomylitis Lead Me To A New Career
At the time of seeing Philip Rafferty he started teaching Kinergetics, a new modality of Kinesiology here in Melbourne, Australia and asked me if I would be interested in learning this for myself. After having such amazing results and a full recovery from Myalgic Encephalomyelitis due to Kinesiology, I was curious to find out how it actually worked and why.

I found learning Kinergetics absolutely fascinating. After completing the whole series of eight levels of Kinergetics, I then trained to become a Kinergetics Instructor and began teaching Kinergetics in 1994.

Always interested to learn and grow more, I went on to attain a “Diploma on Health Sciences in Holistic Kinesiology” at the Kinesiology College for Energetic Sciences in Carlton, Melbourne, Australia.

I love practicing and teaching Kinesiology and Kinergetics, and seeing the life-changing results in my clients and mentoring students. I continue to work using my Kinesiology skills and knowledge using Transformation Coaching working with many people all around the world.

I work with clients with a broad range of issues relating to Myalgic Encephalomylitis, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Lyme Disease including resolving allergies, candida, heavy metal toxicity, emotional issues, stress, pain, TMJ, dehydration, sabotage and much more.

Aseptic Processing

If you go back in time, hygienic practices weren’t even heard of let alone carried out. Medicines were made primarily of plants and whatever else was on hand and even, during the Victorian period when pharmaceuticals became more main stream, they weren’t very worried about how sterile the compounds were.

Today of course, pharmaceuticals are big business and having a product delivered to a patient sterile and ready to go is the norm. We’re talking eye drops, ear drops, injectables, infusion products and the like, all things that have to remain sterile until ready to use.

By definition, something that is sterile has the absence of any viable microorganism, and the specification is unchanging and independent of the manufacturing process of the drug in the first place. To make a sterile product then, means filling and sealing the product containers under high quality environmental conditions, with care and with the same practices in place day after day.

When you are talking foods, beverages and medicines, keeping them sterile is a process called aseptic processing. This means that the sterile product is packaged in such a way as to keep its sterile rating. It is accomplished by flash heating which uses less energy than other techniques while (in the case of food) retains more nutrients. When you are talking pharmaceuticals, the ante is upped and the procedure also includes the use of clean rooms, bacteria retaining filters, and either dry or steam heat.

Some examples of food and drinks being in a sterile container include tetra juice boxes and drink pouches, but for medicines, they are stored in plastic or glass containers as these materials form a tight seal against microbiological organisms, contaminants, and degradation of the substance being carried. Using aseptic processing means you no longer need refrigeration and it makes worldwide import and export safe and economical.

Aseptic containers range in size from tiny ones that hold just a few ounces of medicine to ones that can hold eight million gallons in a tank on an ocean liner. Companies that package these medicines and the like can then send their product all over the world, knowing that once it reaches its destination, it is still a viable, sterilized product and will remain that way until it is used for a patient.

The next time you have a prescription for eye drops or have medicines administered by injection or drip, you can be sure those medicines are sterile, all thanks for aseptic processing.

The Top 10 Benefits and Uses of Essiac Tea

Essiac tea is an alternative health drink that is getting a lot of attention lately. It’s a tea that is comprised of several herbal elements include burdock, rhubarb, elm bark, and many other elements. It has been traced to being a major drink of indigenous tribes in North America. Researchers have been studying the drink for some time, and it has been shown to help the body in a number of ways. Drinking this on a regular basis could very well help with the following 10 benefits.

Liver Health

The first major benefit is in regard to the liver. The blend of herbs helps with cleaning the liver of toxicity. It can flush toxicity through the liver, and process it through the urine. With this tea, some individuals may see a reversal of issues related to jaundice. Which is a disease of the liver. While it’s not a miracle cure, it does support liver function, enzymes, and the removal of toxicity that can end up traveling through the body’s digestive tract. It can help boost immune system, and waste management, with a boost to the liver outright.

Ease Constipation

For individuals that are dealing with bowel movement issues, specifically constipation, this tea can help. The herbs can help soften the stool, and can help bring through enough fiber to help with intestinal distress. This is an easy laxative to take as it works with the body’s natural systems. It’s not a chemical stimulant, or harsh fibrous element. The herbs help the body manage waste, and assist with constipation with ease. There is no pain, or issue when taking this tea, as it helps the body within a few hours of drinking it, assuming the individual is struggling with constipation.

Iron Supplement

Essiac tea has a few key vitamins and minerals. One of the most common is iron. Iron is a very critical part of the body’s natural systems. With iron supplemented through tea drinking, you’ll find that the proteins in the blood help form red blood cells, and even help with reversing anemia. This strengthens circulation, and assists with proper production of hemoglobin. Staving off anemia is a great thing, and can help people that are struggling with diet and exercise, get a small boost in the right direction. It helps directly with the circulatory system, promoting heart health.

Blood Pressure Regulation

Those dealing with blood pressure issues, specifically high blood pressure, will find that the tea can help with circulation. It can help with lowering pressure, and regulating heartbeat. Those that utilize this as a calming drink, will find that it can help with a variety of different elements in the body. It can lower pressure, and even help with stress. It begins working within the first time taking it, and works as one drinks more of it through several days. Studies have shown that in a few days, pressure can significantly drop to safer levels.

Bone Health

Much like calcium, this tea can help with bone health. While it’s not the same compound as calcium, it does help with strengthening bone structure, and delivers a powerful mix of vitamins and minerals that the body utilizes to strengthen bone structure. There is a calcium element in this, but not as much as milk, but enough to help boost the body’s natural resources to help with strengthening bones that are susceptible, or may be weakening from injury, or malnutrition.

Energy Boost

While Essiac tea is not caffeinated like a cup of tea, there is an energy level boost given to drinkers of this tea. It’s done through an increase of vitamin-C, and B elements. By helping the body’s natural systems get a boost in vitamins, waking up becomes easier, and getting a little natural energy delivers on the premise that coffee does, without the crash. That’s right, there’s no crash, there’s no sleepiness after drinking this, instead, energy becomes natural, without stimulants. It has a balance that works with the body.

Helps Digest Food

Having problems digesting food? Upset stomach? Nausea? Well, the benefit that this tea gives the digestive system is immense. It helps bring about the right pH levels of the body. By stimulating the stomach to produce the right enzymes, and bile production from the glands, you’ll find that digestion is much easier. That means that eating will not be a chore, and you’ll reduce heart burn, acid reflux, and much more. This helps by adding a helping hand to the stomach’s acid, so that it stabilizes a bit easier. It becomes easier to enjoy your favorite foods, that’s for sure.

Regulate Sugar Levels

While this is not a cure for diabetes, it has been shown to help with insulin production. It can help with insulin secretion, and management. This can help lower blood sugar spikes, and help keep levels lower, although it’s not a replacement for any diabetes treatment. It can help people that are susceptible to blood sugar spikes. This can also help with boosting the pancreas’s levels as well. For those that are diabetic, the tea can help with kidney function, and help with reducing toxicity. It helps with urination, frequency, and quantity as well.

Help The Skin

Researchers exploring the benefits of Essiac Tea have found that it can help with skin care. Used as a topical solution it can help with anti-septic, and anti-inflammatory elements. It also helps from the inside out, providing skin care elements, reduction of acne, and even fine lines. Those that are looking to help with the signs of aging will see a boost in overall skin care in a few days. It helps the body with hormonal secretions and balance, helping the skin heal from the rays of the sun, to the interior of the dermal layers.

Promotes Weight Loss

The last major thing that you’re going to find with this tea is that it helps with losing weight. By helping the body’s digestive system, you may get a boost of metabolic ratio. That means that you will burn calories, even when asleep. Pushing the metabolic rate is a great thing, and can lead to faster weight loss, and sustained management in time.

Sterility in Medicine

We are lucky to live in this century, one where medicines have been developed to combat most ailments, where we can be sure that the medicines we have are safe and sterile when needed and if we need a surgery, that the tools and equipment needed is all safe, clean and germ free.

Throughout history, they didn’t give much thought to keeping things clean and sterile, but luckily today we know that it is used to promote health and to eliminate the risk of contamination. What does being sterile mean though? Well, sterility is defined as the complete absence of any viable microorganism whether on a surgical tool, on equipment or in medicines themselves.

There are a few different ways that sterility is achieved in the medical and pharmaceutical fields. The first is using steam. This technique was actually invented back in the 1880’s by a man called Charles Chamberland. He came up with the autoclave, a steam sterilizer that used water to create steam to clean surgical tools and kill bacteria between patients. Today we still use this technique to clean glassware and surgical instruments.

What about things that can’t withstand high temperatures? In the case of sensitive electronic components, plastics and cardboard that need to be sterilized, the technique is EtO or EO, and it uses Ethylene Oxide gas as the sanitizing agent.

Another way to sanitize things is by the use of dry heat. This is used for things like needles and metal instruments that can get very hot with no worry that they will disintegrate.

But what about medicines themselves? They can’t be steamed, but they can go through the process known as aseptic processing. This takes a sterile medicine and packages it in a sterile container using flash heating. It is a task that also requires the use of clean rooms, bacteria retaining filters and dry heat. By using this technique however, drugs can be imported and exported anywhere in the world without the need for refrigeration and will be sterile when they arrive at the patient.

Sterile medicines, equipment and tools all help to provide the best care possible to us when we are sick. We don’t have to worry about contamination as the risks for it is low if all temperatures, gases, humidity and pressure levels have been accurately monitored throughout the sterilization process to ensure validity and effectiveness. Medicine has come a long way and the results are safer and more reliable than ever before.

6 Healthy Packaged Foods That Save You Time And Money

When choosing packaged foods, it’s important to read the labels. This can be time consuming but worth it. To save time, try focusing specifically on foods low in sugar, low in salt and high in protein. Stay away from anything containing high fructose corn syrup which is an unnecessary sugar additive. Why do we even need sugar in bread? Foods with the fewest ingredients are best. If you don’t know what an ingredient is, chances are it’s not good for you.

Marketing techniques labeling foods as Lite, gluten free, healthy or wheat may not always be the healthiest choice. As an educated consumer you should know the difference. Many so called “wheat” products may not be whole grain or made from whole wheat. The first ingredient should be whole wheat flour. Wheat flour, unbleached wheat flour, multigrain, enriched, and stone-ground wheat flour are alternative ways of saying “refined white flour.”

To save you some time in the grocery store, I’ve compiled a list of packaged healthy foods that can also save you money. Here are 6 packaged foods that I recommend:

1. Canned beans. Opt for the low salt version if you can. Always rinse the beans thoroughly to wash away any unnecessary salt. Try to avoid beans with sauce or refried beans that tend to be high in sodium.

2. vegetables. Plain vegetables without sauces and added salt are a healthy and delicious addition to any meal. Steamables are a great choice when you’re in a hurry or just too tired to cook. They are quick and easy and leave you with little clean up. They can be more expensive, so stock up when they’re on sale. I’ve found them on sale for as little or close to $1 a bag.

3. Frozen berries. Not only are they delicious, but can really save you money. Especially in the winter when berries are out of season and more expensive. Try mixing them in plain Greek yogurt. Or serving them with pancakes or French toast. It makes a natural sweet sauce. Sometimes we thaw them in the microwave, making them a little warm to pour over our pancakes. Try topping them with a dollop of Greek yogurt too. It gives it a taste that’s almost like a crepe.

4. Nut butter. If the ingredient says almonds, you have a winner. It takes some time to stir, but if you store it in the refrigerator, you shouldn’t have to stir it again.

5. Low sugar cereals. Ideally cereals should have less than 6 grams of sugar. Opt for whole grain cereal such as toasted oats and muesli. Unsweetened instant oatmeal can be thrown in the microwave for a quick & healthy breakfast.

6. Canned Tuna fish. Packed in water. This is a quick and inexpensive source of protein. I pack my tuna salad with lots of vegetables like onions, celery, carrots, vinegar, pepper and olive oil mayonnaise (it tastes just like the real thing without adding as much fat and calories).

When choosing pre-packaged foods just remember, marketing can be deceptive. The fewer ingredients, the more natural the product. Look for whole wheat flour as a first ingredient when selecting whole grain foods. Try to stay away from processed foods that are high in sodium, sugar or contain high fructose corn syrup.