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The Smoothie Diet – Smoothies For Weight Loss And Incredible Health

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The Weight Loss Motivation Bible: How To Program Your Mind For Sustainable Fat Loss

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I absolutely love before and afters….

I absolutely love before and afters. Source by MODCULT

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9 Things to Cut Out in 2017 to Be Healthy

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It’s time for New Year’s resolutions, and we know many of you are planning on cutting back on the unhealthy things in your life. But that doesn’t always mean junk food or sweets — we’ve got some habits that might be holding you back from your healthy goals that you should definitely consider eliminating this year.

Here’s what we’re cutting out in 2017 to have our healthiest year yet.

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Negative self-talk: Stop being mean to yourself. Just stop. You are enough! You ARE strong! You’re capable. Start giving yourself more compliments, and make this year about no negative self-talk — ever. The more you berate and degrade yourself, the harder your year will be; you’ll also have a much harder time reaching your healthy goals.

Your scale: Look, quantifiable goals are great, but the scale can be an evil enemy, and doctors agree! If you’ve been obsessed with the scale and every decimal point on your weight, it’s time for that thing to go. In the trash. Forever. Remember that a number on a scale doesn’t reflect the hard work you’re putting in, and the numbers absolutely do not define you.

Workouts you hate: Not everyone likes running, and that’s OK. Forcing yourself into a workout that you hate definitely won’t encourage you to keep working out. There are alternatives to running — and so many other kinds of cardio exercises. If you hate bootcamp classes, try barre. Hate barre? Stop doing it! Try yoga. If something’s not working, try a new studio or new instructor. Keep going until you find something that clicks, but absolutely do not keep going to a class or attempting a workout you don’t like.

Exercising to “fix” or change a part of your body: Working out because you “hate” your body is the worst thing you can do. Exercise makes you feel good — it celebrates your body, makes you feel empowered, and sends a rush of feel-good endorphins through your body. Working out will boost your energy, improve your health, and can change your mood for the better, alongside so many other benefits. Celebrate your body, don’t try to “fix” it.

Kale (or that one food you just can’t stand): A lot of you hate kale. So stop forcing it! You don’t need kale to be healthy! Maybe it’s not kale, but it’s another healthy food you’ve been forcing yourself to eat under the pretense that it’s healthy and you “need it” to be healthy yourself. This just isn’t true, and if your diet consists of things you don’t love, you’re not going to stay on that diet for very long. For a more sustainable diet, experiment more with other healthy foods to find out what you do love. You’ll be eating healthier all the time!

Perfectionism: Striving for a goal is great; striving for perfection is unhealthy. Giving yourself unrealistic or unattainable goals is detrimental to your mental and your physical health. That desire for perfectionism can often be a defense mechanism, when you’re either consciously or subconsciously protecting yourself from the judgment of others. Focus that energy on progress, not perfection, and you’ll have a much better year.

Calorie counting: This year, stop obsessing over calories — especially if it has created a negative relationship with food. Food is fuel, and we need calories to have strong muscles, bones, and a functioning body! There are so many ways to track your food and eat healthy without calorie counting. If you need the data and numbers to stay in control of your healthy eating, try looking into counting macros — you’ll have a healthy balance of protein, fats, and carbohydrates each day.

Stress: Whether you have clinical anxiety or you’ve been stressing way too much in 2016, your compromised mental health can have a seriously negative impact on your health. Stress can cause weight gain, bloating, physical pain, skin problems, and more. Quite a setback for your healthiest year yet, right? To relax and cut out stress in 2017, get yourself a great therapist, or try a self-care practice like diffusing essential oils.

Everything that is holding you back: What is keeping you from being your best self and living your best life? Is it an unhealthy relationship, a terrible job that drains you of your energy, or a deep-seated fear? Let. It. Go. Cut the people out who don’t support you. Say goodbye to work that doesn’t make you feel good — or worse, makes you feel bad. Remove unnecessary obligations that keep you from reaching your physical, mental, and personal goals. This is YOUR time! Replace these things with activities that help you reach your goals, a job that fosters your creativity and empowers you, and relationships with people who build you up.

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Try This 2017 Healthy Self-Care Challenge

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Reduce stress and live a healthier life this year by making your New Year’s resolution about self-care. With simple, practical indulgences, you’ll find outlets to balance the stresses of your day to day and give yourself the mental strength to take on more challenges in 2017. And it’s not selfish — when you feel better and take better care of yourself, you’re able to give more to others, too. Get after bigger and better goals in the coming months by taking care of number one with some much needed TLC.

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Get at least one massage (more if you can!).
Try a restorative yoga practice.
Start using and diffusing essential oils; try lavender, eucalyptus, rose, and more.
Gratitude journal several times throughout the month to remind yourself of what you’re grateful for.
Find an awesome therapist, and commit to regular sessions.
Spend more time alone, on your own schedule, with no one telling you what to do.
Plan a vacation with your best friend — even if it’s a weekend staycation!
Try acupuncture, reiki, or another natural healing practice.
Spend at least one day a month this year doing an outdoor activity, like forest bathing or grounding.
Find a healthy smoothie or salad recipe that you absolutely love, and make it at least once a month.
Get at least eight hours of sleep a night, especially on weeknights.
Commit to going on a walk daily, even if it’s only five minutes of fresh air outside to clear your head.

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Have Scientists Discovered a Possible Way to Stop Zika Virus in Its Tracks?

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FRIDAY, June 17, 2016 (HealthDay News) — Scientists say they’ve identified a potential way to prevent Zika and similar viruses from spreading in the body.

They pinpointed a gene pathway that is vital for Zika and related viruses to spread infection between cells. The researchers found that shutting down a single gene in this pathway prevents these viruses from leaving an infected cell.

“We wanted to find out if we could identify genes present in the host cells that are absolutely required by the virus for infection,” said study senior author Dr. Michael Diamond, the Herbert S. Gasser Professor of Medicine at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

The discovery suggests a potential target for new drugs to fight Zika and other flaviviruses such as dengue and West Nile, according to the researchers.

“Out of about 19,000 genes that we looked at, we only found nine key genes that the virus relies on for infection or to spread,” Diamond said in a university news release.

“All of [the nine] are associated with an important part of the cell that processes viral particles, which is essential to spreading the infection,” he said.

Of those nine genes, disabling one called SPCS1 reduced viral infection but appeared to have no harmful effects on human cells, he added.

“Flaviviruses appear to be uniquely dependent on this particular gene to release the viral particle,” Diamond said.

“In these viruses, this gene sets off a domino effect that is required to assemble and release the viral particle,” he said. “Without it, the chain reaction doesn’t happen and the virus can’t spread. So we are interested in this gene as a potential drug target because it disrupts the virus and does not disrupt the host.”

The research was supported by the U.S. National Institutes of Health and the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

The study was published June 17 in the journal Nature.

More information

Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for more on the Zika virus.

This Q&A will tell you what you need to know about Zika.

To see the CDC list of sites where Zika virus is active and may pose a threat to pregnant women, click here.


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9 Health Editors Share How They Practice Self Care

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Between long hours at work, weekend chores, dinner plans with friends, and time for your family, your calendar is overflowing. But can you remember the last time you took an hour, maybe even two, for yourself? If you had to think longer than a few seconds, you may want to consider taking a step back and reevaluating your schedule. Prioritizing everyone else in your life may seem honorable, but the reality is, totally neglecting yourself isn’t good for anyone. In order to take care of others, you first need to take care of yourself. (It's kind of like the safety messages on airplanes: "In the event of an emergency, please put on your oxygen mask before assisting others.”) So whether you’re facing a rough patch or simply going through the day-to-day grind, self-care should always be on your agenda. Need some inspiration on how to spend your me-time? Here are some self-care practices the editors at Health swear by.

RELATED: 5 Powerful Mantras to Help You Quiet Anxiety, Beat Self-Doubt, Manage Stress, and More

Sweat it out

"It’s the answer you always hear, but making time every day to exercise is my form of self-care. I’m a firm believer in that saying, ‘You’re only one workout away from a good mood.’ In particular, boxing is a huge physical and mental release for me, and barre classes take me back to my ballet days, which feels especially therapeutic. My other self-care move is curling up in my giant fuzzy blanket and watching Sex and the City reruns. It’s mindless and relaxing and just feels great sometimes." —Jacqueline Andriakos, associate editor

Tune in to YouTube

"When I’m feeling down, I typically turn to my favorite form of escapism: YouTube videos. Having a moment when I can just veg out, slap on a calming sheet mask, and watch a video by one of my favorite YouTubers (looking at you, Estée Lalonde and SoothingSista), allows me to momentarily get out of my own head. It might sound silly, but just like reading a good book, watching a good YouTube video takes me out of my own world and into someone else’s, even if just for 10 minutes. It’s enough time for me to put my thoughts and feelings into perspective and luckily, if I need more than 10 minutes of down time, there’s a whole YouTube world out there waiting for me to enjoy."—Julia Naftulin, editorial assistant

RELATED: 8 Relaxing Gift Ideas for a Friend Who's Stressed to the Max

Create a relaxing routine

"I’ve recently started a new nighttime self-care routine that I think has been helping me de-stress and fall asleep a little more easily. Step 1: Turn off the TV around 10 p.m. and force myself to stop refreshing my Facebook feed. Step 2: Make a cup of chamomile tea. Step 3: Turn off all lights in my bedroom, light a few candles, and set up my yoga mat. Step 4: Do the “Bedtime Yoga” sequence from Yoga by Adriene. It’s a 36-minute gentle yoga routine that includes moves to help you unwind and relax muscles, plus a short meditation to set your intentions for the following day." —Kathleen Mulpeeter, senior editor

Grab some knitting needles

"Lately I’ve been doing a lot of knitting. At first it was for practical reasons (I’m making my husband a scarf for Christmas), but I’ve found it has emotional benefits too. The repetitive motion is super soothing, almost meditative—it’s a great before-bed wind-down activity. I’m just bad enough a knitter that I have to concentrate a little on what I’m doing—I can’t knit on autopilot—so it’s very absorbing. I can be sitting on the couch or at the sidelines during my kids’ sports activities and find that 30 minutes has gone by without my even noticing. There’s the satisfaction of having something real and tactile to show for my time. Best of all, it keeps both hands busy so I stay off my phone!" —Jeannie Kim, executive deputy editor

"A few years ago I was going through a rough period in my life and I decided to take up knitting at night when I was having a hard time sleeping. My aunt had taught me the basic stitch when I was a teenager, so I went to my local Michael’s store and bought a bright chunky ball of yarn and got started. Since then, I’ve knit scarves for everyone I love, and this winter I’m planning on paying it forward with a knitting circle making scarves for homeless people in NYC." —MaryAnn Barone, social media editor

RELATED: A Meditation for Dealing With Conflict

Escape with Friends

"There is nothing better than coming home after a long day, lighting some great smelling candles, having a cup of tea and reading a good book in my bed. If I’m not in the mood to focus on a book, I’ll instead put on Friends or some other happy, funny TV show in the background and play games on my iPad. I could do that for days." —Chelsey Hamilton, editorial assistant

Pound the pavement

"If I can, I head out for a run. Especially in the cold weather, a run is very meditative for me—hearing each foot strike and a steady breath can be extremely grounding. And as someone who can’t sit still, classic meditation/breathing exercises do almost nothing for me to relax. Running is also a huge confidence boost—I feel powerful and in control of my body and mind. In training for races, I’ve forgotten how much a run can absolutely turn around my perspective. When you’re going out for a predetermined amount of miles, at a certain pace, on already tired legs, it can feel like such a chore. But last week, when I was feeling stressed and antsy, I decided to head out the door and run for however long I felt like. I came back feeling relaxed and re-centered." —Alison Mango, editorial producer

Pick up a good read

"I know it sounds cliché, but getting lost in a book is my favorite form of self-care. With a two-year-old at home, I don’t have that much time to read. But I sneak in 10 minutes here and there—on the bus, while my son naps, before bed. Right now I’m halfway through Amy Schumer’s The Girl With the Lower Back Tattoo, and it is exactly the escape I need." —Catherine Di Benedetto, features director

RELATED: 7 Health Truths We Wish We Knew In Our 20s

Laugh at what you know

"For me, self-care is curling up on the couch and watching a TV show that makes me laugh. When I’m feeling stressed, my go-tos are reruns of Seinfeld, Parks & Recreation, 30 Rock, and The Office—I’ve seen all the episodes more times than I can count, but that’s the beauty of it. Watching them helps shut off the negative part of my brain for a while." —Christine Mattheis, deputy editor

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Is Virtual Part Of the Hospital Of The Future?

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Hospitals in the future will certainly include telemedicine, where telecommunications technology can help diagnose and treat patients remotely in the comfort of their own homes, according to a panel of medical experts on Wednesday at Fortune’s Brainstorm Health conference in San Diego. 

Dr. Randall Moore, president of Mercy Virtual, explained that his hospital is a $54 million hospital with no hospital beds. The aim is to streamline hospital care so that a patient is admitted only when it is absolutely necessary, reducing costs as well as stress on the patient, who could be treated from the comfort of their home.

He recalled the care of one patient, an 87-year-old woman who had been hospitalized 13 times in just a few years due to cancer and other health issues. In nine months, with Mercy’s virtual care, the patient was hospitalized only once.

“The reduction in cost was dramatic and she had a better quality of life,” Moore said. He explained that the beauty of how Mercy is handling telemedicine is to make virtual care one part of a holistic care plan, as opposed to relying solely on virtual care.

Dr. Ido Schoenberg, chairman and CEO of American Well, a company that provides telemedicine technology to health care companies, said that it doesn’t make sense to provide virtual care without in-person physical care. “It’s how to make care teams fully centric,” he explained.

Telemedicine, which is expected to be worth more than $34 billion globally by the end of 2020, is still very much in its early days, he added. “Right now 2% of health care is done online. In the future, it will be 20% to 30% of care,” Dr. Schoenberg added.

This article originally appeared on Fortune.com.

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12 Horrifying True Stories of Doctors Behaving Badly

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A lot of the time, doctors say and do just the right thing and we leave happy. This story is about the other times—the ones when a highly-trained MD blurts out something so rude, cruel, clueless, or shocking you want to send them back to Bedside Manner 101. My personal favorite WTF moment was when I went to a very young gynecologist complaining of a urinary tract infection and she said, "I'd expect this more from my patients in their 20s who are still having lots of sex."

Okay, Dr. Gross-Stereotyper! Who doesn't, incidentally, know much about UTIs! 

Then there was the moment, mid C-section with son #2, when I overheard my OB instruct his student, "You have to be very careful not to nick the bladder or bowel." Yes, please! Good thing I had an epidural in me or I would have leapt right off the table.

Awkward as they were, though, my exchanges were nothing compared with these tales of physicians with absolutely no filter:

RELATED: 8 Health Mistakes Nurses Warn Their Friends About

Jo, 48, Brooklyn, NY

"When I told my Ob/Gyn (who I had been going to for years) that was I thinking of becoming a single mother he said, 'You will never date again, no man would want you.' And he said that I should take the money I had saved and 'buy a condo in South Carolina.' I didn’t stay long enough in his office to ask, 'Why South Carolina!?'"

Marian, 26, San Diego, CA

"When he was working on a filling, my (former) dentist said, 'Oops.' I think there are certain people who must remove words like 'Oops' from their vocabularies: surgeons, OB/GYNs, bridge engineers. Dentists, who literally work inside your face, fall into that category."

Elisa, 49, Mamaroneck, NY

"August, 2000, I was newly pregnant after many, many months of trying. I started bleeding. The ob/gyn on call, who was not one of my regular doctors, said to me, 'Well, if you're going to lose it, you're going to lose it.' I was hysterical. An hour later, my gastroenterologist (I have ulcerative colitis) returned my call. He calmed me down, and sure enough the baby was fine."

Laura, 31, Astoria, NY

"When my primary care doctor was unavailable, I went to another doctor in her practice. I thought I was having a heart problem (thankfully, it turned out to be a pulled sternum and exercise-induced asthma). Instead of reassuring me that my scary symptoms weren't too serious, the doctor spent an hour telling me about how she could have been an Olympic-level runner, but then became a doctor, and that she went to Harvard. I stopped listening. The brags were the opposite of good bedside manner … more like good BRAGside manner."

RELATED: The Most Annoying Things People Do at the Gym and on the Trail (According to Us)

Nicole, 23, New York, NY

"When I was getting my first ever gyno exam at age 21, I winced at the pain of her inserting the speculum, and she scoffed and said, 'Oh stop, it’s no bigger than your boyfriend.'"

Jay, 45, Carrollton, VA

"A doctor told that my heart beats too fast. He said everyone's heart has a finite number of beats and that I was fine but I was going to use my beats up faster than most other people. I believe that was the day my anxiety needed to be medicated."

Lindsey, 23, Philadelphia, PA

"When I was about 13, I had a strange rash on my arm. My mom took me to the (male) pediatrician and he was unsure what it was. He asked if I was on my period, which I was and he replied, 'Oh, well I guess it could be Toxic Shock Syndrome, but what do I know? I’m not a girl!' I couldn't believe he could be so sexist and also trivialize a serious health problem.”

Melissa, 45, San Francisco, CA

"Mid root canal, I heard the oral surgeon curse loudly enough for me to take my earbuds out, just in time to hear her say, 'I can't believe I just did that! Well, we can fix it, I guess."

RELATED: 8 Things ER Docs Refuse to Have in Their Homes

Sara, 51, New York, NY

"I have deformed, arthritic hips and went to a very famous holistically-oriented doctor to see if there was anything I could do instead of surgery. He swiftly handed me a script for 90 Oxycontin with refills. 'I don't think I need a drug addiction on top of my other problems,' I told him. 'Oh you won't get addicted,' he pshawed. This was years ago, but I don't think he ever read a newspaper."

Cathy, 39, Seattle, WA

"I was undergoing fertility treatments and feeling really hormonal from the drugs. When I told my doctor, he said, 'I think you need to get out of the house more. Why don't you get a job at the mall?' As if working at Cinnabon was the answer."

Sue, 49, Lenox, MA

"After a doctor started to perform a minor surgical procedure on me in her office, she said—after SHE was not able to control my bleeding—'You're making a mess!' And she finished with 'You might need to stay and clean up your mess.' I later found that she was let go from her previous practice for poor bedside manner."

Maureen, 37, Locust Valley, NY

"My tooth cracked. The dentist asked what caused it. I said, 'Unfortunately, I enjoy 8 blow pops a day." And he said, 'Good practice, eh?' What a creep!"

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7 Things to Know Before You Donate Blood

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The summer’s no vacation for blood banks, and this one has been especially hard: Just after the fourth of July, the American Red Cross issued an emergency call for blood and platelet donations. This time of year, “blood donors are typically out of town and unable to give," explains Justin Kreuter, MD, medical director of the Mayo Clinic Blood Donor Center in Rochester, Minnesota; or they may not be eligible to donate after traveling to certain areas outside the United States. “It really hits us in the summer months,” Dr. Kreuter says. Your community needs your help now; here’s what you should know about pitching in.

Eligibility is always changing, and Zika’s a concern this year

The Red Cross maintains an alphabetical list of eligibility criteria for potential donors—from acupuncture (thumbs up) to Zika (thumbs down)—and can give you the latest information on whether or not you’re good to give. There have been no reported cases of Zika transmission via blood transfusion so far, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), but there’s a strong possibility that the virus can be transmitted that way. “What we’re doing now, per the FDA, is deferring [donors who may have been exposed to Zika] for 28 days, which is twice the known period of infectivity,” Dr. Kreuter says. Because Zika can be transmitted by sexual contact (via semen) as well, women with male partners who have visited Zika-affected areas are deferred for three additional months.

RELATED: 4 Unexpected Benefits of Donating Blood

The FDA regulates donor blood just as aggressively as it regulates drugs

“It takes a lot of money to do the infectious-disease testing that we do [on donor blood], and when we create blood products out of the donation, that’s done to the same standards as any drug manufactured in this country. The FDA holds us to those same standards, so it’s a very high level of quality and also resources that are invested,” Dr. Kreuter explains. “These tests and high standards are what’s keeping the blood supply safe, so that if my wife or one of my daughters needs a blood transfusion, I can feel assured that I can just sit at their bedside and hold their hand rather than worry about what that might result [in] for them later down the road.”  

You’ll get a mini-physical before you donate

The flip side of donor blood screening (which ensures that it’s safe for the eventual recipient) is confirming the donor’s health (which ensures that the blood draw won’t have a negative effect on them). “We check blood pressure and pulse, we do a pinprick to check red blood cells to make sure they’re safe—we don’t want to make our donors iron deficient,” Dr. Kreuter says. He makes no specific suggestions about what you eat and drink prior to donation; just be sure you have breakfast and lunch under your belt, and take it easy on caffeine. “We all live on our daily espressos and whatnot, but we see donors who show up and haven’t eaten [meals] and they’ve only been drinking coffee, and they’re quite dehydrated. When you donate you’re losing circulating fluid, so the water that you drink before and after your donation is important.”

RELATED: 15 Signs You May Have an Iron Deficiency

You’ll hardly feel a thing—seriously

The needles used to collect blood are a bit larger than those you’d encounter when, say, receiving a flu shot, but the so-called ‘small pinch’ you feel at insertion is, truly, no big deal. “What we feel [at the start of a blood draw] is just on the surface of our skin. These needles have silicone on them, they’re made to glide and be quite comfortable. After that initial stick, you’re not going to feel anything,” Dr. Kreuter says. If needles give you the shivers, look away for the quarter-second in which yours is placed; then ask a staffer to cover up the insertion site for you. Since the "tough" part is already over, you can lie back and spend the next eight to 10 minutes zoning out.

It’s okay to have a cookie after you donate

“What’s healthy is to keep a balanced diet as you go forward in the day [after your donation],” Dr. Kreuter says. “We tend to stock our canteen area with things like water and juice and then salty snacks, because salt helps you retain a little more of the [water] volume that you’ve lost through donation. The cookies are there because [they’re] something the donor culture has grown up in—maybe not the healthiest option, but certainly an expectation. Believe it or not, I have meetings about cookies. I’ve seen shirts before that say ‘I donate for the cookies.’” Bottom line: Rewarding yourself with a treat isn’t going to do any harm, provided that you indulge in moderation.

Your blood could save patients who haven’t even entered the world yet

Though many of us are reminded of the importance of blood donation when tragedies happen, much of what we give does the quiet work of saving people who’ll never show up on the news. Since the need for blood doesn’t go away, the best way to save lives is to contribute regularly. “At Mayo, about 15% to 20% of our blood is going to trauma patients and being used in our ER; a lot of our blood gets used supporting patients through life-saving cardiac or cancer surgeries. Cancer patients [also need blood]—chemotherapy knocks down their ability to make their own red blood cells and platelets—and folks who have medical conditions like autoimmune diseases also need transfusions.”

Donations flow to delivery rooms, too: “If anemia is significant enough in utero we transfuse during pregnancy and sometimes immediately after delivery,” Dr. Kreuter explains. “A lot of kids need blood in the first couple of minutes of life. Sometimes with newborn babies an emergency platelet transfusion in the first few moments of life is absolutely necessary; in their situation the newborn brain is so delicate and fragile that having these platelets immediately available is the name of the game in order to prevent bleeding into their brains, which results in long-term disabilities.”

Note that platelets have a shelf life of just five days, while whole blood can be stored for up to six weeks. The immediate need for platelets—and platelet donors—is constant.

RELATED: 6 Iron-Rich Food Combos—No Meat Required

Donating your voice is vital, too

Those "Be nice to me, I gave blood today!" stickers aren’t merely a cute (and justified) humblebrag: They’re also a benevolent form of peer pressure, not unlike the "I voted" stickers we earn and wear on election days. “Hearing about blood donation from a friend or colleague is very motivating in getting [potential first-timers] to think about taking that next step,” Dr. Kreuter says. “Our donor population [in Rochester] has an older average age, and we’re trying to reach out to the younger generation to start having the same blood donation habits.”

Think about it this way: Taking your kids to see you strengthen your community’s heartbeat at a blood center is just as important as bringing them with you to the voting booth. Donate visibly, donate vocally, and donate as often as you can.

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