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Drinking tea may help fight depression

Recent research suggests that older adults who drink tea tend to live longer and are less likely to be depressed. These findings come from several separate studies, and add to the long list of health benefits that may come from drinking tea.

Tea and Depression

Researchers in China recently published a study that showed a strong connection between drinking tea regularly and lower rates of depression.

There have been some previous studies that suggested this connection exists. However,  researchers weren’t sure if the benefits come from the tea itself or from the increased social interaction that’s often involved with drinking tea. 

But even when accounting for social engagement and other health factors, this recent study found the connection between tea drinking and lower rates of depression was  “virtually universal”. So, researchers suspect that some property of tea is able to help the brain stay healthy.

The study’s authors said it appears that drinking tea is most beneficial during the early stages of health deterioration. They also found that the benefits were most significant for consistent tea drinkers (who drank tea almost every day since age 60). 

Green Tea and Life Expectancy

Another study tracked 100,000 Chinese adults and found those who drank green tea at least three times a week were less likely to suffer a heart attack or stroke

It also showed that green tea drinkers tend to live slightly longer than those who don’t drink tea regularly. This study builds on previous research that has suggested that green tea can lower your risk for heart disease and certain cancers.  

The Many Benefits of Tea

Green tea has high levels of a powerful antioxidant called EGCG. This antioxidant may benefit your health in many ways including reduced risk for cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and liver disease.

But black tea also offers its own benefits. Some include protecting your cells from damage by free radicals, reducing the risk of plaque in blood vessels, and it may be useful in obesity management by promoting the breakdown of fat.

And no matter what type you choose, there’s evidence that the health benefits of tea can include:

  • Reduction of bad cholesterol
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Improved cognitive ability
  • Improved mood

So consider pouring yourself a cup, and have a drink to your health!


What You Need to Know About COVID-19: Coronavirus Symptoms, Facts, and Tips

We’re all concerned about the COVID-19 pandemic (rightfully so!) and it’s resulting in panic and misinformation as we read daily posts online purporting new information. This is a serious public health issue, and we all have a role in bringing it under control, but it is important to discern the facts from the fictional stories circulating that was created supposedly to entertain and scare others. 

To help you know what you can do, we are going to provide you with some essential info. We’ll cover what you need to know about COVID-19, who’s most at risk, and some tips on how you can lower your chances of catching and spreading it.

The current pandemic has triggered unprecedented measures around the world aimed at slowing the spread of the virus. The outcomes in countries hit hardest by the virus show the importance of preventative measures so we rounded up the facts to provide you with a quick summary.

Essential Info

  • Visit Health Canada’s COVID-19 page for the latest updates and current recommendations.
  • The website for your local municipality may provide more details on the current situation and risk level in your area. Check it daily.

The Quick Facts

COVID-19 is a new type of coronavirus. Coronaviruses are a large category of viruses that typically cause mild illnesses similar to the common cold. 

The symptoms of COVID-19 can take up to 14 days to appear, and they include:

  • fever
  • cough
  • difficulty breathing

The virus is spread through:

  • Respiratory droplets created by coughing and sneezing
  • Close contact such as shaking hands
  • Touching something with the virus on it and then touching your nose, mouth or eyes before washing your hands.

Who’s Most at Risk?

Most people who contract the virus recover on their own without the need for treatment. However, certain people are at a higher risk of developing complications requiring hospitalization, and in severe cases, it can lead to death.

The people most at risk include:

  • Older adults (aged 65 and over)
  • People with underlying medical conditions such as diabetes, lung disease, or heart disease.
  • People with compromised immune systems

What You Can Do

The Federal Government of Canada recommends that everyone practice social distancing and proper hygiene.

Social distancing means avoiding non-essential gatherings and crowded places. It also means keeping a distance of at least 2 arms-length from others, as much as possible.

Proper hygiene means washing your hands often, especially when preparing food or after using the washroom. It also means disposing of any used tissues as soon as possible in a lined wastebasket.

If you are experiencing symptoms, it is recommended that you isolate yourself at home for 14 days. If you live with others, stay in a separate room and maintain a two-meter distance. Call your local public health authority or a health care professional, tell them your symptoms, and follow their instructions. 

How PharmacyGo Can Help

At PharmacyGo, the well-being of our patients and the communities we serve are always our main priority. We provide a number of services that can help you reduce your COVID-19 risk when seeking medical care. This includes Telemedicine services that let you connect with a doctor via video conference, free delivery on your prescription refills, essential Personal Protective Equipment such as masks, gloves, hand sanitizer and more. 

Frequently Asked Questions About COVID-19

Will wearing a mask reduce my risk of getting infected?

It is not recommended to wear a mask as a way of preventing infection. That’s because a mask can give a false sense of security, and it can actually increase the risk of spreading the virus through improper mask use and disposal.

However, health professionals may recommend that you wear a mask when seeking treatment if you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. In that case, a mask can help by stopping the spread of tiny droplets when you cough or sneeze.

Are there any health products that can reduce my risk?

According to Health Canada, there are no approved products to prevent, treat or cure COVID-19. In fact, it’s illegal for any company to make such claims, and it’s encouraged that if you come across these health products you should report them using Health Canada’s online complaint form.

Are pregnant women at a higher risk?

There is currently insufficient evidence to suggest that pregnant women are at an increased risk for COVID-19. However, pregnancy causes changes in the body that may increase the risk for some infections. So it is always recommended that pregnant women practice proper hygiene.


Health Canada COVID-19 Information

CDC Key Facts on Covid-19


Simple Ways to relieve Stress

Stress is a normal part of everyday life. Everyone experiences stress, but it’s not always a bad thing. For example, when you’re preparing for a job interview, some stress can be expected and it can sometimes motivate you to perform well.

However, stress is a problem when it becomes constant or overwhelming. It can cause changes in your body that negatively affect your immune system, sleeping habits, mental health, and more. 

This leads to symptoms like anger, sadness, anxiety, irritability, headaches, and sleeplessness. Over time, stress can contribute to serious health conditions such as high blood pressure and heart disease. Some people even experience stress rashes and hives.

Thankfully, there are a lot of techniques for helping you deal with stress. They range from simple mental exercises to guidelines for managing your daily schedule. The wide range of methods available means that you should be able to find options that will work for you in different situations. 

 Here are some effective coping techniques for overcoming stress:

Take a Breather

Controlling your breathing is one of the easiest ways you can calm your body and feel more relaxed. It’s also a technique you can do wherever you may be—whether it’s the office, in traffic, at home or outdoors. There are several different breathing methods you can try, but a simple one to start is to just focus on taking slow, deep breaths. Breathe in through your nose while slowly counting to three, hold it for one second, and then slowly exhale while counting to three again. Go ahead and try it right now while you read this. 

Meditate On It

Meditation involves focusing your attention and blocking out all your nagging thoughts. Besides relieving stress, meditation has been shown to help alleviate symptoms of a range of conditions, from chronic pain to asthma.

There are many different types of meditation, but the one that most people are familiar with is mantra meditation. This method involves closing your eyes, choosing a calming word or phrase, and then repeating it in your mind. The mantra gives you something to focus your attention on while avoiding distracting thoughts. Among meditation’s many benefits, it can retrain your mind to be better focused and block out unwanted and anxious thoughts.

Hug a Loved One

This tip may sound silly or simple, but you may not realize just how beneficial hugging can be. Research shows that a simple caring touch from a loved one can make a real impact on your health. That’s because it releases oxytocin, which causes relaxation, lowers blood pressure, and results in a decrease in stress hormone levels such as cortisol.

Shorten Your To-Do List

Setting goals and priorities is a good thing. It can help you stay on top of your responsibilities and can give you a sense of accomplishment. But your to-do list can also be a major contributor to your stress when it becomes unmanageable. So whittle down that list of tasks so it’s more realistic.

To help guide you, start keeping track of how often you are able to complete everything on your daily agenda. Then start making adjustments until it becomes the norm.

Talk it Out

When you’re dealing with stress on your own, every little problem can seem worse than it actually is. In this way, your distorted perception of problems can contribute to your stress. 

But speaking to someone you trust, like your family or friends can help you get some perspective. By helping you see things from another point of view, you may realize that an issue that was stressing you out was not as bad as you thought. Talking with others can also give you more confidence to deal with situations by receiving helpful feedback.

Get Help From an Expert

Mental health professionals like counsellors and therapists are experts at stress management. Besides knowing the different techniques, they understand how to help you use them properly and find the best solutions for you.

Getting expert help may be easier than you think, especially if you use a virtual health service. This lets you get assistance via texts or video chat from any smartphone, so you can find help with stress management wherever and whenever you need it.

Don’t Ignore It

Remember, stress is normal, but being overwhelmed by it isn’t. You shouldn’t learn to live with chronic stress as part of your daily routine. It can seriously impact your mental state and overall health. But with some simple techniques and a little help, you can overcome it.