If you’re 57 or older, it’s a pretty good bet you take at least one prescription medication. If you take more than one, it’s really important to understand how the drugs may interact with one another in your system – particularly, if different doctors have prescribed them.
Knowing how drugs may interact with each other isn’t enough, though. Medications may affect existing health conditions, such as high blood pressure, or interact with foods you eat in unexpected ways.1 Here are some food-and-medication combinations it may be best to avoid:
• ACE inhibitors and bananas. ACE inhibitors relax blood vessels to improve blood flow. If you eat bananas or other potassium-rich foods, the amount of potassium in your blood may increase and that may cause irregular heartbeats or palpitations.2
• Antidepressants and foods. MAOI antidepressants should not be taken with large amounts of food or drink that contain tyramine. That includes many alcoholic drinks as well as aged and fermented foods, such as cheese, yogurt, and tofu.3
• Antibiotics and milk. Dairy tends to bind with certain medicines. The end result doesn’t cause direct harm, but it could result in less of the drug being absorbed into your system. If that happens, the medicine may be less effective.2
• Cholesterol-lowering drugs and grapefruit. When you’re taking statins, eating grapefruit can increase the intensity of muscle aches, which are a side effect of these drugs. If you have a taste for citrus, opt for oranges or lemons. They don’t have the same effect as grapefruit.2
• Blood thinners and leafy greens. Certain clot-preventing drugs block production of Vitamin K. Since certain leafy greens are rich in Vitamin K and may limit anti-clotting drugs’ effectiveness, they should be eaten in limited quantities.2
• Acetaminophen and alcohol. If you take acetaminophen for aches and pains, limit your alcohol intake. The drug may cause liver damage, and the effects could be far worse if you consume three or more drinks a day.2
• Digoxin and fiber. Digoxin strengthens heart muscle contractions and slows heart rates. Dietary fiber, such as wheat bran, can make it difficult for the body to absorb the drug, causing it to be less effective.4
When a doctor prescribes a medication, make sure he or she is aware of other drugs you take on a regular basis. If you have questions about the way in which new medications may interact with food, other drugs, or medical conditions, talk with your physician.
Reeling in Flavor
What is America’s favorite pastime? Baseball? Video games? Reality television? Fishing has got to be somewhere on the list. Whether you prefer fly fishing or bait fishing, here’s a simple recipe that can add some zing to a freshly caught dinner.
Tomato Salsa with Fruit5
1 small red onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons lime juice
1½ cups tomatoes, ¼-inch dice
1 habanero chili, seeded, stemmed, and minced
? cup chopped cilantro
¾ cup chopped ripe mango, peach, nectarine, and/or pear, ¼-inch dice
Salt to taste
1. Soak the chopped onion in lime juice for 20 minutes.
2. Combine the tomatoes, chili, cilantro, and fruit.
3. When the onion is ready, stir it in the tomato mixture along with salt.
4. Add more lime juice, if necessary, and serve with grilled fish (or duck or chicken).
What Do You Know About Popular Tourist Attractions?
In recent years, four of the world’s most popular attractions were Disney theme parks. That’s right. According to Travel+Leisure, France’s Disneyland Park receives almost as many visitors as Sacré Coeur, and more than the Louvre, but the most popular attraction in France is Notre Dame Cathedral. See what you know about popular tourist attractions by taking this quiz.6
1. In Istanbul, which attraction receives the most visitors?
a. Blue Mosque
b. Basilica Cistern
d. Grand Bazaar
2. In New York City, which attraction receives the most visitors?
a. Times Square
b. Metropolitan Museum of Art
c. Empire State Building
d. Statue of Liberty
3. In Mexico City, which attraction receives the most visitors?
a. Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe
b. The Zócalo
c. Palace of Fine Arts
d. Alameda Park
4. In Italy, which attraction receives the most visitors?
a. St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City
b. The Colosseum
c. Leaning Tower of Pisa
d. Lake Como
Automobiles that drive themselves are no longer a science fiction fantasy. Google cars have been driving themselves around California for a while now. According to The Guardian, they’ve logged about two million miles,7 so far, and they’re about to debut in Texas.8 What’s so great about a vehicle that drives itself? Experts say these cars may:
• Eliminate human error. More than 90 percent of accidents each year are caused by driver error.9, Pg 5 Self-driving cars have been in just 14 accidents in California. All were caused by errors made by driver-operated vehicles.7
• Reduce insurance costs.KPMG took a look at the way autonomous autos would affect insurance companies. They estimate “…an 80 percent potential reduction in accident frequency per vehicle by 2040.”9, Pg 5 They suggested, within 25 years, the personal auto insurance industry would be less than 40 percent its current size.9, Intro
• Improve productivity. Not only can the cars travel 24/7, the people who ride in them also are free to work while they commute. Traffic jams could become productive work time.7
Of course, the transition to robotic cars may take time. As a 2011 commercial for an iconic American muscle car said, “Hands-free driving. Cars that park themselves. An unmanned car driven by a search engine company. We’ve seen that movie. It ends with robots harvesting our bodies for energy.”10
1. D – Grand Bazaar
2. A – Times Square
3. B – The Zócalo
4. A – St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City