Portuguese hotels distinguished by the luxury publication Condé Nast

Every year Condé Nast reveals the hotels and luxury spas with their seal of approval, which guarantees an exceptional experience, according to them.

Hotels around the world receive this distinction every year and that makes them part of an exclusive group of hotels, spas and resorts with the finest qualities that every luxury traveller seeks.

Condé Nast describes these annual recommendations as: “Whether you’re searching for a luxury hotel, spa, country house, boutique retreat, celebratory venue or somewhere by the beach, we provide inspiration and assistance in finding the perfect place for every occasion.

In Portugal 14 hotels were distinguished with this seal in 2016. From the south to the north of continental Portugal and in the Azores Island, the publication highlights the best hotels and resorts that will please the most exquisite travellers.

According to the publication: “Portugal boasts a beautiful coastline fringed with sunny beaches and rolling sand dunes as well as an exciting hilly interior, ideal for exploring by bike, foot or kayak. (…) Portugal also offers some fascinating historic cities, its capital Lisbon with its medieval buildings and grand views, and the UNESCO World Heritage site of Porto, home to port wine. The most talked about area of Portugal is the Algarve with its idyllic coves, rocky outcrops and glittering waters.

Click here to see the full hotel list and the description of each luxury hotel in Portugal selected by Condé Nast.

Vitamins and its benefits for your health

Our bodies need a certain amount of vitamins in order to be healthy. Maintain a healthy diet is important for weight-loss goals but is also important to ensure the body is consuming the necessary amount of vitamins.

When following a healthy and balanced diet, it is possible to get most of the vitamins the body needs with daily food intakes.

These are some of the vitamins our bodies need in order to be healthy:

  • Vitamin A – promotes the functioning of the immune system and maintains good eyesight. Vitamin A can be found in the following foods: cod-liver oil, sweet potatoes, carrots and leafy vegetables.
  • Vitamin B complex – there are 8 vitamins in this complex and their benefits are to transform carbohydrates, fats and protein into energy that lasts throughout the day. Vitamin B complex vitamins can be consume through foods like meat and fish.
  • Vitamin C – known for its immunity properties, this vitamin is also a good antioxidant and infection prevention. Vitamin C in high doses is known for slow the growth and spread of some forms of cancer like prostate, pancreatic and liver. The foods that contain vitamin C are mainly citrus fruits, tomatoes and broccoli.
  • Vitamin D – Also known as the “Sun vitamin”, this is the most hard to get vitamin in the winter months because one way to get is through sun exposure. The lack of vitamin D is associated with weak bone health.  Fortified milk, cheese and cereals are good sources of vitamin D when the sun exposure isn’t enough. Getting vitamin D in the winter in Portugal isn’t likely to be a problem, since there’s an average of 330 sunny days per year.  Click here to read more about Portugal in the winter.
  • Vitamin E – acts as an antioxidant in the body and it is especially beneficial for both hair and skin as it protects cells from the damage of free radicals. This vitamin is present in foods like leafy green vegetables, almonds and vegetable oils.
  • Vitamin K – one of its roles is to prevent blood clotting and to promote bone health. As people get older the intake of this vitamin is important for osteoporosis prevention. Food sources of this vitamin are leafy green vegetables, olive and broccoli.

The intake of these suggested foods is good for maintaining vitamin levels up and keep the body ready to defend itself from external threats. We should always favor the natural intake of these vitamins from food instead of the artificial chemical ones.

Read more about vitamins and its benefits here.

Portugal in the top 10 best countries to retire abroad

Once again, Portugal is in the news as one of the best places to retire abroad.

During the first days of 2016 were revealed two important rankings regarding the best places to retire abroad: one from Live and Invest Overseas and another from International Living. Both rankings highlight Portugal as great place to retire abroad, as they did for the past few years.

Live and Invest Overseas, considered the Portuguese region of the Algarve as the number one region in the world to retire abroad.

This distinction is awarded to the Algarve for the 3rd year in a row. The Algarve, in the south of Portugal is known for its white sand beaches, low cost of living and large expat English-speaking communities. The Algarve is considered a paradise in Europe where the sun shines all year round with mild temperatures.

International Living put Portugal in the 10th place this year. The country drops one place from last year, but still makes the top 10. Once again categories where Portugal received high scores were Infrastructures, Healthy Lifestyle (this category was added this year), Climate and Cost of Living.

Over the last few years Portugal became a popular destination for foreign retirees. Helped by tax benefits programs – the Non-Habitual Regime for European citizens and the Golden Visa for other nationalities – moving to Portugal was never so attractive to foreign citizens from around the world.

For those considering retiring in Portugal and concerned about their health, Medical Port developed the For Health Card. This card offers discounts in consultations and medical procedures even those that aren’t normally covered by health insurance. For Health cardholders that also have health insurance can benefit from using both when recurring to health services.

Hernia incidence is linked to genetics

Recent research found that there are four genes that are common to those who suffered from hernia in their lifetime.

A study conducted by University of California San Francisco and Kaiser Permanente found that there are genetic modifications in patients who suffer from inguinal hernia. A hernia is a very common condition and hernia repair is one of the most performed surgeries in the world. Although it can appear in every age, as people get older there´s a greater risk. Also men are more likely to develop inguinal hernia, as 27% of men can have inguinal hernia through their lifetime as opposed to 6% of women.

Data was collected from more than 73000 people, from those over 5000 already had hernias. One of the researchers, Eric Jorgenson, PhD, comment on the importance of the study results: “Surgical repair of inguinal hernias is one of the most commonly performed operations in the world, yet little is known about the genetic mechanisms that predispose individuals to develop them. (…) These findings provide insight into the origins of hernia development and highlight genetic pathways for studies of its treatment.

Researchers now expect the disease to be further investigated so that in the future there can be more knowledge about how hernias appear. It is expected that with further research it becomes possible to prevent the occurrence of inguinal hernias.

Read more about the study here.

If you would like to learn more about hernia diagnosis and repair, read our Hernia page on Medical Port’s website and contact us if you need any further information.

AFAR magazine names Portugal the most popular non-U.S. destination

According to AFAR travel magazine, Portugal was the most visited non-US location in 2015 and is the 5th must go destination for 2016.

AFAR analysed the most searched terms and cities for trip planning in 2015 by their website visitors and compiled the list of the most visited places. Portugal is number 2, only followed by the American city of New Orleans.

NY Daily News magazine published AFAR’s list and here is their opinion about Portugal: “The major draw of the country is the beautiful Algarve’s beaches featuring bright blue-green waters and interesting rock formations. The hilly capital of Lisbon is known for its café culture and bars and restaurants. Bacalhau (white cod), Pasteis de Belem (custard cups) and Caldo Verde soup are mainstays in Portuguese dining and a must-eat if visiting the country.

AFAR recently released their January/February 2016 issue which contains the “The Top 10 Destinations on Our 2016 Travel List” and Portugal is number 5, and these are the reasons why: “Portugal is heating up as a cultural hub. Foodies are flocking to the capital city of Lisbon, which is radiating with exciting new culinary experiences. In addition, the city is getting a swanky new port hub to support the building river cruise traffic. Porto has quickly emerged as a top art scene and the central coast 200-mile stretch between the two cities is becoming loved by beachcombers. Locals and newcomers alike are breathing new life into Portugal’s smaller villages. With these experiences, Portugal truly has something for everyone.

All these reasons make Portugal the most popular non-U.S. destination of 2015 and probably 2016.

Read the full articles here: NY Daily News  and AFAR.

Portuguese doctor is the most influential pathologist in the world

Pathologist Manuel Sobrinho Simões

“The Pathologist” magazine asked pathologists all over the world who were the most influential and powerful pathologist professionals. In a list containing 100 medical professionals, Manuel Sobrinho Simões was considered number one.

Pathologist Manuel Sobrinho Simões
Pathologist Manuel Sobrinho Simões

Manuel Sobrinho Simões has been a pathologist for over 40 years and he is the founder and director of IPATIMUP, the leading Portuguese institute of research and diagnosis known for pathologist training and general public education on scientific subjects. His work on the diagnosis of thyroid cancer is highly regarded among his peers internationally. He has won several prizes and awards both nationally and internationally throughout his career, among them is the Commander of the Royal Norwegian Order of Merit for outstanding service in the interests of Norway. Simões is the author of several publications like peer-reviewed journal articles, chapters and books. He held leadership positions in professional organizations like the European Society of Pathology and the European School of Pathology.

The magazine enquiry was: “Who are the most influential laboratory medicine professionals?” and the answer Manuel Sobrinho Simões was the most common. Nominators said for example that Simões “(…) has contributed more than anybody else to the visibility of pathology in Europe.” and “His contributions to the clinical diagnosis of thyroid cancer have been outstanding: hospital pathologists worldwide follow his rules in their day-to-day routines.”

The pathologist said to a Portuguese newspaper that he was surprised but very happy with the distinction. He believes that his nomination is the result of the training programs he held for international young pathologists from all over the world in the past few decades.

Read more about the “100 pathologist power list of 2015here.