Health & Wellness News

Mindfulness Matters: Tips for Healthy Living

Keep Score
An extra scoop of mashed potatoes at lunch. Two glasses of wine with dinner instead of the usual one. A few cookies before bed. These are such small indulgences, aren’t they? They may seem harmless, but those extra calories count—and add up. In fact, if you consistently take in 100 more calories than you burn off each day, you’ll end up 10 pounds heavier by the end of the year!

Keep Moving
Want to look and feel younger than your age? Studies have shown that people who stay active with aerobic activities into their 40s, 50s and beyond, shave off an average of 10 years from their biological clock. So, staying fit means that even though time marches on, it doesn’t necessarily have to do it across your face and figure.

Play Fair
According to a new study released by UCLA, practicing fairness with others lights up the same regions of the brain as happens when we eat chocolate or win a prize. So, offer to drive or split the bill next time you plan an outing with friends. And, try letting the stranger standing behind you at the supermarket checkout holding a single item go ahead of you in line.

Blueberries Can Help Keep You in the Pink

Blueberries Can Help Keep You in the Pink
Recent studies reveal that blueberries provide protection from oxidative stress that can lead to a variety of health complications, such as Alzheimer’s, heart disease, atheriosclerosis, and some forms of cancer. Blueberries, as well as other colorful fruits and vegetables, owe their color and antioxidant punch to a group of flavonoids called polyphenols, which prevent oxidation of LDL cholesterol (the ‘bad’ kind). In fact, according to a recent study published in the British Journal of Nutrition, blueberries effectively lower total cholesterol levels. Just ½ cup of blueberries a day is a delicious way to get these nutritious compounds into your diet!


Lack of Sleep May Increase Breast Cancer Risk

According to a new study published in the June 6, 2008 issue of the medical journal, Carcinogenesis, researchers have found that a lack of sleep may increase the risk for breast cancer.

The study is based on a combined analysis of the Singapore Chinese Health Study by researchers at the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine, the University of Minnesota and the National University of Singapore, who analyzed the post-study history of more than 30,000 women over an 11-year period.

The new study confirms the previously established link between a higher risk for breast cancer and low levels of the sleep-inducing hormone, melatonin. The researchers also found that women who regularly enjoyed nine or more hours of sleep had an average of 42% more melatonin to utilize compared to those who sleep only six or less hours.

 

You Say Tomato, We Say Lower Cholesterol

You Say Tomato, We Say Lower Cholesterol
According to a new study published in the British Journal of Nutrition, eating fresh tomatoes or tomato products (i.e., tomato juice and ketchup) every day for three weeks may lower your total cholesterol level by 6% and your LDL cholesterol (the ‘bad’ kind) by as much as 13%. What makes this possible? The same thing that lends the fruit/veggie its bright color—lycophene. Coupled with this potent antioxidant, tomatoes also provide health-giving benefits from beta carotene and vitamins C and E.


Got Sunburn? Eat More Red Fruits

If you’re tired of coming home from the beach looking like a tomato, you may be able to reduce your vulnerability to getting sunburn by eating more red-skinned fruit.

According to a new study, British researchers have found the anti-sunburn solution in the same carotenoid that lends tomatoes, red grapefruit and watermelon their color—lycopene. When study subjects were fortified with lycopene via a dose of tomato paste, they experienced 33% more protection from sunburn after being exposed to UV light versus the control group. In effect, the tomato treatment provided additional SPF protection from the inside out. Note, however, that this benefit is not a license to forego the sunscreen, which is necessary to deflect the sun’s harmful UV rays.

Grape Compound Sheds Pounds

Attendees of the Endocrine Society's 90th Annual Meeting held in San Francisco (June 15-18, 2008) were presented with an important finding that may help people who are struggling with their weight—resveratrol, a compound that naturally occurs in red grapes, fights obesity.

How does resveratrol work? First, it goes to work directly on fat cells. It does this by inhibiting agents called preadipocytes, chemicals which are responsible for helping cells develop into fat cells. Secondly, resveratrol helps to prevent fat from being stored in the body. We’d call this a real one-two punch! But, there’s more…

Resveratrol also inhibits interleukin 6 and interleukin 8, proteins that promote inflammation that have been linked to complications of obesity, such as diabetes. Resveratrol has also been shown to increase levels of adiponectin, a protein that helps to prevent heart attacks. Studies have also shown that resveratrol may offer protection from breast cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.


Return to Articles