MAGIC OF TOUCH
A study in the journal Alternative Therapies reports that a 15-minute massage reduces levels of adrenocorticotropic hormone (a stress chemical) by 7% and increases feel-good oxytocin by 17%. Researchers say a rubdown can reduce the risk for heart attack, stroke, and diabetes. Why? As we lower stress, immune system tends to work better, so getting a massage can protect you from illness, says study author.
New studies show that soy must be fermented and organic (not genetically modified) to bestow the health benefits illustrated in other cultures. Avoid processed foods and soy products that are not organic or fermented.
PROBIOTICS FOR FAT LOSS
In a study, participants who ate yogurt containing these healthy bacteria daily lost 3 to 4 percent of their body fat over six weeks, reports the Journal of Functional Foods. The shift in gut bacteria prompted by probiotics may favor fat burning over fat storage, says study author.
A Medium sized McDonald’s french fries has 380 calories. You’d have to do burpees for 38 minutes to burn it off.
Japanese researchers claim they’ve invented the perfect weight loss tool… diet goggles. The scientists say virtual reality headsets can hack into our taste buds to help reduce appetite. People eat less because the headsets apparently trick the brain into believing food portions are larger than the actual size.
THE GRAIN OF TRUTH
A Harvard School of Public Health study shows that, on average, foods with the “Whole Grain” stamp (regulated by a council of food companies, not the USDA) have more calories and sugar than products that contain grains but don’t have the sticker. Instead of going by the stamp, look for foods whose labels list whole grains, and not any form of sugar, as the first or second ingredient.
A study by St. Mary’s University of London found that running when it’s cold outside will yield more benefits. Researchers found the the cold conditions brings a runners heart rate down by 6%. The reason: The cold weather less blood is pumped out to the skin to dissipate the heat, say researchers. They also found running in hot weather creates a greater strain on the heart, which decreases performances. Researchers say running a 10K in cold weather can shave as much a two minutes off your time.
According to a study in the journal Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science, rosemary could reduce your risk for age-related macular degeneration, the most common reason for vision loss in the United States. Rosemary contains a compound called carnosic acid. This compound may protect retinal cells from deterioration and toxicity caused by free radicals, which are thought to be a major contributor to the eye disease.
If you like CrossFit you might want to take a break. A new study published in Frontiers in Physiology, shows that high-intensity CrossFit-style workouts might hurt your immune system. Researchers say taking classes two days in a row suppresses part of the immune system. They found that the intense workouts caused a strong metabolic response that reduced the levels of proteins in white blood cells that act to lower inflammation.
DID YOU KNOW
Men who had the highest blood levels of the antioxidant lycopene had a 55 percent decrease risk of a stroke compared to those who are lower.
OIL UP FOR WINTER
According to a British study, healthy fats in cold-water fish may keep you from catching a cold. Men who took fish oil supplements containing 1.3 grams EPA and 0.3 grams DHA daily for 6 weeks had greater immune activity after cycling than placebo group did. The reason: Fatty acids in fish may fight inflammation and activate germ-fighting natural killer cells. This is key after exercise, when you may be more susceptible, says study author.
EARLY DINNER BURNS FAT
Louisiana State University shows that eating earlier and more frequently may help your body burn fat. How early? For the health benefits researchers say you should finish eating by 2 pm. They say eating between 8 am and 2 pm boosts metabolism and can help control hunger. Researchers do not recommend the diet for children or the elderly.
Always crack an egg on a flat surface, never the edge of a bowl. Otherwise you’ll risk shell shards and possible contamination of your food.
Healthy fats (mostly Omega-3 Fatty Acids) are found in avocados, butter (organic), coconut/coconut oil, egg yolks (organic), grass fed beef, olives/olive oil, palm oil, raw nuts, and nut oils. To maximize health, increase Omega-3 Fatty Acid foods, and reduce unhealthy fats including vegetable oils, fried foods, heavily saturated fatty processed meats, and junk food.
PLANT EXTRACT LOWER LDL
According to researchers in Italy, berberine – a plant extract that can reduce your cholesterol. When people consumed 1,000 mg of berberine a day for 3 months, their LDL cholesterol and triglycerides fell by 16% and 21% respectively. For people who have tried statins and stopped because of such side effects as muscle pain, berberine might make a good option.
DID YOU KNOW
Unlike other muscles, the heart muscle contracts without stimulus from the nervous system. Signals for the heart to beat come from the sinoatrial node near the top of the right atrium.