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Is YOUR brain flagging? Expert reveals her 7 top ways to perk yourself up – including eating chocolate! Read more:

We’ve all had those late nights in the office when simple tasks start taking longer and it feels as though our brain power has deserted us.
So what exactly can we do to give our brains a boost when it feels like it’s running out of juice?
Dr Jenny Brockis, author of ‘Future Brain: The 12 Keys to Create Your High-Performance Brain’ believes it’s all about unlocking the full potential of your brain.
She claims there are a number of tricks that can boost your brain’s performance almost immediately Healthista reports.
From a quick-fix solution to give your brain a little shove for a few hours, or a long term brain training technique that strengthens the mind’s power over time, Dr Brockis reveals her seven top tips…
Diet, exercise and even playing games can give us a boost in brain power, according to Dr Jenny Brockis
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Diet, exercise and even playing games can give us a boost in brain power, according to Dr Jenny Brockis
FEED YOUR BRAIN WITH COLOUR
In her book Future Brain, Dr Brockis says that eating the right foods can increase our mental stamina, help us focus, aid memory, and even benefit our problem solving ability.
‘It’s all about the right fuel for the right vehicle,’ she explains.
In February 2016, a study led by Dr Ian Macdonald, professor of metabolic physiology at the University of Nottingham, found consumption of a cocoa drink rich in flavanols (a key ingredient of dark chocolate) boosts blood flow to key areas of the brain for two to three hours.
Dr Brockis has also linked dark chocolate with the brain’s ability to focus.
Rich, leafy greens such as kale and spinach can give your brain an extra burst of power, experts say

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Rich, leafy greens such as kale and spinach can give your brain an extra burst of power, experts say

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She believes colourful foods are the key to brain function, and highlights some of the the foods that have been shown in nutritional studies to assist focus are:
Rich leafy greens – kale, spinach, and Chinese broccoli.
Deeply pigmented red and blue berries – blueberries, cherries, plums, strawberries, and raspberries.
Dark chocolate – minimum 70 per cent cocoa solids, preferably the best you can find, because here it’s quality, not quantity, that matters.
Eggs – choline boosts focus and helps to reduce cortisol, one of our stress hormones.
Tip: If you feel too busy to stop and eat, remember that if you take the time to replenish your brain’s fuel stores it will increase efficiency and help you get your work done better and faster.

 

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TAKE A 20 MINUTE NAP BEFORE 3PM
Sleep provides us with greater physical and mental wellbeing. It allows for neuronal repair and maintenance, it also brings mood regulation.
Dr Brockis says that naps can be highly beneficial to brain function, especially if those brains have been working hard over an extended period of time.
In 2010, research conducted by the University of California Berkeley found that an hours nap can dramatically boost and restore your brain power.
Naps can be highly beneficial to brain function, especially if those brains have been working hard over an extended period of time, says Dr Brockis

Naps can be highly beneficial to brain function, especially if those brains have been working hard over an extended period of time, says Dr Brockis
Their findings suggest that a biphasic sleep schedule (the practice of sleeping multiple times within a 24 hour period), not only refreshes the mind, but can also make you smarter.
Dr Brice Faraut, of the University Paris Descartes, reports in a study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, that a 20-minute nap can increase cognitive performance by up to 40 per cent, with the benefit lasting two to three hours.
Dr Brockis advises that keeping the nap to 20 minutes avoids sleep inertia, which is that groggy feeling we experience if woken up from a deeper level of sleep.
Keep power naps to the afternoon between lunchtime, and no later than 3pm to avoid disrupting night sleep patterns.
Tip: Whenever possible keep to a regular 40-minute pre-bed routine to prepare your brain for sleep.
WHY IT’S GOOD TO BE CURIOUS

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Explore your curious side by signing up to learn a musical instrument, learning to dance, or taking painting classes.
Make curiosity a daily habit by doing cryptic crossword puzzles, learning three new words and their meanings everyday, or reading a book in a different genre from your common preference.
Keeping the brain active with puzzles or a reading can help keep memory
Keeping the brain active with puzzles or a reading can help keep memory
Researched published in 2014 in the Cell Press Journal, suggests the more curious we are about a topic, the easier it is to learn information about it.
Lead author Dr Matthias Gruber, of the University of California Davis, says that the findings ‘reveal insights into how a form of intrinsic motivation – curiosity – affects memory.’
Dr Brockis explains our pursuit of new information rewards our brain with the release of dopamine that drives us to continue in our quest to investigate.

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It can result in providing us with the means to be more focused, more insightful, and more adaptive.
So in other words, curiosity didn’t kill the cat, it made her smarter.
Tip: Set out to learn about things you’re interested in, and the key learnings from them will flow – and feel easy and effortless.
PLAY VIDEO GAMES
Playing a fast paced action-packed video game for an hour or so several nights a week is great for building attention.
Dr Daphne Bavelier, a neuroscientist professor of brain and cognitive sciences at the University of Rochester, says that video games make our brain smarter, better, faster and stronger.
In 2009, research showed how video games that involve high levels of action, such as first-person-shooter games, increase a player’s real-world vision.
According to Dr. Bavelier, a gamers ‘ability to perceive changes in shades of grey improves up to 58 per cent.’
Games boost our attentional networks and can help us to develop sharper visual acuity, which can help them pick out a stranger in a crowd and observe small details

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Games boost our attentional networks and can help us to develop sharper visual acuity, which can help them pick out a stranger in a crowd and observe small details
The average gamer is in their 30s, so these games are clearly not just for the kids.
While it is recognised that overplaying certain video games can lead to problems with addictive behaviour, for the vast majority, playing games can stimulate the brain.
Dr Brockis says gamers develop sharper visual acuity, which can help them pick out a stranger in a crowd and observe small details.
They are also better at tracking more objects simultaneously.
Games boost our attentional networks (alerting, orienting and executive), driving plasticity.
Gamers are also better at task switching with less cognitive cost compared with non-gamers.
Training on action games can help people improve their performance in different mental tasks, and this improvement persists for months after the training has finished.
MEDITATE AT WORK
Since Chade-Meng Tan, chief happiness officer at Google, introduced his Search Inside Yourself program in 2007, many other companies have introduced mindfulness programs, including Aetna,The Huffington Post, and Apple.
Companies are funding these programs for their staff and setting up meditation rooms.
They have found that offering meditation classes to employees as part of a workplace wellness program can increase productivity, reduce stress-related illness, reduce the incidence of mistakes and errors, and improve recall and memory.
Many companies have introduced mindfulness programs increase productivity, reduce stress-related illness and reduce the incidence of mistakes

Many companies have introduced mindfulness programs increase productivity, reduce stress-related illness and reduce the incidence of mistakes
In 2012, research conducted by the University of California, Los Angeles, found that long-term meditators have larger amounts of gyrification (‘folding’ of the cortex, which may allow the brain to process information faster) than people who do not meditate, and they also found that meditationstrengthens the connections between brain cells.
Dr Brockis believes that if you practice daily meditation anywhere between five to 50 minutes a day, like how you would practice a musical instrument everyday, it could result in two to three hours of efficient, high-quality work.
FIND YOUR TRIBE AND STICK WITH THEM
Humans are social creatures that excel when it comes to making connections with each other. Our brain relies on our ability to build relationships.
Typically, the people we like best are those we see as similar to ourselves, and therefore we’re more likely to connect with them.
Dr Brockis says that maintaining exceptional social skills is important because relationships are a key tool for better brain performance.
Good relationships are a key tool for better brain performance so being accepted by co-workers is vital for being able to do your job, says Dr Brockis

Good relationships are a key tool for better brain performance so being accepted by co-workers is vital for being able to do your job, says Dr Brockis
She explains that ‘at work, when we don’t feel part of a tribe, our lack of relatedness manifests in poorer performance, lower engagement and higher staff turnover.’
If you don’t feel accepted by your co-workers, then you’re more likely to leave the job.
Social exclusion, whether intentional or through apathy, causes social pain, which lowers self-esteem, confidence and mood.
So working to develop a better relationship with your colleagues will make you feel like part of the tribe, and therefore improve your brain’s performance.
Brain Awareness Week (BWA), the global campaign to increase public awareness of the pro

 

TAKE A DAILY 30 MINUTE WALK OR RUN
Dr Brockis says exercise enhances blood flow to the brain, leading to reduced brain shrinkage and increased neurogenesis (the growth and development of nervous tissue), and plasticity (brain flexibility), so your work performance is maintained.
Last month researchers at the University of Jyväskylä found that aerobic exercise, such as running, has positive effects on the brain’s function when it comes to learning.
According to Dr Brockis, a 30 minute exercise session can improve cognition, learning and memory.
Exercise enhances blood flow to the brain, leading to reduced brain shrinkage and greater plasticity
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Exercise enhances blood flow to the brain, leading to reduced brain shrinkage and greater plasticity
It also improves mood and self-esteem, reduces stress, and reduces the risk of anxiety and depression.
Exercise can also decrease the risk of cognitive impairment, and lower risk of cognitive decline, and neurodegenerative disease (a term for a range of conditions which primarily affect the neurons in the human brain).
Dr Brockis explains it’s important to choose something you think you will enjoy, for example, walking, swimming, cycling, or tennis, and do it on a regular basis.
She advises that start slow, and gradually increase the number of sessions each week and their duration.
Once you get started, you will begin to experience the natural endorphin rush that makes you feel good, and motivates you to want to do it again.
Tip: Sitting for long periods of time reduces the blood flow to the brain. Whenever you feel mentally tired, try taking a brain break by getting up to stretch and move for 10 to 15 minutes.
gress and benefits of brain research, takes place between the 14th March to 20th March.
This article originally appeared on and is re-published here with the permission of Healthista.

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‘I feared I would never have sex again’: Woman left paralysed and with a torn labia after being thrown from a truck by abusive boyfriend finds love and walks again

Megan Torio, 28, suffered horrific injuries and was lucky to survive abuse
Was told she would never walk after breaking back but astonished doctors
Her confidence with men returned after meeting now husband Ron, 38
The couple are now planning on starting a family later this year
By KATE PICKLES FOR MAILONLINE
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A woman who suffered horrific injuries including her labia being torn off when she was thrown from a speeding truck has found love again.
Megan Torio was told she would never walk again after an abusive boyfriend threw her from the vehicle travelling at 65mph.
She suffered a catalogue of life-changing injuries, including broken bones and a sliced labia, which left her unable to have sex for a year after slamming into a road sign.
But after surgery to insert metal rods into her broken back – and another to reconstruct her labia – she has revealed she finally has her sex drive back – and is hoping to start a family.
She regained her confidence and is happily married to Ron Torio, 38, with the couple now looking forward to having children together.
Megan Torio, 28, broke her back and was left in a wheelchair after an abusive boyfriend through her from a moving truck. But she has defied doctors to walk again and has rebuilt her strength at the gym

Megan Torio, 28, broke her back and was left in a wheelchair after an abusive boyfriend through her from a moving truck. But she has defied doctors to walk again and has rebuilt her strength at the gym
Mrs Torio was told she would never walk again after an abusive boyfriend threw her from the vehicle travelling at 65mph

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But she gradually rebuilt muscle in her legs and had metal rods removed from her back to do it

Mrs Torio was told she would never walk again after an abusive boyfriend threw her from the vehicle travelling at 65mph. But she gradually rebuilt muscle in her legs and had metal rods removed from her back to do it
‘I was nervous about having sex again. I was done with men,’ she said.
‘I thought no man would be interested in me. But I now have my sex drive back.
‘I will live in chronic pain and I miss running and dancing in high heels, but I’m very happy to be alive. I could have died that day.
‘I continue to get stronger and better every day.’
Following the accident in 2010, the determined 28-year-old, from Jacksonville, Florida, underwent months of painstaking physiotherapy and defied doctors to relearn how to walk.

Speaking about the abuse, she said it left her both physically and mentally scarred for years to come.
‘I was awake and remember the whole thing. I couldn’t breathe as my ribs were broken,’ she said.
‘I blacked out at the hospital due to the pain.
‘They took skin from my back to make me a new labia, and you would never know in a million years I’d had surgery there. I had 15 stitches put in and was swollen for a fortnight.
‘I was told I would never walk again. I was devastated. I’d been so independent so this was a big deal.
‘I’d lost the use of my bowels and bladder and was given a catheter. I felt hopeless.’
Many of the injuries were sustained as she struck a road sign, which caught her between her legs.
X-rays revealed she had also broken her spinal cord, shoulder, collar bone and six ribs.
Her broken spine was among a raft of horrifying injuries iincluding broken bones and a sliced labia, which left her unable to have sex for a year

An X-ray of the broken bones in her back

Dark chocolate
Her broken spine was among a raft of horrifying injuries iincluding broken bones and a sliced labia, which left her unable to have sex for a year
Brave Mrs Torio defied medics and managed to walk again, including standing for wedding photos with husband Ron, 38, seen here

Brave Mrs Torio defied medics and managed to walk again, including standing for wedding photos with husband Ron, 38, seen here
Mrs Torio remained in Halifax Hospital for a month before she was transferred to Brooke’s Rehabilitation Hospital – also in Florida – for extensive physiotherapy.
Although there was no guarantee she would ever walk again, she decided to buy a walker to help her rehabilitation.
She was determined to get back on her feet, especially as she’d previously worked so hard to reach her physical peak.
They took skin from my back to make me a new labia, and you would never know in a million years I’d had surgery there
Megan Torio, 28
Mrs Torio had turned to food after having a difficult childhood and reached 15 stone by the age of 19.
Determined to change, she joined the gym and attended cardio, spin and weight classes twice a day.
In just a year, she slimmed to eight stone and even appeared on the cover of a fitness magazine.
She had planned to pursue a career as a fitness model – but her dream was crushed after the incident.
Despite the odds being stacked against her, she decided to return to the gym in her wheelchair to work on her mobility.
‘I wanted to work on my legs. They were my favourite part of my body – long and lean,’ she said.
‘I put myself on the weight press. I knew I wouldn’t be able push it but I wanted to pretend to. I wanted that ‘pushing’ feeling.’
But afterwards she was left in excruciating pain and felt as though electricity was running through her leg.
Despite being left paralysed, Mrs Torio started going to the gym and rebuilding muscle in her legs. After suffering excruciating pain, she realised the sensation had returned and was determined to walk again

Despite being left paralysed, Mrs Torio started going to the gym and rebuilding muscle in her legs. After suffering excruciating pain, she realised the sensation had returned and was determined to walk again
The pain was caused by nerves in her quad muscle growing back. Despite the agonising pain, she continued with her work-out regime
The pain was caused by nerves in her quad muscle growing back. Despite the agonising pain, she continued with her work-out regime
She was taken back to hospital, where doctors told her that her left quad muscle was twitching.
‘It was only moving about an inch, but it seemed like a miracle,’ she recalled.
‘My surgeon asked, ‘What did you do?’ After I told him about the gym, he said the twitch was all we needed to give us hope I’d have more mobility in my wheelchair.
The pain was caused by nerves in her quad muscle growing back. Despite the agonising pain, she continued with her work-out regime.
Eventually, she was strong enough to ask her neurosurgeon to remove the rods in her back.
Following surgery, she attempted to stand for the first time.
‘One day I picked up my walker I’d bought during physio and thought, ‘What the heck, what do I have to lose?” she said.
‘I put my body weight on my left side. I had sweat running down my forehead from the pain.
‘I stood up for a few seconds before sitting down. It felt weird and I was light-headed, but it was contagious. I wanted to do it again.’
She worked on standing every day and eventually got to the point where she could manage to stay on her feet for two minutes. Then, she pushed herself to start taking steps.
In 2011 she bought a cane to help her get around and that March, she met her now-husband, Rod, through a friend.
She spent months having painful physiotherapy but astonished medics when she started to walk again

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Mrs Torio needed specialist equipment to help her stand again

She spent months having painful physiotherapy but astonished medics when she started to walk again
She was so anxious about the date that she almost cancelled – but luckily, a friend persuaded her to go.
‘I thought no-one would be interested in me. I was paraplegic and didn’t feel like a woman,’ she said.
‘I was embarrassed about being in a wheelchair so I used my walker on our first date to walk from the car in to the restaurant.
‘On our second date, I was determined to use my cane. Though I was sweating and in a lot of pain, I wanted to show I was an independent woman and I didn’t need a man to look after me.
‘After that, Rod encouraged me to use my cane. He was so supportive.’
Miracles aren’t handed to you on a silver plate, you have to work for them
She went from strength to strength, eventually regaining use of her bladder and bowels. Just a year after being told she would never walk again- on her 25th birthday – she stopped using her cane.
She even managed to stand for her wedding photos when she married Mr Torio in a ceremony in a local court house in March 2012.
Doctors have told her that she is able to have children – and her sex drive has returned.
She has shared her story to encourage others to battle through and show the unexpected is possible.
‘Miracles aren’t handed to you on a silver plate, you have to work for them,’ she said.
‘I think I was in denial that I would never walk again and I think that’s what got me to where I am now.
‘After I was finally able to walk on my own, without a frame or cane, I went to see my surgeon and he was in tears.
‘I believe in mind over matter and getting what you want.’

 

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What to eat to beat breast cancer

The scary truth is that what doctors call “early detection” is actually late detection. Photo / Getty
The scary truth is that what doctors call “early detection” is actually late detection. Photo / Getty
Breast cancer doesn’t occur overnight. That lump you feel in the shower one morning may have started forming decades ago.

Indeed, autopsy studies suggest that as many as 39 per cent of women in their 40s already have breast cancers growing within their bodies that may be simply too small to be detected by mammograms.

The scary truth is that what doctors call “early detection” is actually late detection. That’s why you shouldn’t wait for a diagnosis before you start eating a healthier diet.

Not only may it stop you getting cancer in the first place, but it may also slow its growth to the point where it’s no longer a threat.

Gobble up greens
Remarkably, researchers have found that women placed on a plant-based diet, along with walking every day, improved their cancer defences within just two weeks. At that point, their blood was potent enough to kill 20-30 per cent more breast cancer cells than before.

Varoius vegetables
Yet, unfortunately, even after a breast cancer diagnosis, most women don’t make the dietary changes that could help them most.

Another study of nearly 1,500 women found that remarkably simple changes – such as eating just five or more servings of fruit and veg per day along with walking for 30 minutes, six days a week – had a significant effect.

Compared with patients who did none of these things, these women appeared to have nearly half the risk of dying from breast cancer in the two years following diagnosis.

In other studies, sulforaphane – a component of cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli – has been shown to suppress the ability of breast cancer stem cells to form tumours. So if you’re currently in remission, eating lots of broccoli may help keep your cancer from returning.

Red wine is fine
What about alcohol? In 2013, scientists published a compilation of more than 100 studies on breast cancer and light drinking (up to one glass a day).

Remarkably, they found a small increase in breast cancer risk even among women who had one drink or less per day. Every year around the world, they estimated, nearly 5,000 breast cancer deaths may be attributable to light drinking.

The only exception was red wine, which contains a compound that may cancel out the damage caused to the body when it breaks down alcohol. This compound appears to suppress the activity of an enzyme called oestrogen synthase, used by breast tumours to fuel their own growth.

So have a glass of red wine if you like. But the best foods for suppressing this enzyme are purple grapes – preferably with seeds – plain white mushrooms, strawberries and pomegranates.

Dark dreams
Most of us know that the hormone melatonin helps regulate our sleep. But it also seems to play another role – suppressing cancer growth. Think of melatonin as helping to put cancer cells to sleep at night. To investigate this theory further, researchers in Boston came up with the clever idea of studying blind women.

The thought was that because blind women can’t see sunlight, the brain never gets the signal to stop secreting melatonin into their bloodstreams.

Sure enough, the researchers found that blind women may have just half the odds of getting breast cancer as sighted women.

Conversely, women who interrupt their melatonin production by working night shifts appear to be at increased risk of breast cancer.

Even living on a particularly brightly-lit street may increase the risk. Therefore, it’s probably best to sleep in a room with heavy blinds and no lights.

But there’s something else you can do to keep up your production of melatonin. Yes, more vegetables!

In 2005, Japanese researchers found an association between higher vegetable intake and higher melatonin levels. Meat, unfortunately, seems to have the opposite effect. In a Harvard University study, the diets of nearly 1,000 women were analysed before their morning melatonin levels were measured.

Meat consumption was the only food significantly associated with lower melatonin production, for reasons that are as yet unknown.

Ditch the barbecue
One of the worst things you can do if you’re worried about breast cancer is to cook beef, pork, fish or poultry at a high temperature – which includes frying, grilling and roasting.
Eating boiled meat, therefore, is probably the safest.

This is because meat cooked above 100c produces cancer-producing substances called heterocyclic amines (HCAs). The longer that meat is cooked, the more HCAs form.

This may explain why eating well-done meat is also associated with increased risk of cancers of the colon, oesophagus, lung, pancreas, prostate and stomach.

The HCAs in cooked meat are also thought to explain why women who eat more grilled, barbecued or smoked meats over their lifetimes may have as much as 47 per cent higher odds of breast cancer.

The Iowa Women’s Health Study found women who ate their bacon, steak, and burgers “very well done” had nearly five times more chance of getting breast cancer than women who liked meat served rare or medium.

Just add broccoli
Is there any other way to lessen the carcinogenic effect of cooked meat? To find out, researchers measured the levels of HCAs in the blood of people who’d just eaten pan-fried meat.

Over the next fortnight, they added about 500g (just over a pound) of broccoli and Brussels sprouts to their daily diets and then asked the women to eat fried meat again.

As expected, there were fewer HCAs in their blood – because the vegetables had helped the liver detoxify some of them.

At this point, the subjects then stopped eating their veggies and, two weeks later, ate pan-fried meat again.

What happened next was a great surprise. Researchers had assumed that the level of harmful carcinogens in their blood would be just as high as before – but they weren’t.

What’s more, even weeks afterwards, the HCAs still hadn’t climbed back to their previous level.

This finding suggests two things. One, that having broccoli or brussels sprouts with your steak will decrease your body’s exposure to carcinogens. Two, that you can shore up your defences before a big barbecue by eating broccoli or sprouts days or even weeks before. (Or even try a veggie burger.)

Moral fibre
Every 20g of fibre intake per day has been associated with a 15 per cent lower risk of breast cancer.

And you may not even need that much.

Researchers at Yale University and elsewhere have done detailed studies on pre-menopausal women who eat more than about 6g of soluble fibre (the equivalent of a cup of black beans) a day.

The result? The women had 62 per cent lower odds of getting breast cancer compared with women who consumed less than around 4g a day.

Cut cholesterol
Breast cancer is thought to use cholesterol to help the cancer migrate and invade more tissue.

In other words, breast tumours may be taking advantage of high cholesterol levels in your blood to accelerate their own growth.

So, if lowering cholesterol can help lower the risk of breast cancer, shouldn’t more women be taking statins? Probably not.

The first major long-term study on breast cancer and statins has found that women who have been taking statins for a decade or more have twice the risk of contracting two common types of invasive breast cancer.

So, it’s far better to lower cholesterol levels naturally by improving your diet.

Core values
People who eat an apple a day – or even half an apple – appear to have significantly lower risks of getting cancer.

One study found, for instance, that eating less than one apple a day lowers the risk of breast cancer by 24 per cent. The risk of ovarian cancer, laryngeal cancer and colorectal cancer is also lowered by significant amounts.

But don’t be tempted to just eat the flesh and throw away the peel! Depending on the variety of apple, the peel’s anti-oxidant power may be between two and six times greater than the pulp.

When researchers at Cornell University in New York dripped extracts of apple peel and pulp onto cancer cells, the peel stopped cancer growth ten times more effectively.

Something in the apple peel and pulp appears to reactivate a tumour-suppressor gene which is known as maspin – which helps keep breast cancer at bay.

Soya rules!
Soya seems not only to lower breast cancer risk, but also to help reduce menopausal hot flushes. In addition, five studies have found that, overall, the women who ate the most soya lived significantly longer and had a significantly lower risk of breast cancer recurrence.

In one study, 90 per cent of the breast cancer patients who ate the most soya after diagnosis were still alive five years later.

Yet half of those who ate little to no soya had died.

Magnificent mushrooms
Women who ate just half a mushroom or more per day had 64 per cent lower odds of getting breast cancer – compared with women who didn’t eat mushrooms at all.

If the mushroom-eaters also managed to sip at least half a teabag’s worth of green tea each day, then their risk of breast cancer would be a whopping 90 per cent lower.

Flaxseeds have around 100 times more of a particular phytoestrogen called lignan than any other foods. And, in a test-tube at least, lignans directly suppress the proliferation of breast cancer cells.

Varoius vegetables
In 2010, a study was done on 45 women at high risk of breast cancer – meaning they’d had suspicious biopsies or had previously suffered from the disease.

Each was given the equivalent of two teaspoons of ground flaxseeds every day.

The result? On average, the women had fewer pre-cancerous changes in their breasts after a year of taking flaxseed than before they’d started.

And 80 per cent showed signs of decreased cell proliferation. This finding suggests that sprinkling a few spoonfuls of ground flaxseeds on your cereal – or whatever you’re eating during the day – may reduce your risk of breast cancer.

What about women who already have it?
Another study – a randomised, double-blind clinical trial (neither the researchers or the women with breast cancer knew who was taking what) – found that those who ate a muffin containing flaxseed every day had decreased cell proliferation and an increase in cancer-cell death rates.

In other words, the flaxseeds appeared to make the subjects’ cancer less aggressive.

• Daily recommendation: 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseeds, sprinkled on to cereal, soups and salads, or baked into a muffin.

The Daily Dozen
Every day, you should aim to have the recommended number of servings from each section of what I call my Daily Dozen:

1. Cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, spring greens, radishes, turnip tops, watercress. One serving a day: A serving is half a cup chopped or quarter of a cup of broccoli or brussels sprouts.

2. Greens including spring greens, kale, young salad greens, sorrel, spinach, swiss chard. Two servings a day: A serving is one cup raw or half a cup cooked.

3. Other vegetables: Asparagus, beetroot, peppers, carrots, corn, courgettes, garlic, mushrooms, okra, onions, pumpkin, sugar snap peas, squash, sweet potatoes, tomatoes.
Two servings a day: A serving is one cup raw leafy vegetables; half a cup raw or cooked non-leafy vegetables; half a cup vegetable juice; a quarter of a cup dried mushrooms.

4. Beans: Black beans, cannellini beans, black-eyed peas, butter beans, soyabeans, baked beans, chickpeas, edamame, peas, kidney beans, lentils, miso, pinto beans, split peas, tofu, hummus. Three servings a day: That’s a quarter of a cup of hummus or bean dip; half a cup of cooked beans, split peas, lentils or tofu; or a full cup of fresh peas or sprouted lentils.

5. Berries: Any small edible fruit, including grapes, raisins, blackberries, cherries, raspberries and strawberries. One serving a day: A serving is half a cup of fresh or frozen, or quarter of a cup of dried.

6. Other fruit, such as apples, apricots, avocados, bananas, cantaloupe melon, clementines, dates, figs, grapefruit, honeydew melon, kiwi, lemons, limes, lychees, mangos, nectarines, oranges, papaya, passion fruit, peaches, pears, pineapple, plums, pomegranates, prunes, tangerines, watermelon.

Three servings a day: One serving is a cup of cut-up fruit, or one medium fruit, or a quarter of a cup of dried fruit.

7. Flaxseeds: Snack on one tablespoon a day.

8. Nuts: A quarter of a cup a day, or two tablespoons of peanut, almond or other nut butter.

9. Spices: A quarter teaspoon of turmeric in addition to any other spices you enjoy.

10. Whole grains: Buckwheat, rice, quinoa, cereal, pasta, bread. Three servings a day: Half a cup of cooked rice or pasta; one cup of cereal; a slice of bread; half a bagel.

11. Exercise: Ideally 90 minutes a day of moderate activity, such as walking.

12. Water: Five large (12oz/340ml) glasses a day.
Physical activity is considered a promising preventive measure against breast cancer – not only because it helps with weight control but because exercise tends to lower circulating oestrogen levels.

Five hours a week of vigorous aerobic exercise can lower oestrogen and progesterone exposure by about 20 per cent.

But do you need to work out that long for it to be protective? Although even light exercise is associated with a lowered risk of some other types of cancer, for breast cancer, it appears that leisurely strolls don’t appear to cut it.

Even an hour a day of activities such as slow dancing or light house work may not be of much help.

According to the largest study ever published on the subject, only women who worked up a sweat at least five or more times a week appeared to get significant protection. However, moderately intense activity may offer as much benefit as vigorous exercis

Walking at a moderate pace for an hour a day is considered a moderately intense level of exercise.

This wasn’t put to the test until a study in 2013 reported that walking an hour a day or more is associated with significantly lower breast cancer risk.

By Dr Michael Greger EmailPrint

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Do YOU know which foods are healthier?

margarine or butter image

Do YOU know which foods are healthier? Take our quiz to find out if you’re making the right choices (or eating hidden nasties)
We are constantly told to eat certain foods and avoid others
Nutritionist Mark Killick reveals which boast the most health benefits
Take our quiz to see if you are as clued up on superfoods as you think
By MARTHA CLIFF FOR MAILONLINE
humusguacamole
We are constantly bombarded with conflicting information about healthy food choices, so it’s no wonder many of us are confused about what we should be eating.
Hidden sugars and preservatives can often mean so-called ‘lighter’ foods are laden with hidden calories, sugars and fats.
Mark Killick, Technical Nutritionist at NutriCentre, has pitted some of our favourite dishes, snacks and drinks against each other. Take our quiz to discover whether you’re making the right choices at meal times.
WHICH IS HEALTHIER? TAKE THE QUIZ
HUMMUS OR GUACAMOLE?
Both hummus (pictured) and guacamole can be considered healthy foods
But one contains a lower calorie count than the other. Can you guess which? Pictured: Guacamole
Both hummus (left) and guacamole (right) can be considered healthy foods but one contains a lower calorie count than the other. Can you guess which?

ANSWER: GUACAMOLE
MARK SAYS: Both hummus and guacamole can be considered healthy foods. Although hummus contains more protein to make you feel fuller longer, guacamole contains less calories.

saladsushi
Guacamole contains more of the health promoting mono-unsaturated fats, which help lower the risk of heart disease and stroke. It is also higher in potassium which helps to regulate blood pressure.
CALIFORNIA ROLL OR TUNA NICOISE SALAD?
Sushi (pictured) and salad are celebrity slimming favourites
However one can lead to an increased risk of diabetes. Pictured: Nicoise salad
Sushi (left) and salad (right) are celebrity slimming favourites however one can lead to an increased risk of diabetes
ANSWER: TUNA NICOISE
MARK SAYS: The white stick rice in sushi is a refined carbohydrate which can rapidly raise blood sugar. These blood sugar spikes raise insulin levels in the body which can lead to insulin resistance and diabetes.
The tuna nicoise is higher in protein, fibre and healthy fats. The protein helps us feel fuller for longer, the fibre feeds our healthy bacteria and the healthy fats are particularly heart protective.
SUGAR OR SWEETENER?
Sweetner has less calories but is it really a healthier option than normal sugar? (pictured)

sugar in a spoonsweetner
There is some ongoing research linking aspartame in sweeteners to cancer

Sweetener (right) has less calories but is it really a healthier option than normal sugar (left)?
ANSWER: SUGAR
MARK SAYS: There is plenty of publicity concerning the dangers of too much sugar in the diet increasing the risk of obesity, diabetes and heart disease.
However artificial sweeteners still trick the body into storing fat, with no evidence showing that consuming drinks containing sweeteners can lead to weight loss. There is some ongoing research linking aspartame to cancer.
Are you addicted to coffee and sugar? Here’s how to fight it

WINE OR BEER?
Excessive drinking is known to cause weight gain
Alcohol guide linesGlass of wine
But when it comes to having a tipple is beer or wine your best bet?

Excessive drinking is known to cause weight gain but when it comes to having a tipple is beer (right) or wine (left) your best bet?
ANSWER: WINE
MARK SAYS: Many people feel that beer drinkers are more prone to putting on weight than wine drinkers, but this really depends on the amount consumed.
Red wine in particular contains polyphenols such as resveratrol which soothes inflammation and because of its antioxidant value has heart protective properties.
BUTTER OR MARGARINE?
Margarine (pictured) is often offered up as a lighter alternative to full fat bumargarine or butter image
Margarine (left) is often offered up as a lighter alternative to full fat butter (right) but is it healthier?
ANSWER: BUTTER
MARK SAYS: Butter is a natural product whereas margarine is manufactured. Butter being full fat fills you up, and is a good dietary source of vitamin A, along with vitamins E, K and D.
Margarine, on the other hand, is made from vegetable oil which is treated with hydrogen gas to make it solid at room temperature. This results in the production of trans fats which are toxic and associated with heart disease.
SPECIAL K OR FRIED EGG?
We’ve all heard of the Special K diet
But would you be better off having a fried egg for breakfast?
We’ve all heard of the Special K (left) diet but would you be better off having a fried egg (right) for breakfast?
ANSWER: FRIED EGG
MARK SAYS: Special K is high in refined grains and low in fibre. It raises blood sugar rapidly and can lead to insulin resistance, which is the underlying factor of many chronic diseases including diabetes and heat disease.
A fried egg is a good source of protein and contains beneficial fats which are beneficial to brain health. An egg slowly fried in a heat stable oil such as avocado oil will sustain your appetite longer than a bowl of Special K.
GREEK YOGHURT OR PLAIN YOGHURT?
Greek (pictured) and plain yoghurt, is there really any difference?
Greek yoghurtPlain Yoghurt
According to our nutritionist there is

Greek (left) and plain yoghurt (right) , is there really any difference? According to our nutritionist there is
ANSWER: GREEK YOGHURT
MARK SAYS: Greek yoghurt differs from plain yoghurt in the fact that it is strained to remove the liquid whey.
Hence it is higher in fat, and lower in sugars per serving of yoghurt resulting in a slower release of energy and less of an insulin response.
DARK CHOCOLATE OR CEREAL BAR?
Cereal bars have a reputation as a healthy snack
fried egg
But do they outweigh dark chocolate

Cereal bars (left) have a reputation as a healthy snack but do they outweigh dark chocolate (right)?
ANSWER: DARK CHOCOLATE
MARK SAYS: Cereal bars on close inspection are often just biscuits masquerading as health foods. They can be laden with sugar and unhealthy fats which can lead to raised blood triglycerides which are markers for increased risk of heart disease.
Dark chocolate with a high percentage of cocoa (higher than 70 per cent) is a powerful source of antioxidants, which can help protect the integrity of our blood vessels. It is high in magnesium which can help lower blood pressure and improve cognitive function.
PEANUT BUTTER OR HAZELNUT SPREAD?
Both spreads contain nuts
special Kcerael bar
However one contains a lot more sugar, do you know which?

Both spreads contain nuts but one contains a lot more sugar. Do you know which?

ANSWER: PEANUT BUTTER
MARK SAYS: Hazelnut spread contains sugar along with unhealthy fats, and has been known to contain up to five teaspoons of sugar per serving.
Peanut butter on the other hand is a source of protein and high potassium which lowers the risk of high blood pressure, stroke and heart disease. It contains fibre for normal bowel function and vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant.
BOTTLED GREEN JUICE OR GLASS OF MILK
One is the trendiest health drink
hazel nut spraedpeanut butter
The other boasts calcium benefits. But which should you be chugging in the morning?

One boasts calcium benefits and the other is the trendiest health drink but which of the two should you be chugging in the morning?
ANSWER: BOTTLED GREEN JUICE
MARK SAYS: Although milk is a good source of calcium, not everybody can tolerate it and can find it hard to digest.
Although you have to check the label to make sure that the juice is not too high in sugar, green juice is a rich source of antioxidants and feeds the good bacteria in the gut leading to less inflammation in the body

Green juiceMilk

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Is YOGURT the key to preventing high blood pressure

Is YOGURT the key to preventing high blood pressure? Five servings a week cut the risk by 20% – and by even more if you add fruit
Women who ate 5 portions a week compared with those who ate 1 a month
Effect of eating yogurt five times a week was even greater in people who also ate lots of fruit, veg, nuts and beans – a 31% reduction in high BP risk
May be because the bacteria in yogurt helps to lower cholesterol
By COLIN FERNANDEZ, SCIENCE CORRESPONDENT FOR THE DAILY MAIL

Yohgurt with fruits

Women who eat five or more servings of yogurt a week are less likely to develop high blood pressure, research has found.
The study – the largest of its kind, involving data from hundreds of thousands of people, found that the risk of high blood pressure was reduced by a fifth.
This was compared to people who ate just one portion of yogurt a month.
The effect was most noticeable in women because men eat much less yogurt, the researchers said.
Scroll down for video
People who ate yogurt with fruit five times a week saw a 31 per cent reduction in risk for high blood pressure, compared to those who ate yogurt just once a month

People who ate yogurt with fruit five times a week saw a 31 per cent reduction in risk for high blood pressure, compared to those who ate yogurt just once a month
And the benefit of eating yogurt five times a week was even greater in people who also ate lots of fruit, vegetables, nuts and beans.
They saw a 31 per cent reduction in risk for high blood pressure, compared to those who ate yogurt just once a month.
Justin Buendia, a PhD candidate at Boston University School of Medicine, said: ‘No one food is a magic bullet, but adding yogurt to an otherwise healthy diet seems to help reduce the long-term risk of high blood pressure in women.
‘I believe this is the largest study of its kind to date to evaluate the specific effects of yogurt on blood pressure.’

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Ms Buendia, who presented the study at a conference of the American Heart Association, added: ‘Our study shows that daily intake of dairy products, particularly yogurt, lowers the risk of developing high blood pressure, which is a key risk factor.
The research was funded by the National Dairy Council in the US.
It used data taken from studies of nurses’ health involving more than 240,000 people, mainly women between the ages of 25 and 55, and a second study of 51,000 health professionals, mostly men between 40 and 75.
How yogurt reduces blood pressure was not explained.
However it has previously been suggested the bacteria in yogurt may play a role in helping to lower cholesterol – which can cause the restricted blood vessels that led to higher blood pressure.
It may also help control blood sugar levels. How yogurt reduces blood pressure was not explained.
How yogurt reduces blood pressure is not clear – but the bacteria in yogurt may help to lower cholesterol
Checking blood pressure
How yogurt reduces blood pressure is not clear – but the bacteria in yogurt may help to lower cholesterol
Researchers have also found that yogurt may help against osteoporosis, and lead to lower levels of cardiovascular disease.
However, Spanish research on 4,000 adults, published last April, found no benefits to health from yogurt.
And the potential benefits of eating yogurt does may also be undone by its high levels of sugar, which may increase weight and the risk of tooth decay in children.
Yogurt consumption has risen by 30 per cent between 2001 and 2011 in the UK, while cheese consumption grew by only 5 per cent in the same period.

 

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From the community: Start Getting Fit For Your Summer Clothes.. Shed Winter Weight!!

Start Getting Fit For Your Summer Clothes.. Shed Winter Weight!!
Drinking water for weight loss (Posted by Daisy Grace, Community Contributor)
Community Contributor Daisy Grace

 

glass of water
The cold winter season is finally over, and the season of swimsuits and tanning is upon us. While you may have gained some winter, it’s not too late to get rid of it before the spring. It’s time to get rid of your winter clothes and make way for your summer body. Technically, you safely can lose about 1-2 pounds of body fat a week and move forward to get your body working and feeling more confident by summer season.

That’s IF you start making healthy changes today. Start a diet regime and schedule in some workouts at the gym. After all, what else do you have to lose besides fat?

Here are 7 tips for weight loss to help you get into your swimsuit body in no time.

 

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1. Drink More Water

Skipping water will lead to a decrease in effectiveness of your diet and workouts due to dehydration. It will affect your energy, performance and overall fat-burning potential. To get rid of excess water, you must drink more water. Aim for half on your body weight in ounces every day. Example: a 140-pound woman should drink at least 70 oz. or more.

Make sure to add ice. Studies show that ice-cold water will cause your body to work extra hard to maintain its core temperature. This means your body will burn more calories. You can also take healthy weight loss drinks such as fresh juices, smoothies, and even protein shakes. All will provide fiber and great sources of carbs to keep your body moving and energetic.

2. Up-size Your Daily Natural Diuretic Intake

Natural diuretics are foods that will increase the speed of the passage of fluids to help you de-bloat. This includes asparagus; green tea, lemon, cucumbers, as well as any foods with provide a high concentration of potassium, magnesium, caffeine, and vitamin C.

You can try adding lemon, cucumber, or fresh fruits like berries or watermelon to your water to stay
hydrated while cleansing your body.

3. Start Eating Clean

Skip the fast food take-outs and start a weekly planner. This will help you keep track of the foods you eat while ensuring you are sticking to your meal plan. Just be sure to steer clear from foods that lack in nutrients and filled with processed, artificial ingredients. If you cannot prepare it yourself, there are certain business that plan them for you based on a specific calorie count.

4. Take a Vacation from Carbohydrates That Are Processed and Starchy

Foods such as breads, pasta, cookies, and other snacks are loaded with large amounts of sodium and preservatives that will result in bloating and extra water retention.

Here’s a tip: if you see anything on a packaged item that you can’t pronounce or more than 10 ingredients – don’t eat it. Choose a healthy service of fresh fruits or veggies with lean protein instead.

5. Start Sweating with Strength Training

If you want to look great in your bikini, commit to full-body straining workouts at least 3-4 times a week. This will help you burn calories rapidly while boosting your metabolism that can burn calories at least 24-48 hours after. You will also develop lean muscles which looks even better than a skinny bod. Make sure to perform body weight exercises like push-ups, squats, rows, lunges to move more than one muscle group for the most efficient workout.

To get your metabolism boosted up for the rest of the day, start your workout in the morning.

6. Focus on Your Butt and Tummy

A flat tummy is what everyone desires for their bikini body, so make sure to put major attention to that area during your workout regime. Of course, you can’t only do crunches to lose weight, but this will help burn more calories in your tummy region. Did you know that your glutes are the biggest muscles you have in your body? This means when you exercise them you are increasing your calorie burn while toning your bikini-bottom butt.

Try bridge marching. This is where you will start by lying on your back with your knees bent and feet on the ground, and then lift your hips off the ground to form a straight line from your shoulders through your knees. Make sure to keep your hips parallel to the ground as you maintain a straight line. Begin to lift your right knee up to raise your foot off the ground. Then, go back to starting position, switch knees, and alternate.

Always be sure to keep your but muscles contracted for ultimate results. Aim for 10 on both legs.

7. Improve Your Posture & Accept Your Body

Keep your body tall as you engage your core muscles. Improving your posture will make you look thinner instantly without even losing a single pound! Schedule a “posture check” every 15 minutes to train your body into standing lean and tall. Think about tucking your hips in as your tighten your core.
Make your commitment to losing weight aim for a better body and healthier lifestyle. You don’t need to starve yourself or give up foods that you like just to achieve that summer body. Make sure to take it slow and not be too strict on yourself as it can lead to deprivation and lead the sure path to more than just one cheat meal. The key to losing weight is the make better choices and eat in moderation as you keep your body moving.

References:

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Alex Wodak: Cannabis relief a step closer in Oz

This week minister for health Sussan Ley tabled amendments to our drugs act to allow growing cannabis for medicinal or scientific purposes.

The amendments will create two licence classes (medicine and research), limit access only to “fit and proper” Australians with no ties to crime, and allow the importation of plants and seed.

This is an important milestone intended to (re)introduce lawful medicinal cannabis in Australia, after it was prohibited some 50 years ago.

Several further steps are required before people with distressing symptoms from conditions for which conventional medicines have been ineffective can obtain some relief from medicinal cannabis. These conditions include cancer, epilepsy and multiple sclerosis.

The House of Representatives and Senate are expected to approve the proposed amendments. Almost two-thirds of the community have supported medicinal cannabis for many years.

The government seems, sensibly, to prefer a single national system for medicinal cannabis rather than see eight different state and territory systems. There has been considerable negotiation between the Commonwealth, states and territories to this end. More will be needed.

What next?
First, as there is no current law allowing medicinal use of cannabis in Australia, some legal changes are needed. Under Commonwealth law, cannabis is now in Schedule 9 of the Poisons Standard, the most restricted category. This means cannabis cannot legally be used for medicinal purposes including being prescribed by a doctor.

The Commonwealth government is consulting on shifting cannabis from Schedule 9 (Prohibited Substance) to Schedule 8 (Controlled Drugs) to enable the drug to then be prescribed by doctors for patients. This may also require the states and territories to undertake some similar changes. The government is also ensuring the provision of medicinal cannabis will not breach Australia’s international drug treaty obligations.

Second, decisions are needed about how medicinal cannabis will have to be stored. Restricting medicinal cannabis only to hospital pharmacies will severely limit utilisation of the drug. But there is still some resistance to community pharmacies being allowed to store it. Unless lawful medicinal cannabis is made reasonably accessible, including in community pharmacies, current strong demand will continue to be met largely by an unregulated black market.

Third, decisions will have to be made about the sorts of patients allowed to be prescribed medicinal cannabis, about the doctors allowed to prescribe the drug, whether any training would be required before doctors are approved and what formulations of medicinal cannabis will be allowed.

Some are confident all of these matters will be resolved before the end of the year, enabling a system of routine care involving medicinal cannabis to commence operating in 2016.

But this will require action from the Commonwealth to engage with GPs and pharmacists through their professional bodies to identify and resolve outstanding issues with the supply chain at the point where it should be delivering to patients. Several research projects involving medicinal cannabis in NSW, Queensland and Victoria will commence soon.

One of the unresolved problems is the eight state/territory drug driving laws. These enable police to perform roadside testing of oral fluid for THC (cannabis), methamphetamine and MDMA.

No proof of driving impairment is required to support a conviction by the courts. Penalties for convicted drivers in some jurisdictions are quite severe involving a fine of over A$1,000 and a driving license disqualification of six months.

For elderly people from rural areas dying of cancer, these are very significant penalties. At present, there are no plans to amend the drug driving laws for people lawfully taking medicinal cannabis under medical direction.

Decriminilasing cannabis?
Ley said the legislation tabled did not relate to the decriminalisation of cannabis for general cultivation or recreational use adding:

if states wish to decriminalise cannabis, then that’s entirely a matter for them.

This is a very significant statement for several reasons.

First, it recognises the reality that in many of the countries that have allowed medicinal cannabis, a debate has soon developed about regulating the recreational use of the drug with growing community support soon forcing politicians to allow regulation.

Second, it seems to accept that while the decision to start allowing medicinal cannabis is separate from any decisions regarding the prohibition of recreational use, how lawful medicinal cannabis is provided cannot be considered without also taking into account the recreational use of the drug. The more restricted the availability of medicinal cannabis, the more patients will utilise unregulated black market supplies and vice versa.

The good news is that the process of providing legislative and policy framework for lawful medicinal cannabis in Australia has at long last started. But we still do not know when and how that framework will operate.

Alex Wodak is an emeritus consultant at St Vincent’s Hospital, Darlinghurst, and president of the Australian Drug Law Reform Foundation.

– theconversation.com

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If you want to live longer, just be patient: DNA of people with quick tempers ages faster than those who are easy-going

If you want to live longer, just be patient: DNA of people with quick tempers ages faster than those who are easy-going
Telomeres are biological caps found at the ends of chromosomes
Short telomeres have been linked with ill health and premature death
Research has found a clear link between shorter telomeres and impatience
This suggest impatient people could age faster and die younger
By FIONA MACRAE FOR THE DAILY MAIL

Patience isn’t just a virtue. It could also help you live longer.
Research shows that the body’s DNA ages more quickly in people who are impatient – and women are particularly prone to the effect.
The finding comes from researchers in Singapore who put more than 1,000 healthy students through a test of patience.
Patience isn’t just a virtue. It could also help you live longer. Research shows that the body’s DNA ages more quickly in people who are impatient – and women are particularly prone to the effect. Stock image
Patience isn’t just a virtue. It could also help you live longer. Research shows that the body’s DNA ages more quickly in people who are impatient – and women are particularly prone to the effect. Stock image
This involved a game in which they told they could either be given a gift of $100 the next day or wait a month for larger amount.

 

DRA

Fountain of youth drugs are ‘in the pipeline’: Anti-ageing.
They were then asked how much this would need to be for it to be worth waiting for.
The more money a volunteer said they would need wait, the less patient they were deemed to be.
A TEST OF PATIENCE
Researchers in Singapore put more than 1,000 students through a game in which they told they could either be given a gift of $100 the next day or wait a month for larger amount.
They were then asked how much this would need to be for it to be worth waiting for.
The more money a volunteer said they would need to wait for, the less patient they were deemed to be.
Someone who said it would take $120 in a month’s time for them to wait, was judged as more patient than one who said they would hold off for $105.
So someone who said it would take $120 in a month’s time for them to wait, was judged as more patient than one who said they would hold off for $105.
The volunteers also gave blood samples which provided clues to how quickly they were ageing.
The researchers zeroed in on tiny structures called telomeres.
These are biological caps which are found at the ends of chromosomes and protect the DNA in them from damage, much like the caps on the ends of shoelaces prevent fraying.
As we get older, our telomeres get shorter and shorter, leading to DNA becoming damaged and raising the odds of age-related illness.
Shorter than average telomeres are seen as a sign of ill health and premature death and the structures are considered so important that the scientists who discovered them seven years ago were awarded a Nobel prize for medicine.
The researchers zeroed in on tiny structures called telomeres. These are biological caps found at the ends of chromosomes (illustrated) and protect the DNA from damage. As we get older, our telomeres get shorter and shorter, leading to DNA becoming damaged and raising the odds of age-related illness

The researchers zeroed in on tiny structures called telomeres. These are biological caps found at the ends of chromosomes (illustrated) and protect the DNA from damage. As we get older, our telomeres get shorter and shorter, leading to DNA becoming damaged and raising the odds of age-related illness
It isn’t clear just how impatience speeds up ageing in DNA (illustrated) but it maybe that related to the stress associated with making hasty decisions. Impatient people may also be drawn towards unhealthy lifestyles, and the study may have failed to fully account for this

It isn’t clear just how impatience speeds up ageing in DNA (illustrated) but it maybe that related to the stress associated with making hasty decisions. Impatient people may also be drawn towards unhealthy lifestyles, and the study may have failed to fully account for this
TELOMERES AND ILL HEALTH
The researchers zeroed in on tiny structures called telomeres.
These are biological caps which are found at the ends of chromosomes and protect the DNA in them from damage, much like the caps on the ends of shoelaces prevent fraying.
As we get older, our telomeres get shorter and shorter, leading to DNA becoming damaged and raising the odds of age-related illness.

 

Research_shows_that_the_body's DNA
Shorter than average telomeres are seen as a sign of ill health and premature death and the structures are considered so important that the scientists who discovered them seven years ago were awarded a Nobel prize for medicine.
Now, research has shown there to be a clear link between shorter telomeres and impatience.
This stood even when other factors, including socio-economic status and how healthy a person’s lifestyle was, were taken into account.
It isn’t clear just how impatience speeds up ageing but it maybe that related to the stress associated with making hasty decisions.
Impatient people may also be drawn towards unhealthy lifestyles, and the study may have failed to fully account for this.
Differences in sex hormones may explain why women are particularly affected, the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences reports.
The researchers said that while it is possible that there is something about shorter telomeres that sparks impatience, they believe it to be more likely that hastiness causes the damage.
Professor Richard Ebstein, of the National University of Singapore, said: ‘With an increasing per centage of the world’s population “greying”, the determinants of successful ageing are of paramount importance.’

 

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Desperate to lose weight? Eat Almonds

Desperate to lose weight? Eat ALMONDS! Handful a day ‘wards off hunger and replaces empty calories from junk food’
Eating a handful of almonds a day boosts a person’s diet, a study found
Scientists asked 28 sets of parent-child pairs to eat almonds each day
They found both parents and children’s diets greatly improved
Eating almonds increased their protein and lowered their salt intake
For, almonds replaced savory snacks that have empty calories, study said
By LISA RYAN FOR DAILYMAIL.COM

Almonds
Many of us struggle to maintain a balanced diet.
We long to lose weight and stay trim – but can’t seem to put down the chips or cookies.
But now, a new study revealed that all we need to do is swap those unhealthy snacks for almonds.
Eating a handful of almonds a day replaces those empty calories, while decreasing a person’s salt intake and increasing their protein, according to University of Florida scientists.
The findings suggest that incorporating almonds into a person’s diet could improve overall health.
Eating a handful of almonds a day has been found to boost a person’s diet, according to scientists. People who eat almonds tend to ingest them in lieu of unhealthy snacks – and lower their empty calorie intake
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Eating a handful of almonds a day has been found to boost a person’s diet, according to scientists. People who eat almonds tend to ingest them in lieu of unhealthy snacks – and lower their empty calorie intake
The team of researchers set out to study the effect that the addition of almonds can have on a person’s diet.
They analyzed data collected from 28 parent-child pairs in North Central Florida.
For three weeks, the parent participants ate 1.5 ounces of whole almonds each day.
Similarly, the children ate half an ounce of whole almonds – or the equivalent amount of almond butter – each da

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At the beginning of the study, the scientists measured the participating parents and children’s Healthy Eating Index, which is a measurement of diet quality.
The Healthy Eating Index assesses a person’s adherence to the USDA’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
A score under 51 indicates a poor diet, while a score between 51 and 80 shows a need for improvement, and a score over 80 reflects a healthy diet.
The parents’ average score at the beginning of the 14-week period was 53.7 (plus or minus 1.8), while the children’s were 53.7 (plus or minus 2.6).
However, after the almond intervention the Healthy Eating Index score for both parents and children increased.
The parents’ average rose to 61.4 (plus or minus 1.4), while the children’s average increased to 61.4 (plus or minus 2.2).
All participants also increased their component scores for protein foods.
Furthermore, they decreased their intake of empty calories.
The study found that participants who ate almonds each day scored higher on the Healthy Eating Index, and had lower intakes of salt and savory snacks, in addition to higher intakes of protein
The study found that participants who ate almonds each day scored higher on the Healthy Eating Index, and had lower intakes of salt and savory snacks, in addition to higher intakes of protein
The scientists believe that the participants were replacing salty and processed snacks with almonds.
They noted that over the past 20 years, per-capita consumption of nuts and seeds decreased in children between the ages of 3 and 6 – while consumption of chips, pretzels and other savory snacks increased.
As a result, the scientists were most interested on seeing the impact of adding almonds into young children s’ diets.
Study author Alyssa Burns, a doctoral student in food science and human nutrition, said: ‘The habits you have when you are younger are carried into adulthood, so if a parent is able to incorporate almonds or different healthy snacks into a child’s diet, it’s more likely that the child will choose those snacks later on in life.’
The researchers also honed in on how easy or difficult it was to incorporate almonds into those children’s’ diet, since it’s an age when food preferences are developed.
Ms Burns said: ‘Some of the challenges that we saw were that the kids were getting bored with the almonds, or they didn’t like the taste of the almond or almond butter.’
And so, the study suggests that parents incorporate almonds into their children’s diets in creative ways – such as adding them to familiar foods, such as oatmeal or sandwiches.
The study also found that such whole food approaches are important for a person’s health.
Ms Burns added: ‘Adding a variety of fruits, vegetables and nuts to your diet can improve your overall diet quality.’
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