Friday, January 10, 2014

5 Insights of 20 for a better Year

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5 Insights of 20 for a better Year
I found these on Reader’s Digest site.  After reading it over I thought this might just do the trick, These are suggestions that might improve our health. I love the coffee idea… but I should point out that I am not aware that these suggestions have been tested – that is your job.
Here goes….
1. Drink More Coffee
When was the last time you heard a doctor use the word miracle? Well, wake up and smell the coffee: “It’s amazing,” says liver specialist Sanjiv Chopra, MD, professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. “Coffee is truly a lifesaving miracle drug.” 

Though he says it’s still a “scientific mystery” how a simple cup of coffee works its wonders in the body, large epidemiological studies repeatedly verify its astonishing benefits. Some recent research highlights:
• More than three cups a day lowers women’s risk of developing the most common skin cancer by 20 percent. 

• More than six cups a day cuts men’s risk of dying from 
prostate cancer by 60 percent.

• Drinking at least one cup of coffee a day lowers women’s risk of stroke by up to 25 percent.

• Consuming at least two cups daily reduces women’s chances of becoming depressed by up to 20 percent.
“Drink it black, or at most put a little skim milk in it” to minimize calories, Dr. Chopra recommends. The benefits from decaf may not be as prodigious, so stick with regular if you can tolerate the buzz.

 Dr. Chopra drinks at least four cups a day himself, though most people should limit themselves to two. And no, he jokes, “I’m not sponsored by Starbucks.”
Dr. Sanjiv Chopra is the author of Live Better, Live Longer: The New Studies That Reveal What’s Really Good—and Bad—for Your Health.
2. Pound Protein In The Morning
Protein helps persuade your brain and stomach that they’re well nourished and satisfied; skimp on it and your hunger might lead you right to a bag of potato chips, says holistic-medicine pioneer Mark Hyman, MD. In a recent study, volunteers whose daily protein consumption fell below 15 percent of their total calories were far hungrier after breakfast and ate more snacks throughout the day than those whose protein levels exceeded that amount. The extra nibbling put them on track to gain more than two pounds a month had they kept it up.
An important takeaway: Don’t save your protein for dinner, Dr. Hyman says: “One trick is to eat chia seeds [available in health food stores] in the morning. They’re very high in protein, have a very low glycemic load, and have lots of good omega-3 fats.” Soak them in water for a few minutes, and you get a tapioca-pudding-like treat, he says. “I love to add blueberries to mine. It’s a great breakfast.” Other prevalent (and portable) high-protein options: hard-boiled eggs and Greek yogurt.
Dr. Mark Hyman is the author of The Blood Sugar Solution and the innovator of the whole-systems medicine approach known as functional medicine.

3. Pump Up The Potassium
The new mantra among heart specialists such as Ohio State University cardiologist Martha Gulati, MD: Improve your sodium-potassium ratio, by either lowering your sodium or raising your potassium—or, better yet, by doing both. That’s because potassium blunts the blood-pressure-raising effects of sodium. The latest research finds that people with the unhealthiest ratios are more than twice as likely to die from a heart attack as those with the lowest. Another study reveals that raising your daily potassium intake by 1,600 mg (the equivalent of, say, a cup of milk, two bananas, a quarter avocado, and a half cup of raisins) will lower your risk of stroke by 21 percent. New guidelines recommend 4,700 mg daily. Other good sources include cocoa, dried apricots, fish, prunes, spinach, plain yogurt, and potatoes with the skin.

4. Stand Up and Count To 60
Another good reason to be a stand-up guy or gal! It doesn’t matter how hard you hit the gym after work; if you’re spending much of your day sitting down, you’re sabotaging your dutiful efforts, says fitness guru Chris Freytag. The latest evidence: People who take the most standing breaks throughout the day—even as short as a minute—have slimmer waists, lower cholesterol, and better insulin response than those who take the fewest, regardless of how much other exercise they get.
Epidemiologists say hopping to your feet regularly also protects against cancer. In recent analyses, they determined that the colon-cancer risk of people who spent ten years at a sit-down job was almost twice that of those whose jobs involved more activity.
“We’ve engineered movement out of our lives,” Freytag says. “We need to engineer it back in.” Standing up while talking on the phone is a great place to start, she says, along with “walking meetings” at the office.
Chris Freytag is the developer of the workout program 10 Pound Slimdown Xtreme.

5. Early To Bed, Early To Eat
Here’s a good reason to call it a night—an early one: “Being a night owl might increase your waistline,” says sleep expert Michael Breus, PhD. People who stay up late and sleep late—specifically, they get more than half their sleep after 5:30 a.m.—also tend to eat more fast food and consume more of their calories after 8 p.m. than do normal sleepers. In one study, the more that subjects ate after 8 p.m., the higher their body-mass index, even after controlling for other factors.
“One of the easiest things that anyone on a diet can do to improve her results is go to bed and wake up at the same times every day,” Breus says. “This way, your body knows when to sleep and is much more efficient. Organize your eating, too, by trying to eat meals at the same times every day. Avoid eating after 8 p.m., and don’t miss morning meals by sleeping in.”
Michael Breus is the author of The Sleep Doctor’s Diet Plan.
~ Murray Lincoln ~
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