Breaking News

Simple Ways to Live a Healthy Lifestyle

You hear a lot about living a healthy lifestyle, but what does that mean? In general, a healthy person doesn't smoke, is at a healthy weight, eats healthy and exercises. Sounds simple, doesn't it?

The trick to healthy living is making small changes...taking more steps, adding fruit to your cereal, having an extra glass of water...these are just a few ways you can start living healthy without drastic changes. 

Just adding a little movement to your life can:

• Reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes

• Improve joint stability

• Increase and improve range of movement

• Help maintain flexibility as you age

• Maintain bone mass

• Prevent osteoporosis and fractures

• Improve mood and reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression

• Enhance self esteem

• Improve memory in elderly people

• Reduce stress

So, even if you opt for small changes and a more modest weight loss, you can see the benefits are still pretty good. One study has found that just a 10% weight reduction helped obese patients reduce blood pressure, cholesterol and increase longevity.

Simple Ways to Move Your Body:

You can start the process of weight loss now by adding a little more activity to your life. If you're not ready for a structured program, start small. Every little bit counts and it all adds up to burning more calories.

• Turn off the TV. Once a week, turn off the TV and do something a little more physical with your family. Play games, take a walk...almost anything will be more active than sitting on the couch.

• Walk more. Look for small ways to walk more. When you get the mail, take a walk around the block, take the dog for an extra outing each day or walk on your treadmill for 5 minutes before getting ready for work.

• Do some chores. Shoveling snow, working in the garden, raking leaves, sweeping the floor...these kinds of activities may not be 'vigorous' exercise, but they can keep you moving while getting your house in order.

• Pace while you talk. When you're on the phone, pace around or even do some cleaning while gabbing. This is a great way to stay moving while doing something you enjoy.

• Be aware. Make a list of all the physical activities you do on a typical day. If you find that the bulk of your time is spent sitting, make another list of all the ways you could move more--getting up each hour to stretch or walk, walk the stairs at work, etc.

Learn about more ways to fit in exercise.

Eating Well

Eating a healthy diet is another part of the healthy lifestyle. Not only can a clean diet help with weight management, it can also improve your health and quality of life as you get older. You can use the new MyPlate to determine how many calories you need and what food groups you should focus on or, if you're looking for smaller changes,you can use these tips for simple ways to change how you eat,

• Eat more fruit. Add it to your cereal, your salads or even your dinners

• Sneak in more veggies. Add them wherever you can--a tomato on your sandwich, peppers on your pizza, or extra veggies in your pasta sauce. Keep pre-cut or canned/frozen veggies ready for quick snacks.

• Switch your salad dressing. If you eat full-fat dressing, switch to something lighter and you'll automatically eat less calories.

• Eat low-fat or fat-free dairy. Switching to skim milk or fat free yogurt is another simple way to eat less calories without having to change too much in your diet.

• Make some substitutes. Look through your cabinets or fridge and pick 3 foods you eat every day. Write down the nutritional content and, the next time you're at the store, find lower-calorie substitutes for just those 3 items.

Source: About.com

Compiled by: Raghda Sawas

Too Many Antibiotics? Bacterial Ecology That Lives On Humans Has Changed in Last 100 Years

Cecil M. Lewis Jr., professor of anthropology in the OU College of Arts and Sciences and director of the OU Molecular Anthropology Laboratory, and Raul Tito, OU Research Associate, led the research study that analyzed microbiome data from ancient human fecal samples collected from three different archaeological sites in the Americas, each dating to over 1000 years ago. In addition, the team provided a new analysis of published data from two samples that reflect rare and extraordinary preservation: Otzi the Iceman and a soldier frozen for 93 years on a glacier.

"The results support the hypothesis that ancient human gut microbiomes are more similar to those of non-human primates and rural non-western communities than to those of people living a modern lifestyle in the United States," says Lewis. "From these data, the team concluded that the last 100 years has been a time of major change to the human gut microbiome in cosmopolitan areas."

"Dietary changes, as well as the widespread adoption of various aseptic and antibiotic practices have largely benefited modern humans, but many studies suggest there has been a cost, such as a recent increase in autoimmune related risks and other health states," states Lewis.

"We wish to reveal how this co-evolutionary relationship between humans and bacteria has changed, while providing the foundation for interventions to reconstruct what has been lost. One way to do this is to study remote communities and non-human primates. An alternative path is to look at ancient samples and see what they tell us," Lewis says.

"An argument can be made that remote traditional communities are not truly removed from modern human ecologies. They may receive milk or other food sources from the government, which could alter the microbial ecology of the community. Our evolutionary cousins, non-human primates are important to consider. However, the human-chimp common ancestor was over six million years ago, which is a lot of time for microbiomes to evolve distinct, human signatures."

Retrieving ancient human microbiome data is complementary to these studies. However, studying ancient microbiomes is not without problems. Assuming DNA preserves, there is also a problem with contamination and modification of ancient samples, both from the soil deposition, and from other sources, including the laboratory itself.

"In addition to laboratory controls in our study, we use an exciting new quantitative approach called source tracking developed by Dan Knights from Rob Knight's Laboratory at the University of Colorado in Boulder, which can estimate how much of the ancient microbiome data is consistent with the human gut, rather than other sources, such as soil," explains Lewis.

"We discovered that certain samples have excellent gut microbiome signatures, opening the door for deeper analyses of the ancient human gut, including a better understanding of the ancient humans themselves, such as learning more about their disease burdens, but also learning more about what has changed in our gut today."

Science Daily

Compiled by :Maysa Wassouf

 

 

Oranges,prevent cancer

Oranges have many health benefits. They are rich in Vitamins C and A, flavonoids, antioxidants, calcium, magnesium, potassium, dietary fiber etc. Oranges have more than 60 flavonoids and 170 phytonutrients that have been shown to have anti-inflammatory, anti-tumour and anti-oxidant properties.

Here are some of the health benefits for oranges:

- Relieves Constipation

The dietary fiber in orange helps in stimulating digestive juices and relieves constipation.

- Regulates High Blood Pressure

Hesperidin, a flavonoid in oranges helps to regulate high blood pressure. Magnesium in oranges helps to maintain the blood pressure.

- Prevents Cancer

The high amount of vitamin C protects the cells from damages by free radicals. Liminoid, a compound in oranges helps to prevent cancers like oral, skin, lung, breast and colon.

- Protects Against Heart Diseases

The high amount of vitamin C and flavonoids protects against heart diseases.

- Fights Against Viral Infections

Studies show that the abundance of polyphenols protects against viral infections.

- Purifies Blood

The iron and Vitamin B6 in oranges help in the production of hemoglobin and increase the oxygen carrying capacity. They also purify the blood.

- Protects Against Skin Diseases

Beta-carotene, the powerful antioxidant protects the cells from being damage. It also protects the skin from free radicals and prevents the signs of aging.

- Keeps Bones and Teeth Strong

The calcium in oranges helps to keep your bones and teeth strong.

- Prevents Kidney Diseases

The regular intake of orange juice prevents kidney diseases. It also reduces the risk of forming calcium oxalate stones in the kidney. But take the juice in moderate amounts. Otherwise it can cause the decay of bones and teeth.

Compiled by: Raghda Sawas

How Can Diet Affect Depression?

Trying to find a diet to ease depression? Unfortunately, there's no specific diet that works for depression. No studies have been done that indicate a particular eating plan can ease symptoms of clinical depression.

while certain diets or foods may not ease depression (or put you instantly in a better mood), a healthy diet may help as part of an overall treatment for depression.

How Can Diet Affect Depression?

Here are the following  tips for eating if you or a loved one is recovering from clinical depression.

1- Eat a Diet High in Nutrients

Nutrients in foods support the body's repair, growth, and wellness. Nutrients we all need include vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, protein, and even a small amount of fat. A deficiency in any of these nutrients lead to our bodies not working at full capacity -- and can even cause illness.

2- Fill Your Plate With Essential Antioxidants

Damaging molecules called free radicals are produced in our bodies during normal body functions -- and these free radicals contribute to aging and dysfunction. Antioxidants such as beta-carotene and vitamins C and E combat the effects of free radicals. Antioxidants have been shown to tie up these free radicals and take away their destructive power.

Studies show that the brain is particularly at risk for free radical damage. Although there's no way to stop free radicals completely, we can reduce their destructive effect on the body by eating foods rich in antioxidants as part of a healthy diet, including:

    Sources of beta-carotene: apricots, broccoli, cantaloupe, carrots, collards, peaches, pumpkin, spinach, sweet potato.

    Sources of vitamin C: blueberries, broccoli, grapefruit, kiwi, oranges, peppers, potatoes, strawberries, tomato.

    Sources of vitamin E: margarine, nuts and seeds, vegetable oils, wheat germ.

 

3-Eat "Smart" Carbs for a Calming Effect

The connection between carbohydrates and mood is linked to the mood-boosting brain chemical, serotonin. Carbohydrate craving may be related to decreased serotonin activity, although experts are not sure if there is a link.

So don't shun carbs -- just make smart choices. Limit sugary foods and opt for smart carbs, such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and legumes, which all contribute healthy carbs as well as fiber.

4- Eat Protein-Rich Foods to Boost Alertness

Foods rich in protein, like turkey, tuna, or chicken, are rich in an amino acid called tyrosine. Tyrosine may help boost levels of the brain chemicals dopamine and norepinephrine. This boost helps you feel alert and makes it easier to concentrate. Try to include a protein source in your diet several times a day, especially when you need to clear your mind and boost your energy.

    Good sources of healthy proteins: beans and peas, lean beef, low-fat cheese, fish, milk, poultry, soy products, yogurt.

Compiled by:Raghda Sawas

 

 

Disease Prevention

 

As models for prevention research, infectious diseases have set a high standard. Thanks to the development and widespread distribution of vaccines and anti microbial drugs, we now live in a world free of smallpox, nearly free of polio, and with declining rates of malaria and AIDS. These victories (some still partial) have resulted in people living longer and acute infectious diseases being superseded in many countries as a public health priority by long-term noncommunicable diseases. Heart disease, metabolic disease, cancer, and respiratory disease together account for 60% of all deaths worldwide and 80% of deaths in low- and middle-income countries. Global projections for dementia are particularly alarming: By the year 2050, the disorder may affect more than 100 million people.

Logic dictates that preventing these diseases is a better approach than treating people after they have become ill. In many cases, the knowledge and tools needed for prevention appear to be in place. A number of these killer diseases share risk factors that can be modified by lifestyle changes—for example, by eliminating tobacco use, eating less processed food, and increasing physical activity. For certain cancers, screening tests are available that allow detection of the disease at an early stage. So why is prevention of these diseases so difficult when it seems like such a good idea on paper?

This special section of Science highlights many of the challenges facing researchers in noncommunicable disease prevention, a field characterized by impassioned debates on issues as fundamental as whether the benefits of cancer screening outweigh the risks, and which forms of prevention are the most cost-effective. The need for carefully designed clinical trials is a common theme in discussions of potential chemopreventive agents—among them aspirin, vitamin D, vaccines against chronic diseases, and β-amyloid–lowering drugs. The preventive strategies most likely to succeed on a population-wide scale are described, as are the best ways to integrate these efforts with infectious disease prevention, and the far-reaching effects (some adverse) that disease prevention efforts could have on a country's economy. And even as medical researchers seek new prevention drugs and strategies, we are reminded that lifelong health requires proper nutrition, especially during the first 1000 days of life, and that effective prevention will require an understanding of why people engage in health-harming behaviors.

One year ago this month, the United Nations convened a conference focused on the global reach of noncommunicable diseases, and it has since set a goal: to reduce the probability of premature mortality from these diseases by 25% by the year 2025. Although the specifics are still a work in progress, preventive strategies will probably play an important role. As if prevention researchers didn't already face enough challenges, they now find themselves working on a deadline.

Science Magazine

M.W