|Diet and Exercise
|Diet and Exercise - Brain
As ancient Indians discovered more than 5000 years ago and documented
in Ayurveda, we are now finding that diet and lifestyle measures can have
profound effects on the brain. A daily run, a diet rich in almonds and other
healthful foods and a stimulating environment -- all may keep aging
brain cells in shape, according to new research at the University of Illinois-Chicago.
Animals eating an almond-rich diet did much better than those
fed the usual chow. Previous studies have also suggested that a low-fat diet
and/or a diet rich in certain foods containing omega-fats might help keep
the brain healthy.
People who exercise can add three years to their life, and their hearts
reap benefits from something as simple as brisk
walking a half-hour a day, two studies suggest in Archives of Internal
Medicine. In another study, conducted at the Mayo
Clinic, it was shown that physicians were more likely to develop Parkinson's
disease than manual workers. The findings
suggest a link between occupation and the risk of Parkinson's. The researchers
examined the medical records of everyone
in Olmsted County, Minnesota, who developed Parkinson's from 1976
to 1995, where the research was based. The
scientists found that people in active, manual jobs such as construction
and factory workers had the lowest risk. No clear
explanation for the trend has yet been found. Physical activity
and/or socio-economic status may be involved.
to Hip Ratio
Researchers reported in The Lancet medical journal that
a hip-to-waist ratio is a better predictor of the risk
of heart attack for a variety of ethnic groups. The current
standard is the body-mass index, which fails to take into account
the location of the fat accumulation and muscular mass. A previous
study has shown that potbelly is a better predictor of heart disease.
Average waist measurements recorded by the researchers were about 90
percent of the hip measurements. People in China
scored best at 88 percent, followed by 89 percent in the Indian continent
(southeast Asia), 90 percent in North America, 92
percent in Africa, 93 percent in the Middle East and 94 percent
in South America. A 30-inch waist and 36-inch hips, for
instance, works out to a favorable 83 percent.
Some 1 million adult New Yorkers are obese, but nearly two thirds of
them don't think they are, according to a study released by the city's Department
of Health and Mental Hygiene. Gaining weight from overeating is a
problem faced by many adults, and now scientists have apparently discovered
one reason why. In experiments with rats, researchers found that the
hormone leptin, which helps burn fat in fat cells called adipocytes, becomes
ineffective, allowing for weight gain from overeating.
Overweight children aren't just at risk of health problems in adulthood.
They may already be suffering the effects of excess weight on their bones
and joints. A study presented at the Obesity Society meeting in Vancouver,
British Columbia, finds that overweight children have more bone fractures
and joint problems than normal-weight kids.
Just going for a brisk walk in the park, around the block or on a treadmill
may be enough to help keep your heart healthy,
suggests a study, which indicates roughly two to three hours of mild
exercise a week at a moderate intensity can significantly
cut the risk of cardiovascular disease, supports earlier research.
The research was published in the October issue of the
Unlike other tissues in the body, breast tissue in babies and young girls
has only one duct. Hormones secreted during puberty cause this duct to grow
rapidly into a tree-like structure with more ducts. Carcinogens bind more
readily to DNA in the immature cells that develop while this duct expands.
These cells also appear less efficient at repairing damage to genes that
these carcinogens may cause. After a woman's first full-term pregnancy, breast
cells reach maturity and are much less sensitive to DNA damage. Research now
suggests that adolescence may offer a unique window of opportunity for substantially
lowering the risk of breast cancer later in life. Genistein, a phytochemical
in soy, may promote the development of immature breast cells into more mature
cells less vulnerable to carcinogens, according to studies presented at the
most recent American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) international
conference on diet and cancer. The benefits were even greater when they continued
to eat soy into adulthood. The evidence suggests that the time around puberty
offers a chance to imprint cells with a "blueprint" that creates cellular
pathways for long-term protection. Soy consumption as adults had no effect
on the women's breast cancer risk in this study. In another study, Asian-American
women who ate soy even once a week during adolescence reduced their risk
of breast cancer later. In this study, regular consumption of soy foods during
adolescence lowered their breast cancer risk even if they did not eat it
regularly later in life. But the women who continued eating soy as
adults had the lowest risk.
Omega-3 fat, found in flax, urad and nuts, may also offer more
protection against breast cancer when consumed before or
around puberty rather than in adulthood. Several studies have linked
omega-3 fat consumption with a lower risk of breast
cancer, especially if teenagers eat low amounts of other polyunsaturated
Adding breast cancer to the list of health causes he champions, former
President Bill Clinton is establishing a fund in honor of his mother Virginia
Clinton Kelley, who died of the disease in 1994. Shortly after leaving
office in 2001, Bill got the
William J. Clinton Foundation involved in fighting AIDS and brokered
agreements that led to cheaper drugs for Africa and other poor nations.
His foundation has set a goal to supply AIDS drugs to 10,000 children in
at least 10 countries by the end of the year, and to provide reduced-cost
HIV drugs to 2 million people by 2008. The newly formed Virginia Clinton
Kelley Fund will be part of the National Breast Cancer Coalition Fund. Mrs.
Kelley underwent standard mastectomy, chemotherapy and radiation treatments
in 1990 and died four years later, at age 70.
Breast feeding is saving the lives of 6 million babies a year, but more
than twice that could be saved if more mothers would use the time-honored
method, the U.N. children's agency said in November. Thirty-nine percent
of infants in developing countries are exclusively breast fed, UNICEF said,
blaming "lack of awareness amongst mothers, and lack of support from health
workers and communities." A total of 1.3 million lives could be saved
each year if mothers followed its recommendation of exclusive breast feeding
up until six months, then complementary feeding for at least two years, UNICEF
said in a statement. UNICEF said breast milk gives a baby ideal nourishment
and disease immunity.
Researchers have found one more reason why. A study published in the
Journal of the American Medical Association finds that women who
breastfeed lower their risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Two servings a day of soy protein -- such as that found in tofu, soy
milk or soy powder -- can lower cholesterol levels by as much as 9 percent
as long as the raw soy is uncooked, a study presented on soy protein's impact
on blood cholesterol to a
scientific conference on soy held in Chicago.
The health benefit also is found in such products as soy nuts, soy powder
sprinkled on food or in milkshakes, or edamame, a raw or parboiled edible
form of soybeans popular in Japan.
Fruits and Vegetables Confer
There are as many as 2,000 known phytonutrients. Just one serving of
vegetable or fruit may possess more than 100 different types. Cruciferous
vegetables such as Broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, bok
choy, dark leafy greens, watercress etc. contain phytonutrients that may
prevent cancer and interfere with the growth of cancer cells.
A study, which focused on chemical interactions between compounds found
in foods and the body's cells and DNA, suggests that the addition of these
foods to the diet can confer health benefits. Broccoli sprouts, cabbage,
ginkgo biloba and garlic appear to have a role in preventing a variety of
cancers. The findings were presented at the American Association
for Cancer Research's meeting in Baltimore in November.
Eating fruits and vegetables has been shown to lower cholesterol and
blood pressure, improve bowel regularity and colon
health, aid in weight and blood sugar control, reduce the risk of developing
cataracts and macular degeneration leading to
vision loss, and guard against certain cancers, with the strongest evidence
related to cancers of the lung and digestive tract.
Despite the resounding benefits of consuming plant foods, Americans eat
only about 1.5 servings of vegetables and less
than 1 serving of fruit per day, on average. According to a 2002
national survey, Americans spent $18.7 billion per year on
dietary supplements such as antioxidants despite inconclusive scientific
backup for their effectiveness in disease prevention and treatment.
We need to retrain our thinking to create a meal around vegetables and fruits.
In addition to the crucifers mentioned above, flavonoid containing berries,
cherries, red and purple grapes, currants, pomegranates, walnuts, apples
with skin, citrus, red onions, tomatoes, bell peppers, grape juice, etc. are
associated with decreased risk of diabetes, heart disease and cancer.
Red, green, yellow and orange vegetables and fruits, such as pumpkin,
carrots, sweet potato, squash, broccoli, dark leafy
greens, tomatoes, corn, peppers, mango, guava, apricots, peaches, cantaloupe,
watermelon, red grapefruit, oranges,
tangerines etc. contain carotenoids which have been linked with prevention
of colon, prostate, breast and lung cancer.
Shortness of Breath
In the next one to five years, those with shortness of breath and no history
of heart disease had four times the risk of death from heart problems than
those without any symptoms (2 percent versus 0.5 percent per year) and twice
the risk of those with typical chest pain (2 percent versus 1 percent), according
to the findings were reported in the November issue of New England
Journal of Medicine. Breathing problems have a number of causes,
including lung diseases and heart damage or just being out of shape.
Thus, shortness of breath is not a sign to be ignored. So, make sure that
your doctor knows about your symptoms.
Violence against Women
In interviews with 24,000 women in 10 countries, researchers found that
while there are wide variations in the rate of women experiencing sexual or
other physical abuse at the hands of their partners, victims are about twice
as likely as other women to suffer ill health and the effect to persists long
after the violence has stopped. Women who are physically abused by
a partner face a similar legacy of health problems whether they live in a
modern city in the industrialized world or a traditional village in a developing
country. The landmark study was conducted by the World Health Organization
in collaboration with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine,
and PATH, a global health organization. Countries included in the
study were: Brazil, Ethiopia, Japan, Namibia, Peru, Samoa, Serbia and Montenegro,
Thailand, Bangladesh and Tanzania. North America and Western Europe
were not included because earlier studies had already examined the situation
there. The percentage of women who had been attacked by their partners in
the preceding year was 4 percent in Japan and in Serbia and Montenegro,
compared with between 30 percent and 54 percent in Bangladesh, Ethiopia,
Peru and Tanzania. In rural Ethiopia, where two-thirds of women experience
domestic violence, the impact on health was very similar to that seen in
Britain, where 4 percent of women are experiencing violence.
If you're a victim of violence at the hands of someone you know or love
or you are recovering from an assault by a stranger, you are not alone. In
the USA, to get immediate help and support call the National Domestic Violence
Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or the National Sexual Assault Hotline
Ingredients: 1/2 cup urad flour, 1/2 cup Idli flour or rice flour, 1/2 cup
tvorog (cottage cheese or farmers cheese), 2 cups kifir (yoghurt), salt to
taste and a pinch of baking soda. (Optionally, 1/2 cup finely grated carrots).
Directions: Mix thoroughly and let stand for 10 minutes. Place the
dough in an idli cooker with sufficient water and cook for about 15 minutes.
Chickpea and vegetable salad
Ingredients: 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, 2 teaspoon red wine vinegar,
1 teaspoon Asian chili sauce, 1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 small red onion, very thinly sliced, 12 spears asparagus, trimmed,
trimmed, steamed, and cut crosswise into thirds
1 (15 1/2 - ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained, 1 red pepper, cut
into 1-inch squares.
Directions: Combine dressing ingredients in a medium bowl. Let stand
5 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and toss well to coat. Serve at room
Documents You Must Have
This material contains only general descriptions and
is not a solicitation to sell any insurance product or security, nor is it
intended as any financial or tax advice. For information about specific
insurance needs or situations, contact your financial agent.
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|Source: The primary
sources cited above, New York Times
(NYT), Washington Post (WP), Mercury
News, Bayarea.com, Chicago Tribune, USA Today,
Intellihealthnews, Deccan Chronicle
(DC), the Hindu, Hindustan Times, Times
of India, AP, Reuters, AFP, womenfitness.net