5 things we learned this week that can improve your health

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There is so much health and wellness information available. Here are some of the health headlines from this week and what you can learn from them to better your health.According to recent research from the University of Cincinnati, eating strawberries on a daily basis may help prevent midlife sadness and dementia.The study, which was just published in the peer-reviewed journal Nutrients, looked at patients aged 50 to 65 who were overweight (BMI of 25 or more) and had mild cognitive decline symptoms. Participants who consumed two servings of freeze-dried, whole-fruit strawberry powder in their water every morning for 12 weeks had fewer symptoms of depression, better emotional control, improved problem solving, and “reduced memory interference” on word memorization tests, according to the researchers.


The study’s authors wrote of the powerful berries, “The findings support the notion that strawberry supplementation has a role in dementia risk reduction when introduced in midlife,” noting that each packet of strawberry powder “contained 13 g, providing 36.8 mg anthocyanins derived from 130 g whole fruit and equivalent to about 1 [cup] whole fresh strawberries, which is designated as a standard serving by the California Strawberry Commission.”So what’s the point of stopping at breakfast? The antioxidant-rich fruit also helps to enhance your immune system, protect against heart disease and stroke, and control your blood sugar.

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According to a recent study published in the peer-reviewed journal BMC Medicine, never being visited by friends or family is related with an increased chance of dying.The study, conducted in the United Kingdom, examined data from 56.5-year-old volunteers recruited between 2006 and 2010. Participants were asked how frequently they could confide in someone close to them, how often they felt lonely, how frequently they were visited by friends and relatives, how frequently they engaged in a weekly group activity, and whether they lived alone. Researchers discovered that the frequency of weekly group activities and visits from family and friends, as well as whether participants lived alone, had the strongest association with mortality; never being visited by friends or family was associated with a 39% increased risk of death.Loneliness is a worldwide issue, with the World Health Organization recently establishing “the first global initiative to tackle the epidemic of loneliness.” According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, social isolation is linked to a variety of health issues, including dementia and heart disease. According to a study released earlier this year, loneliness may be worse for heart health than a poor diet or smoking.

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Concerned about your child’s sloppy brushing? An electric toothbrush could make a significant difference. According to a new study published in the International Journal of Paediatric Dentistry, oscillating-rotating electric toothbrushes were considerably more successful than manual toothbrushes at reducing plaque and gingivitis in children aged 3 to 10. After a four-week trial, the Hebrew University-Hadassah Faculty of Dental Medicine in Israel found that 55.7% of children aged 3 to 6 had greater whole-mouth plaque reduction and 34.3% had greater back-of-the-mouth plaque reduction; for children aged 7 to 10, the improvement was 94.5% for the whole mouth and 108.4% for the back of the mouth.Concerned about your child’s sloppy brushing? An electric toothbrush could make a significant difference.By removing one teaspoon of salt from your diet each day, you can drop your blood pressure as efficiently as some common blood pressure drugs in as little as one week. In a recent study, Vanderbilt University Medical Center researchers randomly assigned volunteers aged 50 to 70 to either a high-sodium (2,200 mg per day) or a low-sodium (500 mg per day, or about one teaspoon less than the high-sodium diet) diet for one week. After then, participants switched to the opposite diet for one week.

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“We discovered that 70 to 75% of all people, whether they are already on blood pressure medications or not, are likely to see a reduction in their blood pressure if they reduce the sodium in their diet,” said Norrina Allen, co-principal investigator of the study. The American Heart Association recommends a maximum of 2,300 mg of salt per day for most adults, and ideally no more than 1,500 mg per day. The majority of the sodium in our diets comes from packaged or processed foods like breads, pizza, and cold cuts, although natural foods like cheese and poultry are also high in sodium.

What's in Season? Strawberries - Canadian Food Focus

Researchers at Rowan University’s New Jersey Institute for Successful Aging discovered that having a good attitude toward aging was connected with living longer.The study, which looked at data from 5,483 New Jersey residents aged 50 to 74 from 2006 to 2008, discovered a correlation between subjective successful aging (SSA) scores — or how people feel about their aging experience — and the chance of dying within nine years. Those with a low SSA had a 45% risk of dying within nine years, whereas those with a high SSA had a less than 10% chance of dying.”My research provides a new and helpful way to understand the link between how people feel about their aging experience and mortality,” stated study leader Rachel Pruchno.


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