Posts Tagged: health
2

And the Chocolate Pills Taste Like Chocolate Pills

In a novel collaboration, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Seattle-based Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, the National Institutes of Health, and Mars, Incorporated plan to partner on the largest research trial to date that will investigate the heart health benefits of cocoa flavanols. Once initiated, this large-scale, prospective nutritional intervention will evaluate the role of flavanols in reducing the risk of heart attack, stroke, and death from cardiovascular disease.

Let's cut to the chase here: they're testing out chocolate pills for our health. I say, skip the pills and keep eating the chocolate, but I'm no doctor. Where do we sign up? [BWH, AP]

144

The Secret to Health Is Sleeping Through Everything

Think you do just fine on five or six hours of shut-eye? Chances are, you are among the many millions who unwittingly shortchange themselves on sleep.

Here is one of those internet stories that you start reading, with genuine curiosity, hoping to learn more about your own sleeping issues and how you can be a better, healthier person from here on out. "I am among the many millions who unwittingly shortchange themselves on sleep!" you think, brightly. "This is just the thing for me." And then, right off the bat, it gets bleak:

Failing to get enough sleep night after night can compromise your health and may even shorten [...]

172

Chia Seeds

"When you soak the seeds in water, they expand and become gelatinous, a property that aids digestion and contributes to their low glycemic index. When I use the seeds in smoothies, dressings and juices, I scoop up a tablespoon of the gelatinous mixture of seeds suspended in water — which is the equivalent of a teaspoon of unsoaked chia seeds — and add it to the drink or dressing."

Mmm. Chia seeds are apparently a hot "new" thing these days, and the Times has a few suggestions on how best to consume them (herehere, here, and here, too). #jeah

97

Angelina Jolie: "My Medical Choice"

"I wanted to write this to tell other women that the decision to have a mastectomy was not easy. But it is one I am very happy that I made. My chances of developing breast cancer have dropped from 87 percent to under 5 percent. I can tell my children that they don’t need to fear they will lose me to breast cancer." —Angelina Jolie's op-ed in today's New York Times.

18

Four Unfunny Truths About Laughter Yoga

I went to laughter yoga the other night, I guess because I live in a big city and sometimes wear stretchy pants in the street and pretty regularly force-feed myself kale.

Regular yoga is no longer the cure-all for your out-of-balance, toxins-infested mind-body; the cure-all is laughter yoga. Basically, laughter yoga is the new method for scrubbing out our dirty bodies and changing our brain chemistry and banishing sadness and stress from everyone. Forever.

The idea is that laughing is good for you (science says so, after all), and that pretending to laugh can be just as good for your health and wellbeing as actual laughing. So that’s what you [...]

43

Everything Good For You Is Probably Bad For You

…when people take large doses of antioxidants in the form of supplemental vitamins, the balance between free radical production and destruction might tip too much in one direction, causing an unnatural state where the immune system is less able to kill harmful invaders. Researchers call this the antioxidant paradox.

Because studies of large doses of supplemental antioxidants haven’t clearly supported their use, respected organizations responsible for the public’s health do not recommend them for otherwise healthy people.

So why don’t we know about this? Why haven’t Food and Drug Administration officials made sure we are aware of the dangers? The answer is, they can’t.

From Sunday's New York Times: "[...]

46

"Gut Bugs" and Michael Pollan's Magic Schoolbus

"… we’ve just spent the better part of a century doing our unwitting best to wreck the human-associated microbiota with a multifronted war on bacteria and a diet notably detrimental to its well-being. Researchers now speak of an impoverished 'Westernized microbiome' and ask whether the time has come to embark on a project of 'restoration ecology' — not in the rain forest or on the prairie but right here at home, in the human gut." —In this week's New York Times Magazine cover story, Michael Pollan shrinks to the size of an amoeba and traverses the human body: "Some of My Best Friends Are Germs."

56

How I Found Out I Didn't Have the Herpes I'd Been Living With for Four Years

This story is an update to this story, published here in April 2012.

Six months ago, I sat waiting in my gynecologist’s exam room chair, fully clothed and wishing I were anywhere else. At that particular moment, I’d even have preferred being naked and spread-eagled on the paper-lined bed. It’s not true what they say about the stirrups being the worst part of the ladyparts exam room: it’s the chair. Once you’re clothed and in the chair, it means you’re there to talk.

You never forget your first time debriefing with your gynecologist. Mine was four years ago, at age 22, when I sat crumpled in a chair [...]

70

Keep Drinking Coffee

"…animal experiments show that caffeine may reshape the biochemical environment inside our brains in ways that could stave off dementia."

Maybe this iced variety.

(Previously.)

10

In Case You Missed It: Loneliness, Part Two

"This is not proof that loneliness causes dementia; the reverse could be true."

Well, that is a relief.*

Yesterday: Part one.

*No, both of these articles are sad but also end in touching and uplifting ways. Although hopefully there will not be too many more installations. :-/