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How Can We Put More Heal In Health?

Sep 5, 2008
When it comes to plant-based foods, think black. Black foods are especially healthy. Black rice is high in anthocyanin, which fights cardiovascular disease. Black beans are rich in terpenoids, which stop the growth of certain cancers. Black tea is rich in flavonoids, which protect against neurological disease; and blackberries are rich in polyphenols, which help prevent diseases related to chronic inflammation. Then there's the pigment that makes these foods black. It provides antioxidants that also protect our health - and give new meaning to black power.

A study done by St. Louis University gives new meaning to calorie restriction. In the study healthy volunteers ages 50 to 60 were divided into 3 groups. The calorie-restriction group cut 300-500 calories a day, the exercise group exercised regularly while maintaining its usual diet and the control group made no changes. One year later only the calorie-restriction group had experienced a decrease in T3 thyroid hormone. This decrease causes a decrease in both metabolism and tissue aging - which increases the likelihood we should be looking for a calorie counter instead of the Fountain of Youth.

We should also be practicing the "relaxation response" - sitting quietly, eyes closed, for 10 to 20 minutes silently repeating a word or phrase. Patients being unsuccessfully treated with medications for high blood pressure participated in a 3-month study with the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine. Practicing the relaxation response daily enabled 66% of the patients to significantly lower their blood pressure. The relaxation response helps the body increase nitric oxide, a compound which causes blood vessels to open, which lowers blood pressure. For continued results, however, pressure to practice the relaxation response has to remain high.

If that's too much pressure, research done at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies shows that a mid-day nap of 10 minutes increases alertness, improves physical dexterity, boosts stamina and lowers stress. I think most employees realize a nap would improve their performance. It's employers who need to wake up to this fact.

Dr. Paula Moskowitz, a dermatologist at Brown University, wants us to wake up to the fact that ointments aren't the right treatment for burns. Ointments smother the skin, which prevents the pores from breathing and the heat from escaping. Instead, we should put a wet wash cloth over the burn. This promotes healing and relieves pain. Of course, free advice also relieves pain - from a down economy.
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KNIGHT PIERCE HIRST takes humorous looks at life.
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