Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.

Mark's Daily Apple

9 Jan

Juicy Picks

Worker Bees’ Daily Bites:

A lot of good stuff is buzzing about in the health world today, Apples. Here’s the best of the batch:

1) But my crumpet won’t be the same!

A new study finds that adding milk or cream to your tea diminishes the nutritional value. (The nutritional value of tea is off the charts: “tea exerts antioxidative, anti-inflammatory, and vasodilating effects, ‘thereby rendering protection against cardiovascular diseases’ the researchers said.”)

Guess what? The study examined 16 whole people. And only women. Who were post-menopausal. In other words, hardly conclusive, yet it made a splash all over the media. (Science Daily got pretty darn dramatic: “Research published online in the European Heart Journal has found that the protective effect that tea has on the cardiovascular system is totally wiped out by adding milk.” And then bemoaned the plight of the British, who enjoy a bit of milk in their tea.)

Despite drinking gallons of tea, the Brits do have high rates of heart disease (although, if you recall from our news item last week, they’ve managed to slash their national heart disease rate by almost 40% in just a few years). While this study may turn out to be accurate, it pays to take a look at just how reasonable major new health claims actually are. In this case, a milk protein called casein may blunt the antioxidants in tea (known as catechins). Or maybe not: while it’s a good theory, it needs more testing.

The moral of the story? Being really dramatic about relatively small news is fun for the media (sorry guys and gals), so always consider the source and expect significant results.

steeping

2) 17% and Still Sick

We spend about 2 trillion dollars a year on health care. That’s not including food, or diets, or diet books, or exercise machines, or gym memberships. That’s just health care. TWO. TRILLION. DOLLARS.

By comparison, we spend about 9 billion on nutritional supplements.

2 trillion dollars is also more money than the entire national GDP of every single country in the world except the US, Japan, Germany, the UK, and France. That means our health care tab alone is more than the national economic value of 179 whole nations. Whew.

Now, with 17% of our national funds going to health care, what do we have to show for it?

When it comes to obesity, life expectancy, heart disease, cancer, osteoporosis, diabetes, depression, drug reactions, and preventable death, that old adage “We’re #1″ is, unfortunately, all too true.

The news is both sobering and encouraging. Here we are, the richest nation on earth, suffering ill health at rates far beyond most other industrialized nations. The good news (yes, there is good news!) is that nearly every major health problem we face can be prevented in most cases through lifestyle changes. All of the above listed health conditions and diseases are almost entirely preventable with a better diet, a little exercise, and a little TLC. We could spend money on health care until the cows come home, but the fact remains: an ounce of prevention

3) Girls Need Omega 3’s, Too

Yet another excellent piece on the interesting link between migraines, depression, and anxiety in women. Women tend to suffer far more from these health issues than do men. Scientists postulate a few possible reasons: hormonal differences, social and cultural pressures related to gender, and the fact that women tend to attend to the health of their children or mates before addressing their own health problems. There’s no clear-cut answer, and men don’t have an easy time, either: men are prone to heart attacks earlier in life, higher blood pressure, and also tend to ignore serious health issues such as ED, cancer and depression because of the social stigma.

However, whether you’re a pretty pink or a big blue, you can do a lot to ease things like depression, anxiety, and even headaches by getting sufficient Omega-3 fats. Studies overwhelmingly point to the brain and heart benefits of these vital fats.

Get good fats in your body by cutting out trans-fat (found in margarine, processed foods and fried fare), eating more fish, olive oil, nuts and avocados, and taking a fish oil supplement.

migrainegirl
9 Jan

Why?

With the global AIDS crisis, the hard lessons of events like Hurricane Katrina, and worldwide health threats like tuberculosis (yes, it’s coming back) and even the flu, now just might be the time for our government to step up to the plate and find a way to direct more dollars to public health – if not tax dollars, how about better support for organizations that raise funds for such serious health issues? It’s not happening. A report in Time recently revealed some of the funding cuts the government has passed for the CDC (Centers for Disease Control):

Funds for AIDS prevention: cut 19%

Funds for tuberculosis control: cut 16%

Funds for unexpected health emergencies: cut 17%

The CDC is currently in its own quagmire of corruption and ineptitude, and genius budget cuts like the above certainly don’t help. I mention this news simply to highlight the incredible urgency of taking responsibility for your health and well-being. Though ideally we hope to trust our government, our health agencies, and our doctors to look out for our best health interests, the fact is this doesn’t happen all the time – now more than ever. Whether you like the direction health care appears to be heading (Arnold is seeking universal health care and other states are following suit) or not, there are plenty of compelling reasons to do all that you can to take care of your health through as many means as you have at your disposal.

Fortunately, you can achieve significant improvements in health through some very basic, preventive lifestyle measures. It’s my goal to help you choose and implement those health options.

A nutritious diet, stress management, regular exercise, judicious supplementation and careful health decisions are the fundamental steps everyone can take to prevent and even reverse many health problems.

Bottom line: Your health is your choice. Choose it.

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9 Jan

For Serious?

Sara here. There are days when the news is slow. There are days when the news is groundbreaking. And then there are days when the news is just so odd, you have to check it out.

The daily health bites are coming shortly, but in the meantime, you’ll want to click this stuff out. The human brain is an interesting thing, to be sure. We can certainly think of a few people out there whose brains could benefit from more Omega-3’s. Not that we would name any names…

Zombies Are Real. Sort of.

Personalization: It’s not Just for Cell Phones Anymore

Stupid Surveys R Us

Smart Surveys R Us…and they probably read this fascinating book by this cool brainiac.

(Shameless Shill Alert: For an easy way to boost your brain health fast, check out Vital Omegas.)

9 Jan

Spice Things Up

Heat in the hopper is a cancer stopper.

littlepep

Clickativity!

9 Jan

The Tuesday 10

The Top 10 Tips for: fighting the free radicals that destroy the body

10. Take the world’s most potent antioxidant supplement.

9. Avoid exposure to cigarette smoke (and stop smoking!).

8. Don’t eat deep-fried anything. Fried is not your friend.

7. Drink alcohol in moderation.

prettywiney

6. Meditate, journal or pray for a few minutes every day. This helps your body regulate its stress hormones better, which keeps everything running smoothly, including your immune system and the body’s inflammatory response.

5. Exercise several times a week. This stimulates feel-good hormones, the immune system, and the metabolism. Exercise also helps reduce hormonal stress, inflammation, stress to your liver, and yes…oxidation.

4. Eat clean: Try to eat organic meat and dairy products. Wash produce thoroughly.

3. Consume good fats with reckless abandon. (Things like grass-fed meat, wild fish, DHA-enhanced eggs, nuts, avocados, Smart Butter, and olive oil.)

prettyoily

2. Eat foods containing antioxidants every day: vegetables, fruits, berries, nuts…yum!

prettygood

1. And the number one way to reduce inflammation and oxidation (and thereby prevent or reduce most health problems and diseases)? Lay off the sugar! Just say no to processed, refined, empty calories from things like soda, white bread, white pasta, sugary cereals, pastries and other starchy snacks. Yes, these foods are pretty…pretty evil.

prettyevil

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