Daily Health Tips

Low Trans-Fat Diet Keeps Aging Brains Sharp

Thursday, September 13, 2012 by Health Tips

Daily Health Tips update for September 13:

Most people know that junk food is bad for the body, but now research is showing it’s also bad for the brain. Trans fats, which are found in many processed and pre-packaged foods, were shown to hurt cognition in a study on the brain function of aging people. On the other hand, elderly people who ate a diet high in omega-3 fats, along with vitamins B, C, D and E, exhibited better brain health, proven by cognitive tests.

Omega-3s are type of EFAs, or Essential Fatty Acids. These fats are required by the body, but cannot be manufactured by the body and must be obtained by the diet. If you want to transform your meals into brain healthy dishes, add more fish to your plate. Fish are a natural source of heart- and brain-healthy omega-3 essential fatty acids. If you don’t like fish, walnuts also deliver omega-3s. Other foods that nourish the brain include antioxidant fruits and vegetables and whole grains.

Source: NBC News

Exercise + Computer Use = Improved Memory

Wednesday, September 12, 2012 by Health Tips

Daily Health Tips update for September 12:

Want to keep your memory sharp as you age? Then lace up your sneakers and take a walk, followed by some computer time. A new study by the Mayo Clinic showed that this double whammy reduces the risk of memory loss. Participants who did moderate physical activity and used a computer were 64% less likely to have mild cognitive impairment compared to those who didn’t.

It isn’t necessarily limited to walking. Any type of physical activity can boost memory health--not to mention overall health and well-being. Researchers believe that exercising can promote the production of growth factors, which in turn help nerve cells survive. Try your favorite type of physical activity to keep your body and mind in tip-top condition. Hike, do aerobics, participate in strength training, take a yoga class or go lift weights. Varying your workout with different activities can help prevent boredom with your routine.

Computer use can add to enhanced memory. Computers stimulate the mind, which might help enhance connections in the brain. If you don’t like computers or want to pass this tip along to someone who doesn’t have one, it doesn’t have to be limited to computer time. Try other stimulating hobbies like crossword puzzles, sudoku, reading and playing trivia games. 

Source: NBC News

Vitamin D Prevents Fractures in the Elderly

Tuesday, September 11, 2012 by Health Tips

Daily Health Tips update for September 11:

More and more research keeps pointing to the benefits of vitamin D. It’s known as the “sunshine vitamin” because of our body’s ability to manufacture it from ultraviolet light. It’s perhaps best known for its ability to promote strong and healthy bones. It’s necessary for bone growth and development. Vitamin D also aids the absorption of calcium (another strong bone essential) and phosphorus into the bloodstream and prevents the loss of calcium and phosphorus by the kidneys through urine.

A new analysis published in the New England Journal of Medicine looked at 11 trials done on vitamin D in women 65 years old and above. The women in the studies who were taking a minimum of 800 IU of vitamin D daily had fewer broken bones compared to those who didn’t. In fact, the number of broken hips was reduced by 30%. The recommended dietary allowance for vitamin D is 600 IU, but some health experts feel that this number may be too low.

Source: Reuters

Tips to Get Your Skin Ready for Autumn

Monday, September 10, 2012 by Health Tips

Daily Health Tips update for September 10:

Fall is in the air. Along with shorter, cooler days, you may have noticed your face and skin becoming drier. It’s time to start switching your health and beauty regimen to get ready for autumn (and winter). Start by looking at your facial cleanser. Your summer bottle may have included mattifying ingredients but you want your cooler weather bottle to be a hydrating formula. Get rid of bar soaps and switch to creamy cleansing formulas. You should also switch from a body gel to a creamy body wash. And when exfoliating, look for formulas that have an oil-base, which can help moisturize your skin.

Update your lotion to a thicker, creamier moisturizer. Creams have a stronger oil barrier. This helps your skin lock in moisture. If your hands are still feeling dry, shop for a specialized hand cream to keep them soft and hydrated all season long. After moisturizing your face, hands and body, don’t forget about your lips. Keep them hydrated with non-petroleum-based lip balms. Petroleum isn’t absorbed by lips and may even further dry out your lips. One product to save from your summer beauty routine: sunscreen. You still need to protect your skin against sun damage by applying it every day.

Source: A Woman’s Health