If you’re ready to try a new eating approach, this plan could help you achieve your weight-loss goal

Limiting your food intake for set periods of time, known as intermittent fasting, is increasingly seen as an effective weight-loss method with added health benefits. ‘Fasting can be a useful way of dieting as it doesn’t involve too many rules or foods that you have to omit,’ says Healthspan nutritionist Rob Hobson. ‘Our bodies are equipped to go without food for stretches of time, so fasting might not be as difficult as you may think.’

How Do I Achieve Healthy Weight Loss?

Why fasting works

Studies on intermittent fasting show promising results. ‘Research highlights the benefits that occur when the body is deprived of food. These include low levels of blood insulin – which promotes fat burning, increase in human growth hormone – which boosts fat burning and muscle gain, and the acceleration of cellular repair,’ says Rob. ‘Some of the strongest research is around the potential to reduce insulin resistance and lower the risk of type 2 diabetes. But it’s important to still choose nourishing calories. Eating anything and everything on non-fasting days won’t get you far when it comes to weight loss.’

Why you’re really gaining weight

If we eat more calories than we burn, we’re at risk of weight gain. But there are other reasons that we put on – or struggle to shift – excess pounds. Some of these have a medical explanation, but others may surprise you. First things first, if you’re heavier than you’d like to be don’t berate yourself. ‘You’re not lazy or unmotivated,’ says Gabrielle

O’Hare, author of Why Women Over 40

Can’t Lose Weight (£8.99, Michael

Terence Publishing). ‘Many things can affect your weight: lifestyle, illness, menopause, medication, stress.’

Look for causes – such as those suggested here – and stay open-minded, she says.

It’s your medication

Weight gain is a common side effect of certain medications, including some antidepressants, insulin, steroids, beta blockers and epilepsy drugs. ‘If this is the case, it will be referenced in the side effects of the patient information leaflet,’ says Boots pharmacist Bina Mehta. ‘Side effects can be different from person to person, but it’s important to take medicine according to the prescriber’s instructions.’ If you’re concerned, speak to your GP about switching.

You’re insulin-resistant

Insulin resistance can lead to weight gain and diabetes (around 85% of people with type 2 diabetes are overweight). Conversely, weight gain can also lead to insulin resistance. ‘Having too much fat stored in and around your liver and pancreas could increase the likelihood of insulin resistance,’

explains Emma Elvin, deputy head of care at Diabetes UK. ‘But it can also affect people of a healthy weight.’ Aim to eat a balanced, fibre-rich diet low in refined carbs and sugar, and exercise regularly. Studies show that intermittent fasting can improve insulin resistance and encourage weight loss.

It’s your thyroid

Women are up to 10 times more likely to develop an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) than men. Symptoms include weight gain, tiredness and sensitivity to cold. ‘When the thyroid isn’t producing enough hormones, it can lead to a low basal metabolic rate,’ explains Dr Rhianna McClymont, lead GP at online healthcare service Livi. ‘When your metabolism is slowed down, you’re not burning calories as efficiently, so weight goes on more easily.’ Ask your GP for a thyroid check – if yours is low, you may be treated with a hormone replacement.

You’re menopausal

‘On average, women gain 5-7lb over the course of the menopause transition,’

says Hannah Braye, technical adviser at Bio-Kult. While hormone levels are partly responsible, an increasingly sedentary lifestyle can compound the problem. ‘Sleep disruption may also increase metabolic disturbances, and low energy levels from poor sleep can cause people to reach for comfort foods,’ she adds. HRT may help, as can boosting our gut microbiomes. ‘Emerging evidence suggests a potential role for live bacteria supplements in helping support healthy metabolism and weight management,’ says Hannah. Try Bio-Kult’s Everyday Gut (£10.48 for 30 capsules, bio-kult.

Your ‘healthy’ food may be bad for you

Be wary of foods you believe are nutritious, as some contribute to weight gain. For example:

  • ‘Healthy’ ready meals are still processed and may contain refined
  • ingredients or added sugar/ salt. Choose homemade.
  • Granola can contain as much sugar as cereal. Opt for unsweetened porridge instead.
  • Low-fat dressings can be full of added sugar. Swap for full-fat versions and use sparingly.
  • Some plant milks are highly processed and nutritionally poor. Check labels before buying.

Your portions are too large

Eat a balanced diet but still gaining weight? It could be your portion sizes. ‘We gain weight when our input of calories is higher than our output,’ says Dr Pam Mason of the Tea Advisory Panel. ‘Think about your portions every time you eat, and consider weighing food to educate yourself – caloriedense food is particularly easy to eat in overgenerous portions.’

If your correct portion sizes look meagre, Bariatric Surgeon suggests fluids with food to fill you up and slow your eating down. Aim for warm, healthy drinks, such as tea, which you can sip. An added bonus? Consumption of black and green tea is linked with reduced weight.

Is intermittent fasting actually good for weight loss? Here’s what the evidence says

Is intermittent fasting actually good for weight loss? Here’s what the evidence says

If you’re someone who’s thought about losing weight or has wanted to get healthier in the past few years, you’ve probably come across these two words: intermittent fasting. From celebrities to fitness enthusiasts, intermittent fasting has many thousands of loyal advocates online, claiming this way of eating has helped them lose weight better than other diet methods have.

It’s easy to see the appeal of intermittent fasting as a weight loss method. Not only is it simple, it’s also flexible, can be adapted easily to every person, and doesn’t require you to eliminate foods or count calories. But despite its popularity, intermittent fasting may not actually be better than other diet methods when it comes to weight loss.

To date, numerous studies have shown intermittent fasting is as good as counting calories when it comes to weight loss – including a recent study, which tracked participants for more than a year.

This has even been shown with many different types of intermittent fasting, including alternate-day fasting (where you fast or restrict calories every other day), 5:2 dieting (eating normally five days a week, then fasting or restricting calories for two days) and time-restricted eating (where you eat all of your days calories within a set time window, such as only eating during an eight hour window, then fasting for 16 hours). But no studies have yet shown intermittent fasting to be any better than conventional diets.

Intermittent fasting reduces the amount you eat, but it may have a downside. It both reduces the amount of physical activity we do, and reduces how hard we push during exercise.

This is true regardless of the type of intermittent fasting you do. This suggests that when calorie intake is substantially reduced – even for a short period of time – the body adapts by reducing the number of calories used during exercise. Researchers aren’t entirely sure why this happens, however.

While this may not necessarily affect weight loss, lower physical activity levels can have other negative effects on health. For example, a recent alternate-day fasting study found that even just three weeks of this diet reduced physical activity levels and led to a greater loss of muscle mass than a daily calorie restriction diet. The fasting diet was also less effective than daily calorie restriction for fat loss.

Muscle mass is crucial for many reasons, including regulating blood sugar levels and staying physically able as we get older. So diets that cause muscle loss are best avoided. However, combining intermittent fasting with exercise programmes – such as resistance training – may help people better maintain lean muscle mass while encouraging fat loss.

Are there other benefits to fasting?

While intermittent fasting might not be a miracle solution when it comes to weight loss, that doesn’t mean it might not still have other health benefits.

A recent review on intermittent fasting found that it improved blood pressure, insulin sensitivity ( how effectively the body regulates blood sugar) and lowered cholesterol levels to a similar extent as daily calorie restriction.

It is likely this effect is due to weight loss. But since few studies have followed participants for longer than a year, it’s hard to know whether the these effects persist.

Some research also suggests how you fast may also be key. A number of studies have shown promising results from early time-restricted eating, which involves eating all your day’s calories in the early part of the day and fasting in the evening, usually from 4pm onwards. Eating early in the day aligns food intake with our natural circadian rhythms, which means nutrients are processed more efficiently.

Early time-restricted eating has also been shown to improve several markers of health, such as insulin sensitivity, which is a key risk factor for type 2 diabetes. These improvements were even seen without weight loss.

There’s also evidence that outcomes from the 5:2 intermittent fasting diet can be improved by positioning the two very-low or no calorie diet days consecutively. This may lead to improvements in insulin sensitivity greater than what would be seen when practising daily calorie restriction.

This might be due to spending more time in a fasted-state, which increases the amount of body fat you burn. Interestingly, exercising while fasting may also help you burn more fat and improve insulin sensitivity.

So while intermittent fasting might not be better than other diets for weight loss, making changes to how you do it – such as fasting in the evening – may help you see other health benefits.

For people who struggle to stick with calorie restriction diets, intermittent fasting is safe and may still be effective. It’s also worth noting that it’s best to combine intermittent fasting with exercise to experience the best results.

Weight loss is tied to lower cancer risk, new study shows

Weight loss is tied to lower cancer risk, new study shows

A large new study found that people who lost significant amounts of weight through bariatric surgery gained a striking benefit: Their likelihood of developing cancer fell sharply.

The study, published recently in JAMA, followed more than 30,000 adults with obesity for about a decade. It found that those who underwent weight loss surgery had a 32 percent lower risk of developing cancer and a 48 percent lower risk of dying from the disease, compared with a similar group of people who did not have the surgery.

While the new research focused on weight loss through bariatric surgery, the authors of the study speculated the benefit would apply to weight loss through other methods as well, such as diet and exercise or the use of weight loss medications. Dr. Steven E. Nissen, a coauthor of the study, said the findings “provide one more reason why people who are obese should lose weight.”

“It’s an important public health message,” said Nissen, the chief academic officer of the Heart, Vascular and Thoracic Institute at the Cleveland Clinic. “I think a lot of the public doesn’t understand or realize that obesity is such a strong risk factor for cancer, and they certainly don’t understand that it’s reversible.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, obesity is a leading cause of preventable cancers, along with smoking, heavy drinking and exposure to ultraviolet radiation. People who are overweight or obese have a higher risk of developing 13 different types of cancer, including endometrial, breast, kidney, liver, esophageal and colorectal. The CDC estimates the 13 types of cancer linked to obesity make up 40 percent of all cancers diagnosed in the United States each year.

Bariatric surgery can lead to substantial weight loss. Though some patients end up regaining some of the weight they lost, studies show that most people who undergo bariatric surgery are able to sustain a more than 20 percent reduction in their body weight a decade after their procedure.

For the new study, Nissen and his colleagues wanted to see how that amount of weight loss would affect cancer rates. They recruited 5,053 people with obesity who had undergone bariatric surgery at the Cleveland Clinic and followed them. Each patient was “matched” to five other patients who were similar in many respects — they were about the same age, sex and race, and they had similar medical histories and body mass indexes, but they did not undergo weight loss surgery.

All told, there were more than 30,000 participants in the study, which included 25,265 people in the control group.

After a decade, the patients who had the surgery had lost an average of about 61 pounds, while those in the control group (who were advised by their doctors to try to lose weight on their own) had lost an average of 6 pounds. Slightly less than 3 percent of patients who had surgery developed cancer, compared with roughly 4.9 percent of those in the nonsurgical group — equivalent to a 32 percent reduction in risk for those who had surgery.

In general, the data suggested that patients needed to lose a large amount of weight, at least 20-25 percent of their body weight, to see a beneficial change in their cancer risk, said Dr. Ali Aminian, the lead author of the study and the director of the Bariatric and Metabolic Institute at the Cleveland Clinic.

Why worry about obesity?

Why worry about obesity?

Obesity rates are on the rise around the world – and Hong Kong is no exception. According to Hong Kong Population Health Surveys, around 30 percent of the adult population in HK are obese, while another 20 percent are overweight. This was a trend before COVID, but the move to working from home has meant some people are now less active than ever before.

Being overweight or obese can affect more than just your confidence and selfesteem. It can also increase your risk of conditions like diabetes, arthritis, heart attacks, strokes and some cancers. and the tube is then gently detached from the balloon and placement is complete. After approximately four months, the balloon will automatically deflate and pass out of your digestive system naturally.

The other food fight

‘Malnutrition is a problem but we should also focus on getting healthy foods’

Stephen Kimutai Tanui Taekwondo manager

The children of Bees Haven kindergarten are about 15 minutes into their weekly taekwondo class when their instructor has some stern words for them. “You guys are not panting,” says Lizzanne Adhiambo, with a grin. “I want to see the power! Let’s punch!”

Aside from some confusion over left and right hands, Adhiambo’s pupils obey. With alternating arms they punch out in front of them, 15 children aged four to six, wearing white training uniforms, shouting “yeah!” as the instructor counts from one to 10.

“They love it so much,” says Beryl Itindi, director of the pre-primary school in Syokimau, on the south-western outskirts of Nairobi.

After class, the children sit down for lunch of beef stew, leafy greens, ugali – maize flour porridge – and fresh fruit. “Thank you for our food and our many blessings,” they chorus. “Amen.”

These children are at the forefront of new efforts to foster lifelong habits of exercise and healthy eating, and stave off a foe increasingly visible in Kenya’s towns and cities – obesity. As in much of Africa the number of people classed as obese in Kenya is on the rise: by 2030, the World Obesity Atlas says, 1.4 million children aged five to 19 will be obese. The WHO considers a person with a body mass index (BMI) over 25 to be overweight, while a BMI over 30 is obese.

In a report last year Kenya’s government recognised obesity as a major risk factor for noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) such as diabetes and cancer, which are responsible for 39% of deaths in Kenya – up from 27% in 2014.

“The statistics show obesity is growing at a very alarming rate not just in Kenya but in the region and world,” says Stephen Kimutai Tanui, strategy manager for Wellness for Greatness, the group behind the taekwondo classes.

The education the group is giving children was lacking when Tanui, who is 32, was a child. “We were not told that physical activity has very many benefits … not just to enjoyment and performance in school but to our health.”

In a country stalked by hunger and where more than 3 million people are classed as “acutely food insecure”, the priority was getting enough food, irrespective of its nutritional value, Tanui says. “When we were young that link between good nutrition and good health was missing.

In Kenya and in most African countries we have a problem with malnutrition, and that’s what everyone focuses on. People should have food, but we should also focus on getting good and healthy foods.”

In Nairobi, where fast food chains such as KFC, Burger King and Domino’s stand on every other street corner, the problem is “completely different”, according to Dr Davis Ombui, a diabetologist. “People don’t walk to work as much, and fast food is now a big thing in Nairobi.”

Last year the ministry of health published a strategic plan to respond to its “epidemiological transition” in disease burden from communicable diseases, such as malaria and tuberculosis, to the rising burden of NCDs.

It recognised obesity as a major risk factor. However, doctors fear there is little concrete action.

The health ministry was approached for comment. The government’s target is to reduce obesity prevalence from 28% in 2020 to 26% in 2025, and the clock is ticking. By 2030, NCD deaths are expected to increase by 55%.

And there remains a lingering association in society between excess fat and material success.

“You find young people at university want to add weight and grow a belly as a status symbol. It’s that bad. There is still this perception, which needs to change,” says Stephen Ogweno, CEO of Stowelink, a youth-led enterprise aiming to combat NCDs.

For well-off Kenyans, Dr Wyckliffe Kaisha, who has a private clinic in Nairobi, has an answer. One of the few surgeons in the country to perform bariatric – or weight loss – surgery such as gastric bypasses, he has seen a significant increase in patients.

The village of Njathaini, on Nairobi’s northern outskirts, is a world away from Kaisha’s clientele. With high unemployment and little disposable income, it is in places like this that intervention is urgent, says Ogweno.

“[This is] a very low-income community, and almost 70% of the homes here live with diabetes or hypertension.”

Traditional diets in poor neighbourhoods rely heavily on carbohydrates and cooking fat with vertiginously high levels of transfats, which are known to increase the risk of heart disease. At one Njathaini shop a cabbage costs 70 shillings (50p), while at another shop bags of crisps sell for 20 shillings and fried bread rolls are 10 shillings.

Then there’s the sugar. “Soft drinks are more available than clean water,” says Ogweno.

For the moment, then, it is the Bees Haven children forging the way. Exuberant after their training, the kindergarten’s martial artists eat their lunch – even the managu greens – enthusiastically.

Often the children arrive rather shy, says Itindi, the director, but the exercise “really opens them up both mentally and physically”.

Marine Phytoplankton Improves Memory, Cognition, Immune System & More

Marine Phytoplankton Improves Memory, Cognition, Immune System & More

Marine Phytoplankton is the highest plant source of the long chain omega-3 essential fatty acids -there are long chains, which are the hardest to find, and short chains of omega-3 essential fatty acids EPA and DHA. Its abundant health benefits certainly do not end there, though. If you are wondering what exactly Marine Phytoplankton are, they are tiny creatures in the sea responsible for providing nutrition, and therefore life to thousands of different ocean species. When taken as a supplement, phytoplankton is rich in ten amino acids, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin A, B vitamins and minerals such as calcium, copper, iodine, manganese, magnesium, potassium and zinc. As you can see, there is a legitimate reason why many people have included Marine Phytoplankton as a vital supplement in their journeys to optimum health and vibrant lives for centuries.

Marine Phytoplankton Powder

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Certain groups of people are at high risk for developing an omega-3 deficiency including vegetarians, and especially vegans. Typically, when you adopt such diets, your body has difficulty in obtaining ideal EPA and DHA levels, since these omega-3s are absent from plant derived foods. Some will argue that flax seeds and oil contain the omega-3 alpha-linoleic acid (ALA), and they are right. However, ALA from flax seeds or flax seed oil is converted very slowly into EPA and DHA. For these reasons, people who eat little or no cold-water fish may wish to determine their omega-3 status by supplementing with marine phytoplankton.

If you think you have escaped this one because you consume high amounts of fish, think again. Surprisingly, many who consume high quantities of fish also suffer from sub-optimal omega-3 status. Our world’s increasingly industrialized food chain now produces a substantial portion of its harvest from mega fish-farms, where the unnatural diet of soy and grain meal the fish are given greatly diminishes the omega-3 content of their flesh. Farmed fish are completely dependent on their feed. If it does not contain EPA and DHA, the fish will not contain it in high levels like wild fish. In the wild, fish obtain EPA and DHA from marine algae and phytoplankton. Then, larger fish consume then and so on. In fact, one of the greatest ironies in the world is that the single celled marine phytoplankton supports and feeds the largest mammal known to mankind, the majestic blue whale.

Disturbingly, large quantities of farm raised fish containing only minute traces of EPA and DHA fatty acids have basically become the normal. This is why it is so important to stay informed on such information, and to adjust your diet and supplementation accordingly. According to a 2008 sampling survey of farmed fish, tilapia and catfish have much lower concentrations of omega-3s, very high ratios of omega-6 to omega-3, and higher amounts of saturated and monounsaturated fats than omega-3. This is a perfect example of just how unhealthy a seemingly healthy meal can be. As time goes on, this only seems to get worse. We are not doomed, as long as we use our brains to stay informed and avoid what I like to call “health illusions.”

Other characteristics of Marine Plankton that may benefit those struggling with health issues include:

  • EPA and DHA derived from a plant source
  • Equipped with nutrients that provide the body what it needs to grow new, healthy cells
  • Antioxidant support
  • Ramps up your energy
  • Strengthens immune response
  • Helps the body with natural detoxification
  • Offers anti-inflammatory support
  • Offers cardiovascular support
  • Aids in digestive function
  • Improves cognitive health and functioning
  • Is a plant source of protein
  • Alkalizes the body
Benefits of Oceans Alive Marine Phytoplankton


Foods That Quickly Lower Your Blood Sugar If You Are Diabetic

Foods That Quickly Lower Your Blood Sugar If You Are Diabetic

If you are diabetic, sometimes your blood sugar might exceed the nomal level. Research has revealed that there are certain things that can quickly get your blood sugar back on track.

According to a website, here is a list of foods or drinks to lower blood sugar:

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Dash Diet Foods That Lower Blood Pressure


Vegetables are a very good food for people with elevated blood sugar. The best vegetables for lowering blood sugar are cauliflower, broccoli, and cabbages.

  • Artichoke is a very good food for lowering blood sugar quickly and naturally. Its main ingredient is cynarin, which has mild hypoglycemic properties.
  • Celery is a wonderful food because it helps to control blood glucose levels, lower cholesterol, and neutralizes the excess acids that are produced in the body as a result of diabetes.
  • Onions help to reduce blood glucose.


Acidic fruits will also help lower your blood glucose levels but the more sugar the fruit contains, the less likely you will see an effect because the two things will cancel each other out. Eat these acid fruits: oranges, grapefruit, pineapples, strawberries, pomegranates, kiwis, cranberries, sour apples, and sour cherries.


Nuts are great for lowering and controlling blood sugar levels; particularly the oil bearing nuts, squash, and sun flower seeds.

Wheat Germ

Wheat germ lowers blood sugar because it consists of vitamins B and E. Four or five spoonful of wheat germ can lower the sugar level in your blood as well as the need for insulin.


Several studies have shown that a realistic amount of vinegar or lemon juice, in the form of salad dressing, consumed with a mixed meal, lowers blood sugar levels significantly.

High acid foods slow down stomach emptying. That’s why little is needed to reduce blood glucose levels.

Eat 4 teaspoons of vinegar and 8 teaspoons oil in a vinaigrette dressing with an average meal to lower blood glucose by as much as 30 percent.

               READ “The Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar.”

Lemon Juice Is Just As Powerful As Vinegar Lower Your Blood Sugar

Lemon Juice

Lemon juice is just as powerful as vinegar and works just as well. Having vinaigrette made with lemon or vinegar and extra virgin olive oil on a side salad with your meal is a great way to help lower your glucose levels.


What you Should be Eating to Combat Cancer

What you Should be Eating to Combat Cancer

In today’s lifestyle, cancer causing carcinogens are everywhere. It is no surprise that the risk of cancer is growing daily. According to the American Cancer Society an estimated 1.6 million new cases of cancer are being diagnosed in 2014 alone. Hence forth, it is increasingly important to understand the foods that will help to combat cancer causing agents.

Eating more fibre-filled foods could reduce your risk of ovarian cancer


The most talked about and the strongest evidence of cancer fighting foods point to the benefits of adding plant based foods to your diet such as vegetables, fruits, beans, whole grains and a variety of herbs. Laboratory tests administered by the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) demonstrate that many individual minerals and phytochemicals have an anti-cancer effect. Some of the most touted foods include: berries, turmeric and broccoli.

Berries are an easy and delicious addition to any diet. High in ellegic acid, a phytochemical that helps to prevent many various cancers from breast to bladder. The powerful antioxidant fruit is also chock full of vitamin C and fiber which is known to protect against cancer. Among the most talked about cancer fighting foods is turmeric. Extensive research by the Life Extension Foundation found that that turmeric targets 10 causative factors involved in cancer development. Chronic inflammation, DNA damage and disruption of cell signaling pathways are an example of these. Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli have been known to halt the ability of cancer growth through a phytochemical called sulforaphane. Sulforaphane stimulates enzymes that detoxify cancer cells helping to prevent tumors.


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If You Want a Healthy Heart Try Eating Blueberries

If You Want a Healthy Heart Try Eating Blueberries

Exercise and good nutrition are essential for a healthy heart. Florida State University reported on Jan. 8, 2015 one cup of blueberries daily could be the key to decreasing blood pressure and arterial stiffness, both of which are linked to cardiovascular disease. Sarah A. Johnson, who is assistant director of the Center for Advancing Exercise and Nutrition Research on Aging at Florida State University, says the findings from this study suggest eating blueberries could potentially delay the progression of prehypertension to hypertension, therefore lowering cardiovascular disease risk.

Eating Blueberries for Healthy Heart

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Johnson says she is interested in investigating how functional foods, which are foods that have a positive impact on health that goes beyond basic nutrition, can help to prevent and reverse negative health outcomes. She has a particular interest in exploring this in postmenopausal women. Johnson points out that cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. Women are at greater risk for cardiovascular disease once they go through menopause. The addition of blueberries to the diet may help to lessen the negative cardiovascular effects which are often seen as a result of menopause.

In this study after eight weeks participants who received blueberry powder versus placebo powder with their meals on average had a 7 mmHg or 5.1 percent, decrease in systolic blood pressure. These participants also saw a 5 mmHg, or 6.3 percent, decrease in diastolic blood pressure. Furthermore, participants in the blueberry treated group had an average decrease of 97 cm/second, or 6.5 percent, in arterial stiffness.

It was also observed that nitric oxide, which is a blood biomarker known to be involved in the widening of blood vessels, increased by 68.5 percent in the particpants who consumed blueberry powder. This is significant because arterial stiffness and the narrowing of blood vessels are both seen with hypertension. A rise in nitric oxide is associated with reductions in blood pressure.

Blueberrys is Good for Cardiovascular Disease & Blood Pressure

This study has been published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Although there are many antihypertensive drug therapies available many people prefer natural therapies in order to avoid the possible side effects associated with drug therapy. The antihypertensive and vascular-protective effects of blueberries have been demonstrated. Daily blueberry consumption may lower blood pressure and decrease arterial stiffness. Since blueberries are generally considered to be delicious the suggestion to eat more blueberries for heart health should be well received by a lot of people.


Lack of Exercise Causes More Deaths Than Obesity

Lack of Exercise Causes More Deaths Than Obesity

Far too many people across the world are obese from eating junk food and not getting enough exercise. Lack of exercise itself is linked to twice as many deaths as obesity reports the University of Cambridge on Jan. 14, 2015. According to new research just one brisk 20 minute walk daily could be enough to lower an individual’s risk of early death.

‘Kills More Than Obesity’

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This study included over 334,000 European men and women. It was found that twice as many deaths may be due to a lack of physical activity in comparison with the number of deaths which are attributable to obesity. The researchers say just a modest increase in physical activity may have health benefits which are significant.

There has been a consistent association found between physical inactivity and an increased risk of early death. Physical inactivity is also associated with a greater risk of diseases such as heart disease and cancer. Although a lack of physical activity may also contribute to an increased body mass index (BMI) and obesity, the association with early death has been observed to be independent of a person’s BMI.

This study has been published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The researchers found that the greatest decreases in mortality risk were observed among the lowest activity groups across levels of general and abdominal adiposity. This suggests that efforts to encourage even small increases in activity in inactive people may be beneficial to public health. Getting physical activity should be made a part of your daily life if you want to increase your chances of living a long and healthy life.

Lack of exercise is twice as deadly as obesity


A Sense of Purpose in Life May Help You Life Longer

A Sense of Purpose in Life May Help You Life Longer

It seems as it’s something from folklore to take the position that having a purpose in life could help your heart health. However, there is now scientific evidence to point to the possibility that a having a sense of purpose in life may protect your heart from disease reports Mount Sinai Medical Center via Newswise on March 6, 2015. A new study by researchers at Mount Sinai St. Luke’s and Mount Sinai Roosevelt has showed that having a high sense of purpose in life may decrease your risk of heart disease and death.

A Sense of Purpose in Life Long


In this analysis a sense of purpose in life has been defined as a sense of meaning and direction along with feelings that life is intrinsically worth living. In past research a sense of purpose in life has been associated with psychological health and well-being.

In this new study it was observed that a high sense of purpose in life is associated with a 23 percent decrease in death from all causes. A 19 percent lowered risk of heart attack and stroke was noted with a sense of purpose on life. There was a similar decrease in the need for coronary artery bypass surgery (CABG) or a cardiac stenting procedure.

Lead study author Randy Cohen, MD says that your heart health could be protected by developing and refining your sense of purpose in life. This could potentially save your life. It was seen in this study that there is a powerful association between having a sense of purpose in life and protection from death or having a cardiovascular event.

HealthDay reports new research shows that living your life with a strong sense of purpose in life may really lower your risk for early death, heart attack or stroke. Dr. Cohen points out that psychosocial conditions such as anxiety, depression, chronic stress and social isolation have powerful associations with heart disease and mortality.

Heart Disease Prevention With Healthy Living Habits

There has recently been a focus on the impact which positive emotions may have on overall health and well-being. So if you really care for someone you should help them nurture a strong sense of purpose in life to give them a better chance of good health and a long life.

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