31 Instant Health Boosters
Pages in this Story:
- Tips 11-20: Control Cravings, Fight Off Illness, and Stand Taller
- Tips 21-31: Eat Better, Relax, and Get Your Game On
Tips 11-20: Control Cravings, Fight Off Illness, and Stand Taller11. Get sappy.
Spending just 30 minutes a day consciously thinking of a loved one can promote mental and emotional well-being, say University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers. Cultivating the feeling of love and compassion stimulates the brain to make new connections and neural pathways.12. Chill out.
Just two to three minutes under cool water in the shower can boost your mood. The cold may cause the brain to release feel-good hormones.13. Go slo-mo.
Doing tai chi regularly not only improves your endurance and flexibility but may also help control blood sugar and improve your immune system. The exercise increases levels of certain bacteria-fighting T-cells in your body, research shows.14. Be a dairy queen.
Women on a low-calorie diet who took supplements to up their calcium from 600 milligrams a day or less to 1,200 milligrams a day lost an average of 10 pounds more than those who didn't boost their intake, according to a new study. Your brain may be able to detect low calcium levels in the body and tries to compensate by increasing your appetite for foods rich in this mineral, experts say. Skim milk, low-fat cheese, and fortified OJ are all good sources.15. Straighten up.
Tension in your neck may affect how your body regulates blood pressure, animal studies indicate. At work, sit with your back firmly against your chair, your feet on the floor, your knees slightly higher than your hips and your chair close to your desk.16. Go green.
Drinking green tea with your antibiotics helps the medication destroy harmful bacteria up to three times more effectively, researchers found.17. Grab some garbanzos.
People who regularly consume beans typically weigh six pounds less than those who don't, even though they take in more daily calories. Researchers believe this may be because the legume eaters get more fiber but consume less fat, especially saturated fat, than those who shy away from beans. Throw a handful into salads, soups, or pasta sauce for an extra boost of protein and fiber.18. Chomp cravings away.
Chewing gum after lunch can curb hunger, a recent study shows. But pick your stick carefully. Ingesting too much sorbitol, a common ingredient in sugar-free gum, can cause diarrhea and abdominal pain. We like sorbitol-free Ice Breakers Ice Cubes White sugar-free gum.19. Reach new heights.
Wearing a pair of moderately high heels (2 to 2 1/2 inches) can strengthen your pelvic-floor muscles, which can improve your sex life.20. Munch a bunch.
About one cup of red grapes a day can help suppress the abnormal cell formation that leads to most types of breast cancer, according to a recent study in Cancer Prevention Research. Resveratrol, a natural compound found in grapes, grape juice, and red wine, may prevent estrogen from reacting with DNA molecules, which can lead to cells becoming cancerous, scientists say.
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