More This, Less That

Find out what you should get more of and what to skip for a healthier life.

from Reader's Digest | August 2011

From research labs around the world, simple additions and subtractions for a healthier life

MORE
Peppermint
It contains an ingredient that quiets pain-sensing nerves in the colon and may help relieve irritable bowel syndrome.

Puréed vegetables
Subbing these for higher-calorie ingredients in an entrée can help you lose weight. In a recent Penn State study, volunteers tended to consume about 350 fewer calories of a veggie-laden casserole or other dish than they did of a traditional version but rated both as tasty.

Yoga
Among women with breast cancer, those who did yoga had a steeper daily drop in cortisol levels than women who just stretched. Some studies suggest that if levels of the stress hormone stay high throughout the day, a woman’s cancer is more likely to worsen.

Coffee
Men who drink plenty may have a substantially lower risk of lethal prostate cancer, a recent analysis suggests.

LESS
Long hours at work
They may raise your risk of heart disease. People who regularly worked 11-hour days were almost 70 percent more likely to develop heart disease than those who put in eight-hour days.

Flaxseed for hot flashes
The small seeds are a good source of fiber, but they don’t appear to ease hot flashes for postmenopausal women or those being treated for breast cancer. Though research a few years ago suggested crushed seeds might help, a recent, more rigorous study showed no decrease in hot flashes among women taking flaxseed compared with others on a placebo.

Selenium
Researchers once thought that taking supplements of this mineral might cut the risk of cancer, but a review of studies found no support for those hopes. And the analysis hints that the pills may increase the odds of developing some kinds of skin cancer.

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