Weekly Health Update
Week of: Monday, December 7th, 2009
Dr. Todd P. Sullivan
Mental Attitude: Eating dark chocolate may lower stress hormones: A new study shows eating the equivalent of one dark chocolate candy bar (1.4 ounces) each day for two weeks reduced levels of the stress hormone cortisol, as well as the “fight-or-flight” hormones known as catecholamines in stressed people. Dark chocolate is also rich in a class of antioxidants called flavonoids, which have been linked to a number of health benefits. Researchers are investigating other dark chocolate benefits such as improved insulin sensitivity, reduced blood pressure and improved moods. Journal of Proteome Research, Nov 2009.
Health Alert: Still smoking! Even after Surgeon General Luther Terry documented smoking causes lunch cancer in January 1964, people continue to smoke (17.5% of US adults in 2005- 29th ranked in the world). Here are 5 countries with the highest percentage of adults who still smoke. 1. Austria 36.3% 2. Greece 35.0% 3. Hungary 33.8% 4. Luxembourg 33.0% 5. Turkey 32.1% Daily Smokers Health Data, 2005
Diet: Serve up the heart-healthy food: Load your plate with fruits and vegetables – five to nine servings a day- to help lower (bad) LDL bad cholesterol. Antioxidants in these foods may provide the benefit. Or, it may be the when we eat more fruits and vegetables, we eat less fat. Foods enriched with plant sterols, such as margarine spreads, yogurts, and other foods, can also help lower LDL cholsterol. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, February 2006.
Exercise: How to start an exercise program – set up a non-food reward system: Reward yourself when you accomplish one of your fitness goals. Perhaps your goal could be: staying on track with your exercise for a full week or month, or reaching a milestone in terms of mile ran, etc. Your reward should be a NON-FOOD, such as a movie, massage or pedicure. Elaine Magee, MPH, RD
Chiropractic: Myth: Exercise is bad for your back: First, we need to make sure any torn tissue or broken bone is not causing your back pain and the acute inflammatory response has slowed enough to amke stretching and exercise beneficial. Once this is established, regular exercise can speed up recovery and help reduce the risk of future episodes of low back pain. Focused stretching and a gradual exercise program are best. Always consulth with your chiropractor in Springfield, VA before starting an exercise program to make sure you are not running the risk or re-injuring yourself and the exercises are being done properly. Marcus Strutz, DC
Wellness/ Prevention: A cup of tea for your health: Short-term and long-term consumption of black tea by people with coronary artery disease restored bllod vessel function to levels similar to that of healthy subjects. Circulation, 2001
Quote: “There is no curing a sick man who believes himself in health.” ~ Henri Amiel, 1877
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