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Health News

6 Health Trends to Watch

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1. Exercising outdoors in cold weather

Outdoor exercise in cold weather burns extra calories. In a study at the University at Albany, State University of New York, hikers burned 34 percent more calories in temperatures of 15–23 degrees, compared to hiking in mid-50s weather. For the less adventurous, just shivering in chilly weather makes muscles secrete a hormone that triggers fat burning to produce heat.

Eliminating routine use of antibiotics in chickens

2. Eliminating Routine Use of Antibiotics in Chickens

The Natural Resources Defense Council estimates that about 40 percent of the U.S. chicken industry has eliminated or pledged to eliminate routine use of antibiotics that are essential for treating human infectious diseases. As it stands, more than 70 percent of medically important antibiotics in the U.S. are used to produce beef, pork, and poultry, making the drugs less effective for treating infections in people.

Whole eggs were more effective at supporting muscle recovery and growth than egg whites alone.

3. Eating Whole Eggs Instead of Egg Whites

Body builders have traditionally viewed egg whites as superior to whole eggs for muscle growth, and many people believe that the fat content of yolks isn’t healthy. But a study led by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign labelled both ideas as “unsubstantiated.” After comparing the effects of egg whites and whole eggs on 10 weight lifters, researchers concluded that whole eggs were more effective at supporting muscle recovery and growth. For overall health, they noted, a variety of essential nutrients and about 40 percent of an egg’s protein are in the yolk, and “its removal seems counterproductive for meeting protein recommendations.”

Chamomile Extract Enhances Sleep

4. Using Chamomile Extract to Enhance Sleep

Quality of sleep often declines later in life, but chamomile can help, according to a study of 60 nursing home residents in Iran. For 28 days, half the group took a placebo and half took 200 mg of a chamomile extract, twice daily. All those in the study experienced poor sleep previously, but those taking chamomile showed a significant improvement within the first two weeks, and the beneficial effects lasted for at least two weeks after they completed the study regimen.

4 steps to fix dry lips

5. Fixing Dry Lips

Lips can get dry any time but more so in cold weather. “The problem is exacerbated in winter by the reduced environmental humidity due to forced air heat, which increases water loss, making the barrier problem worse,” says Peter Elias, MD, dermatology professor at the University of California San Francisco. To reduce dryness, he recommends:

  1. Don’t lick dry lips. Saliva contains enzymes that break down lipids, fatty substances that form a natural protective barrier.
  2. Keep yourself hydrated by drinking lots of water.
  3. Day and night, moisturize with a restorative lip balm that contains natural lipids and fats, and healing ingredients such as shea and aloe.
  4. Avoid lip products with parabens or petrolatum, which are irritants.

6. Losing Weight to Cure Diabetes

In a British study of 298 overweight people with type 2 diabetes, nearly half were cured—meaning they regained normal levels of blood sugar without taking any medication—by losing weight. Slightly over 30 lbs. was an effective amount of weight loss.