From Instagram to Chocolate, Four Health Trends to Watch
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Instagram’s Health Benefit Discovered
Taking pictures of everything you eat and posting the images on Instagram can help you stick with a healthy diet more so than a traditional journal or app, according to a study at the University of Washington in Seattle. “When you only have one data point for a pizza or donut, it’s easy to rationalize that away as a special occasion,” says senior study author Sean Munson, PhD. “But when you see a whole tiled grid of them, you have to say to yourself, ‘I don’t actually have that many special days.’”
Organic Onions Contain Higher Levels of Antioxidants
The longest study comparing an organic crop to a conventional one, lasting 6 years, found that organic onions contained significantly higher levels of beneficial antioxidants and flavonols, nutrients that help to prevent common diseases. Because of its length, this study, published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, likely gives a more accurate picture of organic benefits, compared to earlier, shorter studies that sometimes had conflicting results.
Is Your Job Low-Vitamin D?
People in certain jobs are more likely to be deficient in vitamin D, Canadian researchers concluded after analyzing 71 studies with a total of more than 53,000 people. These were the percentages of vitamin D-deficient people in different types of occupations:
- Shift Workers: 80%
- Indoor Workers (not healthcare): 77%
- Healthcare Students: 72%
- Medical Residents: 65%
- Outdoor Workers: 48%
- Practicing Physicians: 46%
- Nurses: 43%
The study was published in the journal BMC Public Health.
Chocolate Calms Fluttering Hearts
Atrial fibrillation, the medical term for irregular heart rhythms, is associated with stroke, heart failure, dementia, and earlier death, but high-cocoa chocolate can reduce the flutters. A study tracked more than 55,000 Danish men and women for about 13 years and found that eating chocolate two to six times per week reduced risk of flutters by 20 percent, likely because chocolate contains antioxidants, anti-inflammatory and anti-platelet nutrients, and magnesium. However, researchers warned against eating large amounts of the treat.