Trend Watch November, 2016
Heading out the door? Read this article on the new Outside+ app available now on iOS devices for members! Download the app.
Best Deal on Health care: exercise, according to a study of more than 26,000 American adults published in the Journal of the American Heart Association.
Healthy people save, on average, $500 per year, and those with heart disease or a previous stroke save about $2,500. How much exercise does it take? The equivalent of walking briskly for 30 minutes daily, five days a week, or 25 minutes of more intense exercise, three times a week.
Many activities fit the bill, including heavy-duty cleaning around the house and garden, dancing, hiking, playing any sport or game you enjoy, or jumping rope while watching your favorite TV show. If you want to try something different, consider getting a mini trampoline. A study by the American Council on Exercise found the trampoline as effective as running at 6 miles per hour, and many people find bouncing more comfortable and fun.
Is drinking food for the heart?
Drinking a moderate amount, such as a glass of wine a day, is generally considered good for the heart. But a study at the University of California, San Francisco has found evidence to the contrary. After analyzing data from 5,220 American adults, researchers concluded that long-term drinking, even in moderate amounts, may enlarge the heart’s upper left chamber and increase the odds of atrial fibrillation, a heart-rhythm disorder that also increases risk for stroke. Each daily drink was associated with a 5 percent increase in risk for atrial fibrillation. Researchers also noted that individual reactions to alcohol vary.
Three-quarters of the 12,818 certified organic farms in the U.S. sell their products within 100 miles of the farm, according to a survey by USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. More than one-third of farms sell directly to consumers. Visit localharvest.org to find a farm in your area.
A little white flower with a bright yellow center, ahiflower has grown wild in the British countryside for centuries, sometimes being called corn gromwell or stoneseed. Now, it’s being sustainably farmed in its native land to provide vegan omega-3 supplements. A rich source of healthy omega-3 fat, the plant’s oil also contains a good-for-you, anti-inflammatory form of omega-6 fat.
Plant omega-3s are different from those in fish; after being ingested, however, they get converted to the beneficial forms found in fish: EPA and DHA. Compared to other plants, the conversion of ahiflower works especially well. A Canadian study compared the effects of ahiflower and flaxseed oils in 40 healthy people and found that blood and cellular levels of EPA and DHA were higher with ahiflower. The oil is available in capsules and as a liquid supplement.
This Home Design Can Provoke Overeating
Open-concept kitchens are popular, but they can make us eat more, according to a study at the University of Notre Dame’s School of Architecture in Indiana. When the kitchen and food are always in view, says study coauthor Kim Rollings, PhD, “We’re more likely to get up and head toward the food more often, serve more food, and eat more food.” A home redesign may be a bit extreme, but putting food away, turning off lights in the kitchen, and finding other activities can help curb the effect.
“Starchy” taste discovered
Carb cravings may be less mysterious, thanks to researchers at Oregon State University in Corvallis, who have discovered that “starchy” is a sixth taste, in addition to sweet, salty, sour, bitter, and umami (savory). Previously, it was believed that human taste couldn’t discern starch. Among study participants, more detailed descriptions of the new taste included “rice-like,” “bread-like,” and “pasta-like.”
Got Wrinkles? Take CoQ10
CoQ10 is naturally present in the human body and is used to generate energy, especially by the heart and other muscles. As we live longer, declining levels are associated with lower energy, and statins are known to cause a depletion. Now, it turns out that the nutrient can counteract some outward signs of aging. A European study of 33 healthy people, published in the journal BioFactors, found that compared to a dummy pill, taking CoQ10 daily for 12 weeks reduced wrinkles and fine lines, especially around the eyes, mouth, and lips, and improved skin smoothness and firmness. Taking either 50 or 150 mg daily of a water-soluble form of CoQ10 (Q10Vital) proved to be effective.
About 48 million Americans consider themselves “foodies,” people who are especially interested in food. Compared to the average person, foodies are more likely to buy organic, natural, and local foods; shop for groceries more often; eat out more; bake for fun; and try new types of cuisine, according to survey data from the Institute of Food Technologists.
Drug-Free Relief from Joint Pain
A research review of curcumin extracts, from the curry spice turmeric, has found that the extracts can be as effective as mild pain drugs (such as ibuprofen) for treating joint stiffness and pain. The review, by South Korean scientists, was published in the Journal of Medicinal Food. Researchers selected eight human trials that they identified as
being unbiased. These studies included 937 people, mostly middle-aged and older, but also some as young as 18, suffering from joint stiffness, osteoarthritis, or rheumatoid arthritis. Dosages ranged from 180 mg to 1,500 mg daily, depending upon the extract.
Unplug from E-mail
Nights, weekends, and holidays are supposed to give us a refreshing break from office stress. But checking e-mail during off-hours mitigates this effect, according to research presented at the annual meeting of the Academy of Management. The study collected data from nearly 300 American working adults and found that it isn’t the amount of time spent on after-hours e-mail that matters. Rather, the expectation of having to continually deal with work e-mails is a significant trigger of exhaustion and stress. In France, a new labor law has banned checking work e-mails on weekends.