Trends to Watch April 2019

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Hibiscus Tea: Drink to Healthy Arteries

Hibiscus tea is not only trendy, it can also help your heart.

Hibiscus tea is not only trendy, it can also help your heart. A study led by British researchers tested a hibiscus tea in a group of 22 men and found that drinking it right after a high-fat meal improved the function of arteries within the next few hours, compared to drinking water after the same type of meal. The research, published in the journal Nutrients, also found that hibiscus tea produced slight decreases in blood pressure, blood sugar, and inflammation, but the degree of difference in these measurements was not considered significant.

Earlier research at Tufts University in Boston found that drinking hibiscus tea three times daily for six weeks reduced systolic blood pressure (the top number) by about 7 points—a significant drop.

100 Steps per Minute

We’re often told to exercise at “moderate” intensity, but what does that really mean?

We’re often told to exercise at “moderate” intensity, but what does that really mean? Researchers at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst came up with an answer. For adults between the ages of 21 and 40, walking about 100 steps per minute constitutes moderate intensity, while vigorous walking begins at about 130 steps per minute. The same number might apply to older people, but those results aren’t in yet. You can count steps for 15 seconds and multiply by 4 to get the per-minute total.

 Everyday Signs You Need More Vitamin D

Low vitamin D levels raise the risks for various diseases, including cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and osteoporosis.

Low vitamin D levels raise the risks for various diseases, including cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and osteoporosis. But knowing this doesn’t help you detect a lack of the sunshine vitamin in your daily life. Here are some practical clues that your vitamin D level is below optimal:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Mood swings
  • Irritability
  • Weight gain
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle cramps
  • Joint pain
  • Frequent colds or flu

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