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Health Tips #67 ~ [Issue 0205-2]  Wellness Weekly
 Feb 10, 2005 09:13 PST 

* Sugar Warnings

People who consume diets high in added sugars consume lower levels of
fiber; vitamins A, C, E, and folate; magnesium; calcium; and other
nutrients. By displacing protective nutrients and foods in the diet,
added sugars may increase the risk of osteoporosis, cancer, high
blood pressure, heart disease, and other health problems.

* Hot Bath For Insomniacs

Researchers in Japan have found that a hot bath between dinner and
bedtime can help insomniacs get to sleep faster and to sleep more
deeply. Yomiuri Shimbun reports that the group from the Ashikaga
Institute of Technology announced their results Friday to the
Japanese Society of Sleep Research. The team recruited five people
who do not drop off easily and had them take after-dinner baths at
temperatures of 38, 40 and 42 degrees Celsius (100, 104 and 108
Fahrenheit) for times ranging from five to 10 minutes. The times of
the baths were also varied. Researchers studied how long their
subjects took to fall asleep and how deeply they slept and measured
skin and rectal temperature. They found that bathing 90 minutes after
dinner generally helped the subjects drop off within five to 15
minutes, and that their sleep was deeper and they woke less. The
team's conclusion is that raising body temperature when it is at its
post-dinner peak with a hot bath tends to make body temperature drop
faster, which allowed the subjects to fall asleep more easily.

* Antioxidant C and E For Strength

Help keep your muscles strong by getting an adequate supply of
antioxidant vitamins. Exercising regularly is an important part of
preserving strength. However, in people over 65, high blood levels of
antioxidant vitamins also were associated with musculoskeletal
strength. Get your fair share of antioxidant vitamin C with citrus
fruits, bell peppers, and strawberries. Most people need a supplement
to meet their antioxidant vitamin E needs. The optimum dose of
vitamin C is 1,200 milligrams per day. You should break this up into
three 400 milligram doses of vitamin C per day because your body can
absorb only so much vitamin C at one time. Vitamin C is considered an
antioxidant vitamin because it helps to neutralize cell-damaging free
radicals. More research into the relationship between antioxidant
intake and musculoskeletal strength is needed. Researchers speculate
that antioxidant nutrients such as vitamin C may help preserve
musculoskeletal strength by minimizing oxidative damage from free

* Skip Sugar and Salt Snacks

When you are feeling famished, do not grab the sweet or salty snacks.
Your taste buds may fool you into overindulging. Research shows that
sweet or salty foods may taste even sweeter or saltier when you are
really hungry. Skipping meals can increase your sensitivity to these
tastes. When your stomach is rumbling, grab some fruit or some slices
of your favorite raw vegetables to quell the noise and keep your
taste buds sane. Having healthy snacks readily on hand can help you
resist the urge to indulge in high-calorie foods when you are hungry.
Have cut up celery and carrot sticks stored in Tupperware in your
refrigerator at all times. Keep fresh fruit in a bowl on the counter
so that it is the first thing you see when you walk into the kitchen.
A handful of nuts, seeds, and dried fruit can give you a quick and
nutritious calorie boost. Keep bananas dipped in fat-free chocolate
syrup and wrapped in wax paper in the freezer for when your sweet
tooth calls.

* Fruit For Vision

Eating fruit today may ensure better eyesight tomorrow. In a recent
study, people over the age of 50 who ate at least 3 servings of fruit
per day were less likely to develop macular degeneration than those
who consumed less than 1.5 servings per day. Macular degeneration is
a leading cause of blindness. Get your fruit on the go with handy
snacks such as apples, oranges, and bananas. Other fruits that may
protect your vision include grapes, mangoes, apricots, pears, melons,
citrus, and berries. In addition to protecting your vision, fruit
contains fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants that combat aging.
Researchers conducting a study monitored participants' daily intake
of fruit, vegetables, antioxidant vitamins, and carotenoids. While
all are part of a healthy diet, fruit consumption was the only
dietary factor linked to reduced rates of macular degeneration, the
leading cause of blindness in older adults. The people who consumed
at least 3 servings of fruit per day over a 12- to 18-year period
lowered their risk of developing macular degeneration by more than
30%. A single serving of fruit would be equivalent to a medium-sized
apple or pear or a half cup of canned fruit.
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