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Health Tips #80 ~ [Issue 0306-2]  Wellness Weekly
 Mar 16, 2006 07:59 PST 

* Apple a Day to Keep Cancer Away?

An apple a day may help keep breast cancer away, say Cornell
University food scientists. "We found that tumor incidence was
reduced by 17 percent, 39 percent and 44 percent in rats fed the
human equivalent of one, three, or six apples a day, respectively,
over 24 weeks," says lead study author Rui Hai Liu. These rats also
had the number of tumors reduced by 25 percent, 25 percent and 61
percent, respectively, the researchers report the "Journal of
Agricultural and Food Chemistry."

* Your Fitness Program

To receive optimal benefits from your fitness program, include the
following: 1. Cardio workout - for maximum fat loss, include interval
work. 2. Strength training - balance your workout to include all
major muscle groups. 3. Flexibility - include extended stretching
exercises a couple of days a week. 4. Assessment - determine the
method of evaluating your progress. Will it be clothing sizes, body
fat percentage, running time or distance, or the amount of weight you
are able to lift? 5. Reevaluate - if your improvements start to
decrease, it is time to redesign your progress.

* Energy Drink Warnings

Energy drinks can be a health risk when mixed with alcohol, used
before exercise, or served up to children, doctors warn. Highly
caffeinated drinks, such as Red Bull, Go-Fast!, and Monster, carry no
warnings in the United States, but some of the drinks, advertised to
increase energy and concentration, have been banned or restricted in
Europe, says Dr. Maher Karam-Hage, addiction specialist at the
University of Michigan Health System. He says unlike sports drinks,
the energy drinks typically contain sugar, caffeine (often 80
milligrams per can, about the same as in a cup of coffee) and
taurine, a sulfur-containing amino acid. Some countries have raised
concerns about the amount of caffeine used and the uncertain health
effects of taurine. Karam-Hage warns against mixing energy drinks
with alcohol, noting intoxicated people who try to sober up by
drinking coffee are still drunk. The caffeine-laden drinks can cause
dehydration or collapse if drunk before intense exercise, especially
if more than one is consumed, and can cause children to be
hyperactive, fidgety or even enraged, he says.

* Deeper Veggie Color, Higher Anti-Cancer Benefits

Colored fruits and vegetables can help protect against cancer, and
the brighter the color, the greater the protection, researchers say.
Dr. Mack Ruffin, professor of family medicine at the University of
Michigan Health System, says all-white, starchy foods, such as mashed
potatoes, have fewer cancer-fighting vitamins and minerals and more
calories than produce in the yellow, green, red and orange families,
such as spinach, broccoli, carrots, blueberries, or strawberries,
which contain thousands of protective micronutrients. Vitamin
supplements can never replace fresh produce, he says. "When your diet
has thousands of chemicals that make a difference, there is no way to
take a pill or handful of pills and get the same protective effect as
a diet that is high in fruits and vegetables and lower in calories,"
Ruffin says.

* Do Not Hold Your Breath

If you have added stomach crunches to your exercise routine, do not
hold your breath. Holding your breath when you perform stomach
crunches may cause your blood pressure to spike higher than it
normally would during resistance training. In a study, people who
voluntarily held their breath during abdominal exercises had higher
peak blood pressure elevations compared to when they breathed during
the exercises.
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