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#136: From the World of Health

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Random notes on health from random readings:

* New research reveals that insufficient sleep of six hours or less, a common shortcoming in our Western lifestyle, may contribute to the development of insulin resistance and reduced glucose tolerance, which in turn may increase the long-term risk of developing diabetes. (Published in the Journal of Clinical Endrocrinology & Metabolism).

* According to the USDA Center for Nutritional Policy and Promotion, four of the 10 leading causes of death in the U.S. are (1) heart disease (2) cancer (3) stroke and (4) diabetes -- at least 50 percent of these deaths are diet-related.

* An Institute of Food Research study shows that eating one or more portions of broccoli every week can reduce the risk of prostate cancer and prevent localized cancer from becoming more aggressive.

* A report in The Journal of the American Medical Association shows that a daily serving of mixed nuts can be helpful in managing some metabolic disorders such as abdominal obesity, high cholesterol and high blood glucose levels, all of which increase the risk of chronic disease in older adults.

* Looking forward to Thanksgiving pumpkin pie? That's good. Pumpkins are a versatile vegetable high in carotene, which protects against vision loss, heart disease and cancer. Pumpkin seeds, which can be eaten raw, baked or roasted, are rich in zinc, which helps prevent prostate problems.

* Treasure quiet in the morning. According to the National Institutes of Health, cortisol levels (the stress hormone produced by the adrenal glands) are highest between 6 and 8 o'clock in the morning. Only 12 minutes of meditating, stretching or reading inspirational materials reduce cortisol levels. So, instead of reaching for the radio knob or TV remote, enjoy the quiet beauty of your morning's first minutes.

Hope these insights help.

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