In the News: The Health Benefits of Kefir Revealed, DASH Diet Linked to Lowered Risk of Gout, Candy Will Soon Be Repackaged With Less Calories

The health benefits of kefir revealed. Studies have shown that eating probiotic foods is key for a healthy gut. Kefir is a great example, this the fermented milk beverage has been found to help digestive health, manage IBS, prevent yeast infections, protect the body from harmful bacteria, and reduce bloating. Research also shows that eating probiotic foods can help with mental health as well – particularly in terms of curbing social anxiety. You can drink it straight, add fruits and dark chocolate, or blend it into a smoothie. Want to learn more about probiotic foods? Take a look at this shopping list. (HEALTH)

DASH diet linked to lowered risk of gout. In a study 26 years in the making, the diets of 44,000 men were reviewed and the findings show that a plant-based diet, compared to a Western style diet, is more effective in lowering blood pressure, preventing heart disease, and lowering the risk of gout, a painful condition that impacts the joints. Gout occurs when there is too much uric acid in the blood, which leads to the release of these acidic crystals. Along with eating plant-based foods, the DASH diet has been found to lower the amount of uric acid in the body, making it an appealing option for men wanting to prevent this painful condition. Learn more about the DASH diet here. (MEDNEWS)

Candy might soon come in smaller packages. Several candy companies have promised to cut sugar and calories in their popular treats. Mars Chocolate North America, Ferrara Candy Company, Ghirardelli, Russell Stover Candies and others have agreed to make big changes to their candy packaging and content over the next few years. By 2022, at least 50% of sweets from these companies will have 200 calories or less in each package. In another move to improve consumers’ health, calorie information will be printed on the front of candy wrappers to make the amount more readily visible. According to the American Heart Association, they suggest that candy should have no more than six teaspoons of sugar for women and nine teaspoons of sugar for men, while some candies currently have 240 calories per pack. This initiative will hopefully help consumers make more informed choices and improve their health. (USATODAY)

In the News: Late Retirement Has Pros and Cons, Instagram Launches #HereForYou Campaign, Summer Activities With Highest Calorie Burn Revealed

Late retirement has pros and cons. While conventional wisdom states that we should slow down and prepare for retirement once we hit our 60s-70s, research seems to point to an opposite trend. As it turns out, it may actually be benefit our mental and physical health to adhere to a routine and continue going to the office. At the start of a retirement, studies have found that people experience a “honeymoon phase” where they go off on vacation, spend time with loved ones, and soak up the opportunity to sleep in and kick back. However after some time that feeling dissipates and restlessness sets in. The study points out that the benefits of working late in life are visible in those who choose to rather than those who are forced to for financial reasons. To ensure you can retire comfortably when the time comes, give your finances an annual check up. (CNN)

Instagram launches #HereForYou campaign. Since social media platforms are all too often treated as highlight reels for users who want to show off the best aspects of their day, it’s important to also leave room for the less glamorous aspects of life and address issues like depression, eating disorders, anxiety and other health problems that plague so many users daily. To that end, Instagram has launched the #HereForYou campaign which encourages users to share their struggles with others, start a meaningful conversation, and support one another. Learn more about mental health here. (ABC)

Summer activities with the highest calorie burn revealed. If you are looking forward to getting active now that the summer weather is here, there are specific workouts that can benefit you more than others. Reader’s Digest has rounded up their top picks for major calorie burn activities, and they include: rock climbing, walking or running on the beach, canoeing, biking, ultimate frisbee, scuba diving, horseback riding, paddle-boarding, hiking, skating, kayaking, and surfing. The best part about all these workouts: they are so fun you won’t even notice you’re breaking a sweat. For more inspiration, check out Dr. Oz’s favorite summer workouts. (RD)

The Treatments That Helped Me Combat Hair Loss

hair-loss

Elisabeth is a 13-time Emmy-winner, a critically acclaimed personal finance author and a 20-year consumer advocate for programs such as Good Morning America and The Dr. Oz Show.

Connect with her via Twitter @ElisabethLeamy and on her website, Leamy.com.

Knowing The Root Cause of Thinning Hair Could Be The Key

When the Dr. Oz Show asked me to go undercover and see what hair restoration clinics are promising hopeful patients,  it was personal. You see, in about 2008, I noticed that my own hair was thinning drastically. I’ve included a photo of my once lustrous, bouncy hair below and I admit, I took pride in it. The real tip-off was how I had to move from large ponytail elastics to small ones. Eventually, even those started slipping off. I had diffuse hair loss, with thinning all over my head, and only a hint of the “wide part” that some women struggle with. Nevertheless, I was depressed — and embarrassed — and had to live out my personal loss on national television as I was a correspondent for Good Morning America at the time.
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In the News: Vegan Diet on the Rise in Germany, Espresso May Lower Pancreatic Cancer Risk, Touch Screens May Disrupt Toddlers’ Sleep

Vegan diet on the rise in Germany. While the German diet typically calls to mind beer, sausages, and fried chicken cutlets, the culinary landscape is swiftly transforming itself into a more plant-based, vegan-friendly space. Last year, more vegan products were launched in this country than anywhere else in the world. To provide context: They took the crown with 18 percent of all global vegan product launches, the U.S. came in second with 17 percent, and third place went to the U.K. with 11 percent. While there is still a desire for sausage and schnitzel, now Germans can enjoy meat-free versions made with soy, wheat, or tofu. Experts believe that health concerns and awareness have led to a rise in vegan and vegetarian fare abroad. Looking to give the vegan diet a try? Take this shopping list to the store with you. (CNN)

Espresso may lower pancreatic cancer risk. Italian researchers have unveiled a study that shows drinking three cups of espresso daily may reduce the risk of prostate cancer. Scientists also used coffee extracts to test how prostate cancer cells react to exposure. The results were astounding: These extracts were capable of reducing cancer cell growth dramatically. While this link is very promising, it’s not conclusive just yet. For one thing, participants drank espresso “Italian-style,” which means it was prepared with high water temperature, no filters, and lots of pressure. These findings may indicate that only a certain kind of preparation can be effective in impacting cancer rates; while further research is required, the results underscore the health benefits of coffee. To learn more about pancreatic cancer risks and solutions, click here. (HUFFPO)

Touch screens may disrupt toddler’s sleep. A U.K. study has found that children between the ages of six months to three years are spending too much time using touch screens during the day and taking longer to fall asleep at night as a result. Researchers also found that compared to children who used these devices less frequently, tech-reliant toddlers napped more during the day and less at night. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) suggests limiting use of technological devices and also monitoring what children use these devices for. Another tip: Take away the smartphones and tablets at least one hour before bed to give toddlers a chance to relax and give their brains a break. To further learn how technology may impact children, watch this clip. (LIVESCIENCE)

What You Need to Know About Melanoma

back-sunscreen

Written by: Dr. Neil Sadick

Melanoma is the deadliest of skin cancers, mostly because it can spread very quickly and attack organs such as the brain and lungs. The rates of melanoma have been rising for the last 30 years, and despite considerable scientific and clinical breakthroughs in treatment, dermatologists will stress that an ounce of prevention is always better than a pound of cure.

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In the News: Exercise May Offset ‘Fat Gene’, Sickness Odor Sensor in the Works, Emma Stone Talks About Her Anxiety

Exercise may offset ‘fat gene’. While it is well known that genetics play a role in weight gain, researchers have discovered that there are ways to fight your genetic code and lose weight after all. The University of Copenhagen, along with the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, and several other participants analyzed 60 previous genetic studies to determine if working out could reverse the genetic likelihood of weight gain. After screening for 2.5 million genetic variations in over 200,000 adults, they discovered that people with the FTO gene (the gene that predisposes you to weight gain), could fight this effect and stay healthy with consistent exercise. Want to learn how to eat your way to super genes? Check out this food list. (ABC)

Sickness odor sensor in the works. After Mr. Boyle, an electronics engineer, watched his wife pass away due to colon cancer in 2014, he began focusing on cancer detection through the power of scent. His company, Owlstone has so far raised $23.5 million to allow clinicians to work with their odor analysis technology. This sensor, which is made out of metal layers, gold electrodes, and silicon, functions as a chemical filter. By changing the software in this device, users will be able to change which disease they want to detect. This device can eventually change the medical landscape, allowing physicians to spot cancer and other conditions in patients early enough to treat these illnesses before they become fatal. (NYT)

Emma Stone talks about her anxiety. Emma Stone recently spoke out about her anxiety in a video for the Child Mind Institute, detailing which methods helped her cope with her symptoms. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) in particular, has helped her replace a lot of negative thinking with a more positive way of looking at life. Research has shown that CBT methods are very helpful in training the brain to replace stressful thought patterns with healthier ones. Tired of feeling anxious? Here are four ways to reduce your anxiety right away. (HUFFPO)

An Introduction to the Monday Dieter Plan

Diet and nutrition

By: Nicole Romanella

What is the Monday Dieter?

If you’ve ever said “I will start my diet on Monday” to yourself or a friend, my blog, Monday Dieter is for you. A Monday dieter is someone who can relate to this scenario: every Monday you start a diet and by mid-week you’re completely off the wagon and vow to start again next Monday. That usually means every weekend you eat everything in sight since you’re planning to start fresh come Monday.

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