Shed pounds, cool down

Weight loss improves Menopause symptoms

Middle-aged women coping with menopause symptoms have just received a powerful incentive to drop a few pounds: New research suggests diet and exercise can significantly reduce hot flashes and night sweats. The University of California, San Francisco researchers put 226 overweight, menopausal women on an intense weight-loss program, monitoring how bothered they were by various aspects of hot flashes, which happen when fluctuating estrogen levels confuse the body, setting off cooling mechanisms, which include profuse perspiration. Hot flashes and night sweats plague 85% of all menopausal women.

Over the course of six months, weight loss and reductions in waist circumference produced significant improvements in self-reported hot flashes, when compared to a control group. Even for those slightly bothered by such episodes, close to half were 223% more likely to show improvement. Those not on the weight-loss wagon were twice as likely to have symptoms worsen!

Another UCSF research team previously found that regular yoga practice curbed hot flash symptoms by 31%. Other research found that meditative breathing reduced such symptoms by 44%. In addition to exercise and stress management, filling up on more fruit and vegetables can help women keep excess pounds at bay, thus improving hormonal balance.

Dole Nutrition News
Sept 10

How to make your own supplement company

  If you saw the documentary "Bigger Stronger Faster" then you'll probably know about the way the movie looked into the supplement industry in the U.S.  If you missed it, this short 3min video gives you a quirky insight into the industry in America which is well worth watching. Click pic to watch.

Eat HOT, look HOT

If you've ever burned your tongue on a jalapeno, you've learned to respect the power of the pepper. The kick comes from naturally evolved phytochemicals that protect plants from predators (imagine a curious gopher biting into a big habanero). Now researchers are discovering that the same hot pepper compounds that burn the senses may also help us torch extra calories. A recent UCLA study found that dieters burned more fat -- and twice as many calories -- when they added a hot pepper compound similar to capsaicin to meals.

Similar effects were found from whole food ingredients: Dutch scientists included a gram of red peppers in a calorie-controlled meal then measured the effects on metabolism. Hot pepper eaters enjoyed a drop in ghrelin (a hunger-stimulating hormone) and a rise in GLP-1 (which suppresses appetite).

Beyond weight management benefits, hot peppers are relatively nutritious -- compared to red bell peppers, gram for gram, serranos have twice the fiber while green chili peppers have double the vitamin C.  
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Run faster, Learn faster

3-Minute Sprints Boost Brainpower by 20%

Want to cut down on the time it takes to learn something new? Try adding 3-minute bursts of intense exercise to your regular workout. Plenty of research has linked activity with higher test scores, but a recent study in Neurobiology of Learning and Memory suggests pouring it on physically can help you soak it up mentally. German researchers tested 27 young men after moderate exercise, intense exercise, or no exercise. Only intense exercise -- two 3-minute sprints, spaced 2 minutes apart -- yielded benefit: 20% faster vocabulary learning.

Sprints can be incorporated into nearly any form of physical activity -- running, biking, swimming, even strength training -- simply by ramping up the rate of activity to maximum aerobic potential. Beyond boosting brainpower, sprints rev up metabolism
and also elevate human growth hormone levels by   by 450%. Sprints can help increase your exercise capacity, thereby extending longevity.  Do 'nature sprints' for added benefits -- higher cognitive recall when compared to urban settings.

Fuel your mind muscles with foods
such as berries, broccoli and spinach.  Omega-3 fatty acids from fish and nuts also improve cognitive function. A healthy diet plus regular exercise helps protect against obesity, which doubles the risk of devloping dementia.

Exercise variety ie the number of different activities you engage in also lowers the risk of dementia down the road.

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