What Do Oranges Have To Do With Weight Loss?

According to new research, there’s a new weight loss tool in town: Behold the mighty power of your everyday orange!

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Staying away from sweet treats is a tough thing to do. Luckily, science may have a solution to this: Justsmelling an orange could help your diet along.

Researchers at the Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior presented two different experiments, one where women were asked to smell either oranges or chocolate before eating. In another study, women were shown images of food or non-food objects, before being provided a snack.

The difference? In the first experiment, women who were given the smell of fresh oranges ate 60 percent less chocolate, compared to how much they ate after smelling chocolate.

“It might be that the smell of fresh oranges reminded dieters to limit intake of a tempting and diet-forbidden snack,” researcher Nicola Buckland told NPR.

In the second experiment, dieters who were shown images of healthy food tended to eat less than dieters who were shown photos of non-food items.

Researchers imagine that the reminder of eating healthy is enough to make dieters eat just a bit less than they normally would, which means simply seeing or smelling healthy foods could be enough to cue healthy eating.

“When tempted by food, dieters should take a few moments to focus on the sensory properties of healthy food, such as the sight and smell of fruit or salad vegetables,” Buckland said in a press release.

Also, start keeping healthier snacks around your house and work desk, to serve as reminders for “dieters to limit their food intake.” Too bad our desks are laden with popcorn and chips.

This Smell’s Not Just For Diets!

Brazilian scientists had participants spend five minutes inhaling one of three substances: Sweet orange essential oil, tea tree oil, or plain old water. Participants then underwent a stressful test while having their vital signs measured. Those who sniffed orange oil were less anxious throughout the test, and the beneficial effects even lingered once the exam was over.

Curious About What Citrus Scents Can Do For You?

Try giving these aromas a sniff:

Grapefruit: Anecdotal evidence suggests that grapefruit aromas can curb depression and enhance memory. Or try taking a whiff before meals to control your appetite. Research from Japan’s Osaka University shows that the scent of grapefruit actually boosts metabolism and reduces food cravings.

Lemon: Prepping for a major meeting? Enhance your performance and your attitude by rubbing lemon balm inside your wrist. The mild lemon scent sends you to a positive place. In fact, a study at the UK’s Northumbria University found that exposure to lemon balm can improve cognitive performance and mood.

Mandarin: At the Mayo Clinic, massage therapists and acupuncturists augment therapies with the gentle scent of mandarin essential oil. Patients have reported reduced stress, better digestion and less nausea.

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One Glass of Wine per day….

Need some reasons to feel even better about that after-work glass of wine? Every year, there are increasingly positive reports on the health benefits of red wine.

Wine has always been a staple in the human diet. In fact, scientists have documented red wine as far back as 5400 B.C. But just where do these health benefits come from you might ask?

After all this cooking, some of us may need a glass of wine! IS THIS YOUR GLASS?? LOL! But seriously, wine does have great health benefits. 

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Resveratrol? Polyphenols?

Antioxidants in red wine called polyphenols may help protect the lining of blood vessels in your heart. A polyphenol called resveratrol is one substance in red wine that’s gotten a lot of attention. Resveratrol is a polyphenolic compound found in grapes, red wine, purple grape juice, peanuts, and some berries. Scientists became interested in exploring potential health benefits of resveratrol when its presence was reported in red wine, and seemed to be consistently connected with reductions in coronary heart disease risk and longevity.

Here are just a few of the healthy things that resveratrol can do for you:

Increase Longevity. Resveratrol has been shown to increase lifespan in animal studies.

Improve Brain Health. Resveratrol has been shown to protect against Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

Support Heart Health. Red wine has been shown to reduce the risk of heart and cardiovascular disease thanks to the resveratrol and other antioxidants it contains.

Protect Against Lung Cancer. Researchers from the University of Santiago de Compostela in Spain found that each glass of red wine per day reduced the risk of lung cancer by 13%.

Protect Against Prostate Cancer. Red wine has been shown to reduce men’s overall risk of prostate cancer by 50% and the risk of the most aggressive forms of prostate cancer by 60%.

Protect Against Breast Cancer. Moderate consumption of red wine is believed to lower the risk of breast cancer. However, drinking more than 1 or 2 alcoholic drinks per day appears to increase the risk of breast cancer in women, so moderation is key.

Prevent Colds. Researchers in Spain found that people who drank more than two glasses of red wine per day have 44% fewer colds than people who abstained.

Decrease Inflammation. Resveratrol has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties, which helps overall physical health since many diseases and ailments can be attributed to inflammation.

Lower Cholesterol. Resveratrol has been found in studies to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol, while another ingredient in red wine, saponins, have cholesterol lowering properties as well. In addition, red wine has been shown to increase levels of HDL (good) cholesterol and protect against artery damage.

In addition to the above health benefits, studies show that red wine can also improve the quality of your sleep. Red wine, especially Cabernet Sauvignon, Chianti, and Merlot, contains melatonin. Melatonin regulates the body clock, so drinking a glass of red wine before bed may help you sleep. Melatonin is also an antioxidant, which means it also has anti-aging and cancer preventative properties.

Important Things To Keep In Mind About Red Wine…

While the news about red wine might sound great if you enjoy a glass of red wine with your evening meal, doctors are wary of encouraging anyone to start drinking alcohol. That’s because too much alcohol can have many harmful effects on your body.

Moderation is key. Drinking too much alcohol has been linked to several conditions, including cancer. Men should drink no more than 2-3 glasses of red wine a day, and women should limit their consumption to 1-2 glasses a night.

More research is needed. Although resveratrol can inhibit the growth of cancer cells in culture and in some animal models, more extensive research is needed regarding the influence of resveratrol in cancer prevention in humans.

Great Ways To Eat What You Want On Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving marks the beginning of the season of overeating so why not try the best you can by not going off the deep end so early on?  Your health is the most important gift so honoring your good fortune on the day of thanks is a great way to take care of that gift.

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Here are just a few easy tips that can help you avoid being the stuffed bird this holiday.

Don’t deprive yourself before your Thanksgiving dinner. Eat a hearty breakfast and lunch, and healthy snacks throughout the day. If you show up at dinner starving, you’ll be more likely to overeat and your body will have a harder time digesting the heavy meal.

3. Drink Lots of Water

Drink plenty of water before and during your meal. Not only does your mind often interpret thirst as hunger, but water will help your stomach stay full and keep you from overeating. Plus, you won’t pack on any of the additional calories soft drinks and other beverages can add to your meal.

4. Eat Plenty of Vegetables

Before reaching for turkey and potatoes, fill two-thirds of your plate with vegetables of all colours. Healthy veggies will fill you up and keep you from indulging in unhealthy food.

5. Limit Sweets

Aim for a teaspoon or two of cranberry sauce instead of drowning your turkey in it; the relish is often high in sugar and should be eaten in moderation. When it comes to dessert, you don’t have to avoid it altogether. If you’ve eaten a healthy meal, you can indulge yourself in a sliver of pie or small portion of ice cream. If you’re still craving more, eat fruit to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Strawberries With a Side of ADHD?

ImageNot too sure that organic produce is worth the extra dough? This may change your mind. It looks like scientists in the US and Canada may have found a connection between pesticide exposure and ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder).

Researchers tested 1,000 kids, ages eight to 15, and analyzed their urine for traces of pesticides. They found that 119 of the participants had signs of ADHD. And get this — the children with the highest concentrations of pesticides were twice as likely to be diagnosed with this condition as compared to the kids who had only traces of the chemical in their urine. That’s a huge difference. The pesticides detected were ones commonly used in conventional produce such as frozen blueberries, strawberries, and celery.

 

ADHD affects about 4.5 million children in the US, and 2.5 million take medication to treat their condition. That means the findings of this study aren’t something that should be ignored, as the connection between pesticides and ADHD is pretty strong. Certain pesticides will leave the body after about a week, but this study shows that some degree of pesticide residue will remain in the body, making exposure to these chemicals ongoing. Kids are especially at a greater risk since their young bodies are still developing.

Scientists aren’t saying that eating conventional produce that’s treated with pesticides will automatically lead to the development of ADHD, because many other factors may be involved, but this study may offer yet another reason to choose organic foods whenever possible.

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