Healthy Choices

Legumes Are Good for You

Legumes—beans, peas, lentils and peanuts—are a healthy substitute for meat because they are high in protein, low in fat and contain no cholesterol. In a study by the International Union of Nutritional Sciences and the World Health Organization, people who ate more legumes lived longer than those who ate fewer. For every daily increase of 20 grams of legumes (less than 2 tablespoons) there was an 8 percent decrease in death risk. Find legume recipes at http://www.legumechef.com/English/default_en.htm.

Berries: Good for Your Heart and Brain

Two recent studies have confirmed that eating plant foods high in antioxidants, such as blueberries, blackberries, cranberries, Concord grape juice, strawberries and walnuts slows the aging process, improves brain function and lowers your risk of cardiovascular disease. Read more at www.wellsource.org/handouts/berries.pdf and www.wellsource.org/hc/antioxidant.pdf.

Sleep Well

Do you have problems falling asleep? Do you have trouble staying awake and alert during the day? If so, you may be one of the estimated 50–70 million Americans who have a sleep disorder. Sleep is the natural restorer of health and energy to the body and mind. Research shows people who get seven to eight hours of sleep daily have the best health and live longer than those getting less sleep. Lack of sleep lowers the body's immune system, making people more susceptible to infections and illness. Lack of sleep is also linked to increased potential of being overweight. For tips on getting a good night's rest, go to www.wellsource.org/handouts/sleep.pdf.

You Can Still Eat Well With Celiac Disease

Recent findings estimate more than 2 million people in the United States have celiac disease, or about one in 133 people. Symptoms include abdominal bloating and pain, gas, chronic diarrhea, weight loss, joint pain, skin eruptions and more. People with celiac disease cannot tolerate gluten (a protein found in wheat, barley and rye), and their immune system attacks and damages the small intestine. While celiac disease requires a completely new approach to eating, you can still enjoy many delicious foods. Read more at http://familydoctor.org/online/famdocen/home/common/digestive/disorders/... and http://www.celiac.org/.

What Is PAD?

If you're past 50 years old, you may have resigned yourself to a few more aches. However, if you've had cramping in your legs when you're walking but it goes away when you stop, don't shrug it off. It might be early warning signals of peripheral arterial disease, which affects more than 12 million Americans. PAD increases the risk of heart attack and stroke as much as seven times. Many people with PAD don't have symptoms, but those who do often report pain when walking or climbing stairs; numbness, aching, and heaviness or cramping in the muscles. While PAD is serious, dietary changes and exercise can help. Read about PAD at http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/dci/Diseases/pad/pad_what.html.

May 01, 2008 / Health
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