The relaxed feeling you expect from a glass of wine may have as much to do with the power of suggestion as the alcohol itself, say researchers at the Victoria University of Wellington and Harvard Medical School. This works similarly to the placebo effect, say researchers Maryanne Garry and Robert Michael, who found that suggestion has a powerful and pervasive effect on our lives. Once you anticipate a specific outcome will occur, your subsequent thoughts and behaviors will actually help to make that outcome occur, their research suggests.
The next time you're in a stressful situation, picture yourself kicking back with a chilled glass of pinot blanc. (Of course, if you go home after work and make it a reality, that works, too.)
Use Simple Seasonings to Boost Iron
Why it works: Adding a vitamin-C rich food or juice with an iron-containing food boosts the amount of iron your body absorbs, says Dr. Amy Goodson, board certified specialist in sport dietetics and the Dallas Cowboys Sports Dietitian. "Vitamin C binds to iron, increasing the stability and thus solubility of iron in your [digestive tract] when eaten together at the same meal."
Citrus aside, try these: Add bell peppers and spinach to an omelet; eat peanut butter on toast with strawberry slices; stir lean ground beef into tomato sauce; and season lean beef dishes with fresh thyme and parsley.
Try Easy Swaps to Speed Fat Loss
Chili with beans, grapefruit and long-grain brown rice may help you keep off weight better than a low-carb diet, according to a new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Low-glycemic foods are digested slowly and, therefore, do not create a surge of blood sugar after a meal. They're also more effective at burning calories after weight loss, according to the study.
"A very low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet may be helpful in facilitating weight loss [in the short term], but it is stressful to the body, is pro-inflammatory, and hence may speed aging," says Dr. Dan Nadeau, endocrinologist and author of The Color Code, A Revolutionary Eating Plan for Optimum Health.
For weight loss choose a diet rich in whole foods, especially those with a lower glycemic index, says Nadeau. Low glycemic foods include peanuts, grapefruit, skim milk, beans and raw apples.
Go for Natural Beauty to Cut Your Diabetes Risk
Your hairspray may be putting you at a higher risk for diabetes, says a new study out of Brigham and Women's Hospital's Division of Women's Health.
The study links a chemical found in beauty products to an increased risk of diabetes. Exposure to phthalates, found in products including nail polish, hair spray, soap, shampoo, and some fragrances was associated with blood sugar and insulin resistance.
"The study results add to a growing body of evidence that environmental chemicals can affect fat metabolism and insulin resistance, which may contribute to obesity and type 2 diabetes," says Johanna Congleton, senior scientist at the Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit health watchdog. Chemicals such as these can act as "obesogens," which may contribute to obesity by affecting fat metabolism and body weight, says Congleton.
The next time you're reloading on beauty products, steer clear of phthalates by looking for cosmetics and beauty products labeled phthalate free.
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