Boosting Happiness Through Fruits and Vegetables

A study of more than 12,000 Australians revealed that the benefits of a produce-rich diet extend beyond physical health. With every added daily portion of fruits or vegetables (up to eight), the subjects' happiness levels rose slightly.

Updated: Sep 27, 2018 16:51:56 IST
2017-06-14T00:00:00+05:30
Boosting Happiness Through Fruits and Vegetables

Fruits and veggies boost happiness

A study of more than 12,000 Australians revealed that the benefits of a produce-rich diet extend beyond physical health. With every added daily portion of fruits or vegetables (up to eight), the subjects' happiness levels rose slightly. Researchers  calculated that if someone were to switch from a diet free of fruits and vegetables to eight servings per day, he or she would theoretically gain as much life satisfaction as  someone who transitioned from unemployment to a job. The exact reason is unclear, but it may be related to the effect of carotenoid levels in the blood.

Hangover cure that's a myth

Sorry, but a jug of water won't help you after too many cocktails. In a Dutch and Canadian study, researchers surveyed 826 Dutch students on methods of relieving hangovers. More than half drank water before sleeping or during the next-day recovery. Water can prevent dry mouth, but the study found it didn't lower the severity of hangover symptoms.

The upside of a little butter

A meta-analysis of nine studies involving a total of more than 6,00,000 subjects in 15 countries found that a modest daily amount of butter-14 g, or one tablespoon-was associated with a four per cent decrease in diabetes risk. Meanwhile, this same amount of butter didn't seem to increase the risk of cardiovascular disease or stroke. Moderation is a good strategy when it comes to high-fat foods, such as butter, and the review implied that there's no need  to avoid them altogether.

Why antioxidant pills don't work

A new review published in the  British Journal of Pharmacology  reinforced an emerging explanation for why vitamins E and C, along  with other antioxidant supplements, don't prevent disease and may some-times even cause harm. Oxygen-free radicals-the molecules that anti oxidants neutralize -aren't all bad. Although they can trigger disease, they're also essential to immune defence and hormone synthesis.  The amount of antioxidants found  in a balanced diet appears beneficial, but getting a surplus from a supplement risks interfering with helpful free radicals.

Lift more, use lighter weights for strength

Intimidated by the thought of  working with heavy weights?  You're in luck! For building muscle and gaining strength, lifting light objects many times works just as well as lifting heavier ones fewer times, concluded a recent Canadian study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology. With either approach, the key is to work the muscles until they're fatigued, which is a sign of activated fibres. Low-load, high-repetition training is already the method of choice for fostering muscular endurance, and  a 2015 paper suggested it's effective for increasing bone density too.

Coffee does prevent cancer-unless it's too hot

Good news for fans of coffee: It  was stripped of its "possibly car-cinogenic" classification during a recent meeting of the International Agency for Research on Cancer. However, the agency did warn against any beverage that is served at a temperature higher than 65 degrees Celsius. Scalding-hot liquids can injure cells in the oesophagus, contributing to oesophageal cancer down the road. Meanwhile, coffee served at a moderate temperature appears to provide a mild protective effect against cancer in the uterus lining and the liver.

Happily, most socializing still takes place offline

As family and friends gather for Christmas, reassuring research out  of the University of Kansas states  that up to 98 per cent of what people consider 'social interaction' takes place outside of social media. Americans spend a lot of time on social media, but they use it mostly for 'people watching' (keeping tabs on others in their social sphere) rather than to replace in-person meetings. This is good news for mental health, since previous  studies have shown there's no substitute for face-to-face inter-actions when it comes to staving  off depression.

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