Thursday, April 19, 2012

Optimism Leads to Healthier Heart, Fewer Strokes

optimism protects against heart attacks and stroke!
Being happy, upbeat, and optimistic can help protect you from heart attacks and strokes, according to new research from Harvard. Optimism has an especially powerful effect on the heart -- according to the study the most optimistic people have half the risk of suffering a heart attack as compared to the least optimistic.

People with "type A" personalities -- and anyone who is often anxious, depressed, angry, or pessimistic -- are at a much greater risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke. Chronic stress seems to be the primary factor. High stress levels may lead to elevated levels of certain "bad" hormones (like cortisol) which may damage the arteries and/or the heart muscle.

According to the Harvard researchers, having a better sense of well-being leads to a significant increase in several important health factors -- including weight, cholesterol levels, and blood pressure. Also, optimistic people are much more likely to exercise regularly, eat a healthier diet, get more sleep, not smoke, and drink less alcohol. Experts warn though that healthy lifestyle habits may lead to more feeling more optimistic and happy, not the other way around.

The bottom line: do your best to be optimistic and upbeat -- and don't stress out too much -- and you might protect your heart and brain!

Learn some mo': Optimism protects against heart attack and stroke, study shows

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Stem Cell Cures Baldness in Japan

Yes, that' is a "bald" mouse with a puff of new hair
sticking out of it's neck! :)
Now here's some real good news for all us balding dudes: a new type of stem cell therapy may lead to a real cure for baldness, according to fresh Japanese research. Scientists from Tokyo University of Science created new hair follicles from stem cells and then implanted them into the skin of hairless mice... and new hair grew out of them!

The good news is that the follicles continued to function normally, regenerating hair in normal growth cycles even after old hair fell out. Maybe even better news is that the Japanese researchers used easy-to-get adult stem cells, not embryo-extracted cells. Experts hope the new research will lead not only to a true baldness cure, but also to new ways to bio-engineer human organs.

 So, at least in theory, people will soon be able to use their own stem cells to grow fresh, fully-functioning hair follicles (say that 5 times quickly) and then possibly grow a new kidney or ear to go along with the full head of hair. Unfortunately, even if everything goes perfectly during the research and human tests, stem cell-based baldness treatments probably won't be available for 7-10 years!

 Learn some mo': Japanese study raises hopes of cure for baldness

Friday, April 13, 2012

Drop 10 Diet: Are Superfoods the Key to Fast, Easy Weight Loss?

A simple diet based around everyday "superfoods" may be one of the best ways to shed extra bodyfat and lose weight fast, according to the author of the hot new Drop 10 Diet. Lucy Danziger says she got tired of following traditional calorie-counting weight loss plans and wanted a simpler diet based around good-tasting, ultra-healthy foods that "pay her back" as she puts it.

She came up with an interesting new diet plan that's pretty much totally based around common superfoods you can find in the typical grocery store. According to Danziger, eating mainly superfoods like almonds, salmon, and blueberries makes you feel great and keeps you full so losing pounds quickly is much easier than on a traditional diet plan. She states:
"We're going to give you so many choices of what you can eat, you're not thinking about starvation. ... You're thinking about feeding the engine.... [Superfoods] have to do more than supply you with calories."
Diets based around healthy, unprocessed, nutrient-rich foods are certainly nothing new. In fact the word "superfood" has been around for over a decade now. Most experts agree that a superfood is any natural food that provides a big health boost because of its vitamin, mineral, enzyme, friendly bacteria, or good fats content. Broccoli, spinach, green tea, organic berries, dark chocolate, eggs, and low-fat yogurt are common, well-known examples.

Fans of superfood diets often say that they are among the easiest methods for losing weight quickly as well as keeping the weight off over the long-term. Of course the "catch" is that you have to cut out nearly all the other foods, especially things containing refined sugars, white flours, preservatives, and bad fats (such as trans fats). That's not always easy to do, which is why a good percentage of people can't stick to superfood-based diets.

The trick to getting maximum healthy weight loss success from the Drop 10 Diet (or any other similar diet) is to learn to enjoy it. Eating large amounts of vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, omega 3-rich fish, and other superfoods gives you a ton of energy and will probably make you feel great. More energy equals more exercise in many cases. More exercise equals more and better-quality sleep. Better sleep usually means even more energy, better "good hormone" production, and easier fat loss.

So if you can tap into that positive feedback loop, a superfoods diet might work for you. According to another popular diet book author, Dr. Steven Pratt:
"The better you feel, the more you do it. Your body will send an e-mail to your brain within minutes thanking it, saying, 'I'm going to do better. I'm not going to get sick anymore.' "

Learn some mo': Eat more 'superfoods' to lose weight

Have a question or comment about the Drop 10 Diet or superfood weight loss programs? Leave it below!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Best Way to Lose Weight According to Harvard

According to a large new study from Harvard Medical School, obese people are losing lots of weight by sticking to the basics and avoiding diet pills, fad diets, special "diet" foods, and other diet/weight loss products. In fact, the research showed that the best way to lose weight is by eating less, exercising more, swapping high-calorie foods for lower-calorie alternatives, and eating less fat.

This isn't exactly new or surprising info but it does highlight the fact that millions of people are wasting billions of dollars looking for easy weight loss solutions that simply don't work very well. Obese Americans who are actually losing significant amounts of weight are doing it the old-fashioned way: moving more and eating less.

In the study, a small percentage of participants used popular commercial weight loss programs (and some even used prescription weight loss pills) and had success. But those who used the simpler (and much cheaper) traditional weight loss methods lost nearly as much weight without spending a lot of money or risking their health. According to study author Dr. Christina Wee:
"It's reassuring that patients are using the less costly strategies that have been shown to be effective and the more ‘tried and true’ strategies... I think what is also reassuring is that when they try, in general, they lose weight."
Experts say that, especially for obese and overweight people, losing pounds is only part of the fight. Keeping them off over the long-term can often prove to be an even tougher challenge for many people. The good news is that people who develop healthy lifestyle habits (like daily workouts, healthy eating, drinking lots of water, etc.) almost always have a much better chance of keeping the weight off than people who used crash dieting or OTC diet pills to lose the weight!

Learn some mo': For Successful Weight Loss, Forget Fad Diets and Pills

Friday, April 6, 2012

Ridiculously Photogenic Guy Zeddie Little Takes Over the Social Interwebs

The modern internet and its giant web of powerful, interconnected social networks can make just about anyone world famous, almost overnight. That's exactly what has happened to Zeddie Little, the Ridiculously Photogenic Guy and star of one of the hottest memes to ever hit the interwebs.

Mr. Little is a New Yorker who's originally from South Carolina. He was just minding his own business, running in a 10K race (the Cooper River Bridge Run) on March 31st in his home state when amateur photographer William King took his photo and posted it on social photo sharing site Flickr. According to King:
"The reason I picked him out to focus in on was because I could see him weaving through the crowd looking pretty excited whereas many others around him were already exhausted by that point... I did have to tweak the photo just a little [to get the intended effect]."
King later posted the photo on the social new sharing site Reddit with the caption "Ridiculously Photogenic Guy." From there it exploded onto the other social networks and turned Zeddie Little into an internet sensation in a matter of hours. Just a few days later his face has been seen my tens of millions of people all over the planet.

Did we mention that the social internet is kinda powerful?

The great and ironic part of the whole thing: Mr. Little is trying to start a career in public relations in the NYC music scene. We're pretty sure he'll have a few more doors open to him now that he's internet famous!

Learn some mo': ‘Ridiculously Photogenic Guy’ Goes Viral

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Eat Junk Food and You Might Become Depressed

Eating lots of fast food or junk food might make you depressed, according to new research from Spain. Researchers followed nearly 9000 people for several years and found that those who regularly consumed fast food and sweets were 51 percent more likely to develop depression than those who ate little or no junk food.

They also found that the more someone ate fast food the more likely he or she would become clinically depressed. Even people who only consumed small amounts of fast food or commercially baked sweets like doughnuts were more likely to suffer from the disease. That's pretty scary stuff in our opinion!

It's not a secret that diet and mental state are connected but this is one of the first studies to show a strong connection between eating junk food and "feeling down." It's possible that feeling depressed could cause someone to eat more high-sugar, high-fat junk foods and low-quality carbs. But it's also very possible that eating lots of processed sugars, artificial flavorings, food chemicals, and "bad" fats (like trans fatty acids) negatively affects mood and mental health in a significant way over time.

Researchers also found that smokers and people who worked more than 45 hours per week were much more likely to eat junk foods and suffer from depression. So the bottom line is, don't eat fast food or sweets, don't smoke, don't work too much, and follow a healthy lifestyle... and you probably won't become depressed! (duh)

Learn some mo': Sweets and Fast Food Linked to Depression