Get healthier in just 60 seconds

hMost people don’t get serious about health until their doctor hands them a script for blood work instead of the lollipop. Then it’s “uh-oh time” and they try to become Dean Ornish overnight.

It’s so much easier to prevent trouble than it is to fix it, especially when you have time on your side and can take baby steps toward living a little more healthfully every day.

Agree? Then, let’s start, shall we?

Here are some easy health tips that take 60 seconds or less. Pick one to master every few days and live happier and healthier.

Feel a headache coming on? Have a piece of apple pie or munch on an organic Granny Smith apple. In one study from the Smell & Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago, when subjects in the midst of a migraine attack sniffed test tubes containing a green apple smell, the pain improved more than when they sniffed tubes that had no scent.

Researchers say it could be a matter of distraction, or it could be that the smell of green apple actually reduces muscle contractions in the head and neck, reducing headache pain. Earlier studies found that the smell of green apples helps reduce anxiety.

Instead of chips with your sandwich, switch to unsalted pistachios. In research at the Inova Fairfax Hospital in Falls Church, VA, people who ate two to three ounces of unsalted pistachios a day for four weeks raised their HDL cholesterol (the good kind) by 6 percent.

If you sit around in office chairs all day, your knee joints aren’t being lubricated. That can lead to knee pain. Try the quad pump, a 10-second exercise that causes your cartilage to secrete fluid, bathing the knee joint in nutrients to keep it healthy.

Sit in a chair and extend your legs straight out so that your heels rest on the floor. Now tighten your quadriceps, the thigh muscles above your knees. Hold the contraction for 2 seconds then release. Repeat five times to squeeze lubrication into your knee joint. Feel better?

Sprinkle cinnamon into your coffee grinds before you press “brew.” This antioxidant-rich spice, studies show, may reduce blood pressure and lower stress.

Before squeezing toothpaste onto your brush, take 30 seconds to brush your teeth with a dry toothbrush. Doing so cuts tartar by 60 percent and also reduces the risk of bleeding gums by half. Use a dry soft-bristle brush to scrub the insides of your top and bottom teeth, then buff the outer surfaces. Rinse, then brush normally with toothpaste.

Make that burger better for you with a shot of organic ketchup. USDA researchers recently compared lycopene levels in 13 commercial varieties of ketchup and found that organic brands pack as much as three times the amount of the cancer-fighting phytochemical than  ordinary brands. A study co-author Betty Ishida, PhD, speculates that the organics top the list because they’re made with riper tomatoes.

“The darker red a ketchup is, the greater the lycopene content,” says Ishida. Another good hue cue is green-and-white; that’s the color of the USDA’s certified-organic label.

– Yahoo News

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