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Study shows those who read for at least 30 minutes each day are more likely to enjoy a longer life than non-readers
3,635 people aged 60 and up were studied in regards to their health. The study was undertaken by the Yale University School of Public Health, and researchers there found that the questions about reading habits provided some surprising results.
They divided their 60-and-uppers into 3 groups based on different amounts of reading they did.
Here’s what they found:
“Although books can expose people to new people and places, whether books also have health benefits beyond other types of reading materials is not known. This study examined whether those who read books have a survival advantage over those who do not read books and over those who read other types of materials, and if so, whether cognition mediates this book reading effect.”
They adjusted for relevant covariates including age, sex, race, education, comorbidities, self-rated health, wealth, marital status, and depression.
“Book reading contributed to a survival advantage that was significantly greater than that observed for reading newspapers or magazines. Compared to non-book readers, book readers had a 23-month survival advantage at the point of 80% survival in the unadjusted model. A survival advantage persisted after adjustment for all covariates, indicating book readers experienced a 20% reduction in risk of mortality over the 12 years of follow up compared to non-book readers.
“Cognition mediated the book reading-survival advantage. These findings suggest that the benefits of reading books include a longer life in which to read them.”
So a 20% better chance of not dying in the 12 years following the data collection for the readers over the non-readers.
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Rethink the amount of sugar you’re going to drink today?
It’s true that you can’t see the white sugar crystals through the shiny cans or healthy printed pictures on the clean transparent juice bottles.
However, almost all beverages have huge amounts of sugar. Even cream and chocolate milk. And in many cases, juices have more sugar in them then pop drinks.
Here’s what you’re consuming in your beverages these days (the photo shows it). Imagine you drink 3 drinks today. And that’s on top of whatever other sugar you’re taking in outside of your drinks.
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Will these socks save hundreds or thousands of baby lives?
“Did you know that over 3,500 babies pass away each year while sleeping?” is the question posed by the company behind the medical socks.
“This is more than 10x the number of babies who passed away in a car last year. Our product is designed to help parents proactively monitor their child while sleeping, with frequent notices on the child’s heart rate and oxygen. Our vision is that every child will come home from the hospital with a health monitor like Owlet within 5 years.”
The socks monitor a baby’s heart rate and breathing, and alert their parents if anything is amiss.
The socks “use hospital technology called pulse oximetry, miniaturized into a snuggly Smart Sock that your little one wears to bed at night.”
And they have been tested quite a bit, although the device is still fairly new, which means it is not possible to rely on it 100%, but the benefits are inarguable.
And a benefit for the parents: better sleep. “83% of parents report better sleep while using the Owlet Baby Monitor.”
Here is the sales page for these medical baby socks, which are selling for $250 U.S. now.
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How many mosquitos is a good number to have buzzing around you in your yard? I’m going to go out on a pest-control limb and guess zero or close to zero. So here are some plants you can plant in your house or in your yard in your attempt to dissuade pests like mosquitos from frequenting your residence:
- Lemon thyme
- Lemon balm
Now these are not 100% scientifically proven, but many people say they work.
Other people have said that just having citronella growing is enough to keep mosquitos away (no mosquitos for the whole year, he said).
Another thing to note is that many of these plants have more than one version available to buy. That means that more aromatic versions may be more potent remedies for mosquitos.
Also, planting them upwind is probably a suggestion you might want to consider if you’re planting in your yard.
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The researchers set out to find something kind of unrelated to laziness, but the results found a clear relation to lethargy, or at least people who we see living what we might call “lazy” lifestyles.
“Physical activity level is an important contributor to overall human health and obesity. Research has shown that humans possess a number of traits that influence their physical activity level including social cognition.
“We examined whether the trait of “need for cognition” (NFC) — “tendency to engage in and enjoy effortful cognitive endeavors” — was associated with daily physical activity levels. We recruited individuals who were high or low in need for cognition and measured their physical activity level in 30-second epochs over a 1-week period. The overall findings showed that low-need-for-cognition individuals were more physically active, but this difference was most pronounced during the 5-day work week and lessened during the weekend.”
The scientists looked at 60 individuals with 2 levels (high and low) of NFC.
What they found was that the same people who tend to skip exercise also have high NFC. That is to say, people who enjoy thinking a lot are not necessarily those who do a lot of exercise. Something anyone well versed in 80s geek movies might have guessed.
Report: The physical sacrifice of thinking: Investigating the relationship between thinking and physical activity in everyday life
Photo by: Fashion Me Now
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Depression is something that is getting so much attention today. People never really considered the issue in a way that would put it on the front page of newspapers until a couple decades ago, it seems, and coverage has not waned.
One person who recently spoke out about her own experience with depression, as well as anxiety associated with that experience, is Keke Palmer.
Happy Birthday to Keke! The Akeelah and the Bee star is all grown up and had to deal with serious grown-up issues.
“These are the words I was afraid to stand behind because I had too much anxiety and could not process my experiences and how they were separate from the spirit of who I was,” wrote Keke Palmer on the subject.
“I stopped trying all together because I allowed people to make me believe that being an artist meant having big budget music videos and big record producers backing you,” Palmer wrote. “When in reality, all being an artist means is to be fearless in your creative pursuits. My anxiety, caused by the habit of unconsciously holding my breath, coupled with the stress of my personal life at that time created a lot of hard years of depression for me.
“Believe in yourself because that’s the only thing stopping you! You must believe in the dark so when the light comes on everything is seen clearly.”
“For me, it became motivation simply because it’s not so much about looking nice but more about feeling good. It feels good when I work out. It makes me have energy. When I’m eating well, I’m able to deal with things better. When I started realizing the benefits to my body, health-wise, that’s really what motivated me. I don’t want to be limited by my body because I’m eating poorly or because I’m not exercising and I don’t have the energy. I want to be able to live life to the fullest and so my love for life is what motivates me to keep myself going.
“I definitely meditate and I’m always honest with myself about how I feel. My type of personality is that I like to be focused. I think I was blessed at a young age to find my passion and I realized how meditative that was within itself — having something you love that you can lose yourself in. I have a tattoo on my arm that says: “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.” I truly believe you are what you repeatedly do. You can change. You can become anything that you want to become because you are the one who chooses the habits that you do every day. You can make them all positive, or you can make them all negative.”
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Plastics? We know they’re not doing our environment any real good, except for the benefits in terms of making our daily life easier and more productive by providing us with inexpensive containers in a wide variety.
But now we’re finding alternative materials to replace plastics. Here’s one to replace plastic wraps. It’s “Bee’s Wrap.”
According to The Alchemist Kitchen, who is selling this natural product, which they recommend you wash between uses for sustainability:
“Bee’s Wrap is handmade by a growing team of women in a Bristol, Vermont, workshop tucked at the edge of a winding river. Since 2012, they’ve created wraps that provide a versatile and durable solution for sustainable food storage. Bee’s Wrap is the sustainable, natural alternative to plastic wrap for food storage. To reuse, just wash in cool water. Made of beeswax, organic cotton, organic jojoba oil and tree resin.
“Wrap a sandwich, cheese, produce, and cover a bowl. Use the warmth of your hands to form Bee’s Wrap over the top of a bowl, half a lemon, or a piece of cheese. The wrap will hold its shape when it cools, creating a seal.”
The price is $10 per sandwich wrap. A set of 3 sandwich wraps is $18. Visit the sales page here.
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Do you spend a bunch of money on yard care products every year? Well, is that really necessary?
This is what can be done with simply a spray bottle filled with white vinegar. If you don’t have white vinegar in your kitchen, you can also use table salt, which is also very inexpensive and has no unknown chemicals to add to the yard you and your family use all the time. Some people add dish soap like Dawn to salt and use that mixture.
Note that vinegar spray works particularly well if there is a lot of sun.
And if you want to go really low cost (zero dollars), use boiling water, but this should only be done if you can be very very careful. Remember, steam burns faster than boiling water.
Note that vinegar in a spray bottle can also be used to clean windows.
One drawback of this method is that you’re only killing the leaves off — you’re not killing the roots. But that means you’re also not putting harsh or unknown chemicals that are able to kill roots into your environment.
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Do you recognize it? It’s one of the healthiest weeds you might be throwing away …
Pulling up your weeds and tossing them in the compost this week? Well, you might want to keep an eye out for this one.
It’s Purslane, also known as verdolaga, pigweed, little hogweed, red root, pursley, an annual succulent in the family, and it’s an ingredient in cuisine around the world.
What does it look like? Like the photos, and it may reach 40 centimetres (16 in) in height. It has smooth, reddish, mostly prostrate stems and alternate leaves clustered at stem joints and ends. The yellow flowers have five regular parts and are up to 6 millimetres (0.24 in) wide.
Although purslane is considered a weed in the United States, it may be eaten as a leaf vegetable. It has a slightly sour and salty taste and is eaten throughout much of Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and Mexico. The stems, leaves and flower buds are all edible. Purslane may be used fresh as a salad, stir-fried, or cooked as spinach is, and because of its mucilaginous quality it also is suitable for soups and stews. The sour taste is due to oxalic and malic acid, the latter of which is produced through the crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) pathway that is seen in many xerophytes (plants living in dry conditions), and is maximal when the plant is harvested in the early morning.
It has also been used in traditional medicine: In traditional Chinese medicine. Its leaves are used for insect or snake bites on the skin, boils, sores, pain from bee stings, bacillary dysentery, diarrhea, hemorrhoids, postpartum bleeding, and intestinal bleeding. And its use is contraindicated during pregnancy and for those with cold and weak digestion. Purslane is a clinically effective treatment for oral lichen planus, it has been reported.
It’s a rich source of Omega 3’s as well. And it has antioxidants, which help against heart disease, atherosclerosis, cancer, memory loss, and age-related vision loss, while benefiting immune systems.
It also has lots of vitamin A.
But remember, the nutritional benefits of Purslane start to wane right after its picked. So you need to consume it shortly after.
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