Healthy Food Guide rounds up five of the most interesting recent scientific discoveries.
1 Assault your immunity
Too much salt not only raises your blood pressure, it may weaken your immune system.
According to a study published in Science Translational Medicine, participants who consumed an extra 6g of salt a day – the equivalent of the salt in two fast food meals – showed pronounced immune deficiencies.
2 Love your pets for better health
A study published in AERA Open found cuddling a dog or cat for at least 10 minutes can lower your cortisol (stress hormone) levels and boost your mood.
3 Berry nice news for your brain
Older adults with a high intake of flavonoid-rich foods such as berries, apples and tea are less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias over 20 years than people who have a low intake, research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found.
A high intake is roughly 7.5 cups of blueberries or strawberries a month, eight apples and pears, and 19 cups of tea. Doesn’t sound too hard!
4 Good things take time
It takes 50 hours of being together for an acquaintance to become a casual friend — and 200 hours before you normally consider someone a close friend, according to the Journal of Social & Personal Relationships.
5 Steps for a longer life
The next time you’re out pounding the pavement, consider this: it is the number of steps, not the intensity, that really matters, according to a recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Here are three ways to lift your step count at home:
➜ Stand up and walk while on the phone
➜ Hang washing outside on the line, rather than inside on a clothes horse
➜ Mark out a mini walking track around your house or backyard
Article sources and references
- Esra Shishtar et al. Long-term dietary flavonoid intake and risk of Alzheimer disease and related dementias in the Framingham Offspring Cohort. April 2020, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, nqaa07https://doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/nqaa079
- Saint-Maurice PF, Troiano RP, Bassett DR, et al. Association of Daily Step Count and Step Intensity With Mortality Among US Adults. JAMA. 2020;323(12):1151–1160. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.1382https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/article-abstract/2763292
- Patricia Pendry & Jaymie L. Vandagriff. 2019. Animal Visitation Program (AVP) Reduces Cortisol Levels of University Students: A Randomized Controlled Trial. AERA Open 5 (2); doi: 10.1177/2332858419852592https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/2332858419852592