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News: August 2018


A bowl containing a variety of nuts

Putting nuts regularly on the menu could help improve sperm health. So says a study from Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Spain[i]. Dividing a group of men, aged 18 – 35, into two groups, the researchers found that the group who ate around two handfuls of mixed almonds, hazelnuts and walnuts a day for 14 weeks improved their sperm count by 14 %, vitality by 14%, motility (movement) by 6% and morphology (shape and size) by 1%.

The group who avoided nuts saw no such improvement. Experts said these results backed up other studies that showed a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants and the B vitamin folate may help boost fertility. Nuts contain many of these and other nutrients.


A group of women in a tree pose balance during a yoga class outdoors

Going for a walk a day is simply not enough to ensure we stay fit and healthy as we grow older according to a new report co-written by Public Health England and the Centre for Ageing Better[ii]. Although we are probably doing more aerobic exercise than we did in the past, many of us are neglecting our strength and balance. And this can cause problems, say the experts, especially for older people who are more at risk of falling if they are weak in these areas.

Good options include ball games, racket sports, tai chi, dance, yoga, Nordic walking and resistance training. Carrying heavy shopping bags may also be beneficial. And the good news is strengthening and balance activities not only help prevent falls, but also help improve mood, sleeping patterns, energy levels as well as the risk of an early death.


A jug of coffee surrounded by coffee beans

Good news if you love coffee – drinking at least six cups day could help you live longer. So says a UK study[iii] comparing the mortality rates of half a million mid-life Britons with their coffee intake. Those who had six to seven cups a day were 16 % less likely to die from any disease over a 10-year period than non-coffee drinkers. And the results were the same for instant, ground and decaffeinated coffee, suggesting that the benefits may be due to non-caffeine ingredients. Think biologically active compounds like antioxidant vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals.


A group of people have fun at a bbq eating outdoors

Eating meals with family or friends can make you feel happier and more satisfied with life according to research from the University of Oxford[iv] using data from a national survey carried out by the Big Lunch (an idea from the Eden Project which has been bringing people together to share food and good times for nearly a decade). The results found that people who eat socially are more likely to feel better about themselves and have a wider social network capable of providing social and emotional support.

[i] www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-44695602

[ii] https://www.ageing-better.org.uk/

[iii] Loftfield E, Cornelis MC, Caporaso N, et al. Association of Coffee Drinking With Mortality by Genetic Variation in Caffeine Metabolism Findings From the UK BiobankJAMA Internal. Published online July 2 2018

[iv] https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s40750-017-0061-4


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