Going blue can improve your sense of wellbeing
Walking in ‘blue spaces’ – think beaches, lakes and rivers – may greatly improve mental health, overall mood, and well being report researchers from the Barcelona Institute for Global Health[i].
The research team surveyed around 60 people before, during and after spending 20 minutes a day in different environments over the course of three weeks. During the first week, volunteers were asked to walk long Barcelona’s beach front. The second week was spent walking around the city’s streets, During the third week, participants simply relaxed indoors.
After walking along the beach, participants reported feeling better, more at peace and more vital compared with when walking in an urban environment or simply resting.
Drinking coffee could help weight loss
Losing weight is never easy but a recent study published in the Journal of Nutrition[ii] suggests that drinking coffee is linked to less belly fat in women.
The study found that women who reported drinking two to three cups of coffee a day had around 3% lower body fat than women who didn’t drink coffee. It didn’t matter whether the coffee was regular or decaf. Men who drank coffee also had less body fat and belly fat, but the numbers weren’t as significant as those seen in women.
‘Our research suggests that there may be bioactive compounds in coffee other than caffeine that regulate weight, and which could potentially be used as anti-obesity compounds,’ said Dr Lee Smith, senior author of the study.
Omega-3s could help protect against effects of air pollution
A diet rich in omega-3 fats found in oily fish such as salmon, mackerel and sardines could help protect the ageing brain against the potential damage caused by air pollution reports a recent study[iii] based on women with an average age of 70.
According to the researchers from Columbia University, omega-3 fatty acids found in fish could be a key ingredient in battling the toxic fumes from transport and industry. ‘Higher levels of omega-3 may preserve brain volume as women age and protect against the toxic effects of air pollution,’ said Dr Ka Kahe who led the study.
Herbs gaining popularity through increases in online searches in 2020
Recent UK data reveals that online searches for medicinal herbs have surged this year and they are playing a much larger part in how we look after ourselves in 2020.
Wild garlic is the most searched for herb online. Meanwhile turmeric tablets are the most searched online herbal supplement followed by echinacea and garlic tablets. And interestingly ‘growing herbs’ has also seen a huge increase in online searches.
[ii] Lee Smith, Lin Yang, Shengxu Li, Shahrokh F Shariat, Thomas Waldhoer, Tianlin Xu, Yunan Han, Mohammad Abufaraj, Qinran Liu, Chao Cao. Regular Coffee Consumption Is Associated with Lower Regional Adiposity Measured by DXA among US Women. The Journal of Nutrition, 2020; DOI: 10.1093/jn/nxaa121