Eating more fruit and veg can improve your mental wellbeing
Here’s another reason to pile your plate high with fruit and vegetables. A recent study from the University of Leeds[i] reveals that adding just one extra portion could have the same benefit on mental wellbeing as around eight extra days of walking a month. The researchers, which analysed data about diet and mood of more than 40,000 people, discovered that those who eat more fruit and veg have a higher level of mental wellbeing and life satisfaction than those who eat less.
New study highlights cardiac risk factors
A healthy gut microbiome, watching your waist size and getting enough sleep are just some of the factors that could help stave off heart disease according to Cardiovascular Disease: diet, nutrition and emerging risk factors, a new Task Force report from The British Nutrition Foundation. Other risk factors include a poor diet during pregnancy, a sedentary lifestyle and stress in the workplace. The answer is eat plenty of whole grain and fibre-rich foods to improve gut health, lose weight if your waist measures more than 94cm (men) 80cm (women), make sure you get enough good quality sleep every night, take time out for relaxation and learn how to manage stress. To find out more visit: www.nutrition.org.uk/
Embrace spring by getting outdoors
The clocks go forward on March 31st so make the most of longer, lighter days and get outside as often as you can. Natural light increases levels of the happy hormone, serotonin, which boosts energy and mood. And while you’re outdoors have a quick stretch. It will help to loosen tight winter muscles, ease stiff joints and improve circulation to the brain making you feel lighter and brighter. What’s not to like?
Research shows exercise may be as effective as medication in reducing blood pressure
Blood pressure (BP) creeping up? Regular exercise may help to keep it under control. Results of data from almost 400 trials looking at the impact of medication or physical activity on high BP[ii] suggests exercise may be as effective as taking the pills in lowering systolic BP (the top figure that reflects the pressure in the arteries when the heart is beating). A good reason to keep moving every day.
Note: Don’t stop taking prescribed medication for high BP without consulting your doctor.
[ii] Naci H, Salcher-Konrad, Dias S, et al. How does exercise treatment compare with antihypertensive medications? A network meta-analysis of 391 randomised controlled trials assessing exercise and medication effects on systolic blood pressureBritish Journal of Sports Medicine. Published online December 18 2018