Giving Begets Happiness at Every Age “To give is better than to receive,” is a maxim that appears to hold true even for the very young. A new study co-authored by three psychologists at Canada’s University of British Columbia observes that giving makes toddlers happier. The study, published in PLOS One, an online journal of the Public Library of Science, found that toddlers younger than 2 were happier when giving treats to others than when receiving them. They were also happier when they gave their own treats away, rather than an identical treat that didn’t belong to them. Stop Wasting Food It’s time to step up to the plate—but not waste what’s on it. The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) reports that about 40 percent of all food in the United States goes uneaten. Each year, we are throwing away the equivalent of $165 billion in discarded food, making it the single largest component of solid waste in America’s landfills and costing the average family of four between $1,350 and $2,275 annually. About two-thirds of household waste consists of spoiled food that’s not used in time; the rest is caused by people cooking or serving too much food. Learn easy steps to reduce food waste via the NRDC free online fact sheet at Tinyurl.com/StopFoodWaste. Smokeless Cigarette Safer than Tobacco The company A Clean Cigarette, in Ann Arbor, is selling a nicotine-producing device that resembles a traditional cigarette, but reputedly does not contain cancer-causing substances. Company spokesman Fahad Bhatti says, “Our electronic cigarette has eight ingredients and we have done the lab analysis report on it. We know it is safer than a regular tobacco cigarette.” He goes on to say, “Chemicals in tobacco are well known, and we are not mainly addicted to those chemicals, it is nicotine we like to smoke. Through our cartridges, we can still smoke it safely, so why burn our lungs?” Dr. Kumar Singh has endorsed the lab analysis report and is using the company’s electronic cigarette to satisfy his own nicotine addiction. Location: 100 Briarwood Circle, in the Briarwood Mall, with additional distribution at Lamp Post Plaza, E. Stadium Blvd. Lab analysis report available online at AcleanCigarette.com. For more information, call 989-909-1449. Raisins Yield Pressure Relief For individuals seeking a natural way to keep slightly elevated blood pressure in check, eating a handful of raisins each day might do the trick. New data presented at the American College of Cardiology 61st Annual Scientific Session suggest that among adults with hypertension or mild increases in blood pressure, routine consumption of raisins may lower readings, especially compared with eating other common snacks. The researchers noted that raisins are packed with potassium, which is known to lower blood pressure, and are also a good source of antioxidant dietary fiber, which may favorably alter the biochemistry of blood vessels, enabling them to be less stiff. The study helps validate some current nutrient recommendations, such as 60 raisins— about a handful, containing one gram of fiber and 212 milligrams of potassium— as being helpful in the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly one in three (28 percent) of American adults have prehypertension, defined as a systolic pressure from 120 to 139 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) or a diastolic pressure from 80 to 89 mm Hg. Researchers cautioned that their study was small; larger trials are needed. A Wise Man’s Gift for Arthritis Sufferers Frankincense, an aromatic resin obtained from Boswellia trees native to Africa, is an age-old herbal remedy that may help alleviate the pain of arthritis, according to scientists at Cardiff University, in Wales. “The search for new ways of relieving the symptoms of inflammatory arthritis and osteoarthritis is a long and difficult one,” says Dr. Emma Blain, who led the research with co-investigators Professor Vic Duance, from Cardiff University’s School of Biosciences, and Dr. Ahmed Ali, of the Compton Group. The team believes they have been able to demonstrate that treatment with an extract of Boswellia frereana—a rare frankincense species—inhibits the production of key inflammatory molecules and helps prevent the breakdown of cartilage tissue that causes the condition. The African Somali people have long used extracts of frankincense as a traditional remedy for arthritis. “Our research achieved the use of innovative chemical extraction techniques to determine the active ingredient in frankincense,” says Ali. “We will now be able to further characterize the chemical entity and compare its success against other anti-inflammatory drugs used for treating the condition.” NUTTY WAY TO HELP PRESERVE COGNITION WALNUT CONSUMPTION is associated with better memory scores and cognitive function, according to recent findings published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. In the Prevención con Dieta Mediterrnáea study, funded by the Spanish Ministry of Health, results show that a Mediterranean diet, supplemented with olive oil or one ounce of mixed nuts, half of which are walnuts, is more beneficial than a low-fat diet when it comes to body weight, blood pressure, insulin resistance and systemic inflammation. The nutrient-dense walnuts provide antioxidants and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), the plant-based omega-3 fatty acid. Both are key nutrients with anti-inflammatory properties that help protect brain cells from the oxidative damage associated with cognitive decline.
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