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Should I be eating more fiber?

You probably know the basics about fiber: it’s the part of plant foods that your body cannot digest, and there are two types — soluble fiber and insoluble fiber. Both types of fiber are good for us. Soluble fiber dissolves in water, forming a gel. It is the form of fiber that helps lower cholesterol levels, reduce the risk of heart disease, and regulate blood sugar levels. Soluble fiber is found in black beans, lima beans, Brussels sprouts, avocado, sweet potato, broccoli, tu

The wonders of winter workouts

Exercising in colder temperatures offers many advantages. Even though the temperature has dropped, this doesn't mean you have to bring your workouts indoors. "When it gets into the 40s and 30s, you can still enjoy your regular outside routines, like walking, running, and even cycling," says Dr. Adam Tenforde, an assistant professor of sports medicine and rehabilitation at Harvard-affiliated Spaulding Rehabilitation Network. Watch out for hypothermia Exercising in cold weather

Depression

Sadness touches our lives at different times, but usually comes and goes. Depression, in contrast, often has enormous depth and staying power. It is more than a passing bout of "the blues." Depression can leave you feeling continuously burdened and can squash the joy you once got out of pleasurable activities. When depression strikes, doctors usually probe what's going on in the mind and brain first. But it's also important to check what's going on in the body, since some med

Cholesterol

Cholesterol isn't entirely the health villain it's made out to be, its name darkly linked to heart attack, stroke, and other types of cardiovascular disease. Our bodies need cholesterol, which is a type of lipid (another name for fat) to make cell membranes, key hormones like testosterone and estrogen, the bile acids needed to digest and absorb fats, and vitamin D. Cholesterol is so important to the body that the liver and intestines make it from scratch. What is "bad" about

Headache: When to worry, what to do

Understanding what causes headaches and finding treatments to relieve the pain Nearly everyone has had headache pain, and most of us have had it many times. A minor headache is little more than a nuisance that's relieved by an over-the-counter pain reliever, some food or coffee, or a short rest. But if your headache is severe or unusual, you might worry about stroke, a tumor, or a blood clot. Fortunately, such problems are rare. Still, you should know when a headache needs ur

New physical activity guidelines: Even a little activity will help health.

An update to the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans may motivate you to move a little more. The guidelines, published online Nov. 12, 2018, by JAMA, uphold previous recommendations from 2008 that urged at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity activity, such as brisk walking. But the new guidelines break from the old rule that physical activity had to be accumulated in bouts of at least 10 minutes to count toward your weekly total. Now the evidence shows it

Reading books may add years to your life

We all know that books can enrich our lives, but do they have health benefits as well? And if so, does reading books have greater health advantages than reading newspapers or magazines? Researchers at Yale University School of Public Health designed a study to try to answer those questions. The researchers studied the records of 5,635 participants in the Health and Retirement Study, an ongoing investigation of people who were 50 or older and had provided information on their

Daytime sleepiness may indicate a higher risk for Alzheimer’s disease

Are you excessively sleepy during the day? If so, you may have a higher risk of Alzheimer's disease, according to a recent study published online Sept. 5, 2018, by the journal Sleep. Scientists asked 124 healthy older adults, average age 60, about how often they felt drowsy or fell asleep during the day when they would rather be awake, as well as their napping habits. The group then had regular PET scans over the next 15 years to look for beta-amyloid in the brain, high amoun

How to boost your immune system

How can you improve your immune system? On the whole, your immune system does a remarkable job of defending you against disease-causing microorganisms. But sometimes it fails: A germ invades successfully and makes you sick. Is it possible to intervene in this process and boost your immune system? What if you improve your diet? Take certain vitamins or herbal preparations? Make other lifestyle changes in the hope of producing a near-perfect immune response? What can you do to

Going Mediterranean to prevent heart disease

There is a mountain of high-quality research supporting a Mediterranean-style diet as the best diet for our cardiovascular health. But what does this diet actually look like, why does it work, and how can we adopt it into our real lives? What is a Mediterranean diet? The Mediterranean diet is not a fad. It is a centuries-old approach to meals, traditional to the countries bordering on the Mediterranean Sea. The bulk of the diet consists of colorful fruits and vegetables, plus

Cholesterol

Cholesterol isn't entirely the health villain it's made out to be, its name darkly linked to heart attack, stroke, and other types of cardiovascular disease. Our bodies need cholesterol, which is a type of lipid (another name for fat) to make cell membranes, key hormones like testosterone and estrogen, the bile acids needed to digest and absorb fats, and vitamin D. Cholesterol is so important to the body that the liver and intestines make it from scratch. What is "bad" about