75 Years In The Making: Harvard Just Released Its Epic Study On What Men Need To Live A Happy Life

Tony:

In Vallant’s own words, the #1 most important finding from the Grant Study is this: “The seventy-five years and twenty million dollars expended on the Grant Study points to a straightforward five-word conclusion: Happiness is love. Full stop.”
The Beatles had it right all along. “All you need is love.”

Tony

Originally posted on Our Better Health:

BY FEELGUIDE    APRIL 29, 2013

In 1938 Harvard University began following 268 male undergraduate students and kicked off the longest-running longitudinal studies of human development in history.  The study’s goal was to determine as best as possible what factors contribute most strongly to human flourishing.  The astonishing range of psychological, anthropological, and physical traits — ranging from personality type to IQ to drinking habits to family relationships to “hanging length of his scrotum” — indicates just how exhaustive and quantifiable the research data has become.  Recently, George Vaillant, who directed the study for more than three decades, published the study’s findings in the 2012 book Triumphs of Experience (Amazon) and the following is the book’s synopsis:

“At a time when many people around the world are living into their tenth decade, the longest longitudinal study of human development ever undertaken offers some welcome news for the new old age:…

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Fresh Avocado Enhances Absorption of Essential Nutrients for Healthy Living

Tony:

“The results of this study strengthen the current body of research on this topic and complements a previous study (2) conducted in my lab that showed a similar enhancement in carotenoid absorption with one-half of an avocado (75 g),” said Steven Schwartz, PhD, Professor, Carl E. Haas Endowed Chair, The Ohio State University.

Originally posted on Cooking with Kathy Man:

Consuming a whole fresh avocado with either an orange-colored tomato sauce or raw carrots significantly enhanced provitamin A carotenoid (alpha- and beta-carotene) absorption and conversion of these carotenoids to an active form of vitamin A, according to new research (1) published in The Journal of Nutrition.

Vitamin A is involved in reproductive health and growth promotion; helps support healthy skin, immune function, and vision; and has antioxidant properties. Provitamin A carotenoids, like alpha- and beta-carotene, impart the orange and yellow colors to many fruits and vegetables. The body converts these plant pigments into an active and usable form of vitamin A.

The research, “Avocado consumption enhances human post-prandial absorption and conversion from a novel high beta-carotene tomato sauce and from carrots,” conducted at The Ohio State University and supported by the Hass Avocado Board (HAB), investigated if avocados could help the body better use and absorb vitamin A from carotene-rich…

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A Beginner’s Guide to Earthing (Grounding) – Part Two

In the nearly a week since I posted A Beginner’s Guide to Earthing – Part One I have learned some new things about Earthing that I wanted to pass on to you. Also, Paul, the blogger who wrote the original post that got me interested in Earthing sent in a most useful comment that I am reproducing here as it is loaded with good resources.

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The Comment:
The website GoingBarefoot.org has much information, including real-life experiences from customers. That website suggests it is the work of Martin Zucker, one of the authors of the book. It also offers a testimonial video. All found by going here: http://www.goingbarefoot.org

One of the items in the earthing sheet kit was a 74-minute, professionally-made film that was fascinating. Guess what! That film is available as a YouTube video. Link here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jgwF0tpioTU

The website of Kroschel Films who made that film is here: http://www.kroschelfilms.com>

Also do a search on YouTube for the series of films by Dr. Mercola under the general heading of The Benefits of Grounding.

Paul’s blog is called Learning from Dogs, a most enjoyable read.
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For the record, I started walking barefooted on five minute breaks from riding my bike in late June. I also took off my shoes to walk the dog on grass, too. Because I realized physical benefits from this practice, I bought the Earthing Starter Kit from Amazon. This kit includes a half sheet for my bed and an earthing mat among other smaller items for $199.99.

What I have learned in the past days of earthing follows:

The arthritis that has plagued my hands for the past 15 years has begun to abate. I hope you non-arthritis sufferers appreciate this. The fact is that arthritis only gets worse. So, this is a major benefit I am reaping from my earthing experience.

I fall asleep quicker, sleep deeper and also sometimes manage to sleep through the entire night instead of having to wake up to empty my bladder.

I had a scraped knee heel completely in something like two days which is about twice as fast as normal.

There have been benefits with my digestion, too.

One last thing I would like to mention is about gardening. Over the years, I have had a number of friends who worked on their garden in the summer. Some planted flowers, some food items. In each instance, I remember the person expressing great satisfaction with the entire experience. I think some of the good feeling may be a result of getting down and digging in the earth. They experienced some positive feelings from earthing even though they (and I) knew nothing about it.

I hope these earthing posts inspire you to try it out. I don’t know any way it can hurt you and it seems very likely that it will help you in a number or ways. I remember years ago when I first started drinking green tea. I was so thrilled at the benefits that I told everyone who would listen to me that they had to try it. A number of my friends and family did try it and I was always surprised at the variety of benefits they realized from it. I think earthing is the same kind of experience.

Please feel free to send in comments on your experiences.

Tony

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New Study Shows Drinking Alcohol, Even Light-to-Moderate Amounts, Provides No Heart Health Benefit

Tony:

“These new results are critically important to our understanding of how alcohol affects heart disease. Contrary to what earlier reports have shown, it now appears that any exposure to alcohol has a negative impact upon heart health,” says co-lead author Michael Holmes, MD, PhD, research assistant professor in the department of Transplant Surgery at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.

Originally posted on Cooking with Kathy Man:

Reducing the amount of alcoholic beverages consumed, even for light-to-moderate drinkers, may improve cardiovascular health, including a reduced risk of coronary heart disease, lower body mass index (BMI) and blood pressure, according to a new multi-center study published in The BMJ and co-led by the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. The latest findings call into question previous studies which suggest that consuming light-to-moderate amounts of alcohol (0.6-0.8 fluid ounces/day) may have a protective effect on cardiovascular health.

The new research reviewed evidence from more than 50 studies that linked drinking habits and cardiovascular health for over 260,000 people. Researchers found that individuals who carry a specific gene which typically leads to lower alcohol consumption over time have, on average, superior cardiovascular health records. Specifically, the results show that individuals who consume 17 percent less alcohol per week have on average a 10 percent reduced risk of…

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11 Things to Remember When You Think You’re Not Good Enough

Tony:

The same is true when we focus on negative, however, positive thinking is much more powerful and reigns supreme. In fact, some say it is 1000x stronger. So, no matter what happened,, be grateful you are still here to correct it and move forward.
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I have written about the benefits of positivity a number of times. You can read further on it here: What is the Value of Hugging? How to Harness Positive Psychology for You – Harvard, What is Positive Psychology? Why Should I be Happy? Can I be Happy? and last, but not least, Some Super Tools For Handling Stress.

Tony

Originally posted on Our Better Health:

Some days turn out better or worse than others – that’s a fact. But ultimately, the way we feel about our life and ourselves has the biggest impact on the outcome of each day.  Happiness and confidence can create outcomes that exceed our expectations, like a continual ray of sunshine even on a cloudy day.

But, when we are down on ourselves, especially when we think we are not good enough, life can easily and quickly take a turn for the worse.  We can unexpectedly find ourselves entrenched in a deep, dark hole. When we repeatedly allow ourselves feel this way for days, weeks or even months at a time, it can have detrimental effects on our happiness, health, relationships, and careers.

That’s why it’s best to prevent a self-esteem slide. Sometimes the smallest bit of inspiration can help us turn things around when we feel we are not good…

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Drink Milk? Women Who Do May Delay Knee Osteoarthritis

Tony:

“Milk consumption plays an important role in bone health,” explains lead author Bing Lu, M.D., Dr.P.H., from Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston, Mass. “Our study is the largest study to investigate the impact of dairy intake in the progression of knee OA.”

As an arthritis sufferer, I have posted about it numerous times: Lifestyle Techniques to Ease Arthritis Pain – Mayo Clinic, Four Ways Exercise Helps With Arthritis – Harvard, How Can I Get Relief From Arthritis in my Hands? Shoulder Arthritis – Causes and Treatment Options, What You Should Know About Arthritis is a Page of Arthritis Links.

Tony

Originally posted on Cooking with Kathy Man:

New research reports that women who frequently consume fat-free or low-fat milk may delay the progression of osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee. Findings published in the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) journal, Arthritis Care & Research, indicate that women who ate cheese saw an increase in knee OA progression. Yogurt did not impact OA progression in men or women.

OA is a common, degenerative joint disease that causes pain and swelling of joints in the hand, hips, or knee. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), OA affects nearly 27 million Americans age 25 and older, with knee OA being more prevalent and severe in women. While medical evidence points to obesity, joint injury, and repetitive use from some sports as risk factors for incident knee OA, risks associated with OA progression remain unclear.

“Milk consumption plays an important role in bone health,” explains lead author Bing…

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Watermelon Cooler – Guest Post Kelli Jennings

ser·en·dip·i·ty noun \ˌser-ən-ˈdi-pə-tē\
: luck that takes the form of finding valuable or pleasant things that are not looked for

Having just posted about the benefits of eating watermelon yesterday, I consider it most serendipitous to have come across this post today.

Regular readers know that I am a nearly daily bike rider here in Chicago. As such I read some cycling blogs, too. One of my faves is Loving the Bike.

One of that blog’s regular contributors is Kelli Jennings, an Expert Sports Nutritionist who writes Ask the Sports Nutritionist.

Kelli is not only a world class athlete, but also a first rate nutritionist who writes clearly and accurately about her subject.

She recently wrote an item Watermelon Cooler (Great Recovery Option) that I thought would interest you.
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watermelon
I was in the middle of a 5-hour ride last weekend, and it was hot. For some reason, I couldn’t get the thought of watermelon off my mind. Just seemed so refreshing, and I really, really wanted some. When I got home I did get a melon. But, it sure would have been nice to have this week’s Loving the Bike Recipe ready for recovery.
Deliciously Refreshing Watermelon Cooler Recovery Drink

Ingredients:

1 cup cubed watermelon
1/2 cup frozen berries or cherries
½ cup coconut water (or plain water if no coconut water available)
6 ounces organic plain yogurt or 1/2 scoop protein powder
5 grams
l-glutamine (optional)
1 Tbsp fresh minced ginger (optional)
ice, if needed for consistency
Instructions:
Place all ingredients to your blender and blend until smooth.

Comments:
Watermelon seems to be popping up at more and more aide stations across endurance races. And for good reason. Not only is this hydrating fruit a refreshing choice, it’s also packed full of great nutrients for athletes.

Here’s what a little watermelon can do for you:
Like other red fruits and vegetables, watermelon is high in lycopene. Lycopene is a carotenoid phytonutrient that’s especially important for our cardiovascular health, and an increasing number of scientists now believe that lycopene is important for bone health as well. Cardiovascular and bone health and function are incredibly important to a cyclist.

Citrulline – an important amino acid. Citrulline is an amino acid that is commonly converted by our kidneys and other organ systems into arginine (another amino acid). When our body absorbs this citrulline, one of the steps it can take is conversion of citrulline into arginine. Particularly if a person’s body is not making enough arginine, higher levels of arginine can help improve blood flow and other aspects of our cardiovascular health. In fact, arginine is used to help produce nitric oxide in the body, the same muscle and vessel relaxant that’s increased with beets intake. This can mean improvements in blood and oxygen flow and uptake by the muscles, which is especially important for performance and recovery.

Phenols in watermelon have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant functions. These can reduce chronic cellular inflammation in the body and fight free radicals and oxidative stress, which damage cells and tissues.
Although watermelon is a wonderfully healthy choice most anytime, it can be especially beneficial for athletes before, during or after training. If a hot day on the bike has you daydreaming of this sweet, satisfying, hydrating, fruit, don’t be afraid to make it a part of your recovery. In my opinion, whole foods are the best recovery choice when you’re able to use them. Watermelons are deliciously in season this time of year. This week, use your melon and recover well!

Fuel Your Ride. Nourish Your Body.

Kelli

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More Good Reasons to Eat Watermelon – Infographic

Regular readers know that watermelon is one of my favorite foods in the world. Although I live in a four season city – Chicago, I am able to eat watermelon year ’round because I have access to some good grocers who get it from Mexico in the winter. I eat watermelon every time I ride my bike because it replenishes my energy – besides tasting wonderful! It’s a party in my mouth.

Here are some posts for further reading: How Healthy is Watermelon? Watermelon – It’s the Berries! Dr. Oz on Eating Watermelon, Vita Mix – Drinking a Watermelon, Vita Mix – Watermelon Sorbet Recipe, Pay Attention to Portion Sizes, You CAN Have Too Much of a Good Thing.

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Tony

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Less Exercise, Not More Calories, Responsible for Expanding Waistlines

Tony:

In an accompanying commentary Pamela Powers Hannley, MPH, Managing Editor, the American Journal of Medicine, notes, “If we as a country truly want to take control of our health and our health care costs, the Ladabaum et al paper should be our clarion call. From encouraging communities to provide safe places for physical activity to ensuring ample supply of healthy food to empowering Americans to take control of their health, we must launch a concerted comprehensive effort to control obesity.”

Originally posted on Cooking with Kathy Man:

Lack of leisure-time physical activity linked to increased obesity, particularly in young women, reports the American Journal of Medicine.

Sedentary lifestyle and not caloric intake may be to blame for increased obesity in the US, according to a new analysis of data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). A study published in the American Journal of Medicine reveals that in the past 20 years there has been a sharp decrease in physical exercise and an increase in average body mass index (BMI), while caloric intake has remained steady. Investigators theorized that a nationwide drop in leisure-time physical activity, especially among young women, may be responsible for the upward trend in obesity rates.

By analyzing NHANES data from the last 20 years, researchers from Stanford University discovered that the number of US adult women who reported no physical activity jumped from 19.1% in 1994 to 51.7% in 2010…

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Benefits of Nigella Sativa

Tony:

Hypertension is a condition involving elevated blood pressure, and if not treated, it can lead to heart disease, stroke and other health problems. A 2008 study published in “Fundamental and Clinical Pharmacology,” found that subjects taking Nigella sativa twice daily had significantly lower diastolic blood pressures than those not taking this herb.

Originally posted on Our Better Health:

May 20, 2011    By Jaime Herndon

Nigella sativa, also known as black cumin, nutmeg flower, black caraway and black onion seed, is a plant that contains seeds that can be used in cooking and also for medicinal purposes. These seeds may not be effective for everyone, and even though they are natural, they can still cause adverse effects and interactions with medications. Consult your health-care provider before using Nigella sativa for any health purposes.

Anti-cancer Properties

Nigella sativa contains a chemical called thymoquinone that is said to have anti-cancer effects. A 2011 study published in “Cell Biology International” found that thymoquinone has an additive effect on cell destruction when combined with radiation therapy for breast adenocarcinoma and ductal carcinoma. If you have cancer, do not take Nigella sativa without first talking to your doctor, because it may interact with medications. It can also have effects on your platelets, which…

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