Five Top Tips for Women’s Health
Laugh it Up
There’s more to wellness than regular checkups, nutritious food, and daily exercise. Research—and common sense—dictate that it’s important to lighten up once in a while, too. As in laughter. Laughter lowers blood pressure, reduces the stress hormone cortisol, and may even boost immune system function. Life can be stressful. It’s important to take time to laugh it all off occasionally.
Avoid Skipping Breakfast
Some women think skipping breakfast is a good strategy for losing weight. They are mistaken. In fact, research shows that eating a large breakfast—and a small dinner—is a far more effective strategy for weight control. Skipping breakfast may reduce caloric intake in the short term, but will set you up for failure later, when disproportional hunger drives you to consume even more calories than you might have done otherwise.
Sleep it Off
Much like breakfast, many women consider sleep somewhat optional. I get it. We’re all busy. Most of us have plenty of people depending on us. But shortchanging you sleep in a misguided effort to fit in more productivity during the day is ultimately counterproductive. That’s because adequate sleep is essential to your health, including optimal brain and immune system function.
Sleep-deprived people have significantly longer reaction times, struggle more with basic reasoning and memory tasks, and are more prone to all sorts of adverse health outcomes due to the severe toll sleep deprivation can take on immune system function. If you find that you’re prone to every cold that seems to come down the pike, you might want to examine your sleep habits. Getting too little can set you up for weakened immunity, which allows you to succumb to virtually any virus.
Make an effort to eat bright, colorful foods as often as possible. Colorful whole foods are usually fruits or vegetables that feature potent natural antioxidant compounds, among other helpful phytonutrients. Of course, this advice only applies to natural, whole foods. Brightly colored processed foods usually feature artificial colorings, made from petroleum. Never mind the fact that these types of foods are usually laced with excess sugar; the dyes alone are problematic. In contrast, colorful vegetables contain beneficial flavonoid and other compounds that fight oxidative damage in the body.
Go for the Green
Consider drinking green tea, if you don’t already. Asians have benefitted from this ancient beverage for many centuries. Unlike black tea, green tea contains significant amounts of a unique polyphenol compound called epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG). It’s a potent antioxidant, and appears to have many other potential benefits in terms of possible cancer prevention and cardiovascular disease prevention.
Tea also contains a unique amino acid called theanine. Research indicates theanine is responsible for tea’s reputation as a calming drink that also sharpens focus. It appears to work in synergy with the relatively small amounts of caffeine in green tea to boost alertness, while avoiding the jitteriness that can come from drinking too much coffee.
Women’s Health Magazine. Accessed Dec 31, 2015 from: http://www.womenshealthmag.com/health/dr-oz-improve-your-life