HEALTH FACTS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED

In the wonderful world of  24/7 digital communication, there’s no shortage of health information. What we are short on is time to absorb it all, or at least a good part of it. So we often overlook facts that might make life better. Facts like these:

GOOD NEWS FOR NUT NUTS—According to the UC Berkeley Wellness Letter, researchers have found that nut eaters have lower blood cholesterol and less risk of heart disease than people who don’t regularly eat nuts. If you’re into almonds, you’re also eating a nut that contains more calcium than any other nut. Walnut devotees are munching on the nut that’s richer than the rest in a vital omega-3 fatty acid. Recommended dose for just about any nut is 1-3 handfuls daily.

THE SKINNY ON HAPPINESS—Another issue of UC’s Wellness Letter carries the grim news that, Disneyland notwithstanding, Americans are not the happiest people on earth. Costa Ricans are, according to an analysis of surveys and polls by the World Database of Happiness. The main reason for our malaise is obesity. Get it heavyweights? It’s time to slim down and perk up.

PROSTATE PROBLEM-SOLVER?—Maybe. A Johns Hopkins health tip brochure cites a study showing one third less prostate cancer among men “who ate lots of tomato-based foods.” (No specific amounts suggested.)

SPICING THINGS UP FOR MEAT-EATERS—Anti-oxidants in the spice known as rosemary may help prevent the formation of cancer-causing agents during high-heat cooking of beef and other meats. From a research report in the Johns Hopkins Medical Letter.

SCARY SECONDHAND SMOKE STUFF—The Harvard Heart Letter notes that breathing in secondhand smoke is almost as bad for you as smoking itself. It is, in fact, responsible for 50,000 deaths each year in the United States, HHL says.

INSIDE A BAKED POTATO—From Consumer Reports On Health: A medium size baked potato with skin provides 925 mg of potassium to help keep blood pressure at a healthy level…50 mg. of magnesium to lower the risk of type 2 diabetes…5 grams of fiber for appetite control.

WAY TO GO, MICRO!—Another gem from Consumer Reports on Health: Microwave-cooked food may retain vitamins better than a stovetop job. The reason is a micro usually cooks a lot faster and without as much water. One study found that stove-cooked spinach ended up with just 77 percent of its B-vitamin folate, while spinach prepared in a microwave retained all its folate.

STAY HEALTHY, EVERYONE.