To help you Mind Your Body after age 45, take a look at health news highlights from the past week.
When we’ve had a bad day, each of us responds to it in a different way to make ourselves feel better. Of course, some people’s resilience allows them to “brush it off. ” For others, though, food is a friend, especially sugary treats.
New research finds that stress increases the secretion of hormones known as glucocorticoids. Researchers at Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia have found that the hormones “may act directly on taste receptor cells under conditions of stress to affect how these cells respond to sugars and certain other taste stimuli.” Activating those receptors makes us reach for the sweet stuff — which explains why you put a dent in that carton of rocky road ice cream or bag of chocolate chip cookies. That sure makes me feel (a little bit) better. Now, where’s the ice cream?
Next, if your “stress-relieving sweet” is a sugary soda, know that there may be much more “free fructose” in some beverages than the labels document, says information from the University of Southern California. “Popular beverages made with high fructose corn syrup have a fructose:glucose ratio of approximately 60:40, and thus contain 50 percent more fructose than glucose,” the study reports. “Higher levels of fructose have consistently been shown to contribute to metabolic abnormalities,” such as diabetes. And pure juice isn’t necessarily a good substitute. “Some pure fruit juices have twice as much fructose as glucose,” the authors wrote, which surprised me. I’m a big pure juice fan.
The takeaway? Enjoy everything in moderation, including these drinks. Pure, filtered water is your best friend.
Here’s one more interesting health tidbit for you. You know yoga improves your flexibility and reduces stress, among other benefits. Now researchers say it may also help you “make nice,” in addition to bolstering your spiritual and social health. This new report says yoga leads to personal transformation, increases social interaction, provides coping mechanisms to weather relationship difficulties and losses, and leads to spiritual transcendence and connection. Why not find a yoga class near you at the YMCA, your health club or a yoga studio? Try it. I think you’ll like it. It’s one good workout.
May your weekend be filled with health and happiness.