Fitness Factoids: Volume 2
Is kale the new Prozac? New research conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health has found a connection between high blood levels of certain antioxidants found in plant foods and higher levels of optimism. According to the researchers, carotenoids such as beta-carotene, were more present in the people with better moods. Nearly 1,000 men and women ages 25 to 74 were studied. The researchers measured levels of nine types of antioxidants in their blood. The researchers also had the participants fill out questionnaires designed to gauge their levels of optimism about the future. The results found that the individuals with the most positive attitudes had as much as 13 percent higher carotenoid levels than those who were less optimistic. The next time you feel fat and flat during your diet try putting down the Prozac and add a few kale and ginger salads to the menu.
Finally science is able to confirm what men have always known. We don’t need to look at the damn directions! “The key hormone that the researchers believe is actually driving better spatial reasoning is testosterone. Navigational abilities may be a side effect of higher testosterone levels: previous studies have shown that women who take testosterone tend to see an improvement in their spatial navigation abilities.” Remember, the next time your wife or girlfriend is yelling at you and telling you that you’ve already passed that same building three times, calmly remind her that your biology is just as good as Google Maps.
All hail the Drunken Monkey. Ten million years ago, though, a common ancestor of gorillas, chimps and humans emerged with an enzyme that could digest alcohol 50 times more efficiently than earlier incarnations. With the availability of fermented fallen fruit on the ground, those forest-dwellers with the ability to digest alcohol would have had an evolutionary leg up. Species like orangutans, which primarily live in trees, didn't evolve to metabolize ethanol, perhaps because they wouldn't have run into fermented fruit living above-ground. The next time you wake up with a terrible hangover asking the question “Why did I do that to myself last night?” remember it’s not your fault. It’s just your primal urge for fermented fruit.
Don’t reorder that ProActive just yet. There may be a cheaper and easier way to clear up acne. A study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has determined that there is increasing evidence of a connection between diet and acne, particularly from high glycemic load diets and dairy products, and that medical nutrition therapy (MNT) can play an important role in acne treatment. They concluded that a high glycemic index/glycemic load diet and frequent dairy consumption are the leading factors in establishing the link between diet and acne. High school kids everywhere are going to be very disappointed to know that their diet of pizza, chips, ice cream, and soda actually may not be very good for them.
Can sleep boost your metabolism? According to a recent study sleep less than six hour per night can have a number of adverse effects on health. insufficient sleep affects the human blood transcriptome, disrupts its circadian regulation, and intensifies the effects of acute total sleep deprivation. The identified biological processes may be involved with the negative effects of sleep loss on health, and highlight the interrelatedness of sleep homeostasis, circadian rhythmicity, and metabolism. Athletes tend to obsess over minute details, but sometimes in the process we forget how essential something as basic as sleep can be. For the sake of our health, and our physiques, it’s important that we don’t neglect rest.