Daydreaming is GOOD for you.

Daydreaming can be good for you and actually boost the brain, researchers have found.
They say that while we daydream, the brain is actually more effective.  They believe that when we daydream, it is freed up to process tasks more effectively.
According to the new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a wandering mind can impart a distinct cognitive advantage.
Scientists at Bar-Ilan University were able to show an external stimulus of low-level electricity can literally change the way we think, producing a measurable up-tick in the rate at which daydreams – or spontaneous, self-directed thoughts and associations – occur. The team found this state offers a positive, simultaneous effect on task performance.

Source  - Daily Mail

Feeling down? Grab a bag of pumpkin seeds.

Eating seeds is more likely to boost your mood than any other food, according to research.
Seeds and pulses have been shown to improve people’s wellbeing and moods more than cakes, sweets and chocolates. Despite this, seven in ten women and one in two men indulge in sweet treats when they are stressed or looking for a mood boost, according to a survey.  Just one in seven people choose fruits, vegetables or wholegrains that are shown to combat stress and raise low moods.
The poll of 2,000 people, by rice brand Tilda, found that half ate unhealthy comfort food when they wanted to lift their mood, but only 28 per cent turned to friends or family to feel better. Experts warn that many people are ‘eating their way to sadness’ by eating sweets and junk food.
Pumpkin seeds and chia seeds topped a top-ten list of mood-boosting foods compiled by dietitian Sarah Schenker and food psychologist Christy Fergusson. 

Source  - Daily Mail

Have steak with butter and drink whole milk

If there's one healthy eating message we are suddenly being bombarded with, it's that fats are now good for us. 
But the true picture is not quite so simple. In fact, while we all need a certain amount of fat in our diet, we still shouldn't be including too much in our diets. 
But from nut and coconut to plant and animal fats, which are are the right types? And how much should we be eating?
Experts claim the real message we should all be heeding is that we need to be eating the right amount of the right type of fats. A report last month in the British Medical Journal revealed that saturated fat can be good for you. The study proved that people who eat butter, milk, cream and full-fat yoghurts generally have better heart health and less risk of Type 2 diabetes. 
It goes against old guidelines from 1983, which warned Britons to adopt a low-fat diet aimed at reducing deaths from heart disease.  

Source  - Daily Mail

A coffee a day could keep MS at bay.

Coffee could have a protective effect against multiple sclerosis (MS), new research has found.
People who don't drink the beverage are around one-and-a-half times more likely to develop MS than those who drink several cups a day, the study claims.
Scientists attribute the effect to caffeine, which has already been linked to a reduced risk of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease.  Previous research found drinking four cups of coffee a day could also cut the risk of diabetes by 25 per cent. 
Worldwide, it is estimated that more than 2.5 million people have MS, according to the Multiple Sclerosis Trust.
MS is a condition of the central nervous system, where the coating around nerve fibres (called myelin) is damaged, causing a range of symptoms. The specific symptoms that appear depend upon which part of the central nervous system is affected and the job of the damaged nerve.

Source  - Daily Mail

Red cabbage is the new health craze

Sales of red cabbage are booming as growing numbers of shoppers get wise to its health benefits.
In the past year, 545 tons have been bought in Britain – up nearly 50 per cent on the previous 12 months. And the amount consumers spent on red cabbage soared by 26.4 per cent to £590,000, according to trade magazine The Grocer.
The variety is one of the most nutritious cabbages – containing ten times more vitamin A and twice as much iron as the traditional green type.
British supplier Produce World said that although red cabbage sales peaked at Christmas, they remain strong. Other varieties are also selling well, with Sweetheart up by 29.9 in volume on the past year, figures from market analyst Kantar Worldpanel reveal.
Produce World agricultural director Andrew Burgess said that cabbages offer high ‘nutritional value and versatility’.
He believes more consumers are coming round to the high nutritional value of the vegetable and are eating it all-year-round and not just at Christmas.

Source  - Daily Mail

Fluoride in water is 'linked to thyroid problem.

Weight gain and depression caused by an underactive thyroid is linked to high levels of fluoride in the water supply, scientists have claimed.
A study published today has revealed water fluoridation above a certain level is linked to 30 per cent higher than expected rates of hypothyroidism in England.
The findings have prompted researchers to call for a revision of public health policy, which currently encourages the fluoridation of water to protect the nation's tooth health. 
Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral found in water, and certain foods including tea and fish. Its main benefit is in helping reduce the risk of tooth decay. As a result the mineral is added to many brands of toothpaste, and in some areas, to the water supply.
But researchers at the University of Kent have warned the mineral may be responsible for triggering underactive thyroids. Other experts have however, disagreed with their findings, arguing the research methods were flawed.

Source  - Daily Mail

Can standing on one leg help keep you young?

How good is your balance? Can you stand on one leg for 20 seconds? What about for a whole minute - or with your eyes closed?
It's something you might not have given much thought to before, but how well you can balance offers an insight into your general health.
A study published in the journal Stroke found that being unable to stand on one leg for more than 20 seconds was linked to an increased risk of 'silent' stroke - tiny bleeds in the brain that don't cause symptoms, but which raise the risk of both full-blown stroke and dementia.

'The ability to balance on one leg is an important test for brain health,' says Dr Yasuharu Tabara, associate professor of genomic medicine at Kyoto University, Japan, who led the research.
Last year, the UK's Medical Research Council found that 53-year-olds who could stand on one leg for ten seconds with their eyes closed were the most likely to be fit and well in 13 years' time. However, those who could manage only two seconds were three times as likely to die before the age of 66.

Source  - Daily Mail

Revealed: the countries with the best and worst diets in the world

Eating plenty of fruit and veg, the citizens of Chad have world’s healthiest diet, while those in Armenia have the worst, according to new research comparing global eating habits.
The study revealed a worldwide rise in the consumption of healthy food, including fruit and vegetables, but this was overtaken by a worrying increase the amount of junk food being eaten.
To make their findings published in 'The Lancet Global Health' journal, researchers used national data from almost 90 per cent of the global population to analyse how people ate between 1990 and 2010.
They then assessed three dietary patterns. The first was based on ten healthy foods: fruits, vegetables, beans and legumes, nuts and seeds, whole grains, milk, total polyunsaturated fatty acids, fish, plant omega-3s, and dietary fibre.
The second was based on seven unhealthy foods: unprocessed red meats, processed meats, sugar-sweetened beverages, saturated fat, trans fat, dietary cholesterol, and sodium. The third was an overall assessment based on all 17 food groups.
Using this data, researchers scored countries between 0-100 – with a higher number indicating a healthier diet.

Drinking wine or red grape juice ‘can help burn fat’

When people are trying to shed a few pounds, alcohol is often the first treat they cut from their diet. A new study suggests however that wine can help burn fat.
The study, which was conducted by researchers from three American universities, found that drinking wine or red grape juice in moderation was useful in helping obese people manage their health, especially metabolic disorders such as fatty liver. The scientists exposed lab-grown human liver and fat cells to extracts of four natural chemics found in Muscadine grapes, a common variety of dark-red grapes.
The growth of the fat cells significantly slowed down, while the rate at which new cells appeared also decreased. On top of that, the metabolism of fatty acids in liver cells was boosted.The scientists attributed the results to one chemical in particular: ellagic acid, a natural antioxidant which is found in a number of fruits and vegetables.

After fluoride, how LITHIUM....

Tap water in the UK is anything but pure H2O. 
Depending on where you live, many substances are added to make it cleaner, clearer and supposedly better for you.
With Scottish researchers investigating whether lithium should be added to the water to boost mood, we look at what's being put in your water before it reaches your glass - and its impact on your health.
Should lithium be in the water supply?
Scientists in Scotland are looking into whether adding lithium to water supplies could help mental health. Lithium is prescribed as a mood-stabilising drug (a typical daily dose is 300 mg), mainly for bipolar disorder, and is thought to work by modifying certain chemicals in the brain.
But it occurs naturally in many water sources in Scotland, leaching out from volcanic rock at very low concentration (providing a daily dose of about 2 mg per two litres of water).
Now researchers at the University of Glasgow School of Medicine are investigating where there is a link between lithium in water and lower suicide rates - previous research in Austria and Japan suggests that people whose water supply naturally contains lithium are less likely to take their own lives.

Source  - Daily Mail

World-first evidence suggests that meditation alters cancer survivors’ cells

We’re often told that being happy, meditating and mindfulness can benefit our health. We all have that one friend of a friend who says they cured their terminal illness by quitting their job and taking up surfing - but until now there’s been very little scientific evidence to back up these claims.
Now researchers in Canada have found the first evidence to suggest that support groups that encourage meditation and yoga can actually alter the cellular activity of cancer survivors.
Their study, which was published in the journal Cancer last week, is one of the first to suggest that a mind-body connection really does exist. 
The team found that the telomeres - the protein caps at the end of our chromosomes that determine how quickly a cell ages - stayed the same length in cancer survivors who meditated or took part in support groups over a three-month period.
On the other hand, the telomeres of cancer survivors who didn’t participate in these groups shortened during the three-month study.