Wellness Wednesdays – 5/24/17

Wellness Wednesdays is a MVMag.net-exclusive feature that curates the best health & wellness content from around the Valley and the Web.

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WELLNESS TIP OF THE WEEK

Find Yourself Reaching for the Salt Shaker? Grab Some Herbs Instead!

We get it … sometimes, food seems like it needs a little “help.” Unfortunately, while pouring a lot of salt on your food can certainly help bring out the flavor, the long-term risks include high blood pressure and even heart disease. The healthy alternative, then, is to go for a more colorful approach by using herbs. Whether you want to sweeten the deal with cinnamon or ginger, or heat things up with cayenne or black pepper, herbs do more than just let you avoid salt —also offer outright health advantages in the form of antioxidants, mood-boosting benefits and more. (via One Green Planet)


HEALTH IN THE VALLEY

Medical Hypnosis

by Beth Daigle

A common misconception about hypnosis is that patients are not in control. In fact, they are. The state of mind they enter can feel much like a daydream. Hypnosis is a viable technique that helps people with lingering issues such as being overweight, smoking, stress, anger, infertility and phobias. (click to read full story)


WELLNESS AROUND THE WEB

Is Coconut Oil Really That Healthy?

Recent trends in healthy eating have made coconut oil a hot commodity nowadays, but is there really anything to the claims of its supposed benefits — including, apparently, weight loss and improved cholesterol? Well, no, not really, according to Cornell University Medical School professor Marie-Pierre St-Onge, whose study on medium chain triglycerides has apparently been co-opted to support such claims. Unfortunately, says St-Onge, her research found that a “designer oil” containing 100% medium chain triglycerides could be consumed in 15 to 20 gram doses to enhance metabolism … and since the average sample of coconut oil contains only 13 to 15%, needless to say, one would have to consume a lot of oil before getting the desired effect.  (via TIME)

How Your Lifestyle Shapes Your Brain

Stanford professor Robert Sapolsky’s new book, “Behave: The Biology of Humans at our Best and Worst,” examines how human behavior, over time, actually comes to change the brain of the person exhibiting said behavior. Just as a couple examples: years of practicing as a neurosurgeon will actually expand the part of the brain’s motor cortex that controls precise finger movements; while driving a cab and memorizing the routes around a complex city (Boston might serve as a good example — have you seen a map of the place?) actually expands the hippocampus. (via Inc.)

Going “Flexitarian” Could Halve Your Risk of Obesity

All right, all right, so “flexitarian” is kind of an overly-cutesy term for what’s essentially part-time vegetarianism. But the health benefits are nothing to scoff at — as researchers at the University of Navarra in Spain found out during a study. Reducing meat intake by just 13 ounces per week, they found, led to all manner of benefits, including a reduction of 43% in one’s risk for obesity and doubled intake of fruits and vegetables. (via The Daily Mail)


LOCAL HEALTH HIGHLIGHTS

May 26 – June 15

The American Red Cross is looking for blood donations to start the summer off with a healthy supply. As a thank you, those who donate between May 26 – 30 will receive a Red Cross-branded visor, while supplies last. Make an appointment to donate blood by downloading the free Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling (800) RED CROSS.

June 14

Registration is required in advance for Holy Family Hospital‘s upcoming Senior Supper on this date, so call Karen at 978-687-0156, ext. 2007 or email karen.kennedy@steward.org to reserve a spot. During the supper, Dr. Joshua Pletka will talk about the various causes of shoulder pain, symptoms and treatment options. Methuen, Mass. | HolyFamily-Hospital.org|

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