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Daily Archives: June 16, 2016

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Cauliflower & Kale Frittata

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Cauliflower & Kale Frittata Recipe
Cauliflower & Kale Frittata
Inspired by traditional Spanish tortillas made with potatoes, this healthy frittata recipe swaps potatoes for low-carb cauliflower. Serve it along with kale (or your favorite greens) for brunch or an easy breakfast-for-dinner.

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Apple Just Introduced a Breathing App. Here’s Why That’s Brilliant

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Apple has a message for you: Remember to breathe. Later this year, the Cupertino, Calif. company is adding a new app to its Apple Watch that walks users through short, deep-breathing programs. The app, appropriately, is called “Breathe.”

Wait, what? Who needs an app to remind us to inhale oxygen? Isn’t this as silly as those apps that remind you to drink water when you’re thirsty?

Not at all. Medical experts have long maintained that deep-breathing exercises can provide a wide range of health benefits, from stress relief to cardiovascular improvements. (During Apple’s presentation, the company used a quote from Deepak Chopra, who has had many of his health claims called into question.)

I know this from experience. Early in my senior year of college, I experienced my first real bout of anxiety. It struck suddenly—so quickly that I thought I was having a heart attack—and refused to fade. Worst of all, there was no clear cause. It was generalized anxiety, the sort of thing that probably afflicts lots of students about to leave the soft, cushy bubble of campus life for the first time.

For months, I would wake up every day, enjoy a few blissful moments of normality, then my heart rate would skyrocket. I felt a bit like Bruce Banner, though I never turned into a hulking green monster. (The experience taught me that Banner’s superpower isn’t turning into the Hulk; it’s staying Banner.) I did my best to go about my day before coming home and trying to calm myself down for a few hours of rest. There were many sleepless nights.

Only three things helped. First, I took full advantage of my university’s mental health professionals, and thank god for them. Second, I started running, because I figured if my mind was racing, my body might as well too. But what was most helpful turned out to be the deep-breathing exercises recommended by one of my professors. It sounds unbelievable that taking a few minutes every now and then to stop what I was doing to focus on taking nice, big breaths helped lift me out of a mental health crisis. But with time, it did.

Anxiety is far less of a problem in my life these days, mostly because I’m proactive about controlling it. But when I feel it coming on, deep breathing is my primary weapon against it. Often I use apps like Headspace or sites like Calm.com to guide my sessions. But now that I’ll have a breathing coach right on my wrist, it’ll make me that less anxious about, well, anxiety.

If Apple’s app takes off, it could make many of its users’ lives much healthier.

This article originally appeared on Time.com.

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Do These 5 Things Every Day to Live Longer

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What if the secret to a longer life could be boiled down to five simple steps?

Harvard Medical School professor Sanjiv Chopra, MD, believes it can. In his new book, The Big Five ($25; amazon.com), Dr. Chopra outlines a handful of habits with benefits backed by decades of research. For the majority of people, he writes, making these behaviors part of your daily routine can boost your health, and perhaps lengthen your life span. Below, the five-step plan he's dubbed the lazy man's guide to longevity.

RELATED: 21 Reasons You'll Live Longer Than Your Friends

Drink Coffee

“It really is a miracle drug,” Dr. Chopra said in an interview with Health, pointing to the thousands of studies on coffee's health benefits. Research has suggested that coffee drinkers have a lower risk of everything from type 2 diabetes to Parkinson's disease to liver cancer. Those studies don't prove that coffee is the reason for the risk reduction; it could be some other factor linked to coffee drinkers' lifestyles. But a 2012 study published in The New England Journal of Medicine that analyzed data from 400,000 people over a 14-year period did find that the overall mortality rate was 15% lower for women who drank two to six cups of coffee a day, and 10% lower for men who drank that amount. Just don't drink it too hot; a recent World Health Organization analysis suggests hot coffee (or any super-hot beverage) is linked to a higher risk of esophageal cancer.

Exercise

We all know the perks of physical activity, and "we all have the choice to do it or not," Dr. Chopra points out. In his book, he cites a large review of research published in the journal PLOS Medicine that revealed 150 minutes of brisk walking per week was associated with a gain in life expectancy of 3.5 to 4.5 years. But it doesn't matter what you do as long as you're doing something, Dr. Chopra says. To get his more reluctant patients moving, he asks which type of exercise they "dislike the least," then writes a prescription for that particular workout. 

RELATED:  How to Become an Exercise Addict

Get Your Vitamin D

Dr. Chopra recommends that all healthy adults ask their doctor for a vitamin D test. He points out in his book that an estimated 25% of Americans have an insufficient amount of D, and another 39% are deficient. Vitamin D deficiency is associated with a host of medical issues, including multiple sclerosis, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes. "Vitamin D3 is the only supplement I take regularly," he writes. "It's simple: If this growing mountain of evidence is wrong and vitamin D3 supplements don't fortify my immune system or decrease the chances that I'll eventually be diagnosed with one of many different conditions, then I'll be out $30 a year." Keep in mind that a 2010 report from the Institute of Medicine concluded (after a massive analysis of the data) that most Americans are getting sufficient vitamin D, so check with your doctor.

RELATED: 27 Health Problems Linked to Low Vitamin D

Eat Nuts

You may lower your risk of pancreatic cancer, heart disease, stroke, and early death with just a handful of nuts a day, Dr. Chopra says. He refers to them as "miniature health food stores," since they offer everything from protein and omega-3 fatty acids to antioxidants like vitamins B and E and essential minerals like selenium and magnesium. Just go easy on the types high in unhealthy saturated fats, like macadamia nuts, he says. And keep in mind that portion and sodium control are key; nuts are a relatively high-calorie snack that can also deliver too much salt if you're not careful (choose unsalted!).

RELATED: Best and Worst Nuts for Your Health

Meditate

People around the world have been practicing meditation for thousands of years, and now science is finally starting to document its benefits, including stress reduction. "This reduction of stress might well be reason that continued meditation appears to have a positive effect on long-term health," Dr. Chopra writes, noting that stress and mood play a role in nearly all types of illness. "There is no longer any doubt that meditation affects both mental and physical processes, but how it does so and exactly what it does—and how to control it and benefit from it—just isn't known." For now, he recommends at least 15 minutes of meditation twice a day, and learning from an experienced teacher. In the meantime, check out our beginner's guide for some tips on how to get started.

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