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FORZA Christmas Newsround (15th-31st December)

January 03, 2013

Alternative Medicines for Mental Health

Reported by: The Huffington Post UK (15th Dec. 2012)

The UK edition of the Huffington Post highlights how many of us are now opting for greener medication to match our greener lifestyles. This includes the use of herbs and other alternative medicines to treat mental health conditions. The article reports that for those suffering from anxiety, herbs such as valerian and hops can help to calm the mind and release any stored anger while lavender is very good for helping to achieve all-round relaxation.

When it comes to depression, St. John’s wort is one of the best-selling alternative medicines sold over the counter for getting rid of the blues. Withania herbs help to restore motivation, passion and libido, often lost during depressive episodes; orange flower helps to deal with anger problems; and a bergamot oil massage can elevate mood and restore balance. As well as anxiety and depression, skullcap is known to calm down negative thinking, ease feelings of paranoia and control cravings, hops and valerian prepared together in tea form are an effective natural sleep aid and milk thistle can be used to detoxify the body, in particular the liver. Read More  

Tips for a Longer Life

Reported by: The Mirror (18th Dec. 2012)

The Mirror provides a list of 25 simple and surprising tips to help improve your chance of living longer. Below are some of the most intriguing methods to help you make it to 100 and receive your special telegram from the Queen:  

Balance on one leg every morning – Standing on alternative legs in the morning forces your body to balance and strengthens the core muscles that support your spine. This daily act will offer significant long-term benefits when it comes to staying active for longer and protecting against falls and broken bones as your get older.  

Eat three walnuts every day – Walnuts are incredibly healthy and contain lots of disease-fighting and anti-aging anti-oxidants. Eating just three a day is enough to reap the full benefits.  

Have six good friends that you can always rely on – Developing close friendships and family ties is one secret of living substantially longer. Friends provide emotional support, which helps us to deal with stress, and feeling loved boosts the production of dopamine and oxytocin, feel-good chemicals which promote brain growth and combat aging. Research has calculated the optimum number of friends that we each need to be six.  

Stop eating when you are 80% full – As well as helping to maintain a healthy weight, stopping eating when you feel about 80% satisfied means that your metabolism has less work to do and ensures that you are putting less long-term stress on the body.  

Drink plenty of apple juice – Apple juice could help to keep your brain young, with a recent study finding that just two glasses a day reduces the formation of sticky plaques found in the brains of dementia patients.  

Research your family tree – Learning your family history could help you predict your own health future, as many conditions have a genetic link. By identifying conditions that run in your family you can be sure to pick up any problems sooner.  

Measure your waist, not your weight – Waist measurement is a better predictor of heart disease than weight or BMI because it can highlight the existence of visceral fat which surrounds the vital organs. Your waist should measure below 94cm for a man or below 80cm for a woman.  

Get married – Research shows that married men are three times less likely to die from heart disease than men who have never tied the knot, while marriage halves the risk of cardiac death for women.  

Have a little faith – More than a thousand studies have shown a link between faith and living longer. It is thought that having strong beliefs helps people to deal with stress and emotional problems as well as seeming to offer protection against heart, respiratory and digestive problems. Read More  

Most Searched for Diets of 2012

Reported by: The Huffington Post UK (19th Dec. 2012)

The UK edition of the Huffington Post reports on the recent findings of Google’s Zeitgeist tool, which has published a list of the most popular search terms from the last 12 months. The top diet searches of 2012 in the UK included the Dukan diet, Cambridge diet and Atkins diet while in the US the most googled diets included a combination of celebrity endorsed diets and extreme weight loss techniques. Some of the most popular are listed below:  

Feeding Tube Diet – Also known as the K-E Diet, this short-lived trend reached a fever pitch after the New York Times profiled several women who had used a nasogastric feeding tube in order to lose weight. The diet is only available at one clinic in Florida and works by slowly feeding the patient with a fat and protein-based solution, accounting for 800 calories per day over a 24 hour period. Developed by Dr. Oliver R. Di Pietro, who claims that a person can lose 10% of their body weight through this method, the diet allows patients to eat nothing else besides water, unsweetened tea and black coffee.  

Adriana Lima Diet – When Adriana Lima took part in the Victoria Secret fashion show so soon after giving birth, the supermodel prompted lots of curiosity regarding her remarkable weight loss techniques. However, there was no real surprise when it emerged that the results were not achieved as a result of a healthy diet but instead from a crash weight loss strategy designed to target a particular event. The Brazilian beauty stuck to an all-liquid diet for 9 days prior to the show, drinking a gallon of water a day and consuming protein shakes made from powdered egg.  

Raspberry Ketone Diet – Interest in raspberry ketones skyrocketed in 2012 after Dr. Oz called the compound “the number one miracle in a bottle”. Raspberry ketones stimulate the production of the protein hormone Adiponectin, which improves our ability to metabolise fat. Studies have actually shown that thin people have higher levels of Adiponectin than overweight and obese people.  

Michael Phelps Diet – At the London Olympics, the US swimmer Michael Phelps made the news as much for his reported 12,000 calorie per day training diet as he did for his record-breaking and history-making exploits in the pool. It later emerged to be a myth, with Phelps himself stating that he never ate that much, and despite his hugely rigorous training schedule his actual daily intake was closer to a more modest 4,000 calories. Read More

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