Sipping an afternoon cup of green tea may be an easy way to help your heart. That's because green tea has catechins, powerful antioxidants that, over time, can significantly reduce levels of LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. Drinking a lot of green tea could even add years to your life. An 11-year study that followed 40,530 Japanese adults found that those who drank five cups of green tea a day had a 26 percent lower risk of heart disease and a 16 percent lower risk of death from all causes, compared to those who drank less than one cup a day.
Observational studies have shown that people who engage in mentally stimulating activities may be less likely to develop dementia. But Knopman notes that such studies don't prove cause and effect, so it's not clear if mentally stimulating activities protect against dementia or whether people with healthier brains are drawn to those activities in the first place.
According to a recent study, very few adults actually meet the criteria for a healthy lifestyle. The study, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, showed that only 3% of American adults got a perfect score on what the authors say are the four basic criteria for healthy living. Just 13.8% met three of the criteria; 34.2% met only two criteria. Women scored slightly better than men.
Since launching in 2013, Soom’s sales have exploded by 1,300 percent. Tahini is rich in minerals like magnesium and potassium and it's high in protein and unsaturated fat. For cooks, tahini offers a wonderfully creamy texture and can be used to enhance a variety of foods. Expect to see tahini showing up in everything from salad dressing to vegan caramel sauce in the year ahead.
As it turns out, healthy habits make a big difference. According to this analysis, people who met criteria for all five habits enjoyed significantly, impressively longer lives than those who had none: 14 years for women and 12 years for men (if they had these habits at age 50). People who had none of these habits were far more likely to die prematurely from cancer or cardiovascular disease.
For this year's Healthy Food Awards, SELF editors taste-tested more than 250 packaged foods, all of which met nutrition criteria established by Stephanie Clarke, R.D. and Willow Jarosh, R.D., of C&J Nutrition. We looked for foods with minimally processed ingredients and considered factors like sugar, protein, calories, saturated fat, and sodium. But above all, the food had to be tasty and satisfying. It was hard work, but after lots of munching, we found our winners.

An excellent source of vitamins C and A, plus potassium and fiber, tomatoes are also high in lycopene, which works with other vitamins and minerals to help prevent disease. A 2017 analysis of 25 studies found that people with the highest lycopene intake cut their risk of stroke by 26 percent and risk of heart disease by 14 percent. Cooking tomatoes brings out their lycopene, boosting the heart benefits even more.
And, in the evening, after your dinner when your sweet tooth is crying out for ice cream or cake. What then? Busy yourself with an activity. Whether it be reading a book, television, Netflix, life admin or washing, your improved nutrition plan should ensure you have enough nutrients for the day, so these cravings are nothing more than your brain playing tricks on you. Oh yeah, and drink plenty of water!

Triglycerides are found in body fat and from the fats you eat. Triglycerides levels in the blood reflect what you have eaten recently. HDL and LDL cholesterol levels show what you have been eating over a long period of time. If you eat a fatty meal your triglyceride levels will be elevated for a short period of time. If you continue to eat a diet high in fat your triglyceride levels will continue to rise. The liver transfers the triglycerides into body fat, or cholesterol, which raises LDL and lowers HDL levels in the blood.


If you skip meals, you’re going to be hungry and more likely to make bad food choices. Many of us skip breakfast and go straight for the morning coffee and muffin break. Café style muffins not only contain around 10 teaspoons of sugar, but more than a fifth of our recommended daily salt intake. If you’re still tempted, why not make your own, that way you know exactly what’s going into them. Savoury muffins are healthier – try our sweet potato and cheddar muffins.

It doesn't matter how many hours you spend at the gym each week: if you don't clean up your diet, you will not see the results you want! A study from the University of Texas found that without dietary control, people who completed a 12-week program of resistance training and high-intensity interval training lost a disappointing 1 percent of body fat. Don't let your hard work go to waste! (That's exactly why Harley Pasternak says working out is the least important part of losing weight.)

A 2018 analysis found a surprising link between yogurt and heart health in people with high blood pressure. In the study, researchers looked at data collected over 30 years from more than 55,000 women in the Nurses' Health Study, and more than 18,000 men from the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study. They found that those who ate two or more servings of yogurt a week had a roughly 20 percent lower risk of heart attack or stroke compared to those who ate less. Adding yogurt to an already healthy diet upped the benefits even more.
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