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Archive for February 2020

Preventing Hamstring Injuries

Hamstring injuries

Hamstring injuries are frequent and costly for professional soccer players and important for all active people to avoid. Medical professionals with the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) developed an injury prevention program that blends evidence-based methods and practical considerations. It emphasizes the need for individualized training that targets an athlete’s specific risk factors, based on ongoing screening and monitoring.

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Sleep Well, Eat Well

Sleep and nutrition

Poor sleep has been linked to unhealthy eating habits and weight gain. Now a team of American researchers believes it knows why people may gravitate toward calorie-dense junk food when sleep deprived: Blame it on the nose.

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For Would-Be Soldiers, Healthier Diets Pay Off

Army and diet

Active-duty males involved in the U.S. Army Special Forces Assessment and Selection course who had higher Healthy Eating Index (HEI) scores—used to assess compliance with the U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans—performed better on the demanding Army Physical Fitness Test and were up to 75% more likely to be selected for the elite unit than those with the lowest diet-quality scores, according to a study in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.

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Healthy Food, Healthy Planet

Food and planet health

In an analysis of 19 previous investigations involving millions of people, researchers at the University of Minnesota and Oxford University examined the human-health and environmental impacts of 15 different food groups, including legumes, nuts, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, red meat, dairy, eggs, fish and sugar-sweetened beverages. The foods were compared with one another based on how they influence the risk of disease and the toll they take on the planet in terms of water and land use, water and soil pollution, and greenhouse gas emissions.

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Plant-Based Foods Curb Chronic Disease

Here’s another good reason to embrace the trend of eating more plants: A cohort study in Nature Communications involving 56,048 adults in Denmark found that people who over a 23-year period habitually consumed moderate to high amounts of foods rich in flavonoids—naturally occurring chemical compounds found predominantly in plant-based foods—were less likely to die from cancer or heart disease.

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Another Strike Against Liquid Sugar

Sugary drinks

A 2019 study published in Diabetes Care found that increasing total consumption of sugary beverages, which included 100% fruit juice, by more than 0.5 servings/day (about 4 ounces) over 4 years was linked to a 16% higher risk for type 2 diabetes, compared with maintaining steady intake. This was after adjusting for variables such as body mass index, other dietary changes and lifestyle habits.

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The Vegetable Sales Pitch

Vegetable descriptions

While many public health campaigns have tried to persuade Americans to eat more veggies by emphasizing their nutritional benefits, few have succeeded in getting people to put more broccoli on their plates. Now, a study in Psychological Science suggests that food labels emphasizing tastiness and an expectation of a positive eating experience may make healthy foods more tempting.

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Weighing In on the Keto Diet

Keto Diet

While extremely low-carbohydrate diets like fat-forward keto can aid in short-term weight loss, they have mixed effects on other health markers, according to a scientific statement issued by the National Lipid Association and published in the Journal of Clinical Lipidology.

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Why Dentists Don’t Approve of Energy Foods

Dental health and sports drinks

Sports drinks, energy gels and bars can help athletes keep up the pace, but frequent use may land them in the dental chair. According to a study published in the British Dental Journal, regular consumption of these products is likely a major reason why professional athletes have higher rates of tooth decay than the general public, despite eating a healthy diet overall and practicing good oral hygiene, like twice-daily brushing. The sugar content and acidity of energy products can expedite gum inflammation and tooth decay, leading to poor oral health.

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Athletes Have an Appetite for Social Media

Athletes and social media

Social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook continue to open up new opportunities for athletes to learn about nutrition. Based on a questionnaire administered to 306 athletes, a report in the International Journal of Sports Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism found that 65% of study participants reported using social media to glean nutrition information over the previous 12 months.

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Recipe for Health: Masala Chickpea Stir-Fry

Masala chickpeas

Beyond being uncomfortable, frequent constipation can raise the risk for conditions like hemorrhoids and rectal tears. Plus, the stool is a way to remove toxins from the body. That makes fiber-packed dishes like this quick plant-based stir-fry a great way to keep you more regular.

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Top Fitness Trend in China and South America

Exercise trends in China and South America

The number-one fitness trend identified in both China and South America is the inclusion of exercise in dietary weight-loss programs, according to ACSM’s
2020 Worldwide Survey of Fitness Trends. This could be the fitness industry responding to rising rates of overweight and obesity. In North America, exercise for weight loss has declined as a trend, superseded by health and wellness coaching.

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More Benefits for Fit Kids

Physically Active Kids

Heart health is not simply about having a strong heart muscle; a healthy cardiovascular system requires a healthy nervous system that regulates the heartbeat and supports efficient functioning whether a person is feeling calm or stressed. A new study from Finland shows that more physically active and fit children have better cardiac regulation than those who are less active and less fit.

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