How to detox your brain and get healthier this month

We've got seven of the hottest health-news tips to get you set for spring and feeling better than ever.
How to detox your brain and get healthier this month

Photo, Vincent Besnault/Getty Images.

Health news April

1. Detox your brain with a good sleep

Did you know getting enough shut-eye is an easy way to clear your brain of the toxins linked to dementia and other neurological diseases? A new study by the University of Wisconsin-Madison shows the brain accumulates proteins (a.k.a. mind garbage) when you’re awake. But sleep triggers the release of special fluids to wash them away and helps expand the space between brain cells, so the waste can be eliminated more easily.

Bottom Line: Think of sleep as your brain’s housekeeper — and getting the recommended seven to eight hours a night will help keep it fresh and clean!

Brunette-woman-sleeping-health-newsPhoto, JGI/Jamie Grill/Getty Images.

2. Brush up on bone-ified dance moves

Zumba, the Latin dance sensation, just got a ringing endorsement from Danish researchers. It’s one of the best fat blasters out there and, surprisingly, is an amazing bone builder! A 12-week study asked women to Zumba, play soccer or relax for an hour, two to three times a week. Those who got their groove on not only lost more fat — they also increased their level of the bone-strengthening protein osteocalcin. Party on!

Woman-in-sports-bra-dancing-health-newsPhoto, Corbis.

3. Health crush of the month: Angela Liddon

Lady we love: Angela Liddon, from Oakville, Ont., started blogging about food as part of her recovery after living with an eating disorder. Now the 30-year-old runs Oh She Glows, an award-winning website. This March she also released her first book, The Oh She Glows Cookbook ($29, Penguin), chock full of inspiring vegan meals and snacks.

Sound bite: “Feeling better is only a meal away. You can change your mood and entire outlook based on what you decide to eat.”

For some great recipes from Oh She Glows click here.

Angela-Liddon-Food-Blogger-Health-CrushPhoto, Dave Biesse.

4. Shop healthy (without breaking the bank)

Did you know the true cost of eating healthy is less than the price of a latte? Putting an extra $1.48 each day toward your grocery bill is all it takes to include healthier options in your diet, says a new review.

Bottom line: A little pocket change can go a long way. So ditch that fancy coffee and put the savings toward your grocery budget.

Load up for less than a buck (per serving)
Romaine lettuce $0.18 
Canned tomatoes $0.30 
Green beans $0.39 
Frozen peas $0.45 
Carrots $0.47 
Quinoa $0.75 
Black beans $0.78 
Chickpeas $0.78 
Lentils $0.78

Toast-with-dollar-sign-health-newsPhoto, Istockphoto.

5. Eat your cake and enjoy it too!

When you indulge, what’s your first thought? If you feel guilty, you may want to try a new recipe for success. Turns out the way we feel about the foods we eat is just as important as the foods themselves. Researchers from the University of Canterbury in New Zealand discovered that people who feel guilty over sweet treats also tend to feel less in control of their snacking. People who enjoy and own their indulgence, on the other hand, find eating healthy easier.

Bottom line: Be kind to yourself, even when you give in to a craving — it’s better than beating yourself up about it.

Cupcakes-with-sprinkles-health-newsPhoto, Istockphoto.

6. Cheer up to stay fit for life

Here’s a study to make you smile: Feeling happy may be the secret to lifelong fitness, improved wellness and reduced risks of depression. New research published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal reveals a link between people who try to enjoy life to the fullest and better overall health. In fact, researchers suggest fretting less may protect us from the harmful effects of stress hormones.

Fast fact: Feeling down in the dumps on a regular basis puts you at a three times greater risk for developing physical problems later in life.

Woman-jumping-in-field-with-balloons-health-newsPhoto, Vincent Besnault/Getty Images.

7. Treat your heart to a spa day

A massage really can melt away stress — and even reduce the risk of heart attack and diabetes. Best of all, 15 minutes is all it takes to start noticing immediate health benefits. Los Angeles–based researchers say a quick rubdown has anti-inflammatory effects that extend to a cellular level, helping drop a specific stress chemical produced by the pituitary gland by 7 percent while increasing a corresponding feel-good hormone by 17 percent. As if we needed another excuse to hit the spa!

Click here for an all-natural massage oil recipe.

Woman-at-spa-getting-a-massage-health-newsPhoto, Tom Merton/Getty Images.


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