20 Health Rules Every Woman Should Live By

Feb 09, 2012 No Comments by

We all want to live long, healthy lives, but who has time to wade through the latest research telling us how? Don’t worry, we’ve done the work so you don’t have to….

1. Feel smug about that chocolate fix.

We rarely need an excuse to unwrap a bar of the rich, smooth, sweet stuff. But how about the fact that chocolate lovers are 20 percent less likely to have a stroke than those who shun the coca bean? It definitely ups the pleasure factor.

2. Time your GP visit cleverly.

Getting a doctor’s appointment is often a hassle. But it pays to nab that first morning slot, says GP Dr Nail Dove, resident expert on Skyl’s obese: A Year To Save My Life, since your doctor will be on top form then and “it allows more time to arrange investigations for the same day if required”. If your GP’s receptionist says there are no appointments for ages, visit a pharmacy. All About Health pharmacist Ajit Malhi says have relationships with local GP’s and if they think your condition is urgent, they can put in a call to bump you up the queue. Who knew?

3. Pop a pill for a sunshine vitamin hit.

We are woefully lacking in vitamin D in the UK, so a supplement with D3, aka the sunshine vitamin, will give you a boost. “Studies suggest people with higher levels of vitamin D have lower rates of breast and colon cancer,” says integrative-medicine expert Dr Andrew Weil. taking 2000 IU (International Units) of D3 a day is recommended.

4. Life is longer than him.

Twenty minutes longer, to be precise-enough time for him to knock up breakfast. Tell him that science has confirmed what we’ve known forever as great multi-taskers, women use more of our brains than men, so we need extra zzzs. And really maximise your rest, drink a glass of Montmorency cherry juice. New research shows this melatonin-booster can help you get an extra minutes sleep a night.

5. Take calcium with your coffee.

As well as giving you the shakes, drinking two or more cups of the brown stuff a day can accelerate bone loss. But the good news is that research shows if you take 800mg of calcium a day, you’ll stave off any risk of coffee harming your bones.

6. Always tired? Take a ‘down-there’ temperature test.

Inserting a thermometer vaginally as soon as you wake up may sound strange, but it could give you a vital clue that your thyroid is low. The number of people (including fatigue and weight gain) is on the up. Most doctors check with TSH (thyroid-stimulating hormone) and Ft4 tests, but T3 – the ‘on’ switch for everything from energy to cholesterol – can also be assessed. As Dr Eric Asher, medical director of The Third Space Medicine, says, “The clue in the core body temperature.” Yep, that’s where the vagina test comes in. “Measure for a week and if the temperature remains at or under 36.4*C, ask your doctor to do a T3 test to check you don’t have low thyroid.”

7. Sag-proof your breasts

Scientist use the phrase ‘ figure of eight’ to describe the sag-inducing movement of our breasts when we jog-up and down, side to side, and in and out-and they are working with manufactures to develop bra designs that will hold us in at every angle. Until then, visit Sweatshop to get fitted for the most supportive sports bra available.

8. Add salt without guilt.

Salt has a bad rep, but when it’s rich in iodine, it’s good for the metabolism. That may mean binning that celebrity-chef-endorsed sea salt (which one in four of us wrongly believe is healthier than table salt), since sea salt usually has no iodine in it, whereas bog-standard table varieties do. Just don’t go over 6g a day.

9. Drink your food.

Ninety-five per cent of us don’t digest our food properly, leading to bloating. Catherine de Villiers spa manager of The Spa in Dolphin Square, suggests dealing with this by “chewing until food is liquidised, then swallowing.”

10. Use bacteria to bust stress.

We know friendly bacteria is good for our guts, but research just in reveals that our brain can benefit from probiotics, too. The lactobacillus strain has been shown to work on mind chemistry to help to reduce anxiety and stress. Try BioCare’s Bio-Acidophilus.

11. Anti-age your brain with eggs.

They may not sound like a sexy superfood, but eggs contain a nutrient, choline, that can boost memory and protect against dementia. Consume more milk, chicken, fish, soy and kidney beans and you could be sharp enough for University Challenge (well, maybe).

12. Don’t get ill at the weekend.

We know you usually can’t control when you have to check into hospital, but it pays to avoid Saturdays and Sundays. With senior consultants taking a well-deserved breaks, junior doctors man the wards. Plus, operating theatres and specialist services often aren’t available, and new research shows patients are ten per cent more likely to die at the weekend than on a week day. Hold that ambulance!

13. Eat well to beat period pain.

Painkillers aren’t the only thing you can pick up in a supermarket to reduce period pain. “The first way to help hormone irregularity is to support the liver – the major detoxification and hormone-regulating organ,” says Hannah Yang, naturopath at ESPA Life at Corinthia Hotel London. “Kick-start your liver with a cup of warm water and lemon before breakfast and keep it going with a diet rich in green leafy vegetables, garlic, ginger and warming herbs like turmeric.”

14. Get a longer-lasting high.

Hands up who thinks ‘sugar!’ when in need of an afternoon pick-me-up? News just in reveals protein is a more effective stimulant. Researchers have found the cells in the brains that regulate energy are ramped up by amino acids in protein, not the sweet stuff.

15. Have health checks.

When it comes to heart disease and diabetes, prevention is better than cure. With 22 per cent of heart attacks due to high blood pressure is crucial. You may be among the 13 per cent of women aged 35 to 44 whose blood pressure is out of the normal range (120/80-140/85), but simple lifestyle changes can bring it down. As for diabetes, it’s been dubbed the 21st-century health crisis, so it’s well worth investigating any blood-sugar issues. If it flags up a problem, Patrick Holford, nutritionist and author of The Ten Secrets of Healthy Ageing (Piarkus, £14.99), recommends a low-GI dict.

16. Take 15 minutes.

Thirty used to be the magic number for daily exercise, but exercise, but new research reveals as little as 15 minutes of exercise a day could increase your lifespan by three years. No times for daily workouts? You can get the same benefit by doing 90 minutes of moderate exercise a week – and that includes a brisk walk round the shops.

17. Drink smarter.

If you enjoy a glass (or two) of wine, you’ll be pleased to know the latest advice is not to totally abstain. You can, however, reduce the health risks – such as liver disease – by having at least two alcohol-free days a week so your body can recover.

18. Don’t overlook aspirin.

Pain? Sorted. Heart disease? It can tackle that, too. The little white pill could also be a new weapon in the fight against cancer. Research shows taking 75mg of aspirin a day for more than five years could reduce the risk of dying from cancer by 34 per cent.Before you stock up, Jessica Harris of Cancer Research UK has this advice: “The evidence shows a daily aspirin could reduce the risk of some cancers. But aspirin’s negative effects include bleeding from the stomach. Experts are establishing whether the benefits outweigh the harms, so talk to your doctor first.”

19. Listen out for those early warnings.

Let’s been called the silent killer, but the latest advice is that ovarian cancer may not be symptomless. If treated early, sufferers have a 90 per cent chances of survival. Warning messages includes persistent pelvic and abdominal pain, constant bloating and feeling full. Sounds familiar? See your GP immediately.

20. Think yourself slim.

Daily sessions of mindfulness-based meditation have been shown to reduce food cravings by more than 50 per cent by controlling emotions. To start daily ten-minute sessions of guided meditation, and put that brownie down!


Health And Nutrition
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