Every day, we scour the Web looking for compelling wellness stories that provide the information — and inspiration — you need to make good choices. Here are this week’s must-read wellness articles.
Purple-hued foods like purple asparagus, sweet potatoes and cauliflower are going to be big in 2017, according to a recent report by Whole Foods on upcoming food trends. Also on the list? Wellness tonics; gluten-free noodles made from lentils, chickpeas and quinoa; and “coconut everything.” (Time)
Can Prenatal Fish Oil Lower a Child’s Asthma Risk?
Yes, according to a new study published in The New England Journal of Medicine. Pregnant women who took fish oil capsules in their last trimester were almost one-third less likely to have children who developed asthma by age 3. However, the researchers said they are not ready to recommend all pregnant women take fish oil because the daily dose in the study was about 15 to 20 times what most Americans consume. (NYT)
Parkinson’s-Linked Pesticide is Used in US — and Banned in EU
Paraquat, a pesticide that has been linked to Parkinson’s, is banned in Europe but allowed in the United States as well as other countries, including Brazil, India, Mexico, Japan, and South Africa.“This is one of the quintessential examples of double standards,” says Baskut Tuncak, a United Nations official who specializes in hazardous substances. “Paraquat is banned in the U.K. and the E.U., but it’s still being used, and resulting in serious harms outside the E.U. where it’s being shipped.” (NYT)
This is Your Brain on Exercise
Yet another study is supporting the idea that exercise can keep the brain young. The study, published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, gave 6,400 people over the age of 65 an activity tracker for a week. Researchers found that older adults who did moderate-to-vigorous physical activity were 36 percent less likely to experience cognitive problems three years later. (Time)
One More Benefit of Sunlight
Yes, sunlight helps our bodies make vitamin D, but it may also boost immunity, according to a new study published in Scientific Reports. “We all know sunlight provides vitamin D, which is suggested to have an impact on immunity, among other things. But what we found is a completely separate role of sunlight on immunity,” says Georgetown’s Gerard Ahern, PhD, the study’s senior investigator. “Some of the roles attributed to vitamin D on immunity may be due to this new mechanism.” (Science Daily)
The Gut May Be the Key to Treating Autoimmune Disease
The secret to treating autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis may come down to the number of “good” and “bad” bacteria in the gut, according to a new study published in The Journal of Experimental Medicine. “Beneficial gut bacteria promotes immune homeostasis, which means that resident gut bacteria have beneficial nutritional effects and the effect of reducing autoimmunity and inflammation,” Dr. Yuying Liu, an associate professor of pediatrics and gastroenterology at the University of Texas and the study’s lead author, says. She added that probiotics “may represent a potential avenue for combatting autoimmune diseases mediated by T reg dysfunction.” (The Huffington Post)
Get Hygge This Winter
Why do Danish people routinely top the list of happiest in the world? It may come down to their practice of hygge (pronounced HOO-gah) during the long, dark and cold winters. Hygge essentially translates as “cozy” in Danish. “It is also a national manifesto, nay, an obsession expressed in the constant pursuit of homespun pleasures involving candlelight, fires, fuzzy knitted socks, porridge, coffee, cake and other people,” notes the New York Times. Meik Wiking, the founder and chief executive of the Copenhagen-based Happiness Institute, says that “Danes see hygge as a part of our culture the same way you see freedom as inherently American.” (NYT)