THERE'S VALUE IN GREENS: Try some new greens for better taste and nutrition:
• Turnip greens are loaded with Vitamin K and B6.
• Bok choy is great in stir-fries and is also a source of calcium and polyphenols, antioxidants that fight cancer.
• Raw kale can be bitter, so tear the leaves into small chunks and bake with olive oil and salt for healthful chips packed with vitamin A, C and K
• Swiss chard, a close relative of the beet, also packs a healthy dose of vitamins A and C.
• Watercress is full of vision-protecting carotenoids, and the leaves can be used in soups, salads or sandwiches.
For more ideas, see the current issue of Fitness magazine.
ANTIBACTERIALS MAY HINDER IMMUNE SYSTEM: Soap, toothpaste and mouthwash may fight germs, but they also could make your child prone to allergies, new research has found. Common antibacterial chemicals in these products may affect development of the immune system, researchers from Johns Hopkins Children's Center found. Analyzing data from a national health survey of 860 children ages 6 to 18, scientists compared urinary levels of antibacterials in each child to preservatives found in personal hygiene products. The research may back up the belief that more kids have food and environmental allergies because they are not getting early childhood exposure to common pathogens.
Looking forward to a nice, lazy retirement? Think again.
More than half of the centenarians polled by insurance giant UnitedHealthcare report that they exercise almost every day. Nearly 45 percent said walking is their favorite physical activity, but almost as many do strength-training exercises. Eleven percent practice yoga, tai chi or similar mind/body activity; 8 percent ride a bike regularly; 5 percent jog; and 2 percent engage in sports like baseball, basketball, soccer or tennis.
All of this makes them a more active group than folks half their age. They also are more likely to eat more nutritiously balanced meals and get eight hours of sleep or more a night.
PITCH FOR PINK: Morton Plant Mease and the Clearwater Threshers are teaming up again for the seventh annual Pitch for Pink event to strike out breast cancer. The event is July 13 at Bright House Field in Clearwater, and will include a local celebrities' charity softball game (4:30 p.m.), a breast cancer survivors' lap (6 p.m.), silent auction, balloon raffle and a 6:30 p.m. baseball game with the Clearwater Threshers taking on the Fort Myers Miracle. Gates open at 4 p.m.; first 1,000 women through the gates receive a commemorative Pitch for Pink purse. Tickets ($5-$9) at threshersbaseball.com or by calling (727) 467-4457.
YMCA DIABETES PROGRAM STUDIED: Here's a chance to get fit and healthy — while contributing to science. The YMCAs of Tampa Bay and Southern Sarasota County have been chosen to participate in a national project to assess if the Y's Diabetes Prevention Program can improve health and save health care dollars, too. Eventually, what the Y's learn might be used nationally in the Medicare program.
"The YMCA Diabetes Prevention Program has been offered in the Tampa area since late 2010 and we've seen great results. We and our partner Y's will now be able to reach even more people in need," said Shera Goode, YMCA's Diabetes Prevention Program coordinator for the Tampa Metropolitan Area YMCA.
The 12-month, evidence-based program teaches participants the fundamentals of healthy living, with a goal of reducing body weight by 7 percent and increasing physical activity to 150 minutes per week.
Visit ymca.net/diabetes-prevention to learn more about the program and see if you qualify.
Two separate studies released this week have found that coffee drinkers have a lower risk of developing the most common kind of skin cancer, and also have a lower risk of heart failure.
The Harvard skin cancer study indicated that decaf coffee did not have the same effect, so researchers credit caffeine for preventing cases of basal cell carcinoma. The same was not true, however, for other skin cancers, including deadly melanoma.
Meanwhile, the American Heart Association's journal Circulation Heart Failure reported this week that moderate coffee consumption (2 cups a day) reduces the risk of heart failure by as much as 11 percent. But more is not better — researchers say 5 or 6 cups doesn't provide more benefit and may be harmful.
Charlotte Sutton I Health and medicine editor
Terry Tomalin I Outdoors/fitness editor
Jan Brackett I designer
Melissa Lyttle I cover photo
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Staff, wire reports
Staff, wire reports