ALBANY — Following are health/wellness facts from various reputed databases to keep in mind during the busy holiday season, when many of us forget to eat well and lose sight of our overall health plan:

Healthy Eating

♦ Tea can lower one’s risks of heart attack, certain cancers, type 2 Diabetes and Parkinson’s disease;

♦ An apple a day does indeed keep the doctor away. Apples can actually reduce levels of bad cholesterol to keep the heart healthy;

♦ The amino acids found in eggs can help improve your reflexes and fast-twitch muscles;

♦ A banana has nearly 30% of your ideal intake of vitamin B6, which helps the brain produce serotonin, a mood stabilizer;

♦ Although it only requires a few minutes to fully eat a meal, it takes your body hours to completely digest the food;

♦ Vitamin D is just as important as calcium in determining bone health, and most people do not get enough of it;

♦ Almonds, avocados and arugula (the three A’s) can boost your sex drive and improve fertility.

Need for Activity Facts

♦ If you are physically tired, the best thing to do is actually exercise, as it will give you more energy than sitting. Studies have found that when blood and oxygen flow through the body, more energy is produced, improving your mood. The increase in endorphin levels can contribute to a feeling of well-being;

♦ Children nowadays spend more than seven and a half hours in front of a screen daily;

♦ Only one in three children is physically active every day;

♦ Less than 5% of adults participate in the recommended 30 minutes of physical activity each day; only one in three adults receives the recommended amount of physical activity each week;

♦ Only 35-44% of adults 75 years or older are physically active, and 28-34% of adults ages 65-74 are physically active;

♦ There are five main components of fitness: the body’s ability to use oxygen, muscular strength, endurance, flexibility and body composition;

♦ Our sweat is composed mostly of water – about 99 percent. How much we sweat is unique to each individual; factors like gender and/or age can contribute to a person sweating more or less.

Health Facts

♦ Recent reports project that by around 2030, half of all adults (115 million adults) in the United States will be obese;

♦ The medical care costs of obesity in the United States are staggering. In 2008 dollars, these costs totaled about $147 billion;

Women below the age of 50 need twice the amount of iron per day as men of the same age.

Miscellaneous Facts

♦ Not only is smoking bad for you, it affects others, too. Passive or second-hand smoking means other people are put at risk by your habit;

♦ Smoking causes premature aging;

♦ U.S. adults consume an average of 3,400 mg/day (of sodium), well above the current federal guideline of less than 2,300 mg daily;

♦ Compared with metro areas, non-metro areas have a higher age-adjusted death rate and a greater percentage of potentially excess deaths from the five leading causes of death;

♦ The newest and most expensive drugs on the market may not be the best or the safest.

Yash Jani is a senior at Deerfield-Windsor School who plans a career in health care. Among his many volunteer efforts is the creation of a grant program that helps parents with cancer keep their children’s lives as “normal” as possible.

Stay Informed

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