Friday, March 5, 2010

Esquire - Your Five Biggest Health Fears and How to Solve Them

Are these really your biggest health fears? Esquire thinks they are. The recommendations are general common sense, but it never hurts to repeat them.

Your Five Biggest Health Fears and How to Solve Them

From getting fat to losing your mind, take these quick expert tips to cut down your risks right now

HEALTH ESSENTIALS: Dr. Oz's Quick Fixes, 99 More Secrets from Oz, Quick Heart Tips, and Spinning for Men?

By Meryl Rothstein

Stephen Blair/iStock

Heart Attack

Eat better. Avoid salt (which means processed foods) to keep your blood pressure down. Skip saturated fats (from four-legged animals) and trans fats (used in fried foods), which raise cholesterol. Eat more fish and nuts, which have healthy oils that lubricate your arteries.

Floss. One study found that the presence of gingivitis and cavities was as likely an indicator of heart disease as cholesterol.

Have a drink. Or two. Moderate drinkers are less likely to develop heart disease, and they're fun to hang out with.

Cheat. If you've been dealt bad genetic cards, talk to your doctor about cholesterol-lowering drugs like aspirin, statins, and fibrates.

Quit smoking. Smokers are two to three times more likely to die of coronary heart disease than nonsmokers.


See all above. If blood's not flowing to your heart, there's a good chance it's not flowing to your penis, either.

Sleep. It increases growth hormone, which helps prevent impotence.

Exercise. One study showed that men who burn at least two hundred calories a day have a significantly lower risk of erectile dysfunction than their lazier friends.

Getting Fat

Don't eat so much.

Push yourself to the point of exhaustion a few times a week during workouts.

Eat better.

Keep nuts at your desk. Walnuts and almonds help reduce inflammation in the arteries and suppress the chemical ghrelin, which tells your body it's hungry. Eat shortly before meals.

Walk fast-ish for thirty minutes a day. You'll burn three hundred calories, forcing your body to start burning fat reserves.

Don't wait until you're starving to eat. You're more likely to overeat and to choose unhealthy foods.

Losing Your Mind

Try something new. Take a new route to work. Learn to play squash. New ways of thinking stimulate new neural connections, which can prevent memory loss.

Do crossword puzzles.

Lower your cholesterol. Cholesterol plays a role in the formation of amyloid plaques, a hallmark of Alzheimer's disease.

Get vaccinated. Not for dementia — wouldn't that be great — but for the other stuff. People who get vaccinations for influenza, tetanus, diphtheria, and polio have a dramatically reduced risk of developing Alzheimer's. They also have a dramatically reduced risk of getting influenza, tetanus, diphtheria, and polio.

Have your doctor check your homocysteine. If you have too much homocysteine in your blood, consider taking B vitamins: folic acid, B-6, and B-12, which break it down.

Eat omega-3s. The fatty acids found in fish and nuts help protect against dementia.

Prostate Cancer

Eat anti-inflammatories and antioxidants. Scientists think inflammation and oxidation — tissue damage by oxygen radicals — allow cancerous cells to grow, but fruits and vegetables, whole grains, spices, and wild fish help prevent these processes. Foods high in folate (e.g., spinach), diindolylmethane (broccoli), lycopene (tomatoes), and phytoestrogens (soy) are thought to be especially useful.


Avoid sugar. It acts like a fertilizer to cancer, providing energy to cancerous cells.

Relax a little. Prostate cancer is common, but 90 percent of cases are caught in time to cure.

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