Health news: Four ways to instantly boost vitality

Our deputy editor Laurie Jennings shares her favourite health tips of the year (thus far) with the Cityline audience!

1. Fight breast cancer by eating more greens 
A diet high in cruciferous vegetables helps protect against breast cancer. Researchers looked at 5,000 women who were diagnosed with breast cancer and found that those who ate greens were 62 percent less likely to die from the disease. They were also 35 percent less likely to have it recur. These veggies contain glucosinolates that, when broken down by chewing, release cancer-fighting compounds called isothiocyanates. The greens to look for are arugula, bok choy, broccoli and Chinese cabbage.

2. The five easiest ways to slim down and keep weight off
Eat popcorn
– Research reveals popcorn eaters are more satisfied than chip eaters.
– Popcorn fills you up, so you’ll eat less at your next meal.
– One cup of air-popped popcorn is 15 calories, while one cup of chips is 150.

Read labels
– Research reveals you could avoid gaining nine pounds a year by reading nutrition labels.
– Look for:
Serving size – be aware of it, measure it and stick to it.
Calories – The daily calorie intake for healthy weight loss is 1,200 to 1,600.
Saturated and trans fats – Avoid anything higher than 10 percent of your daily recommended intake.
Sodium – 5 percent and under is low, 15 percent and over is high and should be avoided.
Fibre – Aim for 25 grams a day. Look for cereals and breads with 4 grams or more of fibre per serving.

Cut your workout in half (with less workout time!)
– Research reveals 30 minutes is the exercise sweet spot for weight loss.
– A Danish study found men who worked out for a half-hour per day over 13 weeks lost two pounds more than those who worked out for 60 minutes.
– Research also reveals hitting the gym can boost your salary. Women who exercise at least three times a week earn about 10 percent more than those who don’t. That’s the equivalent of an extra $80 a week, based on a $40,000 salary.
– Exercise increases energy and brain function and boosts confidence and mood, leading to improved workplace performance.

Protein is your weight loss BFF
– New research says protein helps us to slim down faster.
– Dieters who ate more protein over 12 weeks lost up to two pounds more than those who preferred complex carbs.
– The magic number for weight loss is 120 grams of protein a day. That’s equivalent to: a three-egg omelet, one cup of lentils, one cup of quinoa with tofu and a chicken breast.
– Protein helps promote weight loss because our body uses more calories to break it down.
–  Easy tip: Add a scoop of protein powder in a smoothie.
– In a study on long-term weight gain, Harvard researchers found yogurt to be the best food to support lifelong sustainable weight loss. A daily serving can actually help you to lose weight over time. It’s creamy taste and low-fat, high-protein combo satisfies while curbing cravings. Steer clear of yogurts with lots of added sugar.

Eat breakfast and snack less later
– A new study shows that people who miss the morning meal indulge in more fatty, higher calorie foods.
– Breakfast skippers ate 20 percent more at lunch than those who filled up in the morning.
– Researchers reviewed MRI scans and found that the area of the brain associated with “food appeal” went into overdrive for the people who didn’t eat before noon, making unhealthy treats more tempting.

3. Get a personal tracking device
The Nike+ FuelBand counts your steps, logs your calories and your overall daily activity. It syncs up to a personal profile on the Nike+ website where you can set goals and the light strip changes colour to chart progress and motivates you to get moving. The best part? When you reach your goal, fireworks go off!

4. Sniff away chocolate cravings
– Research reveals that some fragrances can offset cravings.
– The researchers say scents are twice as effective as willpower alone.
– Craving-crushing scents include lavender, jasmine, gardenia and sandalwood.