Health, Mind & Brain:
Not so long ago, people like my Aunt Muriel thought of sunburn as a necessary evil on the way to a “good base tan.” She used to slather on the baby oil while using a large reflector to bake away. Aunt Muriel’s mantra when the inevitable burn and peel appeared: Beauty has its price.
But what if there was a quicker and easier way to get more benefit from our vegetables? Can the way we prepare vegetables boost their nutrition? Does tearing or chopping your lettuce makes any difference? And if we chop, does it matter what type of knife we use?
DNA repair is essential for cell vitality, cell survival, and cancer prevention, yet cells’ ability to patch up damaged DNA declines with age for reasons not fully understood. Now, research led by scientists at Harvard Medical School (HMS) reveals a critical step in a molecular chain of events that allows cells to mend their broken DNA.
When we think about the difficulties of colonising another planet, the last thing we probably worry about about is sex. However, for our species to survive beyond Earth it’s a fundamental issue. While no astronauts have admitted having sex in space, plenty of reproduction has been going on.
Much of life is beyond our control, but dining smartly can help us live healthier, longer
Lorraine Pascale, a chef and regular guest on the BBC’s cooking programme, Saturday Kitchen, recently admitted that she struggled with an eating disorder. For many, it would seem counter-intuitive that a person with an eating disorder would spend so much time around food. But an obsession with food is often linked with eating disorders, highlighting the complexity of effects that go beyond eating itself.
Conventional wisdom has it that humans have a poorer sense of smell than most other animals. Sure, we can smell – most of us appreciate the aroma of our morning coffee or a delightful fragrance, and we’re able to detect burning toast or a gas leak. But we have nonetheless long been thought to be relative weaklings in the animal kingdom’s league of olfactory excellence, which puts dogs and rodents near the top.
Once the province of prophets, “hearing voices” is still shorthand for madness. And yet in the past 30 years, a new understanding has been created by voice-hearers themselves, as part of the Hearing Voices Movement. This suggests that uncovering the roots of the voice can potentially help the hearer.
Most Australian adults would know they’re meant to eat two or more serves of fruit and five or more serves of vegetables every day. Whether or not they get there is another question.
As well as our physical health, the quality of our diet matters for our mental and brain health. Observational studies across countries, cultures and age groups show that better-quality diets – those high in vegetables, fruits, other plant foods (such as nuts and legumes), as well as good-quality proteins (such as fish and lean meat) – are consistently associated with reduced depression.