As Santa prepares his sleigh for another trip around the world, it's probably time to look at our own bellies (bowl full of jelly, anyone?) and think about how naughty we've been this year.
“New Year's is usually the time for making resolutions, but before I can decide what I'm doing next year, I need to figure out what went wrong and what went right this year,” said Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation President Dr. Stephen Prescott.
Put yourself on the nice list if you've been trying to get more exercise this year, he said. Even if it's just 30 minutes of walking a day — cut that into a couple of 15 minutes walks, if that's easier — the benefits of moving are evident.
“Not everybody has time for the gym, but 30 minutes of brisk walking a day has been shown to lower blood pressure, strengthen bones and improve your mood,” he said. “Over the long term, it can help control weight and lower the risk of heart disease — two big problems in Oklahoma.”
Feel like you've been too naughty with your diet? That's understandable, Prescott said. Oklahoma ranks last in the country for consumption of fruits and vegetables.
“Maybe that's a selling point to the picky eaters of the world, but it's making us unhealthy,” he said. “If you'd like to eat something that tastes good and helps you live longer, try nuts.”
In a paper published last month in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers showed that eating an ounce of nuts daily — peanuts, almonds, cashews, etc. — could help increase longevity. Even those who didn't exercise or diet were found to live longer if they ate a 1 ounce serving of nuts a day. Just 20 almonds, or 16 cashews, or 45 pistachios could be key to a longer life.
Maybe that's a selling point to the picky eaters of the world, but it's making us unhealthy. If you'd like to eat something that tastes good and helps you live longer, try nuts.”
Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation President Dr. Stephen Prescott,