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3 Reasons Why New Yorkers Live Longer

Last winter, the New York City Department of Health released some surprising news: a New Yorker born in 2004 can expect to live 78.6 years, nine months longer than the average American will. In addition, the life expectancy of New Yorkers is lengthening faster than that of other Americans.

Why? In an article published in the Aug. 13, 2008, New York magazine, author Clive Thompson interviewed health researchers and found three possible reasons:

  • The city's wide-ranging smoking ban of 2003, which dropped deaths attributable to smoking by 10 percent from 2001 to 2005.
  • Healthier food options, because New York (like other large cities) attracts a critical mass of people who demand fresh, organic or otherwise superior food choices.
  • Perhaps most importantly, New Yorkers walk far more than do suburban Americans, or even residents of other large cities (perhaps due to the fact that New York's high-density urban amenities make walking uniquely viable for shopping, commuting, and other daily tasks). They also tend to walk faster.

My take: this is interesting, but you don't have to move to New York to avail yourself of these advantages. Anyone, anywhere, can decide to stop smoking, walk more and seek out healthy foods (the number of farmers markets has doubled in the last decade, making them more available everywhere). But I am glad that, after so much presidential-campaign speechmaking about "small-town values," New Yorkers may rightfully claim that their city can indeed foster good health.

Living the Good Life
A healthy, enjoyable and rewarding life should be a priority for everyone - and Dr. Weil on Healthy Aging can help get you there. From preventive health tips to the anti-inflammatory diet, living the good life has never been more fun. Start your free trial today and save $10 (promo code ha10off).


Hibiscus Tea for High Blood Pressure
Drinking three cups of hibiscus tea per day can help lower your blood pressure. A small study from the Jean Mayer USDA Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University showed that a hibiscus tea habit kept blood pressure down among men and women between the ages of 30 and 70. All the participants were pre-hypertensive (meaning that their systolic pressure - the top number - ranged from 120 to 139 millimeters of mercury [mm Hg] - or their diastolic pressure - the bottom number - ranged from 80 to 89 mm Hg) or had blood pressure that was diagnosed as mildly elevated. The participants drank the tea three times a day for six weeks. A total of 65 volunteers took part in the study. None were taking medication for high blood pressure. They were divided into two groups. One drank the tea and the other received a placebo beverage containing a hibiscus-flavored concentrate. Hibiscus is a common ingredient in herbal tea blends. For the study, a tea bag containing 1.25 g of dried hibiscus calyces was steeped in 8 ounces of boiled water for six minutes.

Heart Health a Worry?
Keep heart disease and unhealthy cholesterol levels in check with lifestyle changes (such as exercise and stress management techniques) and supplements like those found on Dr. Weil’s Vitamin Advisor. Visit today for your free recommendation, and save 10% off your first order!


Hypoallergenic Dog? Forget About It!
If President-elect Barack and soon-to-be First Lady Michele Obama expect to find a hypoallergenic dog that won't trigger 10-year-old Malia's allergy symptoms, they're likely to be disappointed. And so will parents of other kids begging for a hypoallergenic puppy for the holidays. There is no such animal. The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology put the kibosh on the notion that you can find a dog that won't set off runny noses, sneezing, coughing and other allergy symptoms among those susceptible. The allergen responsible for these symptoms isn't dog hair - it is a protein found in dander (dead skin cells), saliva and urine (all of which are standard equipment on dogs - including the hairless Peruvian puppy the Obama girls were offered). You can, however, cut down on allergy symptoms by making sure a dog is groomed and bathed weekly. Other preventive measures include using a vacuum equipped with special filters and double bags, keeping the dog out of an allergic child's bedroom, and removing carpeting where dander can collect.

The Benefits of Companion Animals
Don’t underestimate the health benefits of having a dog or cat - they can have positive effects on your mental and physical health! For more simple, healthy tips, join Dr. Weil’s Optimum Health Plan - visit today and get a free recipe!


RECIPE
Mediterranean Couscous
Couscous is a type of pasta that can be prepared in an instant. It's done as soon as the "grains" soak up the hot liquid. This version, with its traditional Mediterranean flavors, is a wonderful accompaniment to fish and a salad of cucumbers, tomatoes and feta cheese. Once you make this dish, you'll find yourself wanting to experiment with other flavorful additions to couscous.
View Recipe

Healthy Aging Tip
Courtesy of Dr.Weil on Healthy Aging
Diabetes and Nutrition: Eat generous amounts of non-starchy vegetables such as cucumbers, bell peppers, dark leafy greens, zucchini, eggplant, squash, asparagus, broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, beans, radishes, and spinach.


Featured Discussion:                    
“What’s the scoop on puppy shots?” asks Leftyladyfrommo.                                         
“I have a new border collie puppy. She has had one puppy shot and will need her second one in a couple of weeks. What's the latest on this? 


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