It's true that your DNA serves as a blueprint for your health future. But taking new scientifically proven steps can drastically reduce your risk for four diseases that strike women.
22% Average woman's risk
40% Risk if one parent had it
Though a recent study hinted at a genetic marker, there's no concrete test that reveals whether you'll get hit with the blues.
Reduce Your Risk
Swig some joe. Women who sipped two cups of coffee a day had a 15 percent lower risk for depression, according to a 2011 study. The key may lie in the caffeine, which could accelerate the release of mood-elevating hormones.
Eat Greek. Sticking to a Mediterranean diet--think salmon, sardines, olive oil, avocados--can lower depression risk by more than 30 percent. Such food is chock-full of omega-3 fatty acids that can help stabilize your mood, says Orlando-based psychologist Alan D. Keck, Psy.D.
Break a sweat. Working out can strengthen your mental health. A study in the American Journal of
Blog Posts by The Editors of WOMEN'S HEALTH
It's true that your DNA serves as a blueprint for your health future. But taking new scientifically proven steps can drastically reduce your risk for four diseases that strike women.Read More »from 12 Ways to Reduce Your Disease Risk
Thinking of signing up for a fruit juice cleanse? You might first consider how your body reacts to a week with no protein or fat and fewer than 1,000 calories a day.Read More »from Your Body on a Detox
After the first sip
Your brain's hunger signals are answered with a dump of pure fruit-juice sugar. And don't get any ideas--veggie-based cleanses aren't any healthier.
The sweet stuff prompts the pancreas to squirt out insulin, which moves sugar--now in your blood in the form of glucose--into your cells.
After 30 minutes
As your cells suck up the glucose, your blood sugar level can start to plummet and you may feel dizzy.
Meanwhile, lacking enough calories, your body is operating off its supply of glycogen, a form of short-term energy stored in the liver and muscles.
The 76 Best Things You Can Do for Your Body
After two days
With each shot of juice, your insulin levels skyrocket, then crash. Your glycogen stores are pretty much gone, leaving your tank on empty--and you feeling weak and listless.
Pistachios satisfy your salt craving while delivering more natural antioxidantsJust as some trigger foods open the floodgates to unhealthy eating habits, there are reverse-gateway foods that can help keep you from derailing your diet. The following snacks definitely taste like cheating, but they'll help you stay, or get back on, the weight-loss wagon.Read More »from Foods that Curb Crazy Eating
They're packed with nutrients, and snacking on a handful may regulate your nerves and muscles.
Eat this: A 1/4-cup serving
6 Ways to Beat Mindless Munching
Plain Frozen Yogurt with Fresh Fruit
It has less fat than ice cream but five grams of filling protein per serving. Fruit gives it more flavor, texture, and vitamins.
Eat this: 1 1/2 cups
4 Better-for-Your-Waistline Fruits
Just a small portion of this antioxidant-filled treat satisfies a sweet tooth.
Eat this: 1 oz dark chocolate with 65 percent (or more) cacao
The Healthiest Types of Chocolate
They satisfy a salt craving while delivering more natural antioxidants than most other nuts. Plus, the shells will slow
Fiber-packed grains to fill you up, not out
By our Expert Panel of Nutritionists, Karen Ansel, R.D., Maureen Callahan, R.D., Rachel Meltzer Warren, R.D. and Kerry Neville, R.D.
RodaleMission White Corn Tortillas
Adios, refined flour tortillas! These whole-grain corn-flour replacements are naturally higher in fiber, and their six-inch size serves up instant portion control for burritos, soft tacos, and wraps.
Per 2 tortillas: 120 cal, 2 g fat (0 g sat), 24 g carbs, 10 mg sodium, 2 g fiber, 3 g protein, 0 g sugar
Pepperidge Farm Cinnamon Bagel Flats
You can feel a lot better about smearing cream cheese, nut butter, or jam on this sweet, slimmed-down version since it has a third of the calories of other doughy rings. Plus, its flavor is all-natural.
Per bagel flat: 100 cal, 1 g fat (0 g sat), 23 g carbs, 120 mg sodium, 5 g fiber, 4 g protein, 5 g sugar
Purely Elizabeth Ancient Grain Granola CerealPurely Elizabeth Ancient Grain Granola Cereal-Original Flavor
Taste the hand-baked goodness of these crunchy,Read More »from The Healthiest Breads in the Grocery Store
What matters more: eating right all the time, or working out regularly?In a perfect world, everyone would work out enough and eat right all the time. But that's not always possible, so we turned to the experts to find out what really matters most--dieting or exercise--for losing weight, fighting disease, and boosting overall well-being. Here, we crown the champ in each category.Read More »from Diet Vs. Exercise: What Matters Most
The winner: Diet
The reason: As research makes clear, trimming calories from your diet is the most direct route to a smaller dress size. "It's much easier to cut 500 calories than to spend an hour in the gym burning 500 calories every day," says Timothy Church, M.D., Ph.D., director of preventive medicine research at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center at Louisiana State University. However, both diet and exercise are essential for keeping that weight off.
12 Foods for Flat Abs
The winner: Exercise
The reason: Exercise causes the brain to pour out invigorating neurotransmitters like dopamine and norepinephrine, says Patrick O'Connor, Ph.D., an
If you're like most women, you're totally smitten with chocolate. People have been obsessing over this comfort food for thousands of years (the Mayans considered cocao a cure-all and the Aztecs used it as money). And all that obsessing has yielded some pretty surprising studies--and findings. Here, five things you need to know about your favorite indulgence.Read More »from 5 Things You Didn't Know About Chocolate
1. It Can Boost Your Workout
Skip the expensive sports drinks and protein shakes. Research shows chocolate milk is just as effective a recovery aid.
A study published in the journal Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism compared the effects of a recovery drink and chocolate milk on endurance athletes' ability to recover after a series of bike sprints followed by an endurance ride the next day. They found that chocolate milk was just as effective at relieving muscle soreness after the sprints, and preparing the athletes to perform in the endurance test the next day. Better yet, everyone preferred the taste of chocolate
Are you guilty of making motivation mistakes? We all are. Here are some common scenarios and solutions. Heed them to help keep your drive alive--and to push through any plateau.Read More »from Overcome Your Motivation Crushers
1. Motivation Mistake: Setting the Bar Too Low
"I'll do my best" sounds like a worthy vow to make, but it can actually suck the motivation right out of you. "This type of vow is vague, making you more likely to procrastinate," says Gary Latham, Ph.D., a professor of organizational effectiveness at the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management. The result? A mediocre or disappointing performance.
Solution: To step up your game, set attainable goals that are clear and challenging and give yourself a deadline. "Specific goals help focus your attention and increase your effort, which helps you persist longer," says Latham. And since you have a plan of action and a time frame, you're less apt to put things off. Another important point: Concentrate on three to five big goals at a time. "Any more and your
- The Editors of WOMEN'S HEALTH | Healthy Living – Mon, Feb 13, 2012 11:07 AM EST
BEFORE 179 lbsRead More »from "How I Lost 41 Pounds, and Feel Amazing Inside and Out!"
AFTER 138 lbs
Playing softball helped keep Lincoln, Nebraska, native Shannon Moore, 31, a slim size 6 throughout high school, but her weight started to creep up after she landed an office job. Tethered to her desk, she never exercised--and she started ordering pizza or a giant burrito for lunch. "I ate whatever was most convenient," she says. "I never thought about nutrition." In 2006, Shannon wore a size 14 dress to her wedding, then tacked 25 more pounds of "love chub" onto her 5'8" frame during her first year of marriage.
5 Ways to Prevent Relationship Weight Gain
THE CHANGE In January 2008, Shannon's company instituted a system that used health tests to determine employees' insurance deductibles. Shannon, who was 179 pounds at that point, was looking at a steep increase in payments. "Finally," she says, "I had a reason to get fit."
THE LIFESTYLE For a week, Shannon wrote down everything she ate. "Turned out that if it wasn't takeout or fast food, my meals came
Chocolate is packed with healthy antioxidants and is surprisingly versatile. Here, sweet and savory dishes that only taste sinful.
Almond Chocolate Balls with Fleur de Sel
1 cup almond butter
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 oz dark chocolate, chopped Fleur de sel
1/ In a bowl, mix almond butter, sugar, and vanilla. Roll into 20 equal-size balls. Place on a baking sheet lined with waxed or parchment paper and freeze until firm, about 1 hour.
2/ Stir chocolate in metal or glass bowl over a saucepan of simmering water until smooth. (Or microwave on medium for 1 minute, stir, then continue microwaving, stirring every 20 seconds, until completely melted.)
3/ Roll the almond balls in melted chocolate, garnishing with fleur de sel as you go. Refrigerate until chocolate is set, about 30 minutes.
Makes 20. Per serving (one ball): 120 cal, 9 g fat (2 g sat), 9 g carbs, 60 mg sodium, 1 g fiber, 2 g proteinRead More »from Chocolate Recipes, Sweet and Savory
Avoid the following four exercise machines and swap with these 4 body-weight moves insteadYou spend a lot of time sitting each day--at work, in the car, on the couch. But in the weight room? That's the last place you should be parking your butt!Read More »from 4 Exercise Machines to Avoid
Still, many people hop from one exercise machine to the next. The problem: "Many machines isolate one muscle, which means you burn fewer calories and work less muscle," says Mike Boyle, owner of Mike Boyle Strength & Conditioning gym in Boston. Not only that, but it can also be tough to achieve proper alignment, especially for women since many machines are still designed primarily for men's bodies.
9 Fitness Rules You Should Break
Next time you hit the gym, steer clear of the following four machines and sub in our replacement body-weight exercises instead.
THE MACHINE: Seated Leg Extension
Sure, you'll strengthen your quads--but at a cost. The resistance is close to your ankle, which puts a high amount of torque on your knee when you raise and lower the weight, says Boyle. The result? Kneecap pain.
The Replacement: Split Squat