Nutrition Health Review

WINTER 2017

Nutrition Health Review provides consumers updates on the latest medical research, news, trends, and products in nutrition and healthy living.

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Winter 2017 • Volume 114 In Self-talk, Address Yourself in the Third Person for Greater Success in Life A ccording to studies published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, scientists have found that the way in which people talk to themselves has an enormous effect on their success in life. For example, if you use the pronoun "I" when you talk to yourself, you are more likely to perform poorly in stressful situations. But if you address yourself by your name or by the pronoun "you," your chances of success greatly increase. These studies explored whether the language people use to refer to themselves during self-talk influences how they think, feel, and behave under social stress and how these effects extend to socially anxious people who are particularly vulnerable to such stress. By using non-first-person pronouns and one's own name (rather than first-person pronouns) during self-talk, subjects were better at self-distancing, regulating stress surrounding making good first impressions, and public speaking, and also displayed less distress, engaged in less maladaptive postevent processing, and appraised future stressors in more challenging and less threatening terms. The researchers concluded that small shifts in the language people use to refer to themselves during self- talk influence their ability to regulate their thoughts, feelings, and behavior under social stress, even for vulnerable individuals. Source: Kross E, et al. Self-talk as a regulatory mechanism: how you do it matters. J Person Soc Psychol. 2014;106(2):304–324. Random Acts Of Kindness Raise Dopamine Levels And Boost Your Mood R esearchers at the University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn., suggest practicing random acts of kindness to boost your mood and overall well-being. In a six- week study involving nearly 500 participants, Nelson et al sought to compare how practicing acts of kindness for others or the world compares to doing acts of kindness for yourself. Volunteers were divided into four groups: the first group was asked to complete acts of kindness to improve the world, such as picking up litter; the second group performed acts of kindness for other people, such as buying a friend a cup of coffee or helping a family member cook dinner; the third group performed acts of kindness to themselves, like exercising more or taking a day off from work; and lastly, the fourth group did nothing out of their ordinary activities. The findings revealed participants who performed acts of kindness, whether for the world or for others, were more likely to report feeling happy or to experience improvement in their mood than those in the control group and those who were kind to themselves. In fact, those who treated themselves did not see any improvement in well-being or positive emotions. Source: Nelson KS, Layous K, Cole SW et al. Do unto others or treat yourself? The effects of prosocial and self-focused behavior on psychological flourishing. Emotion. 2016. 19 Y o u c a n d o i t ! A Bowl of Quinoa a Day Keeps the Doctor Away! A study by researchers at Harvard found that eating a bowl of quinoa a day reduces the risk of premature death from cancer, heart disease, respiratory disease, and diabetes. In fact all whole grains, such as wheat and oats, have been shown to be beneficial, warding off illness and keeping organs healthy because they are rich in dietary fiber, minerals, and antioxidants. Researchers studied more than 367,000 people across 8 states in the US, recording their diets and health for an average of 14 years. They found that those who ate around 1.2oz (34gms) of whole grains per 1000kcal per day lowered their risk of premature death by 17%. The findings remained even when allowing for different ages, smoking, body mass index, and physical activity. Source: Huang T, et al. Consumption of whole grains and cereal fiber and total and cause-specific mortality: prospective analysis of 367,442 individuals. BMC Medicine. 2015.

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