Body Of Evidence
Planning a new, improved you can start with just a few evidence-based wellness hacks, writes Paula Goodyer.
Simple but effective ways to boost wellness.
Spring is the time for new beginnings, so here are a few simple ways to improve your health and feel your best:
Eat more plant proteins Keen to eat less meat for your health and the planet’s sake, but not ready to be a full-time vegetarian?
The ‘reducetarian’ movement unites everyone who has made a conscious decision to eat less meat. A reducetarian might choose to go meatless one night a week or every single day, explains Brian Kateman, editor of The Reducetarian Cookbook ($29.99, Hachette). The protein gap left by skipping meat can be easily filled by lentils, beans and peas, he advises. More protein from plants is a smart move for your health. A 2016 study of more than 130,000 people looking at the effects of eating different kinds of protein linked a high intake of plant protein to a lower risk of death.
Forget magic bullets As much as we all love the idea that a ‘superfood’ such as turmeric could defy cancer, it’s unlikely that a single food or nutrient can protect against the disease, says a recent global report from the World Cancer Research Fund. A better bet is a diet high in
wholegrains, beans, vegetables and fruit, which is consistently linked to a lower risk of cancer, advises the WCRF.
Take shortcuts to exercise No time for a workout or long walk? Squeeze in bursts of exercise, five to 10 minutes each, throughout the day. Research published in the Journal of the American Heart Association this year linked clocking up 40 minutes of exercise a day, even in short bursts, to a reduced risk of death compared to people who exercised less, regardless of how the activity was accumulated.
Go for a walk in the bush
Shinrin-yoku (‘forest bathing’) is a Japanese form of nature therapy that mixes mindfulness with being in a wooded environment, a combination that can lower blood pressure and reduce stress. Rather than a brisk hike through the bush, the SA Department For Environment and Water’s Good Living blog (environment.sa.gov.au/ goodliving) suggests a slower walk that lets you pay close attention to your surroundings – the chatter of birds, the breeze, the shape of a rock or flower – and reap the calming benefit of being in the moment.
‘Being physically active can protect you directly against three cancers – colon, breast, endometrial – and helps maintain a healthy weight, reducing your risk of another nine cancers.’
Louise Meincke, World Cancer Research Fund