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Your Health: The health secrets doct ors only tell their friends; We reveal all the surprising health facts the medical experts save for their own nearest and dearest...


Food & drink

Eat blueberries

We all know five portions of fruit and veg will keep us well, but blueberries are an excellent source of antioxidants which help fight cancer. Omega 3 fats found in walnuts and oily fish such as salmon, mackerel and sardines make the blood less sticky and therefore less prone to bloodclots.

MilkOs good for you

ItOs had some bad press in recent years, but fresh milk still remains a very useful food, unless youOre allergic to it, of course. Dr Frankie Phillips, registered dietician at the British Dietetic Association, says: OItOs full of vitamins and minerals, and it provides calcium in a way thatOs easily absorbed by the body [ETH] and even whole milk has only 4g of fat per 100g.O

Milk and dairy products provide Vitamins A and D, and the minerals zinc and calcium, and also keep your heart healthy and help protect against breast and colon cancer.

Ready steady go

ThereOs nothing wrong with relying on ready-made shop meals, as long as you choose carefully.

Make sure you choose ones that help contribute towards a balanced diet. Ready meals often contain high amounts of salt, fat and saturates, so check the label and remember that the maximum amount of salt you should have per day is up to 6g. And make sure you always eat a generous portion of veg or salad with your ready meal.


Clean up your air

Bad habits, like drinking alcohol and smoking, can have a huge effect on your fertitility, but then so can your environment. Exposure to chemicals such as pesticides, solvents, photography chemicals, mercury and lead have all been linked to infertility.

So if you or your partner work in a profession where these chemicals are used, make sure you wear the

recommended protective clothing

and a breathing mask, and insist on good ventilation.

Get your oats

If youOre trying to get pregnant, you may well need to change your diet. ItOs essential to stick to natural, preferably organic, foods and make sure youOre getting a balanced diet, but thatOs not all. Health experts recommend three to six daily servings of wholegrains, such as brown rice, oats and barley, and as many as nine daily servings of fresh fruit and vegetables.

Give him beans

Up to 40 per cent of fertility problems can be traced to men, so eating a balanced diet and cutting back on alcohol are essential for your partner.

He should go for foods rich in Vitamin C and other antioxidants, and plenty of zinc, found in lean beef and baked beans.

Plastic surgery

The next big thing

A procedure called Lipostabil, which is already huge in Brazil, is about to hit our shores.

Lipostabil removes stubborn fat from a specific area, and is for fit, healthy types, not the clinically overweight.

Balancing act

You may think an eyelift will be the answer to your prayers [ETH] but hold on.

If your entire face has succumbed to gravity, having just an eyelift will upset the balance of your face [ETH] youOll need a facelift as well.

And donOt have lip filler if your eyes and nose will end up looking tiny.

Keep it minimal

Rather than going for extreme surgery, an increasing number of people are now going for minimally invasive techniques instead, such as so-called Oscarless faceliftingO.

This uses just a few stitches to lift the face, rather than a full- on lift, and fat injections are used to contour the face.


Take up pottery

If you suffer from poor self-esteem, learn a simple skill. YouOll develop a sense of control, and your new-found confidence will then spill over into other areas of your life.

Stop feeling guilty

Guilt tends to affect women far more than it affects men. Women will

worry if someone close to them isnOt happy and somehow feel responsible.

Guilt is an emotion that can get blown up out of all proportion, to the point where it dominates your life. If this happens, talk to a friend or relative to get some perspective.

No bingeing

Any bingeing, whether it be on food, alcohol or anything else, affects your moods. Patterns can become in-built, so every time someone upsets you, you eat a packet of biscuits.

ItOs time to be more assertive about your emotions and break the cycle.


BroccoliOs best

Broccoli is a potent weapon against breast cancer, say experts at Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, USA.

Eat just two generous portions of this green veg a week and youOre helping your body block oestrogenOs role in breast cancer, plus increasing the enzymes you need to fight chemical carcinogens.


rubber up

Condoms do so much more than protect you from unwanted pregnancy and HIV. As many as 95 per cent of cases of cervical cancer are caused by the sexually-transmitted human papilloma virus (HPV). Using condoms will give you peace of mind.

Go to bed!

The hormone melatonin, which is secreted by the pineal gland at night when itOs dark, can help in the fight against cancer, according to a study by Dr Steven M. Hill, at Tulane University, USA. To give the gland a chance to work its magic, turn the lights off once daylight fades, and always try to go to bed early.

The top 5 health questions you must ask Mum today!

1. Are you shorter

than you used to be?

Height loss of more than two inches could be a sign of osteoporosis, and this tends to be genetic. Medication and a few lifestyle changes [ETH] like stopping drinking alcohol and smoking [ETH] can help halt the disease. Increasing your calcium intake and doing weight-bearing exercise will help to prevent it.

2. When did your menopause start?

Most women enter the menopause between 45 and 55 years, depending on how many eggs you were born with, how early you started your periods and how rapidly your body naturally absorbs unused eggs. GP Dr Sarah Brewer says: OThese factors are, to a certain extent, inherited, although lifestyle factors such as smoking can hasten the menopause by as much as two years. If your mother had an early menopause, thereOs a chance you may experience one too.O

3. Have you ever found a breast lump, had high blood pressure or Type 2 diabetes?

These conditions also seem to have a hereditary element, so if the answerOs yes to any of the above conditions, you need to make sure you have frequent checks and take some sensible steps like cutting down on alcohol and stopping smoking.

4. Do you have varicose veins?

If your mumOs got painful, swollen veins on the backs of her legs, chances are, you could get them too. Make sure you exercise or walk every day, and keep your feet up when you relax. If you suffer from varicose veins already, wear elasticated stockings to support the swollen veins. If theyOre really bad, they can be surgically removed.

5. Did you have stretch marks during pregnancy?

ItOs believed the skinOs tendency to have stretch marks during pregnancy could be down to the quality of the connective tissue, and this is possibly inherited. OIf Mum says she had stretch marks, make sure you take oil of evening primrose during pregnancy, O says Dr Sarah Brewer.


ER... WhatOs up, Doc? YouOd be surprised...
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The People (London, England)
Date:Apr 24, 2005
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