Good news if you’re worried about food allergies:

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It turns out, a new study found only about half of the people who THINK they have a food allergy actually do. And nutrition experts say that’s a big deal… because if you’re avoiding certain foods because of the way they make you feel, you may be missing out on key nutrients you need to stay healthy!

In other words: If you suspect you may have a food allergy, see an allergist for a diagnosis BEFORE you start restricting your diet for no reason.

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Want to ward off a sore throat?

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Start gargling with salt water now. Salt is anti-bacterial – so gargling will reduce the chances of bacteria or a virus latching onto you by 25%. So mix a half-teaspoon of salt in warm water and gargle a couple times a day.

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Reduce your risk of skin cancer:

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Here’s a relatively cheap way to drastically reduce your risk of skin cancer: Pop a vitamin B3 supplement. The University of Sydney found a derivative of B3, nicotinamide, can prevent up to a quarter of non-melanoma skin cancers.

Nicotinamide is the water-soluble, active form of vitamin B3. It’s also commonly found in meat, fish, nuts and mushrooms.

And in a study of nearly 400 people, those who took the B3 supplement slashed their risk of developing basal and squamous cell carcinomas by nearly 25%. And those two types of skin cancers account for 80% of ALL skin cancer cases. The study used a 500‑milligram supplement – but talk to your doctor about it first. And make sure you’re taking the active form of B3 with nicotinamide. That’s what turns off cancer-causing pathways.

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Do you jumpstart your day with coffee?

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Here’s another reason to stick with caffeine: It may slow your biological aging process! That’s from the Stanford School of Medicine. The reason? Because most of us tend to develop inflammation in our tissues, veins, and arteries as we age, which can lead to heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s, osteoarthritis and even depression. But the metabolites in caffeine help minimize inflammation. Bottom line: Coffee may be the closest thing we have to a fountain of youth.

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How to fight daily stress:

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80% of people surveyed experience daily stress. If that’s you, here’s how to fight it:

First: Shop from home! University of Miami researchers found 8‑in‑10 people who browse catalogs or online stores feel less stressed, whether they buy something or not! Because it releases feel-good brain chemicals.

Another stress-reducer: Play solitaire, use a backgammon app, or do a Sudoku puzzle. Games distract and reset the mind, and are proven to reduce stress as much as exercise!

Finally, have a snack. If you haven’t eaten in a while, a dip in blood sugar can trigger anxiety. But Harvard researchers found a small snack can reduce stress and anxiety by 75%.

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Are you trying to quit smoking?

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Eat more fruits and vegetables! Researchers at the University of Buffalo polled 1,000 smokers every month for over a year. At the end of the study, those who ate the most produce were 3 times more likely to be tobacco-free – and to have avoided smoking for at least 30 days… compared to the people who ate the fewest fruits and vegetables. The researchers also found that smokers who consumed the most produce smoked fewer cigarettes per day, waited longer to smoke their first cigarette after waking, and were less dependent on nicotine. So why does eating healthy food help you quit? Because one healthy action often starts a chain reaction of healthy behavior. It gets you thinking in healthier ways – and you don’t want to ruin all your hard work, and blow it, by smoking.

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Do you have a fitness tracker?

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Take the data with a grain of salt, because the number of steps and calories burned usually is not 100% accurate. Researchers at Cal Poly Pomona had study participants wear the four most popular fitness trackers while exercising: Apple Watch, Fitbit Charge HR, Samsung Gear S and Mio Alpha. And compared heart activity with the tracker data.

The result: Every device was pretty inaccurate. But the good news is, they UNDER-estimated activity levels – some by up to 43%! So, you’re probably getting more exercise than you knew.
And your tracker may not be giving credit where credit is due.

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Can’t take a walk? Move your feet!

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Medical experts call sitting the new smoking – that’s how bad it is for our health. So, do this if you’ve been seated for hours – and can’t get up and take a walk: Move your feet. It instantly wakes up your body, according to kinesiology experts. Spread your toes, rotate your ankles, and spell out the alphabet with your big toe. It’ll get your blood flowing and make you more alert.

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Feeling anxious?

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Grab a cup of green tea and a little dark chocolate. The Academy of Integrative Health and Medicine says the combo reduces tension and worries as effectively as prescription anti-anxiety meds. That’s because green tea contains L-theanine, an amino acid shown to trigger calmness. It lowers activity in the anterior cingulate cortex – the brain region that controls obsessive thoughts and worries. And dark chocolate contains mood-boosting compounds and reduces cortisol – the stress hormone that triggers anxiety. Together, you’ve got a total win-win, anxiety-killing combination.

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Did that scream startle you?

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When most of us hear a scream, our heart jumps and starts racing. But it’s not the volume that spikes our adrenaline, it’s the sound frequency, according to New York University. When study participants were given MRIs, the rougher the scream – and the higher the pitch – the more activity spiked in the brain area linked to fear. That’s why we tend to jump and run when people scream.

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