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Fistful of power

Clenched fists help summon will power by helping you focus the mind to resist physical and emotional pain.

health and fitness Updated: Oct 23, 2010 23:26 IST

Clenched fists help summon will power by helping you focus the mind to resist physical and emotional pain. Tightening muscles, regardless of which muscles were tightened — hand, finger, calf or biceps — while trying to exert self-control increases the ability to withstand pain, consume unpleasant medicine and overcome tempting food, report US researchers in the Journal of Consumer Research. Those who clenched pens while plunging their hands in iced water could keep them immersed longer than those who didn’t. Another finding: students who clenched their hands on way to the cafeteria bought less junk food than those who didn’t.


Whole grains lower bad fat
People who eat mostly whole grains instead of refined grains have lower amounts of visceral adipose tissue, reports The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Visceral fat surrounds the abdominal organs and is a trigger for heart disease and diabetes.
One slice of whole wheat bread or a half cup of oatmeal is one serving of whole grains and a slice of white bread or a half cup of white rice is a serving of refined grain.


Carrots lessen cancer risk
Eating carrots and cruciferous vegetables — cabbage, broccoli, collard greens and cauliflower — is good for you. Women who ate at least two servings of vegetables a day had a 43 per cent lower risk of aggressive forms of breast cancer ompared with women who ate fewer than four servings a week, reports the American Journal of Epidemiology.Women who ate three or more servings a week of carrots, for instance, had a 17 per cent lower risk of developing breast cancer than women who ate carrots less than once a month. The results for all vegetables held after accounting for other potential breast cancer risk factors, such as physical activity, smoking, alcohol consumption and education level.

Hair-raising findings
The popular baldness drug finasteride boosts hair growth in men but may also cause sexual problems. A review of 12 studies that included 3,927 men found that 30 per cent of those who took finasteride experienced an increase in hair count, but 1 in 80 also developed erectile dysfunction, reports the Archives of Dermatology.
Finasteride works by blocking an enzyme that converts testosterone into dihydrotestosterone, the hormone responsible for pattern hair loss, which affects one in two men by the time they are 50.