In 2016, we covered a lot of ground when it comes to your health, writing
about everything from
whether belly fat is bad for you to
what thinning hair tells you about your health. (And A LOT of healthy food stories.) But we wanted to see what stories
spoke to you the most. So, after crunching the numbers, here is a year-end
countdown of your top 10 health care concerns, as seen in our most popular
stories of 2016.
10. You care about your blood pressure.
High blood pressure is a big problem, but one that can be controlled with
simple lifestyle changes, such as cutting down on cold cuts (and other high-sodium foods). And
when you lower your blood pressure levels below what's typically recommended,
the risk of heart problems, stroke or death drops significantly. So step
away from the hoagie!
9. You're thinking about keeping your brain healthy.
When we think of proper diet and exercise habits, we tend to think of the
effect they have on our waistline. But they're also
great brain boosters that are important for strong cognitive function. Regular physical activity
and a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids, leafy green veggies and B vitamins
(with a little wine and caffeine thrown in for good measure) help keep
the brain strong, as do a good night's sleep and activities such as puzzles.
8. You'll do anything to avoid colds and flu.
Who enjoys being sick with a sore throat, runny nose or fever? Not you,
judging by the interest in our list of
tips for revving up your immune system. There's good, solid preventive advice (wash hands, get a flu shot),
a rundown of the nutrients your body's immune system thrives on (alpha
lipoic acid, resveratrol) and what to have on hand when you feel a cold
coming on (vitamin C, zinc).
7. You crave the secrets to fighting fatigue.
With the short days of winter and the bustle of the holidays, a lot of
us feel rundown. But fatigue is a common problem throughout the year,
which is why it's important to know the
secrets that will get us perky and peppy again. A couple of hints: Add some vibrant orange shirts to your wardrobe
and read a book, not your tablet, at night.
6. You're hungry to know about the super powers of foods.
We know fruits, veggies and whole grains are good for us, but what about
apple cider vinegar? It's got a bonanza of health benefits--everything from warding off
bacteria in the body to making hair shinier and fuller.
5. You want a strong gut.
To keep things moving smoothly in the digestive tract, you've got to
give your gut the proper food. You might want to try and develop a taste for kombucha; if that's
a little too exotic for you, stick with yogurt topped with sliced bananas.
4. You love to take good care of your dog.
Dog ownership is good for your health--walking Fido is a great form of
exercise, and studies have shown there are emotional and mental health
benefits for dog lovers. So it's natural that you'd care about
your dog's health, too. One way to do that--watch what "human" food you give your pooch, as not everything is safe. Don't forget to read food labels, too.
3. You're eager to lower your cholesterol.
If the heart is the body's engine, you need to give it the fuel it
needs to run properly and
prevent cholesterol buildup on the arteries. Remember those omega-3 fatty acids that were so great for the brain (and
if you're eating enough omega-3s, then it should be easy to remember)?
They're also potent in lowering "bad" LDL cholesterol.
2. You're tired of being tired. All. The. Time.
Yawning at your desk? Craving coffee in the morning or a sugary pick-me-up
in the afternoon? Then you might be suffering from a lack of energy. But
it's easier to
snap out of your sluggishness than you may think with simple lifestyle changes. For starters: drink
a lot of water, as dehydration can slow you down.
1. You're interested in knowing the realities of mental illness.
There are many misconceptions and stigmas associated with mental illness,
and unfortunately they prevent society from understanding the truths behind
these conditions. The
most popular article in 2016 dispelled some of these mental illness myths, perhaps none more dangerous
than "a person with mental health problems can't be helped."
As our expert put it, "Treatment varies for every individual, but
a combination of medication, therapy and a solid support system is generally
the recipe for helping people with mental illnesses lead happy, healthy
Wishing you good health and happiness in the New Year!