6 Things You Need To Know Today (April 17)
1. Yep, avocados are exceptionally good for you.
Don't quit your avocado toast habit anytime soon. According to research, eating avocado might help prevent "metabolic syndrome," which refers to three or more risk factors that contribute to heart disease—think high blood pressure and high triglycerides. Yep, avocados truly are a superfood. Break out the guac! (TIME)
2. Five-time Olympic gold medalist Dana Vollmer is swimming at six months pregnant.
After being put on bedrest 30 weeks into her first pregnancy, Vollmer decided forgoing physical activity wasn't going to work for her current one. Having cleared the plan with doctors, Vollmer will swim in the qualifying meet for world trials but has no plans to actually participate in the finals. (ESPN)
3. Is your smartphone ruining your day? Take action.
Many of us complain that technology invades our privacy and distracts us throughout the day, but most of us haven't actually made moves to turn off notifications from email, social media, and apps. We worry about being distracted by technology but then allow the power over our attention to remain in the hands of our friends, work, and automatic notifications. Doesn't make much sense, does it? (The Guardian)
4. Think climate change isn't your problem? Think again.
A new map shows how climate change threatens the health of people across the United States by region, taking into account factors like extreme weather, poor outdoor air quality, and contaminated food and water. "The current federal political climate in the United States bodes ill for the future of the world's climate and by extension for the health of people around the world, Americans included," says Dr. Mona Sarfaty, director of the program on climate and health at George Mason University. (CNN)
5. Can a drop of your blood reveal when you're going to die?
A biostatistician at Boston University who analyzed 5,000 individuals whose blood had been collected since the 1970s identified biomarker profiles that could predict risk of disease or premature death. In the future, he's hoping we can learn how individuals with high risk indicators can change their profiles. (Washington Post)
6. Should "night owls" try to change their sleep habits to fit into society's "early bird" schedule?
The short answer is: more no than yes. Night owls typically stay up and sleep in later not because they're lazy, but because they march to the beat of a different circadian rhythm. Doctors agree that circadian desynchrony is dangerous for health, leading to obesity, cardiac disease, diabetes, and other ails—they recommend night owls work jobs with flexible hours. If circumstance doesn't allow for more flexibility, light, morning exercise, and consistent bed times, among other things, can help resynchronize your rhythms. (WSJ)
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