Home Health Kindness, poetry can impact mental health, according to news

Kindness, poetry can impact mental health, according to news

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There’s so much health and wellness news out there. Here are some of this week’s health headlines and what you can take away from them to improve your health.

Broccoli sprouts are a nutritional powerhouse

A new study published in Redox Biology found that broccoli sprouts have a significantly higher concentration of polysulfides — a type of compound with antioxidant properties — when compared with mature broccoli.

Why it matters: Broccoli sprouts are basically a nutritionally concentrated version of mature broccoli. In addition to the polysulfides, these microgreens boast fiber and calcium, as well vitamins A, K and C. If you’re looking to diversify your diet by including more veggies, broccoli sprouts are a great salad and sandwich topper, and can also be cooked into dishes like fried rice or soup. If you have a green thumb, broccoli sprouts are also easy to grow in a home garden as they don’t take up much space.

Any kind of activity is better for your heart than sitting

Research published in the European Heart Journal, which analyzed the data of 15,246 people from five countries, found that replacing sedentary behavior with as little as five minutes of moderate-vigorous activity had a positive effect on heart health. Vigorous activity was found to have the quickest impact, and the lower the intensity of the activity, the longer it took individuals to see a positive health benefit.

Why it matters: A January 2023 study published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise found that uninterrupted sitting time can be bad for your health, but that breaking it up with even simple activities like walking to a coworker’s desk can reduce the harm. The researchers of this study also confirmed that these so-called “activity snacks” can allow you to reap major benefits by simply using them to replace your stretches of sitting time. So, instead of struggling to fit in a long workout, you may want to try such shorter, more frequent bursts of activity in order to break up your sedentary time.

Poetry can improve your mental health

A small study of 400 people, published in The Journal of Poetry Therapy, found that those who used the site PoetryAndCovid.com to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic improved certain mental health markers. Around half of the responders of a survey said that reading and/or writing poetry helped them manage feelings of loneliness as well as anxiety and depression.

Why it matters: “Poetry therapy” purports many mental health benefits, from alleviating depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms to increasing one’s creativity. As a clinical practice, art therapy in general has been found to reduce one’s feelings of isolation.

Practicing kindness can help you feel better

A new poll from the American Psychiatric Association found that of the more than 2,000 adults surveyed, 89% said showing someone else an act of kindness made them feel either significantly, somewhat or a little better than they did before. In addition, 90% said receiving an act of kindness made them feel better as well.

Why it matters: This isn’t the only evidence that kind behavior has an impact on our emotional well-being. Earlier this year, researchers at the Ohio State University found that doing kind things for other people can help you fight feelings of depression and anxiety, in part because it helps foster and strengthen social connections.