How to Choose Allergy Medicine

From Better Homes and Gardens, ideas and improvement projects for your home and garden plus recipes and entertaining ideas.

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Your Best Family Reunion

For a stress-free reunion everyone will love, see these smart planning tips and creative ideas. Plus, try our quiz to help you determine what type of reunion will suit your family best.

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Heart Healthy at Every Age

You're truly never too young or too old to protect your heart. "The buildup of plaque in your arteries can silently start as early as your late teens and early 20s," explains Jennifer H. Mieres, M.D., professor of cardiology and population health and senior vice president, office of community and public health, at the North Shore-LIJ health system. Lower your odds of developing heart disease by keeping an eye on these key factors and lifestyle habits in your 30s, 40s, 50s, and beyond.

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Eat to Beat Osteoporosis

From Better Homes and Gardens, ideas and improvement projects for your home and garden plus recipes and entertaining ideas.

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6 Workout Strategies That Work

Having trouble sticking to a workout routine? Don't give up! Research suggests that it takes 66 days—not just a week or two—for exercise to feel automatic. Our fitness pros offer six simple strategies to keep you moving in the meantime.

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Family Staycation Ideas

You'll love our sensational ideas for enjoying the last days of summer -- all in the comfort of your own home.

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Health Benefits of Cauliflower

Winter is prime time for this nutritious cruciferous powerhouse.

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Folic Acid Cuts Colon Cancer Risk

Studies show folic acid protects the DNA in cells from cancer-causing substances.

For years, doctors have been ordering expectant mothers to consume plenty of folic acid, since it can help prevent some birth defects. However, recent studies hint that we should all boost our intake of this critical B vitamin.

For example, researchers at New York's Albert Einstein College of Medicine looked at the diets of more than 55,000 women and found that those who took in 400 micrograms of folate (the food form of folic acid) each day cut their risk of colon cancer by 40 percent. In a similar study by a team at Harvard University, the same amount of folic acid appeared to reduce by half the likelihood that a woman with a family history of colon cancer would develop the disease.

Folic acid protects the DNA in cells from cancer-causing substances, which may explain why the vitamin seems to stop tumors from forming in the colon. Likewise, researchers at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have produced the first solid evidence that diets low in folic acid may harm brain cells. Lab mice fed folate-poor diets suffered damage to neurons by a naturally occurring substance called homocysteine, says Dr. Mark Mattson of the NIH. As the rodents were exposed to higher levels of homocysteine, they began to develop problems similar to those experienced by patients with Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases.

Leafy greens, beans, and orange juice are good sources of folate. Most bread, pasta, and other grains are enriched with folic acid, too, and a multivitamin supplies a day's worth of this critical nutrient.

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