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Help fund new cancer clinic

The NELUNE Foundation, co-founded in 2001 by Nelune Rajapakse and Anna Guillan, has helped hundreds of people with cancer and their families. Over the last 10 years they have raised nearly $7 million to establish the Nelune Centre, a world-class centre of excellence in cancer care in Sydney. Providing hope and dignity, this centre will provide fully integrated care regardless of financial circumstances and is due for completion later this year. And you can help get this project over the line! For a meaningful night out, join the Lilac Ball on 15 September. For info on upcoming events or to find out how you can donate, visit www.thenelunefoundation.org

Kids don’t know food and fibre basics

A survey by the Primary Industries Education Foundation shows that students don’t know where their food and fibre comes from. The survey, undertaken by the Australian Council of Educational Research, revealed that 75 per cent of students thought cotton socks were an animal product and 45 per cent of students didn’t know that lunchbox items such as bread, cheese and bananas originate from farms.

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Rosehip for arthritis

According to Professor Marc Cohen of RMIT University, the substantial weight of research behind rosehip is convincing doctors it may be effective as a first-line therapy for people suffering from the symptoms of arthritis. “While there are many unsubstantiated claims in the marketplace, rosehip is backed by more than 30 scientific studies, including four double-blind placebo-controlled trials, over the last decade,” Professor Cohen says. The studies found that rosehip reduced inflammation and pain with no known side effects, and stated that it may be used alongside conventional treatments as well as potentially replacing or reducing the reliance on anti-inflammatory and other pain medication.

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Young women love takeaway

New research shows the majority of young women eat takeaway for dinner at least once a week, with one in 10 opting for fast food many times a week. The survey, commissioned by the Dietitians Association of Australia, found pizza, Asian, Indian and Mexican tops young women’s take-out choices. Despite this, most said they like cooking, and 76 per cent rated themselves as ‘very good’ or ‘good’ at planning and preparing a healthy meal. So why not do it yourself? With a bit of planning ahead and some basic cooking skills you can easily toss together fast and healthy versions of these dishes!

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Breathe easy

Not sleeping well? People with asthma, anxiety, stress, sinusitis or sleeping disorders such as sleep apnoea are just some examples of those who can benefit from breathing techniques such as buteyko. While several studies have documented positive effects, more research is still needed. However, with no side effects, what do you have to lose by trying out some breathing techniques in the calmness of your own home!

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Hawthorn for your heart

Can a herb be used as an effective cardiac tonic? The answer seems to be a big loud yes. Scientific studies have demonstrated that hawthorn is effective both for the prevention and treatment of coronary heart disease, and a recent Cochrane study compared the results of 14 randomised trials to see if hawthorn extract was better than a placebo for treating patients with chronic heart failure. Systematic reviews like this draw evidence-based conclusions after considering the content and quality of existing medical trials on a topic. The data indicated that hawthorn extract improved maximal workload, increased exercise tolerance, reduced oxygen consumption by the heart, and reduced shortness of breath and fatigue.

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Quick tricks that last

Lose Weight Fast by Susie Burrell (Random House, $27.95) is for those moments when slow and steady 
just won’t cut it. You’ll find all the tips and tricks of the nutrition trade to lose weight fast without doing any damage to your body. Whether you choose a plan over a week, a month or six months, this diet bible tells you what you can realistically achieve and how to ensure your end goal is a healthy body as opposed to a number on a scale. Perfect for people who want to shed kilos quickly but in a safe way that produces sustainable results!

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Switch to low-salt foods

Did you know that you can cut your salt intake by five grams a day simply by switching to healthier foods – and that doing so will reduce your risk of stroke by 25 per cent? “Excess salt in our diet greatly increases our risk of suffering from high blood pressure and stroke,” says Professor Bruce Neal, senior director at the George Institute and chairman of the Australian Division of World Action on Salt and Health. “It’s important to remember that it’s not just the salt people add at the table that matters. Most salt is hidden in processed and fast foods so that even people who don’t add salt are still eating far more than is good for them.” But how do you know which foods contain hidden salts? Try FoodSwitch, a free smartphone app that scans food product bar codes and suggests healthier alternatives for your shopping trolley. The database contains information about more than 28,000 products in Australia, so download the app today to see what’s in the food you’re eating.

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Fishy findings

We all know fish is good for us. Now a recent study published in Nutrition & Dietetics has found that the real deal may have the edge over fish oil capsules in lowering blood pressure, a known risk factor for heart disease. Both fish and fish oil capsules increased the study participants’ ‘omega-3 index’ to the level thought to be linked with a lower risk of dying from heart disease. However, eating fresh fish was also linked with a marked reduction in blood pressure. It’s not hard to increase your omega-3 intake through diet – researcher Catherine Itsiopoulos suggests eating two to three fish meals, like salmon, sardines, mackerel or tuna, every week. You can also try ground flaxseed as a topping on breakfast cereal, or choose omega-3 enriched eggs and wholemeal bread.

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