Researchers: Green Coffee Beans May Spur Weight Loss
Could green coffee beans help you shed pounds? Likely so, suggests a small study based on 16 overweight young adults who took various doses of unroasted, green coffee bean extract. Study participants lost an average of 17.5 pounds in 22 weeks, and reduced their overall body weight by 10.5 percent, according to results presented Tuesday at the American Chemical Society's meeting in San Diego. The beans are currently sold as supplements in the United States, and are not subject to U.S. Food and Drug Administration review. Study author Joe Vinson, a University of Scranton chemist, said the findings call for more rigorous research. "Based on our results, taking multiple capsules of green coffee extract a day ... appears to be a safe, effective, inexpensive way to lose weight," he said in a statement. Though it's unclear exactly how green coffee beans contribute to weight loss, researchers theorize that it has to do with a chemical in the unroasted bean called chlorogenic acid. "That's the main natural compound in unroasted coffee, and roasted coffee has much, much less of it than unprocessed coffee," Vinson told HealthDay. "So we're not talking about something that is interchangeable with the coffee we drink."
5 Non-Dairy Foods With Calcium
It can be tough to get all the calcium you need each day, especially if you're vegan, lactose intolerant, or just don't like dairy products. But you shouldn't skimp on calcium. This important mineral does more than strengthen your bones—it also plays a role in regulating your blood pressure and maintaining a healthy heart. If your body doesn't get enough, it'll compensate by leeching calcium from your bones, leaving them brittle and weak.
Luckily, there's a range of non-dairy foods that offer the 1,000 to 1,300 milligrams of calcium the U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends you get daily. Roberta Anding, a registered dietitian and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (formerly the American Dietetic Association), says the advantage of plant-based calcium is that it ensures you're eating lots of veggies—another important part of any diet.
But avoiding dairy also comes with a warning. "There are compounds in plants that bind to calcium and prevent you from absorbing it," Anding says. "Although they're good sources of calcium on paper, physiologically, the amount of calcium is not so great. Dairy calcium is biologically available, meaning you absorb what's in the product." The way around this, she adds, is to "make sure you're varying your sources." While nothing can undo the effects of these compounds, in general, vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium—so make sure you get enough of this, too. (The government recommends 15 micrograms of vitamin D per day.) [Read more: 5 Non-Dairy Foods With Calcium.]
9 Footwear Do's and Don'ts
Our poor feet. They withstand lots of abuse, quickly carrying us to last-minute outings, pounding the pavement on mind-clearing runs, and being squeezed into impractical (but fashionable) shoes. But we need to take care of them to avoid foot pain, injury, and other ailments. So do your tootsies a favor and follow these healthy tips.
1. Don't wear high heels for too long. We've all been there: out on the town in an amazing pair of pumps … with achy feet and knees. A 2010 study found that over time, wearing heels higher than 2 inches can put you at risk for joint degeneration and knee osteoarthritis, and a new study finds that high heels are a leading cause of ingrown toenails, which can lead to infection and permanent nail damage. But we're not telling you to stop wearing heels—that's unrealistic. "I wouldn't recommend walking miles in heels, but a comfortable heel can be worn to work all day if it has the right features and/or orthotic," says Michele Summers, a California-based podiatrist and shoe designer. (You can pick up arch-support inserts at drug stores.) Try saving your sky-high heels for short-lived occasions like dinners, says John Brummer, a New York City-based podiatrist.
2. Don't wear flip-flops everywhere. They're easy, and as temperatures heat up, you're likely to slip them on often. Cool it, say experts. "Flip-flops give your foot basically no support, and the constant rubbing of the thong between the toes can cause a friction blister," says Summers. Not to mention they make stubbed toes, cuts, and sprained ankles more likely, according to the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA). Limit flip-flops to settings like the beach or the pool. And when you do wear them, invest in a supportive leather pair, or a pair that carries the APMA seal of acceptance, the association advises. (If you have diabetes, you should never wear flip-flops, since the disease can dull your sense of pain, allowing minor wounds to become major problems—infected, for example—without your knowledge.) [Read more: 9 Footwear Do's and Don'ts.]