Health & Fitness
Guide to Wellness

Guide to Wellness May 2018

Consumer Reports, Guide to Wellness, will help you discover the healing power of food. What are the top superfoods and how to make healthy swaps. Also, learn about supplements that can make you sick and how to enhance your heart health.

United States
Consumer Union
Read More
$16.86(Incl. tax)

in this issue

1 min.
get ready to feel great

You want to do the best for your health, and we’re here to help. Consumer Reports’ team of M.D.s, Ph.D.s, dietitians, editors, and researchers is on your side, sharing easy-to-follow advice based on the latest medical studies from the most respected experts (including our own). We know it’s easy to get confused by the constantly changing, sometimes conicting health information out there (including the advice offered by “Dr. Google”). That’s why we take a hard-evidencebased approach to every topic, guiding you past questionable science and marketing hyperbole to get to the safest, smartest solutions for everything from insomnia to back pain to anxiety. You can trust our insight because we’re nonprofit and independent: We buy all the products we test, and we accept no ads. Now that’s the kind of help you…

5 min.

Hot and Spicy Health Booster If you crave the flavor of hot peppers and the like, there might be good news for your blood pressure. People who love very spicy food consumed less salt and had blood pressure readings lower than those who avoided tongue- sizzling tastes. That’s according to a recent study in the journal Hypertension from China’s Third Military Medical University. Brain scans of the subjects found something surprising (and useful if you’re trying to reduce added salt): Capsaicin, the spicy component of chili peppers, increased activity in brain regions that were also stimulated when salt was consumed. Spicy flavors seem to make the brain more sensitive to salty tastes, potentially taking less salt to satisfy. Benefits of a Big Breakfast? Starting the day with a hearty meal may help heart…

1 min.
healthy work habits

Exercise Ball You may have heard that sitting on one of these large balls can burn calories and strengthen core muscles, but there’s no evidence that it will. In fact, ergonomics experts say that resting your spine against a chair back, which can support its natural curve, is better than trying to maintain an upright posture without support for long periods. Task Chair These wheeled swivel chairs allow multiple adjustments, such as seat and armrest height and, most important, lumbar support. Whichever chair you choose, sit with your feet flat on the floor, arms at a 90-degree angle for typing, shoulders relaxed, and elbows on the armrests. The center of the monitor should be at eye level. Standing Desk Prolonged sitting can have potentially negative effects on your health. Consider a standing desk paired with…

1 min.
just say no to drinking soda

If you drink a 20-ounce sugary cola every day for a year, you’ll consume 119 cups of sugar and 87,600 calories. Replace that soda with one of these options to drink yourself healthier, cutting your sugar intake and your weight. Source: These results are based on the average-sized American adult (male and female); calculations are from the National Institutes of Health Body Weight, Planner using typical servings sizes for each beverage. PHOTOS, FROM LEFT: GETTY IMAGES; JOHN WALSH/CONSUMER REPORTS .5.; GETTY IMAGES .3.…

2 min.
what we’re testing in our labs ...

Note: We rate different products according to different testing protocols; as a result, Overall Scores of one product category are not comparable with another. For even more ratings of these and other product categories, online subscribers can go to CR.org. Ask the Experts How much coffee is it okay for me to drink each day? FOR CAFFEINATED COFFEE, stick with three to ve 8-ounce cups of regular-strength java you make at home, or no more than 20 ounces of coffee-shop joe, which can be stronger. That should keep your daily caffeine intake to about 400 mg or less, the level experts say is safe for most adults. This is also enough to reap the health bene ts associated with coffee (including decaf), such as a lower risk of type 2 diabetes and possibly certain…

5 min.
a menu for better health

EVEN IF YOU’VE REACHED adulthood subsisting on a diet of burgers and fries or without ever meeting a vegetable you liked, you can still make changes that will have a real e. ect on your health. And those modifications don’t have to be dramatic to add years to your life. In a recent study, researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health monitored the diets of about 75,000 men and women ages 30 to 75 for 12 years. Those who made small diet improvements over time reduced their risk of dying—from any cause—by as much as 17 percent during the next 12 years. Of course, eating more whole grains, fruits, and vegetables is always a good idea. But there are some additional easy diet tweaks that will help everyone (including some that…