For Your Health: Good News for Gym Rats

Adding a little cinnamon to your diet may help beat heart disease and diabetes. Scientists found that antioxidants in the spice could lower the chances of getting either disease by up to 23 percent:

"Researchers at the Centre for Applied Health Sciences in Fairlawn, Ohio, USA studied 22 'pre-diabetic' obese people. Pre-diabetes occurs just before the onset of full-blown diabetes.

"Half the participants were given 250mg of water-soluble cinnamon to take everyday, the other half had a placebo. Sufferers become resistant to higher-than-normal levels of insulin — the hormone used to regulate blood-sugar levels — produced by the pancreas."

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Another reason to go to the gym: Research from Brazil says that physical activity affects the cells in our brains that tell us when we are full. So exercise doesn't just burn calories, it also curbs appetite:

"Research suggests that pounding the treadmill fires up brain cells that tell us when we are full. These cells process information about what the food tastes like, how much we are eating and how well it is being digested — and then work out when it is time to stop eating.

"Too much fatty food, it is thought, clouds their 'judgment' and leads to the pounds piling on."

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A new study suggests grapefruit can help treat type 2 diabetes. The same element that gives the fruit its bitter taste also increases the body's sensitivity to insulin and helps maintain a healthy weight:

"Naringenin, an antioxidant which gives grapefruit its bitter taste, can do the same job as two separate drugs currently used to manage Type 2 diabetes, scientists said. Diabetes occurs when the body is unable to produce enough of the hormone insulin to properly regulate blood-sugar levels.

"Naringenin helps to increase the body's sensitivity to insulin. It also helps sufferers maintain a healthy weight, which is a vital part of diabetes treatment."

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