Health news you can use

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Nutty cholesterol advice One of the easiest ways to curb “bad” LDL cholesterol levels, and fend off heart disease, may be to snack on pistachios and sunflower seeds. A recent study in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found the tasty treats are a rich source of phytosterols: a compound that may block bad cholesterol from being absorbed into the bloodstream.

Mirror, mirror on the wall Your wobbly bits got you down? Try spending more – yes, more – time in front of a mirror. A recent study in the International Journal of Eating Disorders found that women who regularly described their reflections in positive terms experienced significant improvements in body image, self-esteem and depression.

Important doc talk Some herbal supplements can wreak havoc with certain prescription medications (St. John’s wort reduces the effectiveness of blood thinners and oral contraceptives, for example). Yet fewer than half of people taking alternative remedies alongside prescription meds consult their doctors about combining the two, according to a study presented at the Family Physician Forum in Vancouver. Researchers suggest patients may fear their doctor’s disapproval of supplement use.