1. Sunshine has the power to beat prostate cancer

    When it comes to prostate cancer, the biggest challenge isn't detecting it. It's sorting the common tumors that won't harm you from the rare ones that can kill you.

    Doctors haven't figured out the secret yet, but of course Mother Nature already has -- because there's one vitamin proven to stop the most dangerous tumors right in their tracks.

    The good news is that it's a vitamin you can get easily for free. The bad news is, you're probably not getting nearly enough of it.

    Yes, it's the same vitamin D you get from spending time under the sun… but don't get if, like most people, you spend the bulk of the day indoors (and cover yourself in sunscreen when you do head out to the beach).

    That's a big mistake for everyone, because we all need our D. And it's an even bigger mistake for men, because the latest research from the Harvard School of Public Health finds that high D levels have a powerful effect on the worst-of-the-worst prostate tumors.

    The study of more than 2,500 men tracked for nearly two decades finds that men with the highest blood levels of D were 57 percent less likely to die of those tumors than men with the lowest.

    In fact, of the 114 men in the study who did die of prostate cancer, 31 were in the group with the lowest blood levels of D -- while just 19 came from the group with the highest.

    The study didn't find any difference in the overall number of tumors, but I think the survival benefit alone means it's worth making sure you increase your D levels -- especially since studies have shown it's one of our biggest nutritional deficiencies.

    The cheapest way, of course, is to head outside and soak up some rays. But the easiest way -- and the best way to make sure you consistently get what you need -- is by taking a supplement.

    You don't have to be concerned about your prostate to boost your levels of this essential hormone (and yes -- despite the name, it's a hormone). You don't even have to be a man, because vitamin D is essential for everything from bone health to brain support -- and it can boost the immune system like nothing else out there.

    But let's get back to prostate cancer, because along with vitamin D there's another all-natural substance that can help you beat the disease.

    Keep reading!

  2. Get a whiff of concentration

    I always get a kick out of the fridge in my local 7-11. It's loaded with drinks that make all kinds of promises.

    Energy is the most common one, of course, but others promise everything from "focus" to "calm" to "concentration."

    It's a laugh, because no matter what promise they make, most of these drinks have the same basic ingredients: sugar, water, and artificial flavors combined with small amounts of vitamins or large amounts of caffeine.

    In some cases, those vitamins can deliver on the promise made by the label -- just not in the tiny amounts you'll find in the drink. You're always better off just taking it as a supplement.

    And in at least one case, you don't need to swallow a thing -- drink or supplement -- to get the benefits.

    Rosemary, the fragrant herb often used in soups and meat dishes, is so good at helping you to focus that just the scent alone will do the trick.

    Twenty people were given a whiff of rosemary followed by a series of cognitive tests and mood assessments. The stronger the smell, the better they did on both -- although the impact on mood was nothing compared to what it did for cognition.

    Believe it or not, that's not even the surprise here. Other studies have also shown that the very smell of rosemary can give your mind an extra gear.

    No, the real surprise is that blood tests revealed the presence of 1,8-cineole in the blood. That's the essential oil found in rosemary, somehow turning up in blood after inhaling the mere odor of this stuff.

    The researchers say that means the aroma alone acts as a "therapeutic drug" and are already talking of how they might one day make meds out of fragrant herbs such as rosemary, peppermint, and lavender.

    But why wait for meds and their inevitable side effects when you can go straight to the source?

    Rosemary is available right now, for cheap, and if I was in college I'd be practically stuffing it up my nose at test time.

    Might sound crazy, but a better grade is a better grade.

    Since my test-taking years ended long ago, I plan to use rosemary differently -- like next time I need help finishing a Sudoku puzzle or locating missing socks.

  3. Red wine: exercise in a glass

    You might think the only "exercise" you'll get from drinking wine comes from lifting the glass -- or maybe struggling to open the bottle. But it turns out resveratrol, the famous "red wine antioxidant," can actually trick the body into thinking it's getting some actual exercise -- giving you a big-time metabolic boost with every little sip.
  4. The real secret to saving your eyes

    At some point in the next month, the feds are expected to approve a new drug to help treat macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in seniors.

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