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2 New Ways to Lower Cholesterol and The Secret to Relaxing Your Brain

2 New Ways to Lower Cholesterol with Diet

About 14 percent of American adults have high cholesterol. And many who reduce their intake of cholesterol-rich foods don't see a huge change, unless they experience severe weight loss. But there is hope yet. New studies have shown two new ways to help in the battle against high cholesterol:

- The Portfolio Diet: An eating plan high in soluble fiber accompanied with supplements has proven results. Dieters following the plan experienced a 13 percent reduction in LDL cholesterol levels after six months. Those who continued to follow the diet closely saw a greater reduction in cholesterol levels. The diet includes foods like barley, beans, eggplant, nuts, egg whites, soy protein and fat-free dairy.

- Cardioviva: A probiotic supplement that attacks the bad cholesterol living in the gut. A new study showed that participants with high cholesterol who added Cardioviva to their diets, twice a day, experienced more than an 11 percent reduction in LDL cholesterol leves. Other smaller studies however, showed lesser results.

The Secret to Relaxing Your Brain

The demands of daily life cause fatigue on the brain: noise, smog, and work are all stressors. It's no secret that relaxation and meditation can ease the brain, but now a new study from Scotland shows that you can ease brain fatigue by getting outside and smelling the flowers.

The study showed that people who live near green parks and trees have lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol. It concluded that children's brains performed at higher levels after a stroll through an arboretum or park. What's more: people who viewed photos of natural scenes were calmer than those who viewed photos of urban scenes.

It looks like kicking mental fatigue could be as easy as a walk in a park, after all.


New Prostate Cancer Tests

The New York Times reports that new prostate cancer tests that will hit the market soon could replace the unreliable P.S.A. test. The sophisticated new tests could alleviate thousands of misdiagnoses each year, and it could save many men from unneeded biopsies, operations, and radiation treatments.

Readers - Do you know your cholesterol numbers? Have you had any success lowering them through diet or exercise? Share your comments and advice. What do you think of these stories? Are there other pieces of health and fitness news you'd like to see us writing about? Leave a comment below, and let us know! Also, be sure to follow us on Twitter @LIVESTRONG_COM, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.

>> Read more of Crissy Van Meter's articles here! <<

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