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Halloween symbols with scary good health benefits

Some of the creepiest things can be good for you

They’re symbols we associate with Halloween, but they’re lending a helping hand all year round. Here are some spooky creatures that are aiding human health.

Bats

Thanks to horror films, bats often get a bad rap, but these creepy creatures are a favorite of some medical researchers.

Bat saliva has aided in stroke research and engineers are using them as inspiration to design better drones and other aerial vehicles.

Bats are also valuable in the study of memory due to their incredible memories and a brain structure similar to humans, namely a part of the brain called the hippocampus.

By studying how bats’ brains work, researchers hope to unlock some of the mysteries of human brain disorders.

Skeletons

Spooky scary skeletons are everywhere in October, but having bad bones is frightening all year.

A recent study finds one in four middle-age adults already have weak bones and most don’t realize it.

Eating calcium-rich foods, exercising, not smoking and not drinking to excess can help keep your bones strong.

New research finds older women who get even light exercise, like a daily walk, may significantly reduce their risk of breaking a hip.

It’s never too late to start strengthening your skeleton.

Jack-o-Lanterns

It wouldn’t be Halloween without a jack-o-lantern, but have you considered a daily dose of pumpkin power?

Research by Tuskegee University found rats who were regularly fed pumpkin pulp and pumpkin seeds had 20% lower blood pressure.

The rats were eating the human equivalent of one and a half cups of boiled pumpkin or one-third cup of pumpkin seeds.

Pumpkins are also packed with vitamin A, fiber and iron. Previous research found pumpkin seeds may reduce inflammation caused by arthritis.

Finally, it seems researchers have an endless appetite for studying the health benefits of chocolate.

A recent study found eating moderate amounts of dark chocolate was linked to a lower risk of depression. Of course, moderation can be hard to find this time of year.

Happy Halloween!


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