Vital Updates Top 10 Stories of 2016


2016 was filled with health and wellness stories that informed and inspired our readers to lead healthier, more productive lives. So before we dive head first into 2017, let’s take a look back at the stories that made the biggest impression on our audience.

  1. How a Mother’s Pain Inspired a Doctor’s Lifetime Work in Mind-Body Medicine

Health issues like stress, depression, anxiety and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are often treated with pharmaceuticals. But mind body physician Dr. Keerthy Sunder made us rethink our approach to illness. Dr. Sunder, who was inspired to pursue whole body medicine from his mother’s health challenges, says you must treat the mind first to heal the body.

  1. Hallucinogenic ‘Shrooms’ Relieve Depression, Anxiety in Cancer Patients
Psilocybe semilanceata, also known as “magic mushrooms”
Credit: Arp, CC BY-SA 3.0

After getting a bad rap of being a ‘fry your brain’ drug that melts your mind, studies show that a key ingredient in hallucinogenic mushrooms may help cancer patients facing depression, fear and anxiety. Find out about the potential healing properties of magic mushrooms and more in this article.

  1. Lawmakers Ask Hospitals to Stop Simultaneous Surgeries

Because of their concern for public and patient safety, Congress is looking to reform the surgeon practice of conducting simultaneous surgeries. While there are times where multiple overlapping surgeries are necessary, like during disasters, legislatures don’t think it should be a common practice at most medical centers, and many patients agree.

  1.  Beauty Products Marketed to Black Women Have a Higher Chance to Be Toxic

All beauty products have some form of low-level toxicity in them. But those marketed towards Black women have a higher rate of toxic ingredients — only 25 percent of their products are completely safe. The Environmental Working Group’s study featured in our story informs on which ingredients to avoid in your personal care products.

  1. Ice Cream For Breakfast? Study Says It Can Make You Smarter
Credit: Science Channel/YouTube

There’s an adage that says breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but a Japanese study also says, if your first meal is ice cream, it can improve your alertness and mental performance throughout the day. If that news sounds deliciously good to you, here’s why — the boost of glucose to the brain in the AM helps with overall mental functionality. But, before you celebrate, find out why medical professionals still recommend a healthy, well-balanced breakfast.

  1. TV Cooking Shows Might Be Failing Safety Standards

Cooking shows are entertaining, informative and they can teach us to become better at-home chefs. But studies found that because these programs do not spotlight safe food handling practice, they can also contribute to us having less sanitary kitchens. A whopping 73 percent of consumers get their food safety information from media, so TV cooking shows have a great forum to keep us and our food safe in the kitchen.

  1. Cooking on High Heat Could Increase Your Heart Disease Risk
Flickr Image Courtesy: Ricardo Liberato, CC BY-SA 2.0

Frying and roasting foods can certainly create some delicious meals. However, those styles of cooking food, which require high heat, also produce dangerous byproducts that could increase your risk of coronary heart disease, according to a study. And even more harmful? Cooking oils that are used more than once. Read more to find out which cultural cuisine is most at risk.

  1. Bagged Salads Could Be a Breeding Ground for Salmonella
Image Courtesy: University of Leicester

They are easy, breezy and ready-to-eat, but a study says bagged salads are also the perfect breeding ground for salmonella. The study says the bag’s moist environment combined with the leaking nutrients from the chopped leaves creates a haven for bacteria growth.

  1. Top 5 U.S. Cities for Active, Healthy Lifestyles

Sometimes a change of scenery can lead to a healthier you. This story spotlighted the cities that add overall well-being elements to people’s lives. Click on the story to see the top 5 cities on the list and (drumroll) the top state in the U.S. for overall well-being.

  1. The Song That Reduces Stress by 65 Percent
Copyright: grinvalds / 123RF Stock Photo

With the help of sound therapists, the band Marconi Union specially designed their song “Weightless” to slow your heart rate and lower the stress hormone cortisol. So kick back, relax and hit play. But don’t listen to it while driving — experts warn the tune is so effective it can make you drowsy.

Ronke Idowu Reeves

Ronke Idowu Reeves is a writer and journalist who hails from Brooklyn, NY. Her news and entertainment stories have appeared on WABC-TV-New York, Fox News Channel, VH1, plus in Sundance Film Festival’s Sundance Daily Insider and People Magazine.