Bible's teachings may lead to better health

ALIVE! research project uses faith-based lessons, shows promise in minorities

ILLINOIS - ALIVE! is a partnership between academic researchers from Rush University Medical Center in Chicago and church leaders from five African American churches in Illinois. The group was created to help create healthier lifestyles for members of the community and African Americans worldwide.

African Americans are more likely to have cardiovascular disease than non-Hispanic whites. Research shows that 44.4 percent of non-Hispanic black males and 48.9 percent of non-Hispanic black females have a form of cardiovascular disease, compared to 36.6 percent of non-Hispanic white males and 32.4 percent of non-Hispanic white females.

The ALIVE! project is aiming to lessen the gap between the races, although anyone worldwide can participate. The program includes weekly group meetings with bible studies, exploring ways to live a healthy lifestyle and sharing stories and progress with others. They also hold some worldwide events, including expert presentations, smoothie tastings and competitions.

Go to the project’s website for tips on healthy eating, ways to get active and scriptures to inspire the health-conscious lifestyle.

VEGGIES: One of the ALIVE! project’s main focuses is eating 3 cups of vegetables per day.

Vegetables provide many nutrients, including potassium, dietary fiber, folate, and vitamins A and C. People who regularly eat vegetables are at a much lower risk for heart disease, obesity, diabetes and developing kidney stones. Vegetables can also help prevent certain types of cancer and can lower blood pressure.

ALIVE! offers tips to make eating your vegetables easier:

ACTIVE: From keeping control of your weight to being in a better mood throughout life, the benefits of remaining active are endless. It is best to be active at least three days a week and to spread the active days out. The ACTIVE! program is suggesting at least 30 minutes of cardio five days a week. Even if you are at the office all day, there are ways to get active. Workouts are available on the project's website.

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