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Plate power: Live a little smarter

Try these five quick tips for a healthier, happier you

1. Pop some special K

Scientists have discovered two super-healthy compounds that promise to extend your shelf-life by years. Their names: phylloquinone and menaquinone - together known as vitamin K. Research in the Journal of Nutrition shows K has been found to cut all forms of heart disease and cancer. Get your RDA in just 40g of kale - it's top of the class for vitamin K content and levels increase when cooked too.

2. Change the channel

Can certain TV shows make you fat? If a study by Uppsala University in Sweden is to be believed. Study participants ate 52% more junk food when subjected to "boring TV". It's thought, in an attempted to entertain themselves, participants ate faster to raise the pace around them.

3. Make fermentable fibre your friend

Had an indulgent weekend? Then pile on this prebiotic. A study by Imperial College London found not only did this fibre work wonders on the gut, its effects also reached the hypthalamus - the part of the brain involved in regulating appetite. Even study participants eating a high-fat, high-sugar diet saw less weight gain when they received a fermentable fibre supplement. Want to get it naturally? Just 15g of artichoke, onion or garlic should keep you - and your weight - regular.

4. Get synchronised

For weight loss that lasts longer than your Iphone battery, start your exercise and eating plans at the same time. Research by Stanford University found that focusing on changing exercise and diet at the same time gives a bigger boost than tackling them sequentially. In the study, participants who began changing diet and exercise habits at the same time were most likely to meet and stick to national guidelines for exercise and nutrition. They also found that focusing on changing diet first may actually interfere with establishing a consistent exercise routine.

5. Breathe easy with broccoli

Worried about air pollution? Forget the surgical mask - just add some broccoli to your morning smoothie instead. An American Associate of Cancer Research study found that broccoli stalks contain powerful anti-cancer agents. In fact, just 120ml of broccoli juice can boost your ability to detox deadly airborne carcinogens by up to 61% - and the effects last for 12 weeks. Look for broccoli that's raw, dark and has a firm stalk.

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