Health & Fitness

Kansas gets poor rating for fruit intake

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently released a report on fruit and vegetable consumption that ranked Kansas at No. 47 among the states for fruit consumption, ahead of only Mississippi, Oklahoma and South Carolina.

We did better on vegetable consumption, with 22 states ranked lower.

The report said 23.8 percent of Kansans eat fruit two or more times a day. It said 26 percent of Kansans eat vegetables three or more times a day. The overall U.S. percentages are 32.5 for fruits and 26.3 for vegetables.

—Karen Shideler

New clinic for Wichita

The Mayflower Clinic hopes to open by the end of October, to provide medical care to adults who don't have insurance and aren't eligible for any public insurance plan. It is especially for those who have lost health insurance because of job loss.

In advance of its opening, the clinic at 3305 E. Douglas will have an open house from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday.

The clinic was founded and will be staffed by immigrant physicians who want to give back to the community, said Abdul Arif, its executive director. Physician Vimal Goyle is medical director.

—Karen Shideler

Recognize importance of digestive system

Your digestive system doesn't just break down food. It also protects you from germs and releases hormones related to mood, stress and more, including bone growth. Here are some ways to help keep your gut healthy, doctors say:

* Nurture friendly bacteria. "Good" strains of bacteria — which can stimulate your immune system to fight off disease — love to feed on fiber. So load up on fiber-rich foods such as fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains.

* Eat slowly. Chew each bite well so your digestive system won't have to break down large chunks of food.

* Exercise regularly. Breaking a sweat reduces bloating, gas and constipation.

* Manage stress. Relaxation techniques such as meditation, deep breathing or yoga can ease indigestion and other stomach pains triggered by stress hormones.

* Buy foods with probiotics. Yogurt, soy-based drinks, juice and cereal are possible sources of these microorganisms, thought to help maintain a healthy balance of bacteria in the intestines.