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3 things for better health - Dec. 18

Need to be motivated to start the week off on a healthy note? Just try one or more of three things to start the week off on the right path.

1. Use vinegar to clean salad leaves, fruit. "Apple cider vinegar—any vinegar, really—will kill some germs because of the acetic acid in it. It works best in your food—to clean up bacteria lingering on your salad leaves," WebMD reported, adding vinegar can help someone with diabetes control the amount of glucose in their blood after a meal as well as their A1c, a measure of "average" blood sugar for the past few months.

"A couple of teaspoons in water or food at mealtime works best. High blood sugar over time can lead to heart disease, kidney disease, stroke, and blindness. ... In one study, overweight people who drank 1 or 2 ounces of vinegar (diluted with other liquid) lost weight at a slightly faster rate. And they lost belly fat. But there's no evidence that lots of vinegar will help you drop lots of pounds, or do it quickly."

2. This holiday season watch for pull toys with strings, Mayo Children's Center reports strings that are 12 inches long can be a strangulation hazard for babies.

3. Myth buster: Going out with wet hair is not going to make you sick in the winter, reported. "You'll probably feel chilly if you skip the blow-dry on a cold day, but not much else will happen. Again, colds are caused by a virus. Unless you are so cold that you get hypothermia, which could make you susceptible to infection, wet hair or clothes won't increase your vulnerability."

A better way to avoid catching a virus is to clean shared surfaces such as doorknobs and wash hands often to avoid being infected by bodily fluids from infected people. Sneezes also spread sickness through droplets.

For more tips from the weekly Three Things list, check out the Monday Motivator page each week in the Dispatch or e-edition, or go to and go to lifestyle to reach the drop-down menu for health or search using the keyword Monday Motivator or three things.

Questions or tips to share, contact Renee Richardson, managing editor, at or 218-855-5852.