Monday, December 18, 2017

Archive for the ‘ Health & Nutrition ’ Category

Music Has the Power to Calm, Soothe and Relieve Pain

December 14th, 2017

Hospitals around the country are using music therapy as a way to ease a patient’s pain, lower blood pressure, and reduce anxiety and depression, allowing patients to heal faster. Thirty-five percent of healthcare facilities in the US offer music, of some form, to their patients. An article in the journal, Pain Physician, indicates ​that music functions effectively to alleviate both chronic pain and related depression. In general, music was used in combination with other, more conventional pain treatments, rather than as a standalone substitute. Music that listeners find emotionally engaging... Read More

Give Yourself the Gift of Happiness

December 7th, 2017

Dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, and endorphins are neurotransmitters that regulate our happiness.  A neurotransmitter is a messenger of neurologic information from one cell to another.  Being in a positive mental state has significant impact on our motivation, productivity, and wellbeing. Did you know you can intentionally cause neurotransmitters to flow? Let’s take a look at each one and how you can activate them to make yourself happy. Dopamine motivates us to take action toward goals, desires, and needs, and gives a surge of reinforcing pleasure when achieving them. Procrastination, self-doubt,... Read More

This Is Not Your Movie Theatre JuJube

November 30th, 2017

Maybe you’ve had JuJubes at the movies? The precursor to gummy bears, JuJubes are faux fruit flavored chewy candies that keep your dentist in business. The hot JuJube right now is actually Ziziphus jujuba, commonly called jujube, red date, Chinese date, Korean date, or Indian date. Mounting evidence shows the red date can protect us from inflammation, obesity, cancer, gastrointestinal maladies and, like any good superfood, has antioxidant properties. It grows mostly in South and East Asia, as well as in Australia and Europe, but is making an appearance in the American diet. Jujubes are also adaptogens,... Read More

A Spit Test May Diagnose Your Concussion

November 22nd, 2017

In 2013, the most recent year for which we have data, there were about 2.8 million traumatic brain injury-related emergency room visits, hospitalizations and deaths in the US, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Nearly two-thirds of concussions take place in children and teens and although most patients’ symptoms disappear within two weeks, one-third of children and teens may experience prolonged symptoms of concussion. Up to 25% of kids have long-term symptoms that can last up to four months. In a recent study, Penn State College of Medicine scientists found five... Read More

New Research Is Telling Us More About the Possible Cause of Dementia

November 17th, 2017

Over the years, researchers have tried to determine the cause of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease.  Previously, researchers believed that amyloid was one of the proteins thought to cause the disease.  With new discoveries about the mysteries of dementia, there is a new culprit in the debate about what may cause dementia. Amyloid protein is thought to build up in the brain normally throughout life, but, at night, when we’re sleeping, particularly when we get into deep sleep, the protein gets cleared from the brain. Researchers are investigating the possible link between obstructive... Read More

Fitbit Is The Latest Tool in Health Research

November 8th, 2017

The Precision Medicine Initiative, a long-term research endeavor involving the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and multiple other research centers, aims to understand how a person’s genetics, environment, and lifestyle can help determine the best way to prevent or treat disease.  Last year, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) changed the initiative’s name to the warmer and fuzzier, All of Us, and began testing for a 2018 launch in hopes of achieving its goal of gaining anonymous health information from one million Americans. Fitbit is the first wearable device company to get the... Read More

What Is The Impact of Climate Change On Our Health Now?

November 2nd, 2017

Scientists have talked for years about the impact global climate will have on our planet.  Some are even speculating that, at this point, there are some things that have happened as a result of the changing climate that are already irreversible. For example, mountain glaciers are in alarming retreat and the downstream effects of reduced water supply in the driest months may already be a foregone conclusion. Did you know that global climate change is having an impact on your health now? Some scientists say that impact may also be irreversible. Catastrophic weather such as floods, hurricanes, tornadoes,... Read More

Healthier Bacon?

October 26th, 2017

Recently, a technology that edits genomes was used in China to genetically modify pigs.  The result for the consumer would be pigs that are better adapted to cold weather while carrying around 24% less fat.  The technology, called CRISPR, an acronym for clusters of regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats,  has two components. First, CRISPR is essentially scissors that cut DNA.  The other component is RNA, remember that from your high school biology class?  RNA transmits biological information throughout the genome.  The RNA leads the scissors to the a precise string of compounds,... Read More

Autumn Is Good For You

October 18th, 2017

It’s that time of year – the sun comes up a little later; goes down a little earlier and you need a jacket or sweater to combat the slight nip in the air. Fall brings with it the promise of rain and cooler temperatures. Its rhythms remind us that it’s time to turn inside, ruminate and care for ourselves. Take advantage of the change of season to make some changes to your routine; following the rhythm of the seasons, makes us less likely to get sick. At the beginning of fall, temperatures are finally starting to drop, making it the perfect opportunity to go outdoors. Take advantage of... Read More

Intuitive Eating Linked to Lower BMI…If You Can Do It

October 11th, 2017

Are you an intuitive eater?  Intuitive eating is a nutrition philosophy based on the premise that becoming more attuned to the body’s natural hunger signals is a more effective way to attain a healthy weight, rather than keeping track of the amounts of calories or other dieting methods. Also known as wisdom eating or conscious eating,  intuitive eating relies on your ability to know your body and understand when you are hungry and full. To be successful at intuitive eating, there are some principles that have to be followed to adapt to this way of life. Eat when you’re hungry. Easier... Read More

Take The Challenge: Offline October

October 4th, 2017

Offline October is a challenge for people to give up social media for the month of October to support teen suicide prevention.  Recently, the Littleton community has experienced a number of teen suicides and they are trying to address what they believe is one of the contributors – social media. The challenge is meant for people to realize the importance of  human relationships and the happiness that can come from direct human interaction. ​Consider these statistics about teens and technology: Teens check their phones 157 times per day Teens spend 4 hours on their phones per day Teens send... Read More

Your Walking Pace May Determine Your Longevity

September 28th, 2017

It’s long been known that improving your physical fitness is associated with living a longer life. Studies show that past age 65, your walking speed at your natural pace is a surprisingly reliable predictor of survival. The study looked at the natural gait speed of more than 34,000 participants age 65 and older from nine previous studies. These studies followed outcomes for 12 years or more, in which time almost half of the participants died. They found a consistent effect of how long people lived and whether they had a faster or slower gait speed. Those who walked naturally at 2.2 miles... Read More

Social Media Influences Mental Health

September 20th, 2017

Mindlessly scrolling through our social media feeds when we have a few spare minutes is not the best habit when it comes to our collective psychology. The American Academy of Pediatrics has evaluated the potential for negative effects of social media in young kids and teens, including cyber-bullying and “Facebook depression,” but the issue impacts adults as well. There’s some good evidence that internet addiction may exist. A recent review of earlier research on the psychological characteristics, personality and social media use and found that it is plausible to speak about “Facebook... Read More

Five Fabulous Fall Foods You Can Get Now

September 13th, 2017

Whether from your garden, the farmer’s market or the grocery store shelf, fall produce is fresh, seasonal and happening now!  Eating healthy may seem harder come fall, when your favorite summer produce dwindles and the choices seem fewer and, perhaps, unfamiliar. Take advantage of the opportunity and think outside the box in your fall food preparation. Most fall produce can be prepared in a number of tasty ways and all of the produce mentioned here is grown locally. Brussels sprouts are exceptionally rich in protein, dietary fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Sprouts are a good source... Read More

Anti-Aging Drugs Are Being Tested That May Help Us Live to 120

September 7th, 2017

Researchers from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, are calling for senolytic drugs to make the leap from animal research to human clinical trials. Senescence refers to biological aging and senolytic drugs are designed to selectively kill the cells that cause aging. As we age, we accumulate senescent cells, which are damaged cells that resist dying off but stay in our bodies. They can affect other cells in our organs and tissues. Senescent cells play a role in many age-related chronic diseases, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, most cancers, dementia, arthritis, osteoporosis and... Read More

Inadequate Physical Touch Has Health Consequences

August 26th, 2017

How often do you find yourself feeling lonely, craving more affection than you get? If this sounds familiar, then you’re experiencing a common problem known as skin hunger, and you’re far from alone. According to Psychology Today,  more Americans live alone than ever before. One in four Americans reports not having not a single person to talk to about important issues and loneliness among American adults has increased 16 percent in the last decade. Just as lack of food, water, and rest have detrimental effects, so does the lack of affection. Known as “skin hunger,” people who feel... Read More

Prolonged Stress Can Tank Metabolism

August 23rd, 2017

Studies have shown that hormones play a role in elevating the desire to eat foods containing carbohydrates during prolonged periods of stress. When our brains are notified that we are experiencing stress, they respond by releasing cortisol, a hormone whose primary function is to raise blood sugar and promote the metabolism of carbohydrates, protein and fat. In response to higher blood sugar levels, the pancreas releases extra insulin, which has the effect of lowering blood sugar rather quickly, causing a craving for foods rich in carbohydrates. Cortisol is considered a catabolic hormone, which... Read More

Americans, Particularly Women, Are Drinking More Alcohol

August 17th, 2017

More Americans are drinking alcohol, and a growing number of them are drinking to a point that’s dangerous or harmful, according to a new study published in JAMA Psychiatry this week.  The study, sponsored by a federal agency for alcohol research, examined how drinking patterns changed between 2002 and 2013, based on in-person surveys of tens of thousands of U.S. adults. Previous research showed steady or declining drinking patterns from the 1970s through the 1990s, the report says. In the 90s, however, alcohol consumption increased — the percentage of people who drank at all increased... Read More

Gum Disease and Cancer Risk in Women

August 9th, 2017

A report was published this week in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention that links gum disease with an increased risk of several types of cancer in postmenopausal women. Periodontal disease was tied to a 14 percent higher risk of developing any type of cancer, but the greatest risk was for esophageal cancer, which was more than three times more likely in older women who had gum disease than those who didn’t. In addition, gum disease was associated with a higher risk of lung cancer, gallbladder cancer, melanoma and breast cancer. women who smoked and had gum disease... Read More

Say Hello to HELO

July 26th, 2017

  The HELO smart wrist band is a sleek, revolutionary, health tracker. It is the first wearable device to provide real time health monitoring, 24/7. HELO , or Health & Lifestyle Oracle, monitors heart rate, steps taken, calories burned, distance covered and sleep quality, but HELO takes health monitoring to new heights by offering some exciting new features: ECG/EKG – the electrical activity of your heart Blood Pressure Mood Sensor Fatigue Sensor Remote monitoring of other people’s vital signs Provides emergency SOS GPS location for everyone in your family A Panic button, with GPS... Read More

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