Exercise for brain and body health.
So far, no drug or therapy exists that matches the powerful effect regular physical exercise has on improving brain function or preventing Alzheimer’s disease.
In a study of senior citizens by the Mayo Clinic, exercise five to six times a week reduces the risk of mild cognitive impairment by 32 percent, as compared to other senior citizens who are not getting up and moving. Another Mayo Clinic study showed that for people with memory impairment, exercise improved memory about the same amount as the benefit of taking donepezil (Aircept), which does give some modest and temporary help to those struggling with memory loss. Read more
Reduce stress in your life through relaxation.
Per the Mayo Clinic, “Relaxation isn’t just about peace of mind or enjoying a hobby. Relaxation is a process that decreases the effects of stress on your mind and body.” Finding a method of stress-reduction is important for everyone. Practicing relaxation can take many different methods, but all with the same goal of regularly coping with everyday stress, and extra ordinary stress, as needed. The Mayo Clinic advocates stress-reduction techniques for everyone, but especially for its patients who may be dealing with a difficult diagnosis, a long-term illness or even chronic pain. Read more
Elimination — yup. We’re going to talk about THAT. Every human organism relies on the ability to successfully eliminate waste from its system or die. Getting waste out quickly is a benefit to any biological system. In humans, our bodies are designed to evacuate in a squatting position, and long before the modern toilet was invented, our ancestors squatted. Many cultures still use toilets that require squatting, which would be viewed as odd here in the United States. Read more
Mindful eating is not something most people in our busy world do on a regular basis. In a world where snack foods are sold in “cup-sized” containers to fit in our car’s cup holders, we tend to focus on the speedy delivery of food, not in savoring it.
If you’d like to get away from this crazy treadmill of meals, mindful eating is worth investigating. Best of all, you don’t need any fancy book to tell you how to do it or any special gear, either–just you, your brain, your mouth and food. Read more
Is wheat healthy for us?
Give us this day our daily bread….or not? Depending on your experience with food, eating wheat is either just a fact of your daily life, or it’s something to be avoided at all costs.
Food’s Cultural and Social Influence
How does food influence us? In more ways than we might imagine since we all participate in a “food culture.” In the U.S., influences on our food come from European cultures, our Native American roots and migratory cultures that came to the U.S. Traditions around food vary by family ancestry. Growing up in certain cultures means the Sunday dinner is a required event, or that certain foods are served for holidays and celebrations. Unfortunately, some of the worst habits we have as Americans also center around our food influences. Fast food culture, processed foods and eating on the go are all areas Americans could improve. These good and the bad influences come together to form our food culture. Read more
Is the cost of organics worth the benefit?
You hear organic foods are healthier for you, but are they worth the cost? It’s easy to WANT to choose organic for all of your food, but eating exclusively organic products can sometimes be tough on a budget.
According to Alex Lu, a T.H. Chan School of Public Health professor….yes, you should buy organic when available and when your budget allows. This is the best way to avoid pesticides and harmful chemicals. Read more
Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Medicine’s Kids Healthy Eating Plate
As W.E.B. DuBois said, “Children learn more from what you are than what you teach.” Want to get the children in your life to eat more nutritiously? Start by doing it yourself.
This blog emphasizes the importance of changing one or two habits at a time in order to make lasting change. If you want to teach your children to eat nutritiously, you are teaching (and learning) skills for a lifetime. Here are a few things to try and see what works for your family. Read more
Too much sugar makes us want more sugar.
Early humans needed sugar to survive. They needed it for energy (glucose) and to help store fat (fructose) for times when food was scarce. In order to help them survive the human brain developed a craving for this delicious ingredient. Richard Johnson, professor in the Medicine Department of the University of Colorado, speculates that the “feel good” response modern humans get from sugar is a holdover from this early survival response.
Today, in our sugar-run-amuck world, that craving has the opposite effect. Too much of a good thing is making us sick. Most of us know it’s bad for our teeth and our waistline, but it is much more destructive than that. Overindulgence on sugar affects many areas of our body. Read more
Toxins in Seafood
Many people are concerned about the amount of mercury in fish. Unfortunately, pollution affects all of our food sources, whether fish, fowl or fruit. Making better decisions about all of the food we eat is essential, and fish is no different. Reduce consumption of toxins in seafood by deciding how often to eat fish, which varieties to eat and from where the fish come. Read more