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Detect Signs Of Nutrient Deficiency

Our bodies are amazing… they can sometimes tell us when something’s wrong before a doctor can confirm it with tests. If you start to see a change in your own body… in your hair, your nails, your skin or even your energy level… this could be a signal from your body that a vital nutrient is missing from your diet.

Some of the signs your body might give you…

Unhealthy looking nails

Healthy strong nails are a sign of good overall health and strong immunity. What you don’t want to see on nail surfaces are white spots (injury), raised ridges, an inward curve or nails that otherwise look less than healthy. Most often unhealthy looking nails are a sign you need iron (not zinc, that’s a popular myth) so try to include as many natural sources of iron (red meat, fish, poultry, lentils and beans) as you can in your diet.

Interesting that you’re not alone, according to the World Health Organization, iron deficiency is the leading nutritional disorder the world over.

Leg cramps at night

Cramps in your legs or calves at night are a sign that you’re lacking potassium, and essential nutrient. This can happen easily if you’re exercising hard during the day, losing both fluid and electrolytes and only replacing the fluid. Rehydrate with electrolyte rich drinks or try some potassium rich foods like bananas, spinach, broccoli or grapefruit.

And while healthy adults should get enough potassium from food sources, often we don’t. Your doctor may recommend a potassium supplement, or you might try upping natural sources for a time and see if this helps.

Numb hands or feet

If you feel like your hands (or feet) go numb or you get tingling or a prickling feeling in your limbs this can signal a low intake of B vitamins like B6 or B12 and folic acid. Deficiencies of B vitamins directly impact the peripheral nerve endings on the skin’s surface. You’ll want to eat lots of dark leafy greens like spinach and lean proteins like eggs, beans and poultry. Fortified whole grains are good too.

Again, deficiencies of this nutrient are surprisingly common, with about 15% of the general population affected by a deficiency.

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Detect Signs Of Nutrient Deficiency Continued…

Acne

Small red or white acne like bumps on your skin (face, arms, even thighs) can signal a vitamin A deficiency. This nutrient helps to remove dead skin and unclogs pores to discourage the growth of acne bacteria. Veggies or other foods rich in beta carotene (a precursor to vitamin A) are key here.

Sadly vitamin A deficiency is a problem for more than half of all nations, especially in Africa and South-East Asia.

It’s important to realize that if you are deficient in one nutrient, based on your body signals, you are likely lacking others as well. It’s hard to believe that with the abundance of food in the developed world that nutrient deficiencies happen at all, but as you see, they are surprisingly common. Once you take steps to address them, you’ll be feeling and looking better than ever – a signal from your body that all is well.

To your good health,

geralt / Pixabay

The News About The Gut Brain Connection

It’s a fascinating concept… the trillions of tiny microorganisms in our own digestive tract may be sending signals to the brain that influence how we think and behave. Interesting too that close to 70% of our immune cells also reside in our digestive tract and are constantly circulating through the body. Science has moved = from studying pathogenic bacteria (the kind that make us sick) to working to understand more about the beneficial organisms that are naturally part of our body.

The gut/brain connection is a compelling new area of study where experts have come to recognize that the brain and digestive system do indeed talk to each other. Can you manipulate how you feel by managing the bacteria of your digestive tract? The answer is still elusive, but research is working hard to get there.

Landmark studies from Japan over ten years ago had scientists asking a new question about the role bacteria might play in helping animals have the proper stress response. About five years ago researchers showed that if you were stressed early on in life, you have a lower diversity of gut bacteria when you grow to adulthood, accompanied by behavior changes.

What science has come to understand is that the individual microbiome has an impact on almost every body system. How this communication happens is what remains to be uncovered. There may be multiple mechanisms that the body can use for the digestive system to communicate with the brain. Bacteria can signal through the vagus nerve, a connector of the enteric nervous system to the central nervous system. Metabolites (small molecules released by bacteria) can be circulated so they interact with the central nervous system.

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The News About The Gut Brain Connection Continued…

Another area that is truly exciting is the research into autism. Parents of these children have been vocal in their belief that there is a very clear connection between the gut and the brain. Researchers including Sarkis Mazmanian, a professor of microbiology at Caltech in California recently published a study that supports autistic parents, finding that the microbiome of autistic kids is different than the best matched, normally developing control subjects. This work has always been clouded by the fact that autistic kids with GI issues were on restricted (or special) diets. No one knew if it was the autism causes the changes in the microbiome or the diet being followed.

Can such a condition be treated? The team used an organism found in the human digestive system, not something sold as a probiotic, and gave it to the autistic mice. Both the behavior and GI deficits were restored with this approach. Be aware that this has only been found in mice models, so we need to be careful of leaping too far ahead of the science.

What you need to understand is that while the area gets lots of attention, the research that gives us what we know comes from animal or preclinical studies. There’s not a lot of human data out there. Most bacteria won’t have a positive or negative effect on the function of your brain. There may be some brining positive effects, but not many. Researchers will need to proceed with caution.

To your good health,

bykst / Pixabay

Bad News For The Instant Noodles Lovers

They’re affordable, tasty and easy to make… but eating lots of instant noodles can also bring some serious consequences to your health. In fact, a new study appearing in The Journal of Nutrition finds that eating lots of instant noodles may up the risk of a condition known as cardiometabolic syndrome that can lead to stroke, heart disease or diabetes.

Asian populations eat lots of instant noodles, so a Baylor University team relied on diet information taken from the Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey IV (2007-2009) on 11,000 subjects ranging in age from 19 to 64 years old. The subjects reported what they ate, and the team then categorized the diet as either traditional or fast food focused. Traditional dietary pattern (TP) included lots of fish, rice, veggies, fruit and potatoes – while the fast food pattern (MP) had lots of meat, soda, fried and convenient foods… including those instant noodles so familiar to struggling college students everywhere.

It’s no surprise that the fast food eating pattern was linked to higher obesity rates and higher levels of cholesterol, just as the traditional dietary pattern was linked to normal blood pressure and a lower chance of being obese. Neither diet demonstrated a clear link to a risk of having cardiometabolic syndrome.

Here’s the thing… when the team looked at the data on instant noodle consumption they saw that eating the noodles at least two times a week was linked to a 68% higher incidence of metabolic syndrome for women, even after accounting for sodium intake, estrogen use and waist circumference. Eating these noodles one time a week brought at 26% higher prevalence of metabolic syndrome. The relationship held for leaner women who said they did more exercise, though it was not found in men.

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Bad News For The Instant Noodles Lovers Continued…

Researchers explain the increased risk as the result of all the calories, refined carbs, saturated fat and sodium in those instant noodles. Women may be especially susceptible to the negative effects due to hormones that impact a woman disproportionately, or metabolic differences. Another concern is the chemical BPA that’s in the styrofoam container used to package those instant noodles, a substance known to mess with the way hormones (particularly estrogen) send messages in the body.

There are limitations to the work. One being that the numbers from the nutrition survey didn’t account for serving size, only the number of times a given food was eaten. Still, the team is hoping that people become more aware of their food choices, and that some packaged foods may be just as bad for the body as fast food.

Also of note, the research has brought out feelings of wounded pride, stubborn resistance, even nationalism in South Koreans, who, it turns out, eat more instant noodles than anyone. They refuse to give up their noodles, and are trying to keep the dish healthy by adding veggies, taking supplements, using less seasoning and avoiding the soup. Others wonder if facilities in junk food loving America are capable of producing unbiased research on nutrition.

So as you consider buying instant noodles, at least recognize that this is not a healthy choice. You are purchasing a processed food, a food with unhealthy additives. If you just can’t break the instant noodle habit, consider not eating them every single day, and control the portion size. You might try making home cooked pasta – not as fast or affordable as the instant variety, but the time and effort are certainly worth it when you think about the nutrient value of the end product – the meal you are using to fuel your body.

To your good health,

PDPics / Pixabay

Prediabetes Ups Cancer Risk By 15%

Cancer is a terrible, life altering, vicious disease, one you’d like to avoid if you can. Now there’s a new meta-analysis including 16 research studies (with nearly 900,000 subjects) that finds prediabetes may up the risk of being diagnosed with cancer by a startling 15%. Prior to this study the link between cancer risk and prediabetes was controversial; to address this the team conducted a rigorous meta analysis using studies from Asia, the US, Europe and even Africa.

The current work appears in Diabetologia and finds that no matter which definition of prediabetes used, – impaired glucose tolerance or impaired fasting glucose or a combination of the two – there was no difference in terms of cancer risk. Even after adjusting for BMI, having prediabetes was still associated with a higher risk of cancer.

Prediabetes is a condition, most often without symptoms, where your blood sugar level is higher than normal but not considered high enough to fall into the diabetic range. Without intervention this will most likely become type 2 diabetes in under ten years. What’s more, long-term damage to your heart and circulatory system that comes as the result of diabetes may have already begun.

What puts you at risk for prediabetes?

-Being overweight.

-Being inactive.

-Getting older, especially after 45.

-Having had gestational diabetes when pregnant.

-Having a baby over 9 pounds.

-Having polycystic ovary syndrome.

-A family (parent or sibling) history.

-Being of African American, Hispanic, American Indian, Asian American or Pacific Islander descent.

-Not getting enough sleep (under 6 hours) or too much (over 9 hours) sleep on a regular basis.

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Prediabetes Ups Cancer Risk By 15% Continued…

In the current meta analysis, prediabetes was significantly linked with higher risks of cancer of the stomach or colorectum, liver, pancreas, breast and endometrium. The condition is not linked to cancers of the prostate, ovary, kidney or bladder. One reason for the link between prediabetes and some cancers may be the result of chronic hyperglycemia and related conditions that might act as carcinogens. Another theory is that the higher insulin resistance of prediabetes may lead to increased secretion of insulin and this can let cancer cells grow and divide.

Also of interest is the finding of the meta analysis on the medication Metformin, the most widely described treatment for type 2 diabetes, may also have some protective anticancer properties. This drug helps to achieve almost a 30% reduction in the lifetime cancer risk for diabetes patients. No one knows if this would also be true for prediabetes until more long-term larger studies of high-risk subjects are conducted.

Considering the prevalence of prediabetes, the study findings suggest that doctors and others start working with the prediabetic population… helping them eat better (more fruits and veggies, high fiber, whole grains), exercise more, and keep an eye on their weight. The positive in a prediabetes diagnosis is that it can be the wake up call a patient needs to turn things around and take real, lasting steps to improve health. Prediabetes does not have to turn into type 2 diabetes; you can turn things around. But you must act now.

To your good health,

Bellezza87 / Pixabay

More Positive Research On Caffeine And Alzheimer’s

Finally, caffeine gets some good press. A team of French and German scientists have found that caffeine has a positive effect on tau deposits, a well known sign of Alzheimer’s disease in the brain, publishing their work just recently in the journal Neurobiology of Aging. It appears that giving regular doses of caffeine to mice bred to have tau proteins in their brains held off memory decline when compared to control mice. Such findings may well pave the way for a new class of medications to treat (or perhaps prevent) Alzheimer’s disease.

The two universally recognized physical signs of Alzheimer’s disease are deposits of tau protein (clogging the inside of brain cells) and plaques of amyloid protein (between brain cells). It’s hard to see these things in a living brain, which is why mice are used as research subjects in this area.

Science knows that Alzheimer’s causes terrible problems with the metabolism in the cells of the brain; they end up not working, losing connections with each other and over time dying off. This gradual deterioration is what causes the memory failure, trouble doing daily tasks, changes in personality and other symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, a condition that’s a fact of life for an estimated 5 million Americans, with numbers expected to rise dramatically in the coming decades, as the population ages.

For the most recent study, the team looked at the effect of persistent, regular intake of caffeine on mice who had been bred to have tau deposits… similar to what might been seen in human subjects. The mice were given caffeine in their water, and a control group was not given the substance in their drinking water. Turns out the tau mice who were chronic caffeine drinkers didn’t develop the spatial memory impairments that researchers saw in the control group of mice.

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More Positive Research On Caffeine And Alzheimer’s Continued…

What’s more, the chemistry of the tau proteins in the hippocampus (involved in rodent memory) was distinctly different in the mice drinking caffeine. Caffeine also appears to reduce other pro inflammatory and oxidative stress markers in the hippocampus of the brain. These findings add weight to the idea that caffeine intake is helpful in mice that develop the tau deposits like those in humans. Watch for future medications to come from these most intriguing findings.

Earlier work on Alzheimer’s has shown regular, moderate caffeine intake prevents declining memory in older adults and cuts the risk of being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Some researchers have gone one step further and shown how intake of caffeine slows memory decline in mice that have been bred to develop the Alzheimer’s hallmark amyloid plaques. It wasn’t until this latest study on tau deposits that mice bred for the other hallmark physical symptom of disease showed a positive response to caffeine.

The risks of Alzheimer’s increase with age, family history, some genetic factors, a history of head trauma, hypertension at midlife, being diabetic or obese or having high cholesterol. We also know that a healthy, balanced diet and other lifestyle changes may impact that risk. Drinking coffee, or another caffeinated drink, over a lifetime appears to be beneficial, particularly to older adults or in the period before disease symptoms appear – a simple prevention strategy you might want to consider.

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Lower Heart Disease As A Vegetarian

Today heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S. for both men and women… but here’s something you can do to tip the odds in your favor. A new UK study appearing in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition finds that those who follow a vegetarian diet are one third less likely to be hospitalized (or die) due to heart disease than those who eat meat and fish.

Earlier work in this area has suggested that those who don’t eat meat have fewer problems with their heart, but it still wasn’t clear if there were other factors (exercise, smoking habits) that might also be involved. Today the picture is clearer.

According to Francesca Crowe of the University of Oxford, who led the new research, there is something in the vegetarian diet that’s causing the lower risk of heart disease. She and her team tracked about 45,000 subjects living in England and Scotland who gave initial reports about what they ate, their lifestyle and general health during the 1990s. When the study began, almost a third said they were vegetarians who did not eat any meat or fish.

Over the study period, 11 to 12 years, 1,066 of the subjects were put in the hospital for heart disease, including having a heart attack, and 169 died from these events. After accounting for age, exercise and other health measures, the team saw that vegetarians were 32% less likely to have heart disease than meat eaters. When weight was made part of the equation, the effect dropped to just 28%.

Experts think that reduced heart disease risk was because of the lower cholesterol numbers and blood pressure readings among the vegetarians taking part in the research. Meat eating subjects had a total cholesterol of 222 mg/dL on average, and a systolic (top number) blood pressure of 134 mm Hg. This compared to 203 mg/dL total cholesterol and 131 mm Hg systolic blood pressure for the vegetarian subjects. The diastolic (bottom) number was similar for both groups.

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Lower Heart Disease As A Vegetarian Continued…

Crowe believes that the difference in total cholesterol numbers between the meat eaters and vegetarian subjects was about half of what you might see if you were to take a prescription statin drug. The drop in numbers is likely due to the lack of red meat, especially those choices that are high in saturated fat. Plus all those fruits and veggies are a natural source of fiber and other beneficial nutrients, and these could also play a role.

So, if you’re looking to reduce your risk of dangerous heart disease, one way might be to adopt a vegetarian diet. This is not a decision to enter into lightly. Talk with your doctor and to those who eat this way now. Be sure to plan carefully and eat a wide variety of foods to meet your body’s nutritional needs.

If you’re not quite ready to go full vegetarian, making a sincere effort to cut back on saturated fat will also make a difference – so limit butter, ice cream cheeses and meats, and you’ll be making a good start to lowering the amount of bad fats you’re taking in.

To your good health,

PublicDomainPictures / Pixabay

Top 12 Concentration Killers, Part 2

Distractions are all too common in our modern world… and are very good at diverting our attention from the task at hand. In part 1 of our series on concentration killers we discussed some of the focus busting things you might suspect… social media, technology, ADHD and lack of sleep, along with tips on how to regain control. In this next section we’ll cover some of the lesser-known concentration killers, and just as before, give you some smart ways to cope.

One of the most surprising is an action intended to be efficient, multitasking. When you multitask, you believe that you’re getting more things done in a shorter time period, but the experts tell us the opposite is actually true. Research finds you lose time when you shift your attention from one task to another, and you end up doing more things in a longer time – longer than it would have been if you did one project at a time.

The fix is, when you can, put your full attention to one thing at a time, especially if you’re working on something that’s high priority, urgent or demanding. Save the multitasking, if you do it at all, for the routine stuff like cleaning up your work area while on the phone.

Bored? Turns out that tasks that don’t hold your attention make you especially vulnerable to being distracted… all the distractions we’ve mentioned in part one of this article are that much more of a draw. To fight back, make an agreement with yourself that if you stay on task to a set point (or time) you’ll get a 10-minute break. Boring things are easier to get through if you have something to look forward to.

Hunger is something you may not suspect as trouble when it comes to paying attention, but it is a major concentration killer. The brain can’t work without fuel, so if you routinely skip meals (breakfast) you set yourself up for having problems concentrating later on. Both short-term memory and attention suffer when you don’t eat breakfast in the morning according to research.

So what you do is always eat breakfast, go for high protein snacks, stay away from the simple carbs and choose whole grains instead. This is the fuel that keeps hunger away longest and gives your brain a steady stream of energy.

Nagging thoughts are notoriously hard to put aside… the worry over unfinished errands, a recent conversation, a life decision can all sap your concentration faster than anything. Your best bet here is to write down what you’re thinking. Make a list, write out pros and cons, vent – once the thoughts are on paper they are much easier to view objectively and set aside for a bit.

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Top 12 Concentration Killers, Part 2 Continued…

Another little discussed concentration killer is stress. When you feel you have too much responsibility you can have trouble focusing on tasks at work or at home. Stress takes a physical toll as well, leaving you with tight shoulders, a headache or racing heart… all this distracts you from your task.

To help yourself, stress reduction techniques – meditation, laughter, exercise – are what you need to make time for in your life. Meditation is particularly helpful in terms of curtailing stressful thoughts so they don’t take so much of your attention. Research backs this with one study showing that those who took an eight-week meditation course improved their ability to focus.

Depression is an unexpected problem in terms of concentration. The National Institute of Mental Health identifies trouble concentrating (rather than sadness) as one of the most common symptoms of depression. So if you’re having trouble focusing and you also feel hopeless, empty or indifferent for longer than a two week time period, you may well be experiencing symptoms of depression.

If this seems like you, talk with your doctor, as your condition is very treatable, not just with medication but also drug free talk therapy.

Lastly, there are times when prescription medications can cause trouble with concentration. If you find you’re having trouble staying focused, talk to your doctor (or pharmacist) to see if a drug you’re taking is affecting your ability to concentrate. If this turns out to be the case, don’t think you have no choice but to suffer, or no other medication options. An adjustment in dose can sometimes be enough, as can switching to a different class of drugs. Never stop a medication unless you have discussed this with your doctor beforehand.

To your good health,

geralt / Pixabay

Top 12 Concentration Killers, Part 1

Whether you have issues with attention or not, today’s world is full of distractions that are incredibly powerful. They are able to divert us from our purpose and scatter our resources. Fortunately, there are things you can do to handle the many unavoidable distractions, and they’re very simple steps to take.

Let’s start with some of the more obvious ones…

Social media is a fantastically easy way to stay connected with friends, and also break your connection on work or an important conversation, sometimes as often as several times an hour. Each update diverts your train of thought from your task so that you have to backtrack a bit when you take up your work task again. Not all that efficient to be sure.

The fix is the obvious one, don’t log into those sites wile you’re at work or doing something that calls for focus. If you must check in, do it at lunch or when you’re on break. For particularly bad social media habits you might need to purposely stay out of areas with internet access, so that you can’t check, even if you’re tempted.

Too many emails appearing in your inbox is often an unexpected drain on your concentration. Somehow the arrival of a new message in the inbox has a sense of urgency attached, for many people that incoming message must be checked right away and dealt with. This kind of disruption to your current task keeps you from making the progress you should for the time spent on the job.

Instead, set aside specific times of day to check your email, and for the rest of the day, shut down (or shut off the alert sound of) your email program. Now you have a block of time where you work, without being interrupted, or tempted to check something and reply.

Last but not least in terms of distraction is the tech you can’t live without, your cell phone. The ringtone commands attention like no other device can. Taking those calls costs us time in conversation; or short circuits your momentum in working the task at hand. It may also rouse tensions or stressors that keep you from focusing when you do return to work.

Take back your control by muting the ringer (all alert sounds) on your phone, and rely on the caller ID. If the call is anything other than a drop everything emergency, let it go to voicemail and return it when you are able – at lunch or when on a break. Listening to all your voicemails at one time is also more efficient than stopping what you’re doing and taking each call as it comes in.

Continues below…


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Top 12 Concentration Killers, Part 1 Continued…

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is not a problem for children since more than half of kids who have continue to have symptoms as they grow into adulthood. Trouble focusing and a short attention span are hallmark symptoms of the disorder in both kids and adults.

If staying focused is a struggle for you and this is a lifelong pattern, talk with a doctor or counselor and ask to be evaluated for ADHD. There are things you can do now, even as an adult that can help you function, and focus, better. To focus and realize your full potential.

Of course if you’re feeling tired, it’s hard to concentrate on anything, even in the best of circumstances. Research tells us that not enough sleep can affect both your attention span and short-term memory. The fix for this one is to get from 7 to 9 hours of sleep a night. Being well rested helps you get more done during the day. Also of value is to watch and see when you feel most energetic during the day, and schedule your more demanding tasks for those times.

Next up… some surprising concentration zappers that you’d never expect.

To your good health,

Bellezza87 / Pixabay

Drinking Coffee May Act As Antidepressant

Coffee may be very much more than a companion to the start the day. Drinking two to four cups of coffee each day appears to cut the risk of suicide in adults by an impressive 50% says a new study from Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) that appears online in The World Journal of Biological Psychiatry. And unlike earlier work, this team was truly able to assess the association of intake of both caffeinated and non-caffeinated drinks – finding that caffeine is most likely involved in the protective effect of coffee.

Caffeine stimulates the central nervous system, but also may act as a mild antidepressant by upping the production of some important neurotransmitters in the brain. These include serotonin, dopamine and noradrenaline, all known to be involved with mood. Coffee’s caffeine might be the reason for the reduced risk of depression in coffee drinkers that has been found in past studies.

Depression and suicide are a dangerous combination that can have tragic results. According to Centers for Disease Control number from 2010, just over 36,000 people in the U.S. kill themselves each year. And though we might focus on teens, those of other ages are also at risk, men more than women.

To conduct the latest research, the team reviewed information from three very large U.S. studies – 43,599 men from the Health Professional Follow-up Study, 73,820 women from the Nurses’ Health Study and 91,005 women from the Nurses’ Health Study II. Caffeine and decaf coffee intake was assessed every four years with a questionnaire. Caffeine consumption from coffee and non-coffee drinks like tea, caffeinated soft drinks and chocolate was also calculated. During the 16-year study period there were 277 deaths due to suicide.

The risk of committing suicide for adults who drank from two to four cups of caffeinated coffee a day was about half that of people who drank decaf or very little or no coffee at all. Even with the findings, no one is calling for depressed adults to up their caffeine intake, because most people adjust their caffeine intake to an optimal amount for them. Adding more would make unpleasant side effects more likely.

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Drinking Coffee May Act As Antidepressant Continued…

Coffee may be very much more than a companion to the start the day. Drinking two to four cups of coffee each day appears to cut the risk of suicide in adults by an impressive 50% says a new study from Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) that appears online in The World Journal of Biological Psychiatry. And unlike earlier work, this team was truly able to assess the association of intake of both caffeinated and non-caffeinated drinks – finding that caffeine is most likely involved in the protective effect of coffee.

Caffeine stimulates the central nervous system, but also may act as a mild antidepressant by upping the production of some important neurotransmitters in the brain. These include serotonin, dopamine and noradrenaline, all known to be involved with mood. Coffee’s caffeine might be the reason for the reduced risk of depression in coffee drinkers that has been found in past studies.

Depression and suicide are a dangerous combination that can have tragic results. According to Centers for Disease Control number from 2010, just over 36,000 people in the U.S. kill themselves each year. And though we might focus on teens, those of other ages are also at risk, men more than women.

To conduct the latest research, the team reviewed information from three very large U.S. studies – 43,599 men from the Health Professional Follow-up Study, 73,820 women from the Nurses’ Health Study and 91,005 women from the Nurses’ Health Study II. Caffeine and decaf coffee intake was assessed every four years with a questionnaire. Caffeine consumption from coffee and non-coffee drinks like tea, caffeinated soft drinks and chocolate was also calculated. During the 16-year study period there were 277 deaths due to suicide.

The risk of committing suicide for adults who drank from two to four cups of caffeinated coffee a day was about half that of people who drank decaf or very little or no coffee at all. Even with the findings, no one is calling for depressed adults to up their caffeine intake, because most people adjust their caffeine intake to an optimal amount for them. Adding more would make unpleasant side effects more likely.

The current work does not establish cause and effect. Also they didn’t see any difference in risk between coffee drinkers who drank two to three cups and those who had four (or more) cups of coffee each day. This may be due to the small number of subjects who committed suicide.

In an earlier coffee and depression study that appears in JAMA Internal Medicine there was a maximal effect for subjects who drank four (or more) cups of coffee a day.

But If you drink too much, it might have the opposite effect.

There’s also a Finnish study that found a higher risk of suicide among people who drank eight or nine cups of coffee a day. There were very few participants in the U.S. studies who drank such a large amount. Thus the work didn’t look at any consumption over six cups of coffee per day.

If you, or someone you love, is talking about ending their life, please
pay attention. Help is out there, waiting. Please know that suicide is
never your only option.

To your good health,

cascalheira / Pixabay

Which Food To Choose For Best Digestion

Our bodies are made to be able to digest pretty much anything we put in our mouths, but with all the chemicals in modern packaged food, the impact of preparation methods and the sedentary lifestyles of most p0eople – you can see why digestive troubles are not all that uncommon. Here’s a handy guide to what’s good and what’s not when it comes to keeping your digestive system going strong.

Here are 6 foods that are good for digestion…

Yogurt naturally has some types of good bacteria if it says “life and active cultures” on the label. These organisms replenish the normal flora in the digestive tract so it stays healthy and strong.

Kimchi is a Korean dish that is made with cabbage, radishes or onions and lots of spices (so it might not be right for every digestive system). Cabbage promotes the growth of beneficial bacteria in the colon, and since it has a type of fiber that’s not digested, it helps eliminate waste so you stay regular.

Lean meats like chicken and fish go down a lot easier than red meats, that tend to be fatter. Your body handles lean meat and fish better, and these foods haven’t been linked to a nincreased risk of colon cancer like the higher fat red meats have been.

Whole grains such as whole wheat bread, oats and brown rice are a great, natural source of fiber that helps digestion, except for those with Celiac disease or gluten intolerance. Most of us only get about 12 grams of fiber a day, when we should be getting 20 to 30 grams a day. If you’re adding fiber to your diet, take your intake up slowly, as too much too soon can cause bloating, gas and other troubles.

Bananas are a delicious, healthy little package that tastes great and helps bring back normal bowel function if you’re dealing with diarrhea. They are also bland enough to be good on an unsettled stomach, restoring electrolytes and potassium that can be lost because of runny stool. There’s also plenty of fiber to help digestion.

Ginger is a flavorful spice that’s been used for thousands of years as a way to ease nausea, vomiting, motion sickness, morning sickness, gas, loss of appetite and even colic. Consume this one in moderation, more than 2 to 4 grams per day can bring on heartburn.

Continues below…


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Which Food To Choose For Best Digestion Continued…

And here are 8 foods on the bad for your belly list…

High fat fried food can overwhelm the stomach and bring the discomfort of acid reflux or heartburn. The body can only handle so much, and these foods often are too much. High fat food can also bring pale colored stool. Those with Irritable Bowel Syndrome need to avoid foods high in fat, things like butter and cream, as they can bring digestive troubles.

Chili peppers can really irritate the esophagus and also cause painful heartburn. This is a big problem for those with chronic heartburn or Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

Dairy supplies much needed calcium, but for the lactose intolerant it brings cramps, diarrhea, gas and abdominal bloating. A common problem, lactose intolerance happens when people don’t make the right amount of lactase, the enzyme that naturally breaks down lactose in dairy products. Damage to the intestines from Celiac disease, Crohn’s disease or chemotherapy can also lead to lactose intolerance.

Alcohol is a great way to celebrate or relax, but it also relaxes the esophageal sphincter and this can bring on uncomfortable acid reflux or heartburn. Drinking can also inflame the lining of the stomach, impairing enzymes and preventing nutrients from being absorbed by the body. Too much alcohol can cause a number of unpleasant digestive symptoms, but moderate consumption is typically no problem.

Berries are so good for your body, so tasty; but the tiny seeds can be trouble for those who have a digestive condition known as diverticulitis that features pockets in the intestines that get inflamed or infected. Seeds are thought to obstruct these pockets and up the chances of infection. It’s never been proven in research, but the theory still holds. Seeds of sunflowers or pumpkin may also irritate your intestines.

Chocolate is decadent and delicious; but a 2005 study finds that chocolate might be trouble for those with Irritable Bowel Syndrome or who have chronic constipation. It probably isn’t the chocolate, but the milk that’s in many chocolate treats that causes the problems. Chocolate also naturally has caffeine, and this can bring on cramps, bloating and diarrhea.

Coffee, tea and carbonated beverages are popular and refreshing, but they also over relax the esophageal sphincter that’s supposed to keep stomach acid in the stomach. These drinks can also act as diuretics that can bring on diarrhea and cramping. Drinks with caffeine can be particularly troublesome for those with gastroesophageal reflux disease (known as GERD for short).

Corn is loaded with fiber and good taste, but it’s also naturally full of cellulose, a type of fiber people can’t break down easily because we don’t have the necessary enzyme. Chewing corn for longer helps, wolfing it down may lead to painful gas and pain in your stomach.

To your good health,

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