Our Better Health

Diet, Health, Fitness, Lifestyle & Wellness


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Fun Fact Friday

  • Human bones are 31% water.

  • Deja Vu occurs when your brain tries to apply a memory of a past situation to your current one, fails, and makes you feel like it has happened.

  • Women have twice as many pain receptors on their bodies than men. But, a much higher pain tolerance.

  • Studies show being ‘grateful’ helps you make better decisions and investments.

Happy Friday!
 source:   factualfacts.com   https://twitter.com/Fact   @Fact


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Dietary Protein – From Any Source – May Help Muscle Health

Diets high in protein from any source – animals or plants – may help keep muscles big and strong as people age, according to a new study.

People with higher overall protein intake had higher muscle mass and stronger quadriceps, the muscle in front of the thigh, said lead author Kelsey Mangano of the University of Massachusetts in Lowell.

Proteins are found in meat, fish, poultry, eggs, dairy, vegetables, grains and nuts. The Institute of Medicine recommends adults get about 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight each day. That translates to about 56 grams (about 2 ounces) per day for a sedentary person who weighs 70 kg (about 154 pounds).

Protein is known to protect bone density, muscle mass and strength, but it’s been unclear whether the protein must come from specific food sources, the researchers write in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

For example, do people who get their proteins from meat benefit more than people who get their proteins from non-animal food sources, or vice versa.

The researchers used data from 2,986 men and women, ages 19 to 72, who filled out questionnaires about their diets between 2002 and 2005.

Overall, about 82 percent of participants were getting the recommended daily amount of protein. Their diets fell into one of six patterns: fast food and full fat dairy, fish, red meat, chicken, low fat milk, and legumes.

The researchers then looked to see if the participants’ dietary patterns were tied to their muscle mass, muscle strength and bone density.

muscles

Unlike past studies, the researchers found no links between dietary protein consumption and bone density, although they did find that dietary protein was tied to muscle mass and strength.

Muscle mass and strength were higher among people who consumed the most protein, compared to those who consumed the least.

People with the highest amounts of protein in their diets were eating about 1.8 grams per kilogram of body weight per day (or about 0.03 ounces per pound of body weight), compared to 0.8 grams per kilogram (about 0.01 ounces per pound) among those eating the least.

The results did not change based on people’s dietary patterns. A person getting a large amount of protein from red meat was benefiting as much as a person getting it from legumes.

“High protein diets do benefit most individuals,” said Mangano, who did the research while at Hebrew SeniorLife’s Institute for Aging Research. “It can be beneficial to maintaining muscle mass and strength – particularly as we age.”

She told Reuters Health it’s a positive message that people with dietary restrictions may still benefit from higher protein diets but cautioned the results are only one study with a group of mostly white participants.

Another study of older participants may help confirm whether the source of protein matters later in life, Mangano said. Her team previously looked at bone density in older adults and found that “people who were consuming most of their protein from red meat and processed meat had the lowest bone mineral density than other groups,” she said.

By Andrew M. Seaman
SOURCE: bit.ly/2k4hbTV The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, online February 8, 2017.


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Fun Fact Friday

  • You can “rewire” your brain to be happy by simply recalling 3 things you’re grateful for every day for 21 days.
  • Hardest question to answer: “Describe yourself?”
  • People who are exposed to bright light early in the morning tend to be more alert throughout the day.
  • The difference between caramel and butterscotch is butterscotch contains brown sugar instead of white. Toffee is butterscotch cooked longer.

mangoes

  • Most of the problems in your life are due to two reasons: you act without thinking, or think without acting.
  • The mango is the most popular fruit in the world. It also helps against cancer, clears skin and lowers cholesterol.
  • Human bones are 31% water.
  • Happiness is increased when tangible goals like “making someone smile” are made.
  • Crying releases extra stress hormones, which is why you feel better after doing so.Crying releases extra stress hormones, which is why you feel better after doing so.

 

Happy Friday  🙂

 source:       factualfacts.com       https://twitter.com/Fact       @Fact


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The Scientifically Proven Mental Shift That Makes You Physically Healthier

In this day and age, you would have to be living under a rock not to have heard about the powerful mind-body connection. For example, we know that exercise helps alleviate depression, yoga is great for stress management, eating vegetables and other superfoods can make you happier and the way you walk can boost your mood. So, for your overall mental health, you should definitely be exercising, eating right and engaging in other forms of self-care.

But did you know that the reverse is also true? Your moods and overall mindset have a measurable effect on your body and its functioning. Here are four of the most fascinating scientific findings about how your outlook on life affects your health.

1. Your perception of stress affects its actual impact on your body.

We have all heard about the negative effects of stress on our bodies. However, researchers out of the University of Wisconsin at Madison discovered that our views about stress may actually play a bigger role in its negative effects than the stress itself. In the study, they tracked 30,000 American adults for eight years, and found that people with a lot of stress had a 43% increased risk of dying — but only if they believed stress was harmful. On the other hand, those who had a lot of stress, but didn’t see it as harmful, did not have this increased risk.

2. Your level of life-satisfaction may affect bone density.

A study out of Finland followed women over the age of 60 for 10 years, and asked them to report on their level of life satisfaction. The researchers found that while all women experienced an average 4% decrease in bone density during the duration of the study, there was a 52% difference in bone density loss between those who reported the highest levels of satisfaction versus the lowest levels. In addition, for those whose life satisfaction decreased during the 10 years, their bone density decreased 85% more than those whose satisfaction increased.

stay positive

3. Positive thinking can increase your immunity to the common cold.

In another study, researchers interviewed participants over three weeks to assess the degree to which they had a positive emotional style. Then, subjects were given a nasal spray of rhinovirus (the cold germ) to see how their bodies would respond. Researchers found that those who had a positive emotional outlook were three times less likely to get a cold than those who had low levels of positive emotions. Interestingly, in a later study, these same researchers found that high levels of stress make it more difficult for the body to regulate the inflammatory response.

4. Optimism is literally good for your heart.

There is a wealth of research about the positive link between optimism and heart health. For example, cultivating optimism and hopefulness is linked to decreased risk of heart attack and stroke. In addition, patients who had heart attacks and were optimistic about their treatment were more likely to be alive 15 years later as compared to those who were less optimistic and hopeful (even with the same severity of illness).

Also, in a recent study of more than 5,000 adults, researchers found that the most optimistic individuals are twice as likely to have ideal cardiovascular health markers (as measured by a variety of factors, including blood pressure, body mass index, fasting plasma glucose and serum cholesterol levels and others) compared to those who are pessimistic.

These findings are just the tip of the iceberg in terms of this growing field of research, but they point to the importance of making sure not to just focus on nutrition and exercise as part of your self-care regimen. To enjoy optimal health, it’s essential to develop an optimistic outlook and engage in happiness-boosting activities each and every day. Your mind and your body will thank you.

by Dr. Patricia Thompson    February 4, 2015 


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The Dried Fruit That Could Prevent and Reverse Bone Mass Loss

by Shubhra Krishan       Follow Shubhra at @eskrishan

Think prunes and the first word that pops into the mind is probably something along the lines of “digestion.” For centuries, grandmas have encouraged us to eat prunes for keeping things smooth and regular. Besides, this dried and wrinkled avatar of plums is quite delicious, too.

But their ability to strengthen bones should make you reach out for prunes more often.

A research study conducted at the Florida State University in Tallahassee studied the effect of eating prunes on postmenopausal women. It found that women who ate prunes every day for a year did not suffer loss of bone mass in the spine and forearm. The key ingredients that make prunes so effective in preserving bone health are phenolic and flavonoid compounds, both known to improve bone mass. Prunes are also a rich source of boron, potassium and Vitamin K, each of which is beneficial for bones.

prunes

Fifty-eight postmenopausal women not on hormone replacement therapy (HRT) were randomly assigned to consume either 100 g dried plums or 75 g dried apples daily for 3 months. Both dried fruit regimens provided similar amounts of calories, fat, carbohydrate, and fiber. Serum and urinary biochemical markers of bone status were assessed before and after treatment.

The result? Women who consumed dried plums significantly increased the bone mineral density of ulna and spine in comparison with dried apple.

The results of this study suggest that prunes could go beyond preventing bone loss–they could, in fact, reverse loss of bone mass as well. Arjmandi BH, who led the research, points out that “Loss of bone volume accompanied by loss of trabecular connectivity is generally believed to be an irreversible process, but our observations suggest that dried plum improves trabecular microstructure of tibia after losses have already occurred may exert positive effects on bone in postmenopausal women.”

Not looking to eat prunes every day? Other foods that are great for bone health include leafy greens, seeds, nuts and beans.


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The Low-Cost Superfood that Builds Strong Bones

Michelle Schoffro Cook    March 20, 2015

When we think of dried plums, or prunes as they are also known, we’re more likely to think of their bowel-regulating abilities than their capacity to build strong bones. But according to research published in the British Journal of Nutrition, we might want to give these sweet and tasty superfoods a second thought for bone health.

According to researchers at the Department of Nutrition, Food and Exercise Sciences, at Florida State University, dried plums are “the most effective fruit in both preventing and reversing bone loss.” The nutrition researchers recruited 236 women who had hit menopause one to ten years earlier, were not on hormone replacement therapy or taking any prescribed medications known to influence bone metabolism. The women were divided into two groups: those who ate 100 grams of dried plums or 100 grams of dried apples. Additionally, participants received 500 milligrams of calcium plus 400 IU of vitamin D daily.

The scientists assessed bone mineral density of the lumbar spine (low back), forearm, hip, and whole body prior to the study’s onset and at the end of the study using duel-energy X-ray absorptiometry as well as blood samples of bone health markers.

The scientists found that the women eating the dried plums on a daily basis had a significant increase in bone mineral density compared to the women eating the dried apples. Only the dried plums caused a significant decrease in bone markers linked to a breakdown of bone density.

Preventing bone breakdown tends to be easier than reversing bone loss so the study results are significant. Daily prune consumption showed the ability to both prevent and reverse bone loss.

prunes

Additional research in the British Journal of Nutrition had similar results. This time the researchers assessed 160 post-menopausal women with low bone mineral density, but not sufficiently low to be diagnosed as having osteoporosis. Again, they found that prune consumption could prevent and reverse bone loss by limiting the body’s production of compounds that initiate bone depletion.

In the latter study the women ate a normal diet with approximately 10 dried plums daily for a year (about 3.5 ounces).

Fresh plums and dried prunes are known to increase iron absorption in the body as well as boosting vitamin C levels. In addition to aiding bone health, fresh and dried plums have been found to normalize blood sugar levels, improve weight loss, and lower cholesterol levels.

Select soft, plump, shiny prunes that are free of any signs of mold. Avoid sulfured prunes. Store in a refrigerator to keep them fresh. You can find ones with or without pits, depending on your preference and plans for use. While they are delicious eaten on their own, they can be pureed and added to recipes in place of sweeteners to boost the fiber and nutritional content. They can also be stewed for a delicious breakfast or pancake or waffle topping.


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Vitamin B-12

17th November 2014      By Dr. Edward F. Group     Contributing Writer for Wake Up World

Vitamin B-12 is one of the more discussed vitamins and for good reason. It is important for your health overall as it helps several organs and systems in your body function properly, including the brain, the nervous and skeletal systems, DNA replication and energy creation processes.

Let’s take a look at a few reasons why it’s important to make sure you’re getting enough Vitamin B-12.

1. Supports Cardiovascular Health

You’ve probably heard that B-12 is good for cardiovascular health. The way that works is this…

Homocysteine is a protein that naturally forms as a byproduct of your body’s processes. When it builds up, it can corrode and inflame arteries and blood vessels, placing strain on the heart and cardiovascular system. Vitamin B-12 helps converts homocysteine to methionine, a protein the body uses for positive, essential activities.

2. Supports Energy Levels

One of the positive, essential activities that methionine is involved with is cellular energy creation.

3. Promotes Normal DNA and RNA Replication

Your body’s genetic material, DNA and RNA, need vitamin B-12 and folate (Vitamin B9) to replicate correctly. Without it, genetic material can be damaged and lead to mutations. Some speculation has even risen that low B-12 levels are associated with an increased risk of breast cancer.

4. Protects the Nervous System

In addition to converting homocysteine, the methylcobalamin form of B-12 encourages the formation of a protective covering for nerve cells called myelin. This covering protects nerve cells from free radicals and toxins which may be in the blood stream.

5. Protects the Brain, Too

The methylcobalamin form of B12 circulates in the blood stream and can cross the blood-brain barrier to support brain cells just as it protects nerve cells. In one study, 77 patients suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease had significantly lower vitamin B12 levels than individuals in the control group. [1] Other symptoms of low B12 levels include numbness in the hands and feet, memory loss, and disorientation.

B12_sources

6. Encourages a Balanced Mood

Vitamin B-12 plays a role in the creation of serotonin, a chemical that influences brain function and overall mood. In one study researchers examined the effect of B-12 on the brains of diabetic patients who experienced mood imbalances. The diabetic patients with normal levels of B-12 enjoyed better cognitive performance and lower incidence of depression compared to B-12 deficient patients. [2]

7. Essential for Fetal Development

High homocysteine levels in pregnant mothers directly impact fetal growth. Since adequate B-12 contributes to normal homocysteine levels, it can support fetal development. [3]

8. Supports Bone Health

Homocysteine appears to have an impact on skeletal health, too. In recent study 50 patients suffering from osteoporosis were compared to 50 patients with normal bone density levels. Tests showed the osteoporosis patients had high levels of homocysteine and substantially lower levels of vitamin B-12, as well as folate and vitamin B6. [4]

Getting Enough B-12

As essential as B-12 is, it can be tricky to get enough in your diet. Foods that contain B-12 include red meat, organ meats like kidneys and liver, eggs, yogurt, and cheese, and seafood — definitely a problem for vegans or vegetarians. Additionally, many people, especially adults over 50, have trouble absorbing B-12. Commonly prescribed drugs can also cause nutritionally deficiencies, including Vitamin B-12, which have been linked to many health conditions.

One way to fill the gaps between your nutrient intake and nutrient requirements is to supplement. For B-12 supplementation, I like VeganSafe B-12. It contains natural and most bioavailable forms of vitamin B12, methylcobalamin and adenosylcobalamin in an easily absorbed liquid formula.

– Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, ND, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM

Article references: 
[1] Kim H, Lee KJ. Serum homocysteine levels are correlated with behavioral and psychological symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. Neuropsychiatr Dis Treat. 2014 Oct 3;10:1887-96. doi: 10.2147/NDT.S68980. eCollection 2014. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25336954
[2] Biemans E1, Hart HE, Rutten GE, Cuellar Renteria VG, Kooijman-Buiting AM, Beulens JW. Cobalamin status and its relation with depression, cognition and neuropathy in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus using metformin. Acta Diabetol. 2014 Oct 15. [Epub ahead of print] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25315630
[3] Yajnik CS1, Chandak GR2, Joglekar C3, Katre P3, Bhat DS3, Singh SN3, Janipalli CS3, Refsum H4, Krishnaveni G3, Veena S3, Osmond C3, Fall CH3. Maternal homocysteine in pregnancy and offspring birthweight: epidemiological associations and Mendelian randomization analysis. Int J Epidemiol. 2014 Oct;43(5):1487-97. doi: 10.1093/ije/dyu132. Epub 2014 Jul 22. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25052622
[4] Ebesunun MO, Umahoin KO, Alonge TO, Adebusoye LA. Plasma homocysteine, B vitamins and bone mineral density in osteoporosis: a possible risk for bone fracture. Afr J Med Med Sci. 2014 Mar;43(1):41-7. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25335377