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The Essential Oil That May Help Fight PTSD

Inhaling the essential oil could help reduce the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.

Orange essential oil is a potential treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder, new research suggests.

The oil — derived from the skin of an orange — could provide a better option than drugs, which generally have unwanted side effects.

Ms Cassandra Moshfegh, the study’s first author, said:

“Relative to pharmaceuticals, essential oils are much more economical and do not have adverse side effects.
The orange essential plant oil showed a significant effect on the behavioral response in our study mice.
This is promising, because it shows that passively inhaling this essential oil could potentially assuage PTSD symptoms in humans.”

People already use many different essential oils for therapeutic purposes.

Sometime they are diffused in to the air, sometimes applied to the skin and they can also be consumed in foods.

This study on mice tested the effects of the essential oil on their fear response.

The results showed that the mice exposed to orange essential oil were psychologically protected against a traumatic experience.

Genetic analysis also suggested a potential mechanism for this effect.

The study was published in The FASEB Journal (Moshfegh et al., 2016).

 
source: PsyBlog    MAY 5, 2017
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12 Fresh Foods You Should Never Store Together

Your cart is bursting with colorful fruits and veggies, but days later, it’s all wilted and sad. Use these smart storage rules to keep foods fresher longer.

Cucumbers stand alone
Many fruits, such as tomatoes, bananas, and melons, produce ethylene gas, a ripening agent that speeds up spoilage. Cucumbers are super sensitive to this ethylene gas, so they need their own place or they’ll spoil faster. They’re actually more suited to hanging out on the counter than in the crisper drawer with off-gassing fruits, but if you want cold cucumbers, you can store them for a few days in the fridge (away from fruits). If you need to use them up fast, try this refreshing cold cucumber soup.

Treat herbs like fresh flowers
If you’re trying to cut back on salt or just add more flavor to your food, fresh herbs fit the bill, but don’t just toss them in the fridge. “Store fresh herbs just as you would fresh cut flowers,” says Dana Tomlin, Fresh Manager at Wheatsville Food Co-op in Austin, Texas. First, make sure the leaves are completely dry. Next, snip off the ends and place the herbs, stem down in a cup or mason jar with water. Most herbs do well when stored this way in the fridge. Basil, however likes to hang out at room temperature. You’ll still want to place it in a jar with water though. When the water gets yucky, drain and add fresh water. Most herbs stored this way are good for up to two weeks. Start your own herb garden to save money and get super-fresh sprigs.

Squash and pumpkins don’t go with apples and pears
Squash and pumpkins are well known for having a long shelf life but apples, another fall favorite (along with pears and other ripening fruit) shouldn’t be stored with them. According to Oregon State University Extension Service, it will cause the squash to yellow and go bad. Squash and pumpkins keep well at temps between 50 and 55 degrees Fahrenheit, which is cooler than room temperature but not as chilly as the fridge. Larger pumpkins and larger squash will last up to six months, but keep an eye on the smaller ones, as they usually last about three months. See what nutritionists do with pumpkin puree.

Bag your root veggies
Root vegetables such as carrots, yams, kohlrabi, beets, and onions are some of the most nutrient-dense veggies we can eat, since they absorb nutrients from the soil. To retain those good nutrients, store root vegetables in a cool, dark, and humid place. A root cellar is ideal, but most of us don’t have one. The next best option, according to ohmyveggies.com, is to place the veggies in a paper or plastic bag in the crisper. If you just toss them in the fridge—even in the crisper, they’ll soften and rot a lot quicker.

Give your berries a bath
Berries are delightfully sweet and easy to eat. The problem is, they can get moldy quickly if not stored properly. The culprit is tiny mold spores that want to make the little nooks and crannies of the berry skin their home. Tomlin says the first rule is to avoid washing them until you’re ready to eat them because moisture equals mold. What if you just brought home a Costco-size carton of berries and won’t be able to eat them all right away? You can extend their life by a few days by taking a few minutes to give the berries a bath in a solution of one cup vinegar to three cups of water. Let them soak briefly; then gently rinse in a colander. The vinegar will hinder the mold growth. Since berries don’t do well sitting wet, make sure to dry them thoroughly—lay them out on a paper towel and gently blot (or put a few paper towels in your salad spinner and dry them that way. Store the berries loosely in a container that is ventilated, or leave the lid partially opened.

berries

Separate your apples and oranges
Sometimes, we can’t just all get along. That’s the case with apples and oranges—trusted fruit bowl staples in still life paintings but frenemies in fridge life. Fruits give off a gas called ethylene, the ripening agent that will lead to faster spoilage of the produce around it, says author and chef, Matthew Robinson of The Culinary Exchange. Store apples in the fridge if you want to extend their shelf life. Oranges stored in the fridge (away from apples) should be placed in a mesh bag so that air can circulate around them. Plastic bags will only make oranges moldy.

Break up your bananas
Banana hooks may show off bananas in their best light but the problem is, they will all ripen the same time, which means you’re either eating bananas for two days straight or tossing the rotting ones. Here’s a solution: Break up the bunch. Keep some in the fruit bowl on the counter to ripen and store others bananas in the fridge to delay the ripening process. If you missed your chance and you’ve got a glut of spotted bananas, use them in banana bread or toss them in the freezer to make banana “ice cream.” Bananas are good for your health—inside and out. Another idea: Try mashing them up to make a homemade face mask.

Don’t let onions and potatoes mingle
Fried potatoes and onions are a delish combo but don’t store them together before you cook them, as the onions will cause the potatoes to go bad. “It’s best to store items like potatoes and squash in an open-air wicker basket in a cool, dark place to preserve freshness,” says Tomlin. “You can store them in a paper bag, but just make sure they’re in a container where moisture or condensation can’t build up, which would make them soften and go bad faster.” A friendly neighbor for onions is garlic. They can be stored near each other without ripening or spoiling. Just store them in a well ventilated space, and keep the paper-like skin of the garlic intact until use.

Ripen avocados next to bananas
According to the 2017 survey conducted by Pollock Communications and the trade publication Today’s Dietitian avocado is number two on the list of the Top 10 Super Foods for 2017. Since avocados can be pricey, it’s important to store them correctly. “If your avocados are under-ripe, store them next to bananas. The gasses released from the bananas promote ripening,” says Tomlin. “If you need to extend the life of an avocado, store it in the refrigerator. It will slow the ripening process significantly.” For times you get a hankerin’ for a little sliced avocado on a sammie but can’t eat the whole thing, Tomlin suggests storing the cut avocado with the seed intact in an airtight container along with a sliver of a onion.

Tomatoes hate the fridge
Or is the fridge that hates tomatoes? A freshly picked garden tomato is undeniably delicious, but too much time in the fridge can make it mushy and bland-tasting. According to eatright.org, tomatoes can be stored in the fridge for two or three days but once you cut into it any unused tomato or any fruit and veggie should be placed back in the fridge to slow down the growth of harmful bacteria. But tomatoes kept at room temperature have more flavor. So, if you can, store them on the countertop. See the other foods you’re spoiling by putting them in the fridge.

Let carrots, celery, and, asparagus take a dip
Peanut butter on a crunchy stalk of celery is a snack that has stood the test of time (especially if you put raisins atop the peanut butter), but limp celery—not so much. Storing it in plastic is a no-no. The ethylene gas it produces has no where to go. Wrap the celery tightly in foil and after each use, re-wrap it snug. Or if you want grab-n-go celery, cut it up into sticks and submerge them in water in an airtight container. The same water bath works for cut-up carrot sticks and asparagus. Keep the rubber bands around the stems and cut off the fibrous ends. They are pretty tough and not tasty anyway. Place them in a tall drinking glass with enough water to cover an inch of asparagus. Find 30 more delicious snack ideas.

Let sweet corn chill—but not too much
The best way to enjoy this sweetheart of summer is to eat it fresh for maximum sweetness. If you must store it for a short time, you can place it in the fridge. “Keep ears cool in your refrigerator with the husks on to keep in moisture,” says Tomlin. Don’t wrap the corn in a plastic or paper bag. If possible, store them toward the front of fridge where it’s slightly warmer. “Corn will dry out and get starchy if it’s kept too cold because there’s not enough humidity to keep the kernel plumb,” says Tomlin. Keep the husks on for grilling corn on the cob.

BY LISA MARIE CONKLIN
source: www.rd.com


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Foods That Help Increase Melatonin

Melatonin is a hormone secreted by the pineal gland situated in your brain. This chemical offers so many benefits, thanks to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Studies have shown that melatonin protects the heart from damage. It’s also proven to help ward off cancer.

However, the most popular role played by melatonin is the regulation of the circadian rhythm — your body clock. Individuals lacking in melatonin often find it difficult to get a good night’s sleep. Melatonin is something that you will find on various internet articles pertaining to how to combat insomnia.

Because of the ability of melatonin to combat sleep deprivation, so many pharmaceutical companies offer the said hormone in supplement form. The downside to taking melatonin supplements is every capsule or tablet usually contains synthetic ingredients. Their intake can actually do more harm than good in the long run because of the man-made chemicals in them.

Fortunately, there are a handful of ways of naturally boosting the amount of melatonin your pineal gland produces and secretes. With increased levels of the chemical in the bloodstream, getting to dreamland won’t be a problem. Including certain foods known to have melatonin-boosting properties can help your body produce sufficient amounts of melatonin so that you may take advantage of all the benefits the chemical offers. Here they are:

Pineapples

Among all your fruit options, experts agree that pineapples are the best in enhancing melanin production. Snack on them if you want to bid insomnia farewell. However, it’s a good idea to consume pineapples in moderation most especially at night in order to avoid acid reflux. Another nice thing about these tropical fruits is they are packed with vitamin C which helps strengthen your immune system.

melatonin benefits

Cherries

When going though online listings of naturally regulating your circadian rhythm, it’s for certain that you will find cherries in majority of them. This doesn’t come as a surprise because cherries, in particular the tart varieties, are known to help promote melatonin production. Aside from this, cherries have anti-inflammatory properties. Their consumption may help suppress chronic inflammation that’s associated with various problems, from obesity to cancer.

Bananas

Available all year round and practically everywhere, bananas help promote the production of more melanin. It’s true that consuming these elongated fruits allows you to gain energy. However, snacking on them before you hit the sack can keep you from ending up sleepless. Experts say that bananas are also good sources of tryptophan, a kind of amino acid that helps calm down your mind and promote sleep.

Oranges

Drinking a glass of freshly-squeezed orange juice is a thirst-quenching way to boost the amount of melanin your pineal gland produces. Including oranges in your diet also allows you to enjoy stronger bones and teeth due to their calcium content. As you may already know, oranges are excellent sources of vitamin C. A powerful antioxidant, vitamin C is essential not only for a bolstered immunity, but also young-looking and healthy skin.

Tomatoes

Whether added to salads, turned into sauces or in taken in juice forms, tomatoes help your body produce sufficient amounts of melatonin to ward off insomnia. What’s so nice about tomatoes is they are excellent sources of a cancer-fighting antioxidant called lycopene. Tomatoes also supply your body with energy-boosting vitamin B6 and immune-strengthening vitamin C. In addition, they contain potassium which is good for the heart.

Oatmeal

Fiber in oatmeal makes this breakfast staple very good not only for your gut but also heart. Fiber sweeps out cholesterol as well as impurities along the intestinal tract. Did you know that a serving of oatmeal is also good for someone battling insomnia because it helps boost the production of melatonin naturally? Topping oatmeal with slices of fruits or a handful of nuts or seeds helps increase its health-giving benefits.

Posted by: Natasha Edwards   November 10, 2015 


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13 Health Benefits of Oranges

“Orange strengthens your emotional body, encouraging a general feeling of joy, well-being, and cheerfulness.” – Tae Yun Kim

Who doesn’t love a delicious and juicy orange as a snack? They are popular with athletes because they can be easily eaten for a burst of energy. I enjoy eating one or two oranges a day most of the year for that same energy-boosting effect.

13 Health Benefits of Oranges:

1. Helps Prevent Cancer
Oranges are rich in citrus limonoids, proven to help fight a number of varieties of cancer including that of the skin, lung, breast, stomach and colon.

2. Prevents Kidney Diseases
Drinking orange juice regularly prevents kidney diseases and reduces the risk of kidney stones.

Note: drink juice in moderate amounts. The high sugar content of fruit juices can cause tooth decay and the high acid content can wear away enamel if consumed in excess.

3. Reduces Risk of Liver Cancer 
According to two studies in Japan eating mandarin oranges reduces liver cancer. This may be due in part to vitamin A compounds known as carotenoids.

4. Lowers Cholesterol
Since they’re full of soluble fiber, oranges are helpful in lowering cholesterol.

5. Boosts Heart Health
Oranges are full of potassium, an electrolyte mineral is responsible for helping the heart function well. When potassium levels get too low, you may develop an abnormal heart rhythm, known as an arrhythmia.

orange

6. Lowers Risk of Disease
Oranges are full of vitamin C which protects cells by neutralizing free radicals. Free radicals cause chronic diseases, like cancer and heart disease.

7. Fights Against Viral Infections 
Studies show that the abundance of polyphenols in oranges protects against viral infections.

8. Relieves Constipation
Oranges are full of dietary fiber which stimulates digestive juices and relieves constipation.

9. Helps Create Good Vision
Oranges are rich in carotenoid compounds which are converted to vitamin A and help prevent macular degeneration.

10. Regulates High Blood Pressure
The flavonoid hesperidin found in oranges helps regulate high blood pressure and the magnesium in oranges helps maintain blood pressure.

11. Protects Skin
Oranges are full of beta-carotene is a powerful antioxidant protecting the cells from being damage which also protects the skin from free radicals and prevents the signs of aging.

12. Oranges Alkalize the Body
Although oranges are acidic before you digest them, they contain many alkaline minerals that help to balance out the body after they are digested. In this respect, they are similar to lemons which are one of the most alkaline foods available.

13.  Provides Smart Carbs:
Oranges like all fruits have simple sugars in them, but the orange has a glycemic index of 40.  Anything under 55 is considered low. This means as long as you don’t eat a lot of oranges at one time, they won’t spike your blood sugar and cause problems with insulin or weight gain.

by Diana Herrington