Wellness Article

“Readers want to know” article – KH
12 Minutes of Yoga for Bone Health
The New York Times - by Jane E. Brody
Yoga enthusiasts link the practice to a long list of health benefits, including greater flexibility and range of motion, stronger muscles, better posture and balance, reduced emotional and physical stress, and increased self-awareness and self-esteem.

But definitively proving these benefits is challenging, requiring years of costly research. A pharmaceutical company is unlikely to fund a study that doesn’t involve a drug, and in any event, the research requires a large group of volunteers tracked over a very long time.

The subjects must provide health measurements at the outset, learn the proper poses, continue to do them regularly for years and be regularly evaluated. No one knows these challenges better than Dr. Loren M. Fishman, a physicist at Columbia University who specializes in rehabilitative medicine. For years, he has been gathering evidence on yoga and bone health, hoping to determine whether yoga might be an effective therapy for osteoporosis.

The idea is not widely accepted in the medical community, but then, researchers know comparatively little about complementary medicine in general. So in 2005, Dr. Fishman began a small pilot study of yoga moves that turned up some encouraging results. Eleven practitioners had increased bone density in their spine and hips, he reported in 2009, compared with seven controls who did not practice yoga. (full story)

Wellness Article

11 Benefits of Strength Training That Have Nothing to Do With Muscle Size
U.S. News & World Report – by K. Alec

If you want to build bigger biceps or get an elusive six-pack, strength training is an essential component for making it happen. But even if maxing out your muscle size isn’t your objective, strength training might still be the best way to hit your health goals.

“A lot of people believe that if they don’t want to look like a bodybuilder, they shouldn’t perform resistance training,” says Michael Rebold, director of integrative exercise sciences at Hiram College in Ohio. “So the only form of exercise they do is aerobic – and then they wonder why they are having trouble making significant improvements in their health,” he explains.

Plus, building muscle bulk requires specialized and intense training and nutrition, and it doesn’t happen on accident, Rebold adds.

Before your next workout, consider these 11 science-backed benefits of strength training.

1. Lower abdominal fat. In a 2014 study published in the research journal Obesity, Harvard researchers followed 10,500 men over the course of 12 years and found that strength training is more effective at preventing increases in abdominal fat than cardiovascular exercise.

“When people incorporate strength training into their exercise routine, they not only burn calories, but increase lean muscle mass, which stimulates the metabolism,” Rebold says. Muscle mass is a major determiner of basal metabolic rate, or the number of calories the body burns per day to sustain physiologic functions. (source)

Wellness Article

The Germs That Love Diet Soda

The New York Times – by Moises Velasquez Manoff
There are lots of reasons to avoid processed foods. They’re often packed with sugar, fat and salt, and they tend to lack certain nutrients critical to health, like fiber. And now, new research suggests that some of the additives that extend the shelf life and improve the texture of these foods may have unintended side effects – not on our bodies directly, but on the human microbiome, the trillions of bacteria living in our guts.

These substances may selectively feed the more dangerous members of our microbial communities, causing illness and even death.

Consider the rise in deadly cases of clostridium difficile, or C. diff, a terrible infection of the gut. The bacterium tends to strike just after you’ve taken antibiotics to treat something else. Those antibiotics kill your native microbes, allowing C. diff to move in. Nearly half a million people develop the infection yearly, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and around 29,000 die, sometimes after long bouts of painful, bloody diarrhea. By one estimate, deaths linked to C. diff increased fivefold between 1999 and 2007.

One reason the bug has become more virulent is that it has evolved antibiotic resistance and is not as easily treatable. But some years ago, Robert Britton, a microbiologist at Baylor College of Medicine, discovered something else about C. diff: More virulent strains were out-competing less virulent strains in the gut. (source)

Wellness Article

Saturated fat does not clog the arteries: coronary heart disease is a chronic inflammatory condition, the risk of which can be effectively reduced from healthy lifestyle interventions
British Journal of Sports Medicine
by Aseem Malhotra, Rita F Redberg, Pascal Meier

Coronary artery disease pathogenesis and treatment urgently requires a paradigm shift. Despite popular believe among doctors and the public, the conceptual model of dietary saturated fat clogging a pipe is just plain wrong. A landmark systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies showed no association between saturated fat consumption and (1) all-cause mortality, (2) coronary heart disease (CHS), (3) CHD mortality, (4) ischaemic stroke or (5) type 2 diabetes in healthy adults. Similarly in the secondary prevention of CHD there is no benefit from reduced fat, including saturated fat, on myocardial infarction, cardiovascular or all-cause mortality. It is instructive to note that in an angiographic study of postmenopausal women with CHD, greater intake of saturated fat was associated with less progression of atherosclerosis whereas carbohydrate and polyunsaturated fat intake were associated with greater progression. (source)

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Benefits-Of-Beetroot-JuiceBeetroot Juice Can Benefit Your Muscles
by Dr. Mercola

Beetroots, also known simply as beets or table beets in the US, are a sweet surprisingly concentrated source of nutrition. The first clue they’re loaded with nutrition is their bright red color, which indicates the presence of powerful phytonutrients called betalains. Betalains include reddish-purple betacyanin pigments and yellish betaxanthin pigments. Many of the betalain pigments in beets have been shown to provide antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and detoxifying effects.

Newer research suggests that, in addition, compounds in beets may improve muscle performance, offering allure not only for athletes but also for maintaining muscle function as you age. Read more…

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Too Little Sleep May Quadruple Your Risk for ColdsResearch-Less-sleep-causes
By Alan Mozes – WebMD Health News

When you’re run down from lack of sleep, you really are more apt to catch a cold, a new study finds. Investigators exposed 164 adults to cold virus and found better-rested folks are more likely to resist infection. Those who slept fewer than six hours a night were more than four times as likely to catch a cold as those who got more than seven hours of shuteye.

“The role that sleep has on the immune system is well-established, though not completely understood,” said study lead author Aric Prather, an assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco. Read more…

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foods_diabetesDo You Have Type 2 Diabetes?
by Howard Jacobson

If so, you’ve probably been told three “facts”:
1. You have an incurable disease.
2. You need to be treated with medications to keep your blood sugar under control.
3. You need to avoid sugar and starch and eat more protein and fat.

This medical approach to diabetes doesn’t seem to be working very well for our public health. Are we treating diabetics and improving health outcomes? Or is the progression of diabetes an all but inevitable decline into worse symptoms, more medication, and greater impairment?

Many well-designed and peer-reviewed research studies indicate:
-Most diabetics who are treated by Western Medicine get worse, not better, over time.
-Some of the treatments themselves may contribute as much to declining health as the disease itself.
-Reversal of this deadly condition is often possible.

Myth #1: Type 2 diabetes is an incurable disease
This myth is half true. If you live in the Western world and consume a high fat, high protein diet, you may view type 2 diabetes as a “disease.” Read more…

Health & Wellness Tips (from WebMD)

Five Foods to Curb Your Hunger
From WebMD by Katherine Brooking, MS, RD

If you feel like you’re suffering from a permanent case of “the munchies,” you’re not alone. Many people that I’ve counseled have told me that feeling hungry was the number one reason they gave up trying to lose weight. The good news is you don’t have to be a hostage to your hunger. Research identified compounds in specific foods that can help you feel fuller longer and turn down hunger hormones. Here are five natural “hunger stoppers” that can help you win the battle of the bulge without feeling famished.

red-raspberries-636Tip #14: Raspberries – while many berries offer health benefits, raspberries are a hunger-stopping standout. A one-cup serving of frozen red raspberries has only 80 calories and a whopping 9 grams of fiber. In fact, they’re one of the richest sources of fiber you can find. Because a high fiber diet makes people feel fuller for longer, it helps to reduce food cravings. Raspberries also provide a hearty dose of vitamin C, manganese, and potassium.

seaweadsnacks7Tip #15: Seaweed – is more than a trendy garnish; it’s a real cravings crusher. Seaweed has been enjoyed in Asia for centuries but its now gaining recognition for its appetite control and weight-loss benefits. Seaweed contains plenty of protein and soluble fiber, which help slow digestion and control blood sugar and cravings. What’s more, Japanese chemists have found that the brownish pigment in Wakame (a seaweed often used in salads and soups) called fucoxanthin, promotes weight loss. A study conducted at Hokkaido University in Japan saw obese rats lose five to 10% of their body weight when fucoxanthin was added to their regular food. Fucoxanthin works by stimulating the production of a protein that increases the burning of fat.

Pistachio_Close_UpTip #16: Pistachios (…and other nuts) – Nuts may be another surprise on this list. But studies show that contrary to popular myth, pistachios and other nuts may help squash hunger and control weight. Why? Nuts may help keep you fuller longer, and preliminary research suggests their calories aren’t fully absorbed by the body. What’s more, in-shell pistachios provide a unique advantage for waistline-watchers. A preliminary study from Eastern Illinois University suggests that people who snacked on in-shell pistachios consumed 41% fewer calories than those who ate shelled pistachios. The authors say the empty shells might be a helpful visual cue about how much has been eaten, thereby potentially encouraging you to eat less.

legumes_secsTip #17: Legumes (beans, peas, lentils, soybeans and chickpeas) – Legumes are a triple threat to tame hunger because they’re packed with fiber, resistant starch and slow-to-digest protein. In fact, a recent study in the Journal of Nutrition and Dietetics, found that overweight people who ate a bean-rich diet lost nearly 10 pounds in 16 weeks while also proving their blood cholesterol levels. Another analysis published in the journal Obesity found that people who ate about 1 cup (5.5 ounces) of legumes felt 21% fuller than those who didn’t eat these fiber-filled foods.

eggTip #18: Eggs – Eggs are another powerful tool in your hunger-fighting arsenal. One study in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that when people ate eggs for breakfast (versus equal-calorie breakfasts of either cereal or croissants), they consumed up to 438 fewer calories over the entire day. Other research indicates that an egg breakfast may help control hunger for a full 24 hours.

Wellness Resources

This Is What Sugar Does To Your Brain
The Huffington Post by Carolyn Gregoire

We know that too much sugar is bad for our waistlines and our heart health, but now there’s mounting evidence that high levels of sugar consumption can also have a negative effect on brain health – from cognitive function to psychological wellbeing. While sugar is nothing to be too concerned about in small quantities, most of us are simply eating too much of it. The sweet stuff – which also goes by names like glucose, fructose, honey and corn syrup – is found in 74% of packaged foods in our supermarkets. And while the World Health Organization recommends that only 5% of daily caloric intake comes from sugar, the typical American Diet is comprised of 13% calories from sugar. Read more…

Health & Wellness Tips (from WebMD)

Cod filetTip #11: Fish Really is Brain Food
A protein source linked to a great brain boost is fish — rich in omega-3 fatty acids that are key for brain health. These healthy fats have amazing brain power: A diet with higher levels of them has been linked to lower dementia and stroke risks and slower mental decline; plus, they may play a vital role in enhancing memory, especially as we get older. For brain and heart health, eat two servings of fish weekly.

Tavocado-toastip #12: Add Avocados and Whole Grains
Every organ in the body depends on blood flow, especially the heart and brain. A diet high in whole grains and fruits like avocados can cut the risk of heart disease and lower bad cholesterol. This reduces your risk of plaque buildup and enhances blood flow, offering a simple, tasty way to fire up brain cells. Whole grains, like popcorn and whole wheat, also contribute dietary fiber and vitamin E. Though avocados have fat, it’s the good-for-you, monounsaturated fat that helps with healthy blood flow.

Tip #13: Get Ready for a Big Daybagel with coffee
Want to power up your ability to concentrate? Start with a meal of 100% fruit juice, a whole-grain bagel with salmon, and a cup of coffee. In addition to eating a well-balanced meal, experts also offer this advice:
-Get a good night’s sleep
-Stay hydrated
-Exercise to help sharpen thinking
-Meditate to clear thinking and relax