Foods, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

4 Foods That Make You Smarter, Really

Health and WEllness Associates

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4 Foods That Make You Smarter, Really

 

Do you ever wish you could improve your memory or concentration? Does your brain sometimes feel sluggish when you’re trying to learn something new? You might shrug it off as a lack of smarts, but poor mental performance could also be linked to the foods you eat. You can choose to eat foods that will make you smarter, help you process information faster and help you retain what you learn.

 

4foodstosmart

Can food really make you smarter?

Some people are naturally more gifted in certain areas than others. Eating amazing food will not suddenly make you a mathematical genius or a musical prodigy. However, your brain does have potential for learning, and making some specific dietary choices can help you realize that potential by improving your ability to focus, remember, and make connections.

What foods should you eat?

Your mind and body benefit from healthier foods in general, but there are some specific foods that are especially nourishing for your brain. Try to add these foods to your diet to boost your brain power:

  • Walnuts: Walnuts are the king of nuts when it comes to brain health. They have the highest levels of omega-3 fatty acids than any other nut. Your brain uses omega-3 fatty acids. When you don’t get enough of this nutrient to feed your brain, cognitive function starts to decline, especially memory.
  • Fish: Like walnuts, fish is high in omega-3 fatty acids, but that is not its only benefit. Researchers discovered that eating fish once a week increased grey matter in the brain. Eating fish can actually prevent age-related deterioration of brain function — fish makes you smarter, and you stay smarter for longer when you make it part of your diet.
  • Blueberries: Berries are one of the best foods for brain health. Blueberries and other berries (like blackberries and raspberries) improve the neural pathways in your brain, prevent neural cell death, reduce inflammation, and improve cognitive and behavioral function in the brain.
  • Leafy greens. Green foods are among the most nutrient dense on the planet. They are packed with vitamins and minerals, especially folic acid, which helps to prevent against cognitive decline. Greens will help you be more aware of your surroundings and keep your vocabulary sharp.

Think about it — a salad with kale, spinach, walnuts, salmon and blueberries could be the best thing to give your brain on a daily basis!

What foods should you avoid?

Just like some foods give your brain a boost, others push it into a fog. The biggest brain-buster is sugar. Diets high in sugar and high-fructose corn syrup drastically reduce your mental readiness. Researchers discovered that elevated sugar in the diet leads to greater insulin production and resistance in the brain. Exposure to elevated insulin reduces the brain’s response, leading to memory loss and slower motor function. Increased insulin resistance also affects how well your cells store energy for later use — your brain will not be able to fire on all cylinders without the right available nutrients.

Your diet affects how well you’ll do on a test, how quickly you respond to drivers on the road at rush hour, or how quickly you solve a problem. So, the next time you’re trying to decide what to make for lunch, remember to feed your brain.

 

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Health and Disease, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Red Flag for Early Learning Disabilities

Health and Wellness Associates

EHS – Telehealth

Red Flag for Early Learning Disabilities

 

redflag

 

Learning a new subject may involve many mistakes. But when they are too frequent and long-lasting, they may be symptoms of a learning disorder, the National Institutes of Health says.

A learning disability isn’t a measure of how smart a child is. It’s caused by a difference in the brain that’s present from birth, or shortly after. This affects how the brain handles information, and may cause problems with reading, writing and math.

 

Some of the early warning signs of a preschooler having a learning disability.

Trouble interacting with others, plays alone

Easily frustrated

Hard to manage, temper tantrums

Has difficulty following directions or focusing for long periods of time.

 

The agency says your child should be evaluated for a learning disability if the child has:

 

Difficulty reading or writing.

Issues with learning basic math concepts.

Difficulty remembering.

Trouble following directions.

Problems staying organized.

 

Do not count on a teacher to determine things by this behavior.  They have their own experiences with this, but can not tell the difference with a learning disability or an early mental health disorder.

 

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Diets and Weight Loss, Foods, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Calorie Counts on Menus May Be Trimming Americans’ Waistlines

Health and Wellness Associates

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Calorie Counts on Menus May Be Trimming Americans’ Waistlines

fastfood

With roughly 40 percent of Americans now obese, new research finds that one strategy may be helping Americans stay slim: calorie counts on restaurant menus.

Following the passage of the Affordable Care Act of 2010, chain restaurants with 20 or more franchises must now list a meal’s calorie count on their menus and order boards.

And some cities and states — including New York City, Philadelphia and Seattle, and all of California, Massachusetts and Oregon — have gone a step further, imposing broad calorie label mandates in full-service restaurants.

Now, a snapshot of the ordering habits in two full-service, sit-down restaurants suggests the legislative moves are having an impact.

“We conducted an experiment with over 5,500 diners in real-world restaurants and found that calorie labels led customers to order 3 percent fewer calories,” said study author John Cawley. The drop amounted to about 45 fewer calories consumed per meal.

“This was due to reductions in calories ordered as appetizers and entrees,” he added, with little change seen in the calorie count of either drinks or desserts.

That second finding struck Cawley, a professor in the departments of policy analysis and management, and economics at Cornell University, as surprising.

“Before we started, I expected that people would reduce calories in desserts, but they didn’t,” he said.

Why?

“In interpreting that, it’s important to remember that people will change their behavior when the information is new or surprising,” he explained. “People may have already known that desserts are high-calorie and not cut back, but been surprised by the number of calories in appetizers and entrees, and so reduced calories there.”

Cawley calculated that over a three-year period, the calorie cut would lead to weight loss in the range of one pound.

“Not large,” he acknowledged, “but it’s also a cheap policy, and philosophically it’s attractive to allow people to make informed decisions.”

What’s more, “the vast majority of people support having calorie labels on menus, and those who were exposed to them expressed even higher support,” he added.

The findings were published recently as a report issued by the National Bureau of Economic Research, a private nonprofit research organization.

Both restaurants in the study were located on a university campus.

Dining parties were randomly given a menu with or without calorie-count labels. About 43 percent of the study participants were men. The average age was 34, and about two-thirds were white.

Appetizers contained between 200 to 910 calories, entrees contained 580 to 1,840 calories, and desserts contained 420 to 1,150 calories. Drinks ranged from 100 to 370 calories.

Beyond the 3 percent calorie drop linked to the labeling, the researchers also found that consumer support for labeling went up by almost 10 percent among patrons who were given labeled menus.

And restaurant revenue did not seem to be affected by the type of menu offered, despite long-voiced industry concerns that calorie counts might undermine a food establishment’s bottom line.

Lona Sandon is an associate professor in the department of clinical nutrition with the school of health professions at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. She said the study makes it “apparent that some people at least pay attention” to labels.

But the move is just “one piece in the big puzzle of addressing the public health problem of obesity,” she said.

“I do not see a drastic change in overweight and obesity rates anytime soon as a result of the menu labeling,” Sandon added.

“On the positive side, it is making people more aware. It may also be making restaurant owners and chefs more aware, which could lead to them putting more healthier options on the menu,” she said. “Between the labeling and changes in recipes, we could get more impact.”

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Health and Disease, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Vaccine Scandal – A Must Read!

Health and Wellness Associates
EHS – Telehealth

 

China’s vaccine scandal explodes as one million doses now found to be maiming Chinese children… total cover-up by the media

 

North American gets 30% of their vaccines from China

Baby-Asian-Vaccine-Polio-Doctor-Illness-Mmr.jpg

 

The Chinese government has admitted that hundreds of thousands more doses of children’s vaccines are faulty, bringing the total number of vaccines known to be defective there to nearly one million.

The State Council of China announced that another batch of vaccines for diphtheria, pertussis and tetanus (DPT) that were produced by the firm Changchun Changsheng Biotechnology, were considered “substandard.” Most of the doses were sold to authorities in the Shandong province in northeastern China, and some have already been given to children.

The latest batch of 247,200 vaccines joins the 253,338 defective DPT vaccines from the same company that were discovered last November, along with more than 400,000 produced by a different company.

According to the South China Morning Post, 76 percent of those children who were given injections from the first substandard batch have already been treated by doctors, and there are now plans in place to treat those who received injections from the second batch.

Although the Chinese government has done its best to prevent people from talking about the crisis, Chinese social media is still full of conversation about the topic. There have also been reports that the company used expired ingredients and altered testing records.

Last month, thousands of enraged parents expressed their anger and disappointment that their country has let them down when it comes to their handling of vaccines. The Chinese president promised swift action and a prompt investigation, yet the problem continues.

Critics have accused the government of being more concerned about saving face than making things right with the children who were subjected to the faulty vaccines. In the Nikkei Asian Review, Yanzhong Huang writes:

“Officials have reportedly restricted news coverage and censors have swiftly scrubbed away widely shared essays and posts criticizing the government or spreading bad news. Even news reports from state-owned publications, such as an investigation into Wuhan Institute’s substandard vaccines by the newspaper Economic Observer, have been taken down.”

He called for Beijing to improve vaccine safety and for the public and the press to get involved in exposing violators. He said that whistleblowers should be viewed as heroes rather than troublemakers.

Arrests, recalls issued in vaccine scandal

Some Changsheng Biotechnology personnel have already been arrested in connection with the problem. Chairwoman Gao Junfang, who is also known as the “Vaccine Queen” and considered one of China’s wealthiest women, is among the 18 people who have been arrested so far. The mayor of the drug manufacturer’s home city, Changchun, has also been arrested, along with the deputy governor of the Jilin province where the company is located and the national drug regulator’s deputy director.

Where is the media outrage?

It’s not just the Chinese government that is trying to keep the scandal quiet; many American mainstream news outlets are also ignoring the situation or keeping their coverage to a minimum, which isn’t surprising given their general reluctance to report on anything that could cast the vaccine industry in a negative light.

There isn’t any word on injuries caused by the vaccines, but vaccines have been impounded and production has been suspended. There has also been a recall of vaccine products from foreign markets, but details are scarce.

Chinese parents had already lost a great degree of confidence in the government after a scandal a few years ago in which children were disabled and even killed by vaccines that were ruined after they had been transported and stored improperly. This latest incident won’t do much to restore their faith.

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Lifestyle, Uncategorized, Vitamins and Supplements

The Nightmare Pill!

Health and Wellness Associates
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1 in 6 Women Take This Nightmare Pill While Many Studies Suggest It’s Useless

 

Use of Antidepressants Continue to Rise

wingsandclaws

 

Major depression is one of the most common disorders in the U.S., with 16 million adults reporting at least one major depressive episode in the past year. When you look at all forms of depression, that number goes even higher. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 24 million Americans experience some form of depression, which can interfere with personal and work relationships, reduce work or academic performance and affect physical health.

 

Depression reduces your ability to care for yourself properly and make adequate decisions about your health, including nutrition and sleep. Imbalances in nutrition, weight fluctuations and poor sleep habits may lead to compromised immune function.

 

If ignored, depression can become chronic and can lead to self-harming behaviors such as drug or alcohol abuse6 and even be terminal if the person commits suicide. Up to 70 percent of people who commit suicide are clinically depressed, and 90 percent of people who struggle with suicidal thoughts experience a combination of depression and substance abuse.

 

Antidepressant Use Continues to Rise

According to the latest statistics use of antidepressants in the U.S. rose by 65 percent between 1999 and 2014. As of 2017:

 

  • Nearly 1 in 8 Americans (13 percent) over the age of 12 reported being on antidepressant medication

 

  • 1 in 6 women (16.5 percent) reported antidepressant use compared to 1 in 11 men (9 percent)

 

  • About one-quarter of those who had taken an antidepressant in the past month reported being on them for 10 years or more

 

  • Caucasians were more than three times more likely to use antidepressants than Blacks, Hispanics or Asians (16.5 percent compared to 5.6 percent, 5 percent and 3.3 percent respectively)

 

In Scotland, researchers also warn that antidepressant use among children under the age of 12 has risen dramatically.13 Between 2009 and 2016, use in this age group quadrupled. Use among children under 18 doubled in the same time frame.

 

Research Reveals Antidepressants Are Rarely the Right Answer

Unfortunately, the most widely used remedy for depression is also among the least effective. In addition to a long list of potential side effects (which include worsening depression and suicide), 40 percent of people with major depressive disorder treated with antidepressants do not achieve full remission.16

 

Perhaps more importantly, studies have repeatedly shown antidepressants work no better than placebo for mild to moderate depression, so you’re taking grave risks for a very small chance of benefit. As noted in a 2014 paper on antidepressants and the placebo effect:

 

“Antidepressants are supposed to work by fixing a chemical imbalance, specifically, a lack of serotonin in the brain … But analyses of the published data and the unpublished data that were hidden by drug companies reveals that most (if not all) of the benefits are due to the placebo effect …

 

Analyzing the data we had found, we were not surprised to find a substantial placebo effect on depression. What surprised us was how small the drug effect was. Seventy-five percent of the improvement in the drug group also occurred when people were give dummy pills with no active ingredient in them.

 

The serotonin theory is as close as any theory in the history of science to having been proved wrong. Instead of curing depression, popular antidepressants may induce a biological vulnerability making people more likely to become depressed in the future.”

 

Placebo Effect Accounts for 82 Percent of Drug Response

The author of that 2014 study, Irving Kirsch, is a psychotherapist who has performed a number of analyses on antidepressants. In 2002, his team filed a Freedom of Information Act request to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), asking for the trial data provided by drug companies as part of the drug approval process.

 

The FDA requires drug companies to provide data on all clinical trials they’ve sponsored, including unpublished trials. As it turned out, nearly half of all clinical trials on antidepressants remained unpublished. When both published and unpublished trials were included, 57 percent showed the drug had no clinical benefit over placebo. What’s more, the placebo response actually accounted for 82 PERCENT of the beneficial response to antidepressants!

 

These results were reproduced in a 2010 study using another, even larger set of FDA trial data. According to Kirsch, “Once again, 82 percent of the drug response was duplicated by placebo.” A major benefit of evaluating FDA trial data was that all of the trials used the same primary measure of depression, which made the drug-to-placebo effects very easy to identify and compare.

 

The primary measure of depression used in these studies was the Hamilton depression scale, a 17-item scale with a possible score of 0 to 53 points. The higher your score, the more severe your depression. Importantly, the mean difference between antidepressants and placebo was less than two points (1.8) on this scale, which is considered clinically insignificant.

 

To illustrate just how insignificant of a difference this is, you can score a 6-point difference simply by changing sleep patterns without any reported change in other depressive symptoms.

 

EMFs — A Not Well-Known Cause of Anxiety and Depression

About one year ago Dr. Martin Pall published a review in the Journal of Neuroanatomy showing how microwave radiation from cell phones, Wi-Fi routers and computers and tablets not in airplane mode is clearly associated with many neuropsychiatric disorders. I recently did an interview with him that will air on September 3. In the meantime, you can view my interview on EMFs that I discussed on my recent trip to visit with Dave Asprey, founder and CEO of Bulletproof.

 

These microwave EMFs increase intracellular calcium through voltage gated calcium channels (VGCCs) and the tissue with the highest density of VGCCs is the brain. Once these VGCCs are stimulated they also cause the release of neurotransmitters and neuroendocrine hormones leading to not only anxiety and depression, but neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and brain cancer.

 

So, if you struggle with anxiety or depression, be sure to limit your exposure to wireless technology. Simple measures include turning your Wi-Fi off at night, not carrying your cellphone on your body and not keeping portable phones, cellphones and other electric devices in your bedroom.

 

Studies have also confirmed the therapeutic effects of spending time in nature.  Ecotherapy has been shown to lower stress, improve mood and significantly reduce symptoms of depression. Outdoor activities could be just about anything, from walking a nature trail to gardening, or simply taking your exercise outdoors.

 

Breath work such as the Buteyko breathing technique also has enormous psychological benefits and can quickly reduce anxiety by increasing the partial pressure of carbon dioxide in your body. These three techniques are a perfect complement to each other, and cost nothing. Simply turn off your electronics, head outside and practice proper breathing.

 

America Struggles With Notable Decline in Mental Health 

While prescriptions for psychiatric drugs keep increasing (when you include other drugs beside antidepressants, such as anti-anxiety drugs, nearly 17 percent of American adults are medicated, several parameters show mental health in the U.S. is declining.

 

Suicide rates are at a 30-year high, mental disorders are now the second most common cause of disability, having risen sharply since 1980, and prescription drug abuse and overdose deaths have become a public health emergency. While opioid pain killers are among the most lethal, psychiatric drugs also take their toll. In 2013, anti-anxiety benzodiazepine drugs accounted for nearly one-third of prescription overdose deaths.

 

All of these statistics suggest that far from being helpful, antidepressants and other psychiatric drugs are making the situation worse. Sure, these drugs may be helpful for a small minority of people with very severe mental health problems, such as schizophrenia, but clearly, the vast majority of people using these drugs do not suffer from severe psychiatric illness.

 

Most are struggling with sadness, grief, anxiety, “the blues” and depression, which are in many ways part of your body’s communication system, revealing nutritional or sunlight deficiencies and/or spiritual disconnect, for example. The underlying reasons for these kinds of troubles are manifold, but you can be sure that, whatever the cause, an antidepressant will not correct it.

 

Women also need to be mindful of the fact that use of antidepressants during pregnancy can significantly increase your chances of having a child with autism. One study found antidepressant use during the second or third trimester was associated with an 87 percent increased risk of autism. The use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors was associated with double the risk of autism in the child, while the use of two or more antidepressants increased the risk more than fourfold.

 

Which Treatments Actually Work?

If you’re at all interested in following science-based recommendations, you’d place antidepressants at the very bottom of your list of treatment candidates. Far more effective treatments for depression include:

 

  • Exercise — A number of studies have shown exercise outperforms drug treatment. Exercise helps create new GABA-producing neurons that help induce a natural state of calm, and boosts serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine, which helps buffer the effects of stress.

 

Studies have shown there is a strong correlation between improved mood and aerobic capacity, but even gentle forms of exercise can be effective. Yoga, for example, has received particular attention in a number of studies. A study published this spring found 90-minute yoga sessions three times a week reduced symptom of major depression by at least 50 percent.30

 

  • Nutritional intervention — Keeping inflammation in check is an important part of any effective treatment plan. If you’re gluten sensitive, you will need to remove all gluten from your diet. A food sensitivity test can help ascertain this. Reducing lectins may also be a good idea. As a general guideline, eating a whole food diet as described in my optimal nutrition plan can go a long way toward lowering your inflammation level. Certain nutritional deficiencies are also notorious contributors to depression, especially:

 

◦ Omega-3 fats. I recommend getting an omega-3 index test to make sure you’re getting enough. Ideally, you want your omega-3 index to be 8 percent or higher.

 

◦ B vitamins (including B1, B2, B3, B6, B8 and B12). Low dietary folate can raise your risk by as much as 300 percent. One of the most recent studies showing the importance of vitamin deficiencies in depression involved suicidal teens. Most turned out to be deficient in cerebral folate and all of them showed improvement after treatment with folinic acid.

 

  • Vitamin D — Studies have shown vitamin D deficiency can predispose you to depression and that depression can respond favorably to optimizing your vitamin D stores, ideally by getting sensible sun exposure.In one such study, people with a vitamin D level below 20 nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL) had an 85 percent increased risk of depression compared to those with a level greater than 30 ng/mL.

 

A double-blind randomized trial38 published in 2008 concluded that supplementing with high doses of vitamin D “seems to ameliorate [depression] symptoms indicating a possible causal relationship. “Recent research39 also claims that low vitamin D levels appear to be associated with suicide attempts. For optimal health, make sure your vitamin D level is between 40 and 60 ng/mL year-round. Ideally, get a vitamin D test at least twice a year to monitor your level.

 

  • Probiotics — Keeping your gut microbiome healthy also has a significant effect on your moods, emotions and brain. You can read more in my previous article, “Mental Health May Depend on the Health of Your Gut Flora.”

 

  • Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) — EFT is a form of psychological acupressure that has been shown to be quite effective for depression and anxiety.40,41,42,43 For serious or complex issues, seek out a qualified health care professional that is trained in EFT44 to guide you through the process. That said, for most of you with depression symptoms, this is a technique you can learn to do effectively on your own.

 

One of my new favorites.  My mom passed away unexpectedly in July and I am very grateful she did not have cancer or struggles with any abuses from the conventional health system that many of our readers do. However, losing my mother was a major challenge in grief management for me.

 

I realize grief is not depression but the book “Letting Go: The Pathway of Surrender”45 by Dr. David Hawkins, was one of the best books I have read this year and helped teach me the useful tool of how to free yourself of painful emotions. I have read many of Hawkins’ previous books but this was his last one as he also recently passed.

 

Other Helpful Treatment Strategies

Here are several other strategies that can help improve your mental health:46

 

Clean up your sleep hygiene

 

Make sure you’re getting enough high-quality sleep, as sleep is essential for optimal mood and mental health. A fitness tracker that tracks your sleep can be a useful tool. The inability to fall asleep and stay asleep can be due to elevated cortisol levels, so if you have trouble sleeping, you may want to get your saliva cortisol level tested with an Adrenal Stress Index test.

 

If you’re already taking hormones, you can try applying a small dab of progesterone cream on your neck or face when you awaken during the night and can’t call back to sleep. Another alternative is to take adaptogens, herbal products that help lower cortisol and adjust your body to stress. There are also other excellent herbs and amino acids that help you to fall asleep and stay asleep. Meditation can also help.

Optimize your gut health

 

A number of studies have confirmed gastrointestinal inflammation can play a critical role in the development of depression. Optimizing your gut microbiome will also help regulate a number of neurotransmitters and mood-related hormones, including GABA and corticosterone, resulting in reduced anxiety and depression-related behavior.

 

To nourish your gut microbiome, be sure to eat plenty of fresh vegetables and traditionally fermented foods. Healthy choices include fermented vegetables, lassi, kefir and natto. If you do not eat fermented foods on a regular basis, taking a high-quality probiotic supplement is recommended.

 

Also remember to severely limit sugars, especially fructose, as well as grains, to rebalance your gut flora. As a standard recommendation, I suggest limiting your daily fructose consumption from all sources to 25 grams per day or less.

Visualization

 

Visualization and guided imagery have been used for decades by elite athletes prior to an event, successful business people and cancer patients — all to achieve better results through convincing your mind you have already achieved successful results. Similar success has been found in people with depression.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

 

CBT has been used successfully to treat depression. This therapy assumes mood is related to the pattern of thought. CBT attempts to change mood and reverse depression by directing your thought patterns.

Make sure your cholesterol levels aren’t too low for optimal mental health

 

You may also want to check your cholesterol to make sure it’s not too low. Low cholesterol is linked to dramatically increased rates of suicide, as well as aggression toward others. This increased expression of violence toward self and others may be due to the fact that low membrane cholesterol decreases the number of serotonin receptors in the brain, which are approximately 30 percent cholesterol by weight.

 

Lower serum cholesterol concentrations therefore may contribute to decreasing brain serotonin, which not only contributes to suicidal-associated depression, but prevents the suppression of aggressive behavior and violence toward self and others.

Helpful supplements

 

A number of herbs and supplements can be used in lieu of drugs to reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression. These include:

 

  • St. John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum). This medicinal plant has a long historical use for depression, and is thought to work similarly to antidepressants, raising brain chemicals associated with mood such as serotonin, dopamine and noradrenaline.

 

  • S-Adenosylmethionine (SAMe). SAMe is an amino acid derivative that occurs naturally in all cells. It plays a role in many biological reactions by transferring its methyl group to DNA, proteins, phospholipids and biogenic amines. Several scientific studies indicate that SAMe may be useful in the treatment of depression.

 

  • 5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP). 5-HTP is another natural alternative to traditional antidepressants. When your body sets about manufacturing serotonin, it first makes 5-HTP. Taking 5-HTP as a supplement may raise serotonin levels. Evidence suggests 5-HTP outperforms a placebo when it comes to alleviating depression, which is more than can be said about antidepressants.

 

  • XingPiJieYu. This Chinese herb, available from doctors of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), has been found to reduce the effects of “chronic and unpredictable stress,” thereby lowering your risk of depression.

Guidelines for Safe Drug Withdrawal

If you’re currently on an antidepressant and want to get off it, ideally, you’ll want to have the cooperation of your prescribing physician. It would also be wise to do some homework on how to best proceed. Dr. Joseph Glenmullen from Harvard has written a helpful book on how to withdraw called “The Antidepressant Solution: A Step-by-Step Guide to Overcoming Antidepressant Withdrawal, Dependence, and Addiction.”

 

You can also turn to an organization with a referral list of doctors who practice more biologically or naturally, such as the American College for Advancement in Medicine at http://www.ACAM.org. A holistic psychiatrist will have a number of treatment options in their tool box that conventional doctors do not, and will typically be familiar with nutritional supplementation.

 

Once you have the cooperation of your prescribing physician, start lowering the dosage of the medication you’re taking. There are protocols for gradually reducing the dose that your doctor should be well aware of. At the same time, it may be wise to add in a multivitamin and/or other nutritional supplements or herbs. Again, your best bet would be to work with a holistic psychiatrist who is well-versed in the use of nutritional support.

 

If you have a friend or family member who struggles with depression, perhaps one of the most helpful things you can do is to help guide them toward healthier eating and lifestyle habits, as making changes can be particularly difficult when you’re feeling blue — or worse, suicidal. Encourage them to unplug and meet you outside for walks. We should not underestimate the power of human connection, and the power of connection with nature. Both, I believe, are essential for mental health and emotional stability.

 

If you are feeling desperate or have any thoughts of suicide, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, a toll-free number: 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or call 911, or simply go to your nearest hospital emergency department. You cannot make long-term plans for lifestyle changes when you are in the middle of a crisis.

 

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Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Ennui: The Historic Illness of Wealthy Ladies

Health and Wellness Associates

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Ennui: The Historic Illness of Wealthy Ladies

Ennui
Peignoir

Ennui? What in the Dickens is that?
What illness, if any, might prove a benefit. Here is a list we started.

One – Ennui

In French novels of long ago, wealthy ladies would occasionally suffer from ennui, a kind of lassitude. They would spend days in their boudoir dressed in lovely peignoirs and receive gentlemen callers. They probably enjoyed some light refreshment and interesting discussions including gossip and mild flirtation.

It was probably a welcome diversion from routine. We could revive this “illness” and even, perhaps, have employers allow “ennui days”, as they do sick days. Men as well as women could take part in this diversion. The problem is finding the proper ennui garb for males that would be their dress analogous to the female peignoir.

Two

Much overlooked as a benefit is what is called “Tourista”, “Montezuma’s Revenge”, “Gypie Tummy” (Gypie for Egypt) or some such evoking the image of the country where such a disease is contracted. We forget that along with this discomfort is fascinating history, interesting and delicious food, works of art, performances of music, fantastic scenery and the chance to enjoy a different people and culture.

Three

Venereal disease is not looked upon with much pleasure. However, at least in literature it is considered by some to be a source of genius. In Thomas Mann’s “Doctor Faustus” the hero, Adrian Leverkuhn strikes up a remarkable bargain with Satan, who agrees to bestow genius upon this mortal. In exchange, Leverkuhn will receive no love in his life. When he dies he will have a choice of fire or ice; when he “tires” of one milieu he may go to the other changing his hell’s climate from one to the other throughout eternity. Upon agreeing to the bargain, Leverkuhn leaves immediately for a big city, has a liaison with a prostitute and contracts syphilis.

Four

Epilepsy is often referred to as the disease of holiness. In the Middle Ages people so inflicted were thought to have a special venue to the divine and so were called holy men or holy fools. Some epileptics have reported visions of heaven and God. One of the most memorable of the sufferers of this disease is Myshkin in Fyodor Dostoevsky’s “The Idiot.” He was compared to Christ for his compassion.

To claim you have an illness has some value for a woman. To avoid what is sometimes called her marital duty, she can claim a headache.

We need not forget our pleasure in one of the most likable “sickies” in literature: Mallard de Mare, the seasick duck. He was the invention of Walt Kelly, and appeared in this author’s Pogo Stories. MdM walked instead of flying during the migratory seasons because of his malady. This gave Walt a chance to have MdM react with the earthbound characters in the story.

I will not forget the delicious pleasure of just “not feeling good.” It allows you to take to your bed, start a book you’ve wanted to read and finish with a delightful nap. And I’ve saved until last mention of the pleasurable succor of Quantreau orange liqueur during an attack of the flu.

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Diets and Weight Loss, Foods, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Shhhhhh… Dairy Free Cheesecake

Health and Wellness Associates

EHS – Telehealth

 

Shhh…This Cheesecake Is Dairy-Free

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You can use the words indulgent and dairy-free in the same sentence. Like to describe this dairy-free cheesecake recipe with blueberry topping. It’s rich yet virtuous, which is achieved without using cream cheese or butter or even flour. (So, yes, it’s technically vegan.) Dessert, anyone?

 

One 9-inch cake (10 servings)

CRUST

1½ cups pecans

2 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons coconut oil

 

FILLING

 

3 cups cashews, soaked in water overnight (see note)

3 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons honey

Zest and juice of 1 lemon

¾ cup coconut milk

½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

 

TOPPING

 

1 pint fresh blueberries

2 tablespoons sugar

Zest and juice of 1 lemon

 

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Place a springform pan on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

 

  1. MAKE THE CRUST: In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the pecans until they are finely ground. Transfer to a medium bowl and wipe out the food processor.

 

  1. Add the sugar to the ground pecans and stir to combine. Add the coconut oil and stir until the crumbs are evenly moistened. Pour the crumb mixture into the prepared pan and press into an even layer.

 

  1. Bake the crust for 8 to 9 minutes, or until the edges are lightly golden. Let the crust cool to room temperature.

 

  1. MAKE THE FILLING: Drain the cashews and transfer to the food processor. Pulse until the cashews are coarsely chopped. Add the sugar, honey, lemon zest, lemon juice, coconut milk and vanilla extract, and pulse until very smooth (the mixture should be pretty thick).

 

  1. Pour the cashew mixture over the cooled crust and spread into an even layer. Transfer to the freezer to chill while you make the topping.

 

  1. MAKE THE TOPPING: In a medium pot, combine the blueberries with the sugar, lemon zest and lemon juice. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer until the blueberries are very soft and begin to burst, 8 to 10 minutes.

 

8.Puree the blueberry mixture in a blender or food processor until smooth. Pour the puree on top of the filling and spread into an even layer. Chill the cheesecake in the freezer for at least 45 minutes.

 

  1. Transfer the cheesecake to the refrigerator and keep chilled until ready to serve. To serve, unmold and slice the cheesecake.

 

Note: No time to soak the cashews overnight? No problem. Place them in a medium pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and then boil for 15 minutes. Drain and cool the cashews to room temperature before continuing with the recipe.

 

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Foods, Health and Disease, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Extreme Eating Award Goes To….

Health and Wellness Associates

EHS – Teleheatlh

 

Extreme Eating Award

 

Restaurants serve up salt, fat and a whole lot of calories in their menus, the Center for Science in the Public Interest says in its Xtreme Eating Awards.

A breakfast burrito might sound a little healthy, with fillings like potatoes, avocados and even veggies in the form of peppers and onions.

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 Public Interest XTreme Eating Awards Winner is: Cheesecake Factory’s Breakfast Burrito is loaded with bacon & sausage & delivers more than a day’s worth of calories & 3 days’ worth of fat

But the Cheesecake Factory’s Breakfast Burrito is also loaded with bacon and sausage and delivers more than a whole day’s worth of calories and three days’ worth of artery-clogging fat, according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest.

 

“It’s like eating seven McDonald’s Sausage McMuffins,” the CSPI said.

 

The CSPI released its annual Xtreme Eating Awards on Wednesday — a not-so-tongue-in-cheek poke at some of the excesses Americans can find at fast-food joints, in restaurants and in movie theaters.

 

“These dishes go the extra mile … just so more of us can start looking for extra-large-size apparel. Bravo!” the group says in its report.

 

“Many people may not realize that eating out almost always means overeating,” CSPI senior nutritionist Lindsay Moyer told NBC News.

 

“The Xtreme Eating Awards highlight some of the worst restaurant meals in America,” she added. “These are dishes that have oftentimes about 2,000 calories or more.”

 

The federal government and most health groups suggest that the average person eat 2,000 calories a day or less. One day’s sodium limit should be 2,300 milligrams, saturated fat should be kept to 20 grams or less and sugar intake should be kept to 50 grams or lower.

 

But even foods labeled as snacks can take people beyond those limits.

 

At the AMC movie chain, the Bavarian Legend Soft Pretzel “weighs in at a pound and a half of mostly white flour, with tubs of nacho ‘cheese’ and mustard for dipping,” the CSPI report reads.

 

“The 9-inch-wide pretzel has a day’s calories (1,920), three-quarters of a day’s saturated fat (15 grams), and more than three days’ worth of sodium (7,600 mg).”

 

Chili’s Honey-Chipotle Crispers and Waffles, the group says, doses restaurant patrons with more than a day’s worth of calories, two days’ worth of saturated fat and more than three days’ sodium allowance.

 

“This chicken and waffles on steroids is like eating five Krispy Kreme glazed doughnuts smothered in 30 McDonald’s Chicken McNuggets and five packets of barbecue sauce,” the group says.

 

The Cheesecake Factory pushed back, noting that people may be eating out as a special occasion. It says it also offers lower-calorie options.

 

“Many of our guests come in and want to celebrate and not be concerned with calories. Others want to share their dish — and we love it when guests share — that’s a great sign that our portions are generous – and a large percentage of our guests take home leftovers for lunch the next day,” the company said in a statement.

 

“For our calorie-conscious guests we have our award-winning SkinnyLicious Menu featuring nearly 50 delicious choices with 590 calories or less — which is actually larger than many restaurants’ entire menus.”

 

Moyer advises people to always look for such lower-calorie menu choices.

 

“Restaurant portions almost everywhere are out of control. It’s a good idea to either share a dish with someone else or take home half for later,” she said

 

“That’s why it’s so important that calories are now listed on chain restaurant menus. When you go out to eat, look for the calories.”

 

Restaurants are just trying to look generous, Moyer said.

 

“The other thing I find is that restaurants pile all sorts of cheap ingredients on a plate to make it seem like a good value. It’s often large portions of white flour and cheese. At the very least you can ask restaurants to use less cheese or leave it off entirely,” she said.

 

And most Americans eat out regularly now, not just as a treat or to celebrate special occasions. This regular overeating is helping drive the obesity epidemic. Nearly three-quarters of Americans are overweight or obese.

 

“We pick on these extreme meals, but even many typical dishes in restaurants are a threat to Americans’ health because they raise the risk of obesity, diabetes and heart disease,” Moyer said.

 

“We’re at the point now where about 45 percent of American adults have pre-diabetes or diabetes.”

 

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Health and Disease, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Loneliness Kills!   Which puts a dent in your sex life!

Health and Wellness Associates

EHS – Telehealth

 

Loneliness Kills!   Which puts a dent in your sex life!

 

Loneliness is a public health risk in the U.S.

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Research confirms that emotional isolation ranks as high as smoking when it comes to risk factors that can shorten your life.

This does not mean we are a nation of emotionally immature adults who need to be coddled.

On the contrary . . .

According to longevity expert Dr. Gary Small, our need for intimacy and socialization is hardwired into our brain. This makes the quantity and quality of your social connections crucial to your ability to enjoy a long life.DrSmall-brains.png

 

Long-Lasting Loneliness Doesn’t Just Make

You Sick — It Can Actually Kill You

 

John Cacioppo is a leading psychologist specializing in the study of loneliness. He reports that loneliness not only speeds up death in sick people, but also makes healthy people sick by putting them into a stressful fight-or-flight mode.

You might think that being lonely simply means you are depressed. To be clear, while loneliness can be a symptom of depression, they are not the same thing.

So what does “loneliness” really mean?

Well, experts in the field say loneliness is the state of being socially isolated and deprived of intimacy.

And now, researchers have linked chronic loneliness to numerous physical ailments.

 

Loneliness Is a Public Health Risk for Our Nation’s Seniors

As you might imagine, loneliness is a huge problem for America’s older population.

That’s because seniors so often lose connections with relatives, spouses, friends, neighbors, and co-workers.

I’m sure you’ve seen this happen in your own life as you grow older.

Statistics tell us women are lonelier than men, and the retired are lonelier than the employed.

An AARP loneliness study surveyed 3,012 Americans age 45 and older. They found that:

35% of adults 45 and up are lonely.

This means over 42.6 million older adult Americans suffer from chronic loneliness.

Those in poor health are more likely to be lonely.

Those with lower incomes are more likely to be lonely.

 

A Healthy Sex Life Increases Life Expectancy

As you’ll see in special reports, researchers have found that sexual activity causes the release of endorphins and other hormones. This results in additional relaxation and more restful sleep, which boosts brain health.

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A healthy sex life not only improves mood — it also raises life expectancy.

 

One 10-year British longitudinal study found significantly lower mortality rates in men who had more frequent sexual relations.

 

Sexual feelings lead to the release of DHEA, a hormone that gradually declines after age 30. This hormone bolsters cardiac health, which could explain why more frequent sexual activity results in a longer lifespan.

 

And for those who are not currently sexually active, Dr. Small shares that simple physical expressions such as hugging can improve your brain and body health, and even reduce blood pressure.

 

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Lifestyle, Rx to Wellness, Uncategorized

You can loose Your Job/License if You are Taking Xanax

Health and Wellness Associates

EHS – Telehealth

 

You can loose Your Job/License if You are Taking Xanax

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Anxiety affects millions of people every year, and anxiety disorders are considered to be the most prevalent of mental illnesses. Statistics show that in the United States, some 40 million adults grapple with an anxiety disorder every year — over 18 percent of the total adult population. It’s estimated that around 25 percent of children in the U.S. struggle with anxiety, too.

 

For many people, the first line of treatment provided to them by their doctor will be a prescription drug, as usual. But the truth is that there are many natural alternatives, which are just as effective and boast fewer side effects (if any).

 

The Xanax Controversy

Xanax and its generic counterparts are some of the most commonly prescribed prescription drugs and are part of the “benzodiazepine” class of drugs. Benzodiazepines are used to treat anxiety — but they come with some serious consequences. Even so, doctors write 44 million prescriptions for Xanax alone every year — and many of those prescription holders will find themselves in rehab, thanks to a budding benzodiazepine addiction.

 

Narconon reports that rehab admission rates for people with a benzodiazepine addiction nearly tripled between 1998 and 2008. This coincides with an increase in prescription rates as well: CDC data shows the number of adults using a benzodiazepine increased 67 percent over 18 years, from 8.1 million prescriptions in 1996 to 13.5 million in 2013.

 

Additionally, the researchers say that the quantity of filled prescriptions increased during the same time frame.

Employers and health insurance carriers are starting to watch employees who are on Xanax and re-evaluating their level of work.  Many states are also looking into licensed personnel and their use of Xanax, since it is an addictive drug.

 

The outlook for Xanax and its pharma cousins is even bleaker today: Studies show that the death toll from these drugs has been increasing over the last several years. Benzodiazepine addiction has been overshadowed by the devastating opioid addiction epidemic — yet, these pharmaceuticals are responsible for over 30 percent of prescription drug overdoses. In either case, Big Pharma is ultimately to blame — especially when it comes to Xanax.

 

Not only has Xanax been glamorized to an alarming extent, it is well-known that tolerance to Xanax builds up quickly. This means people need more of the drug to produce the same “effect” over time — sometimes, in just a matter of weeks.

 

The risk of addiction is so high that the National Institutes of Health has stated that Xanax shouldn’t be used in patients for more than a few months — yet many people end up on the drug long-term.

 

There are so many natural alternatives to help treat anxiety, prescribing addictive, potentially lethal drugs is downright criminal.

 

Natural methods for overcoming anxiety

There are many options for natural anxiety relief. Amino acids, in particular, are believed to be very useful in this regard: By bolstering production of neurotransmitter GABA, amino acids taurine and L-theanine both have the potential to reduce anxiety. Attenuating GABA, the “brain calming chemical,” is actually exactly how Xanax works.  Studies have shown that L-theanine can fight anxiety as well as the drug.

 

A number of vitamins and minerals are known to help reduce anxiety and promote overall mental health. These include B vitamins, vitamin C, magnesium and zinc.

 

Many herbs are known to help reduce anxiety. Chamomile, passionflower, valerian, and lemon balm all have a place in the plant-based medicine arsenal and are known for promoting relaxation. Recent studies suggest these herbs help support GABA production. But two of the most potent anxiety-relieving herbs are kava and and gotu kola.

 

Beyond supplements, there are a host of other tricks for relieving anxiety. Avoiding caffeine is a big one, as lots of people find it worsens anxiety. Getting plenty of sleep, frequent exercise and employing a regular meditation or yoga practice can also help quell feelings of anxiousness.

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