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9 Guaranteed Ways to Fight the Winter Blues (SAD)

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Seasonal affective disorder (SAD), also referred to as winter blues or winter depression, impacts people which experience normal mental health for the rest of the year but get depressed during the cold months and even through the fall.

Nearly 3 percent of Americans are afflicted by SAD.  But a lot of people don’t even realize they’re depressed and attribute altered behavior to the winter weather.

SAD symptoms are often manifested during the time of the year with less sunlight throughout the day as in the colder days of fall and winter months. The symptoms can begin as mild or average but may become severe.

You may go through the winter blues during other parts of the year if you work extended hours indoors in an office building with few windows for sunlight to shine through. Some even experience mood alterations during prolonged stretches of cloudy climate.

You may be experiencing SAD in the event that you frequently feel fatigued, crave foods abundant with carbohydrates, lack enthusiasm in doing normal activities, have a problem diffusing tension and coping with stress, find it hard to concentrate, feel socially withdrawn, and encounter weight gain.

Don’t allow SAD to get you down}, especially through the holidays. Listed below are easy steps to fight seasonal affective disorder:

  • Avoid grains and sugars – Grains and sugars create a risk of insulin resistance, which is connected with depression.
  • Work out – Sweat it out to create endorphins, that promotes a feeling of well-being by minimizing pain and stress.
  • Laugh – Like working out, laughter releases endorphins to provide you with painkilling effects similar to morphine.
  • Meditate and pray.
  • Optimize your degrees of omega-3 good fats – These EFAs might help your emotional well-being. Animal options like top quality fish and krill oil.
  • Pass on drinks – Avoid alcoholic beverages because drinking is only going to depress you more.
  • Sleep early – We are designed to fall asleep when at sunset. In the wintertime, however, you might want to go to bed at an earlier time to conserve this biological pattern and prevent disrupting fragile hormonal cycles within your body.
  • Socialize – No man can be an island. Go find good people that will help cheer you up.
  • Try light treatment – There are small lightweight lamps known as light boxes that make artificial full-spectrum light which mimic outdoor light to improve your mood.
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Why Spraying Pesticides to Combat Zika Virus is Actually Bad for You

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Millions of honeybees are dead in Dorchester County, South Carolina, and local beekeepers say the mass death was a result of the county spraying the area with the controversial pesticide naled on Sunday afternoon in an effort to combat Zika-spreading mosquitoes.

“The pattern [of bee death] matched acute pesticide poisoning,” the Washington Post reported, and added:

A Clemson University scientist collected soil samples from Flowertown on Tuesday,according to WCBD-TV, to further investigate the cause of death. But to the bee farmers, the reason is already clear. Their bees had been poisoned by Dorchester’s own insecticide efforts, casualties in the war on disease-carrying mosquitoes.

A single apiary in Summerville, South Carolina lost 2.5 million bees in 46 hives, according to a local resident’s comments on Facebook. Kristina Solara Litzenberger said that visiting the apiary after the spraying “was like visiting a cemetery, pure sadness.”

“[W]ithout honeybees we have no food,” Litzenberger added. “Additionally, one can only deduct that if that much damage was caused to the bees, how will this affect people, wildlife, and the ecosystem?”

Beekeepers are supposed to be warned prior to any pesticide spraying, so that they can cover their hives to protect them. But local bee owners say they were not given any warning about Sunday’s spraying, according to the local news station WCBD—and this was also the first time the community was subjected to aerial spraying, rather than spraying from trucks.

“Had I known [about the spraying beforehand] I would have been camping on the steps doing whatever I had to do screaming no you can’t do this,” a beekeeper told WCSC, another local station.

“I was angry that day, I just couldn’t wrap my head around the fact that we spray poison from the sky,” Andrew Macke, another beekeeper in Dorchester County, told WCBD.

Tiffany Finck-Haynes, food futures campaigner at Friends of the Earth, observed in an email to Common Dreamsthat “widespread pesticide use has led to unintended consequences in the past, and has great potential to damage both public health and the environment. To tackle unwanted pest problems, it is important to primarily employ alternative pest management strategies that focus on pest prevention through cultural, biological, structural, and mechanical means, and use toxic pesticides only as a last resort.”

And naled is a particularly dangerous pesticide, as the Miami Herald reported earlier this month:

Several studies suggest that long-term exposure to even low levels of naled can have serious health effects for children and infants as well as wildlife, including butterflies and bees, for whom exposure can be lethal. Some studies suggest it might have neurological and developmental effects on human fetuses, including on brain size, echoing the severe consequences that eradication of the Aedes aegypti mosquito that carries the Zika virus is meant to prevent.

While the EPA brushes aside concerns that naled is harmful to honeybees and to humans, the EU banned the chemical’s use in Europe in 2012 because its research found that pesticides containing naled “pose a potential and unacceptable risk to human health and the environment.”

Beneficial Oils for Your Health

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There are hundreds of types of olives, but some of the most popular are Manzanillo, Sevillano, Mission, Ascolano, Kalamata, and Barouni. Take your pick, because olives are one of the healthiest fruits for your heart, your bones, your skin, and your overall health. And don’t avoid them due to their high-fat content…that’s one of the benefits that make them so healthy! So, if you’ve got 5 minutes to spare, take an olive snack break.

Cut Your Cardiovascular Disease Risk 

More than 75% of the fat in olives (and olive oil) is oleic acid, which is a monounsaturated fat that has been proven to help reduce your cardiovascular disease risk by lowering blood pressure. When you consume olives, oleic acid travels into your cells and has the ability toFresh-olive-mix alter the signaling patterns at the cell membrane level, in this way helping to regulate blood pressure. And the prestigious journal BMC Medicine reports that olive oil (high-quality extra virgin olive oil that is) can decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease and death in people predisposed to heart disease.

Increase Your Antioxidant and Anti-inflammation Power

According to the European Journal of Cancer Prevention, olives are abundant in antioxidants, with antioxidant properties higher than those of vitamin E! Olives are rich in distinctive antioxidants, such as oleuropein, which helps keep LDL cholesterol from oxidizing in your body and causing your arteries to harden. Oleuropein also exhibits anti-inflammatory capabilities by helping to suppress the activity of nitric oxide synthase (iNOS), which contributes to inflammation. Another phenolic compound in olives called oleocanthal has demonstrated anti-inflammatory action that rivals the anti-inflammatory power of the drug ibuprofen.

The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory mechanisms in olives make this nutrient-dense fruit a notable cancer weapon. Compounds in olives have been shown to help activate two anti-cancer genes: one that inhibits the development of tumors and another that helps induce cancer cell death.

The International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Medicine sums up the health benefits of olives:

“Several studies have shown that the incidence of coronary heart disease and cancers is lowest in the Mediterranean basin as compared to other parts of the world because of the diet … rich in olives and olive products.

… Oleic acid, a monounsaturated fatty acid plays an important role in cancer prevention, while squalene showed anticancer effect …

Olive oil shows a role in the prevention of the development of carcinomas and olive oil may have chemopreventive properties against colon carcinogenesis …

Oleuropein is a powerful antioxidant and anti-angiogenic agent and shows a potent anti-tumor agent and cancer-protective effects.”

Oleuropein to the Rescue

Oleuropein in olives, along with other antioxidants such as Tyrosol, have been shown to increase life span. In lab studies, oleuropein increased longevity by 15% in treated cultures.

Along with the unique antioxidants hydroxytyrosol and squalene, oleuropein may help protect the skin from UV radiation. And studies have shown that olive oil infuses the skin with antioxidants when applied topically; so feel free to slather some olive oil on your skin when you are cooking!

Oleuropein has also been shown to help protect against the loss of bone mass. One hundred and twenty seven elderly men ate a Mediterranean diet high in olive oil for two years and saw an increase in a bone matrix protein called serum osteocalcin, as well as an increase in procollagen I N-terminal propetptide, which is another marker of bone health. Other antioxidant compounds in olives have been shown to activate bone-forming cells called osteoblasts.

Other benefits of olives include:

  • Protecting against insulin resistance
  • Keeping the liver healthy
  • Providing antimicrobial and antibiotic assistance
  • Stimulating testosterone production
  • Delivering nutrients, such as vitamin A, for healthy vision
  • Being a great source of copper, fiber, iron, and vitamin E

High-quality olives are easier to come by than high-quality olive oil. Always choose the extra-virgin variety of olive oil from a trusted source. Go local if you are fortunate enough to have an olive oil producer nearby.

 

Benefits of Almonds for Your Heart

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Just a healthy dad here, with some quick points about Almonds.

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Prunus amygdalus, Amygdalus communis or Amygdalus dulcisare a type of tree native to the Middle east and South Asia. The harvested seeds of this tree are known to us as the mighty Almond. Encased in a hard shell the edible seed inside has a thin brown skin and white flesh.

And the almond is indeed mighty.

  • Almonds are beneficial for those who have heart diseases and diabetes in their family
  • Almonds increase your ability to regulates insulin. If you’re family has a history of these illnesses, it’s in your best interest to make almonds a regular part of your diet.
  • Almonds also help with the decrease of low-density lipoprotein (LDL), a bad type of cholesterol.

Give them a try.

Cinnamon and Diabetes

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First so explain what diabetes is.

At its core, diabetes is a disease of sugar (glucose) management. Insulin, secreted by the pancreas, allows cells to use glucose. When the pancreas doesn’t produce insulin,  it’s called Type 1 diabetes. This is an autoimmune disease that strikes early in life, and was a death sentence until insulin was discovered.

When the pancreas can produce insulin, but the amount is insufficient, or when there’s a problem with the uptake of insulin into cells, it’s termed type 2 diabetes.

90% of all diabetes is type 2. Typically a disease of older adults, type 2 diabetes can potentially be treated without drugs of any kind, but success rates are low and medication is eventually advisable. There’s also gestational diabetes, a disease of pregnancy, and prediabetes, where blood sugars are elevated, and diabetes is an expected future diagnosis.

For dealing with diabetes a lifestyle modification is the most beneficial, this would include working out, loosing weight, keeping an eye on your diet.

Evidence for Cinnamon

Reports of diabetes go back to 1552 BCE, yet the ability to effectively measure any diabetes treatment only goes back a few decades. A study in  2003, when a study from Alam Khan suggested several grams of cassia cinnamon per day could lower fasting blood glucose. Khan randomized Type 2 diabetes to 1g, 3g, or 6g of cinnamon for 40 days. All three groups improved their fasting blood glucose, and blood lipid levels, but there was no effect on A1C.

Like trials with any other supplement or herbal product, the primary question we must answer is “What exactly was studied?”. The cinnamon you have in your kitchen may be a single species of plant or a mix of different cultivars. Ceylon cinnamon (Cinnamommum verum) is more commonly found in the West. Cassia cinnamon (Cinnamomum aromaticum) is the version of cinnamon that’s been studied in trials. The chemicalhydroxychalcone has been identified as a potential active ingredient, which is believed to modify the sensitivity of cells to insulin, enhancing their uptake. If that’s the true mechanism of action, then it would work in a manner similar to that of the drugs Avandia, Actos, and metformin (Glucophage). Given the active ingredient (or ingredients) have not yet been definitively isolated, the issue of studying cinnamon is problematic. There’s no way to assess the potency of any batch, which complicates any evaluation. And that may be a reason why the research with cinnamon is inconsistent and largely disappointing.

Although studies have provided mixed results about the use of cinnamon when dealing with diabetes it should in now way be used as a substitutes to medications and habit changing. Medications are often cheap and in most cases, work comparatively with cinnamon.

That said,  cinnamon can be used in conjunction with a healthy life style and self-management but use at our own risk.

Soft Drinks Are Tasty, but So Bad

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A growing body of peer-reviewed research shows that diet soft drinks raise your risk for a number of serious health problems, including…

  • Metabolic syndromepop-for-pop_coke
  • Hypertension
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Cancer

Now, one of the largest studies ever conducted on diet soft drinks shows that if you’re still opting for diet drinks as a way to avoid extra calories, you may be putting your heart health at risk, as well.

Zero Calories…and Lots of Problems 

Researchers at the University of Iowa recently completed one of the largest studies ever done on the dangers of soft drinks.  The new study, which took 10 years to complete and involved 60,000 participants, showed that consuming diet drinks was associated with…

  • Higher odds of developing heart disease
  • Greater risk of dying from heart disease

Participants who consumed 2 or more diet drinks daily were 30% more likely to have a “cardiovascular event”—a heart attack or stroke—than those who never or rarely consumed them.  Even more worrying was the finding that consuming upward of 2 diet drinks each day made participants twice as likely to die from heart disease or a related condition.

It’s time to stop the habit. Soda is more trouble then its worth. Grab some lemon water instead and your body will thank you.

Take Your Vitamin C – Everyday

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Vitamin C may not be the most glamorous antioxidant on the block, but that doesn’t mean it’s not still one of the most powerful. This miraculous nutrient has been shown to:

  • Help prevent the oxidative damage that leads to degenerative diseases
  • Accelerate wound healing
  • Play an essential role in the production of collagen (a protein that holds the body together), carnitin (which aids the body in transforming fat into energy), and catecholamines (hormones produced by the adrenal glands)
  • Help the body absorb iron
  • Clear the body of harmful toxins
  • Restore oxidized vitamin E to its healthful form
  • Help metabolize cholesterol and bile acids, which may help reduce cholesterol and gallstones

Except for three species most animals produce vitamin C internally. Humans, along with primates and guinea pigs, can only get their vitamin C from their diets. Unfortunately, theVitamin-C recommended daily value for vitamin C is just 60 mg/d…far lower than vitamin C experts advise. But you can easily boost your vitamin C levels by eating a colorful diet of organically grown produce.

Follow Linus’s Lead

Despite his untarnished reputation and amazing accomplishments in the fields of chemistry and medicine, two-time Nobel Prize winner Linus Pauling came under fire for his controversial claims regarding the remarkable healing nature of vitamin C…that in large doses it could essentially forestall life-threatening illnesses such as cancer and heart disease. Since his death, however, research suggests that his vitamin C claims may not be all that far-reaching.

The healing power of vitamin C lies in its ability to prevent the free radical damage that contributes to aging and disease. It acts as a reducing agent, lending an electron to free radicals intent on damaging your cells and DNA. By adding an extra electron to these damaged molecules, vitamin C neutralizes them before they can do harm.

A 10-year study conducted by Dr. James Engstrom of UCLA showed that men who supplemented with 800 mg of vitamin C daily had less heart disease and lived up to 10 years longer than men who took just 60 mg of vitamin C a day—the recommended RDA!

Another study found that among 11,200 senior citizens, those who supplemented with high potency vitamins C and E had a reduced mortality rate of 42%, while those who took a low potency multivitamin experienced no beneficial effect on mortality. Forty other studies have shown that diets replete in vitamin C may help reduce the risk of cancer.

Fill Up Your Plate

To get your daily dose of vitamin C fill your plate with colorful fruits and veggies, like…

  • Broccoli
  • Tomatoes
  • Strawberries
  • Artichokes
  • Oranges
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Kiwi
  • Papaya
  • Kale
  • Sweet peppers
  • Cantaloupe

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For further protection, experts advise supplementing with 200-800 mg of vitamin C in liposomal or buffered form such as Ester-C to help prevent gastrointestinal upset.