Category Archives: Health & fitness

Health & fitness

Scientists have just discovered that this one green vegetable might be the key to staying young


Its not exactly the fountain of youth, but promising new research shows that there’s one particular enzyme that can actually slow down the onset of some of the chronic issues that come with age. Where can we find this enzyme, you ask? Well, in broccoli for starters.

Love it or hate it, we have several compelling reasons to give broccoli some serious respect: lately, it’s been proving it’s a pretty incredible little vegetable. From having some incredibly good effects for the skin, and even being added to coffee to boost your intake of antioxidants, broccoli is kind of the hero veggie of the moment.

In a paper published in Cell Metabolism, a Washington University School of Medicine-led research team found a way to make cells behave as though they’re younger than they actually are.

sc-bcNBC / giphy.comNow, the cells the researchers were working on were in mice, not humans – but it’s still a pretty exciting find. The agent that makes cells act younger is called nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN), and it’s involved in the production of another compound. That compound is necessary for energy metabolism.

When the researchers gave mice (who were aging normally) infusions of NMN, the bodies of these mice made more of that second compound – and, most importantly, some of the issues that go hand-in-hand with aging basically disappeared. The mice treated with NMN showed improvement in their eyesight and blood sugar levels, and a lowering in age-associated weight gain.

Dr. Shin-Ichiro Imai, who is the senior author of the paper as well as a professor of developmental biology and medicine at Washington University says: “It’s clear that in humans and in rodents, we lose energy with age. We are losing the enzyme NMN. But if we can bypass that process by adding NMN, we can make energy again. These results provide a very important foundation for the human studies.”

NMN is also found in cabbage, edamame, and cucumbers as well as broccoli – however, it’s probably unlikely that you’d be able to eat yourself young naturally.

According to Dr. Imai, “If you do the math, I wouldn’t say it’s impossible entirely but probably very difficult to get the whole amount [you need] simply from natural foods.”

broccoliImgur / giphy.comPart of the research team is based at Keio University in Tokyo and will begin an early study by giving NMN supplements to human participants in pill form. Until then, though, we have to say: Pass the broccoli.

Source: Scientists have just discovered that this one green vegetable might be the key to staying young

9 Surprising Benefits Of Meditation


1. Reunites You with Your Car Keys
Memory-training exercises? Sure — or you could meditate/visualize/yoga your way to improved cognition, according to a small study of older adults.

2. Turns Your Frown Upside Down
Meditation curbs activity in the brain’s amygdala, which helps govern anxiety, stress, and anger. Translation? You’re less likely to wig the hell out.

3. Provides TLC for Your IBS
In one study, eight weeks of mindfulness-based stress reduction tempered tummy turbulence by a whopping 26.4 percent.

4. Slashes Your Dessert Budget
Mindfulness stokes self-control and—by helping you distance yourself from cravings — robs Boston cream pie of its dastardly allure.

5. Transports You to Margaritaville
Meditation turns on the body’s parasympathetic nervous system, the flip side of fight-or-flight. Heart rate, blood pressure, and muscle tension decrease—and umbrella-drink mode kicks in.

6. Sweetens Your Slumber
After a six-week meditation workshop, insomniacs felt better rested and less depressed— probably because they were better rested and less depressed.

7. Douses the Flames Shooting out of Your Head
Multiple studies have shown that mindfulness, yoga, and deep breathing have a chilling effect on hot flashes.

8. Soothes Your Achy-Breaky Back
Eight weeks of mindfulness training for nearly five months of relief? Sign us up!

9. Makes You Nicer
When Buddhist monks practiced compassion meditation while having their brains scanned—we’ve all done that, right?—they showed increased neural activity related to empathy.

Source: 9 Surprising Benefits Of Meditation 

Neuroscience Says Listening to This 1 Song Reduces Anxiety by up to 65 Percent

CREDIT: Getty Images

Everyone knows they need to manage their stress. When things get difficult at work, school, or in your personal life, you can use as many tips, tricks, and techniques as you can get to calm your nerves.

So here’s a science-backed one: make a playlist of the 10 songs found to be the most relaxing on earth.

Sound therapies have long been popular as a way of relaxing and restoring one’s health. For centuries, indigenous cultures have used music to help enhance well-being and improve health conditions.

Now, neuroscientists out of the UK have specified which tunes give you the most bang for your musical buck.

The study was conducted on participants who attempted to solve difficult puzzles as quickly as possible while connected to sensors. The puzzles induced a certain level of stress, and participants listened to different songs while researchers measured brain activity as well as physiological states that included heart rate, blood pressure, and rate of breathing.

According to Dr. David Lewis-Hodgson of Mindlab International, which conducted the research, the top song produced a greater state of relaxation than any other music tested to date.

In fact, listening to that one song — Weightless — resulted in a striking 65 percent reduction in participants’ overall anxiety, and a 35 percent reduction in their usual physiological resting rates.

That is remarkable.

Equally remarkable is the fact that the song was actually constructed to do so. The group that created Weightless, Marconi Union, did so in collaboration with sound therapists. Its carefully arranged harmonies, rhythms and bass lines help slow a listener’s heart rate, reduce blood pressure and lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol.

When it comes to lowering anxiety, the stakes couldn’t be higher. Stress either exacerbates or increases the risk of health issues like heart disease, obesity, depression, gastrointestinal problems, asthma, and more. More troubling still, arecent paper out of Harvard and Stanford found that health issues from job stress alone cause more deaths than diabetes, Alzheimer’s, or influenza.

In this age of constant bombardment, the science is clear: if you want your mind and body to last, you’ve got to prioritize giving them a rest. Music is an easy way to take some of the pressure off of all the pings, dings, apps, tags, texts, emails, appointments, meetings, and deadlines that can easily spike your stress level and leave you feeling drained and anxious.

Of the top track, Dr. David Lewis-Hodgson said, “Weightless was so effective, many women became drowsy and I would advise against driving while listening to the song because it could be dangerous.”

Source: Neuroscience Says Listening to This 1 Song Reduces Anxiety by up to 65 Percent

Is Exercising While Angry Dangerous? 5 Healthy Hacks for Emotional Rescue

Wage inequality. The cancellation of your favorite podcast. The election and all its nasty turns. The modern world is spilling over with reasons to make us irate. Think a long run or sweat-soaked double session at SoulCycle will be cathartic? Not so fast. A new study shows that both strenuous workouts and emotional upheaval can negatively impact your heart—and it’s especially perilous to combine the two.

The study, out of McMaster University in Canada, looked at nearly 12,500 men and women who had experienced their first heart attack. Researchers interviewed subjects about their circumstances before having cardiac arrest; 14.4 percent reported feeling angry or emotionally upset and 13.6 percent said they were engaged in physical activity. The scientists determined that those who pushed themselves physically doubled their risk for a heart attack, and those who were dealing with heavy emotions as well as engaging in rigorous exercise tripled their chances of suffering from one. Most shockingly, taking into account people’s age and general fitness level didn’t alter results.

Andrew Smyth, M.D., a researcher with McMaster’s Population Health Research Institute who led the study, says that the biggest cause for concern was when people broke from routine and pushed themselves harder than they were used to. “The key point here is that any kind of physical exertion that is outside of a person’s usual routine likely carries a risk,” he says. “For example, someone who cycles 10 miles a few times per week may think that a seven-mile cycle does not constitute heavy exertion, but someone who hasn’t cycled for quite a while may consider that to be heavy exertion.”

Anger’s physical effects include raised blood pressure and heart rate, and sweating it out isn’t always the antidote. Here, five habits to take up when you need to calm down.

In addition to reducing stress and keeping our brains young, meditation has been shown to lower blood pressure. A recent study showed that people with heart disease who regularly practiced Transcendental Meditation were almost half as likely to have a heart attack, stroke, or die as non-meditators. One of the most popular classes at New York meditation studio MNDFL is called MNDFL Emotions, designed to help people deal with negative feelings. “One thing you want to do when working with anger is drop the story line and feel the energy of emotion itself,” says Lodro Rinzler, the studio’s cofounder. “We tend to act out and want to text someone, or tamp it down and ignore it, or distract ourselves with drinking, sex, or binge watching Netflix. The middle way is to feel the emotion itself. If we look at it, we can realize it’s not as solid and real as we thought.”

Take a Few Deep Breaths
Breathing exercises lower blood pressure as well as cardiovascular risk. MNDFL’s Rinzler says he uses this hack when he needs an instant reset. “Just focus on in through the nose and out through the mouth,” he suggests. The Apple Watch Series 2 comes with a Breathe app that reminds wearers to take a time-out and engage in a one-to-five-minute round of controlled breathing, guided by a blue icon that grows and shrinks with each inhalation and exhalation.

Try Acupuncture and Aromatherapy
“In Chinese medicine, anger is a symptom of an underlying disharmony that could have any number of origins like stress, overworking, or eating an improper diet,” says Oceana Baity, an acupuncturist and integrative wellness practitioner in New York City. “Liver 3—which is a pressure point on the top of the foot—is a good choice. A home treatment I often recommend to patients is to rub therapeutic-grade lavender on that point or the soles of their feet. Lavender calms the nerves and soothes the emotions.” (Baity recommends DoTerra lavender oil.)

Do Yoga—Unless You Hate It
Yoga’s benefits go beyond improving our flexibility and headstands. It lowers the heart rate and provides a sense of calm. “Your yoga mat is like a microcosm of the macro,” says San Francisco yoga instructor Lesley Desaulniers. “It’s a safe and powerful way of experimenting with having resilience and staying calm in the face of what might be perceived as stressful situations. Whether it’s putting your foot behind your head or dealing with a big emotion like anger, if you can practice witnessing it rather than feeling it, you can stay cool.” Desaulniers recommends seated-forward folds, back twists, and child’s pose for their calming powers. Those averse to yoga might not want to bother seeking solace on a sticky mat, however. “Some people do not like yoga, and it may only further increase the anger or frustration,” Dr. Smyth says.

Read a Novel
A new area of research is looking at the myriad ways fiction stimulates the brain. A fiction habit has been proven to increase our empathy (young Harry Potter fans are more tolerant of immigrants and gay people), and brain scans reveal that engaging with books can alter our state of mind. Calming authors to try: Rachel Cusk, Marilynne Robinson, Cormac McCarthy, Laurie Colwin, Barbara Pym, and Sharon Olds.

Source: 5 Healthy Ways to Manage Anger

Two Women Tried The ‘Weed Tampon’ So You Don’t Have To 

There’s a new cure for those pesky, miserable period cramps ― the Foria Reliefcannabis-based vaginal suppository.

In 2016, Foria, a company that specializes in cannabis-based “’therapeutic aphrodisiacs’ and healing products,” released Foria Relief in California, and it’s been nicknamed the “weed tampon.” In a new BuzzFeed video, two women tried it out to see they if it meets the hype.

Both of the women feared that the suppository would give them the same affects as ingesting THC by smoking or eating it, but it didn’t. “I had no issues. I was clearheaded,” one woman said about her experience. It is supposed to serve as a muscle relaxant and pain reliever, offering an alternative to painkilling meds.

“That’s what’s so cool about the Foria… you do not get ‘high,’” Dr. Jennifer Berman said in the video.

“I’m just feeling relaxed, and tired, but not high,” one woman said, five hours after inserting the suppository, which dissolves inside of you, rather than having to be removed like a tampon.

Both of the women had positive experiences and would recommend it.

But what they wouldn’t recommend is eating it…

Source: Two Women Tried The ‘Weed Tampon’ So You Don’t Have To 

How to get kids to stop melting their brains with endless screen time

Getty Images

If your kids spend too much time in front of a screen, you still have time torein that behavior in.

Last week, the American Academy of Pediatrics introduced new rules for screen time. It amended its former draconian guidelines that children under 2 should get no screen time at all, instead recommending that while children under 18 months should still not get any screen time (other than video chatting), children 18 to 24 months can get some screen time. “Parents of children 18 to 24 months of age who want to introduce digital media should choose high-quality programming, and watch it with their children to help them understand what they’re seeing,” AAP writes.

The new guidelines also state that children ages 2 to 5 should only get up to one hour a day of high-quality programming (that’s half its prior recommendation) — and parents must watch this programming with the kids. Once your child hits 6, they recommend guardians “place consistent limits on the time spent using media, and the types of media, and make sure media does not take the place of adequate sleep, physical activity and other behaviors essential to health.”

There are lots of ways to keep yourself looking young. But what about sounding young? Stacey Halum, director of the Voice Clinic of Indiana, discusses techniques and exercises to keep the voice sounding young.

Many parents will find these guidelines hard to follow: Fully 36% of parentssay their children had touched or scrolled the screen on their smartphone before their first birthday, and 33% said so when their kids were 1 year old. “Screen time is being over used as a pacifier,” says parenting expert Cherie Corso.

You should immediately start modeling the behavior you want your children to follow: “Parents also need to cut down screen time, kids will follow your lead,” says Corso. “Parents and caregivers need to change habits too and find a balance, be present be in the moment.”

Do things like leave your smartphone in the car so you aren’t tempted to play with it in front of them; keep the TV and laptop off while the kids are around. If you don’t do that, it may have detrimental effects on the children. And be present during your child’s school play or sports game, maybe instructing the school to have one staff member in charge of taking photos.

“They learn by watching us how to have a conversation, how to read other people’s facial expressions,” pediatrician Jenny Radesky, who studied parent-child interactions at restaurants, told NPR. “And if that’s not happening, children are missing out on important development milestones.”

Even if you’ve let your kids have more screen time than recommended, it’s not too late to change that. Start by having a conversation with your children in which you let them know that doctors say it’s not good for them to spend so much time in front of a screen and then brainstorm with them how they can spend less time with the devices, says Jennifer Lehr, the author of “ParentSpeak: What’s Wrong with How We Talk to Our Children — and What to Say Instead.”

Lehr advises that you set a weekly limit on screen time but let the kids choose when they want to watch; it could be that your 10-year-old gets 4 hours a week of screen time, but he can choose a small amount each day or to watch for a while one day and then skip it for a few days thereafter, she says. Corso says that you must have rules like “no phone during dinner” or “no screen time before bed.” And parenting blogger Tiffani Greenaway says she sets a timer to remind her kids when their time limit on screen time is up.

It’s also important to create plenty of other things for children to do instead of playing with the screen, Lehr adds. “Depending on your child’s interests, outfit their playspace with supplies, materials, costumes and toys that they can be creative with,” she says.

And when your kids start whining for more screen time, as they inevitably will, you should empathize, she says, and acknowledge that it’s hard to change our habits. And don’t forget: “Be available to play with them and get them out of the house.” she says.

Source: How to get kids to stop melting their brains with endless screen time – 

Teen Stuns Family After Waking From Coma Speaking Only Spanish 

The family of a 16-year-old Georgia boy is describing how he woke from a coma speaking Spanish instead of English.

Reuben Nsemoh was playing goalie for a Gwinnett County team late last month when another player accidentally kicked him in the head while he was diving for the ball, local ABC affiliate WSB-TV reported.

The high school sophomore, who has now suffered three soccer-related concussions, fell into a coma for several days. When he woke up, he could only speak in Spanish.

“Our life has changed through this process,” his mother, Dorah Nsemoh, told the station.

Teenage goalie Reuben Nsemoh, seen here in red, was diving for the ball when another player accidentally kicked him in the head last month, causing him to fall into a coma.

Reuben, whose English has since returned, said he knew a little Spanish because his friends and a brother speak the language. But he’d never felt comfortable holding a conversation in Spanish before his injury, he said.

“I wasn’t perfect, but my brother is a really fluent Spanish speaker, so he kind of inspired me with that too,” he told WSB.

His Spanish gradually slipped away after he woke up, Reuben said.

Reuben Nsemoh said he knows a little Spanish, but until his latest head injury, he had never been comfortable speaking the language.

Though Reuben’s experience may sound like something out of a sci-fi movie, it’s actually more common than some might realize.

Discussing a case of a Croatian girl who woke from a coma speaking German instead of her native language in 2013, neurolinguist Michel Paradis of McGill University in Montreal told Discovery News, “This has been observed thousands of times.”

What is impossible, Paradis noted, is someone suddenly speaking a language they didn’t know a word of before.

Because languages are often stored in different areas of the brain, Paradis explained, brain injuries can interfere with the ability to speak one of them, but not another. Once brain swelling goes down, people usually recover the ability to speak their native language, he said.

As for Reuben, the teen’s friends have started an online fundraiser to help pay off his medical bills. Once he’s fully healed, he looks forward to returning to his favorite sport ― though his coach insists he’ll have to wear a helmet.

“Why not start using it in practice and in the games?” Reuben’s coach, Bruno Kalonji, told WSB-TV, advocating use of the safety gear. “Everybody is waiting for that big [injury] before they start wearing the mask. We should try to prevent these things from happening earlier.”

Source: Teen Stuns Family After Waking From Coma Speaking Only Spanish

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