Tuesday, April 17, 2018

If You Know What's Good For You ... (Part 32)

Too Much Sitting Could Raise Brain Risks
Robert Preidt
Monday, April 16, 2018
(HealthDay News) -- There's been lots of research into how too many hours lounging on chairs and sofas can harm the heart. Now, researchers say all that sitting might be bad for your brain, too.
A new study found that too much time spent sitting was correlated with an unhealthy "thinning" of tissue in a key brain area tied to memory.
And it appears that the link isn't simply due to the fact that folks who sit for hours each day aren't exercising -- there was something about the act of sitting itself that seemed to be key, the researchers said.
"We found that sedentary behavior, but not [levels of] physical activity, was associated with less thickness of the medial temporal lobe," a brain region that's crucial to the formation of new memories, explained a team led by Prabha Siddarth.
Siddarth is a biostatistician at the University of California, Los Angeles' Semel Institute of Neuroscience and Human Behavior.
One brain specialist called the research early, but "intriguing."
While the study can't prove that sitting helped cause the brain tissue thinning, the research "bears further exploration," said Dr. Marc Gordon, chair of neurology at Zucker Hillside Hospital in Glen Oaks, N.Y.
In the study, Siddarth's group asked 35 people, aged 45 to 75, about their physical activity levels and the average amount of time they spent sitting each day during the previous week. Each participant also underwent a scan of their medial temporal lobe.
Study participants who spent a lot of time sitting were more likely to have thinning of this brain region, the investigators found. And that included even those people who had relatively high levels of physical activity when they weren't sitting.
As Gordon noted, however, "not all sitting behavior is necessarily equal, and what people are doing while they are seated may have different effects [on brain health]."
Siddarth's team explained that "it is possible that there may be two distinct groups: mentally active sitting and mentally inactive sitting. In mentally active sitting, individuals may be attending to cognitive demanding tasks such as crossword puzzles, documentation, writing, or computer games. In mentally inactive sitting, individuals may be engaging in less demanding, passive tasks such as watching television or movies."
The study authors also noted that a thinning of the medial temporal lobe is suspected of being a forerunner of mental decline and dementia in middle-aged and older adults.
So, it's plausible that reducing the amount of time spent sitting could be a way to improve brain health in people at risk for Alzheimer's disease and other types of dementia, the researchers suggested.
And not only the brain might be helped: Prior research has shown that too much sitting increases the risk of heart diseasediabetes and premature death, the study authors noted.
Siddarth's team said it wants to conduct a long-term study to determine if too much sitting actually helps cause a thinning of the medial temporal lobe.
The findings were reported April 12 in the journal PLOS One.
Eating lentils regularly could prevent the need for several medications: They nourish blood vessels and improve blood flow, pressure, circulation
by: Zoey Sky
Monday, April 16, 2018        
(Natural News) According to a study, lentils can help significantly reduce “dangerous blood pressure levels.”
Additionally, new data also showed that lentils could reverse deteriorating blood vessel health.
The researchers explained that the study, which was conducted on rats, proved that consuming the health-boosting food regularly can effectively prevent the increase in blood pressure which occurs as we grow older.
Based on the findings, eating lentils can also reverse the changes that occur in blood vessels due to high blood pressure.
Dr. Peter Zahradka from the University of Manitoba, the lead investigator for the Canadian study, explained that this is good news because lentils are a “non-pharmacological way of treating diseases associated with blood vessel dysfunction.”
The findings are a continuation of two earlier studies. The first was a clinical trial that showed how eating legumes – particularly a combination of beans, chickpeas, lentils, and peas – could boost blood flow to the legs of patients diagnosed with peripheral artery disease. This condition is connected to coronary heart disease and cerebrovascular disease.
The second study found that lentils could effectively block high blood pressure. (Related: Probiotics for your heart: Eat yogurt twice a week to reduce risk of heart attack in those with high blood pressure by up to 30%.)
Dr. Zahradka added that the most notable finding of the recent study illustrated how lentils could change the physical properties of blood vessels to make them resemble the vessels found in healthy animals. However, human studies are required to confirm these findings. 
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Dr. Julianne CurranPulse Canada’s director of nutrition, scientific, and regulatory affairs, concluded that lentils could be part of a simple, cost-effective dietary strategy that can help address cardiovascular disease. Pulse Canada is the national association that represents the growers, processors, and traders of Canada’s pulse crops.
In 2012, a study from the University of Toronto, led by Dr. David Jenkins, discovered that eating more pulses (e.g., beans, chickpeas, and lentils) helped lower the risk of heart disease by managing a patient’s blood sugar levels.

Foods that can help fight high blood pressure

If you or someone you love has high blood pressure, eat more of the foods below:
  • Bananas – This fruit contains potassium, and fresh produce is a better source of potassium than supplements.
  • Beets – Beets are full of nitric oxide that can help open the blood vessels and lower blood pressure. You can make juice from beets, or you can cook and eat the whole root.
  • Berries – Blueberries are rich in natural compounds called flavonoids. These compounds can help prevent hypertension and lower blood pressure. Other sources of flavonoids include raspberries and strawberries.
  • Dark chocolate – This healthy treat is linked to a lower risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD). Eat at least 100 grams of dark chocolate daily to help lower your risk of CVD.
  • Garlic – Garlic can help minimize hypertension by increasing the amount of nitric oxide in the body.
  • Herbs – Herbs are a healthy substitute for salt if you love eating flavorful dishes. Sources include basil, cinnamon, rosemary, and thyme.
  • Olive oil – Olive oil is a healthy fat, and it is rich in polyphenols, the inflammation-fighting compounds that can help lower blood pressure. Additionally, this healthy fat is an excellent alternative to butter, canola oil, or commercial salad dressing.
  • Pomegranates – According to a study, consuming a cup of pomegranate juice once a day for at least four weeks can help lower blood pressure. However, before you buy pomegranate juice check the packaging. Added sugars can negate the health benefits of pomegranate juice.
  • Leafy greens – Leafy greens are another great source of potassium which helps the kidneys eliminate more sodium through urine. This then lowers your blood pressure. Sources include arugula, beet greens, collard greens, kale, romaine lettuce, spinach, Swiss chard, and turnip greens.
You can read more articles about the health benefits of lentils and other natural remedies at Healing.news.
Sources include:
Everything you need to know about lentils
By Megan Ware RDN LD - Reviewed by Natalie Butler, RD, LD
Last updated   Mon 22 January 2018
Lentils are a high-protein, high-fiber member of the legume family. Like a mini version of a bean, lentils grow in pods and come in red, brown, black, and green varieties.
They are relatively quick and easy to prepare compared with dried beans, and their low cost makes them an accessible form of high-quality protein for many people around the world.
Fast facts on lentils
Here are some key points about lentils. More detail is in the main article.
  • Lentils are an excellent natural source of folate and manganese.
  • They are an economical source of protein.
  • Evidence suggests they protect heart health.
  • Lentils are an easy-to-prepare, versatile, and nutritious ingredient.
Lentils are rich in minerals, protein, and fiber.
Lentils are a highly nutritious food, rich in minerals, protein, and fiber.
100 grams (g) of cooked lentils contains:
  • 116 calories
  • 9.02 g of protein
  • 0.3 g of fat
  • 20.13 g of carbohydrates, including 7.9 g of fiber and 1.8 g of sugar
That same 100 g serving provides the following 
proportion of your daily intake:
  • 45 percent of folate
  • 36 percent of iron
  • 70 percent of manganese
  • 28 percent of phosphorus
  • 58 percent of thiamin
  • 14 percent of potassium
  • 127 percent of vitamin B6
Lentils are also a source of riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, magnesium, zinc, copper, manganese, and selenium.
Consuming plant-based foods of all kinds is associated with a reduced risk of many lifestyle-related health conditions.
Many studies have suggested that increasing consumption of plant foods like lentils decreases the risk of obesitydiabetesheart disease, and overall mortality while promoting a healthy complexion and hair, increased energy, and overall lower weight.
Heart health
Lentils can be highly beneficial for heart health.
The fiber, folic acid, and potassium in lentils all support heart health.
According to the American Heart Association (AHA), increased fiber intake can reduce low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, or "bad" cholesterol levels, beyond what can be achieved by a diet low in saturated and trans fats alone.
Not only is fiber associated with a lower incidence of cardiovascular disease, but also with a slower progression of the disease in high-risk individuals.
Lentils add essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber to the diet, and they provide protein and sustenance that can replace meat in meals.
When meat, a major source of saturated and trans fats in the diet, is replaced with a high-fiber food like lentils, the risk for heart disease is further decreased.
The United States (U.S.) Surgeon General recommends lowering meat consumption by 15 percent.
The potassium, calcium, and magnesium in lentils have been found to decrease blood pressure naturally.
Fewer than 2 percent of US adults currently meet the daily 4,700 mg recommendation for potassium.
Folate is critical for preventing congenital disabilities. It has been shown to cut the chances of early delivery by 50 percent or more if consumed for at least a year before pregnancy.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend that women consume 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid every day during their childbearing years.
One cup of lentils provides almost 90 percent of the required folate needs for a day.
Selenium is a mineral found in lentils. It is not present in most other foods.
Selenium prevents inflammation, decreases tumor 
growth rates, and improves immune response to infection by stimulating the production of disease-killing T-cells.
It also plays a role in liver enzyme function and helps detoxify some cancer-causing compounds in the body.
The fiber in lentils is also associated with a lowered risk of colorectal cancer.
Fighting fatigue
Lentils are a great way to keep energy up and combat fatigue.
Iron deficiency is a common cause of fatigue.
Women aged 18 to 50 years are particularly susceptible to iron deficiency. Not getting enough iron in the diet can affect how efficiently the body uses energy.
Lentils are a good non-heme source of iron.
One cup of cooked lentils contains over one-third of daily iron needs.
Non-heme means that the source of iron is not the hemoglobin in the blood. Meat and fish contain heme iron, while plant sources are non-heme.
Non-heme iron is less easy for the body to absorb, but it is valuable for people who do not consume meat for health or other reasons.
Digestion, regularity, and satiety
Adequate fiber intake is commonly recognized as an important factor in weight loss by functioning as a "bulking agent" in the digestive system.
Fiber in the diet helps to increase satiety and reduce appetite, giving a "full" feeling for longer. This can lower the overall calorie intake.
The high fiber in lentils also helps prevent 
constipation and promote regularity for a healthy digestive tract.
There are three main types of lentil in the U.S. These include:
  • Brown lentils: These have a mild, earthy flavor and will become mushy when overcooked. These are best used in soups.
  • French green, or Puy, lentils: These have a peppery taste and are better in salads, due to their crunchy texture.
  • Red lentils: These are common in Middle-Eastern or Indian cuisine and are actually brown Massor lentils that have had their hulls removed. They are most effective in purees and recipe thickeners.

Other types include Beluga lentils, which resemble caviar and are more expensive, and white lentils, which are black lentils that have had the hull removed. Macachiados lentils are another option and have a distinctive strong, nutty taste. They are often used in Mexican dishes.
There are four main types of lentils:
  • Brown lentils are the cheapest and soften the most upon cooking. They are best used in soups and stews.
  • Green lentils have a nuttier flavor. They stay firm when cooked and make good salad or taco toppers.
  • Red lentils have a milder taste. They are used in Indian dals and purees.
  • Black lentils are also known as beluga lentils, as they look like caviar when cooked.

Unlike dried beans, lentils do not require soaking. Rinse away any dirt from the lentils and discard any damaged lentils or foreign material.
Place the lentils into a pot and add 2 cups of water.
Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer to desired tenderness, typically about 15 to 20 minutes. One cup of dried lentils will swell to 2 cups when cooked.
Quick tips:
Here are some easy and tasty ways to used lentils in cooking:
  • Add lentils to any soup or stew recipe for extra nutrients and fiber
  • Precook lentils and keep them in the refrigerator for a quick protein source
  • Use lentils in place of beans in any recipe
  • Replace half the meat in Bolognese sauce or lasagna with red lentils
  • Make a lentil dip by smashing cooked lentils with a fork and adding garlic, onion, chili powder, and chopped tomatoes
  • Look out for new snacks like lentil-based crackers, chips, or crisps
Consuming large amounts of fiber may cause 
flatulence and constipation.
Anyone who is increasing their fiber intake should:
  • drink plenty of liquids to prevent constipation
  • take in small amounts of fiber at each meal
  • gradually increase intake for 1 or 2 months
These tips can help prevent digestive discomfort as the body adjusts to the change.
Loneliness: A Health Problem That Could Be Deadlier Than Obesity, Study Says
Richard Enos
April 11, 2018
Loneliness can reliably be linked to a significant increase in the risk of early mortality, according to a study at Brigham Young University. Head author, Julianne Holt-Lunstad, notes that “substantial evidence now indicates that individuals lacking social connections (both objective and subjective social isolation) are at risk for premature mortality.”
Holt-Lunstad believes the risks associated with loneliness are already greater than such established dangers as obesity:
Several decades ago scientists who observed widespread dietary and behavior changes raised warnings about obesity and related health problems. The present obesity epidemic had been predicted. Obesity now receives constant coverage in the media and in public health policy. The current status of research on the risks of loneliness and social isolation is similar to that of research on obesity 3 decades ago… Current evidence indicates that heightened risk for mortality from a lack of social relationships is greater than that from obesity.
Furthermore, she warns that “researchers have predicted that loneliness will reach epidemic proportions by 2030 unless action is taken.”
Why Are We So Isolated From Each Other?
From the long view, it can be said that Western civilization as a whole has fostered a gradual disintegration of our physical and social ties. With an emphasis on individual goals and an almost fanatical regard for personal achievement, the traditional institutions of family and community and their capacity to provide their members with a sense of belonging and shared purpose have become significantly fragmented.
The family unit has gone from large generations-linked mutual support systems to small and immediate units, sometimes involving single parents whose necessities make it very difficult to create a stable home environment for their children. Add to that the fact that more and more people are not even building families, and our society has more people living alone than at any other time in history. This includes the elderly, who are less likely to find a ‘fit’ living within their children’s families than ever before.
The decline of the ‘community’ is perhaps as significant as the disintegration of the family unit. In Western-style communities, people work as a collection of individual units interacting by specific functions rather than as an interrelated whole with a significant shared identity. Naturally, attempts are made today to join or build ‘communities’ all the time, but like the Meetup model, they are founded on the gathering of select people with similar interests and purposes, rather than a shared embrace of all people within a certain geographical area.
The Rise of Social Media
I believe the rise in prominence of social media has in part been fuelled by the sense of alienation we have long felt within our modern society. I don’t believe social media is the root cause of our loneliness, as some speculate, but rather a symptom of this much longer-standing social problem. Connecting via chats and web pages is just something that we have gotten into the habit of reaching for since it is so immediately accessible. But like any quick fix, it does not end up fulfilling our deeper needs, either individually or as a society.
If we see that our society has been slowly disintegrating over hundreds of years, then it becomes incumbent upon us as a society (if we can still even identify ourselves with our ‘society’) to take measures to remedy this situation. What those measures might be, though, given how things seem to be trending, is a matter of great conjecture.
On Being Alone 
One approach is to first acknowledge that Western society’s emphasis on the individual is not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, I believe that the development of personal integrity, creativity, and autonomy is a critical step in the evolution of human consciousness. Learning how to be alone with oneself is a part of that process. In his work entitled Pensées, French philosopher Blaise Pascal observed that “All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.”
As evidenced by Eastern gurus and mystics, one can be perfectly content in isolation. This can be greatly facilitated by the practice of meditation and other such methods that give us a direct perception of our energetic connectedness not only with other people, but with all things. In this higher state, the damaging emotional impact of loneliness and social isolation are not experienced.
Our Next Step
Still, the life of the yogi remains for the few. The rest of us, it seems, have come to this planet to interact, share, and love. And we have not incarnated into this dense physical world to get better at virtual relationships. At this stage, we have perhaps gotten a bit too accustomed to social isolation for our own good.
Holt-Lunstad notes that “although living alone can offer conveniences and advantages for an individual, this meta-analysis indicates that physical health is not among them.” She also cites another study that “has demonstrated higher survival rates for those who are more socially connected.” And then there is the seminal 75-Year Harvard University study, where “it was universally clear that without loving and supportive relationships, men in the study were not happy.” The message is becoming clear: we need to come together.
We are perhaps at a larger turning point in our development than most of us realize. It seems that we have reached the extreme edge of the exploration of individualism, and we are readying to move into greater balance with a collective identity. This is not a return to traditional ways, but rather a synthesis of our growth as individuals with the shared experience we are now hungering for. This synthesis signifies the next stage of our evolution.
Many cases of “dementia” are actually side effects of prescription drugs or vaccines, according to research
by: Isabelle Z.
Tuesday, February 27, 2018
(Natural News) The “quick facts” provided by the Alzheimer’s Association are pretty concerning: More than five million people in America are living with Alzheimer’s, and that number is projected to reach 16 million by the year 2050. As the sixth leading cause of death in our nation, it kills more Americans than prostate cancer and breast cancer combined. Someone in the U.S. develops Alzheimer’s every 66 seconds; will you be one of them?
With statistics like these, it’s no wonder that people want to do everything they can to reduce their odds. However, it’s also important to note that Alzheimer’s is only one of the potential causes of dementia. While many people use the terms interchangeably, Alzheimer’s is really only responsible for around 50 to 70 percent of dementia cases. The misleading terminology is obscuring one very dark fact about dementia: Many times, it’s being caused not by something scientists are still struggling to understand like Alzheimer’s but rather by things that are masquerading as tools for good health; vaccines and prescription drugs.
In fact, the Alzheimer’s Association that publicizes these statistics is subsidized by Big Pharma. It’s simply good business sense that they want people to believe that every memory-loss patient falls under the Alzheimer’s umbrella because then they can sell you drugs that purportedly address it. Their research has led them to an approach that pays dividends: promoting and destigmatizing what many think of as “mental illnesses,” making them seem unpreventable but manageable with drugs. Many people who work for the Alzheimer’s Association and similar organizations are well-meaning people who want to help and are often unaware of the connection to Big Pharma.
You have more control over “dementia” than you’re being led to believe
It’s no coincidence that dementia cases have been spiking during the same time that children and adults alike are being over-vaccinated (flu shot, anyone?) and the over-prescription of brain-altering drugs like antidepressants is prevalent.
A help guide based on a Harvard University report admits as much. According to the report, “medications are common culprits in mental decline.” As the body ages, the liver’s efficiency when it comes to metabolizing drugs declines, and the kidneys do not eliminate them as quickly as they once did. This causes the drugs to accumulate in the body, which means those who take multiple medications are particularly susceptible to this effect.
Included in the list of drugs published in the guide that cause dementia-like symptoms are antidepressants, anti-anxiety medications, sedatives, corticosteroids, narcotics, antihistamines, cardiovascular drugs, and anticonvulsants. It’s a very broad range of drugs, and many elderly people take medications from one or more of those categories. In fact, you might want to go check your medicine cabinet right now.
A study published in JAMA Internal Medicine correlated the use of popular medications like Benadryl and other anticholinergic drugs with dementia onset. According to the researchers, patients who took these medications for three years or more had a 54 percent higher chance of going on to develop the disorder.
Vaccines are also responsible for causing symptoms mistaken for dementia. People in their 40s are increasingly being diagnosed with “dementia,” and experts believe that environmental factors must be responsible in these cases. Mercury-containing thimerosal was used widely in childhood vaccines until 2001 and remains in some vaccines, including flu shots, to this day. A study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease found that exposure to mercury could produce many of the changes that are seen in Alzheimer’s patients, including impaired cognitive function and memory as well as confusion.
Researcher Richard Deth stated: “Mercury is clearly contributing to neurological problems, whose rate is increasing in parallel with rising levels of mercury. It seems that the two are tied together.”
Another common ingredient found in vaccines, aluminum, has been linked to dementia as well.
It’s a pretty smart way to keep the profit machine turning for Big Pharma: Convince people they need vaccines or drugs, and when those vaccines or drugs cause further side effects and illnesses, sell them even more drugs to counteract them. And the best part for them is that because mental decline is involved, it reduces the chances that people will wake up to what is really going on here.
Read Brain.news for more coverage of medical discoveries about the brain.
Sources for this article include:
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