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Friday, November 18, 2011

Immune Boosting Foods

Incorporate these immune-boosting and disease fighting powerfoods into your diet this season.
Garlic - has antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial properties. To experience the full benefits, it is recommended to eat an entire bulb of raw garlic daily! However, most of its potency will be retained even if you roast or sautee the garlic which may make this a bit more palatable.
Mushrooms - Look for the more exotic kinds such as shiitake (antiviral effects); enoki (immune-boosting effects); maitake (antiviral and immune-boosting)
Bright fruits and vegetables that are packed with immune-strengthening vitamins including vitamin A, C and E. Besides the classic oranges, try blueberries, sweet potatoes, pomegranates, carrots, spinach, etc.
Tea (Camellia sinensis)- Among other benefits tea (green, white, black, oolong) stimulates production of immune-strengthening enzymes. A 2007 study showed that adding citrus juice or vitamin C can increase the bioavailability of antioxidant compounds.
Zinc - is an important mineral in supporting the immune system. Sources include animal foods such as beef, eggs, and oysters (cooked). Plant sources are legumes (dried beans, garbanzos, black-eyed peas, lentils, peas, and whole soy products), pumpkin seeds, whole grains and nuts.

Check this out: Parent's Cough and Cold Kit for Children by Dr. Weil

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Breathing and Mood

Two recent studies show how mindful breathing practices may improve mood.
Burg and Michalak examined healthy subjects who were asked to keep continued mindful awareness of their breathing for 18 minute trials. Those who were able to sustain mindful awareness reported less negative thinking, less rumination and fewer symptoms of depression.
Yu, Fumoto, et al looked at healthy subjects practicing Zen meditation with focused abdominal breathing for 20 minutes and found that they had fewer negative feelings, increased levels of serotonin in their blood and more oxygenated hemoglobin in the prefrontal cortex, an area associated with attention and executive functioning.

The Healthy Quality of Mindful Breathing: Associations With Rumination and Depression

Authors: Burg, Jan1; Michalak, Johannes2

Source: Cognitive Therapy and Research, Volume 35, Number 2, April 2011 , pp. 179-185(7)

Friday, June 3, 2011

Preventing E Coli.

E Coli infection can be a foodborne illness and any food that you eat has the potential to be contaminated with E. coli bacteria. Taking precautions in food preparation and when eating out can reduce your risk. These include:

-Wash your hands thoroughly before food preparation and eating and after going to the bathroom and after handling food.
-E. coli bacteria can survive for several weeks on surfaces, so keep countertops clean.
-Wash all fruits and vegetables (including "pre-washed" salads) before eating them.
-Avoid allowing raw meats to come into contact with other foods while cooking
-Make sure meats (such as hamburger patties) reach an internal temperature of at least 160°F when cooking.
-Drink water that has been treated (chlorine, reverse osmosis, or filtered).
-Check with your health department to find out which restaurants have had recent problems with sanitation.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Cell Phone cancer classification - what does it really mean

From the IARC (International Agency for Research on Cancer) definition of Category 2b - Possibly Carcinogenic to Humans
This category is used for agents for which there is limited evidence of carcinogenicity in humans and less than sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity in experimental animals. It may also be used when there is inadequate evidence of carcinogenicity in humans but there is sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity in experimental animals. In some instances, an agent for which there is inadequate evidence of carcinogenicity in humans and less than sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity in experimental animals together with supporting evidence from mechanistic and other relevant data may be placed in this group. An agent may be classified in this category solely on the basis of strong evidence from mechanistic and other relevant data.

Also listed in this group category are a few other items for which people have widespread exposure: caffeine and gasoline.

What does this mean to me? This does not prove any connection, but I am going to go ahead and use caution as I always have.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Work-Life Balance

Time spent in housework and leisure: Links with parents' physiological recovery from work.
Saxbe, Darby E.; Repetti, Rena L.; Graesch, Anthony P.
Journal of Family Psychology, Vol 25(2), Apr 2011, 271-281. doi: 10.1037/a0023048

1. Spouses' balancing of housework and leisure activities at home may affect their recovery from work. This paper reports on a study of everyday family life in which 30 dual-earner couples were tracked around their homes by researchers who recorded their locations and activities every 10 min. For women, the most frequently pursued activities at home were housework, communication, and leisure; husbands spent the most time in leisure activities, followed by communication and housework. Spouses differed in their total time at home and their proportion of time devoted to leisure and housework activities, with wives observed more often in housework and husbands observed more often in leisure activities. Both wives and husbands who devoted more time to housework had higher levels of evening cortisol and weaker afternoon-to-evening recovery. For wives, husbands' increased housework time also predicted stronger evening cortisol recovery. When both spouses' activities were entered in the same model, leisure predicted husbands' evening cortisol, such that husbands who apportioned more time to leisure, and whose wives apportioned less time to leisure, showed stronger after-work recovery. These results suggest that the division of labor within couples may have implications for physical health. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2011 APA, all rights reserved)

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Oil pulling

What's up with Acai?