How do you maintain the balance of healthy eating and still end the holiday on a positive note? First of all, remember that Halloween is a special occasion. It’s a great time to relax your standards about candy eating but also a great opportunity to increase your consumption of healthy foods to offset the urges to overindulge on holiday sweets.
22 October 2013, AlphaGalileo via Universiteit Leiden -- "People’s trust in others increases after eating food that contains the amino acid tryptophan, found in fish, soya, eggs and spinach. Leiden psychologist Lorenza Colzato and her colleagues at the Universities of Leiden and Münster published their findings in Psychological Science.
Serotonin - Colzato and her fellow researchers were the first to investigate whether tryptophan, that stimulates the production of serotonin, has a positive effect on mutual trust. It was already known that the neurotransmitter serotonin plays a role in mutual co-operation. 'Mutual trust is an important condition for co-operation’, says Colzato. ‘Society functions in the first place on the basis of mutual trust. After that, such institutions as the courts and the police come into play.'
Trust game - To determine the effect of tryptophan, the researchers gave one group of test persons orange juice with added tryptophan, while a second group was given a placebo. Subsequently, the test persons played a trust game, a task that is often used to measure how much one test person trusts the other. A trustor was given 5 euros and was free to decide how much of that money he would give to a trustee in each round of the game. The trustor would then receive extra money, but only if the trustee gave him enough money in return. The money transferred to the trustee by the trustor served as an indicator of mutual trust. ..."
22 October 2013, Nutra Ingredients, Stephen Daniells -- "With over 90% of Americans not consuming the RDA for vitamin E, and most people eating less than half of the RDA, there exists a significant opportunity to educate consumers on the benefits of this ‘overlooked’ nutrient, including for brain health. ..."
We're honestly not sure where we'd be without bread. Not only is it perfect on its own, dipped in olive oil, or topped with tomatoes, but it also essential for French toast, sandwiches and bread pudding.
Some people believe that alkaline water helps our bodies metabolize nutrients and expel toxins more efficiently than regular tap water, leading to better health and performance. Anecdotal evidence supports some of those claims.
Do you still think high sodium intake leads to high blood pressure? Actually, this is a myth. Here is the story, plus a sound solution for hypertension.
Steve Kingsley's insight:
Have known for a while that the real problem is an imbalance between sodium and potassium; specifically our diet is much lower in potassium than the recommended daily value, which is the minimum, not the optimum amount.
Food gardens as “interactive classrooms” can improve almost any area of learning: Kids can count produce and measure plant growth with math teachers, explore a living ecosystem in science class, draw vining snap peas with art instructors, and learn about the history of civilization as they harvest corn. And the physical activity outside is just as useful!
Did you know people are beating depression without pharmaceutical drugs? Try adding these depression-busting foods to your regular diet to feel better.
A study published in Phytotherapy Research recently said that the bright yellow spice turmeric isn’t only good at treating depression, it may do it better than the antidepressant drugs being pushed down our throats.
2. Green Tea
The health benefits of green tea are seemingly endless, from improved heart health to better brain function. So, it’s no surprise that it can help regulate moods. It contains something called L-theanine, an amino acid that can help in the creation of alpha brain waves.
A lack of omega-3 fats in your diet can lead to mood imbalances including depression. By adding fatty fish to your diet, you can correct any possible imbalances and reap the other benefits of omega-3 fats.
4. Nuts and Seeds
Magnesium is a mineral found in abundance in certain nuts and seeds. It can boost your mood by increasing energy production and also stimulating the production of serotonin—one of the brain’s feel-good chemicals. Healthy fats also boost overall health and help stabilize blood sugar. Pumpkin seeds and brazil nuts are particularly good choices.
Children who eat nutritious foods are likely to be healthier, have a lower risk of obesity, and be better prepared to learn in school. However, in today's fast-food society, childhood obesity is on the rise, and too many children are not getting adequate nutrition.
When faced with the triumvirate of fresh fruit most commonly found in bowls at cafeterias and elsewhere — apples, oranges and bananas — which should you choose? Check out these photos and click here for the related article.
22 October 2013, Food Navigator, Hank Schultz -- "A paper written by a group coordinated out of the University of Maryland proposes significant changes to the way probiotics are regulated, including using a monograph system similar to what regulators use in Canada to govern the use of the organisms. ..."
23 October 2013, NPR, Rae Ellen Bichell -- "Some everyday foods contain toxins that could wreak bodily havoc under the wrong circumstances.
Fruits and vegetables are unquestionably essential to a healthful diet.
But there's another side to some of these plants that, thankfully, most people never see: the tiny amounts of toxins within them. The minute amounts of poison found in many seeds, leaves and roots are the result of the protracted arms race between plants and the animals that try to eat them. It's the reason why you've never shelled a cashew (the shells might make you break out in a poison ivy-style rash) or eaten green potato fries (read on for details). ..."
Photo: Rhubarb: delicious with strawberry pie, but steer clear of the leaves. Credit: Rae Ellen Bichell/NPR