Trauma is the #1 most underexposed risk factor for the majority of life threatening diseases and mental health disorder and long term exposure can reduce your lifespan by 20 years
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>>> In “Healing the Toxic Effects of Trauma,” Dr. Christine Schaffner shares practical tools for you to heal trauma’s toxic effects on your body.
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Top 3 healthy ingredients from the Indian diet
For those of us who have lived our entire lives in the same country, our own Western diet is all we’ve ever known. We’ve eaten the same foods, struggled with the same health issues, and only in the last few years have we begun to experience an influx of cuisines and food cultures from around the world.
And boy have we been missing out!
You’d be amazed by how healthy some people around the world are thanks to their diet. For example, did you know that Japan has the longest lifespan of any country in the world? Not only that, but one region of the country—the island of Okinawa—has a higher life expectancy than the rest of the country. Can you guess what causes this? You got it: their diet!
Countries that follow diets different from the modern Western diet tend to be healthier overall, have fewer long-term and chronic health problems, and still enjoy a broad variety of foods. That’s not to say that each diet is perfect, but there’s something that can be drawn from each in order to improve our diet.
By pulling bits and pieces—also known as “the healthiest foods”—from each country, you can improve your own eating habits drastically. You can still enjoy all your favorite flavors, and even some new ones, all the while upgrading the nutritional quality of what you put in your body. It will take some getting used to, but the outcome is going to be a healthier, happier you. It’s healthy eating at its core, along with plenty of international culture.
So during the next couple of weeks, I will be taking you to virtual culinary journeys of health through some of the healthiest countries around this wonderful world of ours!
So sit back, relax, and enjoy it ).
Let's first take a trip to India.
You’ll find all sorts of fascinating and delicious ingredients you may have never tried before!
Indian food is rich, spicy, flavorful, and incredibly diverse, with hundreds or even thousands of varieties on their basic dishes. At its core, it’s also surprisingly healthy.
Indian obesity rates have risen in the last few years, but it affects just 5% of the country’s population. Compare that to the U.S., where obesity rates are no less than 25% of the adult population in 48 out of the 50 US States, and you can immediately see the differences!
But what it is about the Indian diet that contributes to lower obesity rates? In what ways is the Indian diet healthier than the Western diet?
Here are a few staple ingredients that make a HUGE difference:
Indian cuisine is known for its many, many spices, all of which contain medicinal properties. Few, however, are as potent as turmeric!
Turmeric, the bright yellow root that adds both its color and flavor to hundreds of Indian dishes, is renowned for its various uses. Indian traditional medicine uses it to heal gastrointestinal problems, speed up wound recovery, combat rheumatic disorders, treat rhinitis, and kill off intestinal parasites.
Studies have proven that turmeric—specifically curcumin, the active antioxidant ingredient in the spice—offers a lot of benefits to your health.
First off, it’s a natural anti-inflammatory agent, which can help to decrease chronic disease, cardiovascular health problems, atherosclerosis, cancer, metabolic syndrome, and more. Curcumin’s anti-inflammatory properties are considered on par with many anti-inflammatory drugs, but with none of the side effects.
It’s also a natural antioxidant, which can neutralize free radicals and can have a chemopreventative effect in the body, inhibiting the enzymes that contribute to inflammation. It may also one day proven to an effective anti-cancer treatment (with further research).
Other benefits may include:
- Improved brain function
- Reduced risk of heart disease
- Improved response in rheumatoid arthritis patients
- And the list goes on!
Ginger is another potent and tangy spice added into Indian cuisine. It’s not only incredibly flavorful, but you’ll find that it offers some pretty amazing health benefits.
According to one systematic review of multiple studies, ginger is an amazing spice to use to combat obesity. It has the ability to:
- Reduce lipogenesis, also known as the metabolic formation and storage of fat
- Increase thermogenesis, raising the internal temperature in your body
- Boost your metabolism, specifically increasing lipolysis (fat-burning)
- digestion and decrease stomach upset
- Prevent intestinal fat absorption
- All of these things combine to make ginger a truly potent and effective spice.
But ginger is also a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. It’s loaded with zingerone, an antioxidant that works like curcumin in turmeric (see above) to decrease your risk of cardiovascular disease, inflammation, and more.
If you want to be healthier, it’s time to add more ginger into your diet!
Red Chili Peppers
Indian food is famous for being spicy, and a lot of that fame comes from the multiple varieties of red hot chili peppers that are added into the dishes.
Red chili peppers aren’t just good for setting your mouth on fire—they’re also amazing for your health. Here are just a few of the things they can do:
- Fight inflammation, thanks to the anti-inflammatory properties of capsaicin
- Reduce pain associated with inflammatory conditions, including arthritis and psoriasis
- Provide pain relief both topically and internally
- Reduce blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels
- the risk of blood clots
- Lower heart attack and stroke rates
- Clear congestion in the nasal passages
- Boost your immunity to disease
- Prevent stomach ulcers
- Raise your internal temperature and metabolism to help you burn more fat
- Lower Type 2 Diabetes risk
I hope you enjoyed this virtual trip to India with me and you learnt something useful.
And I can't wait to take you to the next country and share with you their healthiest foods.
Are you ready for the next virtual culinary journey of health?
Today we will visit Japan .
Japan is known for being one of the healthiest countries in the world. In fact, it has the highest longevity rate on Earth, with more people living beyond 100 years old than any other country.
Diet definitely plays a role in their long lives and good health. In fact, one study found that the Japanese dietary guidelines led to a lower total mortality risk, as well as lower cardiovascular mortality rates. In some cases, there was even lower cancer mortality thanks to the Japanese diet guidelines.
So what is it about the Japanese diet that makes it so healthy?
Focus on Fish
The average Japanese eats a LOT of fish. Japanese is an island—and a fairly small one—so there’s not a lot of pasture space for cattle. However, the ocean provides quite the bounty of fish, which the Japanese eat both raw and cooked.
Fish has high Omega-3 fatty acid content. This makes it not only vital for your heart, but also for your brain, your digestive system, and your internal organs.
Pickled and Fermented Foods
Miso and natto (fermented soy beans) are just two of the fermented foods popular in Japan. Pickles—like pickled radish (daikon), eggplant, plums, and cabbage are also popular as garnishes for various dishes. In fact, one of the most popular Japanese sweet treats is the pickled plums known as umeboshi.
Non-fermented pickles tend to contain a lot of vinegar, pickling spices, and herbs, all of which offer a broad range of health benefits. Fermented foods like miso soup and natto are amazing for your gut health, as they encourage the development of healthy gut flora that can help to improve digestion, enhance brain function, and so much more. One study even found that miso soup can help to increase the production of important vitamins (like Vitamin B12 and Vitamin K) in your body.
Reduced Sugar Intake
Unlike the average American diet, Japanese don’t consume a great deal of sugar in their daily meals. For example, while Americans like to start the day with a sweet cup of coffee, Japanese will often have tea with their breakfast.
Westerners love their sodas, lemonades, and sweet teas, but Japanese will often drink teas that are unsweetened. For example, there is a simple unsweetened barley tea served with many meals, used as a palate cleanser between dishes. Or in place of a cold glass of juice, they will drink ice-cold mugicha (another type of barley tea) that is unsweetened.
While the Japanese love sweets—ice cream, sweetened yoghurt, candied apples, and more—the amount of sugar they consume in their diets is far lower than the average Westerner.
Seaweed is one of those amazingly healthy foods that definitely deserve a place in the Western diet, but is found aplenty in the Japanese diet.
Seaweed is loaded with nutrients: copper, calcium, iron, iodine, protein, fiber, folic acid, Vitamin K, and the list goes on. It’s also incredibly low in calories and contains virtually no fat. However, it contains very high quantities of important antioxidants and phytochemicals.
It’s these potent compounds that make seaweed such a valuable and healthy food. Okinawans are the longest-living people in the world, and seaweed is a critical part of their diet. The molecule fucoidans in seaweed is believed to offer a wide of cardioprotective benefits (including reduced blood pressure and enhanced cardiovascular health), as well as boost immunity and improve life expectancy overall.
Green tea is, without a doubt, one of the healthiest beverages on the planet! Experts across the globe can agree that green tea is amazing, thanks to its many health benefits, including:
- Improved blood flow
- Lower cholesterol levels
- Reduced blood pressure
- Reduced risk of congestive heart failure
- Enhanced brain function, specifically in the working-memory areas of the brain
- Blocked formation of plaques that can lead to Alzheimer’s
- Improved blood sugar control
- Reduced risk of diabetes
- Fat-targeting thanks to the mechanisms of the EGCG antioxidant
- Improved cellular growth
- Potentially lower risk of cancer
- Boost of energy without the nervous system-stimulating effects of coffee
- A calming effect, thanks to the theanine in the tea
Japanese will drink almost as much green tea every day as the average Westerner drinks coffee, which can offer a lot of those amazing health benefits listed above.
Matcha green tea takes things one step farther by adding in the ground-up green tea leaves. The higher antioxidant and fiber content of matcha green tea doubles down on the benefits that make green tea such a valuable addition to your diet!
I hope you enjoyed this virtual trip to Japan with me and you learnt something useful.
And I can't wait to take you to the next country and share with you their healthiest foods.
There is one food that is proving to be extremely effective for treating many neurological diseases, including dementia and Alzheimer’s.
AND... it can also help you TODAY with your memory issues.
In a brand new free workshop, The Definitive Guide to Alzheimer's Prevention, my friend, Julia Lundstrom, will show you what this one food is, where to get it and MANY other secrets to preventing Alzheimer's, Dementia and memory loss.
You don’t have to be Bugs Bunny to love carrots. They’re a fabulous vegetable and a great source of carotene, fiber, and important micronutrients like potassium, B vitamins, vitamin C, and vitamin K1. Studies tell us that they may be good for your eyes, heart, immune system, and blood sugar balance. They might even help fight cancer!
But is it best to eat them raw, or cooked? Is it important to buy them organically grown? Which varieties are best? And how should you prepare them?
Water vs. seltzer? Can food affect the brain? We’ve rounded up useful research on diet and nutrition to stay healthy in the new year.
As 2021 came to a close, we looked back on our reporting on diet and nutrition to glean tips we could bring into a new year. Here are 10 findings to remember next time you head to the supermarket or to the kitchen.
1. Look at patterns in your diet, rather than focusing on “good” or “bad” foods.
In October, the American Heart Association released new dietary guidelines to improve the hearts and health of Americans of all ages and life circumstances. Instead of issuing a laundry list of “thou shalt not eats,” the committee focused on how people could make lifelong changes, taking into account each individual’s likes and dislikes as well as ethnic and cultural practices and life circumstances. “For example, rather than urging people to skip pasta because it’s a refined carbohydrate, a more effective message might be to tell people to eat it the traditional Italian way, as a small first-course portion,” Jane Brody explained.
As people grappled with higher levels of stress, depression and anxiety during the pandemic, many turned to their favorite comfort foods: ice cream, pastries, pizza, hamburgers. But studies in an emerging field of research known as nutritional psychiatry, which looks at the relationship between diet and mental wellness, suggest that the sugar-laden and high-fat foods we often crave when we are stressed or depressed, as comforting as they may seem, are the least likely to benefit our mental health. Whole foods such as vegetables, fruit, fish, eggs, nuts and seeds, beans and legumes and fermented foods like yogurt may be a better bet.
“The idea that eating certain foods could promote brain health, much the way it can promote heart health, might seem like common sense,” Anahad O’Connor wrote in his story on the research. “But historically, nutrition research has focused largely on how the foods we eat affect our physical health, rather than our mental health.”
Coffee is beloved by many, but its health benefits have often been called into question. The latest assessments this year of the health effects of coffee and caffeine, however, were reassuring. Their consumption has been linked to a reduced risk of all kinds of ailments, including Parkinson’s disease, heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, gallstones, depression, suicide, cirrhosis, liver cancer, melanoma and prostate cancer.
4. Our microbiome is largely shaped by what we eat.
Scientists know that the trillions of bacteria and other microbes that live in our guts play an important role in health, influencing our risk of developing obesity, heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and a wide range of other conditions. In 2021, a large international study found that the composition of these microorganisms, collectively known as our microbiomes, is largely shaped by what we eat. Researchers learned that a diet rich in nutrient-dense, whole foods supported the growth of beneficial microbes that promoted good health. Eating a diet full of highly processed foods with added sugars, salt and other additives had the opposite effect, promoting gut microbes that were linked to worse cardiovascular and metabolic health.
5. Highly processed foods may actually be addictive.
Potato chips, ice cream, pizza and more unhealthy foods continue to dominate the American diet, despite being linked to obesity, heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and other health problems. “They are cheap and convenient, and engineered to taste good. They are aggressively marketed by the food industry,” Mr. O’Connor reported in a story about new research on whether these foods are not just tempting, but addictive. The notion has sparked controversy among researchers, he said. One study found that certain foods were especially likely to elicit “addictive-like” eating behaviors, such as intense cravings, a loss of control, and an inability to cut back despite experiencing harmful consequences and a strong desire to stop eating them. But other experts pointed out that these foods do not cause an altered state of mind, a hallmark of addictive substances.
Unsweetened carbonated water is a better choice than soda or fruit juice, Christina Caron reported, but it probably shouldn’t be your main source of water. Seltzer has the potential to be erosive to your teeth, experts told her, and carbonated beverages can contribute to gas and bloating, Ms. Caron wrote.
Unique factors like body size, outdoor temperature and how hard you’re breathing and sweating will determine how much water you need, an expert told Alice Callahan for her story on what it really means to “stay hydrated.” “For most young, healthy people, the best way to stay hydrated is simply to drink when you’re thirsty,” she learned. “Those who are older, in their 70s and 80s, may need to pay more attention to getting sufficient fluids because the thirst sensation can decrease with age.”
8. Eating fermented foods may improve your health.
Yogurt, kimchi and kombucha have long been dietary staples in many parts of the world. But this year, as Mr. O’Connor reported, scientists discovered that these fermented foods may alter the makeup of the trillions of bacteria, viruses and fungi that inhabit our intestinal tracts, collectively known as the gut microbiome. They may also lead to lower levels of body-wide inflammation, which scientists increasingly link to a range of diseases tied to aging.
Acid reflux is among the most frequent health complaints of American adults, and may have become even more common in the wake of pandemic-related stress and weight gain. Jane Brody covered new research that showed that those who adhered to five key lifestyle characteristics — including exercise and following a Mediterranean-style diet, featuring fruits and vegetables, fish, poultry and whole grains — were more likely to ward off discomfort from the most persistent and potentially serious form of reflux.
A study first published in July found that flavonoids, the chemicals that give plant foods their bright colors, may help curb the frustrating forgetfulness and mild confusion that older people often complain about with advancing age. Further follow-up would be needed to determine whether foods might affect the risk of developing dementia, and there are also broader policy issues at play, making it difficult for everyone to access fresh fruits and vegetables, Nicholas Bakalar reported. But, experts agreed these are foods you should be eating for brain health.
US surgeons have successfully implanted a heart from a genetically modified pig in a 57-year-old man, a medical first that could one day help solve the chronic shortage of organ donations.
The "historic" procedure took place Friday, the University of Maryland Medical School said in a statement on Monday. While the patient's prognosis is far from certain, it represents a major milestone for animal to human transplantation.
The patient, David Bennett, had been deemed ineligible for human transplant -- a decision that is often taken when the recipient has very poor underlying health.
He is now recovering and being carefully monitored to determine how the new organ performs.
"It was either die or do this transplant. I want to live. I know it's a shot in the dark, but it's my last choice," the Maryland resident said a day before the surgery.
Bennett, who has spent the last several months bedridden on a heart-lung bypass machine, added: "I look forward to getting out of bed after I recover."
The Food and Drug Administration granted emergency authorization for the surgery on New Year's Eve, as a last ditch effort for a patient who was unsuitable for conventional transplant.
"This was a breakthrough surgery and brings us one step closer to solving the organ shortage crisis," said Bartley Griffith, who surgically transplanted the pig heart.
"We are proceeding cautiously, but we are also optimistic that this first-in-the-world surgery will provide an important new option for patients in the future."
Muhammad Mohiuddin, who co-founded the university's cardiac xenotransplantation program, added the surgery was the culmination of years or research, involving pig-to-baboon transplants, with survival times that exceeded nine months.
"The successful procedure provided valuable information to help the medical community improve this potentially life-saving method in future patients," he said.
Study finds heart surgery patients may not need opioid for pain after getting discharged
Bennett's donor pig belonged to a herd that had undergone genetic editing procedures.
Three genes that would have led to rejection of pig organs by humans were "knocked out," as was a gene that would have led to excessive growth of pig heart tissue.
Six human genes responsible for human acceptance were inserted into the genome, for a total of 10 unique gene edits.
The editing was performed by Virginia-based biotech firm Revivicor, which also supplied the pig used in a breakthrough kidney transplant on brain dead patients in New York in October.
But while that surgery was purely a proof-of-concept experiment, and the kidney was connected outside the patient's body, the new surgery is intended to save a person's life.
The donated organ was kept in an organ-preservation machine ahead of the surgery, and the team also used an experimental new drug made by Kiniksa Pharmaceuticals along with conventional anti-rejection drugs to suppress the immune system.
About 110,000 Americans are currently waiting for an organ transplant, and more than 6,000 patients die each year before getting one, according to official figures.
To meet demand, doctors have long been interested in so-called xenotransplantation, or cross-species organ donation, with experiments tracing back to the 17th century.
Early research focused on harvesting organs from primates -- for example, a baboon heart was transplanted into a newborn known as "Baby Fae" in 1984, but she survived only 20 days.
Today, pig heart valves are widely used in humans, and pig skin is grafted on human burn victims.
Can drinking urine cure COVID? U of L doctor's response to anti-vaxxer's claim goes viral
Deborah Yetter, Louisville Courier Journal
Thu, January 13, 2022, 7:56 AM
A tweet by a University of Louisville kidney specialist advising people not to drink their own urine to cure the COVID-19 virus has gone, well, viral.
Prompted by an online story about an Alabama anti-vaccination advocate who recommends the urine cure, Dr. Jon Klein, vice-dean for research at the U of L medical school, posted on Twitter Monday night bluntly advising against it.
By midday Wednesday, it had been viewed nearly 4.5 million times and was still climbing with comments and replies from around the world.
The reaction astonished Klein, a nephrologist who has treated kidney disease for nearly four decades.
"It was sort of crazy, the way it just took off," he said. "As a nephrologist, I get all sort of tweets from other nephrologists. But this is sort of an epic event for nephrology Twitterdom."
Klein said he sent the tweet toward the end of the day after seeing the AL.com article about Christopher Key, a fierce opponent of the COVID-19 vaccine who promotes alternative therapies including drinking urine.
“The antidote that we have seen now, and we have tons and tons of research, is urine therapy,” Key said in a video, according to the article. “I know to a lot of you this sounds crazy, but guys, God’s given us everything we need.”
Klein, whose twitter profile describes him as a "dad, husband, son, brother, happy, nephrologist and scientist," said he couldn't let the claim go unchallenged.
"I thought, 'I know a thing or two about urine, having been a kidney doc for a while,'" Klein said. "It's not a good idea to drink your own urine."
Plus, he said, there is no evidence doing so has any effect against COVID-19 or other illnesses.
"At some point, it ought to be obvious that drinking your own urine will not protect you," Klein said.
Still, he decided to send the tweet because "apparently there's a lot of people looking for something different."
His tweet reads: "I’m a kidney doctor. I’ve studied how the kidneys make urine for 39 years. Do not, I repeat do not, drink urine to treat COVID. That is all."
Klein said he's always enjoyed explaining medicine and science to the public, including on an online Saturday show he appeared in with Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer in the early months of the pandemic to update people on COVID-19.
That's what he was attempting to do with Monday's tweet.
"I just thought people would appreciate a clear explanation, brief and to the point from someone who is a kidney specialist," Klein said.
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