According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 350 million people worldwide suffer from depression. It is a leading cause of disability. One study, however, discovered a very important root cause for depression. Apparently, the problem is chronic inflammation.
In a study of patients suffering from depression, small inflammatory proteins called cytokines were found in elevated levels in depression patients. Study authors believe that depression is the result of the body’s attempt to protect itself from an inflammatory response. When the body is in a state of chronic inflammation, brain cells called microglia are activated that can cause anxiety and agitation.
The study likened the symptoms of the flu to symptoms of depression. Flu, caused by inflammation, results in mood changes, such as becoming less sociable and more withdrawn and more sleepy. These are some of the same characteristics of depression. The study showed that about one-third of depressed patients have consistently high levels of inflammation.
What can help?
The study showed that patients taking anti-inflammatory drugs noticed changes in their mood, and the study found there were significant changes in their brains’ neuro-chemical circuitry. It was recommended that a diet rich in inflammatory properties might help fight not only inflammation in the body but also depression.
This includes foods rich in healthy fats such as nuts, and foods rich in Beta-carotene, Omega-3, and vitamin D.
For more details, visit http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2016/10/09/depression-inflammation.aspx
Ruthie Hawkins, BlackDoctor.org Contributor
An apple a day keeps the doctor away. But, does the same apply for good ol’ flu season? According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, roughly 200,000 people (5 to 20 percent of the U.S. population) are hospitalized for flu-related complications like bronchitis and pneumonia. Those at high risk of such complications include pregnant women, children under 5 (but especially children under 2), as well as, men and women 65-years and older. Others at high risk include individuals battling medical conditions such as asthma, heart disease, liver and kidney disorders, among other things.
According to the CDC’s 2016-2017 influenza season FAQs, new things to be aware of include:
- Only injectable flu shots are recommended this season.
- Flu vaccines have been updated to better match circulating viruses.
- There will be some new vaccines on the market this season.
- The recommendations for vaccination of people with egg allergies have changed.
Who Should Not Get A Flu Shot
Individuals who should NOT get a flu shot are as follows, reports the CDC:
- Children younger than 6 months old
- People with severe, life-threatening allergies to flu vaccine or any of its ingredients
- Note: There are certain flu shots that have different age indications. For example, people younger than 65 years of age should not get the high-dose flu shot and people who are younger than 18 years old or older than 64 years old should not get the intradermal flu shot.
People who should talk to their doctor before getting a flu shot:
- People who have an allergy to eggs or other vaccine ingredients
- People who have ever had Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS)
- People who are feeling ill
So how does one protect themselves during the dreaded flu season? Whether you decide to vaccinate or not, check out these 5 ways to survive cold and flu season:
Eat yogurt for breakfast: According to a 2011 study, scientists found that people who consumed probiotics by way of foods like yogurt, kefir and kimchi, had 12 percent fewer upper respiratory infections, then those who didn’t.
Shy away from those displaying symptoms: Yes, running away from sneezing bystanders can come across a wee bit rude, but according to experts, germs carried in a sneeze can travel a whopping 20 feet.
Hit the snooze button: A study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that subjects who slept for fewer than seven hours were nearly three times as susceptible to colds as people who slept for at least eight hours.
Pop zinc lozenges: According to a 2013 Cochrane Library analysis, authors discovered that ingesting this immune booster within 24 hours of feeling “under the weather,” reduces the duration of the illness. A daily dose of 75 milligrams is recommended.
Drink up: Not to our surprise, water also makes the cut. It’s no secret that liquids (specifically water) helps you lose weight and keeps you hydrated. So, it should be no surprise that it also helps thin out mucus. By drinking 2 liters a day, you can wage a massive attack on that thick green mucus residing in your pipes.
Most of the time, our garbage is filled with skins and peels from our favorite fruits and vegetables, but you could be throwing out some of the best part of those foods. Skins may be tough, but here are the skins you should and should not eat.
When NOT to Eat the Skin
Onion: Although eating onion skin generally isn’t a good idea, it does contains quercetin, so I’d suggest using it in stocks.
Banana: Banana peel has a bitter taste and tough consistency but contains potassium, lutein (a powerful antioxidant for eye health) and tryptophan (that increases your body’s serotonin, which improves mood). If you want to try banana peel, here are some tips: use very ripe peels; use a small amount in your smoothie; or boil it for a few minutes, then sauté or bake in the oven until it dries out to use as a tea.
Asparagus: The skin on asparagus doesn’t contain any additional nutritional benefits over the flesh, but it can leave behind a stringy texture. So purely from a culinary perspective, I’d suggest peeling the skin if you have the time to peel each stalk individually.
When to Eat the Skin (If Organic)
Cucumber: This veggie’s dark-green skin contains the majority of antioxidants, insoluble fiber and potassium. If a cucumber has a heavy waxed coating and pesticides, you may consider peeling.
Zucchini: The skin of zucchini contains extra vitamin C, fiber and potassium, as well as the antioxidants carotenoids, lutein and zeaxanthin. Although the flavor is a bit bitter, if you’re cooking them or mixing them with other flavors (e.g. in a salad) it’s worth it to keep the skin on.
Apple: Apple peel contains most of the fruit’s insoluble fiber, an antioxidant called quercetin and other antioxidants.
Red Skin Potato: Ounce for ounce, potato skin has more fiber, iron, potassium, B vitamins and vitamin C than the flesh.
Kiwi: Kiwi skin is probably one skin that most of us do not eat, but it IS edible! The skin contains more flavonoids, antioxidants and vitamin C than the flesh. If the fuzz grosses you out, scrape it off first.
Eggplant: An eggplant’s purple hue comes from a powerful antioxidant called nasunin, which helps protect against cancerous development, especially in the brain and other parts of the nervous system. Nasunin is also believed to have anti-aging properties.
Eggplant skin is also rich in chlorogenic acid, a phytochemical that boasts antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, and also promotes glucose tolerance. Although the eggplant interior contains chlorogenic acid, it’s much more prevalent in the skin.
Oranges: The peel of an orange packs in twice as much vitamin C as what’s inside. It also contains higher concentrations of riboflavin, vitamin B6, calcium, magnesium and potassium. The peel’s flavonoids have anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties. (Citrus fruit also boosts iron absorption.)
As nutritious as citrus peels are, you’re unlikely to start eating oranges whole. The entire peel is bitter and difficult to digest. Instead, grate the peel using a microplane or another tool and sprinkle it on top of salads, or in a vinaigrette dressing. Citrus shavings make a good pairing with ice cream and chocolate as well.
Carrot: Most of the nutrients, carotene and various antioxidants in carrots are in or just below the skin. Just scrub, cut off ends, and eat!
Squash: It may seem like all squash have a super hard skin, but you can bake most varieties with the skin on and eat it once baked. Delicata, acorn and sweet dumpling squashes have softer skins, while some squash skins such as spaghetti squash and pumpkin are tougher and difficult to digest, even when cooked.
Mango: Researchers found that mango skin contains properties similar to resveratrol, which helps burn fat and inhibits the production of mature fat cells. Mango flesh extracts were also tested, but did not produce the same results, which suggests that one needs to eat mango skin in order to get this beneficial property.
A mango’s peel also contains larger quantities of carotenoids, polyphenols, omega-3, omega-6 and polyunsaturated fatty acids than its flesh. Another study found compounds more heavily concentrated in mango’s skin that fight off cancer, diabetes and heart disease. Mango skin also has quercetin.
Okay, so this point is not technically a skin, but a pineapple core it is important to add, as the core contains the highest concentration of bromelian. Keep in mind due to the blood thinning properties of bromelian, you should also avoid taking aspirin (or any other medicinal blood thinners) if consuming pineapple on a daily basis.
On a side note here, the bromelian content is very minimal in canned pineapple. In most canned pineapple the core is removed before the canning process and even if it isn’t, the heating process for canning actually destroys the bromelian content.
How it works:
According to the hit game’s website, it uses a person’s iPhone and Android device camera and GPS to place Pokémon characters in real world locations, such as public art installations, historical markers and monuments in proximity to the player. In order to earn points, players must “catch” characters by taking aim with “Poké Balls.” Players are encouraged to “search far and wide in the real world to discover Pokémon.”
How it’s changing lives:
As those who struggle with depression know far too well, staying motivated while managing a mental disorder like depression or anxiety can be a challenge. However, shortly after the game dropped, social media users raved over the game’s ability to get them engaged.
“#PokemonGO has changed me so much for the better in only a week. Dealing with BPD, depression& anxiety it has helped me get out of the house,” wrote one Twitter user.
“Real talk – as someone with anxiety/depression, the fact that I’ve spent most of this weekend outside with friends is unreal. #PokemonGo,” penned another.
“I don’t care what you say, #PokemonGo has been helping my husband’s depression more than anything else ever has. ????????????,” raved yet another user, claiming the game tops any treatment.
Meanwhile, a psychologist tells Health he isn’t surprised by these reports. “I think it’s a genuinely positive development,” Ben Michaelis, PhD, an evolutionary clinical psychologist and author of Your Next Big Thing, told the publication.
“The game could provide motivation to go outside and explore the world through a sort of enhanced reality,” he explained. “It could also provide people with enough of a distraction from their fears and inner monologue to get them to do something that might be challenging for them.”
While this all sounds like fun and games (no pun intended), keep in mind, the game shouldn’t be viewed as a cure for depression. In fact, Michaelis says, “one obvious potential drawback [of the app] is that Pokémon Go could become the only way a person can interact with the world.”
How to enjoy the game the healthy way:
Moderation. Allot yourself 30 minutes a day for play—ensuring hunting imaginary creatures isn’t the only physical activity you’re taking part in each day. According to a study published in 2005, walking fast for about 35 minutes a day five times a week or 60 minutes a day three times a week had a significant influence on mild to moderate depression symptoms. In other words, nothing tops good old fashioned exercise.
Constance Brown-Riggs, MSEd, RD, CDE,CDN –Blackdoctor.org
Osteoporosis is a metabolic bone disease characterized by low bone mineral density (BMD) which makes bones fragile and susceptible to fracture. Many African American women believe that osteoporosis is only a concern for white women. This misperception can be a barrier to prevention and treatment.
It’s true that African American women tend to have higher bone mineral density (BMD) than white women throughout life, however, there are specific issues that African American women face when it comes to developing osteoporosis that are less well known. These issues include the following:
- Under recognized and undertreated. The NIH Osteoporosis and Related Bone Diseases National Resource Center acknowledges that “Although African American women tend to have higher bone mineral density (BMD) than white women throughout life, they are still at significant risk of developing osteoporosis. The misperception that osteoporosis is only a concern for white women can delay prevention and treatment in African American women who do not believe they are at risk for the disease.”
- Hip fractures. As African American women age, their risk for hip fracture doubles approximately every 7 years.
- Sickle cell anemia and lupus. Diseases more prevalent in the African American population, such as sickle cell anemia and lupus, are linked to an increase risk of developing osteoporosis.
- Insufficient calcium and vitamin D intake. African American women consume 50 percent less calcium than the Recommended Dietary Allowance. Adequate intake of calcium and vitamin D throughout life, as part of a healthy dietary pattern, may reduce the risk of osteoporosis, by helping build and maintain good bone health. Vitamin D can be made in the skin when exposed to sunlight. However, skin pigmentation is one of several factors that can determine how much sun exposure you need. African Americans have dark pigment, which lessens the body’s ability to produce vitamin D in the skin. Obesity—which is high among African American women, may also play a role in keeping vitamin D levels low. That’s because obesity reduces the body’s ability to use vitamin D.
- Lactose intolerance. As many as 75 percent of all African Americans may experience lactose intolerance. Lactose intolerance can hinder optimal calcium intake. People with lactose intolerance may avoid milk and other dairy products even though most are excellent sources of calcium because they have trouble digesting lactose, the primary sugar in milk.
Building Stronger Bones
Eating a well-balanced diet adequate in calcium and vitamin D throughout life is key to building bones and lowering risk for osteoporosis. Calcium and vitamin D can be found in the foods you eat. Dairy products such as milk, yogurt and cheese, are the primary sources of calcium in American diets. Dietary patterns that provide 3 servings of dairy products per day can improve bone mass. Vitamin D functions in the body to maintain proper levels of calcium and phosphorous, thereby helping to build and maintain bones. Milk and yogurts that are fortified with vitamin D can be good sources of this nutrient. Other sources of vitamin D include fish such as salmon or tuna, and vitamin D-fortified ready-to-eat breakfast cereals.
According to the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, older children, teens, and adults have a recommended dairy intake of 3 servings a day, while children 4 to 8 years old are recommended to consume 2.5 servings, and 2 servings per day are recommended for children 2 to 3 years old.
In general, a serving of dairy is 1 cup of milk, 1 cup of yogurt, 1.5 ounces of natural cheese, or 2 ounces of processed cheese.
For those who are lactose intolerant, smaller portions (such as 4 fluid ounces of milk) may be well tolerated. Lactose-free and lower-lactose products are available. These include lactose-reduced or lactose-free milk, yogurt, and cheese. Yogurt can be a more easily digestible alternative to milk because it contains live and active cultures that help with lactose digestion. In addition, yogurt on average contains less lactose per serving than milk so you may be able to enjoy yogurt products with fewer associated symptoms. Also, enzyme preparations can be added to milk to lower the lactose content.
The tips listed below will help you make wise dairy choices everyday:
- Try nonfat or lowfat yogurt as a snack.
- If you drink cappuccinos or lattes — ask for them with non fat (skim) or low fat milk.
- Make fruit-yogurt smoothies in the blender.
- Add non fat or low fat milk instead of water to oatmeal and hot cereals.
- Make a yogurt parfait with whole grain cereals, fruits and nonfat or lowfat yogurt for breakfast.
- Use non fat or low fat milk when making condensed cream soups (such as cream of tomato).
- Make a dip for fruits or vegetables from nonfat or lowfat yogurt.
- Top sliced fruit with flavored nonfat or lowfat yogurt for an easy-to-make dessert.
- For dessert, make chocolate or butterscotch pudding with non fat or low fat milk.
- Top casseroles, soups, stews, or vegetables with shredded reduced fat or low fat cheese.
- Include milk as a beverage at meals. Choose non fat or low fat milk.
- Top a baked potato with nonfat or lowfat yogurt.
Exercising regularly throughout life, with an emphasis on weightbearing activities such as walking, jogging, dancing, and weight training can also help lower risk of osteoporosis.
“Why would I pay over a $1.50 for a bottle of water?” runs though the head of a lot of people when looking at the price of alkaline water. A lot of us don’t know exactly what alkaline water is. Sure, we’ve been seeing the “hotep-ers” and nutrition gurus ranting and raving about how we need to drink it, but what is it really?
Alkaline, in its plainest terms, refers to the pH level in water. pH measures how acidic or basic the water is. Essentially, pH measures the amount of free hydrogen and hydroxyl ions present in the water. Water with more free hydrogen ions are classified as acidic, while water with more free hydroxyl ions is basic. The pH is measured on a scale of 0-14 (0 being the most acidic and 14 being the most basic). The average pH in tap water is generally rated a 7, making it neutral on the pH scale. Alkaline water typically has a pH level of 8 or 9 according to Healthline.
There is an ongoing debate about the health benefits of alkaline water. Some say it can help fight cancer, decrease the risk of osteoporosis and improve mental focus. But currently there are no peer reviewed studies that solidify these claims.
One of alkaline water’s biggest benefits is its ability to neutralize the acid in your body. A 2012 study says alkaline water with a pH of 8.8 can decrease the effects of acid reflux. Pepsin, an enzyme responsible for breaking down the proteins in your food and also the main culprit of acid reflux, is killed by this alkaline water.
Dr. P. Gould –Blackdoctor.org
Heart attacks are scary, period. They are scary for those who are having one and scary for those who are watching. Of course eating right and exercise helps diminish your heart attack risk, but do you know what to do if and when one strikes?
If you think you’re having a heart attack. For women, symptoms are often easily ignored. These can include:
- Pressure, tightness and squeezing pain across the chest
- Pain radiating down one or both arms or shoulders
- Pain or soreness in the jaw, neck, or back
- Shortness of breath
- Dizziness, lightheadedness, sweating or weakness
- Overwhelming fatigue – 70% of women felt fatigued in days or weeks prior to their heart attacks
- Feeling of impending doom
- Headache, blurry vision, lightheadedness or feeling faint
- Gastrointestinal symptoms such as indigestion, nausea and vomiting
- Coughing and palpitations
Here are three things you need to keep on hand to fight a heart attack.
Always keep a bottle of aspirin in your bathroom medicine cabinet. If you think you’re having a heart attack, take one 325mg tablet of adult aspirin. Chew it — don’t just swallow it. It allows for the aspirin to get into your blood stream faster and slow the heart attack down.
II. Cayenne Pepper
Cayenne pepper is a powerful stimulant; it increases heart rate and carries blood to all parts of the body, balancing circulation. Cayenne pepper has hemostatic effect, stops bleeding instantly, and helps in heart attack recovery.
If you have cayenne pepper at home, give the person having a heart attack a teaspoon of cayenne pepper in a glass of water. The patient has to be conscious for this to work.
If the person is unconscious, you can use cayenne pepper extract. Put a few drops under patient’s tongue for results.
Finally, after the aspirin, you’ll need to get help and go to a hospital immediately. That’s why I want you to keep your cellphone with you in the bathroom. You can purchase a cheap cellphone mount and put it on your wall. The best place to put it is on the side of a bathroom cabinet or low on the wall near your toilet.
Extra Tip: To further decrease your risk of a heart attack, you should also keep vitamin D in your medicine cabinet. Many of us are vitamin D deficient, and new research on supplements and heart disease suggests promising results from taking vitamin D to prevent heart disease. Vitamin D can help regulate blood pressure, inflammation and blood sugar.
You need to take 1000 IUs of vitamin D every morning.
San Francisco, CA — A pioneer in the field of medicine, Dr. Nadine Burke Harris is a leader in the movement to transform how we respond to early childhood adversity and the resulting toxic stress that dramatically impacts our health and longevity. By revealing the science behind childhood adversity, she offers a new way to understand the adverse events that affect all of us throughout our lifetimes.
As a pediatrician, a mom and the founder/CEO of the Center for Youth Wellness, Dr. Burke Harris has brought these scientific discoveries and her new approach to audiences at the Mayo Clinic, American Academy of Pediatrics and Google Zeitgeist.
Shortly after opening a pediatrics clinic in a low-income neighborhood in San Francisco, she began to wonder why so many of her patients had asthma and other illnesses. She especially saw that too many children were so sick with no warranted reason.
She told the Washington Post, “They would have chronic abdominal pain, headaches, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, opposition defiant disorder. It could be that all these different kids have all these diagnoses, or it could be that there is one thing at the root of this.”
But she finally figured it out after reviewing a 10-year old medical study that revealed a strong link between chronic disease and traumatic experiences during childhood. These experiences could include physical abuse, neglect, and more. Then it finally made sense to her: The reason why so many of her young patients were sick was because of the “high doses” of trauma in their lives.
Doing things differently
From that point forward, Dr. Burke Harris started evaluating children not just for their medical histories, but also their social histories and traumatic experiences. And instead of treating only symptoms, she sought to help with the root causes of the stress that were making them sick.
In 2013, she launched the The Center for Youth Wellness in San Francisco, as part of a national effort to revolutionize pediatric medicine and transform the way society responds to kids exposed to significant adverse childhood experiences and toxic stress.
Recently, she and the Center for Youth Wellness have joined the University of California Benioff Children’s Hospital (San Francisco & Oakland) in the first ever research collaborative on toxic stress to validate an ACEs screening tool, evaluate promising interventions and identify predictive biomarkers.
For more details about Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, visit www.drnadineburkeharris.com
For more details about her Center for Youth Wellness, visit www.centerforyouthwellness.org
HealthDay News –Blackdoctor.org
While many believe that a high-protein diet can help with weight loss, a new study finds it might actually prevent an important health benefit that comes with slimming down.
The research found that when you lose weight on a high-protein diet, there’s no improvement in what doctors call “insulin sensitivity” — a factor that could lower your risk for diabetes and heart disease.
In type 2 diabetes, cells gradually lose insulin sensitivity — their ability to respond to the metabolic hormone.
This often occurs with rising obesity, so improved insulin sensitivity can be one of the byproducts of weight loss.
However, “we found that women who lost weight eating a high-protein diet didn’t experience any improvements in insulin sensitivity,” said study principal investigator Bettina Mittendorfer. She’s a professor of medicine at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.
Mittendorfer’s team tracked outcomes over seven months for 34 obese women aged 50 to 65, none of whom had diabetes at the study’s outset. The women were divided into three groups: a no-dieting group where women simply maintained their weight; a dieting group that ate the recommended daily level of protein; and a dieting group that stuck to a high-protein regimen.
At the end of the study period, women who ate a high-protein diet did not show improvement in insulin sensitivity, an important factor in reducing diabetes and heart disease risk.
The women who dieted but ate the standard amount of protein had a 25 to 30 percent improvement in their insulin sensitivity, the researchers reported.
“Women who lost weight while eating less protein were significantly more sensitive to insulin at the conclusion of the study,” Mittendorfer said in a university news release. “That’s important because in many overweight and obese people, insulin does not effectively control blood-sugar levels, and eventually the result is type 2 diabetes,” she explained.
The researchers also found that consuming high levels of protein offered little benefit in terms of preserving muscle while dieting.
“When you lose weight, about two-thirds of it tends to be fat tissue, and the other third is lean tissue,” Mittendorfer noted. “The women who ate more protein did tend to lose a little bit less lean tissue, but the total difference was only about a pound. We question whether there’s a significant clinical benefit to such a small difference.”
It’s not known why insulin sensitivity didn’t improve among women who ate high-protein diets, or if the same results would occur in men or in women already diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, the study authors said.
One expert nutritionist said the findings make sense, metabolically speaking.
“Your body needs protein. But consuming an amount of protein beyond your needs is unnecessary, may be harmful if you have kidney issues, and can lead to weight gain since excess calories from protein are stored as fat,” explained Stephanie Schiff. She’s a registered dietitian at Huntington Hospital in Huntington, N.Y.
“For obese, postmenopausal women, add in the factor of decreased insulin sensitivity and the perceived benefits from high-protein diets are lost,” she said.
Schiff believes the healthiest diet is a “balanced” one that includes complex carbohydrates as well as a recommended level of daily protein.
However, one diabetes expert believes healthy weight loss is typically beneficial in terms of preventing diabetes — even if it involves high-protein regimens.
“Most of the time people who lose weight become more insulin sensitive,” said Dr. Gerald Bernstein, who coordinates the Friedman Diabetes Program at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.
He believes exercise is key, too.
“A reasonable amount of physical activity can increase insulin sensitivity in muscles,” Bernstein said, “and we generally work on caloric restriction and physical activity together.”
The findings were published Oct. 11 in the journal Cell Reports.