Fruits and Vegetables Protect Against Hip Fractures

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A diet rich in fruits and vegetables may help prevent hip fractures, according to a study published this month in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research. Researchers analyzed fruit and vegetable intake from 75,591 men and women as part of the Cohort of Swedish Men (COSM) and the Swedish Mammography Cohort (SMC). Participants who consumed the fewest servings of fruits and vegetables had the greatest risk for hip fractures, compared with those who consumed at least 5 servings per day. The risk for hip fractures decreased as participants consumed more fruits and vegetables, with benefits plateauing after 5 servings. Researchers suspect antioxidant-rich foods may counteract oxidative stress on bones and reduce inflammation. Other nutrients abundant in fruits and vegetables, such as vitamin K, flavonoids, and lycopene, may also contribute to bone health.

Byberg L, Bellavia A, Orsini N, Wolk A, Michaëlsson K. Fruit and vegetable intake and risk of hip fracture: a cohort study of Swedish men and women. J Bone Miner Res. 2015;30:976-984.

http://www.pcrm.org/health/medNews/

Vegans Have Less Stress and Anxiety

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A vegan diet may lower your stress and anxiety levels, according to a study published online in Nutritional Neuroscience. Researchers surveyed 620 vegans, vegetarians, and omnivores about mood. Increased fruit and vegetable intake resulted in lower anxiety scores for male vegan participants, compared with nonvegans. Female vegan participants experienced reduced stress levels as a result of their animal-free diets as well as their lower intakes of sweets.

Article by: Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine

Beezhold B, Radnitz C, Rinnie A, DiMatteo J. Vegans report less stress and anxiety than omnivores. Nutr Neuroscir. Published online on November 21, 2014.

Many ways of increasing serotonin and becoming HAPPIER :)

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Meditation – increase release of dopamine.

Bright Light- Exposure to bright light is a second possible approach to increasing serotonin without drugs. Bright light is, of course, a standard treatment for seasonal depression, but a few studies also suggest that it is an effective treatment for nonseasonal depression

Exercise- A third strategy that may raise brain serotonin is exercise. A comprehensive review of the relation between exercise and mood concluded that antidepressant and anxiolytic effects have been clearly demonstrated. e most consistent effect is seen when regular exercisers undertake aerobic exercise at a level with which they are familiar. After looking at data from 4,641 women ages 40-65, researchers from the Center for Health Studies in Seattle found a strong link between depression and obesity, lower physical activity levels, and a higher calorie intake. Even without obesity as a factor, depression was associated with lower amounts of moderate or vigorous physical activity. In many of these women, I would suspect that depression feeds the obesity and vice versa.

Diet- Serotonin is linked to diet more than norenephirine. Foods that are rich in carbohydrates like bread and grains increase serotonin levels. Norenephirine levels are increased by eating foods rich in protein like meat and eggs. Levels of both can be increased by alternating–having a breakfast that is rich in carbohydrates, and then a lunch filled with protein.
The fourth factor that could play a role in raising brain serotonin is diet. Foods thought to increase serotonin levels in the brain include fish and vitamin D. But it’s important to make smart carbohydrate choices like whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and legumes, which also contribute important nutrients and fiber.

-Get More Omega-3 Fatty Acids
In recent years, researchers have noted that omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (found in fatty fish, flaxseed, and walnuts) may help protect against depression. This makes sense physiologically, since omega-3s appear to affect neurotransmitter pathways in the brain. Past studies have suggested there may be abnormal metabolism of omega-3s in depression, although some more recent studies have suggested there may not be a strong association between omega-3s and depression. Still, there are other health benefits to eating fish a few times a week, so it’s worth a try. Shoot for two to three servings of fish per week.

Select Selenium-Rich Foods
Foods rich in selenium are foods we should be eating anyway such as:
• Seafood (oysters, clams, sardines, crab, saltwater fish and freshwater fish)
• Nuts and seeds (particularly Brazil nuts)
• Lean meat (lean pork and beef, skinless chicken and turkey)
• Whole grains (whole-grain pasta, brown rice, oatmeal, etc.)
• Beans/legumes
• Low-fat dairy products

-Eat a Balanced Breakfast
Eating breakfast regularly leads to improved mood, according to some researchers — along with better memory, more energy throughout the day, and feelings of calmness. It stands to reason that skipping breakfast would do the opposite, leading to fatigue andanxiety. And what makes up a good breakfast? Lots of fiber and nutrients, some lean protein, good fats, and whole-grain carbohydrates.

Get Enough Vitamin D
Vitamin D increases levels of serotonin in the brain but researchers are unsure of the individual differences that determine how much vitamin D is ideal (based on where you live, time of year, skin type, level of sun exposure). Researchers from the University of Toronto noticed that people who were suffering from depression, particularly those withseasonal affective disorder, tended to improve as their vitamin D levels in the body increased over the normal course of a year. Try to get about 600 international units (IU) of vitamin D a day from food if possible.

All meditative activities raise serotonin levels.

Spend time in a natural place such as a forest, park, mountains, or seashore.

Prayer, meditation, positive visualization boost serotonin levels and your feelings of well being, relaxed concentration and peace.

Engage in low arousal, highly meditative and internal spiritual practices that relax you.

Try relaxing activities such as hobbies or crafts.

Engage in exercise that increases your heart rate somewhat but not significantly.

Strolling, yoga, non-aerobic swimming, bike riding when done at least 4 days in a row a week will over a period of 60 days increase your baseline serotonin levels.

Have a regular wake sleep cycle.

The production of serotonin for the next day requires at least 7 continuous hours of sound high quality sleep the night before.

Get out in the sun at least 30 minutes in the morning and for 2 hours throughout the day.

Sunlight burns off melatonin produced the night before. The presence of high levels of melatonin consumes serotonin. Sunlight suppressed the production of melatonin and allows your serotonin levels to rise during the day. Without the exposure to adequate natural light your melatonin levels will be higher and your serotonin levels will be lower.

Do things that revitalize you and let you feel good.

Take a low activity, high relaxation vacation with your family or by yourself with plenty of time to slow down.

Listen to classical music, light rock, folk or easy listening music.

Visit a museum, go to the theater, the symphony, or watch TV or films about love stories, comedies and other feel good movies.

Engage in long, deep conversations with one or two other people.

Clean and organize your environment.

Read: Self-help books are especially complimentary.