How We All Can Become Stronger | Dr. Pam Popper

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The game that can give you 10 extra years of life | Jane McGonigal on TED

When game designer Jane McGonigal found herself bedridden and suicidal following a severe concussion, she had a fascinating idea for how to get better. She dove into the scientific research and created the healing game, SuperBetter. In this moving talk, McGonigal explains how a game can boost resilience — and promises to add 7.5 minutes to your life.

This talk was presented at an official TED conference, and was featured by our editors on the home page.

ABOUT THE SPEAKER
Jane McGonigal · Game Designer

Reality is broken, says Jane McGonigal, and we need to make it work more like a game. Her work shows us how.

Plant versus Animal Iron | Dr. Michael Greger @ NutritionFacts.org

It is commonly thought that those who eat plant-based diets may be more prone to iron deficiency, but it turns out that they’re no more likely to suffer from iron deficiency anemia than anybody else. This may be because not only do those eating meat-free diets tend to get more fiber, magnesium, and vitamins like A, C, and E, but they also get more iron.

The iron found predominantly in plants is non-heme iron, which isn’t absorbed as well as the heme iron found in blood and muscle, but this may be a good thing. As seen in my video, The Safety of Heme vs. Non-Heme Iron, avoidance of heme iron may be one of the key elements of plant-based protection against metabolic syndrome, and may also be beneficial in lowering the risk from other chronic diseases such as heart disease.

The data linking coronary heart disease and the intake of iron, in general, has been mixed. This inconsistency of evidence may be because of where the iron comes from. The majority of total dietary iron is non-heme iron, coming mostly from plants. So, total iron intake is associated with lower heart disease risk, but iron intake from meat is associated with significantly higher risk for heart disease. This is thought to be because iron can act as a pro-oxidant, contributing to the development of atherosclerosis by oxidizing cholesterol with free radicals. The risk has been quantified as a 27% increase in coronary heart disease risk for every 1 milligram of heme iron consumed daily.

The same has been found for stroke risk. The studies on iron intake and stroke have had conflicting results, but that may be because they had never separated out heme iron from non-heme iron… until now. Researchers found that the intake of meat (heme) iron, but not plant (non-heme) iron, was associated with an increased risk of stroke.

The researchers also found that higher intake of heme iron—but not total or plant (non-heme) iron—was significantly associated with greater risk for type 2 diabetes. There may be a 16% increase in risk for type 2 diabetes for every 1 milligram of heme iron consumed daily.

The same has also been found for cancer, with up to 12% increased risk for every milligram of daily heme iron exposure. In fact, we can actually tell how much meat someone is eating by looking at their tumors. To characterize the mechanisms underlying meat-related lung cancer development, researchers asked lung cancer patients how much meat they ate and examined the gene expression patterns in their tumors. They identified a signature pattern of heme-related gene expression. Although they looked specifically at lung cancer, they expect these meat-related gene expression changes may occur in other cancers as well.

We do need to get enough iron, but only about 3% of premenopausal white women have iron deficiency anemia these days. However, the rates are worse in African and Mexican Americans. Taking into account our leading killers—heart disease, cancer, and diabetes—the healthiest source of iron appears to be non-heme iron, found naturally in abundance in whole grains, beans, split peas, chickpeas, lentils, dark green leafy vegetables, dried fruits, nuts, and seeds.

But how much money can be made on beans, though? The processed food industry came up with a blood-based crisp bread, made out of rye flour and blood from cattle and pigs, which is one of the most concentrated sources of heme iron, about two-thirds more than blood from chickens. If blood-based crackers don’t sound particularly appetizing, you can always snack on cow blood cookies. And, there are always blood-filled biscuits, whose filling has been described as “a dark-colored, chocolate flavored paste with a very pleasant taste.” (It’s dark-colored because spray-dried pig blood can have a darkening effect on the food product’s color.) The worry is not the color or taste, it’s the heme iron, which, because of its potential cancer risk, is not considered safe to add to foods intended for the general population.

Previously, I’ve touched on the double-edged iron sword in Risk Associated With Iron Supplements and Phytates for the Prevention of Cancer. It may also help answer Why Was Heart Disease Rare in the Mediterranean?

Those eating plant-based diets get more of most nutrients since whole plant foods are so nutrient dense. See Nutrient-Dense Approach to Weight Management.

In health,

Michael Greger, M.D.

PS: If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my free videos here and watch my live, year-in-review presentations:

Source: Plant versus Animal Iron | NutritionFacts.org

The Toxins In A Lot Of Hair Dye, Cosmetics And Other Personal Care Products by Stacy Malkan | The Real Truth About Health

Stacy is co-founder and co-director of U.S. Right to Know, a nonprofit investigative research group focused on the food industry. She is the author of the award-winning book, Not Just a Pretty Face: The Ugly Side of the Beauty Industry (New Society, 2007), and a co-founder of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, a coalition of nonprofit health and environmental groups that inspired cosmetics companies to remove hazardous chemicals from nail polish, baby products, make-up and hair products. Stacy’s work has been published in Time magazine, the New York Times, Washington Post, Nature Biotechnology and many other outlets and she has appeared in Teen Vogue, Wall Street Journal, San Jose Mercury News, San Francisco Chronicle, Good Morning America, Democracy Now and several documentary films including The Human Experiment produced by Sean Penn, Pink Skies and Stink Movie (now playing on Netflix). In 2012, Stacy served as media director for the historic California Right to Know ballot initiative to label genetically engineered foods. She is the former communications director for Health Care Without Harm, which got mercury out of hospitals and closed down medical waste incinerators around the world. Prior to her work in environmental health, Stacy worked for eight years as a journalist and managing editor, and she published an investigative newspaper covering land use and environmental issues in Colorado. She lives in the Bay Area with her husband and son.

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Passionate believers in whole food plant based diets, no chemicals, minimal pharmaceutical drugs, no GMO’s. Fighting to stop climate change and extinction.

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The ways in which excess sugar affects brain function | Dr. Joel Fuhrman

Food affects us in so many ways – physically, emotionally, intellectually and cognitively. In our society, high-fat, high-sugar foods, meat and alcohol are associated with celebration and comfort, but when we look at the scientific studies, we see overwhelming evidence that adhering to an unhealthy eating style, such as the standard American diet (SAD), has serious consequences.

In this post, we’ll look at one of the biggest culprits in the Western diet:1 added sugars. Regular and excessive consumption of sugar is associated with poorer cognitive function, increased risk of depression or dementia, or reduced brain volume.2-7  Even in short-term studies, detriments to learning, memory, or attention have been detected.

Sources:

Western diet consumption and cognitive impairment: links to hippocampal dysfunction and obesity.

Diabetes, sugar-coated but harmful to the brain.

Diet-Induced Cognitive Deficits: The Role of Fat and Sugar, Potential Mechanisms and Nutritional Interventions.

Foods, nutrients, and the brain

Brain function, including learning, memory, mood, attention, processing speed, and motor function, is profoundly affected by the foods we eat. Over decades, a poor diet can impair brain health through nutrient insufficiencies, oxidative stress, inflammation, and vascular damage. This can lead to depression, dementia, or a decline in cognitive function. In contrast, vitamins, minerals, antioxidant nutrients, and other phytochemicals have protective effects.

Omega-3 fatty acids are structural components of brain cell membranes that influence learning, memory, and mood. Fast food and commercial baked goods are associated with depression,8 whereas vegetable, fruit, and phytochemical intake is associated with reduced risk of depression,9-12 and dietary interventions effective at improving mood and reducing depression symptoms.13-15It is true when they say, “good food, good mood.”

Neuroinflammation could underlie the deficits in attention, learning, and memory that are associated with a poor diet. There is growing consensus among researchers that pro-inflammatory diet components, such as added sugars and saturated fats, lead to insulin resistance, systemic inflammation, and neuroinflammation. The good news is that phytochemicals in vegetables and fruits may help to prevent or slow loss of cognitive function with age by lowering oxidative stress and inflammation.16-19

Related: Omega-3 fatty acids, DHA and EPA, are crucial for brain health through all stages of life
Related: Short-term dietary intervention improves depression symptoms
Position Paper: Treating Depression Naturally (free for members)

Sources:

Diet quality and depression risk: A systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis of prospective studies.

Is Psychological Well-Being Linked to the Consumption of Fruit and Vegetables?

A brief diet intervention can reduce symptoms of depression in young adults – A randomised controlled trial.

Food for thought: how nutrition impacts cognition and emotion.

Dietary intakes of berries and flavonoids in relation to cognitive decline.

Long-term intake of nuts in relation to cognitive function in older women.

The dangers of “junk foods”

Continue reading:

Source: The ways in which excess sugar affects brain function

How long do I have to take this pill? | Stephanie Spencer

View my FREE Plant-Based Nutrition Webinar

Almost) everything you ever wanted to know about a Plant-Based Diet but were afraid to ask! To enroll in the full course, click: https://stephanie-s-school-912e.think…. Enter coupon code HEALWITHPLANTS for 10% off!

Have you ever been sitting in the exam room with your doctor as he or she is reviewing your lab work?  They discuss your health risks due to your weight/cholesterol/blood pressure/ blood sugar numbers and recommend starting or adding another pill since your attempted dietary changes thus far haven’t worked.  And you ask…

How long will I have to take this pill?

When you ask your doctor this question, you may notice a suppressed chuckle or a flash of surprise across their face.  That’s because they usually assume your underlying problem (heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure) will never, ever go away.  We will have to “manage” it for the rest of your life until you progress to a point where you need invasive procedures or suffer a life-altering event or injury such as a heart attack or stroke that can greatly diminish the quality of your life and your ability to care for yourself.   I’m a cardiac RN and I spent about 20 years in the field of “chronic disease management” caring for individuals suffering from heart failure.  And that’s the problem-we are so busy “managing” these diseases that everyone seems to have that we don’t focus on the cause of the problem (it’s the food), or even know that we can reverse the underlying conditions that cause these diseases.  Many in the medical field don’t even know that diseases like Type 2 diabetes and heart disease have been demonstrated to be reversible with a Whole Food Plant-Based Diet through many randomized controlled clinical trials published in the Lancet, the Journal of the American Medical Association, and many more. Through the work of Plant-Based Pioneers such as Dr’s T. Colin Campbell,  Caldwell Esselstyn, and Neal Barnard, I learned that many of these chronic diseases such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and Type 2 diabetes were frequently reversible on a Whole Food Plant-Based Diet.  But at the time, I wasn’t quite ready to switch to that diet myself because I figured my husband and I were “pretty healthy” and besides, I had three teenage aged boys in the house. Until one day, my husband came home from the doctor with blood work showing that he was in fact,  pre-diabetic. This was a huge wake-up call for me. I had spent my entire working life trying to “manage” patients who were frequently ill with what started as diabetes and just kept getting sicker and sicker until they could no longer care for themselves. I vowed that this would never happen to my husband.  So without waiting for anyone’s (meaning my kids’) blessing, I just quit purchasing meat and dairy at the store. And believe it or not, it really wasn’t that hard! We learned to eat a lot of exciting new ethnic food, incorporated fiber-filled whole grains and legumes in our diet, watched as the pounds fell off of our bodies and enjoyed never being hungry in between meals for the first time in our lives.  And after 4 months, we rechecked Paul’s blood-work and his pre-diabetes had been reversed!  After Paul’s massive health transformation, and realizing how easy it is to eat the food that makes us the healthiest, I obtained a Certification in Plant-Based Nutrition through the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies through Cornell University.  And now I want to be able to share this life-changing information with everyone!

Stephanie

 

 

100% Fruit Juice Products: Is Sugar a Concern? – Dr William Li

It is great that more light has been shed on the dangers of consuming too much refined sugar in recent years. Overconsumption of some added sugars can have seriously harmful effects such as weight gain, cardiovascular issues, negative impacts on the skin, increased sugar cravings, mental health-related problems like anxiety and depression, liver disease, pre-diabetes, and more.

There is no lack of science to illustrate the damaging effects of consuming too much sugar. A study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition determined a positive association between the regular consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages and the rising obesity epidemic. A 2008 study strengthened the argument that sugar may be addictive when its results showed that rodents who were given unlimited access to sugar exhibited multiple signs of addiction.

Another study published in The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology in 2014 acknowledged the potential connection between consuming high glycemic foods and skin issues. Evidence shows that inflammation can have a negative impact on stress levels, and it is known that consuming too much sugar can increase inflammation. Basically, we can all agree that eating too much sugar is bad for your overall health.

Continue reading onsite:

Source: 100% Fruit Juice Products: Is Sugar a Concern? – Dr William Li

Model Village for Alzheimer’s Patients in France Makes Residents Feel Like They’re Still Independent – Good News Network

As the old African proverb says, “It takes a village to raise a child,” but it seems that same wisdom may also hold true when it comes to caring for elderly Alzheimer’s patients.

Rather than placing them in traditional memory care units, some groups charged with the care of these special seniors are taking a more innovative approach.

In southwestern France near the city of Dax, a community has been created with the specific needs of its 105 residents—all of whom suffer from Alzheimer’s in varying stages.

Built in the same spirit as De Hogeweyk, a purpose-built village for dementia patients in the Netherlands, it’s the first such facility in France.

In addition to nursing facilities, the Landais campus includes a grocery store, hair salon, cafeteria, library, and music room.

Residents are given as much freedom as their conditions allow, and treated to numerous entertainments.

Continue reading …

Source: Model Village for Alzheimer’s Patients in France Makes Residents Feel Like They’re Still Independent – Good News Network

Foods That Help Prevent And Reverse Dementia by Steve Blake, Sc.D. | The Real Truth About Health

Steve Blake, ScD is a doctor of science specializing in nutritional biochemistry. He is Director of Nutritional Neuroscience at the Maui Memory Clinic. He is lead advisor and author for the Macmillan Reference, Gale Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine. He has worked as Faculty Nutritional Biochemist at Hawaii Pacific Neuroscience for years. He is a research scientist who just finished a clinical study at the Hawaii Alzheimer’s Disease Center that he designed and ran with a large team. He is research director at the Neuroscience Nutrition Foundation. He has presented grand rounds at John A. Burns School of Medicine at U.H., Castle Medical Center in Kailua, Hawaii, Hawaii Pacific Neuroscience, St. Francis Liliha, Honolulu, and at Boston University Medical Center.

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Emotional Mastery: The Gifted Wisdom of Unpleasant Feelings | Dr Joan Rosenberg | TEDxSantaBarbara

What often blocks people from feeling capable in life and from having greater success with finances, health or relationships is how they handle unpleasant feelings. Psychologist Joan Rosenberg unveils the innovative strategy and surprising keys for experiencing the challenging emotions that lie at the heart of confidence, emotional strength, and resilience.

Best-selling author, consultant, media host, and master clinician, Dr. Joan Rosenberg is a cutting-edge psychologist who is known as an innovative thinker, acclaimed speaker and trainer. As a member of the Association of Transformational Leaders, she has been recognized for her thought leadership and influence in personal development.

Dr. Rosenberg has been featured in the documentaries “I Am”, “Pursuing Happiness”, & “The Hidden Epidemic” w Dr. Daniel Amen. She’s been seen on CNN’s American Morning, the OWN network, and PBS, as well as appearances and radio interviews in all of the major metropolitan media markets. A California-licensed psychologist, Dr. Rosenberg speaks on how to build confidence, high self-esteem, core emotional strength, and resilience; achieving emotional, conversational, and relational mastery; integrating neuroscience, psychotherapy, and supervision; and suicide prevention. An Air Force veteran, she is a professor of graduate psychology at Pepperdine.

This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at http://ted.com/tedx