Archive | March 2018

QUOTE FOR FRIDAY:

“Easter Eggs can have health benefits – just go for dark chocolate which contains high cocoa content. Dark chocolate is made with a high proportion of cocoa and also contains large amounts of flavonoids, which act as powerful antioxidants and lower blood pressure.”

bodyandsoul.com

Enjoy your Easter wisely!

Easter is a day of celebration and indulgence in hearty casseroles and sugary sweets. While it’s easy to go overboard in the Easter feast, it’s all about balance. Yes, you are allowed your Cadbury Eggs, but use these tips to keep you from completely falling off your diet plan.

  1. Start with the real breakfast of champions. You may not be able to control what’s served at the lunch table, but you certainly can control what you eat when you wake up. Make a giant green smoothie so you load up on nutrients and fiber, or try a protein shake, eggs or greek yogurt for filling protein.
  2. Drink plenty of water. Drink a glass of water before you endulge in your meal in order to make you feel fuller, faster. Try place thin cucumber and lemon slices in your glass for a clean and refreshing twist.
  3. Fill up on greens. Before you dive into the cheese plate or Easter basket full of candy, munch on a plate full of veggie sticks or salad. The fiber will fill you up, so you are less inclined to overindulge in the bad stuff.
  4. Remember your serving sizes. Serve half of the plate with veggies, a quarter with grains, and a quarter with protein. If you prefer stricter measurements, forget the cups and teaspoons, and use your hand as a measuring cup. Two fingers equals one serving of cheese. An open palm equals one serving of meat. A closed fist is one serving of fruit or vegetables. A cupped hand is one serving of grains.
  5. Enjoy bread and candy last. After you’ve filled up on veggies and protein, then enjoy the bread and butter, Peeps, jellybeans, or chocolate-covered caramels. While it’s tempting to inhale five or six candies in one sitting, slow down and thoroughly savor each bite.

QUOTE FOR THURSDAY:

“Our violence operates far outside the bounds of any other species.  Human beings kill anything.  Slaughter is a defining behavior of our species.  We kill all other creatures, and we kill our own.  Read today’s paper.  Read yesterday’s, or read tomorrow’s.  We kill our- selves in suicide.  We kill friends, rivals, coworkers, & classmates.  Children kill children, in school and on the playground. ”

R. Douglas Fields, Why We Snap, p. 286, 2016. R. Douglas Fields is senior investigator at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland.

Part II Emotions and how they make the creature think!

One pattern stood out pretty clearly: Lethal violence increased over the course of mammal evolution. While only about 0.3 percent of all mammals die in conflict with members of their own species, that rate is sixfold higher, or about 2 percent, for primates. Early humans likewise should have about a 2 percent rate—and that lines up with evidence of violence in Paleolithic human remains.

The medieval period was a particular killer, with human-on-human violence responsible for 12 percent of recorded deaths. But for the last century, we’ve been relatively peaceable, killing one another off at a rate of just 1.33 percent worldwide. And in the least violent parts of the world today, we enjoy homicide rates as low as 0.01 percent.

“Evolutionary history is not a total straitjacket on the human condition; humans have changed and will continue to change in surprising ways,” says study author José María Gómez of Spain’s Arid Zones Experimental Station. “No matter how violent or pacific we were in the origin, we can modulate the level of interpersonal violence by changing our social environment. We can build a more pacific society if we wish.”

Lethal Lemurs

What may be most surprising to some of us, though, isn’t how violent we are, but rather how we compare to our mammalian cousins.

It’s not easy to estimate how often animals kill each other in the wild, but Gómez and his team got a good overview of the species most and least likely to kill their own kind. The number of hyenas killed by other hyenas is around 8 percent. The yellow mongoose? Ten percent. And lemurs—cute, bug-eyed lemurs? As many as 17 percent of deaths in some lemur species result from lethal violence. (See “Prairie Dogs Are Serial Killers That Murder Their Competition.”)

Yet consider this: The study shows that 60 percent of mammal species are not known to kill one another at all, as far as anyone has seen. Very few bats (of more than 1,200 species) kill each other. And apparently pangolins and porcupines get along fine without offing members of their own species.

View Images

Dolphins, long thought to be relatively peaceful marine mammals, have been documented trying to kill their own young.

Photograph by Wolcott Henry

Whales are also generally thought not to kill their own kind. But dolphin biologist Richard Connor of the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth notes that a dolphin infanticide attempt was documented recently, and he cautions that whales, as their close relations, might also be more violent than we’ve thought.

“We could witness a lethal fight in dolphins but not know it, because the victim swims away apparently unimpaired, but is bleeding to death internally,” he says.

More often, though, people think animals are more violent than they really are, says animal behavior expert Marc Bekoff, an emeritus professor at the University of Colorado Boulder.

 

“Violence might be deep in the human lineage, but I think people should be very cautious in saying that when humans are violent, they’re behaving like nonhuman animals,” Bekoff says.

Bekoff has long contended that nonhumans are predominantly peaceful, and he points out that just as some roots of violence can be found in our animal past, so can roots of altruism and cooperation. He cites the work of the late anthropologist Robert Sussman, who found that even primates, some of the most aggressive mammals, spend less than one percent of their day fighting or otherwise competing.

After all, challenging another animal to a duel is risky, and for many animals the benefits don’t outweigh the risk of death. Highly social and territorial animals are the most likely to kill one another, the new study found. Many primates fit that killer profile, though as experts point out, not all of them. Bonobos have mostly peaceable, female-dominated social structures, while chimps are much more violent.

These differences among primates matter, says Richard Wrangham, a biological anthropologist at Harvard known for his study of the evolution of human warfare. In chimpanzees and other primates that kill each other, infanticide is the most common form of killing. But humans are different—they frequently kill each other as adults.

“That ‘adult-killing club’ is very small,” he says. “It includes a few social and territorial carnivores such as wolves, lions, and spotted hyenas.”

While humans may be expected to have some level of lethal violence based on their family tree, it would be wrong to conclude that there’s nothing surprising about human violence, Wrangham says.

When it comes to murderous tendencies, he says, “humans really are exceptional.”  It appears expected with the reason irrational more for the human than animals.  Animals primarily do it for protection, food but some animals do it just to kill at times, like Bamboon’s. Know most animals don’t kill for that reason.

Sad about this whole article is humans are considered the most intelligent creature on Earth, yet we kill our own species!

 

QUOTE FOR WEDNESDAY:

“These popular works are bringing into focus, and wider awareness, what research has discovered in the past 30-40 years; that non-human animals are more sentient, intelligent, and rational than we have assumed, and that humans are far less rational than we have pretended.

Now if only we can use this knowledge, about human and non-human intelligence, more intelligently.”

Beyond Words joins Virginia Morell’s Animal Wise: The Thoughts and Emotions of Our Fellow Creatures and other writing on animal cognition as the equivalent for non-humans to Daniel Kahneman’s Thinking Fast and Slow and Daniel Ariely’s Predictably Irrational and lots of other literature on human cognition; works that pull together remarkable recent discoveries about how living beings thin including Extension Harvard University.

Part I Emotions and how they make the creature think!

 

Successful navigation of the social world requires the ability to recognize and track emotions as they unfold and change dynamically. Neuro-imaging and neurological studies of emotion recognition have primarily focused on the ability to identify the emotion shown in static photographs of facial expressions, showing correlations with the amygdala as well as temporal and frontal brain regions.

Our mood is a transient frame of mind that influences how we think and view the world. It is influenced by events in our lives, the amount of sleep we get, hormones, even the weather. But what role does the brain play in shaping our mood?

The limbic system

Many regions fundamental to mood are buried deep in the most primordial parts of the brain; that is, they are thought to have been among the first to develop in the human species. This is probably because mood is evolutionarily important.

Being glum can be advantageous and has been shown to sharpen our eye for detail, for instance. But, overall, the brain seems geared towards maintaining a mildly positive frame of mind. Being in a good mood makes us more likely to seek new experiences, be creative, plan ahead, procreate and adapt to changing conditions.

Our mood is a transient frame of mind that influences how we think and view the world. It is influenced by events in our lives, the amount of sleep we get, hormones, even the weather. But what role does the brain play in shaping our mood?

The limbic system

Many regions fundamental to mood are buried deep in the most primordial parts of the brain; that is, they are thought to have been among the first to develop in the human species. This is probably because mood is evolutionarily important.

Being glum can be advantageous and has been shown to sharpen our eye for detail, for instance. But, overall, the brain seems geared towards maintaining a mildly positive frame of mind. Being in a good mood makes us more likely to seek new experiences, be creative, plan ahead, procreate and adapt to changing conditions.

The limbic system is the major primordial brain network underpinning mood. It’s a network of regions that work together to process and make sense of the world.

Neurotransmitters, such as serotonin and dopamine, are used as chemical messengers to send signals across the network. Brain regions receive these signals, which results in us recognising objects and situations, assigning them an emotional value to guide behaviour and making split-second risk/reward assessments.

The limbic system sits under the cerebrum (the largest and newest part of the brain) and is made up of structures such as the hypothalamus, hippocampus and the amygdala.

The almond-shaped amygdala attaches emotional significance to events and memories. It came to the attention of emotion researchers in 1939 when monkeys whose amygdalae were removed showed bizarre patterns of behaviour. They became fearless, hypersexual and either devoid of emotion or irrationally aggressive.

Dubbed Kluver-Bucy Syndrome, it is rare in humans, but has been observed in people with amygdala damage incurred, for instance, after a bout of brain inflammation.

The hippocampus, meanwhile, reminds us which courses of action are congruent with our mood. For instance, if you feel great you might like to walk down a path fringed with daffodils. If you feel crap, you may instead be drawn to that bar that spins melancholy albums by The Smiths.

The hippocampus has been shown to be shrunken in people with chronic depression. This may account for common features of the condition, such as vague or non-specific recall of personal memories.

The limbic system also regulates biological functions in line with our mood, such as accelerated heart rate and sweating triggered by feeling flustered. Being so old, however, the limbic system is rather primitive. In day-to-day life it’s controlled by some newer networks that co-ordinate how we think and act, so our behaviour is conducive to achieving longer-term goals, rather than always going wherever the mood takes us.

 

QUOTE FOR TUESDAY:

“Influenza is a contagious respiratory disease transmitted from person to person primarily via virus-laden droplets. Viral shedding starts 24 to 48 hours after infection, and typically 24 hours before the onset of symptoms. Shedding normally persists less than 5 days but can be longer in children and in those who are immuno-compromised.  Respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, is a respiratory virus that infects the lungs and breathing passages. Like influenza, RSV is transmitted via virus-laden droplets. People infected with RSV are usually contagious for 3 to 8 days, although some infants or immunocompromised people can be contagious for several weeks.”

OHSU (OHSU.ed)

Quote for Monday

“I saw many people who had advanced heart disease and I was so frustrated because I knew if they just knew how to do the right thing, simple lifestyle and diet steps, that the entire trajectory of their life and health would have been different.” » Mehmet Oz

Part III How plants enhance our lives medically!

 

Ginger:

Ginger is one spice that I recommend keeping on hand in your kitchen at all times. Not only is it a wonderful addition to your cooking (especially paired with garlic) but it also has enough medical properties to fill several books.

Ginger is best known for its anti-nausea effects but also has broad-spectrum antibacterial, antiviral, antioxidant, and anti-parasitic properties, to name just several of its more than 40 scientifically confirmed pharmacological actions. It is anti-inflammatory, making it valuable for pain relief for joint pain, menstrual pain, headaches, and more.

The pain-relieving potential of ginger appears to be far-reaching. Along with help for muscle and joint pain, ginger has been found to reduce the severity of migraine headaches as well as the migraine medication Sumatriptan – with fewer side effects.

Ginger also shows promise for fighting cancer, diabetes, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, asthma, bacterial and fungal infections, and it is one of the best natural remedies available for motion sickness or nausea (from pregnancy or chemotherapy, for example).

Taking one gram of ginger daily may help reduce nausea and vomiting in pregnant women, or those with migraines and ginger has been shown to work better than a placebo in relieving morning sickness.

Ginger is also a must-have if you struggle with indigestion, and it does more than simply relieve pain. Ginger contains powerful protein-digesting enzymes and helps to stimulate the emptying of your stomach without any negative effect, and it’s an antispasmodic agent, which may explain its beneficial effects on your intestinal tract.

Many people enjoy ginger tea on a regular basis, and this is one of the simplest ways to use it. Simply chop off a couple of inches of ginger root and let it steep in hot water for fresh ginger tea. I would advise against using it daily as it can lead to an allergy and is what happened to me about twenty years ago.

You can also peel the root using a paring knife and then slice it thinly (or grate it or mince it) to add to tea or cooked dishes. You can’t go wrong by adding ginger to stir fries or even your favorite homemade chicken soup. For serious issues, a natural health care provider can help you get the maximum therapeutic benefits of ginger.

Garlic:

Eating a clove or two of fresh garlic a day may indeed keep the doctor away, in part because it has immune-boosting, antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-fungal effects. Many of garlic’s therapeutic effects are derived from its sulfur-containing compounds, such as allicin, which are also what give it its characteristic smell. In general, garlic’s benefits fall into four main categories:

-Reducing inflammation (reduces the risk of osteoarthritis and other disease associated with inflammation).

-Boosting immune function (antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, and antiparasitic properties).

-Improving cardiovascular health and circulation (protects against clotting, retards plaque, improves lipids, and reduces blood pressure).

-Toxic to at least 14 kinds of cancer cells (including brain, lung, breast, gastric, and pancreatic).

In addition, garlic may be effective against drug-resistant bacteria, and research has revealed that as allicin digests in your body, it produces sulfenic acid, a compound that reacts with dangerous free radicals faster than any other known compound. This is one of the reasons in my article garlic what listed as one of the top seven anti-aging foods you can consume.

In order to get the health benefits, the fresh clove must be crushed or chopped in order to stimulate the release of an enzyme called alliinase, which in turn catalyzes the formation of allicin.

Allicin, in turn, rapidly breaks down to form a number of different organosulfur compounds. So to “activate” garlic’s medicinal properties, compress a fresh clove with a spoon prior to swallowing it, or put it through your juicer to add to your vegetable juice.

A single medium-size clove or two is usually sufficient and is well-tolerated by most people. The active ingredient, allicin, is destroyed within one hour of smashing the garlic, so garlic pills are virtually worthless. Black garlic, which is basically fermented garlic, and sprouted garlic may contain even more antioxidants than regular garlic.

Peppermint:

Peppermint offers benefits to the respiratory system, including for coughs, colds, asthma, allergies, and tuberculosis. In terms of digestive health, peppermint oil capsules have been described as “the drug of first choice” in IBS patients, and peppermint oil is an effective alternative to drugs like Buscopan for reducing colonic spasms.

It may also relax the muscles of your intestines, allowing gas to pass and easing abdominal pain. Try peppermint oil or leaves added to tea for gas relief. Inhaling the peppermint aroma may offer memory enhancement and stress relief, and peppermint oil acts as an expectorant and decongestant, and may help clear your respiratory tract.

Use peppermint essential oil as a cold rub on your chest or inhale it through a vaporizer to help clear nasal congestion and relieve cough and cold symptoms. Peppermint oil may also help relieve tension headache pain. For headache pain, try dabbing a few drops on your wrist or sprinkling a few drops on a cloth, then inhaling the aroma. You can also massage the oil directly onto your temples and forehead. Peppermint essential oil is ideal for muscle and chest rubs, headache pain, dental care, and aromatherapy. You can even add it to your homemade cleaning supplies for extra antimicrobial power and natural fragrance.

When selecting peppermint for your own use, the fresh leaves will impart a superior flavor to dried leaves (such as for use in tea). Look for fresh leaves that are green in color without any dark spots or yellowing. In addition to using fresh mint leaves in tea, you can add them to soups, fruit salad, or gazpacho. Additionally, it is really easy to grow peppermint yourself and the plant works as a highly effective deterrent to many insects that might invade your garden or your home.