Complete Guide to Ashwagandha and Its Benefits

Complete Guide to Ashwagandha and Its Benefits

Ashwagandha might be tricky to pronounce (it’s ash-wa-gan-da, FYI) but this small, evergreen plant has become the health influencer’s supplement du jour . Touted as the ultimate remedy to 21st century living , ashwaganda is what’s known as an ‘adaptogen’. “In other words, it’s a natural substance that helps the body to adapt to stress ,” explains Mina Khan, a pharmacist with a background in Indian Ayurvedic medicine.

While it may be new to us Brits, ashwagandha is a powerful herb that is prominent in Ayurvedic medicine, one of the world’s oldest medical systems, and its history of use as a medicine dates back to AD 6000. The bioactive compounds in the plant exert ‘antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and immunomodulatory activities’ that herbalists say can help reduce stress and anxiety, boost testosterone levels , and potentially alleviate the symptoms of certain diseases.

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In a world filled with relentless calendar notifications a natural stress-soothing solution definitely appeals. “The modern world brings with it lots of stress and long working hours for many,” says Khan, “ashwagandha is likely to be particularly of interest to people who want natural solutions to stress; and want to enhance their energy levels and benefit from increased mental clarity .” Ashwagandha Root

Native to India, North Africa and the Middle East, ashwagandha’s botanical name is withania somnifera, though it’s sometimes referred to as Indian ginseng or winter cherry. If this all seems a bit too far removed from your local supermarket, ashwagandha is part of the nightshade family, which includes potatoes, tomatoes, bell peppers, and chilli peppers. While various parts of the plant are used, including the leaves, seeds, and even fruit, ashwagandha root is used most commonly.

“Ashwagandha adapts to the needs of the body, helping to support it and reduce negative changes during times of emotional and physical stress by strengthening the endocrine and nervous systems,” says Sebastian Pole, co-founder and master herbsmith at Pukka Herbs . This capacity to help the body adapt to stress “is reflected by its ability to thrive in very dry conditions in poor-quality soils,” he continues. “Most plants would suffer from severe stress in such an environment.”

This content is imported from {embed-name}. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site. Ashwagandha supposedly smells like horses – ashva means ‘horse’ and gandha means ‘smell’ in Sanskrit – and the name also refers to the horse-like strength the herb is purported to stimulate. Don’t let the horse connotations put you off, though. Here, we run through the science-backed benefits associated with ashwagandha, including the dosage and side effects. Ashwagandha Benefits

While there are a whole host of health benefits associated with taking ashwagandha, spanning cognitive function, immune system support , adrenal function, sports performance, energy metabolism and more, human studies have so far been small scale.

There are also variables in the way ashwagandha is approached – the leaves, seeds, fruits and roots have been experimented with in different ways, and there isn’t a standard dosage that’s been studied by modern clinical trials. Even so, the science that does exist is promising.

“Ayurveda views ashwagandha as one of the most prized rejuvenating herbs, known as a ‘rasayana’ in Sanskrit,” explains Pole. “Rasayanas are thought to enhance both the quality and quantity of life, nourish the mind and enhance physical vigour, making them perfect for when we are feeling weak and exhausted .” 8 Things Not To Do At The Gym

by Men’s Health UK

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Refresh the page to resume playback.8 Things Not To Do At The Gymby Men’s Health UKBeginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteTransparencyOpaqueBackgroundColorBlackTransparencyOpaqueWindowColorBlackTransparencyTransparentFont Size50%Text Edge StyleNoneFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifEnd of dialog window. Replay “8 Things Not To Do At The Gym” Up Next01:28 Never, Ever Be This Guy in the Gym 01:2803:35 What women hate men doing at the gym 03:3500:39 MH UK Gym Chat – 1 00:39 Ashwagandha Soothes Anxiety and Stress The key chemical ingredients in ashwagandha are withaferin A and withanolide A. These mimic GABA, an amino acid which acts as a neurotransmitter in your central nervous system and calms nervous activity, according to a rodent study by California State University .And human studies have shown it can reduce symptoms of stress and anxiety. When researchers in India asked people with chronic stress to supplement with ashwagandha root, 69 per cent reported a reduction in anxiety and insomnia, compared with 11 per cent in the control group.Related Story Why Multivitamins Could Help You Lose Weight Various studies – both animal and human – have found that ashwagandha helps to reduce cortisol levels, too. “Stress causes a surge in the adrenal hormones – adrenaline and cortisol – that increase alertness,” says Pole.Not only does ashwagandha regulate imbalanced cortisol levels and nourish the adrenal glands, Pole continues, it also acts as a tonic. “This means it will strengthen an exhausted or agitated nervous system while at the same time calming it,” he says. Ashwagandha Enhances Muscle Growth and Strength The herb could supercharge your gym sessions, too, since it’s been shown to increase muscle mass, reduce body fat, and increase strength in men. In a study of 57 men , taking ashwagandha led to “significant increases in muscle mass and strength ” and more than doubled their reductions in body fat percentage compared to a placebo group. Another study found that healthy men who took around one gram of ashwagandha per day saw gains in muscle strength after 30 days. “This quality of ashwagandha also makes it helpful for recovering from weakness in any post-illness convalescence period,” adds Pole. Corey JenkinsGetty Images Ashwagandha Boosts Brain Function and Memory Ashwagandha […]

Read more at www.menshealth.com

5 Ways to Train Your Brain for Lifelong Mental Fitness

5 Ways to Train Your Brain for Lifelong Mental Fitness

Ever find yourself staring into your closet, unable to recall why you’re there or what you needed in the first place? Or why do you sometimes jumble perfectly easy sentences or blank at a pivotal moment during a work meeting? You’re young and relatively healthy, so what’s the deal?

Brain blips can be unnerving, but they’re completely normal. The good news is that they’re rarely the sign of a declining mind. We tend to think of youth as a time of peak mental capacity, and that once our child-prodigy days are gone, there’s no hope left. But, in fact, the human brain is most likely at its best during midlife, when life experiences combine with decades’ worth of neural connections, resulting in peak intelligence and ability.

“We may not learn or recall information quite as quickly as we did in our teens and 20s,” says Sandra Bond Chapman, PhD, the founder and chief director of the Center for BrainHealth at the University of Texas at Dallas. “But during our 30s, 40s, and 50s, we get better at what matters most: making decisions, synthesizing information, and coming up with big ideas.”

That means, however old you are now, it’s never too late to adopt healthy habits that will get your brain in good shape—and even improve with time.

While it’s natural for neurons to fire more slowly with age, stress and anxiety cause people to pathologize perfectly normal experiences, like forgetting an acquaintance’s name (again). “You probably pay attention to the few things that go wrong, but don’t give your brain credit for the thousands of things it did right,” Chapman says.

Instead of focusing on the occasional lapse, concentrate on your daily habits. What you do today will play a major role in whether you operate optimally in the present—and whether you develop more serious cognitive deterioration, like dementia, later in life. When it comes to brain function, everyday behavior matters as much as—if not more than—your DNA.

Whether you’re 23 or 63, here are five proven ways to gain a mental edge for years to come.

Listening to classical music and doing the crossword every week will bolster your brain, right? Unfortunately, not as much as you think. While these habits are certainly more stimulating than zoning out to another Friends marathon, research suggests that a great way to boost brainpower is through learning something entirely new—either mental, such as learning a new language, or physical, like signing up for a different yoga class or learning how to knit. As we cultivate an unfamiliar skill, our brains get more flexible and form new neural connections that get stronger over time.

According to a 2013 study from the University of Texas at Dallas, older adults who learned cognitively demanding activities, like quilting and digital photography, improved their memories. Those who listened to classical music, watched classic movies, or engaged in social activities, on the other hand, didn’t have the same gains.

Another study from 2020 , published in The Journals of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences , suggests that regularly deviating from a mundane routine and getting exposure to a diverse array of activities throughout adulthood can boost cognitive functioning and decelerate the signs of cognitive aging, such as memory loss and declines in information processing.

Take your learning to the next level by using your brain for what it does best: fusing existing and new information. “It will repay you by strengthening its complex neural networks,” says Chapman. For example, you know how to read and love to read—but now take your favorite cerebral passtime one step further and get more mental bang for your buck (so to speak). For example, next time you finish a great book, spend a little extra time writing a Goodreads review, blog post, or digital journal entry for your eyes only (a Word or Google doc will do). You might be surprised at what you come up with while mulling it over again. Or reach for a pen and your journal: Studies show that writing by hand, rather than typing, improves information processing as well as the ability to remember what you’re writing about.

Your brain, as much as your body, is affected by what you eat and drink. Thankfully, making things less complicated, good brain nutrition looks a lot like body nutrition. Notable research from Rush University and the Harvard School of Public Health, published in 2015, found that middle-aged and older adults who adhered to an eating plan called the Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay (MIND) diet were able to decelerate cognitive decline. In fact, they scored the equivalent of seven and a half years younger on cognitive tests after one year of eating that way. According to a Rush University news release, “[this] diet is based on the most compelling research on the foods and nutrients that affect brain health….As the name suggests, the MIND diet is a hybrid of the Mediterranean and DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diets .”

Like the Mediterranean diet , the MIND diet emphasizes nuts , beans, whole grains , poultry, and olive oil . But unlike the former plan, it calls for consuming leafy greens daily and at least two weekly servings of berries, as both are rich in brain-boosting antioxidants.

It shouldn’t be news that exercise is good for your head . But working out on days when you have, say, a big presentation or a stressful test can give your mind the added sharpness it needs.

Take this study, for example: Adults who did aerobic exercise regularly for four weeks—and exercised the morning that they took memory tests—scored higher than did regular exercisers who skipped their workout on test day, according to a 2012 study from Dartmouth College. Exercise’s stress-thwarting effects may be partially responsible: “ Stress is toxic to the brain,” Chapman explains. “It releases the hormone cortisol onto the hippocampus, where memories are stored.” That can make you momentarily forgetful and may weaken neural connections over time, increasing the odds of dementia.

All that said, don’t miss out on regular sweat […]

Read more at www.realsimple.com

Milk Findings May Help Infants Worldwide

Milk Findings May Help Infants Worldwide

Posted by Janos Zempleni, Ph.D., Willa Cather Professor of Molecular Nutrition, Department of Nutrition and Health Sciences, University of Nebraska-Lincoln in Research and Science The natural infection fighting properties contained in milk could mean a better start to life for infants worldwide. Today is World Milk Day! In America, the average consumption of milk is about 146 pounds (17 gallons) per person per year according to data from USDA’s Economic Research Service . Children account for a large portion of milk drinkers, particularly infants as milk is meant to be the sole source of nutrition for infants until age 6 months.

Milk naturally contains infection-fighting properties. Commercial baby formula usually does not. Funding from USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture and other sponsors allowed me to explore an element of milk that could be used as a supplement in baby formula to boost nutrition and stave off infection.

If I asked you about the nutritional importance of milk, nutrients such as calcium and vitamin D might come to mind. But there’s more. I began exploring novel bioactive compounds in cow’s milk in 2014 and discovered that milk contains around 6 trillion natural nanoparticles called “exosomes,” per fluid ounce. When you drink milk, milk exosomes enter your body and deliver a variety of proteins, lipids, RNA, and DNA to the liver, brain, placenta, and gut. Exosomes and their cargo work their magic and support essential functions such as learning and memory, the immune system, and reproduction. Not all exosomes ingested with milk find their way into human tissues. Some stay in your gut and interact with bacteria in an environment called a “microbiome.”

My research involved studying exosome-microbiome interactions in milk. My findings suggest that milk exosomes alter the genetic makeup of bacteria. For example, what used to be a fairly quiet bacteria might turn more virulent in the absence of milk exosomes.

How can this discovery about milk exosomes provide healthier nutritional benefit society? First, while pediatricians recommend exclusive breastfeeding in the first six months of life, most babies (for a variety of reasons) are fed infant formula. Commercial formula contains little, if any, exosomes. Supplementing formula with milk exosomes can make it more like human milk. This is important for premature infants who are predisposed to developing gastrointestinal diseases. Infants in developing countries may also benefit from supplemented formula because they often receive formula in the first stages of life.

The natural infection fighting properties contained in milk, either through breast milk or possibly through formula supplements, could mean a better start to life for infants worldwide.

Read more at www.usda.gov

Reduce COVID-19 anxiety and depression with these free apps

Reduce COVID-19 anxiety and depression with these free apps

Feeling anxious, down or lonely in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic?

If so, you’re not alone.

According to experts, the percentage of Americans suffering from anxiety and depression may have tripled since the lockdown started.

And it’s easy to see why…

On top of the worry that you may yourself contract COVID-19, you’re also faced with the isolation of social distancing and wondering whether you’ll be able to safely spend time with friends and extended family members in person again.

But there is a way to feel better.

A new study has found that a collection of apps that are free to download can help significantly reduce your stress and anxiety so that you can get back to your pre-lockdown self, even if you can’t leave the house just yet. Reduces anxiety and depression by approximately 60%

Researchers at Northwestern Medicine specifically looked at a collection of mobile apps called IntelliCare, which happen to be completely free to download in the Apple and Android stores.

And they found that people who used the apps over a period of eight weeks showed significantly greater improvements in depression and anxiety compared to the control group.

In fact, the level of improvement that was seen in anxiety and depression was a whopping 60 percent, which is similar to what you could expect with traditional psychotherapy — without even leaving your house.

And once the control group received the same intervention, their depression and anxiety decreased, too.

The researchers say that it’s also important to note that even once the study was complete, participants chose to continue to use the IntelliCare apps — unlike other mental health apps that people often stop using before treatment even ends.

So this could be a sign that they not only work, but are also easy to use and incorporate into your daily life. How the apps can help

They offer short exercises to de-stress and reduce worrying, methods to help your life feel more meaningful, mantras to highlight your strengths, strategies for keeping up with daily activities (even during the pandemic) and more.

For example, if you spend a lot of time worried that you’re going to get sick with COVID-19, you could find that you feel anxious and are starting to see a trickle-down effect in your daily activities. Peak PS™ is Natural Support for Memory and Cognitive Function Containing Soy-Free Phosphatidylserine – One of the Most Tested Nutrients for Brain Health and Memory!

To combat that negative thinking, you can go to the Thought Challenger app and turn those negative thoughts into more positive or realistic ones by questioning whether or not your thoughts are 100 percent true.

And then it can help you come up with ways to feel more in control such as remembering that there are many things you can do to stay healthy, like washing your hands.

So if you’re feeling stress or down these days, consider downloading and using the IntelliCare apps to feel up to 60 percent better. 7 additional tips for better mental health

In addition to using these apps, here are 10 more tips you can use to boost your mental health right now:

#1 — Give yourself a break

Remember that what you’re going through is challenging, and practice kindness toward yourself. Allow yourself to feel the negative emotions, but remind yourself of the good as well.

#2 — Be kind to others

Social distancing creates massive amounts of stress, and, as we’ve all seen in the news, stress can lead to sometimes violent confrontations. Work hard to notice the good things around you, and put kindness into a world that so badly needs it right now.

#3 — Try a nootropic supplement

Nootropic supplements are helpful for brain health. Many people rely on them to help boost concentration and cognition, but they are also helpful with mood level and anxiety. One in particular, phosphatidylserine, helps blunt the effects of stress and anxiety by decreasing blood levels of the stress hormones ACTH, cortisol, epinephrine and norepinephrine.

#4 — Maintain a routine Routines help us feel in control of our lives. Anything from getting dressed in the morning to maintaining a regular bedtime makes a difference… so create a routine and stick to it. #5 — Get quality sleep Sleep is vital to calming anxiety and boosting immune system function. When you’re deciding on your sleep schedule, be sure to allow for a good eight hours of quality rest each night. #6 — Practice healthy habits Sticking to a balanced eating plan and getting regular physical activity will help you feel better body and soul. #7 — Turn off the news It can be tempting to spend all day wrapped up in the latest news about the pandemic, but this can leave you more stressed and worried than ever. When you feel anxiety or depression creeping in, switch off the news. Sources: > App helps COVID anxiety, depression — EurekAlert!

Read more at easyhealthoptions.com

Brain C-13 Reviews: Does Zenith Labs Brain C13 Really Work?

Brain C-13 Reviews: Does Zenith Labs Brain C13 Really Work?

New York, NY, Jun. 01, 2020 (Wired Release) SABA COMMUNICATIONS INC: Dr. Ryan Shelton of Zenith Labs has successfully prepared Brain C-13, a formula that promises to improve cognitive functions by boosting the health of your brain. This brain boosting formula is one its kind, natural and herbal, extensively researched to improve your brain’s functioning, so that, people with declined mental health, can now carry out things “normally”.

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If you have always wondered why don’t you have an IQ that of Einstein and Newton, the answer to the problem lies in alteration of the chemicals of your brain. This is one reason why most people today find it difficult to concentrate and remember things. Even if you’re one of those suffering from any such problems, then Zenith Labs Brain C-13 is here to help you deal with it.

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Brain C-13 Review:

Forget where you put your car keys? Don’t remember what you had for dinner last night?

Well, as a person ages, their brain functionality decreases, making it harder to recall things. Remembering a small thing as finding your keys can become difficult when your brain’s health is deteriorating. Not only this, but a weaker brain means you’ll soon lose your ability to function like a normal human being, where holding a spoon to eat a mouthful of your favorite garlic rice will become impossible.

Brain C-13 supplement is an all-natural formula that works to boost your brain’s functioning by improving the chemical composition.

Have you ever wondered why your siblings are better at studies than you? Why do they score better grades than you although all of you study the same books and for the same amount of time?

The simple answer is, intelligence and memory of a person are determined by the chemical composition of their brain. Zenith Labs Brain C-13 pills aid brain functioning by feeding it with the right kind of minerals and vitamins that ensure its good health. So at the end of the day, you can quickly recall where you put away your car keys.

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How does Brain C-13 Work?

This product is a complete diet for your brain. It comes with all–natural ingredients, has no additives or synthetic agents, making it safe to be used regularly.

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Zenith Labs introduced this supplement in the market only after successful testing and approval by the medical and health board. Also, over the years Zenith Labs has produced pills and medicines that have successfully treated people, thus, the name can be trusted with a blind eye.

The formula constitutes of natural ingredients, hence, using it has no side effects. It is packed with minerals and vitamins that when entering the body, produce important compounds to maintain the chemical balance of the brain, helping in boosting memory and other cognitive functions.

For the best result, you need to use it regularly, and within a few weeks, the changes will be visible, getting you back on track.

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Brain C-13 Ingredients:

Aging and stressful routine can decline your mental health, affecting your normal bodily functions. A weaker brain means you’ll slowly lose the ability to perform daily tasks normally. Thus, it is important to ensure your brain remains healthy and active. Here are the ingredients of Brain C-13 pills that can help in keeping your brain as active as ever:

1. Huperzine A

This herb stops the breakdown of acetylcholine, a chemical in the brain that improves memory and other cognitive functions. Huperzine A increases the production of acetylcholine in the brain, enhancing your performance, boosting your mood and above all, increasing your abilities to learn and retain new information.

2. Rhodiola Root

Research has shown that Rhodiola root works as a neuroprotector, saving the brain cells from damage, improving its health in general. This herb also increases short-term memory and concentration.

3. Turmeric Root

Curcumin in turmeric root contains medicinal properties such as anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant characteristics. It helps prevent Alzheimer’s disease and boost brain functionality.4. Rosemary LeafRosemary leaf contains a natural compound that increases the brain’s neurotransmitter, hence, boosting memory and other brain-related processes.5. PhosphatidylserineIt ensures the right level of glucose is maintained inside the brain leading to improved coordination between the cells, thus, enhancing the overall performance of the brain.6. Mucuna PruriensThis ingredient in the formula elevates your mood, making you happy and feeling better about yourself and the surrounding. You’ll be motivated to perform well and hence, perform better.MUST SEE: Does Brain C13 Work For Everyone? Read Customer Reviews and Testimonials Other Benefits:This brain formula doesn’t only work to enhance memory but improves cognitive function in general. When your brain with be active and healthy, you’ll be in a good mood, finding it easier to recall things and perform with the best of your abilities.Here are some other benefits that the user of this supplement can get, without of course any side effects to worry about:1. Improve Concentration and MemoryThe natural ingredients and herb in this supplement maintain the chemical composition of the brain, leading to enhanced concentration and improved memory. Once you start using these dietary pills, you’ll see a major difference in your performance, finding it easier to learn and retain new information.2. Relieves StressBrain C13 is known to relieve stress, elevate mood and make you feel better about yourself. It inculcates positivity in the users, which then results in increased performance and improved cognitive functions.3. Increase Blood CirculationThe blood circulation is increased to the brain in the user of the supplement, nourishing the organ with vital vitamins and minerals which result in enriched mental health.Where to Buy and How Much Does It Cost?Brain C13 by Zenith Labs is available for purchase only on the official website here . For pricing you get:One-month supply – $49Three-months supply for $39 per bottleSix-months supply for $33 per bottleShipping is free and there is a money back guarantee of 180-days that backs your […]

Read more at apnews.com

5 Natural Ways to Improve Your Memory, According to Experts

5 Natural Ways to Improve Your Memory, According to Experts

You’re out to dinner and feel a hand on your shoulder as a familiar voice says your name. You turn around and this person is smiling. You know her—you’ve known her for years, in fact. But her name has evaporated from your mind, and all you can muster is a “Hey…you!”

Before you start Googling “signs of dementia ,” rest assured that some changes in memory and cognition are a normal part of the aging process, especially if they manifest as trouble finding words or momentary lapses in attention ( Why did I walk into the kitchen? ). “Many of our cognitive skills, like multitasking and processing speed, peak around age 30 and then tend to decline very subtly with age,” says Joel Kramer, Psy.D., director of the University of California San Francisco Memory and Aging Neuropsychology program.

But they don’t have to. By making smart lifestyle choices, you can retrain your brain so it stays sharp and focused. We asked some of the brainiest experts for research-backed tips on keeping your noggin young . 1. Try to remember before Googling.

The internet is great for telling you the name of that actor whose name won’t budge from the tip of your tongue. But it’s fueling a modern-day condition called digital amnesia—forgetting information because you trust a computerized device to remember it for you. It’s the reason half of us can’t phone our children or office without using our contacts list, according to a survey by Internet security company Kaspersky Lab.

“The brain is a use-it-or-lose-it machine,” says Sara Mednick, Ph.D., an associate professor of cognitive science at the University of California, Irvine. When we learn new things and then recall them later, we activate the hippocampus and the prefrontal cortex, areas of the brain intimately involved with memory. But when we rely on external sources, like our phones or the Internet, to remember for us, those regions of the brain can weaken.

The next time you’re struggling to name an actor, challenge yourself not to look it up. “Work through it and trust that your brain knows the answer—you just need to find it in there,” Mednick says. Similarly, try to make your way to a new address without using Google Maps—or if that’s too daunting, take a new route home from work. “It’s all about not living in automatic mode,” Mednick says. “The more you think things through or try novel approaches, the more you engage your brain to keep it healthier longer.” 2. Take a nap.

Quality restful sleep is nonnegotiable when it comes to thinking fast on your feet. As we progress from slow-wave sleep in the first part of the night to REM sleep in the early morning hours, our memories transform the material we learned throughout the day into actual working knowledge.

There’s no substitute for getting those seven to eight hours. But a strategically timed nap can come surprisingly close, says Mednick. “When we nap in the middle of the day, our time in each stage is more efficient,” she says. “In a 90-minute nap, you cycle through both slow-wave and REM sleep, but you do it in the same proportion as it occurs across a whole night of sleep.” Because of this, “a 90-minute nap can rival what you’d get overnight in terms of memory consolidation, creativity, and productivity.” Too tricky to fit 90 minutes into your schedule? A 30-minute nap can help lock in information too. 3. Get exercise every day.

Any time you move in a way that gets your blood pumping, you give your brain a boost. “Blood is filled with oxygen and nutrients that feed our brains,” says Gary W. Small, M.D., director of the UCLA Longevity Center and the author of 2 Weeks to a Younger Brain . Exercise also spurs the body to produce a protein that “acts like fertilizer for the brain, stimulating neurons to sprout branches so they can communicate more effectively,” says Dr. Small. When University of Illinois researchers asked 120 adults between 55 and 80 to spend 40 minutes three days per week either walking briskly or stretching and toning, they found that after one year, a memory center (the hippocampus) of the walkers’ brains was 2% bigger than in the stretching and toning group. That percentage may sound small, but it’s “enough to essentially reverse the brain shrinkage that naturally occurs with aging in the same period of time,” Dr. Small notes.

Even a single workout could be enough to give you an immediate cognitive boost. A small but promising 2019 study found that people who did 30 minutes of stationary cycling had better ability to recall names than others who simply rested. 4. Don’t multitask so much.

Multitasking makes us feel productive, but the opposite is actually true. “The brain is not designed to focus on several tasks at once,” Dr. Small says. As a result, our brains feel stressed when we multitask, “and we make more errors, which has the ultimate effect of making us less efficient.” (A four-second interruption—the time it takes to glance at your phone—can triple your chances of making a mistake during a task.)

That stress , perceived or not, also triggers the release of hormones that interfere with short-term memory. That’s why if the phone rings when you’re in the midst of a conversation with someone, it can be tricky to remember what you were saying after you hang up.

Instead of attempting to juggle your entire to-do list simultaneously, work smarter and monotask. First, place your phone out of sight; the brain’s ability to hold and process data is compromised whenever a smartphone is within reach, even if it’s powered off. Dr. Small says that designating specific times to answer email every day may squash the compulsion to check your inbox constantly. If the lure of email or social media is too tempting, use a digital time management program like Time Doctor or RescueTime to block access to specific sites.

Some people also find success with a […]

Read more at www.prevention.com

How to ‘Detox’ Your Brain (Hint: It’s Easier Than You Think)

How to ‘Detox’ Your Brain (Hint: It’s Easier Than You Think)

You can find a detox protocol for just about anything these days, including your brain.

With the right supplements, cleansing herbs, and a major overhaul of your diet, among other things, you can supposedly: banish grogginess

enhance your memory

boost your cognitive function

While certain lifestyle changes can certainly have a positive impact on your health, most medical experts agree that detoxes, including those that focus on your brain, aren’t necessary.

Also, there’s no compelling research to support the use of detoxes.

Your body already has processes in place to get rid of toxins and keep things running smoothly. When it comes to your brain, there’s actually an entire system dedicated to detoxification.

Here’s a look at how the process works and the simple things you can do to support it.

When it comes to detoxification, your brain is pretty good at taking care of business on its own.

Research published in 2015 explains this happens as part of the function of the glymphatic system, which removes waste products from your brain and nervous system . Think of it as the brain’s trash collector.

The glymphatic system does most of its work while you sleep. During sleep, your other bodily processes are less active, allowing glymphatic activity to take priority.

Animal research suggests that there’s also a higher volume of open space between the cells in your brain during sleep, which allows more room for your brain to take out the trash, so to speak.

This process is somewhat complicated, but here’s a quick look at how it works: First, the channels of the glymphatic system fill with cerebrospinal fluid.

This fluid collects “garbage” like proteins, toxins, and other waste products as it flows along the network.

Your brain then flushes this waste at different drainage sites, where it moves through your body and exits just like any other type of waste.

One important product removed from the brain when eliminating waste products is the protein β-amyloid (beta-amyloid), which experts believe plays a part in the development of Alzheimer’s disease .

Sleep plays an essential role in the function of the glymphatic system. Getting enough sleep each night is one of the best ways to support your brain’s natural detoxification process.

If you have trouble getting enough quality sleep, try these tips for a better, more refreshing rest. Maintain a regular bedtime

If you don’t have any particular reason to get up at a specific time each day, your sleep schedule might be all over the place. Maybe you keep a regular bedtime during the week but stay up late and sleep in over the weekend.

This might feel natural to you, but over time, it can do a number on your sleep-wake cycle .

Going to bed (and waking up) at approximately the same time every day can help you get better rest and improve your overall sleep quality.

You can still stay up a little later than usual and sleep in when you don’t need to get up early — just try to avoid varying your sleep schedule by more than an hour.

Part of consistent sleep involves getting the right amount of sleep, which can range from 7 to 9 hours.

Pro tip: Use a sleep calculator to figure out when you should go to bed. Consider your diet

Eating certain foods, especially later in the day, may disrupt your sleep.

For better sleep, try to avoid the following just before bedtime :If you feel hungry before bedtime, try a better bedtime snack , such as: a banana yogurt a small bowl of oatmeal cheese, fruit, and crackers Create a comfortable sleeping environment Keeping your bedroom cool and dark can help you get better sleep.If you tend to get warm or cold during the night, opt for layers of lightweight, breathable bedding.You might also consider adding a fan to your room, which can also help to block out any noises that tend to keep you up.Using your room only for sleeping and sex can also make it easier to fall asleep when you do go to bed.That way, your brain knows that getting into bed means you’re ready to sleep, not watch TV or scroll through social media. Set aside some de-stress time before bed Stress and anxiety are both common culprits behind sleep issues. Making time to relax before bed won’t necessarily get rid of these concerns, but it can help you put them out of your mind for the eveningAn hour or so before bedtime, try: writing out things you need to take care of the next day so you won’t worry about them You know that refreshed, focused feeling (despite your tired muscles) you have after a big workout? That’s the glymphatic system kicking in. Animal research published in 2018 suggests exercise can have a significant effect on waste disposal in the brain.According to the study results, mice that could exercise by running on a wheel displayed twice the glymphatic activity as mice that couldn’t exercise.It’s important to note that the increase in glymphatic activity is likely associated with running rather than a direct result of it.Exercise has plenty of other benefits , too.It can: help lower your risk for many health conditions decrease stress increase energy improve your mood improve cognitive function It’s also worth mentioning that exercise can help you get better sleep, which can also promote glymphatic system function.Experts recommend getting at least 2 1/2 hours of moderate aerobic exercise each week.You can also ramp up the intensity and see similar benefits with just 1 hour and 15 minutes each week of intense or vigorous aerobic exercise.You don’t have to get all your weekly activity at once, either. It’s usually best (and easiest) to get about half an hour of exercise each day.Any exercise is better than no exercise, so doing what you can to increase the amount of physical activity you get each week can help. Try squeezing in a 15-minute walk after lunch or dinner (or both), for example.Sleep and exercise are beneficial for your brain, but you can […]

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Turmeric Is One of the Most Powerful Nutritional Supplements Around. Here’s Why.

Turmeric Is One of the Most Powerful Nutritional Supplements Around. Here’s Why.

Turmeric root has become one of the trendiest spices on the market these days for its flavor, anti-inflammatory properties and nutritional value. You’ve probably encountered it at least once or twice in “golden milk” latte ‘s at your local coffee shop or popping up in baked goods at your local bakery. Why are people suddenly obsessed with this bright orange root? What are some of the potential turmeric benefits worth knowing about?

Well, it’s not turmeric’s debut in the culinary or medicinal world by any means. It’s actually been around for quite some time. Its origins in medicine date back 4,000 years to the Vedic cultures of India where it was used in cooking as well as religious practice. Its bright orange yellow color made it useful in religious ceremony as well as the coloring of cheeses, butter and other foods. It was also used to curb pain, ailments of the liver, arthritis as well as digestive issues. It’s a pillar ingredient in Ayurvedic cooking and medicinal practices for its many benefits and potential contributions to a long life, “Ayurveda” translates to “science of long life” in Sanskrit. It’s a common ingredient in curries, sauces and many Southeast Asian dishes, and now in the Western food conscious as well.

Turmeric possesses both gastronomic and medicinal qualities that make it a powerful root on multiple levels, and something worth implementing into your diet in one form or another. Stir it into your coffee, smoothie or protein shake. Take it orally for inflammation or add it to your baked goods for a sweet and spicy flavor twist. When it comes to turmeric benefits, there are many to go over and we want to give you full coverage of this magical root and all of the properties it possesses.

1. Turmeric May Contain Bioactive Compounds

One of the active ingredients in turmeric is curcumin, a bioactive compound alongside other curcuminoids that’s got strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Turmeric contains a larger amount per dose of these active compounds than other spices and supplements, making it efficient for your body to digest and absorb the nutrients.

Since curcumin is fat soluble, and therefore absorbs into the body via fat stored in your cells. It might make it more worthwhile to consume turmeric mixed in with other fatty foods like milk, cheese, oil or animal fat.

2. Turmeric May Be Super Anti-Inflammatory

One of the greatest turmeric benefits is its anti-inflammatory property. Inflammation is, on the whole, a useful biological response to protect your body from germs and other foreign invaders. However, if inflammation becomes chronic and persists at low levels for extended amounts of time, research has shown that the consistent attacking of tissues may lead to harmful degenerative conditions.

Turmeric is naturally anti-inflammatory and might even be as effective in reducing potentially harmful inflammation in the body as anti-inflammatory drugs, but without the side effects.

How does it do that, exactly? It blocks a molecule believed to play a large role in chronic diseases called NF-kB. Preventing undue inflammation at the molecular level can have a pretty amazing chain reaction of events within your body and may even prevent diseases like Alzheimer’s, chronic pain, arthritis and more.

3. Turmeric May Have Powerful Antioxidant Properties

As your body ages, it goes through a process of oxidative damage which produces free radicals, highly reactive molecules that bond and react with fat, protein and DNA in your cells and cause damage. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals and prevent this cellular damage and guess what’s loaded with pro-antioxidant activity? Turmeric. It helps boost your body’s natural antioxidant activity and blocks the free radicals as well. Booyah.

4. Turmeric May Help Lessen Symptoms of Depression

Depression causes a reduction in brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) activity and may lead to shrinking of the hippocampus, the part of your brain central to memory and the retention of information. Turmeric aids in supporting BDNF levels and potentially could reverse some of this degenerative activity.

There’s also some evidence that turmeric and its active ingredients boost the brain’s production of neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine, both linked with feelings of happiness and elation.

5. Turmeric May Be Great for Arthritis

This one’s linked to the inflammation point, but the potential positive effects can’t be understated. Rheumatoid arthritis involves inflammation in the swelling and tenderness of the joints, and turmeric’s anti-inflammatory processes may help ease symptoms. In certain studies RA patients who were prescribed turmeric experienced significant improvements in their symptoms with very few adverse side effects.

6. Turmeric May Help Prevent and Treat Cancer

Turmeric’s active ingredient curcumin may help reduce the spread and growth of cancer at the molecular level. Certain studies show that it may kill cancerous cells and reduce the growth of fresh blood cells in tumors. It’s also been shown to reduce the spread of cancer through different parts of the body.

7. Turmeric May Lower Your Risk of Heart Disease

Turmeric may help improve the lining of your blood vessels which in turn aids in heart function through reversing endothelial dysfunction . If your blood vessels can’t regular blood pressure this could lead to blood clotting and a variety of other contributors to heart disease, the primary cause of death across the world. One study found that turmeric was as effective as exercise in improving blood vessel function as well as some prescription-strength drugs.

8. Turmeric May Help Treat and Prevent Diabetes

Although the studies done on diabetes in particular have only been done on animals, and not humans, there are still points worth noting that may point to encouraging benefits to diabetic symptoms. One study found a significant decrease in blood sugar in rats with type 2 diabetes and an increase in plasma insulin.

In addition to this potential positive effect, the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties previously discussed may also contribute to a reduction in physical factors that contribute to diabetes.

9. Turmeric May Help Improve Skin Health

Turmeric works at the molecular level as well as skin deep. Turmeric benefits include its anti-inflammatory properties, antioxidant properties and antimicrobial capabilities that may make it an effective treatment for many skin conditions . […]

Read more at www.msn.com

Experts Recommend 5 Natural Ways to Improve Your Memory and Sharpen Your Focus

Experts Recommend 5 Natural Ways to Improve Your Memory and Sharpen Your Focus

Photo credit: RgStudio – Getty Images You’re out to dinner and feel a hand on your shoulder as a familiar voice says your name. You turn around and this person is smiling. You know her—you’ve known her for years, in fact. But her name has evaporated from your mind, and all you can muster is a “Hey…you!”

Before you start Googling “signs of dementia ,” rest assured that some changes in memory and cognition are a normal part of the aging process, especially if they manifest as trouble finding words or momentary lapses in attention ( Why did I walk into the kitchen? ). “Many of our cognitive skills, like multitasking and processing speed, peak around age 30 and then tend to decline very subtly with age,” says Joel Kramer, Psy.D., director of the University of California San Francisco Memory and Aging Neuropsychology program.

But they don’t have to. By making smart lifestyle choices, you can retrain your brain so it stays sharp and focused. We asked some of the brainiest experts for research-backed tips on keeping your noggin young . 1. Try to remember before Googling.

The internet is great for telling you the name of that actor whose name won’t budge from the tip of your tongue. But it’s fueling a modern-day condition called digital amnesia—forgetting information because you trust a computerized device to remember it for you. It’s the reason half of us can’t phone our children or office without using our contacts list, according to a survey by Internet security company Kaspersky Lab.

“The brain is a use-it-or-lose-it machine,” says Sara Mednick, Ph.D., an associate professor of cognitive science at the University of California, Irvine. When we learn new things and then recall them later, we activate the hippocampus and the prefrontal cortex, areas of the brain intimately involved with memory. But when we rely on external sources, like our phones or the Internet, to remember for us, those regions of the brain can weaken.

The next time you’re struggling to name an actor, challenge yourself not to look it up. “Work through it and trust that your brain knows the answer—you just need to find it in there,” Mednick says. Similarly, try to make your way to a new address without using Google Maps—or if that’s too daunting, take a new route home from work. “It’s all about not living in automatic mode,” Mednick says. “The more you think things through or try novel approaches, the more you engage your brain to keep it healthier longer.”

Read more at www.yahoo.com

Dr. David Jack’s top 5 tips for skin survival

Dr. David Jack’s top 5 tips for skin survival

Dr. David Jack’s tips on how to keep your skin looking good during lockdown. In a period of uncertainty with major interruption of our normal daily routines, looking after your skin and general wellness might not seem like the highest priority. But since most of us have a bit more time on our hands, its an ideal opportunity to get our skin in order.

Since clinics are closed for lockdown and most of us don’t have laser machines sitting in our spare rooms, we wanted to share our top tips for keeping your skin tip top with our range of anti-ageing skincare and supplements. Tip Number 1: Think about your skin from inside and outside

Our skin is the largest organ of our bodies in terms of surface area. Topical skincare only goes so far into the skin, with most nutrition reaching the deeper collagen-rich layers through its blood supply. Likewise, most skin issues are caused by an issue from within, whether it be an inflammatory disorder like acne or autoimmunity such as psoriasis. The same can be said for skin ageing. In order to harness this and boost the skin from within, diet and general health is probably the most important factor in optimising skin health. Over the last decade or so, a number of supplements that can help supercharge the skin from the internal route have been launched.

Dr. David Jack SkinShake combines a blend of antioxidant rich superfoods, vegan proteins, vitamins and glutathione to provide the skin with the building blocks it needs to optimise skin health on a daily basis. Tip Number 2: SPF is the one product you cannot forget!

The major damaging factor in skin ageing is UV light from the sun. In order to protect against UVA and UVB, it’s important to choose a high factor SPF with broad spectrum cover. SPF factor number relates to UVB protection and ‘broad spectrum’ means it protects against UVA rays. UVA is present year round and can penetrate through glass and clouds, so it’s important to use every day of the year. The advanced All Day Long Moisturiser by Dr. David Jack contains a lightweight broad spectrum SPF 50 screen, together with moisturising factors, skin boosting alpha-hydroxy acids and soothing aloe vera. Tip Number 3: Use a daily antioxidant

One of the key features of any good skincare regime is the use of antioxidants on a daily basis. Antioxidants help neutralise damaging molecules that are constantly produced in the skin as a result of inflammation, UV damage and general metabolic processes, and can damage collagen fibres in the skin leading to ageing. Vitamin C, Vitamin E and retinol (Vitamin A) have fantastic antioxidant activity and are used widely in active skincare products. Dr. David Jack Good Morning! super serum contains a stabilised form of 10% Vitamin C. Tip Number 4: Gently exfoliate once per week

The skin’s natural barrier is constantly renewing, with new skin cells being produced at the deep layers of the epidermis and moving superficially to be shed off after they die. This helps retain moisture in the skin and maintain the barrier function of the skin but can also prevent skincare products from penetrating into the deeper layers. These dead skin cells in the top layer can also make the skin appear dull. Gentle exfoliation can help strip back some of these dead layers, brighten the skin and help skincare penetrate deeper into the skin. Dr. David Jack FacePaint peels contain blends of active exfoliating ingredients including alpha-hydroxy acids and retinols. The Red FacePaint blends retinol with salicylic acid, lactic acid and glycolic acid to help exfoliate the skin and reduce oiliness in acne prone skin. Tip Number 5: Reduce your stress levels!

Your skin is hugely influenced by your internal body environment, including hormone levels. High levels of the stress hormone cortisol are known to have negative effects on the skin, both in terms of acne and other skin conditions but also longer term on skin ageing. As part of a healthy lifestyle it’s important to try to regulate this. Techniques such as meditation on a daily basis can help, as well as regular exercise to boost endorphin levels. In recent years, there has also been a lot of interest in supplements to help us to relax. Adaptogens have been used for centuries to help balance hormone levels and are now gaining interest in the quest to find new ways of helping us to relax.

Dr. David Jack’s new Relax supplement includes a blend of 19 ingredients, including a range of adaptogenic herbs and mushrooms, together with micronutrients and brain boosting nootropics. It’s the first supplement of its kind to bring together such a wide range of ingredients with the purpose of helping you to feel a sense of relaxed contentment.

Read more at www.gaytimes.co.uk