Brain Gains: 7 foods to boost kids’ academic performance

Brain Gains: 7 foods to boost kids’ academic performance

Combine three of these healthy brain foods into a yogurt, berry and granola parfait Photo courtesy of Metro Creative Services To keep your kids’ performance at optimum levels, we’ve rounded up seven of the best brain foods to help boost their mental power, and also talked to Brainly’s parenting expert, Patrick Quinn, for pro parenting tips on how to incorporate them into your kids’ daily diet.

Nuts and seeds are packed with nutrients that are essential for brain health including essential fatty acids, protein, zinc, and B-vitamins. They’re also natural mood boosters that are portable and versatile, making them an excellent choice for study snacks.

Parent tip: Kids aren’t always going to love these. But mixing them in a trail mix with a few chocolate pieces or yogurt chips is a great way to get them munching on the healthy nuts and seeds. Just be careful not to send this in as a school snack in districts where nut allergies can affect other kids.

Full-fat Greek yogurt packs a lot more protein than other yogurts (and much less sugar), and can help keep brain cells in good form for sending and receiving information. It’s also full of protein and B-vitamins—essential for the growth of brain tissue, neurotransmitters, and enzymes. Greek yogurt is also a great source of Calcium and Vitamin D.

Parent tip: Mix in a teaspoon of honey and some cinnamon to turn this healthy option into a delicious one as well. The problem for me at that point is avoiding eating it myself before the kids get it.

Berries are rich in a variety of compounds that may help promote academic performance and protect brain health. Berries (including blueberries, strawberries, and blackberries) are especially high in flavonoid compounds called anthocyanins, believed to improve mental performance by increasing blood flow to the brain. They also protect against inflammation and improve certain signaling pathways that promote nerve cell production and cellular processes involved in learning and memory.

Parent tip: Berries make an easy study snack, but they can cause sticky fingers that can lead to messy keyboards and homework papers. Try putting several different types of berries on kid-friendly skewers for a fun, healthy, and mess-free desk snack.

Fish is an excellent source of Vitamin D and the Omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA— both essential for brain growth and function. Consuming more Omega-3s means kids will have sharper minds and better mental skills.

Parent tip: You can make fish tasty for kids by serving it simply grilled, like fish sticks, or including it in tacos or in tuna sandwiches. Another option is using canned salmon to make delicious salmon salad sandwiches that can be mixed with reduced-fat mayo or non-fat Greek yogurt, raisins, chopped celery, and carrots.

The versatile egg is a great source of protein, and egg yolks are packed with choline, which helps memory development. Eggs can be served in a variety of ways and can be enjoyed at breakfast, as a mid-afternoon snack, or even at dinner.

Parent tip: Eggs are great for making grab-and-go breakfasts kids can eat on the road. Scramble eggs into a whole grain tortilla to make a grab-and-go breakfast burrito, or make your own version of an Egg McMuffin at home by putting a fried egg on top of a toasted English muffin and topping it with a slice of low-fat cheese.

Oats are extremely nutritious and they can provide the energy and fuel for the brain that kids need first thing in the morning. Oatmeal is also a fiber-rich food that keeps heart and brain arteries clear. In one study, kids who ate sweetened oatmeal did better on memory-related school tasks than those who ate sugary cereal.

Parent tip: You can dress oatmeal up with applesauce, dried fruit, almonds, and banana to make it tastier and more appealing to kids. Due to its natural compounds, adding cinnamon also gives oatmeal an extra ingredient that will help to protect brain cells.

Kids usually have a craving for sweets. Apples and plums are lunchbox-friendly items that contain quercetin, an antioxidant that helps fight the decline in mental skills. Keep them organic to get the best benefits.

Parent tip: For a heartier snack, you can also cut apples into chunky slices and spread them with almond or peanut butter, or you can freeze pitted plums and add them to a favorite nutrient-rich fruit smoothie.

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The Afternoon Slump: 12 (Mostly) Caffeine-Free Ways to Perk Up

I’m writing this in the midst of an afternoon slump, and dear reader I confess: I’m not practicing what I’m about to preach. Or at least, not in its entirety. I’m fending off the urge to lay down my head with green tea (sanctioned) coupled with a gluten-free ginger cookie (rookie mistake).

I don’t believe I’m the only one battling the wave of afternoon exhaustion. According to the National Sleep Foundation, adults’ strongest biological urges to sleep occur between 2 and 4 a.m. and between 1 and 3 p.m. First comes the initial slump, then the yawn, and then the coup de grace—eyes so heavy that it takes everything you have to pry them open. Why does the afternoon slump happen?

Scientifically speaking, the afternoon slump is a period of decreased alertness, focus and productivity in the afternoon. Afternoon fatigue sets in because of a natural dip in your biological sleep-wake cycle. The slump can get amplified, however, by skimping on sleep, eating a heavy lunch, or having a particularly draining morning. Before you reach for the cookie, here are 12 sound ways to get the better of afternoon sleepiness. Afternoon Slump Solutions

Move

A 2017 study published in the journal Physiology & Behavior found that short periods of physical activities, such as 15 minutes of stair walking was more energizing than a cup of coffee. The study focused on chronically sleep deprived adults, who found themselves more invigorated by a brief spurt of activity versus the equivalent to a cup of coffee—a 50-milligram caffeine capsule. If you are feeling the approach of a wave of tiredness, stroll around the office, run up and down the stairs, or do a few stretches or pushups. Catch a whiff

Certain scents can make us more alert or more relaxed. Peppermint is a known energy-enhancing scent. The scent stimulates the hippocampus area of the brain, the area that controls mental clarity and memory, particularly long-term memory. Peppermint’s menthol component triggers you to wake up and pay attention. Put a few drops of peppermint essential oil on your hands, rub them together, then rub them over your face (avoid your eyes). Get outside

Take a break and get outside, as the outdoors has an inherently revitalizing effect. A 2010 study found that spending just 20 minutes outdoors could elevate energy levels. Chew gum

Chewing increases the amount of blood and oxygen flowing through your head, brain included. As a result, gum chewing makes people more alert and can speed up your thinking. A 2013 study reported in the journal Brain and Cognition found that reaction times are up to 10 per cent faster while chewing gum. Nap

Embrace the nap —in moderation. Done right, a nap won’t decrease your productivity and can actually boost your energy. The sweet spot for a power nap is somewhere between 20-30 minutes. According to the sleep foundation, researchers found that five-minute naps are too short to produce a notable benefit. On the other hand, sleeping for 30 minutes or longer gives the body enough time to enter deep sleep. But napping for too long can leave you feeling drowsy for up to an hour.

For extra credit, supercharge your naps with caffeine. Although it sounds counterintuitive, if you drink coffee or tea about 20 minutes before a nap, you can time it so your energy will peak just as you wake up. If you’re caffeine-sensitive, avoid caffeine after whatever you have deemed your cut-off point. Green tea

A cup of green tea , packed with active compounds called phytochemicals, can give you sustained focus in the afternoon without the jitters or making it tough to fall asleep that night. Hydrate

Medical research shows that dehydration can make you feel tired even when you’re rested. Men in a study on dehydration reported they felt fatigue, lethargy and tiredness. Being properly hydrated helps raise energy levels and help you feel your best. Music

If you feel lethargic during your workout music can help, so why not at the office? Several studies suggest that the benefits of music include enhanced attention, mental efficiency, speed, accuracy, memory and creativity. If you enjoy listening to music while you work, consider choosing a song without lyrics to cut down on getting carried away. Snack

Treat snacks as mini-meals that contribute to your overall nutrition for the day. Healthy snacks can provide your body with time-released fuel. Opt for fruits and vegetables to boost your intake of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Mix that with some protein-dense choices such as a handful of nuts , homemade trail mix, a hard-boiled egg or Greek yogurt with seeds to keep your mojo at its max. Stand up

Studies have shown that even short bursts of activity can keep you alert. Instead of emailing or calling colleagues, stop by their desks to ask a question face to face. If you have a standing desk, push yourself to stand up when you feel the most tired. Humor

When you laugh , your body increases its oxygen intake and releases endorphins. Among laughter’s many other benefits, it provides you with a quick, refreshing reboot. In one University of Nebraska study, participants who watched a funny video afterwards enjoyed an immediate energy boost. Sex/masturbation

If you are working remotely and the afternoon slump hits, you can snap out of if by literally snapping of (masturbating). Orgasms can flush your body with endorphins, reduce stress, increase blood flow, boost concentration and invigorate you. And sex can serve as a quick pick-me-up as well, releasing a host of endorphins that can bump up your energy considerably.

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Effects of Depression on the Body’s Immune System

Introduction

The World Health Organization projects that depression will cause more years in life lost to disability than any other illness by 2030 (WHO 2008, cited in Blume et al. 2011). Perhaps many of these lives lost will be affected by a weakened immune system stemming from a mental illness? This newly researched topic is opening the door for the health community and those afflicted by clinical depression to better understand the link between depression and its subsequent dysfunctional immune system.

Nearly 20 million adults in the United States alone suffer from Major Depressive Disorder, and that number is only representational of the patients who actively report their occurrence of symptoms.

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Many more are unable to afford or even find the aid they need to treat their mental health disorders. According to Kiecolt-Glaser and Glaser (2002), “Depression is the most common psychiatric illness.” Clinical depression has long been understood and treated solely as a psychiatric illness, however more research has emerged about its somatic ramifications.

Depression includes a variety of both psychological and somatic symptoms that differs with every case.

Psychiatrists and doctors often utilize the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (“DSM”) to diagnose mental health disorders and suggest a treatment journey. Because the mind is so complex, there are a wide array of treatment plans and medications for nearly every psychological disorder. Antidepressants medication and talk-therapy are among the most commonly prescribed treatments for mental health afflictions.

According to WebMD (2018), Major Depressive Disorder affects twice as many women than men, traced back to female changes in hormones and pregnancy.

Historically, however, women exhibiting these symptoms were treated as hysterical by psychiatrists until fairly recently. Today, a general stigma around mental illness remains and permeates through society, namely the United States. Depression and other mental illnesses are often treated without the same urgency as physical ailments. This country also lacks many public mental healthcare facilities, such as rehab centers and psychiatric wards for those unable to afford treatment. It is important to highlight new research on depression and raise awareness around mental illness in order to evolve the healthcare system to include more of those suffering from mental disorders and trauma.

Depression is widely treated solely in a psychiatric manner, yet treating depression with a holistic approach will improve the body’s overall somatic health. In this paper, research about the interconnection of immunology and depression will be presented in order to better understand the effects and possible treatments. Clinical depression has a similar effect on the immune system to chronic stress, causing a hyperactive inflammatory response and degrading the success of the immune system, even to the point of vaccination potency.

To understand the effects of depression on the body’s immune system, one must first be introduced to the diverse symptoms of depression, the basic operations of the human immune system, and the body’s reaction to stress. Depression Overview

Symptoms and severity of such symptoms vary among people, however most with depression report feeling in a generally low mood and loss of interest throughout their daily activities. Although most people experience instances of sadness or periods of difficulty, clinical depression is more serious and chronic. According to the DSM-5, symptoms of depression must present themselves for at least a two-week period in order to be clinically diagnosable. Other symptoms of depression include hypersomnia or insomnia, restlessness or sluggishness, fatigue, inability to concentrate, anhedonia, weight loss or weight gain, and thoughts of suicide or self-harm (Mayo Clinic Staff 2018). Symptoms may escalate others, such as an untreated depression case spiraling into a drug or alcohol addiction. Likewise, lack of motivation and constant fatigue may lead to social isolation. This interconnectedness of symptoms perpetuates the depressive cycle and feelings of hopelessness. These symptoms may amount to a single depressive episode or appear chronically throughout a patients’ life, which is more detrimental to the immune system functioning, much like chronic stress.

Because of the wide range of symptoms and complexity of the human psyche, depression may be caused by many variables. The most common perceived causation of depression is a biochemical imbalance of the neurotransmitters in the brain needed to function properly (Leonard 2001), including serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine. Antidepressant medication is a leading treatment for clinical depression; typically, neurotransmitter reuptake inhibitors maintain a higher level of mood-boosting chemicals in the brain, seemingly easing the symptoms of depression (Leonard 2001). This chemical imbalance can be triggered through traumatic experiences or genetically inherited. Other sources of depression arise from hormonal imbalances, notably in females, and environmental circumstances such as seasonally affective depression. Immune System Overview

The body’s immune system is an intricate network of barriers and defense mechanisms protecting against unwanted foreign invaders like bacteria and viruses. In this system there are three key processes in protecting the body: the innate immune system, the antibody-mediated response, and the cell-mediated response.

The innate immune system is the first line of defense, including the body’s physical and chemical barriers. A key response in this system is inflammatory response, which is likewise a notable aspect in the stress response that will be covered next. As the body is invaded by an unwanted substance, it ignites the inflammatory response to attack the intruder and speed up healing. Four aspects of inflammation are pain, swelling, redness, and heat; each of these responses force further blood flow into the area and encourage the presence of cytokines. Pro-inflammatory cytokines are small proteins released by cells to signal other helpers, like phagocytes ad Natural Killer Cells, to mobilize.

After the antigen has been destroyed, anti-inflammatory cytokines, with the assistance of suppressor T-cells, are activated and this signals the body’s immune defense to retreat from the healed area. (Pearson Learning Solutions 2017) Thus, cytokines and their role in inflammation, if in balance, protect the body from pathogens and boost overall immunity. Both the antibody-mediated immune response and the cell-mediated immune response rely on a multitude of similar-functioning cells to discern non-self cells or abnormally-functioning self cells and destroy them. Each of these intricate processes rely heavily […]

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Combination of an active plant compound and a form of vitamin E shows promise as an anti-cancer treatment

Combination of an active plant compound and a form of vitamin E shows promise as an anti-cancer treatment

( Natural News ) Naturally occurring compounds derived from plants make the best anti-cancer agents. These bioactive chemicals are not only effective at stopping the growth and proliferation of cancer cells, but they also cause very few, if any, side effects. In contrast, synthetic drugs used in chemotherapy cause a variety of unpleasant side effects , such as tiredness, mouth soreness, loss of appetite, pain, stomach problems and hair loss.

In a recent study, Malaysian researchers investigated the anti-cancer activities of y -tocotrienol, a form of vitamin E found in plants, and 6-gingerol , the active component of ginger. According to previous studies, tocotrienols can inhibit the growth of various malignancies , including those of the breast, lung, ovary, prostate, liver, brain, colon and pancreas. 6-Gingerol, on the other hand, has anti-tumor activities against renal, colon and melanoma tumors .

The researchers looked at the effectiveness of these anti-cancer agents when used together as treatment. They also explored the mechanisms underlying their beneficial effects. The researchers reported their findings in an article published in the Journal of Natural Medicines . Combination therapy with 6-gingerol and y -tocotrienol shows promising results against colorectal cancer

In their previous study, the researchers reported that y -tocotrienol ( y T3) and 6-gingerol (6G) synergistically inhibited the proliferation of human colorectal cancer cells . To shed light on the mechanisms involved in this suppression, they used RNA sequencing techniques and conducted transcriptome analysis of the total RNA from both untreated and y T3 + 6G-treated human colorectal carcinoma cells (SW837).

The researchers found that changes in cancer-specific gene expression occurred in the y T3 + 6G-treated cells. Functional enrichment pathway analysis suggested that the combination of y T3 and 6G modulated more than one signaling pathway. Together, y T3 and 6G interfered with the cell cycle, downregulated the Wnt signaling pathway and induced caspase-independent apoptosis. They did so by triggering mitochondrial dysfunction, activating the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) unfolded protein response (UPR), disrupting DNA repair mechanisms and inactivating the cell cycle.

According to the researchers, the latter was made possible by the downregulation of proliferation-related genes like FOXM1. Meanwhile, y T3 + 6G exerted a cytotoxic effect by upregulating genes involved in stress response activation. The combination treatment also exerted cytostatic effects (inhibiting cell growth and division) by downregulating the main regulator genes involved in the cell cycle.

RNA sequencing and RT-qPCR results revealed that genes like ATF6, DDIT3, GADD34, FOXM1, CDK1 and p21, which are involved in stress response-, apoptosis- and proliferation-related pathways, displayed concordant patterns of gene expression.

Based on these findings, the researchers concluded that bioactive plant compounds like y -tocotrienol and 6-gingerol can be used to effectively suppress cancer cell growth . Sources and other facts about y -tocotrienol and 6-gingerol

Tocotrienols and tocopherols are two groups of chemicals that make up the vitamin E family. Both exist in four different forms, namely, alpha-, beta-, delta- and gamma-tocotrienol and -tocopherol. Tocotrienols are less commonly found in the human diet than tocopherols, and only tocopherols are capable of correcting vitamin E deficiency. Nevertheless, research suggests taking both tocotrienols and tocopherols because they offer substantial health benefits.

Tocotrienols, for instance, have antioxidant properties, and d -tocotrienol and y -tocotrienol have shown potent anti-cancer activities in pre-clinical trials . Tocotrienols can be sourced from the following foods: Barley

Crude palm oil

Rice bran

Rye

6-Gingerol, on the other hand, is present in the rhizome of ginger ( Zingiber officinale ), a flowering plant widely used today as both a spice and a medicinal herb. 6-Gingerol is the pungent component of ginger and is best known for its anti-inflammatory properties . Together with curcumin from turmeric, capsaicin from chili peppers and piperine from black pepper , it is one of the most extensively studied plant compounds at present. Other beneficial properties of 6-gingerol include antioxidant, anti-obesity, anti-diabetic and anti-cancer properties . It is safe to consume and is easily absorbed into the bloodstream.

There are plenty of edible plants out there that are rich in compounds with remarkable medicinal properties. You can learn more about these plants at PlantMedicine.news .

Sources include:

UIHC.org

MDPI.com

ScienceDirect.com 1

ScienceDirect.com 2

Nature.com

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Lion’s Fuel Fitness-Enhancement Products are Now Available on Amazon

Apr 22, 2021 15:02 UTC

SALT LAKE CITY–(Business Wire)– Ageless Global, LLC. (The “Company” or “Ageless”), a leading developer and supplier of physician-backed, clinically tested wellness products, announced today its suite of fitness enhancement products, Lion’s Fuel, is now available for purchase through Amazon.

Lion’s Fuel aims to deliver performance-enhancing ingredients to help users get into and stay in shape, recover faster, fight fatigue, and perform better. As many fitness enthusiasts are looking to get back in shape after quarantine, these products are designed for athletic and life-performance enhancement to keep users feeling their best before, during, and after getting active.

Lion’s Fuel Diet Fuel can be purchased directly on Amazon here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B092RKTWTS?ref=myi_title_dp
Lion’s Fuel Mental Edge Capsule here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B092RHPP3C?ref=myi_title_dp
Lion’s Fuel Muscle Refresh Cream here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08VM76GN6?ref=myi_title_dp

Lion’s Fuel Diet Fuel is a zero-calorie weight loss supplement powder added to water or other drinks, supercharged with key minerals, metabolism enhancers, electrolytes, and fat burners to accelerate and support weight loss efforts. The formula is packed with essential minerals like chromium, vanadium, magnesium, guarana, and potassium, used as fat burners to lose weight and stay lean. The drink is currently offered in a 30-serving size for $29.95.

Lion’s Fuel Mental Edge Capsules are a brain-booster supplement for focus, memory, clarity, energy, and attention span. The product contains targeted nootropics and adaptogens to naturally support your body’s dopamine levels delivering a mental edge. Mental Edge contains L-theanine and caffeine, which can boost brain health and performance on cognitive tasks. The blend also contains Panax ginseng, which may help improve mental performance, enhance mood, reduce memory loss and anxiety, and boost overall brain health. Each dose of Mental Edge contains 1000 mg of nootropics and adaptogens to support dopamine levels and enhance mental clarity. The product is currently offered in a 60-capsule bottle for $29.95.

Lion’s Fuel Muscle Refresh Cream is a pain-relieving muscle cream that helps an achy body bounce back and feel better. Loaded with natural pain-relieving essential oils that work faster and are more effective, this cream provides deep relief for aches and pains in your muscles or joints. The product is currently offered in a 4-oz bottle for $29.95.

“We are excited to list our suite of fitness enhancement products on Amazon’s platform to extend our customer base and overall audience reach,” commented Darren Lopez, Co-Founder and Managing Member of Ageless Global. “As many people return to gyms after quarantining during the pandemic, we created Lion’s Fuel products to give those looking to reset focus on their health and fitness a helping hand. These products complement standard exercise programs, weight loss programs, and specialized diets, such as Keto or intermittent fasting plans.”

You can find more information on Lion’s Fuel here: https://www.lionsfuel.com/diet-fuel

About Ageless Global, LLC.:

Ageless Global, LLC. was founded by medical professionals specializing in anti-aging, alternative/integrative medicine, health & wellness, and pain management. The Company’s portfolio of technology and products currently include two patent-pending products. In addition, the Company has developed a suite of natural wellness products in the pain management, focus and brain health, ECS health and weight loss markets. View source version on businesswire.com: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20210422005413/en/

Wilma Lu
Manager
(801) 245-0559
wilma@agelesslabs.com

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COVID-19 restrictions take a toll on brain function, but there are techniques to help you cope

COVID-19 restrictions take a toll on brain function, but there are techniques to help you cope

(MENAFN – The Conversation) Confinement — which has been frequent during the pandemic — has undeniable effects on the brain. There’s the inability to concentrate enough to read or write, the lack of perseverance in tasks, agitation. All this is normal! The brain is not working the way it usually does and it’s being used differently.

An electric current enables the brain to co-ordinate our movements, control our breathing, feel hunger, pain and emotions. This current must circulate properly. The more intense the electrical activity of the brain, the more we will need sleep or feel the effects of lack of sleep. This can affect physical health in many ways, such as weight gain and developing conditions like diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Mental health effects can include behavioural changes, difficulties in concentration and mood swings.

Electrical activity in the brain has long been thought to be related to serious psychological problems . Each brain rhythm has a particular frequency and the brain communicates in five frequency bands (delta, theta, alpha, beta and gamma). Each corresponds to different levels of wakefulness and sleep located in different areas of the brain.

As associate professor at the École nationale d’administration publique since 2009, I recently obtained certificates in neuroscience as well as a graduate diploma in specialized studies in mental health. I study the different variables that influence the competence and expertise of individuals and organizations, as well as mental health issues.

The brain, your powerhouse

The electrical activity of the brain can be measured by placing electrodes on the scalp in different areas. The unit of measurement obtained is a rhythm potential expressed in hertz indicating, by its frequency, the nature of the activity in the measured area. This makes it possible to evaluate the electrical voltage, the speed of propagation, the rhythm and the synchronization of an activity in the brain. Electrical activities in the brain. (Shutterstock)

By combining these measures with heart rate and respiration, we can estimate heart rate variability , a non-invasive measure that explores the influence of the autonomic nervous system on the cardiovascular system. Heart rate variability provides an indicator to assess an individual’s ability to cope with stress or to manage stressful situations. This helps explain why two individuals, faced with the same situation, react differently.

When dealing with a difficult event, such as a pandemic, people don’t sleep as well. They become overwhelmed with information by listening to the news more and by constantly talking about the same event and its consequences. They activate more of the neurons responsible for the emotions that are at the heart of the brain. More stress is placed on the frontal and temporal lobes and electrical activity increases in these areas.

The observed effects of this include trouble concentrating or persevering in tasks that require reflection, and problems mustering the motivation to undertake demanding actions

In addition, the hormones responsible for mood and joy are likely less stressed in times of crisis. The things that give us pleasure and generate, among other things, serotonin and dopamine are also less frequent. For some, situations that decrease or disorder these hormones or neurotransmitters may be multiplied or intensified, altering the transmission of information between neurons.

Neurotransmission

Serotonin is involved in several behaviours and abilities, including body heat control, eating and sexual behaviours, sleep management and anxiety. Dopamine is especially linked to cognition, motor functions, motivation, sleep and memory.

When these neurotransmitters are ‘disturbed’ by increased electrical activity in the brain, these behaviours and abilities are altered as well. Neuroactivity of human neuronal cells: brain binding nodes, neurotransmitters, axons, active nerve synapses with chemical electrical signals. (Shutterstock)

It is normal to feel more agitated during this disruption, or to not act as effectively as usual. Consequently, compensation or defence mechanisms may develop. Some will make lists or take on tasks that require less thought or concentration (cleaning, cooking). Others will consume more substances that promote the production of dopamine or serotonin (tobacco, alcohol, coffee, sugar). They will seek comfort (baking bread) and pleasure (running) to feel better or less restless.

This management of emotions also has an impact on the functioning of the immune system, which is responsible for the body’s defence against external aggressions. Some studies show that when an individual experiences negative emotions, their immune system weakens, diminishing its ability to protect the body against these attacks. Therefore, the more positively we manage our emotions, the more our immune system is favoured, which is very useful in times of pandemic.

The question is whether we can improve this variability and influence the efficiency of the brain’s electrical activity. There is a way to recover your faculties and capacities.

Self-regulation or ‘big belly, little belly, 5-5’

What does ‘big belly, little belly, 5-5’ mean? It is a playful version of the practice of cardio-respiratory coherence (CRC), often wrongly called cardiac coherence.

CRC is a research-backed technique to help people control emotions or manage mental health problems such as anxiety and depression, or to quit smoking, lose weight or just relax .

CRC is performed by taking a deep breath for five seconds, until the belly swells (hence the expression ‘big belly, little belly, 5-5’). This activates the sympathetic branch of the nervous system, the one that provides energy to flee from a threat.

Exhale after five seconds to stimulate the parasympathetic branch, which takes care of rest and the restoration of our system.

For relaxation, perform the same action but breathe in deeply for four seconds and breathe out for six seconds, which will further promote rest and restoration.

CRC can help us better manage our emotions. It allows the heart and lungs to generate a frequency of electrical activity corresponding to relaxation (10-12 hertz), and to initiate the rest and restoration process necessary to restore balance to the autonomic nervous system and, ultimately, to send a message to the brain that ‘everything is fine!’

Some studies show that after applying this technique for three to five minutes, the level of https://www.hormone.org/your-health-and-hormones/glands-and-hormones to-z/hormones/dehydroepiandrosterone-dhea,dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA, a natural hormone produced from cholesterol by the adrenal glands) increases, and is a precursor to […]

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Easy ways to improve your brain health

Easy ways to improve your brain health

The brain is arguably the most important organ in our body. Not only does it control and coordinate our actions, it’s at the very centre of our human experience – it allows us to think, feel and form memories, and shapes our personalities too.

Yet many of us know nothing about how our brains actually work, let alone how to care for them.

“There has been a dramatic switch in the science over the last couple of decades and we’ve completely lifted the lid on what we know about how to look after our brains,” says Professor James Goodwin, neurologist and author of new book Supercharge Your Brain: How To Maintain A Healthy Brain Throughout Your Life .

Goodwin is special advisor to the Global Council on Brain Health, holds a chair at Exeter University Medical School and is a visiting professor of physiology at Loughborough University.

“If you were to ask people at a dinner party how to look after your heart, most people would be able talk about watching their cholesterol or doing exercise. But if you ask them about the brain? You’ll often be met with a blank stare,” Goodwin adds.

However, as cognitive decline continues to be a major long-term health concern, and the number of people with dementia in the UK is forecast to increase to 1,000,000 by 2025, perhaps we do need to know more about how to look after our brain health. Goodwin shares four easy ways to help keep your brain fighting fit at any age…

Make movement a part of your day

If your good intentions to complete a fitness plan in lockdown are flagging, here’s a good reason to set your alarm earlier and make sure you show up on the mat.

“In the past few years, researchers have found that exercise rejuvenates the brain,” says Goodwin. “It produces a chemical that stimulates new cells, and 30 minutes per day is all you need to reap the benefits – for five days a week at a moderate intensity.”

It could be something as gentle as brisk walking or moderate jogging, but the key is to make sure your chosen activity elevates your heart rate enough to get your blood pumping. Goodwin calls it a dose effect. “The more you do, the better the effect – but you can ruin the effects of that exercise completely by sitting down for more than eight hours per day. The longer we sit, the faster we age, so make sure you’re getting up every 20 minutes.”

Be a social butterfly

Social distancing rules have made it more difficult to catch up with friends, but being socially connected to others makes us feel safe and cared for, and this has big benefits for our brains.

“Humans would have never survived if we’d have been solitary animals,” stresses Goodwin. “We survived because we were in groups, and over 1.5 million years of social structure has cemented that into the brain. We’re highly dependent for brain health on this social interaction for others.”

Goodwin claims loneliness is as bad for our health as 15 cigarettes per day or a bottle of vodka, and that those who are persistently lonely have a 50% greater chance of dying than those who are not. “Another 12-year study found that those who said they were lonely showed a 20% faster rate of decline in their brain.

“The sensation of loneliness is quite natural. It’s like a hunger or thirst – it’s the brain telling us you need to seek out some company, in the same way hunger tells that you need to eat food,” says Goodwin.

Have a healthy sex life

“Frequent sexual intercourse with a close partner is beneficial to the brain too,” says Goodwin. According to the neurologist, it can foster better memory, better verbal fluency, and even better numeracy skills.

“A study on male rats, who had between 14-28 days of daily access to a receptive female, found that the number of new cells in that brain increased massively – and it worked better on the older rats, where it had a reverse ageing effect.”
Essentially, the older rats were reaching younger levels of brain rejuvenation, which Goodwin says is astonishing. But here’s the catch – he reckons it’s sex with familiar intimate partner that really has benefits. “Rats who got dumped in with a strange female were stressed out, and while they still eventually had sex, the brain benefits were much more profound in those regular partner rats.”

Eat well

“These days, we’ve got the choice of eating what we want, but that doesn’t mean we always eat what’s best for our brain,” says Goodwin. “Vitamin B12, vitamin D, magnesium, zinc and omega three are what I call the ‘big five’. These are the nutrients we know people are short of in Western diet.

“For a start, most of people in the Northern Hemisphere, above 35 latitude, don’t get enough sunshine to get enough vitamin D for six months of the year. B12, meanwhile, is only found in a very few foods which are mostly animal products.”

Aside from eating a varied diet with lots of plants and wholefoods, Goodwin has a couple of standout kitchen staples to keep in mind. “Spinach and flaxseed are two brain-benefiting foods packed full of Omega 3s that we need for our diet. If you’re sprinkling flaxseed on your porridge in the morning, then crack on, as you’re doing good.”

It’s not just what you’re eating that matters, but the amount you’re eating too. “The Okinawa is a Blue Zone – one of the five lucky areas of the world where people regularly live to over 100 years,” says Goodwin. “They have this Japanese expression called ‘hara hachi bu’, which means ‘leave the table 80% full’.

“The result of that eating habit is they will live longer, and rates of Alzheimer’s in Okinawa are 75% less than everywhere else in the world.” Essentially, those all-you-can-eat buffets and bottomless brunches might not be as good a deal as they seem.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, brain […]

Read more at www.theportugalnews.com

ProMind Complex Supplement Reviews – Clinically Tested Ingredients?

ProMind Complex Supplement Reviews – Clinically Tested Ingredients?

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One scientific fact is that memory loss is not affected by genetics, bad lifestyle or even age. Prestigious universities like Harvard Medical School have actually proven that memory loss is caused by another factor inside our body and that’s one common bacteria that we thought is harmless.

More than 2.5 million Americans have been affected by ProMind Complex bacteria that has made a nest in people’s brains and body, eating off from their brain cells.

Symptoms of memory loss slowly show and sometimes, you barely notice the problem until it becomes worse. ProMind Complex may start with a little headache or a drain in energy but it all leads to memory loss.

Fortunately, there is a way to stop this bacteria from infesting our bodies and feed on our brain cells and ProMind Complex is through the help of a dietary supplement, ProMind Complex.

What is ProMind Complex?

ProMind Complex is made from 100% natural or organic plants and herbs so it’s a vegan-friendly supplement. A dietary supplement that works to eradicate the plaque-forming bacteria inside your brain and body.

A specifically made premium formula that can protect your mind against unwanted dental nerve bacteria.

ProMind Complex also gives a boost of energy and gives you peace of mind because you are confident to go throughout your day without anxiously worrying if you’re forgetting something.

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How does ProMind Complex work:

ProMind works in 2 phases with different steps that guarantee the riddance of the dental nerve bacteria and lets you reach your full potential even with older age.

Phase 1 Step 1 – Getting rid of the bacteria. ProMind Complex starts to combatting all harmful microbes and bacteria inside your body. It’s one of the main ingredients that specifically targets and gets rid of dental nerve bacteria.

Step 2 – Reconstructing damaged brain cells. ProMind Complex step triggers your body to start healing the damaged brain cells that the dental nerve bacteria may have destroyed. It also starts to open the brain’s blood vessels allowing the circulation of blood and oxygen in the brain to improve.

Step 3 – Protecting the brain and gums. After ProMind Complex has completed getting rid of the bacteria and repairing and destroyed brain cells, it ensures the maintenance of its effects to stay. Protecting it from any damages the Phase 1 of the formula is complete.

Phase 2 Step 1 – Increases the communication of the brain to the body. ProMind Complex step means that the brain signaling function is improved and fast. You now have faster thinking, concentration and even reflexes. You won’t have to pause to think before answering a simple question!

Step 2 – Removing blocks and plaques. In this step, it carefully doubles checks and removes any bacteria build ups or blockages that has been overlooked during Phase 1. In this step, your body basically has a general cleaning that removes all unwanted bacteria.

Step 3 – No to depression or anxiety. In this step, your body receives chemicals that can make your mood feel lighter and therefore, you feel happy. It removes the stress you have and gives you a boost of energy.

Step 4 – Sleep well and think well. This last step will get you a good night’s sleep and you wouldn’t have to worry about insomnia happening. This will also give you the ability to think faster and better.

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Ingredients used in ProMind Complex Huperzine – an antibacterial ingredient that combats the dental nerve bacteria from manifesting inside the body.

Vinpocetine – is in charge of improving the flow of oxygen and blood in the brain by removing any blockage and plaque build-ups in the blood vessels.

Gingko Biloba – this ingredient greatly lowers the periodontal disease pathogens inside the body. It supercharges and maintains the strength and health of your neurons.

Phosphatidylserine – a powerful ingredient that’s important to keep a healthy brain cell membrane. ProMind Complex ingredient provides the cell-renewing nutrient your brain cells need.

St. John’s Wort – removes all the plaques and blockages in your blood vessels and it’s a very effective ingredient. Bacopa Monnieri – triggers the body to lower stress and can be a mood booster that can make you feel happier and stress-free. N-Acetyl-L-Carnitine – is a famous ingredient known for its ability to decrease mental fatigue in the body and gives a boost of energy. These are the main ingredients added in the ProMind Complex formula that can help you reach your mind’s full potential. It’s also gluten-free, non-GMO and there are no chemicals added in the formula that can strike risk to your body.Giving you peace of mind without finding yourself worrying if you misplaced any object you were using or remember what you need to buy when you’re at the grocery store. Advantages of ProMind Complex Around 2.5 million Americans have been suffering from memory loss. Fortunately, ProMind Complex can solve this problem and offers a lot of benefits to the body. In a matter of 3 weeks, your body and brain can now experience and enjoy these advantages. Focuses on destroying the main problem of memory loss, getting rid of the dental nerve bacteria. Sharpness of memory Opens up the blood vessels for a better circulation of oxygen and blood in the body and brain. Prevents depression and anxiety. Mood enhancer Energy booster Gets rid of brain fog Prevents insomnia and allowing you to get a […]

Read more at www.benzinga.com

Taking Antioxidant during Pregnancy Prevents Memory Problems in Adult Offspring, Rat Study Finds

Taking Antioxidant during Pregnancy Prevents Memory Problems in Adult Offspring, Rat Study Finds

A study in rodents has uncovered a direct link between low oxygen in the uterus during pregnancy—causing fetal hypoxia—and impaired memory function in adult offspring. The research, carried out by a team at the University of Cambridge, found that chronic fetal hypoxia led to a reduced density of blood vessels, and a reduced number of nerve cells and their connections, in the hippocampus. Giving the mother antioxidant supplements—in this study high levels of vitamin C—during pregnancy protected the growing fetus from the harmful effects of low oxygen, and from hypoxia-related memory problems later in life.

“It’s hugely exciting to think we might be able to protect the brain health of an unborn child by a simple treatment that can be given to the mother during pregnancy,” said research lead Dino Giussani, PhD, from the University of Cambridge’s Department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience, who led the study. “In medicine today there has to be a shift in focus from treatment of the disease, when we can do comparatively little, to prevention, when we can do much more. This study shows that we can use preventative medicine even before birth to protect long term brain health.” The team acknowledged that while vitamin C is a well established antioxidant, the high doses required to be effective in their reported study could cause adverse side effects in humans, so follow-up work will be needed to identify alternative anti-oxidants that might treat chronic fetal hypoxia in humans.

Giussani and colleagues describe their studies in The FASEB Journal , in a paper titled, “ Maternal antioxidant treatment protects adult offspring against memory loss and hippocampal atrophy in a rodent model of developmental hypoxia .”

The interaction between our genes and lifestyle plays a role in determining our risk of disease as adults. There is also increasing evidence that the environment experienced during sensitive periods of fetal development directly influences our long-term health—a process known as ‘developmental programming.’ Brain health problems that may start in the womb due to complicated pregnancy range from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, to brain changes in later life that have been linked with Alzheimer’s disease.

“During the last 40 years, significant evidence derived from human epidemiological studies as well as from preclinical animal models has accumulated to show that suboptimal intrauterine conditions can increase the risk of adverse health outcomes in the offspring; a process known as developmental programming,” the authors wrote.

Chronic fetal hypoxia—low oxygen in the uterus—is one of the most common complications in human pregnancy. It can be diagnosed when a routine ultrasound scan shows that the baby is not growing properly and is caused by a number of conditions including pre-eclampsia, infection of the placenta, gestational diabetes or maternal obesity. However, just how gestational hypoxia might affect the long-term health of the brain in offspring isn’t well understood, the team continued.

For their newly reported studies, the researchers used a rat model to investigate more closely how chronic fetal hypoxia might affect brain development. “We investigated in rats whether hypoxic pregnancy affects brain structure and function in the adult offspring and explored underlying mechanisms with maternal antioxidant intervention,” they wrote.

To conduct the research, the researchers housed different groups of pregnant rats under conditions in which the ambient air contained either a normal level of oxygen (21%), or a low, 13% oxygen level, which caused hypoxic pregnancies. Half of the rats in each group were given the antioxidant vitamin C in their drinking water throughout the pregnancy. Following birth, the baby rats were raised to four months old, equivalent to early adulthood in humans, and were then assessed using various tests to assess locomotion, anxiety, spatial learning and memory.

The results showed that rats born from hypoxic pregnancies took longer to perform the memory task, and didn’t remember things as well. However, rats born from hypoxic pregnancies in which mothers had been given Vitamin C throughout their pregnancy performed the memory task just as well as offspring from normal pregnancies.

Analyzing the brains of the rat offspring, the researchers found that the hippocampus—the area associated with forming memories— was less developed in rats from hypoxic pregnancies. “The data show that prenatal hypoxia reduced neuronal number, vascularity and synaptic density in the hippocampus and impaired memory function in the adult male offspring,” the investigators stated.

Further analyses then showed that hypoxic pregnancy caused excess production of reactive oxygen species, called ‘free radicals’, in the placenta. “Levels of oxidative stress in the placenta, but not in the fetal or adult offspring brain, were increased in hypoxic pregnancy,” they further noted. In healthy pregnancy the body keeps the level of free radicals in check by internal anti-oxidant enzymes, but excess free radicals overwhelm these natural defenses and damage the placenta in a process called ‘oxidative stress’. This reduces blood flow and oxygen delivery to the developing baby.

In the reported study, the researchers found that placentas from the hypoxic pregnancies showed oxidative stress, while those from the hypoxic pregnancies supplemented with Vitamin C looked healthy. The results showed that chronic fetal hypoxia led to a reduced density of blood vessels, and a reduced number of nerve cells and their connections in parts of the offspring’s brain. When the offspring then reached adulthood, its ability to form lasting memories becomes reduced and there is evidence of accelerated brain aging. Antioxidant treatment of the pregnant mothers effectively prevented these effects. “… maternal antioxidant treatment in hypoxic pregnancy restored placental oxidative stress to normal levels and prevented the programmed adverse effects on cerebral structure and function in the adult offspring, implicating placental oxidative stress as a mediating factor,” the team stated. “

Taken together, the study findings indicated that low oxygen in the womb during pregnancy causes oxidative stress in the placenta, affecting the brain development of the offspring and resulting in memory problems in later life. ” Maternal supplementation with vitamin C during hypoxic pregnancy protected against oxidative stress in the placenta and prevented the adverse effects of prenatal hypoxia on hippocampal atrophy and memory loss in the adult offspring,” the authors commented. […]

Read more at www.genengnews.com

The 9 Most Essential Vitamins You Need in Your Diet, According to Yale Experts

The 9 Most Essential Vitamins You Need in Your Diet, According to Yale Experts

Vitamins are an essential part of how our body functions, but there is a lot of misunderstanding and misinformation about how to best get them into your cells and throughout your body.

Our parents and caretakers routinely reminded us that eating our vegetables was essential to getting all of the healthy vitamins and minerals we need to grow. Oftentimes, we might think taking a supplement is the best way to get essential vitamins the body needs, but sourcing these nutrients through food is even more effective. Shutterstock Many times vitamins are advertised as “natural” but the most natural approach is how people have done it for thousands of years— a healthy and nutritious diet filled with diverse and colorful fruits and vegetables. The more colors and varieties of produce you are eating, the more likely you are to consume a scope of key vitamins. Purchasing from small local farms that practice organic techniques can also help to ensure that your produce is as nutrient-dense as possible. Who may require supplementation?

There are certainly times when people may require vitamin supplementation because of a circumstance or condition that prevents them from adequately obtaining them. For example, people who follow a vegan diet may need to supplement with vitamin B12 (which is largely found in animal-based protein and sources) or people with cystic fibrosis may require supplements because they do not properly absorb many vitamins.

It is important to keep in mind that most supplements did not originate in pill form but, instead, are derived from traditional diets, such as the Mediterranean diet , that kept people healthy for thousands of years. While some people may need to take their vitamins in a pill form, for the average person, food can often be your medicine.

Below, you will see nine vitamins your body needs as well as several foods that are rich in each. Then, don’t miss The 7 Healthiest Foods to Eat Right Now . Shutterstock Vitamin A isn’t actually a single vitamin but a whole family of different ones sometimes referred to as ‘retinoids’ such as retinol and carotenoids, including alpha-carotene and beta-carotene.

Function in the body: Vitamin A is important in keeping our reproductive and immune systems functioning and helps to keep our kidneys, heart, and lungs working well. It’s also essential for normal bone and tooth development. Another important job that vitamin A carries out is that it helps our eyes allow us to see in dark or dim light.

Risks of deficiency: The risk of vitamin A deficiency is pretty rare in well-nourished populations (such as the U.S.) because vitamin A is stored in the body, particularly in the liver. However, certain conditions such as pneumonia, urinary tract infections, cancer, and prostate disease may cause your body to excrete too much vitamin A.

People with fat malabsorption may not be able to absorb enough vitamin A and certain medications may also interfere with vitamin A absorption, such as cholestyramine and orlistat. A lack of vitamin A can cause your immune system to function poorly. It can also cause a number of eye diseases (such as blindness), poor bone growth, and skin problems at your hair follicles.

Risks of overuse: Vitamin A is stored in fat in the body, therefore, too much of the vitamin can lead to accumulation and toxicity. Symptoms include headache, double vision, tiredness, nausea, vomiting, or vertigo. Too much vitamin A can also lead to osteoporosis, bone fractures, and liver toxicity. Larger than recommended doses of vitamin A may cause birth defects, and so pregnant women or women of childbearing age should not intake more than the RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance). Beta-carotene toxicity is much less likely, but eating large amounts of carrots daily can lead to yellow-orange skin color changes.

Top foods with vitamin A: Beef liver (3 oz cooked)

Baked sweet potato

Frozen spinach (½ cup cooked)

Raw carrots

Skim milk fortified with vitamin A

Shutterstock Vitamin C is also known as ascorbic acid and is key for immune function .

Function in the body: Vitamin C is important in the growth and repair of tissue and helps to maintain healthy skin, teeth and bones. Vitamin C is also an antioxidant that helps protect our cells from being damaged by free radicals, toxins, and radiation. Vitamin C can also help absorb iron from food in the intestines. Despite being highly advertised for preventing and treating the common cold , good data to support this claim is still unavailable.

Risks of deficiency: Deficiency of vitamin C can lead to a condition known as scurvy. Scurvy can present with fatigue, gum swelling, corkscrew hairs, and poor wound healing. It was common many years ago among sailors who did not have access to fresh fruits on long journeys. Scurvy is very rare in the U.S. because only a very small amount of Vitamin C is needed from a normal diet to prevent a deficiency.

Risks of overuse: Vitamin C is a water soluble vitamin and is not stored in the body, which just means that excess vitamin C is eliminated through urine. Large doses can still cause side effects, including nausea, stomach cramps, diarrhea, and more severely, can lead to the development of kidney stones. Patients with diabetes, recurrent kidney stones and poor kidney function should avoid high doses of vitamin C due to increased risk and complications of kidney stones.

Top foods with vitamin C: Raw red peppers (½ cup)

Orange juice (¾ cup)

Kiwi (one medium)

Frozen broccoli (½ cup cooked)

Baked white potato

Shutterstock Vitamin D is also known as calciferol. Research has shown that vitamin D can play a vital role in supporting the immune system and may help to mitigate the severity of symptoms associated with COVID-19 .

Function in the body : Vitamin D seems to have an endless number of functions in our body. These include bone mineralization and helping to maintain normal calcium levels in our blood. It also helps to reduce inflammation throughout the body and to maintain […]

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