Weekly Health Update

“To insure good health: eat lightly, breathe deeply, live moderately, cultivate cheerfulness, and maintain an interest in life.”
~William Londen

 

Health Alert: Marijuana Less Addictive Than Cigarettes, But Still Addictive

One of the few epidemiological studies of marijuana was released over the weekend, having gained importance with Washington and Colorado having recently legalized the sale of pot. The study proved that alcohol, cigarettes, and other forms of tobacco/nicotine are all more addictive than marijuana — but not by much. Approximately 2 million Americans are addicted to marijuana in the sense that they cannot quit and their lives are negatively affected by the drug.

Diet: Reduce Food Cravings with Well-Timed Video Games

A group of scientists at Plymouth University, testing the theory that food cravings came from our imagination, not our stomachs — and were thus visual, not something felt, tested their theory in a unique way. They proved that people feeling food cravings who stopped whatever they were doing and played 3 minutes of a highly visual video game (they used Tetris) felt a 25% drop in their cravings.

Exercise: Antioxidants Nullify Many Benefits of Exercise

We’ve all been told that antioxidants are massively good for you — but studies from as far back as 2009 (Germany) and as recently as last week (Norway) have proven again and again that that combining high-antioxidant foods with exercise can make the exercise much less effective. One of the major benefits of exercise is the creation of new mitochondria (the organelles that burn fat and sugar for calories) inside your cells — but that cannot happen in the presence of “healthy” levels of antioxidants. In particular, Vitamin C, resveratrol, and CoQ10 have shown to impair the benefits of exercise.

Neuromuscular Massage: The Newest Back & Neck Pain Relief Breakthrough Taking Off in the United States

A study released by the American Massage Therapy Association revealed that neuromuscular massage therapists are becoming more and more in demand in the United States as the benefits of therapeutic massage become more evident. Predictions are that there will be 20% more massage therapists by 2020 than there are today — significantly above the average rate of growth for medical professionals.

Preventative Medicine: The Trifecta of Dietary Preventatives

It’s not that often that we get great, ‘clean’ studies out of China, but it can happen. In this case, a month or so ago, a trio of scientists at Wuhan University called out three preventative superfoods: garlic (for it’s antibacterial, antiviral, and antiparasitical properties), ginger (as a powerful anti-inflammatory and digestive aid), and lemon (because it cleanses the blood and liver as well as reducing mucus body-wide.)  A tablespoon each of the first two — raw, with honey — and a glass of water with a lemon squeezed into it — are on their list of things everyone should consider as a daily part of their health regimen.

Mental Health: Stress Causes the Brain to Build Misfires Into Itself

There are stem cells in the brain that are used when new neurons need to be built. But according to researchers at UC Berkley, under chronic stress, the brain will instead convert these stem cells into a kind of glial cell that has the job of coating nearby neurons in a myelin sheath. This operation is necessary in some parts of the brain (‘white matter’), but when it happens in an area of the brain that is normally gray matter, it can cause communications between some cells to become accelerated while others’ communications are at normal speed. The result is a ‘misfire’ that can cause a variety of effects from PSTD-like symptoms to a lack of ability to consider the ramifications of one’s actions. End result? Avoid stress when at all possible.


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