The Most Dangerous Food in Your Fridge

The Most Dangerous Food in Your Fridge

postdateiconFriday, 18 October 2013 20:26 | postauthoriconPosted by Agus Judistira (Manager) |

October 10, 2013

 

Americans are so hooked on sugary beverages that 50 percent of us guzzle them daily—a habit that may be supersizing rates of early death, according to a scary new Harvard study. The researchers linked sweet drinks—from soda to sports and fruit beverages—to more than 180,000 deaths worldwide—25,000 in the US alone.

Not only are sugar-sweetened drinks making us fat, but the researchers also tied them to 133,000 deaths from diabetes, 44,000 from cardiovascular disease, and 6,000 cancer fatalities. The study was presented at the American Heart Association’s Epidemiology and Prevention/Nutrition, Physical Activity and Metabolism 2013 Scientific Sessions.

The team spent five years analyzing data from national health studies around the world. Their findings add to mounting evidence that sugar-sweetened beverages—also known as “liquid candy”— are toxic beyond their calories.

Predictably, the American Beverage Association challenged the findings, saying that soft drinks are “safe and refreshing.” The group also noted that the research has not yet been published in a peer-reviewed journal and dubbed it “more about sensationalism than science” in a press release

“The researchers make a huge leap when they take beverage intake calculations from around the globe and allege that those beverages are the cause of deaths which the authors themselves acknowledge are due to chronic disease,” the industry group stated.

Killing Us Sweetly?

We’re swilling more soft drinks than ever before: Since the 1970s, consumption has doubled for women and tripled for men. Incredibly, the average teenaged boy swills about a half gallon of sugary drinks daily—the most of any age group, with a total of nearly 300 calories, reports the CDC. In fact, sugary drinks are now the top calorie source in teens’ diet, beating out pizza, according to Harvard School of Public Health.

Overall, 70 percent of boys ages 2 to 19 guzzle sugary drinks daily, compared to 60 percent of girls. Men ages 20 to 39 consume the second highest amount, adding an average of 252 calories a day to their diet.

That’s scary, since the researchers found that sweet drinks seem to be particularly lethal to adults under age 45. Among Americans in this age group, one in 10 obesity-related deaths were tied to sugar-sweetened beverages. However, this type of study isn’t designed to prove a cause-and-effect relationship.

The biggest risk identified in the study was the strong link between sweet drinks and death from type 2 diabetes. Findings from the well-known Harvard nurses’ study offer strong evidence that drinking even one 12-ounce soft drink a day can double risk for this debilitating disease, which now affects nearly 26 million Americans.

How Sugar Damages the Heart

study published last year in Circulation: the Journal of the American Heart Association reports that men who drink one 12-ounce sugar-sweetened beverage daily (equivalent to a can of soda) have 20 percent increased risk of heart disease, the leading killer of Americans. The researchers tracked 42,883 men for 22 years.

The findings mirror those of the Nurses’ Health Study of nearly 89,000 women which found that women who swigged one sugary drink per day had a 23 percent increased risk of a heart attack. While the studies don’t prove that sweet drinks spark heart disease, they found that the increased risk remained even when such major cardiovascular risks as smoking, family history, obesity, and a couch potato lifestyle were taken into account.

What’s more, men who guzzled sugary drinks had higher levels of blood fats called triglycerides and lower levels of HDL “good” cholesterol than men who shunned sweet drinks. Both obesity and diabetes—conditions that have been linked to these beverages in multiple studies—further escalate heart risk.

The AHA recommends that women limit themselves to no more than 100 calories a day from added sugar (about 6 teaspoons) and men to 150 calories (9 teaspoons). The group also advises a maximum of 450 calories (36 ounces) from sugar-sweetened beverages per week. The AHA’s guidelines apply to both sugar and high-fructose corn syrup.

Another Danger of Sweet Drinks: Dementia

Sugary thirst-quenchers are also suspected of increasing risk for Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia,   recently reported. Indeed, these conditions are now being called “type 3 diabetes” due to the strong link between high blood sugar and memory loss.

“Americans are literally eating a ‘diabetes diet’ that’s very toxic to the brain and other vital organs,” says Dr. Joel Zonszein, medical director of the diabetes clinic at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City. “And one of the most terrible complications—brain damage—is occurring in younger and younger patients.”

A 2012 study found that key brain areas involved in memory and cognitive skills show damage once blood sugar hits the high end of the “normal” range, even when such risks as smoking, high blood pressure, alcohol abuse are taken into consideration.

In the study, adults ages 60 to 64, with normal fasting blood sugar, as defined by the World Health Organization, had brain scans. When the scans were repeated four years later, those with higher blood sugar showed greater atrophy in areas of the brain’s hippocampus and amygdala—both of which play a key role in memory and mental skills— compared to did people with lower blood sugar.

 

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How Medicinal Mushrooms Can Benefit Your Immune System

How Medicinal Mushrooms Can Benefit Your Immune System

postdateiconThursday, 17 October 2013 13:35 | postauthoriconPosted by Agus Judistira (Manager)

 

Since the dawn of time, humans have foraged for mushrooms for food to use in culinary dishes, as well as to use for medicinal purposes.  In traditional Eastern medicine, mushrooms are the drug of choice and hailed for their medicinal powers.  Three thousand years ago, the Chinese would place moldy soybean curd on skin infections as a healing agent.  Other cultures would place warm earth (which contained certain molds and fungus) on injuries as first aid measures.  Our ancient ancestors understood that different molds and fungus were beneficial to our health, now it is our time to relearn those natural medicines.

Mushrooms and the Immune System

Only recently have Westerners discovered the untapped medicinal source from mushrooms.  In fact, it was not until 1928 did Westerners discover the miracle drug penicillin which was derived from the fungus penicillium notatum.  Without this drug, those “old age diseases” and simple wounds that are so easily treated today would pose a serious threat to our health.  How interesting that penicillin is derived from a fungi.

Medical professions around the world are beginning to to study the  polysaccarides in mushrooms to better understand why they have such a profound healing effect.  Polysaccharides, also known as beta glucans are similar to immune boosting powers found in the medicinal plants of echinacea, and astragalus.   They say the larger these beta glucans are, the more stronger they are on the immune system.  More notably, certain mushrooms, such as shiitake and reishi mushrooms have antiviral and antibiotic properties that could come in handy during a long term emergency, especially if added to a survival medicinal garden.

Because mushrooms are high in antioxidants, essential minerals, anti viral and antibiotic properties, these tasty fungis have been used to treat illnesses and diseases such as (but not limited to), allergies, arthritis, heart disease, relieve menopausal symptoms and most notably, cancer.   All of these mushrooms have high amounts of proteins present in them.  These proteins are better sources for the body compared to meat  proteins due to their impact on our bodies, specifically our nervous systems.  Over time, these health enhancing properties synergize and build up in the body and improve health.  Some of the health fighting properties that create these health improvements include:

  • Selenium, a mineral source found in mushrooms works with Vitamin E to produce antioxidants that neutralize free radicals that have been known to cause cellular damage.
  • Potassium is another essential mineral source found in mushrooms.  Doctors have suggested that a diet high in potassium could help reduce the risk of high blood pressure and stroke.
  • Copper is a mineral source that aids in creating red blood cells.  This mineral works along with iron (also found in mushrooms).
  • The proteins in mushrooms are considered superior to meat and vegetable proteins due to their concentrated amounts of amino acids and ease of digestion.
  • Polysaccharides enhance the immune system, treat cancer, inhibit symptoms of HIV and other viral and bacterial infections.
  • Betulinic acid counters viral and tumor compounds within the body.
  • Triterpenes lower cholesterol, improves circulation, detoxifies the liver, treats hepatitis, bronchitis, asthma and coughs.
  • Germanium is a free radical scavenger that assists in purifying the blood, normalizes blood pressure and prevents tumors.

Mushrooms achieve these health producing properties from the trees they grow off of.  All the elements and minerals that the tree has taken in over the years has been absorbed in concentrated amounts into the mushroom.  Typically these elements can be made available to us by making a simple tea out of the mushroom.  Many people like to dehydrate their mushrooms and then turn it into a powder for teas or soups.  Also, pre-made capsules of these powdered mushrooms are available in the health department of local stores or in the health food stores in town.  Of course, others have found that they can actually grow these mushrooms in their own homes and are cultivating them for long term use.

How to Prepare Mushrooms For Medicinal Use

Preparing these mushrooms and even preserving them is not difficult in the least.  In fact, multiple medicinal sources suggest that teas or infusions made of mushrooms are the best way to treat a person medicinally.  The hot water breaks the polysaccharides out of the undigestible cell walls so that it’s immune properties are released and made available.  However, many mushrooms can be dehydrated and stored much like the food we dehydrate.  When shiitake mushrooms are cooked or dehydrated their nutritional properties improve.

5 Popular Types of Medicinal Mushrooms

Due to the fact that there are over 220 anti-tumor and 42 anti-viral agents that have been isolated from fungi, studies on mushrooms and their effect on the human body have been ongoing since the 1960’s.  Natural News states that there are over 150 species of medicinal mushrooms found to inhibit the growth of different kinds of tumors, especially cancers from the stomach, esophagus, and lungs, but there are certain mushrooms that seem to stand out, as far as cancer fighting abilities go.

Button mushrooms contain an impressive amount of copper, which helps to create red blood cells.  According to sources at LiveStrong, copper provides the body with protection from free radicals, helps the body absorb iron, and assists the body in the formation of bone and the clotting of blood.  One cup of cooked button mushrooms supplies the body with 16% of the daily value of iron, important for blood and energy, and 12% of the daily percentage of Vitamin C.”

Although this type of mushroom does not contain the beneficial polysaccharides that were discussed in the previous article, button mushrooms are loaded with aromatase inhibitors, a natural occurring cancer fighting agent that is specifically helpful in fighting breast cancer.  Women who do a regimen of taking button mushrooms and drinking green tea can reduce their risk of breast cancer significantly.  According to a study conducted in China, women who ate 10 grams of button mushrooms were two thirds less likely to develop breast cancer.  Button mushrooms also have anti viral and anti bacterial agents present in them as well.

Button mushrooms can be cooked, eaten raw or made into a tea.  For more information on button mushrooms, click here.

The Chaga mushroom has been isolated for it’s cancer fighting abilities.  This type of fungus grows mainly on birch trees, but can occansionally be found on ironwood, elm, alder and beech trees.  This mushroom is actually a fungal parasite that draws its nutrients out of living trees, rather than from the ground. The chaga musroom has a charred looking appearance that grows around the wound areas of the above stated trees.  According to sources, the chaga mushroom has one of the highest amounts of antioxidants that an be consumed.  Chaga mushrooms treat ailments and disorders such as an immuno stimulant, used as an anti-inflammatory, treating stomach diseases, intestinal worms, liver and heart ailments, cancers such as breast, liver, uterine and gastric, hypertension, diabetes, anti-tumor activity, and reduces symptoms of HIV/AIDS.

Chaga can be made into a tea by soaking the fungi in water for four hours to soften it, and then placed in boiled water.  For more intricate details, as well as how to make a chaga extract, click here.

Cordyceps  are used to strengthen the body and mind at a fundamental level.  This mushroom is also called the Chinese Caterpillar Fungus because it grows in the larva of the ghost moth.  It has been used to medicinally treat humans and animals with different types of cancers and health issues including lymphoma, and acts as an immuno stimulant, and possesses antioxidant properties.  In addition, cordyceps have a dilating effect on bronchials and act as a cough suppressant, thus minimizing the symptoms of asthma and other respiratory disorders while making breathing easier.  Due to the increase in blood flow this mushroom creates, it would make an ideal dietary supplement to increase endurance levels.  Many endurance runners make a tea  to increase their energy levels while training.  Research is currently going on to see if this mushrooms has an effect on those with diabetes and liver related problems.  Click here for more information.

This mushroom can be dried to make a powder or can made into a tea. Or the dried mushroom can be put into soups or dishes for additional nutrition.

Reishi mushrooms are known in Eastern medicine as the Immortal Mushroom and the Resurrection plant.  For over 4,000 years this mushroom has been used for it’s health benefits, longevity, resistance from diseases, energy and memory enhancements.  Reishi has been known to treat a variety of medicinal problems including treatments for cancer, hepatitis,prevents the death of lymphatic cells, lowers blood pressure, heart disease and arthritis and increases daily energy levels.

Since this type of mushroom is very woody and inedible when fresh, the traditional way of preparing reishi for medicinal purposes is to prepare a tea.  Additionally, some like to dry the mushroom out and grind is up to make a coffee-like tea with or use in soups and dishes.  There are also capsules available in health stores as well.

Here are two ways to make reishi tea:

  • Soak/Brew Method – Place 1 ounce of dried mushrooms in 8 cups of water and allow to soak overnight.  In the morning, boil the water.  Stain the mushrooms out of the liquid.  Honey or agave nectar can be added to sweeten the drink.
  • Extended Brew Method – Place 1 ounce of dried mushrooms in 11 cups of water and allow to boil for two hours.  Stain the mushrooms out of the liquid.  Honey or agave nectar can be added to sweeten the drink.

Shiitake mushrooms are the most researched of all the mushrooms.  It can be used both medicinally and for culinary purposes.  Medicinally speaking, shiitake mushrooms have antihistamine properties that can assist in allergy related discomfort.  This mushroom type also assists in treating high blood pressure, has cancer fighting agents (particularly for those that suffer from stomach cancers), anti-tumor agents. antifungal and 42 different anti-viral agents.  Shiitake also has eight different types of amino acids (in better proportions than milk, eggs and soybeans) and is a good source of Vitamin A, B, B12, D and niacin.  Readers may also be particularly interested in this mushroom type used as an antibiotic.  (Source)  Shiitake mushrooms have been used for high cholesterol, diseases of the liver (such as hepatitis B and cirrhosis), general immune support, and diabetes (for high cholesterol).

A tea can be made from fresh mushrooms, dried or dehydrated mushrooms, or a mushroom powder can be used.  Interesting, it has been found that when shiitake mushrooms are cooked or even dehydrated, the nutritional amounts increase.

In Conclusion

During our school years, many of us have performed the ”moldy bread” experiment in our science classes and had to record the results.  But many of us failed to pose the question, ”how does this molded bread benefit me?”  This moldy bread is one of the miracle drugs of our times – penicillin.  From this discovery, launched a rediscovery of our ancestor’s medicine cabinet and a reaffirmation that Mother Earth does indeed know best.

This article is for informational purposes only.  If a person is considering using mushrooms as a medicinal source, contact a doctor for further advice.  Additionally, women who are pregnant should talk to their doctors before taking an alternative medicine source.  Some mushrooms are poisonous.  If you cannot identify them, do not take the chance in eating them.  A Field Guide to Mushrooms is an excellent and practical guide to mushrooms.

Source: Ready Nutrition

Purple Potatoes Pack Mega Antioxidants

Purple Potatoes Pack Mega Antioxidants Compared to White-Fleshed Potatoes

postdateiconWednesday, 16 October 2013 17:42 | postauthoriconPosted by Agus Judistira (Manager)

October 13, 2013

by

purple_potatoes

Most of us are used to seeing and eating the typical white or yellow fleshed potatoes. You may even eat sweet potatoes on a regular basis and so you might be accustomed to orange as well. But purple potatoes are certainly not as popular, although given the deep rich color of these potatoes, more of us should be familiar with these potatoes for the powerful nutrients they pack.

Native to South America, purple potatoes got their name due to their deep purple skin and flesh. There are several types of the purple potato including the Purple Majesty, Purple Viking and Purple Peruvian varieties. Purple potatoes are rich in antioxidant phytochemicals and studies show that purple potatoes can aid in lowering blood pressure.

As with any fruit or vegetable, the deep rich colors they offer tell us how nutrient dense they are. When choosing which vegetables to add to our diet, a mix of colors is always a good rule of thumb to be sure we are getting a variety of nutrients to meet our bodies needs. Purple potatoes follow right along with this concept as the purple characteristic tell us that they are rich in a powerful antioxidant called anthocyanin. Coming from the flavonoid family of antioxidants, anthocyanin is best known for boosting the immune system and fighting cancer. You can also find this antioxidant in blueberries and pomegranates.

Another great benefit to anthocyanin is its ability to protect the integrity and structure of DNA and encourage the production of cytokines which are key in promoting proper immune response. If that isn’t enough, this powerful antioxidant also has anti-inflammatory properties, helps to protect the health and integrity of the capillaries and strengthens membranes. It may also play a role in regulating estrogenic activity which helps to lower the risk of hormone-related disease.

Lowering Blood Pressure

A study presented at the 2012 American Chemical Society National Meeting in Denver, Colorado showed that consuming purple potatoes lowered the blood pressure of the subjects who were eating them compared to subjects that were not. The effects on blood pressure are likely associated with the potatoes therapeutic effect on the capillaries and blood vessels as previously mentioned. It is also likely that purple potato’s feature a high concentration of another phytochemical called chlorogenic acid which has been linked to lowering blood pressure in mice.

Flavour & Cooking

Many of us love white potatoes and are accustomed to the texture and flavor they offer. Does the purple potato trade off any flavor or texture for the nutrient density? Not at all! The purple potato tastes very much like the standard white-fleshed potatoes and is said to be slightly creamier in texture.

When cooking purple potatoes, as with any other potatoes, try to keep the skin on and remember to cook them in the healthiest ways possible. keeping the skin on helps to keep moisture in the potato and is packed full of nutrients. The skin of the purple potato is rich in vitamin C and contains a lot of the polyphenols and potassium that makes it so beneficial. Baking and steaming are often the best methods of preparation and good clean oils like coconut oil are recommended if you are frying. Then again, you can always just take a bite straight out of one of these much like you would if you were eating an apple!

Sources:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1082894/

http://www.specialtyproduce.com/produce/Purple_Potatoes_641.php

http://www.theanchoronline.org/lifestyles/2012/03/26/purple-potatoes/

About the author

Joe Martino

I created CE 4 years ago and have been heavily at it since. I love inspiring others to find joy and make changes in their lives. Hands down the only other thing I am this passionate about is baseball. Feel free to email me at

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Collective Evolution

9 Healing Benefits of Music

9 Healing Benefits of Music

postdateiconMonday, 07 October 2013 22:03 | postauthoriconPosted by Agus Judistira (Manager)

healing-music 2

8th October 2013

By Paul Lenda

Guest Writer for Wake Up World

Music… loved, cherished, and admired by humans for countless ages. It’s shaped culture and society in very profound ways. It has started social revolutions and shifts in collective consciousness. There is a magical feeling that can come from music and its enchanting spell has affected billions of people in sometimes life-changing ways, as it continues to do to this day.

In recent decades, many studies have been done on music to see exactly how much of an impact and just how influential it is on human beings and other sentient life. The discoveries are absolutely fascinating.

Music as a Healer

Mystics, sages, and others have mused about the healing properties of music. They realized such qualities existed because they experienced them first-hand. As convincing such evidence may have been for such individuals, such proof does not hold precedence in modern western society, where scientific empiricism reigns supreme. Thankfully, many studies have been done to show that music does indeed have healing powers.

If a person has a stroke on the left side of the brain, where the speech centers are located in most people, that “wipes out a major part of communication,” said Dr. Gottfried Schlaug, chief of the Cerebrovascular Disorder Division and Stroke-Recovery Laboratory at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. But if the right side, where a lot of music is processed, is intact, some stroke patients can use “melodic intonation therapy,” which involves singing using two tones (relatively close in pitch) to communicate.

Schlaug’s research suggests that with intense therapy some patients can even move from this two-tone singing back to actual speech. Stroke patients with gait problems also profit from neurologically based music therapy. At the Center for Biomedical Research in Music at Colorado State University in Ft. Collins, director Michael Thaut and his team have shown that people partially paralyzed on one side can retrain to walk faster and in a more coordinated way if they practice walking rhythmically, cued by music or a metronome. Combining rhythmic training with physical therapy also helps stroke patients recover gait faster.

Stroke patients with gait problems also profit from neurologically based music therapy. At the Center for Biomedical Research in Music at Colorado State University in Ft. Collins, director Michael Thaut and his team have shown that people partially paralyzed on one side can retrain to walk faster and in a more coordinated way if they practice walking rhythmically, cued by music or a metronome. Combining rhythmic training with physical therapy also helps stroke patients recover gait faster.

A number of studies show that music therapy – the use of music for medical goals – can reduce pain. In a 2001 study on burn patients, whose burns must be frequently scraped to reduce dead tissue, researchers found that music therapy significantly reduced the excruciating pain. Patients undergoing colonoscopy also seem to feel less pain and need fewer sedative drugs if they listen to music during the procedure, according to several studies. Another study done at Glasgow Caledonian University found that people who were listening to their favorite music felt less pain and could stand pain for a longer period.

Music therapy may also improve mental state and functioning in people with schizophrenia, according to a 2007 Cochrane review. Premature infants who listen to lullabies learn to suck better and gain more weight than those who don’t get music therapy. And Deforia Lane, director of music therapy at the University Hospitals Ireland Cancer Center in Cleveland, has found an improvement in immune response among hospitalized children who played, sang, and created music compared to children who did not get music therapy.

Finally, research conclusions have identified how the affect of music could replicate the effects of hormone replacement therapy in the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

Sound is a Harmonic Healer

Wave forms and frequencies permeate everything from the smallest sub-atomic particles to the largest structures – through solid objects and energy fields – even our thoughts and emotions. When we are feeling good, all aspects of our being can be said to be in harmony. When we are experiencing discomfort on any level, or sickness occurs, the vibrations of certain sounds can help bring us back to a harmonic, healthy state.

Along with healing and transformation, making sounds through sacred instruments or our voices has been a joyful part of human life throughout human history. It is only recently that watching TV or listening to recordings has virtually replaced the pleasure of making sounds together. Modern science is proving how sound vibrations can improve health and enhance our lives. A research team in Sweden discovered the most effective way of clearing blocked sinus passages was humming! Some participants in these sound healing sessions have noted how relaxing and uplifting the experience is, while others find it has helped relieve pain, bring them to a more joyful state, and many other benefits.

The Awe of Music

Music has also been shown to have the wonderful power to awe humans. Scientists at the Montreal Neurological Institute, for instance, have found dramatic evidence on brain scans that the “chills,” or a visceral feeling of awe, that people report listening to their favorite music are real.

Music that a person likes – but not music that is disliked – activates both the higher, thinking centers in the brain’s cortex, and, perhaps more important, also the “ancient circuitry, the motivation and reward system,” said experimental psychologist Robert Zatorre, a member of the team.It’s this ancient part of the brain that, often through the neurotransmitter dopamine, also governs basic drives such as for food, water, and sex, suggesting the tantalizing idea that the brain may consider music on a par with these crucial drives.

Listen to Music, Develop More Neurons

Music, the universal language of mood, emotion and desire, connects with us through a wide variety of neural systems. Researchers have discovered evidence that music stimulates specific regions of the brain responsible for memory, language and motor control. They have located specific areas of mental activity linked to the emotional responses elicited by music. An outstanding discovery recently has shown that children listening to music have increased neural development. Neurons are the oldest and longest cells in the body. You have many of the same neurons for your whole life.

Although other cells die and are replaced, many neurons are never replaced when they die. In fact, you have fewer neurons when you are old compared to when you are young. However , data published in November 1998 show that in one area of the brain (the hippocampus), neurons can in fact grow in adult humans as well. The discovery that new neurons develop in children can also mean that they can develop in an adult. It would seem a reasonable assumption, although it is not yet clear empirically if this is the case, but those that cherish and love music will tell you anecdotal evidence that they feel they do have more brain power than before.

The Brain Loves Harmony

“Undeniably, there is a biology of music,” according to Harvard University Medical School neurobiologist Mark Jude Tramo. He sees it as beyond question that there is specialization within the brain for the processing of music. Music is a biological part of life as surely as it is an aesthetic part. Studies as far back as 1990 found that the brain responds to harmony. Using a PET scanner to monitor changes in neural activity, neuroscientists at McGill University discovered that the part of the brain activated by music is dependent on whether or not the music is pleasant or dissonant.

The brain grows in response to musical training in the way a muscle responds to exercise. Researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston discovered that male musicians have larger brains than men who have not had extensive musical training. The cerebellums, that part of the brain containing 70% of the total brain’s neurons, were 5% larger in expert male musicians. Researchers have found evidence of the power of music to affect neural activity no matter where they looked in the brain, from primitive regions found in animals to more recently evolved areas thought to be strictly human such as the frontal lobes. Harmony, melody and rhythm invoke distinct patterns of brain activity.

Attaining Full Consciousness Through Music

Attaining full consciousness, meaning that one utilizes both sides of the brain equally has been shown to manifest in musicians and those who are exposed to music for a good portion of their life. Vanderbilt University psychologists have found that professionally trained musicians more effectively use a creative technique called divergent thinking, and also use both the left and the right sides of their frontal cortex more heavily than the average person.

Instrumental musicians often integrate different melodic lines with both hands into a single musical piece, and they have to be very good at simultaneously reading the musical symbols, which are like left-hemisphere-based language, and integrating the written music with their own interpretation, which has been linked to the right hemisphere. The researchers also found that, overall, the musicians had higher IQ scores than the non-musicians, supporting recent studies that intensive musical training is associated with an elevated IQ score.

A Music-Memory Connection

Music surprises us yet again; this time revealing that it helps us remember. In a recent study, Petr Janata, a cognitive neuroscientist at University of California, Davis said that “what seems to happen is that a piece of familiar music serves as a soundtrack for a mental movie that starts playing in our head. It calls back memories of a particular person or place, and you might all of a sudden see that person’s face in your mind’s eye.” Janata began suspecting the medial pre-frontal cortex as a music-processing and music-memories region when he saw that part of the brain actively tracking chord and key changes in music.

He had also seen studies which showed the same region lighting up in response to self-reflection and recall of autobiographical details. In his own study, Janata saw that tunes linked to the strongest self-reported memories triggered the most vivid and emotion-filled responses – findings corroborated by the brain scan showing spikes in mental activity within the medial prefrontal cortex.

The brain region responded quickly to music signature and timescale, but also reacted overall when a tune was autobiographically relevant. Furthermore, music tracking activity in the brain was stronger during more powerful autobiographical memories. This latest research could explain why even Alzheimer’s patients who endure increasing memory loss can still recall songs from their distant past.

Music as an Identifier of Emotions

In a study detailed in the European Journal of Neuroscience, an interdisciplinary Northwestern research team for the first time provides biological evidence that musical training enhances an individual’s ability to recognize emotion in sound, which is quite a useful skill in any facet of life. The study, funded by the National Science Foundation, found that the more years of musical experience musicians possessed and the earlier the age they began their music studies also increased their nervous systems’ abilities to process emotion in sound.

Previous research has indicated that musicians demonstrate greater sensitivity to the nuances of emotion in speech. In fact, recent studies indicated that musicians might even be able to sense emotion in sounds after hearing them for only 50 milliseconds.

Immerse Yourself in Music

By now, the intimate role musical harmonics play in your life should be abundantly clear to you. There’s so many incredible benefits you can have to your overall wellness by incorporating music into your daily life, be it listening to music in whatever way you do, playing an instrument for fun or professionally, or using specifically designed healing music right before bed or in a meditation session.

However you use music in your life, you will definitely experience the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual benefits that music provides us. Enhance your life experience with the added element of music whenever you are able to and you will find yourself living a more surreal and more transcendent life.

orchestra

About the author:

Paul is a conscious evolution guide, author of “The Creation of a Consciousness Shift“ and co-founder of SHIFT>, a social community focused on anchoring in the new paradigm and assisting the positive transformation of humanity. With the drive to be aware of and experience the wider horizon of Reality, Paul has developed an extensive background in the spiritual and transformative elements of life; one that is both knowledge and experienced-based.

7 Natural Lung-Healing Remedies

7 Natural Lung-Healing Remedies

postdateiconThursday, 03 October 2013 20:31 | postauthoriconPosted by Agus Judistira (Manager)

September 29, 2013

 

From the bountiful harvests to the changing colors of trees around us, autumn is a beautiful time of year.  For people suffering from fall allergies, asthma, or other breathing concerns, it is often a difficult time to breathe.  If you’re one of the many people suffering from breathing problems or autumn allergies, here are 7 natural lung-healing remedies to help boost your breathing .

Coltsfoot

Coltsfoot is an excellent herb for clearing out excess mucus from the lungs and bronchial tubes. In addition to clearing catarrh, it helps soothe coughs, protects and soothes mucous membranes, and increases the flow of urine to help with urinary tract toxins. It has proven itself useful for bronchitis, chronic and acute coughs, asthma, whooping cough, and emphysema. It combines well with horehound. You can use one to two teaspoons of dried herb per cup for an infusion (herbal tea) and allow to steep for 15 minutes or use a half to 1 teaspoon three times a day in tincture form.

Elecampane

The root of the elecampane plant helps kill harmful bacteria, lessens coughs, expels excess mucus, and helps alleviate stomach problems. In the respiratory system, it gradually alleviates any fever that might be present while battling infection and maximizing excretion of toxins through perspiration. If you have a tickling cough or bronchitis, elecampane may be able to help. Because of its action on excess mucus and toxins in the respiratory tract, it is often helpful with emphysema, asthma, bronchial asthma, and tuberculosis. In addition to the effects on the respiratory tract, it also helps a sluggish digestive system. You can use one teaspoon of herb per cup of water in an infusion or one-half to one teaspoon of tincture, three times a day.

Horehound

While you may prefer the candy from this bitter herb, it is the dried leaves that are best for their medicinal properties. They relax the muscles of the lungs while encouraging the clearing of excess mucus. Due to its antispasmodic properties, it is also good for bronchial spasms and coughs. Thanks to its highly bitter nature (which is why it is frequently blended with sugar) it is also good for digestive difficulties. The same bitter nature stimulates bile flow, thereby helping to cleanse the digestive tract by initiating normal elimination from the intestines. Horehound combines well with coltsfoot, mullein, and lobelia to effectively clear the lungs. Take one teaspoon of dried herb per cup of water or a quarter to a half teaspoon of tincture three times a day.

Lobelia

Lobelia is an excellent herb for lung concerns, coughs, infections, bronchial asthma, and excessive phlegm. It helps alleviate bronchial spasms, making it useful for asthmatics. It is an extremely strong herb and should therefore be used with caution. Follow package directions. Do not exceed recommended dose.

Lungwort

Lungwort clears catarrh from the upper respiratory tract, nose, throat, and upper bronchial tubes, while helping the body soothe the mucous membranes in these regions and lessening coughs. It is also good for bronchitis. Lungwort combines well with coltsfoot, lobelia, and horehound. As an infusion, mix one to two teaspoons of dried herb per cup and drink one cup three times a day. Alternatively, take a quarter to one teaspoon of tincture three times a day.

Mullein

The leaves and flowers of the mullein plant soothe mucous membranes in the respiratory tract while clearing excess mucus. It lessens inflammation and pain, including within the nasal lining, throat, bronchial tubes, and digestive tract. Mullein is also mildly cleansing for the urinary tract. It is helpful for coughs, sore throats, and bronchitis. Use one to two teaspoons of dried herb per cup of water to make infusions. Drink one cup three times a day. Alternatively, take a quarter to one teaspoon of tincture three times a day.

Sea Buckthorn

Asthma, chronic coughs, other breathing disorders, and skin conditions are a few of the traditional uses for sea buckthorn, although the herb has found many more uses in recent times, including:  cancer, skin conditions, and weight loss.

Always check with a qualified health professional before taking herbs to ensure they are right for you and that any medications you’re taking won’t interact with them.

New Hope in Preventing and Treating Alzheimer’s Disease

Neuroprotective Goji Berry Offers New Hope in Preventing and Treating Alzheimer’s Disease

postdateiconWednesday, 02 October 2013 19:58 | postauthoriconPosted by Agus Judistira (Manager)

Goji Berry1st October 2013

By Carolanne Wright

Contributing Writer for Wake Up World

Promising research on goji berry (Lycium barbarum) has shown a positive correlation between consumption of the fruit and neuroprotective benefits that minimize the ravaging effects of Alzheimer’s.

These findings give a ray of hope to the over 4.5 million Americans who suffer from the disease. A staple in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), goji is an exceptional superfood that safeguards the health of both body and mind.

Not your average berry

Packed with important nutrients like ascorbic acid, beta-carotene, polysaccharides, lutein, zeaxanthin, B and E vitamins along with trace minerals such as zinc, copper, calcium and selenium, it’s no wonder goji has been used by TCM for over 2,000 years.

Traditionally consumed to heal kidney complaints, cleanse the blood and improve sexual stamina, goji berries have a rich healing history. With a high oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) rating and brimming with antioxidants, the berries have been shown to improve vision, protect against cancer and increase immune response. And now researchers suspect goji may insulate the brain from toxic beta amyloid proteins.

Neuroprotective superstar

A study at the University of Hong Kong found aqueous extracts of goji disrupt the neurotoxic qualities of proteins within the brain which are associated with Alzheimer’s disease. According to Advanced Natural Medicine:

… preliminary research has discovered that goji guards against the formation of specific compounds typically found in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients. Using a laboratory model of Alzheimer’s, scientists found that goji protected brain cells from the harmful effects of beta amyloid peptides, damaging agents that are linked to the pathological changes seen in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients. These findings suggest that goji just might help prevent this memory-robbing disease.

The researcher’s believe goji berry extract may play a pivotal role in creating future treatments for Alzheimer’s. In the meantime, consuming goji on a daily basis is a smart protective habit. Whether straight-up raw, juiced, brewed as tea or in tincture form, this small bright red berry offers a wealth of health enhancing nutrition.

Sources for this article include:

http://www.rubygoji.com/download/pdf/library-029.pdf

http://www.gojitrees.com

http://www.advancednaturalmedicine.com

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca

About the author:

Carolanne enthusiastically believes if we want to see change in the world, we need to be the change. As a nutritionist, natural foods chef and wellness coach, Carolanne has encouraged others to embrace a healthy lifestyle of organic living, gratefulness and joyful orientation for over 13 years. Through her website Thrive-Living.net she looks forward to connecting with other like-minded people from around the world who share a similar vision. Follow Carolanne on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

Potatoes: Good, Bad or Fattening?

Potatoes: Good, Bad or Fattening?

postdateiconSunday, 22 September 2013 21:13 | postauthoriconPosted by Agus Judistira (Manager)

September 19, 2013

 

Potato Health Benefits 1. Protection from Heart Disease and Cancer Potatoes contain flavonoids. With protective antioxidant activity, flavanoids protect against cardiovascular disease, respiratory problems and certain cancers. 2. Rival Greens for Phenol Activity They contain equal or higher amounts of certain phenols than broccoli, spinach or brussel sprouts. 3. High in B Vitamins for your Brain & Athletic Performance One cup of baked potato contains 21 percent of the daily requirement for B6. B vitamins are essential for growth, your nervous system and cardiovascular health. Potatoes also contain significant amounts of folic acid, which is essential for pregnant women.

4. Contain Resistant Starch Many vegetables contain small amounts of resistant starch but potatoes that have been cooked and then cooled down have high amounts. Resistant starch’s benefits are similar to that of fiber, meaning you’ll stay fuller longer and with less calorie consumption. Since resistant starch acts like fiber, it is either poorly digested or not digested at all. This lowers the glycemic index of potatoes, which is normally higher than white sugar, (averaging 70 – 110) down to reasonable levels of 25-72! Bring on the potato salad! 5. High in Vitamin C Who would have thought! Vitamin C is the key to healthy skin.
Potato Health Concerns 1. Potatoes are part of the nightshade family Nightshades have varying amounts of alkaloids, compounds produced by plants to prevent themselves from insects and disease. Potatoes don’t have high amounts of alkaloids like the 3 powerful nightshades (mandrake, tobacco, belladonna). IF YOU ARE SENSITIVE to alkaloids, even potatoes could cause a reaction. The level of alkaloids varies greatly depending on the variety of potato and how it is produce and handled Hey maybe that’s why I don’t like potatoes. I also don’t like tomatoes and eggplant, two other nightshades. Note: Green potatoes (caused by exposure to the sun) have large amounts of alkaloids as do the sprouts. Therefore avoid green potatoes and cut out the sprout and its eye before use. 2. Fried potatoes contain acrylamide, a neurotoxin and possible carcinogen. Fried, potato chips and French fries are a greater risk of acrylamide exposure than any other food. One single ounce snack-sized bag of potato chips contains 20% of the maximum safe intake of dietary acrylamide as established by the EPA. Most people consume a lot more than one ounce. Suggestion: Baked potato chips are safer with less oil. 3. Commercial potatoes contain high amounts of pesticides. Potatoes are one of the “Dirty Dozen” group of twelve foods that contain the highest level of pesticides. You can avoid this in your own cooking by just buying or growing organic. As for potato products, assume that all potatoes not in your control (like those in French fries and chips) fall in the “dirty” category. 4. Most potatoes are monocultured Although there are thousands of varieties of potatoes, most of the potatoes we eat are monocultured. Monocultures destroy the genetic diversity of the planet and are susceptible to possible disease. The potato blight of the Irish was caused because they all ate a single species of potato which happened to be susceptible to a certain disease. Suggestion: Look for colored potatoes; the insides have more nutrition. Potatoes & Weight Gain Many people are scared of potatoes because they are OBVIOUSLY a carbohydrate and as a culture we are now scared of carbohydrates because we all want to lose weight! The truth is that a potato is MOSTLY water so if you don’t eat too many you will not take in too many carbohydrates or calories. The second consideration is their high glycemic index, which is higher than white sugar, ranging from 80 – 110. Again, potatoes are not that dense so the glycemic load from an average serving of potatoes is actually not more than any other carbohydrate. The study that got me thinking about potatoes was a large population study of 120,887 people whose eating habits and weight gain was analyzed over four years. The average of all types of potatoes for weight gain was more than any other food group studied, which included meat, processed meat, sugary beverages, sweets and desserts and dairy products. This average was only high though because it contained the category of potato chips and French fries. The weight gain from boiled, baked, or mashed potatoes at (0.57 lb) was only a fraction compared to potato chips (1.69 lbs) and French fries (a whopping 3.35 lbs). You didn’t need a study to tell you that potato chips and French fries are fattening. Many potato products are NOT a weight loss food like fruits & leafy vegetables but that just means you don’t overeat.

Refreshing News

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