On top of being a big fat ZERO when it comes to raising your blood sugar, fenugreek is crazy, ridiculously good for you, thanks to a naturally occurring compound called diosgenin, which has been shown to improve glucose metabolism, reduce inflammation, and protect against a particularly pernicious form of breast cancer (HER2).
To me a rebel isn’t so much someone who breaks the law as someone who goes against the odds. — William Petersen
Don’t Just Sit There!
Research shows that being sedentary for long stretches might be one of the unhealthiest things we do each day — even if we regularly exercise.
The average American reports spending:
Some NEAT Ways to Get Moving
Nutrition is an oft-ignored — yet incredibly effective — way to manage mental illness, including schizophrenia.
Whole-Body Psychiatry: Nutrition for Mental Health.
Significant health crises are often occasions for selfless sacrifice and bonding in close relationships.
But they can also strain them — and send caregivers into spirals of anger, self-blame, and exhaustion.
TIps for supporting a sick loved one —without falling apart yourself.
Maybe the fear is that
we are less than
we think we are,
actuality of it
is that we are much much more.
Want to drink your coffee and eat your veggies at the same time? Here’s how!
Kale and Coffee Smoothie
Mental Health for Everybody
Just as we should follow a daily regimen that keeps our hearts, skin, and other organs flourishing, we should also be mindful of nourishing our brains, even if we don’t suffer from mental illness. The following tips are designed to keep the jewel in our crowns healthy, and — since everything is connected — may well clear up other problems below the neck.
Eat more healthy fats: Good sources of omega-3 fatty acids are salmon, herring, sardines, and anchovies, as well as pasture-raised meats and eggs, flaxseeds, walnuts, and omega-3 fish-oil supplements, especially those containing eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA).
Get more protein: A healthy brain depends on the steady creation of neurotransmitters. The basic building blocks for these transmitters are amino acids that come from the protein in our diets. Experts suggest that 20 to 25 percent of our diets should come from high-quality protein like meat, eggs, dairy, beans, and legumes. And it’s a good idea to begin the day with a solid helping of protein. “I tell people to have dinner for breakfast,” says naturopath Ray Pataracchia. “You might get sick of eggs every day, so you have to change it up and be inventive.”
Avoid sugar highs: The brain has an enormous need for glucose, and our blood supplies this essential fuel as it circulates through the brain. This supply needs to be slow and steady, without the peaks and valleys caused by simple sugars found in junk food. Stick to the complex carbohydrates found in vegetables, whole grains, and many fruits.
Buffer stress with B and C vitamins: Stress bombards even the most ordinary lives, both from the outside — a hectic schedule, an angry coworker, commuting to work in heavy traffic — and from the inside, such as when our bodies battle infection and illness. A steady stream of cortisol and other stress hormones can weaken neurotransmitters. Protect them with vitamins C and B — especially niacin, or B3 — which together can regulate and protect these neurotransmitters. The official minimum daily-requirement numbers, says natural-health educator Andrew Saul, PhD, are laughably low: “For someone with a reasonably good diet, a couple hundred milligrams of supplemental B3 would be wise.”
Stay connected: Robert Hedaya, MD, at the National Center for Whole Psychiatry, compares human beings to neurons: The more connections one neuron has with other neurons, the more vibrant it is. When the connections are severed, a solitary neuron can shrivel and die. Similarly, humans need a connection with other humans and with nature to flourish.
Develop a spiritual practice: “Fear creates stress,” Hedaya says. “Whatever it is that you’re stressed about, your cognitive framework is going to treat things as more or less stressful. With a spiritual practice, you develop the perspective that there is meaning to life and that we’re not alone. I think the importance of this is highly underrated in the psychiatric field. If you feel as if everything in life is up to you, that’s a lot of pressure. When you add to that the way that so many people live in isolation, that’s a toxic recipe.”
Unlike money, chocolate actually grows on trees. The seeds found in the pods of the cacao tree (Theobroma cacao) are processed in different ways to create a variety of foods:
Cacao nibs — Cacao nibs, which taste somewhat like coffee beans, are the broken pieces of cacao seeds left after the outer shells are cracked and removed. Available raw or roasted, nibs are the least-processed edible form of chocolate.
Cocoa —Cocoa is created by grinding the nibs into a mash called “chocolate liquor.” Cocoa butter and unsweetened cocoa powder are products of the liquor.
Unsweetened baking chocolate (bitter chocolate) — Made nearly entirely of cocoa butter and cocoa solids, unsweetened baking chocolate is chocolate liquor in its solid form.
Sweet chocolate — Most of the chocolate we eat falls into this category. It always contains cocoa solids (usually in the form of cocoa powder). High-quality chocolate uses cocoa butter as the fat, while low-quality chocolate uses substitute oils. Sweet chocolate contains varying amounts of sugar, but in general, the higher the quantity or percent of chocolate, the lower the sugar. The FDA states that in order for chocolate to be called dark (or even bittersweet or semisweet), it must contain at least 35 percent cacao and less than 12 percent milk solids. Milk chocolate usually has about 10 percent cacao but can have up to 40 percent, depending on the maker. Most nutrition experts agree that chocolate with 60 percent cacao or higher has the most health benefits.
White chocolate — Contains at least 20 percent cocoa butter, as well as sugar and milk, but no cocoa powder. Because it doesn’t contain any cocoa solids, white chocolate doesn’t offer the same nutritional benefits as dark chocolate.
Read more about “The Healing Powers of Dark Chocolate.”