Is it possible that you are feeling more stressed these days?
I want to remind you of some of the resources that I have posted in the past and some newer ones. More than likely you have the time to explore these resources and use them to help your mental health. Calming your mind and clearing your negative emotions is much more important than brushing your teeth! Stress reduction should be done several times a days for good health! So many people neglect the importantance of daily mental hygiene. Today is a good time to start!
First there is Stress Busters…an article that I wrote several years ago.
It gives an introduction to EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) also known as Tapping. Reflexercise, a body positioning technique that quickly relaxes both the mind and body, Trauma Releasing Exercises which dispel stressors and Heart Math heart coherence technique
The following site has a wealth of information about EFT
EcoMeditation is a guided 22 minute meditation that has impressive clinical results
EcoMeditation produced extraordinarily high levels of Gamma Synchrony. In two days, many participants acquired elevated brain states normally found only after years of meditation practice. EcoMeditation facilitated participants’ ability to induce and sustain the alpha brain waves characteristic of high-level emotional, mental, and spiritual integration. … participants were able to carry elevated mental states into waking consciousness.
That last sentence is important. You don’t just experience elevated emotional states during your meditation practice. When you open your eyes and go about your day, you carry them with you.
Studies are now measuring the precise effects of EcoMeditation. Dr. Dawson Church and colleagues assessed 208 participants at a one-day retreat. In just 6 hours, their anxiety decreased by 23% and their pain by 19%. Their happiness increased 9%. When we followed up with them 6 months later, we found that they’d maintained their gains in anxiety and depression over time, and were even happier (Church et al., 2019).
In another study, after an EcoMeditation weekend, the baseline cortisol levels of the 34 participants dropped by 29%. Their immune markers rose by 27%. Their resting heart rate, a measure of overall health, improved by 5%, while their pain levels decreased by 43% (Groesbeck et al., 2017).
Read more and access the free Eco Meditation download here. (I like the version with music. There are several long pauses in the script which I thought the playback had stopped. With the music version you know that it is still playing)
April 4-5, 2020 – 48 Hour Immunity Retreat – LIVE and Virtual!
Please join Dawson Church, PhD for this extraordinary immune-boosting event! Three years ago at a weekend long retreat at the Esalen Institute we found that EcoMeditation was associated with a rise in immunoglobulin levels of 27%! That’s a big increase in your body’s ability to fight off invading viruses! Learn more here:
Here is a very good article on using Lavender and its use in anxiety and depression both as aromatherapy and orally. The oral form is Lavela WS 1265 60 softgels and can be purchased through Emerson Ecologics. See the top of the page on how to order.
The following substances may be helpful in flu-like cases.
Lactoferrin 300-500 mg 2-3 times daily
Resveratrol 250 mg 3 times daily
Green tea extracts that contain ECGC
Red Marine Algae that has griffithsin
You can find everything at Emerson Ecologics. And contact me if you have questions. DrNSoloway@aol.com
It is very important to have adequate Vitamin D levels. A study showed the benefit in people with low Vitamin D levels… Winter is a time of year when many people can have marginal levels of Vitamin D in their body.
See my previous posts about treating the flu. My personal favorite is Yin Qiao and/or Ilex 15. Click the Flu link below.
Jet Lag Syndrome: Using Horary Points to Relieve the Symptoms of Jet Lag By Jeffrey Benton and Paul MacKenzie The great explorers, DeGama, Magellan and Captain Cook, voyaged many thousands of miles and endured hardships unimaginable to modern travelers. About the only discomfort they did not experience was the kind of daze modern jet travelers feel as they zoom across the sky and time zones at near mach one speeds.
Jet lag syndrome is the term given to a number of symptoms that we experience under these conditions. The debilitating effects of jet lag may include extreme fatigue, nausea, headache, reduced memory, attention lapse and overall disturbed sleep patterns. The Circadian Cycle The body has many rhythms that govern our lives. Babies are most often born late at night; heart attacks peak at 10 a.m. Almost every aspect of our lives is timed. We have many internal biological “clocks.” Those that pertain to a 24-hour period are referred to as circadian cycles (the Latin circa, meaning about, and dies, meaning day). The most familiar of these cycles is the sleep/awake cycle. Jet lag occurs when our body’s natural daily (circadian) rhythm becomes disoriented. Until the body readjusts to the new time zone, many people experience jet lag syndrome. Laboratory tests cite suggestive evidence that cells “keep time,” showing regular cyclic activity even when they’re isolated in lab cultures and cut off from outside stimuli. Scientists have been studying cells to locate the mainspring mechanism responsible for this clockwork precision. Light and darkness (our diurnal cycle) trigger the sleep/awake cycle. Our bodies are accustomed to night descending at a certain time each day. Scientists and doctors know that the rate of secretion of many hormones is linked to a 24-hour cycle. In fact, the hormone melatonin is produced while we sleep and fades at daylight; bright light turns off the hormone. Melatonin is secreted from the pineal gland, which is the timekeeper of the brain, and helps govern the sleep-wake cycle. Jet lag occurs when the circadian rhythm uncouples with the diurnal rhythm. Chinese medicine has long studied the body’s rhythms. The development of acupuncture is based on these acute observations. Chinese medicine noted the body’s different energy centers. During a 24-hour period, certain energy centers are at a high point, while others are at a low point. Imagine you are riding a Ferris wheel. At certain times you are at the top; at other times you are at the bottom. The body has an energetic cycle. In relation to our body, the Ferris wheel represents the body’s meridian system. Throughout the diurnal cycle, certain areas of the meridian system are going to be at the high point of the wheel, while other parts (meridians) will be at the low point. Of course, the body’s “Ferris wheel” turns slowly. It takes 24 hours for it to complete one full turn.
The body has 12 different meridians. The end of one of these is connected to the beginning of the next, so they are all connected and form a closed loop like the Ferris wheel. In 24 hours, you will spend two hours in each of the 12 meridians and end up where you started. When the chi (life force energy) is in a certain meridian, say the lung meridian, we say that it is at its energetic peak. This two-hour peak is the “horary period.” Twelve hours later, that meridian will be at its lowest energy level. One 24-hour cycle around the body’s Ferris wheel is called a “horary cycle.” In the West, we call this cycle our biological clock, diurnal, or circadian cycle. The 12 different meridians are named after organs (liver, lung, etc.) with the exception of two, which are named triple heater and circulation sex. The ancient Chinese calculated which was at its peak during the 24-hour period. If we start at 3:00 a.m., the lung meridian is at its horary period for two hours. Two hours later, the large intestine meridian takes over as the most energized, and holds that position for another two hours. Others follow suit and continue around the circuit. The last in the cycle is the liver meridian, which is at its energetic zenith from 1:00 a.m. to 3:00 a.m. Then the cycle begins again. This horary period is in relation to the position of the sun. The biological clock must either speed up (when we move from east to west) or back up (when we move from west to east). Individuals who have high energy levels in their meridian system experience minimal symptoms when flying long journeys. Other individuals are not as fortunate. The best treatment for individuals suffering from jet lag is to balance the meridian system. Stimulating (massaging) specific horary points on the body allows the energy to transfer from one meridian to another, thus helping the biological clock update itself in mid-flight. Note: Special thanks and acknowledgement for the research of John Amaro,DC,LAc, Alan Beardall,DC, and Victor Frank, DC.
“Time Travel”: Contemporary Applications for Jet Lag from Ancient Principles! By John Amaro, LAc, DC, Dipl. Ac.(NCCAOM), Dipl.Med.Ac.(IAMA)
The world has become increasingly smaller with the advent of jet aircraft travel, allowing the average person to experience the joy of visiting faraway places previously unavailable to them with comfort and ease. However, jet travel has also brought misery to countless individuals being made miserable by the experience. I am referring, of course, to jet lag. Jet aircraft flight traversing international time zones at speeds approaching mach one (speed of sound) may produce a variety of symptoms in 96% of flyers, according to a 1994 New Zealand study. The symptoms of jet lag include fatigue; disorientation; insomnia; nausea; irrational behavior and mental confusion to edema; headache; and anorexia. These symptoms may last from 1-10 days depending on the person. As a result, many vacations, political and business dealings have been dealt serious blows because of the symptoms of jet lag. Most authorities agree that flights with destinations to the east of the point of embarkation produce more severe symptoms than flights heading to the west. Jet lag does not occur when flying north to south or vice versa; it only occurs when crossing time zones. Children age five and below do not appear to be as affected as adults. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) estimates that disturbance to the normal circadian rhythm of the adult body takes approximately one day of recovery per time zone crossed to return to normal, healthy pre-flight functioning. As early as 1975, I developed an interest in jet lag while practicing in Kansas City, which was then the home base of TWA airlines. Because of my close proximity to so many people employed by the airline, I had access to (and treated) scores of international pilots, flight attendants, and of course, corporate executives who frequently flew back and forth to Europe on business trips. Having begun my practice of acupuncture in 1971, I had observed the phenomena of jet lag in numerous patients who constantly inquired about what to do, and had attempted several treatment approaches to ease the symptoms through acupuncture for four years. Having discussions on this topic during a certification program in Denver, a group of acupuncture students and I discovered a treatment approach that has since become internationally known and accepted. Jet lag is a contemporary disorder. It obviously never existed until the utilization of jet aircraft; therefore, a treatment approach does not occur anywhere in Asian medicine literature or in practical treatment approaches passed on from master to student. It was apparent that if a benefit to jet lag was going to occur through acupuncture, it would have to be an entirely new approach. The thought alone was exciting. Since most discoveries of significance come by accident, I cannot say anything different about this one. Even though I was given recognition as the first to formulate the concepts of acupuncture jet lag, the credit must be shared with that group of 25 or so MD/DC acupuncturists who helped formulate the theory. Since that was approaching 25 years ago, and since many acupuncturists practicing today were children (or not even born), unfortunately, those who were in on the early discussions of jet lag reversal are nameless. However, as one who has always stepped to the side for those masters and scholars, I believe the real credit still goes to our ancestral colleagues who first discovered the “horary cycle” of meridian flow. Borrowing the knowledge of the general circulation of chi, and being aware that each meridian undergoes a two-hour time peak that moves and peaks from meridian to meridian as it travels though its general circulation, it was reasoned that if one were to reset the body clock utilizing the horary cycle, the body in theory could be made to function at the horary cycle of wherever the person is physically located on the planet, disregarding the effects of so-called “time travel.” The best part of the theory is that it worked!
Figure I: The horary (circadian) cycle/general circulation of chi.
Having been a frequent traveler to Asia, Australia and Europe on numerous occasions, in addition to escorting as many as 66 doctors and spouses on 12 separate acupuncture study tours, I was able to experience first-hand the effects of the acupuncture jet lag formula. I was also able to observe personally those traveling companions that were given “sham” treatment as to their effects, or lack of it, as the case may be. In virtually every instance in which the subjects were advised to stimulate the proper points based on the theoretical concept, they reported (and it was observed) that jet lag literally did not occur. They felt they were connected to the time zone of their newly arrived destination, as opposed to the time of their departure location. On the other hand, the subjects who were sacrificed and given sham treatment all suffered the effects of jet lag; in some cases, the effects were classified as severe. Hundreds of experiments were conducted over 12 years, with a rate averaging 96% perceived success in time zone flights over five hours between point of departure to destination. When I first published the concept of beating jet lag in 1987, the procedure explained was much more complex than the one I am about to offer here; however, even though it was very effective, the revised approach is much more user-friendly (if not more effective). For obvious reasons, there are certain common-sense things to consider in international time zone travel, the most important being proper and frequent hydration by drinking sufficient amounts of water. It is also important to hydrate the skin with water from a spray bottle. It is highly advised to completely eliminate coffee, tea, alcohol and juice in trade for water. This should be common sense; however, in observing fellow passengers, I find very few people are aware of hydration. Jet lag is not restricted to long transoceanic flights. It can occur as easily in the three-hour time zone difference from coast to coast across North America. Therefore, the treatment described here is effective for jet lag, despite the length of the trip. Once people finally arrive at their international destination, it is usual to reset their wristwatch to correspond to the time of day of their arrival. The problem of course is that a flyer’s body clock is totally different than the time of day of their landing, thus producing the myriad of symptoms associated with jet lag. When it is 12:00 noon Friday in Los Angeles, it is 4:00 am Saturday in Shanghai. What one simply does to eliminate jet lag is reset the body clock while flying across international time zones, allowing one’s horary cycle to be the same as the local time upon landing.
Time zone chart.
To accomplish altering the horary cycle to match local time, simply determine the time of day of your destination point upon boarding the aircraft. For example, if you are flying from Chicago to Munich, Germany on the 7:00 pm Monday flight, it is 2:00 am Tuesday in Munich. If, on the other hand, you are departing from New York at 10:00 am to fly to Honolulu, it is 4:00 am in Hawaii. Since each two-hour time zone on the horary cycle is attributed to a specific meridian, the jet lag formula begins by stimulating the horary point of the meridian which is active at the time of your destination. In other words, if you are boarding the 7:00 pm flight from Los Angeles en route to Tokyo, it is 12:00 noon in Tokyo the next day. Even though the horary cycle at your present location corresponds to the pericardium meridian beginning at 7:00 pm, it is 12:00 noon in Tokyo (your destination), which corresponds to the heart meridian. Thus, one stimulates the horary point for the Heart meridian (HT 8). This same formula is repeated every two hours of flight as the flyer moves through time zones. Therefore, two hours later (9:00 pm on your wristwatch), it is 2:00 pm in Tokyo, which corresponds to the small intestine meridian. Stimulation would therefore be SI 5, the horary point for the SI meridian. Two hours later, it would be 4:00 pm in Tokyo corresponding to the bladder meridian and stimulation of BL66.
Figure III: Horary point chart. (See below)The rest of the formula simply follows the general circulation of chi around the cycle, stimulating the horary point for the meridian associated with the present time of day at your destination (Tokyo). Therefore, to continue the example, BL would be followed by KI, P, TH, GB, Liv, LU, LI, ST, SP and In my experience, the best approach to jet lag is to treat the horary points for the entire 24 hour cycle ending where one began. In this example, treatment ends at the Heart meridian. Should you sleep through several horary zones, simply pick up upon your awakening. Remember that you must always stimulate the horary point for whatever time it is at your destination. Upon arrival at your destination city, regardless of if you flew east to west or west to east, your body, mind and spirit will be operating on the time zone of your destination. Stimulation may be achieved by any means of acupuncture. Needles are generally inserted .05 tsun with moderate stimulation. Needle retention of five to seven minutes is adequate. Treat bilaterally. Electronic and laser stimulation are acceptable alternatives to needles and produce startling results. My personal favorite mode of stimulation is noninvasive: teishein (using a tool to stimulate the points). It is quick, effective, painless and easy to use. It is recommended to stimulate the point 25-30 times in short blasts of five strokes. The nonacupuncturist patient may have this procedure simply and easily explained, be given a copy of the attached charts and be advised to stimulate the points with something as easily available as a ballpoint pen. Finger pressure works as well. Treat until the point is significantly less tender. In this formula approach, the method of stimulation is of secondary importance to the application of the precise point. On your return trip, employ the exact same rules: determine the time at your destination and begin stimulating the horary points according to the general circulation of chi. I once flew from Phoenix, Arizona to Melbourne, Australia to conduct a two-day, 16-hour lecture. The travel time was 24 hours each way, including auto travel, airport layover, etc. The whole experience lasted four days from time of departure to return, with no effect of jet lag in either direction. I arrived back in Phoenix at 10:00 pm and conducted office hours at 8:00 am the following morning. This same approach can be effective in infants who have suddenly switched their days and nights, and in workers who frequently do swing shifts. In this case, have the patient stimulate the horary point for the time of day corresponding to the general circulation of chi. Stimulate the respective points every two hours moving through the cycle. Best wishes on your future international travels. Remember: If you are going to take that “slow boat to China,” you won’t need this knowledge, but if you are going by air, you will find this to be one of the most significant things you will ever learn.
Sp3 Inside the foot just proximal to the “Bunion” bone at the junction of the red and white skin.
LIV 3 On the top of the foot, one and a half fingers proximal to the web between the first and second toe.
LU 8 On the forearm, in the depression between the radius and the radial artery, 1 finger above the transverse crease of the wrist.
ST 36 Three fingers below the knee and one finger lateral to the sharp edge of the shin bone.
KI 10 Inside of the knee between the two tendons just above the knee crease.
TH 6 Four finger widths towards the elbow from the back of the wrist crease, between the bones.
Bl 66 Anterior to the fifth metatarsophalangeal joint, at the junction of the red and white skin.
GB 41 In the depression distal to the junction of the 4th and 5th metatarsal bones, on the lateral side of the tendon of m. extensor digitorum longus (branch to little toe).
CX 8 When a fist is made, the point is where the tip of the middle finger touches, between the 2nd and 3rd metacarpal bones, closer to the 3rd metacarpal bone.
HT 8 When a fist is made, the point is where the tip of the little finger touches, between the 4th and 5th metacarpal bones.
LI 1 The thumb side of the index finger where a line drawn horizontal to the base of the nail & the side of the nail intersect.
SI 5 On the ulnar aspect of the wrist, in the depression just distal to the styloid process of the ulna.
See the bottom of this article for two more concerning diet and health including one about breast cancer.
Natural Medicine Journal
Published on Natural Medicine Journal (https://www.naturalmedicinejournal.com)
November 2019 Vol. 11 Issue 11
Skipping Breakfast Associated with Increased Cardiovascular Disease and Death
Results of a prospective cohort study
By Jacob Schor, ND, FABNO
Rong S, Snetselaar LG, Xu G, et al. Association of skipping breakfast with cardiovascular and all-cause mortality. J Am Coll Cardiol . 2019;73(16):2025-2032.
The authors examined the association of skipping breakfast with cardiovascular and all-cause mortality. Design
This is a prospective cohort study. Frequency of eating breakfast was compared to cardiovascular and all-cause mortality risk using weighted Cox proportional hazards regression models.
The study followed a cohort of 6,550 US adults, 40 to 75 years of age, who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey III 1988 to 1994. Frequency of breakfast eating was recorded during an in-house interview. Death and underlying causes of death were ascertained by linkage to death records through December 31, 2011.
In following this cohort for 17 to 23 years, the researchers found that skipping breakfast was associated with a significantly increased risk of mortality from cardiovascular disease. Of the cohort, 59% consumed breakfast daily. The other 40% ate breakfast less frequently: 5% never ate breakfast, 11% rarely ate breakfast, and 25% ate only on some days. The study produced 112,148 person-years of follow up data, during which 2,318 deaths occurred, including 619 deaths from cardiovascular disease (CVD).
After adjustment for age, sex, race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, dietary and lifestyle factors, body mass index, and cardiovascular risk factors, participants who never consumed breakfast compared with those who consumed breakfast everyday had hazard ratios of 1.87 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.14-3.04) for cardiovascular mortality and 1.19 (95% CI: 0.99-1.42) for all-cause mortality. The latter upward trend did not reach statistical significance.
After adjustment for age, sex, and race/ethnicity, participants who never consumed breakfast had a 75% higher risk of all-cause mortality (hazard ratio [HR]: 1.75; 95% CI: 1.46-2.10) and 2.58-fold higher risk of cardiovascular mortality (HR: 2.58; 95% CI: 1.64-4.06) compared with those who consumed breakfast every day. The associations of breakfast eating with heart disease–specific and stroke-specific mortality were examined further. Compared with those who consumed breakfast every day, participants who never consumed breakfast had a higher risk of heart disease–specific mortality (HR: 2.34; 95% CI: 1.44-3.80) and stroke-specific mortality (HR: 3.53; 95% CI: 1.40-8.95) in models adjusted for age, sex, race/ethnicity. In the fully-adjusted model, the association between skipping breakfast and stroke-specific mortality remained significant (HR: 3.39; 95% CI: 1.40-8.24).
According to this study eating breakfast regularly reduces risk of dying from cardiovascular disease and probably stroke. Or, put another way, not eating breakfast raises risk significantly. We should foster in our patients the habit of eating breakfast.
Keep in mind that more people die of cardiovascular disease than any other cause—not just in the United States but worldwide. Even small decreases in risk have the potential of having large impacts on disease and suffering.
We often hear that “breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” I had always assumed this was merely an advertising slogan invented by Kellogg’s to sell their breakfast cereals a century ago. Surveys tell us that almost a quarter of younger people skip breakfast daily. It looks as though this may have long-term detrimental effects on their health.
Accumulating evidence, while limited, suggests that skipping breakfast is associated with increased risk of overweight/obesity, dyslipidemia, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, coronary heart disease, and cerebrovascular disease.
It’s not just about eating breakfast. Skipping breakfast may also signal other unhealthy dietary and lifestyle habits. Teenagers who skip breakfast tend to exhibit a list of other traits that may also put their health at risk (eg, eating more fast food, having more emotional problems). Asking patients if they eat breakfast is similar in a way to the old patient intakes in which we asked patients if they used seatbelts. A negative response may hint to a pattern of unhealthy lifestyle choices.
This is not the first study to suggest a negative association with skipped breakfasts. Cahill et al reported in 2013 that they had assessed the eating habits of 26,902 American men from the Health Professionals Follow-up Study. During a 16-year period, 1,527 cases of heart disease were diagnosed among these men. Men who skipped breakfast had a 27% higher risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) compared with men who did not (relative risk (RR): 1.27; 95% CI: 1.06-1.53). Furthermore, we should note that men who ate late at night had a 55% higher CHD risk compared with men who did not eat late at night (RR: 1.55; 95% CI: 1.05-2.29).9
Kubota et al reported results in a 2016 paper from a large group that included 82,772 participants (38,676 men and 44,096 women) in Japan. Those people who skipped breakfast had a 14% greater risk of CVD, an 18% increased risk of stroke, and a 36% greater risk of hemorrhagic stroke.10
The discussion now is not if skipping breakfast is bad by why. Several theories have been postulated. Skipping breakfast might lead to overeating later in the day and impaired insulin sensitivity. Eating breakfast helps regulate the appetite and improves the glycemic response at the next meal, increasing insulin sensitivity. Skipping breakfast is stressful, and the longer period of fasting leads to elevated blood pressure in the morning because of a hypothalamic-pituitary adrenal triggered response.
Eating breakfast on the other hand lowers blood pressure and reduces arterial stiffness. This is why measurements of these parameters are done in a fasting state. Skipping breakfast may also trigger unwanted changes in blood lipids, in particular increased LDL cholesterol.5
Whatever the reasons, data consistently shows skipping breakfast increases risk of cardiovascular disease. The advice to have breakfast may meet with resistance among those who fast overnight for their health.
Carol Marinac, in a 2016 paper noted the association of longer night-time fasting and lower risk of breast cancer recurrence. Specifically, the data showed that those who fasted more than 13 hours had less breast cancer recurrence. We covered this study  in 2016.
The problem with encouraging this type of fasting is that many people fulfill the 13-hour fasting suggestion by simply skipping breakfast. The resultant increase in CVD risk might outweigh any breast cancer risk reduction. We need an approach that will allow both a longer night-time fast and encourage eating breakfast, so the obvious solution would be to eat an earlier dinner. Such a meal pattern of eating an early dinner was encouraged by Kogevinas et al’s 2018 study. In those results, compared to participants who went to sleep immediately or shortly after supper, those who delayed going to sleep for 2 or more hours after supper had a 20% reduction in risk for breast and prostate cancer combined (adjusted odds ratio [OR]: 0.80; 95% CI: 0.67-0.96) and in each cancer individually (prostate cancer OR: 0.74; 95% CI: 0.55-0.99 and breast cancer OR: 0.84; 95% CI: 0.67-1.06).16 Read our coverage  of that study.
If we combine Kogevinas’s findings with Marianac’s, then we should encourage an early dinner (minimum of 2 hours before bedtime) and then breakfast 13 hours later. Once again, the research suggests that when we eat may deserve as much attention as what we eat.
About the Author
Jacob Schor ND, FABNO, is a graduate of National College of Naturopathic Medicine, Portland, Oregon, and recently retired from his practice in Denver, Colorado. He served as president to the Colorado Association of Naturopathic Physicians  and is on the board of directors of the Oncology Association of Naturopathic Physicians . He is recognized as a fellow by the American Board of Naturopathic Oncology. He serves on the editorial board for the International Journal of Naturopathic Medicine, Naturopathic Doctor News and Review (NDNR), and Integrative Medicine: A Clinician’s Journal. In 2008, he was awarded the Vis Award by the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians. His writing appears regularly in NDNR, the Townsend Letter, and Natural Medicine Journal, where he is the Abstracts & Commentary editor.
Here’s What Actually Happens in Your Body When You Eat Protein Besides help you make those #gains at the gym, of course. Self.com
While carbs and fat get alternately praised and punished, protein is basically the golden child among the macronutrients. That’s totally unfair to carbs and fat, first of all, but protein certainly does enough to earn its reliably good reputation. We know protein is a great thing to have, but why exactly do we need it, and what does our body even do with it? Here’s a rundown of what actually happens when you eat protein. What protein actually is
Like we mentioned, protein is one of the three macronutrients (i.e. nutrients the body needs in sizable amounts). Unlike carbs and fat, protein is not usually a major energy source, although we definitely get some of that from it—protein provides 4 calories per gram. But protein is often referred to as a building block in the body because of its central role in growth and development.
Almost all animal-derived products—meat, poultry, eggs, dairy, fish—contain a significant amount of protein, so they get labeled as “proteins” when we’re talking about our diets and nutrition. But protein is also present in a lot of plant-based foods. There’s a good amount in beans, peas, nuts, and seeds, for instance, while vegetables and grains generally contain smaller amounts, according to the FDA. (Whole grains will have more protein than refined grains, though, which are missing the part of the grain that often supplies a lot of the protein content, as SELF previously reported.)
The different kinds of proteins
Proteins are made of small units called amino acids. Amino acids are organic compounds containing structures made of elements including nitrogen, hydrogen, carbon, and oxygen. Hundreds or thousands of amino acids link up to form super long chains, and the sequence of that chain determines the protein’s unique function, the U.S. National Library of Medicine explains.
There are 20 different amino acids in total, which can be broken down into two main groups, per the FDA. Nine of the 20 are what are referred to as essential amino acids, meaning that the body is unable to produce them itself and so we must get them from food. The other 11 are nonessential because the body is able to synthesize them out of the essential amino acids or the normal process of breaking down proteins, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine. Many of these nonessential amino acids are also considered conditional amino acids, because they can become essential in rare, severe instances when the body is unable to synthesize amino acids properly, per the U.S. National Library of Medicine.
Now, when a protein is a good source of all nine of the essential amino acids, we call it a complete protein, according to the FDA. All animal products are complete proteins, and so is soy. When a protein is missing or pretty low in any of those essential amino acids, it’s considered incomplete. Most plant foods are considered incomplete proteins.
The good news for vegetarians, vegans, and lovers of plant foods in general is that you can still easily get all the essential amino acids from eating a wide variety of incomplete proteins. As the FDA explains, incomplete proteins are often just lacking in one or two amino acids, so they can often make up for whatever the other one is lacking. (Pretty romantic, right?) For instance, grains are low in an amino acid called lysine, while beans and nuts are low in methionine. But when you eat, say, beans and rice or wheat toast with nut butter, you’re getting all the amino acids that you do when you eat, say, chicken. While people used to be encouraged to eat foods in combinations at meals, we now know this is not necessary, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, as long as you’re eating a variety of complementary incomplete proteins throughout the day.
Why we even need protein
That building block nomer is no exaggeration. The stuff is an integral component of every cell in the body, including, yes, your muscles. “If we don’t get enough protein, our bodies actually won’t be able to rebuild properly and we’ll start to lose muscle mass,” Colleen Tewksbury, Ph.D., M.P.H., R.D., senior research investigator and bariatric program manager at Penn Medicine and president-elect of the Pennsylvania Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, tells SELF.
In addition to muscle growth, protein is essential to the growth and repair of virtually all cells and body tissues—from your skin, hair, and nails to your bones, organs, and bodily fluids, according to the FDA. That’s why it’s especially important to get enough of it during developmental periods like childhood and adolescence.
Protein also plays a role in crucial bodily functions like blood clotting, immune system response, vision, fluid balance, and the production of various enzymes and hormones, per the FDA. And because it contains calories, it can provide the body energy for storage or use. (But this definitely isn’t its main gig, which we’ll get into in a bit.)
What happens in your body when you eat protein
It’s not like we eat a piece of chicken and that protein goes directly to our biceps. Dietary protein gets broken down and reassembled into the various kinds of proteins that exist in the body. No matter what kind of protein you’re eating—plant or animal, complete or incomplete—the body’s first objective is to break it back down into all the different amino acid units it was assembled from, Tewksbury explains.
Breaking down protein requires more time and effort than carbs, but not as much as fat. It begins in the mouth, as proteins and especially animal proteins typically take more chewing than other kinds of foods, Tewksbury says. That mechanical process is the very first step of digestion.
Then, those pieces of protein move to the stomach to get mixed up with gastric juices containing acids and enzymes that help break down food. Next, that mixture gets passed on in steady increments to the small intestine, where more specialized enzymes and acids get injected (mainly by the pancreas) to help break that protein all the way down. Once you’ve got those little singular amino acids, they’re ready to get to work. How the body uses protein
These amino acids get sent to the liver, where they’re shuffled around and reconfigured into any type of protein your body needs, Tewksbury explains. Your body is constantly regenerating and replacing cells and tissues, so there’s always a variety of proteins needed. For instance, some proteins in the body make up antibodies that help the immune system kick out bacteria and viruses. Others help with DNA synthesis, chemical reactions, or transporting other molecules, the National Institute of General Medical Sciences explains.
How much protein your body actually requires for the purpose of tissue growth and repair is determined by factors like sex, age, body composition, health, and activity level, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, but most of us are getting more than enough protein to fulfill these needs. The bummer is that once your tissues get all the amino acids that they need, they have no use for any extra.
So what happens to the rest, once our dietary protein intake exceeds what our tissues need? The body doesn’t have a protein holding tank like it does for carbs, where it can siphon away extras for quick access when we need it. “We have little to no way of being able to store protein [for future use] in our body,” Tewksbury explains. This is why you need to eat protein throughout the day, every day.
Since we can’t use excess protein for its intended purpose later on, the body breaks it down and stows it away in fat tissue, according to Merck Manuals. To do this, the liver removes the nitrogen from the amino acids and disposes of it through the urine, in the form of a waste product called urea, Linsenmeyer explains. What’s left behind is something called alpha keto-acids, which will most often then go through a chemical process that turns them into triglycerides to be stored in our fatty tissues, Linsenmeyer says. (This can technically be accessed at a later date when the body needs to tap into fat stores for energy.)
Alpha-keto acids can be converted into glucose and used for immediate fuel if necessary, when the body is in a fasting state or not getting enough calories coming in from other macronutrients, Linsenmeyer says. But this is not typical because the body prefers carbs as its primary source of energy, followed by dietary fat, which the body can adapt to use as fuel if it’s not getting enough carbs. “We can adapt to use protein for energy as well, but it’s not ideal,” Linsenmeyer says. “Ideally, [our bodies] want to leave it alone to build and maintain body tissues.”
Now, what we just walked you through is still oversimplifying the reality of what happens when we eat protein (or any food). Digestion and metabolism are complex processes happening constantly on a cellular level. But even just grasping the broad strokes can make you really appreciate what your body actually does with the protein you eat.
Systemic enzyme therapy is the use of oral proteolytic enzymes such as trypsin, chymotrypsin, papain, and bromelain taken on an empty stomach. Since stomach acid can destroy proteolytic enzymes, the best formulas are “enteric coated” tablets or “delayed release” capsules. Enteric-coating means that the pills have a coating around them to prevent the pill from being broken down in the stomach. “Delayed release” vegetarian capsules use natural dietary fibers that also resist stomach acid to provide targeted delivery of the enzymes to the upper small intestine. Clinical research, anecdotal evidence, and a long history of use has shown that proteolytic enzymes can systemically support circulation, healthy inflammatory response, and recovery of the musculoskeletal system after overexertion.*
Several studies have shown that proteolytic enzymes can help support muscle recovery after exercise.* A 2009 study published in the Journal of International Society of Sports Nutrition demonstrated efficacy with a product that contained proteolytic enzymes combined with curcumin.* A 2004 study published in the Journal of Sports Science demonstrated that proteolytic enzymes reduced muscle soreness after downhill running.*
Several randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials have shown that systemic enzyme therapy can help support healthy joint function.* This includes a 2015 study published in the journal Arthritis, a 2004 review of clinical studies published in Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, and a 2004 trial published in Clinical Rheumatology.
A 2018 randomized double-blind controlled trial published in the Journal of Phlebology and Lymphology using systemic enzymes in people needing extra vein support demonstrated that the supplemental enzymes were “safe and effective.”
When proteolytic enzymes are given on an empty stomach, they can systemically support the musculoskeletal system on many levels.* There are several high-quality systemic enzyme supplements presently available for integrative practitioners to choose from for specific musculoskeletal applications.
Herbal Cartilage and Joint Support with Boswellia
Boswellia serrata (Boswellia), also known as Indian Frankincense, is a moderate-sized tree native to India, Northern Africa and the Middle East. Boswellia is an herb that is commonly used in Ayurveda. Resins from Boswellia trees have been used since ancient times to support joints as well as other health concerns. The boswellic acids from the resin of the trees have been shown to specifically support a healthy inflammatory response in joints following exercise or occasional overexertion.* Research has confirmed that Boswellia can suppress leukotriene synthesis by influencing the 5-lipoxygenase pathway, which helps support healthy cartilage.*
A 2018 review published in the Indian Journal of Pain concluded that a product containing Boswellia helped support cartilage structure and joint function.* This is consistent with a 2013 randomized, double-blind, controlled trial involving 440 study participants that was published in the journal Rheumatology. In that 2013 trial, overall knee function was improved.* A 2016 review published in Advances in Pharmacological Sciences also showed that Boswellia supported joint function.* A 2018 review published in the Journal of Clinical Orthopaedics and Trauma featured Boswellia as one of the top 10 nutraceuticals used to support joint and cartilage health in India.* The researchers also confirm that no serious side effects have been reported with the use of Boswellia.
It’s clear that there is solid research showing the health benefits of this popular Ayurvedic herb. Boswellia is available as a dietary supplement as a single herb or in combination with other herbs that have been shown to support joints, cartilage and a healthy inflammatory response.*
Essential oils are one of the best options for restoring respiratory health. Essential oils can quickly and effectively reduce swelling in the respiratory tract, help expel phlegm, and improve breathing. Their effect can be felt almost instantaneously and there are little to no adverse side effects when using essential oils for respiratory health. There is quite a large variety of essential oils available for an even wider variety of ailments. Most essential oils are available at low price points, making them a great, inexpensive choice for addressing ailments. A little oil, just a few drops goes a long way, so even the pricer oils are still a great, natural, cost-effective option.1. Lemon Essential OilLemon oil is an effective essential oil when it comes to congestion and coughs. The oil is derived from the skin of lemons. It is useful for treating sore throats in association to its antioxidant, antibacterial, and antioxidant properties. Scientific research and evidence has shown that lemon oil is able to inhibit bacteria growth and improve the immune system. In the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, a study was published in 2001, which stated that antibacterial actions of essential lemon oil was effective against allergy and cold symptoms.2.
Frankincense Essential Oil Frankincense essential oil is regarded as a highly powerful oil. Years ago, frankincense was at a stage valued higher than gold. Today, this oil is a fantastic anti-inflammatory when it comes to clearing nasal passages and lungs along with the regulation of breathing patterns. More specifically, it can assist in expelling phlegm out of the lungs. When treating a cold or a cough, use 2 to 3 drops of the oils in a diffuser.3.
Peppermint Essential Oil Studies have suggested that antispasmodic activities in peppermint essential oil can help relieve coughing. This oil is better known when it comes to its antibacterial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, expectorant and antimicrobial properties. Peppermint is commonly used to treat respiratory infections, sinus infections, colds, sore throats and coughs. In the Journal of Ethnopharmacology a study which was published in 2010 has suggested antispasmodic activities in essential peppermint oil assists in relieving coughs. Menthol present in this oil is believed to soothe and calm sore throats, while relieving a cough in the way of thinning mucus.4.
Tea Tree Essential Oil This essential oil contains antiviral, antiseptic and antimicrobial properties. Tea tree is a fantastic oil when it comes to bronchial congestion. This oil has been discovered to exhibit exceptional protective activities against fungi, yeast, and bacteria, which can be found in a study which has was released in 2000 from a German research team. Microbes are what cause inflammation that can deplete the person’s immune system, which often results in congestion and coughs and susceptibility to other infections. Tea tree essential oils contain antiviral, antiseptic and antimicrobial properties that fight off these microbes. This essential oil is effective for bronchial congestion, coughs and sore throats. For relief, apply 15 drops of a good quality tea-tree oil to the sinuses and neck for an effective cough remedy.5.
Eucalyptus Essential Oil Eucalyptus oil is proven to be a useful aid for treating upper-respiratory infections and congestion. This high-quality oil also loosens mucus and lowers respiratory inflammation inside the lungs. Eucalyptus is found in a variety of over-the-counter products when it comes to congestion, cough and cold relief. This is an essential oil associated with many health benefits when it comes to its effective abilities in improving respiratory circulation, stimulating the immune-system, and providing antioxidant protection. The active ingredient in this oil is known as cineole. With many long-term studies it has been indicated that essential eucalyptus oils are useful for treating upper-respiratory infections and congestion.6.
Thyme Essential Oil Research suggests that thyme essential oil can assist in supporting the respiratory and immune systems. This is a preferred essential oil when it comes to congestion and coughs in association to its antimicrobial, antioxidant and antibacterial properties. It is these effects which assist in supporting the respiratory and immune systems. In 2011, there was a study which was published in the Medicinal Chemistry journal, where researchers studied the response of thyme oil to 120 different bacteria strains which were isolated from people suffering from respiratory infections. Results showed that this oil displayed strong activities against each of these bacteria strains. This means thyme essential oil is ideal for congestion, coughs and sore throats caused from colds and flu and other related illnesses.7.
Juniper Berry Essential Oil This essential oil features over 87 active ingredients that includes antimicrobial, antifungal, antibacterial and antioxidant agents. Juniper Berry essential oil has a sweet and woodsy smell, which is found in various aromatherapy blends, fragrance sprays, and even household-cleaning products. This is an essential oil that is typically used for treating respiratory infections as well as sore throats. Research has gone onto show that this important essential oil has over 87 active ingredients which include antimicrobial, antibacterial, antioxidant and antifungal agents. In 2003 a study appeared in the Phytotherapy Research journal which discovered that antimicrobial activities associated with juniper oil was due to the combination of the compounds known as alpha-pinene, p-Cymene and beta-pinene.8.
Clove Essential Oil Clove essential oil displays antimicrobial activities against various multi-resistant bacteria. This essential oil is commonly used for relieving sore throats, boosting the immune-system, which has to do with its stimulating, antiviral, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and antiseptic properties. In the journal Phytotherapy Research a study was published in 2007 discovered that essential clove oil displays activities against several multi-resistant bacteria. When you feel a sore throat coming on or you are starting to cough, placing 1 drop of clove oil on your tongue is an effective remedy for these common issues.
Tips On Using Essential Oils For Congestion, Colds and Cough1.
Aromatherapy: Adding Essential Oils To DiffusersAromatherapy is an age old yet effective practice to relieve coughs. Add drops of your chosen essential oil into the diffuser. Diffusers are one of the best ways to use the above mentioned essential oils when it comes to coughs and congestion we described earlier on. A diffuser of high-quality is a worthwhile investment. These diffusers work on breaking the essential oil down into very small molecules that spread through the air. This process will improve air quality in the room that you use it in. In this way diffusers work well for treating flu, sinus infections, congestion and colds.2.
A Hot And Healing Bath Soak One of the other effective ways to use essential oils for colds, congestion and coughing is to add the oil into hot water in a bath. Relaxing and soaking in hot water with your favorite essential oil can work wonders when fighting a cold or flu. Below is a recipe you may want to try:Ingredients– 6 Drops of Tea Tree Oil– 2 Drops of Thyme OilDirectionsAdd both the essential oils into hot or warm water in your bath. Make sure you do not use more than the recommended dose of thyme oil as it can result in irritation. You can also add some lavender or eucalyptus epsom salt to relax your muscles and joints. Relax and enjoy a healing bath.
Four Powerful Health Benefits of Elderberry https://www.journalofnaturalmedicine.com/four-powerful-health-benefits-of-elderberry/ Elderberries contain a variety of potent health benefits. Many individuals have consumed this dark berry in juice, jams, wine, or other culinary preparations without being aware of the health benefits of elderberry. Known scientifically as Sambucus Nigra, this medicinal berry comes in many varieties, the most popular being the European elder and the American elderberry. Both of these varieties contain powerful health benefits. Elderberry is also referred to as sambucus— its botanical name. Elderberries do contain low levels of naturally-occurring cyanide so it’s important to source them from a reputable seller.
What Is Elderberry?Elderberry is a genus of flowering plants. It grows in various varieties, the most popular being the European elder and the American elderberry. The elderberry tree is identifiable by its clusters of tiny, flat, white flowers and bundles of elderberries. Common names for elderberry are Elder, American Elder, Black Elderberry, Boor Tree, Common Elder, Ellhorn, European Elder, Holunder, Holunderbeeren, Sambucus, Sambuci, and Sureau. Both the American and European elderberry contain the anthocyanin and polyphonol-rich black berries from which jams, juice, syrups, and other foods are made from. The flesh of the berry is the only edible part of the plant; in fact, the seeds, stems, leaves and roots of the black elder contain a cyanide-inducing glycoside that is poisonous to humans. Cooking the elderberries eliminates the glycosides present in the seeds, making them safe to eat. Additionally, exposing the berries to heat concentrates the anthrocyanins and polyphenols.Health Benefits of Elderberry1. Elderberries are rich in various beneficial compounds including: Anthrocyanins– Anthrocyanins are a subgroup of the flavonoid class. Research has shown they have an ability to reduce cancer cell proliferation as well as inhibiting tumor formation. These phytochemical can be found abundantly in cereals, cocoa, honey, fruits, nuts, olive oil, teas, vegetables, and wines. Anthrocyanins have also demonstrated a strong link to cardiovascular disease protection.Antioxidants– Molecules that prevent or delay some types of cell damage.Flavonoids– Also known as bioflavonoids, these compounds are a class of plant and fungus. In vitro studies have shown flavonoids to have anti-allergic, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antibacterial, anti-fungal, antiviral, and anti-cancer activity. Common foods containing flavonoids are: black tea, blueberries, citrus, cocoa, parsley, peanuts, and wine.Phenolic acids– Phenolic acids are a type of polyphenol. Other polyphenols include flavonoids. Phenolic acids have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits. These polyphenols are found abundantly in plant-based foods.Quercetin– A flavonoid rich in antioxidants. Quercetin has an antihistamine effect which helps alleviate watery eyes, a runny nose, and swelling. Quercetin has also been found to support cardiovascular health.Rutin– A flavonoid that helps with vitamin C absorption and collagen production in the body. This flavonoid can help with treating hemorrhoids, high blood pressure, and reducing cholesterol levels.Additionally, elderberries contain a high level of vitamins C, A, and B6 and are also naturally high in iron, potassium and betacarotene. 2. Elderberry provides cold and flu reliefElderberries are rich in anthrocyanidins which are known to have immunostimulant effects. Stimulating and strengthening the body’s natural fighting mechanisms makes for a much more speedy recovery. When it comes to cold and flu relief, elderberry reduces swelling in the mucus membranes, helping to reduce cold and flu symptoms as well as sinusitis. A 2016 double blind placebo controlled trial of 325 people showed that using elderberry reduces the duration of a cold and its symptoms by 2 days.Other studies have shown the flavonoids present in elderberry extract to bind to the H1N1 human influenza virus. Repeat findings of elderberry extract’s ability to significantly improve most flu symptoms has led researchers to conclude that the extract is effective in controlling influenza symptoms. The extract was found to be so effective that it was compared with Amantadine and Oseltamivir (Tamiflu)— prescription medications.3.
Elderberry relieves allergies Since elderberry stimulates immune function and reduces inflammation, it’s a great natural remedy for allergies. Elderberrycan help effectively relieve allergy symptoms such as inflammation of the sinuses, sneezing, swelling, itching, watery eyes, runny nose or stuffy nose. This potent herbal remedy also aids in detoxification.4.
Elderberry naturally lowers blood sugar Elderberry has traditionally been used as a natural remedy for diabetes. Studies have shown elderberry extract naturally helps lower blood sugar levels in two ways, a) by stimulating the metabolism of glucose, b) stimulating the secretion of insulin.How to consume elderberryElderberry is available in a wide variety of preparations, including:AstringentCapsulesInfusionsJamsJuiceLiquidLozengesOintmentsPillsPowderSpraysSyrupTeaWineFor best results, pair elderberry with echinacea and olive leaf.
How to Be Thankful For Your Life by Changing Just One Word
This article is an excerpt from Atomic Habits, James Clear’s New York Times bestselling book.
My college strength and conditioning coach, Mark Watts, taught me an important lesson about how to be thankful that applies to life outside of the gym as well as inside it…
As adults, we spend a lot of time talking about all of the things that we have to do.
You have to wake up early for work. You have to make another sales call for your business. You have to work out today. You have to write an article. You have to make dinner for your family. You have to go to your son’s game.
Now, imagine changing just one word in the sentences above.
You don’t “have” to. You “get” to.
You get to wake up early for work. You get to make another sales call for your business. You get to cook dinner for your family. By simply changing one word, you shift the way you view each event. You transition from seeing these behaviors as burdens and turn them into opportunities.
The key point is that both versions of reality are true. You have to do those things, and you also get to do them. We can find evidence for whatever mind-set we choose.
I once heard a story about a man who uses a wheelchair. When asked if it was difficult being confined, he responded, “I’m not confined to my wheelchair—I am liberated by it. If it wasn’t for my wheelchair, I would be bed-bound and never able to leave my house.”1 This shift in perspective completely transformed how he lived each day.
I think it’s important to remind yourself that the things you do each day are not burdens, they are opportunities. So often, the things we view as work are actually the reward.
You don’t have to. You get to.
CHECK HIS SITE FOR MORE GOOD TIPS (the link is above)