Posts tagged: health tips

Study Finds Daily Consumption Of Tea May Protect The Elderly From Cognitive Decline

Study Finds Daily Consumption Of Tea May Protect The Elderly From Cognitive Decline
Graphic – herbs-info.com Image sources – see foot of article

Tea is one of the most popular beverages in the world. In 2016, Americans consumed more than 3.8 billion gallons [1] of tea, with black tea being a favorite. This is good news – due to the numerous possible health benefits of tea consumption, which have been well researched.

Recent data from a Singaporean human trial has reaffirmed the role of tea drinking in reducing the risk of cognitive decline in older persons.

Led by Feng Lei, an assistant professor at the National University of Singapore’s Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, the study focused on 957 Chinese seniors aged 55 years or older. Lei and his team discovered that the neuroprotective role of daily consumption of tea is not a bailiwick of one tea variety and is not limited to one race. They published the research outcomes [2] in The Journal of Nutrition, Health, & Aging.

The research team noted that drinking “real tea” – tea that is brewed from the leaves of Camellia sinensis, such as green, black (Earl Grey, English Breakfast, Assam, etc) or oolong, reduces a person’s risk of developing neurocognitive disorders later in life. The authors gathered information on the participants’ tea drinking habits, lifestyles, medical conditions, and physical and social activities. They attributed the neuroprotective effect of brewed tea to a combination of bioactive compounds which have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that protect the brain from vascular damage and neurodegeneration.

The neuroprotective cognitive effects of tea have been widely explored by scientists: A study that first appeared in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition [3] confirmed the association between regular tea consumption and lower risks of cognitive impairment and decline. A Japanese study [4] determined the link between consumption of green tea and reduced risk of dementia or mild cognitive impairment. A Chinese study [5] also presented evidence on the relationship between tea consumption and reduced cognitive impairment.

Cognitive disorders refer to mental health issues that affect learning, memory, perception, and problem-solving. The most common types of cognitive disorder include amnesia, dementia, and delirium. Data from the World Health Organization [6] estimate that around 47.5 million people are living with dementia which is a major neurocognitive disorder. This medical condition registers 7.7 million new cases every year. The main risk factors linked to dementia include advancing age and family history of dementia. By 2050, the number of people with dementia is expected to reach 135.5 million.

As of this writing, there are no medications [7] approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat the onset of mild cognitive impairment (MCI), which likely leads to Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias. However, there are coping strategies that may help delay or prevent the progression of MCI to dementia.

As posited by Lei’s team, drinking tea is a simple and inexpensive measure which may protect yourself from cognitive decline. Regular exercise [8] is another way to combat MCI since it benefits your blood vessels – including those that nourish your brain. Having a diet rich in flavonols and omega-3 fatty acids [9][10] could also reduce the risk of dementia.

References:

[1] Tea Association of the U.S.A. Inc. Tea Fact Sheet – 2016-2017 http://www.teausa.com/14655/tea-fact-sheet

[2] Feng L et al. 2016. Tea consumption reduces the incidence of neurocognitive disorders: Findings from the Singapore longitudinal aging study https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs12603-016-0687-0

[3] Ng TP et al. 2008. Tea consumption and cognitive impairment and decline in older Chinese adults https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18614745

[4] Noguchi-Shinohara M et al. 2014. PLoS One. Consumption of Green Tea, but Not Black Tea or Coffee, Is Associated with Reduced Risk of Cognitive Decline http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0096013

[5] Shen W et al. 2015. PLoS One. Tea Consumption and Cognitive Impairment: A Cross-Sectional Study among Chinese Elderly https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4567322/

[6] World Health Organization. Dementia Fact Sheet http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs362/en/

[7] Alzheimer’s Association. Mild Cognitive Impairment http://www.alz.org/dementia/mild-cognitive-impairment-mci.asp

[8] Geda YE et al. 2010. Archives of Neurology. Physical Exercise and Mild Cognitive Impairment: A Population-Based Study https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2919839/

[9] P.J. Smith and J.A. Blumenthal. 2016. The Journal of Prevention of Alzheimer’s Disease https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4758517/

[10] Colin R. Martin and Victor Preedy. Diet and Nutrition in Dementia and Cognitive Decline http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/book/9780124078246

Infographic photo sources:

Pixabay.com (PD)

Hugging Is Good for You

Hugging Is Good For Your Health
Graphic © herbshealthhappiness.com

Hugs do more than feel good, they are now associated with surprising health benefits. Time for some hugs! Here are some of the health benefits of hugging:

Lowers Blood Pressure: A study that involved 59 women, found that participants that received regular hugs from their partners had lower blood pressure and heart rates. The researchers have linked oxytocin production with better heart health. [1]

Lower Risk Of Heart Diseases: Hugging and hand holding can reduce blood pressure, thus reducing the risk of heart diseases, heart attack, and stroke. A study compared two groups, one who held hands for 10 minutes followed by hugging for 20 seconds, other groups sat silent. The people in the first group had lower blood pressure than the second group. [2]

Reduces Stress: Oxytocin is called the “cuddle hormone” and is associated with happiness and less stress. Oxytocin can cause a reduction in blood pressure and the stress hormone.

Fights Fatigue: A study had found therapeutic touch to be beneficial for pain. [3] While hugging is a form of touch that helps in the release of hormones that have positive effects on mood, thus help to fight fatigue.

Boosts Immune System: Hugs may stimulate the thymus gland, which regulates the production of white blood cells, thus helping to fight off disease. A study that involved 400 participants found that hugging can actually reduce the chances of a person getting sick. [4] The participants who received more hugs and support were less likely to get sick.

Ease Depression: A study has found that touch can relieve anxiety in people with low-self esteem. [5] Hugging a form of touch can also alleviate the sense of loneliness and isolation.

See Also: Mega List Of 30 Herbs Found Beneficial For High Blood Pressure: https://herbshealthhappiness.com/mega-list-of-30-herbs-found-beneficial-for-high-blood-pressure/

References:

[1] Light, K.C., K.M. Grewen, and J.A. Amico, More frequent partner hugs and higher oxytocin levels are linked to lower blood pressure and heart rate in premenopausal women. Biological psychology, 2005. 69(1): p. 5-21. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0301051104001632

[2] Grewen, K.M., et al., Warm partner contact is related to lower cardiovascular reactivity. Behav Med, 2003. 29(3): p. 123-30. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15206831/

[3] Monroe, C.M., The effects of therapeutic touch on pain. Journal of Holistic Nursing, 2009. 27(2): p. 85-92. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/0898010108327213

[4] Cohen, S., et al., Does hugging provide stress-buffering social support? A study of susceptibility to upper respiratory infection and illness. Psychological science, 2015. 26(2): p. 135-147. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0956797614559284

[5] Koole, S.L., M. Tjew A Sin, and I.K. Schneider, Embodied terror management: interpersonal touch alleviates existential concerns among individuals with low self-esteem. Psychological science, 2014. 25(1): p. 30-37. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0956797613483478

Eat Less From A Box And More From The Earth

Eat Less From A Box And More From The Earth
Graphic © herbshealthhappiness.com

This simple motto encapsulates the sentiments of the real food movement. In the modern era, pure food has once again become highly desirable – and is being chosen in preference to packaged ‘done for you’ factory-produced food – which gives convenience at the expense of including ingredients designed to give it ‘shelf appeal’, long storage life and other characteristics that are more geared towards profit than towards health.

Eating ‘from the earth’ means a highly plant-based diet. This includes fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and legumes. It does not necessarily mean vegan or vegetarian. It focuses predominantly on minimal use of processed foods, refined foods like sugars, white flour, and to some extent animal products; though this last is typically more because of a resistance of modern animal farming practices than through vegetarianism per se.

Here are some benefits of a plant-based diet:

Help With Weight Loss: Plants based diets are rich in fibers that can help with the obesity problem. A study that involved 65 obese adults investigated the impact of plant-based foods on weight loss. The results indicated that participants were able to sustain a weight loss of 9.25 pounds over a one-year follow-up. [1]

Improves Heart Health: Plant-based foods can improve heart health and prevents chronic conditions like hypertension. A study that included almost 200,000 participants found that people who consumed plant-based foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains had a lower risk of developing cardiovascular diseases. [2]

Prevents Cancer: Research suggests that using plant-based diets can reduce the risk of cancer. A study has linked a plant-based diet with a lower risk of gastrointestinal cancer. [3] Plant-based foods can provide antioxidants that reduce cell damage.

Brain Health: Plant-based diets have shown to improve brain health and lower the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Plant-based foods have many health beneficial compounds and antioxidants that slow cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease. [4]

Lower Risk Of Diabetes: Plant-based foods can improve blood sugar levels. A study has found plant-based diets to reduce the risk of type-2 diabetes mellitus by 50 % as compared to non-plant-based diets. [5]

Learn More:

Top 16 Edible Plants You Can Grow Indoors: https://herbshealthhappiness.com/top-16-edible-plants-you-can-grow-indoors/

References:

[1] Wright, N., et al., The BROAD study: A randomised controlled trial using a whole food plant-based diet in the community for obesity, ischaemic heart disease or diabetes. Nutr Diabetes, 2017. 7(3): p. e256. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28319109/

[2] Satija, A., et al., Healthful and Unhealthful Plant-Based Diets and the Risk of Coronary Heart Disease in U.S. Adults. J Am Coll Cardiol, 2017. 70(4): p. 411-422. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28728684/

[3] Tantamango-Bartley, Y., et al., Vegetarian diets and the incidence of cancer in a low-risk population. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev, 2013. 22(2): p. 286-94. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23169929/

[4] Malar, D.S. and K.P. Devi, Dietary polyphenols for treatment of Alzheimer’s disease–future research and development. Curr Pharm Biotechnol, 2014. 15(4): p. 330-42. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25312617/

[5] Tonstad, S., et al., Type of vegetarian diet, body weight, and prevalence of type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Care, 2009. 32(5): p. 791-6. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19351712/