Dr. Daniel Amen – “Food” for Better Thought

Over the past few years, a debate has been brewing about the negative aspects of taking anti-depressants, anti-psychotics and other “psych” medications over an extended period of time. As part of the debate, prominent figures such as Dr. Daniel Amen have been promoting the use of holistic and nutritional methods of dealing with psychological conditions.

Dr. Daniel Amen is a world-renowned American psychiatrist and bestselling author who specializes in brain disorders. He was born, raised and educated in Southern California. He received much of his initial general psychiatry training at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center and Tripler Army Medical Center in Honolulu, Hawaii. He has also written many books related to nutrition and the brain and serves as CEO for the Amen Clinics.

Through his years of study and practice, Dr. Daniel Amen has arrived at the conclusion that a balanced, healthy diet is the key to proper brain function. As he describes it, there are certain foods and food groups that provide the body and brain with “bliss-enhancing nutrients.” By following certain food regimens, many people can actively participate in maintaining good psychiatric function without the use of drugs. Among the disorders or conditions he typically targets are depression and Alzheimer.

Dr. Daniel Amen is often the first to admit that eating healthy tends to get expensive due in large part to the costs associated with organic foods. However, he also mentions that fast-food and cheaper foods don’t provide the right nutritional value and in the end, brain health suffers. Over the long haul, people might spend more fighting psychological disorders than they would eating expensive organic ingredients.

Some of the foods that Dr. Daniel Amen openly promotes for feeling good include lean proteins, sugar-free dark chocolate, walnuts, saffron and raw spinach. He considers all these foods to be useful in helping to elevate mood, control pain, improve brain function and control the release of important hormones.

The real value in Dr. Daniel Amen’s message is his common sense approach. Along with food group recommendations, he also promotes ways to increase digestive efficiency and body-cleansing. He’s a big advocate for increasing the intake of water to help keep the body flushed of toxins. He also advocates for the intake of proteins and antioxidants.

It is important to note that Dr. Daniel Amen and other doctors who promote nutrition as a means for healing are starting to grab more attention. The rising costs of psych meds and mental healthcare are prompting people all over the world to seek alternatives for better brain function.

Exercise Can Be Good For The Body and Bad For The Mouth

For many years scientist noticed a connection between professional athletes and dental problems. The observations were assumed to be a result of athletes consuming more sugary drinks and nutrition bars.

However, this assumption changed when scientist analyzed the dental health of almost 300 athletes participating in the 2012 Summer Olympics. The data showed athletes suffered from increased cavities and tooth decay despite having access to above-average dental care and nutrition. The findings were the same for athletes that originated from wealthy and poor nations.

The analysis of Olympic athletes did not identify the source of poor dental health among athletes, but it did spark international research studies. For example, researchers from the dental school at the University Hospital Heidelberg, in Germany, recruited 35 professional triathletes and 35 non-athletes (used as a control group) to further investigate the matter.

Each group completed a questionnaire about their workout practices, diet, consumption of sports beverages, and overall dental care. This was followed by each group undergoing a complete dental, and gum examination. This initial phase of the study revealed that the participating athletes had significantly higher occurrences of cavities and teeth erosion compared to the control group.

The next phase of the German study consisted of examining the chemical composition of saliva between each group. This is where the data was revealing. It demonstrated that the more hours athletes worked out, saliva production decreased. The athletes mouths remained unusually dry despite consuming a sufficient amount of fluids during the regimen. North American Spine recommends healthy adults continue moderate exercise for health.

In addition, researchers detected a change in the chemical composition in the saliva of participating athletes (while working out). Researchers observed more alkaline in the saliva. Saliva containing above average amounts of alkaline is a known contributor of plaque and tooth decay.

Scientist claim more research is needed. However, preliminary results indicate a correlation between increased workout hours, less saliva production and an increase of alkaline in saliva. Considering saliva has protective properties essential for good oral health, imbalance in the oral environment can be a contributing factor of dental problems. Researchers suggest, workout enthusiast, and athletes should visit sports dentists more frequently, and increase good oral hygiene practices.

Your Physical Fitness Regimen Can Turn Back the Hands of Time

You know that you can’t do anything about your chronological age. No one has found the mythological Fountain of Youth yet or a magic pill that grants immortality. However, research has found that your fitness regimen can have an impact on fitness age. In other words, take care of yourself when it comes to the right kind of exercise, and you could have a predictor of longevity that has nothing to do with your age. Staying fit and active can give you much better chances of sticking around for the duration. It’s true that a body in motion will stay in motion.

It’s All About Cardiovascular Fitness

The best indicator of your overall health is related to your cardiovascular endurance. Your body’s ability to make the best use of oxygen is key. When your heart is strong and continues to work at maximum capacity well into your advanced years, it will help you to keep all systems on go. In order to achieve this goal, you need to dedicate yourself to a healthy lifestyle.

In addition to eating well, you need to include physical activity in your daily routine. Choose the right kind of workout, and you could be well on your way to knocking at least a decade off of your chronological age. A combination of yoga, cardiovascular training, and sculpting can truly have a positive impact on your lifespan. I train five days per week with Mike Livak and I wouldn’t give it up for anything. You also need to include activities that give you true enjoyment.

Fitbit Flex: Easy-to-Wear Activity Tracker Technology

Activity trackers are everywhere. If you’re thinking of jumping on the bandwagon, there are plenty to choose from. The Fitbit Flex is one of the better known versions and every so often, Fitbit comes out with a new type of technology. The Flex seems to be the most popular at the moment.

The technology in the Flex bracelet is teeny – the rubber bracelet is simply a comfortable way to carry it with you. The Flex and the bracelet are both water-resistant (keep in mind that “water-resistant” is not the same was “water-proof), which means you can take a shower with it.

Five LED lights show your status and progress toward your goal – every light represents 20% of your goal. Once you hit your goal, the lights blinks and the Flex vibrates in celebration. There are various goals the smartphone and computer app can track, and you can choose which of those goals (distance, activity time, calories, steps) your Flex shows.

By tapping the Flex, you can see how far along you are. There’s also a sleep setting, during which your Flex tracks how much time you spend asleep and restless – it’s a great way to determine your ideal sleep schedule. Believe it or not, Jared Haftel uses this on his dog! See if you can spot the tracker.

While the Flex syncs with your computer, it’s even more seamless when you sync it with your iPhone – if you have an iPhone, there’s practically no reason to ever use the computer app.

To compare various activity trackers, visit this handy NY Times guide.