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Seaweed Loves the Heart
February 2012

A Rich Source of Heart-Healthy Goodness

seaweedSome relish seaweed, while others eye it with culinary suspicion. Now an article in the American Chemical Society’s Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry reports that many scientists have identified seaweed as a rich, potential source of heart-healthy food ingredients. A review of nearly 100 studies shows that seaweed and other microalgae could rival milk products as sources of important bioactive peptides.

Maria Hayes, Ph.D., and her colleagues at the Teagasc Food Research Centre, in Dublin, Ireland, concluded that certain seaweed proteins work just like the bioactive peptides in milk products to reduce blood pressure, almost like angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor drugs. Thus, they could be used as ingredients in functional foods like soups and health beverages to provide nutrition, while offering medicinal effects in treating or preventing heart disease.

Seaweeds are a neglected alternative source of these bioactive peptides in this country, the researchers state, noting its popularity in other cultures. Varieties of seaweed are known as
nori in Japan, dulse in coastal parts of Europe and limu palahalaha in native Hawaiian cuisine.

In addition, notes Hayes, “Seaweeds are a known source of essential fatty acids, which are thought to reduce thrombosis and atherosclerosis—factors important in the reduction of the risk of heart disease.”

 
Does Yawning Cool the Brain?
February 2012

It Doesn't Just Mean You're Bored

yawnWhen we feel the urge to yawn in cooler weather, we should succumb—it might do us good. New research suggests that beyond signaling fatigue or boredom, yawning might be a physical reaction to cool an “overheated” brain.

A study at Princeton University is the first to show that the frequency of yawning varies with the season and that people are less likely to yawn when the heat outdoors exceeds body temperature. The research monitored 160 people, 80 per season, during winter and summer in Tucson, Arizona. According to the researchers’ theory, it is possible that yawning in cooler temperatures works to cool the brain, while yawning in warmer conditions appears to provide no similar relief.

Research associate Andrew Gallup remarks, “The applications of this research are intriguing… for better understanding diseases and conditions such as multiple sclerosis or epilepsy, which are accompanied by frequent yawning and thermoregulatory dysfunction.” Excessive yawning may prove a helpful diagnostic tool.

 
How to Be a Good Patient
January 2012
TERRI EVANS

good_patientBeing a good patient is essential to any successful treatment, especially holistic treatment. Often, people seeking alternative care arrive at a practitioner’s or therapist’s office fed up with conventional treatment and confused by the lack of permanent healing, yet newly expectant of receiving quick answers and recovery. It helps if the individual understands how the two approaches differ and can even complement one another.

With conventional medical care, doctors focus on identifying the disease that is creating the symptoms affecting the patient. The goal is to halt the progression of the disease and/or sustain life.

Alternative practitioners’ goal is a patient’s overall wellness and improved quality of life. They focus on uncovering and alleviating any imbalances that are robbing the individual of their quality of life. A holistic practitioner and patient are a team with a mutual mission. This means they can expect to spend time together completing and evaluating detailed medical histories and lifestyle information sheets, consulting and sharing observations, collaborating in carrying out treatment and cooperating in initial and follow-up examinations. The personal patient/client relationship is generally more intensive than experienced with conventional services.

 
Mailbox Makeover
January 2012

Banish Unwanted Catalogs

MailBoxThe holidays have come and gone and a new year is here, heralded by a mailbox still engorged with resource-wasting, old and new catalog clutter. Altogether, some 20 billion catalogs are mailed annually, to the frustration of Earth-conscious shoppers. According to the nonprofit ForestEthics, the average American will spend the equivalent of eight months of their life dealing with junk mail. We all can save valuable time, conserve America’s forests, ease up on overflowing landfills, and reduce fuel and other materials wasted on unwanted catalogs by following these simple tips.

1. Ditch duplicate mailings. If you receive multiples of a catalog you like, call and ask the company to remove the extra listing.

2. Delete your address. The Direct Marketing Association (dmaChoice.org) will add your name to a “delete” list for direct marketers through its Mail Preference Service. It’s free online, or $1 by mail.

3. Sign up with a service. Options available for a modest fee include CatalogChoice.org,StopTheJunkMail.com and 41Pounds.org.

4. Switch to email. Most retailers can email promotion and sale notifications, with links to their websites and digital catalogs.

5. Recycle catalogs after browsing. If the local recycling program doesn’t accept them, searchEarth911.org by Zip code to find the nearest facility that does.

 
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