What Chocolate Can Do For You

chocolate health benefits

By Jena Pincott

Katharine Hepburn reportedly said of herself, “What you see before you, my friend, is the result of a lifetime of chocolate.” Inspired, we broke that down into hours, weeks, months and years. Here’s what a fix can do….

Within 90 minutes…your neurons are humming.
One way in which scientists test for alertness and mental stamina is by asking their subjects to do math in their head — counting down by 3s and 7s, for instance — tasks so tedious they’re prescribed for insomnia. But 90 minutes after people drank cocoa, they rattled off correct numbers, found a study at the U.K.’s Northumbria University. Credit goes to flavanol, a plant antioxidant that has been found to widen blood vessels and increase blood flow in the brain. How much flavanol you get depends on origin, harvesting and processing, says one of the study’s authors, Crystal Haskell-Ramsay, PhD. The most flavanol-rich options are usually the darkest and bitterest, like cocoa powder and baking chocolate. To match the study’s cognitive sweet spot, she says, we’d need roughly 7 grams of special, enriched high-flavanol cocoa powder or a 3.5-ounce chocolate bar with at least 70-percent-cocoa content. (The cocoa powder in the study was CocoaPro; it’s in CocoaVia and Dove Dark Chocolate products.) (more…)

A Tale of Two Brains: How Your Second Brain Is Key To Understanding Many Chronic Illnesses

A Tale of Two Brains: How Your Second Brain Is Key To Understanding Many Chronic Illnesses

Not many people realize they have two brains. Yes, you read that right. And your second brain may have more to do with your health that you ever imagined.

We tend to think of our brain as the command center from which all physiological functions stem. But there is another intelligence in your body that you may not realize… and its importance to your health may be the key you’re looking for when searching for the cause of chronic illness and even mental health issues. (more…)

New Studies Show Gut Bacteria Are “Mind-altering Microorganisms”

mind-altering-bacteria-powered

Did you know that you have ten times as many bacteria cells in your body as you do human ones? Humans are, for all intents and purposes, “bacteria powered” (as the t-shirt above on my beautiful friend Courtney suggests).

While this is old news for many who’ve experienced the benefits of a living, probiotic-rich diet first hand, scientists have only recently begun studying the gut-brain connection with more depth.

What they’re finding out is positively fascinating!

A recent segment on NPR delved into much of the latest research.

Brain Scans Prove Connection Between Gut Microbiomes and Mood (more…)

Antidepressants No Better Than Placebo: JAMA Study

Antidepressants No Better Than Placebo: JAMA Study

A study just published in JAMA Jan 5, reported that SSRI antidepressants are no better than placebo for most cases of depression. The authors reviewed 30 years of data and concluded that “the benefit of antidepressant medication compared with placebo may be minimal or nonexistent in patients with mild or moderate symptoms”.

Of course, this is old news, and reminds me of the famous scene in 1942 film, Casablanca, where Captain Louis Renault declares, ” I am Shocked, Shocked … to find gambling here….Here is your winnings… Oh thank you.”

Better than Placebo for Severe Depression (more…)

13 of The Most Effective Mood Stabilizers in Natural Medicine

Pharmaceuticals prescribed for mood are among the most dangerous due to their side effects and high toxicity to brain chemicals and hormones. Medicinal plants and natural nutrients are extremely effective in promoting neurotransmitter balance while promote relaxation. Here are 13 of the most effective mood stabilizers in natural medicine.

Move Over Prozac – There’s a New Game in Town (and It Won’t Kill Your Sex Life or Keep You Awake At Night)

Turmeric:  Wonder Spice to combat depression

By Dr. Kelly Brogan MD

Every Monday, I make a Bolognese. I learned the recipe-less technique from my Tuscan mom whose simple dishes have consistently outdone some of the 5 star chef creations I’ve had at Manhattan restaurants.

With two kids at home, this traditional Italian sauce becomes a stealth transport vehicle for kale, beets, cilantro, and all manner of otherwise snubbed delicacies. For the past two years, I have given the dish a twist that my Nonna wouldn’t recognize – 2 tablespoons of organic turmeric.

This wonder-spice is also a mainstay of my anti-inflammatory work with patients in my practice where I use liposomal preparations of curcumin, the natural phenols responsible for turmeric’s yellow color, when I suspect their symptoms stem from a challenged immune system. (more…)

Groundbreaking Study Finds Turmeric Extract Superior to Prozac for Depression

Groundbreaking Study Finds Turmeric Extract Superior to Prozac for Depression

A new study published in the journal Phytotherapy Research has confirmed for the first time in a randomized, controlled clinical trial that the primary polyphenol in turmeric known as curcumin is both safe and effective in treating serious states of depression.[1]

The research was performed at the Department of Pharmacology, Government Medical College, Bhavnagar, Gujarat, India, and involved patients diagnosed with major depressive disorder (MDD).  The objective of the trial was to compare the efficacy and safety of curcumin with fluoxetine (Prozac) in 60 patients diagnosed with MDD. Subjects were randomized to receive either a six week treatment with fluoxetine (20 mg) and curcumin (1000 mg) individually or their combination. (more…)

Science Confirms Turmeric As Effective As 14 Drugs

Activist Post

Turmeric is one the most thoroughly researched plants in existence today. Its medicinal properties and components (primarily curcumin) have been the subject of over 5600 peer-reviewed and published biomedical studies. In fact, our five-year long research project on this sacred plant has revealed over 600 potential preventive and therapeutic applications, as well as 175 distinct beneficial physiological effects. This entire database of 1,585 ncbi-hyperlinked turmeric abstracts can be downloaded as a PDF at our Downloadable Turmeric Document page, and acquired either as a retail item or with 200 GMI-tokens, for those of you who are already are members and receive them automatically each month. (more…)