Beans on Toast Versus Egg On Toast

Beans on toast and egg on toast are both excellent meal choices. Both are “fast food” in so far as they are quick to prepare, yet both are of high quality and contain a number of beneficial nutrients. Beans are pulses, and are able to provide beneficial effects on blood sugar control, which makes then excellent food choices for weight loss and for those with insulin resistance, such as type 2 diabetics. Beans are also a good source of protein, but lack the essential amino acid methionine. However, a complete protein is made when combining beans with toast, because wheat contains the methionine lacking in beans. Eggs are a good source of all the essential amino acids, and egg on toast provides a greater total amount of protein. Eggs also contain essential fatty acids, if they are free range, as well as micronutrients such as vitamins and antioxidants. Both beans on toast and egg on toast are excellent meals that are underutilised as high quality nutrition, but only if the toast is made from whole grain bread.  

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Associations Between Mood Disorders And Type 2 Diabetes

It is known that sex differences exist in the development of mood disorders for men and women. This may be expected as sex differences are known to exist for many common diseasese including cardiovascular disease and obesity. Some disagreement has taken place as to whether the development of mood disorders is associated with the development of other diseases. And in many cases this uncertainty may relate to differences between the associations for men and women. For example, evidence suggests that anxiety and depression are associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes in women, but not men. This association is much stronger for depression when compared to anxiety. Therefore in women there appears to be a significant link between type 2 diabetes and the risk of developing depression. It is unclear why this association may exist, but one suggestion is that men and women deal with the development of type 2 diabetes differently, in that women may be less able to cope with the stress caused by the disease. 

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Demmer, R. T., Gelb, S., Suglia, S. F., Keyes, K. M., Aiello, A. E., Colombo, P. C., Galea, S., Uddin, M., Koenen, K. and Kubzansky, L. D. 2015. Sex differences in the association between depression, anxiety, and type 2 diabetes mellitus. Psychosomatic Medicine. 77(4): 467
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Is Glucose Metabolism Dysfunction In Depression?

Stress is a significant factor in the development of depression. Evidence suggests that depressive symptoms are accompanied by real and detectable physiological changes. These changes may be caused by the stress hormone cortisol. One problem that may occur following chronic release of cortisol is a dysfunction to the glucose metabolism system. Evidence suggests that with certain forms of depression, especially unipolar depression, there may be the development of insulin resistance, characterised by an inability of the body to correctly pass glucose into cells. As glucose is pivotal to brain function, there is a suggestion that this dysfunction contributes to the development of imbalances in the normal function of the brain. One possibility is that exercise or diet could be a confounding variable. Both exercise and good diet are known to improve glucose utilisation and also reduce rates of depression. Therefore the poor glucose utilisation may result indirectly from poor diet or lack of physical activity. 

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RdB

Wright, J. H., Jacisin, J. J., Radin, N. S. and Bell, R. A. 1978. Glucose metabolism in unipolar depression. The British Journal of Psychiatry. 132(4): 386-393
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Is Good Nutrition Is More Important As You Age?

Evidence shows that good nutrition is the major factor in the health of the individual. Those who eat a healthy diet are not only protected from disease, but also experience positive health effects that include both physical and mental aspects. There is evidence that good nutrition plays a significant role in health in later years, and those who consume certain nutrients in infancy may have much lower rates of certain diseases. As people age, absorption rates of most nutrients fall, and there is a less robust ability to adapt to stressful conditions. Therefore good quality nutrition in the elderly can in many ways be considered a more significant factor in health than in comparison to the younger person. As absorption rates are lower, food consumed must be more nutrient dense in order to allow the same level of nutrient assimilation. This can be achieved through a combination of a very high quality diet containing nutrient dense foods, as well as supplementation of key nutrients, perhaps including a multivitamin and mineral formula. 

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Chlorophytum borivilianum: Anti-Stress and Antioxidant Effects

Chlorophytum borivilianum is a herb that is native to parts of India and belongs to the Liliaceae or lily family of plants. In India, the plant is sometimes called safed musli or musli. The plant is grown as a vegetable and is therefore of culinary interest nutritionally. However, evidence suggests that Chlorophytum borivilianum may have some medicinal effects. Extracts of Chlorophytum borivilianum have been shown to possess antioxidant and anti-stress effects in animals. The roots of Chlorophytum borivilianum are thought to possess phytochemicals that produce adaptogenic effects, and these may be able to modulate the stress reaction in animals to maintain normal physiological function. Extracts of the plant are thought to contain steroidal saponins and alkaloids, which may be the primary components that facilitate the adaptogenic properties of the roots. Other phytochemicals may provide significant antioxidant protection in the tissues of animals that consume the plant.  

Chlorophytum borivilianum adaptogenic antioxidant

Chlorophytum borivilianum is an adaptogenic plant grown in India and used in traditional Indian medicine. Image by Pankaj Oudhia – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https:// commons.wikimedia.org/ w/ index.php?curid=22363863.

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Kenjale, R. D., Shah, R. K. and Sathaye, S. S. 2007. Anti-stress and antioxidant effects of roots of Chlorophytum borivilianum (Santa Pau & Fernandes). Indian Journal of Experimental Biology. 45: 974-979
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Adaptogenic Herbs Against Depression

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Adpatogenic Herbs: Main Mechanisms

Posted in Adaptogen, Ginseng (Panax ginseng), Rhodiola rosea (roseroot), Schizandra, Siberian Ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus), Withania (Withania somnifera) | Comments Off on Adpatogenic Herbs: Main Mechanisms

Oxalis Plants: Memory Enhancers

Oxalis plants are a group of medicinal plants that are called wood sorrel. For example, Oxalis corniculata, or creeping wood sorrel, grows in the tropical regions of the world and is used therapeutically as a medicinal herb. Oxalis corniculata has been shown to possess wound healing activity, cardio relaxant activity, nematocidal activity, anticancer activity, antimicrobial activity, antifungal activity, antiamoebic activity, anti-stress activity, antioxidant activity and is a possible anxiolytic agent. Oxalis plants may also have certain memory enhancing effects. Animal experiments suggest that Oxalis corniculata may enhance memory retrieval and memory retention. That oxalis plants have central nervous system effects is therefore evident, and this will undoubtedly relate to the phytochemicals contained within the tissues of the plant. One aspect of the herb that may be responsible for the central nervous system effects is the anti-stress effects it possesses. Stress is known to disrupt brain function and can impair memory.  

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Aruna, K., Rajeswari, P. D. R. and Sankar, S. R. 2017. The effect of Oxalis corniculata extract against the behavioral changes induced by 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1, 2, 3, 6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) in mice. Journal of Applied Pharmaceutical Science. 7(03): 148-153
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Diet And Its Influence On Mood

The link between stress and mood disorders is well established. Anecdotally, most people can relate low mood to a period of stress. However, what is less well understood is the role that a low quality diet can have in the development of mood disorders. In this regard, poor dietary habits have been shown to be a significant contributory factor in the development of both depression and anxiety. One dietary factor that may be particularly detrimental to mental health is sugar. High intakes of sugar in the diet have for example been shown to lead to neurotransmitter imbalance and detrimental mood changes. In one study, rats were fed a high sugar diet, and then the animals were exposed to experimental stress in the form of food deprivation. The rats that were used to high sugar diets showed significantly more evidence of anxious behaviour compared to rats that were not fed high sugar diets. Therefore high sugar diets may significantly increase the risk of mood disorders, and care should be taken to limit sugar intake. 

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RdB

Avena, N. M., Bocarsly, M. E., Rada, P., Kim, A. and Hoebel, B. G. 2008. After daily bingeing on a sucrose solution, food deprivation induces anxiety and accumbens dopamine/acetylcholine imbalance. Physiology And Behavior. 94(3): 309-315
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Huperzia serrata: An Anxiolytic Herb?

Huperzia serrata is a plant belonging to the Lycopodium or clubmoss group of plants. In traditional Chinese medicine the plant is referred to as Qian Ceng Ta. A number of medicinally relevant phytochemicals have been identified from Huperzia serrata including alkaloids, flavones, Triterpenes and phenolic acids. Of these the alkaloid huperzine A has been identified as a possible anxiolytic agent in animals. For example, in one study rats were administered huperzine A and exposed to experimental stress. The researchers observed that the rats displayed significantly less anxious behaviour following administration of huperzine A, compared to control rats. The anxiolytic effect observed by the researchers was equivalent to that of diazepam. Therefore huperzine A may have anxiolytic effects in animals that is equivalent to the anxiolytic effects of mainstream medical drugs. Although huperzine A appears to possess significant anxiolytic effects, flavonoids, phenolic acids and terpenes may also be anxiolytics.  

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Kaur, J., Singh, R., Singh, P., Kaur, J. and Kaur, H. 2017. Anxiolytic and motor coordination activity of huperzine A in rats. International Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Research. 8(6): 2560-2566
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