Trend Watch, April 2018
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Breaking the Smartphone Addiction
Do you feel naked without your phone? Does it substitute for conversations, or sleep next to your bed? With its apps and social media platforms, a smartphone is designed to keep our eyeballs glued to the screen. It’s addicting and profitable, with Apple users alone spending about $100 million each day on apps. But is it in our best interests?
Some former employees of Google and Facebook are saying, “No.” They created the Center for Humane Technology to reverse what they call the “digital attention crisis.” Some of their top tips:
- Get a regular alarm clock, and charge your phone outside the bedroom at night.
- Turn off all notifications except those from people you care about.
- Try living without social media on your phone.
For more tips, visit humanetech.com
A New Healthy Oil: Camelina
A plant source of omega-3 fats, camelina oil has been found to reduce overall and LDL (“bad”) cholesterol in people with elevated blood sugar. In a Finnish study of 79 people between the ages of 40 and 72, an effective dose was 30 ml of the oil taken daily for 12 weeks. Camelina oil can also be used for high-heat cooking, as it has a higher smoke point than grapeseed, canola, coconut, olive,
and hemp oils.
3 Surprising Uses for Baking Soda
You may know that baking soda can freshen your breath, act as a natural deodorant, and relieve heartburn, but it can do a lot more, according to Britt Brandon, author of Baking Soda for Health: 100 Amazing and Unexpected Uses for Sodium Bicarbonate. Here are three uses that surprised us:
- Remove a splinter: Soak in a solution of ¼ cup baking soda and 1 cup water to help your body naturally eject the splinter.
- Relieve migraines: Drink 1 tsp. baking soda dissolved in 8 oz. of water, or add baking soda to a bath and have a relaxing soak.
- Tenderize tough meat: Soak meat for 15–20 minutes in a 4:1 ratio of water to baking soda, such as 1 cup water with ¼ cup baking soda. Make enough solution to cover meat and add a marinade if desired. After soaking, don’t rinse meat before cooking.
Vitamin E Tocotrienols good for bones
In nature, vitamin E is a family of nutrients that includes tocotrienols. In a recent study at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, tocotrienol supplements were found to improve bone health in postmenopausal women with osteopenia (low bone density that isn’t low enough to be diagnosed as osteoporosis). In the 12-week study, women took either 430 or 860 mg daily of a supplement extracted from annatto seed, with 90 percent delta-tocotrienol and 10 percent gamma-tocotrienol. In contrast, the most popular form of vitamin E in supplements, alpha-tocopherol, has not been found to improve bone health.
New Hope to Beat Alzheimer’s
A special form of vitamin B, nicotinamide riboside (NR), shows promise in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease, according to a mouse study by researchers at the National Institutes of Health. The study found that when treated with NR, mice with Alzheimer’s had less DNA damage, produced new brain cells, and were better able to function. “We are encouraged by these findings,” said senior investigator Vilhelm Bohr, MD, PhD. An earlier human study, at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, found that NR enhanced cellular energy and protected against stress and DNA damage.
Best Mood Foods at different life stages
Meat, be it red or white, is the best food to boost mood among adults under age 30, according to a study of more than 500 people at Binghamton University, State University of New York. But after age 30, fruit ranks higher, along with eating breakfast, skipping coffee, and avoiding sugary and starchy foods. “With aging, there is an increase in free radical formation (oxidants), so our need for antioxidants increases,” said lead researcher Lina Begdache, PhD. “Also, our ability to regulate stress decreases, so if we consume food that activates the stress response, such as coffee and too much carbohydrates, we are more likely to experience mental distress.”
When looking for that special someone, 92% of people rank a great personality higher than a great body, according to an online survey of over 1,000 American adults by Planet Fitness. Other desirable attributes include a sense of humor, a positive attitude, and an open mind.
Curcumin Boosts Memory and Mood
Taking curcumin daily can improve memory and mood, according to a study of 40 people between ages 50 and 90 with mild memory complaints. Compared to a placebo, memory improved by 28 percent after 18 months of supplementation with 90 mg of curcumin, twice daily, and brain scans showed reduced formation of plaques and tangles, which are associated with Alzheimer’s. “Exactly how curcumin exerts its effects is not certain,” said lead researcher Gary Small, MD, of the University of California Los Angeles Longevity Center. “But it may be due to its ability to reduce brain inﬂammation, which has been linked to both Alzheimer’s disease and major depression.”