Archive for vitamins

Herbs, Vitamins, and Lifestyles That Can Enhance Your Mood

Posted in Healthy with tags , , , , , , , , , on July 26, 2010 by rizkymygift

Feeling depressed, bad mood, or even suffer for severe mood problem? Though it might be normal but researcher said that too much worries will lead you to do something’s bad or even cause you easily get such bipolar disorder symptoms just like sadness, anxiety, loss of energy, hopelessness, difficulty concentrating and also suicidal thoughts. If you feel those all above symptoms, for sure you have to see your doctor but if you just suffer just a mild-moderate mood symptoms, you may try these all herbs and vitamins and also practise the lifestyles 🙂

1. St. John’s wort

One of the most touted herbs used for enhancing mood is St. John’s wort, a yellow-flowered plant containing many chemical compounds. “Even though the evidence is mixed, it’s better for St. John’s wort than for other herbs,” says Adriane Fugh-Berman, MD, associate professor, Complementary and Alternative Medicine Master’s Program, Department of Physiology and Biophysics at Georgetown University School of Medicine. Fugh-Berman says that trials in the U.S. have been oddly less positive than in Germany, where it is widely prescribed.

Extracts of this Hypericum perforatum L. have been recommended traditionally for a wide range of medical conditions. The most common modern-day use of St. John’s wort is the treatment of depression. Numerous studies report St. John’s wort to be more effective than placebo and equally effective as tricyclic antidepressant drugs in the short-term treatment of mild-to-moderate major depression (1-3 months).

Flowering Hypericum Perforatum L.

Around for centuries, St. John’s wort is commonly used today for sleep disorders, anxiety, and mild-to-moderate depression. However, an analysis of 37 clinical trials found that St. John’s wort may have minimal benefit for those with more severe forms of depression. Although more research is needed, St. John’s wort may also have the potential to reduce symptoms of anxiety, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), or perimenopausal mood changes. This herb is available as capsules, tablets, liquid extracts, and teas, a typical dose of St. John’s wort ranges from 900 to 1,200 milligrams a day, and it should be taken for at least one to three months to see the best effect.

2. SAMe (S-Adenosyl-L-Methionine)

Derived from an amino acid and also available from protein food sources, is another widely studied mood-enhancing substance that’s commonly used in Europe. SAMe has been studied a lot for depression. Although current trials are not conclusive, an analysis of 28 studies showed that SAMe produced statistically significant improvement in the symptoms of depression when compared to a placebo. However, improvements were not as noteworthy when compared with conventional antidepressants.

Henry Emmons, MD, a psychiatrist with the Center for Spirituality and Healing at the University of Minnesota and also an author of The Chemistry of Joy: A Three-Step Program for Overcoming Depression through Western Science and Eastern Wisdom suggests SAMe for those with a type of depression that produces low energy. He prescribes 400 to 800 milligrams daily, depending upon need or tolerance. The dose most often used for depression in clinical studies is 800 to 1,600 milligrams daily for up to 6 weeks.

3. Valerian.

Flowering Valerian Officinalis

An herbal remedy created from dried roots, often taken as a sleep aid and sometimes used for anxiety. Valerian is found in Europe and Northern Asian and naturally prefers damp fields, but will also grow in more dry places.Valerian is an erect perennial herb. Valerian roots consist of may white coloured erect root stocks or rhizomes. In spring, every plant forms one hollow stem. The leaves are arranged in pairs and consist of six to ten leaflets. During midsummer the valerian plant starts to bloom. The flowers are white to pink with a very unique but rather pleasant smell. The roots and other parts have a more strange and foetid smell. Cats do like this smell very much and enjoy to rub there noise against the valerian plant or dried roots.

Valerian is one of the most important herbal sedative. Valerian is a non-addictive tranquilliser that is used against sleeping disorders, restlessness and anxiety. Valerian seems only to work when taken over longer periods (several weeks). Studies have demonstrated that valerian extracts interact with the GABA and benzodiazepine receptors. Valerian is also used traditionally to treat gastrointestinal pain and spastic colitis.

4. Lavender.

Aromatherapy, essential oils, and teas use lavender to enhance relaxation and possibly help relieve anxiety and depression. There are actually many uses for lavender. It clams the nervous system, making it a sedative. It also reduces stress in the body with its anti-spasmodic qualities. When the body is relaxed, the mind can also relax.

A tea made of lavender can be consumed as a sedative. Lavender oil can be placed, a drop at a time, on the temples to relieve headache, or in the bath to relax. Other uses of lavender oil, mixed with water or other herbal oils, are to relieve joint pain, as an antiseptic, and to aid digestion.

But lavender’s most common use is in reducing stress and headaches. A good way to do this is with an eye pillow that you can make yourself.

5. Omega-3 fatty acids.

Found in cold-water fish and certain vegetable oils, and available as a supplement, omega-3 fatty acids are sometimes used to help depression. Emmons recommends a dose of 2,000 to 4,000 milligrams or more when taken for mood problems.

6. B vitamins.

Essential for cell metabolism and central nervous system maintenance. Emmons recommends a good B-complex or multivitamin to ensure plenty of B vitamins, which can help stabilize nerve cell membranes.

7. Vitamin D

Although not enough evidence exists to make any claims about the effectiveness of vitamin D as a mood enhancer, at least one study reported benefits from vitamin D in treating seasonal affective disorder, a form of depression that occurs during the winter months.

Change Your Lifestyle

Emmons says “If you look at the research on exercise for depression, it’s equal to or better than medication for depression — probably the best outright alternative treatment for depression.” Then, he recommends mild, rhythmic activities such as walking, biking, or jogging. “It may not be enough for a lot of people, but it’s a good place to start.”

How much exercise is enough to enhance mood? According to a study published in the January 2005American Journal of Preventive Medicine, three hours of moderate activity per week may do the trick.

Emmons also strongly recommends a variety of stress management techniques, such as learning meditation to self-regulate thoughts, called mindfulness.

Based on scientifically tested tools published in the Journal of the American Psychological Association, Even certain computer games can help create more positive thought patterns, MindHabits is one of example. It helps players reduce stress and boost esteem by training the mind to refocus the way it perceives the world.

So, enhance your mood 🙂

*as taken separately from various sources*

Best Foods for Your Brain

Posted in Healthy with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 24, 2010 by rizkymygift

Perhaps, you’ve listened many times to the buzz about foods and dietary supplements and you believe they can do everything from sharpen focus and concentration, to enhance memory, attention span, and brain function.

But do they really work? There’s no denying that as we age chronologically, our body ages right along with us. The good news is that you can increase your chances of maintaining a healthy brain — if you add “smart” foods and beverages to your diet.

Caffeine Can Make You More Alert

There’s no magic bullet to boost IQ or make you smarter — but certain substances, like caffeine, can energize and help you focus and concentrate. Found in coffee, chocolate, energy drinks, and some medications, caffeine gives you that unmistakable wake-up buzz — though the effects are short term. And more is often less: Overdo it on caffeine and it can make you jittery and uncomfortable.

Sugar Can Enhance Alertness

Sugar is your brain’s preferred fuel source — not table sugar, but glucose, which your body metabolizes from the sugars and carbohydrates you eat. That’s why a glass of something sweet to drink can offer a short-term boost to memory, thinking processes, and mental ability.

Tips: Consume too much, however, and memory can be impaired — along with the rest of you. Go easy on the sugar so it can enhance memory, without packing on the pounds.

Eat Breakfast to Fuel Your Brain

Tempted to skip breakfast? Studies have found that eating breakfast may improve short-term memory and attention. Students who eat breakfast tend to perform significantly better than those who don’t. Foods at the top of researchers’ brain fuel list include high-fiber whole grains, dairy, and fruits. Just don’t overeat; researchers also found high-calorie breakfasts appear to hinder concentration.

Fish Really is Brain Food

A protein source associated with a great brain boost is fish — rich in omega 3 fatty acids, essential for brain function and development. These healthy fats have amazing brain power: higher dietary omega 3 fatty acids are linked to lower dementia and stroke risks; slower mental decline; and may play a vital role in enhancing memory, especially as we get older.

Tips: For brain and heart health, eat two servings of fish weekly.

Add a Daily Dose of Nuts and Chocolate

Nuts and seeds are good sources of the antioxidant vitamin E, which is associated with less cognitive decline as you age. Dark chocolate also has other powerful antioxidant properties. And it contains natural stimulants like caffeine, which can enhance focus and concentration.

Tips: Enjoy up to an ounce a day of nuts and dark chocolate to provide all the benefits you need without excess calories, fat, or sugar.

Add Avocados and Whole Grains

Every organ in the body depends on blood flow, especially the heart and brain. Eating a diet high in whole grains and fruits like avocados can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and lower bad cholesterol. This reduces your risk of plaque buildup and enhances blood flow, offering a simple, tasty way to fire up brain cells.

Whole grains, like popcorn and whole wheat, also contribute dietary fiber and vitamin E. Though avocados have fat, it’s the good-for-you, monounsaturated fat that contributes to healthy blood flow

Blueberries Are Super Nutritious

Research in animals shows that blueberries help protect the brain from oxidative stress and may reduce the effects of age-related conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. Studies also show that diets rich in blueberries significantly improved both the learning capacity and motor skills of aging rats, making them mentally equivalent to much younger rats.

Benefits of a Healthy Diet

It may sound trite but it’s true: If your diet lacks essential nutrients, it can decrease your ability to concentrate. Eating too much or too little can also interfere with your ability to focus. A heavy meal may make you feel lethargic, while too few calories can result in distracting hunger pangs.

Tips: Strive for a well-balanced diet full of a wide variety of healthy, wholesome foods.

 

Vitamins, Minerals, and Supplements?

Store shelves groan with supplements claiming to boost health. Although many of the reports on the brain-boosting power of supplements like vitamins B, C, E, beta-carotene, and magnesium are promising, a supplement is only useful to people whose diets are lacking in that specific nutrient.

Researchers are cautiously optimistic about ginseng, ginkgo, and vitamin, mineral, and herb combinations and their impact on the brain.

Tips: Check with your doc.

Then, get Ready for a Big Day

Want to power up your ability to concentrate? Start with a meal of 100% fruit juice, a whole grain bagel with salmon, and a cup of coffee. In addition to eating a well-balanced meal, experts also advise:

  • Get a good night’s sleep.
  • Stay hydrated.
  • Exercise to help sharpen thinking.
  • Meditate to clear thinking and relax

Give it a try 🙂

WebMD