How Can Diet Affect Depression?

Trying to find a diet to ease depression? Unfortunately, there's no specific diet that works for depression. No studies have been done that indicate a particular eating plan can ease symptoms of clinical depression.

while certain diets or foods may not ease depression (or put you instantly in a better mood), a healthy diet may help as part of an overall treatment for depression.

How Can Diet Affect Depression?

Here are the following  tips for eating if you or a loved one is recovering from clinical depression.

1- Eat a Diet High in Nutrients

Nutrients in foods support the body's repair, growth, and wellness. Nutrients we all need include vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, protein, and even a small amount of fat. A deficiency in any of these nutrients lead to our bodies not working at full capacity -- and can even cause illness.

2- Fill Your Plate With Essential Antioxidants

Damaging molecules called free radicals are produced in our bodies during normal body functions -- and these free radicals contribute to aging and dysfunction. Antioxidants such as beta-carotene and vitamins C and E combat the effects of free radicals. Antioxidants have been shown to tie up these free radicals and take away their destructive power.

Studies show that the brain is particularly at risk for free radical damage. Although there's no way to stop free radicals completely, we can reduce their destructive effect on the body by eating foods rich in antioxidants as part of a healthy diet, including:

    Sources of beta-carotene: apricots, broccoli, cantaloupe, carrots, collards, peaches, pumpkin, spinach, sweet potato.

    Sources of vitamin C: blueberries, broccoli, grapefruit, kiwi, oranges, peppers, potatoes, strawberries, tomato.

    Sources of vitamin E: margarine, nuts and seeds, vegetable oils, wheat germ.

 

3-Eat "Smart" Carbs for a Calming Effect

The connection between carbohydrates and mood is linked to the mood-boosting brain chemical, serotonin. Carbohydrate craving may be related to decreased serotonin activity, although experts are not sure if there is a link.

So don't shun carbs -- just make smart choices. Limit sugary foods and opt for smart carbs, such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and legumes, which all contribute healthy carbs as well as fiber.

4- Eat Protein-Rich Foods to Boost Alertness

Foods rich in protein, like turkey, tuna, or chicken, are rich in an amino acid called tyrosine. Tyrosine may help boost levels of the brain chemicals dopamine and norepinephrine. This boost helps you feel alert and makes it easier to concentrate. Try to include a protein source in your diet several times a day, especially when you need to clear your mind and boost your energy.

    Good sources of healthy proteins: beans and peas, lean beef, low-fat cheese, fish, milk, poultry, soy products, yogurt.

Compiled by:Raghda Sawas

 

 

Disease Prevention

 

As models for prevention research, infectious diseases have set a high standard. Thanks to the development and widespread distribution of vaccines and anti microbial drugs, we now live in a world free of smallpox, nearly free of polio, and with declining rates of malaria and AIDS. These victories (some still partial) have resulted in people living longer and acute infectious diseases being superseded in many countries as a public health priority by long-term noncommunicable diseases. Heart disease, metabolic disease, cancer, and respiratory disease together account for 60% of all deaths worldwide and 80% of deaths in low- and middle-income countries. Global projections for dementia are particularly alarming: By the year 2050, the disorder may affect more than 100 million people.

Logic dictates that preventing these diseases is a better approach than treating people after they have become ill. In many cases, the knowledge and tools needed for prevention appear to be in place. A number of these killer diseases share risk factors that can be modified by lifestyle changes—for example, by eliminating tobacco use, eating less processed food, and increasing physical activity. For certain cancers, screening tests are available that allow detection of the disease at an early stage. So why is prevention of these diseases so difficult when it seems like such a good idea on paper?

This special section of Science highlights many of the challenges facing researchers in noncommunicable disease prevention, a field characterized by impassioned debates on issues as fundamental as whether the benefits of cancer screening outweigh the risks, and which forms of prevention are the most cost-effective. The need for carefully designed clinical trials is a common theme in discussions of potential chemopreventive agents—among them aspirin, vitamin D, vaccines against chronic diseases, and β-amyloid–lowering drugs. The preventive strategies most likely to succeed on a population-wide scale are described, as are the best ways to integrate these efforts with infectious disease prevention, and the far-reaching effects (some adverse) that disease prevention efforts could have on a country's economy. And even as medical researchers seek new prevention drugs and strategies, we are reminded that lifelong health requires proper nutrition, especially during the first 1000 days of life, and that effective prevention will require an understanding of why people engage in health-harming behaviors.

One year ago this month, the United Nations convened a conference focused on the global reach of noncommunicable diseases, and it has since set a goal: to reduce the probability of premature mortality from these diseases by 25% by the year 2025. Although the specifics are still a work in progress, preventive strategies will probably play an important role. As if prevention researchers didn't already face enough challenges, they now find themselves working on a deadline.

Science Magazine

M.W

 

Cabbage could work miracles

The health benefits of cabbage include treatment of constipation, stomach ulcers, headache, excess weight, skin disorders, eczema, jaundice, scurvy, rheumatism, arthritis, gout, eye disorders, heart diseases, ageing, and Alzheimer's disease.

Did you know that the cheap, humble looking and so widely used cabbage could work miracles? Cabbage is a leafy vegetable of Brassica family, round or oval in shape, consisting of soft light green or whitish inner leaves covered with harder and dark green outer leaves. It is widely used throughout the world, eaten cooked or raw as salad and is a very popular vegetable.

Deficiency Symptoms:

Deficiency of Vitamin C: Scurvy, which is recognized by spongy and bleeding gums, cracked lip corners etc., very weak immune system, frequent infections and cold, ageing, depression etc.

Remedy: Cabbage is abundant is Vitamin C. You will be surprised to know that it is richer in vitamin C than the famous oranges. Vitamin C, being one of the best anti oxidant, reduces free radicals in your body which are the basic causes of ageing. It also helps repairing the wear and tears in the body. Thus it is very helpful in treating ulcers, certain cancers, depressions, for strengthening immune system and fighting against cough and cold, healing of wounds and damaged tissues, proper functioning of nervous system and thereby help curing Alzheimer’s disease etc.

Deficiency of Roughage: This is a very serious deficiency but most neglected. Lack of roughage in the food results in constipation, the root cause to innumerable other ailments and health hazards such as stomach ulcers, headache, intestinal cancer, indigestion and resultant loss of appetite, skin diseases, eczema, ageing and hundreds related problems.

Remedies: Cabbage is very rich in fiber. This helps retain water and forms the bulk of the food and the bowels. Thus it is a good cure for constipation and related problems.

Deficiency of Sulphur: Sulphur is a very useful nutrient as it fights infections. Its deficiency results in microbial infections and late healing of wounds.

Remedy: Again, cabbage is rich is sulphur. So, it helps fight infections in wounds and ulcers.

Detoxification by cabbage: Cabbage is a good detoxifier too, i.e. it purifies blood and removes toxins (primarily free radicals and uric acid which is major cause for rheumatism, gout, arthritis, renal calculi, skin diseases, eczema, hardening and de-colorization of skin etc.). This detoxifying effect of cabbage is due to the presence of vitamin C and sulphur.

 

Other benefits of Cabbage: Cabbage, being rich in iodine, helps in proper functioning of the brain and the nervous system, apart from keeping the endocrinal glands in proper condition. Thus, it is good for brain and treatment of neurotic disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease. The various other nutrients present in cabbage such as vitamin-E which keeps the skin, eye and hair healthy, calcium, magnesium, potassium, etc., are very useful for overall health. The cabbage can also be used for treatment of varicose veins, leg ulcers, peptic and duodenal ulcers etc.

So, now you know that the inevitable part of your Chinese dish could do you miracles. Add more and more cabbage in your daily diet, be it your soup or be it your salad, this is going to help you live a healthy and longer life.

Compiled by:Raghda Sawas

Nutrients in Fruits, Vegetables May Help Prevent Breast Cancer

Women with higher levels of micronutrients found in many fruits and vegetables may be less likely to develop breast cancer, a new study finds.

Previous research has shown that the nutrients, called carotenoids, can inhibit tumor growth and reduce the spread of breast cancers.

“Carotenoids are found in carrots, spinach, kale, tomatoes, bell peppers, sweet potatoes and other vegetables,” noted one expert not connected to the study, Dr. Stephanie Bernik.

“There has been some evidence in the past that these substances are helpful in reducing the risk of cancer,” said Bernik, who is chief of surgical oncology at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.

In the new study, researchers led by A. Heather Eliassen of Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, in Boston, analyzed data from thousands of women who took part in eight previous studies on carotenoid levels and breast cancer.

They found a statistically significant association between higher levels of carotenoids and reduced breast cancer risk, especially so-called ER-negative breast cancers - tumors that aren’t reliant on estrogen to fuel their growth. The findings highlight carotenoid levels as one of the first modifiable risk factors to be identified for ER-negative breast cancers, the team said.

While there is some evidence that carotenoids also inhibit the growth of ER-positive breast cancers (cancers that respond to estrogen), it’s possible that this benefit is hidden by hormone-related associations that overpower other risk factors, the researchers added.

“A diet high in carotenoid-rich fruits and vegetables offers many health benefits, including a possible reduced risk of breast cancer,” they concluded.

 

Bernik agreed. She said the researchers “have shown that there appears to be a real benefit to higher circulating levels of the micronutrients. The present study has more conclusively shown that there probably is some truth to what we tell patients regarding their diets … the foods that your mother always told you are good for you, truly are good for you.”

The study was published Dec. 6 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

The study found a link between carotenoid levels and breast cancer risk, but it did not prove that the nutrients prevent the disease.

Raghda Sawas

Syria ,Iran to Ink MoU to Produce Vaccine for Foot-and-Mouth Disease

TEHRAN (ST)- Syria and Iran and are due to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the production of vaccine for foot-and-mouth disease in Syria.

"Fortunately, we managed to go through the final stages of preparing a draft MoU for launching a site to produce foot-and-mouth disease's vaccine by Iran in Syria and the MoU will be signed by relevant Iranian and Syrian officials tomorrow," Syrian Deputy Agriculture Minister Hussain Salih al-Suleiman said during a visit to Iran's Razi Vaccine and Serum Research Institute in Tehran on Saturday.

According to the MoU, Iran's Razi institute will launch a vaccine production site in Syria to produce 10 million doses of foot-and-mouth vaccine annually, he added.

In recent years, Iran has taken wide strides in science and technology, particularly in medical and medicinal fields.

In 2011, Head of Iran's Pasteur Institute Mostafa Qaneyee had announced that the institute plans to produce human vaccines for rabies and hemophilia diseases.

"The center (Pasteur Institute), in cooperation with its affiliated knowledge-based companies, has started a project to produce rabies and hemophilia human vaccines," Qaneyee told FNA at the time.

M.D