The Beginner’s Guide to the Paleo Diet

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Deciding what to eat is probably the single most important health decision a person makes.  While air and water are the two most necessary requirements for staying alive, food occupies our minds most of the time.  Our prerequisites for air and water center almost entirely around whether they are pure and clean.  Food on the other hand introduces the factor of taste.  A question we ask daily, “What do you want to eat?” is almost always a query about flavor rather than nutrition.  Eating food not only sustains human beings, it is one of our carnal pleasures.  Sometimes that need for taste leads us to make bad choices.  We fill our diet with food that isn’t good for us.  Conversely when we find a diet that strikes a better balance we stick with it.  The Paleo Diet, popularized strongly at the beginning of the century, has showed staying power for just that reason.  It’s a well-researched nutrition plan backed by several noted scientists that also happens to have plenty room for variety and taste.

What Is the Paleo Diet?

The concept behind the Paleo Diet is the idea that humankind’s DNA is essentially the same as it was during the Paleolithic era.  Modern humans came into existence between one hundred and three hundred thousand years ago.  The Paleolithic era ended approximately eleven thousand years ago, so our species has spent more than ninety percent of its evolutionary time within the Paleolithic.  The thinking behind the diet is that the human digestive tract has not gone through substantive changes since the Paleolithic era ended.  Our ancestors were essentially hunter-gatherers.  They didn’t eat cultivated grains or domesticated meats in any quantity.  Their water had fewer chemicals, and their physical activity was far more pronounced.

Our habits and food sources have changed significantly through the centuries.  We have access to more diverse meal possibilities due to our famous ability to adapt.  On top of that, our scientific and industrial innovation has given us artificial supplements and food capabilities unavailable to our primitive ancestors.  We ingest meats and grains that the human body has only had a few dozen decades to absorb.  Our plants and animals are fed by fertilizers and steroids, which come into our systems as we consume the food we manufacture.

Creators of the Paleo Diet believe we force ourselves to digest foods that are incompatible with our gastrointestinal systems as well as our health.  As far back as the 1890’s writers such as John Harvey Kellogg and Emmet Densmore lamented the effects of grains on human health.  Author Walter L. Voegtlin published a book in 1975 called “The Stone Age Diet”.  As a gastroenterologist he advocated a meat-centric diet that kept vegetables and starches to a minimum.  In the twenty-first century Dr. Loren Cordain published his book, “The Paleo Diet”, which trademarked the name and system that suggests a diet almost exclusively of vegetables, fruits, nuts, roots, meat, and organ meats

What Are the Benefits Of A Paleo-Diet?

The Paleo Diet allows you to eat the following:

  • Wild Game and Lean Grass-fed Meats
  • Seeds And Nuts
  • Vegetables
  • Fruits
  • Oils
  • Fish

The diet seeks to avoid the following foods:

  • Dairy
  • Grains
  • Legumes
  • Refined Sugar
  • Salt

On top of these restrictions the Paleo Diet frowns upon heavily processed food in general.

As we can see by the above lists, the Paleo-Diet is good for weight loss, since it cuts down on calorie-rich food and carbohydrates.  Since the diet’s proponents also suggest a good exercise regimen and generous water consumption, the system encourages muscle tone and skin health.  The diet’s food components are good regulators of blood sugar.  It helps with stress and keeps dangerous fats at a low level.  The Paleo Diet’s ‘creators’ claim that it lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease and inflammatory bowel disease.  Not enough definitive studies have been done to give these claims firm scientific backing, but elements of the diet have been known to have a positive influence on heart and digestive health.

Since the Paleo Diet forbids dairy products, there is some worry about suffering from Vitamin D and calcium deficiency.  Some other worries are increased diarrhea, as well as possible exposure to more toxins in fish.  Proponents of the diet point out the ability to avoid toxins by practicing simple avoidance. Some foods that the diet allows have supplies of Vitamin D and calcium that can be increased to compensate for the absence of dairy products.

What Are Some Examples of a Paleo-Diet Meal?

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As we first mentioned taste is an important part of anyone’s diet choice.  The Paleo Diet has several fine dishes that are in perfect keeping with its requirements.  Everything from chicken salad to burgers, to grilled salmon and pork is allowed in Paleo Diet meals.  Vegetables fried in coconut oil, sweet potatoes and steak are also on the menu.  Lettuce leaf wraps can be used instead of sandwiches.  Grilled chicken wings with salsa make a nice movie or sports-event snack.

 

SOURCES USED :

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/paleo-diet/art-20111182,

https://thepaleodiet.com/

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About HIIT Training but Were Afraid to Ask

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A quick “fitness class” Google search will yield numerous spin, barre, kickboxing, Pilates, and so many more offerings for you to choose between. The number of exercise classes to choose from though can be overwhelming to navigate. And when you are paying per class, you find yourself wondering if the workout is worth the cost. The other dilemma we run into is time. With our busy schedules, many of us don’t have the time to set aside an hour each day for regular physical activity.

What has grown in popularity is a high-intensity interval workout (aka HIIT training) because it offers the same health benefits as other types of exercise but in a shorter amount of time – sometimes even as short as 15-20 minutes! It’s easy to find a HIIT class to try for yourself. You can Google different HIIT workouts or find clips on YouTube or various fitness services like Fit 5-40-5. Below we take a deeper dive into what this training is and its benefits.

What is HIIT Training?

HIIT’s name describes exactly what you can expect: high-intensity, interval training. These workouts consist of any form of exercise where you push yourself to endure a short burst of intense activity, followed by a brief period of rest or a lower-intensity activity. You’ll then repeat that sequence a few times. Each burst can vary in length (typically less than 45 seconds long) so you can play around with what makes sense for you and your body.

What are the the benefits versus conventional cardio exercise

  • Reduces your body fat: 

Unlike some other exercises, HIIT can decrease body fat more steadily. That’s because with this workout you are burning more calories in half the time. After you complete your workout, your body’s repair cycle goes into hyperdrive due to the intensity, so you stay burning fat and calories up to 24 hours after you finish! HIIT also ensures that the weight that you are losing comes from where your body is storing fats, so you aren’t losing any of your muscle mass.

  • Promotes a healthy heart:

HIIT training pushes us outside of our comfort zones and usual resting heart rates. When we work out like this, we are pushing ourselves into an anaerobic zone (when it feels like our heart is beating out of our chest) which is producing extreme results. Some studies have shown that after 8 weeks of HIIT training, some people can bicycle twice as long as they could before they started, while at the same pace!

  • Improves mental health:

We all know that exercise gives us endorphins and endorphins make us happier, but HIIT training is particularly helpful with this. Studies have shown HIIT can not only reduce depression but can also help those with psychiatric conditions. That’s because those individuals typically have a lower motivation to embrace an active lifestyle and they feel that exercise is too time-consuming. One study that looked at this at a psychiatric daycare facility showed an improvement in mental health scores related to reducing levels of depression and social avoidance.

  • Increases your metabolism:

In addition to the other health benefits, HIIT can also improve metabolic health like blood pressure, blood sugar levels, and cholesterol. HIIT stimulates your HGH (human growth hormone) by up to 450% during the 24 hours after you finish, and it slows down the aging process!

  • It’s time-efficient: 

You can fit HIIT into a lunch break or start, or end, your day with it. You’ll also see your progress fast. You’ll see more in just 15 minutes of interval training 3 times a week than if you were on a treadmill for an hour. You’ll still receive the great benefits of heart and lung health, metabolic health, increased oxygen supply to your muscles, and improved exercise tolerance just with 10-20 minutes sessions 3 times a week – that’s all you need!

Examples of HIIT Training

You can do HIIT training anywhere. Nothing will stop you or hold you back when all you need is some open space. Whether you’re at home, the gym, or even in your yard – you can get a quick HIIT workout in, wherever your heart desires. Below are some examples of how you can think about structuring your HIIT workout.

  • Tabata style:

Tabata is the most common style of HIIT. All it involves is 20 seconds of work followed by 10 seconds of rest. You then repeat that sequence 8-20 times total and you’re done!

  • Bodyweight focused:

Most HIIT workouts often only require body weight and you’ll commonly perform exercises like high knees, fast feet, burpees, squats, sit-ups, and anything plyometric like jumping lunges or jumping jacks. Since the whole point is to get your heart rate up fast some equipment (like dumbbells) can make your HIIT workout less effective because you aren’t pushing your heart to the max!

  • Equipment focused: 

If you have equipment accessible, that’s fine to use! And, you may prefer to use a treadmill, rowing machine, spin bike, or even a rope for your intervals. You can increase the resistance for the high-intensity portions and then reduce it again for the rest period (or walk).

There are many different formats out there, but a sample HIIT workout may look like this for 25 minutes total:

  • 5-minute warm-up
  • 5-minute HIIT circuit (high-intensity exercise for 15 seconds, then rest* for 10 seconds, high-intensity exercise for 15 seconds, then rest for 20 seconds, high-intensity exercise for 15 seconds, and then rest for 30 seconds, high-intensity exercise for 15 seconds and then rest for 40 seconds, high-intensity exercise for 15 seconds, and then rest for 50 seconds)
  • Repeat that 5-minute HIIT circuit 3 times
  • 5-minute cooldown

*For each rest, you can either stop altogether or switch to a gentler exercise like walking, cycling, or stretching. 

We all know exercise is good for us. HIIT allows for all of us to not have an excuse to not fit exercise into our daily lives. It offers benefits so many other workouts can’t deliver or offer, and the quick spurts will keep you from being bored! You’ll see the benefits in a matter of weeks and since it’s short, you’ll feel like you got a whole workout in half the time!

[Sources:]

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/327474

https://www.shape.com/fitness/workouts/apple-fitness-new-workouts-pregnancy-older-adults-beginners

10 Unbelievable Things You Never Knew About Pine Needle Tea

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Many people around the country enjoy the smell of fresh pine on a summer day, but did you know you can taste that sensation as well? Pine needle tea is a delicious treat to enjoy in the morning or during the day and provides many health benefits to its drinkers.

The needles the tea is infused with are the primary source of these benefits, such as antioxidants and vitamin A and C. There are many other benefits to be gained from drinking pine needle tea daily, here’s a brief guide.

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Fight Respiratory Infections

Pine needle tea was often used by indigenous cultures for treating respiratory problems. The Encyclopedia of American Indian Contributions to the World records how the Native Americans used white pine for its expectorant and decongestant qualities.

pine needle tea benefits, pine needle tea health benefits, where to buy pine needle tea, how to make pine needle tea, are pine needles safe for tea, are pine needles toxic to humansThe Power of Antioxidants

Drinking a cup or two of pine needle tea per day will help fuel your body with antioxidants, which are highly important for the functioning of your body and blood. Pine needles possesses a slew of antioxidants, in the form of vitamin A and vitamin C, as well as a host of flavonoids.

The vitamins you consume while drinking the tea, in addition to micronutrients known as “phytonutrients” help guard your skin from excess damage by free radicals. Protection from free radicals can help you prevent illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s. There are a host of supplements and artificial sources of antioxidants, but natural sources are more beneficial.

pine needle tea benefits, pine needle tea health benefits, where to buy pine needle tea, how to make pine needle tea, are pine needles safe for tea, are pine needles toxic to humansKeep Your Heart Healthy

Pine needle tea doesn’t just bolster and protect your blood. The nutrients and antioxidants found within the tea can also help your heart function in a similar manner to your blood. Pine needle tea helps bolster your blood because it provides a boost to the metabolism of lipids. Researchers have tested this function of the tea in several different ways and have consistently found it to be highly beneficial for this purpose.

In addition to quickening of metabolism, pine needle tea reduces inflammation in the body, which helps balance the flora of the gut. This gut rebalancing has many beneficial properties, but one of the primary uses is the lowering of bad cholesterol, while raising the good type. Clinical trials need still be conducted, but the initial research is promising.

pine needle tea benefits, pine needle tea health benefits, where to buy pine needle tea, how to make pine needle tea, are pine needles safe for tea, are pine needles toxic to humansRefuel More Efficiently

Because of the many antioxidants found in pine needle tea, the drink can help you refuel while exercising, so that you’re ready for another round or beginning a cycle of rest. The Journal of Nutrition exercise and Biochemistry found that rats who were fed pine needle power lowered their cholesterol significantly.

The antioxidants within the tea helped the rats perform better in their exercises and recover quickly when faced with a second bout of activity. In addition, the tea also helped prevent cell death, which is important for both recovery time and intensity. The only caveat is that the pine needle powder most likely had a higher concentration of antioxidants than would be found in most tea.

pine needle tea benefits, pine needle tea health benefits, where to buy pine needle tea, how to make pine needle tea, are pine needles safe for tea, are pine needles toxic to humansVitamins Galore

Pine needle tea holds a plethora of vitamins and minerals in addition to the antioxidant properties. The two most common vitamins found within the tea are vitamin A and vitamin C, which will help you see at night in addition to providing your skin with many benefits. Vitamin C will help you build collagen and protect your skin tissue, in addition to boosting your immune system in a natural and organic way.

These vitamins are important, but many Americans aren’t consuming enough of them on a daily basis. Adding pine needle tea to your diet and daily routine can help keep your skin healthy and young year-round.

pine needle tea benefits, pine needle tea health benefits, where to buy pine needle tea, how to make pine needle tea, are pine needles safe for tea, are pine needles toxic to humansHelp Clear Your Mind

Finally, one of the most sought-after yet undervalued properties of pine needle tea is the ability to clear your mind and help keep your body in clarity. The sweet aroma and peaceful aura of pine needle tea can help your body relax and open up your senses, allowing your mind to relax and your senses to become slightly improved. Many priests and monks from different regions of the world have drank pine needle tea over the centuries because of the boost it provides to clarity.

Making the Tea

It’s entirely possible to make your own pine needle tea, though the process is not quick. There are many concerns to take into account and steps to follow. First, you should cut off the ends and roll the needles you’ve bought. This step releases the oil and keeps the needles dry and nutritious. You should keep the needles you’ve prepared in a cup of hot water for about fifteen minutes before straining. Once strained, you can mix and enjoy at your leisure.

Caution

It may be tempting to collect your pine needles from random trees around your neighborhood or city, but you should resist the temptation. Many of the needles found within nature will be unsafe to eat and drink because they’ve not been specially prepared or treated. If you wish to make pine needle tea yourself, you should buy needles which are already bagged, for your safety and convenience.

Side Effects

There are a wide variety of pine trees. Some of these are potentially toxic or harmful when used for food. If you are foraging for pine needles, it is advisable to do so with an expert. According to the USDA Agricultural Research Service, the needles of ponderosa pine cause abortion when grazed by cattle. With very little research available, most of the side effects of pine-needle tea are also anecdotal. Some of these are: [14]

Irritation in the throat and mouth

Inflamed patches on the skin

Vomiting

Nausea

Dizziness

Headaches

Diarrhea

For pregnant women: The USDA cautioned against the ingestion of ponderosa pine needles. Given the toxicity of some pine species, it is best to avoid drinking this tea if you are pregnant. [15] [16]

Allergy: You should also be aware of any potential allergies to pine trees. Pine oil that is released when brewing the tea, can have inflammatory effects on the skin and stomach, resulting in stomach upset in some people. Given these possible side-effects, it is recommended that you only try about half a cup in the beginning.

SOURCES USED:

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/6355045_Antioxidant_Antimutagenic_and_Antitumor_Effects_of_Pine_Needles_Pinus_densiflora

https://www.google.co.in/books/edition/Encyclopedia_of_American_Indian_Contribu/QIFTVWJH3doC?hl

 

The Fascinating Science of How Pumpkin Seeds Help Brain Function

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Pumpkin seeds are a fall snack favorite adored by many. But, did you know that pumpkin seeds also have powerful brain health benefits and are integral in healthy brain function? They are rich in many micronutrients that are essential for healthy brain function, including copper, iron, magnesium, and zinc. Their magnesium content provides a calming effect on the brain — an amazing and all-natural option for stress relief.

Keep reading to learn more about how pumpkin seeds help brain function.

Key Minerals and Nutrients in Pumpkin Seeds

A quarter cup of raw pumpkin seeds contains about 150 calories, 15 grams of healthy fat, a few grams of carbs, and 8-10 grams of plant protein. They are also packed with nutrients.

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Pumpkin seeds, which are also called pepitas, are an excellent source of manganese, magnesium, iron, zinc, and copper. Magnesium is key to helping improve mood and sleep. Manganese plays a key role in collagen production — promoting bone and skin health. Iron and Cooper found in pumpkin seeds are involved with energy production, whereas iron helps transport oxygen to the cells in the body. Zinc is key for immunity, vision, and skin health.

Eating just one serving of raw pumpkin seeds can supply between 14-42% of the daily target for these essential nutrients.

Pumpkin seeds contain the following key brain health minerals:

  • Magnesium: This mineral is essential for a well-functioning nervous system, and it also supports brain development, memory, and learning. Research has shown that low levels of magnesium may increase neurological health issues and conditions like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and the risk of stroke, migraines, epilepsy, and anxiety and depression.
  • Zinc: Zinc plays a key role in the regulation of communication between the brain cells that impact brain development, memory, and learning. Zinc deficiency is linked to a number of neurological conditions, including epilepsy, Alzheimer’s, schizophrenia, and depression.
  • Iron: Iron is another mineral that plays an integral role in the day-to-day functions of the brain and development. Iron deficiency can lead to fatigue, headaches, and anxiety. Iron deficiency is a widely known cause of impaired cognitive, language, and motor development.
  • Cooper: Cooper plays a key role in brain function and development and is required for essential enzymes that supply the brain with energy. A proper balance of copper is key because too little or too much can cause brain disorders, including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Menkes, and Wilson’s diseases.

Brain Benefits

Some of the most significant brain benefits that pumpkin seeds pack include:

  • Feelings of calm — The high magnesium content of pumpkin seeds can lead to stress and anxiety relief and an overall sense of calm. Over the past 50 years, as magnesium consumption has plummeted, anxiety rates have gone up drastically. A calm and controlled mind increases your decision-making power and brings you a better sense of clarity.
  • Feelings of happiness — Pumpkin seeds can also help produce serotonin — the incredible neurotransmitter that helps us feel happy. According to the NCBI, Serotonin is one of the most important neurotransmitters that influence mental health.

How to Eat Pumpkin Seeds

You can buy pumpkin seeds at most grocery stores and health food stores. Or, you can make your own! Simply take the seeds from a pumpkin and bake them at 350 for 30-40 minutes. Here are some simple and delicious ways to incorporate more pumpkin seeds into your diet:

  • Eat them alone as a snack
  • Sprinkle them on top of salads for some crunch
  • Mix them into yogurt and smoothies
  • Blend them in with protein balls
  • Sprinkle them on whatever you want for added flavour, crunch, and a brain boost, from oatmeal to cereal and stir-fries and tacos.

Pumpkin seeds are an extremely versatile and delicious snack that packs a serious brain-boosting punch. Try adding them to your meals or snacking on them to harness the brain-boosting powers and ensure healthy and optimal brain function.

Learn How Melatonin Prevents Blood Clots in Ten Minutes

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Everybody needs 7-8  hours of sleep to function well. Without sleep, we don’t perform at our best, and lack of sleep can negatively impact our health.  Many people have difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, tossing and turning during those precious hours intended for sleep. Melatonin, a neurohormone supplement, helps many people fall asleep and stay asleep, making it known primarily as a sleep aid. But there is research to show that melatonin can help in preventing blood clots. One of the most important areas of research would be exploring the use of melatonin in preventing blood clots, as around 100,000 people die from blood clots annually.

Melatonin has other health benefits that are just as important as sleep improvement possibly making it effective in treating:

Understanding Melatonin

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Melatonin has a long history in alternative medicine. In the U.S., it’s sold as an over-the-counter supplement, while it’s available by prescription in other countries. Natural melatonin is produced in your body by the pineal gland in the brain. Its production is triggered by darkness, which explains its benefits while sleeping in the dark. The supplement is a synthetic version of the natural substance.

Research on Melatonin and Blood Clotting

As far back as 2008, the Journal of Pineal Research published a study that showed the relationship between taking oral melatonin and blood coagulation. The study included 46 healthy men between 21 and 29 years of age. The subjects were given a placebo containing no medication or 3mg of oral melatonin. The study results reported: “A single dose of oral melatonin was associated with lower plasma levels of procoagulant factors 60 mins later.” Procoagulant factors promote blood clotting, and melatonin had lowered their levels, making clotting less likely. A 2013 research paper published by Arushanian described melatonin as a “natural inhibitor of (platelet) aggregation” that is potentially impactful in cardiovascular disorders so may be “recommended for use in pharmacotherapy.” A 2020 review of studies, published by Otamas, Grant and Aijan supported previous evidence, suggesting that, “…melatonin inhibits platelet aggregation and might affect the coagulation cascade, altering fibrin clot structure and/resistance to fibrinolysis.” In layman’s terms, melatonin inhibits bodily functions that lead to blood clots. This more recent study recommended further study to confirm and progress the research findings. The research on melatonin in this area is ongoing and more is needed in the future.

Who Shouldn’t Take Melatonin?

While Melatonin can have many benefits, including the potential to reduce clotting, it’s important to realize the dangers that may create to people on blood thinners, such as Warfarin, with herbs that can slow clotting, including garlic and ginger, and with blood clotting medication.

Taking melatonin along with blood thinning medication can lead to bleeding or bruising. It can interfere with the work of blood clotting medication. Melatonin is generally not advised for these groups but as always, people should follow the advice of their medical doctors.

Fluvoxamine (Luvox) is an antidepressant medication that increases the absorption of melatonin. Since more melatonin is absorbed creating greater conditions for blood thinning, taking it with fluvoxamine should be avoided.

Should I Take Melatonin?

A healthy person that doesn’t take blood thinning or coagulating medication, Fluvoxamine, or other medications or herbs that can interact with melatonin should be able to safely take melatonin if permitted by their doctors. If you’re considering melatonin, it may help you sleep, have additional benefits, and keep your blood free from unwanted clotting.

SOURCES USED:

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/5563342_Oral_melatonin_reduces_blood_coagulation_activity_A_placebo-controlled_study_in_healthy_young_men

https://www.livescience.com/42066-melatonin-supplement-facts.html

https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/1479164120920582?icid=int.sj-abstract.citing-articles.3&

https://www.uofmhealth.org/health-library/d04058a1

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/melatonin-side-effects#TOC_TITLE_HDR_6

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/282008268_Effect_of_melatonin_on_the_thrombocyte_hemostasis_and_its_circadian_organization

This Is Your Brain on Vitamin C

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Vitamin C is well known for enhancing immunity, including preventing colds and improving mental health. Scientific studies indicate that people who consume foods rich in vitamin C experience less stress as they encounter physical challenges. After we consume vitamin C, it causes the body to dispense neurotransmitters that enhance mood such as dopamine, norepinephrine, and epinephrine. People who lack vitamin C have low synthesis of these neurotransmitters, and can become irritable and stressed.

 

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Vitamin C and Mental Health

A German study measured the stress levels of 120 individuals by letting them perform public speaking while solving math problems. The subjects were given 1000 mg of vitamin C prior to the task. Participants who did not take the vitamin showed elevated cortisol levels and higher blood pressure. Those who took the vitamin showed normal blood pressure levels and said that they did not feel that stressed.

Vitamin C also plays a vital role in maintaining the function and integrity of the central nervous system, including the formation of myelin and maturation of neurons, which protects nerve fibers and repairs neurons. In addition, it acts as a neuromodulator, which influences mood regulation.

Research studies also indicate that free radical damage and oxidative stress can play a part in the pathogenic mechanisms underlying several neuropsychological disorders including depression.

The American Journal of Psychiatry published a study stating that low levels of vitamin C were closely related to depression in the elderly. Another study published by McGill University found that administering vitamin C twice a day improved the mood of hospital patients. Vitamin C is also linked to promoting health for people suffering from bipolar disorder and anxiety.

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The Brain consumes a lot of vitamin C. Brain concentrations of vitamin C are higher than those of the rest of the body. It maintains vitamin C levels for a longer period of time after the body depletes them. That’s because metabolic furnaces in the neurons churn through glucose to power one’s movements and feelings. Vitamin C also works as an antioxidant. It surrenders electrons for the purpose of neutralizing rogue oxygen molecules which are emitted in the process. These are the free radicals that ruin DNA and cause cells to age.

Vitamin C also plays a role in the maturation and differentiation of neurons and in forming the myelin sheath that expedites impulse transmission and protects neurons. Thus, vitamin C is essential for cognitive performance and is also a cofactor in synthesizing several neurotransmitters. It plays a vital role in converting dopamine to serotonin. It also modulates the release of neurotransmitters in nerve cells. Vitamin C is also found in collagen, which is a stabilizing force for bones, teeth, and blood vessels. It helps ensure that the integrity of blood vessels retain their integrity as an aspect of cognitive capacity, particularly as people age.

In a review of fifty studies of Brain function and vitamin C levels conducted between1980 and 2017, Australian researchers discovered that there was a striking relationship between mental function and vitamin C status. A questionnaire, known as the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) measured the relationship.

In the study, the individuals that were cognitively intact had higher blood concentrations of vitamin C than the individuals who were cognitively impaired. Among the individuals who were cognitively intact, the levels of vitamin C in the blood had a correlation with cognitive ability. There was no linear correlation seen in people with cognitive impairment.

Factors such as exposure to toxins caused by air pollution and smoking as well as drinking alcohol make extra demands for vitamin C by placing the body under oxidative stress. Studies show that conditions like depression, fatigue, and poor healing of wounds happen when vitamin C levels are inadequate.

References

Bundrant, M. vitamin C and Its Key role in mental health. Psych Central. https://blogs.psychcentral.com/nlp/2017/01/vitamin-c- nd-its-key-role-in-mental-health/

Marano, H. The Cognitive Benefits of vitamin C. Psychology Today. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/articles/201801/the- cognitive-benefits-vitamin-c

Got Stress? You Need vitamin C. adrenalfatigue.org. https://adrenalfatigue.org/got-stress-you-need-vitamin-c/

Vitamin C: Essential for stress and Adrenal Function. adrenalfatigue.org. https://adrenalfatigue.org/vitamin-c-adrenal-function-stress/