Tag Archives: depression

The Many Health Benefits of Flaxseed

Flaxseed has been used for many years for making linen. It’s also known as linseed, one
of the ingredients in paint. The closest it came to being food was its use for livestock feed.
It’s only about a decade ago that science discovered the many health benefits of flaxseed.

Flaxseed is a rich plant source of omega-3 fatty acids. Apart from supporting good vision,
omega-3 also fight weight gain by increasing metabolic rate and they protect against
cancer growth. Flaxseed contains a different type of omega-3 than fish. This type reduces
the incidence of blood clotting, which can increase the risk of heart disease and stroke.
In addition, the omega-3 also appears to help prevent atherosclerosis, increase good HDL
cholesterol, lower levels of dangerous LDL cholesterol, and reduce inflammation.
They may also help to reduce depression.

Apart from omega-3, flaxseed is also a rich source of compounds called lignans.
While many plant foods contain lignans, flaxseed contains by far the most, at least 75 times
more than any other plant food. For example, you have to eat 60 cups of fresh broccoli
or 100 slices of whole-wheat bread to get the same amount of lignans in ¼ cup of flaxseed.
Lignans are important because of their powerful antioxidant properties to help blocking the cell-damaging effects of free radicals.
Food rich in lignans can lower the risk of heart disease. A Finnish study of almost 2,000 men found that those men with the highest lignan intake were significantly less likely to die from heart disease than those with the lowest intake.

Flaxseed also shows some potential of reversing kidney damage caused by lupus.
A condition by which the immune system produces harmful substances that attack and
damage healthy tissues.
When researchers at the University of Western Ontario gave flaxseed to nine people with
lupus related kidney disease, they discovered that several kidney functions, including
the ability to filter waste, quickly improved. The researchers believe that the lignans and
omega-3 in flaxseed fight inflammation in the tiny, very fragile arteries that supply blood
to the kidneys, helping reduce the artery-clogging process that can lead to kidney damage.

Apart from the health benefits of the lignans in flaxseeds to protect your heart, they also
fight cancer in your body. Lignans subdue cancerous changes once’s they have occurred,making them less likely to run out of control and develop into full-blown cancer.
Studies at the University of Toronto shows some promise for battling certain types of
cancer, in particular preventing typical female cancers, like breast- and ovarian cancer.

Two additional properties of the omega-3 in flaxseed, apart from its cancer-fighting power,
is the ability of limiting the body’s production of chemicals called prostaglandins.
The importance of prostaglandins is that they speed up tumor growth in large amounts.

To top it all up, flaxseed is also very high in fiber. Three table spoons of seeds contains
three grams of fiber, which is about twelve percent of the Daily Value.
The important role of fiber in your diet is the ability to block the harmful effects of
compounds that over time may cause changes in the intestine that can lead to cancer.

Whole flaxseed provide little benefit. Flaxseed is the one food that provide more
nutritional benefits when processed. So instead, buy the cracked or milled forms, which
readily give up the nutritious goodness packed inside.
Don’t buy the oil. Most of the lignans in flaxseed are found in the non-oil part of the seed.
While the oil may contain some lignans, it doesn’t provide as much as the other healthful
compounds found in the seeds, such as fiber, protein and minerals.

Cycling prevent depression

An active body prevent degeneration of the brain and effect your emotions.
Depression is a state of mind involving different organisms in the brain,
like the amygdala,(fear & aggression) and the hypocampus (memory).

They are in  turn connected with the brain cortex. The different parts of
the brain communicate with each other by means of electrical waves and
neuro-transmitters, chemical substances.Those combinations determine
what you can do, what you feel and what you think.

Anti-depressants intervene with neuro-transmitters, like serotonine.
Serotonine influence your mood, self confidence and appetite.
A deficiency of these neuro-transmitters could lead to feelings of depression,
but this theory is not proved.

The tendency is to ascribe depression to a combination of genetic factors,
processes which are happening in the cortex.
The upper layer, which is involved in  perceptions of the senses, movement
and reasoning, and the neuro-transmitters.

Hypogondria and lack of interest and pleasure could be signs of depression.
If these mood disturbances happens with a lack of appetite, insomnia, fatique,
lack of concentration, feeling of impotence or fear, restless, crying, worrying,
repeating thoughts of dead or suicide, etc., there is a common ground for
real depression. One out of seven people encounter feelings of depression
in their lives.

Your brain determines how you treat your environment, but the opposite is
also true: your environment forms your brain.
The good news is that we can do something about the loss of brain cells,
when we get older.Our brain has a high level of plasticity, in other words,
our brain is mouldable. It adjust itself to the demands.

The structure of your brain is determined by what you do.
They researched the brain structure of London Taxi drivers. They have to know
the complete plan of London. This effects the hypocampus of the brain,
an important part of the brain that takes care of the data input and of
spacial observation. With London taxi drivers this part of the brain appears
to be bigger than with normal London drivers. It even grows through the years.

Besides structure you can also influence communication between different
parts of the brain. According to research, different parts of the brain
before and after cognitive behaviour therapy are changed.
Apparently, you can change your emotions, behaviour and your thoughts.

Movement plays an important role. Movement produce substances that stimulate
the plasticity of the brain. How this works is unknown.
But we know that movement works protective.
Rats who move a lot, for example, have more connections between cells
in the hypocampus, the part of the brain that is enlarged with the
London taxi drivers.

We also know that movement counter act degeneration of getting older.
You keep your memory in good condition and you can plan better.
We also know that movement helps to reduce stress.
Long lasting stress damage the hypocampus.

From research we know that by practicing weight-and condition training
for half a year, the results are excellent.
This means: when you start moving now, you immediately make progress.
It doesn’t matter, whether you have been practicing sport before or not.

Movement also influence moods your brain produce.
Well known is the runner’s high with runners.
Running produce neuro-transmitters,like endorfines.Endorfines surpress pain.
Pleasant side effects are feelings of happiness, or even a feeling of euphoria.

Running is a well-known therapy for people suffering from depression.
Stiff cycling has the same effect: cycling relaxes and the fresh air also
takes part in it. The surroundings influence via our senses our state of mind.
When you cycle, they al get a change. Wind cleans our brain.