September 15, 2015

Stop Getting “Hangry” Now

Filed under: Depression,hangry feeling,mood,unhealthy eating — Tags: , , — robertprice @ 9:00 am

Hungry business woman
If you find yourself growling just as much as your stomach when you miss a meal, you’re not alone. “Hangry”- a mix between being hungry and angry- is a feeling that plenty of people are familiar with. It’s a well-known fact that hungry people generally tend to be grumpy people, but why do being hungry and angry go together so often and what can you do to prevent the effects?

Here are physiological facts behind the “hangry” feeling:

1. Your Brain Panics

Everything you eat ends up being digested and turned into amino acids, free fatty acids and simple sugars such as glucose. You absorb these nutrients into your bloodstream and pass them along to be used for energy by your tissues and organs. But while most of your other organs can operate on a variety of different energy sources, your brain’s primary fuel is glucose. When your brain can’t access its main source of fuel, it sees a skipped meal as a life-or-death emergency and switches into crisis mode.

Tip: We need about 25 grams of glucose in our bloodstreams for our brain’s to work properly. A small banana can supply this needed glucose when you don’t have time for a meal.

2. Your Problem-Solving Skills Disappear

Your brain has a hard time regulating the thought process when glucose is low, so you may find that you slip-up more often or have trouble controlling your reactions when you’re hungry. In fact, not only does hunger leave you more likely to make hasty decisions, it also leads to major mood swings.

Tip: You can avoid the ugly side of hunger by eating regular, protein-packed meals that keep blood sugar levels even for longer.

3. Serotonin Levels Plunge

When you go too long without food, your serotonin levels drop. Serotonin is a feel-good hormone so this sudden plunge may be your brain’s protective way of letting your body know that your hunger is reaching “dangerous” levels. Because serotonin is also in charge of helping you to control anger, low levels of serotonin could be behind your sudden irritability.

Tip: Prevent any cranky outbursts by snacking on serotonin-rich foods like a handful of dates, walnuts or pumpkin seeds.

4. You Enter “Fight-or-Flight” Mode

One minute you’re busily typing away, the next minute, your hands are shaking or your heart is racing. But while it’s easy to think something is seriously wrong, chances are it’s just your body’s overreaction to an empty stomach. It’s your brain’s job to send your body life-saving signals in risky situations so when it senses what looks like starvation, it starts pumping out adrenaline. Adrenaline is a “fight-or-flight” stress hormone that’s behind those shaky hands, racing heart and that growing grumpiness you’re experiencing.

Tip: Keep calm and step away from the coffee machine! Caffeine-loaded drinks like coffee or tea are likely to spike your adrenaline levels and make your stress response to hunger even worse. If you’ve only got time for a drink, choose a calming cup of chamomile instead.

5. A Natural Chemical Affects Your Brain

When you don’t eat for a long time, a natural chemical called neuropeptide Y is released into your brain. This chemical acts on your brain’s Y1 receptor, causing you to feel both hungry and angry at the same time.

Tip: The aggressive reactions that neuropeptide Y causes are temporary but can be severe, so try to avoid tricky conversations that could lead to conflicts until after you’ve had a chance to eat something.

While feelings of panic, shakiness and sudden anger are not the most pleasant symptoms to experience, keep in mind that these are all just natural parts of your body and brain’s survival strategy. No matter how busy you are, simply reaching for a banana or a handful of nuts every 3-4 hours can balance your glucose levels and help to keep those “hangry” feelings away.

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September 2, 2015

You Too Can Beat Breast Cancer With Yoga

Filed under: breast cancer,Uncategorized,yoga for breast cancer — Tags: , , — robertprice @ 10:33 pm

Woman doing a yoga pose

Yoga is often seen as a form of exercise for meditation and relaxation, but it does much more than that. It works out the body, strengthens the muscles and bones lengthens the spine and helps keep you in a generally healthy state. But did you know that yoga also has a positive effect for breast cancer patients and survivors?

Yoga for breast cancer has just slowly been receiving attention, but a new study shows that the practice can help women who are battling with breast cancer – both mentally and physically.

A new study done on yoga for breast cancer patients saw a few women hit the mat for an hour at a time, thrice a week for six weeks, and this produced pretty good results: those women who did yoga and stretching reported a reduction in fatigue. However, those women who actually learned yoga reported greater benefits to their general overall health, and reported feeling more positive to how they faced their cancers.

Regular yoga practice also caused a decline in the stress hormone cortisol, which is linked to negative outcomes when it comes to breast cancer.

Is it the mind-body connection?

In this day and age, and with the findings of studies connecting yoga for breast cancer, doctors are now slowly realizing the connection between the mind and the body. Today, medical practitioners acknowledge that the combination of both mind and body practices have been helpful for many patients in helping them with their physical and mental wellbeing, and thereby helping them in their fight against the big C. 

What about breast cancer survivors

Just as yoga is good for everybody, it isn’t just for breast cancer patients, but for survivors as well. Many breast cancer survivors report that – even after declared 100% cancer-free, the cancer never seems to leave them. Thoughts of cancer going back or coming out from remission can plague them and cause emotional distress. In some women, these negative emotions can still come in even after being given a clean bill of health two years prior.

The meditation and mindfulness aspect of yoga can actually help people process these difficult emotions in a healthy way.  Yoga for breast cancer survivors is not only beneficial not just for one’s psychological wellbeing but even one’s physical wellbeing too.

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