Archive | October, 2012

Nourish A Cold

23 Oct

How often do you think about colds and flu when you are packing your lunch, cooking dinner or taking in a quick snack I can bet almost never? The foods you eat can have a powerful effect on your body’s ability to ward off everyday bugs that you may pick up from door handles, telephones, office equipment or even the person standing next to you that is coughing. Of course washing your hands is always an effective way to ward of cold and flu germs eating the right foods has the ability to support your body’s immune system by providing it with the nutrients it needs to be healthy and well. Evidence suggests that one of the key factors for warding of not only colds and flu but chronic diseases is having a strong, intact and healthy immune system.

One of the easiest ways to strengthen the immune system is to eat foods that are rich in immune boosting power. I have identified 10 delicious and convenient foods that will help you to boost your body’s immunity. They all contain specific nutrients that have demonstrated positive effects of assisting the body’s ability to stay healthy. Add them to your weekly diet and experience the benefits they will have on your body.

  1. Kale
  2. Strawberries
  3. Coconut
  4. Oatmeal
  5. Almond Butter
  6. Beans
  7. Matcha
  8. Pumpkin Seeds
  9. Pomegranate
  10. Ghee

Some of the immune boosting effects of the above foods include naturally increasing Vitamin C, increase in Beta carotene which converts in the liver to Vitamin A, being a good source for zinc, increasing Vitamin E, filled with antioxidants, folate and increasing Vitamin B, providing nourishment to every cell in the body and providing natural hydration to all tissues within the body. Some recipe ideas may include smoothies, soups, salads, breakfast and tea.

It is recommended that organic foods be eaten as often as possible and many super markets today have organic sections in their produce department as well as in their “Healthy Eating” food sections. Don’t be afraid to explore the possibilities of healthy eating. Remember you are providing your body the nutrients that it needs to thrive and stay healthy and that you are doing this in a natural and holistic way.

Eat Wisely.

Namaste,

Rochele M. Lawson, RN,MA,AHP,CMS

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Meditation And The Brain

9 Oct

Meditation has become a popular topic in the last few years. With the increase prevalence of Yoga, it just seems like meditation and yoga are just natural things to do. They have both been found to have a profound beneficial effect on the body in such that people have notice more peace and serenity within. However for still many Americans meditation is foreign, challenging and sometimes and conjure up old repressed feelings. Meditation requires patience and a little time which can also be difficult for Americans to adjust to.
So why would anyone want to meditate?

It is very simple; meditation can have a profoundly positive effect on your life. Thousands of years ago, the sage Patanjali and the Buddha both promised thatmeditation could eliminate the suffering caused by the untamed mind. They taught their students to cultivate focused attention, compassion and joy. They believed that is was possible to change one’s mental powers and emotional patterns by regularly experiencing meditative states. These days you don’t’ have to take their word for it. Researchers across the country are testing the wisdom of the masters, utilizing new technology that allows them to study how meditationinfluences the brain.

Over the past 10 years, researchers have found that if you practice focusing attention on your breath or a mantra, the brain will restructure itself to make concentration easier. If your practice calm acceptance during meditation, you will develop a brain that is more resilient to stress. And if you meditate while cultivating feelings of love and compassion, your brain will develop in such a way that you spontaneously feel more connected to others.

New research shows that meditation can help you improve your ability to concentrate in two ways. First, it can make you better at focusing on something specific while ignoring distractions. Second, it can make you more capable of noticing what is happening around you giving you a fuller perspective on the present moment. Concentration meditation is when the meditator focuses their complete attention on one thing, such as counting the breath or gazing at an object, activates regions of the brain that are critical for controlling attention. This is true for a person that has just begun to meditate. Experienced meditators show even stronger activation in these regions. It is believed that meditation can eventually help reduce the effort it takes to focus your attention. This fact suggest that people can immediately enhance concentration by learning a simplemeditation technique and that by practicing this meditation even more progress can be made.

Meditation has also been noted to help people with anxiety disorders and dramatically reduce stress. The department of Psychology at Stanford University conducted a study in which it trained people with anxiety disorders to use mindfulness meditation. This practice is focused on becoming aware of the present moment by paying attention to sounds, your breath, and sensations in your body or thoughts or feelings and to observe without judgment and without trying to change what you notice. At the end of the eight week study, it was noted that the incidences of extreme stress or anxiety had decreased significantly. Participants had greater sense of peace and calmness.  This was interpreted that mindfulness meditation teaches people with anxiety and stress how to handle distressing thoughts and stressful situations without becoming overpowered by them.

As the evidence for the benefits of meditation grow it is important to note that regular practice leads to greater changes both in the brain and mental states. So while a minimal investment in meditation can pay off for your well-being and mental clarity, committing to the practice is the best way to experience the full benefits. All you need to get started is the willingness to sit and be present with your mind, body and breath and know that you are giving yourself a true gift of love by meditating.

Namaste,

Rochele M. Lawson, RN,MA,AHP,CMS