More vegetables, less stress!

Vegetables are loaded with vitamins and minerals to maintain a healthy lifestyle - and they relieve that end-of-the-day stress too.

Those who eat more vegetables throughout the day had less stress than those who didn't eat many, a new study found. Scientists say that people who eat between three and four daily servings of vegetables had a 12 percent lower risk of stress than those who only ate one serving or less. 

It builds on past research which found that particularly dark, leafy greens, such as spinach, are rich in folate, helping to increase the production of mood stabilizers in the brain including serotonin and dopamine.

The study, conducted at the University of Sydney in Australia, looked at 60,000 Australians who were age 45 or older. Researchers measured the participants' fruit and vegetable consumption, lifestyle factors and psychological distress at two time points: 2006-08 and 2010.

Source  - Daily Mail

Why yoga beats depression

Yoga can do more than just cure your back pain, it can also cure your depression. A new study has found that those with depression reduced their symptoms through the workout.

Previous studies have shown that yoga increases the production of serotonin - a mood stabilizer in the brain - and its emphasis in breathing, concentration and smooth movement helps reduce symptoms. Scientists say that this study underlines exactly why many doctors suggest yoga could even be a replacement for antidepressant drugs.

The study, conducted between Harvard University in Massachusetts and Columbia University in New York, held a 12-week integrative health intervention for 30 people, practicing yoga and breathing exercises.  Specifically, they practiced coherent breathing, where you take just five breaths per minute. The participants took classes in Iyengar yoga, which focuses on detail, precision and alignment in posture and breath control.

Subjects were split into two groups: one taking three classes a week and one taking two classes a week. All of them were diagnosed with major depressive disorder and were either on no antidepressant medications or on a stable dose of antidepressants for 3 months or less.

Source  - Daily Mail

Red wine compound can slow brain ageing

A substance found in red wine can help keep the brain young in a similar way to exercise and a low-calorie diet, scientists have discovered.
Resveratrol, which occurs naturally in the skin of fruits including grapes, blueberries and mulberries, can keep muscles supple and help protect connections between neurons in the brain, according to researchers at Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute.

Tests on elderly mice showed the compound significantly slowed brain ageing by preserving synapses called neuromuscular junctions, which relay movement signals from the brain to the muscles. Mice who had been given resveratrol from one year of age had more youthful neuromuscular junction synapses at two years old than those who had not.
“I believe that we are getting closer to tapping into mechanisms to slow age-induced degeneration of neuronal circuits,” said the study’s primary author, assistant professor Gregorio Valdez. 

 Red wine contains more resveratrol than white wine because it is fermented with the grape skins. However, wine lovers will be disappointed to hear that the alcoholic drink does not contain enough resveratrol to ward off old age.