HERBS FOR HEALTH MANAGEMENT

Herbs are a foundational root in medicine and health treatments, dating back thousands of years throughout every culture around the world. Modern Western herbalism comes from ancient Egypt. The Greeks developed a comprehensive philosophy of herbal medicine by 100 BCE and the Romans built upon it to create a variety of medical practices, some of which are still used today.

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ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE IMPACTS PSYCHOLOGICAL HARDINESS

Psychological hardiness is an individual’s resistance to stress, anxiety and depression. It includes the ability to withstand grief and accept the loss of loved ones. Alternative medicine is a more popular term for health and wellness therapies that have typically not been part of conventional Western medical approaches but are often used along with conventional medicinal protocols.  Coping and dealing with stress in a positive manner play a major role in maintaining the balance needed for health and well-being.

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ALTERNATIVE REMEDIES FOR ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION

Interest in complimentary and alternative medicine (CAM) is increasing as consumers and health care professionals search for additional ways to treat anxiety, depression and other mental health disorders. Some of these remedies include:

St. John’s Wort.  More than 30 studies show it to be effective for treatment of mild forms of depression,…

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Another critical focus of cultivating a long-term sustainable strategy for weight management is developing healthy habits with an emphasis on one’s relationship with food. These ideas are essential in supporting one’s health journey and making lasting dietary changes to support a lifetime of good health.


Shifting the Focus to Promote Sustainable Weight Loss

With the immense decline in stress and sense of relief gained from no longer counting calories, people can focus their attention more on what they are eating as opposed to how much they are eating. This approach of consuming more healthy fats and carbohydrates from whole foods can help prevent conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and other diseases. Focus your attention on nutritious whole foods that satisfy hunger, and you will naturally eat fewer calories in the long run, as found through the research study Gardner conducted.


In 2020, remember the importance of calorie quality over calorie quantity for weight loss, sustainable weight management and overall well-being.


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Counting calories was born from the concept of energy balance: When calories taken in are fewer than calories used/burned, then weight loss and eventual weight management are achieved. Good news for anyone trying to lose weight – times have changed. Current research suggests the practice of calorie counting is detrimental to not only weight loss progress but also to behavioral habits. Counting calories and caloric restriction are longstanding recommendations, but how sustainable are these methods for long-term weight management? Would you feel more comfortable counting calories for the rest of your life or would you be more inclined to focus on eating whole, real foods (meaning plenty of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, etc.)?


A recent study found individuals who cut back on added sugars, refined grains and highly processed foods and instead reach for whole foods, including plenty of vegetables with no concern for calories or even limiting portion sizes, experienced significant weight loss over the course of a year. This research was conducted through a Nutrition Science Initiative study by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) led by Christopher D. Gardner, director of Nutrition Studies at the Stanford Prevention Research Center.


The findings were based on two different groups that followed either a low-fat or a low- carbohydrate diet.

WEIGHT LOSS MATHMATICS: SHOULD YOU COUNT CALORIES?

MICHEALIA SKLERES


This article was written by Michealia Skleres, a graduate student in the Nutritional Sciences and Pharmacology Students (NSPS) Association within the Department of Pharmacology and Nutritional Sciences at the University of Kentucky with supervision from faculty advisor Dr. Sara Police.

Results demonstrated successful weight loss was not influenced by the specific experimental diet or whether the dieter increased physical activity/exercise but rather the quality of the food the groups chose to eat.


Calorie Quantity vs. Quality

There is strong evidence supporting the notion that the nutritional quality of one’s diet is of equal or greater significance than calorie quantity for weight management and overall health. A whole-foods approach to eating supports healthy, sustainable weight loss and maintenance. Leading health organizations encourage Americans to shift their focus less towards advocating for counting calories and more toward avoiding certain types of foods, such as those with added sugars (soda, for example), refined starches containing refined white flour or prepackaged food products.


Cardiologist Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian, Dean of the Friedman School of Nutrition and Policy at Tufts University, said, “This [whole-foods diet approach] is the road map to reducing the obesity epidemic in the United States. It is time for the U.S. and other national policies to stop focusing on calories and calorie counting.”