Mind Potion Network
Saturday, 28 April 2012
The Benefits of Daydreaming
Mood:  bright
Topic: Dreams


Does your mind wander? During a class or meeting, do you find yourself staring out the window and thinking about what you’ll do tomorrow or next week? As a child, were you constantly reminded by teachers to stop daydreaming?

Well, psychological research is beginning to reveal that daydreaming is a strong indicator of an active and well-equipped brain. Tell that to your third-grade teacher.

A new study, published in Psychological Science by researchers from the University of Wisconsin and the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Science, suggests that a wandering mind correlates with higher degrees of what is referred to as working memory. Cognitive scientists define this type of memory as the brain’s ability to retain and recall information in the face of distractions.

Full Story from smithsonianmag.com


Posted by mindpotion Network at 01:01 MEST
Updated: Saturday, 28 April 2012 01:18 MEST
Friday, 27 April 2012
Salt......friend or foe?
Mood:  happy
Topic: Health


For many years we have been told by medical experts and nutritionists alike that it is crucial for our health to cut down on sodium as much as possible. Statistical data seems to show that a high dietary salt intake (primarily consisting in sodium chloride) can put people at risk of cardiovascular complications.

Consequently, salt has been vilified to such extent in the media that may people strive to remove it from their diets completely. But is wiping salt out of the menu really a wise choice? According to a recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, not exactly.

To understand both why salt is healthy and why it has the potential to be dangerous, let's look at what it can do for us. The primary biological role of sodium is to regulate blood volume and blood pressure by maintaining adequate body fluid levels. When the kidneys detect too little sodium levels in the body, they decrease sodium excretion. But when there is too much sodium, an antidiuretic hormone kicks in and causes the body to retain water. The kidneys will then try to gradually release excess sodium and water through urine, thus bringing the body's fluid and sodium levels back within normal ranges.

Water and salts are also lost through excessive perspiration, associated with hot climates and physical effort. This can severely offset the body's internal regulating mechanisms, and adequate rehydration is advised as soon as possible. In normal conditions however, sodium regulation is left almost entirely up to the kidneys. Medical experts usually warn us that if for some reason, the kidneys are unable to excrete excess sodium, the increased blood volume will exert extra pressure on blood vessels and make the heart work harder.

But now scientists say that too little sodium is just as bad. On the one hand, sodium deficiency can cause a range of problems, including headaches, nausea, fatigue and muscle cramps. On the other hand, commercially available foods contain large amounts of hidden salt which makes it difficult for people on a traditional diet to control their sodium intake.

The research of professors Martin J. O'Donnell and Salim Yusuf of McMaster University in Ontario, Canada now reveals that if we have very low levels of sodium in urine, we are at risk of cardiovascular death and congestive heart failure. The study looked at 28,880 people, with an elevated risk of cardiovascular disease, over a seven-year period.

The scientists explained that "clarifying the optimal daily intake of sodium is particularly important in patients with established cardiovascular disease, where it has been inadequately studied." However, there is no scientific consensus as of yet regarding optimal salt intake, since body sodium levels also depend on how much an individual sweats.

"As a general rule, if people are adding salt to their diet they are taking in too much and they are on the higher end of our spectrum. The first thing people need to do is stop adding salt," said O'Donnell. Fortunately, certain foods are naturally rich in sodium and can help balance a diet without added salts. Seaweed, green leafy vegetables and tuberous vegetables are natural sources of sodium, as well as other essential salts, such as magnesium and potassium.

Sources for this article include:

http://fhs.mcmaster.ca/main/news/news_2011/sodium_intake_study.html

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/238164.php

http://www.thestar.com/news/article/1091079

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/sodium/NU00284

About the author:

Raw Michelle is a natural health blogger and researcher, sharing her passions with others, using the Internet as her medium. She discusses topics in a straight forward way in hopes to help people from all walks of life achieve optimal health and well-being. She has authored and published hundreds of articles on topics such as the raw food diet and green living in general. In 2010, Michelle created RawFoodHealthWatch.com, to share with people her approach to the raw food diet and detoxification.

Article Source - naturalnews.com


Posted by mindpotion Network at 01:01 MEST
Updated: Friday, 27 April 2012 01:09 MEST
Thursday, 26 April 2012
Neolithic acoustics of Stonehenge revealed by academics
Mood:  loud
Topic: Archaeology


A team of academics have revealed the "sonic experience" that early visitors to Stonehenge would have heard.

Scholars from the Universities of Salford, Huddersfield and Bristol used an American replica of the monument to investigate its audio history.

Salford's Dr Bruno Fazenda said they had found the site reacted to sound "in a way that would have been noticeable to the Neolithic man".

He said the research would allow a "more holistic" view of its past.

The acoustic experiments could not be carried out at Stonehenge, as the derelict state of the site meant only a "few weak echoes and no noticeable reverberation" could be studied.

As a result, the team used a full-sized concrete reconstruction of it in Maryhill, America, which was built in 1929 as a memorial to WWI soldiers.

In February, scientist Steven Waller published a paper suggesting the design of Stonehenge could have been inspired by music.

Full Story from BBC


Posted by mindpotion Network at 01:01 MEST
Updated: Thursday, 26 April 2012 02:08 MEST
Wednesday, 25 April 2012
Positive Feelings May Help Protect Cardiovascular Health
Mood:  happy
Topic: Positive Thinking


Over the last few decades numerous studies have shown negative states, such as depression, anger, anxiety, and hostility, to be detrimental to cardiovascular health. Less is known about how positive psychological characteristics are related to heart health. In the first and largest systematic review on this topic to date, Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) researchers found that positive psychological well-being appears to reduce the risk of heart attacks, strokes and other cardiovascular events.

The study was published online April 17, 2012 in Psychological Bulletin.

The American Heart Association reports more than 2,200 Americans die of cardiovascular disease (CVD) each day, an average of one death every 39 seconds. Stroke accounts for about one of every 18 U.S. deaths.

Full Story from sciencedaily.com


Posted by mindpotion Network at 01:01 MEST
Updated: Wednesday, 25 April 2012 01:40 MEST
Tuesday, 24 April 2012
Walking could be a useful tool in treating depression
Mood:  chatty
Topic: Alternative Health


Something as simple as going for a brisk stroll could play an important role in fighting depression, according to researchers in Scotland.

Vigorous exercise has already been shown to alleviate symptoms of depression, but the effect of less strenuous activities was unclear.

A study in the journal Mental Health and Physical Activity showed walking had a "large effect" on depression.

One in 10 people may have depression at some point in their lives.

The condition can be treated with drugs, but exercise is commonly prescribed by doctors for mild symptoms.

Full Story from BBC


Posted by mindpotion Network at 01:01 MEST
Updated: Tuesday, 24 April 2012 01:43 MEST
Monday, 23 April 2012
Henry, an iPod, and the Alchemy of Music
Mood:  bright
Topic: Inspirational

Alive Inside, a documentary premiering next week in New York, investigates a social worker's attempt to engage seniors with dementia and Alzheimer's at a nursing home. When he discovers how well it works, he brings in neurologist Oliver Sacks, and the two embark on an experiment to see music's impact on this population.

The video above has become a viral hit as more people discover it, and it's no surprise -- people's connection with music, particularly music from their younger years, elicits strong emotions, and some researchers have even suggested it as a necessity for people.

Ray Mueller, a member of the Shumei Arts Council of America’s Advisory Board, told Psychology Suite 101, “Research has located specific areas of mental activity linked to emotional responses to music. It seems music is a human need and the brain is able to act as a function to satisfy that need.”

For older populations, music has been associated with everything from helping uncover memories in patients with Alzheimer's to reducing falls during exercise.

The video is also affiliated with Music & Memory, an organization dedicated to helping seniors connect to music, including collecting used iPods for donation.

Article Source - dailygood.org


Posted by mindpotion Network at 01:01 MEST
Updated: Monday, 23 April 2012 01:09 MEST
Sunday, 22 April 2012
Mystery of Human Consciousness Illuminated
Mood:  lyrical
Topic: Hypnosis & Psychology


Awakening from anesthesia is often associated with an initial phase of delirious struggle before the full restoration of awareness and orientation to one's surroundings. Scientists now know why this may occur: primitive consciousness emerges first. Using brain imaging techniques in healthy volunteers, a team of scientists led by Adjunct Professor Harry Scheinin, M.D. from the University of Turku, Turku, Finland in collaboration with investigators from the University of California, Irvine, USA, have now imaged the process of returning consciousness after general anesthesia. The emergence of consciousness was found to be associated with activations of deep, primitive brain structures rather than the evolutionary younger neocortex. These results may represent an important step forward in the scientific explanation of human consciousness.

The study was part of the Research Programme on Neuroscience by the Academy of Finland.

"We expected to see the outer bits of brain, the cerebral cortex (often thought to be the seat of higher human consciousness), would turn back on when consciousness was restored following anesthesia. Surprisingly, that is not what the images showed us.

Full Story from sciencedaily.com


Posted by mindpotion Network at 01:01 MEST
Updated: Sunday, 22 April 2012 02:12 MEST
Saturday, 21 April 2012
Fretting is a useful defence mechanism
Mood:  bright
Topic: Human Nature


Anyone who's lain awake at night worrying over work or money might find it improbable - but worrying is a beneficial trait.

Humans evolved worrying alongside intelligence - perhaps as a defense mechanism in a dangerous world where early humans had to fight for survival.


'While excessive worry is generally seen as a negative trait and high intelligence as a positive one, worry may cause our species to avoid dangerous situations, regardless of how remote a possibility they may be.' said Dr. Coplan of SUNY (State University of No York.'

'In essence, worry may make people 'take no chances,' and such people may have higher survival rates. Thus, like intelligence, worry may confer a benefit upon the species.'

High intelligence and worry  both deplete the same nutrient in the brain's white matter - suggesting they evolved at the same time.

Worry might actually be a useful trait that helped our species to survive.

Full Story from dailymail.co.uk


Posted by mindpotion Network at 01:01 MEST
Updated: Saturday, 21 April 2012 01:44 MEST
Friday, 20 April 2012
Top 10 herbs and spices for strengthening your immune system
Mood:  bright
Topic: Alternative Health


Of the many systems working within the human body, the immune system is an excellent example of complex efficiency. A network of participating cells and organs, it synchronizes its responses when defending the body from infection and disease.

In its element, it has the capacity to remember diseases it has encountered and produce secretions and cells that can effectively defend the body from another recurrence. Moreover, it has an advanced communication system that can trigger an immediate response to an emergency and act according to the severity of the infection. Activated immune cells start producing substances that allow it to recruit other immune cells and guide it to the site of attack while at the same time allowing it to control behavior and growth.

However, when the system malfunctions by causing an inappropriate response to substances or cells that are native to the body, it causes autoimmune diseases that will require the intervention of medication that will suppress the system's response. What causes the system to malfunction, however, is still unclear. It is believed that exposure to some drugs or bacteria by people with susceptible genes cause this phenomenon.

When totally compromised the body is left defenseless, thus leaving it vulnerable to disease.

Helping the body's defense system

The body's defense system is only as dependable as the support it gets. Some people are just blessed with a good set of genes that ensure a strong immune system. For others who are not as lucky, they must work for immunity by observing proper nutrition, sufficient rest, a healthy active lifestyle, plenty of sun and reduced stress. Recent studies have shown that getting enough of these while cutting down on unhealthy habits and avoiding processed foods restores the immune system to peak performance.

Observing proper sanitation also plays a vital role in keeping the immune system working. It is recognized as the best preventive medicine and its actual practice can reduce outbreaks and diseases, translating to significant economic, environmental as well as social benefits.

Antibiotics and vaccination as remedies to assist the body's defenses against disease have now been debunked by recent findings. Of late, antibiotics have been shown to attack beneficial bacteria in the stomach and suppress immune functions.

Foods that naturally boost the immune system

Foods that boost the body's immune system can offer a lot of healthy options for those who wish to be more conscious in what they take in. To be sustained, the immune system heavily depends on the stomach for support. Malnourished individuals are more susceptible to disease as opposed to those who observe a healthy nutritious diet. Below are some of these examples:

1. Echinacea - Echinacea is a popular herb that has been identified to boost immunity. Combined with goldenseal, another herb, or enjoyed alone as tea, this member of the daisy family has been found to prevent and treat upper respiratory tract infections as well as the common cold.

2. Ginseng - This herb has many varieties. The most commonly studied variety is Panax ginseng, also known as Korean ginseng. Its main active component, ginsenosides, has been proven to have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties. Clinical research studies have demonstrated that it may improve immune and psychological functions as well as conditions related to diabetes.

3. Garlic - This spice has had a long history of medicinal value. In a recent study conducted by Dr. Ellen Tattelman, an assistant professor at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University, New York, it was reconfirmed that garlic indeed has cardiovascular, anti-microbial and antineoplastic properties. It's also a perfect spice to use when doing sauteed dishes.

4. Bell peppers- This pepper variety does not contain capsaicin, unlike its other feisty cousins. On the contrary, it is sweet and crunchy and contains the carotenoid lycopene which lowers the risk of cancer; beta-carotene which is converted to vitamin A; and Zeaxanthin, known to prevent macular degeneration and cataracts.

5. Ginger - This herb has been shown to reduce inflammation, cardiovascular conditions, blood clots and cholesterol. In a study, researchers found that animal subjects given ginger extracts had a significant reduction in cholesterol and blood clotting qualities. Moreover, it has been observed to inhibit the behavior of genes connected with inflammation.

6. Turmeric- This spice contains curcumin, which has notable antioxidant properties. It also has antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and stomach soothing benefits. It reduces inflammation by stimulating the adrenal glands to increase the hormone that lessens inflammation. Animal studies on this herb have revealed that turmeric protects the liver from the adverse effects of alcohol and certain toxins. Turmeric also helps in digestive problems by stimulating bile flow.

7. Gingko Biloba- Gingko biloba's leaves contain antioxidant compounds called bilobalides and ginkgolides that protect the body from damage caused by free radicals. Moreover, it has also been found to protect against radiation. In a study using animal subjects, ginkgo was demonstrated to have protected the test subjects against radiation poisoning. The latest research also suggests that extracts of this herb can neutralize oxidizing agents and free radicals caused in the cells due to radiation, thus preventing cell death. In fact, NaturalNews recently reported that ginkgo extracts reduce brain damage by up to 50 percent.

8. Ganoderma- This is a bitter mushroom also known as reishi. It has long been a popular herb in Chinese medicine attributed to assisting in longevity and health. Further studies on this oriental herb reveal that it strengthens immunity and combats cancer. Moreover, it has antioxidant properties and provides relief from urinary tract infections.

9. Astralagus - Also from China, this herb stimulates the immune system and aids in digestion and adrenal gland functions. It is also a diuretic. The effectiveness of this herb is due to polysaccharides, saponins and flavonoids. It has also been taken to combat the common cold and flu. Its digestive health benefits demonstrate the lowering of stomach acidity, resulting to an increase in the body's metabolic rates and the promotion of waste elimination.

10. Cat's claw - This herb from Peru is commonly used for stomach problems. Recently, however, it is becoming known as an exceptional immune response stimulator that helps the body to fight off infections and degenerative diseases. It contains oxindole alkaloids enhancing the immune system's capacity to engulf and destroy pathogens.

From a practical perspective, taking in food which boosts the immune system while enjoying it at the same time can be a cost effective way to maintain health. Coupled with a healthy lifestyle, sufficient rest and a positive outlook in life, staying healthy does not have to cost an arm and a leg.

Article Source - naturalnews.com


Posted by mindpotion Network at 01:01 MEST
Updated: Friday, 20 April 2012 01:16 MEST
Thursday, 19 April 2012
Ancient Aliens, Leonardo Da Vinci
Mood:  chatty
Topic: Paranormal

Posted by mindpotion Network at 01:01 MEST
Updated: Thursday, 19 April 2012 01:05 MEST

Newer | Latest | Older

« April 2012 »
S M T W T F S
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30
You are not logged in. Log in