New Perspectives on Blue and Purple Colored Foods

It is June and blueberries and blackberries are in season. We look forward to the taste of these delicious berries every summer. But we also need to appreciate their healing benefits.

Blueberries have been shown to decrease free radical damage to DNA by 18% within 1 hour versus a control group. Any time we can decrease DNA damage, we are doing something good for our bodies. This colored food is beneficial for brain health. It may help with cognition and memory.

But there are many other blue or purple foods that we can enjoy and benefit by eating.

  • Asparagus, the purple variety
  • Beets
  • Bell peppers, the purple varieties
  • Berries-black, blue, Boysen, huckle, marion
  • Cabbage, the purple variety
  • Carrots, yes, purple carrots are widely available
  • Corn
  • Currants
  • Eggplant
  • Cauliflower
  • Figs
  • Grapes
  • Kale, lacinato or dinosaur tongue variety
  • Onions
  • Plums
  • Potatoes, the purple varieties
  • Prunes
  • Raisins
  • Rice, like the Forbidden variety
  • Tomatoes, the Indigo varieties

Purple and blue foods may be anti-cancer foods. They help to minimize how cancer-causing compounds are triggered as well as provide some help with detoxification. They may inhibit DNA damage. They may inhibit the invasiveness of cancer cells and their spread.

Resveratrol, the compound found in red wine and other red fruit, is an anthocyanin which may help slow cell aging.  Who would not like to have young cells?

Anthocyanins may help keep the heart healthy, control blood pressure, reduce obesity, improve cholesterol levels, boost immunity, help prevent cancer and inhibit tumor growth, and improve memory.

Deanna Minich, Ph.D., Seminar, How to Stay Healthy in a Toxic World: Food and Lifestyle Choices
Deanna Minich, Ph.D., Ebook, 7 ways to Nourish Your Whole Self

Want to better understand your relationship to food and your health? Please get in touch to discuss how I can help.

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New Perspectives on Worrying

Are you feeling like you worry more?  If so, you may find these tips helpful.

  1. Schedule a set amount of time every day to worry. Start with 15 to 20 minutes. 
  2. Develop steps to resolve the issue worrying you. Put those steps into action if possible.
  3. Take 8 to 10 minutes every day to put your worries on paper. This helps to calm thoughts.

Worry and anxiety have some similarities, but there are important differences.

  • Worry is in your mind.
  • Anxiety is usually also felt in the body.
  • Worry is usually caused by a specific problem while anxiety may have no apparent cause.
  • Worry is controllable, while anxiety may feel out of control.
  • Worry may cause mild distress, while anxiety may be much more distressing.

Melanie Greenberg, clinical psychologist, writes about this in her book The Stress-Proof Brain. 

Training yourself to worry at a specific time may allow your mind to relax more throughout the rest of your day and may allow you to fall asleep more easily. Sleep, in turn, is vital to your health and well-being. Calming worry may improve sleep, and your overall health.

Looking for one-on-one guidance to improve your health and well-being? Please get in touch.

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New Perspectives on Increasing Happiness

Can you learn to be happier?  Positive psychology says yes, with some effort. Genetics plays a role, possibly contributing up to 50% of our happiness quotient. It is likely that 10% is influenced by our life circumstances, but a full 40% is through our actions and thoughts. With 40% of our happiness influenced by our actions and thoughts, we have a lot of room to increase our happiness if we are intentional and effortful.

In the 1990s, Martin Seligman started the branch of psychology called positive psychology. Positive psychology studies what is right and how we can improve further on the good.

Relationships are a large part of our happiness. Focusing on relationships is a big first step toward greater happiness. We are social beings and social connection is key to health and happiness. 

If healthy relationships contribute to our happiness, then improving our relationships with better communication is important. Better communication does not mean we have to agree all the time. We may even decide not to communicate about touchy subjects.

John Gottman is a researcher who describes six conflict management skills. They are softening up (approach the problem softly), complain but do not blame, use “I” statements not “you” statements, describe what is happening without judgment, be polite and appreciative, and don’t store things up.

Another approach to increasing happiness is to introduce variety into your life. Call someone you have not spoken to for a while, go a different way to work, or be open to chance opportunities.

A third way to increase happiness is to take time out. Time out could be meditation or to give yourself permission to sleep enough nightly. Optimally, you would give yourself both gifts daily. Doing so may reduce feelings of overwhelm, decreases stress, and improve immunity and creativity. To consider how the lack of mental health affects us, sick days from work are due more from mental distress than physical illness.

Looking for natural methods to improve your health and happiness? Please get in touch!

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