Wellness Wednesdays is a MVMag.net-exclusive feature that curates the best health & wellness content from around the Valley and the web.
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WELLNESS TIP OF THE WEEK
Looking for a Better Way to Start Your Day? Try Oatmeal
If you think you’ve run the gamut of breakfast foods and have yet to find one that really gets you going in the morning, perhaps give oatmeal a try if you already haven’t. The Hearty Soul gives an interesting breakdown of the nutrition found in a simple bowl of oats, which we’ve abridged here:
– Yes, oats are 66 percent carbs, but don’t panic. “These are good carbs which have their [fiber] intact and therefore release much slower into the bloodstream,” says The Healthy Soul.
– Oats have plenty of fiber, and they’re mostly made up of a soluble kind called “beta-glucans.” Among the health benefits attributed to this special kind of fiber: lowered cholesterol, reduced blood sugar and even decreased risk of heart disease.
– Oats can have anywhere between 11 and 17 percent protein. That’s a fairly hefty amount for a food that contains such a large percentage of carbs, and as The Healthy Soul explains, “Protein helps not only in building and maintaining muscle, but helps keep our bodies satiated which is important when trying to lose weight.”
HEALTH IN THE VALLEY
Retirees Meet Robots — Both Win: UMass Lowell’s Learning in Retirement Association Helps Retired Professionals Maintain Active Minds
On her knees, a woman is “face-to-face” with a robot as the operator explains its special features. She is too enthralled to stop for a formal photo.
“Now? But I’m learning here!” says Toby Hodes, president of UMass Lowell’s Learning in Retirement Association (LIRA), while touring the university’s New England Robotics Validation and Experimentation (NERVE) Center. (read more)
WELLNESS AROUND THE WEB
Radiological Society of America Finds Smartphone and Internet Addicts Have Imbalance in Brain Chemistry
If some of the things we chronicled in last week’s Wellness Wednesdays weren’t enough to get you to reduce your smartphone usage, check out the latest findings by the Radiological Society of America: “Hyung Suk Seo, M.D., professor of neuroradiology at Korea University in Seoul, South Korea, and colleagues used magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) to gain unique insight into the brains of smartphone- and internet-addicted teenagers,” reads the organization’s press release. The professor’s findings? Not only did the addicted teens receive significantly higher scores in psychiatric disorders such as depression and anxiety, but they were also revealed to have an imbalance in levels of “gamma aminobutyric acid, or GABA, a neurotransmitter in the brain that inhibits or slows down brain signals, and glutamate-glutamine (Glx), a neurotransmitter that causes neurons to become more electrically excited.” Fortunately, the addicted teenagers did respond positively to cognitive behavioral therapy, which reduced their scores and the imbalance — but perhaps the biggest takeaway here is that moderation of smartphone and internet use may go a long way toward helping prevent such issues in the first place.
Learning How to Eat Better from Japan’s Buddhist Cuisine
Shojin ryori is a form of ancient Japanese cuisine that has largely been relegated to religious places and events in the modern era, but Alex Halberstadt of Saveur thinks we might learn a thing or two about healthy eating from it. We don’t dare try to abbreviate an article as detailed and fascinating as this one, so check it out.
LOCAL HEALTH HAPPENINGS
Neurosurgeon Robert A. Miller will talk about lumbar stenosis and back pain during December Senior Supper at Holy Family Hospital’s Methuen campus from 3:30-4:30 p.m. The cost of $5 includes a full dinner and the presentation. To register, please call Karen Kennedy at 978-687-0151, ext. 2007 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Methuen, Mass. | HolyFamily-Hospital.org
Join Giving Tree Yoga and Wellness for a special winter pop up in honor of Winter Solstice and the holiday season. Enjoy some warm ginger tea and treats, specials and holiday gifts, or participate in one of their healers’ special sessions! Haverhill, Mass. | Facebook.com
Each guest at Windsoul Studio‘s special Glow-Yoga Class will receive glow bracelets, necklaces and light-up rings to wear and take home. Parents are welcome to join their “Young Yogi” for this fun event, or drop kids aged 7 and older off with our team for a fun independent experience. Tyngsborough, Mass. | WindsoulStudio.com