Prep time: 10 minutes
Makes: 4 Servings
This refreshing smoothie is a blend of papaya, banana, and yogurt and makes a satisfying part of breakfast or any time of day. Mix in frozen or fresh berries for a variety of flavors.
2 cups papaya chunks (fresh or frozen)
2 bananas (overripe, sliced)
1 cup plain low-fat yogurt
1 cup ice cubes
1. Put all the ingredients in the blender.
2. Put the lid on tightly. Turn the blender to a medium setting and blend until the ice is chopped and the mixture is smooth, about 1 minute.
3. Serve right away or cover and refrigerate up to 4 hours.
See how to make this recipe (link is external) and more on USDA’s What’s Cooking? YouTube (link is external) site.
USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion Nutrition Information
Total Fat 1 g
Saturated Fat 1 g
Cholesterol 4 mg
Sodium 46 mg
Total Carbohydrate 25 g
Dietary Fiber 3 g
Total Sugars 16
Added Sugars included N/A
Protein 4 g
Vitamin D N/A
Calcium 132 mg
Potassium 534 mg
N/A - data is not available
MyPlate Food Groups:
Fruits: 1 cup
Dairy: 1/4 cup
For more information on MyPlate Food Groups visit ChooseMyPlate.gov
Hi. Me again. Yes, I know it's been months! Life just has a way of grabbing you tight and not letting go--can you relate? Whew! A whirlwind might be the best way to sum it up in one word for me. Nothing bad; just busy. But even busy can be stressful, so I haven't had time to get in here and write to you about food, exercise, health . . . you know, the good stuff! That doesn't mean I haven't been trying, but some days are easier than others. Today I'm giving you a few "gifts" that I came across for the Mediterranean Diet (which I feel is the healthiest one out there. Some great ideas (and easy) to get us through our day. Enjoy!
You’ve overhauled your diet and workouts most days, and even though you’ve shed some pounds, those last few lbs. just won’t seem to budge. So what gives?
Nutritionists say that despite your best efforts to shed those pounds, there are some things that you may not even realize have a significant impact on your weight.
Let's be perfectly honest, people with a healthy gut don't struggle with weight loss.
Fortunately, a recent research in the journal mBio suggests that your gut's health can boost your metabolism and drastically reduce your chances of packing on extra pounds.
Researchers agree, the foods that help you restore your gut's balance are also natural weight loss powerhouses.
That's why people following a Mediterranean-style diet don't struggle with extra pounds.
To help you lose inches and improve your health, we’ve compiled the best motivation tips from our readers who have reached their ideal weight without giving up their favorite foods...Enjoy!
THE PERFECT BREAKFAST
If you don’t eat breakfast, it’s time to start. Eating a high fiber breakfast will help you eat less through the day.
Good to know: Both oatmeal and berries are loaded with fiber that nourishes your gut flora. It also stimulates a compound that reduces fat storage.
SATISFY YOUR SWEET TOOTH
Good News! Antioxidants in cocoa may lower blood sugar and control excess weight naturally.
Researchers at Louisiana State University found that gut bacteria convert cocoa into heart-healthy compounds that reduce inflammation and block insulin resistance.
Good to Know: These effects are increased when dark chocolate is consumed with apples.
Melt dark chocolate chips in the microwave. Dip apple slices in chocolate and shake some chopped nuts while chocolate is still wet. Place in the fridge and allow chocolate to harden.
BOOST YOUR METABOLISM
Try a low-fat Greek yogurt with fresh berries and a drizzle of raw honey. This is the perfect way to satisfy your sweet tooth without guilt and deprivation!
Good to Know: Look for live cultures and less than 20 grams of sugar per serving.
BLOCK SUGAR ABSORPTION
Vinegar is a powerful sugar blocker. Recent studies show that consuming a salad with a vinegar-based dressing before a meal containing carbs may lower your blood sugar and insulin levels by 25%.
As you can clearly see, the reason the Mediterranean diet works is simple: You'll always eat.
You can eat up to six times every day so you never feel hungry or deprived. You can enjoy snacks in the afternoon and before dinner (even at night while watching TV).
So, how can you eat so much and shed pounds like crazy?
The Mediterranean diet secret is in the combination of foods you eat every day.
That's why the Mediterranean diet lets you drop excess pounds so quickly. Without effort and deprivation.
You'll enjoy a variety of lean meats, sweet, juicy fruits, pasta, sauces – and many snacks.
Everything is at your local grocery store. No need to buy special foods.
And here's the best part...
Once you lose those excess pounds, you can keep them off. For good!
It's been a long time again! Wow! But . . . I did have a hip replaced so I've been sorta busy . . . and not gettin' around very fast. The good news is that it's now been 8 weeks since my surgery and I'm doing GREAT!!! I walked half a mile the other night without pain. At a regular pace. No wobbling! I'm still doing physical therapy exercises, which have been such an important part of my recovery. In fact, while my hips were BOTH getting stronger again, my knees were experiencing a lot of pain. The therapist said this was common because they took on so much of the trauma. She suggested some extra exercises specifically for my knees. The ones I posted below are more advanced than the ones she gave me. I still can't do squats, but I will work up to them. But I thought they would be helpful for others. Have fun with it!
4 Moves for Healthy Knees
Stabilize your knee joints to help ease and prevent pain. The first video of this three-part series shows you simple movements you can practice throughout the day wherever you are for a lifetime of knee health. Instructor Sam Brown will also teach you how to stand and sit with proper alignment to prevent strain on your knees.
Hi! Yes, I'm still here. It's been a downright BUSY summer! In fact, we just got home from a 12-day road trip that included visiting three states, attending two weddings, and making an unexpected hospital call. As you probably can relate, it's not easy to be on the road with a special diet. And yes, I'm still gluten-free. I have had some gluten along the way, here and there when it couldn't be helped, but I'm determined to do better. I even packed my own bag of food, but it's like anything else...it takes perseverance. My hubby ran across an article today that was posted by one of my friends on Facebook about GLUTEN, and I was surprised to find out that I have all 12 of the symptoms that are listed. Even if you don't have Celiac Disease, you might want to take a few minutes to read this one!
One of the dietary buzzwords these days that gets used in and out of context is “gluten”. So let’s talk about gluten, and how to know if you really have a sensitivity to it.
First off, gluten is not the same thing as “carbs”. Gluten is a protein found in cereal grains, especially wheat. There are breads, cereals, and pastas that are all gluten-free, so as mentioned, don’t confuse gluten with carbohydrates. It is important to understand what gluten is, so that if you do have an intolerance to it – you can know to avoid it.
People who are intolerant to gluten have a hard time digesting it, which causes your body to not be able to absorb other key nutrients in your food. Gluten intolerance has been linked to a long list of medical conditions. Normally, the only time gluten intolerance is paid attention to is when someone is diagnosed with celiac disease, which is a severe form of gluten intolerance that can actually lead to death. Millions of people suffer from milder symptoms of gluten intolerance, and go undiagnosed.
Here are 12 Symptoms that you might have a gluten intolerance:
1. Digestive Issues:
The most obvious signs of gluten sensitivity are digestive issues after eaten gluten. This includes bloating, gas, abdominal pain, and irritable bowel syndrome.
2. Mood Swings:
Gluten sensitivity can cause unstable emotional health like depression, anxiety, and sudden drastic swings in mood.
3. Brain Fog
Gluten intolerance can have negative effects on the brain such as dizziness, lack of focus, trouble balancing, and tingling sensations.
Gluten intolerance can cause headaches and even migraines.
People with gluten sensitivities may experience abnormal fatigue throughout the day, even without doing anything physically or mentally exhausting.
6. Auto-Immune Conditions in the Skin
Gluten sensitivities can cause auto-immune conditions like eczema and psoriasis to worsen.
According to some physicians, fibromyalgia (skeletal pain and weakness), in which inflammation and pain can occur virtually anywhere on the body, could actually be a symptom of gluten intolerance.
8. Hormonal Imbalance
A difficulty processing gluten can cause issues with hormone balance, resulting in worsened PMS. Gluten sensitivity may also be a cause of inexplicable infertility.
9. Keratosis Pilaris
Gluten intolerance can also cause rough discolored bumps and hardened skin around the thighs, arms, and cheeks knows as Keratosis Pilaris. This happens when gluten intolerance damages the stomach.
10. Joint pain and inflammation.
Gluten sensitivity can cause constant joint pain, inflammation, and swelling.
11. Impacts to Immune System
Because gluten affects your digestive system, it affects your immune system, because 80% of your immune system is in your gut.
12. Dental Issues
Gluten intolerance can lead to tooth decay, tooth cracks, and gum problems. All are conditions impacted by inflammation in the body.
Testing for a gluten intolerance is not standardized, unless you have full-blown celiac disease. The best method for testing whether or not you have a gluten intolerance is exclusion dieting. Pay attention to your food labels, and look for “gluten-free” sections at your grocery store. Because non-gluten dieting is so popular, chances are that gluten-free foods will be readily labeled.
Complete Health and Happiness
Medical News Today
Tropical Watermelon Sorbet
Total Time: 40 min
Prep: 5 min
Inactive: 35 min
Yield: about 1 quart
Recipe courtesy of Giada De Laurentiis
1 (2-pound) piece seedless watermelon, rind removed and flesh cut into 1-inch pieces to yield about 3 1/2 cups
1 (6-ounce) can pineapple juice, chilled
3/4 cup ginger ale, chilled
1/3 cup fresh lime juice (from about 3 large limes)
1/2 cup grenadine (recommended: Rose's)
Pronunciation: [grehn-uh-DEEN; GREHN-uh-deen]
A sweet, deep red, pomegranate-flavored syrup used to color and flavor drinks and desserts. At one time, grenadine was made exclusively from pomegranates grown on the island of Grenada in the Caribbean. Now other fruit-juice concentrates are also used to make the syrup. Grenadine sometimes contains alcohol, so be sure and check the label.
Read more at: http://www.foodterms.com/encyclopedia/grenadine/index.html?oc=linkback
In a blender, blend the watermelon, pineapple juice, ginger ale, lime juice, and grenadine until smooth. Pour into an ice cream maker and freeze, according to the manufacturer's instructions, for about 35 minutes.
Spoon into glasses or small bowls and serve.
Cook's Note: The ginger ale can be replaced with dark rum.
Recipe courtesy of Giada De Laurentiis
© 2015 Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.
Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/giada-de-laurentiis/tropical-watermelon-sorbet-recipe.print.html?oc=linkback
The Healthiest 400-Calorie (or Less) Picks at
Popular Fast Food Chains
So you’re working really hard on meeting your health goals, and then your coworker invites you out to lunch. Good news: It’s possible to stick to calorie and nutrition goals when eating out—even at fast food chain restaurants—if you make smart choices. To make it easy, we’ve put together a list of dietitian picks, tips and tricks for eating out on 400 calories or less.
Restaurant: Panera Bread
Healthiest pick under 400 calories: Turkey Sausage, Egg White & Spinach Breakfast Power Sandwich
Stats: 400 calories, 11g fat, 50g carbohydrate, 3g fiber, 16g protein
Why it made the cut: Clocking in right at 400 calories, this breakfast sandwich contains 16 grams of protein, 3 grams of fiber, and offers something that many people forget about at breakfast time—veggies!
Dietitian’s tips: Although this sandwich is made on a sprouted grain bagel flat, a closer look at the ingredient list reveals that unbleached enriched wheat flour is one of the main ingredients! Currently, Panera Bread does not offer any 100% whole-grain breads, which would be a healthier substitute.
Healthiest pick under 400 calories: Double Chicken Chopped Salad
Stats: 220 calories, 4.5g fat, 10g carbs, 4g fiber, 36g protein
Why it made the cut: This 220-calorie option is packed with 36 grams of protein and 4 grams of fiber, all with only 4.5 grams of fat. This nutritional information is calculated assuming you’d order lettuce, spinach, tomatoes, onions, green peppers, cucumbers and olives.
Dietitian’s tips: When picking a dressing, choose the 110-calorie Subway vinaigrette over the honey mustard. While honey mustard is nearly half the calories, it contains 11 grams of added sugar! Ordering the Subway vinaigrette will save you 9 grams of sugar. For a side, ditch the chips and cookies, and add a bag of apple slices to boost your fruit and fiber intake. Veggie-loaded, protein-packed, and complete with healthy fats and fiber-rich fruit— now that’s a balanced meal right at 400 calories.
Healthiest pick under 400 calories: Salad Bowl with Romaine Lettuce, Chicken, Black Beans, Fajita Vegetables and Fresh Tomato Salsa
Stats: 350 calories, 8.5g fat, 33g carbs, 15.5g fiber, 42g protein
Why it made the cut: At 350 calories, this chicken salad bowl contains 42 grams of protein and 15.5 grams of fiber and only having 8.5 grams of total fat. While your taste buds might long for rice and guacamole, this option is the healthiest one for keeping calories in check.
Dietitian’s tip: If you’re aiming to eat less than 400 calories, your options at Chipotle become limited. If you have to add toppings like sour cream, cheese and guacamole, go light. These toppings quickly create fat-laden and calorie-dense meals. The burrito flour tortilla itself contains a whopping 290 calories! Instead, order a burrito bowl with a small portion of brown rice to boost your fiber and carbohydrate intake. Consider ordering your favorite burrito bowl, and only eat half of it. Box it up and take the rest home to use for another meal.
Healthiest pick under 400 calories: Buddha’s Feast – Steamed
Stats: 260 calories, 4g fat, 32g carbs, 10g fiber, 26g protein
Why it made the cut: This dish is filled with baked tofu, asparagus, shitake mushrooms, broccoli, carrots and soy sauce—all for only 260 calories! The low-calorie tofu provides you with 26 grams of protein, while the pile of veggies adds on 10 grams of fiber.
Dietitian’s tips: A high-protein, high-fiber, low-calorie option like the Buddha’s Feast will keep you feeling full, and fueled for longer. Be sure to choose a healthy side dish such as the Shanghai cucumbers—refreshing, nutritious and only 70 calories! Be wary of sauces too, as they are often laced with high levels of sodium and sugar.
Healthiest pick under 400 calories: Zesty Chicken & Black Bean Salad Bowl
Stats: 360 calories, 15g fat, 850mg sodium, 38g carbs, 8g fiber, 19g protein
Why it made the cut: This 360-calorie salad is a blend of grilled chicken, black beans, quinoa, corn, tomatoes, jicama and spring greens, and it provides 19 grams of protein and 8 grams of fiber. The diversity in vegetables and fiber content make this the best choice on the menu.
Dietitian’s tips: Many of the sandwich and panini options at Starbucks are high in fat—and not the good kind! Aim for an option with high protein and high fiber to keep you feeling satisfied with all the right stuff. Be sure to grab a Venti water with your bistro box instead of a sugar-filled specialty drink.
Tags: 400-calorie meals fast food chains healthy picks at fast food restaurants how to eat out on 400 calories or less
Kristina LaRue Kristina LaRue, RD, CSSD, LDN is a sports dietitian in Orlando, FL and co-author of the Flat Belly Cookbook for Dummies. She writes the food and nutrition blog, Love & Zest, where she shares recipes, life, and nutrition. Connect with her outside of the blog on Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram.
Some good information on keeping our food safe!
A critical part of healthy eating is keeping foods safe. Four basic food safety principles work together to reduce the risk of foodborne illness—Clean, Separate, Cook, and Chill. Learn more here: go.usa.gov/39sWP #MyPlate .
Makes: 8 servings
Cool down in the heat with this fruit cooler. Refreshing orange juice mixed with sweet cantaloupe creates the perfect, easy-to-make drink! You can even get creative and use any fruit you please!
Ingredients 1 cantaloupe (ripe) 2 1/2 cups orange juice (cold) 2 tablespoons sugar (granulated) ice (crushed)Directions1. Cut melon in half. Scoop out seeds, remove rind and discard. Cut melon into 1-inch cubes.
Instructions In blender or food processor, blend melon cubes with 1/2 cup orange juice until smooth. Pour puree into pitcher and stir in the remaining orange juice and the sugar. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Pour into glasses filled with crushed ice.
Notes For a new twist, try other melons or strawberries in place of the cantaloupe.
Nutrition Information for 1/8 of recipe
Key Nutrients Amount % Daily Value* Total Calories 74 Total Fat 0 g 0%
Protein 1 g Carbohydrates 18 g 6% Dietary Fiber 1 g 4% Saturated Fat 0 g 0%
Sodium 13 mg 1%
MyPlate Food Groups Fruits3/4 cup
For more information on MyPlate Food Groups visit ChooseMyPlate.gov
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.
Top 12 Supplements for Anxiety & Depression
Among the most heavily prescribed medications are those for mental health issues ranging from general anxiety and depression to full blown psychosis. Indeed, it is very easy for prescribing doctors as myself, to reach into our white coat, pull our prescription pad, and write a prescription—much easier than actually exploring what might be going on in a person’s life now or in the past. It is also much easier to obtain information from drug reps who come right to our door and regurgitate studies from medical journals, than it is to learn about possible alternatives. Indeed, sometimes prescription medication is needed. However, in many cases one can get much help with a supportive doctor’s ear and over-the-counter supplements, which, contrary to what your doctor will likely tell you or know, are backed by many clinical studies.
Here are a 12 of my go-to supplements for various mental health issues. I am not your doctor, so you should clear anything you take with your personal physician.
1. L-methylfolate up to 15mg/day for depression.
Literature suggests that depression is linked with folate deficiency and that patients with insufficient folate are less likely to respond to treatment and more likely to experience a relapse. Folate supplementation does help some patients. Folic acid in and of itself does not alleviate depression. Our brain must convert folic acid into L-methylfolate before it can manufacture enough serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine to alleviate depression. However, certain individuals lack the ability to convert folic acid to l-methylfolate, rendering folic acid supplements ineffective for this group of patients.
2. S-adenosyl-L-methionine (SAMe) for depression.
SAMe is a substance made naturally in the body. May boost production of chemical messengers in the brain involved in regulation of mood. Adults may benefit from 400 to 1,600 mg per day, although some people will need to take 3,000 mg per day to alleviate symptoms. Taking SAMe seems to reduce symptoms of depression. Several studies have shown that SAMe can be beneficial and might be as effective as some prescription medications used for depression (tricyclic antidepressants). Some research also shows that taking SAMe might be helpful for people who do not have a good response to a prescription antidepressant. However, as with all supplements, SAMe should not be taken in combination with a prescription antidepressant without the monitoring of a health professional.
3. Omega-3 fatty acids - DHA and/or EPA (DHA may be more effective) for depression, memory and ADHD. DHA 500mg – 1000mg/day
Taking fish oil with conventional treatments for bipolar disorder seems to improve symptoms of depression and increase the length of time between episodes of depression. However, fish oil does not seem to improve manic symptoms in people with bipolar disorder. Taking a fish oil supplement might help prevent full psychotic illness from developing in people with mild symptoms. This has only been tested in teenagers and adults up to age 25. Attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children. Early research shows that taking fish oil improves attention, mental function, and behavior in children 8-13 years-old with ADHD.
4. St. John’s wort (Extract of the plant hypericum perforatum) 900mg – 1800mg/day in divided doses for depression.
For mild to moderate depression. Taking St. John’s wort extracts improves mood, and decreases anxiety and insomnia related to depression. It seems to be about as effective in treating depression as many prescription drugs. In fact, clinical guidelines from the American College of Physicians-American Society of Internal Medicine suggest that St. John’s wort can be considered an option along with antidepressant medications for short-term treatment of mild depression. However, since St. John’s wort does not appear to be more effective or significantly better tolerated than antidepressant medications, and since St. John’s wort causes many drug interactions, the guidelines suggest it might not be an appropriate choice for many people, particularly those who take other medications. St. John’s wort might not be as effective for more severe cases of depression.
5. 5-HTP (Precursor to serotonin) for depression. 100mg – 300mg three times a day
Research shows that taking 5-HTP by mouth might improve symptoms of depression. Several trials have found that doses of 50-3000 mg daily for 2-4 weeks can improve symptoms of depression. Some early research also shows that 5-HTP might be as beneficial as conventional antidepressant therapy.
6. Valerian root (An herb derived from the pink flower, valeriana officinalis) for insomnia, anxiety, or depression. 400mg – 650mg/day
Some research suggests that valerian does not relieve insomnia as fast as “sleeping pills.” Continuous use for several days, even up to four weeks, may be needed before an effect is noticeable. Valerian seems to improve the sleep quality of people who are withdrawing from the use of sleeping pills.
For Anxiety. There is contradictory evidence about the effectiveness of valerian for anxiety. Some people have reported that it seems to reduce stress in social situations. Yet, other studies have shown no effect.
For Depression. Some early research suggests that taking valerian plus St. John’s wort improves symptoms of depression. Taking higher doses of valerian with St. John’s wort improves depression symptoms faster than low doses.
7. L-theanine (Component of green tea) for stress, anxiety & sleep problems. 200mg/day
L-theanine may help relieve stress by inducing a relaxing effect without drowsiness and may also possess immunologic attributes. Theanine may also have effects on the cardiovascular system and play a preventative role in cancer; however, limited clinical information is available to support these claims. The fact that it can have a calming effect can help with people who have sleep problems due to anxiety.
8. Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) for stress, anxiety & sleep problems. 600mg/day
For Anxiety. Some research shows that taking lemon balm reduces symptoms in people with anxiety disorders. A product containing lemon balm plus 12 other ingredients has also been shown to reduce symptoms of anxiety such as nervousness or edginess.
For Insomnia. Taking a lemon balm by itself or along with other ingredients might improve the length and quality of sleep in healthy people and in those with insomnia or sleeping disorders.
For Stress. Some research suggests that taking one 600 mg dose of lemon balm increases calmness and awareness in adults during a stress test. Other research suggests that larger lemon balm doses reduce anxious behavior in children, but not lower doses. Another study suggests that taking a combination product containing valerian and lemon balm might lower anxiety when taken at a lower dose, but might increase anxiety when taken at a higher dose. Other research found that taking a lemon balm product for 4 weeks lowered agitation and edginess in people with anxiety caused by stress.
9. Passionflower (Passiflora incarnate), for anxiety. 90mg/day or 10 – 45 drops of elixer
For Anxiety. There is some evidence that passionflower can reduce symptoms of anxiety, sometimes as effectively as some prescription medications.
Relieving symptoms related to narcotic drug withdrawal, when used in combination with a medication called clonidine. This combination seems to be effective in reducing symptoms such as anxiety, irritability, sleep problems (insomnia), and agitation.
Relieving symptoms of a psychiatric disorder known as “adjustment disorder with anxious mood” when used in a multi-ingredient product (Euphytose, EUP). Other herbs in the product are crataegus, ballota, and valerian, which have mild sedative effects, and cola and paullinia, which have stimulant effects. It’s not clear, though, which ingredient or ingredients in the mix are responsible for decreasing anxiety.
10. Lavender (Essential oil) for anxiety and sleep problems. Inhale 2 to 4 drops in 2 to 3 cups of boiling water.
For Anxiety. Some research shows that taking lavender oil by mouth for 6-10 weeks improves anxiety and sleep and prevents anxiety recurrence in people with mild-to-severe anxiety.
11. GABA (gamma-Aminobutyric acid) May inhibit production of chemical messengers in the brain involved in regulation of mood. For anxiety, sleep problems, (and lowering blood pressure). 100mg – 250mg three times a day
GABA’s role as an inhibitory neurotransmitter is paramount. A study of over 1200 students in China looked at the association of problem behavior with neurotransmitter deficiency in adolescents. Upon completion of two analytical questionnaires it was concluded that deficiencies in neurotransmitters such as GABA may cause behavior and mental issues, including those of anxiety and depression
Another benefit of GABA’s ability to promote relaxation is that it may be helpful in inducing sleep.
Supplementing with GABA has been shown to help reduce blood pressure in adults with mild hypertension. An eight-week trial was conducted on 50 men and women with systolic blood pressure between 130 and 180mmHg. The results of this study showed a significant reduction in blood pressure with daily supplementation of 80 mg of GABA, as compared to the placebo group (Matsubara F, et al., Japanese. (Pharmacology & Therapeutics, 2002).
12. Melatonin (hormone that regulates natural sleep/wake cycles) for sleep problems .25mg – 10mg/night
Taking melatonin by mouth helps improve sleep disorders in blind children and adults.
Taking melatonin by mouth appears to reduce the length of time needed to fall asleep in young adults and children who have trouble falling asleep. However, within one year of stopping treatment, this sleeping problem seems to return.
Melatonin also appears to shorten the time it takes for to children with developmental disabilities to fall asleep. In addition, melatonin appears to improve sleep quality in people with reduced rapid-eye movement (REM) sleep. Also, melatonin appears to reduce the time it takes to fall asleep and the number of sleep interruptions in elderly people with sleep-wake cycle disturbances and dementia.
It is also possibly effective for withdrawal from drugs called benzodiazepines (Valium, Xanax, etc…) Taking the controlled-release form of melatonin by mouth seems to help older people with insomnia related to withdrawal from these drugs.
For primary insomnia (insomnia that is not attributable to a medical or environmental cause), melatonin seems to be able to shorten the amount of time it takes to fall asleep. Some people say melatonin makes them sleep better. There is some evidence that melatonin is more likely to help older people than younger people or children. This may be because older people have less melatonin in their bodies to start with.
Most research shows that melatonin can improve certain symptoms of jet lag such as alertness and movement coordination. Melatonin also seems to slightly improve other jet lag symptoms such as daytime sleepiness and tiredness.
Melatonin used under the tongue seems to be effective in reducing anxiety before surgery.
Before you commit to the long-term use of medications for mental health issues, you should talk to your doctor about the possibility of trying non-prescription alternatives as listed here. You will be surprised how well many of them work. If your doctor says that there is no research to support their effectiveness, I suggest going to http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed and searching any one of the supplements. You will typically find many, often hundreds, of research studies.
© Dr. Charles F. Glassman, CoachMD
The majority of information here was obtained from http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/.
This blog is for healthy tips and ideas, suggestions, recipes, information. research, and anything else useful for fighting illness and obtaining good health. Please keep all comments friendly and helpful. Thank you! Oh, and absolutely NO advertising. I appreciate your input and look forward to working with you on this.
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