Month: July 2011
Wealth & happiness
A new study by researchers at the University of New York suggests not only that money does not buy happiness, but that it can even lead to higher levels of estrangement and depression. In the study, scientists interviewed almost 90,000 people from a variety of backgrounds and countries around the world. They found, first, that indications of depression were associated with similar reports of life-limiting impacts globally and, second, that national levels of depression generally increased with national wealth. Though the study did not investigate the causes of this correlation, other research in this area suggests and the researchers hypothesize that it is directly related to the breakdown of social support systems in more wealth-oriented nations – where added emphasis on individual achievement, higher income inequality, and lower social cohesiveness are all more prevalent. Overall, the results are consistent with other happiness-related research, notably the growing body of work by Edward Diener and his colleagues. Read about the new research at Wealth and Depression and learn more about the important and often counter-intuitive relationship between wealth, health, and happiness at Wealth and Well-Being and Equality and Our Health.
Photo courtesy of Terence Ong
Snap it up
A new study by researchers at Stanford University underscores the importance of uninterrupted sleep, and not just an adequate duration of rest, in ensuring our natural health and functioning. In the study, the team subtly interrupted the sleep of mice without curtailing their total amount of sleep time, and found a significant reduction in memory and pattern recognition versus mice whose sleep had not been interrupted. As we have written about in other posts, the new study is a reminder that our sleep patterns offer an essential window into our personal health and well-being. Whenever our regular sleep patterns move from a natural norm, this is generally a symptom of reduced overall well-being and an opportunity for new health insights. Almost always, finding the root cause of our sleep disturbances creates a gateway to greater overall health and improved quality of life. If you or someone you know regularly awakens during the night, learn more about the new study at Fragmented Sleep.
Photo courtesy of Paul Sapiano
Leftovers from almost any healthy meal can find their way to a tasty reuse, helping to trim costs and waistines. Here a redux of some spicy mixed seafood and veggies makes a great omelet filling. Paired with greens and berries, and garnished with almond slivers, parsley, paprika, coriander, tarragon, and black pepper…good!
See the light
We often hear about seeing the forest through the trees, but how about the light? It is a powerful learning to sense the trees and forests we all create for ourselves, intricate and pleasing shapes perhaps, ones that may give us needed shade and respite for a time, but that are not our full life in the light and horizons of nature. Can you name what is standing between you and your next level of health and natural vitality today, what most keeps you from even fuller expressions of your life and natural spirit? Always, there is something, even if we cannot immediately name it. If you need help with this important question of light and life, learn more about HumanaNatura and progressive natural living at Natural Living or see a slideshow summarizing our science-based natural health system at About HumanaNatura.
Photo courtesy of Ken J.
On the beach
A new study by UK researchers underscores the importance of natural infant nutrition in developing healthy lifelong eating patterns. In the new study, researchers examined the diets of almost 8,000 infants at six months of age and then again at age seven – the latter milestone shown in other research to be a strong predictor of both childhood and adult eating habits. The team found that high fruit and vegetable consumption at six months was a strong predictor of this eating patterns later in childhood, with prepared infant foods having little or no predictive value. In the study, the effect was strongest for children weaned between four and six months and immediately introduced to a plant-rich diet. Learn more about the new study at Healthy Eating Starts Young.
Photo courtesy of Andrew Vargas
A new study of factors contributing to lifelong brain health concludes that half of Alzheimer’s cases can be prevented through healthier lifestyle choices. The new study, conducted by researchers at the University of California, counters widespread perceptions that chronic brain impairment with aging is not actionable. The new study involved a meta-analysis of lifestyle and Alzheimer’s diagnosis data covering a global sample set. It concludes that seven specific lifestyle factors combine to account for roughly 50% of the risk of this disease: low educational levels (19%), smoking (14%), physical inactivity (13%), depression (11%), midlife hypertension (5%), midlife obesity (2%), and diabetes (2%). Learn more about the new study and immediate steps you can take today to promote lifelong brain health at Alzheimer’s Study and Lifestyle Changes.
Photo courtesy of Garpen Brain