weekly blog--one for the ages
It’s time to take a short break after Tuesday’s nail-biting mid-term elections. According to Harvard Medical, back pain most often results from inevitable tissue failure caused by age-related deterioration. As many as 80% of adults report at least one episode of back pain. The other 20% never experience back pain at all. But it's not because their spines are normal. Imaging tests on these pain-free adults show as much degeneration in their lower spine as everyone else has.
The oddities of back pain are likely due to the fact that a neurological healing process, not a physical one, is at work. As the theory goes, when a problem occurs and triggers pain, it's your nervous system that actually adapts to the pain, and that's what makes discomfort go away. The bottom line: exercise and movement may help your nervous system to make this adjustment more rapidly.
Meanwhile, a new study suggests that drinking caffeinated and de-caffeinated coffee may protect you against developing both Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Researchers have identified a group of compounds known as phenylindanes, which emerge as a result of the roasting process for coffee beans. Phenylindanes are unique in that they are the only compound investigated in the study that prevent – or rather, inhibit – both beta amyloid and tau, two protein fragments common in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, from clumping. As roasting leads to higher quantities of phenylindanes, dark roasted coffee appears to be more protective than light roasted coffee.
Alas, substituting one serving a day of any type of nuts in place of one serving of red meat, processed meat, French fries, desserts or potato chips was associated with less weight gain. According to a recent study, once people reach adulthood, they start to gradually gain about one pound a year of weight, which seems small. But if you consider gaining one pound over 20 years, it accumulates to a lot of weight gain. In particular, the study found that Brazil nuts and pretzels significantly increased a sense of fullness and reduced feelings of hunger, with the greatest sense of fullness experienced by the group eating Brazil nuts compared to those eating pretzels. Pretzel consumption caused a significant increase in blood glucose and insulin at 40-minutes after they were eaten.