View full lesson: http://ed.ted.com/lessons/how-the-foo…
Research over the past two decades broadly supports the claim that mindfulness meditation — practiced widely for the reduction of stress and promotion of health — exerts beneficial effects on physical and mental health, and cognitive performance. Recent neuroimaging studies have begun to uncover the brain areas and networks that mediate these positive effects. However, the underlying neural mechanisms remain unclear, and it is apparent that more methodologically rigorous studies are required if we are to gain a full understanding of the neuronal and molecular bases of the changes in the brain that accompany mindfulness meditation.
Within the past few decades, there has been a surge of interest in the investigation of mindfulness as a psychological construct and as a form of clinical intervention. This article reviews the empirical literature on the effects of mindfulness on psychological health. We begin with a discussion of the construct of mindfulness, differences between Buddhist and Western psychological conceptualizations of mindfulness, and how mindfulness has been integrated into Western medicine and psychology, before reviewing three areas of empirical research: cross-sectional, correlational research on the associations between mindfulness and various indicators of psychological health; intervention research on the effects of mindfulness-oriented interventions on psychological health; and laboratory-based, experimental research on the immediate effects of mindfulness inductions on emotional and behavioral functioning. We conclude that mindfulness brings about various positive psychological effects, including increased subjective well-being, reduced psychological symptoms and emotional reactivity, and improved behavioral regulation. The review ends with a discussion on mechanisms of change of mindfulness interventions and suggested directions for future research.
When game designer Jane McGonigal found herself bedridden and suicidal following a severe concussion, she had a fascinating idea for how to get better. She dove into the scientific research and created the healing game, SuperBetter. In this moving talk, McGonigal explains how a game can boost resilience — and promises to add 7.5 minutes to your life.
The one thing all humans have in common is that each of us wants to be happy, says Brother David Steindl-Rast, a monk and interfaith scholar. And happiness, he suggests, is born from gratitude. An inspiring lesson in slowing down, looking where you’re going, and above all, being grateful.
Gratitude Works!: The Science and Practice of Saying Thanks [Robert Emmons]
Published on Apr 7, 2014
Robert Emmons (Professor of Psychology, UC Davis) explains how gratitude can heal, energize, and change human lives, with reference to recent empirical psychological research. Delivered at Biola University on March 6, 2014. Co-sponsored by Biola CCT and Rosemead School of Psychology.
Published on Jan 7, 2014
Krik of Black Owl Outdoors shows you the LifeStraw personal water filter. Light, compact and inexpensive; the LifeStraw is perfect for camping, hiking, and backpacking.
Published on Jun 5, 2013
See the LIFESAVER bottle in action with Michael Pritchard, drinking directly from the river on the move!
Inadequate access to microbiologically safe drinking water continuously threatens the health and well-being of more than a billion people, primarily in developing countries. In many areas worldwide the central water infrastructure is not available at all, or not reliable, leading to unsafe water at the tap. In such cases, decentralized water treatment can be used.
Ultrafiltration is an effective technology to treat water and in principle can be applied on a decentralized scale. Most ultrafiltration membranes have pores which are smaller than the size of bacteria and viruses. Thus, water filtered through these membranes is microbiologically safe.
During dead-end ultrafiltrtion all macro- and microorganisms, particles and colloids accumulate on the membrne surface and a fouling layer is formed. Backflushing or chemical cleaning are usually used during conventional ultrafiltration to remove fouling layer. This prevents the membrane from clogging, which is expected to occur during filtration on a long term. However, backflushing or cleaning results in complex and maintenance-intensive systems, which are difficult to operate on a long term in developing countries.
Prominent food researcher Patricia Allen finds promise in the movement, but also raises concerns about the effects of alternative economic strategies that are found in community supported agriculture (CSA) and farmers market models
and the possibility that these types of “designer” food production schemes may create a two-tiered food system built upon class differences.
She also critiques the movement’s view that using food assistance programs is “dependence,” pointing out that in antihunger perspectives food is viewed as a right to be fulfilled by the state if the market, or for us the self-reliant community, fails.
Published on Mar 4, 2013
LaDonna Redmond is the founder and executive director of The Campaign for Food Justice Now. Previously, she was part of the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy in 2011 as the Senior Program Associate in Food and Justice. A long-time community activist, she has successfully worked to get Chicago Public Schools to evaluate junk food, launched urban agriculture projects, started a community grocery store, and worked on federal farm policy to expand access to healthy food in low-income communities. In 2009, she was one of 25 citizen and business leaders named a Responsibility Pioneer by Time Magazine. In 2007, she was awarded a Green For All Fellowship. LaDonna was also a 2003-2005 IATP Food and Society Fellow. Redmond is a frequently invited speaker, and currently hosts the weekly Monday evening radio program “It’s Your Health” on 89.9 KMOJ, The People’s Station. LaDonna attended Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio.
Accessing healthy food is a challenge for many Americans—particularly those living in low-income neighborhoods, communities of color, and rural areas.
A 2009 study by the U.S. Department of Agriculture found that 23.5 million people lack access to a supermarket within a mile of their home.
A recent multistate study found that low-income census tracts had half as many supermarkets as wealthy tracts. Another multistate study found that eight percent of African Americans live in a tract with a supermarket, compared to 31 percent of whites. And a nationwide analysis found there are 418 rural “food desert” counties where all residents live more than 10 miles from a supermarket or supercenter— this is 20 percent of rural counties.
Researchers find that residents who live near supermarkets or in areas where food markets selling fresh produce (supermarkets, grocery stores, farmers’ markets, etc.) outnumber food stores that generally do not (such as corner stores) have lower rates of diet-related diseases than their counterparts in neighborhoods lacking food access.
Published on Feb 12, 2013
TED Fellow Christina Warinner is an expert on ancient diets. So how much of the diet phad the “Paleo Diet” is based on an actual Paleolithic diet? The answer is not really any of it.
Dr. Christina Warinner has excavated around the world, from the Maya jungles of Belize to the Himalayan mountains of Nepal, and she is pioneering the biomolecular investigation of archaeological dental calculus (tartar) to study long-term trends in human health and diet. She is a 2012 TED Fellow, and her work has been featured in Wired UK, the Observer, CNN.com, Der Freitag, and Sveriges TV. She obtained her Ph.D. from Harvard University in 2010, specializing in ancient DNA analysis and paleodietary reconstruction.
The paleo diet is based on emulating the diet of our hunter-gatherer ancestors. It includes whole, unprocessed foods that resemble what they look like in nature.
Our ancestors were genetically the same as modern humans. They thrived eating such foods and were free of diseases like obesity, diabetes and heart disease.
Several studies suggest that this diet can lead to significant weight loss (without calorie counting) and major improvements in health.
There is no one “right” way to eat for everyone and paleolithic humans thrived on a variety of diets, depending on what was available at the time.
Some ate a low-carb diet high in animal foods, others a high-carb diet with lots of plants.
Eat: Meat, fish, eggs, vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, herbs, spices, healthy fats and oils.
Avoid: Processed foods, sugar, soft drinks, grains, most dairy products, legumes, artificial sweeteners, vegetable oils, margarine and trans fats.
However, it is still very controversial among health professionals and mainstream nutrition organizations.
Some have embraced the diet as healthy and reasonable, while others think it is downright harmful.
1. Lindeberg S, et al. A Palaeolithic diet improves glucose tolerance more than a Mediterranean-like diet in individuals with ischaemic heart disease. Diabetologia, 2007.
Details: 29 men with heart disease and elevated blood sugars or type 2 diabetes, were randomized to either a paleolithic diet (n=14) or a Mediterranean-like diet (n=15). Neither group was calorie restricted.
The main outcomes measured were glucose tolerance, insulin levels, weight and waist circumference. This study went on for 12 weeks.
Glucose Tolerance: The glucose tolerance test measures how quickly glucose is cleared from the blood. It is a marker for insulin resistance and diabetes.
This graph shows the difference between groups. The solid dots are the baseline, the open dots are after 12 weeks on the diet. Paleo group is on the left, control group on the right.
As you can clearly see from the graphs, only the paleo diet group saw a significant improvement in glucose tolerance.
Weight Loss: Both groups lost a significant amount of weight, 5 kg (11 lbs) in the paleo group and 3.8 kg (8.4 lbs) in the control group. However, the difference was not statistically significant between groups.
The paleo diet group had a 5.6 cm (2.2 inches) reduction in waist circumference, compared to 2.9 cm (1.1 inches) in the control group. The difference was statistically significant.
A few important points:
- The 2-hour Area Under the Curve (AUC) for blood glucose went down by 36% in the paleo group, compared to 7% in the control group.
- Every patient in the paleo group ended up having normal blood sugars, compared to 7 of 15 patients in the control group.
- The paleo group ended up eating 451 fewer calories per day (1344 compared to 1795) without intentionally restricting calories or portions.
Conclusion: A paleolithic diet lead to greater improvements in waist circumference and glycemic control, compared to a Mediterranean-like diet.
TUESDAY, JUNE 14, 2011
I have experimented with eating a so-called “paleo” diet for at least 14 years. Although I had confidence enough in the concept to invest in self-publishing a book on putting it into practice, over this time I have endured increasing cognitive dissonance because the currently popular concept of paleo diet—animal-based, relatively high in protein and fat and relatively low in carbohydrate—conflicts with empirical nutrition knowledge accumulated over the course of 5 thousand years in both Asian and Western medicine, including a rather large body of clinical and laboratory data accumulated since the 19thcentury, all pointing toward humans being more adapted to a plant-dominated, high-carbohydrate diet supplying significantly less than 30% of energy from fat.