header_img2
Home

healthy living. healthy planet.

Seattle Natural Awakenings

Natural Awakenings

Strawberries Reduce Blood Pressure
April 2015

Lower Levels Through Fruit Consumption

strawberriesAstudy published in the World Journal of Diabetes concluded that the regular consumption of a flavonoid-rich strawberry beverage reduces blood pressure in people with Type 2 diabetes. The study divided 36 subjects, all with moderately high blood pressure and Type 2 diabetes, into two groups—the first drank the equivalent of one serving of fresh strawberries per day made from freeze-dried berries, and the other group drank the same amount of an imitation strawberry-flavored drink over a six-week period. Blood pressure was tested at the beginning and end of the study for all participants.

At the end, the group drinking the real strawberry beverage registered significantly lower diastolic blood pressure than at the outset; it was also lower than the imitation strawberry group. The average diastolic blood pressure of the group drinking real strawberries went down by 6.5 percent and the systolic dropped by 12 percent. The strawberry-flavored group’s systolic blood pressure was also reduced, but only by 3.7 percent.

 
Sustainable Shopping Tips
April 2015

Smart Choices Help Our Home Planet

eco-green-shoppingThe buy local movement and popularity of local farmers’ markets continue to grow, but we can do even better when it comes to sustainable shopping. A recent Greendex.com survey on environmental impacts of consumer behaviors in 18 countries reports that more Americans are eating local and organic foods and say they’re going to consume less meat and bottled water. Nevertheless, we continue to eat the most processed and packaged foods and the fewest fruits and vegetables of all the countries surveyed. Evidently, we need to literally put our money where our mouths are.

The Greendex survey cites several basic ways to make our diets more sustainable. These include eating more vegetables and less beef and lamb (recognizing the greater environmental impact of raising animals); participating and supporting community supported agriculture and fishery initiatives; economizing meal planning; and storing food properly in the refrigerator to maximize space and freshness periods.

When grocery shopping, peruse the perimeter aisles first, where whole foods are stocked, instead of the interior shelves, which typically comprise processed foods according to MotherEarthLiving.com.

More cooperation between the public and private sectors and individual involvement can also increase sustainability in communities around the world. Rachael Durrant, Ph.D., a research fellow with the UK-based Sustainable Lifestyles Research Group, cites in a recent paper the need for improved understanding of the key roles that civil society organizations play within processes of large-scale social change and warned that many communities are vulnerable to grave environmental and social risks.

Durrant lauds “greener, fairer and healthier practices, such as community gardening or cookery classes,” plus “those that change the rules of the game through campaigns or lobbying to coordinate and facilitate activities of other groups.” Supporting food and farming management that’s independent, cooperative and welcomes volunteers, for example, is highly beneficial.

 
Soil Salvation
April 2015

Organic Farming May Counteract Greenhouse Effect

organic-farmingThe nonprofit Rodale Institute, the United Nations and the Soil Association are reporting that modern, chemical-intensive industrial farming is stripping the soil’s natural ability to take carbon back out of the atmosphere through photosynthesis and store it in the soil. Rodale researchers say that by returning to small-scale organic farming, more than 40 percent of annual greenhouse gas emissions could be captured in the soil, and if the entire world’s pasture and rangelands were managed using regenerative techniques, an additional 71 percent of those emissions could be sequestered.

Further, organic practices could counteract the world’s yearly carbon dioxide output while producing the same amount of food as conventional farming. Rodale claims that using regenerative organic agriculture—like low or no-tillage, cover crops and crop rotation—will keep photosynthesized carbon dioxide in the soil, instead of returning it to the atmosphere. The institute cites 75 studies from peerreviewed journals, including its own 33-year Farming Systems Trial, which directly compare organic farming with conventional farming.


Source: OrganicConsumers.org

 
Meditation Minimizes Migraines
March 2015

Mindfulness Reduces Episodes

meditationResearchers from the Wake Forest School of Medicine found that mindfulness meditation significantly reduced the number and duration of migraines among 19 episodic migraine patients. Ten were given eight weeks of mindfulness classes with instructions for adding personal meditation in-between sessions. The other nine received typical migraine care.

Those in the meditation group experienced an average of 1.4 fewer migraines per month, which averaged nearly three hours less than the ones experienced by those in the control group. Pain levels of the headaches reported by those in the meditation group averaged 1.3 points lower on a scale of one to 10.

 
<< Start < Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Next > End >>