Here is The Roundup, Edition 31, bringing you the best from around the web from the past two weeks!
Blast from the Past
While most of us focus on diet and exercise when attempting to get healthier, lose weight and prevent chronic disease, we may be missing an extremely important piece of the wellness puzzle that might completely derail our efforts: adequate, good quality sleep. In an article by BBC News, one professor at Oxford University harshly (but accurately) sums up our culture’s attitude towards sleep:
“We are the supremely arrogant species; we feel we can abandon four billion years of evolution and ignore the fact that we have evolved under a light-dark cycle. What we do as a species, perhaps uniquely, is override the clock. And long-term acting against the clock can lead to serious health problems.”
Ignoring circadian rhythms could possibly be one of the biggest contributors to Western culture’s continuously declining health, and yet is one that is rarely discussed in the media or by doctors. It seems that our obsession with productivity, as well as attachment to electronic devices like phones, laptops, tablets and TVs, has become more important than attending to our sleep needs, and our health is clearly suffering for it.
I’ve written before about how blue light at night disrupts our circadian rhythms and how to address this issue using apps and orange goggles. There’s no reason not to make these simple changes to your evening routine, and I can personally vouch for the effectiveness of changing your environment to better simulate natural day and night lighting. It may be the one change you haven’t yet made that could make the biggest difference in your overall health and risk of future chronic disease.
- Sleep restriction and circadian misalignment promote insulin resistance and inflammation. Yet another reason to focus on sleep!
- Sleep disturbance and altered circadian rhythm messes up your gut flora. Again… get your sleep!
- Supplementing with a prebiotic and probiotic combo improves fasting blood sugar, insulin resistance and lipids.
- Newborns of obese parents have altered DNA methylation patterns, which may affect their risk of chronic disease in adulthood.
- Gut microbiota metabolism of dietary fiber into short chain fatty acids may shape the immunological environment in the lung and influence the severity of allergic inflammation.
- Research shows that acute sleep deprivation increases portion size and affects food choice in young men.
- The emerging role of the gut microbiota in regulating food allergen sensitization may help explain the rise in food allergies and intolerances.
Worth a Look
- The New York Times covers one author’s No-Soap, No-Shampoo, Bacteria-Rich Hygiene Experiment. Maybe it’s time to stop using soap and shampoo in the shower?
- Ancestralize Me has developed a quiz to help you determine if your diet is too restrictive to be healthy.
- Mark Sisson shares 7 different ways to unwind before bed without drinking alcohol.
- This picture creeps me out when I think of how much saltwater I’ve swallowed as a lifelong surfer.
- Obesity isn’t just a problem in humans; it also affects our pets. Help fight canine obesity with this new app and book.
- The new documentary Fed Up explores the widely misinterpreted notion that “calories-in-calories-out” is the answer to the obesity epidemic.
For the Foodies
- Real Food Pledge: Hot Smoked Salmon & Sweet Potato Frittata
- Super Nummy: Grilled Plantains
- The Healthy Foodie: Seafood Florentine Casserole
- This Flourishing Life: Crock-Pot Paleo Orange Balsamic Pork Tenderloin
- Cooking in Sens: Monkfish with Leeks
- Garlic + Zest: Rosemary Mustard Potatoes
- The Iron You: Parmesan Cauliflower Frittatas
- Divalicious Recipes In The City: Almond Meal and Zucchini Falafels
- Smile Sandwich: Coffee Cake Banana Bread
- My Life of Spice: Strawberry Grapefruit Ice Cream