Here is The Roundup, Edition 40, bringing you the best from around the web from the past two weeks!
Blast from the Past
The Atlantic recently wrote a story called “When Yogurt Affects The Brain” describing the way that our gut bacteria can influence our emotional and mental health. One theory is that beneficial bacteria stimulate the vagus nerve, which stimulates the production of various brain chemicals and neurotransmitters that play a role in what we think and how we feel. Probiotics can affect anxiety, improve socialization skills, and reduce depression, and these beneficial effects on the brain may be just as important for our quality of life as they are for the proliferation and survival of the beneficial gut flora. After all, anything that helps humans reproduce will help their commensal flora to thrive, and good social skills are an important part of human reproductive efforts.
I’ve been interested in the gut-brain connection for years, and have covered the topic in various podcasts, including one on the gut as a “second brain”, and another on the gut-brain axis. The connection between gut health and brain function is one of the most important and least recognized factors in human health and vitality. Because there are so many aspects of the modern lifestyle that are antagonistic to gut health, I see more and more patients coming to me with serious gut issues that are causing cognitive difficulties, depression, and anxiety. And unfortunately this can be a vicious cycle, with stress and anxiety having its own effects on the gut.
That’s why in my practice with patients experiencing gut dysbiosis, cognitive or mood issues, or both, I recommend a combination of a gut healing diet, food-based or supplemental probiotics, and a commitment to regular stress management. These therapies can help undo the damage caused by our modern lifestyles, full of junky processed food, excessive antibiotic use, and high levels of unmitigated stress. You can learn more about these recommendations in my book Your Personal Paleo Code (published in paperback as The Paleo Cure in December 2014).
- Group nature walks have been linked with significantly lower depression and perceived stress, and enhanced mental well-being.
- Walking or cycling to work is better for people’s mental health than driving.
- There’s mounting evidence implicating chronic systemic inflammation in osteoporosis and fracture risk in adults.
- In breastfed infants, a higher protein intake from meats (compared to cereals) was associated with greater linear growth and weight gain but without excessive gain in adiposity.
- A new study reveals that certain gut bacteria may induce metabolic changes following exposure to artificial sweeteners.
- New technology shows that fermented milk products increase good gut bacteria and production of butyrate.
- New research shows a positive correlation between feeling thankful before bed and quality of sleep.
Worth a Look
- Sleep is critically important, not only to the basic function of the brain, but to the type of thinking skills that can make or break an entrepreneur or businessperson.
- “The Paleo Lifestyle: The Way, Way, Way Back” is probably the most balanced, favorable, intelligently written article about Paleo in the mainstream press yet.
- Scientists now believe that one of the best anti-aging techniques could be standing up.
- Forget what you think you know about sleep for 10 minutes while you watch this TEDx presentation by Dr. Parsley.
- Mark Sisson shares six recommendations for making exercise more meaningful.
- Across the United States, natural darkness is an endangered resource.
- Exhaustion actually is a status symbol in our culture. We’re working and training ourselves to death.
For the Foodies
- NomNomPaleo: Roasted Kabocha Squash
- The Domestic Man: Blue Crab and Chipotle Tobasco Bisque
- Foraged Dish: Smokey Sausage and Cabbage Soup
- PaleOMG: Paprika Parsnip Fries with Sriracha Dipping Sauce
- The Healthy Foodie: Pickled Beef Tongue
- Ingredients of a Fit Chick: Garlic & Herb Trout Cakes
- And Here We Are: Thai Grilled Chicken With Lemongrass, Basil and Lime
- Great Food and Lifestyle: Pumpkin Jello Bites
- The Blenderist: Vegan Chai Latte
- Worthy Pause: Paleo Mexican Chocolate Mousse