Cancer, Health and Diet Related News
Regular meditation, as well as other spiritual or religious practices, has been shown to help shield against depression. New research from Columbia University’s Spirituality Mind Body Institute suggests that these activities may have the effect of thickening the brain’s cortex. A study involving 103 adults, some of whom had a family history that put them at risk of depression, found that participants who placed a high value on religion or spirituality had thicker cortices as seen on brain MRIs. The researchers noted that the thickened brain regions seen in this study are the same cortical areas shown to thin in earlier studies of people at high risk of depression. The team wrote that while more study is needed, these new results suggest that spirituality or religion may protect against major depression by thickening the brain cortex and counteracting the cortical thinning that normally occurs with major depression. This change was particularly evident in study participants predisposed to depression because of a family history, the researchers reported. Earlier studies by this same team showed a 90 percent risk reduction in major depression in adults who said they highly valued spirituality or religiosity and whose parents suffered from the disease.
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Lisa Miller et al, “Neuroanatomical Correlates of Religiosity and Spirituality: A Study in Adults at High and Low Familial Risk for Depression,” JAMA Psychiatry doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2013.3067
Whole Kids Foundation is dedicated to helping kids eat better — and enjoy it! Visit their website for information on how they support schools and inspire families to improve children’s nutrition and wellness.
Whole Kids Foundation has new kids’ activities to keep small hands busy and big minds growing. Take a bite out of a good book, get crafty in the recycle bin and learn a new way to pack more nutrition into every bite!
Join the Kids Book Club – “Gregory the Terrible Eater”
This month’s recommended reading is “Gregory, the Terrible Eater,” by Mitchell Sharmat. Gregory has eating habits to which I really relate: Too much of a good thing is still too much. With Jumpstart’s reading tips and a recommended activity in-hand, parents and teachers can focus discussions around the book on nutrition. It’s an easy opportunity for a hard-to-approach conversation.
Get Crafty with ScrapKins – Snails in the Garden
These hands-on activities from our partner ScrapKins, introduce the fun in repurposing. This month make a snail from a sour cream tub. True to our Whole Kids’ style, the project ends with “Think About It” questions that help you talk with your little recycler about where our food comes from and our impact on the environment.
Take Better Bites – Dip It!
Our latest edition of Better Bites (where we feature one simple, affordable, healthy idea) is about making dips. Kids love to eat with their hands — so let them! Dips provide an opportunity to add (or hide) more nutrients in a child’s daily diet. They can also help small hands develop dexterity, and they are a great introduction to measuring. Taste your way, ingredient by ingredient, to a flavor you both enjoy! Rainbow veggie tray anyone?
How are you keeping your little ones busy this month? Share your fresh ideas in the comments section below.