|OK In Health - Miscellaneous|
Is Napping Good for You? - January 2015
Thinking of taking an afternoon snooze?
Here are four research-based benefits of naps, especially helpful in the workplace.
1. Help you learn new information - sleep helps transport information stored in the hippocampus (where fresh memories are temporarily stored) to the brain's more permanent storage area in the neocortex.
2. Make you more productive - when you are sleep deprived, a 30 minute or shorter nap can help you make up for lost time.
3. Give you a jolt of creativity - when napping, your brain does a kind of "housecleaning".
4. Make you more pleasant to be around - a nap has been found to have the mood elevating powers of coffee.
The Mayo Clinic cites the negatives of taking a nap - sleep inertia (the groggy and disoriented feeling you have after waking up from a nap) and nighttime sleep problems (insomnia or poor sleep quality may worsen these problems for some, and long naps may interfere with nighttime sleep).
The best time to take a nap is generally between 2 and 3 pm for 10 to 30 minutes. You might consider taking naps for new fatigue or unexpected sleepiness, to prepare for times when you need to stay up longer than usual, or as part of a daily routine.
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|Low Fat Brownies|
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|Fresh Cherry Crisp|
Description: What says summer more than cherries?
A fruit crisp offers the luscious flavor of a fresh fruit pie without the fuss of making a crust. Celebrate the arrival of cherries with this rich-tasting crisp. The nut-studded topping works great with other fruit combinations too.
This is a delicious cherry crisp made with fresh cherries instead of canned. It may take a little longer to make because you need to pit the cherries, but it is well worth it when you taste the finished product.
The nutritional benefits of cherries are pretty big, particularly when you consider their small size. Many of the health benefits of cherries are related to the natural chemical that gives them their color.
Anthocyanins give flowers, berries and other fruits the colors ranging from red to blue. Some of the best food sources of anthocyanins are red grapes, chokeberry, eggplant and, of course, cherries.
These pigments attract pollinators, act as a “sunscreen” and protect the plant from radicals formed by UV light, so they act as antioxidants. The antioxidant benefits are transferred to people when the fruits or vegetables are eaten.
Anthocyanins are also natural pain relievers and anti-inflammatories. They inhibit the production of COX-2 enzymes, as do over the counter and prescription pain relievers. Natural anti-inflammatories are believed to reduce the risk of many types of cancer. But, there are more nutritional benefits of cherries.
Cherries contain melatonin, another natural pain reliever and COX-2 inhibitor. Melatonin also helps to regulate sleep cycles and has been sold as a natural sleep aid. Reduced levels of melatonin have been associated with heart disease and increased cancer rates in night workers. The human body naturally produces melatonin, but primarily in darkness.
Constant artificial lighting present in most homes and work places reduces the amount of melatonin that the body produces. So, one of the health benefits of cherries to modern day man has to do with replacing some of the melatonin that has been lost to artificial light, unhealthy work schedules and unnatural sleep patterns. And, there are more nutritional benefits of cherries.
Cherries, like most fruits, contain vitamin C. The proven and suspected health benefits of cherries and other vitamin C rich foods are too numerous to be covered in this recipe.