1. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan: Week of 10-26-2019
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  3. Roasted Potato, Mushroom, and Lentil Kale Salad
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  7. What I Wednesday: FNCE in Philly!
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Wednesday, November 13, 2019
  1. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan: Week of 10-26-2019
  2. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan: Week of 11-02-2019
  3. Roasted Potato, Mushroom, and Lentil Kale Salad
  4. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan: Week of 11-09-2019
  5. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan
  6. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan
  7. What I Wednesday: FNCE in Philly!
  8. Potato, Mushroom, and Lentil Kale Salad
  9. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan
  10. Unearthing Evidence-Based Integrative Remedies to Stress
  11. Scribble Anxiety Away
  12. Best Hostess Gift Ever
  13. What I Ate Wednesday: Fiancé Edition!
  14. Pumpkin Walnut Burgers with Chipotle Yogurt Sauce
  15. Favorite Fluffy Whole Wheat Pancakes
  16. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan
  17. Vegan Chili Cornbread Casserole
  18. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan
  19. Orca Conservation
  20. Fall’s Functional Foods
  21. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan
  22. Healthy Pumpkin Cheesecake Dip
  23. Simple Swaps for Your Zero Waste Journey
  24. Lessons on Food and Farming in Monterey, California
  25. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan
  26. Quick and Easy-One Pan Veggie Red Curry
  27. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan: Week of 09-21-2019
  28. Here’s How to Live a more Colourful Life
  29. Cooking with CBD
  30. Eco-friendly Food Storage
  31. Bento Box Recipes
  32. How to Make Sushi Sandwich
  33. Healthy Vegan Buffalo Cauliflower Dip
  34. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan: Week of 09-14-2019
  35. 5 lunchbox ideas
  36. 17 Free and Easy Ways to Be a Self-Care Expert
  37. Fluffy Vegan Pumpkin Muffins
  38. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan: Week of 09-07-2019
  39. 33 Mouthwatering Healthy Vegetarian Recipes for Dinner Tonight
  40. What I Ate Wednesday
  41. The Best Apple Cider Vinegar Salad Dressing
  42. VOTE TODAY!
  43. Veggie Stir Fry with Peanut Sauce
  44. Twilight Time: Reading With Kids
  45. Keep your cool
  46. Tart Cherry Crumble Pie
  47. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan
  48. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan
  49. Your brain on… air pollution?
  50. Brain Boosters
  51. MCT oil Coconut’s healthful gift
  52. Hot right now
  53. Cupcakes for breakfast?
  54. Vegan Chocolate Zucchini Muffins
  55. What is CBD? A Guide to Health Benefits, Usage, and More!
  56. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan
  57. Hummus Toast – 4 Ways!
  58. What I Ate Wednesday
  59. Fluffy Vegan Blueberry Banana Muffins
  60. Advances in Colorectal Cancer Research
  61. Advances in Breast Cancer Research
  62. Cleft Palate With Cleft Lip
  63. What is CPR?
  64. What Is Dementia? Symptoms, Types, and Diagnosis
  65. Cushing Syndrome (For Parents)
  66. Do Memory Problems Always Mean Alzheimers Disease?
  67. Manganese
  68. Study Shows that Disrupted Gut Bacteria May Contribute to the Spread of Breast Cancer
  69. She Faced Breast Cancer At 16 With Little Help From Doctors. Now She’s Speaking Out On Behalf Of Black Women
  70. What Do We Know About Healthy Aging?
  71. Participating in the Arts Creates Paths to Healthy Aging
  72. Setting Goals to be More Active Slows Memory Decline in Older African Americans
  73. Study Shows Music Eases Pain and Other Symptoms for Patients Undergoing Breast Cancer Treatment
  74. 49-Year-Old Breast Cancer Patient Grateful She Didn’t Wait Until 50 for a Mammogram
  75. Teen’s Innovative “SMART Armour” Protects Breast Cancer Patients from Radiation
  76. New Drug Improves 3-Year Survival by 50% for Young Women with Stage IV Breast Cancer
  77. Young Mother’s Life Tragically Taken by Breast Cancer After She Refused Traditional Treatments
  78. NIH Study Tracks Exercise with Mobile Apps to Improve Heart Health
  79. Lion With Skin Cancer Has Received Radiation Therapy In Hospital
  80. 3rd Grader Writes Note for Teacher Battling Breast Cancer to Read Right Before Treatment
  81. Skin Care
  82. Have Back Pain? These Are the Basic Spinal Structures You Need to Know
  83. The Final Word on Whether Alcohol Actually Has Any Health Benefits
  84. New One-Time “Seed” Treatment for Breast Cancer Being Used in Philadelphia
  85. Julia Louis-Dreyfus Talks About The Side Effects of Chemotherapy
  86. Teacher on Leave for Breast Cancer Treatment Forced to Pay for Her Own Substitute
  87. 27-Year-Old Thought She Was Injured Falling Off A Horse, But Then She Learned She Had Breast Cancer
  88. Should Surgery And Radiation Be The Standard Treatment For DCIS? The COMET Study Is Finding Out
  89. Judge Rules That 3-Year-Old Child With Leukemia Must Get Chemo Against Parents’ Wishes
  90. This Charcoal Powder Drastically Whitens Teeth Without Any Chemicals
  91. These Black Cherry-Flavored Shots Help Accelerate Weight Loss
  92. Olivia Newton-John Talks About How She Stays Positive Amid Cancer Battle
  93. This Army Captain Mom Was Diagnosed with Breast Cancer When She Was Just 8 Weeks Pregnant
  94. High-Deductible Health Plans Linked to Delayed Diagnosis and Treatment of Breast Cancer
  95. Antibiotic shortages are putting Aboriginal kids at risk – The Conversation AU
  96. Cuddle beds bringing some physical comfort to end-of-life patients – ABC News
  97. People who skip breakfast are five times more likely to die after a heart attack – Daily Mail
  98. Yale researchers revive cells in dead pig brains – Yale Daily News
  99. Scientists revive cellular activity in brain of dead pigs: report – Fox News
  100. High-Deductible Health Policies Linked To Delayed Diagnosis And Treatment – NPR
  101. After Breast Cancer Diagnosis, Technology Professor Teaches Computers to Read Mammograms
  102. Fact or Fiction: What to Know About Smoking Cessation and Medications
  103. If Soap and Water Are Not Available, Hand Sanitizers May Be a Good Alternative
  104. Autism: Beware of Potentially Dangerous Therapies and Products
  105. One side of your brain might be giving you nightmares – Cosmos
  106. What Personality Tests Tell Us About Ourselves – NPR
  107. Having a resting heart rate of 75 beats per minute DOUBLES your risk of an early death – Daily Mail
  108. Wear protective goggles to play badminton
  109. Herbal drug kratom linked to almost 100 overdose deaths, CDC says – USA TODAY
  110. Ability to lift weights quickly can mean a longer life – EurekAlert
  111. Climate change is making allergy season worse – CNN
  112. 11 Unexpected Ways You Can Relieve Headaches – HuffPost
  113. New Jersey preschoolers have highest autism rates in the nation, researchers say
  114. Auburn gymnast who suffered severe injuries: My pain is not your entertainment
  115. A four-day work week could improve our health and cut carbon emissions
  116. Promising treatment for chronic fatigue syndrome fails large trial

Though we’re no longer fleeing hungry lions, we can’t deny—or ignore—the adverse effects of our 21st-century stress. In fact, almost 6 percent of the Global Burden of Disease (a comprehensive regional and global assessment of mortality and disability from major diseases, injuries, and risk factors) is due to mental health disorders such as anxiety and depression.

On a daily basis, our neuroendocrine and immune systems are inevitably taxed from the detrimental effects of biological, chemical, and/or physical stress. Our physiology responds by activating our sympathetic nervous system: our adrenal glands release adrenalin and noradrenalin, which in turn constrict blood vessels and elevate blood pressure and heart rate. The hypothalamus and pituitary glands are also involved, triggering the release of cortisol by the adrenal glands.

Whether clinically detectable or subclinical, acute stress may become chronic stress over time, potentially giving rise to systemic inflammation, a suppressed immune system, and an increased risk of developing a disease process.

To avoid the damaging effects stress has on our body, it’s crucial to consider the use of integrative modalities to our current medical approach to stress. Mindfulness-based stress reduction, acupuncture, cognitive behavioural therapy, massage, meditation, hypnotherapy, yoga, breathing techniques, and using food as medicine are all evidence-based approaches that can be used independently or with conventional medical approaches.

The roots of natural medicine

When using plants as medicine, often overlooked is what lies beneath the surface: the roots of the plants themselves.

Over thousands of years, medicinal roots have been used in ancient and holistic systems of healing such as Ayurveda, traditional Chinese medicine, and herbalism. Modern research of some of these concentrated nutritional powerhouses has allowed us to understand them from a scientific standpoint and their evidence-based efficacy on human health.

Likely one of the most notable medicinal properties of roots is their adaptogenic nature, which enhances the body’s innate ability to adapt to and counter the effects of stress. In turn, homeostasis is established via various mechanisms such as transcription factors, protein kinases, and molecular chaperones, which are important mediators of the stress response. Two examples of such roots are ashwagandha and eleuthero.

Ashwagandha root

Central to the practice of Ayurveda, ashwagandha root extract positively correlated with reducing stress and anxiety in adults, according to a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study in the Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine.

Referred to as the “royal herb” due to its diverse effects on the human body, this well-studied adaptogen has also been shown to contain anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, neuroprotective, thyroid-modulating, cardioprotective, and immuno-modulating properties. Even though it has the distinct smell of a horse, its benefits seem to supersede the unpalatable aroma.

Eleuthero (Siberian ginseng)

Another less known adaptogen, although one of the five most commonly used in Western herbalism, eleuthero, otherwise known as Siberian ginseng, has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years.

Although little clinical evidence exists, it has been used to stimulate the immune system, boost energy, decrease inflammation and fatigue, increase survival time in patients with advanced stage cancer when used in combination with other therapies, and treat high blood pressure.

Valerian root

Perhaps a dose of nature’s Valium is just what the doctor ordered. Valerian root, from the word valere, “to be healthy,” has a unique composition of isovaleric acid, valerenic acid, as well as certain antioxidants such as linarin and hesperidin. These components promote sleep and relaxation and act as an anxiolytic (reduces anxiety).

Similar to Xanax or Valium, the valerenic acid inhibits the breakdown of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a chemical that helps regulate nerve impulses, thereby leading to increased levels of GABA. In turn, this promotes a state of relaxation and prevents acute or chronic stress, which is seen with low levels of GABA.

These are but a few of the herbs available today. Tilling the soil will expose other stress-altering roots such as licorice, echinacea, and astragalus. Other health-promoting roots include burdock, dandelion, ginger, turmeric, and marshmallow root.

Roots are best harvested in the fall or spring, when nutrients are concentrated. Decoctions are the preferred method for extracting medicinal constituents from most roots, versus infusions, which are favoured for aromatic roots such as valerian or ginger.

Regardless of the medicinal root, the way they’re used is dependent upon dose, duration, and how they’re prepared. A personalized remedy for stress and anxiety begins with consulting your primary care practitioner to ensure there are no contraindications to using roots.

3 Unique medicinal roots

1. Ashwagandha is used to reduce stress; it is anxiolytic (helps reduce anxiety) and anti-inflammatory.

2. Eleuthero may boost energy, is anti-inflammatory, and reduces fatigue.

3. Valerian is used for promoting sleep and is an anxiolytic.

Different supplement forms available include capsules, tinctures, teas, and powders.

Don’t forget to roll up your sleeves and get dirty as you build your own apothecary of medicinal roots. Then head into your kitchen to put them to the test using the following simple stress-busting recipes.

Medicinal Root Mood Latte

Roasted Medicinal Root Salad with Ashwagandha Dressing 

Justyna Sanders, MD, founder of PrescriptionLifestyle.com, specializes in lifestyle transformations, is certified in plant-based nutrition, and is a public health researcher and visionary for transforming the field of medicine.

A version of this article was published in the December 2019 issue of alive Canada  with the title “At the Root of Health.”

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