HERBS FOR HEALTH MANAGEMENT

Herbs are a foundational root in medicine and health treatments, dating back thousands of years throughout every culture around the world. Modern Western herbalism comes from ancient Egypt. The Greeks developed a comprehensive philosophy of herbal medicine by 100 BCE and the Romans built upon it to create a variety of medical practices, some of which are still used today.

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ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE IMPACTS PSYCHOLOGICAL HARDINESS

Psychological hardiness is an individual’s resistance to stress, anxiety and depression. It includes the ability to withstand grief and accept the loss of loved ones. Alternative medicine is a more popular term for health and wellness therapies that have typically not been part of conventional Western medical approaches but are often used along with conventional medicinal protocols.  Coping and dealing with stress in a positive manner play a major role in maintaining the balance needed for health and well-being.

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ALTERNATIVE REMEDIES FOR ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION

Interest in complimentary and alternative medicine (CAM) is increasing as consumers and health care professionals search for additional ways to treat anxiety, depression and other mental health disorders. Some of these remedies include:

St. John’s Wort.  More than 30 studies show it to be effective for treatment of mild forms of depression,…

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and offers a platform to celebrate the superfood that is the avocado. Avocados are rich in vitamins K, C, B5, B6 and E, as well as potassium, folate, fiber and healthy fats. Smash an avocado, add a couple tablespoons of salsa, a dash of salt and a squeeze of lime – done. Homemade guacamole is a perfect starter recipe to involve kids in food preparation in the kitchen. Pair guacamole with carrots, tomatoes, cucumber wedges or corn chips for dipping. It’s an easy snack with enormous health benefits.


No-Bake Energy Bites

Energy bites are easy to make, simple to store and 100 percent enjoyable. Many recipes are available online. The essence of these recipes is to mix or pulverize compatible ingredients, form them into a small ball and then throw them in the fridge. Many recipes use peanut or almond butter, honey, oats, shredded coconut, chocolate chips and a dash of salt. Energy bites are a fun way to indulge in chocolaty goodness without straying from healthy choices. Consider including flax or chia seeds – both are rich in fiber, magnesium, iron, zinc, potassium, calcium and more (Munoz et al., 2013; Ankit et al., 2014). No-bake energy bites may even fool the kids into thinking their snack is dessert.


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5 HEALTHY OPTIONS FOR AFTERSCHOOL SNACKING

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

This article was team written by graduate students in the Nutritional Sciences and Pharmacology Students Association within the Department of Pharmacology and Nutritional Sciences at the University of Kentucky and Dr. Sara Police.

shown to reduce risk of depression and anxiety (Grosso et al., 2014), decrease risk factors for heart disease (Peter et al., 2013), improve joint and bone health (Kruger and Horrobin, 1997) and even improve sleep quality (Montgomery et al., 2014). Mix tuna with light mayonnaise and layer with tomato and cheddar cheese between whole wheat or multi-grain bread.


Greek Yogurt Parfait

Many fruits offer similar nutrients as vegetables but in a sweeter package. A favorite go-to snack is a parfait made with Greek yogurt, granola, almonds and mixed berries. Layer these ingredients inside a clear glass so your children can enjoy the different colors and textures. Blueberries are a good option. They are rich in vitamins C and K and antioxidants, which prevent damage to human cells (Wolfe et al., 2008). In the brain, cellular protection is linked to improved cognition and memory (Willis et al., 2009). Bonus – if you freeze the berries, they last longer and make the yogurt like ice cream.


Homemade Guacamole and Dippers

Store-bought guacamole is just fine, but homemade guacamole bursts with flavor

With a new school year on the horizon, now is a great time  to  start  re-thinking afterschool snacks.  The gray area between school dismissal and dinnertime makes it easy for children (and  adults) to fill up on empty  calories with chips, soda, cookies or other calorie-dense foods.  Fortunately, there are plenty of tasty, healthy, quick alternatives. Give your kids (and yourself) a mental boost before homework or evening activities with these healthier options for afterschool snacking.


Vegetable Chips

Rather than potato chips, why not try kale or sweet potato chips? Oven-baked, healthy alternative chips are cheap, can be made in large batches and require little work. Kale is a nutrition powerhouse and a rich source of key vitamins and minerals (Migliozzi et al., 2015). Sweet potatoes are rich in beta carotene, vitamin C and potassium – excellent for your immune system and heart health (Bovell- Benjamin, 2007). Rinse kale, dry thoroughly, mix with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkle of salt, pepper and parmesan, then bake until crispy. For sweet potatoes: Slice thin, boil until pliable, dry, thinly coat with olive oil and salt and bake. Low and slow heat is best to avoid burning.  


Tuna Melt

Preparing fresh meats after school is time consuming, but canned tuna is a lean source of protein that is rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are associated with numerous health benefits; they have been