Egg Nog and Brain fog

 
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The holiday season is a time to get together with friends and family. Often times this means coming together after not seeing each other for extended periods of times. For some people it truly is the most wonderful time of the year, while some do not share the same sentiment. Somethings we do share are changes in the brain during this bustling season.

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Over the years different studies have been conducted to see what and why we are highly susceptible to emotional change at this time of the year. For some its reliving vivid memories triggered by familiar scents and sounds. Others go through increased levels of stress and anxiety brought on by all the “joy”. These occurrences can cause even the most mature minds to regress. Regressions don’t have to be drastic or harmful in nature and often times are subtle. For example take someone who hasn’t been home in over 5 years, suddenly his kid adult brother flings food at him in jest. If this were to happen say, in a board meeting this could be resolved in a professional manner. At the holiday arena… I mean table, even a the adultiest adult could not resist retaliating in some way or another. This form of regression can occur because the person if so comfortable with the familiarity of their surroundings that they have regressed emotionally, even if just for a moment. Some can chalk this up to nostalgia. Nostalgia is a feeling of connection with something that is gone or a longing to return to the past. A holiday dinner can provide very similar and comforting feelings of youth. Our brains will sometimes go a step further and return to those same mannerisms. So if you are a working professional and your sibling makes you want to punch them in the face during Christmas dinner, relax its perfectly normal

 

Turkey Naps, a myth?

 

Welcome to Brain Freeze and our first official post! With mans favorite holiday coming up we thought we would try to put an end to the ever revolving door that is Turkey naps.

A Turkey nap is the sudden onset of sleep after over indulging in thanksgiving dinner. For years many people attributed the presence of the amino acid tryptophan as the suspect of sleepiness, though that does not appear to be the case. Tryptophan as stated,is an amino acid that is found in many foods and a known precursor to the hormone melatonin. However, research has shown that the average portion of turkey does not contain enough tryptophan to induce sleep. Rather the combination of starchy foods and over-indulgence at holiday meals is said to cause the lazy feeling.

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Other research has shown that the minor increase in tryptophan can lead to elevated serotonin production which can promote interpersonal trust in others and in turn makes for a great dinner atmosphere.

So if you are looking to stay awake for dessert minimize your carbohydrate intake and drink lots of water, oh and a little extra turkey wont hurt!

Happy Thanksgiving.

 

D very best vitamin.

 
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In the summer Alaska is known as the land of the midnight sun, but in the winter Alaska becomes the land of no sun. During the winter months some areas of Alaska don’t see the sunrise for 40 days! In the metropolitan area of Anchorage though, some days can see as little as 4.5 hours of daylight. Less daylight means less sun and less sun exposure can lead to decreased levels of vitamin D. According to the Alaska div. of public health, “Vitamin D is an essential fat-soluble vitamin that is primarily responsible for maintaining normal serum concentrations of calcium and phosphate by increasing their absorption in the small intestine. Vitamin D deficiency is known to cause demineralization of bones and other tissues, leading to skeletal problems such as osteomalacia and rickets. “ They also say that 80%-90% of the Vitamin D in a human is synthesized within the skin after exposure to Ultraviolet B (UVB) light. There are two forms of Vitamin D supplements over the counter Vitamin D2 and Vitamin D3 (Ergocalciferol and cholecalciferol).

Vitamin D3 is more effective for deficiencies as it is easily converted and stored by the body and is more akin to the natural form. So how does someone who lives in 40 days of no sunlight not become vitamin deficient? In parts of rural Alaska where daylight is scarce local diets tend to be high in Salmon and marine mammal fats both of which are extremely rich in vitamin D. It is also thought that during the summer months Alaskans are exposed to the sun more frequently with some days seeing up to 21 hours of daylight. The overcompensation in daylight can lead to higher levels of vitamin D stored in the fat. This may be why some residents don’t notice a difference during the winter months. This event is not isolated to Alaska however,
Vitamin D deficiency is now recognized as an epidemic in the United States. Avoid being apart of it, get some sun eat some fish and take your vitamins!