Health Articles

The Deadly Ties between Stress, Heart Disease and Other Afflictions

Lester Adler, M.D.

We’ve all been there. Stuck in traffic. Late for a plane. Missed an important call. Lost your keys. We’ve all had these: worries about security, family, finances, terrorism, anger, loneliness, low blood sugar and hurt feelings.

Which means we’ve all had this:  STRESS.

Saber tooth tigers are long gone, but the “fight or flight” response is still our brain and body’s default defense to all perceived threats. Alarming situations or thoughts evoke neurochemical reactions that prepare our body to run or fight for its life. Adrenaline, noradrenaline and cortisol surge through our system, raising blood sugar, blood pressure and our heart and breathing rate. Brain scans show that the more immediate the danger, the deeper and more instinctual the brain circuitry that gets involved. In fact, panic attacks (full-fledged reactions to minimally dangerous situations) are a result of our brain centers acting out of order.

Health Benefits of Kale

Thriving even in frost, kale is an easy-to-grow green that keeps on giving: cut the smaller, paler green leaves to anchor or mix into fresh garden salad; use the larger, dark greens for stir-fries, pizza topping, or soup, while the plant keeps right on growing.

One variety is known as dinosaur kale in Tuscan regions for its glossy, crinkly, green-to-violet-colored leaves. Kale has a relatively short life in terms of crispness, so it’s best to use within a few days of harvesting.

Health Benefits of Kale

If vitamins could be packaged and labeled as such, they would look very much like kale. That’s because the vitamins offered by just one cup of this relatively little-known veggie can trump a whole week’s worth of other foods: 684% of the daily value of vitamin K, 206% of the suggested daily amount of vitamin A, and 134% of vitamin C (and even more vitamin C in the Scottish curly-leaf variety).

Updated September 2020

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