Pragma Synesi – interesting bits

Compendium of interesting bits I come across, with an occasional IMHO

Gut bacteria affect your brain

More and more evidence is showing up that your microbiota can affect your mental health.  In other words, eat you probiotic yogurt.

Is Your Gut Making You Depressed or Anxious?

Turns out “gut feeling” is more than just a fancy name for intuition. Our small and large intestine, and the trillions of bacteria that call it home, are more important than ever imagined for influencing our mood, our anxiety, our choices, and even our personalities. This week Savvy Psychologist Dr. Ellen Hendriksen goes straight for the gut with three surprising mind-gut connections.

Ellen Hendriksen, PhD | December 23, 2016 |

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February 17, 2017 Posted by | brain, diet, health, nutrition, psychology | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Eat soup to lose weight

Great tip for feeling fuller on less calories: start your meal with a thick low-cal soup.  The article below explains. (I got myself an immersion blender, which makes great pureed soups with minimum effort)

The Weird Reason You Should Eat More Soup

And why it sometimes has an edge over solid food

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January 2, 2017 Posted by | diet, health | , | Leave a comment

What you eat when you’re sick may determine if you’ll get better

In short, if you have a viral infection, go for glucose;  bacterial, ketogenic diet.


What you eat when you’re sick may determine if you’ll get better

By Debora MacKenzie | 15 September 2016 | New Scientist

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October 24, 2016 Posted by | diet, health | , , , | Leave a comment

What to eat for less smelly farts

Aside from the embarrassment, smelly farts increase the risk of bowel cancer.  According to new research, protein (meat, eggs, dairy, etc) is a main culprit. But you can reduce their smelly effects by mixing them with resistant starch and fructans, found in such foods bananas, legumes, wheat, asparagus, etc. That goes against the conventional wisdom of avoiding fibre.

Full details:

These are the foods you should eat if you want less smelly farts

Alice Klein | 14 October 2016 | New Scientist

October 24, 2016 Posted by | diet, health | , , , , | Leave a comment

Your environment can help you lose weight

“Food cues. They make you eat more.” — Hedy Kober, Yale University

Removing temptations (sight or smell) from your environment can go a long way to achieve your diet goals.  You can’t do it everywhere, but where you can, such as your home or office desk, it’s an easy way to regulate your hedonic reward system and avoid unwanted calories. Details on how it works:

Why You Can’t Resist the Office Doughnuts

By Tamar Haspel | October 06, 2016 | Discover

To lose that extra weight, think less about food and more about environment.

October 20, 2016 Posted by | diet, health | , | Leave a comment

Soda Companies Fund Health Groups


Soda Companies Fund 96 Health Groups In the U.S.

Medical organizations, health foundations and government groups recently accepted money from Coca-Cola or Pepsi Continue reading

October 11, 2016 Posted by | diet, health, nutrition | , , , | Leave a comment

9 Foods That Make You Feel Fuller

My last post, 9 Foods That Make You Hungrier, referred to an article listing snacks to avoid if you are trying to lose weight.  The following two articles point out what we should be snacking on instead and when.  Click on the titles to read the original story and watch the accompanying videos.

1) 9 Healthy Snacks That Prevent Overeating

Aug. 11, 2016 | Time Magazine

If you can’t wait for your next meal, these foods are adept at muffling your hunger

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September 16, 2016 Posted by | diet, health, nutrition | | Leave a comment

9 Foods That Make You Hungrier

I wish they had a list of snack foods that don’t make you hungrier.  I think I remember nuts being one those.

9 Foods That Make You Hungrier

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August 1, 2016 Posted by | diet, health, nutrition | , , , | 1 Comment

How Artificial Sweeteners May Cause Us to Eat More

If you want to lose weight, skip the artificial sweeteners:

How Artificial Sweeteners May Cause Us to Eat More

Like a freshly cracked diet soda, suspicions have been fizzing away for years that artificial sweeteners may not be the best way to slim down

By Bret Stetka | July 12, 2016 | Scientific American

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July 20, 2016 Posted by | diet, health | , | Leave a comment

Mind over matter: psychology over calorie-counting

Interesting idea of how to lose weight relatively effortlessly without counting calories (warning: you still have to watch what you eat) by letting your own body dictate how much you eat.

Seems pretty sensible and worth a try.

The hunger mood

Hunger isn’t in your stomach or your blood-sugar levels. It’s in your mind – and that’s where we need to shape up

by Michael Graziano | Edited by Ed Lake  | 18 January, 2016 | Aeon

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January 22, 2016 Posted by | behaviour, diet, health, psychology | , , , | 1 Comment