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total wellness

a ucla student wellness commission publication

back to basics


simple ways to take charge of your health

how to remedy a

your guide to the

hangover & other ailments

ABCs of healthy living

total wellness â–Ş spring 2014 spring 14 | vol 14 1 | issue 4

a message from the director In a world filled with constant stress, sleep deprivation, lack of exercise, and nutrition label ingredients you can hardly pronounce, making healthy decisions can seem downright impossible. How much control do we even have over our health? After all, aren’t our traits (like whether we’re slim or overweight, or if we’re at risk for heart disease or diabetes) governed largely by our genes? Although genetics play a role in our health, our day-to-day choices can have a great impact on our wellbeing. In fact, an emerging field called epigenetics (literally meaning above the genome) indicates that factors like our diets and lifestyles can impact the expression of our genes, and thus, our personal decisions can be extremely influential in determining our overall health outcomes. Yet, navigating all the information out there to discern what practices are healthy can be extremely complicated. That’s why making healthy living simple has always been a goal of Total Wellness, and for this issue, we’re going back to the basics in hopes of providing you with the fundamentals for better health.

Feel like you’re too busy to fit in time for health in your hectic schedule? Be sure to read our cover story Healthy Today, Healthy Tomorrow for tricks to squeeze in healthy practices into your everyday routine as well as how to improve your sleep quality, nutrition, and mental wellness, and avoid today’s major health threats (page 36). We hope that by going back to the basics, we’ve provided you with the resources to make informed decisions on how to promote your wellness and convinced you that you can take charge of your own health. As always, we love to hear from our readers. In fact, some of the article topics in this issue stemmed from readers like you! So, if you have ideas or if you just want to share your thoughts about our previous publications, please contact us at Cheers to your health,

Shannon Wongvibulsin Director and Editor-in-Chief

total wellness ▪ spring 2014

As always, we’ve dug through the scientific literature and worked with UCLA healthcare professionals to break down complex topics into comprehensible and useful information, but this issue is unique from our others in that we’ve featured articles on the bare essentials necessary to navigate the complexities associated with establishing a healthy lifestyle. Going along with our theme of back to the basics, we’ve compiled the ABCs of health into a simple, concise list, starting from A for antioxidants to Z for zzz’s (aka sleep). Check out the article on pages 56 to 59 to learn about the Total Wellness alphabet to better health. In this issue, you’ll also find guides on various topics ranging from breathing exercises (page 13) to tips for produce shopping (page 26) and decoding the nutrition label (page 60). Additionally, we’ve got you covered on how to care for your hair (page 19), deal with hangover symptoms (page 7), and make your own home remedies (page 8).


Total Wellness is a division of the Student Wellness Commission that is dedicated to spreading awareness of and sharing knowledge on issues of student health and health care. By providing an understanding of health and lifestyle issues, elucidating health concepts, providing recommendations for physical, mental, and social wellbeing, and making visible and accessible various health resources, programs, and events occurring at UCLA, Total Wellness seeks to empower students with up-to-date and accurate knowledge on the appropriate management of their health.

editor’s note In working on this issue, I continually thought of all of the people I know who strive for a healthier lifestyle, but just don’t know enough of the science behind it to get on the right track. The science of achieving total wellness isn’t too complicated, but the hard part lies in discerning the abundant and wellcirculated myths from the evidence-based truths. In this issue, we go back to the basics of health and cover all the bases.



TIFFANY LIN Co-Copy Editor

BARBARA WONG Co-Art Director

KARIN YUEN Co-Art Director

LESLIE CHANG Managing Editor

ANNIE THERIAULT Outreach Director

HARINI KOMPELLA Finance Director

KEVIN SUNG Webmaster

In our cover article, Healthy Today, Healthy Tomorrow, we go through the essentials — sleep, nutrition, exercise, and mental health — to help you get started (or check where you’re at). The article’s author, Sepideh Parhami, puts it extremely well: “From how you feel at a given moment to how many heartbeats you’re given, your health decides all. Even more significantly, though, you have some control over your health.” And that’s why we work so hard to give you information necessary to exert this control over your life. So in keeping with our basics theme, this issue covers several other simple, yet important, aspects of health. On page 56, you’ll find the ABCs of health — a list of health basics (like Antioxidants and B, C, and D vitamins). On page 13, you’ll learn about the basics of breathing and how it can affect your health. Check out some produce-buying tips on page 26, and see what lifestyle choices can affect hair health on page 19. And last, but not least, you’ll find our usual nutrition label column, but this time detailing the basics of reading the label itself (page 60).

total wellness ▪ spring 2014

As always, every claim is thoroughly researched, critically assessed, and professionally reviewed to make sure that we are giving you the most accurate and up-to-date information science can offer. So enjoy! Wishing you all the basics and more,

Chalisa Prarasri Editor-in-Chief


total wellness Director and Editor-In-Chief Editor-In-Chief Co-Art Director Co-Art Director Managing Editor Co-Copy Editor Co-Copy Editor Finance Director Outreach Director Webmaster

Shannon Wongvibulsin Chalisa Prarasri Barbara Wong Karin Yuen Leslie Chang Julie Escobar Tiffany Lin Harini Kompella Annie Theriault Kevin Sung

Staff Writers Sydnie Bui, Sarah Chang, Peter Chu, Julia Diana Feygelman, Catherine Hu, Grace Lee, Sofia Levy, Tiffany Lin, Alyssa Lok, Pavan Mann, Zoë Merrill, Halee Michel, Omid Mirfendereski, Payam Mirfendereski, Jennifer Miskabi, Monica Morucci, Allison Newell, Brian Khoa Nguyen, Lillie Luu Nguyen, Sepideh Parhami, Vesta Partovi, Niyati Patel, Christopher Phan, Jasmine Sidhu, Elsbeth Sites, Rebecca Tang, Nancy Vu, Catherine Wang, Emily White, Pauline Yang, Danielle Zola Design Shana Bird, Nicole Chang, Natalie Chong , Emily Hsu, Allison Newell, Jackie Nguyen (intern), Catrina Pang, Mary Sau, Danielle Swenson (intern), Jessica Sun, Annie Theriault, Maxine Tsang, Alexandria Villanueva, Barbara Wong, Helena Wong, Shannon Wongvibulsin, Karin Yuen Web Erik Jue, Catrina Pang, Sepideh Parhami, Mary Sau, Kevin Sung, Maxine Tsang, Barbara Wong Outreach Shana Bird, Sydnie Bui, Nicole Chang, Sarah Chang, Peter Chu, Michelle Do, Catherine Hu, Alyssa Lok, Pavan Mann, Zoë Merrill, Omid Mirfendereski, Payam Mirfendereski, Monica Morucci, Allison Newell, Brian Khoa Nguyen, Niyati Patel, Christopher Phan, Jasmine Sidhu, Rebecca Tang, Nancy Vu, Emily White, Danielle Zola Advisory & Review William Aronson, MD

Professor, UCLA School of Medicine

Susan Bowerman, MS, RD, CSSD

Assistant Director, UCLA Center for Human Nutrition

Leah FitzGerald, RN, FNP, PhD

Assistant Professor, UCLA School of Nursing

Dena Herman, PhD, MPH, RD

Adjunct Assistant Professor, UCLA School of Public Health

Eve Lahijani, MS, RD

Nutrition Health Educator, UCLA Bruin Resource Center

Melissa Magaro, PhD

Clinical Psychologist, UCLA Counseling and Psychological Services

William McCarthy, PhD

Adjunct Professor, UCLA School of Public Health

Rena Orenstein, MPH

Assistant Director, Student Health Education

Allan Pantuck, MD, MS, FACS

Associate Professor, UCLA School of Medicine

Julie Skrupa, AADP, CHHP

JWellness101, Owner and Health Coach

Raffi Tachdjian, MD, MPH

Assistant Clinical Professor, UCLA School of Medicine

Elisa Terry, NSCA-CSCS

FITWELL Services Program Director, UCLA Recreation

Alona Zerlin, MS, RD

Research Dietitian, UCLA Center for Human Nutrition

total wellness ▪ spring 2014

Total Wellness is a free, student-run, publication and is supported by advertisers, the Student Wellness Commission (SWC), the Undergraduate Students Association (USAC), the Arthur Ashe Student Health and Wellness Center, UCLA Healthy Campus Initiative (HCI), UCLA Recreation, and UCLA Health System: Center for East-West Medicine. Contact 308 Westwood Blvd., Kerckhoff Hall 308 Los Angeles, CA 90024 Phone 310.825.7586, Fax 310.267.4732 Subscription, back issues, and advertising rates available on request Volume 14, Issue 4


© 2014 by Total Wellness Magazine. All rights reserved. Parts of this magazine may be reproduced only with written permission from the editor. Although every precaution has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the published material, Total Wellness cannot be held responsible for the opinions expressed or facts supplied by authors. We do not necessarily endorse products and services advertised. The information in Total Wellness is not intended as medical advice and should not replace the advice of your physician. Always consult a health care provider for clarification.



IN EVERY ISSUE 02 03 06 07 63

A Message from the Director Editor’s Note & Leadership In the News Q&A Credits

DEPARTMENTS 08 self care Healing From Home Base 13 mind well Breathe In, Breathe Out


19 body in focus A Hairy Affair: Guide to Healthy Hair Basics 26 eat well Guide to Buying Produce 30 move well Trekking the Trails 60 decoding the nutrition label Nutrition Label Basics



36 cover story Healthy Today, Healthy Tomorrow 46 Food for Thought: The Dish on Food Poisoning 49 Organic Seasonal Foods 56 the ABCs of Health

07 08 36 56

Hangovers Home Remedies Back to Basics ABCs



total wellness ▪ spring 2014

left: ideabug/istockphoto; cover: byryo/istockphoto



in the news

what’s happening in health? by harini kompella| design by barbara wong


Increasing levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere may also affect our nutrition through its impact on our food sources, according to a study published this year in Nature. Since zinc and iron deficiencies are global health problems, Harvard researchers examined zinc and iron concentrations in grains and legumes (a primary dietary source of such minerals) grown at the predicted CO2 levels of year 2050. Grains and legumes, including wheat, corn, and soy, were found to have lower zinc and iron concentrations than the same plants grown now. Additionally, other non-legumes examined had lower protein concentrations.1-2


Recent research done at UCLA suggests that we spend about one-third of our time trying to fool others with fake laughter. It also turns out that while laughter is found across the animal kingdom, only humans can create false laughter. In a recent study published in the Journal of Evolution and Human Behavior, spontaneous conversations of college roommates were recorded and the recordings were played to groups of UCLA undergraduates. Fake laughs were incorrectly identified more often than genuine laughs by those listening to sped-up recordings. Also, while listeners could not tell if genuine laughter belonged to a human, they could establish that fake laughs were human. It › is suggested that these two types of laughs are made by two separate vocalization systems. The emotional vocal system, which is shared with other animals, is responsible for real laughter as it has more efficient control in opening and closing the mouth’s windpipe at a rapid pace. The human vocal system, used for speech, can produce phony laughter, since it cannot open the mouth’s windpipe as swiftly as the emotional vocal system can.5

total wellness ▪ spring 2014

ACTIVATING AN IMMUNE RESPONSE MAY TREAT A WIDE RANGE OF CANCERS Manipulation of the immune system is an advancing therapeutic strategy in the medical field. According to a recent study published in Science, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) has developed a new method that can make a person’s immune system produce a response against dysfunctional or detrimental proteins expressed by cancer cells lining the body’s internal and external surfaces. For this method, cells reactive to cancer-causing proteins were intravenously transferred into patients with gastrointestinal cancer. These transferred cells stimulated other cells, aiding in the activation of cellular immunity in the surrounding areas. This treatment combined with anticancer drugs was demonstrated to stabilize tumors. Furthermore, with continued treatment, tumor regression occurred, unlike treatment with anticancer drugs alone. This gives researchers and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) hope for mounting beneficial immune responses in individual patients for treating different types of common cancers.3-4



The altered gene resulting in Huntington’s disease is found in every cell in the body, but only kills two types of brain cells. By turning off the huntingtin gene in brain regions, UCLA scientists found that defects in the huntingtin gene stop the communication between the chemical messengers in two important brain regions, the cortex and striatum. Lowering the amounts of defective huntingtin in mice brains, lessened the disease’s impact on the striatum. In addition, other symptoms were improved, including motor and psychiatric-like behavioral impairment. This research, published recently in Nature Medicine, may provide insight on targets and routes for therapeutic drugs.6 t w References 1. “Increasing CO2 threatens human nutrition.” Nature. (2014). 2. “5 studies you may have missed.” (2014). 3. “Cancer immunotherapy based on mutation-specific CD4+ T cells in a patient with epithelial cancer.” Science. (2014). 4. “NIH study demonstrates that a new cancer immunotherapy method could be effective against a wide range of cancers.” (2014). 5. “UCLA’s ‘Laughter Guy’ dissects feature of counterfeit chortling.” (2014). 6. “UCLA scientists hunt down origin of Huntington’s disease in the brain.” newsroom. (2014).



million annual number of Americans infected with antibioticresistant bacteria


percent estimated percentage of American adults who meet the Physical Activity Guidelines for America


billion annual medical cost for asthma in the American healthcare system cdc

left: arsenik/istockphoto; 3drenderings/ istockphoto; right: kerrick/istockphoto



Q: A:

a question hanging over students’ heads: what’s a hangover and how do you remedy it? by brian khoa nguyen| design by emily hsu

what is a hangover?

According to a 1998 article from Alcohol Health & Research World, the definition of a hangover is a collection of negative physical and mental symptoms that occur after periods of intense alcohol consumption.1 “Intense alcohol consumption” refers to drinking a toxic amount of alcohol over a certain time period. The symptoms associated with hangovers vary from person to person due to differences in physical makeup, as well as previous tolerance to alcohol.2 Generally, hangovers manifest in some or all of the following symptoms: headache, diarrhea, fatigue, trembling, nausea, dehydration, and sensitivity to light and sound.1

what are some factors that cause hangover symptoms?1

Apart from effects due to acute alcohol ingestion, alcohol can affect a person’s energy state, hydration, gastrointestinal system, and sleep, among other health areas. Such symptoms usually manifest as a consequence of a large volume of alcohol consumption.

Dehydration: Alcohol blocks the ability of the kidneys to conserve water by inhibiting the action of the hormone ADH (antidiuretic hormone). Thus, urine production is increased disproportionately with the volume alcohol ingested, which can result in the depletion of fluids in the body.

Stomach lining inflammation: Alcohol causes inflammation of the stomach lining and increased production of gastric acid which often results in symptoms of nausea, abdominal pain, and diarrhea.

Toxic by-products of alcohol digestion: As alcohol is metabolized, it develops into acetaldehyde, a chemical that can be toxic in high amounts and can also induce symptoms of nausea and vomiting. Disruption of the sleep cycle: Alcohol hinders normal sleeping patterns, ultimately leading to poorer sleep quality, which can worsen typical hangover symptoms.

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It is often easier to prevent a hangover than it is to treat it. However, before engaging in any of the following measures, please check with your doctor.

Vitamin B6: All of the B-vitamins are involved in cellular metabolism, and it is well established that alcohol intake can disrupt B-vitamin levels which then contribute to acute hangover effects as well as long term consequences of heavy drinking.3 A randomized controlled trial of B6 supplementation versus placebo revealed that supplementation with B6 prior to and during alcohol ingestion resulted in a 50% reduction in hangover symptoms.4

Extract of the Opuntia ficus indica (OFI) plant (also marketed as “prickly pear extract”): A 2004 study published in JAMA evaluated the use of an extract of the OFI plant versus a placebo on 64 volunteers, who preemptively took the extract 5 hours before alcohol ingestion. Severity of hangover symptoms, such as nausea and dry mouth, were significantly reduced in those who took the extract. The researchers proposed that OFI mitigates gastric inflammation caused by alcohol.5

Aspirin & nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs): These medications are used to reduce inflammation and can relieve headaches or pain associated with a hangover. It is important to remember, however, that these medications should be taken with food because when taken alone, they can irritate the lining of the stomach.1

Time: Researchers of alcohol, such as those in the 1998 article in Alcohol Health & Research World, note that one of the most certain ways of getting over a hangover is to simply wait it out. Symptoms will typically diminish after 8 to 24 hours.1


The alcohol hangover is an unpleasant experience, which many people who enjoy alcoholic beverages hope to avoid. The symptoms vary among individuals, but fortunately, there is now greater research on the pathophysiology behind these effects. Research supports the use of various treatments that can ameliorate the symptoms of a hangover. Just remember to drink responsibly and that the best treatment for a hangover is prevention! t w References 1. “Alcohol Hangover - Mechanisms and Mediators.” Alcohol Health Res W. (1998). 2. “The Alcohol Hangover.” Ann Intern Med. (2000). 3. “Dietary Reference Intakes: Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Vitamin B12, Pantothenic Acid, Biotin, and Choline.” Institute of Medicine. Food and Nutrition Board. Washington, DC: National Academy Press. (1998). 4. “Alcohol-induced hangover: A double-blind comparison of pyritinol and placebo in preventing hangover symptoms.” Q J Stud Alcohol. (1973). 5. “Effects of Opuntia ficus indica on Symptoms of the Alcohol Hangover.” JAMA. (2004).


total wellness ▪ spring 2014

what are some potential treatments?


healing from

home base by julia feygelman |design by shana bird

Home remedies are techniques one can use to alleviate or mitigate the severity of hundreds of conditions, without having to trek to the hospital or fill a prescription. Some rooted in ancient tradition, others discovered in the modern age, home remedies can present perks over traditional care in terms of cost, safety, accessibility, effectiveness, and side effects. Read on to discover some truly powerful and simple remedies for colds, warts, dandruff, and nausea. why consider home remedies?

At times, illnesses are treated more aggressively than what the body really needs in order to heal.1 Home remedies can act as the push your body needs to repair itself while avoiding the potential dangers of harsher treatments. Home remedies can be cheaper and just as potent as costly medications, so it is quite handy to be aware of them the next time you have a minor injury or are feeling under the weather.

total wellness â–Ş spring 2014

Many minor illnesses, ailments, and other health concerns can be effectively and safely treated at home using spices, foods, and other easily purchasable common substances or household items. In some cases, the condition can’t and shouldn’t be cured using only homemade solutions, but the latter can still be helpful supplements to the treatments prescribed by a doctor.

are they safe?

Because home remedies arose from old traditions, rumors, and beliefs, not all of them have been scientifically proven to be effective or safe. Sometimes they can help merely through the placebo effect, but other times they are medicinally helpful. However, some home remedies can be unintentionally harmful. That being said, all of the information on the following remedies described in this article has been supported by scientific research. Regardless, consult your physician before using a new remedy and keep him/her informed about any treatments or supplements you are taking.


left: AWEvans/istockphoto; right: floortje/istcokphoto; sorendls/istockphoto

do they work?

COLDS chicken soup4 what it does The popular soup has been found to alleviate upper respiratory tract infections (URTI, i.e. infection of any part of the upper airway including nasal passages, sinus, and throat). how it works The remedy functions by reducing inflammation (which is typically caused by neutrophils – a type of white blood cell). Ingredients in the soup inhibit white blood cell migration to the site of infection and thus, reduce inflammation. Check out “An Inside Scoop on the Science Behind Chicken Soup and the Common Cold” from Issue 1, Volume 14 of Total Wellness for all the details on how this remedy works. how to use this remedy While chicken soup can be purchased canned or otherwise prepackaged, commercial soups can vary greatly in their cold-fighting capacity so it’s a safer bet to make a homemade version.

The following is the recipe used in the 2000 study published by Chest Journal (since the relative effect of each ingredient is unclear, make sure to include all these ingredients to benefit from the chicken soup’s cold-fighting properties):

› › › ›

one 5 to 6 lb chicken 1 package chicken wings 3 large onions 1 large sweet potato

› › › › › ›

3 parsnips 2 turnips 12 large carrots 6 celery stems 1 bunch of parsley salt and pepper to taste

what it does This method for washing out the throat is virtually free and was found to reduce the rate of upper respiratory tract infection by 36% in a 2005 study (published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine) of 387 healthy patients followed for 2 months. how it works Water gargling is deemed to wash out disease-causing microorganisms from the throat and oral cavity. Microbes that can cause URTI takes approximately 8 to 12 hours to settle in, so gargling could prevent the development of URTIs. how to use this remedy 1. Fill a glass with water. Then, take a sip of water, tilt the head back, and exhale for about 20 seconds allowing the liquid to stay in motion and wash the throat before spitting out the water. 2. Continue until glass of water is emptied. 3. Do this 3 times per day.

saline nasal spray4 what it does While nasal saline spray has not been found effective in treating pre-existing nasal symptoms, it has been shown to be useful as a preventative measure for cold-related symptoms. In a 2004 study published by Acta Otolaryngol, 69 subjects used a saline spray for 10 weeks. Afterwards, the same participants did not use the saline spray for 10 weeks. Throughout the study, the subjects recorded their symptoms. While using the spray, they had almost half the number of days with nasal symptoms (like blocked nose or secretion) versus when not using the spray. how it works Rinsing the nasal cavities is believed to dilute mucus, making the transport of irritants away from the surface more likely. Other explanations still being evaluated include the physical removal of potentially harmful substances and improved function of the cilia due to increased dampness in the nose. Cilia are tiny hairs at the back of the nose that clear mucus from the sinuses.

total wellness ▪ spring 2014

1. Clean the chicken, then cover with cold water in a large pot. Bring the water to a boil. 2. Add the chicken wings, onions, sweet potato, parsnips, turnips, and carrots, and boil for about 1.5 hours. Remove fat from the surface as it accumulates. 3. Add parsley, celery, and cook for 45 more minutes. 4. Remove the chicken (that’s as far as you’ll need the chicken for the recipe). 5. Finely chop up the cooked veggies in a food processor and add them into the soup. 6. Add salt and pepper to taste.

gargling water3

how to use this remedy Use a nasal spray (purchased at a drugstore) once daily and follow the directions on the packaging for correct usage.


COMMON WARTS duct tape5 what it does Duct tape occlusion (securely covering the wart with duct tape) can be much more effective in treating common warts than cryotherapy (application of liquid nitrogen). In cryotherapy, liquid nitrogen is directly applied to rapidly freeze and kill the wart tissue. In a study of 51 patients, 85% of those who used the duct tape treatment (versus 60% in the cryotherapy group) had complete resolution of the wart within the first month of therapy. how it works The exact mechanism of action of the tape on warts is unknown, but it may have to do with the stimulation of the immune system response through local irritation. how to use this remedy 1. Apply a piece of duct tape as close to the size of the wart as possible. 2. Leave it on for 6 days, then remove the tape, soak the area in warm water, and carefully debride the surface of the wart with a pumice stone. 3. Leave the wart tape-less overnight, and apply a new piece the following day. 4. Repeat this procedure until the wart resolves, or for up to 2 months. 5. If the treatment doesn’t work after this period of time, seek a physician’s or dermatologist’s advice. note: While there is evidence, such as the 2002 study above, of the efficacy of this remedy, recent studies have produced controversial results showing no benefit of duct tape occlusion over a control.6 This discrepancy could be due to the fact that the newer studies disproving efficacy use a clear, acrylic-based tape rather than the original silver, rubber-based tape. Further research is needed to determine duct tape’s true power over skin warts.7

Garlic extracts appear to have positive effects in the treatment of warts.

garlic extract8 what it does Garlic extracts appear to have positive effects in the treatment of warts. In a study of 23 patients treated by applying a lipid (the part of the garlic that dissolves in fat) garlic extract to the wart(s), complete recovery was observed in all cases after 1 to 2 weeks of treatment, while the control group (treated with a 2 parts chloroform, 1 part methanol solution) showed no signs of recovery.

how to use this remedy 1. Apply lipid garlic extract twice daily, and cover with a bandage between applications. 2. Continue to do this until the wart resolves.


left: luminis/istockphoto: erdosain/istcokphoto; right: imageZebra/istockphoto; ssuzifoo/istockphoto

total wellness ▪ spring 2014

how it works Many of garlic’s curative properties are attributed to a specific compound that is a natural constituent of garlic (called S-allyl-cysteine), but it is yet unclear whether it also plays a role in the curing effects in skin conditions. Other mechanisms potentially responsible for garlic’s effectiveness are the enhancement of immunological responses (similar to that produced by duct tape) and antiviral activity (warts are caused by viruses).

DANDRUFF tea tree oil shampoo9-10 what it does Tea tree oil has shown to be a promising compound when dealing with dandruff. A 2002 study in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology tested the effectiveness of 5% tea tree oil shampoo on 126 patients – half were assigned the tea tree oil shampoo, the other half a regular shampoo. Patients used the shampoo daily for 4 weeks and did not know which type of shampoo they were assigned to. The tea tree oil shampoo was 30% more effective against dandruff and had no adverse effects. These results are based on severity scores assigned to examination of the subjects as well as their own self-assessments on measures such as scaliness, itchiness, and greasiness. how it works When dandruff is caused by a fungus (sometimes it can simply be due to dry skin instead), tea tree oil is believed to act through its antifungal activity. A study published in 1996 in Skin Pharmacology tested tea tree oil in vitro (i.e. in a test-tube or dish) on 26 types of harmful skin fungi. The oil was able to inhibit the growth of all 26 fungi. how to use this remedy Purchase tea tree oil shampoo from a drugstore or online, and follow printed directions for proper usage.

Rice water can fight fungi that cause dandruff.

boiled rice water12 what it does Rice water can fight fungi that cause dandruff.

eucalyptus essential oil11 what it does The oil acts as an antidandruff agent when used in a shampoo or in pure essential oil form (stronger effect).

how to use this remedy Buy eucalyptus essential oil in a vitamin store, health product store, apothecary, or online, and follow the printed instructions. Directions will vary depending on the purity and strength of the oil product purchased.

how to use this remedy 1. Keep excess water that white or red rice was cooked in (use a 1:2 rice to water ratio) overnight in a closed container. 2. Pour over scalp at least once a week, leaving it on for as long as possible before having to wash hair. When the treatment is stopped, malassezia overgrowth might return. The same goes for dandruff shampoos, making rice water the safer alternative because it presents no known adverse effects. note: These remedies are specifically for dandruff caused by a fungus, but there are also other causes. See “Fight Dandruff Head On” in Issue 2, Volume 13 Total Wellness for more information.


total wellness ▪ spring 2014

how it works A component of the oil called cineole was determined as the dandruff fighter due to its antifungal activity. Cineole constitutes 92% of the essential oil.

how it works When boiled water from white or red rice was kept aside for a day, elements appeared that were shown to fight malassezia, a dandruff-causing fungus. In a study of rice water as a natural remedy, it was shown that rice water was 85 to 90% effective in steadily inhibiting the growth of malassezia in little plastic dishes (called petri dishes) over a 3 to 4 day period, losing effectiveness on day 5.




how it works Gingetol and shogaol are the components responsible for ginger’s medicinal worth. They have mostly local effects on the digestive system whereas many pharmaceutical anti-nausea agents can affect the central nervous system, making ginger a less-invasive, safer alternative when taken in appropriate dosages. how to use this remedy Ginger root capsules can be purchased at most health food stores. Follow directions on the bottle for correct dosage. Multiple studies also support the recommendation of drinking ginger ale. Make sure the ginger ale is made with real ginger and not artificially flavored (check ingredient list). note: If you experience vomiting more than 3 times in 1 day, seek medical attention instead.

vitamin b6 supplementation18-19 what it does Vitamin B6 was found to be equally as helpful as ginger (the previous remedy discussed). According to a study of 138 pregnant women (who often experience nausea and vomiting from pregnancy) published in 2003 by the Journal of the Medical Association of Thailand, vitamin B6, taken orally, is just as effective as ginger in the treatment of nausea and vomiting.

how to use this remedy Take a 10 mg capsule 3 times daily while symptoms persist. Since B6 is a water-soluble vitamin, the body does not store it. This makes it a safer alternative for the treatment of nausea because it is an unlikely candidate for overdose.

the self-care column is sponsored by UCLA Health System: UCLA Center for East-West Medicine

References 1. “The Common Cold—Principles of Judicious Use of Antimicrobial Agents.” Pediatrics. (1998). 2. “Chicken Soup Inhibits Neutrophil Chemotaxis In Vitro.” Chest. (2000). 3. “Prevention of upper respiratory tract infection by gargling: a randomized trial.” Am J Prev Med. (2005). 4. “A Daily Nasal Spray with Saline Prevents Symptoms of Rhinitis.” Acta Oto-laryngol. (2004). 5. “The efficacy of duct tape vs cryotherapy in the treatment of verruca vulgaris (the common wart).” Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. (2002). 6. “Duct Tape for the Treatment of Common Warts in Adults.” Arch Dermatol. (2007). 7. “Duct Tape for the Treatment of Common Warts in Adults.” JAMA Dermatol. (2013). 8. “Healing effect of garlic extract on warts and corns.” Int J Dermatol. (2005). 9. “Treatment of dandruff with 5% tea tree oil shampoo.” J Am Acad Dermatol. (2002). 10. “Antifungal activity of the essential oil of Melaleuca alternifolia (tea tree oil) against pathogenic fungi in vitro.” Skin Pharmacol. (1996). 11. “Studies on the antidandruff activity of the essential oil of coleus amboinicus and eucalyptus globulus.” Asian Pac J Trop Dis. (2012). 12. “Analysis on the natural remedies to cure dandruff/skin disease-causing fungus - Malassezia furfur.” Adv Bio Tech. (2013). 13. “Efficacy of ginger for nausea and vomiting: a systematic review of randomized clinical trials.” Br J Anaesth. (2000). 14. “Effects of Ginger Capsules on Pregnancy, Nausea, and Vomiting.” J Altern Complem Med. (2009). 15. “Overview of nausea and vomiting of pregnancy with an emphasis on vitamins and ginger.” Am J Obstet Gynecol. (2002). 16. “Ginger: history and use.” Adv Ther. (1998). 17. “Nausea and vomiting - adults.” (2011). 18. “A randomized comparison of ginger and vitamin B6 in the treatment of nausea and vomiting of pregnancy.” J Med Assoc Thailand. (2003). 19. “Complementary therapies for nausea and vomiting in early pregnancy.” Fam Pract. (2000).


total wellness ▪ spring 2014

how it works While vitamin B6’s role in many bodily functions is known, due to the lack of studies purely evaluating the effects of B6 alone on nausea, the specific mechanism coming into play is not entirely understood.

Colds, warts, dandruff, and nausea are all non-life threatening yet very annoying conditions that can undermine one’s quality of life. They also tend to be tricky to get rid of, yet seeking medical attention can seem a bit extreme for these issues. That’s where home remedies come in. Who knew duct tape could treat a pesky dermatological affliction? Or that gargling simple tap water can make you over a third less likely to get a cold? It may be beneficial to try out natural home remedies for the health issues described instead of grabbing over-the-counter cold meds or receiving more severe as well as potentially dangerous treatments like cryotherapy. Natural remedies can provide milder yet effective treatment for symptoms many of us experience at some point in our lives. Ultimately, it is always a good idea to check in with your doctor before opting for a new treatment method. tw

FrancoDeriu/istockphoto; right: apomares/istockphoto

what it does An evaluation of multiple studies looking at postoperative nausea, seasickness, morning sickness, and chemotherapyinduced nausea collectively favored ginger (specifically, ingestion of powdered ginger) over a placebo in the reduction of nausea and its incidence.


mind well

breathe in, breathe out by peter chu | design by helena wong and

karin yuen

How can something as basic as breathing affect our health? As human beings, we lead stressful and hectic lives that may cause us to breathe in such a way that may be making matters worse without us noticing. By taking just a few moments to focus on our breathing, we can have the opportunity to reap potential physiological and psychological benefits. Part of it is simply a matter of using our diaphragms and breathing into our bellies instead of restricting breathing to our chests. Breathing in itself can be an exercise for both the body and the mind, from reducing stress through laughter to regulating our mood by checking in with ourselves.

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Breathing includes inhaling (when air enters through the nose and mouth by contracting the diaphragm), exchanging carbon dioxide for oxygen, and exhaling (when air leaves the body through the nose and mouth by relaxing the diaphragm). Thus, breathing is an active process that requires the contraction of muscles, including that of the diaphragm.1 When you think about it, breathing is one of the only bodily functions that we do both voluntarily and involuntarily. Just think about how much control you actually have over your breathing! You can use the breath to directly influence how you react to stress created by the sympathetic nervous system (the one that gets you pumped up and ready to take on your physical or mental challenges) by stimulating your parasympathetic nervous system (the one that relaxes you).2 Think of conscious

lost your breath laughing? don't sweat it!

› laugh out loud Rather than just typing or saying “lol”, try actually laughing out loud! The physical exertion of laughing out loud may help manage pain and promote feelings of wellbeing. When we laugh, we exhale multiple times without drawing in more breaths. In a 2011 study in Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, relaxed social laughter was shown to be associated with feelings of wellbeing. In addition, there may even be a connection between the release of endorphins (feel-good hormones) and a more positive mood during social bonding.5

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› laughter can improve mood A 2012 study in Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine looked at the effects of laughter yoga on mood, blood pressure, and heart rate in patients awaiting organ transplants. Participants spent 20 minutes going through breathing and stretching exercises, simulated laughter (unconditional laughter unrelated to their surroundings), chanting, clapping, and meditation. Afterwards, they showed improved immediate mood in terms of friendliness. More specifically, laughter seemed to improve long-term anxiety. Although this study suggests that laughter may improve mood, the researchers admit that further research must be done for more definitive results linking laughter to mood.6


breathing as when you try to control your breaths while swimming and involuntary breathing as when you are asleep.

breathing and your body a two-way street


When you think of relieving stress, you might think about exercising, taking a long warm bath, or even getting a nice massage. What about breathing? It turns out that deep breathing can not only be relaxing, but it can also affect the heart, brain, digestive system, and immune system, just to name a few parts of the body. 3 A 2005 study on yoga breathing published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found a potential relationship between the body and the mind. In particular, breathing can alleviate anxiety, depression, everyday stress, post-traumatic stress, and stressrelated medical illnesses.4 Breathing mainly does this by calming the body’s responses to stress.

diaphragmatic (or abdominal) breathing:2 breathing’s effects on the body what is it?

Between the chest and the abdomen or belly is a large muscle called the diaphragm. When you take a deep breath, you force the diaphragm downward. This creates negative pressure within your chest, which acts like a vacuum to pull air into your lungs and blood into your heart. Ultimately, this can have positive effects on the body by facilitating a relaxation response and reducing tension.

am I doing it?

One way you can tell if you are using your diaphragm to breathe is by placing one hand on your chest and the other on your belly. If you are breathing diaphragmatically, the hand on your belly should rise more than the one on your chest.

how does it affect my body?

By getting more oxygen to your lungs and your bloodstream through diaphragmatic breathing, your heart works more easily to pump nutrients throughout your body. This can ultimately benefit the entire body.

center: billnoll/istockphoto; right: leoonello/istockphoto

the science of breathing breathing basics

chest breathing:2 the body’s effects on breathing what is it?

Chronic stress can restrict the connective and muscular tissue in the chest; this decreases the range of motion available for breathing and can lead to a type of breathing called chest breathing.

am I doing it?

A simple way to see if you are a chest breather is to place hand on your chest and the other on your abdomen. As you breathe, if the hand on your chest rises more, you may be breathing primarily through your chest. If you take notice that you are containing your breathing to your chest, try shifting your breathing to filling your belly and stretching your diaphragm.

how does it affect my body?

Chest breathing may be inefficient because most of your blood flows towards the lower parts of your lungs. Rapid, shallow chest breathing may decrease the transfer of oxygen to the blood, which can make it more difficult to deliver nutrients throughout the rest of your body.

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breathing exercises

equal breathing, or sama vritti7 A beginner exercise, sama vritti, a Sanskrit phrase meaning even or smooth, can be a good way to unwind before bed by calming the mind from a day of busy thoughts.

› › ›

Inhale for 4 counts entirely through the nose. Exhale through the nose for another 4 counts. You can gradually aim to repeat the exercise using 6 to 8 counts for each inhalation and exhalation, always aiming to increase your focus and decrease any stress.

› get up energized:

skull shining breath, or kapalabhati7

Although this technique, which is from the yogic system of body cleansing techniques, is slightly more challenging, it can be a good way to wake yourself up. Think of it as a shot of espresso in your coffee.

› ›

Begin with a long, slow inhale. Follow up quickly with a powerful exhale from your lower belly. › Keep this sequence going, all through the nose, for a total of 10 breaths.

› work your way up: bellows breathing2

Bellows breathing, or bhastrika pranayama, is a yoga practice that translates into “the control of life or energy” and is one of the faster methods of controlling the breath. By using controlled breathing techniques, it is possible for people to change subtle imbalances within their bodies such that they improve health and wellbeing. This specific technique can be used to help raise your energy levels.

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Sit comfortably upright with a straight and elongated spine. › With your mouth gently closed, breathe in and out of your nose as fast as possible (imagine a bicycle pump quickly pumping up a tire). › Over time and with practice, this can strengthen the muscles around your neck, chest, and abdomen. › Due to the risk of hyperventilation and loss of consciousness, beginners may want to start phases of several repetitions of this breathing at 15 seconds at a time and slowly increase up to a minute in increments of 5 seconds. For example, the next step would be to rapidly inhale and exhale through the nose for 20 seconds straight. For information on the myths and truths around hyperventilation, check out the “Myths of Breathing Problems” section near the end of this article.


› focus on yourself:

pranayamic breathing8-9 Pranayamic breathing can be defined as any conscious change from the natural breathing process. How does slow, deep breathing shift the autonomic nervous system? In a 2006 study published in Medical Hypotheses, researchers found that slow pranayamic breathing can mechanically stretch tissue during breath inhalation and retention such that the parasympathetic nervous system (the “rest-and-digest”, restful body state) becomes dominant. They acknowledge that pranayamic breathing is associated with decreases in oxygen consumption, heart rate, and blood pressure as well as increased alertness and renewed energy, which may be what allows the parasympathetic nervous system to dominate.

Find a quiet environment in which you can listen clearly to your breathing. › Sit either on the floor with your back against a wall or in a chair with your feet flat on the floor. Be sure to keep your spine straight and your chest open; basically, do not slouch because this can physically hinder your breathing. › If you notice your breathing is uneven or erratic, spend a few minutes shaping it to be smoother and more regular. Imagine your belly as an ocean wave and your chest as the shore. The waves fall upon the shore and recede continuously. › As you breathe, keep in mind that your breath may naturally increase in volume. However, rather than consciously trying to breathe in more air, focus more on improving the quality of your breath and your sensitivity to it.

› dig yoga? try this:

alternate nostril breathing, or badi shodhana7 If you want to get focused or energized, alternate nostril breathing (a hatha, or physical yoga practice) may be an option for you.

Sitting with your spine straight and elongated, hold your right thumb over your right nostril and inhale deeply through the left nostril. › Once you have drawn in a full breath, close off your left nostril with your ring finger and exhale through your right nostril. › Continue this pattern, inhaling through your right nostril and exhaling through the left.

left: kay/istockphoto; right: sandsun/istockphoto

› start simple:

take a deep breath, let it go, and see what happens

slow breathing

The next time you are feeling stressed, try to take a moment to check in with yourself and your body. Take control of your breathing if you notice that you are mainly using your chest to breathe by breathing into your belly. This not only encourages fuller exchange of carbon dioxide for oxygen in your body, but also can slow your heart rate and lower or stabilize your blood pressure.10

breathing deeply and slowly may help reduce negative feelings

A 2012 study in Pain Medicine looked at the effects of deep and slow breathing (DSB), think diaphragmatic or abdominal breathing, on 16 healthy subjects in terms of pain perception, autonomic activity (bodily functions that are not under conscious control), and mood. Attentive DSB involves breathing guided by a task requiring concentration and attention. Relaxing DSB, on the other hand, allows subjects to relax completely without needing to concentrate on anything. They found that pain thresholds significantly increased in those practicing relaxing DSB, but not for those subjects using attentive DSB. Nonetheless, both groups showed that attentive and relaxing deep and slow breathing led to similar decreases in negative feelings such as tension, anger, and depression.11 regular slow breathing can lower blood pressure in the short-term

In the Journal of Human Hypertension, a study published in 2010 examined the effects of regular slow breathing on blood pressure in people with high blood pressure. After practicing device-guided slow-breathing for 4 weeks, patients displayed a lower blood pressure, lower resting breathing rate, and a higher resting tidal volume (the amount of air inhaled and exhaled during each breath). However, this study does say that these effects were short-term and further research would need to be done to figure out how to make the results last longer.12

slow breathing can be calming and relaxing

Researchers who conducted a 2004 study in The Indian Journal of Medical Research observed effects of the short-term practice of breathing exercises on autonomic functions. They split 60 male undergraduates aged 17 to 19 years old into groups that practiced either slow breathing or fast breathing. After a period of 3 months, the slow breathing group showed improved autonomic functions and parasympathetic activity, namely that heart rate (a function of the autonomic nervous system) was significantly reduced potentially due to increased levels of oxygen in the blood. This suggests that slow breathing may aid processes within our bodies that help us to feel calm and relaxed.13

total wellness â–Ş spring 2014


myths of breathing problems myth #1:

If I can’t breathe, it means I’m not getting enough oxygen. Fact: Not being able to breathe well may actually stem more from breathing too frequently, or hyperventilating, which results in a loss of carbon dioxide. This can usually be alleviated by deep breathing slowly and from the diaphragm. However, breathing problems that stem from things such as asthma, allergies, or congestion can sometimes be life-threatening, so you might want to visit your doctor just to be safe. myth #2:

I can easily tell when someone is hyperventilating. Fact: Hyperventilation does not always present itself as loud breathing or visible gasping. In reality, it may not be quite as easy as you might think to notice shallow, frequent breaths. Respiratory alkalosis is the condition marked by low levels of carbon dioxide in the blood due to excessive breathing, which can cause dizziness, lightheadedness, or numbness in the hands or feet.15 Other signs that someone may be hyperventilating that are less obvious include bloating, shortness of breath, heart palpitations, chest pain, or confusion.16 myth #3:

To get a deep breath, I should breathe through my chest Fact: To breathe deeply, it is advised to learn to breathe from the diaphragm. To review or learn more, refer to the “Diaphragmatic (orw Abdominal) Breathing” section under “The Science of Breathing.”


When it comes to something as basic as breathing, there can actually be a lot to know in terms of its effects on your body. Fast, powerful bursts of bellows breathing can get you pumped up for your next hurdle of the day. On the other hand, deep and slow breathing can lower your anxiety and relax you just in time for that exam or before heading to sleep. By breathing fully and deeply, you not only stretch out your diaphragm muscle, but also draw more air into your lungs and more blood to your heart. So the next time you are feeling stressed or unable to control your surroundings, try to focus inward on one of the things that you can control: your breathing. Breathe in, breathe out, inhale, exhale, and check in with yourself. You might be surprised by the effects of refocusing your attention to something so seemingly simple as breathing. t w

left: geotrac/istockphoto; right: kasiam/istockphoto

total wellness ▪ spring 2014

conclusion References: 1. “Anatomy & Physiology of the Respiratory System.” (2014). 2. “Health Hint: Breathing Exercises.” (2013). 3. “Just Breathe: Body has a Built-In Stress Reliever.” (2010). 4. “Sudarshan Kriya Yogic Breathing in the Treatment of Stress, Anxiety, and Depression: Part I -Neurophysiologic Model.” J Altern Complement Med. (2005). 5. “Social laughter is correlated with an elevated pain threshold.” Proc Biol Sci. (2011). 6. “Effect of laughter yoga on mood and heart rate variability in patients awaiting organ transplantation: a pilot study.” Altern Ther Health Med. (2012). 7. “6 Breathing Exercises to Relax in 10 Minutes or Less.” (2012). 8. “Physiology of long pranayamic breathing: neural respiratory elements may provide a mechanisms that explains how slow deep breathing shifts the autonomic nervous system.” Med Hypotheses. (2006). 9. “Breathing Lessons.” (2014). 10. “Relaxation techniques: Breath control helps quell errant stress response.” (2006). 11. “The effect of deep and slow breathing on pain perception, autonomic activity, and mood processing—an experimental study.” Pain Med. (2012). 12. “Regular slow-breathing exercise effects on blood pressure and breathing patterns at rest.” J Hum Hypertens. (2010). 13. “Effect of short-term practice of breathing exercises on autonomic functions in normal human volunteers.” Indian J Med Res. (2004). 14. “Overcoming Concerns about Breathing.” (2002). 15. “Respiratory alkalosis.” (2012). 16. “Hyperventilation.” (2012).

body in focus

a hairy affair: guide to healthy hair basics by halee michel | design by maxine tsang

Having a bad hair day? Or year? Split ends, hair loss, discoloration, and other hair abnormalities may be due to what you eat and how you maintain your hair. Excessive chemical treatments and everyday manual procedures as simple as combing and brushing can damage your hair. Read on to learn about the properties of your hair and what you can do to protect it.

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nutrients necessary for healthy hair Many of the nutrients essential for healthy hair can be found in food.

protein › what is it

hair composition what is hair made of?6 Keratin: A tough protein that makes up the hair.

Proteins (chains of amino acids) serve as the building blocks for hair since they are necessary for the structure and function of cells within the body.1

Melanin: A pigment that gives the hair color.

› role in hair

Metallic elements: Micronutrients like lead, zinc, and copper that are found in small quantities in the hair.2

Hair strands are composed largely of protein. As a result, protein plays a key role in ensuring adequate hair formation and growth. A 2002 study in the Clinical and Experimental Dermatology Journal focused specifically on L-lysine (an essential amino acid found in proteins). According to this study, L-lysine could have an impact on hair growth. It has been shown to play a role in the uptake of iron and zinc (2 nutrients that are important for hair maintenance and growth). This amino acid is first distributed to essential tissues, meaning that nonessential tissues, like scalp hair, are compromised. In this compromised state, the nonessential tissues receive the amino acids only after the essential tissues do. Therefore, the amount of L-lysine that people have in their bodies could affect their rate of hair growth. While this study discusses the role of just one amino acid, protein consumption in general is important for healthy hair.2

› deficiencies

hair structures1 A mature hair contains 3 to 4 different structures. Cuticle: The surface of the hair containing a protective covering composed of flat scale-like structures that overlap. Intracellular cement: A structure that holds the cells together. Medulla: A structure found in thicker hair composed of porous regions. Cortex: A structure made up of spindle shaped cells that contain the fibrous proteins found within the hair.

Without enough protein, a disproportionate number of hairs may go into the resting phase (where hair growth is not occurring) and hair loss may become noticeable. In addition, without enough protein, the hair strands that are shed may not be replaced.3 According to a 2010 study in Clinics in Dermatology, in severe cases of protein malnutrition, hair may become brittle and dry.4

total wellness ▪ spring 2014

Protein can be found in food sources such as meat, salmon, lentils, beans, and eggs.1 L-lysine can be found in food items like fish (particularly cod and sardines), cheese (particularly parmesan), tofu, and nuts.5


left: robynmac/istockphoto; right: syolacan/istockphoto

› where it can be found

iron › what is it

vitamin c

Iron is a mineral that plays a role in growth, development, the transportation of oxygen to tissues, and the synthesis of certain hormones.3

› what it is

› role in hair

› role in hair

Iron helps cells carry oxygen to the hair follicles.

› deficiencies

Not having an adequate amount of iron in the diet may cause hair loss.1

› where it can be found

Iron can be found in meat, soybeans, fortified cereals, pumpkin seeds, and spinach.3

vitamins Getting enough vitamins can benefit your hair health, since negative changes in hair could indicate an underlying vitamin deficiency.4

vitamin a

› what it is

Vitamin A is a nutrient that plays a role in normal vision, reproduction, and the immune system.9

› role in hair This vitamin produces the oils that sustain your scalp.

An inadequate amount of vitamin A can contribute to dandruff.4 However, according to assistant clinical professor in Dermatology, Carolyn Goh, MD, an excess amount of vitamin A can cause hair loss.

› where it can be found

Vitamin A can be found in salmon, broccoli, carrots, squash, cantaloupe, apricots, and mangoes.9

Vitamin C helps with oil circulation to the scalp and supports the growth of blood vessels that feed the hair follicles.1

› deficiencies

An inadequate amount of vitamin C in the diet can result in hair breakage, where strands break anywhere from the root to the tip of the strand.1

› where it can be found

Vitamin C can be found in foods like blueberries, kiwis, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, and strawberries.7

vitamin d

› what it is

Vitamin D is a nutrient that helps the body absorb calcium.8

› role in hair

Vitamin D is involved in the regulation of the hair cycle. More specifically, it’s linked with hair follicle health.

› deficiencies

An inadequate amount of vitamin D may contribute to poor hair follicle health. Nevertheless, how vitamin D contributes to hair follicle health is still unclear.

› where it can be found

Vitamin D can be found in food items like milk, orange juice, and cereals. It can also be produced in the skin as a result of exposure to the sun.8


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› deficiencies

Vitamin C is a nutrient that acts as an antioxidant.7

the 3 phases of hair growth3 1) growing phase Lasts several years. Most hair is in this phase. 2) transitional phase Phase between growing and resting. This is where the growth slows and the follicle shrinks. The body is getting ready to slough the hair. 2) resting phase Lasts several months. In this phase hair growth stops and the follicle detaches. The old strand is then pushed out by a new strand and the cycle starts again.

› what is it

Zinc is an essential element, meaning that it is not synthesized in the body and must be obtained through one’s diet. It plays a role in growth and development as well as collagen (main protein of connective tissues) synthesis and function of many enzymes.

› role in hair

This element contributes to the maintenance of your hair count (the amount of hair on your head) and texture.

› deficiencies

An inadequate amount of zinc can contribute to hair dryness, brittleness, and an overall hair loss.4

› where it can be found

total wellness ▪ spring 2014

Zinc can be found in oysters, fortified cereals, nuts, beef, and eggs.1

selenium › what is it

Selenium is an essential trace element, meaning an element needed by organisms in minute amounts.

› role in hair

Selenium contains antioxidant properties that allow it to protect cells, like hair cells, from damage. According to the aforementioned 2010 study, it may also affect hair pigmentation, although it is not known how.4

› deficiencies

An inadequate amount of selenium can lead to hair loss and lightening. According to the aforementioned 2010 study, selenium deficiency has been shown to cause hypopigmentation, which is the loss of hair color.4

› where it can be found

Selenium can be found in seafood, brazil nuts, eggs, cottage cheese, and roasted turkey.10

before taking nutrient supplements Check with your doctor before you begin taking any additional supplements for hair maintenance and growth.


left: artpipi/istockphoto; arkhipov/istockphoto; right: deniszbukarev/istockphoto


hair damage Split ends, fractures, and breakage can result from manual methods of maintenance (like combing or brushing) and chemical methods of treatments (like dying and straightening). Hair damage can’t necessarily be prevented, but it can be lessened by using these techniques with caution and in moderation.

manual damage › what it is

Simple everyday processes like combing, brushing, and shampooing can cause hair damage.

› potential effects

increased amounts of dysfunctional proteins

According to a 2002 review from the Journal of Cosmetic Science, permanent bleaching and perming of the hair turns stable proteins found within the hair into labile proteins. Labile proteins are proteins that have been destroyed by heat, pH, or other environmental factors, but remain in the hair after chemical treatments. This study found that assessing the amount of labile proteins in the hair is a good indicator of hair damage. In addition, this study found that the number of labile hair proteins increases substantially as the bleaching and perming treatments increase. For example, the review found that bleached hair contains 10 times the amount of labile proteins when compared to the amount of labile proteins in untreated hair.13

breakage, fractures, and split ends

Flat overlapping cells make up the cuticle of the hair. An indicator of cuticle damage is when these flat overlapping cells break. This damage can be due to weathering and mechanical damage like combing, brushing, and shampooing. Combing hair while wet can be particularly damaging to hair. Continuous loss of cuticle cells can lead to fractures and split ends.11

Simple everyday processes like combing, brushing, and shampooing can cause hair damage.

chemical damage › what it is

Chemical damage can result from cosmetically treating the hair. These procedures can include perming, bleaching, dyeing, or straightening of the hair.

› potential effects changes in hair structure and composition

total wellness ▪ spring 2014

According to a 2009 study in Microscopy and Microanalysis, treated hair (hair chemically altered with permanent waves, bleaches, straighteners or hair dyes) showed variation in chemical and structural composition compared to non-treated hair. In this study, cosmetically-treated hair was shown to have a different protein composition when compared to untreated hair. The treated hair contained an overall smaller amount of amino acids in addition to modified amino acids. In permanently waved hair, 19 amino acids showed modifications.12 The heat from blow drying the hair or pressing the hair with a hot iron can also cause damage.


hair treatment shampoo › what is it

Shampoo is a mixture composed of detergents (for soap-like cleaning), conditioning ingredients (for hair manageability), and additives (to preserve the shampoo and increase its appeal). The combination of these ingredients is supposed to positively affect hair and scalp conditions.

› how it works on hair

Shampoo is used to moisturize, penetrate, cleanse, and remove oils from the hair.

on scalp

With regards to the scalp, shampoo is supposed to restore the pH and help with dryness and scalp circulation.

› what to look for

› what is it

Conditioners are combinations of chemicals used to correct or prevent surface damage. The aim is to maintain the new condition of recently grown hair. The types of conditioning agents to look for are discussed below.14

› how it works

Conditioner works to lessen the damage that occurs along the hair and especially at the tips as hair grows longer. In addition, conditioner should make hair shinier, more manageable, and easier to comb. However, excessive conditioning may make hair more oily and less manageable.

› what to look for

A conditioner should have conditioning agents in the form of fatty substances like vegetable oils, wax, and silicone. Silicone decreases friction from combing and styling and reduces the damage associated with these procedures. It also reduces frizziness by giving the hair anti-static properties.14

problems with dandruff?

Check out home remedies for dandruff on page 11 of this issue.

total wellness ▪ spring 2014

left: ivanmateev/istockphoto; right:picture partners/istockphoto

The right shampoo really depends on the type of hair you have and the specific need you are trying to target. However, in general, a shampoo should contain a balanced amount of detergent ingredients of different types to amplify its cleansing ability. In addition to these detergents, the shampoo should contain moisturizers like natural oils and fatty acids. These moisturizers reduce skin irritation and increase the silkiness of hair. According to Goh, most shampoos contain coconut oil derivatives (cocamide diethanolamine and cocamidopropyl betaine) to help clean and moisturize the hair. The addition of fragrances and dyes are primarily for commercial appeal, but are unnecessary for hair maintenance.14



coconut oil › what is it

Coconut oil is a fatty acid and has a high affinity for hair proteins.

› how it works

Coconut oil can reduce protein loss and protect hair. According to a 2003 study in the Journal of Cosmetic Science, coconut oil works to reduce protein loss in damaged and undamaged hair when used before and/ or after washing. The authors of this study recommend using the coconut oil as a pre-wash because it is more effective in helping the hair prior to washing.11 It can be left on as a hair mask, or it can be applied as a conditioner in the shower. As a hair mask, it can be applied to damp or dry hair and left on for as little as 15 minutes to several hours or even overnight. If you want to focus on the ends of the hair, apply the mask to the lower half of your hair; if you want to treat the entire head, then coat the entire head, and wear a shower cap. When you are ready to rinse the coconut oil out, thoroughly rinse your hair, and apply shampoo and conditioner. Shampooing your hair thoroughly is especially useful when trying to get the oil out of the roots of your hair. Without doing this, root hair may appear oily looking.

› why coconut oil

Coconut oil was compared to mineral oil and sunflower seed oil, and it was found that the latter two do not reduce protein loss from hair. The study suggests that the composition of these oils may determine their abilities to affect hair condition.11 According to a 2008 review in the International Journal of Toxicology, the coconut oil’s polarity and affinity for hair protein enable it to penetrate the hair whereas other non polar oils, such as mineral oil, are unable to penetrate the hair. This study found that coconut oil can reduce swelling of the hair fiber upon exposure to water. This reduced swelling can protect the hair from breakage due to expansion and contraction of the hair fiber. When applied to hair before and/or after washing, coconut oil can reduce protein loss in hair.15

coconut mask16 While coconut oil itself can be used to increase the quality of hair, this coconut mask can also be used. › 3 tbsp. coconut oil › 2 tbsp. olive oil › 2.5 tsp. unflavored gelatin Mix all ingredients in a bowl and apply to the entire head. Leave the mask on for 15 to 20 minutes Shampoo and condition hair to rinse the mask out.

conclusion Whether you chemically treat your hair or not, there are steps that you can take to maintain healthy hair. A balanced diet rich in iron, vitamins, zinc, selenium, and protein can help to ensure that your body is receiving the right ingredients internally. To reduce the mechanical damage done externally, try to keep brushing to a minimum and wash your hair every other day or every few days. However, according to Goh, people with oily hair may need to wash their hair daily. In addition to these recommendations, consider straightening and curling your hair less often to reduce the external damage. If you do chemically modify your hair, try spreading out the treatments and reducing their frequency. If you feel like your hair is thinning or prematurely losing pigmentation, it may be advisable to consult your doctor. tw


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References 1. “Top Ten Foods for Healthy Hair.” (2012). 2. “Nutritional factors and hair loss.” Clin Exp Dermatol. (2002). 3. “Hair Loss: The Science of Hair.” (2010). 4. “Nutrition and Hair.” Clin Dermatol. (2010). 5. “Lysine.” (2013). 6. “Basic Structure of Hair-University of South Carolina.” (2005). 7. “Vitamin C: Fact sheet for consumers.” (2011). 8. “Eat Right for your Hair Type.” (2011). 9. “Vitamin A: Fact sheet for consumers.” (2013). 10. “Selenium.” (2013). 11. “Effect of mineral oil, sunflower oil, and coconut oil on prevention of hair damage.” J Cosmet Sci. (2003). 12. “The varying fine structure and chemical composition of human hair.” Microsc Microanal. (2009). 13. “Labile proteins accumulated in damaged hair upon permanent waving and bleaching treatments.” J Cosmet Sci. (2002). 14. “Shampoos: ingredients, efficacy, and adverse effects.” J Dtsch Dermatol Ges. (2007). 16. “Final report on the safety assessment of Cocos nucifera (coconut) oil and related ingredients.” Int J Toxicol. (2008). 15. “Rejuvenating Coconut Oil Hair Mask.” (2012).

eat well

guide to buying produce

Buying produce can be tricky. Deciding what produce to buy is hard, but picking the ripest, freshest piece of fruit or vegetable can be even harder. However, there are easy ways to tell which fruits are the sweetest and which vegetables to choose and where to buy them. Read on to learn how!


left: sorendls/istockphoto; right: philipe b. varela/istockphoto

total wellness â–Ş spring 2014

by pauline yang | design by allison newell


produce buying tips

how ripening works

Fruits produce ethylene (a hydrocarbon gas) which sparks the ripening responses in fruits, such as apples and pears. In some cases, fruits such as cherries and blueberries produce small amounts of ethylene, which does not significantly affect the ripening process after they are picked. Ethylene is also released when fruits are bruised or diseased, which can speed up the ripening process and cause the fruit to rot faster.1

how can you tell if fruit is ripe

› look: Some fruits, like apples and lemons, have chlorophyll,

what’s the best way to clean different produce?

› soft produce: Softer fruits such as strawberries should be rinsed and rubbed under cold water, and then patted dry.5

› hard produce: Other harder fruits such as apples and pears should be rubbed with your hands or special gloves under cold water. Fruits like apples are sometimes coated with wax. Although this wax is food grade and safe to consume, it is a good idea to thoroughly wash the skin. For fruits like lemons, oranges, and melons, it is still a good idea to wash them to prevent contamination even if you don’t eat the skin.3

which makes it possible for you to tell when they are ready to eat. Fruits like these will turn from green to yellow. Although it varies, usually, the more vibrantly-colored the apple is, the riper it is.

› feel: Other fruits, such as plums and avocados, soften as

they ripen when the cell binders break down, and are ready to eat when they are slightly soft. To test the fruit’s ripeness, gently squeeze the fruit, and if it’s slightly soft, it is ready to eat!

› smell: Produce tends to have a stronger aroma when the fruit is riper.

› weight: For fruits such as watermelons, grapefruits, or

tomatoes that are difficult to tell when they are ripe, the weight is a good indicator. If it seems heavy for its size, it is most likely juicy and ripe.2

what about bruises?

If a fruit has bruises, brusing likely occurred during the shipping process or could be a sign of disease. These bruises can speed up the rotting process of the fruit.3

how should you store different produce?

› perishables: Store perishable fruits and vegetables like

strawberries, lettuce, herbs, and mushrooms in a refrigerator below 40°F. 3 The cool temperature of the refrigerator slows down the ripening process.

› non-perishables: For produce such as nuts and potatoes

total wellness ▪ spring 2014

that take longer to spoil, make sure to keep them out of direct sunlight. You can store produce such as potatoes in kitchen cabinets or drawers, which provide cool and dark environments to keep them fresh.4

› pre-cut or pre-washed produce: Make sure to store pre-

cut or pre-washed produce in the refrigerator. Once you cut produce, the ethylene gas that is released causes it to break down and ripen faster, which also makes it more susceptible to spoilage. To prevent spoilage, store it in a refrigerator, where the low temperature slows the ripening process.3



pesticide guide to produce

Although studies conducted on pesticides may indicate that they are not harmful in small doses, they have been proven to be toxic in larger doses. That being said, it’s best to avoid produce sprayed with heavy amounts of pesticides, because they are more likely to have pesticide residues when consumed.6

the dirty dozen

the clean fifteen

To help you choose produce with the least contamination, the following are the twelve “dirtiest” produce of 2014, as listed by the Environmental Working Group, or the EWG. These produce tend to be sprayed with harmful and copious amounts of pesticides, so make sure you clean these extra well or try to buy these organic!7

These produce tend to be the cleanest produce with the least amount of pesticide residue, so wash them before eating, but don’t worry too much!7

1. Peaches 2. Apples 3. Sweet Bell Peppers 4. Celery 5. Nectarines 6. Strawberries 7. Cherries 8. Pears 9. Imported Grapes 10. Spinach 11. Lettuce 12. Potatoes

what does organic mean and can you believe the labels?

If the fruit is US Department of Agriculture (USDA) approved organic, it is organic certified by governmental standards. This means that the produce was grown following the USDA defined standards made for organic farming. The standards the USDA set for organic farming preserve natural resources and biodiversity, do not use genetically modified ingredients, and receive annual onsite inspections to guarantee that the farmers continue to follow the procedures.8

1. Onions 2. Avocados 3. Frozen Sweet Corn 4. Pineapples 5. Mango 6. Asparagus 7. Frozen Sweet Peas 8. Kiwi Fruit 9. Bananas 10. Cabbage 11. Broccoli 12. Papaya 13. Eggplant 14. Grapefruit 15. Cantaloupe

If there are only 4 numbers on the PLU code, the produce was grown conventionally, with the use of pesticides.

If there are 5 numbers that start with the number 8, the produce is a genetically modified organism, or a GMO. If there are 5 numbers that start with the number 9, the produce is organic and not a GMO.10

how can you tell what’s organic?

› read the signs: Most organic stands will have a sign saying it is organic. › ask the vendors: The vendors can tell you how the food was grown. Even if the produce is not organic according to USDA standards, the produce may contain fewer chemicals than other non-organic produce since these farmers may grow their crops without spraying with chemical pesticides9 supermarkets

In supermarkets, the produce is labeled with stickers that have price look up (PLU) codes on them. Although the numbers seem random, they actually give information about the type of produce it is.


left: smartstock/istockphoto; right: jazzyqt/ istockphoto; carterdayne/istockphoto

total wellness ▪ spring 2014

farmer’s markets


supermarkets vs. farmers’ markets So now that you know how to choose the best produce, what are the best places to shop for them? Supermarkets stock their shelves with fruits and vegetables that are sometimes shipped in from other regions and even other countries.11 Farmers’ markets are usually a collection of outdoor stands where vendors and farmers sell their produce directly to the customers. However, farmers’ markets are not available in all areas. They are usually in areas surrounding farmland, so they are not easily accessible to everyone. There are pros and cons to shopping at supermarkets and farmers’ markets. Here are some of the major differences between the two.


where is the produce from?

Some of their products are from international sources. This allows supermarkets to stock produce that may be out of season in the local region, resulting in a wider variety of produce.12

what effects do international shipping have on the environment?

The further the produce travels by ships, planes, trucks, and trains, the more carbon dioxide emission and pollution are created due to fuel usage. According to the statistics found by the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC), around 250,000 tons of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere are a result of food product imports in California.11

how does international shipping affect prices?

Importing international produce in bulk can drive some prices down. However, since supermarkets carry produce that is not in season locally, prices could be higher off-season than when the produce is locally grown in season.

where is most of the produce from?

Local farmers grow their produce at nearby farms and often participate as vendors at farmer’s markets.

what effects does local transportation have on the environment? Because the distance from farm to market is not as long, there is less waste and harmful emissions associated with the transportation process.

how do you choose what produce to buy?

Ask your local farmers’ market vendors what’s in season to know when to purchase fruits and vegetables at the freshest and best quality possible. › Some vendors will give discounts if you buy from their stand in bulk.



Buying produce can be tricky, but with this information, it will be easier to choose where to shop for different produce! There are different factors that indicate if fruits or vegetables are ready to eat. These features are identifiable by smell, touch, and color. Use these tips to buy produce at farmers’ markets and supermarkets! t w


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References 1. “Ethylene: The Ripening Hormone.” (2014). 2. “Choosing Fruit That’s Truly Ripe.” (2014). 3. “Tips for Fresh Produce Safety.” (2014). 4. “Options for Storing Potatoes at Home.” (2009). 5. “Strawberries: Safe Methods to Store, Preserve, and Enjoy.” (2007). 6. “EWG’s 2014 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce.” (2014). 7. “All 48 Fruits and Vegetables with Pesticide Residue Data.” (2014). 8. “Organic Agriculture.” (2014). 9. “FAQ’s.” (2014). 10. “How to Find True Organic Food at a Farmers’ Market.” (2014). 11. “Food Miles: How far your food travels has serious consequences for your health and the climate.” food-hub. org. (2007). 12. “Just how old are the ‘fresh’ fruit and vegetables we eat?” (2003).

farmers’ markets

move well

trekking the trails by christopher phan| design by catrina pang

left: angiephotos/istockphoto; right:

total wellness ▪ spring 2014


We’ve all heard about how to go green, but have you ever heard of green exercise? From scaling a summit and enjoying the panoramic view to witnessing the wonders of wildlife, hiking is an exciting adventure into the great outdoors. In fact, hiking is a form of green exercise (a physical activity undertaken in a natural environment). In addition to the many physical and psychological benefits that green exercise offers, outdoor recreational activities, such as hiking, provide outdoor enthusiasts with breathtaking experiences that nurture both the body and soul.1 While Los Angeles is known worldwide as an iconic metropolis, here we discover that this vibrant city is home to more than just Hollywood as we take a look at some of LA’s outdoor gems.


the mind–body–spirit connection: benefits of nature and exercise mind: mental medicine Reduce Your Stress & Anxiety: It is no secret that exercising can be healthy for the body, but did you know that besides strengthening muscles and improving stamina, physical activity also affects biochemical changes that can reduce stress and anxiety? According to a 2005 study by the European Journal of Applied Physiology, exercise promotes the production of norepinephrine, a neurohormone that helps the brain and body respond to stressful events.2 Additionally, in a 2012 study published in Environmental Science & Technology, researchers found that exposure to nature while exercising may further increase the mental benefits of physical activity.3 While the links between exercise, nature, and anxiety are not entirely clear, exercise causes the release of endorphins, chemicals that can result in feelings of happiness. Improve Your Self-esteem: Several different 2010 studies compiled by Environmental Science & Technology suggest that exercising in green environments may help improve self-esteem. In one of the studies, participants were divided into subgroups that underwent various durations of green exercise in different habitats to assess the effects of green exercise on self-esteem. Analysis revealed that just 5 minutes of exposure was enough to generate an improvement. Interestingly, spending longer than that was slightly less effective at improving self-esteem.4

spirit: spiritual sanctuary

Reduce Your Risk of High Blood Pressure and Type II Diabetes: In aerobic exercise (which temporarily increases heart rate and respiration), muscle movement requires oxygen. On the other hand, anaerobic exercise builds strength through short bursts of strenuous activity, and muscle movement does not require oxygen. According to a 2006 review by the Canadian Medical Association Journal, both aerobic and anaerobic forms of exercise have been shown to be beneficial toward cardiovascular health and may help decrease the risk of hypertension and type II diabetes.5 Hiking can be an aerobic or anaerobic activity depending on how you approach it. While generally an aerobic activity, hiking can be made anaerobic by increasing your intensity and speed.

Boost Your Mood: A key indicator of a balanced mind, spiritual wellbeing is broadly defined as having a sense of good health as a whole and unique individual. Spiritual wellbeing can often aid in maintaining a healthy state of mind and is commonly linked to nature. In a 2013 review in Extreme Physiology & Medicine, researchers examined the effect of exposing naturalistic pictures to people exercising. They found significant reductions in depression, tension, and anger measurements, suggesting that even indirect exposure to nature during exercise can positively affect mood.8 This extra boost in mood that green exercise provides is a key indicator of good mental health, which helps keep all parts of our lives in balance.

Provide You with Vitamin D: From 2001 to 2006, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that about 24% of people in the US were at risk of vitamin D deficiency, a condition that increases the risk of osteoporosis.6 A 2003 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that moderate exposure to sunlight increases vitamin D levels, which strengthens bone density through the increased absorption of calcium.7 Sunlight can be a good way to heighten your vitamin D levels, but be sure to practice sun safety since spending too much time in the sun can lead to melanoma, the most dangerous type of skin cancer.

Revitalize Your Spirit: Natural environments can help revitalize the spirit by restoring emotional and cognitive resources that can be depleted in modern urban environments, according to a 2013 study published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology. In fact, research from this study suggests that any type of green exercise may help revitalize the spirit and help you find a restful reprieve from the hustle and bustle of city life.9


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body: balanced body


essentials what to bring



1. daypack: to carry belongings.

2. water bottle: to keep you hydrated. 3. first aid kit: in case of emergencies.


4. technology: such as a GPS application on a


smartphone to provide tracking analytics and help you find the trail if you get lost.

5. snacks: such as trail mix, nuts, granola bars, and fresh fruit to provide quick energy to sustain your energy level.

5 7

what to wear 6. hiking shoes: help keep you grounded from slipping and falling.


7. comfortable clothing: such as a light

windbreaker and athletic shorts help moderate body temperature and act as a barrier to the elements.

8. hat and sunglasses: help shade your face

and scalp while also protecting your body from heat stroke and your eyes from dust and wind.

total wellness ▪ spring 2014

9. sunscreen and lip balm: help moisturize

and protect your skin from harmful UVA rays that penetrate deep into the skin, and from UVB rays that irritate the outermost layer of the skin, causing sunburn. Note: Using SPF 15 or higher and reapplying frequently during the hours of the day when the sun rays are the strongest is recommended.10


10. bug spray: helps repel insects and reduces

your chance of getting bitten on the trail. DEET is the active ingredient in many insect repellents, which works by repelling rather than killing insects and can be effective in keeping bugs at bay.11 Note: Using DEET concentrations ranging from 4%100% have been deemed safe by the Environmental Protection Agency, as long as you follow the directions.



left: tarasov_vl/istockphoto; storystock/istockphoto; rockz/istockphoto; koya79/istockphoto;oliver hoffmann/istockphoto; alexraths/istockphoto; jianghaistudio/istockphoto; andreygorulko/istockphoto; coprid/istockphoto; gulfix/istockphoto; mac99/istockphoto; homeworks255/istockphoto; right: rapideye/istockphoto



en route to the top trailhead - trail - peak * difficulty scaled out of 5

griffith park

Canyon Drive - Runyon Canyon Loop Mount Lee12

Wonder View Drive - Aileen Getty Ridge Trail - Burbank Peak13

William Mulholland Memorial Fountain Mineral Wells Trail - Beacon Hill14

Numbers: Distance: 6.5 miles (round trip) Elevation Gain: 1098 ft Est. Time: 3 hours (total time) Difficulty:* moderate (3)

Numbers: Distance: 3 miles (round trip) Elevation Gain: 872 ft Est. Time: 2 hours (total time) Difficulty:* moderate-difficult (4)

Numbers: Distance: 2.9 miles (round trip) Elevation Gain: 556 ft Est. Time: 1 hour (total time) Difficulty:* easy-moderate (2)

Notes: Best Seasons: › Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer Special Features: › Hollywood Sign Trail › Bat Cave

Notes: Best Seasons: › Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer Special Features: › Wisdom Tree › Rugged, steep trail great for workout

Notes: Best Seasons: › Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer Special Features: › Gradual incline › Relatively uncrowded trail

Watch out! for: › Equestrians riding horses › Dog walkers

Watch out! for: › Rabbits

Watch out! for: › Dusty and slippery dirt › Dog walkers

santa monica mountains Los Liones Drive - Los Liones Trail - Parker Yerba Buena Road - Backbone Trail Mesa16 Sandstone Peak17

Numbers: Distance: 4.2 miles (round trip) Elevation Gain: 400 ft Est. Time: 2.5 hours (total time) Difficulty:* moderate (3)

Numbers: Distance: 7.28 miles (round trip) Elevation Gain: 1292 ft Est. Time: 4 hours (total time) Difficulty:* moderate (3)

Numbers: Distance: 7.1 miles (round trip) Elevation Gain: 1730 ft Est. Time: 3 hours (total time) Difficulty:* moderate (3)

Notes: Best Seasons: › Winter, Spring Special Features: › Waterfalls › Rock climbing

Notes: Best Seasons: › Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer Special Features: › Panoramic ocean views › Lush flora and fauna › Relatively uncrowded trail

Notes: Best Seasons: › Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer Special Features: › Highest peak in Santa Monica › Mountains › A little bit of everything - rock formations, canyons, coastal views › Great for novice and seasoned hikers alike

Watch out! for: › Smaller waterfall cascades › Dog walkers Special Directions: From Kanan Road, drive south a mile or so on Pacific Coast Highway to East Winding Way and turn left. The signed parking lot is on the left side of Winding Way. The trail actually follows the paved Winding Way for about a mile, after which you will see an obvious trail to the left. Follow the trail until it hits the stream, then just follow the trail upstream until you come to the lower falls.

Watch out! for: › Bikers › Dog walkers

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Winding Way - Edward Albert Escondido Canyon Trail - Waterfall15

Watch out! for: › “Split Rock” › Bikers › Dog walkers


san gabriel mountains Manker Flats – Devil’s Backbone Trail – Mount Baldy18 Numbers: Distance: 10.33 miles (round trip) Elevation Gain: 3950 ft Est. Time: 7 hours (total time) Difficulty:* very difficult (5) Notes: Best Seasons: › Fall, Summer Special Features: › 80 ft waterfall › Highest peak in Los Angeles County Watch out! for: › Snow and ice Special Directions: Take I-210 to Upland, California and exit at Mountain Avenue. Continue north on Mountain until it turns into Mount Baldy Road. Continue through Mt. Baldy Village and past Icehouse Canyon to the Manker Flats Campground. The trailhead begins just north of the campground at San Antonio Falls Road. Look for a port-o-potty off the main road. If you want to take the ski lift up, continue past the campground to the end of Mt. Baldy Road. The road ends at the ski lift.

hiking higher: Not only can hiking be an enjoyable

activity, but it can also serve as an intense workout. If scaling Janss Steps is a breeze, try jogging up Griffith Park’s Mineral Wells Trail for an uphill cardio workout that is great for strengthening your calf muscles. Or, for those mountainclimbing adventurers who want an amazing view of the Los Angeles skyline, head east toward the San Gabriel Mountain’s “crown jewel” – Mount San Antonio. With a staggering 10,064 ft altitude at its apex, “Mount Baldy” is the highest peak in Los Angeles County. As a result, this peak can serve as a training ground for building endurance. Athletes often subject themselves to altitude training, since less oxygen in the air causes the hormone erythropoietin to stimulate red blood cell production. This increase in red blood cell count lasts for a couple of weeks and allows oxygen to travel more efficiently to muscles, which increases physical performance and stamina.19 In sum, hiking is a versatile activity that exercises more than just your feet.

on-campus resources: Want to go hiking but are

unsure how to get started? Check out UCLA Recreation’s Outdoor Adventures program, which offers 2 or 3 hiking trips every weekend! In addition to co-operative and educational Wilderness Outings and free workshops ranging from backpacking to backcountry cooking, UCLA Recreation offers an amazing array of resources at the Outdoor Adventures Center in the back of the John Wooden Center. For more information about trip descriptions and online registration, please visit

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References 1. “The mental and physical health outcomes of green exercise” Int J Envi Heal R. (2006). 2. “Norepinephrine as a mediator in the stimulation of phagocytosis induced by moderate exercise.” Eu J Appl Phys. (2005). 3. “Does participating in physical activity in outdoor natural environments have a greater effect on physical and mental wellbeing than physical activity indoors?” Environ Sci & Tec. (2011). 4. “What is the Best Dose of Nature and Green Exercise for Improving Mental Health?” Environ Sci & Tec. (2010). 5. “Health benefits of physical activity: the evidence.” Can Med Assoc J. (2006). 6. “Vitamin D Status: United States, 2001-2006.” (2011). 7. “Sunlight and vitamin D for bone health and prevention of autoimmune diseases, cancers, and cardiovascular disease.” Am J of Clin Nutr. (2004). 8. “The great outdoors: how a green exercise environment can benefit all.” Ex Physl & Med. (2013). 9. “Feelings of restoration from recent nature visits.” J Environ Psy. (2013). 10. “Questions & Answers on Skin Cancer Prevention.” (2002). 11. “Fight the Bite for Protection from Malaria Guidelines for DEET Insect Repellent Use.” (2013). 12. “Hiking Griffith Park - Mount Lee to the Hollywood Sign.” (2010). 13. “Hiking to the Wisdom Tree and Cahuega Peak.” (2013). 14. “Hiking Beacon Hill in Griffith Park.” (2014). 15. “Escondido Falls Trail.” (2012). 16. “Hiking Los Liones Trail to Parker Mesa.” (2010). 17. “Mishe Mokwa Trail to Tri-peaks and Sandstone Peak.” (2006). 18. “Hiking Mount San Antonio Mount Baldy and Mount Harwood.” (2007). 19. “A three-week traditional altitude training increases hemoglobin mass and red cell volume in elite biathlon athletes.” Int J Sports Med. (2005).


left: alexraths/istockphoto; right: chepko;istockphoto

Whether you are looking for an exciting outdoor activity or a rigorous workout, consider hiking, as it is a fun and healthy way to reap the benefits of green exercise in several convenient locations in your neighborhood. See you on the trails! tw

total wellness ›› on the cover

total wellness ▪ spring 2014

“A single, dancing thread ties the people of the world together in a cohesive fabric. This is our humanness and mortality. We are all born with a similar challenge, borne from the blessing of ownership of this complex physical body ... With this ownership ... comes the sometimes immense responsibility of health maintenance.” – GARRI GARRIPOLI


upper left: ariwasabi/istockphoto; bottom left: ola_p/istockphoto; upper right: teleginatania/istockphoto; bottom right: lzf/istockphoto

total wellness â–Ş spring 2014 features

healthy today,

healthy tomorrow by sepideh parhami | design by annie theriault


The human body is at the same time resilient and far too fragile. The heart, a powerful engine, vigorously pumps blood throughout the body an average of 100,000 times in a single day.1 And yet, a blood clot just a few centimeters in diameter can disrupt that engine’s rhythmic flow, forever extinguishing the spirit of a human being.2 The doctrine of dualism, championed by 17th century philosophers like Descartes, identified the human body as the seat for the soul, something existing in a medium distinct from physical reality.3 We now have evidence discrediting this brain vs. mind dichotomy – namely, the field of neuroscience – showing that the brain itself is the mechanism of the psyche. What is certain is that we have one body, one shot at a fulfilling existence

health in your hands

From how you feel at a given moment, to how many heartbeats you’re given, health determines all. Whatever your baseline level of wellbeing may be, you control your attitude and efforts toward creating that healthiest version of yourself. Read on, and be empowered to live a healthy today and a healthy tomorrow.

Health /helq/ n. first, do no harm The World Health Organization (WHO) defines health as “a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”7 While protecting oneself from illness is an essential first step to good health, equally as important is taking action to boost wellness to its holistic maximum. Here, we discuss the basic components of health: sleep, nutrition, physical activity, and emotional stability.

the basic components of health: sleep, nutrition, physical activity, and emotional stability total wellness ▪ spring 2014

How much of health is genetic? As tempting as it is to assign percentages to how much of health is determined by genetic predispositions and how much has to do with environmental factors, there is no straight statistic that resolves the age-old nature vs. nurture debate. The good news is that a significant part of your wellbeing is indeed under your control. We have evidence that certain health issues (like infectious or environmental diseases) are entirely caused by what goes into your body and that heritable conditions (like diabetes or cancer) can be mitigated or even completely prevented by healthy habits and routine screenings.4-6

in the only reality we can prove to be true. Until artificial intelligence makes such advances to allow us all to be transformed into sci-fi style computers, the body is the only hardware available to us as the vehicle of the human spirit. Our “small,” seemingly inconsequential day-to-day choices pile on top of genetic factors to determine how reliably that delicate hardware operates.

Fact: WHO’s definition of health has proven timeless and has not been amended since its declaration in 1948.7


sleepless in [america]

“a public health epidemic” When catching those zzz’s, you’d better grab them and hold onto them tight - the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) calls insufficient sleep a “public health epidemic.”8 The word “epidemic” generally brings to mind alarming threats like infectious disease or longterm illness. So why is it that sleep deprivation is worthy of such alarming terminology?

Researchers have defined 2 primary functions of sleep: restoration and memory consolidation.9 In the course of these findings, it’s been determined that while the memory consolidation phase (rapid eye movement, or REM, sleep) doesn’t immediately influence

short- and long-term effects

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At the extreme end of the scale, certain sleep disorders have the potential to make life intolerable. One study revealed that those who suffer from severe insomnia report a low quality-of-life similar to that of patients with congestive heart failure or depression.9

Many studies examine the effects of different rest patterns on alertness to show the immediate and longer-term impairments caused by sleeplessness.9 Such studies have shown that the ramifications of skimping on a full night’s rest add up devastatingly quickly. In one experiment, subjects who spent

improving sleep quality


6 hours a night in bed over a 2-week period performed similarly on vigilance tasks as those who entirely skipped 2 nights of sleep – that is, not very well at all.9 As much as we want to believe that missing a few hours of sleep can’t be all that bad, the research says otherwise.


use an eye mask and/or ear plugs

keep a notepad by your bed

A study conducted in an intensive care unit (ICU)simulated environment showed that wearing an eye mask and ear plugs resulted in longer REM sleep, less time for REM onset, lower levels of cortisol (the stress hormone), and higher levels of melatonin (the hormone regulating sleep).15

You lay your head on your pillow after a long day, close your eyes, count your sheep, and yet all that comes to mind is your to-do list. Sound familiar? Reduce that stress by leaving a pen and paper on your nightstand to jot down any tasks to remember, memories of the day, emotions, or ingenious revelations that come to mind, and welcome the night with a clear mind.

some easy tricks for getting a better night’s sleep unplug Current research warns that more than 2 hours of nighttime exposure to light from back-lit screens (such as those of cell phones or laptops) may hinder melatonin release.16 One experiment in particular found that these electronic devices emit light at short wavelengths, close to the peak wavelength of melatonin suppression.16 If you really want to do something on your computer or phone to help you drift off, turn the brightness down all the way or install a “screen dimmer” application. Better yet, put your electronics to “sleep” before getting into bed yourself.

left: drpas/istockphoto; right: c_taylor/istockphoto

restoration and memory consolidation

human survival, it is certain that sleep deprivation deteriorates the body and mind.10 A published analysis of several sleep deprivation studies suggests that inadequate daily rest over the long term correlates with higher risk of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, anxiety, depression, and alcohol abuse.9 And that’s if you manage to tolerate the more immediate symptoms such as negative moods, impaired attention, and grogginess.11

how much is enough? How to ensure you’re not starving the brain and body of sleep? The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute recommends 9 to 10 hours a night for teenagers and 7 to 8 hours for adults, including the elderly.12 It is emphasized that these metrics are not absolutes and should be adjusted for individual needs: these numbers may not suffice in some cases. A self-evaluation of grogginess can let you know immediately whether or not your mind is getting the rest it needs. Take the quiz in “Am I sleep deprived?” to get an estimate of where you stand.


am I sleep deprived?

The Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS) is a psychometric evaluation of your ability to stay awake in various situations and is administered here.13 How likely are you to doze off or fall asleep in the following situations, in contrast to feeling just tired? Use the following scale to choose the most appropriate number for each situation.

Write down your answers so you can add them up at the end.

situation dozing (0-3) Sitting and reading Watching TV Sitting, inactive in a public place (e.g. a theater or a meeting) As a passenger in a car for an hour without a break Lying down to rest in the afternoon when circumstances permit Sitting and talking to someone Sitting quietly after a lunch without alcohol In a car, while stopped for a few minutes in traffic

Now, add up your points and check your results in the following chart. 0-10: Your sleepiness levels are within the normal range for adults. 11-15: You may be suffering from mild to moderate sleep issues. 16+: There is a high possibility that you are sleep deprived or have an underlying disorder that prevents you from reaching deep sleep. Talking to your doctor is encouraged.14 The idea behind the ESS is that some sufferers of sleep problems may keep themselves busy during the day and not notice the extent of their drowsiness. This is simply a self-diagnostic test that can reveal if your sleep habits need attention, but speak with a medical professional if this test raises any concerns.


total wellness ▪ spring 2014

0 = would never doze 1 = slight chance of dozing 2 = moderate chance of dozing 3 = high chance of dozing

chance of

you are what you eat

fueling the machine It’s helpful to think of the body as a machine: if you want the car to go, it needs fuel – and the higher quality that input, the better it’ll run over time. All living things require nutrients to thrive. As humans, we require our own special balance of foods from a multitude of groups, all of which take on different responsibilities in the body (see “The Fab 5”).

“MyPlate,” a government initiative The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently instated new recommendations on how to properly fulfill dietary needs. Whereas the traditional “Food Pyramid”

The United States is a country where carbohydrates, excessive fats, and


The 5 primary food groups – vegetables, fruit, protein, grains, and dairy – all work in tandem to replenish the body’s fuel and provide small molecules like vitamins and minerals that support everything from blood flow to brain signaling. Their roles are as follows:18,21


avoid “empty calories”

sweets are as readily available as fresh produce and meats, if not more available.19 Being conscious of proper nutrition is the first line of defense against falling victim to a nutrientdeficient diet. While sugar, food with solid fats, and processed treats can be enjoyed in moderation, they are mostly “empty calories” – that is, they get incorporated into the body without providing any of the nutrients essential to survival.20 However tantalizing they may be to the taste buds, empty-calorie foods have little more to offer than that temporary satisfaction. Worse yet, solid fats and sugar are detrimental to health. Consuming solid fats, such as animal fats, hydrogenated oils, or creamy dairy products, can raise LDL cholesterol (the “bad” type) and thus increase heart disease risk.18

VEGETABLES Provide vitamins A, B9, and C, potassium, antioxidants, and dietary fiber. Vitamins A and C are important to immune function. Vitamin B9, more commonly known as folate or folic acid, supports red blood cell production. Potassium is used in physiological processes from neural signaling to blood pressure maintenance. Antioxidants protect against molecules that can destroy cells. Fiber regulates bowel function and absorbs blood cholesterol.

FRUIT Similar to vegetables, fruits are packed with vitamin C, folate, potassium, antioxidants, and fiber. Be wary of juices that are stripped of the fruit’s fibrous membranes and are loaded with added sugar – eating the unprocessed fruit is optimal.

left to right: barbo bergfeldt/istockphoto;zonecreative/istockphoto;joe biafore/istockphoto; alexan2008/istockphoto; karandaev/istockphoto; upper right: original illustration by annie theriault

total wellness ▪ spring 2014

the fab

illustrated those guidelines for nearly 2 decades, USDA introduced MyPlate, the next generation of iconic nutrition infographics, in 2011.17 First Lady Michelle Obama, a staunch activist for healthy habits in children, explains the philosophy behind MyPlate: it’s “a quick, simple reminder for all of us to be more mindful of the foods we’re eating.”18 The plate icon is designed as a visual reminder as to how a nutritious meal should look – an easy and, by consequence, an effective approach to mindful eating. Familiarize yourself with the USDA guidelines and the infographic in the “MyPlate” sidebar.

dairy fruit




GRAINS Grains contain carbohydrates, which are the body’s primary source of quick energy. In addition, grains carry high doses of fiber, a variety of B vitamins that participate in metabolism and brain function, iron that carries oxygen in the blood, magnesium that builds bones, and antioxidants like selenium. Whole grains (grains that haven’t been processed) are recommended, since the refining process removes a lot of the fiber, iron, and B vitamins. Whole grains are typically identified by their darker brown color.

Although MyPlate doesn’t give numbers for how much food should be on your plate, some rough percentages are: 30% vegetables 20% fruit 20% protein 30% whole grains an optional cup-sized serving of dairy

DAIRY Dairy is best known as a source of calcium, the main mineral that makes up bones. Vitamin D in fortified dairy products further bolster calcium levels by assisting in calcium absorption. is an excellent resource that reviews the function of each food group in the body, exemplars of the 5 categories of food, and tips on determining portions for each.


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Amino acids, the basic molecules that constitute proteins, are the building blocks of hormones and enzymes, both of which are involved in initiating and regulating physiological reactions. Protein is also involved in synthesizing bone, muscle, cartilage, skin, and blood. Proteins, along with fat and carbohydrates, release energy when broken down in the body and are an essential source of fuel. Some protein sources such as lean meats and nuts also contain good fats.



let’s get physical

Exercise is yet another one of those things essential to maintaining physical and emotional health. In terms of physiology, aerobic exercise (activity that challenges the body’s oxygen reserves) boosts aerobic capacity, the body’s ability to circulate and use oxygen efficiently.22 Examples of aerobic exercise include running or jogging, swimming, biking, or even walking at a challenging pace. Regular physical activity also correlates with better bone health, fewer lower back injuries, and less chance of pain or disability.22 As for the psychological impact, exercise has been shown to improve sleep, mood, energy, mental alertness, libido, and self-image.23

how much physical activity? But wait, what qualifies as adequate exercise? Do I need to be jogging 5 miles a day? Good news for those who are not so fond of rigorous workouts: a joint report from the Surgeon General, the CDC, the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) says that it takes only 30 minutes of “accumulated activity” a day at a moderate intensity level to start reaping health benefits. The terminology “accumulated activity” means that it need not be a continuous exercise session – breaking that half hour up into shorter bursts is still physically and psychologically effective. A moderate intensity level is how you feel briskly walking at a rate of about 3 to 4 miles per hour.22 Ideally, you already satisfy this metric in one way or another, be it sweating it out at the gym, walking to work or class, or chasing after a child/pet/ immature significant other. But if you find yourself falling short of those 30 minutes – fear not! “Exercising the Sneaky Way” has you covered.

drastic improvements

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For those who have yet to incorporate physical activity into their routine, there is great news: an individual sees the greatest improvements in longevity when he goes from being sedentary to somewhat active.22 As an example, heart attack patients who later enrolled in a formal, guided exercise program reduced their risks of mortality by 20 to 25%.22 Aerobic exercise is really that influential.



exercising the sneaky way


Climbing stairs gives a full body workout -- all while saving you a potentially awkward elevator ride. Walking up stairs utilizes the major muscle groups of the legs (quadriceps, hamstrings, and the infamous gluteal muscles) while also recruiting abdominal muscles to stabilize the spine.24 In one experiment, stair climbing in healthy young or middle-aged subjects raised heart rate to an average of 133 beats per minute, which is well within the target heart rate zone for aerobic activity for most individuals.25, 26


Schedule a pick-up game of basketball, a night out dancing, or a walk or jog with a friend. It’s a perfect chance to catch up with friends and holds you accountable to showing up and being active together.

THE “TV SHOW/MOVIE WORKOUT” The “TV show/movie workout” can be thought of as the healthminded person’s drinking game. The rules are similar: every time a certain event occurs during the show or film, you have to perform an exercise that’s assigned to that event. For example, if you were watching Harry Potter, you might set a rule that every time Snape booms “10 points from Gryffindor!,” all viewers must do 10 squats. Rule sheets for pretty much any TV series or movie are available online if you’d rather not devise your own.

left: globalstok/istockphoto; right: roberthyrons/istockphoto

the perks of exercise

peace of mind

stress gone mainstream

mental health

How many times a day do you hear one of your classmates, coworkers, or loved ones let out an exasperated “I’m so stressed!”? Chances are, you’ve already thought it to yourself once today as well.

Mental disorders are quite prevalent in our society: 1 in 5 American adults are coping with mental illness at any given time.28 These drastically reduce emotional quality-of-life while putting sufferers at risk of physiological problems, so we can’t afford to turn a blind eye when it comes to diseases of the mind.27 Being stressed can also worsen symptoms of mental or bodily illness and can make recovery more difficult.27

As “mainstream” as stress has become, it’s important to remember that it can pose serious threats to your wellbeing. Chronic stress can be both a cause and an effect of not treating your body well. Pressures from work or personal relationships often trigger coping habits like smoking, drinking, overeating, or socially withdrawing.27 On the other hand, ignoring the body’s need to relax and not dealing with problems appropriately can push a person deeper into their negative moods.

lunch break relaxation techniques

Whether it’s occupational stress or a possible emotional disorder, relaxation techniques can alleviate some of those burdens. See the sidebar “Lunch break relaxation techniques” to start implementing stress relief strategies into your routine. If you believe you are living with an undiagnosed disorder, don’t rely on your own devices to overcome it – consult a health professional.

what it’s good for:


progressive muscle relaxation

Mindfully relaxing the body, reducing anxiety and stress

Sit up straight in a chair, and close your eyes. Starting from the toes and going up the body, contract a single muscle group for 2 seconds, take a deep breath, and release the tension. Move up through all of the various muscle groups.

postitive affirmations

Boosting self-confidence, thinking optimistically

Come up with a mantra (a thought or a quote that you adopt as your inspiration), and repeat it to yourself while meditating. Some common mantras include Gandhi’s “Be the change you want to see in the world” and self-affirming statements such as “I am content with who I am.”


Stopping for a break anywhere and anytime, easing performance anxiety29

Pop on your headphones and listen to some of your favorite calming tunes. A 1999 study published in the Journal of Music Therapy showed that classical music and a person’s favorite songs sedate the mind in similar ways, so don’t feel you have to limit yourself to a certain genre.30

deep breathing

Decreasing feelings of nervousness, anxiety, and fuzzy focus31

Turn to “Breathe In, Breathe Out” on page 13 to learn about breathing exercises in detail.

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health threats of today

The vulnerabilities we experience in an industrialized, first-world society are quite different than the infectious diseases and resource scarcity that currently menace the Third World. While we are lucky to have vaccinations, clean conditions, and nutrient availability, America is falling victim to its own set of health issues.

24/7/365 Our “24 hour world” encourages us to stay plugged in, to work long after 5 o’clock has come and gone, to sacrifice personal needs in the interest of productivity. This mentality brings a host of problems such as chronic stress, sedentary lifestyles, unmindful eating habits, and sleep deprivation. The solution? Adopt a mindful attitude toward health and balance your needs as an individual with your expectations as a member of society.

sugar (fat and salt) rush

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Some nutrition experts estimate that 70% of the modern American diet consists of processed foods, although that number should be taken with a (very small) grain of salt.32 It’s no secret that many packaged treats are laced with additives that make food more tasty – and more detrimental to your health. Sugar, fat, and salt are generally deemed the 3 major culprits.33 But the fact that these 3 ingredients are present doesn’t tell the whole story. They have also been found to be rather addictive: a 2010 study in PLOS One showed that the breaking point of sugar for rats (that is, when they are no longer willing to physically work for the reward) is very similar to that of cocaine.34 This implies


that from the perspective of the brain’s reward system, sugar and cocaine are worth the same, taxing amount of physical effort. Additionally, when given a choice between sugar and cocaine, the rats almost always pursued sugar more enthusiastically.34 The solution? Reduce the amount of “junk” food on your plate and try new, more nutritious foods to tingle your taste buds. It can be difficult at first to make the swaps, but your taste buds will catch up to your new preferences over time. Be aware that sugar, fat, and salt are naturally appealing to both the mind and the mouth, and try to overcome the urge to indulge in them.

not compensating for genetics With the Affordable Care Act enacted in 2014, health insurance is now accessible to a wider range of socioeconomic groups.35 Medical screenings and procedures such as colonoscopies, mammograms, and MRIs, to name only a few, can catch indicators of certain life-threatening illnesses that are rooted in your genes. Some health issues, such as skin or breast cancers, can even be detected through self-examinations. Just because it’s there in your DNA, doesn’t mean it can’t be stopped in some lucky cases. (Read more about the Affordable Care Act in Got Health Insurance? It’s the Law in Issue 2, Volume 14 of Total Wellness.) The solution? In metaphorical terms, make sure you bring your machine in for a tune-up before it starts causing problems. Take those routine medical visits seriously, and don’t fear the discomfort that comes with certain examinations – it’s well worth it in the long run.


coming in first in the long run

a life without illness? The truth is that illness is a natural and inevitable part of life. But by taking the above measures and actively maintaining a consciousness of wellbeing, you can strive for an existence without the burden of serious health issues.

self-image and happiness Many of the habits discussed above have been proven to improve mood, mental states, and confidence. Maintaining a body that serves you well definitely makes you feel good about your decisions, your abilities, and your appearance. Healthy living can even develop into a pursuit of its own that brings you fulfillment on a daily basis.

avoiding the long-term financial burden of a body in disrepair Even with the most superior health insurance plans, out-of-pocket expenses for treating illnesses can be extremely rough on the bank account. Medication, treatment, and hospital stays for chronic conditions can cost upward of hundreds of thousands of dollars. And those are just the immediate expenses that fall into the lap of the sick individual. You deserve to enjoy those life earnings and savings in a way that you choose.

longevity Health is directly related to the quality of your limited years and determines how much time and energy you’re given to live out your passions. Perhaps one of the most devastating thoughts is to have that time cut short unnecessarily. Make sure, for your own sake and for the sake of your loved ones, that you’re able to make the most of this great opportunity we call “Life.”

left: marylooo/istockphoto; right: ola_p/istockphoto


your healthier tomorrow

Daily decisions about sleep, nutrition, physical activity, and mental wellness, as small as they may seem, add up to a significant part of our health. Because we live in a world filled with threats to our health, we must identify our vulnerabilities and compensate for them. Educating yourself about health and choosing to make small adjustments can vastly improve the quality of your years in this beautiful life. A healthy today is the preparation for a healthy tomorrow. tw

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References 1. “Amazing Heart Facts.” (1997). 2. “Size and location of thrombus in intact and ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysms.” J Vasc Surg. (2005). 3. “Descartes and the Pineal Gland.” (2013). 4. “Almost a quarter of all disease caused by environmental exposure.” (2006). 5. “Diabetes Is Preventable.” (n.d.). 6. “Global Health.” (2014). 7. “WHO definition of Health.” (2003). 8. “Insufficient Sleep is a Public Health Epidemic.” (2014). 9. “Sleep Disorders and Sleep Deprivation: An Unmet Public Health Problem.” (2006). 10. “The Possible Functions of REM Sleep and Dreaming.” (2001). 11. “Cumulative sleepiness, mood disturbance, and psychomotor vigilance performance decrements during a week of sleep restricted to 4-5 hours per night.” Sleep. (1997). 12. “How Much Sleep Do I Need?” (2013). 13. “The Epworth Sleepiness Scale.” (1997). 14. “A New Method for Measuring Daytime Sleepiness: The Epworth Sleepiness Scale.” Sleep. (1991). 15. “Effects of earplugs and eye masks on nocturnal sleep, melatonin and cortisol in a simulated intensive care unit environment.” Crit Care. (2010). 16. “Light level and duration of exposure determine the impact of self-luminous tablets on melatonin suppression.” Appl Ergon. (2012). 17. “Nutrition Plate Unveiled, Replacing Food Pyramid.” (2011). 18. “Michelle Obama hypes icon switch: bye food pyramid, hello food plate. Transcript.” (2011). 19. “Average Prices.” (2014). 20. “” (2011). 21. “Vitamin D Fact Sheet for Consumers.” (2011). 22. “Exercise and Cardiovascular Health.” Circulation. (2003). 23. “Exercise for Mental Health.” Prim Care Companion J Clin Psychiatry. (2006). 24. “What Muscles Does the Stair Climber Work?” (2014). 25. “Exertion of stairclimbing in normal subjects and in patients with chronic obstructive bronchitis.” Thorax. (1977). 26. “Target Heart Rates.” (2014). 27. “How stress affects your health.” (2013). 28. “Any Mental Illness (AMI) among Adults.” (2012). 29. “The effects of relaxing music for anxiety control on competitive sport anxiety.” Eur J Sport Sci. (2014). 30. “Subjective and Physiological Responses to Music Stimuli Controlled Over Activity and Preference.” J Music Ther. (1999). 31. “A longitudinal study of students’ perceptions of using deep breathing meditation to reduce testing stresses.” Teach Learn Med. (2007). 32. “Processed foods make up 70 percent of the U.S. diet.” (2013). 33. The End of Overeating: Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite. (2010). 34. “Cocaine Is Low on the Value Ladder of Rats: Possible Evidence for Resilience to Addiction.” PLOS One. (2010). 35. “Newly Insured in 2014 Represent About 4% of US Adults.” (2014).



food for thought: the dish on food poisoning by rebecca tang | design by mary sau

When it comes to dining out or eating at home, the last thing you should have to worry about is getting sick from it. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 6, or 48 million, Americans suffer from bouts of foodborne illnesses each year.1 These foodborne illnesses can be caused by either the bacteria themselves or the toxins they produce, which can disrupt the body’s regulation of the digestive, respiratory, and nervous systems. Read on to find out more about common types of food poisoning, as well as strategies to prevent and recover from this possibly unpleasant episode.

Bacillus cereus (B. cereus)

› B. cereus is a bacterium that emits a type of toxin which

targets the intestines. Because this toxin can persist even after the food has been cooked, B. cereus can cause food poisoning even when the food is cooked and the bacteria is killed. Fortunately, because the bacteria itself is not toxic, the illness resolves as soon as the toxin is eliminated from your system. risky foods: Rice, leftovers, and other prepared foods that have been sitting out too long at room temperature. symptoms: B. cereus leads to watery diarrhea, abdominal cramps, nausea, and vomiting. These symptoms are your body’s way to eliminate the toxin from your body and are usually resolved within 24 hours once the toxin is eliminated.2

Clostridium perfringens (C. perfringens)

› Like B. cereus, C. perfringens is also a toxin-mediated

risky foods: Meat (beef and poultry) that is left out for too long. However, C. perfringens can be killed by heating to temperatures above 140°F or keeping food cooled at temperatures below 41°F. symptoms: People who get this type of food poisoning experience abdominal cramps and diarrhea.3

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Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus)

› S. aureus is a bacterium very similar to B. cereus. It causes

very similar symptoms and only lasts as long as the toxins are present in the person’s body. risky foods: Foods that require hand contact and no further cooking, such as egg, potato, and macaroni salads, creamfilled pastries, sandwiches, and others.


symptoms: S. aureus induces nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and mild fever.4

left: ivanastar/istockphoto; drb images/istockphoto; right: isantilli/istockphoto; robynmac/istockphoto

bacterium. It contributes to one of the most common cases of food poisoning in the United States, affecting nearly 1 million people annually.

Campylobacter enteritis (C. enteritis)


› C. enteritis can cause a more serious form of diarrhea

› Salmonellosis is a type of food poisoning caused by the

risky foods: Raw or undercooked poultry.

risky foods: Foods that can harbor Salmonella are eggs, meat, raw dairy products, and fruits and vegetables.9

that persists beyond the typical cases of food poisoning previously mentioned. This bacterium can persist in your gut for a long time and continue to release toxins that eventually lead to food poisoning.

symptoms: This bacterium, like the others previously mentioned, causes watery diarrhea and vomiting. C. enteritis can actually persist in your system after the initial symptoms begin. You can suspect this if you have prolonged fever and illness that does not resolve after over a week.5

Escherichia coli (E. coli)

Salmonella bacteria. This bacteria belongs to the same family as enterohemorrhagic E. coli, and thus can be life threatening as well, growing and infecting the intestinal tract in individuals.

symptoms: People who contract this particular food poisoning show symptoms such as fever, diarrhea, vomiting, and sometimes chills. Again, you should seek immediate medical attention if you have high fever and/or notice bloody diarrhea.


› Listeria monocytogenesis is a bacterium that affects the

intestinal tract and induces food poisoning symptoms. Although keeping food cold prevents most other bacteria from growing, L. monocytogenesis can survive and multiply in the refrigerator for a long time. For this reason, all nonpasteurized refrigerated foods (milk, soft cheeses, cold cuts, and some vegetables) are vulnerable. Newborn infants are some of the most susceptible to this disease, which is why pregnant women are advised against eating these foods. Fortunately, though, most people are not vulnerable to contracting listeriosis.

› E. coli is a bacterium that normally lives in the intestines

of healthy people. However, some strains of this bacterium can be very harmful. For example, the enterohemorrhagic E. coli (specifically, from one strain called O157:H7) can cause life-threatening bloody diarrhea with fever.6 risky foods: Foods such as undercooked beef and unpasteurized milk have tested positive for traces of the enterohemorrhagic E. coli pathogen. Spinach has also been known to cause this particular food poisoning. In 2006, there was an outbreak of this E. coli, which was found in bags of spinach. It was reported that 205 people had been sickened.7 symptoms: Signs of serious E. Coli food poisoning include a very high fever (above 103°F) and bloody diarrhea.8 Seek medical attention immediately if this happens.

risky foods: Raw foods, including raw milk, dairy products, cold cuts, and vegetables, are possible food sources for listeria.10 symptoms: The most dangerous complication of listeriosis is meningitis, which involves a high fever, headaches, a stiff neck, and possibly seizures. Only the very young and very old are susceptible to developing meningitis from listeria, but anybody with these symptoms needs to seek medical attention immediately.11

prevention Fortunately, there are many simple ways to prevent foodpoisoning from occurring.


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Wash your hands, and clean dishes and utensils before and after cooking and handling food (particularly raw meat) in order to avoid spreading bacteria. › Cook foods to proper temperatures, at least 160°F for beef, 180°F for poultry, and 140°F for fish to ensure that most pathogens are killed off. › Refrigerate or freeze leftovers promptly; many of these microorganisms grow rapidly at room temperature. › Do not eat expired, already-opened packaged foods, as they could already be contaminated. › Do not drink from untreated water sources. › If you are pregnant, avoid unpasteurized foods such as soft cheeses. › Finally, eat hot, freshly cooked foods when traveling, as they are less prone to harboring dangerous bacteria.12

treatment Most foodborne illnesses result from toxins that resolve by themselves within 24 to 48 hours through the body’s natural ability to eliminate them. The most important thing is to make sure you stay hydrated during this period. If you are unable to drink enough water, a visit to your doctor or the emergency room may be helpful so that fluids can be given intravenously (through the veins).

Drink lots of fluids, especially salty fluids like soup broth or coconut water. Since electrolytes (such as potassium, sodium, and calcium) are lost during food poisoning, they need to be replaced. A good rule of thumb is to drink at least 1 pint of fluid for every bowel movement.13 › Get plenty of rest, since the entire food illness episode will leave you physically drained; give your body as long as it needs to recover. › Finally, take probiotics to restore good bacteria in the intestinal system.14 If food poisoning symptoms do not go away after more than a week, or if you develop a high fever, bloody diarrhea, or any neurological symptoms like passing out, seek medical help.

If food poisoning symptoms do not go away after more than a week, or if you develop a high fever, bloody diarrhea, or any neurological symptoms like passing out, seek medical help.

bottom line Food poisoning can be caused by various food sources. Most resolve on their own within 24 to 48 hours and can be treated by drinking lots of fluids and getting plenty of rest. If it persists for more than a week, or if you develop a high fever, bloody diarrhea, or pass out, seek medical attention immediately. Like most diseases, prevention is key. Being aware of what you eat and how your food is prepared can help you avoid food poisoning. tw


BRAIN MIND WELLNESS JUNE 23 - AUGUST 1 6 WEEKS . 12 CREDITS Image Courtesy of the Laboratory of Neuro Imaging (LONI)CLA


To register, and for more information visit: Questions can be directed to UCLA Summer Programs at 310-825-4101.

left: pumba1/istockphoto; right: cristian baitg/istockphoto

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References 1. “Reports of Foodborne-Illness Outbreaks Decline by 40%.” (2013). 2. “Bacillus cereus.” (2013). 3. “Clostridium perfringens.” (2013). 4. “Staphylococcus.” (2013). 5. “Campylobacter.” (2013). 6. “E. coli.” (2011). 7. “FDA Finalizes Report on 2006 Spinach Outbreak.” (2007). 8. “E. coli Symptoms.” (2011). 9. “Review of Nontyphoidal Salmonella Food Poisoning in Hong Kong.” (2011). 10. “Listeriosis.” (2011). 11. “Bacterial Meningitis.” (2014). 12. “Preventing Food Poisoning.” (2012). 13. “Food Poisoning: Treatments and Drugs.” (2011). 14. “Food Poisoning.” (2012).


organic seasonal foods by catherine wang | design by emily hsu

Summer is just around the corner, and grocery stores are advertising fresh watermelons and blackberries. In a few months, with autumn rolling in, watermelons and blackberries will be replaced with bell peppers and broccoli. As the seasons change throughout the year, shelves will be stocked with different produce with different nutritional benefits. Organic seasonal foods have greatly increased in popularity in the last decade.1 Many believe that organic seasonal foods provide nutritional benefits that conventional foods lack. This article explores the definition of organic foods, how organic foods are different from conventional foods, and the benefits of eating organic seasonal foods. Keep reading on to find out what kinds of produce are currently in season, recipes to try out, and places to purchase and eat organic seasonal foods!

what are organic seasonal foods? A United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) labeled “organic” crop (fresh produce) means that the crop is free not only from chemicals and pesticides, but also from radiation, sewage sludge, and genetic modifications. In order to be deemed USDA organic, the crop must be verified by a USDA-accredited certifying inspector.2

how are organic foods grown differently from conventional foods?

Most interestingly, organic foods generally have greater nutritional value than non-organic foods. This occurs because conventional methods accelerate produce growth, which may result in a decreased ability to metabolize nutrients. For instance, organic strawberries may have a higher vitamin C

what are the benefits of eating organic foods? Organic foods provide greater levels of vitamin C, iron, magnesium, and phosphorous due to higher quality farming techniques, resulting in higher quality produce than conventionally grown produce.5 In a 2011 study published in Critical Review in Food Science and Nutrition, it was suggested organic plant foods had 5.7% higher vitamin and mineral content than conventional plant foods due to the different agricultural methods employed.3 Since they are grown free from most pesticides, organic foods also tend to have lower levels of nitrate and pesticide residues, which could have harmful effects on the body. Pesticides can potentially cause birth defects, cancer, nerve damage, and other health problems.6 In comparison, organic foods often have higher levels of health promoting antioxidant phytochemicals (biologically active components in plants). Such antioxidant activity can help reduce the risk of cancer.5

what are the benefits of eating seasonally grown produce? Seasonal foods are grown and gathered at the produce’s natural harvest season. Fruits and vegetables thrive during certain times of the year depending on the specific weather and soil conditions each fruit or vegetable prefers. Seasonal foods can be grown locally and tend to be fresher, higher in quality, and more nutritious. Produce not in season cannot thrive locally, and can lose nutrients during packaging, delivery, and storage when shipped from far away.3


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Organic foods are often grown in more natural farming conditions and are free from most pesticides. Thus, fewer toxic chemicals are consumed, as detailed below, and less pesticide contaminant enters wastewater, which helps to protect the environment.

content than conventionally grown strawberries. Organic agricultural methods produce plant foods that may have higher nutritional content in response to environmental stress due to lack of pesticide protectants.3 For example, a 2012 article published in the Journal for the Science of Food and Agriculture stated that omega-3 fatty acid (“good fat” that is found in sources like fish oil) content is higher in dairy products in the summer, when cows produce the most milk, demonstrating that foods may have seasons in which its nutritional value is higher. The article also stated that organic dairy products have higher omega-3 fatty acid, protein, and fat content than conventional dairy products.4

nutrition through the seasons nutrition glossary vitamin a

Vitamin A helps maintain healthy teeth and skin. It also promotes good vision because it produces pigments in the retina of the eye. As an antioxidant, it can reduce the risk of cancer.6

vitamin c

Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is important for the growth and repair of all tissues in the body, including bones. It helps heal wounds and is a powerful antioxidant.7

vitamin k

Vitamin K helps promote blood clots, and some studies have shown that it can also help strengthen weak bones in the elderly.8


Potassium is a mineral that helps build proteins and muscle, utilize carbohydrates, and maintain the pH balance in the body. It also helps control the heart’s electrical activity.9


Dietary fiber helps promote healthy bowel movements. It also helps lower the risk of coronary heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, and some GI tract diseases.10

folic acid

Folic acid helps prevent neural tube defects, which are defects in the brain and spinal cord of a developing fetus. A deficiency in folic acid can also lead to anemia (a condition in which the body is deficient in healthy red blood cells).11

local places to eat/buy organic seasonal foods

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Westwood has a number of supermarkets that offer organic seasonal foods, such as Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, and Sprouts. There are also some restaurants in Westwood that serve organic seasonal foods. Native Foods, a vegan restaurant, offers organic food that is made fresh daily, and its menu is updated with the season. Bibigo, a Korean restaurant, uses green vegetables that are in season in their dishes. Westwood Village also has a farmer’s market every Thursday from 12pm to 6pm on Broxton Avenue and Weyburn Avenue, where a variety of fruits and vegetables can be sampled and purchased. UCLA Campus Bruin Plate, located near UCLA residential hall Sproul Hall, also offers a variety of seasonal organic foods. Bruin Plate is one of the first health-themed dining halls in the country, and it focuses on locally-sourced produce and meats, seafood, cagefree eggs, and unprocessed, preservative-free organic foods. Additionally, its menu offers numerous vegetarian and vegan options.12


left: elenathewise/istockphoto; right: valentyn volkov/istockphoto; 221a/istockphoto; maya kovacheva Photography/istockphoto; marek mnich/istockphoto; timsa/istockphoto



garlic14 strawberries13 Nutritional benefits: Strawberries have very high vitamin C content, which can lower the risk of gastrointestinal tract cancers. How to select: Pick strawberries that are bright red with fresh green caps. Strawberries are often tightly packed in plastic packages, so double check to see if there are signs of mold growth on the strawberries. Did you know … Strawberries have more vitamin C content than oranges.

Nutritional benefits: Garlic may reduce risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer through detoxification. It also stimulates your immune system. How to select: Pick garlic cloves that are plump, firm, and dry. Make sure the color is white to off-white, they should not be yellow. Some markets also sell already peeled garlic cloves, or crushed garlic/garlic paste, which makes selecting garlic even more convenient. Did you know … The majority of garlic is grown in California.

apricots15 Nutritional benefits: Apricots are a good source of vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, and fiber. How to select: Pick apricots that are plump, firm, and uniformly colored. Did you know … Apricots are originally from China, and they are often crossed with plums. Pluots are mostly plum, plumcots are half plum half apricot, and apriums are mostly apricot.

summer kiwi17

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Nutritional benefits: Kiwis are high in vitamin C, vitamin E, fiber, and potassium. How to select: Pick kiwis that are slightly firm. Did you know … Kiwis can be used as a meat tenderizer by rubbing the insides of the fruit onto the meat and letting it absorb for 10 to 15 minutes.

Nutritional benefits: Blackberries are an excellent source of vitamin C and fiber. How to select: Pick blackberries that are firm and free of bruises. Make sure that the blackberries are not leaking. Did you know … Blackberries are also known as “Blackcaps”.


watermelon18 Nutritional benefits: Watermelons are high in vitamin A and vitamin C content. How to select: Choose symmetrical watermelons with dried stems and yellow undersides. If you pick up the watermelon, it should feel relatively heavy for its size. Did you know … The first watermelon to be harvested was in Egypt, 5,000 years ago. Watermelon is also 93% water.


bell peppers19-20 Nutritional value: Bell peppers are a good source of vitamin C. How to select: Choose bell peppers that are firm and brightly colored. They should feel heavy for their size and should also have a tight skin. Avoid shriveled and dull peppers. Did you know … Christopher Columbus introduced peppers to Europe after discovering the New World.

cauliflower22 Nutritional value: Cauliflower is a good source of vitamin C and folic acid. How to select: The cauliflower you pick should have bright green leaves attached at the base. The cauliflower itself should be compact with white curds, which composes the head of the cauliflower. Avoid cauliflower with brown spots or loose sections. Did you know… Cauliflower comes in three colors: white, purple, and orange.


left: dny59/istockphoto; fesoj/istockphoto; keith tsuji/istockphoto; small_frog/istockphoto; right: istockphoto; viktar/istockphoto; miflippo/istockphoto

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Nutritional value: Broccoli is a good source of vitamin C, folic acid, dietary fiber, and potassium. How to select: Pick broccoli heads that are odorless with green/blue florets. Did you know … You can earn 12 points spelling out “broccoli” in Scrabble.

4a vecindario grafico/


winter potatoes23-24


Nutritional value : Potatoes are a good source of vitamin C and potassium. How to select: Choose potatoes that are firm, uniform in size, and smooth. Did you know … Raw potatoes have a toxin called solanine, which affects the GI tract and central nervous system and can result in death in extreme cases.

Nutritional value: Pumpkins are a good source of vitamin A and vitamin C. How to select: Pick pumpkins that are firm and heavy when picked up. Did you know … Pumpkin used to be recommended for curing snake bites.

grapefruit27 Nutritional value: Grapefruit is a good source of vitamin A and vitamin C. How to select: Grapefruit skin should be thin, smooth, and free of bruises and marks. The grapefruit should feel heavy when picked up. Did you know … Grapefruit grows on trees in clusters, similar to how grapes grow in clusters on vines.

all-year long celery29


Nutritional benefits: Apples have a high source of dietary fiber. How to select: Pick apples that are shiny and smooth with the stem still intact. Take a couple of sniffs of the apple to pick ones that smell fragrant. Avoid apples with little holes in them because they might be infested with insects. Did you know … There are more than 2,500 different types of apples grown in the United States.

Nutritional benefits: Celery is a good source of vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin K, folate, and potassium. How to select: Pick stalks that are evenly light green with fresh leaves. They should “squeak” when squeezed gently. Avoid limp or easily bent stalks. Did you know … Celery is 94% water.

Nutritional benefits Bananas are a good source of potassium, fiber, and vitamin C. How to select: Choose bananas free of bruise.s They should feel firm to the touch. Pick bananas that are slightly green at the stem and at the tip. Did you know … The banana plant is a giant herb, not a tree.

total wellness ▪ spring 2014



Here are a couple of recipes with some organic foods that are currently in season, and some recipes to prepare you for the summer:

grilled apricot salad with mozzarella & prosciutto: 4 servings31 Ingredients: 4 apricot halves 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil Sea salt to taste Freshly ground pepper to taste 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice 5 oz arugula (baby) ½ lb fresh mozzarella (thinly sliced) 4 oz prosciutto (thinly sliced) 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar (aged)

total wellness ▪ spring 2014

Directions: 1. Preheat a grill pan. Brush apricots with oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill over high heat, cut sides down, just until lightly charred. Let cool. 2. In a bowl, whisk the lemon juice with the oil and season with salt and pepper. Gently toss in the apricots and arugula. Transfer to a platter and top with the mozzarell and prosciutto. Drizzle with vinegar. 3. Serve and enjoy!


apple salad: 8 servings32 Ingredients: 2 cups apple (diced) 1 cup celery (diced) ½ cup raisins ½ cup nuts 2 tbsp light mayonnaise-type dressing (or mayonnaise) 1 tbsp orange juice Directions: 1. Mix orange juice with salad dressing or mayonnaise. 2. Toss apples, celery, raisins, and nuts with the dressing mixture. 3. Serve and enjoy!

fruit kabobs with yogurt dip: 8 servings33 Ingredients: 1 cup watermelon (chunks) 1 cup pineapple (chunks) 1 cup grapes (seedless) 1 cup strawberries (stemmed) 2 kiwis (peeled and cut in quarters) 8 bamboo skewers (6 inches long) 1 cup yogurt (light strawberry) Directions: 1. Place fruit chunks on bamboo skewers. Place fruit kabobs on platter. 2. Place light strawberry yogurt in bowl. Serve kabobs with yogurt on the side. 3. Enjoy!

left: vismal/istockphoto; right: aluxum/istockphoto


“Organic seasonal foods are pretty accessible for UCLA students, where Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s can be found in Westwood and B-Plate is conveniently located on the Hill.”

bottom line Organic seasonal foods may have more nutritional value and tend to taste better than conventional foods. They also tend to be safer due to the lack of pesticides, which also makes organic foods better for the environment. Organic seasonal foods are pretty accessible for UCLA students, where Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s can be found in Westwood and B-Plate is conveniently located on the Hill. So the next time you go grocery shopping, bring this guide with you to help pick out some organic foods currently in season! tw


total wellness ▪ spring 2014

References 1. “Authentication of Organic Feed by Near-Infrared Spectroscopy Combined with Chemometrics: A Feasibility Study.” J Agric Food Chem. (2012). 2. “Organic Standards.” (2014). (2013). 3. “Evaluation of the Micronutrient Composition of Plant Foods Produced by Organic and Conventional Agricultural Methods.” Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. (2011). 4. “Comparison of nutritional quality between conventional and organic dairy products: a meta-analysis.” J Sci Food Agr. (2012). 5. “Organic Foods Contain Higher Levels of Certain Nutrients, Lower Levels of Pesticides, and May Provide Health Benefits for the Consumer.” Environ Med. (2010). 6. “Vitamin A.” (2013). 7. “Vitamin C.” (2013). 8. “Vitamin K.” (2013). 9. “Potassium in Diet.” (2012). 10. “Health benefits of dietary fiber.” Nutr Rev. (2009). 11. “Promotion of folate for the prevention of neural tube defects: who benefits?” Paediatr Perinat Epidemiol. (2005). 12. “Bruin Plate.” (2013). 13. “Strawberries & More.” (2014). 14. “Health Benefits of Garlic.” (2005). 15. “Apricots.” (2011). 16. “Raspberries and Blackberries.” (2008). 17. “Kiwifruit.” (2014). 18. “Watermelon.” (2014). 19. “Bell Peppers.” (2014). 20. “Peppers.” (2014). 21. “Broccoli.” (2014). 22. “Broccoli and Cauliflower.” (2008). 23. “Potatoes.” (2011). 24. “Probabilistic modeling of exposure doses and implications for health risk characterization: Glycoalkaloids from potatoes.” Food Chem Toxicol. (2009). 25. “Pumpkins and More.” (2014). 26. “Pumpkin Facts.” (2014). 27. “Grapefruit.” (2014). 28. “Apples and More.” (2014). 29. “Celery.” (2012). 30. “Bananas.” (2012). 31. “Grilled Apricot Salad with Mozzarella & Prosciutto.” (2014). 32. “Apple Salad.” (2014). 33. “Fruit Kabobs with Yogurt Dip.” (2014).


the ABC’s of health by emily white| design by nicole chang


left: stepan popov/istockphoto; charlieaja/istockphoto;ealisa/istockphoto right: sydneybernstein/istockphoto; christianbaitg/istockphoto; claudiad/istockphoto;

total wellness ▪ spring 2014

There is no single recipe for health, but there are many steps we can take to push ourselves in the right direction. With every letter in the alphabet as inspiration, the following article is filled with important tips, tricks, and facts about the nutrients, practices, and behaviors that can help us become healthier individuals. After all, it’s the little things we do every day that can be the most helpful to our health!

A B C D E F right:rorem/istockphoto

Antioxidants are compounds that can maintain tissue health and prevent cellular damage caused by reactive oxygen species.1 You can find these powerful molecules in brightly colored fruits and vegetables like berries, broccoli, cantaloupe, squash, and tomatoes.2


vitamins b, c & d:

B vitamins are important for processing and making energy, vitamin C helps maintain immune health, and vitamin D is crucial for bone health. B vitamins can be found in fish, meat, and produce, vitamin C is found in citrus fruits and peppers, and vitamin D comes in fatty fish, milk, and eggs.3-5

essential amino acids:

Amino acids are the building blocks of the proteins our bodies need to function. Essential amino acids are described as the amino acids that our bodies can’t make; therefore, we need to consume them in our diets. Eating a wide variety of foods like meats, milk, fish, eggs, soy products, and legumes can help ensure all the essentials are covered. 6-7


friends and family:

It is important to spend time with friends and family, especially since engaging in social activities may relate to improved quality of life and higher self-esteem. Socializing may even improve immune health and physical fitness, so check “Importance of Friends for Overall Wellness” in Volume 12, Issue 1 for more friendly facts!8-9


Not only does being happy make us feel good emotionally, but it may be linked to physical health as well. According to a 2009 study in Future Cardiology and a 2001 study in Psychosomatic Medicine, higher levels of happiness may prevent heart disease and stroke by minimizing stress and anxiety-induced inflammation.11-12 For more information on what happiness is on a chemical level, see “The Science of Happiness” from Volume 11, Issue 4.


Iron is an important mineral red blood cells use to carry oxygen in the blood stream. The US Department of Agriculture recommends about 8 mg/day for men and about 18 mg/day for women, though this requirement is slightly higher during menstruation. Sources of iron include red meat, soybeans, lentils, spinach, and shrimp.13 Iron deficiency is one of the most common nutritional deficiencies in the world according to “Iron Deficiency Anemia” in Volume 14, Issue 1, so check it out for the full story.


Juice with low sugar and sodium may be a good way to get extra vitamins and minerals into the body, as long as it’s in addition to servings of solid fruits and veggies. Studies by Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine and Nutrition Research found that the polyphenols (complex molecules found in plants) present in pomegranate and cranberry juices may even improve memory and heart health.14-16 Choose 100% juice for the most health benefits and see “Fruity Favorites” from Volume 13, Issue 2 for more juicy tips.

whole grains:

Whole grains are not only high in fiber, but may also lower risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and weight gain. Try buying whole grain products like pasta or tortillas, switching white for brown rice, and snacking on oatmeal, popcorn, or quinoa to increase whole grain intake.10


total wellness ▪ spring 2014



k- potassium:

K is the chemical symbol for potassium, an important mineral and electrolyte responsible for electrical activities in the body like heartbeats, muscle contractions, and nerve signals. It can be found in meats, broccoli, potatoes, bananas, apricots, and squash. Adults are recommended to get 4.7g/day.17



Studies from the Spanish Revista de Psiquiatria y Salud Mental and the International Journal of Medical Science have shown that laughing is not only enjoyable, but may be physically and mentally beneficial as well since it seems to correlate with higher life satisfaction and mental wellbeing.18-19 Laughing may also increase blood flow and boost the immune system so check out “Healthy Humor” in Volume 11, Issue 4 to keep giggling!


Engaging in meditation practices may improve attention, reduce stress, increase creativity, and even prevent the onset of depression, according to Behavioral and Brain Functions and The Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology with 30 minutes of meditation per day in one study and 8 weekly classes in the other. 20-21


total wellness ▪ spring 2014

N O P 58


Proper nutrition relies on a well-balanced diet, filled with a variety of nutrients. According to the US Department of Agriculture, 2 main guidelines for good nutrition are to balance calorie intake and calorie expenditure and to focus on nutrientdense foods like fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy, and lean meats.22-23


Omega-3 Fatty Acids are fats found in fish like salmon, trout, and tuna, as well as in olive oil, nuts, and seeds. These healthy fats help maintain normal body functions, in addition to easing symptoms from depression and inflammation, and may even reduce the risk of heart disease, arthritis, and Alzheimer’s.24


Fresh fruits and veggies are packed with vitamins and minerals our bodies need and are excellent snacks since they pack such a nutritious punch! For tips on what to look for while shopping, see “Guide to Buying Produce” on pages 26 to 29.


quality over quantity:

Findings by the Journal of Nutrition cite that over 90% of all subjects under the age of 71 consume more than the recommended amount of “empty calories” from solid fats, alcohol, and refined sugars. Instead, eating whole, unprocessed ingredients and indulging in moderation are basic guidelines everyone can follow.25-26


In 2012, the American Psychological Association reported that 80% of people polled said their stress levels had increased or stayed the same in the last year, yet only 37% believed they were doing a good job managing their stress.27 Chronic stress may be linked to cardiovascular disease, decreased immune function, and earlier onset of agerelated diseases. It is important to minimize stress to promote good health.28 Ways to reduce stress include exercising, expressing your creativity, or learning a new hobby. For more stress reduction techniques see “Living to 100: Managing Stress for a Longer Life” in Volume 12, Issue 4.


Consciously smiling may actually trick your brain into feeling happier! See “Mood Boosting Habits” in Volume 14, Issue 2 for more information on this simple technique.

left: sidneybernstein/istockphoto; cristian baitg /istockphoto; jani bryson/ istockphoto; right: julicka/istockphoto; chictype/istockphoto




Managing time is an important strategy to get more accomplished throughout the day, providing extra time to prioritize healthy habits that may improve your overall quality of life! 29

unsaturated fats:

Unsaturated fats are made of long chains of atoms with kinks in them, causing these heart healthy fats to be liquid at room temperature. They are found in avocados, nuts, and olive or canola oil.30 On the other hand, saturated fats, made of more densely packed chains so they are solid at room temperature, may contribute to heart disease and obesity according to a 2008 study from the University of Montreal.31

uv protection:

Applying sunscreen with SPF 15 and protection against broad spectrum UVA/ UVB rays daily significantly reduces the risk of certain types of skin cancer according to a 1999 study from Lancet, so slather it on!32


Hydration is key for optimum mental and physical performance! Even mild dehydration (2% or higher) can cause a decline in these areas. Water is also crucial for digestion, kidney function, heart function, and skin health so drink up.33



Exercise truly is a vital component of a healthy lifestyle. 30 to 60 minutes of aerobic activity 4 to 7 days a week is recommended for most adults, but exercise may also improve memory and cognition, in addition to preventing cardiovascular disease, certain cancers, diabetes, obesity, and bone loss.34-36


For whole body and mind integration and serious stress relief, give yoga a try. Find out about its many other benefits as well in “Namaste: Promoting Mental Wellness Through Yoga” in Volume 14, Issue 2.

zzz’s (sleep!):

It varies for everyone, but according to a 2014 study published in Emotion, the important things are maintaining a regular schedule and getting around the recommended 7 to 8 hours of shut-eye a night for maximum alertness and performance the following day.37-39 If you want to know more about your nightly slumber, see “All About Sleep” in Volume 12, Issue 4. t w

References: 1. “Antioxidants in human health and disease.” Annu Rev Nutr. (1996). 2. “Super Foods for Optimal Health.” (2014). 3. “B Vitamins.” (2014). 4. “The Benefits of Vitamin C.” (2014). 5. “Vitamin D.” (2014). 6. “The brain’s response to an essential amino acid-deficient diet and the circuitous route to a better meal.” Mol Neurobiol. (2012). 7. “Protein in diet.” (2014). 8. “Adult family relationships in the context of friendship.” Res Hum Dev. (2014). 9. “Ageing, Leisure, and Social Connectedness: How could Leisure Help Reduce Social Isolation of Older People?” Soc Indic Res. (2013). 10. “Greater whole-grain intake is associated with lower risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and weight gain.” J Nutr. (2012). 11. “Could being happy give you a healthy heart?” Future Cardiol. (2009). 12. “The association between emotional well-being and the incidence of stroke in older adults.” Psychosom Med. (2001). 13. “Iron and iron deficiency.” (2014). 14. “Pomegranate juice augments memory and FMRI activity in middle-aged and older adults with mild memory complaints.” Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. (2013). 15. “Low-energy cranberry juice decreases lipid oxidation and increases plasma antioxidant capacity in women with metabolic syndrome.” Nutr Res. (2011). 16. “Weight loss in individuals with metabolic syndrome given DASH diet counseling when provided a low sodium vegetable juice: a randomized controlled trial.” Nutr J. (2010). 17. “Potassium in diet.” (2014). 18. “Laughter and positive therapies: modern approach and practical use in medicine.” Rev Psiquiatr Salud Ment. (2010). 19. “Laugh yourself into a healthier person: a cross cultural analysis of the effects of varying levels of laughter on health.” Int J Med Sci. (2009). 20. “Improving creativity performance by short-term meditation.” Behav Brain Funct. (2014). 21. “Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy for preventing relapse in recurrent depression: A randomized dismantling trial.” J Consult Clin Psychol. (2014). 22. “Nutrition.” (2014). 23. “Dietary Guidelines for Americans.” (2014). 24. “The Facts on Omega-3 Fatty Acids.” (2014). 25. “Americans do not meet federal dietary recommendations.” J Nutr. (2010). 26. “A review of the fundamentals of diet.” Glob Adv Health Med. (2013). 27. “Impact of stress.” (2012). 28. “Accelerated telomere shortening in response to life stress.” Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. (2004). 29. “Tips for success: getting more done in less time.” Dev Dyn. (2011). 30. “Unsaturated fat.” (2014). 31. “Not all fats are created equal.” (2008). 32. “Daily sunscreen application and betacarotene supplementation in prevention of basal-cell and squamouscell carcinomas of the skin: a randomised controlled trial.” Lancet. (1999). 33. “Water, Hydration and Health.” Nutr Rev. (2010). 34. “The 2007 Canadian Hypertension Education Program recommendations for the management of hypertension: part 2 - therapy.” Can J Cardiol. (2007). 35. “Daily exercise improves memory, stimulates hippocampal neurogenesis and modulates immune and neuroimmune cytokines in aging rats.” Brain Behave Immun. (2013). 36. “The Benefits of Physical Activity.” (2014). 37. “Feeling Good When Sleeping In? Day-To-Day Associations Between Sleep Duration and Affective Well-Being Differ From Youth to Old Age.” Emotion. (2014). 38. “Banking sleep: realization of benefits during subsequent sleep restriction and recovery.” Sleep. (2009). 39. “How much sleep do we really need?” (2014).


total wellness ▪ spring 2014


time management:

decoding the nutrition label

nutrition label basics by elsbeth sites | design by natalie chong and barbara wong

Food labels allow us to make simple comparisons between the nutritional values of different food options. Check out this simple guide to help you pick out the most important pieces of information in a food label and make the best food decisions for your health goals! serving size

Start here when you read the nutrition label. It is standardized to allow for easier comparisons of similar foods. Usually depicted in familiar units such as cups or pieces, serving size defines the amount of food that contains the specified quantites of nutrients listed on the label. The number of calories and all the nutrient amounts listed are based on the serving size.

servings per container

The number of serving sizes in the package. This can be helpful in visually estimating the volume of a serving size. If there are 2 servings per container, you can estimate a serving size as being one-half of the package. note: Even packaged foods that seem like they should be 1 serving, like a can of soda, might contain more than 1 serving.


vitamins and minerals

Food labels are required to only give values for 2 vitamins (A and C) and 2 minerals (calcium and iron). Food companies can choose to list other vitamins and minerals.2 aim for: 750 mcg vitamin A, 65 to 90 mg vitamin C, 1000 mg calcium, 8 mg of iron for men, and 18 mg iron for women per day.3


percent daily values

The percent of your recommended daily intake that 1 serving of this item makes up. Listed in the footnote, percent daily values for fats, cholesterol, and sodium are set as upper limits, so the goal is to eat less than 100%. On the other hand, the percent daily value for fiber is set as a lower limit, so the goal is to eat at least 100%. tip: This is a dietary goal based on a 2,000 calorie diet. This is the calorie intake recommended for females aged 19 to 30 who get less than 30 minutes of moderate physical activity most days. The recommended intake for 19 to 30 year-old males who exercise less than 30 minutes most days is 2400 calories.4

left: joec /istockphoto; right: elenathewise/ istockphoto

total wellness ▪ spring 2014

A fat-like substance that your body needs to produce hormones, vitamin D, and substances that help you digest foods. Too much cholesterol in your blood can increase risk for coronary heart disease. There are two types of cholesterol in our bodies: “good” cholesterol, HDL, which delivers cholesterol to the liver to be broken down, and “bad” cholesterol, LDL, which leads to cholesterol buildup in the arteries. Eating too much cholesterol may contribute to increased LDL levels. aim for: Less than 300 mg on average per day.1


A measurement of how much energy you will get from 1 serving of this food. tip: Calories x Servings Per Container = Total Calories in the package.

calories from fat

This is the number of calories in the serving that come from the fat in the food. aim for: 20 to 35% of your total calories.5

types of fats saturated fats

A type of fat that is usually solid at room temperature. These often come from animals, such as cheese, butter, or the fat on meats. aim for: Less than 7% of total daily calories since eating foods that contain saturated fats can raise the level of cholesterol in your blood, which may increase your risk of heart disease and stroke.6

trans fat

A type of fat usually created industrially to extend the shelf life of liquid vegetable and solidify them during the process which occurs naturally in animal products such as meat and dairy. Be careful – a food package is allowed to state “0 g of trans fats,” as long as each serving contains less than 0.5 g. If any kind of partially hydrogenated oil appears in the ingredients list, the product includes trans fats.7 aim for: Less than 1% of daily calories, or as little as possible since trans fats can raise blood cholesterol levels (some studies suggest that they may raise levels more than saturated fats do), thus increasing the risk for heart disease.6 In fact, it is such a public health concern that New York City banned the use of trans fats in restaurants in 2008.


The Footnote is the lower part of the nutrition label, where the 2,000 estimated daily intake is officially stated. This statement doesn’t change from product to product because it shows recommended dietary advice for all Americans--it is not about a specific food.13


Remember this rule about ingredients: First the most, last the least. The food is made mostly of the ingredient listed first and leastly of the last ingredient.14 t w

References: 1. “Cholesterol Basics” (2014). 2. “Food Labeling.” (2014). 3. “Vitamins and Minerals: How Much Should You Take?” (2012). 4. “How Many Can I Have?” (2014). 5. “Reading Food Labels: Calories from Fat.” (2013). 6. “Know Your Fats.” (2014). 7. “Trans-Fat Free Food, What’s the Truth?” (2014). 8. “Types of Fats.” (2013). 9. “Sodium and Salt.” (2014). 10. “Dietary Fiber: Essential for a Healthy Diet” (2012). 11. “What are Proteins and What do they Do?” (2014). 12. ”Protein.” (2014). 13. “How to Understand and Use the Nutrition Label.” (2014). 14. “Guidance for Industry: A Food Labeling Guide.” (2013).

unsaturated fats

A type of fat that is usually liquid at room temperature. These “good” fats usually come from plants and seafood and include omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Eating unsaturated fat instead of saturated fat may help improve blood cholesterol levels, thereby reducing the risk of heart disease.1,8 These fats aren’t always listed on the label, but the total fat - saturated and trans fats = unsaturated fats.

sodium (salt)

A high-sodium diet may lead to high blood pressure. aim for: Less than 1,500 mg of sodium per day to reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases.9


total wellness ▪ spring 2014

Eating fiber may help to normalize bowel movements, lower cholesterol levels, and control blood sugar levels. aim for: 25 g per day for women and 38 g per day for men (if you are 50 or younger).10


Proteins are large, complex molecules that do most of the work in cells and are required for the structure, function, and regulation of the body’s tissues and organs.11 aim for: At least 8 g per 20 lb of body weight per day (that is, 56 g for a 140 lb person).12 `


The Ashe Center | Student Health and Wellness

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Take your prescription medication to the pharmacy where you would like it transferred. Give the pharmacy The Ashe Center’s prescription transfer phone number, (310) 206-2146.

Request Medical Records

You can request an electronic or paper copy of medical records on our website at

Get an Annual Eye Exam Our in-house services include comprehensive eye exams, contact lens fittings, and frame and lens selection with our experienced staff.

See your Primary Care Provider Make an appointment Online: By Phone: (310) 825-4073 In person: 1st floor Scheduling Station

REMEMBER: If you are enrolled in UC SHIP for Spring 2014, you are covered through the summer!

healthy living

made simple Pick up a copy! Ashe Center Blood & Platelet John Wooden On the Hill Bruin Resource Center ASUCLA Stands Kerckhoff Hall SWC Office

total wellness ▪ fall 2012

total wellness ▪ spring 2014

Read our previous issues online at totalwellnessmagazine




We would like to acknowledge the following people for their contributions to this edition. We would also like to make special mention of the following UCLA physicians, professors, and faculty members who donated their time and expertise to ensuring the accuracy of content published in the following articles:



healing from home base

Edward K. Hui, MD, Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine, Center for EastWest Medicine, Division of General Internal Medicine and Health Services Research, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA

Raffi Tachdjian, MD, MPH, Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics, Division of Allergy and Clinical Medicine, UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine

a hairy affair: guide to healthy hair basics

Carolyn Goh, MD, Assistant Clinical Professor in Dermatology, UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine

organic seasonal foods

Ilana Muhlstein, RD, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, UCLA Recreation: (BHIP) Bruin Health Improvement Program

the ABCs of health

Michele Hoh, MD, Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine, UCLA Family Medicine Practice, Iris Cantor/UCLA Women’s Health Center

nutrition label basics

guide to buying produce

Eve Lahijani, MS, RD, Nutrition Health Educator, UCLA Bruin Resource Center

Carol Chen, MS, RD, Dietitian, UCLA Arthur Ashe Student Health and Wellness Center

trekking the trails

copy-edits and review

healthy today, healthy tomorrow

layout revisions

Roddy McCalley, BS, Outdoor Leadership Training Coordinator, UCLA Recreation

Michele Hoh, MD, Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine, UCLA Family Medicine Practice, Iris Cantor/UCLA Women’s Health Center

food for thought: the dish on food poisoning

Julie Escobar, Tiffany Lin, Chalisa Prarasri, Rebecca Tang, and Shannon Wongvibulsin

Barbara Wong, Shannon Wongvibulsin, and Karin Yuen

cover & table of contents Designed by Barbara Wong and Karin Yuen

Andrew Shubov, MD, Clinical Instructor, UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine


total wellness ▪ spring 2014

Rashmi Mullur, MD, Attending Physician, Department of Endocrinology, VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System, Assistant Professor, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA

breathe in, breathe out






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total wellness ▪ spring 2014

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Back to Basics  

Spring 2014. Issue 4, Volume 14. Produced by UCLA's Student Wellness Commission.

Back to Basics  

Spring 2014. Issue 4, Volume 14. Produced by UCLA's Student Wellness Commission.