How to practice 'autonomy-supportive parenting' to boost your family's wellbeing right now

How to practice ‘autonomy-supportive parenting’ to boost your family’s wellbeing right now

  • January 22, 2021
  • Offering kids “choices within limits” is linked with better well-being.
  • The study found the benefits of “autonomy-supportive parenting” can be immediate.
  • To use the parenting style, focus on teaching, empathy, and making kids feel loved.

Letting kids choose which cereal to eat, where to do homework, or how to best dress for the weather can lead to positive well-being for both them and their parents, a study published Tuesday in the journal Child Development suggests.

The study included 562 parents of six- to nine-year-olds in Germany, who filled out a questionnaire every day for three weeks in spring 2020 when coronavirus-related restrictions and closures were in place.

The researchers found that giving kids so-called “choice within limits” – as opposed to making demands or letting them do whatever they want – contributed to parents feeling like their needs were being met, which at the same time prompted them to continue parenting that way.
Burnt-out parents can adopt the approach during the coronavirus pandemic, the authors contend, and reap the benefits immediately. Over time, kids become more independent, confident, empathetic, resilient, and intrinsically motivated, research suggests.

Read more: My kids rarely see people’s faces now that everyone is wearing masks. Will their social development be stunted?

“Giving them choices [means] kids are coping better, it means that they’re more behaviorally regulated, they’re less emotional,” Roseann Capanna-Hodge, a school psychologist in Connecticut who was not involved in the research, told Insider. “And so then that’s just going to reduce the stress at home, and parents are going to be happier.”


To practice autonomy-supportive parenting, focus on teaching and showing unconditional love

“Choice within limits” is one aspect of autonomy-supportive parenting, a style in which parents involve their kids in the decision-making process, while providing safe and age-appropriate boundaries.

The alternatives are more controlling styles (“eat your Wheaties because I said so”) or, on the other end of the spectrum, more permissive styles, like letting kids leave the house in shorts during a snowstorm.
Practicing autonomy-supportive parenting requires more time and patience up front, but it’s worth it for the whole family in the short and long-term, Capanna-Hodge said.

“You can talk to your child in a discipline-oriented corrective method, and you’re going to repeat yourself and you’re going to be frustrated and they’re going to be frustrated,” she said. “Or, you can shift your language and you can really focus on teaching.”

For example, instead of telling them they can’t wear shorts in the snow, have a conversation about the pros and cons of the choice, why it may not be safe, and what an alternative could be. Instead of demanding your kid to pick up their toys, explain why leaving them all over the floor could hurt someone.

“You’re making an investment through loving communication in that time to get them to start thinking on their own,” Capanna-Hodge said.

Demonstrate empathy and provide unconditional love

Autonomy-supportive parenting also promotes kids’ emotional development and resilience by demonstrating empathy while resisting the urge to coddle them when they’re down.

For example, if a child’s feeling are hurt by a peer, don’t just give them a hug and say, “That person wasn’t nice to you.” Instead, Capanna-Hodge suggests saying, “Wow, that must’ve been really hard. How did did you handle that?”

Another key aspect of autonomy-supportive parenting is making kids feel unconditionally loved by talking to them calmly and without judgment, even when they mess up, psychologist Tali Shenfield writes in a Fine Parent. That way, kids develop confidence in their choices rather than fearing they’ll lose parental acceptance by making the wrong one.
For example, you could brainstorm with your kids about what will help them get to school on time rather than calling them irresponsible or a bad student.

“It’s those kinds of tweaks,” Capanna-Hodge said. “So it’s not as hard as parents think, and they absolutely can do this.”

What Happens to Your Body When You Eat Strawberries

What Happens to Your Body When You Eat Strawberries

  • January 22, 2021

Eating healthy always involves eating an assortment of fruits, and one of the most popular to munch on is the strawberry. The bright red fruit, which is cultivated worldwide, is known for its juiciness and sweetness—and a favorite among many who love to eat strawberries.

Like other fruits, there are many health benefits to eating strawberries, including the vitamins and nutrients within the berry. Yet while there are some benefits, there are also unhealthy associations discussed when people eat strawberries, including the sugar content of the fruit.

Below we’ve highlighted five perks and pitfalls when you decide to eat strawberries, and for more healthy tips, be sure to check out our list of The 7 Healthiest Foods to Eat Right Now.


Unless you spend your life alternating between meditating and sleeping, there’s a good chance that you feel some sort of stress. Although stress can be an emotional tension, it can manifest itself in physical ways and can contribute to long-term heart problems. Thankfully, there are simple ways to reduce stress that don’t involve going to a massage studio or heading off to a beach somewhere—including when you eat strawberries.

“Foods like strawberries are rich in vitamin C, which not only help the immune system, but it can help lower levels of cortisol, known as the stress hormone,” says certified nutritionist Philip Goglia, the co-founder of G-Plans.

Along with strawberries, here are 21 Best Foods to Eat When You’re Stressed, According to Dietitians.

strawberries in basket

Pesticides are useful for getting rid of insects or other harmful organisms that may be on produce as it’s growing, but once that produce gets to the store, you don’t want the pesticides entering your body. If ingested, pesticides can lead to a host of illnesses including heart disease, diabetes, and arthritis.

Megan Wong, RD at AlgeaCal says that unfortunately, strawberries are one of the most frequent fruits that are contaminated.

“Strawberries are notorious for being contaminated with pesticide residues,” Wong says. “In fact, they’ve been on the EWG’s Dirty Dozen list multiple times, holding the #1 spot for the past 5 years.”

Wong recommends thoroughly washing strawberries before consuming them and purchasing organic berries when possible. And for other foods you should thoroughly wash before eating, These Are the Foods With the Most Pesticides.

fresh strawberries outside

While COVID-19 deaths are skyrocketing in the United States, cancer still remains the number two leading cause of death throughout the country, with 599,274 Americans dying from cancerous diseases in 2018. While there are almost certainly ways to increase your odds of getting cancer, like smoking, there are also ways to help cut down your risk of it, like eating strawberries according to Reda Elmardi, a nutritionist and owner of

“Having strawberries lowers oxidative stress and decreases chronic inflammation which is linked to cancer cells formation and progression,” says Elmardi.

Get even more healthy tips straight to your inbox by signing up for our newsletter!

strawberries cut in half in a bowl

Vitamin C is not just the name of the singer of the iconic 1999 song “Graduation (Friends Forever),” it’s also an essential vitamin that helps to boost immune systems and fight off infections. Thankfully for strawberry lovers, the fruit is jam-packed with them.

“Vitamin C works to boost your white blood cell production, and it also reduces inflammation,” says Megan Byrd, RD from The Oregon Dietitian. “This allows your body’s organ systems, including the immune system, to work more efficiently.”

sliced strawberries

Strawberries are packed full of nutritious fiber, with 0.2 grams of fiber in just one medium-sized strawberry. A normal serving of the fruit packs around four grams on fiber on average. All of this fiber helps to improve a body’s digestive system.

With that improved digestive system also comes, well, you know. Having good digestion always helps to make a body more regular, “Strawberries are a nutritional powerhouse—high in vitamin C and fiber, both of which are essential to good health, a strong immune system and healthy gut,” says Lynell Ross, nutritionist and certified health and wellness coach.

Now that we’ve convinced you to eat more strawberries, here’s How to Easily Hull a Strawberry in Seconds.

“Unani System, one of the effective medications for Boosting overall Immunity during COVID-19” said by Prof. Dr. Asim Ali Khan, Director General – CCRUM, Ministry of AYUSH, Govt. of India | Odisha Breaking News | Odisha News | Latest Odisha News

“Unani System, one of the effective medications for Boosting overall Immunity during COVID-19” said by Prof. Dr. Asim Ali Khan, Director General – CCRUM, Ministry of AYUSH, Govt. of India | Odisha Breaking News | Odisha News | Latest Odisha News

  • January 22, 2021

New Delhi: AYUSH Committee, PHDCCI organized a Webinar on “Proven & Effective Unani System as Immunity Booster during COVID-19”. The webinar was graced with the presence of Padma Bhushan Vd. Devendera Triguna, President of AMAM, All India Ayurvedic Congress and Ayurveda Mahasammelan, Prof. Dr. Asim Ali Khan, Director General – CCRUM, Ministry of AYUSH, Govt. of India, Dr. M.A. Qasmi, Joint Advisor (Unani), Ministry of AYUSH, Govt. of India, Mr. Pradeep Multani, Sr. Vice President, PHDCCI, Mr. Arvind Varchaswi, Chair, AYUSH Committee, PHDCCI & Managing Director, Sri Sri Tattva, Mr. Jitender Sodhi, Co- Chair, AYUSH Committee, PHDCCI & Managing Director, AYUSH Herbs Pvt Ltd and today’s session moderator Mr. Vivek Seigell, Assistant Secretary General, PHDCCI.

The other eminent panellist present were Dr. Mohammad Akram, Associate Professor & Head, Deptt. Of Tahaffuziwa Samaji Tibb, Jamia Hamdard, Prof. Ashhar Qadeer, Dept. Of Kulliyat, Ajmal Khan Tibbia College, AMU Aligarh (U.P), Dr. Khursheed A. Ansari, Associate Professor, Dept. of Anatomy, Jamia Hamdard, New Delhi, Dr. Aleemuddin Qaumri, Reader & Head of Dept. of Moalijat, National Institute of Unani Medicine, Bangalore, Dr. Santosh Joshi, Sr. General Manager, R&D, Hamdard Laboratories India, Mr. Sameer Kant Ahuja, Chief Manager (Regulatory) Multani Pharmaceuticals Ltd.

While welcoming the Government dignitaries Mr. Pradeep Multani, Sr. Vice President, PHDCCI in his welcome remarks deliberated about Unani medicine and its increase in usage in India and abroad. The Unani System of Medicine offers treatment of diseases related to all the systems and organs of the human body. The Unani treatments for chronic ailments are highly effective and acceptable.

Mr. Multani emphasized that Immunity is a defense system within the body to protect the host from invading pathogens. The body can neutralize & eliminate the pathogenic micro-organism & their toxic products, thus protecting the individual. The most common problem of all sort of infections is tackled very successfully by the Unani system of medicine approach in strengthening the immune system which in turn eliminates infectious agents and exert least side effect.

Padma Bhushan Vd. Devendera Triguna, President of AMAM, All India Ayurvedic Congress and Ayurveda Mahasammelan thanked Ministry of AYUSH for their efforts for promoting all AYUSH system and said that Unani medicine has played a critical role in developing overall immunity and fighting against the pandemic.

Mr. Arvind Varchaswi, Chair, AYUSH Committee, PHDCCI & Managing Director, Sri Sri Tattva in his remarks gave an industry perspective and the importance of Unani System as Immunity Booster during COVID-19. He also highlighted that Unani System of Medicine offers treatment of diseases related to all the systems and organs of the human body. The treatments for chronic ailments and diseases of skin, liver, musculo-skeletal and reproductive systems, immunological and lifestyle disorders have been found to be highly effective and acceptable.

Prof. Dr. Asim Ali Khan, Director General – CCRUM, Ministry of AYUSH, Govt. of India talked about Unani system has a global presence in India and various other countries. He said that Unani immunomodulators has played a significant role in building overall immunity of an individual.

Prof. Dr. Khan thanked Ministry of AYUSH, Govt. of India for their continuous support in promoting Unani system of medicine. He said, Central Council for Research in Unani Medicine (CCRUM) has done several clinical trials & research studies during COVID-19. The system has established Unani centers with a specialist for treating patients.He has also mentioned about National Institute of Unani Medicine (NIUM) which has been developed as a model for post graduate, teaching, and research in Unani System of Medicine. He further mentioned that all system of AYUSH is working together for promoting AYUSH system in India.

Dr. M.A. Qasmi, Joint Advisor (Unani), Ministry of AYUSH, Govt. of India while lauding the constant efforts of PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry and assured that we will be working together with the Industry to boost the Unani system.

Dr. Mohammad Akram, Associate Professor & Head, Deptt. Of Tahaffuziwa Samaji Tibb, Jamia Hamdard mentioned that prevention is the only cure in these current times. He further mentioned that COVID-19 will live longer than our expectations and there is no effective treatment in any system of medicines. He also mentioned that people need to focus on immunity-boosting and physical health well-being. Proper ventilation, healthy diet, constant exercise, proper sleep, retention, and elimination of body and less mental illness need to be focus areas for achieving good immunity.

Prof. Ashhar Qadeer, Dept. Of Kulliyat, Ajmal Khan Tibbia College, AMU Aligarh (U.P) talked about the concept of Tabiyat that systematically regulates the body. He mentioned that Covid-19 has its immunity and its power will change according to the immunity of the body. He emphasized that immunity-boosting is the only prevention of COVID-19.

Dr. Khursheed A. Ansari, Associate Professor, Deptt. of Anatomy, JamiaHamdard, New Delhi in his presentation on proven and effective Unani system as immunity booster during covid-19, highlighted that prevention is better than cure. He discussed the self-protection and prevention needed for the spread of the disease like wearing the mask, social distancing, sanitization, and many more. He talked about the general Unani Prophylaxis which included restriction of diet; have nonveg diet; eating citrus foods; have warm sips of water; have afternoon nap; don’t do heavy exercises; no alcohol consumption; steam inhalation; fumigation with sandal, camphor, and pomegranate rind and many more.

Dr. Aleemuddin Qaumri, Reader & Head of Deptt. of Moalijat, National Institute of Unani Medicine, Bangalore in his presentation deliberated about the immune system, types, and process. He further deliberated about the COVID-19 pandemic, its pathogenesis, and factor. He mentioned that immune response determines the host severity of symptoms like severe/moderate/mild. Talking about Unani medicines and immunity he discussed its principles and practices. He mentioned that the regimen has to be taking micro and macronutrients like vitamin C, D and minerals like Cu, Se, Zn, Fe, etc. he also mentioned that vitamin D3 is essential for boosting the immune system.

Dr. Aleemuddin Qaumri emphasized that a novel pandemic condition has no certain treatment. Vaccinations under trial phase and prevention are needed to be prioritized. The role of alternate systems of medicine emerged as an ‘immune booster’ rather than immunomodulators.

Dr. Santosh Joshi, Sr. General Manager, R&D, Hamdard Laboratories India mentioned that people have faith in Unani and, it has grown in a multi-fold manner. He discussed the concept and types of immunity. He also mentioned the programs and products of Hamdard which has helped in boosting immunity in the COVID-19 times.

Mr. Sameer Kant Ahuja, Chief Manager (Regulatory), Multani Pharmaceuticals Ltd while giving a background about Unani medicines, their importance, history, and government regulations towards it discussed the common compound Unani formulations and common immunostimulant single drugs of Unani medicines for boosting immunity. He highlighted that the Unani system is one of the oldest forms of medication. He also urged the Industry to come forward and work together on R&D, so that it reaches more heights of success and meets the global demand.

Mr. Jitender Sodhi, Co-Chair, AYUSH Committee, PHDCCI gave a formal vote of thanked all the eminent dignitaries for joining today’s webinar. Mr. Sodhi also talked about the significance of Unani medicine in boosting overall immunity and use of herbal remedies, dietary practices, and alternative therapies which could help in combating the ongoing pandemic.

The webinar was sponsored by AYUSH Herbs Private Limited and Association of Manufacturers of Ayurvedic Medicine (AMAM) and attended by over 150 participants.


Boost immunity with key nutrients found in pistachios-ANI

Boost immunity with key nutrients found in pistachios-ANI

  • January 22, 2021

New Delhi [India], January 22 (ANI/NewsVoir): American Pistachios Growers (APG), a non-profit trade association representing over 800 grower members in the U.S. organized a Virtual Knowledge Session to talk about the immunity building properties in pistachios and also announce Luke Coutinho as its Lifestyle Ambassador in India.
The session was addressed by Luke Coutinho, globally renowned Holistic Lifestyle Coach – Integrative Medicine and Mike Roussell, PhD, Nutrition Consultant and Advisor to Men’s Health Magazine, United States. The Session was presided over by Mr. Ron Verdonk, Minister Counselor for Agriculture, U.S. Embassy, India, and moderated by Mr. Sumit Saran, India Representative of the APG.
“I am especially happy that Luke Coutinho, who is an icon and known especially for his commitment to nutrition, fitness and holistic lifestyle, is recommending American pistachios. The Indian food sector is poised for exponential growth and we are constantly exploring opportunities to serve Indian consumers with high-quality, healthy, wholesome and safe products from the U.S. Pistachios are a natural fit in the market,” said Ron Verdonk, Minister Counselor for Agriculture, at the U.S. Embassy, New Delhi, inaugurating the session.
“We strongly believe in the quality and value of US agricultural products which comply in quality with the demands of the Indian marketplace. Both India and the United States recognize the need to encourage healthier lifestyles through exercise and diet in order to combat malnutrition and other public health challenges. We hope to make 2021 a great year for American grown pistachios in India as we find new ways to complement our food and beverage cultures,” Ron Verdonk added.
“I am very happy to be associated with American Pistachio Growers. Indians have always used pistachios as a garnish on desserts, biryanis etc. It is time we become more aware about this amazing nut and make American-grown pistachios a part of our daily diet. Why? Because pistachios are a complete protein and people will be shocked to know that a handful of these nuts have the same amount of protein as an egg. This is great news for vegetarians and those looking for plant-based protein sources. Pistachios also have one of the lowest calorific value of all commonly consumed nuts and you can have as many as 49 pistachios in a single serving. These make it a perfect for Indians,” said Luke Coutinho, commenting on his role as a Lifestyle Ambassador of American grown pistachios.
“According to the International Food Information Council’s Year-end Survey, one in three people report their eating habits have become healthier over the past year. Also, over 22 per cent respondents report that their choices affect their mental and physical health. Therefore, adding nutritious foods like pistachios to the diet can help give your body more vital vitamins and minerals to help your immune system function at its best,” said Dr Mike Roussell, reiterating the inherent health benefits of pistachios.
“A healthy immune system aids in the healing process and shortens recovery time. I am recommending pistachios to my clients as a convenient snack that’s great to have after a workout or whenever you need a nutritious pick-me-up to hold you over until your next meal. But this year I’m also recommending pistachios for the wealth of vital nutrients they contain, which can help your immune system to operate at its best,” Dr Mike Roussell added.
“India is a growth market for American grown pistachios. India itself does not produce any pistachios. However, as awareness about pistachios and its health benefits increase, we are seeing continuous growth in demand. We are delighted and honored to have Luke Coutinho as Lifestyle Ambassador for America Pistachio Growers in India. He is a great icon for health, nutrition and wellbeing. With his help, we will be able to create awareness about American grown pistachios among discerning consumers. American grown pistachios are available under quality brand names across all major retail points and e-commerce platforms across India,” said Sumit Saran, moderating the discussion.
This story is provided by NewsVoir. ANI will not be responsible in any way for the content of this article. (ANI/NewsVoir)

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors’ and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

Support your gut and immune system this winter

Support your gut and immune system this winter

  • January 22, 2021

in Lifestyle ·
22-01-2021 01:00:00 · 0 Comments

Support your gut and immune system this winter

The gut microbiome is closely linked to immune function – so how can you keep it in tip top shape?

A healthy gut is key for overall health and affects so much more than just our digestion. With links to mental health, heart health, sleep, skin conditions and more, it’s no wonder the gut is often referred to as our ‘second brain’.

And did you know the health of your gut can also have a big impact on your immune function?

“Around 70% of your immune system is actually located in your gastrointestinal tract” says Corin Sadler, nutritionist at Higher Nature. “This means they are very closely linked and, in many ways, one in the same.

“So a healthy gut, filled with diverse bacteria, can be our best weapon in fighting off illnesses.”

So, what can you do to help keep your gut in good shape this winter?

Get more fibre in your diet
“A diet that’s high in fibre is key for good gut function,” explains Sadler. “Fibre helps with our digestion and supports a healthy gut microbiome, as it ‘feeds’ our good bacteria to help it thrive.”

In the UK, we generally don’t eat enough fibre, particularly if we’re consuming a lot of processed foods. The British Nutrition Foundation ( says the average intake is 17.2g a day for women and 20.1g a day for men, falling short of the recommended average intake for adults of 30g per day.

To boost your fibre intake, Sadler recommends adding a diverse range of plant-based sources to your daily menu, such as different fruits, vegetables, beans and pulses, as well as healthy cereals, wholegrain bread, pasta and brown rice. Keep things interesting and diverse by mixing up your high fibre foods each day. Look for foods containing high levels of prebiotic fibre too, such as leeks, asparagus and bananas.

Take live bacteria daily
Live bacteria is sometimes believed to help ‘restore’ the balance of good bacteria in your gut. “When there’s an imbalance of bad and good bacteria in our body, this can impact our overall health.” Sadler explains.

Live yoghurt, kefir and fermented foods and drinks are among popular options. There are also probiotic supplements (although supplements should always be secondary to a healthy, varied diet). Sadler recommends daily probiotics such as Higher Nature’s Pro-Intensive Extra (£21 for 30 capsules,, and suggests looking for one that contains 20 billion live organisms per dose and a variety of bacteria strains that work harmoniously to support the natural environment of the gut.

Increase your step count

Getting regular exercise is also linked to better gut health. “We all know exercise is good for almost everything, and this includes our gut health” Sadler explains.

“A 2017 study found exercise is linked to increased diversity of gut bacteria, which is key for a healthy microbiome. And while more research is needed into this area to prove exactly why exercise is beneficial for the gut, the good news is that even gentle exercise, like walking and yoga, can help.”

Eat ginger
Ginger doesn’t just taste great when whizzed in a healthy green juice, it also packs some pretty impressive gut health benefits.

Formulate Health ( pharmacist Mina Khan explains: “Ginger reduces nausea caused by gut problems and stimulates the digestive system, which helps keep you regular and maintain a healthy gut.

“What’s more, ginger has fantastic anti-inflammatory properties, making it perfect for sufferers of IBS. From ginger tea, to using it in stir-frys and curries, there are so many possibilities when it comes to this wonderful spice.”

Cut down on artificial sweeteners
“Artificial sweeteners found in soft drinks may be harmful to gut bacteria and ‘damage’ the health of our microbiome,” Sadler says. “This includes aspartame, which is found in diet soft drinks.

“While these diet soft drinks are often the preferred choice for the health conscious, research has found that toxins are released when gut bacteria is exposed to the sweeteners.

“Cutting down on drinks with artificial sweeteners in exchange for naturally flavoured water, with fresh lemon, lime or cucumber where possible, is much better for our gut health,” she adds.

Take steps to manage stress
It’s a worrying time for lots of us right now, but being mindful of managing our stress levels can really make a difference.

“Stress can activate a negative chain reaction in the body, including the production of the stress hormone cortisol, which can change the balance of good bacteria in the gut, affecting communication pathways between the gut and the brain,” says Sadler.

“Stress can also affect our digestion and the movement of food through the gut. For some people, it can speed digestion up and for others it can slow it right down, which can result in a host of different gut issues, from bloating and constipation to diarrhoea.”

There are loads of things that can help offset stress, exercise or moving our bodies being one of the biggest. Fresh air, watching a comedy, putting your phone on silent and cooking a nourishing meal, every little helps.

Boost Immunity with Key Nutrients Found in Pistachios

Boost Immunity with Key Nutrients Found in Pistachios

  • January 22, 2021
  • | Friday | 22nd January, 2021

It is time we become more aware about this amazing nut and make American grown pistachios a part of our daily diet.
But this year I’m also recommending pistachios for the wealth of vital nutrients they contain, which can help your immune system to operate at its best.”Moderating the discussion, Mr. Sumit Saran said, “India is a growth market for American grown pistachios.
We are delighted and honored to have Luke Coutinho as Lifestyle Ambassador for America Pistachio Growers in India.
With his help, we will be able to create awareness about American grown pistachios among discerning consumers.
American grown pistachios are available under quality brand names across all major retail points and e-commerce platforms across India.”

Read Full Article Here

Stay updated with all the Delhi Latest News headlines here. For more exclusive & live news updates from all around India, stay connected with NYOOOZ.

Here are the top foods and vitamins which will boost your well-being during lockdown

Here are the top foods and vitamins which will boost your well-being during lockdown

  • January 21, 2021

WORKING from home, schooling your kids and being cooped up indoors takes its toll, leaving many of us reaching for junk food.

A study this week revealed that gorging on takeaways dramatically affects emotions, often making us irritable and angry. So soothe your mood by changing what you eat.

Sooth your lockdown stress by trying some of these healthy foods


Sooth your lockdown stress by trying some of these healthy foodsCredit: Getty Images – Getty

Nutritionist Charlotte Faure Green says: “This is not the time to beat yourself up about what you’re eating. But remember, a diet full of fruit and veg not only boosts mental health but will go a long way to supporting your immune system.”

Here, Charlotte shares her top 18 foods and vitamins to boost well-being in lockdown.

1. Bananas

Bananas are loaded with vitamin B6


Bananas are loaded with vitamin B6Credit: Getty Images – Getty

These are loaded with vitamin B6, which helps to build serotonin and dopamine – our happy brain chemicals.

They are also a great source of fibre, which goes to feeding our good gut bacteria.

Not only do they come in their own clever packaging but they are the perfect snack to give your brain a feel-good boost.

2. Vitamin D supplements

Vitamin D tablets are a great way to top up your vitamin levels


Vitamin D tablets are a great way to top up your vitamin levelsCredit: Getty Images – Getty

Vitamin D is often referred to as the “sunshine vitamin” because we get it from exposure to the sun.

We live under a pretty grey sky in the UK during the winter so it’s fair to assume we’re not getting enough, and that in turn is linked to low moods.

A supplement is a great way to top up those levels and could offer just the boost you need.

3. Baked beans

Beans contain high levels of protein


Beans contain high levels of proteinCredit: Getty – Contributor

Beans are good for your heart, but also your brain.

They contain high levels of protein, including tryptophan, which acts as a mood elevator.

They also provide the B vitamins, making beans a bit of an all-in-one food for a good mood.

4. Coffee

Coffee may elevate levels of feel-good serotonin


Coffee may elevate levels of feel-good serotoninCredit: Getty Images – Getty

It is the most popular drink in the world. And studies show caffeine may elevate levels of feel-good serotonin and dopamine in the brain.

One decade-long study showed that women who drank coffee were less likely to become depressed. But be mindful that the mood-lifting success differs from person to person.

Try to drink it after food to slow down the stimulatory effect. And preferably before lunchtime.

5. Chips

Potatoes are full of mood-boosting nutrients including magnesium and vitamin C


Potatoes are full of mood-boosting nutrients including magnesium and vitamin CCredit: Photolibrary RM – Getty

Potatoes have a bad reputation they just don’t deserve. Our humble spud is one of the healthiest foods going, full of mood-boosting nutrients including magnesium and vitamin C.

Our brain needs carbs to function and create serotonin. Why not get all this goodness in the nation’s favourite form of potato – the chip?

Pair with protein and swap to sweet potato fries for extra brownie points (they contain a little more vitamin B6).

6. Omega-3 fish oil supplements

Omega-3 fatty acids are vital for brain health and managing our stress response


Omega-3 fatty acids are vital for brain health and managing our stress responseCredit: Photographers Choice – Getty

These unbeatable mood boosters are cheap and full of omega-3 fatty acids found in fish, without the pong!

Omega-3 fatty acids are thought to be the only anti-inflammatory able to cross the blood–brain barrier into our grey matter. Fish oils are vital for brain health and managing our stress response.

Supplements are great if you’re not hitting the recommended two portions of oily fish per week.

7. Oats

Oats contain a special type of fibre called beta-glucan


Oats contain a special type of fibre called beta-glucanCredit: Getty – Contributor

You have probably heard about the health benefits of fibre. But not all fibres are created equal. Oats contain a special type of fibre called beta-glucan.

We eat these for our gut bacteria to use as fuel, to enable them to make our happy and calming brain chemicals.

Clever! A study showed people who ate oats at breakfast reported better mood and energy levels and less irritability.

8. Peanut butter

Peanut butter is an energy-boosting protein with healthy fats


Peanut butter is an energy-boosting protein with healthy fatsCredit: Corbis – Getty

An energy-boosting protein with healthy fats. A study completed in 2020 found that regular consumption of nuts and legumes was associated with a 66 per cent lower risk of anxiety.

This could be due to a special compound called p-coumaric acid which is associated with increasing brain levels of GABA, our calming neurotransmitter, to decrease stress.

Leaving only the argument: Smooth or crunchy?

9. Chocolate

Chocolate contains the building blocks of serotonin, and magnesium which reduces stress


Chocolate contains the building blocks of serotonin, and magnesium which reduces stressCredit: Getty Images – Getty

You want clinically proven permission to eat chocolate? You got it! A 2013 study in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology showed that chocolate has many different compounds that can give our mood a boost.

Dark chocolate in particular contains the building blocks of serotonin, and magnesium which reduces stress.

It also makes us release endorphins, much like we do when we exercise, which can also serve to reduce our stress levels.

10. Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 contains many of the big hitters for good mood- building


Vitamin B12 contains many of the big hitters for good mood- buildingCredit: Getty Images – Getty

In an ideal world we would get all our nutrients for good health from the food we eat.

Vegans are often very low in vitamin B12, which is primarily found in animal products, and iron, which can be found in abundance in leafy greens.

This complex contains many of the big hitters for good mood- building, as an all-in-one capsule.

11. Berries

Berries contain antioxidants which are responsible for protecting our cells, particularly in the brain


Berries contain antioxidants which are responsible for protecting our cells, particularly in the brainCredit: Getty – Contributor

The lovely dark purple and red colouring of berries is due to all the antioxidants they contain, which are responsible for protecting our cells, particularly in the brain.

They also feed some of our most beneficial gut bacteria, essential for creating calming neurotransmitters and help manage inflammation in the brain associated with depression and other mood disorders.

12. Eggs

Eggs are high in vitamins B6 and B12


Eggs are high in vitamins B6 and B12Credit: Getty – Contributor

Eggs are a great source of protein. But also of choline, which is an essential micro- nutrient required in order for the brain to function properly and is associated with mood regulation.

Eggs are also high in vitamins B6 and B12, among countless other nutrients, that are vital for the production of our good mood chemicals.

13. St John’s Wort tablets

St    John’s Wort can treat low mood, anxiety and sleep problems


St    John’s Wort can treat low mood, anxiety and sleep problemsCredit: Getty Images – Getty

St    John’s Wort has long been used as an herbal remedy to relieve mild to moderate low mood, anxiety and sleep problems.

It is readily available over the counter, but this does not mean it is for everyone. Speak to a healthcare professional first.

St John’s Wort is known to interact with numerous medications, including reducing the effectiveness of the contraceptive pill.

14. Oranges

Oranges are rich in B and C vitamins


Oranges are rich in B and C vitaminsCredit: Getty – Contributor

Being poorly hydrated can mimic feelings of panic, so ensuring that you have lots of water-filled foods such as oranges can go a long way to improving mood.

Oranges are rich in those lovely B vitamins but also vitamin C, which we burn through at very high rates when stressed, making replenishing those stores very important.

15. Honey

Honey can help reduce brain inflammation


Honey can help reduce brain inflammationCredit: Getty – Contributor

We all know about using honey to fight colds and infections, but magical honey also contains tryptophan, the building block of serotonin, so it can help to boost your mood.

It is sweet like sugar, but honey does not release inflammatory free radicals in the same way refined sugar does and can actually help reduce brain inflammation.

16. Yoghurt

Yoghurt contains friendly gut bacteria


Yoghurt contains friendly gut bacteriaCredit: Getty Images – Getty

Pro- biotic foods, including yoghurt, contain friendly gut bacteria.

Many of our happy hormones and neurotransmitters are produced by the bacteria in the gut, so ensuring these are kept replenished every day gives our mood the best chance.

17. Salmon

Salmon can help increase circulating levels of serotonin


Salmon can help increase circulating levels of serotoninCredit: Getty – Contributor

Oily fish salmon makes up one letter of nifty acronym S.M.A.S.H.

Not the powdered potato you remember from childhood – it stands for Sardines, Mackerel, Anchovies, Salmon and Herring – all easily sourced fishes rich in omega-3 fatty acids.

They are brain protectors which help increase circulating levels of serotonin.

18. Wine

Research has linked moderate alcohol intake with a better mood


Research has linked moderate alcohol intake with a better moodCredit: Getty Images – Getty

Yes, we’ve saved the best till last. Research has linked moderate alcohol intake with a better mood, not to mention a longer life.

And red wine also provides tons of antioxidants that benefit your brain and heart. Having a small glass of red alongside dinner has been established as a cornerstone of the Mediterranean diet, which is associated with a reduced risk of developing depressive symptoms.

But remembering that the health properties of wine may stop after a small amount is important.

Batch Lady’s recipe for Beef stroganoff

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DaVinci Gourmet Launches Beverage Boost Syrup with Wellmune for Immune Support

DaVinci Gourmet Launches Beverage Boost Syrup with Wellmune for Immune Support

  • January 21, 2021

Beloit, Wisconsin — DaVinci Gourmet, an innovative global syrups and sauces brand, is launching in the U.S. market DaVinci Gourmet Beverage Boost, a naturally flavored beverage syrup that can be easily added to many everyday beverages. The syrup is formulated with Wellmune, a natural ingredient clinically supported to help strengthen the normal function of the immune system.

In today’s environment, consumers are continuing to be more proactive with their health by looking to support their immune function through healthy lifestyle products. However, consumer research is highlighting a gap in the foodservice industry. For example, while immune health is the number one benefit global consumers want from healthy lifestyle products, 78% of consumers want restaurants to offer more menu items with functional benefits (source: Kerry Proprietary Consumer Research, Proactive Health, 2019). DaVinci Gourmet Beverage Boost syrup meets the above consumer demand because it can easily be incorporated into their everyday menus and home beverages — items such as smoothies, juices, coffee and other health-oriented drinks.

Kimberly Kurth, Senior Brand Manager of DaVinci Gourmet, said: “Consumers are expecting more from their food and beverages. At DaVinci Gourmet, we saw this as an opportunity to meet our customer’s demands by incorporating Kerry’s own Wellmune ingredient into an easy-to-use DaVinci syrup that can seamlessly add immunity support benefits into beverage creations. It’s an exciting innovation between two global brands, made possible by Kerry’s diverse Taste & Nutrition portfolio, and one that just can’t be matched by competitors.”

Wellmune is a proprietary baker’s yeast beta 1,3/1,6 glucan, supported by over a dozen clinical studies that clearly demonstrate its ability to support general immune health, maintain overall physical health, and protect against the harmful effects of stress. The new DaVinci Gourmet Beverage Boost syrup brings together the added functionality of Wellmune and the innovation of DaVinci Gourmet, making it easier to add and communicate immune health benefits to any menu item or home beverage.

John Quilter, VP & General Manager at Kerry, said: “Wellmune helps deliver on consumer demand for safe, effective and research-supported immune health products. Consumer research gives Wellmune’s immune support a high believability rating, with nearly three-quarters of respondents indicating interest in purchasing a product containing this immune booster; in short, consumers understand and trust the benefits. Couple this with the fact that it can easily be incorporated into a variety of products and you now have a perfect partner for food and beverage innovation.”

DaVinci Gourmet Beverage Boost will be available in the U.S. through foodservice distributors and operators beginning in February. It is a simple way for any operator to add immunity support benefits to health- and wellness-oriented beverages. Lightly sweetened with subtle hints of creamy, vanilla sweetness, one serving (two pumps of syrup) is just 20 calories and delivers the recommended daily amount of Wellmune to deliver clinically supported benefits.

Learn more about DaVinci Gourmet’s Beverage Boost syrup at

About DaVinci Gourmet

DaVinci Gourmet brings bold flavor across your entire menu. Our extensive selection — from traditional to cutting edge — was crafted to enhance flavor and turn your passion into a lasting impression.

About Wellmune

Wellmune® is a natural food, beverage and supplement ingredient clinically supported to help strengthen the normal function of the immune system making it easier for people of all ages to feel well and stay well. Part of Kerry’s ProActive Health portfolio, Wellmune is a proprietary baker’s yeast beta 1.3/1.6 glucan, and is patented, kosher, halal, non-allergenic, non-GMO and gluten-free. As a global brand available in more than 60 countries, Wellmune has regulatory approval in major markets, including GRAS status in the U.S., and novel food approval in Europe and China. A recipient of numerous industry awards, Wellmune is part of Kerry’s nutrition and wellness portfolio. For more information, visit or follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.

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Onion Nutritional Facts - Health Benefits of Onions

Onion Nutritional Facts – Health Benefits of Onions

  • January 21, 2021

Onions do more than just flavor your favorite soups, stir fries, and salads. Whether yellow or brown, white or red, these versatile veggies also add vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber to your plate. The good-for-you compounds in onions can ultimately help protect your heart, immune system, and more all while making your entrées, apps, and sides shine.

“Onions are an affordable and flavorful addition to any meal that pack in a dose of antioxidants and serious health benefits,” says Stefani Sassos, MS, RDN, Registered Dietitian for the Good Housekeeping Institute.

    Give onions — and other members of the allium family such as garlic, scallions, leeks, shallots, and chives — credit where credit is due. These veggies provide a number of advantages as part of a plant-rich diet.

    • 44 calories
    • 13g carbohydrates
    • 1g protein
    • <1g total fat
    • <1g saturated fat
    • 2.5g fiber
    • 6g sugar
    • 216mg potassium
    • 15mg magnesium
    • 11mg vitamin C
    • 0.178mg vitamin B6

      Onion health benefits:

      Onions are nutrient- and flavor-rich.

      Onions are a good source of vitamin C, vitamin B6, folate, potassium, and manganese. Plus, they provide a little dietary fiber. The veggies can also add a lot of flavor to dishes without greatly increasing calories, sodium, or cholesterol, meaning they’re a great substitute for salty sauces or marinades when you’re looking for some extra zip.

      Eating onions can boost your heart.

      Onions may help out in the cardiovascular department, some research shows. The naturally occurring compounds within the bulbs’ layers can help fight inflammation and lower cholesterol levels, thereby protecting against heart disease. Research on one particular polyphenol in onions — quercetin — has linked it with lowering blood pressure, too. Red onions in particular contain higher amounts of quercetin, so opt for the more colorful varieties for an extra boost.

      It may also strengthen your immune system.

      In addition to containing immune-boosting vitamin C, onions provide phytochemicals that can help your body’s defense system out. The antioxidants within them encourage a strong immune system, and other compounds like sulfides assist with protein synthesis.

      onions, garlic and shallots still life

      Onions and their relatives garlic, shallots, and leeks can provide a number of health benefits as part of a veggie-rich diet.

      Lynne DaleyGetty Images

      Eating more onions may reduce your cancer risk.

      “Allium vegetables, like onions and garlic, are rich in antioxidants and thought to have anti-inflammatory effects,” says Sassos, a board-certified specialist in oncology nutrition. “They provide organosulfur compounds that can reduce the risk of certain cancers including prostate cancer. They make an excellent addition to any cancer prevention diet.”

        People who consumed a large amount of alliums were less likely to develop gastric cancer, per a 2014 meta-analysis of 27 studies. Another review of 16 studies also linked high-allium consumption with a lower risk of colon cancer.

        It may promote good digestion too.

        The dietary fiber in onions can help your digestive system stay in tip-top shape. These prebiotic compounds promote the growth of good gut bacteria, a.k.a. probiotics. In turn, these living organisms prevent or manage GI issues and help out your immune system at the same time.

        What’s more, the specific type of fiber found in onions (as well as garlic, wheat, and legumes) may more effectively feed the beneficial microbiota than the fiber found in other foods, a 2018 meta-analysis found.

        That said, not everyone should chow down on onions for digestive health. “Although onions exhibit prebiotic activity which can enhance intestinal health in many people, individuals who suffer from IBS or are following a low-FODMAP diet may want to limit their consumption,” Sassos warns. “Onions are particularly high in the FODMAP fructans, which can be poorly absorbed in the small intestine and exacerbate IBS symptoms.”

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New mutations raise specter of ‘immune escape’

New mutations raise specter of ‘immune escape’

  • January 21, 2021

Science‘s COVID-19 reporting is supported by the Pulitzer Center and the Heising-Simons Foundation

Embedded Image

Relatives attend a COVID-19 victim’s burial in Manaus, Brazil, on 13 January.


When the number of COVID-19 cases began to rise again in Manaus, Brazil, in December 2020, Nuno Faria was stunned. The virologist at Imperial College London had just co-authored a paper in Science estimating that three-quarters of the city’s inhabitants had already been infected with SARS-CoV-2, the pandemic coronavirus—more than enough, it seemed, for herd immunity to develop. The virus should be done with Manaus. Yet hospitals were filling up again. “It was hard to reconcile these two things,” Faria says. He started to hunt for samples he could sequence to find out whether changes in the virus could explain the resurgence.

On 12 January, Faria and his colleagues posted their initial conclusions on the website Thirteen of 31 samples collected in mid-December in Manaus turned out to be part of a new viral lineage they called P.1. Much more research is needed, but they say one possibility is that in some people, P.1 eludes the human immune response triggered by the lineage that ravaged the city earlier in 2020.

Emerging variants of the coronavirus have been in the news ever since scientists raised the alarm over B.1.1.7, a SARS-CoV-2 variant that first caught scientists’ attention in England in December and that is more transmissible than previously circulating viruses (Science, 8 January, p. 108). But now, they’re also focusing on a potential new threat: variants that could do an end run around the human immune response. Such “immune escapes” could mean more people who have had COVID-19 remain susceptible to reinfection, and that proven vaccines may, at some point, need an update.

At a World Health Organization (WHO) meeting on 12 January, hundreds of researchers discussed the most important scientific questions raised by the wave of new mutations. WHO also convened its COVID-19 Emergency Committee on 14 January to discuss the impact of the new variants and the travel restrictions that many countries are imposing to contain them. The committee called for a global effort to sequence more SARS-CoV-2 genomes to help track mutations.

The more transmissible variant, B.1.1.7, is already spreading rapidly in the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Denmark, and probably in many other countries. But scientists are just as worried about 501Y.V2, a variant detected in South Africa. Some of the mutations it carries, including ones named E484K and K417N, change its surface protein, spike, and have been shown in the lab to reduce how well monoclonal antibodies combat the virus. In a preprint published earlier this month, Jesse Bloom, an evolutionary biologist at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, showed that E484K also reduced the potency of convalescent sera from some donors 10-fold—although he is quick to add this does not necessarily mean the mutation would cause people’s immunity to the new strain to drop 10-fold.

P.1 adds to the concerns because it appears to have hit on a similar constellation of mutations and has emerged in a place with a high level of immunity. “Anytime you see the same mutations arising and starting to spread multiple times, in different viral strains across the world, that’s really strong evidence that there’s some evolutionary advantage to those mutations,” Bloom says.

Like B.1.1.7, the Brazilian variant is already on the move. Just as Faria was finishing his analysis of the Brazilian genomes, a report was published of a variant detected in travelers arriving in Japan from Brazil—and it turned out to be P.1. (As Science went to press, U.S. researchers also reported several new variants, but their importance remained unclear.)

HOW THESE NEW variants are affecting the course of the pandemic is unclear. In Manaus, for example, P.1 might have nothing to do with the new surge in infections; people’s immunity might simply be waning, says University of Oxford epidemiologist Oliver Pybus. Or it might be driving the boost because it is transmitted more easily, like B.1.1.7, not because it can evade the immune response. “Of course it could be a combination of these factors, too,” Pybus says.

Similarly, in a recent modeling study, researchers at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine calculated that South Africa’s 501Y.V2 variant could be 50% more transmissible but no better at evading immunity, or just as transmissible as previous variants but able to evade immunity in one in five people previously infected. “Reality may lie between these extremes,” the authors wrote.

Ester Sabino, a molecular biologist at the University of São Paulo, São Paulo, has launched a study to find reinfections in Manaus that could help decide between these hypotheses for P.1. Lab studies investigating the variants are also underway. The United Kingdom on 15 January launched a new consortium, G2P-UK (for “genotype to phenotype-UK”), headed by Wendy Barclay of Imperial College London, to study the effects of emerging mutations in SARS-CoV-2. One idea discussed at the 12 January WHO meeting is to set up a biobank that would aid studies by housing virus samples, as well as plasma from vaccine recipients and recovered patients.

Interactions between the new mutations may make it harder to tease out their effects. The variants from the United Kingdom, South Africa, and Manaus all share a mutation named N501Y, for instance, or Nelly, as some researchers call it. But the mutation, which affects the spike protein, also occurs in some variants that do not spread faster, suggesting N501Y does not operate alone, says Kristian Andersen of Scripps Research: “Nelly might be innocent, except maybe when she’s hanging with her bad friends.”

Bloom thinks none of the changes is likely to let the virus escape the immune response entirely. “But I would expect that those viruses have some advantage when a lot of the population has immunity”—which might help explain the surge in Manaus.

SO FAR THE VIRUS does not appear to have become resistant to COVID-19 vaccines, says vaccinologist Philip Krause, who chairs a WHO working group on COVID-19 vaccines. “The not-so-good news is that the rapid evolution of these variants suggests that if it is possible for the virus to evolve into a vaccine-resistant phenotype, this may happen sooner than we like,” he adds. That possibility adds to the urgency of putting good surveillance in place to detect such escape variants early on, says biostatistician Natalie Dean of the University of Florida.

Embedded Image

People line up to receive a COVID-19 vaccine in Birmingham, U.K.


Some scientists worry that proposed changes in vaccine dosing regimens could hasten the evolution of such strains. Desperate to tame a massive surge in cases, the United Kingdom on 30 December decided to allow up to 12 weeks between the first and second dose of two authorized vaccines, rather than the 3 or 4 weeks used in the vaccines’ clinical trials, so more people can get their first dose quickly and have at least some immunity. And the Trump administration decided to ship all available doses immediately, rather than holding back 50% to guarantee that people receive their second doses on time. That policy, which the Biden administration has said it will follow, could inadvertently extend the dosing interval if future vaccine deliveries don’t arrive or aren’t administered on time.

Widespread delays of the second dose might create a pool of millions of people with enough antibodies to slow the virus and avoid getting sick, but not enough to wipe it out. That could well be the perfect recipe for creating vaccine-resistant strains, says virologist Florian Krammer of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai: “If we end up with everybody just getting one dose with no doses available for a timely boost, that would in my opinion, be a problem.”

But others say unchecked spread of the virus poses greater risks. “It’s carnage out there,” says evolutionary microbiologist Andrew Read of Pennsylvania State University, University Park. “Twice as many people with partial immunity has got to be better than full immunity in half of them.” Historically, few viruses have managed to evolve resistance to vaccines, with the notable exception of seasonal influenza, which evolves so rapidly on its own—without vaccine pressure—that it requires a newly designed vaccine every year.

If vaccine-resistant SARS-CoV-2 strains emerge, vaccines might need to be updated. Several vaccines could be easily changed to reflect the latest changes, but regulators might balk at authorizing them without seeing updated safety and efficacy data, Krause says. If new variants circulate alongside older strains, multivalent vaccines, effective against several lineages, might even be needed. “To be clear: These are downstream considerations,” Krause says. “The public should not think that this is imminent, and that new vaccines will be needed.” But Ravindra Gupta, a researcher at the University of Cambridge, says manufacturers should start to produce vaccines designed to generate immunity to mutated versions of the spike protein, because they keep cropping up. “It tells us that we should have these mutations in our vaccines, so that you shut off one of the avenues for the virus to go down.”

For now, increased transmissibility is the biggest worry, says virologist Angela Rasmussen of Georgetown University. “I’m puzzled why [that] isn’t a bigger part of the conversation,” she says. The U.S. hospital system, she says, “is at capacity in many places and further increases in transmission can tip us over the edge where the system collapses. Then we’ll start seeing potentially huge increases in mortality.”

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