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10 Evidence-Based Health Benefits of Cinnamon

10 Evidence-Based Health Benefits of Cinnamon

Modern science has now confirmed what people have instinctively known for ages. Here are 10 health benefits of cinnamon that are supported by scientific research.

1. Cinnamon is High in a Substance With Powerful Medicinal Properties

Cinnamon is a spice that is made from the inner bark of trees called Cinnamomum.

It has been used as an ingredient throughout history, dating back as far as Ancient Egypt. It used to be rare and valuable, and was regarded as a gift fit for kings.

These days, cinnamon is cheap, available in every supermarket and found in all sorts of foods and recipes.

There are two main types of cinnamon (1):

  • Ceylon cinnamon: Also known as “true” cinnamon.
  • Cassia cinnamon: This is the more common variety today, what people generally refer to as “cinnamon.”

Cinnamon is made by cutting the stems of the cinnamomum tree. The inner bark is then extracted and the woody parts removed from it.

When it dries, it forms strips that curl into rolls, called cinnamon sticks. The sticks can be ground to form cinnamon powder.

This is what cinnamon looks like:

Cinnamon Sticks and Powder on Wooden Table

The distinct smell and flavor of cinnamon is due to the oily part, which is very high in a compound called cinnamaldehyde (2).

It is this compound that is responsible for most of cinnamon’s powerful effects on health and metabolism.

Bottom Line: Cinnamon is a popular spice. It is high in a substance called cinnamaldehyde, which is responsible for most of the health benefits.

2. Cinnamon is Loaded With Antioxidants

Antioxidants protect the body from oxidative damage caused by free radicals.

Cinnamon is loaded with powerful antioxidants, such as polyphenols (345).

In a study that compared the antioxidant activity of 26 spices, cinnamon wound up as the clear winner, even outranking “superfoods” like garlic and oregano (6).

In fact, it is so powerful that cinnamon can be used as a natural food preservative (7).

Bottom Line: Cinnamon contains large amounts of highly potent polyphenol antioxidants.

3. Cinnamon Has Anti-Inflammatory Properties

Inflammation in the body is incredibly important. It helps the body fight infections and repair tissue damage.

However, inflammation can become a problem when it is chronic (long-term) and directed against the body’s own tissues.

Cinnamon may be useful in this regard, because some studies show that the antioxidants in it have potent anti-inflammatory activity (3).

Bottom Line: The antioxidants in cinnamon have anti-inflammatory effects, which may help lower the risk of disease.

4. Cinnamon May Cut the Risk of Heart Disease

Cinnamon has been linked with reduced risk of heart disease, the world’s most common cause of premature death.

In people with type 2 diabetes, 1 gram of cinnamon per day has beneficial effects on blood markers.

It reduces levels of total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, while HDL cholesterol remains stable (8).

More recently, a big review study concluded that a cinnamon dose of just 120 milligrams per day can have these effects. In this study, cinnamon also increased HDL (the “good”) cholesterol (9).

In animal studies, cinnamon has been shown to reduce blood pressure (3).

When combined, all these factors may drastically cut the risk of heart disease.

Bottom Line: Cinnamon can improve some key risk factors for heart disease, including cholesterol, triglycerides and blood pressure.

5. Cinnamon Can Improve Sensitivity to The Hormone Insulin

Insulin is one of the key hormones that regulate metabolism and energy use.

Girl Smelling Cup of Coffee

It is also essential for the transport of blood sugar from the bloodstream and into cells.

The problem is that many people are resistant to the effects of insulin.

This condition, known as insulin resistance, is a hallmark of serious conditions like metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes.

Well, the good news is that cinnamon can dramatically reduce insulin resistance, helping this incredibly important hormone to do its job (1011).

By helping insulin do its job, cinnamon can lower blood sugar levels, which brings us to the next point…

Bottom Line: Cinnamon has been shown to significantly increase sensitivity to the hormone insulin.

6. Cinnamon Lowers Blood Sugar Levels and Has a Powerful Anti-Diabetic Effect

Cinnamon is well known for its blood sugar lowering effects.

Apart from the beneficial effects on insulin resistance, cinnamon can lower blood sugar by several other mechanisms.

First, cinnamon has been shown to decrease the amount of glucose that enters the bloodstream after a meal.

It does this by interfering with numerous digestive enzymes, which slows the breakdown of carbohydrates in the digestive tract (1213).

Second, a compound in cinnamon can act on cells by mimicking insulin (1415).

This greatly improves glucose uptake by cells, although it acts much slower than insulin itself.

Numerous human trials have confirmed the anti-diabetic effects of cinnamon, showing that it can lower fasting blood sugar levels by up to 10-29% (161718).

The effective dose is typically 1-6 grams of cinnamon per day (around 0.5-2 teaspoons).

Bottom Line: Cinnamon has been shown to both reduce fasting blood sugar levels, having a potent anti-diabetic effect at 1 to 6 grams per day.

7. Cinnamon May Have Beneficial Effects on Neurodegenerative Diseases

Neurodegenerative diseases are characterized by progressive loss of the structure or function of brain cells.

Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease are two of the most common types.

Two compounds found in cinnamon appear to inhibit the buildup of a protein called tau in the brain, which is one of the hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease (192021).

In a study looking at mice with Parkinson’s disease, cinnamon helped to protect neurons, normalize neurotransmitter levels and improve motor function (22).

These effects need to be studied further in humans.

Bottom Line: Cinnamon has been shown to lead to various improvements for Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease in animal studies.

8. Cinnamon May Be Protective Against Cancer

Cancer is a serious disease, characterized by uncontrolled growth of cells.

Vintage Cookbook With Cinnamon Sticks

Cinnamon has been widely studied for its potential use in cancer prevention and treatment.

Overall, the evidence is limited to test tube experiments and animal studies, which suggest that cinnamon extracts may protect against cancer (2324252627).

It acts by reducing the growth of cancer cells and the formation of blood vessels in tumors, and appears to be toxic to cancer cells, causing cell death.

A study in mice with colon cancer revealed cinnamon to be a potent activator of detoxifying enzymes in the colon, protecting against further cancer growth (28).

These findings were supported by test tube experiments, which showed that cinnamon activates protective antioxidant responses in human colon cells (29).

Whether cinnamon has any effect in living, breathing humans needs to be confirmed in controlled trials.

Bottom Line: Animal studies and test tube experiments indicate that cinnamon may have protective effects against cancer.

9. Cinnamon Helps Fight Bacterial and Fungal Infections

Cinnamaldehyde, the main active component of cinnamon, may help fight various kinds of infection.

Cinnamon oil has been shown to effectively treat respiratory tract infections caused by fungi.

It can also inhibit the growth of certain bacteria, including Listeria and Salmonella (3031).

The antimicrobial effects of cinnamon may also help prevent tooth decay and reduce bad breath (323334).

Bottom Line: Cinnamaldehyde has antifungal and antibacterial properties, which may reduce infections and help fight tooth decay and bad breath.

122442788

10. Cinnamon May Help Fight The HIV Virus

HIV is a virus that slowly breaks down the immune system, which can eventually lead to AIDS if untreated.

Cinnamon extracted from Cassia varieties is thought to help fight against HIV-1 (3536).

This is the most common strain of the HIV virus in humans.

A laboratory study looking at HIV infected cells found that cinnamon was the most effective treatment of all 69 medicinal plants studied (37).

Human trials are needed to confirm these effects.

Bottom Line: Test tube studies have shown that cinnamon can help fight HIV-1, the main type of HIV virus in humans.

It is Better to Use Ceylon (“True” Cinnamon)

Not all cinnamon is created equal.

The Cassia variety contains significant amounts of a compound called coumarin, which is believed to be harmful in large doses.

All cinnamon should have health benefits, but Cassia may cause problems in large doses due to the coumarin content.

Ceylon (“true” cinnamon) is much better in this regard, and studies show that it ismuch lower in coumarin than the Cassia variety (38).

Unfortunately, most cinnamon found in supermarkets is the cheaper Cassia variety.

You may be able to find Ceylon in some health food stores, and there is a good selection on Amazon.

Take Home Message

At the end of the day, cinnamon is one of the most delicious and healthiest spices on the planet.

It can lower blood sugar levels, reduce heart disease risk factors, and has a plethora of other impressive health benefits.

Just make sure to get Ceylon cinnamon, or stick to small doses (no more than 0.5-2 teaspoons a day) if you’re using the Cassia variety.

Leesa recommends using organic cinnamon!

By Joe Leech, Authority Nutrition.

AuthorityNutrition.com – a site that helps people make informed decisions about their health based on the best scientific evidence available.

Photo credit: Thinkstock

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Would feeling fantastic every day make a difference in your life?  

Healthy Highway is a Healthy Lifestyle Company offering Lifestyle Solutions for a Happy Healthy You!   We help people who are…

  • Wanting Work Life Balance.
  • Needing Stress Relief.
  • Concerned about their health and the environment.
  • Frustrated battling allergies to gluten, foods, dust, chemicals, pollen.
  • Overwhelmed with choosing the best products for their body, home, and office.
  • Unsatisfied with their relationships with the men and women in their life and are ready to transform them into satisfying, happy partnerships.
  • Standing at a Career Crossroad.
  • Preparing to start a family and want a healthy baby.
  • Seeking solutions for aging, more energy, and a good night’s sleep!

Are any of these an issue or problem for you?  Would it make sense for us to spend several minutes together to discuss your needs and how HealthyHighway can meet them? As a Healthy Lifestyle Coach with an emphasis on allergies and wellness, Leesa teaches her clients to make informed choices and enables them to make needed changes for a Happy Healthy Lifestyle. What you eat, what products you use ~ on your body and in your home and office, how you talk to yourself ~ it all matters!

Contact me today and Start today to live a healthier, happier life!  Don’t live in Atlanta?  Not a problem.  We do virtual coaching worldwide!

I look forward to helping YOU Live a Happy Healthy Life!  Remember, Excellent Health is found along your way, not just at your destination.

Live Well!

Leesa A. Wheeler

Leesa A. Wheeler

Healthy Lifestyle Coach, Artisan, Author of two books…
     Melodies from Within ~ Available Now! 
    Available on Amazon, Barnes&Noble, GooglePlay, iTunes

Member International Association for Health Coaches 

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9 Amazing Health Benefits of Strawberries

9 Amazing Health Benefits of Strawberries

Fragrant and sweet, strawberries are one of the most popular types of berry in the world — and for good reason. Read below to learn how these little sweet hearts can benefit the organ they resemble — the heart — and more.

  • Reduce Risk of Cardiovascular Disease: According to a Harvard School of Public Health study, women who eat three or more servings of strawberries a week have a lower risk of suffering a heart attack. Strawberries contain the dietary flavonoid anthocyanin, which may benefit the heart by improving blood flow and countering the build-up of plaque, reducing blood pressure and inflammation. The fiber and potassium in strawberries also support heart health.

  • Anti Inflammatory: The colorful pigments of berries (polyphenols) are known to have antioxidant activity. Strawberries lower blood levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), a signal of inflammation in the body. Antioxidants and phytochemicals found in strawberries may also help to reduce inflammation of the joints, which can cause arthritis and can also lead to heart diseaseResearch suggests we have to eat 3 or more servings of strawberries to reap these benefits, so eat up!

  • Anti Cancer: The flavonoid content in strawberries causes the body to interfere with the stages of development of cancer cells, preventing their ability to multiply. Cancer benefits from strawberries are best documented in cases of breast, cervical and esophageal cancer.

  • Antioxidant Powerhouse: Studies suggest that consumption of berry fruits, including strawberries, may have beneficial effects against oxidative stress mediated diseases such as cancer. Strawberries are one of the most highly concentrated antioxidant fruits. Antioxidants help fight carcinogens and LDL, the bad cholesterol which can lead to heart disease. The powerful antioxidants in strawberries work against free radicals, inhibiting tumor growth and decreasing inflammation in the body.

  • Blood Pressure: Due to their high potassium content, strawberries are recommended to those with high blood pressure to help negate the effects of sodium in the body. A low potassium intake is just as big of a risk factor in developing high blood pressure as a high sodium intake.

  • Immunity Boosting: 1 serving, about 8 strawberries or 1 cup, provides more vitamin C than an orange, about 85mg, or 150% of your daily requirement.

  • Nutrient Dense: The massive nutrition packed into these sweet little guys might warrant “superfood” status. Strawberries are a very good source of dietary fiber (3 grams per cup), iodine and folate. Plus, they are a good source of copper, potassium, biotin, phosphorus, magnesium, vitamin B6 and omega-3 fatty acids.

  • Aid in Weight Management: Strawberries’ low calorie and high nutritional content make them an excellent choice to include in your diet when watching your weight. They also contain anthocyanins which stimulate the burning of stored fat in the body to use as fuel.

  • Help the brain: Studies suggest that antioxidant-rich berries, including strawberries, may help improve learning and reverse age-related cognitive decline.

Who knew that this sweet little fruit could pack so much nutritional punch! Shopping tip: choose medium-sized berries that are firm, plump and deep red; once picked, they don’t ripen further. As you’re estimating your serving size, keep in mind that 8 large strawberries count as 1 cup. I hope you enjoy this healthy recipe. It’s a perfect summer breakfast or late night treat! Enjoy!

By Magda Rod

Magda Freedom Rod is a yogini and health & lifestyle guide based in Los Angeles. She writes about health & wellness and offers guidance for a sustainable lifestyle. Learn more on her website Visionary-Lifestyle.com.

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Excellent Health is found along your journey and not just at your destination. Would it make sense for us to spend several minutes together to discuss your Health Issues or Problems and how HealthyHighway can help YOU Live YOUR Optimum Life? Please complete the information on our Contact Us page to schedule your consultation today! I look forward to helping YOU Live YOUR Optimum Life!

Live Well!

Leesa A. Wheeler

Leesa A. Wheeler

Healthy Lifestyle Coach, Artisan, Author

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Eat 9 Walnuts a Day to Keep Stress at Bay

Eat 9 Walnuts a Day to Keep Stress at Bay
Walnuts are a wonder nut, that offer almost too many health benefits to count. Here is a quick list: Walnuts are a rich source of dietary fiber, antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids. These compounds work together to help you sleep better, reduce hair loss, prevent diabetes, improve complexion and  lower your risk of certain cancers. But did you know: walnuts are an excellent anxiety-reducing food, too. A first-of-its-kind Penn State University study found that walnuts and walnut oil can reduce blood pressure during periods of stress.  In this study, 22 adults with elevated levels of “bad” cholesterol were put on three different diets for six weeks each. At the end of the study, the three groups were put under mildly stressful situations such as making a speech and dipping a foot in a bucket of ice-cold water. Their blood pressure was measured both before these activities and soon after. Here is what researchers found: The group that was given 9 walnuts and a tablespoon of walnut oil as part of their diet had much lower levels of both resting blood pressure and stress-induced blood pressure.
According to statistics provided by the American Psychological Association, more than 77% of Americans admit to regularly experiencing physical symptoms caused by stress. Since stressful situations cannot be avoided altogether, eating a handful of delicious walnuts and including walnut oil in your daily diet seems like a comforting idea.
By Shubhra Krishan

Writer, editor and journalist Shubhra Krishan is the author of Essential Ayurveda: What it is and what it can do for you (New World Library, 2003), Radiant Body, Restful Mind: A Woman’s book of comfort (New World Library, 2004), and The 9 to 5 Yogi: How to feel like a sage while working like a dog (Hay House India, 2011).

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Excellent Health is found along your journey and not just at your destination. Would it make sense for us to spend several minutes together to discuss your Health Issues or Problems and how HealthyHighway can help YOU Live YOUR Optimum Life? Please complete the information on our Contact Us page to schedule your consultation today! I look forward to helping YOU Live YOUR Optimum Life! Live Well! Leesa Wheeler

Leesa A. Wheeler Healthy Lifestyle Coach, Artisan, Author

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The Surprising Reason Chocolate is SO Healthy!

The Surprising Reason Chocolate is SO Darn Healthy

Chocolate is something of a miracle food — it can ease depression, boost circulation, lower blood pressure, and even help you lose weight. In a strange correlation, it could even make you more likely to win a Nobel Prize! To think, all of this bang in one, tiny, delectable package. But, why? How do the compounds in chocolate react in our bodies to produce such dramatic results? The answer lies within you.

In keeping with the wave of interest in our microbiomes and their effect on our health, recent research shows that the good bacteria in our stomachs, like Bifidobacterium, actually thrive on chocolate. That’s right, your good bacteria love chocolate just as much as you do. Within these bacteria, the chocolate gets fermented and converted into various, anti-inflammatory compounds. These anti-inflammatories then travel throughout the body, spreading their good cheer, so to speak, to the heart, brain, blood, and beyond.

These findings, unveiled at a recent meeting of the American Chemical Society, come from research associated with the cocoa solids — cocoa powder — so no sugar was present (which feeds less desirable gut dwellers). The powder is known to contain several antioxidants, known as polyphenols, and a bit of fiber — which keeps it moving along when digested. All of this makes bitter cocoa an ideal fuel for the hungry, friendly bacteria in your digestive system — and you can be sure they will pass on the benefits to you. Their feast can result in higher endorphins, less depression, and enhanced heart health, among countless other benefits, for you. A couple of teaspoons of cocoa powder in your smoothie might be just the trick to balance out health and deliciousness for a perfect breakfast!

Remember, not all chocolate is created equal. If you opt for a chocolate bar, be sure it is dark, as in 85% or greater. Too much sugar could negate the benefits. If that’s too bitter for your taste, add a small dollop of raw honey to very dark chocolate for a double-whammy of health benefits and palatable sweetness.

Without your microcosm of gut bacteria, chocolate might not pose nearly as many benefits to your health. Keep your gut balanced with probiotics and a balanced diet — and make sure to give your micro-critter friends a big thank-you with a health-boosting treat of dark chocolate once in a while.

( Leesa recommends Vivani organic 85% dark choclate)

By Jordyn Cormier

Jordyn Cormier

Jordyn is a choreographer, freelance writer, and an avid outdoors woman. Having received her B.F.A. in Contemporary Dance from the Boston Conservatory, she is passionate about maintaining a healthy body, mind, and soul through food and fitness. A lover of adventure, Jordyn can often be found hiking, canoeing, mountain biking, and making herself at home in the backcountry! Check out what else Jordyn has been up to at jordyncormier.com.

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Excellent Health is found along your journey and not just at your destination. Would it make sense for us to spend several minutes together to discuss your Health Issues or Problems and how HealthyHighway can help YOU Live YOUR Optimum Life? Please complete the information on our Contact Us page to schedule your consultation today! I look forward to helping YOU Live YOUR Optimum Life!

Live Well!

Leesa Wheeler

Leesa A. Wheeler

Healthy Lifestyle Coach, Artisan, Author

ring ~ 770-393-1284

write ~ info@healthyhighway.org

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 as-seen-on

4 Food Strategies to Boost Brain Function

4 Food Strategies to Boost Brain Function

While there are many positive aspects to aging, we’re more familiar  with the  things that can go wrong. For all the wisdom we gain from  experience, we’re  more apt to worry about memory loss. We fret over  rusty neurotransmitters and  cloudy thinking.

So we diligently do crossword puzzles, wrestle with brainteasers and  learn  to play musical instruments — for the intrinsic joy, of course,  but also to  help inoculate our brains against negative age-related  changes. These are  helpful pursuits, but they’re not the only ones that  matter. In fact, if we  want to build a better brain, what we choose to  eat and drink might make the  biggest difference of all.

The following food-based strategies can help any brain function better — whether that brain is 9 years old or 90.

Hydrate

Proper hydration is a critical factor in maintaining and improving  your mind  as you age. “Your brain is 80 percent water,” says Daniel  Amen, MD, a clinical  neuroscientist and author of Use Your Brain to Change Your Age: Secrets to Look, Feel,  and Think Younger Every Day (Crown,  2012). “Even slight dehydration  increases the body’s stress hormones,  which can decrease your ability to think  clearly. Over time, increased  levels of stress hormones are associated with  memory problems.”

While the amount of hydration you need day-to-day depends on several   factors, including activity level, relative humidity and eating habits  (to name  only a few), the oft-repeated advice to drink 64 ounces — or  eight 8-ounce  glasses — of water a day isn’t a bad general rule to  follow. Keep in mind,  however, that you can account for those ounces in  several different ways. If  you’re eating a lot of vegetables and fruits,  for example, you may need to  drink less water. Most fresh plant foods  have a high water content and will  help keep you hydrated.

While the feeling of thirst is a good indicator you need to hydrate, if the only time you grab a glass of water is when you’re noticeably thirsty,  you  may not be drinking enough for optimal health. That’s because that  “thirsty feeling” kicks in only when your body is already a bit  dehydrated. The  best approach to hydration is a conscious, proactive  one. So, drink up! (For  more on proper hydration, see Drink to Your Health.)

Fight Free  Radicals

If you leave a bottle of wine open too long, it will oxidize and  become  stale. If your car is exposed to the elements for too long, its  exterior may  rust. Just as wine degrades and metal rusts, the cells in  our brains and  bodies degrade over time when they are exposed to free  radicals.

Free radicals are unstable molecules that are generated in the body  as a  byproduct of other natural internal processes, such as the  metabolizing of food  or the triggering of an immune response by a  bacteria or virus.

Free-radical molecules are unstable because they have an uneven  number of  electrons, which prefer to be in pairs. So in an effort to  restabilize  themselves, free radicals roam the body stealing electrons  from healthy cells.  When that happens, the formerly healthy cells, now  short an electron, head out  on their own searching for a replacement  electron, thus inciting an unhealthy  chain reaction of stolen electrons  throughout the body. It is that cascade of “electron theft” that causes  the cellular damage or “rust” in our brains and  bodies.

Antioxidants are free-radical scavengers. They fight the corrosive  effects  of free radicals by quieting their search for additional  electrons. You can  build up your antioxidant power by eating more  vegetables: Broccoli, cabbage,  cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, spinach,  kale and chard all pack a powerful  punch in the fight against  free-radical damage.

Garlic, too, is a powerful antioxidant, and it also has antibacterial  and  antifungal qualities. Fruit is another ally. Blueberries brim with   antioxidants, as do raspberries, blackberries and strawberries. Red  grapes  contain high levels of the potent antioxidants resveratrol and  quercetin. (So,  too, by extension, does red wine; in moderation, it may  offer some antioxidant  protection.)

Spices and herbs are also powerful weapons in the fight  against free radicals.  Cumin, cloves, cinnamon, turmeric, mustard, ginger,  oregano, basil,  sage, thyme and tarragon are rife with antioxidants. Look for  recipes  that call for these, or add a dash of cinnamon, turmeric or ginger to a  cup of tea. Green, white and black teas contain antioxidants, too, so by   pairing tea with spices, you’ll get a double dose of antioxidant power.

Ditch Processed  Foods

The vast majority of unhealthy, age-amplifying foods are processed  foods.  One of the main dangers of processed foods? Added sugar.

Each year, Americans consume an average of 150 pounds of sugar per  person — much of it in processed foods, says Nancy Appleton, PhD,  coauthor of Suicide by Sugar (Square One, 2009). And that is  not good news for brain health.

Overconsumption of sugar has been linked to depression and dementia disorders  such as  Alzheimer’s. It also increases inflammation and raises insulin levels  in  a way that can suppress the immune system, increasing your  vulnerability to  a host of additional diseases of brain and body.

Remember, too, that high-glycemic carbohydrates (also called “simple   carbs”), which proliferate in processed foods, act like sugar in the   bloodstream.

Processed foods also contain more than their fair share of unhealthy  fats.  While the human brain needs healthy fats to function — such as  those found in  nuts, avocados, and coconut and olive oil — bad fats like  trans fats and highly  processed commercial vegetable oils have been  linked to depression and other  mood disorders. These fats interfere with  the metabolism of essential fatty  acids in brain-cell membranes, which  can harm some of the neurotransmitters  responsible for mood, focus and  memory.

Boost Key  Nutrients

Dietary supplements can play a key role in healthy brain functioning. Here  are some of the top brain-boosting supplements:

Vitamin D. Studies have shown that vitamin D can protect against dementia, a range of  autoimmune disorders, cancer,  high blood pressure and many other illnesses. Our  bodies produce vitamin  D in response to sunshine, but most people don’t get  adequate daily sun  exposure — especially if you live in a northern climate.

Omega-3s. Daily supplementation with fish oil, one  of the  best sources of omega-3 fatty acids, can give your brain a big  boost.  High-quality fish oil, free from mercury and other toxins,  provides the omega-3  fatty acids that sheath brain cells and facilitate  healthy brain functioning.  Omega-3s also help fight inflammation, which  tends to occur in our brains as we  age. Studies have shown that some of  the other nutrients in fish oil, such as  DHA and EPA, help provide  protection against depression, stabilize mood and  promote alertness.

CoQ10. Short for coenzyme Q10, CoQ10 is a molecule  that  works in concert with other nutrients to improve the functioning of  all the  cells of the body. Many recent studies have linked CoQ10 with  boosting overall  energy and sharpening cognition. (For more on CoQ10,  see CoQ10:  The Miracle Molecule.)

One of the most common myths about aging is that memory inevitably  declines.  But I know from the growing body of scientific evidence that  age-related  decline in brain function isn’t a foregone conclusion. If  you nurture your  brain with the right nutrients, you will help it remain  flexible, resilient and  strong. So, next time you sit down for a meal  or reach for a snack, think of  your future brain, and choose wisely!

By Michael J. Gelb, Experience Life

Experience Life magazine is an award-winning health and fitness  publication that aims to empower people to live their best, most authentic  lives, and challenges the conventions of hype, gimmicks and superficiality in  favor of a discerning, whole-person perspective. Visit experiencelife.com   to learn more and to sign  up for the Experience Life newsletter, or to subscribe  to the print or digital version.

3 Power Foods for Healthier Skin

3 Power Foods for Healthier Skin

 

Our skin is our biggest organ, which means it’s mega-important for all us beauties to keep it in top-notch condition. Luckily for us, we can do this by simply eating! I know, I’m excited about this concept too!

So what foods will give your skin that healthy, clear, youthful, radiant glow? Well, read on, sister, because I’m about to break down 3 of the best foods that will make your skin look better than it ever has.

Avocados

Mmmmm guacamole. It’s the first thing that pops into my head when I think about avocados, and maybe that’s because it might just be the yummiest way to ingest your daily intake of healthy fats. I usually use it as a side with egg whites to kick off my day, but you can also use them to top salads or as an alternative to mayo on sandwiches.

And not only do avocados taste awesome, but they are also one of the best foods to help with complexion issues. Thanks to their high (healthy) fat content, they help to keep your skin hydrated and are also packed with anti-inflammatory properties that help to calm down any puffiness your skin might be experiencing.

Tomatoes

If you want to turn back the clock on your skin and help battle premature aging, start incorporating tomatoes into your diet.

Not only are they a great source of vitamins, but they also help to promote the production of collagen, improve skin hydration, and strengthen your skin cells, all of which are necessary to help fight those annoying little lines and wrinkles.

Salmon

While summer weather makes us crave being outside, the sun damage can really take a toll on our skin. Luckily, we can eat salmon, which is rich in Omegas and antioxidants. They help to nourish our skin, fight against free radicals, and increase our naturally radiant glow.

And if you really want to amp up your Omega intake, consider leaving the skin on your salmon, as that’s where the majority of the fats and oils are found.

Not only will your skin feel healthy, but you should notice it feeling softer, firmer, and more hydrated, as well as having a more even tone to it.

And just in case that isn’t enough benefits for one little fish, salmon also helps to battle any PMS symptoms we ladies might experiences. Not bad for a tasty meal that can be eaten baked, grilled, pan fried, or broiled.

If you try to incorporate these 3 power foods into your regular diet, you should notice your skin looking healthier, younger, firmer, and more naturally radiant. Just make sure you combine these ingredients with a skin cleansing system that is right for your specific skin type. Now that’s one skin regimen I can stick to!

 By Molly, selected from DivineCaroline

At DivineCaroline.com, women come together to learn from experts in the fields, of health, sustainability, and culture; to reflect on shared experiences; and to express themselves by writing and publishing stories about anything that matters to them. Here, real women publish like real pros. Together, with our staff writers, they’re discussing all facets of women’s lives from relationships and careers, to travel and healthy living. So come discover, read, learn, laugh and connect at DivineCaroline.com.

3 Super-Healing Summer Melons

3 Super-Healing Summer Melons

 

Cantaloupe for Healthy Eyes

The orange color gives away some of this fruit’s healing ability. One cup of  cantaloupe contains enough beta-carotene to provide your full daily intake of  vitamin A. Beta-carotene converts into vitamin A which is proven to reduce the  risk of cataracts by 50 percent.  Cantaloupe also contains enough  antioxidants to reduce the risk of macular degeneration.

Honeydew for a Dewy Complexion

Honeydew melon (the green-fleshed one) is a natural source of the mineral  copper, which assists in skin repair and skin cell regeneration. Additionally,  this melon is rich in vitamin C which helps boost collagen levels. Collagen  tends to become depleted as we age, causing wrinkling. Eating more honeydew  melon may help prevent small lines and wrinkles.

Watermelon for a Healthy Prostate and Liver

Tomatoes aren’t the only food that contains high amounts of the phytonutrient  lycopene. So does watermelon. Lycopene is known for its prostate protecting,  anti-aging, and disease-thwarting powers.  Watermelon contains the  important nutrient glutathione that helps to detoxify the liver. Water is also  showing promise as an alternative to Viagra for erectile dysfunction. Keep an  eye out for my upcoming article “The Fruit that Works like Viagra” for more  information.

By Michelle Schoffro Cook

Michelle Schoffro Cook, MSc, RNCP, ROHP, DNM, PhD is an international  best-selling and 12-time book author and doctor of traditional natural medicine,  whose works include: Healing  Recipes, The Vitality Diet, Allergy-Proof, Arthritis-Proof, Total Body  Detox, The Life Force Diet, The  Ultimate pH Solution, The 4-Week Ultimate Body Detox Plan, and The Phytozyme  Cure.  Check out her natural health resources and subscribe to her free  e-newsletter World’s Healthiest News at WorldsHealthiestDiet.com  to receive monthly health news, tips, recipes and more. Follow her on Twitter @mschoffrocook  and Facebook.

 

7 Super-Healing Summer Berries

7 Super-Healing Summer Berries

 

Berries are a delicious addition to any diet.  But,  taste is not the only reason to love them.  Here’s why you should add these  seven super-healing summer berries to your diet:

Blackberries

Loaded with vitamin C, blackberries also contain ellagic acid—an important  phytonutrient that protects skin cells from damaging UV rays. Ellagic acid also  prevents the breakdown of collagen in the skin that occurs as we age and is  linked to wrinkling.

Blueberries

Blueberries are phytonutrient powerhouses.  They  contain: anthocyanins, ellagic acid, quercetin, catechins, and salicylic acid.  If the latter sounds familiar, you may recognize it as the drug we’ve come to  know as Aspirin. That’s right—blueberries contain natural aspirin, but in this  beautiful and delicious packaging offered by Mother Nature, there’s no worry  about harmful side effects. What’s more, blueberries are proven to reduce heat  shock proteins that are linked with some forms of brain disease, making these  little marvels potent weapons in the prevention of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s  disease as well as other neurological disorders.

 

Loganberries

A cross between blackberries and raspberries, these berries  strengthen blood  vessels, making them an excellent addition to help  fight heart disease or  varicose veins. They contain rutin, which  research shows strengthens  capillaries and improves circulation. They  look like long raspberries.

Currants

Currants contain gamma-linolenic acid that inhibit the body’s histamine—the  allergic response in reaction to pollens. That makes them great to help you  avoid or eliminate sinus congestion and itchy eyes linked to seasonal allergies.  Since they are tart, you might enjoy them best mixed with other berries.

Raspberries

Raspberries are still my favorite fruit. Raspberries, like other  berries,  contain an important compound that is 10 times more effective  at alleviating  inflammation than aspirin. Containing the phytonutrient  ellagic acid,  raspberries can help protect against pollutants found in  cigarette smoke,  processed foods, and may neutralize some cancer-causing  substances before they  can damage healthy cells. They’re delicious on  their own, in a fruit salad, in  a smoothie, or on top of a green salad.

 

Gooseberries

Gooseberries—the berries that resemble green grapes—help you to feel  happier.  In recent research in the journal Experimental  Neurobiology,   scientists found that gooseberries contain a flavonoid  called   kaempferol that prevents the breakdown of brain hormones serotonin and   dopamine. These brain chemicals naturally help us fight stress and keep   our  spirits up.

Strawberries

More than delicious, when it comes to disease prevention, these babies pack a  serious punch. Not only do eight strawberries contain more vitamin C than an  orange, they are antioxidant powerhouses. Whether you want to evade heart  disease, arthritis, memory loss, wrinkling, or cancer, these berries have proven  their ability to help. Plus, they’re just so easy to get into your diet on a  regular basis.

By Michelle Schoffro Cook

Michelle Schoffro Cook, MSc, RNCP, ROHP, DNM, PhD is an international  best-selling and twelve-time book author and doctor of traditional natural  medicine, whose works include: Healing Recipes, The Vitality Diet,  Allergy-Proof, Arthritis-Proof, Total Body Detox, The  Life Force Diet, The Ultimate pH Solution, The 4-Week Ultimate Body Detox Plan,  and The Phytozyme Cure.  Check out her natural health resources and  subscribe to her free e-newsletter World’s Healthiest News at WorldsHealthiestDiet.com.

Image credit (loganberry): ndrwfgg / Flickr

9 Reasons to Drink Green Tea Daily

9 Reasons to Drink Green Tea Daily

Have you been wondering “what’s all the fuss about green tea?” Now you can stop wondering and start drinking…green tea, that is. This flavorful beverage offers many health benefits to anyone who drinks it regularly. Green tea contains a potent plant nutrient known as epigallocatechin gallate, or EGCG, for short. But don’t fret, you don’t have to keep track of its chemical name to reap the health benefits. Here are 9 reasons to start drinking green tea or continue drinking it if you’re already hooked.

1. Green tea is a superb fat fighter. Its active ingredient, EGCG, increases the rate at which fat is burned in your body.

2. It targets belly fat. Research at Tufts University indicates that EGCG in green tea, like other catechins, activate fat-burning genes in the abdomen to speed weight loss by 77 percent.

3. It keeps energy stable by balancing blood sugar levels. EGCG improves insulin use in the body to prevent blood sugar spikes and crashes that can result in fatigue, irritability, and cravings for unhealthy foods.

4. Research shows it may be helpful against lung cancer. In an April 2010 study published in Cancer Prevention Research, EGCG was found to suppress lung cancer cell growth.

5. It may halt colorectal cancer. In numerous other studies, EGCG appears to inhibit colorectal cancers.

6. In research it appears to cause prostate cancer cells to commit suicide. A March 2010 study in Cancer Science indicated that EGCG aids the body by causing prostate cancer cells to commit suicide.

7. It may prevent skin damage and wrinkling. EGCG appears to be 200 times more powerful than vitamin E at destroying skin-damaging free radicals. Free radicals react with healthy cells in the body, causing damage so lessening their numbers may help reduce wrinkling and other signs of aging.

8. It contains a potent antioxidant that kills free radicals. Because it is a potent antioxidant it can positively impact a lot more than skin cells. Free radicals are increasingly linked to many serious chronic illnesses like arthritis, diabetes, and cancer.

9. It tastes good. If you’re not wild about the flavor, try a few different kinds. Try it iced or hot. Add some of the natural herb stevia to sweeten it if you want a sweeter drink. I wasn’t crazy about green tea the first few times I tried it, but now I love it with a fresh squeeze of lemon and a few drops of stevia over ice–et voila! Green tea lemonade. Mmmmm.

Reap the Rewards
Add one or two teaspoons of green tea leaves to a cup of boiling water, preferably in a tea strainer. Let steep for five minutes. Pour over ice if you prefer a cold beverage. Most experts recommend three cups daily. And, don’t worry it contains a lot less caffeine than coffee or black tea.

(Leesa recommends Organic India Tulsi Green Tea!  www.organicindia.com!)

By Michelle Schoffro Cook

Copyright Michelle Schoffro Cook. Adapted with permission from The Life Force Diet.

Michelle Schoffro Cook, MSc, RNCP, ROHP, DNM, PhD is an international best-selling and eleven-time book author and doctor of traditional natural medicine, whose works include: The Vitality Diet, Allergy-Proof, Arthritis-Proof, Total Body Detox, The Life Force Diet, The Ultimate pH Solution, The 4-Week Ultimate Body Detox Plan, and The Phytozyme Cure. Check out her natural health resources and free e-newsletter at www.WorldsHealthiestDiet.com.

12 Surprising Reasons to Eat More Blueberries

12 Surprising Reasons to Eat More Blueberries

1.  Catechins found in blueberries activate fat-burning genes in abdominal fat cells to assist with weight loss, and belly fat loss in particular.  According to research at Tufts University, regularly ingesting catechins increases abdominal fat loss by 77 percent and double total weight loss.

2.  They contain a group of natural phytonutrients (plant nutrient) called proanthocyanidins which have a unique ability to protect both the watery and fatty parts of the brain against damage from some environmental toxins.

3.  Blueberries are one of the richest sources of proanthocyanidins.  These phytonutrients decrease free radicals levels that are linked to aging (yes wrinkling!) and disease.

4.  In animal studies, those given an extract of blueberries had less motor skill decline and performed better on memory tests than animals not given the blueberries.  Researchers conclude that compounds in blueberries may reverse some age-related memory loss and motor skill decline.

5.  Blueberries are packed with vitamins C, E, riboflavin, niacin, and folate.

6.  They are a rich source of the phytonutrients ellagic acid.  Ellagic acid has proven anticancer and genetic-material-protection capabilities.  It also encourages a healthy rate of apoptosis—how the body seeks out and destroys harmful or damaged cells, like cancer cells.

7.  Because they contain plentiful amounts of the phytonutrient quercetin, they may reduce the likelihood and severity of allergies.

8.  Blueberries contain minerals like iron, magnesium, manganese, and potassium.

9.  Blueberries contain salicylic acid—the natural version of aspirin.  Salicylic acid is known to thin the blood and reduce pain.

10.  Blueberries are excellent anti-inflammatory agents.  They increase the amounts of compounds called heat-shock proteins that decrease as people age.  When heat shock proteins decrease the result is inflammation and damage, particularly in the brain.  Research shows that by eating blueberries regularly, inflammation lessens.

11.  They increase the production of feel-good dopamine.  Dopamine is a natural neurotransmitter (brain messenger) that tends to be low in Parkinson’s.

12.  They just taste great.  Ok, this is no surprise but it’s a great reason to eat blueberries anyway.

(Leesa recommends eating organic or pesticide free blueberries!  She also recommends Chews4Health which is a convenient way to eat your blueberries…learn more at www.chews4health.com/Leesa)

by Michelle Schoffro Cook

Adapted from The Life Force Diet by Michelle Schoffro Cook.

Michelle Schoffro Cook, MSc, RNCP, ROHP, DNM, PhD is an international best-selling and eleven-time book author and doctor of traditional natural medicine, whose works include: The Vitality Diet, Allergy-Proof, Arthritis-Proof, Total Body Detox, The Life Force Diet, The Ultimate pH Solution, The 4-Week Ultimate Body Detox Plan, and The Phytozyme Cure. Check out her natural health resources and free e-newsletter at www.WorldsHealthiestDiet.com.

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