Lifestyle Solutions for a Happy Healthy You!

Posts tagged ‘Conscious Consumer’

Is Organic Food More Nutritious Than Conventional? Large Study Says Yes.

Is Organic Food More Nutritious Than Conventional? Large Study Says Yes.

A meta-analysis published in the British Journal of Nutrition analyzing 343 studies that compare the nutritional value of organic to conventional produce delivers a pretty convincing verdict: organic produce IS better than food grown with pesticides.

The authors of the study found statistically significant differences between organic and non-organic crops, particularly in antioxidant values. Antioxidants are nutrients that destroy cell-damaging free radicals linked with aging and disease. In addition to higher levels of vitamins and minerals, certain other nutrients such as phenolic acids, flavanones, flavonols, and anthocyanins were 19%, 69%, 50%, and 51% higher in organic produce, respectively.

These compounds have been linked to a reduced risk of many chronic diseases, including heart disease, neurodegenerative diseases and some forms of cancer.

Not only are organic fruits and vegetables more nutritious than conventional produce, researchers found significantly lower levels of the highly-toxic heavy metal cadmium and pesticide residues. According to the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control, in animals, chronic ingestion of cadmium causes increased blood pressure, reduced blood flow to the limbs, and especially kidney disease.

According to the CDC’s Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, the kidneys are the primary organs targeted by chronic exposure to cadmium. Human studies show that there is a latency period of approximately 10 years after cadmium exposure before the onset of kidney damage, depending on intensity of exposure. Cadmium accumulates in the bones and reduces calcium absorption thereby affecting bone density.

While organic produce can be more expensive than conventional produce, you can save money by growing your own. You can also prioritize produce on the EWG’s “dirty dozen” list to reduce pesticide consumption.

By Michelle Schoffro Cook

Michelle Schoffro Cook, MSc, RNCP, ROHP, DNM, PhD is an international best-selling and 15-time book author and doctor of traditional natural medicine, whose works include: 60 Seconds to Slim, Weekend Wonder Detox, 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. Subscribe to her free e-magazine World’s Healthiest News at WorldsHealthiestDiet.com to receive monthly health news, tips, recipes and more.

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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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20 Houseplants to Clear Toxins From Your Home

20 Houseplants to Clear Toxins From Your Home

 

Bringing a bit of nature into your home does more than brighten the atmosphere. Introducing houseplants into various rooms in the house can help reduce the chance of getting seasonal sicknesses such as the common cold, remove airborne contaminants (volatile organic compounds [or VOCs]), reduce the chance of headaches, lift your mood, decrease your blood pressure, reduce allergies, improve sleep and much more.

The 20 plants listed below are specifically known for their air purifying properties.  And while an open window may feel like all the fresh air you need, did you know that everything from toilet paper to common household cleaners can contain chemicals and release toxins like formaldehyde? Or that VOCs like benzene can be released into the air by everything from the paint on your walls, to the printed material found in your home?

So why not breathe a bit easier and enjoy the beauty of a new houseplant at the same time!

(All plants listed will clear CO2 and may clear more VOCs than noted.)

 

1. Golden pothos (Scindapsus aures): Clears formaldehyde and other VOCs.

2. Ficus alii (Ficus maeleilandii alii): Good general air purifier.

3. Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum): Clears benzene, formaldehyde, carbon monoxide and xylene.

4. Lady Palm (Rhapis Excelsa): Good general air purifier.

5. Snake plant (Sansevieria trifasciata ‘Laurentii’): Clears formaldehyde.

 

6. Aloe: Clears formaldehyde and benzene.

7. Moth Orchid (Phalaenopsis): Clears formaldehyde.

8. Dwarf/Pygmy Date Palm (Phoenix roebelenii): Clears formaldehyde and xylene.

9. Chinese evergreen (Aglaonema Crispum ‘Deborah’): Clears air pollutants and toxins.

10. Chrysanthemum (Chrysantheium morifolium): Clears benzene.

 

11. Gerber daisy (Gerbera jamesonii): Clears trichloroethylene and benzene.

12. Red-edged dracaena (Dracaena marginata): Clears xylene, trichloroethylene and formaldehyde.

13. Weeping fig (Ficus benjamina): Clears formaldehyde, benzene and trichloroethylene

14. English ivy (Hedera helix): Clears airborne fecal-matter particles.

15. Azalea (Rhododendron simsii): Clears formaldehyde.

 

16. Heart leaf philodendron (Philodendron oxycardium): Clears formaldehyde and many other air pollutants.

17. Warneck dracaena (Dracaena deremensis ‘Warneckii’): Clears pollutants such as those associated with varnishes and oils.

18. Boston Fern (Nephrolepis exaltata Bostoniensis): Clears formaldehyde.

19. Bamboo palm (Chamaedorea sefritzii): Clears benzene, trichloroethylene and formaldehyde.

20. Peace lily (Spathiphyllum): Clears formaldehyde, benzene, trichloroethylene, toluene and xylene.

By Alisa Rutherford-Fortunati

Gentle World is a vegan intentional community and non-profit organization, whose core purpose is to help build a more peaceful society, by educating the public about the reasons for being vegan, the benefits of vegan living, and how to go about making such a transition. For more information about vegan food and other aspects of a vegan lifestyle, visit the Gentle World website and subscribe to our monthly newsletter.

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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

 

ring ~ 770-393-1284

 

write ~ info@healthyhighway.org

 

visit ~ www.HealthyHighway.org

 

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10 Ways to Increase Your Odds of Surviving a Plane Crash!

10 Ways to Increase Your Odds of Surviving a Plane Crash

 

Plane crashes seem rare these days, but as last week’s vivid incident on the  San Francisco runway reminds us, they still do happen and the results can be  fatal. Since I am in the Florida Keys with my daughter and we are flying across  the country in a few days, the San Francisco accident admittedly gave me a  scare.  Fortunately, I came across an interview with Ben Sherwood, the  author of The Survivor’s Club: The Secrets and Science that Could Save Your  Life, which included smart tips for increasing your odds that you will  survive a plane crash – if you happen to be so unlucky as to be in one. As it is  the summer travel season, I thought I would share Mr. Sherwood’s and other  experts’ potentially life-saving tips with you:

1. Maybe the most important tip: Sit as close to an exit as possible. A study  by University of Greenwich’s Ed Galea, an expert on how people react and  survive in emergency situations, examined the seating charts of over 100 plane  crashes and discovered that those within 5 rows of the emergency exits had much  better odds of survival than those farther away from exit doors. Aisle  seats are also statistically safer than other seats as it allows you to exit the  plane faster than people in middle and window seats.

2. Galea also found that seats at the back of the plane were safer  statistically than those in the front (sorry, First Class). Passengers in  the tail  of the airplane enjoy a 40% higher survival rate than those in the first few  rows.

3. Always keep your seatbelt snugly buckled when sitting in your seat. “Snug” is the operative word here: Every centimeter of slack in your  belt triples the G-Force your body will experience in the crash.  Also, keep your belt low on your pelvis, rather than your abdomen, as your bones  can handle impact better than your soft internal organs.

4. Pay attention to “Plus Three / Minus Eight.” This is aviation lingo  referring to the first three minutes of being airborne and the last eight. Why  is this time frame important? Eighty percent of all crashes happen in this  eleven-minute window. Rather than take off your shoes, snooze or pick-up a  magazine, pay close attention during take-off and landings for any signs that  something may be amiss.

5. On average you have 90 seconds to exit a burning plane before the aluminum  hull of the aircraft is no longer protective. Leave luggage, purses and laptops  behind. Also, remove high-heeled shoes. Smoke is one of the biggest threats to  plane crash survivors, so if possible, place a cloth over your nose and mouth as  a rudimentary filter.  Again, if possible, for added protection make the  cloth wet before using.

6. Sherwood emphasizes that how you react to an emergency situation and  how prepared you are has significant bearing as to whether you will survive it  or not. Easier said than done, but do not panic. Panic, says Sherwood, is the  enemy of survival. Being prepared helps prevent panic. When boarding a plane  memorize where you are vis-a-vis the emergency exits. Formulate and VISUALIZE  your exit plan – for example what if the closest exit is not available, where is  the second closest exit? The third? Imagine yourself getting to the closest exit  and out to safety.  ”You are responsible for your life,” Galea warns, “If  you know what you’re doing, you’ve got a better chance of surviving.”

7. In most extreme emergencies, about 90 percent of people either panic or  freeze, while only 10 percent keep absolutely calm, are able to think clearly  and instruct others on how to save themselves. If you happen to be a  deer-in-the-headlights person or one who is prone to hysteria and you come in  contact with an Indiana Jones-type (i.e. calm, cool and collected), do your best  to follow his/her instructions.

8. Statistically people who are in better shape are more agile, more alert  and better able to escape. Also, being thin increases your survival chances in a  plane crash as you may be required to squeeze through tight spaces to safety.  While you are not likely to suddenly get in shape or become thinner for an  upcoming flight, you can choose to be as alert as possible. Do not drink alcohol  or take sleeping pills that will impair your ability to respond quickly in an  emergency, especially in those crucial minutes before take-off and landing.

9. Listen to those safety instructions before take-off, even if you have  heard the drill a hundred times. Have your children listen as well. Look at the  emergency card and consider the different impact positions that can be assumed  during a crash. A child has a different impact position than an adult. Bracing  upon impact makes a difference on survival rates. This was well demonstrated by  Discovery TV that crash tested a Boeing 727 in Sonoran Desert. They had the  Boeing 727 equipped with crash test dummies, dozens of cameras, sensors and a  crew of daring pilots, who parachuted from the plane minutes before the jetliner  careened into the ground.

10. Be positive – while accepting the worse case scenario. While you may feel  a sense of hopelessness in the advent of an impending crash or immediately  following a crash, remember that the survival rate of plane crashes is 95.7  percent! That is an incredibly high rate of survival for something as dramatic  as a plane crash.

After sharing his plane crash survival tips, Sherwood likes to reassure his  audience that actual crashes are highly unlikely and the odds are that you  will survive.  ”You could fly every day for the next 164,000 years and not  have an airplane crash,” he said. I don’t know about you, but I find that last  statistic the most comforting.  But in the advent of a crash, thanks to Mr.  Sherwood and others, I also feel more empowered that I can survive.

By Cherise Udell

Cherise Udell is a mom, clean air advocate, anthropologist and feline  aficionado with the nomadic habit of taking spontaneous sojourns to unusual  destinations.  Before her adventures in motherhood, she was an intrepid Amazon  jungle guide equipped with a pair of sturdy wellingtons and a 24-inch machete,  as well as a volunteer at a rainforest animal rescue  center.

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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

Healthy Lifestyle Coach, Artisan, Author

 

ring ~ 770-393-1284

write ~ info@healthyhighway.org

visit ~ www.HealthyHighway.org

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Study Links Roundup to Obesity, Cancer, and More…

Study Links Roundup to Obesity, Cancer, and More

 

A new study published in the peer-reviewed journal Entropy  indicates that glyphosate—the main ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup weed  killer—may be linked to gastrointestinal disorders, obesity, diabetes, heart  disease, depression, autism, infertility, cancer  and Alzheimer’s disease.

The study showed that glyphosate inhibits the function of enzymes that are  critical to enable the body to properly detoxify. Additionally, it also enhances  the damaging effects of other foodborne chemical residues and environmental  toxins.

According to the scientists who completed the study, “The industry asserts  (glyphosate) is minimally toxic to humans, but here we argue otherwise.” They  indicate that residues of glyphosate are found in foods that people are eating  on a regular basis, especially sugar, corn, soy and wheat.

The scientists behind this important study include: Anthony Samsel is a  retired science consultant and member of the Union of Concerned Scientists and  Stephanie Seneff who is a research scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of  Technology. They add that “Negative impact on the body is insidious and  manifests slowly over time as inflammation damages cellular systems throughout  the body.”

Pesticides have been found in many studies  to be toxic to the brain and nervous system of humans.

There is no good reason to use glyphosate or other toxic chemicals on lawns,  agriculture, or food.  Many of these chemicals used in creating “picture-perfect” lawns or in agricultural use are seeping into groundwater and  the residues find their way into our food supply.  The harm to living  organisms appears to outweigh any alleged benefits concocted by corporate  marketing departments.

Many scientists and environmentalists have been warning about the dangers of  glyphosate to plants, animals and people for many years.

Monsanto is the developer of Roundup herbicide as well as the  genetically-modified seeds that have been altered to withstand being sprayed by  Roundup.

For more information about toxins linked to cancer, check out Cancer-Proof.

By Michelle Schoffro Cook

Michelle Schoffro Cook

Michelle Schoffro Cook, MSc, RNCP, ROHP, DNM, PhD is an international  best-selling and 14-time book author and doctor of traditional natural medicine,  whose works include: 60 Seconds  to Slim, 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-magazine World’s Healthiest News at WorldsHealthiestDiet.com  to receive monthly health news, tips, recipes and more. Follow her on Twitter @mschoffrocook  and Facebook.

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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

Healthy Lifestyle Coach, Artisan, Author

ring ~ 770-393-1284

write ~ info@healthyhighway.org

visit ~ www.HealthyHighway.org

consult ~  www.healthyhighway.org/contact.html

chews ~ www.Chews4Health.com/Leesa

enjoy ~ www.Chewcolat.com

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Shocking “Health” Companies to Avoid in 2013

Shocking “Health” Companies to Avoid in 2013

 

When it comes to what you put in your body I believe you have a right to  know.  That includes when genetically-modified organisms (GMOs) are found  in foods you might be eating.  After all, GM foods increase the  risk of allergic reactions, antibiotic resistance, pesticide exposure,  reproductive damage, cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease and many  potential long-term health issues that we simply don’t know yet.  Human  ancestors may have lived on the planet for thousands of years but this is the  first time in our evolution that we’ve been unsuspectingly part of a long-term experiment with genetically-modified foods.

Even the World Health Organization and the American Medical  Association have spoken out about the need to phase out the use of antibiotics  in the making of genetically-modified foods.  And as for the  argument that genetic modification reduces pesticide exposure, a recent study  from Washington State University found that the use of herbicides has  increased by about 25 percent in the three main GM crops.

The problem isn’t just the genetically modified foods; it is also the  lack of transparency surrounding these foods. In North America and many  other places in the world, genetically modified organisms are not identified or  labelled on foods.  Recently California had the opportunity to force GM  foods to be labelled under Proposition 37.  Thanks to a massive campaign on  the part of corporations using GM foods, the bill was shot down.  Based on  the research of The Cornucopia Institute, here are some of the companies who  opposed this important legislation.  In other words, they don’t think you  have the right to know what is in the food you put in your body:

Naked Juice (owned by Pepsi-Co)

Back to Nature (Kraft)

Honest Tea (Coca-Cola)

Odwalla (Coca-Cola)

Simply Orange Juice (Coca-Cola)

Cascadian Farm (General Mills)

Muir Glen (General Mills)

Larabar (General Mills)

Kashi (Kellogg)

Morningstar Farms (Kellogg)

Gardenburger (Kellogg)

Bear Naked (Kellogg)

R.W. Knudsen (J. M. Smucker Co.)

Santa Cruz Organic (J. M. Smucker Co.)

Unilever (Ben & Jerry’s)

Horizon Organic (Dean Foods)

Silk (Dean Foods)

Similac (Abbott Nutrition)

Welch’s

Goya Foods

…and many more — for the full list of companies that collectively spent  millions to crush Prop 37 and stop your right to know what’s in your food, check  out The Cornucopia Institute’s website.

Of course, Monsanto, Dow Agrosciences and Bayer Cropscience are on the list  too but I don’t think many people would consider these corporations “health  companies.”  The companies above stood alongside Monsanto to prevent you  from knowing the harmful frankenfoods you’re eating while they continue to take  your money for their “health products.”  We’ve been inundated with  green-washing but “health-washing” is becoming just as common.

If you think you have a right to know when Frankenfoods are contained in the  foods you’re eating, tell these companies by voting with your dollars.   Avoid the “health food” companies on this list if you want to see  genetically-modified organisms labelled on foods.  Their parent companies  (in parentheses) have been spending their money to fight Prop 37.  No one should have the right to hide potentially-harmful substances in  your food without your knowledge.

Sign the Cornucopia Institute’s petition to get Frankenfoods labelled  here.

By Michelle Schoffro Cook

Michelle Schoffro Cook

Michelle Schoffro Cook, MSc, RNCP, ROHP, DNM, PhD is an international  best-selling and 14-time book author and doctor of traditional natural medicine,  whose works include: 60 Seconds  to Slim, 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-magazine World’s Healthiest News at WorldsHealthiestDiet.com  to receive monthly health news, tips, recipes and more. Follow her on Twitter @mschoffrocook  and Facebook.

 

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.

Healthier Food For the New Year

Healthier Food For the New Year

Healthier Food For the New Year

As I have written about before, the simplest way to support a healthy food system is to eat food grown by sustainable farmers or growers. This means buying from them and supporting them to keep them in business.

Sustainable farming not only improves an individual’s health, but also the health of our planet and even the economic health of a local community. What exactly is sustainable agriculture?

A simple definition comes from one of the preeminent organizations in the field, the University of California’s Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program.

“Sustainable agriculture integrates three main goals–environmental health, economic profitability, and social and economic equity.” For them, this means meeting the needs of the present without comprising the needs of future generations and stewardship of natural and human resources.

A great place to start is to think about what foods are in season, and where certain foods are grown. Whenever possible, eat seasonally and locally, like our ancestors did, by eating fresh fruits and vegetables when they are in season in your area or region. Locally grown, seasonal food doesn’t have to be transported as far as nationally or internationally grown food, so it cuts down on gas emissions, especially food that is transported by air, which releases tons of global warming emissions.

A great place to find out all about seasonal produce is Sustainable Table. They offer a guide that provides information on food miles and local eating from the Natural Resources Defense Council.

The great part is that they list every state and seasonal availability. A search on this tool found that even for the state of Wisconsin, where there is no winter produce available, there is produce available from neighboring states such as apples, carrots, lettuces, and more from Iowa and Minnesota.

One of the easiest ways to eat seasonally is to shop at a local farmers’ market. There are over 4,900 farmers’ markets in the United States, and you can find your local farmers’ market via several web sites including the USDA site, or at Local Harvest.

While it might not be possible for everyone to directly buy at a farm or farm stand, or farmers’ market year-round, you can help support a sustainable food system when you shop at your local supermarket. Ask for the kinds of fresh food that you want. Ask where your food is grown, who grew it, and when and how it was grown. Look for “Buy Local” campaigns and signs at your local supermarket, showing that the food was made in your region or state.

For those lucky enough to live in an area with farms and farm trails, go to them and take your children to teach them where their food comes from. Initiate a farm day at your school, or invite a farmer to talk at your school or community organization.

You can also join American Farmland Trust’s “No Farms No Food” campaign and support their work in preserving farmland and local food.

by Judi Gerber
Judi Gerber is a University of California Master Gardener with a certificate in Horticultural Therapy. She writes about sustainable farming, local foods, and organic gardening for multiple magazines. Her book Farming in Torrance and the South Bay was released in September 2008.

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