7 Foods With Anti-Aging Nutrients

This is an article from ChangeThatUp.com 

If you’re over 40 (I’m way past that) and want to defy each passing year while promoting more youthful hair, nails and skin, the below 7 foods will help you stock up on some of the most powerful anti-aging nutrients around.

1.  Olive Oil – Not only do the monounsaturated fats contained in olive oil support healthy arteries and a healthy heart, but olive oil also contains polyphenols, a potent anti-oxidant that may help prevent a number of age-related diseases.  We recommend organic extra virgin olive oil for the most anti-aging bang for your buck.

2.  Red Wine – That’s right, a glass of wine daily may indeed have a positive effect on your health due to its resveratrol content, a unique anti-oxidant that can help fight against diabetes, heart disease, and age-related memory loss.

3.  Beans – The unique proteins in beans thicken and strengthen your hair cells, so you can enjoy a full head of hair as you lengthen your years. (I’m obviously not eating enough beans! 🙂

4.  Brazil Nuts – Brazil nuts are rich in selenium, a mineral which aids in the production of the anti-oxidant glutathione to help slow down the skin aging process.  Just 2 nuts a day will provide you with enough selenium to reap its anti-aging benefits.

5.  Tomatoes – Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, which has been shown to support heart health and healthy cholesterol levels as you age.  Lycopene also acts as a natural sun block to keep skin youthful and protected from harmful UV rays.

6.  Raspberries & Blueberries – These two berries contain important anti-oxidants to help offset inflammation and oxidative stress that contribute to skin aging and wrinkles.  Just one serving of either or these berries contains more anti-oxidants than 10 servings of most other fruits and vegetables!

7.  Organic Eggs – Despite the bad rap eggs get because of their cholesterol content, which is based on completely erroneous science, eggs are rich in biotin and iron which help to promote healthy, youthful skin and hair.

To Your Youth,

Change That Up

10 Ways To Cut Down On Sugar

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I have recently been pointing out the negative effects sugar has on our physical and emotional health. If you have missed those articles take a look at http://bit.ly/1RlGVCR and http://bit.ly/1RyC1iR  and also http://bit.ly/1WJFlMs to get a better understanding of how important it is to avoid sugar as much as is practical. And I do want to stress being practical. I have cut down on my sugar intake drastically over the past five months and I feel much better. I have more energy and my mind is more alert. But during this time I have learned how difficult it is. There are the obvious ones like deserts that we all love; cakes, pies, donuts, CHOCOLATE, and candy. Reducing these is simple but hard. It just takes a mindset shift and discipline. The really tricky ones are the added sugars in so many of our foods today, both from the grocery and from restaurants. Food companies and chefs know what we Americans like and they know we love sugar. When they add sugar we enjoy it and buy more. And, as I pointed out in my other articles, it is addicting so the more we eat the more we crave. The more we crave the more the market responds by supplying it. It is a vicious cycle that we need to derail. So here are the ten ways I have used to cut down on my sugar intake. Hopefully they will work for you.

  1. Don’t go cold turkey – the whole premise of this blog is that we can make small healthier decisions each day and, over time, succeed at living healthier and happier lives. I recommend incremental changes even though you are actually breaking an addiction. Determine that you will eliminate one type of food or drink at a time such as sodas, candy or added sugar in your morning coffee. After a week or so of conquering that you can target something else. Start small and as you build momentum you will feel more in control.
  2. Change what you drink – this is the one area that, for most people, will make the most drastic difference in cutting down on sugar. According to the experts, sugary drinks are one of the top sources of sugar in our diet. For example, a mere 12 ounces of Mountain Dew delivers 52 grams of sugar and the same amount of grape juice has 58 grams. Orange juice has 33 grams of sugar and about 20 grams in Gatorade. And who stops at 12 ounces anymore? Learn to enjoy filtered water and you will be glad you did.
  3. Plan your meals and snacks ahead of time – success comes easier when you are organized and intentional about your food. Deciding in advance what you will eat will help you make good decisions, especially when you find those hunger pangs and junk food cravings sneak up on you. Have healthy snacks handy to avoid cramming handfuls of Thin Mints in your mouth. Also, eating regularly will keep your blood sugar levels stable.
  4. Choose fresh whole foods – the closer a food is to its original form, the less added sugar it will contain. Food in its natural state provides more and better nutrition and variety will feed your body and mind exactly what they need. Eating more vegetables and meats with a moderate amount of fruits will give you more energy and better focus. Your digestive system works much better and your body fights diseases more efficiently. Grabbing convenience foods from the freezer or snack isles will only increase your cravings for more of the same.
  5. Read labels – as I mentioned earlier, sugar is hiding everywhere! And, unfortunately, it changes its’ name often. Sugar can be in the form of honey, agave, high fructose corn syrup, fructose, sucralose, sucrose, maltose, dextrose and most any other “ose”. The list of ingredients begin with the substance that is the highest concentration to the lowest concentration so if one of these sugar variants is high on the list it spells danger.
  6. Incorporate healthy fat and protein in each meal – they control blood sugar levels and make you feel full, satisfying your cravings. Eating too many carbs is like putting yourself on a roller coaster ride; your blood sugar zooms up shortly after you eat, then goes crashing down after a short time. you then find yourself hungry again and you start all over. Breakfast is the biggest challenge to avoid the bagel/cereal/toast/pastry ride. Check out my earlier blog on healthy breakfast choices at http://bit.ly/1pIVU0S
  7. Get the rest you need – trying to survive the day feeling tired and run down will not give you the resources your mind and body need to resist the temptation to go back to old habits. This can be hard and you need to be rested to make it past the first few days and weeks.
  8. Remove the temptation – get all your favorite sweets and junk food out of the house and out of those secret stashes at work. Cutting down on sugar is easier if you have to go in search of it.
  9. Get plenty of physical activity – you will be in a much better state of mind if you are more active. This can also take your mind off the sweet cravings if you are able to get up and walk or move around a bit when the urge hits you.
  10. Begin with a detox – this will help to reset your appetite and decrease your sugar cravings from the very beginning. I did this later in the process and wished I had done it earlier. Our bodies, especially our digestive systems, are so bombarded with toxins from our food, the air, the chemicals we slather onto our skin and just our environment that we must detox periodically to stay healthy and strong. I offer one with Advocare that does an excellent job but is mild enough not to disrupt your normal day to day life. It is the first phase of our 24 Day Challenge. Order it here; http://bit.ly/1UlHlNp

I hope this helps in your quest to be healthier and happier. It really is important to avoid sugar as much as possible and practical. Living healthy is all about understanding how our daily lifestyle decisions affect us and knowing how to prioritize the positive changes we strive to make. We can succeed!

10 Benefits Of Regular Physical Activity

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I have outlined several good, basic exercise routines in the past but never really went into much detail about the benefits of regular physical activity. I would like to remedy that today by discussing the top 10 benefits of regular physical activity here. These are based on all my research as well as my experience over the years. At the end I will also share an interesting revelation many people are unaware of.

  1. Stronger Heart – regular physical activity will make your heart stronger. It boosts HDL (good) cholesterol and reduces LDL (bad) cholesterol reducing blood pressure and keeping your blood flowing. Efficient blood flow improves overall health and reduces risk of heart attacks as well as stroke. When your heart pumps blood more efficiently you have more energy to accomplish your daily activities.
  2. Stronger Lungs – regular physical activity builds up the lungs, increasing lung capacity sending more oxygen to your vital organs, including the brain. Yes, more is better.
  3. Improves Mental and Emotional Health – the increased oxygen to the brain will improve your ability to think and reason. Your thinking is clearer and sharper enhancing your productivity. Also, endorphins are released that interact with receptors in your brain that trigger a positive feeling making you happier. Serotonin is also released during physical activity which improves your mood reducing the possibility of depression. Also, as you get into better physical condition you will look healthier and will feel better about yourself boosting your self-esteem.
  4. Better Sleep – regular physical activity will make it much easier to fall asleep and will deepen your sleep. Not only does physical activity energize you during the day it allows your body to relax better during sleep. Just don’t exercise too close to bedtime. That will have the opposite effect and will energize you at the wrong time.
  5. Stress Relief – regular physical activity will help you reduce your overall stress levels by helping to dissipate the lactic acid that accumulates in the blood. It will ease built-up muscular tension helping you feel more relaxed.
  6. Reduces Risk of Cancer – many studies have shown regular physical activity reduces the risk of certain cancers, specifically colon cancer, breast cancer, endometrial cancer, and lung cancer. Also beneficial is regular physical activity while fighting cancer in the body. It increases energy levels, stamina and, in some cases, actually enhances the body’s ability to fight the cancer.
  7. Reduces Risk of Diabetes – being an active person reduces the risk of Type 2 Diabetes. Physical activity improves the way the body regulates glucose and reduces the spikes in blood sugar levels.
  8. Lowered Risk of Osteoporosis – your bones are constantly being rebuilt in a dynamic process involving the removal of old bone and regeneration of new, healthy bone. Weight-bearing exercise puts tension on your muscles and more pressure on your bones which respond by continuously creating fresh, new bone.
  9. Decreases Arthritis Symptoms – regular physical activity keeps joints flexible and helps you build muscle to support your joints. Better supported joints reduces arthritis symptoms.
  10. Weight Control – regular physical activity is vital to controlling your weight, whether you are working to reduce your weight or simply maintaining. It burns calories and everyone knows calories are the enemy. In the midst of all the hype and confusion surrounding weight control it is actually quite simple; burn more calories than you consume. Regular physical activity assists in that goal. Yes, there are many products on the market which help you do that, the very best are available through my website http://bit.ly/1XJ7o3b ,but when it all boils down to it they all do the same thing. They help you reduce your caloric intake and assist your body in turning those calories into energy, not fat.

And now the revelation I mentioned in the first paragraph; weight control is far more dependent upon eating wisely as compared to exercising. Some experts gauge it at 90% eating and 10% physical activity. I lean more to 80% and 20%. But it’s clear that weight control is overwhelmingly dependent upon what you eat and how much you eat.

That being said, as you read above, regular physical activity has many more benefits than weight control and is extremely important to overall physical, mental and emotional health. I will even go so far as to say, you cannot rise to your full potential in life without it. Your body can survive but not thrive, your brain can function but not flourish, your emotions can be stable but not robust.

I can go on and on but in conclusion I want to point out that I repeat “regular physical activity” on purpose rather than “exercise”. Many people never set foot in a gym or health club but get plenty of regular physical activity by participating in activities they enjoy. Find something you enjoy and make it a habit.

Common Sense Health Advice

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When I began this blog two months ago my goal was to provide simple common sense ideas and guidelines to help people live healthier lives. There is so much noise in the media surrounding fitness and healthy living, much of it contradictory, and it is frustrating for the average person to determine which is solid advice and which is hype.

Most of the people I know are very busy with a demanding career and are also focused on spending time with their families and teaching their kids about life and success, supporting them in all their endeavors. They barely have time to take care of themselves and give their spouses the attention they deserve.

There are so many simple things we can practice and turn into habits that will help us feel better, look better and live longer. Just making some slight changes to our eating habits can have a big impact over time, especially if we adopt the mindset of continuous improvement. Just a few physical activities each week will keep the body functioning properly and efficiently and if we can find a few things we enjoy doing we will stick with it long-term.

Nobody wants to wake up one day and completely change everything they do and change all the bad habits they have developed over many years that make them comfortable. But small changes every day give us a sense of control and as we succeed we are empowered to do more and do better. As we do better we feel better and we find ways to improve those habits that will eventually transform our lives. It is a process that lasts a lifetime.

I never intended this to be for the person who is training for the Olympics or who wants to be a professional athlete. Just the average guy who struggles to make time in the week to be active so they can get and stay fit.

I hope you are learning something along the way and have come to realize that being healthy is not so hard after all. If I can answer any questions or help you follow through with your goals just let me know. We all need each other to help us be accountable to our commitments.

5 Healthy Benefits Of Eating Blueberries

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I have written about eating fruit including blueberries but have discovered that this tasty little jewel is one of the healthiest of fruits. They are especially high in anthocyanins which are compounds of the flavonoid family which possess anti-carcinogenic properties. And the cool thing is it is enhanced when the berries are frozen by making them more easily absorbed.

The berries actually have their sharp, blue color because of the anthocyanin in the tissue. Organic berries already have higher nutritional content than non-organic, but freezing them can actually improve on these 5 benefits:

  1. Improves Heart Health

Eating frozen blueberries can significantly lower your risk of heart disease. This is because the nutrients regulate and relax the elasticity of your arteries in the vascular wall, keeping them from getting damaged. This also improves your blood flow, giving you a healthy blood pressure in the process.

  1. Reduced Risk of Alzheimer’s Disease & Other Forms of Dementia

The anthocyanin in the berries can actually improve your memory functions, and protect your brain against cell damage and loss. The berries can also improve your nerve cell growth, and make communication easier between nerve cell processes. This actually slows down the rate that they age, and ultimately, die.

  1. Improves Nervous System Health

The antioxidants in blueberries provide your nerve cells with protection. They also keep your brain healthy from the various forms of pollutants that it’s exposed to every day. They basically create a safeguard around your nervous system to keep it healthy and strong for a longer period of time.

  1. Improves Motor Function

Older adults, who are suffering from impaired movements (70+ years), generally perform and behave more function after eating frozen blueberries. They also show heightened cognitive ability, which translates into improved motor ability in comparison to other men and women in the same age group.

  1. Improves Digestion

The antioxidants in blueberries protect your digestive tract from damage occurred outside sources. What’s scary is, many people who lack antioxidants in their diets consequently develop cancer as a result of poor gastrointestinal health. People at risk of developing colon cancer should definitely bring more frozen blueberries into their diets.

Blueberries are already very healthy, but freezing them allows you to get the benefits in a higher concentration than refrigeration. They will taste the same, but will be much healthier after being frozen for a few days.

So next time you go to the shop buy a couple extra packs for freezing or better yet, start growing some blueberry bushes around your home if possible and share with the neighborhood.

When We Succeed

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When we succeed, it feels good. Especially when we have set a goal and have worked toward that goal and have accomplished something good. We feel this in our career. We may feel it in sports or in a hobby. Or just working around the house and fixing things.

But, can we attain that same feeling of success with our health? It seems so very confusing when we read about a new study telling us we are eating something or doing something harmful. And often it contradicts a study done last year which is why we started eating that or doing that in the first place! Grains are good, protein is bad. Uh-oh, grain turns to sugar and protein now builds muscles. Eggs have artery-clogging cholesterol and grilling causes cancer. No, that was last year. Now we don’t worry about high cholesterol and grilling is still better than frying.

So how do you negotiate your way through all the contradictory messages? That’s my goal here. To guide folks to common sense health habits that will serve them well for many years. Because common sense is the best kind.

I love the question Zig Ziglar frequently asked his audience “Does anyone here own a race horse worth over one million dollars?” No one would raise their hand and he would then ask “If you did have a million-dollar racehorse would you let him stay up half the night, drinking coffee and booze, smoking cigarettes and eating junk food? Would you treat a $10 dog or a $5 cat that way? What about a billion dollar body?”

Of course, living healthy is not always easy. It takes discipline and focus. It requires planning ahead and making hard choices. And sometimes it will seem like it is not worth the effort and sacrifice. But it is. And together we can stay on track to feel better and have more energy to enjoy life.

DO YOU WANT TO BE HEALTHIER?

9 Rules for Better Health

How are you doing with your New Year’s Resolutions?

We are halfway through this “new year” and much of the excitement we had in January to do better, be better, and take control of our lives has faded away. I have always loved the new year and the idea of starting over with the goal of continuous improvement. Being better. Doing better. Learning and growing. I always expect to make some changes and do things differently and better in the new year. But change is hard. It takes commitment and determination. Something most of us struggle with. But it can be done.

You are reading my first installment of my new blog. My goal is to help us all learn and grow and get better in every way. I will be sharing ideas and insights about health and being healthier physically, emotionally and spiritually. My feelings are that, being in the information age, we have heard and read enough to know what to do and how to act to achieve the goals we want for ourselves. We know we shouldn’t sit down and stuff an entire bag of Lays in our mouth while we watch some meaningless sitcom. Dr. Phil explained that one to us years ago. And it’s probably not a good thing when the employees at the local Krispy Kreme not only know us by name and favorite donut but they know who our kids are dating. Maybe a bit too much time being spent at the donut shop?

We also know we should include more physical activity in our lives. And we really should be reading more. Inspiring and uplifting stuff, especially the Bible.

We simply need help to do what we know we need to do. That is where I hope I can help. It’s why I titled this blog “When We Succeed”. Because we can succeed at better. We just need help and support. An encouraging word occasionally.

My hope is to be an inspiration with my random thoughts through words, videos, podcasts, articles and any other media I think might help us all. I’m not a doctor, nutritionist or psychologist. I’m not a famous body builder or fitness consultant, in fact I’m not a famous anything. But I have been around long enough and have paid attention to what works and what doesn’t as I am sure you have. Just want to do better and maybe I can help you do the same. Please let me know if I am helping in any way and if you have a subject you would like for me to cover. I appreciate your time. Continue reading