Want To Live Longer, Live Healthier? Who Doesn’t!

… Start by looking after your “telomeres”. These are the tiny end units of our DNA strands, which prevent the DNA from unraveling. (… Think of a shoelace which has it’s ends bound tightly.)  As our cells replicate our telomeres shorten. Longer telomeres lead to longevity. So how do we lengthen them?

Lengthen your telomeres, live longer & healthier with a few simple lifestyle adjustments:
  1. Improve your quality of sleep each night.
  2. Reduce stress with regular meditation and relaxation. 
  3. Exercise regularly and include HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) one to two times a week.
  4. Eat the right fats.  Include a small amount of good fats at each meal and snack, eg. nuts, seeds, avocado, olive oil, coconut oil, olives, deep-sea fish, fish oils.
  5. Keep vitamin D levels adequate.  Include deep-sea fish, eggs, mushrooms (grown in sunlight). Expose skin daily to sunlight to boost your own production of Vitamin D. In Summer you’ll need less time in the sun because of the higher UV Index. This varies a little depending on location and season of the year.
  6. Reduce levels of inflammation by avoiding or greatly reducing refined processed carbohydrates, deep-fried foods, alcohol, caffeine, added sugars including artificial sweeteners. Choose green leafy vegetables, quality protein, nuts, seeds, legumes, fruit & vegetables, free-range eggs, herbs.
  7. Reduce risk factors – quit smoking & recreational drugs, reduce alcohol intake, include daily movement and exercise.         … Does any of this sound familiar? 

Easy Steps to Feel Better Fast

Our brains are our control-centres, for decision-making and mood. Here are some easy steps to jump start your brain in the morning and feel better fast:

  1. Water your brain on rising – your brain is 80% water, so even the slightest dehydration can elevate stress hormones and impair physical power and focus. Your skin is a reflection of brain health. If your skin is dehydrated, so is your brain.
  2. Move your body – start your day with gentle stretching, walking or yoga to improve blood flow to your brain. 
  3. Eat brain food for breakfast – include high quality protein, such as eggs, fish, yoghurt or protein powder; some healthy fat like coconut, seeds & nuts, avocado, nut butters; along with some smart carbs, such as greens, berries and oats.
  4. Snack smart – eating a small am and pm protein-based snack, with some smart carbs (sustaining, low GI), will keep blood sugar evenly balanced, prevent sugar cravings and provide a boost of energy.
  5. Supplement with brain nutrients – fish oil, probiotics, magnesium and vitamin D all support brain health.

What We Should All Know about Homocysteine

Homocysteine is a protein that occurs naturally in our blood. Sometimes when it’s conversion is impaired due to nutritional deficiencies, homocysteine levels rise and this is dangerous to our health. These high levels have been linked with cardiovascular disease, migraine, cognitive decline, diabetes, osteoporosis and macular degeneration.

You can regulate your homocysteine levels by:

  1. reducing coffee intake to 1-2 cups per day.
  2. eating more fruit and vegetables to increase folate. Good sources of folate include green leafy vegetables like spinach, asparagus and broccoli, and fruits such as strawberries and blackberries.
  3. increasing vitamins B6 and B12.  Chickpeas, salmon, chicken, bananas, sweet potatoes, lentils and sunflower seeds are all good sources of these B vitamins.
  4. losing weight, if you are overweight.

Have your homocysteine levels checked the next time your doctor recommends a routine blood test. It should be 6 or lower for optimal health!

Boost Your Health with Apple Cider Vinegar!

Apple Cider Vinegar has been used in the kitchen and medicinally for a very long time. 

Here are 3 healthful reasons to keep a bottle on hand:

  1. Sore throat – gargle with a mix of apple cider vinegar and warm water, 1 Tbsp vinegar and 1/2 cup of water, to relieve a sore throat. Gargle and swallow. Can repeat this 2-3 times daily.
  2. Sinus congestion – gargling with apple cider vinegar also helps to break up and reduce mucous in the throat and sinuses, helping to curtail an infection.
  3. Acid reflux and heartburn – acid reflux results from having too little acid in your stomach. Improve your stomach acidity by taking 1 Tbsp of raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar in a glass of water daily. This can also help to improve intestinal spasms.

Other well documented uses include for weight loss, reducing blood sugar levels, skin irritations and even boosting energy. An excellent first aid product for everyone’s pantry!

3 Ways to Turn Back the Clock

Nothing ages a person more than a stooped posture and diminishing strength, ie. muscle wasting. Some side-effects of ageing include: decreased muscle mass and strength, limited mobility, reduced aerobic capacity, inflammatory diseases such as arthritis and osteoporosis, increased susceptibility to diabetes, and there is now clear evidence of the link between sedentary lifestyle and  memory loss. Both a sedentary lifestyle & poor food choices can be responsible for many of these changes.

3 Ways to Turn Back the Clock now:

  1. Put down the remote and pick up the weights! … Weight-bearing exercise 3-4 times a week helps build muscle strength, increases muscle tone or mass, builds bone density, increases mobility and improves both heart & cognitive function. It’s never too late to start – walk taller today! 
  2. Avoid skipping meals and/or short-cutting meals with poor alternatives.  …Improving dietary choices is important for providing the energy needed to perform exercise and recover adequately afterwards. If food intake is well-timed around daily exercise, you will discover the energy you never knew you had. Walk more energetically today!
  3. Weight training is great exercise for the brain as well as the body! … Lifting weights helps improve cognitive function by stimulating mental focus while performing the exercises. Walk with purpose and remember where you are going today!