Category Archives: Healthier Life
by Gigi Chow N.D.
(NaturalNews) Diet, as a major environmental factor, has been shown to have a profound effect on many aspects of health. Specifically caloric restriction (CR) has been shown to expand the maximal lifespan of many species. While CR has not been proven to increase lifespan in humans, CR has also been shown to delay a wide range of aging-associated diseases, such as cancer, diabetes, atherosclerosis, cardiovascular diseases and neurodegenerative diseases in higher mammals, such as nonhuman primates and humans. CR may therefore increase longevity by favorably influencing broad aspects of human health.
Although some define CR as a 30 to 40 percent reduction in calorie intake (as determined by daily energy expenditure) there is no “official” definition of caloric restriction, and investigations have revealed CR benefits can still occur with less-restrictive caloric intakes. The National Institute on Aging (NIA) sponsored a randomized, human clinical study to assess the safety and efficacy of CR in non-obese but overweight, healthy individuals. Researchers followed overweight, middle-aged (average age, 37) individuals for six months who reduced their daily caloric intake by 25 percent or by 12.5 percent with an additional 12.5 percent caloric expenditure from exercise. Both intervention groups demonstrated reduced body weight and abdominal fat, as well as reduced liver fat deposits and DNA damage. In addition, the participants were able to improve two markers of longevity (reduced body temperature and reduced fasting plasma insulin), as well as reduce cardiovascular risk factors (LDL, triglycerides, and blood pressure).
Similar results have also been observed from another study on slightly older 50-60-year-old non-obese, overweight volunteers after one year of CR. However, some of the older volunteers also experienced decrease in muscle mass, strength, and aerobic capacity. Exercise is therefore very important for this age group in order to minimize these consequences.
Ways CR may improve longevity
There are many hypotheses on how CR minimizes aging-associated diseases and improve longevity. Possible mechanisms include protection from oxidative damage, increased cellular and DNA repair, reduction in the inflammatory molecules and therefore inflammation that may be responsible for a wide range of conditions from cancer to cardiovascular diseases and neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s.
Resveratrol may mimic CR
The significant impact of CR on delaying aging and preventing aging-related diseases has motivated efforts to identify natural or synthetic compounds that mimic the effects of CR. Resveratrol is such a compound that has garnered much research as a CR mimicker. Resveratrol is a compound found in the skin of red grapes and it is a potent antioxidant. Studies have revealed promising and universal effects of resveratrol by favorably increasing cellular detoxification, protecting DNA damage, modulating metabolic processes such as blood sugar and insulin regulation and inhibiting tumor formation and growth, all of which significantly improve human health and lead to increased human lifespan.
While there is no specific and definite composition of the CR diet, the potentially significant reduction in caloric intake requires the consumption of nutrient-dense foods, and the avoidance of “empty” calories from foods such as white flour and refined sugar. It is also important to mention that the focus of CR is on health and longevity and not merely weight loss. When adopted long-term, the CR lifestyle may be a simple way to prevent various potentially debilitating diseases and promote longevity.
Sources for this article include:
About the author:
Dr. Gigi Chow is currently in private practice in New York City.
by Sarka-Jonae Miller
(NaturalNews) The five Tibetans are a unique sequence of yoga poses reputed to be the key to longevity. According to legend, the sequence was created by Tibetan monks in a Himalayan monastery and then brought into the world by British Army Colonel Bradford. The colonel was amazed by the monks’ vitality and superior health. They credited their religious observances, simple diet and the five Tibetans.
1. Whirling Dervish
The first of the five Tibetans is a standing exercise. To perform this exercise, stand up straight with your arms held out to your sides at shoulder height. Spin to the right and keep looking forward. Let your vision blur as you spin. Breathe deeply into your abdomen. Slowly work up to 21 spins.
2. Tibetan leg lifts
The second of the five Tibetans is similar to an abdominal exercise called leg lifts. To begin, lie on your back with your legs straight and your arms at your sides. Touch your legs together. Inhale as you lift your legs until they are perpendicular with the floor. Raise your head off the floor at the same time, bringing your chin toward your chest. Exhale as you lower your head and legs back to the floor. Work up to 21 leg raises.
3. Moving through camel pose
The third of the five Tibetans promotes flexibility of the spine and gently stretches the back, chest, abdomen and neck. The exercise is similar to camel pose used in other styles of yoga but is a less extreme back bend.
To perform the exercise, kneel on the floor and relax your arms against your sides. Your back is straight with your hips, shoulders and knees in line. First, exhale and bend your chin toward your chest. Then, inhale as you bend your head back to look up and you gently arch your lower back. Slide your hands up to your lower back as you bend backwards. Repeat up to 21 times.
4. Staff to upward plank pose
The fourth exercise combines two popular yoga postures, the staff pose and a variation of upward plank pose. The exercise strengthens the wrists, arms, core and legs.
To begin, sit with your legs together and straight in front of you. Place your hands on the floor next to your buttocks with your fingers pointing forward and flex your feet toward your shins. This is staff pose. Inhale as you bend your knees and raise your hips off the floor. Lift up until your spine is parallel to the floor and your knees are in line with your ankles. Look at the ceiling. Exhale as you lower back into staff pose. Perform up to 21 repetitions.
5. Down dog to cobra pose
The fifth exercise moves from downward-facing dog pose to cobra. The Tibetan exercise strengthens the arms, shoulders and chest while also stretching the abdomen, shoulders and legs.
To begin, assume push-up position with your hands shoulder-width apart. Inhale and press your hips up toward the ceiling. Your arms and legs are straight. Push your heels down and align your neck with your spine. This is down dog. Exhale as you lower your hips and arch your back. Lift your chest to face forward as you tilt your head to look up. Your hips are inches from the floor and your arms are straight. Perform up to 21 reps.
Starting off the day with the five Tibetans provides energy and increases alertness. The sequence can also provide a burst of energy in the afternoon or evening, when many people’s energy levels drop.
About the author:
Sarka-Jonae Miller is a former personal trainer and massage therapist. Get more health and wellness tips on Sarka’s blog, www.naturalhealingtipsblog.com
By: Jeff Csatari
It’s hard to make big changes in life. The energy and time commitment is often too great. That’s why so many Americans still struggle with their health. The problem isn’t knowing what to do; it’s doing it. So why not take the opposite approach? Forget about such grand, amorphous goals as losing weight or getting in shape. Instead, aim to drink the leftover milk in your cereal bowl each morning to get more vitamins, or hold your fork in your non-dominant hand to slow your eating, or “forget” your glasses the next time you’re at the gym so you won’t get distracted. Little tips like these can make a big difference over time.
Decorate Your Plate
A 14-year study found that men whose diets were highest in fruits and vegetables had a 70 percent lower risk of digestive-tract cancers. How to reach your quota: Never eat a meal that doesn’t contain a vegetable or fruit. And no, fries don’t count.
Dry-Brush Your Teeth
It cuts tartar by 60 percent and also reduces the risk of bleeding gums by half. Use a dry, soft brush to scrub the insides of your top and bottom teeth, then buff the outer surfaces. Rinse, spit, and brush briefly with toothpaste.
Never Skip Breakfast
A survey of more than 2,000 people who lost an average of 67 pounds and kept the weight off for more than 5 years found that 78 percent ate breakfast 7 days a week.
Eat More Pasta
Two to four servings of tomato sauce a week can cut your prostate-cancer risk by 34 percent.
Judge Cholesterol with Contact Lenses
A diet full of fat, protein, or alcohol weakens your tears’ ability to block cholesterol from adhering to the lenses. This results in cloudy deposits. If your diet is destroying your contacts, just imagine what it’s doing to your arteries.
Go Fishing Once a Week
Eating one serving of fish per week can halve your risk of a sudden fatal heart attack. The secret ingredient in fish is omega-3 fatty acids. Salmon is especially high in them.
Protect Your Erection with Blueberries
They contain compounds that improve circulation, and they’re loaded with artery-scrubbing soluble fiber. Eat your berries fresh or in a smoothie three times a week.
Request the Chilean Red
To reduce your risk of cancer, drink red wine from Chile. Chilean cabernet sauvignon is 38 percent higher than French wine in flavonols, which are antioxidants that plunder cancer-causing free radicals.
Lend a Hand
Men who do volunteer work at least once a week have half the death rate of those who don’t.
Crunch Away Back Pain
Seventy-five percent of all lower-back problems can be prevented by building your abdominal muscles. Aim for a dozen crunches every day.
Order Thin-Crust Pizza
It has a third fewer calories than thick-crust pie. Blot the cheese with a napkin to cut even more fat.
Skip That Second Cup
The caffeine in 2 cups of coffee adds 16 beats per minute to your heart rate.
Save Your Marriage
An unhappy one increases your chance of getting sick by 35 percent and shortens your life expectancy by 4 years.
Exercise Depression Away
Exercising for 40 minutes can reduce stress. In fact, studies show that working out on a regular basis can be as effective as taking antidepressants like Prozac.
Fall Asleep with Cherries
Cherries and cherry juice are concentrated sources of melatonin, a popular over-the-counter sleep aid.
Put a Shoe on Your Pillow
It’ll determine whether your pillow supports your head and neck adequately. Fold the pillow in half and put a shoe on top; if the pillow springs back, it’s okay.
“Kur” Your Fatigue
If you wake unusually early, dampen a towel with cool water and lightly wipe your arms, legs, and torso, then go back to bed. The body is very warm when it comes out of REM sleep. Back in bed, the body heats up even more. The result is a deep, restful sleep and more dreams. Called kur, this technique is standard at European spas.
Raise Your Rearview
To prevent slouching (and the resultant lower-back pain) on long drives, tilt your rearview mirror up a bit. That way, you’ll have to sit up to see the cars behind.
Take Vitamin E and Aspirin Daily
Researchers have found that this antioxidant-and-blood-thinner combination can reduce arterial plaque by 80 percent. The benefit of the two treatments together is so great that it may help men prevent atherosclerosis even if they can’t lower their cholesterol levels.
Have a Banana
The potassium it contains can lower blood pressure. One per day is all it takes.