Superior Foods for Optimal Nutrition

Superior Foods for Optimal Nutrition

Eggs, meat, fish, nuts, seeds, and cheese are good sources of amino acids

 

“Superior Foods for Optimal Nutrition

Created by:  Karen D. Wilson owner of EmbracingAging.us

Superior Foods for Optimal Nutrition

Superior Foods for Optimal Nutrition are full of anti-oxidants, vitamins, and minerals but they also contain amino acids, which are the basic structural building blocks of proteins. Proteins make up the bulk of all your cells structure. They also act as enzymes for cellular reactions.

Amino Acids  There are eight essential amino acids. The supplements can be found here on Amazon.com

  • #1 = Tryptophan which reduces anxiety and depression, helps with migraines, helps the immune system, reduces heart spasms, it is also a natural relaxant and aids in normal sleep, taken with Lysine it reduces cholesterol levels in the blood.
  • #2 = Lysine improves the formation of bone cartilage and connective tissues, it aids in the absorption of calcium, it aids in the production of enzymes, hormones and the production of antibodies that help fight diseases and illness.
  • #3 = Methionine is the supplier of sulfur which prevents problems with hair, nails, and skin. Methionine aids in the liver’s production of lecithin reduces liver fat and helps protect the kidneys. Methionine also aids in reducing bladder irritations and infections and promotes hair growth.
  • #4 = Phenylalanine keeps you awake and alert. Also, phenylalanine produces a chemical that transmits signals between the brain and the nerve cells. Phenylalanine helps to improve memory and also reduces hunger pains.

Amino Acids Continued

  • #5 = Threonine aids in digestion and intestinal tract functions; it also helps reduce liver fat.
  • #6 = Valine calms emotions and aids with mental vigor; it also aids with muscle coordination.
  • #7 and #8 work together; they are Leucine and Isoleucine, they help to produce essential biochemical components in the body, production of energy, stimulate the brain and aid with alertness.

 Non-essential amino acids.

Arginine improves immune response, promotes wound healing, aids in the regeneration of the liver, and is needed for muscle growth.    Tyrosine aids in healthy functioning of the thyroid and pituitary glands helps to improve memory and transmits impulses to the brain.

Glycine is required during cell production to release oxygen, it also aids in the production of essential hormones in the immune system.

Serine is essential in storing glucose in the muscles and liver, also aids in the immune system and produces a fatty acid cover to protect nerve fibers.    Aspartic acid aids in the removal of ammonia from the body and protects our body from the poison until it is expressed through the urine.    Glutamic acid helps improve mental capacities, aids in healing ulcers and helps with fatigue.

More about Amino Acids

Alanine is a source of energy for the muscles, brain and nervous system. Alanine produces antibodies that help the immune system.    Cystine is an anti-oxidant and aids in the protection against pollutants, it can help slow the aging process, it is necessary for the production of the skin.   Proline is vital in the functioning of joints and helps to strengthen the heart muscle.

Taurine is necessary for the removal of free-radical waste from the body.  It is a factor that is necessary for changes that take place during aging.    Histidine is found in the blood. Histidine is used to treat several diseases such as RA, (rheumatoid arthritis) ulcers, and anemia. These are just a few of the amino acids that are essential in your diet for better health.

It is very important that you choose foods that are rich in amino acids as well as vitamins and minerals for your health.  Once again you can find them on Amazon.com.

 

More Superior Foods for Optimal Nutrition

Superior Foods for Optimal Nutrition contain the highest numbers of amino acids, vitamins, and minerals. If you go to Google and type in superfoods, you will find several sites, all telling you about the same thing, that eating a natural diet will protect you from several diseases and illnesses.

Superior Foods for Optimal Nutrition

Foods that are grown organically and in rich healthy soil, contain key nutrients. Grow your own vegetables to ensure nutrition content and reduce the need for pesticides.

Here are the ones that most people agree on, they are readily available in markets: Apples, avocados, tomatoes, bananas, cabbage, carrots, garlic, onions, potatoes, sweet potatoes, oranges, cantaloupe, broccoli,  watermelon, dry beans, spinach, kale, salmon and other oily fish, flaxseed, oats, soya, blueberries, cranberries, squash, almonds, beets, ginger, olive oil, tea, chili peppers, mushrooms, papaya, pineapple, kiwi, mangoes, apricots, pumpkin, walnuts, yogurt, parsley, sage, rosemary, cinnamon, Brussel sprouts, lentils, pomegranates, concord grapes and brazil nuts.

True Superior Foods for Optimal Nutrition

True Superior Foods for Optimal Nutrition are grown in rich soil.  The way food is grown will play a major part in getting the necessary ingredients to benefit to your diet. It is absolutely true that you need a variety of foods that react together to improve nutrition within the body.

Here is excellent information from Web MD about healthy food combinations that make a world of difference in nutrition’s function in the body.

Eating food as close to its natural form as possible is best for improving health and preventing disease. Vegetables, fruit, whole grains, nuts, and legumes are great examples of foods that are rich in a combination of important vitamins, minerals, fiber, protein, antioxidants, and more.

Here are just a handful of examples in which different nutrients and components in food work together:

  • Pairing broccoli with tomatoes could be a match not only made in Italy but in health heaven. In a study to be published in the December 2004 issue of the Journal of Nutritionprostate tumors grew much less in rats that were fed tomatoes and broccoli than in rats who ate diets containing broccoli alone or tomatoes alone, or diets that contained cancer-fighting substances that had been isolated from tomatoes or broccoli. The take-home message: A lycopene supplement may not hurt, but the whole tomato will probably help more. And a tomato eaten with broccoli helps a lot more.
Superior Foods for Optimal Nutrition

Broccoli and Tomatoes work together becoming Superior Foods for Optimal Nutrition

 

  • Antioxidants like vitamin C and vitamin E; isoflavones from soybeans; and other compounds are thought to be important in slowing the oxidation of cholesterol — which is as important to reducing your risk of congestive heart by disease as lowering your blood cholesterol levels. Antioxidant protection is a complex system that includes many nutrients and phytonutrients. You need all of them for maximum effect.

“Eating a little “good fat” along with your vegetables helps your body absorb their protective phytochemicals.”

 

Superior Foods for Optimal Nutrition

Olive oil is a good choice for optimizing nutrient absorption

  • Three B vitamins (folic acid, vitamin B-6, and B-12) TOGETHER reduce the level of an amino acid that, in high levels, is thought to damage artery linings, leading to heart attacks and strokes.
  • Test-tube studies have shown that vitamin C and the phytoestrogen found in various fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and beans (including soy) work together to inhibit the oxidation of LDL “bad” cholesterol.
  • A recent study found that the phytochemicals quercetin (found mainly in apples, onions, and berries) and catechin (found mainly in apples, green tea, purple grapes, and grape juice) worked together to help stop platelet clumping. Platelets are a component of blood that plays an important role in forming clots. Platelets’ clumping together is one of several steps in blood clotting that can lead to a heart attack.

Dietary Factors

  • The Mediterranean-style diet is a perfect example of food synergy because it includes several healthful food patterns. (It’s rich in plant foods, whole grains, legumes, and fish; low in meat and dairy products; and contains more monounsaturated than saturated fats because of its emphasis on olives, olive oil, and walnuts.) A recent study concluded that the Mediterranean diet may reduce the prevalence of both metabolic syndrome (a condition that includes excess body fat, high blood fats, and high blood pressure) and the cardiovascular risk that goes along with it.
  • Several dietary factors — including saturated fat and, to a lesser extent, cholesterol — work to raise cholesterol in the human body. Several others, like plant sterols, soy protein, soluble fiber, and foods such as oats and nuts, help lower blood cholesterol levels. Your cholesterol levels are determined less by the intake of one particular nutrient than by your overall diet.
  • Eating a little “good fat” along with your vegetables helps your body absorb their protective phytochemicals, like lycopene from tomatoes and lutein from dark green vegetables.

Choose Avacado

  • Researchers measured how phytochemicals were absorbed after people ate lettuce, carrot, and spinach salad with or without 2 1/2 tablespoons of avocado. The avocado-eating group absorbed 8.3 times more alpha-carotene and 13.6 times more beta-carotene (both of which help protect against cancer and heart disease), and 4.3 times more lutein (which helps with eye health) than those who did not eat avocados. Find Avacado Oil here
Superior Foods for Optimal Nutrition

Avocado is one of the healthiest fats you could choose to go with vegetables and fruits to maximize nutrient absorption.

What Researchers Have Found

  • In lab studies, Cornell University researchers found that apple extract given together with apple skin worked better to prevent the oxidation of free radicals (unstable molecules that damage cells and are believed to contribute to many diseases) than apple extract without the skin. Researchers found that catechins (a type of phytochemical found in apples). When combined with two other phytochemicals, had an effect that was five times greater than expected.
  • Studies have indicated that oats may help protect against heart disease. Besides being one of our best sources of soluble fiber, oats contain a laundry list of other healthful compounds, including beta-glucan; a beneficial amino acid ratio; magnesium; folic acid; tocotrienols; and a phytochemical so far identified only in oats — avenanthramides. The protective effect of oats is thought to come from the collective effects of all of these components.

All these examples remind us of just how complex nutritional relationships are. In my opinion, Mother Nature knew what she was doing when she created plant foods: There is magic in the packaging. This is true for most foods.

Exceptions

There are however exceptions; Wild salmon, tomatoes, broccoli and broccoli sprouts, kale, spinach, garlic, onions, blueberries, walnuts, pomegranates, depending on how and where they are grown.

Then there’s goji berries, mulberries, goldenberries, sauco berries, acai berries, noni fruit, mangosteen fruit, bee pollen, royal jelly, green tea, sea vegetables, quinoa, and umeboshi plum.

 

Superior Foods for Optimal Nutrition include Sea Vegetables 

Superior Foods for Optimal Nutrition

Sea Vegetables are an incredible source of nutrition

 

Sea vegetables are truly superior foods, they contain significant amounts of protein and they also contain all the minerals found in the ocean.

They offer 10 to 20 times the vitamins and minerals found in plants grown on land with just a few exceptions. Farming for the world, has in some regions, depleted our soils of the necessary nutrients that plants absorb.

Some farmers also use chemicals and pesticides on our crops.  Chemicals and pesticides are non-selective and destroy the micro bacteria and microfungi that is digested by the plants.

Sea Vegetables:  Special thanks to OneMinuteJuice.com for the excellent information they provided about Sea Vegetables.

The sea veggies are not really plants

Even though most of us actually believe this, it is not quite true. Sea Veggies are algae. There are even a few stores that brand the sea vegetables as algae, probably because people would definitely not be receptive of that. This is not just a market term that people use. The algae is actually a food filled with vitamins and minerals, and most of it can be consumed by humans. Well, the sea vegetables are actually algae, and knowing that the algae family is comprised out of thousands of different types, the sea veggies are versatile and healthy!

The first three are:

  • Arame

    – an interesting and stringy variety of the algae called arame, this is a variety of seaweed that contains a sweeter taste than all the other algae varieties. This is a seaweed that is highly consumed by Asian countries and is mostly connected to people who enjoy a long life. This is an algae-filled with Vitamin A, iron, calcium and many more minerals. Find Arame here

 

  • Dulse

    – most of the seaweed eaters are familiar with this particular algae because it is known to have a chewy substance. Also, it looks really cool. The dulse is pretty much known to help the people strengthen their bones because of its presence of calcium, magnesium, and iron, and of course, quite a decent amount of potassium as well. Find Dulse here

 

  • Hijiki

    –  The hijiki seaweed does not need any introduction whatsoever, because it is known to be quite the powerful sea vegetable. When it is used in dishes, it has a stringy look.  It tastes rather bold and interesting. Also, this seaweed is filled with nutrients, among which magnesium, calcium, Vitamin K, iron, fiber, and iodine. Find Hijiki here

The last four are:

  • Kelp

    – the kelp is an excellent source of Vitamin C. Which is also a fuel for the responses of the immune system. The color of this particular seaweed varies from green to deep brown.

 

  • Kombu

    – this is a popular ingredient in plenty of Japanese dishes. All you need to do is take a small strip and put it in some water to simmer on low heat for about 45 minutes or more. It will turn into a broth filled with minerals. Use the broth to cook your veggies or grains inside it, and there it is – a healthy and excellent meal! The kombu is considered to be incredible when it comes to slowing down the aging process. Find Kelp/Kombu here

 

  • Nori

    – This is the seaweed that is used in sushi rolls. Usually, Nori comes in a baked form and has a green hue to it when it is being delivered to your table. You usually see this as a seaweed wrapped around hand rolls. If you are fond of sushi, you are probably fond of hand rolls too. Well, the good news here is that you have been getting a lot of health benefits from consuming them! The nori is filled with B vitamins, as well as healthy amino acids and fatty acids. Also, it has been said that it is anti-cancer too. You can even find the nori seaweed baked, in little chip bags, because most of the grocery stores happen to have them. Usually, they are a bit salted and taste pretty refreshing. They are perfect for a midday snack. Find Nori here

Superior Foods for Optimal Nutrition

Sushi is a delicious way to get sea vegetables into your nutrition plan

 

  • Wakame

    – this particular seaweed looks something like taffy and it is mostly found in Asian soups. It is a seaweed loaded with magnesium, which is a mineral that we usually don’t get enough of.  Find Wakame here

 More health benefits

The health benefits that come with the seaweed are literally neverending. The iodine, naturally found in the seaweed can help people who are suffering from thyroid issues.  Seaweed lowers blood pressure and has anti-inflammatory properties. Furthermore, the seaweed is quite low in calories. Even if you put a lot of it in a soup, you will not get more than 30 calories. Finally, the seaweeds are filled with lignans, which are related to a lowered rate of breast cancer in Japan. So basically, the seaweed is our friend.

Some heavy metal concerns

The density of nutrients in the seaweed comes from its ability to absorb plenty of minerals, kind of like a sponge does. But this is one beneficial attribute that can lead to a seaweed danger. When it comes to seaweed, it can absorb toxins too, particularly arsenic, from the nastiness of the ocean waters. So, when looking to buy seaweed, go fully organic. To be fair, a lot of scientists have limited the intake of arsenic by the seaweeds, but you would want to stay on the safe side, just in case.

In the end, the benefits that come with sea vegetables are quite interesting. This is why adding these algae into your regular dietary plan can only add up to your health benefits. As you already know, adding seaweed in your regular dieting plan is not that difficult at all. They have an excellent taste that goes well with plenty of dishes. So, make sure you regularly enjoy your sushi, or consume the algae as a healthy afternoon snack, because you will be doing your body a favor.

Choose Foods Wisely

When you purchase an apple from the store, it could be lacking some of the minerals that the soil once provided, minerals that are essential to our health. This is not true for the sea vegetables, the ocean is still productive, we have yet to destroy it and therefore it is a rich source for your health. Kelp, blue-green algae, spirulina, chlorella, dulse, alaria, sea lettuce, Irish moss, kombu, wakame, and nori are all rich in vitamins, minerals, and all the essential amino acids.

 

Determine What’s Best for You

If you are already suffering from a disease or illness or you’re prone to certain diseases or illness, due to family history, then there are a few things you need to know. 118 degrees will cook vegetables without killing their nutritional value.

You cannot eat as much as you need, which is 8 to 10 servings a day, but there is a solution, you can juice your way to health. The food pyramid has changed which came as no surprise to me, I still have trouble with this type of system, not everyone needs the same things, and every person on this planet is different and has different nutritional requirements.

If I said there is a child’s shoe in a size 6 in this lovely shade of turquoise blue. It’s perfect, and brand new. Here, it’s for you.  Well no matter how perfect the shoe is, it’s not able to meet your adult needs.  Nutrition is the same way.  You should check in with your doctor.  Blood tests will help the evaluation of vitamins and minerals.

Superior Foods for Optimal Nutrition Terms

Vitamins = nutrients that are necessary for your health.  A shortage or an excessive amount for extended periods can cause health problems.

Minerals = Minerals are those elements on the earth and in foods that our bodies need to develop and function normally. Those essential for health include calcium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, chloride, magnesium, iron, zinc, iodine, chromium, copper, fluoride, molybdenum, manganese, and selenium.

Polyphenols are phytochemicals. Polyphenols are abundant in natural plant-based food sources containing antioxidant properties. Researchers have found over 8,000 identified polyphenols.  These include tea, wine, chocolates, fruits, vegetables, and extra virgin olive oil,  just to name a few.

Superior Foods for Optimal Nutrition Terms continued

Carotenoids = they are in the dark coloring of the skin of fruits and vegetables (pigments), they are also anti-oxidants; there are dozens of carotenoids.

Free-radical = they disrupt living cells by attacking them, free radicals are missing an electron and they steal one from other cells, they are responsible for all diseases and illness due to their damage. Free-radicals are in air and water pollution, and in junk foods, we eat. You can not escape from them; they are a part of life. Free-radical damage accumulates with age if you do not protect yourself.

Anti-oxidants = they neutralize free-radicals by donating their extra electron; all anti-oxidants have an extra electron. Anti-oxidants protect us from free-radical damage. Anti-oxidants are scavengers; they prevent cell and tissue damage which leads to disease and illness.

Nutrients taken in combinations equals synergy.   These combinations cause the nutrients to become more powerful than when taken alone.

Dark Rich Colors

Superior Foods for Optimal Health

Get the most nutrition from foods with the darkest richest colors

 

Notice that the list above states that people agree that blueberries are superior food. Not all foods have been studied, What does this mean for you? Be wise and eat fruits and vegetables that have the darkest and richest colors, in combinations, to receive maximum benefits.

Unlisted Fruits and Vegetables

Just because a fruit or vegetable may not appear on certain lists of healthy foods, do not dismiss them from your diet. Most foods grown in the ground, or harvested from the sea have nutritional value to contribute to the health and longevity of the human body.

Let’s continue our research and find the best solutions for our health.

Beans may reduce the risk of heart disease; lentils support heart health; berries of all kinds have synergistic effects and are scavengers of free-radicals; citrus fruits are all full of anti-oxidants; vegetables steamed on low heat are a great source of fiber and complex carbohydrates; sea vegetables are bursting with carotenoids, vitamins, minerals, and amino acids and can be found in many forms, tablet or powder.

Food for Thought

Sea vegetables support your whole body; green leafy vegetables are bursting with eye health nutrients as well as supporting the heart, brain, and bones.

Nuts help reduce the risk of heart disease; oats are a prime source of complex carbohydrates and full of fiber. Cold water – wild fish, not farm raised, contain beneficial omega-3 fatty acids, necessary for coronary heart health.

Wild salmon, trout and tuna all contain different amounts and should all be consumed; seeds and nuts help balance hormones and have anti-oxidant activities; soy packs a punch

Different Nutritional needs between Men and Women

There is plenty of research that shows men and women need different nutrients to support biological needs. Men need to protect themselves against prostate cancer, bladder cancer, testosterone levels, sperm counts, heart disease, and high blood pressure. Men should add five tomatoes, or five servings of tomato sauce, a week to their diet to protect them from prostate cancer.

Three oysters a day have the full day’s supply of zinc which is essential for the male reproductive system, testosterone, and sperm counts. Men are three times more likely to get bladder cancer than women. Broccoli, Brussel sprouts, and cabbage, when eaten five times a week, shows a reduction in this disease according to the studies.

Eating a handful of unsalted peanuts every day helps lower your bad cholesterol levels, helping to reduce the risk of heart disease.

Potassium

Potassium can reduce the risk of high blood pressure and stroke. Avocados, bananas, roasted acorn squash, beans, potatoes, watermelon, and other melons can help reduce your chances of developing high blood pressure.

Men and primarily women need to protect themselves against gallbladder disease, breast cancer, and fight osteoporosis. Women tend to be anemic due to low iron levels, and women suffer from menopausal hot flashes.

Women with low vitamin C levels are more likely to develop gall bladder disease than those with higher levels of vitamin C. Papaya has twice the amount of vitamin C than an orange.

Flaxseed

Flaxseed is rich in lignans. Lignans are like estrogen.  Make sure to get the seeds and grind them in a coffee grinder. You put them on cereal or mix in the muffin mix.  There are no lignans in flaxseed oil; lignans have effectively slowed tumor growth in women that already have breast cancer. Find flaxseed here

Superior Foods for Optimal Health

Flaxseed is also known as linseed

Vitamins

Vitamin K along with vitamin D and calcium are all important nutrients for fighting osteoporosis. Women that get enough vitamin K are 30 percent less likely to suffer fractures in their later years. Collard greens are the best source for this protection.  Although dark green leafy vegetables, Brussel sprouts, spinach, and broccoli are also good sources.

Women tend to be lower in iron than men due to menstruation and this can cause severe fatigue. To get the highest doses of iron you should try buffalo meat.  You get an easily digestible 3 milligrams of iron in a 3 oz portion of this very lean meat.

In later life, women tend to suffer from the dreaded hot flashes. A half cup of tofu contains 30 mg of isoflavones. These are plant chemicals that have a structure that is similar to estrogen. This may offer some relief from hot flashes.

 

Juicing

For men and women alike, make sure to add superior foods to your diet.  Such as; sea vegetables, mangosteen fruit juice, Goji berry juice, or other berry juices.

Mangosteen Fruit

The Mangosteen fruit is native to South East Asia, it has been studied for 20 years by independent labs and doctors for its medicinal uses; it contains 25,000 anti-oxidants, the highest number ever found in one food source, it contains amino acids as well as a vast majority of vitamins and minerals.

The Mangosteen fruit is native to South East Asia, it has been studied for 20 years by independent labs and doctors for its medicinal uses; it contains 25,000 anti-oxidants, the highest number ever found in one food source, it contains amino acids as well as a vast majority of vitamins and minerals.

They are native to Turkey; they are high in vitamin C, iron, calcium and protein. Goldenberries are native to Colombia and Peru, Sauco berries are native to South America, Umeboshi Plum is native to Japan, Noni fruit is native to Polynesia. The Acai berry has 30 times more antioxidants than blueberries, all eight essential amino acids, and trace minerals. The list goes on, but what you eat is up to you, your health is in your hands. Find Mangosteen powder here

Superior Foods for Optimal Nutrition

Mangosteen is an excellent way to get Superior Food for Optimal Nutrition

Thanks to Nutritionandyou.com they had this lovely bit of information about mangosteen fruit.

Health Benefits of Mangosteen

  • Delicious and juicy, mangosteen is one of the popular tropical fruits. It comprises of an impressive list of essential nutrients which required for normal growth and development and overall nutritional well-being.
  • It is moderately low in calories (63 calories per 100 g) and contains no saturated fats or cholesterol. Nonetheless, it is rich in dietary fiber (100 g provides about 13% of RDA).
  • Mangosteen is a good source of vitamin-C and provides about 12% of RDA per 100 g. Vitamin-
  • C is a powerful water-soluble antioxidant. Consumption of fruits rich in vitamin-C helps the human body develop resistance to combat viral flu and help scavenge harmful, pro-inflammatory free radicals.
  • Fresh fruit is a mild source of B-complex vitamins such as thiamin, niacin, and folates. These vitamins are acting as cofactors the help the body metabolize carbohydrates, protein, and fats.
  • Further, it also contains a splendid amount of minerals like copper, manganese, and magnesium. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids and helps control heart rate and blood pressure. Thus, it offers protection against stroke and coronary heart diseases.

A Doctor can help

Consult with your doctor.  Get some blood tests to help you see where the holes in your nutrition are for important vitamins and minerals. Everyone is different and other people’s nutritional requirements may be different than yours. Continue to read and listen to the information. Ultimately, make an informed decision for yourself.

 

Superior Foods for Optimal Health

Let your Doctor know about your nutritional adjustments and get the all clear for food and drug interactions.

 

I see no need for reinventing the wheel, so I would like to give credit where credit is due and say a big thank you to Dr.Axe for this information on fermented vegetables.

Superior Foods for Optimal Nutrition include fermented foods

 Top 10 Fermented Foods for Health

Food ferments as it steeps allowing sugars and carbs interact with bacteria, yeast, and microbes. This changes the chemical structure of the food. Choosing fermented foods such as milk and vegetables is a great way to preserve them.  Also, fermentation makes nutrients more absorbable.

1. Kefir

A fermented milk product, (made from cow, goat or sheep’s milk) tastes like drinkable yogurt. Kefir benefits include providing high levels of vitamin B12, calcium, magnesium, vitamin K2, biotin, folate, enzymes, and probiotics.

2. Kombucha

Kombucha is a fermented beverage made of black tea and sugar (from various sources like cane sugar, fruit or honey). It contains a colony of bacteria and yeast that is responsible for initiating the fermentation process once combined with sugar. Do fermented foods like kombucha contain alcohol? Kombucha has trace amounts of alcohol but too little to cause intoxication or even to be noticeable. Other fermented foods, such as yogurt or fermented veggies, typically do not have any alcohol. Find Kombucha here.

3. Sauerkraut 

Sauerkraut is one of the oldest traditional foods, with very long roots in German, Russian and Chinese cuisine. For example, Sauerkraut means “sour cabbage” in German.  Although the Germans weren’t actually the first to make sauerkraut (it’s believed the Chinese were). Made from fermented green or red cabbage, sauerkraut is high in dietary fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, and B vitamins. It’s also a great source of iron, copper, calcium, sodium, manganese, and magnesium.

Store-bought sauerkraut isn’t all fermented.  Especially the canned/processed kind. Fermented sauerkraut is refrigerated.

Superior Foods for Optimal Health

Fermented sauerkraut is refrigerated, stored in glass jars, and labeled fermented.

4. Pickles

Fermented pickles contain a remarkable amount of vitamins and minerals, plus antioxidants and gut-friendly probiotic bacteria a.k.a. probiotics. Cucumbers pickled with vinegar makes the pickles taste sour. However, this doesn’t lead to natural fermentation. Cucumbers ferment with salt and water to make pickles.

When choosing a jar of pickles, look for “lactic acid fermented pickles”. Made by a manufacturer that uses organic products and brine. Then refrigerates the pickles, and states that the pickles have been fermented. If you can find a farmers market, you’ll get some of the best probiotics for your health.

Top 10 continued

5. Miso

Miso is created by fermenting soybeans, barley or brown rice with koji, a type of fungus. It’s a traditional Japanese ingredient in recipes including miso soup. Find miso here.

6. Tempeh

Create tempeh by combining soybeans with a tempeh starter (which is a mix of live mold). When it sits for a day or two, it becomes a dense, cake-like product that contains both probiotics and a hefty dose of protein too. Tempeh is similar to tofu but not as spongy and more “grainy.” Get your make at home kit here.

7. Natto

Natto is a popular food in Japan consisting of fermented soybeans. Here’s a fun fact, the Japanese eat Natto for breakfast occasionally. and commonly combined with soy sauce, karashi mustard, and Japanese bunching onion. After fermentation, it develops a strong smell, deep flavor and sticky, slimy texture that not everyone who is new to natto appreciates.

8. Kimchi

Japanese cooks add Kimchi to Korean recipes like rice bowls, ramen or bibimbap.  Make Kimchi with fermented cabbage, plus spices like ginger, garlic and pepper, and other seasonings. 

Superior Foods for Optimal Nutrition

Kimchi, A fermented Korean food

 

Fermented dairy

 9. Raw Cheese

Goat milk, sheep milk, and A2 cows soft cheeses are particularly high in probiotics, including thermophillus, bifudus, bulgaricus and acidophilus. In order to find real fermented/aged cheeses, look for cheese that has NOT been pasteurized. The label should indicate that the cheese is raw and has been aged for six months or more.

10. Yogurt

You might ask, “Is yogurt the same as fermented milk?” The answer is, yes. Yogurt and kefir are unique dairy products. They are highly available and one of the top probiotic foods that many people eat regularly. Probiotic yogurt is now the most consumed fermented dairy product in the United States and many other industrialized nations too.

I recommend when buying yogurt to look for three things. First, that it comes from goat or sheep milk if you have trouble digesting cow’s milk; second, it’s made from animals that are fed grass; and third, that it’s organic.

What about other foods like vinegar?

Is apple cider vinegar a fermented food? Is balsamic vinegar a fermented food? What about bread?

Apple cider vinegar that is raw and contains “the mother” is fermented and contains some probiotics. Find it here.  It also contains certain types of acids like acetic acid. These support the function of probiotics and prebiotics in your gut. However, most kinds of vinegar available in the supermarket do not contain probiotics.

You can add one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to a drink twice a day. Before breakfast and lunch or breakfast and dinner, add one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in your meal, and then start consuming more fermented vegetables like sauerkraut and kimchi or drinking kvass to really boost probiotic levels.

Sourdough bread contains no probiotics. Fermentation helps make nutrients found in the grains more available for absorption and reduces antinutrient content that may make digestion difficult.

Words of wisdom

Being healthy is a journey.  We have to make choices each and every single day. What we will eat?  What we will do in the way of exercise?

Superior Foods for Optimal Health

Healthy living is a Journey. Living our best lives happens one day at a time.

 

Foods can be either healthy and medicinal or unhealthy and poisonous. Make healthy swaps to feel better and more energetic. Such as:

  • A baked potato is good, but a baked sweet potato is better.
  • Sour cream is good, but Greek yogurt is better.
  • Spaghetti is good, but spaghetti squash is so much better!

Substitutions like these are easy to make and easy on your wallet.  Furthermore, nutrition that satisfies me, reduces my cravings.

 

Food and drug interactions

Let’s not forget how medications can also play a very prominent role in clean eating.  Someone on blood thinners is not going to be eating food that promotes clotting (foods high in vitamin k)
Grapefruit is very problematic for all different kinds of medications.  You should check with your doctor to see if there are any foods that would be best avoided when beginning a new medication or introducing new food into your diet.

That’s all for today friends.

Finally, this post may contain affiliate links. This means if you click on and happen to purchase one of the products links, I’ll receive some compensation which will support my addiction to all things coffee.

I hope you enjoyed this discussion. Please share your thoughts and, feel free to leave your comments and share this post with friends.

I’m Karen with EmbracingAging.us

Reminding you to Embrace Your Age

 

 

 

Critical Vitamins You Need Now

Critical Vitamins You Need Now!!

Critical Vitamins You Need Now!!

In this post Critical Vitamins You Need Now, I share with you the vitamins you need today and why you need them for vitality. Run don’t walk to your nearest pharmacy to stock up on these Critical Vitamins You Need Now.

First up to bat is vitamin A

Look for vitamin A on Amazon

Vitamin A plays an important role in healthy night vision.  This year I started to notice that I was having trouble seeing well after dark. Naturally,  I was especially concerned with how unsafe I felt driving.  Researching vitamin A for this blog post helped me realize It’s likely a vitamin A deficiency.

Why would I think this is the case?  Well, I had gastric bypass surgery in 2007. Therefore I do not absorb vitamins and minerals the same way I did before I had the surgery.  Sure, I thought I was doing a good job supplementing my vitamins and minerals, however,  I’m realizing now that I have some holes to fill in my vitamin therapy routine.

When you eat vitamin A from vegetables, a.k.a. provitamin A, primarily beta-carotene.  Your body has to convert vitamin A to a usable form.  When you consume vitamin A from organ meats and fish it is absorbed by the body and is better utilized for good health.

Critical Vitamins You Need Now!!

Codfish oil is an excellent source of Vitamin A

Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin.  This is to say when you eat carrots, put some grass-fed butter on them and the vitamin is better absorbed.

Because it’s good for your brain, heart, skin, kidneys, and vision. Vitamin A is also known as an anti-aging vitamin.

Next, on the list of Critical Vitamins You Need Now is Vitamin D3

You can find VitaminD3 on Amazon

Vitamin A and Vitamin D are bffs.  They need each other in a balanced way. If you take a lot of vitamin D and not enough vitamin A then vitamin D can deplete Vitamin A.  If you take too much vitamin A and not enough vitamin D you can increase your risk of vitamin A toxicity.  So I personally will be taking a good multivitamin that supplements my nutritional intake.

How is vitamin D important to our health? When our skin gets proper exposure to sunlight, Vitamin D is the sunshine vitamin.  You should be supplementing your vitamin D.  unless you live close to the equator.  It helps stabilize mood, protects the heart and fights certain kinds of cancer. It also supports the immune system brain and nervous system. Vitamin D also regulates insulin which helps protect you from diabetes.  Children need adequate amounts of vitamin D for healthy growth of bones and teeth.

Since the brain has vitamin D receptors it is understandable how this vitamin is important for memory.  Vitamin D may, in fact, help with Alzheimer’s and dementia. Have you ever heard of here after syndrome?  You walk into a room and say, “What am I here after???”  Happens to me more than it should. LOL!

Let me tell you about my granddaughter and her mood swings.  She was out of control.  We started her on a vitamin D supplement and we noticed a major improvement in her mood.  She was far less irritable and much more even-keeled. She was 8 years old at the time and it was remarkable how much it helped her. Even her teacher commented that she was doing so much better in school.

B complex vitamins make the list of Critical Vitamins You Need Now

B-complex vitamins contain the following: Find it on Amazon

  • B1 (thiamine):
  • B1 prevents beriberi (a disease-causing nerve inflammation and heart failure)
  • Thiamine plays an essential role in metabolism by helping convert nutrients into energy. The richest food sources include pork, sunflower seeds and wheat germ (1).
  • B2 (riboflavin):
  • B2 riboflavin boosts the immune system. You can find it in nuts for a healthy snack.
  •  Riboflavin helps convert food into energy and also acts as an antioxidant. Foods highest in riboflavin include organ meats, beef, and mushrooms (2).

 

  • B3 (niacin):
  • B3 breaks down food into energy. Look for it in beans, peas, and lentils.
  •  Niacin also plays a role in cellular signaling, metabolism and DNA production and repair. Food sources include chicken, tuna, and lentils (3)

 

  • B5 (pantothenic acid):
  • B5 is important for healthy hormones. Broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables are an excellent source.
  • Pantothenic acid helps your body obtain energy from food and is also involved in hormone and cholesterol production. Liver, fish, yogurt, and avocado are all good sources (4).

The Next Four B vitamins

  • B6 (pyridoxine):
  • B6 may decrease the risk of heart disease.  Bananas are a good source for snacking.
  •  Pyridoxine is involved in amino acid metabolism, red blood cell production and the creation of neurotransmitters. Foods highest in this vitamin include chickpeas, salmon and potatoes (5).

 

  • B7 (biotin): Biotin is essential for carbohydrate and fat metabolism and regulates gene expression. Yeast, eggs, salmon, cheese, and liver are among the best food sources of biotin (6).

 

  • B9 (folate): Folate is needed for cell growth, amino acid metabolism, the formation of red and white blood cells and proper cell division. It can be found in foods like leafy greens, liver, and beans or in supplements like folic acid (7).  Leafy greens, liver, and beans contain folic acid. Also, with the help of folic acid, healthy babies

 

  • B12 (cobalamin): Perhaps the most well-known of all the B vitamins, B12 is vital for neurological function, DNA production, and red blood cell development. B12 is found naturally in animal sources like meats, eggs, seafood and dairy (8).
  • Also, it prevents anemia once considered a deadly disease called pernicious anemia.  Without it, you can not make enough healthy red blood cells.

Next, on the list of Critical Vitamins You Need Now is vitamin C.

Find Vitamin C on Amazon

Oh, I know everyone says they know all about it. But I’m going to remind you of its incredible performance as an anti-aging vitamin for skin.

Vitamin C is necessary for the formation of collagen.  It’s very beneficial to skin when taken internally and applied externally as a serum.  I personally had the best results when I took 2000 mg a day for the benefit of my skin.  Vitamin C is a very potent antioxidant. These conditions may be improved when taking vitamin C.

  • colds
  • asthma
  • bronchitis
  • Critical Vitamins You Need Nowcardiovascular disease
  • cataracts
  • glaucoma
  • high blood pressure
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • urinary tract infections
  • eczema

As a reminder to my readers, always check with your Primary Care Physician should you decide to implement any vitamin therapy for any particular condition.

Also on the list of Critical Vitamins You Need Now is CoQ10 and Ubiquinol.

Find CoQ10 and Ubiquinol on Amazon

Essentially, ubiquinol CoQ10 is a vitamin-like substance.  Made naturally in our bodies and plays a critical role in the creation of cellular energy. We make less of the heart-healthy nutrient starting around age 30. (1)

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is a fat-soluble, vitamin-like substance necessary for energy production in virtually every cell in the human body. An antioxidant, it also helps protect against cellular damage from free radicals. The body naturally produces CoQ10 in its oxidized form (ubiquinone) and its reduced form (ubiquinol). When your body levels of CoQ10/ubiquinol decline below a certain level, so does your health. (2)

It is a powerful antioxidant that helps to control the harmful effects of free radicals and oxidative stress, which is directly related to the aging process.

A Ubiquitous Conclusion

The word ubiquitous means “existing everywhere.” Ubiquinol is a molecule that plays important energy and antioxidant role in every cell in our body. Furthermore, I want to stress that aging, heart disease, blood pressure, and oral health challenges still require that you eat healthily, exercise, and work on lowering stress. Finally, No one supplement by itself can cure these challenging conditions. But for great support to help your body energize and balance against damage, ubiquinol can be a healing and solid part of your supplemental regimen. (3)

Finally, I’d like to introduce you to Pycnogenol a bonus to the list of Critical Vitamins You Need Now.

Critical Vitamins You Need Now

 

Find Pycnogenol on Amazon

Viva Labs Pycnogenol is sourced from a protected area of pine forest in southwestern France, grown exclusively under strict French forestry legislation for consumer quality and safety. It promises to be preservative and herbicide free.

Pycnogenol and High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure (hypertension) is one of the most important risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Studies on many blood pressure lowering drugs have shown that such treatment reduces the risk of stroke and coronary artery disease.

One small double-blind placebo-controlled study showed that treatment with 200 mg of Pycnogenol daily for 16 weeks reduced blood pressure (8).

Pycnogenol and Diabetes

A double-blind placebo-controlled study found that 100 mg of Pycnogenol daily improved blood sugar among 77 patients with type 2 diabetes (10). Pycnogenol was added to standard diabetic drug treatment.

Another, more recent study showed similar findings with lowering of glycated hemoglobin, suggesting better long-term control of blood sugar (9).

How Pycnogenol improves blood sugar in type 2 diabetes is not entirely clear. Insulin production does not seem to be increased.

Pycnogenol and Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction (impotence) is a term used to describe the situation when a man can not get or keep an erection firm enough for sexual intercourse.

Erectile dysfunction affects 50 percent of men aged 40-70 years in the United States and is considered to be a significant public health problem (15).

Interestingly there appears to be a link between endothelial dysfunction, erectile dysfunction and coronary artery disease (16). In fact, erectile dysfunction may be one of the first indirect signs of coronary artery disease.

Because Pycnogenol can improve endothelial function and increase the availability of NO(nitric oxide), some experts have suggested that this substance may improve erectile dysfunction.

In a study of 21 men, 120 mg/day of Pycnogenol appeared to improve erectile dysfunction (14).

If you would like to know more about this supplement, please click here.

Check with your Dr. or Pharmacist before starting any new vitamin therapy to ensure that it is right for you.

 

That’s all for today friends.

Finally, this post may contain affiliate links. This means if you click on and happen to purchase one of the products links, I’ll receive some compensation which will support my addiction to all things coffee.

I hope you enjoyed this discussion. Please share your thoughts and, feel free to leave your comments and share this post with friends.

I’m Karen with EmbracingAging.us

Reminding you to Embrace Your Age

 

 

You Are Your Own Best Resource

You Are Your Own Best Resource

You are your own best resource. What the heck does that even mean?  Well, it means that if you don’t take care of you, who’s going to take care of the important things that you do? The kids, the job, the dishes, walk the dog. Whatever it is your doing there are folks or fur babies that count on you to be there for them on a regular basis.

It doesn’t mean that you put your head down and put your nose to the grindstone.  I’ll work harder, longer, faster and so on and so forth.  Rather there are ways to use positivity to motivate us to take care of ourselves better.  I’d like to use weight loss as an example of how we can take care of ourselves as a resource.   Let me rephrase THE resource.  You are the only you, you have to take care of you so you can take care of the things and the people you love.

There are positive ways to better take care of ourselves besides listening to the negative criticism in our head. We have tools that we need to use that are underutilized. In these next few paragraphs, I discuss these tools we can use to help ourselves.

Visualization

Visualization is a powerful tool. You Are Your Own Best Resource- EmbracingAging

Visualize yourself being successful every day.

Visualizing the successful events of our day can go a long way in making them a reality.  Take five minutes of the first wakeful moments of your morning and think about how you want your day to go begin with positive images of accomplishing your goals at your job or the gym. Decide to be happier as you go about your day. You’ll be pleased with the outcome that visualization can give you.

Making a List of Your Accomplishments Daily

You Are Your Own Best Resource-EmbracingAging.us

Making a list of your accomplishments is very motivating. Sometimes this works better than a to-do list.

I use a to-do list like a  lot of people use. But I also use an accomplishments list and to be perfectly honest, my accomplishments list is my secret weapon when it comes to getting things done.  I would rather write down my accomplishments than using my to-do list every time I have to keep track of things that need to get done. I am more motivated and gain more momentum for getting things done by making an accomplishments list.

Regular Exercise

You Are Your Own Best Resource - EmbracingAging.us

Regular exercise gives you the energy for taking care of the people and the things you love.

If you are not already doing some form of regular exercise, you should start a routine that works for you. Exercise is key to growing older gracefully.  Carrying groceries inside, opening jars, performing regular household chores like cleaning and yard work will be easier for you to do if you get some regular exercise.  As you do regular exercise it helps you maintain muscle and muscle memory, like riding a bike

Regular exercise helps you sleep much more soundly and wake up with more energy to take on the day. “Carpe diem,” I say.  Walking is always great, and if you need to start by just walking to the end of your driveway then that’s ok, it’s a start.  You can build up to a walk around the block and the next thing you know you will be walking a mile and maybe even two.

Keeping Properly Hydrated

You Are Your Own Best Resource- EmbracingAging.us

Hydration is far too important to neglect. So drink up buttercup.

I can not say enough about good hydration.  Your body needs water and electrolytes. It needs water for energy, for mental clarity and you should know that your body needs proper hydration for healing.  Healing wounds and illnesses and disease.  We make a substance called plasma and its vital to our health and the quality of our plasma is enhanced by good hydration.  So run, don’t walk to your nearest refreshing water resource and drink up.  Your body needs it and you’ll be so much better for it.

Good Nutrition

You Are Your Own Best Resource-EmbracingAging.us

Grilled salmon with lemon and rosemary. Good nutrition is delicious

Everyone needs an occasional pizza but not all the time.  Fueling your body with healthy fruits and vegetables is one of the most powerful ways to save your health.  Fruits and vegetables give you not only vitamins but they are also a good source of water.  Yep, that’s right, they can help you hydrate your body.

Make sure you incorporate a variety of colors. Each of the colors of the rainbow represents different vitamins and minerals.  Red= lycopene, Orange = Vitamin C,  Yellow = Vitamin A,  Green = iron and fiber,  blue=powerful antioxidants,  purple=reservatol and so much more. This is only a small example of all the nutrients you need for vitality.

If you think you have room for improvement in your diet, you get to start with your next trip to the grocery store and browse the produce aisle for fruits and veggies that you enjoy and should try to incorporate into your diet more often. You’ll be glad you did. Remember when you are busy consuming healthy fruits and vegetables your less likely to want to eat the junk food that offers you nothing but momentary relief from a sugary or a salty craving.

Proper Rest and Relaxation

Don’t forget to rest. A good bedtime routine and regular bedtime help you feel rested after 6-8 hours of sleep at night. I know it’s so easy to sit on the phone past bedtime.  I myself am guilty of staying up typing on my blog.  Writing and thinking about what I want to share and how I can inspire others to Embrace their Age and live a life of vitality.  You are your own best resource. When you are in good working order, things around you and the things that you take care of will be better.

Make yourself a priority.  You deserve to be energetic, vital and bright.  I encourage you to try to do what you can to feel your best.

That’s all for today friends.

Finally, this post may contain affiliate links. This means if you click on and happen to purchase one of the products links, I’ll receive some compensation which will support my addiction to all things coffee.

I hope you enjoyed this discussion. Please share your thoughts and, feel free to leave your comments and share this post with friends.

I’m Karen with EmbracingAging.us

Reminding you to Embrace Your Age

 

 

 

What Clean Eating Means: Here Are Some Ideas to Get You Started

What Clean Eating Means

So, what does it mean when someone says they are “clean eating?” Honestly, it’s different for everyone. What’s normal for one, may not be for another. What’s healthy for one may be a disaster for another.  These are some diets or styles of eating that are often considered clean eating styles.

Kiwis, Lemons, and Oranges What clean eating means. EmbracingAging.us

Clean eating can include fresh fruit for quick energy

Some fruits and vegetables aren’t compatible with some medications.

The following is a list of clean eating styles

  • Soy-free
  • Gluten free
  • Low Carb
  • Dairy-free
  • Vegetarian
  • Ketogenic
  • Vegan
  • Paleo

Then there are the foods you may NOT have due to religious views, allergies, or diet restrictions

  •  sweeteners
  •  sugar
  •  pork
  •  red meat
  •  processed foods
  •  shellfish

I’m sure you get the idea. There may be a combination of diet restrictions that constitutes clean eating for different people for different reasons.  Someone with type two diabetes is going to eat very differently than someone who is not diabetic.

Food and drug interactions

Let’s not forget how medications can also play a very prominent role in clean eating.  Someone on blood thinners is not going to be eating food that promotes clotting (foods high in vitamin k)
Grapefruit is very problematic for all different kinds of medications, always check with your pharmacist or doctor to see if there are any foods that would be best avoided when beginning a new medication.

About the time I turned 47, I learned that I have a sensitivity to dairy and gluten.   Could I say I was very strict about avoiding these foods?   Perfect, I’m not.  PCOS (Polycystic ovarian syndrome) is a condition that improves when avoiding dairy and simple carbs. (I wish I could say there was a cure but there isn’t one)  This is just a sample of how eating clean for me is probably different for you.

Fitness styles affect the type of foods you may need

Furthermore, there is so much to consider for different body types and styles of fitness that the science that goes into figuring out what each individual needs on their journey is enough to make one’s head spin.

Different types of athletes will eat different ways according to their protein, calorie and fat demands.  A bodybuilder isn’t going to eat the same way as a lean cyclist. A long distance runner may not eat the same way as a female who goes to the gym 4-5 days a week trying to obtain an hourglass figure.

Wheat field, trees, and blue sky. EmbracingAging.us

Pay attention to how you feel after eating gluten. Headaches, joint pain, and gastric upset can be caused by gluten consumption.

Next time, if you hear the phrase “clean eating”, just know that you have to determine what’s going to work best for your body’s chemistry. You have to accommodate your body’s demands. Taking into consideration:

  1. Style of fitness
  2. Desired outcome
  3. Food allergies and sensitivities
  4. Medical conditions
  5. Medications
Wooden bowl and spoon with Kidney beans. EmbracingAging.us

Beans are a super food and can add years to your life.

You Have to Practice Clean Eating According to Your Bodies Specific Needs.

So if I handed you a child size shoe, and I said, “Here, this is a lovely shoe. It’s brand new in this lovely shade of blue. Wear this shoe and you’ll love it.” If you are a 6’2″ tall man with a size 11 foot, that lovely child size shoe in blue, no matter how perfect it is, will not work for you.  Everyone has to define for themselves what clean eating means for them.

Basket of fresh vegetables. EmbracingAging.us

Eating food that’s fresh, vibrant and alive can make you feel the same way.

What does clean eating mean to you?  I would love to know your thoughts on this fascinating subject.  Feel free to share this article if I was able to give you food for thought. (pun intended)

Finally, you should know that this post may contain affiliate links, which means that if you click on or purchase one of the products links I”ll receive some compensation which will support my addiction to all things coffee.

I’m Karen with Embracing Aging

Reminding you to Embrace Your Age

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Lifestyle Promotes Longevity

 Lifestyle Promotes Longevity

In this post, I will explain to you how a less convenient lifestyle promotes longevity.  Americans love their convenient lifestyle. For example, driving to the corner market for milk and eggs, tossing a healthy frozen entree into the microwave for lunch, or hiring the local teenager to mow the yard and finally, drive through coffee. We are used to having so much at our convenience that it’s just expected. In this post, I will explain to you how a less convenient lifestyle equals longevity.

The top four regions in the world where people live to be 100 or older are

  • Okinawa 800 miles south of Tokyo,
  • Sardinia in the highlands of Greece
  • Nicoya, Costa Rica on the peninsula
  •  Loma Linda, California most notably the Seventh-day Adventist.

By longevity, I mean a life worth living. Where folks age in a way that allows them to keep their independence.  The kind of independence everyone hopes for when and if we make it into our 90s.  For example:

  • staying in your own home
  • living without the need for glasses, canes, or hearing aids
  • able to cook your own meals
  • able to enjoy great-grandchildren

To learn some of the amazing secrets of healthy longevity and what it takes to live a life where you can have both quality and quantity of years. Read on, while I share interesting facts of this lifestyle that promotes longevity.

What These Amazing Places Have in Common

They Move Naturally

First, their way of life is their way of exercise.  They do not set out to formally perform an exercise regime.  In other words,  When the men of Sardinia, Italy need firewood, (Sardinia has the largest population of men who live to be 100 years old.) they do not break out a chainsaw and cut down a tree.  They break out a hatchet and cut firewood old school style. Next, they ride bikes at the age of 102! Also in Sardinia, housing is built vertically so they are regularly taking the stairs. These folks definately live a lifestyle that promotes longevity.

man resting from biking in the park EmbracingAging.us

Maintaining good health allows for quality living in our 70s, 80s,  and beyond.

Should one of the women in Okinawa decide that they like to bake a cake, they don’t run to the cupboard and break out a blender, they mix the batter by hand. Should the family decide to put in a garden and most do, they don’t go out and buy or rent a tiller, they use their sweat equity.  This is one of several ways that physical exercise is built into their daily living routines.  This lifestyle promotes longevity and is something I admire and aspire to do more of every day.

Family and Society

In each one of these 4 places, community and respect for the elderly are a priority.  Here in the U.S. at any local coffee shop or bar, you might see a poster of the latest famous model or musician ranging in age from 25 -30.  However, in Sardinia, you’re more likely to see posters of the oldest centenarians. Also, family dwellings consist of children, parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents. You should know, these family arrangements benefit the oldest and the youngest of the home the most.

Grandmother and granddaughter EmbracingAging.us

Grandmother enjoys holding newborn granddaughter

Centenarians know that their tribe is very important. My favorite is the Okinawan tradition of the Moai. When you are born, your moai is already established.  These are the people you will travel with throughout life.  If your house burns down, they’ve got your back.  Should you need someone to watch your children for you because you are in the hospital for a week, they are there for you.  It is an unwavering loyalty practiced by all members of the moai.

Plant-based Diet

Costa Rica has available very hard water higher in calcium.  According to scientists, this seems to explain why they have fewer bone breaks and hip injuries.

All of the regions mentioned above practice home gardening. Furthermore, gardening is a fundamental way of life and a perfect way to get plenty of physical exercises.

Personally, when I started blogging and this notion is really ironic, I began to think that I might not have time this year to put in a garden.  I’m seeing the error of my ways.  I will be gardening this year AND I will not use a tiller or other power tools to manage it.  Gardening by hand gives us the gift of good healthy food not exposed to gas fumes from tillers, weedeaters or mowers.

The garden is an opportunity for me to teach my family about the importance of nutrition, and how it benefits us physically.  If you’ve ever established a garden, then you know it’s also a great workout.  Interestingly, they do not seek to eat foods that aren’t in season. To them, this is simply common sense. They simply do not eat tomatoes in December.

Spiritual Connection

In and around Loma Linda California, the Seventh Day Adventists are on the longevity list. Most notably, they practice a vegan diet, free of meat, milk, and eggs.  Meals consist of fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans and tofu fixed in a variety of ways. Seventh-Day Adventists take their diet from the first book in the bible, Genisis.

Most importantly, the 24 hour period from Friday evening to Saturday evening is considered holy. Time spent during this period is with church and family.  They also take nature walks together inside this 24-hour window as part of their time to reflect, pray and spend time with other like-minded friends and family.  They count on this time each week knowing that it sustains them and refreshes them for the upcoming week.

Ikigai (eekeeguy) Okinawan for Reason for Living

Volunteer, contribute, give, donate word sign Embracingaging.us

Volunteer, Contribute and Give

All of the Centenarians will advise those of us in pursuit of longevity will tell us that having a purpose for living and greeting the sun each morning is essential to happiness. Consequently, It makes getting up every day worthwhile and fulfilling. Consider volunteering at your local food bank, caring for other members of your family, or foster stray animals until you can find them loving homes, these are the kinds of things that bring “joy de vive” to your heart. At the end of the day, you can feel good about giving back something of yourself to your community. This giving is receiving goodness from and for your heart and soul.

 

What’s the takeaway lesson here? Using Sardinia, Greece as the poster child for what to do and what not to do:

Lifestyle promotes longevity recommendations:

  • Plant a garden for the food and the exercise.
  • Walk or ride a bike as much as you can
  • Avoid donut shops and burger joints so you won’t need a gym (there aren’t any donut shops burger joints or gyms in Sardinia)
  • Develop grit, don’t let a convenient lifestyle make you soft.
  • The number one top of the list longevity food to eat more of every day is beans. All kinds of beans are game.

Blue Zones

Dan Buettner, the author of Blue Zones,  has traveled to all these places and researched in great detail the who, how and why of longevity. Also in his book, he goes more in depth on how the less convenient lifestyle promotes longevity as well as the best foods you can eat for a long life.

Finally, this post may contain affiliate links, which means that if you click on or purchase one of the products links I”ll receive some compensation which will support my addiction to all things coffee.

If you enjoyed this discussion and have ideas you’d like to share, feel free to leave your comments and share this post with friends.

I’m Karen with EmbracingAging.us

Reminding you to embrace your age

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“We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.”