Which Superfoods Will Protect My Eyesight?

superfoods_for_eye_health

Our eyes are under a lot of strain and sadly, for some of us, this will lead to serious damage and even blindness later in life. The culprit? Blue light emitted from our personal digital devices, computers and lighting. Over time, these harmful rays can cause degeneration of our retinas and lead to sight loss.

But it’s not all doom and gloom. Scientists at Harvard University have shown that certain superfoods actually protect against the damaging effects of blue light and can protect our eyesight in the future.  

What’s the science?

The reason blue light is so dangerous is that is has a much higher frequency than other visible light. This means the light rays vibrate more violently as they enter your eye, causing damage to your retina. Specifically, they damage your macula – a highly-pigmented area at the back of the retina.

The macula acts as a filter to blue light. It’s packed with yellow pigment, which fends of those harmful rays. Repeatedly having to do this takes its toll however, leading to what is called advanced macular degeneration. This condition is the leading cause of blindness in the West, affecting a staggering 30% of people over the age of 75. And we can only assume that, in the age of the ever-present smartphone, this figure looks set to rise.

How can superfoods help?

The Harvard study found that the nutrients in certain superfoods have a significant benefit to the health of our eyes. It followed the visual health of over 100,000 participants over the course of 20 years to conclude that two nutrients are vital in protecting against macular degeneration: lutein and zeaxanthin.

Researchers showed that people eating a diet rich in lutein and zeaxanthin are 40% less likely to suffer from advanced age-related macular degeneration. The reason? These two little carotenoids contain the yellow pigment the macula needs to be able to filter out blue light. Pretty clever huh?

Which superfoods should I be eating?

Fermented_Kale_supplementTop of the list is superfood favorite, kale. We always knew we loved these nutrient-dense greens and it can feature in a wide range of dishes from stir-fry to smoothies. If you’re not keen on its earthy taste don’t worry, there are also clever products and supplements that make eating your greens so much easier. Try Perfect Fermented Kale to quickly and easily get concentrated kale into your diet.

Other foods high in lutein and zeaxanthin include raw cress, raw spinach, cooked spinach and green peas. And in a slightly disappointing myth-buster, carrots were found to have relatively low levels of eyesight-protecting nutrients.

So, it looks like eating your greens is a must when it comes to protecting your eyesight. But exactly how many greens do you need to eat?

How much lutein and zeaxanthin do I need?

At this point in time, there is no established Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for either lutein or zeaxanthin. However, in another study into visual health – the Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS2) –  just 10mg of lutein and 2mg of zeaxanthin per day were found to have significant benefits to macular health.

In the study, this was provided in the form of a supplement but just one cup (or 100g) of cooked kale is thought to contain around 20mg of lutein and zeaxanthin. Five portions a day of other green vegetables, such as spinach, broccoli and peas, would also provide you with sufficient levels of these very special carotenoids. That’s a pretty delicious way to protect your eyesight!  

AMD and superfoods

Image Credit: Focus Clinics

Beyond Bulletproof: This coffee or tea is a low carb, filling snack or meal.

Beyond_bulletproof_coffee

By now, we’ve all heard about bulletproof coffee. It is also know as fat coffee, rocket fuel or buttered coffee, or even yak tea. Essentially, you add a couple tablespoons of good, cultured grass-fed butter (or other high quality oil or fat) to pump up your morning cup o’ joe. Adding processed sugar or pasteurized cream is frowned upon. People who have tried buttered coffee swear it tastes good, and gives them more energy and a better ability to focus. Dr. Oz even recommended buttered coffee for improved energy and to fight burnout. For a basic recipe click here.

Lately, I’ve been trying to drastically cut carbs, and have started drinking a few different varieties of fat coffee or yak tea in lieu of lunch. I find it really works to stave off hunger and keeps me energized for the rest of my work day. I add a scoop of Perfect Hydrolyzed Collagen for protein, and a couple different kinds of healthy fat plus a good fiber source to keep me full. Adding ground chia seeds adds great fiber. Cacao powder and turmeric add nice flavors and tons of healthy antioxidants and other health benefits. Below are my favorite beyond bulletproof recipes. The basic recipe is coffee or tea, protein powder, a fiber source, and two servings of healthy fats.

Chocolate Sunbutter Fat CoffeePeanut_butter_coffee_recipe

This recipe uses collagen for the protein and sunflower seed butter, coconut milk cream, and coconut oil for the healthy fats. I really like adding unrefined, organic, virgin coconut oil because it’s loaded with medium chain triglycerides. MCT’s are used as energy rather than getting stored as fat and are important for brain health.

Ingredients
8 – 12 oz organic fair trade coffee or tea
2 Tbs unsweetened coconut milk or unpasteurized heavy cream
1 scoop Perfect Hydrolyzed Collagen
2 Tbs unsweetened cacao powder
2 Tbs unsweetened sunflower butter (or nut butter of your choice)
1 Tbs organic ground chia seeds
10 drops stevia (or non-sugar sweetener of your choice)
5 ice cubes (optional for anyone who likes frozen coffee drinks)

Directions
Place coffee in a blender, then add coconut milk and nut butter. Blend on high a few seconds until well mixed. Add all other ingredients and blend on high until well mixed. Pour into a mug or glass and enjoy.

Mint Chocolate Mocha Mealmint_chocolate_butered_coffee_recipe

This recipe has a refreshing minty lift for those days you are dragging. Always add coconut milk or other cool ingredients to coffee first to cool it down a smidge before adding other ingredients. Some supplements lose nutritional benefits if heated too much.

Ingredients
8 – 12 oz organic fair trade coffee or tea
2 Tbs organic coconut milk or unpasteurized heavy cream
1 scoop Perfect Hydrolyzed Collagen
2 Tbs organic fair trade cacao powder
1 Tbs Perfect Coconut Oil
1 Tbs organic ground chia seeds
10 drops stevia or unprocessed sweetener of your choice
2 – 4 drops peppermint essential oil
5 ice cubes (optional if you like frozen coffee drinks)

Directions
Add coffee and coconut milk to a blender. Combine a couple seconds. Add all other ingredients and blend on high until well combined. Pour and enjoy!

Turmeric Fat Yak Teabutter_tea_recipe

This recipe adds flavorful turmeric for a fantastic nutritional boost to your buttered beverage.

Ingredients
8 – 12 oz green tea or organic fair trade coffee
1 Tbs grass fed butter
1 Tbs Perfect Coconut Oil
1 scoop Perfect Hydrolyzed Collagen
1 tsp Gaia Turmeric Boost
1 Tbs organic ground chia seeds
10 drops stevia or non-sugar sweetener of your choice

Directions
Blend green tea, butter and coconut oil for a few seconds. Add the remaining ingredients and blend until well combined. The butter in this will make it nice and frothy. Enjoy!

Beyond Bulletproof: Easy Coffee & Tea Meals or Snacks

So, to recap, to turn your buttered coffee or tea into a meal, you need to add a few ingredients to your brew.

  1. A good source of protein which helps power you through the next bunch of hours. I like Perfect Hydrolyzed Collagen best because it is virtually flavorless and adds 10 grams of protein in every 11 gram scoop.
  2. Add two servings of healthy fat. My favorites are 1 Tbs Perfect Coconut Oil, 1 Tbs grass-fed butter, 2 Tbs nut or sunflower butter and 1/4 cup coconut milk or unpasteurized heavy cream.
  3. Adding a good source of whole food, fiber – not grains – helps us feel full longer and is beneficial for digestion, the heart, balancing blood sugar levels and more.

Don’t have a blender handy? Shake it up instead.

You can make many beyond bulletproof coffee recipes in a shaker, leave out nut butters, and melt the oils in your hot beverage, then shake up all the ingredients. Perfect Hydrolyzed Collagen comes in handy single serve packets for easy travel to work or anywhere. Or, you can combine all but the coffee in your shaker before you go to work. Add the hot beverage and enjoy!

Do you have any great beyond bulletproof Coffee suggestions? Let us know your favorites!

 

Which Superfoods Are Missing From Most People’s Diet?

purple_superfoods_acai

Purple Superfoods and You

For many of us, the science of nutrition can be a scary beast.  There‘s a great deal of information out there, and with so many sources of information, some of it is outright confusing or contradictory.  Trying to digest this information and come to an informed opinion can then be tricky, as even simple questions have multiple answers. In this respect, most of us know the basics: fruit and vegetables are healthy. But beyond that things are less clear as to what is the very best of these foods available.  Here’s a handy introduction to the ‘purple superfoods’, one of nature’s very best foods for your body.

What are purple foods and why should I care?

It is no coincidence that the healthiest fruits and vegetables tend to be of a darker hue. The dark coloring and unusual shape of a beetroot or aubergines (eggplant) may deter some people, but this distinctive appearance is nonetheless synonymous with a plant rich in nutrients. Many berries also fit in the purple superfood category, like blueberries and acai berry. Purple superfoods come in a variety of shapes, sizes and forms, from large picked veggies, to powders, specifically designed to be consumed as a supplement.

There are reliable guides as to what constitutes a purple (and other colored) superfood. Portions of such foods should be included in the diets of absolutely everyone, whether you’re a fitness freak or not. Most of these foods are familiar and are easily picked up in markets for use in standard recipes – red onions and blueberries, for instance. Others, like aubergines and beetroot, may require a little more culinary imagination.

The question must therefore be asked: what makes purple foods so great? To answer this is hardly a secret, they are rich in antioxidants, a substance which carries many health benefits. Thanks to the presence of these, purple superfoods help prevent cellular damage, and have been proven to be highly effective at combating ‘free radicals’, unstable molecules known to cause so-called ‘oxidative stress’.  This stress can cause, or exacerbate, a variety of conditions such as diabetes, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.  It therefore pays to understand (and eat!) purple foods.

Less is sometimes more.

If you cannot stand fruit and vegetables in large doses, just a small quantity of the stuff can still improve your health. For example, a cup of blueberries a week can enhance grey brain matter, thereby improving memory retention and general cognitive functions. Meanwhile, a diet rich in purple superfoods can mitigate the effects of aging, especially the appearance of wrinkles as those malicious elements that degrade your skin over time won’t find it so easy with such a strong defense in place. Just ensure that any purple foods you do buy to add to your diet appear on your plate – around 45% of all fruit and vegetables purchased end up in the trash.  As our food options increase so does the likelihood that some of that food ends up as waste. Being smart about food means not just knowing the health benefits but also understanding food economy and how your wallet can benefit as well as your health.

However, purple superfoods are unlikely to end up as waste if you are smart about what role they serve in your diet.  For instance, they are a useful source of vital nutrients for those with allergies or particular dietary requirements.  Vegetarians can eat beetroot if they want a viable alternative source of protein. Acai berry is most often found as a supplement and can easily be taken in capsule form without worrying about how to prepare it. We like Perfect Acai best because it is organically grown, sustainably harvested and fairly-traded.

The golden (or purple) rule.

As with most things in life, moderation is key. Purple foods will improve your health as part of a balanced lifestyle, but they are not miraculous – if your diet or lifestyle is poor then the effect of these foods will be negligible.  But if wisely incorporated, either as a side dish or within recipes, they boast some impressive health benefits, especially as part of a weight loss program.  Furthermore, because they are less popular than their more famous fellow fruits and veggies, they tend to be inexpensive and easy to find. The issue for many consumers is that they seem to occupy a tricky niche as regards recipes- many of us wouldn’t be too sure what goes best with beetroot or red cabbage.  Fortunately, however, there are a whole host of recipes for purple foods just waiting to be discovered by an intrepid chef.

If you are looking to make a healthy addition to your meals or are simply looking to diversify your diet, purple superfoods are an excellent option – endlessly flexible and enormously beneficial. What’s not to like?

The Coconut Oil Connection: Can Coconut Oil Help Loved Ones with Alzheimer’s & Dementia?

coconut_oil_for_alzheimers

By now we’ve all heard of the benefits of coconut oil as observed by others. Many of you have even tried it – to improve skin or as a healthy fat substitute in baked goods. Could this delicious-tasting, healthy oil do much more than originally thought?

The Common Benefits of Coconut Oil

First, let’s look at some of the top reasons many people use a high quality coconut oil.

Some include:

  • Improve skin – hair, cuticles, body, lips, as shaving cream or massage oil
  • Enhance Hair – defrizzer, hair mask and even for the treatment of head lice
  • Brush teeth and improve oral care – as a toothpaste, mouthwash or for oil pulling
  • Cleaning – natural household uses include cleaning and conditioning wooden furniture, soften and moisturize leather, season cast iron pans and pots, and helps remove chewing gum from virtually anything.
  • Healing wounds and infections through its anti-fungal and antibacterial properties
  • Control glucose levels
  • Aiding weight loss
  • As a healthy fat in baking & cooking

Recently, study results have linked coconut oil to something much more important than originally thought. Something with the potential to be life changing for so many…

Can Coconut Oil Prevent and Treat Dementia?

While the uses mentioned above are ways people have observed coconut oil improving their lives, a recent University of Oxford study uncovered that coconut oil might help improve symptoms in people suffering from forms of dementia, like Alzheimer’s disease.

Alzheimers.net recently shared the following on their site about the study:

“…although the effects of coconut oil may be temporary, Alzheimer’s and dementia patients have indeed seen short-term benefits resulting from its use.”

Florida neonatologist Dr. Mary T. Newport explains in this Tedx Talk how this potential miracle oil helped her husband regain many functions after being stricken with early-onset Alzheimer’s. In her book, Alzheimer’s Disease: What If There Was A Cure?, she shares her family’s story and her theory, “…that ketones, which are byproducts of the breakdown of fats in the body, play an important role in brain health. The idea is that by boosting ketones, found in coconut oil, we can improve cognitive function.”

Dr. Newport’s second book published in 2013, The Coconut Oil and Low-Carbohydrate Solution for Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Other Diseases, offersa practical guide to using coconut oil and MCT oil and a sensible approach to lowering carbs in the diet to increase ketones, which provide alternative fuel for the brain.”

Studies are underway to look at the affects of coconut oil and a high ketone diet to improve or even stop the symptoms of dementias like Alzheimer’s. Many families desperate for help when nothing seems to be helping slow the disease in their loved one, have turned to coconut oil. You can read their testimonials all over the web.

The Science Behind Coconut Oil For Brain Function

In someone who has Alzheimer’s, some areas of the brain stop processing glucose – a primary source of energy. Question is, what if that gap could be plugged up to prevent this energy loss to keep brain cells alive?

Some have called dementia “diabetes of the brain.” Cells don’t function properly without insulin. As an alternative, the brain can use ketones as another fuel for the brain. Therefore, a ketogenic diet could be very beneficial. What exactly is a ketogenic diet, you ask? A ketogenic diet is one that is high in fat, low in carbs and rich in MCT (medium chain triglycerides) – found in and extracted from coconut oil. Some people with dementia symptoms experienced improvement after just one dose.

Dr. Newport shared a link on her Facebook page, to a recent study by The Nisshin Oillio Company, the largest edible oil company in Japan. The company studied MCT oil for the past 20+ years. The study shows how lauric acid, the only other source of which is found in mother’s breast milk, directly and potently “activates production of ketones in astrocytes which are brain cells that control energy metabolism in the brain and nourish neurons.”

This early evidence certainly is eye opening and encouraging.

Quality – What to Look For in a Coconut Oil

organic_virgin_cold-pressed_coconut_oilIt’s important to consider quality when deciding which oil to choose and how to use it. You’ll find a variety on the market but all are not alike.

Wendy Bazilian, R.D., author of The SuperFoodsRx Diet, shares the differences between various types of coconut oils in a SHAPE Magazine article titled “Everything You Need to Know About Coconut Oil”:

“Coconut oil that is labeled “virgin” or “extra virgin” is extracted from coconut meat {called Copra} using delicate methods such as cold-pressing. This type of oil will have more antioxidants as well as a stronger coconut flavor and aroma,” Bazilian says.

Good news is cold-pressed as well as expeller-pressed versions have a long shelf life. They keep for 2 years without needing refrigeration – longer than other types of oils.

Choosing an organic unrefined coconut oil (likely to contain no trans fats) that has not been hydrogenated, is the healthiest choice. Bazilian recommends researching brands online to find ones that avoid using harsh chemicals to refine their coconut oil. The fewer chemicals used in treating the oil means the fewer chemicals in the oil itself. Organic, unrefined coconut oil, such as Green Pasture Blue Breeze Organic Virgin Coconut Oil or Perfect Coconut Oil (organic, cold-pressed & extra virgin) is never processed with chemicals.

For those who aren’t yet into the coconut flavor, coconut oil capsule supplements like Perfect Coconut Oil Softgels will do the trick. These supplements travel well, too.

In a Coco-Nut Shell

While there is still a lot of research to be done on the benefits of coconut oil to treat dementia, there is a lot to be hopeful for, too. As with any natural remedy, it’s always best to check with your doctor before beginning any regimen.

 

Resources:

  1. Can Coconut Oil Prevent Alzheimer’s?: http://www.alzheimers.net/2013-05-29/coconut-oil-for-alzheimers/
  2. Health.com– Beauty Benefits of Coconut Oil
  3. Amazing Beauty Tricks With Coconut Oil: http://www.prevention.com/beauty/coconut-oil-cures-for-your-skin-and-hair
  4. Countless Uses for Coconut Oil – The Simple, the Strange, and the Downright Odd: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/11/18/coconut-oil-uses.aspx
  5. 10 things we didn’t know about coconut oil: Separating myths from miracles: http://www.today.com/food/10-ways-use-coconut-oil-separating-myths-miracles-t9451
  6. Alzheimer’s Disease: What If There Was A Cure?: http://coconutketones.com/

 

 

Improve Your Energy in One Protein- Packed Bite!

raw_proetin_energy_balls_recipe

by Kerrie Bross

So the kids are back in school now and probably feeling a little run down. Boost their energy with snacks that are high in protein and loaded with antioxidants to support the immune system during stressful times, like back-to-school.

Why are these such great snacks?

Aside from being tasty balls of goodness, they are loaded with raw, dried fruits to give an energy  boost. Dates are easily digested, so the energy comes quickly, and they are loaded with gut healthy fiber. They also contain vitamins A and K, as well as B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid) and B6 (pyridoxine). Dates are good sources of some important minerals and trace minerals – potassium, iron, copper, magnesium and manganese. Oh, and lets not forget there are also antioxidants in dates.

Cranberries have long been known for their wealth of antioxidants. But, did you know they are also an excellent source of vitamins B5, C, E and K? And they have manganese and copper. Fiber and anthocyanins are other notable nutrients in cranberries.

Whenever you want an antioxidant boost, turn to Perfect Acai. These berries have the highest ORAC value (measure for antioxidant power) of all fruits and vegetables! But, that’s not all, they are also good sources of vitamin A, fiber, monounsaturated fats, iron, calcium, and anthocyanins.

perfect_collagen_protein_snack_recipeNuts, seeds and collagen give these Protein Energy Balls the protein to keep you going for the long haul, along with many other benefits. Chia seeds contain essential fatty acids and vitamins A, B1 (thiamine), B3, E & D. They are an excellent source of calcium, and contain other minerals and trace minerals such as phosphorus, iron, magnesium, manganese, copper, zinc and potassium. And protein.

With over 82% of the RDA in a 1/4 cup serving, sunflower seeds are a powerhouse of vitamin E! They are also great sources of vitamins B1, B3, B6 and B9 (folate). There are plenty of minerals in these babies as well. You’ll find copper, selenium, magnesium, manganese and phosphorous. And more protein.

Almonds are no slouch in the health department. They are loaded with heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, the same kind found in olive oil. They are also excellent sources of  vitamins E, B2, and B7 (biotin). The minerals present are manganese, copper, magnesium, phosphorous and molybdenum, an essential trace mineral cofactor that helps the metabolism of carbohydrates and fats. And lets not forget protein.

Pumpkin seeds also pack a powerful health punch. They are a good source of vitamin E and an excellent source of zinc, and other minerals like magnesium, manganese, phosphorous, copper and iron. They are a great source of antioxidants as well. And even more protein.

The mega protein boost in these protein balls comes from the addition of Perfect Hydrolyzed Collagen. Each scoop contains 10g of protein from pasture-raised, grass-fed cattle. Super healthy! Collagen is the most abundant protein found in the human body and is great for bones, joints, digestion, and many other things.

With 4 – 5g of protein in each ball and natural sugars, they are the perfect snack for after lunch when the day starts to drag and your energy starts to lag. I’ve been eating a couple for a quick and easy breakfast!

Fruit & Nut Protein Ballspaleo_protein_energy_balls_recipe

Ingredients
1 C organic pitted dates
6 Tbs organic almond butter
3 11g scoops Perfect Hydrolyzed Collagen
5 3g scoops Perfect Acai Powder
1/2 C raw organic pumpkin seeds
1/4 C juice sweetened organic cranberries
1/4 C raw organic sunflower seeds
1 Tbs chia seeds

Directions
1.Combine the dates, almond butter, Perfect Hydrolyzed Collagen and Perfect Acai Powder in a food processor on high until well mixed. The consistency should be a bit moist so it will form good balls that stick together. If it is dry, add more almond butter until desired consistency.
2. Add the pumpkin seeds, cranberries, sunflower seeds and chia seeds. Mix on low just long enough to combine without completely obliterating the nuts and fruit.
3. Form into balls and enjoy!

Makes about 20 depending on how you roll them. I think 2 is a good serving size. Nutritional breakdown for each ball – protein over 4g, fat about 5g, total carbohydrates about 9g with roughly 6g natural sugars and about 2g fiber.

Double Chocolate Protein Balls

Ingredients
1 C organic pitted dates
6 Tbs organic almond butter
3 11g scoops Perfect Hydrolyzed Collagen
5 3g scoops Perfect Acai Powder
1/2 C unsweetened cocoa powder
2 Tsp real vanilla extract
2 Tbs honey
1 C raw organic slivered almonds
1/2 cup Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips

Directions
1. Combine the dates, almond butter, Perfect Hydrolyzed Collagen, Perfect Acai Powder, cocoa powder, vanilla extract and honey in a food processor on high until well mixed. The consistency should be a bit moist so it will form good balls that stick together. If it is dry, add more almond butter until desired consistency.
2. Add the almonds and chocolate chips. Mix on low just long enough to combine without completely obliterating the nuts and fruit.
3. Form into balls and enjoy!

Makes about 20 depending on how you roll them. I think 2 is a good serving size. Nutritional breakdown for each ball – total protein about 5g, fat about 7g, total carbohydrates about 13g with roughly 9g natural sugars and about 3g fiber.

 

Secrets of Aging Wisely

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“There has been an explosion of science in the field of aging. And I think the public doesn’t realize how far aging research has come. We have a lot of ideas about the mechanisms of aging, and tons and tons of pathways that can be optimized, tweaked, or activated to possibly extend lifespan. I think the public is probably about 30 years behind our thinking about aging. It’s as if we thought about cancer in the way we did in 1960.”  

Stuart Kim, Stanford University aging researcher

Are You Old and Wise, or Just Old?

Our culture tends to view aging as pathology. We fear it as though it is a dreaded disease. Most people believe that as we age we will become forgetful, incontinent, weak, fatigued, and senile. This leaves us afraid or depressed, both of which can further aggravate the downward spiral. Recently however, many doctors, researchers, and pro-active older people have begun to counter the prevailing wisdom about aging. Elders are speaking with knowledge and authority about their experience, and scientific research is redefining aging as a process. Our modern understanding of aging does not demand the end of health, pleasure, exercise, or mental engagement. Scientific inquiry has come a long way in support of ways to maximize vitality in our “golden years”.  We do not need to emulate our youth or negate our maturity. Instead we can learn the lessons from the science of physiology that enable us to take care of our bodies from the inside out.   It is possible to live a vital, honest expression of ourselves that honors the miles we have traveled.

The Physiology of Aging

Primitive people living in preindustrial cultures, whether in modern times or historical, show remarkable longevity and freedom from many of the chronic conditions that plague us today.   Weston A. Price, the esteemed dentist and nutritionist who studied indigenous people, found that tooth decay, cardiovascular disease, and obesity were virtually non-existent in these groups. He theorized that the vitamin rich, nutrient dense, non-processed foods that formed the basis of these diets held keys to the vital health experienced by those cultures. Today science is examining many of these same concepts and is able to analyze and define necessary foods and nutrients for a revitalized approach to health and aging. Today our wisdom is anchored in research and science.

Intelligent and Informed Aging

This cultural change in beliefs about aging can have tangible effects in how we experience life and what we feel our bodies are capable of. After all, it is pretty stressful to accept the definition of aging as decline. No one really wants to be “over the hill”! There are many common sense lifestyle factors that one can change as well as nutritional strategies for taking charge of one’s health as the years progress. Risk factors you can change include:

  • Poor Nutrition Habits
  • Smoking
  • Inactivity
  • Elevated Blood Pressure
  • High Cholesterol
  • Obesity and being Overweight
  • Excessive Alcohol
  • Stress

Listen to Your Gut

Eat the foods that make you feel good for the long haul rather that for instant gratification. If you eat lots of empty calories or sugary snacks, chances are your energy will drop, you’ll feel emotionally drained, and your tummy might actually hurt. These are signals directly from your gut!  Our physiologies were designed to thrive on nutrient dense foods such as vegetables, fruits, pasture raised meats and eggs, and whole grains. Proteins and fats should be eaten together to maximize absorption. As we age, our systems produce fewer digestive enzymes. Adopt good gut hygiene by supplementing with digestive enzymes to assist with nutrient absorption and decrease inflammation and oxidation from undigested food. In addition, aging guts tend to lose one of the key probiotic species necessary for optimal colon function. The colon (or large intestine) is the site of most of the bacterial and fungal population that keeps metabolism running smoothly. Without Bifidobacterium, immune and nervous system functioning may be compromised. Bifidobacterium is therefore an essential ingredient in a senior probiotic. Look for Bifido species in Mercola Complete and Catie’s Proflora probiotics. Many of today’s most difficult diseases are the result of inflammation which begins when toxins make the gut lining become permeable. This is often referred to as “Leaky Gut”.  Restore is a revolutionary new supplement for the gut which strengthens and repairs the membranes in the intestines bringing the all the body’s systems back into a healthy homeostasis.

The mouth and teeth are the entry to the digestive system but are often overlooked when thinking about supplementation. Take zinc to help aging taste buds restore their sense of taste and pleasure. CoQ10 in the converted form of ubiquinol helps prevent tooth loss at the same time that it ramps up your immune system and your brain. Finally, consider giving the body a full 12 hours of overnight fasting to allow it to move all the remaining food through the intestines. If it is not bogged down with digestion it can move the probiotics further into the colon where they do their most good.

Bone Up

Bones are constantly being replenished although the process can slow as we get up in years. In order for bone synthesis to keep up with bone loss there are several critical factors. First, exercise that engages the muscles against the bone keeps the bones strong. Secondly, one must get enough vitamin D, which tends to be harder to absorb with age. The best source of Vitamin D may be sunlight, but whole food supplements such as cod liver oil ensure that the bones and immune system are getting what they need, even when the sun isn’t shining. Catie’s Raw Vegetable Calcium provides the third necessary ingredient in bone and tooth health. Calcium is particularly tricky to absorb in isolation making it all the more important that Catie’s is a raw, whole food calcium. It happens to be a good source of vitamin D as well. Vitamin K2 supports the metabolism of many other nutrients and is needed for calcium to be directed to the bones. K2 also contributes to heart health and is useful in preventing calcified arteries. Lastly, magnesium assures adequate strength and density of bones and teeth. It is necessary for many biochemical reactions in the body including absorption and utilization of calcium. Take Catie’s Whole Food Magnesium or combine your calcium and magnesium in a balanced 1:1 ratio with Natural Vitality CalMag.

Power Up Your Brain

A 12 hour overnight fast is not only good for the gut. It also benefits the brain. There is a strong connection between the intestines (or gut) and the brain to the point where stress can affect bowel movements and gut integrity.  Conversely, stomach problems can result in depression, anxiety, and other emotional problems. A 12 hour overnight fast enables the brain to do repair work and eliminate unhealthy cells. The process is called apoptosis, and it happens most effectively when digestion is complete. Allowing apoptosis to occur regularly has the direct effect of clear thinking the next day and preventing cognitive decline for the long-term.

There are three powerful anti-aging supplements for the brain. One of them, CoQ10, reduced into its more bio-available form of ubiquinol, was also mentioned as a supplement for the gut. This is no accident. Ubiquinol is critical for the production of aerobic energy throughout the body. Many age related diseases are results of cellular dysfunction and oxidation both of which may be prevented by ubiquinol’s strong antioxidant action. This includes mental processes such as alertness and clarity of thought, which can be enhanced with ubiquinol. The second top anti-aging supplement is resveratrol. Resveratrol can improve blood supply to the brain, decrease the chance of blood clots or aneurysms, and support cellular energy. Resveratrol is not found naturally in the body, but can be found in grapes and Japanese knotweed. Supplementing with a quality brand of resveratrol such as Perfect Resgrape can provide what some researchers have referred to as the “Fountain of Youth”,  especially in regard to brain protective properties. The third highly beneficial anti-aging antioxidant is Acai. The Acai berry from Brazil is harvested sustainably from the Amazon palm tree locally known as “the Tree of Life”. Recognized for its ability to reduce stress, improve mood, and support memory into the senior years, Acai provides the omega fatty acids necessary for brain and cardiovascular health. It is a good source of fiber while being low in fructose thereby supporting digestive health as well.

A Blueprint for Aging

There are no ends to the lengths that people may go in order to look and appear younger. An entire market of products has built up around the demand for ways to combat the effects of aging whether it is beauty creams offering youthful skin, plastic surgery to mold and sculpt the aging body, or sexual enhancement pills offering hours of frisky action. By contrast, some promote the idea of aging gracefully. This seems to connote a degree of passive acceptance as we try to convince ourselves that we are now esteemed elders and can afford to look the part. Both of these perspectives seem to involve the belief that degeneration and loss of function is inevitable. Fortunately there is a third option for aging strategically. We can look to the experts in the fields of physiology, aging, and supplementation and decide what makes the most sense for us. What is applicable? What can be incorporated that could have critical life enhancing effects? We can design our own blueprint using the best that science has to offer.  Perhaps this is the truest way to wise and graceful aging.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Truth about Fermented Foods

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Traditional cultures around the world have utilized fermentation in their diets for all of recorded history. Before modern times it was one of the best ways to preserve food, including meat and fish, without refrigeration. But fermentation has it’s own health building benefits which many traditional societies sought with production of such well known fermented foods as European kefir, yogurt, and sauerkraut, Korean kimchi, and Japanese natto just to name a few. In fact, most primitive and traditional cultures devised some form of fermentation to increase the nutritional value of their foods.

What is Fermentation?

The natural process of using enzymes, bacteria, or yeast to begin the breakdown or pre-digestion of food is called fermentation. It is entirely different from rotting or putrefaction in which oxygen fuels the growth of pathogenic organisms. Fermentation is an anaerobic process, which serves to reduce any toxicity in foods such as vegetables or meat/fish. It creates a stable food that improves digestion through the creation of prebiotics and other beneficial gut bacteria. Fermenting reduces the food to its most nutrient dense form at the same time as making it more easily absorbed and usable.

Why Ferment?

Fermentation preserves food without the need for heat or cold. Cooking foods can destroy some of the delicate nutritional structures of the vitamins, amino acids, and other potent chemicals, thus rendering the food denatured. By contrast, fermenting generally increases the nutrient composition of foods, making it easier to digest, and improving absorption. Fermented foods help to optimize the immune system through better gut health thereby strengthening the sick and promoting the overall health and vigor typical of more traditional societies. Weston A. Price, the esteemed dentist and nutritional researcher of the 20th century, was one of the first to recognize the health building characteristics of more primitive diets. One of the consistent themes he reported was the high enzymatic content of lacto-fermented foods such as vegetables, meats, fish, dairy, fruits, beverages, and condiments eaten by these traditional cultures. Dr Price attributed the robust health of many primitive groups to a diet rich in fermented foods and high quality fats as well as “Activator X”, the vitamin we know today as K, which is found abundantly in fermented foods. For more information on the dietary revelations and fact based traditional knowledge of Weston A. Price, see the Weston A. Price Foundation.

Benefits of Fermentation

  • Increased nutritional density
  • Reduced toxicity
  • Added beneficial bacteria
  • Easier digestion and improved gut health
  • Increased absorption of nutrients
  • Optimized immune system
  • May help to control body weight
  • Supports mental health

Fermented Supplements

While fermentation is a natural process that has been utilized for hundreds of years, it also requires strict controls to ensure the outcome meets today’s safety and nutritional standards. The top quality manufacturers of fermented supplements employ stringent procedures allowing only beneficial microorganisms to flourish. Peaceful Planet sells fermented supplements only from brands that meet or exceed our high standards for quality and safety.

Perfect Supplements

Perfect Fermented Kale and Perfect 3 Grass Blend are two of Perfect Supplement’s premier products. By fermenting kale and a perfect grass blend of organic barley, oat, and wheat grass into easily consumed powders, they have made powerful foods even more potent. Both Perfect Fermented Kale and Perfect 3 Grass Blend are organic, vegan, gluten-free, and Kosher.

  • Perfect Fermented Kale powder contains vitamins K, C, beta-carotene, and folate, as well as many necessary minerals, and essential omega 3 fatty acids. When kale is fermented, beneficial enzymes and microorganisms are created that promote digestive health. Perfect Fermented Kale is easier to digest than raw kale allowing for better absorption of the nutrient dense richness.
  • Perfect 3 Grass Blend is loaded with vitamins B, C, and K, as well as protein, and the minerals magnesium, potassium, iron, and calcium. Detoxifying, cleansing, blood sugar and blood pressure modulating, Perfect 3 Grass Blend is indeed a super fermented food.

 

Green Pasture

Green Pasture produces some of the finest and most strictly controlled lactic-acid fermented products available. Free of all synthetic vitamins or additives, and tested repeatedly for contaminants, Green Pasture products harken back to some of the most revered fermented foods in traditional cultures.

  • Green Pasture Blue Ice Fermented Cod Liver Oil is Green Pasture’s signature supplement. Packed with easily absorbed, vitamins A, D, E, and K as well as fatty acids for brain and nervous system health, Green Pasture Fermented Cold Liver Oil has been used to increase tooth density and reverse tooth decay. It has high anti-inflammatory action to help with everything from arthritis to skin irritations. A calming agent to the nervous system, Fermented Cod Liver Oil may be useful in treating depression and ADHD. Cod liver oil is an exceptional source of natural D3, which is known to be critical for a strong immune system. Fermented Cod Liver Oil can help regulate blood sugar, making it a necessity for diabetics looking for natural treatments. With all these benefits and more, Green Pasture Fermented Cod Liver Oil is one of nature’s most healing super foods.
  •  Blue Ice Royal Blend is made by Green Pasture of 1/3 X-Factor Gold High Vitamin Butter Oil and 2/3 Blue Ice Fermented Cod Liver Oil for ultimate healing power. Dr. Weston A. Price believed that butter made from cows grazing on fresh grass contained the miraculous “Activator X” which, when combined with Fermented Cod Liver Oil, was truly exceptional in its healing potential. Today we recognize the “Activator X” was pure and bioavailable vitamin K2. Blue Ice Royal Blend offers pasture butter oil and fermented cod liver oil in easy to swallow capsules or in a gel.
  • Skate Liver Oil is fermented by Green Pasture as an alternative to Cod Liver Oil for pregnant women primarily because of its extremely high DHA content which aids in fetal development. People with cardiovascular issues may also prefer Skate Liver Oil to Cod because it does not interfere with blood clotting. It is richer in vitamin E than Cod Liver Oil and is a terrific source of vitamin K, the “activator” vitamin discovered by Dr. Weston A. Price. It is widely used to help decalcify the pineal gland.
  • Green Pasture Blue Ice Calm Balm combines their signature Fermented Cod Liver Oil with X-Factor Gold High Vitamin Butter Oil and menthol camphor for fast penetrating pain relief. An all-natural sore muscle rub and topical congestion remedy, Calm Balm is enriched with essential oils, coconut oil, and shea butter.  It soothes aching muscles and joints as well as clearing stuffy heads from colds or allergies. Since it is an all-natural product, it is safe to use on children.
  • Green Pasture Beauty Balm is a healing cleanser and moisturizer. It combines Fermented Cod Liver Oil and High Vitamin Butter Oil with Blue Breeze Organic Virgin Coconut Oil and other emollients and essential oils. It can be used on the face and also on the feet, skin, and lips for all-natural hydration. Treat acne breakouts, wrinkles, sunspots, rashes, and eczema with Beauty Balm for smoother, naturally clean skin. Green Pasture Beauty Balm is a wonderful way to infuse the skin with nutrients since the vitamins and amino acids are absorbed through the skin. Treat yourself to glowing, healthy skin and a more even complexion with hypoallergenic Beauty Balm.

Fermentation Heals What Ails Us

Fermented foods offer us the intergenerational wisdom of traditional cultures who relied on these precious nutrients to strengthen and heal their bodies. With our modern diet so lacking in nutrients from poor eating habits as well as the degradation of our food supply, it has become essential that we add fermented foods into our diets again. Perhaps the easiest and safest way to do this is through supplementation with the highest quality fermented supplements. Peaceful Planet is pleased to be your source for fermented health solutions!