What Everyone Should Know About Inflammation

This is a true story about inflammation that I could literally see with my own two eyes.  It was quite interesting actually to see it up close.

My beautiful daughter who is a third-grade school teacher, was on medication to aid her with weight loss.  She had a terrible allergic reaction to the medication. Next, she broke out in hives/whelps all over her body. Just so you know, this kind of inflammation is brought on by histamine.

Before I continue, you should know that this post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on or purchase one of the product links I’ll receive some compensation that will support my addiction to all things coffee.  “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.

She needed something to soothe her skin.  I volunteered to go to Walgreens to pick up some Aveeno lotion to help her get some relief.

Now, she hadn’t eaten dinner so she wanted something quick and easy so ramen noodles to the rescue… Or not.

I stayed with her while she ate and I kid you not, about 15 minutes after she ate those noodles, her hives turned bright red and doubled in size!

Inflammation at work

This my friend, is inflammation at work. The fact that she had hives was bad enough, but eating those glutinous noodles put her in an advanced state of misery.  The poor thing!

Now, sadly I wasn’t surprised. I didn’t tell her or advise her not to eat this particular food because she’s a grown woman. (And I’m still her mother and she’s not going to listen to me anyway.)

What’s the point of this story?
Sometimes it takes getting kicked while you’re down to understand how inflammatory foods affect you.

Gluten gets a bad rap.   However, there are quite a few other foods that cause and aggravate inflammation, illness, bone and joint conditions beyond arthritis and bring on headaches and migraines seemingly out of left field until you investigate the cause.

I know all too well how unhealthy eating habits can take their toll on a person’s quality of life. Long story short, I have lost as of today 176 lbs. Yes, I had weight loss surgery which was only the beginning of an entirely new way of life and journey to health and fitness.

Replace inflammatory foods with anti-inflammatory foods

 

What everyone should know about inflammation - Embracing-Aging.com

Omega 3 found in fish help put out the flame in inflammation. Feel free to pin this image.

The sooner one can make the necessary food substitutions the sooner one can get on the path to feeling healthier, energetic and vibrant. I believe the most important part of eating better,  when replacing an inflammatory food with an anti-inflammatory is to make it easy. A perfect example adds olive oil to your cooking replacing vegetable oil.  Starting with small adjustments will motivate you to do more to feel better.  I wrote Superior Foods for Optimal Nutrition to inform myself and others about foods containing the most nutritional value.

8 Food Ingredients That Can Cause Inflammation

When you have arthritis, your body is in an inflammatory state. What you eat may not only increase inflammation, it can also set you up for other chronic conditions such as obesity, heart disease, and diabetes.  From Arthritis.org, here are 8 typical food ingredients that may trigger more inflammation in your body.

Sugar

It may be hard to resist desserts, pastries, chocolate bars, sodas, even fruit juices. However, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition warns that processed sugars trigger the release of inflammatory messengers called cytokines. Sugar goes by many names so look out for any word ending in “ose,” e.g. fructose or sucrose on ingredient labels.

 Trans Fats

In the 1990s, Harvard School of Public Health researchers helped sound the alarm about trans fat.   Trans fats,  trigger systemic inflammation. Trans fats are in fast foods and other fried products.  Such as processed snack foods, frozen breakfast products, cookies, donuts, crackers, and most stick kinds of margarine. Avoid foods with partially hydrogenated oils in the ingredient labels.

Saturated Fats

Several studies have shown that saturated fats trigger adipose (fat tissue) inflammation.  This is an indicator of heart disease and also worsens arthritis inflammation. Pizza and cheese are the biggest sources of saturated fats in the average American diet, according to the National Cancer Institute. Other culprits include meat products (especially red meat), full-fat dairy products, pasta dishes, and grain-based desserts.

Omega 6 Fatty Acids

Omega 6 fatty acids are an essential fatty acid that the body needs for normal growth and development. The body needs a healthy balance of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. Excess consumption of omega-6s can trigger the body to produce pro-inflammatory chemicals.  Fatty acids are in corn oil, safflower oil, sunflower oil, grapeseed oil, soy oil, peanut oil, and vegetable oil; mayonnaise; and many salad dressings.

 Refined Carbohydrates

White flour products (bread, rolls, crackers) white rice, white potatoes (instant mashed potatoes, or french fries) and many kinds of cereal are refined carbohydrates. According to Scientific American, processed carbohydrates may trump fats as the main driver of escalating rates of obesity and other chronic conditions. These high-glycemic index foods fuel the production of advanced glycation end (AGE) products that stimulate inflammation.

 MSG

Mono-sodium glutamate (MSG) is a flavor-enhancing food additive most commonly found in prepared Asian food and soy sauce, but it can also be added to fast foods, prepared soups and soup mixes, salad dressings and deli meats. This chemical can trigger two important pathways of chronic inflammation, and affect liver health.

 Gluten and Casein

People who have joint pain and are sensitive to gluten, found in wheat, barley, and rye, or casein, found in dairy products, may find relief by avoiding them. And those diagnosed with celiac disease, in which gluten sets off an autoimmune response that damages the small intestine and sometimes causes joint pain may find relief when they adopt a gluten-free diet. There may be an overlap in which some people with arthritis also have a gluten sensitivity or also have celiac disease.

Aspartame

Trying to go sugar-free? I get it. For me, sugar is far more problematic than Aspartame.  This might not be true for you.  People with diabetes depend on sugar substitutes for blood sugar maintenance.

However, Aspartame is a non-nutritive, intense artificial sweetener found in more than 4,000 products worldwide. While it’s approved by the FDA, studies on its effects are mixed, and the impact on people with autoimmune disease are unknown. If you are sensitive to this chemical, your immune system may react to the “foreign substance” by attacking the chemical. This reaction will trigger an inflammatory response.

Alcohol

Alcohol is a burden to the liver. Excessive use weakens liver function and disrupts other multi-organ interactions. Furthermore, alcohol causes inflammation and should be eliminated or used in moderation.

Better food choices

Gluten is not the only offender. Especially if you’re fighting illness or dealing with arthritis or healing from an injury. Here is where the handy-dandy infographic comes in.

I see no need for reinventing the wheel, so I borrowed this infographic from Dr. Amy Neuzil, ND.  She is the author of What the Health. To read more you can go to her site dramyneuzil.com 

What everyone should know about inflammation - EmbracingAging.us

Infographic from What the Health

Keep track of your health and wellness

So the next time you aren’t feeling as good as you should, take a look at what you eat.  You can feel significantly better by switching out inflammatory foods for anti-inflammatory foods.

When I have a way to keep track of my food intake and exercise routines, I do so much better.  Using a habit tracker, food, and water tracker makes it clearer to me how I’m managing my health and wellness.

 You Can be 25 pounds Younger a Write-in Guidebook

The printable You Can be 25 pounds Younger a Write-in Guidebook, is full of questions for you to contemplate and tips to help you find your way back on track.  Most people know what they need to do. However, getting started can be half the battle.

Furthermore, being honest with ourselves is sometimes tricky when it comes to being accountable for what we eat and how much we exercise. Real progress comes when we are being really honest with ourselves. Using the tools included in this guidebook will serve you well if you use them every day.

Included are:

  • Items you may need list
  • Goal setting guides
  • Food, Water, Exercise and Habit Trackers
  • Weight and inches lost tracker
  • Resources to connect you to more valuable & helpful content

Also, there’s help for you to use positive thinking and visualization. Plus ways to help you stay focused are also included. The printable You Can be 25 pounds Younger a Write-in Guidebook is what helps you find your way back to vitality and regaining physical stamina

You Can be 25 Pounds Younger a Write-in Guidebook - EmbracingAging.us

You can be 25 Pounds Younger a Write-in Guidebook

Physical Stamina and Vitality

I reclaimed my physical stamina and vitality. However, I did it all on my own and it took me years and years to accomplish what I know today. It’s my most heartfelt wish to save you the time and impart to you the tools and information I’ve acquired to help you on your journey.

That’s all for today friends.  Finally, I hoped this post ” What Everyone Should Know About Inflammation” helped you.  I would be so appreciative if you would take a moment to share this post with your favorite social media outlet.  Please feel free to leave your comments and share your healthy aging tips.

I’m Karen with Embracing Aging,

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. Before I continue, you should know that this post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on or purchase one of the product links I’ll receive some compensation that will support my addiction to all things coffee.    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  Feel free to pin this image.

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

The following is a list of clean eating styles

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 like 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 superfood 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.

Web MD has this to say about clean eating The basic idea of clean eating is to choose foods that are as close to their natural form as possible. So instead of boxed, bagged, or packaged foods, choose fresh, whole ones. Think whole turkey instead of frozen turkey meatballs or raw grapes instead of gummy snacks made with fruit juice. Bonus: When you avoid highly processed foods, like chips, cookies, and ready-to-eat meals, you skip their loads of calories, sugar, salt, and saturated fat.

Beverages

When it comes to drinks, I agree with what Web MD has to say:  Instead of sugar-heavy soft drinks and juices, sip low-calorie beverages, such as water and herbal tea. Water can curb your hunger and help you feel full, but it can also fend off fatigue and give you more energy. Miss flavored drinks? Try infusing your water with a slice of citrus or sprig of mint.

Artificial Ingredients

Artificial colors, sweeteners, preservatives, and other manmade ingredients don’t have a place in a clean-eating diet. At the grocery store, read food labels and avoid items with the fake stuff.

Going Organic?

Some believe eating organic food is the best approach to clean eating.  This excerpt from Web MD says:  Organic farmers use natural pesticides and avoid man-made ones, so some people say organic produce is the best way to eat clean. It’s up to you to decide how important it is to your diet. You can also shop at your local farmer’s market to find out what kinds of pesticides the vendors use. Another tip: Pesticides usually wind up on the outsides of fruits and veggies, so you can choose non-organic foods with skins you don’t eat, like avocados, corn, and onions.

Basket of fresh vegetables. EmbracingAging.us

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

Medical News Today states:

Some people on a clean diet may refuse to eat foods that have been treated with hormones, antibiotics, and pesticides, while another person may choose not to eat foods packaged in boxes or jars.

Magazines and books on clean eating often promise that a clean diet will help a person enjoy many health benefits. These can include heightened energy, glowing skin, and weight loss.

What Clean Eating Means Here are Ideas to Get You Started - EmbracingAging.com

What Clean Eating Means.  Feel free to pin this image.

However, according to an article in the British Medical Journal, many of the claims regarding clean eating are a “loose interpretation of facts.” While clean eating can help a person feel physically better, so can less-restrictive dietary approaches.

Not all additives are bad

Just because foods have additives does not mean they are unhealthful.

Some people on a clean eating diet may refuse to eat any foods that contain additives because they believe the food is not in its purest, natural state. However, there are some beneficial food additives.

Examples include vitamin D that can be added to milk to enhance bones or iron to orange juice. While these foods may not be pure in the literal sense, they can help a person achieve their daily nutritional needs.

However, some additives are not beneficial and could be described as dirty. An example is trans fats, which are added to foods to extend their shelf life. Trans fats are thought to increase a person’s cholesterol levels significantly, which can result in problems with heart health.

This is an example where making cleaner choices and avoiding trans fats can be beneficial.

If you would like to read more about the myths and facts of clean eating, visit Medical News Today.

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)

I’m Karen with Embracing Aging,

Reminding you to Embrace Your Age

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You Can be 25 Pounds Younger a Write-in Guidebook

Insulin Resistance & Metabolic Syndrome

Insulin Resistance & Metabolic Syndrome

According to the Mayo Clinic, Insulin Resistance & Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of conditions that occur together, increasing your risk of heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. These conditions include increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist, and abnormal cholesterol or triglyceride levels.

You should know, this post contains affiliate links.  In other words,  if you click on or purchase one of the product links, I’ll receive some compensation. Which further allows me to support my coffee addiction.

Having just one of these conditions doesn’t mean you have metabolic syndrome. But it does mean you have a greater risk of serious disease. And if you develop more of these conditions, your risk of complications, such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease, rises even higher.

Metabolic syndrome is increasingly common, and up to one-third of U.S. adults have it. If you have metabolic syndrome or any of its components, aggressive lifestyle changes can delay or even prevent the development of serious health problems.

Symptoms

Most of the disorders associated with metabolic syndrome don’t have obvious signs or symptoms. One sign that is visible is a large waist circumference. And if your blood sugar is high, you might notice the signs and symptoms of diabetes — such as increased thirst and urination, fatigue, and blurred vision.

When to see a doctor

If you know you have at least one component of metabolic syndrome, ask your doctor whether you need testing for other components of the syndrome.

Causes

Metabolic syndrome is closely linked to overweight or obesity and inactivity.

It’s also linked to a condition called insulin resistance. Normally, your digestive system breaks down the foods you eat into sugar. Insulin is a hormone made by your pancreas that helps sugar enter your cells to be used as fuel.

In people with insulin resistance, cells don’t respond normally to insulin and glucose can’t enter the cells as easily. As a result, your blood sugar levels rise even as your body churns out more and more insulin to try to lower your blood sugar.

Risk factors

The following factors increase your chances of having metabolic syndrome:

  • Age. Your risk of metabolic syndrome increases with age.
  • Ethnicity. In the United States, Hispanics— especially Hispanic women — appear to be at the greatest risk of developing metabolic syndrome.
  • Obesity. Carrying too much weight, especially in your abdomen, increases your risk of metabolic syndrome.
  • Diabetes. You’re more likely to have metabolic syndrome if you had diabetes during pregnancy (gestational diabetes) or if you have a family history of type 2 diabetes.
  • Other diseases. Your risk of metabolic syndrome is higher if you’ve ever had nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, polycystic ovary syndrome or sleep apnea.

Complications

Having metabolic syndrome can increase your risk of developing:

  • Type 2 diabetes. If you don’t make lifestyle changes to control your excess weight, you may develop insulin resistance, which can cause your blood sugar levels to rise. Eventually, insulin resistance can lead to type 2 diabetes.
  • Heart and blood vessel disease. High cholesterol and high blood pressure can contribute to the buildup of plaques in your arteries. These plaques can narrow and harden your arteries, which can lead to a heart attack or stroke.

Prevention

Mayo Clinic’s book Healthy Heart for Life is an excellent resource for help.

Mayo Clinic Healthy Heart for Life Book Cover -  Insulin Resistance & Metabolic Syndrome

Mayo Clinic Healthy Heart for Life

  See it on Amazon

A lifelong commitment to a healthy lifestyle may prevent the conditions that cause metabolic syndrome. A healthy lifestyle includes:

  • Getting at least 30 minutes of physical activity most days
  • Eating plenty of vegetables, fruits, lean protein, and whole grains
  • Limiting saturated fat and salt in your diet
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Not smoking

If you would like to contact a professional at the Mayo Clinic, here are a few resources that can help you.

 Insulin Resistance & Metabolic Syndrome - Embracing Aging.us

Insulin Resistance & Metabolic Syndrome

   Smart Carbs and Proteins

Healthy bread - Insulin Resistance & Metabolic Syndrome - EmbracingAging.us

Bread can be healthy when it’s whole grain and nutrient-dense.

7 of the Healthiest Breads you can choose

  • Sprouted whole grain
  • Sourdough
  • 100% whole wheat
  • Oat bread
  • Flax bread
  • 100% sprouted rye bread
  • Healthy gluten-free bread

Over at Healthline.com, you can find a detailed description of each one of these healthy bread options.

Also, homebaked bread using whole grains and whole mixed grains can be a healthy option over sugary store brands.  I enjoy homebaked loaves of bread with walnuts, cranberries, and dates. I like being able to control my ingredients from choosing gluten-free coconut flour and using a sugar substitute.

  Insulin Resistance & Metabolic Syndrome- EmbracingAging.us

Healthy dried fruit and nuts in a whole grain loaf.

 Insulin Resistance & Metabolic Syndrome risk increase with abdominal fat

 Insulin Resistance & Metabolic Syndrome - EmbracingAging.us

One of the most dangerous places to have fat is around your chest and belly.

Harvard Medical School’s Publication Harvard Health had this bit of important documentation about the dangers of visceral fat around your internal organs:  Abdominal, or visceral, fat is of particular concern because it’s a key player in a variety of health problems — much more so than subcutaneous fat, the kind you can grasp with your hand. Visceral fat, on the other hand, lies out of reach, deep within the abdominal cavity, where it pads the spaces between our abdominal organs.

Visceral fat has been linked to metabolic disturbances and increased risk for cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. In women, it is also associated with breast cancer and the need for gallbladder surgery.

Are you pear-shaped or apple-shaped?

Fat accumulated in the lower body (the pear shape) is subcutaneous, while fat in the abdominal area (the apple shape) is largely visceral. Where fat ends up is influenced by several factors, including heredity and hormones. As the evidence against abdominal fat mounts, researchers and clinicians are trying to measure it, correlate it with health risks, and monitor changes that occur with age and overall weight gain or loss.

  Insulin Resistance & Metabolic Syndrome - EmbracingAging.us

Insulin Resistance & Metabolic Syndrome risk increase with abdominal fat

 

The fat you can pinch is subcutaneous fat. The fat inside your belly (the visceral fat) can be seen and measured, but not pinched.

One reason excess visceral fat is so harmful could be its location near the portal vein, which carries blood from the intestinal area to the liver. Substances released by visceral fat, including free fatty acids, enter the portal vein and travel to the liver, where they can influence the production of blood lipids. Visceral fat is directly linked with higher total cholesterol and LDL (bad) cholesterol, lower HDL (good) cholesterol, and insulin resistance.

Insulin resistance means that your body’s muscle and liver cells don’t respond adequately to normal levels of insulin, the pancreatic hormone that carries glucose into the body’s cells. Glucose levels in the blood rise, heightening the risk for diabetes. Now for the good news.

Exercise and dieting helps you lose belly fat

So what can we do about tubby tummies? A lot, it turns out. The starting point for bringing weight under control, in general, and combating abdominal fat, in particular, is regular moderate-intensity physical activity — at least 30 minutes per day (and perhaps up to 60 minutes per day) to control weight and lose belly fat. Strength training (exercising with weights) may also help fight abdominal fat. Spot exercising, such as doing sit-ups, can tighten abdominal muscles, but it won’t get at visceral fat.

Diet is also important. Pay attention to portion size, and emphasize complex carbohydrates (fruits, vegetables, and whole grains) and lean protein over simple carbohydrates such as white bread, refined-grain pasta, and sugary drinks. Replacing saturated fats and trans fats with polyunsaturated fats can also help.

Scientists hope to develop drug treatments that target abdominal fat. For now, experts stress that lifestyle, especially exercise, is the very best way to fight visceral fat.

Getting control over Insulin Resistance & Metabolic Syndrome can be jump-started by losing 25 pounds.

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 yourself, 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 you’re doing there are folks or fur babies that count on you to be there for them regularly. I created a guidebook to help those who would like to lose 25 pounds.  You Cabe 25 Pounds Younger a Write-in Guidebook. 

It doesn’t mean that you put your head down and put your nose to the grindstone.  I’ll work harder, longer, faster.  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 yourself so you can take care of the things and the people you love.

You Can be 25 pounds Younger a Write-in Guidebook

The printable You Can be 25 pounds Younger a Write-in Guidebook, is full of questions for you to contemplate and tips to help you find your way back on track., Most people know what they need to do. However, getting started can be half the battle.

Furthermore, being honest with ourselves is sometimes tricky when it comes to being accountable for what we eat and how much we exercise. Real progress comes when we are being really honest with ourselves. Using the tools included in this guidebook will serve you well if you use them every day.

Included are:

  • Items you may need list
  • Goal setting guides
  • Food, Water, Exercise and Habit Trackers
  • Weight and inches lost tracker
  • Resources to connect you to more valuable & helpful content

Also, there’s help for you to use positive thinking and visualization. Plus ways to help you stay focused are also included. The printable You Can be 25 pounds Younger a Write-in Guidebook is what helps you find your way back to vitality and regaining physical stamina

You Can be 25 Pounds Younger a Write-in Guidebook - EmbracingAging.us

You can be 25 Pounds Younger a Write-in Guidebook

Physical Stamina and Vitality

I reclaimed my physical stamina and vitality. However, I did it all on my own and it took me years and years to accomplish what I know today. It’s my most heartfelt wish to save you the time and impart to you the tools and information I’ve acquired to help you on your journey.

An ounce of prevention is supposedly worth a pound of cure so maintaining wellness visits to the doctor are recommended with a place to include your notes and ideas for best results.

That’s all for today friends.  Finally, I hoped this post ” Insulin Resistance & Metabolic Syndrome” helped you.  I would be so appreciative if you would take a moment to share this post with your favorite social media outlet.  Please feel free to leave your comments and share your healthy aging tips.

I’m Karen with Embracing Aging,

Reminding you to Embrace Your Age.

Superior Skincare With Vitamin C

 

Superior Skincare with Vitamin C

Superior Skincare with vitamin C is a trilateral approach. You can, in fact, implement this technique for healthier more radiant skin. Therefore, in this blog post, vitamin C will be our weapon of choice. This way, we have three approaches to upgrade our skin’s health. Furthermore, this method will help you get some form of vitamin C for your skin every day. Today, dermatologists agree that vitamin C is one of the best treatments for skin conditions and skin maintenance.

You should know, this post contains affiliate links.  In other words,  if you click on or purchase one of the products links, I’ll receive some compensation. Which further allows me to support my coffee addiction.

Benefits of vitamin C:

  • Vitamin C is the most abundant antioxidant in the skin.
  •  It becomes more important as we age.
  • Has the ability to limit sun damage.
  • Can be used by vitamin supplement, topically by skincare products, and through food.
  • It helps build Collagen.
  • Maintaining healthy Vitamin C levels protects the skin from discoloration.
  • Helps the construction of elastin which thickens and plumps the skin.

Vitamin C is, in fact, water soluble.  (hopefully, you’re getting enough water) Therefore, your body will, in fact, expel through urine what it cannot absorb. Next, implementing this three-pronged approach to Superior Skincare with Vitamin C is exactly what our skin needs.  In other words, our bodies have more than one way of absorbing nutrients and antioxidants. That being said, we should use all available avenues to give our skin what it needs to be healthiest.

First, vitamin C can be absorbed by consuming the right kinds of foods. Thank you, Dr. Axe, for this excellent list.

Interestingly, people who eat a healthy diet with plenty of vitamin C may indeed have smoother, softer skin. Because vitamin C is an antioxidant, it helps protect your skin from free radicals. Consequently, free radicals break down oils, proteins, and even DNA WebM

Superior Skincare with Vitamin C EmbracingAging.us

Black Currants

  1. Black Currant — 1 cup: 203 milligrams (338 percent DV)
  2. Red Pepper — 1 cup: 190 milligrams (317 percent DV)
  3. Kiwifruit — 1 cup: 164 milligrams (273 percent DV)
  4. Guava — 1 fruit: 126 milligrams (209 percent DV)
  5. Green Bell Pepper — 1 cup: 120 milligrams (200 percent DV)
  6. Orange — 1 large: 98 milligrams (163 percent DV)
  7. Strawberries — 1 cup: 89 milligrams (149 percent DV)
  8. Papaya — 1 cup: 87 milligrams (144 percent DV)
  9. Broccoli — 1 cup, raw: 81 milligrams (135 percent DV)
  10. Kale — 1 cup, raw: 80 milligrams (134 percent DV)
  11. Parsley — 1 cup: 80 milligrams (133 percent DV)
  12. Pineapple — 1 cup: 79 milligrams (131 percent DV)
  13. Brussels Sprouts — 1/2 cup, cooked: 48 milligrams (81 percent DV)
  14. Cauliflower — 1 cup, raw: 46 milligrams (77 percent DV)
  15. Mango — 1 cup: 46 milligrams (76 percent DV)
  16. Lemon — 1 fruit: 45 milligrams (74 percent DV)
  17. Grapefruit — 1/2 fruit: 38 milligrams (64 percent DV)
  18. Honeydew — 1 cup: 32 milligrams (53 percent DV)
  19. Peas — 1 cup, cooked: 23 milligrams (38 percent DV)
  20. Tomatoes — 1 cup, raw: 23 milligrams (38 percent DV)

Vitamin C three ways continued

Second, if you aren’t able to get enough vitamin C through a balanced diet, surely, taking a vitamin supplement is recommended. Sometimes, consuming enough fruits and vegetables can be problematic. So, to make it easier, strike a balance by combining foods and a vitamin C supplement.

Third, in this trilateral approach to getting the most vitamin C, is the topical application of vitamin C as a serum, or cream.  Pardon the pun, herein lies the rub. Not all Vitamin C serums are created equal.  What I mean to say is, Vitamin C is tricky to work into a serum or a cream.  In fact, it will start to discolor, turning a golden brown.  When exposed to light, it begins to lose its effectiveness. Thereby making it difficult for the skin to absorb.

You should know, our skin has a ph balance of 5.4.  So, in order for Vitamin C serum to be effectively absorbed into the skin, it has to be more acidic.  But, it takes a talented chemist to create a serum that is indeed compatible and safe to use topically.  Also note, Vitamin C serum should come in a light-resistant container and also have limited exposure to the air.

Top 5 foods for Superior Skincare with Vitamin C

  1. Black Currant — 1 cup: 203 milligrams (338 percent DV)
  2. Red Pepper — 1 cup: 190 milligrams (317 percent DV)
  3. Kiwifruit — 1 cup: 164 milligrams (273 percent DV)
  4. Guava — 1 fruit: 126 milligrams (209 percent DV)
  5. Green Bell Pepper — 1 cup: 120 milligrams (200 percent DV) Thanks again Dr. Axe
Superior Skincare with Vitamin C EmbracingAging.us

Kiwi Smoothies are loaded with vitamin C

Chances are, even if you are able to consume some of these or even all of these foods, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to consume them consistently every day.

This brings us to our next segment-

Top 5 supplements for Superior Skincare with Vitamin C

Viva naturals

  • Number 1 best selling Vegetarian supplement on Amazon.
  • non-GMO.
  • European sourced QualiC(registered trademark) from Scotland.

Find it on Amazon

Superior Skincare with Vitamin C EmbracingAging.us

Viva naturals Vitamin C 1000mg

Next in the lineup is Smarter Vitamins

  • 100% Organic and non-GMO berry sourced.  Made with 11 Premium Whole Food Berries. Such as Acai, Acerola, Amla, Cranberry, Goji, Jabuticaba, Mangosteen, Maqui, Pomegranate, Strawberry, & Schisandra.
  • NO BS (BAD STUFF) – Fillers, Magnesium Stearate, Dioxides, Silica, Maltodextrin, Carrageenan, Soy, Milk, Egg, Corn, Tree Nuts, Artificial Colors, Or Preservatives.
  • No synthetic ascorbic acid.

Find it on Amazon

Superior Skincare with Vitamin C EmbracingAging.us

Smarter Vitamins

Also, consider Now C-1000

  • Formulated to provide a sustained release of vitamin C.
  • Vegan/Vegetarian, Quality GMP Assured, Non-GMO, Soy Free, Kosher contains rosehips.
  • 250 Tablets = best value for your $.

Find it on Amazon

Superior Skincare with Vitamin C EmbracingAging.us

Now C-1000

In fourth place, Doctor’s Best Vitamin C with QualiC.

  • Vitamin C featuring Quali -C provides a brand of ascorbic acid manufactured in Scotland.
  • Gluten Free, Non-GMO, Vegan, Soy-free.
  • Sustained Release formula.

Find it on Amazon

Superior Skincare with Vitamin C EmbracingAging.us

Doctor’s Best Vitamin C with QualiC

Finally, Vitamin Code Raw Vitamin C by Garden of Life

  • PROBIOTICS AND ENZYMES: Our plant-based c vitamin includes a RAW probiotic and enzyme blend for digestive support and vegetable blend for additional nutritional support.
  • VEGAN VITAMIN C: Our real food vegan C vitamin is RAW, Gluten Free, Dairy Free and non-GMO with No Binders or Fillers
  • No high heat, synthetic binders or fillers, artificial flavors, sweeteners, colors or additives.

Find it on Amazon

Superior Skincare with Vitamin C EmbracingAging.us

Vitamin Code Raw Vitamin C by Garden of Life

Superior Skincare with Vitamin C is paramount for healthy vibrant skin

Consequently, vitamin C helps you get rid of the chemicals that cause damage inside your body.  Also, it helps offset the effects of pollution, cigarette smoke, sunlight, and radiation. Furthermore, it even helps turn food into energy.  With this in mind, it could also help keep things working better longer. Furthermore, vitamin C protects you from diseases, including Alzheimer’s and cancer. Thank you, WebMD.

Moving on, your body needs vitamin C to help it make bones, cartilage, skin, and muscles (including your heart), ligaments, tendons, and blood vessels. As a result, vitamin C is important for new skin.  Such as scar tissue, when you get cut, and to keep you from getting wrinkles. WebMD

So, when you get hurt, levels of vitamin C in your blood and tissue go down.  Consequently, your body needs it to make collagen, a protein that plays an important role in each stage of repairing the skin. Moreover, vitamin C helps neutrophils, which is a type of white blood cell that fights off infections.  WebMD

Now, let’s take a look at Vitamin C skincare serums

Top 5 serums for Superior Skincare with Vitamin C

First, is TruSkin. 

  • Contains 20% Vitamin C and Vitamin E.
  • Hyaluronic acid.
  • Cruelty-Free.

Find it on Amazon

Superior Skincare with Vitamin C EmbracingAging.us

TruSkin Serum

 

Second, is Claire-ity

  • 25% Vitamin C – Promote collagen synthesis.
  • Combined with Vitamin E and Hyaluronic Acid.
  •  Botanical-based ingredients with no parabens, no alcohol, and no animal testing. Made in the USA.

Find it on Amazon

Next, Meera’s Beauty Vitamin C serum

Superior Skincare with Vitamin C EmbracingAging.us

Meera’s Beauty Vitamin C Serum

  • VITAMIN C (20%).
  • Witch hazel, aloe, amino acids, gotu kola extract, horsetail plant extract, dandelion extract & geranium extract.
  • Cruelty-free.

Find it on Amazon

Fourth, is Insta Natural Vitamin C serum

Superior Skincare with Vitamin C EmbracingAging.us

Insta Natural Vitamin C Serum

  • Made in the USA.

  •  Includes Ferulic Acid to defend against damage. Coupled with Hyaluronic Acid and Sea Buckthorn Oil.
  • A unique blend of Plant Stem Cells, natural oils, and botanical extracts.

Find it on Amazon

Finally, Tree of Life Vitamin C Serum

Superior Skincare with Vitamin C EmbracingAging.us

Tree of Life Vitamin C Serum

  • 100% Vegan. Meaning you can feel secure knowing you are not using products made from animals.
  • Paraben-Free.  Which means it is much healthier for your skin long-term.
  • Made in the USA.

Find it on Amazon

Let’s recap the best possible approach to excellent skin health.

  • Eat foods high in vitamin C as often as you can.
  • Use a supplement to make sure you get plenty of vitamin C.
  • Choose a good quality serum to apply to the skin preferably before bed.

That’s all for today friends.

 

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 Embracing Aging

Reminding you to Embrace Your Age

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

Habitually Overeating Accelerates Aging

Habitually Overeating Accelerates Aging

I was guilty of habitually overeating and needless to say weighing 380 lbs made me feel very old. Before I continue, you should know that this post contains 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.

Testifying to this fact, my age at the time of my weighing 380 lbs. was only 41.  I felt like 81. Needless to say, my mobility was terrible. So much so, that I had to have assistance with all kinds of regular everyday activities.  Such as taking the elevator when possible. I needed my husband’s help in and out of the car, and I was limited to taking showers because at 380 lbs.  I simply did not fit in the bathtub.

Moving on, I had a terrible attitude towards food which was waste not, want not. This is fine in other areas of life, but when it comes to eating habits, this rule can and should be thrown out the proverbial window. At the time, I had a clean my plate mentality so, when it came to eating out especially at buffet-style restaurants As is typical of most overweight Americans, I thought it necessary to get my money’s worth of food.

 

EmbracingAing.us

Naturewise CLA– Enhances Exercise, Non-stimulating, Non-GMO

Find Naturewise CLA on Amazon

 

Habitually overeating and diabetes

Habitually Overeating, sharps container, EmbracingAging.us

Habitually Overeating Accelerates Aging

I fully realize there are two types of diabetes.  Now, type 2 is the one I want to discuss in this blog post.  Just now, I literally had to sit here and contemplate the ramifications of poorly controlled type 2 diabetes. Therefore, if someone who has type 2 diabetes isn’t careful about their food choices, as I’m sure you are well aware, the complications of this disease are deadly.

Now, on to a more positive discussion about this topic. I would like to take a minute to share how I now look at the buffet spread when I go out to eat with my family. Moreover, the choices of healthy options are fabulous and delicious.

Certainly, the buffet is the perfect opportunity to practice an eating clean mindset. (read more here) When I’m looking the situation over, just know that I don’t feel at all deprived when we go there because I’m evaluating my best options. Here are some healthy recommendations for eating at the buffet.

 

 

EmbracingAging.us

Protein is key when it comes to weight loss. Whey protein is an excellent choice.

Find Gold Standard Whey Protein on Amazon

 

First, choose these meat options: 

  • Fish
  • Shellfish
  • Skinless Chicken
  • Skinless Turkey
  • Beans peas, and lentils as meat substitutes
  • Lean beef- round, sirloin, chuck and loin.  Avoid “prime”

 Resist battered, and fried meat like fried chicken,  fish. Pass on red meat labeled “prime” like prime rib.

 

buffet vegetables EmbracingAging.us

 

Next, choose these vegetable options:

  •  raw vegetables on the salad bar
  • beans, peas seeds, sprouts

also choose hot vegetable such as:

  • Asparagus
  • beans- like; kidney and pinto
  • beets
  • broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • cabbage
  • carrots
  • cauliflower
  • green beans
  • onions
  • peppers
  • kale, mustard greens, spinach, and turnip greens
  • squash- butternut, yellow and zucchini

Avoid fried vegetables and starchy vegetables like potatoes and corn

 

EmbracingAging.us

Healthy Portions

Find Healthy Portions on Amazon

 When you choose fresh fruit, you can’t go wrong

  • Fresh fruit on the salad bar and dessert bar
  • craisins (dried cranberries) and raisins

Avoid fruit in heavy syrup or sauces like peaches

Use visualization

Using the technique of visualization will help establish a good mindset for better eating habits. When we visit a restaurant, especially buffets I imagine vividly, walking into the restaurant and right from the start ordering water, unsweetened tea, coffee, or diet soda.  Furthermore, I’m not a fan of any soda, however, diet soda is far better than a regular soda in terms of calories. Emphasizing how this helps me, visualization really locks in my self-control and enables me to be smart about my food choices.

Next, if you will imagine taking your plate to the buffet knowing in advance that you will start with a fresh salad and of course you are wise about the dressing for your salad.  Sidebar about the salad bar, when it comes to salad dressing, my favorite hack is to put my dressing on the side and dip the tines of my fork. There’s good flavor and fewer calories are consumed.

Moving on through our visualization technique,  Imagine choosing better meat, and vegetables. Let me say,  I love this part of my meal because I eat the healthy choices that I don’t often buy at the store usually due to cost.  Such as shrimp, salmon, or asparagus.  This is the best way to take advantage of the buffet.

Outsmart the restaurant industry

Interestingly, the buffet is laid out in such a way that the cheapest foods are the most accessible.  Usually, the foods furthest away from you are the more expensive. This signifies, the further you have to walk or reach to get what you want, is what cost them the most to put on the buffet spread. So when you are strategic about your choices, you don’t maximize your “bottom line” while maximizing their bottom line.

Alright, we’re doing great.  Now I’ve deliberately left out something that many people find irresistible, bread, or rolls. This one is kind of a no-brainer. Which is to say, the more bread I eat, the more I resemble a popped can of biscuits. That’s all I really have to say about that.

Finally, be smart about dessert choices

Undeniably, the hardest part of managing willpower is finishing up our healthy meal with dessert.  Without further ado, here are some suggestions to get you through the process.

  • Look for no sugar added pies,( blueberry) and cakes (pistachio)
  • Also, look for sugarfree puddings and jellos.
  • If you’re eating out with your plus one, share a dessert and split the calories.
  • Add a coffee to fill out your dessert portion of dinner.
  • Opt for fresh fruit from the salad bar.

Blueberry pie EmbracingAging.us

Eat until you’re satisfied, not stuffed

Consequently, the feeling of “I’m so full I can’t move” is not a very comfortable feeling at all. Which is exactly why I lost control and found my weight at 380lbs. Furthermore, I tell a bit of my story in this post titled It’s Not a Destination, It’s a Journey.  Making better choices allows you to feel great physically and mentally.  You’ll be satisfied, without feeling stuffed to the gills.  Finally, you will have walked out of this restaurant knowing they didn’t see you coming.  More importantly, you were not manipulated by the layout of the buffet.

 

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 Embracing Aging,

Reminding you to embrace your age

 

“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.”

 

 

Vitamin D3 Terribly Underrated

Vitamin D3 terribly underrated

Vitamin D3 terribly underrated because of Americans faulty belief system that they are getting enough of it from the sun. Surprise! You aren’t.” Why???” Your query. Well, you likely do not live anywhere near the equator. Before I continue, you should know that this post contains 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. Now you may visit warm tropical vacations and get your cells stocked up on vitamin d, but you would need to make this trip fairly regularly to keep your cells plumped up with Vitamin D

I just want to take Americans by the shoulders and look straight into your eyes and say, TAKE YOUR VITAMIN D3 people! Please.

Vitamin D3 is a prohormone

When vitamin D3 is processed by the liver and the kidneys, vitamin d3 becomes a hormone.  That’s why unless you live near the equator you will not be able to get enough through the skin.  The darker your skin is, the more supplementation you will need. The further away you live from the equator the likelier you are to be deficient. That’s pretty much everyone in the US and Canada.  In Alaska, Eskimos do a pretty good job getting enough Vitamin D3 because of all the fish they consume primarily salmon.

grilled salmon with lemon and rosemary EmbracingAging.us

food for thought

Let me tell you a little story about my granddaughter. Two years ago she was in the in the fourth grade, she was a little bit of a troublemaker and had enough sass to share with everyone around her. After doing some research, Vitamin D3 came to her rescue.  Her behavior was calmed her disposition was pleasant and we were all able to breathe again. She was quite a handful. We really wanted to avoid the whole ADD or ADHD diagnosis for her because overall, she was a real sweetheart.

Vitamin D3 every day may keep a heart attack away

Did you know that when a patient is admitted to the hospital having a heart attack, they are given an injection of 100,000 mcg of D3? This not only helps a patient during the episode but also improves the rate of repair and healing after the episode. (Read more about this research here)  So yes, it’s that important to take it as a supplement every day, it can keep a heart attack away.  When you have your regular annual physical, ask your Dr. to test your levels of D3.  This way you can see for yourself how much and how often you need to take D3. I personally do not leave it up to chance.  Some folks have their levels checked every six months others have it checked quarterly.

Mental health also benefits from D3

Red heart with a pulse EmbracingAging.us

Put your heart into your health

I also let my mental health be my guide.  As for myself, I learned I’m especially vulnerable to Seasonal Affective Disorder aka as SAD.  Taking one capsule a day 5,000 IU per day really helps me get through the winter months.  I can be especially SAD after Christmas and New Years because these are my favorite holidays and for me, they give the winter months purpose and meaning. When I visit my Dr for my annual checkup, He checks my vitamin levels.  If I’m feeling overly emotional or depressed, then I know my D3 levels are low.  I will pop 2 gelcaps two for three days in a row 5000 mcg each to get to feeling better.  The kind                                                                                     I take is Spring Valley.

There’s a lot of research online you can read about this amazing supplement.  I just wanted to let my friends, family, and anyone who will listen know outright that this is a supplement you can not afford to ignore.  Next time you are at the store pick up some D3 your entire body will greatly benefit from this amazing supplement.

 

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

 

Unexpected Health Challenges & Mild Dehydration

Mild dehydration is subtly sabotaging your health.

Mild dehydration was sabotaging my health. I found myself back in the doctors’ office again this week because of a UTI that I could not get ahead of on my own. Before I continue, you should know that this post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on or purchase one of the product links I’ll receive some compensation that will support my addiction to all things coffee. Taking 2,000 mg of vitamin C before bed usually does the trick. However, I was out of 1000 mg caplets.  Hubs went to the store and picked up some BUT it was the 500 mg chewable because the pharmacy was out of the 1000 mg. caplets that work best for me.  These didn’t help me. Because of a lapse of time, they were not getting the job done.  The infection spread first to my bladder then into my kidneys. Misery set in.

Meanwhile being stubborn and hardheaded, I continued trying to beat it on my own.  A week of very little progress went by.  When I returned to the gym on the following Monday morning I just didn’t have the energy, or the motivation to do my full workout.  Going to the Dr. was moved to the top of my list of things to do, he got me right in that afternoon. I filled a prescription for antibiotics.  I detest taking antibiotics for the simple fact antibiotics kill all bacteria both good and bad.

What I learned during the week

Water is your ally, BFF, the most underused tool for optimal health. I was drinking 16oz. water 16oz green tea every day during my morning workout. I was drinking roughly 6-8 oz of water with my lunch and dinner.  Finally, at bedtime, I took my evening vitamins and medications with a little bit of water probably 4-6 oz. This doesn’t include the coffee and hot tea I like to drink throughout the day.  So I was getting about 46-48 oz of water a day. Seems like that ought to be enough, doesn’t it?   I very rarely drink anything other than water, coffee, and tea.

Being stuck on a weight loss plateau is no fun whatsoever. I was being faithful to my workout routine, continuing to keep my food portions small to moderate and closely watching my protein intake.  Out of left field, I’m hit with a UTI.  Realizing, I needed to immediately step up my water intake, a 16 oz water bottle stayed full and by my side at all times.  Then BOOM the following occurred:

  • The plateau was conquered, I reached a major milestone – 180.4 1bs. lost. My daughter said, “Welcome to “onederland” because I was out of the 200s and into the 100s weighing in at 199.6
  • Cravings came to an all-time low.  I wasn’t wanting chocolate, sugar or carbs.
  • My bowel movements were better.  I was getting plenty of fiber, but plenty of water is what makes fiber work efficiently. In case you didn’t catch that little tidbit of super important info, water is what makes fiber work efficiently!!

Feeding thirst came to a halt

Mild dehydration can cause you to eat when you are thirsty and that causes overeating and snacking and grazing. Next, calories sneak up on you. When you think you’re doing alright but in reality, all you need to do to take control is to increase your water game. When I started drinking the minimum required amount of water 64 oz, I literally quenched my hunger and gone was my desire to sometimes feed thirst with food.  I essentially uncrossed my wires.  Instead of reaching for water, sometimes I reached for food, usually something sweet.

Unexpected Health Challenges and Mild Dehydration EmbracingAging.us

Stop mild dehydration by drinking more water. Proper hydration allows you to quench hunger and stop feeding thirst.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let’s talk about detox

Mild dehydration is subtle enough to slow down your efforts to detox your digestive system.

Detoxing techniques:

  • Sweating through vigorous exercise
  • Using a sauna
  • Dry brushing your skin
  • Getting better nutrition
  • Relaxation to aid detox

Just remember, none of these activities will work well for you without optimal water consumption.  I don’t think I can stress this enough. For a more detailed discussion about detoxing click here. 

How much water do you really need?

That all depends on your level of activity, your weight and the type of diet you consume.  When health professionals say to consume at least 8 x 8oz. glasses of water each day that amount can vary from person to person.  Water lubricates your esophagus, stomach, and colon to allow food to be properly processed and passed through the colon.

Unexpected Health Challenges and Mild Dehydration EmbracingAging.us

Adding fruit or berries to water enhances flavor and gives you fiber.

 

As we age, our ability to detect thirst declines.  Therefore, subtle dehydration can and does sneak up on us from time to time.  Set a reminder on your phone or computer to chime at certain times of the day to help remind you to get more water.  To help myself stay hydrated, I chew ice in the summer, the nice soft crushed pieces that are easy to chew.  Chewing ice also helps keep my appetite under control.

Peristalsis is the way food is moved down the digestive system.  As we age, peristalsis slows down.  Drinking enough water helps digestion and absorption of nutrients.  Drinking water also helps to prevent Diverticulitis a condition that occurs when the intestines are forced too hard when going to the bathroom.  Waste gets stuck in the pouches of the intestinal lining and causes GI discomfort.  Diverticulitis can be serious enough to be hospitalized.  Water + fiber = healthy digestive system.

 

Unexpected Health Challenges and Mild Dehydration EmbracingAging.us

Adding fruit makes water more inviting

 

Finally, I hoped this post help you.  I would be so appreciative if you would take a moment to share this post with your favorite social media outlet.  Please feel free to leave your comments and share your tips about good hydration.

 

I’m Karen with Embracing Aging,

Reminding you to embrace your age.

 

 

“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.

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 cell structure. They also act as enzymes for cellular reactions.  Before I continue, you should know that this post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on or purchase one of the product links I’ll receive some compensation that will support my addiction to all things coffee.

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 the 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 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, it 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 are 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 to 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. This 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 Superior Foods for Optimal Nutrition 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 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 to 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 a 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 – Superior Foods for Optimal Nutrition

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 thermophilous, 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.

I hope you enjoyed this discussion. Please share your thoughts and, feel free to leave your comments and share this post “Superior Foods for Optimal Nutrition” with friends.

I’m Karen with Embracing Aging

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.  Before I continue, you should know that this post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on or purchase one of the product links I’ll receive some compensation that will support my addiction to all things coffee.

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’s brain and nervous system. Vitamin D also regulates insulin which helps protect you from diabetes.  Children need adequate amounts of vitamin D for the 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 hereafter 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 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.

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 Embracing Aging

Reminding you to Embrace Your Age

 

 

mason jar water and fruit with honey EmbracingAging.us

Supercharge Your Water with Hyaluronic Acid

Supercharge Your Water with Hyaluronic Acid

Supercharge your water with  Hyaluronic Acid.  It enhances the potential benefits of both the water and hyaluronic acid. When you add this amazing supplement, also known as the molecule of youth, you are benefiting your body’s lubrication system. So go ahead and grab a water, while you read further to see how this will be a game-changer in the way you feel.

Since I’m easily bored with scientific mumbo-jumbo, I’m going to spare you the parts about the molecular structure of hyaluronic acid.  Feel free to read more about that here.   (Thank you Indeed Labs) Moving on, I’ve seen beauty products everywhere touting that their product contains vitamins, minerals, and hyaluronic acid.

Hyaluronic Acid Embracing Aging

Supercharge Your Water with Hyaluronic Acid

Hyaluronic Acid is Best Friends with Water

You can also take Hyaluronic Acid orally. This brings me to my next point, Hyaluronic is best friends with water.  Now, I personally like to jazz mine up with a calorie-free flavor addition to a 16-20 ounce reusable bottle. My favorite flavors are non-carbonated pour in powders.  I love the Crush flavors Pineapple, orange, grape and more.  I feel good about recommending this product to you because  I have personally used these with my hyaluronic acid caplets.

Pineapple crush with Hyaluronic acid EmbracingAging

Flavored water is great for helping you get more water into your system

Here’s where the fun begins,  I fill my bottle with water, add the flavor(I prefer pineapple 0- calories) or adding it to my protein shake after a vigorous workout. and then the hyaluronic acid. Yep, I pull the caplets apart as shown here.

Hyaluronic powder in the lid

Supercharge Your Water with Hyaluronic Acid

Supercharging my Water with Hyaluronic Acid

Supercharging my water allows me to get the hyaluronic acid into my system faster. By taking advantage of Hyaluronic acids water solubility, I’m counting on this water to be rejuvenating in a more efficient way. and hopefully, stay in the connective tissue longer. Just so you know, there are several types of connective tissue in the body.    It appears as though this method of putting the contents of the gel caplet directly into the water will give smarter results. If you prefer to keep your water all-natural, try adding the Hyarulonic acid to cucumber water or fresh fruit-flavored water.

Supercharge Your Water with Hyaluronic Acid   Embracing-Aging.com

Freshwater with fresh fruit

Committing to a Routine

Committing to a routine of drinking the water, exercising and focusing on a healthy clean diet, may allow me to get the results I’m looking for sooner than later.  I’m hoping to improve:  Skin tone, firmness, and elasticity, better eyesight, (just so you know, our eyes are comprised mostly of hyaluronic acid) and reduced joint pain and inflammation.

When it comes to joint pain and inflammation, I have found that going gluten-free is the fastest method for reducing joint pain and inflammation, feel free to read more on the subject here. 

However, I have cheat meals.  I love Italian food pasta, garlic bread pizza, alfredo sauce, so I’m not always as good about being gluten-free. Of course, the American diet is also full of gluten with tacos and noodles and dumplings and Oh!!! I’m just making myself hungry.  I’m looking for a way to make gluten sensitivity more manageable. You should know Apple cider vinegar helps, and I believe using Hyaluronic acid also helps.

Certain Foods Contain High Amounts of Hyaluronic Acid

Certain foods contain high amounts of Hyaluronic acid such as organ meats and chicken/turkey legs and thighs.  My granddaughter showed me a recipe to try called Mexican drumstick soup.  It was delicious and full of vitamins and hyaluronic acid.

Just as important as getting your Hyaluronic acid from a supplement, add in the goodness of foods containing high amounts of hyaluronic acid.   Here (Thank you to Nutrition You Can Use) is a generous list of foods you can add to help with creating a more youthful feel to skin and joints.

If you enjoyed this discussion, feel free to share your comments and share this post with friends.

I’m Karen with Embracing Aging,

Reminding you to embrace your age

 

 

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