Archived Articles - November 2016

Smarter food choices may help delay aging process

Aging is a normal development and everyone has to pass through this stage provided they live long enough. No one can actually stop this process from occurring. Scientists across the globe have been trying to find the fountain of youth for centuries, but none has been successful. Nevertheless, a group of scientists in Korea claimed that they are working to develop something that would help to hold-up the aging process.

These Korean scientists have discovered that it is possible to increase one's life span by embracing better foods when they are still young. Therefore, it is useless to invest in costly facial creams and lotions containing injurious compounds that actually accelerate the aging process. While it still seems impossible for anyone to live eternally, you can certainly fulfil your desire to live long and remain healthy. What you need to do to achieve this is follow a simple and active life and use organic products as much as possible.

Today, it is common knowledge that too much sugar consumption, exposure to toxins and stress as well as various urban lifestyle factors are responsible for aging faster than usual. What is good news for all is that the Korean scientists have discovered that consuming specific micronutrients like vitamin C, potassium and folate can help to delay the aging process significantly.

Are telomeres related to aging?

Scientists believe that the leukocyte telomere length (LTL) or body parts which may mirror cumulative oxidative stress and also point to biological aging may be vital in inhibiting the aging process naturally; thereby making us look as well as feel more youthful. According to Dr. Axe, basically telomeres are DNA present at the terminal sections of human chromosomes and one can compare them with plastic ends in shoelaces, which holds the laces together.

It has been found that telomeres put off chromosomes from going affray or becoming tangled, which may result in the destruction of genetic information or get them mixed up. At the same time, the length of telomeres is significant. Whenever the cells of our body undergo division, it results in shortening the length of telomeres, eventually causing the cells to die. Findings of earlier studies on the subject suggested that shorter telomeres were responsible for accelerating the aging process, cardiovascular diseases, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, various forms of cancer and even increasing the risks of death.

Fortunately, one has to make only a few easy changes in their lifestyle to ensure that the length of their telomeres remains long, thereby inhibiting the normal aging process. Moreover, it may also help in lowering the chances of developing some of the diseases mentioned above.

What is the effect of healthy foods on telomere length?

During the course of their study, which was carried in the Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics, the Korean scientists tracked the aging process of around 2,000 men and women for 10 years. The age of these subjects varied between 40 and 69 years. The scientists found that consuming specific micronutrients not only had an association with telomeres' length, but also slowed down the natural biological aging process.

Several factors have a vital role in determining our life span, but following a healthy as well as active lifestyle dedicatedly along with consuming foods containing elevated amounts of nutrients is the best way to delay aging. Moreover, they also help us to keep away from diseases related to old age, for instance diabetes, osteoporosis and heart disease.

The group of scientists, led by J. - Y. Lee from South Korea's Kookmin University, discovered the effects of consuming vitamin C-rich foods, potassium and folate on the length of leukocyte telomeres. In addition, the findings of the study suggested that this outcome was only seen in middle-aged people, who are below 50 years.

The research team arrived at the conclusion that the findings of their study hinted consuming foods rich in folate, vitamin C and potassium during the early years of life can postpone the biological aging process, especially in middle-aged people and older adults. These nutrients are present in sufficient amounts in various vegetables and fruits.

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Herbs and spices effective for weight loss

Herbs and spices are not only flavourful, but also offer us numerous health benefits. Therefore, including them in your daily diet can help you to shed some extra flab and remain healthy and fit. If you are keen to lose weight, there are a number of herbs that can be helpful. Below is a brief description of 15 such herbs that you ought to use frequently.

Findings of several studies have shown that cinnamon helps to lessen hunger and appetite. Moreover, this herb also possesses the ability to reduce the total calorie intake of a person. What is more interesting is that cinnamon is also helpful in lowering the chances of developing diabetes, as it works to control the levels of blood sugar.

Ginger is a very common and popular herb that helps the body to combat cravings as well as lower appetite. In a study undertaken on animals, rodents that were fed curcumin, a compound found in turmeric, shed additional fat compared to mice that were not given the compound. It has also been established that turmeric also helps to perk up the metabolic process as well as balance hormones.

The herb ginseng not only enhances the level of energy in a person, but also perks up the metabolic process. Findings of animal studies have shown that ginseng helps to stimulate weight loss, in addition to enhanced sensitivity to insulin.

Cardamom is another herb that perks up the metabolic process, besides increasing the temperature of the body. You may add this herb liberally to various teas and also different foods. Parsley also promotes metabolism so that the ingested food is used properly by the body. This herb also regulates one's appetite. Findings of several studies have shown that drinking green tea also stimulates the metabolic process in addition to encouraging weight loss.

On the other hand, even the smell of peppermint can result in reduced appetite. Studies have shown that people who smelled peppermint prior to meals actually consumed fewer calories compared to people who did not. However, animal studies showed that coriander is another herb that helps to perk up metabolism and also helped in losing weight.

Capsaicin is an active element of cayenne pepper. Findings of one study showed that capsaicin helps to lower appetite, besides combating accumulation of fat in the body and works to contract fat tissues. Moreover, consumption of this herb also helps to promote the metabolic process as well as improving the body's ability to burn fat.

Consumption of garlic also aids the body to metabolize carbohydrates and fat as they should be. Findings of an animal study showed that garlic is also effective in preventing fat gain.

According to the findings of one study, women consumed cumin in measures of one teaspoon daily succeeded in losing thrice the weight compared to those who did not take this herb.

Scientific studies have revealed that black pepper is effective in blocking new fat cell formation, thereby preventing fat gain.

Another herb that has become popular over the years is dandelion. There is a solid reason behind the popularity of this herb - dandelion helps to lose weight, reduce water retention by the body as well as bloating. Mustard seeds are another effective weight loss herb, as they promote metabolism. Consuming just one teaspoon of these seeds daily can help you to burn fat even without any exercise.