Understanding The Risk Factors of Cardiovascular Disease

Understanding The Risk Factors of Cardiovascular Disease

Understanding The Risk Factors of Cardiovascular Disease
By Juanita Swindell

When it comes to cardiovascular disease or CVD, there are two types of risk factors - those you can control and those you cannot. Knowing the different risk factors, both controllable and uncontrollable can help you take proper steps to stay healthy and keep problems at bay.

Factors You Can Control


Hypertension or high blood pressure is the leading cause of premature death due to cardiovascular disease. The high pressure overworks and weakens the heart muscles, resulting in cardiovascular problems. Those who have hypertension are also more likely to develop other complications.


Diabetes or high blood sugar increases the risk of cardiovascular problems about 2 to 3 times. The higher the sugar levels, the higher the risk. Unfortunately, diabetes is often diagnosed too late, resulting in serious complications such as strokes, blindness, amputations and CVD.

Sedentary Lifestyle

Leading a sedentary lifestyle is the 4th leading risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Insufficient physical activity can put you at higher risk for hypertension, diabetes and obesity, all of which are precursors for CVD. Engaging in at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity activity 3-4 times a week can lower your risk significantly.


People who are overweight usually also have high blood sugar, high blood pressure and glucose intolerance. All of these conditions put considerable pressure on the arteries and heart muscles, resulting in cardiovascular disease.

High Cholesterol

Statistics indicate that high cholesterol is responsible for about 1/3rd ischaemic heart disease globally. When your cholesterol level is high, fatty deposits form within the blood vessels. These fatty deposits narrow the diameter of the blood vessels, obstructing the free flow of blood to the heart. This insufficient blood flow weakens and damages the cardiovascular muscles increasing the risk of stroke.

Using Tobacco

Smoking or ingesting tobacco hardens the arteries and obstructs blood flow to the heart. As much as 10 % of all related problems are related to tobacco use, especially smoking. Some studies have shown that the risk reduces significantly within 2 years of abstaining from tobacco use.

Unhealthy Diet

What you eat plays a huge role in leading to cardiovascular disease or protecting you from it. Consuming too much salt, processed foods or saturated fats and not enough vegetables, fruit and fish are detrimental to the health of your heart. A healthy diet consisting mainly of vegetables, fruit and fish reduces the risk of diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity, which in turn reduces the risk of related disease.

Uncontrollable Risk Factors

Age, gender and family history are the three uncontrollable risk factors for CVD. While the factors themselves cannot be controlled, going for regular checkups is necessary so that proper precautionary measures can be put in place.

The doctors at Trinity Medical Group have had several years experience with diagnosing and treating cardiovascular disease. If you have any of the risk factors, don't wait till it's too late. Call Trinity Medical and make an appointment today. Also check out our new Blog Post on Symptoms of Cardiovascular Disease.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Juanita_Swindell/682332

1-2-3 To Staying Cancer-Free

1-2-3 To Staying Cancer-Free

1-2-3 To Staying Cancer-Free
By Carol Chuang

More and more people have cancer these days. It is almost like the plague that no one wants to talk about, and it keeps getting worse.

    • In the early 1900s, one in 20 developed cancer.


    • In the 1940s, one in 16 developed cancer.


    • In the 1970s, it was one in 10.


  • Today, it is one in three!

Conventional medicine is no where close to finding a cancer cure. Cancer, in fact, is huge business for the pharmaceutical companies. It is a US $125 billion industry! The typical cancer patient spends $50,000 fighting the disease. Chemotherapy drugs are among the most expensive of all treatments, many ranging from $3,000-7,000 for a one-month supply.

The cancer industry spends virtually nothing of its multi-billion dollar resources on prevention strategies, such as dietary advice, exercise, and obesity education. Instead, it pours its money into treating cancer - chemotherapy drugs, radiotherapy, surgeries, and diagnostic technologies.

Why? Many people believe if the drug companies find a cure, the patient base goes away. It is much more profitable to keep a steady stream of cancer patients alive, but sick, so that they will keep going back for more drugs. Is this not the same formula for many other modern chronic diseases, such as diabetes?

Do not ever believe that if you get cancer, it is merely the draw of bad luck or it is inevitable. The most common cause of cancer, in 90-95% of all cases, is acquired mutations, which are directly caused by dietary and lifestyle factors. Even if you have inherited the types of genes that are linked to cancer, which only makes up about 5-10% of all cancers, there is ample evidence that genes interact with their environment. In other words, if you eat and live right, you still stand a good chance of preventing the development of cancer.

Therefore, you need to take preventive steps NOW. It is much easier to prevent cancer than to treat it once it takes hold. The following are three key actions to cancer prevention.

I. Eat REAL Food

A recent study found that Americans obtained:

    • 63% of their calories from highly processed foods (e.g. hots dogs, margarine, frozen entrees, baked goods, ice cream, and candies),


    • 30% from moderately processed foods (e.g. white rice, pasta, peanut butter, jam, canned produce, processed dairy products, and processed meats/cold cuts),


  • only 7% from unprocessed or minimally processed foods (e.g. fresh or frozen produce, beans, nuts, eggs, brown rice, milk, and fresh meats).

For thousands and thousands of years, human beings have been making food from scratch. Never in human history have we eaten so much convenience food products, microwave meals, packaged snacks, and fast food.

The cancer "plague" is a wake up call for all of us to change our mindset and lifestyle. Yes, it is really tempting after a long day's work to open a package and stick it into the microwave, or to pick up a pizza or take-outs on the way home. But as we all know, these are not nutritious food and in the long-run, they may result in detrimental consequences to our health.

We need to eat REAL food. Processed and packaged foods are not only nutrient deficient (low in antioxidants and phytochemicals), they also contain unhealthy ingredients, such as processed vegetable oils, high fructose corn syrup, excess sodium, preservatives, and additives. The more we eat, the more health problems we develop.

1. Prepare your meals

    • Cook your food from scratch but avoid deep frying or charbroiling as these cooking methods create carcinogenic substances. If you don't have time to cook during the week, prepare your food on weekends and freeze in individual containers. Reheat on the stove or oven.


    • Use only good oil for cooking. Restaurants and processed foods generally use cheap vegetable oils derived from canola, corn, soy, safflower, or sunflower. Some may use grape seed oil or rice bran oil. All these are processed, refined oils that are relatively high in omega-6 which promotes inflammation, an instigator for cancer. The best oils to use for cooking are coconut oil and organic animal fats, ghee, and butter. Reserve extra virgin olive oil for low heat cooking and salad dressing.


    • Incorporate some raw food into your diet as they are rich in enzymes which can be easily destroyed by cooking. Not everyone can tolerate a lot of raw food in the diet, therefore, it is important to find your own balance.


  • Stay away from packaged snacks. It is one thing to bake home-made cookies using organic butter, whole grain flour, and may be a bit of natural sugar like maple syrup or honey. It is a totally different thing when you buy commercially baked goods and cookies. These packaged snacks are often made with processed vegetable oils, some even with trans fat, high fructose corn syrup, and all kinds of additives and preservatives.

2. Watch your sugar

    • Processed and packaged foods are usually very high in sugar. Look at the boxed cereals you eat every morning, the packaged snacks you eat in mid-afternoon, or the fruit juice/soda that you drink. Add everything you eat and drink in one day and see how much it is. Know that a teaspoon of sugar is equivalent to 4 grams. On average, Americans consume 20 teaspoons of sugar a day!


    • More than one out of three Americans aged 20 and older has pre-diabetes, a condition in which your blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not yet high enough to be diagnosed as full-blown diabetes. A recent meta-analysis that included data from nearly 900,000 people show that those with pre-diabetes have a 15 percent higher risk of cancer, especially cancers of the breast, endometrium, liver, pancreas, and stomach.


    • People who have pre-diabetes generally have higher levels of insulin as well as insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1). IGF-1 plays a key role in cell growth and proliferation. This is why diabetes and pre-diabetes raise your risk of cancer.


    • Sugar is the ideal food for cancer cells and promotes their growth. If you currently have cancer or are pre-diabetic, you must absolutely avoid all forms of sugar, both natural and refined. You should also refrain from eating refined carbohydrates as they are broken down very quickly into simple sugars. For healthy people, keep your sugar intake to a minimum and use it only as an occasional treat.


    • Some names for added sugars include agave syrup, brown sugar, corn sweetener, corn syrup, sugar molecules ending in "ose" (dextrose, fructose, glucose, lactose, maltose, sucrose), high-fructose corn syrup, fruit juice concentrate, honey, invert sugar, malt sugar, molasses, raw sugar, sugar, and syrup.


    • People who have diabetes and pre-diabetes should particularly pay attention to their fructose intake. While every cell in the body can use glucose, the liver is the only organ that can metabolize fructose in significant amounts. The liver turns the fructose into fat, which is exported as VLDL cholesterol, resulting in high blood triglycerides and cholesterol, fat around the organs, and ultimately heart disease. Fructose increases uric acid in your blood and contributes to gout and high blood pressure. Deposition of excess fat in the liver leads to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Too much fructose brings on insulin resistance, which gives rise to elevated insulin and IGF-1 and may eventually cause cancer.


    • Some forms of sugar are especially high in fructose. Agave is the worst, with a fructose content ranging from 70-97%, depending on how it is processed. High fructose corn syrup is 55% fructose, table sugar is 50%, and honey is about 40%.


  • Fruits, obviously, contain fructose or fruit sugar. Those who have blood sugar issues or have cancer should limit their fruit intake to just berries as they are much lower in fructose. If you are healthy, you can eat whole fruits but do not drink fruit juice. With juice, it is too easy to overdose and reach a harmful level of fructose.

3. Buy only quality meats and dairy

    • Choose grass-pastured, sustainably-raised, organic meats to reduce your exposure to antibiotics, hormones, herbicides, pesticides, and genetically-modified animal feed.


    • If you are on a budget, buy grass-fed ground meats or cheaper cuts of meats that require longer cooking time.


  • With dairy products, it is best to buy organic and/or grass-fed.

4. Eat cancer-fighting foods every day

    • A recent study shows that a typical American eats less than 4 tablespoons of vegetables (both cruciferous and dark leafy) every day. Iceberg lettuce, which Americans eat tons of, does not count as a green because it is far too low in nutrients.


  • Incorporate more of these cancer-fighting whole foods, herbs, and spices into your daily diet - cruciferous vegetables (such as broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collards, kale), dark leafy greens, asparagus, tomatoes, berries, pomegranates, green tea, oregano, rosemary, cinnamon, turmeric, garlic, ginger, black pepper, and cayenne pepper.

II. Reduce Your Body's TOXIC Load

It is unfortunate that we now live in a chemical soup. There are 84,000 artificial chemicals in our air, food, water, and household products. More than 10,000 chemical additives with questionable safety (as they have never been tested in humans) are allowed in food and food packaging alone.

Roughly 13,000 chemicals are used in cosmetics, of which only 10 percent have been evaluated for safety. According to the Environmental Working Group, the average U.S. woman uses 12 personal care products and/or cosmetics a day, containing 168 different chemicals. While most men use less products, they are still exposed to about 85 such chemicals daily. Many of these chemicals affect the human endocrine system. Scientists warn that these toxins may fuel breast and prostate cancers.

Children are entering puberty at younger and younger ages. In 2010, the average age of the onset of puberty was 10.5 years for girls, six years younger than in 1860 when it was 16.6 years. Scientific evidence strongly suggest that hormone-disrupting chemicals are likely the cause.

Likewise, exposure to industrial chemicals and pollutants is contributing to a wide array of health problems, including asthma, cancer, and reproductive abnormalities.

The following discusses the eight major sources of cancer-promoting toxins in our bodies - food, skin, dental amalgams, alcohol, air, radiation, vaccines, and water.

1. Food


Vegetables and fruits are among the healthiest foods you can eat, but they are also foods that are commonly contaminated with pesticides and herbicides. The U.S. uses about 1.1 billion pounds of pesticides each year. It is not uncommon for your apple or strawberries to contain multiple pesticides. Pesticides are the most harmful to kids' brains. Pregnant women should watch out for their exposure to pesticides.

Genetically modified crops are often heavily sprayed with herbicides such as Roundup (glyphosate). Eating organic is one of the best ways to lower your overall pesticide and herbicide burden.

If you cannot afford to go all organic, at least opt for organic versions of these heavily contaminated produce - apples, carrots, celery, cherry tomatoes, collard greens, cucumbers, grapes, hot peppers, kale, nectarines, peaches, pears, potatoes, snap peas, spinach, strawberries, and sweet bell peppers.


Many ocean fish, especially the larger kind contain copious amounts of mercury. Bluefish, grouper, mackerel (King, Spanish, Gulf), marlin, orange roughy, Chilean seabass, shark, swordfish, tilefish, and tuna are the worst among all.

Beware that farmed fish may not have mercury, but they can be contaminated with PCBs. Wild caught Alaskan salmon, sardines, herrings, and anchovies are your best bet.


Multi-drug-resistant typhoid, tuberculosis, and gonorrhea kill hundreds of thousands of people each year, and it is increasingly getting worse. Scientists have been warning about this for a number of years, but now it seems the antibiotic apocalypse is really close at hand.

Researchers recently discovered a new gene, called mcr-1, in pigs and people in China. It is a gene mutation that makes bacteria resistant to our last-resort class of antibiotics. What's more, this resistance can reach epidemic potential as the rate of transfer between bacteria is exceptionally high.

    • To combat antibiotic resistance, livestock farmers must end the use of low-dose antibiotics. Eighty percent of all antibiotics used in the U.S. are for livestock, to ward off disease and to promote weight gain.


    • We should only buy meats that are raised without antibiotics. If we buy USDA organic meats, we know that no antibiotics could be used for growth promotion.


    • Antibiotics can only treat bacterial infections, therefore, avoid the use of antibiotics to treat viral illnesses, such as colds and flus. One course of antibiotics may disrupt your microbiome (gut flora) for a year. Reserve antibiotics for severe, life threatening bacterial infections only.


  • Avoid using antibacterial household products, such as hand soap.

Food Additives

If you buy any packaged or processed foods, it is most likely that they will contain a number of food additives. These chemicals are added to improve the look, taste, and texture of the food you buy. Some of these chemicals are probably innocuous but the following are the ones that you should definitely avoid:

Artificial Colorings

  • All food dyes

Artificial Flavors

Artificial sweeteners

    • Acesulfame Potassium


    • Aspartame


    • Saccharin


  • Sucralose

High Fructose Corn Syrup

Monosodium Glutamate

Potassium Bromate (E924)

  • Flour improver


    • Butylated hydroxyanisole


    • Butylated hydrozyttoluene


    • Propyl gallate


    • Sodium benzoate or benzoic acid


    • Sodium nitrate and nitrite


  • Tertiary butylhydroquinone

Trans fats

- Partially hydrogenated oils such as those made from canola, corn, cottonseed, soy, safflower, and sunflower.

2. Skin

Your skin is your largest, most permeable organ in the body. Just about anything you put on it will end up in your bloodstream and be distributed throughout the body. Once these chemicals enter the body, they accumulate over time. Putting toxins on your skin is worse than eating them. At least if you were to eat these ingredients, your liver would have a chance to detoxify and eliminate them before any permanent damage could be done.

Beware that products boasting "all natural" labels may still contain harmful chemicals. Of course, the safest bet is to buy USDA 100% organic.

Check your shampoo, conditioner, soap, lotion, cosmetics, mouthwash, toothpaste, hair dye, and nail polish to make sure they do not contain the following toxins. Only use aluminum-free antiperspirants.

    • Artificial colors


    • Coal tar




    • Formaldehyde


    • Methylisothiazolinone


    • Mineral oil


    • Oxybenzone


    • Parabens


    • Parfum or synthetic fragrances


    • Petroleum-based compounds - polyethylene and propylene glycols (PEG)


    • Phthalates


    • Sodium lauryl sulfate or sodium laureth sulfate (SLS)


    • Synthetic musks


    • Talc


    • Toluene


  • Triclosan

3. Dental Amalgams

Amalgam fillings contain 50 percent mercury. Every time you chew, you release toxic heavy metals into your body. If you have any amalgam fillings in your mouth, find a biological/mercury-free dentist to safely remove your amalgam fillings.

4. Alcohol

    • Alcoholic drinks contain ethanol, which is produced by the fermentation of sugars or starches by yeasts. When we drink alcohol, the body has to break down the ethanol to acetaldehyde, which is a toxic chemical. One of the functions of the liver is to neutralize all sorts of toxic substances we consume. That is why it is not a smart idea to overload the liver with too much toxins. Chronic heavy drinking can result in fatty liver and ultimately liver cirrhosis, where healthy liver tissue is replaced with scar tissue, preventing the liver from proper functioning.


    • Drinking alcohol can increase your risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, larynx (voice box), liver, breast, and colon. The more you drink, the higher your risk. The risk of cancer is much higher for those who drink alcohol and also use tobacco.


    • If you don't drink, do not start. If you do drink, do so moderately. Moderate alcohol consumption is up to one drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day for men. One drink is 12 oz of beer (5% alcohol), 5 oz of wine (12% alcohol), and 1.5 oz of hard liquor (40% alcohol).


  • Studies show that moderate alcohol consumption, especially red wine, is linked to reduced risk of heart disease and diabetes, and may actually increase life expectancy. The bottom line is if you drink, do not drink every day because alcohol is very addictive. Drink moderately and responsibly.

5. Air

Many industries release thousands of toxins into the environment every day, heavily polluting the air that we breathe in. The biggest culprits are the mining, chemical, paper, and transport industries.

The smaller the diameter of the particle, the greater its risk of health damage. These particles can easily pass deep into your lungs, causing damage to not only your lungs, but also your heart and brain. Research shows that long-term exposure to fine particulate matter air pollution is associated with atherosclerosis and significantly faster cognitive decline in older adults.

    • If you happen to live in a heavily polluted area, the ideal option is to move.


    • If it is not possible, it may be best to stay indoors as much as possible.


    • However, indoor air can be 5-10 times more polluted than outdoor air due to lack of ventilation. Therefore, consider using a high quality air purifier.


    • Vacuum your floors regularly using a HEPA filter vacuum cleaner.


    • Get some house plants.


    • Leave your shoes by the door when you enter the house.


    • Do not allow tobacco smoking in the house. Smoking is terrible but second hand smoke is almost as harmful. Each year, because of exposure to tobacco smoke, an estimated 3,000 nonsmoking Americans die of lung cancer and 300,000 children suffer from lower respiratory-tract infections.


    • Use non-toxic, environmentally friendly, and VOC-free household cleaning products.


    • Avoid using air fresheners and scented candles.


  • Avoid non-stick or Teflon-type cookwares, which release toxins into the air when heated. It is much safer to use ceramic cookwares instead.

6. Radiation

    • Minimize your exposure from radiation-based medical scans, including body and dental x-rays, CT scans, and mammograms. This form of ionizing radiation has been proven to increase your risk of cancer over time. Each exposure to radiation builds up in the body and the risk of cancer increases with each radiation exposure. So even though a single source of exposure to radiation is unlikely to cause cancer by itself, the combined exposures add up throughout our lifetime and increase our risk of cancer in the long-run.


    • Mobile phonesgive off radio frequency energy, a form of non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation. In 2011, the World Health Organization (WHO)/International Agency for Research on Cancer classified the electromagnetic field produced by mobile phones as a Class B carcinogen in humans.This classification came in part in response to research showing wireless phones increase the risk for brain cancer.


    • An Israeli research group found a four-fold increase in parotid gland cancers from 1970 to 2006, with the steepest increase happening after 2001. Parotid gland is a type of salivary gland, located closest to your cheek, the same area where most people typically hold their cell phones. Study showed that rates of other salivary gland cancers remained stable.


    • Never hold cell phone close to your ear. Instead, use the speaker phone feature or a wired headset.


    • Never carry your cell phone on your body. For women, do not tuck the phone into your bra. For men, do not put the phone in close proximity of your reproductive organs.


    • Children and teens are at greatest risk for both parotid gland tumors and brain tumors as their thinner skull bones allow for greater penetration of cell phone radiation, all the way into their midbrain. Also, children's cells reproduce more quickly, so they are more susceptible to aggressive cell growth.


  • Pregnant women would also be wise to avoid cell phones as much as possible.

7. Vaccines

Vaccination is a very controversial subject. There are benefits and risks involved, therefore, it is best to educate yourself before making a decision.

The truth about vaccines is that they are not as effective as the medical community and the media promote, nor are they as safe as promised. Yet, they are also not as ineffective as many in the alternative health community believe.

Nevertheless, do bear in mind that vaccines may contain chemicals (like formaldehyde), heavy metals (such as thimerosal which is 50% mercury, or aluminum), and allergens (such as egg protein or MSG). Toxins tend to accumulate in your body over time. Therefore, before you get any vaccines, do your own research.

Flu vaccines in multi-dose vials have thimerosal as a preservative. Single-dose thimerosal-free flu vaccines is better but, in actuality, do contain "trace" amounts of mercury as well. The Flu Mist is truly thimerosal-free.

8. Water

    • Tap water is cheap, quick, and easy. However, the Environment Working Group (EWG) tested tap water in 45 states a couple of years ago and found 202 chemical contaminants that are not subject to any government regulation or safety standards for drinking water.


    • Bottled water, depending on its source, may not be the cleanest. It is expensive and plastic bottles have a devastating impact on the environment.


    • Distilled water can lead to long-term health problems because it lacks the important minerals that the body needs.


    • Alkaline water is best used for short-term (1-2 weeks max) detoxification purpose only. Also, the alkalization process does not filter the water.


    • Clean, filtered tap water is the most convenient, economical, and healthy source of water. Look for carbon-type filters (for above and under counter filtration systems) that can remove heavy metals like lead and mercury, chlorine resistant cysts like giardia and cryptosporidium, pharmaceuticals, and organic chemicals like herbicides, pesticides, and VOCs.


    • Do know that Brita, Pur, Zero, and all pitcher-type water filters only remove 5 ingredients - cadmium, copper, chlorine, mercury, and zinc. They are not effective in removing the other contaminants.


  • To remove fluoride, you can add bone char filters to your existing water filtration system.

III. Strengthen Your IMMUNE System

Your immune system continually battles against colds, flus, and all sorts of infections. It also constantly works to snuff out cancer cells long before they have a chance to develop into life-threatening illnesses. As one example, immune cells in your bloodstream called natural killer (NK) cells can inject poison into a cancer cell, so the cell wall breaks down, and the contents spill out, nipping cancer in the bud.

The immune system can also stop the growth of a cancerous tumor without actually killing it. This explains why some tumors suddenly stop growing and go into a long period of dormancy.

When your immune system is not strong enough to suppress cancer cell growth, you will get cancer. Thus, maintaining a strong and healthy immune system is a mandatory step in preventing cancer and attaining robust health.

1. Gut Health

When it comes to the immune system, optimizing your gut health is the most important.

One of the reasons why your gut has so much influence on your health has to do with the 100 trillion bacteria, about three pounds worth, that line your intestinal tract. This is an extremely complex living system that aggressively protects your body from outside offenders.

Generally speaking, if you have frequent digestive symptoms and/or discomfort, such as gas, bloating, heartburn, constipation, diarrhea, and bad breath, you likely have an issue with the balance of good and bad bacteria in the gut. Sometimes the issues are due to an overgrowth of pathogenic bacteria like H. Pylori or the Candida yeast, but other times, they may result from weaknesses in the gut membrane.

Healthy gut bacteria produce byproducts that help keep the intestinal lining strong, and without enough good bacteria to manufacture these substances, the intestinal tract becomes highly susceptible to damage.

Inflammation, caused by food sensitivities such as gluten, and toxins such as heavy metals or chemicals, destroys areas of the mucosal lining of the intestinal wall. This condition, called leaky gut, allows disease-causing bacteria, toxins, and undigested food particles to pass directly into the bloodstream, where they disrupt the body's normal function in many ways.

Therefore, most diseases originate in your digestive system. This includes both physical and mental illnesses. Once you heal and seal your gut lining and make your digestive system work properly again, you can address the root cause of your illnesses.

    • Optimize your gut flora by adding naturally fermented foods, such as sauerkraut, kimchee, unsweetened yogurt, and kefir, to your daily diet, or add a high quality probiotic supplement as well.


    • If you have digestive symptoms such as excessive gas, belching, burping, or acid reflux, it may be a sign that your body is not excreting sufficient pancreatic enzymes for digestion. These symptoms can be even more apparent when you eat too much protein and fats. Take digestive enzymes with every meal, not just when you experience discomfort.


    • Majority of the population unknowingly harbor some sort of infections in the gut, such as H. Pylori bacteria, Candida yeast, or parasites. Researchers have found a microbe-dependent mechanism through which some cancers develop and grow. For this reason, it is essential that our gastrointestinal system is free of these low-grade chronic infections which can become a big hindrance to the optimal functioning of our immune system. There are many natural botanicals that can effectively address such infections. For example, Biocidin is a company that makes excellent products for such purposes. (Author does not receive commission from or is related to the company.)


  • Reserve the use of antibiotics for life-threatening infections only. One course of antibiotics may disrupt your gut flora for a year. In addition, researchers found that patients taking antibiotics had reduced levels of cytokines, the hormone messengers of the immune system. When your immune system is suppressed, you are more likely to develop resistant bacteria and become very sick in the future.

2. Good Nutrition

    • We are what we eat. If we put junk into our bodies, we cannot expect healthy outcomes. Not only does junk food fail to provide the nutrients, antioxidants, and phytochemicals that the body needs, it also contains toxic ingredients that become a burden to the system in the long-term.


  • If we are nutrient deficient, we will not be able to get the enzymes to work, which impairs the cells' ability to use oxygen and produce energy.

3. Quality Sleep

    • Scrimping on sleep has a powerfully detrimental effect on immunity. Poor sleep is associated with lower immune system function and reduced numbers of killer cells that fight diseases.


    • Optimize your melatonin (sleep hormone) production by not watching TV, playing video games, or being on your computer until the wee hours of the morning as these activities may halt your body's melatonin production. Melatonin is essential for the proper functioning of your immune system. Multiple studies have demonstrated its anti-cancer ability.


  • Most adults need 7-9 hours of sleep a night. Ideally, you should go to bed between 10-11. If you wake up tired in the morning, you are either not getting enough hours of sleep or not enough quality sleep.

4. Reduce Chronic Stress

    • Chronic stress, the day-after-day kind you experience over job dissatisfaction or insecurity, a sick relative, or a bad relationship, takes a toll on many aspects of your health, including immunity. There is compelling scientific evidence that this kind of chronic stress causes a measurable decline in the immune system's ability to fight diseases. Periods of extreme stress can result in a lower natural killer cell count, sluggish killer T cells, and diminished macrophage (a type of white blood cells) activity.


  • Negativity also takes a toll on your immune system. Researchers have found that the positive emotions associated with laughter decrease stress hormones and increase the number of immune cells.

5. Exercise Regularly

    • According to the National Cancer Institute, studies on colon cancer found that adults who increase their physical activity, either in intensity, duration, or frequency can reduce their risk of developing colon cancer by 40-50% relative to those who are sedentary.


    • On breast cancer, the risk reduction was 30-40% in both premenopausal and menopausal women.


    • On uterine cancer, the risk reduction was 38-46%.


    • On lung cancer, the risk reduction was 20%.


    • By being physically active, you are less likely to be overweight or obese, which increases the risk of cancers that use hormones to grow and spread, such as breast and uterine cancers. Studies found that women who are overweight and obese have higher levels of estrogen in the blood.


    • Regular exercise helps improve insulin sensitivity, resulting in lower levels of insulin and the cancer-promoting Insulin Growth Factor-1 (IGF-1).


    • Exercise increases blood and oxygen flow in the entire body. Cancer cells share a common vulnerability with viruses, bacteria, and fungi, all of which hate high levels of oxygen. Oxygen stimulates the growth of new blood vessels in tumors, however, instead of boosting a tumor's growth potential, it has the opposite effect - it weakens the cancer cells from the inside.


  • Exercise increases the production and circulation of macrophages, a type of white blood cells, throughout the system. After exercising, the body returns to normal within a few hours, but regular exercise appears to extend periods of immunity.

6. Get Enough Vitamin D

    • There is scientific evidence that you can decrease your risk of cancer by more than 50 percent simply by optimizing your vitamin D levels. The optimum blood level for a healthy person is 50-70 ng/ml. If you are being treated for cancer, it should be 80-100 ng/ml.


    • The best way to get vitamin D is to expose your face, arms, and legs to sunshine for 15-20 minutes every day. Some people are very sensitive to sun and need to build up gradually. If you have darker skin, you may need up to 30 minutes of daily exposure.


  • Alternatively, you can take a vitamin D3 supplement. Most people need about 5,000 I.U. to achieve the optimal range. If you take a D3, you should supplement with vitamin K2 as well. D3 enhances calcium absorption. Too much calcium can be harmful to the body, especially if it is deposited in the wrong places like the arteries. By using K2 in conjunction with D3, you ensure that the calcium will go to the right places such as the bones.

Carol Chuang is a Certified Nutrition Specialist and a Metabolic Typing Advisor. She has a Masters degree in Nutrition and is the founder of CC Health Counseling, LLC. Her passion in life is to stay healthy and to help others become healthy. She believes that a key ingredient to optimal health is to eat a diet that is right for one's specific body type. Eating organic or eating healthy is not enough to guarantee good health. The truth is that there is no one diet that is right for everyone. Our metabolisms are different, so should our diets. Carol specializes in Metabolic Typing, helping her clients find the right diet for their Metabolic Type. To learn more about Metabolic Typing, her nutrition counseling practice, and how to get a complimentary phone consultation, please go to http://cchealthcounseling.com/

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Carol_Chuang/545843

Type 2 Diabetes - Are You Hungry, or Eating Out of Habit?

Type 2 Diabetes - Are You Hungry, or Eating Out of Habit?

Type 2 Diabetes - Are You Hungry, or Eating Out of Habit?
By Beverleigh H Piepers

According to the Department of Health and Human Services, approximately 56% of Americans between the ages of 20 and 74 are overweight, and 30% of that figure are obese. Unfortunately, it has become the norm to be an overweight adult. This is mainly due to a physically inactive lifestyle and overeating. When people with Type 2 diabetes are looked at as a group, more than 80% are overweight. With just a little weight loss blood sugar levels may drop significantly.

Weight loss is not an easy thing considering our sedentary lifestyles but physical inactivity is easily fixed. Just stop making excuses, and start moving. If consistency is where you have fallen down, there are ways to develop a routine you are likely to keep. But it will be all for nothing if your motivation is not strong enough, to begin with.

Addressing overeating is simple in theory, but often tricky in practice. Unlike physical inactivity, there are many reasons why you may be overeating. On the surface, these reasons could include...

  • a poor diet or lifestyle, and/or
  • bad habits where a lack of instruction may be a factor.

Do not make things harder for yourself. You need to understand the reasons why your health is as it is. Talk to your doctor, and go over all the details regarding your weight, your blood sugar levels, and your overall health.

After a brief analysis or reflection, you will likely find the main reason you are overeating is due to a lack of appetite control. This is where you eat when you are not actually hungry, often out of habit.

The habit could be due to a combination of things. You might be eating because you have not had something to eat for a couple of hours. You may be used to several small meals, which contrary to popular opinion, is inferior to eating fewer, more satisfying portions. You might be eating because you are bored.

Essentially, if you are eating when you are not hungry, it is almost always going to cause you to overeat. It is your total consumption at the end of the day that matters. This is why it is better to eat two complete meals each day, with one smaller meal in between. If this seems hard to do, it could be because you have not tried to make the most out of your meals. If you have...

  • whole-grain carbs as your staples, for example, brown rice and pasta,
  • sweet potatoes, and
  • plenty of vegetables,

you are not going to be hungry as often. Overweight people often eat more of certain types of foods than the ones they need to maintain a normal weight. These include white rice, bread, and other refined carbs which digest very quickly.

If you do not feel the urge to eat due to hunger then you would be eating out of habit. And that would be a pattern to break if you are to take control of your weight.

Although managing your disease can be very challenging, Type 2 diabetes is not a condition you must just live with. You can make simple changes to your daily routine and lower both your weight and your blood sugar levels. Hang in there, the longer you do it, the easier it gets.

For nearly 25 years, Beverleigh Piepers has searched for and found a number of secrets to help you build a healthy body. Go to http://DrugFreeType2Diabetes.com to learn about some of those secrets.

The answer isn't in the endless volumes of available information but in yourself.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Beverleigh_H_Piepers/123142

The Benefits of Abdominal Toning for Women

The Benefits of Abdominal Toning for WomenThe Benefits of Abdominal Toning for Women by by Machelle Lee

Abdominal toning for women isn't just about getting that six pack look - it's about creating better health for your body. While it might seem to be an exercise in vanity, you can reap far more benefits than just a more shapely set of abs. Because willpower isn't always the easiest thing to muster, you need the reasons why abdominal toning for women is so good for you. Maybe that will send you to the gym more often.

The first benefit of abdominal toning for women is that you get to decrease the mass of your abdomen. While the exercises themselves can not reduce the size of a stomach, they can add muscle mass which will then increase your fat-burning power. Each pound of muscle that you add to your body needs more energy to maintain itself, so when you do abdominal exercises (as well as other weight bearing exercises), you can increase this muscle mass and help to speed up the unveiling of your abs.

Another concern for many women is the prevention of injuries. And abdominal toning for women can help in that as well. By helping to strengthen your core, you're not only going to get in shape, but you will also help support the opposing muscles in the lower back. Since the lower back is the site for most everyday injuries, performing abdominal exercise is the best form of prevention. Try adding abdominal training to your workout routines to see just how much stronger your back becomes. At the same time, you will also learn to stand up taller, which will make you look sleeker.

When you are stressed out, abdominal toning for women can also come in handy for your health. Many people that become anxious are stressed on the long term. This creates a release of cortisol in the body which then can contribute to deep layers of abdominal fat. When you start to add muscle to your body, you can help to offset this cortisol release and thus this dangerous fat. This fat has been linked to a number of cancers as well as heart conditions that can lead to premature death in women.

With abdominal toning for women, you can increase your health by simply adding a few more minutes onto your exercise routine. Though the results will take some time to reveal themselves and you will have to add a cardio workout routine as well, your health will thank you for the effort.

Machelle Lee owns and operates, The Invisible Gym in Santa Cruz, CA. Her mission is to inspire people to become physically active and enjoy the benefits of a balanced, healthy lifestyle. For more information and questions you can visit her website. www.the-invisible-gym.com

Article Source: http://www.articlesphere.com/Article/The-Benefits-of-Abdominal-Toning-for-Women/95378

Type 2 Diabetes and Healthy Living - We Are Not Getting Any Younger

Type 2 Diabetes and Healthy Living - We Are Not Getting Any Younger

Type 2 Diabetes and Healthy Living - We Are Not Getting Any Younger
By Beverleigh H Piepers

This is not going to be a newsflash, but you probably do not think about it enough. You are not getting any younger. Indeed, with each passing day, we are all getting older which means we all have less time to waste.

In the grand scheme of things, you could begin to think about what you need to do in this life. What...

  • you still want to accomplish,
  • places you want to see, and the
  • people you would like to spend more time with.

Think about these things if you like, but don't forget about your health. In the context of aging, there is nothing more important than your health to consider. As you get older your odds do not get better: you become more vulnerable to various diseases. Prevention becomes more difficult, and treatment a lengthier process.

While you will likely have more wisdom and resources than you did when you were younger, you will need to make a lot more effort to recover your health than you would have when you were young. There is a significant price to pay for neglecting your health in middle age. Unfortunately, many people realize this when it is a little too late.

With the above in mind, it would be wise to start thinking about the current state of your well-being...

  • how is your health today?
  • are you troubled by any particular health issue?

Being overweight on its own is a problem. High blood sugar and high blood pressure readings are other common issues, not to mention having poor cardiovascular health. If you are in middle age, there is a good chance you could improve at least one of these areas. Even if you are not obese or have Type 2 diabetes, you still need to pay attention to your weight and blood sugar. Statistically, the majority of people will run into problems in these areas at some point. It is ideal to prepare and prevent than attempt to treat something that could take years to undo.

If you do not know it yet, at some point, you will realize how precious your health is. Often we tend to take what we have for granted:

On another but still similar note, you may have wondered how some people seem to look much younger than their age. It is not the passing of time that has been especially good to them. While there could be some coincidence or genetic factor involved, it is more than likely because they have taken care of themselves. In many ways, appearance is a reflection of internal health which means you get the added benefit of investing in how you look by being mindful of your lifestyle choices.

You are going to age no matter what. Might as well ensure it is as smooth a process as it can be.

Although managing your disease can be very challenging, Type 2 diabetes is not a condition you must just live with. You can make simple changes to your daily routine and lower both your weight and your blood sugar levels. Hang in there, the longer you do it, the easier it gets.

For nearly 25 years, Beverleigh Piepers has searched for and found a number of secrets to help you build a healthy body. Go to http://DrugFreeType2Diabetes.com to learn about some of those secrets.

The answer isn't in the endless volumes of available information but in yourself.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Beverleigh_H_Piepers/123142

Women and Exercise - The Basics and FAQs

Women and Exercise - The Basics and FAQsWomen and Exercise - The Basics and FAQs by by Sarah Cohen

There are plenty of reasons why women should exercise, but some aren't as obvious as others.

To decrease anxiety
To increase flexibility
To build bone density
To increase lean muscle mass
To improve athletic performance
To control weight and eating habits
To increase cardiovascular health
To increase motor coordination and balance
To decrease risk factor for heart disease, uterine cancer, breast cancer and diabetes

But what constitutes exercise in the first place? There are two main types of exercise:

1. Cardiovascular Exercise walking, running, biking, swimming, rowing, water running, dancing
2. Strengthening Exercises weight training, yoga, pilates, plyometrics, exercise bands

Osteoporosis - The Silent Thief
Osteoporosis is a disease that causes a decrease in bone mass density, resulting in weakened bones that are vulnerable to fracture and deformation. It's referred to as the "silent thief" because fractures are often the first symptom - though by then, the disease is often very advanced. Fractures commonly affect the spine, hips and wrist area. Approximately 12 million Americans are affected by this disease, and it's estimated that nearly 40 per cent of U.S. Caucasian women and 13 per cent of U.S. Caucasian men aged 50 or older will experience at least one fragility fracture (caused by osteoporosis) in their lifetime.

Frequently Asked Questions About Women and Exercise

How does Exercise Help Increase Bone Mineral Density?

Exercise can help to build up your bone mineral density. The vertical trabeculae in the bone are the "weight bearing" structures, and their density can be increased with exercise.
How Does Exercise Decrease the Risk of Heart Attacks?
Regular exercise can alter your cholesterol in just a few months. As little as 30 minutes a day can decrease your LDL (Bad Cholesterol) and increase your HDL (Good Cholesterol).

What is the Best Form of Exercise for Weight Control?

For the majority of the population, a combination of both cardiovascular training and weight training is the most efficient way to control your weight. Recent research shows that a shorter period of interval cardio training (20 minutes divided into alternating 30-second intervals of intense and easy cardio training), along with a 30 to 40 minute weight training program produces the best results in terms of decreased body fat percentage and an increase in lean muscle mass.

How Early Can a Child Begin Regular Exercise?

Children of all ages can and should be exercising regularly. The rates of American childhood obesity are alarmingly high (tripling from 6.5 per cent 20 years ago to 19.6 per cent today). Heavy weight-bearing exercise should be avoided until after puberty, but cardiovascular activity is encouraged at any age.
How Can Walking or Running Alter Premenstrual Symptoms?

Just as our heart and muscles adapt when exercising, so does the endocrine system. Exercise can cause the ovaries to adapt by decreasing the level of estrogen that they produce, which can lead to a decrease in fluid retention, breast soreness, and irritability. Exercise also releases "feel good" hormones called endorphins.

How Does Exercise Help Pre and Post-Menopausal Women?

Studies have shown that exercise helps to relieve and prevent many menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal and urinary irritation, insomnia and depression. Post-menopausal women who exercise are half as likely to develop diabetes.

As a Chiropractor, Kinesiologist and a Personal Trainer Dr. Cohen has ten years experience in athletic training and rehabilitation and is currently working with runners and triathletes at the city, varsity, national and professional levels. Dr. Cohen has been a guest speaker for trainers and athletes at the Toronto and Whistler Can-Fit-Pro Conference, HSBC Triathlon Series Awards Event and Running Room Clinics on various topics including running biomechanics, training techniques and injury prevention and treatment. http://www.fitnessrepublic.com

Article Source: http://www.articlesphere.com/Article/Women-and-Exercise---The-Basics-and-FAQs/251870

Type 2 Diabetes and Weight Loss - Setting SMART Goals for Exercise and Weight Loss

Type 2 Diabetes and Weight Loss - Setting SMART Goals for Exercise and Weight Loss

Type 2 Diabetes and Weight Loss - Setting SMART Goals for Exercise and Weight Loss
By Beverleigh H Piepers

Goals: they can work for you or against you. For better or worse they exist and no doubt you plan to make good use of them. Goals can be harmful when too much emphasis is placed on the "promised" results. You must dedicate yourself to the process because it is only when you actively commit to the process the results will come. You can view this as pushing through a short-term struggle for a long-term gain.

Another way goals can work against you is if they are not adequately structured: this is where the idea of S.M.A.R.T goals come in. If you set your goals according to S.M.A.R.T, you will be more likely to succeed.

Let us look at two areas where setting S.M.A.R.T goals can be of great assistance: exercise and weight loss...

S - Specific. Starting with S, your goals must be specific. Wanting to lose weight and get in shape are not specific targets. They are broad goals and it would benefit you to be more particular about your intentions.

Losing twenty pounds and increasing your fitness so you can swim 500 meters are good examples of specific goals. As you can imagine, in the case of exercise and weight loss these goals work together. Losing twenty pounds will improve your fitness, and working on your fitness will help you lose weight.

M - Measurable. Your goals must be measurable. Fortunately, it is easy to track changes in your weight. You will have to be honest with yourself in regards to how well your fitness is coming along, but that is as tough as it gets.

A - Attainable. It may seem ambitious or feel uplifting to set challenging goals, such as getting a six-pack or getting in shape to run a 10km race. But in all likelihood, such goals are overzealous and would end up demoralizing you.

Start with simple goals. Make sure they are attainable.

R - Relevant. Your goals must be relevant and consistent and so should your methods of achieving them.

Let us use the six-pack example again. If you are aiming to become healthy through weight loss and improved fitness, it is unnecessary to seek to have a six-pack. Not to mention it is unhealthy to get to that point.

T - Timely. Many people think it is important to set a timeline. But it isn't - and it could be counterproductive.

You must, however, be able to achieve your goals in a reasonable amount of time: this doesn't mean quick - think sensible instead. If you see yourself spending many months on your fitness and weight loss goals, cut them down into smaller goals.

It is much easier to keep your motivation high when you tackle three mini-goals of losing 10 pounds, than aiming to lose 30 pounds. It is merely a matter of perspective, but it does make a positive difference in your mindset.

Although managing your disease can be very challenging, Type 2 diabetes is not a condition you must just live with. You can make simple changes to your daily routine and lower both your weight and your blood sugar levels. Hang in there, the longer you do it, the easier it gets.

For nearly 25 years, Beverleigh Piepers has searched for and found a number of secrets to help you build a healthy body. Go to http://DrugFreeType2Diabetes.com to learn about some of those secrets.

The answer isn't in the endless volumes of available information but in yourself.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Beverleigh_H_Piepers/123142

The Beneficial Side of Desserts

The Beneficial Side of Desserts

The Beneficial Side of Desserts
By Stephen G John

Eating dessert is done more for cultural reasons rather than as a necessary part of a meal. It signifies completion of a meal and gives you a sense of satisfaction. But a good dessert shouldn't only be intended to make you feel good - it should be beneficial as well.

Here are some benefits of having a good dessert:

1. It helps facilitate digestion.
2. It provides additional nutrients to your diet.
3. The added vitamins work to increase your resistance to infections.
4. The "feel good" factor of a good dessert helps to reduce stress.
5. It helps to reduce the bad cholesterol levels while increasing the good cholesterol in your body.

How to Prepare a Healthy Dessert

It's quite easy to prepare a healthy dessert. You only need to include nutritious ingredients that are low in fat to produce one. Here are some ways to prepare a dessert that's not only tasty but healthy as well:

1. Include fruits

Fruits are loaded with vitamins, minerals and fiber that your body needs for strength, vitality and resistance to sicknesses. You should include them in your dessert recipe. Apples, bananas, papayas and fresh berries are some fruits that you must consider to make a flavorful, nourishing dessert.

2. Avoid using ingredients that are high in fat.

Fat is one of the greatest causes of obesity and a lot of degenerative diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure and heart ailment. You should avoid using it as an ingredient in making dessert.

You can do it by substituting heavy cream with low-fat cream or low-fat cottage cheese.

3. Add chocolate to your ingredients.

Chocolate contains antioxidants that work to strengthen your immune system. It also contains substances that help to improve your mood. You may also use unsweetened cocoa or chocolate protein powder as healthy substitutes for chocolate.

4. Use yoghurt in your dessert.

Yoghurt is a healthy ingredient because it helps your body absorb calcium and vitamin B more efficiently. It also works to boost the immune system and improves digestion. Another beneficial attribute of yoghurt is its ability to lower bad cholesterol levels in the body.

5. Use soymilk.

If you are fond of making desserts that contain milk such as smoothies and shakes, use soy milk. Soymilk contains flavonoids that help to keep your blood vessels healthy. This will lead to normal blood pressure and protection from heart problems.

If you love to eat desserts as a regular part of your meals, you should make it nutritious so that it can give you an added benefit aside from feeling good and satisfied.

Feel free to see delicious dessert recipes at Foodplus delicious desserts section.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Stephen_G_John/1361639

Type 2 Diabetes and Healthy Eating - Three High Protein Vegetables to Start Eating Today

Type 2 Diabetes and Healthy Eating - Three High Protein Vegetables to Start Eating Today

Type 2 Diabetes and Healthy Eating - Three High Protein Vegetables to Start Eating Today
By Beverleigh H Piepers

For most people, getting enough protein into their daily eating plan proves to be the biggest challenge they face, nutritionally speaking. Unless you are a lover of chicken breast or are diligently tracking your protein intake, there is a good chance you are currently not eating enough protein each day.

Fortunately, some vegetables will pack in more protein than many people realize. While they definitely will not give you the protein a juicy steak would, as far as vegetables go they do offer a good dose. Include these protein-packed vegetables in your daily eating plan, and you might just find it becomes easier than ever to get your needs met.

Here are three of the best vegetables to choose...

1. Edamame. Often regarded as a vegetarian-only food, do not neglect this vegetable. It packs in 10 grams of protein per cup and is super easy to prepare and eat. You can purchase this vegetable in steamer bags, making it easy just to pop them into the microwave, add a little salt and pepper, and then serve.

For something even tastier, try tossing them with a little of your favorite salad dressing before serving.

2. Corn. Few things are more delicious than fresh corn on the cob done on the BBQ. Corn is primarily a carbohydrate source, but this said, it will also give you a good dose of protein as well.

Corn packs in 8 grams of protein per half cup serving, so not to be ignored. If you combine corn with some black beans, which makes for a great combination, the beans will also provide you with a great dose of protein as well, and this can help to make a complete meal.

If you cannot find corn on the cob, canned corn works as well. Just avoid creamed corn as it has other ingredients added and is higher in fat and sugar.

3. Kale. Next up on the list is kale, which packs in 6 grams of protein per two cup serving. Kale is often regarded as one of the best superfoods you can be eating thanks to the high variety of vitamins and minerals it contains.

Serve it raw, cooked, or blended into a protein smoothie. Any which way you prefer; you will be doing your body good.

Keep these vegetables in mind and make sure you are not overlooking them. Remember there are other places you can get your protein from part from animal-based sources.

Although managing your disease can be very challenging, Type 2 diabetes is not a condition you must just live with. You can make simple changes to your daily routine and lower both your weight and your blood sugar levels. Hang in there, the longer you do it, the easier it gets.

For nearly 25 years, Beverleigh Piepers has searched for and found a number of secrets to help you build a healthy body. Go to http://DrugFreeType2Diabetes.com to learn about some of those secrets.

The answer isn't in the endless volumes of available information but in yourself.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Beverleigh_H_Piepers/123142

Anti-Aging Foods

Anti-Aging Foods

Anti-Aging Foods
By Andy Gibson

How old are you? No, we don't mean how many birthdays have you celebrated. That's your chronological age. But how good is the pacing of your heart, the density of your bones, the agility of your mind? Their status will tell us your biological age. Some people are chronologically 40, but biologically 60, while others are chronologically 60, but biologically 40.

It's your biological age that matters. When you're biologically fit, you can throw away the calendar, for your motor is humming well and there's life in your years!

Biological age, says Dr. James Fries, professor of medicine at Stanford University, is a measure of how much "organ reserve" one possesses. Organ reserve is defined as the amount of functional ability one has available in response to a stressor in the form of an illness, accident or major life trauma. As we grow older, we generally lose organ reserve. Our immune, endocrine, and nervous systems are altered. Not only are we at greater risk of contracting infectious diseases, but we are also more susceptible to auto-immune diseases such as arthritis.

In the 1950s, Dr. Denham Harmon, from the University Of Nebraska School Of Medicine, proposed that many losses of function associated with aging are due to what he termed "free-radical damage." Free radicals are highly reactive chemical substances produced in the body, not only as a consequence of exposure to pollution, drugs, and chemicals but also as a result of natural metabolic activities. Harmon proposed that accelerated free-radical reactions may act as molecular time bombs that destroy the body's cells and result in the loss of organ reserve.

Research indicates that increased free-radical damage is associated with diseases that cause death in the elderly, including coronary heart disease and heart attack, certain forms of cancer and adult-onset diabetes.

Fortunately, our bodies are equipped with a mechanism - the antioxidant defense system - that helps protect against free-radical damage. Antioxidants are specific substances found in all cells that defuse free radicals before they have a chance to do serious damage to the body. They include vitamin E, beta carotene, vitamin C, and a variety of essential nutritional minerals, such as zinc, copper, and selenium.

Vitamin E is one of the superheroes when it comes to battling free radicals. Because it is a fat-soluble vitamin, it is attracted to cell membranes which have large amounts of fatty acids. Vitamin E prevents the oxidation of these fats by itself oxidizing and absorbing the free radicals.

Food sources of this vitamin include nuts, wheat germ, and sunflower seeds.

Vitamin C: Unlike Vitamin E, which works from the outside of cells, C does its antioxidizing job inside the cell, in its fluid (C is a water-soluble vitamin).

Food sources include: citrus fruits, amla (Indian gooseberry), strawberries, guavas and tomatoes.

Beta-carotene: Richly found in yellow-orange fruits and vegetables like mangoes, papayas, cantaloupes and carrots, beta-carotene converts to Vitamin A in the body. It is believed to be particularly effective against a highly toxic free radical called singlet oxygen.

Selenium: This trace mineral fights free radicals indirectly - by producing an enzyme which turns peroxides into harmless water. Best food sources are grains, fish, cabbage, celery and cucumber.

Zinc: another trace mineral, but this one works its effect in two ways: One, it acts as an antioxidant on its own; two, it forms part of an enzyme which protects cells against free radicals.

Good natural sources are liver, beef and nuts.


Some of the major health-slackers and age-speeders (heart disease, osteoporosis) are often the result of faulty eating. In many cases you can reduce your disease risks as soon as you adopt good nutrition habits - even if you begin at 60.

REDUCE FATS: A high intake of fats is associated with obesity which, in turn, is connected with the onset of diseases like high blood pressure heart ailments, gall bladder problems, adult-onset diabetes and even certain forms of cancer.

You can safely reduce fats to 20 per cent of daily calories - 30 per cent is the outer limit. Of the three types of fats, saturated fats (from animal products and from vegetable sources like palm and coconut oils) are associated with the build-up of cholesterol. Monounsaturated fats (from ground nuts oil, nuts such as almond, cashews, peanuts, etc.), and polyunsaturated fats (from safflower oil sunflower oil, etc.) appear to have a cholesterol-lowering effect.

Animal fats also carry the added danger of cholesterol. One egg yolk, for instance, contains about 240 mg, which is more than most of us should consume in a whole day.

On the other hand, all fats are breeding grounds for free radicals. And the unsaturated fats are more likely to react with oxygen when cooked and form free radicals than the saturated fats. So, the bottomline is: limit all fat consumption. Try the following food swaps:

  • Substitute skim milk for whole.
  • Substitute egg whites for yolks, in omelets and other dishes.
  • If you can't stomach the idea of being a pure vegetarian, substitute skinless chicken and fish for fat-marbled red meats, sausages and cold cuts.

Also, steam, bake or eat foods raw whenever you can. If you must fry, opt for stir-frying with minimal oil in a non-stick skillet, instead of deep frying.


How well you "stand up" to aging is very largely a matter of how adequate your intake of calcium has been. If you've not been getting enough, bone loss can begin in the mid-30's, in women even as early as puberty. The result: osteoporosis, that brittle bone disease that hits elderly people.

Many people don't get enough calcium in their diet (especially hard-core vegetarians who don't even take milk/dairy products). Your daily requirement: 800-1000mg. Good calcium sources are: milk and milk products; fish like sardines (where you can chew on those tiny, edible, calcium-rich bones); green leafy vegetables. But the calcium from plant sources is not as well absorbed as that from animal sources.

Also, unfortunately, aging itself blunts calcium absorption. Certain foods like coffee, tea, colas and chocolates (all of which contain caffeine) as well as tobacco, if taken at the same time as calcium, can inhibit its absorption. So do phosphorus-rich drinks like sodas.

Remember, also, that your body requires Vitamin D for the intestinal absorption of calcium. If your diet is deficient in this vitamin, you can get some of your needs from sunlight. Food sources include: liver, egg yolk, milk, butter.


In the run-up to a healthy old age, there are a few other things you must do:

  1. Limit salt intake to about one teaspoon a day. Excess salt consumption carries the risk of high blood pressure and its potentially fatal consequences: heart disease, stroke, kidney disease.
  2. Avoid heavy alcohol consumption. It is associated with liver damage and increased cancer risk.
  3. Give up smoking. It can cause a whole range of illness, from chronic respiratory ailments like emphysema to cancers of the lung, mouth and esophagus.

My firm belief is: "Finding a cause leads the way to find a cure". So, it is basically important to understand everything from its deepest core. And the best way to do so is: Keep on reading to develop and deepen your understanding on health and wellness at GrowTaller4IdiotsDS.com.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Andy_Gibson/2325820