We put on weight when we regularly consume more calories than we use through our normal bodily functions or expend during our daily physical activities. Unfortunately, losing weight by eating fewer calories and burning more energy is easier said than done. Many of our lifestyle habits make it difficult to shake those extra pounds. When we are stressed, it’s easy to reach for the sugary pick-me-up, or skip out on a few extra hours of much needed sleep. When we have had a long day at work, settling in on the sofa for a few hours of tv may be
At the end of each of our chromosomes there is a non-coding, repeating DNA segment called a telomere. Telomeres act in a similar way to the protective cap on the end of a shoelace. Like the plastic or metal cap keeps the shoelace from fraying and unraveling, telomeres cap each strand of DNA to protect our chromosomes from damage. There is significant research showing the correlation between telomere length and lifespan. Prematurely shortened telomeres have been linked to increased risk for a variety of health concerns and decreased longevity. As we age, our telomeres will naturally shorten by 20 to
Many studies in recent years have reported that there are health benefits, including life extension, associated with moderate consumption of red wine. Why is this the case? What is it about red wine that makes it so beneficial? The answer is resveratrol, a plant compound that has been found to have numerous health enhancing properties. Resveratrol is found in as many as 70 plant species, including grapes, Japanese knotweed and peanuts. It has been suggested that dietary resveratrol acts as an antioxidant and reduces the damage of free radicals. Resveratrol also mimics the biological effects of a calorie-restricted diet and
Cognitive function encompasses many domains such as attention, memory, reasoning, and language. Our brains continually change throughout our lives. Unfortunately, as we age our cognitive function declines. We may become more forgetful, or easily distracted, or struggle to concentrate on tasks as easily as we used to. This is all part of the aging process and these changes are completely normal, albeit they can cause frustration! The normal aging process is different from dementia, which refers to a group of conditions, which cause significant impairments in memory, intellectual function, spatial awareness, language, and behavior. Unlike the normal aging process,
Over the past few years, what we used to call our good gut bacteria or intestinal flora has been the object of growing scientific investigations and public interest. It is now widely accepted that a healthy microbiome is one of the key-element to our overall health and the use of probiotics supplements and fermented foods have become common practice. However, we might not be so familiar with the best practices when it comes to feeding our microbiota and maintaining a healthy microbiome. Let’s explore some simple ways to achieve that! Getting acquainted with our wonderful microbiom Did you know that
In today’s unpredictable environment of world-wide pandemics, health concerns and economic uncertainty, it is easy to succumb to the negative effects of stress on the body. We are being exposed to a greater variety of stressors daily. We may think that one type of stress is better or worse than another, but in reality, the body interprets and responds to all stress in the same manner: cortisol release. You may have heard cortisol described as the “stress hormone.” When the body experiences stress, cortisol and catecholamines are released from the adrenal cortex which activate the “fight-or-flight” mechanism. This mechanism prepares
Mushrooms and fungi have been used in medicine for thousands of years. They have been used traditionally to treat and prevent infections, protect the liver and offset the negative effects of stress. There are many different varieties of mushrooms that have demonstrated beneficial effects against boosting the immune system. Mushrooms contain specific compounds including polysaccharides; in particular β-glucans, polysaccharopeptides (PSP), polysaccharide proteins, and proteins. The various glucans, and especially β-glucans, have become the focus of a great deal of research into immune system modulation and infection prevention. β-glucans are large polysacharrides, which means that they are formed from a large
February is heart health month so of course we start to see more posts on heart-healthy recipes and natural ingredients. One thing you might notice is that many of these natural compounds fall into the category of antioxidants. This is a broad term that includes any substance that that can prevent or slow damage to cells caused by free radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules that are produced in our bodies as results of normal cell energy production or from external damaging influences (i.e. UV radiation, chemicals etc.). The cardiovascular system is especially sensitive to the effects of free radicals.