The anti-aging benefits of eating superfoods include weight loss, increased energy, healthier immune system, improved heart health and even prevention from diseases like cancer.
More than 70 percent of the United States’ adult population is overweight, and a third of that population is obese. Overweight is defined by having a body mass index (BMI) over 25. Adults with a BMI over 30 are considered obese. Obesity is the second most preventable health risk, just behind smoking. It’s a problem worldwide and one that just keeps getting bigger.
Another problem is how quickly this overweight epidemic has spread to children. The World Health Organization estimates that 20 million children under the age of five are obese. Children are being diagnosed with high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and diabetes—all previously thought to be exclusively the problems of adults—at alarming rates. Why is this happening?
As with heart disease, poor eating and physical inactivity are largely responsible for weight gain. Weight loss isn’t easy, but for many people, it’s necessary to restore and maintain good health. Some superfoods that help weight loss include omega-3 fatty acids, green tea, dark chocolate and chia.
Pumping up your pep
Gaining some super sensations from what you eat and drink is a common goal. How often have you told co-workers that you need coffee or chocolate or an “energy” drink to get you through the slumps in your day? The problem with artificial stimulants is that they often pose unwanted dangers to your body. Plus, many of these options are high in sugar and artificial additives. A better option: Go natural and use superfoods to put some pep in your step.
Getting a natural boost of energy is important not only for getting through your daily routine, but also for summoning extra energy to tackle your exercise program or other activities. When you use the right foods and eat small meals through the day, you can really ramp up your metabolism and get that extra energy you need.
If you’re on the go and can’t find the time to grab a healthy meal, these superfoods can be a great option:
- Goji berries: Rich in antioxidants, goji berries have been used in Chinese medicine for years. They’ve also been found to help boost energy and enhance your mood.
- Green tea: This is another superfood that has been used for hundreds of thousands of years. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that green tea’s effect on energy was similar to that of caffeine.
- Chia seed: The Aztecs used chia seeds to prepare for battles and long explorations. The seeds can absorb ten times their weight and are slow to digest, offering sustained energy for several hours. Chia seeds can be added to protein shakes or other meals to help give you that sustained energy throughout the day.
- Quinoa: This protein-rich seed, though considered a grain, is actually a leafy plant that’s related to spinach and beets, and it can give you a power punch. Much as Aztecs used chia, the Incas used quinoa as a source of energy for their battles.
Boosting Your Immune System
As you may expect, superfoods are good immune-system boosters, helping your body fight and prevent various diseases. Research on the abilities of certain foods to strengthen immune function, fight against heart disease, prevent cancer, and lower the risk of other inflammatory diseases has been consistently increasing. Of course, cancer is much less common than colds and minor infections. Fortunately, superfoods can help with these everyday ailments, too. Here are two good examples:
Resveratrol, a compound found in red wine, has been shown to be quite beneficial. It has antiviral properties and can help prevent common cold viruses from taking hold in your body. It’s also being studied extensively in anti-aging medicine, and early results are pointing at a breakthrough in this area.
Garlic has been used as a natural antibiotic for more than a century. Louis Pasteur studied the use of garlic as an antibiotic and found that it killed bacteria in the lab.
If you’re on any medications, see your doctor before you add high doses of garlic to your regimen. Garlic can interfere with certain medication functions.
Superfoods have some great properties to help the body’s immune system. However, if you’re thinking of taking any superfood supplements, talk to your doctor first. Supplements, even those with superfood properties, can interact negatively with certain medications, so it’s vital to discuss diet and supplements with your physician.
Helping Your Heart
Your heart pumps about 2,000 gallons of blood throughout your whole body every day, but most people don’t appreciate that workload. You don’t have to consciously think about your heartbeat, so it’s easy to take your heart for granted. Unfortunately, sometimes it takes a serious medical condition to become aware of your heart—by which time you may already have heart disease.
Heart disease is still the leading cause of death in both men and women, so reducing risks should be a priority for both genders. Superfoods can help by tackling cholesterol and triglycerides, believed to be major risk factors for cardiovascular disease.
The American Heart Association recommends that everyone 20 years of age and older have a fasting cholesterol profile test every five years. This test measures your total cholesterol and triglyceride levels to keep an eye on your risk for cardiovascular disease. If you have any underlying health conditions, such as hypothyroidism, diabetes, liver disease, or other cardiovascular risks, your doctor may want to run this profile more frequently. Once patients reach the age of 40, most doctors check their cholesterol yearly.
Superfoods work to keep your heart healthy and improve your ticker’s longevity without the potential side effects or additional expense of cholesterol lowering prescription medications. They can really make a difference in your heart’s health. Here’s how:
Eating superfoods means you’re improving your overall diet and getting the vitamins and minerals you need every day—without extra calories. Too many extra calories cause elevations in triglycerides and an increased risk for heart disease.
Some superfoods, such as colorful fruits and vegetables contain natural disease-fighting substances called flavonoids. These can reduce inflammation of your arteries, decrease your cholesterol, lower your blood pressure, and stimulate antioxidant activity. Antioxidants repair damage done to the cells in your body by smoking pollution, poisons, fried foods, and also as a byproduct of normal metabolism.
Fish, nuts, and seeds all contain healthful polyunsaturated fatty acids that keep your cholesterol in check. Fish oil (omega-3 fatty acids) is particularly super because it also helps regulate your heartbeat and your blood pressure.
Fruits, vegetables, and oatmeal all contain dietary fiber that lowers cholesterol and helps keep you feeling full, which can prevent overeating, a risk factor for heart disease.
Protecting Against Cancer
When people are asked what health condition they fear the most, cancer is the number one answer. This is a justifiable fear as cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States, just behind heart disease. Although many people believe that cancer is an uncontrollable health condition, evidence suggests otherwise, and some of the superfoods may help to prevent cancer and improve the well-being of cancer patients.
We’ve seen success story after success story where people defied their prognoses and beat cancer, and we think that eating healthy foods had a lot to do with it. The role of nutrition in the prevention of cancer has been studied for many years. The largest cancer research organization in the United Kingdom World Cancer Research Fund supports the notion that between 35 and 70 percent of cancer is related to eating an unhealthy diet. A healthy diet rich in superfoods, on the other hand, may decrease your risk of many cancers.
Many superfoods have cancer-fighting properties. In general, you should seek those foods with the highest amounts of phytochemicals, fiber and antioxidants. For example:
- Lycopene, a phytochemical found in tomatoes, is being studied for its reduction of risk for prostate cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, foods rich in lycopene may lower the risk of other cancers as well; however, more research is needed.
- Berries contain phytochemicals that have been shown to help fight the development of cancer. These phytochemicals trigger antioxidant reactions that neutralize damage done to your cells.
- Red wine contains two polyphenols called catechins and resveratrol, both of which provide cancer protection by inhibiting the growth of cancer cells.
- Broccoli contains a chemical that has been found to slow down the progression of cancer cells, especially hormone-sensitive cancers such as breast and ovarian cancer.
- A lot of money has been spent on research to explore the cancer-fighting properties of garlicand garlic extracts. Several studies already support the theory that garlic can reduce the risk of cancer, and more studies are underway to explore exactly how garlic functions in cancer protection.
- Several beans (legumes) are great sources of fiber, which has been proven to help reduce inflammation in the colon and has been associated with a reduction of colon cancer.
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About Priority You MD
Priority You MD provides personalized, integrative healthcare for general wellness, anti-aging, athletic performance and weight management as well as more complex medical issues. In addition, our facility also provides aesthetic services and fitness training. Combining diet, nutrition and exercise with evidence based medicine and preventative therapies, our goal is to help our patients achieve and maintain a healthy, active lifestyle.
Priority You MD utilizes IV therapy protocols from Trim® Nutrition. These proprietary nutrient injections are formulated by doctors and compounding pharmacists who use the highest quality materials and follow strict manufacturing protocols in a class 10,000 compounding facility.
Headquartered in Clearwater, Florida, Trim® Nutrition and Priority You MD’s clinical staff of physicians, pharmacists, registered nurses, and research and development specialists are dedicated to the mission of Making Bodies Better™.