Heart Disease

The New Anti-Aging Secret for Younger Looking Skin: Exercise

Some of us know all to well that as we age, there are dramatic changes to our skin, and not usually for the better. Crow’s feet, laugh lines, sagging skin, the works. But now, science is proving that moderate cardio exercise can reverse these natural processes at any age.

exercise aging

The New York Times recently reported on a study from McMaster University in Ontario, one of the big names in exercise physiology research. Essentially, scientists found the above to be true: that exercise can slow or even reverse the signs of aging skin. How? Well, they’re not quite sure how it works—one theory is that an increase in a certain muscle protein called myokines helps halt and reverse the process. Regardless of the actual process, researchers say they have clear proof that it does work—and that younger looking skin could be just a few workouts away. (more…)

Chia Seeds Live Up to the Hype

The chia plant didn’t have the best introduction to the American market. (Ch-ch-chia, anyone?) But don’t be fooled into thinking that chia seeds—which are being added to everything from smoothies to cookies—are all hype. The truth is, chia seeds may be just what your diet is missing!

chia

Chia’s Superfood Superpowers
Chia is the ancient Mayan word for “strength” and these tiny seeds, which are primarily grown in Southern Mexico and have been eaten for thousands of years, live up to their name. They’re packed with amazing amounts of goodness to keep you strong and vibrantly alive. Here are just some of the superpowers packed into the minuscule seeds. A serving boasts:

  • more Omega-3 fatty acids than salmon
  • more calcium per ounce than milk
  • more Vitamin C than an orange
  • fiber, iron, magnesium and potassium
  • tons of antioxidants and anti-cancer properties
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The 5-Second Trick to Lower Your Stress Levels

Ask your stressed out friends how they deal with feeling overwhelmed and they’ll likely list off the usual suspects: Sleep. Caffeine. Sugar. Alcohol. Exercise. Yoga. Some of these are clearly healthier options than others, but even the easy fixes take time—something that a lot of people who are stressed out tend to have in short supply. But there is a quick fix for the times when you have too much stress and too little energy: The simplest and most effective tool for instant energy, banishing stress, and ridding toxins from the body is breath!

breathe

That’s right. Breathing—the thing we do all day and night long without thinking about it—is responsible for a whole lot more than fuel our body with oxygen. The rate at which we breathe actually helps regulate our heart rate which in turn controls a bunch of other physical aspects. Breathe slow and fast and our body and brain will automatically shift to that fight or flight mode, the one that comes with stress and sends your blood pressure and shoulder tension soaring. Focus on slower, longer, and deeper breaths and you’ll help calm your body and mind, fighting stress in a matter of seconds while also filling your body with energizing oxygen, the lifeblood of a creativity, productivity, focus, and fire for whatever our life demands.

So how can you breathe better? (more…)

Tom Granville Lost 70 Pounds For the Love of His Daughter and Hockey

After his first marriage ended in divorce, Tom Granville never thought he would experience the joy of parenthood. When his second wife gave birth to their baby girl, he found joy he never knew was missing in his life.

Then Tom’s doctor delivered some unsettling news. At 450 pounds with high blood pressure and pounding headaches, the doctor warned that obesity was taking a toll on Tom’s body, and his life was at risk.

tom granville collage

It was my, “come to Jesus moment,” Tom explained. The day he left his doctor’s office, he drove away and made a promise to himself to get healthy so he would be able to see his daughter grow up. “I left the doctor’s office and gave up fast food, junk food, pop, processed sugar, and most of my red meat,” he said. “I started eating healthy and joined a gym.”

Now, 70+ pounds lighter, Tom is making good on his promise and enjoying all the perks that come with his leaner frame, including squeezing back into that old beloved hockey uniform.

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The Secret Health Benefit of Cruciferous Veggies

cruciferous

By Team Best Life

All vegetables are good for you, but certain groups may pack a greater nutritional punch than others. Take cruciferous vegetables, the family that includes broccoli, cauliflower, bok choy and more. They’re loaded with antioxidant vitamins and phytochemicals, which offer protection against a number of illnesses, including heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s, according to research.

Now, experts say they may have figured out why these veggies are so beneficial: They seem to reduce inflammation, which plays a role in many of these diseases. In the study, people who ate the most cruciferous veggies had the lowest levels of three different inflammatory compounds—as much as 25 percent less—in their blood compared to those who ate the least cruciferous veggies. (more…)

17 Types of Seafood You Can Eat Without Worrying (Much) About Mercury

By Janis Jibrin, M.S., R.D., Lead Nutritionist for TheBestLife.com 

Nutritionists love seafood for good reason: Diets high in fish are linked to lower levels of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and depression. And for pregnant women, eating more fish can even make your baby more intelligent.

salmon

But what about mercury, a contaminant that can cause nerve damage and other problems? You’ll find the chemical in large fish like swordfish and tuna. These fish eat large quantities of small fish that are low in mercury, but over time, these small amounts concentrate in the big fish’s body.

Fortunately, there are plenty of low-mercury fish options at the seafood counter (see the list below).

* Note: Seafood with an asterisk (*) are rich in omega-3s, which help fight inflammation in the body and offer many health benefits, like a reduced risk of heart disease, cancer and possibly Alzheimer’s disease.

The Purest Picks  

•  Arctic char*

•  Catfish (U.S. farm-raised; avoid wild-caught, it may be high in contaminants) (more…)

We Knew Chocolate was Good for You, Now We Know Why

Chocolate – even a small amount is the perfect cure for a bad day, the best dessert, and a great gift. In addition to being one of our favorite indulgences, it doesn’t hurt that dark chocolate is also good for you.

dark chocolate

We’ve known dark chocolate is good for the heart for some time, but we haven’t known exactly why. Now two studies have revealed for the first time, what exactly is so great about dark chocolate when it comes to our health.

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Apple’s Upcoming Health App Predicted to Break Boundaries

With the growing popularity of virtualized health tracking apps, Apple is sure to have something coming down the pipeline soon not only to compete, but to surpass.

9-to-5 Mac  released details on Monday regarding their new project, and is projected to be “a tipping point for mobile healthcare”. They’re calling it Apple Healthbook and it’s designed to track blood sugar (huge factor for those with diabetes!), heart rate, breathing rate, weight, hydration, sleep, nutrition,  physical movements, and health test results, among other stats.

Screen shot 2014-03-18 at 8.07.02 AM

How will this app stand out from the rest? One company, for example, offers over 40 health and fitness iPhone apps alone. It is said that virtual health tracker and resource apps can significantly reduce healthcare costs and are predicted to one day be subsidized by healthcare providers to promote their usage. (more…)

Saturated Fats Don’t Cause Heart Disease? New Research Revealed

Are saturated fats inherently bad for you? For years, the idea drilled into our heads has been that the saturated fats found in meat, cheese, and butter are to be largely avoided due to the increased risk of heart attacks, stroke, and heart disease. But now we’re not so sure.

sat fat

A new analysis of research was released in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine this week, and reported by the New York Times health blog here, cast doubt upon this guideline.

The new research reviewed over 80 studies that looked at what the participants reportedly ate, plus blood test results that measured fatty acids and cholesterol levels. This analysis did not find increased heart disease in those who ate less saturated fat, nor did it find less disease in those eating more unsaturated fat—the good stuff found in natural foods like olive oil, fish, and avocados. It did, however, notice a benefit in those taking Omega-3 fish-oil supplements in preventing the onset of heart disease. (more…)

Ray Allen Lost 50 Pounds (Again) When He Stared Down His Own Mortality and Made a Big Lifestyle Change

Ray Allen knows how important it is to have the right mindset when you want to lose serious weight. After dropping almost 60 pounds during a company sponsored weight loss contest, he slowly gained almost all of it back. Now, 50 pounds lighter, Ray says his biggest obstacle was getting out of his own way.

ray collage

More from Ray in his own words –

My weight struggle began after the Army when poor food choices and not exercising over the course of a few years got the best of me.

In Feb 2012 I realized I needed to make some permanent changes to my lifestyle. My father died of heart disease at age 44 from a massive heart attack. He didn’t take care of himself and one of the contributing factors was his weight. Getting closer to that age, I decided I wasn’t going to let that happen to me.

I lost 50 pounds in 5 months and now I’m slowly gaining weight in the form of muscle instead of fat.

How did you lose the weight? I knew I needed to eat less so I tracked my calories on the website (caloriecount.about.com) This was an invaluable tool. I kept my calories below 1500, but I knew that what I ate was just as important so I gave up sugar, besides what I put in my coffee, and then eliminated anything sweet including cake, donuts, pastries, etc. I also gave up bread, butter, peanut butter (I went through withdrawals) and cheese.

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