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Senior Health



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.
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6 Health Habits to Take Home from Japan

japan

Recently I was  lucky enough to spend 10 days in Japan. It was cherry blossom season—and a trip that’s been on my bucket list for a while. I only learned two new Japanese words—”konichiwa” is “hello” and “arigato” is “thank you”—but I figured out at least a few explanations for why Japan continues to rate high in rankings of the world’s healthiest countries. Here are a few tricks that are helping our neighbors to the west—who boast the greatest proportion of citizens over 100—live long and healthy lives:

 

sashimi

Fish comes first: Eaten raw, cooked, or somewhere in between, not a day went by that I didn’t have fish during my trip. All of this seafood was good for my body and brain: the blend of lean protein and healthy fats makes fish a staple in many diet and healthy eating programs. I’ve always liked sushi, but this visit gave me a new appreciation for sashimi—basically raw fish any rice: You get all of the benefits of the fish without the calories or sugar of the rice!


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Work Out in the Water! 5 Hot New Reasons to Make a Splash

We all know that swimming is a great, low-impact, full-body workout. But it’s not the only way to get in shape in the water. Over the last few years, traditional strength training, cardio workouts, and even yoga have taken to the water to deliver a form of exercise that is easy on the joints and effective at toning and strengthening the muscles. Sure, there’s water aerobics. But there are also a handful of other fitness styles that have taken the plunge into the pool, creating an entirely new experience for some of your favorite group exercises classes. 

aqua cycling

Here’s an introduction to five popular group fitness classes that you wouldn’t expect to take place in a pool:

Aqua Zumba

Aqua Zumba adds a fun challenge to one of the most popular group exercise classes in the world. The concept and moves are the same as in a  traditional Zumba class, but the extra resistance created by pushing against the water adds a great strength-training element to the workout. The class is held in shallow water (about chest height for the average participant) and the instructor is positioned near the ledge of the pool (so that everyone can see her movements and follow instruction). Aqua Zumba is described as a fun pool party- where you don’t even realize that you get a great workout.


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10 Places for Allergy Sufferers to Avoid this Spring, and How to Cope if You Can’t

Spring is here, bringing with it green grass, warmer temperatures, baseball season, and allergies. Depending on where you live, you may be feeling the effects of allergies more strongly than others. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America has released their list of “the 100 most challenging places to live with allergies.”

seasonal allergies

The 10 Worst Places for spring allergies:

  1. Louisville, Kentucky
  2. Memphis, Tennessee
  3. Baton Rouge, Louisiana
  4. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
  5. Jackson, Mississippi
  6. Chattanooga, Tennessee
  7. Dallas, Texas
  8. Richmond, Virginia
  9. Birmingham, Alabama
  10. McAllen, Texas


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Eat Your Way to Better Eye Sight

By Janis Jibrin, M.S., RD, Best Life lead nutritionist

Which of your five senses is most important to you? If you said “sight,” you’d be in the majority—four out of five baby boomers chose sight in a survey by the Ocular Nutrition Society.

eye health

So be proactive about protecting your sight: Eating to ensure your eyes stay healthy is as easy as following these three steps:

Choose antioxidant-rich foods. Antioxidants like beta-carotene, vitamin C and vitamin E protect your eyes from free radicals, damaging compounds that can cause cataracts and macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in the U.S. A recent study of Swedish women found that those who consumed a diet with the most antioxidant power (one that featured antioxidants that worked best together to protect health) were 13 percent less likely to develop cataracts. Fruits and vegetables topped the list of main sources of antioxidants with 44 percent, followed by whole grains (17 percent) and coffee (15 percent).


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