Why Are Nuts Healthy for Seniors?

Saturday, July 16, 2011
posted by Gilmore
Walnuts

Image via Wikipedia

Seniors who are concerned about taking preemptive steps to foster their senior health should seriously consider adding nuts to their diet.   A number of popular nuts can provide major benefits toward maintaining senior health. in addition to walnuts, almonds, pecans, hazelnuts and pistachios round out the full spectrum of healthy nuts.   It turns out that walnuts are at the top of the list of heart healthy nuts.   They are the edible seeds of walnut trees that have been cultivated for thousands of years.  The latest research has shown that walnuts are full of vitamins, tannins, phenolic acids, flavonoids, and omega-3 fatty acids.   This combination of healthy compounds contributes to cardiovascular health.   By eating just a handful of walnuts a senior consumes almost twice as many antioxidants compared with an equivalent amount of any other typically consumed nut.   Much of the research on the nutritional benefits of walnuts has centered on the benefits to cardiovascular health.  Walnuts contain large amounts of alpha linolenic acid, or ALA, which contributes to heart health by thinning the blood which reduces the risk of clots or heart attacks.

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Strength Training for Cardiovascular Health

Monday, June 27, 2011
posted by Gilmore
Photographer: Frank C. Müller

Image via Wikipedia

One of the issues seniors face is diminishing muscle strength.   Seniors who want to take preemptive steps to maintain the strength of the muscles need to hear some good news.  Recent studies about the difference in strength between younger adults and seniors show that 70 percent of the muscle loss is due to lack of physical activity and absence of strength training.   Only 30 percent of the loss of muscle strength is due to aging.   Seniors need strong muscles in order to live a full senior life.  The good news is that seniors can maintain or regain their muscle strength by engaging in strength training exercises.   Strength training fosters weight control, bone health, and improves cognition.   By reducing body fat with strength training seniors lower their risk of diabetes.  Improving muscle strength seniors reduce their risk of injury from falls and other injuries.   Seniors need adequate muscle strength in order to exercise at a rate that promotes cardiovascular health.   Strength training helps build up the muscle strength of seniors so that they can easily participate in cardiovascular exercise.   Seniors can engage in strength training at home or in a gym.   This training needs to be tailored to the starting condition of each individual senior.   For example, seniors can begin slowly at home with simple exercises such as sit-ups and push-ups  combined with the use of resistance tubing.   As their strength builds up they can include light weights such as barbells.  Finally they can advance to performing strength training at a gym.

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Why Strawberries Are Good For Seniors!

Sunday, June 5, 2011
posted by Gilmore
A box of Strawberries

Image via Wikipedia

Seniors who want to take preemptive steps to foster their senior health should consider eating strawberries this June.   The alternative of practicing caloric restriction is not as much fun as eating delicious strawberries.  The benefit of caloric restriction is life extension, but most seniors do not want to eat like monks at a monastery.   The longevity benefits that result from caloric restriction in diet have been researched for more than sixty years, but most seniors would prefer another path to achieve life extension.   It turns out that the folks who research new nutrients have discovered a set of nutrients that can safely stimulate the effects of caloric restriction.   These nutrients mimic the the effects of caloric restriction.   In addition to the previously known caloric restriction mimetics of resveratrol, pterostilbene, grape seed extracts, quercitin and black tea, researchers have discovered the flavonoid fisetin which is found in strawberries.
The flavonoid fisetin in a somewhat rare nutrient found in very small quantities in plants.   In terms of benefiting senior health it is fosters senior health in a least six ways.   It maintains healthy levels of the our cells’ internal antioxidant, glutathione.    Fisetin is the only polyphenol that induces antioxidant activity with a two-fold benefit, because it protects against cancer and cardiovascular disease.   It inhibits glycation in humans that would over the long term can result in Alzheimer’s disease and other types of cognitive deterioration.    Among the flavanoids, fisetin holds a very high rank in terms of preventing DNA damage.   Fisetin very effectively suppresses inflammatory responses that would otherwise open the door to cancer proliferation.   Finally, fisetin provides mitochondrial support to the cells of our bodies and protects them against oxidative stress.   This is very good news for seniors who are seeking preemptive aging information to promote their cardiovascular health and avoid cancer, because all of these nutrients are currently available in supplement form.

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Pomegranate Compared to Resveratrol

Saturday, May 28, 2011
posted by Gilmore
An opened up pomegranate.

Image via Wikipedia

The benefits of resveratrol for extending life appear to be very similar to the benefits demonstrated for caloric restriction for senior health.  Both of them work to promote longevity, because they change the way our genes are expressed.   Both turn off the senescence genes and turn on the youth genes that promote cellular vitality.   Medical research has shown that pomegranate protects against age-related diseases such as atherosclerosis, cancer, and type 2 diabetes by altering gene expression in a way similar to the action of resveratrol.   Pomegranate extracts work in a multifold manner to prevent atherosclerosis and to undue the effects of atherosclerosis that has already attacked the arteries.  Pomegranate juice has been shown to reduce total cholesterol and LDL levels which effectively increases cardiovascular health by reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Pomegranate has an amazingly broad spectrum of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, it is no surprise that it has shown excellent results in preventing certain cancers and reversing the progress of already existing cancers.   Folks treated with pomegranate extracts,  juice, and oils have experienced beneficial results for breast, colon, and prostate cancer.

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Cinnamon Can Help Seniors Stay Healthy

Wednesday, May 11, 2011
posted by Gilmore
Ceylon cinnamon (Cinnamomum Verum) and Indones...

Image via Wikipedia

According to a recent health report from London,  cinnamon may provide health benefits for seniors, because we typically suffer from increasing blood sugar levels despite making the recommended changes in our daily diet. The London study reported dramatic positive results when patients with type 2 diabetes took cinnamon.  The researchers concluded that supplementing with cinnamon should be considered as an added dietary supplement, in order to regulate blood glucose and blood pressure levels in parallel with conventional medications for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. Additional  information about taking cinnamon for controlling blood glucose specifies that one should take  the water-soluble extract and avoid the fat-soluble portion of cinnamon for optimum results.  It turns out that type 2 diabetes is one of several diseases that are triggered by inflammation in our bodies.  Recent research has shown that water soluble cinnamon extract lessens a type of intestinal inflammation. In addition to lessening inflammation, cinnamon has been shown to mimic the effects of insulin, manage blood-sugar metabolism, help regulate fatty acids, help reduce blood sugar and cholesterol levels, and act synergistically with insulin. Working together with insulin cinnamon reduces the type of inflammation that is known to the increase the risk for cardiovascular disease.

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Mediterranean Diet Lowers Seniors Cholesterol

Tuesday, April 26, 2011
posted by Gilmore
Mediterranean diet (close up)

Image by grobery via Flickr

The popular health news reports are typically full of suggestions that are designed to lower your cholesterol.  Usually they do not tell you about the form of cholesterol of LDL cholesterol that is more likely to cause the health problems that lead to heart attacks or strokes.  The type of LDL cholesterol that is the deadly form is oxidized cholesterol.  The oxidized cholesterol is the form that typically causes the process that leads to narrowing of the arteries that results in heart attacks or strokes later as the narrowing or clogging of the arteries increases.  Seniors who are concerned about fostering their  cardiovascular health want to take preemptive antiaging steps to protect their senior health.   Here is the good news for seniors who have these concerns.  The Mediterranean Diet provides a tasty, healthy path for seniors to preempt the development of the deadly oxidized cholesterol.  The Mediterranean Diet does this through the foods that it provides.  It stresses eating more vegetables, nuts, herbs, and fish.  It uses virgin olive oil for cooking.  It suggests eating more white meat instead of red meat or processed meat.  For those who drink alcohol it recommends drinking moderate amounts of red wine.  In a recent study that involved over 370 seniors, those who followed the Mediterranean Diet showed a significant decline in their levels of  oxidized cholesterol compared with the seniors who just followed a low fat diet.

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Save Your Senior Brains

Monday, April 4, 2011
posted by Gilmore
PET scan of a human brain with Alzheimer's disease

Image via Wikipedia

As we age seniors face the threat of diminished mental capacity that range from some diminished mental capacity to the dreaded Alzheimer disease. These diminishments are linked to changes in senior brains due to aging. Seniors who are concerned about taking preemptive aging steps to protect their brains have a way to take such a preemptive aging step.   The good news for seniors is that a single vitamin has a long history of providing support for the aging brains of seniors.   The vitamin is commonly called niacinamide which is a type of vitamin B3.   Beginning in the 1940s, clinical research into nurturing the brains of seniors led to the discovery that niacinamide removed or improved symptoms such as memory impairment, unwarranted anxiety, and unreasonable annoyance.  This is very good good news for seniors who are concerned about fostering their senior health by protecting and nurturing their brains.   Preliminary results of using niacinimide with patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease has shown very good promise in terms of mitigating the effects of that disease in seniors.    It appears that the patients who took it in the earlier stages of Alzheimer’s benefited the most.

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Vinegar Aids Seniors’ Blood Sugar Levels

Monday, March 28, 2011
posted by Gilmore
Apple Cider Vinegar with Mother

Image by AndyRob via Flickr

As we age our bodies undergo changes.   One of the changes that seniors face is rising blood sugar levels that can lead to type 2 diabetes unless some measures are taken to deal with this change.  Some of the measures that can contribute to lowering blood sugar levels in seniors include changes in diet, exercise, weight loss, and supplements.  Seniors who are interested in taking preemptive aging steps to foster their senior health should certainly includes these measures in their daily routines.  In the event that blood sugar levels are still too high another step can be taken; it requires a prescription medication.  The alternative to that well known prescription is a common household item that is often used in salad dressings.  The household alternative is none other than common vinegar. Numerous studies over the years have documented the ability of vinegar to reduce blood sugar levels by 25-35% provided it is taken before or with meals.   Vinegar lowers the glucose levels by inhibiting the enzymes required to digest starches and complex carbohydrates.  Similarly taking vinegar upon retiring in the evening will result in lower morning fasting blood sugar levels.  In this case it turns out that vinegar acts in a manner parallel with the well known prescription drug metformin to lower blood sugar.

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Preempt Cancer with Green Tea & Mushrooms

Wednesday, March 9, 2011
posted by Gilmore
Button Mushrooms

Recent research in an international cancer journal  reported that women who ate mushrooms daily reduced their risk of developing breast cancer by more than 60%.   This high level of risk reduction was reported after adjusting for variables such as smoking, overeating, exercise, etc.  This research was performed on over 2,000 women in an Asian country of whom half had been diagnosed with breast cancer.  The study showed that eating the plain button mushroom was sufficient to provide this high level of risk reduction.  The better results were obtained by consuming fresh button mushrooms rather that the dried mushrooms.  This is good news for senior women who are concerned about taking preemptive steps to protect their senior health.  The researchers identified a substance in the mushrooms that they suspect may provide the key to reducing the risk of breast cancer.  The substance called linoleic acid may be that key, because it inhibits aromatase activity that is linked to producing estrogen.  It is known that high estrogen levels have been shown to be a risk factor for breast cancer.  On top of this good news about the benefits of consuming button mushrooms the researchers added more good news.  They found that the women who added drinking green tea to their button mushroom diet achieved a risk reduction of nearly 90% against developing breast cancer.

Curcumin Can Preempt Senior Illnesses

Saturday, February 26, 2011
posted by Gilmore
TURMERIC PLANT (curcuma longa)

Image by sophiea via Flickr

In the US cancer is the second leading cause of death.   As we age the risk of contracting cancer increases.   Seniors who are concerned about their senior health are wise to take preemptive steps to lower their risk of developing cancer.  It turns out that in terms of cancer prevention there is a multimodal cancer-preventing agent known as curcumin.   Curcumin is derived from the Indian spice tumeric.   In 2010 the multimodal cancer-preventing capabilities of  curcumin were reported in more than 230 published studies.  Curcumin provides several active components which contribute to its cancer-preventing and anti-inflammatory power.  The studies revealed that curcumin can target ten different factors that cause cancer to develop.  In the case of hormone-negative breast cancers, curcumin has been shown to induce programmed cell death of those cancers.  This is good news for senior women.  Curcumin has shown similar success in the case of prostate cancer which is a threat to senior men.  It turns out that curcumin can provide help to prevent prostate cancer from starting.  In the case of prostate cancer that has already begun curcumin can interfere with the growth of that cancer in multiple modes.  This is very good news fro senior men who are concerned about taking preemptive steps to protect their prostate health.

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