Resistance Training

Resistance or weight training boosts your resting metabolic rate, protects you from type II diabetes and prevents osteoarthritis.

Anti-Oxidants

Anti-oxidants are found in spices and herbs, deep colored berries and several tree nuts. Anti-oxidants protect us from free radical damage which is the main culprit in accelerated aging and many age related mental disorders.

Omega-3 Fats

Most modern lifestyle diseases (heart disease, diabetes) are a result of chronic inflammation which is a result of over consumption of Omega-6 fats from vegetable oils which are highly pro-inflammatory. These fats have to be balanced with increased consumption of Omega-3 fats which are anti-inflammatory for protection from these diseases.

Stress reduction

Stress trumps everything when it comes to disease and accelerated aging. Stress increases the production of stress hormones (cortisol) that increases blood sugar, promotes belly fat and increases free radical damage. Stress also inhibits natural killer cell (NKC) activity that is involved in targeting and killing cancer cells. So practicing daily stress reduction techniques (like breathing exercises, meditation etc.) goes a long way in ensuring our health and longevity.

Healthy Carbs

Anti-oxidant rich healthy carbs from vegetables are rich in fiber which is harder to digest and prevents insulin spikes that are the primary culprit in weight gain. Replacing easy to digest carbs from white potatoes, enriched flour, white rice and sugars, with vegetables will help manage our weight.

 

Can Happiness Prevent Heart Attacks?

happy-people

Seems like it can!

There are several causal mechanisms that suggest that happiness would lower ones risk for heart disease. The foremost reason would be that happy people are better able to adapt to life’s stresses. Stress, as we all know, is a big contributor to high blood sugar levels (via cortisol production) and high oxidative stress, both of which cause systemic inflammation which is the number one cause for heart disease (hope you are not one of those that still believes cholesterol is the cause).

I read this article on Bloomberg Business titled “These are The Happiest Countries in the World” where is lists 20 of the happiest countries in decreasing order from the happiest to the least happy. In the same article it also listed the 20 of the unhappiest countries in decreasing order from the unhappiest to the less unhappy.  Here is the data from the article.

happiestunhappiest

I pooled all 40 countries and arranged them in order of happiest to least happy in one scale. I then dug up…

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The 2 Greatest Myths in Weight Loss

myths

Myth 1: Eating fat will make you fat

It has been known for almost a century now (ever since insulin was discovered) that there can be no weight gain without the master storage hormone insulin. And the number one macronutrient in our diet that increases insulin production is carbohydrate. Protein increases insulin to some extent but fat has no effect on insulin production. So if I go on a diet of 100% butter I’ll lose weight faster than you can say “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious”.

Without belaboring the history of nutrition politics that led to the formation of the USDA pyramid and the resultant fattening of America, all I would say is, for weight loss,  increase your consumption of healthy fats from nuts, seeds, avocados, olive oil, butter, ghee, coconuts etc and eat moderate amounts of healthy proteins from seeds, legumes, free pastured meats, wild caught fish, eggs and dairy. At the same time reduce your consumption of rice, wheat, sugars, processed foods and starchy vegetabl…

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Going Green for Belly-Fat Loss

green-tea

Everyone these days is becoming eco friendly and going green. So, you ask, what does going green have to do with belly fat loss? In this case I am talking about green tea! The chemical compounds in green tea (catechins) have shown to be anti-inflammatory and Thermogenic (increasing metabolism).

In a double blind controlled clinical trial [1] spanning 12 weeks, 132 obese adult participants with high abdominal obesity (>36 inch) were divided into a control group and a catechins group. Both groups were asked to exercise moderately for at least 180 min/week and keep a constant calorie intake. The catechins group received 625 mg (about 3 cups worth of) catechins and the placebo group received none. During the 12 weeks it was found that the catechins group consistently lost more weight compared to the placebo group (figure 1).

catechin weight loss

Furthermore, the catechins group lost a higher percentage of subcutaneous belly fat and intra-abdominal (visceral) fat while the control group lost li…

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Will Disinfecting Our Environment Make Us Healthier?

free-purell-target

90% of the cells found in our body are not ours!

We have an ecosystem of microbes that lives inside and on us. The human body has evolved with these friendly microbes for millions of years. In fact we depend on them for survival and optimum health. Each of us have a unique microbiome tailored to our environment and to our body just as we have a unique DNA. Just as DNA damage can cause unwanted mutations in our cells, damage to this microbiome causes unwanted health problems. This is what is happening with “Purell Culture” that is widespread in most developed nations. Excessive concern for hygiene has prompted the mass destruction of this microbiome, both, on our bodies by the use of disinfectants and inside our bodies by the use of antibiotics. This germophobe attitude has led to a rise in inflammation related diseases and autoimmune disorders.

The internal probiotic microbes in our gut are responsible for digesting certain foods, reducing inflammation and ensuring the health…

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NURTURE VS. NATURE

epigenetics

You don’t have to be a prisoner of your genes!

Epigenetics (the study of non-hereditary gene modifications) suggests that 95% of chronic diseases are due to nurture (your diet, environment, stress) and only 5% due to nature (your DNA). Studies of identical twins with the same genes have shown that DNA matters very little when it comes to modern disease. So if you think you have a genetic predisposition to diabetes or cancer, think again. Our diets and our environment interact with our DNA to turn on/off specific codes to trigger changes in our bodies (for better or for worse).

So eat healthy, live clean and manage stress and you don’t have to worry about your genes.

Here is an interesting article on Epigenetics http://discovermagazine.com/2006/nov/cover