10 Best Anti-Aging Foods to Eat Every Day

The greatest desire of every woman is to stay young and beautiful as long as possible. We usually try various methods in order to prevent the aging process in our body. Though, our efforts are not always successful. It is necessary to remember that certain things can help you to add years to your life. Firstly, you should lead a healthy lifestyle. For this you need to do regular physical exercises and include wholesome foods into your diet. If you want to stay young and avoid numerous age-related diseases, I recommend you to consume the following anti-aging foods every day. They are extremely beneficial for your health!

1. Fish
The conducted researches have shown that those people who eat a lot of fish almost never suffer from heart disease. For example, the native Inuits of Alaska are not familiar with this health issue because they regularly consume a big amount of fish. This food is known to be rich in omega-3 fats that will stabilize your heart rhythms and protect you against cholesterol buildup in arteries.

2. Olive Oil
Due to the fact that olive oil is high in monounsaturated fats it is one of those foods that are efficient in fighting cancer and heart disease. Everybody knows that people who live in Greece constantly use olive oil for cooking. Scientists’ studies have proven that the consumption of this oil lowers rates of heart diseases among the citizens of this country. By adding olive oil to your dishes you will supply your body with antioxidants and polyphenols which you need to resist different age-related diseases.

3. Chocolate
Cocoa is the main ingredient of chocolate. It has a high concentration of flavanols that are very good for blood vessels. When your blood vessels function well, you’re able to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, dementia and kidney disease. That’s why you can easily enjoy the sweet taste of your favorite chocolate. Just make sure you control your portions, or this dessert will be harmful to your health. Besides chocolate bars, there is a wide range of beverages made of cocoa. By drinking them you’ll have a chance to prevent heart disease.

4. Yogurt
Some years ago Georgia was one of the countries that had the biggest number of centenarians in the world. Yogurt was claimed to be the main secret of their long lives. This dairy product is frequently used in most diets that are so popular nowadays. Perhaps you’ve never heard before but yogurt may slow the aging process. Being full of calcium, this food is extremely effective in preventing osteoporosis. In addition, “good bacteria” that are found in yogurt will strengthen your immune system and improve your overall health.

5. Blueberries
Dietarians state that blueberries may have a fantastic impact on human body. If you include these delicious and wholesome berries into your daily menu you’ll be amazed with the results. According to scientific studies blueberries are considered to increase people’s coordination when they become old. Plus, this food contains compounds that can easily diminish oxidative damage and inflammation. These health problems can lead to deficits in memory and motor function when you are old. So, blueberries are a wonderful choice for healthy aging.

6. Nuts
If you really care about your health and beauty, I would advise you to add nuts to your eating plan. This food is an enormous source of unsaturated fats and it can affect your body in the same way as olive oil does. Recently it has been found out that people who eat nuts live a few years longer than those who refuse from this tasty snack. Such nutrients as vitamins, antioxidants and minerals, make nuts one of the healthiest foods. Today you can find different kinds of nuts that are also a perfect option for vegetarians.

7. Wine
The negative influence of alcohol on our health is undeniable. Some people even don’t guess that when consumed in moderate doses alcohol can be salubrious for them. It should be mentioned that wine is the most preferable alcoholic beverage all over the world. If you drink wine, you will not only enjoy its refined taste but you will protect yourself against numerous diseases as well. Those who drink red wine are less subjected to diabetes, memory loss and heart disease. What is more important, this beverage will slow the process of aging in your body.

8. Carrots
Carrot is another fantastic food that will certainly help you to look younger and you will supply your body with various vitamins and nutrients that are necessary to be healthy. This orange vegetable is a perfect source of alpha- and beta-carotene that are known to boost our immunity and even stave off cancer. Moreover, carrots may be effectively used to care for your skin because carotenoids protect it from UV damage. When summer comes, you should try to add carrots to your diet and don’t forget to apply sunscreen either.

9. Sunflower Seeds
First of all, I’d like to say that most of us give preference to these seeds when looking for yummy snacks. Do you know that this food is very good for your health? We can hardly find any other food that is more packed with vitamin E than sunflower seeds. We all need to consume this vitamin in order to enhance our immune system which becomes weak with age. Nevertheless you have all chances to roll back the years by eating your favorite sunflower seeds.

10. Prunes
Perhaps you are surprised to see prunes on this list, but it has been proven that this food can be even more efficient than fresh fruits when it comes to our health. One of the reasons why prunes are so useful to us is their capacity to remove harmful free radicals from the blood and improve our circulation. Being dried, prunes have a big quantity of good things that have positive effect on our body. As an alternative to prunes you can also eat raisins or figs.

Unfortunately, we can’t stop time and stay young forever. However, we have endless opportunities to add years to our life and to look amazing no matter how old we are. All the above foods will definitely help you to stay healthy and by eating them you’ll be able to avoid various age-related diseases. What methods do you use to prevent the negative effects of aging? Do you eat any other anti-aging foods? What are they?

Dogs Who Live with Smokers May Suffer from Premature Aging

Current estimates indicate that between 30 and 40 percent of all pet dogs live in a home that contains at least one person who smokes. A recent study suggests that these dogs are at risk of premature aging and inflammation, which may well shorten their life span.

Although there is extensive research on the effects of second-hand tobacco smoke in human beings, there has not been a lot of research on its effects on the health of dogs. From the research that exists there has been some suggestion that the risk of cancer is somewhat higher for dogs who live in a household which contains a smoker (click here for more about that). However, new research by Natalie Hutchinson from the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Glasgow suggests that dogs who are exposed to tobacco smoke show a number of biological markers that are normally seen in aging dogs and may ultimately be associated with an early death.

This research, which was published as a doctoral thesis, involved a community-based sample of dogs, approximately half of whom lived in smoking homes and half in non-smoking homes. The dogs were observed over a period of 12 months. The first step was to determine whether the dogs living in a household with a smoker actually were absorbing chemicals from the tobacco smoke in their environment. This was done by looking at the hair of the dogs. One important chemical biomarker is nicotine and another is cotinine (which is an alkaloid found in tobacco and also appears when an animal metabolizes nicotine). The level of these biomarkers was higher in dogs coming from smoking households and was related to the amount of smoking going on around the dogs.

The number of analyses and tests described in this nearly 600-page report are extensive and complex. However, there are a few findings which are significant and easily described. These are based on analysis of samples of tissue taken from the mouth, muscles, and urogenital regions of the dogs. In this case the researcher was trying to measure the lengths of telomeres, which are a marker of physiological aging.

Our genetic material, specifically DNA, is stored in bodies called chromosomes. Telomeres are the protective caps on the ends of these chromosomes. In young humans, for instance, telomeres are about 8,000 to 10,000 nucleotides long. However, over time they grow shorter. This comes about because the telomeres get reduced in size with each cell division. This is important because when the telomeres reach a critically short length the cell stops dividing and it might even die. The erosion of telomeres over time has been linked to aging and disease risks including things like cancer. In effect, this gradual shortening of the telomeres suggests that our cells are pre-programmed to a limited number of cell divisions which we cannot exceed. This is sometimes called the Hayflick limit, after its discoverer Leonard Hayflick. Some people believe that the Hayflick limit is a measure of the maximum lifespan of any animal.

The bad news is that telomeres can be shortened by other things besides cell simple division. One of the important influences is oxidative stress, which is essentially an imbalance between the production of free radicals and a body’s ability to readily detoxify or repair the resulting damage. Research has demonstrated that cigarette smoking produces oxidative stress, which might also mean that it can possibly reduce the length of telomeres.

One of the major findings of this new research is that dogs living with smokers have shorter telomeres, suggesting that at the physiological level these dogs are acting as if they had undergone premature aging. It has already been shown that there is a relationship between telomere shortening and lifespan, hence these dogs will likely have shorter lives.

There is other evidence that dogs that live in smoking households are in poorer health. This involves measurement of a glycoprotein called clusterin. This protein helps to protect cells that are under stress from a variety of inflammatory sources. Since the level of clusterin rises as more cells come under attack, it has been proposed that clusterin can also serve as a biomarker of disease. These new data demonstrate that the amount of clusterin in dogs exposed to environmental tobacco smoke is considerably higher, suggesting that their bodies are under attack at a cellular level.

There are other significant findings in this extensive piece of research, however all trend in the same direction. Smoking is not only shortening the life span of the human smokers in a household, but it is likely doing the same thing for their canine companions. Tobacco smoke in the environment is prematurely aging dogs at the cellular level and bringing them closer to death.

Stanley Coren is the author of many books including: Gods, Ghosts and Black Dogs; The Wisdom of Dogs; Do Dogs Dream? Born to Bark; The Modern Dog; Why Do Dogs Have Wet Noses? The Pawprints of History; How Dogs Think; How To Speak Dog; Why We Love the Dogs We Do; What Do Dogs Know? The Intelligence of Dogs; Why Does My Dog Act That Way? Understanding Dogs for Dummies; Sleep Thieves; The Left-hander Syndrome

Copyright SC Psychological Enterprises Ltd. May not be reprinted or reposted without permission

References

Hutchinson, Natalie (2017) Evaluating the impact of environmental tobacco smoke on biological age markers: a canine model. University of Glasgow PhD thesis. http://theses.gla.ac.uk/8371/

9 Smart Ways to Become Healthier

Health is one of the greatest things that really matter in our life. We used to take our health for granted and we often forget to pay attention to those things that can make us healthier. If you are healthy, you’ll be able to work, study and do various activities more productively. But if you have certain problems with your health, nothing will bring you happiness. Due to the fact that our life is very busy we almost don’t have time to take care of our health. As a result, lots of people suffer from different diseases that make them feel bad. However, there are some simple things that may help us improve our physical and emotional state. To stay healthy and happy you don’t have to spend huge sums of money, just make sure you include the following things into your daily routine and you’ll manage to prevent numerous health disorders.

1. Sleep More
It is a well-known fact that good sleep contributes greatly to our health and beauty either. According to scientific researches people who don’t sleep enough are more subjected to illnesses as their immunity is weak. Plus, they tend to gain weight quickly that can turn out to be a big problem. When you stay awake at night, the hunger will bother you and you’ll consume foods that may be harmful to your waistline. Dietarians say that those who constantly lack sleep usually eat more than they really need. That’s why you’d better sleep more instead of eating unhealthy snacks.

2. Laugh As Much As You Want
Laughter is considered to be extremely beneficial for us. Every day we face plenty of stressful situations that have a negative impact on our health, so, if you have an opportunity to laugh, don’t restrict your emotions and enjoy the moment. It has been proven that laughter can expend blood vessels and support your vascular health. Moreover, it stimulates the production of endorphins, hormones that are responsible for our good mood and bright emotions.

3. Eat Carotenoids
At first it may seem that there is no connection between our health and beauty, but when you look beautiful and attractive, you’ll feel more confident and content. Consequently, these positive feelings will be reflected in your physical condition. Thus, it is necessary to focus on our beauty as well. We all know that health benefits of fruits and vegetables are countless. Furthermore, they are perfect for our skin. Make it a rule to eat veggies like cabbage, tomatoes, kale, broccoli and peppers. Being full of carotenoids they will provide a fresh glow to your skin. This way, you’ll be able to stay attractive and healthy at the same time.

4. Stay Active While Aging
Certainly, nobody wants to get older but the process of aging is inevitable for all of us. Then, why not age artfully? Unfortunately, most seniors prefer to stay at home after they retire. Having no social life, these people feel unnecessary in society. Finally, it may lead to stress and their health will get worse. For this reason, it would be a splendid idea to do some enjoyable activity when you grow old. It has been found that aged people, who do things like painting, singing or creative writing, are healthier and more satisfied with their life unlike those who sit back. More importantly, your active lifestyle will give you an opportunity to enhance the immune system and develop your personality.

5. Get a Massage
Doctors assert that massage is always salubrious to our body. Firstly, it will help you relax and refresh your mind after a hard day. Secondly, you should try massage since it will lower your blood pressure and the number of stress hormones in your body will be diminished. All together this increases the amount of natural killer cells that protect our body against bacteria, viruses and cancer cells. Even a single massage session can ensure particular biological changes.

6. Work with Friends
It’s quite difficult to imagine our existence without work. Taking into account the fact that we spend hours in the office it is necessary to create supportive and friendly atmosphere at our workplace. There are lots of evidences that those who get on well with their colleagues live longer because they don’t often deal with tension and anxiety caused by hostility and misunderstanding. Therefore, you are recommended to get acquainted with your co-workers when you apply for a job.

7. Clean without Toxic
Today we have an enormous choice of detergents that are very effective when it comes to cleaning our homes. Despite this most household products are dangerous to our health as they contain toxics. Instead you can prepare a home-made detergent that will reduce bacteria. Mix some lemon juice, vinegar, baking soda and use this substance to clean any dirty place in your house. It has been discovered that vinegar is excellent in fighting mold and germs.

8. Communicate with Your Neighbors
People are social beings and communication is an integral part of our life. In order to be healthier and happier we should develop a strong community. These days the majority of the world’s population lives in cities and towns that are full of bustle and inhabitants don’t notice each other. Some people living in block apartments even don’t know their neighbors and never talk to them. I think it is terrible to be surrounded by hundreds of people but still stay alone. Studies show that heart disease occurs rarely among those who live in a close-knit community. In addition, their emotional health is greatly improved.

9. Don’t Lose Your Hope
Sometimes we have certain difficulties that may result in frustration and depression which affect our health ruinously. Hence, you ought to be optimistic and think positively in spite of all troubles. Professors say that happy people almost don’t have risk of cardiovascular disease. Don’t lose your hope whatever happens in your life and work persistently to achieve your goal. This is the main key to your success and well-being.

Nothing can be more valuable and important than our health, that’s why we must always find time to care for it. I hope that these tips will help you become healthier without extra efforts and expenses. The only thing you need is a great desire to improve your health and positive attitude to life. If you know other ways to be healthy and happy, I’ll be glad to hear from you.

10 Pretty Amazing Reasons to Eat Kale

There are many awesome reasons to consume kale on a regular basis. Kale is a wonderful nutrient-rich vegetable with some important health benefits. Kale can do a lot of wonders in your everyday diet and it can positively impact your health. Check out the list of 10 pretty amazing reasons to eat kale regularly.

1. Low in calories
Kale is rich in fiber, has no fat and low in calories. A cup of kale has 5 grams of fiber, 40 calories and 0 grams of fat. It’s excellent for helping improve the digestion process and make it much more efficient thanks to its high fiber content. Kale is also a wonderful weight loss food so be sure to add it to your diet. Plus, kale is packed with vitamins, nutrients, folate and magnesium.

2. Rich in calcium
Strengthen your bones and reduce your risk of osteoporosis by consuming kale. This leafy green has even more calcium than milk. Kale helps prevent bone loss and keep a healthy and more efficient metabolic rate. For stronger bones, be sure to eat a lot of kale on a regular basis.

3. Helps fight cancer
Since this leafy green is in the cabbage and broccoli family, it is filled with cancer-fighting phytonutrients. This means that kale can help you to fight cancer. I personally think this is a good reason to consume more kale, and you?

4. Great taste
I love the taste of kale. It tastes amazing with a squeeze of lemon juice and a dash of olive oil. You can also add a little sea salt. Place fresh kale leaves on a baking pan, bake for about 10 minutes and enjoy the best tasting and healthy kale chips. It has become a staple snack in my house. Give it a try and you’ll see why.

5. Helps cleanse the toxins from the body
If you are looking for a natural cleanser to get rid of toxins in your body, make sure you eat plenty of kale. Kale can also help improve your immune system as well as boost your energy levels. This green leafy vegetable is full of vitamins. It’s an excellent source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and Vitamin K, which help improve your immune system.

6. Helps fight ovarian cancer
Kale is rich in an antioxidant, which is called maempferol. Many researchers found that maempferol helps fight ovarian cancer. So why not prevent cancer by eating this wonderful leafy green? If kale isn’t your favorite vegetable, try adding it to your green smoothie or omelette to reap all its benefits.

7. Perfect swap-out for Romaine lettuce
Now it’s time to move over romaine or spinach salad because there’s a healthier green that tastes awesome! Kale is a great swap-out for Romaine lettuce. It tastes great and has bigger health benefits than the other greens. Start eating your kale salad right now, you won’t regret it down the road.

8. Fights aging
Did you know that kale is one of the most powerful anti-aging foods? The thing is, kale is packed with powerful antioxidants as well as essential vitamins and minerals. Antioxidants in kale help prevent aging and numerous serious diseases. Add kale to your green smoothie or salad, or snack on kale chips to fight those wrinkles.

9. Good for your eyes
High in carotenoids, kale is one of the best foods to eat for healthy eyes. Kale’s high Vitamin A content helps keep your eyes from optical disorders that may come with age. So if you’re interested in healthy eyes and amazing eyesight, make sure you incorporate kale into you daily diet.

10. Healthier skin, nails and hair
The perfect balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in kale helps keep your body strong, beautiful and healthy from the inside out. Kale’s high concentration of essential nutrients gives the skin’s appearance and health a boost. If you experience hair breakage, try drinking kale juice that will help increase your hair elasticity.

As you can see, kale is just a nutritional powerhouse. It’s beneficial to our health in numerous ways. You can blend kale in a smoothie, stir fry it, juice it, steam it, chop it and add to your healthy salad or make kale chips. I like to stir fry kale with lemon juice and garlic. It tastes amazing! Do you eat kale frequently? How do you usually cook this green leafy vegetable? Please comment below.

10 Amazing Benefits of Dragon Fruit

Also known as pitaya, a dragon fruit is becoming a favorite fruit of many people these days. It has plenty of health benefits that you may not even know about. Dragon fruits are packed with vitamin C, B1, B2 and B3, and essential minerals including phosphorus, iron, and calcium. One fruit contains about 60 calories and it’s the great news for those who are on a diet. Read on and find out some of the best benefits of a dragon fruit.

1. Powerful antioxidants
Help your body get rid of all the free radicals along with cancer-producing properties by consuming foods that are rich in powerful antioxidants. Dragon fruit is an excellent source of antioxidants that help reduce the cell-damaging effects of those free radicals in the body.

2. Helps prevent signs of aging
Since a dragon fruit is rich in powerful antioxidants, it helps prevent skin aging. Eat this fun-looking fruit to keep your skin tight, young and healthy. I love making a face mask using dragon fruits and honey. I apply it to my skin and rinse it off after 15-20 minutes. This is a natural alternative to an expensive anti-aging mask.

3. Improves cardiovascular health
In this busy world full of stress, many people have serious problems with cardiovascular health. Dragon fruit can help improve your cardiovascular health by reducing bad cholesterol levels and replenishing good levels. This fruit is rich in monounsaturated fats that help the heart stay in the best condition.

4. Helps control and fight diabetes
Dragon fruit is a fantastic source of fiber and it can help control and fight diabetes, as it helps stabilize blood glucose levels by suppressing glucose spikes. But make sure you consult your doctor before adding dragon fruits to your eating plan.

5. Improves digestive system
Consuming a dragon fruit can also help clean up the digestive system. As I mentioned above, a dragon fruit has a very high fiber content that can improve poor digestion and relieve constipation. By consuming the seeds and flesh, you will keep your body satisfied and fortified.

6. Treats colored hair
Looking for an effective way to treat your colored hair? Put the juice of dragon fruits on your scalp and wash it off after 15-20 minutes. This treatment will help protect your colored or chemically treated hair and will make it smooth and healthy. You can also use a conditioner that contains dragon fruit.

7. Soothes sunburned skin
To soothe your sunburned skin, combine dragon fruit with honey and cucumber juice and apply it to the affected area. As dragon fruit is high in vitamin B3, it releases heat from the affected area and moisturizes sunburned skin.

8. Helps treat acne
Dragon fruit is a great acne treatment not only for teens, but for adults as well. It contains vitamin C and a wonderful topical ointment. Just turn a few slices of dragon fruit into a paste, apply it to the areas with acne, and rinse it off. Use twice every day for better results.

9. Helps relieve arthritis
One of the best health benefits of dragon fruit is that it can help relieve arthritis, which affects the joints, causing severe pain, irritation, and, sometimes, even immobility. Dragon fruit is known as anti-inflammatory fruit so it’s advisable for people who suffer from arthritis to add dragon fruits to their healthy eating plan.

10. Good for eyes
Dragon fruit is rich in Vitamin A in the form of carotene which is needed by the retina of the eye for both low-light and color vision. Numerous eye problems, particularly age-related macular degeneration, can be caused by a deficiency in Vitamin A. Eating dragon fruit can improve your eye sight so make sure you include it to your diet.

I’m personally tired of the everyday banana and apple, and I always want to try something tasty and absolutely new. Similar to a kiwi fruit, a dragon fruit is easy to eat and it’s a great snack to eat on the go. Do you like dragon fruits? Do you know any other benefits of this fascinating fruit?

Helping Aging Parents – When a Little Means a Lot

As parents age, you may find more and more reasons to become involved in everyday concerns such as bills, safety and health matters. Elders are reluctant to let go of tasks they have managed all their lives, but it’s a good idea to get involved early, before larger problems arise. If you approach the tasks in a helpful, consulting way, aging parents soon become accustomed to having help available to them.

Automatic Bill Pay
Occasionally, aging parent may have problems with bill paying. As short-term memory fades, they may have lost bills, forgotten bills or bills items that they don’t remember purchasing. “Automatic bill paying” systems can help to eliminate the searching for bills and worries about paying them on time. They can free up the aging parent to enjoy doing more pleasurable activities than sitting down with checkbook and a book of stamps.

Cars and Driving
One of the hardest things to accomplish with aging parents is getting them to release their driving privileges. They may feel perfectly competent to drive their vehicle to the supermarket and doctor’s office, in spite of evidence to the contrary. They may become angry and defensive when you broach the subject. This situation requires a great deal of tact and finesse. If you live in a state that demands on-the-road driving tests for elderly drivers, the decision may be out of your hands. If your state does not require this testing, you will have to determine on your own when the elderly driver needs to hang up their car keys. If you meet resistance, you may need to bring in your parent’s physician to advise him of the dangers of driving when no longer able. Offer to set up certain days for driving him around on errands. Add enjoyable activities like lunch, a round of golf, shopping or other favorite pastimes.

Medical Alert Buttons
If your aging parent suffers from a known medical condition, you may feel better about their living alone if you purchase a medical alert system that allows them to push a button if they fall or feel unwell. Medical alert companies serve most larger communities and can help to provide fast medical care if your loved one requires help.

Mental Stimulation
For some elders, the most significant thing you can do is to provide mental stimulation. As people age, they may need to limit their activities. This limitation can also cause less mental stimulation at a time when creating new brain connections can be helpful in maintaining function. You can provide an important service by engaging your elderly parent in conversation, card games, going out to movies, discussion of current events and other brain stimulating activities. For technology-inclined seniors, communicating frequently through email or through phone texting can help to keep your loved one engaged and involved in family activities. Time spent on these activities can have a significant and noticeable effect on your loved ones’ mental function.

Part-time Helpers
Some seniors with ongoing medical issues may need daily visits from medical professionals to maintain their health. Other seniors may be physically healthy but need a little help with daily chores around the house, accompanying them on errands, fixing meals or simply playing cards with them. Fortunately, a number of non-medical, visiting helper agencies are now available to help with these tasks. You can choose the kinds of tasks and the number of visits that you need. Elders are sometimes reluctant to trust a hired stranger to come into their homes, but these trained, caring strangers soon become trusted friends.

Though the transition from independence to accepting help can be difficult, you can add a great deal of comfort and security to your aging parents life with just these few techniques.

8 Health Benefits of Cherries + Dairy-Free Cherry Smoothie Recipe

Cherries are among the best antioxidant-rich foods you should be eating more right now. Besides having powerful antioxidants, cherries are chock-full of fiber, potassium, copper, magnesium, as well as manganese, iron, calcium, zinc and phosphorus.

Be they frozen, dry or canned, you can enjoy cherries and their health benefits all year long. But now that the cherry season is here, it’s hard (particularly for me) to find an excuse not to munch on a handful of cherries today. Check out some of the best health benefits of cherries and try out my favorite dairy-free cherry smoothie recipe.

1. Prevent heart disease
Since I have some heart problems, I’m always on the lookout for new foods that help support my heart health. I did a lot of research on heart-healthy foods and read plenty of studies so I know what to eat to improve my heart health.

A few days ago I had my heart checkup and my doctor recommended me to eat more cherries. I did one more research and found out that cherries are a wonderful source of anthocyanins and potassium, which help regulate blood pressure and heart rate and lower the risk of hypertension and stroke.

Cherries are also rich in phytosterols that help lower bad cholesterol levels. Heart disease is still a number one killer of Americans and other people worldwide so adding some cherries to your desserts, salads and drinks can help you feel a bit healthier.

2. Ward off diabetes
If you watch your blood-sugar levels, it may be hard for you to find a healthy snack that has a low glycemic index. Cherries are perfect for snack time as they have a lower glycemic index (22) than blueberries, apricots, grapes, and peaches. Add a handful of cherries to a plain yogurt and voila – you have a healthy and tasty snack in a jiffy.

3. Improve sleep
No worries, eating cherries during the day won’t make you sleepy. If you have trouble falling asleep or getting quality sleep, however, I recommend you to include some cherries in your bedtime snacks. Cherries are high in melatonin that helps regulate sleep cycle and prevents insomnia.

Many doctors recommend drinking cherry juice too. Moreover, if you are trying to cope with jet lag, cherries may become your little best friends. Eating cherries won’t help people suffering from chronic insomnia – you should visit your doctor as soon as possible if you are one of them.

4. Boost your brain function and reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s disease
As many other fruit, cherries contain powerful antioxidants that can save your brain from dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Cherries boast fantastic memory boosting properties, which makes them perfect snack for students and super busy people. Next time you can’t accomplish that difficult project, sip your favorite cherry smoothie to give your brain a boost.

5. Relieve muscle and menstrual cramps
While you’re always better off eating bananas, cherries can also help you relieve muscle or menstrual cramps. Cherries have a lower potassium content than bananas, but they also have lower calorie content, which is why many dietitians recommends eating cherries before or after workout to relieve muscle cramps and burn more calories. If you need to relieve menstrual cramps, cherry juice may help.

6. Keep your digestive system healthy
In a fast-food-rich world, it’s almost impossible to keep the digestive system healthy. Many people often say that it’s hard to overcome those annoying sugar cravings and stick to a healthy diet.

They often end up eating french fries and high calorie desserts only to satisfy their cravings. The result is a poor digestion. Luckily, you can improve your digestion and tickle your sweet tooth with some healthy cherry recipes (I’m sure you have plenty of them!)

7. Prevent premature aging
Every woman is afraid of premature aging yet many do nothing to prevent it. There are two tried and true ways to look and feel young for longer. The first one is to cultivate a positive attitude and smile more, and the second one is to eat more age-fighting foods like cherries. Due to high antioxidant content, cherries help your body combat the free radicals that cause premature aging.

8. Reduce your risk of cancer
There’s no cure for cancer but eating antioxidant-rich fruit and berries, including cherries, can significantly reduce your risk of cancer. Several studies show that eating cherries or drinking cherry juice regularly can prevent colon cancer. Sure, it doesn’t mean you should munch on cherries all day and night long to stay healthier and live longer – a handful will be enough to feel all the health benefits cherries offer.

Cherries are low in calories and high in nutrients. They are delis, versatile and healthy. Whether you love these tiny berries or not, there are many ways you can incorporate cherries into your spring or summer diet to reap all their health benefits and ward off a number of serious diseases. Are you one of those cherry fans who enjoy cherries daily? Let me know what you think of this refreshing smoothie recipe.
Now that cherries are in season, I love experimenting with different cherry smoothies. Here’s one of my favorite one that I enjoy every other day in the morning:

Ingredients:

1/2 cup cherries
1/2 cup strawberries
1 cup coconut water (or plain water)
1 apple (or banana)
1 tsp hemp seeds or chia seeds
Put all the ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. If your smoothie is too thick, you can add a bit more coconut water. Enjoy!

Risk For Bipolar Disorder Associated With Faster Aging

New King’s College London research suggests that people with a family history of bipolar disorder may ‘age’ more rapidly than those without a history of the disease.

SCIENCE DAILY— LONDON, United Kingdom, 26-Jul-17— The study, published in Neuropsychopharmacology, also shows that bipolar patients treated with lithium – the main medication for the illness – have longer telomeres (a sign of slower biological ageing) compared to bipolar disorder patients not treated with lithium. This suggests that the drug may mask the ageing effects associated with bipolar disorder, or even help to reverse it.

Faster ageing at the biological level could explain why rates of ageing-related diseases such as cardiovascular disease, type-2 diabetes and obesity are higher amongst bipolar disorder patients. However, more research is needed in the relatives of bipolar disorder patients to better understand if they are also at a higher risk for ageing-related diseases.

Unaffected first-degree relatives represent a group of individuals at risk for bipolar disorder who have not been treated with medications, so studying them may represent a truer reflection of the relationship between ageing and bipolar disorder. To measure biological ageing, the researchers studied a feature of chromosomes called telomeres in 63 patients with bipolar disorder, 74 first-degree relatives and 80 unrelated healthy people.

Telomeres sit on the end of our chromosomes and act like ‘caps’, protecting the strands of DNA stored inside each of our cells as we age. Telomeres shorten each time a cell divides to make new cells, until they are so short that they are totally degraded and cells are no longer able to replicate. Telomere length therefore acts as a marker of biological age, with shortened telomeres representing older cells, and commonly older individuals.

The rate at which telomeres shorten across our lifespan can vary, based on a range of environmental and genetic factors. This means that two unrelated people of the same chronological age may not be the same age biologically.

The researchers from King’s College London and the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai found that healthy relatives of bipolar patients had shorter telomeres compared to healthy controls (who had no risk for the disorder running in their family). This suggests that genetic or environmental factors associated with family risk for bipolar disorder are also linked to faster biological ageing.

They also conducted MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scans to explore the relationship between telomere length and brain structure, particularly in the hippocampus, an area of the brain involved in the regulation of mood. They discovered that higher rates of biological ageing (i.e. shorter telomeres) were associated with having a smaller hippocampus.

The study authors suggest that a reduction in telomere length may be associated with a reduced ability of new brain cells to grow in the hippocampus, which can reduce the size of the hippocampus and consequently increase risk for mood disorders such as bipolar disorder.

Dr Timothy Powell, first author of the study, from the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN) at King’s College London, said: ‘Our study provides the first evidence that familial risk for bipolar disorder is associated with shorter telomeres, which may explain why bipolar disorder patients are also at a greater risk for ageing-related diseases.

‘We still need to dissect the environmental and genetic contributions to shortened telomeres in those at high risk for bipolar disorder. For instance, do those at risk for bipolar disorder carry genes predisposing them to faster biological ageing, or are they more likely to partake in environmental factors which promote ageing (e.g. smoking, poor diet)? Identifying modifiable risk factors to prevent advanced ageing would be a really important next step.’

Dr Sophia Frangou, co-senior author of the study, from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, said: ‘Our study shows that telomere length is a promising biomarker of biological ageing and susceptibility to disease in the context of bipolar disorder. Moreover, it suggests that proteins which protect against telomere shortening may provide novel treatment targets for people with bipolar disorder and those predisposed to it.’

Dr Gerome Breen, co-senior author, also at IoPPN, said: ‘Up to now it has been unclear whether or not bipolar disorder patients are at risk of accelerated ageing. This study shows that they are at greater risk of faster ageing and drugs commonly used to treat the disorder may actually mask or reverse this effect.’

This study was funded by a Psychiatry Research Trust grant, the National Institutes of Mental Health and the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Maudsley Biomedical Research Centre.

Link between biological clock and aging revealed

Low-calorie diets can extend longevity, but new research is the first to show that calorie restriction influences the body’s circadian rhythms’ involvement with the aging process in cells

cientists studying how aging affects the biological clock’s control of metabolism have discovered that a low-calorie diet helps keep these energy-regulating processes humming and the body younger.

In a study appearing Aug. 10 in the journal Cell, Paolo Sassone-Corsi, director of the Center for Epigenetics & Metabolism at the University of California, Irvine, and colleagues reveal how circadian rhythms — or the body’s biological clock — change as a result of physiological aging. The clock-controlled circuit that directly connects to the process of aging is based on efficient metabolism of energy within cells.

Low-calorie diets can extend longevity, but new research is the first to show that calorie restriction influences the body’s circadian rhythms’ involvement with the aging process in cells

cientists studying how aging affects the biological clock’s control of metabolism have discovered that a low-calorie diet helps keep these energy-regulating processes humming and the body younger.

In a study appearing Aug. 10 in the journal Cell, Paolo Sassone-Corsi, director of the Center for Epigenetics & Metabolism at the University of California, Irvine, and colleagues reveal how circadian rhythms — or the body’s biological clock — change as a result of physiological aging. The clock-controlled circuit that directly connects to the process of aging is based on efficient metabolism of energy within cells.

The Sassone-Corsi team tested the same group of mice at 6 months and 18 months, drawing tissue samples from the liver, the organ which operates as the interface between nutrition and energy distribution in the body. Energy is metabolized within cells under precise circadian controls.

The researchers found that the 24-hour cycle in the circadian-controlled metabolic system of older mice remained the same, but there were notable changes in the circadian mechanism that turns genes on and off based upon the cells’ energy usage. Simply put, the older cells processed energy inefficiently.

“This mechanism works great in a young animal, but it basically shuts off in an old mouse,” Sassone-Corsi said.

However, in a second group of aged mice that were fed a diet with 30 percent fewer calories for six months, energy processing within cells was more than unchanged.

“In fact, caloric restriction works by rejuvenating the biological clock in a most powerful way,” Sassone-Corsi said. “In this context, a good clock meant good aging.”

Collaborative confirmation

For a companion study detailed in Cell‘s current issue, a research team from the Barcelona Institute for Research in Biomedicine collaborated with the Sassone-Corsi team to test body clock functioning in stem cells from the skin of young and older mice. They too found that a low-calorie diet conserved most of the rhythmic functions of youth.

“The low-calorie diet greatly contributes to preventing the effects of physiological aging,” said Salvador Aznar Benitah, who co-led the Spanish study. “Keeping the rhythm of stem cells ‘young’ is important because in the end these cells serve to renew and preserve very pronounced day-night cycles in tissue. Eating less appears to prevent tissue aging and, therefore, prevent stem cells from reprogramming their circadian activities.”

According to the UCI and Barcelona researchers, these studies can help explain why a calorie-restricted diet slows down aging in mice. The implications for human aging could be far-reaching.

The scientists said that it’s important to further examine why metabolism has such a dominant effect on the stem cell aging process and, once the link that promotes or delays aging has been identified, to develop treatments that can regulate this link.

It’s been shown in previous fruit fly studies that low-calorie diets can extend longevity, but the UCI and Barcelona research is the first to show that calorie restriction influences the body’s circadian rhythms’ involvement with the aging process in cells.

“These studies also present something like a molecular holy grail, revealing the cellular pathway through which aging is controlled,” Sassone-Corsi said. “The findings provide a clear introduction on how to go about controlling these elements of aging in a pharmacological perspective.”

The circadian connection

Sassone-Corsi and his colleagues first showed the circadian rhythm-metabolism link some 10 years ago, identifying the metabolic pathways through which a circadian enzyme protein called SIRT1 works. SIRT1 senses energy levels in cells; its activity is modulated by how many nutrients a cell is consuming. In addition, it helps cells resist oxidative and radiation-induced stress. SIRT1 has also been tied to the inflammatory response, diabetes and aging.

Sassone-Corsi, the Donald Bren Professor of Biological Chemistry at UCI, is one of the world’s leading researchers on circadian rhythms, epigenetics and metabolism. Shogo Sato, Leonardo Bee and Selma Masri of UCI; Guiomar Solanas, Francisca Oliveira Peixoto and Aikaterini Symeonidi with the Barcelona Institute for Research in Biomedicine; and Mark Schmidt and Charles Brenner of the University of Iowa also contributed to the study, which received support from the National Institutes of Health and the French National Institute of Health & Medical Research, or INSERM.

The Sassone-Corsi team tested the same group of mice at 6 months and 18 months, drawing tissue samples from the liver, the organ which operates as the interface between nutrition and energy distribution in the body. Energy is metabolized within cells under precise circadian controls.

The researchers found that the 24-hour cycle in the circadian-controlled metabolic system of older mice remained the same, but there were notable changes in the circadian mechanism that turns genes on and off based upon the cells’ energy usage. Simply put, the older cells processed energy inefficiently.

“This mechanism works great in a young animal, but it basically shuts off in an old mouse,” Sassone-Corsi said.

However, in a second group of aged mice that were fed a diet with 30 percent fewer calories for six months, energy processing within cells was more than unchanged.

“In fact, caloric restriction works by rejuvenating the biological clock in a most powerful way,” Sassone-Corsi said. “In this context, a good clock meant good aging.”

Collaborative confirmation

For a companion study detailed in Cell’s current issue, a research team from the Barcelona Institute for Research in Biomedicine collaborated with the Sassone-Corsi team to test body clock functioning in stem cells from the skin of young and older mice. They too found that a low-calorie diet conserved most of the rhythmic functions of youth.

“The low-calorie diet greatly contributes to preventing the effects of physiological aging,” said Salvador Aznar Benitah, who co-led the Spanish study. “Keeping the rhythm of stem cells ‘young’ is important because in the end these cells serve to renew and preserve very pronounced day-night cycles in tissue. Eating less appears to prevent tissue aging and, therefore, prevent stem cells from reprogramming their circadian activities.”

According to the UCI and Barcelona researchers, these studies can help explain why a calorie-restricted diet slows down aging in mice. The implications for human aging could be far-reaching.

The scientists said that it’s important to further examine why metabolism has such a dominant effect on the stem cell aging process and, once the link that promotes or delays aging has been identified, to develop treatments that can regulate this link.

It’s been shown in previous fruit fly studies that low-calorie diets can extend longevity, but the UCI and Barcelona research is the first to show that calorie restriction influences the body’s circadian rhythms’ involvement with the aging process in cells.

“These studies also present something like a molecular holy grail, revealing the cellular pathway through which aging is controlled,” Sassone-Corsi said. “The findings provide a clear introduction on how to go about controlling these elements of aging in a pharmacological perspective.”

The circadian connection

Sassone-Corsi and his colleagues first showed the circadian rhythm-metabolism link some 10 years ago, identifying the metabolic pathways through which a circadian enzyme protein called SIRT1 works. SIRT1 senses energy levels in cells; its activity is modulated by how many nutrients a cell is consuming. In addition, it helps cells resist oxidative and radiation-induced stress. SIRT1 has also been tied to the inflammatory response, diabetes and aging.

Sassone-Corsi, the Donald Bren Professor of Biological Chemistry at UCI, is one of the world’s leading researchers on circadian rhythms, epigenetics and metabolism. Shogo Sato, Leonardo Bee and Selma Masri of UCI; Guiomar Solanas, Francisca Oliveira Peixoto and Aikaterini Symeonidi with the Barcelona Institute for Research in Biomedicine; and Mark Schmidt and Charles Brenner of the University of Iowa also contributed to the study, which received support from the National Institutes of Health and the French National Institute of Health & Medical Research, or INSERM.

Rehab Robotics Field Promises To Return Control, Mobility To Aging Population

For many seniors and stroke victims, a trip to Disneyland with the little ones is physically out of reach. But Thomas Sugar, an ASU mechanical engineer who specializes in wearable technology, predicts that in the next five years, older people and others with mobility problems will be able to rent robotic exoskeletons that make dream vacations — as well as mundane tasks — a possibility.

“We’re on the cusp of making these technologies available and affordable for the general public,” Sugar said Tuesday. His ASU spin-out company, SpringActive Inc., aims to have a robotic prosthetic ankle in production for the general population within the next year.

Sugar and more than 300 other rehab robotics researchers, clinicians and industry leaders gathered this week at ASU for the fifth annual Rehabilitation Robotics Conference.

There has been increased interest in the rehab robotics — driven by an aging population dealing with the aftermath of debilitating health problems — based on the promise of restored physical movement and control. Most rehab robotic therapies originated to help military veterans, but the next generation will seek to serve the general public.

The field covers a range of assistive therapies and devices, including exoskeletons that support walking and lifting, treadmill-like robots that help stroke survivors use their arms and legs, and prosthetics that allow users to sense space and dimension.

“The conference provides our junior investigators with an unprecedented opportunity to hear about three decades of research from the people who created the field,” said Marco Santello, a neurophysiologist and director of the School of Biological Health Sciences. “We have collected research on neuroplasticity, locomotion dynamics and a myriad of other body-machine interfaces. The next phase will bring a new generation of rehabilitative technologies.”

Widespread clinical acceptance of rehabilitation robotics is the most significant change we’ll see in the next decade, said Neville Hogan, a mechanical engineering professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who spoke at the conference.

Tech-savvy therapists recognize the value of assistive robotics and see the standardized data collection they afford as a major benefit, Hogan said.

“It’s far less subjective than the clipboard methods of the past, and enhances our ability to tailor therapy to individual patients,” he said.

Dario Farina, chair of neurorehabilitation engineering at the Imperial College of London’s Department of Bioengineering, also presented at the workshop.

His research has enabled the simultaneous processing of hundreds of motor neurons — the signals the brain sends to muscles — without invasive procedures.  The breakthrough has challenged classic views on the neural activity that drives steadiness in the performance of precise tasks and is expected to result in prosthetic devices that give patients unprecedented levels of fine motor control.

“In the near future, it will be possible to fully decode the neural information sent from the spinal cord and build man-machine interfaces for the natural and dexterous control of bionic limbs,” Farina said, explaining that patients will be able to control prosthetic devices with the same, automatic mental commands used to control their natural hands.

Because health problems affect patients differently, fine-tuning rehab therapies is the next focus for Panagiotis Artemiadis, an ASU mechanical engineer whose research includes mechatronics and human-robot interaction.

“In the next five years,” he said, “we’ll be able to adjust robotics to be patient specific.”