Ditching the junk to find a healthier you

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The number of people who live past the age of 100 has been on the rise for decades, up to nearly half a million people worldwide. There are, however, far fewer “supercentenarians,” people who live to age 110 or even longer. The oldest living person, Jeanne Calment of France, was 122 when she died in 1997; currently, the world’s oldest person is 118-year-old Kane Tanaka of Japan. Such extreme longevity, according to new research by the University of Washington, likely will continue to rise slowly by the end of this century, and estimates show that a lifespan of 125 years, or even 130 years, is possible. While some scientists argue that disease and basic cell deterioration lead to a natural limit on human lifespan, others maintain there is no cap, as evidenced by record-breaking supercentenarians. We we become more educated and aware on the biomechanics of our fitness and health, here are some key points to keep in mind:

The Southern Diet vs The Mediterranean Diet: Sugar vs Fat

The Southern diet is characterized by added fats, fried foods, eggs, organ meats (such as liver or giblets), processed meats (such as deli meat, bacon and hotdogs) and sugar-sweetened beverages. The Mediterranean diet is high in fruits, vegetables, fish, whole grains and legumes and low in meat and dairy. Often enough, the more processed a food product is, the more diminished are nutrional returns. While it’s no secret high fat content and resulting obesity is at the genesis of many cardiovascular abnormalities, this study specifically considered association between Southern & Mediterranean diets and the onset of sudden cardiac death. Sudden cardiac death is defined as the abrupt loss of heart function leading to death within an hour of symptoms presenting.

The National Institute on Aging (NIA) and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), parts of the National Institutes of Health; and the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill, found that a diet higher in fatty fish helped frequent migraine sufferers reduce their monthly number of headaches and intensity of pain compared to participants on a diet higher in vegetable-based fats and oils.

As well as removing bad foods from your diet, you might want to also explore positive inclusions. For instance bubble tea recipes can help with weight loss goals and boost your general wellbeing.

Exercise and the effects of changes to our core temperature

Having a solid exercise routine is a given and we’re told to keep our hydration levels up. Research by The American Physiological Society found moderate hyperthermia led to a lower threshold for exercise capacity and decreased blood flow to the brain and limbs. Prolonged high temperatures due to heat stress from exercise raise the temperature in the skin and core. This has an effect on the aerobic capability of a person to continue exercising.

The Radiological Society of North America used an MRI technique in their study, deducing that adults with mild cognitive impairment who exercised four times a week over a six-month period experienced an increase in brain volume in specific, or local, areas of the brain, but adults who participated in aerobic exercise experienced greater gains than those who just stretched. Correlations have already been found between exercise and improved memory function, cognitive development and lowered incidences of Alzheimer’s Disease.

Existing research indicates that fluids should be consumed to avoid more than an acute 2% body mass loss (reflecting modest dehydration) that is known to hinder performance and increase the risk of heat-related injury. Currently, the accepted minimum hydration rate is 2 grams of water per kilogram of body mass. If you’re running a marathon, your respiratory muscles get tired and begin to steal blood from your skeletal muscles.

You just need to find the right type of exercise and that is going to work for you. Coldwater swimming is a great option and could provide benefits for the mind as well as the body. Don’t forget, studies have shown that downtime can be more dangerous to your health than smoking a carton of cigarettes a day. 

The dark side of artificial sweeteners

Experts recommend that you aim to drink about two liters of water each day and the popularity of no sugar drinks focuses on the reduction to calorie intake. Be aware that even zero sugar drinks tend to include substances and ingredients that could have a negative impact on your health. The American Heart Association studied the effects of such drinks on pre-menopausal women and found that those who consumed two or more artificially sweetened beverages per day were:

  • 23% more likely to have a stroke;
  • 31% more likely to have a clot-caused (ischemic) stroke;
  • 29% more likely to develop heart disease (fatal or non-fatal heart attack); and
  • 16% more likely to die from any cause.

Water is a natural detox, and is always the best choice to clear out your system of toxins.

As we previously discussed, alot of research emphases the benefits of organic foods. Studies have suggested that organic food will help you stay healthy in the long term. Our exposure to chemicals and other properties propagating chronic disease is reduced and you might also consider growing your own foods free from pesticides and GMOs in your backyard. 

Take the right action for you, ditch the junk with a long term and informed focus to your health.

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