NorthStar Nutritionals Blog
Join the conversation and stay up to date on all your natural health news. Plus, discover solutions to everything from arthritis to blood sugar.
We all know people who seem to defy aging.
No matter how old they get, their brains stay sharp as a pin.
Well these "super senior" brains don't just SEEM different... they ARE different.
New research has just uncovered some key differences in brains that seem to stay
And here's the REALLY good news – there are some steps you can take right now to get
a "super senior" brain for yourself.
About 5% of older brains look different when they are scanned.
In fact, they don't look like older brains at all.
The brains of these lucky few look like the brains of someone decades younger – and
the owners of those brains show no fading of intelligence, memory, or cognitive
function that are so common among their peers.
Dr. Emily Rogalski, who leads the Super Aging study at Chicago's Northwestern
University, found that super-ager's brains aren't shrinking as fast as the brains of
The scientists in the study gave over 1,000 older people a series of tests and only
about 5% of them passed.
What did the test look like? The researchers listed 15 unrelated words, then asked
the participants to recall as many as they could half an hour later. Here's what
The 50-year-olds in the study could remember at least nine of those words.
The 80-year-olds could remember about five words
Some of the super-agers remembered all of them.
What made those super-agers super? It wasn't college or their IQs...
Deep in their brains, the study scans showed, the cortex (the outer layer of the
brain) was thicker.
While you can credit genetics, or a whole host of other factors, the fact of the
matter is that you can adjust your brain power by keeping your brain healthier (and
your cortex thicker).
Let's show you how.
Keys to a Healthy Brain
Eat a diet high in vegetables and good proteins.
Avoid processed foods and foods that are high in sugar and vegetable oils. These
increase inflammation in the body – and that's deadly to your brain.
Keep your blood sugar under control. Blood sugar and brain health are closely tied.
If you need help controlling blood sugar, look to supplements that contain chromium
Eat good fats. The very best fat you can put in your body are the omega-3 Fatty
Acids (fish oil). Not only does your brain need these oils to build a healthy brain,
but fish oils also help to tamp down runaway inflammation.
Exercise. There is not a single thing that is better for your brain than exercise.
Get out and move your body every day.
For generations, the odds of getting dementia -- or hopefully, avoiding it – pretty much came down to luck.
Essentially, you would get older and hope that most of your cognitive abilities remained intact.
But no more. These days, researchers have learned that avoiding dementia is possible, and more importantly, relatively easy.
The three keys to avoiding dementia include these three pillars:
● Brain exercises
If you want to keep dementia away, make these guidelines part of your daily life NOW, rather than wishing you’d done it sooner.
Pillar One: Brain-Boosting Foods
Researchers from Rush University Medical Center have created the MIND diet, a program specifically recognized for helping people avoid dementia.
You can learn more about the MIND diet here.
But while you’re getting on board with the MIND way of eating, try incorporating these seven foods into your diet now.
Arielle: The MIND diet link referenced above directs to the article that follows this one.
1. Leafy greens. Leafy greens are vital to overall health, so it makes sense that they’re just as important when it comes to brain health. They’ve been shown to improve and protect cognitive function, and reduce feelings of depression. Avoiding dementia -- another good reason to have a salad!
2. Beans and legumes. There are so many minerals essential to brain health in legumes that it’s nearly impossible to list them all. Ounce for ounce, beans are some of the best all-around sources of iron, folate, potassium, and magnesium, and they’re critical to maintaining brain function at every level.
3. Blueberries and other berries. Berries contain an antioxidant that’s especially effective in protecting the brain from free radical damage, as well as reducing inflammation in the brain that can lead to chronic health problems.
4. Pumpkin and other squash. It’s the vitamin A that’s so important here, so if you’re not a fan of squash, choose other vegetables high in vitamin A, like tomato, asparagus, and carrots. All of these tasty choices will protect brain function, comprehension and reasoning.
5. Cruciferous vegetables. You may not know the term, but it includes brussels sprouts, broccoli, cabbage and other similar veggies. Cruciferous vegetables contain high quantities of B vitamins and powerful antioxidants that help prevent dementia. Another tasty reason to choose them? They reduce the levels of an amino acid that can inhibit cognitive function.
6. Omega 3 fatty acids. Fatty fish, avocado, nuts, flax seed, and olive oil are all excellent sources of high quality omega 3s. These essential fatty acids pack a powerful punch for brain health, with the ability to reduce the risk of dementia by more than 25%!
7. Turmeric. This exotic and very tasty Mediterranean spice is becoming more common, thanks to its many health benefits. It’s one of several spices that can help break up and reduce the brain plaque that impairs memory and cognitive function. Plus, turmeric can help slow aging in the brain.
Pillar Two: Get MOVING to Protect Your Brain
The activities you choose help complement the food you eat -- a one-two punch to help keep your brain healthy.
1. Regular exercise. We all know that exercise is good for your heart, but did you know it’s also good for your brain? It’s true… taking steps to increase blood flow, oxygen and nutrients will help keep your brain healthy and sharp.
Your brain needs all three types of exercise:
● Aerobic exercise – aim for a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise every week -- even short bursts of energy add up. And if you’re up to it physically, do even more for extra brain and body benefits.
● Anaerobic exercise – or strength training. Aim for two to three strength training sessions per week. This can include lifting weights or doing body weight exercises like push-ups (on your knees is fine) or squats.
● Balance exercises. Not only can balance exercise help keep your brain healthy, but they also protect against falls, which can cause head trauma and other injuries. Work on your balance often throughout the week, through everything from yoga or tai chi classes, to standing on one foot while you brush your teeth or do the dishes.
Combining these three types of exercise can reduce the risk of dementia by up to 50% – and may even help slow its onset if a loved one has already started showing signs of cognitive decline.
2. Stay social. Research indicates that people who are isolated lose cognitive ability faster than people who remain socially engaged. Make an effort to stay in touch with your friends and loved ones, get out of the house, and even make new friends. Find a club to join or volunteer your services at a local organization. Even just chatting with your neighbors and mail carrier can benefit your mood and your brain. And that leads us to our next pillar…
3. Relax. Cortisol, the hormone your body produces when life gets stressful, is damaging to your brain. That means it’s important to relax and give your brain a break. Go for a run, stretch, take a hot bath, find a quiet spot to meditate, discuss your concerns with friend or loved one – just find a way to reduce your stress levels, and you’ll benefit your brain as well.
4. Have fun. Life sometimes becomes too serious, and that can take its toll on your brain. Make it a habit to prioritize fun in your life, no matter what fun means to you. Just be sure to laugh, engage and really enjoy what you’re doing. Now that’s a win-win -- while you’re having a great time, you’re also helping avoid dementia.
Pillar Three: Brain-boosting exercises
Physical exercise goes hand-in-hand with mental exercise when it comes to brain health. When it comes to cognitive ability, it’s use-it-or-lose it, so keep your brain sharp with these mental exercises:
1. Brain Teasers and puzzles. Popular brain games like sudoku, crosswords, logic puzzles, and math problems all work different sections of your brain. Try doing a different type of puzzle every day or every week to keep all of the different parts of your brain sharp.
2. Learn something new. Continuous lifetime learning is one of the best ways to avoid dementia. When you learn something new, you create new neural connections and keeps the ones you’ve got in good shape. In addition, learning helps improve and maintain memory. You have so many options to learn new things, like reading books or magazines, taking classes, and exploring the wide variety of online learning options, like apps, websites, classes, and much more.
3. Listen to music. In addition to being enjoyable, listening to your favorite music can actually help exercise your brain. Music improves brain function by:
● Boosting focus, concentration, and attention span
● Enhancing brain elasticity
● Reducing the chronic stress that can cause physical changes to your brain
● increasing brain hormone levels that help strengthen cognitive ability
● Improving mental productivity
● Reducing mental decline and cognitive aging
Imagine getting all of those benefits, just by playing some of your favorite tunes.
4. Learn a new language. Our brains shrink as we age, which contributes to cognitive decline. Learning a new language can not only reverse shrinkage, but also actually increase the size of your brain. That makes it easier to maintain brain connections, which in turn, helps protect your thought processes and mental capacity for a longer period of time.
5. Fine detail and hand-eye coordination activities. Needlepoint, painting, sewing, building models, and similar fine detail and hand-eye coordination activities are actually considered brain exercises. They can effectively stimulate neurological function, improve concentration, and lower your risk of dementia.
When it comes to avoiding dementia, you no longer need to roll the dice and hope for the best. By understanding these three pillars and incorporating these guidelines into your daily life, you can protect your brain health… and stay you for years to come.
If you suffer from short-term or chronic musculoskeletal pain, you know it’s often difficult -- or sometimes close to impossible -- to think about anything else. Every time you move or change positions, you’re reminded of your pain. And everything hurts. Before you know it, your day-to-day existence is affected by discomfort and pain. You make choices based on what...
Dear Reader, Do you have cancer-causing weed killer glyphosate, a.k.a. Roundup, inside of your body? How about your kids and grandkids? According to some new research, that's not just a possibility... but a probability. Some stunning findings have just been released showing that we're all being turned into walking test tubes in Monsanto's long-running experiment with this chemical. And doing...
Dear Reader, The Lupus Foundation of America calls the disease a "cruel mystery." But what's really mysterious here is how in the world two natural, safe, and effective treatments for this autoimmune disease keep being left in the dust... while risky meds continue to sell like hotcakes. One thing is very clear: If you or someone you love is suffering...
Every day, every position, everything can hurt.
It’s easy to let your whole world be controlled by the discomfort.
Decisions get made on what will hurt less.
Plans get cancelled because you just can’t risk it.
You know the routine, and you know it’s no way to live.
Now, there’s something that combines the two – warm water therapy.
In fairness, warm water therapy has been around for thousands of years, but we’re finally understanding how and why it actually works to ease stiffness, pain, and just about every other symptom of musculoskeletal conditions. Continue reading
Especially this time of year, when it seems like holiday tables are sagging under the weight of desserts!
If only there were such a thing as a healthy pie…
Well, guess what? There is!
Not only are there healthy pie recipes, but there are ways to make your favorite pie recipes a little healthier without making many changes at all.
Because yes, organic foods cost more and fresh foods cost more – generally.
But they don’t have to.
You can eat healthily, well, and feel full even on a strict budget.
It’s the question we ask first, too!
After all, it really doesn’t matter if something works or not if it’s going to cause bigger problems than the ones you’re trying to solve.
So we respect the fact that you want to know if SetraVida is safe or not.
Being worried about your health and premature aging is enough.
You shouldn’t be worried about if the supplement you’re taking for it is safe, too.
Methuselah from the Old Testament…
Dorian Gray and his portrait in the attic…
For as long as there have been people growing older, there have been people trying to stay young.
Longer, healthier lives has been the dream since the beginning of time.
And now – the dream is becoming a reality. Because researchers may have learned how to activate the gene that could keep you younger, longer.
That’s the SetraVida benefit we’re excited to share with you! Since researchers have learned this power, we’ve learned how to harness it.
Essentially, you would get older and hope you kept most of your cognitive abilities in the process.
Colds, flu, dust, even allergies can all cause a miserable stuffy nose.
But it could be something else, too. Something that’s supposed to help, not make it worse.
It’s enough to make a man decide to put up with a slow sex life instead.
As counterintuitive as it seems, though, the key really is to get up and get moving.
Lumbar spine stretches and the right kind of exercise can be your first step back towards feeling good and living pain free.
The key is to choose your exercise and lumbar spine stretches wisely.
Because some of the most common stretches and exercises can do more harm than good.
When your back hurts, avoid toe touches, leg lifts, and sit ups.
Yes, they can help stretch and strengthen a healthy back – but one that’s already hurting will only make it worse!
No, there’s nothing seriously wrong, but there’s certainly nothing right, either.
On bad days, life can become an itchy, scratchy irritation one just has to get through.
That’s no way to live life!
Luckily, just because your eyes are dry doesn’t mean you have to live with it.
But just because things are changing doesn’t mean things have to be bad.
Your sex life can be different, and still be fulfilling and sexy!
They think that high blood pressure is something you can’t identify until you’re in the doctor’s office waiting for the cuff to release.
But that is a false and quite frankly dangerous misunderstanding of how high blood pressure works.
Because there’s no need to! Not when there are herbs that work just as well at relieving your pain.
Look no further to find the best herbs for easing your pain.