If you love mushrooms, you’ve got lots of company. After all, mushrooms taste good… and they’re great for perking up a pizza or sassing up your salad.
But mushrooms have also treated more patients for disease than you might believe.
And the reason is simple – mushrooms learn to survive in some pretty tough environments.
That means they develop specific nutrients that can fight bacteria, viruses, toxins, and even cancer.
So when we eat mushrooms, we get the benefits of those nutrients.
In fact, mushrooms may be one of the greatest anti-aging superfoods on the planet.
But here’s the trick – you need to make sure you’re getting the right kinds.
Two of the most powerful nutrients in mushrooms have been studied extensively: ergothioneine and glutathione.
Ergothioneine was discovered over a century ago. But it was ignored until recent studies showed that it acts as a powerful antioxidant in our bodies.
That means it hunts down and neutralizes the free radicals that trigger early aging and disease.
Glutathione is better known as a master antioxidant. It’s been shown to lower your risk of everything from cancer to Alzheimer’s.
And the best source of these powerful nutrients? Mushrooms.
A research paper, published by the Penn State Center for Plant and Mushroom Products for the health journal, Food Chemistry, described the benefits of mushrooms. Researchers found that white button mushrooms – like the ones you can find in your local grocery store – contain low levels of the two antioxidants, but they’re still higher than those found in most other foods.
The best mushrooms for antioxidant power are Chaga, Cordyceps, Lion’s Mane, Reishi, Maitake, Turkey Tail, and Shiitake. These mushrooms used to be hard to find, but now most grocery stores carry them.
Portabella mushrooms (which are common) have about the same ergothioneine and glutathione as white button mushrooms.
And along with adding mushrooms to your diet, you can super-charge your anti-aging program with these other great tips:
The Super Antioxidant and Anti-Aging Program:
• Get 1000-3000 IU of vitamin D every day. Especially in winter, you need to supplement every day.
• Exercise. Getting enough exercise not only boosts your anti-aging program, but if you do it outside, you get more sunshine – and that helps your body produce its own vitamin D.
• Eat your way to health. Along with mushrooms, eat lots of veggies and fruits – the more colorful the better.
• Take anti-aging nutrients. Alpha-lipoic acid, CoQ10, and astaxanthin are powerful antioxidants and anti-aging nutrients.
• Keep your blood sugar under control. One of the other reasons we age fast is because of out-of-control blood sugar. Use the mineral chromium and the herbal extract berberine to help keep your blood sugar under control.
• Make sure you have enough nutrients to support your whole body. This usually means taking a multivitamin to make up for the nutrients you’re not getting.
If you love mushrooms, you’ve got lots of company. After all, mushrooms taste good… and they’re great for perking up a pizza or sassing up your salad.
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, 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...
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.
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.
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.
The occasional treat is simply too delicious for us to get rid of it completely.
After all, have you seen our BenVia Gold brownie recipe?
Have you tasted it? So no, we haven’t given up sugar completely.
The key, though, is that we use good sugars the majority of the time, and save traditional sugars for very occasional indulgences.
Which makes Halloween tough, because there are chocolates, candies, and desserts everywhere this time of year.
And none of those bags you see at the grocery store are sweetened with good sugars, you just know it.
We aren’t, however, willing to throw away our occasional taste of traditional sugar on the mass produced stuff that will fill trick or treat bags later this month.
But with winter upon us, it’s sensible to wonder if you’re doing everything you can to fight a cold and stay healthy.
If you’re looking to go the extra mile and supercharge your immune system – and who isn’t this time of year? – try these ultra-nutritious drink recipes, the easy and delicious way to fight a cold. Continue reading
It’s hardly something people think about.
But if you’re looking for an ear wax treatment, suddenly you wish more people would talk about it!
You’ll find articles on how to clean your liver, your kidneys, your digestive tract...
But did you know you could also clean your lungs? And doing so is important!
So many people smoked when they were younger, before society knew just how bad it was for your health.
But even if you’ve never smoked a day in your life, you’ve inhaled pollutants, toxins, and chemicals. There’s just no way to avoid them all.
That’s right. You may be able to tell what’s going on with your health by paying attention to your tongue!
As it turns out, eye color can indicate health risks you may be facing.
Now, eye color isn’t a diagnostic tool – just because your eyes are a certain color doesn’t guarantee you’ll have any of these conditions – but it may help you understand and take precautions. Continue reading
Nobody talks much about what that means, though.
How much exercise is enough? What kind of exercise do they mean?
What’s the difference between exercise and activity? The list of questions goes on and on.
So we’ve compiled all the information you need in one place.
Everyone goes too long without a drink of water.
But if it seems you are just so thirsty all of the time, then you may be wondering what’s going on.
Let’s look at seven common conditions that might cause you to be thirsty.
Some people swear by caffeine’s ability to relieve headache pain.
Other people swear that coffee is the cause of their headache pain.
So which is it? Will coffee help your headache – or make it worse?
The truth is: it depends.
Read on, and we’ll look at how caffeine helps your headaches, and why it might cause them, too.
Because it’s just the beer belly, and your weight is fine otherwise.
Sadly, no. The beer belly is a larger problem than you may realize.
In fact, having a beer belly can be more dangerous to your health than a higher overall BMI.
It’s a fact of life for 12 million Americans every year.
That’s almost 1 in 20 people who are given the wrong diagnosis.
Suddenly, that concern feels far more plausible.
In this article, we’re going to look at some of the most common misdiagnoses, and then empower you to get the medical advice you need in the aftermath of a wrong diagnosis.