5 Foods That Help You Live Longer

The Secret to a Healthy Life According to 80+ Year-Old Yogis and Yoginis

By Paul Lenda

Staff Writer for Wake Up World

There are a number of 80+ year-old yogis and yoginis who have been asked what is their secret to being in such great physical and mental shape. They let us in on a little secret and shared that they include broccoli, green tea, and spirula into their diet.

When these three foods are taken together, they will deliver an extraordinary amount of natural energy. While you can get the long-term benefits from having each of these by themselves, there is some extra power you get when taking the trifecta combo.

So, what makes broccoli, green tea, and spirulina so special? I’m going to break down the main benefits of these so you can see just how extraordinary they are at improving health and well-being.

Benefits of Broccoli

Brocolli looks a bit like a tiny tree, and is related to foods like kale and cauliflower. It’s a food that is packed full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. It has all of the daily vitamin C and K you need, and then some. It also contains vitamins A and B9, potassium, phosphorus, and selenium.

Additionally, it will provide the following benefits:

  • Powerful antioxidants that prevent oxidative stress and cellular damage, especially in your eyes.
  • Bioactive compounds that reduce inflammation in your body thanks to their anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Protects against several types of cancer, such as breast, prostate, stomach, colon, kidney, and bladder cancers.
  • Regulates blood sugar levels, helping avoid diabetes.
  • Reduces “bad” cholesterol while increasing “good” cholesterol.
  • Protects the heart due to its antioxidants and fiber.
  • Slows down the biochemical processes of aging.
  • Keeps the immune system strong thanks to vitamin C
  • Delivers nutrients that keep bones and joints healthy.
  • Protects the skin from damage due to overexposure to the sun.

Ideally, you will steam your broccoli, but not for too long. You want to make sure you’re not destroying the nutrients you’re after.

Benefits of Green Tea

Whether you drink green tea or take green tea extract as a supplement, you will be getting some incredible health benefits. Here are some of the most astounding ones that keep you healthier for longer:

  • The polyphenols reduce inflammation and even help prevent cancer.
  • A catechin called EGCG is a powerful antioxidant that prevents cellular damage.
  • Contains enough caffeine to improve brain function, mood, reaction time, and memory, but not enough to cause jitters or other unwanted side effects.
  • Reduces the risk of getting prostate, breast, and colon cancer.
  • Protects the brain from neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimers and Parkinson’s disease.
  • Improves insulin sensitivity and reduces blood sugar levels, which helps prevent diabetes.
  • Significantly reduces the risk of heart disease by raising good cholesterol and lowering bad cholesterol.

Finally, if you drink green tea, you are more likely to live longer than someone who doesn’t drink green tea, according to a study of 14,000 older Japanese people.

If you are going to drink green tea, I highly recommend getting only organic green tea. That is because tea is some of the most heavily sprayed crops on Earth, giving cotton a run for its money. The few dollars extra spent on organic green tea will potentially avoid a lot more spent on health issues in the future.

Benefits of Spirulina

The third element in the trifecta of a long and energetic life is spirulina. This is a blue-green algae that is packed with protein and high nutritional content. Some of the greatest benefits of spirulina are:

  • Improves gut health.
  • Lowers blood sugar levels, helping prevent diabetes or manage its symptoms
  • Lowers bad cholesterol while raising good cholesterol, which helps avoid heart disease.
  • Reduces blood pressure, relieving hypertension.
  • Reduces nasal inflammation and allergies.
  • Helps get rid of toxicity from elements like arsenic, fluoride, iron, lead, and mercury.
  • Contains tryptophan, which converts into serotonin, which improves mood.

Follow the Guidance of Our Elders

Some of our elders truly are worthy of that title. You can count 80-something yogis and yoginis as being people to take advice from, because the results speak for themselves. Once you start taking broccoli, green tea, and spirulina for a few weeks, I am sure you will begin to notice the rejuvenating benefits.

Beets: Evidence-Based Health Benefits

By Sayer Ji

Contributing writer for Wake Up World

Beets have always been and remain one of the world’s most underutilized ‘super foods’ with a number of powerful, evidence-based health benefits.

In an era where clever marketing has transformed exotic berries, tubers and plant extracts from geographically distant regions into “super foods,” ostensibly better (and that much more expensive!) than culinary standards found at your local supermarket, e.g. garliconion, and kale, we should be reminded that the true nutritional super heroes are too busy performing anonymous feats of healing to garnish that kind of attention.

Which leads us to beets. Anything we can eat that bleeds as red and readily as the beet deserves our immediate respect. In fact, this vegetable often leaves a veritable crime scene behind it, converting a spotless kitchen counter into a nutrient-dense blood bath in a matter of minutes. There is ancient wisdom buried in the ‘doctrine of signatures’ that reveals itself so bloodily in the beet: it nourishes our blood and circulatory system. Indeed, thanks to the burgeoning growth of food science on the topic, we now know that beets are one of Nature’s finest cardiovascular tonics…

Beet’s Blood Vessel Dilating Properties

A 2008 study published in the journal Hypertension found that beets contain pharmacologically significant quantities of blood vessel dilating nitrate. Three hours after ingesting 500 ml of beet juice study subjects experience a significant drop in blood pressure that could be directly correlated with increased plasma nitrate concentrations.[i] As endothelial dysfunction, or the inability of the blood vessels to dilate fully, is considered the ‘canary in the trousers,’ beets’ legendary ability in ancient times to enhance virility and act as an aphrodisiac now makes perfect scientific sense.

Beet Back Muscle Fatigue

But beets don’t just increase cardiovascular and ‘bedroom’ performance but athletic performance as well. In 2009, a study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology found that dietary nitrate supplementation in the form of beetroot juice reduced the oxygen cost of submaximal exercise and enhanced the tolerance to high-intensity exercise.[ii]

A follow up study published in the same journal in 2010 found that nitrate-rich beetroot juice also enhances muscle contractile efficiency during knee-extensor exercise in humans.[iii] The researchers hypothesized that the observed beneficial effect may be due to a reduced ATP cost of muscle force production.

Beet Back Infections

Consider that beets ‘live’ in the dirt, a place full of microbes which love a free meal. This means that nature has equipped the plant with natural defenses. No wonder that beet has been found to fight off the following infectious organisms:

  • Beet pectin has been found to inhibit the synthesis of types A and B staphylococcal enterotoxins.[iv]
  • Beet extract has been found to reduce influenza A infectivity and lethality.[v]
  • Beet root has been found capable of inhibiting Epstein-Barr virus associated tumor formation.[vi]

Undoubtedly, future research will find beet to have a wider range of antimicrobial applications. But beet’s powers don’t end there. Other already researched properties include:

  • Liver Damage: A 2006 study found that beet root has significant dose-dependent liver-protective properties against the chemical carbontetrachloride.[vii] More recently, research has found that it also protects against N-nitrosodiethylamine associated liver damage.[viii]
  • Cardiovascular Disease: While the “LDL cholesterol is bad” myth is almost imbecilic in its simplicity, those looking for ways to modulate the lipid ratio naturally in favor of the medical establishment’s largely drug-company drafted lipid guidelines can rest assured that beet can help. A 2000 study found beet fiber was capable of simultaneously increasing HDL and lowering LDL levels; perhaps far more impressive, the study also found close to a 30% reduction in cholesterol plaque accumulation in the aorta of those animals fed beet fiber.[ix]
  • Radiation Exposure: Compounds found in beets known as betalains have been found to reduce toxicity associated with gamma radiation exposure.[x]
  • Cancer: Beetroot juice has been found to reduce adverse effects caused by DMBA, a chemical associated with mammary cancer risk.[xi] Beetroot has also been found to exhibit anti-cancer properties in prostate cancer cell lines at toxicity levels far lower than chemo-agents such as doxorubicin.[xii]

Beets, of course, have basic nutritional gifts to offer in addition to their aforementioned medicinal properties. They contain exceptionally high levels of folate at 148 mcg or 37% the Daily Value in just a one cup serving. They also sport an impressive 6.7 mg or 11% Daily Value of vitamin C, keeping in mind that vitamin C activity expressed through food its very different that isolate, semi-synthetic ascorbic acid; in other words, that 6.7 mg is worth far more than the story of molecular weight alone can tell. Another way to understand this is if you take a nutrient out of its natural context as a whole food, it behaves less like a nutrient and more like a chemical. For more information consult contributing writer Dr. Vic Shayne’s excellent book: Whole Food Nutrition: The Missing Link in Vitamin Therapy.

For a full list of beet’s nutritional components visit Nutritiondata.com’s page on beets here. For a full list of beet’s therapeutic properties on GreenMedinfo.com visit our Beet Health Benefits page. Finally, for those looking for beet recipes visit the FoodNetwork’s page on the topic, remembering to substitute organic versions of the ingredients listed whenever possible.

Full article & references can be found here at Wake Up World.

Health Benefits of Lemon

Lemon is undoubtedly one of the most widely used citrus fruits in the world. Lemon tree is a small evergreen tree native to Asia. Lemons belong to the Rutaceae family, which also includes oranges, limes, tangerines and grapefruit. This fruit is oval to round in shape with a pronounced bulge at one end. Its appearance is similar to lime except that it has a thick and leathery skin. It contains a very high level of vitamin C. Though, the inner flesh is extremely sour to be eaten, it is often used to add flavor to other ingredients and dishes due to its refreshing smell and tart flavor.

Lemon juice is often added to various dishes and is also used to make lemonade. It is highly acidic and is sprinkled on cut fruits to prevent oxidation which makes them less appetizing. Lemon zest contains aromatic oils which can add flavor to foods and ward off unwanted odour.

These refreshing and tangy fruits are full of healthy nutrients, which provide the following health benefits:

1. Indigestion:

Lemons are loaded with vitamin C and are quite effective in curing digestion problems. They contain digestive juices, which facilitate digestion, thus relieving heartburn, bloating, belching and gastric problems. A glass of lemon juice is often recommended in case of fever and stomach upset. Lemon, when taken with warm water early in the morning, aids in proper digestion. It also removes toxins from the kidney and the digestive system, thus improving immunity and purifying the blood.

2. High Blood Pressure:

Lemon juice or lemon water for high blood pressure is beneficial for people with heart disease, thanks to its high potassium content. It controls high blood pressure, dizziness and nausea; and provides a calming sensation to the body and mind. It is often used to reduce stress and depression.

3. Cold and Fever:

Lemon helps in curing and preventing cold, flu and fever due to its high content of vitamin C. It aids the production of antibodies and white blood cells which can fight against the microorganisms in the body. Lemon, when taken during fever, increases the rate of diaphoresis, thus helping in bringing down fever. Being a blood purifier, it can help cure diseases like malaria and cholera.

4. Respiratory Disorders:

Lemon juice can provide relief from respiratory and breathing problems such as asthma. Being a rich source of vitamin C, lemons can help you deal with long term respiratory disorders. Its anti-bacterial properties help in treating throat infections.

5. Dental Health:

Lemon plays an important role in dental care. You can add a few drops of this juice to your toothpaste to get perfect white teeth as well as to prevent bad breath. Lemon juice when applied on an aching tooth can significantly reduce tooth ache. Massaging lemon juice on the gums can stop gum bleeding.

6. Internal Bleeding:

The antiseptic and coagulant properties of lemon can stop internal bleeding such as nosebleeds. All you need to do is apply some lemon juice to a small cotton ball and place it inside your nostril to control bleeding.

7. Rheumatism:

The diuretic property of lemon makes it beneficial for the treatment of rheumatism and arthritis. It flushes out bacteria and toxins from the body and helps control inflammation.

8. Strong Nails:

Lemon, when combined with olive oil, can be an effective nail hardener. Applying this solution will not only strengthen weak and brittle nails but also whiten and brighten yellowing nails.

9. Lemon Diet for Weight Loss:

A lemon diet can prove quite useful in losing weight quickly. If you wish to lose that extra flab, then you can drink lemon juice mixed with lukewarm water and honey early in the morning.

Skin Benefits of Lemon

Lemons have the ability to treat almost any type of skin issue. They offer numerous benefits to your skin some of which are given below:

10. Skin Whitening:

The citric acid in lemon acts as a natural bleaching agent to lighten and brighten your skin complexion. You can mix 2 tablespoons of lemon juice with 3 tablespoon water and apply it all over your face and neck. Wash off with cold water after 30 minutes.

11. Scars and Age Spots:

Lemon juice can be applied overnight to cure the discoloration caused by scars, skin disorders, and age spots. It also helps in lightening the scars caused by burns.

12. Discolored Elbows:

Rubbing the lemon rind on the discolored elbows can reduce the dark patches on your elbow.

13. Wrinkles:

Lemon can be used to prepare an anti-wrinkle mask. All you need to do is mix a teaspoon each of lemon juice extract and honey and add a few drops of almond oil. Apply it as a mask on your face and neck.

14. Dry Skin:

If you have dry skin, you can apply a mixture of lemon juice extract, honey, and olive oil on your skin to combat dryness and make your skin supple and moisturized.

15. Oily Skin:

If you have oily skin, you can mix a spoon of lemon juice with egg white and grape juice extract. Apply it on your face to make your skin look soft and glowing.

16. Chapped Lips:

Lemon acts as an exfoliant to smoothen chapped lips. All you need to do is rub the lemon rind on your pucker and wash off the next morning. Lemon juice can removes dead skin cells, thus facilitating smooth application of lipstick.

17. Corns:

Corns are lumps formed due to hardening of the skin at certain places like the soles of the feet and the palms of your hands. Lemon juice can easily dissolve these lumps on the skin.

18. Acne and Blackheads:

The anti-bacterial properties of lemon make it effective for curing acne and blackheads. You can dilute some lemon juice extract in water and apply it on the affected area with a cotton swab. Leave it for 15 minutes and wash off with cold water. This will help in healing the acne as well as reducing the frequency and severity of blackheads. Apart from this, having a glass of lemon water with honey will cleanse your system, thus preventing acne and breakouts.

Hair Benefits of Lemon

Besides being wonderful for your skin, lemons also work well to improve the condition of your hair. They can provide the following benefits for your hair:

19. Dandruff:

Lemon is a great natural remedy for dandruff. Application of lemon juice on the scalp can help fight dandruff and also prevent its recurrence.

20. Oily Scalp:

Lemon can help reduce excess sebum secretion, which often makes the scalp oily and causes the hair follicles to get clogged. Applying a mixture of lemon juice and vinegar cleanses your scalp, thus preventing the hair follicles from becoming clogged. Lemon juice is also a great remedy for greasy hair.

21. Natural Highlighter:

Freshly squeezed lemon juice is a great bleaching agent and hence, offers a natural way to lighten your hair without any side effects. Just wash your hair, pat them dry and apply lemon juice on the sections of hair you want to highlight.

22. Split Ends:

Applying a mixture of lemon juice and olive oil on the hair can help in treating split ends.

23. Lice Treatment:

Lemon juice, when mixed with garlic or almond paste, acts a natural remedy to get rid of hair lice. All you need to do is apply this mixture on your scalp and wash off after half an hour. This will kill the lice and loosen them from the scalp, which can be later combed away.

24. Thick and Lustrous Hair:

A mixture of lemon juice and fresh coconut water is a good conditioner for your scalp. You can apply this mixture on your scalp and rinse your hair with it to get thick and lustrous hair.

25. Hair Loss:

Lemon when mixed with coconut oil is beneficial in treating hair loss. You can make a paste by combining equal quantities of crushed lemon seeds and black pepper; or lemon and vinegar. Apply it on your scalp for 10 minutes and then rinse off. This will prevent hair loss. Massaging your scalp with a mixture of egg and lemon juice can also strengthen your hair roots.

Lemon Juice:

Lemon juice is quite popular not only because of its health and beauty benefits but also because of its wide variety of uses in cooking and even cleaning. It is also used in preparing lemonade, which is a popular refreshment drink. Lemon juice can either be squeezed manually or with the help of a citrus squeezer or a food processor with a juicer component. For the purpose of drinking, you can dilute it in water and add honey or sugar to sweeten it.

Lemon Water:

Lemon water is often recommended by nutritionists and health experts for speedy weight loss. This is because it is an effective detoxifier. Drinking it in the morning activates the body’s detoxifying process as well as the natural cleansing process. The presence of pectin fiber helps reduce your hunger and curbs appetite.

  • It is easy to prepare lemon water. You can start by placing the glass pitcher, in which you plan to make lemon water, in the freezer.
  • Cut the lemons into 4 round slices each and place these in the pitcher. You can squeeze them slightly so that their juices get mixed with water.
  • You can add other ingredients like lime, cucumber, mint, raspberries or freshly grated ginger to add to the flavor. You can also add some baking soda to provide a creamy texture.
  • Now pour 8 glasses of water into the frozen pitcher and keep it in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours. This will help the ingredients mix well and also enhance the flavor of water.

Lemon Tea:

Lemon tea is also quite popular and is particularly beneficial for your stomach and digestive system. It also aids in weight loss.

For further information on the health benefits as well as tips and any risks there may be, click on Medical News Today for further reading and information.

Disclaimer

This site offers health, fitness and nutritional information and is designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on this information as a substitute for, nor does it replace, professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other health-care professional. Do not disregard, avoid or delay obtaining medical or health related advice from your health-care professional because of something you may have read on this site. The use of any information provided on this site is solely at your own risk.

Developments in medical research may impact the health, fitness and nutritional advice that appears here. No assurance can be given that the advice contained in this site will always include the most recent findings or developments with respect to the particular material.

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