Cholesterol is necessary for the production of hormones, bile salts and vitamins in our body. High levels of bad cholesterol (LDL) may cause plaque formation on artery walls, while good cholesterol (HDL) facilitates removal of excess cholesterol thus decreasing the risk of heart diseases. Maintain a good cholesterol balance with soluble fiber intake (to lower bad LDL), and Omega-3 fatty acids (to raise good HDL). Cold water fish (salmon, sardine and mackerel) are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids. Alternatively, try flax seeds and soy beans.
In various studies and clinical trials, antioxidant vitamins such as vitamins A, C and E can help maintain healthy cells and tissues in the eyes. These vitamins are found in fruits and vegetables such as oranges, tomatoes, kale and spinach. Two key protective antioxidants are lutein and zeaxanthin, which also help to protect against macular degeneration and protect eyes from free radical damage. Omega 3 fatty acids are essential for nerve conduction in the retina. For healthy eyes, eat a good and balanced diet with lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, with oily fish like salmon, sardine or mackerel.
A four-step eye exercise can relieve tired eyes after long hours of working in front of the computer screen. Do it daily, particularly in between breaks from the computer. Step 1: Close your eyes tightly for 3- 5 seconds and open them for 3-5 seconds. Repeat 7-8 times. Step 2: Close your eyes again and massage in circular movements for 1-2 minutes. Step 3: Press three fingers against upper eyelids, hold for 1-2 seconds then release. Repeat 5 times. Step 4: Roll your eyes clockwise, then counter-clockwise, and then blink once. Repeat 5 times.
Regular stretching helps keep muscles and joints strong and reduce the incidence of injury. To increase your joint’s current range of motion, the surrounding muscles have to be stretched progressively beyond their accustomed length. For example, stretching your waist muscles can help prevent back injury. Stand with a half squat with feet shoulder-width apart, knees bent and hands on hips. Bend slowly to the left then back to the center. Then bend to the right. You should feel the tension at your waist muscles. Keep it parallel without leaning forwards or backwards. It takes merely 5 minutes for 10 repetitions!
Foods high in antioxidants such as fruits and vegetables can help to fight off free radicals which may damage our joints. Omega-3 fatty acids have natural anti-inflammation properties to reduce swelling and stiffness. For extra cartilage help, take supplements with glucosamine and chondroitin to build up cartilage, improve joint lubrication and to inhibit enzymes from further cartilage breakdown. Joint Sensei is a quad-action formula with glucosamine, chondroitin, cat’s claw and Ajuga extracts specially formulated for joint health and improved flexibility.
A poorly functioning liver leads to fatigue, weakness, abdominal pain and loss of appetite. The easiest way to protect your liver is to eat right! Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage contain glucosinolates which help the liver produce enzymes for detoxification. Green leafy vegetables and fruits contain antioxidants that protect the liver from free radical damage. Garlic contains Allicin, which helps rinse out heavy metals such as mercury and lead from the liver. Add these foods into your daily diet to keep your liver healthy!
Red wines contain antioxidants that can help to increase your ‘good’ cholesterol (HDL) and protect against artery damage by the ‘bad’ cholesterol (LDL). Red wines also contain a substance called resverastrol which help to prevent blood clots, reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke. According to the American Heart Association, the recommended intake is 2 drinks per day for men and 1 drink per day for women (1 drink = 4 ounce/118ml of red wine). Taken in moderation, a glass of red wine help provide many health benefits towards a healthy heart.
Soy protein can lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart diseases. Soy reduces total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. The FDA claims that diets low in saturated fat and cholesterol with 25g of soy protein per day can help to reduce the risk of heart diseases. One glass of soy milk contains 6-7 grams of soy protein. For good heart health, have more tofu, or take 3 – 4 glasses of unsweetened soy milk daily.
Constipation can happen because the colon absorbs too much water or due to sluggish colon muscle contractions. Insufficient fiber intake is the likely cause in most cases. Soluble fiber from oats, rice bran, and fruit help soften stools for easy elimination. Whole grains, cereals, seeds, and the skin of most fruits and vegetables provide insoluble fibers that help the stool pass quickly through intestines. To meet your daily fiber needs, aim for at least 2 servings of fruit and 3 cups of vegetables/ legumes. Drink at least 8 glasses of water to aid regular bowel movement.
If you are finding it harder to remember the little things, your brain may be deteriorating faster than you age. Ginkgo has a long history as the “memory herb”. Ginkgo leaf extract enhances blood flow to the brain, thus improving concentration and memory. The best quality markers come with 24% Total Flavonoids and 6% Terpene Lactones. Pick only standardized ginkgo leaf extract to ensure optimal efficacy to support memory and improve circulation.