Diet and food safety
It's a sure sign that we're in the waning weeks of summer: The store shelves are crammed with back-to-school stuff!
And as the season begins to wind down, you want to grab every chance you get to enjoy not only warm-weather relaxation… but also the delicious summer produce that's still overflowing at the market.
Juicy berries are stars of the season -- and according to a new study, there’s one kind of sweet treat you don't want to miss at its peak.
I’m talking about raspberries.
As it turns out, these bright-red berries can help you "relax" in one place that really counts: your blood vessels!
In the study published in the Archives of Biochemistry and Physics, researchers tested the blood vessel function of a group of healthy adults and then randomly assigned them to drink either a frozen raspberry beverage or a control beverage with no raspberries.
Two hours later, when the researchers re-tested the participants' blood vessel function, they found that those who drank the raspberry beverage had IMPROVED "flow-mediated dilation" (FMD), a sign that their blood vessels had relaxed.
Those who drank the control beverage, on the other hand, saw no FMD improvement.
And the raspberry drinkers' blood vessel relaxation was still going strong 24 hours later!
Now, as I've shared with you before, you want your blood vessels to be relaxed as possible -- because when they're stiff and constricted, blood can't gush freely to every nook and cranny.
And that lack of blood flow can deprive your heart and brain of nutrient-rich blood, setting you up for cardiovascular disease... and even cognitive decline.
The theory is that raspberries can help relax your blood vessels because they're loaded with ellagic acid, a compound that’s known to support vascular health.
Sure enough, those who drank the raspberry beverage in the study had higher levels of ellagic acid in their blood and urine than those who didn't drink any raspberries.
Plus, raspberries are packed with vitamin C, which has also been proven to boost blood vessel function , not to mention fortify your immune system and protect your eye health.
And the benefits of raspberries don't stop there. Previous studies have shown that they can ease inflammation ....... slash your risk of stroke ... and even beat back cancer .
Even though they're at their sweetest and juiciest in summer, you can find raspberries in most grocery stores year-round.
They're delicious on their own, but you can also get the "mouth feel" of an icy dessert by stirring crushed raspberries into Greek yogurt or blending frozen raspberries into smoothies.
Just stay away from raspberry-flavored ice cream, sorbet, and popsicles -- because these sugar bombs won't do your blood vessels a "lick" of good.
And whenever possible, buy organic berries to keep toxic pesticides OUT of your system.
Modern medicine has long preached the dangers of obesity.
But I’m going to let you in on a little secret that most doctors don’t like to admit: For the most part, modern medicine doesn’t know WHY.
Plenty of studies have shown that obesity can lead to everything from cardiovascular disease and diabetes to cancer… but the mechanism causing the problems?
In most cases, your guess would’ve been as good as theirs.
Not anymore. Thanks to a breakthrough study out of the University of Virginia, we now know that obesity’s connection to chronic disease starts with the lipids in your body.
That’s right – your FAT is actively working to ATTACK you!
You see, when lipids are exposed to free radicals – yes, the same free radicals that can cause cancer – they become damaged, or “oxidized.”
And oxidized lipids cause something funny to happen. They tell any and all nearby immune cells to go into hyperdrive.
And BOOM! You’re wracked with inflammation.
This chronic and constant onslaught causes most -- if not all -- of the obesity-related diseases out there. (And as I’ve shared with you before, you can trace the root cause of most diseases back to inflammation in some form or another.)
The details are a little more complex – for instance, some types of oxidized lipids are actually helpful. But in bodies that are unhealthily large, the harmful types of oxidized lipids are much more common.
Now, naturally, mainstream medicine is excited about this discovery… because it means it might be able to develop new drugs to address obesity-related diseases.
That’s all well and good. But there’s a much simpler way to keep yourself free of disease.
And that’s to defeat obesity itself.
That doesn’t mean your body has to be skinny and svelte to be healthy. Not everybody carries fat in the same way.
But if you have more fat than you’re supposed to, you should do what you can to reduce it. And make sure you limit exposure to anything that might damage the fat you DO have. (After all, we all need SOME fat to be healthy).
You can start by taking the following four steps:
1. Eat healthy whole foods. As long as most of your foods are natural and unprocessed, you’re in good shape. That’s why I recommend the Paleo diet to all of my patients and readers.
2. Exercise. You don’t even need to go to a gym! But if you can do something active for at least 30 minutes a day – whether it’s playing a game of tennis, hitting the links, or taking a stroll after lunch – you’re most of the way there.
3. Get enough sleep. Sleep gives your body the time it needs to repair damage, clean up things like free radicals, and get you set for the next day.
4. Reduce your toxic exposure. Some free radicals occur naturally, but others get into our bodies from the outside – through processed and non-organic foods, pesticides, pollution, and more. Avoid these toxins as much as possible and look into detoxifying therapies like sauna therapy, exercise, and – in more severe cases – chelation.
Do those four things, and you won’t need to wait for any magic pills to come out of this latest discovery.
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