How you peel it makes a difference!
Avocados might be the last thing you would consider would help you lose weight, but you'd be wrong. Not only can they help you lose weight, but they also improve your heart and brain and eyes, and can rejuvenate your skin.
And their effects are even more beneficial if you are older. When we're older, we need more metabolic repairs done inside and out - and avocados are the perfect food to help.
I eat a half-avocado every day. I lace it with other goodies such as turmeric, ginger and apple cider vinegar. But putting those aside, whatever you do with avocado - chop it, slice it, mash it, mix it - it has an astounding range of nutritional benefits, including:
Brief outside moderate to vigorous activity is best - take the children
In the midst of widespread working-from-home, COVID-related stress is on the rise. This is partly because of a general decrease in physical activity. For example, I'm currently in Stage 4 lock-down and we are only allowed out once per day for exercise, we need a permit to leave home for work, and cannot travel more than 5km from our home address.
We doing less exercise generally but we are also not getting any exercise associated with commuting, such as walking from the train station to the office.
This is bad news since there is a well-established association between lower levels of total physical activity and lower levels of positive mental health.
Chronic stress triggers free radical storms
Our brain is negatively affected by chronic inflammation which is the metabolic imbalance caused by stress, poor eating habits, lack of exercise, or metabolic diseases. The bad news is that as we age our immune defence system becomes weaker, and we are more likely to develop chronic inflammation.
As we age we also exercise less, eat less variety of foods, go outside less often, and socialise less, which all contributes to accelerating chronic stress.
The good news is that scientists have recently come to the view (2016) that a nutritional approach to controlling chronic inflammation "opens a new window for healthy brain aging".
If you are over 50 now's the time to make these changes
We're swamped with nutritional information, but we rarely take action to improve our diets. Healthier eating matters at any age but it matters more as we age. Better choices will help us live longer better.
If you are over 50, now's the time to make those choices. When I was 50 I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. I had left my healthy choices too late, but since then, I've been learning every day. Here's what I know that will help you.
Think of your brain, balance and longevity
Around my local suburbs, I have never seen so many people regularly walking for their health. There were always the genteel walkers. But now, with the pandemic and gyms closed, there is a new breed on the paths and tracks.
I'm pleased to observe that they mostly are not "serious" walkers, those with intent looks and machine-driven arms. Although the majority are not so intense, they are satisfyingly consistent and purposeful. I'm one of those - I walk 5km at least once every day, and I've added in walking backwards.
With a single tweak, these regular-walking folk can significantly improve the health and longevity benefits from their activity.
How to fix waking up with a headache and dizziness
Physiotherapists are reporting more people seeking treatment for symptoms related to forward-head posture. These symptoms include headaches and dizziness. Up to now, research into neck mobility and dizziness has been inconclusive. Just published research changes this.
Brown fat prolongs our stress response
It's well known that chronic stress is associated with a shorter and less healthy life. Until now, short-term stress was considered less harmful to health.
Scientists have discovered just how toxic short-term stress can be. It spikes diabetes.
I'm drinking more tea since I learnt this
Tea is the most widely consumed beverage in the world after water and is a major source of dietary flavonoids. Yet surprisingly, the way in which tea supports our health is still unknown (June, 2019).
If you don't yet drink enough tea (I don't) then perhaps it is time to take up the habit. Here's why.
For centuries, tea has been anecdotally linked to digestive health, and research studies have convincingly associated consumption of black tea with reduced cardiovascular risk. This benefit is attributed to substances called polyphenols, such as catechins.
Breakdown of black tea improves our gut biome
Polyphenols are also in other (non-black) teas and in orange skin, for example. What's different about the black tea polyphenols (BTP) is that they are heavier molecules and can resist breakdown in our stomach. In other words, BTPs are too large for direct bioavailability for our metabolism - like some fibres which are not readily digestible in our stomach.
It takes the power of our colon break down these big boys, and when that happens, other magic happens associated with our gut biome.
The microflora in the colon bioconvert the BTP to make the polyphenols available to other parts of our metabolism, and concurrently this breakdown improves gut microbial diversity.
Hence, BTPs give us direct benefits associated with polyphenols from their anti-inflammatory and blood pressure-lowering properties. They also give us indirect benefits from the byproducts of breaking down in the gut, such as improvements in platelet and endothelial functions (which may be why black tea benefits diabetics).
The interaction between the gut biome and the rest of our body is still far from understood. Humans are superorganisms, and the gut is part of our super-complicated system of how we stay healthy. Some studies suggest that the BTPs are even more effective when they are digested in conjunction with fibre and especially prebiotic fibres as in bananas.
Nine reasons to drink tea plus one more for the brain
Tea's benefits are all great news for tea drinkers because black tea offers such an impressive array of benefits - including:
Also, evidence continues to emerge that tea may act to improve cognitive function. For example, a study showed that green tea increases brain activation in a key area that improves immediate language processing and short-term recall. Other research suggests that tea polyphenols may be useful for the prevention or treatment of various neurodegenerative diseases.
For smokers, however, it has been found that black tea does not confer many of these benefits. If you smoke, this is one more important reason to quit.
How many cups should we drink daily?
What we need to know is what "dose" is effective? Some studies have not found beneficial effects, and this has been put down to too low a dose of black tea.
We need to know the "physiologically relevant dosage". We are looking for long-term persistent results, not just directly after drinking tea.
In a study of dose, two healthy volunteers drank 4 cups of Lipton green tea every day for four days. Tests recorded levels of BTP, and its byproducts which were sufficient to activate the associated benefits.
You want to get the most benefits without overdoing the caffeine. Therefore, consider drinking between 3 and 6 cups of tea per day. No sugar of course! Added sugar will do more damage than the benefits of the tea.
I mix green and back in the one pot and drink 4 to 5 cups a day. I also cheat a little by emptying a teabag into my oats each night, which I then heat and cool to make them prebiotic. That way I get the fibre as well as the tea BTPs.
Good luck. I'm off to have a cup of my mixed tea with lunch.
> More posts to help you with EXERCISES
> More posts to help you with DIABETES
> If you are a @MEDIUM reader my publication Body Age Buster has hundreds of categorised posts which I have written especially for men and women over 50.
Here's how, and it's not too hard
The disease of diabetes has dire consequences for the health of our vascular system - our arteries, veins and capillaries. These vital pipelines become clogged up with excess sugar in our blood. This clogging results in nerves, cells and organs dying, e.g. hairs falling out, nerve pain as they die, blindness, kidney failure.
Every cell in our body relies on efficient blood flow, including our muscles. If we can increase the number of capillaries in our muscles, we can improve the blood flow and offset some of the adverse effects of diabetes.
Long-term exercise preserves memory function
Scientists studied people who had exercised consistently for a long-term and found they had better memory function than those who did not exercise. Starting to exercise at any time of your life is good - it's never too late - but starting earlier can bring benefits.
This finding is important to know because the research found that just being an active participant in a sport for a long period had this beneficial effect. You don't need to become a gym nerd.
Since I was diagnosed at 50 with Type 2 diabetes I've been learning how to do bone-building fitness training which lowers my age. You can too. It's your choice. Walter