Monday, September 27, 2010

List of Foods to Boost Your Metabolism After 40

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    Everyday I am asked numerous questions about the “best” diet or how can I lose weight quickly, lose weight permanently,  lose weight by tomorrow, lose weight for my hot date Saturday, lose weight for my reunion is a week….and the list goes on and on. The mistake is searching for the perfect diet where as the focal point should be which foods will benefit me most. The following is a list of my favorite foods and why.
    Apple.  Sometimes those old folk stories do get it right. “An apple a day will help keep the doctor away” An apples carries quercetin, a flavonoid that helps to prevent prostate cancer. One study by the National Cancer Institute reported that foods containing flavonoids like the ones in apples may reduce lung cancer by 50%. Additionally, apples are one of the best sources of boron. Boron is a mineral that has bone building properties. Pectin in the apple is great for your gut as well as detoxifying.
    Beans.  Beans are considered one of your best weight loss tools as they are high in cholecystokinin which is a natural appetite suppressant. Because beans are high in fiber they help to keep your sugar level and lower cholesterol.
Blueberries are the Best Brain Food
    Blueberries. Not only do they taste great, blueberries are great for your brain. Blueberries contain compounds like anthocyanin that are antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. These are important in the defense against diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, diabetes, arthritis and heart disease. Even more interesting is the fact they help the neurons in the brain communicate more efficiently. Just ½ cup per day will keep your brain young and even in some studies have shown to reverse deterioration.
    Broccoli:  The latest discovery in fantastic anti-cancer ingredients. Broccoli is often considered the royalty of veggies and fights cancer by neutralizing carcinogens.
    Cinnamon.  In these days of the growing epidemic of obesity and diabetes, cinnamon stands out with its incredible ability to work synergistically with insulin to maintain sugar levels. Cinnamon can also help with painful joints and muscle stiffness. One USDA study showed that just a quarter teaspoon of cinnamon a day lowered the blood sugar, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels in people with type 2 diabetes.
    Eggs.  It is no secret that I love eggs. Eggs are nearly a perfect food as they are a convenient source of low fat protein that can be added to any meal to balance carbohydrates.  They improve HDL cholesterol and help manage overall cholesterol. They are plentiful, loaded with vitamins and inexpensive. Other considerations for eggs as a super food are the fact they are a good source of Omega 3 fatty acids, vitamin A, vitamin k, protein, calcium, as well as they are also one of the best sources of protein known to man. They contain all nine essential amino acids, loaded with vitamins and minerals that help your eyes, your brain and your heart. Eggs are also loaded with choline which is an essential nutrient that must be consumed to maintain good health. And thank goodness they are easy to prepare.
    Grapefruit. The grapefruit diet may have some validity after all. A study at Scripps Clinic in La Jolla indicates that participants with metabolic syndrome and that were served “fresh grapefruit” lost a significant amount of weight. Additionally, insulin resistant participants improved.
    Green tea.  Antioxidants called catechins are what help speed metabolism and fat burning. Green tea contains very powerful antioxidants shown to enhance the immune system and fight cancer cells. Theanine in green tea is a natural de-stressor.
    Jalapeños.The active ingredient capcaisin found in jalapenos is a vasodilator, which enhances circulation causing your body to burn extra calories for hours after you ingest them, speeding up both your heart rate and metabolism.
    Oatmeal. So what is so great about oatmeal?  Oats are simply a great source of fiber and contain a nice fix of soluble (55%) and nonsoluble (45%).  The soluble fiber in oats contains the beta-glucan, which is a polysaccharide which helps lower cholesterol levels and decrease risks of cardiovascular disease. Beta-glucan also enhances the body’s immune system
Eat Wild Salmon
    Spinach. Calorie for calorie, spinach provides more nutrients than most other foods on the planet. Loaded with Vitamin K, calcium, vitamin D, spinach is a good substitute for those who do not like milk. Spinach also contains 13 flavonoids with anti cancer properties. These flavonoids protect against prostate, skin, colon and bone cancer. Spinach is also good brain food as it reduces neurological damage, improves vision and is a good source of iron. Popeye had something going for him.
    Wild Salmon: Fish in general is high in protein, low in calories and provides a variety of health benefits. Keep in mind that wild salmon and farmed salmon are two completely different creatures. My suggestion is only eat wild salmon. Their omega-3 fats offer cardiovascular protection. Omega-3 is anti-inflammatory and improves brain function, memory, skin, and kidney function.

Tammi Jacobs, Health and Wellness Expert
Results Health and Fitness Center, Chandler, AZ

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