Fall Foods to Promote Better Health

Fall Foods to Promote Better Health

Most of us enjoy the festivities of the autumn season. It’s a reminder of the upcoming holidays, family celebrations, and comfort foods. Even though Los Angeles remains warm, hints of crispness begin to fill the air.

I am a big believer in eating seasonally whenever possible meaning that we consume foods which are grown in the particular season of year that we are in.

This fall, why not try some of nature’s amazing autumnal superfoods which are packed with vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, and other health-promoting gifts.

Pumpkin – Pumpkins are packed with Vitamin A from Beta Carotene which helps to promote better vision. Pumpkin seeds are high in tryptophan which support healthy serotonin levels and assist in balancing our mood and sleep. Pumpkin seeds or pumpkin seed oil have been shown to strengthen the prostate and may lower the risk of prostate cancer.

Squash – There are so many varieties of squash and all have enormous health benefits. They are one of the oldest groups of vegetables on earth and they help to boost overall immunity, reduce inflammation, improve vision and blood circulation, and regulate blood sugar. They also improve lung function and have antifungal properties.

Zucchini – Zucchini is high in B Vitamins which improves overall energy. It may also help to control Diabetes, and improve digestion along with being high in antioxidants including Vitamins A and C, and Super Oxide Dismutase. Zucchini also helps to support proper thyroid and adrenal function.

Brussel Sprout – This cruciferous superfood is more popular than ever and for very good reason. They are excellent sources of Vitamin C and Vitamin K. They assist your body in detoxing because of the sulfur-containing compounds and they may lower your risk of cancer and estrogen levels because of their high levels of indole-3-carbinol.

Cauliflower – Another vegetable from the cruciferous family, it is particularly potent at fighting prostate cancer when combined with turmeric. It is also very high in antioxidant vitamins and minerals.

Pomegranate – This beautiful fruit is high in a unique antioxidant called punicalagin. Research indicates it may be effective in reducing the risk of heart disease due to aggressive free radical-scavenging activities in the body. The high polyphenol level in pomegranate has also been linked to a reduction in cancer cell activity.

Apple –  Apples are high in vitamins and minerals along with both soluble and insoluble fiber. The fiber content is effective at slowing or preventing the absorption of bad cholesterol into the arteries along with assisting proper elimination and detox. An apple a day really does keep the doctor away provided it’s organic since apples are one of the most highly pesticide sprayed fruit on earth.

Celery – Celery contains luteolin a nutrient which may slow memory loss and inflammation in our brain. It is also low in calories and high in vitamin and mineral content. It has been linked with an ability to slow cancer cell growth, especially in breast tissue for women on synthetic hormones.

Carrot – Carrots are extremely high in Beta Carotene which converts to Vitamin A in our liver and is known to support proper eye health. The minerals in carrots work to promote strong bones and a healthy nervous system along with maintaining healthy and young skin, hair, and teeth.

Beet –Beets contain nitric oxide which help to open blood vessels providing the body with more energy and feeding the cells with extra oxygen. Beet juice extract is wonderful as a pre-workout for this reason. Beets also assist the body in proper liver detox.

Cranberries – The juice of cranberries are most known for their positive effects on the kidneys and the urinary tract also in aiding urinary tract infections. They also have powerful immune-boosting properties and work to fight most types of cancer cells.

Turnip – Turnip greens are even more vitamin enriched than the root although both have amazing healing benefits. The sulfur-containing compounds have powerful anti-cancer effects along with a great deal of antioxidants and minerals.

Sweet Potato – Like other orange fruits and vegetables, sweet potato contains high levels of the powerhouse antioxidant Beta Carotene. Sweet potatoes have less calories per serving than white potatoes and a lower glycemic index rating too. This high fiber vegetable is especially great as a pre-workout food.

Whenever possible, buy organic produce in order to avoid toxins and chemicals. Experiment over the next few months and try some new recipes. You may just discover a new-found love for the most exciting fruits and vegetables of the year.

 

Jay Bradley is a Youthful Aging, Wellness & Lifestyle Expert Living in Los Angeles. http://www.JayBradleyLIfestyle.com

He is the Best-Selling Author of LIVE LOOK FEEL, The 12-Week Guide to Live Longer, Look Younger & Feel Better!

 

 

 

Secret Killer! Reduce Inflammation – Increase Life, Energy & Well-Being

Secret Killer! Reduce Inflammation – Increase Life, Energy & Well-Being

By now, most of us know that inflammation within the body is one of the leading factors to increased disease and illness. In fact, heart disease, stroke, cancer, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, and numerous others are linked to chronic inflammation.  These health challenges are affecting more and more Americans each year and a large percentage of these cases could have been prevented.

A diet high in trans and hydrogenated fats and sugar along with highly processed carbohydrates like chips, cakes, and fast-food are the leading culprits with a lack of exercise also playing a critical role in the development of these illnesses.

Health educators have been getting the word out for years about ways to decrease harmful factors while increasing healthy lifestyle habits and there is hope that eventually this dangerous trend will dissipate.

There are subtle signs of inflammation too including indigestion, sinusitis, aches and pains, hay fever, allergies, bleeding gums, asthma, stiff joints, puffy eyes, skin rash, and headaches. In a natural, healthy state, our body should feel good most of the time. Any of these symptoms may be a clue that something is causing inflammation within your body. Paying attention to the early signs may be the key in preventing a more serious long-term illness.

Sometimes these early symptoms may be caused by environmental irritants such as air fresheners, candles, personal care products, or pollen while at other times it may be something internal such as a reaction to medications, foods, or even supplements.

I suggest that people listen to their body and the messages it sends us. If you don’t feel well, something is going on. Our body speaks to us at all times, and sometimes we need to get quiet and pay very close attention to that intuitive voice. If you’re having chronic issues of any type, begin looking for the source and don’t stop until you find it.

Here are some important ways to begin reducing inflammation today so that you can improve your overall health:

  • Rid your Home of Toxins – Chemical cleaners, air fresheners, and personal care products are the main cause of breathing issues and long-term damage especially to our lungs. Do yourself and your family a favor and throw out all chemical cleaners and personal care products and replace them with organic, healthy alternatives. For a list of which chemicals are the most harmful, visit: ewg.org
  • Elimination Diet – One of the easiest ways to figure out which foods are triggering you is to do a short elimination diet. Eliminate the main culprits including dairy, wheat, sugar, gluten, eggs, corn, and soy for 7 days. Gradually begin re-introducing them one at a time. Keep track in a food journal how you feel before, during, and after you eat them. Look for signs of inflammation including mucus, fatigue, headache, indigestion, scratchy throat, and watery eyes or nose. Sometimes these can occur the next day so pay special attention and trust your intuition.
  • Eat Alkaline – Too much acidity in our body can cause inflammation. Acidic foods include animal proteins, dairy products, sugar, processed foods, and alcohol. Try offsetting your acidity by bringing in more alkaline foods and beverages. Dark leafy green vegetables, pink Himalayan sea salt, and fresh lemons and limes are especially alkaline for the body.
  • Superfoods – Some of the best ways to reduce inflammation are to consume concentrated forms of superfoods. Look for organic, raw, and non-GMO products such as: chlorella, spirulina, wheatgrass, sprouted kamut, turmeric, green tea, aloe vera, and tart cherry juice.
  • Gut Health – By building our healthy gut flora, we strengthen our overall system and help to reduce inflammation. Take a potent probiotic supplement daily, eat fermented foods such as sauerkraut, and kombucha tea. Bone broth has also been shown to reduce inflammation in the digestive track and colon. Focus on consuming more organic product to eliminate the consumption of Glyphosate which is a harmful chemical in herbicide sprays used on non-organic produce.
  • Omega 3 Oils – Adding more omega 3 rich foods to your diet in the form of hemp, flax and chia seeds, avocados, olives, salmon, sardines, and walnuts along with krill oil supplements, will help will help to off-set chronic inflammation and assist in creating healthy cholesterol levels.
  • Quality Sleep – Sleep is absolutely essential in reducing inflammation. Ensure that you get quality rest at night and consider taking a regular, short nap during the day when possible. Sleep is restorative and assists our immunity, hormones, and other bodily systems to work at their optimal. Getting less than 6 hours of sleep per night has been linked to increased inflammation.
  • Exercise – Doing some type of moderate exercise daily that keeps your heart rate at approximately 60-85% of its maximum (220-age x .85) helps to lower all inflammation markers within the body and assists in decreasing overall stress.
  • Chill – These days it is imperative to incorporate a de-stress practice. It will be different for each person but some of the proven methods of lowering C Reactive Protein which is one important inflammation marker in the body are deep breath work such as breath of fire, yoga, meditation, and chanting. The key is keeping it regular and making it a daily practice for best results.

While some inflammatory disease can be genetic, approximately 75% is related to our environment and our day to day lifestyle choices. Be wise, make good decisions and start today. Even the smallest of shifts can positively affect your life, energy, and well-being.

  • Always consult with your physician before making changes in your diet, exercise, or supplement regimen.

 

Jay Bradley is a Youthful Aging, Wellness & Lifestyle Expert Living in Los Angeles. http://www.JayBradleyLifestyle.com

He is the Best-Selling Author of LIVE LOOK FEEL, The 12-Week Guide to Live Longer, Look Younger & Feel Better!

Listen Up! Your Liver Needs Your Attention!

Listen Up! Your Liver Needs Your Attention!

Our liver really takes a hit. It processes everything that goes into our body from food, medication, and alcohol, to portions of our personal care products. Our liver acts as a filter to remove toxins and chemicals while gently cleansing our blood.

Often many of us take for granted just how hard our liver works to keep us healthy. Especially in this day and age where we are being bombarded by harmful toxins from our environment, genetically modified and fast foods, hydrogenated oils, nitrates, trans fats, sugar, and so much more…it may just be time to consider giving our liver a helping hand.

Signs of liver toxicity can be numerous and may include skin rashes, fatigue, headache, poor digestion, dizziness, and even jaundice but often signs and symptoms go unnoticed.

A liver cleanse can be done seasonally or on a daily basis in a more gentle way. By using certain herbs, foods, vitamins, and lifestyle practices, we can ensure that our liver is operating at it’s optimal.

Here are some important things that you can incorporate today:

Milk Thistle – Possibly the most documented liver supportive herb is milk thistle. The active ingredient Sylmarin has been shown to offer extra help to the liver in the act of detoxifying heavy metals, alcohol, and other toxins and chemicals.

Dandelion – Once considered an annoying weed, Dandelion has potent liver cleansing qualities. This along with other bitter herbs such as arugula, radicchio, kale, mustard greens, and watercress promote enzyme production and bile flow.

Turmeric – One of my favorite herbs and spices is Turmeric because of it’s numerous healing properties. Turmeric with its active ingredient Curcumin, is a liver cleansing powerhouse. It’s packed with antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory effects, which have a positive impact on your overall body and health.

Wheatgrass – 2 ounces of pure, organic wheatgrass offers as many vitamins and minerals as 4 pounds of green vegetables! This superfood brings oxygen to your blood while helping with the detox and cleansing process. A little goes a long way and regular consumption of wheatgrass offers long-term benefits to the liver.

Beets – Beets are known to have wonderful liver-supporting qualities. Beets improve liver function largely by thinning the bile, allowing it to flow more freely through the liver and into the small intestine.

Lemon – The most simple yet powerful liver tonic is room temperature filtered water with freshly squeezed lemon. The vitamins help to loosen toxins and the citric acid in lemons maximizes enzyme function, which stimulates and aids the liver in detoxification. Lemons although seemingly acidic to taste, tend to alkaline your body when ingested.

Coffee Enema – While the idea of doing regular enemas may not sound ideal, the detox that it offers will benefit you. Regular 15-minute organic coffee enemas will assist the release of buildup and help your liver and gallbladder to create more bile.

Dry Brushing – Dry brushing our skin helps to open up the pores and assists the liver and kidneys in detoxifying. First used by the Scandinavians and the Russians, brushing your skin with a soft-bristled brush with a long handle on dry skin for anywhere from 5-15 minutes regularly, is said to have dramatic detoxifying effects on the body.

Sauna – Once again, the Scandinavian people have it right! The regular use of a wood-burning or infrared sauna will assist the body in sweating out toxic chemicals, heavy metals, and other unwanted buildup, which in turn lightens the load on our liver.

There are a few intense detox programs such as the 10-Day Transformation that I run with my clients and there are also more gentle ones that you can step into gradually. Make sure to take additional fiber along with your liver cleansing products to remove any excess waste from your colon. Rice bran solubles, psyllium husk, and raw, fibrous vegetables work well.

Keep in mind that with any detox, you may experience some negative side effects such as gas, bloating, irregular bowel movements, fatigue, headaches, muscle cramping and more. This is normal depending upon the intensity of your detox program and the level of toxicity in your body but they should dissipate in time.

In today’s world, no matter which type you choose, it is a great idea to focus on this important organ and give it all the assistance it needs to continue working at it’s optimal.

*It is always best to consult with your doctor before beginning a vitamin or herb regimen especially if you have any pre-existing health conditions or if you take medications.

 

Jay Bradley is a Youthful Aging, Wellness & Lifestyle Expert Living in Los Angeles. http://www.JayBradleyLifestyle.com

He is the Best-Selling Author of LIVE LOOK FEEL, The 12-Week Guide to Live Longer, Look Younger & Feel Better!

Butternut Squash Soup

Butternut Squash Soup

This is one of my FAVORITE recipes! It’s simple, delicious, and so nutritious. While squash is normally served in the fall and winter, why not enjoy this comfort food all year round and reap the amazing health benefits including high levels of Beta Carotene, Vitamin C, Minerals, Anti-Inflammatory Properties, Omega 3 Fatty Acids, and Phytonutrients.

INGREDIENTS
(Organic Whenever Possible)
1 Whole Sweet Onion
1 Medium Sized Butternut Squash
6 Cups of Vegetarian or Chicken Stock
2 Tbsp Vegan Butter
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
2 Tsp Sea Salt
2 Tsp Coarse Ground Pepper
1/4 Cup of Pure Maple Syrup
2 Tsp Turmeric
1/4 Cup of Pumpkin or Sunflower Seeds
1/4 Cup of Coconut Cream
– Additional Spices if Desired Including Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Curry, Ginger & Garlic Powder.

DIRECTIONS
– Peel squash, remove seeds, and cut into chunks.
– Peel onion and cut into small pieces
– Sauté onions on medium heat with butter and olive oil until transparent (approx. 5 minutes)
– Lower heat and add 6 cups of broth along with the squash.
– Add spices of your choice
– Bring to a boil and then simmer for approximately 15 minutes or until the squash is tender
– Mix in Maple Syrup
– Toast pumpkin or sunflower seeds in a non-oiled frying pan over medium heat until golden brown
– Put soup ingredients into a blender or Vitamix and blend until it becomes a smooth puree
– Pour into bowls, top with a dollop of coconut cream, toasted seeds, and a sprinkle of your choice of spices

The Beginner’s Guide to Supplements

The Beginner’s Guide to Supplements

It can be downright confusing trying to navigate through the world of supplements. There is literally a pill, potion, or powder for everything! Each herb, vitamin, mineral, and superfood is sold as a way to increase your vitality and improve your health. But which ones are effective and are they necessary?

There are certainly contradictory studies out there, some in support of supplements while others negate them. From my perspective, they are necessary and vital.

In today’s world we don’t eat a varied enough diet and our soils are depleted and so while eating a balanced diet is the best way to boost your health, it’s not always possible to get everything that we need in food alone. This is why I believe in supplementation.

When buying supplements research ones that are from organic, non-GMO sources. Also look for vitamins that are derived from whole foods whenever possible. While some drugstore brands are okay, often it pays to invest in a quality product that has a good reputation from a company with a strong track record.

While each person’s health profile is unique and so too are their vitamin requirements, there are certain supplements that I recommend to almost everyone in my wellness coaching practice.

Here is a list of some of the vitamins, minerals, herbs, and superfoods that I suggest to people who are seeking to turn back the clock, increase their vitality, and for those interested in improving the odds of living a longer life:

Multivitamin with Minerals – I liken a multivitamin to an insurance policy. We take it just in case. It’s difficult to know where we are lacking in terms of vitamins and minerals and it is rare that blood tests will give us a full breakdown. Therefore taking a potent multivitamin with minerals from whole food sources is a great option. Ensure that your multivitamin has adequate Vitamin D3 levels, approximately 5,000 IU per day and a significant level of antioxidants.

Probiotic – Our gut is our second brain. Everything that occurs in our body including our brain function, digestion, and immunity begins in our stomach. Therefore, taking a probiotic supplement daily is a great way to build up the vital stomach flora, which acts to strengthen our overall system. Look for one with numerous strains of probiotic and at least 30 billion live cultures.

Krill Oil/Omega Oils – Many of us receive an abundance of Omega 6 oils from food but less Omega 3 fatty acids. We require a balance of both in order to support proper brain and heart health and to reduce overall inflammation in the body. Krill oil in particular contains a high level of Omega 3 oils and Astaxanthin, which works to reduce sunspots and provides an extra layer of sun protection. Krill oil is found to be the most potent and absorbable version of these healthy Omega 3 oils. For vegetarians or vegans, consume flax, hemp, or walnut oil daily.

Turmeric/Curcumin – One of the most researched herbs for anti-aging is Turmeric. There is a long list of benefits from daily consumption of it’s active ingredient Curcumin including a possible lowering of Alzheimer’s risk, a reduction in joint inflammation, and increased immunity. This potent spice can be taken in powder or supplement form and for the most protection 3-4 grams per day is recommended.

Oil of Oregano – This powerful herb works to boost immunity especially during cold and flu season. People with asthma, allergies, sinusitis, and bronchitis have noticed impressive results using oil of Oregano. 3-5 drops under your tongue followed by some water provides maximum antioxidant and antifungal protection.

Raw Greens Superfood – It’s a challenge to eat enough fruits and vegetables throughout our day which is why a raw, greens superfood powder is an amazing alternate. One scoop normally provides anywhere from 15-40 servings of fresh fruit and vegetable extracts along with numerous other immune-supporting vitamins, minerals, herbs, phytonutrients, prebiotics, probiotics, and fiber.

Green Tea – Green Tea is known for it’s powerful anti-cancer benefits. The potent Polyphenols and Epigallocatechin Gallate (EGCG) in Green Tea make it an ideal antioxidant, which fights free radicals in our body. Green Tea is also a thermogenic meaning that it can help to speed up the metabolism leading to increased fat burning effects.

Mushroom Medley – Mushrooms contain powerful compounds known to boost immunity. For those interested in extra cell protection, consider taking a powder or supplement containing Cordyceps, Turkey Tail, Reishi, Maitake and other medicinal mushrooms.

Ashwaganda – Ashwaganda is part of the adaptogen herb family. It works to boost overall energy and vitality, increase libido, lower the overall stress responses within the body, and helps many people to get a deeper and more restful sleep.

*Always consult with your physician before starting any supplement regimen as some may interfere with current medications or pre-existing health conditions.

 

Jay Bradley is a Youthful Aging, Wellness & Lifestyle Expert Living in Los Angeles.
http://www.JayBradleyLifestyle.com

He is the Best-Selling Author of LIVE LOOK FEEL, The 12-Week Guide to Live Longer, Look Younger & Feel Better!