Writing this wellness column continues to be a joyful journey toward the fulfillment of my own personal advocacy—to keep all of us young and healthy.
The fountain of youth and its secrets are only for those who truly believe that age is just a number, and then some.
First, it’s exactly what the song says—let’s get physical. You need to hear your body talk. Every time you move, your body not only gets an external workout, it also receives an internal shake-up. And this is a good thing.
Exercise regulates neuropeptides (any of the molecules composed of short chains of amino acids—endorphins, enkephalins, vasopressin, found in brain tissue). And the neuropeptide beta-endorphin cocktail, which is the result of exercise, reduces stress and promotes a feeling of euphoria while reducing anxiety and depression.
This is more commonly known as runner’s high—and one of the main reasons fitness enthusiasts admit their body “craves” for exercise.
Any regular body movement sustained for 20-30 minutes will stimulate the production of neuropeptides, which contribute to a feeling of youthful exuberance and a radiant glow.
Try balancing your exercise regimen with a combination of cardiovascular and aerobic workout (running, walking and dancing), weight resistance/strength training, gym workouts and flexibility/stretching (like Pilates, yoga, swimming).
Did you know that resistance training releases growth hormones and simultaneously lowers cortisol (stress hormone) levels and stress?
Fit with fiber
You’ve heard this before. Fiber slows down the absorption of food. It keeps your blood sugar levels from spiking. That’s right. No sudden peaks and valleys on your blood sugar level means that the environment inside your body is stable. It’s what all medical experts agree on—in order to be healthy, stable blood sugar levels must be maintained. Any wild increase will only upset biological harmony.
Combine soluble and insoluble fiber such as fruits and vegetables, oats, barley lentil, beans in your diet.
Most people avoid nuts because they fear uric acid. In truth, nuts may be high in fat and calories but they also prevent obesity and actually help you lose weight.
A moderate diet that includes 35-percent calories from fats helps maintain regular weight loss. Fats from nuts have antioxidant properties: polyphenols and healthy proteins.
Phytic acid, a natural plant antioxidant in nuts and seeds, has the power to reduce inflammation. The skin or soft outer covering of nuts is associated with reduced risk of cancer.
Beta-sisterol and campestrol, two phytosterols found in nuts, are also said to appear to inhibit breast and prostate tumors. While arginine, an amino acid, also inhibits tumor growth. Almonds seem to have more potency than other nuts.
Ellagic acid, contained in berries, is a cancer-fighting polypherol, and is also abundant in walnuts. Walnuts are high in alpha linolenic acid, an essential fatty acid that ensures heart protection and blood circulation.
Selenium is another anti-cancer mineral found in brazil nuts. If studies could be undertaken on the pili nut, whose fleshy nut is almost like the consistency of brazil nuts, these may prove that Philippine nut is also selenium-rich.
Caution: Never leave nuts exposed to high temperatures, because they are susceptible to oxidation. They can turn rancid immediately. Store them inside airtight containers, in the refrigerator or freezer.
You can maximize the nutritional value of nuts by soaking them in salted water for 6 hours, then drain and oven-dry on low heat.
If you want to reduce your blood pressure, eat a few nuts daily, because it is rich in calcium, magnesium and potassium—well-known minerals that enhance the blood.
Is there such a thing? Actually, this proverbial pill is more of a state-of-mind. Happiness is really a choice. You either make a decision to be in this state of joy or not. That is how powerful the mind is over the body.