Is Aging Affected by How We Live?

In order to understand how aging or longevity¬† can be influenced by our lifestyles one has to have a basic understanding of epigenetics¬† – still considered a controversial factor in disease and our overall health (morbidity and morality). Even though it is still to be determined, epigenetics is an interesting topic and thought-provoking hypothesis. Simply it is how we treat our bodies and how the resultant “wear and tear” on our health can lead to chronic diseases as well as how long we may live as determined by its affects on our genes. Here is how it works:

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“Op-Ed: Why Diet Matters in Covid-19”

The following article by Arnold R. Eiser, MD, presents some interesting points about diet as a lifestyle. Nutrition is just one lifestyle factor that may play a role in the prevention and treatment of other inflammatory diseases as such as rheumatoid arthritic, inflammatory bowel disease, and cancer. Obesity itself is a proposed risk factor for Covid-19. Could lifestyle factors such as diet, exercise, smoking, among others, play a part in the susceptibility of contracting and dealing with severity of the infection? If so, prevention along with vaccines could be a key intervention in the disease process.

“At present, the most effective measure in halting the transmission of COVID-19 and preventing associated chronic complications is unarguably the avoidance of exposure to the virus through physical distancing, face masks and eye protection. In addition, changes in lifestyle factors, including nutrition, exercise, smoking, alcohol consumption, screen time and sleep, may be able to contribute to shifting the risk distribution for COVID-19.These factors also appear to play a role in the management of mental disorders,which are commonly observed in pandemics such as the current one. The present overview will discuss the potential role of lifestyle factors in regard to immune functioning and prevention of severe outcomes of COVID-19.” Eiser, MD, MEDPAGE Today, January 30, 2021

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Working for an extension of a Healthy Lifespan

The Power of Phytochemicals

Phytochemicals in addition to vitamins, minerals, and fibers are thought to be the bioactive compounds responsible for contributing to the health benefits of a plant based diet.

How to Choose Phytochemicals

  • Choose three different colors of fruits and vegetables each day.
  • Try a new fruit or vegetable each week.
  • Use new spices – not just salt and pepper.
  • Add vegetables to sauces and casseroles.
  • Double your typical serving of vegetables.
  • Add asparagus, pesto, artichokes to pizza.
  • Buy jars of chopped garlic and basil.
  • Snack on whole grain crackers.
  • Switch to whole wheat bread, brown rice and whole wheat pasta.
  • Add fruit to cereals or vegetables to eggs.
  • Try High Fiber V-8 juice instead of sugary orange juice.
  • Include nuts in stir frys and baked goods.
  • Sprinkle flaxseed on your oatmeal.

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Breast Cancer, Obesity and Time-restricted Eating

There is a great need for research on the effects of diet and cancer. Cancer is the second leading cause of death in United States. As with cardiovascular disease, there is evidence that the risk of cancer can be reduced with changes in diet and activity patterns. Breast cancer is the leading form of cancer in women worldwide as there are new cases of invasive breast cancer that occur among women annually; a percentage of them will die from the disease. Obesity has been estimated to be associated with 13 different types of cancer.

Time restricted eating or intermittent fasting has been shown to have health benefits in addition to weight loss. This study attempts to measure the effects of intermittent fasting without calorie restriction on aspects of breast tumor formation in mice.

Note: Since this was an animal study, different metabolic effects can be found in humans. While most people can practice many fasting styles safely, extreme types of any type of fasting, can lead to inadequate intake of nutrients such as fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Therefore, people should approach any style of fasting with caution. If you have diabetes, you should consult with your physician before attempting any type of fasting program. (SJF).

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