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I homeschool and have a health ministry for friends, family, and health lovers world-wide. I'm totally into all-natural and avoid chemicals, food additives, etc. even in my cosmetics. I am working toward eating Vegan, Organic, and raw as much as possible (my family too). I'm married, and have two small kids and two grown step kids. Optimal Health - God's Way ".....and the fruit thereof shall be for meat (FOOD), and the leaf for MEDICINE." Ezekiel 47:12 KJV

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Is this the Biggest Medical Breakthrough Since the Discovery of Antibiotics?" - Resveratrol

Ask me about the least expensive and best organic sources of Resveratrol, which are also the most bio-available to your cells and high ORAC!

Article by Dr. Mercola

Harvard Researchers are saying this miracle ingredient which helps keep your blood pressure in the normal range, helps your heart health, and better controls the aging process could be the biggest medical breakthrough in 30 years.*

Some Harvard-educated researchers believe they've discovered a proverbial 'fountain of youth'.*

They're talking about resveratrol, calling it a miracle ingredient, and the greatest discovery since antibiotics.*

Resveratrol is a compound found in the skin and seeds of grapes.

Researchers have been mystified for years about how the French can smoke cigarettes and eat high-fat foods, yet still have extremely low rates of cancer and heart disease. They call it the French paradox.

Harvard researchers Dr. Christoph Westphal and David Sinclair conducted genetic research to investigate the French paradox.

Until now, scientists believed drinking red wine had health benefits*... but couldn't put their finger on exactly why.

Now they believe the resveratrol in wine activates cells into behaving more youth-like in a number of ways.*

The biggest hurdle with resveratrol is finding a way to consume the large concentrations required to provide you with a benefit. You'd need several bottles of wine per day to get the anticipated benefit from resveratrol. Drinking large amounts of wine or other alcoholic beverages will increase your insulin levels, which will eventually have a negative impact on your health in a number of ways.

I'll tell you in a minute how you can get your highly-concentrated resveratrol without the alcohol, sugars and calories of red wine.

But first, let's discuss how to control your free radical levels...

Neutralizing the Free Radical Threat
Every day of your life you face exposure to dangerous free radicals. No matter how healthy a lifestyle you lead or how healthy your diet is, this is simply a fact of life.

Fortunately this is not all bad - as your normal bodily functions (breathing, metabolism, and physical activity) naturally generate free radicals. Your immune system also generates free radicals to help neutralize viruses and bacteria.

But some free radicals are the result of environmental factors such as pollution, radiation, pesticides, and cigarette smoking.

The problem starts when these free radicals attack your healthy cells and cause them to weaken and become more susceptible to health disorders. Plus, this can also have a profound effect on how you age.

But as part of normal functioning, your body is capable of keeping free radicals in check and naturally neutralizing them, unless you...

Eat a diet consisting mostly of processed junk food

Cut corners on getting enough sleep on a daily basis

Ignore your need for regular exercise

Find yourself under a great deal of stress

Expose yourself to a high number of environmental free radicals

Exposing your body to these types of conditions may overwhelm it with free radicals and cause damage.

Plus, free radical damage accumulates with age. So, the longer your lifestyle and environment expose you to this damage, the greater your consequences as you age... the greater potential consequences to your overall aging process.

So what can you do?

Well, first of all, it would be helpful to address the unhealthy habits listed above.

Additionally, consider going the next step and find ways to fortify your healthy diet with antioxidant rich food.

I'm sure you're well aware of the benefits of antioxidants from all the discussion on my site. I've spent literally decades researching this topic and cannot stress their importance to you enough.

Antioxidants provide your body with natural protection against free radicals and help you neutralize and keep them under control.

Why Organic Food is Your Best Choice for Natural Free Radical Protection
There are many sources of antioxidants available to help boost your health.

Most of these sources come directly from consumption of high quality, fresh, organic and preferably locally grown vegetables and fruits. But there is a catch.

The catch is that, to get the most potent antioxidant content from the fruits and vegetables - they need to be organically grown and processed.

Here's why.

Research shows that certain organically grown fruits and vegetables have significantly higher levels of potent antioxidants than traditionally grown foods.

The key to all this is a large family of natural antioxidant compounds called polyphenols.

Polyphenols exist in plant floods and their contribution to the antioxidant capacity of the human diet is much larger than even that of vitamins.

And a subclass of this antioxidant-rich family found in fruits and vegetables is flavonoids.

In response to environmental stressors like insects and other competing plants, plants produce flavonoids with potent antioxidant activity.

Unfortunately, conventional growing methods that use pesticides and herbicides hamper the production of flavonoids.

Plants exposed to pesticides and herbicides have less of a need to produce such compounds. And therefore, these plants produce fewer antioxidants than organically grown food.

You don't want to miss out on polyphenol flavonoids because they can:

Improve your memory and concentration

Boost the effectiveness of vitamin C in your antioxidant network

Regulate nitric oxide - a potent free radical that regulates your blood flow

Help promote your healthy heart

Bolster your immune system

So, to take advantage of the highest potency flavonoids and rich antioxidants, always choose organically grown fruits and vegetables.

Fresh organic foods are important not only for what they give you, higher levels of antioxidants and nutrients, but also for what they don't give you... exposure to pesticides, herbicides, and non-organic fertilizers.

Now let's take a closer look at some common and not so common food sources of antioxidants - keeping in mind that for you to receive the highest antioxidant potential, organic is best.

Consumer Alert: Berries are a Great Source of Antioxidants, but Watch Out for the Sugar

A specific polyphenol flavonoid compound called quercetin is a potent dietary antioxidant found in certain berries: lingonberries, cranberries, bilberries, and black currants.

Not only do berries contain many flavonoids like quercetin, but also fiber... vitamin C... and other nutritious antioxidant-rich polyphenol compounds.

Ideally, berries should be eaten raw and as you already know - organic is best.

Another great source of antioxidants in berries is from blueberries. In fact, Europeans recognize their bilberries as blueberries.

Only a few years ago, the USDA Human Nutrition Center (HNRCA) ranked blueberries #1 in antioxidant activity. This research compared 40 other fresh vegetables and fruits.

This is all great but there is a red flag I have to raise - watch out for too much sugar.

If you overdo your fruit consumption, even berries, you risk releasing too much sugar into your system. This could cause your insulin levels to rise and eventually your health could worsen instead of improving.

So, moderation is the key when eating fruit. Choosing fruit relatively low in sugar, like blueberries, should not only boost your antioxidant intake but help keep your insulin levels in check as well.

Eat Your Veggies for Healthy Antioxidants - but Which Ones?
Broccoli, greens, beans, artichokes, and onions, to name a few, are good sources of polyphenol flavonoids. And of course, raw organic vegetables help you maximize the antioxidant benefits.

However, just like you need to be careful on how much and the types of fruit you eat, the same holds true with vegetables.

For example, from the USDA Human Nutrition Center research, potatoes ranked high on the list of vegetables with potent antioxidant content. But they are not necessarily your best choice because they may cause increased insulin levels.

In order to determine the amount of fruits and vegetables your body requires, I recommend you first determine your Nutritional Type(tm) (NT).

You see, foods and individual nutrients do not behave the same way in two people with different Nutritional Types. Your Nutritional Type determines your individual nutritional requirements and dictates your individual responses to what you eat and drink.

Please check my site for more details on how to determine your NT. It's well worth your time.

Here's a great table showing examples of fruits and vegetables along with their polyphenol content. Remember, polyphenols are natural antioxidant compounds that help you neutralize free radical damage.

This table also shows another beneficial subclass of polyphenols called phenolic acids.

Polyphenol Content in Selected Vegetables and Fruits
Polyphenol Polyphenol Content Range
Source (serving size) Subclass per Serving size (mg/serving)
Yellow onion (100g) Flavonoids 35-120
Broccoli (200g) Flavonoids 8-20
Leek (200g) Flavonoids 6-45
Artichoke (100g) Phenolic acids 45
Potato (200g) Phenolic acids 20-38
Blueberry (100g) Flavonoids 25-500
Black Currant (100g) Flavonoids 130-400
Blackberry (100g) Flavonoids 100-400
Strawberry (200g) Flavonoids 30-150
Plum (200g) Phenolic acids 28-230

Note: Table adapted from The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Why Not Add a Little Spice to Your Life and Health?
A bountiful source of antioxidants that many people don't know about is herbs and spices.

Researchers within the U.S. Department of Agriculture discovered that herbs are an abundant source of antioxidants - not to mention how they make your food tastier.

According to the research, on a per gram fresh weight basis, oregano and other herbs ranked even higher in antioxidant activity than certain fruits and vegetables.

In comparing antioxidant activity against a few selected fruits and vegetables, oregano came out on top with:

42 times more antioxidant activity than apples...

30 times more than potatoes...

12 times more than oranges

And there are other herbs and spices that pack an antioxidant punch as well: cloves... turmeric... cinnamon... garlic... basil... and curcumin... to name a few.

Herbs and spices have emerged as a quick and convenient way for you to get a concentrated source of antioxidants - without all the extra calories of many foods.

Now, your key to taking advantage of the antioxidant activity from herbs and spices is to find an organic source and consume them fresh and raw. For example, the antioxidant activity of fresh garlic is 1.5 times higher than dry garlic powder.

Just as consuming too much of any food product can carry health risks, herbs should be used with moderation... and only as a complement to your healthy diet.

So, add a little seasoning and spice to your life and feel good about the antioxidant benefits they provide you.

Maybe All You Have to do is Drink a Glass of Red Wine Every Day?
Many folks believe that a good way to promote your health is to drink a glass of red wine on a regular basis.

Certainly there's the "French Paradox" theory... the observation that French people with poor diets who drink wine have better cardiovascular health than you might expect.

This opinion happens to be based on a potent polyphenol found in red wine and grape skins called resveratrol.

This powerful antioxidant potentially:

Helps improve the overall health of your cells as a component of your cardio and neuro protection*

Aids you in protection against age-related health disorders*

Provides therapeutic support for your immune system against abnormal cell activity*

Researchers also believe that resveratrol helps keep your cholesterol within its normal range while promoting your healthy heart.*

However many experts are now questioning the value of drinking wine for health reasons and believe much of the evidence supporting this was based on very weak epidemiological observations.

You of course know that wine contains alcohol. And too much alcohol isn't a healthy choice for anyone and it may outweigh the benefits of the resveratrol content

But, with all this said, resveratrol is such a powerful antioxidant that there must be a way you can benefit from it without taking undo risks.

This potent antioxidant is somewhat different from the rest. It not only helps you neutralize free radicals, it can cross the blood-brain barrier to help protect your brain and nervous system as well.

Studies show that resveratrol may increase the lifespan in human cells.* So, it could be a determining factor in extending your longevity.*

Resveratrol helps reduce oxidative stress damage to your cardiovascular system by neutralizing free radicals.* And it helps support your body's natural defense system.*

Plus, resveratrol benefits you by how it...

Protects your cells from free radical damage*

Helps you keep your blood pressure within the normal range*

Keeps your heart healthy and helps improve blood vessel elasticity*

Boosts your protection against the spread of abnormal cell activity*

Helps you better control the aging process*

Why Eating Grapes May Not Be Your Best Approach
Now that I've clearly identified resveratrol as one of your best antioxidant sources, there's still an open issue... what's the best way to make sure you consume enough of this antioxidant?

To me, one of your best sources of resveratrol is from grapes themselves.

But, just like there are issues with other fruits, vegetables, nuts, and red wine, such is the case with grapes.

See, the skin and seeds of the grapes provide you with the most potent supplies of resveratrol... not the fruit itself. The meat of the fruit contains sugary fructose which could raise your insulin levels.

There's not really an issue with eating the skin - as you consume it when eating the fruit.

But the seeds are another issue.

Most people don't like to eat the seeds as they tend to be tough and have a somewhat bitter taste. And some grape processing actually removes the seeds prior to distribution at your local store.

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