Friday, March 16, 2012

The Superhero Diet Pt. 2

Mental Firepower - Batman would be nothing without his incredible wit and detective skills. You can stay sharp as well by getting enough niacin. A study at Chicago's Rush Institute for Health Aging found that people with diets high in niacin had a lower risk of both Alzheimer's and age0related cognitive decline. The study was done on people 65 and over, but lead researcher Martha Morris, Sc.D., says, "Some studies show the niacin is important for DNA synthesis and repair, as well as for normal brain functioning. One could surmise that people of all ages should make srue they eat a diet that includes niacin-rich foods." In the study, the top 20 percent of niacin consumers, who got 20-48mg a day from food, had an 80 percent reduction in Alzheimer's risk.

Look to fish and poultry. Four ounces of chicken breast has 15mg; Four ounces of swordfish has 13mg. Foods also high in tryptophan (The chemical that makes you sleepy from eating all that turkey) can add to your niacin intake. The body uses tryptophan to make niacin when it needs a fresh supply. So even though turkey breast contains only 6 mg of niacin per three ounces, it's another good source.

Invisibility - George Fahey, Ph.D., a professor of animal sciences at University of Illinois, studies pig stomachs for clues to our stomachs. He has established that compounds called oligosaccharides and resistant starches aren't digested completely and so have fewer calories that we think. Our digestive systems are similar enough that gives us the conclusion that if pigs don't digest it, we won't either. Smart dieting is easier than you think. Artichokes, onions, shallots, bananas, and beans have fewer absorbable calories than standard measures show. Beans and peas are particularly high in resistant starches. A conservative estimate is that people extract approximately a third fewer calories from beans than the label says.

Eternal Youth - Superheroes are on call 24/7. No old age or retirement allowed. The secret for humans is to keep your biological age lower than your chronological age. One way to do that is by getting your astaxanthin, the potent carotenoid that gives salmon its orange color. Astaxanthin acts as an antioxidant, neutralizing free radicals. Just as oxidation eats away at your car's quarter panels, free radicals age your cells. Astaxanthin is Rust-Oleum for your body. It is showing promise in the fight to slow biological aging, although there are not any studies in humans yet. It may also help fight cancer and atherosclerosis (Hardening of the arteries), and have anti-inflammatory and UV-protective properties.

Dr. Pratt recommends 3 ounces of salmon four days a week. Salmon caught in the wild has up to 80 percent more astaxanthin than the farmed kind. The wild variety should be easy to find now, because its peak season is coming up. You can also try shrimp, crab, and trout. Salmon also includes heart-healthy omega 3 fatty acids, which lower your risk of heart disease. Not dying is the ultimate superhero power.

Source: Men's Health

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