FOREVER YOUNG - other points
The World's Best Forever Young Secret
Not too long ago, Madonna, the ageless superstar, announced to the world that she was embarking on a "salmon rejuvenation" program to "knock twelve years off of her appearance."
Though it might be ambitious to think we can knock more than a decade off our looks, think again. If anything can do it, it is the anti-inflammatory lifestyle of diet, nutritional supplements, and topicals. This is because inflammation is responsible for many of the internal and external signs of aging.
Madonnas truly inspiring sense of determination and commitment will go a long way to helping her achieve her goals. Madonna's dedication to the salmon diet has also inspired me to have a little fun, as you will discover in the upcoming pages.
Why Eating Salmon Is Antiaging
I have to say it once more: I am probably the single greatest advocate for adding wild salmon and other omega-3 cold-water fish (think sardines, anchovies, halibut, trout, and so on) to your daily diet.
Wild salmon contains essential fats and powerful antioxidants, such as the carotenoid astaxanthin, that have important anti-inflammatory properties.
Salmon is also probably the world's most heart-healthy source of protein. It is rich in long-chain omega-3 essential fatty acids—the most beneficial kind—which protect heart health, inhibit inflammation, act as natural antidepressants, increase feelings of well-being, and help keep skin young, supple, and radiant.
Protein for Cellular Repair
Wild salmon and other cold-water fish are great sources of protein, which is necessary to maintain and repair the body—including the skin—on a cellular level. The lack of protein is first visible in the face, even in a young person, but especially as we age.
Like a Surgeon
Not only plastic surgery can give you that sculpted look. Adequate protein is vital, because without protein, you will lose contours and definition in your face. This is another reason why a diet rich in salmon is important for Madonna if she wants to maintain that chiseled look of high cheekbones, well-defined jawline, good eye contours, and so on.
Protein cannot be stored in our bodies. For good health and outstanding cellular repair, protein needs to be eaten with each meal, and salmon is an outstanding protein source. Women, however, are very often protein-deficient, which shows up in their faces. Men, on the other hand, do tend to gravitate toward protein and are more likely to go for a burger or a steak while women choose a salad—or worse, a cookie. This is one reason (but not the only one) why men appear to age better than women.
As a dermatologist, I know that when it comes to their skin, women will invest great sums in topical products, procedures, and so forth. If it is the right product, with high, efficacious levels of anti-inflammatory antioxidants, they will see beautiful and gratifying results.
But there is a little beauty secret that is worth its weight in gold.
If women understood that eating a simple, inexpensive small can of sardines or salmon would give their skin an unrivaled radiance, softness, and suppleness, like nothing else in this world, those foods would fly off the supermarket shelves. You would see a stampede toward the fish aisle. While the extraordinary multiorgan benefits of sardines and wild salmon almost sound like a fantasy, they are very real. Try canned salmon and sardines, which also contain both skin and bones, to experience just a few of these skin, brain, mood, and health and energy benefits of these amazing omega-3-, protein-, and calcium-rich fish, including:
Decreased inflammation in all organ systems, including the
Decreased body fat
Ample quantities of high-quality fat and protein
Improved brain function
Improved athletic ability
Decreased fine lines and wrinkles
Increased radiance and glow
Dramatically improved acne and decreased acne scarring
Improved attention span
Stabilized blood sugar levels
Lowered insulin levels
Healthy serotonin levels
Healthier immune system
Increased energy levels
Decreased symptoms and severity of rheumatoid arthritis
Reduced symptoms and severity of chronic skin conditions such as eczema
Decreased stroke and cardiovascular risk
Decreased pain and inflammation in joints
With a list of benefits like this, how can you resist?
I am guardedly optimistic that Madonna, ever the trendsetter, will inspire women everywhere to try the "salmon rejuvenation" program.
To be Forever Young—or to at least look and feel your finest—follow the anti-inflammatory diet, which consists of the following:
High-quality protein, like that found in fish, poultry, and tofu
Low-glycemic carbohydrates (these will not provoke a gly-cemic response when consumed in moderation), including
(Avoiding sugary, starchy foods is also essential, as these types of foods blur our contours, giving our faces a soft, doughy look. In fact, it is always easy to spot people who are addicted to these types of carbs because they do not have attractive facial contours) (let me add - the white flour products - Keith Hunt)
colorful fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains such as old-fashioned oatmeal, and legumes such as beans and lentils.
Healthy fats, such as those found in cold-water fish (especially wild salmon, halibut, sardines, herring, anchovies, and trout), nuts, seeds, and olive oil.
Antioxidant-rich beverages, such as green tea
You will notice a visible difference in as little as three days, with even more dramatic results by week's end. After four weeks, your friends and family will be commenting on how different you look.
And when you look in the mirror, you may begin to wonder, "Who's that girl?"
Salmon: Fish for Compliments
If we are going to rate a food group as either pro-inflammatory or anti-inflammatory, we will find that protein, on the whole, is neutral. However, some sources of protein, such as the fish listed above, provide powerful anti-inflammatory benefits because of two of their constituents:
Omega-3 essential fatty acids
The carotenoid antioxidant astaxanthin, introduced in chapter 4.
Thus wild salmon is anti-inflammatory.
Beef and other forms of meat that are not grass-fed, like most meat available in supermarkets, tend to be high in saturated fats, making them pro-inflammatory.
The Borderline: Moderation Is Key
Madonna has also reportedly started a more cardiointensive gym routine. Her rigorous routines are already legendary. But she needs to be careful and not subject her body to too extreme a workout. She should exercise some restraint because overexercising can produce inflammation-generating free radicals. It is not just pollution, poor diet, and the like that generate an abundance of free radicals; they also result from the metabolic process that takes place internally from overexercising and can damage the cell's DNA. That is why the previous chapter is dedicated to yoga. Madonna (surprise!) is reportedly an avid practitioner of Ashtanga yoga, a particularly strenuous form.
Exercise is vital to your health. It is also unsurpassed at lowering blood sugar, a key antiaging strategy. There are many studies proving that exercise can take off pounds, reduce the incidence of heart disease, lower blood pressure, improve mood, solve sleep problems, and even cut the risks of certain cancers.
Exercise will also ensure that you have beautiful skin. Studies have indicated that exercise benefits the skin in much the same way it improves bone and muscle quality.
When the skin of those who exercise regularly is examined under a microscope, the impact of their high fitness levels is clearly apparent. The skin is thicker and has more and healthier collagen, the fibers that give the skin its strength and flexibility. Exercise also increases circulation and gives the skin a healthy, radiant glow.
Having an exciting romantic life is also a key to looking younger than our years.
MORE LOVE AT FIRST BITE:
FOODS TO HELP RENEW THE LIBIDO
No, this section is not about the HBO hit series, True Blood. And you won't find one mention of vampires, Bon Temps, Louisiana, Anna Paquin, or Stephen Moyer. What you will discover is the anti-inflammatory diet (not a drop of synthetic blood on the menu), which will work wonders for your sex life. As we have seen, chocolate has many benefits, including its ability to mimic the sensation of being in love. In addition to chocolate, here is a selection of foods that can help increase the libido and promote the loss of unwanted body fat, which will help make you feel more attractive—always a boost when it comes to the libido.
Healthy fats are vital to hormone production, and a healthy sex life is all about the hormones.
Here is a short list of some wonderful foods that will go a long way toward enhancing your sex life as well as your overall sense of happiness.
* Wild salmon and other cold-water fish (sardines, herring, trout, and anchovies, to name a few) are high in omega-3 fats. In fact, if you want just one food group that is guaranteed to help increase overall health and sexual stamina, these fish are for you. Omega-3s are critical to the brain and nervous system. They also improve your mood, increase your sense of well-being, fight depression, give you glowing, radiant skin, and improve your memory and brain-power.
* Watermelon is rich in L-citrulline, an amino acid that helps improve blood flow. L-citrulline supports the body in optimizing blood flow when it converts to L-arginine and then to nitric oxide. Nitric oxide is involved in vasodilation (dilation of the blood vessels). Low levels of nitric oxide are associated with mental and physical fatigue and sexual dysfunction. Like Viagra, L-citrulline increases blood flow to the sexual organs but without any negative side effects. In fact, some experts are asking, "Is watermelon the new Viagra?"
* Extra-dark chocolate contains phenylethylamine, a chemica believed to produce the feeling of being in love. We all know how good chocolate makes us feel. In fact, a study published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine found that women who enjoyed a piece of chocolate every day had a more active sex life than those who didn't.
* Asparagus is rich in folate, a B vitamin that helps increase the production of histamine. The correct levels of histamine are important for a healthy sex drive in both men and women.
* Blueberries. When it comes to boosting dopamine levels, blueberries rule. Blueberries give the body a greater ability to release dopamine, an energizing, stimulatory neurotransmitter. They also protect us from the loss of dopamine cells normally seen with aging. By increasing brain energy production and maintaining youthful brain function, dopamine exerts an extremely important antiaging effect. Since dopamine levels decrease with age, blueberries become even more important as we get older.
* Pumpkin seeds. Pumpkin seeds, are extremely rich in zinc and promote the health of the male prostate gland. And don't underestimate the power of zinc when it comes to a woman's sex drive. One study found that pumpkin seeds are a great libido booster. Pumpkin seeds are rich in omega-3 essential fatty acids, which act as a precursor of prostaglandins— hormonelike substances important for sexual health.
* Garlic contains allicin, a compound thought to increase blood flow to the sexual organs. Some experts believe that garlic is a very powerful aphrodisiac. But garlic doesn't work overnight. It is necessary to take capsules or eat garlic daily for about a month to reap its remarkable benefits.
* Avocado is rich in folic acid for increased energy production and healthy fats to improve mood and sense of well-being.
* Peanuts, especially for men. Studies show that the amino acid L-arginine is helpful for improving sexual function in men. L-arginine is used to make nitric oxide, which relaxes blood vessels. Preliminary studies have found that L-arginine may help with erectile dysfunction because it relaxes the blood vessels. Peanuts are a rich natural source of L-arginine.
Enjoying a healthy and robust sexuality confers many health and longevity benefits. Some studies even suggest that sexual activity may be associated with reducing the risk of the two leading causes of death in the United States: heart disease and cancer.
We wish Madonna much luck on her salmon regimen. Her hard work and self-discipline have kept her at the top for more than two decades. Though I can't promise that she can turn back time, the anti-inflammatory benefits of foods such as salmon will guarantee that she can greatly slow down its negative effects while emphasizing the positive. These include good health, ample energy, increased sense of well-being, and radiant, glowing skin.
In other words, we can be sure that she will live to tell us all about it, in her own inimitable way.
A Note on Chia Seeds
As you have read throughout this book, chia seeds are truly a super-food for their many benefits: healthy weight loss, their omega-3 profile, and their considerable (and unique) ability to increase endurance and stamina. I want to again thank Bob Terry, Ph.D., the technical service adviser of Green Foods Corporation, for his outstanding scientific insights and Jason Nava, the executive vice president of Green Foods Corporation, for generous help in explaining the benefits of both chia seeds and the green foods.