Tuesday, May 22, 2012

POWER FOODS?

Last week a few of us similarly aged workmate Baby Boomers were comparing aches and pains as the barometric pressure played havoc with our muscles and joints.


Don’t laugh now, studies have conclusively shown that the joints and muscles in the body are surrounded by fluid, which can register changes in air pressure and in 1997 the "British Journal of Neurosurgery" reported that researchers found, during changes in barometric pressure, that individuals experiencing cerebrovascular disease were more likely to sustain a brain hemorrhage. So when Old Uncle Joe’s knee is telling you that in a couple of days we’re going to be getting six tenths of rain/sleet in a twenty-seven hour period with a 30km wind from the southeast you had better believe him.

We Boomers were comparing old injuries that we had sustained in our younger invincible days, either by accident or fate-tempting sporting events or something, back when we were completely unaware that our actions would catch up with us one day in the form of an aching shinbone, a crick in the neck, a twinge in a shoulder, a throb in one or both ankles, a barking hipbone or, many times, all of the above. We’re chewing up all kinds of supplements and vitamins, like so many Smarties, in an effort to gain some relief from the pain of it all and we buy shares in Bayer in an attempt to recoup some of the money we’ve dumped into the Aspirin making company over the years.

Then I came across this article regarding “Power Foods” that we should all be eating to extend our life expectancies. Foods like Kelp which is a possible anti-breast-cancer crusader. Kelp is loaded with calcium, vitamin K and other essential nutrients. Hold on now…sidebar here…there’s a vitamin K? Since when? I guess I’ve never taken the time to check out ALL of the vitamins but apparently there are vitamins from A to U including 20+ separate forms of vitamin B. Who knew? So anyway...because of kelp’s natural alginate fibre it helps block fat, it’s also a natural source of iodine, which helps with Thyroid health, it’s high in iron and Kelp contains fucoidan, a complex carbohydrate that is a powerful anti-inflammatory. Unfortunately the article does not reveal where one can purchase the seaweed in Saskatchewan.

But something that Saskatchewan does have in abundance is another apparent “Super Food”…Barley. Barley is a supergrain which is rich in niacin (for healthy hair and skin) and cancer-fighting lignans, plus, the soluble fibre keeps your cholesterol levels healthy, too. Now, now…hold on all you beer drinkers out there. My eyes lit up too making the connection between barley, beer and your health. But I think that in order to get the full impact of the grain’s healthy benefits you’re supposed to eat it as a replacement for pasta, rice or oatmeal, which, unfortunately, would eliminate its fermented liquid state. I know! Damn!

Now with all of these age-defying foods and supplements available to us it creates a whole new slippery slope doesn’t it? The quality of life has to be factored into the length of one’s life, too, right? I don’t care what you’re eating, nothing’s going to take away all of your aches and pains. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to live a long, long life depending on my level of health, of course. But here’s the thing…back in my retail days I recall a co-worker and I delivering some goods to an elderly women and she asked us to put the stuff away for her because her health had deteriorated so much that she was unable to do even the most simple of tasks and because of her current unhealthy state she told my co-worker, “Honey, this isn’t living.”

Canadians are already living, on average, nearly twenty-five years longer today than our forebears were living only two hundred years ago so my suggestion to you would be to make sure that life-lengthening health choices, while prolonging your life, should also make your quality of life better, too.

I looked for aging quotes from centenarian George Burns (1896-1996) and found the following:

“You know you're getting old when you stoop to tie your shoelaces and wonder what else you could do while you're down there.”

“When I was a boy the Dead Sea was only sick.”

“You can't help getting older, but you don't have to get old.”

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