Tag Archives: Healthy Fats

Natural Ingredients That Stimulate Healthy Cell Formation

These days, when the word “cell” is mentioned, most of us are likely to think “phone.” While many of us may argue that cell phones are vital to our well being, there are other kinds of cells that are probably just a little more important. These are the cells in your body; the fundamental units of life form which all your organs and tissues are made.

Like most of our cell phones, the cells of the body are in constant communication with one another, responding to the signals they receive from your environment. If the cells cannot operate efficiently, tissues and organs can breakdown, resulting in a host of health conditions. In order to keep these cells functioning properly you need to keep yourself well nourished. Here are some healthy ingredients you need to ensure that these very important cells continue to serve you well.

whole grains

Whole Grain
Whole foods contain the fullest variety of nutrients, which makes whole grains one of the most complete food sources for healthy cell formation. The three main parts of the whole grain each serve a different purpose, and provide a different complement of vitamins and minerals. The protective bran guards the sprout from sun damage; the germ contains a high level of micronutrients from the vitamin E family, while the endosperm contains the lowest level of nutrients and serves mostly to provide calories for the sprout. While all three parts are used in whole grain food, refined products, such as white bread, use only the endosperm, or starch component of the grain.

Fats and Cell Formation
The fats you eat have a major influence on your cells. As a matter of fact, they become your cell membranes. Unsaturated fats, like the omega-3s in fish and nuts, are needed to give your cell membranes their shape and the ability to communicate with one another. While trans fatty acids, or saturated fats, also become part of your cells membrane, they are less able to respond to signals and can cause cell membranes to become brittle.

Cereals, vegetables, fruits, and grains also have fats to protect cell membrane from damage. These include tocopherals and are found in highest amounts in wheat germ oil, carotenoids, such as beta-carotene in carrots, vitamin C from citrus fruits, and lycopene in tomatoes.

eggs and meat

DNA
DNA is the part of your cell which stores your genetic information, and it is vital that you take steps to make sure its integrity is not compromised. When the structure of DNA breaks down, the body becomes not only unable to produce proteins for proper cell function, but it may cause mutations that lead to cancer. While fats are an integral part of protecting the DNA, it is also important to maintain adequate levels of protein, choline, inositol, carotenoids, and antioxidants, such as vitamins C and E.

Healthy DNA also requires an adequate intakes of vitamin B12 and folate, which are involved with repair and replication of DNA. Eggs, meat, fish and dairy are all rich in vitamin B12, while high levels of folate are found in eggs, grains, and green vegetables.

Organic Foods
Since agricultural chemicals are know to damage the function and structure if cells, organically grown foods are recommended to promote healthy cell formation. Studies show that pesticides can overstimulate enzymes which can be a cause of inflammation, and a contributing factor to psoriasis and atherosclerosis,
Organic foods can also minimize DNA degradation. Test tube studies show that agricultural chemicals can lead to genetic mutations leading to the development of cancer and have a negative effect on the production of energy.

Are you keeping your cells healthy? Let us know what you’re eating to keep your cells in tip top shape!

MUFAs and PUFAs

Fats

If you don’t already know what MUFAs and PUFAs are, the title of this article might strike you as more than a little strange, but do stay tuned, because it’s regarding a subject we daresay is rather important: your health. Specifically, we’re going to be examining the different kinds of fats that exist, what kind of impact they have on your health, and in what ratios you should consume them. The title of the article refers to two types of fats in particular, known as Mono-Unsaturated Fatty Acids (MUFAs) and Poly-Unsaturated Fatty Acids (PUFAs). These two in particular as often referred to as types of “healthy fats,” though this term should be understood loosely and taken with a grain of salt, as fats are still fats (more on that later). In any case, let’s examine the role fats play in your diet, and how to balance them.

Fats Are Not Bad
In fact, they’re necessary. Everyone needs some fat in their diet; without any at all, your body wouldn’t be able to function. So remember, fat is not the enemy, too much fat, and the wrong kinds of fat are bad, but fat itself is not bad; it’s necessary, in small to moderate quantities. In fact, healthy fats can actually lower LDL cholestorol, the kind of cholestorol that contributes to plaque buildup. Some fats can even increase HDL cholesterol, the “good” cholesterol that actually helps reduce plaque buildup (like fats, cholesterol is not bad either, you just need the right kinds). Certain healthier fats might also help prevent blood clots and reduce arterial inflammation.

Unhealthy: Saturated and Trans Fats
The two most dangerous fats, which you’ll want to replace, are saturated fats and trans fats. Saturated fats are not always a problem in small quantities, but you definitely don’t want to over-consume. That said, some saturated fats are better than others; coconut oil, for instance, is a good choice to swap out for other saturated fats (use it instead of butter in baking, for instance). Trans fats are just all-around awful and should be avoided at all costs as they raise LDL cholesterol (the bad kind) and can therefore increase your risk of heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes.

Healthy: MUFAs and PUFAs
Mono-unsaturated fatty acids are liquid at room temperature and have a freezing point above the temperature of the average refrigerator (meaning they’re solid if you chill them in most fridges). MUFAs can not only lower your LDL (bad) cholesterol, but they also contain a healthy dose of vitamin E. MUFAs can be found in olive, safflower, canola, sunflower, sesame, and grape seed oils. Avocados, peanut butter, cashews, and a variety of nuts and seeds also contain MUFAs.

Poly-unsaturated fatty acids are liquid at room temperature and stay liquid in most refrigerators at standard settings (they have a much lower freezing point). PUFAs can be broken down into omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids, both of which are essential to our bodies’ well-being. Like MUFAs, they seem to have a beneficial effect on cholesterol levels and the balance of LDL (bad) and HDL (good) cholesterol. You’ll find PUFAs in soybean, safflower, and corn oils, sunflower, pumpkin, sesame, and flax seeds, soy milk, tofu, and walnuts, to name just a few. Fish also tends to contain a lot of omega-3 fatty acids (a type of PUFA), especially fatty fishes like tuna, salmon, trout, sardines, and herring.

Moderation is Still Important
All things in moderation, after all; even healthy fats count toward your daily allotment of fat, so don’t overdo it!