carotenoids

  1. Boost carotenoids by eating more fruits and vegetables

    The age-defying nutrients you’re missing

    Getting older?

    You don't have to sit back and let age take its toll. You can feel younger, stronger, and healthier than you have in years... even as you get older.

    Heck, I know some seniors who can run rings around folks half their age!

    The key to "ignoring" your age, my friend, is to NOT ignore it.

    I know that sounds crazy, but hear me out.

    As you get older, your nutritional needs shift. You not only need more of certain nutrients, you have a harder time using them.

    Now, the latest research shows a little trick you can use to get more of the ones you need -- including the age-fighting nutrients that can lessen the toll of time and help make sure you live longer and healthier.

    And it really doesn't take much to get the job done.

    Just boost your intake of fruits and vegetables!

    They're nature's best source of carotenoids -- essential nutrients we need at every age, but are tougher to get as we get older.

    Most seniors fall short in carotenoids, and with every year we have even less.

    In the new study, every five years of age led to a 6.5 percent drop in lycopene and a drop of nearly 5 percent in alpha-carotene.

    That's exactly what you DON'T want to see.

    Lycopene is a potent antioxidant that fights the damage of free radicals. Boosting your intake can protect your heart, prevent cancer, and help keep your arteries clear.

    Alpha-carotene doesn't get nearly as much attention as beta-carotene, but it's just as important. Like lycopene, it can help protect the heart and fight cancer. It can also save your vision and may even cut your risk of age-related macular degeneration, a leading cause of vision loss in seniors.

    The good news is that you can quickly top off your tank and boost those levels.

    As the researchers behind the new study note, seniors who eat more fruits and vegetables have higher levels of both of these critical carotenoids as well as other essential age-fighting antioxidants.

    Lycopene and alpha-carotene are easy to spot because both are pigments.

    Lycopene is red and is found in tomatoes, watermelon, guava, papaya, apricots, and pink grapefruit.

    Alpha-carotene is orange and is found in carrots, sweet potatoes, cantaloupes, and mangoes. But... it's also tricky. Despite the color, you'll find it in some green produce like Brussels sprouts, kiwi, and spinach as well.

    That's a lot to keep track of, so let me make this easy: Eat the rainbow. Get a wide range of colorful fruits and vegetables at each meal, and you'll get nearly all the nutrients you need.

    And to make sure you're truly covered, add a quality antioxidant supplement from a maker you trust.

  2. Breast cancer drugs don’t save lives

    Cancer drug isn't as good as advertised

    On the surface, it must seem like a miracle pill: Cancer drugs that can slash the risk of breast cancer in women with the highest risk of the disease by nearly 40 percent.

    New research confirms that estrogen-blocking cancer drugs such as tamoxifen really do deliver in that regard -- and the study is already being used to push these meds on millions of new patients, including "high-risk" but otherwise healthy women with no sign of the disease at all.

    But don't swallow that pill just yet -- because there's more to this story.

    While the headlines are focusing on that one finding -- the lower risk of cancer -- the study in The Lancet also finds that the breast cancer drugs have no impact at all on the disease's survival rates.

    In other words, they haven't saved a single life despite that drop in cancer risk.

    How could that be? Simple: The breast cancer drugs are likely preventing only the harmless tumors that are usually best left alone with a "watch and wait" approach.

    Now, I understand why some women might know all that and choose to take the drug anyway. No one wants the stress and angst of a cancer diagnosis, even if the disease itself is survivable.

    But the breast cancer drugs come with risks of their own, starting with the fact that they could actually increase the risk of other cancers -- including cancer of the uterus. The potential risk is so great that the American Cancer Society lists tamoxifen as a known carcinogen.

    In addition, there's evidence the drug may increase the risk of blood clots and stroke.

    And since the drugs work by blocking estrogen, you also could face all the risks that come with shrinking hormone levels -- including night sweats, hot flashes, skin conditions, and more.

    There are better and safer ways to slash your risk of cancer without upsetting your hormone balance, and I've told you about a few of them recently.

    Start by adding some natural detoxifiers to your menu, especially cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, and kale. As I explained last year, these natural cancer-fighters can decrease the risk of dying of breast cancer by more than a third.

    In addition, the carotenoids found in some cruciferous vegetables as well as carrots and other veggies can reduce your risk of breast cancer by as much as 20 percent, according to Harvard University research.
    These vegetables don't come with any risks, only benefits and great taste.

    I'm not done with breast cancer yet -- keep reading for a risk factor many women may not be aware of.

  3. Carotenoids can help you avoid breast cancer

    New research shows that women who eat the most vegetables rich in carotenoids have a 20 percent lower risk of breast cancer.
  4. A little exercise can add years to your life

    You don't need much exercise, but you do need it -- and new research shows that even a little can help you live a longer and happier life.

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