What Is CoQ10 & Can You Get it From Food?

One of the most beloved characters in the Star Wars universe is the droid R2-D2 (affectionately called R2 or Artoo by friends). Star Wars creator George Lucas came up with the name while shooting his first feature film, American Graffiti. He was dozing while working on the Star Wars script when he was awakened by the sound editor loudly calling for R-2-D-2, an abbreviation for “Reel 2, Dialog 2.” Lucas thought it was a “great name,” and went back to the script with R2-D2 fresh in his head. And the rest, they say, is movie history — Artoo and droid companion C-3PO are the only characters to appear in every single Star Wars film so far.

CoQ10 also sounds like it could be the name of a Star Wars droid. But, in fact, it’s a critical nutrient for your health. While it doesn’t quite roll off the tongue like R2-D2 or C-3PO, CoQ10 does serve many crucial functions in its universe — in this case, your body — with many more likely to be discovered by future research. ​Many health influencers swear by CoQ10 to combat fatigue, and test-tube science suggests that it can play a role in preventing cancer, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s.

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3 Ways Eating Omega-3 Fatty Acids Can Affect Your Mood

Omega-3 fatty acids have been long touted for their beneficial effects on heart health and stroke prevention. One study even remarks that a 1% increase of omega-3s in the bloodstream may increase longevity by five years, equivalent to quitting smoking.

However, cardiovascular disease and related risks aren’t the only conditions omega-3s combat. In recent years, medical research has highlighted the positive impacts of fish oil on mental health, including depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, attention-deficit disorder and anxiety.

Many suggested omega-3 benefits include aiding the treatment of psychiatric disorders, pointing to their anti-inflammatory and cognition-boosting effects. Eating omega-3 foods, such as salmon, tuna, flaxseed, walnuts, soybean, and fortified foods like eggs and yogurt, can affect your mood in the following three ways.

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5 Negative Health Effects of Malnutrition

Malnutrition doesn't have a number on a scale. People of all sizes and backgrounds can be malnourished and not even know it. Food insecurity and obesity affect a majority of the population, meaning more people may be malnourished than they realize. Malnourishment is a real issue, and it's not an effective way to live or diet. You must have balanced meals every day to fully nourish your body and keep all your organs strong. If not, you're at risk of several severe health problems.

1. Impaired Function

If you're not getting enough nourishment, your brain will start to suffer. Healthy fats are necessary for good nutrition, as human brains are mostly made of fat. When people diet, they may try to avoid foods with a lot of fat in them. While cutting out bad fats might be a good move, eliminating the good fats is a major mistake.

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How Mushrooms Can Help with Depression, Anxiety, and Your Overall Mental Health

Imagine a cooperative, kind, and generous society, where no one suffers deprivation, and all members are happily and freely engaged in useful labor that contributes to the community, according to their abilities and interests. Sound too good to be true?

While I don’t know of any actual societies that operate on those principles, I can point to at least one fictional community that embodies them pretty well — the Smurfs. First appearing in a Belgian comic book in 1958, the “3-apples-high” Smurfs have enchanted fans for decades. English-speaking audiences were introduced to the blue-skinned characters via a popular television cartoon that began broadcasting in 1981.

The Smurfs may have something to teach us about the creation and maintenance of a peaceable and sustainable civilization that supports the mental health of its members. One of the hallmarks of that civilization is the architecture of Smurf Village — the houses are built into hollowed-out mushrooms.

Is that a mere coincidence? Or could it be a clue?

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On a Quest to Improve Your Child's Oral Health? Why Xylitol May Be Your Superhero

Do you struggle with your child when it comes to proper oral care? Is making them brush and floss similar to pulling teeth? Even if they are diligent about cleaning, some kids are more prone to cavities and tooth decay than others.

Xylitol may be the answer you’ve been searching for. Here’s how using it for teeth and gum can protect your child’s cute little grin.

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7 Foods to Eat for a Healthier Colon

You might not give your colon much thought until it’s time to use the bathroom. However, keeping this organ healthy eliminates two debilitating causes of pain from your life. Who likes constipation or diarrhea?

Your diet has much to do with keeping your large intestine ship shape. Here are seven foods to eat for a healthier colon — and what to avoid.

Foods to Avoid

Do you dig little more than a bologna sandwich for lunch? While you might fondly remember this treat from childhood, you should learn more about it as an adult. According to the World Health Organization, processed meat is a carcinogen and red meat ranks as a probable one — increasing your risk of colorectal cancer.

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6 Reasons to Try an Anti-Inflammatory Diet

Your diet plays an important role in your health. The effects of poor dietary habits don’t always take years to appear. Sometimes, you can feel the results within a few hours of eating.

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The 5 Best Ways to Live an Age-Proof Life

Aging is a process, not a one-time event. You don't wake up one day and realize you're old. The same nutritional issues that affect seniors, from heart disease to aging skin, begin in the middle years. The majority of the disease and dysfunction associated with aging are now understood to result from lifestyle choices. In short, it is not the number of years that causes deterioration but how we choose to spend them. If we are willing to change what we eat, how we supplement, and how we live, we can make the most of our healthy middle years and postpone or even prevent the feeble elderly years.

The earlier you begin to age-proof your diet, the better. However, it is never too late. The plan is simple if you follow these five simple guidelines:

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6 Tips to Increase Protein Intake on a Plant-Based Diet

Are you considering a plant-based diet, planning to go vegan, or vegetarian?

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Is Pineapple Good for You — and the Planet?

You’re an 18th-century British aristocrat. How do you show your fellow nobles just how rich and powerful you are? John Murray, 4th Earl of Dunmore, did it with a pineapple.

Europeans had been fascinated by the fruit since Columbus first encountered it in the tropical lands he despoiled for crown and country, but couldn’t figure out how to grow one until the Dutch invented greenhouses in the 1680s. After that, the ability to produce a pineapple became a clear indication of tremendous wealth.

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8 Tips And Tricks To Improve Your Digestive Health

The human digestive system is a complex environment containing millions of microbes and bacteria which are all carefully balanced. But the demands of modern life can knock these bacteria out of sync and upset your gut altogether. This imbalance can cause all sorts of uncomfortable symptoms such as bloating, constipation and much more, but there are foods, habit changes and natural remedies that can help. 

Let's learn all about digestive health and explore some easy ways to keep everything happy and functioning at its best…

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5 Common Mistakes Plant-Based Eaters Make and How to Avoid Them

A well-planned whole foods, plant-based lifestyle is a health-promoting, nutritionally smart, delicious, and enjoyable way to live and eat. Plus, it contributes to fewer animals living in abject misery in factory farms, far fewer greenhouse gas emissions, and to a safer and healthier world for future generations. So any and all steps taken toward a more plant-forward way of eating are worth celebrating in my book.

Yet, in my work with thousands of Plant-Powered & Thriving course participants and members of Food Revolution Network’s Whole Life Club, I’ve noticed five common missteps people take in the early days and weeks of plant-based eating.

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5 Tips for Establishing a Healthy Plant-Based Diet

The health benefits include improved weight loss, helping the environment and reduced risk for chronic diseases. Yet interestingly enough, just over 50% of Americans rank taste as their primary reason for switching to plant-based proteins, signifying that eating a plant-based diet can be just as tasty as being a meat-eater, and doesn’t only have to be made in the interest of health and eco-consciousness.

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Why Is Water So Important? 8 Good Reasons to Drink Enough Water

Hydration is beneficial to your overall health and well-being. However, many people do not consume enough water each day.

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11 Whole Foods Plant-Based Recipes from Around the World

Pasta, basil, and tomato sauce might make you think of Italy. Collards and cornbread, the American South. Potato and onion pierogis could conjure up images of Poland.

And for good reason. The fact is there’s a strong human connection between food, place, ethnicity, and culture.

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5 Health Benefits of Buying Your Food Locally

You probably know that your grocery shopping habits influence your and your family’s health. Did you know that your food-buying choices can also impact the planet as a whole?

Reducing the impact of climate change is a collective responsibility, and minor changes can make a significant difference. They can also make your life more nutritious and delicious. Consider the following five health benefits of buying your food locally.

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6 Reasons to Try a Low-Sugar Diet

A low-sugar diet means reducing how much added and natural sugars you consume in a day. Less restrictive than a no-sugar diet, low-sugar diets encourage you to reduce your sugar intake and focus on healthier, balanced eating habits, such as switching out processed foods for more nutritious produce and whole grains.

Many health professionals recommend starting a low-sugar diet sooner rather than later to prevent harmful weight gain and other chronic conditions. Essentially, the goal of reducing the amount of sugar you eat is to maintain healthy glucose levels in the body.

Benefits of Eating a Low-Sugar Diet

There are many reasons to try a low-sugar diet, and the benefits greatly outweigh any challenges associated with making adjustments to your eating habits. Here are six reasons to try a low-sugar diet.

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Optimal Protein Shake for Vegan Athletes

A lot of people think that animal-based sources are the only way to get the full spectrum of protein you need to perform at your athletic peak.

Yet while meat, eggs, and dairy are generally good sources of complete protein, there are also plenty of ways that vegans can get enough protein.

And with the right sources, vegans can even get the complete range of protein, the same as someone with no dietary restrictions.

Read on and we’ll share what vegan athletes need to know about proper protein intake, how to get complete protein on a plant-based diet, and a tasty protein shake that ticks all the vegan boxes.

The Concept of a Complete Protein

Getting enough protein is one thing athletes need to focus on. But you should also consider the type of protein you’re getting.

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“You Are What You Eat” Should Be “You Are What You Ate”

There have been exciting discoveries about the microbiome that lead to a radical change in how we view the human body. “Microbiome” is a new name for something long known about, the teeming colonies of bacteria and fungi that exist all around the body. We need these micro-organisms in order to digest food, but the existence of so-called “intestinal flora” isn’t news either. So why did the microbiome become exciting?

The biggest reason can be summarized as “The microbiome is us.” Instead of being invaders or microscopic hitchhikers, the microbiome represents the continuity of life itself. Microbial DNA is woven into human DNA, which immediately tells us that far from being enemy germs, thousands of species of bacteria, viruses, and fungi brought our ancestors the news of the world as it applies to the evolution of life. A world cloud of DNA moves in, around, and through every living thing.

In natural history museums our hominid ancestors look small and primitive, but there is an invisible link that binds us to them, the microbiome. There are other microbiome locations in the mouth, on the skin, and in the armpits and groin, but let’s limit ourselves to the gut microbiome, since it is incredibly complex, with an estimated 2,000 species of microbial life, and it is life-giving.

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Are Starches Good or Bad?

You know those giant pleated collars that European nobles wore in the 15th and 16th centuries? They’re called “ruffs,” which is kind of fitting since they look a bit like the cones worn by dogs who can’t stop chewing on itchy spots. Some ruffs were so wide that their wearers had to use special extra-long utensils to get food into their mouths.

The reason ruffs were popular (in addition to the fact that they made wearers assume a neck and head posture that proclaimed their nobility) was that they were really time-consuming and expensive to maintain — and the key ingredient in keeping them from folding or drooping was starch.

These days, starch is still used to stiffen collars, though at much less extreme levels. It’s also an important ingredient in industrial production, included in products like adhesives and paper. The single biggest role for starch in the modern world, though? It’s what we eat.

What comes to mind when you hear the word “starches,” or “starchy foods”? For most people, it’s probably processed food — especially bread products like dinner rolls, crackers, and cookies. But there are also many whole, unprocessed foods that are high in starch: rice, corn, quinoa, and potatoes, for example. In fact, most traditional human diets have been centered around starches.

While it’s true that cookies and quinoa both contain starch, they don’t affect the body in the same way. If your idea of starches is only based on processed grains or fried potatoes, you may be surprised to learn that some starches are among the healthiest foods you can eat. In fact, some types of starch offer gut health benefits that can’t be achieved with any other food, making them important foods for a healthy life.

So, what are starches, exactly? Which types of starches are healthy and unhealthy, and how can you add more of the good ones to your diet?

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