The Lab-to-Life Blog is for those, like us, who believe that great taste and health should live together in harmony. We are always looking into research that clarifies the links between food and health, the goal being to share “the nuggets” in order to help maximise "pleasures of the plate" while minimising the costs to health associated with less informed decisions. Questions and comments are always welcome!
Based on research and interviews with Chief Science Officer Dr. Jean-Francois Lesgards. Jean-Francois holds a Post Doctorate in Chemistry/Biochemistry and has 20 years of fundamental and clinical research in nutrition/ food, health and inflammatory diseases and is a well published authority.
Cleaning up after the party: Little known ways to reduce the impact of life in the fast lane.By Sheila Partrat
Hong Kong is notorious for its fast paced life style, and by mid-October – it’s in full swing. The often colliding demands of work, travel, family, weekend junk trips, evenings spent in roof top bars, the business dining circuit, the occasional “I’m in a hurry” stop at the fast food or noodle outlet for a takeaway laden with fats of questionable quality, and a 5 pm designer coffee “pick me up” with too much added sugar. To cap it off .. an occasional “sleep diet” to accommodate the time demands of work, family or fun. Life in the fast lane – It’s urban and definitely Hong Kong.
But it can catch up with us .. even when we are young, leading pretty quickly to oxidative stress or inflammation, which is basically aging at the cellular level. It goes without saying that we really don’t want this until much later. There are things we can do however, to reduces the impact of our fast urban lifestyles.
life is not perfect and neither are we. We need to know however that excess of sugar from any source (soda, certain juices, cakes, deserts disguised as cereals where sugar is one of the first three ingredients), poor quality saturated fat (in processed meats, trans fat or fried foods) all increase inflammation in the body. Our potential of defence against inflammation and oxidation - like metal, our cells also rust - depends on both inherited genetics as well as our lifestyle. We can’t do much about the former, but we can improve our life style and environment!
How to “clean up after the party”?
- Engage our powerful internal “house cleaning system”, which is activated by good quality protein, such as eggs or grass fed cold processed whey protein which is the most efficient protein for the (See recent Lab-to-Life articles on how to distinguish a good, from an average quality protein.)
The major antioxidant in the body is called glutathione, made from an amino acid from protein: cysteine. It’s one of the reasons why it’s essential to eat more quality proteins and less sugar! No other antioxidant is as important as Glutathione, which is present within almost all body cells, and boosts immune cells that fight against infections (helping our white blood cells).1 It is also the most efficient detoxifying agent in the human body (after water). 2. It cleans our body from toxins such as heavy metals, solvents and pesticides then, sends them down the toilet via urine.
- Add a rainbow of micronutrient dense foods which bring compounds to fight against inflammation and oxidation, helping us feel healthier and more energized. You can pick out a micronutrient dense food by its vibrant colours.
- vitamin C (found mainly in citrus fruits),
- vitamin E (sunflower and corn vegetable oils, almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts),
- beta-carotene (carrots , melon, tomato),
- polyphenols (large family of compounds present in leaf vegetables (cabbage, spinach, leeks, lettuce, parsley), in tubers (onions, garlic) and fruit (blueberries, cherries, plums, apricots, apples ). Also found in beverages (fruit juice, cider, wine, tea), they contribute in flavour and nutritional quality.
- Vitamins B6 and B9 (liver, broccoli, beans, beans, lentils, peas and nuts) also play an indirect role.
- Don’t forget the minerals and lots of great quality water: in particular zinc, copper, selenium or manganese.
It’s our choice to influence the rate at which we age, and slow it down, or not, so we are less engaged in a process of illness leaving more room to enjoy life. In short, get:
- more good quality clean proteins
- less added sugar
- all the vegies and fruits you like as often as you can
- a lot of good quality water
Lesgards, JF, P. Durand, M. Lassarre, and P. Stocker. "Assessment of Lifestyle Effects on the Overall Antioxidant Capacity of Healthy Subjects." Environmental Health Perspectives. U.S. National Library of Medicine, May 2002. Web. 25 Aug. 2016.
Schafer, FQ, and GR Buettner. "Redox Environment of the Cell as Viewed through the Redox State of the Glutathione Disulfide/glutathione Couple." Free Radical Biology & Medicine. U.S. National Library of Medicine, June 2001. Web. 14 Aug. 2016.
Libby, P. "Inflammatory Mechanisms: The Molecular Basis of Inflammation and Disease." Nutrition Reviews. U.S. National Library of Medicine, Dec. 2007. Web. 020 Sept. 2016.