Research of the Week

AI can predict heart disease risk from studying an eyeball.

Periodic reminder that bacon protects rats against colon cancer.

100 examples of cognitive decline reversal using diet and lifestyle.

Family dinners work.

Drawing helps memorization more than writing.

Humans may not have killed off the African megafauna after all.

Same-race teachers may help student achievement.

New Primal Blueprint Podcasts

Episode 292: Laura Rupsis and Erin Power: Host Elle Russ chats with Laura and Erin about The Primal Health Coach Program.

Episode 293: Longcuts to a Longer Life, Part 1: You know about shortcuts and hacks. Host Brad Kearns talks about “longcuts,” lifestyle shifts that may take more time but offer longer-lasting benefits.

Each week, select Mark’s Daily Apple blog posts are prepared as Primal Blueprint Podcasts. Need to catch up on reading, but don’t have the time? Prefer to listen to articles while on the go? Check out the new blog post podcasts below, and subscribe to the Primal Blueprint Podcast here so you never miss an episode.

Media, Schmedia

Man killed by (mostly) uncontacted North Sentinel island tribe he tried to contact.

Tokyo cafe to use robots controlled by remote employees with severe disabilities.

Interesting Blog Posts

Always get a second opinion. And never ignore your gut feeling.

How the modern diet may have initiated an extinction-level event in our guts.

Social Notes

I went on the Wellness Mama podcast to chat about keto, fasting for women and some Instant Pot tips.

Whoever could have imagined that Mark Sisson’s food brand would make a vegan gift list? Or that one of my recipes would be dubbed the “perfect” post-Thanksgiving vegetarian meal?

Everything Else

I’ll eat my hat if this works out.

The North Sentinelese tribe that killed the missionary has a history of forcefully resisting contact dating back to the time when a Brit kidnapped some adults and kids, let the adults die, and dropped the kids back off several weeks later.

Problem solved, folks! Just block sunlight. I’m sure there won’t be any untoward side effects.

Things I’m Up to and Interested In

Study I’m reading: Vitamin K2 contents of cheeses and other foods.

Article I found interesting: A Vaccine for Depression?

I like the honesty: Ethical vegetarian admits that “the environment” isn’t a valid reason to give up meat.

Another study I’m reading: “A time to fast.

I’m impressed: Great photo editing.

Question I’m Asking

Would a “vaccine for everything”—one proven to safely inoculate all of us from any mental or physical health condition or disease—have any negative second- or third-order effects on society as a whole? Or would it be an unqualified boon?

Recipe Corner

Time Capsule

One year ago (Nov 24– Nov 30)

Comment of the Week

“Funny! yesterday I was saying to my daughter that I was trying to be like if Francis Mallmann and Mark Sisson had a baby. Living with Mallmann”s lifestyle, but ripped as Sisson!.”

– I’d love to see a Mallmann/Sisson amalgam, Rafael, although I don’t know how realistic a baby would be. I’m a big fan of Mallmann, but not like that.

The post Weekly Link Love—Edition 5 appeared first on Mark’s Daily Apple.

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Good morning, everyone. I’ve got a Weekly Link Love coming up, but first I wanted to share some news with you. 

So, it’s a big day. One of the biggest in my life.

Twelve years ago I set out on a mission to change lives with the beginning of the Mark’s Daily Apple blog. The ancestral health movement was at its very beginnings then, and the push for more natural and organic food choices was still small compared to the conventional offerings and messaging out there. Time went on, and that vision grew into vast new dimensions, including the creation (and dizzying growth) of Primal Kitchen®, my vision for the world’s best-tasting, health-enhancing, real-food pantry staples.

And change lives, we have. Over the last decade, I’ve had to adjust my goal from helping 10 million people claim better health to helping 100 million people do just that. It’s a good problem to have.

I’m excited to share news that I believe will help our Primal community knock that goal out of the park.

The Kraft Heinz Company—the leading player in condiments, makers of the iconic Heinz Ketchup and Grey Poupon mustard—is acquiring the Primal Nutrition and Primal Kitchen® brands. We’re joining Kraft Heinz’s Springboard, a dynamic platform created to partner with founders and brands that will disrupt the food industry.

Primal Kitchen will continue to operate autonomously, the entire team will stay on (with our headquarters based in Oxnard), and Morgan and I oversee the explosive growth of our brand. The products you have come to know and love will continue to be available (and now at more locations), made using the same awesome ingredients, curated as always by yours truly. And I get to spend even more time on my favorite part of the business—developing new sauces and dressings.

Kraft Heinz understands where the consumer is headed: better-for-you products with high-quality ingredients; which is why I’ll continue to man the helm. Primal Kitchen will continue our vision of offering real food products with nothing processed or artificial. So, rest assured—and I say this with certainty—the integrity of our ingredients won’t change. You’ll find the same high quality food products you’ve come to enjoy and trust from Primal Kitchen.

We founded and built the Primal Kitchen business on the unyielding commitment to creating the best-tasting, health-enhancing, real-food pantry staples on the market. This philosophy will stay with us as we leverage the resources of this new partnership. It’s an incredible development for the brand and an amazing opportunity for the Primal health mission.

And, I have to say, it’s a huge testament to how far we’ve come as a movement….

Kraft Heinz recognizes the value of our Primal Kitchen mission and the consumer demand for it. While Primal Kitchen’s growth to date has exceeded all industry standards and expectations, our partnership with an industry leader like Kraft Heinz now offers an unrivaled opportunity to reach millions more of the consumers who have been seeking products like ours for years. Based on the significant time I’ve spent with the Kraft Heinz team, we share a common vision regarding the future of food and the importance of consumer choices. I want you to know that I’ll be staying on as the face and guide for the brand, and I look forward to working with them to grow this partnership.

Finally and most importantly, I want to offer my immense gratitude to my amazing staff and to you, our incredible readers, customers, supporters and fellow travelers on this Primal journey. Twelve years ago, I couldn’t have envisioned this moment or the phenomenal growth of this movement. Your enthusiasm and encouragement have inspired me more than I could ever say and contribute to this vision every day. I’m thrilled to see what’s possible as we move forward together. Thank you for being a part of it.

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The post An Amazing Development For the Primal Movement… appeared first on Mark’s Daily Apple.

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It may be freakin’ cold outside. via GIPHY But these new workout tracks? They are en fuego! via GIPHY Solara, Smashing Pumpkins The Pumpkins are back and rocking, yo. Superlove, Whethan featuring Oh Wonder Not crazy fast, but with a good beat, you might say we have … wait for it … superlove for this song. Without You, Justin de Mari The beat is perfect for running — or dancing in your living room. Dip, Tyga featuring Nicki Minaj Lots of language, but just try to listen and not move … Ever Again, Robyn A little slower than some of our other…

The post These New Workout Tracks Are on Fire appeared first on Fit Bottomed Girls.

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Can being athletic help you be a better singer and artist? Conversely, can dancing make you a better athlete? Joining me on the show today is my good friend, Mr. David Smith. David is a coach, competitive athlete, Dartmouth and Harvard alum, artist, singer, a super freak of a man—and I mean that in a good way.

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Make over your menu with these foods and drinks to look and feel like a million bucks.

Turns out the old saying “you are what you eat” holds true, and scientists around the globe are delving into just exactly what foods have the “it” factor when it comes to getting into — and staying in — fabulous shape. Here, we’ve collected the latest research on food science and came up with a precise, head-to-toe nutrition guide for total-body health. Make over your menu with these foods and drinks to look and feel like a million bucks.

Mushrooms

Hair

Mushrooms

For those coveted glossy locks, you need plenty of vitamin D: According to research, the sunshine vitamin can help create new hair follicles and may “wake up” follicles that have gone dormant, potentially thickening your mane. Get your daily D from fatty fish like salmon, fortified milk, or by sauteing up a package of UV-exposed mushrooms, fungi that have been exposed to UV light to kick-start their vitamin D production.

Pumpkin Seeds

If you find a troubling amount of hair in your shower drain, your diet might be lacking in zinc: A study in the Annals of Dermatology found that women experiencing hair loss were more likely to have lower blood levels of zinc, which is necessary for the creation of enzymes that support hair development and prevent hair loss. Avoid bad hair days by tossing a tablespoon or two of zinc-rich pumpkin seeds onto oatmeal, yogurt and salads.

Brain

Kale

Seems like smart people do crunch more kale: A study in the journal Neurology found that people who ate the most leafy greens per day had more youthful brains than those who ate less. These nutrient-rich greens can help sharpen your mind, but eat them in their natural state: Research shows that noshing on raw vegetables and fruits is better at boosting brain power; the cooking process diminishes their nutritional firepower.

Kefir

Itty-bitty gut bugs may help you look on the bright side of life: Researchers in Australia found strong evidence to suggest that an increased intake of probiotics can reduce symptoms associated with depression, anxiety and general stress. Scientists theorize that we have a gut-brain axis and that the beneficial bugs in our digestive tract also can impact brain function. Feed your gut a daily serving of tangy kefir, which has even more friendly critters than yogurt.

Dark Chocolate 

Eyes

Avocado

Your avocado toast habit is good news not just for your social media feed but also for your peepers. Research shows that frequent avocado consumption is a surefire way to bolster levels of lutein, the antioxidant proven to reduce your chances for age-related vision problems such as macular degeneration.

Dark Chocolate

Study results published in JAMA Ophthalmology found that the flavonoid compounds in dark chocolate, especially bars with a cocoa percentage of 70 or higher, may sharpen your eyesight by increasing retinal blood flow and improve your vision quality. Treat yourself to a square or two daily to fine-tune your ocular abilities.

Ears

Salmon

Now hear this: Eat more fish. An American Journal of Clinical Nutrition study found that women who consumed two or more servings of fish per week experienced reduced rates of hearing loss. This benefit was even stronger with fish that provided lots of omega-3 fats — such as salmon, sardines, mackerel, trout and sablefish (black cod). These fats help improve blood flow to your ears to improve hearing.

Extra-Virgin Olive Oil

Improve your aural capacity by eating a diet made of nutrient-dense, whole foods. A study in the Journal of Nutrition discovered that women who followed a Mediterranean-style diet, which focuses on items like extra-virgin olive oil, whole grains, legumes, vegetables, fruits, nuts and fish, benefited from a 30 percent lower risk of hearing loss, as compared to women with a diet higher in processed foods.

Olive oil contains oleocanthal, an antioxidant that helps reduce inflammation on a level comparable to an adult dosage of ibuprofin, according to research.

Heart

Eggs

After years of being wrongly deemed a heart attack waiting to happen, eggs eaten in moderation are actually associated with a lower overall risk for cardiovascular disease. Sure, eggs are a source of dietary cholesterol, but they also contain high-quality protein, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that keep your heart beating strong.

Walnuts

Go nuts for walnuts: A study published in the International Journal of Epidemiology discovered that the rate of heart disease among 81,337 subjects was 40 percent lower in those who got the most protein from nuts and seeds. Nuts contain a powerful mix of ticker-friendly plant protein, fiber, healthy fats, minerals and antioxidants. Eat an ounce of walnuts daily and you’ll also get a dose of heart-healthy omega-3 fats.

Green Tea

Skin

Sweet Potato

British researchers found that an increased intake of carotenoids — the antioxidant pigments found in colorful vegetables like sweet potatoes, tomatoes, butternut squash and bell peppers — over a six-week period had a beneficial effect on skin’s appearance. It’s likely that the carotenoids decreased the oxidative skin damage associated with everyday hazards like UV radiation and air pollution and that the beta carotene abundant in sweet potatoes offered protection against sunburn. What’s more, a study in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology found that higher intakes of vegetables and fruits can protect against adult acne.

Green Tea

Go ancient to get youthful: A report in the Journal of Nutrition concluded that the polyphenols abundant in green tea offer protection against the damaging effects of UV radiation while improving measures of skin quality such as elasticity. Sip two or more cups per day to reverse tired skin and prevent flaking by increasing blood flow.

Bones

Beans

You probably know that vitamin D is a major player in bone health, but if your diet is lacking in magnesium, you won’t get its full benefit: A recent study in The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association found that vitamin D is not properly metabolized without sufficient magnesium, and another study found that people typically get only 50 percent of their recommended daily magnesium intake. Beans are super high in magnesium — 1 cup of black beans contains 120 milligrams, which is 30 percent of your recommended daily intake — as are other legumes such as lentils, whole grains, nuts, seeds and dark, leafy greens.

Cottage Cheese

Protein isn’t just for building bigger muscles, it’s also needed to construct break-resistant bones. A large review of studies published in Osteoporosis International found that a protein- and calcium-rich diet is beneficial for bone mineral density, a major determinant of overall bone health. Furthermore, researchers found no evidence supporting the theory that the acid load because of higher dietary protein digestion is damaging to our bones. With about 14 grams of protein per ½-cup serving and about 100 milligrams of calcium, cottage cheese is a bone-strengthening powerhouse.

Blueberries

Muscles

Blueberries

These health bombs can help you bounce back quicker after a spirited workout. Recent research shows that daily blueberry consumption can improve various markers of muscle recovery, including reduced oxidative stress, increased levels of anti-inflammatory compounds, and faster return of peak muscle strength in response to both endurance and weight training. It is likely that the anthocyanin — the antioxidant in blueberries that gives them their blue color — has a lot to do with this benefit. Shoot for about 1 cup of fresh or frozen blueberries each day added to oatmeal, salads or smoothies.

Beef or Chicken Protein Powder

Whey protein isn’t the only postworkout muscle-building powder around: A study in the International Journal of Sports Nutrition found that lean body mass gains in women in response to an eight-week resistance-training program was just as high when beef protein isolate or chicken protein isolate was consumed as compared to when the same amount of whey protein isolate was consumed. A scoop of the Paleo-friendly powders infuses your body with large amounts of essential amino acids to kick-start muscle-making pathways.

Breasts

Broccoli

Mounting research suggests that higher intakes of cruciferous vegetables — which include broccoli, kale and Brussels sprouts — can reduce the risk of developing breast cancer. A payload of vitamins, minerals and supercharged antioxidants such as sulforaphane in broccoli is likely why it helps keep the big C at bay.

Broccoli

Sardines

These budget-friendly swimmers deliver a potent one-two punch against breast cancer because they are one of the best sources of vitamin D and omega-3 fats, which have both been shown to reduce the chances of developing breast cancer. What’s more, a British Journal of Nutrition study found that women with higher blood levels of vitamin D had a better chance of surviving a bout of breast cancer. Add a can of water-packed sardines to sandwiches, salads and even scrambled eggs.

Kick This Quad to the Curb

These four food groups — if you can call them that — are bad news when it comes to building a healthy body. Here’s why.

White Bread = Whiteheads

A recent study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics found a link between the intake of high-glycemic foods like white bread, white rice and sugar-laden drinks with pimple flare-ups. For blemish-free skin, swap the processed junk for quality carb options like brown rice, quinoa and whole rye bread.

Soda = Smaller Brain

Researchers from Boston University School of Medicine found that people who frequently drank sugary beverages like soda and bottled iced tea were more likely to suffer from memory issues and had smaller brains overall. Instead, go with seltzer, water with lemon or homemade, sugar-free iced tea.

Booze = Breast Cancer Risk

A Journal of Clinical Oncology study cites evidence that women who consume just a single alcoholic drink a day face a slightly higher risk of breast cancer. Our bodies break down alcohol into acetaldehyde, a carcinogen that may raise the chances of developing cancer. Limit your imbibing to once or twice a week, or opt for mocktails when out with the girls.

Deli Meats = Weaker Bones

Deli meats are super high in sodium, running on average between 250 to 300 milligrams per ounce for most brands. Excess sodium intake can increase the amount of calcium that is flushed from your body, meaning there is less available for strengthening your skeleton. Keep your calcium in pocket by choosing fresh meats over processed ones, and beware of the sodium content in other supermarket staples like bread, soup and cheese.

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Make the most of your meals — and your training efforts — with these wise food choices.

Once upon a time, it was simple to go grocery shopping, but every week, there seems to be a new hyped-up food or magic metabolic elixir fighting for a spot in your shopping cart.

Forget Instagrammable food trends and focus instead on functional foods, those that continually produce results both in and out of the gym. Choosing your foods wisely will improve performance, body composition and energy levels. Here are our picks for the most awesome scientifically supported foods for athletes, as well as some we think are overrated.

Coffee

AWESOME

Coffee

Your morning brew just got a whole lot sweeter: In a recent study, scientists found that drinking caffeinated coffee before a high-intensity workout like sprinting or weight training boosted performance by reducing the rate of perceived exertion and increasing energy. The most effective, scientifically determined dose of caffeine is about 300 milligrams; any more than that and you could actually impair rather than improve performance. Additionally, one serving of coffee contains more antioxidants than many other things in your diet, making it one of the healthiest beverages in the world.

Beets (aka Beetroot)

Beets are packed with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents that help athletes recover faster. They are also an all-natural source of nitrates, which are converted to nitric oxide in the body, opening blood vessels and allowing more blood, nutrients and oxygen to be delivered to muscles, improving performance, recovery and tissue repair. Researchers tested the effects of drinking beet juice preworkout in sprinting sports like running, cycling, BMX and speedskating. Athletes who drank half a cup (4 to 5 ounces) of beet juice reduced the time it took them to reach peak power, which meant better acceleration during their high-intensity sessions.

Whole Eggs

Egg whites are a great low-cal source of protein, but if you’re still pitching out all the yolks for your morning omelet, you may be missing out. Scientists had subjects eat either three whole eggs or five egg whites (the equivalent of 18 grams of protein for each) after a leg workout. Those who ate the whole eggs experienced greater protein synthesis than those who ate egg whites alone, which means more muscle growth. The suggested reason: The nutrients in the yolks helped facilitate the synthesis process better than egg whites alone.

Cottage Cheese and Greek Yogurt

Greek yogurt and cottage cheese are great sources of bone-building nutrients such as calcium, as well as casein, a form of protein that contains a lot of leucine, the amino acid shown to have excellent muscle-building potential. A diet rich in protein such as casein promotes fat loss because your body has to work harder to digest, therefore burning more calories and boosting metabolism. A ¾- to 1-cup serving of cottage cheese or Greek yogurt makes a great snack any time of day.

Seaweed

Just as there are probiotic bacteria in your gut that keep you healthy and improve digestion, there are also bad bacteria that can proliferate, causing inflammation and illness. In order to nurture the good while exterminating the bad, you should eat probiotic foods such as yogurt as well as seaweed, which contains a rare carbohydrate that feeds and nourishes the good bacteria. A recent study published in the journal Nature revealed that a diet rich in nori, the kind of seaweed used to make sushi rolls, helps the good bacteria in the gut thrive, creating an optimal environment for healthy digestion. Experts recommend eating about 5 grams of seaweed per day, but unless you live in Japan, that is probably a tall order, so enjoy a sushi hand roll or two whenever you get the chance.

Bananas

For some reason these days, people fear fruit, especially bananas. However, one medium banana contains only about 100 calories, 27 grams of carbs and 4 grams of fiber. Bananas also offer the perfect blend of carbs and electrolytes such as potassium and sodium needed to fuel workouts — more than any commercial sports drink. In fact, researchers compared bananas to sports drinks both before and during endurance activity and heavy-exertion workouts. While both improved performance and energy, bananas also helped reduce inflammation, which means better recovery after a strenuous workout.

Bone Broth

Bone broth is the new postworkout phenomenon — and with good reason. This low-cal beverage is rich in chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine, the structural components of joints, as well as collagen, the protein that promotes healthy bones, skin, hair and nails. It also contains a myriad amino acids that promote muscle building and repair and several that support metabolic function such as glycine, glutamine and arginine. Athletes also may use bone broth after training to replenish fluids and lost electrolytes, such as sodium, magnesium and potassium.

Commercial Acai Bowls

OVERRATED

Peanut Butter Powder and Reduced-Fat Peanut Butter

Sounds good in theory — peanut butter minus some of the calories — and using the powder in your shaker bottle postworkout is a breeze. However, the very thing you’re eliminating from peanut butter is the most beneficial of its nutrients: the fat. Regular peanut butter contains a wealth of heart-healthy fats as well as vitamin E, and choosing a reduced-fat or powdered version robs you of those healthy nutrients. Additionally, the fat removed from a lower-fat product is usually replaced by sugar, corn syrup solids or other starchy fillers, so in the end, it’s not a reduced-calorie food at all. So while there are some valid uses for the powdered version — since it does contain some quality protein and other vitamins you need — if you are eating peanut butter for its full spectrum of health benefits, stick with the real, sticky thing.

Artificially Sweetened Products

It’s tempting to enjoy sweets without the added sugar and calories, but what are you really putting into your body? Turns out, those colorful little packets may be holding you back from reaching your fat-loss goals. Artificial sweeteners have been shown in numerous studies to induce an insulin response, despite the lack of actual glucose (sugar) in the food. Continually inducing this response can lead to insulin resistance, a metabolic nightmare that prevents the body from breaking down fat as fuel. If a lean physique is your goal, skip the sugar-free products and get used to drinking your coffee black — or with just a touch of real sugar.

Nondairy Yogurt

The movement toward a more plant-based diet has made nondairy yogurt more popular. But while tasty, this sub-in does not compare nutritionally to regular yogurt. Nondairy yogurts can be made with soy, almond and/or coconut milks and contain little to no protein. Also, manufacturers often add sugar and artificial thickeners to improve the flavor and consistency of the product. Unless you’re allergic to dairy, then skip these alternatives and stick with regular or Greek yogurt or give Icelandic Skyr a try — it’s slightly thicker than Greek yogurt and less tangy.

Almond Milk

If you’re drinking almond milk for a protein boost, you’re pinning your tail on the wrong donkey butt. While it does contain plenty of vitamins and minerals, almond milk has only 1 gram of protein per serving as compared to about 8 grams in a cup of dairy milk. If lactose is your qualm, check out some of the new, alternative products popping up on shelves. For instance, ultra-filtered milk is regular milk that is passed through a series of filters that remove specific, individual components, resulting in a product with more protein and calcium, less sugar and no lactose. There’s also A2 milk, which contains the A2 form of beta-casein, the protein that makes up about 30 percent of the protein in cow’s milk. A2 milk is digested more easily, resulting in very few symptoms of stomach discomfort, gas, bloating and diarrhea.

MCT Oil

Move over butter — MCTs (medium-chain triglyceride) are claiming that spot in your Bulletproof Coffee. Because of their structure, MCTs are easily digested in your liver, where they have been shown to produce a thermogenic effect. Adding coconut oil — which is about 65 percent MCTs — or straight MCT oil to your coffee is believed to accelerate fat loss, boost energy and improve well-being. This may very well be true. However, MCT oil is not a magic weight-loss pill, and in fact, overdoing it can cause weight gain. In the end, MCTs are still fats and are highly caloric by nature, so be conservative with their use and don’t rely solely on them to strip your body of fat.

Commercial Acai Bowls

Acai in and of itself is awesome and contains loads of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals as well as fiber, protein and healthy fats. However, an average 16-ounce acai bowl from a restaurant or commercial establishment has about 41 grams of sugar* — and this is without any toppings or add-ins at all. Instead of getting one out and about, make your own at home: Buy unsweetened frozen acai berries and blend them with your favorite frozen fruits and a splash of water or milk. Toss in a scoop of protein powder or plain Greek-style yogurt for a protein boost.

*A small-size bowl from Planet Smoothie

Alkaline Water

Is it legit or pure hype? The verdict is still out. Researchers have not found enough evidence to show that alkaline water — which is rich in alkalizing compounds such as calcium, silica, potassium, magnesium and bicarbonate — has the ability to neutralize the acid in your bloodstream, enabling your body to better metabolize nutrients. If better pH balance is what you’re after, drink mineral water instead, or simply toss a little baking soda and/or lemon juice into tap water to make your own alkaline water on the cheap. 

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