Beyond Botox 3: Building Buoyant Cells

As a physician, I believe that when you’re healthy, you’re beautiful. That’s why my emphasis is on helping patients maintain the state of health and happiness they had as toddlers—when their cells were fully hydrated, their skin glowed, and their outlook was worry-free.

Last week I wrote about building beauty on the cellular level, where the key to Modern Wellness is hydration—ingesting enough water, and then keeping it where we want it: inside the cells.

But the question remains: HOW do we keep water in the cells where we want it?

The answer is “strong cell membranes.” These are what keeps the contents of your cells from leaking. Your body will build its own strong cell membranes, but only if you give it an adequate supply of five essential ingredients. These are:

  • Amino acids (the building blocks of proteins)
  • Glucosamines (which build connective tissue)
  • Essential fatty acids
  • Lecithin (which contains a key ingredient for cell membranes)
  • Antioxidants

Years ago, I created a metaphor for healthy eating I call “the Pitcher of Health.” Like a pitcher, this eating program delivers water and then keeps the water within the cells, where we want it.

The base of the pitcher—and of our anti-aging, pro-hydration eating program—is comprised of fruits and vegetables. These are your best source of water (remember, we strive to eat our water), fiber, and a huge assortment of macro- and micronutrients, including phytochemicals that are nature’s most powerful antioxidants.

Whole grains make up the next level in the pitcher. Four to eight daily servings of these are your best source of complex carbohydrates that provide fiber, vitamins, and minerals like magnesium, which builds bones; selenium, which protects cells from oxidation; and most importantly for hydration purposes, glucosamines, which are necessary for building collagen and connective tissue—that which holds us all together!

The third level of the pitcher is labeled “proteins,” including chicken, eggs, tofu, dairy products, and beans. Proteins deliver the amino acids we need for cellular renewal and strong cell membranes.

The fourth level of the pitcher is comprised of healthy fats. For strong cell membranes we want essential fatty acids—including the omega-3 fatty acids found in cold-water fish, avocados, walnuts, flaxseeds, and walnuts. These also help fat-soluble vitamins such as A, D, E, and K, circulate in the body, create sex hormones, and lower LDL (“bad cholesterol”) while raising HDL (“good cholesterol”). Another healthy fat includes the omega-6 family, in moderation. Here, the hero is GLA—gamma linolenic acid—which is one of the best anti-inflammatories you can ingest.

Another fat you won’t age well without is lecithin—a fatty substance found in all living cells as a major component of cell membranes. From lecithin, your body can build cells with strong, watertight membranes, which helps keep them fully hydrated and optimally functioning. (Lecithin also helps prevent gallstones and boosts short-term memory.) Lecithin-rich foods include eggs, non-GMO soy products, cauliflower, peanuts and peanut butter, oranges, potatoes, spinach, iceberg lettuce, and tomatoes.

Finally, your cell membranes need antioxidants. All fruits and vegetables are good sources of these—and the deeper and brighter the color, the more densely packed with antioxidants and other vitamins they are. Some of my favorites include: blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries; pomegranates; goji berries; carrots and mangoes (vitamin A); oranges, kiwis, mangoes, papayas, peppers, and cantaloupe (vitamin C); and spinach, broccoli, kale, chard, and other dark green, leafy vegetables (vitamin E).

Finally, I recommend using herbs and spices to flavor your foods, rather than reaching automatically for the salt (as which can damage cells, raise blood pressure, and contribute to the retention of extracellular wastewater); and to drink as “clean” as possible—which simply means to minimize your consumption of sodas, fruit juices, caffeine, and alcohol.

So now you know how to eat to give your body the building blocks of strong cell membranes—watertight for buoyant, healthy cells.

For more information on building healthy, hydrated skin from the inside-out, read The Water Secret, and also Conquering Cultural Stress. (Yes, it’s all related. Treating your body well helps you overcome stress!)

#ModernWellness #CulturalStress #DrHowardMurad


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