Second Chance


The body is in a constant state of death, destruction, repair and renewal. Every second of every minute of every day, cells are usually dividing and “conquering”; cleaning up the body; getting rid of foreign invaders, and even getting rid of themselves once they are no longer of any healthful use. For instance, gastrointestinal cells die and renew every 3-6 days; red blood cells, approximately every 12 weeks; and skin cells vary per person, but are also in constant flux. In other words, at every second of the day, millions of your cells are brand new and this means that every second is a second chance to be a whole new you!

As the old saying goes, you are what you eat! Cells are made of the fats, protein, carbohydrates, micronutrients, minerals and antioxidants we feed or do not feed them. Every cell requires an intricate selection of various nutrients in order to continue with vital functions and whole non-processed foods, grains, fruits, and vegetables are the fuels by which the whole system works. The most powerful renewal fuels are antioxidants. Antioxidants, or free radical scavengers, scavenge and minimize the impact of various harmful substances that degrade and stress our cells and bodies. Potent antioxidants, such as those found in berries, therefore boost the bodies renewal capabilities! Take advantage of every second chance you get and feed your cells with rich antioxidants for a whole new vibrant you!

Photo Credit: Jun Belen

About The Author

Manuel Villacorta is a registered dietitian (RD) and certified specialist is sports dietetics (CSSD) with more than 16 years of experience. He was recently appointed national media spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association, which identifies him as one of the United States’ leading weight loss and nutrition experts. Villacorta is the owner of San Francisco-based private practice MV Nutrition, the recipient of two consecutive “Best Bay Area Dietitian” awards (2009 and 2010) from the San Francisco Chronicle and Citysearch, and the creator of the Eating Free™ weight management program. Villacorta also developed MV Professional Nutrition (a software suite designed to assist RDs with their own private practices) and created (an international, Internet-based weight loss and weight management program). Villacorta is a compelling, charismatic communicator—a public speaker, who is often praised for making audiences feel, heard, motivated, and engaged. His warm, approachable style, alongside his strong bilingual proficiency in both English and Spanish, have made him an in-demand health and nutrition expert on both local and national television and radio, and in articles in print publications and online. Villacorta worked closely with Dr. Nancy L. Snyderman, chief medical editor of NBC News, to provide expert nutrition advice on a number of topics for the BeWell network. He is often invited to speak at annual state and national conventions such as The Oregon Dietetic Association (where he was the keynote speaker), and The American Dietetic Association (where he spoke to other dietitian professionals about his successful private practice). Villacorta has acted as a media representative for food companies such as Foster Farms (one of the largest chicken producers on the West Coast) as well as for such California statewide health campaigns as the “California Latino 5-A-Day Program” and “Got Milk.” Prior to setting up his private practice, Villacorta worked as a public health dietitian for California Children Services and the Prenatal to Three Initiative, where he offered prenatal, infant, and childhood nutrition consulting. He has worked as a clinical dietitian for Kaiser Permanente in San Francisco and has held a faculty position with the School of Nursing at the University of San Francisco. Villacorta received his bachelor of science in nutrition and physiology metabolism from the University of California, Berkeley, and his master of science in nutrition and food science from San Jose State University. He has been the recipient of numerous prestigious awards for his research, including the Outstanding Master of Science Degree Award from San Jose State University’s Department of Nutrition and Food Science.

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