Health Benefits of Watercress

Tony:

Watercress is most commonly consumed fresh in salads but can also be incorporated into pastas, casseroles and sauces just like any other green. Watercress will sauté faster than tougher greens like kale and collard greens because of its tenderness and lends a mild, slightly peppery taste to any dish.

Originally posted on Cooking with Kathy Man:

Watercress, along with beetroot and other leafy greens, contain a very high level of dietary nitrate.

An ancient green said to have been a staple in Roman soldiers diets, watercress is actually a part of the cruciferous (also known as brassica) family of vegetables.

High intakes of dietary nitrate have been shown to lower blood pressure, reduce the amount of oxygen needed during exercise and enhance athletic performance.2 Moderate intakes do not appear to have the same effects.1

According to the USDA National Nutrient Database, two cups of fresh watercress (about 68 grams) contains only 7 calories.

Two cups of watercress also have 1.6 grams of protein, 0.1 grams of fat, and 0.9 grams of carbohydrate (including 0.3 grams of fiber and 0.1 grams of sugar).

Consuming 2 cups of watercress will meet 212% of vitamin K, 48% of your vitamin C, 44% of vitamin A, 8% of calcium and…

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Daily Aspirin Fails to Help Older Hearts in Japanese Study

Tony:

It makes sense for people at high risk of heart problems to take aspirin, he concluded.

“For all those people, they should take aspirin for the long haul, because the benefits outweigh the risk,” Gaziano said. “But if you’re very low risk, the benefits of aspirin likely don’t outweigh the risk” of increased bleeding.

Originally posted on Cooking with Kathy Man:

Daily low-dose aspirin therapy may not have significant heart-health benefits for older people, new research suggests.

The study, which involved more than 14,000 Japanese people aged 60 to 85, found no major difference in heart-related deaths or non-fatal heart attacks and strokes between people who took aspirin and those who didn’t.

“It indicates that primary prevention with daily low-dose aspirin does not reduce the combined risk in this population,” said study co-author Dr. Kazuyuki Shimada, of the University of Shin-Oyama City Hospital in Tochigi, Japan.

Despite this study’s findings, people should talk with their doctor before they stop taking aspirin to prevent heart attacks and strokes, said Dr. Michael Gaziano, chief of the division of aging at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and a professor at Harvard Medical School.

“Patients need to discuss this with their doctor, because I think it’s difficult to do that calculation of benefit and…

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Loving the Bite – Holiday Menu 2014 – Guest Post Kelli Jennings

Regular readers know that I am a nearly daily bike rider here in Chicago. As such I read some cycling blogs, too. One of my faves is Loving the Bike.

And, one of that blog’s regular contributors is Kelli Jennings, an Expert Sports Nutritionist who writes Ask the Sports Nutritionist.

Kelli is not only a world class athlete, but also a first rate nutritionist who writes clearly and accurately about her healthy and intelligent eating.

She recently wrote an item Holiday Menu for 2014 that I thought would interest you. Most importantly, you do not have to be a cyclist to benefit from Kelli’s information. This menu should benefit you, too, whether you ride a bike or not.
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Loving the Bite Holiday Menu 2014:

Roasted Turkey in an Oven Bag from food.com. I’m actually just learning this technique as well for a moist, delicious turkey. Use olive oil or avocado oil rather than canola oil, and enjoy this for dinner and leftovers!

Vegetarian Main Dish: Roasted Acorn Squash Stuffed with Wild Rice Salad from Beard & Bonnet.  Whether eating vegetarian or you want a flavorful side dish, look no further than roasted, stuffed acorn squash. Yum!

Roasted Beet Winter Salad from Cooking Light.  Cooking Light is one of my favorite go-to sites for recipes and always comes through with delicious dishes.

Spicy Broccoli Soup from Loving the Bike.  Quite simply, you won’t be disappointed with this soup.  It’s refreshing, healthy, easy, and satisfying.

Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes from Food Network. In a word, these are simply delicious.  To make them a bit healthier, omit sugar and use 3 Tbsp organic honey.  Replace butter with coconut oil (or if using butter, try to used butter from organic fed or grazed cattle).

Roasted Cauliflower from Food Network.  Good for you and Delish!

Crustless Maple Pumpkin Pie and No-Bake Pecan Pie Squares from the Detoxinista. Both are grain-less, gluten-free, and dairy free.  While they are light and nourishing, they still taste divine. Enjoy!

Spiced Wine from Lush Wine Mix.  These wine cocktail mixes are packed with organic and real-food goodness.  They use freeze-dried fruits and organic spices (which means antioxidants from the mix and the wine!), and contain 50% less sugar than traditional mulled wine. They taste A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. Saves you time and money since you don’t have to track down all the spices yourself. (Lush is offering coupon code holidays2014 for 25% off 3 and 6-packs – US shipping only).

Just like last year, these dishes and beverages are colorful, use a variety of vegetables, nuts, and spices, and are oh-so-deliciously-whole-food. Enjoy the food, enjoy the company, and reflect on all you have to be thankful for this year.

Menu’s set. Done and done. While sticking to healthy foods, it is possible to feel a bit stuffed, still. If this happens to you, try our anti-junk food smoothie or go for the full Apex Nutrition Smoothie Cleanse (use code lovingthebike for 25% off) …you’ll feel good as new.

This year, we wish a nutritious, active, peaceful, and wonderful Holiday for you and yours. Enjoy the food, enjoy friends and family, and reflect on all you have to be thankful for this year. Cheers.

Fuel Your Holiday.  Fuel Your Ride.  Nourish Your Body.

Kelli

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8 Super Foods for Trimming Your Waistline – Infographic

These are all available at your local grocer, so you can start today.

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Please don’t forget that intelligent eating is only half the answer for good health and weight control. You also need to work out. Exercise doesn’t just help you to keep your weight and waistline down, it slows aging, reduces stress and even creates new brain cells to keep your brain clicking along, too. Check out my Page – Important Facts About Your Brain (and Exercise) for more useful information.

Have a great day!

Tony

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Vitamin B-12

Tony:

B12_sourcesAs essential as B-12 is, it can be tricky to get enough in your diet. Foods that contain B-12 include red meat, organ meats like kidneys and liver, eggs, yogurt, and cheese, and seafood — definitely a problem for vegans or vegetarians. Additionally, many people, especially adults over 50, have trouble absorbing B-12. Commonly prescribed drugs can also cause nutritionally deficiencies, including Vitamin B-12, which have been linked to many health conditions.

Originally posted on Our Better Health:

17th November 2014      By Dr. Edward F. Group     Contributing Writer for Wake Up World

Vitamin B-12 is one of the more discussed vitamins and for good reason. It is important for your health overall as it helps several organs and systems in your body function properly, including the brain, the nervous and skeletal systems, DNA replication and energy creation processes.

Let’s take a look at a few reasons why it’s important to make sure you’re getting enough Vitamin B-12.

1. Supports Cardiovascular Health

You’ve probably heard that B-12 is good for cardiovascular health. The way that works is this…

Homocysteine is a protein that naturally forms as a byproduct of your body’s processes. When it builds up, it can corrode and inflame arteries and blood vessels, placing strain on the heart and cardiovascular system. Vitamin B-12 helps converts homocysteine to methionine, a protein the body uses…

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Nothing Fishy about Health Benefits of Plant-based Omega-3 Fatty Acid

Tony:

“Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the country,” said Fleming. “Learning what you can do to prevent heart disease is important and relevant for everybody.”

Originally posted on Cooking with Kathy Man:

Increasing the amount of omega-3s in your diet, whether from fish or flax, will likely decrease your risk of getting heart disease, according to Penn State nutritionists.

A substantial amount of evidence exists supporting the heart-health benefits of eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid (EPA and DHA), marine-derived omega-3 fatty acids. However, much less evidence exists to demonstrate the positive effects of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), a plant-based omega-3 fatty acid.

“The benefits reported for EPA and DHA are stronger because supplements of EPA and DHA were tested, and EPA and DHA was the only difference between the treatment and control groups,” said Jennifer Fleming, instructor and clinical research coordinator in nutritional sciences. “In contrast, in the ALA studies, there were diet differences beyond ALA between the treatment and control groups.”

EPA and DHA can be found in seafood and fish oil, and are often consumed in the form of dietary supplements…

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Exercising Outdoors in Cold Weather

More than 200 million Americans are experiencing less than freezing temperatures. The Weather Channel this morning reported that there were 350 cold temp records set in 45 states. We are getting late December weather in mid-November.

I hope the onset of extreme cold weather is not deterring you from the exercise you do outside. It may be less comfortable, but just as rewarding to continue after temps drop as long as you follow some simple rules.
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As a Chicagoan, I never even leave my apartment without checking the weather report. We have 25 degree temperature ranges nearly every day and it can be very easy not to mention uncomfortable to make a mistake about the weather.

Once temps fall below freezing, you need to be on guard against frostbite. This occurs on exposed skin.

On the 99 percent of your skin that is covered, you will want to wear layers. It is a big mistake to dress too warmly to exercise in cold weather. Your exercise will generate a lot of heat, but as your sweat evaporates, you will lose body heat and could become chilled.

Dr. Mike Bracko, of the American College of Sports Medicine with an EdD in exercise physiology, said that the first place you start is what you wear. “Most people dress too warmly. The key is how many layers.”

For running last week in Calgary where the temp was 17 degrees Fahrenheit, Bracko wore a first layer of wool and synthetics which wick away perspiration from your skin.

Further on that subject, the Mayo Clinic says, “Dress in layers that you can remove as soon as you start to sweat and then put back on as needed. First, put on a thin layer of synthetic material, such as polypropylene, which draws sweat away from your body. Avoid cotton, which stays wet next to your skin.
Next, add a layer of fleece or wool for insulation. Top this with a waterproof, breathable outer layer
You may need to experiment before you find a combination of clothing that works well for you based on your exercise intensity. If you’re lean, you may need more insulation than someone who is heavier.”

As a 150 pound five foot nine guy, I can relate to that last part about needing more insulation. My lack of fat (insulation) requires more attention.

Now that we have the body covered, what about the extremeties? I can attest that my most vulnerable points are my fingertips and toes.

If you are wearing more than one layer of sox, or thicker sox, Bracko suggests getting shoes about a half size bigger.

After experimenting with goose down filled ski gloves, I have settled on simple glove mitts. These are convertible mittens that slide back to reveal bare fingers. In their mitten mode these keep my fingers warmer than anything I have ever tried.

Toes are another problem. I wear wool sox and in extreme cold put wool sox over thin layered silk ones. But the best thing for protecting my toes is a layer of tinfoil on the bottoms of my shoes that reflects the heat of my body back up and warms my toes.

You may have noticed by now that the material cotton has been pretty much conspicuous by its absence. You don’t want cotton next to your skin in the cold. It absorbs perspiration and then makes you cold as your body cools. The synthetic materials wick away the perspiration and keep you comfortable.

You can exercise outside and get the benefits of both exercise and being outdoors if you just take a few precautions. I know that for cold weather biking, it is just as much fun to ride in the cold and there are usually less people out competing for space on the bike path.

For more on cold weather exercise, check out A Cold Weather Exercise Tip, 11 Cold Weather Exercise Tips, Cold Weather Cycling Tips.

Tony

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How Trans Fat Eats Away At Your Memory

Tony:

We’re not eating as much trans fat as we used to: a recent study found that between 1980-2009, we cut down on trans fats about 35% thanks to regulations and reformulations. Still, trans fat is the bane of every health nut’s label-reading experience—it travels under sneaky ingredient adjectives like “partially hydrogenated” and can even creep into foods labeled “0 grams of trans fat.”

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Originally posted on TIME:

What’s the opposite of brain food?

Trans fat, finds a new study presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2014. Eating a lot of the compound that magically rejuvenates junk food that should have expired long ago is linked to higher rates of memory impairment.

After analysis of food questionnaires and memory tests from about 1,000 adult men, trans fat intake was linked to worse memory in people under age 45, even after controlling for mind-influencing factors like age, depression and education. Every gram of trans fat eaten per day was linked to 0.76 fewer words recalled. Put another way? Those who ate the most trans fat remembered 11 fewer words.

MORE: 7 Foods That Wouldn’t Be The Same If Trans Fats Are Banned

That relationship eased when researchers adjusted for BMI and blood pressure, and a study like this can’t prove cause and effect. But the study…

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15 Amazing Effects Music Has On Your Health

Tony:

Really good ideas here. Music is a part of my daily life. Following are some excellent reasons it should also be a part of yours.

Neon

 

Tony

Originally posted on Our Better Health:

20 Oct 2014

Many people don’t know this but listening to music is not just something that brings joy, it can also improve your health in a variety of ways and scientists have proven that through many researches. Read on to find how music can make your life more awesome.

Helps you sleep better

Music contributes for a healthy sleep. Researchers have found that classical music can help us deal with Insomnia, especially college students. This is definitely a healthier and much cheaper fix for your sleeping disorder than taking pills.

Fights stress

It is no surprise that listening to music helps relieve stress off your shoulders. Studies have found that music stimulates biochemical stress reducers which helps us feel more relaxed.

Helps you get in touch with yourself

As it puts us in a better mood, music helps us get in touch with our emotions, a 2013 study suggests…

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Food Rules for Toddlers May Lead to Healthy Eating Habits

Tony:

“In adults and adolescents, self-regulation, emotional eating and obesity have been well-studied, but there is very little information about the role that self-regulation plays in young childhood obesity,” Wen said.

Originally posted on Cooking with Kathy Man:

Study found telling 2-year-olds what they can’t eat meant they ate better at age 4.

Children have healthier diets when their parents place restrictions on what they can eat and train them to control their impulses, a new study suggests.

The University at Buffalo researchers analyzed data from almost 9,000 American children whose self-regulation was assessed at age 2. The children’s diets and parental food rules were then checked at age 4.

“Parents can make a difference here by training young children to self-regulate, and also by setting food rules in the home,” study senior author Xiaozhong Wen, an assistant professor in the department of pediatrics in the School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at the University at Buffalo, said in a university news release.

“We found that the combination of parental rules and young children’s ability to self-regulate their behaviors works best in teaching young children to eat healthy,”…

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