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Healthy Nutrition

The Best Antioxidant Foods and Why You Need Them

on Tuesday, 18 August 2015. Posted in Doctor of Fitness, Healthy Nutrition

If you've been reading any articles about improving your health, you've no doubt come across the topic of antioxidants and how they prevent free radical damage to your body. If you're unfamiliar with what free radicals are, there is a well-written explanation in this article. Basically free radicals cause damage to your cells by “stealing” from other healthy cells. Your immune system sometimes creates and uses free radicals to neutralize viruses and bacteria, but they can also cause damage to your cells, leading to serious health conditions such as cancer and heart disease.

Antioxidants are food and vitamin sources that can stop free radical damage to the body, and just as there are doctors who specialize in certain areas of medicine, so are there antioxidants which specialize in certain areas of the body:

  • Some research indicates that berries can reduce the risk of certain cancers, and are good for heart health.
  • Vitamin C protects the plasma in your body, and red bell peppers are an excellent source.
  • Lutein-rich peaches support healthy vision.
  • Plums are good for cell damage.
  • There's research suggesting garlic can help prevent degenerative brain diseases.
  • Tomatoes, which are rich in lycopene, are good for healthy bones.
  • Rich in vitamins A and C and lutein, kale and collard greens can lower your cholesterol and protect your liver, heart and other body systems.

Take charge of your health by making a few smart choices in your diet!

Change Your Diet to Increase Energy

on Tuesday, 02 June 2015. Posted in Doctor of Fitness, Healthy Nutrition

Feeling blah? Maybe it's the potato chips. Or the coffee. Yes, it really could be your diet.

We all have a tendency to turn to caffeine when we're running low on energy, but then we can feel jittery and have that hard crash.

Instead of coffee, try some green tea. There's still some caffeine content, but green tea contains an amino acid, L-theanine, which helps promote relaxation, so you won't get that jittery feeling.

Junk food can be a major energy-zapper, despite the fact we think of candy bars and donuts as being quick fixes when we're fatigued.

We've heard of good carbs and bad carbs, but here's the simple science: white flour, refined sugar, and white rice (the bad carbs) have been stripped of all bran, fiber, and nutrients. That means they digest too quickly, causing spikes in blood sugar levels and energy.

“So what can I eat now?” Well, how about fruit, yogurt, spinach, and quinoa? Here are some recipes you can try:

Or how about some Blueberry Frozen Yogurt? Simmer 2 cups of blueberries, 1/3 cup sugar, and 1 tablespoon lemon juice in a saucepan. Once it's cooled, mix in 1 cup of milk and 2 cups of Greek yogurt. Pour mixture into a 9”x 9” pan and freeze for 2-3 hours, stirring every 30 minutes.

Your diet can have a major impact on how you feel. Try changing up a few things and see if you don't notice a difference in your energy levels.

Counting Calories vs. Counting Fat

on Tuesday, 21 October 2014. Posted in Doctor of Fitness, Healthy Nutrition

If you’ve ever tried reading the nutrition label on something you’re about to buy, then you know it can be confusing. What’s really healthy for you and what isn’t? Should you worry more about calorie count or fat content?

It depends on what your goals are. If pure weight loss is your aim, you’ll want to pay more attention to calorie count. If you’re trying to reduce your cholesterol, then the fat content of your food may be more important.

We all need some fat in our diets. Fats are for important for normal nerve functioning. They also provide energy and protect organs. For healthy adults, 20 to 35 percent of total daily calories should be from fat.

A great way to stay on top of it is by keeping a journal. List the foods you eat, their calorie and fat content. The type of fat makes a difference. Lowering your calorie intake may help you lose weight, but it might not necessarily make you healthier if you’re still eating the wrong kinds of fats.

Eliminate trans-fats. These are found in baked goods, margarine and fried foods. Limit the amount of saturated fat you eat, which comes from butter, red meat and whole-fat dairy products. Replace saturated fats with healthy unsaturated fats found in vegetable oils, nuts, seeds and fish.

Living a healthy lifestyle doesn’t mean getting rid of all fats.  By keeping track of what fats you eat, you can keep the good and throw out the bad. 

If you would like our help understanding how this impacts you, please give us a call to set up an appointment to discuss your personal health situation and the best way to get started.

Gardening

on Tuesday, 30 April 2013. Posted in Doctor of Fitness, Healthy Nutrition

Ever picked your own tomato from your garden? Or cut your own fresh herbs to add to the supper you are cooking? If you haven’t you are missing out on one of the great natural rewards in life.

Growing your own vegetables or herbs can be fun, good exercise, cost-saving, and rewarding at the dinner table. All good reasons to consider gardening, if you aren’t already doing it.

A vegetable garden doesn’t have to be a massive undertaking. You can, of course, go the traditional route and till up an area of your yard. The next easiest option is to build a raised bed garden (be sure you don’t use treated lumber here). If you just want to dip your toes in the water, you can easily plant a pot or two for your deck or patio.

Whatever garden type you choose, plan well. Do some reading so you learn how to maximize the space you have to grow healthy, productive plants that do well where you live. Overcrowding your plants can cause disease and make way for terrible disappointments at harvest time.

Here are a few resources to get you started:

 
• FARMER'S ALMANAC
• COMMUNITY GARDEN GUIDE
• THE PEOPLE'S GARDEN GARDENING RESOURCES

One easy (large) pot to grow would contain a cherry tomato plant, a basil plant, and a marigold. These three plants work well together, and grow better together than separately. Marigolds grown with tomatoes help keep the tomato-destroying insects away. You’ll need a good strong stake and tie system to keep the cherry tomato plant upright for better yield. Place it in a sunny location, water well, and fertilize weekly.

That first juicy tomato of the season...mmm, mmm! Enjoy!

"Eat your fruits and veggies"

Written by Dr. Lee Mancini on Tuesday, 26 February 2013. Posted in Sports Nutrition, Kids' Nutrition, Healthy Nutrition

You've likely heard this statement since childhood. Research shows why it is good advice:
  • Healthy diets rich in fruits and vegetables may reduce the risk of cancer and other chronic diseases.
  • Fruits and vegetables also provide essential vitamins and minerals, fiber, and other substances that are important for good health.
  • Most fruits and vegetables are naturally low in fat and calories and are filling.
Want a guideline on how much fruits and veggies are right for you to eat every day? Check out this Fruits & Veggies Calculator:
http://www.cdc.gov/nutrition/everyone/fruitsvegetables/howmany.html

Simple ways to cut calories

Written by Dr. Lee Mancini on Tuesday, 29 January 2013. Posted in Sports Nutrition, Kids' Nutrition, Healthy Nutrition

Tips for adding more fruits and veggies

Breakfast: Start the Day Right
  • Substitute some spinach, onions, or mushrooms for one of the eggs or half of the cheese in your morning omelet. The vegetables will add volume and flavor to the dish with fewer calories than the egg or cheese.
  • Cut back on the amount of cereal in your bowl to make room for some cut-up bananas, peaches, or strawberries. You can still eat a full bowl, but with fewer calories.
Lighten Up Your Lunch
  • Substitute vegetables such as lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, or onions for 2 ounces of the cheese and 2 ounces of the meat in your sandwich, wrap, or burrito. The new version will fill you up with fewer calories than the original.
  • Add a cup of chopped vegetables, such as broccoli, carrots, beans, or red peppers, in place of 2 ounces of the meat or 1 cup of noodles in your favorite broth-based soup.
Dinner
  • Add in 1 cup of chopped vegetables such as broccoli, tomatoes, squash, onions, or peppers, while removing 1 cup of the rice or pasta in your favorite dish. The dish with the vegetables will be just as satisfying but have fewer calories than the same amount of the original version.
  • Take a good look at your dinner plate. Vegetables, fruit, and whole grains should take up the largest portion of your plate.
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