Thursday, March 22, 2018

Organic food as a healthy habit







When you go to the grocery store or supermarket to buy fruits or vegetables, do you pick just any produce or are you particular about getting organic foods?  There is a difference between the two and, after our discussion, you may decide that organic foods are the way to go.  Let’s take a look at the benefits of buying organic produce.While both types of produce may look the same, organic foods must be able to meet specific standards of production, including specific growing and processing conditions that are unique to foods that can be labeled “organic”.  For crop foods, the organic foods can’t be grown using any chemical pesticides, non-organic fertilizer, human waste fertilizer or sludge from sewage.  They also cannot be processed using ionizing radiation—a process that kills bacteria but that some people believe is unsafe. Finally, the food can’t be genetically altered.

At one point, organic foods were grown on small farms, particularly those that were family-owned and operated.  In today’s time, however, organic foods are grown on larger farms and are more readily available in most supermarkets, co-ops and health food stores.  In the US, parts of Europe and Japan, the production of organic foods is currently federally regulated and in other countries, specific organic certification is required before these foods can be sold.Organic foods can include fresh vegetables and fruits, which are not processed and come directly from the growers through farmer’s markets, supermarkets and roadside stands.  Many of these products are only available during certain times of the year.  One can also get organic eggs, dairy products and meat in their fresh and unprocessed forms.

Organic eggs are generally provided by free-range chickens and not from those kept in cages in large, egg factories.  Organic meats must not come from animals that have been treated with any growth hormones, steroids or antibiotics.  Processed organic foods can be found in the organic food section of the supermarket but often are more expensive than their conventional food counterparts.  Processed organic foods can include canned products, frozen produce, prepared items and even snack foods.

In truth, processed organic foods need only contain a certain percentage of organic ingredients.  In Australia, for example, a food can be labeled “organic” if it contains at least 95% organic ingredients.  In other countries, however, the percentage can be less than that.  Even so, those non-organic ingredients must be free of artificial food additives and no aspect of the food can be processed using chemical ripening techniques, genetic modification or irradiation.  In some cases, the organic food must be made using energy-saving techniques and packaged in recyclable or biodegradable materials. 

It’s not always easy to identify whether or not your food is truly organic.  Sometimes, you need to buy directly from an organic grower in order to be certain the food is organic.  More recently, however, foods that are organic can be identified by governmental labeling, stating that the food is “certified organic.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Your deep core muscles aren't visible, but they could prevent chronic back pain.







Most new runners assume that the best way to improve is simply to run greater and greater distances. While it’s true that going farther and faster will improve your running skills, most coaches and trainers will advise some level of strength training as well. Focusing on your core is a common suggestion. A recent study seems to back this up. In the Journal of Biomechanics, researchers investigated a symptom that has long mystified runners from novice to elite: A good chunk of runners, 14 percent to be exact, experience chronic lower back pain. The results of the new study seem to suggest that weak deep core muscles might be to blame. When these muscles aren’t strong enough, the study found, muscles on other areas of the torso kick in to keep the runner upright, eventually leading to back pain.
To understand the role that these muscles play, the researchers had eight volunteers with minimal running experience run along an indoor track. High-speed cameras and 3D motion detectors analyzed which muscles moved, and how much. Once they created a working computer model for each runner, the scientists simulated what would happen if certain deep muscles were weaker, or shut off completely. As it turns out, when a person can’t use their deep core muscles very well, their bodies still want (and need) to maintain a good running form, and uses superficial muscles to do so.
What’s wrong with that? A muscle is a muscle, right? Not exactly. While the superficial muscles are often targeted in workouts—they give you a six-pack, after all—they are pretty useless when it comes to supporting your spine. The deeper core muscles, which essentially lie beneath and can’t be seen from the outside, do all the heavy spinal lifting.
When you are pounding the pavement for miles at a time, you put a lot of pressure on your spine. If you’ve got strong deep core muscles, that’s no problem. If not, your running could eventually lead to chronic back pain. In fact, the researchers found that when they dialed down deep core muscle strength as low as it could go in their simulation, the load on each vertebrae increased—often by as much as 19 percent. It's easy to see how that kind of pressure could add up to big problems over time.
If you're staring down at your useless six pack in dismay, never fear. You can easily whip your deep core muscles into shape as well. The authors note that while many of the most popular ab workouts, like sit-ups or other exercises that involve a large range of motion, are pretty useless for your deep core, fixed exercises like planks or side bridges go a long way.
It’s important to note that even when you've made these muscles super strong, you won’t likely notice visible results. They'll never give you washboard abs. But they will probably help you run better, and definitely help prevent potentially debilitating chronic back pain. So take a few crunches out of your rotation and throw a nice long plank in—or just do both.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Healthy Eating Plan

Grilled Tuna With Chickpea and Spinach Salad, Baby Spinach With Golden Raisins and Pine Nuts, and Whole-Wheat Bow Tie Pasta With Puttanesca Sauce


A healthy eating plan gives your body the nutrients it needs every day while staying within your daily calorie goal for weight loss. A healthy eating plan also will lower your risk for heart disease and other health conditions.
A healthy eating plan:
  • Emphasizes vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat dairy products
  • Includes lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts
  • Limits saturated and trans fats, sodium, and added sugars
  • Controls portion sizes

Calories

To lose weight, most people need to reduce the number of calories they get from food and beverages (energy IN) and increase their physical activity (energy OUT).
For a weight loss of 1–1 ½ pounds per week, daily intake should be reduced by 500 to 750 calories. In general:
  • Eating plans that contain 1,200–1,500 calories each day will help most women lose weight safely.
  • Eating plans that contain 1,500–1,800 calories each day are suitable for men and for women who weigh more or who exercise regularly.
Very low calorie diets of fewer than 800 calories per day should not be used unless you are being monitored by your doctor.

A balanced diet for women

Find out how much carbohydrate, protein and fat you should be eating and when. Choose wisely for a healthy diet that keeps you full around the clock...
A selection of food including fruit, vegetables, eggs, wholegrain bread, oils, meat and fish
Women have different daily nutritional requirements to men and, below, our nutritionist has offered guidance and recipe ideas for women seeking a balanced diet for good health. But what exactly is meant by a 'balanced diet'?
The Eatwell Guide defines different types of foods we should be eating and in what proportions. These include some simple rules to follow like getting a minimum of five fruit and veg a day, including wholegrains and choosing more fish, poultry, beans and pulses, less red meat and opting for lower fat, lower sugar dairy foods. But that's not the whole story. How much should you be eating and is there an ideal time to eat protein, carbs or fats? Read on for our guide to healthy eating around the clock.
 

4 Facts About Peanuts


  • Peanuts are the only "nuts" that have resveratrol, an antioxidant found in grapes, wine and soy that may be heart-healthy and have other benefits. Red wine has the most.
  • The thin papery skins are good for you. That’s where most of the antioxidants are. Some peanut butters contain the skins.
  • The calorie difference between dry- and oil-roasted peanuts is very small. Most of the fat and calories you get come from the peanuts themselves, not from oil that may be added in processing. So pick whichever you prefer. In some cases, roasting actually increases the antioxidants in peanuts.
  • If you have a peanut allergy, you can safely consume most commercially refined peanut oils since they typically undergo a process that removes all the protein—the allergenic part. Cold-pressed, extruded or expeller-pressed peanut oil may retain some protein, however, and should not be considered allergen-free.