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Category Archives: Diet And Food

Training the brain to avoid junk food: Does the app targeting behaviour change really work? –

Posted: August 12, 2021 at 1:49 am

The UK is facing a health crisis, with a majority of citizens failing to eat an adequately healthy diet.

It is estimated that 75% of men and 72% of women do not consume enough fruit and vegetables in their diet, while recommended sugar intake guidelines are exceeded by 100%. Two in every three adults are currently obese or overweight.

As obesity and associated health conditions are recognised as major concerns, researchers are interested in behavioural weight management interventions designed to reduce calorie intake. These range from taxing beverages with high levels of added sugar to providing information about healthy diets.

However, a group of psychologists from the Universities of Exeter and Cardiff in the UK believe unconscious, impulsive psychological processes may play an important role in consumer diets. As a result, the team has developed a computer game that aims to help consumers reduce their intake of unhealthy foods.

Being researchers, they have also conducted a study to determine the effectiveness of the computer app in both lab and real-world experiments. And the results are in.

The researchers describe their FoodTrainer (FoodT) app as a simple computer game capable of training ones brain to stop consuming unhealthy food and drinks.

By repeatedly playing the game, consumers build up associations between certain foods (such as chocolate) and stopping, which the researchers describe as effectively putting the brakes on your eating behaviour.

This wont stop you from eating these foods completely, but it will give you some control back, noted the researchers. People also like these [unhealthy] foods a little less after training, which also helps people to cope with cravings.

FoodT provides Go/No-Go training, which aims to alter implicit food biases by creating associations between perceiving unhealthy foods and withholding a dominant response.

Whether using a smartphone or computer, the app presents participants with images of unhealthy foods a control pictures (of healthy foods and/or non-food items such as clothing). In addition to these pictures, they are presented with a go or a no-go clue. In the case of FoodT, that cue is either a green or red border around the picture.

Participants are instructed to press a button on their keyboard or on their smartphone screen whenever they see a go cue (i.e the green border), and withhold when a no go cue appears. The go cue always aligns with control pictures, whereas the no go cue appears alongside images of unhealthy foods.

The idea is that by repeatedly pairing unhealthy food cues with inaction, the associative link between unhealthy, unpalatable food and motoric responses is disrupted.

To investigate the effectiveness of the Go/No-Go training, researchers from the University of Exeter and the University of Helsinki analysed data from the FoodT app. A total of 1234 participants, made up of 857 women and 377 men, contributed data to the study.

Our research suggests that playing this game reduces cravings for foods like chocolate, making them easier to resist and reducing how much is eaten, noted the researchers.

A total of 40% of users adhered to the 10 recommended sessions and that participants who used the app more reported larger reductions of unhealthy food intake and larger increases in healthy food intake.

Our analyses suggest that spacing training out over time is more beneficial than concentrating it, wrote the study authors. Future controlled trials should aim to confirm these observations findings to determine optimal training schedules for potential users.

Source:AppetiteApp-based food Go/No-Go training: User engagement and dietary intake in an opportunistic observational studyPublished online 17 May 2021DOI: Matthias Burkard Aulbach, Keegan Knittle, Samantha Barbara van Beurden, Ari Haukkala

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Iron Deficiency Increasing: What’s Best to Eat – Healthline

Posted: August 12, 2021 at 1:49 am

People in the United States have been eating less red meat and experiencing more iron deficiency anemia.

Thats the conclusion of a new study published in the Journal of Nutrition.

Researchers said that data collected between 1999 and 2018 from the United States Department of Agricultures National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference revealed that there has been a:

Thats not the full story, though.

The researchers also said that theres a decrease in naturally present iron levels in beef and other animal proteins, as well as the plant-based foods they consume.

The decrease in iron levels in foods were detected in more than 62 percent of foods tested in 1999 and again in 2015.

The researchers said its this decrease in iron levels in the foods were eating thats playing the largest role in the increase in iron deficiency anemia.

So, while beef consumption is down, its not the primary cause of higher rates of dietary anemia.

Everyones body processes and uses iron at different efficiency levels [also called bioavailability], said Caroline West Passerrello MS, RDN, LDN, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

The amount of iron used by our bodies for growth and development is based on a variety of factors, including the source of the iron and what else is eaten at the same time, she told Healthline.

Passerrello said there are two sources of iron: iron from animal sources [also known as heme iron] or iron from plant sources [nonheme iron].

Regardless of the source, you still need to eat a balanced diet to ensure that iron is absorbed and that your body can use it properly.

Passarrello said that different foods have different effects on irons efficiency.

Lon Ben-Asher, MS, RD, LD/N, a registered dietician at Pritikin Longevity Center in Florida, echoes the importance of consuming foods rich in vitamin C since it helps to enhance iron absorption.

Ben-Asher recommends focusing on eating these foods for increased bioavailability and utilization of iron in our bodies:

Researchers said the answer is simple.

The way we grow crops [higher yields per acre] is impacting their nutritional value.

When we feed these crops to cattle and other animals, theyre also consuming less iron than before. When we eat these animals, were getting less iron from them because they have less iron to give.

There are other factors at work as well.

Although there may be some reductions in red meat consumption as the plant-based trends have increased, that would likely not explain the full extent of increases seen in iron-deficiency anemias, Ben-Asher told Healthline. Unfortunately, the standard North American diet is focused more on packaged and ultra-processed foods.

This dietary pattern is typically calorie-dense and nutrient poor and this paradigm of less whole, plant-based foods is likely more responsible for inadequate iron intake leading to potential anemias, he said.

All foods provide nutrients, but there are some nutrients we need more of and some nutrients we need less of, according to Passerrello.

She said that no one diet is going to give everyone the nutrients their bodies need and meet everyones taste preferences and budget at the same time.

When I am asked by a client if they should eat or avoid red meat or if they should be a vegetarian or not, I have to ask more questions before I can make an informed recommendation for that person, said Passerrello.

She also encourages clients to look at that word should in their question and to realize they are not obligated to eat one specific way.

I hope more food choices get made based on affordability and taste instead of feelings of obligation, she said.

Women between the ages of 19 and 50 and vegetarians may be particularly impacted by iron level changes in foods and dietary pattern shifts.

Passerrello said that younger women have a recommended dietary allowance for iron of 18 milligrams (mg) per day. One serving of breakfast cereal that has been fortified with 100 percent of recommended daily vitamins will provide 18 mg of iron.

Vegetarians will need to focus on which plant-based options are iron rich because its suggested that vegetarians eat nearly double the daily allowance of iron due to the difference in absorption, said Passerrello.

Passerrellos examples of an iron-rich diet without red meat:

Spinach and tofu egg scramble (8 mg total)

White bean salad with canned tomatoes and hemp hearts (13 mg total)

Trail mix with fortified cereal, cashews, and raisins (5 mg)

Oysters and a baked potato (10 mg)

Consumption of dark green leafy vegetables like kale and spinach, beans and chickpeas, lentils, pumpkin and chia seeds, and whole-grains such as quinoa are excellent sources of nonheme (plant-derived) iron found in plant-based diets, says Ben-Asher.

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Strong muscles, smart eating: Mike Lowes triathlon training includes work in gym and kitchen – WGN TV Chicago

Posted: August 12, 2021 at 1:49 am

After WGNs favorite triathlete Erin Ivory was sidelined from the event after suffering from heart failure, Mike Lowe picked up the baton. Hes running the race in her honor and raising money to fight heart disease.

A triathlon is not only a physical challenge, but also a mental test also.

To complete the grueling back-to-back-to-back swimming, biking and running courses, youve got to have heart, so Lowe is focusing on strength conditioning as part of the program.

Pumping iron, helps get your heart pumping, too.

The American Heart Association recommends that we exercise for at least 150 minutes each week and mix in at least two days of resistance or weight training.

At Strive Village in Wilmette, coach Cam Paulson, who is familiar to WGN viewers for his charitable works has developed a high-intensity weightlifting program that mixes cardio and active rest

He says strength training can help improve both explosive power and enduranceability.

Execrise is one of the keys to heart health.

But as important as the fitness is, food may be even more critical to our cardiovascular systems.

Doctor John Erwin is one of the nations leading cardiologists and the Department of Internal Medicine for NorthShore University Health System.

As many advancements as weve had in cardiovascular care, really the key to it is great nutrition and exercise, food and exercise are medicines, he said.

Erwin said the biggest heart health mistakes people make is in the kitchen.

What is good nutrition? There is just so much information out there right nowthat people can really get off course in terms of what is going to be the best approach to diet, he said. We arent teaching that well in our schools. We arent even teaching that well in our medical schools, to be honest with you.

Weight loss is its own industry. But fad diets rarely work in the long-term and seldom make us healthier. Diets that call for us to cut carbs and boost fats cold lead to low blood pressure or liquid diets like juice cleanses may have too much sugar and not enough fiber. Some dont alllow fruit or certain vegetables. Its all confusing, so Erwin says this is what he recommends:

Most of our foods should be plant based. I think the Mediterranean diet has us eat red meat two to three times a month most Americans eat a lot more red meat than that.

If youd like to help fight heart disease by contributing to the WGN fundraiser for the AHA, go text WGN to 71777.

The Chicago triathlon on August 29.

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Manganese vs. Magnesium: What’s the Difference? – Healthline

Posted: August 12, 2021 at 1:49 am

More than 30 vitamins and minerals are considered essential nutrients in the human diet.

Your body cant make these nutrients on its own, so you need to get enough of them from food. Essential vitamins and minerals are often present in high amounts in fruits, vegetables, and animal products like meat, milk, and eggs.

Manganese and magnesium are two of the essential minerals. You need to consume enough of each on a regular basis to keep your body working properly.

Though their names sound similar, manganese and magnesium have distinct roles in the body.

This article compares and contrasts the functions, benefits, and safety considerations for the two minerals. It also includes some of the best food sources of each.

One of the main practical differences between manganese and magnesium is the amount of each that you need to consume each day.

Manganese is considered a trace element or a micromineral you only need it in small amounts (1).

Magnesium is a macromineral. On a daily basis, your body needs hundreds of times more magnesium than manganese (1).

Still, the two minerals have similarities. For example, theyre both found in nuts, legumes, leafy vegetables, and whole grains (2, 3).

Whats more, manganese and magnesium both have the chemical structure of metals.

Both can also have toxic effects in large amounts. Thus, its important to use caution if youre taking supplements or have direct exposure to either (2, 3).

Fortunately, its hard to get too much of the minerals from diet alone. When people take too much of these, its usually from supplements or over-the-counter drugs like antacids or laxatives in the case of magnesium (2, 3).

The chart below compares a few more properties of manganese and magnesium (2, 3, 4, 5).

Manganese and magnesium are essential minerals, meaning you need to consume them in your diet. The two have a wide range of functions, yet they share some similar roles, such as supporting bone health and enzyme activity.

Though manganese is a trace mineral your body needs only in small amounts, its functions are widespread and important.

Manganese is essential for many of the small reactions that take place inside your cells, such as helping enzymes carry out bodily activities, including digestion, metabolism, growth, reproduction, and energy production (6, 7, 8, 9).

It also plays a part in antioxidant activity throughout your body (7, 8, 10).

In fact, manganese is a key component of a chemical compound known as manganese superoxide dismutase (MnSOD). This antioxidant is responsible for protecting your cellular machinery from getting damaged by a chemical process called oxidation (8, 11, 12, 13).

Scientists are still working to uncover the exact ways it does so. MnSODs ability to prevent damage to cells means it likely plays an important role in the prevention of cancer and other chronic diseases (8, 11, 14, 15).

As an antioxidant, manganese discourages cellular oxidation and may help prevent chronic disease. Getting enough manganese on a regular basis has also been linked to a number of other health benefits, including:

Manganese is an essential nutrient that humans need to survive and thrive. Its also clear that maintaining normal blood levels of the nutrient is important. Too much or too little can have detrimental side effects (26, 28, 29).

Because manganese can be toxic in large amounts, its important to be especially careful with supplements. Only use manganese supplements under the supervision of a healthcare professional (29).

Being exposed to large amounts of manganese in the environment, such as from welding fumes or contaminated water, can be extremely dangerous. It might even have negative side effects on brain function, motor skills, memory, and mood (30, 31, 32, 33).

Some studies have even linked manganese exposure to an increased risk of osteoporosis in women and intellectual impairment in children (33, 34).

On the other hand, some people dont get enough manganese due to congenital disorders or because they dont consume enough of the mineral in their diet.

Manganese deficiency can contribute to seizures, bone deformities, developmental delays, and disruptions to the menstrual cycle, among other side effects (35, 36, 37, 38).

Manganese is a trace mineral and antioxidant that your body needs in small amounts. Too little manganese may increase the risk of seizures and developmental delays, while too much can have side effects on the brain and nervous system.

Magnesium is one of the most common elements to make up planet Earth, and its also widespread in the human body (39).

The mineral is an important part of cellular activities that trigger enzymes, produce energy, and keep your muscles, including your heart, contracting and relaxing properly. Its similar to manganese in that they both play a significant role in cellular processes (40).

On the other hand, the body needs magnesium in much larger amounts, and some people dont get quite enough of it. The mineral is present in many foods, and its possible to get enough of it from a healthy diet rich in beans, nuts, and whole grains (41, 42, 43).

Nevertheless, some groups of people may be more likely to have a magnesium deficiency. These include older people, those with type 2 diabetes or gastrointestinal conditions, and people with alcohol dependency (3).

Its very hard to get too much magnesium from food, but its more common to see signs of a magnesium overdose from supplements or medications.

For example, magnesium is used as an ingredient in medications like laxatives and antacids, so you might take too much of it if you take those medications in large amounts or alongside magnesium supplements (44).

Magnesium not only plays an important role on the cellular level, but having enough of the mineral in your body may also have the following health benefits (42, 45):

As with manganese, consuming too much or too little magnesium can have significant side effects.

Hypermagnesemia occurs when there is too much magnesium in the bloodstream. Its usually a toxic result of too much magnesium from supplements or medications in people with impaired kidney function (62, 63, 64).

If not quickly addressed, hypermagnesemia could cause issues with the cardiovascular and nervous systems and can even be deadly in severe cases (65, 66).

Hypomagnesemia too little magnesium in the blood is most common among people with health conditions that cause excessive magnesium excretion.

It can also happen in people who have an extremely low intake of magnesium-rich foods for an extended period of time (3, 42).

The side effects may be mild and include nausea, a decreased appetite, and fatigue. However, they could also be as severe as seizures, numbness in the limbs, and an abnormal heart rhythm (3, 62, 67).

Your body uses magnesium to produce energy and keep your heart working properly. To avoid side effects on the cardiovascular system, its important to keep your magnesium blood levels within a normal range.

Manganese and magnesium may sound similar, but they are distinct.

Your body needs both essential minerals, but they have different functions. Your body also needs more magnesium than it does manganese on a daily basis.

One similarity between the two is that theyre both found in nutrient-dense foods like nuts, legumes, whole grains, and vegetables.

Having too little or too much manganese or magnesium in your body can have side effects that range from mild to severe. Therefore, its important to consume a nutrient-rich diet and avoid overexposure from supplements and medications.

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I tried the keto diet to help my epilepsy and it changed my life – Boston Children’s Answers – Boston Children’s Discoveries

Posted: August 12, 2021 at 1:49 am

My name is Dennis. Im 15 years old and live in East Greenwich, Rhode Island. Two years ago, I started the keto diet to help my epilepsy and it changed my life. Heres my story

I was 7 when I was diagnosed with epilepsy. I was too young to know what that really meant or understand how it made me different from other people, but I knew something was wrong. For as long as I can remember, I had a hard time finding the right words and getting my ideas across. It was like my mind was in a million different places at once.

I had seizures too, which is what most people probably think of when they hear epilepsy. Id lose consciousness for anywhere from half a second to five seconds not long enough to lose my balance or pass out, but long enough for me and people around me to notice. I never thought much about them, though; they were just something that happened sometimes.

My family and I came to the Epilepsy Center at Boston Childrens Hospital for help after I had tried a few medications and treatments that didnt seem to work and had annoying side effects. We met with Dr.Jeffrey Bolton, who suggested I try the keto diet.

Keto or the ketogenic diet is a low-carb, high-fat diet. When the body is forced to use fat for energy due to fewer carbohydrates or sugars, ketones are produced. These ketones, which the brain can use as an alternative source of energy, have an anti-epileptic effect on the brain. This can lead to improved seizure control.

Ketosis is complicated, but Dr. Bolton explained things to me in ways I could understand. At the same time, he treated me like an adult and told me that trying keto was 100 percent my decision. He also said for the keto diet to be effective, I had to be 100 percent committed.

Keto is a low-carb, high-fat diet that puts your body into ketosis, which is when theres a large number of ketones in your blood.

Keto is a huge change to how you eat and takes getting used to. My first two weeks were pretty brutal it was hard to give up chips and crackers but now I wouldnt want to go back to how I used to eat. On a typical day, Ill have bacon and eggs for breakfast, meat and cheese for lunch, and Im a big fan of Caesar salad with a lot of dressing for dinner. Ive found almonds to be a good replacement for the chips.

The team at Boston Childrens monitor me closely to make sure Im getting the right nutrients, and they help me manage my medication, which works together with keto to help balance the neurotransmitters in my brain.

Dr. Bolton also helped me identify my triggers and how to control them as much as possible. It turns out that sleep deprivation and long hours of staring at a screen can bring on a seizure for me, so I wear blue light glasses when Im at my computer and make sure I get enough sleep.

Epilepsy kept me from experiencing a lot of typical childhood things, like sleepovers and different sports. But, having limitations also had a bright side: it sparked my interest in theater, and this year I was in a huge stage production for school. I also practice piano and paddle boarding and skiing is my biggest thing.

If I could offer advice to anyone out there who has epilepsy or anything that limits what they do or eat, it would be to always make your quality of life a priority. That may mean doing hard things. For me, that was adjusting to the keto diet. Everything is different for me now. Before, it was like I was seeing through a fog. Now the skies are clear.

Learn more about theEpilepsy Center.

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Providing vitamins to SE Asian women can boost infant health – AroundtheO

Posted: August 12, 2021 at 1:49 am

Polished white rice is a staple of diets in Southeast Asia, which poses a serious public health problem because the grain has been stripped of its vitamins and minerals during processing, according to new research by UO scientists.

White rice lacks thiamine, also known as vitamin B1, an essential nutrient for humans because it helps the bodys cells convert carbohydrates into energy. Thiamine deficiency can lead to cognitive and physical impairments, particularly in infants of breast-feeding mothers who lack the nutrient.

A new study led by psychologists at the UO found that providing thiamine supplements to breast-feeding mothers in Cambodia can help protect the neurocognitive development of their infants and especially benefits their language development.

UO psychologist Jeffrey Measelle is the lead author of the study, published in the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, and Dare Baldwin, also a psychology professor, is a co-author. The study is one piece of a large interdisciplinary clinical trial involving researchers from Canada, France, Australia, Cambodia and the United States. The two UO psychologists have been colleagues for many years but this is the first time theyve worked together on a research project.

Measelle said hes been working on public health issues in Southeast Asia for a number of years, and he and Baldwin were seeking funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for further research. The foundation was particularly interested in acute thiamine deficiency in infants, known as infantile beriberi, that causes cognitive damage and can kill babies.

The foundation connected Measelle and Baldwin with nutritionist Kyly Whitfield and colleagues at Mount Saint Vincent University in Nova Scotia. The nutritionists had been investigating the benefits of supplement techniques and wanted to know the best methods for measuring cognitive development in infants, which is where Measelle and Baldwin came in.

The researchers recruited 335 healthy mothers of breastfed newborns in Kampong, Cambodia. Two weeks after giving birth, women were randomly assigned to one of four treatment groups to receive one capsule a day of varying amounts of thiamine: 0 milligrams, 1.2 milligrams, 2.4 milligrams and 10 milligrams. Supplementation began when infants were 2 weeks old, and continued until they were 24 weeks. Neurocognitive assessments took place when infants were 2 weeks, 12 weeks, 24 weeks and at a 52-week follow-up, using multiple methods of measuring cognitive development.

Analysis of the results indicated that the highest dose of 10 milligrams per day provided significant benefits for infants language development but generally not for motor or visual reception development. Preliminary evidence also suggests that infants neurocognitive development may benefit most if the mother begins taking supplements while pregnant.

For me personally, given that much of my work is focused on prenatal development, Measelle said, we need to go back to an earlier stage and protect fetal development during pregnancy so when the infant is born, they start at a better place and keep going.

The researchers also concluded infants would benefit from continued thiamine supplementation beyond six months.

If we can protect the first 1,000 days of life, that would help to cover what is arguably the most critical period of development, Measelle said.

Thiamine deficiency is rare in western societies because its readily available in the diet in the form of legumes, whole grains, pork and other foods. In Southeast Asia, a bowl of rice for an entire day might be all that some can afford to eat, Baldwin said. And unfortunately, a commonly available type of fish that is eaten in Cambodia actually depletes thiamine.

In Cambodia, roughly 50 percent of adults are stunted because of malnutrition, the outward sign of micronutrient deficiencies, including thiamine deficiency, that also compromises immune systems, brain development and cognitive function, Baldwin said.

One idea to get more thiamine into the diets of Cambodians would be to fortify salt with the nutrient, just as salt has been fortified with iodine in the United States since the 1920s. Getting the correct dose will require more research, Measelle and Baldwin said.

Cambodian scientists and public health officials are supportive of the researchers work, Measelle said.

They know babies are vulnerable and all too often dying because of thiamine deficiencies, he said. We have a strong partnership with our Cambodian colleagues and were already talking about the next phases of work.

By Tim Christie, University Communications

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The Best Meal Kit Delivery Services in 2021 for Healthy Meals at Home – Everyday Health

Posted: August 12, 2021 at 1:49 am

Freshly is a great option for those who want to forgo cooking entirely. Each Freshly meal is a single serving that comes fully prepared and delivered fresh (not frozen). All you have to do is heat it up, and in three minutes or less, dinner is served.

When ordering from Freshly, youll first choose how many meals youd like for the week: 4, 6, 10, or 12. (Pro tip: The more meals you get, the better the price per meal.) Next, youll pick your meals from a list of around 30 options. You can choose from different categories:

Youll then choose from the available delivery dates in your area, and your meals will ship to your doorstep. Meals are prepared without artificial preservatives and will last four to five days in the refrigerator. If youre unable to eat the meal within this time frame, you can freeze it for later use.

Freshly customers rave about their positive experiences with the company and tend to be very pleased with what they receive. You may find less variety in the meals than is available with other services, but if youre feeding a crew of picky eaters, that could be a good thing.

If youre looking for artisanal, vegetable-focused creations at every meal, Freshly might not be for you. Their comfort food meals are heartier, but theyre still healthy: made with minimal sugar, few processed ingredients, and free of artificial ingredients and preservatives. Best of all, no cooking means no cleaning!

PriceStarts at $8.49 per meal

ServingsAll single serving

Meal optionsUnder 500 calories, less than 35 grams (g) of carbs, high protein, gluten-free, peanut-free

My family has really enjoyed Freshly meals. They are hearty and more homestyle-type meals than other services Ive tried, which my kids like. It saves me a ton of time and effort getting dinner on the table on a busy weeknight. Mama P., verified buyer

I liked that it was easy to manage, food was decent, and it had already-prepped options. I didnt like the amount of material and packaging that was wasted, and it seemed a bit expensive. Yuri O., verified buyer

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Best Supplements for Working Out, According to Experts | Eat This Not That – Eat This, Not That

Posted: August 12, 2021 at 1:49 am

Everyone's looking for an edge. Whether you're an Olympic athlete or weekend tennis player, everyone wants something that'll provide a boost during exercise or competition. It takes more than pushing yourself physically to build your body or improve your performance; you need to supply your body with nutrients that'll maximize your effort.

Even if you eat enough carbohydrates, the chief macronutrient for energy to fuel endurance, and even if you eat a healthy diet (do you, really?), you probably don't get enough of the good stuff that'll make your body hum when you're huffing and puffing. Dietary supplements can fill those gaps.

We asked nutritionists and fitness experts for their must-have supplements for exercise and sports. Be forewarned: there are a lot of opinions out there and few iron-clad clinical studies supporting the claims. But you can do your own research to figure out what's worth a try for the goals you have in mind. This review of Dietary Supplements for Exercise and Athletic Performance from the National Institutes of Health, will help the next time you're considering buying, say, deer antler velvet, a Chinese supplement purported to have growth factors for building muscle.

And remember that dietary supplements are not regulated by the Food & Drug Administration as drugs. Many manufacturers make claims that may not be entirely true. What's more, because they are not rigorously controlled as pharmaceuticals, dietary supplements can contain ingredients that may interact with your prescription medicines. Talk with your doctor before taking any new dietary supplements and review our story on Popular Supplements with Hidden Dangers.

Protein is the building block of muscle. If you're doing vigorous exercise or resistance training, you are breaking down your muscle fibers and need protein to repair and rebuild them stronger than they were before, says certified sports nutritionist Hope Prenner, a National Academy of Sports Medicine Certified Personal Trainer on staff at "I strongly recommend supplementing with protein powder and creatine monohydrate, a natural substance found in muscle cells that is the first form of energy that the body burns through during strenuous exercise," she says.

READ MORE:The Best and Worst Protein Powders to Buy

Polyphenols are micronutrients found in fruits and vegetables. One of the most effective of these phytonutrients is ellagitannin, which has been shown to reduce delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) that typically starts a day or two after a workout.

Ellagitannins are found in pomegranate extract, which is a key ingredient in Beachbody super trainer Autumn Calabrese's go-to post-workout drink Recover, a plant-based protein and polyphenol powder. "I feel good knowing I'm getting a high-quality source of vegan protein and phytonutrients to combat exercise-induced muscle soreness, speed recovery and restore my strength so I can do it all over again the next day," says Calabrese, author of Lose Weight Like Crazy Even If You Have a Crazy Life.

"Recover helps me stay consistent with my routine. At almost 41, I'm the fittest I've ever been." A serving of Recover contains 20 grams of pea protein; that's just about the maximum amount your body can use at one time to support muscle protein synthesis, according to a study in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.

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Exercise itself helps build bone. The forces you exert on your bones when exercising cause bones to become denser. But vitamin D is also essential for good bone health because our bodies do not effectively absorb calcium without it. "Supplementing with vitamin D is a good idea for athletes because it promotes bone health, which all athletes rely on for good performance," says Diana Gariglio-Clelland, RD, a nutritionist on staff at, and a certified diabetes education specialist. "It's estimated that over 40% of Americans are vitamin D deficient, so vitamin D is a worthwhile supplement to invest in for overall health." And it is well-researched in terms of benefits, something that can't be said of all dietary supplements, she says.

For more, check outThe #1 Best Vitamin D Supplement to Take, Says Dietitian.

The BCAAs valine, leucine, and isoleucine are essential amino acids your body gets from the proteins in dairy, meat, and legumes. For you chemistry buffs out there, "branched-chain" refers to their chemical structure. BCAA supplements are popular with weightlifters because they may enhance muscle growth and help prevent DOMS (delayed-onset muscle soreness). "One of the most important things to look for when choosing a BCAA supplement is the ratio of leucine to isoleucine and valine," says Jay Cowin, a certified sports nutrition advisor (CSNA) and the nutritionist/director of formulations for ASYSTEM.

"I recommend a supplement that uses a 2:1:1 since leucine plays the most important role in muscle protein synthesis while isoleucine helps process leucine. Valine helps reduce fatigue during your workout." The supplements are available in capsule or powder form. Cowin prefers the powder because it acts faster and delivers higher doses than BCAA capsules.

Arginine (L-arginine) is an amino acid that's often used to treat peripheral artery disease and erectile dysfunction because it affects nitric oxide production, relaxing blood vessels, and improving blood flow. But it's an exercise supplement, too. "It stimulates growth hormone to help grow muscle, build strength, and aid in recovery from vigorous workouts," says Cowin. "It's a precursor to creatine for natural performance enhancement." Cowin points out that arginine and other supplements often contain added ingredients like electrolytes, sweeteners, and gluten, which may cause negative reactions if you are sensitive to these additives. Check ingredient labels before buying.

Beetroot powder is made from the beet plant, a terrific source of nutrients like folate, manganese, potassium, iron, vitamin C, and fiber. "Beet root can help increase blood flow to help oxygenate exercisers' hard-working muscles," says Lauren Manaker, MS, RDN, a member of our Eat This, Not That! Medical Expert Board and a licensed dietitian for Zhou Nutrition, which makes Zhou Beet Complete, beetroot powder.

Studies have shown that beetroot powder can improve athletic performance by helping the mitochondria, the "energy engines" in your cells to work more efficiently during intense exercise. The key ingredient in beetroot is nitrate: a substance that helps your body produce nitric oxide, which dilates blood vessels, improves blood flow, and lowers blood pressure.

In addition, "the antioxidants in beet root may help combat the oxidative stress that may occur during a strenuous workout," says Manaker. "I recommend beetroot as an addition to a dietary regimen for those who exercise vigorously." You can read more about the potential for nitric oxide to boost resistance exercise in this study in The Journal of Strength Conditioning Research involving bench pressing at 60% of recreational athletes' one repetition maximum.

Jamie Hickey, NASM, a certified trainer, nutritionist, and founder of Truism Fitness recommends quercetin supplements. "Quercetin (a flavonoid found in apples, tea, berries and red wine) is a well-studied antioxidant that can work to increase your endurance and act as an appetite suppressant," he says. "A variety of studies have found that quercetin supplementation increases exercise tolerance and muscle loss while decreasing markers of muscle degradation." One double-blind clinical trial of 60 male athletes in the International Journal of Preventive Medicine found that those who received quercetin capsules improved their lean body mass, basal metabolic rate, and total energy expenditure.

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Health Hub: Fit to Survive | Features | – Redmond Spokesman

Posted: August 12, 2021 at 1:49 am

Hopefully our world is beginning its return to normal. What actually is normal? Were you happy with your normal? Will normal change for you? Did you and your loved ones survive the last 18 months and would you be prepared experience that again?

An interesting concept by Pamela Peeke, MD, asks the questions are you fit to live and are you fit to survive. Her book Fit to Live (Rodale 2007) spawned a Discovery show titled Could you Survive? Dr. Peeke surmised then that more than physical fitness was needed to survive daily life and prepare for a curveball like we just experienced. Surviving daily to catastrophic stressors requires insight, commitment and work. Dr. Peeke suggests that to be fit-to-live five critical elements must be woven together for success: mental, nutritional, physical, financial and environmental fitness.

Successfully adjusting to changing conditions by adaptation and resilience is the goal of mental fitness. Mental fitness is arguably the most important to survive the type of year we have just experienced. A study of seniors revealed those embraced hard work, accepting the pain of that hardship, throughout their lives and by learning new skills and habits as they aged were less likely to be fearful or depressed by stressors such as change. Meditation and practicing mindfulness are recommended.

Nutrition, as it affects every cell in our body is essential to being fit to live. The American diet continues to consist of overly refined foods: processed foods, too much sugar, fat and salt, heavy in additives, preservatives and artificial flavors. Since the brain will ultimately be the recipient of what is taken in foods heavy in chemicals can disturb the systems in the brain that control impulse, process rewards, develop addictive behaviors and ultimately handle stress. An interesting study pitted a whole-food diet vs a processed-food diet of the same calories. A whole-food diet is suggested.

Functional physical fitness is the key to keeping the physical body strong enough to combat all stressors. Functional fitness mimics work you do in normal activities: balancing, twisting, bending, pulling and pushing. Aerobic exercise has a profound positive affect on cognition, brain structure, behavior and psychosocial functioning.

Ralph Waldo Emerson is quoted saying the first wealth is health. Many will see a revolving door: financial health will directly impact physical health. The more wealth you have the lower risk of disease and premature death. People with lower incomes are three-times more likely to have physical limitations and disabilities due to chronic illness. 60 percent of people with higher incomes meet the physical activity recommendations compared to 36 percent in lower income households. Return to play, to survival.

Get outside: walk, hike, play games, ride a bike think like you had to do the activity to survive, to fight a battle.

Lastly, create a healthy, nurturing environment where you work, live and play. Many things in this category have the ability to increase stress, leading to a breakdown of one or more of the other areas. Consider how you manage relationships with people, places and things in your home, work and outdoor space. A study showed that a cluttered, chaotic living environment has the potential to cause stress that increases anxiety and depression. The outdoor environment can be a place for healing spending time outside every day elevates the mood and increases longevity in older adults.

As you think through these five focuses (with the last year in mind) you are able draw lines between and through all of them, further connecting the mind and body with the world outside. All are an important piece to the puzzle, are you fit to live?

Robin Gaudette is the aquatics wellness coordinator at the Redmond Area Park and Recreation District. Contact her at

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Fruits vs. vegetables: List, nutrition, benefits, and more – Medical News Today

Posted: August 12, 2021 at 1:49 am

Fruits and vegetables are an essential part of a nutritious diet. They contain vitamins, minerals, fiber, and other nutrients.

Although they both make up the basis of a nutritious diet, fruits and vegetables have classifications based on their botanical structure. The fruits people eat are the seed-bearing structure in flowering plants, while vegetables consist of edible plant stems, leaves, and other plant components.

The Department of Agriculture recommends adults consume 1.5 to 2.5 cups of fruit per day.

In addition to fruit, they should aim to eat 2 to 4 cups of vegetables. These recommendations vary depending on a persons age, weight, and sex.

According to a 2015 study, most adults in the United States do not consume enough produce.

The survey showed that just 12.2% met the daily fruit intake, while 9.3% met the daily vegetable intake. Access is likely an issue, as only 7% of adults near or below the poverty level reported they ate the required amount of vegetables per day.

Read more to learn about the differences between fruits and vegetables, the health benefits of both, and affordable ways to consume more fruits and vegetables.

Fruits and vegetables comprise different parts of the plants from which they grow.

Fruits come from the flowering part of a plant and contain seeds. In contrast, vegetables are the edible parts of a plant, such as the leaves, stem, roots, and bulbs.

People often associate fruits with sweetness and vegetables with a savory taste. Although this is often true, botanists classify some savory produce as fruits, such as tomatoes.

Savory fruits and sweet vegetables sometimes cause confusion as to their classification. Additionally, botanists and culinary experts disagree on the classification of some fruits and vegetables, further complicating the matter.

Botanists classify fruits and vegetables based on the part of the plant that they originate. However, chefs use flavor profiles, such as sweet or savory, to decide whether something is a vegetable or a fruit.

Below are some fruits and vegetables that fit into two different categories and that people often mix up.

While the tomato is technically a fruit according to botanists many consider it a vegetable due to its savory flavor.

FoodData Central (FDC), the U.S. governments central nutrient database, classifies tomatoes as vegetables. However, a tomato grows from the plants flower and has seeds, making it a fruit.

According to the FDC, cucumbers are also vegetables.

However, cucumbers come from the flowers of the plants. They also have seeds throughout them, classifying them as fruit.

People may view rhubarb as a fruit due to its distinctive flavor and role in various baked goods.

Although the FDC also classifies it as a fruit, botanists disagree. The part of the rhubarb people eat is the stem, making it a vegetable, not a fruit.

Most people consider green beans to be vegetables, and the FDC agrees.

Regardless, green beans grow from the flower of their plant, and they contain beans, which are their seeds. This makes them a fruit.

Bell peppers have seeds inside and grow from the flower of the plant, making them a fruit. However, the FDC categorizes them as vegetables.

Regardless of their technical classification, fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of vitamins, minerals, and fiber.

Many experts say that when trying to follow a nutrient-dense diet, a person should aim to eat the rainbow. This is because colorful vegetables contain vital nutrients, and their different shades indicate different nutrient profiles. A diverse diet offers a range of vitamins and minerals, which helps people consume a nutritious diet.

For example, red and orange vegetables are high in antioxidants and carotenoids. Blue or purple vegetables are rich in anthocyanins, which have anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. Meanwhile, dark, leafy greens are excellent sources of calcium, fiber, and carotenoids.

Fruits also contain various beneficial nutrients. For example, many citrus fruits such as oranges, grapefruits, and limes contain vitamin C, an antioxidant that helps the bodys tissues grow and repair themselves.

Both fruits and vegetables provide health benefits.

Humans need calcium for building and maintaining strong bones. It occurs naturally in broccoli and dark, leafy greens such as kale, bok choy, and collard greens. Oranges and dried figs also provide a substantial amount of the mineral.

Vitamin C plays an essential role in the bodys ability to heal damaged tissues.

Fruits high in this vitamin include:

Both fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of fiber. However, people need to consume produce in its complete state not in juice form to get the most fiber.

Fiber prevents blood sugar spikes by slowing the digestive process, and it also helps the digestive system function properly. Brocolli, squash, pears, and apples, among other produce, are all high in fiber.

According to a 2015 study, most adults in the U.S. do not consume enough produce. The research showed that the largest disparity in vegetable consumption was poverty. Although fruits and vegetables are a proven part of a nutritious diet, they remain expensive and inaccessible to many individuals.

People living in food deserts are at a significant disadvantage. These are areas where individuals have limited access to nutritious foods.

A nutritious diet can be difficult to achieve considering these barriers to access. However, the below strategies may help ease some of these challenges.

Some produce, such asparagus and berries, can be expensive. People looking to stretch their grocery budget can try buying more affordable options.

Although the least expensive produce varies depending on the location and season, some of the most affordable fruits and vegetables include:

Learn more about eating nutritious foods on a budget.

People living in the U.S. may be eligible for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), a monthly benefit allowing individuals to buy fruits, vegetables, meat, bread, and more.

Low income, pregnant, nursing, or postpartum individuals (until their children are 5 years of age) are also eligible for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). This provides them access to the nutritious foods that new mothers and young infants need.

Check the eligibility criteria for SNAP and WIC.

In addition to shopping in grocery stores, people can use their SNAP dollars at most farmers markets.

The Double Up Food Bucks program, which is currently active in 25 of the 50 states, helps individuals get more for their money at the farmers market. It matches every dollar a person spends, meaning they can get twice the produce for the same price.

Learn more about Double Up Food Bucks.

Although botanists classify fruits and vegetables by their structure and seeds, many individuals and chefs classify them by their taste. Regardless, both contain essential vitamins and minerals that are important for the body.

Some benefits of eating fruits and vegetables include promoting bone health, a functioning immune system, and proper digestion.

Most people in the U.S. do not eat enough fruits and vegetables, while those living at or below the poverty line consume even less. However, food assistance programs, such as SNAP and WIC, and shopping for affordable produce, can help individuals consume more nutritious diets.

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