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Tailoring Nutrition to Help Fight Parkinson’s Disease

Good nutritional practices are the groundwork for a healthy and productive life. People with Parkinson’s and their Care Partners have extra challenges to face as they navigate life with this progressive disease that causes tremors, slowness of movement, muscle stiffness and impaired balance. For people with Parkinson’s, healthy eating is another strategy to fight the effects of Parkinson’s.

Like all of us, people with Parkinson’s should strive to eat a balanced diet of carbohydrates, fats, and protein. Carbohydrates are the body’s preferred energy source. Fats – especially healthy unsaturated fats – are also used for energy. Protein contributes to cell growth, repair and maintenance. It is also important to get necessary vitamins and minerals from fruits and vegetables to truly feel your best. Drinking water throughout the day keeps us from becoming dehydrated and helps the entire body to function optimally.

Because People with Parkinson’s already have a progressive disease to manage – it is important to try to keep other chronic diseases at bay. Vitamin E and C are antioxidants that combat free radicals (compounds that injure healthy cells) in the body. It is important that people with Parkinson’s eat plenty of antioxidant containing foods such as blueberries and spinach.

People with Parkinson’s are at a greater risk for osteoporosis and falls – which is why adequate amounts of Vitamin D and Calcium are essential to keep bones strong. The body can create its own Vitamin D from 15 minutes a day of sunlight exposure – or it can be found in foods such as salmon, pork and eggs. Vitamin D is essential for helping calcium be absorbed in the body – calcium being the primary component of bones. Good sources of calcium include yogurt, cheese, kale and spinach.

Protein serves many vital functions in the body, and it is important for People with Parkinson’s to get adequate amounts. Protein rich foods can diminish the effects of some Parkinson’s medications when they are taken together, so taking medications an hour prior to eating can help them to work most efficiently.

Fiber is the bulky, indigestible part of plants that passes through the digestive tract. Fiber absorbs water in the body and helps with regularity. People with Parkinson’s have higher instances of constipation – so eating high fiber foods such as bran cereals, whole wheat bread, beans and broccoli can help relieve this condition.

Sometimes diseases of the eye can occur in People with Parkinson’s. Beta-Carotene is a type of Vitamin A that helps maintain retina function and is found in carrots and sweet potatoes. Leafy green vegetables and egg yolks contain lutein and antioxidants that may lower the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration.

Finally, People with Parkinson’s should always be sure to drink enough water. Adequate water consumption helps relieve constipation, prevents dehydration, aids in vitamin absorption in the body, and rids the body of waste.

Always consult your physician if you notice any undesired weight loss, and before you make any changes to your regular eating habits.


Carisa Campanella, BA, AS, is an ACE Health Coach and ACSM Personal Trainer. She is the Program Manager at the Neuro Challenge Foundation for Parkinson’s. Neuro Challenge provides ongoing monthly support groups and educational programs, individualized care advising and community resource referrals to help empower people with Parkinson’s and their caregivers.

A man having question

Sports Nutrition Myths: Busted!

Keeping up with the latest science-based sports nutrition recommendations is a challenge. We are constantly bombarded with media messages touting the next miracle sports food or supplement that will enhance athletic performance, promote fat loss, build muscle, and help you be a super-athlete. At this year’s Annual Meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine (www.acsm.org), a sports nutrition myth-busters session sponsored by the global network of Professionals In Nutrition for Exercise and Sport (www.PINESNutrition.org) featured experts who resolved confusion with science-based research.

MYTH: Protein supplements build bigger muscles.

Protein needs for a 150-pound (68 kg) athlete average about 110 to 150 grams of protein per day. (More precisely, 0.7 to 1.0 g pro/lb. body weight/day; 1.6 to 2.2 g pro/kg./day) Hungry athletes can easily consume this amount from standard meals. Yet, many athletes believe they need extra protein. They consume protein shakes and bars in addition to protein-laden meals. They are unlikely to see any additional benefits from this higher-than-needed protein intake. Resistance exercise is a far more potent way to increase muscle size and strength than any protein supplement.

MYTH: Eating just before bedtime makes an athlete fat. 

While it is true the body responds differently to the same meal eaten at 9:00 a.m., 5:00 pm, or 1:00 a.m., an athlete will not “get fat” by eating at night. The main problem with nighttime eating relates to the ease of over-eating while lounging around and watching TV. When your brain is tired from having made endless decisions all day, you can easily decide to eat more food than required.

That said, bedtime carbohydrates to refuel depleted muscles and bedtime protein to build and repair muscles can optimize recovery after a day of hard training or competing. For bodybuilders and others who want to optimize muscle growth, eating about 40 grams of protein before bed provides an extended flow of amino acids needed to build muscle. (This bedtime snack has not been linked with fat gain). Cottage cheese, anyone?

MYTH: A gluten-free diet cures athletes’ gut problems.

If you have celiac disease (as verified by blood tests), your gut will indeed feel better if you avoid wheat and other gluten-containing foods. However, very few gut issues for non-celiac athletes are related to gluten. FODMAPs (Fermentable Oligo-, Di-, Mono-saccharides and Polyols) are often the culprit. These are types of hard-for-some-people-to-digest carbohydrates found in commonly eaten foods such as wheat, apples, onion, garlic, and milk. For example, the di-saccharide lactose (a kind of sugar found in milk) creates gut turmoil in people who are lactose intolerant. The poorly digested and absorbed lactose creates gas, bloat and diarrhea.

For certain athletes, a low FODMAP diet two or three days before a competition or long training session can help curb intestinal distress. If you live in fear of undesired pit stops, a consultation with your sports dietitian to learn more about a short-term FODMAP reduction diet is worth considering.

MYTH: Athletes should avoid caffeine because of its diuretic effect

With caffeinated beverages, the diuretic effect might be 1.2 ml. excess fluid lost per mg. of caffeine. That means, if you were to drink a small mug  (7 oz./200 ml.) of coffee that contains 125 milligrams of caffeine, you might lose about 150 ml. water through excess urine loss. But you’d still have 50 ml. fluid to hydrate your body—and likely more if you drink coffee regularly. Athletes who regularly consume caffeine habituate and experience less of a diuretic effect. In general, most caffeinated beverages contribute to a positive fluid balance; avoiding them on the basis of their caffeine content is not justified.

MYTH: Athletes should be wary of creatine because it is bad for kidneys.

Creatine is sometimes used by athletes who want to bulk up. It allows muscles to recover faster from, let’s say, lifting weights, so the athlete can do more reps and gain strength. A review of 21 studies that assessed kidney function with creatine doses ranging from 2 to 30 grams a day for up to five and a half years indicates creatine is safe for young healthy athletes as well as for elderly people. Even the most recent studies using sophisticated methods to assess renal function support creatine supplements as being well tolerated and not related to kidney dysfunction.

Reading a nutrition label on food packaging with magnifying glass

MYTH: The vegan diet fails to support optimal performance in athletes.

Without a doubt, vegan athletes can —and do—excel in sport. Just Google vegan athletes; you’ll find an impressive list that includes Olympians and professional athletes from many sports (including football, basketball, tennis, rowing, snowboarding, running, soccer, plus more.)

The key to consuming an effective vegan sports diet is to include adequate leucine, the essential amino acid that triggers muscles to grow. The richest sources of leucine are found in animal foods, such as eggs, dairy, fish, and meats. If you swap animal proteins for plant proteins, you reduce your leucine intake by about 50%. For athletes, consuming 2.5 grams of leucine every 3 to 4 hours during the day optimizes muscular development. This means vegan athletes need to eat adequate nuts, soy foods, lentils, beans and other plant proteins regularly at every meal and snack.

Most athletes can consume adequate leucine, but some don’t because they skip meals and fail to plan a balanced vegan menu. Vegan athletes who are restricting food intake to lose undesired body fat need to be particularly vigilant to consume an effective sports diet. Plan ahead!


Nancy Clark, MS, RD counsels both casual and competitive athletes at her office in Newton, MA (617-795-1875). The newest 6th edition of her best selling Sports Nutrition Guidebook is being released in July 2019. For information about readymade handouts and PowerPoint presentations, visit www.NancyClarkRD.com. For her popular online workshop, see www.NutritionSportsExerciseCEUs.com.

lightbulb thought

Don’t Practice Positive Thinking… Practice POWER THINKING

In his book, Secrets of the Millionaire Mind, T. Harv Eker talks about positive thinking vs. power thinking.

Positive thinking is our default when we want to improve an area of our lives. We journal, recite affirmations, and work to build our positive thoughts. What Eker points out is that positive thinking implies that we accept our own thoughts as truth.

Instead, he suggests focusing on power thinking, which is an extension of positive thinking in that you are working to build your belief, but instead, you acknowledge that things only have meaning because we give them meaning.

You can attach a particular meaning to anything but that doesn’t mean it’s real.

For example, just because you’ve fallen off the wagon in your fitness and nutrition dozens of times doesn’t mean that you’re incapable of success.

Secondly, just because you’ve missed a few workouts last week doesn’t mean that your entire plan to lose weight has been destroyed.

But that’s the meaning most people give it right? In other words, we tend to be ultra hard on ourselves which ends up being sabotaging.

I bring this concept up in the hopes that the next time a situation arises where you feel “less than” or defeated that you stop and ask yourself “what meaning am I giving to this situation?”

By understanding this, you then have the power to change the meaning you assign for the better and propel yourself to new levels of commitment and success.

In conclusion, don’t practice positive thinking. Practice POWER THINKING!


Originally printed on Move Well Fitness blog. Reprinted with permission.

Maurice D. Williams is a personal trainer and owner of Move Well Fitness in Bethesda, MD. With almost two decades in the industry, he’s worked with a wide range of clients, including those with health challenges like diabetes, osteoporosis, multiple sclerosis, hypertension, coronary artery disease, lower back pain, pulmonary issues, and pregnancy. Maurice is also a fitness educator with Move Well Fit Academy and NASM.  

tape-fork-diet-health-53416

Weight Loss Myths

Like Cicero coining the phrase “Ipse dixit” (“He, himself, said it”) in reference to the mathematician Pythagoras, we tend to appeal to the pronouncements of the master (in our society, celebrities and the media) rather than to reason or evidence. After all, if Jillian Michaels from TV’s The Biggest Loser or any other celebrity trainer says it’s so, it must be so, right? This has led to the proliferation of many myths in the weight-loss and fitness industry. Why do we think or claim we know things that we actually do not know? There are so many passionate people in the weight-loss and fitness industry, which is great, but oftentimes that passion gets in the way of science. And that can be dangerous. Do you know your weight-loss facts from fiction?

Myth: You have to exercise in your fat-burning zone to burn fat and lose weight.

People often assume that low-intensity exercise is best for burning fat. Cardio equipment manufacturers contribute to this assumption by posting a “fat-burning” workout option on their front panels, which influences people to choose that option because, after all, people want to burn fat. During exercise at a very low intensity, such as walking, fat does account for most of the energy you use. At a moderate intensity, such as running at 80 percent of your maximum heart rate, fat accounts for only about half of the energy you use. While you use both fat and carbohydrate for energy during exercise, these two fuels provide that energy on a sliding scale—as you increase your intensity, the contribution from fat decreases while the contribution from carbohydrate increases. While you use only a minimal amount of fat at higher intensities, the number of calories you use per minute and the total number of calories you expend are much greater than when you exercise at a lower intensity, so the amount of fat you use is also greater. Research has shown that the highest rate of fat use occurs when you exercise at a hard aerobic intensity (Achten et al. 2002; Astorino, 2000; Knechtle et al. 2004). What matters is the rate of energy expenditure rather than simply the percentage of energy expenditure derived from fat. Since you use only carbohydrate when you exercise at a high intensity, does that mean that if you run fast, you won’t get rid of that flabby belly? Of course not.

Despite what most people think, you don’t have to use fat when you exercise to lose fat from your waistline. The little amount of fat that you use in combination with carbohydrate during moderate-intensity exercise is in the form of intramuscular triglycerides—tiny droplets of fat within your muscles. Adipose fat (the fat on your waistline and thighs) is burned during the hours before and after your workouts while you’re sitting at your desk. For fat and weight loss, what matters most is the difference between the number of calories you expend and the number of calories you consume. So don’t worry about exercising in your fat-burning zone, because there’s no such thing.

Myth: Working out first thing in the morning on an empty stomach burns more fat. 

Muscles will indeed use more fat if you exercise when your blood glucose is low, as it can be first thing in the morning after an overnight fast. But burning more fat during your workout doesn’t necessarily mean that you will lose more weight. Exercising when fasted before breakfast doesn’t reduce the total number of calories you consume throughout the day, and doesn’t allow you to cheat the laws of caloric balance; at the end of the day, you still have to have a caloric deficit to lose fat.

When you exercise first thing in the morning before breakfast, your muscles don’t just rely on fat immediately. When exercising at a low or moderate intensity, they’ll use some fat, just like they would when you exercise at any other time of the day. But they’ll also use whatever carbohydrate is available from blood glucose and stored glycogen because carbohydrate is the muscles’ preferred fuel. When you run out of glucose, your muscles will then start to rely more heavily on fat. But exercising on an empty stomach with low blood glucose decreases the intensity at which you can exercise, which results in a lower-quality workout and less total calories burned. For weight loss, it really doesn’t matter if the calories you burn when you exercise come from fat or carbohydrate; how many total calories you burn is what matters.

Myth: Resistance training increases resting metabolic rate.

Perhaps the biggest myth in the fitness industry is the issue of resistance training increasing resting metabolic rate by increasing muscle mass, which leads to greater weight loss. Although it is true that resting metabolic rate is influenced by the amount of muscle you have, you would have to add a lot of muscle to significantly impact your resting metabolic rate. It’s not like you can add 10 pounds of muscle (which is very difficult to do unless you train like a bodybuilder for many months) and all of a sudden your resting metabolic rate is double what it was before. There’s about a 10-calorie increase in metabolic rate for every pound of muscle. So, if your resting metabolic rate is 1,500 calories per day, you would need to add 15 pounds of muscle mass to increase it by 10 percent. Resistance training can make you look better because of the effect it has on your muscles, but it won’t really impact your resting metabolic rate much. As you lose weight, your resting metabolic rate actually decreases, even when you maintain muscle mass by resistance training. Exercise can prevent the decline in resting metabolic rate as you lose weight, but it certainly does not increase as you lose weight.

Humans’ resting metabolic rate—the amount of energy you need to stay alive—is pretty stable, having been set by millions of years of evolution. Lifting dumbbells in a gym or doing burpees in the park is not going to change that. Some studies have shown an increase in resting metabolic rate following many weeks or months of exercise, but the magnitude of change is relatively small (about 30 to 142 calories per day) compared to what is needed for weight loss (Dolezal & Potteiger 1998; Poehlman & Danforth 1991). And some of these studies have been done on seniors, who are more likely to show increases in resting metabolic rate due to the attenuating effect of exercise on age-associated losses in muscle mass. It’s much easier to impact muscle mass and thus resting metabolic rate in an older person than in a younger person.

Myth: Intense workouts contribute to weight loss by burning more calories after the workout is over.

Ever since the fitness industry found research showing that people burn calories after they work out while they recover from their workout, a whole new argument was born. Exercise stopped being about the exercise and became about what came after. “Do this workout,” trainers and gurus say, “because you’ll burn four times as many calories for up to 48 hours afterward.”

After some workouts, specifically those that are intense or long, you continue to use oxygen and burn calories because you must recover from the workout, and recovery is an aerobic, oxygen-using process. This increased oxygen consumption following the workout is called the EPOC (Excess Postexercise Oxygen Consumption).

Many studies have documented the EPOC and compared it and its associated post-workout calorie burn between exercise of different intensities and durations (Laforgia et al. 1997; Treuth et al. 1996; Tucker et al. 2016). However, the post-workout calorie burn caused by the EPOC is a highly overexaggerated issue among fitness trainers. The increase in metabolism is transient, perhaps lasting a few hours, depending on how intense the workout was. The unbridled optimism regarding the EPOC in weight loss is generally unfounded. Studies have shown that the EPOC comprises only 6 to 15 percent of the net total oxygen cost of the exercise, and only when the exercise is very intense (Laforgia et al. 2006). Since unfit individuals recover more slowly than fit individuals, the EPOC will be higher in unfit individuals. However, most unfit individuals simply can’t handle the intensity of exercise that is required to induce a high or prolonged EPOC.

The calories you burn when you exercise have a greater effect on your body weight than the calories you burn afterward. It is the workout itself that creates the demand for change.

Myth: Nutrition (diet) is more important than exercise for losing weight and looking good.

I hear a lot in the fitness industry about the importance of clean eating. Indeed, most fitness professionals quote that physical appearance is 80 percent due to nutrition and 20 percent due to your workouts. I don’t know where those numbers come from, but those percentages are unknowable.

If we are to assign a relative importance to each, it’s presumptuous to think that the specific foods we eat are more important to our health, fitness, and cosmetics than are genetics and training. People like to claim that abs are made in the kitchen, but the truth is that muscles are made by training them. I’m pretty sure I didn’t get my sculpted legs and ass from eating kale salads; I got them from running 6 days per week for 33 years.

This is not to say that a person’s diet doesn’t matter. Of course it does. But to place such a large emphasis on diet over exercise misses an important point—cutting calories and eating a more nutritious diet does not make you fitter. Although your nutrition is undoubtedly important, it doesn’t give your muscles a stimulus to adapt. Only exercise can do that and thus give you all of the fitness and health benefits. The sculpted legs of runners and upper bodies of fitness magazine models didn’t get that way just by eating fruits and vegetables.

Truth is, you need both diet and exercise. Diet gets your weight off, especially initially, and exercise keeps it off. To lose weight, you must consume fewer calories each day. To maintain weight, you must exercise on most, if not all, days of the week. Research has shown that body weight and body mass index are directly proportional to the amount of exercise people do (Williams & Satariano 2005; Williams & Thompson 2006).

If we take two people, and one eats perfectly clean with a nutrient-dense diet and no processed foods but doesn’t exercise much, and the other exercises a lot but has a mediocre diet with the occasional Twinkie or chocolate chip cookie, who is going to look better and be fitter? I hope you said the latter. Truth is, exercise and genetics exert a greater influence on how you look (and on your physical performance) than your diet does.

Join Dr. Karp for his upcoming webinar on this topic:


Jason Karp is the creator of the REVO2LUTION RUNNING certification, 2011 IDEA Personal Trainer of the Year, and recipient of the 2014 President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition Community Leadership Award. A PhD in exercise physiology, he has more than 200 publications, mentors fitness professionals, and speaks around the world. His sixth book, “The Inner Runner”, is available in bookstores and Amazon. Visit his website, Run-Fit.com

Article reprinted with permission from Jason Karp. Originally published on Personal Training on the Net (PTontheNet.com). 

 

References

Achten, J., Gleeson, M., and Jeukendrup, A.E. 2002. Determination of the exercise intensity that elicits maximal fat oxidation. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. 34(1), 92-97.

Astorino, T.A. 2000. Is the ventilatory threshold coincident with maximal fat oxidation during submaximal exercise in women? Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness. 40(3), 209-216.

Dolezal, B.A. and Potteiger, J.A. 1998. Concurrent resistance and endurance training influence basal metabolic rate in nondieting individuals. Journal of Applied Physiology. 85(2), 695-700.

Knechtle, B., Müller, G., Willmann, F., Kotteck, K., Eser, P., and Knecht, H. 2004. Fat oxidation in men and women endurance athletes in running and cycling. International Journal of Sports Medicine. 25(1), 38-44.

Laforgia, J., Withers, R.T., Shipp, N.J., and Gore, C.J. 1997. Comparison of energy expenditure elevations after submaximal and supramaximal running. Journal of Applied Physiology. 82(2), 661-666.

LaForgia, J., Withers, R.T., and Gore, C.J. 2006. Effects of exercise intensity and duration on the excess post-exercise oxygen consumption. Journal of Sports Sciences. 24(12), 1247-1264.

Poehlman, E.T. and Danforth, E. 1991. Endurance training increases metabolic rate and norepinephrine appearance rate in older individuals. American Journal of Physiology Endocrinology and Metabolism. 261: E233-E239.

Treuth, M.S., Hunter, G.R., and Williams, M. 1996. Effects of exercise intensity on 24-h energy expenditure and substrate oxidation. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. 28(9), 1138-1143.

Tucker W.J., Angadi, S.S., and Gaesser, G.A. 2016. Excess postexercise oxygen consumption after high-intensity and sprint interval exercise, and continuous steady-state exercise. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. 30(11), 3090-3097.

Williams, P.T. and Satariano, W.A. 2005. Relationships of age and weekly running distance to BMI and circumferences in 41,582 physically active women. Obesity Research. 13(8), 1370-1380.

Williams, P.T. and Thompson, P.D. 2006. Dose-dependent effects of training and detraining on weight in 6406 runners during 7.4 years. Obesity. 14(11), 1975-1984.

Jerk Spiced Turkey Burger

The Naturopathic Chef: Jerk Spiced Turkey Burgers with Peach Salsa

Dry rubs are my “thing!” I love the deep flavor and crispy crust that dried herbs and spices impart. Dry rubs are any combination of dried herbs, spices, sugar, and salt that you like. Jerk celebrates the flavors of the Carribean and is generally very spicy, with the use of the native Carribean chili, the scotch bonnet. I used cayenne and a mild chili powder blend here, but if you can find dried scotch bonnet, you’ll truely transport your guests to Jamaica. Hang on to your extra rub, chef’s! This recipe makes enough for two to three recipes.

Dry Rub

  • 3 tsp dark brown sugar or coconut palm sugar
  • 2 tsps each, allspice, thyme, ground ginger, granulated garlic,
  • 1 1/2 tsps each, chili powder blend (or Scotch Bonnet), salt
  • 1 tsp each, cinnamon, paprika, black pepper, cayenne
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves

Measure everything into a small mixing bowl, or jar. Mix all dry herbs and spices together using a whisk, or put a lid on your jar and shake it! (a little Zumba music, please!) Be sure to label and date the jar.

Turkey Burgers

  • 1 1/4 lb ground Turkey
  • 2 Tbls Tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 Tbls Jerk rub
  • extra Jerk rub to season burgers while cooking

Mix all ingredients together. Please don’t over-handle the meat, this makes a tough burger. Form four patties. Put a dimple in the center of each pattie. Sprinkle with a little extra rub on both sides, and grill over medium-high heat, four minutes each side. Rest 3-5 minutes before service.

Tasty tip: Turkey Burgers have a reputation for being dry. This is due to the leanness of the meat, naturally. Slice Oranges into 1/4” slices. Make a “bed” for your burgers, and grill on the moist fruit slices. Finish directly on the grill to create that irresistible Jerk rub crust.

Peach Salsa

This bright fruit salsa will compliment many of your family favorites. Serving fruit with meat is an age old practice, as the enzymes in the fruit help break down animal proteins. The classic pork with pineapple is a great example of this principle. I like the cool peach flavor, against the very spicy jerk seasoning. The hot off the grill spicy turkey burger served on tender butter lettuce, and topped with the cool peach salsa…now that’s a summer burger!

  • 3 Peaches, peeled, and small dice
  • 1/2 Red Bell Pepper, small dice
  • 1 small Jalepeno, seeded and minced
  • 3 Tbls Purple Onion, minced
  • 2 Tbls Cilantro, remove stems, chop fine
  • Juice of 1 Lime
  • 2 tsps Honey
  • 1/2 tsp Salt

Gently toss all prepped ingredients, and chill until service.

Turkey Burger Phyto Facts

Turkey is packed with minerals, especially Selenium and Zinc. As we’ve talked about before, Selenium is at the top of the cancer-fighting list. It is also considered a longevity nutrient, as it slows the aging clock. Zinc acts as a catalyst in our bodies: every time we eat foods high in Zinc, our bodies produce a very powerful antioxidant called Super Oxide Dismutase. This is why Zinc has a reputation for building immune system response. It’s really the S.O.D. we create, after ingesting Zinc.

Skinless Turkey is one of the best ways to prevent pancreatic cancer, providing the Turkey has been raised organically, and is pasture fed. This amazing protein source helps us burn body fat, and induces deeper sleep.

Turkey also has a very favorable ratio of Omega-6 to Omega-3. We always want higher Omega-3; Omega-6 is healthy, but too much, and it can cause malignant tumor growth.

All of the spices and herbs used contain medicine too. After all, the medicines we’re familiar with every day came from herbs. Cinnamon and Allspice are Mother Nature’s antibiotics, they stabilize blood sugar, and lower blood pressure. Chilis open the arteries and are anti-inflammatory. Thyme brings a woman’s menses down, and eases hormonal discomforts. Black pepper cleanses the liver. As you can see, all of nature’s gifts have health benefits when used properly.

Another nutrient is in the tomato paste. This is one of the most concentrated forms of Lycopene because tomato paste is cooked down to such a strong concentration. Two tablespoons of organic tomato paste per day is a great preventative measure against prostate cancer. Please be mindful of the acid. We don’t want to create an imbalance in our digestive tract.

Peach Salsa Phyto Facts

Yellow peaches contain Beta-Carotene which the body uses to make vitamin A. This kind of vitamin A is skin repair, reduction in sun damage, cancer prevention, and an immune booster. The honey is nature’s moisture magnet: these two together are some of the best skincare we can eat! The bell pepper also contains those valuable carotenoids, high in vitamin A and C, they help us repair tissue damage, and move fresh oxygen out to the cells efficiently.  Cilantro contains Apiginin, this offers protection against Ovarian cancer, as well as being high in Chlorophyll. The green in plants refreshes the bodily systems, repairs damaged cells, and assists in the carrying of oxygen. This is effective Delicious Medicine to eat, if you felt a summer cold coming on.


Affectionately referred to as The Walking Encyclopedia of Human Wellness, Fitness Coach, Strength Competitor and Powerlifting pioneer, Tina “The Medicine Chef” Martini is an internationally recognized Naturopathic Chef and star of the cooking show, Tina’s Ageless Kitchen. Tina’s cooking and lifestyle show has reached millions of food and fitness lovers all over the globe. Over the last 30 years, Tina has assisted celebrities, gold-medal athletes and over-scheduled executives naturally achieve radiant health using The Pyramid of Power: balancing Healthy Nutrition and the healing power of food, with Active Fitness and Body Alignment techniques. Working with those who have late-stage cancer, advanced diabetes, cardiovascular and other illnesses, Tina’s clients are astounded at the ease and speed with which they are able to restore their radiant health. Tina believes that maintaining balance in our diet, physical activity, and in our work and spiritual life is the key to our good health, happiness and overall well being. Visit her website, themedicinechef.com

man with food  rich in protein showing thumbs up

Impact of Protein on Fitness

Excitement on protein has just growing throughout the years. Protein shakes, bars, or high-protein diets are really popular nowadays among fitness and healthy lifestyle lovers.

Protein is an important component of every cell in our body. Along with carbohydrates, protein is a “macronutrient”, of which the body needs vast amounts. Moreover, protein cannot be stored, so our body is in need of this nutrient fairly often. Despite its popularity, it has been revealed that 1 in 3 adults lacks protein nourishment in their regular diet. Studies have also revealed that those with a higher intake of protein were more active and therefore have better metabolic health, including major faculties to lose weight.

Are you still uncertain? Here are 10 science-based reasons from Gym Equipment GB (1) to add more protein to your diet:

Increases Muscle Mass and Strength

Probably one of the most popular reasons, but still an important one. Protein repairs, maintains and grows cells and tissues, including muscles. If you are training or trying to lose weight, it is necessary to keep a higher intake of protein than usual, because it can help you prevent muscle loss and it will increase your strength.

Reduces Cravings and Desire for Late-Night Snacking

Cravings are common and sometimes difficult to control. They usually are more related to a psychological desire than a physical need. It requires strength to overcome the temptation, but the solution may just be to increase the amount of protein in your diet.

One study in overweight men showed that increasing protein to 25% of calories reduced cravings by 60% and the desire for late-night snacking by half.(2)

For female, it seems that a higher intake of protein during breakfast reduces anxiety and desire for snacking throughout the day.

Reduces Appetite and Hunger Levels

Protein is, according to the studies, the most filling macronutrient. It actually helps you feel more full with less food. Ghrelin — the “hunger hormone” that sends signals to your brain to eat — is a clear enemy of those trying to lose weight. Protein is able to help keep it in check. It also boosts the satiety hormone peptide YY that makes you feel full.

Is Good for Your Bones

There is a part of the public that believes that protein, especially animal protein, is bad for your bones because increases the acid load that leads to calcium issues. However, most studies confirm that a major intake of protein, including animal, has abundant benefits for bone health. It helps maintain bone mass as we get older and lowers the risk of fractures and osteoporosis.

This is an important point for women, who after menopause are more vulnerable towards this disease if a low-protein diet comes along sedentarism.

Boosts Metabolism and Increases Fat Burning

Protein filled foods have been proven to naturally boost metabolism and increase the number of calories you burn up to a hundred each day. If accompanied by exercise, protein can be the best ally in your goal of losing weight.

Lowers Your Blood Pressure

High blood pressure is a cause for heart attacks, strokes, and kidney diseases. However, several studies have shown that by increasing your intake of protein you can also lower your blood pressure. Another demonstrate improvement includes risk factors for heart disease, such as cholesterol and triglycerides.

Helps Maintain Weight Loss

As we mentioned above, a rich-protein diet can boost metabolism and reduce cravings. This is indubitably convenient for those seeking to not just lose weight, but to maintain it in a long term basis. A 12-month study of 130 overweight people on a calorie restricted diet, showed that the group on a high-protein diet lost 53% more fat than a normal-protein group eating the same amount of calories.

Losing weight and becoming healthier is just the first step. Maintaining a new habit can be the biggest challenge for most people. A moderate increase in the intake of protein can help with weight maintenance.

Does Not Harm Healthy Kidneys

There are concerns about the potential harm that a high-protein diet can have on organs, especially kidney diseases. Several studies have investigated this and discovered that high-protein diets have no adverse effects on people who are free of kidney disease. It can be beneficial for people with a previous medical record to limit their intake.

Those with a healthy kidney have nothing to worry about when opting for an increment of protein in their diets.

Helps Your Body Repair Itself After Injury

Protein is the concrete of your body, maintaining the body’s tissues and organs and repairing them. Numerous studies have shown that eating more protein after an injury can help speed up the recovery.

Helps You Stay Fit as You Age

As we get older, our muscles tend to weaken, and eating protein has been shown to be one of the best ways to prevent this. Fragility, bone fractures and muscle deterioration are just some of the consequences of aging, but it can be prevented by increasing our protein intake and more importantly, keeping an active lifestyle.

At this point, you may be asking yourself, “Do I need more protein? How much is too much?” Most people already eat enough to prevent deficiency, which is around 15% of the total calories we take. However, by eating up to 30%, it can help improve metabolism, especially if training or working on weigh tloss. You should always keep an active lifestyle alongside the protein intake, and consult a professional in case of doubt. Benefits of proteins have been vastly demonstrated and is an easy way to boost your health and start building strong nutritious habits.


Lisa Sickels is a Content Writer and Developer at proteinbee.co.uk. She has been in this industry for 5+ years and specializes in writing educative content on protein, health, gym, etc. She loves to read trending news to keep her updated!

References

(1) https://www.gymequipmentgb.co.uk/

(2) https://www.proteinbee.co.uk/10-reasons-to-eat-more-protein/

fresh foods

Jumpstart: 10 Quick Weight-Loss Tips

If you’ve ever lost and then regained weight, what’s the best way to stop overeating and keep weight off for good?

Rather than starting yet another diet, try tasting, really tasting your food—or meditating for a moment before eating. In other words, think outside the diet.

Welcome to the wonderful world of overeating research!

Our original research on Whole Person Integrative Eating (WPIE)1,2 unlocks some truly remarkable reasons you overeat and gain weight—and, conversely, how to overcome overeating, overweight, and obesity. Want to reap the rewards? Here are 10 tips—from our research and that of others—that could help you overcome overeating and reduce odds of being overweight or obese.

#1. Choose Chocolate

Savoring some chocolate might remind you of something you’d like to overeat—but don’t write off chocolate just yet as a (heavenly) food that could help you lose weight (yes, you read that right). In a study published in Archives of Internal Medicine, researchers showed that it’s possible to eat chocolate and weigh less if you choose the right kind—a cocoa content that’s 70% or higher, and the right amount—an ounce a day, about the size of a credit card. (Sorry, but more isn’t better `cause if you overeat chocolate, the calorie-count climbs too high to reap the rewards.) The secret to chocolate’s metabolic mystery? The antioxidant epicatechin, which revs up your metabolism.

#2. Feed Your Senses

Here’s your excuse to buy that favorite gourmet olive oil you’ve sniffed in one of those fancy olive-oil boutiques. Scientists in Germany have linked an aroma—specifically, the scent of olive oil—to eating and weighing less. Somehow, the scent of olive oil lead research participants to feel satiated sooner than those in the canola-oil scented group. And it gets better: those in the olive-oil group lost weight, while the canola-oil folks gained weight. Can “sense-filled” dining really up your odds of eating less? Yes, according to my research on Whole Person Integrative Eating,1,2“Sensory Disregard” is one of the 7 overeating styles we identified. To find out if aroma is a stay-slim tool that works for you, try your own experiment with scent-sory olive oil and other scintillating scents. 

#3. Nix Night Eating 

Call it nighttime hunger, nocturnal eating, or night eating syndrome (NES). Regardless of what it’s called, if you do a lot of overeating after you’ve had dinner or well into the wee small hours, it’s a triple weight-gain whammy! Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania reveal why: 1) your metabolic rate and digestion slow down at night; 2) consuming a lot of food at night wreaks havoc with hormones that control appetite, and; 3) eating when your body is meant to relax and restore itself busts your body’s built-in biological clock. The take-away: Simply put, human beings aren’t meant to eat a lot in the evening hours. It’s a formula for gaining weight and making it hard to lose weight.

#4. Dine by Design

When you eat in emotionally (think eating while surrounded with angry people) and aesthetically (visualize eating in your car in a traffic jam) unpleasant surroundings, my Whole Person Integrative Eating research1,2revealed you’re more likely to overeat. So think about the atmosphere in which you’ll be eating ahead of time. As often as possible, each time you eat, design a pleasing dining experience by creating an emotional and physical atmosphere that’s as pleasant as possible.

Which leads to…

#5. Pay Attention to How You Feel

Emotional eating—turning to food to soothe negative emotions or out-of-control food cravings—is the #1 predictor of overeating and weight gain, according to my Whole Person Integrative Eating research.1,2 To get control, try this: First, commit to getting in touch with your feelings before, during, and after eating. Next, make a conscious choice to eat when your emotions are balanced—not negative. Then recognize that one of the best reasons for eating is a healthy appetite, meaning, don’t let yourself get too hungry. The bottom line: Commit to eating for pleasure, with a healthy desire for food, and experience feel-good emotions when you eat and enjoy!

#6. Eat with Others

A famous study that began in the early 1960s in the small town of Roseto, Pennsylvania, explores the influence of human relationships and social support on the metabolism of high-fat, high-cholesterol, calorie-dense foods. Amazingly, this study suggests that when social support is present in our lives, especially when we eat, what we eat is somehow metabolized differently—so much so that it can keep you from getting sick. My more recent research on overeating1,2 revealed that eating alone more often than not—what I call Solo Dining—is yet another “new normal” eating style that strongly increases the odds of overeating. When it’s time to eat a meal, invite others to join you. Share mealtimes with friends, family, or coworkers as often as possible. Or if you have a pet, consider eating at the same time as your furry friend!

#7. Don’t Diet

Although dieting, judging food as “good” or “bad,” and thinking a lot about the “best” way to eat may not seem to have much in common, they are all characteristics of the overeating style I describe as “Food Fretting.”1,2If you see yourself in the food-fretter scenario, you’re at increased odds of overeating and weight gain. To get off the food-fretting treadmill, first and foremost, stop dieting. Instead, perceive food and eating as one of life’s greatest pleasures, and choose Integrative Eating as your most-of-the-time dietary lifestyle. Choose wisely (see “Get Fresh,” below) and enjoy.

#8. Get Fresh

If your most-of-the-time way of eating is, say, a donut and coffee for breakfast; a burger, fries, and coke for lunch; pizza for dinner; and chips as a snack, my research on Whole Person Integrative eating suggests that “fast foodism” is your main overeating style.1,2If a diet of mostly fast and processed foods is typical for you, consider getting in touch with your inner fresh-food fairy. You can do this by replacing sugar-, fat-, and salt-laden foodish foods—ingredients that can amp up your “overeating engine”—with more fresh fruits, veggies, whole grains, beans, and nuts and seeds, and lean, free-range, chemical-free animal foods. Worth a try, don’t you think?

#9. When You Eat, Eat

Do you ever eat while watching TV? Or while working at your computer? Or when you’re driving? If you eat while doing other things, you’re doing “task snacking,” a Whole Person Integrative Eating overeating style that is linked with overeating and increased odds of weight gain.1,2The antidote? Mindfulness eating. Give up eating while doing other activities. Instead, stay mindful, keep focused on your food, and do one thing at a time. In other words, eat when you eat!

#10. Quit Chemical Cuisine

Obesogens are the manmade chemicals—plastics and pesticides—which have found their way into our food supply and beverages. They wreak their havoc on both appetite and weight by mimicking estrogen, a hormone that can make you fat. The solution? One quick tip for avoiding “chemical cuisine” is to stay away from bisphenol A (BPA) found in canned foods, bottled beverages, meat packed in plastic, and more.

The key take-away is this: To attain and maintain weight loss…for life, think outside the diet by changing beliefs you have about dieting, losing weight, and keeping it off. Replace limiting weight-loss “think” with insights into the underlying reasons you overeat and gain weight—some of the overeating styles we just told you about. The 10 key weight-loss solutions are your first step in jump-starting a relationship to food and eating that can help you turn overeating into optimal, whole person integrative eating…and attaining and maintaining weight loss…for life.

Visit Deborah’s websitemakeweightlosslast.com, for free evidence-based, credible information and education about optimal eating for weight loss and well-being. You can also visit her blog, integrativeeating.com.


Originally printed on integrativeeating.com. Reprinted with permission from Deborah Kesten. 

Deborah Kesten, M.P.H., is an award-winning author, specializing in preventing and reversing obesity and heart disease. Her expertise includes the influence of epigenetics and diet on health, Lifestyle Medicine, and research on the Whole Person Integrative Eating dietary lifestyle to treat overeating, overweight, and obesity. She and her husband, behavioral scientist Larry Scherwitz, Ph.D., collaborate on research and writing projects. 

References:

  1. Scherwitz L, Kesten D, “Seven Eating Styles Linked to Overeating, Overweight, and Obesity,” Explore: The   Journal of Science and Healing 1, no. 5 (2005): 342–59.
  2. Kesten D, Scherwitz L. “Whole Person Integrative Eating: A Program for Treating Overeating, Overweight, and Obesity,” Integrative Medicine: A Clinician’s Journal 14, no. 5 (October/November 2015): 42-50.