Ever wonder why we are told to eat 9 servings of fruits and vegetables in a day?
This is because they contain compounds known as phytonutrients. The purpose of phytonutrients is to help protect the plant and increase the lifespan of the plant. Certain phytonutrients help to protect the plant from insects, while other phytonutrients help protect the plant from UV rays.
The good news is that these phytonutrients are passed along to those who eat them as well. To humans, phytonutrients have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and liver-health promoting activities.
While fruits and vegetables are concentrated sources of phytonutrients, there are other plant foods like whole grains, legumes/beans, nuts and seeds, and herbs and spices that also contain phytonutrients.
How can you decide if a fruit or vegetable may be rich in these nutrients? For one, you can check the internet of the usual plants that you consume throughout your day. The second option would be paying attention to the plant’s color. Due to the fact that many phytonutrients also serve as the pigment that gives foods their deep colors, you can identify many phytonutrient-rich foods by looking for colorful foods!
Listed are examples of colors to look out for while in the supermarket.
Pay attention to blue or purple plant foods like blueberries, blackberries and red cabbage (all of these are rich in flavonoids). Keep an eye out for yellow-orange foods like carrots, winter squash, papaya, and melon (rich in beta-carotene). Maybe buy some red or pink foods like tomatoes, guava, and watermelon (rich in lycopene). Don’t forget about green foods like kale, spinach, and collard greens (rich in chlorophyll).
Not all phytonutrients give color, so it’s important to keep in minds foods such as garlic, onions, and leeks- all high in phytonutrients!
Information retrieved from:http://whfoods.org/genpage.php?tname=dailytip&dbid=286
Ever go into a grocery store and see a large spherical/pear shaped fruit that is green/orange and quite exotic looking?
Most likely you have seen this fruit, but you have not bothered to buy it or to eat it. This interesting fruit is called a papaya.
If you cut open a papaya you will find black, round seeds that look like fish eggs. Although papaya’s seeds are edible, they are bitter and I personally don’t enjoy the taste. The fruit of the papaya contains papain, an enzyme that helps digest proteins. Papain is extracted to make digestive enzyme dietary supplements.
Papayas are also a great source of antioxidant nutrients such as carotenes, vitamin C and flavonoids; the B vitamins, folate and pantothenic acid; and the minerals, potassium, copper, and magnesium; and fiber.
Papayas are also an excellent source of vitamins A and C!
All of these nutrients help prevent the oxidation of cholesterol. You see, when cholesterol oxidizes, it can build up in blood vessel walls, forming plaques that can eventually cause heart attacks or strokes.
Papayas are full of fiber as well and can keep your digestive tract flowing. Papaya’s fiber is able to bind to cancer-causing toxins in the colon and keep them away from the healthy colon cells. These delicious fruits also contain protein-digesting enzymes. These enzymes have been shown to help lower inflammation and to improve healing from burns.
So how do you choose the right papaya at the grocery store?
Avoid purchasing papayas that are very green in color or very hard to the touch. Papaya in this form can be usedif you plan on cooking them, but will not taste good otherwise.
Also avoid purchasing a papaya that is too bruised or soft.
Papayas that are partially yellow should be left at room temperature where they will ripen in a few days. If you want to speed this process, place them in a paper bag with a banana.
Try adding papaya to a fruit salad or your morning yogurt. If these don’t appeal to you, then simply eat it with a spoon!
Information taken from:http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=47
With spring time rolling around quickly on the east coast, countless people flock outside for different activities. One of those most often performed is gardening/yardwork. People love to get those flower beds looking pretty to go with all the sunshine! However, with this increased motivation to get active comes an influx in patients in most Rehab clinics. Most often people tend to not pay attention to body mechanics, or if they do the long hours spent gardening finds the body fatiguing and falling into improper positions. We see complaints anywhere from overuse shoulder/elbow/hand injuries to knee pain from squatting/kneeling as well as neck and low back pain.
To avoid these common injuries and pitfalls, you need to gardening like exercise or a sport. You should always warm-up and not head directly from inside to out without doing so. This includes stretching the large muscle groups of both the lower and upper body in preparation for movement and to take some stress off joints during strenuous tasks (you should also stretch afterwards as well). Several other crucial strategies to remember are:
– Plan out your time, and be honest about how much time you can physically afford to perform the task. Everything will eventually get done, do not worry!
– Good body mechanics are key! When lifting remember to bend the knees, keep back straight, hold object close to body, and lift through the legs not the back.
– Avoid all twisting motions and refrain from bending forward for long periods. If you must bend forward, keep the core tight and back straight to limit stress on the low back. Sitting on a small stool is your best option.
– Alternate tasks, not needing to completely finish one before, to use different muscle groups and avoid placing repetitive stress upon the spine and extremities
– Take small breaks every 30-60 minutes to get a drink of water
– Stop before you are fatigue as this is the time when most injuries occur
If you begin to notice and pain and soreness make sure to stop and stretch, ice and rest. If the pain persists more than a few days, it is best to then consult your MD or Rehab Provider.
It goes without saying. We’ve all waited long enough for this summer to come along. And if you’re like me, now that summer is here, it won’t take you too long to find the closest pool and jump right in. However, before you hop on in, take a minute to think about swimming safely.
We all know the benefits to swimming. From cardiopulmonary fitness for every age group, to consistent calorie burning for weight-loss enthusiasts, to being a low impact form of exercise for those with aches and pains or orthopedic conditions; there’s a health benefit for just about everyone. But, many of us do not consider the health risks associated with swimming.
For starters, healthy swimming can be divided into three main categories which require attention. These are hygiene, sun-safety, and what swimmers do and do not bring into the pool with them. Remind children to break from the pool every hour for hydration, sunscreen application, and bathroom breaks. Consider UV protective shirts or shorts for the little ones, as 90% of the lifetime sun exposure occurs before the age of 20. This wear those of us who happen to be parents can have a large impact on our child’s lifetime risk for skin cancer.
Constantly remind the young ones not swallow pool water. No swimming when the child has diarrhea. Shower before swimming and wash hands after using the restroom or changing diapers. These are simple reminders that go a long way!
So remember, even though we are all excited to get in the water, we all must swim safe and be courteous of everyone around us!
Are you someone who tends to be more active when the weather gets warmer? Well, you’re not alone, especially after the winter that we’ve had here in the Mid-Atlantic. And between the summer time sports mishaps and the sandals snafus, this heavily anticipated change in weather is the time when we tend to see large increases in orthopedic injuries.
The majority of individuals attempt to go from being completely sedentary over the winter months to no holds barred, full throttle spring and summer activities. This trend has all the makings of accident or injury.
Spring and summer season injuries and conditions can arise from an array of different traumas or repetitive activities. List below are several examples:
Ankle sprain and knee tendonitis or cartilage/meniscus injury due multiple reasons, from twisting the foot or leg, falling, sports injuries and even wearing unstable footwear such as flip-flops or clogs.
Plantar fasciitis and stress fractures of the foot from high-impact activities like jumping, track, basketball, etc; all while wearing improper and/or unsupportive footwear.
Golfer’s and tennis elbow, which are repetitive-stressor based activities.
Shoulder tendinopathy due to overuse while completing household activities such as gardening, mulching, painting, digging, hammering, etc.
Wrist, arm and shoulder fractures from various falls.
If you or your loved ones do end up taking a fall or experiencing pain after a warm weather activity, I suggest you do the following:
Immediately stop the provoking activity, and do not attempt to play or work through the pain.
Follow protocols consistent with the pneumonic PRICE – “protection, rest, ice, compression, elevation.”
If 36-48 hours pass and the pain has not improved, schedule a visit to see a physician.
There are several specific warning signs that are good indicators that you may need immediate care – obvious deformity, joint instability, decreased range of motion and persistent joint swelling.
With all of this in mind, hop off of the couch and start enjoying this nice weather. It is long overdue!
America has an obesity problem. And it seems the rest of the developed world is following suit. A question that many people wonder is whether soda consumption increases the likelihood of weight gain. The short answer is YES.
Soft drink consumption has increased globally from 9.5 gallons per person per year in 1997 to 11.4 gallons per person per year in 2010. Simply a 1% rise in simoft drink consumption contributes to an additional 4.8% overweight adults, 2.3% obese adults, and 0.3% adults with diabetes.1 If this trend of increased consumption of caloric beverages continues, it is clear that these rates will rise drastically.
There is an alarming statistic. Consumption of sugar sweetened beverages (SSB) in the United States is increasing.2,3 About half of mothers with children age 2 reported that their children drank SSB’s at least one day per week. Moreover, there is a much higher likelihood that children who drink the highest amount of SSB come from low-income families. These families are the same families that likely have limited access to quality healthcare.
So what does this mean for society in general? Well, SSB consumption is increasing and the obesity epidemic is worsening. Insulin resistance is becoming commonplace. Based on the studies outlined above, we can conclude that soda consumption is certainly contributing to this problem. In fact, as mentioned earlier, soda consumption predicts weight gain.
Therefore, if you don’t want to gain weight, don’t drink soda!
Basu S, et al. Relationship of Soft Drink Consumption to Global Overweight, Obesity, and Diabetes: a Cross-National Analysis of 75 Countries. American Journal of Public Health. Nov 2013; Vol 103, No. 11: pp. 2071-2077.
Do you suffer from migraine headaches? Migraine headaches can be debilitating and some people have more headache days than non-headache days. Migraines typically start as a dull ache and progress to a throbbing pain. You may have sensitivity to light or sound with this headache. Some people even get nausea/vomiting with this headache. The headache typically lasts between 4-72 hours and interferes with daily activities.
If you suffer from migraine headache at least 15 days of the month that last at least 4 hours per day, you may be a candidate for treatment with Botox. Yes, I said Botox. Botox is FDA-approved for the treatment of chronic migraine. If you have tried multiple medications that have failed you are likely frustrated with the lack of pain relief. In fact, sometimes taking too much medication can actually worsen your headaches!
Botox is a simple injection technique for the treatment of chronic migraines. It involves injecting the medication into specific sites in the face, head and neck. It relaxes the muscles and relieves the headaches. In patients with 15 headaches per month or more, Botox reduced the headache days by 9 or more.
The best part… Your wrinkles will disappear too! Seriously. Many of the injection sites to treat migraine also happen to be the same sites that we inject when using Botox for cosmetic purposes.
If you have more headache days than non-headache days, consider calling for a Botox consultation today.
The hip flexor stretch has become a popular one to stretch in both the fitness and the sports performance realm and rightfully so. After all, we, as a society spend a lot of time sitting which lends itself to tightening of the hip flexors. Unfortunately, it is all too common to see people stretching either incorrectly or too aggressively.
Here are some key points to ensure that you are stretching the right way:
-There is a difference between stretching your quads and stretching your hip flexors. If you are indeed targeting your hip flexors focus on psoas and not rectus femoris
-Focus on one joint at a time: Many people try to stretch both at the hip and knee which incorporates both the rectus and the psoas. Unfortunately, many people can’t perform this correctly and end up compensating, which increases injury risk
-Stand up tall and contract your abdominals and glutes
-Engage your core by pushing the dowel down into the ground while at the same time keeping your elbows straight