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!
It took long enough, but it finally appears as though Spring is on its way. With this winter dragging on the way it did, I personally cannot wait for the temps to rise and the sun to shine. And now that the time has come, it’s time to lace up the shoes and start training for your big race.
For some of us, this may mean hitting the pavement for the first time since 2013. Others may be polishing up the finishing touches on Boston Marathon. And the rest are getting going with a 5k, 10k, or half marathon in mind. No matter your running goals, experience or savvy; here are several tips to hit the ground running as we spring in the warm weather.
Pick a race and sign up!
Plain and simple, when there’s an end-all goal in mind, getting out the door and running is that much easier. Although this can be a little intimidating to those who have never done it before, it can also be very rewarding. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a 5k, 10k, 15k, half or full marathon. Put it on the calendar and make the commitment. You won’t be upset with yourself that you did!
Commit to a training plan.
Regardless if you are simply running for physical fitness or for competition, a little bit of structure can go a long way. Don’t wing it, especially if you’re in a bit of a rut. And if a little extra help is needed, sign up for training services or get a coach.
Change up your stretching routine. Current literature suggests that static stretching (ex. stretching a single muscle group for 30 seconds) is effective only following an athletic activity. Before beginning any run, warm up with dynamic stretching (actively stretching multiple muscle groups through constant controlled motion). Dynamic stretching is designed to increase blood flow, increase range of motion, increase awareness of joint position, and increase athletic performance. Not only that, but it’s also a lot more fun than laying on a floor for 30 minutes in a hurdler’s stretch.
Treat yourself to a new pair of training shoes. You would think that this is a no-brainer, but you would be surprised how many experience runners limp into my office in their muddy, beaten-down running shoes with 10 months of wear on them. The rule-of-thumb is every 400-500 miles, or 6 month maximum, to replace your trainers and prevent over-use injury. They may not cosmetically look bad, but remember that the mid-sole, or cushioned part, will wear out before the harder out-sole. So pick up some new running shoes, and do this by getting fitted for the proper set while at a reputable running store.
So mark the calendar, layout the training program, and get out there and train with a new found sense of intensity in that new pair of running kicks!