Friday, March 7, 2014

Eating Right for Post-Workout Recovery

As rewarding as your workout may be, it is important to remember that your muscles only grow stronger through acute injury and recuperation. The pain you feel as you are cooling down is the result of torn cells, metabolic waste and the buildup of lactic acid; never forget that your training damages your body’s tissue in the short term in order to reap long-term rewards. While all of this results in a stronger, better you, you should treat the downtime between workout sessions for what it is: recovery from injury.

The cornerstone of your post-workout recovery should consist of a diet that replenishes what your body has lost and fuels the healing process. Help your body heal itself naturally by replenishing water and electrolytes, and consuming the carbohydrates and protein that your body needs to rebuild.

While you may avoid sodium in your day-to-day diet, sodium-rich foods are an excellent way to replace the electrolytes that you have lost through sweat. Potassium, calcium and magnesium rich foods will also help with this process, so load up on fresh fruit, greens, beans and nuts. Within 15 minutes to an hour after an intense workout, you should also consume carbohydrates to replenish your body’s glycogen stores. Avoid sugary exercise bars and drinks, and focus on fresh fruit as your primary source of carbohydrates.

Amino acids are the primary building blocks your body needs to replace, repair and improve your damaged muscle tissue. As with carbohydrates, you should eat a protein rich snack within an hour of finishing your workout routine. Peanut butter, eggs, hummus, yogurt, whole wheat and white meat are excellent sources of amino acids, but beware of sugar-laden protein shakes.

Replenishing and rebuilding are not the only areas of concern after a workout. Intense exercise, particularly overtraining, can impair your immune system for hours after your workout is complete. Keep your immune system strong with vitamin C, zinc and probiotics. You may even want to consider making a probiotic supplement part of your regimen. Not only will probiotics help bolster your immune system, but they will also help your body quickly and efficiently digest and process the food that you are eating for recovery.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Five Healthy Valentine’s Day Treats

Valentine’s Day presents a wonderful opportunity to show your loved ones you care, but that doesn’t mean your diet has to suffer. Consider some of the following alternatives to conversation hearts and candy bars. 
  1. Fresh Fruit – with health benefits through the roof like vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, a display of fresh, decadent fruit is a great choice. You can dress it up by selecting some more exotic, non-traditional fruits and trying them with a little whipped cream on the side.
  2. Dark Chocolate Covered Almonds – long considered a healthy snack due to studies showing their ability to reduce cholesterol, lose weight, and provide a great source of protein, almonds are a great choice for Valentine’s Day treats. Smothered in rich, delicious dark chocolate, these candied almonds have the added benefit of being a great source of antioxidants and a way to drop blood pressure.
    healthy valentines treats
  3. Cinnamon Candies – speaking purely from a caloric standpoint, these spicy candies are a great way to indulge your sweet (and spicy) tooth without packing on the calories. A large handful of these bite sized treats can total less than 50 calories.
  4. Dark Chocolate Covered Strawberries – a strawberry is a sweet, delicious, low calorie snack. Known to improve your immune system and eye health with vitamin C, as well as being full of antioxidants, strawberries are certainly a super food. Much like almonds mentioned earlier, these delicious fruits have the added punch of antioxidant-rich dark chocolate that will aid in reducing blood pressure.
  5. Dark Chocolate – Aside pairing it with fruits, nuts, and other snacks, why not indulge in dark chocolate by itself? Good for blood flow to your heart and brain, an aid in controlling blood sugar, and chock full of vitamins and minerals, dark chocolate has a number of health benefits that can’t be beat.
Indulge your sweet tooth responsibly this Valentine’s Day, and show your sweetheart how thoughtful you are with sweets and candies that are good for their health!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

The Biggest Immune System Threats

Maintaining a Health Immune System

Inside your body there is a constant arms race between ever-mutating harmful microbes and your own immune system. Luckily, your body has evolved to be particularly adept at staying on top of this arms race. There are several unhealthy practices, however, that can tip the scales in favor of infectious bacteria, viruses and fungi. By correcting these unhealthy practices, you can help your body help itself and heal itself naturally, without having to rely so heavily on antibiotics and other medication which carry their own risks and side-effects that it can take weeks to recover from.

  • Lack of Exercise – daily exercise helps clear your lungs, empower your circulatory system, and decrease your stress levels. It is certainly possible to overdo it, leaving your body too weak to fight off infections, but a regular routine can stave off the dangers that a sedentary lifestyle invites.
  • Lack of Sleep – as with exercise, proper sleep is important in keeping your body more stress free. Without a good night’s rest, T-cell levels decrease and your body’s reaction time begins to slow down dramatically.
  • Improper Diet – from antibiotic laden meat to diets that sacrifice proper nutrition for the quick fix of excess carbohydrates, everything you eat has the potential to either strengthen or weaken your immune system. Stop thinking of food as only a source of energy and begin looking at food as a vehicle for vitamins and minerals that can improve your body and make it stronger. Simply adding organic fruit and vegetables to every meal can greatly improve the way you feel and the way your body performs.
  • Exposure to the Elements – the old wives’ tale about cold weather causing cold actually has a grain of truth to it. Cold weather causes blood vessels to constrict, slowing the body’s reaction process, and warm weather encourages the growth of harmful bacteria. You should not avoid the outdoors, but you should also be prepared and properly clothed when you venture out.
  • Being Sheltered from the Elements – while overexposure can be detrimental to your health, a lack of exposure to the elements can be just as harmful. Your body develops a resistance to allergens and microbes when it encounters them in small, but frequent doses.
  • An Empty Zoo – your white blood cells are not the only defense your body has against invaders. You are home to billions of beneficial microbes that not only aid in digestion, but also help fight off infectious diseases. Helpful bacteria act in competition with harmful bacteria, and they have the home field advantage. Eating “live” food, such as probiotic yogurt and fermented dairy drinks is a great way to keep your “zoo” flourishing. However, this is not always enough. The best way to make sure that your immune system’s allies are never in short supply is to dedicate part of your diet to a regimen of probiotic supplements.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Reasons to Avoid Wheat

Together with rice and corn, wheat is one of the most widely consumed and widely grown crops in the world. From beer and breakfast cereal to common flour and pasta, wheat products can be found on almost every dining room table at breakfast, lunch and dinner. But what’s not to love? Wheat is a staple source of carbohydrates and a spectacular source of protein and fiber. As attractive as this perennial favorite may be, we at Teraganix have compiled a few major wheat health concerns that may inspire you to look for alternatives.

  • Irradiation and Toxins - Irradiation is common in many forms of food production. With wheat, however, production scales are so massive and fast-paced that the grain is consumed only days after being irradiated. Because of this, congressional hearings on the health risks posed by irradiated food have often focused specifically on wheat products. Modern hybridized wheat is also treated with sodium azide, a well-known toxic poison that can be fatal in sufficient quantities.

  • Gluten &Allergies - The rise in cases of diagnosed celiac disease has brought the world’s attention to the potential dangers of gluten; a culture of caution has created a worldwide demand for gluten free options in restaurants and on grocery shelves. Celiac disease is not the only concern, however; while only 1% of the population suffers from celiac disease, there are other, more common forms of gluten sensitivity that fall in a wide range of susceptibility and severity. Patients that fall in this spectrum experience symptoms from intense pain to muscle twitches and abdominal disorders. Wheat’s high gluten content combined with the high rate of wheat-specific allergies make the grain a risk to anyone who has not had a physician completely rule out the presence of both.

  • Genetic Modification - Wheat, corn and rice, as the most in-demand staple grains of the world, are some of the primary subjects of genetic modification. As the seed supply of each is incorporated into more and more research, it is becoming less and less possible to guarantee that the grains you are consuming are free from genetic meddling. As GM foods become more prominent, so do reports of harmful side effects like new allergies, gastrointestinal disorders, severe headaches, joint pain and other adverse reactions.

Wheat Alternatives

Luckily, alternatives to wheat are widely available. Buckwheat, despite its name, is completely wheat and gluten free; most grocery stores now stock buckwheat flour and tapioca flour in order to offer a gluten free baking option. Quinoa and amaranth, while not technically grains, are also wonderful substitutes for wheat and even boast a better amino acid profile than the enviously high protein grain.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Product Review: Pro EM-1 Probiotic Cleanse

Since being introduced to the world in 1982, Dr. Teruo Higa’s Effective Micororganisms® (EM Technology®) has been at the forefront of the beneficial bacteria industry. These colonies of vital microbes have helped produce larger crops, condition soils, naturally clean surfaces and more. Dr. Higa’s PRO EM-1® daily probiotic cleanse makes this same technology available for your own personal, day-to-day use.

This probiotic supplement is more than just a way to enhance your diet. Each bottle is its own ecosystem and supports no less than 1 million colony forming units (cfu) per ml (cc). Six species of probiotic microfauna live in symbiosis and can be easily and safely consumed on a daily basis, reintroducing microbes to your digestive system that can aid in digestion, support weight loss, boost your immune system and promote overall, holistic health.

What makes Pro EM-1 different is that the microbes are fermented at body temperature. Unlike 99% of the other probiotics on the market, which contain freeze-dried microbes. The fermentation process is a natural process where the microbes of fed sugars (natural honey and certified organic molasses). The sugars are converted by the microbes into a variety of substances including various enzymes, co-enzymes, bio-available vitamins and organic acids and amino acids. Most companies extract these and sell them in isolated forms. Instead, in Pro EM-1 you get them all in their natural state. This natural process is also the reason that Pro EM-1 is stable at room temperatures and does not require refrigeration.

This probiotic cleanse is 100% wheat, gluten, GMO, dairy and soy free. It contains only natural ingredients: the probiotic colonies themselves and a matrix of molasses and honey that promote microbial growth. The colonies digest this molasses and honey during fermentation, making the product safe for those suffering from diabetes and other sugar-related health issues. Try a bottle out for yourself and soon you’ll make this probiotic supplement part of your regular diet with a bi-monthly delivery from Teraganix, EM’s licensed US distributor.