1. Looking after your heart…Eat your greens.
There are many steps involved in keeping your heart health…one of them is to include something green in your diet daily. An emerging risk factor for developing heart disease is a high level of an amino acid in the blood called homocysteine. It can be caused by a genetic defect whereby the body has difficulty breaking it down but more commonly it is as a result of a diet low in vitamin B6, vitamin B12 and folate. There are two ways of increasing your B vitamin intake; one is to take a dietary supplement and the other way is to increase your dietary intake. We’ve all heard it before but eating more fruits and vegetables especially dark green ones will help your heart. Not only do fruit and vegetables contain vitamins A and C but they are also great sources of dietary folate. Other good dietary sources include beans, pulses, fortified cereals and dairy. The easiest way to up your folate intake is to ensure you eat something green everyday.
2. To busy to eat?
When work is manic and you find you’re self skipping meals you can only function for so long. Skipping meals will eventually catch up on you and result in you being run-down, tired, wont’ help your waist line and will probably leave you a little grumpy. Time management is important in all aspects of our health but did you know that working more than 10 hours per day can increase your risk of heart attack by 60%? This is probably as a result of increased stress, poor activity levels and a poor diet. The key thing to do is ensure a good healthy breakfast, stock up on healthy snacks and have a good dinner when you get home. Having a good stock of snacks in the office or in your car will help tide you over if you miss lunch or think that dinner will be a late one. Yogurts, fruit, nuts, popcorn, rice-cakes, oatcakes, peanut butter, dried fruit and fruit smoothies will provide some nutrition whilst bridging the long gaps between meals. Manage your eating times as you manage your meetings. Remember the body needs to be fueled every 3-4 hours or else you are asking it to run on empty…you wouldn’t expect a car to run without fuel so why should you? Lastly, keep well hydrated and drink plenty of water. Water helps transport nutrients around the body and will help keep you alert. So try to remember be organised, snack and water…it will probably improve your performance.
3. Prostate health; A tomato a day might keep the doctor away…
Several studies have suggested that dietary consumption of foods rich in lycopene is associated with a lower risk of prostate cancer and cardiovascular disease. Lycopene is a potent antioxidant found in tomatoes, watermelon, papaya, apricots, pink grapefruit & blood oranges. Tomato products are the best source of lycopene. This is probably one of the few times when processing a food actually enhances the availability and absorption of lycopenes. That actually means that tomato soup, tinned tomatoes, tomato ketchup and more can actually benefit the heart whilst protecting men against prostate cancer. That actually means that tomato soup, tinned tomatoes, tomato ketchup and more can actually benefit the heart whilst protecting men against prostate cancer. Another good hint is the redder the tomato the better. Lycopene is in the skin of the tomato and very red tomatoes can contain up to 50% more lycopene, it is also fat soluble so that means you should leave the skin on and cook in a little olive oil to maximize absorption.
4. What’s the best food to eat before the gym?
Whether you’re trying to lose weight or just keep fit you need to fuel the body before exercise to maximise results. The timing of your gym trip is important too…if you usually pop to the gym after work you should try to have a snack about 1-2 hours beforehand. Good snacks include those which have a slow release of energy. Have some complex carbohydrate foods between 1 and 4 hours before exercise. Pre-exercise meals should be mainly composed of “slow-burning” complex carbs, such as fruits, vegetables, whole-grain bread, rice, pasta, and cereals. Given that they are your body’s main source of energy, 65% to 70% of the total calories of your pre-workout meal should come from carbs. Complex carbs take longer to convert to glucose, which will keep your blood sugar level consistent and prevent you from having an energy crash in the middle of your workout. Another factor in deciding what to eat is the amount of time between your meal and your workout. A big meal of 1,000 to 1,500 calories takes three to four hours to digest and convert into energy, whereas a smaller meal of about 600 calories will take two to three hours. A small snack under 300 calories will only take about an hour.
5. Are oysters just an aphrodisiac or is there more to it?
We’ve all heard about oysters the aphrodisiac but did you know there’s science behind it? Oysters are actually a great source of zinc which plays an important role in sperm production and function. But if eating oysters every night doesn’t sound too appealing other good dietary sources if zinc includes nuts, seeds, dairy and meat. So having some milk on your cereal, a snack of some nuts and some meat with your could actually help improve your fertility.